Part 10: Stupid NicknamesPart 10. Stupid Nicknames
The Thin Man was up to a whole new level of creepiness; he started calling out people by name, trying to make it look like he knew everyone and everything. It was very Stephen Kings Storm of the Century, and some of us started to panic. But then he screwed up. He looked at me and called me Carol Allen. So we knew they didnt know about the switch. Then he tried to give me some kind of command phrase to (we assume) make me do something to either break him free or go berserk.
Back when we saved General Van Doorn, Carol was separated from us for a minute or two in the trench with a Sectoid she killed, and she said it had tried to hypnotize her. We now think it succeeded; somehow it read her mind, passed on the information to the others, and (possibly) passed on a posthypnotic command.
Since we know exactly when they got all their information, we know exactly how out of date it is. We also know to never be alone with the Sectoids, as they may be more dangerous than we assumed (theres rumors of a Command Sectoid able to completely brainwash people in its proximity).
That accidental body switch may have saved more lives than we could have possibly imagined. Ive got even fewer regrets about it now than before.
Game of the week: Jenga. Its to help Naomi maintain her nimbleness with her cybernetic hands. Its also symbolic of how overextension can destroy what youve built; something to remember with all the expenditures weve had lately.
Alright, rookiesand by rookies, I mean, ALL OF YOUweve been working on your bodies. Now we need to strengthen your minds. You will study differential calculus. You will play logic puzzle games. You will learn to take my copious verbal abuse during all of this to deal with stress while facing uncomfortable situations. Once during each session, there will be a 20% chance of a small paint-filled bomb going off during the test. You will learn to IGNORE the danger while always being aware of it.
That sounds kind of expensive, do we need to do this now?
ABSOLUTELY! If you dont break bad habits soon and start good habits early, its worse later on.
Im gonna need to sell so MUCH alien scrap
Naomi, you didnt let me look at that armor until the mission was over. That blast came too close to your organics! You need to be less reckless!
Youve taken too many hits for me already. Now its my job to take the hits for the rest of you.
And who can you protect when youre dead, Mimi? You need to do everything you can to keep yourself alive! You want to leave me alone?
Alright I promise.
Ive been studying
We have a medical gun that sprays mist made out of the nanites found in meld. Its designed to patch up holes in armor and flesh. Ive been studying how to use it most efficiently. Nobodys tried to use it in the field yet, its no good for full healing, but its great for patch jobs.
If you promise to keep from charging ahead too much, Ill follow along and keep you going.
Me being the big shining knight, and you the flying pixie keeping me healed? Heh. Sounds like a good team.
Didnt know cyborgs needed cardio.
My hearts still human, and even if its only sympathetic, moving my limbs around a lot makes it pump faster. Keeping my heart in shape keeps my brain in shape. What about you?
My muscles regenerate really fast, so I have a much shorter recovery time after a good workout. But I do still need to work out.
Why are you always sleeveless?
The gene mods work best when my skin can breathe. Thats why the Sectoids are naked.
We really should get regenerating health on Leroy and whoever else we can afford to Ill bug the commander about it later.
Holy shit, a totally intact UFO has landed! Get everyone over to the site, NOW!!!
Okay, everybody, there will probably be a shitload of aliens on this craft, so expect a heavy firefight. We might find one more of those weird crystal Outsider things, too, and since shattering the crystal just breaks it, Ill try to get in close and use the Arc Thrower.
CAMMY! Why is my listed code name Pixie? Why is Bar-Lev Mimi?
I have no idea.
Watkins! Were you listening in on us?!
Nope. But once everyone hears your stupid nickname, the genie is out of the bottle.
FUCK! NOBODY CALL ME THAT BUT LEROY!
Gonna kill someone Kill
Focus! Take cover behind these logs!
This cover is terrible, Im popping smoke!
Aaaah! Im pinned down!
One flew behind us! Were flanked!
A third is on overwatch, ready to shoot anyone who moves. Shit, were in a tight spot
Eva. The far one on overwatch. Blow him up, then Ill try to sneak out of this suppression!
Fuck, fuck! Singed my ass!
The code name for the disappearing octopus! SHIT! Someone help me put a bullet in the side of this floater so he stops moving around so much and I can shock him!
Perfect! Bar-Lev, blow away the last floater. Doc, remain on overwatchthose damn seekers could be anywhere and I DONT want to get my throat re-crushed!
Its behind you! Ahh, Im so sorry!
NOT AGAIN! GGGGgggggfffffuuuuukkkkk
Uhh let me try again!
Whew sorry I didnt get it before
ggggg gggg okay. Its okay. Nice save. Thank you. Now. EVERYONE ON OVERWATCH!
I need to reload, sorry. This damn gun is dry after two volleys
GOTCHA! Now, everyone, move up.
Whew not a scratch on me
Watkins, it looks like one of the meld containers nearby self-destructed. You need to try to move faster, though I understand why you had to camp for those damn seekers we need anti-invisibility countermeasures soon
Sectoids up ahead!
They wandered right into our overwatch! Two dead, one alive!
Great! Keep an eye out for that Outsider
Final sectoid dead. Bloodlust sated.
Outsider spotted, its in the saucer!
UFO. Not flat enough to be a saucer. Someone help me shoot it in the foot again!
Aaach! Its fine, its fine. I cant shoot it nonlethally with this cannon, someone else do it.
Hell, I only nicked it!
It looks tough enough to survive a single grenade.
In close quarters it shouldnt even damage the ships vital parts
Its awfully close to me!
Consider it a trust-building exercise.
This isnt like falling into someones arms!
Just hold very still. TRUST ME.
Im fine?! I cant believe that worked! Holy shit, doc, do you do couples counseling?
Sign me up!
Success! Great teamwork, everyone!
Whew gonna need a couple of days in the hospital to make sure my throat heals properly but yeah, no complaints!
Excellent work yet again, folks. Two live captures, a completely intact UFO (except for that one desk), including their navigational computers and power sources. Dr. Vahlens got way too much work cut out for her, we need to prioritize getting her more staff now By the way, Naomi Bar-Lev. Youre promoted. You want a different code name, you can request one.
sure. Soon as I think of one
I kinda like Pixie, though maybe I should get a haircut to match
Im gonna go watch movies in the hospital with Hilda
To Be Continued