The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 10: Stupid Nicknames

Part 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 King’s 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 didn’t 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Since we know exactly when they got all their information, we know exactly how out of date it is.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 (there’s 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. I’ve got even fewer regrets about it now than before.

Game of the week: Jenga. It’s to help Naomi maintain her nimbleness with her cybernetic hands. It’s also symbolic of how overextension can destroy what you’ve built; something to remember with all the expenditures we’ve had lately.

Alright, rookies—and by “rookies,” I mean, ALL OF YOU—we’ve 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 don’t break bad habits soon and start good habits early, it’s worse later on.
I’m gonna need to sell so MUCH alien scrap…

Naomi, you didn’t 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!
You’ve taken too many hits for me already. Now it’s my job to take the hits for the rest of you.
And who can you protect when you’re dead, Mimi? You need to do everything you can to keep yourself alive! You want to leave me alone?

Alright…I promise.
I’ve been studying…

We have a medical gun that sprays mist made out of the nanites found in meld. It’s designed to patch up holes in armor and flesh. I’ve been studying how to use it most efficiently. Nobody’s tried to use it in the field yet, it’s no good for full healing, but it’s great for patch jobs.

If you promise to keep from charging ahead too much, I’ll 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.


Didn’t know cyborgs needed cardio.
My heart’s still human, and even if it’s 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. That’s why the Sectoids are naked.
We really should get regenerating health on Leroy and whoever else we can afford to…I’ll 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, I’ll 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.
Heh heh…

Gonna kill someone… Kill…


Focus! Take cover behind these logs!
This cover is terrible, I’m popping smoke!

Aaaah! I’m pinned down!
One flew behind us! We’re flanked!
A third is on overwatch, ready to shoot anyone who moves. Shit, we’re in a tight spot…
Eva. The far one on overwatch. Blow him up, then I’ll 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!
On it…

Perfect! Bar-Lev, blow away the last floater. Doc, remain on overwatch—those damn seekers could be anywhere and I DON’T want to get my throat re-crushed!


It’s behind you! Ahh, I’m so sorry!

NOT AGAIN! GGGGgggggfffffuuuuukkkkk…
Uhh…let me try again!

Whew…sorry I didn’t get it before…
ggggg…gggg…okay. It’s okay. Nice save. Thank you. Now. EVERYONE ON OVERWATCH!
I need to reload, sorry. This damn gun is dry after two volleys…
Behind us!

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, it’s in the saucer!
UFO. Not flat enough to be a saucer. Someone help me shoot it in the foot again!

Aaach! It’s fine, it’s fine. I can’t shoot it nonlethally with this cannon, someone else do it.

Hell, I only nicked it!
It looks tough enough to survive a single grenade.
A grenade?!
In close quarters it shouldn’t even damage the ship’s vital parts…
It’s awfully close to me!
Consider it a trust-building exercise.
This isn’t like falling into someone’s arms!
Just hold very still. TRUST ME.

…I’m fine?! I can’t believe that worked! Holy shit, doc, do you do couples counseling?
I do!
Sign me up!
My turn!

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. Vahlen’s got way too much work cut out for her, we need to prioritize getting her more staff now… By the way, Naomi Bar-Lev. You’re 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…
I’m gonna go watch movies in the hospital with Hilda…

To Be Continued