The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 14: Interrogation Bonanza!

Part 14: Interrogation and Autopsy BONANZA!!!


As part of the strike team I was invited to see the interrogation of the Thin Man (this particular one we’d nicknamed “Skinny”). An old lady strolled into the alien containment center, thin but powerful, wearing sunglasses, a lab coat and a garrison cap. The Commander introduced her as “Dr. Cobra,” one of the last living people who had seen a sectoid from the original 1962 invasion. (Yes, apparently there were sectoids back then, but they were slaves of the Zudjari.)

Dr. Cobra circled around the glass tube with the Thin Man in it. He did his best to look unimpressed by it all, but she got his attention when she pulled a fucking surgical chainsaw out from under the table and started going at a nearby Sectoid corpse like a an ice sculptor, many precision cuts all across its body. There was less splatter than you’d think, but enough to make everyone take a step back, including the Thin Man.

Then she pulled out a couple of big knives, a pair of tongs and I swear, a SPATULA and divided up what was left of the sectoid corpse and laid it all out like a teppanyaki chef, pointing out all the bits she had identified.

“I spent the first twenty years of my career cutting up freeze-dried aliens,” she said. “After a while there wasn’t much left to work with, except for a colony of wild silicoids hidden in South America, but I’ve memorized every organ. Looks like you’ve made some new enhancements to the race since then; very efficient little power cells. Think of all the powerful little things we could make with cells like that;”

“Lasers, for example,” said Dr. Vahlen. “We’ve been able to make laser guns for years, but we couldn’t miniaturize the power sources properly. Laser-guidance systems, as well.

“We’ve already learned everything we can from a LIVING sectoid,” said Dr. Cobra to the Thin Man. “Since it didn’t have a mouth, do you want to know how we interrogated it? We inserted probes into its prefrontal cortex!”

“But you can actually speak, so perhaps we won’t need to do that with YOU,” said Dr. Cobra.

Skinny grimaced but zipped his lip. So Dr. Cobra did the teppanyaki thing again with the corpse of another Thin Man. More carefully, this time. That started to really get under his collar.

“You’ve been mutated so far from what you originally were,” said the old doctor. “But I think I have an idea of what your kind must have once looked like. Something serpentine?”

“Am I correct?”

“I wouldn’t know,” said the Thin Man. “My predecessors were whatever they were, but I began as…this.”

“What is the higher power in charge of all these species, mutating and cybernetically enhancing them?” said Dr. Cobra. Silence again, but Vahlen just nodded as if everything was just fine and poked a button on her PDA.

“And I suppose you won’t tell us what, specifically, your kind has been kidnapping humans for, either…” Skinny stared more. “You don’t even know, do you? Is that it, you follow orders without understanding the reasonings behind them?”

“Questioning orders is…unnecessary,” said the Thin Man.

“Where do your superiors originate from?” said the Commander from the viewscreen. Nothing again, but Vahlen’s PDA went beep boop.

“Alright, let’s move on,” said Dr. Cobra. “How about technology? Is there anything you can tell us, say, about the operation of your vehicles?” They started showing the alien a slideshow of the UFO flight computers and their power sources.

Skinny didn’t say anything, but Dr. Vahlen poked at her PDA like everything was all right. She nodded at the older woman, who started to grin cruelly.

“Well, Mr. Thin Man, you have been most uncooperative up until now, but here is where things get interesting,” said Dr. Cobra.

“Your lips may not have moved,” said Dr. Vahlen, “but your brain lit up on our neuroimaging scanners with every question. We now know EXACTLY where to…’probe.’ Thank you.”

The facade broke. “NO! WAIT!” Then the big doors closed over him.

“Aaahhh…like old times…” said the old lady. “Well, it’s your show now, kid. I’ll help you chop up a few more cadavers for old time’s sake, but you don’t need me to drain their brains.”


— Captain Cameron Watkins

This will shave MONTHS of time off our research. The best part of it is, Soldier Watkins, we’ll have so many more genetic enhancements to try out on you and other volunteers!

Not to mention other uses for the alien bodies. Missile jammers from the floater bodies, laser targeting systems from the sectoid corpses, poison grenades from Thin Men, invisible smokescreen from the seekers, a prototype needle grenade or armor add-ons from the chitin of the chrysalid —that’s what we’re calling the bugs— and Dr. Shen says he has a whole host of new ideas based off the equipment from the alien soldier, the “Muton.” And an emergency respirator that should make you immune to Thin Man poison and strangulation.


Sweet. I fucking HATE those seekers, and that bioelectric skin would let me see them?
See them, AND shock them off you if they try to grab you.
I volunteer for THAT.
I have…reasons. You’re the big killer of the team, Cammy, you should get the adrenaline pheromone thing.
I really, REALLY want either the invisible skin or the jumpy legs…maybe both, once we can afford it.
Well, our new paychecks come in soon, so hopefully some of you will get your wishes. Heh…nice to have things go our way for once…

To Be continued