The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 28: Many New Faces

Part 28: Many New Faces

Alright, what have we learned from the corpses? The drone, the sectoid commander, and that flying disc?

The drone is just that, a drone. But we might be able to use what we’ve learned from it to improve our SHIV, give it self-repair abilities.

The “cyberdisc” is very strange. It’s like organic technology. We’ve learned a few things from it, including how to possibly create a backup life support organ for our troops in the form of a gene mod.

And this… well, giving our soldiers its mental abilities will require a specialized facility, but in the meantime we’ve devised a gene mod that will cause any invasive telepath intense pain. It won’t necessarily prevent mental attacks, but the enemy will pay for it.
Oooh. Brain spikes! We’re going to want to put that on everyone as soon as possible.

What’s up?
Well… I’d be a fool not to get upgraded with the “brain spikes,” but every new gene mod I get will make it more and more expensive to get the old me back. And I’ve had no real complaints, but I’d like to keep my options open, y’know?
Heh. Well, I can’t go back. But I stopped minding once I realized that in the future, they’ll have more and more humanoid limbs for me, and that I’ll be basically immune to aging. I’ll be kicking ass when I’m eighty.
Whoah. Yeah. Heh. That’s a hell of a bright side.
Actually, after it’s done altering DNA, the meld repairs your telomeres, too, the protein sheaths that shorten as you age. For people who’ve been repeatedly modified or exposed to meld, they won’t show signs of aging for a while.
… what.

And you inherited the DNA of someone who’d been exposed to meld at least four or five times, Watkins, so I imagine you’ll remain young for… possibly up to a hundred years.
Of course, if you still want me to reverse everything, I can. Your comfort is important to us.
Okay, no. Screw going back! If anybody has a problem with that, I’ll be laughing at them all the way to the 22nd century. Splice me MORE, doc!
Hmm, yeah, can I get brain spikes too?
Now would be a good time for me to finally get upgraded…
I could always use a vision modification.
Hell I don’t care if you mutate me into a purple-skinned Beyonce, immortality is worth it!

ENOUGH! The A-team’s on break. That means the only people who get mutated are the ones who are gonna use it. That’s me, Hugo, maybe Zhang once he’s out of the hospital, and anyone else who doesn’t suck.
Latisha’s right.
Can I —
NO! Commander, who else do we have?
Uh, we haven’t hired any new talent recently, so, uh… it’s not good.

Francois Roux, formerly a chef out of Quebec, lied on his eye exam and blows up in everyone’s face when they disagree about what spices to use.
Ugh, pass.

Bobo Bananas, actually a chimpanzee that got mutated into a human during Dr. Vahlen’s initial meld tests.
I… learning… talk. Help… kill… bad?
No, Bobo, you just go back to your room and play with your kittens, okay?

And lastly, Maria Vos, who is intelligent, disciplined, loyal and dedicated, but can’t hit the broad side of a barn and freaks out at the sight of blood.
I’m sorry, sir! But if I fail you on the field of battle, I will surely never fail you in the filing department!
See what I mean? It takes at least three days and 10 megacredits just to hire one new soldier who’s been cleared by every background check the Council of Nations has to offer.
It takes three days to get melded, right? Welp, I’m going in the tube. I hope you can scrounge up someone better in that time, sir.
No promises…
I’m working on an advanced placement program, too, that’ll help us discover their specialties sooner. Little expensive, but we can afford it.

Hugo, you can test out the brain spikes mutation. I’m getting this cheerleader mod.
It’s called Adrenal Neurosympathy, and it—
Cheerleader mod. If this process really rejuvenates me I want the full effect, ‘kay?

Hope this doesn’t make me go crazy…

Now, we wait…

Now that we’ve got Asia covered, getting help setting up our new test chamber is a breeze. We just throw the recruits into what they think is a dangerous situation, and how they react will determine their exact aptitude.
Bit devious, but I guess it’ll save us time…

Latisha, how do you feel?
Fucking amazing. That shit is better than a mud bath, I feel like I’m 25 again.

You should start experiencing combat rushes in battle, and with your new pheremones you’ll pass that on to nearby troops as well. You should all become more alert as the battle progresses.
Sweet. I’ve got coffee for blood!

And how are you, Hugo?
I also feel like I’m 25 again! But then again, I am 25, so…

I feel…pretty normal, but sharp, in a way I can’t quite describe. Like I can speed up my thinking when I want to. I guess we won’t know if this mod can hurt telepaths until one tries to attack me.
Well, worst-case scenario, we’ve just sacrificed our sleeves.

Great, now hopefully next time it won’t take so much space to build more satellite facilities. Gonna be a bitch to pay for, though…

Ahh, hell! No time for anything else, who’s going? Rhino, Hugo, the SHIV, Zhang (now that he’s out of the hospital), and…?

To expedite the background check process, we tried hiring several recruits who were rescued from the alien base. (On the grounds that anyone they were going to mulch are not secretly on their side). Of all the new recruits, Lea Gerard of Belgium has the most outstanding aim scores, making her perfect for a rookie sniper.
No! That’s not right!
My name is Yoko Tachibana!
Look, as long as you can kill aliens, I don’t care if your name is Moon Unit Zappa. Get on the skyranger, rookie, before that UFO takes off! Now, who else is going?

What? Dad, you’re still in recovery from the ambush. You’re not the killing machine you used to be!
I don’t care. Someone’s got to keep these kids in line, and if I go one more week without killing something I’ll lose my edge forever!
…y’know what, I’ll allow this. But in the field you have to earn your rank all over again, Van Doorn.
Ha! Fine.

So, Lea, why are you—
It’s YOKO! The aliens ripped out my brain and stuck it in the body of some white girl from Belgium for an experiment. Nobody believes me ‘cause I don’t have any signs of melding or surgery.
Okay… well, your accent doesn’t seem Belgian, at least.
I joined XCOM because I was hoping they could meld me to look like the old me or whatever.
Ha! Well, you’d better prove yourself on the battlefield, Miss Tachibana, ‘cause we don’t waste meld on losers.
I will murder every alien in the solar system if that’s what it takes.
That’s the spirit!

WOO! Okay, troops, I’m in command today. It’s daylight and the UFO is undamaged, which means there will be up to thirteen enemies inside, including the leaders in the bridge. We don’t have any anti-invisibility measures to kill Seekers with, so we’ll have to make do. Any questions?
Should we—
Right. No questions. GO!

Three sectoids north, they haven’t seen us yet.
Grab some cover, fast!

Ahh, hell, skinnies to the southeast too! They’ve spotted us and pulled back. We’re in a pincer.
Zhang, you, Hugo and the SHIV go southeast to take out the Thin Men. You’ll be better against their poison. Everyone else, with me to the north!
Who’s piloting the SHIV?

Who cares? GO!

Ohhh, this is too sweet for words. They’re ALL exposed. Who dies today? Eenie, meenie, miney, mo…


OWWW! You little grey SHIT!

That’s ONE!
Great shot!

Ahh, hell, he’s in high cover, I’ve got no angle.
Not for long. Here’s a trick I learned. Blast the ground next to ‘em, showers’ em with dirt. If you’re lucky it hurts and confuses ‘em enough that they break cover.

And sometimes you get REALLY lucky, haha! WHOO!

Damn it feels good to get shit done, doesn’t it?
Wow. I dunno what the hell you’re on, Mrs. Watkins, but I think it’s starting to rub off on me.
It’s working! Neat.

There are several very spread-out Thin Men in hard cover. Fortunately I have modified my rockets for increased area of effect. Backblast area all clear, rocket away!

Two down. One left, position unknown.
(Mother of God, why is everyone around me so much more of a badass?) Hey, SHIV, scout ahead!

There he is, I’m taking him out!

Phew. Six of the twelve or thirteen estimated enemies down. That’s… two more squads, thereabouts, inside the ship. Plus the pilots.

SHIT! Seekers! The things that keep attacking Cam! They’re out for revenge!
Aaaah crap. I’ll see if I can ‘nade em if I can tell where they are.


Whoah, nice shot, SHIV pilot…whoever you are!

First muton down. Second one is weakened.

It’s mine!

That’s two.
Great! Okay, folks, you know the drill. Everyone on overwatch and huddle close so you can shoot those damn squids off each other when they attack.

Here you go, Yoko. Let me patch that hole in your armor.

No worries, Van Doorn. I got it.
God DAMN it I can’t believe it snuck up on me. I’m losing my touch! When I fought the inviso-ninjas of Shadow Brazil I could always hear ‘em coming. I need that skin Leroy has.
Everyone move inside the saucer.

Behind you!

Phew… looks like I’m not infallible either. Thank you.
Okay, that does it. Who the hell’s piloting the SHIV?
Who, indeed?
Whaaaaat?! Bullshit!
I’m really good at video games, my friend. Heh heh.

Right, folks, the bridge is the only part of the UFO we haven’t cleared. There’s two or three commanding aliens in there, I bet. Probably those weird Outsider things. We’ll open the doors on both sides, try to get ‘em in a crossfire. Breach on three…two…one!

Holy fucknuggets, TWO Sectoid Commanders!
Back off! Everyone but Hugo and the SHIV, back off, NOW!

Moving forward! They cannot control a machine!
Aaaah, hell, I’ll try to blitz them from behind their own cover! Hope these brain spikes work…

I don’t know what happened, it said I had an 88% chance to hit!
Ffffuck! Firing weapon!

Got him! Ahh, hell, they’re charging up their brains!

Hugo Gutierrez… we have you now.
Like hell! Get out of my head! DIE!

Haha! It worked!

N-no! What are you?! Aoooowwwwwww…

You bastards! What did you do to me!?
Hey, HEY! Ease up there, soldier! Let me try to take it alive.

I said back off!

There. We can find out all the answers we want after we fry this bastard on the interrogation bench and kick him in his nonexistent nuts a few times. Okay?
…okay. Sorry, Mama Watkins.

Whew! Mission complete, and a fantastic job, everyone!
…not everyone. *sniff*
*sniff* I didn’t get to kill anything! *sob*

Not a scratch on anyone. Wonderful work. You’re both promoted, Hugo and Zhang. And we’ve proven the effectiveness of the brain spikes. We’re gonna want to install those in everyone.
Thanks, sir!
And Lea — excuse me, Yoko — we’re going to get to the bottom of what’s up with you. I don’t think you’re faking or a delusional.
Oh. Thank you, sir. I’m sorry, I won’t let my temper get the better of me in the future.
And by the way, Rhino, great job of keeping a level head despite all the juices energizing you.
No problem, sir. I am a very good multi-tasker.

Baaaaahhhh hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo…
Aww, c’mon, dad.
It’s over, Hilda. Your old man is useless. I couldn’t kill anything. Fucking Zinchenko was better out there than me.
I’ve had missions where I couldn’t kill anything. You just need some more time to sharpen yourself up! Come on, let’s go to the bar, you’ll feel a lot better after a few Cuba Libres.
*sniff* If you say so…