The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball


Part 43: GET PSYCHED!!!

Everyone keeps testing negative for psychic power effects except for Cam, Annette and the Furies. Bizarre. Everyone working for XCOM was someone we selected as possibly having the right kind of psychic potential we needed.
My apologies. Perhaps with another year of research I could reproduce the effects on everyone, but as it is…

So, you talked to them, right?
It was very, very hard for me. And for them. Not the sort of thing you can sort out with a few words. But… it went far better than I expected. I don’t know. Maybe next month I’ll look more Japanese.
Hey, that’s great!

So me and Cam were camping one day, and this huge bear sneaks into our camp, looking for food. We don’t have any, because we’ve secured our food, and the moment we hear him sniffing our empty boxes I turn around and yell, “Beat it!” Bear runs and falls butt-first into a hole full of rocks.
He was fine, but he went “oof” and rubbed his butt like a human. It was so hilarious, hahaha.

Naomi, what are you doing?
Disabling my filtration system so I get piss-drunk extra-fasssh... extra-fast. Someone loves me. Nobody’s ever loved me. I’m a hardass killer bitch from a backstabbing spy agency. What the hell am I gonna do? What if we’re too different? What if I’m too screwed-up for it to work?
Clearly she wants it to work as much as you do. You said “yes,” right?
This is ssssho ssshtupid. I can kick cars over with my feet and blow up tanks with a giant gun, but I can’t handle a little… a little… a little affection.

Now, Evie, there are certain things you need to know if you’re becoming part of my family. First off, you have inheritance rights to the family arsenal. You know how to drive a tank?
Damn, we’ll have to fix that. Secondly, there’s some Brazilian ninjas who have a family feud with us every two years or so. Nonlethal sparring for the purpose of keeping up appearances, but you’re expected to be able to win a throwing-weapons contest.
I’m pretty good with grenades!
Excellent! Yeah, that might be considered cheating in a shuriken competition, but whatever.

Queen’s ready to extract, and this time without incident.
Seriously. For once, we are extracting an operative without an army on their tail. Though she’s still in enemy territory, but she wants a stealth extraction rather than a hot one.
Then I’ll just go and pick her up in the Skyranger. She said she had something to discuss with me anyway.

Sure is lonely in here. Good thing I’ve got my tablet to game on during the trip… *tap tap* Yes, make more stimpacks for me, Vault Dwellers…

Train yard, lots of blind corners and hiding spots. Hilda, you there?

Yeah. Look, we are completely surrounded by EXALT. None of them have seen us yet but the mission isn’t over. I got a hot tip on some data stored in two relays.
Oh, fuck, now you tell me?
Look, we can turn invisible, right? We can finish the mission without firing a shot.
I dunno, I’m used to having backup and firing a lot of shots. And I have that itchy trigger finger, if one of them gets too close to me I might turn and shoot without meaning to!
I know you can do this, Cam.

Ugh, I hate getting shots. Why don’t we have permanent gene mods again?
So we can pass medical examinations during our day jobs, you dolt! I… *sniff sniff* wait. I smell something… familiar.
I smell it too! Smells like… two women. And a plasma battery.
XCOM! Start searching!

(Aaah, shit, I can’t get past them without revealing myself…)
XCOM! I know you can hear me. Two invisible soldiers, according to intelligence that makes you Hilda Van Doorn and Cameron Watkins.
Perhaps you misunderstand EXALT’s mission. You should join us. Ours is a mission of international prosperity.

Join you? Hah! And if you’re so international, how come you’re all white dudes?
Hey. It’s not like that.
Yeah, EXALT’s actually about maintaining human purity while achieving human supremacy! That’s why our gene mods can be switched off!
(Cam, if you’re telepathic enough to hear my thoughts, keep ‘em talking…)
Still haven’t answered my question, asshole. Where’s the POCs and women? Would we be the first in your vast, vast organization of peace and love?

(Making a break for it. Shit, they saw me!)

We’ve got a reaction to the south. Guns up!

(Better get psyched, literally.)
Try to understand, Cameron. This technology will bring chaos and destruction to the world if left in the hands of fools, and world governments have been very foolish indeed. That’s why all the real power in the world has been going corporate for decades. Money is social power, and we’re better at accumulating it than those glorified popularity contest winners you call “elected officials.”
Then why are you helping destabilize the world? All your money will be worthless if civilization as we know it falls.
They’re going to fall one way or another, if not to the aliens than to each other. That’s why we’re trading our money for real power. Weapons and upgrades to our bodies, power that can’t be taken away from us with a simple bank transfer or a freeze on our assets.

(They’re pulling back to the north, good, that gives Hilda a better run to the comm device.)
This technology can make the world whole. I’ve seen the way. Race, gender, ethnicity, tribal connections… even our faces will become meaningless in a world where DNA can be customized at will.

(Moving closer… whew, lost ‘em. Just another minute to reach the array and I’m good).
So, wait, you’re going to bring world peace by making us all the same?
Why not? It’s the simplest solution.

(Shit, they’re getting closer…)
And we are aware of who and what you were before this all began, Cameron Watkins. Male, African-American. Wouldn’t you say that your chances of survival in your own home country went up now that you’re no longer a demographic likely to be targeted by police for attack?
What did you just say to me?

The aliens have the right idea. Purity. Solidarity through uniformity. There can be no prejudice where there are no differences. No one can be singled out for harassment when they look the same as everyone else, when they speak and do the same as everyone else.
So, you’re telling me… you’re telling me the reason I got bullied in high school wasn’t because Roger Green was racist, it was just because I wasn’t white enough. Is that what you’re saying, asshole?!
You can hardly help how you were born, Cam. Or you couldn’t have, until Meld came to the earth. Now that appearances can be customized, there’s no reason to not take steps to fit in.

(More reinforcements. Shit! Work fast, hands…)
You assholes. You are literally Nazis. This shit can make anyone into anything they want to be and you’d just use it to make everyone into a boring conglomeration of circle-jerking white supremacists.

Come on, Watkins. We can’t be Nazis, we fought against them in the war.
So did America, and they put Japanese immigrants in concentration camps! They’d have put Yoko’s grandparents in a cage. But they didn’t put white German-Americans in camps, now did they?
Sheesh. You’ll gripe about anything, won’t you? Were you this whiny before you got mutated?
Oh, you son of a bitch. Fuck it, I am breaking the perfect stealth mission and killing you for that.

It’s hacked!

Always wanted to kill Nazis! RAAAH!

DIE! Anyone else want some? Huh?!

There they are! Open fire! *click*
What? No! They hacked our guns again!

Good, I can sprint to the next comm relay before they’re done resetting their guns. It’s a straight shot to the extraction zone then.

Shit, none of our guns work! Anybody here know martial arts?
Shut it! Just keep them surrounded!

Shit, you were right next to me the whole time?! I’m outta here!
No so fast, you walking pusbag!

Seriously, our mission is actually about human supremacy while maintaining purit—

More of ‘em! Hell.

There, got the second one!
C’mon, try to see things our way. If you think about it, we’re the victims here!
GO TO HELL! *punch*
Cam, make a break for it!

Sure… sure… but first…

Let me say “goodbye.”

Nazi asshole! My gun finds you very offensive!
Seriously, we’re not Nazis! It’s just a coincidence that we’re all white guys.

Activating my regen pheromones! Come on, stick your face in my armpits and heal up!
Ugh, it always makes me feel weird when you say it like that.

More of ‘em keep coming and I’m all out of ways to keep ‘em from shooting us! Hurry, Cam!
Right, right!
Ha! Fools. Run from us, if you like, but not from the truth. How much can you really trust your commander? Ask him, for me, if he knows the meaning of the name “Origin.”
Cam, go, NOW!

Little more for you on my way out…
Wait! I—

Not in the mood today, pal!

“Guns of the Patriots?” Hee hee. You’re such a nerd.
Well, I… I always wanted to say that.
Hee. Great job. Maybe stealth isn’t the right line of work for you, but we got out of there without a scratch.

So, Leroy proposed to Mimi…
She did? Oh, that limelight-stealing, vain… Ergh.
It’s nothing! I’m very happy for them!

Some of the data here lets it slip where they mention that their headquarters are in a small country. We can check off any highly-populous nation from our list of suspects.
That just leaves… Argentina, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, France, Germany or Japan. Hmm.
Commander… what’s “Origin?”
The leader of the Zudjari, from the 1960s invasion. They wouldn’t know what that means unless… someone in their organization came from the old Bureau. That’s… troubling.

To Be Continued!

“Commander’s Poll” posted:

What’s your flavor?

“Can I play, Daddy?”
“Don’t hurt me.”
“Bring ‘em on!”
“I am Death incarnate!”