The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 47: No Going Back

Part 47: No Going Back

Hell! Aliens are destroying Kansas! Team, move out!

Aww, man, they’re destroying Superman’s hometown?
Superman lives in “Smallville,” not Kansas City.
God, you nerds… just stay focused!
Oh, I hope everyone’s going to be okay…
Probably not. Minimizing casualties is our goal, but eliminating them? Good luck.
Hey, be nice!

Look, they’re fearsome, but those little grey guys still die when you shoot them. We’re the best of the best, or at least, I am. (And if you all die during the mission, whatever. I’m just here for the tech.)
Yugh. I hope I don’t step in any alien blood this time. It took me a week to get the last of it out of my boot cracks.
Oh, I’m getting nervous again.
Just stay frosty. You’ll be alright.
Nobody says “stay frosty” in real life!
Ugh… you jokers…

Now, let’s go!
Uh, r-right!

Remember, get the civilians out of here first!
Fine. Just hope they stay out of my way.
Gag… the stench… so much burning crap!

Right, two dumbasses secured. Get ready to breach on the right while I pull to the left!
Uh, on it!
On it…

What the fuck?! Two big ones over in the courthouse!
I’m breaching!

SHIT! Two armored… legless… floating cyborg things!

Aaah, hell… bad idea, bad idea! Taking a shot!

You barely scratched it! EEEEEE!
Calm down! Use your rocket on that fucker!
Uh… right!

Well, that didn’t do anything, either!
FINE, I’ll do it, I’ll get gunpowder residue all over me AGAIN…

Da FUCK! Why aren’t they dying?!

Blasting that fucker! Grenade out!

Thanks, Allen. You’re always there to save the day.
I am awesome, thank you.

Wounded one of the big green guys, it’s just pissing him off. And that just pisses ME off!

Hey! You almost blew my head off! You asshole!

It’s coming right for me! I can’t outrun it! I… AIEEEEEEEggggggg

Motherfucking fucking fucking damned FUUCKERS! I… I… I… DAMN YOU!
…Hilda’s… dead? That’s not… that doesn’t make sense. Naomi… why didn’t you save her?
You’re supposed to keep your cool! You’re the professional one! And you never miss.

AAAA! Horrible bug-freaks!

It’s right in my face!

Our guns are worthless against them! HELP! AAAAUGH! AT LEAST LET ME DIE PRETTY!


She couldn’t see them coming. If she could have seen through walls, maybe, but… AIIIEEE!

FUCK! The big red one… It blasted right through the wall to crush Allen!


EVA! What… why!? Your armor… destroyed in ONE hit?! But…

I’m pinned down under suppressing fire! Help!
Why are you even pinned down? You should be a super-cyborg that fears nothing and protects everyone!
What? FUCK THAT SHIT! Why the hell would I want to chop off my limbs for someone else, you nincompoop!? I’m outta here!


They’re all dead… but… no. This isn’t us. This isn’t ME.

Starting to get the picture? This is what happens when you try to keep everything the same. The world keeps on turning, with or without you. You get left behind. You never grow. You die.
Since you can’t keep everything the same, you have to make a choice. You choose what you want to keep, what you want to give up. Do you understand?

Allen! Is that you?
Is it? Good question. Right back at ya. Is that YOU, Cam?
…I… it’s… no. This isn’t who or what I am. Hasn’t been for a long while. Feels like a lifetime ago…

I was a pathetic college dropout turned equally pathetic soldier. That’s… that’s who I was. Then I took a chance or two. Things happened… some expected, some very unexpected.
More than I could keep track of. The old me isn’t really gone, but… I’ve kept adding on to myself since then.
And not just genetically, right? I mean, I did give you those legs, but you’re the one who decided to run with them.
I learned to stop hating myself… to stop thinking of myself as a loser by default. I didn’t try to impress anyone anymore… didn’t need to.
And the others?

Mimi’s mission was to spy on XCOM and steal their technology, but she gave up her body, her face, and even her original mission, just to save us.
I won’t let anything happen to you. And I’ve lost nothing that was worth a damn.
Leroy’s still vain, sure, but she learned everything she could to be a good medic, to keep Mimi alive, and us too. She gives a shit about everyone else.
It’s just an extension of helping my friends look good. Nobody looks good when they’re bleeding, heh.
Eva’s still sensitive, but she’s brave. Not even afraid of her own face anymore. And there’s more to Hilda than being the quintessential soldier. She’s got a great sense of humor. She’s not afraid of smiling anymore.

You’re starting to get it. The experience you’ve gained has made you better. The technology too. The gene mods are reversible, of course, but you’d be a fool to undo it. And you could all get your old faces and bodies back, no problem… well, maybe not Bar-Lev, except the face, but she could get a civilian body. Would you, though?
Still haven’t decided if I would get my old DNA back. Have to discuss it with Hilda. But yeah… we’ve all gained way more than we lost. And we wouldn’t want to get rid of this technology. It’s a miracle we’ve gotten as much as we have.
I’ve got one other point to make, though.

See that? The city is burning. The toughest troops available to the aliens are running amok. They had these guys working for them all along.
Yeah. They did. So…?

So, if they had sent the toughest troops first, you never would have developed the tech. The skills. The genetic modifications. You’d have all died on your first mission as rookies, just like the first part of this dream. But the aliens didn’t send their toughest troops. Why?
…are you saying… what I think you’re saying?
You’re the game developer here, Cam. Why are the aliens playing games? Why are they letting you level up?
They want us to be stronger… so they can use our strength, somehow.
Heh. Maybe. I’m sure you’ll figure the rest out on your own, buddy.

Allen! Wait, don’t go!
Sorry, Cam. These angel wings are pullin’ me back to heaven. Just make sure to treasure what you’ve got while you’ve got it. Now… time to wake up.

Bad dreams, hon?
Every since I became psychic my dreams got all symbolic. It’s annoying. Say…
If I ever got my old DNA back for whatever reason, would you still love me?

Don’t be silly. Of course I’d love you. No, the real question is, what if I got male DNA?
Would you have a badass mustache like your dad? Because, if so… heh heh.
Ha ha! Good answer.

The hyperwave decoder! It’s MOVING!

Next time: BIG TROUBLE