The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 48: Shit Gets Real.

Part 48: Shit Gets Real

So Dr. Vahlen’s machine she made out of the “hyperwave beacon” started warming up and twisting rapidly. I wasn’t paying attention to the technical details.

Vahlen was shouting. It was something like, “Och, we’re givin’ her all we’ve got, Captain” and then Shen was all “She’ll fly apart!” and Vahlen yelled “Fly her apart, then!”
That’s not what she said and that’s not what happened.
Yeah, well, that’s what it amounted to!

Long story short, while you guys were sleeping, we started getting telemetry on a new UFO. A cloaked ufo.

We have no idea how long this thing has been here. Maybe it just got here, maybe it’s been here all along, watching us. Watching everything. But it’s fast. Too fast.
Good thing we have a UFO of our own. Down it!

So what’s Cam been doing?
Ever since she woke up she’s been going around hugging everyone on the base. Not just the soldiers, either, like, the support staff, the scientists in the gene lab, the cook, everyone. Whatever that dream she had was, it spooked her bad.

*Whistle* That thing nearly slipped out of our grasp. It started speeding up, but we got in a lucky shot and crashed it.
There’s something unusual on that ship. I want our heaviest-hitters on the job for the site cleanup.

You’re all in the tough titan armor, except for Queen, who needs that extra running speed the Skeleton suit gives her. I want the heavies to blow the shit out of everything on that ship. We’ll worry about live samples some other time.
Any chance of abductees to rescue? We never got all the ones from my group.
Sure, if you think there’s anyone to rescue, go for it. But be ready to go in heavy and be ready to treat our wounded. Eva, you’ve got two ghost grenades. Chuck them at anyone who looks like they’re in trouble, including yourself.

The worst part of that dream was we were all strangers to each other. I hated it.
Awww, Cam.
Wait, the worst part wasn’t the part where we all got shot?
The bizarro version of you was such an asshole it was actually a relief when she got shot.
Well, it was just a dream. We shou—ack!

Gah! My skin is crawling. I feel like…
You can hear it too?
What’s up?
There’s someone in danger down there. Terrified.
It’s a crashed ship, of course everything down there is terrified.
This doesn’t feel like an alien or an animal. Definitely not a sectoid, they feel like horrible insects clawing at your mind. Not a muton or floater, not stupid enough. It’s definitely a human.
More psychic test subjects?

Well, we’ll keep our heads on a swivel. Let’s go.
Monsters everywhere… someone help me!
I can hear it clearly now! Hey! Who are you?
Are you the rescue team? I need your help! Come to me, please!
We’re coming!
Shh! You’ll give us away!

Okay, scouting… I see some meld, crashed ship up ahead, no aliens.
The aliens move in groups of three. According to the hyperwave decoder, there were thirteen beings on this ship. That’s four alien squads and one loner, probably our abductee.
Right. I’ll scout too. Wish I was wearing skeleton armor, I can run faster in it…

Everyone take it slow and huddle up next to my defense screen. I don’t like this. There’s definitely at least one new type of alien on this ship we haven’t seen before.

There is nothing out here. If there’s aliens they’re huddling close to the saucer.
Hey. Can you hear me? Are you another test subject?
Yes. The first one. So many painful experiments… I don’t even know what time it is. I’ve been trapped in this horrible prison forever and everything just keeps getting worse.
Stay calm. What’s your name?
Himaya. Hurry, please. They’re going to dissect me!

Himaya? I remember her! She was the first one to be taken away from us, I thought she was dead.
There’s not a lot of cover between us and the UFO. Be careful!
Just relax, Himaya. If they haven’t dissected you yet they’re not gonna now. We won’t let them. Just… talk. Where were you born?

There’s something big stomping to the north!
Be careful, my friends. They’ve got much thicker armor than they used to.
Himaya just said these aliens are more heavily-armed than the ones we’ve seen before.

AAAAAH! Giant Mutons with Super Armor and Huge Guns!

They’re in heavy cover. I’ll blast them out!

Now, quickly!

Sonofa— spark got in my eye from the fire. I’ll try again!

More like it…
I’m too far away, I can’t hit them both!

You won’t need to. I got this one!

This worked fine on the lab rats, I’m not sensing much resistance… let me try to control it!

Your thoughts to my thoughts… your will to my will…
It’s working!

It works… I can control it!
It should be safe to kill it now.
NO! I can feel what it feels, if I feel the sensation of being shot in the head, who knows what kind of brain damage I’ll get?
Order it to drop its weapon? Order it to kill itself?
…not working. It’s straining against me. It’ll break free of my control soon.
So, what, we just have to wait for it to break free of your control and then shoot it?
I can still use it. I’ll make it investigate that clanky sound we heard.
Don’t bother.

Guys, there is a giant walking robot over here. Scratch that, giant walking cannon with folding armor plates. And two drones for support. It can’t see me but it’s looking right at me. Help.
Aaah, hell! I’ll send the muton over there! Heavies, get set up!

AAAH! I made a mistake! It sees me! It’s targeting me!
I’ve got a shot!

No… it somehow ducked out of the way!


Piece of SHIT! Reaction fire enabled! Destroy!

Bar-lev’s particle cannon barely scratched it and the drones are repairing it. It’s hardened against all our weapons.
I saw a hatch open up on its back, it’s getting ready to shoot mortars or something. Everyone scatter from where you are!

One drone down! Take out the other one or we’ll never kill it.

Sounds like this is the perfect job for someone expendable. Muton, KILL!

Got it!
It’d be even better if the two aliens killed each other. Move the muton closer!
I’m trying, I’m trying!

Here. This rocket is designed to help break down alien alloys. It’ll be vulnerable to your attacks.

…which isn’t saying much since it barely flinched! Quickly!

Hit it with my EMP dart. Its main cannon is down but the mortar on its back is still working. Blast the shit out of it while you can!
Everyone but you, Mimi. Fix yourself and get out of its mortar range!

Right, on it. Ahhh… that’s much better…

That was TOO close!

It’s fine! You got it! You got it!

I hope the aliens don’t have many more of those.
Huff… huff…
Guys, be careful. The other Muton is looking antsy. I think Cam is about to lose it!
Don’t…shoot it… yet!

Can’t make it shoot itself, but I can make it fumble a grenade on itself! Ha! I’m parking myself next to it and the moment it moves I’m blowing it to kingdom come.

That’s it. It can’t take it anymore!

We got it. Enemy down.
Bad news, boys, its buddies are coming out of the saucer.

I got no angle on it, but I can give it a headache. Everyone else get closer.

AIIIEEE! They hit me again! TERMINATE!

Fucking… piece of shit targeting hardware. The angle’s all wrong.
Still setting up my sniper rifle…
Screw this. I’m just gonna rush it and stick my shotgun in its mouth.

HI! Welcome to Earth!

You did it!
Don’t celebrate yet, there’s at least one more out there. Fuck, I’ve got muton blood soaking into my underwear now.
I can hear another of those walking tanks up north!
*hiss* Fine. Everyone scout over there.

Thanks, Annette.
Himaya, are you still there?
Yes… I can see most of the enemies are further away from the ship.
Yeah, we’re going out to confront them right now. Think positive thoughts about home, okay?
That’s what I’ve been doing! Good memories are the only things keeping me going. I remember… playing as a child… eating dinner with Mama… old friends…

Look sharp! Incoming!
HELL! I’m not in cover yet!

I’m all out of shredder rockets. I should be able to blast the drones away with one regular one, though.


Bar-lev missed? Again?
It keeps moving!

Piece of shit drone! That stings!

That’s more like it. Quick, keep unloading on it!

Here’s some smoke for cover!
I don’t think that’s gonna be enough! If we can’t kill it fast, Eva, get ready with that ghost grenade!

I hit it with another EMP dart. Ahh, hell, screw going for cover, kill it NOW!

I don’t think we can. Let it get closer. Cam, stay cloaked. Queen, try to duck in the smoke if the drones shoot at you.

Dammit, the drones are healing it. And I’m positive it’s getting ready for another mortar barrage centered on Mimi.
Time for a rocket of mine!

Drones down. Its armor is starting to buckle. If you don’t finish it now…

I got it!
Fuuuuuck. I really miss Mechtoids now.

Good job. Annette, heal Mimi. I’m gonna finish off the other Muton that’s been spying on us from behind.

There! That’s the other straggler Muton dead. Himaya, are you there?
It’s getting very quiet out there. I’m so nervous. All my friends are dead…
Don’t worry! We’re coming!
Hold on. Move slowly. Stack up on the doors.

She’s radiating so much fear it’s driving me crazy.
This is the center of the UFO. Damn, I wish Leroy was here, with her bioelectric powers she could see what’s hiding in there.
There’s thirteen life-forms on this ship. Four mutons, two giant robots, four drones, that’s ten. Counting Himaya that means we have two aliens in there.
Probably more Sectoid Commanders.
I don’t like this. Himaya. The enemies. What do they look like?
Look like? What do you mean?

Oh, enough of this! We’re stronger than anything in there! I’m going in!
Wait! No!

They’re here!
What?! No… this can’t be right. Where’s Himaya? You’re not Himaya!
What? Of course I’m Himaya. I ate Himaya, so I am Himaya.
Oh! Annette! It’s so nice to see you again! I still remember how you hugged me!

They can copy minds, like with Yoko, remember? It said “they are going to dissect me.” It was talking about us! Fuck. You said you were a prisoner!
This body is a prison. A horrible, disgusting, malfunctioning, painful prison.

Fucking hell, I knew it was too good to be true!
Cam, Queen, cloak! I’m ghosting Zhang and Mimi!


I am Annette Durand. I was born in Paris, France. I’m 24 years old and a forest ranger. My favorite food is udon.
It’s sucking out her brains! We gotta kill it, NOW!
I’ve been a member of XCOM for two and a half months. I’ve been trained in the use of small plasma arms and medkits. My pet cat is named Spooky. My best friend is Yoko Tachibana.

The Mutons have no idea where we are but they’ll blast us the moment we move, we have to kill them FIRST, Zhang, got it?
On it.

One down!
I’m rushing the creature! That’ll get the muton off your ass!


Ha! Missed me!
My squad leaders are Cameron Watkins, Latisha Watkins and Hilda Van Doorn. My commanding officers are… nggggh! My commanding officers are… Central… Officer… Bradford… and… NGGGGH! I don’t know! I really don’t know! CAM, HELP!

I got it!

The hell? Its body is just… burning to a crisp!

AUGH! It exploded!


They’re all dead. That was number thirteen. So much for “Himaya.”
*gasp* *pant* *choke*
Take Annette’s gun away from her just to be safe. And get the stretcher for her, too. She’s in no shape to walk after that.
Was that the leader of the invasion?
Don’t count on it. It called itself a “test subject.” The first one…

A device hidden inside a cloaked ship, and guarded by the most powerful being we’ve encountered. What do you think it is?
An object of immense power! Think of all we could do if we unlocked its secrets!

A dangerous sentiment, doctor.
Vahlen. You can’t “think of all you could do with it” if you don’t know what it does! What if it’s the universe’s most powerful popcorn maker?
Then we would never go hungry again.

Sir, we’ve got another UFO on our radar.
Another cloaked ship?
No, sir. Something much bigger.

This isn’t an icon. This is to scale. It’s the size of a small continent.

Tell me that was a coincidence.
Wish I could, sir. The epicenter is right underneath that thing.
Nothing we’ve got would even dent that…

Damn… I may have to come clean about everything to the troops after all this. How’s Annette?
Not good. Better, but… she’s bearing more scars than we thought.

Holy crap, Annette! Your hair’s gone white.
It was hollowing me out. It was turning me into it, making my body into its vessel, my mind into its… its exterior personality, like emotions were just… clothing to it. And then I felt it die.
It’s a creature of the mind. A purely mental being still needs nourishment… which means, in its case, thoughts. Some sort of psionic creature that keeps itself going by feeding off the thoughts of others.
Annette, you stay in the hospital. The rest, get ready for a trip to the basement. It’s time I told you guys everything.

To be continued!