Part 48: Shit Gets Real.Part 48: Shit Gets Real
So Dr. Vahlens machine she made out of the hyperwave beacon started warming up and twisting rapidly. I wasnt paying attention to the technical details.
Vahlen was shouting. It was something like, Och, were givin her all weve got, Captain and then Shen was all Shell fly apart! and Vahlen yelled Fly her apart, then!
Thats not what she said and thats not what happened.
Yeah, well, thats 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 its been here all along, watching us. Watching everything. But its fast. Too fast.
Good thing we have a UFO of our own. Down it!
So whats Cam been doing?
Ever since she woke up shes 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.
Theres something unusual on that ship. I want our heaviest-hitters on the job for the site cleanup.
Youre 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. Well 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 theres anyone to rescue, go for it. But be ready to go in heavy and be ready to treat our wounded. Eva, youve got two ghost grenades. Chuck them at anyone who looks like theyre in trouble, including yourself.
The worst part of that dream was we were all strangers to each other. I hated it.
Wait, the worst part wasnt 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 shouack!
Gah! My skin is crawling. I feel like
You can hear it too?
Theres someone in danger down there. Terrified.
Its a crashed ship, of course everything down there is terrified.
This doesnt 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. Its definitely a human.
More psychic test subjects?
Well, well keep our heads on a swivel. Lets 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!
Shh! Youll 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. Thats four alien squads and one loner, probably our abductee.
Right. Ill 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 dont like this. Theres definitely at least one new type of alien on this ship we havent seen before.
There is nothing out here. If theres aliens theyre huddling close to the saucer.
Hey. Can you hear me? Are you another test subject?
Yes. The first one. So many painful experiments I dont even know what time it is. Ive been trapped in this horrible prison forever and everything just keeps getting worse.
Stay calm. Whats your name?
Himaya. Hurry, please. Theyre going to dissect me!
Himaya? I remember her! She was the first one to be taken away from us, I thought she was dead.
Theres not a lot of cover between us and the UFO. Be careful!
Just relax, Himaya. If they havent dissected you yet theyre not gonna now. We wont let them. Just talk. Where were you born?
Theres something big stomping to the north!
Be careful, my friends. Theyve got much thicker armor than they used to.
Himaya just said these aliens are more heavily-armed than the ones weve seen before.
AAAAAH! Giant Mutons with Super Armor and Huge Guns!
Theyre in heavy cover. Ill blast them out!
Sonofa spark got in my eye from the fire. Ill try again!
More like it
Im too far away, I cant hit them both!
You wont need to. I got this one!
This worked fine on the lab rats, Im not sensing much resistance let me try to control it!
Your thoughts to my thoughts your will to my will
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 Ill get?
Order it to drop its weapon? Order it to kill itself?
not working. Its straining against me. Itll 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. Ill make it investigate that clanky sound we heard.
Guys, there is a giant walking robot over here. Scratch that, giant walking cannon with folding armor plates. And two drones for support. It cant see me but its looking right at me. Help.
Aaah, hell! Ill send the muton over there! Heavies, get set up!
AAAH! I made a mistake! It sees me! Its targeting me!
Ive got a shot!
No it somehow ducked out of the way!
Piece of SHIT! Reaction fire enabled! Destroy!
Bar-levs particle cannon barely scratched it and the drones are repairing it. Its hardened against all our weapons.
I saw a hatch open up on its back, its getting ready to shoot mortars or something. Everyone scatter from where you are!
One drone down! Take out the other one or well never kill it.
Sounds like this is the perfect job for someone expendable. Muton, KILL!
Itd be even better if the two aliens killed each other. Move the muton closer!
Im trying, Im trying!
Here. This rocket is designed to help break down alien alloys. Itll be vulnerable to your attacks.
which isnt 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 thats much better
That was TOO close!
FULL AUTO! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Its fine! You got it! You got it!
I hope the aliens dont have many more of those.
Guys, be careful. The other Muton is looking antsy. I think Cam is about to lose it!
Dont shoot it yet!
Cant make it shoot itself, but I can make it fumble a grenade on itself! Ha! Im parking myself next to it and the moment it moves Im blowing it to kingdom come.
Thats it. It cant 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 angles all wrong.
Still setting up my sniper rifle
Screw this. Im just gonna rush it and stick my shotgun in its mouth.
HI! Welcome to Earth!
You did it!
Dont celebrate yet, theres at least one more out there. Fuck, Ive got muton blood soaking into my underwear now.
I can hear another of those walking tanks up north!
*hiss* Fine. Everyone scout over there.
Himaya, are you still there?
Yes I can see most of the enemies are further away from the ship.
Yeah, were going out to confront them right now. Think positive thoughts about home, okay?
Thats what Ive 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! Im not in cover yet!
Im all out of shredder rockets. I should be able to blast the drones away with one regular one, though.
AAUAUUGGHGH! STOP DOING THAT! TERMINATE!
Bar-lev missed? Again?
It keeps moving!
Piece of shit drone! That stings!
Thats more like it. Quick, keep unloading on it!
Heres some smoke for cover!
I dont think thats gonna be enough! If we cant 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 dont 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 Im positive its 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 dont finish it now
I got it!
Fuuuuuck. I really miss Mechtoids now.
Good job. Annette, heal Mimi. Im gonna finish off the other Muton thats been spying on us from behind.
There! Thats the other straggler Muton dead. Himaya, are you there?
Its getting very quiet out there. Im so nervous. All my friends are dead
Dont worry! Were coming!
Hold on. Move slowly. Stack up on the doors.
Shes radiating so much fear its driving me crazy.
This is the center of the UFO. Damn, I wish Leroy was here, with her bioelectric powers she could see whats hiding in there.
Theres thirteen life-forms on this ship. Four mutons, two giant robots, four drones, thats ten. Counting Himaya that means we have two aliens in there.
Probably more Sectoid Commanders.
I dont like this. Himaya. The enemies. What do they look like?
Look like? What do you mean?
Oh, enough of this! Were stronger than anything in there! Im going in!
What?! No this cant be right. Wheres Himaya? Youre not Himaya!
What? Of course Im Himaya. I ate Himaya, so I am Himaya.
Oh! Annette! Its so nice to see you again! I still remember how you hugged me!
NO! STAY BACK! WHERES HIMAYA!?
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.
BUT YOU CAN SUPPORT THE GIFT. YOU WILL RELEASE ME.
Fucking hell, I knew it was too good to be true!
Cam, Queen, cloak! Im ghosting Zhang and Mimi!
DONT WORRY. THIS WONT HURT IF YOU DONT STRUGGLE. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.
I am Annette Durand. I was born in Paris, France. Im 24 years old and a forest ranger. My favorite food is udon.
Its sucking out her brains! We gotta kill it, NOW!
Ive been a member of XCOM for two and a half months. Ive 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 theyll blast us the moment we move, we have to kill them FIRST, Zhang, got it?
Im rushing the creature! Thatll 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 dont know! I really dont know! CAM, HELP!
I got it!
The hell? Its body is just burning to a crisp!
AUGH! It exploded!
HRRAA! ROCKET PUNCH!
Theyre all dead. That was number thirteen. So much for Himaya.
*gasp* *pant* *choke*
Take Annettes gun away from her just to be safe. And get the stretcher for her, too. Shes in no shape to walk after that.
Was that the leader of the invasion?
Dont 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 weve 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 cant think of all you could do with it if you dont know what it does! What if its the universes most powerful popcorn maker?
Then we would never go hungry again.
Sir, weve got another UFO on our radar.
Another cloaked ship?
No, sir. Something much bigger.
This isnt an icon. This is to scale. Its the size of a small continent.
Tell me that was a coincidence.
Wish I could, sir. The epicenter is right underneath that thing.
Nothing weve got would even dent that
Damn I may have to come clean about everything to the troops after all this. Hows Annette?
Not good. Better, but shes bearing more scars than we thought.
Holy crap, Annette! Your hairs 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.
Its 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. Its time I told you guys everything.
To be continued!