Part 52: Barge of the DamnedPart 52: Barge of the Damned
I feel uneasy. I cant be installed with any psychic protection genetics or equipment.
I know. Well, almost everyone else in this squad has some kind of anti-psychic trait installed, just be careful. If Gomez goes berserk, Hilda, shoot her with your weapon-disabling dart.
Ive got an Arc Thrower, but an Ethereal might be way, way too dangerous to take alive, so lets only do it if we get the opportunity.
Man. Everyone in heres so different from how we started out. I like myself and I like all of you, but how much of us is still us?
Mmm. I read about a question like that once in college.
The Ship of Theseus. Is the ship the same ship if its hull, crew and sails have each been replaced? It depends on how you define that ship. It is, ultimately, still a ship. For example, a river is still a river but the water that makes it up is being constantly replaced.
Yeah well, like I said, Im cool with being a completely different person from how I was, as long as whoever I turn into is someone the old me would have liked. Id give myself a high-five.
Hah! Thats the spirit.
I wonder, though. Our commander has been pretty good to us, but hes an Ethereal. He said already that the first time he controlled someone he wasnt aware of it. And now were all cyborged and gene-modded up, just like the aliens.
Youre over-thinking things. Hes laid all cards on the table now, and if he tries to hurt us or use us, weve got one team member who is guaranteed mind-control proof. Right Eva?
Man, this is a big one. Lots of open spaces, try not to get flanked! Move up!
Hustling gah! Ever since I got brain spikes my head zaps with static electricity.
Youre the closest, grab that meld!
Your spider-sense picking up anything?
Not yet. Theres something moving around but its quiet. Theyre hiding.
Dont take cover next to the meld! What if they shoot it and it explodes all over you?
Ack! Youre right!
Cloaking nothing over here, either! What is going on?
Found em! A mechtoid and a sectoid commander in the middle far bay. They havent spotted me yet.
Get set up!
Jumping to the top of the ship! Woo!
Two little sectoids and a mechtoid coming in on us to the west! Shit! Eva, back me up!
OOF! So close. Almost got him. The commanders almost dead, someone take him out. Im disabling the mechs weapons.
I got the big one!
What the FUCK!? I had him right in my sights! BULLSHIT!
Ill see what I can do.
Not quite good enough. Cam, we need your double-tap!
Right on it!
Say goodnight, muthafucka!
Heh heh. Youre alone, commander. Make one move and I blast you with superheated shards. Or, if youre feeling lucky try doing something to my head. See what happens!
Rarrr! You waste byproduct!
Ive got no heeeeyyy, right, this rocket shoots around corners. Leroy, hold very still.
SHIT! Let me get outta the way first, I want to have kids someday!
Thats it? It doesnt look very
You killed the sectoid but I can still sense the big one. Let me smoke us.
SHIT! Its coming right for us!
OWWWWWW! GOD DAMN IT!
Running, huh? Not smart.
You bastard! You almost killed my friend! DIEEEEE!
You got him, you got him! Owwwww.
Youre bleeding! Can you heal yourself?
Y-yeah. Damn, girl. You didnt even blink when he came charging up at us. I think that berserker gland works.
I got the other straggler sectoid. Thats five down, seven left. Move up!
Someone try to get that other meld can.
I got it. Eva, youve got that cloaking device, turn invisible and scout through that hole in the wall.
Two more sectoids and a mech inside!
Aaah, shit! They dont see Eva but they do see me!
First sectoids shielding the big guy. Why cant we do that?
Sorry. I got no control over how my psychic powers manifest. Can you take him out?
Yeah, sure, one sec
Oh, come ON! Little bastard sure can duck.
Right, Ill do it.
Zeroed in, hes gone.
Jesus, you blew a hole right through the wall. How powerful are those shotguns?
Enough to get the job done, heh.
ROCKET PUNCH oh. Its still up?!
Ill save you! I got him!
Aaaah! A bit close, Eva!
Meep. Sorry. Got a little carried away there
Feeling weird. Euphoric. Extra tingly.
Did you did you go ahead and get those adrenaline upgrades too?
Well, yeah. We had a lot of time to kill, I needed to be as tough as I could be
Dear lord. Eva, breathe deeply and slowly. You could be having a reaction. Brain chemistry is very sensitive, who knows what could happen if you mix too many stimulants?
Im Im fine!
Nothing here. Looks like this is the rear of the ship. The rest must be on the bridge, which I guess is the other side.
Thatll be where the ethereal is. Double back.
Found em! Two mutons and a berserker! Help, Im exposed!
AAAH! Berserkers charging right at me!
Shit! Im not in range! Ill try to flashbang it!
Shit, not good enough. Gomez, brace yourself!
I can save her, I can save her!
You monster! grrrrAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! DIEEEEE!
RAAAAA! ENEMY DOWN!
I got one of the mutons. Latisha, the other ones all yours.
Flanked em! Not so smart now, are you?
Hes down, all enemies gone. Leroy, fix Gomez, now!
Im on it, Im on it!
Holy shit, that was close. How you feel, doc?
Nnnngggg buhh that was terrible. Someone switch my pain inhibitors back on, please.
Hey, you have that built-in heal sprayer, right? Use it!
Mugh buh what? Oh, no! Did I go crazy? Did I hurt anyone?
Just aliens. So, good job, Eva.
Doctor! Are you alright?
Dont dont worry about me. Just breathe deeply.
Yeah. Count to ten and think about kittens.
And cut down on your caffeine intake, girl!
Were all stacked up around the bridge. Im positive the leaders in there.
Cant read its mind like Himaya?
Nah, Im getting nothing. Anyway one, two, three, breach!
Owww! My head! What the hell is it saying?!
Alien gibberish. I think this one must not have any human thoughts in it it cant communicate like the last one.
Shit, its got one of those huge super-mutons with it!
No biggie, I can take this one.
Bodyguard down. Everyone with brain enhancements surround the ethereal. Gomez, back off!
Eva, what are you doing?
Baiting it. It cant control me, when it tries and fails itll be wide open. And if it doesnt try Ill blast it!
AAAAH! FUCK! HELP!
I got it!
GAAAAH! Why do they keep exploding!?
*gasp* Woof. Thanks, Evie. That was too close. I forgot I dont have brain spikes yet
Good job, Eva!
Well, its all over now, right?
Oh, good lord. How many goddamn aliens they got on this ship!?
At least were good enough that we can blow them away in one hit now. Lets get this over with
I never see another bug again itll be too soon. *sigh* Anyway. Everyone doing okay? Mom, youre not suffering any effects from the mental attack?
Dont think so, Eva blew it away before it did anything.
Im gonna need a vacation, myself that hurt.
You were fine.
About that cut caffeine from your diet thing, Im serious. With the adrenaline mods you dont even need coffee anymore, itll just make you jittery.
Okay, Mama Watkins!
Aaack! My arm fell off!
What a damn day. Got a lot of loot but we almost got Gomez killed. Did we miss anything while we were gone, commander?
Well, Yokos been singing a weird song to cheer herself up.
Brand new me, brand new day! No more last months bills to pay! They were owed by another me, and she has ceased to be!
Bluebirds singing on my head, arent you glad my old ones dead. Hello, brook, good morning, tree! Ive just begun to be! Whats this body I am using? When I die, will I be losing everything that I am choosing to be, or not to be? A simple fact, sad but true, nothings fun unless its new. Thats why we take turns to see, what its like to be!
Whoo! You go girl! Clone pride!
Clone pride! Yeah!
Hey, guys! Check out this hat I found behind the commanders tank.
Hey! Thats mine!
It was a dark and snowy night. The engine of my car sputtered and died just as I got to work. Taking a sip from my flask, I wondered if I had mistakenly fueled it with vodka again. Stuff tasted like gasoline anyway. And as I washed the taste out of my mouth, a beautiful woman entered into my office, with a pistol in her purse
Pffhaha. Okay. You can keep it.
When did I become the most normal person in XCOM?
You always were, hon.
Just one more day until we know what was in that device
To Be Continued