The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 52: Barge of the Damned

Part 52: Barge of the Damned

I feel uneasy. I can’t 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.
Got it.
I’ve got an Arc Thrower, but an Ethereal might be way, way too dangerous to take alive, so… let’s only do it if we get the opportunity.

Man. Everyone in here’s 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, I’m 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. I’d give myself a high-five.
Hah! That’s the spirit.

I wonder, though. Our commander has been pretty good to us, but he’s an Ethereal. He said already that the first time he controlled someone he wasn’t aware of it. And now we’re all cyborged and gene-modded up, just like the aliens.
You’re over-thinking things. He’s laid all cards on the table now, and if he tries to hurt us or use us, we’ve 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.
You’re the closest, grab that meld!

Got it!
Your spider-sense picking up anything?
Not… yet. There’s something moving around but… it’s quiet. They’re hiding.
Don’t take cover next to the meld! What if they shoot it and it explodes all over you?
Ack! You’re right!

Cloaking… nothing over here, either! What is going on?

Found ‘em! A mechtoid and a sectoid commander in the middle far bay. They haven’t 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 commander’s almost dead, someone take him out. I’m disabling the mech’s weapons.

I got the big one!

What the FUCK!? I had him right in my sights! BULLSHIT!
I’ll see what I can do.

Not quite good enough. Cam, we need your double-tap!
Right on it!

Say goodnight, muthafucka!

Heh heh. You’re alone, commander. Make one move and I blast you with superheated shards. Or, if you’re feeling lucky… try doing something to my head. See what happens!
Rarrr! You waste byproduct!

I’ve 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!

That’s it? It doesn’t look very—

Oh, my.

You killed the sectoid but I can still sense the big one. Let me smoke us.

SHIT! It’s coming right for us!


Running, huh? Not smart.


You bastard! You almost killed my friend! DIEEEEE!

You got him, you got him! Owwwww.
You’re bleeding! Can you heal yourself?
Y-yeah. Damn, girl. You didn’t even blink when he came charging up at us. I think that berserker gland works.

I got the other straggler sectoid. That’s five down, seven left. Move up!
Someone try to get that other meld can.
I got it. Eva, you’ve got that cloaking device, turn invisible and scout through that hole in the wall.


Two more sectoids and a mech inside!

Aaah, shit! They don’t see Eva but they do see me!

First sectoid’s shielding the big guy. Why can’t 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, I’ll do it.

Zeroed in, he’s 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. It’s still up?!
I’ll 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?
I’m… I’m 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.
That’ll be where the ethereal is. Double back.

Found ‘em! Two mutons and a berserker! Help, I’m exposed!

AAAH! Berserker’s charging right at me!
Shit! I’m not in range! I’ll try to flashbang it!

Shit, not good enough. Gomez, brace yourself!



I can save her, I can save her!

You monster! grrrrAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! DIEEEEE!


I got one of the mutons. Latisha, the other one’s all yours.

Flanked ‘em! Not so smart now, are you?

He’s down, all enemies gone. Leroy, fix Gomez, now!
I’m on it, I’m 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!

Much better…
Mugh… buh… what? Oh, no! Did I go crazy? Did I hurt anyone?
Just aliens. So, good job, Eva.
Doctor! Are you alright?
Don’t… don’t worry about me. Just breathe deeply.

Yeah. Count to ten and think about kittens.
And cut down on your caffeine intake, girl!
We’re all stacked up around the bridge. I’m positive the leader’s in there.
Can’t read its mind like Himaya?
Nah, I’m getting nothing. Anyway… one, two, three, breach!

#$(&!@… ÔÒ„ÅØ„
Owww! My head! What the hell is it saying?!
Alien gibberish. I think this one must not have any human thoughts in it… it can’t communicate like the last one.

Shit, it’s 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!
Good luck!

Eva, what are you doing?
Baiting it. It can’t control me, when it tries and fails it’ll be wide open. And if it doesn’t try I’ll blast it!

Wrong move.

I got it!

GAAAAH! Why do they keep exploding!?
*gasp* Woof. Thanks, Evie. That was too close. I forgot I don’t have brain spikes yet…
Good job, Eva!
Well, it’s all over now, right?

Oh, good lord. How many goddamn aliens they got on this ship!?

At least we’re good enough that we can blow them away in one hit now. Let’s get this over with…

I never see another bug again it’ll be too soon. *sigh* Anyway. Everyone doing okay? Mom, you’re not suffering any effects from the mental attack?
Don’t think so, Eva blew it away before it did anything.
I’m gonna need a vacation, myself… that hurt.
You were fine.

About that “cut caffeine from your diet” thing, I’m serious. With the adrenaline mods you don’t even need coffee anymore, it’ll 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, Yoko’s been singing a weird song to cheer herself up.

Brand new me, brand new day! No more last month’s bills to pay! They were owed by another me, and she has ceased to be!
Bluebirds singing on my head, aren’t you glad my old one’s dead. Hello, brook, good morning, tree! I’ve just begun to be! What’s 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, nothing’s fun unless it’s new. That’s why we take turns to see, what it’s like to be!
Whoo! You go girl! Clone pride!
Clone pride! Yeah!

Hey, guys! Check out this hat I found behind the commander’s tank.
Hey! That’s 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