21 April, 2015
Sometime in the wee hours of the morning
When we last left off, Sgt. Syl was in drooling distance of a four-legged terror.
As fortune would have it, the alien had just spent its entire turn getting into melee range and did not attack.
Naturally, the first thing on everyone’s mind is “Kill it! Kill it dead!”
Sgt. Syl has a 100% chance to hit with a shotgun that luckily still has some rounds loaded.
The pellets slam into the alien for 4 damage.
The tough armored thing is -still- standing.
Not if the rest of the team can help Sgt. Syl out though.
Lt. Izlain takes aim with a 100% chance to hit.
(After some research, the Chinese character on the tombstone appears to be “終” or “zhōng,” which means “end” or “death.” Rather apt.)
“Izlain – for when you absolutely positively need to kill every motherfucker in the room.”
The strange alien goes down without getting a chance to attack.
Just the way we like it, thanks. The scientists can carve into its corpse and figure out how it works later.
Since a number of the team has already taken action, the squad stays put for a quick breather while the rest keep an alert Overwatch.
The aliens really seem to want that suitcase.
Another Thin Man drops in…
…and is taken out by Sq. Skyrim for 5 damage on Overwatch.
The squad inches up through one more row of graves, and yet another Thin Man shows up.
Along with one of the original aliens with an expanded cranium. This one seems to be alone though, no Mind Merge for it.
They trigger a hail of Overwatch fire…
…which all misses.
Those Thin Men can be annoyingly slippery when in cover.
Wanting to end it quickly, Sgt. Syl runs up to flank the Thin Man, which draws a reaction shot from it.
Lightning reflexes negates any damage though.
The Commander did fail to take into account the second alien, who was also in Overwatch, and it hits her for 4 damage with its plasma pistol.
On the bright side, that’s a successfully flanked Thin Man.
100% chance to hit, 70% chance to critical.
Meanwhile, Lt. Izlain moves up to take care of the remaining alien.
With the place temporarily cleared out, Zhang makes a run for it to the evacuation point.
The squad boards the transport, with Zhang and the alien device in the briefcase.
He mentions a little more about how he came across it:
Apparently, he was hired to do a delivery of this package to a predetermined location, but got unnerved when he actually saw what was inside it.
Unanswered questions abound. Were there more packages? Were they successfully delivered by others?
And what on Earth do the devices do?
Well, if the XCOM base later explodes, I guess we’ll know then.
In the meantime, that’s it for Operation Fading Thunder.
8 aliens killed.
0 XCOM operatives lost.
The after-action report is full of promotions. Sgt. J3w3l is now a Lieutenant, ditto Sgt. Syl.
Sq. Skyrim is now a Corporal.
The scientists and engineers back at the base confirm that the device is of genuine alien origin, and have a number of theories as to its purpose, but it’ll take them time to figure it all out.
The Commander’s a lot more happy about the influx of cash from the Council.
The Genetics Lab is finally set up.
The satellite that the Commander was also eagerly awaiting is launched.
Completing satellite coverage of South America unlocks a bonus.
Presumably they sent a skilled contingent of scientist-interrogators our way.
All the alien bodies in cold storage were pulled out of freezers and lined up in rows in the biohazard morgue for the specialists.
The original humanoid alien has been termed a “Sectoid” and have been found to be perfect genetic copies of each other, with organs that show signs of genetic manipulation.
They have a sizeable brain to body ratio, and were fitted with cybernetic implants that appear to boost some manner of telepathic ability.
The implications are not reassuring. Surely there must be some manner of progenitor alien, to produce these augmented identical clones? And for what purpose?
The Floater corpses also reveal extensive biomedical and cybernetic implants, turning them into a blend of organic matter and machinery.
The Thin Man has been intentionally designed and genetically modified to appear human, which suggests a capability beyond our own, though our scientists are fast catching up by reverse engineering some of the captured technology.
The eyes, poison glands and internal bone structure of the Thin Man still remain distinctly reptilian – giving it a remarkable flexibility through segmented bones, possibly accounting for its slippery nature.
The Seeker turns out to be entirely machine. No living tissue is found within.
The new alien the squad just encountered has been termed a “Chryssalid.”
The autospy reveals some rather disturbing facts about the way it reproduces. They appear somewhat similar to our earthly parasitic wasps, that lay their eggs into a living larva host, allowing their young to eat their way out when grown. Except that the Chryssalids seem to have adapted just fine to using humans as hosts for their offspring.
The cash from Operation Fading Thunder has been used for constructing suits of new carapace armor, developed from alloys retrieved from the crashed UFOs:
Lt. Izlain is our first model. Or guinea pig.
So far so good, it didn’t crush him or anything.
So the rest of the squad is kitted out too.
Just in time, as a new Alien Abduction alert sings out through the base.
We will see our newly armored XCOM team next post in Operation Morbid Thorn!