X-Camaraderie, part two

This is the second part of a diary of my first playthrough of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The difficulty setting is Ironman Classic, and the recurring theme is things not working out like they are supposed to. First part here.

Oh god. The scientists want a live alien. This will not end well.

They want to poke it with sticks. Have they seen what those things do? WE’RE FIGHTING A WAR OUT THERE DOCTOR. Sadly, I don’t have a non-lethal weapon at my disposal, so fuck them. The sciencey chatter is interrupted by an alarm going off, signifying a UFO sighting. Something with actual importance. I let an Interceptor get on it’s tail, and soon enough it is plowing German soil with it’s helm. YUSSS! Take that, alien scum! Now it’s just a matter of getting my team there to perform a coup de grĂ¢ce. Except... Err, I don’t really have a team. I have an assault-class squaddie and a bunch of rookies. Oh my.

We land and spread out, and before too long we are greeted by a pair of Sectoids. A rookie mows one down with his assault rifle, and the assault squaddie uses her run-and-gun ability to fill the other with buckshot. So far so good. We approach the wreckage carefully, and a new enemy appears. He is glowing. That can’t be good. “Pure energy, blablaba” is what I hear on my comm line. Whatever. Let’s see how it reacts to a LEAD SAMMICH. Every one of my squad members misses. Sigh. One of the rookies dies from retaliatory fire, while another blows the bastard to pieces. We proceed to shoot some more Sectoids. Promotions ahoy! The assault lady now boasts the title of Corporal, and one of the rookies becomes Support. We also salvage a shitload of equipment, ignorant of it’s purpose. I bet I can peddle it for cold hard cash though.

Things seem deceptively peaceful. We slowly build our base, research the oddities we’ve found... Just when the technology for capturing and holding an alien prisoner has been developed and built, the council sends us to Mexico. It’s another rescue mission. I can still feel the bitter aftertaste of the last one, so you’ll pardon the lump forming in my throat at the mere mention of it. The council is offering engineers as reward though. I need those. Also, we finally have the tech to apprehend ET.

We unload in Acapulco, get behind cover and start dishing out serious damage. We are in control. Nothing can stop us. We kill six or seven Sectoids and stun a Thin Man without breaking a sweat. If he doesn’t wake up we can take him home with us. Hopefully the scientists will let us keep the head as a trophy when they’re done with him. It would look lovely on our bunk room wall. Not to mention doing wonders for morale. The VIP is an obnoxious politician-type. I ponder the thought of leaving him there helpless for a second, his innards a vacant breeding ground for aliens, before we head back to the dropship. All is well until we’re a few steps away from the evac zone. Two Thin Men appear out of nowhere, instantly going into overwatch. Someone has to sponge that damage up. The only one who can manage it is the Corporal. The plan is for her to run up to one of them and blast him to hell with her shotgun. The rest of the crew should be able to handle the other one. It is a seemingly reasonable plan, since she’ll survive anything short of them both dealing critical hits.

She sprints. Up the stairs. Almost behind cover. And then they notice her. I pray at least one of them misses. He doesn’t. They both achieve critical hits. She dies on the spot. On the fucking spot. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the other three squad members panic and start shooting each other. Do we train these people or are they just random punks off the street? Friendly fire kills one of them. Thin Men finish off another, as well as the VIP. At least that annoying fucker is dead. Only the Support chum is still alive, and he bolts toward the ship. No reward. No loot. My most prized soldier dead.

This did not end well.


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