Diary

Fridiary – XCOM – The Pen is Mightier than the Plasma Rifle – Part V

Gibson, the coward from the previous disaster that we shall not even refer to as a mission, is a rookie leading a team of rookies into a Very Difficult Terror situation in Berlin. Margaret Atwood, Lauren Beukes and Louis Bujould make up the rest of the team.

They have basic Assault Rifles, cheap Body Armour and no battle experience.

It’s going to be a massacre…

[Note: Classic Ironman playthrough. Earth’s mightiest science fiction writers are all that stand between us and extinction. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.]

OPERATION BRUTAL CALM

The team lands and Gibson and Beukes run straight for the two nearest civilians, evacuating the scared locals. Atwood and Bujould move up. No sign of X-rays yet.

Bujould rescues one and Gibson gets a second before Beukes spots the aliens. There’s some new sort of alien that’s all razor-sharp claws and biting mandibles. I move the team in to position as close to civilians as possible, assuming the aliens are here for them, not us.

You know what they say about assumption? It’s the mother of every fuckup. Gibson is picked up, bitten and tossed aside by the new X-ray type, and Atwood falls to plasma fire that comes straight from the fog of war.

Bujould and Beukes both panic, and in the ensuing chaos Bujould also falls to the new beast, whilst Beukes takes a direct plasma hit, leaving her badly wounded.

She’s alone now, critically wounded, with 7 aliens in view, 5 dead civilians and another 8 still to rescue.

She takes out a Floater, but the new alien is on to her straight away. She didn’t stand a chance.

I have no money, which I’m used to, but I have only just realised that after this latest catastrophe I only have 2 soldiers left in the Barracks – Clare Winger Harris and JG Ballard. I need things to stay quiet long enough for me to build this satellite, sell it to South Africa and hire more troops… Then I need it to stay quiet for a bit longer so the troops can actually arrive.

Unfortunately my luck – of the bad variety – continues to hold up. Abductions in three places around the world. I elect to travel to Egypt – they’re our neighbours, and they’re offering an experienced soldier if we can successfully complete the mission…

OPERATION DYING PYRE

Harris and Ballard get in position within the construction site. 6 Sectoids make themselves known, two to the left, two front and two to the right. My troops are surrounded.

Harris flanks two of the Sectoids but misses a point blank shot. Ballard misses too, but the aliens don’t. Ballard is dead, Harris is wounded and panicking. She flees out of the construction site and heals herself.

She waits and the aliens slowly approach. She tries to take out the closest but…

Back at base, my satellite is finished, but the offer from South Africa is no longer on the table. No money, no troops and 8 days until I receive more funding, with another 3 countries on the brink of pulling out.

We shoot down a UFO, but… It’s ok, I can still turn this around. Wait, there’s one last thing I can try. …Shit.

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