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Alandauron
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February 21st

So I haven't written in a journal in a long time...a very long time.  I don't know what possessed me to start again, maybe all the recent excitement...

It's so hard to believe my youngest son, Thomas, is already in college.  He's in town visiting but it's still so hard to believe, it was just yesterday that I carried him on my back while he shot at bandits.  The day before that I taught him how to tie his shoes.  They grow up so fast.  My wife is calling me, sounds important...

 

March 7th

Of all the things to grab I grabbed this silly journal, or maybe it was already in my pack, so much has happened it's hard to remember details.  They came out of nowhere.  Everything was going great, I had just got a promotion at work, we were working on getting approved for a small business loan...

None of that matters anymore, the aliens are everywhere...they own everything.  We managed to get out of the city, only just though.  I was able to get my sons and my mom, but I don't know what happened to my sister...

 

March 8th

The aliens found us, I thought we were in the clear but there's nowhere safe.  I'm going to lead them away tomorrow, just need to get some sleep tonight.  I won't let them get my family...

 

March 11th

We were taken in by some soldiers, they saved me.  I had managed to lead away the aliens, even took out two of them, but I ran out of ammo quickly and they had too many.  They were closing in when an aircraft came in, soldiers rushed out and quickly took out all those aliens.

Their base is amazing, deep underground, it seems almost safe here...

 

March 14th

They're telling us that a transport is coming soon to take most of the rescued civilians away to a different base, they promise it's secure but I can see it in their eyes, it won't be like this place.  They approached me yesterday, I guess some of the others that were picked up with me were talking, they want me to join them...

They told me it's not easy to take down one of these sectoids, since they heard I took down two with a pistol and two magazines they said I could be a real asset.  They also looked me up, didn't know there was anything left to look up, they know I was in the Marines.  If I sign up then my family can stay, otherwise we head out with the rest of the rescued civilians.  I don't want to be away from my family, but I don't think there's any place out there as safe as this, I'm joining up.

 

March 20th

Just finished my first mission with my new team, everyone seems pretty solid we might be able to turn things around...

 

March 22nd

Another team just returned from a mission, they almost lost a soldier, he's in the infirmary right now.  The docs say he'll pull through but he's gonna be out of commission for almost a month, from what I hear one of the other soldiers pulled some crazy shit to save him.



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March 27th

We just had another mission, it was two days ago but I'm just now writing about it.  We thought we were learning about them, we thought we could handle whatever they threw at us, we were wrong...

There was something new, it almost looked human.  Everyone is calling them "Thin Men" probably due to the simple fact that they look like a skinny human, they're definitely not human though.  We saw them and didn't think much of them, but they are quick, and agile.  My entire team made it out, but only just, we're all spending some time in the infirmary, allot of time in the infirmary in fact.  We're gonna be out for most of the month...

 

March 31st

They're finally letting us move about and get out of the the medical bay, it's nice to be able to talk to all the soldiers again.  A team just got back, they seem to have picked a team leader, Leo something.  It's the team with the crazy guy...or at least everyone says he's crazy.  I'd like to meet him and see for myself, only one of their members had to visit medical, a plasma burn on their leg, he should be out in a few days.

 

April 1st

So I met one of the guys from that crew, his name is Matt, I believe he's French.  He says that they decided on Leo for team leader while they were on their last mission, they were pinned down by the aliens and Leo led them out of it.  And Matt also confirmed, Raphael is crazy, that's the guy everyone has been talking about.  He's out in four or five days, he said he can't wait to join back up with his team, I understand the sentiment.



Last edited by Alandauron on Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total


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April 7th

Immediately after Matt got out of medical his team went out on another mission, these guys just don't rest it seems...

They made it back again, all of them.  Only 2 from the mission were injured, one of their members and a fill-in.  Eliza took a shot to the shoulder, the armor she had on melted to her skin but the docs here have some pretty amazing things they can fix her right up.  

I spoke to her briefly, she's their Scout, she's a sprinter that's for sure.  I met her on the track down here, was running some laps and she came down.  She didn't even act like she was injured, the burns didn't slow her down a bit.  I kept pace with her for half a lap then I was beat, she's just...fast.  Gonna try and talk to the other guy, his name is Joshua, we'll see what an outsider thinks of this group...

 

April 9th

Joshua seems like a stand up guy, and from what he says that team is solid, and I mean solid.  They move as a unit, each one watching the others, if they have weaknesses the others make up for it with their strengths...

He said he had gotten himself cornered, that's how he got injured, an enemy fired a blast at him something nearby blew up and he took some shrapnel in his left leg.  He wouldn't have made it out without Haz...that's what everyone is calling Raphael, short for Hazardous.  They say the man is Hazardous to the aliens, that when he's around the aliens don't stand a chance, I wish I could see him in action...

Anyway, Haz charged right into the enemies, just blasting away with his shotgun, and while he drew their fire Leo came and grabbed him, got him outta there in one piece.  These guys are the ones that are gonna lead us to victory against the aliens...



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April 10th

Another team just returned from a mission, I hadn't heard much about these guys before now but they achieved a great victory today from what I'm hearing.  Several things came out of this mission, we got a new soldier, an experienced soldier, also the lab geeks got some sort of new toy to play with some alien contraption.  This team did a good job, I hear that a few of them will be in medical for a few days, another new type of alien appeared and gave them some trouble.  A spider-like creature, it just charged right at them, they emptied everything they had to bring it down...

I wonder if there's other alien creatures we haven't run into yet, it seems everytime we step up our game they send a new creature at us...

 

April 13th

I was reading over my journal and realized I haven't written about anything except the fighting...I guess it's easy to get absorbed in that when everything you once knew has been turned to rubble.

But that's not all there is, the xcom leadership makes a point to have regular events, kinda a morale boost thing.  We've had Bingo, a dance, they even locked down the base completely 2 weeks ago and passed out alcohol to everyone.  They are doing their best to keep us reminded of what we're fighting for, all this war would seem pointless if all we did was fight all the time.

Just the other night we had one of those events, this time it was charades.  They divided the base up into teams and then the teams divided up into groups, it ended up being scientists vs soldiers vs engineers vs civilians.  I never thought I could have that kinda fun with charades.  I figured the scientists would walk away the victors, but for a bunch of smarty pants they were terrible at the game...it was a blast.

 

April 14th

My family seems to be adjusting nicely to the base, well considering the alternatives I guess they decided to make the best of it.  There are kids here, which works out great for my mom, she's a teacher through and through and has busied herself with teaching them anything and everything she can.  My sister has actually thrived in this environment, she never could really find her place before all this happened, but she has joined up with the Engineering team and has even contributed some worthwhile ideas that are being worked on currently.

My oldest son Nathan has always been the most emotional of my sons, he was devastated by the events since the aliens attacked, but I took him down to the labs last week and he quickly began making friends with the scientists.  I never realized how smart he is, he is helping with...I'm paraphrasing what he said because I don't completely understand..."The alien weaponry self destructs, and every attempt to replicate the weapons leads to either explosive results or a complete meltdown..Nathan is helping to develop a way to cool the weapons while they're firing"  I think that's about right...don't remember exactly and he was talking so fast I only caught pieces of what he said.

William and Thomas have been giving me trouble, they want to go out and fight aliens with me...I want them here, I want them safe.  I have agreed to allow them to be trained to use weapons, but I have worked out an agreement with the xcom commander, he will keep them on base duty as long as we don't take heavy losses.  I thought this wouldn't be a big deal, but with every new alien we run into we have to adapt our tactics, we may not be able to adapt fast enough...

My wife refused to stand by and watch me leave everytime, not knowing if I will return, she convinced the leadership to place her on the squad with me, she has been truly amazing so far.  I always knew my wife was dangerous, but it turns out that it's not just directed at me, she might even be a better soldier than me.



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April 15th

So I went by the Infirmary today to meet the injured members from that squad.  It seems every squad besides mine has selected a squad leader, [Jiub] was selected by his fellow squad mates to be the one to lead.  He did a great job of calling the shots and getting everyone back alive.  Even though most of them ended up getting injured I don't think things could have gone any smoother.

From the details I gathered it seems that the new creature they encountered charged them and that's when they took injuries.  While they focused they're firepower on that thing some Thin Men moved to flank them, turns out it was [Burrmab] and his sniper rifle that kept things from going really bad for them though [Obscure] did get the final shot on the creature with his shotgun.  It seems like there's some good soldiers all around here, with some luck we can keep pushing these alien scum back.

 

April 16th

A new squad was formed today with some of the extras we've been taking along with us on missions.  Our leadership seems to be developing squads with 5 members locked to the squad, the "primary" members, and depending if we need more we take some "extras" with us.  When we take those extras they get some experience fighting against the aliens and once leadership decides that they are ready a new squad is formed.  We rotate on missions depending on which squad has all it's primary members available and which one hasn't gone out in the longest.  It seems to be a good strategy, also it gives each squad some time to rest.

The new squad was sent to repel an abduction, I hope they make it back safely...

 

April 17th

The new squad made it back, but they were hit hard.  It's deja-vu, that's exactly what happened to my squad the last time we went out...

They're all in the Infirmary, but their spirits are still high.  They accomplished the mission and repelled the attackers.  Also they picked they're squad leader...yup it's only our squad that hasn't...Adam is his name, when things started falling apart Adam stepped up and kept them alive.  The way Tim tells it Adam earned the squad leader position when he ran up to a floater and slammed the butt of his rifle into it's face...that's crazy...it stunned the floater just long enough for Adam to draw his sidearm and unload the magazine into it.

I guess I will need to speak with my squad about who's going to be leading, I'll do it tomorrow...



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April 19th

So I once again avoided the topic of leadership, it seems no one else wants to discuss it either, the subject of leadership just isn't discussed among us.  It must be because of the last mission, we really got hit hard must have demoralized everyone else as much as it did me.  They are sending us back out, tomorrow is our first mission since...well since we all nearly died, I won't lie, I'm terrified I might lose one of them this time...

April 22nd

I opened my journal and realized I missed a day, last time I wrote we were prepping for our next mission set for the 20th.  We went, and returned.  NOT A SINGLE INJURY!!

Guess what else, my squad informed me who the leader is.  I didn't have a clue, but the rest of them had already decided.  They told me that I had been leading them all along, that it was only because of my quick thinking that we survived our second mission.  I didn't even realize that I had been giving the orders, and more that they had been following them, that's awesome right...I guess...but what if I make the wrong...


April 30th

The base took a hit to moral today.  Leo's team went out, THE Xcom team, the ones that have been leading the charge as well as killing the most X-rays out there...right, X-rays as in Extraterrestrial, not the procedure to look inside your body...

Haz was injured...severely, he's always been unstoppable, everyone considers him the biggest threat to the aliens.  Now that we see that even he can be injured by the X-rays what does that mean about the rest of us...

He's in critical care right now, the docs aren't saying anything, they just keep sending everyone away...



Last edited by Alandauron on Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:19 pm; edited 1 time in total


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May 1st

I managed to get some more information about the mission from Leo, it's not quite as depressing as everyone is taking it.  It sucks to see Haz injured, but he had to pull some really crazy shit, even Haz isn't invincible.

Leo said the mission started off like any other, they were destroying the opposition, Sectoids, Thin Men, Mutons, even a couple of Berserkers were just getting wrecked.  In fact he said Berserkers were easy, "we played 'yo-yo' with the big dumb beasts", his words.  He said Berserkers weren't as smart as the Mutons, what they gained in armor and strength they lost in tactical sense.  If you split your squad and just take turns shooting they go down fairly quickly, or so he says.

Anyway, off topic.  While they were working on the last Berserker a squad of floaters suddenly charged them, these floaters wore heavier armor though, took allot to take them down.  Half of Leo's team was quickly forced into a corner, Haz just threw caution to the wind and charged, he got in close and took out two of the heavy floaters, the rest of the squad took out another, but the last heavy floater got off a few shots.  Haz went down hard and everyone else charged in to finish off the remaining enemy, he was struggling to breathe so they went straight back to the Skyranger.  A salvage team came in, luckily no x-rays showed up they would have been without an xcom squad for defense.

A couple of the others took minor injuries, but they didn't even go to get checked out until this morning when the docs said Haz was stable.  Everyone seems to be very attached to Haz.

May 5th

I guess leadership has noticed how affected everyone was by Haz's injury, he woke up two days ago and half the base went to visit him.  The base is on lock down, has been since yesterday, they're allowing people to drink and relax for awhile, probably a good choice.

They have also informed myself and the other squad leaders that they want to start including us in their leadership meetings...I'm still not sure how I feel about leading, so much pressure, so much stress.  My squad and Adam's squad will both be going out on the 7th when they lift the lockdown.  A country has requested aid repelling an x-ray base that is being used as a sort of staging area or something, that's where my squad is going.  Adam's squad is going to escort a VIP back to XCom headquarters.  I guess we both have our work cutout for us.



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May 9th

We just got back this morning.  The mission was...well we didn't lose anyone, but I don't know if I'd call it a success.  Leadership is pleased it seems, though all we did was take out a small group of x-rays and then leave...well not exactly but that's the way it feels.

They did establish a base of operations, but we weren't able to access it, we eliminated the x-rays patrolling the outside of the base, but somehow they already built an underground base...we are incredibly outmatched.  It takes us, with our level of technology, months if not years to build underground bunkers and such.  When did they get the time and how did we not pick it up on any scans...

We found the base, were unable to breach, setup an overwatch, and were finally pulled out this morning.

Adam's squad met with more success, they retrieved the VIP, all of them are spending some time in medical, but no serious injuries.  It was some woman, supposedly she has some form of mental abilities, all I know is the labcoats are going nuts with excitement, my son Nathan included.

May 11th

Spent some time with Leo and Adam yesterday.  Our squads are spending some time on standby and they have allowed us liberty privileges, essentially we drink and hang out in the rec center.  Both of them tell me not to worry so much about being leader, they say everyone knows their role it's just my job to pay attention to the bigger picture.  It makes sense, I know my guys will be able to handle the x-rays individually, I just have to watch for possible ambushes and keep us from spreading out too far from each other.

They're calling for our leadership meeting...



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May 12th

The meeting wasn't anything big, more of a brainstorming session than anything else.  I guess they want to know what kind of ideas we have.  We brought up the issue of needing more boots on the ground, maybe them allowing us to send out two squads at a time.  They didn't like the idea of risking two Skyrangers on each mission but said they'd look into the issue.

Other than that they mentioned rearranging the squads a bit.  They want some of the newcomers to benefit from knowledge and experience that some of us have, makes sense.  I just don't want to lose my team though, we work well together.

May 25th

I haven't written in here in several days, I did write something, it just wasn't a journal entry.  I wrote a short story about our last mission, on May 22nd, we ran into...you know what, I'll just put the story in here.

FOLDED SHEET OF PAPER TAPED INTO JOURNAL

“Hey Spates!  A week’s rations that I’ll be dropping more x-rays than you today!”

“You’re on Jackson!  No backing out this time!”

The trip was always rough and bumpy, the pilots had to fly at low altitudes anytime our satellites picked up other aircraft, or anything that might resemble aircraft.  The Skyrangers weren’t exactly combat aircraft, and our interceptors, however great they were at tracking and eliminating the alien ships caught alone, were not designed to be escorts.  Not to mention the limited resources we were working with.  So our trip to a crash site or other mission was always quite rough.  Still, I had become accustomed to it now, it was somewhat relaxing, like being rocked to sleep by a head banger…

It was still surreal that they all considered me their leader, I was responsible for all their lives, though from what they had said I was always the one in charge.  They just waited for my commands and executed without hesitation, looking back I can see it now, before I was just doing what needed to be done.

I watched as the co-pilot stood from his seat and walked back toward us, either we were getting close or he was coming to hit on Karnap again.  They had recently retrofitted the Skyrangers to allow us to take more soldiers per squad, I was now commanding seven squaddies, not including myself.  The additional two soldiers would make a huge difference, but also required me to pick a second in command in case we needed to split up.  Joshua Jackson was the obvious pick, he was tough and able to adapt on the fly, this would be the first time we were able to go out with eight and the first time he would be truly tested.

“We’re on final approach, get your squaddies ready!”

I nodded back to the co-pilot and then smiled to my squad, I hated when they called us squaddies, sounded so childish.  Ever since the aliens took the planet there were no longer different factions of military, no Marines and Army, no Navy or Airforce.  We were all Xcom now, and as Xcom Soldiers we were always referred to as ‘Squaddies’, much to my distaste.  I’m a Marine damnit!

“Jackson you have tactical command of Karnap, Alvarez, and White!  Pixie, Primes and Ibarra you’re with me!  When we land you secure the flank Jackson, my group moves straight for the target!”

Everyone gave a quick shout of acknowledgement as they readied their gear and did final checks on ammunition and supplies, everyone knew the threat, hell we could run into yet another new alien today.  I looked them all over, and then turned to look at my wife sitting next to me.  She took the nickname ‘Pixie’ in order to eliminate confusion of calling us both Spates, the name suited her.  She had always been a little ball of fire.  We locked eyes and smiled, squeezed each other’s hands and then continued on our own final inspections.

The engines whirred as the Skyranger suddenly shifted and started hovering just off the ground.  In seconds we were up and moving off the Skyranger and into the clearing we had been inserted into.  Just ahead were some crumbling buildings and the remains of a convoy that had been recently attacked.

We moved fluidly, as a unit.  Our guns always at the ready, eyes inspecting every window, every crack in the buildings, watching for any sign of movement, listening for any sounds that didn’t belong.  As we drew closer to the destroyed convoy Jackson gave a call from the flank, I raised my fist signaling the others to stop and get cover.  We listened and heard some movement ahead, I signaled Primes and Ibarra to go check it out while myself and Pixie circled around to get visual on Jackson and his group.

Suddenly gunfire broke out from the flank, Jackson had engaged the enemy, our element of surprise was gone.  We moved around the side, using the sound of gunfire to determine where the contact was, and caught the x-rays out of cover, it was a sectoid and two floaters.  As we opened fire the sectoid and one of the floaters went down quickly, the other managed to break away from our gunfire.  A shot rang out from the roof, White’s sniper rifle shot true and caught the floater in his tank.  A small explosion went off disabling the floater’s rocket pack and it crashed to the ground hard, Alvarez was on top of it before it could flip over and ran a K-bar through it’s throat.

Jackson signaled the rest of his group to fall in on me and we took cover in a nearby building.

“They know we’re here now.  We still have a mission to accomplish.  Look for any survivors from that convoy.”

“Spates, I don’t think they were hit by x-rays.  There’s no plasma burns on the vehicles or casualties, it looks like small arms fire and tactical explosives.”

I looked over to a nearby body and saw an exit wound that would have been caused by a projectile, were we still killing each other when there was a bigger threat out there?

“Good catch White.  You, Alvarez, and Karnap get back to the roof and give us cover.  Pixie, Primes, Ibarra clear the building and search for any survivors.  Jackson you’re with me.”

Everyone took off immediately, Jackson and I exited the building with our shotguns ready and moved along the vehicles in the convoy.  There were so many dead, they had been ambushed by someone, but who?  Why would anyone ambush other survivors?  Why not just join up and help them?  I need to focus…

I snapped out of it to notice Jackson taking cover ahead, he signaled for me to do the same.  I listened and heard loud, heavy footsteps...mutons.  As I looked to the roof I saw White and the others in place, they signaled me that there were four contacts, I peeked out to see two mutons and two thin men.  They knew their role, they would eliminate the more mobile units while Jackson and I took out the mutons.  I noticed two grenades on each of the muton’s belts and lowered my head, we would have to be quick or they would blow us out.  Jackson and I each went around opposite sides of a vehicle, staying low and quiet, as the first muton got close enough I stepped out and fired a blast from my shotgun.  The muton staggered back but regained his footing and prepared to return fire, Jackson popped out just in time and fired a blast.  The muton dropped to his knees and then fell forward onto his face, we quickly took the opportunity to disappear back into cover.

The second muton roared and charged after me, firing plasma blasts that narrowly missed me.  I could feel the heat from each blast as I ducked from one piece of cover to another.  I heard shots ring through the air and saw poison clouds go up in two different locations, hopefully that meant those thin men were dealt with.  As I ducked behind another piece of cover I heard plasma blasts in the distance, they sounded like they were coming from inside the building…Amanda…

I dove out of cover with my shotgun in the air and fired a blast while airborne, the muton ducked and raised his arm.  The muton’s massive arm absorbed most of the blast before it fell limp and dropped the blaster he was holding.  With his other arm he grabbed me by the throat and hefted me into the air I tried to raise my shotgun but he slammed me up against a tank knocking the gun from my hands, and the air from my lungs.  I drew my sidearm and started unloading into his leg causing him to fall to his knee, but he kept a firm grip on my throat.  I struggled helplessly against his strength as everything started going black.

Suddenly I heard a shotgun blast and felt pressure release around my throat, I fell to my knees and waited for my vision to return.  It didn’t take but a moment and then I grabbed up my shotgun and took off toward the building, I heard Jackson close behind me.

When we arrived inside the rest of my squad was gathered around a survivor, I looked around and saw four dead sectoids and noticed my wife leaning over Primes tending to a plasma burn on his shoulder.

“Report!”

Eddie Ibarra stepped between me and my wife to report in.

“This is the only survivor.  We spotted him through the building and moved to intercept when the four sectoids came around a corner.  We took out one of them in the initial attack and the other three after a couple of minutes, Willie saved my life.  He knocked me out of the way and shot the last sectoid, but because of me he took a Plasma blast in the shoulder.”

“Oh shut up Eddie!  You had just taken one of them out, I just saw that one first.  Wasn’t gonna let you have all the fun….*groans*….that hurts damnit.”

“Shut up you big baby!”

I smiled as my wife called Primes a baby and looked to the survivor.

“He doesn’t look like one of ours.”

“Which is why we have guns on him boss.”

“Very well, call for extraction.  Lets get the fuck out of here before more x-rays show up.”



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May 27th

They called us in for another leadership meeting today.  They had each of us pick a second to bring in, I figured Raphael would be Leo’s choice, even with him still being out due to his injury.  He’s looking better, much better, but I can tell he’s still behind a few steps from where he was.  Anyway, off the ‘Hazardous’ subject and on to the others involved.

I mentioned before ‘Command’ was wanting to mix things up with the squads.  They want the more experienced taking rookies out as often as possible.  They took Alvarez, Ibarra, and White from me, also took Nick Day from Adam.  Those four are starting up their own squad for now, they wanted to take Jackson from me also but I had named him my second.  After we get some more trained up I’ll probably lose him though.  Anyway, we have four squads as of now, so eight representatives were in the meeting.  Adam and Tim, Leo and Raphael, myself and Jackson, Alvarez and Day.

They gave us our orders for the next week.  They’re granting us our wish, more boots on the ground, at least for one mission.  The alien base of operations we located, the believe they found a way to get it open…I don’t know if I want them to.  Anyway, Alvarez’s and Adam’s squads are on standby, they have this new weapon…a big tazer, we’re supposed to capture one of those…what did they call them, Outsiders.  Well Alvarez’s or Adam’s team, the kicker is to use it you have to get close, real close…too close if you ask me.  I wished them the best of luck.

 

May 31st

I guess it was time for a bit of aggression on our part, Command sent interceptors out after a pair of UFO contacts.  Six interceptors…we ended up losing three.  We succeeded though, took them both down.  The remaining interceptors actually stayed up and patrolled until our Skyrangers had dropped off Alvarez’s and Adam’s squads.  The crashes were in different locations so each of the squads were on their own as usual.

Adam’s team managed to capture a pair of sectoids and a floater, but had to terminate the Outsider.  In his report he stated there were still too many x-rays around and the Outsider charged them, he wasn’t going to risk his squad for that thing.  It paid off though, Alvarez’s team brought in an Outsider, they said the thing turned into some form of crystal once it was stunned, made it much easier to carry.  We have containment facilities for the other aliens we brought in, the labcoats are probably gonna have a blast with them…

 

June 9th

It’s our turn, we’re pairing up with Leo’s team and heading to the alien base.  We’re heading into the belly of the beast, no telling what we’ll find in there.  I normally write in here after the mission is over but something made me…well here we go, final boarding call!

 

June 10th

He’s gone…my dad, he’s gone.  Mother won’t stop crying, she was there with him.  She said he refused to leave the other squad, he rushed back in…he’s gone, he was too fucking stubborn to just stay alive and come back.

I found his journal while going through his things.  They weren’t ready, Leo’s team rushed in guns blazing but they were greeted by some massive metallic contraption.  They’re calling it a Sectopod, we’re adapting our weapons to be more effective, but that isn’t going to bring back my dad.  Mother says there was a huge explosion and they were thrown out of the chamber, they tried to fight their way back in, but there was no sign of him.  He must have been right at the center of the blast…illegible scribbling continues



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June 15th

I don't know exactly why I'm writing in here, or what to say...never written in a journal before.  I'm sure you know I'm not your original owner, Dustin...my father...he's gone now.  He was blown up by some massive metal contraption that we now call a Sectopod.

I guess I'm writing just to continue what my father was doing.  It doesn't make the pain go away, but it gives me an outlet.  I want to kill every last x-ray I can, I'll fight until my last breath, just like my father!  My mother has tried to talk me and William out of signing up for the Xcom away teams...squads.  We both see things through a shared vision now, we'll do anything to honor our father's memory...ANYTHING!`  Writing angry is weird...didn't make me feel any better either, just broke the pencil from pressing down too hard.  I guess I can just yell in my head...nevermind.

William and I are going out on our first mission, we've received some additional training beyond the standard base defense drills.  I'm heading out with a heavy machinegun, William has the speed so he's taking a scouting position.  Mother insisted on going out with us on our first mission, I don't think anyone in command is brave enough to cross her, they simply agreed.  Something simple they said, just clear out the remaining x-rays that are causing trouble near one of our external sites.   They want us to see these things in action before we go getting overconfident, it sounds like it's time, mother is calling...I'll be back...

 

June 17th

Oh my god that was amazing!!  It felt so good putting bullet after bullet into those ugly ass things!  William and I made a great team, he would spot them, lure them, then I would light them up with my big fucking gun!  He's older than me, but I've been stronger than him for quite some time now.  His speed though, those x-rays couldn't get a handle on him at all.

Mother kept screaming at him to reel it in, be more cautious, and not to run too far into blind areas.  He kept doing it anyway, but he knew he had me to back him up...always.  If dad would have just let us come along...

That Haz guy came along, he isn't as tough as everyone said.  He got pinned down twice yesterday and my mother had to save him once, I don't know what the big deal is with him...he went to the labs and started screaming about how they needed to just remove his weak flesh and replace it with metal and gears...or something along those lines.  He said he'll never recover fully, no to where he was before.  I guess he wants to be like a sectopod or something...weird guy.

 

June 20th

Haz made another scene today, he walked into the lab with an LMG and started screaming at them to just weld it onto his arm.  He told them to find a way to make it happen.  Can you imagine having a big gun like that permanently attached...?

We're prepping for another mission, mother has made us permanent members of Jackson's squad.  She's the medic for that squad so she had her reasons, but she's also good company in the field.  She doesn't act like a mom, just like another soldier watching your back, and she's deadly with a gun.

We get to field test something new also, new weapons and armor.  The weapons shoot a type of pulse...or laser, and the armor, well it looks cool and is made with the alien alloys.  Hopefully it helps give us an edge, the mission has been classified 'Terror' and we're gonna be trying to save as many civilians as we can find.  X-rays take 2nd priority.  I'll let you know how the new toys work out!



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July 3rd

I guess I dropped the ball dad, we were hit hard on that last mission, mom...she's...she's in a coma.  A Berserker got ahold of her, she would have been dead if not for that new armor...good stuff, not good enough though.  When it grabbed her William and I charged, he got hit with a backhand from that thing which gave me the opening I needed.  I took it down, but not before it flung mom into a building...she actually went through...

I read back through the journal when mom got injured.  I realized dad refers to me as Thomas in his writing, probably because his dad's middle name was Thomas...or that's what I think.  My name is actually John Thomas Spates.  John is from my mother's side.  Not sure why, but felt I needed to clear that up.

I'm writing now because they're calling all hands for this next one.  William and I were injured, so we're just on perimeter, but we have five squads now, three are going back to that base.  The new weapons and armor will definitely help.  Jackson will be leading the perimeter squad, we don't want anything reinforcing whatever is inside, Adam and Leo are leading the breach squads.  We have this new ammunition in case we run into one of those sectopods again...or multiplte sectopods...

We have to clear the outside x-rays quietly before the other two squads even put boots on the ground.  We're heading out tonight as soon as the sun is down, we'll be dropped offsite and hump in.  The other two squads will be coming in an hour before sun up so we'll be on a time crunch.  Intel says that the outside resistance will be light again, just a sentry team to warn the inside, we have to prevent that warning to gain the upper hand this time.  Maybe that sectopod won't be powered up right away...maybe.

I don't know why they're rushing this mission, I don't think Leo's team is all up and ready...well I haven't seen Haz since I left for that last mission at least.  Maybe because tomorrow is Independence Day?  That is an old holiday and has absolutely nothing to do with aliens...right?  Seems silly to go in unprepared just because of a day, and an American holiday at that...not everyone here is American.

I've got to prep now dad...I miss you.



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July 5th

So I've been away for awhile, and I see my youngest son took that as an invitation to use my journal...I'm glad he did, let me know what I missed...my wife.  She's still not waking up, but they say her vitals have improved...that's something.  Anyway I did some writing in the alien base, here it is...

FOLDED AND CRUMPLED SCRAPS OF PAPER TAPED IN JOURNAL

I don’t know what happened…or how I’m still alive.  Even less I don’t know how they overlooked me.  I think the others made it out ok, they had to…Amanda.  I’m sure they are fine, I remember ordering the retreat.  Leo and Haz wanted to try something first so we held, we held as long as we could against that thing.  Part of me wonders why they even bother with anything else when they have something like that.  Why waste resources when one unit can decimate an army?

 

The base has been resealed, I woke up buried by debris, they had just started working on clearing it so I managed to break away from the service drones and get to a corner.  I have figured out their patrols now, they vary them at times, but they aren’t looking for anyone inside it seems.  Found a pack from one of the other soldiers, must have dropped it, it had three MREs and mine has four, not sure how long I’m gonna be here so I need to stretch it out as much as possible.  Patrol coming…

 

Not sure how many days it has been, I have to stay on the move almost constantly, things do quiet down for a while at times and I manage to get some sleep, but not much.  My eyes burn and my body hurts, have gone through over half of the food I have, still no sign of any retrieval, guess I have to stretch it even more.  It turns out these things keep water though, not sure if they drink it or absorb it, or what really, but I have found stores of it.  It’s a good thing too, I have run out of water three times now…theirs tastes…well bad, but it keeps me alive.  I have learned a decent amount about the layout of the base, I know where the commander is and that there are two of those massive metal things.  Maybe I should take out the commander while I still have my strength…but even with the base locked down he has guards nearby at all times.  Why hasn’t Xcom sent a retrieval?  They must think I’m dead…

 

Managed to get some decent sleep last night, first time in…well I’m guessing weeks but in here I really can’t tell.  The x-rays seem to be excited about something, not sure if it’s good or bad for us, can’t tell if they’re excitement is…well good or bad for them.

I ate the last of the food last night, could have made it last two or three more days but decided to get my energy up and try something stupid.  Maybe I can do some good, Xcom probably thinks I’m dead anyway, might as well fill the role.  Just need for the guards around the commander to be a bit distracted.  Well let’s see what I can stir up…

 

I managed to kill a muton and a floater but I’m spent on ammo now.  This is probably it for me, didn’t take out the commander, but at least I tried.  Here they come…



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July 6th

I wasn't very well rested so my memory might be a bit off, might have left some things out also.  This is my best recollection of the alien base assault.  Either way, we did it!  We captured the alien commander and eliminated the base.  Are there others like it though?

GENTLY FOLDED SHEET OF PAPER TAPED IN JOURNAL

 

As the x-rays closed in I decided to make a break for the door, nothing else to do except try to trigger it opening from the inside.  It didn’t work, I couldn’t find a lever, switch, no trigger of any kind.  I turned and drew my k-bar, charging a sectoid, and plunged my k-bar into its throat before using it as a shield.  It worked for only a moment before one of the bigger ones, a muton, grabbed the sectoid and hoisted it, and me, into the air.

As he lifted the sectoid I withdrew my k-bar and jumped to a second level platform and managed to duck behind cover just before a set of floaters began firing on me.  My heart sank as I heard that sound, a muton’s grenade triggered and was thrown up and into the cover I was behind.  I dove out of the cover, unsure of where the grenade had landed, and rolled to my feet to start running.  A floater cut me off and was raising its blaster when the main door began to open, the floater paused and looked over to the door in confusion.  I did too, at first I was terrified, a large metal figure stood in the doorway.  Then my eyes focused through the first lights of the morning to see a human face amidst the metal figure, and several more human faces flanking him.  The face was familiar…HAZ!

I jumped at the distracted floater and dug my k-bar into its circuits.  The beast squealed as its systems began failing and it tumbled to the ground below, I jumped off to allow myself to stay out of reach of the x-rays below.  The scene was slightly comical, Haz smiled and charged straight at the surprised muton while the others broke for cover and began firing on the other startled x-rays.

I watched as the muton swung it’s massive arm at the charging Haz, the swing was caught in an Iron fist and a look of pain washed over the muton…pain, in its eyes…actual pain that I could see.  Haz followed up with a punch from what looked like a canon attached to the other metallic arm and a blast tore through the terrified muton.

The squads of floaters and sectoids were quickly dispatched by the charging Xcom soldiers, they all had some new gear, but nothing like what Haz was wearing…or rather what he had become.  I could see no sign of his former limbs, just his torso down to his knees, and arms out to his elbows, the rest of his limbs weren’t covered, they were just gone.  I took to cover and just watched.  The onslaught of the xcom soldiers needn’t be distracted.

I watched them wash into the base like a flood, they moved more confidently than ever, for good reason too.  I watched multiple plasma blasts bounce right off Haz, one hit solid and I could tell caused some damage, but it only slowed him down for a moment.  Haz fired his canon and punched holes through cover the x-rays tried to utilize while the rest took any open shots and eliminated x-ray after x-ray.

Then I heard it, the sectopods were being brought online.  They were on opposite sides of the base, one much closer than the other, but even the new armor wouldn’t stand up against the blasts from one of those sectopods.  This was going to end the same way my siege had, with pain.  It was time to join the fray, maybe I could convince them to back out.  As I jumped over the rail and down to ground level Leo and Eliza turned with weapons ready, they both immediately lowered their weapons and ran toward me, Eliza hugging me briefly.

“Get outside, there’s a squad out there on overwatch.  They can get you some sort of gear.  It’s good to see you but we don’t have tim—“

“You have to get everyone out of here Leo!  Last time that thing nearly wiped us all out, there’s two of them here, and at least a couple dozen more x-rays!”

“Eliza, have our squad move to engage the sectopod we hear around the corner then tell Adam’s squad to cover the corridor in case the other comes to join.  Dustin, I gave you your orders, I have tactical command today, and don’t worry.  We have a Haz!”

I was hesitant to listen, but the gear Haz had brought to the field was indeed impressive.  Add to that the crazy bastard’s stubbornness and military knowledge, maybe they could handle two, what was it he called them, sectopods.  If nothing else I could gear up and head back in to help…or something.

Once outside I realized I was already where I was needed, I saw my sons, William and Thomas, they were engaging some light x-rays.  It looked like mostly floaters, sectoids, and thin men, at least for now.  There was only one squad outside to fight off reinforcements, I could hear some interceptors above, but knew they wouldn’t be able to stick around for long.  We wouldn’t last long either if Leo and Adam didn’t take down those sectopods…somehow.

I rushed up and grabbed William’s shoulder, without looking he responded.

“Get back inside and secure the commander, we can handle this!”

“I figured I’d give you a hand out here, son.”

William and Thomas both turned around instantly, they lowered their guns and both hugged me tightly.

“Alright ladies, if you’re done playing grab ass we still have x-rays that need killing.  And Spates, glad to see you made it.  There’s gear in the closest Skyranger, grab it and get to work, vacation is over.”

“On it Jackson!  Good to see you too.”

“We have to keep the Skyrangers intact or we’ll be walking out.”

There wasn’t any of the new armor in the Skyranger, but I noticed a new gun.  I hadn’t thought anything of it when I was talking to Leo, but they all had new weapons too.  Maybe something designed to tear through that sectopods armor, no wonder he wasn’t worried when I was telling him to get out.  I grabbed the weapon that looked most like a standard assault rifle and joined the others behind some cover.

As I took aim and fired I realized the weapon had less recoil than even an M16, almost zero recoil actually.  And the beams that shot from the muzzle were not affected by wind or weather, it was much more accurate than our weapons had been.

What seemed like a half hour passed, the Interceptors had broke off and the alien reinforcements had actually stopped.

“Jackson, I’m gonna head in and check on the others.”

“Negative, stay here and hold the line.  I’ll go and check it out with Alvarez.”

I frowned but listened, it was good to be with my boys again at least and I had confidence in Jackson’s abilities.  I watched them as they took position just inside the alien base.  They didn’t proceed any further in but I could see him communicating with someone just out of sight.  He returned a few minutes later leaving Alvarez at the base entrance.

“They’re cleaning up now, we just need to keep our eyes to the sky for now.  We lost our air support so if they come in we have to get everyone clear and quickly.”

I heard loud metallic steps, it was Haz, as I turned I saw him carrying a leg from one of the sectopods and just smiling comically.  Haz was back and better than ever…how much else had changed in the time I was in the alien base…?



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