Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor
18 October 2015 / Granite Peak / X-COM
Two more dead today. I watched the crews unload the bodies off the Skyranger after another “successful” mission. Major Simone Thomas and Squaddie Adegoke Kekana, killed in the line of duty. That’s what it will read on their epitaphs. What a waste.
And it wasn’t even X-Ray. They were part of the JV crew, Strike 3, on a simple pickup mission for one of our covert operatives. EXALT still had cells operating in Europe, even though we’d managed to squash most of their operating bases. Command figured that there was some sort of global operations center somewhere on that continent housing the majority of their soldiers. We weren’t ready to strike out at that just yet.
It’s not like they were waiting for us either. EXALT has been hard at work developing stronger weaponry and more powerful armor. Some of it looks pulled straight out of our armory, but then again, they’ve hit more than their share of convoys. What’s worse are the genetic modifications. EXALT splices their soldiers with alien recombinant DNA. I don’t know what most of that means, but in the field they pack more of a punch and can take a beating before going down.
As if the aliens weren’t bad enough.
Ewan, Chris and I followed the gurneys until they passed Mission Control. I stopped in, gesturing for my buddies to wait for me.
“More additions to the wall,” CO Brandon said.
“It’s getting hard to find space there.” I shifted in my armor. We were coming back from the training area and had yet to change. Heck, I still had a full ammo load strapped to me–can’t feel a full combat weight with ammunition. We hadn’t had a chance to test out the new armor Dr. Vahlen had cooked up. Supposedly it would make a plasma burst hit like a BB. I wasn’t eager to test it out.
Brandon faced me. “I wanted to commend you, Colonel. The work you’ve done in the last few weeks…We’ve finally managed to get these bastards on their heels.”
I smiled. “Thank you, but I’m not anyone special. This team has done the impossible, not just one person.” I stared at the glowing projection of planet Earth and watched its ponderous rotation. “Think it’s early to be handing out medals?”
“The aliens couldn’t have expected a full on assault on their command ship. I promise you, this is going to be a turning point in the war.”
That phrase stuck in my head.
I was about to answer when the globe flickered. Not much at first. Just a blink. Then more. Then it went out completely.
Around the room, panicked faces searched their rapidly dying computers.
“Internal electronics are going down all over the base!”
The ground shook and plaster crumbled down from the ceiling. I stared skyward and sensed Chris and Ewan coming into the room.
“What is it, Adam?”
I shook my head. “No idea. Get the team up here as quick as you can.”
Chris ran to a nearby phone and lifted the receiver. Before he even spoke, I knew from his face what had happened. “The line’s dead.”
“Arm up.” CO Brandon stared at the rapidly decaying Mission Control and stood tall. “Everyone, grab a rifle and get ready to repel.
“We’re under attack.”