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X-COM Chronicle – Entry 38: Oversight

Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor


3 January 2016 / Mexico / Operation Forgotten Whisper 

“Shut it down!” CO Brandon had to scream to be heard over the roar of the machine.

The Hyperwave Beacon screeched and bellowed as unimaginable energy surged through the network of cables. Purple and blue arcs of electricity snapped overhead, filling the room with the stench of burnt ozone. I narrowly ducked a strike and felt the hair on my neck rise. 

Dr. Vahlen stood watch as technicians fought to gain control of the computers. The Beacon had latched onto our network, somehow, and was busy searching for…something. 

Suddenly, the room sank into silence. 

Dr. Chen waved me over. “This is incredible, Colonel. I’ve never seen anything like it.” He pointed to the screen. “The Beacon has tapped into our communications network and is using the satellite grid to search for…well, this.”

“And what is ‘this’?”

He typed a few commands and an image appeared on screen. It was a shot of the ocean as seen from South America. The sky was clear and blue. Then, from nowhere, the air rippled and a MASSIVE alien ship appeared. It had been there the whole time. 

“Overseer located,” the computer reported. 

We scrambled the Firestorms and sent every ship we had into battle. Despite the vessel’s size and firepower, the fight only lasted a few minutes. We watched on the monitors as the craft crumpled to the ground in Mexico.

That’s when it happened. I was standing next to the beacon, looking at the ship, and I could see the crew. 

“Doc,” I called out. “Something trippy is going on.”

Dr. Vahlen ran over. “What is it?”

“I’m looking at their crew right now. I can see what we’re up against.”

“And?”

“There’s something new here. Something we haven’t seen before.”

Dr. Vahlen put her hands on my shoulders. “Then get down there and get it.”

*****

The heavy plasma chewed through the wall on my right. Heat blasted my face, but I kept my scope on target. It was hard to miss; the alien was huge and red. They were clearly Mutons, but definitely part of some elite corps. So far, they’d shrugged off most of our attacks. Corey had given one a solid volley to the chest, only to watch it laugh off the injury and keep fighting. I put a bolt through its head and watched it fall to the ground for the last time.

Heavy Floaters came in next, wearing black armor and carrying long grenade belts. Yuzuki caught one and Chris took the other. The air reeked of burnt flesh and ozone, which was cloying in the tight corridor of the down alien ship. 

We advanced, with Victor leading the pack in his heavily armored mech-suit. Every so often I would pause and listen, not with my ears but with my mind. I was finding it easier to grab onto an alien thought and trace it back to the source. It made finding them much simpler. 

Chris bounded ahead and stopped short at a corner. He quickly turned around, sprinting for cover just as a massive blast of energy exploded the walls. We watched, stunned, as a GIANT ROBOT SPIDER-THING clomped in from outside the ship. It was escorted by two more floaters and a few drones. The stand-off only took a second before everyone starting firing. 

The floaters went first, cut down by a long burst from Victor. Yuzuki targeted the drones, picking them off with careful shots. The rest of us focused on the mechanical monster, but our bolts seemed to deflect harmlessly off to the side. We scattered as a flurry of rockets and grenades rained down in response. The alien corridor burst into flames and showered us with debris. 

Victor charged in, placing himself between us and the tank. The alien creation fired a heavy volley of bright red energy, searing off Victor’s left arm. He howled in pain, then returned fire with his particle cannon. The creature staggered back and forth and exploded into fragments, landing in a heap on the tiled floor. 

I celebrated for only a second before I caught sight of our real target. He was watching me through a broken section of wall, his six eyes glaring out at the interlopers. 

So you’ve come for me, Harkun.

My nose started bleeding immediately. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move. 

Chris and Corey ran into the room, aiming their weapons at the new species. It didn’t even flinch. The creature stood just over seven-feet-tall, with long red robes dragging the ground below its feet. It wasn’t standing, but appeared to be floating in air.

Before Chris could squeeze the trigger, the alien reached out and took over his mind. His eyes glazed over and he started to babble nonsensically. Corey barely had time to duck before Chris started taking potshots at the group. Victor again put himself between us and Chris, taking the hits and buying us time to act. 

Yuzuki and I targeted the alien with long range rounds, hitting its midsection and splattering green goop on the walls and floor. Sam and Corey focused on its escorts, two more Elite Mutons. The air came alive with explosions and screams, and plasma bolts flew in every direction. We finally brought down the tall alien, thanks to a quick gas grenade from Corey, and the room went silent. 

I ran to Chris’ side, but he was out cold. I had to rip off my gloves to check his pulse. It was weak, but steady. He was gonna make it. 

That’s when we saw the orb. It sat on a pedestal across the room, standing maybe five-feet tall. It was beautiful, unlike anything I’d ever seen before. A strange sound emanated from within, like liquid running over rocks. We didn’t know what it was, but I could sense its importance.

“Bag it and tag it,” I called out. “We’re going home. I think we just caught a break.”

Author: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor

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