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X-COM Chronicle – Entry 34: Into the Chamber

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

01 December 2015 / Granite Peak / X-COM

[This entry was dictated to me, Major Bonano. Adam wanted to make sure these thoughts were captured, just in case…well, you know.]

“I really don’t like this.”

Sam, Chris, Scott and Corey walked with me to the elevator. It was chilly; I only had on a shirt and shorts, and heating wasn’t a priority at X-COM. The others surrounded me, blocking me from the view of the passing soldiers and techs. It didn’t matter. Everyone knew where I was headed. 

No one knew what would happen to me next. 

We reached the elevator without incident and waited for it to arrive. 

“You don’t know what will happen, Adam.” Sam bit his lip. “You might come out all messed up. Or not at all.”

I nodded. “It could ruin my good looks.”

“Further,” Scott said dryly. 

We laughed, but it felt forced. The elevator arrived and we piled in. The car descended down into the depths of X-COM. 

After a while, I said, “I’m scared. Not about dying. About letting everyone down.”

Chris stayed silent. 

Sam put a hand on my shoulder. “Adam…look, I don’t say this sorta stuff. Not, like, that I don’t say it often. I just don’t say it. Because it’s dumb and a waste of breath. You know how I feel…about you. Right?” He was really struggling. “I mean, I’ve known you forever now. What I’m getting at…”

Scott shoved Sam aside. “The robot’s saying we love you, Adam. We don’t want you to get hurt. But no matter, there’s no way you’ll ever let us down.”

“You’ve been kind of a boss lately,” Chris chimed in.

All eyes went to Corey, who had remained peacefully uninvolved. “Huh? Oh, yeah, hoorah and all that.”

The elevator reached the bottom floor and we shuffled out. Most of the hallway was still unimproved rock. I could just make out the Elerium Generator at the far end. Its pulsing light reached into me, pulling and pushing. It was a remarkable sensation, similar to what I felt like when I boarded an alien vessel. 

The Psi Chamber sat off to the right, buried in the foundation so that it wouldn’t affect the other soldiers. No one knew how exactly that would work, but the science team wasn’t taking any chances. 

I grew colder as we entered the massive room. Dozens of technicians in lab coats ran from here to there, carrying clipboards and vials and small containers of glowing fluids. My stomach started to cramp up. 

“Are you ready, Colonel?” Dr. Vahlen appeared, dressed in her usual uniform. She looked well rested, despite the early hour. “We will need to give you a few injections to help the process along, and then you’ll enter the chamber.”

On cue, a large silver pod appeared, wheeled in by burly techs. They connected twenty thick tubes to various ports on the casing before walking away.

“Doc,” I said. “How long do we thing this test will take?”

She shrugged. “It could be instantaneous, or it could take us several months. Honestly, we won’t know until we start.”

I stopped short. “Months? You’ll have me encased in their for months?”

“Calm down, Colonel. If we don’t see any sort of results within ten days, we’ll pull you out. If your psionic ability is that dormant, you’re worth more to us out there than in here.”

Really reassuring. I climbed into the pod and and sat back on a surprisingly comfortable leather chair. A series of doctors came through, jabbing me with syringes until I felt like a pin cushion. I started to feel dizzy. 

“Colonel,” Dr. Vahlen said. “I want you to know how much I appreciate what you’re doing. This test…what we hope to achieve…there are simply not the right words. If we’re right about this, then we will speed the evolution of man by thousands of years. God speed.”

As the chamber door closed, I looked at my friends one last time. They’ll deny it to their graves, but I’m pretty sure they were tearing up. The last bit of light was snuffed out, and I found myself drifting into sleep.