TF2 Newbs Forums - Newbs Killing Noobs

Boards for Newbs => Generally Off Topic => Topic started by: {N}Olse on July 29, 2016, 02:08:50 PM

Title: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on July 29, 2016, 02:08:50 PM
On November 1, 2012, I launched the Newbs XCOM run, wherein 18 Newbs made characters and went on a campaign to rid the earth of alien scum. (,10095.0.html) In short, we kicked their asses back into space and lost 6 brave soldiers in the process. Raynez and HunterZero gunned them down, Kamo ninja-ed a UFO, Crab sealed up wounds after taking organs, Kit sniped a bunch, and Scotty ran into plasma fire countless times. They and the rest became humanity's greatest heroes, though lack of funding and materials caused XCOM to be liquidated. Over the next two years, Egypt and France, both having left the XCOM Project, were liberated from alien stragglers and horrifically-experimented humans called Nephilim. All in all, 700 Million people were killed, and 200 million more were abducted. The vast majority of humanity was saved.

Ungrateful bastards.

Soon after the liberation of Egypt and France, the aliens returned. Earth's forces were battered and all branches of XCOM had just lost their funding due to perceived obsolescence. But this time, the aliens came in peace, negotiated treaties, and may or may not have mind controlled the entire UN. The remnants of XCOM's international leadership met in a complex in international waters and, through subterfuge, were killed off by the aliens. All except one.

The year is 2038. Chocolate Cookies has been building up his forces, funded by a Mr. Osterman, and has gotten some of the gang back together to take out the aliens. He needs supplies, he needs intel. Over everything else, though, he needs recruits.

To join the Newbs XCOM 2 run, here are the rules:
1. You must actually be in the [N]ewbs group to join.
    *Yes, you can join even if you participated in the original run. See me first, though.
    *Yes, you can join even if you participated in the XCOM:EW run. You can even reuse your character, since that run is officially not canon.
2. Though there are seemingly no limits on character customization in XCOM 2, be specific on what your character looks like. Follow the form in the next post in this thread.
    *If you join after I get the Guerrilla Tactics School (G.T.S.), tell me if you want your character to be a specific class.
3. This time around, with more uncertainty and a conceivably higher mortality rate, I am allowing multiple characters per person. Restrictions apply:
    *They must be different characters. If your self-insert dies, they die. Their relatives can come in, but they are different people. By the same token: no twins.
    *Two active soldiers per person. I will still make your character, but they will not be going on missions until one of your active characters is killed. So you should create multiple characters for replacement purposes.
    *You can also, if you wish, make a character who isn't a soldier, but rather a VIP or a Dark VIP. VIP's are people XCOM obtain to help around the Avenger (as a Scientist or an Engineer). Dark VIP's are folk who love the aliens so much that they're on XCOM's hit list. You can only have one of each.

So yeah, this thing will start a week from now. I'll keep a roster and recruitment form on the next post. Reply to this thread with a character, and you'll start killing alien scum soon.  ;D

Title: The Roster!
Post by: {N}Olse on July 29, 2016, 02:09:20 PM
The Fallen:
Ranger Lt. Viking "Wolverine" Walrus ( [VikingWalrus] KPM: 3 Memorial Entry (

Active Soldiers:
Grenadier Lt. "Casino" Kamo ( [{N}Kamo]
Grenadier Sgt. Bruno "Doc" Thomas ( [{N}You]
Specialist Cpt. Kit "Moop" Schernburg ( [{N}Kit]
Sharpshooter Sgt. Daniel "Showtime" Macho ( [MachoDan]
Ranger Cpt. Red "Ice" McBadger ( [redBadger]
Sharpshooter Lt. Elmo "Monster" Jones ( [[N]Elmo]
Specialist Lt. Alette "Knight" Bruyere ( [MachoDan]
Specialist Sgt. Siegfried Minamoto ( [Nuunsa]
Specialist Cpl. Malcom "Oskar" Cobb ( [{N}Kamo]
Rk. Spinister Scorn ( [[N]ova Shikikori]
Rk. Boris Kruscherov ( [[N]Obey]

Reserve Soldiers:

Science Department:
Dr. Zoe Moreau

Engineering Department:
Christine Werner, PhD.
Dr. Nick Owens
Jeremey Sanders, PhD.
Dirk Vos, PhD.

Recruitment Form:

Name, Nationality (Gender)
Race, Hair Style and Color, Facial Hair, Scars
Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color
Gear, Props, and the like
Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: HunterZero on July 29, 2016, 04:36:18 PM
You better believe my character comes out of retirement. He may be older, but he isn't wiser.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: You on July 31, 2016, 04:18:41 PM
VIP Scientist
Name: Make Something Up
Nationality: USA
(Gender): Male
Race: White
Hair Style and Color: Past shoulders and white
Facial Hair: Beard of the length of your choosing
Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color: Ridiculous
Gear, Props, and the like: Ridiculous (and glasses)
Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038): We'll go Feb 7 2000, and just make up something crazy for the bio.  If you want me to come up with an outline for the bio let me know.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Grey Devil on August 01, 2016, 04:30:38 AM
Mmmmm. Delicious organs.

Should i roll for a new player? :D

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: kamo on August 01, 2016, 10:35:55 AM
You know what to do, Olse.


Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Kit on August 02, 2016, 03:14:12 PM
Recruitment Form:

Name, Nationality (Gender)
Kit, also goes by Moop, american, girl duh!

Race, Hair Style and Color, Facial Hair, Scars
white, long red hair, no facial hair, no scars

Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color
blue / green

Gear, Props, and the like
whatever is badass lol

Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)
feb 19, 2018 ;D

As a child, Kit was always expected to do better. Her parents named her after Colonel "Kit" KitKnit, the last psychic human being and best-selling author after the great war. Parents of other kids would give her a weird look when their kids would introduce her as well... Kit. Tired of other parents giving her a hard time she decided to introduce herself from then on as Moop.
She decided to join for the thrill, adventure, and because she was curious.

So here was Moop.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: MachoDan on August 02, 2016, 06:10:54 PM
I lack understanding of XCOM so bear with me.

Name, Nationality (Gender)
Daniel Macho, 'Murican Male

Race, Hair Style and Color, Facial Hair, Scars
Caucasian, long scraggly black hair, full thick black beard, vertical scar on one eye if possible.

Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color
Dark Blue/Red

Gear, Props, and the like

Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)

8/1/2016, because I'd like to think he's out there in the world as we speak.

Daniel Macho was teased for his last name throughout his childhood due to his appearance not being "macho" at all. Later in life he proved his bullies wrong and got stronk af. Now he wants to test his hard-earned physique, and he is planning on using the aliens as an excuse to do just that.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: redBadger on August 04, 2016, 06:41:02 PM
Red McBadger, American Male

Caucasian, dark brown Mohawk, beard

Black, Red

Seemingly unlimited supply of cigars


Living in the American badlands most his life, McBadger spent a good majority of his time practicing gunslinging and earned himself various medals at competitions for best shooter. At 18 he enlisted in the military and served 4 tours before returning home with distinguished honor.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on August 05, 2016, 02:17:22 PM

Elmo, American Male
Monster, red fur...lot's of fur, no visible scars....too much hair
primary armor red/secondary armor color clear (see-through)
Heavy weapons specialist (think the autogun in Predator)
birthdate is unclear but sometime in the late 80's, but you really can't tell how old he is

Bio: Basically a genetic experiment gone wrong. Elmo lobbied for his freedom and won it and was declared a "legal person" in the United States thanks to a gifted attorney and a broad interpretation of laws created to prevent discrimination. Elmo is a little bitter and sarcastic, but has a good heart and never fails to put his life on the line in order to protect others. Elmo also has a strange habit of talking about himself in the third person.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 05, 2016, 07:50:07 PM
28 February, 2038
Novgorod, New Arctic [Formerly Russia]

   The line was long and slow, only moving forward every ten seconds or so. He had been in it for the better part of an hour. That was okay. It gave him time to reflect, time to be tactical, time to survey what was ahead. The wait had been part of the plan. The plan that had taken three years to formulate, two of them wasted on bickering with regional leaders in the slums for the resources they needed. That had all vanished when Mr. Osterman came in. He somehow had all the funding, all the materials, all the weapons. And he had a ship.
   Three steps. (
   He brought a haggard finger he only now noticed as such to his earpiece. The slightest of pauses filled the space between the beep only he could hear and what he said, “I hope to god you're in position.”
   Crackling, static, white noise behind the barely restrained voice, “Where the hell would I be?”
   He smirked, “On a battlefield.”
   “You're damn right,” a huff as she did something, probably jumping a fence, “I miss my armor. And my gun. I don't like this.”
   Two steps.
   “It won't be long now. Do you see the black van?”
   A pause, “Fuck yes I do.”
   “You have fifteen seconds before the window.”
   “All cop now, are ya?”
   One step.
   “You know the signal, Richter. Do it then.”
   “Fuck you, Choco,” and a crackling click.
   The helmeted, red-and-black ADVENT goon motioned the woman in front of him ahead with a shrug, then waved his arm for Choco to step forward. The balding man did so, putting on a stone face that might as well have been a thousand-yard-stare or a professional military demeanor. In a way, they were both.
   “Passcard, citizen,” but not with those words. Everyone had learned Unilang, that garbled, inbred, bastard nephew of Esperanto, in the last twenty years. Choco knew how to read it, and he understood it. He just never wanted to speak it.
   So he said nothing and just stared ahead.
   “Passcard,” the goon brought his gun to bear, “Citizen.”
   Choco did nothing. More troops, including a red-sashed officer, were coming to see the civil disobedience. All staring at him, and not at their transport van.
   The rifle's butt plowed into Choco's stomach, knocking him to his knees. Three troops were now aiming at him, mutterings from the sheep behind. One of the helmeted bastards barked, “Disobedience results in restraint!” or some such shit. Choco didn't care.
   He stood up, slowly reached into his shirt pocket, then shouted, “Fidelis ad mortem!”
   The fireball would have blinded him if he hadn't known to keep his eyes closed. He was sure they would shoot him as soon as he spoke, but when he looked again the few who hadn't been knocked down by the explosion were rushing to the wreckage.
   Perfect. He ran for the drop. (
   “Crab,” he huffed as he went, a hand to his ear, “Are they en route?”
   Crackling, “Hell yeah, boy scout! Sledge outdid himself there!”
   “And you're sure your contact made the drop this morning?”
   “He better have.”
   “I paid him a lot,” he could hear the shrug, “All I can say, Central.”
   Choco rounded a corner and dove for an open storm drain, sifting through the muck and darkness until he came to a cloth bag. With some effort from his aching bones, he dragged it out and unzipped it. Inside was the mother of all assault rifles, complete with three different scopes and a flashlight attachment, “God damn.”
   “Pretty, isn't she?”
   Choco picked the gun up, kicked the bag back into the drain, and ran for the other side of the district, “Alright, I'm en route to the target.”
   “Just dropped them off,” another voice, a woman's, split through the comms, “How long do I have to hover?”
   “Ten minutes, Firebrand,” Choco was rushing past running people, bumping into a few, “Or until you see the package do its thing.”
   “Saw the first one, guess I'll know what to look for.”
   Over the terrified faces and through the screaming, Choco saw the gene therapy clinic. A humble-looking, clean-white structure. Years past, it would have seemed more like an Apple store than something holding the one person the aliens truly feared. He pushed his old bones further towards the cheery, sterile building. No guards outside. They were busy.
   Suddenly, Raynez came over the radio, “Smack me again, coglione! Do it!”
   There was a wet crunch before Crab could speak up, “Richter, where are you?”
   Heavy breathing, “Near my way out. Fucker elbowed me in the ear. Dumbass.”
   “Just get out of town,” Firebrand groaned, “They're scared.”
   Raynez did not so much respond as bark unintelligibly and shut her radio off.
   Choco made it to the front door and kicked it in. The lights were on, but no one was inside. He put a hand to his ear, caught his breath, and almost whispered, “I'm at the target. No one's here.”
   “Check the back,” Crab was typing something, “If you need a code, I got it.”
   Choco walked up to a door with a panel next to it. It did not budge, “Yeah, I'll need it.”
   “Oh, kay . . .” a pause that took way too long, “One, two, three, four, five.”
   Choco blinked, “Run that by me again?”
   “One two three four five. I mean, in ADVENT Script, but yeah.”
   Choco sighed, put in the code, and the door slid open with a slam, “This is just sad.”
   “Hey, they're the overconfident ones.”
   He moved inside, where the lights were off. Except the red ones. ADVENT loved black and red. Choco scanned the room, saw no one, and then turned to his right.
   Bolted on the wall was a stasis tank. (
   “Well, I found her I think.”
   A small, familiar rumble washed over the city, and Firebrand yelled over comms, “The package is delivered! Passing by for exfil!”
   Choco went up to the tank and pulled a lever next to it. The blast shield opened up, and inside was a glass shell, draining some kind of green fluid. Inside the vat was a large, suited person. It looked like a radiation suit, with black nubs where the gloves should have been.
   He let out a long breath and looked at the floor, “Crab.”
   “You suck.”
   “This jerk is way too tall.”
   A pause, “I don't know, dude, just, uh, get her out and take a closer look.”
   Choco sighed, shot out the glass, rolled the fallen body over, and wiped the visor to see inside the suit. It was some Scandinavian-looking fellow.
   “Crab. It's a he.”
   Choco stood up and shot a bullet through the man's head. If he did not get out of here, he was sure as hell not going to have ADVENT get their asset back. He hoisted the dead man over his shoulder, “Firebrand, she's not here. You know where to find me.”
   “Sure do. Dammit.”
   “Crab,” he grunted as he made his way outside, “When I get back, we're having a sit-down.”
   The Skyranger came barreling through the night, stopping over the gene therapy clinic and letting down a drop-cord. He slung the rifle over his other shoulder and grabbed the cord with his free hand, looking down as he was pulled up. ADVENT troops were already converging on the clinic, no-doubt hearing whatever silent alarms he'd triggered on his way in.
   He shook his head as he got on board and the door closed. He hoped at least these new guys could do their jobs.

[So, after that bit of prologue stuff, I'll be uploading the first mission tomorrow sometime. They certainly blew something up, hopefully not themselves. If you have not yet made a soldier yet and you'd like to show up in this, feel free to post a character using the form on the second post!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: MachoDan on August 05, 2016, 08:50:20 PM
Terrific job with the prologue, Olse! The hype is real. In celebration and anticipation I am submitting a 2nd character.

Name, Nationality (Gender)
Alette Bruyere, French Female

Race, Hair Style and Color, Facial Hair, Scars
Caucasian, gray ponytail, various battle scars

Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color
Dark Green/Dark Orange

Gear, Props, and the like
Sunglasses, a cigar, and a beret, if possible.

Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)

For DOB, whatever places her at the max age.

Alette Bruyerre was serving her first year as a French Marine when the aliens caught her platoon by surprise, wiping them out almost entirely. She vowed to avenge her friends one day as she crawled away amongst their corpses. Nearly 25 years later she has come out of hiding, seeking to exact her vengeance after years of training. (Kinda vague as I expect you to apply your magic. ;D)

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Obey on August 05, 2016, 09:21:48 PM
(I'm finally getting around to this, and it looks like you need someone to wrastle' up an Engie for the team....)

ENGINEER (as opposed to Soldier)

Name, Nationality (Gender):
Melinda Brabcova, Czech Female

Race, Hair Style and Color, Facial Hair, Scars--------
Human, dark brunette (long ponytail), round face, 5'6", one scar on her thigh

Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color------
White/Navy Blue

Gear, Props, and the like-------
Black spectacles, lab coat, clipboard, pencil behind ear (or chewing on it);
perhaps a subtle pistol in a holster at her hip

Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)------
Make her early 20s

A short stint in the porn industry was lucrative enough to put her thru engineering school, where she became known for some pretty provocative theories about how to improve the tensile strength of prototype weapons-grade materials to be used in armor for civilians and light military vehicles. Melinda is the type that continually challenges herself by pitting her own intelligence against itself: she has already designed theoretical weapons to more consistently deal fatal and subdual blows, as well as armor to prevent the worst injuries. She is most comfortable in the boring work of analyzing the field-testing of materials over months to determine a functional shelf life of the materials and their tactical applications.

Melinda Brabcova is an engineer support unit that deals with designing new gear for allies.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 06, 2016, 11:38:26 AM
28 February, 2038
ADVENT Central Ward, Novgorod, New Arctic

The Skyranger's transport bay was small, barely-lit by the hologram towards the front. ( It projected tactical information, that they were supposed to plant charges on the base of a statue depicting one of the Elders. 20 years ago today. That was when Unity was achieved, at least on paper, and the date had been blown so out of proportion that most of the new generation no longer remembered New Year's, Halloween, or even Christmas. It was all about today. Unification Day.
And they were about to blow up its symbol. (
Novgorod was simply the closest city, it really could have been any damn place. But the Avenger needed some repairs, the time had rolled around, and the people at the top decided waiting any longer would have been foolish. So, they had simply slapped together a few soldiers, herself included, dragged  them into this tiny jet, and sent them on their way.
Moop had handled a gun before. Everyone outside the cities had. But never anything like this, nothing ever approaching the clip size of an assault rifle, or the somewhat disconcerting grenade strapped to her waist. Or the charges they had all been given. Any stray round could detonate their payload, she supposed. Well then, just don't get shot and you'll be fine.
Not helping matters was the demeanor of her compatriots. She had not known any of them long, and they had all found XCOM weeks before she did. Sitting next to her was this large, hairy, one-eyed guy who called himself a monster. She was not sure what the deal behind that was, and the other two had brushed it off the first time they'd heard him say that. As far as Moop was concerned, the quiet guy in black armor and the goddamn skull helmet was the real monster. She had been told his name was Kamo, and that he had fought in the War decades ago. No sound, no face, only skull.
It took a moment for her to realize she was staring again, and turned away just as Kamo seemed to notice. The man across from her was Red, the only person in here she could actually have a conversation with. Compared to Kamo and the Monster, Red was pretty normal, if a bit strange-looking. He certainly looked like a real soldier, which was a start. He glanced at her for a moment while looking at the hologram, smiled, and puffed on his cigar.
“We'll do alright, kid.”
She wanted to believe that.
The intercom blared to life as the red light came on, “Alright, guys. Found a good drop spot. I'll be around soon enough, just get to the statue. Don't die.”
“Rousing speech if I ever heard one,” Moop got up, checked her rifle. The rest did more or less the same thing. In Kamo's case, much less. He picked his rifle up by the barrel, smashed the ramp control button with a fist, and the light of the setting sun came streaming through. Outside was a mass of white and blue spires, some with billboards of ADVENT troops, others of hopeful-looking humans staring at the sky. They were meant to come across as secure, but she always found them creepy.
The squad rappelled onto the roof of a small office building, and a moment later, the Skyranger was off. No ADVENT in sight, no immediate gunfire. Just the statue off in the distance.
The Monster ran over to the corner of the roof closest to the brass abomination, looked over the edge, and then put a finger to his lips. When she got there with the rest, she saw a couple of civilians on the sidewalk below, talking about something or other.
She shook her head, “They have no idea.”
“Ah, not our problem,” Red muttered, “Any luck, they'll find out.”
Moop glanced towards the statue again, and then immediately set her sights, “Movement.”
“Elmo sees 'em.”
“Must be whatever's left after our distraction,” Red scratched his chin, “They don't know we're here, we got the element-”
At that moment, Kamo stood up, sighted his target, and fired a burst directly into the head of one of the ADVENT goons. (
Moop cursed as she fired, her and the Monster bringing down the rest of the patrol as they ran for cover. There were screams and confused yelling below, which only got louder as Kamo vaulted over the side of the building and into the streets.
“What the hell?! Get back here!” Red shimmied down a pipe, leaving her with the Monster.
He looked over at her, shrugged, and followed Red. She knelt there a moment, shook her head again, and did the same.
“The hell was that?!” Red was yelling at Kamo, not half a foot from his face, “You just exposed our position to every other goddamn-”
“Well, Elmo thinks he got seniority,” the Monster reloaded his gun.
“I don't care! I'm not going to take orders from a heavy metal mute-”
“TCHUTALZUH!” and magnetic rounds between them drove Kamo and Red to cover, the Monster and Moop running another direction. Moop kept her head down, and a moment later there was an explosion in the direction of the yell. More bullets, regular ones, and more ADVENT screaming. More normal human screaming, too, and she noticed people running away from the gunfight. To her right, she heard the Monster yelp out in pain, and stuck her head out long enough to see him actually rub dirt into his left shoulder.
And then she saw him. Red-armored, with a sash, right out in the open, trying to bark orders to the only trooper he had left. No heed to where the hell she was, and she took the shot. The officer fell to the ground, spraying dull orange blood, as Red threw a grenade at the last ADVENT, vaporizing him in a blast of fire and smoke.
Red looked over at Kamo as he ran to the officer's corpse, “Get that shit planted, I'll call pickup,” he looked down and saw something odd on the officer's rifle. He yanked the trigger mechanism off, stared at it for a moment, and then put it in a pouch.
Moop got out of her cover and went over to the Monster, who was strolling, “Are you-”
He waved her off, “Elmo fine. Elmo plant the package.”
She stopped, and then turned to Red, the only other sane person here, “Where the hell did we get these guys?”
He had a hand to his ear, “Yeah, you'll see it in a sec. We're done here,” he lowered his hand, took a puff of his cigar, glanced at Kamo, who was scanning for more troops, and then sighed, “I don't fucking know. Not like we can be choosy.”
The Monster joined them, but Moop just looked around, “Choosy? We should be choosy! We're taking on a global government backed by freaking aliens!”
“Elmo done.”
Red groaned, “The fuck is an El-”
The massive explosion drowned them all out.

[The last bit of this introduction deal will be posted either late tonight or early tomorrow morning. If you, too, want to kill not-quite-human goons, you can make a soldier following the form on the second post!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: kamo on August 06, 2016, 12:16:00 PM
Love it. :D

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on August 06, 2016, 12:42:46 PM
Elmo digs it ;)

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: redBadger on August 06, 2016, 12:49:51 PM
A+ amount of cigar puffs

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 06, 2016, 07:58:45 PM
1 March, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

Morning was breaking when the Skyranger touched back down. ( He was there, waiting with Sledge, already knowing Central and the squad had gotten out largely unscathed. Crab's left stump twitched a bit, causing a small jerk in his robotic leg. Sledge had offered to take a look at it, but he had been putting it off for months. The now-head engineer's time was better spent on the ship.
The elevator lowered the Skyranger into the receiving bay at a relative snail's pace, with Kamo already out, an injured Elmo close behind. Crab knew better than to speak to either, and just stayed out of their way as they left. Firebrand had jumped out of the cockpit and was racing to a stretcher as Central argued with Red about discipline. That was fine. Crab could wait for his ass-kicking.
“He just defied orders, sir! You can't have people doing that!” Red lit a new cigar.
“Kamo did not defy orders,” Central's voice was remarkably measured, “He just took initiative. We aren't a real military outfit,” he kept glancing over at Crab. It was not his time yet.
“He just rushed in, we couldn't really stop him,” Moop interjected. Crab could not rightly tell which side she was on. He figured she was trying to be involved and to stay out of it at the same time. And somehow, it worked.
“If you feel that strongly about it,” Central lifted the dead body and almost slammed it on the stretcher Firebrand had gotten, “Then next time, take charge. I know for a fact that can work.”
“With respect, sir,” Red took in a breath, blew out smoke, “Next time he might get someone killed.”
Central stared at Crab for a second, barely noticing the soldier, “Noted. You and Moop head out with Art to the bar. I have to hold a debriefing here.”
Red gritted his teeth as Moop came up, “Come on, it's not worth it.”
“Says you.”
“Says the dead guy right here,” Moop looked up at Firebrand, “What happened?”
The three began to leave as the older woman sighed, “Central found him in a vat tank and shot him in the face.”
Moop paled briefly before looking ahead.
There was a moment staring at the group where Crab saw himself again. Younger, giddy, and with both legs. He did not really see himself in either of the two, but he had been where they were. For, in what certainly was a rare moment, he sympathized with them. They did not quite know what they were getting into, and neither had he. But it was only for a moment.
Because then, Central had him by the front of his shirt, a contorted look on his face that he had not seen for almost twenty years. Raynez, sure, he saw it all the time. But on Chocolate, this was bad.
“You told me,” and that growl he made, “You said she was there.”
Crab took a moment, not really to recover from being grabbed, but because they needed a beat in the room, “I said she probably was. Not that she was.”
“Do you know how much we had to prepare for this? What we all went through to make this thing happen?!”
He looked away, “My guy was a good source.”
Chocolate shook him, “Your 'guy' is a dead man!”
“Hey,” Hunter put a hand on the cop's shoulder, “He made a mistake.”
Crab glanced between his two friends, “Yeah! You can't really expect every rumor to be true-”
The shaking came again, “We exposed ourselves on a rumor?! THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”
“Choco, ADVENT was gonna find us sooner or later,” Hunter shook his head as he went over to the body, “You can't exactly expect something this big and loud to go unnoticed.”
Chocolate let go of Crab, who brushed himself off a little, “We had surprise. We don't have that anymore because-”
“We'll have surprise again, we're taking off soon,” he started removing the suit, “Right now, we can't really punch him when we need him to operate.”
Chocolate huffed and turned to leave, composing himself, “Right. We do have this, at least. Whatever it is.”
Crab went over and looked at the man in the suit, who seemed to be garden-variety human, “Still, don't get your problem, Choco. So my info was bad, my guy is dead meat, and ADVENT knows that XCOM lives,” he looked up at him, smirking, “We got something they don't.”
“Yeah, that body,” Central was almost out the door.
Crab sighed, looked over at Sledge, who looked up, nodding, “Our hearts and lives are in this fight. That's what got them beat last time.”
“Well, there's one problem with that,” Central turned around, “They came back. We need to win this and keep it won.”
“I hear ya,” Crab nodded at Sledge, who began to wheel the stretcher out, “And I think the new guys do, too. The old ones,” he shrugged, “Not really sure.”
A moment later, Sledge had left. Central looked down at the floor, his hands trembling just a little. (
“I brought them here, again. Only now I know I'm the one responsible.”
“People die, we make them worth it. I'm not looking forward to that any more than you,” Crab turned to the Skyranger, “And don't worry about my guy. I put a ping on his house. ADVENT's kicking down his door right now.”
Central stared at Crab, “You haven't changed.”
“Yeah, that makes two of us.”
Central thought for a moment, “Raynez. Where is she?”
Crab looked back, “South. I think she stole a motorcycle and just didn't care where she went. But, she still had comms. I say we go look for her.”
Chocolate nodded, “I'll tell Firebrand-”
“Art,” Crab corrected.
“. . . Art, to fire the Avenger up,” he turned to leave again.
Crab raised an eyebrow, “Not gonna ask about the repairs?”
Chocolate laughed, “Like you said: XCOM lives.”

[Thus begins the run. The next update will come sometime between Monday night and Wednesday morning. I'm shooting for at least one update a week going forward. Remember: if you got a soldier you wanna make, or want to get in on this in an active way, you can follow the form on the second post and join in!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: kamo on August 07, 2016, 10:23:46 AM
grabs the popcorn and Red Bull

Bring it.  I can't wait. :D

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on August 08, 2016, 06:30:30 AM
Damn, Elmo always seems to get shot up in these Xcom adventures!!!
At least he is still alive!
Good stuff, keep 'em coming, Olse!

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Viking Walrus on August 08, 2016, 09:54:59 AM
Assualt class
Name: Viking "The Walrus" Walrus
Nationality: USA
(Gender): Male
Race: White
Hair Style and Color: Curley hair with a beard, brown
Facial Hair: Beard of the length of your choosing
Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color: Pink
Gear, Props, and the like: Glasses,
Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038): June 14, 2016
Like the old tales of Vikings, Walrus sets out to be like those old stories, plundering and pillaging the aliens for all of their booty. He demands blood for blood and will not stop till he has an Elder skull as a drinking mug.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 08, 2016, 03:20:13 PM
4 March, 2038
Wilderness of Former Kyrgyzstan

It had not been much of a lead, but she never cared about the details. She had known people were out here, and that she needed to get out of Novgorod. The gas ran out a day before she had gotten here, but she knew how to hoof it. And her reward was a trio of stragglers and a meal. She was wolfing it down, sitting across from two of those bozos with a weak campfire between them and the moon above.
“This is good goop,” Raynez said between scoops.
Alette raised an eyebrow and looked over at Dr. Thomas, who shrugged with a smile, “Mashed the beans this morning. Glad you like 'em.”
“So,” Alette leaned forward, cupping her hands together as Raynez finished the last of their food with a hearty burp, “This XCOM. It is not like the others?”
“What do you mean?” she opened her canteen and began to wash the bean mash down.
“Others came here before you.”
“More of us, back then.”
“Look just like you. They say, 'Come with us! We have facilities! We have arms!' And then, nothing.”
Raynez glanced at each of them, “Do you get GAN out here?”
Dr. Thomas raised a hand, “Oh man, like you wouldn't belie-”
She stretched an open hand towards him, “Give me the tablet.”
Still smiling, Dr. Thomas reached into his backpack as Alette stared at him, “I thought I destroyed that damned thing.”
He laughed as he handed the rather intact machine over, “I always keep a spare, madam moezelle.”
Alette facepalmed as Raynez turned the tablet on and flipped through a few things, “Alright, have a look at this.”
What they saw was the Speaker decrying a terrorist attack. One that had happened only a few days ago, in a major ADVENT city center. A statue had been blown up, and on Unification Day, of all days. And there was security footage of a gunfight. They saw a man in a skull mask throw a grenade as the two sides exchanged fire.
And squarely on the chest of his armor was a certain, unmistakable badge. (
Raynez shut the tablet off, “That proof enough?”
Alette crossed her arms and sat back, “Do you know what happened in my country, you chienne?
She handed the tablet back to Dr. Thomas, “I didn't fight there, but you were getting overrun by superpowered monsters. It couldn't have been easy for you, cagna.
“Twenty years ago, when they Unified the entire planet, they killed everyone I loved. Do you know what that feels like?”
Raynez stared Alette in the eyes for a moment, and then nodded.
Alette stared back, then turned to Dr. Thomas, “We go.”
His eyes widened, “You sure?”
Alette was already up, “Point us to your base.”
Raynez smirked and pointed towards the sky. At that moment, cresting a mountain, the Avenger flew overhead. On the alien ship's bow was the same badge they had seen on the news.
“Well,” Dr. Thomas took a swig of the last of their bean whiskey, “I'm sold.”
Raynez nodded and stood up, “Where's your third?”
“Out hunting,” Dr. Thomas looked into the hills, “I'll go find him. Deluded bastard.”
“There aren't many vikings left,” Alette shrugged, looking at the Avenger, “I say we should let him be one.”
The ship was touching down in a valley a half-mile away, and Raynez looked at it with hands on her hips. The resistance had never believed anything this big would happen, and she did not blame them. No one could ever stand against ADVENT, no one could ever hope to claim Earth for humanity, no one could ever revitalize XCOM.
But they were, they planned to, and they had. It was just a matter of time now.

[And so new dudes! Operation Witch King is going to drop tomorrow night. If you want to be part of this awesome tale, you can follow the form on the second post and make a character!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 09, 2016, 05:40:53 PM
7 March, 2038
Small town in ADVENT Patrol Zone 5, outskirts of Beijing

Right back into the grinder, right where he belonged, right where he should have been all these years. ( Gatecrasher had been a learning experience for them all. The girl had gotten linked up with one of the GREMLINs Engineering had fashioned. The little drone was currently under her seat, inactive and lifeless. He'd seen it float around here and there on the Avenger the last week. It gave him the creeps. Next to him, Kamo kept silent, his heavy weapons in a compartment above them. He didn't understand much about anybody, but he understood Kamo. Kindred spirits, maybe, though he doubted they would get along if he ever talked. Across from old skullface was a kid patting his knees, looking around everywhere but the hologram display. He was itching for a fight, and he knew one was coming, macho brat that he was. Elmo had been rubbing his new rifle's scope for days, making sure it was clear. Gator hunting came back to him while practicing in Kyrgyzstan.
He figured he was as ready as he could have been. (
Finally, Macho guy glanced at the hologram, looked back after a moment, and squinted, “The fuck are 'chip metrics'?”
“I don't know, but we gotta get 'em,” Moop looked at the floor in front of her, “And no, don't ask me how.”
Macho looked from her to the hologram and gave a short nod before leaning back into his seat.
After a few more minutes, the red light came on and Firebrand came through, “I have a nice spot just outside the target building, should make your job easy.”
He shook his head as he stood up with the rest of the squad, “Elmo knows nothing's ever easy.”
The ramp came down and the late winter air blew in, bringing with it some snow.
As they touched down, Elmo saw the building Firebrand must have meant. Outside, it appeared to be a warehouse of sorts, but ADVENT loved refurbishing things on the inside out here in the boonies. He immediately made for some trash left out in the street and saw a trooper and an officer. He turned around as the rest were getting their bearings and patted the air with his free hand.
Macho shook his head and scuttled over, “Lemme see . . .”
Kamo ran up to the corner of a laundromat, and Moop knelt next to Elmo, her drone hovering above her right shoulder, “You got a plan, Monster?”
He nodded, as the two troopers leisurely crossed the street ahead, “Elmo stay here, you spread out. Be ready. Tell Macho to go nuts.”
Moop nodded, “He'll like that,” and off she was, the other two getting her signal and, very quietly, she said, “You got a bomb strapped to you, might as well throw it.”
Macho smirked, “Sure thing,” he pulled the pin of his grenade and lobbed it, shouting, “Are you ready, fuckers?!”
The ADVENT soldiers reacted just shy of in time, as the trooper was blown back and the officer tumbled for cover. Kamo and Kit laid fire upon her until she did not tumble anymore. The entire engagement lasted five seconds, and Elmo put his eye to his scope, scanning for more movement. None came.
“Alright, they know we're here,” Moop looked around, “We gotta move.”
Macho was first up, darting over to the target building and taking cover behind some crates. He looked through one of the warehouse's windows and yelled back, “Hey, we got critters in here!”
Elmo turned his rifle over to the window as Kamo launched a grenade through it, blowing a hole in the building. The whole affair was punctuated by ADVENT screaming, but what he saw was something altogether different. A naked, pink creature with no hair, big eyes, a glowing chest, and some kind of doo-dad on its right wrist.
Elmo pulled the trigger just as it started to dart out of the building. Thankfully, Moop and Macho picked up his slack and brought the chittering thing to the ground. Everyone waited for a moment. Nothing else came.
“Right,” Macho waved them over and, disregarding the massive hole, jumped through an intact window and dashed inside the building.
Moop shook her head as they all followed him, “I swear to god.”
The inside of the warehouse was pretty barren, though part of that was thanks to Kamo, and as they moved in they saw opposite of them a wall made from ADVENT metal. Macho put a hand to his ear, “This where it is?”
Firebrand crackled a little into the comnet, “There's a console in there, I'm putting it into the GREMLIN's display. Moop, you should see it.”
She looked into the room beyond, nodded, “Yeah, sending it in. Won't take long.”
As the drone flew past him, Macho froze. Elmo had gotten into better cover inside and saw this. He did not like it one bit. That was when he realized he had lost track of Kamo. He looked around.
“Something's up there,” Macho whispered.
“Alright, got it,” Moop moved up, “Central we have theOHFUCK!
Magnetic bullets ripped through the windows ahead as Moop scrambled behind a crate. ( Macho's back was to his wall, and not ten feet away on the other side, Elmo saw a trooper move up. He fired, the boom of his rifle echoing throughout the warehouse. But the goon returned fire, knocking him to the ground for a moment. More shots came as he eased his back to the barrels he had been hiding behind. He groaned as he ran for a forklift, “Elmo hit!”
Moop was there, and she pulled a medkit out, “I got you, hold still.” She sprayed him up and down with healing mist, the pain numbing as the wounds were coated in the stuff. He still did not know exactly how that worked, but it did and that was good enough for him. He pulled out his revolver as a stark bang and a flash of light erupted in the room beyond.
Macho was screaming, “Warn me next time, you-”
A plasma bolt ripped though the wall just a foot above his head, flames spreading out.
“Dammit, dammit, dammit!” Macho ran to the other side of the doorway he had been peeking through.
“Help him out,” Moop yelled as she left Elmo, her GREMLIN projecting a minor distortion field around Macho, “Did you get him?”
“Yeah, I . . .” his mouth hung open as purple energy flew from the Sectoid beyond and into the dead ADVENT, who got back onto his feet, DID WE KNOW ABOUT THIS?!"
The sound of a hail of gunfire came from further ahead, and the Sectoid started to hiss and chitter in pain. Macho shook his head, ran outside to a better position, and laid fire into the zombie. Elmo grabbed his grenade and finished the dead man off for good measure. As the computers smoldered, the Sectoid must have figured a retreat was in order, but Moop had it in her sights and she quickly put a stop to that.
A moment later, Kamo came from around a nearby corner, staring at the corpse. Then he started prodding it with his foot.
Moop shook her head as Macho came back inside, “Firebrand, we have the data, and I'm pretty sure the area's clear.”
“I'm coming around.”
Macho was rubbing his eyes under his glasses, “Fuck, that stings!” He turned to Kamo, who was coming back into the warehouse, “Watch where you lay that shit down, man!”
The skullhead just looked around and cricked his neck.
Elmo stood up, tore one of his wounds a little, and limped over to Moop, “Elmo sorry. Elmo miss.”
The Skyranger flew in and hovered over the street outside. Moop just stared at him for a second, “Well, you didn't die. That's a plus.”
As they made their way over to the jet, Elmo shook his head, “Elmo shouldn't miss.”

[So goes Operation Witch King. But just what the hell is "chip metrics"? Whatever, they're all alive to fight again. If you wanna fight by their side trying to get Mcguffins, you can submit a soldier to the thread using the form on the second post! Next update will come sometime tomorrow night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 10, 2016, 03:58:30 PM
7 March, 2038
Avenger Engine Room/Science Lab

He stood there with Moop as Crab “cyber-fiddled” her GREMLIN, which was still on and twitching every few seconds. He had said that after he got his prosthesis, robotics took a larger chunk of his time. Central did not quite want to believe that, but the weirdo had been obsessed with how organics worked. There was no reason why he would not do the same with robots, especially since he technically had been part robot for two decades.
“Are you almost done?” Moop shifted a little where she stood.
“Awww,” Crab laughed, “You're acting like I'm hurting your pet,” he turned in his seat to look at her, “Is it your pet? You've only been linked a few days.”
Moop looked down at him, “It's a drone. It just feels like something's in the back of my mind hunting me. But go on,” she sighed, “Get it over with.”
“Eeh . . .” Crab turned back to his console, “I'll have to let Sledge know. That ain't right,” after a few more moments, he gave a victory cry and turned back, grinning, “He's all yours!”
Moop snapped her fingers and the GREMLIN flew back up to over her shoulder, “I'll be at the bar,” and she walked out.
Crab waved as he looked back at his monitor, “Yeah, I'll need this.”
“You're sure that's all of Dr. Werner's work.”
Crab sighed, “Well, the only bit of it that matters anymore, yeah.”
“Then I'll give her the good news. We need people like her here.”
“Sledge does,” Crab was reading the document on his screen, “He never got any doctorates. Werner did, before ADVENT shut down the private universities.”
Central turned to leave, “Tell me what you find when you find it.”
“Yeah, yeah.”
The makeshift officer's quarters were not fully furbished yet. They had not found a fully intact stationary or a working bulb lamp, for one thing. But that did not mean Central could not use it. No one on this ship was a prude, after all. As he walked in, he saw a notification on his workstation. It was from an encrypted channel, from somewhere out in the South Pacific, and it had been up there for at least ten minutes.
Central cleared his throat before he answered it. Because it was Mr. Osterman.
No video, only voice. The picture on screen was that of the XCOM insignia. Osterman's rough voice came through, “Central.”
He nodded, even though they could not see each other, “Sir.”
“I have gotten word of Novgorod. Not bad work, but we could have done better.”
“I know. But our effective window was about to close, and we had everything in place.”
“Was she there?”
Central paused, “No. No, Grey Devil's info was wrong. He's, uh, tied up that loose end.”
Silence hung in the air. (
“Alright. Now that the resistance knows XCOM is back, I have a new mission for you.”
A multitude of images, most of some building, others of gene therapy patients, came onto the screen.
“Who you're seeing now are the moles I sent to ADVENT in the past few months. The hope was for them to undergo the therapy that results in ADVENT's human-alien hybrid soldiers and for them to retain enough of their former selves to act on our behalf. This, did not work.”
“My apologies, Sir.”
“They volunteered, Choco. Maybe not the best interview process. But I don't think they failed because of faulty bugs,” the images of the building, garbled and sketchy, were enlarged on the screen, “I sent Chimp in to do some reconnaissance. These were the best pictures she had.”
“Goddammit, Chimp,” Choco muttered, squinting at the images, “What are we looking at here, Sir?”
“We are looking at the common endpoint of where my volunteers went. All of them ended up here, at this blacksite.”
“So,” Central leaned back, “You want us to go and raid this place?”
“It is not that simple. I know you have resistance contacts in the New Arctic. This site is in East Asia, somewhere in the undeveloped part of Honshu.”
Central nodded, “You want us to find the resistance pocket in that area, I suppose.”
“Yes. Chimp is, as you know, not all there. She never was. The resistance in East Asia would be able to tell you exactly where this blacksite is and how to get there.”
“We're still setting up shop here, Sir,” Central sighed and looked around, “I'll need time to build up our operational capacity.”
A pause, “You have a month, Central.”
Choco's eyes got wide, “Wait, no, that's not-”
“I don't know what's going on at that damned place, but I want you to shut it down. And fast. You have a month.”
“This isn't like you. Sir.”
“If what I know about ADVENT is right, then we don't have a lot of time.”
“We get things done right,” he was yelling now, “Or we die!”
“You must get this done soon, Central. This is not up for discussion. We are under duress.”
He sat back in his seat and just stared at the screen for a moment. Then he put a hand to his forehead.
“Vigilo Confido.”
He sighed, “Vigilo Confido.”
The line went dead, and his workstation went back to its desktop.
Choco shook his head, “God-fucking-dammit.”

[Whatever's there can't bode well for anyone in XCOM, and they'll find out what it is sooner rather than later. If you want the possibility of going into that blacksite later on, you can submit a soldier following the form on the second post! The next update will drop between Saturday morning and Sunday night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 13, 2016, 01:37:16 PM
10 March, 2038
Guerilla Tactics School, Avenger

The newly-minted Guerilla Tactics School was an embellishment of a small room filled with training equipment, mats, and one wall covered by a whiteboard. Richter stood at one end of the room, opposite the door, with her hands crossed and a bored look on her face. Across from her, considerably closer to the door, were their three new recruits. While Alette stood at attention and Dr. Thomas desperately tried to look everywhere except at their drill sergeant, Viking was standing there, fists clenched, staring at Richter. For her part, Artemis was leaning against one of the side walls. She had a very specific job today, while she wasn't cleaning and maintaining the Skyranger. Richter was to train one of these guys, a process she was not at all familiar with but could guess the details of.
Because her job was to make sure she didn't kill any of them.
Richter looked from one to another, silently sizing them up, and then pointed at the hairy man, “You. Get up here.”
Dr. Thomas looked at him as Viking came forward.
When he got up to her she said, “Okay, turn to face them. You're gonna help me prove a point.”
Artemis looked up at this.
“Uh, alright,” Viking turned, a smile forming on his face, “You teaching me how to wrestle down aliens?”
The joke hung there for a long moment.
Richter suddenly burst into laughter, putting both hands on Viking's shoulders. Dr. Thomas joined in, elbowing Alette, who remained silent. Viking was grinning, probably thought he knew what he could expect out of their teacher, right up until one arm was around his neck and the other around his forehead, and all laughing ceased.
Artemis stood up, reaching for the taser at her hip.
“I could break your neck in four places right now,” the older woman faux whispered, “And I know damn well there are things out there that'll do much worse. So, coglione, you wanna make fun of me again?”
Viking's eyes were darting around, “No ma'am.”
Artemis had drawn her taser. She saw Richter noticed. The hate had never left her eyes. Not for one second. Not even when she had been at the old base or had been drunk or had been asleep (according to Crab). And right now that anger was flared up. The taser sent the message, though.
Richter chuckled, letting Viking go and slapping him on the back, “This capretto! I like you!” she waved at the other two, “You can leave!”
Dr. Thomas and Alette looked at each other as Viking gave a very specific kind of laugh (
Makeshift Firing Range, Somewhere in the New Arctic

“Alright, Kamo, almost got it.”
She was watching skullhead and Sledge messing with his gun on a table not too far away. The targets had been taking a relatively major beating today, which was a good sign. Red was still waiting for anatomically correct dummies for sword practice, but Moop and Macho didn't mind what they already had. Even though she was hitting far more often than he was.
Kamo hadn't gotten any shots in yet, though. The Engineering Head had come out with a mallet and something wiry and black. He had been smashing the thing into Kamo's cannon for a while now, though she only heard it whenever she wasn't shooting. Moop was putting in another clip when Sledge said this.
A few bangs later, and he wiped his forehead, “Should do it.”
“Finally, it's quiet,” and Macho fired his rifle again, skirting the top of his target.
“You need to compensate for recoil, kid,” Red came over.
“Ah, to hell with this,” Macho threw the rifle down and began advancing on his target, drawing his revolver and laying down a full six shots as Red shook his head.
Kamo and Sledge watched him do this, and then skullface hefted up his cannon, walked over to a fresh target, looked up at the sky, and fired a burst.
There were ten shots in that burst. And two dents in the target.
Red stared at the gun, “I turned that in.”
“Yeah, you're lucky the guy you pawed it from didn't get any shots off,” Sledge came over, nodding, “That stock makes sure the first few rounds land where you're aiming. After that, it's a crap-shoot.”
“Ah-huh,” Red looked over at Macho, who was reloading his revolver.
“That looks and sounds impracticable,” Moop sighted her target again, “I like it.”
Kamo fired again, his target becoming nothing more than a dented mess. He looked over at Sledge and nodded.
Macho was firing between words, “Why, can't, I, keep, hitting, this?!”
12 March, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

Crab was a little pale when he came into Central's office. That was never good. The guy was able to stomach seeing the inner workings of people and playing around with them, everything he had seen and done in the War, and what the aliens had done to themselves and ADVENT. Pale was not a good color for Crab. It meant something far worse than what he usually contemplated doing.
“So, yeah,” he looked down at the chip as he fiddled with it, “I sorta wish your bullet ripped through this thing when you shot him.”
“Why's that?”
Crab looked up, “He might've thanked you for it. This thing was feeding a lot of data into his noggin from the greater ADVENT network.”
“Anything we can use?”
“No, it fragmented when you killed him. But what I could figure out . . . well, it's a fucking combat simulator.”
Central looked at the chip, “The hell?”
Crab nodded, “Yeah, so I did a background check on this guy. Way back in 2017, he was tapped to head up Norway's XCOM division. Not really important enough to, you know, go to a certain meeting,” Central glared at him, “But he was a pretty high-ranking military guy. Knew his shit. They've been using him and probably others like him to augment ADVENT's tactical skills. Like, in the field.”
“Well, we already knew they used mind control,” Central crossed his arms and looked back at the chip, “What's the next step here, Grey Devil?”
His color returned and he grinned, “I get to cut open an officer.”
“Yeah, hold off on that, you're on collab duty with Sledge. We need to get into contact with resistance pockets in Japan, and we have a month to do it.”
The color faded again, “A month. A fucking month.”
A shrill chime came from Central's workstation, and they turned to see it was Mr. Osterman calling.
Crab reached over and answered, “Hey man, what the fuck gives?! A month, are you crazy?!”
A pause, “Nice to hear you again. And perhaps.”
“Sure as shit sound like you've gone-”
“Grey Devil, this is urgent for Central.”
Crab looked over at Choco, who nodded, and he scoffed at the blank screen, “You're gonna get us all killed,” and he walked out of the room.
After a moment, “This is Central. Grey Devil is gone.”
“Good. I have a task for you.”

[A bit more downtime before the next fight, and a bit more stuff figured out. If you want to be a part of future fighting opportunities given by poorly-lit-bald-men, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post! Next update is coming tomorrow night sometime!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 14, 2016, 04:01:25 PM
12 March, 2038
ADVENT Patrol Zone, Beijing

The ride on the Skyranger had been noticeably shorter this go around. ( Red had been slapped right back into the fight with Moop and Kamo, and, from what he'd seen, their most misassigned operative, Daniel Macho. The kid had to be reminded to take the scope cover off his rifle as they touched down, and he just left it out in the street. He had taken notably better care of his revolver, which he brandished as they came to the target building like some kind of pre-War cop. Red sighed and followed him, keeping his shotgun out but not pointed at anything.
Macho slid up to the side of the front door, “Ma'am, this is XCOM! We're here to-”
A silver-haired woman busted through the door, almost smacking it into the sharpshooter's face.
He and Red followed after her, “Ma'am!”
Fire erupted from every window and doorway of the building behind them, showering the whole block with shattered glass and flaming debris. The smoke melded into the night sky, but the structure was a beacon ablaze in orange.
“The hell was that?!” Moop came running up as Kamo kept an eye out.
“They cut my gas line,” the woman was catching her breath, “They didn't count on my modded habitation-monitoring system.”
Red turned his head from the building and down at her, “Doctor Moreau?”
She looked up at him and nodded as she stood, “XCOM?”
Red nodded, “Yup. Moop, get Firebrand on the radio, we have the doctor.”
Moop put a hand to her ear and started relaying coordinates, ghosted by her GREMLIN.
“Coulda warned us, lady,” Macho wiped his brow with his gun arm.
“Well, if you noticed, I didn't have the time.”
“It's 9:23.”
“Guys,” Moop called out, “Firebrand has an evac point about a block away. She also says there's a bunch of ADVENT patrols rushing here to see what the fuss is about.”
“Well, not our fault,” Macho shrugged.
“Okay, good. Where are we headed?”
Moop pointed to a tall office building, “The roof of that place.”
“Doctor, keep your head down,” and now Red brought his shotgun up, “Everyone follow me.”
The group carefully advanced down the street, the streetlights making it hard to see in the darkness all around them. After only a few paces, he saw a trooper and an officer scuttling for cover.
“Contact!” he ran for his own as everyone else ran up.
Macho brought out his revolver again and nicked the trooper as he got up to a truck, laughing like a madman. Red did not hear much of this before his vision was filled with the fire of a grenade, and as he and Moop stood up to return fire, his aim went wild. He still heard ADVENT screams, and then yells. He shook his head and ran up to the officer, reaching for his sword. There was no time for the goon to react and he took its left arm off clean at the shoulder.
He looked around for more ADVENT as everyone else ran for the building behind him.  ( It was not long before Kamo's cannon went off, and he turned to see a trooper and a Sectoid slinking in behind some monuments. He dashed in and swung his sword again, meaning to take the trooper's head off. Instead, the goon ducked, and his blade got stuck in alien marble. Red was trying to yank it out when the trooper stood back up to fire, and was gunned down in a hail of bullets for his trouble. A rasping hiss came, though, and the Sectoid brought the guy back to his feet.
“Sonuva-” he climbed up onto the platform the statue ahead was on, ran around the corner, and, while the pink monster was otherwise occupied, made a nice neat incision down the length of its body. As it fell, the zombie vomited up blood and then crumpled to the ground.
He came from round the corner, covered in green-orange goo, and sheathed his sword, “Everyone alive?”
“More or less,” Moop was reloading.
“Then get a move on!” he ran to the front door of the building.
As everyone followed, Macho grabbed Moreau's arm, “C'mon, Doc. We're gettin' outta here.”
She yanked her arm back, “I know how to run.”
Red looked up and saw a terrace leading to the roof, “Any ideas?”
Kamo immediately started shimmying up the pipes next to the door.
Red shrugged, “That works,” and followed, finding a ladder up to the roof proper. Once up, he saw more pink and black running into the ground floor ahead, “They're in the building!”
He took out his shotgun, not really good for the range he was firing from, but good enough. The window was just at the right angle, and with a blast, he brought down the trooper with a single shot.
“Get up there, Doc!” Macho practically pushed Moreau up the pipes and then followed Moop inside, “What've we got?”
“Not sure,” Moop knelt behind a table, looked over it, “Sectoid, at least.”
Macho looked around the corner as purple energy snaked around it and over his head. He grimaced and snap-shot at the thing, falling to the floor and clutching the sides of his skull, letting out a roar of pain and confusion.
Red heard the screaming and moved ahead, “Moop, tell me where it is.”
“I, uh,” she was trying to get the words out, “I think he's in a lobby, behind a tab-”
Buckshot pellets rained down from the roof, pelting the table in front of the Sectoid into bits. It hissed up at him just before more bullets came in from the balcony behind her, and the alien ran to the right, jumping through a window.
“Got you now,” she dashed out as Macho got control again, seeing the dead trooper get onto his feet. Moop couldn't see that, she was too busy running up to the Sectoid and firing a whole burst into its face at point blank range (
Macho ran up to the recently twice-deceased ADVENT and poked at it with his rifle, “Sore loser, ain't-” he saw a black bit of gear attached to the trooper's rifle. He looked around and then pried it loose with a crack.
“If you're done looting,” Red yelled into his comms, “Get the fuck up here so we can get the good doctor out of this damn city!”
“Yeah, yeah,” Macho ran up the stairs, not really assuaged by the minor twitch he saw on the body.
Red shook his head, “Don't suppose you can tell us what you were working on.”
Moreau looked up at the approaching Skyranger, “Not while we're here. ADVENT bugs all their cities. I'm not sure I even got all of them out of my clothes.”
“Well then,” he saw Macho catch up as the dropcords fell, “Grab on tight.”
Once they were up and the ramp was closing, Red caught a glimpse of the city below. Beijing was alight in flashing red lights, all moving towards their little gunfight. He looked back at the rest of the squad, saw no injuries, and finally sat down, letting out a breath of relief.

[Operation Outer Star is off without a hitch! If you want to pull off feats of bravery/stupidity like these guys, you can submit a soldier following the form on the second post! Next update will arrive tomorrow night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 15, 2016, 03:48:06 PM
12 March, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

“So you're telling me,” Macho was walking next to Dr. Moreau, “That they aren't human.”
“Yes, at least not anymore,” Moreau looked over at Red, “Please tell me he's the exception around here.”
He shook his head, “God, I hope so.”
Central could hear this from the door further into the ship. He did not mind it, after all, he had done and said similar things when Bradford cussed him out. Everyone had. That was a tradition he was not going to continue around here. (
Crab was right behind him, and lit up when he saw the doctor, “Hey, new blood!”
Moreau stopped, and Kamo bumped past her, “What did he say?”
“He says he likes you,” Moop shook her head, “I think. He's your new boss.”
She looked again at the ragged man with crazy eyes and a robotic leg and brought a hand to her face.
Central came over, “He's a bit strange, and not entirely reliable, but he's who we've got.”
“Clearly not your first choice.”
“You'd be surprised, Doctor!” Crab waved her ahead as Kamo and Macho passed him, “We got telemetry work to do!”
Moreau sighed as she started forward again, glancing at Central, “You're trying to get a radio network up?”
“Yeah. I assume that's why Mr. Osterman sent us after you.”
“Ah, ce cretin. I knew my time in the city was short after he contacted me.”
“Well, he did, and you're out,” they walked onto the bridge, “And you'll be doing good work.”
Moreau looked up and saw the hologlobe hovering over a central table. He smiled. It must have looked rather professional.
She turned her attention at an empty console, “Is that my workstation?”
“For now. After we get our network up and running, you'll be helping Grey Devil any way you can.”
“I assume you mean the one-legged man.”
“I do.”
She sighed, “Alright, but I will not enjoy it,” she walked over to the console and looked at the display for a moment, “Are these your contacts?”
Central came over and nodded, “Yup. Several resistance havens and our headquarters. I think it's actually Kamo's bunker. He's letting us rent it out. Or not, he doesn't talk.”
“If I hadn't seen your men in the field, I'd be extremely worried,” she looked up at him, “Now I'm just frightened for us.”
Central crossed his arms and left for his quarters, “We'll pull through. Got some veterans on our side, our recruits seem to be doing just fine,” he was halfway up the stairs when he looked back down and smiled, “And we know what we're doing.”
“No,” she shook her head as she took her seat, “Not really. You're an insect battling a monster.”
“I'm used to that,” he started up again, “People surprise you, remember that.”
And, as he got into his office and sat down in front of his workstation, Central's smile died and he hung his head. It took him several minutes before he sent the report to Mr. Osterman. Then he just stared at the screen, filled by XCOM's badge.
“Come on, surprise me again, dude.”

[A nice boost to XCOM's research, and a spotless mission. If you want to help kidnap rescue more scientists like Dr. Moreau, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post! The next update will arrive next Monday night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Nuunsa on August 19, 2016, 06:23:26 PM
Recruitment Form:

Name, Nationality (Gender)
Siegfried Minamoto, Canadian, Male

Race, Hair Style and Color, Facial Hair, Scars
Half Asian Half European, Short Blond Hair, Very light beard and mustache (to the point where people make fun of him for trying to grow it, but dangit, it makes him feel more manly), No physical scars

Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color
Red and White Color scheme (like the Canadian flag)

Gear, Props, and the like
Basic Combat Rifle, Infantry soldier, Very new to the battlefield but heart of a hero.  Very inexperienced (never seen combat before) but read about all sorts of combat styles and history.  Big war history buff, studied all the major recorded battles and generals and memorized their leadership tactics.  Feels a very strong sense of pride in his home country (Canada) because it accepted him when he needed a home (parents had to flee to Canada, you can make up a reason why they settled there).  

Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)
June 30th, 2020.  

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 22, 2016, 02:48:18 PM
16 March, 2038
Avenger Landing Site, Somewhere in the New Arctic

Crab stared out to the west, in what he hoped was the right direction, with a mug of Irish coffee in hand. The wind was blowing pretty strong, but he just stood there, sipping the mug, as the morning went on. He did not move as the sun rose. Or when the ramp came back down. Or when Choco came walking out and stood beside him. He looked at the horizon Crab had been staring down for hours now.
After a while, “Had me worried until I remembered.”
“But you did,” he took another sip.
“Got more of that?”
“Not your brand, Choco.”
A pause, “Alright.”
They stood staring for a while.
“How long are-”
“Till the sun goes down.”
“What about-”
“Dr. Moreau took the day off from her island on the bridge. I made her vacation in my neck of the ship.”
Crab took another sip, then pointed towards the seemingly endless expanse, “You know, I looked it up a few weeks ago. Outta curiosity.”
“ADVENT built one of those goddamn gene therapy jobs there. Piss poor replacement for that statue.”
Choco crossed his arms, “I always figured you missed them.”
Crab shook his head, “This is about respect. Something the aliens never had but always wanted out of us.”
Choco smiled, “Like Bradford?”
“Hey, don't bring him into this. He's dead.”
“So are they.”
Crab spit, “Least they died fighting.”
A few moments, and Choco nodded, “I'll leave you to it then.”
Crab scoffed, “You always do, dude.”
17 March, 2038
Guerrilla Tactics School, Avenger

“So, she just left you here to do situps.”
“No goddamn idea when she'll be back.”
“Huh,” Moop looked up at Elmo, “Any ideas?”
He shrugged, “Elmo only know her for a couple months. Not really like her.”
The two of them and Alette were in the G.T.S., the latter on a mat between them doing situps at a steady pace. Elmo still had a wrapping around his torso, though his limp had gotten much better in the last few days.
“Well,” Moop grunted and knelt beside Alette, “She say where she was going?”
“The engine room.”
Moop sighed, “Okay, so either she's giving you some free time, or she's seeing to getting you linked up.”
Alette paused and looked up at Moop, “'Linked up?'”
“She got a drone,” Elmo went over to the whiteboard and started erasing Italian swears, “Follows her around, does things.”
“Oh? What things?”
Elmo shivered just a little, “Creeps.”
After a moment, Moop stood up, “Remote hacking, apparently. It also can project a quick, small distortion field around somebody. Sledge calls it a GREMLIN, whatever that's supposed to stand for.”
Elmo started to draw the drone on the whiteboard, “Moop told Elmo it links with the mind. Lets you know where it is, and the other way around.”
“Catch is I only feel alone when it's off,” Moop went over to Elmo, “Keeps chattering numbers in the back of my head.”
Alette kept doing situps, “Charmant.”
“That doesn't look anything like it.”
Elmo looked at her with a raised eyebrow, “Elmo doesn't lie.”
“It's shooting lasers out of its eyes at a city. Which is the same size.”
He looked back at it, then nodded, “Seems right to Elmo.”
21 March, 2038
Bridge, Avenger

After two decades, one would think all of humanity would have been flocking to the new city centers. They had clean streets, almost zero crime, and the only non-tofu burgers left on the planet. The latter was kind of a big deal, considering what had happened over Natal. And most people had emigrated, but not everyone. There were folks just as stubborn and resentful as himself living out there in the wild, and they had built ramshackle villages. Most of them were havens for the larger resistance movement that had been brewing for years now, and Mr. Osterman had gotten him into contact with several. New Terra Hills was the biggest and most developed here in the New Arctic, and it was pretty standard to contact them once a week to see how things were going. The last time Central had talked with Den Mother, their water purification system was being installed. This time, it was to confirm the lack of ADVENT sweeps since XCOM started up again.
Instead, she was talking about her kids.
“Sosha's getting really excited every time we hear another broadcast. Of course, she doesn't understand a word of Russian, but I think Larry's picking some up.”
Central had a hand to his forehead, “Den Mother, I'm glad they're doing fine.”
The older woman scowled on the screen and crossed her arms, “And you fight for us.”
“Yes, Den Mother,” Central lowered his hand and sighed, “But this is business. Are things quiet?”
“Well, if you noticed, I haven't said ADVENT once in ten minutes,” her smile came back, “Things are very quiet. No patrols, no gunshots, nothing.”
“And how's the purification system?”
“Working fine. Everything is good here. We got a few more refugees just last night, so we're growing, too. In fact, one of them-”
“Sir,” Central turned to Dr. Moreau, “There's a global transmission going out.”
Moreau nodded, “Strong enough for anything with a screen to get it. It's a GAN signature.”
He knew what this was. The Global ADVENT Network rarely broadcast this strong globally. Usually, they had continental reach, and would relay through their tower network. They only truly did a simultaneous global transmission for Unification Day, to “save energy.” Which was bullshit. They had Elerium, they could do whatever they wanted energy-wise.
He turned back to the screen, “Hold that thought, Den Mother,” he minimized her window, “Patch this through, doctor.”
After a moment, the familiar red-and-gold GAN backdrop appeared, the Speaker at a podium in front of it. For fifteen years this Thin Man had been preaching the gospel of the aliens and ADVENT. There was nothing really to hide, as far as Central knew. His tone was smooth, slightly condescending, and all-around pleasant. Most people thought he was a former patient at a gene clinic, what with his neck scales. Everyone on this ship knew better. (
“Fellow citizens, for twenty years, the ADVENT Coalition has worked tirelessly to repair the ravages and injustices of the old world.”
Yeah, yeah, get to the point. What are you planning?
“But, there are still those who would refuse to acknowledge the truth.”
Something clicked, then. Something primal and gut-wrenching. There was anger in the Speaker's words, and they broke through into his voice. That had not happened before.
“Doctor! Send an evacuation notice to the havens!” he was frantically trying to get Den Mother back onto his screen. Everything was touch now, and his fingers could not quite do what he knew they had to.
“That, must, end.
“Den Mother!”
“Avenger, reading you. Something's spooking the-”
“. . . to end this scourge, once and for all.
“You're breaking up-”
“We'll ensure your continued safety and well-being throughout this crisis.”
There was an explosion, and then static.
“GOD DAMNIT!” Central whipped around to the rest of the bridge crew, “Get this fucking thing over there! They don't have a lot of time!”
The Avenger lurched as he marched down to the barracks to rouse everyone. His comms screamed up. It was Crab.
“The hell we do that for? You damn-near upturned the body-”
“Grey Devil,” he was banging on each door he passed by, “Not now. They're killing civilians.”
A pause, “What, again? They sweep 'em all the time! Not really our job to save 'em every-”
“This isn't a sweep. It's a purge.”

[Something this heinous can't go unpunished. If you want to get into the fight, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. XCOM's first Retaliation Mission drops tomorrow afternoon.]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on August 22, 2016, 08:37:48 PM
Story is coming along nicely!

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 23, 2016, 11:35:34 AM
21 March, 2038
New Terra Hills, New Arctic

He had heard of terror attacks back in the War of Terran Aggression, though he had never been near one. ( Firebrand was looking for a good drop point, close enough to the village to be worth a damn but not close enough to get shot at immediately. Elmo looked at the image they had been given on the hologram. It was the last one sent by New Terra Hills' radio array, and most of everything was on fire. Moop was staring at it too, her face filled with worry, and Kamo could not pry himself from it, either. Probably for a very different reason. Red had glanced at the picture only a few times since they took off. He was too busy sizing up Viking.
“Did Richter break you?”
“. . . What?”
Moop looked over.
“Did she break you?”
“Uh, she bent me, I guess.”
Kamo elbowed Viking. Hard.
“The hell was that-”
“Are you gonna freak out as soon as we get shot at?”
Viking looked around, “Fuck no! I've been shot at my whole life!”
Everyone stared at him.
“Okay, for five years! One?” he sighed, “No, I didn't break, but I didn't need to be!”
Kamo shook his skull head and brought down his grenade launcher.
“Guys,” Firebrand came over the intercom, “Once I hit the light, you gotta get out quick. I can't stick around. ADVENT's still got some fliers in the area.”
Red groaned and stood up, “Can you at least handle that sword?”
Viking got up, patting the sheath on his back, “This thing? I've swung heavier crap faster.”
The light turned red.
“Guess we'll hold you to that,” Moop switched her GREMLIN on and got her rifle out.
“Elmo hopes you aren't full of shit.”
“Okay,” he turned around at them as the ramp was coming down, the setting sunlight streaming in with some ash and snow, “First off, you'll fucking see. Second off, Richter isn't that bad once-”
Kamo smacked Viking off the ramp with the butt of his cannon, and the newly-minted soldier fell five feet to the earth, soon followed by everyone else as he stood up. He pushed his face at Kamo, snarling a little.
Elmo pulled him back, “Let it go. Elmo doesn't want teamkills.”
Viking threw Elmo's arm off, stepping back, “Whatever. I'm good.”
As the Skyranger flew away, Elmo could see that they were across a small, frozen river from the haven. And, just like the hologram had shown, everything was on fire. What the image had not gotten across, however, was the amount of gunfire. Even on the outskirts, it was plentiful and loud.
“Okay, first order of business: we save the civilians. Second order of-”
Red grimaced, “Move!”
Elmo followed the rest of the squad as Viking put his back to some stacked crates, seeing the Sectoid he had called out. There was a trooper running up, his rifle raised, as Red ran past, slicing off the goon's shooting arm, causing him to fall screaming to the ground. Kamo and Elmo were quick on shooting the Sectoid, which darted to cover as now-familiar purple energy began to flow into the dead ADVENT.
However, almost as soon as Elmo noticed this, it ceased, and he saw Viking sheathing his blade as the Sectoid fell to the ground, nearly cut in half down the middle.
“Well I'll be damned,” Red looked back at Moop, “I guess Richter didn't break him.”
She moved up, keeping her eyes on Viking as he started to laugh, “I wouldn't say that just yet.”
“Holy shit!”
Elmo looked and saw a blond-haired kid standing in the open, gaping at the carnage. He ran up to him, “Elmo thinks you should get out of here.”
The kid looked at him, a desperate earnestness in his eyes, “Fuck no! Gimme a gun!”
Elmo pushed him behind a nearby rock, “Stay down or run. Elmo don't care.”
The kid shook his head as he got on one knee, “Aw man! I just got here!” He let out a breath and looked up at the one-eyed man, “Please tell me you're XCOM.”
Elmo nodded, bringing out his pistol, “Elmo's XCOM, yeah. Git!” He ran up, saw two troopers, shot one in the face, and got behind a tree, “Elmo has contact!”
Moop moved up with the rest, pushing a panicking woman behind her, “Get the hell-” and magnetically-propelled slugs slammed into her right shoulder, pushing her into the snow behind some rocks. Her GREMLIN let out a few concerned hums before she picked herself up, coughed out some powder, and looked at it.
Somewhere, a car exploded. (
“Can you,” she grabbed her wound as she let out another cough, “Get that, please?”
Her GREMLIN lowered itself and sprayed a dose of medkit mist around her as Elmo ran up, a primed grenade leaving his hand. It landed behind the grunt that shot her, showering him with bits of metal and fire.
As Red and Kamo moved past her, Red stopped for a moment, “Are you alright?”
“Will be,” Moop picked her rifle up, “We're moving forward, yeah?”
Red nodded and Moop followed, letting out another cough.
“More up here!” Viking called back with a wild grin. Almost immediately, Kamo launched a flashbang, and before the alien and the ADVENT could even hear again, the latter got a round of buckshot square in the head, falling over like a plank of wood.
“Hell yeah!” Viking pumped his gun harder than he needed to.
Plasma bolts started coming his way, and one hit the van he was behind, igniting its fuel.
Red saw this, “Kid! Get the fuh. . .”
Moop saw it too, lumbering out of a motor-home, twelve feet tall and made of rippled gum. And it was staring straight at Red.
“Fuh. . . fuh . . .” it took him a minute to realize it was charging for him, and he got off a shot before a claw swipe sent him spiraling to the ground.
Moop was screaming, pelting the thing with bullets right up until it groaned and fell over in a heap, Viking smeared with alien blood behind it.
Kamo saw none of this; he was fixated on the Sectoid he was firing at. But Elmo did, not even flinching as the nearby van blew up.
Red was coughing up blood, struggling to get to his feet, and looked up at the younger man.
Viking swung around back at the Sectoid ahead and, with a mighty yell, he ran up and decapitated it just as it started more psionic mischief.
The gunshots in the distance were fading, more conventional than ADVENT, as Elmo felt a hand on his shoulder. He whipped around and saw the blond kid again. They just stared at each other for a moment.
“Yeah, you're XCOM.”
Elmo looked back, “Elmo and friends' badges aren't a clue?”
The kid blinked, “What?”
Elmo swallowed, “You looking for us?”
“You're damn right.”
Farther up, Red was sitting with his back to a tin wall, pulling out a cigar as Moop's GREMLIN spent its second and last medkit dose on his claw wounds. He croaked out, “So, verdict?”
Viking was strolling up, sheathing his sword.
Kamo stared at him, reloading his cannon.
Moop glanced at Viking, nodded, and looked back at Red, “She broke him.”
“No shame in that,” Red took a drag, “Broken folk tend to break others.”
Viking looked back at the hellscape, “Is that all of 'em?”
“Probably,” Moop helped Red to his feet as she put her free hand to her ear, “Firebrand?”
“They're pulling out. Central's telling me it looks like half of the civilians survived this.”
“Would've been none of 'em if we hadn't shown up,” Moop was helping Red walk, “We're clear, if you wanna know.”
“I'll come around.”
Elmo looked back at the kid, “You sure you want to be a part of this?”
Elmo let out a breath, motioned him to follow, and went up to the rest of the squad. For the first time in a long time, he'd felt like he'd done good work. And this brat had ruined it.

[Everything's a give and take, though it seems like most of the haven was saved. If you want to be like this kid and join up with XCOM, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. The gang returns to base tomorrow night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on August 24, 2016, 05:54:45 AM

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 24, 2016, 02:54:45 PM
21 March, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

“C'mon, old man,” Moop grunted, almost shuffling now. She had no good explanation to herself why she was supporting Red with her wounded shoulder. It was the second-worst decision she had made today. The first being dragged by adrenaline onto the Skyranger to begin with.
Viking and Kamo were just walking off like best buddies, and Elmo was talking to some kid he'd met on-site. Still, she could have used some help.
She got over to the stretcher they kept by the landing pad, “Okay, here we go.”
Every step was a cascade of groans and bloody coughs for Red. She knew he wanted to say something, but his body would not let him. Still, he had enough control to make Moop's attempt at softly putting him on the stretcher half-work out. The thing rolled a bit forward when he got on, almost sending her to the floor. Her GREMLIN, of all things, tried to catch her, but she managed to keep her balance.
“Yeah, don't mind me! I'm just tryin' to help the mauled guy!” she started pushing the stretcher when Firebrand finally came over, “The hell've you been?”
She shook her head, “Telling Mr. Jones that I can't induct that Minamoto kid. He's gotta take him to Central.”
“Oh for fuck's-why can't he wait?!
“The kid can't, apparently,” she glanced at the sorta-grizzled-looking blonde, “Figures. He's Canadian.”


Elmo saw the two leave with Red. ( He hoped he would pull through fine, though at the moment he had bigger gators to grill.
“No. Elmo asked.”
“Hey, I'm not going anywhere until you get me a badge,” Siegfried crossed his arms, “It wouldn't be right.”
Elmo sighed, “You don't need no stinking badge,” he spat on the ground to his right, “Elmo can't vouch for everyone, but this ship ain't sacred.”
“'Ain't sac-'you guys are literally the only ones fighting ADVENT!
They turned and saw Crab coming up to them, waving.
“You the one in charge here?”
He sized the kid up, “That depends. Do you have a doctorate in anything?”
Siegfried looked at Elmo, who turned his head away, “Uh, no?”
“Then I'm just the guy who figures shit out,” he held out a hand, “Grey Devil.”
He shook, “Siegfried Minamoto.”
Crab tilted his head and gave a small grin, “You an organ donor, Sieg?”
“Get away from him,” another, older man came calmly into the bay, “I'm Central, kid. I'm the one that runs this ship.”
“Okay, good,” he walked up to Central and did a salute so stiff that it was almost corpse-like, “Siegfried Minamoto, Militia of Burger Lake, Canada, sir!”
“Uh,” Central looked to Crab and Elmo, the former shrugging, “Okay then. What's your business here?”
“If it would be alright, sir, I want to join XCOM-”
“Yeah,” Central rummaged through his pockets and brought out a lint-covered XCOM badge, “Here you go, sew it on your armor. I think we got a spare somewhere around here.”
Siegfried took the badge and stared at it, his mouth hanging open a little.
“Jones,” Central spoke over the lowered head of the boy, “Where's Red?”
“Elmo thinks Moop took him to the infirmary. He got fucked up pretty bad.”
“Viking told me what rushed him, but he wasn't all that descriptive,” Central turned around and started walking away, “Still, never seen anything like it.”
Central looked over his shoulder but did not stop.
Siegfried looked up, “Permission to accompany you, sir.”
“We're not an actual military outfit anymore, Siegfried. Outside my deployment orders, you do what you want.”
Siegfried looked back at Crab and Elmo, the latter nodding, and he followed Central out.
“Man,” Crab walked over to the Skyranger, “Haven't met anyone that stuck up in a long time.”
“Elmo wonders who they was.”
Crab began rifling through the Skyranger's storage bay, underneath the seats, “He shot himself before ADVENT could get to him. Fucking prick.”

[XCOM's got a new soldier, and an older one got busted up pretty badly. If you, too, want an XCOM badge, or are just masochistic enough to want to be mauled by an alien gum monster, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post! The next update is going to arrive on Sunday afternoon!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 28, 2016, 12:52:27 PM
25 March, 2038
Avenger Engine Room/Science Lab

He sat, arms crossed, on a bench across from Crab. The guy was flitting from screen to screen, paying no mind to the corpse of an ADVENT Officer on the table between them, whose brain was plugged into a nearby socket like a laptop. Sledge kept his eyes on the body and the wires connecting it to whatever the weirdo had planned, only occasionally glancing up at him to see if Crab was ready yet. He had even looked to Central a few times, but he just held a hand up at him in response.
Like it or not, Crab was going somewhere with this. (
He clapped, back still turned to his audience, “All right! Ready for dinner?”
“I'm not eating that thing,” Sledge leaned back in his seat as Crab's wide grin greeted him, “Would be half-cannibalism.”
“Hey now, this is brain food!”
“Lay it on us, Grey Devil,” Central sighed, “What've you found?”
“Okay,” Crab put a hand on the side of the ADVENT, “So this guy here is the one ordering the other dickheads in the field, right?”
“Seems like it,” Central shifted in his seat, “Moop's told me that sometimes these guys yell something out at one of ours, and then fire's concentrated on them.”
“Yeah, well, these aren't actually officers. They're conduits.”
Sledge perked up, “Conduits?”
Crab's grin got wider, “So look here,” he went over to a screen showing an organization tree, “We got three grunts and an officer, right? The officer gives orders to these three dudes and they do what he says,” he swiped through each of the troopers, and as he did so, the body on the table briefly spasmed its left arm, as if to point ahead, “And on the ground, the officer's in charge.”
Central shrugged, “Makes sense. ADVENT's a well-oiled machine.”
Crab chuckled and looked back at them, “Yeah, they'd like us to think that. We all know they've been using some kind of mind control this whole time,” he looked at Sledge, “You get it.”
“Yeah,” Sledge was rubbing his chin, staring at the now-limp body, “Yeah, I get it.”
“What they're doing isn't actually mind control. That takes line of sight, some bit of concentration, and if the guy in charge goes, and there's no real mind left on the other side,” he popped his lips, “So do his underlings.”
Central's eyebrows rose, “That hasn't been happening with the officers in the field.”
Crab wagged a finger, “Yeah. Weird, isn't it? They're not using regular psionics here. They're using something augmented by their tech, and it's not direct mind control,” he pinched on the screen, zooming the tree out, showing the original chart as being one tendril on a massive, mostly dark, tree, “It's telepathy.”
“Psionic wifi.”
Crab turned back to them, “Yup. And they're augmenting their combat abilities with people like our late Norwegian friend.”
“Christ,” Central thought for a moment, “So if they had her-”
“They'd be a hell of a lot more effective,” he began laughing, “I kinda knew it before, but yeah. Kit's still loose.”
27 March, 2038
Soldier Living Quarters, Avenger

“So, these last three weeks. Good or bad?”
Macho, Alette, Dr. Thomas, and herself were eating lunch after their morning exercises. The two relative newcomers didn't look all that different, though Dr. Thomas gave a slight twinge of pain whenever he moved his left arm. She knew better than to ask about that. That was Ricther tomfoolery.
“They were, different.”
“Grub's better, though,” Dr. Thomas bit into a ham sandwich, “Who makes this stuff?”
“Havenfolk,” Macho wiped his hands as he put down his own sandwich, “Best food I've had for a long time. Apparently our sponsor dude gets proper livestock and shit to havens that've pledged-”
“Joined. Central's word was joined.”
“Uh, yeah, joined us. Every time we swing by one of the havens, they send us some of their work.”
“Unprocessed only,” Moop sipped her pork soup, “No ADVENT Burgers, especially.”
Alette nodded, “As it should be.”
Dr. Thomas raised an eyebrow, “I dunno, those things were awesome,” and he took another bite.
“You know they're made outta people, right?”
He shrugged, “Gene slurry, actually. Just raw materials that could theoretically make a person.”
They all stared at him, Moop dropping her spoon into her soup.
Dr. Thomas looked around, “What?”
“And you never suspected anything?”
He glanced at Alette, smiling, “As a great man once said: we're all made of star stuff.”
“You ate people, dude!”
“Eh, it's all in the past,” he finished his sandwich, “Besides, we're eating better now than we ever did, anyway. Better than what I could pull off with beans.”
Alette shook her head, “Je suis entoure par des cretins.
29 March, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

“Are you sure about this? I mean, this is Chimp we're talking about-”
“Yes. She stole this information and included it into her report. Along with drawings of bananas.”
Central sighed, “Alright, so this is legitimate. Anything else?”
“Have you made contact with the resistance in East Asia?”
“We're working on it,” he glanced and saw Sledge leaning on his doorframe, “We're on schedule. Why?”
Mr. Osterman gave a barely audible sigh, “I have received word from a Dr. Maria Sokolova. She says there is a UFO being prepped for combat near her home. She wishes to join XCOM, but only after she does her part. There is a virus ADVENT secured from her, former employer, that can delay the launch. I am sending you the coordinates.”
Central nodded, “We'll do what we can.”
Vigilo Confido.
Vigilo Confido,” he shut the link down, “What's up?”
Sledge stood up straight, “I've been breaking down the tech Crab found on and in the corpses we brought on board. And there's a project I want your go-ahead on.”
Central stood up and cricked his back, “Shoot.”
“Crab's calling the thing that attacked Red a 'Faceless.' It was apparently made of this malleable, pinkish stuff, but there are some isotopes in its tissue that were inorganic.”
Central closed the door as they headed onto the bridge, “Alright. What can these things do?”
“Crab's staff says that these things not only make the Faceless look like a human, but register as one to DNA scans. That's how it got into New Terra Hills in the first place, and there's nothing we can do to stop that,” Sledge stared at the Hologlobe for a moment and then looked back to Central, “Now, I've figured out a way to detect these isotopes, so if we scan a place we'll know they're there, but I also figured out a way to integrate them with a holographic display.”
They had reached the door to the receiving bay, and Central stopped, “So what you're saying is?”
“I'm saying I can make some kind of mimic beacon that'll trick the ADVENT network into thinking it's one of us. It wouldn't last too long, but it'll trip them up. I just need more of the isotope to jam in there.”
Central thought for a moment, then nodded, “Yeah, get on that when you can,” he opened the door, with a squad getting their gear in front of the Skyranger ahead, “Right now, we have work to do.”

[More goings on with the staff and such. If you want someone of your own to partake in culinary discussions, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post! Next update is going to drop with our squad tomorrow afternoon!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on August 29, 2016, 06:11:07 AM
Yay, new people!

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 29, 2016, 01:41:22 PM
29 March, 2038
Slums District, “Butchers Station”, Sapporo, East Asia

The hologram prominently showed an ADVENT truck, presumably the one they were hitting, but it honestly could've been any one in their fleet. ( That's not what got him anxious. While the rest didn't seem to mind it, he could tell by the way Macho was moving that he saw it too. Alette seemed to be scanning the info rather than thinking about it, and Dr. Thomas was just humming to himself. Moop was looking between them, probably to see if they were losing their nerves. The good doctor didn't seem to have any nerves at all, and Alette probably had them beaten out of her by a drill sergeant long ago. But Macho had seen it, he was sure.
Eventually, when he didn't speak up, Viking pointed at the screen, “That's not right.”
Moop looked at him, “What isn't?” then she looked back at the info, “They do psychic stuff, I think psychological restraint would be kind of a big-”
“The hell does that even mean?” Viking looked at the floor and shook his head, giving a humorless laugh, “'Psycological restraint.'”
“Willpower,” Alette nodded, “That's what that means.”
“ADVENT euphemisms,” Dr. Thomas smiled, “Takes a while to see 'em all.”
“You'd know,” he spat on the floor.
The red light came on and Firebrand came over the intercom, “All right, you spit, you get the first place I find. Your own fault.”
Viking let out a breath. Stupid. Of course they'd have a camera in here. He stood up as everyone else got their gear and the ramp opened down. Below them was an alley filled with garbage.
“Gee, thanks,” Dr. Thomas brought down his cannon from the overhead compartment.
“Hey, we're still killing aliens.”
“Yeah,” he came up, ready to hop off, “And now we get to do it with the added bonus of broken needles.”
Viking shook his head as he and the rest got off the Skyranger and into the filth. It was still early morning here in Sapporo, and the haze of the nascent sunlight was just enough to make him blink a few times.
Allons,” Alette whispered, making her way up the street with her new GREMLIN over her shoulder, “Before anyone gives us away.”
“Right idea,” Viking muttered as he followed suit, getting up to a small electrical shack next to a convenience store.
Moop came up next to him, paused, “You hear that?”
He nodded, “Yeah.”
She turned back to Macho, “Get up on that roof.”
“Tch,” Macho started shimmying up a pipe, “Yes, ma'am.”
Viking shook his head. He didn't like sneaking. (
“Hey,” Dr. Thomas softly called, “You see anything?”
“Not yet,” Viking brought up his shotgun and made for one of the cars in the lot ahead, Alette close behind. He put his back to the grill, paused, and then looked around the car. They were there. Out in the open. So close . . .
He snapped his head around when he felt a hand on his shoulder, “Wait,” she looked up, and Viking saw Macho with his rifle resting on the roof. He nodded, mouth sort of hanging open, one eye in his scope.
“On him,” Viking looked at Alette again, “Or so help me . . .”
“Yeah, yeah-”
The rifle went off, and there was ADVENT screaming. And Sectoid hissing. He grinned, and snap-fired into the general area of their targets as cannon-fire and regular bullets zipped past him from behind. A moment later, and the trooper in front was returning fire on Macho, the pink thing throwing its purple tendrils behind the target van. He couldn't have that.
He bolted out, drawing his sword, “Oh, you fukken don't!
He ran up to it, and it brought up its right arm, like it would shield the blow. That was proven a false hope as the sword sliced through the wrist-mounted device, the arm, and the head of the hairless monster. As it crumpled to the ground, Viking saw a small, yellowish ball roll out of the device. He shrugged as he sheathed his sword and a frag went off nearby, and he bent down to pick the thing up.
Across the lot, another Sectoid was shooting off random blasts of plasma, and Moop and Dr. Thomas were chasing it down.
“He's by the van!”
“I see him!”
He fired into the engine of the van, and the Sectoid darted around the other side for cover.
“Welp,” Dr. Thomas brought out his grenade launcher and loaded it up, “That thing's already totaled.”
The grenade set off the van's fuel tank, and no trace of the alien creature was left in the wake of the black cloud that erupted.
Alette looked back at the target van, and saw that Moop's bullets had blown a hole in its chassis. And right through it she could see a small box.
“Take a look, papillon.”
Viking saw the GREMLIN hum past him and into the van, coming out a moment later, heading back the way it came. He followed it to Alette, “Was it in there?”
Alette didn't answer for a moment, “There is data in here, but there's something else-”
An ADVENT drone rather loudly jetted over them, dropping a flare below Macho, right in front of the convenience store. And behind the rest of the squad.
"Guys, get into cover!"
Viking got up to Alette, at the tail-end of the car they had been at before, and looked her in the eyes. Eyes he couldn't see because of her damn sunglasses, “Something else? The fuck is it?”
“I don't know!” she looked up and saw an ADVENT troop carrier coming in for a drop, “It's an etrange application, that I do know.”
He brought his shotgun around the car and blasted the first trooper to drop, followed soon after by more gunfire from their left pelting the other trooper and her officer. Macho dropped down after the officer, who had vaulted into the store, and they heard his magnum go off.
“You go right, I got left,” and he brought out his sword again, running into the store as he heard Alette fire into the other screaming, mangled-voiced ADVENT. The officer was rather shocked to see him right up until his head left his shoulders.
Everything got quiet.
Macho stood up, “They got tough armor.”
“Nah, our guns just suck,” he brandished his sword as he picked up the head, “Hunk of metal works just fine though.”
Macho grinned, nodding for a moment. And then he noticed something, brought his rifle up, and fired. Viking looked off in that direction, seeing a new dead trooper on the ground as his officer ran towards the target van. Dr. Thomas' bullets stopped him before he got five paces.
Moop got up next to Dr. Thomas, “The hell did they come from?”
“We're in the slums, yeah,” he propped his cannon on his shoulder, “I'm surprised we ran into so many.”
Viking walked outside and saw the two of them looking at a middle-aged man across the street. His face was red, his head was mostly bald, he had a beer gut, and he was leveling a hunter's shotgun at them. It was trembling a little.
Dr. Thomas smiled, turning towards him, “Heyo!”
The fuck you do that for?! ADVENT protects us!
“I got your protection right here!” Viking lobbed the head at the guy, and it landed about five feet in front of him. He jumped back and fired at the ground, missing the head by about four feet.
The man was struggling to breathe while yelling, “I'm-I'm gonna-
“Call more?” Viking waved his free arm at the carnage in his wake, “Be our guest!”
“Okay, that's it,” Moop started walking towards the store, “I'm calling in Firebrand.”
He turned towards her, “Good! Maybe she can tell us what Alette's really got in her head!” he spit on the ground, and then went over to the freshest ADVENT corpse, “Gonna get myself a replacement.”

[Another op successfully pulled off, though probably with some lingering trust issues. If you want to participate in future missions and maybe get wierd shit in your brain, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post! The next update is coming tomorrow night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: redBadger on August 29, 2016, 01:46:47 PM
Always a good read!

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on August 30, 2016, 03:19:12 PM
29 March, 2038
Avenger Engine Room/Science Lab

Alette had burst into his room, his, room, yelling in French. It took a few minutes to calm her down, and when she had, her GREMLIN began to short-circuit. And that was when he remembered some alien tech was in the humming things, and he started working.
“This better not take long,” Alette was rubbing the area between her eyes, “I can't think droit.”
Crab said nothing for a moment. He was running a diagnostic on her drone. Then, he saw the file, “Oh shit. Yeah, that would do it.”
Alette sighed, “Please say you can fix it.”
Crab was entering some commands, and quick. He tried to remain calm, like any good doctor should, but he had not been an actual doctor for long and he let out an “eeeeehhh . . .”
She looked at him, one eye shut, “Quoi?
He hit the execute key with flourish, “Done. Got it copied over and quarantined,” he turned to her, grinning for a moment.
Her expression had not changed, “Bien pour vous. Now get this thing out of my head.”
“Oh yeah,” he got his terminal connected to her GREMLIN, “Right.”
A minute later, and the drone let out a screech and crashed to the ground with a dull thunk.
Alette sighed in relief and sat back, “Calme au dernier . . .”
“Alright, once it reboots, everything should be back to normal-”
“You tell Central,” her voice had strength now as she got back onto her feet, “Never send us to get a fichu virus again.”
“Hey, you held up pretty good there,” Crab stood up as Alette got her GREMLIN, still inert, “You had that thing in there for, what, three hours?”
Ouais, does not mean I liked it.”
Crab slapped her on the back as he went over to his autopsy table, where the remains of a Faceless lay, “Probably better than I could've done, that's for sure.”
Alette shook her head, and halfway out of his room, her GREMLIN rebooted and followed her out.
He dug into the corpse, “Gotta appreciate what you can do, you know.”
1 April, 2038
Somewhere on the Korean Peninsula, East Asia

The Skyranger was touching down in what he had been told was one of the many havens in this region. East Asia was pretty sparsely populated outside of Honsu and Seoul. To his right was Red, fresh out of what passed as the infirmary, and to his left was Kamo. Both in full gear, which, he figured, was a mixed thing. Sledge always liked showing off his work, no questions asked, but bringing the silent psychopath along was probably a bad idea. Choco had reasoned he was for show, but Sledge did not quite think that was enough to cover the fact that a skull-faced death machine was going to be the first XCOM agent these people would see. Red did not stand out, and Sledge was in his uniform. As the ramp dropped, he cleared his throat.
The small group of people gathered at the landing site included their leader, an older gentleman in a ragged business suit complete with a muddied blue tie, and two dudes with hunting rifles. Both of which immediately pointed at Kamo before any of them could take a step.
The towering Russian looked down at Sledge. Sledge nodded. He cricked his neck, strolled down the ramp, planted his cannon barrel-first into the ground, and leaned on it, looking between the armed men.
Red shot a glance at Sledge and whispered, “This wasn't a good idea.”
“Just,” Sledge swallowed something he didn't know was in his throat, “Wait.”
After a moment, one of the armed men lowered his rifle and looked at the other. That guy shook his head and aimed squarely for Kamo's noggin and fired.
The bullet glanced off of Kamo's skullface and ricocheted right back into the shooter's foot. He fell down, grunting in pain, as his buddy ran to help him away.
Sledge came down the ramp as the older man looked after his guards, “They got some fight in them, that's good.”
“No one will like this,” the older man turned back towards them, “They will skew things their way.”
“You saw it,” Red followed Sledge down, “Was his own fault.”
Sledge looked back at him, Red nodded and took a step back, and he turned to the old man, “My name is Sledge,” he thumbed towards Red, “He's Red, and my silent friend here is Casino. We're with XCOM.”
“I do not recognize either of your voices.”
“You were talking to Central. He's the guy in charge. He's, uh, overseeing preparations for an op we have to do in your territory.”
“Our 'territory?'”
Sledge shrugged, “Generally speaking. It's across the Sea of Japan.”
The old man's eyes widened, “Oh. Oh, you're talking about the factory.”
Sledge nodded, “Yessir. We had a scout in that area about a month ago, but she kind of lost track of herself. We don't know what kind of air defenses they have, or even precisely where they are. We were hoping you could tell us.”
“You understand what this will bring,” the old man took a couple steps forward, “You could call ADVENT down right on top of us. I heard what happened in New Terra Hills.”
“Then you know we will offer what aide we can if they do hit you here,” he looked back at Kamo and Red, nodded, and smiled at the old man, “Both of these guys helped them out. They can give you the details if you want.”
The old man looked between the two battle-dressed men, and then nodded, “Then we will give you what you need. You and, Red, follow me,” he pointed at Kamo, “He stays here.”
Sledge nodded, and turned to Kamo, “You're on guard duty, I guess.”
Kamo let out a silent breath, picked his cannon back up, and walked back into the Skyranger.
He turned back, “Welcome to XCOM.”
5 April, 2038
Receiving Bay, Avenger

“Are you sure they're ready?”
“I've been drilling holes in them for three days.”
“Are they ready, Richter?”
“Fuck you, Choco. They are.”
Central sighed, “This is a big one. That's why I'm asking.”
Richter stopped him in front of the Receiving Bay's door, “We weren't ready and we still kicked their asses.”
“That was luck and you know it.”
“Point is, I've pushed them out the nest and they didn't splatter over the rocks.”
He rubbed his forehead with his left hand, “We're under a deadline here. We don't have everything we could yet.”
“That prick threaten us with something if we didn't?”
He looked at Richter, “You're about to find out what.”
“Then get in there and get it over with, figa.”
Central sighed again and opened the door. There, gearing up in front of the Skyranger, were Kamo, Moop, Red, Dr. Thomas, and Elmo. Everyone but Kamo stopped what they were doing and looked up at him when he came in. Kamo kept loading cannon rounds one by one.
He cleared his throat. (
“You five don't know what you've been training for these last few days, and now I'm going to fix that. We are raiding an ADVENT blacksite on the island of Honshu, outside any city center. They have been hiding this site from the public, and it's taken us a month to finally get within striking distance of this damned place.”
Red and Moop straightened at “raiding”, and Elmo followed suit at “blacksite.” The rest just sat and stared at him, Kamo still loading his gun.
“I don't know what we'll find there, but your mission is to breach the blacksite, recover any valuable data or objects you can, and then get out. Firebrand will be circling the area for an hour. Anyone not on board will have to fend for themselves. It's a high-risk op, and I am counting on all of you.”
“Well,” Moop switched her GREMLIN on, “This should be fun.”
“Then Elmo don't like having your fun,” he gave his scope one more rub.
Kamo clicked his magazines into place.
“Ah, we'll be fine,” Dr. Thomas stood up, “Always wanted to wreck something of ADVENT's.”
“I thought you did,” Red sheathed his sword and grabbed his shotgun.
“Different time, kid.”
“We're almost the same age,” he stood up, “And I'm leading.”
“Let's just go,” Moop shook her head, “Anything else, sir?”
“No, you're in Firebrand's hands now. Good luck.”
“Operation Unholy Anger is a-go! ALLER!

[XCOM's first major strike against the aliens is now underway. If you want to replace anybody who might die, please submit a soldier using the form on the second post. Operation Unholy Anger will begin next Monday evening.]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on August 31, 2016, 07:21:36 AM
ooooh, heading to Advent blacksite......the plot thickens more than my waistline!!!!

Keep up the good work, Olse!

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 05, 2016, 02:49:57 PM
5 April, 2038
Wilderness of Honshu, East Asia


Firebrand came over the intercom much, much earlier than he was expecting. Kamo snapped his head up at the speaker, Dr. Thomas raised an eyebrow, and Moop and Red let out sighs. Elmo, for his part, kept his eyes on the floor.
Because when Firebrand spoke, there was a new steadiness to her voice. (
“Operatives, in light of recent circumstances, Central has given me authorization to give you some context before you drop. This is the most direct, safest channel we have to tell you about why we are raiding this blacksite.”
“Here we go,” Moop shook her head at Red, who had lit a cigar with a trembling hand.
“This is from our friend Mr. Osterman, and he has proven a reliable source. ADVENT is working on something heavily classified called the Avatar Project. We don't know what this is, or how close they are to completing it, but our recent strikes have hastened its R&D.”
Dr. Thomas shrugged, “Can't blame 'em.”
“All we know is that, should this Avatar Project be completed, we're boned. Super, permanently, boned. But for right now, you drop in, raid this place, and get out. Anything valuable you can find, you grab. Good luck.”
After a moment, he sighed, “Elmo thinks it's hero time.”
Kamo cracked his knuckles.
“Hey,” Red elbowed Dr. Thomas, “You worked with 'em. What can we expect?”
“Lots of dudes with guns, probably some automated turrets,” he smiled as he got his cannon out, “Nothing serious, if this is as well-hidden as they say.”
“The hell makes you think a super-secret base is guarded by a skeleton crew?” Moop stood up as the light turned red.
“Because,” the ramp dropped and Dr. Thomas got onto his feet, “All the noise is off-site.”
Elmo grabbed the rest of his gear as everyone jumped out of the Skyranger. As his feet touched the ground, he saw that they were square on a road heading towards their target, flanked by ADVENT holo-fences. He took a look around and found a building to their left.
“Think Elmo should head up there?” he pointed at the structure with his rifle.
Red looked over, “As long as nobody's in there, you should be fine.”
Elmo nodded and ran for the nearest ladder to the balcony.
“Everyone else, cover-to-cover.”
The next few minutes was him overlooking the rest of the squad as they moved up and keeping an eye out ahead. It was quiet, and the near-pitch-black of midnight was not doing him any visibility favors. Still, he scanned the horizon and saw the outlines of a train and the blacksite itself. Some green lights were on, but not much else. (
Red got to a pillar as Dr. Thomas moved up to a corner of the building, “You ever been to a place like this before?”
“Small-fry like me?” Dr. Thomas chuckled, “Nah. Though I did send a lot of people for further therapy to places like this, I guess.”
“Wait,” Moop looked at him as Kamo got closer to their position, “You sent people out of the clinics?”
“A lot of 'em had incurable diseases, even by ADVENT's tech,” he shrugged, staring ahead, “They told me experimental facilities would give 'em a chance.”
“Bruno,” Red glared at him, “How many did you send off?”
“Uh,” he blinked, “Probably 70-percent or so,” he glanced at Red, “People are desperate.”
Elmo was moving up, “Elmo tried the clinic once.”
Dr. Thomas smiled back at him, “Yeah? How'd that go?”
“Said Elmo's too ugly to help. Elmo got a refund.”
“Ah well,” Dr. Thomas looked ahead again, “Can't fix every-OHMAN,NOFUCKING-
The rest was drowned out by him firing his cannon into the darkness, and from that shadow came slithering a giant snake holding a gun. A snake with boobs, for some reason. He didn't rightly know, only that it looked mean, it had an ADVENT buddy, and they were advancing.
He fired into the dude, who was holding some kind of chain-sword thing, as Moop and Kamo tore through the reptilian monstrosity. Red ran past it and brought his sword through the ADVENT, and the night was quiet again.
At least, until Red turned around, “The hell was that about?!
Dr. Thomas ran up to the corpse of the snake-thing and started kicking it, “You. Don't. Put. That. There.
“Jesus christ,” Moop walked up to him, “It's already dead.”
She jumped back at his glance before he started kicking it again, “Not good enough.
HEY!” Red's voice faltered for a moment, “Cut that shit out and get up here, we're not done!”
It took a moment for Dr. Thomas to catch his breath, but he finally pulled away from the corpse and joined Kamo behind a parked ADVENT car up ahead.
Red followed him, but shouted back, “Jones, get up on the next balcony! We're gonna have company!”
Elmo nodded and climbed another ladder, taking cover behind some crates someone had left up there. He kept his rifle trained ahead, sweat forming on his brow even in the cold air. More would be coming.
Red knelt behind the car as Dr. Thomas reloaded, “You do something like that again, I'm gonna be the one kicking you.”
“Look,” he sighed, “I didn't know I was gonna-”
“Yeah, well you know now,” Red glanced over the car as Kamo kept his head up, “So from here on out, it's on you.”
Dr. Thomas nodded, “Yeah, that's fair.”
Moop had taken Dr. Thomas' corner on the building, “Any idea what that thing was?”
“None of you lived in any of the cities, right?”
“Elmo did, for a month. Four years ago.”
Dr. Thomas glanced up at him, “Yeah, too early,” he licked his lips and hazarded another glance ahead, “They started showing up a year ago, I only heard what ADVENT told everyone after I ran out into the wilds.”
“So wait,” Red looked down at him, “These things are out in the open?”
“And people are okay with that?”
“I think so. Not me.”
“Clearly,” Red looked ahead again, “It's a fucked-up world we're trying to save.”
“Yeah, but it's worth it.”
Red fired and knelt back down behind the car, “Contacts!”
Dr. Thomas stood up and fired a volley into the approaching troops. Elmo took that as his cue to sight one of them. There was another one of the snake-things and two more of those sword-dudes. He lined up a shot and fired, sending one tumbling behind cover.
“Move, move, move!” Red darted from behind the car, firing off another shot into the night, followed closely by Dr. Thomas. He looked back as he heard cannonfire, “Kamo!
The skullfaced-man was pelting the closest ADVENT, and the grunt's screams were cut short as one of the bullets ripped through his throat. Immediately afterwards, something flicked at Kamo's face, clearly trying to wrap around his head. He took a step back as something else streamed through the night with a hiss. Green-and-purple smoke erupted from the projectile as it hit the car, and Elmo got a front seat to something he thought was impossible. Kamo was making a sound. And that sound was retching coughs.
Incoming!” Moop fired through the cloud at the other ADVENT, and Dr. Thomas followed suit. But she kept coming and, as the grunt got within striking distance of Kamo, the chain-sword flared up in electric red, and she thrusted it like a rapier.
Kamo's coughing ceased as he was electrocuted, his cannon falling to the ground shortly before his body crumpled into a heap.
NO!” Red ran across the road and fired his shotgun haphazardly at the car. Dr. Thomas was shouting a trail of obscenities as he fell back, firing a burst into the ADVENT.
And all Elmo could do was watch above as his teammate started to drown in his own blood. (

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: MachoDan on September 05, 2016, 11:34:02 PM

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on September 06, 2016, 07:10:59 AM

and snakes with boobs...  :o

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: kamo on September 06, 2016, 02:55:12 PM


Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 06, 2016, 02:59:59 PM
22 January, 2038
Avenger, Wilderness of former Siberia, New Arctic

She had not dealt with cold for a long, long time. New San Francisco was not known for sending an actual chill down your spine, especially not around New Year's, but this place. This place was very, very different from where she grew up. It had taken several months of odd jobs, risky rumors, and an obscene amount of luck, but she had found them. She had found XCOM. And what was she greeted with?
Moop dropped her bags at the foot of the ship's ramp, “Uh, yeah. Yeah, you will.”
The older man stood at the top of that ramp with arms crossed, “No. No I won't.”
The wind gusted again, and she drew her parka a little closer around her face, shouting, “Why not? I'm here, aren't I?”
“Doesn't matter. You're not built for this work.”
“Not built-fuck, who is?!
Though the haze of flying snowdrift came a black shape dragging something large and dead. It got clearer as it got closer, and she almost jumped when she saw that the figure was a guy. A guy wearing a metal skull mask, a rifle in one hand and the other pulling a dead musk deer in his wake. He stopped several paces away from her and just stared.
The man at the top of the ramp motioned his head towards this monster, “Him.”
The skull-guy looked up at him and then back at her.
She stood there, hands clenched at her sides, “I thought you guys fought for humanity.”
“We did, and we will. It doesn't mean we can accept everyone. This will carry a huge risk.”
She snapped at him, “Getting here was a huge risk! And you act like a dick and turn me away?!”
The skull-guy stood there for a moment, and then began to trudge up the ramp, a trail of blood still flowing from the carcass behind him.
“Look, kid-”
“No, you look! I know how to shoot, I obviously have the stones to get here, and I'm coming on board your crappy ship anyway, because if not, I'm going to freeze to death out here!
The silent guy got up to the old man, elbowed him, and then the two stared at each other for a moment. Then the masked man kept heading inside.
The old guy lowered his arms and motioned inside, turning, “It's not going to be fun.”
“Fuck fun, ADVENT needs to go,” she got her bags and hurried up the ramp.
5 April, 2038
ADVENT Blacksite, Honshu, East Asia

Goddammit, get him up!
Moop's GREMLIN flew through the hail of gunfire and plasma, hovered over Kamo's body, and sent another jolt of electricity into it. As Red and Dr. Thomas scrambled and fired, Kamo began to cough again and picked his gun up. He looked over at her, still in a lingering cloud of puke-green-and-purple.
Get the fuck outta there, dude!
He gave one more cough and got to his feet. ( He started to run, and swung his cannon right into the face of the ADVENT who had brought him down, smashing her red faceplate as olive blood splattered everywhere. Her GREMLIN followed him, spraying him with a dose of medi-mist for good measure.
She heard the boom of Elmo's rifle above right before he yelled, “Get down!”
Moop ducked behind the corner and saw green light plow into Kamo's chest, sending him back on his ass behind his new cover. She gritted her teeth, and hissed, “Do it.”
And her GREMLIN sprayed Kamo again.
Dr. Thomas moved up to him, loading his launcher, “Damn, you don't stay down, huh?” He then fired towards the snake thing, the explosion taking out quite a bit of the canisters around it.
Red ran up to the train tracks and laid down some fatal buckshot on the monstrosity, and a moment later the forklift behind it blew up in an orange fireball.
And once again, everything was quiet.
Elmo came down as everyone topped their magazines off, “Elmo thinks that could have gone better.”
“Hell yes, it could've,” Moop was glaring at Kamo, who was keeping his dead eyes on the building ahead.
Red came up, scanning the tracks, “That was quick thinking.”
“Yeah, hope you enjoyed it,” she huffed, “I just used up my entire medical suite on Mumbles McShootyface.”
“Hey,” Dr. Thomas chuckled, “That was pretty good!”
“Gah,” Red raised his shotgun and moved up, “Everyone be careful.”
Moop shrugged and followed, “Long as you guys know.”
They got up to one of the low freight platforms filled with green canisters, and she took a look into one of them. Inside was a person, looking almost like he was in a coffin. She turned towards Red.
He looked up at the building after a moment, “Nothing we can do.”
She took a step out and a hail of magnetic bullets fell right in front of her. She jumped back and Elmo fired at where they came.
The hell was that?!
“Automated turret,” Dr. Thomas poked his head out a little, “Surprised it missed.”
“Well, how the fuck-”
Kamo darted out and, before he could be gunned down, fired a volley up at the thing on the roof. It exploded into a million pieces as he took cover ahead.
Moop stared at him for a moment before Red motioned everyone forward. She moved up and got four paces before more magnetic rounds flew over her head. She tumble-scrambled for cover behind more of the coffins as Dr. Thomas and Elmo fired into the new contacts. Red ran past her, muttering “I got this,” unsheathing his sword before slicing into another one of the ADVENT grunts with electric blades. The gun he was carrying fell to the ground and broke apart, Red kneeling down to grab the gear as Kamo fired at the fleeing Officer who was leading this patrol. Moop caught just a glimpse of her running into the blacksite proper.
“Well,” Dr. Thomas still had a grin on his face, “She's letting us in!” he vaulted over a canister and ran up to the door, “How polite!”
Red joined him as everyone else moved up, Elmo shooting his pistol and Kamo laying down some fire inside. She heard garbled screams and relaxed a little as she got behind a fence. She looked over at the open door, “Anything inside?”
“Well,” Dr. Thomas squinted into the building, “There's a lot of computers. Big pool of sludge in the middle of the room.”
“Anything important?! I'm sick of this place!”
“Uh,” he turned back to the rest of the squad and reloaded, “There's something on a pedestal on the far side of that pool.”
Red shrugged, “Important enough,” he pointed behind Dr. Thomas, “You head left and find an angle. I'm betting there's more inside.”
“Sure thing,” and he was off. (
Red darted in and fired, “CONTACTS!
A moment later there came the sounds of a cannon going off, and Moop ran up behind a corner of the building. Her eyes got wide as a nine-foot-tall robot lumbered ahead with a gun as big as she was. It fired this gun out the door and past her, catching Elmo in the left shoulder. He didn't even cry out in pain as he was knocked on his ass. Kamo ran past the rounds, firing his own inside as more magnetic blasts erupted from behind the robot.
She moved up as Red gave out a mighty yell, and there were several explosions inside with more cannon fire. She peeked around the corner and saw him standing over the wreckage of robotics, his sword out. Dr. Thomas came in and whistled, “Wow.”
Red caught his breath and motioned everyone else inside.
She followed Kamo as Elmo came up, “Yeah, don't worry about Elmo.”
She looked at him and saw that he was holding his shoulder, rifle slung over his other one and his magnum out, “Just hang tight.”
“Elmo doesn't like hanging,” he growled.
The inside of the blacksite was actually black, lit only by the green substance that suffused the center of the room, the menagerie of red and white buttons on the consoles, and the small glowy thing situated on some contraption or another on the far wall.
“Everyone check your ammo,” Red muttered as he reloaded, “I don't like that gunk down there.”
Dr. Thomas leaned over a guardrail for a moment, then nodded and continued up, “This is industrial waste, though it smells a bit like ADVENT Burger grease.”
“Oh for,” Moop caught herself, “They're processing people here.”
He nodded, grimacing, “Yeah, I thought so, too.”
Kamo looked up to see that there was a catwalk above them, ringing the room. Everyone got behind Red as he strolled into whatever containment unit they had found. He looked at it for a moment, ( and looked back at Dr. Thomas, “This better just be light.”
“Well, they don't have it behind lead,” he shrugged, not looking at him, “Can't be but so hazardous.”
Red turned back to the glowing thing, ( “Fuck it.”
He snatched it from the unit and looked down, seeing a small, green-glowing vial of something. Moop was behind a crate, looking out the window. It had several red laser bars going through the glass, though she could not for the life of her figure out why-
Something bald and pink darted past the window.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 07, 2016, 03:02:00 PM
10 January, 2038
Bridge, Avenger, New Arctic

Most of the consoles were off, and what little actual crew were here were also moving crates. This guy couldn't have had it long, or even know how well the damn thing would fly. He looked the part of a grizzled commander fresh out of retirement, but he also knew by the tone of his voice that this was still a new thing for him. Central had been a sergeant, not an officer.
But, here they both were, resurrecting XCOM.
“And this,” he motioned at the table in the middle of the bridge, “Sledge tells me, is the newfangled Hologlobe.”
“Gotta have that strategic view,” Red looked at the inert thing, “Where's the holo? Or the globe?”
“He's still working on it,” Central looked around, “We don't have a lot of the systems online yet, but we have general power and temperature control.”
Red nodded, “Still, hard to believe you took this thing down intact.”
“We didn't,” Central began walking to another area of the bridge, “Mr. Osterman, our benefactor, got this for us. And no, I don't know how the hell he did it.”
But you have some guesses, he looked over at one of the lit consoles and saw security feed from another area of the ship. He had already met Kamo, but the other guy was new. Way too much hair, short an eye, keeping his view on whatever was in his hands as he fiddled with guns and bullets, “We pick up someone else?”
Central came over, looked at the screen, and sighed, “He followed us since Madrid. Caught up with us just before we got the ship. You just haven't run into him yet, I guess.”
Red squinted at the low-res feed, then shook his head, “Hard to believe they're both human.”
“Jones is something else,” Central nodded and stood up, “Knows how to track. When to take his shots,” he looked at Red, who was still studying the feed, “He talks strangely, like an idiot. Might be an act.”
Red glanced at him, “You're letting folk like him head into the field?”
“I worked with folk like him. One of them ended up vaporizing an alien carrier,” he gave him a look, “Don't judge until the fire's on, Red.”

5 April, 2038
ADVENT Blacksite, Honshu, East Asia

Red snapped his head around in time to see Moop and Elmo dart past him, “What?”
Kamo ran after the other two as Dr. Thomas backed up, aiming his cannon at the window, “Skittering outside!”
“Goddammit,” he tucked the vial into a pocket and lifted his shotgun for a moment, then turned and ran for the opposite blast doors. He heard ADVENT yelling outside that way and froze, “We're surrounded.”
“Yeah, no shit,” Moop was behind a corner near the pool, “Get a plan going!”
He looked at Elmo, who was behind a forklift between himself and most of the squad, “You're bleeding.”
Elmo nodded, but kept his eyes forward.
“RED?!” cannon fire erupted from the vial room, and she shook her head, pointing at Dr. Thomas. Her GREMLIN hovered around him, laying down its distortion field as Kamo fired at something. Then she heard splashes, looked around the corner, and saw an ADVENT below her just close enough to get within striking distance. The slurry had probably gotten into the sword, though, since when she fell to the ground she was only dazed.
Red looked back and saw this, and then saw purple energy being sent into Dr. Thomas' head. He turned around, eyes flared up yellow, pointing his gun at them, an extremely contorted look on his face.
“Elmo know what to do.”
“Jones,” but he was off, “JONES!”
From the window, magnetic bullets zipped past Elmo's head, one even barely missing his left foot as he ran. He dropped down into the pool, leveled his revolver at the ADVENT near Moop, and put a round into its head.
An explosion ripped through the building near where those bullets had come from, and as the smoke cleared, Moop stood back up. She got her rifle raised and yelled something that was drowned out in her burst, the purple energy around Dr. Thomas' head dissipating.
All that was left were the ADVENT yelling near their evac point.
As Elmo came back up to him, Red shook his head, “Don't do that again, Jones.”
“Elmo makes no promises,” he topped off his rifle's ammo, “But Elmo would.”
Red nodded as Dr. Thomas got on the other side of the door, “You good?”
“Not the first time I've been used like that,” he shook his head, making a sound with his lips, “First time with a gun, though.”
Kamo ran up to some crates nearby, looked out the window to their left, and ducked as a few magnetic shots came in through it.
“How many?”
Kamo held up three fingers as his other hand brought out his launcher. A moment later and the night outside was, for an instant, day.
“All right,” Dr. Thomas smashed the door controls, and the thing opened with a slam, “What next?”
“Still have that smoke?”
“Pop it on us. We're too close to fuck up now.”
He shrugged as he loaded his launcher up, “Good thing this isn't toxic.”
“Yeah,” Red gritted his teeth and dashed outside, laying down a blast as he made his way to an ADVENT fence. ( A grey cloud enveloped the rest of the squad, and more rounds haphazardly flew past Elmo's head.
Dr. Thomas motioned everyone forward and ran out, an entire volley being his welcome. He kept his head down and slid towards the fence, laughing, “ADVENT's finest, they aren't!”
Kamo was close behind, pelting one of the troopers ahead with bullets, and he was followed by Moop and Elmo. The latter was limping a touch, but Moop was pushing him forward and behind a transport truck parked outside the door. She was yelling at him about something, but Red had work to do. He vaulted the fence, brought out his sword, and sliced through the second trooper in front of them. The third ran, and Dr. Thomas was quick to put him down.
Red put a hand to his ear, “Firebrand, we got something, and we're near the evac point!”
“Popping flares, you have four minut-SHIT-” static came over the comms as bright blue flares fell in a neat square ahead of them. And right in front of those was a single, red one.
“Firebrand, you alright?”
“Almost fucking flew into their drone! You have more incoming!”
“Yeah, no shit,” he turned back and motioned everyone down as they came up.
Elmo let out a breath, “Nothing's easy. Everything's hard.”
“Yeah, well, tough,” Moop got behind a tree as Elmo knelt by a rock, “Any luck, these are the last.”
An ADVENT transport ship flew close in, and as soon as the three new grunts jumped, Red blasted the officer amongst them, causing him to fall in a heap between his two troopers. They both looked at each other and ran separate directions, Moop and Dr. Thomas laying all their fire into the one that went right.
Red ran into their marked evac area and blasted the last trooper into the dirt, “GET UP HERE! MOVE!”
“C'mon, we're leaving,” Moop grabbed Elmo to his feet and he started following her, “You do something like that again . . .”
“Will Elmo get a medal?”
“Yeah, sure.”
Dr. Thomas shot a last look at the blacksite, “Ya know, next time we should bring X4.”
Kamo nodded as he shoved him into the square of blue light.
“Firebrand, we're here.”
“Alright, skies are clear, coming in,” the Skyranger flew over and hovered above them, letting down its dropcords, “What did you guys find?”
Red latched on as the rest were pulled up, “A vial and a whole shitload of questions.”

[And so goes Operation Unholy Anger. If you, too, want to be a part of epic missions like this one, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. The next update's gonna be hitting Monday night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 12, 2016, 03:16:59 PM
6 April, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

Elmo had to be helped out of his seat by Moop, though Kamo was able to leave the Skyranger with a slight limp. A few steps down the ramp, and Dr. Thomas got up to him, but made no move to help. He just kept pace, and the skullhead seemed to do fine on his way out of the bay. Red had to stay behind, because as soon as the ramp dropped, Central, Crab, and Sledge were there waiting for him.
And only Crab looked happy. (
He had sighed, digging the glowing vial out of the pouch he put it in, and showed it off, “This is what we all nearly died for.”
“I'll tell you what you fought for,” Crab walked up and snatched the vial from Red's hand, “Some fun.”
He just stared at the madman, “Casino nearly choked to death.”
Crab was fiddling with the vial, “On what?”
“Some poison a snake-freak spit at him.”
The one-legged man froze for a moment, looking at Sledge.
Central turned to Red, “What did it look like?”
“The snake?”
“The poison.”
“Puke green and purple bits.”
“Okay,” Crab handed the vial to Sledge, “And you didn't recover the body?”
“No time. We were too busy getting shot at.”
Crab let out a breath as Sledge went over to Central, “This look like elerium to you?”
“It's glowing like it.”
Firebrand came from around the Skyranger, “I sure hope the new infirmary is going to be ready.”
“Not right now,” Sledge sighed as Crab started to snap a finger repeatedly, “But I think we got what Mr. Oster-”
“Ok,” Crab went up a little too close to Red, “You used some of the medical spray on him.”
Red nodded, eyebrow raised and leaning back a little.
“And he started breathing right again.”
“These aren't questions.”
“No, because he was poisoned and then he wasn't.”
“Crab,” Central pushed him away carefully, “Leave him alone. He just got back from a-”
The hell you mean, I know what he's comin' from. Shit, you do too.
Everyone was silent for a moment.
Central sighed, “Here,” he handed the vial to him, “When you can, figure this out. I'm going to debrief him.”
Firebrand shook her head, “I need a beer,” and she headed out of the bay.
Then do it, Crab started to follow her, and she quickened her pace a little,Keep babying him.
Sledge turned to the Skyranger, “I'm going to do a checkup on this thing, you go.”
6 April, 2038
Bridge, Avenger

“And you couldn't tell us before we left.”
He shook his head, “Had to run one more anti-snooping scan on the ship. Should be common knowledge in a few hours.”
The sun had begun to rise when they got onto the bridge. The air was turning colder by the second as they left East Asia. Some ice had briefly formed on the windows above them, but the internal temperature of the Avenger was enough to melt it away. He did not like to think about how fast this thing was going, probably half the speed of the original Skyranger. It was damn quick, all things considered.
The man behind him crossed his arms, “So this isn't still about taking down ADVENT.”
Central shook his head, “No, that hasn't changed. It's just a secondary objective now. Avatar takes top priority.”
Red sighed, “We know how close they are to it?”
Central turned to him, “Mr. Osterman was pretty sure they have a way to go. He thinks about four months, if it isn't uninterrupted.”
Red nodded, “Which is what we're gonna do. Interrupt that.”
Central smiled for a moment, “If we can. He said there are more sites like the one you just hit. He just doesn't know where they are right now, because our scout hasn't reported in for three days-”
“Sir,” Dr. Moreau came up, patting Central's shoulder, “You have a private transmission coming in.”
Central nodded and then moved his head towards his office, “Come on.”
Red followed him up the stairs into his quarters, somewhere he had only been once before, when the link had not been properly set up yet. He had furnished it with a recreation XCOM banner, like the ones in the old base, and a few pictures of New York and Berlin on his workstation. The screen was showing the XCOM insignia, like always, but the name on the bottom was unexpected.
“Son of a bitch,” he scrambled over to the workstation as Red walked in.
“Who's that?”
“Our scout.”
He typed in his password, hit return, and a video feed popped up. There Chimp was, wild blond hair and wilder green eyes, grinning on the left side of the frame. Center behind her was a pre-War car. Just out in the open, somewhere snowing and rural.
“Hey Cranky Guy!”
“Chimp, be professional here,” he glanced up at Red, who took a few steps closer, “Where are you? Mr. Osterman hasn't-”
“North Arctic, met your girlfriend!”
“I am not-” the feed was hastily turned around, and Central saw Den Mother, “She's crazy, XCOM. Friggin' looney.”
“Noted. Let me see her again,” Den Mother let out a disapproving sound as she turned the camera back at the car, “Now, Chimp.”
“What's that behind you?”
“A bomb.”
“A what?” Red leaned in closer.
Chimp waved, “Hey, new face!” she turned to the car, “Yeah, a bomb! Got it rigged up all good, like Wrench Guy showed me way back when!”
Sledge taught-” Central caught himself, “What's the bomb for, Chimp?”
“The train!” she started to move her hands horizontally in front of her from right to left, making “chugga, chugga” noises. He saw something square and black in the right one.
What's that in your hand?
Chimp gave a huge grin as he heard a droning sound getting louder on the other end, “The detonator.”
She pressed the button and the car behind her went up in a fireball, sending fragments of chassis and metal everywhere. He only got a glimpse as Den Mother gave a yelp and ducked, pointing the camera to the snow at her feet.
Central put a hand to his face as he heard the droning sound grind to a halt not far away, Chimp. Where are you?
“Like Wrench Guy can't figure that out!” she was laughing, “Come get your present!”
The feed shut off and Central looked up at Red.
He was staring at him, “What do we do?”
Central took a huge breath as he got up, “We go raid an ADVENT train.”

[Soon as one mission ends, another starts. If you want to be led to your potential death by a crazed woman obsessed with primates, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. Loot and plunder drop tomorrow afternoon!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 13, 2016, 04:10:48 PM
6 April, 2038
Somewhere along the Trans-Siberian Railway, Wilderness of New Arctic

Of course the holo feed didn't show the train they were breaking into. ( Probably a photo taken earlier in the day, at their last stop. Viking shook his head as everyone else got ready. He could tell Red was stifling a yawn. Dude had been up for almost thirty hours, he guessed. Macho was cleaning the barrel of his pistol, and Alette was sitting across from the new guy right next to him. Sizing him up. Siegfried already had his rifle out, staring straight ahead.
Kid was dead serious right up until Red coughed.
Instantly, the rifle jerked to above Red's mohawk and Viking was able to wrest the gun from him before he got any rounds off. Everyone else stared at them.
Siegfried still looked ready, but he could see a bead of sweat running down the side of his face. Viking looked at the rifle, sighed, and flipped the safety. He handed it back to him, “There, you can kill him for real next time.”
“Just,” Siegfried took his rifle back, “Just a bit jumpy, I guess.”
“Have you even fired a weapon before?” Red lit his cigar.
Siegfried nodded, “Yessir.”
“At what?”
He paused, “Targets.”
Macho grunted, “Live ones?”
“Uh, no.”
“Well,” Viking sat back, “Let's hope Ricther beat some-”
Siegfried grabbed Viking's left shoulder. He turned and saw genuine fear in his eyes for the first time tonight.
“I know, easy,” he brushed the hand off, staring ahead again.
The light turned red, and Firebrand came over the intercom, “This is as close as I can get you before the patrols see me. You'll have to hoof it from here.”
The ramp dropped, Viking grabbed his shotgun, got up, and smiled, “Let's loot and plunder!”
Red got up next to him as the Skyranger came to a hovering stop five feet above the ground in some sparse woods, “After we kill the aliens.”
“That's the only plan,” and he jumped down, followed by everyone else.
The sun hadn't quite caught up to this part of the continent yet, and the snow that lay on everything had long-since become permanent winter frost. As he led the way through the trees, he noticed how quiet everything was. He smirked, knowing that wouldn't last.
There was a break in the trees ahead, and he saw a cliff face on the other side of a small, frozen stream. And to the left of that cliff was the front of their train. He started laughing.
Red came up and smacked him on the back, pointing to their left as Viking glared at him, “That's gotta be what stopped it.”
On the tracks about thirty feet away, right over the small bridge that had crossed the stream, was a smoldering wreck of a pre-war car. (
Viking shrugged and moved across the stream, kneeling behind a stone. Up ahead, he saw two ADVENT, one with a red sash of an officer, the other brandishing what looked like a sword of his own. And they were coming his way. He licked his lips and his free hand hovered over the hilt of his blade.
He heard muffled footsteps behind him a moment before Red and Alette were on his left and Siegfried was on his right. The soldier glanced at him, keeping her gun up, “We wait.”
“Would think there's a rush.”
“We're way out of their territory,” he looked over at Siegfried, his new GREMLIN hovering just two inches above the snow next to him, “It's a supply line. Sure, they guard it, but I don't think they patrol this route much.”
“And what makes you think they're not gonna call more on our heads?”
“Because ADVENT's a big machine,” he double-checked his safety as the two troops got closer, muttering something in Unilang, “And to them, this is small.”
“Saw large a few hours ago,” Red nodded, looking over at the unaware ADVENT, “Should have until morning. More than enough time.”
“Gah,” he raised his shotgun, “I'm tired of waiting.”
The blast echoed through the night, and somewhere, not too far away, a flock of ravens flew off, spooked and riled. Much of the buckshot had penetrated the officer's armor, but it was Siegfried's volley that put him down. Alette fired too, aiming for the advancing guy with the not-sword, before Red intercepted him and made a nice, deep incision into the bastard's gut.
Before the body hit the snow, Red was already barking orders, “Macho! Get up on that rock up there!”
Their sharpshooter pulled himself from the river and made his way to a good climbing spot, “Sure thing, boss.”
“The rest of you,” he waved at them, his eyes settling on Viking for a moment, “Move up!”
He did, though there really wasn't much of a choice, and as his back hit the stone wall, he muttered, “Don't think you appreciated that.”
“Yeah, well,” Red looked behind them at the night, “I know your inclinations.”
He chuckled as Macho made his way up, “'Inclinations.'”
A moment after he was out of sight, Macho called down, “Hey boss! Might wanna see this shit!”
Red let out a breath and climbed up after him, finding Macho behind a large rock, “What's going on?”
He pointed down at the front door of the train with his revolver, “Big, glowin' crate. Think the stuff's in there?”
Red shrugged, “Let me get a better eye on that,” he dashed up to another stone on the top of this formation, but halfway there he stopped and ran back, “CONTACTS!
Immediately, Siegfried ran to the other side of the sort-of-alley between the train and the rocks, poking his head out for a moment as Viking heard Macho's revolver go off.
Allez l'aider,” and Alette's GREMLIN flew up and dropped a distortion field around him.
Viking looked around the corner, looked at the top of the train, and saw why. It was some kind of turret, something that didn't seem to even glitch out after he shot at it. Might have been because it was too busy firing at the two guys above him, but he couldn't tell.
Siegfried was rigid, no-doubt performing drilled-in movements to position himself and fire as efficiently as possible. He got off a few rounds before something unconventional happened and purple tendrils of energy swarmed around his head. He grabbed his skull, dropping his weapon, and knelt down, screaming without making a sound.
That was what he saw before several rounds of magnetic fire smashed into the corner he was behind. He coughed a bit, having breathed in some dirt, but he lined up another shot on the turret, this time resulting in something a bit more concrete. Namely, it blew the fuck up.
Alette moved to a tree covering the alley and sent some rounds down range, and he heard a shotgun blast further up accompanied by a rifle shot. When that last one happened, Siegfried's purple problem was gone, and he got his rifle after a moment of shaking his head.
“Everything okay, soldat?”
“Yeah,” he was catching his breath, looking out at the alley, “I think so.”
“Okay, then, come on,” Viking reloaded as he advanced, and Siegfried seemed to take the hint. Alette followed, and they saw Red calmly walking over to the body of a Sectoid. He knelt down and ripped out the yellow ball that was in its wrist device.
“We're taking everything?”
Red nodded as he stood back up, “This is a raid, kid.”
He looked around, “That couldn't have been all of them.”
Red looked ahead, “No,” he waved them closer, and when Viking got up he turned to him and said under his breath, “Be ready. They're up there. I'm heading around.”
“Yeah, alright,” he spit on the ground, “We'll hold your damn line.”
“Not asking you to,” and he was off into the dark.
“Alright, ladies!” he turned to see Alette shake her head, but everyone else seemed unfazed, “Follow me!
He got two steps before magnetic rounds went past his head and he had to take cover. Siegfried got behind a small stone wall, and Alette stayed with the train's crates as cover. Macho hadn't moved much, but he could see what Viking did, he was sure. A regular trooper, another dude with a kinda-sword, and some weird, creepy snake-thing. With tits. That gave him pause.
Alette moved up to Siegfried as Macho blew the head off the trooper ahead, “La baise est que?!
Viking didn't want to look at it, so he just took a quick blast in its general direction. Garbled grunts told him he had hit the ADVENT instead, and a second later Alette dropped him. A green glow flashed past his face, and he saw it hit Siegfried smack-dab in the middle of his chest. Alette cursed again and dragged him closer to her cover as Macho dropped down behind her, firing a shot at the snake-thing. At least, he assumed he was aiming for the snake-thing. The bullet glanced off the side of the train.
At last, he heard a muted shotgun blast from the other side of the rock formation, and he grinned. He wouldn't have to look at it long, and as he drew his sword, he thought of all that time it hadn't gotten to see the sky. He ran along the length of the formation with it clanging on small outcroppings of stone, a death song if there ever was one, before he saw some scaly coils, closed his eyes, and brought the slab of good, cold steel down through the monstrosity's length.
It crumpled before him, and he sheathed his sword as he was sprayed with its blood. Viking drew in a long, deep breath, and noticed footsteps from ahead. He opened his eyes, careful not to look at what lay at his feet, and saw Red and his glowing cigar.
He looked him up and down, “Everyone alright?”
He moved his head back to where he'd come from, “Sieg got hit.”
Red sighed, “Well, almost clean,” he put a hand to his ear, “Firebrand, you can come in. I think we got 'em all.”
“I'll touch down nearby, get everything you can on board.”
He nodded, then looked at Viking, “Don't get too much snake guts on the loot.”
Lotta nerve, “It's only paint.”
“Smelly 'paint',” Red gave a retch as he took hold of the snake-thing's hood and started dragging it.
Viking raised an eyebrow, “The hell you want that thing for?”
“It spits poison,” he grunted as he got the thing draped over his shoulder, coughing from the smell, “Figure we should get a proper antidote.”

[Lots of stuff to mull over, and Siegfried gets his first taste of real combat. If you want to join these guys on other grand thefts rails, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post! Next update is coming tomorrow evening!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 14, 2016, 02:54:12 PM
6 April, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

As the Skyranger was lowered into the bay, he saw the ramp already down and the squad coming out. Alette and Red seemed alright, though they were dragging a rather large snake behind them. Viking followed, keeping the end of the tail above the ground, shaking his head. He was followed by Macho helping Siegfried along. His armor was blackened in the middle of the chest.
He remembered for a moment, closed his eyes. It was just the white armor.
“Sorry,” the kid was coughing, “That I fucked up.”
“Ah, you did okay.”
“Shouldn't have gotten shot,” he wheezed.
“It happens,” he looked over at Firebrand as she jumped out of the cockpit. She nodded and got the gurney.
Red came up to Central, “Where's Grey Devil?”
“In the lab, working on weapons,” he pointed at the creature he was holding, “Same kind of thing?”
Red nodded, turning his head to Alette, “Lift her up,” and they grabbed opposite ends of the hood.
Central took a half-step back, seeing the dead, human-like qualities this thing had. A long, forked tongue hung out of the mouth, and if that battered armor was any indication, this thing had some human in it.
“Just,” he swallowed, “Just take it down to him. He'll jump to study it.”
Oh super,” Alette let the thing's head drop and reestablished her hold as they started off again, “The monstruosites will like each other.”
Central looked after the three as Macho and Firebrand got Siegfried on the gurney. They were wheeling him out when he stopped them, “What's the haul?”
“Hoh boy,” Macho gave a breath and looked at the Skyranger, “You are asking the wrong dude.”
“Well then,” Central sighed, “What did you get?”
“Eh, I'll catch up,” and Firebrand shook her head and left with Siegfried. Macho started counting off his fingers, “Got some goods, a couple glowin' balls, some glowin' crystals . . .”
“What color?”
He shrugged, “Yellow-white. Why?”
Central nodded, “That's good. Anything else?”
“Oh yeah!” he pounded a fist into his other hand, “Buncha this tough metal! Weighs nothin', probably would stop a few-”
“Alloys,” Central put a hand on his shoulder, ( “You found workable alloys.”
“Yeah, that a big deal?”
Central smiled, “Yeah. Yeah it is.”
“Well,” Macho looked up at the ceiling, smiling, “No problem then, chief.”
Central patted him on the back a couple times as he went over to the Skyranger's cargo hold, “It probably was, but it's worth it.”
He paused and looked back at Central, “So, what can we do with that stuff?”
Central opened the hold, stared up at Macho for a moment with a big grin on his face, and said, “Everything.”

[XCOM's got enough material now to start making some pretty cool stuff. If you want to use/wear that stuff, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. The next update will arrive on Saturday morning!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on September 14, 2016, 06:19:32 PM

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: kamo on September 16, 2016, 07:35:24 PM
Yeah, yeah, materials, woo.

...did my lungs survive!?!

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 17, 2016, 05:59:37 AM
8 April, 2038
Avenger Cargo Hold/Engineering Wing

Macho had been watching him work for a few hours now, just staring at the sword he was refitting. The guy hadn't said a word after Sledge told him what was going on, and, although he would never use one of these things, he seemed extremely interested in it. The older man had no rightful idea why that would be, but it was, and now the finishing touches were being applied.
The alloy shell he had made was still cooling, though it was ready for the installation of the cord. Sledge took a crowbar to the folded bit of alien material, pried it open a touch, and then got to the job of laying down the circuit. It was delicate work. Which was not made easier when Macho finally started speaking up.
“Don't look like much.”
Sledge took a breath and got his rhythm back, tucking the cord in, “It'll make a hell of a difference.”
Macho glanced up at him, “Yeah?”
He got the cord laid in, completed the circuit, and began to case the alien bit onto the sword, “Yeah. The alloys ADVENT uses are pretty easy to work with, though cutting off chunks is a bitch,” he grabbed his hammer and started pounding, causing Macho to take a step back, “They're sharper, more durable, and while they do stop most ballistics,” he blew on the sword before grabbing some water, carefully pouring it where the alloy met the original blade, “They're exceedingly good at conducting energy.”
“Uh . . .”
“They're better at everything, I can mold them like clay, and I can do tricks like this,” he fiddled with the hilt, adding a button at the end of the circuit. He gripped the sword and, in the process, pushed the button. Immediately, the alloy casing of the sword lit up a bright orange, while the original steel kept its dark hue.
Sledge smiled as Macho gaped at it, “The hell is that?!
“This, my friend,” he let go of the button and placed it in its new, heat-resistant sheath, “Is the Arc Blade.”
“It better be a monster,” he turned and saw Viking come through the door, “And it better not blow up.”
“Nah,” Sledge crossed his arms, looking back down at it with a smirk as Viking came to look, “Nothing volatile. The thing that got Kamo on his knees is probably pretty similar to this. It'll send a pretty mean jolt into whoever you strike.”
Viking took the sword and brought it out, his grip immediately activating the electricity within, “Huh.”
“There you go, better sword.”
“So, uh,” Macho pulled his gaze from the weapon, “When are we gettin' better guns?”
Sledge sighed as Viking sheathed his Arc Blade, “Soon. I hope.”
10 April, 2038
Advanced Warfare Center, Avenger

Before, the infirmary had been a glorified broom closet; a small, dark room with a flickering light bulb and space enough for maybe four beds. It had not been Central's fault, really, and they had done the best they could. But recently, with all the salvage and new staff, a new area had been cleared and worked on by people resembling professionals. Where Elmo, Kamo, and the kid were now resting had near-ADVENT-level medical equipment, good lighting, and enough meds to kill a herd of small elephants. Sledge called it the “Advanced Warfare Center” for some reason, but he was not sure why.
All Elmo knew was that it was nice in here.
Kamo was in the bed next to him, pretty motionless, staring at the ceiling. He still had his skullmask on, as usual. The only sign of life in the guy was the slow, measured breaths he took. Every so often, one of his hands would twitch, like he was still holding a cannon. After the fourth time this happened, Elmo stopped watching.
Across from his own bed, he saw Siegfried reading a book. It was in German, and it was very thin, almost like a pamphlet. In fact, the spine of the book had been stapled. The kid would open it to a page, read it for what seemed like hours, and then finally turn his head to the next. Very rarely did he actually flip a page.
He was about to ask him what the book was, make some kind of conversation at all, when a heavily-accented voice came through the door, “Hi, everybody!”
They all turned to look up at an unfamiliar man in a lab coat, holding a tablet, probably swiping through their names. He was smiling, and while he saw genuine humor, Elmo had only ever seen that smile on one other doctor.
Naturally, he tensed up.
“How is everybody doing?” there was a lilting cadence to his voice, and every syllable both sounded natural and threw him off.
“Well, we're not dying,” Siegfried placed his book face-down on the small table next to his bed, “So I don't think any of us are-”
The man laughed, “Oh, you're tricksy! It says here you have had a concussion!”
The kid's mouth hung open mid-speech for a second, and then he stammered, “N-no, I was shot in the chest-”
The doctor walked over to his table, still smiling, and placed his free hand on Siegfried's shoulder, shaking his head, “Memory replacement is a common symptom. Have you slept since bumping your head?”
Siegfried looked at Elmo and Kamo for a moment, then back up at the doctor, “No, I didn't hit my-”
“You!” the doctor pointed a finger at Kamo, “Did you see this poor boy's concussion?”
Kamo looked over at Elmo for a second, then he nodded at the doctor.
What the-”
“Nighty-night!” and the doctor jammed a syringe, seemingly pulled from the air, into the kid's arm. Before he could yell in pain, Siegfried was out.
After a moment, Elmo sat up a bit, his left arm still in a sling, “Elmo wants to know who you are and why you're-”
The doctor laughed again, “Central just picked me up from my old clinic! I'm your new doctor! You can call me Nick!”
Elmo glanced at Kamo, who shrugged. When he looked back, Nick was right next to him, smiling, holding a mallet.
“Now, let's see what we can do about your ankle!”
Elmo didn't want to be in the Advanced Warfare Center anymore.
11 April, 2038
Somewhere in Former Magadan Oblast, New Arctic

Alette kicked down the door of the rotting hut, sunlight and snow immediately pouring in. Moop immediately smelled something godawful and had to keep her left hand from going to her face. Central gagged just a little as he stepped in ahead of her, but Alette did not seem to notice. He had a flashlight on that monster rifle he was carrying, and he checked all corners of the place, coming to rest on the far right one.
“Well,” he stood up straight, “We just came in through the only door.”
Alette went over to the hunched shape in the corner, a light, tanned pink mass that looked desiccated.
“No,” she looked back, having been just about to touch it, “Could crumble to dust. Looks pretty old.”
Alette shook her head, “No corpse decomposes that fast.”
He strolled up as Moop followed him in at last, “That's a Sectoid. They're still pretty frail, and from what Grey Devil's told me, I wouldn't be surprised if this thing's been dead for just a month.”
Moop was trying not to breathe too much, and was looking around the shack. Cobwebs lined the ceiling, some of the floorboards had half-rotted into the soil, and there was a wooden crate in one corner with a suitcase on it.
“Sir,” she half-retched, “Got something else.”
He turned around and went over to the suitcase, “Huh.”
She went over to Alette, who was standing up, “How can you stand it in here?”
“Experience, enfant,” she passed her, patting her shoulder, “Experience.”
“Yeah, Sledge,” Central was fiddling with the suitcase's locks, one hand on his ear, “Might have something for ya. Tell Grey Devil he's on the next flight out when we get back. Yeah, it's a goodie.”
“Who killed this one?”
Alette looked back at the corpse, “Resistance member, cambrioleur, someone looking for us,” she shrugged, turning back outside, “It is dead. And that is good.”
12 April, 2038
Avenger Engine Room/Science Lab

“Okay, so,” he went over to a filing cabinet as Dr. Thomas slammed the reptilian corpse onto the table, “I got an old file on something else like our slithery friend here.”
The geneticist just stared at the body for a while, his face contorted in a grimace and his hands firmly clutching his end of the table, “You know what this fucking thing is?”
Crab turned to him as he was flipping through files, “I have a hunch,” he went though a couple more folders and pulled one out, opening it.
After a moment, “Well?
“Geez, give me a couple seconds here, doc."
I don't like being here right now.
He nodded, “You came for closure, yeah.”
Dr. Thomas pushed himself away from the corpse and turned to look at the ship's engine. It was rhythmically glowing, a pulsing, dull, quiet sound emanating from it that melded into the soundscape of beeps and boops that was this room. He closed his eyes.
“Oh-kay,” Crab shut the folder, “Yeah, that's the only one I can think of,” he put the folder on his workstation and bent over the snake-thing for a moment, “The Ethereals always did like engineering their dudes. Or dudettes, in this case.”
Without turning, “What do you mean?”
“Back during the War, there were these fuckers called Thin Men,” Crab rubbed the left side of his head, “First alien me and Raynez saw, actually. They looked like spindly G-Men, but take away their glasses, and they had slit-eyes. They also spit poison like this bitch,” he looked over at Dr. Thomas, “Sorry, but, I can't be all grandiose if you aren't looking.”
Dr. Thomas took a deep breath, turned around, and opened his eyes. His face immediately became disgusted again, but he did come closer, “What.
“Alright, so, see these?” he pointed at the breasts.
Crab caught the fist with his other hand. He might have gotten older, but he was still pretty fast. Dr. Thomas pulled his punch back, and took another breath, “Yes.
“Okay, first, don't fucking punch 'em. Second, why you shouldn't fucking punch 'em is because they aren't boobs. They're poison sacks.”
Dr. Thomas closed his eyes again and turned back to the engine. After a very, very long moment, “Makes sense.
“Yeah,” Crab turned back to the corpse, “Thin Men, like the Speaker, just sorta expel all their poison when they die. They're keeping that shit in somewhere, and their slender forms just don't have all that much space to store it.”
Why are they breasts, Grey Devil?
“The point, right,” he stood straight and kept his eyes on the corpse, “Probably to make them more 'like us' I guess. We already know they have their claws on human DNA, they've probably been mixing it in with their own stock.”
Dr. Thomas turned to leave, “Doesn't make it right.
Crab sighed, “Nope,” he bent down and grabbed a gas mask and his scalpel, “Nope it doesn't.”

[So that's their week, more or less. If you want to help them out, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. The next update is going to fall on Friday night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 23, 2016, 05:01:28 PM
13 April, 2038
Soldier Living Quarters, Avenger

ADVENT was pinning everything on them somehow. Starting forest fires in the taiga, threatening unarmed civilians, destroying priceless works of art. Even driving whales to the brink of extinction, though tales from Central about his time in New England after the War shined some light on that for him. Everything wrong and evil about the world and humanity, that's who they were, at least on GAN. XCOM was a terrorist organization, full of malcontents and psychopaths, hell-bent on wiping out the human race with their show of bravado.
At least ADVENT's propaganda mill got the second point right.
Red could not rightly tell why he was watching GAN this morning. Sledge had hooked up a pre-War plasma screen television in the Living Quarters, but it had only been a couple days since he got the little red box to pirate the baseline programs. They had all the essentials. Advertisements for ADVENT Burgers, public service announcements about your friendly neighborhood peacekeepers, petty dramas about some asshole or another getting their comeuppance for not believing in the state. One of these was wrapping up now.
“Oh man,” Dr. Thomas came up from behind him, “I remember this episode. You a fan?”
Red sighed, “I'm just puttin' this to use.”
They both watched as the show's main character was beaten down by ADVENT goons and thrown into a truck. Dr. Thomas laughed, catching himself after a moment.
Red looked at him, “You liked this sort of thing?”
“Still do,” he grabbed the remote as the credits, all written in Unilang Script, began to crawl up, and he turned the set off, “It's over-the-top nonsense.”
“So ironically, then.”
“Eh, not quite,” Dr. Thomas went over to his bunk, "I mean, yeah, it's funny when the jerk of the day gets jumped for daring to question the Elder's motives on farming, or wonders aloud about her dad not coming back from the clinic,” he rummaged through the small overhead compartment underneath Alette's bunk above his, “I mean, they bruise 'em, but they never knock them out or outright shoot them.”
“So why then?”
“Because,” Dr. Thomas pulled out a notebook and started flipping through the pages, “The guys running the show have to put that stuff in there at the last minute or they'll get beat. They're on our side, I think.”
Red looked back at the darkened television for a moment. And that was when the familiar alarm sounded and he was three steps towards the door before he consciously knew what it meant.
Dr. Thomas was right behind him, “You're doing good, Red.”
“Like, really good.”
They were at the armory and he was suiting up.
Dr. Thomas got his gun and checked it, “What do you think it is this time?”
“Got no clue,” he turned and saw Moop and Alette walk in, followed soon after by Viking, “Are we it?”
Moop nodded, switching on her GREMLIN, “We're it.”
“Well then,” he got his new and improved Arc Blade and strapped it to his back, “Let's see what we're taking from them this time.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 24, 2016, 04:08:17 PM
13 April, 2038
ADVENT Security Precinct, Chongqing

The Skyranger's hologram was working, but it did not have the usual picture of their op site on it. ( Viking and Alette seemed to pay it no mind, but Dr. Thomas was just staring at it like it was loading something. Moop looked to her left and saw Red putting out a cigar on his knee, blowing out a bit of smoke. She took another glance at their objective.
They weren't stealing data or material. They were stealing a person.
“Man,” Dr. Thomas slapped his knees and sat back, no smile on his face, “Usually there's something up there.”
“You know as well as I do,” Alette shook her head and looked at the floor, “No one has gone into that city in years.”
Viking grunted, “A few've gotten out, though. They didn't have anything good to say about it.”
“One of their lock-down areas?” Moop smiled and leaned forward, “They have a few of them where I'm from. Not really all that air-tight.”
Fille,” Alette sighed, “I have lived in this area for five years. Chongqing is the only city I know of that practices ombre.”
Her smile fell as the light turned red, “They what?”
“Blackout, kid,” Dr. Thomas got up and grabbed his cannon, “Midnight, every night. No lights.”
“Chongqing is not a city,” the ramp dropped as everyone got their gear, “It is a camp de travail.”
Moop got up to the ramp and paused a moment, looking at one hell of a sunset, before she snapped out of it and stepped off onto the roof of whatever building Firebrand had found suitable. She looked back at the Skyranger as it took off and the ramp closed. Firebrand had been unusually quiet.
Everyone else was already moving to the far edge of the roof, and she caught up with them. Viking was next to her, “What've we got?”
“Well,” he looked both ways on the street below and stood up, “Let's find out,” and he vaulted over the railing to the ground below, tumbling in behind some holographic display. He took a peek around the side, quickly got back behind it, and pointed to the right.
She looked and, sure enough, there was a grunt and another one of those lumbering robots. Red nudged her, “Stay up here, cover us.”
She glanced at him, “Yeah, I don't wanna be near that thing,” and she sneaked along the railing as the rest of the squad followed Viking below. She found a good firing position as the ADVENT made their way down the street, heading to their left. Alette passed her, patting her back once, and kept going along the side.
Down below, Red got up to Viking, who, in a hushed tone, called out to him, smiled, and thumbed at the holograms. He looked and saw a rotating parade of mugshots. Skullface, Jones, and finally himself before the ADVENT symbol showed up and the track started over again. He shook his head and got his eyes back on their targets, “Very funny.”
“Isn't it?”
Several gunshots rang out and the Trooper's head burst like a melon as his helmet fell off, the robot standing out in the open, trying to assess the threat. Red and Viking fired, but it was Dr. Thomas who scored some hits on the thing, and it reacted accordingly.
Moop watched as the 9-foot-tall robot with the megagun and some kind of launcher on its back ran away like a scared kid.
She smiled again, and dropped down into the building below, finding a table to get onto equal footing with everyone else. After a moment, nothing happened. She moved up towards the wall as Viking ran down the street. And then, just like before, but only in the daylight, she heard the nerd rage.
Alette and Red were running up to whatever contacts the good doctor had found, Red firing into the group while Alette had her GREMLIN do . . . something. She wasn't sure. She was just trying to keep her head down. Because Bruno's yelling meant there was a Viper up there. And she had to be ready.
She looked over her cover and saw Dr. Thomas fly through the air, yanked by some kind of wire. He was pulled right behind a car, and then she saw the slithering monstrosity coil up around him. She'd read about boa constrictors. Not all snakes bit to kill.
Luckily, Red was nearby, pulling out his Arc Blade and separating the Viper's head from its body, which fell like loose rope at Dr. Thomas' feet. He was gasping for air.
“Thanks . . .”
Red sheathed his weapon, “Yeah, no-”
Magnetic rounds flew past his head, and Dr. Thomas grabbed his cannon, ran up to the target building, and gunned the trooper down.
Red sighed, turned around, and motioned everyone else up.
“So uh,” Dr. Thomas breathed out as he reloaded, “We're near the outside of the cell, right?”
Red nodded, “We just need to get in there,” he looked back and saw him loading his launcher, “Think that'll work?”
“It's a shortcut,” he shrugged as he aimed at the wall, “I think I've earned that.”
When the smoke cleared, he almost dropped his launcher. Behind the concrete facade, the cell walls were the black and red of ADVENT metal. Alloy metal. (
Alette came up and patted him on the back, “Bon essai, toubib.”
Dr. Thomas sighed as everyone else joined Viking by the nearest door. He looked over and shook his head, “Like they didn't already know we were here.”
Red got up, followed by Moop, “Worried?”
“'Battlefield courtesy,' I think you'd call it,” he opened the door and sighed again, “Nothin'.”
Red ran in, and a moment later, “SOMETHIN'!
Viking grinned, something she never wanted to see again, as he brought out his Arc Blade and ran in. Rasping screams followed. Alette ran inside before Moop even registered the shotgun blast, and she took up a position opposite of her when she did get into the building. Stumbling towards them was one of those taser-stick-wielding maniacs Crab had taken to calling Stun Lancers. He somehow dodged the combined volley Moop and Alette laid down on him, run-skulking right up to Red and smacking him upside the head. Viking turned around and blasted him to the ground. And now the only sounds were their breathing and the alarm.
Red groaned and got up, rubbing his head, “Find the cell, we don't have time.”
The rest of the squad moved up, Dr. Thomas helping Red get his shotgun, and Moop got up to what she thought was the right door. It was the only one with green letters on its keypad. She thumbed at it while looking at Alette, who nodded and sent her GREMLIN over. A moment later and the green letters turned an uncharacteristic blue.
She opened the door and found a panicked-looking fellow inside, “Get out, we're leaving!”
Dr. Thomas came up, looking at the open doorway ahead, and glanced over at the guy. He did a double-take.
Moop stepped aside as the prisoner came out, “What's your name?”
“He's Jeremy Sanders,” Dr. Thomas shook his head and looked forward again, “Don't ask me how I know, I'm still a little woozy.”
“Uh,” Moop raised an eyebrow as Sanders looked around, “Okay.”
Red got up to the door and yelled back, “Hey, it's clear! Move it!
Moop pushed Sanders along as everyone else ran up, “Come on.”
“You're not gonna kill me, are you?”
“No. We're gonna put you to work.”
“Uh . . .”
“We're XCOM, monsieur.”
“Oh thank god.”
Red got out and put a hand to his ear, “Firebrand, we have the package.”
“I'm making a pass, but so are they.”
He looked over at the street and saw the blue flares drop. And a moment later, further down, he saw a red one.
He sneered, “They're making a habit of this.”
“Don't I know it. Be quick.”
He turned around and saw the rest of them, “Get to cover, they're dropping.”
“Shit,” Moop grabbed Sanders and dragged him over to a bus stop, “Keep your head down and follow us.”
“Yeah,” he bent over behind his cover, looking at the ground, “Okay.”
She looked back just as more ADVENT dropped in. Two regular-looking guys and a red sash. She ran up as Red and Viking brought their blades out and carved through the Officer and a grunt. The last one was trying to get a bead on one of them, she wasn't sure which one, but she put rounds into his head before he could pull the trigger.
Dr. Thomas pulled Sanders out and led him to the evac point, “Come on, dude. We're leaving.”
“She said that already,” the Skyranger came in and hovered over them.
“Yeah,” the dropcords came down as Alette ran up, “We mean it this time.”
As the three were pulled up, Moop got to her cord. A moment later, and Red and Viking were hitched up to them too. She looked over at Red. His head was bleeding.
Viking was pulled up, “Need help?”
“It can wait,” and their cords were pulled back into the Skyranger.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 25, 2016, 03:50:16 PM
13 April, 2038
Skyranger, New Arctic Airspace

“There you go, doc,” Moop was standing over Sanders, who was strapped into her seat for the landing, “Should be fine.”
“What about-”
“Should be fine.”
Dr. Thomas was pointedly looking away from their new cargo, and Viking was getting annoyed. He and Red ran into a fucking breach to get this helpless suit out of prison, a prison he couldn't even blow up, and he was ignoring him? Viking looked over at Red, who was enjoying a cigar, and then glanced at Alette, who was staring at the ceiling, waiting for the green light. His eyes passed over Sanders, who still seemed rightfully terrified, and settled on Dr. Thomas. Who looked at the floor.
Viking's legs jogged in place for a half-minute before he stood up, “The fuck's your problem?
Everyone but the good doctor froze and stared at him. It took the buffoon a moment to realize he was being called out, and he followed suit. Viking stopped himself from smiling. Behind those glasses were eyes filled with a deep, lingering, fear. A fear that would never go away. The fear of a coward.
Bête,” Alette's voice was firm, “Sit down.”
No,” he shot a glance at her before refocusing on his prey, “Not 'til he tells me why.”
Moop shook her head, “The hell you want a why from him?”
“You can't see?” he spit on the floor and took a few steps over to Dr. Thomas, “Dude's an act! Shoots a big gun, makes a big boom, but what he can't do,” he grabbed him by the beard, almost yanking him out of his seat, “What he won't fuckin' do, is look another wimp in the eyes!
Red unbuckled, stood up, and threw away his cigar before grasping his sword, “You step back, son.”
“Oh what? I'm out of line?”
“No line for you to cross,” he took a step towards him, “But you're making a scene.”
“I'm out for answers, not blood,” he yanked Dr. Thomas up a bit more, bringing his face close to those glasses, “So what's got you twitchy?
The shot to his crotch did him in quick. He let go of the beard and almost fell to the floor, but Red caught him before that could happen. His vision was watery, but he got a good look at him. And yeah, there was fear in his eyes, but he'd misjudged it. He misjudged it real bad. (
Dr. Thomas unbuckled himself, knelt down, and, in a quiet voice, said, “You want to know? I just got murder-hugged by a ten-foot snake monster to then rescue someone I didn't think was real,” he pointed at Sanders, “I laughed at him. Do you see me laughing now?”
Viking shook his head and shook Red off him, then slowly got back into his seat. Dr. Thomas and the old soldier did the same. The light turned green, and Moop stumbled for balance as the Skyranger landed.
“Does, uh,” Sanders gulped, unbuckling himself, “Does this kind of thing happen often?”
“Not this bad,” Moop muttered, looking out the dropping ramp, “But yeah. Headbutting's a sport here.”
13 April, 2038
Soldier Living Quarters, Avenger

He had to work on his sleep schedule. Or his alarm. Or something, anything. That was the one thing he was getting wrong. Killing dudes? Yeah, he was doing fine. Workout routine? That was down to an academic pursuit. Except no books. Books were boring. That's what TV was for.
So Macho had been flipping through the “channels” on Sledge's latest invention, something he called in his own head the “Super-Hijacked Independent Television.” He'd have to steal the idea before Sledge could patent it. It marketed itself, really. Though yeah, “channels” was in quotes. It was all really the same channel, just different focuses. You had GAN N for news, GAN E for entertainment, GAN P for “prophecy”, though really it was another “p”, and The Food Network. He was surprised to see ADVENT let that one slide all these years. Though right now that channel just showing different ways of spicing up your ADVENT Salads, something he'd never eat, so he was watching GAN E. Looked like some kind of thriller show, following this wormy guy. Macho had caught it halfway through, he guessed, because he was looking for his sister.
And that's what he was watching when Viking walked through the door with a slight limp.
Macho glanced at him, keeping his eyes on the screen, “Was it fun?”
Viking groaned as he sat down at the table, “Right up 'til Bruno nut-punched me.”
Macho shrugged, “Prolly had a good reason,” the wormy guy was talking to this dude in an alley. In a black cloak, because sneaky.
“Kinda proud, really,” he grunted as he shifted in his seat to look at the TV, “Weirdo stood up for, himself . . .”
Macho didn't realize that Viking was off the trail until the show's music stopped for a moment. He turned around, “Huh?”
Viking's mouth was agape, and he pointed at the screen, “What's he doing up there?”
Macho looked back, and the wormy guy was running from some ADVENT goons, “Who, him? Dunno his name, but he's gettin' snatched.”
“Yeah, twice now,” Viking coughed once, “We just pulled his ass out of a prison city.”

[XCOM's got another new engineer and some clashing personalities. If you want to be one of those personalities, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. The next update will land on Thursday afternoon!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on September 28, 2016, 09:25:56 AM


Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 29, 2016, 11:07:55 AM
15 April, 2038
Avenger Landing Site, East Asia

It was still her rifle. A bit heavier, some new cloches et de sifflets, but in all other respects, the same. Sledge was out here with Moop and herself. The rest would need to wait for their turn. Alette fiddled with a dial on the side, which she assumed was the safety, and took aim at the target in front of her.
She fired trois fois. (
It was an unmistakable sound, singulier, a sound she had heard a great deal in her life. Raids and battlefields across Europe and the Middle East, in every bit of weather and time of day. The wind never changed it, foliage only dampened it, screams could barely drown it out. Plasma was quiet, but bright. This was fort en terne, a sound that could be heard over a cacophonie. Perfect for sans coeur soldiers who need not stop firing, save for reloading to fire more. Every dead friend, every smoking wound, every attack and defense and abattage in her life was summed up in that sound.
And the ingenieur clapped when her target was blasted to splinters.
It had a lot more rebond than traditional ballistics, but she could adjust for that. She let out a breath and turned to Sledge, “Magnifique, now we can kill like animals.”
He sighed, “If that's how you feel. It wasn't easy, but this will punch through their armor a lot better.”
Moop took her turn, and her target was left in a similar state to Alette's, “That's a lot of firepower.”
Alette placed the magnetic rifle on the fold-up table beside her, “Before, you had no choice.”
“No,” Sledge shrugged, “And we don't now, either.”
She looked up at him, “We will destroy these after, oui?”
“I imagine we'll have their armories then,” Sledge rubbed the back of his head as Moop propped up another pair of targets, this time farther away, “There wouldn't be much point.”
“You must have disposed of que les ordures after the War. Autrement, laser and plasma weaponry would have been everywhere.”
Sledge put his hands on the table and leaned in, “It takes a lot of alloys, elerium, and know-how to make something as good as what the aliens, or even ADVENT have. They're importing this stuff from somewhere out there, this shit doesn't form here on Earth. We didn't destroy them, they ran out of juice.”
Alette stared at him for a moment, let out a breath, and picked up her new gun, “If you are lying . . .”
“Trust me,” he stood back up as the two sighted their targets, “I want to break out the old girl.”
17 April, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

He was looking at pictures of Cairo. Twenty-one years did wonders for construction, ADVENT speed though it was, and the city had long-since been surpassed from before the invasion. It came at the cost of its personality. Sterile, sharp, white spires everywhere. Just like everywhere. It was everywhere. Central had not been to New York in over a decade. Now he knew he did not want to.
“So,” he took a sip of his coffee, “It's out in East Africa.”
“Chimp moves fast.”
“She always did,” a little feeling crept through Mr. Osterman's voice for a moment, “I believe this facility is a center of research for the Avatar Project. It is eerily similar to the one on Honshu.”
“Well, any deadline on this one?”
“Soon as you can.”
“Nice to see you loosening up again.”
“We are making progress. Good progress. Vigilo Confido.”
Vigilo Confido.”
He cut the link and got up, taking his mug. As he walked onto the bridge, he saw the Skyranger take off. He put an hand to his ear, “You better have an explanation for me.”
Grey Devil sighed, “If it was a big one, you'd know. I sent some of 'em out to this site I've been monitoring the last few days. No ADVENT signatures in the area, but there's wildlife, so guns.”
Central shook his head and walked over to the Hologlobe, “Are you working on the armor designs Sledge drew up?”
“They aren't my field, it's taking it's sweet-ass time. Give me a while.”
“We don't even have a bit and you want a while.”
“You know,” he heard Crab attach his leg with a clack and a hiss, “I used to hate Vahlen and Shen. Always bringing their shit the moment we didn't need it anymore. Now I think I know a bit better.”
Central nodded, monitoring the Skyranger's path, “Yeah, me too.”
There was a pause, “How's your seat up there, Brigadier?”
“Dunno, Doctor, how goes the not giving a shit?”
17 April, 2038
Abandoned Radio Tower, Wilderness of New Arctic

“Is this the place?”
She had asked this not three steps away from the Skyranger. The Monster and Bruno ignored her, but he turned around and yelled, “Whaddya think, lady?”
They were standing outside a radio tower that had been fortified out the ass. It looked like an old videogame map. Waist-high cover every few feet, honeycombed of course, and two mounted machine guns near the door. Unmanned, though, so useless. Kind of like that question.
Bruno turned to Macho, “Come on, don't be rude,” he looked back at the fort, “Can't be, right now.”
The Monster took a few steps toward the building and nodded, “Elmo thinks Grey Devil was right.”
“How many days did we fly over this thing?” he looked up at the tower, “Four, five?”
“Was five,” Firebrand had drawn her pistol and came up to them, “And yeah, don't be rude. Someone's in there, and he'll probably be high-strung.”
“Yeah, well,” he looked back at the tower, “Whaddya expec-HEY WAIT-”
But Bruno had already opened the door and poked his head in, “Hello?”
The Monster shook his head and darted up, Macho and Firebrand not far behind. He was amazed the doc's head wasn't blowed off. Instead, the nut walked in, calling again and again.
It was dark, damp, and smelled awful. He pulled out his flashlight, though hell if he knew why Bruno didn't have his out yet. He was leading them deeper into what must have been a radio station way back when people spoke fucking Russian. Cyrillic was plastered everywhere, tons of backwards “R's” and accented “C's” on every hallway. He could read it just as well as he could Unilang. Which meant he read it like shit.
Suddenly, Bruno stopped and held up a hand, then turned a corner, aiming his cannon ahead. Then, “No way.”
Macho came over and shined a light on what he saw. It was plain English, written on the wall in something brown: “Stop the PIP”.
“Well,” Firebrand looked around the corner down another hallway, “That just confirms someone's here.”
“Elmo doesn't think he'll be nice.”
“What gave you that idea?”
“Okay,” Bruno got closer to the message, “I read about this years ago. The Pip was a Russian numbers station.”
“A what?”
“Some kind of spy broadcast, though people found its frequency,” he walked down the hallway, “I think our friend found the station and re-purposed it.”
Macho figured it was best to leave science to the scientists and followed him all the way to a closed door. With an eye-level glass window. That was smashed.
Bruno took a look inside, and there was a click. After a few clicks he turned back, “Yeah, be delicate.”
He opened the door and Macho saw a disheveled guy in the far corner, his flashlight blinding him and making him yelp. He also dropped the spent pistol he'd been aiming at the door.
“Elmo's got this,” the Monster brushed past them, “Don't say anything. Not for a while.”
“Yeah? For how long?”
The Monster glared at him for a moment, knelt down, and then, “A couple days.”
“Well,” Firebrand whispered, “You have your rations. I'll be back by then. Can't really hang here for that long.”
Macho sighed and went over to a chair in the room, “Yeah, yeah. Hate guard duty.”
Bruno leaned his cannon on the wall, smiling, “Think of it like babysitting.”
“You got a weird way about you, doc,” he leaned back, hands behind his head.
Bruno sat on the floor, looking over at the Monster and the other guy, “He'll pull his weight once we get him on board. He did all that outside.”
“Yeah,” Macho closed his eyes, “Lost his damn mind inside.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on September 30, 2016, 09:33:06 AM
Oooooh new toy for Kit!

and I get to hang out with a stranger for a few days!

I hope he doesn't turn into an alien.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on September 30, 2016, 12:01:48 PM
20 April, 2038
Small Town in ADVENT Patrol Zone 19, outskirts of Novgorod, New Arctic

“Hope you guys don't mind sacrilege,” Firebrand's voice was measured, “But that's the best overlook spot I can find.”
He didn't rightly know what “device” they were meant to protect, but he figured he'd recognize it all the same. ( Kamo cracked his knuckles as he stood up, Alette putting out her cigar before doing the same. Viking was already standing by the ramp door when the light actually turned red, and Moop flipped a switch on the side of that new rifle she had.
Elmo got his comparatively mundane gun and pistol as the ramp dropped. He did, indeed, see a church beneath them. Funny looking cross suggested Orthodox rather than Catholic. He wondered if the people here would mind.
Ecrous au Geneva Convention, no?”
“Like they care,” Viking uselessly pumped his shotgun, “Or that we should.”
“Not really a healthy attitude there,” Moop looked back and saw him and Kamo up and ready, “I mean, like it or not, ADVENT's goons are partly us.”
Elmo shook his head as Viking and Alette jumped out and Kamo walked past Moop, “They got no soul.”
Moop stared at Kamo as he hopped off the ramp, “Sometimes I wonder.”
A moment later and they were on top of the church, the Skyranger rocketing off into the early evening. The others were hiking up the central hump of the roof, and when he caught up to them at the railing, Alette held up a hand. He looked over and saw a trooper and a Sectoid down below on the street in front of them, skulking around a bus. Across from that was the target building, a residence that probably belonged to whatever dead hacker had set up their device. (
Without warning, Kamo vaulted over the side and dashed up to a tall gravestone below them. Alette shook her head and followed suit, and Elmo noticed the size of the graveyard. It was small. Not a lot of bodies, or too many kidnappings?
Moop's rifle went off right next to him, and he immediately ducked. He doubted he'd ever get used to that sound coming from so close, but the dying rasps of the alien were clear enough. He peeked over as Moop smiled. A huge chunk of the Sectoid's head had been blown off, as well as one of its arms.
Etaler!” she moved up to the bus as Moop dropped to follow her.
WHAT?” Viking got behind a garbage bin as Kamo took a measured advance into the graveyard.
Spread, out!” she looked around the bus' rear, “Imbecile . . .”
Elmo saw that they were heading towards the house proper, and so made his way to a different perch. Just as he got comfortable, there was a shotgun blast. He looked back and saw a trooper run off to their left, and one of those huge robots lumber through a window. He sent a bullet through its left shoulder before Alette's GREMLIN flew up to it and flashed. The thing went inert and fell over into the snow with a thud. Viking let out a battle cry as he got up to a fallen log, laying down another blast, killing the fleeing trooper. He then looked to his left, at the bus, “Aw shit!
Magnetic rounds burst through the back window of the bus and smacked Viking onto his back. There was another layer of that sound briefly as Alette fired through the chassis, and the ADVENT crumbled in a heap.
Goddammit!” he sat up.
Moop ran over to him, “I got you-”
“Fuck off, I'm fine,” Viking stood up as Elmo sighed and made his way over to them, “Shit.
Moop shrugged as Kamo came over, “That looked like it hurt-”
Yeah it did,” Viking let out a breath, reloading his shotgun, “This better be fucking worth it.”
Kamo motioned his head towards the garage door on the side of the house before he ran over to the window the robot came out of. Viking sighed and made for that door while the rest followed Kamo, who jumped through and ran into the dining room, looking over at something by the outer wall.
“You see it?” Elmo was keeping his eye on their right flank.
Kamo nodded as Alette and Moop went into the garage, the former pausing when she got to Viking, “Stay down over here, tres bien?”
“Yeah, alright,” he muttered, running over to a stump in the backyard, “Don't whine when I gotta save your ass.”
Alette grunted as she got over to a chopped car in the garage, “Je le jure.”
“Right with you.”
That's when Elmo heard slithering and brought his revolver out. He peered around the corner of the house, and a moment later saw scales. He fired and ducked back, Elmo got a snake!
The door in front of Moop was kicked down as a Stun Lancer rushed in, her rounds going wild, and Kamo followed suit, walking deeper into the room while laying down more fire. A round of buckshot went past Alette's face and tore through cheap, rotting plaster, making a hole for Elmo to quickly gun down the Stun Lancer in the living room. He dashed into the garage, “Elmo saw it in the street.”
Allons,” and Alette lead Moop into the living room, covering the window to the street outside. Just as they got into position, a hiss came in through that window and burst right in Alette's face. She promptly began coughing as a streak of pink ran through the cloud and, a moment later, yelled as it brought an orange blade through the middle of the Viper outside.
Kamo came in from the dining room as Alette left the cloud. Moop glanced at him, “Is it good?”
Kamo looked over his shoulder as he reloaded his cannon, and nodded.
Elmo put a hand to his ear, “Elmo wants to know if that was it.”
“Yeah, I think we can bring in Grey Devil after I get you guys home. I'll be outside.”
Viking walked back in with a grin, sheathing his sword, “Told-” and immediately started having a coughing fit. He vomited a little, “What the fu-”
“I'll ask again,” Moop sighed, nodding her head at her GREMLIN, “Do you want some help?”
Elmo let out a breath and sat against his wall, looking out at the snow-covered backyard. It was quiet again. And he was still around to hear it.
It didn't last. Moop came out, as Viking kept yelling at no one and coughing up a storm, and looked down at him, “So.”
Elmo sighed, still looking out.
“You got a crazy to hook up yesterday.”
Elmo shook his head, “Ain't crazy. Reminds Elmo of someone Elmo used to know.”
Moop took a moment, “Yeah,” she leaned against the doorway, the Skyranger's engines getting closer as it touched down, “Yeah, I guess he would.”
“Said he'd been there four years,” Elmo stood up, chambering a round into his rifle, “Elmo thinks he imagined one of them.”
“Let me guess,” Moop looked out at the snow, “Experience?”
Elmo nodded.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on October 01, 2016, 12:03:42 PM
19 April, 2038
Abandoned Radio Tower, Wilderness of New Arctic

Glasses had been hanging around, but blessedly quiet. At least after the fifth time Dr. Thomas cussed him out on it, but that had been yesterday. They were bearing with him, and had slept in here, one at a time for watch. Elmo hadn't been sleeping, he'd been keeping his one good eye on the man they had found. Just before he passed out (guy didn't fall asleep, it seemed, and hadn't for a while), he got his name. Dirk Vos. Dutch. How he'd ended up deep into Russia would probably be best kept to himself.
And Elmo was only going to pry but so hard. (
Right now, Macho had gone for a piss, and Dr. Thomas was idly fiddling with the buttons and nobs on the other side of the room. He was just waiting for Dirk to wake up. He'd taken his empty gun out of his hands in the night. Elmo wanted to see what he would do when he didn't have it. Mr. Vos had told him very little the previous day. And what he did say was mostly babble and ramble. But the man was a schooled engineer, his family was “gone,” and he had killed at least one person either on his way here or once he found the place. Probably ADVENT, but Elmo didn't think so.
“Hey, if you don't mind,” he turned to look at Dr. Thomas, who was thankfully keeping his voice down, “What makes you the psychiatrist?” he looked over his shoulder, “No offense, just wondering.”
Elmo nodded, “Elmo ain't trained, but Elmo knows what it's like.”
“Ah,” Dr. Thomas looked back to the dials, “Guess you don't wanna talk about it.”
He sighed, “Not much for Elmo to say. 'Cept this does screw you up.”
“Yeah,” he looked up for a moment, “Yeah, cabin fever.”
“No, not that. Self-imposed. Elmo knows what it's like to be in one, dark place for too long,” he saw a twitch, and after a moment, continued, “Even with company, it gets bad.”
Macho came in, “Oh man, you wouldn't believ-
Instantly, Vos was scrambling to his feet, screaming his head off, and before Elmo could grab him, he jumped onto Macho. The two tumbled into the hallway, but he got there before any serious blows were struck.
The man went limp, and his breathing slowed.
Macho was on the ground, his glasses askew, staring up at him, “What the-
Elmo grabbed Vos before another episode could start, Vos. Elmo here.
He brought him away from the doorway as Dr. Thomas offered a hand to Macho, “Come on, speakerphone.”
“Eugh,” Macho took it and got up, “Try to talk 'bout the sunrise, he goes apeshit.”
“Gun. Gun!”
“Elmo has it,” he took it out to show before putting it away, “Vos don't need it anymore.”
“But. Gun.”
“Vos remember. Remember Elmo.”
“Vos . . . Elmo.”
He nodded, “Yeah, Elmo. Elmo's gonna take you away from here.”
Vos tensed up, “No hole.”
Elmo shook his head, “No hole. Might be dark sometimes, but Vos won't go into any hole.”
“Vos, no like hole.”
“Vos will fly with Elmo. Fly away. Do good.”
Vos' breathing was regular again, and after a few long, quiet moments, he nodded, “Vos go. With Elmo.”
He turned to them, not smiling, and nodded.
Dr. Thomas grabbed his cannon and brought his other hand to his ear, “Elmo's got him. He isn't much better, but he'll behave probably.”
“I'm on my way.”
Elmo patted Vos on the back, “Elmo will have to let go, but Elmo will be around. In sight.”
Vos' eyes widened, “No. Stay. Vos.”
He nodded, “Vos strong. Vos kept this place. Bad people avoid it.”
“No. Vos.”
“Yes, Vos. Yes.”
20 April, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

Elmo was the first off the Skyranger, which was a pretty easy thing to do. Alette was coughing every now and again, and hard, and Kamo and herself were supporting Viking. Not much, mind you, just enough so that if he suddenly fell over, he probably wouldn't crack his thick skull. And of course, he was complaining.
“I can walk, guys.”
“Yeah, right now,” she grunted, shifting his weight a little on her shoulder, “Gotta get you to the medbay.”
Elmo had walked over to Sledge, who was fiddling with something on a wall, “How is he?”
Sledge nodded, “Doing good. I have him with Werner and Sanders down below working on our power situation,” he crossed a couple wires and sparks flew out, the panel above them coming to life, “Should be a few days of human interaction.”
He sighed, “Elmo's thankful.”
“No sweat, buddy.”
Firebrand had come over with the gurney, “If you want-”
I'm fine. Leave it.
She shook her head and followed them, “I guess he'll live.”
“He better,” Moop just focused on carrying half of him, “I mean, I don't like him, but he's a beast.”
He coughed again, “I'm on your shoulder.
“Oh look, you're too muscly for me,” she started bending over, “Might have to drop you.”
She stood up again, “So you do need help.”
Shut up.
Elmo opened the door for them and they started on their way down. Sometimes, this could be fun.

[More, albeit questionable, expertise, and some more stuff gained. If you want to help your wounded friends off to the doctor's, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. I'm going to take a bit of a break, but the thread will start updating again on October 12!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on October 12, 2016, 12:20:17 PM
24 April, 2038
Internal Chamber, Avenger

There was a lot of junk in this room. She'd seen every facet of this ship over the last four months, and she didn't envy whoever had to clear out its bowels. Some rooms were actually pretty clear of debris, except that's where power conduits were. And they were not happy. How the Avenger didn't blow up every time they kicked in the engines, she could never tell.
Moop also didn't know how the hell she'd gotten babysitter duty while Elmo went to take a leak. She was watching the guy he brought back almost a week ago. He kept saying Vos this and Vos that, so she hadn't been talking to him. The guy was unhinged, that much was clear, but he wasn't grabbing a pipe or a sharpened bit of broken metal and stabbing anybody, yet, so she could manage.
He was standing a few feet away, picking up bits of metal and alloys and placing them in a cart, “Vos see little. Dark. No Vos.”
He'd been muttering this for a while, every few seconds, and it was creeping her out. Her rifle was resting on the wall behind her, ready for her to use as a club. She didn't want to shoot the guy, but a blow to the head? That would be better.
A moment later, Elmo finally came back, “He alright?”
“Keeps talking about the dark,” she shrugged, “Not much else to say.”
“No screams, no crying?”
She shook her head, “Nope.”
He nodded, “Good. Richter told Elmo she wants to see you.”
She looked at him and raised an eyebrow, “I thought she jumped ship.”
“Elmo did too,” he leaned on the wall, watching Vos, “She's been fightin' with Sledge rather fierce.”
“For how long?”
“Good week, Elmo thinks.”
Moop let out a breath and picked up her rifle, “Will I need this?”
“Elmo don't know,” he glanced at her, trying to keep an eye on the engineer, “Elmo hopes not.”
“Yeah, me too,” and she was out the door.
It was a winding path through the ship to Engineering, and she passed by quite a few places she figured were in the opposite direction. The safety on her rifle was on, and she was going to keep it on. No reason for anyone to die on this thing, no sense in it. XCOM needed everyone it could get, and she was pretty sure Central would be pissed. But shooting Richter? Probably justified.
She turned a corner and heard the yelling. It was her, alright. No real words, just rage. As she came into Engineering proper, she found Sledge in a corner, Ricther yelling into his face.
So abso-fucking-lutely NOT!” her breathing was labored.
Sledge gave her a moment, then sided past her, “I don't remember you getting angry about our plasma guns, or our powered armor-”
That wasn't the same, and you know it!” Richter's eyes passed over Moop before she had them on Sledge again, “What they did to them, what hell they put us through to make us like THEM, it's not worth it!
“What they did,” Sledge had picked up a hammer, “Was invasive. This wouldn't be.”
Oh yeah, like splicing a brain with a tool isn't invasive as fu-
Goddammit, Raynez, it's not a chip! It's an amp!
Richter backed down, eyes still wild, and she turned to Moop, but kept talking to Sledge, “Can't let shit stay.”
Sledge let out a breath and put down his hammer, “If we find anybody who wants this,” he walked over to his console, “Then we'll need more than just the amp. We'll need a facility, we'll need someone to watch over them, we'll need-”
As he was talking, Richter had been eying Moop's rifle. In a flash, she had wrested it from her, flipped the safety off, swung around, and fired once into the desk behind her. There was a flash, an electrical outburst, and then more yelling.
What the HELL?!
Not gonna let you make more Nephilim, Sledge,” and she walked out, slamming Moop's rifle into her chest, where she grabbed it.
They both watch her leave. She gulped, “Should I-”
“No,” Sledge sighed, gathering the pieces of whatever had been on his desk, “Let her go.”
She turned towards him, “What was even-”
“Just go.”
27 April, 2038
Receiving Bay, Avenger

Red patted his armor into place, nodded, and then lit his cigar. The alarms were blaring, and he could hear Central's voice shouting over the intercom. There had been a second haven attack. Innocent people were dying. It was up to them to drive ADVENT off. He chambered his shells and locked the shotgun into place. Siegfried was close by, turning his GREMLIN on.
He coughed, “How long does it take to get used to this?”
“Kid,” he moved his cigar from one side of his mouth to the other, “You are asking the wrong man.”
“I mean,” Siegfried sighed, looking up at him as the robot flew over his shoulder, “When did they get used to it?”
“I don't think they are.”
Kamo and Macho dashed in, grabbing their gear. The younger man grabbed his rifle, “Gotta save our meats!”
“Civilians are dying-”
Meats!” he chambered his rounds and slapped the bolt action with a big grin on his face.
Red shook his head as he heard Kamo lift up his cannon, “Where are the smart people?”
“Busy,” Moop strolled in, her GREMLIN already online. She made her way to her locker and got her other gear, “The Doc is getting some radio stuff ready, and Alette's on madman duty with Elmo.”
Macho's grin turned to grimace as he strapped on his revolver, “That guy's a problem.”
“Yeah, well, he's Elmo's problem,” Moop checked her rifle, “He's the one who brought him on board.”
“Save it for the trip,” Red looked over at the Skyranger. The ramp was dropping, “Or don't. Save it for later.”
As everyone made their way over to the jet, Siegfried walked up to Moop, “Are you used to these?”
“Oh yeah, regular banter.”
“No, I mean-”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on October 13, 2016, 12:06:39 PM
27 April, 2038
Humanity Falls, New Arctic

It almost looked peaceful on the hologram. ( Like the fires she knew were just behind those buildings were instead the sun setting. Something was setting, all right. The havens' confidence in XCOM. Moop was sure this was in response to everything they had done since grabbing that vial. Red's cigar was slowly burning, and across from them was skullface, shades, and the kid.
And man, he was mouthy, “I keep hearing numbers. That normal?”
Moop sighed, leaning towards him, “Yeah.”
“I don't like it.”
“I don't want to turn that thing on.”
“Again,” she shrugged, “Tough.”
“Didn't Richter condition you for this?” Red puffed on his cigar.
Siegfried shook his head, “No. All she did was toss me this thing, tell me to go to the engine room, and I sat there with Grey Devil for a couple days before the numbers showed up.”
“Don't go cyborg on us,” Macho pulled down his rifle from the overhead, “Unless, I dunno, ya got a good reason.”
Moop raised an eyebrow, “Like fucking what?”
He shrugged, “A good reason.”
Moop sat back in her seat, “God damn.”
Firebrand came over the intercom, “So I actually have a quiet approach, maybe you guys won't be shot at right away. They brought the big boys this time, though.”
“Oh shit.”
“Clue us in?”
Siegfried put his hands to his face, “Mutons. She means Mutons.”
Red straightened, “Haven't seen them in seven years.”
Macho grinned, “They sound nasty.”
“Might be a long shot, but you ever play the old games?”
Macho shook his head, “We never had power.”
“Well shit,” the light turned red, and he was the first to stand up, “Anyone else?”
Red got his shotgun as Moop and Siegfried turned their GREMLINs on, “I dabbled. Which system?”
He thought for a moment as the ramp dropped, then nodded, “Yeah. Yeah, I can see that.”
“Okay,” Moop flipped her rifle's safety as Kamo walked past her, “What am I-”
“Me too.”
“ . . . What are we missing here?”
Siegfried paused as Red and Kamo jumped out, “You wouldn't get it,” and he followed.
When she got on the ground, she saw that blazing sunset only burning wood and sheet metal could make, and knew that this was not like last time. It was worse. As they crossed the frozen river marking the edge of the haven, a few people rushed out of the building in front of them, which looked to be some kind of chop shop.
“Spread out,” Red rushed up, “They're probably coming this way!”
Moop followed, pushing one of the civilians behind her, and got behind some tires. Kamo hadn't quite gotten behind a fence when he opened fire. She looked ahead and saw an ADVENT seemingly slip to the ground, just before something else, something bigger, rounded the corner. Its legs looked completely inadequate to support its torso, which was huge, and what little skin poked out of the green armor was pink, like it had just been burned. It actually might have, since as it lumbered up it gave a bestial roar, only muffled by a re-breather it wore.
Kamo went right to work peppering the tree it sided up to, giving Siegfried and Macho an ample target which, while imposing, was just too big to miss. It crumpled in a muscly heap, something popping out of its ridiculous plasma rifle.
The gunfire ahead was mostly magnetic and plasma, but it didn't seem to be getting closer. She sighed, heading towards the building. A guy bumped into her from behind a shack, startled. She almost brought her rifle to bear, “Keep running,” and was on her way again. Everyone else was topping off their magazines, and Red jumped over a fence to scavenge what he could from the body.
“Oh yeah,” he chuckled, grabbing a core and wresting something off the gun, “I can see what he was sayin'.”
“What's that,” she peeked over his shoulder and saw some kind of serrated edge on the front of the weapon.
“Well, my advice,” Macho came up behind them, “Don't get close.”
“Making sense for once,” Red stood up, looking at the roof, “I'll scout up there, you guys move through the shop.”
“Yes, sir,” Siegfried got up to a hole blown into the outer wall.
Red shook his head and started shimmying up a pipe to the roof.
“Come on,” Moop moved in, leaning behind a shelf on the left wall, and Siegfried followed, siding up to an unhitched trailer that was inside.
And that was when the burning tires and the gunfire outside were drowned out by a stream of wet, thudding sounds coming from the balcony above them.  (
She looked up and saw the towering, gummy visage of a Faceless staring down. She screamed that it was up there, that would somebody shoot it, but at that moment Siegfried opened fire on the raising garage door in front of them. The not-quite-solid thing droned as it vaulted the railing, slamming down into the trailer's bed and slashing right through the air in front of Siegfried's turning face. He screamed as he smashed into the ground, blood spurting in front of him in a sickening spray.
Just as Moop sent her GREMLIN to see what could be done, there was the muffled sound of a revolver firing, and then a huge explosion wracked the area not ten feet in front of her. The shock wave even sent the drone a few feet off course, but it got over to Siegfried unscathed.
Through the smoke and her coughing, “Booyah!
She couldn't see, “God-DAMMIT!
There was a crash above, and Red landed on the Faceless' shoulders in a rain of glass, driving his Arc Blade into the ever-quivering flesh of its neck. As it roared in pain, cannonfire erupted from its right, bringing the monster down into the trailer.
Siegfried practically punched Moop's GREMLIN away, wiping the blood from his eyes with his other arm, and saw a Muton lining up a shot on him. He was on his feet as the plasma flew, moving faster than Moop had ever seen anyone run before. He got into cover behind a soda machine across the room and scored a couple of headshots on the brute before he even took a breath. She saw his face. It would be nasty.
Macho's rifle rang out as her coughing stopped and the smoke cleared, “I don't see anywait-” she fired her rifle at what she thought was a lone trooper. That lone trooper fell and in his place was a stun lancer and a MEC. Just our luck.
Siegfried was yelling, not screaming, at the advancing ADVENT, drawing attention as Red and Kamo moved up, the latter spraying a deadly barrage of rounds into the lancer. Moop took this as her cue and ran to the trailer, firing into the robot as it turned away from them. A moment later and it fired to its left, producing a sudden, short scream as someone died.
Hey, you binary bucket of-” she laid the rest of her rounds into the MEC, and it broke down before it hit the ground.
Siegfried took a few steps towards the wreck, then stopped, stared at the side door, and ran up to it, “Sir, something's coming.”
Red ran up to the door, getting on the opposite side of the frame, “You want to breach?”
He reloaded, his face red and still bleeding, a grim steel in his eyes, “No. Open it, but stick here. We need a firing line.”
Red nodded, motioned her and Kamo up as Macho rounded a corner, “Man, did you see that explosion? WHOO!
“Shut up you-”
Red groaned as the roar came and busted down the door with the butt of his gun. On the other side, almost strolling over, was another Faceless. The two shot at it until its body crumpled over and slid into the garage.
They all gathered around the corpse, breathing for a moment as the gunfight on the other side of the haven died down. Red put a hand to his ear, “Tell me they're leaving, Firebrand.”
“Yeah, they're bugging out.”
“How many dead, you think?”
“A fair bit, more than last time.”
Siegfried walked away towards the trailer.
“Well, we drove them off. That's something.”
“Uh,” Firebrand paused, and Red looked up at the squad, “Yeah, about that. You found a firing team. They look like they were going to pull out anyway.”
Moop sighed, looking out at the haven, “They drew us out.”
“I'll touch down.”
Red nodded, “Yeah, okay-”
Two magnetic shots rang out, and they all turned to Siegfried in the trailer. He raised his gun, staring at the Faceless corpse inside. He looked up at them. Kamo lowered his cannon.
“This is what they did.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on October 14, 2016, 12:48:58 PM
27 April, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

Siegfried was the first off the Skyranger. He had been quiet the whole way back, and his GREMLIN followed him out. Apparently the numbers were not bothering him anymore, or maybe he just did not care. Red stood at the base of the ramp as the rest walked past him, Macho bothering Moop with his “sick kills” and such. It took him a moment to realize his cigar had burned out, and he tossed it to the floor.
Firebrand came from the other side of the jet, “He doesn't need help?”
“He can see, it's all in the face,” Red sighed, “You were being optimistic, weren't ya?”
She paused, nodded, “Yeah. Kinda had to be.”
He started for the door, “Should probably report to Central.”
“I don't think now's the time.”
He stopped halfway and turned back, “Got anythin' to do with Richter leavin'?”
“A bit,” she came up, nodding, then sighed, putting her hands on her hips, “She had a bit of an outburst the other day with Sledge.”
“I heard.”
“So you know.”
“Nope,” he started walking again, “I mean I heard the gunshot. Seein' that Sledge is still alive, she shot one of his toys.”
Firebrand grabbed Red's shoulder as he got to the door, “It was a prototype of a psionic device.”
Red did not look at her, “Does he know what he's playing with?”
“He says Grey Devil asked him to proof it. He's making another one.”
“I don't want to live near somebody who can kill with a thought,” Red groaned, “Got enough of the regular kind of psychopath around here.”
“Yeah, well,” Firebrand looked back at the door for a moment, “Central's weighing that. Psychics were sort of key to beating them back the last time.”
“Yeah, then they drained our resources until they came back,” Red shook his head and opened the door, keeping his eyes on hers, “Nephilim were trouble.”
“They didn't have training.”
He stepped through, “Yep, and we can't give it to them.”
30 April, 2038
Somewhere in the Sivalik Hills, New India

We do not want you here.
He hadn't gotten two steps down the ramp when the suited man outside said this. It was a cheap suit, but probably the best in the village, considering the climate and the lack of electricity these folks probably had. Behind him was a whole crowd of people, a few of them in traditional dress, but most in ragged t-shirts and khakis. New India was a harsh place outside of the ADVENT cities, and he was surprised that there were still this many people living in one place out in the sticks.
Dr. Thomas looked over at Sledge, who was also stopped dead in his tracks. Macho, who was still in the Skyranger, muttered, “Thought it was 'sposed to be warm here.”
“Sir,” this came out a little less steady than Sledge probably wanted it to, “Your village is with the resistance. We sort of need all the contacts we can-”
No. Go away.
“We can protect you.”
You cannot. I've heard what happened up north. You people are undermanned, undisciplined, and ungrateful. You will bring ADVENT down upon us!
A cheer erupted from the crowd. It was a cheer he had heard before, seven thousand miles away. It was the cheer of sheep. He went ahead of Sledge and got onto the dirt. The cheer stopped, and the suit stared at him.
As did Sledge, “Bruno-”
He opened his arms, smiling, “Kick me out.”
There was silence.
A brick flew over Dr. Thomas' head and smashed into the ramp. A cry from somewhere farther back, “Get the fuck out of here!”
Make him, you-”
SHUT UP. Sledge pushed Dr. Thomas away and got within a foot of the suit, who was fuming. He looked at the crowd, I've got weapon stashed all over this area. I didn't live too goddamn far away from here, and my memory's sharp. You don't think we can protect you?! Then protect yourselves! he produced a slip of paper from his shirt pocket, grabbed the suit's right hand, and slammed it into his grasp as he took a step back in shock. Sledge pulled him close, “We won't stay long, just enough to get our radios synced. I hope to god you guys give the same welcome to ADVENT.”
He backed off as silence hung in the air again. After a moment, Macho cupped his hands over his mouth, “WHAT HE SAID!

[New enemies, and a new region in contact. April's been a rough month for XCOM, and if you want to help out yourself, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. The next update is dropping next Friday! Due to a freak heat wave, the update is gonna come on Sunday night instead.]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on October 16, 2016, 06:39:51 AM
good stuff!

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on October 23, 2016, 03:19:36 PM
3 May, 2038
Avenger Bridge

He wondered if Shen ever had this problem. It was a pretty open-ended one, and it probably wasn't going to kill them. Probably. But it was a problem nonetheless. He doubted if the old man ever really had a grasp on the enormity of their situation, or on how many roads alien tech truly opened up. Then again, maybe he had. Crab figured he just didn't have the balls to try most of them.
Choco was looking over the Hologlobe, staring at something not too far away from where the Avenger now hovered. Every so often, he would glance over at Crab, say nothing, and look back. It was getting tiresome.
“Look, when that thing gets running,” he looked around for a moment, “We're gonna have to get what we need first.”
“You want to make something that can overwrite brainwaves.”
Crab nodded, “Yep.”
“Something that has to be stabbed into the brain stem.”
“Double yep.”
“And you want to use it on one of the ADVENT.”
“Well,” he chuckled, “An officer. Any old ADVENT will probably just have junk data.”
Choco turned to him, “And what the hell makes you think we can hack a brain?”
“Because, if you weren't there, Sledge calling it psionic wifi is kinda indicative.”
Choco stared at him, sighed, and turned back to the Hologlobe, “Just don't use it on anyone else.”
Crab laughed as he made for the elevator, “All official now, aren't ya?”
“Just go. Make the fucking thing.”
6 May, 2038
Makeshift Firing Range, Somewhere in the Himalayas, New India

He was staring down the barrel of a shotgun. Not for the first time, but it had been a long time coming. Moop and Macho were standing on the sidelines with Sledge. She was looking between himself and Viking, the kid was frozen in a pose Red could only describe as “stoked,” and the engineer had his hands crossed, a content look on his face. Viking's aim twitched, and he realigned towards the center of Red's mass. In response, he chewed a little on his cigar, moving it to the left corner of his mouth.
And that's when Viking fired.
Red staggered back, then looked down at his chest. No dents. Paint was scratched, but it was just like Sledge said. Alien alloys were tough. The buckshot pellets had landed in the permafrost at his feet, and some were rolling on patches of ice away from him.
Moop's eyes widened, Sledge grinned, and, after a long moment, Macho whooped. And that was when Viking fired again, aiming higher this time, his mouth hanging open.
The next moment, Red was on top of him, wresting the gun from his arms, “Give me that, you piece of-
Sledge pulled him off, “Whoa, easy.”
He grunted, pumping the last few rounds out of the damned thing, then threw it down at Viking, who caught it, “Muzzle discipline. Muzzle. Discipline.
“Well,” Moop sighed, rubbing her neck, “Least it works.”
Macho was grinning, “Hell yeah, screw this ceramic shit!” He threw off his winter armor. Then, after a moment, grabbed himself, shivering.
Sledge looked over at him, “Get back on board before you freeze.”
Macho left his old armor as he made for the ramp, “F-f-fuck . . . c-c-cera-a-amic . . .”
Red pulled Viking onto his feet, “Everyone's going to have a set of this?”
“Yup,” Sledge went over and picked up Macho's trash, “Had just enough to make a dozen of them, more than we'll need right now.”
Viking was already on his way in, “Just hope they don't have anything on their guys like that.”
Moop followed, smirking, “Piss your pants?”
“I'm used to them falling over.”
Sledge passed Red, muttering, “Get your trash, too, dude.”
He nodded before bending down and getting half of his cigar from the ground. The other half had been blown god knew where.
7 May, 2038
UFO Crash Site, East Asia

“This from the War?”
Dieu merci, Bruno muttered it, “No telling.”
“Nothing conventional hit this thing,” Central lowered his binoculars, “So I would say no. Not from the War.”
They were on a ridge overlooking a crash site. The wreck was a small UFO, one of thousands Alette had seen fly over Paris. ADVENT had been very cautious with their spacecraft, but every so often they would launch one.
Bruno turned to Central, “Then what brought it down?”
Central packed up the binoculars and brought out his rifle, “If we're lucky, we'll find that out on our own.”
The hike down was quiet. It might have been a mistake, sending just the three of them. Well, them and Papillon. The GREMLIN was likely upping their profile, but it was not nuit, so its glow hurt nothing. As they got closer, the age of the craft became more apparent. No smoke, no braise, no elerium leaks. The energy doors had long since ceased functioning, and the inside was dark.
“Alright,” Central pointed left inside, “Doc, you go round that way. It will take you by the engine. Let me know if you find anything. Knight,” he pointed right, “You'll find some consoles there. Grab anything you can if they still have power. I'll head for the flight unit, see where they were going, where they came from.”
Bruno hefted his cannon and walked in, “Been on these before?”
He nodded, “Plenty of times.”
Alette went over to the darkened boxes Central had pointed out, glanced them over, then looked up at the drone, “Papillon, jolt it.”
A quick shock later and the console lit up, but dimmed from dust. She wiped this away, found some kind of port, and then motioned Papillon to interface. She turned and saw Bruno come out from behind the engine cylinder, also dark, without his cannon in his hands.
Central was typing something on the flight unit, “What's the situation, Doc?”
“Well,” Bruno put his hands on his hips and looked the thing down to up, “It's not working. I don't even think there's any fuel left in it. Whoever shot this down stole the elerium.”
Central nodded, not looking up, “Makes sense.”
An immense quantite of data was running in the back of her mind. Alien symbols, numbers, readings. None of it made sense to her, and likely not to Papillon, but when it stopped something became apparent. She looked up at the GREMLIN, nodded, and it detached, “Sir, I have something.”
Central glanced up, “Yeah?”
“The ONVI was hit by an EMP. Over the Himalayas.”
Central paused, sighed, “Yeah, flight path stops there. No idea how it glided all the way here, though.”
Bruno gave a breath, “Think Sledge had something to do with this?”
“Yeah,” Central nodded and left the flight unit, “Yeah, I do.”
“Mystery solved,” Bruno slapped his hands together and grabbed his cannon, “Let's head home.”
8 May, 2038
Proving Grounds, Avenger

He knocked on the doorway, got a panicked glance from the man at the table, and then a nod. Vos had made a lot of progress, but he was a long ways off from being okay. Never fine. Never good. But okay was fine, and it was good enough. Elmo had been okay for twenty-two years now. Whether or not Vos would see okay was up to him.
“What's Vos working on?”
“Vos working,” the engineer was staring at some blueprints, “Vos working hard.”
Elmo took a few steps, “Got good tools?”
Vos nodded, “Lots. Vos has what Vos needs.”
Elmo got close enough to look at the prints. It looked like some kind of sword, “And what needs Vos?”
“Hmm,” he picked up the blueprints, nodded, handed them over to Elmo, “Skulljack needs Vos now.”
It was something to be placed on a wrist, that much was sure. It rolled out from a sheath located further up, and it seemed designed for an upward thrust. There was a lot of techno-babble Elmo could not parse through, but he liked the idea all the same.
“Elmo likes this.”
“Vos does too,” he took the blueprints from Elmo and put them back on the table, “Skulljack needs Vos. Others need Skulljack.”
“Yes,” Elmo nodded and started to leave, “Vos is needed.”
He looked up, “Vos useful.”
Elmo looked back at him and shook his head, “Vos awesome.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on October 24, 2016, 02:45:54 PM
10 May, 2038
Slums District: "Butchers Road", Beijing

Alette took her eyes off the hologram and looked around the bay. ( A cabosse child, a tete de mort, a girl who knew no better, a cyclope, and their fearless leader. She sighed to herself and lit her cigar. This was going to be a long night.
Siegfried glanced again at their mission, “Diffusion.”
“They want to infect us with somethin',” Red sat up, “Probably somethin' bad.”
“Not lethal.”
“Really?” Moop swiveled her head at him, “The hell gives that impression?”
“Well,” he shifted in his seat, “They need us. Labor, genetic base, apparently. I mean, they tried force, right?”
Kamo crossed his arms.
Siegfried shrugged, “Not much it could be.”
“Something tells Elmo that he don't want to know.”
“Yeah,” Red gave a breath, “Me neither.”
She switched Papillon on, “They will die.”
The drone whirred to life and started hovering between her and the cyclope. The monster sneered at it.
There was silence for a few moments. Siegfried slapped his knees and looked over at Kamo, “When's the last time you wore something as sturdy as this?”
Kamo stared at him.
Siegfried stared back, then looked over at her, “Come on, you're from then.”
“I did serve, but not in XCOM. No chic trousse.”
“Same, kid,” Red grunted, “Most of us didn't know XCOM was a thing until months after the aliens showed up.”
“Found some empty high-rises,” Firebrand's voice was steady, “Should mask us on our way in.”
“But Casino was XCOM. I mean, before.”
The light turned red, and she stood up, motioning her GREMLIN to follow, “But he is silencieux. You will not pry war stories from him.”
As the child stood up, he gave an aggravated grunt, “I don't care if he's a friggin' mime. I'm going to get something out of him.”
“You're wrong,” Elmo brought down his rifle as the ramp opened up, “Elmo's seen mimes. Mimes are funny.”
As she dropped, Papillon told her exactly where the data mine was. ( A block and a half away from the road they were on, inside a train car ready to leave in ten minutes. The girl ahead of her must have been receiving the same information, since she knocked the back of her head with her left hand. Her GREMLIN, which she had failed to denommer, was robotic, hovering close over her shoulder. She was not as intimate with her drone's software, she was resistant. And Alette could not truly admonish her for it.
“Casino, Sieg,” Red muttered, waving his arm ahead, “You're with me. Let's go.”
The white-armored child ran up to the left, peaked around his black box of cover, and hushed back, “ADVENT ahead.”
The monster brought his rifle up as Moop and herself got up to Kamo, “How many?”
“Uh,” Siegfried looked back, “One. With a Sectoid.”
“Then duex.”
“We have the drop, get into good spots,” Red advanced, and Alette followed who could have been the only other true soldat here. As they moved up, she spied Siegfried matching their position, kneeling behind a large sign which, on the other side, probably showed some damne propaganda piece or another.
Shoulder tap on her right, it was Kamo. She looked and saw him ready his cannon. She got her iron-sights up and waited. Red knelt down and nodded at the child, who, true to being a child, acted with just an elancement of hesitation.
The rounds found their mark in the Trooper's armor, though he showed little signs of injury as he ran up. The rapport of rifle- and cannon-fire to her right rang out, but it was her precis shots which brought the alien down. Before the corpse hit the ground, Red vaulted over his cover, drawing his blade, and ran over to finish what Siegfried had started.
He called back, “Shit! More plate!”
“The hell?!”
Siegfried sighed as he got up to Red, “We can't catch a-” he looked up and readied his rifle, “CONTACTS!”
As he ran into cover, his GREMLIN flew out into the night. She sprinted up, more magnetic and ballistic rounds flying past her, and she got to her new bouclier as Red's shotgun boomed for a moment, drowned out by a grenade going off. Moop got up next to her as she heard an electrical discharge, and something big and metal thundered to the ground. As she sighted the field ahead, she saw a detruit MEC unit and an ADVENT body. And a quite alive Officer laying rounds into Kamo's chest. Before the ecume had time to reload, Red was upon the Officer, separating his head from his body.
He sheathed his blade, looked up at the train ahead, and practically degringole to the ground as a volley of magnetic bullets flew over his head.
Would somebody get tha-
Another rifle shot, and the turret on the train went inert.
Thank you!” he knelt up, scanning the gare de triage with his shotgun as everyone more or less caught up with him.
“Okay,” Siegfried caught his breath, popping in a new clip, “So the thing's in that car.”
“Alright,” Red sat down and loaded up his shotgun, “And you guys can hack it out?”
“Should,” Moop kept her eyes up as Elmo dashed next to her, “Or one of our GREMLINs will, I guess.”
Oui,” she locked the new rounds in, “Papillon will handle it.”
“Almost over, then?” the cyclope wiped his brow, “Elmo thinks that's fast.”
Red held up a fist, and Alette followed his gaze ahead. A Sectoid scuttled up onto the train, and, coming from across the rails, something big and lumbering took cover in the car's doorway.
Kamo had his launcher ready, and fired at the large thing, destroying its cover as Siegfried and Red fired into it. The gorille roared as it died, thudding to the pavement as she got to the train. Moop's rifle found its mark, and the Sectoid standing near the impuissant turret fell next to its brutish compatriot, headless. Purple energy went from the train car out towards one of the dead ADVENT, and, as Siegfried mis en the resulting zombie, Red dashed into the train, a dying hiss being the only clue that his blade had found its mark yet again.
She climbed in, looked around, and saw Red standing over the corpse of another Sectoid. ( Papillon moved on its own, hovering over a small, black box in the corner.
Before she knew it, a wealth of information inonde son esprit. Facts, figures, statistical charts, all in ADVENT script but rapidement being translated into Anglais. The virus was transmitted through food, and would pass to the enfants of those infected in time. The data was too thick, and ce qu'elle a fait et ce que son but etait would have to wait.
She knew this in an instant. And she had one un enfer of a headache.
Red was there, hand on her left shoulder, “You okay?”
She paused, nodded, “Oui.”
“Got it?”
She sighed and hopped out the car with Papillon in tow, “Oui.”
Red followed, “Firebrand, we have the package.”
She put a hand to her head. Papillon hovered toujours aussi legerement closer.
It would take time.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: kamo on October 24, 2016, 04:07:04 PM
Malcolm "Oskar" Cobb - Male American (or Australian if no Americans available) (Got the nickname when he heard the alpha radio system in the military, got the giggles when he heard Oscar and uses the k to be contrary)

Caucasian with a hint of Mediterranean heritage way back, light brown hair showing the first bits of salt and pepper.  Neat beard or goatee.  Has a scar across his face from.. y'know, I don't want to talk about it.
Red/Black or Blue/Black
Wears a necklace with a carved wooden wheel on it, has a coin with a wheel on one side and striding legs on the other; plays with it during idle times, rolling it across his knuckles, etc.

Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)

Born 1998 on a farm in the (rural part of America/Australia).  Caught the wandering bug midway through his teens, perhaps due to some remnant of Gypsy heritage.  Learned a lot, joined the military, became a medic because shooting things wasn't as rewarding as putting them back together.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on October 25, 2016, 03:05:57 PM
10 May, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

The Skyranger's ramp was lowering by the time Red realized he had been staring at Alette. Thankfully, the others had not noticed, but he had been around enough damaged folk to know when something was up. The woman's hands kept rubbing one temple or the other every few minutes, and he could tell she was keeping her eyes closed more than not. But when the ramp dropped, Siegfried noticed, too.
“You alright?”
“Hey, Alette-”
Red held up a hand and stood up, “Come on.”
She looked up at him before getting on her feet, only to kneel down and bring her drone from beneath her seat. There was a grunt, but she got it up.
“Uh, Alette?” Moop's GREMLIN had come online, as had Siegfried's, “It can fly-”
Tais-toi,” she hefted the thing and got off the jet, “I know.”
He stared after her for a moment, sighed, and then followed, “Leave her be.”
Elmo pushed Siegfried forward, and he nodded.
Red shook his head. Whatever her GREMLIN was doing, Alette was taking some kind of toll. Moop and Siegfried, they were young. They could probably cope with it.
But he knew he couldn't. And he wasn't sure how Alette had been. (
Avenger Engine Room/Science Lab

Crab's door opened, “Yeah, just a-” there was a crash on his table and he turned around from the monitors. Alette was there, having slammed her GREMLIN just shy of some of his instruments. Glass instruments. Fragile instruments. Expensive instruments.
The fuck are you doing-”
She was a blur, and her hand was clenched around his throat. He was being choked. Not good. He flailed his arms around, hoping he'd put something blunt nearby. No purchase. He couldn't breathe. She brought his face close to hers, those sunglasses giving him no real indication of what she was thinking. Well, murder yeah. But beyond that, nothing.
Listen, you merde tache, you have ten seconds to cut my link, ou alors me aider, I WILL END YOU.
Crab thought a moment, far as he could without a lot of air, and nodded.
Bien,” she let go, and he started taking heaved breaths, “Do not ask me why, just do it.”
“You're the,” a cough of carbon dioxide, “Patient. Just, wait,” he waved a hand at her while his other one searched for the attachment cord. He found it after pushing away several layers of printouts, then hobbled over to the drone.
She sat, arms crossed, watching him, “Hurry.”
“No offense,” he bent over and attached the cord, “But my leg uses oxygen, with some other shit. Kinda why I'm not in the field anymore.”
“I ne pas a shit, Gris Diable.”
He coughed once, “Right. Murderous rage. Not the first time I've seen or felt it.”
Crab flipped a switch, and the GREMLIN buzzed on. Alette gave a heavy sigh and began to rub her temples. He coughed a few more times, his lungs getting used to having air again, and he went over to a console and began typing in commands.
“So uh,” he glanced back at her, “This is gonna hurt like fuck.”
He shrugged, “Okay,” and with one last keystroke, the GREMLIN popped and frizzled. Alette screamed, falling to the floor, blood pooling near her head. She was convulsing like a not-quite dead bug, and he had to stop looking as the data went from the drone to his terminal. After a full minute, he nodded and quit the program.
Alette's sunglasses had fallen off, and she was covering her eyes, “CE QUE LE BASIER?!
“I told you.”
He trodded over, the jerks in his leg gone, “Yeah, give that a sec. You're basically crying blood. It's stopped, but it won't be clear for about two hours,” he sighed, “Let it out. Or it'll take longer.”
Heavy breathing, trauma breathing, and she lowered her hands. Where white had been, red now was. Her irises were fine, and she still had her lenses intact. So that was a plus.
The hell did you do to me?!
“How'd you think we got you linked up in the first place?” he knelt down, “It's not as invasive as ADVENT tech, but man, it's not refined.”
The drone turned on again behind them, and Alette twinged. After a moment, “I do not hear anything.”
Crab nodded, “Yup. Didn't really sever your connection, just the GREMLIN's,” he stood up again, going over to his computer, “Honestly, if you thought you couldn't handle it, we could've done this a lot sooner.”
Alette swallowed and stood up, “You are a connard.”
“Don't know a lot of French, but you aren't the first to call me that,” he waved the back of his hand at her, “Watch your step on your way out.”
He heard her reach the door, her GREMLIN following her, and then some stumbling steps.
He sighed, putting a hand to his ear, “Tell Nick not to go after Alette. He'll try to take her ears off or something.”
Officer's Quarters

“Not the time, but alright,” Central switched the channels on his microphone, looking back at his screen, where an old man was staring back at him, “Where were we, Dr. Andersen?”
“You were saying you had acquired their work,” the good doctor puffed on a cigarette, the dilapidated shack behind him glowing a soft red for a moment, “Was that your man?”
He nodded, “Our Research Head has the files. I'll send Firebrand to you immediately.”
“Please do,” Dr. Andersen glanced out a window Central could not see on his end, “I think ADVENT will be quite suspicious.”
The link was cut, and he switched the microphone back to Grey Devil, “Glad I installed that camera.”
“Yeah, you would be. Enjoy the show?”
“What did you do?”
“I cut her GREMLIN's link to her brain. She can still command the thing, but it won't try to do any deeper interfacing with her,” he saw the one-legged man shrug in his room, “Should help her concentrate.”
“You could have warned her first. She seemed pissed.”
“Oh yeah,” he slapped his forehead, “Tell the rage-fueled woman who's choking me out to ease up and she's gonna weep blood for a few hours! Why didn't I think-are you stupid?!
“You didn't take the Hippocratic Oath,” Central sat back into his chair, “But I was hoping for common decency.”
“I thought you knew me, Choco.”
He nodded, sighed, “Yeah, but I keep forgetting.”
“Please tell me you got that northerner on our ship. I need more eyes.”
Choco stood up, “Yes, I got him. He'll be on board in a couple hours.”
“Ah, you do care.”
“It's why I have the camera,” and he shut off the comms.
He gave a long breath and looked about the room. He wiped his face down with his hands and made for the bridge.
We're really no different. Shit.

[XCOM'S tech has improved, but still needs a whole lot of work. If you wanna help make or perfect all these gadgets, you can make a character using the form on the second post. The next update will come next Tuesday night!]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: [N]ova Shikirori™ on October 29, 2016, 01:52:59 PM
Name, Nationality (Gender)

Spinister Scorn. America. Male.

Race, Hair Style and Color, Facial Hair, Scars

Italian. Spiked Brown beaten by the sun. Goatee. One scar down his left eye from his eyebrow to his nose, another on his forearm (huge)

Primary Armor Color/Secondary Armor Color

Black, Red.

Gear, Props, and the like

Spinister enjoys archery (learned as a young boy), so he would be carrying related items with him most of the time.

Date of Birth and Bio (remember, it is 2038)

Born 2003. Grew up with no father, and a disabled mother who died when he was 17. Left behind was a little brother, 11, and a grandmother, 76. Spin was forced to take care of them both, while attending school, and working. These events early in life caused Spin to have a hard shell surrounding him, rarely letting anyone see inside.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on November 01, 2016, 03:25:39 PM
12 May, 2038
Armory, Avenger

The old man and Alette were cleaning their weapons not too far away. Viking wondered if that really did anything. Sure, he'd gotten Viper gunk on his gear before, but cleaning a gun that hadn't been in battle for days? Where was the sense in that? He slowly shook his head as he fitted the repeater on his shotgun's barrel, hefting up a hammer.
Alette glanced over, her sunglasses covering up the pink-eye she'd had lately, “What are you doing?”
He groaned, “Not pampering Gram like a wet-nurse, that's for fucking sure.”
She smirked, “C'est mignon, he gave it a name.”
Red didn't look up, “Figured you for a granny's boy.”
Viking slammed the hammer on the ammo box he was using as a table and turned, “I guess history doesn't come with age.”
“Should it?” Red wiped the trigger mechanism on his shotgun, “Far as I can tell, I'm not the one randomly calling my gun 'Auntie'.”
“Yeah, 'cause that's not what Gram is.”
Alette's face fell, and she sighed, going back to work, “I forgot that you were read.”
Red glanced up at her, “Not well?”
She shook her head, “Not enough, but some.”
“Gah,” he turned back to his job, “Read your sagas, geezers.”
“Hmph,” Red slotted the trigger back on, “Don't know what I expected.”
Croyez-moi,” Alette snapped her rifle into place again, “It is still too much.”
He shook his head and hefted the hammer up. Viking was about to bring it down, making two things one, when Red blurted out, “You want duct tape. You pound that in, it's gonna warp your barrel.”
Viking froze for a moment, threw the hammer at the far wall, and grumbled over to a tool cabinet.
15 May, 2038
Ruins of Incheon, East Asia

The sun was beating down into the stadium, which had, over the years, been overgrown with vines and grass. There were even a few saplings poking out near the center. He kept a close eye on the stands for aliens, ADVENT, or bears. There were some birds, but not much else.
Siegfried was kneeling in front of some rubble, his GREMLIN flitting about, hovering for a moment before buzzing to some other spot. Dr. Thomas was a bit weirded out by the things, but he figured it was scanning behind the concrete. Central stood to the side, arms crossed.
After a few minutes, “Yeah, there should be a deposit back there.”
“Any idea what it was?”
He looked up, “Did they shoot down any craft around here? It could be debris the team kept as a souvenir.”
Central sighed, “I don't know. Maybe.”
“Well,” the kid stood, “Doc, set the charge.”
Dr. Thomas passed the two as he brought out his launcher, loaded it, and then jammed it into a nook in the rubble. He pulled the trigger and bolted back over to them, tossing the launcher to the side and covering his ears. When the dust had settled, he had made a nice, big hole that led further into the building.
Central patted him on the back, “Nice work.”
“Not much to it,” he picked his launcher up, “But thanks.”
The GREMLIN acted as a flashlight of sorts, and it practically led the way. The halls were unlit, and the further from the entrance they got the more preserved the paint and posters became.
“How long do you think this place has been sealed up?” He stumbled on something that made an almost musical noise, and they all looked at a couple of skeletons wearing faded soccer jerseys.
“Well,” he started ahead, “Long enough.”
Siegfried stared at the bodies for a few seconds before catching up, “No really. I don't want to be down here if it caves in.”
“It's not going to cave in,” Central glanced into a room on their right as they passed it, “This was blocked off by roof bits.”
“Place was built to last,” Dr. Thomas looked up at the ceiling, which had a few cracks, “I'd give it another ten years. We'll all probably be dead by then.”
“That's confidence.”
“I'm saying don't worry about it,” he looked back and smiled at him, “How much farther does it say?”
“Fifteen meters and closing.”
“We'll be out of here before anything happens,” Central turned around and walked backwards for a few steps, then reversed, “ADVENT doesn't really care about the countryside.”
“We're in a city.”
“An abandoned city,” Central corrected, “They're all the way down in Seoul.”
The GREMLIN flew into a door on their left, and Dr. Thomas looked in. It was a trophy room, probably also a gift shop if the counter and cashier in the corner was any indication. In the trophy case, right between a couple of championship cups from the 90's, was a small, semi-fused pile of alloys. There was a plaque underneath it that the GREMLIN started to scan.
After a moment, Siegfried nodded, “It says, 'Remnants of the defeated foe, 2015.'”
“Showed what they knew,” he chuckled, bashing the case open with his cannon, “Let's go.”
18 May, 2038
Proving Grounds, Avenger

“You only made one, Vos?”

The engineer nodded, “You want Vos to make more, you tell Vos to make more.”
Sledge sighed, picking up the emitter, “Well, it's still impressive. I didn't think you could make a hardlight sword.”
“Not sword,” Vos cleared the table and went over for more materials, “Skulljack. Vos make Skulljack.”
Vos came over with his stuff and laid them out on the table. After a moment, he looked up at him, then pointed at the emitter, “Switch.”
“Hm,” he attached the thing to his wrist and made a jerking movement. Instantly, a bright blue light shimmered around the center of the thing, stretching a dozen centimeters out into a point. He frowned, “Wasn't this supposed to be longer?”
Vos shrugged, fiddling with his materials, “Vos not good enough.”
“Don't say that,” he switched it off, “I just thought-”
“Vos. Not. Good. Enough.
He sighed, removing the emitter, “It's okay,” he saw that the man wasn't moving, two clenched fists on the table, eyes staring at the makings of something else, “We can use this.”
Vos said nothing.
Sledge turned to leave, “Thank you, Vos.”
“Vos welcome.”
Sledge opened the door and saw Viking and Red standing there. He almost walked into them, but Viking had put a hand out.
Red looked down at the emitter, “That's for one of us.”
“Yeah,” he took a step back and Viking lowered his hand, instead crossing his arms, “Which of you want it?”
“Who do you think can handle it?”
There was silence for a moment.
He looked between them, then nodded over at Viking, “You both can handle it, but I think he'll get there quicker.”
Immediately, the bearded man snatched the emitter from him, “You got a target in mind?”
“An officer,” Sledge nodded, “You need to use this on an officer.”
Red was looking at Viking, “You hear that? Don't shoot him-”
“Yup,” he strapped it on.
“Don't cut him-”
Viking took a few tries to turn the Skulljack on, and got it on his fourth. He looked at the blade, “Yup.”
“You have to-”
Ice,” he glowered at the older man, “I got this.”
Red sighed, shook his head, and turned away.
“You want to jam it into the brain stem,” Sledge put a hand under his chin, “An uppercut would do it.”
Viking nodded, smirked at the Skulljack before turning it off, and left.
Sledge sighed and turned to see Vos face-down on the table. He'd have to get Elmo.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on November 07, 2016, 03:33:11 PM
19 May, 2038
Wilderness of East Asia

Dr. Thomas lit his cigar and took a drag.  ( didn't have a lot of flavor, and it probably wasn't even really tobacco, but it would do. Elmo and Red were staring intently at the hologram to his left, Moop was calibrating her GREMLIN, and Kamo was just facing him.
He felt Viking elbow his side, and he turned, “Yeah?”
“Not really a lotta air in here.”
He looked at the cigar in his hand, then smiled, “Worried?”
“Next time,” he pulled down Gram and turned its safety off, “Smoke it once we've dropped.”
“Next time might not happen,” Red lit his own, not shifting his gaze, “They have this pretty well-defended. Bad spot for an ambush.”
“Doesn't matter,” Viking turned his Skulljack on for a moment, “They're already dead.”
“Count them when you got them,” Moop muttered, turning her GREMLIN on.
“The hell does that mean? A kill's a kill.”
“Elmo's hungry for chicken,” he brought down his rifle.
Viking shook his head, “Damn idiots.”
He saw Red sigh, but no one else payed attention. So, after a moment, he did, “I've got a doctorate.”
Viking glared at him, “Then how come you aren't working?”
Firebrand came over the intercom, “Call me when the area's clear, I'll be looking out for fliers. ADVENT's going to start seeing a pattern.”
The light turned red, and he stood up, grabbing his cannon, “I'm interdisciplinary.”
“I'll interdiscipline you,” the ramp dropped and he was the first to jump.
Dr. Thomas let out a breath and followed Red out.
There was a chill in the night air as they made their way to the convoy's route, and in that direction he could see a pretty big fire. As he got closer, he saw that it was coming from the burnt-out shell of a pre-War car laying on its side, the undercarriage being pressed by the front of an ADVENT truck.
“Don't get too close,” Moop sighed, “Says their gas tanks are just shy of blowing.”
“Our cargo's in there.”
“Nothing we can do,” Moop got behind some waist-high rocks, “I'll hang back with Monster, if you don't mind.”
Red nodded, motioning to the right with his gun, “Wolverine, Doc, you got that side of the road. We got the left side.”
Kamo was already moving when Viking shook his head, “No support, I guess.”
“I got confidence in you,” Red hustled, “Don't fuck up.”
“Yeah, come on,” Dr. Thomas smiled, “You get my company.”
Viking moved, “Which suits did you work for, again?”
He caught up, “ADVENT TherAmerica.”
“Fuckin' branding,” he got up to a rock formation, peeked, then turned and made a wavy motion with his free hand, then a walking motion, then held up two fingers.
“Okay, what?”
Viking grimaced and looked ahead again.
He let out a breath and moved up, “Yeah?”
“Viper and two goons. One's got a bat, the other's got white armor.”
Dr. Thomas glanced down at his cannon for a moment, nodding, “See anyone else?”
“Hold on,” he moved up to the cargo bay of the truck, peeked again, and then held up three fingers.
“Man,” he muttered, “Ice wasn't-”
A brilliant yellow-and-orange fireball erupted with a dull, bass boom farther ahead. ( He saw a trooper stumble away from the thing, take a breath, and look at it for a moment. Viking threw his gaze around for cover, and darted over to a tree, pressing his back into its bark.
Red came over his comms, “Monster is taking a shot. Get ready.”
A moment later, and he heard the rifle go off, then Unilang shouting ahead, and he brought his cannon up. There was another, smaller explosion on the other side of the road.
“Finally,” Viking ran to the left, out of sight, and there was a shotgun blast.
“Guess I'm covering right . . .” he licked his lips as the gunfight carried on. In between the vehicles, he saw a white, running shape, and laid down some bullets. He couldn't lead his target, the window was too short, and a moment later there was a very odd, somewhat metallic sound.
That sumbitch  just did some-GAH!” And static.
Dr. Thomas squinted as another truck farther up exploded. Through the gunfire on the other side of the road, he shouted, “Not gonna be much left!
Kamo ran ahead of him, staring left, before pointing somewhere farther up. It was only when he started scanning left did Dr. Thomas get the message. He threw down his cannon and loaded up his launcher, sending a payload over several cars. As it went up, more gunfire, shotguns from the sound, rang out, and he got his cannon back into his hands.
Almost garbled over comms, “Stop shooting at me you-MY ARM!
Kamo waved forward, and as he leapt over his cover, he saw old skullface casually let out a volley of fire to the left, accompanied by ADVENT screaming. He chuckled, “Casino get him for ya?”
NO, FOUR EYES,” some heaved breaths and a puff of medimist, “FUCKING OFFICER.
Dr. Thomas shook his head, “Can you hold it over here?”
Kamo shrugged. That was good enough.
He ran between the two blown up trucks and saw Viking take a potshot into the dark, “Aren't you supposed to get close to him?”
The bearded man backed into his cover, the corner of a dilapidated building, and sighed, “Keeps running.
“Movin' up,” Elmo came over comms, “We done yet?”
“No,” Red ran up next to Viking, “At least one left.”
Viking gave a breath, “I'll go get him,” and darted up. A moment later, he called back, “He's got friends!
Elmo's rifle rang out, and he could almost make out a swear from the one-eyed man. But what he saw as he made his way forward was a lot of guns aimed at Viking. Said target was busy vaulting over a guardrail brandishing his Arc Blade at a Viper. He reached for a small ball on his belt and chucked it farther away from everyone. A moment later, and a holographic replica of himself popped into existence, looking quite confused.
Kamo fired a smoke on Viking's position as the ADVENT advanced on the Mimic Beacon, laying all their fire upon it. He turned away, not really wanting to see not-him bite the dust, and saw a figure come from behind the building. Right next to Moop.
She jumped back, “The hell are you?
The figure scratched his sock cap, “The guy who's tryin' to sleep.”
Red kicked open the door of the small building and ran up, decapitating a Sectoid that had wandered into the fray.
The stranger stared at this, then turned to Moop, “Why're you so noisy?”
Just,” she shoved him behind the building, “Stay down. God.
Dr. Thomas shook his head and started firing at the Officer, a great deal of magnetic bullets being laid into him as he shifted position.
Viking yelled, “Let me do my thing!
“Oh, that's right,” his eyes widened as the Officer threw something small and round at him, “Your thing.”
The next few seconds were numb. He'd been knocked back, that was for sure, and his armor had caught the brunt of it. He was coughing a lot, though, and it wasn't until someone sat him up did he realize he had dropped his weapon. He rubbed his glasses, his hands fighting for a way to his face between a pair of arms-
He gave a panicked grunt at this, and made to punch whoever or whatever apparently had him by the neck, but then his hearing came back, “Don't fret, checkin' for smoke inhalation.”
He finally got his glasses cleaned and back on and saw the sock-wearing stranger over him, “Okay,” another cough, “This time, you say who.”
He glanced at him before looking towards where the Officer had been, “Cobb, Malcolm. I'm figurin' you guys for militia.”
That was when he started hearing yelling farther up, and he turned his head in that direction.
And I said do it!
Cobb shrugged, “Thought my hopes were high.”
“We're,” he coughed again, but not so hard, “Not militia. We're XCOM.”
“Hmm,” Cobb stood up, “Guess I'll see.”
As the shouting match ahead died down, Moop walked over, looking around, “Anyone see anything else?”
“Fresh blood,” Dr. Thomas groaned a little as he got up, “Mr. Cobb here wants to enlist.”
“Oh good,” she sighed, “We've got psychos, morons, and now a hobo.”
Cobb straightened for a moment before heading over to Red, “Been called worse.”
Elmo had caught up, “Viking didn't do his 'thing'.”
“Ah,” Moop shook her head, then climbed up into the back of one of the spent trucks, “Well, at least none of the merch got burnt.”
Small comfort, he lit another cigar, “Want me to call Firebrand?”
Moop threw up a hand, still digging through the supplies, “All yours.”
He put a hand to his ear, “Hey, we got the goods and a seventh.”
“'A seventh?'”
“Do we have enough gear for him?”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on November 12, 2016, 03:57:25 PM
19 May, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

The Skyranger had landed, and was lowering itself into the Avenger. Moop and Doc were keeping quiet, as was their passenger. Casino said nothing, but stared at them the whole ride. Elmo had tried to butt in a couple of times, and had since given up. This was between himself and Wolverine.
“It was on you.”
Viking had his arms crossed, “Yeah, and you're the one who shot him.”
“You had one job.”
“Pfft,” he looked away, at no one in particular, “You're the one who fucked it up.”
Look at me, son,” Red threw away his cigar, still lit, half-used, and waited.
Viking sighed, turned his head back.
If you had done what you should've-
“Yeah, my fault. Right.”
Shut it! If you had done, I wouldn't have shot.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw sock hat smirk. He'd get to him soon enough.
“Yeah, well why did you?!
Viking's eyes got hard, and Cobb's smirk disappeared. Moop and Doc were looking at him, the former with shock, and a new quiet descended in the cabin.
Outside, the locks clicked onto the jet, and Firebrand came over the intercom, “I heard something back there. You all better still be alive.”
After a moment, Viking nodded his head, eyes wide and wolf-like, “Yeah, because as soon as we took this badge, we were dead.”
Doc sat back, “Don't say that-”
He shot him a glance, “Fuck you, it's the truth.”
Cobb's eyes went from one to another, his face stone.
“You aren't going to die. Not while I'm around.”
“Like I need your permission,” the ramp was dropping as stood up and spat on the floor, “You can't change what's coming, none of us can. Far as I can tell, you're the only one who thinks so.
He grabbed Gram and stormed off the Skyranger, a perturbed Firebrand passing him on his way.
She shook her head and looked in as the rest began to gather their gear, “Something I miss?”
“No,” he gave a breath and got out, “No, you didn't miss a thing.”
21 May, 2038
Avenger Engine Room/Science Lab

take one from the other
“Thanks, Crab.”
“Huh?” he looked up from his console at Sledge.
“For keeping this quiet.”
“Yeah, sure,” he went back to his data, “Richter's chewed me out before, too. She'll learn about it, though.”
“She'll live with it,” Sledge sighed, tinkering with his newest GREMLIN, “She got used to psychics before.”
“Well, back then we only knew the two,” he found the chunk of data he was looking for and separated it, “Did you go to France or Egypt?”
He shook his head, “Did you?”
“Neither did Richter,” he was mapping the alien equivalent of DNA strands, “But you know, Italy wasn't that far away from either.”
A whirring came from the drone for a moment, and he heard Sledge slap it with a hammer, “She didn't serve there, did she?”
“I don't know what she did, but it wasn't military,” he found the matching series of genes in the human genome and mixed them up, “I mean, after, she killed a bunch. But between? No fucking clue.”
Sledge came over and looked at the screen, “You think the Amp can work?”
“We'd need the right kind of person, but we're not being cavemen about it like Vahlen was. The pool's gonna be bigger.”
“But can we do it?”
He turned his head up at him, “Sledge. You're talking about making something that turns whatever potential's in a regular brain to do Nephilim shit, and then having that brain follow orders just like anybody else,” he turned back, “The Amp'll do its job, but be ready with a bullet.”
Sledge nodded, “I guess you found old XCOM research.”
Crab rubbed his head, “No, I think that all got destroyed. I've dreamt half of this shit up. Surprised it works.”
“Huh,” Sledge went back to the GREMLIN, “Maybe you missed your calling.”
“Yeah,” a dull ache in his right temple persisted, “Yeah, maybe.”
23 May, 2038
Officer's Quarters

“I have questioned the local havens, and I have not found any who claim responsibility.”
“So,” Central sighed, “We're inspiring independent actors now.”
“I believe so,” Mr. Osterman's voice was steady, “I assume you appreciate the opportunity.”
“We did not take full advantage of it, unfortunately,” he grabbed his mug, blew on it, “But we have their cargo.”
There was a pause as Central took a sip, and then, “I feel it prudent to inform you that ADVENT is still constructing new facilities. Since our initial strikes, they have moved AVATAR forward in their plans.”
“We're working on it, sir,” he put the mug down, “We know about the one in Egypt.”
“They have completed work on another in New Australia.”
Central sighed and rubbed his forehead, “We are trying to expand our communications network. Then we can move into Egypt.”
“Move quickly, Central. Time is short. Vigilo Confido."
Vigilo Confido.”
The link went dead. He picked up his mug and shook his head. Moving quickly was not his strong suit, and Sledge had Crab on his secret project. Nothing could be done until they got their radio array up.
He opened the door and found Cobb standing behind it, “Morning, Sir.”
“Uh,” he blinked. The man was in full gear, “Morning. There an op I don't know about?”
“Well, ain't an op,” Cobb leaned on the far wall, “More a hunch, if you'll humor it.”
Central raised an eyebrow, “I'm all ears.”
“So, a month back, 'fore you all woke me up, I was sloggin' my way through Mongolia. The land the 'VENT forgot, huh?”
He nodded, rolled a hand.
“Well, Sir,” Cobb sighed, folded his arms, “I found myself in the ruins of Ulaanbaatar, and there were people there, Sir, who needed help. And, a'course, people there providin' it. They'd set up a hospital in the National Sports Stadium downtown, and I worked there a week. After that, well, 'VENT scouts started poppin' up, we got a couple, and the smart ones bugged out. Includin' myself.”
“You think there's still supplies there we can use.”
Cobb nodded, smiling, “Left somethin' there in the confusion, too. Would be mighty grateful if I could get it back. Might even find survivors, if'n we're lucky, Sir.”
Central nodded, walking past him, “I'll let Firebrand know.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
He made his way down the stairs to the bridge, the Hologlobe bright in the early morning, and shook his head. They had a long way to go.

[XCOM's missed its chance at information, but they've got a new friend. If you also want to be a new friend, you should submit a character using the form on the second post. Sorry for the lull in the update speed, but the next one will come out on the night of the 27th and will be followed up at the old rate.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on November 27, 2016, 03:01:43 PM
23 May, 2038
Proving Grounds, Avenger

Elmo and Sledge were at the table with Vos, all three staring at what he had made. It was a prototype, but it could be produced quickly and adapted to their mag and regular guns. The engineer had even taken a brush to it, a green ring lining where the slope began. The metal canister was light, durable, and deadly as any bullet. And Vos had just told them the best part.
“Vos had synthetic poison made.”
Sledge nodded, rubbing his chin, “Heard Grey Devil had done that.”
Elmo turned his eyes at him, “From the Vipers?”
“Yeah,” Sledge picked the round up, careful not to graze the tip, “What makes this burst, Vos?”
Vos shrugged, “When it breaks. Hits metal or bone.”
“So it's not a warhead trigger?”
Vos shook his head, “No.”
Elmo crossed his arms, looking at the round, “Elmo's thankful we aren't shootin' humans with this.”
“Eh,” Sledge put the round back on the table, still with care, “You're half-right. No full humans, though.”
Vos had walked off and now came back with more workings and another Core, “Vos' work on the wall there, if you want to make more.”
“Thanks, Vos.”
The engineer kept his eyes on the table. But Elmo noticed he wasn't on the verge of breaking down anymore.
This took time.
24 May, 2038
Ruins of Ulaanbaatar, New Arctic

There were bodies here. Only a few stank. They were strewn all over the corner of the stadium where what had certainly been a clinic once stood. It looked less like a proper medical station and more like a small lemonade stand. There was even a heavily-decomposed woman, at least, who she thought was a woman, sprawled on that table. One hand still clutched an ancient M1911.
“Some last stand,” Moop noticed Grey Devil wasn't covering his mouth. She wondered how he could tolerate this, “Looks like ADVENT took care of all of 'em.”
Cobb's face was set, and he went from body to body, closing any eyes that still had lids. Once or twice he had coughed, but he kept silent.
“Do you think there's anything to find?” she went behind the booth, and found an empty cabinet under the corpse.
“Maybe,” Cobb went over to the destroyed tent, which probably smelled even worse inside, “They came to cull doctors, not to raid.”
Grey Devil nudged the body of a man on his back with his robotic leg, “You mean slaughter. Everyone here is-”
Cobb looked inside the tent and shook his head, “Martha ain't here, means she got snatched,” he came back out, “She stayed with everyone else.”
“So they took her.”
Cobb shrugged, “Don't mean she's still breathin'. I hope she ain't, anyway.”
“I have it on good authority she's dead,” Grey Devil rummaged through a cooler, finding only rotten organs, “I mean, this place was resistance, right?”
Cobb nodded, sneering as he saw the man throw out livers and kidneys.
“Right, so they either questioned her for locations, or they threw her in a gene factory.”
Cobb's sneer went askew, “'Gene factory'?”
“Yeah, we raided one last month,” Moop found a lock-box and was bashing it open with her rifle's butt, “We don't know what it's for, but it's bad news. And you don't come back from it.”
Cobb had come over and knelt beside her as she got the box open, “Must've been bad.”
She shook her head, “You have no idea,” she sifted through the box and brought out some old Russian coins and a strange, small wooden wheel on a string.
Cobb's hand filled her view as he took it from hers, “There it is,” he put the talisman on, “Knew she'd keep it safe.”
“Naw, Sherry,” he sighed, looking to his left, “She's over yonder.”
25 May, 2038
Makeshift Firing Range, East Asia

Dr. Thomas wasn't really sure how to describe the sound that came out of his new gun. He supposed the best analogue was something he heard when he was six. A friend from outside the city had smuggled in some old, portable game device, an incredibly illegal thing to do. This was when people moved freely between the city walls and the land around them, and scavenging was just becoming popular. Still, this thing was a brick, and it must have been ancient even then. Like the good boy he was, he called over an officer, and that guy put a stop to it right away. It took two shots for the gray device to go dark and quiet. But between them, it stuttered on a chip-tune sound effect, repeating feverishly and relentlessly until the second bullet crashed into its screen.
His gun was way louder, and it echoed, but yeah, it was the same kind of noise. It also put several dozen clean holes through the steel target he had aimed at.
Dr. Thomas whistled, “That'll put a stop to anything.”
“If you hit it,” Viking stood next to him, pumping an upgraded Gram, “Yours work the same, skelly?”
Kamo cricked his neck, dead-lifted his new cannon, and not only tore through his target, but obliterated it into vapor and tatters.
Viking laughed as Dr. Thomas just stared, “Okay,” he hefted Gram up, smirking, “My turn.”
The mag gun was a great deal more melodic, and he watched as the slug sailed into the early evening sky. Its trail had singed the top of Viking's target.
Fuckin',” he threw Gram to the ground and walked up to the target before kicking it over and brandishing his Arc Blade.
He laughed, “I think you gotta hit that!”
Shut UP,” he drew his Blade back from the smoking hole in the target's chest, letting out a growly breath.
Kamo came over, hefting two more of the steel dummies on his shoulders. He looked over at Viking and shook his head.
Yeah, you laugh, too!
Dr. Thomas stopped to catch his breath, and redoubled.
Kamo planted one target in front of him and patted its head.
Viking pointed with his glowing sword, “Go to your corner.”
The skullface breathed in and walked away.
He was about done laughing and leveled his cannon at the target Kamo put in front of him, “Oh man, I'm so sorry!”
“Just,” he raised Gram, shaking his head a little, “Just shoot.”
26 May, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

He sighed as the link went dead. ( Mr. Osterman had been firm and frustrated, but he marveled at the man's control. He had changed a lot from when he first met him, that was for sure. But these orders, this mission. He would have to clear it with them.
Central took one last steeling shot of coffee and left his office. As he came down the stairs onto the bridge, he found Firebrand standing near the Hologlobe. She looked well-rested, only person he'd seen around here who was.
As he passed her, he said, “We're heading to Delhi.”
She paused and looked up after him, “Have you told Sledge?”
“Not yet, I don't think he'll mind.”
Firebrand looked around, “Sir, he might.”
But he just kept walking, straight from the bridge to the armory. He found Ice and Cobb there, cleaning their guns.
Ice looked up and nodded, “Central.”
He had to word this carefully, “We are going to escort someone out of Delhi. By force, if they do not want our services.”
Understanding came over his face, and he nodded again, “Okay. Who are they?”
“A Miss Dominga Torres is putting a lot of hours in at her local propaganda mill. She is not the face, just the words behind the face.”
“Bad press, Sir?” Cobb set his gun into place and blew on it once.
“For us, all press is bad press.”
Ice sighed, finishing his gun up, “Moop won't like this.”
“We're bringin' her?”
“She has the meds.”
“Ice,” Central waited until they were looking at each other again, “Tell me who else you want.”
The man's jaw set for a moment, then names, “Wolverine, Casino, Showtime.”
“Show's mouthy.”
Ice glanced at Cobb, “No one pays attention to him, he's a good pick.”
“For a black op?” Cobb stood up for his armor, “Hope you're right, boss.”
Central hated this. He thought back to Thorne. (,10095.msg151955.html#msg151955) No one ever saw him again, and he was not sure if Mr. Osterman remembered. This was something the old XCOM did. He let out a breath, “We will be there in an hour. Get your people, Ice.”
Ice waved a hand at him, “And don't let 'em talk, yeah. Got all official, didn't you?”
“Yes,” he turned back the way he had come, “Let's hope this is the only time.”
When he got back, Firebrand was the first to come up to him, “Sledge knows. He's coming up.”
Central sighed, “Tell him I'll be in my office. Settling my stomach.”
“Right,” she left for the Skyranger, “Because you're getting tight-assed.”
He shook his head as he climbed back up the stairs. He hoped beyond hope that Bradford had not been this way.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on November 28, 2016, 03:23:23 PM
26 May, 2038
ADVENT Central District, Delhi, New India

Viking twiddled his cigar in his left hand, really trying this time, he guessed. Across from him, Red was giving a steely stare. Uptight prick that he was. Skullface and Cobb were next to the old man, staring at the hologram. Macho was, too, and Moop kept glancing between it and himself. They all knew Red had something to say, and Viking just wanted him to fucking say it. (
Finally, he lit up.
Red paused, let it go, “Our target's name is Dominga Torres. Some sort of propaganda writer for ADVENT. Been spreading some rumors about us.”
“So we're shuttin' her up?” Macho grinned, looking around the cabin.
Red nodded, puffing, “None of you can say anything about this later. Central was pretty clear on that point.”
Viking crossed his arms and sat back, “He shouldn't be ashamed. This is war.”
“Probably,” Red looked over at the hologram and shook his head, “Somethin's eatin' him though, I think.”
“You're right,” Cobb sighed, and said no more.
Moop looked around, “So we're killing a-”
“Abducting's the word,” Red interjected.
“. . . Abducting some woman because we don't like what she wrote about us?”
The old man shrugged, “My guess is that she's saying we're the ones that burn down the havens outside the cities. I mean,” he glanced at Kamo, “They got evidence that we do it there, anyhow.”
Kamo turned his head slowly at Red. Viking smirked as he backed off from old skullface.
Firebrand's intercom sputtered to life, “I've found the target. ETA one minute. She's on the road, talking so some troops near her car. Once you have her, make for the roof of the shop with the orange awnings. Can't miss it.”
“Weapons check, everyone,” Red grunted as he brought down his mag shotgun.
Viking chuckled ruefully as he brought Gram out, “Like we need it.”
“Preparedness, kid.”
“Fuck you, grandpa.”
The clicks and clacks of the other guns echoed throughout the cabin, but the sudden laughter drowned them all out. He sat stunned as the old man stood up, catching his breath, “Yeah sure. Ain't your boss, anyway. Central is.”
“Well,” he stood up, “Fuck him, too.”
“Attitude on this guy,” Cobb muttered behind him. He pretended not to notice. He'd learn.
“Hey, is it normal for the bolt to come off this thing?”
“It's still there.”
“Oh, good. Nevermind.”
The light turned red, and the ramp dropped. They were all out in five seconds, in the middle of a massive ADVENT city, where the only thing other than the random people walking a few yards off were the crows. And one of them flew right past his face as he hit the pavement.
“Fuckin',” he clenched his teeth, swinging Gram, “Get away!”
He finished with the flying rat and saw Red running up to some weird-ass statues to their left. He shrugged and made for the abstract gold whatsit. Kamo was close behind, almost startled him with how quiet he had come up. He caught himself before he could react too much.
The old man skulked further ahead, towards the gas station in front of them, and stopped by a planted tree. He knelt and mumbled over comms, “Got a skinny one and a huge one across the store.”
Moop sighed, “You'll see. Keep spread out, is all.”
Viking shook his head and ran over to the bumper of a parked car. He peeked through the windows and grinned, putting a hand to his ear, “Got the bitch. Another gorilla's checking up on her.”
He was raising Gram when Red, hushed but firm, said, “We want her alive, remember.”
He paused, grunted as Kamo joined him, “Yeah, yeah.”
More troops were moving towards the car Miss Torres was standing by. She seemed to be talking to the big fuck, though it wasn't really looking at her or, far as he could tell, talking back. Shit, if these things can talk-
“They aren't movin', and we don't have time,” it sounded like Red was darting somewhere, “Get into good lines of fire.”
“Come on, buddy,” he moved up to the next car, and Kamo followed soon after. When they got there, he put his cannon on the ground and got his launcher ready.
“Kamo,” it was Moop, “I see you, and I know you can hear me. Don't blow her up-”
Mutey set in the frag and sent it on its way. And it was just before the explosion that he saw the god-damned robot.
As the survivors started scrambling for cover, a deluge of magnetic and conventional fire flew out towards them, way too many sailing off into buildings or the pavement. But he had Gram, and he'd learned his lesson. His round of magnetically-propelled death lopped the metal giant's head clean off, sparks and oil spewing out of the orifice before it fell back upon the road. The woman was screaming.
Showtime, get off the damn sights AND THROW IT.
A small, white-and-red ball rolled near the gas pumps and from it sprung a shimmering, confused tough guy. Ghost-Macho immediately began taking plasma fire, and a moment later there was an electronic buzz. Viking turned his attention forward just as the grenade rolled into the passenger seat of the car he was behind.
He soundlessly coughed, the ringing in his ears taking a little bit too long to go away, and felt something get sprayed on his shrapnel wounds. He caught the bottom fin of Moop's GREMLIN as his hearing came back, and there was a whole lot more screaming on the comms. He grinned, seeing the white-armored coward shielding himself with a now-burnt-out car. He roared as he drew his Arc Blade and ran for him, the ADVENT turning just in time to see Viking spill his guts out for all the world to see. The electric buzzing was gone, and that was good. So were the fires everywhere around them. (
He turned and saw Kamo, both taking and giving fire, catch up. Miss Torres was screaming something in Unilang, probably into a phone, when he heard another explosion. He turned and saw a cloud of thick, black smoke where her car was.
A plasma round caught his armor in the leg, and he buckled, glaring at from where it had come. The Muton slunk back behind the van. The van between the gas pumps. The gas pumps that should be on fucking fire by now. Moop was screaming about being hit, there was purple energy bringing the dead back to life near the rest of his squad, and, closest to him, was a regular ADVENT Trooper, curling up as a frag exploded to his side. Viking couldn't stop himself. He doubted if anyone could, and before he knew what his body had done, he was standing over that trooper's decapitated corpse, sheathing his sword. This was the utter chaos of battle, and it was glorious.
And next on his list was that fucking Muton. He remembered the color of that van, a dark green, and found it not ten feet away. With a trail of plasma fire coming from its back on the other side. Hand still on its hilt, he brought the sword out again, dashing over to the rather surprised rhino and making a keen slice through its throat before it could bring that clunky thing it might have called a rifle to bear on him.
Through the bloodlust, he could hear everyone losing their minds, and, finally, the old man spoke again, “WE. ARE. LEAVING. GRAB HER, AND MAKE FOR THE SHOP!
Although he still heard gunfire, Viking casually strolled over to the late Miss Torres, who was missing an arm and half of her face. Kamo had almost beaten him to her, but he looked up behind Viking and pointed.
“Oh yeah?” he turned. On the roof of the gas station, there was another robot. It spied the two of them and hunched over, a tube on its back lining up for a-
Oh fuck, its got artillery.
Three booming rounds arched from the cannon and dropped right on top of them both. He had coughed way too damn much today, and he stumbled through the smoke, eyes leaking as it got into them. Through the involuntary tears, he saw the shop, the garish awnings jutting over every fucking window.
Bright, obnoxious orange. He fucking hated that col-

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on November 29, 2016, 03:48:20 PM
26 May, 2038
ADVENT Central District, Delhi, New India

This was wrong. It had all gone so wrong so fast. The last few moments of chatter had been especially bad. Everyone talking over each other.
Come here, you little SHIT!
Quit getting shot, you stupid-
Son, don't you point that thing at me.”
Red had seen enough. Whoever Torres was, she was not worth getting killed over. He did not care anymore if she was a propagandist, they could live with that. ADVENT was built on propaganda, anyway. It would be business as usual, no one had to shoot anyone. Except he knew that was not true. Not in the slightest. (
Because now he had to free Showtime's mind.
He ran up and pierced the Sectoid's chest, the cauterized wound doing its weird psychic shit a killing blow as it crumpled to the ground. He sided up to his cover, “You there, Showtime?
“You aren't an alien. The fuck?”
Metallic, lumbering footsteps pounded the roof above him. It was another MEC. Before he could say anything, it fired its artillery on Viking and Kamo, who were the closest to the evac point, by the target. He saw the face of death run towards him from the resulting cloud and dive for the van in between the pumps. A single mag round flew past his face and into that cloud. Red turned around and found a Trooper. The helmeted figure saw him and shifted its aim just as he blasted the damn not-human's head off its shoulders.
Pops and crackles before a crashing sound above, and Cobb came over the comms, “Got 'im. Let's skedaddle.”
He made for the target. Torres was probably toast, he saw her car explode. Or at least, he thought he did. The last five minutes had just been a cacophony of noise and death, something he never thought he'd have to get through again. They were a strike force, dammit. This was getting too conventional for his-
Pink. Pink was on the ground. A lot of it.
He waved the smoke away and stared at it. It took him a moment to realize what he was looking at. He was still clutching Gram in one hand, but the other was under his face, which was staring decidedly down. Viking was sprawled before him.
Casino came up and immediately set to work grabbing the other body nearby. Red followed his example and hefted Viking over his shoulder, “Come on, kid.”
He was halfway up the pipe, trying desperately to keep a hold on Viking, when another car below exploded. He almost fell on top of Casino, but he kept his grip and got onto the shop's orange roof. The rest of the squad was there, weapons raised, looking for any enemy reinforcements.
Moop saw him first, “Oh my god.”
“Moop,” he heard Casino mount the roof behind him, “Call Firebrand.”
She nodded, eyes on Viking, “Firebrand, we're here.”
He laid Viking face-up in front of Cobb. He saw bugged eyes behind the glasses, and when Cobb moved the hand at his throat they saw a large, bloody hole.
“Clean wound,” the dropcords were coming down.
“How long?”
Cobb shrugged, standing up and gaining purchase on a cord, “Not much.”
Red picked him up again and grabbed his own cord with his other arm, “Small blessing.”
“Don't get smaller,” and they were brought up.
26 May, 2038
Receiving Bay, Avenger

The radio chatter had been all over the place for a solid four minutes. There was the usual gunfire and explosions, but the team's firm, yet measured voices dominated the feed. Not a lot of it made sense. And then, just before things got quiet, there was something he had been dreading. A bass, rapid string of beeps.
Central had turned to his screen, one hand still on his headset. Everyone was green except Wolverine. Soon after, Firebrand reported that the squad was on board, with the target, who was also red. He ran his hands down his face and just stared at that monitor. When the Skyranger got close, he made his way to the receiving bay.
As he came in, the Skyranger's ramp lowered open. Kamo came out, carrying Torres' body by the shirt collar until he got halfway down the ramp and he threw her onto the deck. He kept walking, purposely bumped into him on his way out, and kept saying nothing. He was glad they were not going to have a talk about this.
Red was lugging Viking over his shoulder, the kid's arm hanging limply on his neck. Macho was the next one off the ramp, though, as he sprinted up, a grimace on his face.
Before anyone could stop him, he was kicking Torres' corpse again and again, “You backstabbing piece of trash! Get up so I can KILL YOU AGAIN!
Red stared at him for a moment before shaking his head and continuing down, “He was gone when I got to him, Central.”
Moop and Cobb followed him, the former stopping to stare at Macho for a bit. Cobb, for his part, went over to the waiting gurney as Firebrand hopped out the cockpit.
Get up, goddammit! GET THE FUCK UP!
Red had gotten to Central and looked back, “Someone oughtta stop him.”
Moop had taken off her glasses, and he could see the eyes of a long-dead friend in hers. That was it.
He looked to Red, “Get him to the AWC. Crab will do the autopsy.”
Red raised an eyebrow, “Who, sir?”
Central blinked, “Grey Devil,” he nodded, “Take him to Grey Devil.”
Red paused, sighed, “Alright,” and took a few steps over to the gurney Cobb and Firebrand were pushing over.
Macho was panting now, and raised his eyebrows, “Yeah, you know what, fuck kickin'. I got a MANCANNON!
Moop took a quick few steps towards him as Macho drew his revolver and pointed it at Torres' head. She had his arm up just as he fired, and Central instinctively ducked.
“She's dead, you idiot!”
Bullshit, I didn't kill her yet!
Showtime,” he staggered to his feet, “You do that again, you're flying on your own.
26 May, 2038
Avenger Landing site, Outside the ruins of Gangneung, East Asia

“You sure you read it right?”
Toubib, I read everything he wrote while we were campe. This is what he wanted.”
Dr. Thomas looked over at the small fishing boat they had scrounged up. In it, still in his armor, was Viking, almost looking like he was asleep. His beard was covering the hole in his throat Grey Devil had told them about. Funny, what it took to kill a person.
Clasped in his hands, running down the length of his body, was Viking's still-stained, glowing Arc Blade. Rigor mortis had set in an hour ago, and not even Sledge knew how long it would stay on. Long enough, certainly.
Alette stood next to him, holding Viking's one-page will, a manic scrawl of pencil which, despite not being her first language or at all legible to him, she had seemingly just recited from memory. She was reading another bit of it now, and he looked over her shoulder, “So what's next?”
People were still coming off of the Avenger, but all the other operatives were here with them, as was Sledge and Grey Devil. Central and Firebrand hadn't gotten out yet, probably writing up a report or something. The sunset was going to be gone by the time they came to say goodbye.
“It says here, 'I want “Mumbles” to eulogicize me, but, since he is “Mumbles”, the Doc will do.'”
He stared at the squiggles, “Run that by me again?”
Bien, it continues, 'Good spoken English, none of that fancy crap.'”
He kept staring at the paper for a moment, then turned to her, “I have to speak for him.”
Oui, that is what it says.”
“But, why.”
Alette shrugged, the Sea of Japan reflecting the clear and increasingly purple sky above them, “We knew him the longest, and he never liked me.”
“He never liked me, either.”
“You have scolarisation," he looked at him, "Surely, you know even he reasoned you could speak for him le meilleur.”
Dr. Thomas sighed, closed his eyes for a moment, “Hope he wasn't expecting a grand speech.”
“Knowing him,” he heard the last footsteps leave the ramp behind them, “He did not, no.”
“Alright,” and he made his way past her and up to the boat. He stared at Viking for a moment, and when he looked up almost stepped back when he saw Kamo with a lit torch in his hand, staring back at him. He caught himself, “She read some of that to you, huh?”
A very, very ponderous nod.
He turned to what effectively was the entirety of XCOM. Some of the radio operators and engineers were looking bored, but he saw Vos standing next to Elmo. The weirdo's eyes were wide as the day they found him. Central was standing up a bit straighter than usual, and everyone else seemed ready for this to be over. So they could concentrate on what horribleness that was waiting for them tomorrow.
Dr. Thomas licked his lips, cleared his throat, and said, “I really didn't know him all that well. I don't think anybody here did. Somewhere, he probably has a family, but he didn't give us his real name. He gave us what he wanted to be. And,” he looked behind him at the body, “I guess he died being that, too. He, uh,” he turned back, expecting people to check watches, look at the sky, anything, just not on him. No such luck, “Uh, he ran in, and he killed our enemies. I guess that's what a Viking did, back in the day,” he heard Alette putting her face into her hand, “But he once said that I was an act. That I couldn't look another wimp in the eyes. And I never could. There are no wimps here,” he took a breath, “He certainly wasn't.”
Someone finally looked away. It was Siegfried. And he was looking down, hands clasped in front of him. (
“So, uh,” he turned to Kamo and motioned a hand towards the boat, “Guess I'm done, do your thing.”
He took a few steps back as the other man silently stepped forward, turned to the gathered crowd, raised the torch, and then turned back to the boat. He kicked it off shore without lighting it, and that's when Dr. Thomas saw the launcher on his back. Kamo whipped it out, jammed the torch handle-end into the thing, waited for several seconds, aimed, and fired with a melodic clang.
Three seconds later, the boat lit up on the horizon and he heard Sledge mutter, “Gonna have to fix that . . .”
They watched the blazing dot on the water drift off to where Viking would hope Valhalla lay until it vanished from view, and the crescent moon came out.

[So ends Part/Book/Chapter One of the Newbs XCOM 2 Run. A brave warrior has fallen, and more hardship is to come. Thank you for being patient, the next update will arrive next Friday night. I am urging everyone who hasn't made a secondary soldier character to please do so, as only new soldiers can become psionic (which I am researching), and the next few in-game months are gonna be hella tough. One of the loss conditions of this run is simply running out of dudes, and based on this mission, I am steeled to not let that happen. The run will continue on, but you have a few days to submit characters if you want to see them sooner rather than later.]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Obey on November 30, 2016, 02:58:56 PM

Name: Boris Yeltsin Kruscherov, nicknamed "B. Y." or "Kroosh"
previously codenamed "Cactus", referring to a deep cover operation regarding ADVENT
Class: Soldier
Specialization: Melee weapons, pistols, explosives/traps, limited hacking
Nation: Russia (Siberia/Kamchatka)
Hair: Reddish-yellow crew cut
Scar: Wide vertical gash from temple to chin, just missing the eye
(a barely-dodged security laser matrix)
Primary Colors: Dark/brick red
Secondary Colors: Dark grey, black, dark yellow (yellow text)
Other Characteristics: Dark-grey gloved ham-fists and bulging triceps;
6'6", 290; tall boots, clean-shaved face, steel-grey eyes; dark red beret
Date of Birth: Just turned 38

B.Y. Kruscherov was born in Kamchatka to an off-the-grid extended family hiding out from the aliens and their ADVENT administration. Semi-nomadic, his gypsy-like family hid in the mountains and badlands to escape detection and to survive the harsh climate. Temporary enclaves in caves established the rare good memories of B.Y., who bullied and intimidated the other children to keep them quiet and from running into the tempting fields to play. He saw plenty of combat early in life as a lookout, taking out occasional roving patrol member to buy time for his family to escape. The capture of his mother during a cave raid has made him unable to let his guard down, making him taciturn and with no tolerance for foolishness or small talk.

Nearly ten years ago while attempting to purchase supplies in a city, he was captured by a small group of ADVENT aliens. In the rear of a transport, he managed to kill and steal the experimental full-body suit of a VIP scientist alien, without alerting the other aliens, so B.Y. quickly researched the identity of the VIP and its mission on the transport's onboard computer. Arriving at their destination well inside the Arctic Circle, he used his newfound authority to delegate the responsibility of experiments to his underlings and demanded solitude.

Over the next eight years, B.Y. patiently and painstakingly built a large database of information regarding much of the ADVENT research arm in the Western Hemisphere. Eventually he convinced several subservient alien scientists that he, as a human, had been keeping his race and "genius" a secret in order to preserve his knowledge from would-be human assassins.'

He also got in touch with the remnants of XCOM, always sending unscheduled, highly encrypted communications, never replying, and dubbing himself "Cactus". When B.Y.'s assignment of experiments ended fruitlessly, he arranged for XCOM to storm the nearly-empty facility; however, a Viper that had never trusted him turned on the lab's alarms and launched an ambush, where B.Y. barely escaped with his life thanks to the XCOM contingent (and beginning his hatred for Vipers).


A pretend-scientist, spy, and scout with a penchant for constant physical training and continual vigilance, Kruscherov has only shared some of his valuable intelligence with XCOM, distrusting the judgment and character of some of its members. B.Y. thinks that any information shared with XCOM will eventually become public knowledge, which could jeopardize the efforts of the other Resistance efforts. His years of deep cover gives him a reticence to sharing information or reckless action without concrete objectives to be won. He also is reluctant to obey authority, considering himself more of an ally and a resource to XCOM than a member, and preferring only to speak to its leader at times, which infuriates the others.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Tickle Me Elmo on December 01, 2016, 08:52:55 AM
Poor Viking :(

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on December 09, 2016, 03:49:28 PM
27 May, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

“This report is . . . disheartening, to say the least.”
Central nodded, though he knew there was no video feed.
After a moment, Mr. Osterman continued, “The loss of Dominga Torres is greatly disappointing.”
“Disappointing? Disappointing?! he stood up, slamming his hands on his desk, almost spilling his coffee, Fuck Torres, we just sustained a casualty! You know better to say this is disappointing! You were in the-
Central, contain yourself. Remember who keeps you airborne.
He glared at the XCOM insignia on his screen, took a few measured breaths, and sat back down, one hand on his forehead, “Sir.”
“The death of Ms. Torres is disappointing, yes. Not the death of your operative. His death was tragic and unneeded,” there was a pause, then some keystrokes on his end, “I am sending you a supply package. Is Richter on board?”
Central shut his eyes, rubbed his forehead, and grabbed his mug, “I don't know. I think she is.”
“Send her to these coordinates,” he glanced up and saw the numbers, “I have a contact in the area saying there is a promising recruit there.”
He took a sip of fuel, “Alright, but I want to know something.”
A pause, “Ask.”
He stared at the screen, “Do you know where she is?”
There was a lengthy sigh on the other side, “I have searched for months. The only thing I can tell you is that she lives. I do not know where, however.”
Central glanced at his coffee, then sat back up, “Well, then. Vigilo Confido.
It took a moment, “Vigilo Confido.
And the line went dead.
29 May, 2038
Engine Room/Science Lab, Avenger

isolated but not alone
“You're lucky Raynez isn't here, you know.”
Artemis' words came as a surprise, even though he knew she was there and he had been talking to her. He jumped in his chair, his fake leg almost not catching up, and turned back to see her, right where he knew she was.
Artemis leaned in the doorway, eyebrows raised, “Something spook you?
“I think so, no,” he turned back to his console, not quite realizing his own contradiction, and shook his head with a shiver, “And yeah, I don't feel like getting chocked out today.”
She sighed and went over to Crab's copy of Sledge's amp prototype, “So if I hold this thing, there's no way anything's going to happen?”
“You're not psychically active, no,” he glanced at her, “Even if you were, you'd only be able to levitate a paperweight for a few seconds if you didn't have training and the right conditioning.”
Artemis looked up, “Conditioning?”
He nodded, printing out his report, “Psionics seems to be in only a few people's brains, and even then, most don't realize it. We find some of these people, give 'em this, and see what happens.”
“Okay, so if shit happens, we do what with them?”
He looked up at her as he turned his chair around, “We throw 'em into a cell and hone their abilities.”
Artemis stared at him for a moment, blinked a few times, “And that will help, how?”
Crab breathed out and stood up, “They threw you into a psypod during the war, right?”
She nodded, “That was a waste of a week.”
“Yeah, but Scotty and Kit came out with superpowers. That was a really unrefined way of doing things, just shooting buckshot and forcing the subject to just sorta wish hard enough. We'll already know, and we can guide 'em.”
“Oh good,” she sighed, looking away, “Home-grown Nephilim on the cheap,” she stared him down, “And who's gonna teach this class?”
“I, uh,” he looked down at his report, “I dunno. Would have to be a psychic already.”
Artemis sighed, “You know, chains are only good if you have something to hook them to.”
Crab groaned, ran a hand down his face, momentarily opening his left eye a bit in the motion, “Fuck, this was perfect, too.”
Artemis thumbed at the white-armored corpse she had slapped on his table nearby, “Ease your mind, I have a flight to catch tomorrow.”
He stared at the dead Shieldbearer, nodding, “I dodged a bullet, I guess.”
“Well,” Artemis turned to leave, “A fist, yeah.”
30 May, 2038
Ruins of Okushiri, East Asia

“Rebel Town” was a shitty name. It took up the shitty gym of a probably shitty school in a shitty ruin on a shitty island. Raynez spat off the cliff side and into the Sea of Japan. She didn't see it land. She wiped her mouth with her bare arm, gear by her side, and waited for the fucker. She hoped to everything decent that he wasn't shitty, too.
This freak came up to the cliff and stood by her, probably to take a piss. She glanced at him for a moment, saw that he had a hedgehog on his head, and looked back out over the ocean. She took in a deep breath and let it out. Art, you better be here soon.
“Long way from home?”
Shit, local wants to talk, “You from the haven?”
“Uh, a haven, yeah,” sitting down, Christ, “Not this one. My folks are all the way out in North America.”
She glared at him, “Why the fuck did you leave them?”
The kid, passing for a full-grown man, she supposed, looked off to his left, away from her, “They're good, for now. I had a better idea than staying with them.”
Raynez's anger abated just long enough for her to know his answer, “Spit it out.”
He shifted on his ass, turned towards her, and said, “I'm looking for XCOM. Word is they're in Asia.”
God dammit, they didn't say he was a kid, she stood up and cricked her back, “Guess that makes me your recruiter. The name to you is Richter.”
“Spinister Scorn,” he got up, “I've avoided more ADVENT patrols than anyone else back home.”
“If you're gonna boast, boast to Central,” she squinted on the horizon and saw the jet. Thank fuck, she looked back at Spinister, “Fuckin' goofy-ass name,” she grinned at his scowl, “Chill. It's a good sign.”
The kid looked out and saw the jet too, his frown disappearing, “The fishermen saw a bad one the other night. Called it a 'hitodama'. Was this orange ball of light on the water,” his eyes went up to her, “Know anything about that?”
Raynez lost her grin, “Yeah. You're his fucking replacement.”
31 May, 2038
Avenger Landing Site, East Asia

It hadn't been easy, living off gator meat. He'd only had the one eye, a thrown-together rifle, and seven bullets when he first started out. By the time he had set off for XCOM, he still had that one eye, a gun he scavenged from some dead hunter's shack, and a full box of ammo. Still, it hadn't been easy.
This gun. This gun would make it easy.
Elmo could tell that even before he moved his view away from the scope of the thing. The kickback had been massive, but he was able to correct it without too much effort. The head on his target dummy was gone. A clean cut, with some minor singing on its neck.
Behind him, Macho gaped, and Sledge, arms crossed, nodded.
“Elmo want it farther,” he re-chambered and Sledge grabbed another dummy and walked out on their makeshift range.
“You would not believe,” the engineer slammed the dummy into the ground, twice the distance of the first one, with a grunt, “The amount of tech that thing has. ADVENT doesn't have snipers, they prefer surgical strike teams.”
“Just what the fuck is in this thing?”
Sledge wiped his hands on each other as he came back, “Standard mag-gun tech, but to get a longer effective range, I had to appropriate some of my old plasma sniper rifle rail system.”
As the older man got next to him, Macho blubbered, “Then-Then why the hell aren't we using those?!
Sledge looked at him for a moment, “Even if they had juice, one was destroyed in the War, the other was confiscated by the U.N.”
“The fuck is a 'U.N.'?”
Sledge sighed and looked off at the dummy.
“No, really-”
Elmo pulled the trigger again, and the slightly melodic clang drowned everything else out for a moment. The next, there was a large, smoking hole in the middle of the dummy. He nodded, and looked over at the two. Sledge was grinning and Macho was uncovering his ears.
“Forget it, do I get my own?”
Sledge nodded, still staring off down-range, “Yes you do, kid.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on December 11, 2016, 01:43:34 PM
1 June, 2038
ADVENT Patrol Zone 2, Outskirts of Delhi, New India

There was a church in India. ( How in le monde was there a Christian church in India? Alette shook her head, lit her cigar and kept wondering. The wanna-be soldat sat next to her, glancing every few seconds to the new arrival who sat next to him. Super, one crazy for another. Le toubib, le monstre, et le clochard sat across from her, all silent, all staring at the hologram.
Eventually, Siegfried spoke, “Alette, you use your GREMLIN often anymore?”
He shifted in his seat, “Oh, okay.”
“What's the predicament?” Cobb crossed his arms, “Don't know much. But I could relate.”
“I, uh,” he rubbed the back of his neck, “I'm starting to think in binary.”
Cobb paled a little, but his face did not change.
“And you're airing this now?” Bruno shook his head and looked towards the closed ramp, “Talk to Grey Devil about it.”
“I can't. He's locked himself up in the lab,” Siegfried turned towards her, “Alette, do you know what could be-”
She slapped his scarred face. He looked at her, mouth agape, and then she chewed on her cigar once and, in a low tone, said, “I know rien. Rien, you hear me?
Everyone was staring at them, and a moment later le enfant nodded, “Okay, okay . . .”
“Don't push 'em,” the debutant shook his head.
“I'm getting a lot of radio traffic,” Firebrand switched on the red light and the ramp began to drop, “I'll be circling around, that resistance transmitter is sending stuff somewhere. Head for the, uh, the church,” she paused, and they all got onto their feet, “Yeah, okay, the church. It's in there.”
“Elmo wonders how many Christians there were here before,” he fiddled with a couple of cadrans on his new gun.
Bruno shook his head, straightening his helmet, “Enough, I guess.”
“Alright, so, uh,” the rest were heading off the ramp, but Scorn had stopped Alette. He held up a familiar-looking neon-blue contraption on his wrist, “This Skulljack. What do I-”
“Find a red sash,” she shoved him away, “Coincer that thing under its head.”
The young man followed, lifting up his mag gun, “Red sash, got it.”
As she touched pavement, Bruno was already well ahead of the rest, kneeling by a trash bag. He regarde over it, then motioned to them to stay low. One of the signs she had taught him. She motioned to their left, “Cobb, look down the road,” and she sprinted over to Bruno, “What do you see, toubib?”
“Turret,” he murmured.
“Radio,” she reminded him.
“Ah, yeah,” he put a hand to his ear, “Sarge, there's a-”
“Got it.”
“Okay,” he glanced at her, shrugged, “He got astute quick,” and he sprinted up farther. A moment later, over comms, “It's a- It's a-
She looked ahead and saw what had effraye him. Near the church, out in the open, right between two grognements, was a Viper.
Hurried whispers, “Everyone, move up, now.”
Boots behind her trotte, and just before she got into position, Bruno opened fire.
As several magnetic rounds tore off the Viper's head, there was a cracking blast on their left, and the ADVENT moved. Bruno swore as he staggered back from enemy fire, but she had her sights on another dashing down their left flanc. Cobb's drone struggled to keep up with Bruno as he ran over to the remaining soldat and ended him.
Needless to say, the few people who lived in this area were fleeing in terror.
“He get you good, Doc?”
“I'm tougher than that,” panting, “Fucking snakes,” he looked down the road for a moment, “Oh man, this is a whole checkpoint here. Station and everything.”
Scorn's voice held disgust, “They're trying to expand the cities.”
Alette got up to Bruno, reloading as she went, “Are these common?”
He nodded, “Yeah, every other street corner.”
“Trying to concentrate here,” Siegfried had not moved, and his GREMLIN was nowhere in sight. After a moment, it flew back, and, exhausted, “Okay, that's a chunk.”
“What'd ya find?” Cobb ran up to the checkpoint's station, keeping an eye on the church ahead.
“I'll, uh,” he made his way up to Alette, “I'll tell everyone later.”
Le monstre caught up to Cobb, “Elmo doesn't like suspense.”
Cobb thumbed at the ADVENT building, “Fine nest we have here.”
Elmo shrugged, ran over to the ladder, and began climbing, “Elmo will get lonely.”
“For the best,” Cobb dashed over to a nearby car, right when the front door to the church burst open, “Hostiles!”
She ran into the fray, Cobb bringing down a Lancer by the car she dove for. She passed Scorn as he brought out his newly-issued Arc Blade and left a gashing entaille in one of the other troopers. She looked over the car's hood and saw the fluttering red cloth on the remaining connard.
He was a coward and turned to run. (
Scorn rushed up, “Get back here, you!” and, in one fluid motion, brought the Skulljack to bear.
As the officer slumped to the ground, she heard a smoking, screeching blast from behind her. She turned and saw, erupting from some kind of foumee violet, a glowing, feminine body, its head obscured by a black mist. It seemed to glitch several inches in many directions while standing, and its pure white eyes were looking directly at Cobb.
Elmo's rifle instantly droned out, the round catching one of the glitched copies and sending it farther across the parking lot. And now, there were deux.
Cobb had relocated, and was having a time hitting the original . . . thing, when le enfant's drone flew over and burst electricity around its muddled head. Another, synthesized scream pierced her cerveau as a black one fell to the ground where the shimmering creature had been. Something opened in her mind. It was Papillon.
As she grabbed her head and stifled a scream through serre teeth, Cobb was encased in a swirling, purple vortex of sorts. Elmo ran up as Cobb retreated, throwing a frag grenade at the cloned alien, meurtre it with an explosion she could not hear. Ones and zeroes steamrolled her thoughts, lightning bolts which formed words streaked across her mind, and all she could do was lay behind the car, crumpled and crying blood.

Cobb was smacking his gun. On the third strike it whirred back to life.
Elmo glanced over at the whirlpool of not-quite-there energy as it contracted, then exploded into a dome before imploding on itself. The truck that had been caught in it erupted into a fireball.
“If you don't mind,” Cobb pointed at the checkpoint, “I'm gonna see about Knight.”
Elmo nodded and made his way back up. Something had gotten to her, and her GREMLIN was going crazy. It hovered over her for a moment, then flew to her feet. It stayed there, then made for her head. Back and forth. He couldn't tell if it was stalking her or trying to wake her up.
“Knight?” Cobb over comms, “Knight, you with us? You hit?”
Alette moved, then pulled herself off the street, “Agreable.” She sounded out of breath.
“Ma'am, that's a mighty bad case of pinkeye you got ther-”
Doc had caught up and began screaming. Alette was right quick, dashing from her car over to the back of a van, as Elmo saw a Muton and another Viper move up inside the church. The windows were sparse enough that he would have to line up his shots carefully, and so he brought his rifle up and scoped it out.
There was a multi-syllable roar from inside, followed by a crash. Alette fired into the church as the Viper slithered up to Scorn and coiled around him. He was cursing, but he couldn't quite make it out. Mostly because he was focused on the new Viper sliding down from the church's roof. It spat some poison his way, just to make sure he suffered.
Elmo licked his lips, and fired. That fresh Viper was now old news.
Alette ran up, yelling something in French, hell if he knew what, and unloaded a whole clip into the snake-thing constricting Scorn. He coughed a little before he snarled, ran in, and the death roar of the Muton was heard.
And like that, things were quiet again. (
Scorn broke over comms, “I found some kind of transmitter in here.”
Doc entered the church, “That's a pretty crappy setup. It's doing its thing, though.”
Sarge was heading over to them, “I'll see if I can't get something out of this one, too.”
Elmo sighed, sat down, and watched Cobb walk over to Alette, one hand outstretched. The woman seemed almost bestial down there.
She twisted around to him, though her rifle remained down.
“Ma'am, you're bleedin' pretty bad from the eyes.”
“Ma'am,” he heard a twinge of fear, “Drop the gun. Let me take a look.”
“Yeah, Central's had a bead on that location for a few-”
The sound of mortal struggle filled the comms as Elmo saw Cobb and Alette wrestle for her gun. Cobb's GREMLIN stayed where it was, but Alette's was ramming again and again into him.
Quit. Hittin'. Me.
Doc had run out of the church and dropped his cannon as he made his way over, grabbing Alette from behind, “Cut it out! Come on, Knight! Cut it out!
After a few moments, Cobb had her gun and Doc had her arms. Elmo put a hand to his ear as he took a drag on his cigar, “Firebrand, Elmo's friends are gonna need some help.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on December 15, 2016, 02:18:57 PM
1 June, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

Doc and Elmo kept Alette down in the Skyranger while Cobb and himself tried to shut her GREMLIN off. It had at least followed them into the jet, and they were using their own drones to herd it somewhat. But the thing was crazy. Like her. While he was chasing it like a fly, he kept thinking about what this meant for him, for Moop, for Cobb. Anyone who linked up with these things.
Grey Devil had called the BCI crude, after all.
Cobb finally hopped up and nabbed it, bringing it down and under control long enough for Siegfried to reach the switch and flip it. The GREMLIN immediately crashed on the floor, almost taking Cobb with it, and Alette stopped squirming and yelling in French. She stopped moving at all.
“Oh shit, she's not breathing!”
Scorn, who had been trying to keep out of everyone's way, stood up, Well, then, get her going again.
“Pipe down,” Cobb grabbed her body, almost flung it on the floor, and began CPR. It did not take long, and she gasped, but remained unconscious.
It was then that the clamps hit the Skyranger and it began its descent into the ship, and Firebrand came on over the intercom, “Okay, get her off the bus. I don't care who does it, everyone else is staying on. Central's orders.”
“I'll take her,” Siegfried pulled her over his shoulder, “Anyone want her-”
“I got it,” Doc sighed, hefting the lifeless GREMLIN up, “Rest of you go see what they want, I guess.”
The ramp was coming up as soon as they had gotten off, and he saw Central standing there, the gurney waiting, “Sledge found the download point for that thing you kept safe,” he helped him get Alette onto the rolling bed with a grunt, “It's an extraction, not a combat op,” he sighed, looking at her, “What happened here?”
“Elmo said,” Doc put the drone on an ammo box, “That there was this golden-colored, flickering guy after the new kid Skulljacked the officer,” he rummaged through his pockets and pulled out a black brain, complete with stem, “When it died, it left this behind. And that's when Alette went bonkers.”
Siegfried shook his head, “She didn't stop until we got her GREMLIN turned off. And even then, Cobb had to resuscitate her.”
“Jesus,” they began to push the gurney, Doc following behind, “Any idea why?”
“No clue,” he was turning the not-brain in his hands, “She kept screaming that dumb name she gave her GREMLIN, though.”
“Not a good sign,” Central glanced at Doc, “Take that thing down to Grey Devil and tell him everything.”
Doc nodded and took an elevator down as they made for the AWC.
“Sir, I have something else.”
“Out with it.”
“I, uh, hacked one of their security towers.”
Central took his eyes off the hallway ahead of them, “And?”
“Drone had a lot of data to sift through, but it didn't take long. Sir, I think I found out where they're building another Gene Factory.”
2 June, 2038
Outskirts of Bejing, East Asia

It had been a few days since Sskleh had ratted them out. Zaytsev's work was fast, and the transponder had been placed. Of course, ADVENT had followed. And of course, they had died. Everything had gone according to the plan, should the primary plan have gone awry. And it had. Suka.
Boris was sitting near the door of a dilapidated hotel with his rifle at the ready. The sun was just coming up, and they would have to move soon. The grass stalk he was chewing on moved in his mouth, one corner to the other. He looked up at the cloudy, brightening sky. No fliers. He checked his watch. ( Sunrise in five minutes. He sighed, restless, and scanned the street again.
Rustling in the room behind him, Zaytsev waking up. A stifled yawn told him everything he needed to know. Green at stealth, green at being on the run, green at being in the muck.
The young scientist came up, a pistol in one hand, tired eyes on his face, “<How much longer until we are picked up?>”
Boris kept his eyes on his watch, “<Could be today, could be tomorrow. Get everything together. We move in four.>”
Zaytsev let out a breath, “<Cactus, I need to->”
Boris shot a look at him, “<Do you want to join the resistance or not, Ivan?>”
The scientist took a moment, then nodded, “<I will collect my things.>”
Boris shook his head, and then his ears picked up something. Not quite ADVENT mag jets, this thing ran on petrol. Or something like it.
He stood up, Zaytsev turning to him, “<What is->”
“<Shut up!>” he rushed down the street, keeping low. He got up to an upturned mailbox, raised his rifle, and sighted the strange aircraft. A ramp at the back dropped and three men came out. They were all armed, and one of them had something flying over his shoulder.
Worth a shot, “Mohrta belog!
ADVENT! and the men scattered, darting for cover. A moment later and he heard a magnetic round graze the top of his head. Not professionals, but they are quick.
“Stop, I am human!” he raised his rifle as he stood up, then slowly placed it down, keeping his hands in the air.
“Nice shot, Monster,” from the punk in red at the front.
“Elmo is monocular,” a red-haired . . . thing stood up, holding a peculiar-looking sniper rifle. And indeed, his left eye was covered by a patch.
The third man, the one with the drone, stood up, “No trouble?”
Boris shook his head, “Da, no trouble.”
The right ones had come. As they got closer, he saw the badge on their armor. The ones who demolished statues and killed the oppressors. For the first time in three years, he allowed himself, just for a moment, to smile.
3 June, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

“Found one of ADVENT's most wanted yesterday,” Central  picked his mug up, "Man known only as 'Cactus'. Turns out he's some sort of deep-cover Russian for the resistance.”
“He was not on any official registry,” Mr. Osterman sighed, “There were only rumors.”
Central took a sip, nodded, “They were true. I've got his fellow ADVENT defector working on something Grey Devil needs for the vial we found and the,” he shifted through some papers on his desk, “The 'Codex Brain'. Know anything about that?”
A pause, “The Codex is some sort of hardlight entity ADVENT uses to patrol its global security system. Anyone directly hacking into a major node would receive a visit from this entity.”
Central shrugged, put his mug down, “I would say the Skulljack worked, then.”
“One of your operatives had a . . . troubling reaction to the Codex, I read.”
“She is still unconscious, but stable.”
A long pause, so long he worried the link had been cut, and then, “They are progressing on AVATAR, Central. Every hour of every day. We are running out of time.”
He sighed, “Yes, sir. But we are close to making our strikes.”
“I hope they come sooner rather than later. Vigilo Confido.
Vigilo Confido.
The link was cut, and he stood up and headed for the bridge. When he got there, he saw Firebrand standing over the Hologlobe's table.
She looked up at him as he came down the stairs, “Sledge is . . . well, he's helping to build the relay in the haven. It'll be a few days.”
He got up to the Hologlobe, “Any word on Knight? Please tell me Nick didn't scoop her brains out or something.”
Firebrand shook her head, looking back at the Hologlobe, “Grey Devil's been spreading out his time, keeping that guy on a leash. He says her BCI short-circuited.”
“Any damage?”
“Singed gray matter aside,” she rubbed a temple, “He thinks she's okay physically. We'll know more when she wakes up,” she shook her head, letting out a breath, “Fucker put her GREMLIN on the table next to her bed.”
June 4, 2038
Advanced Warfare Center, Avenger

Noirceur. ( It was all. It was absolu. No touch, no sight, no sound. No thought. For how long, none could say. Why, however, was elementaire.

Pas de toubib. Pas de Diable Gris. Pas de enfants. Pas de squelette.

Pas de Papillon.

And then, lumiere.
The first thing she heard was a gasp. The next, a slap. And then, “Don't touch-HOLY-
The first thing she saw was the sheet she was throwing off. Then the far wall, there a bed like hers was resting. And then, turning her gaze to her right, a shocked girl and a terrified, bearded young man pushing his chair to the ground and running out of the room, screaming, “ZOMBIE!
Then a hum, and she flew up and over her shoulder. There was something pushing into the corners of her first set of eyes, and she picked them out with her fingers. Cotton, stained with drops of blood.
She looked at the young girl, Moop, and began to breathe. She had to concentrate on it.
The girl was stunned, and after a moment, “Allete? How are you feeling?”
Pap-” she stopped herself, the designation was still correct, “D'accord. Runner.”
It took Moop a moment, and she blinked, “You mean Macho?”
Oui,” a sharp, short headache vanished before her hand got to her forehead, and she shut her primary eyes. Secondary still on Moop. The diagnostics were still fonctionnement, “Macho.”
She flew over to the door and saw the man yelling down the hall near the elevator at another man-Central-about zombies. The undead. Esclaves haitiens. Films from the last century began to emerge, and it took minor effort to stop the search.
Is her skin green?!Central was shaking Macho. Both of their vitals registered an unusually high heart rate.
Central threw Macho away, the younger man banging against a wall, Goddammit, don't say there's a zombie if there isn't one.
“Allete?” she opened her primary eyes and looked at Moop. She still saw the argument in the hall, “Really. Are you feeling okay?”
Ones and zeroes fluttered through her head, and she flew back into the room as Central made his way there. Vital signs were bien. Diagnostics were bien. A low scream echoed in the back of her mind.
Oui,” she sat back as the commander came in, “Papillon est vert.

[XCOM has a couple new bodies and something really weird with one of their operatives, but they also killed a Codex and are gearing up for a full-out assault on ADVENT. If you want to join this rag-tag bunch of weirdoes, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post! The next update will be coming on Christmas.]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on December 25, 2016, 06:38:09 AM
4 June, 2038
Proving Grounds, Avenger

Elmo wasn't sure when Kamo had heard of the newest project Vos was working on, but the silent murder machine had beaten him here. The new gear was supposed to be powerful, resilient, and incredibly versatile. The skull-faced man had effectively called dibs. Elmo still didn't see the reason in giving Vos such a scare.
The engineer was cowering in a corner, his face buried in his arms and turned to one of the walls. The living nightmare just stood in front of the door, arms crossed, waiting.
Elmo shook his head and slinked his way past him, “Learn some manners,” and was two steps toward Vos before Kamo's fist flew through where his head had been moments before. He got to Vos and knelt down, “Vos. Elmo.”
Shaking, “E-Elmo.”
He nodded, “Vos,” he gave him a moment.
The trembling figure turned to look at him, his eyes were wide, “No.”
“Yes, Vos,” he glanced at Kamo, who was audibly cricking his neck, and pointed at him, “Our side.”
His eyes darted back and forth, settling on Elmo, “Bad.”
Elmo sighed, nodded, “But ours. Our bad.”
Slowly, Vos reached out to Elmo, and he helped him to his feet. There was still some shivering, but Vos nodded and went over to the contraption on the table, “E-E-E.X.O. Suit. Vos make. Dangerous.”
Elmo nodded, “Elmo heard.”
Vos put his hands on the shoulders of the thing, “Suit plated. Suit . . . carry bomb.”
Kamo took a step and it took all of Vos' will and Elmo's experience to stop him from screaming his head off. Vos glared at the skull. Elmo didn't know if that was mutual or not.
Vos recovered himself, “Put on. Go.”
Elmo turned to Vos, “Vos make good weapon?”
The engineer picked it up with some effort and practically shoved it at him, “Take. Put on. Go. Vos work.”
He shrugged and carried it over to Kamo, “Elmo thinks this is for-”
Silently, but with force, Kamo yanked it free of Elmo's grasp and began to strap it on. It occurred to him that he had never seen skullface without his armor except while in the AWC.
And then he wondered why he never smelled.
8 June, 2038
Somewhere in the Sivalik Hills, New India

“You want to tell us why?”
Siegfried's GREMLIN was doing some last-minute calibrations on the machine. While numbers scuttled across his mind, he jotted down notes on paper. So when Moop asked this, he thought for sure it was for him. Then Sledge spoke up.
“No one listened to me. Just some gruff foreigner living out in the hills.”
He glanced around. The haveners were starting to gather around. An older gentleman in a suit stood closest, an angry look on his face, his arms crossed. Numbers again, he turned back to the pad in his hands.
“No, I mean,” Moop sighed, rubbing a temple as her GREMLIN soldered something above, “People are assholes. Why do you care so much that they should get this?”
The last of the data came through, and his drone floated back down to his shoulder. He gave his head a quick shake, and they were gone. Siegfried knelt down to a control panel and started tapping buttons.
“. . . My folks are in one of the cities here. Haven't seen them in a decade now.”
Siegfried paused, then did a few more inputs.
“They weren't keen on the mountain goat cheese. Or the automated defenses.”
“But the havens-”
Siegfried glanced up at her on the other side of the pole, “Did you actually like living in one of these?”
Moop shook her head, “Liberty Grove is too far out in the sticks to really show up. We never got raids, only patrols about once a year.”
“So that rumor about XCOM was the next step?” Sledge went around to his side, mumbling, “Numbers right?”
Siegfried nodded, “Jotted them down, ran them twice.”
“Hey, it worked out, right?”
“Doesn't always,” Sledge nodded as Siegfried stood up, “Let's turn this bad boy on.”
The older man grabbed a large, red lever on the side of the radio tower and pulled it down. Buzzes and hums immediately started up, Siegfried could see the radio feed go live, and the blinking light at the very top started to wink in a rhythmic, slow, soothing way.
10 June, 2038

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The room was dark, and there were cathodes and tesla-coils lining the walls. ( The whole place thrummed with energy, and would lash out at anything active and alien-made in an instant. It was a powerful place, somewhere the laws of nature reigned supreme, somewhere the shit that didn't make sense not only could, but would. Monitors on the research pedestal, the same one encased in a stasis cylinder in the middle. Frankenstein himself would be proud.
And the Shadow Chamber was Crab's dream come true.
Choco seemed less impressed, “Grey Devil?”
Grinning, still marveling, “Yeah?”
He nodded, going over and caressing the glass of the cylinder, “Hey, you said I could design my own digs, this is what I had the new hire make.”
“This thing better do something, and something good,” he was shaking his head, pacing, “Don't tell me this is your idea of a psychic boot camp.”
Crab sighed, finally turning to Choco, “You really think I'd have sparking electrical circuits anywhere near a fucking Nephilim?”
“Well then,” Central raised his arms and swiveled his head around before settling on him,The fuck is this?!
This,” he motioned to the cylinder, “Is where I'll be looking at the shit we've found. The dangerous stuff. The stuff I needed specialized crap for.”
Choco put a hand to his face, “You just wanted a better room.”
“No, really,” Crab crossed his arms, “Do you really want me poking at a Codex Brain in the general lab? Right next to the ship's elerium drive?”
He sighed, “I guess not.”
Crab nodded, “Well there you go-”
The alarm sounded, and Choco put a hand to his ear, looking away, “Firebrand, tell me.”
Art sounded a little too clinical about it, “'Jiyu Toshi', a Japanese haven, just got hit.”
Choco nodded, “Get us there,” he turned back to Crab, “Anything else?”
“Yeah, actually,” he went over to the console and started bringing up the program, “You get us there, I'll have this thing scan the ADVENT Psi-fi.”
It took the commander a moment, “Please tell me you didn't just coin the ADVENT network.”
“Yup,” he started the scan, “This will tell us what to expect. Strength, what beasties,” he turned to him, grinning, “You give the word, I can start work here.”
“Just,” he started out, “Just don't blow the Avenger up.”
“That's what the coils are for, Choco,” he closed the door behind him, “Little static field of sparking pain.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on January 09, 2017, 01:44:23 PM
10 June, 2038
Freedom City, East Asia

Off again to help the dudes who couldn't help themselves. ( It had been a while since he had been in the field, and Red had snapped at him to “stop jittering in your seat.” How the old guy saw him from way over there, he didn't rightly know. Skullface had some new digs on, Sarge was studying the hologram, like rescuing civilians wasn't straightforward, and Moop kept shaking her head. At least until Red called him out on the “jittering.” Macho just wanted to get out there, now, get out and kill some sons-of-bitches. Didn't matter if they didn't have bitches to be sons of, he was gonna kill them.
The new face was quiet, and had joined Sarge in on the studying, “And they wonder why ADVENT comes knocking.”
“Wha-?” Siegfried turned to him, eyebrows raised.
Cactus nodded and pointed at the hologram, “Stupid name. Practically says, 'Come and kill us, because fuck you.'”
Sarge glanced at Kamo and then turned back to the hologram, “You Russians don't have a lot of hope, I take it.”
“Hope is what makes people fight,” the new face sat back, “We just know not to wear it on sleeves.”
Macho shook his head, drew his revolver, and held it in front of his face, “This thing's got hope.”
Cactus stared at him for a moment, “It has six regular, ballistic shells. The recoil is horrible, and you are horrible soldier to use it,” he stood up and grabbed his mag rifle from the overhead, hefting it up as he sat down, “This is crude, but similar to ADVENT. Low recoil, rail-propelled slugs, sound that brings terror to heart,” he nodded, “Is good weapon.”
Red took his cigar out of his mouth and looked at him, “You had the real deal?”
Da. Not long,” he frowned, motioned at Macho to put his kickass mancannon away, “Civilian training is minimal, and was with prop weapon. Blanks,” he looked over at Red, “Trap for Gene Factory. 'Come, be augmented into Trooper. Serve mankind.'”
“So it isn't just the sick at the clinics,” Moop shook her head.
Nyet. The aliens use ADVENT to set many snares,” he flipped on his GREMLIN, which hovered just a little under his seat, “Ivan saw many, too. Is why he lives.”
The light turned red, and Firebrand came over the intercom, “Guys, this is small. I think the haven started the fight. Watch out for friendlies,” the ramp began to drop, “And for fuck's sake, be careful.”
Macho grinned and stood up as Moop and Sarge got their drones online, “These guys have backbone!”
“Or one dumb kid,” Red set his cigar in his mouth again and got up to the ramp, waiting for the drop, “Let's move.”

Fires, screaming, magnetic gunfire. Four seconds on-site and he was already tired of it. Siegfried's GREMLIN was running numbers, like always, and it was picking up quite a few places he shouldn't get too close to. Thank god they were on high ground, not that much cover between them and the truck with a satellite dish in its bed down below, but if they didn't run into any hostiles right away, they would be fine.
Red looked around for a moment, then nodded, “I'll go check it out. If I yell, you follow me,” and he was off, jumping down the hill and into the haven. Instead of a yell, they heard a roar, and massive footsteps. (
HOLY-” Macho was drowned out by his revolver, causing Moop and himself to duck.
The hell is it?!” Moop looked around and saw Kamo already well on his way, kneeling by a rock on the hill and bringing out his launcher.
Siegfried shrugged, “Something bad enough,” and made his way over to the silent man as he fired an incendiary grenade. Siegfried got into cover and aimed at the smoke, laying down a few rounds. The roar came again, and since he was closer, the guttural, primal rage of it shook him to the core. The sound was cut short as a high-powered mag round split the front of its heavily-muscled skull and it crumpled into a massive heap. The thing had no skin, just sinew and armored tendons, but its shape and stature reminded him of-
Red fired at something farther off, by a watchtower, and Cactus threw a grenade as he got into position at the base of the hill. The explosion threw up a Muton, and it landed, sprawled and hanging on a barbed wire fence. It bellowed something before Red snap-fired at its face, and the alien brute went limp.
The other Muton was bold, and it tossed this green, beeping nugget, which wracked the side of the hill where Cactus and Moop had taken shelter. Thankfully, they had long-since gotten better armor, and Cactus was quick to run out of the green smoke, gun blazing. The new relative quiet was as sudden as the entire firefight.
“Sarge,” Red was reloading, “Get down here!”
He let out a breath and jumped down, getting up to Red by the truck, “Yes, sir?”
“Tell me again why we give a hoot about-”
Siegfried glanced around the fence, and his eyes went wide, “Sir.”
Macho opened fire again, missing the Shieldbearer that was advancing on their position. He shook his head, motioned Kamo up. He jumped down, buoyed by his E.X.O. Suit, saw the situation ahead, and decided to fire his arm rocket. Despite everything that had happened in the last minute, this explosion was the largest one yet, and Red buckled to one knee as he swore.
Siegfried was one step ahead, since his GREMLIN had run the numbers and agreed. It flew out and shocked the MEC he had seen, putting the damn thing out of commission. He saw, through his heads-up-display, something strange and terrible coming their way.
“Sir, they brought a Codex her-” he turned and Red was gone. He hadn't even heard the footsteps.
“Shit,” he ran up to the bed of the satellite truck, checked his ammo, and that was when a purple mist settled around him. He looked around, Moop was cursing, and his GREMLIN was shaking in the air. That was when he felt a jolt run from his back and into his head, and everything went dark.

There were numbers, though he wasn't sure why he could see them. Something about them wasn't right. He had trouble reading them, or their labels for that matter. One of the numbers started skyrocketing when he realized they were his vital signs.

Siegfried's eyes opened as he gasped, purple energy still swirling above him.
Get the fuck outta there!” Moop's GREMLIN obeyed it like any command, but he could tell she meant him too. He scrambled onto his feet and ran over to her, unhooking his Mimic Beacon and throwing it over the fence.
Moop covered her ears, and when nothing happened she looked at him, “Oh.”
“Yeah,” he nodded as gunfire and plasma rounds flew a dozen feet to their left, “That many.”
The implosion not a foot away rocked their cover, but he and Moop were still alive. He checked his gun. It was jammed. Moop's drone flew over and sprayed some more medi-mist on him.
“Fucking brutes, these guys,” Moop peeked over her cover, a couple of oil drums, as another firebomb lit up ahead.
He heard some sort of electronic noise to his left and saw the glowing humanoid, cursed, and ran for better cover, slapping his mag rifle all the way. There was a screech from that direction, and when he looked back, the Codex was gone. He saw Cactus slink back into his cover. (
“There is one more-”
A droning roar and thundering steps came from behind him and, as he turned around, Cactus was sent tumbling by a Faceless. He was spewing a lot of Russian, scrambling away from the gum monster, as Moop yelled out something just before a plasma round slammed into her armored chest. Siegfried looked back and saw the other Codex, rifle trained on her, ready for another shot.
He grimaced, brought up his rifle, and sent a burst of mag rounds into the damned shimmering thing's head. It screeched and vanished in a puff of purple smoke with a bang.
The Faceless, in the meantime, had taken a lot of fire, and crumpled into a melty heap. He looked up and saw Macho sneer at it, reloading his rifle.
His comms flared up, “Sarge, got a job for ya!”
“Okay,” he breathed out, running past burning bits of grass and a lot of alien bodies. As he got back up to the truck he saw Red and Kamo engaging another group. Including a MEC.
“Leave big boy to us-”
Before Red could finish, Siegfried's GREMLIN had gotten to the towering robot and short-circuited its mainframe. As it slammed into the dirt, Macho's rifle caught the beast's mouth, Kamo's rounds doing it no favors, either.
Moop came up, “I wanna know who started this fucking thing,” she glanced ahead, “And kick 'em in the balls.”
“It doesn't take much,” another Faceless was moving up, and Red's blast hadn't hindered it at all.
Moop brought her rifle up and shot the thing three times in the chest, leaving smoking holes that steamed even after the Faceless was face-down in the dust, “Enough to get a whole lotta people killed.”
Siegfried sighed, sat behind his cover, and then saw Cactus peek over his rock, eyes wide.
“You okay?”
Cactus slowly stood up, the haven suddenly quiet save for the fires, “Was that . . . bezlikiy?
“We call 'em Faceless,” Moop smiled as Red and Kamo came walking back, “They're a trip.”
Hey! I did good, right guys?
He yelled up at Macho, You missed half your shots!
Cactus tched, shook his head, “Hope.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on January 10, 2017, 01:20:21 PM
10 June, 2038
Receiving Bay, Avenger

Cactus' hands trembled the whole way back. He figured only Sarge and himself noticed it. Showtime was trying to buddy up to Casino about how “awesome” he was, and Moop was just decompressing. Red supposed he was too. That fight had been a rough one.

With the fires still burning and the Skyranger's engines still running, he and Firebrand had gathered the survivors of Jiyu Toshi, all battered and burnt, and had them form up in a rough line.
Firebrand had her pistol out, and her tone made him thankful that everyone else but Sarge was in the Skyranger nursing Cactus' wounds, “Who started this?”
A few of the younger men and women, really boys and girls, looked at the ground. The rest just stared at them, a look of calm resolve and hate on their faces. It reminded him of Tucson, all those years ago.
Sarge elbowed him and motioned with his rifle to a young man who wasn't staring at the dusty ground. He spat, had his arms behind his back even though they hadn't cuffed anyone.
Their pilot stamped the ground a moment later, “Who. Started. This?
Grumbling now, mostly in broken Unilang and Japanese, though there was some English mixed in. None of it was pretty, most of it was just resentment. Nothing that could boil over right away, nothing heinous. Just enough to get the feelings across.
Siegfried looked at her for a moment, then muttered, “Ma'am, the kid next to the blonde-”
Immediately the boy was rushing towards them, and Red drew his Arc Blade, careful not to push the button on the hilt, and slapped the kid across the head with the broad side of the weapon. He flipped, went tumbling to the ground, and began coughing from the dirt and smokey air. A woman started screaming out for her son, he didn't need to know what she said to know that.
Red turned around and yanked a crude, rusty knife from his hands, stared at it for a moment, then threw it to the wayside. He pulled the boy up by the hair and brought his head in front of his own, yelling into his ear, “We're trying to protect you, and your sorry ass wants to gut us?!
The kid spat, “Go extinct, dinosaur.”
That could've only sounded clever in his head,Get up.
After he pulled him to his feet, Red threw him into the crowd, where he went tumbling again. Firebrand looked at him, flipped the safety on her pistol, and motioned at the kid with it, “Do what you want. He's why ADVENT killed a bunch of you,” then she turned around to the Skyranger, shaking her head, “Fucking havenfolk.”

“Sir?” Red blinked out of it and saw Siegfried, his GREMLIN off and his face betraying an aching back, “That was harsh. They won't want us back.”
“Yeah well,” he put out his cigar as the small jet locked into the bay, “I say let 'em fight their own battles at this point.”
“What are we doing?” Moop shook her head, staring at the ceiling.
Red put the half-spent roll into a pouch on his armor, “Our jobs.”
13 June, 2038
Communications Array, Avenger

“Avoid these frequencies,” Dr. Werner was pointing on the transmission dial in front of him, “Lots of ADVENT traffic on those.”
“Yeah, well,” Dr. Thomas was trying to make sense of all the colors and nobs, “What if I want to listen?”
She sighed, “Then you go over to this seat,” she pointed to a chair two rows down, “And you can go to those frequencies.”
“Okay,” he really didn't get it, “And which do we use?”
“The ones here,” she moved the dial a bit and he started hearing Mandarin, “That's one of our East Asia haven contacts-”
“Wait, wait,” he threw his hands up, “I don't understand that.”
She sighed again, “I don't either, but you can record it-”
Another button.”
Werner rubbed her forehead, “Look, if you don't want to do this, I can get someone else.”
He looked up at her, straightening his glasses from looking down so much, “I don't think you'd have any luck with anyone else.”
She paused, nodded, “You're right.”
“Look, I'll just watch you,” he straightened himself in his seat, “Like, for a few days before I fiddle with any of this.”
Werner sat down at the chair she had pointed out earlier, “Is someone watching Knight?”
“Grey Devil's kind of using her as a pet project,” he shook his head, staring up at the screen showing the whole world, only lit up where they had haven contacts. It was a very dark map, “I just hope she keeps her cool.”
They both sat there for a while, Werner pushing buttons and rotating all the dials he didn't know what. And then, she sighed again, “Great.”
“It's from Chimp,” she put a headset on, “Sir? I'm sending you a transmission from Chimp. Yes, I know-” she caught herself, “Yes, Sir. No, Sir. She's pinging us at the moment,” a pause, “Yes, Sir,” and she put the headset down and looked at him, “Central's told us to deal with it.”
She stared at him for a moment, then started doing more things he couldn't follow, “You heard of her?”
“Hoo boy,” and as she hit one final button the map flickered off and in its place was a large, grinning, wild face. Some woman was driving a car at high speeds through some kind of forest.
“Guess what I got, guys?”
14 June, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

He sat patiently, re-reading the young man's file over and over. There was another one on his desk. One Mr. Osterman had sent him some days ago. He glanced at the name of the operation, scratched his head, drank some coffee, and then a tone from his door, “Come in.”
The Russian dutifully closed the door behind him, his face stone and his steps measured. Probably not because of Central's status, but because of the years he worked where one wrong step got you sent to rehabilitation. He sat down to Central's left in a chair, albeit one much less nice than his own, “You wanted meeting.”
The older man nodded, sat back, and took up his personnel file, “I know your name, Cactus.”
Cactus leaned back, arms crossed, “Plenty in Resistance know who Kroosh is-”
“No, your real name,” he sighed, glanced up, saw him tense, “Our . . . financier isn't much of a detective, but he knows people who are.”
Cactus did not seem to react in any way. But Central saw a tic, a slight, unconscious jerk at the right corner of his mouth.
He put down the file and picked up the other one and opened it, “Operation Potted Cactus. Knew your 'name' sounded familiar. Mr. Osterman had moles in ADVENT, but none were as effective or long-lived as you,” he looked up at him, “A free agent. Cute trick with your codename, by the way.”
“Now you know.”
He nodded as Cactus stood up, “Yeah, yeah I do-”
It took all of Central's training and experience to tackle Kroosh, ( wresting the pistol he most assuredly was about to point at his temple. He took a sucker-punch for his trouble before he threw the gun away and started combing through the Russian's mouth. Several times, he nearly lost a few of his fingers, but he finally found the fake tooth in the far back right of his jaw and jerked it out.
“Come on, kid,” he clenched the cyanide capsule and ground it into dust, which he was careful to let settle on the floor well away from Cactus' mouth, “I know the tricks.”
TY SUKIN SYN! Cactus grabbed Central's shoulders and pulled him forward for a headbutt.
He just jerked his head to the right and rolled Cactus over once, loosening the younger man's grip and breaking his right arm free. With that hand he grabbed Cactus' throat and slammed his head against the floor.
Sputtering, though Central was not choking him, If you even breathe my initials, I will kill you in sleep!
“You're lucky then, because XCOM doesn't divulge this sort of shit.”
Kroosh stopped struggling, though his eyes still gleamed with desperate fight, “This is blackmail.”
“It's a trade.”
The fight faltered a bit, Chto?
Central let him go and stood up, taking a good, long gulp of coffee before gathering up the pages of Operation Potted Cactus and stuffing them back into their file. By the time he was halfway done, Cactus had gotten back up, rubbing the back of his head.
“Blackmail implies I'm gonna hold this info over your head. There isn't much point, because you haven't fucked over anyone on this ship. I'm letting you know what I know about you so you'll let me know a bit of what you know.”
Cactus was shocked for a moment, then chuckled, “I told everything.”
“You gave Mr. Osterman numbers, figures, core information,” he looked up at him, “Thanks, by the way. Some of that let us exploit some holes we needed for Gatecrasher.”
Cactus waved his arms once, “Then what else do you want to know?”
Central nodded, placed the file back on his table, “You were deep cover, unaffected by propaganda, and observed a lot more than you needed to. Most of us are from before the War, or grew up in the wilderness or at a haven someplace. Doc's the only one from a city, and I don't really trust his memory because, well,” he shrugged, “You've met the guy.”
“Yeah. You're our only reliable source on this, and it might help us,” he leaned back on a wall, mug in one hand, the other cupping towards himself, “Tell me about life in ADVENT territory.”

[Another haven reluctantly saved, and XCOM is ever-closer to mounting another strike against ADVENT. If you want to be part of the fighting and the intrigue, you can submit a soldier using the form on the second post. Next update comes on Saturday.]

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: hotlesbianassassin on January 11, 2017, 06:56:27 PM
hot "lesbian" assassin reporting for duty!  she wears all red.  and she's old now.  but I think she can still kick some ass.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on January 14, 2017, 09:15:51 AM
14 June, 2038
Some miles outside the ruins of Omsk, New Arctic

“Manifests. You found the manifests for all the gene therapy clinics in Eastern Europe?”
Chimp leaned on the side of the truck, arms crossed and her perpetual grin on for the world to see, “That's right, Bossy Lady!”
Firebrand looked up from the papers she was sifting through, “You know my call-sign, Chimp.”
She nodded once, “Sure do, Bossy Lady!”
Dr. Thomas kept scanning the road to what had once been a town, but Macho was just shaking his head. Every once in a while, one of them would turn back to look at the older women, to make sure nothing weird was going on from the other direction. Ever since he saw Chimp's face on that big screen, he hadn't wanted to see it again.
Firebrand sighed, “Chimp, the point is you actually found something useful.”
“No kidding,” he coughed, “Where'd you find the truck?”
“There were lotsa trucks, guy!” she started laughing, “I just got into the slowest and took it!”
Shades mumbled, “I coulda done that.”
“So you raided a convoy.”
“Did you outrun them, too?” something caught his eye, and after a moment he saw that it was a bird. His trigger finger loosened.
“Didn't have to!” she banged on the truck twice, “I just took a turn!” she laughed again, “They never knew anything happened!”
Firebrand looked back up at her, “Except the troops in the truck.”
“Naw,” Chimp opened the door and got back into the driver's seat, “I yanked 'em out first thing!”
“Are they dead?”
She shrugged, “I don't stick around, Bossy Lady.”
“Then get rid of the truck,” she patted first Macho's and then Dr. Thomas' backs and they turned to leave, “Thanks for the info.”
“Hey, no problem!” she revved the truck up, Vroom VROOM! and, with tires screeching into the night, she drove off the road and into the forest.
A few moments later and there was a bright orange fireball from where she had gone, a plume of dark smoke rising into the sky. Firebrand shook her head, “Come on.”
Holy shit, should we go ba-
18 June, 2038
Haven, “Hope Hills”, former Egypt, East Africa

It was ramshackle, it was in dire need of a reliable water source, and it was perennially dusty. But this was the most organized haven in East Africa and the best hidden. People were actually busy here, not with farming or shoring up their defenses, but with producing weapons, armor, ammunition. Probably pamphlets, too.
Mr. Osterman had been right, Central now knew. The resistance had grown.
Atef, the leader of Hope Hills, was leading him, Grey Devil, and Knight to a tent made up of salvaged rebar and tarp. Knight's GREMLIN darted from here to there now and again, but never strayed far, and Grey Devil had assured him that she was “under control.” He didn't ask what that meant, exactly.
As they entered the tent, Atef cricked his back, “We were wondering when XCOM would enter our little regional neighborhood.”
“I'm surprised you haven't been doing light guerrilla work,” Central sat down on the carpeted ground, Grey Devil following his example, “Or how you're avoiding ADVENT here.”
Atef chuckled, “'Amal Hilz is nomadic, Central. We have several spots out here and rotate, but not regularly. In the past twelve years, we have only caught an alien sweep four times.”
“Pretty impressive,” he grunted as he took his leg off, then looked up at Knight, who was still standing, “Hey, you might want to sit down.”
She looked at the floor, as did her drone, and then, after a long moment of silence, took to one knee and faced Atef.
The wind blew, and some dust flew in behind them.
“I . . . I should mention our trade.”
“You get food from the other havens out here?” he took his eyes off of Knight for a moment.
Atef nodded, “Sometimes. Most of it comes in from the north, across the Mediterranean.”
Grey Devil crossed his arms, “That's a feat if I ever heard one.”
“We are fortunate. And, if you like, I can tell you where our counterparts in the Agean are.”
Oui,” they all turned to Knight again, “There is a similar facilite in that region.”
Atef stared and then pointed at her, “Okay, I do not mean offense, but what is wrong with her?”
Rien, Papillon est verdt.
“She's,” Grey Devil managed a smile, “Getting over something that happened on an op a while back.”
“I hope she recovers soon.”
Central nodded, “Yeah,” though I doubt it.
19 June, 2038
Receiving Bay, Avenger

It was quiet while they grabbed their gear and donned their armor. The only bit of communication he had today with everyone else here was when he held up a flashbang and Casino shook his head, taking two incendiary grenades. They knew where they were going, why waste words?
Red double-checked how his vest sat underneath his armor, tapped it, and then set to work making sure his gun was clean. Showtime hadn't paid any attention to his rifle, and had just been spit-shining his revolver the whole time. Oskar and Scorn were mumbling about something between them, he couldn't quite tell. He thought maybe all the gunfire over the years was finally making him deaf.
Knight, poor girl, had been standing at the ready, her gear perfect and at attention, at the bottom of the Skyranger's ramp. He'd been worried the past couple of weeks, everyone had. Except Grey Devil. He'd assured them that Knight's condition was, as she kept saying, “green.” Still, she was rigid, her movements stilted, and she had only begrudgingly-answered to her codename.
Alette had been a fine soldier before this happened. And now he worried she was gone.
Red took out his Arc Blade, checking it for wear, found nothing, and sheathed it again, “I've done this before, not sure of anyone else, but what we're doing tonight is a large-scale demolition.”
Casino, in the middle of fastening his arm rocket, jerked his head back and returned to his work.
He stared at the skull for a moment, and continued, “After the plant, we get to a safe distance on the Skyranger before we blow.”
Showtime glanced up, “You wanna rephrase that?”
“No, Macho, I don't.”
He snorted, went back to his gun.
Firebrand came in, saw Knight, sighed, “How long has she been there?”
“Nine minutes.”
She stared at her, “Like that?”
Red nodded, “Yes, Ma'am.”
“I wouldn't fret,” Oskar stood up, his own GREMLIN behaving normally, “She wants a fight.”
“Way I hear it, she fought you,” Scorn hitched a mimic beacon to his belt.
He nodded, “Not in her right mind, then, I 'spect.”
“Dude, Alette's not in her right mind now.”
Knight's drone swiveled towards Showtime at this, but she kept at attention.
“Whatever,” Firebrand went for the cockpit, walking past her, “Get on in one. We're out.”
“You heard the lady,” Red pumped his shotgun and made for the ramp, “We're movin'.”
As he passed Showtime, he shook his head, “She is bossy.”
Ignore it, better things on your mind. He got on and looked back. Knight fell in with the rest, got in her seat first. Her GREMLIN went under her chair, but did not shut off.
As the ramp came up and he sat down, he took out a cigar. Gonna be a rough one again.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on January 17, 2017, 06:02:46 PM
19 June, 2038
Wilderness of East Africa

He mulled over the last time he had gone to one of these damn places. ( Casino had almost died, though that didn't seem to bother him none. This time they were going with a kid, fucking Showtime, and Knight. And she was fresh off going through some weird shit with her GREMLIN. If he weren't leading this op, he would have told Oskar that they were the only two competent people in this squad. Casino not really being “people.”
Instead, he just stared at the hologram, moving his cigar one way and then the other in his mouth, and waited for the eventual idiot to speak up.
And sure enough, he did, “So, how big is it?”
Red sighed, taking the cigar into his hand, “You mean the facility or the plot?”
Showtime thought a moment, “Does it make a difference?”
“Plot's bigger,” Oskar double-checked his rifle's dials, “Building's on the plot.”
After another moment, the moron slapped his knees and sat back, “Gah, I ain't an architect.”
Negatif,” Knight still had her GREMLIN on, hovering under her seat, “You are un tireur.
“I'm a man,” he leaned forward, “You still a woman?”
Je suis vert,” and though her voice hadn't changed tone, Red could have sworn more energy was put into that.
“Knight,” Oskar put his gun in the overhang, staring at her, “Don't go terminator on us again.”
“Kid,” he leaned forward and got Scorn's attention. He nodded and so Red continued, “You say you were a scout, yeah?”
“Okay, I want you on point when we drop,” he lifted a finger and pointed at him, “Don't go too far, they got sensors and tons of patrols.”
“What should I expect?”
The light turned red and, as Casino and Knight stood up, Firebrand came over the intercom, “Get yourselves ready, I'm dropping you in sixty seconds. Good luck.”
Red got up and brought his weapon down, “Nothin' much you haven't seen before. Turrets, robot artillery.”
Scorn's eyebrows lifted as he flipped his gun's safety, “MECs? Never seen one up close.”
“Don't start hopin',” the ramp was coming down, “They are ornery.”
The night was clear, and sure enough, Firebrand had picked a damn fine spot for the drop. It was an elevated bit of rock in the desert, and he could see the gene factory about a click away. Soon as they hit sand, he motioned everyone to follow as, true to his word, Scorn took point. They were moving as a unit, that much was certain, and it was something odd to know. He glanced behind and found out why.
Showtime was keeping pace with Knight. He wasn't bright, but sharp enough to keep an eye on trouble. Oskar, who had quite a bit of tact, was staying just far away from her. Probably so their GREMLINs' signals wouldn't mix. She might not like that now.
“Down,” he got behind a rock, seeing Scorn kneeling next to his own, and he put a hand to his ear, “What's there?”
“Club, shield, and sash,” there was a pause, and he saw Showtime bring his rifle up, “We going loud?”
“No, not this early.”
The younger man nodded as Showtime lowered his rifle with a scowl.
“They're heading to our left, Ice.”
“Knight, Casino,” he kept staring out into the night, where ADVENT apparently was, “Cover our right. Everyone else, spread out.”
He kept low as he moved up to Scorn, passing Casino on his way, and as he took cover the kid said, “They're just gonna come back around.”
“Yeah,” he looked over his stone and saw them do just that, “They are,” he looked back, everyone had their guns up. Showtime had his revolver out, like some old cowboy, peeking over his cover. Red looked back at Scorn, “Keep down,” and he stood up and fired.
Immediately, ( there was a bright fireball in the night and then a cacophony of magfire coming from behind him, laying into the three-person squad that had been so unlucky to patrol this section of the compound. The officer was the only one to survive, firing a burst as she made for a thron tree. Red beat her there and liberated her head from its shoulders.
The whole fight had taken fifteen seconds, and it had been a loud one.
He inserted a slug into his gun, “Top off and move up,” he saw Scorn rushing over, “Keep point, kid.”
Over the comms, “Papillon is ready to scan for-”
“Sure thing,” and Scorn was off once again.
“This is unwise.”
“Knight, relax. He's got exp-”
Static took over and he had to switch them off. He heard panicked yelling, and saw Scorn at the cliff of their rock, hisses coming from below, and one of those freaky glowing things popping up not too far from the kid. It had a good bead on him.
Knight's GREMLIN sailed into the night as Showtime's rifle finally rang out, a second glowing form tumbling out of the glitched mess farther down their left. With a roar, Red ran for this clone and cut it in two, the brain falling to the dirt as everything else vanished. He heard Casino's cannon, and when he turned around, the original Codex was gone, too.
He also saw the kid, and the shape behind him, Oh man, that was cl-” the Viper coiled around Scorn as a second, unseen snake-thing spat poison upon them both for good measure.
 It wasn't long before a volley of mag rounds tore the Viper's head off, leaving Scorn a coughing mess. To his credit, he was angry enough to drop down, and so he followed his lead, finding the other Viper not too far away from the base of the gene factory. There was a sharp bang above them, but he paid no mind to it as they both fired on the Viper. It returned fire, taking a mag blast in the chest for its trouble, crumpling to the ground as he saw Oskar's drone spray that bitter healing mist on Scorn. He stared at the thing for a moment.
He took two shots from the turret above before he fell behind his cover, though he could have taken quite a damn few more. Right after that, Showtime's rifle rang out again and the turret was decommissioned.
Red ran over, reloading as he went, “You alright, kid? Say yes.”
He rounded the corner and found Scorn picking himself up, several blackened dents in his shoulder pads, “For something this light, it's tough.”
Knight, Oskar, and Casino dropped down the cliff, the walking tank just cricking his neck as he sided up to the building. Knight came over and sighed, “Encore, Papillon is ready to scan for hostiles.”
“Oh good,” he coughed, “Could've used that before.”
Oui,” she followed Casino, “There will be a four-hour battery recharge, but mais vous saurez.
Red nodded as he got up to one of the laser-grated windows, “Yeah, that'd be nice.”
Scorn got up next to him, “She's weird.”
“Wasn't always.”
Oskar dusted his knees off, “That was a scrape.”
Knight came over comms, “Trois hostiles, the roof. Deux serpents and data not found.”
“Sounds nasty,” Scorn looked at Red, “We should probably be quick about it, then.”
“We'll cover you,” he turned to Oskar, “Still got juice?”
“No sweat, long as you don't need it.”
“Alright, I'll be quiet,” and once again, the kid was off.
Red sighed, keeping an eye on their left as Oskar took Scorn's spot at the window. He shook his head, “Messed up stuff in there.”
Red nodded, “Nothing I haven't seen before.”
Oskar paused, “Grey Devil was right, I 'spose. She's calmed way down.”
“Alette was always business first,” he glanced at him, went back to watching, “This fucking 'Papillon' didn't help that.”
“Ya know, I've been all over the place, and I've picked up a lot. Do you even know what papillon means, Ice?”
Over comms, there were a few keyed beeps, and then, “Okay, X4's set.”
Red put a hand to his ear, “Firebrand, come 'round. Package is planted.”
“Am I going to take fire?”
Red shrugged, “Probably. Won't be for long.”
“Shit, alright. Get out of there.”
Red motioned Oskar to the right and he followed him before laying down the flares, “No, I don't know what it means.”
Knight turned her head at them, then a moment later saw the flares and came up, “The objectif is complete?”
Red nodded, held up a hand at her, and threw his arm over Oskar, turning away from Knight, muttering “And this matters why?”
“Because, hoss,” Scorn had gotten out of the facility, and the Skyranger was coming in, “Butterflies should be free.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on January 18, 2017, 07:19:21 PM
19 June, 2038
Airspace over Wilderness of East Africa

Sure enough, there was plasma fire across the Skyranger's nose. She kept it steady as the cords dropped and the squad got on board. She couldn't hover here but so long. The fuel was reaching the point where the return flight might not be feasible.
It was right around the moment Artemis figured that one of the jets could be lessened, making her still-stationary but harder to hit while saving fuel, that a big, yellow streak plummeted from the sky not one foot from her ship.
“God-damn sonuva-” she flipped a switch and slammed a button with her thumb, “Hope you guys are on, I'm taking off!” She then gave the poor saps three seconds before she pressed two buttons to get the damn ramp up. Both her hands then went to the stick, which she pulled towards her stomach with everything she had, and they were off into the night sky.
There was some crashing around in the troop bay, probably the old Russian being thrown around like a tin can, and she finally remembered the last part of her job.
Central, all surviving XCOM personnel are on board. LIGHT IT UP.
“Copy, Firebrand.”
Five seconds later, the radio waves had made their way through the clouds and rocks from home to the charge, and Artemis felt the explosion rock her ship, which produced more clanging in the back, but she didn't care. They were out of it, they had hit ADVENT hard, and no one had died.
She breathed out, relaxed on the stick, and looked up at the heat sensors for the back. They were too far out to make a u-turn, but everyone was on board-
A chill ran up her spine, and she held down a button on her dash, “Where's Showtime?”
19 June, 2038
Receiving Bay, Avenger

When he was a boy and considerably less of a badass, Macho had been lucky enough to get a mucky, somewhat ragged issue of something called a comic book. It had this dude on the cover, looked like he'd been in the city for way too long, and he even worked at a newspaper. He didn't really care about that part, though, the dude's real job was flying around saving people with awesome powers. He had always wanted to do that, but had to settle for just getting buff as hell. Still, the dream of flying under his own power had always been there.
Clinging to a drop cord that still hung through the closed ramp hatch of the Skyranger, that dream had met the real world. And the real world, brother, she had a good can of “fuck you” ready for that one.
The supersonic winds blew his face into a grotesque mockery of itself, and he struggled to breathe. His sunglasses stayed on, and his guns were well-strapped to his body, but everything else about the ride was utter shit. The mothership wasn't that far, it couldn't have been, it was a fifteen-minute flight to the factory.
Fifteen minutes.
For fourteen of those fifteen minutes, Macho held desperately onto a noodle dangling from a small, metal balloon going at speeds heretofore only reserved for fighter pilots and astronauts of the previous century. He could just barely see the Avenger when he blacked out, certain that he was a dead man, but god dammit, what a badass way to go. It was only when he came to did he remember that, yes, there was a clasp keeping him on the wild ride.
Kneeling over him was the yokel, who nodded, “Couldn't have been out but a couple minutes,” he leaned in close, “Can you speak, boy?”
“Did we get 'em?” was what he wanted to say. What came out and was recounted many a time later on was something along the lines of, “Diddily grab arm?” Not how it actually came out, no, he remembered the truth.
Cobb leaned back up straight, “He's fine.”
20 June, 2038
Science Lab/Engine Room, Avenger

“She performed well. Didn't go rogue or anything.”
Central's arms were crossed as he watched Grey Devil solder Alette's GREMLIN's turbulence damage. The green drone was still active, and it seemed docile, like it knew it was being repaired. Like a very, very well-trained K-9 getting a checkup from the vet. He missed a breath, remembering there were no K-9's anymore.
“Still haven't worked out what you want us to call you now?” he had to get his mind off of the dogs.
“Knight est suffisant.
Grey Devil groaned, “Just take my suggestion, already,” he put the soldering tool down and slapped the drone, “This is 'Papillon', or whatever, and you are 'Alette Bruyere,'” he stood up, stretching his back, “One's an unfeeling bastardization of alien and Terran tech, the other's an old, French tight-ass.”
She turned her head at him as the GREMLIN began hovering over her shoulder, “Ce n'est pas suffisant.
Grey Devil turned to his monitor, “Right, which is why 'Knight' is your codename, the name for you as a unit.
He and Alette just stood there for a moment, Papillon flying out into the hall. Central watched it as it moved, and while he didn't like how suddenly it left, he knew that Alette was either in complete control or concert with the GREMLIN. He did not quite know which was worse.
“Anyway, I don't need this right now,” the one-legged man took out some blueprints, “Busy making our guns better.”
“You're not using your new digs?”
He glanced over his shoulder at Central, “No idea what'll happen once I start working on stuff there, might as well lay the foundations for Sledge's plasma tech.”
“Doc is coming.”
Central went over to Grey Devil, “I really don't think we need those now-”
“How much did you like your rifle back in the day, Choco?”
He looked over at Alette, who just stood there as Papillon returned, then leaned over onto the console, “That's not the point. The point is they're making one hell of a dash for finishing Avatar-”
The geneticist poked his head in through the doorway, “Uh, Central. We've got an incoming message from Hope Hills. They're packing up, you gotta come now.”
Central sighed, stood up, and, as he passed Alette, “Forget you heard that name.”
“Secondary designation a ete deleted.”
That was fast, he got to the door, “They'll want to know how it went.”
Dr. Thomas led him down the hall to the Comms Center, “Well, considering there was a huge fireball, I'm assuming they think it went pretty good.”
“Let's hope so. I don't want to upset their relocation schedule for nothing.”
As they entered, Central saw that the comms screen already had Atef's face front and center. He saw a multitude of shapes running about behind him, and as Central got a headset on, someone took the tarp off of Atef's tent. (
“XCOM, do you copy?”
“We copy, this is Central. How much time do you have, Hope Hills?”
Atef smiled, shaking his head, “Not much, my friend. Is the factory rubble?”
Central nodded, “No casualties on our side, but you should be watching for retaliation.”
“Believe me,” another man was taking the rebar poles out of the sand behind him, “I survived the War, XCOM. We shall burrow like rats, and bite like them too.”
“I trust your Aegean contacts' information is solid?”
“My friend,” Atef laughed, reaching for something below his camera, “I would stake my grandchildren on it. And I just have.”
“Alright then. Safe travels.”
Wa'ant aydaan, XCOM,” and the line went dead, the global map coming up on screen in its wake.
Central removed the headset and looked at Dr. Thomas, “You're sure everything's on board.”
“Yeah, that's what Sledge told me,” he turned to leave, paused at the door, and looked back at him, “Eastern Europe, right?”
Central nodded, “There's another one there, yeah.”
Dr. Thomas shook his head, “Way too close together.”
Central followed him out, “We don't have time on our side.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on January 21, 2017, 05:55:42 AM
20 June, 2038
Makeshift Firing Range, Eastern Europe

There was a battery pack slapped onto his pistol, with wires coming out of it and heading into the grip. Elmo figured there were more goings-on inside than what he could see on the outside, since he was putting in heavier, but otherwise similar, bullets into the thing. It was still a revolver, it was still a sidearm. But now, instead of ballistics, it used the same tech his rifle had been given not too long ago.
Macho was less-than-thrilled, “This sucks,” he thrust the gun at Sledge, “You suck.”
The engineer pushed his hand back, “Tough. It's better, it'll punch through their armor, and it has a much higher chance of not getting broken.”
“Elmo thinks you should be grateful,” he leveled the pistol at a target dummy, fired, and watched its head burst open like a melon.
The kid just crossed his arms, “Big deal, my rifle can do that.”
They both looked at him, and Sledge was the one to speak first, “Right. But this is a pistol.”
“Elmo thought you liked your handcannon-”
Mancannon, cyclops.”
Sledge slapped him upside the head, “You stubborn bastard, just take the gift.”
Macho glared at him, shook his head, and went over to his own firing line. He stared at the dummy, brought out the mag pistol, sneering, and fired.
How the gun missed his sunglasses, Elmo would never figure out, but in the next moment his revolver was in the grass and both his hands were at his face, “GodDAMMIT!
It's got more recoil, you moron!
Elmo shook his head, fired again at his dummy. The round left a large, smoking hole through its chest.
The head of Macho's dummy let out a creaking sound before it fell off, the neck having been left structurally unsound by the shot.
“Well,” he shrugged, “Elmo likes it.”
22 June, 2038
Living Quarters, Avenger

“<The Elders have released a proclamation on the demolition of a Holy Site outside of New Cairo from late last week. Our benefactors ensure all Terran citizens that it was a scheduled decommissioning of an improvement camp for non-citizens residing in the Saharan Desert, due to lack of applicants.>”

Dr. Thomas bit into his ham sandwich as the anchorwoman went on. Talking about how this totally wasn't XCOM's doing or anything, just something the Elders forgot to tell everyone about. GAN had to sweep everything up, and he was wondering just how they'd do it. He thought it would be funny, but he wasn't laughing.
It was after noon, and he was the only one up here. Everyone else had something, whether it was helping out with establishing a haven contact in the region or just trying to keep the ship together. Not him, no way. He only knew how to do two things: splicing genes and shooting bad guys. And he wasn't even that good at shooting bad guys.
So when the door opened, he just kept looking at the TV, “Take a seat, you're not missing much.”
It wasn't until he heard the buzzing did he look at who had come in. Alette pulled a chair from the table and sat down, her GREMLIN keeping to just above her left shoulder. The one closer to him. It was staring at him as Alette took off her sunglasses and rubbed her eyes.
He was chewing slower, and he couldn't keep the staring contest going, so he just turned back to the screen, “What're you doing here?”
Nous nous reposons. Diable Gris is running too many tests.”
Dr. Thomas paused, “What on?”
“The finer points of plasma weaponry,” she sighed, “We can not keep up.”
They sat there for a while before Alette snapped, “Eteindre.”
Off, turn it off.
He blinked, went over to the television, and shut it off. When he turned back he saw Alette rubbing her temples and the drone staring at him again. He looked at her, then at the drone, then back at her, “You okay?”
“Such a laid language.”
“Alette, are you okay?”
She sighed, looked at him with bloodshot eyes she quickly covered with her aviators, “Oui, Doc, I am fine.”
“Alright, because the last couple weeks haven't really been your best-”
Toubib, I am fine,” the GREMLIN flew out the door for a moment, then came back, “There is nothing wrong.”
“I don't know,” he slowly walked back to his sandwich, “When that Codex croaked, you went nuts.”
“It was . . . difficult,” the drone was making its way around the room.
“But so we're clear,” he sat down and grabbed his lunch, “You aren't gonna do that again?”
Toubib,” she leaned forward, clasping her hands, “We have ameliore. It is still strange, but nous sommes verts.”
Dr. Thomas raised an eyebrow as he glanced at the drone, “And Papillon? It's not taken control of you?”
Alette shook her head, “No. We are en concert.”
23 June, 2038
Somewhere in Former Ukraine, Wilderness of Eastern Europe

It was guard duty. Regular, boring, old guard duty. A few months ago, Moop would have been outraged. At what point did a rebellion need guards? A mobile army was one that didn't need guards. It didn't need goons, or patrols, or anything regimented like that. Just people with enough heart and piss to fight. Now, she was relieved to have guard duty. It meant she might not shoot anything. Maybe. Firebrand had flown them to this haven in the woods, some bumfuck nowhere like the place she came from, but with no stretch of beach to call their own.
She was sitting on a stump by the Skyranger, her gun in her lap and her GREMLIN over her shoulder, while Central and Cactus met and talked with the locals not too far away. She was left with Firebrand, who was just rummaging about in the back, and Kamo. Who had leveled his gun in front of a bunch of kids and even revved the thing up. Before their parents came and grabbed them, the little guys were chattering amongst themselves excitedly, like this was the first real human soldier they'd ever seen.
When they were taken away, Kamo shut his gun off, planted it barrel-first into the soggy ground, and leaned on it with his left arm. He seemed to sigh, though no sound came from beneath that mask.
She took a break from staring at the sorry state of the haven, with its wet laundry on lines and its rain collectors with holes, and turned to Firebrand, “Say, did you ever see his face during the War?”
“Nope,” clattering inside.
“Did Central-”
“Moop, no one's seen his face as far as I know.”
She looked back at him and found dead, metal eyes staring at her. They kept the contest going for a while.
Farther off, Central let out a huge breath, “That's good to know.”
Da, secrets are flimsy things when told to enemies,” Cactus turned back to the havenfolk leader and started speaking Russian again. The woman nodded a few times, pulled out a ragged piece of paper, and began, presumably, to give him directions.
Central looked back at them, “They know where another one is.”
“Oh good,” Firebrand came out on the ramp, “Barely even repaired it and you want me to make another combat flight.”
“If it's consolation,” Central stretched a little as Cactus kept up the conversation, “ADVENT won't think we're gonna hit them this hard this fast.”
“Yeah, because it's dumb,” Firebrand sighed and went back into the bay, “Really dumb.”
Moop turned away from Kamo and looked back at the haven. There were lots of bitter, angry, depressed people here. Probably a lot of them had been under fire before.
She didn't want to think about coming back here when they would be again.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on January 25, 2017, 02:47:57 PM
24 June, 2038
Wilderness of Eastern Europe

He was rubbing his hands together, he couldn't help it. ( Dr. Thomas was beginning to feel like the only one in this troop bay who had priorities. Alette's face just kept staring at the hologram, and no one was paying attention to her. Red was keeping his eyes on the floor, Moop seemed disinterested in everything, and Cobb and Elmo were shooting the shit like it was the night after something important.
“Ain't met no one who survived on gator meat.”
Elmo coughed, “Elmo survived on some other things, too.”
“That's your main source'a protein, though,” Oskar sat back, arms crossed, “I know you didn't wrestle 'em-”
“Elmo did, once.”
Moop turned to him, “You what?”
The hairy man nodded, “Once was enough for Elmo.”
“Would you stop that?” Dr. Thomas looked up at Red, who was staring at his wriggling hands, “You're makin' me nervous.”
“That's . . . kind of the point?”
“Look,” he put his cigar into his mouth and lit it, “I've seen her in the field since. You have nothing to worry about.”
“Yeah, no, it's-”
Papillon was in his face, nearly blinded him in the darkness of the troop bay, and he jolted back, hands clenching his armrests.
The others stopped talking, though Alette kept looking at the hologram. It was also she who broke the silence, “We will not have you infecter anyone, toubib.”
Red glanced at her as the GREMLIN returned over her shoulder, “Thanks, Knight.”
De rein.”
Dr. Thomas had almost gotten his bowels under control again when the light turned red, Firebrand's voice coming soon after, “I'm not getting any closer until you guys call. Almost took a shot last time, I don't wanna test my luck much more.”
The ramp lowered, and, as he stood up, he saw a graveyard in the forest ahead of them. Dr. Thomas grabbed his weapon, “The last one of these didn't take long, right?”
Red double-checked the strap on his Arc Blade, “That's right,” he ran off the ramp and made his jump.
Alette and Elmo followed him before Dr. Thomas got on the ground, and he heard Cobb and Moop hit dirt behind him. The shadow of the gene factory was on the horizon ahead, the night's fog settling in over a checkpoint with red clouds.
“I'm with her, do your job,” and Oskar shadowed Alette, both moving to what probably had once been a gravedigger's shack. He shook his head and followed Red up and got into cover nearby while Elmo sided up to a tree behind him. (
She came over comms, “Turret devant, advise.”
Red put a hand to his ear as a few ADVENT came down the road from their right, “Hold up,” they both watched the patrol continue on until they were dead-center in front of them, “Now.”
A crisp, electronic bang came from their left as mag rounds pummeled into the patrol's officer. As she fell to the pavement, Red gave his shoulder a quick smack and they both went right, the old soldier getting into melee with the Lancer who had bolted that way. He took a good one in the jaw before running his blade through the not-human's chest, but Dr. Thomas saw the third and final member of that ill-fated group slam the road with a palm. It was one of those Shieldbearers, shock support troops they had started rolling out four years ago, and he quickly shot off the hard-light aura that erupted around him from the ground. Mag rounds from the shack took his head off almost immediately thereafter.
Red rubbed his jaw, “See anyone else?
“Elmo would know, and Elmo don't see shit.”
“Alright,” Red motioned Dr. Thomas towards him, “I'm headin' up,” and sure enough, he did. Halfway to the checkpoint fence he did a tumble and his voice blared over comms, “Goddammit!
“Now Elmo sees things.”
Red had gotten back to his feet and was coming back, “I noticed!
A ghastly howl came from the building ahead, and he saw Cobb run up to a tree near the checkpoint and open fire. As soon as he leveled his cannon in that direction, a large, shiny parody of an angel came flying in from the gloom. Bare-chested, holding a long staff in one hand, wings made of some kind of gold-colored metal, and no legs, only thrusters.
He didn't think twice about the sacrilege and opened fire with everyone else. It roared as its body tumbled into the dirt, skidding to a stop in front of his cover of rocks.
Tuer confirme.”
Grunting, Dr. Thomas nodded as he fed his cannon some new rounds. Almost on cue, the officer got back onto its feet, purple tendrils of energy flowing into its head. He vaulted his own cover as Red blasted the zombie back down, spotted the Sectoid on a balcony above, and let loose with a burst before sliding in behind the fence. Another shotgun blast, and another gasping screech, and the Sectoid's buddy must have been down, too.
“Alright,” Red breathed, kneeling down and reloading, “Does anyone see anything else?”
“Elmo sees another turret, higher up.”
“Oh yea-” Red raised his head at the building, and just as quickly ducked as a flurry of magnetic bullets slammed into the road behind them, “Jesus!
Shots rang out, and there was a familiar crash. Moop came over comms, “There, now let's get out of this hellhole.”
Moop,” Red vaulted over the fence, “I have to plant the X4.
“I'll cover ya,” and he saw Cobb climb up to the balcony. A moment later, “Yeesh, Doc. I think all of 'em hit this guy.”
Hostiles entrant.
Elmo got nearby, practically sitting down by another section of fence, “Elmo didn't know angels hated us, too.”
Moop had moved up with him, though she didn't sit down, “This place just gives me the creeoh COME ON!
He stood back up and saw two more ADVENT and one of those shimmering weirdos. He lifted his cannon again and opened fire with the rest, the Codex vanishing in the barrage and the other two dropping onto Cobb's position.
That better not be more trouble,” Red was coming back out, hand on his ear, “Firebrand, it's close but there ain't any big guns!
As he made his way over to Red, Cobb jumped down, mag fire just missing his cap. Elmo pulled out his revolver and shot one of the new arrivals as he peered down after the escapee. The cords were coming down and everyone was hitching up.
“Come on, come on,” Moop struggled for a moment before the latch finally secured.
Red tugged on his cord and, in short order, they were pulled up. He heard one more revolver shot and looked below. The last ADVENT on the balcony was grabbing their neck, falling to the floor as it gave way to something loud and bright and yellow-
The cord yanked him into the Skyranger as Firebrand made a sharp turn to the right, Elmo slamming into him as the ramp closed. He pushed the sniper off his chest and unhooked himself, looking up at the ceiling as everyone groaned from the whiplash.
“I swear to god, if I have a repeat of last time . . .”
Red banged on the wall separating their bay from the cockpit six times, breathing heavily before sitting down. No one looked happy.
“ . . . Well good.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on February 01, 2017, 07:15:22 AM
24 June, 2038
Bridge, Avenger

And you couldn't have warned me before?
“I planted so many datamines, I could not keep track.”
Central sighed, staring at the red ping on the Hologlobe near Novgorod, and, without looking up, pointed at Cactus, After this we're going probe your memory.
“Central,” the younger man came up to the table and watched the ping, “No one knows password. It is quantum-locked.”
“Well, now I know who to send to fix that,” he glared at Cactus for a moment, then put a hand on his ear, “Firebrand, you en route?”
“Everyone's on board this time.”
Central nodded, “Good. Refuel fast as you can when you touch down.”
There was a pause on the other end, “Central, what's wrong?”
“Our new recruit's got a landmine, we need to go disarm it.”
He showed him a palm, “You copy that?”
Firebrand sighed, “Yeah, I'll tell 'em.”
Central shook his head, took his headset off, and made for the receiving bay, “Get your gear.”
Cactus shrugged, “Is not my fault.”
“Yes, it is,” he opened the door as Cactus followed him, “You said so yourself.”
“Plant could be four years old, for all I remember.”
“Ah,” he turned to him, Now you remember it, though.”
The former spy stood there, stone-faced, as the Skyranger was lifted down into the bay.
As the ramp came down, he saw Oskar leading Red off the jet. The medic looked up at him, “Ice's got a concussion. Gotta take him to Nick for a checkup.”
Red turned around at the operatives still in the plane, “Remember what I said,” he grunted as he turned back around, holding his jaw, “Hurts to talk.”
“Then quit,” and they passed him.
Central came up to the ramp as Moop started to off-board, “What did he say?”
“God, Central,” she shook her head as she went past, “Little bit of privacy?”
“He said when Sarge gets up here he's in charge,” Dr. Thomas cricked his back as he stood up, “Firebrand told us what's going on.”
Knight walked past him, her GREMLIN keeping pace, “Reapprovisionner, toubib.”
“Yeah,” he started down the ramp after her, “Yeah, I know.”
Central watched them head for the armory nearby, then saw Cactus still standing behind him. He motioned towards the rest of the squad, “Well, get your shit.”
The Russian turned around and mumbled something as he left.
“Elmo don't like this,” he saw Elmo sitting in his seat, “Too fast.”
Central nodded and came into the troop bay of the Skyranger, “Yeah. Yeah it is.”
“Firebrand told Elmo and friends there's another op,” the hunter stood up, keeping his eye on the floor, “And Red put the kid in charge.”
Central sighed, looked at the floor himself, and then shrugged, “He's actually the best candidate you have right now.”
Elmo seemed to mull this over for a moment, and nodded as he passed him, “Elmo needs bullets.”
Central followed him out and saw Siegfried coming into the armory. Moop gave him his gun and they began talking, the kid looking quite surprised. For his part, Central just walked past them and came up to Cactus, whispering, “If any of them go red, I'm putting it on you,” and striding off before he could say anything to it.
When he got back on the bridge, he put his headset back on. It was going to be a long night.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on February 02, 2017, 12:59:58 PM
25 June, 2038
Small Town in ADVENT Patrol Zone 9, Outskirts of Novgorod

Her brain was aching as she looked around the cabin. ( Moop wondered if Alette felt like this all the time now, though something told her that wasn't true. Cactus and Bruno were just staring at nothing, probably trying to keep their adrenaline up like she was, and Siegfried wasn't looking any of them in the eyes. Not a good sign.
“Elmo worries for XCOM,” she stared across at the monster as he sat back, looking at the hologram. She followed his gaze and saw the mission's name.
“Fire . . . Stank . . .”
“I think a computer comes up with 'em,” Bruno grunted as he leaned forward for a better view, “Random words, we just have to deal with what it spits out.”
She scrunched her nose, squinting at the word, “But, 'Stank'?”
“Relax,” Cactus turned his head towards Siegfried, “We have young buck commander. He won't do anything stupid for fear of shame.”
“Ah, to be eighteen again,” Bruno smiled as he sat back.
“I'm not eighteen.”
At this, Alette finally looked at him. Along with everyone else.
Elmo coughed.
“Child soldiers have long history.”
Siegfried wiped his face down and looked at the floor, “My birthday is in five days.”
They all stared at him for a couple of minutes.
“Well,” Moop sighed, “It's just a number.”
The red light came on, and Firebrand blurted through the intercom, “I don't have fuel for long, and I'm not talking about gas. I don't do pills, and my eyes are getting heavy.”
“Elmo can take a hint,” he stood up to get his rifle as Papillon swung up from under Alette.
“You won't tell him?” the kid took his rifle down as he switched on his GREMLIN, “Ice thinks I'm nineteen.”
“It's not any of my business,” the ramp came down as Bruno triple-checked his cannon, “It's not like it's a problem.”
Just before they jumped, ( she saw Cactus edge up to him and whisper a single word, “Shame.”
It was the early morning here, before the sun would rise, but for them it was around midnight. Jet lag was part of the job, Moop knew, but she didn't think it'd be this much of the job. As they entered the ramshackle town, Cactus took point, and he led them, quietly, to a newly-constructed ADVENT checkpoint. There were people out and about, probably getting the stalls set up in the market ahead of them, but she didn't know if they were doing this for business or legal reasons.
Siegfried peaked around the checkpoint's corner and, just as quickly, slunk back into it. He looked nervous for a moment, then he turned to her, “I want you and Elmo on top of this thing. Now.”
As the monster began climbing, Moop asked, “What is it?”
“I don't know, but it's like marble-”
“Archon,” Cactus sighed, “ADVENT spoke of them.”
Elmo was up, and Moop followed for a closer look as Bruno and Alette got behind a road divider.
“Oh yeah,” Bruno coughed, “This crazy bastard.”
Moop kept down as she got next to Elmo, who had his rifle trained on the angel-thing they had seen earlier that night. She shook her head, put a hand to her ear, “We haven't seen them do anything yet. Too many holes in the one we met at the factory.”
Da,” she saw the rest of the squad move into the deserted market below them as the Archon and a Lancer bodyguard made their rounds farther off, “If you miss, spread out.”
“Doesn't look like it's got anything but that staff.”
“Trust me,” Cactus sighed, “It is not pleasant.”
Siegfried looked up at them and waved her up. Moop tapped Elmo, “Stick around,” and she vaulted down the checkpoint.
“Guys, they're coming around again.”
Deux cibles. We will fire.”
“Elmo has one.”
Moop got behind a stall and, to her left, saw Cactus take in a huge breath. That's confidence.
“In position. Do it.”
The booming, electronic sound of Elmo's rifle was her cue to stand up, sight her target, and fire. A flurry of other mag rounds flew into the early morning darkness, quite a few hitting the massive hovering not-angel as it flew towards them, roaring. It was a bass sound, something which almost resembled a human voice, but it was cut short as a final shot smashed into its helmet and it skidded into the street far to their left. She looked up and saw Elmo put his revolver away and pick his rifle back up.
It is in store ahead, IDTI! and he was off.
Amid the familiar screams of normal people running off, Moop got to the next stall and heard Bruno over comms, “Another group, watch it!
Another rifle shot came as she got behind her new cover, scanning her firing line. A volley of mag rounds came from ahead sailing over Alette to her right. Even the GREMLIN ducked, and for a moment she wondered what would happen if it had gotten shot. She looked up at her own, hovering over her shoulder.
There wasn't much time to dwell on it. A banging crash and crumpling metal told her a MEC was down, and she got up and fired again. Another booming mag shot, and she saw Cactus move up more, his drone flying even farther ahead and giving whatever was up there a jolt.
He turned around, Little time!
Over comms, “Everyone, move up. Monster, that means you.”
There was a grunt, “Elmo's gonna regret it.”
To their right, she heard a faint, deep groan, and then, “OH SHIT, IT'S COMING!” and a great deal of mag fire.
Cactus looked over there, shot twice, and looked ahead again.
“Fucking Faceless,” Bruno was breathing this as he ran up to new cover. Moop followed them and heard Elmo behind her. This was turning into a real busy night.
“Hey,” he was reloading, “Old grocery store, right?”
“Okay,” he slapped his cannon once and looked ahead, “I'll take point on this.”
“I can scan-”
“Nah,” he stepped out and ran up, “We know they're thereGEEZ,” he slid under the front window as plasma fire blasted through it. He sat up, bringing out his launcher and straightening his glasses.
Fucking-” she darted across the street, seeing a now-telltale metallic shimmering thing run off into the early morning darkness. Bruno had fired his launcher, and an orange fireball erupted from within the store. A Muton, roaring from behind its re-breather and fire sprouting from its armor, fumbled its way onto the dirt outside, right next to Bruno, and smoldered there.
More gunfire, and she saw Elmo and Alette running out of a swirling, purple mist. She saw the Codex far off, shot at it a couple times, and hunkered behind a trash can.
Four seconds later, Bruno cried out in pain over comms, and she put a hand to her ear, “Doc, you up?
Just shoot it!
She looked up and, before she knew what she was doing, fired a burst into the ghostly figure as it looked up at her. It shrieked and vaporized, thank god.
Elmo and Doc ran into the store as Alette laid down more fire. She heard a final roar and stood up, wiping her forehead.
“Okay, the thing doesn't look too damaged,” Bruno looked out the window at Cactus, who was coming towards him, “It's this pillar-thing, right?”
She hadn't been standing for long before she heard lumbering footsteps to her right. Moop turned and saw another Faceless stride-running down the road, several civilians fleeing in its wake. A multitude of mag rounds tore into the creature and it fell to its knees, barely face-planting into the pavement. Its gummy spine brought its head up, and then Cactus put his left boot onto what amounted to its neck, his rifle pointed straight at its mouthless, vacant face.
Betal kohn fiskrat, bezlikiy.
There wasn't much left of the head after that.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on February 03, 2017, 04:11:53 PM
25 June, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

The cabin was quiet for most of the way back. Siegfried took the time to think. He hadn't seen anything coming in from their right flank, too much time on the left. He glanced at Knight. She should have told him. She had been over there.
The clamps came on and the Skyranger was being lowered into the base. Doc cricked his back as he got up, grimaced for a second, and sat back down. Next to him, Cactus was stoic, covered in alien flesh-gum. Looking ahead, but not at Knight. Looking beyond Knight. Siegfried turned his gaze to the floor; he didn't want to end up like that.
The ramp came down and he sighed as he got to his feet, his GREMLIN running numbers and tactical information as he stowed away his equipment. He felt a sharp, sudden slap on his back and Monster came next to him, “Elmo thinks that went well.”
“We got ambushed. Twice.”
He nodded, disassembling his rifle, “And Elmo's alive.”
“I think it's coming undone, kid,” Moop was leading Doc to the AWC, “Does that spray work a second time?”
“Sure,” she didn't sound happy, “But it won't last any longer than the first.”
“Aw man,” and they left.
“He will live,” Cactus switched his drone off and placed it on a wall-rack, “There is no shame in battle wounds.”
Siegfried followed suit with his drone, paused, and looked at him, “What was that?”
Cactus blinked, staring at the wall, “Wound brings no sha-”
“The Faceless. What. Was. That.”
He started off, Nyet.”
“Elmo thinks you owe him.”
Cactus turned around for a moment, “Die with secret, live with ignorance,” and he left.
26 June, 2038
Proving Grounds, Avenger

Kamo had gotten out of the AWC hours ago, and he was already here, standing at the door to Vos' workshop, arms crossed. Elmo saw that, since said door was still shut, Vos must have locked it. He shook his head as he came down the hall and stood next to the walking corpse.
“Elmo thinks you were expected.”
Kamo silently breathed in, almost shrugging.
He brushed past the mute and knocked, “Vos. Elmo. Kamo is out here, too.”
“Go away. Vos make, bad comes.”
He turned his eye at Kamo for a second, “Vos. Elmo.”
“Yes,” he nodded, “Kamo won't hurt Vos with Elmo.”
Kamo cracked a few knuckles.
Vos. Bad kills worse.
There was a pause, and the door opened. Elmo didn't see Vos inside, guessed he was behind the door, and motioned skullface to follow him. Thankfully, he obliged, and as soon as they were both in, the door slammed shut. He turned around and saw Vos swing a pipe right at Kamo's mask, which held. Somehow. The pipe bent, and before either knew what was happening, Kamo had the engineer by the collar against the wall. Vos was screaming.
HEY! PUT ELMO'S FRIEND DOWN, he tried tackling Kamo, but the man was a brick wall. And he stood there, not putting any further pressure on either of them.
And then, right when Vos had started to lose his voice, Kamo kicked Elmo away and brought his face close to Vos'. Any semblance of terror fled from the man's throat and to his face. As Elmo got back up, he saw Vos go white as a sheet and still as stone. He was a deer in headlights.
Without warning, Kamo let go and Voss fell to the floor, coughing. The silent tank then lumbered over to the table, grabbed the thing there, and stared at it. It was a small, metal capsule. He turned to Vos and tilted his head.
“Vos okay?”
Vos, to his credit, nodded.
“Elmo here,” he glared at Kamo, who was inspecting the weapon, “What has Vos made?”
“Shrapnel gun,” the engineer stood up, tears coming from his eyes but not showing in his hoarse voice, “Hail of metal.”
Elmo grunted as he got up, “Sounds dangerous enough to Elmo.”
“It's for bad. To use on worse.”
Kamo took out the certainly live warhead on his E.X.O. suit, slammed it on the table, and jammed the new weapon into the slot. Then he slowly nodded at Vos and left.
Elmo noticed the engineer was standing up straight, “Vos okay?”
“Vos, fine.”
27 June, 2038
Living Quarters, Avenger

Macho was staring, hard he thought, at Alette. They were both sitting at the table across from each other, Moop and himself watching on. Papillon kept to Alette's shoulder, almost like some parrot, and he had to drive the image of a pirate from his mind.
Moop took a sip of her wine from one of the many mugs Central had made sure to stock here, “You're going to lose.”
“Hey, I've known her a whole lot longer than you've known him.”
“Yeah, but I know stupid.”
Dr. Thomas glanced at her, “You know he can hear you, right?”
“His brain's busy,” another sip.
Macho was gritting his teeth at this point, and he finally blurted out, “Sixty-nine!
Oh, come on!” he slammed a fist on the table, rattling a couple plates that were set there, “You've never thought that number?
“Never isole. Why did you think I have?”
He raised his open hands and shook them, “You're FRENCH!
“And there ya go,” Moop held out a hand and he begrudgingly slapped it, “Stupid trumps friendship.”
Dr. Thomas rubbed the back of his head, “And here I thought I'd get out of comms duty.”
“You just thought luck was your strong suit,” another sip as Macho continued his tantrum.
“Best two out of three?”
“Not while this is happening,” she motioned her mug at the two, “One of the few neater things I've gotten to see since I joined up.”
“Daniel, I have not thought impudique since the invasion-”
“The way I hear it, the world ended for you geezers,” he stood up, “Didn't you want to repopulate?!”
Alette sighed, “I had autres choses on my mind, Daniel.”
Stop calling me that!
“Someone should break this up,” he glanced at Moop.
“Nah, this is fine.”
“That GREMLIN's still a weapon, right?”
She was in the middle of a sip, and she saw what he did. Papillon was inching ever-closer to Macho. She looked at Dr. Thomas, swallowed, and started over, “Dude, it doesn't matter-”
Naw, man, it does! This just proves she's a-
The static discharge arched from the drone and right into Macho's bearded face. For a brief moment, every hair on his head stood straight, and then he staggered into the bunks, his feet unsteady. Alette had gotten up and was leaving, Papillon hesitating before following her out.
“Well, that's not ominous.”
He shrugged, “It was Macho.”
She turned to him, “True, but it didn't look like she told it to shock him.”
“Oh no, guys, I'm good,” the young man collected himself, took three steps after Alette, and stumbled into the table, sprawling himself upon it.
They both stared at him for a moment.
“He'll be fine.”
Moop nodded, “Yeah.”
“You guys . . . suck . . .”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on February 09, 2017, 01:52:32 PM
27 June, 2038
Shadow Chamber, Avenger

He stood there, arms crossed, eyes wide. Intellectually, he had known the number was probably going to be that big, that the pool had to be much larger than that, and that the amount of humanity was staggering, but statistically inconsequential. That it was a drop in the global bucket, and was not directly harmful to the species. But those were individuals, and the first thing he thought of were the families and friends attached to each and every one.
Next to him, Sledge blurted out, “What do you mean? A million?!
Grey Devil held the Vial in his hand, “Yup. One million. Well,” he shrugged, putting it on his desk, “One million-one-hundred-thousand-three-hundred-and-twenty-two. But, about a million.”
“Were-” Central gulped nothing, “Were all of them from the clinics?”
Grey Devil was going through the results on his console, nodding, “All the ones I've seen so far, yeah. I mean, I've only looked at five hundred or so, but I'm assuming here.”
Sledge put a hand to his forehead, staring at the floor, “Oh my god.”
Central went over to Grey Devil, “Anything else? This feels like a dead end.”
“Well, we already knew they were making soylent green,” he heard Sledge leave the room, “But that's just the runoff. This is what the aliens might call 'the good stuff.'”
“And that means?”
“All of these poor bastards had a few DNA sequences in common. They're the same ones I'll be screening for when I get the Psi Labs up and running.”
He took a step back, rubbed his face, “But they're not making Nephilim.”
Grey Devil shook his head, “Oh no, yeah they're making Nephilim, alright. They're just not buffing up baseline humans anymore.”
Central thought for a moment, then looked back at him, “They're collecting this stuff to make one from scratch?”
“That's my guess,” he leaned back and stretched, “One of these vials is enough to probably make ten of whatever they're cooking up. Concentrated potential psychics.”
Central stared at the small vial of green-yellow liquid, “They must be collecting these somewhere.”
“Way ahead of you, Choco,” Grey Devil brought up a map and then sat back, pointing at it, “Western Old France. Something's there, I'll have Chimp check it out when we hear from her again.”
Central nodded, “Keep this quiet. Especially around Doc.”
He looked at him, eyebrow raised, “Why? He might know something.”
“Yeah. He already knows he sent a whole bunch of people to be liquified,” he turned to leave, “I don't want him to know any more than that.”
28 June, 2038
Haven in the ruins of Rengat, New Indonesia

The short, scowling man standing in front of them had his arms crossed. He seemed to think over what was just told to him. McBadger was waiting for his reply, and Daniel stood behind them, scowling himself. A moment later he slapped his face, looked at his palm, and wiped it on his leg with a growl.
The man, a Mr. Lesmono, finally nodded, “You may set up your equipment.”
“Thank you-”
But,” he held up a finger, “I don't want ADVENT. If they come, the deal is off.”
Daniel took a step forward and Alette held out an arm, “If they come, we will kill them.”
“Hmph,” Mr. Lesmono lowered his arms, “And how long before you arrive? Five hours? Ten?”
“We've always aided a haven as soon as we knew it was under attack,” McBadger sighed, “That's about as much as we can promise you.”
The short man stared at him for a moment, “That will have to do, I suppose.”
“It will.”
“Okay,” he turned around and began on his way back, “Send in your men. Let us get this over with.”
Just after he was out of earshot, “Fucking havenfolk-”
She shoved him back onto the ramp, where Papillon was waiting to bump him into her outstretched hand. Alette had him by the collar, “Not here.”
Daniel's eyebrows were raised in surprise, “What're you gonna-”
She gave him a hard stare, Papillon gearing up behind him.
Daniel's mouth hung open mid-sentence, then he closed it. She let go.
“We've got some of those havenfolk on board, Showtime,” McBadger was already in the Skyranger, “It doesn't matter what they think, we do our best.”
Daniel sidestepped around Papillon, the drone facing him the whole way, “Ain't enough, boss.”
“It cannot etre aide,” she followed him up the ramp as McBadger banged thrice on the far wall, “They lack perspective.”
29 May, 2038
ADVENT Administrative Building, Novgorod, New Arctic

The hallway was a dark red, the alarms distant and constant. ( The blood on his hands and lab coat would show up once he left, he had to get rid of them soon. His office was just around the corner. Ivan should be there, or he would be left behind. It would be a shame, but he would-
“<Halt!>” from the other end of the t-section, a low, loud, muffled voice. One of the guards. He kept running, “<Again, Doctor Voronin, HALT!>”
The sound of a plasma rifle being primed. His door was close. A shot flew past his head, clearly meant to be wide, and impacted one of the red lights above, showering the floor now behind him with plasti-glass. An audible growl, and thundering footsteps. He got to the door, skipped inside, and then barred it with an alloy pole he had been hiding for the last four months.
He turned and saw him, “<Ivan. There is a bag under my desk.>”
The thin man had been at his console and looked shocked, “<What?>”
He defaulted to Russian, “<No time to explain. The bag!>”
As threw off his mucked coat, Ivan scrambled to find the stash. With a grunt he hefted the thing up onto the desk. That was when he noticed the blood, “<Doctor, what happened?>”
“<I am no doctor, open it!>”
With little room on the desk, Ivan plopped the bag onto the floor and began rummaging through it. He paused, “<Why do you have a gun->”
There was a dull bang. The pole held, but the door certainly moved. He heard Unilang swearing on the other side. He shook his head, stepped over the squatting engineer, and got onto his console, “<It is obvious. Take it.>”
“<But, I do not know how to use->”
“<LEARN, IVAN,>” he shot a glare at him, “<I do not want to, but I WILL leave you behind.>”
As he turned back to his console, where he was wiping all his data, a video call popped up in the upper right corner. It was Sslkeh, “<Voronin, there was an explosion in the Ascension Wing->”
Not good, he put on his best face, “<Yes. The batch was particularly volatile. Everything is fine.>”
The Viper flicked her tongue, “<Voronin->”
“<We are fine, now, thank you,>” the wipe was almost done.
“<Voronin, where is your uniform?>”
He paused, stared at the feed of the security chief for Ascension, “<It . . . burned off in the blast.>”
It had taken him years to read the aliens' faces, to figure out what they could be thinking. Where most would see a blank, reptilian stare, he saw dawning rage. Right as she began to hiss at him, he pulled out his sidearm and shot the monitor.
The sound deafened Ivan for a moment, and he ducked over the bag as another round of banging from the door started up, the pole beginning to shift in its spot. The engineer stared up at him, “<Doctor, what do we do?!>”
He sighed, holstered his pistol, and joined him in scrounging through the bag, “<Ivan, first we take what we need. Burn the rest. Second, we run. And we keep running.>”
Ivan stood up, staring at the far door, “<But where?>”
“<Out of the city, then we hide,>” he got his hat and a rifle, then went over to the door by his desk, one which lead away from where he knew the guards would be coming from first, “<And I am no doctor, my name is not Voronin. It is Cactus,>” he turned around and saw Ivan just standing there, looking at the pole inch ever more, “<Ivan! Move!>”
30 June, 2038
Avenger Receiving Bay

Cactus double-checked his weapon. It seemed to be in working order. He snapped the clip into place and switched his GREMLIN on, instantly getting a heads-up display showcasing everything from his armor's integrity to how many enemy targets were not in front of him. He sneered and shut that off.
“So these New Terra Hills folk,” Scorn sheathed his Arc Blade, “They're brave?”
“I wouldn't say that,” Moop slid a smoke grenade onto her belt, “They know when and how to hit ADVENT, at the very least.”
Kamo came in wearing his E.X.O. suit and cricking his neck, holding his cannon with one hand. Scorn and Macho stared at him as he boarded the Skyranger.
Macho, for his part, was cleaning the scope on his rifle, “They're good for something, sometimes.”
Knight's GREMLIN turned to him for a second before returning to its idle behavior as she loaded up green rounds into her rifle and shook her head, “Fierte.”
“Okay,” Macho put his rifle on the floor, “What the hell did I ever do to piss you off?”
Tu te trompes,” she slapped the ammo clip into her weapon, “I am merely helping.”
“Pssh,” he got his rifle, “Some help.”
Kamo banged on the side of the Skyranger, staring at them. Cactus got the message, finished up, and started to board.
Firebrand came from around the front and stared up at the skullmask, “We're taking off when everyone-”
He banged twice more, slower and harder, and stared at the pilot.
“Come on, guys,” Moop sighed as she stood up, “He's getting cranky.”

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on February 27, 2017, 07:31:56 AM
Seeing as how it's been damn near three weeks, I'll make a public update on this.

Life stuff lately has forced me to focus on other things for a while, but I am finally getting back into the XCOM 2 stuffs.

The next update will drop next Tuesday (March 7th). There's a big mission coming up, the psi labs are almost built if I remember correctly, and there's gonna be a lot of plot to take care of as a result of both of these things.

If anyone wants to put up a psionic soldier app, this is likely your last chance for the gameplay to not be borked against you hardcore.

Thank you for waiting, and sorry for the waiting. :P

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on March 07, 2017, 02:04:25 PM
30 June, 2038
Wilderness of New Arctic

Like before, when the hologram came on in the cabin, everyone looked at it. ( Where skullface and Cactus just stared in silence, Scorn heard an “uh” from Macho, a “tch” from Knight, and a groan from Moop.
“The fu-”
“Oh, not this shit again,” she rubbed her eyes, bringing her face down.
The operation's name was “Night Stank.”
“Okay,” Macho stood up, shaking his head, pointing at the hologram, “It's over. It's done.”
Quelle?” Knight looked at him, “It is a word.”
He snapped his head at her, “You don't get it! I ain't gonna fight with 'stank' on my record!”
“Sit down, little boy,” Cactus shook his head.
“I, am a MAN!
Everyone stared at them, no one spoke.
Cactus sighed, keeping his eyes off Macho, Nyet. You are soldier. Start acting like man.”
In a flash, Macho had grabbed Cactus by the collar and had his pistol pushed into his nose, “You want this, secret agent guy?! Do YA?!
Cactus remained unchanged, “You have safety on.”
Macho glanced at the pistol, grumbled, and as soon as he let go of Cactus to flip his safety off, the light turned red.
“I heard yelling,” Firebrand sounded annoyed, “Don't make me turn this thing around.”
Macho was still fiddling with his pistol, “One sec,” and he sat down, gazing over the gun. Scorn even saw him scratch his head, “It didn't have one before . . .”
The ramp came down, and Scorn sighed with relief as he stood up and got his mag gun. Casino stood next to him, one hand on the ceiling, the other clinging to his cannon. It was snowing outside, and he could see a long, unbroken train track heading off into the distant forest.
Knight came from behind him, “That was habile.”
“What do you mean?”
Knight kept her voice down, “Daniel's pistol does not have securite.”
He could still hear the muttering and clicking of their sniper shifting his pistol from one hand to the other, accentuated by the fact that he was likely holding his rifle in the other hand. And, just before Scorn and Casino jumped, he heard Moop blurt out, “Would you stop it?!”
New powder scrunched under their boots, and Scorn had to catch himself as his momentum carried him onto a short, frozen stream. Looking to his left, he could see the railroad tracks mangled and bent, the section bridging the ice conspicuously absent.
Macho saw it too and shrugged, “Don't fix what's broken, I guess.”
Moop ignored him, “ADVENT's gonna start seeing a pattern.”
Eclaireur,” Knight brushed past Cactus, who was scanning their right, “Do your function.”
Scorn stared at her for a moment before it clicked, and he was off ahead.
“I don't get a dessert nickname?”
“For the last time, shut, up.
He ignored the comm chatter and kept low. ( As he reached a rather large rock he knelt down and peeked over it. To his left, the ADVENT train, complete with a turret, and below that and just ahead, two Lancers and another shimmering weirdo. He tried his best to keep his whisper low, “Gun on the train, two sticks and a Codex.”
“Keep low.”
“You also, boy.”
Scorn heard Macho growl as he watched the patrol make its way a few feet forward. He didn't know if they were heading to inspect the rail damage or what, but as they got closer he noticed skullface hunkering by a bit of fence, fiddling with something on his arm.
He put a hand to his ear, “Casino, they're heading right toward you-”
He saw a nod as the tank stood up, left arm outstretched, and a hatch opened on the E.X.O. suit bit that sat on his wrist. There was a loud, deep pop, snowy smoke, and a great deal of screaming and screeching, both ADVENT and metal. He winced, dropping his gun at his side in a vain attempt to dampen a sound that had already done his eardrums damage. He saw a single mag round fly past on his left when he opened his eyes, and, as his ears started working again, dimly heard a more electronic screech followed by a sharp, relatively quieter, bang.
Casino stood where he was, hands on his hips, and scanned the carnage. There were bits and pieces of two ADVENT bodies everywhere. He nodded again right as Cactus' GREMLIN took out the turret, and then grabbed his cannon to move up.
Knight got to him first, gun raised into the distance, “Merci.”
Scorn nodded, “Gotta do it again,” and he grabbed his mag gun and rushed up. He glanced over at the train as he slid into the back of a fully-loaded open-bed trailer, “There's another one.”
Affirmative,” he followed the green drone's flight before turning ahead again, the electronic bang putting an end to the train's defenses, “Is it clear?”
“Yeah,” no sooner was that out of his mouth when he saw two hulking robots with big guns marching up. He quickly put a hand to his ear as his eyes widened, Wait, wait there's-
GAH!” and a flurry of mag rounds flew past him into the machines, denting their armor and spooking them into cover.
Scorn grunted as he finally stood up and ran into the killzone, blasting one of the MECs before tumbling behind some rocks. An explosion rocked the area, and as he peeked over, he saw the trailer and the robots on fire, Cactus' GREMLIN dealing the fatal blow to the one still standing. He sighed, then yelped as mag rounds tore through the air above him.
For an instant, he saw the white armor of an ADVENT Shieldbearer, and he scrambled for a better position. Scorn leaped over the burning wreck of a MEC, set his sights, and laid a multitude of mag rounds into the guy. Who got back up just as Casino marched in, mowing the ADVENT in half.
He stared at the metal skullmask for a moment and nodded, turning ahead again. And he saw movement. ( A lot of movement. Naturally, behind him, Casino opened up.
A Muton was taking point, running through the mag fire, “Vut-lek Voronin!”
Macho's rifle hit an advancing Viper in the shoulder, knocking it behind some trees, and another one slid up to the train, bits of its armor flying off from Casino's relentless barrage. A ball sailed through the air and landed to the left of the Muton's position, a holo-Knight sprouting up from where it had landed.
The Muton opened fire on it, roaring something else before another rifle shot popped its skull like a melon, its re-breather tumbling into the snow. By the time it settled, Scorn had run past the corpse and headed for the trees, brandishing his Arc Blade. Steam rose from where he dragged it along the ground, trying to keep low and maintain his speed. When he got to the Viper he swung the sword around, barely missing its midsection and catching the weapon in the tree's bark. It hissed at him before a surge of electricity ran through its body, the falling head giving Scorn a good look at Knight's GREMLIN as he yanked the Blade out. It flew off without any assurance, but it did hesitate for a moment.
There was a smokey, somewhat heavy hiss farther off and he heard Cactus shout something before an explosion erupted near the train. He looked away from the fire and saw Casino rummaging through the headless Muton's pockets, pausing as he pulled out a tablet of some sort.
GOVNO! Cactus spat, and Scorn looked first to him and then where the explosion had been. As the smoke cleared, he could see no Viper corpse.
Over comms, “Dude, they're gone-”
It does not happen,” the Russian hopped into an open train car, She is still outCONTACT!
Plasma fire flew through the train car. There's no end to this. He ran ahead, seeing Casino load up another incendiary and launching it over the train. The dampened explosion gave him some hope, but as he got to the rails he heard another of Cactus' swears and saw purple smoke erupt from the car. No time. He shook his head, ran across the tracks, and blasted a surprised Muton before diving into its cover.
The Codex was right there, out in the open. It saw Scorn and sent a volley his way before he could get a shot off, forcing him to duck. He heard more mag fire, probably Casino's, as he reloaded, muttering curses to himself before pumping his mag gun, standing up, and just taking two pot-shots. Halfway through his second he saw Moop stand up from behind the Codex, and he ducked as she fired a burst into the thing. It screeched, it imploded. And it was over.
Scorn took heavy breaths, chambering two rounds as he looked at the overcast sky. He heard banter of some sort by the train, and the subtle ringing in his ears was finally fading away.
“Firebrand, I think the train's secure.”
Someone vaulted over a rock and sat down next to Scorn. It was Macho, and he had his pistol out, “Okay, now, can you help me find this damn safety switch?”
Scorn looked at him, then at his pistol, “There isn't one there, Macho.”
The bearded man stared at it for a moment, brought his head closer, sighed, and then sat back, “Fucking spy,” he glanced over his shoulder at the rest of the squad, “Knows how to lie.”
“Macho, you're a . . .” he caught himself.
He looked back, an eyebrow raised, “Yeah? A what?”
Scorn paused, “. . . a man.”
The grin he got was childish.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on March 15, 2017, 02:35:51 PM
30 June, 2038
Avenger Receving Bay

The new Russian had shut down after the smoke had cleared. Moop felt that, even if anyone had tried, no one would have been able to get anything out of his mouth. The whole flight back he just stared ahead, past Alette, past the wall behind her. To be fair, Alette was returning the favor, and the flight was far from quiet.
Macho was making sure of that, “Whaddya think we got?”
Scorn was looking at the floor, shaking his head, “Man, I don't know.”
“Bet it's some good stuff.”
“I guess,” he shrugged, “I wouldn't know.”
Macho leaned forward, staring at him, “Hey, we won. It's good,” he grinned again.
“It was but a battle, Daniel, not la guerre.”
He soured and turned his head at her, “Didn't see you do much.”
Alette was unmoved, but her GREMLIN turned slightly towards him, and he sat back right quick.
The latches clamped onto the Skyranger and she felt it being lowered back home. Moop sighed and stood up, heading for the ramp. Before she could pass Kamo, the monster shoved something into her face. It was purple, flat, and made these occasional soft beeps. As the ramp came down she looked at him and he nodded. Moop took the weird tablet and was the first one off, shaking her head.
“Hell was that?”
Cactus finally spoke, “Is data ADVENT was carrying-”
“Oh man! Who grabbed that shit?”
Scorn had followed Moop off and yelled back, “Casino.”
That seemed to finally shut him up. Thank god.
2 July, 2038
Officer's Quarters, Avenger

It was early in the morning, he had not even gotten his coffee yet, and already there was a message alert on his console. It was not from anyone on board, and it certainly was not anyone in the haven. There was Mr. Osterman's name on his screen. And that could only mean he was about to have a shitty day.
Central groaned as he waited for his brew from the machine. It was probably the last pre-War coffee maker left in working condition, and he had been thankful every morning for it. Homebrewed joe was not his drink, at least the way he had fumbled making it. Tasted sour every time. This thing, though. It made good coffee.
He sat down, took a long, hot gulp from his mug, blinked a few times, and then finally opened the message. To his surprise, it was not recorded. And there was a tinge of annoyance in Mr. Osterman's voice, “Central.”
“Sir,” he coughed once, “What's the news?”
“Your recent efforts have . . . backfired.”
That got him awake, ( “We set their work back at least a month.”
“Yes. And ADVENT has taken notice. Central, they have launched a flier.”
He sat there for a moment, “A UFO.”
“They are sending a UFO after us.”
There was a sigh, a ruffling of papers, “Chimp's description implies that it is a fighter craft, not a barge.  It is currently patrolling the airspace around Novgorod.”
A map window showed up on his screen as Central brought his chair closer, “Is it bombarding havens?”
“No, it is not equipped with plasma weaponry,” another, longer sigh, “You are using an alien-built ship, Central. Modifications aside, it is their property.”
Central nodded as the map focused in on former Russia, “They want it back, yeah.”
A red blip appeared near Novgorod, “Chimp managed to place a tracker on its hull as it launched. Central: this thing will find you. It will pursue you. And it is my belief that it will attempt to shoot you down.”
Central nodded, “I'll be careful and have Sledge work on a countermeasure.”
“Please do. Vigilo Confido.”
He wiped his face, Vigilo Confido.”
At least the coffee was still good.
4 July, 2038
Engineering, Avenger

“Elmo doesn't like this.”
“Hey, he needs to get out of that workshop more.”
“Elmo thinks you're missing the point.”
Sledge took a breath as he handed Vos the blueprints, “Look, you guys found him with makeshift defenses, right?”
Elmo nodded, his eye darting back and forth between him and the engineer, “Vos knows machines.”
The perpetually-strung man was looking over the plans for Sledge's project, not really paying attention to the gadgets and gizmos laying around everywhere. That was strange, “So you agree with me, then.”
Elmo shook his head, “Vos doesn't need reminding. Elmo helped him push it back.”
“As long as he makes 'em friendly,” Sledge went over to his workbench, “And doesn't wig out doing it, it should all be fine.”
He started to hammer on the turret casing he had scrounged up from storage, trying to get a particularly nasty dent out. This has got to work. They're gonna throw everything at us again, and we'll need-
The cyclops went over to Vos, “Vos.”
Sledge glanced up and saw the engineer point at one of the turret placements on the blueprints, “Vos helped make. Vos build worse.”
“Is that a confession or a promise?” he kept hammering.
He shrugged, “Got another one after this to fix, if you want to help out, then.”
“Vos fine?”
“Vos fine.”
Elmo sighed and came back over, “Elmo will keep his eye on you.”
Sledge smiled, the dent finally smoothing out, “Trust me, dude. You're gonna love this if shit gets real.”
Vos coughed as he came over, “Corner placement. Wider range.”
He nodded as he went to work on the next bit of casing, “That's the plan.”
“Vos re-wire. Vos make friends.”
“To kill worse with worse.”
Vos nodded, “Yes.”
“Elmo, you know where this is getting built,” he pointed at the door, “Show Vos his new digs for the week.”
He heard the tension, “Hole?”
“Elmo will come, Vos.”
“It's not a hole, it's a room. And you need to be there so we don't lose everything if one of these guys goes up in the field.”
Vos sighed, “Follow Elmo.”
As they left, Sledge wondered how much of the guy Elmo had scavenged from the broken thing he had found out there. He wondered if this Defense Matrix thing could actually work; he hadn't quite gotten all the details and kinks down yet. It was just an idea.
But, as he kept hammering harder and harder, he wondered where Dipa and Nand were. And if they were.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: [N]ova Shikirori™ on March 21, 2017, 12:24:21 AM
Loving this by the way Olse. Keep it up.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on March 22, 2017, 09:33:30 AM
Hey all, I'm going to be slowing this down a bit, since I've got a lot of stuff on my plate at the moment. Most of it is good stuff, though, and I'm not abandoning this thread. It's just I want to do other things, things that might actually net me some cash, and something has to give a bit. I'm gonna write this anyhow, so I've decided to ease up on my "once a week" plan a helluva whole lot. It's not been holding up lately, anyways.

So until things creatively go into a lull, which could be a while, XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition is going to only update once a month. Or thrice a month. The point is: I'm doing one big installment a month instead of the semi-erratic schedule I have going now.

The thread is going to update on each month's third Sunday, and again on that week's Wednesday and Friday. This means the next update will be on April 16th.

I want to see where this goes as much as you do, but only so many hours and all that. You can hit me up on Steam whenever, and I'm tryin to hop into the Newbs Discord more often. :P

Thank you for your patience.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: [N]ova Shikirori™ on March 22, 2017, 11:53:28 AM
Sounds good Olse. Thanks for your hard work. Hope all is well.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: {N}Olse on April 16, 2017, 06:40:44 AM
Due to real life stuffs, I have to regretfully put this on hold. I don't know when I'll get back to it, but, short of everything going horribly wrong, I know I eventually will. I've just got a lot more on my plate than I thought I would at this point, and not a lot of it is coming together particularly smoothly. I'm doing fine, just a hectic patch.

So yeah, for the foreseeable future, XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition is on hiatus. Not a permanent hiatus, but potentially a long one.  :-\

Thanks to everyone who's been reading/keeping up with this, and especially people who've put in characters. I'm going to do my best to get back to this once things have settled down.

You can hit me up on Steam, and I'll be around more often on the Newbs Discord. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: kamo on April 18, 2017, 02:18:05 PM
Due to real life stuffs, I have to regretfully put this on hold. I don't know when I'll get back to it, but, short of everything going horribly wrong, I know I eventually will. I've just got a lot more on my plate than I thought I would at this point, and not a lot of it is coming together particularly smoothly. I'm doing fine, just a hectic patch.

So yeah, for the foreseeable future, XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition is on hiatus. Not a permanent hiatus, but potentially a long one.  :-\

Thanks to everyone who's been reading/keeping up with this, and especially people who've put in characters. I'm going to do my best to get back to this once things have settled down.

You can hit me up on Steam, and I'll be around more often on the Newbs Discord. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

*nods skull head sharply, standing ready with exo-suit and cannon*

Title: Re: XCOM 2: [N]ewbs Edition!
Post by: Mckinnis on October 11, 2017, 09:06:01 AM
Awesome stuff. Too bad I missed it. Any news on revival?