Blood in the Rain (An X-COM Tale)

After-Mission Report--Mission 1: Operation Lone Calm--Durban, South Africa (Rk Ben Combs, Rk Stephen Warner, Rk Cox, Rk Gary Llewelyn

The aliens have come earth and the Council, an Illuminati-like collection representatives of different countries, have created X-COM, an organization set to fight the alien menace.

This shadow council calls X-COM to announce the fall of a piece of alien tech in Munich, Germany. Munich being a member nation of the council, an X-COM team is dispatched at once.

This mission moves fairly smoothly. The entire fire team moves alongside a wall to to flank the aliens in a parking lost. They manage to take up cover behind some non-explosive park benches and start a withering war of attrition. Rk. Cox says he can’t quite make out the enemy and spends most of the fight on overwatch, going for an easy kill at the end, while Rk Llewelyn kills two of the six aliens from an adjacent position.

Llewelyn’s only comments up return was, “We need bigger guns. We need MUCH bigger guns.”

Post Mission Fallout:

Llewelyn was promoted to Squaddie and trained in a specialty. He refused all specialties but Heavy Weapons, insisting, “You just don’t understand what we’re up against.” Combs was promoted to Sq. and accepted into sniper school. Warner and Cox were promoted to Sq. and assigned the Support and Assault MOS respectively.

The rumor that Llewelyn pulled strings to get Cox assigned to assault so he’d be forced to use his weapon has been denied by command.

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After Mission Report--Mission 2: Operation Crown Cryptic--Guangzhou, China (Rk Brenda Llewelyn, Rk Angela Daley, Sq Gary Llewelyn, Sq. Cox

The call comes in on alien activity in three zones. X-COM makes the difficult choice of sending the X-COM team to China.

This mission is straightforward, with no losses. The team expertly takes up position behind cover and begins shooting anything with a grey complexion. Gary orders Cox into the frey and cox tries a door assault on one of the shops in a small complex. He’s flanked and shot in the back, at which time he starts weeping and firing blindly. By chance, he kills the alien. He’s then shot again and critically wounded.

In the debrief, Gary reports that the entire mission went very smoothly except for Cox being such a “Little Bitch.”

Rk Brenda Llewelyn was promoted to Sq and assumes a support role. Daley was promoted to Heavy.

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After Mission Report--Mission 3: Operation Empty Apollo--Nigerian Interior -- Sq Gary Llewelyn, Sq Brenda Llewelyn, Sq Angela Daley, Rk Mat Daley

A UFO is detected over Nigerian airspace. XCOM scrambles an interceptor, which shoots down the UFO to cheers in Mission Control. The UFO goes down in the Nigerian interior and a team is dispatched.

The team executes a relatively well planned assault, but Gary is hit by a lucky shot and almost killed. In the end, the group is forced to utilize heavy explosives to down the last sectoid alien, despite the protests of the science and salvage teams.

Post Mission Consequences: Gary was gravely wounded but promoted to corporal. He learned bullet swarm. “Now I have ALL the bullets.”

After this mission XCOM places a satellite in orbit to monitor Canada, reducing the level of terror there.

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After Mission Report--Mission 4: Operation Devil's Fear--Munic

A special request comes in from the Council. A person friendly to X-COM has escaped after an alien abduction. The opportunity for intel is too tempting. This is the first mission where soldiers can deploy in nano-fiber vests and engineering hopes this will reduce post mission time in med bay.

The site contains no fewer than five sectoids and a new alien, a “thin man.” The team deals with the sectoids relatively expertly, but the thin man poisons all team members but Brenda. In the wake of the poisoning, Combs panicks and begins shooting at Gary. Luckily, “He isn’t THAT good of a sniper.”

The evacuee is rescued and extracted. She heaps much praise upon the team.

Post Mission Consequences:

Gary Llewelyn is promoted to sergeant, qualified on shredder rockets, and XCOM begins constructing an Officer Candidacy School. Brenda is promoted to cpl, and many people remark how she seems capable of being many places at once. Mat Daley is promoted to squaddie and accepted into sniper school.

Interim:

Research requests a live alien and believes that engineering can make a weapon that can stun a sectoid “At Close Range.” Sgt Llewelyn asks if engineering can work out increased carrying capacity for that mission, so everyone can carry “an extra pair of shorts.”

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After Mission Report--Mission 5 Operation Lazy Prophet: Volgograd, Russia--Sq. Angela Daley, Sgt. Gary Llewelyn, Sq Ben Combs, Rk Eric Linden

Note: At this point the missions have stepped up in difficulty. On the tactical layer, I’m playing classic difficulty with sub-par equipment without reloading saves. On the strategic layer, the game is always feeding me the hardest mission at the location that’s most strategically crucial. For instance, I’ll get the Very Difficult mission, if there is one, at the location with the highest panic rating, so if I choose an easier option, I’ll risk losing the county I’m ignoring. This all adds up to an increasing death toll. At the end of today’s play, I was down to 8 soldiers.

Mission:

Three abduction sites pop up at once. The XCOM team is dispatched to the most sensitive, but also the most tactically sketchy.

The fight takes place in a plaza with a fountain surrounded on two sides by buildings. The team takes up position behind non-explosive cover and begins a war of attrition.

Disaster strikes, however, when one of the aliens hose a large stone planter with plasma, shattering it and leaving Brenda exposed. The other two aliens open fire and she screams and tries to make it to cover, but is gunned down.

The rest of the team cleans up the remaining aliens, but the mood is solemn. The aliens have claimed one of the team’s own.

Gary is promoted to Lieutenant and checked out on HEAT ammo. Combs is promoted to corporal and trains the team in sighting protocols. Lindon is promoted to squaddie and takes Brenda’s place.

Post Mission Consequences: Russia, pleased with the aid to their citizens, transfers veteran sergeant Jeff Bell to the XCOM team. He’s an export on door entry.

XCOM headquarters finishes their OCS school and trains team leaders in the handling of larger squads.

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Mission 6--Operation Driving Engine: Canadian Interior--Lt Llewelyn, Sgt Bell, Sq Cox, Sq Warner, Some New Guy

XCOM interceptors shoot down a UFO over Canadian airspace. Lands in wetlands.

Stephen Warner is the first casualty of the fight, caught in an ambush from aliens concealed on the roof of the UFO.

Cox, panicked, charges forward blindly and is gunned down “Like a little bitch,” Llewelyn says.

The mission is otherwise uneventful. The teams sweeps and clears. The aliens die. Rockets are required to take out the last alien on the roof.

Combs is promoted to sergeant and qualifies as a master at pistols.

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Mission 7--Operation Enduring Star: Mumai, India--Lt Llewelyn, Sgt Combs, Sq Angela Daley, Sgt Bell, The Same New Guy

Another set of abductions sites pop up and the team is dispensed to Mumbai. The New Guy tries to introduce himself, since this is his second mission, but Lt Llewelyn tells him they’ll learn his name when he has proved he’s hard to kill.

This is another urban site, revolving around a building and a city block. The cover is weak, and the team is forced to take shelter behind cars in many cases.

This leads to the death of Angela Daley, who doesn’t notice in time that the aliens have set the car next to her on fire. The explosion kills her instantly.

Sgt Bell attempts to rush to her aid, and while dashing to the explosion is gunned down by a hail of plasma fire from the building’s rooftop.

The team clears the buildings, tries to find the aliens on the roof, but the aliens have already displaced. They finally find them in building below and stage an assault without their door guy. The aliens are all killed.

But the new guy dies.

“We were about to learn his name,” Lt. Llewelyn said.

Combs is promoted to Lt. and offered the team’s first battle scanner.

Llewelyn is promoted to Captain and cleared for HEAT rounds.

Post Mission Consequences:

Panic in France hits an all-time high.

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Mission 8--Operation Bloody Summer: Rio Dejinero, Mexico--Cpt Llewelyn, Sq Mat Daley, Sq Linden, Lt Combs, Some Other New Guy

Another abduction site. Urban environment. The team deployed expertly around the building and managed to take out all the ground aliens without difficulty. When the aliens on the roof tried to swarm the Cpt., the rest of the team was ready and gunned them down.

The new guy was shot up, but as Cpt. Llewelyn said, “That’s what new guys are for.”

Post Mission Consequences:

Had to hire more new guys.

Completed a satelite uplink.

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Mission 9--Operation Lazy Priest: Nigerian Interior--Different New Guy, Sq. Daley, Cpt Llewelyn, Lt. Combs, Sq Linden

Alien crash site is rife with thin men. They poison and then critically injure Combs, but Linden stabilizes him. Shortly thereafter, the aliens make the mistake of swarming into a little cluster and Gary is able to test his shredder rounds on them.

Gary is promoted to Major. Daley is promoted to Corporal. Linden is promoted to corporal.

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Mission 10--Operation Banished Paramour: Cpl. Daley, Cpl Linden, 3x New Guys

The aliens change their tactics and begin directly terrorizing civilians. Unfortunately, most of the experienced XCOM team members are in the infirmary at the time, leaving us sending three fresh recruits into the hardest mission to date.

Purple bug monsters abound, and one of the new guys is quickly eaten by one. The new guy then rises as a zombie and critically wounds the second new guy.

Things turn from bad to worse when a civilian zombie turns into a new purple bug monster and kills Linden while he’s trying to stabilize the second new guy.

Then a purple bug monster kills the last new guy while a new purple bug monster is born from another civie zombie.

Daley makes a final stand, but is eaten by a purple bug monster. The skyranger bugs out.

Post Mission Consequences: In light of the first complete failure on the part of XCOM, Mexico withdraws it’s support and the Doom Clock increments one.

France and Canada withdraw shortly thereafter.

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