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  • #61
    Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

    Originally posted by Morry View Post
    Kitt, I can't decide whether to think of you as the Deadly Little Miho or the damsel in distress...

    And 8 kills this match!? Wow. Mikki has been keeping me busy!
    No, that's since the last report. I don't report on every mission, or I'll never get anywhere in the game. (It's slow enough going as it is!)
    Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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    • #62
      Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

      I've never played X-COM (and I seriously suck at strategy games), but these write-ups are incredibly entertaining. (Was pretty sure Pickman would buy it for a moment there. Whew!)

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

        Originally posted by Yostibh View Post
        I've never played X-COM (and I seriously suck at strategy games), but these write-ups are incredibly entertaining. (Was pretty sure Pickman would buy it for a moment there. Whew!)
        Glad to hear that!

        (And so was I. And then I was convinced that Kitt would die. But nope, they're still with us... For now.)
        Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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        • #64
          Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

          Because of my high casualty rate -- no new deaths, but I've got a lot of people laid up in the hospital right now -- I had to get two new people in. I called up the recruitment office, also known as "the gmail mailbox I set up for this," and out popped these two fine specimens.

          Dare Talvitie

          Dare is an old, good friend of mine, who said that since he won't have the chance to play the game right now, he'd love to be there at least in spirit. He also sent me the link to this very cool animated history of Poland, "just in case he actually needs to qualify in order to take part in a horribly unfair fight against overpowering aliens."

          Sidetwo

          Sidetwo is, of course, Remedy's former community manager Pete, who bribed me. On Facebook, he promised to buy me four drinks the next time we meet. When he sent in his application to the gmail address, this detail was mysteriously omitted, but don't you worry, Pete, I didn't forget.

          My pool of recruits isn't empty yet, but it's starting to run low, so new applications for duty would be most welcome (see the first post of this thread for instructions on what to do).
          Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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          • #65
            Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

            With just about everybody in the hospital, I had to bring in two new guys. They didn't exactly get an easy start.

            FROM THE X-COM COMMANDER'S DESK: AFTER ACTION REPORT #9

            Mission location: UFO Crash Site, Germany
            Mission name: OPERATION SECRET BELL



            Squad members: Rob "The Admiral" Tinkezione, Morry, Yogi "Ted" Bear, Dare Talvitie, Sidetwo


            The month turned, and I got bad news. Brazil and South Africa had withdrawn from the XCOM project. They'd had enough, I suppose. They'd been hit hard by the aliens, and we hadn't managed to give them the help they'd needed. They didn't feel like footing the bill for us anymore.

            It was hard to blame them. I could see where they were coming from. But they were wrong. They couldn't hold back the enemy by themselves, and by isolating themselves from the Council, they were an easy target. A lot of people would die as the result.

            Of course, a lot of people had died already, and more would die before this was over.

            I put it out of my mind. Concentrate on what's ahead of you, not what's behind you... and what was ahead of me now was another radar contact over Germany.

            Another UFO.

            A big one, much bigger than the ones I'd seen before.

            I sent out an Interceptor jet in the hopes of bringing it down. He scored a couple of good hits, and then the pilot had to break off. The plane was shot up so badly that it barely made it back to base.

            I had to send another one, and it got beat up even worse. In his report, the pilot stated that she would have ejected, except the explosive charges wouldn't fire. The detonator got hit by shrapnel, so she had to limp home. Her radio and sensors were out; she was deaf, blind and mute, but she made it.

            And she was luckier than even she thought. She managed to fire off one last Avalanche missile before she aborted the attack. She didn't find out about that until she made it back home.

            She shot that big son of a bitch down.

            Of course, that was just half the job done.

            We still needed to go in and mop up.


            [TRANSCRIPT FROM SKYRANGER PASSENGER COMPARTMENT MICROPHONE]

            Talvitie: I hope I get some.

            Yogi Bear: What was that?

            Talvitie: I -- I hope I get some.

            Yogi Bear: How old are you?

            Talvitie: Twenty-five!

            Tinkezione: [laughs] Bullshit.

            Talvitie: You callin' me a liar, asshole?

            Morry: Oh, kid... Sharp learning curve ahead.

            [rustling]

            Tinkezione: Yeah, I'm callin' you a liar. You got a problem with that, boy?

            [pause]

            Talvitie: Whatever, man.

            Morry: Sit back down, Rob.

            Tinkezione: Punk bitch.

            [rustling; pause]

            Yogi Bear: How old are you really?

            Talvitie: ...eighteen.

            Yogi Bear: Just take it easy, son. We'll look after you. [pause] Even Rob.

            Tinkezione: We'll see.

            Yogi Bear: Even Rob.

            Tinkezione: Yeah, yeah, fine, kid. I got your back.

            [pause]

            Tinkezione: Goddamn FNGs...

            Morry: Lots of that going around these days.

            Tinkezione: I dunno, man. Eighteen? I'm starting to feel old.

            Morry: Look, what happened in Mexico, that coulda been anybody.

            Tinkezione: Yeah. Sure.

            Yogi Bear: He's right, Rob. That's combat. Things happen. It all turned out okay.

            Tinkezione: Great.

            Talvitie: What... uh, what happened in Mexico?

            Morry: None of your concern, kid.

            [pause]

            Sidetwo: Wow, I'm sorry, but can you guys just try to cheer up here?

            Tinkezione: 'Scuse me?

            Sidetwo: Seriously, what the hell? You know what I did before this? I sold shoes. I sold shoes with special soles for people with flat feet. That was my job. Now? Now I get to shoot things nobody's even seen before. Jesus, boys, we're genuine superstars here. You can't enjoy this? What's wrong with you?

            Morry: What's wrong with you?

            Sidetwo: Not a goddamn thing. Last one to hit the ground's a pussy.

            [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]





            The UFO had come down so hard that the squad could no longer tell what this area had been before. It could've been a forest, it could've been a field, it could've been a village. It was impossible to say; the alien spacecraft was too big and too heavy, and the scar it'd left on the face of the Earth was too deep.

            Yet another Hell on Earth. Business as usual.



            There wasn't much in the way of cover. The squad was exposed, in danger; they tried to make themselves as small as they could, move carefully, muscles tensed, senses twitching in anticipation of the plasma bolt that could cut them down in an instant.

            When a group of Floaters came charging in, it was almost a relief -- this, at least, was something concrete; better an enemy you could face than an unseen threat.



            The first exchange of fire was fast and furious; three of the Floaters died in quick succession. The fourth was hit, but pulled back. The squad resisted the urge to follow. Instead, they stuck to their positions and waited. The patience paid off, and when the Floaters arced back in, everybody opened up on the poor bastard.

            Everybody missed.

            The Floater bounced around, realizing its mistake, but instead of retreating, it started shooting back. It didn't do much good. The squad simply ducked, then popped their heads back up and fired on the Floater again.

            Everybody missed.


            [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

            Tinkezione: This is ridiculous. Morry, aren't you supposed to be a damn crack shot?

            Morry: Eat me.

            [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



            The Floater bopped and weaved, until Dare Talvitie managed to drop it.


            [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

            Talvitie: I... I got one! Guys, I got one!

            Yogi Bear: Good work, kid.

            Talvitie: [vomits]

            Morry: FNG.

            Tinkezione: Hell, long as he keeps bagging them, I don't care if he shits himself.

            [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



            After the Floaters came Chrysalids, and that was worse news. They're fast and nasty, and they did damage. That was nothing compared to what the squad ran into after that, though.

            Mutons.



            The squad hadn't encountered them before, and they did some serious damage. There were three of them, and even though the squad had good cover, they managed to hit Tinkezione twice, and simply destroy the cover in front of many of my men, leaving them exposed. I had several wounded men, and things got serious.

            It started to feel like all-out warfare now. We were no longer squatting in cover, trying to hit each other; this was full-on balls-to-the-wall kill-or-be-killed action.

            Everybody was firing. Yogi Bear did his best to heal those who were seriously wounded, and I know for a fact that he kept at least two people from dying; without him, they couldn't have survived the hits they took on the following rounds. Dare Talvitie threw grenades. Tinkezione let fly with the rocket launcher. The air was full of shrapnel.



            They were bigger than us and scarier than us, but in the end, my squad stomped their alien asses into the dirt. It wasn't easy, but we did it... and everybody was still on their feet. Bruised and bleeding, maybe, but still in the fight.

            We went deeper into the UFO. The alien ship was immense. Inside, the squad found something that turned their stomachs.



            Holding tanks for abductees.


            [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

            Yogi Bear: Oh, my God. They put live people in these things. Look at them.

            Tinkezione: Those mother****ers.

            Sidetwo: Yeah, yeah, it's awful. C'mon, let's go, there's gotta be someone left on the bridge.

            Morry: Stop talking.

            Sidetwo: C'mon, we gonna do this, or what?

            Morry: Shut. The hell. Up.

            [pause]

            Morry: Rob. Central wants us to take an Outsider alive. We got orders.

            Tinkezione: ...yeah.

            Morry: They're in charge of the ship. They're in charge of this.

            Tinkezione: Yeah.

            Morry: I say we're not taking any goddamn prisoners today.

            [pause]

            Morry: Anybody got a problem with that?

            Yogi Bear: ...no.

            Talvitie: No.

            Sidetwo: No.

            Tinkezione: Hell, no.

            Morry: Let's bury these evil bastards.

            [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



            There were two Outsiders on the bridge.

            Nobody even brought an arc thrower into the room.



            Another very hard mission. Again, I only have three squad members ready to rock, so if another mission pops up before I can get my guys healed up, I'm gonna have to recruit more rookies. I'm getting worried, because the opposition is definitely ramping up, and while my luck has held, it's been pretty hard going -- and if I don't have the more experienced guys on my squad, the tougher aliens will wipe the floor with me, especially as I'm still going around with ballistic weapons, which don't do much against enemies like the Mutons.

            Still, so far, so good -- another fairly substantial win.

            Stats:

            Captain Rob "Admiral" Tinkezione (Heavy): 16 kills (+3 since last count; wounded, estimated time of recovery 14 days)
            Captain Pickman (Assault): 9 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 7 days)
            Captain Morry (Sniper): 16 kills. (+2 since last count)
            Captain Yogi "Ted" Bear (Support): 7 kills (+2 since last count)
            Lieutenant Kitt (Support): 8 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 8 days)
            Sergeant Kalle Kaivola (Assault): 7 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 2 days)
            Sergeant Ednar Maridan (Sniper): 3 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 5 days)
            Squaddie Sidetwo: 2 kills (Assigned as a Heavy)
            Squaddie Dare Talvitie: 2 kills (Assigned into Assault; wounded, estimated time of recovery 8 days)

            Rookie Jaden: No kills. Killed in action.
            Rookie Zhinarkos: 1 kill. Killed in action.
            Last edited by MikkiRMD; 10-19-2012, 12:35 AM.
            Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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            • #66
              Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

              D'aww, I am a teenager with a real baby face.

              The devastation looks really horrific. I sort of promised myself that I wouldn't get this until Christmas, but since I finished Dishonored already, I hear X-Com calling my name. Or maybe it's just a pissed-off superior officer.

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                Eep! If the pool's getting low, I'm starting to wish I had used my forum name in my application (and maybe had thought the submission out a bit more). I had been lurking so long, I forgot I had a login!

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                  Well, you can resubmit, Yostibh -- just please make sure I know which one you did previously, so there's no chance I end up with a duplicate!
                  Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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                  • #69
                    Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                    Another new addition to the squad, because I got hit with an abduction mission almost right away, and most of my crew was still healing. Hence:

                    Yostibh

                    She had actually e-mailed me about this before, but her message ended up in my spam folder, so I didn't notice. My bad!

                    She sent me a link to this Mass Effect hip hop video. It's pretty sweet; Dan Bull's got flow up the ass.
                    Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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                    • #70
                      Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                      My plan was to skip laser weapons entirely and go directly to plasma, since they pack the most punch, and I wanted to avoid using precious resources on something that'll just end up being discarded. However, after facing the mutons in the last mission, I find myself forced to reconsider that position.

                      Hence, laser rifles... and this update.

                      FROM THE X-COM COMMANDER'S DESK: AFTER ACTION REPORT #10

                      Mission location: Mendoza, Argentina
                      Mission name: OPERATION ENDURING VANGUARD



                      Squad members: Morry, Yogi "Ted" Bear, Sidetwo, Kalle Kaivola, Dr. Yostibh


                      [TRANSCRIPT FROM SKYRANGER PASSENGER COMPARTMENT MICROPHONE]

                      Morry: Argentina. Figures.

                      Yogi Bear: At least it's not Rosario.

                      Morry: Uh-huh.

                      Yostibh: Why?

                      Yogi Bear: We lost two good people there.

                      Yostibh: I see.

                      Yogi Bear: Are you sure this is going to work, Doctor?

                      Yostibh: No. This is the first field test. But I'm optimistic.

                      Sidetwo: Laser guns. We get laser guns. I can't believe you guys aren't excited about this.

                      Morry: Ted gets a laser gun. You don't.

                      Sidetwo: You build that thing, Doc?

                      Yostibh: Parts of it. Lots of people work on these.

                      Yogi Bear: It's impressive. I thought this sort of thing was years away.

                      Yostibh: It was until you started bringing us their technology. We thought, why should the aliens have all the ray guns?

                      Sidetwo: How come there are only two of them?

                      Yostibh: I told you, this is a field test. Captain Bear has been trained in its use, as have I. You do have the new Carapace armor, for what it's worth.

                      Sidetwo: Armor... pfft. I'm not gonna get hit, I don't care.

                      Morry: I swear there's a part of me that's willing to put that to the test...

                      Yogi Bear: I'm still not comfortable with you out there with us, Doctor. I think it's a bad idea.

                      Yostibh: Because it's Argentina, I suppose?

                      Yogi Bear: No offense, but you're not a soldier.

                      Yostibh: Everybody's a soldier now, Captain.

                      [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                      Argentina. Not an auspicious location for my squad, to be sure. Jaden had died on its soil. So had Zhinarkos.

                      Nobody looked happy to be here.

                      Except Sidetwo, of course. He was happy as a pig in shit. He whistled as he advanced.


                      [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                      Yogi Bear: You never met Zhinarkos, did you, Morry?

                      Morry: No.

                      Yogi Bear: I never met Jaden.

                      Morry: Lots of people we've never met, Ted.

                      Yogi Bear: Yeah, I know.

                      [pause]

                      Yogi Bear: He had a family.

                      Morry: Everybody's got a family.

                      Yogi Bear: I guess.

                      Sidetwo: You're killing me. Man's got a laser rifle in his hand, and he's moping around. I can't believe you WHOA SHIT THEY'RE HERE!

                      [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                      Thin Men.





                      We'd met them before. Genetically engineered to pass for humans, they didn't really stand up to scrutiny. The proportions were wrong. The skin looked bad. The eyes were a dead giveaway. But they could still move around better than the other aliens without everybody freaking out, as long as they were subtle about it.

                      They weren't feeling particularly subtle today.

                      That was all right. Neither were we.

                      Yogi Bear opened fire, and missed.


                      [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                      Yostibh: Remember, you don't have to lead your target, Captain.

                      Yogi Bear: Speed of light. I got you.

                      [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                      The others didn't. The Thin Men were taken care of in a few bloody moments. So were the two Floaters who came up next; the squad was on the top of their game.

                      Then, more Thin Men. The squad took one down and was in the process of ventilating the other one... And that was when the Mutons showed up.



                      The good news was, there were only two of them. The bad news was, they were Mutons, and they could soak up a lot of punishment, as well as hand it out. The firefight was quickly heating up, but I managed to take down the Muton that was closer, and injure the other one. It was going well, but I knew it could change in a heartbeat -- especially if the Mutons got to punching range.

                      Then the remaining Thin Man spat poison on Kalle Kaivola, who was in the front line. Yogi Bear took out the Thin Man immediately after that, but the damage had already been done. Kaivola, never a particularly stable individual at the best of times, didn't take to a it well.


                      [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                      Kalle Kaivola: [coughs and hacks]

                      Morry: Kaivola! Get out of the cloud, that's toxic!

                      Kalle Kaivola: [bellows in rage]

                      Sidetwo: Whoa.

                      Morry: Oh, hell, here we go.

                      Yogi Bear: He's charging the Muton! Morry--

                      Morry: I see it.

                      [rifle booms]

                      Morry: Problem solved.

                      Kalle Kaivola: [incoherent bellow]

                      Yostibh: That man is not all right in the head.

                      Morry: Don't worry, he'll tire himself out in a few minutes.

                      Kalle Kaivola: PIGGY! PIGGY! PIGGY! PIGGY!

                      Morry: Maybe fifteen minutes.

                      Kalle Kaivola: PIGGY! PIGGY! PIGGY! PIGGY! [screams in rage]

                      Sidetwo: Now, that guy is awesome.

                      [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                      The last Muton went down in a spray of blood.

                      After that, it was just a matter of cleaning up the mess.

                      For once, Argentina left the squad unscathed.


                      This was a very easy mission for a change. Nobody got hurt, and not a lot of opposition, and I pretty much mowed through the bad guys. I could get used to this! I wouldn't have even written this up if not for the inclusion of Dr. Yostibh and the new weapons.

                      Also, my squad can now have six members.

                      Stats:

                      Captain Rob "Admiral" Tinkezione (Heavy): 16 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 12 days)
                      Captain Pickman (Assault): 9 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 5 days)
                      Captain Morry (Sniper): 19 kills. (+3 since last count)
                      Captain Yogi "Ted" Bear (Support): 8 kills (+1 since last count)
                      Lieutenant Kitt (Support): 8 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 6 days)
                      Lieutenant Kalle Kaivola (Assault): 9 kills (+2 since last count)
                      Sergeant Ednar Maridan (Sniper): 3 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 3 days)
                      Squaddie Sidetwo (Heavy): 2 kills (+2 since last count)
                      Squaddie Dare Talvitie (Assault): 2 kills (Wounded, estimated time of recovery 6 days)
                      Rookie Yostibh: 0 kills

                      Rookie Jaden: No kills. Killed in action.
                      Rookie Zhinarkos: 1 kill. Killed in action.
                      Last edited by MikkiRMD; 10-19-2012, 07:51 PM.
                      Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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                      • #71
                        Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                        19 kills, booyah! Wait, I mean...PIGGY PIGGY PIGGY!
                        Remedy's currently known projects:
                        Quantum Break - 2016

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                        • #72
                          Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                          The likelihood of things going BOOM: vastly increased.

                          FROM THE X-COM COMMANDER'S DESK: AFTER ACTION REPORT #11

                          Mission location: Miami, United States
                          Mission name: OPERATION HIDDEN SENTINEL



                          Squad members: Rob "The Admiral" Tinkezione, Morry, Yogi "Ted" Bear, Pickman, Kalle Kaivola, Ednar Maridan


                          Outside of the regularly scheduled monthly status reports, you don't hear from the Council a lot. They don't micromanage a lot, which is something to be thankful for; it's hard enough running this war without some bureaucrat pissing in your ear. Sure, occasionally, they want something -- for example, they want you to ship them a bunch of dead aliens so their researchers can dig into them. That's okay; you do them a favor, they do you one back.

                          But whenever you get an unscheduled call on that line, you tense up, because could be that this time around, it's not about a favor. Those calls are the ones that could end up costing you sleep and sanity. They could end up costing the rest of the world a whole lot more.

                          This morning, they told me there was a bomb in Miami.

                          They told me Miami would no longer be there.

                          Unless.

                          Well. You see where this is going.



                          [TRANSCRIPT FROM SKYRANGER PASSENGER COMPARTMENT MICROPHONE]

                          Tinkezione: Man, I'd rather be anywhere else right now.

                          Yogi Bear: I'm glad we're here.

                          Tinkezione: You are out of your mind.

                          Yogi Bear: Without us, half a million people are going to die in an eyeblink.

                          Tinkezione: Yeah, that'd be a serious bummer, no question. On the other hand, if we were elsewhere, we wouldn't be at ground zero when that mother****er goes off.

                          [silence]

                          Tinkezione: I'm just sayin'.

                          [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]




                          The bomb the aliens had set up was a big one. It wasn't a nuclear explosive, we knew that much; the radiation signature was all wrong. It was some kind of a plasma bomb. We didn't know what it was going to do, exactly. But all the readings said it was big -- big enough to take out the entire city. At least.




                          The science team couldn't pinpoint its location exactly. It was somewhere in the graveyard. They were using some kind of a priming mechanism, where these smaller power node devices were feeding power into the bomb, causing it to reach its critical mass sooner. They said that if we took out those power nodes, that would give us more time to find the bomb before it went off.

                          They were scattered all over the graveyard in some kind of a pattern that probably made sense to the aliens, but it all seemed random to our men on the ground.

                          Morry found the first power node. Switching it off was easy enough -- all he had to do was disconnect the power cable that ran into it. The bomb itself would be more complex.

                          The squad advanced.


                          [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                          Ednar Maridan: I usually enjoy graveyards. There is a calmness in being surrounded by headstones and monument. A pleasant weight of history has settled on things. These... things the alien scum have installed among our dead are an affront.

                          Tinkezione: Uh-huh.

                          Ednar Maridan: Clearly, they are trying to unsettle us. They stage their attack where our loved ones rest. They defile the memories of those whose legacies we defend.

                          Morry: ...sure, why not. Or, you know, they just picked this location because it's more or less in the middle of the city and they want to blow everybody up. I may be way off base here, but that just might have factored into their plans, too.

                          Ednar Maridan: A cold, calculated tactical move, rather than a psychological one? Yes. It's conceivable they would be hard enough for that.

                          Tinkezione: Uh... who isn't? It's war, man.

                          Ednar Maridan: [sighs] To be born into a world without sentiment. Life is cruel.

                          [a sniper rifle booms]



                          Ednar Maridan: Speaking of cruelty, I have just killed a Thin Man. There are more.

                          [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                          Suddenly, the graveyard was crawling with Thin Men.



                          They fired at the squad, spat poison on them, skulked between gravestones and glared at their enemies from the shadows. Their exaggerated shapes turned the scene into some kind of a grotesque Halloween event gone horribly wrong. As they died, they exploded into toxic clouds that hampered visibility and affected anyone who went through them.

                          Ordinarily, the squad would have waited, but now they couldn't afford it. The bomb was building up towards critical mass. They found power nodes here and there and disabled them, putting precious extra seconds on the clock with each one, but time was running out.



                          The laser weapons had become more prevalent, now, and everybody was wearing the Carapace armor. They made a difference; the squad got through the encounters faster and more effectively, with less damage. It made a big difference now that time was ticking away.

                          But they couldn't find the bomb, and everybody knew they were paying the price for rushing. They couldn't protect each other the way they ordinarily would. The squad, usually working as a cohesive unit, had had to split up to expand the search. It was a big graveyard.

                          Tinkezione felt the poison coursing through him, and a plasma bolt had scored his armor. It'd held, but his ribs ached. Morry had held his breath and charged through a cloud of poison, hoping to avoid ill effects, but now his eyes burned and it was hard to breathe. Ednar Maridan had been caught in a crossfire, and although his rifle had taken out another one of the Thin Men, he was hurting badly, blood slowly oozing from between the crack in the Carapace armor.

                          It didn't matter. Time was ticking away.

                          Then Pickman took a step past a mausoleum, and all of a sudden, he came to face to face with something he'd never seen before. He knew what it was.


                          [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                          Pickman: I got it! I got it! This is the bomb! I found the bomb!

                          Yogi Bear: Great job, Pickman!

                          Morry: We still have to disarm it...

                          Pickman: How am I supposed to-- [metallic click; pause] Uhh... I got a panel open... okay, I can see inside it. [pause] Oh. Oh, I see a lot of... there's stuff in here.

                          Tinkezione: Guys...

                          Pickman: [quietly] Is this a bomb or a person? This is gurgling like a stomach! [static; yelps] It bit me! It bit me with blue fire.

                          Yogi Bear: Pickman, I'll be right there. Don't touch anything. Do you hear me? Don't touch it again!

                          Pickman: [very quickly] Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. Okay.

                          Kalle Kaivola: [shouting] Shut that piggy down NOW!

                          Pickman: These... I think these are veins. I could cut one of the veins. [quietly] I could make it bleed.

                          Kalle Kaivola: YES.

                          Morry, Tinkezione, Yogi Bear, Ednar Maridan: [simultaneously] NO!

                          Pickman: Eeney, meeney, miney, mo--

                          Tinkezione: Okay, before we die, whose bright idea was it to put Pickman on bomb disposal duty? For the record, you ****ing suck.

                          Yogi Bear: Pickman! Don't you touch that! Do you hear me? I'll be right there! We have time!

                          Pickman: I don't know which one!

                          [a shotgun booms]

                          [a long pause]

                          Pickman: I think it's dead.

                          [pause]

                          Tinkezione: I'm going to take that shotgun and shove it up his ass.

                          Morry: Once I'm done with this heart attack, I'll help.

                          [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                          The Council was pleased. Miami wasn't going anywhere tonight.


                          This was a fun and pretty intense mission, although perhaps not quite as intense as all the drama above would lead you to believe. I still had three rounds left on the clock when I got to the bomb, so all in all, the pressure wasn't quite that bad. Still, having to split up like that and rush the enemy constantly just to make sure you can get to the next power node in time is a pretty hair-rising experience -- usually, you want to move around a lot more carefully, but now that wasn't an option. There's not a lot of room for lollygagging in these missions, and it does have a huge impact on the way I play. I'm just glad there were no other enemy types in there!

                          Below are the stats. Again, there was a mission or two between my last report and this one. I've got just a few people laid up right now, so it's looking a lot better than the last time around.

                          Major Rob "Admiral" Tinkezione (Heavy): 17 kills (+1 since last count; wounded, estimated time of recovery 9 days)
                          Major Morry (Sniper): 22 kills. (+3 since last count)
                          Major Yogi "Ted" Bear (Support): 13 kills (+5 since last count)
                          Captain Pickman (Assault): 13 kills (+4 since last count)
                          Captain Kalle Kaivola (Assault): 11 kills (+2 since last count)
                          Lieutenant Kitt (Support): 8 kills
                          Lieutenant Ednar Maridan (Sniper): 6 kills (+3 since last count; wounded, estimated time of recovery 11 days)
                          Squaddie Sidetwo (Heavy): 4 kills (+2 since last count)
                          Squaddie Dare Talvitie (Assault): 2 kills
                          Rookie Yostibh: 0 kills

                          Rookie Jaden: No kills. Killed in action.
                          Rookie Zhinarkos: 1 kill. Killed in action.
                          Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

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                          • #73
                            Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                            Yay! Pickman is back! I've missed his antics!

                            Another awesome story, Mikki. Can't wait for more!
                            The Sudden Stop - Remedy Fansite

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                            • #74
                              Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                              Glasgow. Another name that will live in infamy.

                              FROM THE X-COM COMMANDER'S DESK: AFTER ACTION REPORT #12

                              Mission location: Glasgow, United Kingdom
                              Mission name: OPERATION LAZY BLADE



                              Squad members: Rob "The Admiral" Tinkezione, Yogi "Ted" Bear, Kalle Kaivola, Ednar Maridan, Yostibh


                              God only knows why the aliens do the things they do. Why did they go to Glasgow?

                              Was it an attempt to get some payback for all the times X-COM had been there to stop them and gotten away essentially without a scratch? Were they retaliating because I'd put a stop to their attempt to destroy Miami? Or was this just a big, flashy way of distracting us from something else they were doing?

                              I had no way of knowing, and it didn't matter. Whatever the reason, they descended on Glasgow and started killing. This was not an abduction mission. This was just wholesale murder.


                              [TRANSCRIPT FROM SKYRANGER PASSENGER COMPARTMENT MICROPHONE]

                              Kalle Kaivola: [quietly] Piggies. Hate the piggies. Hate the piggies. Hate the piggies. Hate the piggies.

                              Yostibh: At the risk of stating the obvious... You do realize that man is not sane?

                              Yogi Bear: C'mon...

                              Tinkezione: No, she's right, man. Seriously. I can't believe they haven't put locked Kaivola away yet. Pickman's weird, but at least he's a part of the squad. Big Red over there? He's a ticking time bomb.

                              Yogi Bear: Well...

                              Ednar Maridan: I agree.

                              Tinkezione: See?

                              Ednar Maridan: Last week, I ran into Kaivola in the gym. He had painted a picture of a pig on the wall with pistachio pudding. The pig was green.

                              Yogi Bear: Okay, he's got issues, but--

                              Ednar Maridan: He kept punching the wall. His torso was splattered with the pudding. He kept shouting at the ruined image of the pig. I thought, why is this man so angry? And I asked him that. And he looked at me, and his eyes were full of hate. And I wanted to look away, but instead, I met his gaze. For the first time, his eyes cleared, and I saw the man beneath the rage. I repeated the question. He hesitated. He smiled, for a moment. He looked very sad and beautiful, like a young boy, or like an angel. For a moment, he reminded me very much of my son, who was lost to me long before our current hell began.

                              [pause]

                              Ednar Maridan: [sighs] And then I blinked, and his face hardened. He put his hand into the bowl of pudding, and painted a fresh face of a pig on the wall. He made the pig smile. He made the pig mock him, do you understand? And then he screamed, and drove his fist into the wall, again, and again, and again.

                              Yostibh: I'm not a medical doctor, but I'll stand by my diagnosis. He is insane.

                              Ednar Maridan: No. He's broken. I do not know what the aliens took from him. Or whom. But it broke him. All he has left is his anger.

                              Yogi Bear: No.

                              Tinkezione: Ted. I know you make it your business to see that the squad's okay. But this guy? He's beyond fixing. Trust me.

                              Kalle Kaivola: [very quietly] Piggies are here.

                              Yogi Bear: I don't accept that.

                              Pickman: He... he scares me, sometimes.

                              Kalle Kaivola: [very quietly] Shh.

                              Tinkezione: Even Pickman knows it, and he can't tell toothpaste from wood glue--

                              Kalle Kaivola: SHUT UP.

                              [silence]

                              Kalle Kaivola: No more talk. Now we kill.

                              [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]





                              Glasgow was in flames.

                              As the squad exited the Skyranger, they were met with what looked like the Apocalypse. The streets were filled with bodies. The aliens had shelled the city from above, and getting by with a car would have been essentially impossible. The streets were blocked by burning debris and holes big enough to drop two SUVs in. It seemed like everything was on fire.

                              But there were screams, too. There were still survivors here. They had to be the first priority.

                              Kaivola took point. It would have been his job anyway, but he didn't wait for an order. He just went. Pickman glanced around, then followed the other man, almost meekly. Kaivola strode through the street, shotgun at the ready, the red armor clanking as he went. Visibility was way down; the smoke and the fire made it hard to see anything.



                              When they saw the Floaters, it was already too late. They spotted them just in time to see them execute a helpless man.





                              Kaivola let out a bellow, and whatever squad cohesion there might have been went out the window as the Floaters spread out, and moved more aggressively than ever before. The squad wasn't organized, wasn't working as one, and there was so much incoming fire that nobody could coordinate properly.

                              One of the Floaters shot up into the sky and came down behind a parked Hummer, trying to sneak behind the squad.

                              It might have succeeded, if it hadn't been for Yogi, right there to greet the alien when it came down.





                              Another one tried the same trick with Kaivola and Pickman. It shot up, then tried to come crashing down right between them. It picked the wrong targets for that; the two men fired as one, and caught the Floater in a furious crossfire. What actually landed at their feet was a broken wreck of twitching flesh and burning engines. Not a threat.



                              But the enemy fire kept coming, and while they'd repelled the immediate threat, they knew there was more to come. And all the while, they heard death screams all around them -- Glaswegians being cut down while the squad was barely surviving. They managed to save a few, but already it was obvious that this would be a bittersweet victory at best. The civilian casualty rate was climbing.

                              Then the Cyberdisc appeared. It wasn't the first time we'd seen these things -- silver-colored flying saucers of a kind, about the size of a car, except they could change their shape to what looked like a spider when they were about to attack. They were more vulnerable in that form, but also more dangerous. They packed a lot of firepower, and they could take a hell of a beating. A squad of Mutons usually went down more easily than a single Cyberdisc.

                              It immediately became the squad's priority target.



                              Unfortunately, it wasn't easy to hit. The smell of ozone in the air from all the laser weapons was even starting to overpower the stink of the smoke from the fires, but nobody managed to score substantial hits on the enemy.

                              The Cyberdisc banked around, and launched a plasma grenade at Kaivola and Pickman, who were sharing cover behind a pile of crates.





                              It hit dead on.

                              The explosion tore the crates apart and set new fires. Both men were injured by the blast, but the Carapace armor kept them alive.

                              Pickman's gun was empty from firing at the Floaters. He started to retreat.


                              [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                              Pickman: I'm out, I need to pull back and reload!

                              Kalle Kaivola: NO.

                              Pickman: Kaivola, come on, we're sitting ducks here!

                              Kalle Kaivola: Shut up and kill this piece of shit!

                              Pickman: Kaivola--

                              Kalle Kaivola: DIE! DIE! DIE!

                              Pickman: You're on your own, pal.

                              [shotgun booms]

                              [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                              Even as Pickman ran for cover, Kaivola fired the shotgun. It was a beautiful shot, the kind that would shred a man. For all his instability, Kaivola had always been an artist with the shotgun, quick and accurate, using the unwieldy weapon as a precision instrument. A scalpel. This may well have been his finest shot.

                              The Cyberdisc wobbled as a shower of sparks erupted from it; a shriek of feedback erupted from speakers deep inside it, and suddenly, it plummeted towards the ground.

                              Then its anti-gravity unit kicked in again, and it righted itself.

                              And it launched missiles.




                              [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                              Kalle Kaivola: [screaming] Goddammit, die, you son of a bitch, you took my--

                              [transmission cuts out; static]

                              [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                              The Carapace armor shattered. The explosion turned Kaivola into a fine red mist. Here in one instant; gone in the next. Whatever drove him, whatever had turned him into an instrument of blind rage, it ceased to matter in an eyeblink.

                              The rest of the squad poured fire on the Cyberdisc. Cooling units glowed bright red and hissed; the sharp snaps of ionizing air echoed across the battlefield.

                              More than one of them screamed as hard as they could, a last burst of rage to commemorate the passing of one of their own.







                              The Cyberdisc exploded in mid-air.


                              [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                              Pickman: Kaivola! Kaivola!

                              Yogi Bear: He's gone, son.

                              Yostibh: God, I said he was--

                              Yogi Bear: [shouting] Fine! You were right! Happy now, Doctor?

                              Yostibh: [shouting] Of course not!

                              Tinkezione: Hey!

                              Yostibh: This is exactly what I didn't--

                              Tinkezione: [shouting] HEY! Not the time!

                              Ednar Maridan: Let him go. He died the way he wanted to. It's the best any of us can hope for.

                              Tinkezione: We can feel like shit about this later. The mission's not over yet.

                              [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                              The squad moved on. Nobody said anything any more. They followed the screams of the dying. The situation had gone from bad to worse. They were on the back foot now, reacting to what the enemy was doing. If they'd ever had the initiative, they had lost it for good. Now they were reverting back to training and instinct, almost going on autopilot.

                              The warehouse up ahead was full of screams. The squad took up positions, Yostibh and Maridan covering them with their sniper rifles from the rear, while Tinkezione, Pickman and Yogi Bear entered the building.

                              They took it slow. They did it right.

                              It still backfired on them.

                              Suddenly, three Chrysalids came out of seemingly nowhere. The warehouse was big and cavernous, full of shadowy nooks and crannies. The first one charged at Tinkezione and sliced his chest open. Tinkezione roared and drove the butt of his gun into the alien's chitinous body in an attempt to get some space.

                              The other Chrysalids charged at the snipers. Yostibh and Maridan opened fire, and hit. But Chrysalids are tough. Tough and fast.

                              Skipping and skittering across the ruined asphalt, one of them reached Maridan. Maridan dropped his rifle, drew his sidearm, attempted to back away. In one swift movement, the Chrysalid slapped the pistol away, sank its forelimbs into Maridan's body, lifted him up. Blood spurted. Maridan screamed -- a hoarse, horrible sound completely unlike the intensely calm, almost detached tone he spoke in.



                              The Chrysalid slammed Maridan's body down into the ground, then leaned above it, the proboscis on its face working furiously as it penetrated Maridan's throat. Maridan gurgled and pounded a fist against the alien. It didn't care.

                              Yostibh swore and got a bead on the Chrysalid, cut it in half with a searing beam from her rifle. She knew it was too late.

                              The other Chrysalid was almost on her when Pickman and Yogi Bear got it in their sights and blew it away.

                              At the same instant in the warehouse, Tinkezione managed kick the alien away from him, got some space to operate in, slammed his back to the wall, brought his weapon up. He felt the familiar vibration in his hands -- the barrels of the heavy gun already spinning up -- and pulled the trigger, kept it held down, watched as the pulses of light tore the alien apart.



                              And then it was over.

                              Glasgow was safe.


                              [TRANSCRIPT FROM TACTICAL COMMS]

                              Yogi Bear: Maridan!

                              Pickman: Ohh. This is bad, this is bad. This is bad.

                              Ednar Maridan: [coughs]

                              Yogi Bear: He's still alive. Let me--

                              Yostibh: It got the eggs in. He's only got moments. There's nothing we can do, Ted.

                              Ednar Maridan: [gurgles] Yes... yes there is...

                              Yostibh: What?

                              Ednar Maridan: ...can still go the way -- the way I want... Do you understand? Do you?

                              [pause]

                              Yostibh: Yes. I understand.

                              Yogi Bear: [yells] Damn it, no, we can--

                              Pickman: Ted.

                              Tinkezione: Let it go, man.

                              Yogi Bear: [grunt of frustration]

                              Yostibh: Are you ready? Do you need a moment?

                              Ednar Maridan: What for? There's... no heaven, no hell. Here in an instant, gone... [moans in pain] gone in the next. No use for sentiment, after all. [chuckles, then gurgles] Do -- do it now, Doctor. Before it happens.

                              Yostibh: Goodbye, Ednar.

                              [TRANSCRIPT ENDS.]



                              Just one more gunshot in a fiery Glasgow night.



                              All in all, this was a bad mission. I managed to complete it, but Kalle Kaivola and Ednar Maridan are dead, and of the 18 civilians in the combat zone, I managed to save only 7.

                              We all knew my streak of good luck just couldn't last, and frankly, I'm surprised I've survived this long without losing more people. Still, I'm feeling a little devastated here, in part because both of them were starting to be really useful on the field, but also because at this point I've got a lot invested in these characters, and when they die, I not only have to deal with the strategic implications, I also have to write it up. I had story things planned for these two, but of course that's not going to happen now. Of course, that's a big part of what makes this whole thing so cool -- that unpredictability.

                              Stats:

                              Colonel Yogi "Ted" Bear (Support): 19 kills (+6 since last count)
                              Major Rob "The Admiral" Tinkezione (Heavy): 19 kills (+2 since last count; wounded, estimated time of recovery 8 days)
                              Major Morry (Sniper): 28 kills. (+6 since last count; wounded, estimated time of recovery 7 days)
                              Major Pickman (Assault): 18 kills (+5 since last count)
                              Lieutenant Kitt (Support): 11 kills (+3 since last count; wounded, estimated time of recovery 1 day)
                              Corporal Sidetwo (Heavy): 5 kills (+1 since last count)
                              Corporal Dare Talvitie (Assault): 4 kills (+2 since last count; wounded, esimated time of recovery 1 day)
                              Corporal Yostibh: 3 kills (+3 since last count; assigned as a Sniper)


                              Rookie Jaden: No kills. Killed in action.
                              Rookie Zhinarkos: 1 kill. Killed in action.
                              Captain Kalle Kaivola (Assault): 14 kills Killed in action.
                              Lieutenant Ednar Maridan (Sniper): 6 kills Killed in action.
                              Story Team Manager at Remedy. Like the occasional stupid remark? Follow me on Twitter: @MikkiRMD

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Re: I want YOU in my X-Com squad

                                Originally posted by MikkiRMD View Post
                                Captain Kalle Kaivola (Assault): 14 kills Killed in action.
                                Lieutenant Ednar Maridan (Sniper): 6 kills Killed in action.



                                By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!
                                The Sudden Stop - Remedy Fansite

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