With the war concluded, X-COM's future is uncertain. In an attempt to prove that the organisation is too valuable to shut down, X-COM command establish undersea bases. These bases act as primary staging areas for the recovery of UFOs downed over the oceans. The element elerium-115 is the most valuable salvage from these wrecks; it is the source of power for all equipment based on alien technology and as such is considered indispensable. Humankind now relies heavily on elerium, which has proven impossible to synthesise.

It is agreed by the dissolving Council of Funding Nations that all remaining elerium stocks should be funnelled into developing a method of interstellar travel. Not only would this unlock the stars to humanity, it might also lead to greater supplies of elerium-115.


An alarming discovery is made as X-COM operations to recover lost alien craft continue. Elerium-115 becomes inert during a reaction with H2O - water. Most of the elerium recovered thus proves useless, but the search continues in blind hope that somewhere, a stock will have survived.

Social problems across the world increase, as petty crime increases across the globe. Severe overpopulation and pollution becomes prominent in the more developed countries, which some blame for the increasing crime levels. These problems draw attention away from the now defunct X-COM and funding is cut. Most bases are decommissioned. Soldiers and scientists are dissolved into the general populace, although some disappear altogether.

Research based around elerium continues to reduce government stockpiles of the element, which leads to the placement of a restriction upon the use of elerium; only for military purposes. Terrorist groups, smuggling rings and other criminal organisations suddenly find the small stashes of elerium they have hidden away extremely sought-after. They arrange shady deals with governments, selling the elerium back at a horrifically inflated price. The government, rather than draw further attention to their problem, agree with no questions asked.


The dwindling forces of X-COM organise a manned mission to Cydonia, on Mars. Scientists, protected by the few remaining soldiers within the organisation, scan the area around the old alien base thoroughly in search of life. The last Avenger in active service also assumes an orbit of the planet, remaining there for fourteen hours as still more extensive scans are run. Nothing is found. Satisfied, or perhaps dissatisfied, the X-COM team returns to Earth.

The restrictions on elerium are tightened even further. All use of elerium is reserved for use with weapons only. The very last of the X-COM Avengers; that which had just returned from Mars, is decommissioned and donated to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.


World-wide, stocks of elerium-115 are exhausted. All research into interstellar travel is aborted as the sole potential source of power is depleted. The research teams focus instead on simpler interplanetary spacecraft, hoping to build colonies within the solar system to ease population problems and perhaps discover sources of elerium-115 within the Sol system.

Despite the previous failed attempts, several scientific institutes around the world begin to independently develop a synthetic substitute for elerium-115. From the beginning, a deep pessimism pervades the project, as funding is at an all-time low.


The alien war nearly nine years past, the world's economic status continues its downward spiral. X-COM is officially disbanded, although the centralised War Room in the Pentagon remains active. The War Room is placed on automatic, with periodic checks scheduled.

A wealthy software tycoon, F. Denman Williams, purchases one of X-COM's aquatic stations. Fearing that the alien crisis is not yet concluded, he also hires the base's full complement of staff, both military and scientific. Dubbed S.O.R.E.S.O (Sub-Oceanic Reconnaissance and Extraterrestrial Salvage Operation), the organisation resumes X-COM's old duties, cataloguing UFO crash sites beneath the seas - and hunting down elerium-115 stockpiles.


Global unemployment rises to an all-time high. Overpopulation continues to increase dramatically, with extensive deforestation and rapid, over-extending urban growth proving the only solution. In a vain attempt to cut down pollution, many countries ban the use of private vehicles within cities.

In 2015, administrative problems within the world's governments come to a head. Larger nations annex their smaller or poorer neighbours, whose own economies are falling. Large political conglomerates become the norm, and for the most part the switch progresses smoothly. The only smaller nation established was in 2026, when Alaska seceded from the USA forming the People's Republic of Alaska. By 2027, there are only sixteen widely-recognised world governments.

As always occurs when science fails, a more spiritual outlook was adopted by many. Most notable amongst the new religions springing up at this time is the Cult of Sirius, a powerful group believing in the deification of the aliens. They believed that the alien occupation of 1999 was the planet's sole chance for survival, and that chance was repelled. They launch deep-space probes projecting wide-band messages requesting their 'alien friends' to return.

As the Cult gathers power, wealth and members, a counter-religion developed. A malevolent and brutal group known as the Inquisitors dedicates it's existence to hunting down and destroying everything relating to the aliens - technology and people included. X-COM veterans are suspected of being amongst the founding members of the organisation.

The inevitable clashes between the two opposing religions came to a head in 2036, when all-out religious war, Jihad, was declared. The larger and more powerful Cult of Sirius eventually crushed the Inquisitors, but afterwards became far more subdued in preaching their pro-alien rhetoric.


Across the world, surface vessels, aircraft, and submersibles begin to vanish without trace. These events steadily increase in regularity, and in response to increased public hysteria scientists release theories based on natural-magnetic anomalies, freak storms and more being responsible for the the disappearances, ignoring reports of unusual submersible vessels at the problem sites. Tabloids once again take the lead in declaring that aliens are responsible, and the resultant public outcry calls for X-COM to be reinstated. The governments of the world ignore these calls to arms. S.O.R.E.S.O., still active after many years, steps up it's readiness to an all-time high. Many underwater crash sites still remain to be searched, but occasional missions are despatched to investigate disappearances. No signs of alien activity are discovered, although the response time of S.O.R.E.S.O.'s craft is over two hours.

The S.O.R.E.S.O. craft 'Khimtar' is lost whilst investigating UFO crash site 137 near the wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic. It implodes and sinks under mysterious circumstances. The last words of the vessel's skipper are discovered nearly two months later, in the form of a distress call to the Pentagon. The message concludes with the prophetic words "I think they're back."


Establishing relations with the British Hydrospace and Sub-Am corporations, S.O.R.E.S.O initiates testing of the newly developed 'Barracuda'- and 'Triton'-class submersibles. Despite a high initial failure rate - some faults resulting in the death of personnel - the bugs are eventually ironed out. Several of the craft are leased out. At the same time, the governments finally action, recruiting soldiers and training them in aquatic combat. Several of the few surviving X-COM personnel are also recruited to train and organise the new soldiers. With startling ease, the government assumes command of S.O.R.E.S.O , utilising their main base as X-COM's new base of operations.

Within days, Ocean Base 1 receives a distress call from the British passenger liner 'Hyperion'. One of the new 'Barracuda' subs is sent to investigate. Upon arrival, only a broken wreck is discovered. The pilot, Jake Burton, steps from the sub to investigate, and within seconds contact is lost. A second team sent in later determines that the craft was sunk by an unknown weapon. No trace of Burton is ever found.