XCAS Roleplay - Saga 11


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#1 DragonHawk

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:25 PM

Since we're focussed very heavily on the roleplay aspect and less on the missions.  Because I like to focus heavily on chronological order, I'm going to try posting everything (briefings, logs, summaries, etc.) through the forums so that there's a more fluid link between the sims and the roleplays.  This is somewhat of a trial system, and will be in place for at least this saga and probably the next one.

15 February 2068

"Here we go..."

Colonel Brad Cyriacus nodded to his former commander as they stepped into the hearing room.  Decorated with dark oak panels, the large room exuded a sense of antiquity and old-world charm.  The room could have easily held a hundred people, but today it was empty save Commander Weindhoven, Colonel Cyriacus, and the inquisitorial board.

"Please step forward."  The presiding officer, Commander Hector Blackburn, was the chief of X-Com's intelligence operations.  To his left sat Commander Joanne Hoffman, operations commander for North America, and to his right was Colonel Brian Lewis of the African recruiting division.  The officers stood respectfully as Weindhoven and Cyriacus walked to the centre of the room.

"Thank you for coming today, gentlemen.  Please be seated."  Blackburn indicated the chairs set out for the two returned officers, and then seated himself.  His two subordinates also seated themselves.  Cyriacus waited for the board to get comfortable before sitting down.

"Now, we're here to discuss the uh... misdirected Cydonia Expedition, dispatched in April of 2062 and returned in February 2068.  By order of this board, all information about the expedition is classified and no communication may be made to outside parties.  Colonel, you have informed your soldiers of this?"

Colonel Cyriacus nodded formally.  "Yes, sir.  They are also under temporary lockdown, with no deadline yet established."  It rankled him somewhat that his team should be treated as if they carried a pestilence, but then again, it made sense in a way.  The wrong information in the wrong hands...

"Excellent."  Commander Blackburn looked at his notes briefly.  With an easy-going smile, he nodded to Weindhoven and Cyriacus.  "Now, for clarity's sake, could you please restate the important aspects of your journey?"

You snivelling, bureaucratic, stuck-up...  "Of course, sir.  The Patton, a war vessel refitted with scientific equipment was dispatched to Mars to locate elerium in 2062.  We proceeded scanning, but a wormhole of sorts opened up and swallowed the ship."  He could see Hoffman's eyes narrow at this, and this annoyed Cyriacus to no end.  Am I going to have to put up with this scepticism for the rest of my life?

"We made contact with a race of aliens on the other side of the wormhole.  They call themselves the Ascidians.  Roughly, they are a oligarchy after a fashion, with a council of elders, generals, and important civilians running the affairs of the government.  We formed an alliance with them, as they did not possess innate psionic defences.  In return for our services, we were granted a base.  We retained freedom of operation, but we were expected to respond to their needs in a timely fashion.

"As the Ascidians learned to fight the Aliens though, they required us less and less, though we retained our government support.  We participated in a number of crucial actions, against both Aliens and conservative elements of their own race.  We also were at the forefront of their investigation into the soldiers from the future, this X-Com Resistance."

Commander Hoffman was about to open her mouth, but Blackburn silenced her with a gesture.  He motioned for Cyriacus to continue.

"We attempted to turn them to our side, but for the most part they refused.  A number defected to our cause, but their commander, a Colonel Chad Dogget, escaped the Ascidian ambush that destroyed his light cruiser.  His flagship disappeared, to be encountered once more before vanishing altogether.

"After that, we had some minor encounters, but the real breakthrough came when we re-found their transportation device.  We found that is was a wormhole generator, and one of our scientists, Gael McBannok, hypothesized that we must have been dragged into Ascidian space using such a device.  Chief engineer Anne Rallwell deciphered the coordinate sets well enough to use the device, but not understand it completely.  We proceeded back to Mars as quickly as we could."  His summary ended, he fell silent.

The board stayed silent for a few moments as they re-digested the information.  It was nothing new to them.  They had all the details, reports, everything from the mission.  They knew the basic aspects, but they were checking the story for consistency.

"Good.  Well, let me first say that you seem to have acquitted yourselves well under duress.  For the most part, your troops have come through with distinction; commendations will be put into the files of those that deserve them."  Blackburn smiled encouragingly.

It'll take more than that to take me off my guard, buddy.  Cyriacus played along though and smiled back.  "Thank you sir.  They'll be pleased to hear of it."

Blackburn nodded.  "The disposition of some of your crew is still in question though.  We will return to that in a later session, however."  He flipped a page in his notes, and then looked to Commander Weindhoven.  "Do you have anything to add to Colonel Cyriacus' report?"

"No sir."  Weindhoven was cordial in his response.

"Good.  Just to let you know Commander, nothing in your actions belies any particular taint.  Your doctor, Lieutenant Yorke, provided a very good summary of events and his analysis of the situation was most thorough.  Once our studies have been completed, you will be returned to duty."

"Thank you sir."  

From the expression on his face, Cyriacus could tell that Weindhoven thought of it as a mixed reward.  Sure, he could be back to duty eventually, but studies could take a long time.  Even with Blackburn's assurances, Cyriacus couldn't decide whether it was just plain political bull.

Blackburn continued on with his agenda.  "Well, we've studied the reports heavily over the past week.  While operations were not perfect, no untoward incompetence was found in your actions, and you completed your duty with all due diligence."

Cyriacus looked at Hoffman carefully.  Had she been strong-armed into accepting Blackburn's decision?  It certainly seemed like it was possible.  Suddenly, the world felt a bit more right.

"Your troops have done their jobs, and I can ask no more than that.  Your troops are now on a one-week leave, with all transportation paid for by X-Com.  They are NOT to transmit any information to the public on the nature of the wormhole of the other aliens.  They were marooned on Mars for many years, and the search probes that were sent did not find you.  The particulars are still under investigation, so you cannot comment, especially not to the press.  Do you understand?"

This was certainly better than he could have hoped, so soon.  Cyriacus nodded his assent.  "Yes sir.  Out of communication due to marooning, confidential, no public access, sir."

"Good.  Some of the troopers must remain behind for medical evaluation, but they will receive their leave on confirmation of their condition."  Blackburn stood.  

Both Weindhoven and Cyriacus stood and saluted the board.

"You two are on leave as well.  We shall meet again on the 20th to discuss other matters.  The logistics officer knows that your soldiers are to be provided for."

"Thank you sir," the two Cydonia officers said.  As one, they turned sharply and left the hall.

"That was a bit better that I thought," said Cyriacus mildly.

"Don't worry," said Weindhoven with a grin.  "I'm sure there's more to come."
Lance Corporal Derrick "DragonHawk" Ko
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#2 Strong Bob

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 05:56 AM

Scott: Home...

It was all Joseph Scott could think of. The Patton arrived in the Solar System just three days ago. Contact was made with Earth and there was much rejoicing. Members of X-COM were de-briefed for a full day and given their respective medical checks and overviews. It wasn't until now when the crew was given their brief shore leave, for the first time in years, to finally meet up with old loved ones and those special to them.

Joseph was out of his X-COM fatigues for the first time in a very long time... Now he was wearing a leather jacket, tight black t-shirt underneath, and blue jeans. It made a refreshing change for once, as he was stepping back into the shoes of a civilian for the first time since he joined the force.

It was in the evening, the Earth sun was going down... Scott had returned to his hometown in Providence, Rhode Island. The place had changed... When he left, it was difficult to move from one place to another without being mugged or assaulted. Now everything was quiet... A very peaceful quiet. Perhaps something was done here, in those scant years in X-COM, that Joseph could never do himself.

Scott: I'm proud...

He made his way to a two-story suburban household. The entire block was nothing but white houses, this was done years ago due to the city rebuilding plan. It seemed, even in Scott's time away, nobody ever got around to repainting them. But that was a trivial topic... Joseph stood at the front door to his target building. The brown oak door stood in front of him, almost warning him not to enter.

Scott: It's been a long time to them. Maybe they've forgotten...

Joseph reached out and rang the doorbell. His heart was skipping beats, hoping that this wasn't a mistake. The door opened mere moments later, revealing a man approximately Joseph's age, only a bit more overweight. Stubbled black hair, and a thick mustache also separated his look.

Scott: David?

David: (Blinking) Albino? What the hell?

Scott: It's me...

David: Yeah, it's you.

A blank expression came from Joseph's old friend's face. Joseph believed it was excitement being countered by grudge. There was a short pause, where they did nothing but stare at one another. Joseph feared his old friend was close to throwing him off his property.

Scott: I... Came back to see... Uh...

David: Yeah, I know.

David made a gesture with his hand and stepped back.

David: Come in. Want a beer?

Scott: Ah, no thank you. But I'd really like to talk...

Joseph stepped into the house. He had been to this place before, long ago, so he was used to it's room layout. But the changes in furniture and interior decor were drastic, causing him to be lost anyway. He deducted that he was in the living room now.

David: Then let's talk, come on.

The two of them walked into the next room, David followed by Joseph, where they entered the kitchen. Joseph took a seat while David grabbed a blue bottle of brew and joined him.

Scott: I like what you did with the place... How's Amanda been doing? I heard she was diagnosed with cancer a while before I left...

David: (Taking a sip) She gave up in October. Last year.

Scott: I... I'm sorry.

David: It's alright. (Grinning) I've never had such peace and quiet in twenty years!

Scott let out a sigh and looked David in the eye. He was clearly distressed heavily. His crude comment was only a self security mechanism... Even though Joseph hadn't taken a single police psychology course since the Academy, this much was evident.

Scott: How are the other boys on the force?

David: For the most part... We're still here. Tanna was killed in a Sirius raid a few years ago. Kristi had a baby, so she was promoted and is now handling finances. Adam... He went crooked. Was caught after bombing an entire building, he was consorting with Cult Terrorists for years apparently.

Scott: I see you're still in one piece.

David: Not for long. Discharged weapon, civilian injured, culprit dead. I'm on suspension until an investigation of the incident is completed. My career depends on clean results... *Sigh* Albino. We need good people again. In 2061, we lost two good officers that day. Both you and her...

Scott: Don't mention her here, Dave. (A tone of intensity formed in his voice.)

David: Still broken up over it?

Scott: I don't want to talk about it.

David: It's time to get over it, Albino. It wasn't your fault.

Scott: Yes it was. I listened when I shouldn't have.

David: Goddamn, Albino, it's been six years!

Scott: To you, it has. I've been frozen in an X-COM cryo tube most that time. It feels like just last year.

David: It hasn't been the same since you left... Elizabeth be damned, we needed you.

Scott: You did fine without me, didn't you?

David: Albino... Listen to me. Things are better in some places, but we're getting creamed otherwise. And these new f*cking laws are allowing more and more criminals back onto the streets. Forget about Elizabeth! Think about your own home town. You still have a chance... The bitterness you got from your old friends wasn't because of 'Liz Corman, but because you left when we all needed you out there with us.

Joseph couldn't take the pressure anymore and slammed his fist on the table.

Scott: Goddamnit, Dave! Do you have any idea where I've been in all this time!?

David: (Shocking pause) Uh... How would I know? X-COM is a global military. You people are all over the place.

Scott: Global? Heh, that's the most sore understatement I've heard in my life. And trust me, I've heard my fair share of those.

Joseph stood up. He wiped his forehead a little, as some sweat accumulated from his recent act of anger. Turning to look out the window, his body calmed down as he found the evening sunset. The sky colored from blue, to orange, to red... It reminding him of Arkunis IV, as it mirrored the very sky of the day he saw his Ascadian friend, Du'Gannon, dead.

Scott: I take it you never looked at the crew manifest of the UGS Patton, in 2062.

David: What? You mean to tell me you were on the spaceship that dissappeared... And... Reappeared... ?

Scott: I was frozen in a cryo tube most of the way, so it only seemed to last under a year for me. But even in that short of time... I have been through sh*t that would turn you white...

Another short pause enveloped the room.

Scott: Knowing how I look, I probably turned 'white' a dozen times over without noticing... But that's not the point.

He turned back around to his old friend, still drinking his alcoholic beverage.

Scott: When Elizabeth died, I changed my destiny. Right now, the Patton lays in wait at a wormhole. And just beyond it, there is a gigantic empire of our enemies from the first alien war, just ITCHING to come right on over.

David: What the hell are you talking about, Albino?

Scott: Ten years ago... My job was to protect Rhode Island. The moment Elizabeth died... My destiny changed. I don't belond in RIPD. I belong in X-COM.

David: This is the same psycho babble X-COM recruiters spout at everyone. Are you trying to get me to join your little Alienbusters regime?

Scott: No. I don't think I've made more sense in my life. After almost forty years... I've finally found my place. It's not here... It's out there.

Joseph looked back out the window, this time more directly into the sky. The moon was out, but it was phased into a thin strand. He felt a smile break into his face. The sparkle of the stars would soon pop out... If he came that much later, the sight outside would've made it much more appropriate.

Scott: I wasn't supposed to be a cop, David. I know what to do now... For once in all my life. I can be the hero this world... This galaxy needs. A hero among heroes.

Joseph turned back to David again. David was giving him eyes of disbelief and even a slight of "creeped out."

David: This is crazy, Albino. Do you realize what you're doing?

Scott: I certainly do, old friend.

Joseph sighed and stared David right in the eyes. The dark brown hue of his eyes furthered the difference in the two men's features.

Scott: I'm saving the world.
Strong Bob's random Star Trek quote of the year:

*Scans rock* "It's dead, Jim." - McCoy

"Very funny, Bones." - Kirk

#3 DragonHawk

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 08:28 PM

Anne Rallwell stood on the sidewalk, looking at the small house that she had been dropped off at.  It was in a quiet suburban neighbourhood, an hour west of Toronto.  The snow-covered trees that lined the sidewalk were massive, contributing to the house's impression of age.  It was something about the styling though; the house itself looked well maintained.

Taking a deep breath, Rallwell stepped around the vehicle parked on the driveway and pressed the doorbell.  She heard the stirring of life within the house, and quickly straightened her jacket.  She probably looked pretty horrible, being many hours behind on sleep.  Just one part of the legacy that I honour now, she thought wryly.

The door opened, and a man of Asian descent stood there.  He was just a shade taller than Anne, though perhaps not with her heavy boots on.  He looked to be edging towards his sixties, though stress had touched everyone since the Alien Wars began, decades ago.  

"Yes?"  The man sized up the uniform neutrally.

"Good afternoon, sir.  Are you Mr. Ko?"  Rallwell felt nervous.  How would they respond to a delegate of an organization that had killed their son?

The man's eyes narrowed somewhat, but his voice did not change.  "Yes, I am.  What can I do for you?"  

"I..."  Rallwell stumbled verbally as she withdrew the envelope from the inside of her heavy jacket.  "I'm a recently returned soldier, sir.  X-Com."  She held the letter in her hand, carefully.  She weighed her future against her loyalty; it was not an easy decision.  A voice came unbidden into her mind though, and it was comforting.  You already made your decision.  Nothing's changed, follow through!

Finding her courage, she extended the letter to Mr. Ko purposefully.  "Returned... and under orders to remain silent.  My loyalties though demand something else though.  Please understand."

The man took the letter somewhat hesitantly.  Rallwell was about to walk away, when the man's voice called out to her.  "Please, come in."

Rallwell paused then accepted the invitation.  She stepped into the clean interior.  Noticing that neither Mr. Ko or his wife wore their shoes in the house, she took off her boots.  

"Would you like some refreshment?"  Mrs. Ko, presumably, looked at Rallwell with some scepticism, but held her tongue as to her dislike of the uniform.  

"Water, thank you."

Meanwhile, Mr. Ko had opened the letter and was reading it.  Rallwell could see tears forming in his eyes.  She turned away to give him his privacy.  Mrs. Ko handed Rallwell her water, then walked over to her husband with concern in her eyes.

It was only a matter of time before Mrs. Ko was openly weeping, partially in sadness and partially in joy.  The pair ushered Rallwell into a sitting room, but otherwise ignored her for a good twenty minutes.

Mr. Ko managed to pull himself together first.  "Thank you for bringing this to us.  It means so much for us to know that Derrick is still alive, even if he is not here."

"He was...  He was a good officer and a good friend."  Rallwell spoke this out of a sense of compassion for Ko's parents, but she found out that she actually meant it deeply.  "He pulled the team through some difficult times."

Mr. Ko nodded at her, but Rallwell couldn't tell whether he believed her or not.  "I'm sure that is so."  His eyes followed his wife as she departed the sitting room.  "I apologize for my wife.  It has been so long.  We had received a communication telling us that the Cydonia Expedition had gone missing.  We had held out so much hope...  but the moment of deliverance is still a shock."

Rallwell smiled reassuringly.  "Yes, it is."

"Can you tell me more of him?"

Rallwell hesitated somewhat.  She would have loved to tell him what she knew, but she also didn't want to breach X-Com's confidentiality.  "Your son...  I can't tell you much, sir, I hope you understand.  I knew him primarily as a commanding officer.  As an engineer, I worked under his direction, and he not only knew his business, but he knew how to approach problems.  He always did everything aggressively, as if he wanted to leave a legacy worth remembering.

"Most importantly, he believed in the cause.  A corny thing to say perhaps, with no real cause evident, but he believed in some higher purpose. He, along with some other companions, stayed behind to ensure that our way home remained open."

"He mentions them...  Dmitri, Kevin, Kaitlin, and Calvin."

"Yes.  The particulars are things I can't clarify for you.  The official report will come out soon, no doubt, but this is likely to remain black for a long time."  Rallwell felt sympathy for the older man.  Not knowing when your offspring could be killed was probably hell.  "You need not worry though.  Derrick has shed his blood in service to X-Com, and his actions would have made you proud."

Mr. Ko sat their, thinking.  He looked so far off that Rallwell believed it would be better for her to take her leave.  She had no idea where to go next though.  Chris and Kaitlin had nothing she knew of, Dmitri's mother had been killed, and she had nothing herself.  Perhaps she would go back to base, look up some of the other soldiers.  She was glad to be alive.

"Please, wait."  Mr. Ko stood and looked her in the eye.  "Please, spend a few days here recuperating."

"No, that's quite fine, it's not necessary."  She smiled at him, even though she was sure her appearance did not agree with her words.

"Please."  Mr. Ko handed Rallwell the letter almost reverently.

Rallwell looked at Mr. Ko before reading the letter.

3 February 2068

Dear Mother and Father,

I hope the years have found you well.  Certainly, the past few years have been interesting ones for me.  I cannot say that I have come through perfectly fine, but the baptism of fire in this alien place reinforces the mind and restores the soul.  Please though, do not be worried, for I have been strengthened by the trials of the past years.

No doubt you wonder as to why this letter has reached you without my own return.  Nine months ago saw five of us make the ultimate sacrifice - we sacrificed what freedom we had, our fellowship, and our ties to humanity so that our comrades could be free to return home.  It was something that Dmitri, Kevin, Kaitlin, Calvin, and myself thought worthwhile, and indeed we have no regrets.  In this section of the universe, we have found a camaraderie that cannot be described.  Perhaps only when truly isolated does a group feel this.  The five of us wished for at least some of the Cydonia Expedition to return home, and we were willing to pay whatever price necessary.

Our benefactors are both valorous and kind.  While I cannot elaborate on their form, they do indeed hearken back to a time where honour took precedence over selfishness.  The five of us who remain conduct only the most dangerous operations here, but again, worry not, for there are few more reliable soldiers than those whom stand by my side now.

Of course, every returned soldier has immeasurable value to me as a brother or a sister.  My friend, Anne Rallwell, will likely deliver this message by hand out of loyalty and her own personal sense of duty despite the inevitable information pseudo-blackout.  She is a true companion and is an excellent person in her own right.  Please welcome her into our home, as she has little else on Earth.  I sincerely hope that I see her again, but if our paths do not cross again, let her know that I wish her well in her travels.

The testing is about to begin, with Anne at the fore.  If there is any justice in this world, she will escape with the Patton, away from this dangerous but worthy land.  With luck, I too will return home in the future, but if I do not, know that I fought proudly for my family and for my home.

Love,

Derrick


Rallwell didn't know what to do, but her emotions provided a response.  Pent up over years and suddenly released, she could only cry.
Lance Corporal Derrick "DragonHawk" Ko
Combat Engineer, Kappa Team
X-Com Alliance Sim

#4 ShadowBlade

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 01:45 AM

JOINT ROLEPLAY - Sgt. Jonathan Goorit (ShadowBlade), Sgt. Faith Redwood-Goorit  (DragonHawk) and Victoria Redwood (DragonHawk)

Jonathan and Faith had been released from X-COM custody just an hour ago. They were now in Sydney's spaceport, their shuttle had landed just a couple of minutes ago. Excitement and nervousness (?) filled the siblings' minds as they decide where they should visit first.

FRG:  Faith looked around the wide-open spaceport.  It didn't look THAT different from when she had last seen it...  she tried to decide whether to think of it as the past or the future, but just gave it up.  "Wow, it's almost like a dream.  It's even sunny, like in my mind..."

JG:  "Truly wonderful, sis..." Jon looked around the familiar spaceport for a few seconds and then faced his sister again. "So, should we visit... mom?" Goorit asked. His voice was a bit shaky.

FRG:  Faith laughed, in a giddy fashion that attracted the look of some other folks.  Stifling her laugh, she grinned.  "I can't even imagine...  Wow, this is so weird."  She nodded her assent though.  "Of course we should go see... uhh... mom.  Hey...  Here's a mind boggler, would I be born yet?"

JG:  "Yeah, you'd be 4 years old, Faith." Jon wondered for a while, thinking of the consequences that'd bring the meeting between Faith's grown and younger self. "So... shall we?"

FRG:  "I think so."  She grinned again, this time more nervously.  "I wonder how much my birth is subject to randomness.  It's quite possible that like the alien invasion of the future..."  She stopped herself, looking around, but nobody was really paying attention to anyone else.  "It's possible that some random factor resulted in my not being born in this timeline.  But that's too confusing for me..."

JG:  "We'll see." Jonathan replied and sighed. "Are you willing to take the risk?" Shadow inquired, wondering now seriously about the consequences. "I personally think that what's done is done, and you won't vanish upon mom noticing you."

FRG:  "Hmm...  Well, we think that we can stop the aliens.  We operate under that assumption.  To me, that means that we can take the risk - we think of time as without these paradoxes and such.  You'll already have changed the future... to the best of my knowledge, you never came home in my past."  Faith's eyes misted over slightly, but she gripped Jon's hand tighter.  "Come on, let's go."

JG:  "Alright" Both of them walked speedily out of the spaceport and reached the sidewalk in no time. Jonathan glanced at the bright sun for a moment and signalled an incoming cab to pick them up.

A cab, driven by a friendly Indian, stopped for them after five minutes of signalling.

CD:  "Good afternoon, kids. Where to?"

JG:  Jonathan thought for a moment, trying to remember the address of his home. It was kinda embarrasing since the driver was looking at them oddly. "Um... St. Patrick Street 273, please."

CD:  "No problem bud."  He stepped on it, and the cab pulled out onto what looked to be a dangerously crowded street, at least compared to the Ascidian norm.  Unfortunately for Jon and Faith, the cab driver was a bit talkative.  "So, what have you kids been up to?  Seeing the stars?  I hear X-Com is giving them a run for their money out in the frontier."

FRG:  Faith grinned.  If only he knew...  Hopefully he didn't think they were some sort of couple.  They were close to the same age, to be sure, but...  UGH!  Her brother, of all...  UGH!!!!

JG:  "Er... Yeah! We've spent quite some time in space, but nothing out of the usual, really." Jonathan forced something that intended to be a calm smile whilst twiddling his fingers.

CD:  The cabbie smiled and nodded, then resumed his focus on his driving.  The meter at his side ticked upwards.  After about half an hour, the cab driver pulled in front of the house.  Oddly, there was an aboriginal family sitting outside, enjoying the sun, on HIS property.

FRG:  Faith automatically got out and looked at the house, then in confusion at the family in front.  "Err...  Jon, you sure this is the right house?"

JG:  "Umm..." Jonathan hesitated for a while. "Are you sure Nick gave us the right address?" Shadow invented, trying not to look like the stupidest person ever.

FRG:  Faith shrugged... then grinned.  "Ahh wait, that's right.  I think uhh...  I think our friend moved, I just recall now."  She pulled a random piece of paper and unfolded it, pretending to examine it.  "Could you take us to 912 New Berkshire Boulevard please?"

CD:  "Foul-ups are unfortunate, aren't they?  Sure, I'll take you there."  He waited until Faith had hopped back in, then stepped on the pedal.  This time, it was only a short ten minute drive to the new location, where the two got out.  "This look better, sir and missus?"

JG:  "Ahh, you're right." Jon's voice was again shaky. He felt SO alien to the city it was scary. Then he caught the cabbie's sentence, but remained silent.

FRG:  "Yes, thank you."  Faith took out a wad of cash and handed some to the cab driver, along with a generous tip, then waited for him to put their bags on the sidewalk.  When he left, Faith shrugged.  "Sorry, I forgot.  When mom got remarried, she moved as well.  My father, Sebastian, is a Marsec officer... probably at work now, as its not quite that late."

JG:  "Good, this is the place then." Jonathan stepped out of the cab and looked at the nice house. "Thank you very much." He said to the driver and closed the vehicle's door.

FRG:  Faith stood on the sidewalk.  She pondered whether she should go in... after all, it WAS a bit weird, and it would be hard to understand.  She was sure that X-Com High Command was willing to leak some information, despite orders.  She WAS here, after all.  "I think maybe you'd better lead the way," she said with a slight quiver in her voice.  

JG:  "Aye." Jonathan responded briefly and started walking slowly towards the doorstep. His legs were shaking but the sergeant managed to hide this by the team he pressed the doorbell's button next to the frame. "OK, here goes nothing." Jon took a deep breath and looked firmly at the door.

FRG:  Faith took his hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.  "You'll be fine...  We'll be fine," she quickly amended.  

VR:  Victoria Redwood looked up from her reading.  Who would be at the door at this time of the day.  Some salesman.  With a sigh, and a fond look at her baby girl playing with some toys on the floor, she went to the door.  Opening it, she put on her sternest, "I-don't-want-to-buy-anything" face.  "Yes?"  For a moment, she thought she was hallucinating.  Her face slackened and her jaw probably dropped as well.  "J...  J...  Jonathan?!?!?"

JG:  "M... Mom?" Jon stood right there, seeming paralyzed as he glanced at his mother for what was seemingly an eternity. "I... I'm... back." After this, his mouth froze and so did his body, on that spot.

FRG:  Faith stayed behind Jonathan a bit, letting him take the lead.  His mother... their mother, was a lot younger looking, perhaps a bit more stressed... or less stressed, Faith couldn't tell, about things now.  She was certainly more youthful, but twenty-plus years did that.

VR: "Jonathan" she screamed, and rushed forward to take her baby boy into her arms.  She wept openly, probably causing no small spectacle in their neighbourhood.  "I never thought you'd come back...  I'd thought...  I'd thought..."  The thought put her to tears again, and she just stood there hugging her boy for a good ten minutes before drying her eyes.  "Sorry, please, come in...  We have much to speak of.  Your guest too."  

JG:  Jonathan hugged his mother back, firmly during the full length of the hug. After a while he released her and entered the house, signalling Faith to follow him. The soldier's legs were still shaking, specially when he noticed the little girl playing on the floor.

FRG:  Faith too noticed the little girl.  The girl looked back at the strangers, then became a bit silent.  "Shy," Faith thought to herself.  She couldn't quite think of it as her though...  Probably better that way.  With any luck, little Faith would grow up without any of the bad experiences...

VR:  Jon's mother's eyes went to her little girl.  Picking her up, she presented her to Jonathan.  "Jon... I remarried.  He's a good man, Sebastian Redwood.  He helped me through some bad times..."  She hugged her younger child.  "Faith, dear?  Look who's come home.  Jonathan, this is your little sister, Faith Redwood-Goorit."

JG:  Shadow remained silent for a while. He didn't know how to react since the revelation wasn't really a surprise, he had two sisters now, who were the same person but different people at the same time. It was too confusing. "H... hey" Jon kissed little Faith's cheek gently.

FRG:  Faith smiled.  It was touching really...  She waved at the little girl and sighed.  Well, at least the universe hadn't blown up yet, and for that, she was thankful.

VR:  "Please, have a seat in the room.  Faith, you show them where to sit, you be a good girl.  I'll be back with some refreshments and snacks."  She walked to the kitchen, a new spring in her step.  Her son...  Home!

To be continued...
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#5 Zager

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:16 AM

OOC: Hiya, I'm playing the new psioncist for XCAS. The 48 year old soldier who's been everywhere. Survived the second alien war, saw duty on Luna and Mars, and served a tour of duty in the frontier. And now, without further ado, introducing Britt 'Adept' Cabeza.

Two months earlier. Somewhere in Antartica, near the pole.

"Fall back! Fall back to the base" shouted the lieutenant, above the sounds of weapons fire. X-COM soldiers in their blue armor were exchanging fire with green suited cult of sirius fanatics. Both blue and green bodies as well as red blood and brass shell casings stood out on the icy terrain.

Britt Cabeza took an oportunity to leap back and concentrate for a second. The cultist he was fighting in hand to hand combat suddenly started to go limp, but recovered. Not in time though, as Britt brought the butt of his pistol down hard on the cultists head, sending him spiraling to the ground.

The X-COM soldiers disengaged orderly until the cultists opened up with heavy weaponry, then it turned into more of a panicked run for cover, some of the soldiers helping the wounded along.

"Where's the Lieutenant?" asked Britt of another soldier as they took cover behind a baricade near the research base. "And where's Sergeant Banks?"

"Sergeant's dead, took a heavy rocket to the chest," replied the soldier. "I don't where the LT is, last I saw him, he was covering our retreat."

Britt stuck his head out from behind cover, taking a look around. A blue suited body was lying on the ground halfway to the cover.

"Damnit, the LT's down, I'm going out to get him. Cover me" snapped Britt.

"You're going out there? That's suicide, man" replied the soldier. As if the punctuate his point, the barricade rattled as a burst of bullets bounced off of it.

"We don't leave ours behind," snapped back Britt, then he screamed. "COVERING FIRE" and took off like a shot.

Sprays of ice came up off of the ground around him as the cultists started firing on him. Screams of pain were heard as X-COM forces opened up on the Cultists.

Britt grabbed the Lieutenant, using telekinesis to lighten the load.

"You've got drop some weight," he muttered, as headed back towards cover. Sixty feet, forty feet, twenty feet...

Britt grimiced in pain as a bullet hit him in the back, but he managed to get behind cover.

"Get the corpsman" he shouted. "LT's down."

There were 183 unarmed scientists in the building they were protecting. If the cultists got through, those scientists would be butchered.

"Let's give 'em hell, marines" screamed Britt, concious of the fact that all those lives rested on a few soldiers' courage. He grabbed an assault rifle, and came out from behind the barricade, firing on the Cultists. He kept firing as the cultists retured fire on him. Other X-COM soldiers followed suit. Chaos ensued.


Two weeks previously to present day
Two months later. The base had been saved, the cultists had been killed to the last man.

"I'm releasing you," said the doctor at the X-COM hospital where Britt had been recovering from his injuries. "But you're not going to be in a combat position for a few weeks. I'm having you reassigned to work in therapy while you recover. No arguments. I know you're qualified, so that don't try to weasel your way out of it."

Britt nodded silently, and left his hospital room. Looks like it was time to fly a desk again, at least, until he could pull off a transfer to a unit where he could put his talents to better use than treating soldiers worried about the Chrysalid under their bed, or the Muton in the closet.

#6 Ego Terrorist

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 12:56 PM

London, England

Home...

Yorke knocked on the door, three dull wooden thuds, there was a door bell and a intercom, but his parents never liked those things. "They're probably not in." He mumbled to himself. He turned and started walking along the path to the road.

"Excuse me?"

Yorke half turned, the familar voice was one he'd known all his life.

"Ned?" His father stood looking as if he'd seen a ghost.

"Hey dad."

From inside the house Ned heard his mother shout something to his father. "Louis, who is it?" Then she appeared at the door next to her husband and stood stareing at her son. "Oh my god! Son!-Ned you're alive?"

"Yeah." Yorke smiled nervously but remained fixed where he stood.

"What happened?" Asked his mother, from the looks of it news that the Patton had returned hadn't reached his family, though that wasn't much of a surprise given that they hardly watched the news. "Why were gone for so long? Where?"

Yorke not knowing what to say and not wanting to lie to his parents told the truth. "We got stranded."

"Fiona, Ned here doesn't want to talk about that." Then he turned to his son and waved him to come over. "Why don't you come in son."

Inside the room seemed to of not changed in the slightest, paintings, the way things were organised, everything seemed to of remained the same. In fact some things whereever he went seemed to of hardly changed. But yet things felt different. "So...how is everyone?"

"You're aunt Chrissy passed away last year, cancer, but other than that everyone else in the family...will be so please to hear that you're safe." His dad sat in the couch opposite the couch that Yorke sat in.

Soft, plush, warm couch...a change from the cold, hard, metallic, military issue seats that he'd sat in. Yorke just nodded and accepted his cup of tea from his mother.

The akward silence was eventually broken by his mother. "What are you going to do now?"

Yorke leant back in his seat, it was...nice...to be back with his family. "I'm going to resign, I've...seen enough." He stopped before his voice would start to crack, took a sip of tea to calm his nerves and then took a deep breath. "Become a GP or something." He hadn't told anybody on the Patton of his plans, mainly because he never had any plans he never expected to survive or return home.

His mother and father beamed at that their son was finally home and was going to stay. "Thats great news! Wonderful" It seemed as if his mother would jump out of the seat at any moment now. "Things will be just like what they were before."

"Yeah." Yorke was starting to warm up to the idea, a chance to move on and put the...horrors of the past behind him, to forget and to forge a new future. "Look, I know I just got back, but I'd like to catch up with some friends, see what I missed and stuff like that." Yorke rose from his seat and smiled.

Both his parents rose from their seats as well and then one after the other they hugged him, they said there goodbyes, secure in the knowledge that this time their son would return home.

London, Blake Shopping Center

Yorke wandered through the crowds, as if in a daze, recalling memories, trying to remember the faces of those who'd died on his watch. The worst of all was the fact that Ko had died...so close to getting home (Ko is not dead, he's too evil for that. :) - DH, editor). Yet some how Yorke had gotten home, and ever since they'd returned to Earth he'd wondered. - Why me?

Everywhere he went he recoginised things and noticed that things seemed to of in 6 years changed very little, but yet things were different now...people around him got on with their lives, their simple lives, buying things, working, travelling, loving, raising a family. All the while ignorant to the rest of the universe. They were just bags of blood, bones and guts, leading painfully happy lives, secure in the knowledge that others killed to allow them to go on leading their happy, short, and ultimatly pointless existance.

Envy and jealously was a potent emotion.

He was envious and jealous of everyone that was around him. He'd desired nothing more than to become another member of the herd, leading a simple life bumping and pushing, laughing and crying. Perhaps he could, by putting X-Com behind him he could move on and become a human being again, another productive member of society.

Then every type of alien Yorke had encountered thoughout his life stepped out of the crowd and surrounded Yorke, the crowds carried on walking around milling about doing their things oblivious to what was going on, Yorke tried to yell something but he couldn't form any sort of words. Running Yorke bolted for the nearest exit, but no matter how fast he tried the aliens, Muton's, Sectiods, Etherals, Chrysallids, maintained a perfect circle around him, Yorke then reached for his holster and in it was a pistol, it was his only means of escape, he couldn't out run them, he couldn't out gun them, so he turned the pistol on himself and pulled the trigger.

Yorke sat up suddenly, panting and sweating, trying to figure out what had just happened, looking around he the room he saw no aliens, just things from his childhood, he'd visited the Blake Shopping Center earlier in the day, and he must of returned home and climbed into the bed from he was a teenager. Panting for air he spoke quietly but firmly. "Just a nightmare...just a nightmare."

OOC - Just another weirdly twisted and screwed up post from your loveable Doctor :) (More to come soon!)
Dammit I just misspelled on my christmas present list...now I've asked satan for an inflatable Buffy.

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#7 DragonHawk

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 07:58 PM

Gasping, Private Jarl Ryan bolted upright in his bed, covered in a thin layer of sweat.  It was certainly not particularly warm, but in the darkness of the room, Ryan's mind re-lived the last scenes of his dream.

"Where are we?"  To Ryan's right, he could here the voice of Jackson.

"No idea, Corporal."  It took Ryan a moment to recognize his own voice.  It sounded strained.  The area around him, a dark jungle, did not really look familiar - he could recall no instances of being in a similar place.  However, that didn't mean he was ignorant of the circumstances.  As he stopped, he called out, "Wait, Jacko..."

Jackson had moved ahead, leading the way deeper into the jungle.  The Corporal didn't bother stopping.  A number of other soldiers passed Ryan, including Necro, Shadow, and even Colonel Cyriacus.  "Guys, hold up, there's something ahead."

"Impossible, I don't see anything."  Colonel Cyriacus peered into the jungle.  "Forward."

Ryan could feel it in his gut now.  "Stop"  His shouted command did not have the desired effect.  In desperation, he tried to grab a passing Dr. Yorke, but his hands slipped right through as if he were grabbing mist.

Just then, dark, human-sized shapes emerged from the shadows of the forest and opened fire.  The X-Com team didn't have a chance.  The mysterious invaders cut down the patrol, with only Ryan left.

Intellectually, Ryan knew that he had to escape, get back to Lieutenant Scott, but he couldn't force himself to move.  He couldn't even breathe.  The heavy thumping of the enemy started to get louder.  Ryan prayed that he was not seen, but at the same time knew that the situation was hopeless.

"There he is"  A cold metal hand, one that belonged to the Resistance android VAL-919, grabbed his armour and hauled him to his feet.  In abject terror, Ryan screamed as VAL-919 pointed a handgun at him.


Ryan flopped back into bed, breathing heavily.  The dream had not been technically recurrent in itself, though variations of the same theme had plagued his sleep since he had returned.  With nothing to really occupy himself with, at least nothing as important as simple survival, Ryan's mind had slipped into thoughts and nightmares about X-Com Resistance.  Their doomsday prophecy was still chilling.

That their last enemy in Ascidian space had been human themselves had opened up a whole new world for Ryan, one in which he suddenly found racial allegiances to be somewhat wanting.  He had always thought of himself as protecting humanity's interests; after all, isn't that what X-Com was for?  Kabrons were an aberration, as criminals, and it wasn't X-Com's primary job to hunt them down.  No, they were supposed to hunt down Aliens!

Now though, Ryan could not be so sure.  The Ascidians had proven to be good allies, though Ryan thought that X-Com had gotten the better deal.  The Aliens themselves, when not facing their armies, were also different; reports from the captured elements of Alpha Squad had said so.  Meanwhile, their future brethren were engaged in all manners of hostile and narrow-minded operations, a role that Ryan had always considered best filled by an Alien being.  The world was going crazy!

It was too much.  Nothing was as predictable as it used to be.  It had been so much simpler when...  Well, when he was ignorant.  While the enemy, the Aliens, had been a faceless, brutal, and inhuman adversary, Ryan had felt as if he was on the moral high ground.  After all, X-Com protected Earth!  That the Aliens were not so different than humans was a troubling thought.

As Ryan drifted back into sleep, his mind gripped one thing: the previous wars.  It was an accepted fact that the Aliens had attacked first.  Every person knew that.  If he had been asked such a thing prior to 2062, he would have laughed and ridiculed the questioner.  Such foolishness!  Humans were wronged, and that was that!  Ryan had talked with Dr. Yorke privately though, and now he wasn't so confident.  Were things as simple as they seemed?  With that, Ryan fell into a tired but still somewhat troubled sleep.

The next morning, Ryan could remember the dreams he had, but little else.  He suspected that he had thought something else of significance...  But for the life of him, he couldn't remember what it was.  He shrugged it off and went down to the family kitchen for breakfast.  It'd come back eventually.
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#8 DragonHawk

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 04:11 PM

For now, I'm just Brad Cyriacus, he thought to himself with a grin.  He was seated on a bench, in a local park, enjoying the sun and reading the local newspaper.

Of course, X-Com's prestige must still be impressive.  The front page had a picture of the docked Patton with the headline "Cydonia Expedition Revealed"  Unfortunately, the article was less than factually correct, no doubt thanks to the falsified information being released.  Humans can't handle the thought of other friendly species.  How bizarre would THAT be?

It was a great day outside, admittedly.  The sun was warm, a break in the usually freezing cold, and the snow was a glaring white.  On the other side of the park, some children were engaged in a snowball fight.  Scenes like this made the service worthwhile.

Cyriacus stopped to speculate.  X-Com itself was odd in that it was technically a corporation run just like any other, except it claimed to serve humanity.  Of course, in one sense, nobody could disagree, but to Cyriacus, it had certainly lost something after it had been released by the United Nations.  Now, really and truly, it was not serving humanity as its primary purpose.  It traded on its legacy as humanity's saviours to increase its stock value, influence, and all other such commercial things of which the Colonel known as Brainiacus had no comprehension.

National wars had reduced significantly after the Alien Wars.  With the realization that there were beings intent on claiming Earth for their own, even blood feuds were put aside for the common goal.  Now that there had not been an Alien War for almost 25 years, some groups were engaged in hostile activities, but for the most part the world had calmed down.  National armies were equipped with the equipment to fight off the Aliens, while X-Com continued to focus on the trouble areas, most prominently the Frontier now.

Even though X-Com was now a corporate entity, Cyriacus reasoned, they still had something that national militaries did not.  They could claim to represent Earth as a whole, due to what was essentially their lack of nationality.  It was somewhat odd that such an entity would be a company looking out for its bottom line, but whatever the other arguments were, people would continue to see X-Com in their most favourable light, even though they had ceased being exactly that.

Thoughts like that were in some ways discomforting as well.  How many other blinders were in place for society?
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#9 DragonHawk

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 04:52 PM

It was the 18th of February.  Toronto was hardly the bussling place it used to be before the Alien Wars... back then, it had been an active mega-city with millions of people living in and around it.  Now... well, it was still bussling, but it was a different kind of activity, perhaps even more ferverent.

With the damage from T'leth wreaking havoc on much of the planet, governments were experimenting with different habitats for humanity.  As it was, the T'leth disaster meant that a lot of Americans and Mexicans, not to mention much of the Carribean population, had left Earth to colonize space.  However, many wanted to stay.

A grand experiment was being conducted over a number of former-megacities.  These cities, including Toronto, New York, and London, were to become self-contained cities, with hydroponics, recycling facilities, and living space.  Even the facilities on the Moon and the fledgling Mars facility were not exactly self-contained - they required supply from Earth.  Other colonies did not have the luxuries of Earth, nor the increasingly-hostile atmosphere, so did not need a dome.  Yes, these cities were to be a very bold experiment.

Much of the city was coming into operation.  Already, a number of apartment buildings had been erected to house the legions of construction workers and service industry personnel.  The waitress herself, working at one of the local bars, lived in the mass apartment complex.  It was simple but functional, and she certainly enjoyed the work.  Not only was she working the pub, but she was also to be one of the first residents...  That would be exciting.  

For now though, construction continued.  From what she could hear, the vehicle transportation system, utilizing some sort of magnet under the road, was being built in what would be the northern industrial section.  In the pub, a number of construction workers were already toasting another hard day's work.  

In one isolated corner though, a curious person sat.  She obviously was not a construction worker, but the hard set in her eyes spoke a hidden edge.  She had been polite enough - the two had even chatted briefly - but there seemed to be a very deep reserve about her.

*****

Anne Rallwell looked around the establishment.  It was certainly very new looking... maybe only a couple of years old?  She had toured this new city, already being dubbed "Mega-Primus", with a couple of the other X-Com members.  It was impressive indeed... she wondered whether she would grow old before the city was complete.  The timeline was somewhat ambitious, but they were already ahead, so it could well happen.  The 'grand construction overlord', as Rallwell thought of her, seemed to be very pleased, especially as her counterparts in other cities had run into snags.

The group had decided to disperse for a while before going out to grab some food and drink, which was why she was waiting.  Why am I always early, she groused to herself.
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#10 ShadowBlade

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 08:17 PM

Continued from my last post, on Sep 19 2004.

JG: Goorit moved closer to Faith and spoke to her rather whispering because younger Faith was still playing around on the floor. "How am I going to introduce you to mom?" Jonathan was puzzled and asked for his grown sister's opinion.

FRG: Faith grinned slightly.  "I have no idea.  Maybe we should hide the fact... well...  I don't know.  I guess we'll play it by ear and see how it turns out."  Faith had wondered that herself, but she had no solutions; it would seem weird regardless.

VG: Victoria wandered back into the room with some refreshments, including a little cup that little Faith grabbed at enthusiastically, despite the strangers in their house.  "Please have a seat, have a seat."

JG: Standing up, Jon walked towards the living room's table and sat down. He was still doubtful about the way he should introduce adult Faith, and decided to wait till his mother asked about her. "Mmm! What's that you bring, mom?" Shadow smiled, glancing at the refreshments.

FRG: Faith looked into the cup.  It looked sort of like pineapple juice - it had been her favourite as a kid.  Brought back some memories too... the house didn't though - it was a house she never remembered living in.

VG: "It's pineapple juice... not fresh, unfortunately.  The concentrate stuff was all I had, I wasn't expecting company...  By the way, you haven't introduced me to your friend."  Victoria waited expectantly for Shadow to introduce them.

JG: "Ah, it should be fine, thanks a lot. I'm kinda thirsty, you know, the excitement and all that." Jon commented, trying to ignore his mother's question since he hadn't thought of a way to introduce his grown sister. Hopefully she had thought of a way...

FRG: Faith smiled outwardly, but cursed inwardly as she came to the realization that she had to think of something smart to say.  "Hi, I'm...  Well, oddly enough, I'm a Faith too."  Faith smiled down at her younger counterpart, who looked up in recognition of her name.

VG: "Well, isn't that a coincidence," Victoria said with a smile.  "Hear that, Faith?  Jon's friend's name is the same as yours.  Are you also a member of X-Com?"

JG: "She is my comrade in arms, a Sergeant like me." Jon smiled and drank a bit from the pineapple juice. It was tasty despite not being fresh.

FRG: Faith nodded rather enthusiastically.  "Yes, I'm a member of X-Com...  A line trooper, if such a thing existed in X-Com, like Jon.  We've seen some interesting places together."  Doh, she thought.  I hope Mom doesn't take that the wrong way!

VG: "Well, well, a lively occupation"  She smiled at the two, relieved that Jon had come back.  "Where have you been all these years, Jonnie?  X-Com had told me that you were..."  Victoria stopped herself.

JG: "What, mom, what did they tell you?" Jonathan wondered what did the X-Com administration made up for their disappearance. He still wanted to reveal everything to her, though he wasn't sure how would he do it.

FRG: Faith leaned forward, curious to know how the organization worked.  It was a bit... well, I suppose X-Com now had different worries than X-Com of the future.  

VG: "Well..."  She paused, then started again.  "Well, they said that there was an accident.  Something with the Patton...  Sebastian explained it to me back then, but I can't remember the details.  The Patton lost control, hit Mars...  Sebastian confirmed that there was an explosion on Mars."  Victoria wiped a tear from her eye.

JG: Jonathan could hold it any more. "Mom, please promise me you won't tell this to anybody." Jon took a deep breath and hoped his mother would follow his advice. "The Patton didn't hit Mars. We entered some kind of wormhole that sent us hundreds of light years away from Earth. From then on we spent our entire time fighting the aliens side by side with a friendly alien race, the Ascidians. One of our detachments made it possible for us to come back to Earth, but..." Shadow went silent, remembering the brave efforts of Kappa Team, who were still fighting back in Ascidian space. "I... I hope they're alright..." Goorit sighed profoundly.

FRG: Faith studied her mother's face, seeing how she took the revelation.  Not great, Faith supposed, but not bad.  Her boy WAS home, after all, so she had to be happy about that.

VG: Victoria was speechless for a moment.  The whole story seemed far-fetched... a corner of her mind also reminded her that her son returning from the dead was far-fetched.  For a moment, she wondered whether she was going insane, but then a righteousness assumed its position.  "How dare they not tell me that"

JG: "It's predictable, mother. Revealing the truth may've caused unrest, you know." Jonathan commented and smiled to his mother.

VG: The momentary anger passed, and she settled down again.  "I suppose its alright; the details aren't so important.  My baby boy is back," Victoria said with a smile.  "So, uhh.. are you two... you know... uhhh..."

JG: "NO" Jonathan commented sharply. Then he calmed down a bit. "No, mom, she's not my girlfriend." Shadow didn't know how to continue, didn't know how long could he keep the odd secret.

FRG: Faith nearly choked on the pineapple juice.  Involved with...  OMG, gross!  "No, no, I actually just live nearby, so I decided to drop by..."  Faith's eyes bugged out momentarily, as she realized that perhaps saying that was a slip.

VG: "Oh, what a coincidence!  Where does your family live?  Maybe I know them already..."  A cloud passed over Victoria's expression.  She knew a few of the neighbours... none of them had children in X-Com, let alone...

JG: This was getting too far, so Shadow couldn't help start explaining the XCR events. "Listen, mother, on our journey we encountered a special branch of X-Com... that came from the future." Jon informed and paused for a while. "We met several of their members, and Faith..." Shadow's voice burned out, and he remained staring at his glass, speechless.

FRG: Little Faith was wandering around, so Faith picked her up to look at her more closely.  Such a long time ago...  "I... I..."  She lost herself in her younger counterpart's eyes.  Turning Little Faith around to look at her mother, Faith said, "I guess we have to come clean.  There isn't really a coincidence...  I'm this Faith here, but from the future."  Faith realized she sounded a bit lame, but what else could she say?

VG: "Excuse me?"  She looked from Jon to Faith, then to her daughter...  She must be misunderstanding.  "I'm afraid you've lost me.  You cannot be..."  Victoria stopped.  She DID look like a member of the family, down to having Jon's distinctive hair.  She even looked a bit like Sebastian...

JG: "It's true mom... this Faith is my sister too." Jon stood up and kneeled in front of his mother. "I have two sisters... who happen to be the same person." This was extremely odd, but things had to be revealed.

FRG: Faith felt like she was in some sort of space opera.  She gave little Faith a pat on the head before putting her down.  "I can't say when exactly I'm from as that future may never come to pass, but I remember you, vividly, from years ago... I remember the agony, the sorrow of losing Jon, most of all."

VG: "That's... that's..."  Victoria couldn't quite find the words to describe this.  She might have said 'impossible', except for the seriousness on her son's face.  "I don't know what to say."

JG: "I couldn't keep this from you any longer, mom. You had to know this." Jon said to his speechless mother. Her face was pale of the surprise.

VG: "Well...  I guess I should be thankful then that two of my children are still alive...  I think I'll not get used to it, but I'll try."  She took both Jon and her Faiths into her arms, giving them a tight hug.

FRG: Faith cries as she hugs her mother, her younger mother.  It reminds her of a security that she thought long gone.  

JG: "Mom... I missed you so much..." Jon hugged his mother and sisters and let loose a few tears, which slid down his face. Jonathan was finally home, and his new life wasn't far from perfect.
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#11 DragonHawk

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 08:42 PM

Sim Log - 26 September 2004
Pvt. Rallwell - DragonHawk
Sgt. Shadow - ShadowBlade
Pvt. Ryan - DragonHawk
Cpl. Cabeza - Zager
Cpl. Evander - Atzel


The pub is starting to get crowded now, but in her corner, Rallwell still dominates, waiting for the rest of the 'Mega-Primus Tour Group.' While very new looking, the pub still radiates a very old-world feel, with rough-hewn wood walls and bizarre decorations. Above their table is an ancient plow, probably unused for a good century.

Pvt. Rallwell: Rallwell tapped her fingers against the table impatiently.  Where the heck were the other guys?  Those lazy, good-for-nothing...

Sgt. Shadow: Jonathan walked into the pub not two minutes later. He looked around the familiar layouts and smiled, since he had seen nothing but the NAO or Patton's mess hall during several years. He noticed Anne a few tables away from him, and walked towards her. "Hey, Anne, how's it going?" Jon smiled and sit down next to her.

Pvt. Rallwell: Shadow!  You made it!  ::Rallwell waved him over and gave him a hug.::  How's your vacation been so far?

Pvt. Ryan: Ryan ran through the streets.  He was late!  Of all things...  Mega-Primus had been an interesting city, but the technology to turn on the damn shower... that had been a pain in the ass.  Not to mention the colour scheme hurt his eyes, but he got past that eventually.  He stepped into the pub, the Dangly Sectoid, and found Shadow and Rallwell already there.  "Hey guys"

Pvt. Rallwell: Rallwell waved to Ryan as well.  "Good to see you, Jarl.  Welcome to our little meeting.  I don't know where the hell Lieutenant Scott and Malarkey are... shall we order some drinks?"

Sgt. Shadow: "Sure" Jonathan commented rather loudly and waved at the bartender. "A round of beer mugs over here, please" Shadow requested and faced the rest of the tour people again. "So, what have you been up to lately?" Jon asked.

Pvt. Ryan: "Not much over here.  Went home, saw the folks, the usual stuff... It's been relaxing, I'll have to admit that."  Ryan didn't want to talk about the nightmares... they were probably common to everyone, and it wasn't something he needed to bring up.

Pvt. Rallwell: "I've been nearby actually...  Ko lives just an hour away, or his folks do anyway.  Not sure about his brother..."  Rallwell grinned and shrugged, pausing as the beers were brought to the table.  "Well, a toast.  What should we toast?  To X-Com?"

Sgt. Shadow: "By all means" Jon rose his recently delivered mug of beer. "To X-Com, ladies and gentlemen" Shadow toasted his mug with the other soldiers, though not many had come, unfortunately.

Pvt. Ryan: "To X-Com"  Ryan grinned and took a swallow of beer.  It wasn't bad, this local stuff, but not quite like home.  "Ergh, not bad, not bad at all," he commented to the others.

Cpl. Cabeza: "Somebody say X-COM?" asked Britt Cabeza. He had just walked in. He stood about five foot ten and was bald. Fairly nondescript otherwise, he was wearing a conservative three piece suit. The most notable thing about him were his eyes. They were purple, one of the known symptoms of overexposure to elerium.

Pvt. Rallwell: "To X-Com"  Rallwell did the same, rising and lifting her mug.  She took a tentative swallow...  Alcohol never agreed with her...  The new voice was startling though, and she looked at the newcomer.  "That's right, X-Com.  We're recently... uhh... returned."

Cpl. Cabeza: Britt walked over. "Really? Pleasure to meet you. I'm Corporal Britt Cabeza, psionics."

Pvt. Ryan: Ryan grinned and pulled an extra chair up.  "Another man of war.  Have a seat buddy.  I'm Jarl Ryan, a medical corpsman."  Ryan offered his hand.  

Cpl. Cabeza: Britt shook Ryan's hand. "Always a pleasure to meet a corpsman. I'd be dead a dozen times over if it wasn't for your branch, back during the second war. Let me buy you a drink."

Sgt. Shadow: Jonathan shaked hands with Cabeza. "Sergeant Jonathan Goorit, please to meet you, comrade." Shadow smiled and took a swig off his mug. The Terran beer was a lot better than the Ascidian ale or the synthetic-tasting beer served on the Patton.

Pvt. Ryan: "Thanks, much appreciated."  Ryan grinned, but didn't pursue the conversation, letting the others go and introduce themselves.  The man didn't look X-Com... except maybe the expression, the depth behind the eyes.  Then again, who would look like X-Com in a suit?

Pvt. Rallwell: "Anne Rallwell, engineering."  Rallwell also offered her hand over the table.  "How's the service been for you, Corporal?"

Cpl. Cabeza: "Pretty good," replied Britt, as he sat down. "'It was a little rough at the start, but the second alien war was just one big mess. But besides that, I've done a lot of good work for X-COM and humanity."

Pvt. Ryan: "A vet of the second war?  Then you've seen your fair share, more than your fair share," Ryan said.  "When are you looking at retiring?"  Ryan could only look forward to that - he still had a lot of years to go before full retirement pay kicked in.

Cpl. Cabeza: "Retiring? Don't know. Been a while, yeah, but I've got quite a few good years left in me. Ol' Corporal Cabeza can still bend minds with the best of 'em. And, of course, civilians can't get psi-amps."

Sgt. Shadow: "Ah... My father fought in the Second Alien War..." Jonathan stopped and frowned, remembering his old man's unfortunate fate. He tried to forget it taking another swig.

Pvt. Rallwell: Rallwell nodded at Goorit, then tried to cover up for him by pushing the topic elsewhere.  "True, psi-amps aren't exactly for public consumption.  Dangerous tool to have when outside the discipline of the military."  Or paramilitary, for that matter, she thought.  "We're just back from Mars, actually, and as you can probably tell, none of us are even close to retiring."

Cpl. Cabeza: "Goorit, Goorit," mused Britt. "Of course, I remember a Goorit. Robert Goorit. I was in the same squad at the end of the war."

Cpl. Evander: She enters the pub wearing her dress uniform which looks as if it hasn't been worn in a while and pretty snug all over. Either that or she liked it that way. The leave from the Patton seems to have done her well and has put the swagger back in her step...  grinning she waltzes up to the bar.

Sgt. Shadow: "Yes, you met my father? His squad was sent to T'leth to end the war. But... but... nobody make it out of it..." Jon sighed and looked downwards, to the floor. He was getting a bit depressed, but tried to hide it, not very successfully though.

Cpl. Evander: "Sarge, Corporal Evander reporting for duty, sir. Heard there was an, ehm, surplus of fermented suger here that needed taking care off"

Pvt. Rallwell: Rallwell saw Evander glide into the bar like some sort of faerie, and she laughed.  "Hey Malarkey!  Over here"  She grinned as Evander reported in to Shadow.

Cpl. Cabeza: "Not quite true," replied Britt, sighing. Memory lane had taken a turn into the darkness. "I was there. Five minutes after we landed, I took a blast from a sonic cannon in the chest., they had to medevac me. Lost all my friends that day. I saw the place blow while the vehicle was pulling away. I was in therapy for six months. Suicidal."

Cpl. Evander: :: Turns slighty and looks at Rallwell and grins to Shadow... "scuse me Sarge, but I must go, ehm... talk to the men.." She does something that could be taken for salute, if your tolerances were lose enough and walks down the bar towards Rallwell, ordering a pint of the cheap local stuff... judging from her walk she's already had some with a bit to spare. "Ey' Anny girl! How's life?  Or more importantly... " she points at her glass "how's this stuff?" ::

Pvt. Ryan: Ryan nodded somberly at Cabeza, letting him reminisce in peace.  What was seen on T'leth... that was beyond him.  Then again, maybe his kids would be saying the same thing about what he had seen, if it should ever come to pass.

Sgt. Shadow: "At ease, corporal..." Slightly depressed Shadow replied to Atzel's salute and sat down again. Then he turned back to Britt. "Lucky you, corporal..." Jon sighed.

Pvt. Rallwell: Rallwell grabbed another chair so that Evander could sit between Ryan and Rallwell.  "Life, well, I enjoy being alive, thanks.  It looks like you do too.  As for the beer, alcohol isn't my style.  Ask Ryan, he's a bigger drinker than I.  How's your vacation been?"

Cpl. Cabeza: "Yeah. Lucky. And please, call me Britt. Cabeza if you must. Not corporal. We're not on duty."

Pvt. Ryan: Ryan hefted his beer in Cabeza's direction, in respect of his participation in T'leth.  "So, Britt, what's your current posting now?  You assigned to Mega-Primus permanent, or just here for a visit?"

Cpl. Evander: Evander takes a seat and a drink "I've been drenching my sorrows in happy little pubs all along the bonnie isles of Britan" she grins slightly "Heh, naa, acctally I've been on a bit of a hiking vacation, walked the Great Glen... yeself?"  She does look healthier than usually, but mostly because she's got a sun tan most country singers would be jealous of.

Cpl. Cabeza: "I got back from the frontier three months ago," replied Britt, happy to change the subject. "Took a bullet down in Antartica when the cult attacked one of our supposodly hidden research facilities. Right now, they've got me on therapy duty, but I'm hoping to swing a transfer to a combat squad soon. Failing that, maybe get involved in the Zbrite research ol Doc Zager is doing."

Pvt. Rallwell: "Meh, spent some time with Derrick's parents... hanging out just west of here.  No family for me..."  Rallwell's throat closed for a second, then she pushed it away.  "Pretty much been relaxing, you know... figuring out what I want the future to look like."

Pvt. Ryan: Ryan nodded.  "I've taken folks off the active list before - I know how they feel.  Always want to get back into the fray."  Well, he didn't, Ryan mused to himself, but what choices were there?  Combat had always scared the crap out of him... but dealing with it was an aspect of the job.

Cpl. Cabeza: "Well, not much of a fray going on now, is there? I mean, unless you're a pilot or a technician, there isn't much use for grunts out in the Frontier. I just don't like manning a desk. Boring."

Pvt. Ryan: "Well..."  Ryan caught Rallwell's eye, then nodded.  He wasn't supposed to say anything, even to another member of X-Com, at least not that openly.  "Well, some places still have some decent action.  What are you looking for, really?"

Cpl. Cabeza: Britt shrugged. "I don't know, someplace where I could feel useful. I'm a latent psionic, with a 96 on the Zager psionic scale. I want to use it, help humanity. Do what I signed up for."

Sgt. Shadow: Goorit had remained silent for a few minutes now, because of all this father talk. However, he took a deep swig off his mug and tried to integrate himself to the subject. "It should be nice to have a new psionist in the team, the last ones, well..." Dang, he thought to himself after talking.

Cpl. Cabeza: "Last ones? Where were you serving anyways? The Frontier? Mars was your stop off point before coming back to Earth?" asked Britt, curiously.

Cpl. Evander:  She nods, twirling the glass in her hand and then takes an other drink "Anybody heard anything about when they're going to call us back into duty? And where, in that case? I'd go postal if they send me to some godforsaken freighter in the arsehole of the universe... Like, running hydrogen from Pluto to Mars."

Pvt. Ryan: "It's sorta classified, buddy, I'm sorry.  We came off a black op, just recently.  No harm to say, as its common knowledge that the Patton returned recently - we were on her."  Ryan looked to Goorit then Evander.  "I got no idea about where next...  but I can guess, with our experiences.  Are you folks going to stay on if we get called back to... to...  there?"

Cpl. Evander: She shrugs "Yeah... sure... now when we know how to get back, its not the same thing, innit? 'Sides, I heard we're getting some new serious hardware." She wiggles her eyebrows and drains her beer.

Cpl. Cabeza: "Patton story's a coverup then, right?" said Britt, a few things clicking into place in his mind. "Thought so. I was on Mars a few years back, when we were finalizing the Martech X-COM deal concerning the sale of our base. I couldn't see how we could miss finding the Patton, what with all the survey's and probes done searching for mineral deposits."

Pvt. Rallwell: "Yeah, the explosion stuff was all made up.  Well, it wasn't, as there was an explosion, but certainly any 'wreckage' found was not ours, nor could it ever really be traced to us."  Rallwell shook her head.  "Besides, I talked with Gael yesterday, he's spending his vacation on Mars, and he says we can't go back on our own, we..."  She coughed slightly, then stopped.

Pvt. Ryan: "I don't know if I can do it again," Ryan said quietly.  "I'm just not sure.  I wouldn't mind having a cushy role to play for once, behind the desk as Britt puts it."

Cpl. Cabeza: "Go back where? Or is this one of those classified things again. I've got pretty high security clearance, you know," stated Britt, still trying to figure out what was going on. It sounded interesting.

Pvt. Rallwell: Rallwell eyed Cabeza carefully.  Maybe he would be a good asset.  "No security clearance is high enough for an enlisted man.  Even most officers aren't allowed to know...  But we could use a man who's seen some action and knows how things work.  Ask to be transferred to Colonel Cyriacus' unit... I'll write it down here..."  She scribbled 'Col. Brad Cyriacus, Cydonia Expedition' on a piece of paper then slid it across to Cabeza.

Cpl. Cabeza: "I'll see about that, thanks," replied Cabeza, taking the paper and slipping it into his pocket.

Pvt. Ryan: Ryan stretched, then looked at the time.  "Geez, it's getting late.  I guess it's time to call it a night, eh?  Part 2 of the Mega-Primus tour is tomorrow...  recyclers and other crap."  Ryan tried to put the negativity about his future X-Com role behind.  "Shall we leave other discussion for tomorrow night's festivities?"

Sgt. Shadow: Shadow had drank too much to put away his depressing and had been asleep on the table for several minutes now, his mug empty next to his head. He was snoring, but the general noise of the pub masked that.

Pvt. Rallwell: "Yeah, sounds good to me.  Besides, I can see that Atz really needs to leave... and use the washroom."  Rallwell winked at Evander.  "Too much beer.  Ryan, it's your job to drag Jon back to the hotel...  It's a man job, not a woman job," she said with a laugh.

With that, the X-Com troopers pay their tabs, leave the pub, and stumble on back to the Best Western hotel they've been assigned to. Half-carrying and half-dragging Shadow, the group finally makes it after half an hour of trudging around. They hit the sack exhausted, only to be woken up after five hours for the next phase of the tour.
Lance Corporal Derrick "DragonHawk" Ko
Combat Engineer, Kappa Team
X-Com Alliance Sim

#12 DragonHawk

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 04:33 PM

The memories of home still lingering in his mind, he stepped back onto X-Com owned concrete.  Looking with some trepidation at the administration building, Commander Richter Weindhoven sighed.  Vacations always seemed to go by so fast.  He had spent the time visiting with both family and friends and was experienced enough to know that the leave was not as long as he first imagined.  He made his rounds with due diligence, as he always did on leave.

Now, business was at hand.  Weindhoven started towards the front door.  The building wasn't a military base; it was just an office building.  The reflective outer surface of the skyscraper was impressively clean.  A large number of people, both X-Com and civilian, walked purposefully through the doors.  Brisk business, thought Weindhoven.

The elevator took him to the personnel department on the sixth floor.  Weindhoven didn't have to wait very long; it wasn't busy this time.

"Colonel Hrudey will see you now," said a bored secretary.

"Thank you."  Weindhoven stepped into the Colonel's office.  It was, as all offices tended to be, immaculate.  Everything from the window to the desk surface reflected the morning light.  Suddenly, Weindhoven felt a little tension.  I've never been an office warrior, he said to himself mentally.  Am I destined to be reassigned to one?

"Commander Weindhoven.  I'm Bill Hrudey.  Please have a seat."

The other man, tall and angular, gave off a positively bureaucratic aura.  "Thank you, Colonel," said Weindhoven politely.

"Please, call me Bill.  Now, I just need to take up a bit of your time to discuss your next assignment."

Please not an office!

"Your evaluations are all good, from what I can see."  Hrudey continued flipping through the file.  "Yes, indeed, your record looks top-notch, if I may say so, Richter."

Weindhoven ignored the informality offered by Colonel Hrudey.  Have my records been tampered with?  I suppose I can't lose, but...  "May I see my file, Colonel?"

The Colonel's face clouded over somewhat, but he handed the folder over.  "Of course, sir."

Weindhoven made a show of interest in the first few pages.  Murmuring to himself, he almost felt ready to explode.  I want the damn last page!  Why can't I read in peace and privacy?  Finally, having lost patience, he skipped a large section and went straight to the end.

The last three years of his life, desperate years spent away from anything remotely human, were summarized in two lines:

Cydonia Expedition - CLASSIFIED
Commendation awarded for undisclosed service to X-Com


Weindhoven sighed.  More blackouts.  It was necessary, but...  Weindhoven wondered briefly whether he wanted to see more commentary due to his ego.  Probably.  He handed the folder back.

"There's a note in your file actually, about your next assignment."  Hrudey coughed as he looked at his computer screen.  "It seems that you've been tagged for a return to your previous post.  Very strongly, I'd have to say."

"What are my options?"

"Well, I can try getting you another assignment, if that is your wish.  I can tell you right now though, the avenues I can try will be very limited, as you've been flagged by the upper echelons of command."  Hrudey looked over at Weindhoven and shrugged.  "You could resign as well, but you'd be forfeiting any retirement pay that you would normally be entitled to for time-in-service."

"I wasn't thinking of retiring really," said Weindhoven.  "So I guess my options are pretty scarce."

"Yes sir, that's how I see it.  Was the last posting so bad?  A long one, so I heard."

Damn, even the offices know about the damn mission.  "You know I can't say, so don't bother prying."  Weindhoven ignored the official for a moment.

Now that he was at the moment of truth, he was having a difficult time deciding whether to stay on.  X-Com needed knowledgeable people on Ascidia, people who knew the ins and outs of Ascidian diplomacy, which he did.  Weindhoven was sure that if he asked for one, he would not get another combat assignment.  Command would not likely risk their resources.  Weindhoven came to the realization that his combat days were probably over, especially if he did not return to Ascidia.  That was probably the most chilling thought of the day.

"OK, sign me up for a 'return to post'."

"Very well."  Hrudey took out a block of forms.  "Please sign here, and here, and here..."


Later that day...

"Undisclosed service...  I had that in my file too.  I thought it meant something dirty at first."

"By an ugly sectoid's dangly bits, Brad, why do you say stuff like that?"  

"Sorry Richter."  Cyriacus brandished his mug of beer about.  "Alcohol talking."

The two of them were in a little, out-of-the-way watering hole.  It was on the outskirts of the city, far enough away from Administration that Cyriacus felt a bit more relaxed.  He wasn't a great fan of authority; he realized the irony of his position.  The place was a bit run down, but it was functional and served decent alcohol.

Cyriacus watched Weindhoven take a sip of beer, recoiling rather horribly at the taste.  "Why can't they stock wine," Weindhoven groused.

"Who cares?  Pfft, wine."  Cyriacus took a swig from his mug.  "So, you going back?"

"Yeah."

"Enthusiastic as always."

"Would have been a pretty ugly blot on my record if I didn't.  Same for you."

"How do you figure?"

Weindhoven leaned across the table.  The expression on his face was somewhat exaggerated, as he had had his fair share of alcohol as well.  "Look, even if you chose to try for another assignment, what would have happened?  I'll tell you what.  You would be stuck behind a desk or in some other safe position.  There is no way that the Powers That Be will let us die, at least not until they have more troopers acclimated to the environment.  If we go back, we help them get used to things faster, we look helpful for doing so, and we come back covered in classified pseudo-glory."  Weindhoven leaned back, obviously impressed with his own analysis.

"Sure, I guess.  You think they'd flog us for bailing out?"

"Maybe not officially, but..."

"I get it."  Cyriacus resumed drinking, lost in thought.  He too had agreed to go back, though he didn't really know his role.  That was for them to iron out, here and now.  "So, you're reinstated then?"

"Of course I am, you dolt."  Weindhoven made a sour face as he thought about that incident.  His expression softened somewhat.  "You did a good job Brad, and I thank you for that.  I know it's not great seeing your command lost after being acting CO...  Trust me, I know."

Cyriacus shrugged.  "Thanks, but I'm not too worried.  As it is, some disturbing number of people are going to be assigned there...  There will be more than enough people to order around, even for you."

Weindhoven ignored the jab, covering his reaction with another mouthful of foul beer.  "Agreed.  I will stay in Nova Alpha Omega as overall commander of X-Com in Ascidia.  I need an XO and a detachment commander, either of which you are suited for."

"XO... you mean stuck at base?  Hell no."  Cyriacus shook his head.  "I'll stay as your detachment commander though.  It'll be pretty much the same operation as before anyway.  Am I keeping the Patton?"

"It's not yours!  However, the Patton will keep you as her pilot and captain, as well as acting as the independent detachment operations centre."

"Who's the mobile team going to be?"

Weindhoven shrugged and set his empty mug down.  "Your choice.  I would pick a mix of veterans and new kids though."

Cyriacus nodded as he mentally flipped through the soldiers who had returned to Earth.  "The real question is 'who is staying on?'  So many variables..."

"Kabrons got hauled off to jail, with the exception of Fleche.  Nothing we can do for her now.  They might just let her go, based on her good behaviour.  Howardson, well, he's probably going to spend the rest of his life in a backwater post - Command won't want to risk him spilling his guts to the public.  All XCR members are going back, no questions - as far as Command is concerned, they cannot stay here."

"A pity."

Weindhoven rolled his eyes.  "Others... Well, all up to them.  I suspect though, with most people's experiences, they'll either bail out of X-Com altogether or return to Arkunis; not too many are going to just stick around X-Com for kicks.  After all, it just wouldn't be the same would it?"

"No, you're right.  I'll talk to the troops when they come back."  Cyriacus hoped that a number would stay.  Taking on fresh recruits would be a pain, exceeded only by taking on loudmouthed, arrogant veterans.  Cyriacus knew that they were going to get some problem cases, of course, but he hoped for the best.  "Anyway, it'll be a couple of days before we can worry about that.  How's your vacation been?"
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#13 Zager

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 08:41 PM

JP by DragonHawk and me

Colonel Cyriacus checked the time.  He had booked this small meeting room with the Administration, taking great pains to get past the red tape.  He stood up and looked out of the window, taking in the sight of the city as he waited for his 'new recruit', as he liked to think of it.

This recruit though had more time in service than Cyriacus himself, and he wondered why this Britt Cabeza was interested in his team.

Britt arrived. He was dressed in his spotless uniform. He adjusted it one last time, and then knocked on the meeting room door.

Cyriacus turned to the door and took a breath.  "Come in"  He checked himself over quickly, but he didn't see anything.  Then again, he wasn't particularly good with formal requirements of the service.

Cabeza opened the door, and walked inside, closing it behind him. He saluted, and said. "Sir, Corporal Britt Cabeza reporting, sir"

Cyriacus returned the salute briskly, then motioned to the chair beside Cabeza.  "Welcome to my temporary home, Corporal.  Please, have a seat."  Just for show, Cyriacus opened up a file folder as he sat down.  "Well, Corporal Cabeza, you requested to see me about the little team I've got forming.  What do you know about us?"

"Very little, sir," replied Cabeza, as he pulled out a chair and sat down. "None of the information about what your force does. All I know is that your operations are black ops, high classification with need to know only access. I also know that you have seen combat action and most likely will in the future."

"And that's your motivating force?  Your record shows a great deal of combat experience already.  I'm curious to know as to why you're interested in gaining more."  Cyriacus flipped the folder shut and leaned back in his chair.  "My task is a bit... unusual, one might say, which is why I have to exercise an extraordinary level of caution."

Cabeza considered teh question. "I would say it's because I'm an idealist, sir. I believe in X-COM's mission statement. Protection of humanity. And I'm not a pilot, my role in the current alien war is very limited. Research is heplful, yes, but my role has always been of testing. The scientists develop a new psionic theory or device, and I test it. I can easily be replaced for that. I feel that I would be most useful serving in a combat role."

Cyriacus smiled and nodded.  "A man of action.  I understand that."  Cyriacus turned to look out the window for a moment, then looked back at Cabeza.  "I'd have to say though, my mission is not exactly the protection of humanity, not in a direct sense. However, as you suspect, my unit in particular will be bearing the brunt of the fighting.  That's acceptable?  I can't afford to have you back out once we hit the ground, you understand."

"Sir, I've never backed down before, and I never will. When a bureaucratic screwup had me and the squad I was serving with armed with gauss rifles and facing loberstermen, we didn't back down then," came Cabeza's calm and cool reply.

Cyriacus had seen the AW2 records in Cabeza's file, and they were fascinating.  That he had survived that particular encounter spoke well of his ability.  "Very well.  Just so you understand there are some differences.  Also note that this is a long term assignment...  You may have noticed," Cyriacus said wryly, "the Patton was gone for quite a while."

"Yes, I did sir. It was of praticular interest to me, since I had nearly volunteered for that mission," the incident Cabeza had refered too had been one of the most dangerous affairs in his time in X-COM. Most of the squad had been killed. The others had only survived by luring the lobstermen into their craft, and then detonating explosives attached to the powersource.

"Good.  Well, I'll say that I would indeed like to have you on-board.  Your skills will be very useful."  He didn't mention that the previous psionisists were long dead.

"And I'd like to be on board, sir," Cabeza stated, ignoring the ancient military commandment about volunteering.

"Good.  Now, background..."  Cyriacus shrugged.  "There's a lot.  I'll give you the Reader's Digest version now.  And uhh...  Needless to say, probably, but the information now is classified and is not to be repeated to anyone not involved."

"Not to worry, sir, I've been involved in enough black projects to know that silence is golden," said Cabeza in response to the Colonel's statement.

"Unlike what reports say, the Patton was not destroyed.  We were pulled through some sort of intra-galactic gate, dubbed the TransTunnel by one of my engineers.  The gate pulled us into another contested area, one ruled by a race calling themselves the Ascidians.  A warrior culture, but not very good on the psionics portion of their war, unlike humans."

"Hostile, I assume," said Cabeza, in reference to the Ascidians.

"At first," Cyriacus grinned, "hostile would have been about right.  However, once they came to the conclusion that we were not some new brand of Alien and that we had fought our own wars against them, they utilized us to perform some uhh... more important operations, ones requiring our innate psionic resistance.  At least, that was the idea."

"Friendly aliens?" said Cabeza, at first unbelievingly, and then finally, he nodded. "It was inevitable, I suppose. After all, it hardly ssems likely that there'd only be one coalition of alien species out there."

No, it does not... and in fact, in the greater space outside of our own little pocket, there are agendas that we cannot even begin to fathom.  Regardless, we are planning on returning to Ascidia, their home planet, to reinforce our Alliance.  If nothing else, allies will give us more power against the Aliens."

"And so that's what I've just volunteered for," said Cabeza. He shrugged. "It sounds important. It would be an honor to be a member of this operation."

"Good.  I will command one of the active detachments, while Commander Richter Weindhoven will oversee all aspects of the our operations.  Lieutenant Joseph Scott is the ground team commander.  He'll let you know where he wants to see you in the team.  Sound fair?"  Cyriacus looked across the table at the older man, but he was hard to gauge.  His steadiness would be an asset as well.

"Perfectly, sir," Cabeza replied, nodding. This should be one of the highlights of his career, thought Cabeza to himself. Possibly something to retire afterwards. Cabeza never let the thought that he might not live through it cross his mind. He'd learned that in the second alien war. Always assume you'll live. If you think you'll die, you will.

"Good, good.  Any questions on your side?  Concerns?"

"Most of the questions I have will probably be answered in the operation briefing, sir. But what I would like to know is has your team operated with a psionic in the past? X-COM use of psionics, after all, was fairly limited after the second war until we discovered the elerium cache on Mars."

"Psionics is a tricky business.  We did have a few, and also some ancient psi-amps, from the stockpiles.  Elerium is also relatively rare on that side of the universe, but since we had inter-system capabilities, the finding of Elerium was not so problematic."

Cyriacus shrugged nonchalantly.  "What was though was producing extra psi-amps... the stuff cobbled together is horrible, though it works after a fashion."

"I assume that you'll be reequiping with the latest models that have come out of the labs, right sir?" asked Cabeza, desperately hoping it would be so.

"I can't say that.  Likely not.  However, we'll be getting whatever is the current run of equipment...  our autocannons, for example, were fairly tempermental, and we'll be getting the new one being produced.  Don't expect much prototype play though."  Cyriacus looked at Cabeza with a grin.  "We won't force you to use our crap stuff."

"Well, that's good to hear, sir. No need for prototypes, an up to date design will suit me just fine."

"Good.  In that case," Cyriacus said as he stood, "Welcome to the team."  He offered his hand across the desk.  "We'll be gathering in the lobby in two days, at noon, so be there with your usual personal gear."

Cabeza shook Cyracius' hand. "Yes sir, I will. What's the weight limit on personal possesions?"

Cyriacus grinned.  "You planning on bringing your kitchen sink?  Double X-Com regs, since we're on a long mission."

"Just want to know how much of my library I'll have to digitize, sir. Say what you like about electronic literature, there's nothing quite like holding a book in your hands when you read it."

"I don't disagree."  Well, at least Cabeza had some good, old-fashioned values.  "Good day, Corporal, and see you again in two days."

"I'll be here at twelve hundred hours sharp," said Cabeza, as he stood up and saluted.

Cyriacus returned Cabeza's salute and nodded as the Corporal left.  "A good addition," he murmured to himself.

#14 Atz

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 08:46 PM

Joint roleplay on #XCAS, participants, yours truly and DragonHawk


<COL_Cyriacus> Colonel Cyriacus checked the clock again.  Cabeza had just left, but he was scheduled to meet with Evander soon...  The office was still brightly lit, the sun pouring its light into the small and drab meeting room.  The only thing with colour was the butt-ugly scenery paintings on the wall...  Cyriacus stopped for a moment to assay their worth.
<CPL_Evander> :: Steps up outside Cyriacus' office door and checks her wrist watch... she was on time, for once. She takes a breath and smoothens her uniform before she raps her knuckles against the door ::
<COL_Cyriacus> Cursing lightly to himself, he murmurs, "Next time I'm leaving the door open."  Out loud, he says, "Come in"  As a habit, he straightens his uniform jacket somewhat, but notices no significant difference in appearance.
<CPL_Evander> :: Opens the door and steps inside, closing it behind her... she snaps her heels together, and fires of a textbook salute. "Colonel, corporal Evander reporting according to orders, Sir" Her uniform is absolutely spotless, though it seems a bit tight, especially over the shoulders... most likely she'd buffed up a bit since she was issued it. ::
<COL_Cyriacus> Cyriacus returns Evander's salute, then motions for her to take a seat.  "Corporal Evander.  How's your vacation been, thus far?"  He seated himself as well.  This time, he didn't have a file folder - he knew Evander's history, or at least as much as mattered to him.
<CPL_Evander> :: Stands at ease and takes a seat "Quite well, Sir. I've been hiking with me old air force mates." she says, flashing a quick smile. ::
<COL_Cyriacus> "Good, good.  However, since I don't want to disrupt your vacation too much, let's get down to business.  First off, are you interested in staying with the team?"
<CPL_Evander> :: Shifts her eyes slightly to the left for a second before she looks back, nodding slightly "Yessir, absolutely Sir. I've still got a score to settle with ol' E-T... and from what I've heard the blokes'kk need a good pilot."
<COL_Cyriacus> "Indeed, and we do."  Cyriacus grinned.  She is enthusiastic, at least, he thought.  "However, having said that, I also have other concerns.  Due to manpower issues, we've been evacuating shuttles so that the crew can participate in the ground mission, but now I think I can scrape together more personnel."  Cyriacus hesitates, not sure how to bring the next part up.
<CPL_Evander> :: Nods, having taken an inofficial course in Officer Managment from her old wing man in the RAF "Glad to hear it, Sir" she says, about as expressionate as a stone.
<COL_Cyriacus> "This means that I have choices to make.  You're an excellent pilot, Evander, and a good ground operative - hard combination to find anywhere."  Cyriacus decides to just plunge right into the issue.  "With the extra manpower, I no longer need my pilots to leave their shuttles.  I don't want to waste your versatility though." >>>
<COL_Cyriacus> "I'm expecting that we will be engaging in far more raiding in the future, to keep the enemy off-balance.  I'm planning on having one pilot on the ground, to help coordinate air strikes and, if necessary, to steal alien craft.  I want to make the war in Ascidia too expensive for the Aliens to maintain. >>>
<COL_Cyriacus> >>> I've got another pilot who has volunteered to undertake this role, but her skills are not quite as profound as yours...  You are the senior pilot though, and I'm willing to let you decide whether to join the ground crew as the naval ops coordinator, or whether to take full command of the assault shuttle..."  Cyriacus coughs.  "... which has yet to be assigned."
<CPL_Evander> :: Hmms.. "So... basically, I fly in, leave the co-pilot in charge and go with the ground crew to bring the pain to the Aliens? And.. what exactly is the role of an "assault shuttle", Sir?"
<COL_Cyriacus> Cyriacus sighed slightly.  "The choice is whether to go in with the ground team, which means you will not be the primary pilot for the assault shuttle, or you will fulfill your prior role as assault shuttle pilot.  The assault shuttle, essentially the... Well, it would have been the Avenger, but..."
<CPL_Evander> :: Raises a brow "Sir, with all due respect... we can't use the Avanger as an assault craft after drop off... if it gets shot down, we'd be stuck... and, Sir, close air support with a lone craft.. and, frankly, the Avenger is about as manuverable as a hippo on slow speeds. I would gladly operate as a Naval Op Co, but in that case we need some kind of gunship or fighter bomber wing."
<COL_Cyriacus> Cyriacus groaned inwardly.  "The Avenger, as it was, is a reasonably good ship still.  As you say though, it's a shuttle and not a dedicated ground attack vessel.  Corporal Vonaire is the ground attack specialist, it will be his job to hit what needs to be hit."
<CPL_Evander> :: Nods "Yessir... hmm, what are our current orders, Sir? Prep-date, shipping out, baggage allowance, that kind of things?"
<COL_Cyriacus> Cyriacus nodded and made a mental note to contact the other pilot again.  "Two days, we meet in the lobby at noon to be shipped out to one of X-Com's secret facilities... I'm not sure if I got my orders from a total joker.  At any rate, you're allowed double the regulation allowance of personal items, not including uniforms and issued crap like that."
<CPL_Evander> :: Smacks her tongue, looking at the ceiling. "Hmm.. Sir, will there be a search of personal artifacts for contraband? If so, what is considered contraband?"
<COL_Cyriacus> "If you have to ask that question..."  Cyriacus looked at Evander.  Was she hiding something?  "I don't want inappropriate items in your luggage, Atzel.  The definition of contraband is subject to regs - no drugs, no child pornography.  Those, as far as I know, are the obvious ones."
<CPL_Evander> :: Raises a brow "...do you think I'd bring any of those two. No, I'm talking about my boombox, music collection... that kind of stuff. Just asking because I've been refused to bring such stuff before, Sir, its a called for question, innit, Sir?
<CPL_Evander> :: Twists, her mouth slightly and mumbles "Ehm, that and some non-regulary equipment..."
<COL_Cyriacus> Cyriacus grinned with relief.  "Well, the boombox is not what I would define as contraband, just a weighty item.  Bring it.  Forward me the mass and volume, and I will make a note of your extra allowance.  Don't go nuts with the music though, I don't want you taking up the entire hold.  Non-reg equipment needs to be cleared as well...  I don't care about piddling stuff, but if you've brought a pink motorcycle helmet to use on the ground..
<CPL_Evander> :: Bits her lip "Err.... just, ehm, a 12-gauge, Sir. Its better for CQC than the standard sidearm."
<COL_Cyriacus> Cyriacus thought for a moment.  Aliens were generally unarmed anyway - maybe getting more shotguns would be a good idea.  "I may requisition some from Ascidian Special Ops, as I know they have an interesting one, but until then...  Model, manufacturer, serial number, along with the boombox specs.  Anything else I should know of?"
<CPL_Evander> :: Thinks for a few seconds "No Sir, I don't think so, Sir."
<COL_Cyriacus> "Good.  If there is anything else, let me know."  Cyriacus stood and offered Evander his hand.  "Good to hear you're staying with us, Corporal.  You've done some good work so far, and I expect more of the same in the future."
<CPL_Evander> :: Quickly stands up herself and shakes his hand, smiling slightly "Thank you, Sir. I won't let ye down."
<COL_Cyriacus> "Good, now scat back to your vacation, while I interview your teammates.  See you in two days."  
<CPL_Evander> :: Fires off a quick salute "Sir, yes Sir"... she walks towards the door and adds "Good day, Sir" before she walks through it, closing it behind her"

#15 DragonHawk

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 04:34 PM

Mission Briefing

Mission Log
Lance Corporal Derrick "DragonHawk" Ko
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#16 DragonHawk

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 08:02 PM

<<Joint Post: Private Chris XIGGORES (Strong_Bob) and Private Anne RALLWELL (DH)>>

X-Com Mars Research Facility, 25 February 2068


The medbay was relatively quiet now. The medbay was not the Patton's, but it was the cleared one belonging to the Mars Research Facility. They were somewhat peeved that they were being pushed away, but they didn't really want to be involved in such a hush-hush situation.

A bunch of the medical and scientific team were waiting for Lieutenant Scott to pull off the mission. They were the medical support - if there was an injured Ascidian, they were to provide the appropriate medical attention. Lt. Yorke was already prepping himself, calming himself.

AR:  Rallwell looked to Xiggores, letting Yorke concentrate on his own.  The two of them had accompanied Yorke to the base, and the waiting was almost unbearable.  She wondered whether he ship might NOT be Ascidian...

CX:  Christopher was helping out with cleaning the med-bay earlier, if not because some clown Sergeant said he was no good for anything but Janitor work, it was because he was one of few that knew enough about Ascidian supplies and biology to know what items were appropriate and where they were supposed to be.

AR:  "Hey Chris," Rallwell said, as she looked over at Xiggores.  "How was your vacation?  You look a little green around the gills."  She smiled at him carefully.  She was surprised he had come back, to be honest.

CX:  Chris set up a tray of emergency painkillers beside a medical bed. He was surprised a bit when Anne called his name, being high strung and nervous with the mission going on just outside. "Uh, it was fine, Anne. I didn't really go anywhere actually... It's funny. I was so afraid we'd never come back. And now that we're here... I have no idea where to go." he sighed and turned to Anne again.

AR:  "Ha ha, I agree.  All that trouble, but I guess it makes that much difference to know there IS a way home, as opposed to none."  She sighed.  Of course, without a family of her own on planet, the want for Earth was fairly irrational... but then, weren't all feelings?

CX:  "Does it?" Xiggores asked, his eyes seemed to trail off a bit... Away from Rallwell's chest for once... "Things are no different for me now than it was before. I spent the whole shore leave just sitting at an X-COM base... Looking at the past 6 years on the Internet. Do you know how much we missed?"

AR:  "What has changed is the need for home.  We're ready to go out and face the ugly again.  Why?  We craved so much to go home, to get away, and now we're going back, and willingly."  Rallwell sighed somewhat.  "I poked around on the Internet as well, and things have happened, but..."  She shook her head.  They WERE still going back.

CX:  "Anne, do you remember what some of the XCR soldiers said about a city called Mega Primus?" Christopher's hand reached the table beside him. His fingers drummed the surface, showing a bit of anxiety. "I read a small article on it. It's just like they said it would be. That's the sight where we'll meet our new enemies... In thirty years. I don't like to think of it, but I don't know if I want to live that long to see our Earth go to ruin..."

AR:  "Yeah, I agree."  The future fate of humanity was one of the things she didn't like to think about.  "I toured Mega-Primus Toronto myself.  It's impressive, more so than I thought it would be at this stage."  She patted Xiggores' hand.  "From what I remember though, in the future the Patton doesn't return either."

CX:  "Yes... But what can we do to stop it?" when Rallwell's hand came onto Chris', he felt a pang of nervousness. His hands started shaking and all he could think of was: 'Oh my god! She's touching my hand!'

AR:  Rallwell shrugged.  "I have no idea.  Our Alliance is a first step though, an important one.  If we turn them back...  Well, if we hold back the Aliens for another few years, the 'future' will be at least delayed."  Xiggores' hand was shaking like mad... it WAS a bit chilly in here...

CX:  Chris grabbed a hold of his arm to still his shaking. "Ahem... You're right. But then again, whatever happened to them? They're still out there. Along with the 'Spawn, the Phasers... I just... I guess I'm being a little too paranoid."

AR:  "Maybe.  It's not paranoia if they are out to get you though," she said with a grin.  She recalled someone else had said that to her once; it had made her laugh.  "They're a minor power though.  With all their supplies sacked, they have little place to go.  Where can they go?  Any of the fleets could destroy them in their current state."

CX:  "That's true... Heh, in their shape they could've been destroyed by micro-debris by now. But one can only wonder, you know?" Chris withdrew his hand before he could have a heart attack. "My main concern right now is whether the Ascidian and human governments can get along. I recall plenty of speed bumps in my short time on Arkunis IV..."

AR:  Rallwell drummed her own fingers on the table, thinking.  It was true, the Alliance would be tricky, and it would depend as much on them as on anyone else.  A screw up on either end could turn things ugly.  "You're right, of course.  But we don't control the government, we can only hold onto our part of the rope and pull when we're told to."

CX:  "Rope... Pull..." He thought. Chris' mind was in the gutter, he shook his head to banish the lustful thoughts. "Yeah, that's true. But what if things go sour? Who do we owe allegiance to? X-COM? Or Ascidia?"
AR:  "Us?  We are X-Com, through and through, and that's where our loyalties lie."  She looked at Xiggores in some surprise.  "You think it should be otherwise?"

CX:  "I don't think it's moral... If tensions do arise, I'll be fighting Ascidians I know and have grown fond of." he sighed. "If something like that happens... I don't know, chances are I'd side with the Ascidians....."

AR:  Rallwell pondered that.  Her dealings with Ascidians had been relatively normal.  She wondered whether Xiggores was suffering something like Stockholm Syndrome, but slapped herself mentally.  "Well...  Your obligation is to fight with X-Com, and there's nothing to do about that.  To do otherwise would brand you a traitor."  It pained her to say it, but it had to be done.

CX:  "Maybe... But is that bad? Traitors throughout history have later become renowned as heroes... I mean, look at what happened with the NAA. What started as a treacherous rebellion turned out to be a good thing. Morality outweighs duty, in my opinion."

AR:  "By destroying humanity, you think this could end up being a good thing?  Maybe."  She shrugged slightly.  "I doubt it, but it could be.  I don't as of yet see a good reason for declaring my own choices as void, I can't.  I don't think I could kill my friends."

CX:  "Back on Earth, I never had a lot of human friends. In fact, I like some Ascidians a lot more than any human..." he sighed. "I don't want to hurt any humans at all. But I feel it would really depend on how things went sour. If the Ascidians are wrong, I think I'd choose humanity. Same goes vice versa."

AR:  Rallwell didn't really agree, but it wasn't time to give that voice now.  "Maybe you're right," she said hesitantly.  She looked over at Yorke, whose head had snapped up in response to something he had heard in his communicator.  "I think its time for the business to come in, Chris.  We'd better get ready."

CX:  "Of course." Chris shrugged away his thoughts for now. At this time he was much more concentrated on not being a damn klutz if someone came in requiring surgery...
Lance Corporal Derrick "DragonHawk" Ko
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#17 DragonHawk

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 08:09 PM

Texas, North American Alliance, 27 February 2068

Colonel Cyriacus grunted as the shuttle came down on the Texas base's tarmac.  A bit rough, Cyriacus murmured to himself.  Damn civilian pilots.  The shuttle rolled onto the elevator that would take them to the subterranean hangar.  Beside their shuttle, Cyriacus could see the other shuttle, carrying Scott's assault team.  The shuttles descended into the Earth.

The base, only idenifiable by an obscure base code, was situated in the middle of the Texas wasteland.  Heavily polluted after the T'leth incident, Texas had been vacated by every sane individual, but X-Com had deemed its facility to expensive to waste.  Because the base was already heavily shielded from radiation in the AW1 era, X-Com decided that it would be a good place to research some more questionable technologies, without interference from the public.  The base was huge though, and so Commander Weindhoven's 'Ascidian Operations Theatre' found themselves in an isolated portion of the base.

For now though, Cyriacus spoke quietly to the Ascidian delegation.  "Come with me, I will show you to your quarters, respected Councilmen," he said in a rather accented Ascidian.

The delegation followed him out of the shuttle.  At the other shuttle, the troops spilled out, hussling their gear back into the base under the shouting of Sergeant Goorit.  Cyriacus grinned to himself.  "To be young again... wait..."

At this point, Cyriacus saw Lieutenant Sinclaire, newly commissioned and permanently installed as the Theatre's Intelligence Chief.  "Good afternoon, Lieutenant."

"Good afternoon sir.  Just wanted to let you know that you've got a new recruit.  She reported in to the Commander already.  You want to meet her?  Private Diana Talcor."

"Not immediately, but have her drop by my office before lights out tonight."  There was no official time when the lights went out, as the base was underground, but there was a semi-acknowledged curfew of sorts.  "Let Scott and whomever is around get to know her first."

"Yes sir, I'll let her know.  How did it go?"  Sinclaire's eyes drifted to the Ascidians.

"Well enough.  A lot of Ascidians bit the dust, but at least they did their duties."  Boy, thought Cyriacus.  I'm starting to sound like an Ascidian.  "Anyway, these folks need to meet with the negotiator.  Is he in?"

"No sir, he's scheduled to be here in three hours."

"Very well.  I'll see you at dinner, Lennox."

"Yes sir.  Good day."  Lennox turned to find Scott.

With a wave, Cyriacus ushered his guests into the personnel quarters of the base.
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#18 Wildcat

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 09:16 PM

((hi hi to everyone, I'm the freash meat hehe, this is a joint roleplay between Atz and myself just took place today))

<Atzel> ::Atzel is laying on a roller board in the old dusty hanger, under the left engine nasel of the Avenger... since it was a long time since this base ever had any craft in its service, the hanger has largely fallen in disrepair. There's a toolbox on the floor next to her, marked "Malarkey" with red letters written on a strip of duct tape. She's wearing dark blue coveralls... next to the toolbox is a small ghettoblaster, belting out "Wasting my Hate" by Metallic

<Diana_Talcor> ::Diana walks into the hanger, her pack slung over one shoulder and she looks around hearing the music and grins slightly as she walks further in:: Well at least someone has decent taste in music around here

<Atzel> ::Is busy tinkering with something under the engine... an oil splattered hand comes out and grabs a hammer, putting a spanner back into the toolbox and she gives something a few wacks. "Glad you think so, mystery girl" says Atzel in her Londoner English and takes the spanner back again::

<Diana_Talcor> ::walks over and looks over the Avenger nad whistles lowly:: I thought they took these things out of service, and the name's Diana, I was told to report down here after basic training

<Atzel> This baby? You oughta be kidding me... its the best craft we got... they are thinking about replacing it with those MarSec Valkyries, but they don't got half the firepower.. and that's what counts, innit?

<Diana_Talcor> of course it does, after all, if you outgun your enemy you win

<Atzel> ::Rolls out from other the engine and look up at Diana with a scarred but grinning face, taking off her work glove and offers Diana her hand "Well... good for you private, you're in the coolest outfit on Earth. I'm corporal Atzel Evander... people call me "Malarkey"::

<Atzel> ::Looks completely innocent when she says "... but I have no idea why..."

<Diana_Talcor> ::takes Atzels hadn in her free one:: Diana Talcor, but most know me better as Wildcat, at least from the corp..and the coolest outfit hmm..I'll be the judge of that..but tis a step in teh right direction sicne I got assigned her ::grins::

<Atzel> ::Smiles and shakes the hand before she rolls in under the engine again "Hah. And that _I'll_ be the judge off... hmm... damn nut" she rolls out again and smiles apologetically "Sorry, wasn't talking about you. The bolt 'n nut kinda nut." and rolls in under again.::

<Atzel> Well.... I guess you can see why I'm called Malarkey.. my shrink says its a defense mechanism, a way to supress stress... buncha crap if you ask me. This isn't very stressing, innit?

<Diana_Talcor> ::puts her bag down and leans down looking under the engine:: Need a hand, I'm a bit of a tinkerer? ::chuckles:: well, Wildcat fits me more than you will probly know..stupid shrinks, they just spout off some nonsense crap and suppose to make you think your feelign better

<Atzel> I just like to... talk. What about you? I mean, not talking... "Wildcat"... what's that about?

<Atzel> ::Grumbles "Well, I don't feel any better about it... and if you could find a greaser, I'd be much obliged"

<Diana_Talcor> Well..this ::motions to the old bullet wound on her tomach near the tattoo:: the story behind this earned me the name and a greaser, no problem ::she turns and digs through teh toolbox to find one::

<Atzel> ::Rolls out slightly, propping herself up on one elbow "Hotshot, eh? Check it out..." she pulls her trouser leg up, displaying a burn scar "plasma rifle bolt at 50 yards... and this..." she points to the scars on her cheeks "fragmental grenade, blew up in my face..  got that grease gun?"

<Diana_Talcor> ::hads the grease gun to Atzel:: nice, well, machine gun, giving covering fire for a pinned squad ::grins:: of course, others came up with thier own reasons to call me Wildcat ::laughs some::

<Atzel> ::Artistically raises one finely shaped eyebrow as she takes the greasegun and rolls in under the engine, applying it to some moving part inside and then starts putting the bolt back "Really?" she says from underneath and then she rolls out, sitting up on the board and gets a bottle of coke out of a pocket, unscrewing the cork "Such as?"

<Diana_Talcor> :grins and alughs:: Now that would be telling, and you know what they say..if it happens after hours..don't ask, don't tell ::grins and glances around:: so are you the only one with a decent taste in music?

<Atzel> ::Chuckles into her cola and grins, leaning back against the fuselage "Ah, I see... likes a drink, likes an other drink, likes a third drink and then some action? Yeah, me too, some days.." she shrugs "not really sure about the others.. I'm more or less the only that victimise people to my music::

<Diana_Talcor> ::grins:: Well crank it up some more, not liek anyoen aruodn here to complain...And just when do we get to see some action, they said that this unit needed some additional personell

<Atzel> Its gotten... political. I can't really tell you, you know, if the whole thing is called off we'll be posted at other places and its kind of classified information.. you know

<Atzel> ::Offers an apologetic smile as she cranks the volume up a bit::

<Diana_Talcor> bah..politics..they ruin everythng

<Atzel> ::Grins "True, that... hmm...." she looks around and then shouts "bored" and hops to her feets, packing her tools and boombox up "C'mon, lets go say "hi" to the rest of the gang.. just beware of Daniel "Jacko" Jackson.. I think, well, I suspect that "Jacko" could be derived from his last name and Wacko::

<Diana_Talcor> sounds good to me ::picks up her bag and swings it over her shoulder:: And well..I had to deal with wackos before, so I know how to handle them

<Atzel> ::Smiles and leads the way, putting her hand on the girl's shoulder "This way, private... ehm.. and if he starts going on about lobsters, or, telling you all his best "yo mama" jokes.. just... I donno, smile and nod? Works for me..."

<Diana_Talcor> Oh...I can't just shoot him? ::grins as she walks along with Atzel:: I don't mean anything fatal of course.

<Atzel> Heh.. when it comes to Jacko, anything short of decapitaion is non-lethal.. amazing at recovering, that man.

#19 Strong Bob

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Posted 08 October 2004 - 06:43 AM

The final day of leave... Prior to the last mission.

Joseph was still in Rhode Island. Though now, he was much closer to the coast. The air was salty, the taste was so strong he was surprised he never noticed it before. But then again, he grew up here. And since most the air he breathed in the past year was from a starship filter, he would have to get used to this coastal city ambience again. Unlike where David lived, the residence here was much more sparse. There was plenty of grass all around, but no trees. Rhode Island was the site of alien attacks in both alien wars, and thusly nothing older than the last war was left standing today.

Still in civilian clothing, Joseph approached the site of his old home. He never sold it, like he originally planned. But rather he left it to somebody in his will, should he be presumed lost in X-COM. He never wanted to just leave his home with any old fool with the right cash... He had just the person he knew would put it to use.

Standing outside the building with a duffel bag over his shoulder, filled mostly with clothing and other belongings he had salvaged from old friends he visited just hours before, Joseph looked at the short ranch house with a pained gut... Not a thing had changed...

The house was the same color, the roof unkept, and the car in the driveway... The same one. For a moment, Joseph thought that the house was not passed on, and it was merely deserted after all this time. Then he took a closer look... The lawn was mowed, the car seemed clean and kept, and the windows had new drapes that could be seen from the outside....... Rather feminine drapes, that Joseph would've burned before he would ever own them. Someone else was clearly living here now.

He waited on the sidewalk, hoping someone would show their face in the window, or just walk out the door. He was too nervous about ringing the doorbell if someone else bought the house instead. He shuffled his feet a little, giving it a few minutes.

Scott: What the f*ck is wrong with me? I can fight a Snakeman in unarmed combat, keep my cool as my own comrades are being torn up by unseen hostiles, and dive into oncoming plasma fire to use a chair as a last hope of cover... But I can't walk up to a goddamn door to see who lives there!?

Feminine Voice: Scott?

Joseph turned around, finding a young girl no younger than 20 in streetwear (a brown shirt, black polyester vest, and blue jeans). Her skin tone, facial structure, and eyes... Reminded him greatly of someone.

Scott: *Whispering* Liz?

Corman: Uncle Scott! Is that you?!

Scott: Wha... Who... Sydney? Sydney Corman?

Corman: Yeah! It's me!

The girl quickly scampered up to a surprised Joseph, leaping a good foot into the air to wrap her arms around him in a friendly embrace. He nearly dropped his bag, as it took  some effort to retain his balance. After a moment of shock, Joseph returned the hug and patted her on the back.

Scott: Oh my god, Sydneybaby. I don't believe this!

They separated rather quickly. Joseph looked into Sydney's eyes, finding a look of surprise and happiness.

Corman: I can't believe it either! I was watching you for a whole block. I thought I was just seeing things until you stopped right in front of my... Your house.

Scott: Holy hell, you've grown. Last time I saw you, you were just passing the sixth grade. Just what happened to you?

Sydney gave Joseph a friendly punch in the arm. Chuckling a little to herself. It was pretty clear she was very much the social type... Just like Elizabeth.

Corman: You bastard! I'm the one asking the questions here! Just where the hell have YOU been for the past six years!?

The perpetual smile from Sydney's face assured Joseph that she meant no offense by her remark. Her hair seemed to be rather wavy, and loose. Often moving with her own movements. Just like when she was a child, she didn't look like she could stay still. She was shuffling her feet back and forth, pointing at Joseph a few times whenever addressing him, as though she was on some sugar rush.

Scott: That's classified... But if you're anything like how I remember, that's not a good enough excuse for you...

Corman: You're damn right it's not!

Sydney leapt back into Joseph for another embrace. The reunion was happening a little too fast for him, but this was how it always was for this girl...

Corman: Oh! (Releasing Scott again) This my house now. Do you wanna come in, Uncle?

Scott: Uh, as long as you haven't feminized the place too much...

Corman: (Laughing) Oh come on! It's not that bad. Besides, I left one room the same...

Hastily grabbing his hand, Sydney gave the old man  no time to make a response. She pulled him up to the door and opened it up. The door was unlocked, and that mere fact alone bothered Joseph regarding her safety. But then again, he was always accused of being too paranoid about such things.

As they entered the living room, Joseph's heart skipped a beat. Most of him wished he was not lead in there. The door had lead them right into the living room, where Joseph's old chair and television set was replaced with a sofa, fancy feminine coffee table, and a small holo projecter that worked similarly to a television. The memory of his old home was stabbed in the face, the moment he saw it.

Scott: Woah. Sydneybaby, slow down! I'm almost forty years old for crying out loud.

Joseph let out a forced chuckle. He was having a hard time not treating Sydney like the child he remembered her as.

Corman: Oh! (Releasing his hand) I'm so sorry uncle! It's just... It's been so long! And... And... Oh my god! You've barely aged at all!

Scott: Yeah, a few years in cryo-sleep will do that to you...

Corman: Cryo-sleep? Oh no... What was this classified thing? Did you go to another planet?

Scott: Try a whole other damn galaxy... Sorry, classified.

Corman: You did! Didn't you!? Oh god, what was it like!?

Scott: Heh, you're just like your mother. You can read people like a book... And you don't know when to just quit.

There was a short pause. Joseph then knew he made a mistake by mentioning the one reason he left Rhode Island to begin with. Both of their facial expressions morphed slowly from joy to depression.

Corman: It wasn't the same since she died, Uncle Scott. Especially since you left right after...

Scott: I'm... Sorry.

Corman: It's okay, Uncle. I know you couldn't stay.

Scott: Did they tell you what happened?

Corman: (Confused expression) Well... Not really. But the news said she... Died in a Cult raid. Was shot by a big guy with a shotgun... Is that it?

Joseph let out a deep sigh, knowing full well that was not how things went.

Scott: Sort of... He had a... Glock. There was a shotgun but... He didn't get her with that.

Corman: Oh... (Short pause) She wanted you to have something, Uncle Scott. It was supposed to be for your coming birthday...

Scott: Oh? What is it?

Sydney quickly jumped over to Joseph and grabbed onto his hand.

Corman: Come on!

Once again, Joseph allowed himself to be moved by the ridiculous form of transportation essentially known as being 'dragged across the damn room'. Only this time, Sydney had brought him down into the basement. A place that seemed to have changed the least compared to everything else. It was your standard rectangular cellar, a red painted floor, a wall of shelves stacked with junk, and just opposite to that was the boiler and other utilitie stuff you forget exist. Once they made it to the foot of the stairway, Sydney released Joseph and went rumaging through a box on the floor... Returning with a small golden object that glistened a bit.

Scott: What the hell? ...

Corman: A new badge. She custom made it... Look!

Joseph took a look at the object. It looked like a regular police badge. It had his name written across the bottom along with his number: Staff Sergeant Scott, Joseph R. 673. ALBINO. The main symbol, which was supposed to be the sign of an eagle hovering over a Minuteman, was instead an engraved picture of a zebra galloping across plains. Just below Joseph's identification was another name: Sergeant Corman, Elizabeth E. 471.

Scott: A badge with both our names? How... What...

Corman: I dunno... She said they only allowed standard issue badges on the police. I guess this was supposed to be for decoration. She said the zebra was supposed to mean something special, or something funny...

Joseph hesitantly took the badge from Sydney, giving it a good look over.

Scott: Yes... (Almost falling into tears) This is something very special. Thank you Syd...

Joseph reached over and gave Sydney another hug. Only this time he held it. He shut his eyes tight, forcing himself not to cry.

Scott: Thank you 'Liz...

A tear rolled down his cheek, finding it's way to Sydney's shoulder. For the first time in years, he let himself collapse into sentiment.

***

Texas, NAA. February 27th

Joseph had recently returned to a mission from Mars, and was now sitting in a makeshift office in an underground complex. He was looking over the duty roster, grumbling to himself in an "I knew it" manner. The birthday present he recieved from Sydney was latched firmly onto his left shoulder, being clearly visible on his new X-COM uniform.

Scott: The beginning of new faces and an ending to some old ones.

He sighed, realizing he must really be losing it, because he was talking to himself again.

Scott: At least the good ones are staying... Atzel, Cyriacus... Although I wonder if we'll be recieving a new Commander. Weindhoven has too much experience in the field with Ascidian diplomacy, but he's enough of a doofus to discharge if we need more combat personel than diplomats... God... I can't stop thinking of that frigging mining mission he sent the others on.

He sorted the papers into order. He stopped momentarily, becoming a bit uncomfortable with the type of papers he was using. He noticed there was a difference between the papers he used now and the paper equivalent used by the Ascidians. There was nothing fundamentally different, but it was noticable, and Joseph didn't like it. Ascidian and Terran papers were the same in every way except one; the sound. Joseph couldn't describe it, but there was just something about the sounds the papers made, when he moved and sorted them out, that made all the difference and made him uncomfortable using them.

Scott: God... Part of me can't wait to get back to routine. I might end up resorting to using the damn computer if this gets to me.

A laptop was offered to Joseph when he moved into his new office here. Despite accepting it, it was sitting on the corner of his new desk collecting dust. The last time Joseph used a computer it was aboard a Starspawn capital ship. His poor usage of the computer resulted in both Alpha and Kappa squad being stranded in Starspawn territory for a short time. Joseph developed a tiny distrust for computer hardware since then... But it was likely not so bad as to prevent him from sticking to the annoying, noisy wood paper.

Scott: (Getting refocused onto work) Corporal Jackson... I'll see to keeping him in the squad, but I'd be willing to bet he should remain in rotation as a Sniper and Mess Hall chef. He refuses to make mashed potatoes, but he at least makes funny looking meals... Good for morale.

He made a quick signature on the paper.

Scott: A new Avenger is in the hangar... Why did they give us another one of those pieces of sh*t? That's it... I'm making a request to have one of those new models they developed. I just friggin' wish I knew more about how far technology has gone in the past six years.

A doorbell chime rang into the office. Joseph was startled and annoyed even more by the accumulating mix of pain in the arse sounds.

Scott: Oh for christ's... Come in!

The door opened, revealing Lieutenant Sinclaire making his way in.

Scott: Lennox... Something you need?

<<Leaving it off here, since ol' Lennox seems to be interested in talking?>>


**********

Sorry, quick GM insertion, as I forgot to leave space for the mission and log and all that jazz.

Sunday October 10th, 2004

Mission Briefing

Mission Log

Again, my apoligies - DH

Strong Bob's random Star Trek quote of the year:

*Scans rock* "It's dead, Jim." - McCoy

"Very funny, Bones." - Kirk

#20 Zager

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Posted 17 October 2004 - 04:20 PM

Cabeza was standing on the roof of the Texas base, looking in the general direction of the gulf of New Mexico. It was just a few short hours before he had to report up to the Patton.

He liked to look at it sometimes. He believed, as did others, that out there, at the alien city, when T'Leth died, humanity had achieved its next step in its evolution.

They'd confronted an ancient nemesis, an enemy so evil, that it became a racial memory that surfaced in the writing's of people such as Lovecraft.

And out there, a miniscule distance away on a galactic scale, humanity had confronted and killed Cthulhu. It cost a lot of lives, but they had done it. They'd overcome their most primal fears, seen the truth about the legends of Atlantis, and sent them all back to hell where they belonged. And Corporal Britt Cabeza was proud to have helped.

He headed back inside. He didn't want to be late for his new assignment, after all, and it took forever to get out of these new environment suits he was wearing.




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