UFO FanFic - Chapter 2


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#21 The Veteran

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 09:45 PM

*Are you going to buzz around all day or do I have a flying buddy for the trip home?*
"You know the rules," said Gia smiling. "I have to stay and patrol the area in case this thing lifts off again."
*You do?*
"Did you even read your briefing?"
*Nah I've been here for years, I don't think the rules apply to me anymore...*
"I think tactical command might disagree with you."
*They always do...*
"And that doesn't tell you something?"
Trigger paused slightly before saying finally, *so are you coming or not?*
Gia couldn't help but laugh. "Look, you may have been here for years but I'm still easily replaced so I think I'll hang around until the skyranger get's here"
*Suit yourself... But your fuel probably won't last you long enough to stay in the air for that long. I've been to England and back without a refill and I've got just enough left to make it home...*
Gia took another glance at her fuel gauge. "I can stay in the air another half hour at least. After that I'll be on my way. Is that ok with you?"
*Yeah I guess... I'll see you back at base. Don't stay out too long!*
The two pilots said their brief goodbyes and Trigger departed for Pine Gap, keeping to manual flight the whole way home. He'd had all the rest he needed for the day and he wanted to stay alert just in case there were any more saucers about...

The skyranger was just now approaching the southernmost of the Indonesian isles. Had there been windows, the view would have been amazing...
"SNAP"
Warlord and Rick sat staring at each other in dismay.
"She's good," said Rick, "even better than you. And this is your favourite game"
"Yeah well, she'll never understand poker," replied Warlord jokingly.
"Are you guys even trying to beat me anymore?" said Tammy who was currently holding forty-five cards and picking up another seven...
"No, we're letting you win." said Warlord laughing. "What can I say? I must just be having an off day..."
"I see why you guys do this now. It's pretty relaxing..."
"You're just saying that because you're winning..."
"Rick, don't sulk, I beat you all the time"
"Yeah but you're not a she" Rick caught the glare in Tammy's eye and quickly added "I'm joking"
Thankfully she seemed to accept it and returned to shuffling the cards.
"So what should we play now?" Rick asked turning to Jack. "Maybe we can win another game before we get to Africa..."
"Do you know Pontoon?"
Rick and Warlord turned to face Donovan.
"Has cards ever been so popular?" said Warlord turning back to face Rick.
"We'll deal you in," said Rick and he took the cards from Tammy.
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#22 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 04:41 PM

The gray sheen of the UFO hung fuzzily on XCOM's main screen, a screen capture from the Interceptor's camera overlaid with the map of the world. A small cross marked the landing site.
Genega had the full attention of the command staff as he walked around the ops center, checking computer displays and firing off orders.
"Forrester, get those mission co-ordinates and LZ info to Lieutenant France. And get me a status report on Lieutenant Munt."
"Chief Scientist Gomez, get 6 techs ready with whatever recording and analysis equipment you think they'll need. You have 20 minutes. Squad 2 can help carry some equipment - but don't go overboard"
"Major, tell Corporal Saiko to get Squad 2 suited up and into the Osprey for site security detail."
"Jenny, notify our overseas heavy hauler that we may have a job, have him await further orders."
"Forrester! get Cheeseman on deck! Have the ground crew prepped the Osprey?"

***

Doc's Skyranger was well out over the Indian Ocean. *No flight plan, no land for miles... not much chance of a rescue if we go down. Covert ops _does_ have it's downside,* he mused.
The radio crackled to life with Lieutenant Forrester's voice.
"Lieutenant France?"
"Speaking."
"Ground mission confirmed. I have your LZ co-ordinates and information for the squad."
*Now it gets interesting,* thought Doc. He checked the flight computer.
"Data link open. I can patch you into the intercom so you can address the squad yourself." Doc had been reading the manual. He heard the spread-spectrum data burst go into his computer, brought up and and read back the co-ordinates, then flicked the switches to link in the intercom. Tammy's voice came through, "Hit me, I mean, twist me one"

"Um, Corporal Thomas?" came Forrester's unsure voice into the hold.
Warlord sat up from the card game. "Yes lieutenant?"
"Is your squad able to receive a briefing?"
"Squad, listen up" shouted Warlord into the cabin, waking a few dozing soldiers. "Lieutenant, the squad is listening."
Sounds of a throat clearing. "Ground mission is confirmed. The UFO has landed in Madagascar, in uninhabited jungle, six miles from the coast. Its a gray disc, ten meters across, we estimate a crew of two. Local time is 1pm, local weather is thirty degrees centigrade and drizzly. Your mission is to attempt to capture and secure the UFO, with its pilots and crew alive if possible. You are authorized to use deadly force if you are threatened or attacked. Because of the unknowns in this situation, your corporal is authorized to use his own initiative as per directive 116 to complete the mission."

***

Squad 2 had themselves and their gear back on the flight deck in fifteen minutes. The technicians - despite having rehearsed this the day before - were still arguing ten minutes later over what equipment to take. The Osprey lifted off eventually, the tiltrotor aircraft making good speed. But they were considerably slower than the Skyranger. Whatever happened at the landing site, they wouldn't be able to do a thing about it for another six hours.

***

Everyone in the Skyranger was awake for the last hour of flight, some straining in their jump seat harnesses to see out the small portholes. The knees of those sitting opposite nearly met in the cramped compartment and an array of gear was stacked in the darkness by the rear deployment ramp.
"I'm going to set us down a quarter klick away," said Doc. "This brush is dense enough they shouldn't be able to see us land."
Warlord was checking out the known LZ details on his portable map display. "Set us down on the far side of the ridge to the southeast, and we'll work our way in."
"I'll try. It'll depend on the jungle canopy." He was close enough to make out individual trees now. At least it wasn't _night_. He slowed the craft to a near hover, then spotted a small clearing north of a stream, and made for it.

The descending Skyranger baked dry the wet grass of the muddy riverbank, then landed with a thump in the soft soil. *Can't get a better landing than that,* he thought, as he dropped the landing ramp with a clang. *Cold LZ, too.*

"MOVE OUT" bellowed Warlord. "BY THE NUMBERS! SECURE LANDING SITE! GO GO GO"
The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#23 Snikers

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Posted 18 May 2003 - 02:54 AM

Jennings exited the Skyranger, rifle loaded, safety off. He scanned the area quickly. Everything looked alright;
but with all the trees, jungles, fauna...who knew?
Was he going to die out here?...
Rick and Ki-Tat moved with Jennings as he slowly advanced. Ki-Tat's eys never stopped moving as he continued
to look about him for aliens.
Jennings felt a tic in his face twitching and felt overwhelmed by his feeling of impending doom.
A pair of black, almond eyes looked out between two closely knit trees. The gray alien shifted a half centimetre
forward as it saw three bipeds cautiously picking their way through the fauna.
Three bipeds. Clear LOS. Clear LOF. Don't seem to notice me. Well within range. Inferior beings. The alien took
a second to collect and determine the factors. It lifted its purple rifle and aimed.
Jennings took another look to his left - nothing. Look to the right -
Rick only saw a flash of green, a wisp of smoke and Jennings hitting the ground. He immediately dropped to a
crouch tried to look through the jungle. A saw a flash of sunlight reflecting off of something purple, but it disappeared
immediately, leaving only a swaying branch. Ki-tat let off a surpressive burst into the trees, but in return lanced
a volley of green, zipping only barely over their heads.
Rick rolled to the left, green bolts going the earth where he had just been. He kept looking into the trees and
didn't notice the green flashes coming to bear on him -
However, he did notice as the supposedly dead Jennings rolled over from his back onto his gut and fired into the
trees. Apparently seeing from an angle neither of the other men where blessed with, he fired a series of bursts
into the jungle.
The alien felt bits of bark flying across his skin as bullets shook the tree next to him. It reconsidered its options
and disappeared into the jungle.
Ki-tat continued to scan for the alien, sure it was about to circle about and press its attack. Jennings ran his hand
across the front of his uniform; the almost-on-target shot had burned a strip of fabric away. He winced as his fingers
brushed the skin underneath, touching first-, maybe second-degree burns. He knew how close he came to death
and surpressed a whimper.
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#24 Zager

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:16 AM

Gaston slid the drum into his Calico M950, and started cranking it up, getting the pressure up so the ammo would feed properly. His X-Rifle was next to him, he had already modified it slightly as most special ops personnel were apt to do with their weapons.

"Weapons and ammo," came the dispationate voice of the corporal.

"Check," came the replies from the squad.

"Armor."

"Check." Gaston patted his suit. Type four spectra with ceramic plate inserts over his heart. It could stop anything below a sniper rifle or an armor piercer.

"Grenades."

"Check." A few fragmentation grenades and flashbangs were attached to his combat webbing.

"Good. Squad two is good to go."

Elsewhere on the craft
Three crates had been loaded aboard already, and a fourth was coming on.

"That should be sufficient equipment," Zager noted. "For now. I'll need more once I understand what we're working with."

#25 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 05:13 PM

The operation commander Jack and his Blue fireteam, consisting of Tammy and Tim, had plowed straight for the ridge while Red and Green fireteams took the left and right slopes. The vegetation was thick and it made for uneasy footing as they followed the trail broken by the two members of Gold team scouting ahead. They had just caught up with Ed and Martin on the reverse slope of the ridge when the muffled sound of an electrical discharge closely followed by the echo of automatic gunfire made them all whip their heads around. "Sh*t" blurted Tim. "Someone's made contact" They scrambled for cover.

Tammy quickly checked her map. All team members were still represented on the display - which means they all still had a pulse. Jack grabbed at his comm set.  "Fireteam Red! Report" "Red-1 here. We took fire and returned fire, it's quiet now. We've one wounded, assessing severity." "Thanks, Rick. Fireteam Green! Report"
"Green-1 here," came Shuwei's voice. "Um, it's all quiet - " She wanted to ask more but knew her commanding officer needed the news more than she did.

"Rick, who's hit?" he asked.
Ed held his prone position behind his rifle, peering down into the jungle on the far side of the ridge, alert for movement. Terrick stood with one hand on a tree to steady himself and scanned their immediate surroundings.

"Jennings," came the reply. "It burned through his combat vest, and some skin burned away, but I think that's it."
"What did you see?"
"Didn't see who fired, but we saw a kind of purple chromed barrel poking out of the bushes after the flash."
"Muzzle flash?"
"More like a big green bolt, an energy bolt."
"Did you hit him?"
"We don't think so, we heard something moving away and there's been nothing since."
"Do you need a medic, Jennings?"
"Naw," came the reply. "I'll be good to go in a second." Bravado was returning to his voice.

Jennings sat up against a rock and took a swig of water from his canteen while Rick wrapped a field dressing around the wound on his ribs. Ki-tat stood a few yards away with his gun sighted on the shadows where the barrel had emerged.

"What do you think, Tim?" the leader asked his intelligence advisor.
"If he gets past us, our exfiltration could be compromised. We'd better guard our back door."
Jack thought quickly and spoke.
"Ed, back to the Skyranger. Keep watch with Doc. Martin, stick with us. You're now Blue-4. "
"Yes, sir" Ed started pushing his way back down the hill and was quickly lost from sight.
The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#26 Snikers

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 04:30 PM

This area was far too bright...this entire planet was far too bright. The alien blinked painfully in the sunlight. Far too close too the sun. Inferior beings for an inferior planet, the creative alien thought wryly.
Taking care to stay in the shade, it carefully moved along the trees, plasma rifle in its hand. Every step was plodding, the planet's gravity far too marsh for the alien's liking.
It saw movement. Readying its rifle, the grey being moved forward to crouch behind a tree.
A short distance away, a grouping of the inferior beings. A large one - large, even for a human - was standing with its back to him. He knew they couldn't see him - they were in the bright light, and he was in the dark under cover. Silently, it raised its rifle, pointing it at an inferior being for the second time that day.
Aiming at the large inferior, the alien squeezed the trigger.
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#27 The Veteran

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 01:01 PM

Fireteam green consisted of three soldiers, Shuwei Chen, John O'Malley and Donovan. They had been moving slowly Northward along the easternmost limit of their containment perimeter. Now with Warlord's contact Shuwei was even more alert and the soldiers checked and double checked every plant thy passed. Shuwei was a short soldier and this was her first mission. This was also O'Malley's first mission for XCom and he was beginning to feel the pressure. Donovan was acting as a rearguard and was a good ten meters behind John and Shuwei leaving a large gap between them.
Now as the two forward soldiers moved into a clearing they heard a sound close behind them and both stopped immediately. Shuwei and John both raised their rifles and turned to see what was following them. John just managed to suppress his instinct to fire when he saw a small creature dart out from behind a bush. Both soldiers lowered their weapons and gave a sigh of relief.
Shuwei was not at ease however, something felt disturbed in the air around them... As she turned back to the way they had been heading she saw a glint in the shadows ahead of her. Despite her training she froze. Just for a second she couldn't respond to what she saw...
A small grey child-like creature was squatted in the shadows, barely visible at all. But Shuwei could see the sunlight glinting off it's huge eyes... And she could see the muzzle of a large purple rifle, aimed at the small of John's back.
For that second everything froze for Shuwei. The sound of the wind in the leaves was silenced by the beating of her own heart and the shadows cast by the swaying trees played over the small creature as he readied his weapon. She saw John out of the corner of her eye with his back to the creature. She saw him turn slightly but not by much... He was still facing away from the creature...
Then he spoke, he said to Shuwei, "There's probably nothing here at all..."
Shuwei felt the tears begin to well in her eyes and her mouth widened silently as she saw the creature begin to squeeze his trigger. There was a flash of brilliant green light just as Donovan appeared in the clearing and yelled "John"
All too late...
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#28 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 02:46 PM

Doc stood alone by the Skyranger, feeling a little uncomfortable being alone in an alien-infested jungle, but safer than cooped up in the cockpit. He'd seen "Predator". No training could stop that thing. And didn't the dropship pilot in "Aliens" get eaten as well?

There was a rustle in the bushes. To the right? Straight ahead? Sh*t - here he was fifteen feet from even his comlink. He fumbled for his sidearm. "I-is someone there?", he asked, shakily pointing the pistol at his best guess.
"Over here." He whipped around.
"It's me, Doc. Don't shoot." Ed emerged from the brush to his right, rifle held above his head. "Got a cigarette?"

The two of them leaned against the landing gear.
"It's a far cry from routine cargo humping, I'll give it that. Does the thrill make up for the threat of sudden death and dismemberment?"
Ed exhaled a dragon curl of smoke from his nostrils before replying. "Hell, Doc, I don't worry about none of that."

"Wait -" he touched his suddenly squawking headset to press it closer to his ear. "Someone just got hit."

***

John O'Malley looked down. His arm was missing below the shoulder. Most of it was lying on the ground along with his rifle. He could smell the acrid ozone and the smell of his own burnt flesh, but strangely not the horrible pain. I must be in shock, he belatedly concluded.

The other squad members were faster to react. Shuwei sprang into action and fired off a burst, hitting nothing but forcing the alien to retreat from its position to a few fallen logs.

Donovan caught up from his trailing position and sent another three-shot burst into the cover around the alien's position, keeping its bulbous grey head down. The fallen logs made good cover, but there was no way the alien could have poked its head up without being right in his sights.

A knobbly brown object sailed over their heads and landed in the grass. John was the only one to spot it. It was like a brown potato - but given their current situation, it could only be one thing. There were glowing concentric circles on one side of it, and those circles were getting smaller.

"I knew I shouldn't have signed up for X-COM... " he muttered to himself.

He threw himself onto the grenade.

The other two reacted to his action, realized what had happened, and ran for cover.

They almost made it. The alien grenade went off with the impact of twice it's size of C4 explosive, burning away a 10m circle of vegetation instantly and striking both Shuwei and Donovan with numerous fragments. Donovan's wounds didn't seem serious enough to impair movement; he sized up the situation quickly and threw a M25 standard fragmentation grenade in response. Shuwei recovered next. Of John O'Malley there was no sign.

Shuwei indicated a thicket from which she could flank the alien. Donovan indicated he'd head to the right. He shouted, "I'll flush him your way." The grenade went off, not where he expected, but it was enough to make the alien leave its position.

She ran around to the left of the impassable thicket - and the alien was already there. She brought up her rifle as the alien, startled, fired its weapon.

Shuwei took the plasma bolt in her chest but remained standing, and let rip a burst of lead at the grey figure. The assault rifle bullets struck the alien and tumbled it screaming to the ground. Immediately she stopped firing and swung the barrel to point at the sky. She panted to catch her breath. Flinders of wood blown off the nearby trees sounded like rain as they finally fell through the leaves to earth.  

Donovan looked around for other movement, then caught up to the alien body. He kneeled down to inspect it. It looked dead, all right. The glossy black eyes had fogged over and a green sort of blood was pooling on the dead leaves. He looked up at Shuwei. There appeared to be a large scorch mark on her uniform and bloody rents from the shrapnel. "Are you all right?" he asked.

She started walking forward. "I'm...a little tired." She suddenly sagged, then collapsed.

Donovan started towards her unmoving body, but a flash of plasma from the next thicket forced him to dive back under cover. The blood trickling into his eyes kept him from spotting exactly where the shot had come from.

Warlord's voice came out of Shuwei's comlink. "Green-1, status"
Donovan wiped the blood out of his eyebrows and shouted into his own comlink.
"Green-2 here! Green-1 and Green-3 are down! One of the geeks had a grenade!
We got him, but I'm being watched by a sniper"
While talking, he broke cover and ran, rolling back into cover behind the cluster of fallen vine-entangled logs. Plasma fire lanced harmlessly into the foliage over his head. He was hyperventilating.

***

Warlord whirled around. "Terrick! You get down there and give Green-2 some covering fire"
Terrick faltered. "I don't know where any of those aliens are, uh, sir"
"Look, that guy's down there alone, and scared, and the only way we're going to get him out if is you go and help him! Now use your map, check his position, and get going" He turned to his squad. "The rest of you! Blue Team is moving forward 50 meters to give support fire! Have that AC-HE ammo ready so I can kick some grey arse"
Terrick moved off east, picking his way down the tangled roots on the side of the ravine. Warlord keyed his comlink. "Red-1, Blue team is advancing north 50 meters. Sweep your team north and around us. Green-2, stay put and observe. We're sending Blue-4 to dig you out."

***

Donovan felt better after hearing Blue-1's words. He took a peek around the end of the log, exposing as little of his body as he could. "I see a small creekbed that might be hiding him. Beyond that...Hey! I think I see the UFO" It was an unmistakable metallic glimmer through the trees. His training cut in. "Um, 100 meters, bearing 015" The operators back at headquarters caught that, as they were trained to do, and the active map displays were updated with the position of the crashed UFO.
The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#29 Snikers

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 12:56 PM

Donovan tried to tuck himself back behind cover, but wasn't fast enough. The alien spotted him and lanced green death in his direction. Donovan was already moving, though, and the shot missed him by centimetres, hitting a tree behind him and causing it to burst into flames.
Some flaming bark fell on the back of Donovan's uniform, uncomfortably close to his neck. Donovan slapped at the searing pain frantically, hoping to get it off him before his clothes caught alight. He suceeded, but the flurry of movement gave the alien another clue as to his position. It opened fire again, plasma soaring over Donovan's prone form.
Terrick did his best to hurry through the thick jungle. It was difficult. He wished that he had taken a machete, or better yet a flamethrower. He tripped and nearly fell, making sure to keep his grip on his rifle.
He spotted bright lancing green and instantly threw himself to a tree. Bracing himself against it's strong trunk, Terrick raised the rifle to his shoudler, aimed for a split second and fired.
Chattering, semi-jacketed death zipped through the air at the alien. The first bullet missed, splattering bark chips from a tree just to the side of the creature. It was only registering in his mind as the second bullet hit his hand, shattering bone. It dropped the rifle as the third round hit its abdomen, knocking it to the ground. It wasn't dead, but it was badly wounded. Terrick moved forward to get a clear shot on the creature. Donovan was already crawling to cheack the downed Shuwei.
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#30 The Veteran

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 11:52 AM

As Terrick advanced on the downed alien he levelled his rifle at it's head, right where the brain should be. He stepped within feet of the creature and looked it up and down giving one of it's frail legs a nudge with his foot.
"You really aren't all that different to us are you..." he mused to himself.
There was green blood driping from the wound in the creatures abdomen and it's right hand was clearly useless. Staring into the creatures wide lidded eyes Terrick began to feel something... Pity perhaps but it didn't feel like pity. Martin had no pity for any creature, human or not...
He knelt infront of the creature and felt compeled to reach out to it, to touch it. He lowered his rifle and took one hand from the trigger to satisfy his urge. He was relaxed, almost at home with this creature. It felt much like nursing a sick child to him.
Terrick reached his hand towards the aliens face and felt his heart rate increase ten fold and then he touched it... It was so cold, so lifeless... But he felt no pity, he never did. Suddenly as he stared at the creatures childlike face it's eyes snapped open and Martin was overcome by a screaming sensation in the depths of his mind, almost losing control of himself to it. With a final effort he swung at the creature with his rifle slamming it hard into it's skull. He heard a satisfying snap and fell backwards with exhaustion.
He had no idea what had happened but he was terrified by it. He didn't know what to do. Whether to tell someone, or shout for someone. Should he get the creatures weapon or the corpse? No, he just forgot about it, and he sat motionless...
Meanwhile not far away from Terrick, Donovan had rushed to the side of Shwei Chen, her red hair made her easy to spot. She was lying on her front with no sign of injury. He slipped the barrel of his gun under her chest and used it to roll her over onto her back. Almost instantly he coiled back from the sight before him. Shuwei's right arm and chest were pocked with shrapnel and the trickle of blood from each carved a pattern across her grey jumpsuit. The shrapnel was not deep and the blood was not flowing heavily but Donovan had first noticed Shuwei's more severe injury. Above her right eye, Shuwei had been impaled by a plate of metal that now dug deeply into her temple. The blood from the wound mingled with the red of her hair and had already stained her face. Donovan stared in horror as the blood trickled behind Shuwei's ear but as he did, he noticed something... The plate was embossed... He knelt to examine it and gently tipped Shuwei's head towards him.
Donovan sat for a second in disbelief before he could believe what it said... "O'Malley..."
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Also why not check out XCom : Colonisation over in the special projects forum. Won't kill you if you do, might kill you if you don't!

#31 Ki-tat Chung

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 12:43 PM

As Ki-tat reached a clearing, all he could see was Donovan and Shuwei. Donovan was just sitting on the ground, clearly shocked, with Shuwei lying on the ground, also clearly injured. He started towards the couple but something caught his eye. It was only at the corner of his eye, but it was very obvious what it was and was made even more obvoius as he turned his head. About 25 meters away, were the very messy remains of John O'Malley.
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#32 Snikers

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 11:16 AM

Ki-tat tensed as the sound of movement came from the tall grass to his left. He swiveled, gun coming to ready - and saw that it was Terrick, a rifle in each hand. Ki-tat noticed that one of these rifles was stubby, purple, shiny, and in short very inhuman.
Terrick motioned over his shoulder with the alien rifle. He spoke, businesslike as usual. "Bogey's back there. Alive, I think, but not getting up soon. I took its rifle just in case." With that he lightly tossed the gun at Ki-tat, who caught it easily and stuffed as much as he could into his backpack in an over the shoulder motion.
Donovan was barking into his radio. "Medic, I repeat we need a medic NOW, Shuwei has been shot and there's a head injury, she's got a weak pulse and no breathing."
Terrick was immediately at Donovan's side. "What happened?" He inguried, quickly, as Ki-tat moved forward to make sure they didn't have yet more company. The burning tree was spewing black smoke into the air like a beacon. All we need is a klaxon to let the blind know we're here! he thought angrily.
Donovan picked up his rifle, colour flsuhing into his features. "Some alien bugger shot O'Malley, then tossed us a grenade. John jumped on it. Then he shot Shuwei. We got him, then the sniper showed up, then you."
"Is she going to make it?"
"I don't know," said Donovan, looking down, sagging, "I don't know. She's sure not getting up for a while." His voice was shaky, quavering. He looked up at Terrick, an angry expression coming over his features. "They shot her, Terrick, the alien sons of b*tches shot her. I think they've killed her."
"Donovan, we have to wait for the medic to be sure - "
"Yeah. Yeah. Wait for the medic," growled Donovan, knuckles going white on his gun. "Then we kill them."
"All of them." Added Terrick, voice cold.
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#33 The Veteran

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 03:09 PM

"Ki-tat! Where the hell is he..." Rick and Jennings continued moving North Eastwards to where the UFO had been spotted but Ki-tat had disappeared a while ago and ghadn't returned. The two remaining members of fireteam Red knew he was with Terrick and Donovan so they hadn't turned back for him but he was seriously jeopardising the team by leaving at all.
"Warlord you busy over there?"
*No we've got the quiet part of the field by the sounds of it. What's your problem?*
"The squads are falling apart Jack. Jennings and I have just lost Ki-tat and fireteam Green are in complete disarray. We've got two men down over there already and everyone's just doing whatever the hell they like."
*I know Rick it's not going the way it should be, but these guys are rookies. They're probably having a hard time coming to grips with what they're fighting. The important thing is that we stick with them until they can fend for themselves.*
"I guess, it just worries me that these guys have peeled off so much. They aren't even headed for the crash site anymore."
*Well where are you and Jennings?*
"We're less than fifty meters southwest of the vehicle. We're going to clear outside and then wait for an assist on storming the ship."
*We're one hundred south of it ourselves but the foliage is dense here. You clear outside but stay in cover. Tammy, Tim and I will be up to help you as soon as we can. Don't go inside until we get there!*
"Don't worry, I'm not planning to. Give us ten minutes. Until then, give us radio silence, I'm switching off..."
*Ok, if I need you I'll just shout really loud.*
"See you when we get there."
"Well?" said Jennings from behind Rick.
"We go by the plan we had. Stay in cover and clear the area around the ship. Red group should be here in about twenty. Until then we just need to stay alive and kill anything that isn't us."
"Sounds good to me. I just hope I get the little bastard that shot me..."
Rick laughed, "We've been following it since we got here. I think you'll get it"
"Hey look," said Jennings, "I think I see it now. I'll head off that way and clear the rear of the site. That bug-eyed creep is going to pay..."
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#34 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:00 PM

The tiny alien disappeared into the dense brush west of the UFO just as Jennings got into a firing position. Rick moved up to provide cover fire for Jennings' next move. But just as Rick moved, plasma blasts lashed out of the gloom. He hit the deck as Jennings fired a loose burst back down the line of fire. He swung quickly back behind a tree as return fire lashed his position. The two soldiers looked at each other and decided not to move. The tree trunk was burnt nearly through.

Meanwhile, the Blue team had pushed through the remaining thicket. They were only slightly south of the UFO and within sight of Donovan. Tammy ran to his side where Shuwei lay, checking her vital signs and wounds quickly. She pulled open the armored vest - and immediately saw the plasma bolt wound that had been hidden by the twisted vest and tangled clothing. It looked bad.

"Is she -" asked Donovan. Tammy looked up, then seized a dressing from her pack. "Put this on her forehead, press it there to stop the bleeding," she instructed. As Donovan busied himself, Tammy explored the wound with one hand and held two fingers against Shuwei's throat with the other. Her pulse was faint and fading. And then it was gone.

She said softly to Donovan, "She's gone. There's nothing we could have done for her with that wound. It would have taken a surgical team." She said the last for her own benefit as well as his. She asked Ki-tat to show her where John O'Malley's body had fallen, but immediately she could tell there wasn't even enough of a body to bother with.

Rick sized up his situation and realized the tree trunks wouldn't protect them from another barrage of plasma. It was time to set up a crossfire - and according to his map, Warlord was in the perfect position.

"Blue-1, this is Red-1. We need some fire support! We have an alien in the thicket at grid 65,80! Can you spare some HE?"
"Affirmative, Red-1," rumbled Warlord, turning to face the grid reference. From south of the UFO he could see most of the thicket. "Hold still." The autocannon barrel motor spun up to a snarling whine. Tim ran to the near corner of the UFO to catch any aliens that might poke their heads up to see what the noise was. The rest of the squad straightened up and took positions as well.

Warlord glanced again at the map, checked his aim, and pulled the trigger, raking the thicket with 20mm explosive rounds. The dense organic greenery erupted into a cataclysm of flashes, flames, flying splinters, toppling stalks, and falling branches, filled with a cloud of smoke and smell of cordite. Six rounds later, there was hardly any more thicket. Warlord ceased fire.

Rick risked another look. As the smoke cleared from the thicket, all he could see was smouldering wreckage. Then movement caught his eye, and he sent three shots into the grey figure even as it dazedly staggered to its feet. "Red-1! Hostile down" he cheered. Jennings reached over and gave him a high-five.

Rick and Jennings quickly moved into the remains of the thicket and took cover again, watching the ground to the north and the door of the UFO. Warlord and Tim held position at the south side while Ki-tat, Donovan, Terrick, and Tammy moved up the flank of the stormy grey monstrosity.

Ki-tat was the first to reach the door. The team hunkered down and waited, but nothing emerged. Neither could anyone see a control for the door. Ki-tat stood up to search the door more closely - and it flew open, sliding upwards into the hull. The two aliens standing on the other side of the door were nearly as surprised as Ki-tat, but their weapons were already aimed at the door, and the team surrounding the UFO saw a bright flash as Ki-tat got off a few wild shots before being blown backwards from the door by two plasma shots. Tammy cried out and made to run to him but Terrick held her back. Rick fired at what he could see of the aliens to no effect. From his prone position, Jennings lobbed a grenade through the open door. The aliens turned to it and the door slammed closed again. A very muffled explosion went off inside.

Jennings and Rick got ready to move on the door but Donovan held them back with a look. He and Terrick flanked the door, making sure not to touch it, while Tammy pulled her pistol and crouched by Ki-tat. She looked him over, bit her lip, and lay the pistol in the grass beside her so she could administer first aid. "I can pull this guy through, if no-one else," she said.

Nothing continued to happen. The four men waited, guns pointed at the door, while Tammy did her work. Finally Warlord and Tim returned from their scouting trip and pronounced the rest of the area secure. Tim moved up to lead position and with Terrick right behind him, opened the door again. The only sights that greeted him were the two grey little aliens collapsed on the floor.

The rest of the disk-shaped UFO was empty and intact, including the softly glowing orange pillar surrounded by instrumentation in the core of the ship.

One of the aliens moaned softly. Tim aimed his pistol at the grey head, then recanted. Instead he bound the arms and legs and whipped up a blindfold using Tammy's surgical dressing. A little interrogation might be useful to the investigative team - this was the first real contact he'd had with the ghosts he'd been chasing since Darwin.

Edited by JellyfishGreen, 17 December 2003 - 12:52 PM.

The deadly Lobsterman threat was finally countered by melee combat with power tools. -ufopaedia.org

#35 Alitorious

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 11:28 PM

Day sighed as he watched the Skyranger taking off from its concealed position within the bush. It was going back to base with Jennings and Ki-tat to get them to the med bay ASAP. Also, it was carrying all of the captured weaponry found near the aliens, and the bug that's knocked out. They wanted to get it into the brig as soon as possible.

He looked back on the UFO. It looked to be about the same size as the ground impression found at that farm's house. Probably the same type, he figured. Hell, it might even be the same one. They didn't find much inside it, however, except a strange blue ball a couple feet across. All the heads back at base would probably be debating why the craft was out here in the first place.

At any rate, blue and gold fireteams were to stay at the site until, in five and one half hours, the recovery team arrives with squad two. The Skyranger would probably also make it back around then to help with the cleanup.

Meanwhile, the squad had to wait. Good thing someone has a pack of cards, he thought drily.

---------------------------------

A few hours later, they began to hear the low, steady whine of the skyranger's engines. Then, in a matter of seconds, the sound escalated in volume to an almost unbearable level. Tim looked up to see the bright lights of the Skyranger pinned down on them. They couldn't hear the Ranger until it was almost on top of them because it travelled near the speed of sound. A short minute later Doc settled the plane down on a perfect landing in the clearing made in front of the UFO, pointed away from the alien ship. The ramp lowered and out walked Doc.

"Hey, what mean person would leave all you guys out here like this?" he smirked.

"You're back fast. Don't tell me the recovery team's Ospreys broke?" Warlord said.

"Nah, I just passed them. They should be here any minute now."

As if on cue, the sound of the V-22 Osprey's motors rose above the threshold of human hearing, and the dot of the tilt rotor helicopter could be seen. It took much longer for this craft to get to the landing site.


Upon it landing, the members of squad two and the couple teckheads disembarked. The latter group were awestruck with the sight of the UFO.

"Yeah, it's a real honest-to-god fukkin UFO," Doc jeered at them. The two scientists, Gomez and Zager, gave Doc a look that would kill, then resumed their discussion.

"Then how do you suggest that we take it back to base? Neither the Osprey or the Skyranger are equipped to transport the thing whole. We'd need a specialized helicopter to do that."

"Then order in an S-64 from Russia! You're not cutting it up".

"Dr. Zager, please. Cutting it apart's the only way." The use of the formal Doctor showed how agitated Photon was.

"I suggest we let the Commander decide it."

Gomez agreed, then they back into the Osprey again. Contacting Base on the long-wave radio, the question was asked as to which of the two options should be taken."

"Cut it up," Genega agreed, much to the horror of Zager. "As much as I'd like to grab these things back in one piece, I'd rather get it back as soon as possible. It probably won't be the only one we'll pick up, much as we all hope we won't need to. We'll grab the next one whole, I promise." That settled the matter. The crew fired up some acetylene torches and began working on the UFO hull. At first it didn't look like they the alien material couldn't even be cut, but after a while the first section of metal started to parse.

"Hey, doc," Warlord asked. "Our squad's getting sleepy. Any chance we could leave now?"

"No," Gomez replied. "The osprey won't be able to carry all the stuff inside. We need to transport some stuff in the skyranger back, or else we'll need to take two trips."

"All right," Jack gruffed. "Just be quick about it."

Promptly, Zager yelled, "Wait! Don't cut it up until we're sure there's nothing in the hull itself we need to save" He dashed inside the door. A minute later he came out with a small, orange, glowing chunk of crystal.

"You sure that's not radioactive?" Gomez inquired. Zager responded by tapping the geiger counter on his wrist, which was silent.
"I'll carry this back personally. Inside there's two units, and some chairs. I suggest loading everything onto the Skyranger except for the alien hull, which we'll take back.

Warlord interrupted. "It's gonna be awfully cramped up in our plane, doc."

"Same as in ours. We have to do this."

Most of squad one slept in the skyranger after a small meal of military rations. It took half an hour for the techs to cut up the units inside the ufo. Except for the chairs, the strange orange device and the computer-like unit were still attached to the alien metal floor, with the floor being cut up instead. Then the cramped skyranger took off and headed back to base, leaving the rest of the team to cut up the UFO hull.

----------------------------------------------------

UFO-1 TACTICAL DEBRIEFING

Friendly craft present ;
Skyranger One

Hostile craft present ;
One unidentified alien craft

Friendly troops present ;
Pine Gap Tactical Squad 1

Soldiers present ;
Jack Thomas "Warlord"
Tamara Hilliard "Tammy"
Tim Day
Ed Dodge
Martin Terrick "Strike"
Robert Jennings
Rick Chez "Ping"
Ki-Tat Chung
Shuwei Chen
Jack Donovan
John O'Malley

Casualties ;
Robert Jennings - plasma burns to shoulder
Ki-tat Chung - plasma burns to chest

Fatalaties ;
Shuwei Chen - Shrapnel damage
John O'Malley - HE alien device

Hostiles present ;
Unidentified alien lifeform

Outcome of mission ;
Aliens Killed by X-COM Operatives:..........4
X-COM Operatives Killed by Aliens:..........2
X-COM Operatives Wounded in Action:.........2
Live Aliens Recovered:......................1

"Not bad for a first mission..." said Genega as he read over the printout of XCom's first official mission.
"Yeah they all did pretty well out there," rumbled Warlord from next to the Commander. "I was especially impressed with Jennings... I think he may have a few issues but once they're ironed out I think he could be a valuable asset to our operation."
"I heard he did well from Rick. He was equally impressed... I'll be sure to mention it to Robert in his debriefing for the mission. I have something I'd rather tell you in person though. While I have you here..."
"Commander?"
"You've always been one of the best soldiers in this operation Jack and you've always known that. The squad seems to have taken to you as their leader and I'd like to make you the offer officially. It's your choice of course and you're free to say no, but I'd like you to lead the squad indefinitely."
"Thankyou sir, I'll certainly consider it. I'll have to get back to you though, the life of a soldiers always been mine. I don't know if I'm meant to be in command..."
"Like I said, you're free to say no, I just wanted to make you the offer first."
"Yes sir thankyou. I'll let you know as soon as I've thought it over. I'd better let you get to writing those debriefings."
"Always the thoughtful one," said Genega grinning. "You're dismissed soldier."
"Yes sir." Warlord saluted and left the Commanders office, heading to his own more modest quarters. He remembered seeing the plans for an XCom funded living quarters module. Twenty people crammed into one room... He was just glad that Pine Gap was occupied as the first base of operations for XCom.

In his office, Commander Genega closed the door after Warlord and sat at his desk to begin work on the numerous paperwork that accompanied a misson like this. He sighed as he began to sift through the many personnel files that had been left for him. Sitting back in his chair, Genega sighed to himself again and said to himself "They don't know how lucky they are to be out there fighting..."

#36 Snikers

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 03:08 AM

"Ah - ow," came the whisper. Jennings grimaced as the doctor - he didn't have the privelege of knowing her name - prodded at the burn on his torso. She offered no apology, gray eyes inspecting for more serious damage. She had been a military doctor for over twenty years and could not be brought to care, anymore, for the pain of others.
In combat he had been high on adrenaline and hadn't noticed, but Jennings' burn actually reached from just right of his sternum all the way to a patch spilling into his left shoulder area. Jennings could still remember the moment clearly though.
He had looked to his right, the jungle's humidity forming sweat on his forehead and coming close to entering his eyes. He had seen light sheening off a purple metal for only the breifest of split seconds, but he was already on hairpin alert. He hadn't even thought; his feet dug into the dirt and propelled him away from whatever it was even as his arms swung the rifle to bear. Had he not been moving, he knew he would have taken the hit straight in the chest - and from what he'd seen of the effects of the alien tech, it would have gone right out the other side. As it were, he estimated he had caught the edge of the shot, and knew he was lucky. But he could still feeling the Kevlar bubbling, that memory was as clear as a photograph in his head...
Lucky. Yes. A deep feeling settled in the pit of Jennings' gut. He had a sense of foreboding that he wouldn't be so lucky next time.
"No problem," said the doctor, finally. "Looks nasty, but nothing serious here. You can return to duty in a couple of days, tops."
Jennings nodded at another table, where another lay. "What about him? How's he?"
The only sign of movement on Ki-Tat was the steady rise and fall of his chest. He had been conscious when they brought him in, and while he had even been able to grin and give a shaky thumbs up, Tammy had been familiar enough with combat injuries (and perhaps bravado) to know to give him a shot of some rather formidable painkillers. Ki-Tat was sleeping off some potent drugs at the moment.
"Him? Oh, he'll be fine. Golden hour rule. He'll probably even be able to return to service." The doctor frowned. "Can't say how long, though. That was quite a hit he took. Hey, just look after yourself, okay?"
With this last sentence the doctor gave Jennings a hearty slap on the shoudler - the left shoulder. Jennings gasped, then choked it off. Behind him, the doctor grinned. She far from dsliked the power she had over the no-neck no-brain men she firmly believed the military was made up of. She gave his shoulder an extra squeeze and continued off to check on Ki-Tat, expression innocent.
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#37 Hankosha

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 02:58 PM

Hankosha was sitting in the lounge, hearing people talk about the aliens. He reached down to rub the charm, and not feeling it remembered it wasn't there. He sighed. The situation was not looking good. He headed for his room. It was empty, devoid of the little luggage O'Malley had possesed.The battle records were open to everyone, so Hankosha had looked at the tactics of the aliens. They spread out, trying to hide, but yet trying to cover the area surrounding the ufo. Their tactics were similar to a guerilla group in the jungle that he had fought with once, for a thrill, but the tactics weren't all that difficult. He looked of the battle again, noting that the aliens dropped easy when they were shot. They didn't have human ingenuity, so they didn't play possum. Hankosha checked the records again and noted the absense of ingenuity. It seemed as though they were all in control of one mind. Hankosha let that thought die. He also noticed the aliens were well trained in the usage of the weapons. As though they had done this type of combat before. Hankosha left. He needed a drink.
The Wise man considers himself Foolish, but the Foolish Man considers himself wise. However, the Wise man still knows what the Foolish man does not.

Playing Kingdom of Loathing and X-box.

#38 The Veteran

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:08 PM

"Hey there trooper"
Jennings groaned and rolled over as best he could to face the door.
"Hey sorry, I didn't know you were sleeping," said Rick as he approached the bed.
"Don't worry about it. It's just all there is to do in here. I'm glad for the company."
"So how are you doing? That was a pretty bad hit you took out there."
"I'm not doing so bad," replied Jennings as Rick sat down beside him. "The nurse says it's mostly flesh damage. The muscles underneath aren't too bad."
"That's good to hear, I just hope you're back in action before squad 1 needs to act again. You did a great job out there."
"Thanks but my shoulder begs to differ."
"You're shoulder's lucky to still be attached to your body from what I hear of O'Malley's demise."
"I heard... It doesn't stop the burning though. I've been told that'll take about a week."
"A week? Hell, let's just hope these aliens aren't feeling all that active for a while..."
"Well we must've given them a good scare last night. If they're really all that smart then they should take some time to change their tactics. But I doubt they are..."
"Why do you say that?"
"Well, look at me. Would you say I'm smart? Of course you wouldn't, I'm not! But that's why I'm a soldier. I do what I'm told, no matter what the odds. I think they're the same..."
"Well you may have a point there. If I'd have taken the hit that you did I'd have been down for good! Bigger is better I guess huh?"
"Not when it means you're always the first one to get shot at! Easier to hit you know?"
Jennings smiled and pulled himself up the bed a bit, sitting for the first time since he'd arrived in the Med-lab.
"One question," he said as he got comfortable.
Rick nodded, "fire away."
"We won the battle, I remember the area being confirmed as secure... So how come I don't remember getting back to base?"
Rick chuckled softly. "Soon after the action was over you passed out due to loss of blood. Apparently you'd been bleeding heavily the whole time without noticing! Tammy wrapped you up for the airlift out and they stuck you straight in here when we got back."
"Is that a fact? I guess I'm even dumber than I thought" Jennings laughed and Rick accompanied him.
"Hey" called a voice from across the room. "Do you mind keeping it down over there? Some of us are trying to slip into a coma..."
Jennings turned to see Ki-tat wide awake and sitting up in his bed. "Hey it's the human blast shield! How are you feeling?"
"About the same as you I'd guess... where are the nurses around here?"
"Trust me you don't want to know. Our field medic's one in a million, not like the base staff." Jennings pulled a contorted face in mockery of the nurse who had seen to him since his arrival in the med-lab.
Ki-tat sighed, "things just don't let up do they?"
"You'd better believe it," said an unwelcoming female voice as the nurse returned to check on her patients. "It's about time you woke up. Now let's see how you're healing up. You guys may want to look away." She drew a curtain around Ki-tat's bed and they both vanished from sight.
Rick and Jennings looked at each other silently for a moment before allowing themselves some muffled laughter.
"I was going to wait for Ki-tat too but since he's going to be tied up for a while I guess I'll just give you yours." Rick extended his hand to Jennings and handed him a sealed envelope.
"Oh joy, debriefings. My most favourite part of a mission..." Jennings frowned softly as he opened the envelope.
Rick had brought his own debriefing with him unopened, and now he read it.
"So what did you get?" he asked Jennings when he'd reached the bottom of the document.
"A callsign apparently..." replied Jennings obviously still reading.
Rick grinned. "We had a talk about you on the way home. What do you think?"
"Stump," said Jennings with a raised eyebrow. "Why am I Stump?"
"You know near the end of the battle we hid behind that tree?" Jennings nodded. "Well that was burnt right through, I honestly don't know how it was still standing. But it was. Even when we left it was still standing. But just after you passed out, it fell down. Took out a wall of the UFO, the techs aren't too happy about it." Rick chuckled as he spoke and Jennings seemed to finally understand.
"That's not right man... It's like voodoo or something... I mean, what happens if that tree ever gets chipped?"
Rick laughed. "I guess we just have to hope that doesn't happen huh? Besides we carved a memorial for Shuwei and John into the stump so unless you have some unexplained tattoos then you'll be fine."
Jennings looked down the front of his medical gown, "if I roll over can you check my back?"
"If you roll over I'm leaving. Those things are open backed you know"
Jennings laughed as a muffled cry rose from the curtained bed beside him. "Of course it hurts it's a fourth degree burn! Now stop touching it"
Rick and Jennings both laughed out loud as they listened to Ki-tat's tortured cries and soon the nurse emerged and drew back the curtain.
Rick rose and started over to Ki-tat, his debriefing in hand. "Here, I brought you some light reading. I hope you enjoy it... Looks like you won't have another one for quite some time"
"Tell me about it," replied Ki-tat taking the envelope. "I'm going to be here for at least a week... And that's if it's a quick recovery"
"Ouch"
"Don't worry about it. I'm here for about that long too. We can play I-spy or something."
"Hey everybody! What's going on here? Is this a red fireteam reunion or something?"
"Hey T nice of you to drop in." said Rick turning away from where Ki-tat was reading to see Trigger enter the med-lab.
"What so I'm just a letter now? What happened to a name?"
"Think yourself lucky..." said Jennings rolling his eyes.
"Quiet Stumpy, you'll get used to it." laughed Rick.
"Oh hey I just read that bit," chuckled Ki-tat. "How come I don't have a callsign?"
"They probably didn't think you'd like Whiney," said Jennings smiling openly.
"Stumpy hey? I like it. You look kind of like a Stumpy..." said Trigger still in the doorway.
"Technically it's just Stump. It doesn't sound so friendly though." said Rick walking over to Trigger. "So what brings you here anyway?"
"Not pleased to see me Richard?"
"Hey, unless you want that T to become Timothy you'd better be careful"
Jennings laughed, "that's worse than Stump"
Trigger frowned. "Just call me Tim. You know like you have for the last five years"
Rick chuckled "So what's up?"
"I was looking for you and Warlord said you'd be here."
"Yeah he gave me the debriefing reports for these two cripples. I was just dropping them off. I'm done now." Rick turned to the two bed-ridden casualties, "I'll come back and visit you guys I promise! Try not to kill each other though huh?"
Jennings and Ki-tat shooed Rick who left with a smile and started heading for the rec-room with Trigger.
"So do the pilots get debriefings?"
"Gia did, she shot it down. Technically I was off-duty so I didn't get one. I just recieved the mission report." The two men entered the lift next to the med-lab and headed down. "Messy end to one of the guys I hear?"
"Yeah that was John, the poor guy was torn to pieces. The worst thing is that the shrapnel that killed Shuwei was part of John's uniform..."
"Damn... How did you get on? Chalk up any kills?"
"You better believe it. Got one of them to the end of the battle. Jack flushed it out for me and I got it right between the shoulders"
Rick grinned proudly as the lift doors opened again.
"So how was your battle report then?" Trigger asked Rick.
"Interesting... Apparently the Commander has offered control of Squad 1 to Warlord. If he says no then I'm next in line... We'll have to wait and see though. I have no idea whether Jack has a taste for command or not..."
"But you'd take up the post if he didn't?"
"I'd certainly give it a go. It might be nice to be the top of the chain for once..."
Trigger laughed as they entered the Rec-room, bustling with soldiers as usual.
"Hey it's nice to see the rec-room free from nerds for once" said Rick laughing.
"I guess they're busy with the UFO and stuff huh?"
Rick grunted an acknowledgement as he scanned the room for familiar faces. He was surrounded by them.
"Hey there's the leader to be," said Rick glancing over to where Warlord was with the rest of his fireteam from the last mission.
"Oh please tell me you're not going to trade war stories..."
"Why I'm sure if Gia was here you'd be doing just the same"
"No, we've already done that..." Trigger sighed, "come on then, let's get it over with..."
Welcome back to the wonderful world of Fan-fiction! (it's short for fantastic!)
Go check em out, UFO TFTD and Apocalypse all under one roof!!!

Also why not check out XCom : Colonisation over in the special projects forum. Won't kill you if you do, might kill you if you don't!

#39 Rasicar

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 03:48 AM

*THWAP*

The punching bag moved slightly.

*THWAP THWAP*

It moved even more.

Donovan was stripped to his chest and glistening with sweat from the workout he was putting himself though. Other then gloves for the bag, the only other thing he was wearing was the loosest fitting training pants he could find. They weren't exactly 'gi-pants' but he figured they would do.


"Nice form," a voice said behind him.

He stopped in the middle of a kick and spun around in ready stance, looking directly at Martin Terrick.

Terrick moved over and held the bag and motioned for Donovan to continue.  Donovan dropped into ready stance and started hitting the bag again, switching between intricate kicks, punches, elbows and hand-strikes.

"Any reason why your working yourself into exhaustion?" Terrick asked, through gritted teeth trying to brace the bag. Thinking 'this guy is good,' at the same time.

Donovan's punch floundered and that statement, impacting the bag with little  effectm, glancing off the side. He shook his head slightly and then came up out of his stance and put his hands on his hips.

Breathing heavily, he looked Terrick straight in the eyes, "Have you ever seen some die in front of you?"

Terrick blinked a few times and let go of the bag, "So that's what's bugging you? Seeing your comrades drop? Kid, it happens."

Donovan shook his head, "It wasn't O'Malley that bothered me; he sacrificed himself to save us. I respect that and won't waste my time mourning over him for it. It was the way she died. After the blast she just took off, but she was already dying. And I think she knew it; so she figured she'd take it down with her. At least I guess.
"I don't know, I guess I never expected to see someone go down like that."

Terrick nodded slightly, "Well, we didn't expect to ever have to fight aliens now did we?"

This remark caused Donovan to chuckle slightly, "Yeah, I guess you're right."

Terrick clapped him on the back, "Now go hit the showers and go to the rec. room. I'd wouldn't be surprised to find a couple people willing to raise a toast to our fallin comrades."

With that he turned around head out of the room leaving Donovan there just shaking his head. The man was right. Donovan couldn't let himself get get hung up over fallen soldiers.

'Better to celebrate then pity the dead, after all, they are free of this burden we now carry." he said quietly to himself.

He looked at the punching bag one last time and envisioned the alien that threw the grenade that vaporized O'Malley and started Shuwei's death sentence. The punch he threw was the most perfect punch he'd even thrown. All muscles in his body focused into a single lancing point that almost made the bag soar ninety degrees. He looked down at his hand and saw he cracked open his knuckles from from that one shot and looked back at the bag. Their was still an impression of his fist in it.

Twenty minutes later he was out of the shower and in the rec. room with Terrick, raising a glass in cheers with his now bandaged hand.

********************************************************************
The next day
********************************************************************

All people who weren't on guard duty were assembled in two rows before the entrance of transport. Everyone was dressed in the closest thing to a 'dress uniform,' that X-Com had. Genega was at the head of the group, an ornate coffin was in the center with a soldier at each corner.

Warlord called out, "Atten-HUT" Everyone came to attention.

Genega started to speak, "We are gathered here to pay respects to our fallen comrades. Private's Shuwei and O'Malley gave their lives in the defense of our planet, of our race. While we can not announce the true circumstances of their untimely departure to the rest of the world, their actions shall be remembered throughout all of X-Com and in time everyone on this planet. Death comes for us all; the only question is when and how. The only decision we get to make is how we decide to meet it. These made a decision that not many choose to... they met it on their feet, fighting to the end."

"Private John O'Malley, Private Shuwei Chen: You will be missed," Genega finished.

The four soldiers knelt down and lifted the coffin and carried in silence into the transport. From their the body would be shipped back to Shuwei Chen's family to be treated to as according to their beliefs. When the soldiers came back out of the transport and filed in, Warlord turn towards a hill in the distance.

"About-Face" he belted out, and everyone else turned in his direction. At Genega's signal, all soldiers gave the hill a salute.

On top of the hill two white specks could be seen. They were in the shape of a cross. On one cross was written 'Private John O'Malley. X-Com: Squad 1, Green Leader.'   The other read 'Private Shuwei Chen. X-Com: Squad 1, Green 2.'

********************************************************************
Later that day
********************************************************************

Genega was in his office going over some paper work and trying to keep the thoughts of the soldiers that had fallen in the assault out of his mind when he heard a knock on the door.

"Come in," he said.

The door opened and in came a man in a white lab coat. The General put down the current file he was looking at and looked up at the man.

"Do I know you?" the General asked.

"No sir, I don't believe we've met, I'm Seamus O'Riork," the man said in a thick Irish accent, "Biogeneticist. Sir, I came in to report an update of the... the..., well the alien sir," he said trying to collect himself.

"Go on," Genega said, hoping for some good news.

"Well sir, nearest as we can tell, it's ummm... well it is dead sir."

Genega got up out of his chair, "Why wasn't I informed of this until now?"

"Sir, it died when the burial ceremony was being conducted, we thought that it would best to not intrude, after all, once something is dead, it can't exactly be brought back." Seamus said, timidly.

Genega took a deep breath and nodded. The man was right.

"Very well, in that case, how did it die?"

"Well General, an autopsy is being performed on it now, but from the initial data that we've gathered, it appears to have died from suffocation. In short, it couldn't breathe sir."

"But I thought that they were out of their ship and walking around just fine," the General said.

"Yes, that is puzzling us sir, however I think it might be that they can survive for a limited time in our atmosphere before returning to their own. Sir, I came also to ask your permission to have engineering follow through on their development of a containment facility. I think after the autopsy is finished we will be able to tell exactly what type of chemicals it breaths and how to safely introduce it to them. However we need the facility schematics in order to do that."

Genega nodded, "I'll make sure you get it as soon as possible. And Dr, I wan't a full report on that autopsy on my desk in two days, is that understood?"

The man faltered a little bit before regaining his composure, "Ye... Yes General."

Genega waved a hand, gesturing that they were done.

The scientist quickly ducked out of the room, glad to be heading back to the lab where he wouldn't have to deal with people.

Genega looked back down at the paper on his desk; more specifically at the fatality paperwork he had been filling out and then looked out the window. "What I wouldn't give to be back on the front lines," he said to the empty room.

#40 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 05:11 AM

A shortish young man carrying a duffel bag over his shoulder strolled down the corridor from the hanger. As usual, he felt a bit lost; well you did, on your first assignment at a new base. And this one was like nothing he'd ever seen, most of them he could at least look up somewhere on the web. Whether or not he was supposed to.

But this was where the drop ship had left him, and little as he knew of his new assignment this was it. After a few years in the military, carefully avoiding promotion, he'd been approached by some shady blokes in uniform with badges like he'd never seen before. Ah well, ours is not to reason why...

He stopped walking and looked around. He'd passed a few rooms and offices, and one over there looked occupied. It had a plaque on it reading "General Genega". He went to stick his head around the door, thought better of it and knocked.

"Ah? Hello? Uh, I'm reporting for soldier duty... the demolition expert?"
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