Ros

Member Since 18 Dec 2007
Offline Last Active Dec 25 2016 04:39 PM

#137325 A True Heir To Be

Posted Thorondor on 16 October 2014 - 05:02 PM

Posted Image

::

Update: Wastelands Interactive has sent word that a brand new race has been introduced to Worlds of Magic - "the Orcs. These savage raiders are the perfect faction for early game expansion."


#150202 Take Two!

Posted silencer_pl on 22 February 2016 - 12:04 AM

This is tragic, and many people play like this and then complain how hard this game is. Sigh.


#144645 Ion Armor Problem (Tech Tree 3)

Posted PeachGirl on 03 August 2015 - 01:26 PM

[SPOILERS BELOW]

Well, after getting both a dead and a live Lobsterman from that last Alien Colony, I do have to say... you were spot-on right about it! I just didn't expect Ion Armor to be so "hard" to get. I mean, you can get Plastic Aqua Armor relatively early in the game by obtaining just a Deep One corpse. I therefore thought the next tier armor would be derived from some of the mid-game aliens, particularly a terrorist alien (to follow in the same line as Plastic Aqua Armor).

View PostTycho, on 23 July 2013 - 12:52 AM, said:

The prerequisites for armors have been reordered or changed. Aqua plastics can be researched when found. The prerequisite for Ion Armor is not a live Deep One but more logical. (Hint:all armors' prerequisites follow the same idea.)

Retrospectively, Lobsterman does indeed seem to make more logical sense now (down to the yellow color of it and all!). Although It'd be perhaps nicer if Magnetic-Ion Armor was a little harder to get afterwards, since by the time you get a Lobsterman you will have already gotten Magnetic Navigation a long time ago.


#148846 The Movie Thread

Posted FullAuto on 28 December 2015 - 02:58 AM

Has anyone been to see Star Wars yet? Tell me how appallingly average it was so I can justify my hatred for what is now an abusive relationship between nerds who think they are a minority and probably the most popular film series of all time.

I love Mad Max, I bought the art book. Dredd was great. I can't think of anything else right now.


#145874 Deployment of Soldiers within X-Com Craft

Posted Maurice76 on 12 September 2015 - 11:24 PM

After some analysis of the GeoScope.exe file, I've managed to find the tables responsible for deploying the Soldiers within an X-Com craft in missions that feature them.

In the DOS v1.0 of TFTD, it can be found almost at the very end. Starting from address 75EF8h, there are 26 sets of 3 bytes for each of the three Troop carriers that the player has access to. The first set of 78 bytes is for the Triton, the second set is for the Hammerhead and the third set is for the Leviathan.

Explicitely:
Triton: address range is 75EF8h to 75F45h.
Hammerhead: address range is 75F46h to 75F93h.
Leviathan: address range is 75F94h to 75FE1h.
Each range is composed of 26 sets of 3 bytes each, one for each X-Com soldier spawn node, in sequential order. The first byte is the X-coordinate of the node, the second byte is the Y-coordinate and the third one is the Z-coordinate (relative to the craft map, not the eventual total map!). A curious note: usually they put the Y-coordinate in front of the X-coordinate wherever they use them. That's not the case here, surprisingly.

Organised per spawn node (instead of per craft):

    Triton  Hammer Leviathan  
     X Y Z  X Y Z  X Y Z
01   5 7 2  5 7 2  5 10 2
02   4 7 2  4 7 2  4 10 2
03   5 6 2  3 7 2  5 9 2
04   4 6 2  5 6 2  4 9 2
05   5 5 2  4 6 2  5 8 2
06   4 5 2  3 6 2  4 8 2
07   5 4 2  5 5 2  5 7 2
08   4 4 2  4 5 2  4 7 2
09   5 3 2  3 5 2  5 6 2
10   4 3 2  5 4 2  4 6 2
11   5 2 2  4 4 2  5 5 2
12   4 2 2  3 4 2  4 5 2
13   3 7 2  0 0 0  5 4 2
14   3 6 2  0 0 0  4 4 2
15   0 0 0  0 0 0  5 3 2
16   0 0 0  0 0 0  4 3 2
17   0 0 0  0 0 0  6 9 2
18   0 0 0  0 0 0  3 9 2
19   0 0 0  0 0 0  6 8 2
20   0 0 0  0 0 0  3 8 2
21   0 0 0  0 0 0  6 7 2
22   0 0 0  0 0 0  3 7 2
23   0 0 0  0 0 0  6 6 2
24   0 0 0  0 0 0  3 6 2
25   0 0 0  0 0 0  6 5 2
26   0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0


Note how spawn node 26 is 0 0 0 for the Leviathan - that's the bug where the soldier in slot 26 is spawned on the relative location (0, 0, 0) of the Leviathan map block instead of inside the craft (note that the Leviathan map itself only has 3 floors, with the ground floor having a Z-coordinate of 2; all overall maps with an X-Com Craft in it have 4 floors, a 4th one is added on top of it, changing the Z-coordinate of the ground floor to 3 instead of 2. This causes the Soldier in slot 26 to appear at (X, Y, 1) on the map, with X and Y being the offset values for the map block that holds the Leviathan).

Schematically, when we translate the above coordinates, we get the following layout for the Soldier spawn nodes for each X-Com craft:

Triton:
\  X 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Y \ ------------------------------
00 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
01 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
02 | __ __ __ __ 12 11 __ __ __ __
03 | __ __ __ __ 10 09 __ __ __ __
04 | __ __ __ __ 08 07 __ __ __ __
05 | __ __ __ __ 06 05 __ __ __ __
06 | __ __ __ 14 04 03 __ __ __ __
07 | __ __ __ 13 02 01 __ __ __ __
08 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
09 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __


Hammerhead:
\  X 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Y \ ------------------------------
00 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
01 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
02 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
03 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
04 | __ __ __ 12 11 10 __ __ __ __
05 | __ __ __ 09 08 07 __ __ __ __
06 | __ __ __ 06 05 04 __ __ __ __
07 | __ __ __ 03 02 01 __ __ __ __
08 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
09 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __


Leviathan:
\  X 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Y \ ------------------------------
00 | 26*__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
01 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __        
02 | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __        
03 | __ __ __ __ 16 15 __ __ __ __  
04 | __ __ __ __ 14 13 __ __ __ __  
05 | __ __ __ __ 12 11 25 __ __ __  
06 | __ __ __ 24 10 09 23 __ __ __  
07 | __ __ __ 22 08 07 21 __ __ __  
08 | __ __ __ 20 06 05 19 __ __ __  
09 | __ __ __ 18 04 03 17 __ __ __  
10 | __ __ __ __ 02 01 __ __ __ __


* = this node isn't on the ground floor, but 2 floors higher up.

The fix is easy enough: just alter the three bytes at address range 75FDFh - 75FE1h from 00 00 00 to 03 05 02. This places node 26 just above node 24 and to the left of node 12, where it should belong.

Probably when designing the craft layout, the developer assumed counting the nodes from 0 to 25, instead of from 1 to 26.


#148579 1999 REDUX (0.7)

Posted silencer_pl on 14 December 2015 - 10:49 PM



Chasing the Etheral.


#20495 The Agents

Posted FullAuto on 23 September 2004 - 11:28 AM

The phone rang.
  Pete snaked an arm out from under the covers and picked it up. "Hello."
  Nat instinctively cuddled up, throwing an arm and a leg over him.
  "Alright, boss." Kev's usual good humour was absent from his voice. "Have you checked your bank account yet?"
  Pete opened his eyes. "No.  Why?"
  "Have a look at it, see if you've been paid.  I'm going to give Pickering a call." He put the phone down.
  Pete stared at the handset for a moment before letting it drop to the floor. "Hmm."
  "A job?" Nat asked, kissing his chest.
  "No." Pete sat up, yawning. "The house is paid for, isn't it?"
  "You paid for it." She sat up with him, long dark hair spilling over her shoulders. "Didn't you?"
  "Mmm." Pete got up, scratching his arse. "Start the computer up.  I'll get a brew on."

  "Yes?" Anna passed the phone to Chris. "For you."
  "Eh?" He took the phone. "Who is it?"
  "Alright, wanker?"
  "Not too bad." He got up and stretched. "How are you?"
  "Unpaid."
  "What?" Chris stopped stretching.
  "I'm looking at my bank balance now.  I had three grand change from paying for my house, and I've still got three grand." Kev sounded a tad annoyed. "Check yours, will you?"
  "Kev, it's eight in the morning-"
  "Just check.  If it's just me, then it's just a mistake.  But if it's all of us, then there's something wrong.  I'm going to give Lukas a ring and then call Pickering."
  Chris sighed. "Ok."

  "Ja?"
  "Lukas, me old mucker"
  "Kev?"
  "None other, mate."
  Lukas pushed his breakfast plate aside. "Do we have a job?"
  "Nein"
  "Nine?  We had better get started then."
  "Har de har har." Kev replied. "Look, have you been paid?"
  "I don't know." Lukas checked his watch. "I'm just having breakfast.  I was with Greta last night, I slept in."
  Kev chuckled. "You dirty dog.  She still there?"
  "She works for a living."
  "Oh?" Kev got around to being serious. "Do me a favour, check if you've been paid?"
  "Why?"
  "Because I haven't.  Nothing to worry about, yet."
  "Very well."

  Kev put down the phone and sipped his tea.  He glanced at the computer screen.  Nothing had changed.
  He refreshed the page.
  The screen blinked.  The numbers didn't change.
  "Shit." He drummed his fingers on the table.
  Nothing else for it, really.
  He picked up the phone and called Pickering.

  "Face like a smacked arse." Kev commented from the chair.
  Chris shook his head. "Shut it."
  "What's up?" Pete asked, leaning against a pillar with a cup of tea in his hand.
  "Broke.  Had to get Anna to give me a lift here." He dropped into a chair.
  Kev winced. "Christ.  Don't fancy that one."
  "She's fuming." Chris looked around the lobby. "What's this place then?"
  The interior was dark earth tones and pale cream, with a fluted marble pillar the colour of milk in the centre of the circular room.  The chairs were deep and well cushioned, set in pairs and dotted around seemingly at random.  The ceiling was a faded mosaic.
  "Haven't got a clue." Pete sipped his tea. "Service is good though.  Tea was steaming hot when we came through the door."
  "How's the arse?" Chris nudged Kev.
  "Lukas?  He's on his way." Kev smiled, then shrugged. "Healed, still stings a bit."
  "Gentlemen."
  They turned to face the back of the room.  Jenny Graham stood by the rear wall.
  "Phwoar." Kev muttered under his breath.
  "Chris, it's nice to see you again." She came forward, extending her hand.
  Chris got up and shook it. "Alright?"
  "Not too bad." She smiled and Chris felt his traitorous knees buckle. "This must be Kev and Pete."
  Pete had to remind himself he was married.  She offered her hand and he shook it gently. "Miss Graham."
  "Jenny, please."
  That smile again.
  Pete gave a brief smile and turned away.  She was too pretty, and that suit hugged her figure too closely.
  Kev was loving it.  He shook her hand, holding on a few seconds longer than usual.  He gave her his best winning smile. "Hello."
  Jenny simply turned up the wattage and outshone him. "How's the war wound?"
  Kev deflated. "Fine, thank you."
  "If you'll come through, John's waiting to see you." Jenny walked to the back of the room and knocked once on the wall.
  A section swung inward, providing a narrow doorway to the room beyond.
  "Very James Bond." Pete said, putting his cup down on a nearby coffee table.
  Jenny smiled. "I'm sorry if you find it a little melodramatic.  MI6 bought this building from the Freemasons just after World War Two.  They do like their secrets."
  They followed her.  The room was small and rectangular, similar décor and a man sat behind a wide mahogany desk.  He looked them all over carefully, hands below the level of the desk.
  "This is Parker, our resident watchdog." Jenny turned her smile on the guard and he nodded in reply. "Parker, these men are part of the operation."
  "Yes, ma'am." Parker's voice was flat and accentless.
  He was small and slender, and his dark eyes watched them cross the floor to another door beside the desk.
  Pete shot a quick glance over his shoulder and caught a glimpse of Parker's hands.  They were holding a pistol and a grenade.  Pete looked at Kev, but he was busy examining Jenny's rear.
  The next room was furnished like a gentleman's club, with a small bar in the far corner and more overstuffed chairs scattered about, each one paired with a footstool and small table.  A fireplace crackled softly, throwing out a stuffy warmth that made them sweat a little.  It provided the only light, apart from a dim electric flambeaux behind the bar.
  Pickering got up from a chair by the fire, his features lit from below, casting shadows over his eyes and mouth. "It's good to see you again."
  "Wish I could say the same." Kev said, stripping off his jacket and easing down into a chair. "So, what suicide mission-"
  "Kev." Pete said, softly.
  "Sorry!  Did I say 'suicide mission'?  I meant to say 'job'.  Must be one of those Freudian slips." Kev folded his hands in his lap. "Any chance of a drink?"
  Jenny started towards the bar "I'll-"
  Pete stepped past her, waving her back. "I'll do it.  Who wants what?"
  "Martini, shaken, not stirred." Kev called.
  "Smooth." Chris muttered, rolling his eyes. "JD and lemonade, boss."
  Jenny laughed, taking off her suit jacket. "Vodka and orange, please."
  Pete slid behind the bar and started pouring. "Pickering?"
  "There's a bottle of Laphroaig at the back of the bottom cabinet."
  "Good choice." Pete poured himself a little and tossed it back.
  It tasted like the past.  He poured Pickering's measure and put it away.
  Something buzzed.  Jenny checked her pocket. "That'll be Lukas.  I'll go and get him."
  Kev's eyes followed her.
  "Put your tongue away." Chris nudged his shoulder as he sat.
  "I've said it once, and I'll say it again." Kev said. "Phwoar."
  "Apart from Miss Graham's attributes," Pickering sat down and leaned forward, the light from the fire revealing his whole face now, "there's something else you need brought to your attention."
  Pete reconsidered and poured another finger of Laphroaig into a glass.  He downed it and put the bottle away, shutting the cabinet a little more firmly than necessary.
  "Your past jobs have been exemplary.  You'll be glad to know the samples made it safely onto an ESA rocket, which sadly suffered a malfunction and was detected on a trajectory headed directly for the sun." Pickering stretched his long legs out and crossed them at the ankle. "Dr. Dexter performed as promised, and dropped everyone else involved in the project in very deep shit.  Certain members of the Opposition now have a lot of explaining to do."
  Pete didn't like where this was going.  This meeting was not a pat on the back.  He carried the drinks over and set them down on a small table near the fire.
  "However." Pickering picked up his whisky and sipped. "There's been an unforseen complication."
  "Here we are." Jenny announced from the doorway.
  Pete watched Kev's eyes glaze over again as she walked into the room, followed by Lukas.  He'd have to sort that out.
  Lukas smiled and dropped into a chair, shaking his head when Pete offered him a drink.
  "Congress has decided it wants a closer look at black budget projects.  Several are losing their black status.  Some have been frozen altogether."
  Kev groaned, slumping back in his chair.
  "This is why we haven't been paid?" Lukas asked.
  "Exactly.  We're funded through a fairly big project, we siphon funds from it on a regular basis.  But the project has lost its black status, its budget is now fully accountable.  Which means we can't take any more.  There's been some notable contributions, and we're a small set up at the moment.  But we need to get bigger.  A lot bigger.  And we need to do it soon."
  "Hold on." Kev shook his head. "You just said we-"
  "You are cutting the mustard." Pickering broke in. "But that's just it.  There's just you four."
  Pete closed his eyes. "What a bunch of frigging cowboys."
  "Pardon, Sergeant Walker?" Pickering's tone was polite, but his eyes were angry.
  "How many people work for X-INV?" Pete sighed.
  "Counting us, two dozen, thirty at the most." Pickering finished his whisky abruptly. "Not counting our informants and people who do odd jobs for us."
  "Brilliant." Pete got up and paced slowly to the bar and back.
  "We need to expand.  We need more teams like yours, at least one for every continent.  We don't need much of an infrastructure, we can tap into any existing one.  We have many contacts all over the world-"
  "Hence fixing our way in and out of Russia and the Congressional hearings." Pete stopped and shook his head. "So, we're powerful, but broke."
  "Essentially." Jenny took a drink. "We've been looking around for alternative funding, but we've found very little.  There's the possibility of getting a stipend from the EU, but that will only cover European operations."
  "What about the UN?  They signed up to the charter that allows us to operate.  Can't we just request some money?" Kev asked.
  "The UN..." Pickering trailed off, shaking his head. "We're looking into that.  But the UN is not the best organisation at keeping things a secret. Even now, there's a possibility the Opposition has followed the money trail to us.  If we try and get funds when Congress is looking over every secret project the US government has going, we might as well paint targets on ourselves.  The Oppostion has members in Congress, in the Senate, in the CIA, FBI, NSA, NRO, the Secret Service and every branch of the US military and if we leave a trail then they will follow it."
  "So?" Pete returned to the fire and sank into a chair.
  Jenny took a turn. "So, to be frank, we were wondering if you had any ideas."
  Chris blinked. "What?"
  "We were hoping you'd know of some avenues we could explore."
  Kev raised a hand. "Bank robbery?"
  "Something a little less...audacious." Jenny replied. "We need quite a lot of money and to make it worth our while...let's just say the Bank of England doesn't take kindly to being robbed."
  "How much?" Pete asked, looking at Pickering.
  "Let's start at the millions and work our way up." He replied, setting his empty glass down.
  "Stinger hunting." Chris suggested.
  Jenny raised her eyebrows, smiling at him over the rim of her glass.
  He felt the blush begin. "The CIA pays a million for every Stinger missile you steal from the Muj in Afghanistan.  They handed them out like sweets when Ivan invaded, but after that they couldn't get them back."
  "Bounty hunting." Kev volunteered, shrugging. "Lift a few cartel blokes from Colombia, drop them off outside a cop shop in the US.  Mucho dinero."
  "Hmm." Jenny leaned back in her chair.
  "How much would you like, ideally?" Pete asked. "To make it worthwhile?"
  "If you're talking about a full operation, then nothing less than ten million.  Within the month." Jenny said, looking apologetic.
  There was a collective wince.
  "We need you on active duty.  If you're going to be fundraising, then we need more money to cover the gap." Jenny looked at Pickering and he nodded. "Also, there's another thing you might be able to help us with."
  "Which is?" Pete paused his pacing.
  "We need to recruit more field people.  We were hoping you might know some."
  "No one who's too rusty." Pickering added.
  Kev laughed. "I can think of a dozen ex-Regiment blokes off the top of my head."
  "Would they be willing to work a whole month without getting paid?" Pickering asked.
  Kev grinned. "Probably.  The wages you're offering won't hurt."
  Pete walked over to the bar and toyed with a bottle, tossing it up and down.
  Pickering was staring at him through the darkness. "Something on your mind, Sergeant Walker?"
  "El Rey." Pete said.
  "I'm sorry?" Pickering leaned back in his seat, retreating back into darkness
  "El Rey." Pete said a little louder, putting the bottle down.
  "Who or what is-"
  "It's a town in Colombia." Kev broke in. "Supposedly."
  Pickering stayed quiet, hidden in the shadows.
  "Colombia produces about eighty per cent of the world's cocaine, earning about ten billion dollars a year.  Most of that ten billion goes through El Rey." Pete leaned back against the bar as he spoke, looking up at the dark ceiling overhead. "If the US wanted to win the war on drugs, it would adopt a winning strategy and hit El Rey.  A lot of the cartels' leadership is there.  It's their only truly neutral ground.  And the place is swimming in money.  There's only so much they can get rid of in the US."
  "Boss." Kev stood. "No one knows if El Rey really exists."
  "I know one man who does." Pete replied.
  Kev groaned. "Stan the Man?"
  Pete nodded. "Stan the Man."

  "Where are we going again?" Kev asked.
  "Bogota." Pete looked around to see if anyone else was awake.
  No one was.  The flight was late, leaving at close to midnight GMT.  It had been delayed and most of the prospective passengers had disappeared to hotels.
  "Why are we going to Bogota?"
  "Because we need to go to Colombia." Pete sighed.
  "Why Bogota?"
  Pete rubbed at his temple.  Perhaps it was just the late flight, but he was getting a major headache. "Do you know anywhere else in Colombia we can fly to?"
  Kev frowned.
  "Well, shut up then." Pete tried to relax, finding it impossible.
  "Can't believe I had to pay." Kev grunted.
  Pete ignored him, closing his eyes.  Commercial flights always made him feel mildly ill, but with a bit of luck he could sleep through-
  "Wasn't cheap, even though they were cancellations." Kev complained, shifting in his seat.
  Pete glanced across the aisle.  Lukas and Chris were sound asleep.
  -typical-
  "And for Pickering." Kev shook his head. "I mean, you'd expect him-"
  "Kev."
  "Boss?"
  "Stop whingeing." Pete rubbed at the bridge of his nose. "And switch on."
  "Right."
  "We're off to Colombia.  Pickering's going to catch up with us after getting hold of Stan."
  "I know." Kev nodded.
  "Ok, if you know, where is he?"
  "Er.  Mexico?"
  Pete's headache intensified.  Kev hadn't been listening at all. "Where in Mexico?"
  "Um." Kev didn't even have the good manners to look embarrassed.
  "He's being held in the Almoloya de Juarez maximum security prison."
  "Right."
  "Pickering's going to get him out and meet us in Bogota.  Stan is going to tell us where El Rey is.  We'll do the job and let him go in exchange."
  "Nice one."
  "The very next time you stare at a woman and switch off, you're off the job.  Clear?"
  "Crystal."
  "Get some kip."

  Bogota was drowning.  A torrential storm was tearing at the city, hammering rain down in thick hot sheets.  The streets were empty, awash in dirty water.  They got soaked in the five steps between the doors and the taxi.
  "It's raining and I'm sweating." Kev grumbled, piling into the back of the taxi. "It's just wrong."
  Pete ignored him.  Chris flicked water on him.  Lukas tossed the luggage into the boot and hurried round to the door.  The driver was huddled in his seat, face screwed up in a miserable scowl, sweat dripping off his face.
  "Well, we can wind the windows down and sweat and drown, or leave them up and just sweat." Kev wiped moisture off his face. "Where are we going, boss?"
  Pete handed the driver a piece of paper with an address scrawled on it.  The driver looked at it, then shook his head and started muttering in Spanish.  He drove them quickly and expertly, hunched over the wheel, occasionally reaching up to brush his fingers against the crucifix dangling from the rear-view mirror.
  They couldn't see out, the windows steamed up on the inside and streaked with blurring lines of rain on the outside.  Pete tried not to fall asleep, lulled with the soft sounds of rain and the swish of tyres through water.
  Chris excavated a nostril.
  Lukas tried to work the stiffness out of his neck.
  Kev winced at the sticky sweat dripping off him and shook his head.
  -frigging Bogota-

  They'd been driving for nearly half an hour, sweating all the way, when the driver pulled over.  He waved out of the window at a nearby building and held out his hand for payment.
  "Pay the man." Pete grunted, getting out of the taxi.
  Lukas and Chris followed suit.
  Kev dug in his pokets, muttering under his breath.
  The building was squat and ugly, bare concrete pocked with holes and empty window-eyes that stared back, jagged glass eyelashes dripping rain tears.
  All three floors were dark.
  Kev passed the driver some money and climbed out.  He hated South America.  It wasn't the heat, it was the sticky humidity, being clammy with sweat twenty-four hours a day, waking up soaking wet and thinking he'd pissed himself every morning.
  The driver was waving a hand out of his window, complaining in a stream of Spanish that Kev didn't catch.  He bent down and mimed 'What?'.
  The drier sighed and rubbed his thumb and first two fingers together. "Tip."
  "Now you speak English." Ke growled, digging in his pocket. "Here."
  He flipped the driver a coin.
  "Use it to buy some air conditioning."
  The driver gave him the finger as he stepped on the accelerator and lurched off.
  "Charming."
  Pete headed for the main doors and the others trailed behind him, Lukas and Chris with the luggage, Kev mumbling to himself.
  Pete moved into the shelter of the building and jerked the door open, slipping inside.  He turned to hold it open for the others and came face to face with the world's biggest shotgun.
  "Que?" The man holding it asked.
  He was bald and muscular, dressed only in shorts and wraparound shades, his coffee coloured skin running with sweat or rain.
  Pete let the door fall shut. "We're looking for-"
  "I don' speak English." Although the accent was strong, the words were well-formed.
  "Er." Pete tried to take his mind off the yawning bore of the shotgun. "Are you-"
  The man leaned in close, the shotgun never wavering. "I don' speak English, gringo.  Get goin'."
  The door opened.  Chris stepped in, holding it open. "Boss, what...oh.  Already?"
  The bald man looked at Chris.  Pete moved.
  The back of his left hand hit near the end of the barrel, swiping the muzzle aside.  He smashed his right hand down onto the bald man's fingers.
  Pain reflex spasmed his hand open.
  Pete lunged forward, driving his right shoulder in low and hard, driving Baldy back as his hands scooped the shotgun up.
  Baldy clawed at his shoulders and Pete jabbed the shotgun muzzle into his stomach.
  "Speak English now?"
  Holding his injured fingers, the bald man took a step back. "Pickering sen' jou?"
  Pete nodded, standing up, keeping the shotgun levelled.
  "I should ha' known.  He alway sen' gringos like jou."

  "So." Pete sipped the coffee.
  -stuck drinking it for as long as you're here-
  "Pickering say kit jou out." The bald man shruged, fiddling with his shades. "Wha'ever jou need, Bruno gets."
  "How's he paying you?" Lukas asked, stirring the coffee with his finger.
  "I owe him, big favour." Bruno sighed, taking his shades off. "Jou see this?"
  He pointed to his left eye.
  "See what?" Kev leaned in close.
  "This eye, cornea.  Not mine." Bruno grinned. "Me an' Pickering out on a job an' I get something in my eye, li'l bit of metal, maybe-"
  He winked so quickly Pete almost missed it.
  "-an' Pickering get me new cornea, like I get these." He tossed the shades onto the table. "I owe him.  This is payback."
  Bruno leaned back in his seat, finishing his coffee and sighing.
  "So.  Wha' jou need?"
  Pete sized him up. "Can you get us some guns?"
  Bruno rolled his eyes. "Can jou use them?  I get jou guns.  Wha' guns jou wan'?"
  "I don't know yet.  A mixture.  Rifles, shotguns, submachine guns."
  "Jou need, uh," Bruno made a pistol with his finger and thumb. "Nines?"
  "We've got our own." Pete shook his head. "We'll be needing ammunition, though.  Lots of it."
  "I get jou more than jou can use." Bruno got up. "Beds on top floor.  My sister come an' cook an' clean for jou tomorrow.  I come back, too.  When will Pickering come?"
  Pete shrugged. "Don't know."
  Bruno picked his shades up and got to his feet. "Tha' sounds jus' like him."
  He went down the stairs, whistling, shotgun over his shoulder.
  "Well." Kev said, scooting his chair closer to the table. "Quite frankly, I think we've hit a new low."
  Chris bounced a spoon off the back of Kev's head.

  "Why are we standing guard, boss?" Kev asked, peering out of the window.
  "It's something to do." Pete reminded him, sipping a cup of coffee.
  With enough milk and sugar it tasted alright.  Actually, it didn't, but he could kid himself.
  Kev sighed. "Well, what with the finest Colombian up our noses-"
  Chris' throw missed, the spoon bouncing off the wall by Kev's head.
  "-the smell of finest Colombian coffee, that is," Kev glared at Chris, "I doubt we'll have any trouble staying awake."
  "Tosser." Chris muttered, leaning back and putting his feet up on the table. "So, what's the plan, boss?"
  "Wait for Pickering to turn up with Stan.  Go to El Rey, look the place over and take as much money as we can carry.  That's it." Pete yawned. "Kev, you're first on stag.  Four hours, then Lukas, then me, then Chris."
  "Better get the kettle on again then." Kev said, retrieving the spoon from the floor. "You, stop chucking spoons at me."
  "Stop making shit jokes then." Chris advised.

  "So who is this 'Stan the Man'?" Lukas asked Kev as they aired their beds in the morning sunlight.
  "Well, the way I heard it, he started out in the DEA in the seventies, got his name associated with a few big raids, got noticed and got put in charge of Operation Eyebrow."
  Lukas glared.
  "I'm not making this up I swear." Kev's face was a picture of innocence.
  "Alright..." Lukas allowed.
  "It was named after this Medellin cartel bloke, he had a unibrow, you know?  Just one thick line of hair above his eyes?  The op was to get him, so they called it Operation Eyebrow." Kev paused and thought. "Anyway, the op went sour and Stan started lifting the odd bit of money, building a retirement fund.  But it all went badly wrong, some snot-nosed little FBI agent caught him at it and the next thing you know Stan is in Colombia saying 'Si, senor' faster than you can slap the cuffs on.  He goes to work for the cartels, telling them what the US is up to, who the informers are, all that good stuff."
  "Okay..."
  "By the mid-eighties, the war on drugs has gone totally to shit.  Production is up, consumption is up, the US is investing millions and getting not much in return.  That's what spurred them to ask the Regiment to join in, actually.  They lost a lot of assets thanks to Stan, and they needed something to stick the cartels with.  The SAS were it.  We went in, found drug labs and blew them up, arrested scientists, trained blokes from the Colombian army how to do jungle patrols, you name it.  Late eighties, Stan gets lifted.  Cheeky sod flew a C-130 full of cocaine and currency into the US, but he got caught before he could take off again.  A pair of coppers in some nowhere town caught him and about a ton of naughty salt, never mind the couple of million in small bills."
  Lukas whistled softly.
  "Yep.  Government jumped on him with both feet, it was going to be the death penalty quick fast, but some clever boy realised they'd caught a man who had been working for every single major drug cartel for a decade."
  "He goes back to work for the US." Lukas said.
  "Oh yes.  Revealing cartel operations, smuggling techniques, the lot.  The cartels put a ten million bounty on him.  Few try to collect, none succeed.  Last I heard, he was directing ops for the CIA."
  "No wonder he ended up in prison."
  "You said it, mate." Kev remade his bed quickly. "Race you to the kettle."

  "I can't take weeks of this." Kev groaned."I just can't."
  Lukas murmured something in German, cleaning his Glock with practised movements of his fingers.
  "What?  What did you say?" Kev sat up.
  "He said, 'shut up, you tart'." Chris grinned. "Put the kettle on again."
  "Doesn't it ever stop raining?" Kev said, drumming his fingers on the table.
  The rain was still pouring down, and although most of the windows on the second floor were intact, the ones that were not let in rain that quickly spread across the floor.
  They were stripped to the waist and still sweating copiously.  The only one not fidgeting was Pete, sat seiza by a window like an athletic buddha.

  A month without interruption had been heaven.  Last month's wage had paid the last of the mortgage.  Nat had quit her job at his insistence, and with something like reluctance, taken up painting and guitar full time.  Pete loved to see her paint or play, and although she would never make a career out of them, she was good.  A quick sketch soon turned into a full canvas of him practising his kendo, with the sun rising over the sea behind him.  A flurry of notes would soon be refined into a tune.
  It wasn't just the end result that fascinated him, it was the process.  He enjoyed watching her gnaw her lower lip gently as she altered notes and tuned strings, seeing her smile as she hit a sudden improvised flow of notes that sounded good.  She would hum her latest tune as she washed her brushes, and he would find himself beaming at her.
  A whole uninterrupted month.  He'd considered calling Pickering in the third week, just to check everything was okay, but ridiculously thought he might jinx whatever time he had left and Pickering would say 'Yes, we have a job.'  He'd put the phone down even as he called himself stupid for being superstitious.
  "So is this how it's going to be from now on?" Nat had asked, laughing, in the first week of her retirement. "Me a lady of leisure and you working one week every month?"
  "I hope so." He'd replied, looking out through the trees to the sea, trying to smile.
  The next day he set up a better life insurance policy.


#83075 Strange things in X-COM

Posted Tifi on 07 May 2008 - 07:35 PM

Quote

Strange things in X-COM, The madness continues

Don't fight it... :-P
Theres also the logical conundrum of how a disc could share the same co-ords as another unit, not to mention remaining completely invisible to all the troops as well.
Hehe, disc gets shot. Disc goes down and makes explode noise, but doesn't explode. Something else halfway across the map explodes at the exact same time with the exact same blast radius. Fishy to say the least.
Thinking on, I should have screen capped it. Ah well...


#142652 Terror Extended

Posted Nookrium on 21 May 2015 - 07:46 AM

I've been looking forward to seeing superhuman T'leth, it still seems a bit underwhelming though Posted Image

Good series though!  Nice to see it played by someone that knows what they're doing, lol