RP X-Com Role-Play Missions


Game Master
Staff member
“Got it,” Modya responded, forgoing his heavy rifle to reach for a HEAT alien grenade. Spinning it in his hand for a moment, the Russian tossed it at another cyberdisc. It tried to swerve to the side, but the grenade plinked off a piece of unfolded metal, and came to rest between wires closer to the center. Blasting apart, it shredded internals and blew up a nearby drone, but the Cyberdisc’s other companion rapidly repaired damage to its vital systems while repair servos took care of the damaged armor. “Don’t give them time to fix themselves!” Modya offered, pulling out his rifle and shooting down the other drone to remove the potential for excessive endurance.

While Laurent and Mary kept the damaged cyberdisc busy, Christine started forming a rift in front of her. “Hey, Albert! Shoot at me!”

“Right, gotcha!” Albert retorted, quickly catching onto her plan. The infantry snapped off a pair of bursts at the rocketeer, trusting her to follow through on her end. Christine quickly extended her other hand, a second rift form near the Cyberdisc. Before the floating weapon could register the danger, the blast punched into the first rift, through the second, and through the cyberdisc, bringing it down.

“Nice shot, but try and save that energy for the big guy,” Ayame warned. With one half of the room cleared, the soldiers were a little more out of the danger zone, though a glancing shot to Marina said otherwise. Hunkering down next to Sven and Nika, Ayame said, “Hey, got a plan. Me and the Russian girl here suppress the disc on either side, and you snipe it down the middle. Can you do that, legs?”

Sven tilted his head at the odd name. “Yeah, I’ve got it.” He levelled his long rifle on his cover and prepared to fire.

Ayame grinned, and nodded to Nika. The two unloaded on either side of the cyberdisc, the drones on either side desperately darting back and forth to try and get close, but made no headway. “Quick, take it out before we run dry!”

Sven fired a smooth blast of plasma straight through the Cyberdisc, punching through the yellow lights on its innards and sending a shower of sparks around it before splitting in half and exploding on the ground. The other Cyberdisc noted Sven poking out and turned towards him, firing quickly and whittling down his cover. Emily poked out and shot from the other side, hitting one of it’s ebony legs and causing it to stumble momentarily.

David’s mech dashed out from a large piece of heavy cover, launching the small metal disk onto the Cyberdisc’s chassis and hitting it with a well placed bolt of electricity, causing it to arc to a few nearby drones, short circuiting them all.

Ashley fired her rifle at the two short circuiting dones taking them down. “They’re holding back, this is going too well,”Ashley stated looking at the wreckage.

“‘Is ‘ace ‘as en’itled ‘ell o’er ‘et. Beh’ ‘eh’m ‘avin’ ‘un break’in all ‘is guy’s shit.” (This place has entitled written all over it. But I’m having fun breaking all this guy’s shit.) Mary smirked her usual smirk.

“Good to do it to them for a change,” Airi agreed.

Aya motioned for everyone to follow, and stepped close to Atka. “I’m glad their moods are high, but Ashley has a point. This is a little easy. Think they just blew their load earlier?”

“Graphic… metaphor aside, they could be planning something. We should keep on guard in case that’s the reason, but I think at least half of it is the fact that they didn’t expect us to breach where we did and are still scrambling to get into position,” Atka suggested, looking over her reflex rifle briefly. “Alright, let’s keep moving!”

The team slowly stepped towards the elevator, the psions in the group shuddering a bit as the feeling of hundreds, thousands, of psionic aliens around them sank in this deep into the civilian quarters. From the shadows of one of the hallways, an Ethereal poked his head out. Lifting its hand, a hunk of metal floated up, and shot straight towards Desmond’s back, clanking off his armor and barely leaving a scratch.

Desmond stopped and turned towards the Ethereal, sighing to himself and slinging his rifle on his back and approaching the alien. “If you are going to throw something, make sure it is actually going to do something. I’d tell you we mean no harm but,” He looked at the destruction behind them and turned back to the alien. “That would be a lie. Just tell the others to keep low and don’t interfere. We are not in the business of having a genocide on our hands.”

The Ethereal slowly stepped out of the shadows, half the size of Jan’tiala, with no mask and simple red robes. Its hands shaking a bit, it slowly lifted what appeared to be a plasma pistol, though the faint light emitting off it was odd. Go… a-away!

It’s just a child, don’t overreact. Emily quickly transmitted to the team.

Ashley put her weapon on her back and walked towards the kid Ethereal. “Hey, listen we're not going to harm you, or the rest of your people in this area. However, if you fire that I can not guarantee your safety, do you understand?”

Desmond glared at Ashley and shook his head. “Not helping here, Van Dam.”

“Exactly, no point in threatening the poor kid…” Ammelia added, glaring as well.

“Not threatening, but an Ethereal just threw a piece of metal at Desmond and this one has a gun.” Ashley looked back at the kid “Listen, we're not going to hurt you or anyone down here do you understand me?”

The Ethereal shuddered, and slowly lowered the weapon. Around them, the blaring announcement warning against those against the Path blared, and the Ethereal raised the weapon again, and pulled the trigger. The weapon let out a loud buzzing noise, the lights flashing on and off with each pull of the trigger.


Operator 21O
Staff member
Operation Finem Timere: Part Eight
Final Approach

A second, older Ethereal rushed out of the hallway, slapping the toy from the child’s hands and wrapping it arms around him, a shield forming around them both. No, please!

Desmond held up his hands, showing he wasn’t reaching for a weapon. Calm down. We know you are scared. Kids...will be kids. Just keep low, and tell anyone else we aren’t targeting the civilians. No telling what may happen when the fight draws to an end. I doubt your leader is against taking down his own people with him.

Emily spoke after him, bringing her knowledge of the Ethereal language to the forefront of her mind. He speaks the truth, everything will be okay if you just stay where you were.

The Ethereal slowly nodded. I… I understand. She slowly lifted the child, using a shield to support his weight. As she quickly disappeared down the hallway, the child shot the group one last death stare before disappearing from sight.

“Overseer in training,” Emily smirked, half worried and half amused.

“Not funny.” Eva said

Albert sighed, sliding his finger off of the trigger and onto the trigger guard. “Whatever, we’re wasting time here,” he said. “We’ve lost quite a bit of momentum with this sideshow, who knows what they’ve set up now.”

Aya nodded, and motioned for everyone to pile into the elevator. As it rose, the team went through the usual procedure of checking their weapons and stock of equipment. The slowly stepped into the bridge of the ship, and had to duck back into the elevator as the plasma fire of from four Mectoids and four Sectoid Commanders poured forward. “Damn… you had to be right, didn’t you Foulke?”

“Of course I do!” Albert replied, popping out of cover to snap off a pair of shots at a Sectoid Commander, forcing it back into cover. “It’s Murphy’s Law in action!”

“Less complaining, more shooting!” Desmond said, raising his hands and powering up a powerful lance, shooting it off at an unshielded Mectoid’s head, causing the big machine to fall over dead.

Emma quickly considered the situation, and with a nod to the two shinobi, activated her shadow armor’s cloak, and ran past the Mechtoids as they opened fire, forcing Avanix to put up her shield and let it be destroyed to defend the others. The three invisible soldiers broke off, Emma going to once side and the Shinobi going to the other. Three plasma weapons let loose, and three Sectoid commanders squealed in agony as they were melted by the resulting fire. The chain reaction caused the living Mechtoids to falter as their shields were popped, but they didn’t suffer the mental damage of an organic link.

The remaining gray realized its predicament, and ran for cover among the three mechs on its side, reaching out with a hand and sending a spiral of purple into Laurent’s head. Kill your allies, and die for me!

The medic slowly nodded, and lifted a plasma core, charging it with energy to blow it up in the small elevator. Mary turned and sensed the energy building up in his weapon. She quickly slammed the side of her arm into his head, her enhanced muscles being more than enough to knock him out.

The energy core still overloading, Jamie’s eyes widened. She shot the knives hovering around her out, clanking them harmlessly against the Mectoids but distracting them long enough for her to telekinetically grab Laurent's overloading weapon. With a shove of telekinetic energy, it rolled in front of Sectoid Commander, and it had just enough time to realize it had orchestrated its own death before the explosion consumed it.

Modya lifted his blaster launcher at the three damaged Mechtoids. “Ya budu videt' vas v ad,” the rocketeer muttered, before sending a HEAT blaster bomb straight into their midst. With a thunderclap of an explosion, it tore through the damaged chassis of the three, blasting off mechanical limbs and burning away layers of armor, sending shattered wrecks to all corners of the entrance hall. The Russian smiled. “Hehehe… I may have enjoyed that more than I should have.”

“That makes two of us,” Ayame said as Marina sprayed her arm to heal a glancing blow.

Aya sighed, reloading, “They’re getting more organized, and if Phobos was here, we’d probably be fighting him. Which means we probably have more ahead. Stay alert, stay on guard, and…” Aya looked down at the unconscious medic. “Hide him… somewhere.”

“I got it,” Alice said, lifting the man up and carrying him to the side.

The X-COM soldiers moved forward, and quickly piled up to the next energy door. With a silent count, they opened the door to the main bridge. A few bolts of plasma fired out, and Aya glanced at Sergio. He closed his eyes, and a few moments later, he said, “Bunch of Ethereals to the side that don’t seem interested in fighting. At least… eight Muton Elites, all of which look pretty buff, taking cover between a pair of large computer terminals.”

“I still have two smokes, even if there’s not cover we should be able to take them,” Emily said, looking over the gadgets on her belt. She went over to her squad and whispered something to Sven, who nodded briefly.

“If you need an opening, I still have all my grenades.” Desmond informed the squad.

Aya nodded. “Alright. Emily, pop those smokes so we can get close enough to get Desmond’s grenades over that cover. Once we take those Mutons out, we can use the cover for ourselves.”

“And I can see through the smoke.” Ammelia responded, “I’ll disable as many of their weapons as I can to make sure they can’t focus us down when the cloud clears.” Aya nodded, and motioned for Emily to toss her smokes.

Emily rushed into the room and immediately threw two smokes into strategic locations, compensating for areas lacking for cover or possible funnel points.

“Desmond, go! Ammy, back him up as he goes!”

“Right” Ammelia replied, sending quick shots through as many of the Muton’s weapons as possible, getting five before her weapon risked overheating.

Desmond ran towards the terminals, taking two grenades off of his belt and activating one of them, tossing it over to damage the aliens but keep the cover intact, and then the other to finish off anyone not killed immediately by the offset explosive.

With the front four Elite’s side of the cover smashed and most of them dead or dying, the XCOM squad advanced, Atka taking up point on the right side of the heavy cover. Setting up a careful shot, she waited for an opening, but seeing the LMG’s near constant fire, sighed and fired anyway. The plasma bolt tore through the Muton’s shoulder, and it held the wound in pain, giving her an opening to finish it off with the second rapid follow-up. Atka glanced over, just in time to see a shot from a Balmadaar slam into Ayame’s chestplate. The Inuit woman’s eyes widened at the advance warning, and she quickly shouted, “Ayame, get down!”

Ayame suddenly dropped behind cover, a flurry of plasma bolts whizzing past where she had just been standing. “Jeez! Thanks, Atka.” She peeked up again, and looked over to Eva. “I’m gonna try and flush one out. You ready to put it down?”

Eva looked at Ayame with a smile on her face. “Is that even a question? I look forward to ending this. So then, after you Ayame.” Eva steadied her weapon at the Muton and fired with Ayame, sending the Balmadaar into the blackness of death with overwhelming fire.

Suddenly, Sven burst out of cover with a plasma pistol in hand, the barrel flashing rapidly as it rushed forwards. The Mutons fired several shots through him, his hands roaming to cover where the impacts would hit. As he fell to the ground, the body flickered with a flash of purple, and the Mutons shooting at him gave their customary cheer, ignoring it vanishing into thin air. A quick sniper shot punched through the skull of one of them, coming from the real Sven hiding in a corner far away.

Emily emerged behind two of the mutons, smiling from her teleimagery trick and beginning to channel a rift, but seeing Dallas rushing towards them, quickly dived into cover. Dallas levelled his reflex cannon and drilled a hole straight through one of the Muton’s hearts. Aya lifted her own weapon, doing the same. She smiled at Dallas. “Sometimes I regret using these. Too out of the action, everyone else gets all the fun.”

“Trust me, I know the feeling,” Dallas smiled with a nod.

The team stepped forward again, eyeing the Ethereal cowering in the corners with caution. Opening the next door, the stepped into a long room with another door a few feet away. They glanced at the holographic viewports on either side, some wishing they could use them, but there were more important things to worry about.


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere: Part Nine
Final Approach

Opening the next door, the team spotted five Sectopods with ten drones below a raised platform. Aya cursed under her breath. “If this isn’t their last defense, I don’t know what could be. We have a height advantage… but how much good does that do against these things.” She looked at the rest of the team. “Those things are going to open up on us as soon as we are in view. Stay in cover, but try not to bunch up, and be ready to move in case your cover is destroyed. I want any shredder rockets we have on those things ASAP, and toss a few grenades to take out as many drones as we can.” Aya took a deep breath, and held up her fingers, counting down from 3… 2… 1…

Modya and Vee both nodded, opening up with two shredder blaster bombs that tore into the armor of all five of the Sectopods, the middle one the least affected, and blew apart eight of the nearby drones. With the optical sensors of the robots momentarily blinded by the bright blast, the XCOM troopers charged in, jumping up the cargo lifters and taking cover on the overlook, opening up on the titans. Their shots did damage to the shredded armor, but even with the damage heightened, it still seemed slow, these Sectopods clearly the best of the best. Avanix and Black King were relegated to firing from the sidelines, unable to get in close to put electropulse or sword to good use. David launched his Anti-Tank grenade launcher at the weakened targets, but they still only did minimal damage to the line of goliaths.

Finding good pieces of cover, Desmond threw an alien grenade by hand and launched his one from his shoulder launcher. Saka even added to the explosive barrage, throwing an AP grenade to add to the onslaught.

Christine started charging a rift, and Sergio grabbed her arm. “Save it for Phobos!”

“But… they’re gonna…” The sound of missile fire interrupted her, and she went wide eyed at the sight over at the missiles from at least two Sectopods flying towards them. With no time for them to get out of the way by running, Sergio grabbed Christine’s arms and threw her over his shoulder, sending him flying as he was consumed by the blast.

Fay muttered a curse under her breath as she saw her fellow sniper absorbed in a plume of smoke, before quickly returning her attention to the foes in front of her. Lining up a single shot, the sniper let loose, gouging a deep rend in one of the Sectopod’s legs, punching through into the servomotors, the sudden imbalance in weight causing the enemy armor to collapse to the side.

“One’s down, finish it off,” Ayame yelled, and she, Nika, and Mary turned their heavy weapons on the machine’s exposed underbelly. With a shower of sparks and what sounded like a primordial roar, the Sectopod was disabled. The trio ducked down to avoid being blasted apart. “Damn it! We need a plan!”

Atka ducked as a fusion blast soared over her head, blowing a gouge into the roof above. I… I think I have something! The Colonel psi-ed to the squad. Ammelia, Fay, take disabling shots on the two Sectopods furthest out to either side. “Avanix, I’ll need you to use your electropulse on the one on the center left!” Continuing to the others mentally, she added, Give us covering fire, and I’ll… disable the one on the center right.

Ammy simply nodded, not wanting to ruin her focus by speaking as she blasted through the left-most Sectopod’s main cannon. Fay followed this up with a round of her own, the plasma round ripping into the upper part of the Sectopod’s cannon. Avanix leapt down, taking hits as she ran towards the left center Sectopod and disabled it with an electropulse. Immediately apparent as the XCOM forces started battering the three Sectopods was that they too had repair servos, and ones good enough to repair the minimal damage they were taking at an alarming rate, slowing progress further.

Atka jumped off the ledge, using her jets to avoid fire from the still weapons-active Sectopod that saw her coming. Dodging the fire from the fusion cannon and plasma turret, she landed by one of the Sectopod’s legs that had a yet-unrepaired hole in its armor. Pressing her hand there before the repair subsystems could get to work, Atka felt the cold feeling of chilled water run across her hand, and smiled. “Even you use hydralics, huh?” The water froze at her fingertips, traveling through the two legs of the titan, and it found itself unable to move as it tried to turn to shoot at the scout standing beside it.

The move cost the Sectopod dearly, as it was unbalanced and stuck, and fell flat on the ground, an easy target for the gunners to shred. “Concentrate fire, take them down one by one!” Atka yelled, ascending again and putting a series of shots into the back of the Sectopod’s processor to finish it off, and fire focused on the ones repairing their weapons. The EMP-ed titan was still immobile.

“Everyone, open up before they get up!” Aya yelled.

Mary and Ammy instantly locked onto one of the Secopods as if they could read eachother’s minds. Mary drilled a hail of plasma into it’s chassis while Ammelia sniped the critical points that formed in its armor from the relentless assault. The Sectopod managed to charge one last desperate blast, aiming for the Sniper. Thankfully, her SAaIDA picked up the energy that filled machine’s main gun, allowing her just enough to time barely sidestep out of the way. So barely in fact that she was forced to pat out a small fire that formed on the side of her golden bun. After that last shot, the Sectopod powered down, finally falling apart from the twin’s coordinated barrage.

Eva threw two grenades at one of the sectopods, and unloaded her entire magazine into the titan. “Damn it, no good. Hey, Vee, you live for this kind of thing. So why not show your dear mother why you call yourself the queen of destruction, eh?” Eva said while reloading her gun.

Vee hefted her plasma novagun, glancing over at the Akizuki sisters. “Mind giving me a bit more of a punch here?”

“Sure.” Marina lifted her hands, pouring her energy into Vee’s weapon. “Just make it count, Vee. Cover us, Eva.”

“With pleasure.” Eva continued to fire her Carbine into the Sectopod. “Now Vee, I need you to shoot right where I’m shooting, got it?” The destroyer grinned, taking aim and firing with abandon, the constant fire ripping into the internals of the Sectopod and blowing up the core in a glorious explosion.

Eva patted Vees shoulder and smiled at her. “That’s my daughter.”

Fay scanned over the third Sectopod, noting a weak point. “Foulke, suppression,” the sniper barked, as she began to line up her shot.

“Gotchya, drawing its attention,” Albert replied, popping out of cover to lay down a long burst of fire upon the Sectopod. The behemoth turned to strike great vengeance upon the infantry, however a single plasma bolt lanced out from Fay’s rifle, striking the weak point she had identified earlier. However, the slight turn it had mad saved the Sectopod, reducing the damage to merely a penetrating hit rather than the killing blow it was meant to be. The behemoth stepped back, reeling from the damage, whereupon it began charging up another beam.

“Aw hell,” Albert cursed, noting the Sectopod’s intention. The infantry instinctively legged it, however the secondary plasma beam reacted to the sudden movement, snapping off a long burst of shots, the trailing pair striking Albert in the lower torso, sending him rolling to the floor as the rounds burned into his armor. Fay fired off another round from her sniper rifle, this one putting down the Sectopod for good.

“Foulke!” Fay shouted. “Unharmed?”


Well-Known Member
“No, I’m very much not unharmed,” Albert muttered angrily, crawling behind a piece of low cover. “Damn thing took out the lower servomotors in my armor, think I might have taken some damage on my own but the adrenaline’s covering it up. Just glad you killed that thing.”

Emily took aim at the final Sectopod, Desmond by her side, as the machine desperately tried to get up. Desmond aimed for the weak spots he could pick out by eye and fired in controlled bursts to help maximize ammo use and overall damage to the frame of the machine. Looking to Emily, he said, “I am going to throw an explosive to open you up a larger target, you ready?”

“Let’s do it,” Emily nodded.

Taking off his second to last alien grenade, Desmond chucked it at the Sectopod, the explosive blowing a good sized chunk of the front armor off and leaving a nice spot for Emily to fire at. Emily took aim at the weak part of the Sectopod, unloading as much as plasma as her carbine’s charge pack would allow. By the last burst of burning green, an explosion burst out from inside it, rupturing through its limbs and sending pieces of scrap metal in every direction. The explosion chained through its legs and head, leaving nothing but slag by the end.

Aya sighed in relief as the last Sectopod collapsed, motioning for Marina to attend to Albert and motioning for everyone else to follow ahead. Using the odd pads to go down, they carefully stepped past the fallen piles of scrap. Aya shot Atka a look of reassurance, and a look that said ‘don’t do something that reckless again’. They started climbing the stairs leading to Phobos’ inner sanctum, coming to a bit of a cross roads with a strange crystalline mound in the center..

“Direction?” Fay asked, looking at the branching paths ahead of the team.

Aya looked around, then over to Alice. The android pointed towards the left and right. “Those are soldier elevators. They… could be trouble. This staircase leads straight to…”

Elene’s eyes widened as she noticed movement in the corner of her eye, and together the three Exalts and Avanix fired a composite blast of burning plasma and particle beam, ripping through a recently-formed Outsider. “This entire structure is made of Outsider shards!” the heiress shouted in realization, the rest of the squad turning to face the structure as well as two more Outsiders formed from shards breaking off the main structure.


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere: Part Ten
Final Approach

Atka took aim as fire whittled down the armor of one such crystalline automaton, and then blew a hole in its chest that finished off the ailing construct. Not quite done and in the zone, she turned and blasted through the shoulder of the second. “Elene! We can’t blow it up this close… can you see if you can override this somehow?” I know you implanted a virus before!

Elene gave a nod of acknowledgement, spotting a computer console built into the shrine-like gathering of crystals. Uplinking to Avanix, she started typing on the alien holographic keyboard. “They can be psionically controlled from here? Interesting…” Placing a hand on the mound, Elene’s eyes flared violet, and small spirals of purple connected with the console and then four Outsider shards. Said shards materialized into the orange androids, which terminated the still-standing one not under Elene’s control. However, three more had formed just before the heiress had seized control of the cluster, and took aim at the squad.

Minato took careful aim at the nearest Outsider to him, blasting away chunks of armor. Silently cursing as he fired at the alien construct, his gun quickly stopped as his charge pack had run out. The outsider, leveling the gun at the Shinobi, fired a burst of three shots and caused Minato to have to throw himself to the right to avoid getting hit. Desmond quickly finished off the Outsider that Minato had damaged and held down his hand, the shinobi eyeing Desmond a second before grabbing his hand and the two rushing back into cover.

Alice held up her hand, firing a pulse shot through one. As it evaporated, two more formed at its side, like a pair of Hydra heads growing to replace a severed one. They took aim at the android, at she let out a shriek, their plasma fire melting off a section of her armor, and a section of her left arm.

Emily quickly jumped forwards towards Alice, hurling a perfectly rounded Psi Lance towards the first Outsider, punching through its chest and breaking the shard within. She raised her Plasma Carbine and fired a few bursts towards the remaining one, forcing it to flee instead of continuing on Alice.

Said final Outsider retreated into the waiting muzzle of Atka’s truncated plasma shotgun, and was blown to pieces. The Inuit Colonel glanced at Elene. “How’s it coming?”

“Just about done…” the mistress of Legion replied. “And… there.” Purple veins had spread through the structure, and further manifestations ceased to come out, leaving only the four under her command. The crystal androids turned, in groups of two, to face right and left, awaiting orders.

Albert let a sigh of relief, seemingly reluctant to lower his weapon against the former enemies, but relaxing a bit. Ammelia ran to Alice’s side, flashing Emily a grateful look and asking the android. “Are… are you okay?”

Alice looked down at her mangled arm sadly. “Yeah… but Sunny is gonna be mad.” She reached over, fiddling with her shoulder until the arm popped of. “At… least it’ll make me a bit lighter.” Gadget floated next to the XCOM android, seeming a bit disappointed with his repair beam about to be ready to help.

Aya let out a sigh herself, looking up at the massive structure. “Can… you keep this thing under control, Elene?”

“I believe I can… it is not much of a strain… though it is a curious feeling. I feel as if part of me is within the Outsiders… more so than a normal mind control. Perhaps it is an effect of the console,” Elene mused. The hum of rising elevators distracted her from her thoughts. “I believe we have company… and we likely will have more. But this structure provides us an opportunity to hold them off!” Sending her puppets to the elevators, they laid in wait.

The doors opened, and plasma fire from the squad and the Outsiders tore through two Berserkers that came charging out. They were followed by four equally-ill fated Mutons, and behind them, eight Floaters jettisoned out, taking up positions around the squad. Vee tore through one of them with her novagun, Nika claiming another kill while Sven and Emma took out targets with pinpoint precision. The last two managed to get shots off, damaging Avanix’s armor and destroying an Outsider before the MEC retaliated with a particle beam through the seventh’s torso, and Black King decapitated the eighth.

Atka lowered her weapon slightly, but didn’t drop her defenses entirely, the elevators quickly shooting back down to retrieve another wave. A replacement Outsider was called up by Elene, along with a fifth, but she clearly couldn’t control more than that at once. “They’ll keep sending waves… we need to leave some soldiers behind to protect Elene.”

“I can do it!” Saka said, holding up her gun. “You can leave it up to me.” There was a sigh from Minato as he would be forced to stay with her. “I will as well.” He finally agreed.

The scout nodded in understanding. “Major, I’ll leave you behind in charge of the rear guard. Nika, Sven, you’re with him, but we’ll need to take Emily for her psionics.”

“Understood,” Dallas nodded, not showing the nerves.

Emily quickly ran over and gave him a kiss. “Stay safe.”

“You too,” he smiled.

Emily ran back amongst the rest of Alpha Team, nodding towards Nika and Sven quietly as they prepared to ascend the staircase.

Aya nodded. "We should leave them a medic, though." She eyed the battle hardened Ashley, and a tired Marina, clearly out of her league. "You wanna join us in the Phobos fight, Ashley?" She asked.

Ashley nodded her head “Yeah, someone needs to keep you alive and heal you all. I also have some smoke grenades that should give us some cover, I hope.”

Deactivating her shadow armor’s cloak and peering around the corner, Chandra looked over the Outsider sentinels with more than a little suspicion. “I assume you’re done with cleanup…”

“Just make sure you stay hidden in case more bad news comes up those elevators,” Aya answered.

Airi wrapped an arm around her sister’s. “I… want to stay with her…”

Aya smiled. “We’ll need a few psions to stay behind anyway. In case we fail, it’ll be up to you to finish Phobos off. Jamie, Sylvia, stay behind too. And… someone make sure Laurent is still breathing. Everyone else, form up on the stairs. Let’s finish this.”

With Chandra following, escorted by the fifth Outsider, the twenty primary members of Alpha Squad began to ascend the finely chiseled, stylized stairs leading up into the helm of the bridge, Phobos’s inner sanctum. Atka took a deep breath, steadying herself as she walked up, taking point as always. “We won’t fail… we’ll finish this here,” she stated, a light blue hue burning around her irises as her psionic power began to warm up.

“All of Earth’s most powerful psions against the pissed off father of the Ethereal race...I say our chances are pretty good.” Desmond stated, grinning at Atka and looking to Emily as his arm took on its own red hue. “You ready for this Em?”

“Been ready for a long time,” Emily grinned, bouncing up and down a bit. “Let’s kill this bastard and go home.”

“Indeed, I have to admit I’m getting excited about this.” Ashley added.

Aya only walked forward, glad to see her people ready, and not wanting to jinx anything by showing her hopeful optimism. As the approached the top of the stairs, the area behind them flicked a bit, the short Ethereal following behind them psyching herself up for the fight. She briefly wondered if the Commander would have allowed her to come if she had requested, but quickly decided Desmond for sure, and likely Atka and Ammelia, would have objected. A faint black glow resonated as she followed after. Time to end this, father. Even if it kills me, you aren’t leaving here alive…


Game Master
Staff member
X-COM Mission Parameters
Ethereal Temple Ship Sabotage Mission

Operation Finem Timere: Stealth Op
Ethereal Temple Ship, 10 km above the Pacific Ocean

January 1st, 2018
Time: 0030 Hours


During our fight to infiltrate the Ethereal Temple Ship, we were shocked to find the ship protected by what we believe to be the collective energy of the Ethereal citizens on board. Acedia has informed us of an experimental device capable of redirecting psionic energy from one individual to another, even against their will, which is not unlike the device we used to power our psionic shield using our then captive Ethereals, though she never expected to see it on this scale.

Phobos is expected to be terribly powerful on his own, and the last thing we need is for him to be able to tap into an unlimited supply of psionic energy from his own civilians. Acedia has pointed out where the device that allows this would most likely be located, but practically every soldier we have is occupied with the assault. Luckily, our own Overseer provided us with a few special operatives before the assault started just in case this kind of problem came up.

Use the assault as a distraction to sneak your way through the ship, locate the offending device, and destroy it.

Number of operatives for this mission:

Seven (7) Operatives

Operative Names:

Huntress (Squad Leader/Heavy)
Judge (Sniper)
Gazer (Sniper)
Gyro (Tech. Suppression/Hacking)
Noxious (Bio-Specialist/Chem-Warfare)
Pillar (Explosives)
Raider (Infiltrator)

Players' characters' will be equipped with the following supplies:

- Primary weapon:
Either a Plasma Stormgun, a Plasma Carbine, a Plasma Rifle, a Heavy Plasma Rifle, a Reflex Cannon (Infantry, Assault, Scout, Medic, Engineer), a Plasma Sniper Rifle (Sniper), a Reflex Rifle (Sniper, Scout), a Plasma Novagun (Gunner, Heavy), or a Plasma Dragon (Gunner, Heavy)

(Blaster Launcher for Heavies and Rocketeers, Particle Cannon for MECs, Superheavy Plasma for SHIVs)

- Armor:
Banshee Armor, Aegis Armor, Titan Armor, or Seraph Armor (Four Shadow Armors also available, Personal Aurora Armor Available for Desmond Walker)

- Secondary Weapon:
Either a Plasma Pistol, a Plasma Mauler, or a Hand Scatter Plasma Blaster (H.S.P.B.)

- Equipment:
Two (2) of the following; a medikit, combat stims, alloy plating, reinforced armor, chitin plating, a battle scanner, an AP grenade, an alien grenade, a psi grenade, a smoke grenade, a chem grenade, a ghost grenade, a high-capacity magazine, a targeting module, a mind shield, or an Arc Thrower.

(Chameleon Suit available for Scouts, Shredder Rocket for Rocketeers)


The psionic energy redirection device's location is not far from where we docked, past a secondary power room and a mid-sized room resembling a soldier mess hall. Follow the directions given, and you will find yourself in a room resembling a cathedral, with the offending device on the alter.

The device itself is guarded by an Ethereal. While this might not be the infiltration team's forte, we are confident they can put him down.

Note that this should be treated as a stealth mission, at least until it is time to take out the device. Should the mission go belly up, we have no troops available to come to the rescue. Use extreme caution.


Thin Men (x3)
Sectoids (x4)
Muton (x2)
Berserkers (x2)
Muton Elites (x3)
Minos, Arbiter of Ethereal Affairs

Special Enemy Notes:

Minos is a Purple psion that specializes in mind reading. He can read the thoughts of multiple people at once, and is strong enough to read thoughts through mind shields. He additionally has a mid level psi lance, telekinesis, mind fray, and mind merge, the latter of which he can use on his colleagues.

Conditions for Completion:

The destruction or disabling of the psionic energy redirection device.


Half a dozen Ethereal civilians will be found in the 'Cathedral', but will not engage you. They are all young and inexperienced with using psionics offensively. Note that Minos might use the device on them, and if he does, he will not hesitate in sucking them dry for himself.


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere
Stealth Op, Prologue

Armory, X-COM Temporary HQ “Arkbird” Battleship, 10km above the Pacific Ocean
12:03 AM, January 1st, 2019

The door whirred open, and Isaac leaned against its frame. “Much as I appreciate your dedication, daughter of mine, I would have expected to see you at the Christmas party.”

Penny, fiddling with a Plasma Rifle, merely grunted. “I was busy.”

Her father sauntered in, taking a Plasma Pistol from the racks and placing his mask on the table. “Doing?”

“I’m in the middle of some calibrations. If I’m right, I might be able to squeeze point zero-four more accuracy out of these things.”

“Gee, that much, huh?”

Penny looked up at him suspiciously. “Are you having a laugh?”

“Only a chuckle, I swear,” Isaac responded, walking around to her. “Come on. You’ve been here since we took this ship. And it’s about to be over, one way or another. I’m starting to think I should have asked your boyfriend to come too.”

He barely managed to dodge the hand flying towards his face. “He’s not my boyfriend!” Penny burst, her face suddenly flushing pink.

“I’m just calling it as I see it.”

“You must be blind then.”

“That Muton I shot didn’t seem to think so,” Isaac countered.

Penny shook her head, returning to poking around in the rifle. “I’m not getting into some macho dick-measuring ‘I got more kills than you’ contest. Because I’d win.”

Isaac nodded, then frowned. “Wait, what?”

“Well, I pretty much invented half of the weapons the soldiers and you have been using to win this war. Theoretically, I’ve killed just as many as all of you combined,” Penny responded, not looking up.

“Coming from my daughter, that’s a little disquieting,” Isaac said, still frowning.

“Says the contract assassin.”

“Touché,” he growled.

Penny cursed, and rapidly screwed something back in. “Did you go to the Christmas party? Might’ve been your last chance.”

Isaac shrugged. “I don’t like crowds. They make me nervous. Too many people to keep eyes on.”

“And here I thought Maria was the paranoid one,” she said, shaking her head. “How is she, by the way? I never asked.”

Her father was quiet for a moment. “She’s dead,” he said finally.

Penny nearly dropped her spanner. “What?”

Isaac turned, half-sitting on the table. “Happened about five or so years ago. Lung cancer. She…” He swallowed. “… didn’t want you told.”

“She didn’t want me told?” Penny’s eyes squinted, trying to head off the tears that were coming automatically to her. “Why?” When her father raised his hands, she sighed. “Well… what about Samuel? How’s he?”

Isaac rubbed the back of his neck. “Also dead. More recent, just before X-COM arrived to take out Superbia. He was shot by a Muton. His body was in the morgue when the base was destroyed.” He shook his head. “He always wanted to be cremated, but I don’t think that’s quite what he had in mind.”

Penny shook her head. “I don’t…” She sat down, leaning an elbow against the table and leaning her head into that hand. “This is…”

“I know. I was going to tell you after the war, let you focus here…” he trailed off when she rose, moving over to the weapon racks. With a sigh, he followed her, placing a hand on her shoulder and grasping it gently, but reassuringly.

“It’s just us now,” she said, cheeks damp. “Maria, Uncle Sam… now it’s just you and me.”

Isaac nodded, smiling weakly. “Now you’re stuck with me.”

“I guess.” Penny said. A shadow of worry crossed her face, and she turned back to her father. “Wait. If Maria’s dead, then who’s been watching me for the past few years?”

The Overseer withdrew his hand, and began walking away. “Her replacement,” he said evasively.

Penny’s hand shot out and grabbed his upper arm, preventing him from escaping. “Isaac,” she said, her tone suddenly surprisingly sinister. “Tell me. Who the Overseer is. Now.”

“Someone I trust!” Isaac yelled, whipping his head around angrily. “I would never allow anyone I didn’t trust to get into a position to hurt you!”

“This isn’t about ‘who you trust’,” She snapped. “This is about who I trust, and this may come as a shock to you, but I don’t like the idea of someone I don’t know watching me night and day!”

“Do you trust me?”

Penny’s hesitation made him flinch slightly. “… yes.”

“Then you can trust them. Let me go.”

She snarled slightly, but complied, releasing his arm. “Why won’t you just tell me?”

Isaac stopped, hand resting on one of the Plasma Reflex Rifles. “Is this how you want to leave things?” he asked softly. “This could well be the last time we see each other. Is this how you want to part?”

He watched as his daughter lowered her eyes and brought a hand up to her arm, holding it in the middle. “You promise to tell me after?” she asked.

“… yeah.”

Any further talk was cut off when the door opened and several people, all wearing power armor of some description, walked in. The one in front was speaking. “… and I want us all to stick together this time, none of that ‘lone wolf’ bullshit. That means you, Gazer.” She stopped when she saw two occupants of the armory, causing the small man behind her to nearly collide with her.

Isaac blinked. Figures I would get paired with them for this. He raised a hand weakly. “Samantha! Small world, isn’t it?”

Samantha made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a squeal before bolting across the room and nearly tackling the assassin to the ground, enveloping him in an embrace. Her victim attempted to extricate himself, but only found that seemed to tighten her grasp. “I thought you were dead!” she said, finally releasing him.

Isaac rubbed the back of his neck, the gauntlet cool on his skin. “That was… kinda the plan.” When he noticed Penny’s grin, he frowned. “What?”

“Been a bit busy have we?” she taunted.

A slight tinge of pink reached his face. “Don’t make me ground you.”

“I’m just calling it how I see it.”

Samantha removed her helmet and looked at Isaac quizzically. “What’s she on about?”

Penny’s eyes widened. “You! You were the people from the attack!”

The Huntress tilted her head, a thoughtful expression crossing her face. “Hang on. Your last name was Anderson, right?” She swiveled to a fidgeting Isaac. “Is she…”

“My daughter.” He glanced to the door. “Can we do this after? We’re late as it is.”

The largest man in the squad nodded. “I hear that,” he rumbled, moving to the racks to obtain equipment. As he moved, Isaac noticed that the spot where the grappling hook would usually be attached was instead occupied by something else.

“Pillar, what’ve you got on your arm?”

“What, this little thing?” Pillar asked, tapping the cylinder. “My new toy.”

When Isaac turned to Samantha to explain, she merely shrugged. “Just a little something Gyro cooked up for him. Mini-grenade launcher. Works with X-COM’s explosives, actually. Of course, doesn’t quite have the same launching power as a traditional one – it’d probably rip his wrist off – but it saves him having to lug one around.”

“Was that credit I heard?” asked the surprisingly weedy-looking operative, examining a Stormgun. “My my, the world really is ending.”

A grizzled-looking bearded man shook his head, placing his rather sleek red helmet onto his head. “Why so pessimistic, Gyro?” he asked with a raspy voice.

“Because I have two eyes with which to see our impending doom; you have only one.”

“Aye, but it’s a good one.”

Another shook his head, pulling a few chem grenades from the shelves. “Enough, you two. Plenty of time for that later.”

The only other female, a lithe woman with pink hair, grinned. “Or what, Noxy? You going to slip something in our drinks? Better yet,” Raider continued seductively, “are you going to slip something in my drink?” She laughed when Noxious began fumbling with his equipment, clearly distracted.

Isaac shook his head. “You lot haven’t changed a bit, have you?”

“None whatsoever,” Samantha said proudly.

“Alright then,” he said, grabbing his mask from the table and fastening the clasps behind his head. “We all know what we’re doing?”

Pillar shrugged, removing the Heavy Plasma Rifle he’d chosen and placing a charge pack into it. “Boss lady said something about some device or other we’ve got to blow up.”

“Disable,” Gyro corrected.

The demolitions expert shrugged again. “Same thing, isn’t it?”

Gazer shook his head. “Civilians?”

“Potentially,” Samantha answered. “Ethereals, anyway. We’re to avoid provoking them if possible. None we encounter should be too powerful, unless they happen to be military.”

“How we playing this?” Raider asked.

“Your way, at first. We sneak in, get to the device, take it out.”

“And then we leave, right?”

Samantha and Isaac both looked at each other. “If the situation allows it,” the assassin finally answered.

Pillar coughed. “One of those kinds of missions, eh?” he growled. “So be it.”

“Don’t be silly, you’ll be fine,” Penny said. Something rose in her chest when her father refused to meet her eyes. “Dad?”

“That’s the plan,” he muttered. But my plans seldom work to the letter, he thought glumly.


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere
Part 11

The Temple Ship, 10km above the Pacific Ocean
12:30 AM, January 1st, 2019

The seven operatives exited the battleship, walking past several auto-turrets left behind to guard the ship from a counter-attack. Samantha, the ‘Iron Huntress’, was leading, with Isaac close behind. Behind him, the other operatives moved as one, with Gazer bringing up the rear.

They walked past the tattered remains of aliens and humans alike, following the path of destruction Alpha and Beta squad had left. They split from the path after a while, moving through corridors in silence, mindful they were treading uncharted territory now. They stopped at a crossroads, each shimmering door closed to them bar the one they entered through.

“Now what?” Pillar rumbled, shifting slightly.

Raider pushed past him, tapping Gyro on the shoulder and pointing to what appeared to be an ornate grating on the roof. Gyro understood immediately, bringing out a small welding tool and turning to Pillar. “Can I get a boost up?” he asked. Rolling his eyes behind his visor, Pillar obediently lowered a massive hand to allow Gyro to clamber up onto his shoulders. “Stay steady please. Do not concern yourself with anything dropping down, that suit is more than enough protection,” Gyro said, turning the tool on and beginning to burn through the thin alloy.

Isaac raised an eyebrow. “I’m surprised you can burn through that stuff at all.”

“These alloys are strong, but not invincible,” Gyro muttered, glad he’d insisted on a tinted visor. “Don’t look directly at the flames, please. That would be damaging.”

“Instead, how about we look for cameras?” Raider asked, already scanning the walls. “This is supposed to be an important vessel, after all. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some kind of security network.”

Pillar grunted, causing Gyro to scramble and grab onto his head. “What would an alien camera look like?” he said once he’d allowed the technician to regain his balance.

Noxious turned from watching their backs. “Knowing them, probably some creature that’s just an eye, sitting in the wall.”

Raider shuddered. “Ew.”

“Too easy to break, too hard to maintain,” Gyro said, having resumed his melting. “I’ve already worked through that idea.”

Noxious looked at him incredulously, which was an odd look when he was wearing a gas mask. “You went on to bio-synthetic technology without telling me?”

“It was a dead end,” said Gyro dismissively. The grate came away easily, the operative avoiding handling the edges for the molten metal. He dropped it on the floor, then used Pillar’s height to hoist himself in. “Vents,” he said, his voice echoing. He dropped down again, beckoning to Raider. “Do what you do best,” he said as she entered the enclosed space.

The group waited in silence until she returned, poking her head through the hole in the ceiling. “We want to go right,” she said. “There’s a room full of generators that has a terminal in it. We can get a proper route to the device from there.”

“Alright, easy,” Samantha said, turning to the doors and frowning. “Uh. Which right, yours or ours?”

Raider landed back in the center of the crossroads, and strode over to one of the doors. “This one,” she said, punching the button and causing the placid wall of energy to dissipate. On the other side was a lone Berserker, probably doing a patrol of the area. Both sides regarded the other as if both saying ‘you shouldn’t be there’ before the Berserker snarled, and bashed its meaty fists together.

Gazer, reacting quicker than most of the others, pushed Isaac’s head out of the way before firing a conventional silenced pistol he’d brought as a backup. Even though the bullets directly impacted the beast’s skull, it merely seemed irritated. It swiped, narrowly missing a ducking Samantha, and ran forward into the group, grabbing Gyro on its way through and pinning him against the wall of the previous corridor.

“Use plasma!” Samantha ordered, spraying her Dragon at the creature. The plasma pelted its back causing it to release its captive and turn around, only for more shots to collide with its head. With a last gurgle, the Berserker toppled, hitting the ground with a thud.

Gyro was panting heavily as he rose, rubbing his throat. “Appreciate it,” he said, “but I do believe stealth is broken.”

“It’s not broken until we’re sighted and pinned,” Isaac said, beginning to walk down the corridor the Berserker had been in. “They might know someone’s here now, but they won’t know how many, or where exactly. If we’re quick enough, we can evade anyone who comes looking. Got it?” He turned around to see the group standing still, unsure. “Come on. We’re committed.”

Samantha composed herself and nodded. “Agreed. Stick to the plan, people. Let’s go.” With that, she strode after Isaac, with the rest of the group in tow.

The next door revealed a small room housing what appeared to be power generators. On Isaac’s word, they closed the door behind them and moved into the shadowed areas, each operative concealing themselves within, some better than others. The glowing green of their weapons didn’t help matters either. But sure enough, a lone Thin Man entered through the same door they had, Carbine drawn and eyes scanning. Apparently deciding a cursory glance wasn’t enough, it moved through, closing the door behind it to ensure any human that tried to escape behind it would not go out quietly. That was its first mistake.

It moved forward cautiously, taking care to stay away from shadows large enough to hide a human on the off chance they were, and yet close enough to run into cover should a foe reveal themselves.

Gazer raised the pistol, training it on the Thin Man. “On your word, Huntress,” he muttered, and was surprised when she waved a hand in front of his face.

“Let Gandy handle this one,” she whispered. Gazer hesitated, but nodded.

On cue, the noise of metal boots on metal catwalks emanated from over to the Thin Man’s left. Its weapon whipped around, and its stride became more purposeful. Rather than move to the ladder to the catwalks, it jumped gracefully up, catching the guardrails and pulling itself over them. Searching the area, it found nothing. Frustratingly, there didn’t seem to be anywhere a human could have hidden in such a short time.

Of course, the Thin Man never deigned to look up. That was its second mistake, and all Raider needed to take it by surprise. Dropping from the cables on the roof, she slammed into the alien with the full force of gravity, knocking them both to the ground and causing the Plasma Carbine the alien held to be sent clattering over the edge.

The Thin Man attempted to recover, but was prevented by a sharp jabbing into its spinal cord and the subsequent shock of electricity from one of Raider’s custom knives, paralysing it almost instantly. With a scarily methodical precision, she then proceeded to snap its neck, ending its life.

Isaac exhaled as he came out of his shadow. “Good work. They won’t come check here for a while, not until they notice their friend went missing.”

The look Raider gave him could have frozen Krakatoa mid-eruption. “I know what I’m doing,” she said, withdrawing the blade from the Thin Man’s corpse and sheathing it on her belt. “There’s no need to tell me what I planned.”

Gyro was already onto the terminal. “Thank you for the passwords, Acedia,” he muttered as the alien equivalent of a USB began to work its magic. “Trust you to be the one to make my job easier.”

“What do we have?” Samantha asked, making her way over. “Anything good?”

“Direct location of our target,” Gyro said, pressing a few buttons. “And the ability to cut power to something, if temporarily.”

“Why only temporarily?” Isaac asked, rejoining them on the floor.

“Because we don’t control this area. We’re very much in alien territory here, once they notice this baby isn’t working, they’ll just waddle over and switch it back on again.”

Pillar shrugged. “Blow it up then.”

Raider patted his back. “I don’t think you quite understand what it is we’re trying to accomplish here, big guy.”

“Agreed, that would bring far too much heat,” Isaac said. “What can we cut power to, exactly?”

Gyro frowned and looked back at the terminal. “This particular generator is powering both the internal security systems – cameras, trip lasers, all that – and a few pieces of weaponry upstairs.”

“Pieces of weaponry? Like what?”

Gyro shrugged. “Defensive emplacements. Turrets, mounted guns. Shutting those off could give Alpha and Beta an easier time. But at the same time, then we have to deal with a security system on par with that of Area 51.” He looked over to Samantha. “Your choice ma’am. Us or them.”


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere
Part 12

Samantha hesitated. “Even if we help them up there,” she said slowly, “They’re going to have a shit of a time if we fail here. Cut off the security.”

“As you wish.” Gyro’s fingers flew over the interface, and the various cylindrical objects around them began powering down. “There,” he said, backing away from the terminal. “Power here is cut, and priority has been set to the mounted guns upstairs. The other backup generators will power that while our security here goes dark.”

“Alright, good work,” Samantha said, beckoning for the others to follow as she made for the exit. “Where are we going now?”

“Straight up then left,” Gyro answered, drawing his Stormgun and following. “We’ll cut through a mess hall and a few back corridors, we’ll reach our destination soon after.”

The squad didn’t encounter any more aliens on their way to the mess hall, though in the low light, every sound made them tense slightly. Interestingly, shutting down the generator had also turned off the doors and normal lighting, so when they reached the mess hall they could see out into the room without needing to breach the door.

“Why do they even have a mess hall?” Noxious wondered as they walked in between the alloy tables and benches. “I thought the aliens were supposed to eat nutrient paste or something.”

“Maybe it’s for the Baldamaar?” Gazer offered. “They’re the most individualistic of all of them, so it’d make sense to give them a place like this. The size of the room is about right, too –“

“Shhh!” Raider hissed, moving beneath one of the slabs of metal. The rest of the team wordlessly followed suite, and waited. Soon enough, a Thin Man flanked by two Sectoids entered from the other side of the room, the Thin Man shining what appeared to be a torch around. The Sectoids were huddling close to each other, giving Isaac the impression the darkness was frightening them. The idea made him smirk.

“How we going to take this?” Samantha whispered. Raider didn’t answer, instead shuffling over to another table in the trio’s path.

Gazer tossed his pistol to Isaac. “You take it,” he rasped. “You’ve got a better position. Just don’t accidentally shoot Raider or the Thin Man. Can’t be having a great big mass of poison floating around, after all.” Isaac nodded and poked his head above the table, aiming down the sights at the two bulbous heads bobbing behind the torchbearer. He hoped Raider would go for the Thin Man first. It would make things a lot easier.

Thankfully, she seemed to have a similar idea. De-cloaking from beneath the table, her hand reached out and grabbed the Thin Man’s ankle, yanking its feet out from under it and causing it to fall. The panicking Sectoids were both popped immediately by Isaac, who rose to render any assistance he could. He reached the struggling pair just in time to see Raider plunge another knife into the thin Man’s heart, releasing a jolt of electricity and stopping the organ it was penetrating.

“Can I get one of those later?” he asked as she rose.

“If you ask nicely,” Raider replied, smiling sweetly, “I might give you a few to play with.”

“You good over there you two?” Samantha called, having risen with the rest of the group.

“All’s well,” Isaac replied, glancing at the three bodies on the ground. “For us.”

“Good. Gyro, where now?”

“Over here,” the agent answered, reaching one of the doorways. “From here should be straight corridors until we reach the device.”

The squad remained moving through darkness until they reached the foyer outside their target, whereupon the doors reactivated, sealing the route behind them. Isaac frowned when he noticed this. “Gyro, check that thing still opens. I’d like to have a retreat route if necessary.”

Gyro obliged, pressing the button and receiving no response from the door. “Trap,” he said immediately. “Door’s ‘locked’, for all intents and purposes. They knew we were here.”

“What?” Samantha moved to the doorway and pressed the button herself, her expression molding into one of worry when it didn’t open. “Motherfucker,” she swore, lifting her Plasma Dragon. “How did they know?”

Simple, said a voice, echoing through all their minds. You assumed all security systems were tied to that generator. You failed to take the neural detectors into account when you assumed this.

“Egotist,” Gazer said. “Ethereal, then.”

An unfair assumption if I ever heard one.

“Based on previous evidence, that particular assumption is correct,” Gyro retorted, taking position on the door leading to their target.

“Alright, then,” Isaac said, slinging his rifle into his arms. “We’re made. Time to hit hard.”

With a nod from Samantha, the group breached the door, which did open normally, and poured into the room. The area was huge compared to the cramped corridors and halls they’d been moving through a second ago. Far more ornate too – to Isaac’s mind, it was more like a cathedral than anything else. Holographic displays adorned every wall, most of them displaying an Ethereal in a Vitruvian Man kind of pose. Royal red carpets and tapestries were interspersed between them, with inlays of golden threads. The sides dropped off into nothingness, a one-way trip to a burial at sea. There were even candles, and though there was a distinct lack of pews, there were around half a dozen Ethereals standing where they would be, unsure of how to deal with the intruders.

The room led to a central point at the back, where a pulsing purple device stood on an altar. In front of the device stood an impressive guard – two Mutons and a Berserker stood on the floor, and began bellowing as soon as the humans revealed themselves. Two Sectoids and a Thin Man were placed directly in front of the device, the Thin Man holding what appeared to be a sniper-style rifle. On the balcony above the device, a trio of Muton Elites watched, flanking the source of the voice – an Ethereal.

The Ethereal raised its hands, though the gesture was one of demonstration rather than surrender. Do you heretics know where you are?

“Just out of the range of my grenade launcher,” Pillar grumbled.

To Isaac’s surprise, the Ethereal laughed. Very true, human. But your answer is still incorrect. Allow me to educate you. This… is the Court of the Arbiter. My Court. The Ethereal drew itself up. You stand before Minos, Arbiter of Ethereal Affairs. And it seems to me there is a matter in need of arbitration. He extended a finger out to point at the squad. You are sentenced to death by firing squad. Effective immediately.

On his word, the assorted aliens all raised their weapons and began firing, causing the humans (and oddly, the other Ethereals) to scatter and hastily find cover. Raider instead activated her Shadow armor and faded away, leaving a space free for Pillar to hide behind his namesake.

Gazer, however, was too slow in his age. The Thin Man on the other side fired its sniper rifle, the bolt of plasma impacting his helmet and burning a hole through, killing him instantly.


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere
Part 13

Samantha hissed in anger. “Raider, we need that sniper down. Then we have a chance of not getting killed as soon as we poke our heads out!”

For a moment, nothing happened. Then the Thin Man convulsed, a knife suddenly imbedded into its neck and dropping a payload of power. The Sectoids, surprised by the attack, tried to scramble away from the corpse they had failed to defend and were each shot by Raider’s Plasma Mauler for their trouble.

That’s quite enough of that, the Ethereal scowled, firing a psi lance directly at the offending human. The bold connected, impacting Raider’s head and causing her to cry out in pain, topple down the steps and lay still. Noxious audibly gasped, but managed to hold his cool. Two already? Minos taunted. I can only imagine how your friends are doing up there.

Their heads now safe from imminent sniping, the remaining mercenaries poked their heads to get a better look at the battlefield. Seeing the Berseker was very close to them, Noxious dropped a Poison grenade in the center of the floor, effectively blocking its advance. The normal Mutons that had been flanking it had taken cover behind columns themselves, and occasionally poked their heads out to take pot shots. The Muton Elites on the balcony were effectively suppressing, but Isaac noted the spread of their fire was far too great to be much in the way of accurate. Which meant the greatest threat was the Berserker.

When the poison cleared, the Berserker ceased its frustrated pacing, roared, and charged directly at the humans. Seeing it coming directly for him, Gyro cursed and ran out of cover, spraying his Stormgun as he ran. With his distraction, Samantha unloaded into the beast, peppering it with burning plasma. Isaac finished the job with a bolt through its brain.

“I submit an appeal!” he yelled, eliminating the Muton that stuck its head out for too long.

The Ethereal’s robes flared outward, and he turned to his entourage. Your accuracy is lacking, he said as several purple strands wormed their way into the Muton’s heads. Allow me to render assistance. Their newfound guidance complete, the spray of plasma turned from waves into streams, concerted in their efforts to dislodge the humans. One found its target, Gyro peeking out of cover at exactly the wrong moment and getting a face full of plasma for his trouble. The technician was dead before he hit the ground.

Pillar roared, loading one of X-COM’s home-brand alien grenades into his wrist-launcher. “You’ll pay for that!” he yelled, firing the grenade and sending it careening into the remaining floor Muton’s cover, sending it flying out into the open, where it was summarily executed. With a snarl, he loaded another, and managed to fire it up to the balcony before the Muton Elites turned their attention to him, plasma slamming into his suit and finally into him. He fell backwards, hitting the ground with an audible clunk.

But his legacy continued on. The grenade bounced on the wall behind the dug-in Ethereal and landed amongst them, though Minos had already shoved one out of the way and jumped off the balcony before it exploded into chunks of alloy and metal. He landed gracefully in front of the target device, and stood straight, gazing down the room at his foes, suddenly alone in this battle.

The humans knew it too, and aimed their weapons at him. “Surrender, then!” Isaac barked, Reflex Rifle held ready. “It’s over!”

Minos, looked around at the ruined cathedral, and shook his head in bewilderment. You think this is over? You are but three, and we are seven. He indicated the civilian Ethereals, cowering behind various pieces of rubble or ornament.

“One soldier and six civvies. Not looking good for you,” Isaac insisted. “Somehow I doubt your friends are capable of holding a pitched firefight.”

You mistake my intention, the Ethereal judge replied. Why ask for their assistance when I can demand it? Three of his hands shot out, each delivering a powerful mindfray to the humans, and thus distracting them while his fourth arm slammed a button on the device. The other Ethereals in the room began screaming, a twisted chorus in the minds of the three remaining humans. When the psionic noise had died down, and Isaac had recovered from his mindfray, he saw piles of ashes and robes where the civilians had once lay. Minos hovered in front of the device, purple energy writhing through the device and around his body. Worse, he was gathering some of it. He fired the empowered lance, and Isaac could only watch as it flew through the air and struck the recovering Noxious in the head, snapping him backwards and causing him to crumple to the ground.

“You son of a bitch!” Samantha cried, bringing up her Dragon. “You’re dead! You hear me? Dead!”

I’ll believe that when I feel it, the Ethereal replied disdainfully. I must say, I am impressed. I had heard you humans were a nuisance, but the reports did not do you justice. And now that we are one and two… His two upper hands pointed forwards, and purple tendrils snaked into the Samantha’s and Isaac’s minds.

… we can begin the cross examination.

When Isaac opened his eyes, he was standing in an Earth courtroom, directly in front of the judge’s podium. On the podium was a bored looking Minos, flicking through several sheets of paper with his two upper hands and twirling a gavel with one of his lower ones.

“What the hell?”

I thought it might be best if we conduct this discussion in a setting familiar to you as a scene of the law. Our positions are as you would expect them to be. A simple illusion to create - merely cut off the nerves in your eyes so you can't see, and replace the messages they send with the ones I want them to. He looked up, pushing the pages together and setting them aside. Now, you will of course notice that there is no jury, no defense lawyers, no prosecution. Just you and me. It is me you will have to convince of your innocence.

“Innocence?” Isaac laughed bitterly. “That’ll depend on your charges.”

Obstruction of the Path, Minos condemned, Aiding and abetting treacherous acts against our people, conspiracy to murder the Exalted One, impersonating an Overseer of Earth… there is quite the list. He rose, placing his lower hands on the railings of his booth. How do you plead?

The Overseer raised his hands. “Guilty as charged. Sue me.”

I see, the Arbiter said, pushing his forefingers together. But I am not quite convinced of either yet. We need to go deeper.

A memory flashed before Isaac’s eyes – a man tied in a chair, pleading for his life, the others around him demanding blood. Isaac had known that they’d get what they wanted – whether it be from the captive or from him – and that there was only one way out. He’d also known what this would mean. It would be his first step out of the law and into the darkness that was criminality. But he’d caved, eventually. He raised the pistol, pulled the trigger, and killed his first man.

Murder. Minos sighed. In the face of your current charges? Like shoplifting a pack of gum and then robbing a bank. Inconsequential. Insignificant.

“Sure didn’t feel that way at the time,” Isaac muttered.

More evidence.

Another memory, only slightly more recent. Meeting Maria for the first time, a poor Italian migrant trying to make a living selling information to the highest bidder. He’d offered to help her, more out of pity than anything else, using his status as a lawyer. By the time he’d been disbarred, she’d made a successful business out of it. She assumed the moniker of ‘the Overseer’ and began operating nationally, then internationally. And it was all due to Isaac’s assistance. Thankfully, she never forgot that.

Aiding an impersonator. The Ethereal leaned back in his chair, causing it to squeak slightly. Whatever this was, it was realistic. Unacceptable.

“She wasn’t an ‘impersonator’,” Isaac snapped. “If anything, to us it looks like you were the impersonators.”

Matter of perspective. Objection accepted. Next item.

Yet another memory, this one only a few years ago. Isaac relived the struggle up to the Commissioner’s room through a heavily defended safehouse, and the fate of his target.

Excessive use of force, brutality. Minos stood. I’ve seen enough. You are a perfect case study in why humanity doesn’t deserve to exist.
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Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere
Part 14

“Fuck you,” was the response. “I’m hardly the paragon of humanity, I know that. Most people aren’t like me.”

Is that so? Again, the fingers were pushed together to make a double steeple. What about the Crusades? The Apartheid? The Holocaust? Minos shook his head. Your own history has determined that statement was a lie. Add perjury to the list.

Isaac was taken aback. “You’re comparing me to Hitler?”

Why not, if you cannot properly rebuke me? Human history is full of people finding excuses for engaging in combat – religion, morals, race, gender… the list goes on. Even now, your people struggle with those same issues in trying to generate equality. The Arbiter waved a hand dismissively. Your people will never learn. Allowing you to remain only runs the risk of your disease spreading across the galaxy.

“And you think your people are so much better?’ Isaac countered. “How is this war any different from a crusade?”

I would deign to answer that could you comprehend my response, Minos replied, his voice carrying an air of impatience with it. You are incapable of understanding the Path. Your very resistance proves that.

“What the hell did you expect, coming in here guns blazing?” Isaac pointed an accusing finger at the alien. “You see yourselves as missionaries? You’re tyrants! Hell, I just saw you consume the life of six of your own people just so you could put us down!”

A necessary sacrifice.

“Exactly the kind of thing a tyrant would say. How are you any different from Stalin, killing thousands of your own people in an effort to ensure your own survival?”

The Ethereal’s grasp on the railings of his booth suddenly tightened. You would dare liken me to one of your monstrous leaders?

Isaac folded his arms. “If I’m Hitler, you’re Stalin. There’s no way of getting around it.”

You insolent – The Ethereal paused, and relaxed, reclining back in the chair. No matter. Your punishment will be just.

The courtroom disappeared, and Isaac found himself back in the Cathedral, standing exactly where he had been. Plasma-lit fires dotted the room, and glowing green impacts were everywhere. Standing in front of the device, which was now throbbing with energy, was Minos, holding one arm out to his right. A short distance away, far enough that she couldn’t struggle, Samantha hovered above the ground, clutching her throat and trying to pry the invisible hand away. Isaac drew his pistol, leveling it at the Ethereal’s head. “Drop her.”

Minos turned his head to face him. Why? He queried. Does this one mean something to you? Perhaps as much as you mean to her? He tilted his head slightly and was rewarded by a tremor in the way Isaac held his weapon. A grin spread across the alien’s mouth like a disease wiping out a small country. I’ll make it simple, he said. Since you weren’t sufficiently motivated to defend yourself, how about you motivate me to defend her and not, say, crush her windpipe with sheer force? He turned his head. Make me an offer. And no funny business. I can read your mind, you so much as consider pulling that trigger, and the human dies.

Samantha’s eyes darted towards Isaac. “Shoot this fucker,” she hissed. “I don’t care if he kills me, just end him!”

This is no longer about what you want, the Ethereal replied smugly. The question now lies in what the imposter wants.

Isaac’s eye twitched. “If you kill her, your death will be much, much more painful. That, I can promise you.”

But either way I die, is that so? Minos considered, and tightened his wispy grasp slightly, not enough to kill his captive, but enough to make her cry out. I’m not liking either of those deals, Isaac, he replied. Try again.

“Ice him,” Samantha rasped, her breath faint.

“Just hold on, dammit!” Isaac yelled. He noticed his aim was shaky, but ignored it. “Either way, I’m getting to that device. I’m shutting it the fuck down. If you’re going to be in the way, I’ll shut you down too. That’s your choice, asshole.”

Minos turned his hand slightly, and Samantha’s head turned with it, causing her to cry out in pain as her neck bent slightly too far to be comfortable. I find this choice displeasing. Once more, and I snap it.

“I don’t…” a tear formed at the corner of Isaac’s eye. “Just… hold on, I’m… I’m thinking…”

You can’t do it, can you? Minos said triumphantly. Tell me. Why would I do this? Why wouldn’t I just end her now, and follow her with you?

Isaac lowered his head. “You want me to watch,” he said, defeat in his tone. “You want me to realize my situation is hopeless, you want me to give in to that despair.”

“You sick fuck,” Samantha whispered. “If you’re going to do it anyway, then just do it. Don’t toy with us like this. Like we aren’t even alive enough to worry about, like we’re below even animal cruelty laws.”

That’s because you are, Minos said. You are heretics. Blasphemers. Those who would throw us off the Path are worth less than pond scum.

Having realized the situation was now completely out of his control, Isaac decided that there was only one thing left to do. The mission had to be completed. Which meant at least one of them had to survive. If it was one and only one, then so be it. He raised the pistol again, said “I object,” and fired, the bolt flying towards the Ethereal’s head.

Minos, sensing he had been about to fire, tensed his hand, about to twist. He frowned inwardly when his hand failed to respond, feeling a sharp jabbing in his torso almost immediately after. His darted behind him, barely registering Isaac’s plasma merely grazing his mask and Samantha falling to the ground. He saw the decloaking soldier behind him, holding the knife that had just been imbedded into his spine.

“Something people forget,” Raider whispered, her own blood matting her hair. “The instruction ‘play dead’ isn’t just for dogs.” With that, she raised her Mauler and unloaded the clip into the Arbiter’s brain, turning it into a charred mess and sending him toppling to the ground.

Samantha held her neck, sucking in deep breaths like someone who’d been underwater for too long. Isaac lowered his pistol, staring at the infiltrator in shock. “Didn’t he hit you in the head?”

Raider raised a hand to the back of her skull, the gauntlet coming away wet. “Huh,” she said. “So he did.” Her eyes rolled up into her head and she fell forward, her knife and Mauler clattering away.

Isaac ran over and checked her pulse. “Alive, but barely,” he muttered. “Did we bring medkits?”

The Huntress rose, coughing. “I… no? I don’t think we expected to… need them.”

He grunted and released Raider’s wrist. “She should be fine until we get her back, but she needs medical attention.” He gazed at the carnage, noting the four human bodies lying on the ground. “Cost benefit analysis. Too great,” he whispered, rising and moving to the device. Samantha followed, almost shuffling behind him.

His hand clanged against the alloyed metal when he reached it. “How do we turn this off?”

Samantha pressed something on her arm, and her helmet’s HUD began displaying schematics downloaded before the mission. “There,” she said, pointing. “That button.” Isaac obediently pressed the button, then frowned when it did nothing.

“The hell?”

“Let me try,” Samantha said, pushing him over slightly and pressing it. The device reacted immediately, the pulsing energy remaining in it beginning to swirl around and around between the arms of the device, searching for a way to please the Law of Conservation of Energy. Isaac watched as it found a new home in Samantha, pouring into her until the last vestige of power disappeared.

“What the hell did you do?” he demanded. He didn’t get a response as Samantha swayed and fell back, out cold. He shook his head, and eyed the device. It gave no indication of being active. Just as he was about to phone home, he heard a cough and looked over. Noxious was sitting up, his gas mask completely wrecked from the lance he’d taken, his face not looking great either. He coughed again, and waved weakly at Isaac.

“Did I miss anything important?” he croaked.

With a smile, Isaac brought out a communicator and held it to his ear.

“Judge to Commander. Target’s down and secure, but we need medical support. As soon as you can please.” He eyed the two comatose agents, and the half-dead one sitting on the floor. “I’m too old for this shit,” he muttered.
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Game Master
Staff member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 15
End Battle

The twenty final combatants reached the top of the stairs leading to Phobos’ inner sanctum. Twenty men and women from all walks of life, from different countries, different backgrounds, even different species, together as one to protect this small, blue planet.

The room was as Atka had described in her lucid dream, long and imposing, adorned with alien visages and machinery from one end to the other. Some of the present soldiers marveled at their ability to recognize things that had been so alien not long ago; a hyperwave relay, an over-sized entertainment device, and nutrient paste dispenser. At the end of the room was an unknown machine, glowing a faint violet.

Before it stood three Ethereals, the one in the center the obvious target. Dressed in the most elegant robes seen thus far, with a mask that was almost frightening just to look at, he stood with folded arms. If he were human, you could read his posture as one of annoyance. The two Ethereals on his side seemed to shudder a bit, likely from Phobos’ awesome power that radiated forth.

Echoing beneath his mask was a frustrated sigh, and he slowly shook his head. When he spoke, his voice boomed through everyone’s skulls. Why do you persist? Honestly, how much longer will you struggle in vain? You have angered me, far worse than anyone in my long… long life. But I am still capable of compassion. Lay down your arms, return to your people and have them surrender, and I may spare your pathetic race. You may join us yet… whether it by as minions… or laborers.

Atka shook her head, taking a quick breath. “Sorry, but we’ve gone too far, fought for too long to turn back now. I’d extend a similar, if more kind, offer to you but I doubt you would ever accept terms of surrender.”

Phobos slowly scanned the room. And does this one… speak for all of you? Surely, there are some of you who would care to join me. You could be the savior of your people! And stand by my side as one of my finest generals!

Desmond smirked, looking at his friends and staring back at Phobos. “What do you think guys? Do we stand with Atka?”

“We already have a general,” Emily responded, pointing her carbine towards the Ethereal and getting ready to open fire.

“We’d rather die for our people then betray them joining you, verdammt arschloch,” Albert added.

Aya looked around at the series of nods, and shrugged her shoulders. “Guess that’s a no.”

Phobos clenched his fists, and slowly turned to the Ethereal on his right. Methos… turn it on. I wish to dispense with these… insects.

Methos slowly looked back, and reluctantly said, E-Exalted One, I… it… i-it is on…

Phobos stared at him for a few moments, and extended a hand towards the device. The violet energy flowed towards him for a moment, then the machine stood dim and dead. What is this?! Where is the combined energy of our people?! What is Minos up to?!

A small smile crept across Atka’s face. “I guess Delta came through after all. Well, what’s it going to be, Phobos? Are you going to fight us without your trump card, or listen to your rational fear and give it up?”

The energy flared around them, and Phobos floated a few feet forward. He stopped, noting he was alone, and turned to the other Ethereals. Let’s finish this! They likely can not stand up to my power alone! With the three of us…

We… we tire of this struggle, E-Exalted One. This… this is not w-what the Path… w-we can find… a-a different planet…

“Stand down, and we can work out a peaceful solution, I’m sure,” Emily shouted, keeping her weapon raised and waiting for an excuse.

“I think we are past a peaceful solution.” Desmond commented, looking at the rebellious Ethereals. “If you truly wish to end this conflict, there is only one way! You can save the others, but you cannot save him!”

Phobos looked on brink of snapping. He scanned the humans, and pointed to Atka. Methos! That human! She is the one that murdered your sister! Will you… simply let her get away with it!

The male Ethereal stared at Atka for a few moments, fists tightly clenched. Then, he hung his head in defeat, and said, No, Exalted One. She couldn’t have. My sister was killed by the Path long…

Phobos swiped his hand, and Methos went flying to the side of the room, though his head did not follow. The other Ethereal tried to flee, but a tendril of energy flowed into her head, draining her psionic energy and leaving her a shriveled mass.

“Kill him!” Aya shouted, and the group opened up. Phobos threw up his hands, and a massive shield went up, absorbing every shot and looking like it was barely scratched.

Fools! Even with what little reserve energy I have, combined with my natural power, you can never kill me! I, on the other hand, can kill any of you in a moment!

“Yeah? Then do it!” Ayame yelled back. “I’m sure you could kill four or five of us! But you better pick the four or five you hate the most, because you’ll be dead before you can get a sixth!”

“And defending just gives our allies a chance to catch up,” Ammelia stated. “Sooner or later, we’ll get you.”

Phobos lowered his head, as though pondering. After a few moments, he extended his arms again. Very well. A different approach will be needed for this, then. Two more cybernetic arms extended from the back of his armor, and each hand glowed a different color. A few moments later, six illusions, each about the size of Phobos, but with a mask displaying six different expressions, took shape, then became solid. Meet my six Psionic Shadows. You may call them Anger, Terror, Mischief, Pleasure, Compassion, and Exaltation. They will be your opponents, so I won’t have to soil my hands any more then needed. Be proud, you are the smallest group I ever decided to use these on. Phobos pointed forward, and the six illusions charged.

“Which is the real threat here?!” Vee asked, lifting her novagun and looking over the six psionic shades before them.

“‘ey ‘ll ‘re, keep ‘iring!” (They all are, keeping firing!) Mary replied simply, sending a barrage of plasma Phobos’s way, though the blasts merely collided with a telekinetic shield around him. Pleasure and Compassion fought on the left side of the room, while Anger and Exaltation dueled opponents on the right, and Mischief and Terror began their assault in the center.
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Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 16
End Battle

Compassion singled Emma and Emily, the fact that it targeted only two a likely indication of how powerful Phobo’s blue psionics were. Rather then try its hands at mind frays or ESP, it simply materialized a pair of oversized swords, and its body glowed as it used Physical Enhancement. It’s mask seemed to smile a bit as it rushed the pair, attempting to use pure physical strength to slice them in half.

Emily quickly took up a defensive posture, the small amount of martial arts knowledge she had centered around fleeing from weapons, not engaging them. As she sidestepped the first attack, Compassion locked in on her and continued the attack, causing her to leap and strafe away with each swipe of the psionic swords, taking her well out of cover. As her feet stumbled, the shadow swung with a massive overhead attack that Emily barely blocked with her gun, the psionic manifestations digging into the alloy of her carbine.

I cannot reflect those attacks… clever. Emma raised her plasma rifle, firing off a few shots at the construct. Still pressing with one sword into the carbine, it blocked the plasma with another, though the sword was damaged slightly in the process. Seeing this, the mask only smiled wider, taking a step back and reconsidering its mode of attack for a moment. Compassion sped forward again, this time slashing in an 180 arc, either ninety degree section aimed at one of the two. Confused by the movement, Emily barely managed to dodge her swing with her body, the sword raking across the thin armor on her arm.

Phobos watched from the end of the room, and locked on to his blue manifestation. He lifted his arm to fire a psi lance at Emily, only for his hand to shift to yellow and his shield to stop plasma fire. “Oh, no, ‘ou ‘ont.” (Oh, no, you don’t). Mary fired at the true Ethereal, ducking down to reload while Black King took over, the pair making sure he couldn’t shoot someone in the back.

Compassion looked Emily up and down, and bowed a bit. Fear not, child. I shall release you from this horrid life of yours. But you must… stand… still… he intoned sweetly, going back on the attack.

With a brief window of space, Emily quickly charged a heavy Psi Lance in her palm and fired it towards the shadow’s swinging arms, hoping to disrupt its balance. The shadow quickly rose its sword, and it was obliterated by the psi lance. It shook its head, and reformed the sword, though it was clearly smaller this time. For the first time, the smile on its mask started to falter as it swiped at Emily to force her back, and turned towards Emma.

The shadow operative waited until it was swinging at her, and then vanished, ducking beneath the swipe and getting close. She pulled out an H.S.P.B. and blasted a hole in the psionic shadow’s side, using the momentum to get back and out of reach from retaliation. The swords dug into her shadow armor nevertheless, but did not penetrate it.

Its mask formed into a sneer. Why do you resist my compassion? It would be so easy if you simply let me end it! The swords disappeared as it seemed to abandon that strategy, and its body glowed anew as it drew more power from its host. It appeared to take a martial arts stance, though one of unknown, likely alien origin. It charged Emily, leaping into the air two deliver a four-arm cross chop.

Emily quickly built a rift and sidestepped the charge, redirecting it in an arc around her and into the ground. She charged up another Psi Lance in her hand as it recovered, but rather than firing it, jumped towards the illusion and tried to cave in its head with the psionic sphere.

The attack succeeded, and the illusionary shadow stumbled a bit, headless, as Phobos yelled out in pain. He sent a surge of energy towards the illusion and it reformed, charging anew. Its two left arms formed one giant fist and it slammed towards Emily, just barely missing her head as it slammed into a small hyperwave relay, the shower of sparks disrupting the illusion for a moment. Knocking Emily to the side, it angrily charged Emma, darting from side to side to avoid getting shot.

Emma’s eyes widened, and she cloaked again, though after a few seconds of moving to the side sparks flew around her and she reappeared again, the damage to the armor coming back to haunt her. Before the Legion Field Commander could get off more than two shots, the frustrated Compassion jabbed both of its swords on either side of her, ignoring the damage it took in the process, and prepared to sweep them inward.

Just as Compassion began to sweep, the illusion was pulled backwards a few inches and then drilled in the back with a bright blue burst of electricity, Emily channeling the power out of the damaged relay into it like a live wire. The illusion staggered around a bit and Emily stored another burst with her manipulative power, sending it towards the shadow again. Just die already! The second blinding shock completely obliterated the shadow, the electricity arcing away from its target, dangerously close to Emma and several sparks licking at Emily’s hands. Emily stumbled backwards, the palms of her gloves charred black, panting and stammering from the exertion. Emily wasn’t the only one to suffer, as the feedback of the overloaded illusion hit Phobos like a brick to the head, and he screamed in rage.

Emma stepped back as a few sparks burned the ground near her, looking over at Emily in genuine surprise. “The rescue is...appreciated, F-Fischer…” she stammered.

“D-Don’t mention it,” she replied, falling back against the wall behind her, barely careful enough to avoid the sparking relay. “Just…need a minute…” she whispered, losing consciousness and a small drop of blood sliding down her lip.
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Game Master
Staff member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 17
End Battle

Alice jumped back, Pleasure’s imbued fist creating a small hole in the ground. She wobbled a bit, off balance from the missing arm. “Whoa… takes some getting used to.”

Ayame chuckled, a smile on her face despite the danger. “Not like something you expected to need practice in.” Pleasure charged forward, dodging rapidly as Ayame struggled to get a bead. “Figures I’d get the fast one. Shoulda asked for that damn sword…”

“Too bad they don’t walk…” Atka remarked, forgoing cryokinesis for her usual telekinetic helix, and swinging its length in a horizontal slash to try and catch the psionic shadow with an attack, the spikes along its main structure whizzing through the air.

The shadow raised a pair of glowing arms, the imbued illusion withstanding the attack but stopping it long enough for Alice to fire a shot through its back. Pleasure looked annoyed, but smiled sweetly. Don’t resist. Just accept me. Embrace my touch, and I will show you the utmost delight.

Ayame’s eyes darted towards the holes in the wall and floor in the small corner they had been pushed towards. “No thanks. I can see what your touch does.” She fired again, but the shadow knocked her weapon away and sent a solid punch to her face. She caught its hand, and the only reason she didn’t lose her own was because it was her cybernetic one.

Atka fired a shot off that hit the shade in the side, making it falter enough to push it back slightly. “If imbuing is all it can do, we should just press the attack. Finish it off!”

All I can do, huh? We’ll see about that…
Pleasure lifted both arms and slammed them into the ground, and a cloud of rubble and dust rose into the air. The trio struggled to see, but as a psionic manifestation, Pleasure moved uninterrupted. It rushed Ayame, grasping both her shoulders. A surge of green psionic energy flowed into her, and she dropped to her knees, trembling slightly.

Atka growled a bit in frustration and worry, lifting her shotgun sidearm and blasting it at the fake Ethereal, trying to get it away from Ayame. “What did you do to her?!”

Only opened her up to what she wants… with a little push. Surprisingly, Pleasure rushed Atka, the shotgun blast ripping through its stomach and nearly disrupting it completely. It got what wanted, though, wrapping its hands around her arms, pushing its energy into her, and tossing her towards Ayame. Now… play nice while I deal with the android.

Ayame panted softly as Atka fell near her, reaching out to the fallen Colonel. “A-Atka, are… are y-you… okay?”

Atka rubbed her forehead, slowly pushing herself off the ground. “I’m...fine, I think… not sure what that thing did…”

“I do…” Ayame wiped the sweat from her brow. “Th-thanks to… Mary, I… know…” She smiled dopily, and slowly crawled towards Atka. “I… I can’t…”

“Did it… drug you or something?” the Inuit woman asked, kneeling down to reach a hand down to help Ayame stand if possible.

Ayame wrapped her hand around Atka’s wrist and pulled her close. “I… I can’t help… it… I… I’m sorry…” She grasped Atka’s head, lifting her visor and firmly placed her lips on those of her commanding officer.

Atka’s eyes widened. W-What are you doing… we have to help Alice… She weakly tried to push Ayame away, but found herself unable to muster the willpower to.

“I… I don’t want to, Atka… but I… I want… to…” Ayame yanked off Atka’s helmet and pushed her to the ground. “Please, Atka… just for a… a little bit…”

“Now is not the time for WHOA!” Alice ducked down, just barely able to keep her head. “Time for nookie later, you two!”

“Ayame… w-we c-can’t… not n-now… and…” Whatever thought Atka had after came muddled, and she shook her head slightly at the fuzzy thoughts, knowing something was off but unable to pinpoint what it was.

“A-Atka… not me…” Ayame placed her hands against Atka’s chest, cursing slightly about the armor in the way. “Phobos… sh-shadow… b-bio… k-k-kinesis… can’t… s-stop…”

“Did they… do something like that to...m-me?” Atka wondered, unsure of why she needed to even ask herself that. Feeling as if she was experiencing tunnelvision, the Colonel muttered, “Not sure I…h-hate this…”

“G-good, cause… I’m not… holding back anymore.” Ayame reached down, quickly unclasping her armor and tossing it to the side. She grabbed Atka’s armor, and almost looked desperate as she yanked at it.

“Seriously! Come on!” Alice dodged to the side and delivered a solid punch to the shadow, sending it spinning.

Atka closed her eyes for a moment, a faint green tinge that was certainly not hers starting to appear around her irises. Alice’s voice seeming drowned out, she helped Ayame with the armor, kissing her softly. Ayame moaned softly, reaching towards Atka’s chest again, but stopped suddenly. Her hands shook slightly, and she shook her hand, withdrawing her hand like she was pulling it away from a fire. “N… no, I… no!”

Atka tilted her head to the side slightly. “W-What’s wrong?” The scout laid a hand on Ayame’s cheek. “I-I th-thought we both wanted this…”

“Oh, Atka… I… do… I…” She kissed Atka again, and slipped off her outer shirt, down to a nearly see-through undershirt. “If… i-if you… want to, I…”

“If I survive this, I’m murdering you both!” The android screamed.

Atka, clearly so affected by the ability that she could no longer focus on anything else, merely smiled and lifted her hands up to the gunner’s chest, dimly wondering why the movement felt unnaturally natural.

Ayame giggled lightly at the touch, vaguely aware that it felt better than it probably should. “I… I love you, Atka. I… I also wanted…” Her eyes darted back and forth. “I… I want to… I… right?”

“Why not? You a-admitted to m-me that you…” Atka mumbled, removing her own shirt and pulling Ayame over her, planting a kiss on her neck. “Y-You w-want this… I t-think…”

Ayame slowly nodded, grasping Atka’s chest and shuddering as if she had been grabbed herself. “God, I… I want… I-I… want…”

“Then take it,” Atka said softly, though she frowned at her seductive tone.

Ayame panted lightly, but the smile faded from her face. “N… no, I… I… I love you, Atka. But… but not this way. Not anymore. I… I’m sorry, but… this isn’t us.”

The Colonel frowned further, and held her head, the green light fading from her eyes. “S-Shit...I… good God!” she exclaimed, pushing Ayame off her.

Ayame looked away in shame. “I… I-I’m so sorry, Atka, I… I couldn’t fight it. I… I’m so sorry…”

Atka gripped her shoulder for a moment. “It’s not your fault… I should have realized what they did to me. And all they had to do was remove my inhibitions like it was alcohol…” Stepping back, the Colonel clenched her fists in fury, her eyes flaring a light blue again. “Phobos!” she growled, imbuing a telekinetic helix and firing it off at the green construct.

“Oh, thank you, alien Jesus.” Pleasure turned its attention towards the freed pair, giving Alice time to wrapped her arm and legs around it, squeezing tightly and dropping them both to the floor. “Atka, hit it! I can’t hold on forever!”

You… r… release me, you blasted machine!

Atka lifted her reflex rifle, shifting the imbued power to the core. “If this really is part of your psyche, Phobos… you’re a sicker bastard than I even imagined.” She fired off a powerful shot into Pleasure’s chest, dealing damage to it, and then used the existing helix to her her arm slightly, summoning a weak version of Xifeng forward. The psionic manifestation placed its hands between the hole in the green construct, and with a wide grin, pulled it open far enough that Pleasure shattered into fragments of light from the strain.

Alice smiled at the two panting lightly as a small trickle of white blood poured down her chin. “You two… o-okay?”

Ayame crouched down by the android. “Yeah, yeah, we’re fine. Are you okay?”

Alice shrugged. “Um… no. Hard to defend yourself with one arm, but… I’ll be fine.” She looked around, and smiled at the sight of Gadget approaching them. “H-hey… buddy.”

Ayame pointed to the edge of the room. “Go let him heal you. We’ll handle the rest.” Alice slowly nodded, and carefully crawled out of the way. Ayame cursed under her breath, muttering, “All my fault…”

Atka started to reply, but reddened when she realized she still needed to re-don her armor. Doing so, she momentarily panicked looking at her helmet, but realized that something had temporarily knocked out the video feed. Glancing at the hyperwave relay, she realized why. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Emily…” she muttered under her breath. Ayame grinned, and grabbed her own armor, giving Atka reassuring smile and moving to check on the rest of the group.
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Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 18
End Battle

Anger screamed in pure rage, the psionic shadow much closer to Phobos’ true emotions, especially now as sparks of pain shot towards him every time a shadow was hit. Again, he attempted to interfere, and again, Mary and Black King kept him at bay. Damn you all! Both he and Anger yelled together as the latter fired a powerful psi lance at Albert, forcing him to dive behind cover.

“Not holding back, is he?” Albert muttered, quickly reloading.

Ashley smiled, looking at Anger as if it was entertainment. “Wow, so this is your anger? The fact that it's screaming like a banshee proves that you’re a god damn moron. You’re surprised that a bunch of lower life-forms not only eliminated your entire army, but also made it to your Temple ship? Did you honestly think my kind would turn over and say, ‘Hey Ethereals, come on down and enslave us and bring us into your inner cult.”

The medic laughed at Anger. “Your the biggest moron in the universe, I’m going to enjoy killing you. And once I’m done killing you, I’m going to take your civilians bring them to earth and show them a better life than this worthless path you have.” Ashley said with her eyes starting to glow blue.

As she moved to take aim, a fire-charged psi lance punched through her cover and came within inches of burning off her nose. Albert ducked up, took a few shots, then ducked back down. “Ashley, suggest you cut the chatter. You are arguing with something too angry to-”

I will rip out your heart and force you to eat it! Anger fired again, ripping half of Albert’s cover away.

“What he said!” Albert dived out of cover, hoping Vee would cover him from wherever she was shooting from.

Indeed, a spray of plasma accompanied the infantry’s movement, making dents in the form of Anger. “Jeez, and here I thought I saw the embodiment of pissed-” she ducked as a psi lance whizzed past her, taking a layer of her helmet’s armor with it. “Shit!”

I will enjoy taking your corpses and displaying them on my hull! Anger extended his four arms towards Vee, firing his psi lances like a machine gun.

The destroyer leapt into the air, having to disregard her cover entirely to avoid being riddled with holes. Jesus, this guy doesn’t let up! Landing a few meters away, she tried to get to cover, but not in time for Anger to change the direction he was aiming and blast her with a flurry of small lances, ripping into her titan armor and drawing a few streams of blood. Vee cried out in pain, not getting up immediately.

“Vee!” Albert fired off a few shots. “Ashley, can you distract him while I help Vee get to cover!”

“That I can do, but to give you some better chances...” Ashley popped two smoke grenades filling the area with smoke “That should give you a chance to get Vee into some cover, so get moving. The smoke should give you some more cover.”

Albert watched as Ashley unloaded on Anger, and dashed through the smoke. The few shot Anger going wide thanks to the cover, he used the combination of his tachypsychia and his overclocker to expertly snatch up Vee, pull her into cover, and even fire off a few shots. He got ready to move again, but stumbled, the servos in his power armor’s legs seizing. “Damn. Should have asked Mary for her drone. Are you okay, Vee?”

“I’ve… been better,” the black-haired clone replied. “Think its just surface wounds… but quite a few of them.” Gritting her teeth, Vee managed to get up properly, and pulled out her plasma pistol, firing off a few shots from the edge of smoke cover. “Get Ashley over here with that medkit, please!” she shouted. Seeing his attention was focused on the woman with the more powerful gun, Vee called out, “Hey, motherfucker! I didn’t say you could ignore me!”

Aaaargh! Anger started blasting at Vee’s cover again, two hands throwing psi lances while the other two threw fire balls. Albert motioned for Ashley to dash through the smoke before it dispersed.

“God damn super soldier, mocking the enemy when you're injured.” Ashley thought for a moment. “Yea she’s Eva’s kid alright, I imagine Eva mocking this thing too.” Ashley ran into the smoke and sees Vee on the ground. “You know,the point of the smoke is to not be seen. You kinda defeat the purpose when you yell like that.” Ashley said while taking out her med kit.

Vee bit her lip as the nanites got to work sealing up her wounds, though she grinned painfully beneath her half-brittle mask, scorched by the intense flames. “What can I...ow...say, had to distract him to get you over here.” Her orange eyes widened as she saw the fake Ethereal preparing a powerful lance in one hand and a large fireball in another. “Less talking, more running!” Ashley nearly finished anyway, the destroyer started dashing for a new piece of cover as the console was obliterated by the lance, and it tore a hole in the floor as well, revealing a dark abyss beneath the thick metal.

“Damn it, this is getting us nowhere!” Albert’s eyes darted across the room. Come on, Al. Think! Alright. Vee injured but can move. Ashley used smoke. Probably wouldn’t work twice anyway. Has ESP… no good. Not like he’s hard to find. Think… think! Wait… he… he’s flickering! Extension of Phobos… power is finite… got it! “Piss him off! I- I mean piss him off more! Confusion! Shoot in turns! Throw him off so he wastes his energy! We… we just need to outlast him!”

You’ll die before that happens! Anger charged up a massive pyro-psi lance, preparing to fire at Al.

“Scared, are we?!” Vee exclaimed, grabbing her novagun and firing off a blast of plasma to distract the shadow. Goaded, Anger turned towards Vee, launching the potent blast and blasting another crater in the ground. It missed her, as she leapt again, landing to the side. Didn’t he only use three hands? Vee considered for a moment, and saw a lance shoot out from the fourth, aimed at her.

Dodge this, swine! The lance ripped through Vee, and the destroyer coughed up blood.

“Did you...f-fucking…” Vee sent a stream of plasma into the psionic construction, disrupting it further from damage and rage.

Why won’t you die?! Anger screeched, forming up four powerful lances, but they shifted uncontrollably as if unstable.

“The reason is because you're weak, you have others do your bidding. Hell, our Commander even joins us in battle, our Commander helps us in so many ways. And then there’s you, come on. ‘I will rip out your heart and force you to eat it’, ‘I will enjoy taking your corpses and displaying them on my hull!’ My cousin Scarlet comes up with more menacing threat, and she’s a human. Come on you can do better insults than that.”

You… y-you will… The illusion twitched and flickered, and sent a massive fire ball and surged towards Ashley, and evaporated before it reached her. The shadow seemed to realize its mistake, but a few shots to the face by Albert renewed its rage. It fired rapidly at him, pumping more and more energy into the attack to make sure they were lethal, but it was thrown of by Vee. Then Ashley. Then Albert again.

The three finally stepped out over cover, the red shadow hunched on the floor, obvious using all of its energy just to stay together. Albert looked at Vee and said, “Wanna do the honors after that… swine line?”

Vee grinned weakly, seeming unusually pale, and another blast emptied her gun and destroyed Anger. “M-Minus… one asshole… and one kidney,” she practically whispered, collapsing with the hole in her side becoming more evident as her hand fell away from it.

“Damn it,” Albert mumbled, reaching down and carefully lifting her up. “And they say I’m the reckless one. You can do healing biokinesis, right Ashley?”

“Yeah, I wanted to do it at first on her leg. But, now that we’re safe, I can work on her injury, well I can close it up first then use the medkit to fully heal her wound.” Ashley places her hand on Vee side her eyes turn green as she tries to heal and close Vee’s wound.

The blood flow slowly stopped, though Vee was deathly pale, having lost more blood than she probably should have, and kept alive by her modified circulatory system. “I-I’m not g-going to die, a-am I…?” she said, quiet from dizziness.

“No you’re not. Because if you did die I’m sure your mom would go on a rampage and will most likely kill me and everyone on this ship. And I prefer keeping my organs in my body thank you very much.”

Vee smiled weakly, her eyes nearly closed. “Y-...yeah… t-that...would…” She shut her eyes, falling dangerously still as Chandra came over.

The Indian woman’s eyes widened. “No… don’t…” she knelt down by the destroyer, using what little electrokinesis she had learned from Emily to restart Vee’s heart while she worked on using her biokinesis to slowly multiple blood cells. “I promised Thomas I wouldn’t let you…” she said shakily, her usual sarcastic tone absent.

“S-Stop...you’re going to make m-me feel bad…” Vee said quietly, holding onto Chandra’s arm weakly before falling silent again.

“Live, damn you…” Chandra mumbled, sending another jolt through Vee, though this time her heartbeat didn’t return. “Please…” Her left hand turned yellow-green again, and this time Vee came to, if barely, and stayed that way.

Vee vaguely could see tears rolling down the healer’s cheeks. “W-what...? I just...w-was sleepy for awhile…”

“Don’t make me a liar, you damn…idiot...” Chandra muttered, her Outsider companion coming and helping take Vee to a safe corner of the room.


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 19
End Battle

Exaltation dodged a few more shots from Aya’s weapon, then another from Eva. As Aya fired off a blast of energy, the shadow sent a wave of energy towards Aya, and absorbed a blast, redirecting it towards the others. Aya dove behind cover to avoid getting hit, she shook her head. “Good at avoiding a hit, feedback to redirect attacks. This thing is either designed to stall us, or piss me off.”

White King tried to use a blast of electricity, but countering it as if it were electrokinesis, the energy just flowed back into him. “That does seem like its the case…” David spoke through the machine sourly. “Try this on for size.” He formed a flaming ball of tar, and lobbed it at Exaltation.

Exaltation quickly dove out of the way, specks of flaming tar clinging to it. A quick drop of the telekinesis making it solid solved that, and it lobbed a couple psi lances, way too weak to do any real damage, but annoying enough to illicit a growl from Aya. “Eva! You have any grenades left?”

“Yeah, two left, not sure if it will be useful or not. What do you have in mind?” Eva said while keeping her eyes on Exaltation.

“I… I’m hoping it can only bounce back energy and psionics. Or else it would have thrown back the fire ball.” Aya pulled out her knife. “David! You have any X-Ray on that thing? Need you to find a pair of chips hidden somewhere on my body!”

“The… new model comes with pulse sidearms built in. I can lower the beam intensity and use the sights.” The custom legion frame’s optics narrowed and magnified, locating the chips, pointing a targeting laser there.

Aya dove the knife into her leg, and dug out one of them as she cried out in pain. Her energy suddenly doubled, her eyes going wide for a second as it threatened to consume her, she looked over at Eva. “Alright… toss those grenades. Try and hit one in front, and one behind. I’ll blast it with everything I got before it can counter. I’m counting on that aim of yours, Eva.”

“Very well, but if this plan of yours doesn't work I have my own plan that would probably work.” Eva tossed the grenades in front of and behind Exaltation. “Go, do whatever it is you're doing now!”

Aya nodded, charging a massive energy blast. She took a deep breath, stood up, and a tendril of violet energy hit her in the head like a punch in the head, knocking her to the ground. Ignorant wench! I could read your thoughts like an open book. Your pathetic powers are nothing compared to one enlightened by the Path!

David’s mec strode forward cautiously, firing off two pulse blasts at Exaltation. “Commander Brea, are you alright?” the pilot asked with worry.

Aya looked around, her eyes tired and glazed over. “I… I’m fine. Just a headache. I… I have a new plan. Eva… come over her, and give me your weapon.”

“Fine, I might not need it any way. Eva said giving Aya her gun and walked towards Exaltation. “Tell me, are you physical enough to take a punch?”

White King stood between Eva and Aya. “This is hardly the time for theatrics, Aegerter… we need to-”

A titanic explosion erupted behind Eva. When she turned back around, White King was crumpling to the floor, a gigantic hole in its chest. Aya slowly turned to face Eva, her eyes glowing a deep purple, and she tossed Eva’s weapon away. “Care to dance,” she asked in a monotone voice, Exaltations own voice echoing in hers.

Eva looks down at White King. “You're going to pay for doing that, Release restriction to level one.” Eva’s body changed in front of Exaltation. “If you think, that I’m going to hold back because you took over one over my teammates you’re dead wrong.”

As Eva swung at the Ethereal Shadow, her fist was stopped by Aya, who had ran the distance to the two of them in record time. As Aya squeezed Eva’s fist and Exaltation hid in the shadows, Eva could see how Aya was so strong and fast. Her skin glowed slightly, having used her imbuing on her own body. It obviously wasn’t meant to do that, a few drops of blood popping from her pores, but Aya’s controller hardly cared.


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Eva couldn’t help but smile. “Heh Heh, I usually hold back a little in this form, but it looks like I don’t have to.” Eva got up and ran straight for Aya, her speed seeming to increase for what it was before. Eva punched Aya’s nose and delivered a few jabs to her head grabs her arm and threw her across the room. “Get up you, you're not done. Well let me say that again I’m not done with you. I’m actually having fun for once.”

“Good,” Aya said, holding her hand over her face. When she pulled it away, the wound was healed. She rushed Eva, sending a fireball straight in front of her. Recklessly jumping through the flames, Aya hit Eva with a dropkick that sent her crashing into a wall, hard enough to dent it. “I’m just getting started too.”

Eva started to laugh maniacally “You know, this is the first time in a long long time since I had a fight like this. The only person that made me this excited was that fucking cyborg, Desmond, and that was during the beginning of the war. So excuse me if I’m enjoying myself.” Eva pushed off the wall and and thrust her entire body into Aya. She grabbed her foot and punched her in her chin and chest. Eva put her hands together and slammed them into Aya’s chest. When she landed, she left a small hole in the ground, Eva put her knee into Aya and punched her rapidly in her chest. “Having fun yet!” Eva screamed.

“Tons!” Aya sent a solid punch into Eva’s throat. As the super soldier choked, Aya jumped back and rapidly charged a energy blast. “So… Desmond got you excited, huh? I bet that boyfriend of yours wouldn’t like to hear that. I feel so sorry for him, I might not even tell him before I gut him!” She fired the blast, nearly as large is Aya herself, directly at Eva. “Now die!”

Eva’s eyes widened. “Yo---- You mentioned my future husband, and you mentioned you were going to kill him? You see I was enjoying this for the fun but now...” Eva saw the blast coming her way, and dodged the blast, the blast leaving a big hole behind Eva “You see, I have a little secret, but before I reveal it… tell me. What do you plan on doing to my husband, I only ask so I can justify beating you within an inch of your life before sparing you.”

“Ow… I don’t know.” Aya pulled out her knife again, and ran it across her own cheek, blood spilling down it. “Maybe I’ll use him to kill his own sister… then leave him to deal with his pain.” Aya grinned. “That work for you? You going to kill this body now? Please, do so… or die trying.” She jammed the knife into her leg, straight into the second inhibitor.

“Oh I’m not going to kill her, she’s a puppet. A puppet that’s about to be dealt with, in a few moments. See, I plan on killing the alien itself for bringing up my family, so Aya, if you're in there, I’m sorry for what I’m about to do to you.” Eva jumped to Aya, grabbed her neck and threw her across the room, Eva rushed towards her not giving her a chance to recover and punches Aya several time in her face while yelling go to sleep between the punches. “Go to sleep go to sleep go to sleep go to sleep, you damn puppet.”


Aya’s eyes glowed yellow as her skin turned a deep bluish-green. Her hair stood on end, wing-like appendages forming on her arms. She caught Eva’s hand and crushed it. What looked like a gentle shove sent Eva flying across the room, and Aya rose into a floating position. She screeched loudly, a primordial yell that shook the room. Her power fully released, it was too much for a simple illusion of Phobos to handle. Having underestimated her, the shadow cried out and fell from its hiding spot, looking around desperately for another place to hide.

Eva saw Exaltation trying to find another place to hide. “If your going to hide you better do it within three minutes, because let me tell you that secret I was keeping from you. 20%. I’m actually using tapping into 20% of my actual strength, Well that’s a lie, it’s more like 30. Now I’m done messing around I have one more restriction left and will not hold one ounce of it back and I’ll be using it alongside my over drive. So you have three minutes to either surrender, or I kill you where you stand, starting now. “

Eva calmed her body, preparing it for the amount of pressure she was about to put on it. This is going to hurt once I come out of this, hell, the first time I tried this I only lasted 3 seconds and I was in the hospital for 3 months. But now with all the improvements I been through and the amount of training I did, I should last probably 30 min at best if I push myself to mush. Eva shakes her head. Sorry Desmond, looks like you won’t be the first one to make me go this far. Sorry buddy, but hey I’ll get you the next time . Eva saw Exaltation “Why are you standing there? Get moving!”

You… you think you are anything compared to the Exalted Leader of the Ethereal Race? You are nothing! The Ethereal shadow calmly glided over to Eva. So… do your worst. Because once I am gone… he will deal with you! It pointed about at the slowly hovering being that was Aya. If she doesn’t first.

Eva’s body changed completely. Her hair turned black, her eye’s purple, and she even grew a few inches. “It’s done, now you die.” Eva grabbed the Ethereal illusion. Eva balled her fist and punched through the shadows head and it disappeared. “Hmm, what a pity.” Eva turned her head and looks into one of the computers. “I look like my old self, before I died, except my eyes are purple. Hm 27 minutes I have eight minutes before I power down. Sigh... I hope the others still recognize me.” Eva saw Aya And she looked different. “Oh crap, um please tell me you're still in there, Aya?”

A creature screeched again, and dived for Eva. It wrapped a hand around her neck, the mere touched making Eva feel like her skin was on fire. Obviously surprised Eva didn’t die instantly, she lifted her into the air, floating up. She slowly lifted her other hand, but it shook slightly, and few tears running down her cheeks. “E-Eva… I-I… c-c-can’t…”

Eva looked at Aya. “Alright, Aya how much of a beating do I have to dish out to turn you back to normal?”

Aya glared at her. The burning intensified, and Aya screeched again. From below, Eva heard someone yell, “Eva! Throw off her balance! Box her in the ears!”

“Heh fine.” Eva jumps up, and grabs Aya and wrapped her legs around her to keep her from falling. “Eat this” Eva slapped Aya’s ears, throwing her off balance and shifts her body to push her legs into Aya, bringing her to the ground causing Eva to fall.

Aya slowly rose to feet, screaming in anger. She stepped forward, and an outsider jumped on her, attempting to hold her steady. With another cry of rage, she grabbed the Outsider by the neck and leg, ripping it in half in one smooth motion. Of balance and distracted, a gunshot stopped Aya in her tracks. She slowly turned around, staring daggers at Chandra. She wobbled a bit, dropping to her knees and flopping to the floor. Her skin faded back its original color, and she was left unconscious and in her birthday suit on the ground.

Chandra let out a sigh of relief, and approached Eva. “Good job. You okay?”

Eva looks at the woman in confusion. “Who the hell are you? And what did you just do?”

Chandra rolled her eyes. “I’m only the top psionic healer in X-COM. You’d know that if you got injured more often. Not everyone is as lucky as you.” She reached out, biokinetic energy healing the burns on Eva’s neck. “And she’ll be fine. That magic bullet is the only thing… that…” Chandra looked Eva up and down. “You… you are Eva, right? You… look different.”

Eva looked in a mirror and saw herself. “Oh, right, this is the first time someone has ever seen me like this. Yeah, I’m Eva. Sorry, but this is me using a restriction that I never used before, and I’m about to pass out in about 23 minutes. Wait, you said you used a magic bullet?” Eva shakes her head “You know what, I think I reached a point where I think I’m in a anime TV show right about now.”

Chandra shrugged, pulling Aya to the side and covering her up. “That’s X-COM for you. You better join the others before you run out of power.”

“Yeah, um, can you like heal me, because I’m going through a lot of power really quickly. So if you don’t mind would you please help me. Don’t worry, my bone marrow is on a level where it might help you speed the process, I think?”

Chandra nodded, and looked Eva up and down. She focused on Eva’s broken ribs and shattered hand, and smiled at Eva. “There you go. I could do more, but I need to save energy for everyone else. I’m sure you won’t be the only one hurting before this is over. Now hurry and join the others!”

“Yeah, best I get to the others, though they might confuse me with Vee. Oh well, thanks for healing me doc. I should last... hmm... 20 minutes now.” Eva went back for her gun but decided to leave it. “You know what, I don’t need it. Hey doc.” Eva grabbed her gun and gave it to Chandra. “If any enemies come you way.” Eva gave her all of her ammo. “This should help you out, and thanks again.”

Chandra nodded. “Good luck.”


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 20
End Battle

Terror took little time to try and get straight to the point. Using a rift to tear a pillar apart, it lifted the pieces one by one, hurling towards his opponent. You will beg me for death by the time this is over. You will fear me more than your own mortality!

Desmond largely dodged to the side of the pieces of rubble, using his sword to help deflect anything that he couldn’t jump from. “You will try.”

Avanix glanced down at her right arm. “Flamethrower likely useless…” She knelt down for a moment, firing off an alien grenade from her launcher at Terror. “But what about this?”

Terror quickly caught the grenade, not soon enough to throw it away, but soon enoughto stop it from getting too close. Blasted fools. Let us see how advanced that metal brain of your is! The shadow extended its hand, firing a powerful psi panic towards Avanix to see if it could tap into her bio-organic cells.

Avanix paused, her servos locking up. “Multiple errors registered… attempting to compen...compens….unabletodiagnoseproblem...error...what is...whatishappening?”

A shot whizzed past Terror’s mask, Desmond having a black revolver in hand. “Come on, what happened to that absolute fear you were talking about?” He taunted. Come on Avanix, get yourself under control. I can distract him. “Come on!”

As the A.I. attempted to correct herself, Modya raised his heavy rifle and fired off several shots at Terror. “Might have to use my last regular rocket?” he said loud enough for Desmond to hear, but hopefully not the psionic shadow.

“Go for it. I still got a pair of grenades as well. Just let me get his back turned, then fire.” Dashing in the opposite direction, Desmond fired alloy bullets at the shadow again, continuing to taunt him to focus on himself rather than the rocketeer.

You fools! I can sense your fears! I feed off of them! Fear for your safety. Fear for your beloved friends and family. Terror sent a psychokinetic storm of energy towards them, causing Desmond to duck down to not get pelted. With a moment to work, Terror stared at Modya. Or… fear of your own weakness! The shadow sent another psi panic towards the rocketeer as he was preparing to fire.

Modya’s eyes widened, visions of his past failures flashing before his eyes, and a potential failure as well. An image of Jessica and the twins, piled dead in a heap before him, forced the Russian to his knees, holding his head. “N-no… please ...n-not them…” he whispered, tears rolling down his cheeks.

Desmond glanced over the top of his cover, closing the chamber of his revolver as he got done reloading and saw Modya. “Come on, talk to me buddy. You gotta snap out of it! He is playing with your head.”

The rocketeer didn’t acknowledge him. “J-Jessie...A-Alex...I-I’m so-sorry…”

Terror laughed, a sickening, maniacal laugh. Do not even bother. He is lost, and by the time he recovers… you will be dead! The psionic shadow lifted a heavy hunk of stone, hurling it towards Desmond with two hands while sending another psi panic at the other two.

Avanix recovered just long enough to sent a particle beam through the stone, splitting it in half, but was knocked to her knees by the second panic attempt. A-Attempting to correct to avoid further shutdown… need time…

“That is all I am doing…” Desmond mumbled, looking at the disabled Avanix and unable Modya. “I take back everything I said about Aya’s gifts, could come in real handy.” Putting his pistol and sword back in their respective holsters, Desmond stood up. “You want time, I will give you time.” Mounting over the cover Desmond spread his arms. “I am wide open! Show me my fears, show me why you are just a fake!”

Hmph… as you wish. But you asked for it! Terror experienced a huge surge of energy, sending its strongest psi panic yet into Desmond’s skull.

Desmond fell to a knee, his mind shield working double to counteract the power but unable to stop everything. Visions of surgeries, cold winters and his dead wife flooded into his mind like a torrent of emotion. Just as Desmond looked defeated, he slowly rose to his feet, a deep red aura surrounding his entire body. “You made a huge miscalculation!” Desmond held out his hands, and two psi lances quickly powered up. “You chose the one person who doesn’t have a fear of fear itself...now live with your mistake!” He thrusted his hands forward, two powerful psi lances blasting away from Desmond and streaking at Terror with blazing speed.

Damnation! Terror cut off his attack and threw a massive pillar towards Desmond. The psi lances punched through, hitting Terror and making his image flicker widely. You think you are so clever! Take this! The illusion form a massive rift and sent it hurtling towards the still recovering Modya.

Desmond broke into a full sprint towards the rocketeer, taking one of his grenades off of his belt and chucking the explosive at the image to buy Desmond time to work. The psionic soldier raced the rift, but even with his faster than normal speed, the rift was beating Desmond, and it would reach Modya before him. Damn it...I am not letting you die! Desmond’s power surged in his left arm and Desmond raised it, pouring out enough energy to telekinetically push the Russian Rocketeer just out of the way of the rift. Tripping over himself, the psionic soldier fell to the ground and gripped his arm, a little tingle running up it. “Note to self...more psionic conductors to help stabilize power surges.”

Modya slowly snapped out of the psi panic after being launched, and shakily reached for his rocket launcher. “F-Fuck you, bespolezny ublyudok,” he said harshly, firing off the rocket straight for the psi shade.

You will not beat me! Terror swept away the grenade, and looked up, just in time to see the rocket slam into him. As the dust settled, a sudden surge of energy shot out, the flickering illusion seething. You… w-will… not… b-beat… me!

Desmond rose to his feet and smirked at Modya. “Do you hear that my friend? I think he fears defeat.” He said in a raised voice intentionally so Terror heard. Avanix and Modya both silently lifted their weapons at the manifestation, not seeming in the mood for witty retorts. Raising his own rifle, Desmond sighed. “I never get credit for trying.” He mumbled under his breath, giving the order to fire as he pulled the trigger.

No! Terror rose a series of debris around it, only to realize he was dangerously low on ammunition. Half the plasma charges were obliterated by the debris, and the rest punched into the Shadow, finally obliterating it in a flash of orange light.

“And...now for the real thing,” Modya said grimly, getting to his feet and looking around to see how the others were faring.

Desmond took a deep breath. “Good...I need to catch my breath.”


Well-Known Member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 21
End Battle

Mischief giggled childishly as it split into three. Its three opponents fired at them, and each popped like balloons. As they scanned the area for their illusive enemy, a small psi lance whacked into Christine’s back. She spun around, and swung an angry right punch at the shadow, only to cry out in pain when her hand connected with a shield. Raising her weapon instead, the shadow vanished with a THWUMP, and a whisper from behind her said, So tense! Why not have some fun! Give in to your mischievous nature.

Christine screamed angrily, and spun around for a left hook, and another shield stopped it before Mischief blinked away. “Damn it, damn it, damn it!” The frustrated rocketeer cried out. “I… I lost two friends today, I am NOT in the mood for this crap!”

Ammelia scanned the room with her rifle, grumbling under her breath, “Where is it…”

Right behind you, silly! Mischief fired a psi lance, hitting Ammy in the rear before vanishing again. It appeared in front of her, inches from her face. Boo!

Ammy tried to raise her rifle, but Mischief simply disappeared before she could, “It knows I can’t shoot it well when it’s that close… Really annoying…”

“Must be why it picked two snipers and a rocketeer. Can’t exactly blow us all up!” Christine swirled around, seemingly catching Mischief off guard, only for her plasma shots to hit another illusion. “Son of a bitch!”

“Remain calm,” Fay muttered, stowing away her sniper rifle for the moment in favor of her Plasma Mauler. “Illusions require large sums of energy, especially on this many observers. Soon, forced to choose between defense and offense. Then, strike.” As if to punctuate her point, she snapped off a burst from her sidearm, dissipating another illusion.

Oh, look who’s so smart! Mischief blinked infront of Ammelia, the original and three illusions raising their hands to fire at her, counting on the three fakes to get enough time to charge. Ammy raised her weapon at the only one she could actually see, sending a bolt of plasma towards it quickly. The illusion flickered and spasmed, blinking away again. Hmph… nice guess! Think you can do it again! The shadow popped out in front of her again, this time accompanied by eight illusions, and again started charging its attack.

Ammelia aimed again, firing at the real one. “You’re just standing there, it’s not exactly that hard.”

Christine huddled close to Ammelia. “You can see the real one!” She smiled at Fay. “And you can stay calm.” A psi lance from behind made Christine curse. “And I can fucking shoot it up close! Quick, Fay. If it was you, where would you be?”

Fay paused for a moment, thinking, before glancing up and across the room, raising a finger to point. “There, initially,” the yellow psion said, “Shall likely move now that it’s revealed.”

Mischief did as predicted, and received a face full of plasma for it. The mask reforming into a more annoyed expression than before. Fine… you don’t want to play, we won’t play… The shadow started blinking rapidly left and right, its energy fading a bit from the expenditure as it closed in on the group.

“Fall back!” Fay barked, pushing off from her piece of cover. “The blinks require energy, more it moves the less it can fight!”

Christine nodded, and ran back towards the wall. Firing to force the Shadow to continue to dodge, Christine asked, “Fay, can you hit it with one of those… bullet things?”

“Need a moment to charge,” Fay answered, drawing a slug out of her belt with her telekinesis and levelling it over her shoulder. “Also, need enemy shield strength, to avoid expending too much energy.”

“That might be a problem, because it doesn’t seem like shields are it’s preferred way of avoiding damage.” Ammelia added, trying to pin the evasive shadow down.

“Maybe it can’t use shields!” Christine fired near the Shadow as it dodged Ammelia’s shot, and it blinked right into the shot. Its arm flew off in a flash of light, and as it regenerated it, it glared at Christine and charged her. Taking in this information and the Shadow’s charge, Fay settled in on a target velocity. Channeling her powers, Fay outstretched her arm, and with that the tungsten slug shot forth at Mischief, at nearly nine-hundred meters per second, a sonic boom following in its wake. Seeing it at the last second, the shot blasted through Mischief’s chest. Despite being a Shadow, its mask twisted in pain, and Phobos yelled out. It slowly reformed, and flicked as it turned its attention towards Fay, not wanting to give her another chance to do that again.

“Now! Fire for effect!” Fay barked, snapping off a burst of Mauler shots at the approaching Shadow while backpedaling away.

Christine hit the Shadow in the back, and it realed forward. It attempted to blink away again, but only moved a few inches. “Now, Ammy! Finish it off!”

Ammelia quickly lead her shot where she knew it had to blink, forcing the shadow to teleport into it.

With a screech, Mischief exploded in a flash of light. Christine let out a sigh of relief, wanting to collapse. She looked around, seeing the other illusions had been dealt with. “You… you guys ready to finish this?”

Ammelia nodded, gazing at Phobos, “Of course. This war ends today.”


Game Master
Staff member
Operation Finem Timere: Part 22
End Battle

The of last Phobos’ shadows faded from sight, and the X-COM soldiers turned to their main target, tired but ready to finish this. The Exalted Commander seethed, the anger practically dripping off of him, and an aura of pure malice and contempt around him. This… has gone on… long enough! The air around him warped and rippled, and his aura extended out from him, farther and farther. It washed over everyone, and gripped at their chests as the very air seemed thick with fear. In a matter of minutes, this will all be over. I do not care how much resolve you have! The longer you stand within my aura of fear, the more it will tear at your hearts! Soon, any of you still breathing will be paralyzed with fear. He extended his hands again, the glow returning to each of them. Though… to be honest… I’m going to test myself to see how many of you I can kill before that happens.

Eva moved forward with most of the X-COM soldiers, some wondering who that person is “Great, because I was just thinking to myself, I don’t have time for this. So if you don’t mind, let’s just get this over with.”

Phobos vanished from sight, reappearing in front of Eva, close enough that the others hesitated to fire. Hmm… you have an interesting energy. Do you mind if I have some of it? His tone was suddenly pleasant, as if he was honestly asking permission.

“Yes, I do mind, but thanks for asking and getting into punching range.” Eva started punching Phobos mask, cracking the mask, and headbutted it, breaking the front part and revealing part of Phobos’ face. “Damn you ugly.”

Phobos grinned, and caught Eva’s fist with telekinesis. Holding her steady, he healed his face with a second hand, floated the pieces up with a third, and fused them back into place with a fourth. The cybernetic hands free to act, one glowed violet while the other glowed blue. This energy of yours… it seems to be holding you together right now. A very dangerous move. His telekinesis heightened, and the bones in Eva’s hands made a popping noise. What would happen if I took that energy away from you?

Black King rushed forward, drawing his sword in a swift motion. “You will not find out,” he said simply, going for a powerful downstroke at the God of Fear.

Phobos slowly looked over as the android quickly approached. Hmm… Fear Aura won’t work on you. I don’t like that. A massive telekinetic field formed around Phobos, then erupted in flames. It surged towards the approaching embodiment of Legion, and the machine crumpled to the ground, a charred, smoking wreck. Phobos wobbled a bit. Huh… must have lost more power on the shadows then I thought. I’ll just use your energy.

Atka held up a telekinetic field with Xifeng briefly to block the remaining flames that reached the squad, further away from Phobos than Black King had been. The hell… was that? A wave of destruction? “Get to Eva before he has a chance to pull a Desperatio!” the Colonel shouted, firing off a few shots at the Ethereal with the others, though they wisely kept their distance.

Despera… they must mean my trusted… Phobos looked at Eva again. I am sure they would delight in knowing the abilities they helped develop will be your downfall. The plasma rounds slammed into his shield, cracks appearing in it as his despair drain and osmose began pulling the energy from Eva. Any last words?

“Yeah. Fuck you and your kind.” Eva tighten her grip on Phobos, the air coming from her mouth being yellow. Eva used her blood call. Combined her new restriction and her overdrive, it give the X-COM soldiers a huge boost to themselves. “That’s it… that’s my last gift to my friends.” Eva hair quickly turned back to being blue. “Go… Good luck you guys, A..nd Desmond, if you die, I will be whipping your ass in the afterlife.” Eva fell to her knees and passed out.

Damn you…
His strength partially restored, Phobos raised his hand, ready to obliterate the fallen soldier.

“No you don’t!” Ayame screamed, leaping in front of Phobos and throwing a solid punch with her cybernetic hand. The limb was obliterated against the shield, sending waves of pain into her brain, but throwing off Phobos long enough for Ayame to snatch up Eva and jump away. “Vee would kill me if I let you die!”

Mary’s eyebrows slanted as she saw Ayame’s hand shatter against Phobos’ shield. She raised her plasma dragon and slammed a storm of plasma against the shield, hoping to buy them any time she could.

Ayame rushed towards her, ducking behind cover and dropping Eva. Ayame wiped her brow, panting heavily. “I… this fear aura… it’s like… a weight on my… chest….”

Atka fired off a shot, and glanced at her former roommate. “I don’t feel that way right now… it just feels like a dull ringing in my ears, or some sort of buzz…” Lifting her left hand, a sphere of bluegreen formed and burst, washing a wave of psi inspiration over those near to them.

Your weak-willed and non-psionics will fall first! Phobos blinked out of sight, appearing near Desmond. He lifted a fallen pillar, igniting it in flames and sending it flying towards him.

Desmond turned at the last second, a surprised look on his face. Quickly forming Pulsar in his hand he slammed it into the pillar, blowing it apart into two pieces that flew past him and shoving the flames away from him. “Damn it…”

You have all come so far, done so well to last this long. I would offer another chance to join me, but now I just want you dead! A pair of purple tendrils shot out, heading for Ammelia and Emma. As they neared, the tips had a distinctive green glow to them.

The shadow operative lifted her hands, trying to redirect the energy with her neural feedback. I never got to test this with Desperatio… I only hope… The attack drilled into her, the biokinetic twist rewriting around the feedback to seize control. With a blank look coming across her face, Emma turned, aiming her plasma rifle at Ammelia.

As the other tendril neared Ammelia, an aura of energy surrounded her head, blocking it. She looked around, trying to see who had protected her, only to see Emma ready to fire at her. Ammelia stepped back, her instincts aiding her reaction time as she quickly aiming and fired a round of plasma through the Exalt sister’s weapon, causing it to sputter and fail to fire.

Another tendril of energy flowed into Emma, attempting to counteract Phobos’ attack. A voice spoke in her mind. He’s… a lot… stronger then me. Need some of that… Exalt willpower…

I-I cannot…
Emma echoed quietly, before another voice whispered in her mind.

Counteracting to the best of my ability, Avanix intoned, and Emma began to struggle against the control, her implants seizing some body processes and attempting to free others, but so far the best they could do was have her stand still.

More blasted machines! Phobos fired a massive psi lance into the ground in front of him. When the dust settled, he was gone, having moved to behind Ammelia. Try and stop this one! Four of his arms shot violet into her mind. Destroy the machine. Destroy the machine. DESTROY THE MACHINE!

Ammelia gritted her teeth as her mind shield failed, trying everything in her power to fight Phobos’ control, but couldn’t. She quickly raised her rifle, Ammy’s sniper training only giving her the opportunity to get more shots off before someone could intervene. Two shots slammed through Avanix’s leg joints, sending her to the ground as she fired one towards her chest and moved up to her head.

The M.E.S.H.A.’s limbs seized to function, and its helmet was blown off, though her actual head was lower. The shot to the chest compensated for this, though, blasting through her neck and severing the android’s head. Avanix quickly exited the destroyed body, but the disruption and pain caused by the abrupt end made her lose her ability to help Emma, and the shadow operative became the puppet of Fear once again.
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