X-COM Season 4 Role-Play Journals


Staff member
Sep 21, 2012
Montreal, QC, Canada
Hi everyone, this is the journals section for Season 4. Posters, please take a read through this guide. Casual readers, just sit back and enjoy. Here are a few rules that I'll address through a Q&A.

[The reason for these rules is simple: I'd like to make this story as approachable as possible for people visiting the website. Remember to stick to the X-COM universe and the approved back story of your character.]


Who can write journals?
ACTIVE soldiers, scientists, engineers, pilots, etc. If you haven't been invited to the XCOM base yet (Soldiers waiting for hire, Zhang, Annette, some interceptor pilots, etc) please hold off on your posts until you actually show up in the game.

How many journals can you write?
For now, you can write one journal per episode. The episodes will release on Sundays around 3PM EST.

What makes a good journal entry?
My first piece of advice would be to take a look through previous seasons and see what stands out to you. You'll notice some similarities between the posts you find most interesting. Sometimes it's the way someone organizes their post, other times it's the way in which they write. Remember, "good artists copy, great artists steal." ;)

It's a good idea to include your name/class/rank etc at the top of each journal entry.

Think about the reporting structure. Scientists report to Vahlen. Engineers report to Shen. Etc.

Think about what kind of things your character would outline in his or her journals. It can be anything from events that happened during the episodes to relationships your character establishes doing things around the base. Though most characters will train a lot, there will be a tremendous amount of downtime for most characters. Ideally you want to make the mundane interesting in a roleplay. These journals are where you truly establish your character.

Remember your pledge; you have pretty much signed away your life for this project and sworn it to your Commander. There will be a constant atmosphere of impending doom and it is the every day mundane stuff that will be your only way to distract yourself from this. I have personally found journals that include interaction with other characters to be the better ones, rather than the ones outlining what happened during the last mission (although both are important). It should be the impact of other characters and progression through the missions that are the vital parts of a journal entry.

What areas of the base can I access as a recruit?
As an X-COM soldier you have full access to the Barracks, Mess Hall, Range, Recreational Areas, Gym, Auditorium, Hangar, Officer Training School and similar facilities. You have limited access to both the labs and engineering and similar facilities, which is limited to outside the glass windows to the actual lab and manufacturing floors. You do not have access to Satellite Uplinks, Generators, Experimental facilities (typically one-time builds such as the Hyperwave Relay and Alien Containment), Mission Control and the Situation Room.

How can I interact with other people if my journal is private?
Since your journals are a place to react to all events, this includes interactions with
other characters. When another character does something and you can place your own
character somewhere he or she would have noticed this, you can write about this and how
your character responded.

For instance, Alice wrote in her journal that she yelled something about the great
quality of the potatoes at X-COM while she was in the mess hall. Then Bob can write in
his journal that he noticed Alice yell this and decided to confront her about her love
for potatoes.

Since it is difficult to write for other characters, if you want to pull off a more
significant engagement, I suggest you contact the person you want to do this with and set
out the details for the engagement together. Then one of you can post the result in a
co-operative effort.

Will there be a place where we can talk out of character?
Absolutely. You can head on over to the Think Tank thread where you can discuss anything you want out of character. It can be related to character/relationship building, strategic advice for the commander, or anything else related to X-COM.

Can I EDIT my posts?
You are authorized to edit your journals, but if your edit goes as far as changing, adding or removing some story elements, then you must follow these 3 conditions:
- It must be your post of the week. Each time a new video comes out, all the journals that comes before it are to be considered untouchable.
- The changes must be reasonable of course, and not provoke any incoherence with has already been posted after the journal.
- You must announce here, in the Think Tank thread, that you edited your post, and precise the nature of the changes. This way people will know about it, and GMs will also be able to check if everything is still in order.

As an example, here is what I changed in my first journal : I added a paragraph in order to include the bar party mentioned in later journals and which involves my character. It was also the occasion for me to make my character's less anti-social about the attention she got, as I realized this would be more consistent with her personality.

Here we go. The point of this rule is not to prevent or restrict the edits, but just to allow everybody to keep track of them correctly. And also, even if you have done some changes to your journal before I made this post, don't hesitate to announce it now :)

Who are the GM's?

What is a GM?
This wikipedia article could probably explain it better than I can. Essentially, they keep things organized.
They'll let you know if you're infringing on any rules and provide advice on how to fix it. Feel free to reach out to them or myself if you have any questions.
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Operator 21O
Staff member
Dec 9, 2013
New York, USA
Name: James Nightingale
Rank: Rookie
Status: Active Reserves

Audio Journal 1 2:22 A.M March 1st 2015
I have been in this place for less than 2 hours and I already have helped myself to the bar in the Barracks. I don't bother taking a glass. I swipe a bottle of whiskey and head to my bed. I bump into two guys along the way, one of the guy's names was Ryan Chen, an Asian looking fellow and Roger Stranten one of Head Engineer Shen's boys, looks green to me. I bumped into Ryan. He apologized and I only replied with a grunt. I finally get to my room and sit down on my bed. I take off my pack and look at my laptop. I finally decide to take it out and start to write when an alert came up on the comm that one of the ground teams came back. I head down to see the commotion but I stay back. I barely hear the conversations as I remember that engineer I met earlier. I wonder if I could strike up a conversation when I get the time.
Dec 11, 2013
Log Entry #1: 00:09 March 2nd 2015 of Rookie Hokuchiyo "Hoku" Ritofuto

I barely touched down at this facility before I was called in to start my work for this "X-Com Project" that my supervisor and that man in the suit asked me to sign up for. The flight was short, just a quick movement from my hometown to somewhere more locally set in Mainland Asia. When I touched down, I was introduced to Bradford as well as a few others who had been invited to join the project.

I didn't have any time to put anything away. When introductions were being exchanged a siren in the base went off. Braford instructed me to go to the barracks ASAP and I had to slip into some kind of armor and was given a rifle when I arrived. I can't say I was surprised but... Well, I haven't held something like that before. A skeet shotgun was one thing, but never an assault rifle. I had to slip the armor on like I was part of some fireman team and was instructed to report to the Skyranger immidiately. I didn't have much more time then that to get used to anything. A sort of warning signal went off and I was instructed to immidiately report to the Skyranger. I've never seen a craft of that planes design before. Looks like a jet, but it could hover in place and take off from a verticle position, like one of those American Harriers I've heard about. I was the last on as there were three others in the aircraft already not including the pilot.

I gathered the pilot's name was Leeroy, at least that's what it said on his jacket before I asked directly. I was in the middle of akwardly introducing myself to a few of my coworkers on the Skyranger when the heaset cracked on. Apparently Bradford is in charge of Operations and was briefing us on what we were preparing for. Bradford mentioned aliens, but I had no idea we were talking about illegal aliens... From another planet. I didn't have time to think about it at the time but it helped make some sence of those wierd news reports in a couple of those cities around the world.

I wasn't going to be the last one this time. When we touched down and formed up at the edge of the Skyranger I went ahead and took one of the forward positions. It was hard enough to realise we were dealing with extraterrestrials, but... When I actually saw them it was something else entirely. They were these... Little grey men, like from those old, old movies. There was also this wierd canister. It had some kind of yellow crystal in it and the thing smoked like a local bar at last call or one of the pachinko halls. By the time we got to it though the thing had closed up, like it was on some sort of self-destruction timer or something.

My baseball arm came in handy though, threw one out and hit a couple of those grey aliens. Things didn't keel over though... They're damn tough. They're cowardly though. I didn't see who it was but one of the other members of my team gunned one of them down before the other ran away, and inside a shed I had been hiding next to there were three more inside.

I... I think my nerves got the better of me, I couldn't hit a damn thing, and we had the drop on them even! I showed I'm one hell of a runner though, made it around the area pretty quick... Faster then the others did I think, got a lot of reconnisance on the area for them when we were engaged, so at least that helped. We engaged a few more of the little grey men and one of the other squadmembers, Robinson, I think was the name, unless I'm getting mixed up. I'll have to double check that. Anyways, RObinson got shot at but she idn't even have to smell the energy from that alien's gun. Stuff wasn't bullets thats for sure, some kind of energy or plasma or something. The remainders got taken out right after that quickly enough by the others. We made it through without so much as a scratch however, these are capable men I'm with.

We got back to the base and I had a chance to look around a little bit and it seems like this project isn't just local, it's global. As a matter of fact I don't think there are many other people of Japaneese descent here. A few of the people in the lab coats and those working with the machinery seem to be of my ethnicity but, most of them dont, a large portion at least. Thank god I'm bilingual or working here would be a whole other kind of hell. The dialect is a bit hard for me to speak 'perfect' english, but I think everyone I've talked with so far seems to understand me.

The other teammates I had gone into the first operation with got promotions an a small ceremony was held for them. I was in attendance of course, no reason not to be. It gave me time to talk to the other soldiers here as well an help explain how the mission went while the others were busy milling about. I'm not concerned about not being promoted, I didn't kill anything afterall but recognition for being there would be nice. It's a thankless job however, a medal is nice but even if we didn't get them our mission would stay the same. All I need to do to get better is practice at the shooting range here or something... I need to get used to using more then a pistol and a po-.

I'll have to finish this later, I got to head out again apparently, just when I was getting comfortable too.
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Active Member
Jun 9, 2013
Pennsylvania, USA
Name: Quincy Fuller
Occupation: Research Assistant

Whatever they decide to do with me, it’s taking forever.
A soft thud emits from the clinically white table, inside a clinically white interrogation room, as I rest my forehead upon it. Nothing is worse than waiting, especially when you have you arms and legs cuffed into chains buried into concrete. Standard fair, for what I expected them to ask for. The treatment was rather… accommodating, given the circumstances. Who knows what I’ve stumbled upon. Johnny was right, I KNEW I shouldn’t have followed up on that last blurb on the forum. When I get back, I’m going make sure nobody falls into the same situation I did. Well, if, they could always decide to-

The door clicked open as two suits walk in. Our conversation lasts only long enough to give them a confused expression before a sack is pulled over my head. Chains rattle and my arms and legs are freed, the former abruptly restrained after I am brought to my feet. They’re gonna shoot me, they’re gonna shoot me, they’re gonna shoot me! They walk me about whatever building we’re in as I start feeling a bit claustrophobic. Oh all times to not have my inhaler. After the umpteenth turn and the quadrillionth door we finally reach outside. At least I think it’s outside, judging by the warmth of what I perceive to be the sun. A dozen or so paces and I’m sat down again, easier to clean up outside.

Wait, is that a cushion? An engine churns to life. They’re gonna throw me in a wood chipper! This isn't easier to clean up at all! I don’t want to end like a Jackson Pollock picture! As I make my last attempt to struggle in my short, unfulfilling life before I get…strapped down?

Quincy: I don’t want to die like this!
My plea is only met with laughter followed by a condescending pat on the head.
Unknown Soldier: We’re not going to kill you. Just sit down and relax.
You could have told me that before! Between the stress and claustrophobia, I can feel the familiar strain of my tightening.
Quincy: (short of breath) Can I have my inhaler?
Unknown Soldier: (disgruntled) Not now, just cool your shit and wait.
Does this guy not know how inhalers work? Is this a very inept form or torture? Who trained this meathead?

Wherever the jeep is taking us, it’s quite a bumpy, length ride. I am thoroughly lost and couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag by this point. Also, it’s super embarrassing to be strapped down like I’m in a car seat. Eventually we jerk to a stop. I’m unrestrained and yanked out of the seat, blinded by the sudden lack of eye cover in the noon sun. My inhaler is thrust into my chest roughly, making me lose what little breath I have left as I scramble around in the dirt to retrieve it.

Oh air, how I love you, please don’t ever go away again.
Is zis really needed, gentlemen?
A German? I thought this was an American instillation…

It takes a couple seconds before my eyes refocus, trying to find the details of the silhouette of the woman before me. Her brown hair is done up in the back, in a kind of professional look that feigns an attempt to remain feminine. Thin eyebrows over blue or green eyes, I can’t tell, and a not overly strong jawline, combining into a “probably be in her late 30’s” cougar look.
No, it’s official, I died. They tossed me into the chipper. It happened so fast that I didn’t feel it and am now meat salad for the wildlife. I’m in heaven and this woman is an angel, which means I have to figure out which sect was and give my belated prayers.

Vahlen: Fuller, Earth to Fuller.
The record skips in my mind. Is that a lab coat?
Quincy: Wuh?
Nailed it! Total chick magnet, ladies and gentlemen. They try so hard to keep off me it’s like I’m invisible.
Vahlen: (exasperated) As I was saying, I am Dr. Vahlen. Willkommen to XCOM.
Quincy: X-Who?
Okay, now I wish I WAS thrown in the chipper.
Vahlen: Just follow me. While you are here, you vill answer to me and Commander Odd. Oh! And don’t let Shen interfere with your work
Work? The Chinese are involved too? What the hell? Was that a veiled threat? Is this some sort of shadow UN where the governements of the world come together to discuss future “news” in an effort to sway opinions of the masses and keep them occupied instead of opening their eyes to the tr-

The ground shifts under me. By ground I mean the steel plate that I didn’t notice I had walked upon. As the lift descends, I see all kinds of servers, panels and computers, Colored lines on doorways leading to Hanager, Enginerring, Laboratory, Medbay, Mess, Barracks, SatCom, Armory, Panic Room. Oh did I mention a giant fucking holographic globe?

Okay, now I know the conspiracy enthusiast in me has died and gone to heaven.
My hand shoots to my pocket.
Vahlen: This is XCOM

A Few Days Later
In the Lab
It's taken a while to get settled in. I have dodged threats on my life. There's no way those were haricots verts eating them would be more like harakiri-covert. Regular sweeping of my roo-quarters? Cell? for bugs has resulted in nothing. Vahlen keeps trying to reassure me that they won't try and wipe my memories when this is over, but I don't trust her.

Oh! Right. One of the field teams has returned with a whole host of curiosities. Most of it was boxed up and contained before I could get a peep on it, but I saw a head! I knew Roswell was right, suck it disapproving masses! Vahlen has me working on what's left of the alien arms. It's like a jigsaw puzzle. Except, there's no picture on any side, I don't know what shape it is or if it's even analogous to any of our weapons. Who's to say these things don't have 3 triggers? Did I mention a lot of this stuff is partially exploded? Wait, is that a piece of optics?
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Well-Known Member
Jun 3, 2013
Soldier Name: Caroline Southway
Rank: Rookie
Class: None

Personal Journal Entery #1

Locked in the Past

Bloody Hell, who is ever going to read this? The story about how Caroline Southway saved the earth...or died trying. I quess. Well let me tell you a little about myself and how I managed to get myself into this mess. My name is Caroline Victoria Southway you might also know me as the most famous british person there is. Yes even more than the King. How come? Well I plan to overthrow him one day. According to history I'm the rightful heir of the Throne of England, and I tend to make that so. I have achived greatness and made myself known all across the world by now and I have many allies behind me that support me in my conquest. But let's not talk about what will come, no one here really knows if we will survive this anyway. I will start from the beginning, a couple of days before arriving here.

Caroline: You there! Maid! Hand me that towel. Then make haste.
Maid: As you wish my lady.

*Caroline steeps out of the bath tub and clothes herself with the towel, she proceeds to step infront of a mirror, pondering a couple of minutes over her body.*

Five point four.
Young, White, Ginger, British, Royal and soon to be Soldier (Sigh)
Why am I doing this? Having second toughts about this. No there is no going back now!
I mean why Soldier? A fine women like me can do so much better. Yet here I'm a hung of flesh walking around protecting planet Earth. I never heared of this X-Com before, and it's strange they just so happend to contact me. ME! Caroline Southway.

*A moment of silence*

Caroline studies her eyes in the mirror

These eyes. Appear clouded yet I can see just fine, how come? Can I see the world in another way? Or has god decided to fool around and have fun with my eyes?
(Sigh) Why do I bother asking this? Alright now cheer up Caroline.
*A fine but evil smile appears on Caroline's face*
That looks better.


*A Royal Guard steps into the bathroom*

Alexander: "Yes my lady?"
Alex blushes when he noticed Caroline is only dressed in a towel.

Caroline: "Stop staring at my Knockers and get the Jet ready for a flight to Germany, the show is starting soon and I tend to be there on time like a true lady should be.

Alexander: "As you wish my lady."

Alexander is my Bodyguard, he is pretty loyal and has been taking care of me ever since I was 3 I quess my father can not be fagged with me so he got me Alex. I have mixed feelings about it, but for now I must hurry I shall tell you more about my life some other time.

The Arrival at the posh Gig

After a long flight I finally arrived in this posh Gig and we already got some aggro afoot, luckly not me, I got to dodge a bullet... this time. To be honest I'm a little scared, but I must hide that from the other Soldiers. If I want any of these low lifes to respect me I need to gain there trust. I quess I need to start acting like a low life myself. I just hope no one reconizes me, my reputation is not the best. Famous but Dangerous. I mean planning to overthrow the King of England get's you noticed pretty fast around the world. If someone does reconize me I might be able to make some friends. Anyway I have to go find my room now, there is always time later to meet the others.

Found my room and put my stuff down. But I got to say Bloody hell this is not what I imagined a Barracks being like, seem so... low life, God! Where is my King size bed? Is this how you treat royalty? This is bollocks! Ok Caroline calm down. You are here for one reason and one reason only. So to another topic, in Command Central is this Huge Arse 3-D holographic globe. I was shocked and amazed at the same time that thing is ace, and it seems the goverment keeps technology hidden from even the rich families. I wonder what other stuff is hidden around here, maybe even a laser shotting ass ,imagine riding that into battle. Oh bugger what fun I will have. To bad I can not go in there and get a closer dekko at that great technology thou.

There is also a science lab and a engenerring bay here but we are not allowed in there sadly I would love to get my hands one some of that tech. Hey! maybe I can get aquainted with one of the scientist or engineers. But not Vahlen or Shen. Atleast not at the moment. They probably have enough trouble on there hands anyway. Now I'm curious about this facility and I'm going to go explore some more. I will report some more later.

I found the shotting range, So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. Thinking about heading down there later this day. The Squad that was send out to wipe out the first aliens are already on there way back and it seems many are excited to get a chance to talk to them. *Tisk* I can't be fagged with there adventure bragging. Although the Hokuchiyo guy seems pretty interessting, maybe I will chat him up later and see if he has time to visit the shooting range with me. Maybe he can be my replacement for Alex but I ain't going to tell him that.

Well until now I survived this day without someone asking me. " Are you blind? " " Whats wrong with your eyes? " " Is that normal? " Jada jada jada, people just need to learn how to Belt up ... Although there have been only starring eyes following me for now. God I hate having to describe my Illness to others, seriously! I might just wear my Sunglasses indoor all the time, but then again the question " Why are you wearing Sunglasses 500 feet underground for? " will pop up. Some people just need to respect other peoples privacy. Then again maybe it can get me some attention around here. I will have to ponder this over and try it in diffrent situations to see how my "fellow" soldiers will react. For now its been a long day, think I will just head to bed early today. Been a long ride and one bloody hell of a day. There is a lot of meeting to do for me the next couple of weeks and I can not do that without my beauty sleep.
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Dec 29, 2013
March 1st 2015

Personal Log
Name: Abbygail Penhallow
Position: X-COM Mechcanical engineer
Well first day here and all I can say is wow this base is big and a major improvement in living conditions from my last home away from home. No more being locked in a room for 23 hours a day for this girl. Come to think of it I think I looked better in orange then I do green, well I better get used to this uniform especialy since we did not have time to pick up any of my personal belongings. Man that was embarasing arriving at your new job in a prison uniform, also me getting lost trying to finding my bunk was a bit of a problem I attracted some strange looks as I awkwardly tried to find it.

Well I eventualy did find my bunk and was able to change. Sudenly some alarms went off and for a moment I was affraid had accidentaly set something off, but no apperently some soldiers were sent on a mission in Australia. After that I got to meet my Superior Dr. Raymond Shen, seems like a nice enough guy and also one of my co-workers a Mr. Roger Straten witch equaly came off as being nice. They both seem to have such outstanding achivements all I seem to have is outstanding screw ups. I'm kind of wondering why I was chosen for this project, better not jinx it and just do my job.

There is not much work for us yet so I occupied my self with some simple maintenence. There was one of the robotic construction arms that seems to be on the twitchy side, I havent figured out the problem just yet but I have a few theories that I might try out. Its not a major problem but it would be something I could work on in the mean time.

Lastly the soldiers came back and were succesful in their mission, there was quite the crowed of soldiers congradulating them, I kept my distance less of a risk of being recognized just in case any of them were friends with thoses 18 victims. Anyways I was more concerned with the stuff they brought back. Actual alien tech even if most of it was broken shards they were just beautiful and that orange suff, I have no idea what that is but Dr.Shen seems to think its important so it must be something we might be able to integrate with our own tech. Sadly the science team came to take it all away. I also checked out the fleet, cutting edge air-craft cant wait to do some work on those.

Well thats all for this diary entry. Til next time.
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Dec 29, 2013
Name: Roger Straten Occupation: Engineer working with the X-COM Project
Age: 38 Current Whereabouts at the beginning of this journal: At my home / Travelling to the facility
Date: March 1st, 2015
//Begin Journal
(Continued from the end of my biography)

"Good. I'm glad you've decided to collaborate with us for the... betterment of humanity."

"I'm glad I can work with you guys, even though it's kind of a sketchy field."

I had, several minutes earlier, been proposed the most peculiar job offer of my life. The proposer was an ominous bald man with an eerily blank stare, who sounded inhumanly solemn as he announced his intentions. He stated quite clearly that he worked with a council of nations, and the brainchild of their collaboration was a project with one intent purpose. To identify alien contacts, and eliminate them before any significant civilian panic or causalities occur. That project was the X-COM Project.

The man gathered the stacks of paper which I had thoroughly signed, which contracted me to work with the project and abandon my life that I had now completely. As he stood up from my desk he said one final thing before returning to his vehicle, which was a regular, everyday sedan.

"In ten minutes, drive to the edge of town, by the intersection of Dalloways and Elm, there will be helicopter to drive you to the headquarters in the woods. Keep this in mind, your cooperation with the X-COM Project may be what decides that fate of humanity. Good-bye."

The helicopter arrived precisely on time and location as the man had said, which backed his seemingly insane claims quite a bit, which I, at the time, found myself to surprisingly believe. As I approached, the pilot stared off in the distance, not acknowledging me even as I entered the craft. I buckled myself in, and the helicopter began ascending. The pilot too, made an abnormally strange request, without even looking back at me.

"Sir, we're going to have request that you take this pill, the details and whereabouts of the X-COM Project's base are classified information, except to the pilots, the commander and the council of nations sponsoring the project. A glass of water will be complementary."

Taking strange pills, flying in helicopters after being convinced by seemingly crazy people. This wasn't normal, and the only reason I even obliged to the men was because of my childlike fascination with all things extraterrestrial. The details of the flight were of course blank memories to me, and as I touched down I immediately noticed that the hangar bay was absolutely gigantic! Two sleek, incredibly modern looking fighters lay docked into two slots above me, and what appeared to be a troop transport lay on the floor of the bay. I exited the room, and a beautiful large blue holographic globe greeted me, along with a tall man in a uniform.

"Hello, I'm Central Officer Bradford, and I'm assuming you're one of the new engineers? We had a couple flown in earlier today, I'm pretty sure you're the last of this batch." the man, who had a friendly and orderly sounding voice, stated. "Yes, I was contacted earlier today, glad to be aboard Officer Bradford. This place is absolutely amazing." I chuckled. Bradford smiled, and turned to the right with an arm extended, showing me the room. "It definitely is. This is Mission Control, where we identify alien contacts, and brief our soldiers, pilots and commander, ChristopherOdd, on the current situation." I turned to face the globe once more, and the other officers at mission control chattered quietly to each-other, staring intently at the globe and their monitors. "Best not to disturb them, we need our eyes peeled at the screen at all times, contacts can happen at any minute. You're going to be heading to engineering, Dr. Shen is the fellow in glasses who you'll be working for, head down this walkway, and keep going until you find an elevator, just head to the second floor from there and you'll pass through the lounge, the labs and the engineering will be right there beside it. Good luck, and glad to have you aboard, Roger." he patted me on the shoulder and pointed me in the right direction.

The bar was one place I knew I'd be visiting quite a bit in the future. And I accidentally walked into one of the new rookies along the way, who was waiting for his drink.

"Sorry 'bout that." he said, "Been waiting for my drink for five minutes now, getting kind of jumpy." he continued. "Ah, it's my fault. Heading to engineering to get my uniform and to get briefed, I assumed you already have, so you'll need the drink much more than me, heh. Name's Roger Straten, by the way." I said, shaking hands with my new acquaintance. He introduced himself as James Nightingale, not sure if he's related to Florence Nightingale, but that's something I'll have all the time in the world to learn.

I headed through the lab next, and it looked like something out of a science fiction novel. I'm a scientist, well engineer... so I've worked with some pretty advanced stuff, but the lab boys down here have computers and equipment that appear to be five years ahead of anything I've ever seen. A lady with a clipboard and a lab coat introduced me briefly in what I can only assume to be a German accent.

"Guten tag, my name is Dr. Vahlen, I work here in ze Research Labs, I'm assuming you're heading down to engineering to be briefed by Shen, so give him my regards." she says. She seemed more like the scientists I was accustomed to working back before I got tangled up in alien affairs, very professional, but she also quite beautiful. "Also, tell him zat I have some schematics for him. He'll know what I mean!" she called out as I reached the door to engineering. "Will do!" I said back.

I walked through the lab doors slowly. They slide open, allowing me to slip in. The sounds of welding, men chattering and general machinery is what floods my ears as I step into my domain. The engineering bay's size rivaled that of the situation room, which was pretty big in its own sense. I headed down the steps, and a man with glasses and a balding head was talking to two other engineers, probably briefing them or something. I walked up to them, and Shen raised his head and addressed me. "Ah, Roger Straten, I'm glad you're finally here. Welcome to the engineering bay, grab a uniform, pick up some tools, and I'll begin briefing you in a moment. Just let me finish with these gentlemen here." his voice sounded warm, and wise, someone you can trust and rely on. I headed over the uniform rack on the western wall and picked up a hardhat, a green shirt and brown slacks along with a pair of work boots. Standard engineer equipment; safety, comfort and practicality all rolled in one.
There was a changing room conveniently located nearby, so I took off my suit which I was wearing earlier, and geared up into my work outfit. It fit surprisingly well, almost like they knew my height and weight before I arrived and had it premade, just tossing theories out there. Aside from that, Dr. Shen had finished briefing the two other engineers, one male and the other female. So he walked over to me as I exited the change-room and began his simple briefing. "Welcome to X-COM, Roger, you've been selected for... obvious reasons, you are intelligent, work exceedingly well with others and are gifted in your respective fields of engineering. Because of your experience, we've deemed it necessary to contact and convince you to join our project. Thankfully, you've agreed and now you're here, all buttoned up in your work uniform. There isn't much to do at the moment, but you should familiarize yourself with the equipment, some of which may resemble equipment you've worked with in the past. Aside from that, just keep in mind, like everyone here, you are bound to our project and if you decide to breach our protocols, you will be terminated without warning. I hope we work well together, and most of all, thank you for joining X-COM." he explained. "And thank you, Doctor. By the way, a Dr. Vahlen sends her regards, and some schematics are apparently coming your way too." I reminded him, he thanked me and I left him to his own will. Despite the project's rather grim nature, everyone I've met so far have been kind and hospitable, almost like family. Even though my life is now bound to the project, I have a feeling working with these people, and with all things alien, isn't going to be all that bad.

P.S. This is an addition to my initial journal above. It's happened, our troops officially made first contact with the aliens. I have knowledge on this based on some live footage and word around the facility. This was first contact, so we know little about the aliens so far, that and people were too excited to actually give coherent details to me as they rambled on. After the alert and congratulating our troops with several rounds of drinks in the bar, who had spent a couple hours in Brisbane fighting off the initial contacts, I spent several hours learning my way around the facility. I exchanged formalities with some soldiers, fellow engineers and some scientists along the way, just learning their names for the future. I also familiarized myself with the equipment, most of which was similar to equipment I had worked with in the past, as Shen had assumed. Once we receive some more schematics and orders to fabricate some equipment for the boys in the barracks, which I assume will occur after Vahlen and her techies get done with the analysis of the artifacts we got from the abduction site, I can finally begin providing my service to humanity. I'm optimistic about this project to say the least, but at the same time, anxious to see if the aliens decide to scale up their attacks. Time can only tell...
//End Journal
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Active Member
Dec 14, 2013
Indiana, USA
Personal Log 001
Name: Arsène Lamarque
Rank: Squaddie
Current Status: Deployed
Confirmed Kills: 3 Sectoids

I had only sat my bags down in the barracks when the alarm ran out. Robinson, Ritofuto, Kuklinski, and I were the ones chosen by Commander Odd to make first contact with the aliens. We suited up, made sure our rifles' magazines were topped off, and we made our way onto the Skyranger. Ritofuto, or "Hoku" as he liked to be called, was last onboard. He seemed kinda nervous about our first operation, but I think we all were. I mean, we were the first soldiers from X-COM to make contact with the aliens, so no big pressure there. Just the fate of the world resting on your shoulders and the eyes of a multinational military organization following your every move.

Jenkins sat us down right next to a train track and we all spread out. Robinson took point and made contact with the aliens. I forget what Kuklinski calls them now, slimeheads I think?. Whatever it was, they scurried off once we saw them. We also found an odd glowing canister. I assumed it to be a new alien material of some sort. My sister Cecile would have loved to get her hands on it. She could rub in it the faces of her superiors at CERN. Personally, I just hoped it wasn't radioactive, I didn't want to grow another heart or something. I saw one of them use some sort of mind power and "linked" with another alien. Hoku moved up to the shed and tossed a grenade, destroying their cover and injuring them in the process. One thing is for sure now, they bleed same as we do. Robinson whipped out her pistol and made a long-range shot which found its mark. I have to say, that woman can fight. I'm going to have to remind myself never to get on her bad side.

I took up cover behind a weird alien artifact of some sort, and Kuklinski and I kept our eyes peeled for more contacts. Hoku opened up the garage door, and much to our surprise and theirs, three aliens were inside. As soon as they got into position though, I grabbed a frag, yelled "Suck on this!", and got rid of one of them while the other two were injured and dazed by the concussive blast. Hoku took a shot and missed. I think his nerves got the better of him. Kuklinski braced up against a wall near Hoku and tossed a grenade of his own, finishing them off and exposing one of the aliens who ran off earlier.

Robinson moved up close and personal, while Hoku and Kuklinski provided covering fire. I saw an opening when the alien peered its head up and took the shot with my pistol. Robinson looked kinda irked that I had stolen her kill, but I think she appreciated the support. She then moved up to the open boxcar nearby and made contact with two more aliens. I took cover next to her to provide support and we both laid low in case of retaliatory fire. One of the aliens took a shot at Robinson, and they missed. Their weapons looked like something out of a old sci-fi show from the 1960's my father always watched. I didn't faze Robinson, I don't think many things can. The look on her face was one of steel, no emotion whatsoever. She then tossed a grenade over and made them easy targets. I took one out without any issue. While I was getting ready to take care of the last one, Kuklinski runs up point blank range and shoots the remaining alien execution style. That guy has a pair of brass ones, for sure. We made a sweep of the area and found no new hostiles. We were able to recover one of the canisters. I'm pretty sure the guys in R&D will love getting their hands on it.

We made it back to the Skyranger and I let out a huge sigh. It was quite awkward on the ride back so I tried to make small talk. Hoku seemed kinda down so I patted him on the shoulder and reassured him that everything was all right, even the best soldiers have those days. We returned back at X-COM HQ and were debriefed on the mission. Thankfully, none of us got injured on our first outing. Commander Odd told me that I had shown great potential and assigned me to the support class. Soon after that, many of the soldiers who stayed back at base asked us how the battle went. I felt like it was story time from when I was a kid in Canada, but I didn't mind. As long as they kept buying the drinks, I'd be very willing to tell what I know about our new foe.

I overheard two of the recruits, Tarmis Gorefest and Ryan Chen, I think. Now those two know how to have a good time. I heard a rumor Ryan has "connections" on different liquors. I think he and I are going to get along great. Hoku was also at the bar, though he was pretty quiet. I think he was still upset about not getting a kill. I bought him a round, and offered to take him out to the shooting range. Kuklinski was having a good time too, though he left all of sudden. He was muttering something about spaghetti and canned food. Rebecca looked confused at the whole scene. I don't think she expected most of the squad getting buzzed to celebrate our first win. All in all, Richard, Hoku, Rebecca, and I all share a unique bond now. We were the first ones to go up against a foe we knew nothing about. We were the vanguards of humanity, taking the first step on the long road to victory. I made a toast that night,

"Forever and forever farewell, my friends. If we do meet again, why, we shall smile. If not, why then this parting was well made." -William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act 5, Scene 1, page 6
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Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
Name: Richard Kuklinski
Class: Heavy
Rank: Squaddie
Confirmed Kills: 3
Journal Entry #1 / March 2nd 2015
When I first learned that I made it in, I could barely believe it. Men like myself never make it far in life, atleast thats what they always told me. I've finally proved them wrong. When they brought me in the facility my heart nearly jumped out of my chest as I saw the size and scale of this operation. I was with other men and women at the time, I was eager to hear what their speciality was, afterall, you dont just bring in hobos from the street to a place like this.

Right before I could open my mouth an alarm was sounded, next thing I know I was being escorted to be geared up. An assault rifle felt good in my hands, aswell as the armor. They never really explained much in the X-com brochure, when they were loading us on to some kind of jet I thought I was being sent in against some serious terrorists. But boy was I wrong, I wish it was terrorists. I'd give my beard and moustache for it to be terrorists!

We had a pilot with "Leeroy" on his jacket. If not for the fact that I was on the same plane as him, my sides would have burst. I hope thats not his real name, or Im asking for a personal parachute next time. We were also briefed by Bradford who interrupted one of the men in the ship, he was trying to introduce himself. Hokuchiyo Ritofuto I think he was, good man, bad shot. Probably just needs to get used to everything, we all do. Bradford mentioned aliens, and wouldnt you know it? It was actually aliens.

When we touched down it was all quiet, we noticed a glowing object that was irradiating a yellow-ish glow. I wasnt thought combat tactics, nor did I need them to know how to protect my buddies backs. As we approached while covering ourselfs at the same time, it happened. 3 alien men scuttled away into cover, holding laser guns. Good thing my jaw was tightly attached to my skull or I would be going home without it.

With a swift grenade and a pistol shot, my squad managed to take down one of them. After the other one ran away Hokuchiyo opened the garage door only to reveal 3 more of those slimeheads. Arsène Lamarque quickly threw a live grenade in there, which blew up in their faces real good. The explosion got my adrenaline pumping so much, I ran closer so that I too could throw my own grenade. Ended up taking out 2 and at the same time exposing the one that fled. It was terrified, didnt know what to do.

I climbed ontop of the roof to try and get a good shot at it, however the height made me uneasy, making me miss. It ended up getting killed by someone else. We then started heading twords the next yellow pod, it wasnt long before we found more of the slimeskins. They ended up taking pot shots at Robinson, it didnt seem to phase her as she threw a grenade right back at them. Arsène then took advantage of the grenade and opened fire, killing an alien in the process. I moved in to finish the deal, still dont know how I worked up the nerve to get so close to one of them. But when I did, his head was swiss cheese... only it didnt smell like cheese.

Minutes later we got the "All Clear" , and we were on our way home. No one got hurt, everyone was happy and confused. The rumors that will start flowing around the facility will no doubt be interesting to see. As for my squad today? They were pretty incredible, obviously have combat experience and nevres of steel. I truly am proud to fight and kill amongst these men and women, I finally feel that I belong. Most of us got promotions when we arrived home, we were assigned even newer gear. It was quite unexpected.

I was given what looked like a 50.cal machine gun, lighter than any normal machine gun mind you, not to mention the Rocket Launcher... I have never held this much firepower in my life. Also got tougher armor and a helmet. Normally I try not to cover up my face, as I want them to know how I look. I want those alien scum to see who killed them. Tho at this point I dont think it matters.

Come to think of it, I wonder if Im the only person who dosnt have any millitary backround around here... I still havent managed to ask anyone anything.
And now Im feeling quite hungry, gonna go and make me some spicy spaghetti. Unless all they have is canned food... god please have spaghetti.
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Dec 29, 2013
Edinburgh, SCO
Name: Buster A. Bradford
Position: Head Mission Control
Rank: Central Officer
Date: March 1st, 2015

This is the audio log of Central Officer Buster A. Bradford regarding Operation Crystal Future in Brisbane, Australia. This audio log is to be accessed only by those who have the necessary clearance and on base. Any attempts to download this audio log to an external source will carry an automatic ten-year sentence in a federal prison.

I understand that as the Central Officer, I am to report on the most recent operation. However, I did see your email that outlined that I was to report on base life and personnel as well, as we must keep a close eye on morale due to the high stress environment.

We’ve had this base under somewhat working order for the past two years and we’ve been recruiting as soon as we had the funding to procure talent. I’ve sent a couple emails to the recruiters regarding their recruitment choices, specifying that if the recruiter felt that the potential recruit would be a good fit for X-COM, they should send me the relevant files. I had no idea that so many of the recruits’ psych profiles and background checks would be such a departure from what I was used to back in my days in Kosovo.

Have I made the correct recommendations to the Commander? This is far different to my early days running radio operations in the Green Zone. If I made a mistake there, a life would be lost. While terrible, it pales in comparison to the potential loss of life in the cities where our units are deployed. If a soldier panics and causes the squad to lose momentum, the aliens could counterattack. Although unlikely, our soldiers could lose their lives and as a result, the populace of the city would be defenseless. Thousands of innocent men, women and children will die.

We made first contact near a train yard in Brisbane and the squad preformed admirably under the commander, sustaining no casualties. When the four-man team returned back to base, nearly everybody went to the hangar bay to greet the victorious team and I’ll admit, I too felt a bit optimistic about the future. We just went toe to toe with eight “Sectoids” who each carried some sort of futuristic weapon and we soundly defeated them.

We had a small ceremony for three of the soldiers who recorded kills during Crystal Future and promoted R. Kuklinski, A. LeMarque and R. Robinson to “squaddie” status; the three soldiers have undergone training in a new class as a result. See their individual service files or the file on Operation Crystal Future for further reading if you want. I don’t have the time to relay how many kills each soldier got or what class they were promoted to.

The Commander ordered the base to be expanded; our favorite rock wall next to Mission Control has been cleared. I suspect Dr Shen and the Commander have plans to add more features to the base, but I am cautious about the number of engineers that we have to recruit; more engineers mean more files that I have to look after. I understand it is my job to assist the Commander so that he can focus on the bigger issues, but is it really an efficient use of my time looking over files of Crocodile Dundee while I could be coordinating something else more worthwhile?

After consulting with Dr Vahlen, the Commander has seen fit to prioritize research regarding the weapon fragments that we’ve found. I agree with that; if there’s any chance we could advance our weapons to get on a more even footing with the weaponry that we’ve encountered, we should take the opportunity. Although the aliens we encountered looked frail, most of the Sectoids managed to withstand a grenade blast at short range. Stronger weaponry would rectify this troubling fact.

<End of Audio Recording>
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Game Master
May 27, 2013
Squaddie Rebecca Robinson (Assault), Journal 01, recorded on March 1th at 8:14pm.
Hunting collection: Sectoïd

February is a short month. It feels like I was being asked advice from the kids about Valentine Day just yesterday. As if I could help them with that! Well, I tried, respect your partner the same way you would respect your brothers and sisters, I told them, and figure out the rest yourselves, you’re the ones obsessed with that!

And now, I am here. We are March 1th and I spent most of the day visiting the base. Apart from the rumbling in certain sections, this place already feels too quiet to me. The alarm is loud though! It made me jump during my first night and for a second brought back my old instincts, from the time I would sleep in a rag in the middle of the enemy territory or in a hard bed in a base of operations that we weren’t sure wouldn’t be bombarded during the night. I could’ve snapped someone’s neck! But I will get used to it I guess, I always do. I quickly got back to my habit of sleeping during flights to a zone of operations. I hope I didn’t drool on anybody’s shoulder though; I also have to get back to the habit of standing still while sleeping…

But at least, waking up in the middle of the night was definitely worth it. I killed it. First alien on Earth and I blew his head up. I was also the first one to saw them. We were advancing toward that thing shining in the dark, and there they were, guarding it. You know, my first thought when we landed in this place wasn't even about how it feels to return to a real battle for the first time in years, it was just “damn, those cicadas are loud.” In retrospect, I realize that I still had my doubts about this whole XCOM thing and the noise easily got me irritated because I was unfocused. But man, once I saw them, I completely forgot about anything else.

That Japanese dude with the complicated name didn't get a promotion when we got back, but with his grenade he blew the little gray dudes’ cover and got me a nice clean shot to finish the one who was doing something shady to his buddy. You gotta love how their big heads explode, it’s so good. The second one also exploded, I don’t really get it but that was definitely fun to watch and it was counted as a second kill on my file.

I could’ve got a third one if not for this Arsène dude. At least, his parents have good naming sense. I was getting near the third gray head who had tried to escape and hide, and I would’ve have blown up his head from up close if Arsène didn’t shoot him from farther away. To be able to see this little guy’s brain explodes in a gush of green blood from a close distance wasn’t as fun as if it had been from my bullet. Anyway, now that my excitation has calmed down, I realized that I should probably apply my own advice. He was too zealous in his covering fire, or it was a lost bullet, it happens. Since we’ve spilled the blood of a common enemy, he is a brother now.

We joined just after that behind a train in order to approach a next group of gray heads. We couldn’t see them from there so I stayed low and Arsène did the same. I have lost count of the number of times I got saved because I was hugging the ground as much as I could, so I can’t add this one to the count. A shot of green stuff went straight up my head and I’m grateful I didn’t lose more hair than I already have in the past. I responded with a grenade and my brothers got shots on them to finish the job.

Back at the base, once everything was settled, we were welcomed at a party at the bar.
... Why do we have a bar? A victory without casualty certainly feels pretty good and I haven't received this much cheering for my military prowess in a long time, but, why we have a bar? This whole XCOM operation suddenly felt much less serious when I was in the middle of joyful people drinking and asking me excited questions about the aliens. It felt childish... but it also reminded me of the kids. So even if I was tired and I only took water, I stayed for a while.

Today, I gathered what little energy my body had felt for my visit of the base. I also took care of the details of my promotion. My fast legs have been recognized on the field and I have been assigned an offensive position in the team. The shotgun looks nice, and it has a good punch, I can’t wait to blow some heads with it. I have spent some time at the range to try it and give further test to their standard weapons. They are pretty nice, they don’t seem to get jammed, like a good old AK, but they are also more stable. I want to give them names like I always do but I don’t have any good idea right now. Maybe I should ask around, like Arsène, or his parents; whether they could hit a target or not, the kids at home were pretty creative with names and I would sometimes take suggestions from them for my own weapons. I should send them something by the way. I hope I can attach a photo; the kids like to have photos of their brothers and sisters who are away, and I could ask them how the XCOM outfit looks on me. It’s pretty comfortable, but I got used to wearing shirts.

It’s all a question of habit I guess.

I hope that I can have a full night of sleep tonight.
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Soldier Name: Dennis Largo
Rank: Rookie
Class: Rookie

The Adventures of Dennis Largo, Super-Soldier

Volume I, Part I: Where the Hell is Dennis Largo?

If you’re reading this and I am dead, please feel free to publish my memoirs and send all proceeds to my mother. If the aliens got her, please send the proceeds to my brother Michael. If everyone is dead and an alien is reading this right now, fuck you.

My name is Dennis Largo. I am 34 years old. I have been a professional soldier since age 19. It is looking more and more likely every day that I will die a soldier.

A few days ago, I was recruited into something called the “X-Com Project.” It must have been pretty fucking top-secret, because I had never heard of it before the G-Men came a-’knockin. I thought I knew pretty much everything I needed to know about geopolitics and military shit, but when aliens invade it really puts your utter lack of knowledge into perspective. Oh right, aliens. Best case scenario, you’re reading this journal 300 years in the future in some high school history class, where humanity’s triumph against the aliens has passed into legend as a crowning moment of our species’ place in the universe. Worst case scenario, you’re an alien and we’re all dead. Again, if that’s the case, fuck you. Stay in school, kids. Study hard. Don’t trust the Marine recruiters.

Didn't have a chance to say goodbye to anyone, once the "offer" was made. Hope it was actually an offer and not a "join or we'll nuke your house from orbit to keep your mouth shut" deal, though I would understand if they had to, given the circumstances. My girlfriend headed for her parents’ place in Newfoundland last week. Hope she's doing well. She deserves to be happy, and she had more understanding of my problems than most. Everyone is scared shitless. I can see it on the eyes of the staff around here. They're scared, and they don't seem to have any idea of what they are scared of. Hopefully my students are behaving back at school. Probably not.

X-Com HQ is in an underground base. It’s pretty far underground, at least several hundred feet. I wish I could say I feel like a Bond villain, but to be honest I feel more like one of the nameless goons that Bond kicks into a shark tank. If the aliens kill us all, I hope they don’t destroy all our movies. Oh, and if you high school dweebs in the future don’t know who James Bond is, look it up.

Seen a few of my fellow’s faces around the base so far. My fellow soldiers seem to be from all over the world, couple of Americans, Brits, Arabs, Chinese, Polish, to name a few. Some scary motherfuckers, couple of them look more like runway models than trained killers. Apparently there are four guys out on a mission right now, might strike up a conversation with them if they’re not missing limbs and/or dead.

I’m looking forward to my psych evaluation, not sure yet if I should be Crazy War-Hobo Dennis or Wise Buddha Dennis. It’s fun to jerk the egg-heads around sometimes. Thanks for reading my crap (unless you are an alien, in which case, again, fuck you).
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Name: Steven 'Dozer' Maltus
Class: None
Rank: Rookie

The hot water felt nice as it flowed over Steve's shoulders into the drain below him, carrying all of the last visages of hope that he would ever return to that hellhole of an arab prison. But even as he stared into the bulkhead of the facility he now called home, it's simple features and steel beams reminded him that what he had left behind was gone as well. Family, friends, life in general was all closed to him now.

He could only imagine the tears rolling down his mother's face as she received the letter that said her son was MIA, body not recovered, assumed to have died on foreign lands for an unsympathetic government. How his father watched the flag get lowered on an empty casket of a son whom he'd never even get to make his peace with.

Steve decided to add some of his own water to the shower with the thoughts of the life he left behind.

Even as he dried off and suited into the dark grey fatigues that the personnel of the base, bright blue patch of the X-Com project sewn into it's shoulder, he couldn't help but look into the mirror at the scars his service has left him with, not hope of ever being repaid.

He sighed heavily as he put on the hat, freshly shaven head better then the straggly stands he had been getting used to. Freshly shaven face, cleaned, and with a lingering reget washing itself down the drain of the shared bathrooms of the Rookies, he walked into the halls of X-Com.

He had been in sorry shape when he had arrived there, atrophy and malnouirshment just starting to take it's toll on his body. A few days of TLC with the wonder workers in the medical bay and he was right as rain again, minus the whole PTSD part of being tortured, sleep deprived, and generally mistreated.

'But hey,' he thought to himself, rounding the corner to watch the latest Skyranger land and disgorge it's payload of elite troops onto the tarmac. 'At least I had a muffin yesterday." He smiled in spite of himself. Even though getting through this would be difficult, it wasn't like he had many options. Hell, X-Com had saved his life. Least he could do was smile and try to make a joke once in a while. A few nods and hellos, along with pointing in the directions of their superiors, Steve watched the last of them depart, only to watch a handful of troopers go running the opposite direction, toward the very skyranger that just landed.

He took a close glimpse at the name stenciled under the cockpit of the craft. It read "L. Jenkins" in a cursive stylized font. He briefly wondered if the pilot knew his last name followed a popular Youtube video, but quickly forgot it as he saw the troopers pass him. Gleaming new armor, oil glossed weapons, and that heady mix of apprehension and excitement on their faces. He snapped a quick salute at them as the doors started to close before heading out.

"Aliens..." He huffed, shaking his head. But the thought that maybe the were real tagged along with him as he wandered off to the firing range.

--Several Hours Later--

"Holy Sheeeit." Steve drawled as he watched the hastily thrown together footage of the attack on the briefing room screens. There were quite a few Rookies there in the hall as they were shown exactly what had happened on the battlefield that day. The Skyrangers were outfitted with High Res cameras, and were told to try and circle the battlefield, barring any AA defenses, to try and capture images. In this case, Mr. Leeroy had done his job well.

Right on the screen, mid-reflexive dive for cover, was an Alien straight out of the fucking movies. Big forehead, black insect eyes, and a collar of some high tech material, green laser fire arching out of it's sci-fi gun.

"Here we see the face of our enemy, soldiers." The stern faced Lieutenant said to the group in front of him. Several such debriefings were going on, because there wasn't a hall big enough for everyone to fit at once. "They are real, and they are here. Why they are here is anyone's guess. But they aren't here to make friends." Another shot of the aliens firing at the away team.

"Thankfully, they are made of flesh and blood, just like us." The look on the LT's face seemed to get more sour as he said it.

"Cept with bigger guns." A Boston accent chimed in from the middle of the room. A few half hearted laughs and a stern look from the LT wrapped up the comment, but Steve couldn't help but sympathize with the comment. They were so far ahead of us. Could we even hope to catch up? Could we even hope to compete, let alone survive?

"That is all, dismissed." The LT said, at the end of the debriefing, slowly everyone started to get up and leave, hushed and not-so-hushed conversations all revolving around the new face of their foes. There were mentions of advanced training using the new material collected, but the truth was, there just wasn't enough to know anything about them.

At least the grunts. Apparently, it was as close to Christmas as you could get without a chimney down in Science and Engineering with the boxes of material they brought back. Most of them rattled, Steve noticed as they were unloaded, but he didn't ask any questions.

But it would be interesting to see if any of the engineers would let a combat engie into their presence for a quick looksie... It was worth a shot. Steve started to whistle "Pieces of Me" as he started the walk toward engineering.

-Open for a Co-op with any engineer or Away mission recruit-
Dec 8, 2013
Recorded Journal #1: The Beginning
Name: Lukas Winters
Rank: Rookie
Class: N/A

My name is Lukas Winters and this journal is meant to allow me to reflect on what I will term "field assignments". For one reason or another I find myself grouped among the front line recruits when my application was intended and, as far as I know, accepted as one for a position as one of the many scientist working under one Dr. Valen. I went through with the soldier training because I would hope that once I got to the base that this whole scenario would have been resolved. I also would have thought that the XCOM soldier training would have weeded me out but it seems that I managed to to keep up with the pack. This is probably due to a want to stay fit prior to gaining entry into this organization. Whatever the cause I have met the standard and have been accepted into the ranks of XCOM, I might as well make the best of a bad scenario.

I find that this entire scenario was brought on by a case of a simple bureaucratic mistake which I might end up gaining more from in the end. Without the overview of Dr. Valen I am afforded a great amount of freedom in terms of my research, the only trouble is that it is purely observational and highly dangerous. I might be able to supplement this observation with findings from the lab but for now I can not assume that will be the case. I do believe that danger is an innate part of science and so where my research directs me I must go, even if that is at the front line fighting against an unknown foe...

The flight to the main XCOM base in Asia was a long one and so it gave me sometime to think. Not that having time to ponder the scenario I have gotten myself into was something I very much wanted to do in the first place I tried to remeber other things. I remembered travelling to Asia before, it was with a colleague to conference to display our findings to our peers. It went well enough I think but the mind has so many secrets that it is very hard not to feel that you are not just scratching the surface. We landed and I focused on the scenario at hand once again, it made no sense for me to be dwelling on those thoughts right now.

Once in the base I was surprised at the the generally advanced and sophisticated technology on display through out the facility. Just the nature of the underground architecture is quite interesting, some of the time you forget that you are underground at all. I made my way to the living quarters just as my many comrades were doing. I passed by the labs, I had to stop and stare. The lab facilities were sight to behold. It reminded me that I should try to get in touch with Dr. Valen, she might appreciate my scenario and find some way to use my unique position to aid in the research being done here. After some time I pried my eyes away from the lab and moved to my assigned room.

The alarm went off and some names were called to report to for their mission, mine was not among them. First bullet dodged I guess. I think it would be prudent to try to get as much information as I could about the first mission as possible, fore warned is fore armed. It might make sense to speak to those soldiers who were out there on the field. It is something I will take the opportunity to do when I can but right now I would like to settle in to the idea that I am now a soldier now.

< End of Recording >​
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Dec 11, 2013
Parts Unknown
Name: Malcolm Levitt
Occupation: Senior Analytical Chemist

Journal Entry #25:

Spectroscopy is an elegant mix of art and science. The established procedures are there for any technologist to follow, but each sample is unique. To get the right spectrum, the resolutions others envy, not only do you need the know-hows that years of experience will get you, but there's also this special... indescribable "something" that connects an artist to their work. It is knowledge on a subconscious level, and it manifests itself as a sort of "sixth sense" to an onlooker.

With these new samples though, I don't think any spectator will mistake me for having that quality. Elemental analysis shows that this sample of alien materials consist mostly of carbon, with traces of transition metals - nothing that explains the strength and weight of the material. Elements alone don't tell the whole story - without physically looking at the sample, diamond and graphite will have such similar spectra from ICP-MS that they're largely indistinguishable. The key is in the structure.

Solid-state spectroscopic techniques have their own sets of problems, some of which I'm unfamiliar with. I'll have to talk to the crystallography guys to see if I can get a diffraction spectrum - though if this is like any alloys we know here on Earth, it won't help a bit.

Even though Vahlen wants the analysis rushed, and tension is a little high around the lab (all I hear are incessant complaints about lost samples!), I'm glad we're no longer just working on government contracts. This is the reason people go into science - discovering new knowledge, being frontiers of science. As an instructor once told me: "science - it's just magic without the lies" - it's rewarding to get the answer, eventually, but the magic... that's what keeps scientists like myself in this field.


Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2012
The Netherlands
//Written in co-operation with Thenlar (as Rookie Ryan Chen) and myself (as Rookie Tarrmis Gorefest)

It was quite a crowd in the bar, with the 'fantastic four' telling of their first-hand experience with alien lifeforms, having the ears many linger around them. Tarrmis, though ever curious about the events that had passed in Brisbane, was more occupied with fighting the jet-lag with a mug of coffee in hand. Though he tried his hardest to hear the words of Richard, Arsène, Rebecca and Hokuchiyo, it all sounded as though he put his ear to a blender.

Ryan was already standing behind the bar, surrounded by a number of bottles he'd put off to the side as he dug through the cabinets. Though he tried to be uninterested, he still strained to hear anything. Shaking his head, he looked at the guy hunched at the bar, looking over the crowds. "Hey," Ryan said. "I got an idea." He turned and raised up the best bottle of whiskey he could find in stock. "HEY! Let's have some shots for our veteran alien killers, eh?!"

"Well then, might as well make this an Irish Coffee." Tarrmis had sat upright and slid his mug of coffee toward Ryan. He had managed to bring half a smile to his face. "Might as well celebrate being brought half-way 'round the world to fight aliens, right?"

"Shit, dude, I thought I was applying to be an engineer, and they hand me a rifle right off the transport." Ryan grins and uncaps the bottle, pouring out a couple shots into glasses. "Y'know, I figured at least they'd give us better stuff for being top secret defenders of humanity and whatever, but this booze is like... middle-shelf at best. It's like they went to CostCo, or whatever they have out here in China, and just got stuff in bulk."

He gives a disdainful look at the array of bottles. "I'll have to see who I can make friends with around here and ... uh... import some better stuff. Anyways, name's Ryan. I'm from the States."

Tarrmis raised his mug briefly. "Tarrmis", he responded with a nod before taking a sip. His throat buzzed with warmth and in that moment he felt that little more awake. "I suppose it's not quite 4 AM in your head then. Well, I gotta bite the bullet, tell m'body it needs to be awake. Quickest way to adapt."

"Nah, I'm just gonna stay up long as I can. I think I can probably beg a stim or two off the docs in the medical wing if I need a boost. Get to a regularish bedtime, then hit the sack. In the meantime, I can explore the place, get the lay of the land, y'know? Unless there's another goddamn alert and they shove me on the Skyranger. That'd be bad, if I was sleep-deprived."

It took Tarrmis a moment to process, as he ran his hand through his beard, but he did manage a reply: "It's been a long time since I'd been on call like that - it hadn't even crossed my mind. Perhaps it's best to get some shut-eye while I can then." While it was difficult for him to give up a chance to hear more about the events in Brisbane, Tarrmis had also realised he was in no state to do anything productive like this. Putting the still half-full mug down he stood up to make his leave. "Guess I'll just have to ask about their stories another time."

"Enjoy. I'll let ya know if there's anything juicy." Ryan flipped a casual salute with two fingers and started shuffling bottles back into place, resuming his mental inventory of the base alcohol stocks.

After thanking Ryan, Tarrmis walked off toward the barracks. He didn't pay much attention to other people making their way through the facility; in his head he'd already hit the hay. Finding his room empty, he figured whoever he shared it with was at the bar. The beds might not have been the most comfortable, but as soon as he laid down he fell asleep.
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Active Member
Dec 5, 2013
Ryan Chen, Rookie.
Personal Log, March 1st.

Okay, so... zero dark thirty flight from the airport, over a dozen hours in the air, all very hush hush. Finally we get to this sweet underground base and... I'm a grunt? Holy shit. I spent almost a hundred thousand dollars of government money getting my degrees, and they just hand me a rifle again?

Well, fuck. I guess I'll go out into the field more. I really ought to make nice with the crew chief on the Skyranger there, he should know all the little hiding spots on that bird to smuggle stuff in and out. Better find out what his favorite drink is. Speaking of which, I saw a bar on a lower level. Oughta go check and see what's on the shelves.


Three hours later...

Well, it was a bit of a zoo down there. Our squad came back, fresh with alien bodies and not a single bullet hole in 'em. Or plasma burn, I guess. Couldn't hear much, got to meet one of the other recruits though. There was a plus side though, with so many people gathered in the bar, it was easy enough to go places where there weren't people.

I slipped into the hangar, where the crew chief and ground crew were still unloading the Skyranger and cleaning it up after the operation. Managed to get on his good side by offering to help right off the bat. Chief Williams works his men hard, but seems pretty fair. Found out he's from New Jersey. I bet I can get on his good side if I can get some taylor ham into his hands.

Also, note to self, the bar sucks. Gotta get a whole new stock of better stuff. That oughta make me the new best friend for a few people. Always a few alcoholics in these operator-types.

Better start a fresh list. Lot of new people around here.
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Dec 5, 2013
NAME: Alexander McCraig
OCCUPATION: Interceptor Pilot
Dear Diary, today mommy told me where babi-
Sorry, I couldn't resist. It's just that I kind of think these journals are stupid. Not to offend the commander of course, because LAST time that happened the Squadron Commander figured out my little stunt with flight school...and he was not happy. My foster mom always told me to make the bad assignments fun though so here it goes.

It would seem that luck has always been on my side. That trench-coated creep in that one bar might as well have been my guardian angel! That night I was ready to go home and call it quits, all the positive thinking in the world wouldn't be able to put me up back on my feet. And now here I am! Mostly rehabilitated from the beginnings of alcoholism (Although, I did see that one fella head off to quite an appealing bar earlier) and sitting in a sleek fighter jet typing up this journal. The manual they gave me says it's called an Interceptor and this begs the question, what will I be intercepting?

I saw those infantry types get back from the first mission, and I couldn't believe it: aliens. We're fighting aliens. Part of me wants to go up to Mrs. Reese from Sunday school and just say to her I told you so while the other half wants to finally fulfill that childhood dream of mine in which her and I- I'm going off on a tangent again. But seriously, we haven't picked up any UFO signatures yet and I don't want them to. Mainly because I don't want to ever admit that the dufus across the street, William Greenshrub, could've actually seen a UFO. Also the whole part about facing down an incredibly advanced space-faring race with what appears to be incredibly dangerous energy based weapons while I sit in this "Interceptor" pew-pewing away with a few missiles doesn't seem like a very enjoyable mission. Alas, I signed up for this and now I got to deal with the cards, besides it can't possibly be THAT bad!

And if there's one thing for sure. The first UFO that shows up is going to have a good representation of what sort of fighter pilots earth's been training...because he'll be going up against Alexander "The Great" McCraig.

man, that sounded so cool!


Active Member
Dec 5, 2013
Name:Jym Samty
Occupation:X-COM scientist

Oh my God!The base is so amazing, the la- Too excited. I think I should start with the ride here. So I was at the airport,getting ready for the flight to Asia. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact of how rich China is... Anyway, I decided I'd get some Chinese food.I got my Chinese food.I flew to Asia.Nothing exciting happened. Then I saw the base. It's huge! Think of all the research possibilities! I hadn't even been there 10 minutes when they called for a mission. When the mission ended Vahlen told me to...supervise. Not what I expected to be honest. I decided to visit the bar. I noticed everyone crowding around those who had gone on the mission. What were they thinking? But then again,if I was a solider, I would want to know everything possible about the aliens. Fair enough. I kept to myself rather then chatting with my fellows. I was rather mad when the Commander decided to research weapons. WE HAD A NEW MATERIAL FOR CHRIST SAKE! When I learned his reasoning, I calmed down a bit. *yawn* I think I should get some sleep.
*Recording Over*
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Dec 9, 2013
Name: Cerise Vahlen
Position: Head Scientist
2 AM Zulu, First of March, 2015, X-com central lab.

Heavy footfalls announced the arrival of the unloading crew in X-com’s central lab. Tough set, tall men were carrying the heavy crates into the brightly lit room, grunting as they went to an extent that made Cerise wonder if they were actually acting for the science team’s empathy. If they were it wasn’t working on her.

“Place them over there.” She pointed to the clear section that had been set aside for arriving cargo. It could hold, three, or four of the containers at the same time, at most. Probably three, she mentally noted as the fifth crate was placed, practically rubbing against one of the desks. The microscope on it didn’t seem to like the slight impact, but it stopped shaking shortly before Vahlen tried stabilizing it. “Thank you, gentlemen. I will call you again, once I need you to take the rest away.” She said, converting the gesture in the microscope in an impromptu attempt at moving a strand of hair behind her ear. One of the men nodded, and gestured for his men to leave. An unpleasant odor could be felt coming from one of the crates.

She could only assume it came from the bodies of the alien. Cerise sincerely hoped that the corpse storage facility, a glorified refrigerator, would prove adequate, in case extended exposure to chemicals the aliens emitted would prove dangerous. She would have to talk with Shen about this, but not before her team had a better idea as to what they were dealing with. For now hope, and the fact that the field team hadn’t died in the Skyranger was all they had. She wished chemical containment was in her area of expertise. She wished a lot of things were, though right now she was painfully aware that the only thing remotely related to her area of expertise was contained in the oversized craniums of these gray…aliens.

The notion hadn’t quite sunk in quite yet. And it hadn’t the time to do so now, so she turned her attention away from any form of deliberation and towards the tall crates in front of her. They were easily taller than her, doors held in place by a padlock. Her eyebrow rose, as she scanned the area around the crates. No key in sight. She looked at the three scientists gathered behind her, huddled together, all of them moving their eyes between her and the crates, silent in apprehension. Fuller was the only one that seemed unaffected by how momentous the event was, if only because she had never seen him anywhere near calm to begin with. Cerise sighed, internally, as her face became stern. “Fuller, go catch up with them and get the keys for the crate.” To his credit he reacted before anyone else had even changed their expression. Less to his credit was the fact that his reaction was to bolt even more upright, as if someone had suddenly kicked him in the hind quarters. He gulped.

“But then I might stray off the permitted path.” He stated, his voice confirming what his gulp had betrayed earlier. What did he think they were going to do with him?

“Yes, but you have to hurry, so I trust you von’t. Now go! Quickly!” She waved her hand towards the laboratory’s door and he rushed out. Not the best start of her command. As if the lack of research assistants, safe for the one currently running down the corridor, hadn’t been bad enough for morale.

Half an hour later the crates were gone, and the rest of the science team was gathered in front of her, now forming a line. When exactly the military-like discipline had seeped into them she had no idea.

“And finally, as I’ve already told you, the computers here don’t have access to the Internet. That’s not an oddity, or a problem, that’s how things work in this installation, to prevent information leaks or possible outside attacks. There is an internal network to engineering, that we can use to send them plans and information. While we’re in the lab, that’s the only contact with the outside world we’ll need.” She was sweating under her…well ironically enough sweater, the weight of the bored eyes upon her hard to ignore. Still, protocol was protocol.

“Right, with all of that behind us, you have heard the commander’s orders. Mr. Levitt, I want you to start working on figuring out what these fragments are.” She said, pointing to the tray containing some of the leftovers the alien weapons that hadn’t been destroyed with explosives lay. ”Fuller, you seem to know a little of everything, so I want you to mill over these and find if anything useable can be found in there. Samty, provide expertise on the spot, and supervise … I’ll get an engineer or two up here to work with you as well. Maybe they can help with figuring out the mechanics of these things when they aren’t digging through the dirt.” Vahlen continued quickly, without pausing for breath. “I want your daily reports at noon UTC today, as well as on the spot whenever you’ve come to some conclusion on your current project. Until we get our next shipment from the ground team, this will be the lab’s rhythm. After that we’ll have a meeting to discuss how things should be adjusted. That is all.” She turned around and headed up to commander odd’s office. One of her staff hadn’t reported in yet, and she was starting to wonder if Winters had made it to the base at all.


2 PM Zulu, First of March, 2015, X-com bar

With a heavy sigh Cerise climbed onto one of the stools on the bar. Starting work at what amounted to an hour past midnight, as far as her biological clock was concerned, had turned out to be more than she could reasonably handle, no matter how excited she might have been. Not that she really was. Initially it had been the pressure of working with a multidisciplinary team, where only one person beside her actually had a discipline that she was aware of. Then, there had been the rather lengthy talk with the commander and then some staff officer, that had resulted in her learning that Winters, the presumed fifth member of the science team, had been assigned to the armed forces instead. Another conversation later it was confirmed the she would have to wait for another week or so to get a replacement. She hoped this one would know what he had studied, at least.

The cold beer entering her system got her thoughts away from this, as she headed to one of the numerous free tables. She had left the clipboard she kept her day’s tasks recorded in her room, and was now only armed with a tablet, containing the day’s reports. She had to suppress a yawn, as she left her things on the table, and going through the reports she felt it hard to focus. On one hand, this was frustrating at just three pm, as her wristwatch said. On the other one, of course, there was the fact she had been up for near fourteen hours already, after what one would hardly call a good night’s sleep, even if it were eight hours.

Her thoughts drifted towards the question of how her brain would adapt to this. She hadn’t seen sunlight, safe for on the video feed from the squad, since she had been brought to the base, and most of the variations in light level came not in a cycle but depending on which room she was in, which couldn’t be affecting her internal timekeeping in a good way. She remembered reading studies on the blind that had shown that lack of light could cause one’s biological clock to drift, making them go to sleep and wake up, later and later. The explanation had been that our internal clocks had about an extra hour, for every twenty four. In your normal, sighted person, living outside a dungeon, the biological clock’s ability to adjust to the outside’s day/night cycle would control for that, but in the context of perpetual artificial light and sleep/wake (and as a consequence light and dark) dictated by when emergency arose much more than by any cycles it seemed like these mechanisms would lag behind. Perhaps, she had a unique opportunity to study how this environment would affect those living inside it.

The council had permitted her to gather data from base personnel, so long as it was voluntary, and they were given the final say on whether or not the study would be published, so it seemed almost criminal not to try. With a smile she concluded that she had to see some papers on the issue and design a data gathering procedure of her own. Then her gaze fell on the tablet again, and she frowned. Work came first, obviously.