RP XCOM: The Story of Defiance.


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Guardian Spirits: Final - Atka Ipiktok, Friends, and Family

XCOM Headquarters, Somewhere in Siberia
2300 Hours, December 13th, 2018
Civilian Quarters, Main Lobby

Atka looked around the room with obvious satisfaction. The party had been set up according to plan, couches and chairs from the small living rooms dragged out to the main lobby to allow the civilians to get together. A few TVs were playing some old movies, while the reception desk with lined with food and drink, though Atka had no need to indulge in the latter. Looking around at the happy faces and gentle conversations, she was reminded of a time long ago.

Nunavut, Canada
About 5 Years Ago
Translated from Inuktitut

The children of the village sat around a large, roaring fire, relishing the warmth in the winter that was nearly over. Ipiktok was in the process of feeding everyone a lucky catch: that of a humpback whale. Buniq and Isitoq took their food happily, the former digging in like a hungry wolf, the latter more reserved. Nouja was listening to a story about the seagulls from her mother, while Atka was looking into the gentle flames of the fire.

Ipiktok knelt down by Atka, offering her a bowl with whale soup in it, as well as a small bag. The seventeen year old girl looked up, curiosity sparkling in her eyes as she took her food. "What's in the bag?"

"Another gift the whale has given us in death. I appreciated the carvings you've made, like your own guardian spirit... and this time I'll give you more to work with," her father spoke reverently.

Atka carefully took the bag, setting her bowl down for the moment, and peered into the bag. In it were assorted pieces of the whale's bones. "This is..."

"Made good use of it. You have talent, even if Nouja's proving adept at her craft as well," Ipiktok spoke wisely.

Atka nodded gratefully, setting down her bag and picking up her bowl. With everyone now holding their food, Siluk stood, giving a bit of a disapproving look at Buniq who had already dug in. The young Inuit girl stopped, looking apologetic with puppy eyes, and the elder sighed, letting it go.

"We are gathered here, celebrating winter as it ends, and the first catch harkening to the beginning of spring," Siluk spoke, his voice as calloused as his hands, but a pleasant sound to hear, relaxing somehow. "In the cycle of life, the whale has given his body, not unlike Christ's sacrifice. We honor this by ensuring our tribe's own health with the bounty of the sea, and allow the spirit rest as it returns to join its ancestors under the watchful eye of the Great Spirit." With those final words, they all ate, enjoying the taste and promise of another good year.

"Do you plan on leaving?" Ipiktok asked, seated by his eldest daughter.

"I... yes." Atka nodded resolutely. "It is my calling to help preserve my tribe, our way of life, by protecting Canada at large."

Ipiktok patted her on the back. "Then I support you wholeheartedly. Just don't forget to visit. No matter where you go, you're always one of us. And we'll always be family."

Atka smiled softly. "Thank you, father." She embraced him. "I'll miss you when I leave in a few months."

"As will I. And many others. But I'll be damned if we forget about that surprisingly girl that wanted to hunt, to be a warrior." Ipiktok grinned.

The aforementioned girl drew back, matching his expression. "I'll hold you to that, then."

Present Day

A gentle shake of the shoulder drew Atka out of her reverie. "You were smiling absently," Janina explained.

"I was? Just... reminded of good times with family," Atka justified.

Janina smiled faintly. "Yeah, I've been thinking about my younger sisters."

"Do you have any specific plans?" Atka inquired.

The Infantry Captain sighed. "I'll tell you what, I think this war has made me too old for this sort of crap. I'm just going to get an office job or something and be happy about it. Boring, but..."

Atka chuckled. "I understand," the Inuit woman assured her. "Gives you more time to look after your sisters."

"Lord knows Gerlinde is going to need help being motivated to go to college when she graduates in two years," Janina muttered, referring to the youngest of the three. "And I'd like Katrin to go to trade school. She's stalled long enough. Your sister's going to be working for that 'Exalt Enterprises' as a doctor, isn't she?"

The Inuit woman nodded. "Yeah. And I have faith that she'll do well." Atka glanced over at the now-seventeen year old, for whom this party was also for as a general birthday party.

Janina followed her CO's gaze, smirking when she saw Nouja looking over a book on practical medicine. "Maybe working too hard. This is her birthday, after all."

"Well, somewhere around it, at least. We don't exactly have calendars in Nunavut, electronic or otherwise," Atka offered with a grin.

"Semantics, semantics," Amanda complained as she walked over, her brother talking to Isitoq about technical matters. She stretched her mechanical hands unnecessarily, folding them back for a moment. "I came to tell you the cake's taking awhile. Poinsettia came over to try and help, but put on waaaay too much icing, and Yaralria's trying to clean it up."

Atka sighed. "Can't be helped. How about we sit down for awhile in the meantime," the Colonel suggested. Receiving a nod from the two, the three women sat down by their other squadmates, Sarah and Masambe.

Janina raised an eyebrow, noticing an unfamiliar series on the screen of the nearby TV. "What are you watching so intently, Sarah?"

"Gurren Lagann." The Chinese sniper glanced at the smiling German infantry with a bit of indignation. "Golin was watching it with Marabelle, and I figured I might as well. It's... surprisingly good."

"You ought to try and learn telekinesis. Show off a telekinetic drill to your son," Masambe joked.

Sarah glared at him for a moment, before returning her focus to the screen just in time to hear 'Later, buddy.' N-No... he was my favorite!

Atka exchanged glances with her second-in-command as Amanda went over to console the grieving Sarah. "I'll... go check on the cake."

"A wise plan," Janina replied in a low tone.


Well-Known Member
As it turned out, Yaralria was doing her best to get the cake out, despite time running out. She didn't even have a chance to look up at her daughter as she walked in, merely telling her it would be ready in a minute or two. Atka stepped out, shaking her head, as a certain assistant manager of records approached.

"Hello, Atka," Thomas greeted.

"Hi Tom. You seem like you got together in a hurry."A mischievous grin spread across her face. "Vee?"

"Vee," the Hispanic-American confirmed. "Though despite her, ahem, friskiness, I don't mind going with her after all of this. What are your plans, Colonel?" He asked, only using the title as a half-joke.

"Well, I'm going back to Toronto. I might return to the military in a few years, but for now I'm just going to live off of what I earned for military service, my artwork, and any lasting job I can sink," Atka replied. "Maybe I'll act as a correspondent for XCOM's rebuilding efforts or as part of Exalt Enterprises."

Tom grinned. "Somehow, I don't see you as a saleswoman, Atka."

The Inuit woman shrugged. "True, but I'll figure out something. Even if I'll have a part time job as a mother too."

Thomas paled. "Don't tell me you got yourself..."

"No, ass," the scout responded quickly with a roll of her eyes. "I've been careful. I meant Keiko, Rei, and Hitomi."

"Oh, right." Tom shook his head. "Sorry. I can see why you'd want to have your own independent job, but I think Jake can make a good living as a psychiatrist too, if he wants to pursue that. Especially with empathetic powers."

Atka nodded. "I bet I'll need a bit of his services by the end of all of this. Take that how you will."

"I plead the fifth," Tom replied simply.

Atka shook her head with a smile as she heard the sounds of the cake being rolled to the door, stepping to the side. "I'm Canadian. You lose."

The cake, half angel food and half devil's food, like some mockery of purgatory, was rolled on out and driven over to Nouja, who Janina had gotten to put down her book for awhile. "You still have similar legal rights, don't you...?" Tom muttered, but quickly dropped it as he saw Nouja's eyes light up.

"It's perfect, mom," Nouja said happily.

"As we have no spirits to thank," Yaralria said as she cut the large cake into pieces, the other partygoers gathering round, "You may dig in." The crowd gladly did, eating to their hearts' content. Another two hours went by until time had dragged late into the stark-early morning, and only then was the room clear of people, though certainly not cleaned up. Save one observer.

Atka stood back where she had began as Nouja at last had gone to sleep, smiling softly. A soft blue glow around her body, a darker blue-green her head, and she lifted her hands. A mindfray double-helix, watery in consistency, formed in her left, and the solid, icy, telekinetic helix wound itself up from her right palm. Atka closed her eyes for a moment, envisioning her surroundings with ESP, then created an afterimage and preimage with her teleimagery. "And I have my blood barrier... all that's left is to get Sapentia to show me how to create one of those psionic manifestations."

Atka smiled, her illusionary copies reflecting the move. "But, whatever happens... I'll take you down and return home alive. You'd best be on your guard, so-called God of Fear."


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Frostlich1228 & MarineAvenger : "Man and the Machine Pt.1"

With the night slowly falling over the base, one by one, people made their ways back to their respective rooms for the night, while the night staff geared up for another long shift walking the halls. As the crowd of groups milled their way slowly down the hall, a lone person walked against the current of people, receiving a few glances from the people he bumped into but it was their faults for being in the way.

Coming out the back end, Sora ran his hand through his gray colored hair and sighed deeply, still not fully recovering after the mission he was dragged on. One thing became apparent quickly to Sora and that when he was connected to Desmond, they were connected in more ways than one. Although not physically receiving harm, Sora could still feel shivers of pain whenever his host had, though not nearly the degree. Seeing as how he was alone for the time being, Sora just found himself wandering around, no real destination and no real goals, he just enjoyed the silence.

A older man with a few streaks of grey in his hair turned the corner out of the engineering bay, drops of sweat covering her forehead, as he bumped into the AI. He took a step back, brushing his shirt off for a second before looking up to him, “Forgive me sir, I didn’t see you there.”

Sora rolled his eyes and waved his hand dismissively. “Whatever.” He looked over the man and raised an eyebrow, crossing his arms. “Never seen you before.”

“That’s because I’ve only been here a few days. My home was attacked and I’m staying here until It’s fully repaired.” He replied before introducing himself, “My name is David Cross, CEO of Cross technologies.”

Sora raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms. “Oh really? I heard your place got sacked but I didn’t expect to actually see you here.” He commented in a laid back tone.

“Well, I have to stay somewhere while they repair the damage, why not help X-Com in the process?” David replied.

The android just shrugged. “Up to you. I usually just envision anyone who is in the business world a greedy, know it all, good for nothing who only cares about his money but I should have probably been a little more opened minded with you. Ava did praise you a bit after all so you must have a degree of merit.”

“I try to keep my priorities in this order, My Family, My Inventions, and then my Business. Cross Tech is important to me, of course, but the only reason it became as prosperous as it is was because of the SAaIDA, a device I built with the intention of helping my daughter see.” David explained, “I can’t say the same for other companies out there though, most of them are just as likely to stab you in the back as shake your hand.”

Sora sighed. “Alas, that is as true a statement as one gets. I wonder what would happen if I ever went into business…” A malicious grin spread on Sora’s face. “See how long it takes me to overtake Elene in success.” The android chuckled and rubbed his hand. “Don’t tell her I said that, I feel she would still stab me in the back regardless for the hell of it.” He looked over his shoulder for comedic effect and shrugged.

“If some part of Elene didn’t enjoy your company she wouldn’t keep you around.” David stated, “Besides, if she’s anything like Lusett, she’d rather refrain from ever telling you anything than betray you.”

“Getting her to leave me alone? I don’t know if I could deal with the loneliness or cheer for peaceful silence.” He joked, for some reason knowing that somehow, somewhere, Elene was scowling at him. “Anyways, I am sure you are probably wondering how I know the Exalt girls, aren’t you?”

“I assume you take on an assistant role, sort of like that Markus fellow.” Ammelia’s father thought for a second.

Sora soon began to snicker, then moved into a chuckle and finally was in a full state of laughter. “Oh God no. They wouldn’t trust me with their work if their lives depended on it.” Sora calmed down and put his hands behind his head. “I guess the jig is up. As fun as this was, I might as well come out and say it.” Sora held out his hand to David. “I’m an A.I., Cross. This body is actually just an android. Glad to see you couldn’t see the difference, unlike Alice or Ava who make it all too obvious they are what they are.”

David let out a ‘hmm’ sound, before smiling slightly, “Well, Avanix doesn’t exactly try to hide it, and Alice tries so hard to trick people that she tends to make it all the more obvious.”

“In all honestly, Alice is like a little girl just like Sunny. Even if she has an older looking outside body, still a little one on the inside. Though she would be less cute that way, like a little puppy.” Sora turned around and waved for David to join him. “Let’s walk and talk. There must be questions you want to ask. I heard from Alice that you had an interest in A.I. tech.”


Operator 21O
Staff member
Part Two

David followed behind him as he walked, “I do… but… for a reason that I recently learned was selfish...”

Sora raised an eyebrow at the man and just shook his head. “Whatever, not my problem. But if you still want to know, I can tell you. You are a sciencey man so you should have an interest regardless.”

“I am still interested, I’d love to hear it.” David responded.

“Ask then, I won’t just rattle off my life story, that gets repetitive and boring.”

“So, The Exalt sisters created you?” David asked.

Sora shook his head. “No. They had Avanix so what would be the point? I was created by Viktor. I am sure you have heard of the head prick himself?”

David seemed slightly surprised by that, “Really? I have a hard time believing that Viktor would have the patience to deal with your wit.”

“Oh he didn’t. In fact he tried to kill me along with everyone else. Though he needed me after he thought he had killed Avanix.”

“So he tried to kill you but then realized he still needed you? I don’t think I need to point out the contradiction there.” David replied, wondering how a person as stupid as Viktor could ever do so much damage.

“No, no...I might have confused you there. Before I was created, Viktor had thought he offed Ava and effectively ended Lusett’s legacy. But in order to sift through all of her encrypted files, Viktor needed both a hacker and an information analyzer, so I was created. Little did I know that Ava was still alive and kicking in private. I later learned she was alive and helping Elene and co. try and get out. I helped where I could but ultimately, when he tried to kill the sisters and the newly uncovered Avanix, he tried to kill all of us. Fortunately, I connect to the internal server network of one of the lab computers and bode my time until XCOM came and took us away. I have been here ever since.”

“Hmm…” David responded, “You’ve been through quite the ordeal then. I suppose you’ll be happier than anyone once this war is over.”

“Mine is nothing compared to the girls but…” Sora put his hands in his pocket. “I...actually sort of enjoy this. I am actual able to challenge myself with my hacking skills and I can sort through an amazing amount of information relatively quickly but it tends to get boring after a while. When someone needs something special, they come to me. I have technically stolen lord knows how much from multiple companies and businesses around the world but I get a certain...satisfaction from it.”

“You ever steal anything from me?” David asked calmly, wondering what kind of answer he get.

Sora smirk rebelliously. “Are you issuing me a challenge?”

“No. Simply asking.” David answered, “Although, I made sure all my systems were nearly impossible to remotely hack, even my elevators.”

“Hm…” Sora chuckled. “Yep...that was definitely a challenge.”

“I’ll have to make some upgrades then.” David chuckled with him.

“I do have an odd question for you Cross, but do be sure to answer it honestly. What is your definition of love?”

David stopped to consider his answer, “Love is… When you care about someone as more than just a friend… When you want nothing but to see someone happy… When you know that someone has your back and that you have theirs, even without either of you needing saying it... That is my opinion at least…”

Sora smirked. “Then would it surprise you for me to say that me and Avanix have been dating for a little while now?”

“Not particularly,” David spoke, “A.I.’s are meant to be human, and love is one of the most important parts of our nature.”

“Hm...you took that pretty well. I swear when I told Vee about what was going on, I had to avoid machine gun fire for a week before she fully accepted the idea. Though at the time I was still just a hologram...yeah, Vee was never really the brightest but at least she is fun to be around. I can’t be the annoying asshole all the time after all.”

“Let me guess, you don’t want me telling her you said that either?” David replied, smirking slightly.

“Oh tell her all you want. I already let Vee know how annoying she is, though I am usually wise enough not to use my body when saying it.” The A.I. chuckled and added, “Having a hologram has it’s perks.”

“So, I don’t suppose you need sleep exactly.” The scientist stated.

“No, but I can go into hibernation if I so desire.” He informed him. “I don’t actually gain anything from it, it just passes the time. Neither do I need food, water, or an oil change. Only thing is maintenance here and there but I could probably learn to do it myself with time. I am basically immortal. Unless I get a virus, in which case I hope I don’t blue screen, that would be bad.” He added as a joke.

“Do you… feel remorse at the fact that you will never be able to have a child with Avanix?” David asked Sora, trying to word it the right way.

Sora stopped in his tracks, sighing to himself and turning to David. “Look...I do love Ava but do I really look like a father figure to you? I mean...it never really popped into my head before.”

“You may not look like one now, god knows I certainly didn’t when I adopted Ammy, but I think you can become a great one.” David replied, “Think about it this way, you couldn’t possibly be a worse father figure than Viktor was.”

“That is true...though...I have no idea if that would even work. Raising an organic child would be weird for both the child and us when it grows up and an artificial one...well...you know, not really the same. It is possible though...just not very likely.”

“Well Sora, thanks for humoring my question.” David said, stopping by the elevator, “But It’s been a long day working to repair the mechs with Dr. Randolph, and I do need to get some sleep.”

“Heh...wimp.” Sora stated, slapping David on the shoulder. “See you around Cross.”

“You too, Sora.” David replied as he stepped into the elevator, “And good luck with Avanix, she’s a wonderful woman.”

The doors closed and the elevator moved up floor after floor. While he was alone, David considered his own words for a second. Love is… When you care about someone as more than just a friend… When you want nothing but to see someone happy… When you know that someone has your back and that you have theirs, even without either of you needing saying it… “Hmm…” He mumbled to himself, thinking of a woman he knew that fit that description to a tee.

Sora nodded as the doors began to close and he walked down the hall, a little tune stuck in his head. Sora sung the words in a low tone, though he kept in tune with the song as he walked to his destination.

I'm in love with an angel
Heaven forbid
Made me a believer
With the touch of her skin
I'd go to hell and back with you
Stay lost in what we found
Worlds apart we were the same
Until we hit the ground

Maybe I'm crazy
Maybe I'm weak
Maybe I'm blinded by
What I see
You wanted a soldier
But it wasn't me
Cuz I could never set you free
So fly on your own
It's time I let to you go

As he reached the door of the room he was walking to, he put his hand against it. “You know what...fuck that. I love her, and nothing will change that. Besides, I fear she is the only woman who can stand me.” Maybe I told him. Could it...really be possible? He chuckled to himself and walked into the room, a small smile on his face. “Hey Ava...mind if we talk for a bit…”


Well-Known Member
XCOM Headquarters, Somewhere in Siberia
Video Call Center
1121 Local Time

"So, anyways, that's the point where I realized that this chucklenut wasn't going to back down, and I didn't want to go back to the medbay so soon, so I just patted him on the shoulder, said my goodbyes, and left him there all blustering and ready to fight while I skipped off to go do something productive," Albert said, chuckling slightly as he finished his story.

Jane shook her head disdainfully, a small smile on her face showing she wasn't entirely disappointed with her husband. "Really Al, you've got to stop riling people up like that," she replied.

"Hey, least I'm not getting in fights," Albert countered. " Anyways, that's my bit of news, what's going on over on the outside?"

Jane scratched her neck uncertainly, and replied, "Well, to be honest, not all that much has happened recently. Only real thing of note is that for the past few weeks I've had the strangest feeling that I should be doing... something. I can't put my finger on what it is, just that I should do something."

"Maybe it's just politics calling you again ," Albert offered, "After all, you didn't get that law degree just to sit in an office all day. And hey, with an Alien War vet on your side, that may help get you some support in that regard."

"Speaking of the war, you're sure that it'll be over soon?" Jane asked.

"Aye, with luck I'll be home before the New Year, maybe even Christmas." Albert smiled broadly and added, "And with my retirement come the end of the war, we may finally have the time to start a family, even if it's a bit later than usual."

Jane chuckled. "First you say I should get back into politics, now you're saying you want a family? I thought I was the ambitious one."

“Hey, a man’s gotta have dreams for after the war,” Albert replied. “I mean, for the first time in well-over a decade, I’m gonna be home pretty much full-time. Gonna need something to keep me busy, else I might run off and go do something stupid like get a normal job.” This brought a full-fledged laugh from Jane, and the two shared a brief bout of laughter.

“Well, I look forward to seeing you face-to-face again Al,” Jane said as their laughter died off. “Who knows, might end up sowing your seed in more than just the garden,” she added, a flirtatious smirk on her face.

“Hey, you know winter’s not the best time for growing plants,” he remarked, the look on his face making it evident that he caught the innuendo, he was just choosing to ignore it.

“Then all the more time for the other kind.” Jane’s face relaxed, and she continued, “Seriously, love ya Al. Can’t wait for you to come home.”

“Love ya too, Jane,” Albert replied. “Future’s gonna be damn bright once this war ends, and I look forward to spending it with you.”

The woman blushed slightly, and added, “I take it that that’s a promise?”

“Aye, and a Foulke always keeps his word.” Albert paused, remembering his battle against Avaritia. “Well, at least among humans,” he added awkwardly.

“I have a feeling there’s a story about it, but it’s classified,” she said.

“Yeah, I’ll tell you once I get home. Anyways, ‘bout time for me to head off, hitting lunch time, and I’m sure you’ve got to head out to work soon,” the Amero-Anglican said.

“Right, of course. I’ll see you soon, Al,” Jane replied.

“See you soon, Jane,” Albert said, giving a smirk before hitting the end call button. With a sigh, he stepped out of the booth. “Here’s to the future,” he said, looking up at the ceiling. “Richie, I hope you’re happy with this. Just wish you coulda been here to see it.” With that, Albert stuck his hands in his pockets and made his way out of the call center, a faint smile traced on his face.


Well-Known Member
XCOM Headquarters, Somewhere in Siberia
1200 Hours, December 14th, 2018
X-Com Med-Bay, Room of Fabian Parker.

Sarah sat over her injured friend, running her hand through his hair gently. The doctors said that they would be able to make him a prosthetic arm at the very least, but she was simply happy he was alive. The pink-haired man's eyes slowly open, locking eyes with the girl above him as he smiled.

"Sarah..." He spoke softly, "Are you... Alright...?"

Sarah planted a kiss on his lips, "You idiot... Why are you asking me that question when you're missing your arm?"

He let out a faint chuckle, "Cause... I love you... That's why..."

"It's okay... I love you too..." Sarah replied.

"So... Who saved us... Was it... Who I thought it would be?"

She smiled, "Who did you think it would be?"

"A squad... of swimsuit models... in power armor..." Fab answered.

"Not exactly right... But I think the truth seemed even less likely." Sarah spoke, "My sisters came to save us..."

"Your sisters?" Fab said softly, "Didn't you say... You never thought you'd ever see them again?"

"I did... I could hardly believe it myself..." She responded, "When you get out of here... We're going to go to the spa together, just you and me..."

His eyes started to fade, "I'd... Love that..."

Sarah's look grew slightly concerned, "F-Fab?"

A female voice spoke from behind her, "It's okay, he just fell asleep I think..."

Sarah turned around to see two of her sisters standing in the doorway, "Mary... Ammelia..."

"'Ey 'irl, 'ish we 'ould've 'een reuni'ed 'uring 'etter 'ircum'ances." (Hey girl, wish we could've been reunited during better circumstances.)

"Me too..." Sarah said turning back to her friend, "I'm just glad he's okay..."

Ammy was silent for a moment, obviously understanding the connection they had from what she just witnessed, "Are you two going to stay here after he's healed?"

Sarah took a second to think, "I... I don't know darling... All this fighting and aliens might be too much for us... Besides, I have a business back home..."

"Really?" Ammy asked, "What do you do?"

"I'm a designer. I sew, make my own clothes and promote them while Fab handles the guests and helps me with the taxes. We've been very popular..." Ammy's sister answered.

"'Aybe eh' 'ittle te' popular."
(Maybe a little too popular...) Mary added, thinking about how the Ethereal might've captured her.

"I suppose my success only made me easier for her to find..." Sarah considered, "But she's dead now... And that's in the past..."

Mary nodded in agreement, while Ammy took a step up, "You could always come to Cross Tech with me... We could set up your shop there."

Sarah sighed, "I'm... Sorry Ammy... But Sweden's my home... I put my heart and soul into that building and my business... I hope you understand why I can't simply walk away from that..."

Ammelia was silent for a second, "I understand..."

Sarah smiled at them both, "Thank you..."

"'Ell, we 'an al'ays 'ead te' th' bar an' catch up 'ile ye' 'ait 'or 'im te' get 'etter 'ight?"
(Well, we can always head to the bar and catch up while you wait for him to get better right?) Mary suggested, smiling.

Sarah nodded as Ammy offered her sister her hand. She took it as Ammelia pulled her up, "That sounds good... I hope they have wine here."

"I'm sure they do." Ammy reassured.

"Then let's go..." Sarah spoke, her smile brightening, "We really do have a lot of catching up to do... Don't we?"


Game Master
Staff member
Ethereal Temple Ship
Meeting Room of the Honored Council of Elders
Hyperspace, 12 Perans from Earth

When we arrive on Earth, how shall we go about colonizing amongst the local species?

Have we been able to bring the Earthlings into the Path?

Based on our last reports, they were still resisting. They may not be... very receptive.

Should we find another planet?

Who can say how long it would take to find another one as habitable as this one? Perhaps if we were to... to negotiate...

Perhaps if we were to subjugate or exterminate. All heads turned to Phobos, standing at the front of the room, his expression under his mask one of irritation and anger. We will finish this conflict, forcibly. Whether the humans come to work under us, or must be eliminated... well, that is really up to them, isn't it?

This is...One of the elders rose from his seat.The... the Path dictates...

The nature of the Path is that we are subject to its whims,
Phobos interrupted. As such, we will act how we wish, and if we must kill every single being on that planet, it is the will of the Path.

You can not... Another elder spoke up. You... you are manipulating the teachings of the Path for your own desires! What you are proposing is not the will of the Path, Thantos! It is...

Genocide?! Phobos extended his hand, telekineticly lifting the elder in the air by his neck. Like you had us do to the Dagons?!

All the elders rose and floated back, their psionics no match for Phobos' in their advanced years. The choking elder exclaimed, They... they were a threat to... e-everything the Path...

WRONG! Phobos snapped the elder's neck, and tossed his limp body to the side. That is the excuse I had you feed to our people. It did not take much convincing on my part for you to believe them a threat to YOU! If the Path is to be believed, it can never be stopped, even if all of us were to perish. But YOU... feared the people we could not control! For over fifty cycles, I have carried out the wishes of the Council of Elders. I am the one making the choices you are all too weak and pathetic to make! Do you have... ANY IDEA... how many I have slaughtered for the Path? The pains I have endured, the decisions I have had to make to keep the Path alive?!

One of the Elders slowly, reluctantly, stepped forward. The... th-the Dagons... were an... unfortunate loss. But... but the Path is supposed to be a journey of... enlightenment...

Phobos chuckled, then laughed, then looked as though he would break down in maniacal bliss. You think the Dagons are the only... Do you really expect me to believe that you think the Balmadaar, or the Old Ones... do you have any idea how may I have destroyed or subjugated while you sit around, content in the knowledge that I am the one doing it, and you are all somehow free of guilt? Your job... is to keep our people blissfully unaware of the real nature of our crusade. You close your minds to what you know is true; that you know exactly what I do, and should you be found out... you can all just point a finger at me. Phobos lifted his four arms. From the back of his power armor, two more cybernetic arms lifted up. Six red spheres of energy forming in them, he calmly said, You... are a Council of liars. And I can do your job myself...


Phobos casually stepped into the bridge, leaning over the workstation of a Sectoid Commander. It is done. I want that room cleaned of that filth within the dara.

Yes, Exalted Commander Thantos. What... what shall we tell...

Inform the civilains that they will all need to be scanned. It seems the disease that decimated our people made its way on board, and claimed the lives of our beloved Council of Elders. I will be taking full command of our governemt for now... and my first concern is their safety.

Yes, Exalted One. That will surely win them all over.

Indeed. Phobos floated over to another workstation, placing an hand of the young Ethereal's shoulder working there. Report.

Y-yes, Exalted Commander. We shall arrive in the Sol System in twenty kintos. Advanced attack ships have been sent out, and will arrive on Earth soon.

Excellent. Phobos took a seat in the middle of the room. This resistance has been a thorn in our side for far too long. Send word to the Honored Overseer of Earth to prepare to clean up what ever we happen to miss. It is time to do now what should have been done when we first discovered their base.
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Well-Known Member
624 Hektor, Jovian L4 Lagrangian Point
System Command Center ADFX-01
0921 UTC, December 11, 2018

Desperatio, Jiokjiok, and G-36 stood around a holographic terminal located within the Honored Overseer's quarters. The terminal displayed a holographic projection of Earth, serenely rotating about its axis.

Honored subordinates, the Ethereal said, the time has come to finally strike off the head of the Resistance. The Esteemed One has contacted this one, alerting this one to the arrival of the main fleet. We have been ordered to clean up after the main assault fleet arrives. However, this one has a different proposal in mind for our forces.

"What is it you propose, Honored Overseer?" Jiokjiok asked.

We shall deploy the ARKB-1RD upon their headquarters, and purge the Resistance from this world like their allies attempted to do to us.

But Honored Overseer! G-36 exclaimed. Deploying your battleship in such a manner will cause lasting environmental damage to the area!

"Resistance's headquarters isolated, in already inhospitable area," Jiokjiok countered. "Minimal damage to any useful locations, few civilian casualties."

Indeed, that was this one's line of logic, Desperatio added. And it shall be a concrete display of power. They continue to exist because we allow it, but that privilege is being revoked.

Very well, the Sectoid Commander replied. What shall the plan of attack be?

The Honored Overseer tapped a few buttons on the terminal, and a bright green dot flashed into existence, in orbit around the equator of Earth. We shall make a jump into the orbit displayed here, the Honored Overseer explained, and use the atmosphere to make a course adjustment to approach the Resistance's headquarters and lower our velocity to sub-orbital. While we shall inevitably be discovered, the combination of surprise, minimal power usage, and the hyperwave cloak will likely give us enough time to achieve a position above the target.

"And what if we are discovered before we can eliminate the target?" Jiokjiok asked.

We shall deploy the fighter squadrons to cover us until we can deploy the Last Word and escape their fighter's flight ceiling. And, failing that, we shall carry an assault and engineering formation aboard the vessel, in case we are shot down and boarded.

Honored Overseer, if I may, G-36 said, I recommend that your personal scout craft be loaded aboard the ARKB-1RD, and that your infiltration units be recalled to the vessel.

Reasoning, G-36? Desperatio asked.

As is common with the New Ones, they may manage to defy the odds and eliminate all of our forces. I make this suggestion for the purpose of, if they do, you making a retreat, using your infiltrators as cover to do so. Honored Overseer, you are too valuable to this war to lose your life before the Esteemed One and the Temple Ship arrives.

Desperatio was silent for a moment, mulling over the suggestion. Very well, they said, we shall hold our orbit for eight hours in order to retrieve the first of this one's creations, and CFA-44 shall be loaded aboard the battleship. Jiokjiok, begin assembling the forces, we make for the final blow of this war as soon as possible.

"As you wish, Honored Overseer," the Balmadaar replied, bowing deeply before making his way out the room. G-36 also took this as his cue to leave, bowing as well and following Jiokjiok.

After their subordinates exited the room, Desperatio gave a mental sigh, powering off the terminal. Soon, I shall be one step closer to removing the taint of this bloodline, they thought. For my time has not yet come, and shall not for much longer. The atonement is not yet finished.


Game Master
Staff member
Frostlich1228 & ZombieSplitter53
"The Smallest of Chances"

X-COM Headquarters
Primary Rec Room, The Bar
Dec 12th, 1500 Hour

As Morrigan took her seat and the Bartender walked over, she smiled at David and asked, “So, what’s you drink?”

He smiled, “Coffee, but since this is a bar, I’ll let you decide.”

Morrigan shrugged, and ordered two gin and cokes. With a sigh, she said, “So… everyone seems to be celebrating. I’m not sure if it is wise, but I can’t help but want to join in.”

“You deserve to have a little time to relax.” David responded, “I think we both do after all this mess…”

“Aye…” Morrigan took her drink and had a greedy gulp, after a moment, she asked, “So, have you had a chance to meet Mary? Or Ammelia’s other sister, Sarah?”

“Not quite yet, I heard the rescued her from that alien ship…” David lowered his head, hoping the grisly things he heard weren’t true, “And Ammelia has told me that Mary can be… Forward was the word she chose I believe.”

“Well, I doubt she’d hit on… I-I’m… pretty sure she wouldn’t hit on her sister’s adoptive father.” Morrigan swirled her drink a bit, mumbling, “Though I didn’t expect her to hit on me…”

“And what did you say?” He asked as he sipped his drink.

Morrigan scoffed, the she had a smile on her face. “I respectfully declined. A Commander needs to maintain her dignity, and sleeping with a subordinate wouldn’t help with that. And besides, I don’t swing that way.”

“You know Morrigan… After all this is done, I think we should just go for a long walk somewhere, but with the amount of work we’re both going to be neck deep in after all this, somehow I doubt that’ll be possible.” David said, smiling at her.

Morrigan shrugged. “Well… I don’t know about you, but I could use at least a week or two off when this war is over. And a nice, peaceful, alien-free walk through Central Park sounds pretty good right about now.”

“I’d be happy to take you up on that.” He agreed, “See if I could buy out the whole park for an afternoon, don’t need people bothering you about which city needs to be saved when.”

Morrigan chuckled. “That’s really sweet of you, David. But hopefully, by then, they won’t need me as much.” She sighed, and looked down for a moment. “David, I… about… the two of us…”

David put his glass down and looked back at her, “What’s wrong?”

“I… I’m seeing Chief for now, you know. Nothing serious, though we… we do enjoy each other’s company.”

David’s heart sank a little, but he managed to put a smile back on his face, “I’m… I’m happy for you… I imagine he’s a great guy…”

“He is. He makes me happy. But that… that doesn’t mean I don’t realize that… that there is something between us, David.”

“So… Were my feelings this obvious all along? “ He answered, letting out another slight chuckle.

“A bit.” Morrigan finished her drink, and reached over, and squeezed David’s hand. “The… the different world’s we come from… it would make it hard for us, and I am going to give Chief a chance. I… do like him. But I’m not going to forget about you.” She shook her head. “Damn it. It… sounds like I’m trying to play you, doesn’t it?”

“I want you and Brigid to be happy, Morrigan.” David added, “Don’t take this as me trying to convince you to be with me and not him… But after this war is over, most of the people that watch her for you will move away and you’ll be flooded with more work than ever… You need someone who can help you take care of her, especially as she learns to use her powers, someone who loves her just as much as you do… If this Chief can do that, then I hope you two are happy together… But if he’s not… I don’t want you to end up in a position where you can’t be there for her while she grows up.”

Morrigan squeezed his hand a little tighter. “I know. And Brigid takes precedence over everything. But Chief should be given a chance. There… there is a chance he won’t be good for her, and there is a really good chance he will leave when this is all over. But I… I care about him. But if he doesn’t work out, I want you to know I haven’t forgotten about you.”

“You know… When both Ammy and Dorian left the the tower… It was the first time I realized how hard it was to be alone… I barely got any work done that whole time… I put my work in the way of me finding someone I care about… Now I realize how stupid that was… I need someone to comfort me just like everyone else…” David sighed, “I know we may not have always gotten along, I know that I’ve not always been entirely honest with you, but believe me when I say I do care about you and Brig. I want you both to be happy… If Chief does that… Then I want him to be with you.”

Morrigan smiled gently. She wrapped her arms around David, and said, “Thank you, David. I know it’s hard. But you are a good man, and a good friend. With you heart, you can find someone, no problem. And you will, I know it.”

He smiled slightly, “Why would I go looking for someone else when I still have a chance to be with you?”

Morrigan laughed. “Well… don’t count Chief out, but you’ll always be in my heart, and I’m sure you’ll be there for me, no matter what.” She let David go, and waved down the bartender. “I feel like celebrating after all. Think it’s time we had something stronger. Bartender, a shot glasses and a bottle of our finest whiskey!”

“Make that two!” He spoke as well, “I guess I’m just a stubborn man, Morrigan, but I don’t like giving up when there’s even a small chance of success.”


Game Master
Staff member
ZombieSplitter53 (Featuring DarkGemini24601)

X-COM Headquarters, Somewhere one New York City
Outside the Ruins of Cross Tech HQ
December 25th, 2038, 1200 Hours
Twenty Years after the Destruction of the Siberian Base

Plasma fire rang through the streets, Declensions darting into buildings as two humans ran by. Both wore fairly raggedy clothing over light armor. The young man wore a tattered ushanka, while the young woman's long brown hair trailed behind her, the tips a glossy green, as if dipped in paint.

"Just keep running, Sasha!" The man yelled, firing back with his primitive laser pistol, and scoring a lucky hit on the Replitan. One down, more than half a dozen to go, not to mention the two Balmadaar and the modified Broodkin.

"Mikhail, I-I... I can't!" Sasha cried out, fall behind a few steps.

"You have to! Come on, this run is..." Mikhail's eyes widened in terror, so caught up in the chase he hadn't noticed Sasha tightly gripping her side blood seeping through. He gritted his teeth, and grabbed her hand. "Come on, I have an idea!"

He pulled her to the right suddenly, ducking into an alley. The duck and dodged, darting through different alley passages. After a minute they skidded to a stop, and Mikhail help Sasha lean against the wall. She gave her brother a look of despair. "We can't... lead them back there... It'll... destroy everything... we've worked for..."

"They won't live that long." Mikhail produced a long, nearly invisible string, and pulled off his grenade belt. "Before that Balmadaar... got him... Mr. Foulke taught me this." He strung the string through the pins, and laid them near the end. Doing some quick math in his head, accounting for the different speeds of the aliens, he chose a spot near the other end, and careful ran it across the alley, a few inches above the ground. Running back to his sister, he waited for the aliens to slowly enter the alley. He ran towards them, pretending to backpedal and run back.

As he ducked around the corner and took cover by Sasha, the broodkin yanked the string without even noticing. As the aliens reached the end, the grenades detonated. Mikhail and Sasha looked down the alley, and exchanged a smile.

Rushing to the back entrance of the Cross Tech building, Sasha slowed to a stop outside the large cargo doors. "What are you doing?" Mikhail asked. "We need to get you..."

"I... I don't know if we should do this." Sasha looked to the floor. "I... even the Declensions have a taboo..."

"What other choice do you have?" Mikhail waved his arms. "What kind of life... kind of existence is this?"

"But... but this could back fire in so many ways," Sasha insisted. "What would Desmond say if..."

"Field Commander Walker is dead!" Mikhail snapped. "He... he and the Commander kept this resistance alive since the Declensions decided our planet was theirs. He was a great man, and those monsters murdered him and hung his body in the middle of Rome like trash! I was there, I... I saw Colonel Aegerter run out there, desperate to give her friend a proper... they gunned her down like..." He dropped to his knees, tears welling up as he punched the ground. "Everyone we know and care about is dying! Those two... Hitomi and Rei... Mary... m... m-mom..." He sobbed. "I... I can't anymore, I... want it to be over..."

Sasha slowly approached him, dropping down and wrapping her arms around him. "I'm sorry, you're right." She gently pulled off his ushanka, running her fingers at the prevalent scars across his bald head, signs of an hastily done procedure. "You've gone through so much so we can do this. And we lost Fay to find where these implants were, and Emily and Acra’siathi getting Dr. Randolf and the Exalts' bodies. So many friends, giving their lives in the hopes that this will work." She placed the hat back on her brothers head, and wiped his tears away. "And if we succeed, it'll be like this never happened."

Mikhail smiled and nodded slowly. The two stood up, turning to the cargo door, and found themselves face to face with a Declension, a Elite Balmadaar in red armor next to it, and behind them came the footsteps of two Balmadaars and a Replitan that must not have been with the others when the trap was tripped. As the twins watched the three aliens approach, the Declension placed a hand on each of the human's heads, and they collapsed to the ground.

The three bowed before the Declension, the Reptilian glancing at the mask before saying, "Honored... Aren'cantal. I... we did not expect to see..."

Must I do EVERYTHING for you... miserable... The Declension looked down at the twins. Take these miserable humans and put them in a work camp. Make them repair some of the damage they and their kind...

"E-excuse me, Honored One, but..." The Replitan gave the Declension a curious look. "We... we have orders to kill them on sight."

The Declension folded her arms. Oh? Would your defy an Ethereal One standing before you? Who gave you such an order?

"Y... y-you did, Honored... One..." The Replitan's eyes widened. It lifted its weapon towards the Declension, but one of the Balmadaar reached out and grabbed his arm. "What are you..." It started, before the other Balmadaar snapped his neck.

"Honestly, Aergian." A woman with long, blond hair, approached, violet tendrils of energy extending from her hands to the aliens. "Twenty years. Twenty years, and you can't..."

Th-that... wasn't my fault! Aergian'hynopheus quickly removed the mask, handing it to Ogedei as his armor shifted from red to pearl white. My acting was just fine, how was I supposed to know...

"Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah," the woman responded, a slight Irish accent present in her tone. She retract her energy as Sasha and Mikhail stood up, and the siblings put the Balmadaar down before they could recover. "And you two! Have your family bonding time inside, out of view of the enemy." She looked annoyed, but a slight smile crossed her face.

The twins bowed their heads. "Yes, Colonel O'Brien, we're sorry," they said together.

Did you get it? Aergian asked as they headed inside.

Sasha reached into her backpack, pulling out a sizable harddrive. "Yup! Bet they never expected us to sneak back into the base after they found it and... wreck the place..."

"Probably because it was insane," Mikhail muttered. "Nearly lost our heads getting Alice back..."

Well, we need her. She is the only one who can sync so many processors together, just as your are currently the only one who can stabilize the system with your implants, and your sister is the only one with the orange psionics we need.
The group descended into the depths of the old Cross building. Reaching the massive server room below, Aergian said, Come, the Commander is waiting for you. She will be eager to know you are safe.

"Well... relatively safe," Sasha mumbled, still holding her side.
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Well-Known Member
“Vindicta, how’s it coming?” Atka asked of the beige-haired clone, who was looking over a few of the dated computer screens, a few of many. The clone didn’t answer for a moment, and Atka asked again, more impatiently this time.

Vindicta, I believe the Commander wishes to speak with you, Avanix echoed in the last Exalt’s head, no longer possessing a corporeal body.

The heiress looked up from one of the computers after tapping its foggy screen curiously. “You wished to check my progress?”

She did hear me after all… vindictive as always. “I would like to know, if you feel fit to share…”

Vindicta held her hands together. “I’ve set up the implants from my four deceased predecessors, as well as those from Dr. Randolf. I think all we need now is those two children.

“She could… stand to say that first bit about her family with a bit more hesitance,” Nouja mumbled.

Buniq shrugged, glancing at the door every now and again. “That’s just how she is,” the chryssalid hybrid replied quietly.

“Well, let’s hope they get here soon. I sent Acedia and Ogedei out there, just to make sure those two arrive safely.” Atka sighed, spinning a spiral of ice in her hand idly. “This probably is our last chance.”

A few minutes later, the heavy doors leading into the room activated. The auto-defense systems activated, scanning the doorway as the turrets pointed at the new arrivals. Scanning Aergian’s specific psionic signature, they powered down, and the tall alien shuddered. I do wish the scan outside of the door was enough, Commander. I fear the machines are not able to distinguish me from the rest as well as you can…

Atka nodded. “I understand that, but after what happened to HQ… damn that new Overseer of Australia. Faking a psionic signature of an ally’s just about as bad as what Invidia could do.” Composing herself, Atka inquired further, “How’s… it look out there, Aergian?”

Aergian shrugged, her gestures now completely human after all this time. Not good, I’m afraid. Patrols have stepped up. And there are Declensions everywhere. I’m afraid… for all intents and purposes, the world is theirs now. Not that I plan on joining them…

“I wouldn’t doubt you in that, after coming this far.” Atka shook her head. “Though if this doesn’t work… I don’t know why fate permitted me to outlive nearly everyone I care about.”

“This has to work…” Nouja added weakly. “If it doesn’t…”

Atka nodded slightly. “That’ll be the end of the line for us. Though I plan on selling my life dearly if that’s the case.” A ghostly copy of Atka, wearing clothes more suited to her ‘Xifeng’ personality, stood behind her with telekinetic helixes wrapped around her crossed arms, accenting the point. “Who knows? If I kill enough of them, maybe I can drag Phobos into a confrontation.”

“Would be nice to stick it to the guy that ruined everything, huh?” The blond woman walked in. Rushing over to Atka, she wrapped her arms around her. “Sorry I was gone so long, mom. Had to lay low for a while.”

Atka held her tightly, the psionic manifestation behind her fading for now. “I’m just glad you’re safe,” she responded quietly, almost as if afraid the words would prove her wrong.

“Brigid saved our bacon out there,” Mikhail said as he walked in.

I helped… Aergian folded her arms, pouting.

Sasha stepped in a little slower, grasping her side tightly. “N… Nouja… can you, um…”

Nouja’s eyes widened, and she ran over, placing her hands against the wound. A soft blue glow surrounded her hands, and it slowly knitted itself together. “Sorry I’m not so good with surface area…” Not as good as she was.

Sasha shook her head as relief filled her. “You do just great. Chandra would be proud.” She grinned at her brother. “And you were worried.”

Mikhail rolled his eyes. “Excuse me for caring.”

Brigid chuckled, and walked over to Vindicta, placing the harddrive next to her. “They got it. The last piece of the puzzle.”

A rare smile touched Vindicta’s face. “Perfect. Then we are ready to begin. We should waste no time.”

Atka glanced around at the gathered occupants of the room. “If no one has any objections…”

“This is our last chance. I have none to taking this course,” Buniq offered.

The rest of the room nodded, and Vindicta uploaded the hard drive’s contents. Alice’s sprite appeared on the screen, and seemed to look around. A big smile on her face, she knew exactly where she was, and what her job was.

Aergian floated up to the makeshift psionic nexus device as Sasha took her place in the center of the room. Sasha gave her a sad look, asking, “This… is going to take a lot of energy. I know you have a lot, but…”

Aergian shook her head. It… it was an honor to work with you.

Mikhail removed his father’s hat, placing it gently to the side as Vindicta plugged him directly into the system. “Ouch! Not so damn fast, those are connecting directly to my brain! You wouldn’t be so rough if it was your sisters…”

“Technically, it is them. Though ultimately it is irrelevant. They will live again, as will you… albeit…” Vindicta’s voice caught uncharacteristically. “With a better future, one could hope. I only regret that I will likely never be born to experience it.”

“I’m sure you existed somewhere in the world,” Brigid assured her. “If they win the war, who knows.”

Mikail nodded. He turned to Buniq, and said, “Now, you’re the most distinctive of us, so you’re the one she’ll recognize the most. So you need to deliver the message.”

The chryssalid hybrid nodded resolutely. “It’s a good thing I can speak a lot more clearly than I did in those days. I’ll tell her what she needs to know, I promise you that.”

We are ready Commander. It has been an honor working with you all, but… I am afraid I do not care for how things turned out.

“Nor do I. I’ll see you on the other side, I suppose,” Atka responded calmly. “Hope we can end up becoming friends again.”

As do I. Aergian closed her eyes and activated the device. Copious amounts of psionic energy flowed from her to the device, then to Sasha. After a few moments, she started to falter. N… n-now!

Sasha nodded, and brought her hands together. Blood trickled out of her nose and ears, pores pooping and a ringing deafening her as the surge of power threatened to overwhelm her too soon. As a rift, much, much bigger, more powerful, and more stable than she had ever formed materialized before her.

The whole room shook, and plasma shots could be heard slamming into the door. “No, we’re so close!” Mikhail yelled. He closed his eyes, the combined processing powers of the implants and Cross’s computers, directed by Alice, formed a psionic bubble that turned the rift into a gateway. “Buniq, go! Before they break in and destroy everything!”

Buniq took a deep breath, and didn’t look back, jumping through the gateway, the hole in time. Atka, likewise, didn’t turn to look, putting her trust in the hybrid as her psionic double formed behind her. A slow smile crept across Atka’s face, one of a hunter who was backed into a corner with nothing left to lose. “We just need to buy her thirty seconds, right?” Pulling out a knife, the final Commander of XCOM slashed the edge across her forehead, drawing blood that streamed down her face. Her eyes ignited with psionic power as it streamed back into ‘Xifeng’, giving the projection a portion of her power.

The doors blasted open, and Atka’s smiled only widened as a mass of elite troops and Ethereals marched in, intent on stopping this blasphemy. “That’s plenty of time for me to kill every last one one you!”
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Game Master
Staff member
“Ouch!” Jessica held her stomach tightly. “Don’t you both kick at the same time. Don’t make me ground you both before…” Jessica looked around, feeling what felt like a breeze in her small room. She let out a scream as the very space in front of her seemed to tear. She jumped back, pushing against the wall as the tear grew in size, and a form seemed to appear within. “What the hell is happening!”

Buniq pulled herself out of the rip, nearly collapsing to her knees as she felt the immense drain upon her power from being here. Her regenesis factor hid the fact that she was burning from the inside out well, though, and the hybrid pulled herself to her feet. “Jessica, I know you’re confused, but I need you to listen to me!” Buniq pleaded. On the clone’s arm was a timer that was ticking down, already at 00:26:04.

“B-Buniq?!” Jessica cautiously approached her. “What is this? Why do you look…”

“In just over an hour the base will be attacked by an advance fleet from the Temple Ship,” Buniq breathed. “You cannot hope to fight them, you must…” she stole a glance at the timer. 00:20:31. “You must flee in the battleship. Evacuate as quickly as you can! Seek out Desperatio’s flagship, it may be your only hope of standing against the God of Fear!” 00:12:57. “Use the hyperwave beacon to check the coordinates 112-vector-34-charlie-32. Do not ignore this warning.” 00:04:22. “Tell Elene Vindicta wishes to live.”

“I-I… I won’t, Buniq, I promise, but…”

Buniq smiled with tired relief born of twenty years of pain. 00:00:02, the armband read. I’ll hold you to that. With that, her body practically disintegrated, consumed by what was like soft orange flames from within.

Jessica slumped to the ground, tears pouring down her cheeks. She sat for a few minutes, trying to recover from what she just saw, before jumping to her feet and rushing out the door.


Aergian’s body shriveled away, all the energy she needed to survive gone. Mikhail didn’t fare much better, slumping to the ground as the overload of power knocked the servers out one by one like dominos. Sasha slowly raised her head, diverting her eyes from the prone blond figure near her and held her hand out to help her Commander, only for a surge of energy to make her cry out in pain.

Despite the death and destruction around her, Atka forced herself to smile, hearing the gateway close of its own volition. A quiet laugh echoed through the chamber, making the Balmadaar Elite battalion pause. The female’s shield was practically gone anyway, as was Xifeng. The laugh rose in intensity, before finally stopping, the Commander of XCOM looking up with mirth in her eyes. “You’ve lost… no matter what timeline, humanity will always prevail over the likes of you!” She strode forward, despite her severe wounds.

One of the Declensions balked. S-Stay away, monster! Conjuring up a powerful, streamlined psi lance, the terrified alien’s companion defended him. The lance hit home, punching through the scout’s torso, slowing her but not quite stopping her. Lifting her hands, Atka sent pulsating telekinetic helixes out in a vicious arc, tearing the Balmadaar lines to shreds and taking a few Declensions with them. “That’s… for…” Atka fell to her knees. “Blowing up our home, you goddamn bastards.” Her smile not fading, the Inuit woman closed her eyes, and slipped into the oncoming blackness.

“N… no…” Sasha closed her eyes. The alien intruders, what few survived, walked towards her, the last living problem. Sasha desperately raised her hand, and a smile stretched across her tired face as she watched it disintegrate, fading into nothing. “We… we did it, Commander.” As the room around her blinked out of existence, she laughed. “Thank you, Atka. Thank you, Buniq. Th… Thank you, Mot…”
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Game Master
Staff member
Morrigan stood apprehensively in the Hyperwave Relay room, Aya by her side. Jessica stood by the door, still taken aback by what had happened. A tech quickly punched in the coordinates Jessica had given them, and a few minutes later, Morrigan could read the answer off his expression without her saying a thing.

With a nod to Aya, the central officer rushed to the PA system. "Code black! I repeat, code black! This is not a drill. Full evacuation sequence 4A. Security staff, escort civilians to the hangers! Dropship one through six will evacuate civilians and all civilian staff with level three or lower clearance to St. Petersburg, seven and eight will move the security staff and alien allies to... to Acedia's ship." Aya looked over at Morrigan. "The Ethereals, do we... do we leave... them?"

Morrigan sighed, and rushed out. As she made her way to the labs, individuals rushing in all directions, some frantic, most fairly calm, Aya's voice came over the PA system again. "While we wait for the ship to return, load the emergency supplies into the ATVs, and have them head to the ship. By the time the six dropships bound to St. Petersburg get back, the two heading between the spacecraft and here, with the ATVs, should have moved all the supplies we can afford to take. All soldiers, get to the armory and suit up. We will take extras if we can, but I want at least one piece of armor, one primary and secondary weapon, and two pieces of equipment for every soldier. Once all the dropships return, the rest of the staff will leave via them or the ARCs.

Morrigan burst into the alien containment facility, and rushed into Acedia's room. Commander! What is happening?

Morrigan quickly hit the series of keys to unlock the cell. "We're leaving. Behave, and you can come with."

I... o-of course, Commander. I would like to help in any way I can.


"You... you are releasing me?" Luxuria asked, slowly stepping out of her cell.

Morrigan shook her head. "I have no choice. You are free on limited terms. Behave, and... and we shall see."

Luxuria slowly nodded. "I understand. I shall assist in saving Emily and her allies."


Morrigan quickly slapped the wrist-mounted inhibitor on Sapentia's arm, the same Jan'Tiala wore until recently, and the same as the ones on Acedia and Luxuria. I... I do not understand. Would it not be easier...

"I'm not going to leave you to die like this. I can't." Morrigan gave the Ethereal a dead serious look. "But you will follow Acedia's lead, and if you step out of line once, even a little..."

Sapentia bowed his head. I understand. I would not risk my life to attempt escape with this going on anyway. My laʒier might not approve of me helping the enemy by livving, but she would approve of my death even less.


Morrigan stood before the hologlobe, almost tempted to go down with her ship. The idea of leaving her base to be destroyed, and the thought of trying to finish this war from the confines of a ship barely half the size of the base, with what would amount to a skeleton crew, terrified her, even if she would never admit it.

She ignored the sounds of footsteps behind her, and the knowledge that Aya was standing behind her. After a minute of silence, the Central Officer sighed, and placed a hand on Morrigan's shoulder. "Come on. We... need to go..."

Morrigan nodded, but didn't move. "Will... we be able to survive this?" She asked, her voice cracking a horse.

"I don't know," Aya answered honestly. "But we owe someone to at least try."

Morrigan slowly nodded again, and they finally walked out, heading through the quiet hallways to the hanger.


The scene outside the base was a brilliant display of light and sound. Flying completely unopposed, the Ethereal fighters charged into the the Earth's atmosphere and into Siberian airspace. Arriving at the appropriate location, the released their payload, one after another, confident in the knowledge that, even if they humans picked up their signature ahead of time, they likely couldn't have completely evacuated in time, and likely would have evacuated civilians first.

A dozen crafts dropped half a dozen surface piercing, bunker-busting, timed elerium and plasma bombs, overkill and then some, but the Exalted Overseer's orders were clear. One blast after another lit up the horizon, accompanied by the occasional generator explosion.

In the distance, barely out of range of the ever growing crater, a lone Ethereal battleship made a hasty retreat, its cloaking system changed to an non-uniform signal, the hope of the world cramped but safely aboard, and wondering what the near future holds.
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Well-Known Member

X-COM HQ, Siberia, Security Checkpoint Delta

People were running everywhere, collecting those last few precious personal possessions that they really should be leaving behind but none could bear to. Penny was not among them, walking purposefully through an oddly familiar section of the base on her way to escape. She didn’t know where anyone was – Ellie, Charles, even her father – but assumed they’d all be smart enough to find their own ways out.

“Penny!” came a shout, causing her to turn around and search for the source. Her father, weaving through the various civilian members of staff, called her name again, eventually giving up on trying to be polite and barging through. “You alright?” he asked when he finally reached her.

Penny glanced, somewhat nervously, at the exit. “Well, we haven’t been nuked yet, so…”

Isaac chuckled humorlessly. “Yeah. Yet. You leaving with the lower-clearance staff?”

“Why wouldn’t I?” She frowned. “Better question, why wouldn’t you?”

Isaac waved a hand dismissively. “You could come with me, if you wanted.”

Penny blinked. “With you? Where’s ‘with you’?” It was then she noticed he was wearing a suit of power armor. “Where the hell did you get that?”

Isaac shook his head. “Not important. I have clearance. Don’t question it. Come on.”


“The battleship, of course. Where else?”

Penny had the sinking feeling she’d missed something important. “When did you get above clearance three?”

“I said not to question it,” her father replied, frowning. “We don’t really have time to discuss this. Either you’re coming to the battleship and helping us finish this war, or you’re not.”

She shook her head. “Why? What would I have to offer?”

“What happens if we manage to board and take another ship, and it has weapons we’ve never seen before? You’re our best chance to understand them then.”

“And what’s the likelihood of that happening?”

“Not great. Come on.” With that, Isaac turned and began walking towards the line-up for transports to the battleship, leaving a confused Penny to muddle through her own thoughts.

“Wait,” she said, still hesitant. Isaac turned back, already preparing an argument, but she held up a hand, silencing him. “If I go with you…”

“Then I know if you’re safe or not,” Isaac finished. “Selfish, isn’t it?” He sighed. “I guess you’ll be fine in St. Petersburg. Not like Russia’s been strongly attacked by aliens before, is it?”

Penny’s eyes narrowed slightly. “Point taken,” she said darkly. “You really think it’s safer on the battleship?”

“Probably not. But at least there, I can help you if we get into trouble.”

“If we get into trouble, I don’t think there’ll be any ‘abandoning ship’. We don’t have that many parachutes.”

Isaac scratched his head. “I know this is a tough decision. But we need to make it fast. I’m going on that ship. I’d…” He hesitated. “… I’d like you to come with me.”

Penny moved her gaze over the lower-clearance line, watching people who could now likely be considered refugees shuffle through and out into the many vehicles awaiting them. “I don’t know if I can do that, dad,” she said finally, quietly.

She watched his face fall, and felt sympathy for the man for the first time in years. “Pen, please don’t do this to me,” he pleaded. It was odd, hearing him plead. “We just started mending things. Don’t break this off now. Not like this.”

Penny hesitated. That’s what she’d be doing here, wouldn’t it? If they parted here, neither of them would ever work up the courage to reconnect, assuming them both survived. There was too much hurt built up over the years. If she said goodbye here, she’d be saying it for life.

Could she do that?

“No,” she whispered, quietly enough that Isaac didn’t hear. “No, I couldn’t.” She cleared her throat. “I’d better be able to fire the fusion cannon at least once,” she said, a smirk finding its way onto her lips.

Isaac blinked, and started grinning. “That’s my girl,” he said, the two of them switching lines.


Well-Known Member
Acedia's Battleship
1300 Hours.

Ammelia slowly walked through the cramped ship, cradling the only thing in her room that she was able to reach in time, her custom D&D chess set that she had played all those games with Jessica on. Numerous soldiers walked back and forth through the halls, some being so cramped that she couldn't hope to fit though. Instead, she simply found a seat on the cold floor, taking the time to think. After a few moments, Mary walked up and sat beside her quietly, looking over a gift box in her hands.

Ammelia looked over Mary, then down at the box before slowly asking, "What's that?"

Mary smiled, "Oh, je' eh' 'ift from Vee fe' me and Ay'me. Eh' 'ow et's stupid but eh' 'idn't 'ave the 'eart to leave it behind." (Oh, just a gift from Vee for me and Ayame. I know it's stupid but I didn't have the heart to leave it behind.)

"It's not stupid Mary... I couldn't leave behind one of my chess sets... Wish I could've brought them all though..." The sniper replied with a hint of sadness.

"'Ey'll pay. E'll 'ake 'ure of 'et."
(They'll pay. We'll make sure of it.) Mary replied confidently.

"I... Wish I could've said goodbye to Sarah before she left... But at least she's safe now..." Ammelia said slowly.

"Meh te'..." (Me too...) Mary added, smiling when she looked into the box.

Ammelia tried to take a quick peek, but Mary closed it in time, "What's in there?"

Mary smirked, "Ye' 'eally 'ant te' see 'et?" (You really want to see it?)

Ammy replied with a shrug, "Why not?"

The gunner snickered to herself a little bit, trying to picture her reaction. Mary opened the gift box slowly, motioning for Ammy to peek inside.

As the Sniper peered inside, her sister's cheeks flushed a kind of shade of red Mary didn't even know they could as she broke out in laughter, glad to lighten up the mood of the somber, cold ship.


Well-Known Member
Judgement and Lovers - Atka Ipiktok

XCOM Warship “Jupiter”, Somewhere in the Upper Atmosphere
1830 Hours (Local Orbital Time), December 16th, 2018
Main Storage Bay (Commons and Rest Area)

Atka leaned against the side of the door, making sure to be far enough away from the sliding plates of metal that she would not be in anyone’s way. Before her were stacks of supply crates, racks of weapons, and rows of sleeping bags where the XCOM soldiers and security would sleep. The few other rest areas were reserved for the civilian staff to ease the burden on them, something Atka was comfortable with.

The Inuit woman spotted Modya reclining on one such mat, going over his trusty black ushanka. Beside him was his old makarov pistol, and a rack containing a plasma pistol, heavy rifle, blaster launcher, and titan armor. The glowing green weapons mixed with the orange and red thermal lights of the ship, creating an odd yellow-orange hue to the room. His coat was piled into a heap next to three pairs of boxing gloves: one black, one pink, and one red.

The Colonel spotted Tom in a corner, having his personal computer he managed to get out of the base in one piece, with a compressed copy of the XCOM records database. He was quietly speaking with his sister, assuring her that everything was fine, and that the ‘fire from the sky’ being reported practically everywhere wasn’t going to change anything.

“I sure hope it doesn’t,” Atka said quietly to herself, casting her gaze across the room once more before turning, the doors sliding open to allow her to exit. The scout’s footsteps clanked against the metal floor as she headed down to the sealed loading bay. There, the rest of the cargo had been stacked up in alien-made alloy crates for two purposes: storage and cover. There was also a figure standing in the particular clearing that she headed to.

Sapentia glanced up at Atka, currently sitting on a wide but flat box, probably deep in thought previously. Colonel? What brings you here? the Watcher inquired, refraining from sitting up lest he make the three Legion troopers suspicious, and potentially trigger-happy.

“I was curious about that ability of yours… the psionic manifestation you used for combat in Germany.” Atka raised an eyebrow. “I don’t suppose you can tell me how you did that?”

You will use it to fight and kill my kin, will you not? the Ethereal asked bluntly.

Atka nodded. “More than likely, yes. Though I will keep my promise about Carthigi. She shouldn’t need to die for this to end. No one should, honestly, except the Honored Overseer and your leader.”

You know of the Temple Ship, and yet you still want to challenge the Exalted One himself, if by some miracle you made in onboard? Sapentia thought, astounded. You would be marching to your death…

“How do you know that? Have you seen his power firsthand?” Atka countered.

I… no. I have never been granted an audience with him, but you can be certain a position like that, the highest there is in our military, is not won by a sharp mind alone. Sapentia shook his head. And you would still have to combat the Temple Ship.

“I’ve seen it,” Atka stated, equally blunt. “And him. I felt his power myself… but I’m not afraid of him.”

You have seen the mothership? And… the Exalted One?

“That’s just something about my ESP. When I sleep, it becomes a powerful clairvoyance, but uncontrollable… except in the rare event of a lucid dream. That’s how I stumbled upon your homeworld before it was attacked, and how I met Phobos… and he met me. I only survived through luck, but… he may be proud and articulate, true. He’s not infallible, though. Probably more given to anger than even Ira.”

Somehow, I doubt you would bother lying to me like this. Sapentia folded his four hands together. To tell you the truth… Atka? May I call you that?

Atka chuckled. “You may. No reason not to. Just like I’d prefer to call you ‘Sapentia’ than ‘The Watcher’.”

Very well. Atka… this is not a war I entirely support. I believe it was a grave error to engage your species in this manner. We have the capacity to wipe you all out, this much is true… but that is not what the Path was meant to be. The Path… should have been a guideline, an ideal… I… I speak heresy by saying this, but I despise that it has become the state religion, and any who speak out find that they will never speak again.

Sapentia hung his head. I just wish I could show Carthigi the truth of this. That the Path isn’t everything, that it has become a lock rather than a key. The Ethereal looked up again. But if there is one thing I can still believe in, a part of the Path untainted in my mind… it is spreading the gift. I wish we could have done it peacefully… but this is a chance, is it not?

Atka smiled softly. “That it is. Legion, you can stand back. Sapentia is going to show me something.”

“A dangerous move, Colonel. Will remain on standby.” The three Legion frames pulled back a fair distance, though they did not lay down their weapons. They didn’t point them straight at Sapentia either.

The Ethereal rose to his full height. You wished to know the secret of my Athos? It is simple, really. I combined telekinetic force, usually in the form of the telekinetic fields native to my color, with illusions, to create my champion. Ghosting out of his side, the psionic manifestation of Sapentia appeared in all its glory. It had the same frame as Sapentia, but was wearing alloy armor and wielding two sets of different-length alien swords that no normal Ethereal one could bear to hold up. Do you have either of those talents?

Atka demonstrated the latter rather than speak of it, an afterimage and preimage appearing near her. “My illusions are chained to me, but I can use them, yes. As for a telekinetic barrier… mine requires my blood to manifest.”

Interesting… I suppose that has to do with the fact that you are a blue, and thus benefit most from the internalization of your energy. I should note, your unique telekinetic helixes are not unlike my own psionic manifestation. They combine the structure of your mindfray with telekinetic force, thus being a similar combination. They are… something I have never seen before, not even in another Ethereal. That does not mean you cannot replicate what I do, though.

“I’ll give it a try, then. Any mindset I should have? Any sort of focus?”

Concentrate on the structure of your illusion to provide the basis… and in your case, to project the telekinetic fields correctly, I advise having the blood take the shape of your skeletal system. I would treat it similarly to your icy helixes.

Atka took a step back, pulling out a small, sterilized knife. She ran it across the palm of her hand, drawing enough blood to initiate the process, wincing as she did so. An illusionary copy of her was structured with the sanguine solution, and began to waveringly take shape as Atka concentrated. the telekinetic fields were projected in the shape of a body, and when it was complete, the illusion shifted.

When Atka turned to look at her creation, she noticed that it had taken on the appearance of her ‘Xifeng’ personality, punk clothing and all. The only difference was its expression. Rather than looking like her ill-fated double’s, it bore a smile that reminded Atka of something she had seen in one of her dreams. The cocky yet determined grin of someone with nothing left to lose, a fierce, almost frightening visage.

“Well, that’s… a little unexpected. Why does it look like…” Atka trailed off.

Like what? Sapentia pressed curiously. My Athos represents a subconscious part of myself, the part that cherishes being a warrior rather than a leader.

“It’s not important. Just… an odd dream I had when I was taking a nap on the fifteenth.” Atka shook her head, and tested out her control of the psionic manifestation. It moved forward, and even displayed the ability to use telekinetic helixes, but was still a bit clunky and hard to maintain.

Very well then… for now, let us practice. You will need it in order to be able to wield this power correctly. Athos drew his swords out to his sides with a metallic swish, and Atka nodded, Xifeng crossing her helixes in an ‘x’.

And let’s see if you can get better too, Sapentia. Atka encouraged her strange sparring partner.


Well-Known Member
2000 Hours (Local Orbital Time), December 16th, 2018

Atka was exhausted by the time they had finished, but felt a bit more confident than the start in her ability to use Xifeng. There was one last thing she needed to do before getting some much-needed rest, though. Finding a side storage room, she knelt down infront of the recovered memorial wall, something the Colonel refused to let be destroyed in the bombardment.

“Kevin… Kris… everyone… it doesn’t seem easy right now. Even if Sapentia is telling me the truth, and that battleship has the powerful weaponry we need, we have to storm it first, and face whatever he has prepared. And then I’ll have to stand up against the God of Fear himself.” Atka grinned slightly. “But you’ll be watching over me, and I’ve got everyone else at my side.”

“You know, it’s a crazy thing to think about.” Atka mused wistfully. “I would never have thought a few months ago that I’d be saving the world… but here I stand, doing something that should be impossible. But I promise you… even if winning this war is impossible, I’ll do it anyway with the help of the others and my own power.”

Atka thought back to the dream she had so long ago, in which a Thin Man spoke of the nature of psionics. “It’s true though, isn’t it? The power of the mind that can modify reality… I’ll use that to save this Earth.”


Operator 21O
Staff member
Unfortunate Times

XCOM Warship “Jupiter”, Somewhere in the Upper Atmosphere
1345 Hours (Local Orbital Time), December 17th, 2018
Main Storage Bay (Commons and Rest Area)

Elizabeth sat against the hard metal wall as she looked down to her lap, the green screen of her old, gray, blocky Gameboy illuminated her face as she played a game of Mario. She silently cursed to herself as she got hit by the same shell she had hit at the enemies.

Looking up from her game, she took in in the scene of somber faces around her, everyone looking longingly as they were all cramped together. A few people looked down at her as she played, Ellie not minding that they did, thinking to herself how selfish it would have been for denying them at least a singular pleasure.

There was a tap on her shoulder and she jumped slightly, looking up at Desmond as he gave her a small smile, taking a seat next to her. She laid her head on his shoulder for comfort and sighed. "We sure are in a pickle, huh?"

Desmond just smiled weakly and ran his fingers through her hair. "Everything will be fine, they always are."

"I tried to talk to Jessica, but she didn't seem in the mood for much conversation. Luckily for us doctors, no one was really injured from the attacks but they still seem to keep us busy." She looked up at her husband and gave a worried look but it quickly softened when he leaned down and kissed Ellie.

Desmond rose an eyebrow and stared at her. "You look different."

Ellie rose an eyebrow, not exactly understanding his meaning but she quickly realized, taking off her glasses and staring at them. "I dropped my glasses on the way to the shop and lost the lenses, so I have to wear my contacts underneath them. So now I have the stylish look of my glasses with my purple eyes."

Desmond chuckled slightly, rubbing his hand along her arm. "You could almost past for a Psion with eyes like that."

"Please no. I have heard the stories of what the aliens do to their psionic civilian captives and I want no part of that thank you very much."

"Fair enough." Elizabeth looked over Desmond and saw he had his new arm. "Oh, you finally got it!" She said with tired excitement.

Desmond nodded. "Yep, and Sunny really went all out. It is lighter and stronger than my last one, it has an auto-injecter for my medicine and also has another secret surprise that will give me a few more combat options."

"Care to spill?" She asked.

"Maybe later, Rin. I am a little tired from getting this thing attached and you look like you haven't slept in a week."

Elizabeth nodded and laid her head down in Desmond's lap, hoping that sweet dreams would come to her in her sleep.


Markus and Sora walked side by side down the halls once more, except this time there was no laughter between the friends, squished together in the tight corridor and having to move against the wall anytime someone came from the opposite direction, which was quite often.

Sora was luckily already in his body when the code was ordered to evacuate so he was able to spare himself the trouble of going without his physical half, though he was instead wearing an olive green army jacket over top a white button up dress shirt and a pair of regular blue jeans. His Exalt attire was forced to be left behind so he just wore this new style. In truth, Sora was bored of his old attire, and a new life required a new look.

Before he was evacuated, he was actually considering dying his hair as odd as it sounded for himself. He thought he had worn out the silver hair, and since Emma had stolen his style, he thought it good to try something new. Unfortunately, he never reached a decision. “Hey Markus, how do you think I would look blonde?”

The scientist looked up at him confused. “What? Out of all the things you are thinking about, you are thinking about hair?” He asked, his tone confused, angry, and annoyed all in one.

Sora looked forward and shrugged his shoulders, nodding for a short time. “Yeah. What do you think?”

Markus shook his head and scoffed. “You are unbelievable.”

“Oh sorry Mister Doom and Gloom, excuse me if I don’t want to think about our near death encounter, what a crime that would be.” He responded, adding annoyance of his own behind the words.

Markus just looked forward, clenching his jaw and squeezing the butt of the rifle on his shoulder. One of the first things he grabbed was the rifle that once belonged to the dead Exalt sister, the gun being somewhat important to at least him. It was the gun he shared shooting practices with Vee with, the rifle he recovered after the base was assaulted. He had visited Asher once briefly after his reprogramming, not having much to say but when he asked, Asher relinquished ownership to him, the clone not wanting anything to do with something given to him by Viktor. Now, he held on to it like it was apart of himself.

Markus closed his eyes and let out a long, drawn out sigh. He knew he shouldn’t have snapped at Sora, everyone was on edge as of late, even himself. “Look Sora…”

“You apologize to me and I will throw you off this ship myself.” He threatened, looking over at the scientist. “Trust me, I know why you snapped. You shouldn’t apologize for having a backbone. If anything, it is keeping you alert.”

The scientist nodded and he looked forward. “I am surprised you aren’t busy Sora. I imagine all the A.I.s would be needed to help run things.”

Sora smirked. “Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. That creepy cat is in control of the ship so it isn’t like he needs my help.”

“Well what about Alice or Avanix?”

“Twerp is busy with Sunshine and haven’t seen Ava since…” Sora rubbed the back of his neck. Still hasn’t given me an answer on the kid proposal. Wonder if I caught her off guard, not that I blame her...in all honesty, I blame Cross. “Well...we just haven’t talk in a while. You?”

“Elene is busy as usual. As well as everyone else. At least I have work to keep me busy for once.”

“Yeah. You ever wonder if you made the right choice? I mean I know you love the woman to death, she would have probably died ten times over without your support but...well, she isn’t exactly the girlfriend you bring home to the family. You probably won’t see her much after all this.”

“I...I know. We have talked about it over and over...honestly it feels like a broken record at this point. And you're right, she is the light of my life but…” Markus scratched his head. “I don’t know...there are times I think about what happened if I never fell in love with her. I don’t regret a minute of it I just...don’t want to be eventually forgotten.”

“That is the problem with corporate relationships and unfortunately...she will probably love her company more than you. I hate being the devil’s advocate but this is the truth of the situation my friend.”

Markus was silent and after a while he nodded slowly. “I...will think about it. I will at least give her a chance, she is the love of my life but if it becomes too much...I will go from there at least.”

Sora slapped a hand on Markus’s shoulder and sighed. “I wish you luck…”


The Elites all gathered together in a corner, each of them sitting next to one another in the main soldier sleeping area. Each of them was consumed in their own little world, thinking to themselves and keeping their hands busy.

Chief had a small stack of weapons next to him, maintaining and cleaning each of the weapons that were recovered from the base, the leader want to both help out and take his mind off the mass of people and the cramped conditions they were in.

Hawke was reading an excerpt from War and Peace, a few soldiers gathering around to listen to the story to relieve some of their boredom, some using it as a means to fall asleep easier on the hard ground.

Bull slept lightly, the big man volunteering with the engineers to help with work around the ship. Right now he was on a break and was trying to catch as much shut eye as possible.

Fox, oddly enough, was the most calm of them, just sketching away at anything he could wrap his mind around. He was slightly depressed deep down, the fact he wasn’t able to spend time with Eve gnawing at him a little bit. She is bunked in Acedia's room with her sister and the Commander and we can't see each other much, and even if we could, there would be no privacy. And all that hard work on the room! Huuuuuh...all that work… Fox rubbed his face with his hands as he put the sketchpad down and gave a slight yawn. He pulled his jacket tighter over his body and settled into his spot, getting as comfortable as possible. I shouldn’t worry though...after all of this, we can spend as much time together as possible, though I guess this is also a good thing, not like I want to smother her. Fox gave another big yawn and settled in, leaning his head against Bull to use his brother as a pillow. I wonder…*yawn* I wonder if we are going to get to fight...I want to...end this...war...qui- Fox slowly drifted off to sleep, his sleep accented with only a light snore.


Well-Known Member
XCOM Warship “Jupiter”, Somewhere in the Upper Atmosphere

December 17th, 2018 17:22 (Local atmosphere)

Eva stands near the windows of the war ship and looks at earth. Wow it's so beautiful, I never thought that I would ever be in space. The earth looks so beautiful well some of it does, the rest looks like it's on fire. Eva expression saddens Sigh seeing the earth on fire it makes me want to hunt down every single alien and kill them all, or at least hunt attack there home world and set it on fire. Sigh but that would make me no different then them and I'm trying to change to so I can't go and get vengeance any more. Eva leaves the deck and goes to the soldiers barracks Well at least I was able to bring you two. Eva rubs her guitar and a gray box that Lusett gave her Eva opens the box and holds a glass container with some red liquid in side of it.

A someone knocks on Eva's door Come in. Ashley walks into Eva's room

Ou hay Ash, um look I know this is kind of wrong for me to say but how are you feeling?

I'm pissed off what do you think, I'm up here thousands of miles away from my family and there down there facing god knows what!

Look ash I know your angry you have every right to be, I mean you wanted to bring your family to X-COM. And what happened is that they were in more danger here then they probley were out there.

Eva drop it, I understand what I choose and I don't regret it. I choose to bring my family to X-com to protect them and in a way it worked, they were safer in X-COM then they were out there.

Sigh Ash I'm sorry for your family.

You don't need to apologize Eva, the Commander got my family out alive and she put them in a safe place.

hum hay Ash your not going to loose it when were attacking the etherals are you.

Yes and no, there was a time that I thought I could change the ethereal race. But now I see that there not worth saving that there faith in there ridiculous religion, I see that they have caused to much pain in the galaxy and I can not allow them to destroy mine or any other race the etherals must be destroyed and I will drive them to extinction!

Ash, your terrifying when your angry you no that.

Ashley but on a faint smile Don't worry Eva I will be focused and thanks for your concern.

No problem good luck Ash.

You too Eva.


Well-Known Member
Emily Fischer
X.W.S. Jupiter
Sol, Milky Way
December 17th, 2018 - 6:56 PM

Emily sat idly, flipping through the pages of the blue-covered French book that once sat in Zoe’s hands, and once was thrown at her after a certain drunken tryst of mediocre experimentation. It was one of many keepsakes stuffed in the bottom of her duffel, which she barely managed to shoulder in the middle of the chaos of the third – and most decisive – base attack. She read this book two or three times before since that aforementioned throw, pulling it out in the corners of barracks and bedrooms to brush up on her French. It had been collecting dust since she had made friends and hobbies at XCOM, however. Dallas sat by one of the very few windows of the craft, his face firmly sealed against the diamond-hard pane.

“Tout changement dans l'abîme?”

“I don’t speak French,” Dallas idly responded.

“You’re from Canada,” Emily retorted.

“So? I’m not French Canadian. All I know are stop signs and a few street names.”

“I asked if there were any groundbreaking changes out there.”

Dallas’ face popped off the window and he glanced towards her. “Why are you acting so bored?”

“I’ve been on a ship before, and I’ve seen space before,” she shrugged.

“You haven’t been on a spaceship, and you haven’t been in space.”

Emily shrugged. “I guess I just don’t get the big deal. They’re just lights floating around.”

“That may be the biggest understatement in human history.”

“Big gas balls floating around?”

Dallas cocked an eyebrow. “How much astronomy do you know, exactly?”

“Well…I dropped out of high school, and mainly I learned stuff that was immediately useful or about other cultures, you know, on Earth,” she replied, briefly looking up from her book. “So not much.”

“Right…why do I always forget that…”

“Because most people think I got kidnapped, not ran away,” she shrugged. “Works for me.”

Dallas leaned over and swiped the book out of her hands, warranting a deep scowl from Emily. He placed it page-down, making sure the blankets of the cot would hold her page for her as he tugged her up to her feet. She whined as she shuffled over at the assault’s insistence, peeking out of the window herself. He pointed to random stars that were twinkling in the distance, whichever ones looked most interesting in the great black.

“Each of those ‘big gas balls’ can have planets, and each of those planets can have life we can only imagine,” Dallas explained, pointing to more random systems one-by-one. “Right there, tribes of ant-people are fighting for control of firepits; and there, two shades of lizards are enacting their own Hundred Years War; and there, an intelligent plant is just learning how to craft tools…”

“I guess that idea is pretty cool…but you don’t know any of that’s true. You could say a book’s just as interesting, they make up things like that all the time. Besides, we’re fighting space wizards for control over a giant stretch of space, we’re plenty interesting.”

“Meh,” he waved a hand dismissively. “We’ve been doing that for a while.”

Emily smirked as he put his forehead against the glass again, the window surprisingly never smudging, a concern that must be below aliens.

“I bet I can get you interested in what’s going on here…”

She leaned in to his exposed neck, giving it a long and sloppy kiss that sent shivers through him.

“Oh…that is pretty interesting…” he sighed.

“Now we’re talking…” she cooed.

The two soldiers pressed up against the wall as they began to make out unabashed, ignoring the cool near-silent slide of the alien ship’s doors. Luxuria walked in with a violet crystal container in hand, having just sampled a horrid human concoction named “coffee” which made her want to shatter it against a wall…if it wasn’t for the rarity and luxury Ethereal glassware entailed. She looked over and grinned mischievously at the French-kissing soldiers.

“Want some help?” she offered.

Emily quickly backed away and straightened out her shirt, sighing irritably. “No, we’re good…”

“And we should make some roommate rules…” Dallas scowled.

“Oh, come now…every suggestion I make is sincere,” Luxuria replied, walking further into the room, “I have a lot of creative powers, and I already know you like the wrapper they come in.”

“Yeah, alright,” Dallas growled, laying down and crossing his legs tightly.

“So, what were you kids talking about? Procreating for the good of your race?”

“Nothing. Space and books,” Emily replied.

“Really? If that’s all it takes to get you humans stimulated, we have been wasting a large portion of our time.”

Emily sighed and raised her book back to her face, realizing that a war of innuendo would never be won against Luxuria. The Ethereal reclined with some comfort into her human cot, picking up her old mask from underneath her bed and running her soft, peach fingers along its curves. Dallas simply looked between them, his legs firmly crossed and his cheeks flushed with irritation, but still glad to spend any waking moment not worried about the smoking crater that was their home, or the suicide mission they were jettisoning towards.