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  • We receive sternly worded letters from Argentina and France about our lack of action. My request for a second Skyranger goes unanswered; I'll try to bring it up next time the nice folks in the Council talk to us again.
  • The first wave of trainees is coming in, and we've only got seven soldiers who have anything to teach... and four of them are injured, Kowalski will be out of commission for two weeks.
  • The first thing we are able to build thanks to the efforts of the science team is a medikit. It's basically a single-shot quick-harden cement for flesh; the stuff has to be removed once we're back at base, and doesn't help with actual recovery, but it prevents blood loss. We should at least have a couple ready for each squad that goes out.
  • We also have satellite construction capability, although it takes three weeks to send the things into orbit. Beats the two years I had to wait for mine... Unfortunately the Council isn't letting us build our own vector.
  • On that note, we are going to start immediately with satellite uplinks, as soon as we get more engineers in: we can't be anywhere but having eyes in the sky is the next best thing.
  • Dr. Shen is asked to keep digging; there is a steam vent we can get to, which would deal with any power problems we might have. This prompt the start of a dynasty Dwarf Fortress game in the base. Apparently we're Gearmountain. Doesn't sound too bad; it'd certainly make a more badass logo than this pentagon thing, but we can't afford to redo all the sweaters. At least they got the Latin right.
  • Mr. Bradford, who I understand is the person who makes sure this remains a military-ish operation rather than turning into the Kerbal Space Center with guns as it would under my exclusive care, tells me that I am authorized to assign medals. I'll have to identify who among the trops care, and deal with it accordingly. I was planning to honor exemplary services by giving away doors or tacks, to be honest, but I guess medals work too.
  • A group of sixty soldiers arrive in the base, filling the barracks to capacity and thoroughly hosing our internet connection. I try to remember orientation procedures from college, and end up organizing a system that ensures that even the people who have been here for a couple of weeks get thoroughly lost when someone gets the bright idea to move around all the post-its.
  • I'll have to give some sort of speech, I guess. Getting everyone together in the mess hall isn't hard; getting them to mingle is, being as folks in the science and engineering lab aren't talking to each other.

"Ladies and mentlegen! You're here because you're the best of the worst."

"You're here because there's a damn alien fleet coming at us from whatever they're using the Moon's shadow to hide, and what we've seen in the past week are probably just the scouts. We speculate that soon there's going to be a real invasion, and guess what -- we can't afford to have it handled by people who made a career out of knowing how to win the last war. We're against something completely new, and we'll have to reinvent the wheel."

"They say great science is built on the shoulders of giants. Not here. At Gearmountain, we do all our science from scratch. No hand holding."

A lemon gets thrown at me -- hey, at least someone got the quote, that's a good sign. I fail at dodging it and pick it up. "I DON'T WANT YOUR DAMN LEMONS! WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THIS!"

"But seriously. You're here because you wouldn't learn to fight the conventional way. You're here to learn how to fight aliens. We can't teach you. We'll have to learn together. And when you've learned enough, you'll go home, and get to train all the people who did better than you in evaluations." there's some whooping there, guess I am not doing too bad.

"This can turn into a doomsday scenario. I understand most of you signed up to fight for some variant of king and country. I understand some of you come from countries that have spent most of history beating the shit out of each other. If after the revelation that we're not alone in the universe and apparently our neighbors are complete assholes, that still matters to you, we have a boxing ring for that. But while you're here, we're all on team humanity."

"There's a great Afghani quote, and if I have to say one good thing about that culture, it's that those guys got really good at kicking invaders out, that goes: 'Me against my brother, my brother and me against our cousins, we and our cousins against the world'. We are here specifically to figure out what comes next in that progression. We are here to show the world how to present a common front. We are here to study the enemy, learn their tactics and technology and how to counter them, figure out exactly who thesee invaders ARE, and then we're going to BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF EVERY SINGLE ONE! WITH THE LEMONS!"

Near me is an easel with a diagram of a Sectoid that I was supposed to use to illustrate who the enemy was; I throw the lemon at it, and it knocks the easel down. Someone in the dig team shouts and waves a shovel, and I let the shouting spread and draw itself out.

"Okay, since it seems that we've all found the chow hall, I think that counts as saying grace - let's eat!"

  • The excavation has almost reached the steam vents -- we break grounds on the warm rock, and someone plays a demonic scream through the base's PA. "A VILE FORCE OF DARKNESS HAS ARRIVED!" We know, we're here to deal with it, remember?
  • Preliminary samples from the sectoids we've killed allow Dr. Vahlen to estabilish a baseline. Now my three minders -- her, Dr. Shen and Mr. Bradford -- are saying that the next logical step is to capture one alive. I don't disagree; it'll answer whether what we observed in the field was a sort of ritual or an actual imbuement of brainpower, for one, and we can probably try to figure out what they even want other than make abductee nigiri. I ask the engineering team to get to work on a jail, and the science team to continue cutting up the Sectoids we have bagged for a proper autopsy.
  • The government of Mexico demand a satellite above their territory, offering to pay for the launch and then some. We can handle it, and coverage might start there, so I figure let's do it. I make sure that the Kerbal Space Program developers are invited to the launch and get to name a secondary payload, so now there's a plushie of Jeb Kerman in orbit. The money goes directly towards the thermoelectric power plant.


  • A UFO is detected right over Japan, north of us! Now we know that the satellites we've been launching work, at least. The Raven interceptor is ready to go; I am dubious on the Avalanche missile, but it's not like we're expecting a WW2-style dogfight. Let's see if we can take it down.
  • Never mind on the dogfight -- the UFO coming down from orbit is fast enough that the Raven has to get in range of .... whatever green shit the aliens keep shooting at us. After nearly running out of missiles and getting serious heat damage, our interceptor manages to bring the UFO down. It's a classic flying saucer, with some sort of energy-based reentry heatshield that fortunately doesn't seem to affect missiles. I fear bringing the UFO down caused too much damage for us to recover much in the way of useful aerospace technology, but we'll have to see.
  • The UFO crashes roughly where we predicted; it's close to home, so sending a squad to secure it shouldn't be much of a trip.
  • We only send Vee as cadre, which doesn't make much sense since she hasn't gotten a kill yet so she doesn't count as cadre yet, but everyone is either still giving briefings or recuperating. Given this, I'm going to go in myself, too. Then there's Kite, who joined us after the Brisbane abductions (and after someone got her to calm down), and Riley, who would have joined us sooner but had to wrap up job things.
  • An abandoned pickup truck tells us that someone beat us to this, and it didn't go well for them. Looks like the UFO did a number on a patch of forest.
  • There's another of those crystal canisters. Given that the squad is running around inside the swath of smashed trees caused by the crash, it and the pickup truck are welcome things to hide behind as the squad advances.
  • It looks like the crew is in the UFO, given how intact it looked from recon, it's perfectly plausible that they're trying to repair it. Doyle is caught out in the open, but we have no contacts. Kite secures the canister.
  • Kite and me get a visual on the UFO, which has pivoted northward right before stopping. It looks pretty banged up, but the power is obviously still on. The squad keeps advancing, but more cautiously so.
  • Vee advances less cautiously, and sees an alien form around something that looks like a smaller version of that yellow crystal in the canister. The critter is clearly humanoid, and seems to be made out of hardened epoxy. It's significantly bigger than a sectoid. Unfortunately, she's also not in cover.
  • Kite runs up to the new creature and manages to miss it at point blank range. I try to do the same, with marginally better results -- it takes a shot to the chest, but only flinches. We should aim lower.
  • Riley goes around the new alien, which we assume to be some sort of android for now, and bags the Sectoid at long distance. He can actually shoot what he's aiming at, which I suspect will help us considerably -- by our standards he's probably an accomplished sniper.
  • Vee finally gets a kill by shooting the android in the crotch, where the crystal's support is. So far it seems that despite the aliens having no external genitals, nut shots at close range seem to be their main weakness.
  • Three sectoids, which we assume were working on repairs, show up and flank us, but are too slow to fire before we can respond.
  • This proves to be their undoing as Kite, Vee and myself apply what I fear might become standardized doctrine: run besides the greys, and shoot them point blank in the crotch.
  • Mop-up reveals a second canister. What are these things, why do they keep showing up in pairs, and are they related to the crystal android?
  • This was a good show; nobody got hurt, and we recovered a functional UFO power source and flight computer, as well as some of what we assume is its fuel.
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Page last modified on January 02, 2015, at 05:00 AM