Operation White Bird, Zelta Squad, Part 1 1100 Hours, Local Orbital Time December 21st, 2018 XCOM Warship “Jupiter” Warning lights blared as the vast majority of XCOM and Legion’s forces exited their ship, docked against the massive Supra-Battleship ‘Arkbird’ after a daring attempt to get in close. As the battle raged outside, Elene monitored the situation from the bridge. Emma was headed to the engine room with Foulke, while Vee and Avanix fought in the central battle just outside. A bit of worry colored the heiress’s features as she only got a vague idea of what was going on in the battle. What distracted her from her concern for the others was a warning popping up on her holographic screen. Showing a blueprint of the ship, alien symbols beside an area marked in purple translated themselves. It was displaying near the commons area, and the warning was quite simple: the enemy had breached the ship. “Dammit,” Elene muttered. “We can’t be fighting on another front like this… I was hoping to avoid a counterattack.” The clone had prepared for this possibility, though, and she didn’t waste any time. Grabbing the helmet of her armor off the table, she activate her communications. “Black King, I need you down on the right side of the ship now. Nick, take Guillermo, Alejo, Sergin, and Tiento and follow.” Not pausing to wait for them, Elene grabbed a plasma rifle and wordlessly ran off, merely having activated a general warning to make the rest of the crew aware of the danger. “So… what exactly do you do?” Penny asked, tilting her head slightly. “I’m the assistant manager of records… though right now that’s not very useful.” Tom sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. “All I have is a compressed file of all our data, and right now I think the Commander is more concerned with getting us out of all this alive than checking personnel files.” “Works for me,” Isaac muttered, sitting a little beside his daughter. “Right now, maybe,” he said, louder, “but afterwards people are going to want to know exactly what happened in this war. You just happen to have a front row seat, is all.” “Well, yeah, but it’s not so easy being a spectator, knowing Vee is out th-” Tom was cut off by the sound of a door beyond the commons area being torn down. “What the hell is that?!” Isaac’s head shot upwards, eyes locked on the door. With a curse, he rose and grabbed several items from beside his bed, loading the plasma pistol and walking over to the door. He peeked through the window, and began backpedaling almost immediately after. “We’ve got company!” he shouted, the Shadow Armor he’d been wearing whirring quietly as he ran back to his belongings. “What are you looking for?” Penny asked, bewildered. “What sort of company?” “One Berserker, one Muton. Probably more behind,” Isaac said, before pulling his old mask out of his bag. “Knew it was a good idea to keep this.” With a manic grin, he slapped the mask on and moved back to the door, holding a plasma sniper rifle he’d retrieved from next to his bag. “Always be prepared,” he muttered, taking position next to the door. Tom’s eyes widened, and he grabbed his plasma pistol, muttering, “A goddamn Berserker? How am I supposed to…” Isaac raised an eyebrow at the assistant manager of records, but kept his mouth shut. Crouching next to the door, he aimed his rifle at the approaching aliens through the glass. With an inhale, he fired, the glass shattering behind the force of the plasma bolt. The Berserker’s companion fell, the bolt going through it’s skull before either of them had a chance to react. The Berserker itself, suddenly in hostile territory, roared, and charged the door, impacting the metal and causing it to dent. It pounded its fists at the obstacle, the rage filling its mind, compelling it to remove it’s entrenched foes. Thomas hesitantly knelt beside a box, lifting his pistol at the door and waiting. “I’m not so sure a sniper rifle is going to do much good if that thing busts its way in here…” As if wishing to test that theory, the Berserker gave a mighty shove, and the door collapsed inward. A pistol shot from the Overseer tore into its side, but it barely noticed, charging straight for the assistant manager of records. Tom backed off, and the Berserker leapt over the create, raising a fist over him. A spiral of purple caught the creature in the back of the head, and it stumbled back in confused frustration. Slowly, its outbursts and thrashing dimmed, and it stood eerily still like a puppet. The source of the psionic power stepped into the room, a woman in black seraph armor with purple, glowing lines running along its contours. In addition to the jetpack, it had foldable wings. “Hybrid aurora-seraph armor working as intended… if still experimental,” the psion observed. “Are you three alright?” she asked, the other members of the civilian staff haven hidden in a corner away from the doors. Isaac grunted. “Not bad.” He looked over to his daughter. “Penny?” He frowned, seeing her backed up against the crates. “Come on. You’re braver than this.” Penny shook her head. “I’ve had quite enough of aliens walking right into where I am and wreaking havoc.” As they talked, Tom wisely put on a suit of aegis armor, not wanting to be as vulnerable as he was. The plates covering the woman’s face retracted up and down, respectively, for a moment. “I don’t recognize you among our soldiers, but if you can fight, then your assistance would be helpful, by all means,” Elene intoned. She glanced to the side, hearing the sound of gunfire from the four Adam clones in the hallway. “I believe that area should be secure for now…” The door on the other side of the room opened, and an eleven foot tall android leaned under the door, depositing the still but rather intact form of a cyberdisc on the ground. “They have breached the left hallways as well,” Legion informed them from his Black King frame. “Well then, shall we?” Isaac asked, grinning. “Coming Pen?” “What? No!” “Why not? Family excursion, come on.” Penny shook her head. “You convinced me to come on this ship, I’m not going anywhere else.” Isaac shrugged. “Suit yourself.” Black King paused for a moment, his mechanical hand on the hilt of his sword. “Interesting… Infantry Airframe 004 has gone dark. It seems that an enemy able to detect cloaked units is present in the engine room.” “One of those human psionics under the Honored Overseer’s command, or an Ethereal like him, most likely,” Elene surmised, guessing an Incubator couldn’t easily reach one of the flying drones. Closing up her mask again, she motioned for the android, Isaac, and Tom to follow, and headed down the left hallway. Rounding a corner, the four came across a small squad of Thin Men, the leader of which spat poison at them immediately, allowing his companions to find cover in the doorways. Isaac’s reaction shot went wide, and he retreated into cover. “Damn things have inbuilt smoke bombs. That’s cheating.” “I shall reduce their range, then.” Black King raised his arms, firing off a series of shots from the pulse carbine on his right arm in a wide arc, switching to the left while the first weapon recharged. When the acidic cloud had dispersed enough to provide a partial view of the hallway beyond, Isaac took advantage of the Thin Men’s focus on Black King and assassinated the one in front. “I’m liking this strategy,” he said with a smirk. A shot from Elene punched through another, and her Berserker puppet made shot worn of a third. The fourth cowered in a corner, and rather than kill it, Elene risked another mind control, though she could feel the strain of trying to keep the enraged Muton in check. A problem that she simply solved by having her Thin Man marionette place its carbine to the larger creature’s head and blow it off. Isaac glanced between the dead Muton and Black King. “... yeah, we’re pretty good on tankers,” he said, venting the heat in his rifle. “That’s one hell of a design, Ms. Exalt.” The heiress raised an eyebrow beneath her helmet. “Odd… I don’t believe we’ve met before,” she replied, looking over Isaac’s Ethereal mask curiously.