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RP X-Com Role-Play Missions

Discussion in 'X-COM Role Playing' started by ZombieSplitter53, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. DarkGemini24601

    DarkGemini24601 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. DarkGemini24601

    DarkGemini24601 Well-Known Member

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    Operation White Bird, Zelta Squad, Part 2

    The assassin tensed slightly. Ah, shit. Again? “You’re… quite a well known person,” he said evasively.

    Elene continued on slowly, pressing further, “And where did you come across a mask with the designations of an Ethereal Overseer?” Overseer… it couldn’t be…

    Isaac removed his mask, examining it. “It does?” He chuckled, returning it to his head. “Fitting,” he mused. “I do wonder what the story behind it is. It’s not like I bested one in a duel, after all. Short story is, one day it was on my doorstep. And I needed something to hide my face, so I thought ‘Why the hell not?’”

    “A strange irony, if you are who I think you are,” Elene responded, approaching the door to the engine room.

    “Eh?” Isaac shot a look towards the heiress, but did not receive a look back. His eyes narrowed slightly behind his mask, but he didn’t press the issue. “We all ready?” he asked, taking position on the left of the door and drawing his pistol.

    Elene had her Thin Man beside the door, standing out of view with Tom. “I am.” Clicking a button, the heiress opened the door, revealing two figures beside the engine controls, the wrecks of three drones and the IA indicating the stealth unit didn’t go down without a fight. The first figure was a tall alien, an Ethereal commanding one of the enemy human psions beside him.

    Frigus turned to face the four plus puppet as they came into view. Oh, for the love of… why can’t anything ever be simple? Trigus, kindly, kill them.

    The human grinned, raising his hand with a yellow-orange glow, and a rift started to open up at Black King’s feet. The android quickly engaged his boosters, ascending to get out of range of the psychokinetic storm, and fired down upon the human. The shots connected with a telekinetic field, not powerful enough to break it, making the robot draw its alloy sword and swing down upon the barrier.

    Elene sent her Thin Man on the attack, the manipulated alien firing off a few shots at the Ethereal. Another telekinetic field produced by Trigus stopped the bolts, and Frigus frowned. Treasonous creature… you should have resisted better than that. Raising a hand, a swirl of green-purple energy increased the pair’s mental aptitude, and then the Ethereal went on the attack. A mindfray tore into the Thin Man’s mind, making it collapse in agony, its nervous system damaged, perhaps permanently. Almost boredly, the Ethereal outstretched a third hand, a psi panic forcing Tom to his knees. The fourth appendage sent a spiral of energy at Isaac, but paused. T-That mask… what… who are you?

    The Overseer’s mouth contorted into a snarl. “Someone who doesn’t appreciate copycats,” he snapped, bringing his pistol up and firing a few shots.

    The telekinetic shield around the Ethereal waved, while Black King’s sword dug into Trigus’s own defenses. “Not making this easy, are you robot?” Trigus muttered, this time forming a rift before Elene, forcing her to fall back to avoid being consumed along with her cover.

    Frigus shook his head. It doesn’t matter, you are not one of us! Cursing his hesitance, the Ethereal One sent another mind control attempt Isaac’s way, this time not faltering. The assassin resisted, but ultimately failed, his gaze moving away from the Ethereal and onto his former allies.

    Dammit. Elene quickly lifted her left palm, a similar, but darker spiral of violet hitting Isaac’s forehead in a psionic tug-of-war, causing him to clutch his head in pain. Although she couldn't wrest control from Frigus, she could weaken the Ethereal’s hold on the Overseer. Break free of his influence, damn you! I refuse to see the ‘mighty’ Overseer laid this pathetically low! Elene mentally demanded.

    Isaac’s face showed a titanic interior struggle, fighting against two different voices in his head, alongside his own. In the end, it was a memory that caused him to finally resist the Ethereal’s grasp, something he’d said a while ago. “You can expect my support, ma’am.” That’s what I said. I need to put that into practice, now. He shook his head, now free from the Ethereal’s possession.

    Black King’s sword finally shattered the telekinetic field, cutting a line across Trigus’s chest as he stumbled back to avoid the worst of the blade’s fury. Resting a hand against his chest, it began to bind the wound together with biokinesis. Frigus retracted the spiral of psionic energy. Damn it all! The two stood side by side, a cord of purple connecting them with a mind merge, and a telekinetic field defended them from incoming fire. Frigus sent two mindfrays in the direction of Elene and Isaac, weakening their ability to fire accurate shots, while Trigus blasted Black King back with a concentrated rift to the torso.

    Frigus crossed his lower two arms at his waist. And thus the New Ones begin to see the futility of resistance… The damaged Black King tossed his sword, punching through the shield, but not hitting Frigus. The Ethereal’s expression twisted in rage, and he had Trigus throw the sword back at its user, impaling the tall robot against the wall. In his rage, he lifted his other two hands, another two mindfrays bringing the Overseer and Heiress to their knees. This ends he-

    The Ethereal wondered why his voice had failed him, and then noticed the plasma wound sunken into his chest. His vision began to blur, but he managed to catch sight of his killer. Such a weak-willed human… h-how…?

    Tom lowered his plasma pistol. “Hell… if I know…” he muttered, still having a pounding headache from the psi panic and the fears it had dredged up in his mind.

    Isaac removed his mask, wiping the sweat from his brow. “Nice work, Tom. Have to say, I wasn’t expecting you to survive this kind of firefight.” He turned to the collapsed human psion, recovering from the death of his mind merger. “What are we going to do with him?” he asked, reloading his pistol.

    Elene rubbed her forehead, opening up her helmet again. “We can always just capture him and let Nouja work her magic… I’m sure biokinetic or biological programming keeps them in line.”

    “I will… not be taken by…” Trigus muttered, getting to his feet, before being snatched by a mind control.

    “Give it a rest,” the heiress replied with irritation, prompting the temporary puppet to whack himself in the head and pass out.

    Isaac shook his head and holstered the pistol. “You’re no fun,” he muttered.

    Elene leaned against the wall, finally able to recover her energy. “So… you are the Overseer, then. I will give Morrigan the benefit of the doubt and just assume she considered that off my radar… she didn’t know you had spoken to me, I assume.”

    The Overseer laughed and shook his head. “I doubt it. It never came up when we were talking, and at the time I was still unsure about the Council. So I neglected to tell her we’d talked.” He glanced at her. “It’s… not that obvious, is it? Not that it matters much, I plan to retire soon anyway, but… you know. I have a reputation to keep.”

    “You may want to consider not wearing that mask around anyone who has the ability to translate those symbols,” Elene offered. “Wearing a mask that says ‘Overseer’ is a red flag to anyone with a competent A.I. or a brain altered by the aliens.”

    Tom waved his hands, sighing. “I didn’t hear anything, just so you know.”

    “Hear what?” Isaac said, a grin present at the corners of his mouth. Turning back to Elene, his smile faded. “I… meant what I said, a while back. Council or not, you’re as much a victim in this war as anyone else. If anyone decides they need a scapegoat, I’ll do my best to help you.” He coughed awkwardly. “And I appreciate you helping me back there, even if you weren’t exactly polite about it.”

    Elene smiled. “Sometimes a swift, purposeful kick is more effective than a gentle nudge. But I appreciate what you have done for me, and will continue to do. It would certainly help PR for Exalt Enterprises if they didn’t lay the blame for EXALT’s actions on me.” Elene reached beneath the armor for a moment, pulling out a ruby gem attached to a necklace. “And I think mother would rest easier knowing that her name could be cleared… at least of crimes that weren’t her fault.”

    “The world is rarely fair,” The Overseer said. “And you were dealt a bad hand. I’m just glad I have the opportunity to help you, although…” He frowned. “Now I’m on speaking terms with my daughter again, I might be a bit busier than usual.”

    Elene nodded. “Understood. I… have someone I ought to be spending more time with as well. All that has been happening may have caused a bit of negligence on my part… and considering my circumstances, I have all the more reason to be grateful for those that care about me.”

    “Then we finish this war, so that we can fix up our lives,” Isaac said. “Agreed?”

    “Agreed,” Elene affirmed, glancing at the heavily damaged form of her secondary A.I.’s powerful frame. Straining her ears to listen to something he was saying, she raised an eyebrow. “You’re impaled against the wall and muttering something about… horrible slugs? What the hell?” Elene sighed. “Amend that to winning the war and working out bugs with my android friend here…”

    “It’s going to be one hell of a repair job,” said the assassin, though whether he was referring to the robot or the post-war cleanup was unclear.
     
  3. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation White Bird, Gamma Squad (Part One)

    The last of the Balmadaar fell to the hiss of a plasma bolt through its skull, and crumpled against the doors to the throne room with a metallic thump. Sarah admired her handwork for a moment, before motioning for the two Legion troopers next to her to drag the brute out of the way. The other two automatons stood on either side of the door.

    “Are you ready to face Despair?” Atka asked Desmond, standing at the center of the four organic troops present. “The lesser of the two evils left, but I still wouldn’t underestimate him.”

    “I hear you.” Desmond responded, looking down at the new arm Sunny had given him. “Let’s just get this done. We have an entire ship full of people rooting us on, failure is not an option.”

    The Colonel nodded to the two androids, and Legion threw open the doors, revealing the bridge, devoid of life and the lights dimmed until they were nearly out. Various consoles and computers lined the central path, leading up towards a throne, plain aside from the object seated just before it: a mass of purple energy suspended in a cradle of alien alloys. And then somebody began clapping.

    The Legion troopers turned towards where they picked up the sound, the first two activating small lights on either side of their head to try and locate them. Atka took aim with her reflex rifle. That doesn’t sound like withered hands to me…

    I hate to say this now, but I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Something isn’t right… Desmond looked around with his own rifle raised, Can you sense anything with your ESP Atka? The Inuit scout concentrated for a moment, trying to feel around the room for any psionic presences with her third eye and sixth sense.

    Two strong psionic presences glared out from behind the immense throne, and as if sensing that they were now under observation, the two stepped out. Stepping around the right was a Latino man, modestly built, his hands still clapping together as he made his way around the throne. On the left was a Pacific Islander, much broader and bulkier than his comrade, and he merely glanced at the assembled forces.

    “Well, congratulations,” the Latino man said. “It seems that you’ve finally managed to make your way to Mother’s throne room. Shame that they cannot come to greet you personally, but unfortunately they have better things to do than fight the Resistance personally.”

    “Fleeing like a coward. Got it.” Atka wrapped telekinetic helixes around her arms, not forsaking her trusty marksman rifle just yet. “I’ll give you the option to back down now, even if I doubt you’ll accept it.”

    Germael glanced at his comrade, who merely snorted disdainfully. “I apologize,” Germael said, “But I cannot do that. Now, your surrender on the other hand… well, you don’t want to have the blood of your fellows on your hands, even if you manage to deal with us.”

    “They are just buying time, they know we won’t surrender, they are not stupid.” Desmond commented, his rifle trained on the both of the psions.

    “Very well, if that’s your opinion. Just a warning: from here on out, everything that happens to you is your fault,” Germael said, shrugging slightly. “But, of course, it’d be rude to start this without knowing who we are. I am Germael, and my companion is Gradhiel. Now, brother, if you would do the honors?”

    Gradhiel gave a deadly smirk, and said, “Sic ‘em, boys.” With that, four Mutons burst out of cover, two taking to the air, and a pair of Outsiders formed among the scattered consoles. Immediately the assembled alien troopers opened fire, and the two psions sought cover behind their creator’s throne.

    The Legion Troopers took cover and responded in kind, firing off powerful blasts to match the plasma novaguns from heavy rifles. Jamie moved forward to meet a charging Outsider, and Sarah ripped through a chunk of one’s shoulder, momentarily making it recoil as it regenerated. “We’ll deal with them, just focus on those two,” Sarah spoke calmly, preparing another shot, this time with a moderately charged core.

    Atka nodded her assent, and then moved forward with Desmond. “And know my warning,” she called out to the two, advancing quickly and firing off a shot. “Any abductees you kill will only make this worse for you!”

    Germael leaned to the side nonchalantly, letting the shot fly past his torso. “Please, like I’d stoop to killing Lambs. They make much more effective allies than corpses,” the Latino man taunted. “Gradhiel, suppose it’s finally time for you to cut loose.”

    “With pleasure,” the Pacific Islander replied, gathering psionic energy into his hands. A single ball of flame formed within his hand, and he leaned out of cover to hurl it at the approaching pair of XCOM troopers. “Your souls shall burn along with your bodies!”

    A bluegreen glow around her head and a light blue hue around her body hearkened the combination of psi inspiration and physical enhancement Atka used to increase her fighting power, and she dodged to the side, preferring to avoid the fire rather than try and defend against it, firing off another shot at the offending psion as she did so.

    Desmond didn’t bother trying to manipulate the fire and dodged to the side as well, Desmond firing a few shots from his rifle at the same target Atka was firing at, building up some of his power internally.

    Gradhiel hunkered behind cover, the shots digging deep gouges into the throne as the fireball burst against a computer, enveloping it in pure red flames. “Brother, I am pinned here,” he said.

    “Yes, I am aware of that,” Germael replied. “Just give me a moment.” Pooling up his own psionic energy, he lashed out with a pair of mind frays at Desmond and Atka, before following it up with a psi lance at Desmond.

    Desmond’s mind shield and own willpower helped fend off the mindfray and he slid to a halt, slinging the rifle over his back and firing his own lance to counteract Germael’s.

    Atka managed to shrug off the illest of the effects as well, having psi inspiration in addition to a mind shield and naturally strong will, only suffering a slight headache interfering with her concentration somewhat. Switching targets, she aimed at Germael, firing off a shot and shooting the telekinetic lances to either side of where she had fired her reflex rifle.

    Almost boredly, Germael leaned back at the waist, letting the plasma round soar past the space where his head was. Sensing his brother’s plight, Gradhiel threw a pair of fireballs at Atka in an attempt to cause her to withdraw, while Germael finally pulled out his weapon, a plasma pistol, and fired off a pair of shots at Desmond.

    Desmond spun out of the way of the shots, pulling out his own pistol and firing in response, reaching out with his other hand to try and skew the fireballs out of his friend’s way. Germael slid to the side, letting the plasma rounds impact the throne harmlessly.

    “Careful,” the blue psion said. “Don’t want to hit that device, might spell bad things for all of us.” Meanwhile, the balls of fire were deflected just enough off course to burst around Atka, the red flames searing just out of range of the Scout.

    Gradhiel’s exclamation was much simpler. “Burn!” he roared, throwing another fireball at Desmond.
     
  4. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation White Bird, Gamma Squad (Part Two)

    Desmond had a more easier time redirecting the fire with it only being singular and his attention on it, sending the ball of flames back at the sender and firing two more flames of his own in addition.

    Atka narrowed her eyes, considering Germael for a moment. He predicts my movements too easily… To Desmond, she warned, He may have precognitive abilities like my own. Be careful, we should focus on the red one. Retracting her telekinetic helixes, the Colonel focused a portion of her energy into a mindfray, and launched it at Gradhiel.

    Germael reached out and grabbed Gradhiel by the scruff of his neck, pulling him away as the blue psion leaped away from the balls of fire, bursting around the spot the two had just occupied. However, the mind fray did hit home on Gradhiel, but the red psion merely laughed and chucked a trio of wild fireballs, one in Atka’s general direction and the other two at Desmond.

    “Dammit Grad, you have other abilities!” Germael shouted, firing off his plasma pistol to cover his and Gradhiel’s retreat to another piece of cover.

    “But it’s so fun seeing them burn!” the other psion replied, sliding into position behind a computer terminal.

    A blast wizzed by Atka’s helmet, scraping it slightly and being generally too close for comfort. In a bid to correct the problem, she distorted her form into an afterimage and preimage, the dual illusions making it hard to get a lock on her, and she ducked under one of the masses of flames, her copies matching the movement. We need a plan… I don’t want to blow my most powerful abilities, but we may have to go that far at this rate!

    We need to split them up and get me in close. I can only do so much at a range. Desmond pulled a grenade off of his belt and activated it, throwing it at the terminal to flush out the psions.

    “Goddammit!” Germael yelled, leaping out of the way of the grenade before it even entered the air, the action prompting Gradhiel to do the same. The explosive detonated between the two, and the blue psion continued, “That terminal may have had the cure for cancer on it, you know! And you just blew it up!” With that, the psions scrambled for two different pieces of cover, Germael snapping off shots with his pistol while Gradhiel finally drew his own weapon, a plasma mauler, and shot off a burst at Desmond.

    “Sorry, but I’m pretty sure the Exalts already beat you to that one.” A bolt of plasma went through Atka’s preimage, the shot led too much, and the psion flipped her weapon onto her back, drawing a knife. With a quick motion, Atka cut a line across her arm, allowing blood to flow forth into the remaining illusionary copy, which shifted to Xifeng’s visage. The psionic manifestation held up its hands, creating a telekinetic barrier to block the next series of shots, while the Colonel herself drew her reflex rifle again and charged the core. A blue-green bolt of plasma screamed out of the weapon’s barrel, heading for Gradhiel.

    Desmond charged at Gradhiel as well, his left, metallic arm glowing red and a Pulsar Core in his right. Darting around the burst of shots, Desmond went around the pinned down psion’s cover, getting in close to try and hit him with his orb of psionic energy.

    Leaning forward, Gradhiel did the unthinkable in his situation: he charged Desmond, narrowly avoiding the burst of fire from Atka. Rushing forward for a shoulder check, the infiltrator snapped off another burst of his mauler at Desmond, trying to utilize the point blank range to his advantage.

    Germael frantically reloaded his plasma pistol, shoving another charge pack in before taking another series of shots at Atka, following it up with a mind fray. “So, we’re going two on one, eh!?” he shouted. “Well I can even those odds!”

    Desmond smirked as Gradhiel charged him. Big mistake. Desmond’s Aurora armor flared a deep red, Desmond pumping a large amount of psionic energy into the suit in order to charge it’s special feature. A red telekinetic shield formed around the suit, the artificial power taking the shots from the Mauler as Desmond was now face to face with the enemy psion. “Sorry, but you are outclassed.” Desmond slammed his Core into the abdomen of the enemy, the power drilling into him as Desmond slowly pushed the orb into the man.

    Gradhiel roared in pain, blood spooling out of the gaping wound in his torso. “No, I am the Might of God!” Gradhiel said, even as the core continued its way into his chest. “I cannot be overcome!” With that, he manifested four fireballs above his head, and sent them crashing down upon both him and Desmond.

    Desmond quickly withdrew his orb, having to turn quickly and fall to the ground, holding up his arms and barely holding back the attacks with fleeting energy, his shield beginning to flicker slightly. “I can’t hold them back forever!”

    More blood flowed out of Atka’s wound, and Xifeng was quickly between Desmond and Gradhiel, an telekinetic field pushing the soul fire back onto its caster, though Atka grimaced from the strain, tasting copper. “Could have just… thrown the orb… you know…”

    With a slow wave of the hand, Gradhiel cut the power to the pyrokinetic display, the orbs of flames winking out just before they impacted him. “I… am fucking invincible,” he muttered, even as blood pooled from the gaping hole in his chest. “And no damn Wolf is going to kill me so easily.” With that, Gradhiel reached onto his back, and disconnected a blade from the back of his armor, the long-sword sized weapon extending into a six-foot blade. And then Gradhiel charged Desmond once more.

    “Right, of course Gradhiel tries to get himself killed as soon as possible,” Germael muttered with annoyance to himself. Slamming his hand on the console, a tray slid out from underneath it, bearing a Heavy Plasma Rifle and a handful of grenades. “You’ll regret ignoring me!” he shouted, chucking one of the grenades at Atka as he grabbed the other pieces of equipment.

    Xifeng intercepted the explosive, and Atka quickly disconnected her link to the manifestation before it was blown into shards of glowing energy and boiled blood. Still not as good as Sapentia with that one… but thank you, precognition.

    Desmond had to pull himself to his feet, dropping the shield and taking in deep breaths as he tried to regain what little energy he could. “Do I really…?” Desmond slowly pulled his katana off of his back and waited kneeling on one leg on the ground, letting his enemy come to him rather than reversed.

    Gradhiel skidded to a stop, using the momentum of his charge to swing his blade at Desmond, in place of his ruined core muscles. “I am not perishing alone!” the infiltrator roared.

    Desmond sprang into action, moving to the side as the blade narrowly missed him. Dropping his own sword, Desmond reached up to his arm, a secret compartment in it that revealed a small blade, Desmond grabbing it and positioning himself behind Gradhiel, who was injured and off balanced. “I beg to differ.” Desmond stabbed the blade into the neck of the psion, his left arm flaring red as he sent a left hook into the enemy’s back, the enhanced strength sending the man forward in the air.

    A wordless cry choked in Gradhiel’s throat as he fell forward. With the last of his strength, Gradhiel gently turned to lock gazes with Desmond, sending a wrath filled glare as the infiltrator impacted the floor, the last of his blood pooling out onto the ground.
     
  5. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation White Bird, Gamma Squad (Part Three)

    “Gradhiel!” Germael screamed, seeing his brother fall for the last time. “You… bastards! You killed Gradhiel!”

    Atka reformed her icy helixes around her arms, though was beginning to feel her energy being strained slightly. Lifting her weapon, she silently told Desmond, Hit him with multiple attacks, even if they’re individually weak… hopefully we can overload his ESP like we have for the Incubators. having given her partner that knowledge, the Inuit woman fired off a few shots, while launching the spike-tipped psionic projections at Germael.

    Desmond had to scrape the bottom of his energy pool in order to make his attacks work, sending two very weak lances at Germael as well as a fireball and a few shots from his plasma pistol. Make it count...I can’t do any more after that.

    Germael weaved through the attacks, strain beginning to show on his face as he focused intently on his powers. “I suppose that was Gradhiel’s mistake then,” he said. “He let himself be hit, and that led to his downfall. But I will not suffer the same fate!” With that, the infiltrator rolled behind a low console and popped up, snapping off a pair of rifle shots at Atka.

    Atka stepped to the side a moment before, the second shot glancing against the left side of her armor, damaging it but not leaving a gaping hole in the alloy structure. Grabbing her chem grenades, Atka tossed the first to the left of the low console, and the second to the right, making the only way out to go back. That trap set, she lifted her rifle in overwatch, telekinetic helixes at the ready to shoot out as well if he moved.

    “Your trap is noted, but useless,” Germael said, vaulting forward over the the console as he fired off a long burst of plasma to cover his own advance. He weaved to the side to avoid the reaction fire from Atka, and rolled forward once more to dodge the helixes sent forth as a follow-up.

    I don’t suppose a javelin would be much help here… but maybe… Atka smiled grimly. “Jessica’s not going to like this,” she mumbled, before pulling out the knife again. Slashing a deeper gouge this time, and gritting her teeth in pain, Atka drew a significant amount of blood out of her body, and it moved to circle around Germael in a ring and create a telekinetic barrier around him, in a last ditch effort to restrict his movement.

    “W-what the!?” Germael said, slamming into the telekinetic barrier. “Dammit! Have you already figured out the trick to my power!?”

    Atka looked delightfully confused, raising an eyebrow. “Well, it seems like a hail mary did something unexpected…” She held her head, feeling a bit dizzy. “Look… don’t make me… kill you. The loss of your brother was unavoidable, but if there’s any chance we can wipe out your mental conditioning…”

    Germael recoiled, stumbling backwards before tripping on his own feet and landing in a sitting position. “M.. my mental conditioning? Y-you’d make a L-lamb, or a W-wolf out of a Shepherd? No! I can’t! I will not betray Mother, and I am not going to abandon my siblings to the same fate Gradhiel did! No, I will pull victory from the jaws of defeat, for I am the Majesty of God!” Grinning sadistically, Germael added, “And I know just how to do so!” Channeling a bit of his power, the infiltrator launched a tendril of blue energy at the purple device placed by Desperatio’s throne, causing it to spark and tremble as quakes echoed across the previously serene mass of psionic energy.

    Is he trying to blow us all up?
    “What is it with you people and your suicidally zealous devotion?!” Atka growled, squeezing the telekinetic field tighter and tighter to try and disrupt her enemy’s concentration.

    “Duty prevails!”
    Germael shouted, even as the telekinetic field began crushing against him. “That’s it! I’ve done it! I’ve won! With but a word, a mental command, I can invoke dozens, nay, hundreds of people to turn against their families, their friends, their nations, their very race! Now, release me, or the man you know as Albert Foulke gets killed by his own wife! Germany will collapse! XCOM will fall, even if the Ethereal Collective does as well!” Finishing his statement, the psion cackled maniacally.

    Atka, now is not the time to be merciful. Whether he is serious or just bluffing us, he can’t be allowed to live. This is not a risk we can take! Desmond yelled at his friend, his energy almost spent.

    And I thought Xifeng was insane. Atka’s eyes burned with cold psionic flames, and she subtly squeezed her fist, muttering, “I revoke my offer, then.” The telekinetic field squeezed with all the force Atka could muster, enough to smash a man alive.

    Agents!
    Germael psionically projected. Destroy all those who work for XCOM! And then Germael was crushed underneath the telekinetic field in a mass of blood and gore.

    Atka closed her eyes, glancing away as the manifestation of her power dissipated, struggling to keep the sick feeling at bay. Desmond pulled himself from the ground and slowly walked his way over to Atka, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Hey...you going to be okay?”

    Atka shakily composed herself. “I’ll be fine. but…” Her eyes widened, glancing at the still-pulsating Ethereal device. Walking over to it, she cautiously placed her hands on the psionic nexus. Duty prevails, belay that order!” The device calmed like the sea after a storm, returning to its normal, faint pulsations. “I… hope that worked… it certainly felt like it did.”
     
  6. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation White Bird: Omega Squad (Part One)

    Two shots from heavy plasma rifles screamed out of their barrels, and two destroyed drones collided with the ground. A swarm of HEAT plasma from a plasma dragon, and a cyberdisc fell to pieces. The scraping of twin chryssalid claws against the crystalline structure of an Outsider heralded its explosion into shards of light.

    Karen slowly lowered her carbine as the two rocketeers, gunner, and chryssalid hybrid tore through the enemy. “Well… good jobs guys. I think that clears the engineering crews up…” I only managed to shoot a Sectoid and a Thin Man…

    Modya nodded, the others keeping their weapons in hand but relaxing slightly as the hangar seemed secure. “I hope the other teams are doing well. We’ve got the easiest job here.”

    Scarlet stretched her shoulder for a moment, feeling a bit cramped. “You say that, but I don’t call a duo of cyberdiscs a fun time.”

    Albert shook his head, loading another charge pack into his plasma rifle. “That’s because these guys want to make sure their boss can escape if possible,” he said. “And if the big man themselves decides to show up, we’ve got the hardest fight on this damned ship.”

    “Do we have any information on how strong he is?” Modya asked. “I’m certainly not looking forward to facing the O.H. with a squad of ten if he’s as strong as Ira.”

    “There’s a hell of a lot of psionic contacts on this vessel, makes it hard to pick out his strength,” Albert replied. “But if what that guy told me in the briefing is right, we’re looking at Invidia level strength.”

    Emma waved a hand at the Infantry Airframe, and it vanished into a cloak, raising up and scanning the room to ensure it was clear. “At least we have some idea that he’s a purple. Makes me quite useful here. And if he uses any red abilities… he will probably regret it.”

    “Yeah… even so, I’m getting a very worrying feeling in my gut,” the Infantry trooper replied. As if on cue, a bulkhead slid open with a hiss, revealing the Ethereal in question, flanked by four Muton Elites and a pair of humans, who appeared almost identical twins.

    So, it seems the New Ones have arrived to thwart this one’s progress, the Honored Overseer said as the XCOM Troopers frantically readjusted their aim to this new angle. Very well, then this one must regrettably get this one’s hands dirty. Jiokjiok, eliminate them.

    With pleasure, Honored Overseer,” the Balmadaar trooper replied, levelling his plasma novagun and opening up with a barrage of suppressive fire as the two of the other Muton troopers activated their jetpacks and rocketed for the ceiling, while the sole remaining Elite legged it for cover. As if ignoring the sudden outburst of violence, Desperatio began making their way towards their craft, followed close behind by Israfel.

    “Presumptuous, are we?” Emma muttered. “Jacobs!” Blaster bomb to that ship’s engines, now!

    The Palestinian-Welsh rocketeer grinned, and laid her launcher low to avoid taking a hit from suppressing fire, firing off a blaster bomb that soared towards the Honored Overseer’s vessel. As she did so, Ryan engaged in counter-suppression, the Infantry Airframe targeted one of the flying Mutons with its three pulse weapons, and the others sent general fire downrange.

    Buniq knelt behind heavy cover, chryssalids scales pushing their way up and over her skin with a faint amount of blood and pain, before she got up and searched for an opening to move forward. “I w-won’t f-fear you a-again…” the hybrid spoke quietly, mostly to steel herself.

    With a casual glance, the Ethereal noted the blaster bomb heading towards their vessel. Since it seems that you wish to get this one involved… you shall obtain such a wish. With a single hand, Desperatio reached up, the air distorted with an impossible color, and the blaster bomb stopped mid-flight.

    “W-what the hell, he caught it!?” Albert exclaimed as the Honored Overseer gently squeezed their palm, crushing the blaster bomb and forcing it to detonate in mid-air. Shaking his head, Albert stood from cover, snapped off a pair of shots at one of the Muton Elites - forcing it into cover as the bolts struck home - and relocated to a new piece of cover.

    Meanwhile, Jiokjiok took this as an opportunity to find some cover for himself, bracing himself on the interior of the door he just came through. He shook his head disdainfully as the Elite Albert had injured was taken down with a burst of fire from Holly, and Jiokjiok loaded a new charge pack into his plasma novagun, making ready for another opportunity to fire.

    Emma shook her head. “Modya, Jubjub, follow me. We need to buy time.” The Shadow Operative took the initiative, her ghost armor and lightning reflexes meaning one of the Mutons in the air that fired at her missed their mark despite the height advantage, and the rocketeer and SHIV followed. The three opened up with fire on Desperatio and his companions.

    Scarlet, getting over the failure of her shot, exchanged glances with Buniq. “I’ll soften him up for you.” Closing her eyes for a moment longer than a standard blink, the British rocketeer reached out, a chainsaw-like mindfray rapidly reaching out in a bid to scramble Jiokjiok’s thoughts.

    With a guttural roar, Jiokjiok pounded his chest as the mind fray attempt backfired, the Muton’s neural conditioning shot waves of pain through Scarlet. Seizing his chance, the Muton Elite leaned out and let loose a burst from his novagun, scoring deep gouges into the rocketeer’s armor.

    As the waves of plasma fire fell upon Desperatio, the Ethereal reached up with their upper pair of arms, channeling their powers once more. The air distorted again, and shots that would have been fatal were swatted aside. Such… arrogance. The blood of the first to rally against the Path flows within these veins, and you believe that such a meager Resistance as yours can harm this one? Perhaps a display of power is in order. Israfel, it is time for your purpose to be fulfilled.

    With that, Desperatio reached out with their lower two arms, grasping the two humans at their side. With a green glow, the twins let out a cry of mixed pain and ecstasy, their life force being subsumed into the Ethereal over a matter of seconds until they were naught but skeletal husks. And now for the true test, the Honored Overseer said, forming a psi lance in their hands before launching it towards Emma.

    Does he know about my abilities, or was this just a lucky attack?
    Emma raised her hands, concentrating a purple glow around them. Her rifle momentarily clanked to the ground before her as she caught the powerful lance, grimacing at the effort required to do so. Its hue changed slightly, becoming a lighter shade of purple. “That… was a mistake,” the shadow operative muttered, launching it back at the Honored Overseer, albeit with somewhat less force behind the shot.

    Why does he call himself a rallier against the path if he’s trying to kill us? Modya raised his heavy rifle and added a burst of plasma to the incoming attacks on Desperatio, unable to consider the conundrum further.

    As the pressure on their Ethereal foe increased, Buniq grimaced at Scarlet’s bad luck. Psi panic is impossible, then. “K-Karen, cover m-me!” The medic sent a flurry of suppressing fire to keep Jiokjiok distracted, and Buniq rushed forward, surrounding her twin arm blades with a condensed storm of psionic energy. “R-Rematch time!”

    So the little one thinks they stand a chance,” Jiokjiok said, breaking line of sight from the Medic by retreating further behind the bulkhead he was taking cover behind. “Then we shall see how the arrogant fall,” he continued, preparing himself for Buniq to rush around into his line of fire.
     
  7. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation White Bird: Omega Squad (Part Two)

    At the incoming psi lance Desperatio threw another of his own, the two spears of psionic energy clashing and rending each other apart. With a wave of their arm, they reached out with a tendril of distorted air, grabbing the barrel of Jubjub’s Super-Heavy Plasma. With a fierce clench of the fist, the tendril slammed down around the weapon, crushing it within its grasp.

    With a final double tap from Albert, the last airborne Muton Elite fell to the floor with a wet thump. “Right, rebase fire!” Albert barked. “Karen, check on Scarlet and make sure Buniq doesn’t get turned into imitation crab! Everybody else, more fire on that damn Ethereal!” Following his own advice, Albert rushed to another piece of cover, and loaded another charge pack into his plasma rifle.

    Heavily damaged and coated in its own plasma, the hover SHIV backed off, replaced by the Infantry Airframe, which locked onto Desperatio and engaged its main pulse beam, the rotating pistols on its wings firing in shorter bursts. The other squad members got into position, save for Scarlet, Karen, and Buniq, and sent burning plasma at the Ethereal commander while Modya prepared another rocket to fire in the pandemonium of the moment.

    Slowly hits began to creep in on Desperatio, glancing blows that they couldn’t redirect entirely. Finally, the Ethereal raised all four of their arms into the air, and shouted, Enough! With that, the Honored Overseer’s entire body glowed an impossible color, and the wall of plasma being flung at the Ethereal seized in mid-air.

    Your continued existence is intolerable. While your race was struggling to recall democracy, I was conquering worlds! To think that you have the gall to strike your betters… No more shall such disgrace stand. With that, Desperatio flexed their arms, and each bolt of plasma flung itself back at its owner.

    Each soldier did their best to duck after the Ethereal’s outburst, but Ryan was not so lucky, having sent the most plasma downrange. The blast tore through his cover and dealt significant damage to the structure of his titan armor, forcing the gunner to attempt to run to cover with damaged servomotors on his powered suit. One of the wings of the Infantry Airframe was sheared, though not quite off, and it reconsidered its mode of attack.

    Emma stood beside Modya, counteracting the glob of plasma telekinetically launched by hijacking the force behind it and pushing it to the side harmlessly. She didn’t even need to tell the rocketeer what was on her mind, Modya firing off his blaster launcher as Emma picked up her rifle and resumed firing.

    Scarlet took the opportunity to fire off her second, anti-armor blaster bomb at the engines of the ship again, hoping that it would get past the Ethereal this time and preclude his escape, and followed Karen as they went in search of Buniq. The Chryssalid Hybrid was locked in combat with Jiokjiok, utilizing her speed to evade his blows, though she did take a glancing hit or two to the chitin.

    Jiokjiok did his best to shrug off the various cuts that he accumulated as he fought off Buniq, his gene mods working frantically to heal the wounds. Falling back onto an established tactic, the Muton Elite pulled a grenade off of his belt, and gently tossing it behind Buniq, masking the toss as a wild haymaker.

    Desperatio reached up once more to grab the rocket aimed at their vessel, seizing it with a telekinetic manipulator. However, whether due to inattention or some alien logic, the Ethereal let Modya’s rocket detonate against their torso, the blast throwing up a large cloud of smoke.

    “Ha!” Albert shouted, standing from cover. “Take that you damn pri- wait, where’d Ryan go?” On cue, the Gunner let out a brief scream as a telekinetic manipulator grasped him around the leg, and pulled him into the cloud, Ryan’s disappearance followed by a bright green glow.

    The greatest strength of your kind,
    Desperatio said, their voice echoing forth from the fading smoke, is your strength. Such a plethora of life and psionic energy… perfect for restoring this one’s damaged form. With that, the last of the smoke faded, and the Ethereal stood in their previous position, nearly unharmed, with Ryan’s hollowed corpse lying at their feet. Now perish.

    Reaching up, the Ethereal let loose four psionic tendrils, the telekinetic manipulators glowing with enough strength to be visible to the naked eye. With a sweep the Infantry Airframe was knocked to the side, crashing against a bulkhead.

    Buniq’s keen eye caught the explosive as it flew past her, and she opted to move forward, going low and moving to slash at his side as she went past. Her tactics changed a little as he punched at her, an arm blade slashing back the hand as she moved past him completely and went back into a normal fighting stance. Karen and Scarlet came up behind her, firing at Jiokjiok as the bomb went off.

    The Muton Elite roared in pain as first the blade nearly sliced his arm off, following shortly by the crash of plasma against his armor, and then finally the grenade exploding near point-blank in his face. Collapsing to his knees, Jiokjiok grumbled, “The arrogant fall… with great sorrow. But you shall not enjoy this victory!” With that, the Balmadaar Elite pulled the primer on all of his grenades, and pushed off in the direction he felt Buniq was.

    The chryssalid hybrid did the logical thing in the face of a suicide bomber: she ran, darting around the corner, the two soldiers following quickly behind her to escape the blast radius. With one final roar, Jiokjiok was consumed in a ball of plasma, the quintuplet grenades he carried detonating with primal fury, sending out a shockwave that buffeted - but did little else - to the fleeing trio.
     
  8. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation White Bird: Omega Squad (Part Three)

    The blast echoed throughout the hangar, and at this Desperatio paused in their attacks. So, it seems that my honored subordinate has finally failed in his duty, they said, a hint of mourning in their voice. In recompense, so shall you. With a renewed vigor, Desperatio lashed out with the telekinetic manipulators, reaching for Summers, who was pinned down under a barrage of psi lances.

    “Summers!” Albert shouted, noting the direction of the psionic tentacles. Quickly deciding on a course of action, the Amero-Anglican sprinted forward, and shoved Holly out of the way of the attack. Instead of the engineer, Albert was seized by the manipulators, and was dragged off towards Desperatio.

    See how your leaders so easily sacrifice themselves for the sake of their subordinates? Such… weakness, Desperatio said, drawing the Infantry closer via Albert’s arm. And now his energy shall be used to kill the one he saved.

    “Like hell!” Modya growled, opening fire at an angle to try and thread the shot over the infantry and hit the tall alien, while Emma moved closer to one of the tendrils rather than backing off from them. Scarlet and the other two saw the scenario before them, with only two of the soldiers facing Desperatio able to attack. They did their best to run around the side and attack Desperatio from behind, the two soldiers firing before Buniq could close any distance.

    Modya’s shots hit home on Desperatio, causing the Ethereal to recoil slightly, but in response they merely began the drain, Albert’s life force being sucked away to heal the Honored Overseer’s wound. Your attempts to avert your fate are futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! the Ethereal roared in an uncharacteristic display of wrath.

    “I... still challenge my fate,” Albert muttered, even as his life force drained into the Ethereal. With his unbound hand he reached down and grabbed his H.S.P.B., before pulling it up and levelling it at his bound arm. Pulling the trigger, the barrage of plasma punched through the armor and sheared Albert’s arm off at the elbow, the infantry falling to the floor as the severed portion of his left arm still hung suspended in Desperatio’s manipulators.

    Without hesitation, Modya tossed his rifle to the side, pulling out his blaster launcher and firing off a shredder at the Ethereal. Karen, Scarlet, and Emma made use of the damage, sending three bursts of plasma downrange at Desperatio. From the angle the shots couldn’t hit, Buniq leapt at the Ethereal, meaning to drive her front claws into the psionic alien’s back.

    Four telekinetic manipulators shot out, the first shielding Desperatio from the worst of the shredder rocket, and the other three fending off plasma fire. However, the Ethereal couldn’t readjust their manipulators to shield against the attack from behind, and the claws dug deep into their back, piercing through out the front of the Honored Overseer’s torso.

    “You’ll be destroyed by the power you gave me,” Buniq spoke with surprisingly clarity, her amber irises surrounded by an orange hue. With that, Buniq activated the rifts around her blades, tearing two twin chasms into Desperatio’s chest before she vaulted back off the Ethereal.

    I-impossible...
    Desperatio said, collapsing to the floor. To think that one such as this one… falls. Eighty-two cycles… is that all such experience affords? Dying on some backwater planet… I suppose this marks the end of the atonement for the sins of my ancestors… But not without vengeance. With that, the Ethereal began glowing, the accumulated psionic energy thrashing against their ruined form.

    Buniq, having just been through a flight from a kamikaze Muton, had a good idea about what was going to happen. “R-Run!” she shouted, grabbing Albert and using two small rifts at her feet to boost them away from the dying Ethereal.

    Y-you shall not evade me…
    Desperatio said, trying to manifest one last psionic tendril, but the damage to their form was too great, and the attempt petered out. A second later, the Ethereal exploded in an all-consuming blast of haywire psionic energy, before quickly collapsing in on itself and leaving a near perfect ten-meter sphere of nothingness around their body, prompting a rush of air to buffet the troopers as it flowed into the void.

    Buniq crumpled to her knees in near-exhaustion, a splitting headache not helping. “I-It’s over… then…”

    “Aye… that damned Overseer is dead,” Albert said, in shock from the pain of losing his arm. “Honestly thought it’d cost an arm and a leg… got off lucky then.”

    Karen quickly was snapped out of her awe of the crater, and knelt down by the Amero-Anglican with her medkit in hand. “This’ll hurt like hell, so hold still.” With that encouragement, she sent a spray of nanites over the wound to sterilize it and slow blood flow, before using a more conventional method of pressure to stop blood flow completely.

    Albert quietly grimaced as pain shocked through his system, even with the numbing effects of shock. “Somebody… phone it in that we’ve overcome Despair,” he said. “Let’s just hope this wasn’t all for naught…”
     
  9. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    BMPixy, DarkGemini24601 & ZombieSplitter53:

    Operation Finem Timere: Part One
    Aerial Battle


    XCOM Warship Arkbird, Over the Pacific Ocean
    2315 Hours, December 31st, 2018
    Near the current location of the Temple Ship

    Morrigan stepped up to the controls, and received a nod from Acedia. Clearing her throat, the Commander said, “I’m not going to lie to you. This isn’t going to be easy, and… and not all of you will be coming back. But we can do this. With the combined power of all of our fighters, combined with the power of these battleships and a little surprise from Elene and our hackers, we can take this fight to them, and get our people on to that ship. You are the greatest pilots on this planet, some of you the best of all time, so let’s get this done, and show the Ethereals what happens when they try to take our world.”

    The Commander glanced at Acedia, and the Ethereal stepped forward, hitting a few keys. I am uploading a number of schematics to each of your ships. These are the main power sources for the Temple Ship, and where they will be directed depending on the damage it takes and where. Our first goal will be to disable the main weapons bank, as well as the signal jammers on the top of the ship. With the former down, we can move to disabling the primary shield generators, and with the latter down, we can hack into the ship, or into the ship's within the ship. Finally, once the defenses are down, the Arkbird will move to dock. In addition to supporting our approach, we will want to disable their engines so the do not attempt a retreat before we can get on board. We don’t know if we’ll get a chance for this again, so we need to get on that ship now. Good luck, and watch each other’s backs.

    Elene looked up from a command console. “Main and secondary weapons operational, including the feedback cannon,” she informed the commander. “Jupiter is ready to go for their special mission, as well as any combat they may be required to preform.”

    “All fighter teams have checked in, and there are no inconsistencies with the automated fighters,” Emma added from nearby.

    “Alright,” Morrigan said. “Clear to engage. Let’s hit them with everything we have.”

    “Roger that Arkbird, good speech,” Snow replied. “Enemy Temple Ship fourteen kilometers out. All craft, accelerate to intercept speed. Keep pace with the Ravens, don’t want to lose them.” With a chorus of affirmatives, the interceptor craft pushed forward, a barrage of sonic booms following the fighters as they accelerated to hypersonic speeds.

    “Warning, we’ve got hostile interceptors leaking out of the Temple Ship,” the radar operator intoned over the comms channel. “Twenty. Correction, fifty… no, one hundred, wait, even more? Final count, one-five-oh enemy fighters. Repeat, one-five-oh enemy light through medium enemy craft.”

    “We’ve stirred up quite the hornet’s nest, haven’t we Pixy?” one of the pilots said.

    “Just keep your head on straight and stick close, P.J., we’ll get through this fine,” Pixy replied.

    “That goes to all you nuggets, especially those of you unlucky enough to be still flying Ravens,” a third pilot chimed in. “Stick with your wingmates, watch your six, and get on the alien’s.”

    “Geez Heartbreak, you make it sound like we’re still in flight school,” Chopper snarked. “I mean, we’re all aces here, no need to keep calling us nuggets.”

    Heartbreak began to reply, but a transmission from Snow cut the two off. “This is Wardog 1, enemy is four kilometers out. Begin operation. Galm, take Mobius, Garuda, Silber, Grun, and Indigo flights, work interception along with the EXALT and captured alien craft. Wardog, Warwolf, Rot, and Yellow, we’re heading for the first objective.”

    “Copy that,” Galm 1 replied. “Time to dive into the fireworks.” With that, the forty-five aircraft assigned to interception duty broke off from the main formation, diving down into the swarm of alien fighters. Meanwhile, the remaining twenty aircraft continued their ascent, circling the Temple Ship as the dogfight below began.

    Pulse lasers, plasma beams, and fusion cannons blasted forth as the two forces met, radar contacts winking out on both sides as the fury of next-generation aerial warfare was unleashed upon the pristine Pacific sky. The XCOM pilots did remarkably, but the aliens had numbers to back them up, and after recoiling from the fury of the initial strike, the invaders retaliated in full force, bringing down a handful of the under-armored EXALT F-22s and a pair of Ravens from Indigo flight.

    Still, the initial force had done it’s job, and with a few clicks over the mike, Wardog 1 signalled for the reserve force to dive straight down upon the signal jammers. Tense moments passed as the pilots lined up their shots on the signal jammers, the ECM broadcasting out slowing their radar locks to a near halt.

    “Wardog 2, Fox Five! Fox Five!” Nagase shouted over the radio, firing off a pair of fusion lances from the front of her firestorm, the shots slapped away by the enemy shielding. “Weapons ineffective,” the pilot reported.

    “Remember the pre-flight briefing! Concentrate your fire on one spot to penetrate enemy shields!” Grimm shouted out, following it with a pair of fusion cannon bursts himself onto the same spot Nagase had fired upon, the shots edging slightly closer to the exposed transmitter.

    “Missile lock,” Chopper said, “Fox Three, Fox Three, Fox Three.” Small panels on the side of his craft slid open, and a small flurry of miniaturized Sparrow missiles flocked out, crashing into the shields of the Temple Ship and detonating. More plasma beam and fusion fire followed from the rest of the pilots, smashing into the upper shielding of the Temple Ship, which was now beginning to flicker uncertainly.

    “One more pass people,” Snow said. “Pull-up and prepare for another attack run.”
     
  10. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    “Wardog, warning!” Galm One shouted. “Two-oh enemy fighters disengaging from main dogfight, heading towards your eight o’clock!”

    “Copy that Cipher,” Snow replied. “Warwolf, Yellow, break right. Wardog, Rot, break left. Whoever they pursue, the others grab onto the X-Ray’s six.”

    “Wilco,” Warwolf One replied, as the firestorm wing and six Ravens broke away from their companions, turning towards the enemy. The alien fighters faltered for a moment, before pursuing Warwolf, cutting inside their turn and firing off their plasma beams, desperately trying to get a solid hit on one of the craft. Sensing this, Wardog and Rot continued their turn as Warwolf and Yellow broke in the opposite direction, narrowly avoiding the hail of plasma fire.

    The alien craft’s fire overshot the XCOM interceptors, and shortly afterwards the hostile craft themselves did the same, desperately banking to get another firing angle. However, Wardog and Rot had completed their turn, and pushed their engines forward, cutting on the inside of the alien’s turn, and the human retaliation fire was much more effective, downing a trio of alien fighters and four scouts while the others gunned their engines and broke left, turning the human’s own tactic against them as Wardog and Rot shot past the remaining X-Ray craft.

    The alien craft turned, matching the human’s own jink, and a litany of fire shot forth, downing Rot 5, the plane detonating in a fireball of shrapnel and smoke before the pilot could eject. However, Warwolf had seen this coming, and pushed their Firestorms to the limit to make a third sharp turn, G-Forces straining on the pilots as they pulled onto the alien’s six o’clock. Four fusion beams shot forth, four enemy shields failed, and four enemy craft either detonated in the sky or plummeted towards the ocean, streaming viscous smoke as they did so. This was shortly followed by the Ravens completing their turn, and a flurry of plasma beams downed another pair of alien vessels.

    The xenos, realizing their predicament, rolled their vessels over and pushed downwards, aiming to disengage with a split-s. Sensing this, Warwolf pitched their craft up, over seventy degrees skyward, decelerating as they did so to temporarily induce a stall, thus forcing their craft to be pulled nose-first towards the Earth, the Firestorms accelerating as they did so, now flying in the complete opposite direction and on the alien fighters’ tails. Another barrage of fusion cannons shells flew forth, and the remaining nine enemy fighters were cleared from the sky.

    “Local radar clear,” Warwolf One reported.

    “Roger, nice flying,” Snow replied. “Let’s get some altitude while we can, need to make another pass before the shields recharge.”

    “Copy that, following your lead,” Rot One said, falling into formation as Wardog began pulling towards the sky, followed from below by Warwolf and Yellow. Upon reaching a suitable altitude, the assembled fighters levelled off, banked into a clockwise turn, and dived once more upon the jammer, lighting up the enemy shielding under a torrential rain of fusion lances, plasma beams, and micro-Sparrows. The shield held firm for what seemed to be the longest minute, before finally failing and letting XCOM’s fire strike true, ravaging the jammer in a cascade of explosions.

    Signal jammer is down, Commander!

    Morrigan nodded. “Arkbird to Jupiter, you are clear to go. Do your thing, guys.”

    Yaralria nodded from the bridge of Acedia’s medium-sized battleship, placing her hands upon input panels. Her pupils split open, letting the silver light within shine freely. “Confirming alien radar jamming interference at low levels… 6% of previous output confirmed. Link with Sora successful, despite protests by the aforementioned A.I. Initiating uplink to supra-battleship XNOAE-665 now with the assistance of Dr. Randolf and Lady Lily,” she stated as the two stood by her side, the former linked to Cheshire, the latter to Avanix.

    The computer blocks on the sides of the Interface’s head flashed and whirred as lines of alien code ran through the heads of the three. “Old alien code, shouldn’t be difficult to crack.”

    Breaking down firewall… successful. Proceed with decrypting.

    Lily acknowledged Avanix’s statement by going further, having the A.I. and the other two humans with implants to share data with nearly simultaneously. “Electronic defenses of 665 are failing… and crippled. You are free to proceed.”

    The Interface connected directly to the now-defenseless computers of the supra-battleship contained within the Temple Ship, running through a checklist. “Commandeering flight computers and battle computers… done. Seizing control of Outsider crew now…” A holographic screen popped up in front of Yaralria, the now directionless artificial crew of the ship requesting orders. “Terminate organic skeleton crew aboard the XNOAE-665.”

    The sounds of Sectoid squeals and other alien death cries echoed in Yaralria’s ears, but if she was moved, she did not show it. “Dr. Randolf, if you and Lily would take control of the seventy fighters contained within, we will have gained access to the same number of fusion cannons. I will handle getting the ship out of dock.”

    “I’ll do my best,” Sunny said flatly, as she and Cheshire moved control over to the first half of the ships in the craft’s manifest. “Not… much of a pilot, though.”
     
  11. DarkGemini24601

    DarkGemini24601 Well-Known Member

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    Operation Finem Timerem, Part 2
    Aerial Battle


    “Just maintain the link, Sunshine,” Cheshire said, his tone as sarcastic and nonchalant as always. “I’ve downloaded the appropriate files. I just hope I don’t show up our own people.”

    “The mix of creative thought from us and the technical knowledge of the Outsiders should be enough,” Lily offered as she took control of the other half of the fighters, noting their structure reminded her of elongated firestorms, even if they preceded the human design.

    “Permissions to exit hangar granted,” Yaralria confirmed, a slight smile working its way onto the Interface’s face. “And through that channel, I have forced the door to remain open, so we have a landing site for the Arkbird that is within significant proximity to the bridge.”

    This act did not go unnoticed as the 665 exited the hangar, and the doors did not shut afterwards. The lack of response from the crew on their motive prompted the staff within the massive hangar to contact the flight commander aboard one of the seven large battleships containing the ‘replacement’ Overseers of Earth. “P-1112, we have a bit of a problem,” the Thin Man spoke into the communications channel.

    From aboard the ship, simply called “The Hammer”, Iudicium answered. I am a little preoccupied, flight control… what could possibly be important enough to-

    “The 665 is no longer under our control.”

    ...what did you say? The Ethereal thought dangerously. How did you let this happen?

    “W-We do not know, Honored One! The ship will not respond to commands, and it is… it is launching fighters!”

    In the skies near the Temple ship, the side doors of the XNOAE-665 opened, revealing energy doors beneath from which 70 unique alien fighters jettisoned out of. They curved up into the air, leaving behind elerium afterburner trials coating the night sky in a greenish-orange hue, before arcing downwards and rapidly opening fire on a series of destroyers launching from one of the vertical docks of the Temple Ship’s underbelly.

    Iudicium clenched a gauntlet-covered fist in fury. Begin launching the regular battleships now, defended by fighter escorts! Council of seven, we will join them shortly!

    As you wish, sir, Volo said graciously.

    The humans will soon be crushed by our might! Gloria roared.

    And the Earth will become ours, along with all its bounty, Lucrum eagerly added.

    I believe you will make fine laborers, humans… Manduco mused.

    Oh, you just want to profit from it as much as Lucrum at my expense, Cupio whined.

    Whatever works… Recuba lazily responded.

    Iudicium crossed his arms, staring down the other six through his mask. Be focused, and do not fail! Unlike the other seven, we will not falter, for we fight for the vengeance of our homeworld, and to appease the Exalted One and crusade in the name of the Path!

    “This is AWACS Thunderhead!” the radar operator aboard the Arkbird shouted. “We’ve got additional enemy contacts flooding out of the Temple Ship! Eight-zero fighters, four-zero destroyers, two-zero mixed abductors and supply barges, and ten mid-class battleships! Power signatures aboard the Temple Ship also indicate that they’re preparing to launch something big our way!”

    “Jesus Christ, and I thought the first wave was bad!” Chopper complained as Wardog and the accompanying flights linked up with the bulk of the XCOM interceptors, as the last of the prior wave was shot down.

    “Hey, I dunno about you, but I’m looking forward to hitting triple ace!” P.J. replied. “Hell, might even hit quadr-”

    “P.J.! Break right!” Cipher shouted over comms.

    “Huh?” Galm Three asked, beginning the maneuver, however a fusion cannon beam tore through the space his firestorm occupied, enveloping it in energy. Only a shockwave echoing through the sky indicated the pilot’s fate.
     
  12. DarkGemini24601

    DarkGemini24601 Well-Known Member

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    “Dammit! Interceptors, engage!” Snow roared. “Wardog, Rot, Warwolf, Yellow, follow my plane! We’re taking out those weapon arrays!”

    “Roger!” Nagase echoed back as the Firestorms and Ravens dove forth once more, as another furball of close-range dogfights erupted around the planes. Firestorms and alien fighters desperately scissored, yo-yo-ed, and rolled back and forth, pushing both organic pilots and the inorganic craft to their limits as G-forces strained ever so harder with each twist and turn. Silber Four banked into a high-G barrel roll, forcing the fighter pursuing him to overshoot, thus giving the Raven pilot a suitable guns position to shoot down the alien fighter in a barrage of plasma. However, the alien’s wingmate quickly avenged their comrade, a fusion beam through the cockpit instantly destroying the outdated jet.

    “Guns, guns, guns!” Grimm barked over the comm channel as he flicked his fusion cannon into rapid-fire mode, focused on draining the enemy shield via volume of fire while Chopper took down a Destroyer with the help of Yellow 3 and 4.

    “Enemy weapons shielding getting low!” Thunderhead barked over the main comms. “Take ‘em out, fast!” As if sensing the order, the alien anti-air guns pivoted to focus on the approached XCOM interceptors, pouring an unheard of volume of fire towards the over-strength squadron.

    “I’m hit!” Yellow One shouted in surprise, “Punching out!” With a quick burst of rocket motors, the pilot was thrown free of the doomed craft, which detonated shortly afterwards.

    “This is Swordsman, attack zone’s getting hot, pull back!” Snow ordered, banking his craft into a split-s to disengage from the fight temporarily, followed shortly by the remainders of his attack force. “Can’t get too close to that array, it’s like trying to fly through a brick wall.”

    “Gunners, target the weapons array that the fighters are having trouble with,” Elene ordered from aboard the Arkbird, the Supra-Battleship turning to lock onto target. The dual forty-fusion core weapons on the massive ship began to thrum with energy as they powered up and pulled a set of enemy fusion cannon towers attached to the side of the Temple Ship into their sights. Something else took their place though.

    “Enemy battleship blocking the line of sight,” Emma stated. “Orders?”

    Elene smiled devilishly. “Let’s see if these quad-deca cannons can truly do what the manual says… QD-001, target the battleship! QD-002, prepare to destroy the weapons array!” The gunners frantically responded, bringing the weapons up to full charge quickly. “#1, fire!”

    A massive, spearlike fusion launched leapt out of the first gigantic barrel, and in a flurry of blue light, then the orange of an explosion, ripped through the medium-sized alien battleship, leaving nothing but errant shards of alloy to splash into the ocean ten kilometers below. The second cannon fired a blast with similar fury, detonating the targeted weapons array and eliminating one threat. With machine precision, it began targeting other weapons, scoring a hit on a plasma bombing area that blew a chunk of hull around it away.

    “Take that!” Elene shouted, before quickly composing herself. “Ahem… well done. Continue targeting.”

    “Enemy mega-battleships preparing to launch!” one of the crew members warned as the sounds of fire echoed around the ship, Sunny’s alien fighters defending the Arkbird from the vicious retaliation of two dozen destroyers. Lily’s own interceptors faced even more difficulty, having to deal with Temple Ship bombardment as well, the 665 being closer to the mothership itself as a distraction to prevent the same deadly fire from ripping into the weaker-shielded XCOM warship.

    Elene glanced at a third gunner who hadn’t had a chance to do much so far in the fight. “Perhaps it is time to test out the feedback cannon. Transfer the necessary power from the Quad-Decas and let it work its magic.”

    The gunner smirked. “As you command… though you only had to ask.” Tapping a few controls, a purple, plated gun at the front of the ship was surrounded by a prismatic purple hue, particles of light gathering around it as it took aim at one of the large battleships.

    Recuba looked up at a screen as her craft was nearly ready to take off. Hmmm? What is that?

    Desperatio’s experimental weapon! Recuba, get out of there!

    But… the engines aren’t ready for takeoff… Sloth protested.

    The Arkbird spat out a beam of purple energy that lasted for only a few seconds, colliding with the telekinetically suspended pillar-dock Recuba’s warship was attached to. The glow around the pillar itself faded, and like the hunk of metal it was, it tumbled downwards into the sea.

    “Psionic disruption successful!” Emma confirmed as the dock faded from view.

    Damn it! Iudicium shouted as Recuba and her ship faded from view, sinking into the vast ocean, unable to resurface due to weight and damage to engines that were never meant to be in a body of saltwater. All other ships, launch now! He ordered desperately as a few fighter docks were destroyed in the same manner. And destroy that blasphemous ship!

    “Well, guess that’s it for the era of fighter aces,” Huckebein muttered, examining the destruction.

    “Then we’ll just have to end it with a bang!” Heartbreak replied, rolling and pushing down, his wingman following close behind.

    “Rot, Yellow,” Snow ordered, “Form up with the interceptors, work on taking out the small fry. Mobius flight! Form up with us, we’re sinking battleships!” With a chorus of affirmatives, the squadron pulled an Immelman, rapidly gaining altitude, before accelerating forward to get the drop on the first of the battleships to pull out of dock.

    Gloria’s shields held against the barrage at first, the Ethereal crossing her arms at the head of the bridge. Do they really think they have a chance against us? Come, Cupio… let us put an end to this resistance.

    The two battleships made the bold move of ignoring the deadly barrage, moving forward as the next mega-battleship manned by Volo undocked, escorted by two regular ones. The three reinforcements opened fire with their secondary weapons upon the fighters, a few main cannon blasts aimed at the center of the XCOM formation. Why don’t you deal with us for a change?
     
  13. BMPixy

    BMPixy Well-Known Member

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    Gloria and Cupio’s ships made more implicit use of their weapons, targeting the Arkbird and opening fire. Although some destroyers harassing the supra-battleship had fallen, their spray of plasma was nothing compared to the two blasts that rocked the shields of the Arkbird.

    “Down to seventy percent!” Emma warned as the lights in the ship flickered. “Diverting power from the Feedback Cannon back into the shields.”

    “Fighter squadrons including Sunny and Lily, get these battleships off of us!” Elene requested. “All we have to do is get in enough firepower to disable the ship, we don’t have to destroy their entire fleet before then!”

    “We’re doing our best, but these verdammt arschloch are on us like black on asphalt!” Garuda One replied. “Swordsman, you better have a plan!”

    “I have one, I just need to think of it first!” Snow shot back as he led his squadron of Firestorms through the bullet hell they found themselves in, their shields getting dangerously low. “Got it! Dive towards the lead battleship, get close and do a strafing run! They won’t risk hitting their own vessels! Aim for the bridge on your pass!”

    “Wilco,” Mobius One replied coolly, performing a short aileron roll before diving down towards the battleship, following the other interceptors as they dive bombed the battleship, fusion lance bursts aimed at anti-air emplacements.

    The shields taxed to the max, the flak cannons crumpled like paper, and the bridge suffered damage as well, nearly being breached. P-Pull back! Gloria ordered.

    There isn’t any time…! one of the pilots pleaded. We have to abandon ship!

    Gloria’s expression twisted in fury for a moment, but the fighters preparing for a return run made her reconsider. Very… well. Iudicium, finish this! Glory demanded before fleeing for an escape pod with the other crew members of value.

    “Kill confirmed!” Warwolf Two shouted enthusiastically. “Bishop, you owe me one hell of a beer when we get back!”

    “Only if you score more than me, Guts,” Bishop replied, rolling to the right as the mega-battleship began to plummet towards the sea.

    “Cool the chatter, coming on the second one right now,” Snow said. “Same as last time, let’s make it two for two!”

    Cupio’s ship suffered a similar fate, though the second Envy didn’t even have time to eject, being consumed in the blast. Seeing the destruction wrought on his comrades, Volo wisely took the chance to pull back and regroup with the Hammer of Judgement, Profit, and the second Gluttony and their respective warships. Defensive posture, defend the Temple Ship at all costs! Iudicium ordered as yet another wave of ships were launched into the sky.

    Taking the chance given to it, however, the Arkbird had risen to be in position over the top of the Temple Ship, with the seventy fighters defending it and the 665 acting as a buffer zone, though the latter Supra-Battleship had taken hull damage and was starting to look like it might meet its end here. Casting that aside, Elene ordered the gunners to take aim at the shield generators beneath the shrines atop the mothership. The shots charged up, and collided with the shields, but the mighty Quad-Deca cannons just barely couldn’t pierce the shrines, a purple shield beneath the blue blocking their devastation.

    “Don’t tell me… they’re tapping from the psionic reservoir within, and potentially borrowing a bit of power from the civilians onboard as well?” Elene breathed, clenching a fist in frustration and irritation. “That’s rather cold… Power down QD-002, and charge up the Feedback Cannon!” she decided with a clever glint in her eyes.

    “Negative!” Snow shouted, as he and his squadron pulled up over the Temple Ship. “If that thing’s being powered by the civvies, who knows what effect it would have on them! We just need to destroy the generator! AIs, one of you, could you run some math and see if a Firestorm could fly through that shield?”

    “Telekinetic force is a negative,” Lily replied with a mechanical tinge to her voice. “You would be destroyed without enough force output… but…” She glanced at Yaralria and Sunny, and they all had the same thought. “The 665!”

    “Right, we’ll be right on it’s tail!” Snow barked, as he directed his squadron of Firestorms into position.

    What is the 665… no! The four mega-battleships tried to move into position, directing all the fighters they could muster at the other supra-battleship. Taking hit after hit, Phobos’s cruiser began to teeter to the brink, and its engines finally blew out as it hovered over the shrines. Iudicium had stopped the 665… only to send it crashing into the Temple Ship. With a deafening explosion, many of the shrines were annihilated, the energy and telekinetic shields giving out and their generators being consumed in the blast. The rest fell to the final say of the Arkbird’s twin barrels of doom. Emerging from the blast, shields completely depleted, were the assembled Firestorms, plunging into the depths of the various trenches lining the Temple Ship, scouring forth to find the engines.

    “One final objective, boys!” Snow echoed over comms, deftly flying the Firestorm through the channels and tunnels, followed closely by the rest of his force. “Let’s get those engines, then we can finish this fight!”

    “Oorah!” Guts shouted, weaving between a pair of support pillars. “Time to teach the aliens a final les-” A fusion blast tore through the trailing firestorm, cutting off his speech with a massive blast as his fusion reactor cooked off.
     
  14. BMPixy

    BMPixy Well-Known Member

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    “Guts!” Bishop shouted. “Damn. Enemy fighters on our six. We’re trapped.”

    “Anybody have any shields?” Oka Nieba asked as the ten firestorms now weaved not only through the obstacles ahead of them, but also through the wall of fire being throw at them from behind. The pilot was answered with a chorus of negatives, forcing a curse from Galm Four.

    “Then we just have to accelerate, and hope we lose them!” Snow barked, pushing his firestorm faster.

    “Nope, I got a better idea!” Galm Two shouted over the radio. “We’ve got an access point roughly twelve hundred meters ahead of your position! Galm flight will enter there, and head in your direction! We’ll sweep fighters off of you, and you’ll nab any that follow us, capiche?”

    “It’s the only option we have, even with the risk of a crash…” Snow muttered. “Right, let’s go for it. Everybody, full forward!” The firestorms punched forward, only the neural link between the pilots and their craft enabling them to make the break-neck dodges around obstacles and enemy fighters. However, one shot slipped through, and struck true.

    “Damn, I’m hit!” Wardog Three shouted. Warning lights flashed across Chopper’s heads-up display, as a plasma beam tore through the side of his Firestorm. “Engine output failing, losing power… gonna try to punch out. Nope, ejection system is shot. Damn…”

    “Chopper, try for an emergency landing,” Grimm replied, narrowly avoiding a fusion lance.

    “No can do kid, fighters will just nail me as they fly by,” Davenport replied, trying to ease a last few maneuvers out of his wounded bird. “Guess this is it. Tell Fay thanks for pulling my ass outta that A-10 back in the day, and tell Heartbreak that I’m still a damn nugget. Wardog 3, ou-” With that, a second plasma beam tore through the Firestorm, and it erupted into fire.

    “Chopper!” Nagase screamed.

    “Calm down Edge!” Snow butted in. “Focus on flying, or you’re joining him very soon!” With that, the comm lines fell silent.

    After a long moment, Galm One finally cut in. “We’re two hundred meters out, and we’ve got three guys on our tail. Prepare for high speed pass!”

    “Roger, break towards the right wall, we’ll do the same!” Snow ordered. A second later, the firestorms flew to their respective sides, and flashed past each other, crackles of fusion cannons shooting down range. The fighters pursuing Wardog, Warwolf, and Mobius crashed into the tunnel walls, while the ones chasing Galm detonated messily, but the Firestorms passed through the smoke clouds unharmed.

    “Thanks Galm,” Ribbon said. “We’ve got four hundred more meters until we hit the engines. Let’s end this.” Compared to the frantic dance with death, the final stretch passed almost serenely, before a large bank of generators appeared before the assembled flights. A handful of fusion cannon and micro-sparrow barrages poured upon the generator, and it shredded to a halt, signalling that it was time for the Firestorms to exit the tunnels. Minutes later, the craft exited the guts of the Temple Ship, and they were enveloped within the dogfight once more.

    “Arkbird, this is Wardog. Objectives complete, you’re clear for infiltration,” Snow said, leading his Firestorms up high to get a good angle on the battle below. “We’ll hold the fort out here.”

    “Roger that, Wardog,” Morrigan answered as the pilots desperately moved the Arkbird forward. “Get us into that ship, now,” she yelled to Elene. “We need to get away from those battleships! They shouldn’t fire at us once we’re in the ship… I hope.”

    One by one, the modified alien fighters defending the Arkbird were incinerated by anti air cannons on the four mega-battleships, and the main cannons battered the Arkbird’s shields. “Twenty percent!” Emma worriedly noted.

    You shan’t reach the Temple Ship alive, heretics! Iudicium proudly taunted, even if they could not hear. What he had forgotten to note was the Jupiter, which flew up behind Volo’s ship, and in a barrage of fusion fire assisted by some of the interceptors, blew it out of the sky. As one of the battleships turned around to retaliate, the Arkbird shifted all remaining power in the guns to the engines, and rushed for the hangar. Take out that pest… but they’re getting away! Damn it, stop-! An explosion rocked the Hammer of Judgement, and it began to careen downwards, the engines having taken a nasty hit. Iudicium could only watch as the remaining XCOM fighters pulled off, and the Arkbird, lightly damaged, made it into the hangar meant for the destroyed 665.

    Shaking his head as the airspace grew silently again, Iudicium chuckled quietly, startling the crew members on board trying to steady his flagship. So you’re going to face the Exalted One personally, are you? He chuckled louder. None of you are going to make it out of there alive!
     
  15. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    X-COM Mission Parameters
    Ethereal Temple Ship Assault

    Operation Finem Timere
    10 km Above the Pacific Ocean


    Date: Dec 31st, 2018
    Time: 2200 Hours

    Briefing:

    The Ethereal Temple Ship has arrived, and their intentions a clear; the complete domination of the human race, and taking our planet for their own. This will not happen. We will make sure it doesn't.

    The Temple Ship will be hit with everything in our arsenal, including the Arkbird itself. Like the assault on the Arkbird, the goal with be to disable the Temple ship and distract it enough to allow our boarding parties to get in. It is believed that the ship contains the bulk of the Ethereal race, but we can not allow us to falter. Any Ethereal civilians lost during the assault are the fault of their leader, bringing them into battle.

    Once on board the ship, Beta squad's mission will be to take on the surely massive number of alien hostiles so that Alpha squad will have a chance to make it to Phobos. Once the Commander of the alien army is engaged, the battle can not end until he is dead... or we are. We will not get a second chance at this.

    Number of soldiers for this mission:

    All X-COM soldiers.

    Soldier Names:
    Alpha Squad (Phobos Strike Team):

    Colonel 5 (MSGT) Atka Ipiktok (Scout) (Blue Psionic) [Adaptive Bone Marrow Regenesis]
    Field Commander 5 (MSGT) Aya Brea (Scout) (Blue-Green ‘Psionic’)
    MSGT Ammelia Cross (Sniper) {Shadow}
    MSGT Fay Henderson (Sniper) (Yellow Psionic)
    MSGT Albert Foulke (Infantry) [Neural Dampening, Reaction Time Overclocker]
    LT 5 (MSGT) Eva Aegerter (Infantry) [Iron Skin, Adaptive Bone Marrow, Smart Macrophages, Hyper Reactive Pupils, Adrenal Neurosympathy]
    MSGT Desmond Walker (Engineer) (Red Psionic)
    MSGT Amelia Fischer (Support) (Luxuria’s Gift)
    MSGT Ashley Van Dam (Medic) (Blue Psionic)
    MSGT Mary Thomas (Gunner) [Dextrous Muscle Fibers, Magnified Bicep Structure, and Secondary Heart] (Green Psionic)
    MSGT Ayame Kasagi (Gunner) [Hyper Reactive Pupils, Bioelectric Skin, Muscle Fiber Density, Aerobic Respiration Boost, Neural Dampening]
    MSGT Modya Dragomirov (Rocketeer) [Magnified Bicep Structure, Adaptive Bone Marrow, Neural Dampening]
    Subject 158: "Emma" (Shadow Operative) [7. 10, 15, 16, 17] (Purple Psion), “Knight”
    Subject 158: “Vee” (Destroyer) [4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16+, 17, Body Enhancements], “Bishop”
    (M.E.S.H.A)A.V.A.N.I.X (Any Role) [Mech], “Black Queen”
    MSGT Wagner, Christine (Rocketeer) (Orange Psionic)
    Alice (Heavy)
    Black King
    White King
    Jan'tiala

    Alpha Squad Support:
    MAJ 5 (MSGT) Stewart, Jack (Assault)
    MSGT Christel, Sylvia (Scout) (Yellow Psionic)
    MSGT Martinez, Sergio (Sniper) (Blue Psionic)
    MSGT Akizuki, Airi (Engineer) (Red Psionic)
    MSGT Akizuki, Marina (Support) (Green Psionic)
    MSGT Wilson, Laurent (Medic) (Green Psionic)
    MSGT Stewart, Jamie (Assault) (Red Psionic)
    MSGT Anderson, Sven (Sniper) [Cybernetic Leg]
    MSGT Orlov, Nika (Heavy) (Blue Psionic)
    MSGT Saka Hatake (Shadow)
    MSGT Minato Origawa (Warrior)
    Subject -0: "Elene" (Heiress) (Purple Psion)

    Beta Squad (Assault/Distraction Team):
    All other NPC Soldiers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Details:

    Beta squad's fight will mainly take place near the entrance and center of the ship. The Ethereals will throw everything they have at us, and it will be your job to keep them busy.

    Alpha Squad will make their way past the center of the ship and head straight towards the bridge. Any enemies encountered along the way must be eliminated as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    Phobos himself will be found on the bridge. It is unknown whether he will be accompanied by other Ethereals or not. We are sending the best of the best on this squad for this reason. As Phobos himself is expected to be powerful enough to give even our best's combined efforts a run for their money, and one accompanying him must be eliminated immediately, so as not to distract from our main target.

    We have little information of Phobos himself, but he is no doubt the most powerful psion we have encountered yet. Jan'tiala has informed us that, when she knew him, his power focused on Orange and Red, so we should expect powerful abilities in both those colors, as well as moderate strength abilities on Yellow and Purple. Tiala also mentioned experiments with artificial control of non-dominant colors in Ethereals. He was close to perfecting it when Tiala was rescued, so do not be surprised if he wields green and blue psionics as well.

    Enemies:
    Alpha:

    8 Heavy Floaters
    4 Cyberdiscs with Eight Drones
    4 Mechtoids w/ Four Sectoid Commanders
    8 Muton Elites
    5 Sectopods with 10 Drones
    Unknown Number of Outsiders
    Phobos, Exalted Commander of the Ethereal Army and High Overlord of the Ethereal Race.
    Methos
    Tora

    Beta:
    An unknown number of aliens of all races.

    Conditions for Completion:

    (1) The Elimination of the Exalted Commander, Phobos

    &

    (2) Capture of the Ethereal Temple Ship

    Civilians:
    It is suspected that the ship contains a number of Ethereal citizens. They are to be avoided at all cost, both to avoid drawing civilians into the fight, and to avoid drawing the wrath of thousands of Ethereal psions at once.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  16. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation Finem Timere: Part Four
    Initial Assault

    Coming to a rest within the massive hangar that had once housed Phobos’s city-sized cruiser, the equally massive Arkbird let open a number of hatches on either side, and the combined forces of X-COM and Legion poured out into the chamber. The mechanized forces exited first, using armor, shield, and strategy to keep the waiting mechanicals busy.

    A hail of gauss fire left dents in a shield not unlike Avanix’s that Isitoq was making use of, and he was forced to duck behind a massive crate housing rows of alien alloys within. Taking his place, the two hover shivs Jabberwock and Jubjub tore down the offending cyberdisc with HEAT-type plasma, leaving it a melted wreck.

    On the other end, Black King rushed forward, his sword cleaving through the forms of three Outsiders, severing them so completely that the lower halves disintegrated. Stepping back as swiftly as he had come, the eleven foot tall android left the cleanup to a bomb launched by his counterpart controlled by David.

    More alien troops, primarily Balmadaar supported by a host of drones and a troop of Outsiders, wisely regrouped as the majority of the Cyberdiscs fell to the initial robotic assault, at least content in the knowledge that they had taken four of the twenty functioning Legion frames with their fallen comrades. This gave the human troops time to pile out, and starting marching to join with one another beneath the front of the Arkbird.

    Pushed back this far, the aliens would retreat no further, utilizing what cover they could find before the massive door behind them. Balmadaar took front, some of the regular ones loaded out with HEAT-based novaguns, while Elites waiting for the others to be pushed back had outright machine gun nests set up with plasma dragon equivalents. The Outsiders dispersed in-between, the drones forming up an aerial coverage that nearly masked the Thin Man snipers poised in the rafters.

    Alicia smiled, previously sure the lesser aliens would be seen. She closed her eyes and extended her hand, six tendrils of purple energy flowing forth and binding the snipers to her movements. Pulling out an empty pistol, she stood up and turn to the side, firing. Like a domino of death, five of the six Thin Men were shot in the back by their fellow snipers, and as Alicia had to jump forward into cover to avoid getting hit, it had the added bonus of forcing the last Thin Man to leap to his death.

    “Light ‘em up,” Fedor yelled as the enemy aliens lost their support from above. He, So Ji, and Amanda stepped forward, spraying their opponents with particle beams as the gunners provided cover. One by one, the Mutons fell, unable to stick their heads up without losing them, unable to stay behind cover without it disintegrating and leaving them open.

    Six lone drones popped out of the walls and made a mad charge for the MECs. Pelted and taken out one by one as they approached, only two made it, but it was enough as they suddenly exploded in a mass of blue, electrified light, and the dual EMP forced the trio of MECs to drop back into cover, their systems all shutting down at once.

    As the regular Balmdaar troops retreated to be beside their superiors, the Elites took full advantage of the opportunity, opening fire with abandon while commanding the others to watch out for explosives. The flurry of plasma melted two XCOM soldiers, and the thunderclap of an enemy blaster launcher took out an infantry airframe and Legion trooper, along with a chunk of cover.

    Maggie Beckett glanced at some of the other soldiers, many having taken hits from the swarm of drones hovering in the air. “Take out their air support and we can focus on the gunners!” Lifting her gun with precision honed to take out aerial units, she let loose a barrage of fire, taking down three with a turn of her rifle. Janina nodded her approval, Maxim, Alicia, and a Valkyrie MEC Trooper adding to the barrage with backup from one of Megan’s rockets. The skies were rapidly cleared, and soon the torrent of suppressing fire from LMG-class weapons reduced the accuracy of the enemy machine plasma.

    The infantry Captain turned to face a few nearby soldiers as the last of the drones clattered to the ground in wrecks. “Christel, go over with Sharron and hide a rocket’s approach. Jamie, see if you can turn one of those machine gun nests on them with your telekinesis.”

    The pair nodded, and got to work. With a nod to Sharron, Sylvia closed her eyes and concentrated. As Sharron let the rocket fly, Sylvia sent her energy towards it, and what appeared to be a retreating drone flew towards the enemy lines. The illusion wasn’t perfect, the task of keeping it up around a quickly moving object incredibly taxing, but before the aliens noticed anything was wrong, three Mutons and an Outsider were blown apart.

    “Get me higher,” Jamie shouted to Arturo, and the heavy Major lifted her up and jumped into the rafters. As he covered the red psion, she pulled out several knives, letting them hover around her for a moment. With the accuracy of one who had practiced a thousand times, she sent them flying towards one of the nests one after another, scoring a series of head shots. The mounted plasma dragoon unoccupied, she telekinetically pointed it towards a trio of Mectoids quickly approaching a flanking position. One fell, a second going with it as the took aim at the seemingly empty nest, and before the final one could figure out who was controlling it, it too joined its comrades.

    “Let’s blow some shit up!” Airi yelled, grinning at Adele and Kieran, and received a pair of nods. They pulled out a pair of grenades each, two Alien for Airi, two AP for Adele, and flash for Kieran, and they arched them into the air. Inderpal and Desmond extended their hands, and like a telekinetic spike, the grenades shot down, wounding, killing, or disorientating over a dozen Balmadaar behind cover. Three Berserkers tried to charge the exposed Engineers, but a flick of the wrist from Aya shot up flames in front of them, making them stall long enough for Mary, Nika, and Karen to gun them down.

    The last of the enemy forces turned to retreat, but upon reaching the door found that it had been remotely locked to try and keep the X-COM forces from progressing any further. “Aw, did your masters decide you were expendable?” Eva taunted, giving a nod to her daughter. The infantry and destroyer laid waste to the trapped Balmadaar, and the hangar fell eerily silent.

    “Recounting report. Two soldiers deceased, loss of five Legion frames and an Infantry Airframe,” Avanix intoned, glancing at the other MECs, and then to the Field Commander of XCOM. “Destruction of the door would be more expedient, and time is of the essence.” So Ji, Amanda, and the Valkyrie lined up at the door, lifting their particle cannons alongside the four SHIVs. “Permission to blow it down?”

    “Granted,” Aya said, and everyone took cover as the door was obliterated. The heavy set barrier practically melted into nothing, and everyone took a moment to reload as they waited for the dust to settle. Aya stepped forward, shouting, “Alright, everyone, let’s move! Press the attack, and don’t give them a chance to regroup!”
     
  17. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation Finem Timere: Part Five
    Initial Assault

    The large force advanced into the ship, only encountering token resistance in the hallways at the moment. A red hue tinged the rooms, denoting the breach in progress. Smaller ships could be seen docked on the side facing the outer portions of the ship, but quickly transitioned into construction chambers on the sides or other engineering sections. All the while, the same message repeated through some low-level psionic net.

    Enemy breach in progress. Please remain calm, followers of the Path. The intruders will be dealt with soon, for none can violate the tenets of the Path. The Exalted One’s forces shall purge the heretics and return peace to you all. You will arrive at your new home soon.

    “God, that’s annoying,” Scarlet muttered.

    “At least the aliens probably have to put up with it as a distraction too,” Modya offered, checking behind them as they advanced ever so often.

    “Still annoying,” Ayame said, rubbing her ears.

    “If we are lucky, this will keep the Ethereal citizens in hiding,” Aya said. “Phobos’ insistence that we will be ‘dealt with’ hopefully means we won’t be fighting hundreds of Ethereals trying to defend their home.”

    Progress was halted when the human troops reached a large ovular room, containing rows of work stations and cloning vats, as well as mechanical assembly platforms. Formed up using the various structures within as cover was perhaps a hundred Sectoids, backed by twenty Sectoid Commanders all taxing their abilities with greater mind merges, and an Ethereal with an escort. Said escort consisted of two more Sectoid Commanders in psionic armor, a flamethrower Mechtoid, an artillery cyberdisc, and the Sectopod it was hiding behind.

    You idiots! You fools! You worse than monstrous things… how have you let them get this far! The Ethereal shook his head, connecting himself to the weapons platform of a robot he was using as cover. It doesn’t matter… it appears we outnumber them. Kill them all!

    Rows of Sectoids opened fire upon the XCOM forces, only scoring a few glancing hits as most of them had gotten into cover, save for one unlucky straggler that never made it to safety. Some in the back sent mindfrays at the enemy troops, some of them unpleasantly surprised by mind shields, gene mods, or outright psionic resistance that encouraged them to stick to regular attacks. As for the Ethereal’s escort, the Mechtoid was shielded by one of the Commanders, and cautiously advanced rather than charge into certain death, while the artillery cyberdisc opened up and prepared to fire like its Sectopod counterpart was doing with its own missile barrage.

    The remaining Sectoid Commander glanced at its master, receiving a knowing nod from the Ethereal. The tall psion opened his palms, sending four mindfrays at Pastel, breaking down the heavy’s will with the number of attacks rather than their debatable strength. The gray followed up by reaching out, a spiral connecting with Brankiko’s temple. His eyes glowing, the heavy dropped his novagun, and before anyone could stop him, drew his pistol and ended his own life on the Sectoid Commander’s urging.

    “Son of a bitch!” Sylvia extended her hand, a shield forming around the Sectoid Commander. It looked confused until it tried to step behind cover, and found the shield was stationary. It quickly brought up its firearm, shooting into the shield to shatter it, only for blast of plasma from Sylvia to blast through its head as soon as the shield dropped.

    “Give them hell!” Fedor shouted, stepping back to launch an alien grenade into the midst of the enemy. Adele and Holly followed suit, the two female engineers tossing grenades into the mass of gray aliens, blasting about a dozen apart in total. The MEC Troopers opened fire with collateral damage, tearing apart the cover of others to allow those with in the zone tactics like Atka to pick off the Sectoids, one by one.

    The flurry of fire cost the XCOM troops, though. The Sectopod and Cyberdisc unleashed a volley of explosives, blasting apart cover and damaging armor across the board. This gave the flamer Mechtoid, protected by its telekinetic shield, a chance to charge forward. Raising its turrets with glee, it managed to incinerate an XCOM soldier and an Adam Trooper. In retaliation, Mary melted its cockpit entirely, unloading her plasma LMG on the target.

    “Take down that Sectopod if you have HEAT ammo!” Atka urged as the titan began to take aim with its fusion cannon. Gunners hit it with a storm of plasma, but a telekinetic shield from the Ethereal made the blows less fatal.

    Trash like you doesn’t even deserve to die by the Exalted One’s hand! the being taunted.

    Alicia growled softly to herself, lightly gripping a pendant around her neck. With a deep breath, she stood up and extended both arms, ten tendrils of purple energy shooting forth. Her psionics pushed to the limit, she took control of ten specific Sectoids, forcing them to turn in such a way that they were either firing at the Ethereal, or the Sectopod’s legs. Distracted, the Ethereal dropped its shield in order to deal with the mind control enemies. He extended his own energy into the Sectoids, killing them and sending a feedback to Alicia that left her screaming, frying her mind and killing her almost instantly.

    “Alicia!” Sarah gripped her sniper rifle tighter, and imbued the core with a portion of her power. “Now! Take it down now!” The Chinese sniper fired off the empowered shot, tearing a hole into the chassis of the machine, and the gunners soon followed suit with the fury of their own weapons. Faced with HEAT ammo from some of X-COM’s heaviest guns, the Sectopod teetered, one of its legs was blasted apart, its right missile bank was detonated, and the titan collapsed in an explosive heap, vaporizing the Ethereal behind it.

    Without their Ethereal master, the Sectoid Commanders couldn’t easily decide which one of them should take command, and this hesitance cost them dearly. Sectoids in all corners of the room fell to plasma shots taken by the human forces, be they medic, support, infantry, engineer, or rocketeer. Down to only about twenty regular Sectoids and two Commanders, they attempted to regroup, not realizing the folly of the tactic that had done so much damage to X-COM.

    “Let’s finish this,” Sharron said, stumbling over her words for a moment. Christine shot a sad look towards her fallen psionic ally, and the two fired their rockets, evaporating the last of the bulbous headed aliens in a combined explosion of plasma, their smoldering remains leaving the room with a pungent, unpleasant smell.

    The soldiers of humanity took some time to regroup, counting their losses and reloading their weapons. A few of the hijacked drones they had been using repaired damaged armor, including Mary’s ‘Gadget.’ After two minutes, they were forced to move on, piling into an elevator and rising to the next floor. They gazed down solemnly at the ocean below, fading even further from view as they ascended.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  18. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation Finem Timere: Part Six
    Initial Assault

    On the next level, they found themselves climbing out into a vast room with machining tables, assembly lines of all kinds, and stacks of alloys, elerium, even weaponry scattered around the chamber. Disconnecting from cords attaching them to the ceiling, sixty-four Floaters scattered, while sixteen Thin Men on the ground leapt onto some of the assembly lines for better firing positions. Joining these two forces were eight of the Floater's heavily armored cousins, and those with bioelectric skin felt a chill from twelve hidden robots.

    “Spread out!” Elene wisely suggested, not wanting a repeat of the previous floor. The XCOM forces made it safely into cover this time, the Floaters seeming disoriented as if they had just been woken up, while the Thin Men were stopped by MEC alloy shields or suppressing fire from the four SHIVs. Legion had his frames take front and center, knowing the vicious fliers would target the front row first. And indeed they did, three androids being blasted apart in the first terrifying volley from the eighty total plasma carbines and eight plasma rifles.

    Modya smiled grimly as he lifted his rocket launcher. “The more there are… the more are consumed in the plasma blast.” Eager to please its wielder, a blaster bomb shot out of the barrel of the glowing launcher, rising to the ceiling rapidly, and blowing apart thirteen Floaters lacking situational awareness. A volley from Megan and Scarlet added three Heavy Floaters and another twenty regular fliers to the death count.

    “We need to thin out those hidden enemies before they flank us,” Masambe said to Sergio, his tingling skin making him turn in all directions.

    Sergio sighed irritably. “Wanted to save my energy for the big fish…” He pulled out his Gauss sniper rifle, and scanned the room with his ESP. He fired his rifle at a panel near the ceiling, and it bounced down, the sound of an seeker crashing to the ground faintly heard. He fired again, and after a double bounce, another fell. Then a third. Then a fourth. His energy started to wane, but the Seekers didn’t know that. Realizing that they couldn’t stay hidden for long, they rushed out to initiate their stealth attacks, two more falling to lucky shots as they moved forward.

    “Keep ‘em dancing, everyone!” Aya shouted, taking down another pair of Floaters. “As long as we fill the ceiling with plasma, they won’t have as much time to fire!”

    Megan gasped as a seeker appeared and wrapped around her, but she was saved immediately by Ogedai and Ashley. Not wanting them to get the jump on anyone else, Masambe and Ayame used their bioelectric skin to stand at the ready. Another seeker appeared, and they dropped it. Then another, and another, one allowing the other to reload while they waiting. After a couple minutes, the Seekers gave up on the pointless endeavour, and instead resorted to firing with the rest of the Floaters near the ceiling.

    The last remaining Thin Men popped out of cover and fired a collective Poison spray, falling in the process but hitting a section of cover with so much poison, those without Smart Macrophages were forced to run out, and the floaters scored three more kills.

    Despite the obvious height advantage, the floaters soon fell one by one. Ironically, it wasn’t until they were down to five heavies and three regular did they become the most trouble, and were able to score two more armor hits and a kill before finally being finished off.

    Aya cursed under her breath, five more soldiers and three Legion troops down. With a reluctant shake of her head, she motioned for everyone to reload and move on. The soldiers moved into another elevator, and headed up again. It was mostly silent as they went up, only the sound of the occasional murmured prayer being heard.

    Stepping out into the corridors, the surroundings seemed quite different then before. Evidently, they had been using a cargo elevator, and were now in the "temple" part of the Temple Ship. The walls were decorated with red and violet curtains and sheets, symbols on banners, on the carpets, on the walls, many resembling religious insignia, and many were likely just that.

    "Looks like we're in the Ethereal part of the ship," Marina muttered.

    "Doesn't mean they won't have other troops here," Atka warned. "Keep on guard."

    Alice's eyes lit up, a holographic representation of the immediate area appearing before her. "Incoming information coming from Acedia in the Arkship. Based on the schematics we were able to pull for Phobos' ship before we, uh... blew it up, there should be a meeting room up ahead. Past that is a civilian quarters, another smaller meeting room, and finally, the main bridge."

    The group made their way into and through a sizable chamber, the room unnaturally quite, eyes darting up to the overhead balcony. As they reached the other end of the room and approach the room, Aya slowed done, Fedor stepping to her side. "This was a perfect place for a fight. Why..."

    "They want to pincer us," Aya mumbled. "We leave, they pour in, and we have fight them from behind and whoever is waiting in the room ahead." She pulled out a grenade. "Not gonna happen." She tossed the grenade, and unloaded on what looked like a closed ceiling opening, as the grenade went off.

    This set of a hornets nest. The panel opened, two Sectopods falling into the room with a loud thud, followed by half a dozen cyberdiscs. The doors on the balcony burst open, a torrent of Mutons running into the room. The aliens held their fire, obviously wanting to scare the X-COM soldiers into a retreat.

    "Go!" Fedor snapped.

    "We can't just leave you without nearly three..."

    "Alpha team's job is to get Phobos, Beta is to get Alpha team to Phobos." Fedor grinned. "Trust us."

    Aya reluctantly nodded, and motioned for her team to follow. Slowly, sadly, they turned to leave the room. Once all of them were gone, the aliens waited a few more moments to see if the rest would go as well. This only gave the X-COM troops a chance to fire first.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  19. DarkGemini24601

    DarkGemini24601 Well-Known Member

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    Maps of Operation Finem Timere, Final Approach

    Upper Civilian Quarters

    Upper Civilian Quarters.png

    Main Bridge

    Main Bridge.png
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  20. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Operation Finem Timere: Part Seven
    Final Approach

    The sizable elevator finally arrived at its destination, the holographic map uploaded to Alice showing they weren’t far from the bridge. Wishing they had a real time display of the ship, knowing full well there would be plenty of enemies ahead, the team took one last minute to make sure their weapons were fully loaded before stepping up to the energy door.

    “Alright,” Aya said, her voice strong but showing signs that she was tired, “We’re almost there. We need to clear out the next couple of rooms before taking on Phobos. Can’t give the other enemies time to catch up in case the other team… falters…” She cleared her throat, and asked, “Is everyone ready?” Receiving a series of nods, the Central officer extended her hand, and the energy door fell.

    Entering into one of the main civilian quarters of the ship, a series of hallways to the left and right, eight heavy floaters suddenly shot into the air, obviously not expecting to see only about half the group with news of the fight down below. With a shout for everyone to scatter, everyone rushed into what little cover they could, the enemy having the height advantage, but X-COM superior in numbers.

    Dallas ordered his support team into cover flanking Alpha team, being a little further from the Floaters than them. “I want suppressive fire above Alpha, don’t let them get too good of an angle! Snipers, pick a target and get to aiming!”

    Sergio nodded, and ducked around his cover, taking a quick shot and punching one of the enemies in the head. Fay followed this up with a shot of her own, spearing one of the Floaters through the jetpack, sending the unfortunate alien crashing to the floor with a meaty thump. A third was pinned near the rafters by a wave of suppressing fire from Mary, and her sister lined up a shot, waiting for a pause in the stream of bright plasma to sent a plasma bolt through the armored flier’s chest.

    “Black King, if you would,” Elene intoned, tempted by the idea of mind controlling one of the Heavy Floaters, but wanting to save her energy. The eleven-foot tall android gave a slight but significant nod, and jettisoned into the air, firing off a series of pulse blasts from his arm-mounted carbines to soften up the armor of three Floaters. Satisfied, he drew his sword in a swift motion, the Floaters’ eyes going wide. They tried to scatter, but the powerful Legion flame still cleaved through two of them, briefly coating his sword in green blood before subsequent jetpack blasts cleansed it in fire.

    As one of the Floaters tried to move around for a flanking shot, he was quickly met with a burst of plasma from Saka’s Stormgun. Dodging and weaving around the bolts, a few scratched the alien as it wasn’t fast enough to dodge all the shots. Slowing it down enough, Minato quickly lined up his shot and only needed a single shot from his Heavy Rifle to bring the pinned alien down, turning and picking off the Heavy Floater that had been wounded.

    As the last Floater tried to escape, Eva fired at one of its jets and brought it to the ground, firing her plasma carbine at the downed Floater, killing it. “Well, that was surprisingly simple compared to earlier.”

    “Ssh!” Airi hissed. “Don’t say that! It always gets worse when someone says something like that.”

    “True, but we’re in the middle of an alien ship surrounded by probably thousands of enemies. How can it get any worse than this?”

    “The whole base could be on fire while we’re doing this,” Albert offered, loading a new charge pack into his rifle.

    “All the more reason to take advantage of this… ‘break’.” Aya motioned for the others to press forward, quickly but cautiously.

    Stepping into the meeting room before the bridge, the team looked around at the oddly shaped Ethereal seats, the unusual food dispensers and ‘entertainment devices’, and the mass of monitors towering in the center of the room. Alice pointed towards the energy door up the stairs ahead, whispering, “Through there should be the elevator to the bridge. Phobos should either be there, or the chamber behind it.”

    Once the group reached the center of the room, the familiar sound of cyberdiscs surrounded them. Out of a series of shafts came four of the offending saucers, each accompanied by a pair of drones. “They have us surrounded!” Aya shouted. “Concentrate on two of them so we can get the other two without being shot in the back!”

    “Got it, boss lady,” Vee replied, crouching down for a moment, before leaping into the air onto a cyberdisc’s wing and firing of a stream of plasma from her novagun into its frame before flipping back off. The machine wobbled in the air, sparking and burning, drones desperately keeping it afloat, before a double shot from Elene and her double blew the robot and its two smaller companions out of the sky.

    “I’m popping a smoke, but don’t bunch up too much,” Emily noted, tossing one of her smoke grenades into the middle of the squad before rushing to a low piece of cover.