Journal of an XCOM Operator: Operation War Chalice

What follows is a journal written by one of the operatives in the second XCOM campaign, Alan Robertson.

Pre-Operation Notes

We have expanded our reach a little bit.  We finally made contact with West Africa, and now have pinpointed the location of the alien Blacksite.  We’re just waiting on the Commander to give the word.  With branching out further, we now have New Brazil and Western Europe available to make contact with also.  We just need the Intel to and communication relays available to reach out to them.  

We are briefed that ADVENT is working on missions of their own that will make our job to stop their overall plan more difficult.  We likely won’t be able to stop them all and will have to choose which ones to stop.  

We also received word a new supply cache that we can search for, and construction was completed on the Advanced Warfare Center at the base.  This opens up a lot of opportunities for us:  faster healing, relearning skills, and even learning bonus skills when getting promoted.  

We spend a few days scanning the locator beacon.  We finally found the wreckage of an old Skyranger.  None of the crew is alive, and the pilot is missing.  Central believes they may be able to find out, given time, where it took off from.  On a positive note, we found some very unique equipment on board.  

Cpl. Kelly ends up using two of the pieces of equipment found.  The first one we’re calling a Bolt Caster.  It can only be loaded with one shot at at time, but it’s powerful and can stun the enemy and it cannot be dodged.   The other item is a pair of Hunter’s Axes (again...our name for them).  She likes having two of them, as one can be thrown and she still has the other to replace her sword for up close attacks.  

I take the remaining piece of equipment we found.  A pistol called Shadowkeeper.  I’m not sure how it works, but it gives me the opportunity to take a shot that is guaranteed to hit.  If I kill the enemy with that hit my presence is concealed from the enemies.  

Looks like we’ll get a chance to try these out right away, as we just received word of two possible missions to undertake.  

Operation War Chalice – March 29th,2035

Central has received word that a resistance hacker has gotten into the ADVENT network.  However, shortly after he did, ADVENT sent a squad to the area.  Our job is to get to this computer and retrieve the data before ADVENT can destroy it.  

The squad today has no rookies on it.  I’m joined by Cpl. Kelly (Ranger), Cpl. Ishikawa (Grenadier) and Sq. Girard (Specialist).  We’re dropped a few blocks away.  Looks like we’ll have about eight minutes to get in before ADVENT shuts down the network and locks us out.  Knowing that ADVENT is in the area, we will likely face a lot of resistance.  

Ishikawa moves up first and instantly spots a sectoid and trooper with what looks like some kind of stun rod.  We’re calling him a Stun Lancer.  The rest of us move up and into cover.  While the other three go into Overwatch, I pull out my pistol and first at the stun lancer.  I hit him and wound him.  They now know we’re here, but that’s fine as the rest of the team is ready to fire at them as they scramble for cover.  It’s a beautiful sight to see both enemies drop before they even get a chance to move a few feet.  

Ishikawa takes point again.  He slowly moves up into cover and doesn’t spot any ADVENT.  So, he moves forward to more cover.  This time he does spot the enemy, and officer and a stun lancer.  I take a shot at the officer, but he’s hidden enough that I miss.  Kelly moves up a bit closer to the enemies.  I watch as she pulls out one of the new axes and lands a great throw that takes out the stun lancer.  She then takes a moment to reload her bolt caster.  Girard moves as far as he can to get into better cover and forgoes taking any shots at the officer.  

I’m not sure what happened, but the stun lancer doesn’t move or take any actions against us.  Ishikawa moves up behind a tree stump and gets a visual on the computer we need to hack.  He then blasts the stun lancer and almost takes him out completely.  Sensing that he’s almost dead, I take this opportunity to test out the Shadowfall ability on my pistol.  I take out the stun trooper and now I should be hidden from the enemies.  With no enemies in sight, Girard and Kelly move up as far as they can.  

Girard moves up to the window of the building the laptop is in and doesn’t see any hostiles nearby.  I move up into closer cover outside the building.  Ishikawa heads to the side of the door of the building.  Kelly busts through a window and hides behind a pillar in the building.  She spots a sectoid and a stun lancer.  They spot her and move into the building and behind cover to prepare for us.  

The first thing the sectoid does is fire his mind blast at Girard, and I can tell that Girard is no longer in control of his actions anymore.  The stun lancer rushes forward and swings his baton at Kelly, but he misses her.  

I take a look at what shots are available to me.  I then remember that I’m still concealed from the enemies and decide to wait and see what the rest of the squad does.  Kelly rushes away from the stun lancer and right into the face of the sectoid and takes him down with a well placed axe swing.  With him being neutralized, Girard regains his composure.  Ishikawa moves to the other side of the pillar the stun lancer is behind.  Having the stun lancer flanked, Girard takes him out with a rifle blast and exacts perhaps a small measure of revenge for the mind control experience he suffered.  Central gives us confirmation that we have secured the area and there are no more hostiles.  

With only three minutes to spare Ishikawa breaches the network and hacks into the laptop.  Our mission is done, and we’re heading home with a flawless victory.  For our efforts, three of us are gaining promotions today.  Girard is being promoted to Corporal and leaning Combat Protocal for his drone.  He can now send it after an enemy and jolt them for guaranteed damage.  Kelly is now a Sergeant.  She picks up the Shadowstrike skill.  While she is concealed, she gains a bonus to aim and a better chance to land a critical hit.  I am also now a Sergeant.  I pick up the Lightning Hands skill.  This allows me to quickly whip out my pistol and fire off a shot that will not slow me down or prevent me from taking other actions.  

We had back into the base and prepare for our next movements.

 

Author Heath Markley

I have been an avid gamer for 32 years now.  It started with the Atari 2600 my parents bought me as a child (my mom still says she regrets that decision), and I have never looked back.  For my gaming, I enjoy RPG and strategy games the most, but I will play almost all games.  Besides gaming, I am a family man (beautiful wife and three wonderful children) and a healthcare IT professional.  So, gaming time is a premium for me, but I make the most of every chance I get.


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Heath Markley

I have been an avid gamer for 32 years now.  It started with the Atari 2600 my parents bought me as a child (my mom still says she regrets that decision), and I have never looked back.  For my gaming, I enjoy RPG and strategy games the most, but I will play almost all games.  Besides gaming, I am a family man (beautiful wife and three wonderful children) and a healthcare IT professional.  So, gaming time is a premium for me, but I make the most of every chance I get.