Journal of an XCOM Operative: Operation Steel Hawk – April 26th,2035

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

Operation Steel Hawk – April 26th,2035

We just got word that ADVENT has discovered a resistance safehaven in West Africa and are assaulting the location and targeting innocents.  Time for us to step in and take them out and save as many civilians as we can.   Alongside me today are Sgt. Kelly, Sgt. Ishikawa, Cpl. Girard, and Sq. Yosef again.  

With ADVENT on the attack, we will not have any concealment on our side this mission.  We drop in hot on top of an embankment, and Ishikawa heads for cover behind a boulder.  Girard drops down off the embankment we’re on and takes cover behind a boulder on the ground.  Yosef makes a mad dash off the embankment for cover behind a tree a ways away.  He gets there, but sees (and is spotted) by a stun lancer and what Central is calling a Muton.  It’s a bulky looking humanoid with a elongated face with what looks like plates under the skin and a large ridge on it’s back.  From my position, I’m able to line up a shot and take down the stun lancer.  Wanting to explore a bit more, Ishikawa moves from his position to another boulder on the embankment a bit further down.  Kelly moves up to a boulder on the embankment and goes into overwatch to wait.  

Off in the distance we hear a scream and know that ADVENT has killed at least one civilian.  The muton first a blast from his gun and hits Yosef firmly in the chest, but he’s still standing at least.  Ishikawa drops from the embankment and close to a shambled building near two civilians and helps both of them clear the area and escape.  Girard moves up to the corner of the building and takes cover, trying to get a better view.  Yosef moves behind a nearby tree to get into full cover from the muton.  Kelly drops down and behind a tree near Yosef.  Even though it’s a longshot, she pulls out one of her axes and hurls it at the muton.  However, she misses high.  She fires off a shot from her bolt caster, but it goes low and hits the boulders in front of the muton instead.  Yosef pops out and fires a quick shotgun blast at the muton but also misses.  I move down to the base of the embankment to get closer for a better shot but still stay in full cover.  

Off in the distance, another scream; another civilian death.  The muton takes another shot at Yosef and hits again.  I watch as Yosef screams and falls limp to the ground.  I line up a shot at the muton and fire.  I hit, but his armor takes some of the blast, and he’s still standing.  Kelly moves up behind a pile of rubble and reloads her bolt caster.  Girard moves to a nearby tree to assist another civilian in escaping.  Ishikawa dashes to a fence line past Girard to survey the area.  Girard moves to some rubble in the dirt road past the fence and hides behind cover.  

The sound I’ve grown too accustomed to hearing, the dying screams of a civilian, are once again heard in the distance.  The muton takes a shot at Kelly, but misses wide.  I again peer out from behind my rock, line up a shot, and fire at the muton.  Again I hit, and the armor absorbs some of the shot, but it’s enough to take him down this time.  Ishikawa moves behind a tree on the side of the dirt road between two civilians.  The first one runs off for safety.  The second one turns and looks at Ishikawa and starts to transform into one of the mimics.  Ishikawa lays a volley of bullets right into it, but it’s still standing.  Girard moves over behind the fence to stay in cover in case things don’t go right and fires a blast at the mimic.  He hits it square in it’s middle and it falls dead, hanging over the fence.  Kelly cautiously moves up behind a tree to scout the area before moving to the base of another rise.  

This time we actually get a small visual of a muton off in the distance taking out another civilian.  Fearing another civilian casualty, Ishikawa dashes down the road to assist another civilian in escaping.  Girard moves up near another civilian, but cannot find a safe spot close enough to help the civilian escape, so he waits.  Kelly climbs up the rise and takes cover behind a tree.  Not seeing anything, she moves to the side of the rise, but still does not see any enemies.  I realize at this time that I’m too far away from any potential targets and make a mad dash towards the others’ locations.  Girard plays it safe and goes into overwatch.  

Off in the distance we see a trooper take down yet another civilian.  Ishikawa moves forward into the open to help another civilian escape, and stumbles upon a muton and a stun lancer.  He quickly repositions himself to take cover behind a chain fence.  Girard moves into the open to assist another civilian with escaping, and then moves behind an abandoned car for cover.  Kelly moves along the rise and then drops down to take cover behind a tree stump, where she spies an officer and stun lancer nearby.  I’m still too far away to do anything, so I just continue to move closer to the action.  

The muton lays down some suppressing fire on Ishikawa, while the first stun lancer moves up and takes down another civilian right in front of our eyes.  The officer darts behind cover and takes a shot at Kelly that luckily misses.  The other stun lancer rushes up and hits her with the stun lance.  I see her go down and start to panic, and then realize she’s just stunned and not dead.  She shakes it off and quickly recovers though, and moves over to the officer and takes him down with a well placed axe swing.  Unable to move and not having a good shot while being suppressed, Ishikawa decides to return the favor and lays down suppressing fire on the muton.  I take a moment and reload my sniper rifle, and then I fire a quick pistols shot at the second stun lancer, but I miss wide.  Girard moves up to the fence line and takes down the first stun lancer with a well placed quickly fired rifle shot.  He then takes aim and hits the muton with another well placed round.  The creature’s armor prevents him from going down, but he’s hurt and no longer suppressing Ishikawa.  I decide to set into overwatch in case the stun lancer makes a move on either Kelly or Girard.  

The muton decides to move to a better position, but as soon as he starts to move Ishikawa’s suppressing fire mows him down.  The stun lancer starts to head towards me.  I take a shot as he moves advances on me, but my shot goes high.  Everything goes fuzzy, and I start to feel disoriented.  Not allowing him to hit me further, Girard targets the stun lancer and takes him down with a round from his rifle.  

We get the confirmation that the area is clear of enemies.  Our job is over and we head home.  With seven enemies killed and seven civilians out of thirteen rescued, Central says we did a Good job.  However, with Kelly and myself wounded and Yosef dead, I do not agree with that feeling.  Girard is promoted up to Sergeant and learns the Revival Protocol skill.  This teaches him how to send his GREMLIN drone to an ally to assist if they are stunned or disoriented or panicked.  Kelly is also promoted.  She is now a Lieutenant and learns how to Run and Gun.  This allows her to move as far as she can and still be able to take an action.  

 

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.