What follows is a journal written by one of the operatives in the second XCOM campaign, Alan Robertson.
Recap: A UFO was hunting the Avenger and found us. It shot us out of the sky and placed an EMP disrupter spike outside. We cannot take off until we destroy it, and ADVENT is sending everything they have at us. We are currently battling their forces, and we have lost our senior officer, Lieutenant Jane ‘Specter’ Kelly. However, newcomer Rookie Schulz is attempting to bring her body back on board the Avenger.
An officer moves up towards the Avenger, and I fire a sniper rifle blast at it and injure it. Gusev tries to finish it off, but his shot misses. The officer retaliates by singling out and marking Gusev to the rest of the ADVENT forces. A trooper takes a shot at Keenan but misses his mark. The MEC moves out of cover and succeeds where the trooper fails. I watch as Keenan falls dead in almost the exact same spot that Kelly died in. One officer way back moves into cover and goes into overwatch. Another trooper tries to take cover, but is killed by a sniper shot from Ye. A trooper moves up and takes a shot at Kim but misses. Back where the first reinforcements arrived, we spot another red flare drop to signal more incoming enemy forces.
Kim starts to make a mad dash for the ramp. As he does, the officer that was in overwatch fires a rifle blast into his back, and he falls screaming and then dies without making it back to the Avenger. This proves to be too much for Ye, and she panics and runs out into the battlefield. I then watch in horror as the pulls out a grenade and throws it right at Girard and myself. Time almost goes into slow motion as I watch the frag grenade fly toward us, and we can do nothing but watch as it lands at our feet before exploding in a blast of shrapnel. I feel it tear into my skin, and it hurts like hell. I look over to see how Girard is holding up, and I wish that I hadn’t. I look in horror as his body lies lifeless right next to me. It’s too much for me to take, and I panic and run blindly away from the sight and out onto the battlefield behind the barricade beyond the ramp. I pull out my pistol and blast the stun lancer down the way and injure him. I wish I could say it made me feel better, but I’m still filled with terror and fear at what has transpired today. In an act of pure heroism, I watch as Schulz continues on unflinching and carries Kelly’s body back onto the ramp of the Avenger. Gusev goes into overwatch to try and prevent any further damage today. Ishikawa moves up besides Schulz and goes into overwatch to provide extra covering fire.
We watch as another transport arrives and drops off an officer and three stun lancers. The quickly spread out and go into cover way off where we can’t catch a good look. The officer out in the field in view takes a pot shot at Gusev and luckily misses. The MEC unit advances towards the Avenger, and Gusev does some series damage to it with a rifle blast as it moves in. The MEC then lays down some suppressive fire on Gusev to keep him from moving and to reduce his chances of getting of any good shots. Another trooper tries to move forward, but Ishikawa mows him down with a volley of cannon fire. A stun lancer moves up just a few yards away from the Avenger’s ramp, but leaves himself out in the open.
I try to shake it, but I still feel the fear and panic just gripping my body and preventing me from thinking clearly. I notice that Ye is still in the same state too. Realizing that something needs to be done, Schulz carefully lays down Kelly’s body and then takes down the stun lancer with a rifle blast. Even though he’s being suppressed, Gusev takes a chance and fires at the MEC. Unfortunately, all the incoming fire keeps him from getting a clear shot, and he misses. Ishikawa goes into overwatch in case any more troops try to advance on our position.
The enemy obviously feels that Gusev is a threat, as an officer moves forward and once more marks Gusev as a target for the enemy forces. Another office works his way slowly towards the Avenger. Then, the MEC advances up the side and hits Gusev with a rifle blast. Luckily, Gusev is still standing after the hit. Another officer and two stun lancers move into view down the battlefield and prepare to advance on the Avenger. The enemy is starting to take advantage of the chaos in the field. No longer are they dropping their reinforcement flares way out. This time we watch the flare drop just a few yards away from the barricade just outside the Avenger’s ramp.
Both Ye and myself finally regain our composure. Ye quickly runs back onto the ramp and takes cover. Not wanting to leave her behind, Schulz picks up Kelly’s body once more. I also run back and take cover behind the ramp on the Avenger. That’s it. Those of us that are still alive are all on the Avenger. I order the takeoff command. Central tries to make us feel better and says we did an excellent job and that the Avenger lives to fly another day. However, all I can think about is the death and destruction I witnessed today. As we take off, we recount today’s events: eighteen enemies killed, three soldiers wounded including myself, and four soldiers killed including Lieutenant Kelly. On the positive side, by recovering Kelly’s body, Schulz was also able to recover her bolt caster and twin axes. Hopefully we can find someone worthy of using them in her stead.
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.