What follows is a journal written by one of the operatives in the second XCOM campaign, Alan Robertson.
Operation Severed Corpse – May 18th, 2035
This may be our lucky break. We’ve gotten intel on the position of a landed and disabled Hunter UFO. If we can raid this ship, there’s no telling what kind of technology and supplies and intel we can come away with. We’re going in with the same team we had for our last mission. Myself (Lt. Robertson), Lt. Ishikawa, Cpl. Ye, Sq. iD35TROYu, and Sq. Kabosky. I’m pained yet optimistic as I see iD35TROYu arm himself with the bolt caster and hunter’s axes that used to belong to Kelly. It’s a grim reminder of the losses we’ve suffered, but I hope he can use them to honor her memory and take out more alien scum.
We drop into the area and look around. The UFO is in a wooded area with streams nearby. Our best way to get all we can out of this is to eliminate all ADVENT forces in the area so we can take our time stripping the UFO.
Ishikawa takes point and takes cover beside a tree and large boulder. Kabosky goes next and takes cover behind another tree downfield. Ye decides to be daring and dashes across the stream and into cover behind a tree on the other side. She spots a sectoid and viper outside the UFO. Deciding to press forward and set up an ambush, Ishikawa moves around the corner of the boulder and into cover behind another boulder on the far side. Kabosky moves forward and takes cover in the stream alongside the embankment. I move up and into cover behind a tree along a corner of the stream. iD35TROYu moves into the stream and takes cover along the embankment also just a few yards away from Kabosky.
The enemies seem to be guarding the spot and not patrolling. So, we take advantage of our concealment and continue to press forward. Ishikawa crosses the stream around the bend and goes into cover behind a tree. iD35TROYu moves further down the embankment to get closer to the aliens. Kabosky climbs out of the stream and into cover behind some rocks just out of sight of the aliens. Ye moves around the corner of the tree to move into better cover. I cross to the side of the stream and into cover behind another tree while keeping my distance. Ye, iD35TROYu, and Kabosky go into overwatch just in case the enemy makes a move and our concealment is discovered.
They obviously must not be expecting us to show up, as the aliens are still just standing there. Everyone but Ye goes into overwatch, as we wait for her to start the show and get this party started. Deciding the sectoid to be a bigger threat, she lines up her shot and fires a round with her sniper rifle. She critically hits him in the head, and he falls dead. The viper is shocked and takes off for cover. Before he can move a few steps, iD35TROYu fires his bolt caster and drops him with one hit.
Our excitement at taking them out so easily is quickly diminished. Central lets us know they picked up an outbound signal coming from the UFO. It appears to be a distress signal. If we do not get in there and shut it off, we’re going to have tons of ADVENT to deal with.
iD35TROYu moves up closer to the UFO and into cover and reloads the bolt caster. Ishikawa rushes up and takes position alongside one of the doors into the ship. Kabosky rushes up and into cover alongside the adjacent door. Ye throws caution to the wind and rushes up on their position but leaving herself wide open with no available cover. I follow suit and do the same thing.
After waiting for sight of any alien movement or response and finding none, Ye moves up and takes cover between the two doors. She quickly opens both doors to allow us a view inside. Not wanting to risk leaving herself open again, she goes into overwatch where she is. Ishikawa moves into the next room and takes cover at the corner of the opening into the main chamber. He doesn’t spy any aliens, but he does see the source of the distress beacon. He goes into overwatch to prepare for any inside patrols. iD35TROYu moves up and takes cover outside the UFO beside Kabosky. Kabosky moves into another side chamber of the ship and takes cover behind some crates. He decides to take his chances and moves into the main chamber and takes cover behind some alien technology. Maybe not the best choice, as he catches the attention of an officer and a trooper that looks different from the others. Most of the troopers wear black armor, but this one is in white. As they move forward, Central lets us know they had heard rumors of a heavy infantry armor system. This white trooper appears to be one of those Shieldbearers. I move into the same chamber as Ishikawa take cover.
As the shieldbearer moves, Ishikawa takes his overwatch shot and this the shieldbearer, but his armor absorbs some of the blast. This gets the attention of a viper and another shieldbearer. As they move into the ship, Ye takes an overwatch shot with her pistol and grazes the viper. The officer moves into the main chamber and takes a shot at Kabosky but misses. The first shieldbearer also moves into the chamber. We watch as his gauntlet glows and he slams it into the ground. The resulting shockwave seems to have provided some kind of kinetic barrier to all the enemies.
I pull out my pistol to take a lightning hands shot at the shieldbearer in our room. I hit him, but it doesn’t even destroy his armor, much less do any damage to him. I don’t like any of the shots I have available with my sniper rifle, and so I wait. iD35TROYu pulls out an axe and throws it at the shieldbearer. It does the job, taking out his armor and him, and he falls dead. Ishikawa loads up his grenade launcher and prepares to fire at the other shieldbearer, but he realizes if he does he will damage the distress beacon and give us no way of shutting it off. He instead moves into the main chamber and takes a shot at the officer but misses his shot. iD35TROYu moves into an adjoining chamber and takes a shot at the officer with the bolt caster. He gets through the shield and damagers the officer, but does not take him down. Kabosky takes advantage of the shield being gone and finishes off the officer with a volley from his cannon. Ye takes a shot at the viper outside, but her shot goes high and misses. I take a shot at the viper. I break through the shielding and hit him with a solid shot and take him down.
The shieldbearer barges into the room I’m in and takes cover across from me. He then takes a shot at Ishikawa in the main chamber and lands a solid hit on him. Ishikawa decides to return the favor and fires at the shieldbearer. He pierces his armor and breaks through the shield to damage him. Ye tries to finish him off with her sniper rifle but misses. I also take a shot with my sniper rifle but miss as well. iD35TROYu decides he’s had enough and charges in and slashes the shieldbearer with his axe and kills him. Kabosky moves up to the distress beacon and proceeds to hack into it and disable the signal.
Central confirms that the beacon is disabled and there are no hostiles remaining in the area. We can head back, content in the fact that we did an excellent job today. We disabled the beacon, secured the disabled UFO, and killed six enemies while only taking one injury ourselves. Ishikawa will have to spend a few days in the infirmary to recover. Three of us are getting promotions today. iD35TROYu is promoted to Corporal and learns the Blademaster skill. Ye is promoted to Sergeant and learns the Deadeye skill. This allows her to take a penalty to her aim in order to do more damage with a shot. Finally, Kabosky is promoted to Corporal and learns how to use Blast Padding in his armor to protect him better.
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.