XCOM 2: Still…Alive?

For previous entries, click relatively: Part 1, Part 2.

It’s been busy. To summarise: Jamie’s memorial was turned into a PR piece, we finally finally have some buildings, we came into contact with The Warlock and The Hunter (shit), Morgan became our covert ops champ, we killed The Assassin only to discover they reincarnate. I became so stressed from healing burn victims in combat that I was diagnosed with Pyrophobia. We finally got some better weapons. Morgan, Alex ‘Valentine’ and Ciaran ‘Jester’ were ambushed in a covert op and had to escape a city filled with ADVENT and Lost. The AVATAR project reached 11 out of 12 on the progress meter, we blew up a facility to knock it down and came across a King Viper (see above). Our reserves were so thin we had to send Aimee ‘Solo’ into combat despite her exhaustion, and she freaked out mid-fight and has now been diagnosed with with permanant aggression issues. Our ally, the Skirmisher ‘Mox’ is killed in combat saving the lives of two of ours. We have a new operative I trained in secret – Joss Hordern – our psychic. And we finally, finally, finally have an infirmary. All of this shot through with countless operations, near-death experiences, stress, and goddamn fucking aliens.

Operation Hell Storm

As you join us now, we are, in a word, totally fucking fucked. We are up fuck river with out a fuck paddle. Mid-operation, our early scouting was blown by an eagle-eyed turret, who spotted Alex ‘Valentine’ on the roof above the VIP we want to kill (or ideally, capture). Everything has gone sideways. Our entire squad is out of position, Valentine is exposed, and the entire building we are on top of is surrounded. Turrets, Officers, flamethrower-wielding Purifiers, baton-wielding Stunners, rocket-launcer-toting MECs and a fucking flying half robot…thing? Oh. And then The Assassin shows up. Yeah, the one we thought we killed.

I am sweating, for reals. I can’t see a way out of this. We focus our fire on the right, aiming to take out the squad there. It’s hard, ridiculously so. Erin ‘ Mad-Dog’ does the bulk of the work with a well placed grenade, it’s tough going. Three of our squad are set on fire, our newest member Joss Hordern falls through the floor. Our twin medics, Deacon (me) and Alastair ‘Crypto’ are having to double up on aid and healing, bringing our offensive capabilities down. Our two snipers are out of position, which brings those capabilities down even further. In the time-slowed whirl of my tactical overview, it takes me over ten minutes to figure out a way, a possible way to simply not die.

It works. For a turn. But we still can’t get near the objective. We’ve still got an invisible, unstoppable Assassin on the loose who will definately take one of us out of the fight. There are, in all likelihood, multiple other squads hiding out there in the unknown. And we have a handful of minutes to get our objective, find a rendezvous and get out. Fuck.

OH FUCK OFF. We finally, finally manage to take out the other troops, although it feels like it’s taken hours to work out how to do so. Joss has been knocked out and revived, most of the rest of our squad is running out of ammo or, y’know, life, and this FUCKING Assassin summons a FUCKING robot. FUCK YOU.

Some astonishing teamwork sees our squad essentially destroying most of the building we are hiding on and in. By carefull destroying walls and ceilings we are able to find, expose and eliminate the Assassin in one fell swoop. We don’t take out the mech though, and in retaliation it takes Joss out, again. They’re bleeding to death for the second time in as many minutes.

We go for broke. If there are any squads hiding, we’re done for, but we have no choice. Crypto hoists Joss on his shoulders and makes a dash for the pickup, it’s their only shot of survival as we are completely out of meds on the ground. Meanwhile the rest of us break cover and surround the VIP.

I get the enormous satisfaction of punching the VIP unconcious and hoisting them over my shoulder, setting off alarms as I do. The flares light up for enemy reinforcements and we waste zero time, sprinting to our escape.

We get out. We all get out alive. I honestly can’t believe it. I can’t. To say ‘lesson learned’ is an understatement. Never send someone ahead on a rooftop blindly. Never ever ever.

The crew are desperate for a break, or better tech, or a break, or better food, or a break.


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