A Long War

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ShadowSpectre
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A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:01 pm

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"... up, we got a..."
"GO!"
"... and you assholes ain't gonna waste..."
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Re: A Long War

Postby Spriterkid » Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:33 pm

It begins. Image
RIP Ed Balls

buy flantasy flan
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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:05 pm

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"Behold, the greatest failure..."
"... out before I beat the..."
"We who were doomed..."
"... get your lazy fuckin' ass..."
"... to prepare them... for what lies ahead."
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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:30 pm

"On your FEET, MOVE!" came a distant yell.

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Pure's eyes eased open to a dark and blurry ceiling as he felt the bunks around him and beneath him shudder and thump as soldiers left them. He wasn't quite sure what was happening. He was reasonably sure that he had just exploded in a gigantic psychic explosion in space. He could still see debris burning through the skies like falling stars. He could feel a strange, sharp electric feeling illuminating his skin, clearing his vision, igniting his bones, impacting his left arm, dragging him out of bed-
"GET UP, PRIVATE!" screamed the Lance Corporal, pulling Pure to the floor before moving along the bunks and doing the same to others still in bed. "FIVE MINUTES TO DUSTOFF!"
Pure staggered to his feet, holding onto the cold metal bars of the bunk bed as sleepy soldiers made their way past him. It sounded like every siren in the world was going off at once, but Pure's senses were starting to clear. He threw his black vest off, pulled on his fatigues and followed the stream of men and women towards the armoury.
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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:00 pm

"That sounds like a strange fucking dream!" Dabir shouted. The hum of the two jets were almost deafening as they started warming up to lift off. They were right next to each other, but it was almost impossible to hear anything over the afterburner racket. Microphones wouldn't have been any good either; the feedback would have deafened them.
"It was," Pure shouted back, feeling his vocal chords rebelling at the abuse. "Felt so real, and it was so long!"
"Well, as long as this war ends like that one!" Dabir bellowed, slapping Pure's knee. "Did it start the same way?"
"No," Pure replied, half to himself. Seeing Dabir hadn't heard him, he merely shook his head and returned to checking his equipment.

***

Richard Fournier: 1st March 2015

I was on the first squad to be deployed when the pods started falling from the sky. It hadn't been a hard decision; I was the most well-rounded soldier at St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, taught recruits there before the war started. My brother was on a tour of duty in South America when shit got stupid, so he was out of harm's way for a while. I'd call him later but he wasn't going to be near cities any time soon.

When the unmarked hummvees started rolling into the base, I got called up to the Major's office. I was a Captain in the regulars, but the Major told me that I was switching regiments to a new task force. I was eager to get underway on the surface, but I felt a twinge of anticipation gnaw at me as I got into the troop transport that whisked me away.

It took a few hours before we arrived at the base; I could tell we weren't in Quebec any more, there was a stronger smell of tree pollen in the air. I guessed (correctly, though I couldn't have known that at the time) that we were in America. Curious that I was then to go back to Montreal on the Skyranger.

The Skyranger was a remarkable aircraft. It looked like a Bell Osprey with two jet engines instead of propellers and the noise it made was incredible. Myself and five other soldiers loaded in, clad in lightweight gear: a kevlar helmet and vest were provided, and there was a small box that had been hurried onto the plane. Generally, gazes were avoided in those first few minutes. We had to trust each other but we didn't know each other. We barely knew if we would all speak the same language. I caught a glimpse of one of the others' flag markers, indicating one of my comrades was Argentinian. I found myself wondering how long in advance this project had been planned. We were all recruits in the eyes of this new power. XCOM, it called itself. It had been so long since I had worn gear marked for privates, but it was a new day.

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We didn't talk much, there wasn't any point. We all had our earpieces and earplugs in and the sound of the jets outside the small cabin was intense. This left us with very little to do other than to check our weapons and ensure we understood our equipment. Things like that get forgotten on deployments. Yeah, sure, every rifle works the same, every frag grenade has a pin, but you don't wanna find out halfway through a firefight that some bastard's bent the pin and got it stuck just off the catch.

Enduring Hammer was the name of the operation. We were to drop in near a site where there had been confirmed alien contact in large enough numbers that the organisation's notice was caught. Our objectives weren't too hard, simple search and destroy mission, really, but as we neared the city of Montreal, I could feel my heartbeat getting steadily faster and harder and a lump in my throat growing more and more persistent. Every so often, I would catch someone's eye and they would deign me a nod or a quick smile before returning to their rifle. I didn't know whether that was a reflection on me or my comrades.

When we landed, we all stood up at exactly the same time. We were a little startled by that, but we laughed it off. It somewhat broke the ice as the ramp lowered and we made our way out.

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The weapons we were given were solid and dependable. I remember taking one apart shortly before we boarded the drop ship; it appeared to be a modified G36, but I couldn't have told you what it actually was. It chambered five-five-sixes, that was all I needed to know. Those things would stop in the first man it hit, brilliant energy transfer.

We were also given a pistol. I didn't know how useful it would be, especially with a main weapon locked and loaded, but it would be helpful the moment I ran out of rounds. At least, it would have.

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We'd barely landed before we heard a strange, wet-sounding cackle. I had never heard anything like it. I couldn't have. They were aliens. Actual X-Files aliens. Goddamn Roswell greys.

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And they were headed straight for us.

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One of my squad, Dambuza, had the sense and quick thinking to run to the nearest pickup truck and fire off some shots.

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It took less than ten seconds from first sight for the first alien to fall dead. His reflexes were astounding. I felt like this was suddenly a test of skill, I was being assessed. I expected this would be a force of the planet's best, but I didn't realise that it'd be like this. Dambuza looked back at us with a grin, waving at us to move up with him.

Nevertheless, the kill gave the rest of us some form of courage, some proof that the invaders weren't invincible, some hope of going home. We took cover as best as we could, next to cars and a JCB that had been parked for the morning. I merely followed their lead and took cover behind some crates covered by a blue tarpaulin.

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The nearest soldier to me when we had all boots on the ground was a woman was a New Zealander by the flag on her back; the name tag on her undershirt read Sarah Martin, as I remember it from the base. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Sounds cliché and it was. Still, that's how she looked and what stood out about her on first observation.

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By this point, I'd already moved forwards to cover. Sarah Martin moved and took shelter next to me.


Giving me a quick tap on the shoulder, she took position looking out across my blind side. Standard combat reassurance, someone's got my back. I felt safer already, and, I reasoned, a solder that feels safe is a soldier that can fight with less restraint. I'm not sure whether that was a genuine feeling or still some sort of delusion because I don't remember doing anything useful that mission.

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The aliens had started work; I saw strange purple streams flying through the air, whipping and undulating, linking pairs of them. Feeling this could be nothing good, I turned back to watch what was going on.

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They appeared to be concentrating on the nearest soldier first. Her name was Angela Hall, and she was crouched besides a car, the door held open as a shield to the front. Cover was such a blessing; the aliens' green shots hit the car and the soldier called to us, "I'm alright! Gonna move up, draw their fire, take the right flank!"

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She dashed out from behind the car, running to a concrete barrier nearby that would offer more permanent cover. Two aliens fired at her as she ran, but neither hit her and she scrambled to a stop.

She fired a few bursts back in retaliation, but none of her bullets made their mark either.


This was to become a rather interesting theme for the rest of the war. Battles would often be unnecessarily prolonged because neither side could pinpoint the other. Our luck appeared to have run out with the very first kill we got, because for a good five minutes, neither side was doing anything to the other.

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Suddenly, the Argentinian popped up next to another car and fired at one of the short grey bastards before it had a chance to duck behind cover. It was injured, but not dead, I think a couple of bullets had hit the car bonnet. Nevertheless, the alien doubled over in pain before instinctively straightening up again.

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This was a fatal mistake.

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The killing shot was placed so well that it threw the alien back a good four feet. A shout of laughter accompanied the burst fire. We were winning, and not inconsiderably.

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After this, Sarah tapped my shoulder. I turned to see her moving for the crane. I followed suit, taking the opposite corner, peering round.

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Over the next few weeks, we would come to recognise the signs that enemies were on overwatch: the initial duck back behind cover to check weapon, subsequent glances in every direction, disinterest in comrades' actions. Generally it occurred as a fellow alien was moving forwards; a guarantee of safety was important for both sides. It was surprisingly similar to what we did during training. I guess it was more of a surprise back then, I thought that they'd have been so different that their battlefield tactics would be unrecognisable. They were orderly, coordinated, just like we were. They had better weapons, but this was home turf for us.

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No sooner had the thought of our advantage crossed my mind than we had taken our first hit. The Argentinian bore the brunt of a blast of the green shit. Plasma, the lab rats tell me, burnt a hole straight through his cheek and out the side of his face. He was lucky to have survived a direct blast, but it went straight through the soft tissue and the heat cauterised the wounds almost immediately. To his credit, he didn't panic. He barely screamed in pain: a grunt of irritation was all he allowed, and his combat effectiveness was not diminished for the rest of the mission. Absolutely rock-solid.

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It did, however, foster a rather dangerous desire for revenge. Carlos Vargas was his name and he's still in hospital thanks to his actions in this firefight, but there was a file on him in the barracks. He was nicknamed Spriter in his old corps. Both parents were Portuguese, he'd been in the army since he was fifteen. Didn't even realise age discrepancies like that still existed. Apparently his old man fought in the Falklands with the British. Bet that didn't go down well with his government, but they took him on anyway and he proved to be the most proficient officer they had. He was a tough nut to crack, and the aliens were to understand why by the end of the battle.

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Still, Vargas missed his first shot. Can't say I could blame him, he had just been shot in the face. I caught a glimpse of him when he was moving, he looked like Aaron Eckhart off the Dark Knight halfway through the film. His cheekbone was the only thing stopping his eye falling out of its socket. He couldn't have been seeing very well through that.

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We backed him up as best as we could. Dambuza also missed a shot and it was starting to look like it could get messy with three aliens that were probably pretty pissed off at us.

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However, we still had a little time to reduce the danger. Angela managed to injure an alien crouching next to a car with a few well placed rounds.

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Khamisi Boroto took a shot and finished it off. However, that still left the issue of the one that was almost flanking Carlos.

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That was when Sarah popped round the side of the JCB and fuckin' planted the alien. Straight through the eyes.

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That was when we noticed that as the aliens were landing, dead, their weapons were falling to pieces. We didn't know what that meant at first, but we it was better than leaving weapons around for us, I guess. Not a bad counterstrategy.

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Carlos moved up next. He stopped in front of a taxi and examined one of the bodies that had been left behind by the weird pods. It was covered in a strange mucous. The civvie inside didn't look like they were dead, but they sure as hell weren't conscious.


Boroto moved up to Spriter and Hall moved up the construction site. Sarah was topping off her magazine surprisingly calmly, head down and barely breathing.


I ran up and called overwatch. I fancied I saw a hint of a roll of eyes from Sarah, but I didn't care. I could see everybody and I was in a decent spot.

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"Hold it," Carlos muttered into my ear. I jumped. Luckily, my trigger finger was not in play at that point, I had completely forgotten we had earpieces. "I hear something," Carlos added.

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"Need something for the road, friend?" I heard Boroto asking in his booming voice, sizing up a truck up ahead.
"Nah, you got point," Spriter grunted, "I'll be fine."
"My ass, but if you're sure."
"Someone else will need that medpack more than I will," Carlos insisted. "Get going."

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"Got it, crazy man."

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"Vai-te foder," Carlos muttered, half chuckling, as he moved besides his brother in arms, watching for movement.


Moving up was quiet for a good long while. We did it carefully, with one of us on Overwatch as everyone else moved. Carlos' grim determination bolstered us all.

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Then he did something that would prove unfortunate.
Last edited by ShadowSpectre on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:37 pm

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In the process of running to a stack of bricks up ahead, Carlos caught the attention of a small pod of aliens, a pair of the greys and a strange, clawlike machine with a burning yellow eye at its centre. "Got some fuckers over here!" he shouted over his shoulder, not stopping for a moment.

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Boroto rushed forward to aid him and make sure he wasn't outgunned, but more aliens came into view and suddenly they were both out of their depth.

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We quickly made our way forwards to back our vanguard up. I could feel the terror rising but I ran on.

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As we did, Boroto managed to injure one of them, acting as a warning against advancement from the enemy side. There was limited cover for the aliens between them, but it was an indication of Boroto's superior firing position with the bus covering his right flank and backup arriving.

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This would have been the case if the strange spider-like drone hadn't whizzed forward past the bus, flanking four of us at once. I swear that for a moment it turned to me, clicking and whirring angrily, its eye glaring intensely.

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Simultaneously, the grey aliens started firing at Boroto and Dambuza. We were being pincered from two directions and outflanked. Time felt like it was standing still and the taste of bile crept into the back of my mouth.

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Then there was a roar of automatic gunfire right behind my head that I could hear even through my earpiece and sound reducers. I nearly threw up at that point, but just about managed to keep it down. I turned to see a smoking, red-hot barrel being lifted away and Sarah leaning back against the bus as she cleared a cartridge from the chamber. Her aim was terrifying.


Boroto moved back round to our side of the bus quickly, ducking a plasma shot. "Well, you two are sitting fucking pretty!" he shouted at us as plasma flew past the side of the bus.
"Fuck off, we're fine here because I just killed some spider bitch," Sarah shouted back angrily, wiping a line of grease from the side of her weapon.
"Yeah, yeah. Resupply, we're gonna be here a while."


There was a chatter of automatic fire and a curse from Dambuza. Looks like Boroto was right.


My weapon was fine, so I hunkered down and waited for new orders.

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Carlos seemed to be absolutely crazy. He moved up again and was immediately suppressed.


However, he trusted his instincts and in a moment of calm ran for it.


The alien was caught off guard and missed its chance.


This distracted the aliens enough for Dambuza to crawl up the left flank and kill another enemy, bringing his mission kill count up to two.

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Not to be outdone, Carlos went out of his way to prove that he was untouchable. He cackled as the alien nearest appeared to panic, firing its weapon into the sky by accident before it had managed to bring it to bear against the Argentinian.

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This momentary mistake guaranteed Carlos a kill. "Eat shit, filho da puta," he grunted, popping back behind the stack of bricks as the aliens tried to suppress him.


But that was when things started to go pear-shaped.


For three minutes, every shot we fired missed.

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... and then one of theirs met their target.

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Dambuza had been flanked when the aliens killed him. He wasn't expecting the blast. Dr Vahlen tells me that's what killed him in the end, not gritting his teeth for it. Spriter and Dambuza weren't very different, but the power of will is strong. I didn't see Dambuza get killed. Boroto did. He doesn't talk about it much.


We kept going. We were a man down and everyone was quiet. But no matter how quietly determined we were...


... we still couldn't land shots.

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That was when the second catastrophe occurred.

Hall was hit by plasma in her side. She hadn't been flanked and she hadn't been expecting it, but pure luck saved her from dying instantly. She was bleeding out fast, but we still had aliens to kill.

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With the time limit of Hall's life in mind, we suddenly started grinding into action. I say we, I mean the rest of the team.

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Carlos flanked and killed another alien as if his facial injury wasn't an issue. He whooped in triumph as an alien burst flew round the corner, missing him by a narrow margin.

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Hearing the gunfire, Boroto swore loudly before he turned the corner, aiming to run into the bus to take cover.

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I heard him muttering something about Carlos' balls of steel saving Hall's life, but a moment later plasma fire screamed past and Boroto had ducked into the bus.

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Sarah moved round as soon as the guns stopped before standing tall and aiming true.

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Not a single one of her six shots missed the target and it fell, lifeless, with a wet, bloody thud.


I was left with an overwatch duty that rather felt rather like second prize.

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On the other side, Spriter was dodging everything that could be thrown at him.

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As fire was concentrated elsewhere, Dabir made his move, running to Hall's body.

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He pulled his medkit out and quickly sealed the wound, placing the rest into a small respirator and putting it over her mouth. "Hey, stay with us, soldier," Boroto murmured to her, pressing her hand momentarily.

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The alien saw this, but that moment's distraction was enough for Spriter to get in close and execute it.

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He kept firing until his rifle was clean empty. None of us questioned his judgement.

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"Command," Carlos panted, kicking the corpse further away. "I think we're done here. We need an emergency medevac for two and some fuckin' painkillers." He spat a wad of blackened and burnt blood to the floor as he walked slowly back towards the Skyranger.
Last edited by ShadowSpectre on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:50 pm

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When we got back, Dambuza's body was carefully moved to the morgue and both Spriter and Angela Hall were rushed to sickbay. Spriter made a full recovery, but Angela chose to leave the service shortly after she was discharged. Nobody had a foul word to say against her decision. She was a good soldier. A kill and a couple of assists in the darkest war we'd fought in our history.

The rest of us were exhausted, feeling like we'd run a million miles. Battle fatigue waited for nobody. I remember thinking that it was strange, but at the end of the day, it was combat. Our bodies had been supporting us at full capacity for long enough that it had consequences on the other side. I started heading back to the barracks with the rest of the squad, still in full gear, feeling my vision occasionally swimming and my steps growing heavier.

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I heard shouts as we left the hangar of transfers and interceptors, but I didn't pay much attention to it at the time. There were four other aircraft in the hangar besides the Skyranger. They looked like caricatured X-29s from the 80s. I guess the X designation was fitting.

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At the same time, a scientist was orchestrating the transport of the fragments and artifacts we'd collected. I'd later learn that this was Dr Vahlen, the head of labs here. A detached demeanour and an enthusiasm for discovery singled her out as the most intelligent person I'd ever met, though she was a little cold with regards to what we were doing. She was overseeing the research efforts for the duration of the project, ensuring that we were doing as much as we could to catch up with the aliens. She had her work cut out for her.

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This was a brand new facility when I arrived here. XCOM had been set up by a council of sixteen nations that had all given the project their blessing when touted. Already there were engineers running up and down stairs with lengths of cable and forklifts with stacks of concrete bags dashing to get the construction underway. I was too tired to care. I don't remember walking through mission control, but we must have passed through there to get to the armoury. That room was perhaps the most well prepared of all of the rooms, but it was too bright. My eyes must have automatically shielded my vision and kept me focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.

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It was here that I finally met the other soldiers properly. Sarah Martin took her helmet off and immediately began shouting at one of the gunsmiths in the room. "Can I please have my own fucking gear, now?!"
One of them, a middle-aged man who was assembling a light machine gun, sighed. "Yes, Miss Scarlet, you can. I'm sorry about the trouble."
"You'd fucking better be," Scarlet snarled, storming past towards the bunks, throwing the rifle to the floor as she exited the room. The gunsmith's assistant, a mousy young man who could be no more than twenty-five darted to the weapon, checking it over and moving back to the workbench.
Khamisi Boroto shook his head before turning to me. "Good to fight with you, sir," he spoke. His speech was thunderous.
"And you, uh..." I glanced around his gear for a name.
"Don't worry, this isn't my equipment either," he chuckled. Strange that they had been given others' clothing. I wondered what had happened to the original owners.
"Oh, sir, we've got that ready, now!" the gunsmith's assistant chirped up.
"Excellent!" my comrade cheered. "One moment, Mr Fournier, if you would."
"Of course," I replied, shaking my head in amusement. One could be proud of one's gear like one was proud of a child. The soldier jogged over and began unstrapping the kevlar vest as I looked around the room. It was designed for war, this room. Weapons of all kinds hung on the walls, rifles, shotguns, pistols, machine guns... endless in number and clean in appearance.
"So, what do you think?" asked a familiar loud voice.

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I turned and almost tripped backwards over my own legs, trying to step away. Before me stood the most contrastingly coloured soldier I had ever seen. Despite his dark skin, his hair was neon cyan and his armour was hot pink. Even his sidearm had a pink holster clip. It was shocking, to say the least.
"Striking," I managed.
"I think so, too," agreed the brightest man in the world. Lowering his rifle, he extended a hand. "Dabir, but you can call me MAN JACKSON!" He followed up the name with a hearty laugh.
"Er," I replied, shaking his hand meekly. He was rather enthusiastic about it. "Richard, but my nickname was Pure Question in Quebec."
"Ah, Canadian?" Dabir asked, walking over to a weapons rack and replacing his assault rifle.
"Indeed," I responded, walking over to a row of kevlar vests, picking out a green one. It matched my pistol, and that was good enough for me. I tried putting it on before realising I was still wearing my helmet, not to mention my old bulletproof vest. I was tired. "Any thoughts on the place?"
"I like maple syrup," Dabir offered.
"That'll do, I suppose," I grumbled, having finally negotiated the task of dressing myself. I turned and looked into a mirror. Yes, I thought to myself. That'll do nicely.

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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:49 am

The last couple of soldiers were entering the hangar bay, now. The Skyranger's screaming engines were becoming harsher by the moment, and Pure could feel the searing heat of the air rushing into the craft from beneath the wings outside. In marched the Lance Corporal who had woken him up, clad in khaki body armour and wielding a massive assault rifle. Richard Zaximillian nodded to the man in green and the man in pink and took the seat in the middle opposite the two. As he did so, a screen appeared in the Skyranger, detailing to them the mission's parameters. Pure glanced at it to take the name. Operation Driving Fog. Peculiar choice.

A few moments later, Specialist Scarlet joined them, her marksman's rifle slung over her shoulder. She glanced at Zax and wordlessly took the seat next to Pure, keeping her gaze lowered. Pure looked between the two momentarily, but dismissed his impression. Probably just a degree of sleep deprivation on Flan's part.

***

Richard Zaximillian: 3rd April 2015

Well, the mission that does stand out to me is my first deployment

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It was during an alien abduction in progress in Paris, France. Operation First Dirge took place at a small fuel station in the fourteenth district, near the centre of Montparnasse. Seemed to be good enough for us to start looking into the possibility of introducing us to combat, which is presumably why you had sent so many in-house privates on that team, correct?

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Well, of the strike force of six, I was sent as the second, but I assumed command since my outside rank was highest in the squad. Not a bad bunch, this lot. Bit apprehensive, new enemy and all that, but they kept their nerve. As you know, equipment was limited to rifles, G36C variants, pistols, some modified bastard child of a Glock and a Desert Eagle, and machine pistols that looked like the pistols crossed again with Skorpions. These were weapons I've certainly never come across in fifteen years in the service. Grenades, laser sights, some of us took high cap magazines. Former Lieutenant Urch took a flashbang and a smoke grenade, in case we needed support.

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Our team was full of reasonably experienced soldiers, but there was some degree of imperfection in each of them. Former Corporal Black Heart took a carbine in preference to an assault rifle; why, I will never know. Lieutenant Larry Urch did the same, but they both at least took machine pistols as sidearms. Corporal Nicholas Clockwork took some pieces of an alien's weapon as a reminder of their mortality. I did not question this; he may have had a bad experience before. He took a ceramic undershirt in addition to the trophy and a swan-off shotgun as his sidearm. No doubt he had some scores to settle. Gunnery Sergeant Four Boxes took the only medkit on the team, perhaps his best choice, but he didn't deign to forgo the heavier tactical armour in favour of a lightweight vest to make him more mobile. I took armour, but I have far greater stamina for it, hasn't slowed me down too much in the field. Sergeant Snipe Heart wore a blue hat. I think that's enough.


While we all had our outwards experiences and differing skill sets, we were all Privates, First Class as we descended the SPIE rigs. We were all vulnerable as ever. I'm somewhat glad that you and your staff decided to do that, it meant that nobody had delusions of grandeur coming into the service.


As we readied up and the Skyranger found somewhere safe to land, Urch nodded to us. We'd discussed the tactics beforehand: he would take to the roof and be our mobile gun, available wherever he was needed.

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Perhaps this was not quite as wise a move as we thought. There were a pair of aliens on the roof itself. Fortunately, they descended quickly to leave Urch's sight range. He shouted down to us that they were moving left.

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We moved quickly to maintain the timeline. We were on a short fuse now that the aliens knew we were boots on the ground. Myself and the two Hearts set up to breach, me and Snipe on the door and Black Heart on the window.

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Meanwhile, Clockwork and Boxes took the left flank to ensure the aliens couldn't try to catch us off guard by going round the side. Nick reported no movement visible, meaning we were more likely to find them now.

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Snipe and I checked round our respective corners to ensure no alien would try to take us by surprise from behind, and then we breached.

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As we did, BlackHeart yelled out to us to check our advance. An alien was in wait behind some decent cover. We stopped for a moment, covering each other as Black Heart leapt through her window and rushed in to take the alien by surprise.

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Her shot severely injured it, causing it to start retreating. We thought it was returning to its squadmate, but suddenly that squadmate burst in.

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Straight through the door. I don't think it was expecting us, it took cover next to the shelves as if it was trying to take cover from myself and Snipe. BlackHeart's move was clearly something of a shock. Very useful, that. Still, it shocked her, too, and there was a moment's shared hesitation between the two adversaries.

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By the time she had raised her rifle, I'd moved up and double tapped the bastard. Disgusting smell, that blood.

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Urch tried making a move, then, but the injured alien managed to catch his leg with plasma. Luckily, the wound was almost instantly cauterised, and it wasn't deep enough to kill him. Had he been wearing a tactical vest and not armour, he would have been history. The benefits of wearing kevlar.

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He gave as good as he got. Topped the fucker right off. That was a good save to something that looked like it could have gone wrong very quickly.
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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:37 pm

Richard Zaximillian: 3rd April 2015


I contacted Nick and told him to move up. Boxes was hard pressed to catch up. Poor guy wasn't used to his full armour set yet. I'd recommend the vest to him in the future, but we'd have to see whether he was game for that.


We started moving towards the front, flushing out what resistance remained. There couldn't be much left.


I'm not sure they were expecting us to be functional as a unit at this point, they were just stood at the pumps waiting.


Urch proved to be a stalwart soldier despite his wounds.


I continue to be impressed with Snipe. He's got the makings of a great soldier.


I get the impression that Four Boxes might need a few days on the treadmill, though.


Black Heart was wise enough to realise her shot wasn't good enough and instead chose to lie in wait until a better opportunity presented itself. Her battle sense was sound.


The aliens' tactics seem to ignore survivability for the most part. All of their actions so far seem to point at trying to kill us as fast as possible. We got lucky despite them using more accurate and powerful weapons than we did, but I don't think we'll have that advantage for long.


Reflexes are paramount in today's warfare.


That and excellent aim. I almost thought that BlackHeart was going to hit me, but she kept things steady and managed to fire through gaps that were no more than a couple of inches wide.


The strange canister was starting to make noises, so Snipe ran towards it in an attempt to activate it.


Unfortunately, by the time he arrived, it was sealed. He seemed annoyed with himself, but carried on.


He moved up towards the van, checking whether it was occupied and whether we could use its insides as cover.


Meanwhile, the others moved up the left flank to cover the far side of the trucks.


Snipe yelled out a caution that was not unwarranted.


Three more greys appeared to us took flanking positions.


Thinking quickly, Snipe ran to more dependable cover, allowing the rest of us to move up in support.


A quick shot hit the alien enough to injure it. I managed to finish it off, but there were still two more to kill.


The second eluded Snipe. As good a soldier as he was, they were starting to gang up on him.


It was at this juncture that Urch was starting to flag. He called to Four Boxes to play medic as he reloaded.


Black Heart and Clockwork moved up left, and it was starting to look like the aliens hadn't realised they were being flanked. I'm never sure how much they know about what we're doing. Sometimes it feels like they're omniscient and can predict our every move but sometimes, they just ignored us altogether.


They focused their fire on Snipe. He was getting a little overwhelmed now, and his shots were becoming shakier and shakier under fire. He was yelling out for us to back him up.


The aliens' tunnel vision allowed me to do just that. I moved up to the next truck to kill another alien. This brought my killcount that mission to three.


Black Heart seized the opportunity to flank the last grey while I was keeping it busy.


A quick finish to the mission. Casualties were not too severe. Urch needed a fortnight or so in the infirmary and the rest of us were reasonably comfortable, asides from standard battle fatigue, but I'm already itching to get back to the fight. If that'll be all, Commander, I have to get back to the firing range. Jox reckons he's got fifty bucks outta me, impertinent little shit.
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Re: A Long War

Postby ShadowSpectre » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:53 pm

12th March 2015

"How did ze operation go?" Vahlen asked the soldier as the medical staff left the two alone.
"It went as well as could be expected. Nobody got shot, so it was a good mission."
"Was there anyone you've got concerns about?"
He considered for a moment. "Well, the one they call MMX was a little... enthusiastic."
"I'm told you were a little less than active," she tried.
"Well, yeah, you recommended me as observation," Dr Thunderous replied. "I'm a soldier, but that wasn't my mission, it was theirs."
"True," Dr Vahlen conceded. "How's the team?"
"Never send that one again."

***


Zarro shifted his vest slightly. The ceramic body armour he was wearing underneath made the kevlar a little less comfortable than normal, but it would keep him alive longer than some of the other idiots he was with. The jackass with the baseball cap had taken two grenades with him like it was some kind of Rambo film. He wouldn't be surprised if he took the first injury this mission.

The others seemed reasonably okay. He wasn't too sure about the Brazilian. Jox, he called himself. Apparently a commando from the Brigada de Operações Especiais, somehow he embodied the strange South American bravado that the stereotype lied about: dressed in dark green and wearing a beret and sunglasses, he seemed to know more about showmanship than soldiering. Having two loudmouthed colleagues reassured Zarro. They were two distractions that would draw fire while he did his work.

He was, however, glad of the more competent-appearing soldiers. The Spaniard was a little conventional, insisting on taking a helmet, but otherwise they seemed reliable soldiers.

"Twenty seconds, get prepped," the pilot radioed back. The soldiers checked their weapons for the last of a hundred times before standing, grabbing the handrails above them to steady themselves.


The Skyranger touched down inside the train station concourse softly and the door began to open. "Clearing landing area!" Jox yelled over the dying engine whine, fairly leaping over the edge of the ramp before it had fully opened. As the sound of gunfire erupted from outside Zarro shook his head. "He had better not be just firing at fucking shadows," he commented to the yellow-clad soldier besides him.
Eboshidori shook his head. "Jox may be loud, but he's not stupid."
There was a loud explosion and suddenly everybody was more on their guard.


"Get some, baby!" Jox roared as the spider-like drone fell to the ground. Zarro blinked. Well. It would appear that there was actually contact. The five lagging behind marched out, immediately readying their weapons. They were on the platform of a train station in China, and there was still a train sitting, empty and motionless. It appeared that people had, quite understandably, cleared out the moment aliens began turning up. There was another drone hovering overhead, appearing to be trying to work out what to do.


"Firing, firing," said the Spaniard, firing. There was another cough of an explosion and it fell to the ground. Already two kills had been taken, and Zarro had barely stepped off the dropship.
"Jox, Fox, take the left platform, push up the flank," Ebo commanded, beckoning to Zarro to follow him onto the train. Jox grinned, nodding. Firefox and Jox reloaded their weapons as they cross the rail lines, keeping an eye out for more targets. Ebo indicated to Zarro that they'd be taking the right flank inside the train itself. Not that Zarro needed the order; he was already working on getting the door open so they could breach silently. No use wasting any element of surprise they might have left now that the enemy knew they had arrived.
"I'll take the centre!" drawled the man in the baseball cap. MMX hardly seemed like an adequate soldier, dressed in baby blue and a stupid serious look on his face. Before Ebo could deny him, he'd run to a nearby bench and crouched besides it. A trio of Roswell Greys turned and cackled at him, fleeing to cover.
"You fucking idiot," Zarro hissed. The door to the train slid open, and he and Ebo scrambled through, careful not to let either of the aliens see their movement.


"I got it, I got it," MMX grumbled. He stood and fired.


Not a single round met its target.
"No, you don't," Zarro fumed to himself.
"Lucky little shit," MMX declared loudly, "I'll get the other one!"


"No, you won't," Zarro fumed angrily over the radio.
"Oh, come on, that was aimed perfect!" MMX complained.


"Shut it," Ebo ordered. He and Zarro had made it to the end of the first carriage. "Eyes open, taking the shot, Zarro, head out and flank right!"


Ebo stepped into the doorway, firing two bursts into the alien's head. He stepped back, kicking an empty cartridge away. "Target neutralised."
Zarro nodded, taking the moment of shock to leap through the nearest window, running up the far side of the train doubled over so as to hide from view.


There was a consensus amongst the aliens. One of them appeared to grow more watchful, its wide yellow eyes more wrathful than normal. The other alien began firing at MMX.
"What the fuck, get them off me!" he shouted angrily. Zarro had half a mind to leave him under fire, but he swore and stood, shooting the windows through. He fired as the glass fell.


"Enemy down," he confirmed coldly. The scream of alien horror was delightful.
"About time," MMX smouldered.
"Shut the fuck up, you cocky little shit," Zarro snarled. Oh, he would not be getting on with MMX.


"Both of you, quiet, more coming!" Jox called through the radio. "I'm on the right with FF, ready to hit them."
"Commence," Ebo approved. "Get rid of them fast."


"On it," Jox chuckled, peering round the corner, just enough for the alien to spot him. By that point, it was too late. He pointed and fired. The Sectoid's body was flung against the barriers separating the platform from the waiting area like a doll, leaving a trail of blood in its wake.
"Now, Fox," the Brazilian called, ducking back round.
"Steady," Fire Fox warned him, "One step left." He obliged.


There was a rush of wind past his shoulder as Fox fired at a target. It bubbled in anger, but did not expire. "How many left?" Fox asked, checking his submachine gun sidearm.
"Looks like just these three," Ebo reported. "I'm moving up inside the train, overwatch."
"Can't," MMX shouted at him. "Weapon's jammed!"
"Then," Ebo replied calmly, not stopping, "Unjam it."


"Fuck, suppressed over here!" Jox yelled. Zarro peered through the window. indeed they were. A pair of aliens were joined by some strange purple lights, one of which was firing rapidly at the two soldiers, and there was another that seemed to be reloading its weapon. He fired a few shots at the latter alien, shocking it for a moment, but not harming it.
"Wrong alien, Zarro!" Jox said, his voice growing steadily less comfortable.
"It's stopped reloading, it's pretty much flanked you. You've got some time, use it!" Zarro responded, ducking back before any retaliation came his way.
"How? We're still suppressed!"

Inside the train, Ebo clicked the catch on his rifle off. He had just turned his radio off, he was sick of the bickering. This was not a squad that gelled together.


The Scandinavian had managed to flank the suppressing alien, but there was a strange purple light feeding into its skull.


"Huh," he mused, following it to the second alien. Maybe they were feeding each other information. In which case...


He stood and fired. The alien had just turned to see him; a blonde soldier in a dark train was not all that hard to spot. It was the last thing it saw. The suppressing alien doubled over in pain, holding its head. The purple light fell out of the air, fading like smoke. The station quietened for the briefest moment as the last echoes of rifle fire and plasma bursts faded.

"Getting OUT!" Jox yelled. He sprinted past the alien that had been reloading. It glared at him banefully, but suddenly there was a red flash in its eyes.


It turned to see FireFox moving a barrel to its forehead.


"Taken care of," Fox reported as Jox Marine fired a pair of rounds into the skull of the alien writhing in pain from Ebo's handiwork. "Are we clear?"
"I think so," Ebo sighed. "Last sweep of the station. I doubt we'll find anything."
It took them ten minutes to make sure.
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Out for lunch. Return uncertain.


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