The Third XCOM Saga, part 45

August 22nd, 2035…

  • With a usable Sectopod wreck now in our possession, Dr. Tygan’s team is tasked with tearing it apart for any useful technologies.
  • Using the supplies recovered from the UFO, the engineering team is able to produce a full line of plasma-based sniper rifles.


August 26th, 2035…

  • Collection of the Chairman’s latest supply drop is completed, and the Avenger redeploys to the Canadian black market to search for anything useful.
  • Though we find nothing worth purchasing, they are interested in trading some of our collected intelligence for enough supplies to complete the construction of the plasma cannons for our heavy gunners.
  • Dan orders the Avenger back to India to return to our long-abandoned effort to seeking out resistance cells there. It’s of personal interest, since this is where he had been held for nearly 20 years.


August 27th, 2035…

  • Evaluation of the Sectopod is finished, and the research is sufficient to provide ideas for upgrading our Gremlins. The work will require only a small amount of additional resources, so the Avenger is sent back to the black market to raise the funds.
  • With that task resolved, the ship is about to be returned to India when we receive word of a vulnerable alien relay and supply cache in western Europe. A new course is set, and a team is prepared.
  • Dan will handle C3, while Ryan will a ground team, joined by Wayne, Matt, Ed Sawyer, Chris Bell, and James Peters.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 44

August 21st, 2035…

  • The saucer is landed in a dense forest in the eastern United States. The team is able to slip in unnoticed, giving us the opportunity to approach it on our own terms.
  • Dan orders the team forward, slowly and carefully. For once, time is on our side.
  • The team spots a squad of ADVENT soldiers with an Archon patrolling the edge of the UFO. Heavy footfalls can be heard in the distance, marking the presence of a Sectopod, MEC, or Andromedon. Wayne is told to be on standby to hack a unit for our purposes.
  • Moments later, a MEC walks into view. Wayne attempts to hack, but his attempt fails and seems to unlock fail-safes within the robot that put it on a higher alert.
  • The aliens are now aware of our presence. Fortunately, we still hold an easily defended ridge, with their units all in one direction.
  • In the initial exchange of fire, we cut down two of their ADVENT troops and the Archon.
  • The remaining ADVENT soldier and MEC move forward, a hail of grenades from the MEC tearing away at our cover and slightly injuring some of our forward soldiers.
  • C3 sends an urgent message to the team. A distress call is going out from the UFO. If not shut off quickly, there’s no telling what kind of forces might respond.
  • With a new urgency to charge the craft, Dan orders the team forward.
  • The alien MEC falls to a hail of fire. The surviving ADVENT soldier tries to hide behind a burned out car, but Kite closes the distance and cuts him down with her blade.
  • Having removed the immediate threats, the squad advances to the nearest door of the spacecraft. Though no sooner than reaching it, an Archon and two Vipers emerge to attack.
  • Being in the superior position, our shots strike down the Archon before it can attack. A slash from Kite’s blade dazes one of the Vipers as well. Unfortunately, the other Viper snatches up Alex and begins to crush him.
  • Seeing her compadre in trouble,  Kite catches up with the offending snake, puts her shotgun to its head, and promptly removes it.
  • Free of the snake’s grasp and full of rage, Alex charges the dazed Viper and cuts it down with his sword.
  • The team advances into the saucer, closing on the beacon. From the far side of the ship, a Sectopod and two ADVENT soldiers attack.
  • Gunning down the first soldier is a simple enough task. However, the second throws up a shield, reducing fatal shots to injuries.
  • Krenzke launches a grenade, killing the remaining ADVENT soldier and damaging the armor of the Sectopod.
  • Wayne attempts to hack the Sectopod, but once again, feedback courses through his system, panicking him, and leaving the robot on the loose.
  • The Sectopod raises up and begins charging its main cannon.
  • Our soldiers pour shots into it, the machine dropping mere moments before its cannon was ready to fire. And just before the distress call can be sent, Dan hacks into the UFO’s main computer and shuts off the transmission array.
  • With three soldiers injured, the craft is secured, and the mission a success.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 43

August 14th, 2035…

  • With the bounty from the resistance in hand, engineering is given the funding to arm our specialists and psi operatives with plasma rifles. Upgraded cannons and sniper rifles will hopefully follow soon.
  • Word of a stolen supply cache in western Europe filters into our comm rooms. We launch the Avenger and send it to investigate.


August 16th, 2035…

  • The Chairman sends another encrypted communique, expressing his satisfaction with our progress and diverting another supply bundle to a place where it can be easily stolen. Once we wrap our salvage operation in Europe, we’ll make that our next stop.


August 17th, 2035…

  • The science team has successfully decrypted the alien data cache and passes the information along, as some of it is useful intelligence. Their next task is to begin dissection of the Muton Berserker.


August 19th, 2035…

  • The supply cache in Europe turns out to be of a disappointingly small size. But every bit helps. The Avenger returns to North America to pickup the supplies the Chairman has left us there.


August 21st, 2035…

  • Dr. Tygan reports that the Berserker autopsy is complete, and that the contents of some of its glands may make a useful combat drug. Dan promptly has this particular report sealed as an unacceptable option. The science team is asked to shift their focus to something a bit more ethical: hacking an ADVENT datapad.
  • No sooner than the Commander is done with his briefing with the science division, he’s given an urgent report from Bradford. A UFO has been spotted on the ground, vulnerable to attack and capture. Despite the importance of the supplies we’re gathering, Dan opts to chase this peculiar opportunity.
  • Expecting heavy resistance, a veteran team is chosen. Ryan will handle C3. The attack group will consist of Dan, Alex, Kite, Krenzke, Rocky, and Wayne.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 42

August 13th, 2035…

  • The squad manages to slip in undetected, the Sky Ranger staying low.
  • The scene is almost laughable. A highly developed and well-protected vacation spot for the rich and elite of a traitorous regime. Despite the urge to burn the place down, Tex cautions the team to use stealth to their advantage. If they can make the capture and escape with minimal enemy contact, all the better.
  • In hopes of avoiding alien patrols, Tex sends the team on a longer route, moving north of the main cluster of buildings. Ryan is sent to do the rooftop run, watching for enemies.
  • As the team passes by the windows of the closest building, they spot an ADVENT patrol inside the lavish structure, alien propaganda running on the nearby televisions.
  • Though heavy footfalls can be heard echoing through the streets, the first threaten actually on the route is an alien observation tower. Aaron is ordered to attempt to hack it and shut it down. The attempt is successful, opening the way forward.
  • The team advances along the north, finally getting eyes on the VIP near a luxury sedan. However, Ryan is dangerously close to being spotted by a patrol and is forced to evacuate his vantage point and join the other troops.
  • Tex begins setting up the soldiers to ambush the VIP. But as he takes his own position, he spots a Sectopod with two escorts. It the firing starts, this is going to get ugly. So he opts for another plan. The team will continue along the edge of the buildings, staying out of sight, assassinating the VIP, and then dusting off.
  • C3 watches as tense seconds tick by. Moving from cover to cover, the troops advance, always keeping the barest of obstructions between them and the enemy.
  • With all of the squad but Ryan at evac, Kite is ordered to take the shot. She lines up her shotgun through a window, and a burst of energy shreds the VIP.
  • Countless enemy units rush her position, but by the time they arrive, she and Ryan and both joined the others at evac, and the entire time departs without a single injury. The assassination was a success.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 41

August 7th, 2035…

  • The team arrives home, several members injured, but none dead. Unfortunately, despite having been only slightly injured, the shock to his nervous system from the failed skulljacking seems to have left Wayne with some form of psychological trauma our doctors are at a loss to explain.
  • While the Sectopod is too shot up to be worth much for study, the Andromedan is another story. Unlike the prior one we fought, this one has enough working parts to be torn apart in the lab. Dr. Tygan’s is asked to put aside the alien data cache and begin immediate work on dismantling and studying the exoskeleton and the creature inside.
  • The supplies recovered from the relay site are enough to upgrade our shotguns to energy-based variants. This should make our close-in fighters even more effective.
  • The Avenger is returned to its prior task of digging up the alien supply cache in Canada. Having already done most of the work in its last run, the job is finished in  matter of hours.


August 8th, 2035…

  • Acting on resistance reports of a talented engineer being held in an ADVENT stockade in Nevada, we move our resources to the south, hoping we can secret this person away and add them to our crew.
  • An additional comm array is brought online in the bowels of our ship. Akili Kekana is assigned to serve as its data operator.


August 12th, 2035…

  • The science team reports that the Andromedon exoskeleton is piloted by a creature that appears to have been genetically engineered from scratch. It can only survive inside of the suit, and once the suit is penetrated, the ensuing flailing of the suit may be nothing more than the pilot’s death throes, like a convulsing corpse.
  • Engineering adds a note to the research, stating they believe information learned from the Andromedon can be applied to design of a proximity mine that would more accurately detect and differentiate aliens from humans.
  • Dr. Tygan is told to resume his work cracking the alien data cache.


August 13th, 2035…

  • Our resistance contacts are able to break the engineer free without us needing to involve our ground troops.
  • With that issue resolved, we move the Avenger northward, following up on rumors of a wrecked alien battleship from the prior war.
  • No sooner than the Avenger lands, we get a priority communique from the resistance. They’ve located an ADVENT VIP on vacation in a priority ward in Tijuana, and are offering a sizable bounty for his capture or death. Seeing the situation as a win-win, Dan agrees, and a team is sent to make the play.
  • The Commander will handle C3. The ground team will be led by Tex, though with Ryan acting as backup given concerns over Tex’s recent captivity. They will be accompanied by Rocky, Kite, Krenzke, and Aaron.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 40

August 6th, 2035…

  • The team is dropped into the slums outside of Berlin. The objective is to destroy a relay before it transmits vital intelligence data back to whatever source aliens send such things to.
  • Unlike other slums we’ve seen, this one still has electricity, shops, restaurants, and life to it. Dirty and meager as it may be, people still live here.
  • Tex informs the team the relay has been triangulated to a cafe a block or two to the northeast of the dropzone.
  • As the team advances under cover, Heather is sent to the rooftops to get an eye on the area. She reports back that our immediate surroundings seem clear of alien activity.
  • With the clock ticking, Dan orders the team to pick up the pace. We have too much open ground to cover, particularly when we’re sure to get caught in a firefight closer to the objective.
  • By the time we reach the lower level of a garage, multiple members report the sounds of alien activity toward the target, and a split-second later, the ground beneath us shakes.
  • When the team reaches the far edge of the garage, hunkered behind a concrete barrier, they spot an alien Andromedon and two Codexes atop the cafe the relay has been dumped in.
  • Chris is able to get close enough to line up an arc on the alien squad. He’s ordered to pop off an explosive in hopes of collapsing the building beneath their feet.
  • The shot is a success. Sections of the wall disappear in smoke and fire, and the building gives underneath the weight of the aliens. Though the fall doesn’t kill any of them, it seems to have certainly injured them, and the relay itself is now exposed shots from the street.
  • Seeing one of the Codexes fleeing the carnage, Matt locks minds with it, and his amplified thoughts overwhelm the alien construct, crushing it before it can retaliate or, even worse, divide.
  • The surviving Codex and Andromedon charge our position.
  • From behind a small, prefabricated building just outside the cafe, the Andromedon launches a globule of acid that sprays Dan and James, eating through their armor and boiling skin.
  • Chris is able to get off another grenade, damaging both enemies, though not killing either, and the Codex clones itself.
  • A punishing shot from Matt cuts deep into the Andromedon, but isn’t enough to stop its rampage.
  • Wayne sends out his Gremlin to shock one of the Codex clones, removing it from the field.
  • At the same time, Dan and James escape the acid and circle the Andromedon, blasting it beyond function. However, just as with the previous one, the unpiloted and sparking machine keeps on moving, flailing wildly.
  • Seconds later, the combined fire of Chris and Matt puts the machine down completely.
  • With no enemies in the immediate area, Heather turns her sights to the relay, putting two shells into it. A blast from James’ shotgun finishes the job.
  • C3 warns that radar has confirmed an incoming dropship, so the team moves to better cover to prepare for the arriving soldiers.
  • The ADVENT drops off a trio of soldiers. No sooner than they hit down, an Archon and two more ADVENT soldiers move in from the west.
  • With squads on two sides of our troops, C3 recommends securing the garage to provide a safer place to fight from.
  • A shot from Heather drops one of the new-arrivals.
  • Wayne is quick to take another with his skulljack. An unexpected defensive measure in the hybrid’s brain sends a shock through the device, burning Wayne’s arm, but it’s enough to kill the turncoat as well.
  • With insufficient guns on target to stop the last member of that particular squad, Matt uses his psionics to yank the soldier out of phase with time and space.
  • A lancer from the other squad charges Matt but misses. James is quick on the assist, killing it with his shotgun.
  • As the ADVENT soldier Matt phased out reemerges,Chris shreds it with his support cannon.
  • Heather tosses an incendiary grenade onto the Archon, engulfing it in flames.
  • Dan retreats to a rooftop to apply first aid to own seared skin.
  • As the Archon writhes in pain, Heather draws her pistol and puts a round into its head, sending the cyborg to the ground.
  • Chris pins down the surviving ADVENT soldier under a rain of shells. James takes the opening to kill the trapped hybrid with a single shot.
  • With the immediate threats gone, C3 scans the field for additional targets. The only signs of movement and alien radio chatter is coming from the back of the cafe the relay had been in.
  • As the rest of the team takes up a firing position, James advances to scout the new contacts. He gets eyes on two ADVENT soldiers, escorting a two-story tall, lumbering, bipedal robot. It looks like the Sectopod has gotten some serious upgrades.
  • The team pours fire into the armored beast. The shots are clean, but almost completely ineffective.
  • Seeing an opportunity, Wayne sends his Gremlin to latch onto the Sectopod. He pries into its systems, and soon it’s under his control. As C3 works to feverishly capture the incoming telemetry from the robot, the ground team takes the momentary safety to keep tearing it apart.
  • The two ADVENT escorts take shots at James. One of them hits, knocking him to the ground. C3 is quick to inform the team that his vitals are still registering, so he’s unconscious and vulnerable, but not dead.
  • Heather picks off one of the two ADVENT soldiers.
  • Shaking off the pain in his head, James opens his eyes and sees the last soldier hovering over him. A quick shot, and the alien is no more.
  • With the Sectopod still standing, but under our control and easy enough to capture or dispose of, Dan calls in the Sky Ranger to pick us up.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 39

July 31st, 2035…

  • Word reaches command of a resistance salvage cache in the Canadian tundra. With our team safely back on board, the Avenger is redeployed so we can begin gathering these materials.


August 1st, 2035…

  • Research is completed on designs for a plasma cannon to replace our current heavy weapons. Unfortunately, it’s yet another project we lack the funding to complete.
  • The science team is assigned the task of dragging a Chryssalid out of cold storage and cutting apart its corpse to see what they can learn.


August 6th, 2035…

  • Dr. Tygan delivers the completed report on the Chryssalid autopsy. It appears an old enemy has learned some new tricks, and this “improved” creature can now inject a fast-acting venom that not only kills the host but also forms young that can feed on the rotting carcass before hatching into new creatures.
  • Taking what Tygan has learned in some rather unexpected directions, the engineering team suggests a design for an armored weave that can be added beneath our existing suits, which would not only enhance their defensive capabilities, but also potentially ignite any alien tissue coming into physical contact with our troops. Once command is finally convinced this is a serious proposal and not an inter-office joke, it’s put on the list for prioritization.
  • Meanwhile, the science team is moved to decrypting alien data captured during prior missions.
  • Later that evening, intelligence arrives from our trans-Atlantic network of spies.  Multiple ADVENT operations are vulnerable to attack. Command opts to strike in Eastern Europe, knocking down an alien relay which also offers us the opportunity to capture desperately-needed supplies.
  • Tex will handle C3 for the op. Dan will lead a ground team consisting of Matt Dunnam, Heather Phillips, Chris Bell, Wayne, and James Peters.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 38

July 30th, 2035…

  • En route, we learn the name of this particular camp roughly translates to Freedom Springs. Whatever its name, its people are standing up to the alien invaders and therefore worth protecting.
  • The scene on the ground is all-too-familiar: burning buildings, screaming civilians, and signs of slaughter all around.
  • With time against us, the squad advances a bit more quickly than usual, hoping to find the survivors before the aliens do.
  • Rocky gets close enough to send our first rescue home. Unfortunately, he also spots a brood of Chrysallids running amok.
  • As the Chrysallids chase civilians around, it gives us Ryan time to prep the squad in better positions. Krenzke manages to injure one of the alien bugs as it runs past him. Aaron does the same to another. Taking a rooftop perch, Ryan pops off a shot that drops one dead.
  • Alex slips forward, saving a resistance member. However, as he reaches his new position, the ground erupts and the missing Chrysallid emerges from an impromptu burrow. It cuts into his flesh with its impossibly sharp claws and leaves a painful, burning toxin coursing through his veins.
  • Unsure what effect the toxin might have, from C3, Dan commands Alex to fall back to Aaron for medical attention.
  • Alex complies, but as he reaches the field medic, another Chrysallid pops from the earth and gives chase.
  • Aaron is able to use his Gremlin to stabilize Alex’s condition. And the combined fire of Krenzke, Ryan, and Rocky blasts the bug into pieces.
  • Kite makes her way to another civilian. She urges the frightened man to fall back to safety. He complies, but as he runs, another survivor bursts open into the distended shape of a Faceless.
  • An ADVENT squad closes on Kite, tightening the noose. Their shots pour into her, but her advanced armor holds, and she remains on her feet, vitals stable for the moment.
  • As Kite falls back to a safer position, Ryan and Krenzke cover her, eliminating the Faceless.
  • The ADVENT squad—consisting of two soldiers and a MEC—continues its pursuit. Our team trades shots with them, severely damaging the MEC but no eliminating any of the targets.
  • In their return shots, a bolt of plasma strikes Kites. She’s still on her feet, but her vitals are wavering. She’s ordered to fall back for first aid and possible evac.
  • Krenzke opens up on the MEC. His shots cut through its torn armor, hitting exposed circuitry, and rendering the machine inoperable.
  • Rocky unleashes a wave of pure fury, directed through the psi amp, manifesting in a bolt of dark-colored energy that seems to rot away the flesh of an ADVENT soldier. As it writhes in agony, a shot from Ryan puts it to rest.
  • Alex advances to takeover Kite’s now-abandoned forward position.
  • The lone survivor of the ADVENT squad falls back, but C3 delivers some bad news: movement just beyond LOS seems to indicate he’s fallen back to more Chrysallids.
  • Giving pursuit, Alex finds another resistance member that he sends to safety. However, a bug intercepts him immediately thereafter, cutting him open again and injecting another batch of poison. Aaron reports his medical supplies are too low to deal with the situation. Kite and Alex may both have to be evacuated alongside the civilians.
  • Squad fire is able to drop the bug, giving Alex a chance to pull back.
  • Another ADVENT trio joins the fight, trading shots with our squad from long range.
  • As the toxin courses through Alex’s veins, horror grips him mind, and he flees for cover. Unfortunately, in his confusion, he flees closer to the enemy instead of farther away.
  • With the Sky Ranger still not dispatched, Kite elects to continue the mission, despite the severe damage to her body. She bolts forward, rescuing another resistance member, though she discovers both a Faceless and a Chrysallid lurking nearby.
  • His practiced fury filling his mind, Rocky unleashes his emotions in another devastating wave, breaking an ADVENT soldier’s mind so severely that it falls to the ground, dead.
  • Alex manages to land a shot of his own on another soldier, his shotgun shredding the turncoat’s body. Mere seconds later, he clutches his chest, grasping for breath. His vitals begin to fail. C3 calls for the Sky Ranger. He needs to leave and do so now, or this battle will be his last. Kite is ordered to join him.
  • Krenzke uses the holo targeter on his gun to bracket a Chrysallid and blast it apart in a hail of shells.
  • The handful of straggling bugs and a long ADVENT officer don’t present much of a challenge as they attack our remaining soldiers, waiting in well defended positions.
  • It isn’t long before the AO is clear and the team is able to return to the Avenger.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 37

July 17th, 2035…

  • Receiving word of a supply cache hidden beneath an old stadium in the Midwest, the Avenger is sent to begin collection.


July 22nd, 2035…

  • The science team reports completion of designs for a first round of plasma weaponry. Unfortunately, we lack the resources to actually build any.
  • Since their initial designs don’t include a sniper rifle, cannon, or shotgun variant of these new weapons, Dr. Tygan is tasked with leading work on a sniper weapon.


July 23rd, 2035…

  • Excavation of the stadium is completed, but the cache isn’t nearly as rich as we’d hoped.
  • The Avenger is moved to eastern Europe to continue attempts at contacting local resistance cells we can add to our network.


July 27th, 2035…

  • Contact is successful! Our network has now expanded across the full breadth of Europe. We’ve also gained strategic access to Africa, Asia, and India. Dan expresses an interest in India—and the alien facility there—since, according to Bradford, that’s where the Commander was being held at the time of rescue.
  • Word also reaches us of a new supply drop from the Chairman. Since it’s more important to gather resources than sate Dan’s curiosity, the Avenger is sent back to North America.


July 28th, 2035…

  • Dr. Tygan announces completion of a new, plasma-based sniper rifle that we can also not afford to build.
  • A revised shotgun design is selected as the lab’s next priority.
  • The psi lab is also completed. Rocky Lackman, Ed Sawyer, and Matt Dunnam are all sent down to begin training with the psi amps. It’s time we field psionicists of our own.


July 30th, 2035…

  • The supply drop is fully collected, and the funds are put toward enhancing C3 computers to make coordinating a larger squad a safer endeavor.
  • Lacking any good leads, we relocate back to the Canadian black market camp to see what they have to offer. To our pleasant surprise, they’re willing to trade information we have on ADVENT activities for a substantial supply cache and some early designs we can quickly adapt for improved cannons and shotguns. We eagerly accept all three of these offers.
  • Since we have more available projects than supplies to complete, the Commander elects to improve our training facilities, upgrade the psi amps for our troops, and start construction of another on-ship facility to improve the amount of resistance data we can effectively sift through.
  • With higher priorities out of the way, Dan orders the navigators to send the Avenger to begin seeking resistance contacts and leads on the alien base hidden in India.
  • No sooner than we land in India, a distress signal hits our comm centers. A resistance camp in eastern Europe is under ADVENT attack. Our resources are scrambled to save what people we can.
  • Ryan will lead a team consisting of Alex, Krenzke, Kite, Aaron, and Rocky. Dan will handle C3.

The Third XCOM Saga, part 36

July 16th, 2035…

  • The attack zone is another slum, largely abandoned as the aliens urge people to move closer and closer to their sanctioned cities.
  • Wayne spots a guard tower to the west and takes cover behind a tree trunk while he dispatches his Gremlin to hack into it. He not only breaks in, but leveraging our knowledge from his prior attempt, network specialists on the Avenger are able to piggyback his signal to issue false orders to one of the ADVENT soldiers, turning him against his allies.
  • As the squad moves up to a nearby graveyard, taking cover behind its aged stones, they spot a patrol, consisting of two ADVENT soldiers and a giant suit of armor—or perhaps robot—that looks reminiscent of the Big Daddies from Bioshock.
  • One of the ADVENT troops tosses a grenade into our lines. Though the actual injuries are minimal, in the confusion of the blast, Joshua is momentarily disoriented and falls back.
  • The Big Daddy turns west down a side street, chasing the soldier we’re feeding false orders to, annihilating him in a single blast of plasma. It then crashes its way through an abandoned shop before emerging to our west.
  • Seeing the team getting flanked from the Big Daddy on the west and the ADVENT soldiers to the north, Tex moves the troops eastward, putting the enemies all in a single direction.
  • A single shotgun blast from Andrew takes out one of the elite troopers.
  • Wayne rushes another trooper, ramming his skulljack into its head, sending a stream of data to C3 and then dropping the brain-dead soldier to the ground.
  • Andrew manages to maneuver a bit closer to the Daddy, tossing an acid grenade on its that begins eating through its rather impressive armor.
  • In retaliation, it charges Andrew, crushing gravestones like clay beneath its feet. It brings down its massive fist on his back with such force that, if not for the armor, it would have easily broken his spine.
  • The attack startles Andrew, and despite C3’s orders to the contrary, he retreats from his forward position, falling behind a gravestone, and then striking the Daddy with a blast from his shotgun. The top of the machine explodes open, revealing what appears to be the burnt body of an alien pilot. There’s a moment of relief before the unpiloted exoskeleton snaps back to life and begins rampaging again.
  • Seeing an opportunity, Wayne dispatches his Gremlin. Without a pilot to interfere anymore, he’s able to hijack the exoskeleton, taking over its low-level combat functions.
  • Seeing what’s happening on the monitors, Ryan is quick to inform the team that the alien machine is under our control. The squad should keep a safe distance but not fire on it for the moment.
  • The team moves on the train, spreading out along the northern end of the graveyard as Tex mounts one of the train cars for a better vantage point.
  • Wayne sends the exoskeleton forward to scout. It quickly runs into an ADVENT squad that cuts it down before it can fire. However, seeing his opportunity, Tex puts a slug into their closest soldier. A shock from Wayne’s Gremlin drops it dead.
  • Tex orders the squad to move along the train, checking one car at a time. He also sends Joshua atop the shop’s roof to provide sniper cover from 90-degrees off of Tex’s own.
  • While the team can hear sounds of alien activity to the west, no enemies are immediately spotted. C3 notes they’re getting close to the train’s control module, so Wayne or Peter may be able to hack it before we encounter more xenos and turncoats.
  • Mere feet before entering hacking range, Wayne encounters a substantial enemy ambush: an Archon, a Shieldbearer, an Officer, and two Codices. Realizing he’s wildly outmatched, he falls back to draw the enemies into our firing line.
  • One of the Codices teleports toward our closest troops, releasing an electric storm that locks up the firing mechanisms on their rifles.
  • Believing it to be the worst threat, Tex instructs the squad to focus on the Archon. A shot from his own rifle pierces the monstrosity.
  • Rather than clear his gun, Joshua skirts down the roof a bit, dropping a grenade onto the Archon. It detonates right on spot, but still the cyborg remains functional.
  • Yet again, Wayne sends forth his Gremlin, a harsh electrical charge overloading what little is left of the cyborg’s systems.
  • As the two ADVENT troops maneuver around the back of the train, the closest Codex clones itself. One clone appears behind Joshua, striking him with a bolt of plasma. The other ducks into the store, critically injuring Andrew with its own shot.
  • Peter moves to the side, catching sight of a Codex clone through a hole left in the shop wall by the Daddy. A quick burst destroys the Codex.
  • Joshua closes on the clone nearest him as well, walking almost pointblank to it, putting his pistol against its head, and executing it.
  • Andrew rushes forward to the objective, arriving just before ADVENT is able to finish deleting the train console’s data.
  • With our troops so intermixed with theirs, Tex orders the team to begin falling back toward his own position.
  • With no other route available, Andrew and Joshua can only take cover by moving from one train car to the next. As they do so, they’re able to line up shots on the surviving Officer, slaying him.
  • Only a single Codex remains on the field, but with so much of the team in critical condition, the fight becomes a repetition of fire-and-fallback, looking for the perfect opportunity to kill without being killed.
  • Peter manages to get close enough to the Codex to throw a grenade at its feet. Predictably, the injured construct splits into a pair of clones.
  • One clone teleports toward Joshua, giving him a clear shot to kill it.
  • A burst from Peter’s rifle kills the other.
  • C3 reports the mission area is clear. All five soldiers will be headed to medbay, but all five are coming home alive.