The Third XCOM Saga, part 14, RP Interlude 21

As written by Dan Repperger…

Sent: March-12-2084 11:40 AM
Subject: what I’ve learned

I’ve been going over the combat debriefings from every encounter we’ve had.  Here’s what I’m piecing together on several subjects:

1. The Saucers

* We don’t know a damn thing.  But I’ll hit this topic first, because my commentary is short.  The pilots have been flying at a relatively low altitude, because it gives them a protected approach on alien craft.  But it also increases the time spent maneuvering around tall buildings and increases the chance of a stray shot (should we ever actually fire) hitting a civilian structure.  They requested permission to raise their flight level, which just might get them on target a little bit faster.  I’ve agreed.

2. The Aliens

* They work fast.  The last war took place over many months.  We had whole weeks where nothing happened or maybe a single saucer would appear.  This invasion is happening with multiple ships appearing every few days.  This is going to put a psychological strain on our troops and a material strain on our munitions, because we are going to be on the battlefield almost constantly.  Suggestions are welcome.

* They ignore innocents.  Unlike in the first two wars, these aliens don’t seem to have any interest in slaughtering or abducting random people.  The only real terror they spread is by virtue of looking ugly and being there.  They just enter buildings, drop a few eggs, and then shoot it out when we show up.  Why?  All I can do is speculate wildly.

* Their minds are nothing like ours.  I know biochem has only started work on the specimens, so consider this presumptive and based primarily on comments from John.  But he can find no discernible mind at all in many of the aliens (as if they’re animals, and lower ones at that) and even species like the Anthropods have minds incredibly unlike our own.  This clashes quite a bit with the prior wars where the prophet species seemed intent upon collecting races that were all similar and compatible with ascension.  I had thought these aliens were new soldiers for the prophets or maybe even what ascension looks like, since they come through portals like the ones we saw in the priest chamber.  I’m now starting to doubt that conclusion.

* They take a lot of ammo to kill.  They also suck at ranged combat, but are brutal close-in.  They hit hard and can do so repeatedly.  When need to engage them at the maximum possible distance and make every shot count.

3. The Cult of Sirius

* The footage Tex’s group brought back of their temple implies these individuals are obsessed with the aliens from our prior wars, not these.  There was no Anthropod or spitter room.  But even if these new ones are unrelated to those (still an unproven guess), the cultists don’t seem to care.  They worship, protect, and apparently fight alongside of (or at least as willing cannon fodder in front of) these invaders.  They also opened fire on our team.  They are now an active target, open for engagement by all forces at any time, and their property requires no protection.  Explosives are as free as squad leaders care to make them.

* Unlike the aliens, we know they have equipment we can take, a limited budget to work with, and resources that aren’t behind impassible gates.  We may want to stop thinking of them as a second front in this war but instead as a secondary enemy in a single war that we can plunder at our own risk, but also to our own immediate gain.  I don’t know what to do with a spitter or brain pod, but I know exactly how to appropriate or sell their guns, demoralize their membership, and burn down their buildings.

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