XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Zenzele “Shaka” Viviers (week 1/19)

Since nobody can be expected to just sit and wait for XCOM 2 to come out, we’ll be having ourselves a little countdown for the 19 sundays left between us and salvation. Each week I’ll be showcasing another soldier living aboard the Avenger, who they are, and why exactly it is they fight for XCOM. When the game comes out, I’ll be creating all of these and release them as a content mod for your character pool. But for now, this’ll have to do.

Keep in my that this is all completely fanfiction-based and I am in no way affiliated with Firaxis. I just do this as a fun writing exercise, because I can.

An encounter with:

Zenzele “Shaka” Viviers, from South Africa:

Viviers is sitting on a chest-high metal box, cleaning his fingernails with the tip of a knife with a golden hilt. He smiles, and interrupts his cleaning business to tell his story.

“I never experienced man-made apartheid, so, as far as I’m concerned, it never happened. Sure, it’s in the history books, and old people talk about it a lot, even my own parents always told me how, without Nelson Mandela, they could never have been together. But, personally, I doubt anything existed before I was born at all.”

He begins playing around with the knife quickly and with extreme sleight of hand. It spins, stops, turns around, spins faster and stops again.

“This is not narcissistic solipsism, this is just plain scepticism, a thing of which one can never have enough. Don’t believe me? When my mother died, I gathered my generals at her funeral to see if they were truly sad about her death. I didn’t believe five of them, but I am not unreasonable. I did not kill them, but I offered them their lives if they proved their worth in what they themselves described as a suicide mission: an attack on a landed UFO, a small one, in a nearby village.”

With a maniacal grin, he throws the knife in the air and catches it at the hilt without even looking.

“I gave them the best equipment I could muster, and the result was the first time anyone who wasn’t part of a military cleared an entire ship of aliens. Only two of my men returned, but I had statues raised for all of them. This showed the people that the invaders could be defeated, and so it began, what the world now calls the Impi Uprising. They called me Shaka, the young warlord, but in a good way, not like before. We had regular guns and regular bullets, and we fought against plasma and lasers, but we prevailed for longer than any other open resistance against the aliens, because we were always sceptical of ourselves, sceptical about knowing everything there is to know about the enemy. And this swept over the world like a howling wind, resistances cropped up everywhere.”

He stops all spinning and twirling and points the knife at his own chest.

“All of it happened because I was sceptical, because I doubted my generals. Without it, there would have been no Impi Uprising, and likely no resistance anywhere. But you know what I don’t doubt? Alien-made apartheid. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it, and I don’t like it. They say they want our best, but you can see in their eyes that they believe themselves to be better than us. I saw it up close once, looking in the eyes of a muton while I destroyed its brain with this very pistol.”

Drawing his sidearm, which is covered in a pattern of cattle brown and white beige similar to that found on the shields of historical Zulu warriors, he drives his thumb over a small gold engraving near the barrel.

“I call it Iklwa, and it is the only thing that is left of the Impi Uprising. It, and my fight. I fight for XCOM, because I want to end Apartheid.”