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:
Gianluca “Mad Dog” Lombardi, from Italy:
Mad Dog can be found in the gymnasium, furiously beating and alien-shaped boxing bag with almost impossible speed.
“I’m in here most of the daytime. The new nutrition treatments and supplements allow me to put great workout strain on my body without breaking it, and I need it. I’ve been with XCOM almost since day one, and I intend to fight as long as possible.”
He takes off his gloves and sits down on a bench, squeezing a big gulp of bright blue muscle regeneration supplement into his mouth.
“I was requisitioned for XCOM from the Esercito Italiano as a young flag officer. It was only days after I actually started believing the aliens were real, even if the pezzi grossi told us that wasn’t the case. I remember thinking ‘if the world is ever going to unite, it has to be now’, and God heard my prayers. Less than a week later, I was on my first mission in central Africa. XCOM was a good place back then. We were the best of the best, had the best of the best, and fought the best of the best. We all knew we were doing something big, something important, and the Lord himself was watching us. I felt safe under his protection, and I extended that protection to the people under my charge when the Commander made me a field officer. Many a mission was lead by me, and many a rookie learned under my care. They called me Mad Dog, because, when I saw a kill, I went for it, often risking my own safety. And God always made sure I came out alive, until the day he abandoned me.”
Visibly still traumatized by the memories he is conjuring up, Lombardi takes a small golden crucifix on a chain out of his sporting bag.
“It was in Seattle. Shen told us they had some kind of transponder beacon on top of a skyscraper. The National Guard had the building surrounded, and we went in with the Skyranger for some killing. Didn’t take long until the entire upper levels were on fire, but we walked through it. Then, I see this big, red berserker, and it’s just below me. It hasn’t seen me yet, so I jump down on it, ramming my knife directly into its brain. Died instantly. But something else also happened: without warning, the ceiling over my entire team collapsed. Everyone died, and I was severely injured. Broken leg, burns, the whole package, but I managed to break the beacon’s power supply. Commander told me to get out of there, and when I came back, alone, the doctors said that they barely managed to save my life. Only days later, HQ was raided by the aliens. And yes, I don’t say attacked, because that would suggest we ever stood a chance. Even though I was in medical, the rookies came to me for leadership. They brought me a shotgun and asked my what to do. It was a bloodbath, a massacre. We had to drag Bradford out of Mission Control, and I think he still hates me for it. With Shen, Vahlen and the Commander all dead, HQ taken over by aliens and everybody losing the war, we knew it was over. We split ways soon, and I was flying solo for years, working with small guerilla groups sometimes. I never stopped being the Mad Dog, but now it feels as though God has blessed me and then forgotten. Nothing can kill me. I fight for XCOM, because I will not die an old man in my bed while my brothers and sisters in arms perished on the battlefield.”