XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Ralf “Thor” Bengtsson (week 9/19)

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:

Ralf “Thor” Bengtsson, from Norway:

Bengtsson is meditating in front of a small, carved wooden idol, breathing in and out slowly. He appears so completely immersed in his head, it is surprising he perceives his surroundings at all.

“My work here often reminds me I am not a god at all. There were times I almost forgot about that in the past, though many people would disagree with that notion.”

He opens his eyes, but otherwise does not move a muscle.

“Soon after the aliens arrived on earth, a group of scientists found a family of seven unconscious at an archaeological dig site in Kaupang. They were dressed normally, had Norwegian passports with names, even functional mobile phones with registered SIM-cards. Yet, they were special: None of them knew anything about their prior lives, including their own names, they were fluent in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Icelandic, had deep knowledge in a variety of topics, and the oldest man found, Bengt Eriksson, appeared to be legally married to both of the older women. It was huge news, and was initially used as a tool to keep people from panicking over the alien attacks, but the masses soon forgot about us when their family and friends started becoming food for chryssalids. The geneticists decided that each generation was too close to the next for them to be parents and children, but they also found that exactly that was the case. My half brother and his wife must have been seven years old when my nephew was born, considering he was a young man when they found us, which was verified by his passport. When Oslo was struck, we were rescued by a mob of norse pagans, which had resurfaced after our arrival. After that, the old faith became increasingly popular among the common folk, so much so that the ADVENT outlawed it. After all, Jesus hadn’t come down from heaven to protect them, but Odin, Frigg, Jörd, Nanna, Baldr, Forseti and Thor had. We embraced it. Yes, we did not know each other, but there was love between us, and we acted like a family. We were never sick or emotionally distressed, and, seeing as I was twenty-one the day my life began, one can see that I have aged very, very well, as has the rest of my family. We were hidden deep in the mountains and worshipped, given offerings, celebrated. We commanded an army of warriors that was spread out all over rural Scandinavia. The region was too large, wild and devoid of people for the ADVENT to take much of an interest, but the common folk believed that was our doing. There was one thing, however, that the ADVENT really wanted gone: us. And they almost got their wish when they found Valhalla, our hiding place and a spot of religious pilgrimage. They infiltrated it using monsters that looked just like people, until the precise moment they became … whatever it is they are. We were saved by a steel ship appearing out of the heavens. It was almost divine providence.”

Bengtsson smirks.

“But why, you ask. Why do I not believe I am a god. Is it because I have been hurt before? Is it because I am too humble? The answer to both is no. The conviction that I am a human and can be killed was the very first thought I had when I opened my eyes in Kaupang. It is etched into my mind for all time. I fight for XCOM, because having a god fight alongside them gives people hope, whatever their beliefs.”

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