XCOM 2 WotC Countdown Calendar: Jarek “Grey Tiger” Johnson (Week 3/12)

Seeing as the Countdown Calendar for XCOM 2 was such a massive success, I decided to use some discarded character concepts and a couple new ones for what is essentially season 2 of the project. For those of you who don’t know: Every Tuesday until the day WotC is released, I will reveal a new soldier on the Avenger, so you can get a small dose of XCOM to bridge the gap.

Quick reminder: I am in no way affiliated with Firaxis, and all this content is fanfiction/headcanon/whatever term you prefer.

An encounter with:

Jarek “Grey Tiger” Johnson, from Jamaica.


Johnson returns the child handed to him to its mother, who accepts it as though it had just been kissed by the pope. He laughs, shakes some more hands of the crowd that has gathered around him in this haven. After a few minutes, he excuses himself and bows out, heading back to the Skyranger.

“Prison in Jamaica is not an easy place to be, especially when you’re on the lighter side of your mixed-race heritage. When Me was in there, Me never thought Me’d become a folk hero, but Me suppose you can’t choose your destiny. It’s all a bit embellished, but the core of the Grey Tiger’s Legend, as they call it, is what it is. Me know, because Me experienced it. Me was doing time for killing some gangsters trying to extort money from me dojo. When ADVENT took over, Me was being transferred to a new facility when the prison bus was blown up by guerillas. Me wont lie, it was terrifying, but Me survived without a scratch. Far as the legend goes, the Ferryman was standing over me dead body, and declared that Me should live to fulfil me purpose in this world. Me survived between shore and jungle for two weeks before Me found me blade. Despite what people may believe, Me did not wrestle the spirit of a grey tiger, and said spirit did not fuse with me, but faith in supernatural agents is a powerful weapon against the aliens. When Me returned to the dojo, Me see that it was turned into an ADVENT recruitment office. Me got so angry, Me cannot describe it. The legend says Me walked in there and cut down a small army, but really Me waited ’til nightfall and was surprised by a few of them working late. Me had no choice but to kill them to get at me secret stash of weapons, money, and clothing. Me always wondered how they didn’t find it doing renovations, and the storytellers say it was Jah extending his hand to shield it, because he knew Me would need it. They always make me life much more interesting than it really is.”

He laughs, baring the shining white teeth he is famous for.

“It was a big upset when they found out the next day, but Me was already long gone, riding on the back of the tiger, they say. Me didn’t know what to do. Me was still a wanted criminal, escaped from prison through no action of me own, and Me could not return to me old life. So Me wandered the wilderness, living off the land. When Me find some people in need, Me help them. Me learn the terrain pretty well, and eventually Me become a guide for lost people trying to find their way to resistance havens. Me think this is where the ‘Grey Tiger’-thing got started, though Me don’t know where exactly it come from. Me hair is grey, me eyes is grey, but why a tiger? Ain’t no tigers on all of Jamaica.

He shakes his head, amused at this conundrum he will probably never know the answer to.

“Legends be weird, man, and Me was becoming one. When Me finally joined the resistance, they treated me like a demigod. It didn’t help that all of me missions were successful, because Me seems to be such a lucky man. People attribute the First Caribbean Insurgency to Me presence, but Me don’t think so. It was all the great people Me worked with, and all the great people they worked with, that made that happen. Me was just the thing they could look up to. Me fight for XCOM because Me became a living legend, and living legends always fight the oppressor.”

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