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:
Aiden “Taxman” Green, from Canada:
Surrounded by screens, folder, and stacks of paper, Green is sitting in his little office, going through paperwork at enormous speed. The air smells of cigarette smoke. Were it not for the distinctly technological look of the room, the Taxman’s nicely pressed waistcoat and his minibar would make a strong case for this being the set of some retro-noir detective thriller.
“Before you ask, no, I am not doing taxes right now. This is an inventory count of a haven in Mongolia, and I’m comparing it to an index of expenses. I do this for a lot of havens. I am a trained accountant, after all, and organisation is a crucial part of any successful endeavour. The idea of a rag-tag resistance fighting for the common cause may be romantic, but, at the end of the day, rigour and work ethic are the only things that get the job done. That, and bullets in just the right places.”
He motions to the display case that contains his state-of-the-art sniper rifle. The kill marks on it are etched into it with method and precision, as though drawn with a ruler.
“When you leave the army as highly decorated as I did, few people expect you to join the Canada Revenue Agency of all places. But it was one of the institutions that ADVENT has never dismantled, even to this day. It just works by different codes and regulations now. That’s the funny thing about ADVENT – they may pretend to be different in most ways, but they do collect taxes as meticulously as any government. I was one of their best operatives for a long time, exactly because I am meticulous with what I do. I brought down wealthy business magnates, criminal enterprises, superstars who wanted to stash their money elsewhere. No scheme was good enough for me not to find a gap in its armour. I’m not proud to admit it, but I destroyed some people who were funnelling money to resistance cells. ‘Same rules for everyone’, is what I thought at the time, and I continued believing it until the Maranzano Case.”
He puts down his pen and takes a deep drag from his cigarette. There is still an expression of disbelief on his face, as though he were going through the process of losing faith in the system all over again.
“Reginald Maranzano was a high-ranking politician. He was the mayor of Ottawa when the aliens worked on establishing ADVENT, and he signed the city up before they could even finish their proposal. He became a high-ranking figure in the administration later, eventually became governor of Canada, but that was after my time. He embezzled an unimaginable amount of money, it’s difficult to believe. Misappropriated funds, involvement in money laundering, illegal offshore accounts, everything. I worked in secret, and eventually presented a watertight case that would have imprisoned him and about a dozen other people for the rest of their lives. Next thing I know, my house goes up in flames, all my files are destroyed, and I escape three ‘accidents’ in the span of a week. I knew I had to get out of there, and that’s how I ended up here. Now I’m the director of finance for the XCOM project, and I’m damn proud. Money is up, embezzlement is down, and havens are operating at maximum efficiency. Nobody steals from the pile any more, now that they know there’s someone who actually checks. I fight for XCOM, because when the Taxman cometh, he cometh for everyone, especially a force as corrupt as ADVENT.”