XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Kate “Comedian” Buffoni (week 7/19)

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:

Kate “Comedian” Buffoni, from the United States:

 

Buffoni is writing with a pen on her tablet computer. It’s ownership can be assessed by the large sticker on its backside, which simply says ‘mine’.

“I was the hottest shit in Montreal the year before they invaded, and that July, I went full supernova. Just a star made of faeces, exploding all over ADVENT, and that was before they even existed! I was thirteen, and I was a stand-up comic, which ended up being my downfall. I mean, cmon, I was doing time in New York’s most prestigious comedy clubs, the lowest rank of teenager, telling jokes to smelly, middle-aged drunk men while my parents were sitting in the back cheering at every punchline like I was the inquisition burning a witch at the stake. I was living the dream! But what’s there to talk about as a thirteen year old, really? Nobody cares that boys aren’t icky anymore, and the only place where I could make jokes about blood coming out of my pussy was this catholic church I sometimes went to.”

She places the tablet on the table and reveals what she has been working on. It’s an anthropomorphic penis with legs and testicles fashioned to resemble a voluptuous rear with another penis sticking out of it.

“You thought I was writing jokes? How can I make any surprising observations when someone is probably being eaten by a snake with tits right now? Sure, when the aliens first arrived there was some weird stuff to make jokes about, but with so much absurd shit happening every day now, nobody is surprised by anything anymore! ‘Oh, you wrote a joke about a drunk muton fucking a giant pig? Well, I saw a sectoid look through an actual god-damn hole in a guy’s chest yesterday!’. What am I supposed to say to that? ‘Yeah, but the muton grunted?’ That’s not a punchline, that’s a psychotic mind trying to cope with the fact that the world is no longer predictable. So what do you do if comedy is the only thing you’re good at? You vote Republican, because unlimited guns suddenly doesn’t sound like such a bad idea anymore, and then you make fun of the aliens with the most low-brow and politically charged humour possible. Rally some crowds, piss people off, make people be pissed off, piss on people, and have people piss on you until ADVENT knocks on your door and asks you to kindly apologize to their shotgun for making fun of their abusive husbands from another galaxy. And then you have some corpocrat tell you he could use your help writing propaganda for Cthulhu and the Martian Brothers, so you say yes, only to bolt at the first occasion, run around the woods for a few days and get shot by a bunch of assholes playing revolutionary army. And then you learn how to shoot from them, and you join the game. You and your buddies start shooting entire brothels worth of red light at people who are just doing their jobs, and then you almost die from having a kidney stone. Couldn’t be something funny, like cancer, nooooo. And then some eccentric billionaire with a fucking spaceship offers to save your life if you go with him to kill aliens all around the world. It’s not a simple plan, but if you follow it step by step, you’ll probably die, because why would you ever do any of these things? I fight for XCOM because the amount of death and destruction we see every day is hilarious, and soldiers need to laugh sometimes.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Matthias “Vampire” von Bluth (Week 6/19)

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:

Matthias “Vampire” von Bluth, from Germany:

 

Von Bluth can be found in his quiet corner, working on a woodcut with great craftsmanship.

“Of all the civilizations in Europe, the Germans were most fond of the art of woodcutting. Of course, that was in the good old days, when people were still impressed with nobility. They thought they got rid of that, but dynasties of power have never stopped existing, their names simply aren’t designated to be special. Look at me for example: I am of noble blood, but I am neither wealthy nor powerful.”

With a sardonic smile, he puts away his carving equipment and takes a sip from a metal cup of what one can only hope is hot tomato juice.

“I see my words are confusing, but these things define who I am. My nickname comes not from my skin and eyes alone. I have embraced it fully, some would say in ways that are even a little uncanny, but what few understand is that people call me Vampire because I am a remnant of age so far past, the very concept of aliens was entirely alien to it. I was born in a castle, I am quite astute at waltzing, and I like referring to myself as Prussian, though I’ll take German as much as any other one of my Landsmänner. I am a creature of a world so primal and pure to this high-tech one that it should drive fear into the bones of the invaders. I am a symbol of the past, and it’s greatness. Today’s humans do not stand alone when they stand with me. Napoleon, Alexander, Sun Tzu, Che Guevara, Cortez, Genghis Khan, they all unite against a common enemy, rising from the graves of history. That is what we are, no? The world’s best and brightest, reaching across status and ethnicity to defeat the ultimate evil. I am merely one animal among them, albeit a very deadly one. I fight for XCOM, because history deserves to have its own gun in this war.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Mok-Seok “Geobukseon” Woo (& Mok-Jung Woo) (week 5/19)

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:

Mok-Seok “Geobukseon” Woo, from Korea (name latinized):

 

 

Woo interrupts his unloading of a small freight truck to tell his story and plunks an enormous metal box down to sit on it.

“I remember the night the Skyranger landed on a frozen field outside of the small village we were meeting Officer Bradford in. It was overcast, and light snow was falling silently, blanketing the Hamgyong Mountains in white. The aliens knew there were rebels in this range, but they could never find us. People said they were not interested, because we chose to build our own society instead of attacking them, even though I can tell you, as a soldier: we did kill many of them. My sister and I had known for a long time that we would be sent somewhere we could make a difference, instead of living in a small, isolated colony, but I know they only ever truly wanted Jung, and I cannot blame them. People say I am the strongest man in Korea, but I have seen men stronger than me. I have never seen anyone smarter than my sister, and she is chosen to truly free my people, and all the others.”

He makes a tiny bow in no particular direction, right hand on his heart. A sort of prayer.

“We were inseparable since birth. Twins, but very different. Our father was Woo Yi-Jin, daejang under the Supreme Leader of North Korea. He sent us away when we were still toddlers, and died valiantly defending Pyongyang and Kim Jong-Un. Old people always say it was the day we found out the Supreme Leader was no god at all, but a man in god’s clothing. Many South Koreans also found refuge in the mountains, so we were only Koreans after a while. North and south were things of the past.”

Stopping for a moment, it seems as though he is contemplating some new insight he just found.

“While my sister learned things about science and the world, I learned how to protect her. People always said she would one day change the world, and I know changing the world can be dangerous. It was always clear we would be together when she found her fate and calling, and now she is here, working with other smart people, pooling their intellects, risking everything against the aliens. I fight for XCOM, because if I die, I know my sister will be protected.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Gianluca “Mad Dog” Lombardi (week 4/19)

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:

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.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Maarten “Geus” Fortuyn (week 3/19)

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:

Maarten “Geus” Fortuyn, from the Netherlands:

His legs propped up on a table, Fortuyn is slouching in front of a computer display, seemingly at ease, playing Battleship.

“People always come to me for the story of how I lost the Zeemonster, and I’m more happy to tell it than I care to admit.”

He interrupts his game and sits upright in order to properly accompany his tale with flamboyant gestures.

“When the aliens made their intentions of world domination clear, I became captain of a nuclear submarine. It was state-of-the-art, cream of the crop, and our then-captain wanted to just go back home and give it to our new alien overlords. So I had myself a little mutiny, and I soon became the unseen dread of Indian Ocean. Yeah, sure, the ADVENT likes its flying saucers, but it also loves its but cargo boats, and those we hit like crazy. Guess I’ve always been resistance, it’s the only people I dealt with. When I had loot, I sold it to resistance groups, when I was short on crew, they enlisted from resistance groups, and when I needed a place to hide, resistance groups could always muster some hidden island in Indonesia or a frozen cove in Antarctica. I remember one time they were looking for us off the coast of Madagascar, and we were hidden in a huge underwater cave. One move out and we would have been sectoid food, and this went on for almost half a year. We were running low on supplies, and so the resistance regularly had fishing boats drop sealed boxes of food when no one was looking, and we could send divers to recover them.”

Shaking his head, he waves off the story.

“I’m digressing. The day I lost the Zeemonster, my that was scary. We had just hit another big ADVENT freighter, badly defended as far as those go, and that should have been reason enough to avoid it like the plague. We got weapons, clothes, spare parts and whatnot, too much to catalogue everything, even some vehicles were in there! So we stashed most of it in the seabed, but there were some sealed boxes I wanted to have an expert or two take a look over. Turns out they were full of chryssallids. Yep, real life, horrible crawler chryssalids of doom. Try fighting those in narrow corridors, kilometres underwater. The clamouring of their feet reverberated through the entire submarine. You could never know when they would pop around the corner, and later you could never know if the guy coming at you from down the corridor was injured or a zombie. Of course, I had Willem at my side to protect me, but that’s not all that saved me.”

He pats his bright orange shotgun on the back like it’s a pet.

“I don’t know exactly how I survived, but I do remember there was an explosion, and I believe I was the one who ordered it. No idea how, and it might seem impossible, but the next thing I remember is being adrift on an air mattress, lying there for days, my skin burning, my broken bones hurting. Finally, a whaler of all things found me a took me in. They were convinced the aliens would introduce huge sea creatures into the oceans, and wanted to be prepared. They brought me to a small guerilla group on Sri Lanka, and that’s how I ended up here. I fight for XCOM, because I owe it to the men and women who died aboard my pirate submarine.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Esmeralda “Bloodbag” Cortez (week 2/19)

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:

Esmeralda “Bloodbag” Cortez, from the United States of America:

 

 

Late in the evening, Cortez is the only person in the mess hall, having just come back from the medical bay. She is eating mashed potatoes and peas.
“My mum used to scrub toilets for a living, and my dad mowed lawns. Now I’m suddenly supposed to be a goddamn hero. They used to say we were Puertorican, but I’ve never even been to Puerto Rico, I was born in Louisiana, and I grew up in Florida. For what it’s worth: I’m American, that’s what I’ve always been.”

She takes a small sip of water.

“When I went to college, subversion and defiance of authority were coming back into fashion. Guess when we finally got all the protection of someone who tells us what to do, we didn’t want it after all, and the ADVENT was not happy with that. The only reason I was relatively safe is because Doctor Shelley needed me to study my mutations.”

Her eyes seem to faze out a little when she touches the crook of her arm, which is riddled with puncture scars.

“I’s a combination of factors, so to give you the short version, I produce more blood faster than other people. Like, a lot faster. My being O negative is just an added bonus, as is the fact that I have a natural talent for shooting things. And I found out about that when Doctor Shelley hid me with her resistance friends to protect me from ADVENT. She was the first person who died for me, which is ironic, because the Warriors of Saint Theodore called me ‘Lifegiver’. The second was my mum, who was taken in for ‘questioning’ and was essentially tortured to death to find out my whereabouts. When I wanted to turn myself in. because maybe she wasn’t dead after all and they would release her, it was my dad of all people who found me and told me to go back into hiding, to fight the good fight.”

As she is staring into nothingness, silence fills the room for a moment.

“I guess that’s why still go through the motions. It’s why I pull the trigger and help the medics save soldier lives. I fight for XCOM, because my dad told me to.”

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.”