XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Grant “Jackass” Chevrier (Week 19/19 #HYPETRAIN)

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 last sunday 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:

Grant “Jackass” Chevrier, from Canada

Chevrier is sitting in “his” armchair in the break room, skimming over an issue of the Playboy magazine from 2009.

“Fuck off asshole, I don’t wanna talk to you.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Demetria “Lysander” Megalos (Week 18/19)

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 1 sunday 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:

Demetria “Lysander” Megalos, from Greece

 

 

Having just finished her regular briefing with dozens of resistance cells, Megalos is leaving the CIC with a smile on her face. She has just scheduled several exchanges of goods, organized a number of strategy meetings, finalized numerous mission plans and secured additional funding for XCOM.

“The beautiful thing about my beautiful homeland is that it appears to be a Bermuda Triangle for the aliens. They can never seem to pinpoint anything in there, and as long as you are mobile, you can hide indefinitely. Before this whole thing,”

She gestures around, clearly referring to the Avenger.

“we were high command for a lot of resistance cells. We had the hardware, the expertise and the manpower to be constantly on the move. ADVENT was looking for us on Donousa? We were already on a beach in Sesklio, and when they dropped in there, we had long set up shop in a cove on Tinos. Don’t know any of the names? Neither does ADVENT, it’s almost magical! Of course the Sea Peoples didn’t help: everyone in the Aegean Sea has a bronze trident brooch somewhere in their house, nobody betrayed the human race. Supply lines between Turkey and mainland Greece were constantly harassed, so much so that they ended up having to funnel everything through Istanbul and hopelessly clog that artery of global trade. The undying patriotism of these few thousand people, not just to old Greece but to the old world in general, was enough to protect senior resistance commanders from all over the world. Aliens combing through southern Bangladesh? Relocate your HQ to Greece. ADVENT inspecting every house in Rio de Janeiro? Relocate your HQ to Greece. That way, you just need one or two people to contact all of your different cells on location, and can easily plan and organize missions from somewhere nobody will ever find you. Plus, you get to exchange intel with senior resistance commanders from all around the world!”

A staffer shouts her name from back at the CIC and comes running to hand her a tablet. New reports from the Aegean Sea have come in. Megalos skims over them, grinning.

“We may not be resistance HQ anymore, but we sure do the same thing we used to do, only now it’s more about coordination and diplomacy between cells and movements. And sure do the same thing I used to do, only now I get to kill aliens with elite soldiers in my spare time. My job is to organize and facilitate deals between foreign resistance cells and the house, meaning the resistance in the Aegean Sea. Not only do we deal in security for individuals, but we are also a marketplace of resources, intelligence and recruits from all over the world. A faction on Egypt has secured a major stash of assault weapons and ammunition, but they have enough of those, so they sell them to us in exchange for food and water. Sri Lanka has plenty of able-bodied warriors, but they need weapons, so we sell the weapons we acquired earlier in exchange for fighters that we will sell to other parts of the world. We only need a small profit to keep ourselves afloat, and the service we provide to our partners is absolutely invaluable.”

She takes a right, heading downstairs for weapons training.

“Now you may be thinking: why do I fight if I am so invaluable? First of all, I’m not. If the need arises, there are plenty of people who can replace me. I go out on missions not because I’m good at it, but because I need to socialize with real soldiers, and they don’t take accountants seriously. We rely on them, but they are very different from anyone working at the Geoscape. They live under constant, enormous pressure. Every day could be their last, and the fate of humanity rests on their shoulders regularly. They have developed their own ways to cope with that, and I love them. When they first tried to come up with a nickname for me, someone suggested ‘Buttfuck’, because I’m a Greek patriot, and it almost stuck. Keep in mind, I’m a senior resistance officer. I’m with the brass, if you will, and they treat me just like one of their own. I work for the resistance because I’m proud of my homeland. I fight for XCOM, because, frankly, it’s a lot of fun.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Bartosz “Hussar” Plovdiv (Week 17/19)

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 2 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:

Bartosz “Hussar” Plovdiv, from Poland

 

Despite him having taken to practising in a remote room of the ship that has not yet been reclaimed, Plovdiv’s rich baritone can be heard almost up to the labs if one tries to block out the ship’s noise. He is currently giving a rendition of Dalla sua pace so emotional it could move a rock to tears.

“The acoustics in here are by no means perfect, but a man who wishes to do good in the world must cope with such drawbacks. It is an honour and a pleasure to serve with such distinguished and skilled people.”

With a smile larger than his face, he sits down on a ledge.

“Yes, I am an opera singer, yes, I used to perform at the Teatr Wielki, but that’s hardly relevant. Singing is my passion, but this is my calling. It should be the duty of any man to protect his home country and, obviously, his home world, be it against tyrants, terrorists or alien invaders. Nothing stands above that. I grew up in Warsaw, and thanks to my parents I lacked nothing in my childhood days. My father was disappointed when I left the military. ‘Son, you are breaking a line of soldiers uninterrupted since Prussian days’, but I found there were enough people protecting our borders, and with the ADVENT Coalition forming I was unsure if they had the fatherland’s best interest at heart. I used to think that every young man should serve for at least five years, which I did, but these days I’m not so sure about that anymore. I’d much rather they fight with the rebels, who could be considered the ‘real’ protectors of the land. Honest, honourable people, banding together in a time of need against a common enemy. That’s what we’re doing here, aboard this magnificent vessel. Sailors on course to slay the greatest and most terrifying kraken the world has ever seen, a voyage through an ocean of glory, every death accompanied by a promise of vengeance, hardening our determination. I saw a soldier run straight at a sectopod under heavy fire, sliding underneath its legs and detonating a charge on its back. Another fought three stun lancers with a sword and won. Their tales will be remembered to the end of time. In a thousand years, this will be the Odyssey people read of in history books, and all of us, from the implacable commander to the engineer that will transform this very room into a lab one day, will be remembered as heroes. Our trials and our slaying of the beast will eclipse every saga and every poem. I’m only sad that I’ll never sing about it myself. I fight for XCOM, because I could not call myself a man if I didn’t.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Keshaun “Cutty” Randolph (Week 16/19)

DISCLAIMER: If the following content offends you, it would appear that you are the type of person who judges people by how they talk and where they are from instead of what they have to say. You have been warned.

 

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 3 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:

Keshaun “Cutty” Randolph, from the United States

 

Randolph is in his bunk, listening to rap music with his self-made audio setup on custom headphones. He rocks his head back and forth so violently that him hitting the ceiling seems a legitimate concern. After the song is done, he is seems genuinely surprised that he is not the only person in the room.

“Let me tell y’all something before we start this shit: I ain’t got no idea what the nickname mean, aight? That was some white niggas down engineering who thought it’s funny ’cause I’m from Baltimore or some shit. Them mothafuckas be crazy if y’all ask me, but they got all them good machines. Precision plasma cutters, nanoassemblers, you name it. I also ain’t gon’ talk for hours about ‘The Game’ and how it changed or some bullshit, ’cause the fact of the matter is: The Game’s over, aight? Ain’t nobody playin’ The Game no more, Alien mothafuckas made sure o’ that.”

He lifts his legs onto the sofa, still sitting upright, and absent-mindedly begins playing with a nickel in his left hand.

“A nigga’s got to do what a nigga’s got to do. That’s just the way the universe is. Me and my West Baltimore niggas? We wasn’t from no fancy-ass rich families, we ain’t had no chances to advance in life, we ain’t learned nothing in school, cuz school don’t teach nothing worth learnin’. Y’all always used to hear rich folks on the TV talkin’ about the common playah, givin’ financial advice to us, but they don’t know what life down there is really like.”

Grimacing dramatic seriousness, he puts on a slightly over the top white American accent.

“Poor people need to work hard and make sure they don’t get mixed up in gangs. The American dream can work for them as much as it can work for anyone else. It’s like nigga do you even know what money is? If you ain’t part of no ‘gang’, you ain’t gon’ make any money, and if you don’t make money, you gon’ die of starvation. Ain’t nobody gon’ give no West Baltimore nigga a real job, mothafucka we have to push product to survive. But, I know, this shit is supposed to be about me, so I’m gon’ talk about me. I was sixteen when the Five-Oh put me in prison for icing the mothafucka who almost killed my sister. Turned out she was sellin’ her ass, which I never approved of, by the way, and he was a policeman who liked to beat black girls. He wadn’ even fired, but she killed herself while I was in the big house. When I came out seven years later, the world was changed, man. ADVENT mothafuckas wasn’t like police, they was way worse. They had all this bleedin’-edge technology and shit, surveillance drones, instant DNA samplers, scanners that could detect drugs you took years ago. But that wasn’t why they so dangerous. The old Five-Oh , they had to follow laws. Yeah, they ain’t never did that, but most of them were pretty alright people lookin’ back at it, just doing they jobs for mothafuckas who pretended they cared about ‘the poor neighbourhoods’. ADVENT didn’t give a shit about none o’ that. They hated us, and they did what they wanted all the time. Some product somewhere when they roll by? All niggas on the street go to jail. And if a nigga had product on him, they sometimes just shot him on the spot, cause they can. They also relocated poor people from all over, so we had all them white niggas, Latino niggas and some Asian niggas comin’ in, incitin’ race wars and shit. However, I was rolling with some Puertorican playas before I went to prison, and some suppliers were Polish, so I thought ‘Nah, we all niggas together, we all poor, we all disenfranchised’. And people got on board with that, even some former police was with us. We travelled round the country, just a few of us, starting riots and shit. People ain’t had nothin’ to lose no more, system was worse than it ever was. We made people go on the streets in Memphis, Miami and Detroit, and then these resistance niggas showed up. They thanked us for providing cover and makin’ a ruckus, and this one redneck commander said ‘when it comes to killing ADVENT, you’re all still amateurs. We wanted to ask you if you’re willing to go pro,’ so I said ‘nigga, where do I sign?’ I fight for XCOM for my fellow niggas all around the earth, because we ain’t got nothin’ to loose except our dignity!”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Azad “Caesar” Nagarkar (Hamza “Brutus” Hanbali) (Week 15/19)

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 4 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:

 

Azad “Caesar” Nagarkar, from India:

Nagarkar is talking to some engineers, taking looks at their notes and providing his own. Many on the Avenger still treat him with caution, but at least the cryptographers have begun trusting him fully.

“I’ve heard it all before, I know people don’t like me here. It may be hard, but it’s a reality I have to come to terms with. Dealing with mistrust is the day to day for a double agent, that goes especially for one that acted on his own. I, og my own volition, joined the ADVENT because I thought it was a great idea. World governments get a bad wrap, but really, they’re the best way to consolidate the sheer diversity of the human race. Modern computer systems make direct democracy possible on a global scale, and as long as you don’t centralize too much of the power and keep a lot of it in the hands of local governments, everyone can prosper. Of course I saw the monstrosity that we actually ended up becoming, but I had hope. I was optimistic that humanity was mature enough to stand on its own feet, but it soon turned out that we’re still fascists at heart. However, I was in a unique position to becoming a large cog in the machine that is the ADVENT and maybe create a hiccup or two.”

He scratches his right arm, where Dr. Tygan has implanted one of several neural disruptors throughout the man’s body. A mere safety precaution.

“I was a very powerful individual, a cunning politician and a good commander. Being the Grand Prime Colonel of the Manaus Area, my authority was far-reaching, nobody dared question me, and the higher-ups thought I was one of them. Maintaining my own little triumvirate with the local trade minister and the head administrator. A lot of people call me ‘The Emperor of the Amazon’ to this day. I had loyal men around me, or at least I thought I did, and we were all on the same page: the ADVENT is the very worst manifestation of a world government, and we have to work against it. This was especially true for my right-hand man, Hamza Hanbali, who had been a student of political science in Cairo before seeing the same opportunities I saw. I’m not sure when he changed his mind, or if we were every truly of the same mind in the first place, but I do know that authority is a very seductive mistress to those who have strong convictions.”

Shaking his head, he sighs. The sound is filled with enough sadness to turn a birthday into a funeral.

“We never really interacted with any resistance members directly, we just didn’t do our duties properly. People weren’t jailed for disagreeing, unless they grew too loud, ships weren’t searched as thoroughly, unless they were too obvious, and searches for dissidents often came back with no results. It was the most freedom you could get anywhere in the world at that time, and the resistance benefited greatly from it. The whole region was just perfect for them. Not even the aliens were able to navigate the Amazon rainforest, but the locals did so with ease. So many of their compounds will never be discovered, and that’s what they banked on. They made their own little XCOM, with scientists and engineers, researching and producing high-end gear for cells in all South America, all the while keeping quiet on my turf. The only people I occasionally glanced at with suspicion were those directly above me, but I should have watched below. Hamza and some of my allegedly loyal soldiers collected incriminating evidence against me for months. They were in communication with some really, really, powerful people. I’m talking top tier administration and intelligence, people who saw this as an opportunity to not only strike at the heart of one of the most powerful rebel factions in the world but also make an example of a traitor. And, as much as I’d like to, I can’t really blame my men for throwing me at their feet. They were idealists, like myself, who saw themselves as becoming influential figures in the world, with the ability to influence the machine to greater extent than making it stutter a little. They were never meant to become the henchmen of some local warlord, forever stuck in their positions so as to not upset the balance of power. And many actually did experience a meteoric rise in the ADVENT hierarchy, especially Hamza, even after I managed to escape by a hair’s breadth and warn the resistance. To this day I hope at least one of them is still playing the long con, maybe I was a necessary stepping stone so that greater things could be achieved, but it’s the end of the line for me. I fight for XCOM, because it’s my last chance to leave this world a better one than I found it.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Cadence “Bird” Spencer (Week 14/19)

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:

Cadence “Bird” Spencer, from the United Kingdom:

 

At the bar, Spencer’s custom GREMLIN hovers around the room with a tray of gin. This round is free, in celebration of the full house and the most recent flawless mission, but usually she makes quite a lot off her booze.

“I dream of a world where people will see a bottle of ‘Spencer’s Dry Gin’ and say ‘Oi, that’s what they used to drink on the Avenger innit?’ It’s gonna be forever a reminder that humans like to have a kitchen sink even when the world’s in the bloody shitter. Look around you!”

She opens her arms toward the crowd the bar is packing tonight. One of the returnees is standing on the bar, being cheered on as he downs a pint of beer in one go. They then erupt into an almost intimidating collective roar as the first notes of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell resound from the jukebox.

“This is what they don’t understand. Have you ever seen a game of muton cricket? Chryssalid concert? A sectoid night club maybe? They got no notion of fun! That’s why they’re so angry when we pull their plonkers, because everythin’s just always serious with them. We’re probably being followed by a bloody UFO right now that wants to fucking kill us all brown bread. We don’t care, we get fucking pissed, the laugh, dance and shag all night, because that’s the true meaning of life, innit? Sure, we do this rebellion shite because we want our freedom and such, but, honestly, it’s just fun killing aliens and ADVENT cunts both. It’s fun rescuing people, it’s fun being a bunch o’ bloody heroes, like we’re on a high-stakes never-ending party, and the grim reaper is the guest of honour. You gotta live every day like it’s gonna be your last, and on board this nanny goat it just might be! We kick the aliens in the family jewels, run away, and have fun doing it! They could really learn something from us. Maybe they’ll figure out our secret to having fun one day and convert to our lifestyle, eh?”

She laughs at the notion and opens another bottle.

“Before this I used to work for me old man in The Cask Emporium. We had all the whiskeys, vodkas, beers and ciders, even the exotic stuff like Canadian icewine, vodka from South Africa and Japanese Whiskey, which is quite good actually. Greatest liquor store in all of Brixton, all of London even if you ask me. Then this geezer came along, childhood friend of my dad’s, never seen him for years. Apparently he asked for help blowing up bloody parliament! Couple days later, ADVENT rozzers roll into the shop, say they caught the guy and ask me dad why he didn’t say anything. Old man says he’s not a nark, he’s not gonna rat out his crazy friend with the bonkers plan. So they take him away and bang him up for twenty bloody years for ‘Collaboration in Conspiracy’. It’s not fair, innit? My dad worked hard for his Emporium, all his life he did. Then some bloke comes in, tells him about something he wants no part in and suddenly he’s baddie! I fight for XCOM because my dad deserves to cherish the fruits of his life’s work, and he ain’t got twenty years left in him.”

 

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Bahadur “Dentist” Al Baghdadi (Week 13/19)

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:

Bahadur “Dentist” Al Baghdadi, from Saudi Arabia:

 

 

Al Baghdadi is bartering in the vending machine corner of the mess hall, which he has dubbed ‘the bazaar’. Currently, he is offering a broken pocket watch, a packet of licorice candy, a necklace made of chryssalid pincers and his ration of breakfast bacon for a month to an engineer, who has a deck of playing cards, a stick of lip moisturiser and slightly battered real cashmere gloves on the table. A crowd has formed around them, observing the proceedings as though they were a game of poker, some getting ready to trade themselves. After several minutes of haggling, he trades the watch, the necklace and the bacon for the gloves and the cards. Additionally, he has gotten the engineer’s promise to give him a very good deal at some point in the future.

“You have to invest in tomorrow to get ahead. Lose a little when you have it, gain more when you need it. The most important commodity in times of trial is not goods, but people. Doing favours for each other makes us grow closer together, it’s like psychology.”

He taps two fingers on his heart.

“We write favours out as cheques, because the westerners don’t understand the validity of anything if it isn’t put on paper, and we even trade them, so you may find yourself cleaning the weapons of someone you barely talk to because he made that deal with the man you just bought a softer mattress from, and you paid with the debt of having to cash in that favour for him. It’s great. People used to do that in the Great Caravan of ’22 and I was surprised that nobody knew about it on this ship. Then again, the ADVENT kept the existence of the Great Caravan out of the media.”

Al Baghdadi takes out a vacuum flask and pours himself some tea.

“I was barely a man when people all over my country started leaving their cities and settlements behind, banding together in a huge convoy and making their way across the land. It was a form of peaceful protest, taking from the aliens the only thing they could not force us to give them: our souls. Smaller caravans soon started in other countries and caught up with us until we were thousands, making our way through mountains and deserts, without a real goal or direction. Nobody could stop us, all national borders had been lifted, we were doing nothing illegal, we weren’t even really protesting, just leaving. Personally, I was part of our police. It was difficult, keeping the tensions between different cultures and languages in check, especially without a clearly defined command structure or even knowledge of who was and who was not police. We were people with guns, but so were the criminals, who sometimes acted like police also. There was this gang of Turkish bootleggers, always at odds with the Egyptian porn-peddlers because each thought what the other did was immoral and against God. They kept arresting each other and cracking down on deals, and then we had to roll in in hopes that they would recognize our authority.”

Before taking a gulp, he gives a fond chuckle.

“But when the time came, we all banded together against the ADVENT – and lost. Most of the Great Caravan consisted of families, not soldiers. The aliens didn’t care. They just opened fire from plasma mortars near Ashgabat and then sent a platoon of soldiers in to deal with the rest of us. But some survived, probably due to the law of large numbers. Yes, waking up in a pile of bodies, half my face feeling like it was on fire was a horrible experience, but at least there is someone who can keep the tale of the Great Caravan alive. I fight for XCOM, because I carry with me the ghosts of thousands dead, and peace is no longer an option.”