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.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Hiro “Warlock” Yoshida (week 12/19)

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:

Hiro “Warlock” Yoshida, from Japan:

 

 

Yoshida is sitting in a lounge chair on the balcony of his Barcelona apartment, sipping on a glass of bitter lemon. The city’s summer nightlife can be heard raging in the distance like a typhoon of sweat and laughter.

“XCOM was a natural reaction to a foreign object entering the collective human body. We are not a very accepting species, and to be fair, the aliens did barge in weapons at the ready. I remember my time with XCOM very fondly. We were idealists, the best of the best, united in what appeared to be the first righteous fight in generations. It feels good, being the hero, not having to doubt yourself when you kill a man for your country. They were evil, a canvas for us to project upon whatever we hated. I thank the universe every day that they aren’t, because we would have lost regardless. An organization so well-funded, equipped with the best weapons on the market, staffed with the smartest engineers and scientists in the world, clandestine and protected by every secret service even after official support was dropped. The location of our base was so secret, even most people working in it did not know where it was, and those who did were explicitly forbidden from telling anyone. Most of us soldiers pieced it together, of course.”

An old, petrol-fueled motorcycle rides down the street, the staccato from its exhaust resounding like an angry machine gun. Yoshida shakes his head in disappointment.

“Why so many shun their gifts remains a mystery to me. When the aliens came for the base, I was in a pod in what the scientists called the ‘Psionic Labs’, having been fed through a tube for eight days straight. Testing wasn’t complete when they found me, but they could feel it: the Gift, I had it. The Irish girl next to me also did, but she attacked them instantly. Their leader, the Ethereal, touched my mind. I was not trained in telepathy yet, but this magnificent being, it aided me. To this day, I could not have a conversation of such clarity with any other Gifted. It was honest with me, told me more than my superiors ever had. The destruction of XCOM was unfortunate, but it had to happen so humanity could ascend, so we could join their community of species and take our special place in it. The only other species capable of psionics are the sectoids, and look how far they have made it. The technology, the knowledge, the protection from other species, species who would mean us real harm, all of those things were given to us, and they expected nothing in return. Yes, they may be a little firm at times, not understanding of our ways, but I have seen their true faces, and they are benevolent creatures imbued with a vision no human mind could ever hope to comprehend. We scorn their gifts, kill their soldiers and condemn those who would side with them, yet they still love us. They have made concessions to our primitive ways so that we might feel safe. When they understood that we are fiercely independent, they allowed us to self-govern under their guidance with the ADVENT Coalition. And they continue to give and give and give. I fight for the ADVENT, because I will do whatever it takes to see humanity flourish in this new world the aliens have opened up to us.

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Genevieve “Loup Garou” Lesauvage (week 11/19)

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:

Genevieve “Loup Garou” Lesauvage, from France:

 

Lesauvage is in the galley, preparing restaurant-grade reindeer steaks from an animal she hunted herself, and with the very limited supplies given to her.

“Certainly quite civilized for someone likened to a savage animal, no? I was a chef in my real life, before they found out the truth about who killed collaborateurs all over the Normandie and made it look like the attacks of a huge wolf. They compared me to Alain Passard, Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal first, Joseph Vacher, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Cooper were added to the list later. The first three I can agree with, but I’m nothing like those mentally deranged psychopaths.”

After seasoning the steaks with rosemary, thyme, salt and, strangely, a little of her own curry mustard, she puts them in a pan, where one of her infused olive oils (this one with garlic, mint and lemongrass) goes from sizzling to roaring.

“I would never kill an innocent person. I don’t do it for fun, for gratification, or just because. I do it because it needs to be done. When the Nazis invaded my beautiful country, people of all creeds and colours came together to slit their throats, and the throats of the traitors that helped them. I was the chef and owner of the most prestigious restaurant in Caen, L’elefant, and everybody knew I hunted the most choice pieces myself. It was the perfect cover: I got to talk to collaborateurs, because of course they were rich and had to flaunt it, and then I got to go out at night, armed, with no one batting an eye. I remember one man saying ‘be careful Genevieve, there’s a monster prowling in the darkness, and it might just pick a young woman like you for its next meal.’ I killed him in his garden two days later. They figured out it wasn’t really a wolf soon, but still nobody suspected me. Why would they? I am only a woman, after all.”

Grinning, she flips the steaks with the swift, confident moves of a professional.

“I grew more bold, going into buildings and dragging my victims outside. The story of the Loup Garou de la Normandie became legend soon. There was even a movie made about it last year. They paint me as a literal werewolf, sneaking into homes and mauling people’s children in their sleep. The rebels of course, they knew. They were not afraid of me, they even changed their emblem to a wolf. And the more the media all over the country reported on how gruesome the killings were, the more wolf graffities appeared. Of course it couldn’t last forever. A man, I don’t know who, called my cell phone one morning, saying only two words: ‘They know.’ I fled just in time.”

She flips the steaks again, already preparing the next batch without even needing to look.

“I am a patriot, not only of France, but of earth. I fight for XCOM, because three Michelin Stars and seventeen collaborateurs are not the only things I want to accomplish in life.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Howler “Cheese” May (week 10/19)

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:

Howler “Cheese” May, from Australia:

May can be found refining his aim at the shooting range, where he stops his breath to hit a tiny, far away target with a sniper rifle. Only half a moment after couching the weapon, he pulls the trigger and hits.

“I’m not really as interesting a character as the rest of these guys, to be honest. I like guns and shooting, I’m interested in wars and warfare in an academic sense, and I’m slightly lactose intolerant. That’s really all anyone knows about me, because that’s all there is to know. I was born in Melbourne, a teenager when the aliens came. Pretty average family, middle class, Dad was a public defender, Mum used to be a tax accountant. I have a sister, she owns a bar in Canberra. Sure, my career so far wasn’t all that average, but whose is these days, right? I was one of the last generation applicants for the SARS that actually got into training before all national armed forces were incorporated into the ADVENT. They offered me a job, but I never trusted the aliens, and I think the humans who work for them are misguided. Ended up working as a survival guide in the outback, which was a booming industry at the time in many parts of the world. People wanted to be able to go underground if they wanted to. This one time, me and my mate Bruce took out a group of seven on a tour through Fitzgerald River National Park, and it turned out one of them had a blog knocking ADVENT. Pretty funny stuff, if you ask me. There was this one post I read where he called the aliens ‘elevators with only only one floor tile’ and how people were probably nostalgic for the good old days of hardcore racism, because at least Hitler was honest about not liking the Jews. One night, we had just finished a wildlife barbecue to kick things off, they land this huge gunship, a bunch of ADVENT cunts come out, shoot the bloke in the head, and say ‘looks like a crocodile bite to me, don’t it?’. So me mate Bruce gets up, tells him no, he just shot off the bloke’s head, and eats a load himself. I was fucken’ speechless, and luckily the ADVENT bloke left without killing any more people, probably so we’d share the story among our presumed fellow dissidents. So I started working for the Australian resistance, giving them outdoor training, moving people through the country, and later scouting for facilities to raid and sabotage. That’s how I ended up here. I fight for XCOM, because I think you can’t go to someone’s house and make up new rules just because you have bigger guns.”

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.”

XCOM 2 Countdown Calendar: Vasily “Grandfather” Vinogradov (week 8/19)

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:

Vasily “Grandfather” Vinogradov, from Russia:

Vinogradov is sitting in his tiny office, creating duty rosters, filing paperwork and listening to an audio-handbook on modern weapons technology at the same time.

“They never prepared me for any of this in the Spetsnaz, nor the KGB. When XCOM was first activated, I was already an old man. I had served my motherland since Union days. I was appointed Staff Colonel even before the Commander had been selected, and I was responsible for recruiting and managing soldiers, coordinating with medical and keeping the Commander up to date with the status of all his people, how long until they were ready for combat, all of those things. Only one day it turned out we were short on manpower, and we could not gather new recruits fast enough. So I went into the field and fought the aliens directly, and it turned out I still had it. I was as much a capable flag officer as I had been a staffer, and it was the thing that saved me. When the aliens hit HQ, I was in Chongqing, rescuing a VIP who had stolen a transponder from his triad bosses. We were under heavy fire when Central suddenly stopped responding. Big Sky had no idea what was happening, so instead of flying back to HQ we went to hide in the Himalayas. Despite us being armed soldiers suddenly landing in their garden, the monks took us in and even helped hide the skyranger from satellites. Markus “Guardian” Vogel, Eleonora “Bullet Rain” Romano, Norbu “Crater” Matsumoto, Tarcisio “Omega” Noronha, Janet “Glitch” Murray, Shaojie “Chilong” Zhang, Harry “Big Sky” Walters and I, we were the last of XCOM, and our mission was simple: find whoever was left and bring them together again.

He turns around a picture on his desk so that it’s visible. It shows him and Dr. Shen Senior, posing with a dead berserker.

“We did find Shen and some of his people in Canada, where they had been hiding with a man named Chevrier. Not a particularly friendly individual, but very capable at keeping people hidden. Shen said he could build something with the transponder, so we had him work on it. It was difficult, we had to move around constantly, and the Skyranger was left behind in in the Urals because it needed too much fuel. Finally, after a year, Shen was finished and we launched the last XCOM mission for many years to come: Operation Hornless Dragon. Our target was an alien ship we’d been tracking, and we struck when it was off the coast of New Orleans. The objective was to capture it and then get away so it could be retrofitted, but I never saw that happen. Instead, I was thrown out by the explosion of a cyberdisc’s grenade and fell from a hundred metres. I still remember feeling sad about how I’d never know if the mission was a success or not. As we can see around us, it was. Don’t ask how I survived, because I don’t know, but it is quite clear the aliens wanted me to.”

He scratches the back of his head, where Dr. Tygan removed the same alien device from him as he did from the commander.

“I fight for XCOM, because, whatever the reason the aliens kept me in stasis for twenty years, I will make them regret not killing me when they had the chance.”

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.”