XCOM Document Op. Broken Crown
CLASSIFIED LEVEL 2 PERSONNEL AND HIGHER
2 THIN MAN Corpses
1 THIN MAN Live capture
2 MUTON Corpses
1 MUTON BERSERKER Corpse (Sent to research devision)
2 SECTOID Corpses
20 WEAPON FRAGMENTS
15 ALIEN ALLOYS
1 LIGHT PLASMA RIFLE (Sent to research devision)
STRIKE-1-1(Robert Isodor): 1 BROKEN LEG, 1 BROKEN ARM. 3 WEEKS IN MEDICAL
STRIKE-1-2 (Zhou Jiang Su): HEALTHY
STRIKE-1-3 (Alfred Stefania): DAMAGED ESOPHAGUS. 3 DAYS IN MEDICAL, 7 DAYS IN PSYCHIATRICS
STRIKE-1-4 (Sara Ottmar): HEALTHY
Robert hated being chosen to go on these missions. He knew that if his teammates had to abort the mission and he couldn’t get back in time, he would be left to face whatever horrible experiments those aliens had set up for the abductees. As he was groaning about how he never wanted to do this in the first place to Strike-1-4, Officer Bradford’s voice came in through the loudspeakers. “Okay Strike-1, you’ll be setting down in the United States for this next mission. Alien abductions are continuing to…”
“Blah blah blah, same thing as always.” Robert said to his friend who was sitting next to him on the cold, hard metal bench.
“Would you be quiet? I’m trying to listen to the debrief!” Alfred hissed.
“It’s the same thing as always! What else is there to hear!?” Robert shot back.
“Strike-1! This is important! Are you listening or not?” Bradford said. Robert swore he could feel Bradford’s icy blue eyes glaring at him, even though they were a thousand miles away from HQ.
“Good. Now as I was saying, we have reports of an unknown contact on the ground. Local forces say it looks like the mutons you’ve already encountered, but it doesn't appear to have any kind of weapon besides a large bladed claw on one of it’s arms. You should exercise caution down there. Bradford, out.” As soon as he heard the loudspeaker click off, Robert immediately said, “I forgot the commander made them put those microphones in here, so Bradford can yell at us for having a little fun!”
“I heard that!” Bradford said, peeved. Robert just wanted to rip that darn microphone out from the wall of the Skyranger. He knew though, that if he did it, he wouldn't hear the end of it from Bradford and Dr. Shen, XCOM’s chief engineer.
Just then, the Skyranger’s pilot’s deep voice came on the loudspeaker. “Okay, we’re approaching the mission site. Prepare for immediate deployment. ETA: 2 minutes.”
As everyone was putting the metal gray armor on and grabbing their equipment, Robert was continuing to complain about how they were fighting in a pointless war. “I mean, they have plasma weapons! All we can do is stick a plate of their fancy ‘alloys’ to our chest and pray it holds out long enough to actually win one of these battles!”
“Would you be quiet?” Zhou said. “And besides, R&D is working on building laser weapons for Pete’s sake!”
“Yeah, laser pistols. Good job those are gonna do against chryssalids and mutons!” Robert said in a mocking voice, remembering the first time he saw one of those creatures that could only described as a walking nightmare.
“You do know being cynical isn't going to help with anyones morale.” Just then, the Skyranger landed and the deployment ramp came down with a loud clang. Dust flew up into the cockpit, making everyones’ eyes water a little. The team quickly exited and started fanning out to search for aliens. Almost immediately, Alfred had found a few sectoids rummaging through a garbage can. The small gray humanoids barely had time to register the sound of the grenade rolling up between the two of them before it went off with a loud bang.
“Hostiles eliminated!” Alfred said smugly into his walkie talkie.
“Big whoop! You got the first kill of the mission.” Robert said, annoyed at the young recruit’s arrogance. “If you always act like that, that’s one quick way to get yourself in trouble.”
“Yeah yeah, you’re just jealous you didn’t get the...URK!” Robert heard a roar that was all too familiar to him. A muton had managed to put Alfred into a chokehold.
“Don’t worry Alfred! I’m coming to help you!” Robert said panicking, even though he was annoyed with the arrogance of the rookie a moment earlier. Alfred was still a teammate, after all. He got to Alfred’s location within a few moments. He quickly managed to subdue the writhing hulk of flesh. Alfred fell to the floor, gasping for breath.
“Maybe you should head back to the Skyranger,” Robert said.
“No way! I want to keep on fighting!” said Alfred.
“Fine, just don’t expect me to help if something goes wrong for you again,” Robert said snidely.
Robert and Alfred decided to stick together after that incident. Another muton had almost managed to get them, but it was gone almost as soon as they turned the corner. Meanwhile, Sara and Zhou found a few thin men. One of the tall, lanky aliens tried to charge Raymund, but that was a mistake, as Raymund rapidly pulled out his arc thrower and stunned the alien. That little grey box was the last thing that alien would see for the next few hours. The other two ran away after the little display that happened to their friend. Neither of them made it more than five feet. “Hostiles neutralized! Robert, Alfred, what’s your status?”
“Ok. We had a little run in with a muton, but other than that, we’re fine.” Robert said as he and Alfred were heading towards the other two troops. “We’re headed your way.”
“Good thing too, because I think I hear something. It might be that new contact. We don’t know what it is, but we should be careful,” Sara said.
“Roger that, we’re on our way.” A few minutes later, the four soldiers were back together. They found a dented garage door and a smashed white van.
“Robert, you should go check it out,” Alfred said. “I don’t think I’m cut out for this.”
“Good point,” Robert said as he approached the garage door. Almost as soon as he started to lift the door up, it was punched through by a big red and gray claw, sending Robert flying into a nearby wall.
“ROBERT!” Alfred shouted when he saw his teammate slammed into a nearby wall. The next few seconds was a flurry of gunfire and roars. A thud finally ended the flurry of noise. Alfred immediately ran over to Robert’s side. “Sara! Get me that medkit!”
“It… hurts… so bad…” Robert said. Sara quickly tossed him her medkit.
“It’s going to be okay, Rob,” Alfred said as he applied some bandages and morphine to Roberts wounds. “Get him back to the Skyranger, NOW!” Alfred yelled to Zhou. He and Sara brought Robert back to the the big, hulking box of metal with wings as Alfred called into central. “We have a heavily wounded soldier! Put med-bay staff on high alert!” Alfred said into his radio as the others were laying Robert down in the Skyranger.
“We heard gunfire over the radio, what were you thinking, indiscriminately shooting like that? You could have killed someone for Pete’s sake!”
“It was the new contact you were talking about. Nearly punched a hole through Rob. Looks like he broke one of his arms and one of his legs,” said Alfred.
“Okay, we’ll have medical on high alert,” said Bradford.
The ride back to base was unusually quiet. Everyone was considering what had happened just minutes earlier. As soon as the Skyranger touched down back at base, medical staff quickly took Robert to the medbay, as the other three troops were personally met by the commander of the XCOM project.
“What you did out there today was incredible. I have never seen such bravery and selflessness as you three showed. You are all getting the Medal of Valour.” He turned to Alfred. “What you did was one of the kindest things I’ve seen since this war started. Good job soldier.” The commander then turned and walked away.