The Tables Turn
Xcom Story Part 2
By Jet Sunstrider
Chapter 1: The Blacksite Rebuild
“Come on people! We need to get this place fixed up before Xcom uses our weakness to attack!” I shouted directing troopers left and right. You see, there's a little Ranger known as Kyla Taylor who thought it would be cool to walk in and trash our base. Did it work? Sure, but she was only one person, so she did not do too much. She did hack our system though.
“Hey Shields, how's it going down here?” Keeper flew down at me. Long story short, the Gatekeeper is a big floating golf ball with crazy mind powers. Myself? My nickname is Shields because I am a Shieldbearer, a front line defensive unit. I’m also the only human in Advent’s army, every other foot solider is gene modded. But that is a story for another day.
“Repairs of the Sectopod garage are well underway, do we have someone on restarting the server?” I replied.
“No one here knows how to fix a server.” Keeper said.
“Fine, I’ll go do it. You stay here and watch this.” I started walking to the server room.
“Hell no! I got better things to do! I’ll get Sans to do it or something.” Keeper shouted back.
“You know Sans wont do crap! And what is so special with you?” I asked. The Gatekeeper stumbled.
“Then Papyrus will do it! And it’s nothing, nothing for you to worry about.” Keeper had a hint of uninsurance in his voice, but I did not press on.
“Sans! Papyrus!” I shouted in the direction of their living quarters. A few minutes later, they stumbled out. Believe it or not, Sans and Papyrus are Skeleton brothers, they used to live in the Underground until they broke free of some sort of barrier to the surface.
“What is it human?” Papyrus asked, sounding tired as hell.
“Can you watch the Blacksite as I go repair the server room? Gatekeep has other plans and there is no one else around that has any sort of athurthory to watch over the rebuild.” I explained the crossroads we were stuck in.
*“Sure, we can make sure no one throws you the wrong bone!” Sans laughed.
“SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANS!” Papyrus yelled.
*“Come on bro, that one was a real rib-tickler!” Sans joked again.
“One more pun, and I’ll be done!” Papyrus stomped his foot.
*“But ain't two skulls better than one?” Sans winked.
“Whatever! Just, hang around, make sure the rebuild gets done.” I rolled my eyes and started walking towards the server room, for real this time.
Chapter 2: An Interesting Find
I reached the server room, the door was smashed and sparks were still flying from some of the server boxes. There was still blood all over the floor from a Stun Lancer Kayla beat up on her visit. I know Lancers are dumb, but it was once ranger! Regardless, I went to the main terminal and started the restart process.
As I was running through the steps, I noticed a data pad sitting on the counter beside the thermal. I picked it up and powered it up.
After going through it, I uncovered a virus program that the Kayla used on our system. Having the virus was really helpful, following the same pattern to remove it made it super easy. Also, skimming through the other files I noticed plans for a outpost a few miles out from the Blacksite. I clipped the data pad to my belt and finished up with the restart and cleanup of the server room.
A few hours later the server room looked good as new. I walked out and started making my way wack to the main courtyard to show Keeper and the Skele-bros what I found. I found them all looking at the shiny new sectopod garage, and directing the hulking metal monsters into the entrance.
“Hey guys, I found something interesting when I was fixing the server room.” I told them.
*“Oh reeeeeeeeeeeeely? Let’s see what the janitor swept up!” Sans replied. I rolled my eyes, and opened the data pad and showed them Xcom’s plans.
“Interesting, and Kayla just left it there?” Keeper asked.
“Most likely it was left there after we captured her, and no one found it.” I replied.
“That makes more sense.” Papyrus tuned in.
“Maybe we can make a plan to assault it, we already have the plans and a diagram of the place.” I suggested.
“I have a perfect idea!” Keeper light up. “Follow me, we can go over it in the situation room!” He added, floating away. Me and the Skele-bros followed.
Chapter 3: The Gatekeeper’s “Perfect Plan”
“I highly doubt this is gonna work.” I muttered, walking out of the armoury.
“You’ll be fine!” Keeper replied.
*“It’s a good look.” Sans said
“What about your shield thing?” Papyrus asked the real question. Keeper’s “big plan” involved us me entering the outpost dressed as a Xcom heavy trooper. I don’t even know how to operate a Mag Cannon, but at least I managed to strap on a mini shielding system connected to my arms and legs if things get messy. Something I built up when I was bored last week. Fun fact, I actually took a engineering class before joining Advent, so I know a thing or two about equipment, but Xcom’s weapon systems are far too outdated.
“It will work trust me, I got the biggest brain here!” Keeper said. He was always full of himself.
“Ok smartass, what am I gonna do IF this disguise works?” I replied. Keeper threw me a bag of X4 charges.
“Well, your gonna blow the outpost up!” Keeper laughed. “Anyway, get the transport ready, I need to go deal with something.” he added, floating away. I tuned to Sans and Papyrus.
“What do you guys think?” I asked them.
*“Well, there energy supply should be a good target.” Sans offered.
“Yeah, and maybe they have some sorta armory and radio tower for coms.” I look in the bag and counted four X4 charges. “Ok, I have four bombs here. Power, armory, radio, and maybe barracks.” I added.
*“Good enough for me.” Sans shrugged.
“Well, you're not the one who is going in the base, so of course you're cool with it.” I snapped. Sans winked.
*“Just get in there plant the bombs, and get out. Then we can leave with a BANG!” Sans laughed.
“I should've known there would be been a pun inbound…” I siged. “Regardless, lets just get to the transports. I also got a car for you and Pap, cause where not all gonna fit with the Gatekeeper.” I added.
Within the hour, we were all clear on a plan. I loaded up in the transport and opened the cargo door for the Gatekeeper. I looked over and saw the Skele-bros figuring the car out. I guess skeletons don’t really drive often. I heard some loud banging in the transport and I looked back to see two gatekeepers tryi- wait two?
“AGH! They multiplied!” I shouted, jumping in my seat.
“Oh calm down Shields, this is the Gatecaller. She loves psi attacks.” Keeper explained his newfound friend.
“Oh yeah, you're one of the special troopers from that new “A Better Advent” project right?” I asked.
“Yes, I am the Gatecaller. The calmer, more psi based version of the Gatekeeper.” Caller replied.
“Interesting… isn't there like, a physical based Gatekeeper too? Like the ugh…. Doomsphere right?” I asked.
“There is, but ever since Sans and Papyrus gave us those armor and weapon upgrades we don’t need to bring a Doomsphere down here. Besides, they don’t talk much.” Keeper replied.
“So your bring the Psi based one down, but you're already the most advanced Gatekeeper psi-wise, but you don’t wanna bring a Doomsphere because you have an upgraded beam attack?” I explained the confusion.
“Yes.” Keeper replied.
“That’s racist.” I said.
“Wh- how?” Keeper shaped.
“You only bring one other Gatekeeper down! You shove the other aside like an old newspaper!” I shouted.
“But where the same species!” Keeper snapped back.
“Whatever, I’m telling Doom you said that.” I laughed.
“Whatever! Let’s just go!” Keeper blared. I started the transport and singled the Skele-bros that it was time to move out.
Chapter 4: Part One - Don’t Get Caught
About an hour later, we found the outpost based on the map. It was a small place, but it’s impressive Xcom built this without attracting attention until now, when it looks like it’s almost done.
“Ok, you go out and plant the bombs. Try to be fast.” Keeper said as I got out. I put on a delta helmet that covered my face so no one could recognize me.
“If I get caught, it’s YOUR fault!” I snapped a bit. I looked for the Skele-bros and saw Sans was napping… again. I decided to not bother with them.
I started making my way to the outpost and noticed a guard standing near the gate. Now it’s time to put this disguise to the test.
“Hey, who are you?” The guard asked.
“Ugh… I’m ugh….-” The guard cut me off.
“Wait a tick… oh sorry! You must be some the reinforcements from HQ! Sorry, haven’t seen you before so I did not know.” She let me in. I then started looking around for targets. After a half an hour, I managed to plant X4 at what looks like a radio tower, generator room, and barracks. I was looking a armory but I noticed a small patrol walking by. I acted natural, but after a second look I noticed Ranger Kayla Taylor was leading it, the one who almost blew up the blacksite. I cursed under my breath.
“Guys… that ranger is here! The one we captured before!” I whispered on my radio.
“You sure it is her? Not just some other random ranger chick?” Keeper asked.
“I remember her face, as she doesn't wear a helmet or mask or whatever. It’s her!” I replied.
“Well, ast natural! She should not recognize you with the helmet and armor!” Keeper replied. I had to cut of radio connection so Kayla could not hear. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her wave off the patrol and walk towards me. I held my breath.
“Hey, you are you? I’ve never seen you around here before!” Kayla came storming at me. For a moment, I thought she was gonna pin me to the ground and question me like I was a murder suspect.
“I am… ugh… Pvt. James Williams from region HQ. I got special orders from Central Officer Bradford himself to give information about the future of this Outpost. However, it is top secret for the outpost commander’s eyes only.” I did my best Xcom impression, trying to manipulate my voice so Kayla can’t recognize it.
“Well, your looking at the Outpost Commander. And what is so special that Bradford send some rookie all the way over here?” Kayla asked, annoyed. How convenient, for Kayla to be commander of the outpost. This is gonna be hard.
Chapter 5: Part Tw- Wait. You got Caught!
“Well… ugh… how about I just give you the data pad and I can be on my way. Quick and clean, right?” I offered, secretly scared. Kayla shook her head.
“I prefer face to face. Besides, I should really send a reply and you're the messenger after all.” Kayla replied.
“Listen, I’ma very busy man I got more intel to deliver!” I kept pressing. Kayla laughed.
“Oh come on, we all gotta take a break at some point. Treat yourself! I have a room just across the way we can exchange the info.” Kayla pointed across the courtyard.
“Well, you're not giving me much of a choice in the matter.” I sighed, and started walking towards the room.
“Hey guys, I might be compromised here, get back to the Blacksite so they don’t see you if they start patrolling!” I whispered over comms.
“Aw crap! Fine! Try not to get killed!” Keeper replied. I shut off the radio right as Kayla caught up with me.
“Telling HQ you're gonna be running late?” She asked.
“Ugh… yea, don’t wanna worry them, ya know?” I replied.
“Anyway, here’s the room, head on in.” She opened the door. I walked in nervously and took a seat.
“Well? What’s this secret info you need to tell me?” Kayla asked.
“Ok… here’s the data pad”. I placed the pad on the table, and started to get up. “Now please, I really must be go-” I was about to leave, but Kayla pressed a button and the windows were closed shut and the door got locked.
“Why the hurry? We just started.” A smile grew on Kayla’s face, and I suspected she knew it was me all along. She took a step towards me, but I held up the X4 detonator.
“You knew it was me all along, didn't you?” I said, taking off my helmet.
“Your Xcom impression is horrible.” Kayla noted.
“That’s great en all, but one more step and I blow this dump up!” I waved the detonator in Kayla’s face.That was a mistake, as Kayla slapped my hand, sending the detonator across the room. I went for a swing, but she pushed me back and held up what looked like a gun. I went to charge, but she pulled the trigger, but there was no bullet. Instead, I looked down and saw a needle sticking out of my chest armor.
“Aw hell…” I muttered. Kayla laughed.
“These dart/needle things are untested against Advent’s alien soldiers, but because you're HUMAN, it will be perfect.” A smile grew on her face as I felt the needle taking effect. My legs felt weak. I tried to go in for a punch but I missed and Kayla pushed back into a chair where the last thing I remember was Kayla calling for help to carry me away.
Chapter 6: The Irony of The Situation
I woke up tied to a chair in an underground cell. Looking around, realizing what happened, I started laughing to myself. Then the door to the cell opened and there was Kayla with an Arc Blade.
“Well well well, can you feel the irony here? It wasn't just a week ago you were sitting in a chair just like this and I was the one towering above you, looking all scary and menacing.” I laughed as Kayla powered on the blade. She gave be a soul splitting look.
“I guess it’s payback time.” Kayla grunted though grinding teeth.
“So? What’s a pitiful Xcom op gonna do? Tickle me too death?” I joked, probably pushing my luck. Just then her radio buzzed to life.
“Gonna answer that sweetheart? Not like I’m going anywhere.” I said, smiling. As she was busy with her call, I tried struggling with the bonds. I almost got them lose as she finished, turning back towards me.
“Anyway, we got something special for you. Want a burger?” Kayla asked.
“Probably not from you.” I made a disgusted look.
“It’s not poisoned, but it is Viper meat.” She replied.
“Let’s just get this over with, eh? I don’t got all day.” I said.
“OH BUT YOU DO!” Kayla sparks her arc blade. “Ok, I want names first. Let’s start with yours.” Kayla drew the blade’s tip right on my nose.
“My name? It’s ugh… Captain Kick in The Ass.” I smirked. Kayla slapped me in the cheek with the side of the blade, sending electricity through my whole body.
“I have all day, smartass.” Kayla remarked.
“It’s Jax, want my number too?” I replied.
“No, but last name?” Kayla was ready to hit me with the blade again.
“Get this, Jax SUNSTRIDER. Ring any bells?” I smiled. Yes, I am the brother to Xcom commander Jet Sunstrider, who I believe is Kayla’s commander.
“Great, your my commanders brother. So I guess I can’t kill you outright, but he never said anything about wounding horribly!” Kayla grew a evil smile. “Now, moving on. Is there anymore humans with Advent? And who works with you?” Kayla added.
“First off, no I am the human at the Blasksite. Hell, even the whole Advent army last I cheeked. As for the others, you know about Sans and Papyrus, and the Gatekeeper/Caller combo.” I answered.
“Ok, and what are Advent’s immediate plans?” Kayla asked another question.
“Well, this was our most recent plan. To blow up and cut off the Outpost's connection with your HQ, and rebuild it using Advent tech.” I answered again. “Good luck finding them.” I added. Kayla slashed at my arm, giving me the full blunt of the electricity, almost knocking me out. But I still refused to give up there locations.
“Ok? You won't talk? I can change that.” Kayla tuned back out the door and shouted something at one of her friends. All I heard was something about an Arc Thrower. Then it dawned on me… Arc Thrower? God, those things suck. Kayla walked back in the room, powering the nightmare machine up.
“Enough messing around, WHERE. ARE. THE. BOMBS!?” Kayla shouted, pointing the Arc Thrower right at my face. I sighed.
“Fine. One at your radio tower, barracks, and armory. I was about to plant the last one when you stopped me.” I said. Kayla lowered the thrower and shouted the locations at a disarming team.
“How do you disarm them?” Kayla asked.
“Press the blue and green buttons together and hold them for five seconds.” I said. Kayla relayed the info to her squad as they ran off to undo what I did.
“You're not joking around right?” Kayla asked.
“Are you dumb? That’s how all X4 charges work sweetheart.” I smiled.
“Call me that again and I’ll break your jawbone.” Kayla started at me with bone chilling silence. She was about to ask something else when I saw a familiar blue glowing circle in the shadows.
Chapter 7: MVP Sans The Skeleton
Sans leaped out of the shadows catching both the rager and myself off guard. Kayla turned around, but she was too confused on what just happened. Sans launched a barrage of bones at the ranger, knocking her flat cold and a bone landed in my lap. As the dust settled, Sans approached me, eye still glowing. He started laughing.
*“Looks like I threw you a bone!” Sans said picking up the bone in my lap. I laughed with him.
“Well well, hello there Skele-bro. How long have you been standing in the corner?” I asked Sans.
*“Oh, Caller was getting worried so I just popped in through a shortcut.” Sans replied, his eyes fading to normal. *“I see you too were having a bad time in here.” He added.
“Ain’t that the truth. Anyway, let’s get outta here!” I shouted, struggling with the binds.
*“Right.” Sans walked around the chair and cut the binds so I could finally stand up again. My legs were really sore from not moving for an hour. *“Feel free to return to the others with me, unless you still got stuff to do here.” He added.
“Wait, hold up.” I said grabbing the knocked out ranger. I tied her to the chair with Advent electrical handcuffs, activated them and took her weapons. I turn around, gave Sans a nod, and we made our way above ground.
*“Did you get all the charges planted?” Sans asked as we walked out of the jail building.
“I got three of them planted, but the ranger might of gotten them all disarmed.” I replied, getting blinded by the outside light. “We can cheek once we are clear of this place though.” I added.
*“Alright, the transports are right over here, in the forest.” Sans said leading me on. I’m just happy to finally be out of that cell.
Chapter 8: Going Out With A BANG!
Me and Sans made it out to the outskirts of the Xcom outpost, where me meet up with Papyrus and the Keeper/Caller combo.
“Mission accomplished, I guess” Papyrus said as we walked up.
*“Nothing a good bone the head to knock a human out.” Sans said, getting in the car and falling asleep. Papyrus was about to yell at Sans for taking another nap, but I guess he thought against it. He did just rescue me, after all. I walked over to the the Transport and saw Keeper sleeping in the back.
“Hey! I’m back!” I bashed on the door. Keeper woke up and almost tipped the transport over.
“Oh yeah, nice to see your still alive!” Keeper muttered.
“Where you sleeping the whole time??” I asked, a little offended.
“Oh Sans handled it fine, besides I’m tired ok?”
“You stupid lazy golf ball pice-” I was about to come up with a sick burn but Caller cut me off.
“Let’s just get back to the Blacksite? I bet we are all tired after that” She floated between me and Keeper, for the better too. Then I remembered something.
“Before we go, I’ma try to hit the detonator. Wait where’d it go?” I Cheeked my belt and pockets, then Sans popped in behind me.
*“Looking for this?” Sans handed the detonator.
“Right, thanks. Anyway, y'all ready for some fireworks?” I shouted, hitting the button. Apparently, Kayla missed one of the X4 charges. The radio tower went up in a blaze of glory. We all cheered seeing the tower tip over on top of the armory.
“Hell yeah!” Keeper shouted.
*“Now that’s what I call going out with a BANG!” Sans bursted out laughing. This time, we all joined him.
“Ok guys, let’s head back to the Blacksite, burgers are on me tonight!” I shouted as we all piled into our vehicles. We maybe celebrating now, we I bet we all knew this was not gonna be the last time we see of our Xcom frields.