X-Com Diary: Part 10

Part 10? Man, who would have thought J-Server would last this long? (I say that of course, but in-game it’s only been a week and a half since we set out to save what’s left of the world). A lot has happened. If you’ve missed any of it, get up to speed at this link.

Day Nine

Now things are starting to get interesting. And by interesting, I mean difficult. I’ve got a terrible man power problem right now, with way too many of my Agents injured and skiving off in the medical bay. I can’t deploy a full strength ground team on missions and what Agents I do deploy invariably get shot up which adds a few more to the wounded list. What’s worse, my living quarters at J-HQ are completely full and it’s going to be another day or two before extra capacity comes online, so I can’t even hire some rookies to bulk out the ranks a little bit.

The solution? Well, I need to give my Agents a break from ground missions. That’s going to be hard to do, seeing as how we’re getting alerts every couple of hours across the city. The last wave of Aliens that the UFO’s dropped in are still trying to cause havoc. We’re killing them steadily but it’s only a matter of time now until the ships return and bring with them another horde of extraterrestrial insurgents. I’ve got to ride out this wave of ground battles and then shoot down the next UFO wave in its entirety to stem the tide of invaders. I told you it was going to get difficult.

I decide it’s time to put some money into my fleet of vehicles, so I start having a poke around the equip vehicle screen to see what sort of equipment I should be looking for. It’s then that I notice, with a big smile, the Bio-Transport modules sitting quietly in the corner. My workshop has been beavering away at these and I’d forgotten about them. When you assign a bulk production job in Apocalypse items trickle into your inventories one by one, rather than in bulk when the job is finished. But the game doesn’t tell you production is complete until the whole job is done so a couple of those modules have been sitting here unbeknown to me  for who knows how long. I stick one in the J-Mobile immediately and check the market price of the module.

$950? Not bad. Not bad at all. It’ll be a while yet before I get the results of the research on the Alien weaponry we’ve recovered, so I can start hawking these modules on the side for a little extra cash rather than let the workshop lie fallow. More importantly, now the J-Mobile has got one, I can start hauling back corpses from combat zones for delicious research opportunities. Live captures will be needed too, but they can be extraordinarily dangerous to attempt.

Back to the vehicles. I want to get the monster rocket above. The Hawk Air Warrior is the hardiest human craft available, perfect for knocking out large UFO targets. It’s also way, way beyond my budget right now. I’d have to sell virtually every other vehicle I own just to afford the chassis, never mind the weapon systems and upgrades. It’s a pipe dream for now, but what cash I do have I spend on beefing up my hoverbikes and hovercars. Better guns and better engines are the order of the day, so my fleet can fly faster and hit harder. Investing cash in hoverbikes is always risky given their fragility. They make excellent attackers in groups, but one direct hit can swat a bike out of the sky and take all its expensive upgrades with it.

At least one diary reader emailed in to suggest I deploy my vehicles about the city in anticipation of a UFO attack, rather than have them wait at base. Deployment time from J-HQ is maddeningly slow when I send out the fleet en masse, so I’ve stuck my hoverbikes and hovercars up in the sky around the nearest dimension gates. They’ll sit there burning fuel and keeping watch on the gates, which will hopefully result in immediate intercept of any incoming hostiles. I’ve deactivated their weapons for now, in case they try and spontaneously engage any hostile civilian craft while they’re waiting. They’re parked over Osiron slum territory, after all.

It doesn’t discourage the Aliens from kicking up a fuss on the ground however. I’ve got six Agents combat ready out of a roster of fourteen, but I’m in an enthusiastic mood thanks to the knowledge that any invaders we kill this time we’ll be hauling back to base for dissection. Go go J-Mobile!

Hold on just a freakin’ minute. We were just here! Our last handfull of combat missions have taken place in that damaged recycling plant, that bloody warehouse and that damn factory. We killed every Alien in that god damn area and now we have to go back in again? Man, talk about doing a job half-assed the first time.

I decide to try and do something rather silly during the engagement. The J-Mobile can carry back live Aliens, so I resolved to try and bag the big worm in that screenshot above alive. This thing spits green goo that will melt armour and if killed a bunch of little worms will explode from its corpse to avenge it, but It came at us alone, without the support of any of its buddies. It was practically asking for it.

Clever girl. The worm tried to keep out of the way of the knockout gas that my Agents laid down with stun grenades. The gas dissipates quickly, at which point the monster would turn around and come at my squad again. This back and forth went on until for a few minutes as we gradually tried to coax the worm further out, the damn thing spitting goo at us the whole time.

Finally, with stun grenades running out, we got lucky and caught it. The creature was knocked cold. And then the panic set in. I had absolutely no idea how long that thing was going to stay under, and I still had the rest of the combat zone to sweep and clear. If it woke up before the mission was finished I’d just have to kill it, as I’d very few stun grenades left and it was tricky enough trapping the thing once.

I press on quickly to mop things up. My haste gets another Agent wounded as I rush the squad around the building without keeping to cover (leaving a total of four Agents in the whole organisation that aren’t hurt), but we kill the last few Aliens easily and we claim our new prize for research.

A multiworm, eh? Soon we’ll have your secrets.

And now, a brief announcement: Starting with entry eleven, I’m planning to move this diary to Citizen Game. Our new Staff  Blog feature is designed to accommodate exactly this kind of thing, and I’d like to bring the diary to a broader audience. I’ll still post about updates here, but going forward expect to see the bulk of the diary on Citizen Game. Thanks for reading and for the support, and I hope you’ll follow the diary to its new home.

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8 Responses to X-Com Diary: Part 10

  1. *still wants to be part of the J Server scenario*

    I’m quite impressed actually. Considering how we mess up in real life this isn’t going too badly. I mean, half of us are injured but nobody’s got in who doesn’t have the pass.

  2. grey_painter says:

    *Presses a hand against the multiworm*

    It’s afraid!

  3. nersh says:

    Health and safety is terrible in this place. Dangerous wild animals, weapons lying everywhere….

  4. beararsed says:

    enjoyed that, nice one Mr White 🙂

  5. Itachi_NSV says:

    nice creed, good catch on that worm.

    still wondering when I’ll show up, though……

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