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The XCOM:Files – Week 1

**CLASSIFIED**TOP SECRET**AUTHORISED ACCESS ONLY**

The following files are extracts from mission logs of the Ministry of Defence’s XCOM branch and, mainly, the personal memoirs of its commanding officer. The information here pertains to a series of missions that took place following the First Contact events of early 2015, in conjunction with recorded operations for US-XCOM, United States. 

Continuing to read these reports without proper clearance may result in sanctions, as outlined under the Official Secrets Act 2015. This disclaimer acts as a first notification and final warning of this fact.

Sectoids XCOM Enemy Unknown

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**OPERATION: FIRST RESPONSE**

LOCATION: Glasgow, United Kingdom

SITUATIONAbduction of non-military personnel by known alien entities (SECTOIDS)
RESPONSE: Clearance of alien operatives from AO, recovery of alien materials.

C.O LOG: More reports of abductions, similar to those seen in the First Contact, only this time they’re right in our backyard. Eyewitness reports indicated that the same noxious chemical weapons used in First Contact to subdue victims were also used here, under direction of the same thin-limbed Sectoids identified previously. The site of the incident seemed to be a small retail estate on the outskirts of the city, occupied at the time by only those workers ending their shifts. The alarm was raised by local police before communication was lost.

Risk was determined to be minimal, so a relatively fresh squad of soldiers was dispatched. The unit comprised of Pte. Jennings (combat medic), Pte. Baguley (sniper), Pte. Stevens (light assault specialist), all under the orders of Corporal. L-Stokes (support trooper).

C Jennings   Baguley   Stevens   L-Stokes
The team, ready for action.

Contact was made almost immediately upon touchdown. Moving up through the car park, the unit reported encountering eight Sectoids.

Three were dispatched almost immediately during an intense firefight between the parked cars. A stray shot from the aliens’ strange plasma weapons ignited the fuel in one of the cars, and Pte. Baguley was caught in the resulting explosion. The decision was made to forgo any immediate field-treatment for his wounds, partly to avoid exposing other team-members to fire, but mostly because Pte. Jennings had forgotten to bring his first-aid kit. Baguley took cover in a shop doorway while the rest of the squad put down the attackers.

The remainder of the Sectoids withdrew into the alleyways of the stores, and the dim light cast by the street lights meant that hunting them down would be dangerous. The unit picked their way carefully between the damaged cars and civilian remains, keeping the injured Baguley between them.

The aliens were found cornered in a dead end alley, a storage area for the stores’ bins and recycling. Covering fire was supplied by Baguley and Stevens, and a well placed grenade from the team-leader finished the job. No more aliens were located. A review of the site indicated that victims were coated in a viscous green fluid emitted from dispensers planted by the Sectoids. What possible reason they have for this is something we are yet to understand, but we’ve been having increased reports of Sectoid activity from our American counterparts over at USXCOM. Whatever it is they’re after, it seems they’re looking for it all over the globe…

OUTCOME: 8 hostiles neutralised. Pte. Baguley injured – recovery 12 days. First-aid kits made compulsory equipment for combat medics.

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XCOM UFO Warning

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**OPERATION: SINKING STONE**

LOCATION: Hamburg, Germany

SITUATION: UFO brought down by Interceptors.
RESPONSE: Investigation of downed UFO, recovery of researchable alien materials.

C.O LOG: This time we had the upper-hand. After days of abduction reports and sending out clean-up squads, we get confirmed contact of a U.F.O entering continental airspace. A fighter crew is scrambled, and we have visual confirmation from our Interceptor within an hour. A brief exchange of air-to-air missiles and alien cannon fire brings it down, though only just – clearly a bolstering is needed for our air defences. Two Interceptors and a single satellite won’t be enough to police the whole sky…

Satellite reports showed alien activity at the crash site, a forest near Hamburg. Obviously the fall wasn’t enough to kill them all, so I decided to send in the unit to clean up. With Pte. Baguley still waiting for the green-light to continue operations, Pte. Richards (heavy weapons specialist) volunteered to step up and fill the gap.

The crash site had been pretty devastated by the sudden arrival of the downed U.F.O – splintered trees and burning debris littered the forest. However, that meant the Skyranger could get in close and drop off the team near to the wreckage. Billows of acrid smoke gave the team plenty of cover as the moved carefully towards the target – after the incident with Pte. Baguley, no one wanted to take any unnecessary risks. Despite the extra caution, there were no signs of any enemy activity at all – in fact, if it weren’t for all the flames and molten metal, you’d doubt anything was amiss. I started to doubt the quality of our satellite intelligence.

It wasn’t until Pte. Stevens approached the wreckage that things started to go downhill, and fast. The rest of the unit took up overwatch positions on the ridge of the crater where the U.F.O had buried itself, and Stevens slowly approached a hole in it’s hull, caused by either missile fire or the impact with the forest floor. Peering round the edge, Stevens gave the all clear for the others to move in. As soon as she does though, a bright orange light dazzles the whole team. Next thing we know, Stevens is lying dead in a pool of oily water and whatever kind of artificial monstrosity it was that materialised is standing over her with a smoking weapon.

Outsider XCOM    XCOM Soldier KIA

Sectoids suddenly start pouring out of the forest on either side of our soldiers – the bastards must have known we’d come and clean up the crash site, so they’d set an ambush for us. Whilst in a solid defensive position, being pinned down on all sides by plasma fire would surely be the end of the squad if they couldn’t get a hold of the situation. Unfortunately, Pte. Jennings had become distraught by the sudden appearance of the enemy and loss of his team-mate, and ignoring all training and protocol, began firing wildly down the hill towards the mysterious aggressor.

By pure luck one of his shots connects, and the thing shatters like so much orange glass. The Sectoids seem to falter in the face of this – clearly that mysterious creature was of some importance to them. L-Stokes and Richards take advantage of this confusion, and begin cutting down ‘the Greys’ (terminology picked up from radio comms across the pond). Heavy machine gun fire and a few more grenades make short work of it – as sneaky as they are, Sectoids aren’t nearly strong enough to match the raw firepower the team can bring to bear.

By the time Pte. Jennings comes to his senses, the remaining hostiles have all been terminated. The forest returns to its unnaturally quiet state, with one less voice on the radio chatter.

OUTCOME: 5 hostiles neutralised. U.F.O classified and stripped for research materials. Pte. Stevens KIA.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: Requisition orders for improved body armour have already been filed. We need to protect our troops, no more unfortunate surprises.

The boys in the lab are having a field day with all the alien technology we’ve managed to salvage from the downed U.F.O. Between the computers and the bodies, they don’t know what to play with first. They seem to think that what we’ve recovered from the crash site was worth the life of a soldier. I’m not so sure myself – if we lose troops on every routine clean-up mission, how will we cope when we need to go on the offensive? Because we will be taking the fight back to them. Mark my words.

So many questions remain to be answered though. What do these Sectoids want? And what was that mysterious attacker? We’ve had no reports from the other XCOM divisions about these creatures before. They seem artificial, made of glass and energy, but they’re not modelled after any Sectoid we’ve encountered. Did the greys really craft them?

I’m attending an autopsy later this afternoon. Perhaps that will at least point me towards some answers. At the very least we’ll gain some insight into how we can kill these things quicker.

Sectoid Autopsy XCOM

**END OF REPORT**

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This is the first of a series of diaries (read Part 2 here!) where I play through Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and report back to you on all the interesting ways I fail to protect humanity. I will be writing alongside fellow blogger Rodger Oren, a Gentleman of the Highest Repute, and the commander of the USXCOM organisation

Would you like to be immortalised in words on the internet? You too can be a soldier I get killed in an exceedingly humiliating way! Just let Rodger or me know and we can add you to the roster – I’m sure there will be spaces on the team soon enough…

We don’t own any of the stuff here. This is just an account of an excellent game we are recommending, sprinkled with a little poetic license here and there for effect. Your mileage may vary, your aliens may be more forgiving.

Follow me and Rodger for more words and the next instalment of the XCOM:Files!