Xenonautical Adventures – Part 2: Brewing
2nd of September, 1979, 10:09
Reports, reports, reports… I need more coffee. And maybe a bigger desk.
Thousands of dead sea creatures found off the coast of Sydney. Crop circles in Mexico. Car in the French countryside found with burn marks and no sign of people.
And of course the things that probably aren’t aliens. Dog reported missing, owner claims to have seen flashing lights. Boat vanished, but there was a storm going on nearby. Sheep found brutally mauled, which could have been a bear or wolf.
I’m not sure a shredder is going to cut it. I might need to invest in a furnace.
An aide rushes in with another report. Crop circles in Finland. Lovely. We don’t have enough fuel to make a return trip to Finland anyway. Where’s the research project for a jet that can fly around the world on a single tank of fuel?
2nd of September, 1979, 13:22
Civilian radar picked a UFO outside of Leningrad. Local farmers report missing livestock. The worst part is that I can see the pattern. I put little pins on my world map for each report, and I can tell clear travel patterns. I just can’t do anything about it.
I’ll probably have to take down old pins eventually, both to spare my sanity, and because I don’t have that many pins.
I was speaking with the top brass about maybe getting the European or an American base up and running next month, and they said it depended a lot on how well we do this month.
The European base is the closest one to being ready, and it would cover about half of Africa as well. But of course the whole world is worried, and I know that at least the US have been talking about abandoning the Xenonauts program and just enacting their own plans for years. Now that the threat has arrived, I can’t really predict how things will play out.
2nd of September, 1979, 23:28
No more incident reports today. I am about to turn in for the night when I get a request to come to the alien section of the morgue. The autopsy of the body that was brought in is finished.
They’ve named the species ‘Caesan‘. I learned not to ask why long ago. It looks basically human. Same overall shape. Apparently it’s roughly the same inside as well. I will agree with the scientists that that is somewhat suspicious. They go down easy, but I will reserve some worry for that large brain. If telepathy really is a thing, it probably won’t mean anything good for us. Curiously little smell coming off of the thing though. Maybe bacteria don’t want to touch it?
As I head back up, I am also given a report on their analysis of the UFO itself. They’ve dubbed it a Light Scout. They don’t seem like a huge threat if we can reach them, but they seem to have a much better fuel economy than us. It is probably too much to hope that it would take them years to adapt to our atmosphere.
3rd of September, 1979, 12:18
It was a very quiet night, so I managed to get some rest. I spent the morning taking a tour of the base to see how everyone was getting on. The engineers are basically fidgeting and doing maintenance, the scientists looked annoyed at being interrupted (the greatest minds in the world seems to come with the lowest people skills), the builders are actually making decent pace and the soldiers seem to be fairly optimistic, all things considered. That might still change.
In a way it’s nice to see the base has getting an increased sense of purpose, even if I don’t like what has caused it.
As we will be researching combat vehicles in the near future, I put in an order for them to construct a garage in preparation.
We had a blip again. Communications disruption in Sweden. We’ll see how things develop.
I have scheduled a weapons inspection for 14:00.
3rd of September, 1979, 14:16
Weapons inspection complete. We don’t have that much right now.
I also officially delivered the order for who is currently part of the Charlie-1 team. Cpls Squirrel and Troidell will not be part of the next deployment, as Cpls Cuftbert and Jonely will be taking their places. Due to being the least injured, Cpl Labor will stay on the team. I just hope she’ll behave professionally and not take any risks.
That medical centre can’t become operational fast enough.
3rd of September, 1979, 16:18
“Local tidal systems completely shut down off the coast of Norway.” I’ve read that three times now, and I still don’t quite understand what it means. I take some solace in that oceanographers are baffled too.
4th of September, 1979, 08:01
The new batch of scientists have arrived, bringing our total number to 15. It doesn’t seem like it’s taking them long to catch up on what the others have been doing and to start helping out.
4th of September, 1979, 18:51
“Contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact! Orders?”
How did it show up so suddenly and so far within our grid? Did it just come down from orbit?
“Launch Condor-1! Intercept course!”
The blips are starting to happen elsewhere in the world too, so I am guessing some sort of simultaneous launch. At least two vessels.
4th of September, 1979, 20:58
“Condor-1 reports success, sir! UFO going down!”
“Launch Charlie-1! Set course for the crash site!”
5th of September, 1979, 01:40
“Charlie-1 has reached the crash site!”
“Understood. Tell them to engage.”
Charlie-1 Response Team on the ground. Day-time mission. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
Well, crap. They must have seen us come in, or maybe we just accidentally landed just where they were raiding for livestock.
Judging by the somewhat dumbfounded looks (Commander’s note: at least that’s how the soldiers tell it, I am not sure how you judge any expressions on those faces) the aliens were not expecting us. Cpl McNutcase immediately jumps into action, storms forward to the fence, unloads on the red-jersey, and takes it down.
The rest of the team capitalise on the window of opportunity, and coordinate their efforts to take down the blue-jersey. It fires a few shots in return, but its aim is unsteady. To its credit, it doesn’t go down until three hits are scored, the final coming from Cpl Niña’s shotgun.
The team check the immediate area around the dropship and then notice the small column of smoke rising over the hedge past the barn. Suddenly several shots are heard from the down by the barn, coming from the far side. We start making our way down, and Cpl Beargal spots another blue-jersey aiming at something (or someone), back turned to us. She points it out to Cpl Gardes who raises her rifle, takes a deep breath, exhales, holds and fires.
The shot is loud, so the alien starts to turn just before it’s hit between the shoulders, making it do a curious little pirouette as it crumples to the ground.
Cpls McNutcase and Cuftbert keep watch on the openings in the hedge while the rest of the team secures the area outside the barn, though we don’t move to the front, instead opting to check the side-doors first. While Cpls Beargal and Jonely make sure nothing is hiding behind or beyond the tractor while Sgt Riddium heads for the southern door with Cpl Labor in tow, and Cpl Niña makes his way around to the north door.
As soon as everyone is ready, Sgt Riddium pulls the door open.
With the way all the hay is stacked, it is impossible for Sgt Riddium or Cpl Labor to get a shot. Besides, firing a rocket into a barn probably won’t turn out well.
Cpl Beargal makes it over and takes a shot, but hits the wall. At the sound of the shot, Cpl Niña bursts in through the north door and gets a much clearer shot, managing to injure the alien and causing it to flee out of the barn after snapping off a return shot.
Rather than following it out the front, Cpl Niña heads back out the door and down the side, finding the alien guarding the front and putting his shotgun to its back.
That’s four dead aliens in just over five minutes. If the pattern holds with the first one, there should be two more, which are likely guarding the UFO. Perhaps they both died in the crash, but we doubt the aliens would leave the UFO undefended.
The team make their way around the hedge, moving carefully and covering eachother. After doing so well so far, it would be dumb to get ambushed now. It doesn’t take long to find the UFO, and while there seems to be no movement outside, it’s better to make sure.
Cpls McNutcase and Gardes head around the back of the UFO and look beyond the far side to see if anything’s there, while Cpls Niña and Beargal secure the front. Cpls Labor, Jonely and Cuftbert come up and help form firing lines in front of the UFO.
After they get the clear signal from Cpl McNutcase, the door is triggered. It’s a good thing they were all crouched down, because a shot immediately flies straight over their heads. A quick one-two from Jonely and Cuftbert ends the threat, and the team check the inside. They find a second alien already dead, and the UFO interior mostly intact like on the first one.
They do a final sweep to make sure there were in fact only six aliens onboard total, and between them Cpls Beargal and Niña manage enough Mandarin to assure the farmer that the situation is handled and to not attack the clean-up crew now moving in. Having been stationed this close to the Chinese border for a while tends to mean things get picked up.
After not even 30 mins on the ground, they’re ready to head back.
5th of September, 1979, 02:14
Word comes in that the operation was a success. No new injuries. I think I’ll grab some sleep then, and ask them to wake me once the team is back.
5th of September, 1979, 06:26
I am there to greet them as soon as they land. Despite only waking 10 mins ago, I think I look fairly immaculate. I order Cpl Labor to go get some rest immediately. It’s impossible to not notice how stiffly she’s walking. I have one of the engineers to go over her gear and clean her weapon. The rest of the team will have to go through standard procedure of cleaning their own gear before I let them rest.
Based on the battlefield report they hand it, I decide to promote McNutcase to Sergeant. Without her quick reaction at the start, the mission could have ended before it even started.
No new toys for the laboratory this time, but we earned some gratitude funds from the Chinese government.
I am going to try to grab a quick power-nap before starting the day in full, if the aliens will let me. I have dossiers to look over later for potential new soldiers, and I’d prefer to have as clear a mind as possible while doing so.