Xenonautical Adventures – Part 3: And Now We Wait
5th of September, 1979, 07:58
Local military jets spotted a UFO in Finland. Again. They sent a request for our aid. I know our base location is secret, but it still annoys me to get these. There’s nothing we can do. I think the improved interceptors have to be our next research project.
5th of September, 1979, 23:16
A quiet day, unless you count the really early hours. Only a few blips, too. I’d rather there were none at all. We desperately need more time though, so I will take it. Time to go for some sleep, and hope we’re not invaded during the night.
6th of September, 1979, 08:01
The new living quarters are ready for use, and I’ve sent the order for five new soldiers. I will likely need more in time, but it will have to do for now. There’s a lot of screening before soldiers are even allowed to come under consideration, so my choices aren’t exactly vast, but I wonder if that might be relaxed as the threat escalates.
6th of September, 1979, 13:12
I paid another visit to the laboratory. Officially to see how the new scientists are acclimatising, but I really wanted to have a look at the alien artefacts we’ve brought in so far. Just from looking at them I can tell they would be hard for a human to wield. Strangely enough they seem to have something like a rifle, and something like a pistol, or at least a side-arm. I suppose some ideas are fairly universal. I do wish we could just pick up their gear and use it, but I guess we have to develop something more suited to our anatomy.
From what I’ve seen in the preliminary reports so far, we really have no idea how to change or re-purpose the alloy the aliens use, so trying to retrofit the alien weapons as they are is probably beyond our capabilities.
6th of September, 1979, 15:13
Mogadishu this time, huh? I made an inquiry as to whether our interceptors could make it there. The answer was that they could, but they wouldn’t be able to make it back, so functionally no. I already knew before I asked, but I hate this cycle of just waiting around.
6th of September, 1979, 23:33
I call it a day.
I checked in with the resident medical staff earlier to see how m- our soldiers are recovering. The short answer is ‘slowly’. The builders estimate another five days to finish the improved medical centre. More waiting.
Can I justify the cost of boosting our radar range? A quarter of a million is a lot, even on our funding.
7th of September, 1979, 07:39
Order for new radar array filed. Costs be damned.
7th of September, 1979, 19:54
Fishermen off the coast of Madagascar report a zone full of dead sea creatures.
Nothing else of interest to report today. Unless a crisis happens through the night, I think I’ll continue this vigil tomorrow. Maybe I can catch up on a little reading.
8th of September, 1979, 07:24
A new day. The garage should be completed sometime today. And maybe those scientists will finally hand in their end report on the alien alloys so I can get them started on a new project.
8th of September, 1979, 11:08
The new garage is complete. Not much to inspect yet though, so my ‘tour’ was basically over in 2 minutes.
8th of September, 1979, 12:04
It surely is a day of miracles, as the report on the alien alloys is currently on my desk. They have really gone very technical on this, and I can barely read it. I wonder if that’s partly to cover up how little they themselves know, but I’m hardly one of the greatest minds in the world.
What I can gather is that we can’t really do much with this stuff yet. I tell them to start working on a new interceptor for now.
8th of September, 1979, 15:27
Well, talk about surprises. Local forces on Greenland managed to shoot down a small UFO. They are requesting assistance to secure it. Charlie-1 can get there, but the estimated travel time is 33 hours. 66 hours to get back again. For all intents and purposes the other side of the world. We were already pushing it with the 20-hour round-trip to Kazakhstan.
I explain my stance to the authorities, that we simply can’t reach them in time, and I get them to agree to ordering an air strike on the site. It’s thankfully a remote area, so there will be no civilian casualties.
We are promised some funds for whatever they are able to recover from the wreckage.
8th of September, 1979, 21:08
The pattern of the blips shows one UFO operating in the North Atlantic, and one off the east coast of Africa. Nothing within reach. Don’t they want to come here any longer?
9th of September, 1979, 08:01
I look over the reports of all the blips that came in over the night. This isn’t looking good for the world… or the Xenonauts program. At least the new soldiers are arriving now, so I head down to meet them.
They’re quite the varied bunch. I don’t think any of them have met before they were ferried here.
First up are the two Americans. Pvt James Volatar and Pvt Lucy Wanyal, both signed up as Assault. Curious coincidence. From Britain we have Pvt Kyle “Carl” Herr, our first Field Medic. Pvt Krellen Grump is a new Heavy weapons specialist from Hungaria. And finally Pvt Brenda NotSoGrump is a Rifleman from the Soviet Union. I will never understand Eastern European naming.
I greet them all, and then have the personnel officer show them to their quarters. I think the next UFO we assault I’ll send all five, along with Sgt Riddium, Cpl Gardes and Cpl Niña. Might as well give them a taste of what we’re up against right away, and get to see what they’re capable of.
10th of September, 1979, 07:43
No new reports this morning. A quick stroll around the base gives me the impression I’m not the only one going a little stir-crazy. The quartermaster was using spent shell casings to set up something that resembled miniature bowling, and I won’t even hazard a guess as to what the engineers were tinkering with. I also believe the soldiers were scrambling to hide something away when they saw me approach, but I didn’t feel like investigating.
11th of September, 1979, 08:07
The medical centre and the missile battery both finished this morning. I ordered Cpls Labor, Troidell and Squirrel to report down there right away. The new additions to the medical staff seem like an okay bunch. I guess the most important thing is their competence.
I’m not really a fan of that hospital smell, so I think I’ll spend some extra time inspecting our new defences instead.
12th of September, 1979, 07:48
Yesterday was entirely quiet, and there are no reports on my desk this morning either. I must admit I am getting increasingly worried. I think I’ll go have a chat with the scientists, to see if they’ve spotted any change in our orbiting guests.
Oh, and maybe ask how their research is progressing. They hate that, but the looks on their faces is worth some amusement.
12th of September, 1979, 17:08
I wonder if I’m allowed to change the rules enough to allow pets on the base? A cat would be nice company.
13th of September, 1979, 07:37
Another day of nothing. All the scientists could say was that as far as they could tell, the aliens are still up there. We’ve just had three days completely without any reports from anywhere in the world. Surely they’re not giving up just because we’ve shot down three of their fliers?
14th of September, 1979, 07:11
After another uneventful day and night, there was finally something on my desk this morning. The scientists finished the new interceptor project. They call it the Foxtrot. Adapted from a Soviet design. This will hopefully help out.
I send word down to the workshop to start constructing one immediately, and then to the builders to set up another hangar. I prefer to have a free one, just in case.
As for the scientists, I’ve tasked them with examining the smallest of the recovered alien weapons. Maybe we’ll get some clue as to how to make our own energy weapons, or maybe how to design some protection against them.
14th of September, 1979, 17:37
We get in a report of a blip in Central America mere minutes before a UFO pops up on our radar, just north of us. I guess they haven’t left after all.
“Launch Condor-1! Intercept course!”
14th of September, 1979, 20:33
“UFO has landed, sir!”
Again? When Condor-1 was only minutes away? I was kinda hoping to have a crash to send the rookies into, simply because it might reduce enemy numbers, but it seems I’m not getting that.
“Launch Charlie-1! Assign Condor-2 as escort! Have Condor-1 circle the area until they have to turn back.”
15th of September, 1979, 04:19
“Charlie-1 has reached the target, sir!”
“Understood. Charlie-1 is to set down and engage immediately.”
I do hope the rookies will be okay.
Charlie-1 Response Team on the ground. Day-time mission. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
The biting chill of the Siberian tundra blasts us as the doors open. What could the aliens be after up here?
This is a research station, then? We send Cpl Niña and Pvt Herr to the building to see if they’re alright, and offer medical assistance if needed, while everyone else spreads out and scans for aliens.
The researchers were okay, at least physically. They had seen the UFO land off to the west, and spotted movement among the trees, but nothing had come over here yet.
Pvts Wanyal and Volatar head through the trees just west of the dropship, with Cpl Gardes watching their back. Sgt Riddium and Pvt Grump go around the rocky hill, while Pvt NotSoGrump makes sure nothing is hiding on the other side of the research station.
As Cpl Niña and Pvt Herr emerge from the other side of the station, Pvts Volatar and Wanyal make it through the trees and head towards the lake where they report enemy contact.
A second alien type now? Neither Pvt Volatar or Pvt Wanyal can reasonably fire across the water with their shotguns, so Cpl Gardes starts moving up while Pvt Grump lays down suppressive fire. The alien covers down behind the tree and we can just barely see it through the branches. Cpl Gardes can’t get a clear shot at all, so Sgt Riddium makes the call to just take down the tree and the alien in one.
Unfortunately the arctic gusts affect the flight of the rocket.
The alien appears quite stunned to have its cover tree disintegrate right in front of it. Cpl Gardes takes the shot, but even with a direct hit, the alien only barely seems to wince. Well then. With the tree now gone, Pvt Grump lays down another barrage and enough shots actually connect to take the alien down.
In the aftermath of this, Pvts Volatar and Wanyal spot another alien coming in their direction. The rest of the team converge on their position while they try to bring it down. Unfortunately the alien avoids most of their shots, with only Pvt Wanyal being able to graze the alien before it’s close enough to unleash a burst of plasma bolts right at her from close range. She goes down with a cry of pain just before Cpl Niña gets there. Together with Pvt Volatar they suppress and force back the alien to give Pvt Herr room to rush up and administer first aid.
Pvt NotSoGrump comes in from the side to help lock the alien down and give Cpl Gardes time to line up a shot between the trees, which puts the scaly creature down.
Pvt Herr does the best he can with anti-burn gel, cold presses, pain killers and adrenaline shots. He offers to help Pvt Wanyal back to the dropship, but she refuses, looking more angry than anything else.
The team start going around the lake in both directions towards where the researchers said they saw the UFO land. Cpl Niña and Pvt Volatar go to the north side, with Sgt Riddium and Pvts Herr and Wanyal coming not far behind. Cpl Gardes and Pvts Grump and NotSoGrump head around the south side as their weapons still work at range.
A third alien is seen between the branches of the trees on the north side, but it flees out of sight before anyone gets a clear shot on it.
We consider blowing up the trees again, but as we don’t know how far back it moved, nor have any guarantee the rocket won’t fly wild again, we instead opt to have Cpl Niña and Pvt Volatar pursue it with Pvt Herr watching their back, while Sgt Riddium and Pvt Wanyal go around the other side of the rock.
Cpl Gardes and Pvts Grump and NotSoGrump keep moving down, hoping to maybe get a clear shot across the lake.
It doesn’t take them too long to spot it between the trees, but it flees again before anyone can get a shot. This time it seems to take refuge behind the rock. So Pvts Volatar and Wanyal perform a pincer manoeuvre, moving in from both sides and trapping it in the cross-fire of their shotguns.
The alien was able to unleash a shot that splashed Pvt Volatar’s side before it went down, so Pvt Herr moves in for more first aid. The damage is not as severe as Pvt Wanyal’s, but he will still need some time in the burn ward afterwards.
With the UFO now spotted, the whole team starts converging on it. Cpl Gardes and Pvts Grump and NotSoGrump hustle up from the south, while the rest cautiously approach from the east. An alien opens the door for a moment to peek out before it seeks shelter back inside and closes the door again.
Another alien is spotted just out to the side of the UFO, so Pvts Grump and NotSoGrump line up their aims and take it down before Cpl Gardes even gets into a good firing position.
Both groups close in on the UFO now. Cpl Niña is certain he saw two aliens inside the UFO when the door opened, so that should be the final two. We move slowly in case the doors open again.
Which they do when we’re about 10 metres away.
Cpl Niña and Pvts Volatar, Wanyal and Herr all open fire, shredding not only the alien, but also the tree in front of the UFO.
The doors slide shut again before we are able to do anything about the final alien, though we do now have confirmation that it’s in there.
Everyone lines up outside as best they can without getting in eachother’s firing lines, and when everyone is ready, Cpl Niña goes up to the door and triggers it.
The alien has moved as far back into the ship as it could. Maybe it’s trying to get it off the ground in time? We will never know, as Pvt NotSoGrump puts it down with a couple of well-placed shots.
15th of September, 1979, 04:46
Mission success, but with two injuries. One quite serious. I look forward to reading the full mission report. Unless there are any nasty surprises regarding the rookies’ conduct, I can probably promote them all to corporal rank.
15th of September, 1979, 12:36
Charlie-1 has finally landed. Pvts Volatar and Wanyal are sent straight to our new medical centre, and I congratulate the team on a completed mission before I have a quick chat with Sgt Riddium. According to him all of the rookies performed well, so I give him leave to go write up his full report.
The new alien corpse is carted off to the morgue. This one smells a lot worse than the other one did.
After going through the report later, I not only promote all the privates to corporals, but I also promote Gardes and Niña to sergeants for their conduct in the face of a new enemy, while having rookies to look after. I also believe Cpl Wanyal has earned herself a Crimson Heart.