Xenonautical Adventures – Part 16: Plasma Spray
13th of November, 1979, 05:51
Foxtrot-1 is refueled, but the latest report was an hour ago. I don’t feel comfortable launching them on such old information.
We will wait for the next one.
13th of November, 1979, 06:03
Freak storm in the Indian ocean. Foxtrot-1 is go for launch.
13th of November, 1979, 06:12
Whatever is wreaking havoc in Africa has moved further west, but still out of range of Foxtrot-2.
Hopefully we’ll get another blip even closer.
13th of November, 1979, 13:24
Foxtrot-1 is back. They found nothing. In fact, we haven’t had any new reports in the last 7 hours. Have they retreated for now? If so, that was a lot quicker than expected. Than I expected, at least. Curious.
13th of November, 1979, 18:07
Major Merrywhiskers came to dinner with me. I feel bad for how much I’ve had to leave her on her own lately.
The cooks came out with a small plate of salmon for her.
14th of November, 1979, 07:18
It’s quiet again. I don’t trust it.
In better news, the American base finished construction of a full set of Jackal armour. I have allocated funds for them to construct one laser pistol, and one laser sniper rifle as well. To begin with.
The laboratory is nearing completion as well. Should be within the next 24 hours.
14th of November, 1979, 13:20
We finally finished our inspection, which was so rudely interrupted last time.
There really does seem to be a lot more… gadgets around, everywhere. What did the Chief call them? Unauthorised upgrades?
Well, with that done, Major Merrywhiskers and I are taking a stroll.
14th of November, 1979, 21:05
It’s been quite the day.
Major Merrywhiskers and I were surprised by bad weather, and she was a miserable wet ball of fur for hours afterwards.
Currently she’s sleeping in front of one of the radiators, and I am catching up on my reading.
15th of November, 1979, 07:14
The American laboratory was finished during the night, and the new batch of scientists are inbound.
Hopefully we’ll get all these research projects sorted.
16th of November, 1979, 00:20
Gotten more of the Euro-African base set-up handled.
We are running out of money, though. The cost of the extra scientists means we can only afford one Condor for now.
I guess we can only hope we’ll shoot down a lot more UFOs, or we’ll have to wait until December.
16th of November, 1979, 01:47
I had only barely fallen asleep!
“Contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact!”
Corvette. Just off the south-east coast of Thailand.
“Launch Foxtrot-1 and Condor-1! Intercept course!”
It’s a bit far away, but sending Foxtrot-1 alone is still not advisable.
16th of November, 1979, 01:59
“Second contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact!”
Another fighter… just east of us… again… highly suspicious.
“Launch Condor-2! Intercept course!”
16th of November, 1979, 02:14
“The Fighter is shot down, sir! No damage on Condor-2!”
“Understood. Have them fly out to the coast beyond Vladivostok before returning to base. I want to check again.”
16th of November, 1979, 04:15
“Nothing detected, sir!”
“Understood. Have Condor-2 return to base.”
Commander Dosjevsky has launched Foxtrot-2 with course for South America. They had a report from down there.
16th of November, 1979, 04:39
“Corvette crash-landing now, sir!”
“Understood. Launch Charlie-1! Set course for the crash site!”
It’s far out, but we need it.
16th of November, 1979, 05:48
The Corvette in America has entered their radar range, east of Cuba. Unless it’s a second one. Foxtrot-2 has been redirected to hit it hard, and Condor-3 has been launched to finish it off.
16th of November, 1979, 08:40
It wouldn’t come in over land, so no ground mission for Charlie-2. Foxtrot-2 did a flyby, delivering its payload, and Condor-3 swooped in and took it down. No damage reported.
16th of November, 1979, 12:05
“Charlie-1 has reached the crash site, sir!”
“Understood. Have them land and engage.”
They weren’t able to get there before the sun went down this time either. I feel like fate is testing us.
Charlie-1 Response Team on the ground. Night-time mission. Flares have been distributed. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
We are in more farmland. I wonder if the aliens specifically try to aim for farms when they go down?
Considering this is a Corvette, we are expecting Reapers. If this place has livestock, maybe quite a lot of Reapers.
The area directly around the dropship is quickly secured, and we even find a farmer waiting for us.
We ask him about the UFO, and he says it came down hard. Apparently it burned for quite a while before anything even came out of it.
We specifically ask about reapers, but he says he hasn’t seen anything that sounds like what we’re describing. He’s only glimpsed the grey aliens.
After thanking him for the information, we suggest he stay by the dropship while we head out.
However, we don’t get far into the field before a veritable shower of plasma bolts comes flying out of the darkness to the north.
We can’t see what is firing, but clearly it can see us. A bolt splashes off of Lt Squirrel’s armour, and we all duck for cover, trying to use the balls of hay as best we can.
Cpt Cuftbert breaks off west towards where the farmer said the UFO was, along with Lts Jonely and Troidell, while the rest of the team tries to advance north as best they can.
Cpt Cuftbert comes upon some farming sheds, and as Lt Troidell is creeping forward, a blue-jersey suddenly comes running around the corner, straight into her laser carbine.
Meanwhile Cpt Herr and Lt Niña are leading the crawl, throwing flares as far as they possibly can, and still not being able to see anything.
At fairly regular intervals a new spray of bolts comes out of the darkness, giving us a general idea of where the thing is, but we can’t really move forward until it takes a break to reload, or cool down, or whatever the thing does.
Even moving as carefully as we do, both Cpt Herr and Lt Niña suffer light hits. It seems like the thing’s ability to fire so much so rapidly comes at the cost of vastly reduced power per bolt.
Finally we spot the thing at the far end of the next field.
Apparently the thing catches on that we’ve spotted it and hides behind the rock it was floating above. It’s… some kind of mini flying saucer?
We can’t get a clear shot, and whenever it does pop out, it fires such a flurry of bolts that we have to take cover.
In the end, Cpt Riddium sees only one option. During the next lull, he aims straight for the rock.
Cpt Cuftbert’s group have found the UFO, and one alien guarding the entrance behind good cover, so they have decided against advancing along the north side of the sheds. Cpt Riddium goes with Lt Berwolf to aid them, and tells Cpt Herr to take Lts Niña and Squirrel up to investigate whatever is left of the strange saucer-thing. Which turns out to be not much. Nothing to salvage, at least. So they secure the east side of the UFO before coming down towards the entrance.
Cpt Riddium tells Lt Berwolf to help Lt Troidell advance north of the sheds, while he, Cpt Cuftbert and Lt Jonely go south.
As we round the corner, we find that the alien guarding the front has moved. We find it a little further down, but it flees again as soon as a flare lands close to it.
Lts Berwolf and Troidell try to pursue while Lt Jonely comes up from below the sheds, but just as Lt Berwolf takes a shot (that unfortunately misses) a second blue-jersey suddenly bursts out of the UFO’s front door and shoots her.
As Lts Berwolf and Troidell dive for cover, Lt Niña raises his shotgun and blasts the blue-jersey straight off its feet.
Lt Jonely keeps trying to pursue the first blue-jersey, but it just flees further into the darkness whenever they try to line up a shot. Lt Jonely still snaps one off, but it only hits the rock wall it used to be behind, as the thing seeks cover behind the UFO itself.
Cpt Riddium has had enough. His launcher is reloaded with a gas rocket, and he has a spare, so he takes aim, and fires.
We do a sweep of the outside around the entrance, and nothing else is moving except a farmhand down the road.
Time to go into this UFO. We are slightly curious if the grey aliens have a different set-up from the lizards.
As soon as we open the door, we see signs of heavy damage. Though we scan the inside for movement, everything seems dead.
Lt Niña volunteers to be the first one to go in, and he only needs to take three steps on the alien metal before he sees a head poking up behind a console. He can’t get a clear shot, and we don’t know how many others there might be in there, so he grabs a gas grenade and rolls it into the room.
We hear some violent coughing for a few moments before it goes quiet.
Cpt Riddium tells Lt Niña to retreat for a minute to let the gas dissipate a bit, before going back in with Lt Troidell.
The two advance side by side, with Lts Jonely and Squirrel not far behind. The whole UFO is eerily quiet. When they get to the entry room with the three doors, they check one each.
All they find is corpses. There’s evidence of a large fire, and it seems that whomever wasn’t killed by that, died from the massive amounts of toxic smoke that came afterwards. Including one grey alien with a strange helmet. The grey alien officer, perhaps?
As soon as we’re sure the UFO is clear, we retreat outside to avoid too much smoke exposure.
While sweeping the area as we usually do before heading back home, we actually find another blue-jersey hiding among some balls of hay.
It doesn’t seem to be in a fighting mood, but we’re not taking any chances, so Lt Berwolf puts it down.
Now with the area truly secure, we inform the farmer and board Charlie-1 for the trip back home.
16th of November, 1979, 12:41
Charlie-1 are coming home, and they’re reporting a whole host of minor burns. Curious. What could they have run into down there?
16th of November, 1979, 14:33
The attacks around the Middle East and North Africa are continuing. I have decided to try sending Foxtrot-1 again.
16th of November, 1979, 17:48
Corvette detected over central Africa. Foxtrot-1 is moving to engage.
16th of November, 1979, 17:59
“Corvette is going down, sir!”
“Understood. Tell Foxtrot-1 to come home, and… good job. Organise an air strike on that site.”
I wish we had a safer way of engaging these things.
16th of November, 1979, 20:17
Charlie-1 has landed. We’ve had no new reports in the past two hours. I have my doubts that they’re gone just yet, but we have struck a blow.
I do look at all the burns the team has suffered. Cpt Riddium says they encountered some sort of alien flying vehicle, that kept spraying bolts of plasma towards them long before they could actually see it. They had to blow it up, unfortunately. Sounds like something the Chief would have loved to have gotten his hands on. Maybe next time.
Looking over the mission report later, I feel like it’s high time Cpt Riddium became a Major. And with her current number of confirmed kills, Lt Troidell has earned herself an Order of Gallantry.