Xenonautical Adventures – Part 44: Keep Stockholm Safe
21st of January, 1980, 07:06
Shrike-1 have landed and Major Herr has been taken to the medical centre. The Hunter will only require routine maintenance this time, it seems. From what the soldiers were saying, it was quite helpful on the night op.
The report is somewhat interesting reading. That’s the second blown reactor we’ve seen on a crashed landing ship. Coincidentally, it’s also the second landing ship we’ve seen with sebillians on it. Are they just worse at crash-landing than the other aliens, or has it been a matter of luck?
No promotions this time, but there are a few medals to award. Major Cuftbert has earned her Order of Merit, while Majors Berwolf and Troidell have earned Orders of Terra.
What does worry me about the later reports is how close things have gotten to going wrong in many instances. I fear the wall of remembrance will have new names added to it sooner rather than later. The landing ships are dangerous to assault, and the aliens have started figuring out how to lay proper ambushes. Not to mention their liberal use of grenades against our shield-bearing troops or any time two soldiers stand a bit too close to one-another. It just seems like at some point they are going to get lucky, or we are going to slip up. I don’t like the idea of getting in fresh troops at this stage, but it might be unavoidable.
In other news, the construction teams at the Euro-African base feel the new laboratory is finally up to standards, and the scientists we picked to work there have been given the word to pack their things and show up at the base in a couple of days. Again, I still don’t know why the Council insists on doing things that way, but it’s not a protocol I have the jurisdiction to override, unfortunately. At least the containment cell for the captured harridan has held, and the scientists can start their study on it when they show up.
21st of January, 1980, 13:34
I hear Major Beargal was released from the medical centre today, though told to take it easy for another day or two. From what I saw at lunch, it seems to have cheered up the rest of the soldiers a bit.
Major Merrywhiskers somehow got into the laundry room ( I have no evidence nor desire to raise accusations against our communications officer ) and knocked a bowl of detergent over herself. The following bath was not a happy one. I don’t think any of the scratches will scar, and I made sure to disinfect all of them. She’ll probably smell a little funny for the next couple of days.
21st of January, 1980, 16:58
Finally got word that Shrike-3 is ready to go.
Now to get some better sets of armour made. Considering how heavy they are, not everyone will be able to wear them currently. I do hope that eventually everyone will bulk up enough, or we’ll develop some lighter suits, but for now I’m going for four sets of Wolf armour per base, with more being made as people are fit enough to wear them.
22nd of January, 1980, 07:30
I am feeling quite tense today. Slept poorly. Feeling worried, I suppose. What if the aliens show up already today again? They were unusually quick to return last time, and I suppose I’m worried that’s going to be the regular pattern from now on. That we’ll only get a day or two at best.
I wonder if Major Merrywhiskers picked up on my unease, because she was unusually cuddly this morning, after acting offended all yesterday after the bath.
22nd of January, 1980, 14:21
Did another inspection today. Partly to have something to do, and partly because I did want to make sure everything was in order. The engineers were pretty proud to show off the first finished set of Wolf battle armour. Looks pretty sturdy. Major Niña volunteered to model it.
Can barely tell it’s him under all that. Again, a shame about the weight, as the soldiers have to carry less additional gear to compensate, but keeping them alive is the important thing.
The Chief did have some ideas regarding improving our forging process with regards to alien alloy armour and making it lighter yet stronger, but he’d have to make it a project to see if it can be scaled down to personnel level. I’ll schedule that for after all the plasma weapon stuff is worked out.
23rd of January, 1980, 07:38
With nothing pressing going on last night, I snuck some time to get a bit of reading done. Major Merrywhiskers kept trying to sit on my book, or wrestle my fingers.
It’s been another quiet night, and there’s now just over a week until the end of the month comes. On a rough estimate, I’d say we’ll have two more incursions before that arrives.
Looking at our map, it does still feel like Australia is our biggest blind spot. We’ve managed to keep them reasonably safe this month, though mainly because not much has been happening down there. The aliens have been vastly more interested in Africa. If we were to ever set up a pure interceptor base, then smack-dab in the middle of Australia would be my suggestion. But even if we were only going for interceptors, we’d probably need at least one workshop to maintain them. We can still build the interceptors at the other bases and ship them there. Maybe hangar crews would be enough. I’d have to take an afternoon to plan what the barest minimum of stuff we’d need would be. We already have a massive monthly upkeep as it is.
23rd of January, 1980, 19:02
The soldiers have started trying out for the Wolf suits, and it looks like we might be able to safely up the number to six per base. Or at least for the North American base, because it seems like the soldiers there are generally a bit stronger than the other two bases. I shan’t make any conclusions as to why, but maybe all that time when nothing was happening over there, everyone just worked out a lot.
24th of January, 1980, 07:44
The report for the Chief’s analysis of our Wraith prisoner was on my desk as I got in this morning. I do wonder why this one behaves so differently from the others. So far it has seemed that being cut off from the ‘hive mind’ has made our alien prisoners feel without purpose. Well, except the Reaper, which seemed to be terrifyingly single-minded no matter the circumstance.
Could the Wraith have a level of identity and autonomy that other alien species in this fleet lack? Or is it another case like the Reaper, where its active behaviour is closer to instinct than deliberation? I suppose it will be hard to find out.
The Chief has put his team to work on plasma weaponry as well. I’ve told him everything else can wait, and while he didn’t seem happy about it, he was understanding. Hopefully the reports of new weapons and upgrades will come rolling in quickly and swiftly.
I was also told the Euro-African science team started working last night and are currently analysing the captured harridan. I did grant them special dispensation for that, after all.
24th of January, 1980, 12:11
Majors Berwolf and Troidell nearly came to blows at lunch over which of their preferred weapons is the most valuable to the team. I thought it was a fairly innocent discussion at first, but I had to break them up after Major Berwolf threw a whole boiled potato at Major Troidell’s forehead.
Berwolf’s sniper aim was true, but Troidell’s reflexes meant the potato only clipped her ear and severely startled the XO who had a potato smack into his food tray and turn itself to mash as he was cutting up his pork chop. I assigned Berwolf to help with the dishes today as she lost her cool first, while Troidell I simply sent to her quarters to cool off. With the added promise that if she tried to get “revenge” for this, she’d be single-handedly cleaning everyone’s weapons after the next mission.
24th of January, 1980, 17:41
“Keep Stockholm safe,” he says. I have the Chief’s report on our new line of plasma weaponry. It will need more work to design heavier weapons, but we have all the basic ones covered.
Now as to the cost of actually producing these… the Comrade says they will all be 50% more expensive than their laser counterparts. Which means that with our current funds, we can afford about one pistol per base. I guess that’s a start, if nothing else. We’ll just have to get these done as we get money. Which makes capturing UFOs even more important. At least we’re near the end of the month and the funding that will bring in.