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Sep 29, 2020 9:45 AM
a semi questlike run through of the xcom war (and beyond!)
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The 4 Soldiers strapped into the hold of the experimental troop transport "Skyranger" were undoubtedly a little confused, this was not like any operation any of them had ever been on.


They were a ragtag collection of special forces picked from nearby bases and hurriedly flown to a base in Germany, before being sworn to secrecy by their respective COs over the phone and strapped into a weird VTOL troop transport after being briefed with this:

"Unknown bogeys that were first spotted 4 hours ago have been reclassified as intelligent, possibly extraterrestrial life. Unexplained events at impact site in Munich. German FSLK200 LRRP reported MIA.

Mission Objectives are to assess the situation at the impact site, Locate the German recon team and investigate possible extraterrestrial objects."

These soldiers from around the world who had never even worked together before were now strapped into an experimental VTOL headed to the outskirts of Munich and meant to deal with probable extraterrestrials. This was going to be a shitshow of epic proportions.

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One of the soldiers addresses the others, A male with a combat knife neck tattoo, wearing a french gendarmerie GIGN uniform. 
"English as the operational language? Unless the SEAL knows french?"
Nodding towards the navy SEAL on the team.

An Italian soldier, male as well, old for special forces in maybe his late 30s, with a polished moustache, wearing a GIS (Gruppo di Intervento Speciale) patch on his uniform responds with. "My English is better than my French, but I can muddle along" With a joking smile.

A severe-looking woman, not dressed in military fatigues like the others, glares at the Europeans for joking about using french, even if she was also personally capable in French and English and a dozen other languages besides. She checks her SMG for the umpteenth time since they took off, trying to appear cool and collected and ignoring the other soldiers.

 

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The SEAL, a six-foot-four brute with a face like a rotten pumpkin, grins. "English works. I don't suppose anyone speaks E.T.?" 

He's clad in the best of American Kevlar and fifty pounds of equipment, most of it deadly. 

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The Italian takes a few seconds pondering that statement "oh! E and T, like the movie, is an acronym, I got it now. That film scared me so much as a child." He chuckles.

" You know my uncle said he was abducted by yufohs way back when, maybe he wasn't a crazy liar after all? be careful of getting probed down there. I hear they go for the rump." The Frenchman jokes.

The woman scowls and glares at the french soldier. "Don't be disgusting, focus on the mission instead of being an ass."

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A voice comes out from the intercom. "This is Big Sky your pilot for this evening, hope you enjoyed our in-flight entertainment and first-class lazy chairs. Okay, team, we are a few mikes out from the drop zone, we aren't landing right on top of it so you will have to walk in from the outskirts, the satellites show whatever it is landed through the roof of the big warehouse right on the edge of the city directly east from the drop zone. Orders from up top are to go in quiet if at all possible, and to only use codenames over comms."

The woman sits up knowing what was about to come. 

"Alpha goes to the scary lady from 'classified' agency, orders are to let her take the lead." She scowls at the intercom for being called scary. "Beta goes to our moustachioed friend from GIS." The Italian looks very proud to have his facial hair recognized like that. "My countryman from GIGN gets to be Gamma" The Gendarmerie salutes to the intercom in response. "And Delta goes to our mountainous SEAL. Get ready because we are about to land."

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"Oh no, not the rump - !" the SEAL's mock surprise is cut off by the intercom. He listens intently. 

When the intercom finishes, the mountain SEAL is all business. He checks the M4A1 slung over his shoulder, tightens his helmet straps, and braces for landing. 

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The touchdown of Skyranger 1 is surprisingly soft, a VTOL small squad troop transport barely makes any sense as is and this has to be a prototype since nobody in any military has ever heard of such a thing, but the pilot must have plenty of practice because he touches down as gently as can be with barely a jolt going through the soldiers. The rear ramp descends showing they are maybe a kilometre away from the edge of Munich, the target warehouse with smoke pouring out the top visible on the outer edge.

Alpha signals them and leads them forwards out of the ramp. The other soldiers checking their flanks as they exit.

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The newly christened Delta mentally thanks Big Sky before following Alpha down the ramp. As he does, he kisses a small cross dangling from his neck, for luck. 

With the other soldiers checking the flanks, it occurs to Delta to check above them. 

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Nothing above them! clear skies except for some depressing grey clouds and the smoke rising from the building.

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Alpha motions the team forward and signals to keep in cover as they approach the warehouse, outside of the city limits there are still plenty of small farming buildings or low stone walls to keep between you and potential threats, and as they get closer plenty of parked cars on the sides of the road. As they get closer they see a body, possibly one of the german recon team that went missing.

"Delta, check it out, we will cover you." Alpha says through their comms.

 

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"Affirmative." Delta advances carefully but confidently, trusting his squad to have his back. These are professionals, even if foreign. They know what they're doing. And if someone's going to get shot, might as well be him. 

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Nothing happens as he approaches the body, its lying face down, as he gets closer it's obvious there's an awful lot of blood pooling under the upper half of the body, but no obvious bullet holes. The gear does make it obvious this person was from the missing recon team.

Delta is right over the body now and it is just begging to be investigated.

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So he investigates. How fresh is this blood? Are there telling splatters anywhere else? 

If there's cover nearby, he takes it while he examines the body more closely. He'll turn it over to check for bullet holes on that side, too. 

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The dead soldier is mostly behind a car, and the others have moved up closer to his position and have their guns on a swivel in case this is a trap. Turning over the body reveals no bullet holes, or suspiciously SciFi looking burns you expect from your standard movie alien laser gun. What is revealed is the soldier bled out through every hole in their face, the eyes have bled rivers of blood down the soldiers face, the ears have trails coming from them too, and all down the soldier's chin as he must have vomited blood. The eyes are bloodshot to the extreme as well as bleeding, the veins under the skin also stand out dark against the pale skin of the german soldiers face and near the eyes the veins are bulging out even in death.

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Delta's comms turn on. "What did you find Delta?" Asks Alpha. "Is this one of the missing recon team?"

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Delta is quiet for a moment, stunned. Then, "Yep. Uh, affirmative. And whatever killed him was definitely new. No bullets, lots of blood." 

What did this? Some kind of sonic attack? High pressure on his body? What broke the veins but left the skin intact? 

Delta manages a quick prayer for the dead, then rises to peer at the warehouse, looking for viable entrances. 

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"I need details Delta, new means dangerous." Alpha sighs, you can't just leave someone hanging after dropping something interesting like that.

Beta has his marksman rifle unfolded and has been peering through the large windows with his scope. "I'm not seeing anything inside the building through my scope, and my infra goggles are worthless unless we get within 50 metres."

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Huh. How does one describe this scene? "Bled out through his face. Looks like something squeezed him dry like a toothpaste tube. Not a mark on him otherwise." 

If the building looks empty, either their targets are hiding or they've already left the building. Neither is good news. 

"I don't like this. Whatever got him and his team is just as likely to get us. Anyone got any ideas for flushing out an ambush?" 

Delta eyes the surrounding cars speculatively. Are any in good working order? And how sturdy do those warehouse walls look...?

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"Merde, that is some horror movie nonsense." Gamma says. "This better not be some spooky eldritch horror stuff, I've read Lovecraft. I don't want any of that going madness as they suck the blood from you stuff going on." 

"Okay people there isn't much we can do about it now but I am calling for bioweapons protocols, we are all going into quarantine after this is over, report any possible symptoms immediately." Alpha barks over the comms. "No external wounds and massive bleeding could be cause by a extraterrestrial disease of some kind."

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The walls do look pretty sturdy but those old-looking large windows don't look sturdy at all, you could probably drive one of all these little European city cars into them, or a moped, or just jump through one, they look old enough to not be shatterproof glass.

The vehicle selection is mostly city cars, small and energy-efficient, maybe a third are electric. plenty of mopeds and motorcycles also. There is one fancy sportscar carelessly parked in front of a house but maybe crime in this area is low and it's not a risk. The sportscar probably wouldn't break down a solid wall but if it was aimed at one of the side security doors it could smash right through those.

While delta ponders the viability of vehicle smashing tactics the radio on the corpse blares to life!

"Hilfe.... Hilfe..." The call comes from it, the voice is male, groaning and quiet, possibly trying to talk through throat damage or blood in the lungs due to the slight gurgling to the voice.

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"I heard that Delta, He's calling for help." Says Alpha, since she apparently spoke german.

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Delta has read Lovecraft too, as it happens. He thinks the Book of Revelation was scarier, though. 

He spends a moment grumbling to himself about Europeans and their tiny cars. 

Sounds like his hand's been forced, though. He won't leave a soldier longer than necessary. "Where's it coming from?" he bites out. "Is the warehouse our best guess? And...how do you feel about hotwiring cars?"

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Alpha pulls out a long-range transmitter. "Central. We have a situation. We are approaching the warehouse and found a corpse, one of the missing recon team, bled out through the face with no external wounds. Possible Bioweapon involved. We are receiving a cry for help from presumably another of the recon team from its radio. Can Vahlen do her magic and track it? And do we go in loud to rescue possible survivors or keep playing this quiet?"

Betas angry voice cuts over the comms. "Keep running this quiet!? We have a survivor! We aren't leaving him to die!"

"Look who knows if they are even going to make it, from the sounds of it they were injured or infected with this blood thing, it's one possible rescue against the threat of aliens! Let command make the call." Gammas voice comes in with a rebuttal. 

A voice in heavily german accented English comes in from Alphas channel, probably from the long-range communicator. "This is Doctor Vahlen, The signal came from inside the warehouse." Other voices can be heard arguing in the background. "Don't know the threat!..." "-ver Leave a man behin-" "-Ight risk the entire planet! you..."

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While command and the others are arguing there would be plenty of time to hotwire a car or do something else incredibly foolish and dangerous and heroic. It might also be a good idea to not rush in solo towards a possible hostile encounter with aliens?

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Might. Might not. 

They didn't cover hotwiring cars in SEAL training. Fortunately, that's not the only training Delta had. Bodyguards need to know all sorts of handy things. 

Delta is willing to quietly try to rescue someone, but "running quiet" presumably didn't save the recon team. "Loud" might be more appropriate here. And Delta can do "loud." 

He's patient. Chain of command matters. But he's not infinitely patient. 

"Clock's ticking," Delta says from the driver's seat of a quietly humming Volkswagen. (Damn, he misses stupidly oversized pickup trucks.) "Man's dying, we're exposed. HQ can decide, or delegate by dithering. Can I count on covering fire, team? Standard breach and clear, with added car."

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Alpha scowls the scowliest scowl that ever was scowled. "Central, Delta is forcing the issue. He has a car hotwired, presumably to force an entry and bring his own cover."

Beta has hopped in the back seat with a wild grin as soon as delta asked for covering fire and guessed the plan. "semper fi, right? let's be god damned heroes."

"ABSOLUTELY NOT! WE HAVE NO IDEA WHA-" And a loud SMACK! can be heard from the command line. "This is Executive Officer Bradford, you are clear to engage as you deem fit with the goal of recovering survivors.... fuck my hand hurts."

Alpha sighs. "Beta get out of the car you idiot, you are a marksman. Go run up to the window and cover the distraction team if needed when we make the entrance." Shooting a look at delta and getting in the car with him. "Delta you get ready to accelerate as soon as Beta reaches the window, check your fire in case of surviving friendlies. Gamma you find an alternate entrance and see if you can extract survivors while the potential hostiles are distracted. Accelerate when ready."

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