(The things I sacrifice for you guys, like sleep...who the **** am I kidding, I didn't sleep because I actually like doing this.)
Dekker's Pad has staged its first successful interception. A UFO was detected on the ground in Libya and Interceptor 3 was launched with Dekker at the controls to hold it down until the Skyranger could arrive. It attempted to take off and flee, but Dekker brought it down with a pair of well-aimed Avalanche AAMs. The team landed while it was still daylight to recover the UFO, while Dekker flew cover against the possibility of interfering local aircraft; Libya is not currently a signatory to the HLPX-COM treaties, but our United Nations mandate gives us authority to operate anywhere we see fit.
The mission was uneventful; no causalities, all aliens killed or captured. We fought the purple guys in red capes again. It did see the first combat use of the HLPX-COM Stun Rod, a glorified taser/cattleprod which has been in our inventory since the beginning of the war, but which there have been few opportunities to use. It also saw yet another alien believe that using stun weapons on Spoon's tank (we built a replacement) was going to work; this time it actually hit the tank, but it's a tank, so all that did was provoke Spoon into killing the alien. The mission also vindicated the switch to Rocket Launchers for heavy weapons support, but we're currently short of laser pistol backup weapons. A new production run of personal laser weaponry for both this squad and future ones is planned, but we have something special in mind about the pistols.
A second hanger is under construction a Dekker's Pad and will be housing a Skyranger; soldiers have been recruited for second squad to operate from that base so that as soon as the Skyranger is fueled up they will be able to respond. Several members of the Area 51 combat squad will be transferred to take care of the rookies.
We're pretty much over any kind of money concerns; we have engineers working full-time at both Area 51 and Dekker's Pad building Laser Cannons, which are then sold at a significant profit to various nations who signed the HLPX-COM treaties. The fiance guys tell me that we make about four million dollars a month from this scheme and that there's no sign of the bottom falling out of the market, so from this point on we shouldn't have too much trouble staying in the black.
In the meantime, though, the aliens have hit Africa with a terror attack again. We're going to Lagos.
Spoon draws immediate fire while the tank is disembarking, but the accuracy of it is very poor. The same cannot be said of his return volley.
It's the floaties and the Demented Fuzzy Shivans again. They take a shot at Spoon, again, and this time strike home. Unfortunately for them, the tank's armor stops the plasma round cold. -Joshua- spots a Demented Fuzzy Shivan lurking near a corner, but it ducks back before he can fire. -Joshua- calls for heavy weapons support. SpardaSon provides, and the alien learns there's no hiding behind corners when they don't exist anymore!
SpardaSon misses a second missile shot the next turn at a caped guy. Jg18 takes six shots but only takes out the fence in front of the alien. Axem steps up and puts out an auto burst that strikes home twice, but the alien is still alive enough to return a single plasma round. Axem fires another burst at the alien and takes it down.
TrashMan attempts to launch an incendiary missile through a small park and into a fence, but the spirit of Goober5000 temporarily seizes control of him and he fires it into a low hedge next to Spoon's tank. The tank is sprayed with shrapnel, and the paint on it actually catches fire. (Given my understanding of the game mechanics, Trash has just done something impossible; tanks are not supposed to be able to catch fire. It goes out on the next turn at least.)
A Demented Fuzzy Shivan attempts to close in from the south. -Joshua-, mindful of everything he remembers about Hallfight, takes six auto rounds at it for three hits, and finishes it with a snapshot. Meanwhile, another shot is taken at TrashMan and yet another at the tank without obvious source. Spoon fires into a small building in the hopes of a blind hit, and discovers the alien. He misses, but clears out so TrashMan can take a missile shot. Trash misses and blows away most of two walls of a nice little house, leaving it to -Joshua- to make the killshot.
Axem spots another Demented Fuzzy Shivan trying to come through the store we've mostly destroyed, and fires off a quick burst for one hit. The lack of knowledge about possible civilians in the area makes SpardaSon reluctant to use his missile launcher, so The E launches an incendiary missile at the creature, which sets it on fire. Jr2 contributes a couple more laser hits. Despite all this, the creature still stands and manages to move away during its turn.
Jg18, scouting south and throwing flares for illumination, encounters another alien hugging a fence. He takes a quick snapshot and ducks for cover, while -Joshua-, who is covering him, sprays out six beams and tags the alien with two, killing it. Axem moves after the Demented Fuzzy Shivan that is trying to run. A panicking civilian blocks direct line of sight at it, so Axem blasts through a wall with the first round of an auto burst. The following two rounds deliver the Demented Fuzzy Shivan to his (probably also demented and fuzzy) gods.
TrashMan makes up a bit for his crappy aim earlier by blasting an alien that was hiding out on a roof which can't be reached from the ground.
Jg18 presses south again and spots another alien who is unwisely standing the glare of a streetlight. He gets a hit this time with an auto burst, but not a kill. SpardaSon tries for a rocket shot, but it's a complete wash. The E takes over and manages to kill the alien by putting his rocket into the streetlight pole.
Curiously, the rest of the streetlight doesn't fall down. In fact, it doesn't even turn off. Physics is a lie!
-Joshua- leapfrogs past Jg18, and spots another alien, lurking towards the back of a park. Jg18 opens fire with what is becoming a distressingly familiar inaccuracy; three short bursts, nine rounds, one hit per burst. But he does get the kill.
A single alien remains. While Spoon and SpardaSon close in, the alien abruptly loses his **** and starts firing at random. Three rounds go into a tree, killing it pretty thoroughly, two glance off the front of the tank but do no harm, one leaves a nasty burn mark on the canopy of the Skyranger over sixty squares away and startles Darius, two are fired into the air seemingly at random, and one travels forty squares and hits The E dead center in his armor's chestplate. The armor holds, and The E is uninjured. -Joshua- stops the alien's madness with a single shot into the neck.
Mission complete. The victory is not grand, though it is a victory. But the true victory here is something much different. For the first time, HLPX-COM has seen proof the alien menace it faces is not implacable. The aliens know fear. And not only do the aliens know fear, the aliens fear us
have no idea where we killed a civilian; they don't seem to be playing their death scream when we kill them.)
As a result of the recent influx of
soldiers with the establishment of squad at Dekker's Pad, some promotions have been given to some of our more capable or long-serving soldiers.