Gentlemen and ladies, you are currently aboard Skyranger 1 as we climb to our cruising altitude of 30,000 feet.
The good news: as you might notice, at the back of the bay we have a brand-new Tank. The techies got this to us two days ago and Spoon has been practicing with the teleoperating setup since. Yes, that's right, we built it. This is the new Tank/Laser, which will be our standard armored support until something better comes along. Also, please welcome Rodo to the squad. And remember that inflight hazing gets you thrown out the ramp first.
The bad news: Col. Fishguts was having a frank exchange of views with a cyberdisk last mission when it abruptly blew the hell up, injuring him. The docs have not cleared him for anything more than light duty yet. He will not be joining us.
Our destination is Havana, Cuba, where an alien incursion has been reported. There will be no inflight movie.
The welcoming committee is late, and grenades are thrown and mad screaming abounds on the first alien turn, but no enemies are sighted. Spoon moves cautiously towards the source of a grenade and spots the tardy welcoming committee. SpardaSon takes a shot with his newly-issued autocannon but despite the HE rounds doesn't scratch the target. Spoon then offers the traditional HLPX-COM greeting: laser-based death.
SpardaSon spots an alien in alley. Mindful of the nearby civilian, he fires a pair of snapshots rather than blazing away on full auto. Both miss, but the second is close enough to hurt. Headdie steps up and fires a brief auto burst with his laser to finish it off.
TrashMan, who now can at least somewhat carry an autocannon, spots another alien and does his best SpardaSon impression: three rounds, no direct hits, two close enough to hurt, but no kill. Titan tries to finish with a laser shot, but it passes mere millimeters in front of the alien's face. Jr2 takes six shots on full auto but doesn't come nearly that close, while Axem actually connects, but doesn't kill it. This is a tough little grey bastard.
The aliens are very bad at using grenades; they expended three trying to kill one civilian here. She's still alive and the alien I just praised for his toughness blew himself up.
Spoon spots another and Rodo engages it. The first round kills the alien; the other two are wasted...one of them into the back of the tank, again. You have got
to stop doing that people.
Spoon, disgusted, takes the nearest intersection. No enemies are discovered. The squad breaks up into two-man fire teams with one person assigned to work with the tank. Titan and Mjn.Maxel are assigned to secure the buildings near the Skyranger, while everyone else spreads out into town. (Red dots are civvies.)
Axem reports that one of the civilians is apparently so traumatized by having a bunch of grenades thrown at her that's she's leaped into a fire. TrashMan chimes in to confirm. And yes, this will hurt them. Fire does damage to any unarmored unit which stands in it, and can ignite them if they're in or next to it. (Curiously, units on fire don't provide illumination like fire itself does.)
The E locates an alien and blows him the hell up, while Rodo gets his second kill of the mission from an alien who stepped through a door to check out what the explosion was about and failed to notice the people pointing laser rifles at it.
The mission is pretty close to over; the majority of the buildings have been cleared and things are apparently going well. An alien appears and throws something at Jr2. Jr2 fires back. Too late. The grenade goes off, killing Jr2 and Rodo. The E launches a missile into the alley their killer fled into, and kills it. (He also blows up Rodo's corpse. Oops.)
Mission complete. Despite technically being a win, this would probably be viewed as loss by most objective observers. (And I have no idea where we killed the civvies, again!)