Author Topic: HLPX-COM: Enemy Within  (Read 33202 times)

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Offline Scotty

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  • Guns, guns, guns.
What are the MEC troopers' perks, if I may ask?  I've not played, so what they're running with eludes me.


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
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  • Syndral Active. 0410.
What are the MEC troopers' perks, if I may ask?  I've not played, so what they're running with eludes me.

They actually have an inherent perk plus two trees.

First, inherent; the class the MEC trooper is augmented from from gives them a particular quirk. Heavies get Body Shield, which gives a -20 Aim at and inability to crit the MEC to the nearest enemy to the MEC. Assaults get Shock-Absorbant Armor, which reduces damage caused by stuff within 4 tiles by 33%.  Supports get Distortion Field, which gives a +10 to the defense of allies in cover within a three-tile radius. And Snipers get Platform Stability; any shot taken without having first moved gets +10 Aim and +10% critical chance.

Second, chassis; you build a MEC-I but it can be upgraded twice and will acquire a set of abilities, one for each tier it's been through. MEC-Is chose between a Flamethrower and the Kinetic Strike Module rocket punch. MEC-IIs can add a Grenade Launcher (which benefits from the alien grenade research as well) or the Restorative Mist healing ability, and MEC-IIIs get to add either a Proximity Mine Launcher or an Electro Pulse that deals damage in a radius centered on the MEC (both can friendly-fire).

Finally, the inherent skill tree has the starting ability Collateral Damage which I've talked about (does small damage in a small radius, empties the clip, but destroys cover), Corporal abilites Automated Threat Assessment (+15 defense on Overwatch) or Advanced Fire Control (removes Overwatch aim penalty), Sergeant abilities Vital-Point Targeting (adds 2 damage to any attack on an alien you've autopsied) or Damage Control (reduces damage taken by by 2 for two turns after you take a hit), Lieutenant abilities Jet Boot Module (allows the MEC to jump to building roofs or other places it normally couldn't) or One For All (turns the MEC into high cover until it moves or shoots), Captain abilities Repair Servos (regen up to 2 health every turn you're damaged, to a maximum of 6 health a mission) or Expanded Storage (additional use of Restorative Mist/Grenade Launcher/Proximity Mine per mission and main weapon carries 50% more ammo per reload), Major ability Overdrive (firing as the first action of the turn does not end the turn), and Colonel abilities Absorption Fields (any hit that does more than 33% damage to the MEC is reduced to only 33% damage) and Reactive Targeting Sensors (first person who fires on the MEC that turn triggers free reaction shot, if the MEC has ammo to take it).
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline TrashMan

  • T-tower Avenger. srsly.
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  • God-Emperor of your kind!
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Sanderson is a mosnter...22 kills. DAYUM. Wait, he's been on every mission so far, right?

Also, my callsign is "Walker"?

Hell yea. Set me up with any gene-mods or medals that add acccuracy. And gimme a helmet.
Nobody dies as a virgin - the life ****s us all!

You're a wrongularity from which no right can escape!


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
Sanderson is a mosnter...22 kills. DAYUM. Wait, he's been on every mission so far, right?

Ironically, no.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.

So we had a mission, Ralwood commanded, and aside from deploying the laser weapons and MEC railguns... was all pretty normal until...

"Irina's down!"

"Son of a-RAL! I want those hostiles at the far end dead or running! Clear them out people, she's still breathing and we can stabilize her.

"Understood. Killing them with fire."

"Oh christ, the stun didn't work!"

"I got you, take it easy."

"On your feet, Irina."

"Deathfun...what happened?"

"You took a few too many plasma rounds. Take it easy for now, we'll patch you up. MP, you too."


"I have them."

"Christ Irina, you just got critically wounded, got up, and killed a pair of aliens."

"Are you flirting with me?"

"No, I'm frankly scared ****less of you."

"Thanks...I think."

"If you two are done with the kissy-kissy let's sweep the area and see if we're done."

So apparently we have a Terminator on the team, and she really doesn't look half-bad in that beret. However, the Commander is looking worried, and says we need to stage a counterstrike.

Here's why.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
Also, we may have broken the DLCs again, or it may be there was a blargh and Site Recon didn't pop (which is a shame). We'll find out soon enough. The next mission is Council, so I promise that we'll get at least one rookie onto the team. TwentyPercentCooler will hopefully live up to his name rather than explosively vaporizing.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline AdmiralRalwood

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  • The Cthulhu programmer himself!
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Hooray, we didn't lose anyone on my first op in command!
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.


Offline IronBeer

  • 29
  • (Witty catchphrase)
    • Minecraft
Professional log: Dr. Vincent "IronBeer" Zokus
April 29, 2015 - Entry #9

So busy, there's barely been time to dash off even "token" entries. But I've finally caught a break tonight. Between Floater examinations and the late-night philosophising with Michael and Raymond [that is Dr. Shen's first name, right?], there isn't much that isn't already covered in my research logs. However, there's also plenty of room for commentary on our findings and speculations.

By now it's apparent that the Floaters and the "Mutons", as our troopers are calling them, are members of the same species. Or it might be more accurate to say that they were. Biological comparisons of the two phenotypes suggest that pre-mutilation Floaters should be the "baseline" form for the ....let's call it the Muton race. By now I'm able to properly think about the Floaters without my stomach turning, and the consensus between Ralwood, Michael, Raymond, and me is that the Floaters are likely a population of Mutons that is being "punished" by whoever/whatever is leading the invasion. The aliens clearly demonstrate an incredible knack for cybernetics and genetic modification (creating the Thin Men likely ex nihilo) and often have an odd sort of grace in their augmentation. The Floaters clearly aren't being modified with the typical level of care. Ralwood hypothesizes that the Floaters may have been a Muton population that staged an uprising at some point during their enslavement.... maybe they were the Muton equivalent of HLPX-COM? Chilling stuff, never pleasant to think about those SoBs.

Pleasant or not, I keep poring over the Floater autopsy reports and tissue samples. Horrifying as they may be, the sadistic creativity used in their augments offers great insights into practical Meld application. The signature jetpack is, like all other Meld-facilitated augments, controlled neurally, as though it were a natural body part. Rather than re-appropriating existing nerves and motor pathways, the Floater's brain seems to have a section of motor cortex devoted solely to the jetpack. Interestingly, the new section was simply "crammed" into existing brain tissue. Motor cortex sections for legs and the lower body are still in place, which could lend some credence to Ralwood's theory of quickly-conceived punitive "augmentation". The Floater autopsy also allowed those of us with Meld-facilitated augments to rest a little easier- our estimates of in-situ time for the specimen's augments is roughly 10-20 years, there is no evidence of Meld nanoparticle replication, and no evidence of scar tissue or rejection at the site of machine-tissue interfaces. As we found with our initial "mad science" trials on Michael, Meld just simply becomes a part of the patient's body.

Without knowledge of the Floaters, one might be forgiven for thinking that the Mutons are the masterminds of the invasion. But of course, with their unfortunate cousins in the picture, things get less clear. An average Muton trooper could quite literally eat a Sectoid for breakfast- clearly physical power isn't what's holding this alien collective together. But of course that begs the question of "what is?" Let's re-cap the "species" that our field squads have faced thus far. Sectoids, Thin Men, "Sentinels", Chryssalids, Floaters, and Mutons- something's missing here. I'm not seeing what could be holding such a disparate collection of creatures and robots together. There have got to be other alien species out there, but that naturally provokes the twin questions of "how many?" and "what?"

Sweet dreams, me!
"I have approximate knowledge of many things."

Ridiculous, the Director's Cut

Starlancer Head Animations - Converted


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
"Strike, a UN team in Mexico was near Guadalajara when it was hit by a plasma bomb, followed by alien tac air. General Peter Van Dorne, a major ally of the Council, was with the convoy. The locals managed to clear the sky with US help, but they can't get near the convoy on the ground. Go in. Rescue any survivors. Find out what happened to Van Dorne."

Operation Glass Paramour, Guadalajara, Mexico, 5:55am, May 16th
Deployed: Admiral "Marauder" Ralwood (MEC, mission commander), Deathfun "Fabulous" (support), Popolion "Polly" (support), StarSlayer (sniper), TwentyPercentCooler.

"Area is hot!"

"Okay folks, we have Thin Men. Take them down."

"Ow! Son of a *****, you ruined my armor coating!"

"Why the hell does he have pink armor anyways?"

"Because the aliens are colorblind, Rookie."

"...are you serious?"

"Nah, I'm messing with you. Dammit, that was a new coat of paint too!"

"Got one! That'll be my first!"

"Welcome to the club, Twenty. Don't die on us."

"And that's for my fabulous pink armor, you jerk!"

"Found Van Dorne, he's alive!"

"Star, Twenty, overwatch with me! Polly, Deathfun, go get him!"

"Got more of them!"

"****, that stuff hurts!"

"Knock it off, you've been hurt before."

"Fine. Target down."

"...did you just shoot him in the crotch?"

"No, the gut. Big difference. Besides, you DID shoot yours in the crotch."

"Oh, yeah."

"Target down."

"Got more on the far lip! Target down!"

I don't know what outfit you're with, but I've never seen gear like that before.

"What, the giant robot? Totally normal, I assure you General."

"Swing and-missed him!"

"Armor holding. These jokers never learn."

"We got more dropping behind us!"

"Star, deal with idiot who jumped into the pit. Deathfun, Polly, stay with the General. Rookie, you and me will clear the path to the Skyranger."

"Copy. He's dealt with."

"That was SO in the crotch!"

"Rookie, you've got an obsession."

"Target down. Sorry Twenty, move faster."

"Fine, fine."

"Missed him, god damn it..."

"Got it. No worries, Rookie, that's why there are two of us."

"We're clear to the Skyranger. General, we'll get you out of here, please come with us."

I owe you one. Seriously, things looked pretty bad. I just wish you could have saved those of my men who died before you got here, too.

"Us too General. Us too."

Commander. The Secretary General extends his personal gratitude to you for the success of the operation to rescue Peter Van Dorne.

We haven't broken the Slingshot sequence. Confounding Light is next.

We're told there's a major alien ship inbound to China. Satellite coverage there is only days old, and even with both Interceptors we probably can't shoot it down. Doc Shen says he has a plan, however...we'll see.

Talked with one of the new science types today. He's looking kind of rattled about all this. I don't blame him. Joshua will make it, I think but the Bio team is short on things to do short of poking aliens at the moment...ah well. They've said they're going to attempt some gene augments soon, they hope before we hit the alien base, but...we'll see. Cash has been a little tight for the project, but the laser-based scatterguns and sniper rifles were just issued.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.

How does this work, Shen?

The transponder will disrupt guidance systems on alien craft, in this case the battleship, and force them to "chase" it. We plan to install it on one of the city's light rail networks, and lead the battleship in circles. While the aliens try to fix their ship, Strike will board the the ship, deactivate its power systems, and seize control.

They can build spacecraft. If they can build spacecraft, they're not fools. How do we know this will work?

We do not, Commander. However! If they attempt to disrupt our planting of the beacons, we can assume it will work.

All right. We have a go-mission on this one. Bradford, have Sanderson assemble a team. Ralwood will lead the battleship op.

Operation Banished Justice (Confounding Light), Hong Kong, China, 8:45am, May 18th
Deployed: Shaojie Zhang (heavy), Micheal Sanderson (MEC, mission commander), Trashman "Walker" (sniper), Gortef, The E (assault), Enioch (assault).

"You heard the briefing, we've got ten minutes to do this. Trash, I want you on top of the train. Gortef, take the far side. Enoich, place the transponders. Everyone else, with me, up this side."

"I was supposed to have a helmet."

"You'll get over it, Trash."

"Visual on the transponder sites."

"Thin Men! Area is hot!"

"Bastards ran. Trash, drop one!"

"Got it. Target down."

"Got the other one. Target down. Keep moving Enoich."

"You okay man?"

"They're screwing up my paintwork, I'm used to it."

"I have a shot."

"Don't tell me Gortef, just take it."

"Firing! Target down!"

"Nice work. Live and you get the black armor, so you better damn well live Rook. CQCing the last one."

"You got some good distance that time."

"No flattery. Keep moving."

"Roger, got the next one."

"Strike, Sky, you have hostiles dropping in!"


"Good, maybe we can stun one this time. Zhang, gimmie a rocket on the one near you!"


"He's injured, going for the stun-****!"

"Gortef, drop the other one, we've gotta save this!"

"Roger! Target is toast!"

"Missed me...and I missed! Trash you're it, hit him or The E is dead!"

"I've got it. Target down."


"We've got some Thin Men still. Trash, take 'em."

"Got him."

"Got a lot of heat on me here!"

"Another Muton! I have him-still standing!"

"Mike, I can stun."

"Are you crazy? He'll fry you."

"We still haven't gotten one alive. I can do it."


"****, E!"


"E, don't move. I mean it, don't even move or your damn guts will spill out. Thin Man down."

"Last transmitter in place. Activating the train's drive."

"Battleship's arriving's chasing the train! We did it!"

"Saddle up people, we've got an appointment back at base. Commander, have the med team ready and I want to recommend The E for a decoration."

"Acknowledged, Strike Lead. Concur. Hurry home."
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline TwentyPercentCooler

  • Operates at 375 kelvin
  • 28
Woohoo, I didn't die!



Offline deathfun

  • 210
  • Hey man. Peace. *Car hits them* Frakking hippies
    • Minecraft
I've never actually seen the Slingshot play out yet, I'm quite curious as to how this'll go


Offline Gortef

  • 210
  • A meat popsicle
Yay my first mission was a success. But the everyone has done a good job so far so I was in a pro Company anyway.

(btw. if my avatar is a female then you can rename her Gortina :P It suits a bit better I think.)
Habeeb it...


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
Officially, this mission never happened, because it makes no narrative sense.

However, it did cause Enoich to become a Sergeant, so I felt I should preserve some record of it.

We will discuss Gangplank this evening, assuming I'm not trapped in HAHAHAHAHA THIS IS AWESOME about Doctor Who. For now, contemplate what will be assaulted.

Ominous fellow, ain't he?
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline Fury

  • The Curmudgeon
  • 213
Officially, this mission never happened, because it makes no narrative sense.
Don't get lazy now. :p

Ominous fellow, ain't he?

am i going to shoot that mother****er down
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
Don't get lazy now. :p

I'm not.

The problem is that at the end of Confounding Light it literally pans up and shows the battleship arriving plus the whole reason you have ten turns to do it is that the alien battleship will arrive and you have to get this stuff done before it does.  Yet in the geoscape there's actually a gap of several days between finishing Confounding Light and getting Gangplank.

This gap makes zero sense narratively.

Even worse a UFO or  abduction mission can turn up between Confounding Light and Gangplank. Such was the case here, where Hobbie and Phantom (who now has every continent's second interceptor) shot down a Supply Barge over Japan, so I deployed a squad to assault the crash site.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
HLPX-COM: Operation Gangplank (slow internet destroying)
I took around 56 images to cover this mission. I think I've actually used most of them. I'll save the post-mission reflections for a post tomorrow.

"Mike, Trash, Enoich, you're wanted for the battleship mission. We've got too many out injured and we need good people."

"I need replating on this MEC."

"We've got them ready, Interceptor Bay Three. Enoich, Trash, fresh weapons are by the entrance. I don't want your laser lenses melting in mid-mission. Ten minutes from now I want you at the Skyranger."

Operation Gangplank, Hong Kong, China, 4am, 18th May.
Deployed: Captain “Marauder” Admiral Ralwood (MEC, Mission Commander), Captain “Gipsy D” Micheal Sanderson (MEC), Lieutenant “Walker” Trashman (sniper), Lieutenant “Polly” Popolion (support), Sergeant “Viper” StarSlayer (sniper), Sergeant “Chops” Enioch (assault)

Sky, Phantom. Weapons appear inactive. Tracking emplacements for suppression if needed. Clear to approach.

Sky, Hobbie, found you a landing site on the back. Transmitting location.

Sky is on approach.

Launch, launch, tracking alien tactical fighters launching! Interceptors engaging!

Central, Sky, we are on the battleship. Strike is deploying.

"Central, this is Strike Lead. We are in position on the battleship. Beginning search and destroy ops."

"Strike, this is the Commander. Go for the power nodes."

"Copy. Move in people! MECs on point!"

"Stupid, all these elevated positions and they stand in a well. Mike, take the right one."

"Right target down."

"Left target down. Push up people!"

"Strike, Sky, aliens deploying to stop your advance."

"This is Star, I have the near one."

"He missed me! Trash, you saw the shots?"

"I did. Target negated."

"Node deactivated, keep moving."

"Far lip is partially secure."

"Thin Men on the other side of the towers! Target down!"


"I'm okay!"

"One went up that tower! I missed him!"

"Ow! ****."

"Suck it up Trash."

"Minor armor damage. They're pushing back. Got Sectoids dropping in!"

"Well, one of them's dead."

"Jesus, you took out that power node too."

"Yeah, yea-dammit, should have learned not to talk and target."

"Sectoid down."

"This is for my damaged vest, dick."

"I think he got the point, Trash."

"No cigar, tall and ugly."

"Clean 'em up!"

"Chryssalid! Priority target!"

"Firing. Hit, still up. Taking a second shot. Target down!"

"Hey, don't look down guys."

"Don't be a dick, Trash."

"Stack up on the doors. Polly, patch Sanderson if you can."

"Wha-" A Cyberdisc, actually; our first charged us through a door into a clump of people. FRAK


"Dammit, target is still active, target is active-"


"Dammit right team move in! Somebody drop that Thin Man!"

"No hits, no hits!"

"Got him."

"Roger, dropping the new thing-frak it blew up!"

"Nice work, Star, Trash. Polly, Enioch's gonna need a medkit before we push up too much."

"We got our own problems here-dammit, Trash?"

"I'm all right-watch it, we've got more dropping in!"

"One down. We've still got that Thin Man-take him-Polly! Christ, that door was useful to keep the firelane constrained!"

"Target negated."

"Hostiles dropping in-they've got a Muton!"

"Polly, go, I've got this. Sectoid down." I think the shot trail is broken here suddenly...

"Not well enough! Dammit! Spending a charge."

"Muton came after me. His aim's ****ty. Trash, let's take 'em."


"Thin Man down, take the Muton!"

"I missed!"

"Oh, this is gonna suck."

"Hostiles dropping in over here-Enioch?  That shot was way off."

"I'm...not feeling real good, boss..."

"Polly, get the **** over here!"

"Can't, we got hostiles dropping this side too! Mike, your flank is clear!"

"Dammit, missed him!"

"Frak frak-and you! Frak you too!"

"Jesus, Starslayer."

"I'm hit-armor holding but another one's going to **** me up real bad. Returning fire-target down!

"Does it hurt, Pol?"

"Oh yeah, it hurts."

"You ****, I didn't feel a thing!"

"Deactivating nodes...nodes deactivated. Sky, we need pickup."

"Negative Strike, hostile ship is making a controlled, gentle descent. It seems to be on automatic. Crew is eliminated, weapons read as cold. This is gonna look really nice in the hanger."

"Hey Ral, do we get prize money?"

"What does this look like, the Age of Sail? The Commander's gonna be handing out promotions like candy, settle for that."
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
So we took down a battleship.

I think we envisioned a tougher fight than that, odd as it may sound. We nearly lost Enioch to that mini-UFO and after that the mission started to feel...

I should back up. This requires some explanation. When we started, while things rarely went according to plan there was always a sense we were making progress when we were on a mission; victory might not be easy but it was inevitable.

It's gotten more uneven. There are missions where we are unstoppable, where we simply roll over the opposition. The plan spits in Clauswitz's eye and survives not only first contact but all contact. And there there are those that it all goes wrong and you feel like you're scrambling to keep some traction for the rest of the mission. Irina going down in mid-mission feels like that, watching tapes; getting mobbed by Mutons who just ran through a door; when the Cyberdisc, which is what I think they're calling it, popped out and almost fried Enioch.

Even the MECs are starting to feel fragile. We'll see.

Commander! Someone just hit the Council's bank accounts, made off with about half of what we'd banked.

Well, that's going to cost-the Council seems to want to speak to me. I'll get back to you.

Commander. The man you recovered from the convoy raid in France has turned out to be from a shadow group, an opposing Council similar to our own. They are called EXALT, and they are actively cooperating with the aliens. Standing Order One, the preservation of all possible human life, is revoked. You are to use any and all possible resources to track down these traitors and destroy them. We have located the cell that conducted the hacking. Deploy an operative.

Star. Our pistol specialist is in the hospital with injuries from the battleship raid. You're the best we've got at fieldcraft and staying covert. Can you do this?

"Eager to try."
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story


Offline Ravenholme

  • 29
  • (d.h.f)
DLC missions don't have to be played out all in one chunk now - they can be interspersed by other council missions.

For instance, you'll likely have Portent, the first mission of Progeny, in the very early game, and then it'll be a very long time before the other missions show up.
Full Auto - I've got a bullet here with your name on it, and I'm going to keep firing until I find out which one it is.

<The_E>   Several sex-based solutions come to mind
<The_E>   Errr
<The_E>   *sexp