ADVENT decided to be sneaky for once, and setup two threats at separate locations across the country. Our limited resources (we only have the one plane!) meant we could only stop one. Thinking being chased by a UFO might be fun, we decided to stop an upload that would all soldiers a detection radius upgrade.
To say the mission went smoothly is an understatement. The aliens didn't manage a single shot against us. So as to keep kill counts consistent: Lovenought 1 sectoid and 1 stun trooper, Gaius 1 stun trooper and 1 soldier, Health 1 stun trooper, and JCan 1 sectoid.
Humorously, one civilian got a rude awakening to the dangers of living with ADVENT.
Our large amount of experience fighting the stock troops of ADVENT allowed the doc to autopsy the sectoid and ADVENT soldier with alacrity.
They look uglier dead.
We needed one, final improvement before moving on the black site: the medbay. Sorry, the "Advanced Warfare Center". (Note: Which comes with the handy ability that soldiers can gain additional cross-class abilities when promoted) Grim. But necessary. We've been lucky so far to keep casualties and wounds down, but this site should be tough. Precautions are necessary.
With the facility completed, we move on to the black site. Security is surprisingly lax, and the team manages to enter undetected. As usual, we setup for our ambush; our targets: a turret, an officer, and a stun trooper.
Gaius initiates with a dash from the shadows and a slice into the turret, tearing apart the more sensitive bits and rendering it inoperable. JCan gets the kill on the officer, and Lovenought the trooper.
Moving into the site proper, we discover why they've kept this place under wraps. The final stop for the trains in the area, there are numerous life pods containing human people. No idea why, but it seems likely that even after 20 years, the aliens still have not stopped abducting people. Disgusting.
Guarding the entrance on the inside is a new type of alien. One that looks to be the precursor to the thin men we fought before. No longer caring about blending in, they've gone back to their snake bodies, giving them much better durability. They do not appear to be "men" either, but "women" instead. Strange, these aliens. Escorted by two soldiers, she leaps into cover. Susanne eliminates one of the escorts, but leaves a still dangerous foe up.
Retaining their ability to spit poison clouds, both Susanne and JCan are caught in the cloud. Health executes the poor soldier with her pistol, and Gaius ends up sinking both a shotgun blast and a blade strike into the beast before it goes down. Our new drones prove themselves useful by curing both soldiers. They'll feel it in the days to come, but for now they're right as rain.
Behind them is yet another patrol: Two stun troopers and a sectoid supported from above by a turret. Together JCan and Susanne bring down the first trooper and strip the cover from the sectoid, leaving it very open to a shotgun blast from Gaius. The second trooper manages to survive a sniper shot and gets Gaius with his blade, wounding him and stunning him temporarily. A reload later and Health finishes him off, with support from Lovenought bringing Gaius back up to fighting strength, leaving him well able to take care of the supporting turret.
We've done surprisingly well, but support utility is running low. Any additional damage can only be fixed back at base.
As if turrets weren't enough, they also have a mech trooper guarding the facility. JCan's accurate shot doesn't slow the machine down. Health's more powerful sniper shot does, however. The two accompanying soldiers die quickly, one to Susanne's grenade and the other to Lovenought.
Inside the facility is a gruesome sight. Multiple humans, too many by far, are being processed in the facility. Shen remarks that it looks like a refinery. A refinery for what is the question we all ask. The pipes seem to lead to a vial across the facility. There's our target. We get that, then we get out.
One final group remains in the facility: A sectoid, trooper, and soldier. The sectoid drops quickly to reaction fire from Susanne and Health. Gaius drops down from the ceiling to deliver another strong blow to the trooper, but meets an unexpected surprise: the trooper didn't die. Thankfully JCan is available with a too-close-for-comfort grenade to finish the foe off. Health ends the last soldier as he tries to relocate.
All that's left is to grab the vial and run for the extraction point. ADVENT send a squad of soldiers to stop us, but too little too late. Health kills the trooper, and Gaius takes the trooper and the officer all to herself.
A smooth evac later and we're back to base.
Half the team has suffered injuries and will be out of action for a long time. Bradford is worried about our lack of troops. We'll have to go recruiting, for sure.