That mission done, we've bought ourselves some time on stopping the alien's AVATAR project. I certainly want to investigate the coordinates we found in the last codex brain, but Tygan has sent news that he's almost finished with a new type of plasma weapon and we do find ourselves with a fair amount of supplies on hand for a weapons upgrade. I can't resist a good new weapon.
He gives me an even better surprise: not only does he have a new sniper plasma rifle, but also a plasma pistol and a fusion sword. Those should all come in hand for future missions.
Our waiting does give the aliens time to launch another retaliation strike against the resistance, so off the team goes to stop them. The new weapons are perfect for this kind of mission, and I send two each of the rangers and snipers. The area we land in is typical for the resistance: lots of trees and good cover, away from any population center, and with most of it burning. Seems like they even have a bug infestation this time around:
Chryssalids. Bradford tells me of them when he fought them occasionally after my capture. Their claws are quite sharp, able to cut through armor with a fair amount of ease, and they reproduce by killing humans and injecting their larva into the corpse, creating a zombie that will eventually mutate into a new chryssalid. I'd think he was pulling my leg if I thought he had a sense of humor. Lucky for us, we're heavily armed and our armor should be capable of withstanding at least one blow from these bugs.
JCan starts the battle with a grenade into their group, as they for some reason decided on sticking together. The entire battle seems a bit different this time around, as both Gaius and Van Wezel are quite skilled with melee combat, wading into the fray and each getting a kill. Culise follows up with cannon fire to kill the final beast. A fourth chryssalid comes from out of the darkness. Health manages a glancing blow on it with her pistol, followed up with a second for a kill. A wandering soldier and heavy mec come around the corner, but we're ready for them. Health fires three pistol shots into the soldier, easily killing him. (Don't ask me how the new pistols fire so quickly)
Gaius shoots twice into the heavy mec, weakening it enough for a plasma blade slash from Van Wezel to kill it. Another chryssalid appears and slashes at him, but he dodges. Spyhawk shoots from his perch but the darned thing is too nimble for him to get a solid shot in. Culise tries the same but his cumbersome weapon isn't quick enough. The beast can't dodge quick enough for JCan though.
In a blasted out church is a horrid sight: two ADVENT soldiers, a heavy mec, and a chryssalid attacking a civilian. If Bradford is to be believed, that means zombie time. The mec advances towards us and JCan gets two good shots in, but the mec's armor holds. A grenade from Culise and a pistol shot from Health later and it goes down. The grenade also removed cover from the heavily armored shieldbearer, giving Spyhawk the opportunity for a well-placed head shot. Gaius takes down the nearby chryssalid, and JCan manages a good shot on the remaining soldier.
Spent, we wait for the upcoming zombie. Instead, what pops out is a very quick, very angry baby chryssalid which promptly starts tearing away at Van Wezel. JCan heals him up, reports that the poison from the baby was also cured, and then shoots it dead. Poison? Baby chryssalids? Time to uncover what's going on over there. I have Van Wezel toss a grenade in and destroy the cover blocking our view of the dead body.
That...does not look like a zombie. Gaius and Culise both burn the cocoon out with heavy fire. No more baby chryssalids for us. Off in the distance we hear the sounds of mimics transforming. Why are these aliens so disgusting?
Out from behind JCan comes the mimic, ready for a strong swipe at him. JCan has his weapon ready, and his aim is true, but these things are too tough even for a plasma rifle. Thankfully, Spyhawk is watching and his aim is also true, bringing the alien down before it can do any damage. The other mimic targets Gaius, but she's experienced with melee combat and easily able to dodge the cumbersome blow. Van Wezel cuts at the the thing with his blade and even manages to set it on fire, but it stays standing long enough to get cut down with cannon fire from Culise.
9/13 civilians saved. Our best record yet. Why Bradford is so scared of these things, I don't know. The mission went so well, I have the team suit up for another mission, with a few replacements.
The coordinates lead to a rather lonely looking place in the middle of the Asian desert. With what looks like purple psionic rain. Something seems fishy here. We land near an abandoned house, inside of which is a group of three chryssalids standing near the gas container. Culise starts the ambush by igniting the container and leaving them easy kills for the rest of the team. One kill each to Health, Lovenought, and Trajan. As long as we stay cautious, I don't see the chryssalids being any real threat. No civilians around here to reproduce with.
Near the house is a small ADVENT storage area guarded by a turret. Turrets seemed tough with ordinary bullets, but it's nothing against plasma weapons. Two other soldiers and a heavy mec guard the outpost. The first soldier goes down to a burst from Gaius, while the second soldier hits only cactus with his return fire. Trajan locks the mec behind a psionic stasis wall, giving JCan the chance to get close enough for a successful hack. Gaius kills the second soldier with her new blade. The team advances, mec first.
Another chryssalid appears in the open, and Culise nets another kill. Lovenought fires at the mec, because it certainly doesn't look like the chryssalids will kill it before the hack wears off.
The mec spots more chryssalids in the distance, this time springing out from the ground. Guess that explains why the chryssalids are guarding the area. Why they don't wait before springing out, I have no clue. Gaius lands a shot on the approaching chryssalid, followed up by Culise and Health. The thing stood no chance having to traverse so much terrain. Oddly enough, Lovenought managed to protect the mec from the attacking chryssalid. The mec lands a shot on another chryssalid, weakening it for Lovenought to kill. The mec, having done it's duty, is killed by Health with a headshot in the back.
The last chryssalid is too far away for the team to reliably hit, but too close to allow to roam free, so Trajan binds it with another stasis. I'm beginning to think she might have a thing for that kind of work.
Before now it's been standard desert terrain (if you ignore the purple crap falling from the sky), but behind this chryssalid the land turns alien. Lovenought lands his hit on the chryssalid, with a followup kill from Culise. I get everyone in range before I start walking on that...whatever it is.
At the end of the alien pathway sits a psionic portal. Creepy. Looks like this is where the coordinates lead.
Out of the portal comes what I can only describe as a giant, mechanical, psionic eye. It quickly rockets forward, well in range of the team. It wants to die, I see.
Culise fires his acid grenade right on top of it, but it still has plenty of armor. JCan uses his precision fire to strip the armor off the eye, leaving it vulnerable. Health fires five pistol shots at the eye, and while you'd normally expect the sound of "plink plink plink" coming off the shots, her laser does serious work on it. Trajan ends it with a blast straight into the center. We group up and reload in case another eye comes out of that portal.
Instead, three chryssalids come from behind the portal. Trajan and Gaius take out the first, while Culise kills the second. The third makes it surprisingly far before JCan and Lovenought kill it. JCan moves up towards the portal, but the last chryssalid, the smartest chryssalid, stays buried until he gets close. It pops out of the ground and gets him in the face. He and Culise kill it, but we'll have to see how he does with that injury.
We bring the gate back and hand it off to the research team. They think they can manage it, but will need additional supplies - supplies which we don't have. We'll have to wait for the next supply drop.
Our newest recruit has finished his training. I hope he's luckier than the late Ms. Potassium.