Twitter: https://twitter.com/BurningGrayArchive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=XCOM%20Trooper%20QuestSquad Information: https://pastebin.com/4KJN5HKK---XCOM HQ“...Yeah, they just arrived some time ago. No idea who they are but they knew where our base was and had the proper clearance codes and…”You pass by a pair of chatty air crew staff, not particularly paying attention to whatever gossip they are going on about this time. Given how isolated and secretive XCOM HQ is rumors and such spread pretty quickly, after all only a select few actually know where the hell you are besides being in the exceptionally vague North America and given you really aren’t allowed to interact with the outside world besides watching TV… there’s really not much else to do except gossip.Nobody ever expects the military to be as chatty as a bunch of bored housewives and XCOM is included in that sphere.As amusing of a thought as that is to you, you have more important matters to deal with, and that’s clearing things up with your squad. It didn’t take the Commander to let the reality set in, but she did help you get on the right track, as tense of a meeting that was. Hopefully you won’t have to have any more evaluations or reviews like that any time soon. Your goal is simple, speak with your team and get back on the level with them. Even if it’s going to suck, ignoring them any longer and dodging this is not going to do you any favors. Thankfully however, you already have a plan on tracking them down and not wasting any time wandering about to find them…. the Blueshirts.Blueshirts are the rather affectionate name of XCOM’s Base Security personnel, named because of their blue outfits and caps and are rather universally disliked by the rest of XCOM personnel given their position and job to ruin any and all fun around the base. However if there’s something you learned when mingling with local police forces during operations as a former Fed, making friends with the rank and file always pays back and they really do appreciate it. So you make the rounds, approaching and chatting up to the various Blueshirts on the current location of Strike-1. Promises of booze from the barracks bar and other rather straightforward little favors give you the approximate locations of your team. Frankly they’re just happy to have someone that isn’t them to chat with.(Part 1 / 2)
It looks like, unsurprisingly, that Babbler is hanging out at the Bar and has managed to successfully drag along Burnout to drink with him. Drinking alone is not exactly in Babbler’s SOP and Burnout usually really doesn’t say no. Next, it seems that Loki and Peppermint are taking the time to brush up on their marksmanship at the Shooting Range, you had guessed correctly that Peppermint would be there but Loki being present is a bonus. Finally, it seems that Rook, Sweet, and Harita are at the recently built Officer Training School facility. Word has been going that the new ‘OTS’ is working with the SL’s to help train them in new combat tactics to help in fielding larger squads and the like in conjunction with some planned upgrades in Skyranger troop capacity from Engineering. You can see why Rook has been spending time there, though you wonder why Sweet and Harita are with him. With your squad members whereabouts confirmed, the question remains in how to attack the situation and who to speak with first. Obviously the plan is to go and speak with each of them, but maybe if you are successful in speaking with them they can tag along with you and help give you some support. Hopefully. You stand by the main corridor that splits off, each hallway leading to your team. Where to start…?>Babbler and Burnout at the Bar. Not only was Burnout part of your squad during the mission, Babbler’s reasonable and has been wanting to get into the loop. They could help.>Peppermint and Loki at the Shooting Range. Peppermint was also part of your squad and hopefully understands your position and Loki was that who vouched for you in the first place. You feel like you owe Loki a chat in particular.>Rook, Sweet, and Harita at the OTS. Rook’s your squad leader and after everything this feels like it will be the worst one… maybe you should get it over with as soon as possible?
>>1962771>Peppermint and Loki at the Shooting Range. Peppermint was also part of your squad and hopefully understands your position and Loki was that who vouched for you in the first place. You feel like you owe Loki a chat in particular.
Babbler and Burnout at the Bar
>>1962771>Peppermint and Loki at the Shooting Range. Peppermint was also part of your squad and hopefully understands your position and Loki was that who vouched for you in the first place. You feel like you owe Loki a chat in particular.loki seemed espcially upset
>>1962771>>Peppermint and Loki at the Shooting Range. Peppermint was also part of your squad and hopefully understands your position and Loki was that who vouched for you in the first place. You feel like you owe Loki a chat in particular.
>>1962771>Babbler and Burnout at the Bar. Not only was Burnout part of your squad during the mission, Babbler’s reasonable and has been wanting to get into the loop. They could help.
>>1962780>>1962798>>1962802Peppermint and Loki it is, writing!
You decide to speak with Peppermint and Loki first, the choice is twofold. First with Peppermint being with you when the actual operation went down you had gathered… that she isn’t as upset over you than she usually is. You’re not completely sure as she’s a loner in general but you did recall her sharing some sympathies with you after the debrief from the Terror Mission. Loki is rather self-explanatory. In a more cynical way you would not be in this situation if it wasn’t for her, yet at the same time it was clear she meant well with the decision. Given the short time since you met her alongside her usual attitude you must have done something to impress her. Of course, it’s totally up in the air now after you botched it all up.Heading over to the range, you take a moment to grab some ear protection and survey the surroundings. It’s rather active with most troopers and even a couple of off duty Blueshirts taking a spell to hone their accuracy and marksmanship. The satisfying mix of the rapport of both conventional weapons and the buzz of laser weapon fire gives the range life. Glancing about, you note that both Loki and Peppermint, while present, are separated off in their own booths with Peppermint taking her usual spot all the way at the end of the range with Loki around the middle. The two women either are ignoring each other or are just more focused on their own targets. Maybe they didn’t even realize the other was present. From here, you see Peppermint is just as in the zone as she usually is, but instead of the usual crack of the ballistic XCOM Sniper Rifle, you see the flash and sizzle of a laser shoot out from her booth. Did Shen and Engineering finally start rolling out the ‘Advanced’ Laser Weapons then? Does that mean the rumored Scatterlaser is-- no! Focus! You turn your gaze over to Loki as she works her laser carbine down range. You… have no idea what’s going on in her head from here. She’s an expert at keeping herself calm and collected after all.Given how loud and busy the range is coupled with the distance between the pair, you could go out of your way to grab both of them, speak with them individually, or something like that. Ear protection placed, you begin to head over to…>Peppermint. If you can persuade her to help you this could make things smoother with Loki.>Loki. Speaking with her first could give you the opportunity to discuss privately over everything.>Speak with both of them. You can say what you need to say with both of them and not have to repeat yourself, not only that you could save time as well.>Other.
>>1962975>Speak with both of them. You can say what you need to say with both of them and not have to repeat yourself, not only that you could save time as well.
>>1962975>>Peppermint. If you can persuade her to help you this could make things smoother with Loki.
>>1962975>>Speak with both of them. You can say what you need to say with both of them and not have to repeat yourself, not only that you could save time as well.
>>1962975>Peppermint. If you can persuade her to help you this could make things smoother with Loki.
>>1962975>>Speak with both of them. You can say what you need to say with both of them and not have to repeat yourself, not only that you could save time as well.Here's to XCOM's B-Dayhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzm9P4LK62E
>>1962980>>1963000>>1963025>>1963037Both of them it is, writing!
Not wanting to waste any time you opt to get both of their attention walking over to Loki first. You wait for her weapon’s battery to discharge and for her to start bringing her particular range target, a Thin Man, back to her. You tap her shoulder.Loki turns to look at you, and for a moment a flash of realization hits her eyes. From behind and at a distance, the British Engineer held her usual almost imperious attitude, upon looking at her face to face, it’s clear that she is frustrated and perhaps a bit sleep deprived. But only for that moment. She’s back to her usual self within moments. Before during the debriefing she was a bit scattered but now it seems she’s taken some time to recompose herself to the best of her ability. “Dozer.” She greets you, keeping eye contact with you, regarding you.“You, me, and Peppermint need to talk.” You say back, jerking a thumb towards Peppermint’s booth. “About?” “About what happened.” You answer bluntly, not wanting to dance around it. Loki continues to regard you and nods after a short moment. She walks over to set the laser carbine in her hands back on a nearby rack and begins to follow you over to Peppermint. She doesn’t say anything else on the walk over.Your curiosity is confirmed as you see that Peppermint is in fact trying out the new and sleek Laser Sniper Rifle. The rather menacing looking weapon making effective work on a new target, one of the ‘Chrysalids’ as their official name is now. You still kind’ve prefer just calling them bugs. You can’t help but wince at the sight of the things, even when they’re just a picture on a target. Peppermint it seems has set the difficulty in hitting the Chrysalids to the highest, and alongside still getting used to the new laser weapon she’s having trouble. The targets dart, dash, and bounce around in erratic patterns, rapidly closing in on Peppermint before she finally manages to hit the targets down after a few misses.Peppermint huffs in a bit of frustration, but despite the missed shots she still beat the targets. Not good enough for her, however. As she begins to bring back the targets for closer examination you get her attention.“Not n-” Peppermint initially snarls towards you before stopping and realizing who it is. She relaxes a bit before noticing Loki and promptly pricks up back to her usual self. Loki gives a nod to her.“We need to talk.” You reiterate with to Peppermint. The sniper sighs a bit and nods, quickly realizing what’s happening as she delicately sets the Laser Sniper Rifle on it’s rack, despite the inexperience that alone tells you she’s quite impressed with the weapon. (Part 1 / 2)
The two women turn to you and wait, letting you start the conversation. After all, you did pluck them both. You lay it to them straight.“The Terror Mission was a mess, I made some bad calls and I’m still trying to come to terms with it. I’ve not exactly made myself present for some time, and I wanted to apologize personally and try and get back on the right foot.” You explain to the pair. Peppermint nods to this, however Loki crosses her arms and shakes her head. A bemused smile on her face.“No, you shouldn’t have to apologize though the thought is appreciated. I admittedly should be the one instead.” Loki says. Causing Peppermint to turn and raise an eyebrow at this. “I was the one that placed, no, forced you into your position. I would have come to you sooner, but it was clear you needed some time to compose yourself.”Peppermint scowls a bit at that. You pause for a moment, the table flipping around rather deftly to Loki.>No, there’s nothing for her to apologize for. You accepted it and you made those calls, not you.>You are surprised at this but do accept her apology, not necessarily because you were forced but more for that, admittedly, you weren’t that great indeed.>You are curious to why she picked you. Asking her for her reasoning in the choice could clear things up.>Other
>>1963245>>You are curious to why she picked you. Asking her for her reasoning in the choice could clear things up.
>>1963245>You are surprised at this but do accept her apology, not necessarily because you were forced but more for that, admittedly, you weren’t that great indeed.
>>1963245>No, there’s nothing for her to apologize for. You accepted it and you made those calls, not you.
>>1963245>>No, there’s nothing for her to apologize for. You accepted it and you made those calls, not you.
>>1963256>>1963261>>1963277>>1963328Asking why it is, writing!
Nobody crying about waifus and CONSEQUENCES this time, I see.
You didn’t expect that from Loki, but then again you really always have to be on guard with your wits around the British Engineer. While you do admit it’s rather refreshing to battle one’s wits instead of say taking it out to the range or out pacing Babbler at the Bar, it also has the downside of making Loki the enigmatic woman that she is.Her vouching for you to your short-lived SL position has been something you have been wondering why she decided it, and if there was any better time to bring it up it would be now. “If you don’t mind me asking Loki, but why did you offer your SL position to me?” You ask her, running a hand through your hair. Peppermint perks up at this.“Well suffice to say I do mind a bit.” Loki says apologetically, shaking her head. “I would rather not discuss it, if that’s fine with you.”“I am curious also.” Peppermint speaks up suddenly, causing Loki to wince a bit, shooting a glance over to the Russian Sniper. “Why did you do it?”Loki remains rather insistent on wishing to leave it at that but it seems Peppermint is backing you up in trying to wrestle an explanation out from Loki. Rallied by Peppermint, you push forward trying to persuade Loki to spill the beans.>Roll 1d20+1
Rolled 2 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>1963424No Snow!
Rolled 10 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>1963424
Rolled 5 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>1963424
Rolled 7 + 1 (1d20 + 1)>>1963424
Wow, we're terrible
Rolled 14 + 1 (1d20 + 1)Trying
Your attempts to get Loki to crack are largely unsuccessful even with Peppermint’s help. You can’t help but admire and begrudgingly admit at just how frustrating it actually can be to speak to Loki sometimes for the simple fact that she’s actively not trying to be a bitch or passive aggressive about it. Her being a bit smug however? Ok, there’s some of that but it’s not that bad really.“Like I said, a woman has her secrets.” Loki explains idly brushing a stray lock of vibrant red hair. Peppermint groans and grits her teeth, her irritation made quite visibly. Loki gives her an apologetic look but that doesn’t seem to satisfy the Russian Sniper. “I would rather not talk about something like that right now. Maybe after a few glasses of scotch at some other time or date. Suffice to say, I am still dealing with the fallout of the Terror Mission as much as you are Dozer.” Loki’s veiled persona fading away for a short moment to show that it’s clear that you weren’t the only one brought aside and evaluated. Is that why then?“In any case,” Loki continues. “Apologies from you or from myself or whoever I accept. It’s… going to be difficult going forward. I was made aware at what we’ve been cleared on on the state of Tanuki and Riot, it is a shame.”Peppermint remains quiet, frowning at that as well.“Yeah.” You agree.“Let’s talk later, I’d rather focus on improving my aim for now. Until then.” Loki gives you and Peppermint a nod and turns away, walking back to grab the laser carbine again to have another go at the shooting range.“Hmph.” Peppermint grunts, dissatisfied.“Well, that’s one down. More to go.” You say to yourself, feeling better at the very least you’re making progress. Peppermint gives you a curious look and you quickly explain what the situation is.“Let me come with you then, you look like you need the help, American.” Peppermint mutters.>Sure, the more the merrier. It would help.>Thanks, but you think you can handle it yourself. You don’t want to distract her from her own training.>Other
>>1963614>>Sure, the more the merrier. It would help.
>>1963614>>Sure, the more the merrier. It would help.Babbler and Burnout should be OK. Sweet will likely just be disappointed, Harita thinks we're insane.Rook is going to kill us.
>>1963614>Sure, the more the merrier. It would help.
>>1963622>>1963626>>1963627>>1963628>>1963632Peppermint joining you it is, writing!
>>1963614>>Sure, the more the merrier. It would help.We need dis. don't be an idiot and refuse the help.
“I won’t say no to the help.” You say to Peppermint. “Good, you were awful at talking.” Peppermint says bluntly.“Maybe, but it is Loki after all. I’m honestly just relieved it didn’t go too bad.” You point out as you both turn to leave, your companion giving her a sideways glance before following you out. “She’s been in the range as often as I am.” “I don’t blame her.” You shake your head. “I would’ve also, after all given the rest of the Laser Weapons are finally done.”“Is shotguns all that you care about, American?” Peppermint scoffs. You smirk at that, opting to not point out the irony to her. Losing the person who's going out of her way to help you over a cheeky comment would be pretty embarrassing. The both of you make your leave and enter back into the main hallways of the Anthill, explaining where the others in the squad are. The raised eyebrow as you explain to Peppermint on how you got their location only seems to raise her curiosity, though she doesn’t make an effort to ask further.As you make your way out, you both see a group of immediately suspicious men and women in suits and sunglasses. You blink at the sight. They look like literal Men in Black. The rest of the XCOM staff around the area keep a wide berth from them and their presence notes they’d rather not to chat with them back either. The rather standoffish air lingering even from where you and Peppermint are as they make their way throughout the base, examining and observing the base around them. They’re quite nosy and any attempts of the rest of XCOM personnel to talk back is quickly silenced by a hushed seemingly rehearsed line from them and a flash of credentials. They look like they’re spooks through and through. You don’t like spooks. They remind you of some of the other branches in the Feds... and god forbid the few times you had to work with the CIA...“Nngh… Blyat Cyka.” Peppermint glares at them as they pass. “Yeah.” You concur. Ignoring them, you return your focus back on which group to chat with next. The guys at the bar or the trio at the OTS. Where to…?>Babbler and Burnout at the Bar. You kinda want a drink now after seeing those guys.>Rook, Sweet, and Harita at the OTS. You’re going to need to talk to them eventually, might as well do it now.
>>1963710>>Rook, Sweet, and Harita at the OTS. You’re going to need to talk to them eventually, might as well do it now.Save the drinks for last
>>1963710>>Rook, Sweet, and Harita at the OTS. You’re going to need to talk to them eventually, might as well do it now.
>>1963710>>Babbler and Burnout at the Bar. You kinda want a drink now after seeing those guys.
>>1963710>Rook, Sweet, and Harita at the OTS. You’re going to need to talk to them eventually, might as well do it now.
>>1963717>>1963720>>1963728>>1963734To the OTS it is, writing!
You inform Peppermint the next destination is the new OTS to speak with Rook and company. Peppermint is surprised at the decision to say the least, the distraction of the spooks in suits replaced.“I thought you would pick them last, American.” Peppermint points out. “Proactive.”“I’ll take that as a compliment.” You counter, she rolls her eyes. You don’t admit that you are a bit concerned how things will turn out but you’ve already decided and Peppermint is your witness. You doubt she’d ever live it down if you backed out. Decided, the both of you make your way to the new Officer Training School in the recently excavated lower level of the Anthill.As you leave the spooks behind you do feel more at ease you make your way down, using the main elevator of the base. Thankfully, one of the benefits you’ve gathered by the Engineering team during your occasional times helping out Dr. Shen was that the location XCOM HQ is found already had a fair bit of the place excavated, the main elevator shaft at the heart of the base having already been established and going down quite a ways. There’s guesses ar the base is either in the Ozarks, The Rockies, or perhaps at Cheyenne Mountain. Nobody really knows.The built and established sections of the base make way to the natural rock itself as you can hear the constant din of excavation crews working around the clock to make room for future XCOM installations and facilities. Your destination is rather straightforward as its the only finished facility on this floor, right by the elevator. The OTS. Blueshirts guard the doorway, providing a bit of gravitas to the place. Admittedly they look rather annoyed at the constant digging efforts despite wearing ear plugs themselves. They let you in, one of them giving you a knowing nod. You make another mental note to get her a drink later.The OTS reminds you of a prestigious military academy through and through that was squashed into one room. An auditorium like ring of seats with podium and a large high tech monitor at the center to help discussing various tactical this and that. A series of XCOM banners hanging proudly in the back that lets you know with earnesty that whoever enters in here will come out with a sharper mind to battle the aliens. Thankfully the room is soundproofed and you don’t have to be driven crazy by the digging just across from the room.There’s several troopers already milling about, you’re aware enough to know they’re all SL’s or their second’s in command of the other Strike Teams, and they’re all quite engrossed with their studies and strategy discussions. You and Peppermint decide to leave them to it as you spot Rook, Harita, and Sweet.(Part 1 / 2)
Sweet’s you quickly notice is not in the usual laid back and friendly mood as he discusses seriously with Harita and Rook. Sweet is very clearly ‘On’ right now. That same hyper-focus you know he has with experience when he’s saving lives or working to make sure he doesn’t have to. Harita meanwhile is… at her wits end much to your dismay. She looks stressed out and even a bit twitchy, as if she’s seen a ghost or an insane person or two. You don’t know what’s come over her and why she’s like that, but you are very quickly concerned. Rook finally is… stoic. More so than ever as he discusses with Sweet and Harita. He’s practically stone faced as they chat.Whatever they’re talking about, it’s something serious.“Tsk.” Peppermint frowns, the trio clearly absorbed in their conversation, whatever it is. “Should we wait a moment or interrupt them?”Good question.>Wait a moment. You don’t want to interrupt with whatever they’re talking about just yet.>Go up and speak to them. Best to get this over with now than dawdling.>Other
>>1963902>>Wait a moment. You don’t want to interrupt with whatever they’re talking about just yet.
>>1963902>Wait a moment. You don’t want to interrupt with whatever they’re talking about just yet.
>>1963926>>1963942>>1963961Waiting it is, writing!
Question: How exactly did you guys fuck up the chat with the commander so bad? Naru literally told you that the only reason any member of our squad survived was because the SHIV was there to save her, thus allowing her to later on fire the rocket that collapsed the building. It’s WAS lucky, but not in the sense that’s an acceptable response in regards to a tactical explanation.I only say this because I’ve just started playing this, but the answer to her question was so infuriatingly obvious that I don’t understand it.
>>1964039Do yourself a favor, and just don't read what happened in the past few threads. Some of the people here would honestly probably strangle on their own saliva if it was a dialogue option.
>>1964039Depressed. Didn't care to think. I thought about SHIV but I doubted it could've made a difference if they were just slightly unluckier. Wanted to show that were were terrible leader and should never be given leadership ever again. I plan never lead with this character anymore, following orders sounds so much easier to me. No need to care about what to do, just do what we're told to do and fight.I simply can't trust the anons enough to vote smart on missions anymore after that 'split the team' fiasco. Better to only risk our own lives and not the lives of others by giving stupid orders.
>>1964039>>1964050(You)s were being doled out by the bucketload the past few threads. Don't think about it and just read.
“We can wait a moment.” You say. Peppermint shrugs but concurs. The two of you begin to wait, not trying to stand out too much give your other members some time to finish with whatever they’re talking about. You opt to spend the time taking a look at what exactly goes on in the OTS proper. It looks like the particular topic is on the new Chrysalids and tactics on how to combat them in future operations. Which is fine, no, a great idea from you, if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re using your team’s combat footage as reference. It looks like your group was first contact, it doesn’t look like the other teams had encountered the bugs until the very end.One thing is for sure, everyone seems to agree that fire is the key to success against the bugs. There seems to be a push for either more of Naru’s Flamethrower Gauntlet to be put into production or adding incendiary grenades into mission loadouts. Despite everything, it’s good to know people are recognizing your Rocketeer’s tinkering.Peppermint elbows you, you’re about to say something back to her but you notice why, the others have spotted you both. Probably finishing with whatever they were talking about and only just seeing you now. They react as well as you expect them to, for better or worse. With Harita looking extremely worried like she actually has seen the cause of her fretting, Sweet thankfully turning it down a notch to a friendly wave, and Rook’s… just cold. He’s not screaming at you or anything like that, but it’s clear that much like Sweet, he’s ‘On’ in his own way.Rook begins to make his way to you immediately, walking with purpose. Harita tries to say something but pauses, the words at the tip of her tongue. Sweet simply shakes his head.“We need to talk.” Rook says to you, taking the words right out of your mouth.“Yes we do.” You nod, but Rook isn’t finished.“Good, come with me.” He motions, it looks like he wants to speak privately. Peppermint and the others however seem to see this, and it’s clear to everyone that it might not end well at all. Maybe a personal conversation is a bad idea…?>Alright, you can take a moment to settle this in private. Best not to say no.>Whatever needs to be said to you, good or bad, the others should hear. If it’s bad you don’t want to try and save face, you’ll accept wherever it is.>Be quick to try and explain yourself beforehand. You could stop this at the pass before it happens.>Other.
>>1964181>Whatever needs to be said to you, good or bad, the others should hear. If it’s bad you don’t want to try and save face, you’ll accept wherever it is.
>>1964181>>Whatever needs to be said to you, good or bad, the others should hear. If it’s bad you don’t want to try and save face, you’ll accept wherever it is.
>>1964181>>Whatever needs to be said to you, good or bad, the others should hear. If it’s bad you don’t want to try and save face, you’ll accept>”You need to hit me, sir? Hit me. Berate me, tell me I fucked, anything; I deserve it all. I promised you not to be stupid, and I failed you. I failed them.”
>>1964181>>Alright, you can take a moment to settle this in private. Best not to say no.
>>1964185>>1964186>>1964205>>1964222Laying it out in the open it is, writing!
Heads up, this might take a bit of time to write. Apologies!
>>1964341No problem man, keep on truckin'.
Well... this could go badly, but you know this has to be done. Instead of following Rook you stand there and shake your head.“No, sir.” You say. “Whatever you want to say, I think the squad should hear it.”The look on Rook’s face, is enough to send a chill down your spine. Flare of pent up stress and frustration nearly boiling over to very, very understandable rage at your comment. He nearly does it, so close. But instead, he merely glares at you, a look of disbelief turned into incredulous look on his face. He slowly shake his head.“You… you never cease to amaze me, Dozer.” Rook say slowly.“Sir, I--” You don’t even get to finish. The others try to say their own piece but Rook continues.“Even now, after everything. Everything. You have the sheer audacity to say that? I really, truly, can’t believe it…” Rook mutters shaking his head once more, it almost seems like he finds it utterly amusing, like it’s come full circle. “I never thought I’d have the… honor… to deal with someone so obstinado. Your nickname really fits.”“R-Rook, sir! Ah.. you-- I--” Harita stammers trying to formulate the right words to say, but once again finding her lack of presence while extremely valuable in combat is once again rearing it’s head again. For the worst.“Now hold on there, boss. You’re going to far.” Sweet tries to add in as well to defuse the situation, but he also falls on deaf ears to your Squad Leader. Peppermint remains silent on this.“I asked you, personally. To do one thing… one thing. One simple thing and I would have let everything be. Your suicidal tendencies, your hero complex, your insubordination, all of it. One simple request… to follow my orders. And you can’t even do that. You are a piece of work Dozer.” Rook says to this.“I-” You start, but what can you say really? What is there to say? This exactly what you deserve, after all. “You want me to say this to the rest of the squad?” Rook says, motioning to the other members here with a nod. It’s clear he’s completely done with your shit. All of it building up until that very moment over what you said. “Very well, Dozer. I’ll tell them, if you want them to know oh so badly. You. Are. A-” (Part 1 / 2)
“He knows, sir. You are wasting your breath.” A voice says, stopping Rook right at the pass. Harita gasps and Sweet blinks in surprise. His head whips around to the source of of the other insubordinate and even he’s taking back by the suddenness of it. It’s Peppermint. “What did you just say to me, soldier?” Rook says as his self-control slips and his voice starts to raise. The others in the OTS are starting to look now. All eyes turn to the quiet and calm words of Peppermint, it reminds you of the calm before a blizzard. Peppermint doesn’t back down.“You heard me, sir. Dozer is well aware of what happened. What you’re saying is redundant.” Peppermint says softly.“Is that how it is then? Is the rest of Strike-1 going to turn on me for going against the hotshot Dozer?” Rook starts to laugh now at this, finding this funny. Peppermint however doesn’t. The anger kicks in.“No! Not at all!” Peppermint snaps, her icy blue eyes steeled at this as she lays it out to a stunned room. “I was there when it happened! I accepted his calls and I did not share a single doubt in his decisions. It had made sense at time, perhaps not so much in retrospect, but in the heat of battle it had! His comrade, practically the only one left had nearly fallen and he carries their scars and loss even now! To think he doesn’t, to think he is not aware of his mistakes, that is foolishness to you.”Peppermint takes a determined step forward.“You know and I know and everyone else in this room knows… that we all carry our own scars. Our own failures, and we will carry them to their grave. You do not need to bury his head in the dirt over his.” Peppermint hisses that last bit, her own shoulders shaking as it seems she recalls her own past. She deflates, that roaring blizzard of anger subsiding as she calms down and takes a shaky breath. “We are better than this. We are all XCOM after all. Not… children.”Silence hangs in the room, everyone is utterly speechless.Instead of exploding in anger, instead of laying down the law and reigning in Peppermint’s outburst, instead of getting what you deserve from Rook. Rook… is silent. The Argentinian Infantry composes himself, closing his eyes for a moment, a withdrawn look on his face. The man looking tired of all this. “Your comment is noted.” Rook says robotically, as he nods to you and the others and begins to quietly make his leave. Peppermint lets out a grunt, completely done with the whole situation.“Why-- what--” Harita stammers.“I just am tired of all of this... drama.” Peppermint grunts, brushing her hair aside.“Damn girl.” Sweet whistles. Rook continues to make his leave.>Stop him and say your piece. Even if it’s much worse, you don’t want to have Peppermint thrown to the wolves because of you.>Let him leave. You don’t think there’s anything you can say to top what just happen. Rook looks like he needs time to think.>Thank Peppermint. You have no idea how or why, but you owe her.>Other.
>>1964420>Thank Peppermint. You have no idea how or why, but you owe her.DAMN.
>>1964420>Thank Peppermint. You have no idea how or why, but you owe her.
>>1964420>>Thank Peppermint. You have no idea how or why, but you owe her.
>>1964422>>1964425>>1964427>>1964431>>1964441>>1964473Thanks it is, writing!
“...Thanks.” You say rather dumbly to Peppermint, who merely cocks an eyebrow.“It’s no big deal. I was just getting distracted by how difficult everyone has been, it spoils my aim.” Peppermint grunts. “Try not to overthink it, American.”“Uh, yeah.”“So.” Peppermint doesn’t stop to linger on it and turns to Harita and Sweet either blissfully unaware of what the ramifications were for what she did or simply accepting and not caring much for it. “What were you talking about.”“W-well…” Harita gulps. “It was on the current state of Strike-1. We are two members down and there is the possibility we might need two replacements…”“I was given the OK to let you guys know what the situation is with Tanuki and Riot.” Sweet explains, who then gives Peppermint the rundown on your two teammate’s states. Peppermint frowns at this.“A shame.” She sighs.“Whatever the case may be…” Harita starts, trying not to think about them and obviously finding it difficult. “...We are going to be undermanned for some time. Either we stay and remain benched and dull or experience for who knows how long or we work even harder with our handicap on missions and risk exhaustion. Both are not good options… a-and like Peppermint has said, we are not trying to say that--”“I get it, thanks.” You nod. Harita looks a bit relieved at that… but you can tell she is being rather erratic around you. Perhaps even… worried or afraid? Did something happen with you to get her to be upset? “Yeah, it’s not looking great.” Sweet comments. “We’re going to have to decide what to do as a group sooner or later.”“Hm, what do you think American?” Peppermint asks you. You consider this for a moment. However, you don’t get a chance to speak on what you think is the best choice as you hear a commotion outside. The Blueshirts seemingly arguing with others. Initially you think it’s Rook until you see them burst into the door. It’s damn spooks.“What the hell?!” Sweet exclaims, but he is promptly ignored as the group of spooks scan the room, chatting quietly on their earpieces before one them eyes you.“Found him.” The man comments before stepping forward before you. “Specialist ‘Dozer’. You have been called in for internal review. Please come with us.”“O-On whose authority!?” Harita speaks up, mustering herself to speak back to the spooks this time. Sadly, the spooks also ignore her.“Cooperate and come with us specialist, we don’t want to have to bring you forcibly.” Another spook says, idly adjusting his sunglasses. You make a quick headcount and count six sets of two-piece suits and shades. They take a step forward and motion for you to follow them.>Hell no. There’s no way you’re going with these sleazy fucks after everything that just happened.>Dammit, fine. You might as well get this over with and not make an even bigger scene.>Demand some answers, you’re not going anywhere until you get something from them.>Other
>>1964532>Demand some answers, you’re not going anywhere until you get something from them.
>>1964532>>Dammit, fine. You might as well get this over with and not make an even bigger scene.
>>1964532>>1964532>>Dammit, fine. You might as well get this over with and not make an even bigger scene.As much as I don't like where this is going.
>>1964532>>Demand some answers, you’re not going anywhere until you get something from themAnd also, ask them to remove those sunglasses of theirs, just to check they're not thin men.
>>1964532>I need some verification you are who you say you are.
>>1964536>>1964540>>1964556>>1964572Complying it is, writing!
>>1964532>and risk exhaustionThis, coupled with Thin Man Fun Clouds, is a bad idea.
“Fine.” You say, trying not to grit your teeth. You are really not in the mood for this, not after everything you’ve been dealing with. The last thing anyone needs however is to make an even bigger scene.“You are joking, Dozer.” Peppermint scowls. “At least let us see some identification.”“Hell, for all we know you guys could be Thin Men.” Sweet crosses his arms.“It’s fine.” You reiterate to them before turning back to the spooks. “I’ll go.”“Excellent, follow us.” The lead spook says, as the group turns to leave. You nod to the group and begin to make your leave. For second, you see a look cross over the trio’s eyes, but you don’t get any clarification as you are lead out of the OTS.The suited men and women flank you as their leader directs your group to the main elevator back up into the main sections of the base. They seem to move about the base with familiarity and ease, as if they are accustomed to the layout themselves. You don’t even bother to try and ask them questions, as you know they won’t give you anything worthwhile.You are led to one of the secluded debriefing rooms in the base and are ushered inside and effectively locked within the room. The spooks informing you that you will be dealt with ‘shortly’. They leave you to stew in the room for who knows how long. Already this is worse than having to stand around waiting as Bradford had ordered you. At the very least you had something to pass the time. This empty room however? It’s like they’re trying to make you get anxious in there. It’s frustrating to say the least.Time passes and you can’t tell if it’s hours or minutes that you are spent locked up in this room, but finally, someone opens the door. You turn, expecting to get some answers or at the very least someone who you can hopefully pry from them yourself by any means necessary. The person who you note is ‘lead’ into the room is none other than the Commander of XCOM herself. You stand up.The two of you lock eyes and realization hits the Commander who closes her eyes, letting out a quiet sigh. “...Hello again, Dozer.” The Commander says softly, opening her eyes again and looking at first clearly frustrated before composing herself and looking back at you… apologetically. Before calmly taking a seat beside you and smoothing her skirt.The spooks close the door for a moment and you have moment with the Commander, your mind brimming with questions.>What the hell is going on?>Who are those guys?>Why are they here and why are YOU here as well?>On second thought, probably best to be quiet and get ready for whatever is about to happen...>Other
>>1964598>>What the hell is going on?
>>1964598>>Why are they here and why are YOU here as well?Seems like a good time to ask.
>>1964598>>OtherDid we get invaded by Thin Men and walk straight into a trap? If not, what's going on?
>>1964598>>Why are they here and why are YOU here as well?
>>1964598>Who are those guys?Let's keep it calm and collected, and not dig ourselves any deeper
>>1964598>On second thought, probably best to be quiet and get ready for whatever is about to happen...And flash the smile of the truly stupid. Who me?
>>1964598>Why are they here and why are YOU here as well?
>>1964598>On second thought, probably best to be quiet and get ready for whatever is about to happen...
>>1964634>>On second thought, probably best to be quiet and get ready for whatever is about to happen...Supporting this.
>>1964598>>On second thought, probably best to be quiet and get ready for whatever is about to happen...
>>1964601>>1964605>>1964614>>1964629>>1964633Asking why it is, writing!
Heads up, another long post ahead. This will likely be the last one so sit tight!
>>1964684Roger that.Also, reading through Endless Sky right now. As a Ace Combat fan, I'm loving it.
>>1964687Be wary of that Snow, Buddy.
ignorant fag here... what's the significance of snow?
>>1964691The idea is that you say "Here Comes the Snow" while rolling dice here, and you get the best outcomes. One guy in some Merc Quest threads got stupidly, and consistently lucky rolls (Lots of good rolls, some 20s) while saying the phrase.
>>1964691>ignorant fag here... what's the significance of snow?The day two friends met, it was snowingThe day those two fought as enemies, it was snowingPlay Ace Combat Zero
>>1964696Picking up Merc quest, thanks for the tip
>>1964696>>1964698I see, thanks for the explanation bros. May the Lady smile upon you.
>>1964703Not Merc as in a Merc quest, but Merc as in MercCommand, a QM. That being said read Valkyrian Mercs quest it's great, as is some (not all) of his other quests
Update incoming, standby for deployment. It's going to be a big one.
“Ma’am, I may be overstating my bounds but why are those guys here and more importantly… why are you here with me? I mean hell, are they Thin Men?” You ask the Commander. This was getting out of hand, first your personal review with the Commander, then speaking with most of your team, and finally this. You are getting sick and tired of being jostled around alongside all of the drama, as Peppermint so eloquently has said.The Commander listens intently and smiles a bit at the last comment. “If only they were, Dozer. Things would be much much simpler.” The Commander says.“Then why are they here?” You press again concern rising. It takes the Commander a few moments to say the answer.“Politics.” You frown at that. As you feared that’s not good at all. You consider asking her further however you are interrupted as someone enters the room. A man who practically embodies everything you hate about them rolled together into one person. An expensive suit, slicked back hair, and an even smoother smile. Rachel would’ve gagged at the sight of him. The man in the suit smiles wide, revealing perfect white teeth, walking over to extend a hand to the Commander. He ignores you.“Commander! It is an honor to finally get a chance to meet you in person, I’ve heard so much about you.” The man greets her. “Yes, I’m sure you have.” The Commander smiles politely, and refuses to shake his head. “And who do I… have the opportunity to be speaking with?”“Ahah, well…” The man smiles running a hand to his slicked combed hair. “My name really isn’t that important, just call me… Mr. A.”“Mm.” The Commander hums neutrally, this doesn’t stop Mr. A’s momentum as he continues on, taking a seat across the both of you completely at ease, the Commander doesn’t waver as she leans in to address the man. “Now, Mr. A, I would like to know what your men are doing in my base. If it wasn’t for your clearance and being given an extremely last minute reminder, I might have accidentally shot you all down for trespassing in our airspace. We wouldn’t have wanted that.”“Not at all! That would have made things pretty complicated.” Mr. A chuckles. “Well, if you must know, my team and I have been assembled to assess the XCOM project because of a nine vote majority by both of our superiors, The Council. They want to be sure everything is going smoothly given the… how does he say it? The ‘Mediocre’ month.”It all makes sense to you now, and you don’t like where this is going.“And the monthly report wasn’t adequate enough?” The Commander says, speaking with a bit more intensity in her voice. A little, not too much.“It was until the nine who voted read the report on the last ‘Terror Mission’ and have been made aware of certain deficiencies in your roster.” Mr. A says, looks over to you.. “I’m talking about you, slick.”(Part 1 / 3)
You’ve got to be kidding. You remain quiet, not giving him the satisfaction of a reaction.“That’s right.” Mr. A nods. “The Council is well aware of your, ah, questionable decision to recruit both Mr. Dozer here and that other one after the Alien Abduction in Arizona, and had initially let it slide. However, after finding out his performance as squad leader of all things during the Terror Mission the nine members who voted have started to express concern in your ability to lead the XCOM project, Commander.”“So they ordered you and your men to traipse through my base to tell me this instead of just through the Spokesperson on video?” The Commander says, frowning. Her eyes narrowing ever so slightly.“Yep! We’re just here to double check and see, in person, that everything's A-OK. The sooner we finish our inspection the sooner we can go on our way.” Mr. A nods.“...And who led this vote? Russia? Brazil? ...China?” The Commander demands with an air of calm yet unnerving grace. Mr. A shakes his head.“Canada.”There’s a pause in the conversation, and Mr. A continues.“Seeing as how your own government is clearly worried about your own ability--” Mr. A never gets to finish his sentence.(Part 2 / 3)
The Commander stands up and and all of the sudden it is like she is a completely different person, her friendly and welcoming attitude changed, instantly, to that of a cold, calculating, and ruthless individual. Her eyes are like daggers as she glares as she glares down at the spook with completely controlled fury.“Just because some idiot of an ass covering politician wants to try and pretend he’s hot shit doesn’t mean you get to speak to me like that. The only reason I have a roster ‘deficiency’ as you so colorfully call it because won’t give me any more funding or soldiers.” The Commander seethes venomously to the spook, who's completely caught off guard by this. You sympathize with him for once, after all you’re in the same spot as he is.“I-- well--”“Don’t even start.” The Commander dismisses. “You and every single member in the Council knows I’m the best you got. I’ll let you finish your joke of an inspection and then I’d like you to kindly get the hell out of my base.”Mr. A is at a loss for words but both them pause for a moment as they reach for their ear pieces. They stand there tensely in silence for some time before Mr. A’s eyes light up with satisfaction as he hears it, The Commander glowering further hearing this as well. The spook stands up, adjusting his suit and composing himself as the Commander idly rests her hands on her massive revolver.“W-well, as much as I’d love to stay and chat, Commander, it seems both of us have our own duties to call no?” Mr. A says.“That we can agree on, now get out.” The Commander orders and quite satisfactorily Mr. A quickly makes his leave, tail between his legs at the sight of the hidden anger from within the Commander. You take it all in, just as dumbfounded as you were with Peppermint’s outburst. Are the rest of women in XCOM just as intense...?“Come on.” The Commander says, standing up to walk out the door, you hastily follow with. As you exit you see the spooks making their leave as familiar faces in combat gear round the corner. The Commander stares blankly and with a bemused look as Peppermint, Loki, Harita, and Sweet round the corner.“We geared up to get you out as soon as we found out that they--” Harita nearly falls back at the sight of the Commander’s state. She merely scoffs and shakes her head.“I don’t even want to know what the hell you all were planning.” The Commander says. “But good, you’re all already geared up and that saves time. Convenient.”“M-Ma’am?” You turn to her. “What’s going on now?”“It seems the Council isn’t done complicating things for us and has issued us an extremely high priority mission. Target Extraction. Get Rook and gear up as well, you’re all heading back to China.”
>...Whew, and with that we’re calling it here! Slow night and that was one hell of a long post on my end, but hopefully next week we can pick back up with things and meet some friends in low places! So until next time… Thanks for playing!
>>1964721Oh boy, we Zhang now?>>1964722Thanks, Pixel.
>>1964722Good run Pixel. >>1964721I love our squad
>>1964722Thanks man. >>1964721I'm glad we didn't piss off the commander in our interview.
>>1964722Thanks for the run, Boss! See you next time.>>1964726I swear she's always wearing very discrete battle armour underneath her regular uniform.
>>1964724Perhaps!>>1964726So am I my friend. So am I. >>1964727No comment!
>>1964731Alright, looking forward to it.
>>1964727If she is that's even more reason to not want her pissed at us.
>>1964718>the council micromanages XCOM over one debatably wrong call of a provisional squad leaderreally now? also wasn't the bio-zombie outbreak contained?in any case, thanks for the thread OP!
>>1964737That sounds like a pretense to replace the Commander.That the Council is willing to engage in political intrigue in the middle of an alien invasion, risking the effectiveness of their only defence force, is another issue altogether.Maybe they're infiltrated by EXALT?
>>1964727>very discrete battle armour underneath her regular uniform.I'm more interested in what she's wearing under that battle armor, but to each his own tastes.
>>1964751>That the Council is willing to engage in political intrigue in the middle of an alien invasion.Maybe they just wanted to make sure the China mission will be a success. Is Shiv-chan repaired yet, or do we get another one ?
>>1964751Dang those Eggsalts.
Well, that was interesting to catch up on.
>>1964721I miss when the commander was the nicest character.
>>1964922She still is.
>>1964754>inb4 NOTHING AT ALL
>>1964922She probably still is, we just have to remember she's also one of the scariest. She's not XCOM commander for no reason. I wouldn't be surprised if she can quickdraw fast enough with her hand cannon that she could kill us before we even knew what was happening.>>1964754>>1965030I too would like to find out what, if anything commander is wearing underneath that sweater.
>>1964922I'm not. I'm finally seeing an XCOM Commander and not Generic Motherly Anime Girl #34768Cause you know, the first thing I want to see in an XCOM quest is the Commander giving out cookies.
>>1964922Angry commander kinda turns me on. Motherly commander makes cookies.She's the perfect woman.
>>1965634A motherly anime girl is already not generic.Also cookies are justice.
>>1965757>being this newfaggy
>>1965754>A motherly anime girl is already not generic.You are easily impressed then.Point is though I'm glad we are seeing someone I can actually start to believe is an XCOM commander.Miss opportunity to make Beagle the Commander though tbqh.
>>1965868Maybe we can find Beagle sometime? We come back to base on a mission and turns out he got recruited for a command role?
>>1966053Make him SL so all we do is overwatch bound every mission.It'll be boring as fuck but we'll never lose.
>>1966053From a narrative standpoint it would be a poor decision.A reference is good for a bit, but it plays itself out quickly. Either Pixel would have to develop the Commander's character further, and then it wouldn't be Beagle anymore, or he would have not to show the Commander much, and then what would be the point?
>It's been one month since the terror mission ended and we are still getting evaluated over it.Reee pacing reeeeAt least it's over. I think.
>>1967423for the guys first quest, i think he's doing well
>>1967423>Reee pacing reeeeLeave and go read Naruto Quest if you have a short attention span. Performance evaluations even a year after the fact are quite normal in the workplace. And as was pointed out before, they just wanted to make sure Xcom was on top of the China mission.
>>1968487Better than most.>>1968680>Performance evaluations even a year after the fact are quite normal in the workplace. Fucking really mate? Maybe stop being a brown nose desperately trying to find any excuse to refute any criticism. The pacing in this quest isn't great currently. That's a statement and not an opinion. I hope it gets better going forward but that's not going to stop me from calling shit as I see it.
>>1968822>Calling shit as I see it, not an opinion. At least just say you think the pacing is bad and don't claim to be some kind of expert. It's a little slow in places but most quests suffer from that, especially with new QM's.
>>1969001>At least just say you think the pacing is bad and don't claim to be some kind of expert.I like how you claim it's just an opinion but then agree with me>It's a little slow in places but most quests suffer from that, especially with new QM's.here just with the caveat that it's okay cause he is a new QM. And you're right it's understandable since he is new, but it's still bad pacing. Fact. He'll get better as he goes along. Hopefully. Some QMs never learn from their mistakes. Probably cause they have players that just kiss their ass constantly cause they are just happy to have someone running and no one gives criticism.
>>1969154You said the pacing in the quest isn't great. I think it's fine (IE not bad) if a little slower than I'd prefer. Quests are almost invariably on the slow side. Especially when there's any kind of social aspect like is depicted here. Is there stuff he could do better? Probably, everyone can get better. I don't think anyone is kissing his ass at the moment.
What I love about this quest is that anons consistently choose the absolute worst dialogue choices and Pixel actually follows through with how that shit doesn't really fly and NPC's calling Dozer out on his bullshit.
>>1971841Except for the bit with the Commander. I REALLY wanted to see what she would've said had Anon picked the dumb answers.
>>1971841Dozer is the guy who can go into a test with the answers psychically transferred into his brain, answer every question wrong, but through sheer dumb luck a typographical error in the automatic grading system gives him a passing grade or some shit.He can get into a fucked up situation and get through by the skin of his teeth, may or may not include mass violence and brutal PTSD inducing dismemberment to whatever he is around.
>>1971841Like lets list just our recent fuckups,Rook fucking hates us cause we dont follow orders and consistently second guess him, despite him being our commander. Harrita liked us but is now terrified of us because of our completely inappropriate (and not very sane) response to our friend nearly dying and being horribly maimed.The commander is disappointed in us because weve basically brought all this shit down on her and have demonstrated amply that we cant learn from our mistakes.
>>1974074Where exactly did we second guess Rook, or not followed his orders? I am under impression he's mad at us because of our reckless, risk taking fighting style. Which saved Burnout's life iirc. And now obviously put two others out of fight for the time being.Breakdown with Rachel was played out well I think. As in it was a credible failure to make.As for the recent situation with council involvement, how exactly is that "our" fuckup? Does the council express [deep concern] for every mission where an XCOM trooper gets maimed? Seemed more like shady politics to me.
Dozer is probably George Custer desu senpai
>>1974097Weve disobeyed him several times. Once during the burnout incident and literally just right now where he said follow me and we said no.
Loki is still kind of a cunt. "I know, let's pretty much force the guy who has established he has a tendency to be reckless in a leadership role. He'll do fiiiiine." bitch what? Next she'll have some sob story over her squad from before she was XCOM or something. Also Dozer is a meek little candy-ass when he isn't out in the fight it's kinda funny. Dude needs to learn to speak up.
>>1974474>Dude disobeys orders and shows insubordination right and left>Needs to learn to speak up
Might as well toss in my two cents into the pot.I think we were just given the role as a leader rather than earning it. We have to learn to follow before learning how to lead. But the problem with that in a narrative standpoint is that it makes us a rather passive protagonist and that makes for a rather boring read. People like active protagonists because they do things which affects the world for better or worse depending on the Dice's mood.The problem with the dice is even if we happen to forge a plan that could rival the greatest tacticians in history, it is all thrown to the wolves the moment we roll a 1. Alternatively, if we just rely on the dice to win the day, then we're just eeking out by the skin of our teeth.
>>1974559He sits there without anything to say the moment anyone says anything bad about him or his decisions. There is a difference between able to admit to your faults and just not having a backbone.
>>1975549There's also not biting back at your superiors. that generally doesn't go over well in the military. Sometimes you take your licks, learn, move on, and get better
>>1975626The problem is that Rook is making it a personal problem. It is -his- squad. If he wanted to lay into Dozer for making a bad call that's fine but Rook doesn't want to do that. Rook wants to gaslight Dozer for putting his people in trouble. People are going to die and get hurt. There simply will be casualties and if Rook can't handle that he's going to fly off the handle and cause even more problems. Honestly I don't think Rook is cut out for command entirely because he cares too much about bringing his squad back safely. His track record so far is absolutely phenomenal and I really like his dedication to keeping his men alive but in some circumstances they will die. He can't handle that which he has made abundantly clear in every situation where anyone under his command was wounded, not in the field but out of it. He flips the fuck out way harder than is acceptable once everyone gets back to base and he does need to chill the hell out.Dozer is a shit commander but so is Rook for different reasons. Dude is going to have a breakdown because he can't handle his stress at all. Rook's a good tactician but a terrible commander.Rook is Squad Dad
>>1975704I can't wait for Rook76
>>1975726Hopefully we can secure enough MELD before he almost bites it.