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ApolloZani

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  1. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Interviews: Engineer Subject is a 210cm (6'10", measured in exosuit) harridan, isolated in an airtight, faraday caged, high-pressured sulphur hexafluoride atmosphere. Dr. Eze leading, communicating through microphone and video. Excerpt begins 35h01m into recording. Dr. Eze: "Its sentences require some kind of identity checksum." Dr. Miller: "Which is easy enough to fake, we just don't know what a superior sounds like." Dr. Patel: "That's more progress than yesterday. How's our vocabulary coming along?" Dr. Eze: "Slowly." The recovered subject only understands one language and, unfortunately, it's the most used alien language we've had the least success translating. While it's more than willing to answer any question we think to ask it, the most common response amounts to, "look it up." Since we neither have access to the alien's databases nor most of the knowledge a harrdian is implanted with when cloned, much of this report comes by way of indirect reasoning. When it first woke up it began cutting its way through the alloy platting of its containment. Only one command was needed for it to repair its own escape attempt, it then deduced the purpose of its room and began sealing itself further. Friction welding the doors shut, flattening rivets, and marking microfractures for further work before we located the proper command to stop. Testing in this regard was put on hold until a sufficient vocabulary was built, done primarily by asking the subject to identify various objects both alien and human in origin. When testing resumed, we discovered it can fix anything. Engineering was consulted early on and they offered several of their own tools, machines, an engine, aeronautics engineer Mr. Musk's belt, and a microwave from the staff lounge. Given time and materials, the subject not only restores any given device's function but begin making improvements. From reinforcing alloys with ceramite to molding a far more ergonomic belt buckle than any on the (failing) markets today. As unwise as it is to make use of technologies built by a captive alien we have trouble communicating with, some of the changes are benign and simple enough that several personnel have recreated test footage themselves. Without authorization. This no doubt presents an invaluable resource, if one that requires constant vigilance. We are entirely outclassed here and mapping enough adjectives and verbs to direct its abilities may not even get desired results. It has one idea in mind per device and has difficulty adapting designs. Although Research has learned of no less than sixteen ways to build a plasma weapon out of household materials, we are no closer to understanding the principals of its operation than when the first pistol was brought in. It does not explain itself. It simply is.
  2. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Interviews: Officer Subject is a 136cm (4'5") caesan, isolated in an airtight, psionically shielded room with invasion standard N2/O2 mix. Dr. Patel leading, communicating through microphone, alloy glass, and PSIAC-6. Excerpt begins 0h36m into recording. Subject: "Impressive progress for fragments, the others took far longer." Dr. Patel: "What others?" Subject: "You've met their sequenced children. This question serves no purpose." Dr. Patel: "You've said that before, can you tell us what purpose questions should serve?" Subject: "Ones which will lead to your rule of us." Cooperation began with seemingly forthcoming, if cryptic, information with resistance to any form of useful elaboration. Military and technology oriented questions were stonewalled both through verbal-visual communications and text based PSIAC transcriptions. Attempts to coerce through positive reinforcement occasionally achieved minor elucidations, but only when met with unique stimulus. The removal of limbs and other similar techniques only produced the desired effects once, after which the subject adapted and no longer showed signs of fear, pain, or disgust. New developments were required. Psionics are fundamentally one way, they cannot be used to read minds any more than a recorded speech can have a live conversation, but there are ways around this limitation. Though psionic influence is believed to be short-term we have no way of being certain about that (hence why field teams are often kept in the dark regarding sensitive plans) and so Research did not risk themselves or anyone on-base with direct contact. Members of the general population where selected for their psionic intuition. Conference with the subject was hardly pleasant on both sides. After several poorly conceived escape attempts from controlled members and resultant behavior that could only be described as maddness in the subject it, worryingly, proved an eager participant. Offering advice and direction that we first took as subversive to the exercise yet provided the most fruitful results. It wanted us to succeed and as of this morning, we have. Several keystones have already emerged and so this report is simply a preliminary, beginning with the most important: Caesans are best described as officers and are not the true leaders of the invasion. The subject in containment is more than six hundred years old and has been involved in numerous invasions of other civilizations, some more advanced than ours, others much less so. Its species was chosen as ideal commanders capable of enforcing their individual will across countless species. Elimination of an officer in the field will likely result in panic of their subordinates as well as frenzied actions of their less trained castes (reapers in particular.) While not privy to the individual mechanisms or technologies of this war, it believes in a greater design in which we are culled and breed for our psionic potential to take our place as the generals and admirals of their leader's next invasion. We obviously cannot allow this to happen. Not only will it represent billions of lost lives but the autonomy of our entire species. Special note: Conference has requested becoming a permanent division of our organization. They would require their own facility if you accept their petition. Research believes their agents would be far better assistants than our soldiers to Liaison, speed up these kinds of analyses, and may one day be our best choice for psionic operatives assuming PSIAC becomes field viable. Their only condition is that the cesean officer remain on-site as their teacher, a risky prospect yet not much more so than allowing returned soldiers access to entire base.
  3. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    @TrashMan That's kinda the point? XCOM stuff is all science fantasy. The opening cutscene that started this whole genre shows muscly pink apes in green unitards ordering an attack on some nameless street with a slam of their fist against a boring throne. Xenonauts still has those roots. We fight bipeds with brain powers that employ magic battery crystals to charge up naked singularities, which the aliens keep stored on their bridge like some dashboard trophy. Fantastic science is the name here. We fight off an alien invasion from aliens who are used to invading other aliens in the span of six months with a team of less than 100 people on a shoe string budget, there needs to be some leeway in the science. That said, I do think about these sorts of things. I didn't look up GRACE's specifications or anything that crazy, but I have gotten the chance to play with some pretty fancy geological gravity detecting equipment. I figured if current tech can find something like a UOO, it would have to be as big and as heavy as mineral deposit. That gives UOO-1 a lower bound of mass in the realm of hundreds of thousands thousands of tons. You can swat a spec of dirt from 0 to 60 with a flick of your finger but moving mount everest from positive 8000km/s to negative 8000km/s takes a lot more force. I'll finally do the math here. Force = Mass x Acceleration F = 800,000,000,000,000kg x (16,000,000m/s / 10 seconds) F = 1,280,000,000,000,000,000,000N If you put all the rockets on one side of a 200km brick and distribute it perfectly evenly it still puts out a force of 160,000,000,000N/m^2 or 1.6e13pascales. Which is closer to having things stop being material science and start being nuclear physics rather than it is turning steel into molten slag. What I should have said was, "any known matter would have started fusing like a star, knowing what we do about the insides of stars." All this to say what I was trying to show rather than tell: they didn't use force to make the maneuver. Thank you for your criticism. Even if you hate it, it still made me think about things and how I could do better.
  4. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Psionics, Human With each new war comes different tactics, technology, and strategy. This has been true for every war since the dawn of human history and has never been more true with this this one. It is not the fittest who survive but those most adaptable to change and we are certainly not the fittest. Our enemies can think faster than us, use technology out of fiction, and employ abilities we can scarcely understand but with expectation comes a measure of control. Psionics is still a budding field based almost entirely on recorded battlefield data and analysis of our resident coma patients down in Containment. Recent advances have allowed us to recreate some of the effects we've seen. The basic theory is similar to a parabolic dish, sending an image of any given construct (in this case, a brain) and focusing it on a target. The target then experiences your own thoughts and depending on so many factors they can broadly be defined as, "skill," any number of effects can occur. While no one so far tested has managed to display the kinds of control we've seen in field reports, certain individuals have a near intuitive understanding on how to cause hallucinations and even direct gestalt communications. Unfortunately, such a dish must be built in 4-space. Mathematically, it can be described as a holographic projection into the complex pane of space-time, existing without mass, charge, or time meaning it disappears the moment we cease supporting it. Such support initially required an entire lab space to contain, though as with all mechanical technologies miniaturization contains some obvious first steps. To that end, psionic training rooms have been designed and are awaiting your approval for installation in unused sections of the base. Such training will not enable a soldier to perform these feats on their own, but will provide a safe space to be on the receiving end of mind-mind incursions and let us better learn how to resist without the dangers of being in the field at the same time.
  5. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Bioelectronics The lack of anything resembling traditional electronics has so far been baffling. Recovered craft have no wires, transmitters, and very little conductive metals of any kind, yet the various systems operate in conjuncture performing rather complex tasks. Until recently, we believed the alloys had a memory mechanism we had yet to unravel. With the control center of the latest UOO signature, we can now confidently say that their computers are unlike anything humankind has ever produced. It is, in essence, a captive brain. Highly specialized to run the calculations need to keep airborne, regulate weapon systems, and other functions we've yet to map out. Throughout the hull, what was previously misidentified as organic contaminates from combat, are networks of growing, living nervous tissue. Feeding off the pure elerium each meters long cell contains and explaining why their craft continue to function perfectly in the face of their near constant EMPs. Communicating with samples has, unfortunately, proven useless. While the various systems provide an ideal medium to attempt an interview, the input/outputs are rather simple analogues of what we could expect from talking to our own machines. As a result, these samples can be easily co-opted to perform tasks we've since been locked out of. Missile guidance, automated radar processing, and fifty years of advances for our fighter jets will again be in our grasp. However, this method of computation does provide some disadvantages compared to the properly shielded computer clusters under construction in the deeper caves of the world. First, its significantly slower. It takes far more time to send a signal through a neuron than through copper which helps explain why their air superiority fighters have had similar reaction times to our pilots despite lacking any themselves. Second, there are no easy ways to encrypt the information present. It's entirely possible that if we start listening, we won't need those computer clusters to break in. We know all craft have some means of long-range communications. Reports from Israeli AA ground crews have noted sudden cessations of bombing runs after a minor success only to be escorted out of atmosphere by some form of rescue craft. Since we've been unable to find any transmission equipment on recovery, the method they use is either very small or very weak. It's possible we will have to take down some manner of coordinator if we're to recognize the technology, likely present in either an as yet unseen ship or an undiscovered ground base.
  6. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    @Ninothree Thanks for your thoughts! If you have any more, feel free to let me know! As for the Xenoethnology, I chose that term after going on a wikiwalk. I've been trying for an idea where there are multiple cultures and languages separated by a caste system. Where engineers speak a different language from the soldiers and officers have their own culture which scientists aren't allowed to join. This system isn't something the organization has completely figured out yet but will get there with an officer capture. However, the fact that this didn't come off shows the extent to which I failed. I might go back and edit it to make it more clear later.
  7. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Xenoethnology¹ Knowing your enemy is the first step to victory, that belief is one of the few we share. Extensive public and private discourse about the purpose and nature of the invasion has been raging over telephone lines, letters, and increasingly dirty radio signals this past month, much of it worthless speculation. What we've been able to access from datacores and crew recordings is similarly worthless ideas about us. From gossip about the food each of us eat to pseudo-scientific jargon about theoretical military capabilities, "Who can beat who in an unarmed fight," there remains some nuggets of truth in the trash. Hunters in Iceland found evidence of what we assume was a preliminary forward base test. It did not contain the same alien materials present at the 1957 base, but it did have markings we would never had the chance to see otherwise. Blueprints and directions that we've only recently deciphered, with some help from the alien species we've kept in containment. The room prepared for, "sequencing," stood out for having aesthetically pleasing flourishes carved into every inch of the stone walls. A recovered log from an abduction mission began some analysis on what parts of our genome lead to what advantages. Much of which we already understand with the exception of one file focused primarily on our mental abilities. A single term in particular showing up more than 26 times in a 400 word transcript. "Untapped potential." Alongside another important term with multiple translations². The Chinese-Indian Joint Venture for Alien Intelligence have been sending each other information via microwave beams for some time. In their now typical rounds of testing, they've attempted several different kinds of encryption as well as plaintext versions in the hopes of seeing a result, last week the transmission was finally interrupted by a UOO, which was quickly destroyed by an overzealous SAM. Interference only occurred with an unencrypted message regarding an alien's genome and further attempt to bait have been met without success. Combining these, and many other, disparate pieces of information yields a picture of our enemy. An out-of-focus, poorly lit, cut-off picture. Our enemy values genetic engineering to a degree that borders on religious purpose. A multispecies hierarchy that shares some traits (all produce the same blood, have identical lungs), improves others (reaction time is directly correlated with assumed ranks), and conservatively keeps certain traits within one species. It would be trivial for their engineers³ to transplant many of the coagulation factors seen in Sebellians to the other species encountered thus far. In fact, several of these extreme traits are present as a single continuous sequence easy enough for us to take advantage of, given a few billion more dollars and several decades of research. Until then, we finally have some working knowledge on the alien's shared language⁴ and can perhaps leverage this into a proper interrogation upon capture of an alien who understands they're fighting a war. 1. Term heavily debated at time of writing. 2. "Master," "Creation," "Weapon," "Gift." 3. Assumption. Do they have engineers? 4. Sixteen total have been identified at time of writing.
  8. In X-Com, someone will get enough psionic power to be indispensable. Usually too indispensable to leave the ship, while everyone else just goes out scouting. Maybe stats can get high enough to be overpowered in other areas, but I've just never been that lucky. Squaddies are nothing but cannon fodder to me, completely fungible, we've got reserves. XCOM makes me care a bit more, but rarely because of the stories they generate. It's hard to lose your highest ranking officer simply because so much progression is tied to their promotions. Occasionally someone will stand out, they'll survive an impossible situation or get 6+ kills in a turn, then I'll give them a funny hat, but their death has always been more meaningful in terms of their replacement. In XCOM 2, that replacement is usually pretty good themselves so I care even less. That said, War of the Chosen's hero faction units I do care about losing. They don't matter as much to the progression system, but I only have one in their line. Training a replacement reaper is hard compared to the standard classes. Xenonauts... They're not as expendable as X-Com rookies, stats can make up for tech in the early game and so keeping people alive matters more. At some point, someone will get lucky enough to reach 100TUs, get a shotgun shoved into their hands, and turn into my ace in the hole. Those guys feel bad to lose. The game isn't significantly harder without them, but they're so much more fun than they flimsy guy shoved into the power armor and handed the biggest gun on the base. I don't think X2 will really change anything. Soldiers just don't have unique traits so losing one won't be so bad.
  9. Once again, Air Game thoughts! "What's the worst part about Xenonauts?" "The air game." "What XCOM-style game has the best air game?" "Xenonauts." I've been doing my sorta annual playthings of XCOM'em ups, modded and official, and I realize that I'm actually looking forward to playing the airgame, but what I'm remembering so fondly isn't the start with Condors and Foxtrots, but the end with Marauder's against everything. So why is that? I've put in air game mods a few times now and while some of them do cool stuff, they don't really satisfy the potential I feel when looking back. What are the problems? I think it comes down to three things. 1. Xenonaut's 1 air game begins too simply. The first airfights are trivial to take down with Condors. In one sense, this is good for new players because they get to succeed and start on ground missions. It's a lead in to the meatier systems of the game and you're going to have to do this anyways. But it kinda sucks from every other point of view. Narratively, it's weird that you can just take out the first UFOs without a scratch or even really lifting your finger when you're apparently losing the war. Skillwise, this doesn't teach a player anything other than how to press the play button. Replayability goes down when you know autoresolve will do just as good without wasting your time on something you don't find fun. Your first upgrade is even less fun. Foxtrots are cool in the sense that they're faster and have more firepower, but once they launch their torpedos, they're useless and just have to turn around. Getting a missile lock is skilless and turning around isn't much better. 2. It's too easy to lose for how punishing it is. There aren't many air battles where you can make a mistake and have a plane survive. The places where you can make the most mistakes is in the late game, where players have the most skill and options. On one hand, this is good. It represents progress to the player, but we as players make mistakes while learning. In Xenonauts, we'll make the most mistakes where they're the most punishing, in the early game where our fighters can get two shotted. This is made worse by the fact that losing a plane can often mean the whole continent might as well be undefended for the wave. It's a neat microcosm of the ground fight in one sense, where losing a soldier means its going to be harder to finish the mission, but losing a jet is often much more crippling. Where one soldier is at worst 1 of 8, one jet is at most 1 of 3. Where one soldier can kill one alien, one jet can't take down one Carrier. You can expend all your ammo and still have to go home to rearm. Mistakes are easy to make and if you make one mistake, you lose. 3. It's not optimal to engage with the air game. The optimal strategy converges on three Condors (maybe other fighters if you care) and two Foxtrots per base. Three Condors can take out any air superiority mission the game will ever throw at you. 100% success in the autoresolve. Two Foxtrots, assuming you keep up with technologies, can take down anything bigger than a scout and smaller than a battleship, and even a battleship only needs one extra Foxtrot. Escorts pose no issue because you can just target the main ship and run away once the torpedoes have fired. Send Condors at tiny triangles, hit autoresolve. Send Foxtrots at big triangles, aim at the big ship and run away once the missiles have launched. A zero skill, no risk, high reward method to winning the air game at any difficulty level. How do we fix it? Obviously, the answer is super difficult otherwise I'd be able to point to any number of mods out there and say, "right here, just copy X-Division/Skies/Circus/whatever and be done with it." But I think there's one big idea holding us back. We should get rid of the pause button. By adding it, we've let the moment to moment difficulty of the air game increase a hundredfold. If you can pause, then it makes sense to punish single mistakes without mercy because you, as the player, could have easily just paused more and come up with better plans. An airgame with pause has to be extremely difficult to remain difficult at all. An airgame without pause expects you to make all sorts of mistakes. This leaves us with two replacements, real-time and turn-based. Turn-based air combat harmonizes with ground combat, by making it closer in line with your soldiers. Lots of games have tried this approach, however, and I've never really seen an implementation I've truly liked in computer land. Giving your planes orders and watching them play out the next three seconds on their own feels like it should have a lot of room for strategy and tactics, but I've never felt like I've had enough control to go, "Ah-ha! My evil plan is working!" Or "Oh no, I didn't notice the obvious crippling flaw in my strategy!" Whether I win or lose in these games, it doesn't feel like its my fault. In the fully turn-based realm of board games, those tend to be interesting because they add a ton of options outside of the major, "move and shoot," actions. Stuff like drawing the one-use only mega-laser you snuck into your deck, putting in the kind of pilot who can dodge lock-3 attacks at the head of your squadron, and going slower for a turn so you can put out an engine fire. This is very outside scope! But maybe this could work better with having pilots shoulder all the tactical weight. Pilots could learn how to perform trisky maneuvers like rolling dives letting them instantly turn around or "barrel rolls" to full dodge all attacks that turn. They'd have skills like your soldiers to do things like withstand more gs so they can perform multiple high-g maneuvers in a row, and passive dodge stats that represent flicking a wing out of the way just in time. This is one of those situations where I think seeing exactly how the enemy will react to your considered plans is a good thing. When you know that your planned moves will give your pilots the time to deal 17% damage to a ship and take 4% damage from enemy weapons, it might feel more meaningful to choose those moves. When a ship's intentions are marked to you as, "???," you know a surprise is coming and once a special move has been seen, you'll know next time to active your two second overshield to tank the attack. Now real-time does rub against the philosophies of turn-based ground combat a bit, but the air game that's already been developed is just real-time with pause. Any solution here should remain firmly in the scope of what's already been developed. We do have the benefit of standing on the shoulder's of giants here, there are enormous amounts of real-time games out there and we can easily point to examples of good combat. Xenonauts x DotA. Outfit your one jet with items from the already in place item system, use hotkets/hud-buttons to throw missiles that do damage+an effect. Make the enemy ship shoot slower or not at all for a few seconds. Disable their anti-missile missiles so your Foxtrots can shoot from out of left-field. (I mean, if you want to keep them as dedicated torpedo tugs that can't do anything else, why are you allowed to control them in the first place? They should fire the moment they'd be able to get a hit in.) Phase something out of existence for six seconds so you can focus down your other opponents. Keep your distance from some UFOs but try to close in on others. Try to find the sweet spot for your jet/opponent combination. Xenonauts x Starcraft. You have many little jets and box select. You're expected to lose some jets every engagement, but so long as you keep most of them in the skies, you're golden. Strategically take on the hardest UFOs in a wave first when you're strongest and the weaker ones later after losing a few units to attrition. The UFOs can either be many in number themselves in which case its all about positioning, or it can be single boss battles with telegraphed moves (ie, they're charging their laser and the field is starting to glow red where it will hit). No stutter stepping, obviously, but that's just a consequence of a-move. Always-on auto-attacks against whatever a unit is facing (like current) with big radial turns (like current) but much more dynamic speed ranges (sorta current, speed isn't automatically decided but has a huge range). A jet will always try to reach its destination at max speed, but slows down to nearly nothing once its reached it. High acceleration and deceleration. Xenonauts x Supreme Commander. You have three jets with crazy high speeds and almost no ability to slow down. They do runs against the enemy and its up to you to choose their line of approach. If you go in direct, you'll take a lot of damage, but do a lot of damage. High risk, high reward, or you can buzz them from behind and get a few pops in before they turn around and you have some new vectors to work with. If you ever choose a run that has your jets in front of the UFO, that's a clear mistake. You do a little damage and take a lot. Jets can only do a few runs before they have to go home and refuel. Xenonauts x Homeworld. You have two sets of jets. You can choose formations for your jets which vary in effectiveness depending on the situation. Microing one jet can be useful, but it's better to figure out the optimal formation for the situation and send them in. One set of jets are there as distractions/air superiority/counter-defenses, the other set is there to bring the hammer. Xenonauts x Age of Empires II. You have three kinds of jets. Cannons, flak, and missiles. Cannons beat missiles, missiles beat flak, and flak beats cannons. The aliens have the same three kinds of craft. You are playing rock paper scissors.
  10. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Interviews: Reaper Subject is a 180cm (5'11") tall alien with birefractive violet carapace, internal temperature measured 45C (113F) on acquisition and continued to lose heat until reaching 16C (60F) on expiration, isolation varied through lifetime. Dr. Patel leading, communicating through microphone and two layers bulletproof ALON "transparent aluminum" glass. Excerpt begins 0h0m into recording. Dr. Patel: "Subject appears to be waking. Speakers on, please. Thank you. Can you under--" [Subject immediate rushes glass, stabbing its claws through the first layer and scratching second] Dr. Patel: "Abort! Everyone out!" Dr. Eze: "Control, call quarantine measure two." Dr. Millner: "Get ready to block the door!" Dr. Patel: "Out! Get out now!" [Subject breaches second layer before steel shutter safeties engage and team evacuates frame left] We would have better luck talking to an ant than coming to any form of understanding with the subject (hereby referred to as the reaper). Considering that our little terrestrial friends can pass the mirror test and this creature cannot speaks as much for its purpose as anything else. The only sign of intelligence came when we left it in a dark room without stimulus. It ran along the wall until arriving at its origin, then began digging with the same ferocity it approached everything else. Cognition research was abandoned at this point. The reaper had little concern for anything that wasn't of sufficient biomass to enable its reproductive cycle (approximately 35kg). When introduced to three calves, recently dead, asleep, and awake it only attacked the last. As with field reports, gestation took less than a minute. Thanks to a combination of fluoroscopic and IR imaging we've gained some clues about this gruesome process. It seems the elerium capsules present in its blood are a crucial element, inner spikes previous assumed to be for structural support in fact pierce its own chitin to add the final catalyst. Though such violent procreation (the host dies within 30 seconds, do not assume killing the host will stop a reaper) generated intense bursts of heat, the emerged adult will always be colder than the mother. Because of this, a reaper swarm's time to extinction can be crudely estimated from IR cameras alone and likely has a maximum range of 50km from ground zero. Research does not recommend testing. Considering the amount of available chemical energy compared to emerging adults, Research concludes reaper limitations are a built-in feature. Instances cannot survive more than 48 hours, even under ideal circumstances a swarm will always burn itself out. These are manufactured weapons of terror, more virus than animal. Research recommends any and all encountered reapers be destroyed by whatever means possible to prevent mass casualty events. In the course of its captivity, it escaped a 60cm thick steel room, a 110cm steel armored box, tore through ramping electric palisades until unconscious, stood on white hot semi-molten copper floor until its legs gave out, endured a 135db siren until deafened, ran 6km at dead sprint before destroying the treadmill, implanted two guards (larva removed, full recovery expected), damaged one hundred and eight pieces of equipment, and set off countless alarms during its stay. It does not feel pain nor fear. It does not stop or slow until death. In light of this, Research humbly requests that no more living specimens be acquired.
  11. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Interviews: Sebillian Subject is a 199cm (6'5") tall alien with green scales, internal temperature 39C(103F), isolated in an airtight, climate controlled, steel-plated room kept at 28C(82F) with high humidity determined by subject itself when given access to controls. Dr. Eze leading, communicating through microphone only. Excerpt begins 19h50m into recording. Subject: [using communications board] WATER. GIVE. HOT. Dr. Eze: "Now you know the deal, no more coffee until you hit the target." Subject: TRY. OR. DIE. It was shocking easy to get the subject (hereby referred to as the sebillian) to cooperate after it ended its rage-like attempts to escape. The creature itself was in fact the one who provided the means when it began scratching into the walls. Assumed to be symbols at first, it was clearer on review they were simply drawings. We've begun matching the rasping noises it made under the assumption of language, but decided prudence should prevail and continued the majority of our communications in the languages both parties knew. Namely ours. The sebillan cannot speak English, or any of the other human languages it knows, yet it could understand us perfectly with some conceptual limitations. When asked to perform simple tasks such as pointing out its flight plan, it asked for food in trade (with preferences for fish and hot drinks). When asked how its weapons worked, where it came from, and what the goals of the invasion were it said it did not know and would not accept anything in trade. A (disabled) weapon was offered and it refused to pick it up which leads us to believe it has some sense of honor or equivalent. Battle strategy was procured at the cost of a climate controlled room and its answer were rather straight forward. Defend the craft and its crew, attack from the darkness, flank and close in. It was told our weapons are nothing to be afraid of and thinks its current confinement is some sort of test. It believes it will soon be in a new crew on a new mission and it believes all of us should be killed on sight. We can confirm it fears fire. Research had hopes we turn this one, however not even a photographic representation of a human could survive its presence. None-the-less, the sebillian remains complaint and steadfast in its confinement. Records of its non-human language grow by the day, yet it may be some time before we can truly make use of them.
  12. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Interviews: Caesan Subject is a 138cm (4'6") tall alien with grey skin, internal temperature 34C (93F), isolated in an airtight room with N2/O2 mixed to match environment of recovered craft. Dr. Patel leading, communicating through microphone and polycarbonate bulletproof glass. Excerpt begin 8h21m into recording. Dr. Patel: "Why are you killing us?" [Subject presses itself against the glass as if looking for something.] Dr. Patel: "This again. Why don't you ever..." [Subject loses interest. Patel watches the subject return to the center of the room before taking out a picture of their child and smiling. The subject approaches the glass and Dr. Patel radios Acquisitions.] Dr. Patel: "Hello, yes. When will the fMRIs arrive? No, I only need the data. Emotions, yes, please fax them to Engineering." The breakthrough happened after running a gamut of known linguistic exercises, from visual-noun relations to printed instructions. While the subject (hereby referred to as the caesan) initially reacted promisingly to written languages (English, Mandarin, Hindi) when offered step-by-step guides on how to escape its confinement, it quickly ceased responding to any form of communication after receiving none of the promised results. Though this created some internal strife and debates on priorities of pursuit, one of our team members continued indirect interrogations (verbal, visual) and discovered that the caesan remained responsive to local emotional reactions in our own staff. Since no one on the base could control their thoughts to a fine enough degree, Engineering built a simple model of the human brain which pumped blood-oxygen contrast analogue through various lobes based on data gathered before the war. It did not take long to establish continuous communications, beginning first as morse code (happy for dash, sad for dot) then improving until the newly developed PSIAC (psionic systems for interaction with alien caesans) which was achieving 4kb/s two-way links for everything from text to video. Despite establishing communications and building an amiable rapport with our guest, it hardly knew anything about its own world, yet alone the war. In fact, the casean in our possession was only a few days old and had little knowledge beyond its orders of surveillance and subduction of humans. The few relevant memories shared indicate mass production facilities, fleets of hundreds of ships in waiting, and suggestions of a hierarchical command structure with more than a few species seeming to give orders, but between the low quality of the images and a lack of understanding from its source, we can't say much more. Developing PSIAC taught us much, but it taught the ceasan more. At 0400 this morning, it managed to convince one of our guards into letting them escape. It did not go far before that same guard managed to subdue it. In the short period it was out, many of our staff reported feelings of intense fear and outright paralysis. An internal review is being conducted and the ceasan is being kept comatose, but we should be weary. If a few days of training is all that separates emotional influence from outright control, we may yet see harsher battlefield conditions when facing this species.
  13. The Earth is a globe. A great big ball. Our maps rarely reflect this and so we tend to get weirdness like the shortest distance between two points on a map being a curve. I think it's rather cool that Xenonauts has gone with the big map on the wall design, it's straight out of the War Room and NASA's big board. But it's not reflective of reality, following in the foot steps of Sid Meier's Civilization, the world we defend is more of a cylinder than a sphere. While this is good for readability, I though it would be fun to see what my favorite radar stations would look like on a real map of the world. You can mess around for yourself here! https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj/d56d8dd4-4f35-40bd-a319-82bb68a40b56 On a lazy, laggy, interactive map. There are better ones out there, sure, but they're all mercator projection instead of the game's chosen equirectangular. Try it out with: GeoProjection -> "Robinson" GeoProjection -> "Albers" GeoProjection -> "Orthographic" GeoProjection -> "WinkelTripel"
  14. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Non-Combatant Equipment, Previously Alien Armaments Ship beams that tear through steel like paper. Bottled lightning that leaves hardened soldiers unconscious. Armor that's stronger than kevlar yet breaths like egyptian cotton. Chemically, the recovered fabrics worn by our alien friends are little more than thermoplastics and no more special than a grocery bag save for the fact that it melts at 400 degrees. The secret to its properties is in the larger structure. As hard as its been to rapidly convert our electron microscopes to make photographs instead of digital images, the results speak for themselves. Their clothing is basically a weave of perfect crystals, aligned in a manufacturing process we currently cannot hope to replicate. For now, we can only repurpose the materials left from battle and unlike our friends, we'll make sure it offers head protection. The, "lightning guns," (creatively named in field reports) are a bigger mystery. While our soldiers aren't wrong, it is electricity, it's not nearly high enough voltage to bridge the gaps we've been seeing (not that it would explain the accuracy.) A deconstruction of the weapon revealed that it generates its arc much like a taser with the barrel itself tweaking the charge until it creates its own containment field (which does explain the accuracy.) The civilian applications for intrinsically stable electrical fields might be as endless as the radio with immediate military applications requiring further research. None the less, this particular method results in a far more effective stunning effect and it won't take long for Research to devise a short-range substitute until we can fully replicate the effect. Moving on to aircraft, Maintenance has some troubling news. Reports of projectiles have been greatly exaggerated, expecting to find holes pierced through the avionics, they found only outward shorn pieces of the hull pried off without much damage to the internals. With diverse reports of flyby "tractor beam" abductions and nothing from the recovered craft that seems to be a weapon, we believe the barrage seen in dogfights was that same "tractor" with an incredibly narrow area. Pliers can either delicately grip a pin or cut through wire depending on the mechanical advantage involved, this is the same idea just on a much greater technological scale. We can't yet activate the reactionless "tractor" field effects outside of laboratory conditions, but we can convert our hangers to support those conditions. While the range is only line of sight, it will give our fighters and dropships a no doubt helpful boost on launch. These are not the armaments Research expects from an alien force that sent the world back half a century in a single night. The armor can be easily improved with a facemask, the stun guns aren't designed to kill, and the probe's defenses are less effective than our own autocannons. This is the equipment of non-combatants. Our hopes for a true glimpse of their power lies in the pistol from field reports, the one that shot a hole through everything it passed, the one that detonated when it was fired outside of alien hands. Research cannot provide further insights without those hands, commander. We need an alien. Alive.
  15. ApolloZani

    UOO-1 Fan Report

    Classification: Probe The surprise felt in Research was equal only to our elation. That the first one-on-one encounter with an alien vessel could ever end in our victory was not something anyone truly believed until the ship itself was rolled into the lab. Though it is small, measuring less than fifteen meters from tip to tail, it has raised more questions than answers. As a ship it is nothing more than a millimetre thin shell. The material itself somehow acting as both the method of propulsion and energy storage for operations, every part of it vibrating at hypersonic frequencies that enhance a resonance field effect enabling reactionless motion. When this was discovered, we made the mistake of trying to repair the ship as a smaller version of itself and were greeted by a new hole in the ceiling when it tried to resume its flight plan. The impact thankfully broke our temporary chassis and only minor injuries were reported. Strategically, this suggests that UOOs may be taken down by mangling enough of the hull. Nothing inside is critical to its operation, indeed all recovered components seem to be nothing more than our own classified sensory apparatus, complete with serial numbers that match already existent devices. We can easily surmise they've been spying on us and we should assume they're aware of our desire to reverse engineer their technology. Considering the capabilities the aliens have demonstrated thus far (interstellar travel, orbital terror weapons, ect.) we are forced to conclude that this ship is nothing more than an expendable reconnaissance craft. A part of their plan they expected us to find. As such, we classify this signature as merely: Probe.
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