XCOM: Asset Assualt
2035: Ethereals have suffered an immense defeat at the hands of XCOM. Their base had been raided by a mere force of seven operatives. They killed hundreds of ADVENT's soldiers, and it ended with very few casualties for XCOM. The Ethereals had tried to talk the to the Commander, but it was as fruitless as trying to fight the Human resistance outside of their base. Even when they tried to kill him with their metaphysical forms, their forms were still ended.
2038: After every remnant of ADVENT was wiped clean from Earth. XCOM's leaders founded a government to replace the ADVENT Coalition. John Bradford and the Commander were then known as the founding fathers of the Terran Republic. A government that was loosely based off the original United States of America, with the values of both social and economic libertarianism. Its first President was the Commander with Bradford as the Vice President.
2050: Psionics in humans grow in numbers in men. An unexplained event that happens when humans are exposed to elerium or other psionics. The Republic hired several Psi Operatives in to the DPS, which stood for the Department of Planetary Security. Most worked in the private sector, so they could manufacture alloys and synthesize elerium.
2060: Psionics increased to the point where it reached one in four for men. The numbers were even lower for women, which stood at one per every thousand. This mystery of disproportionate psionic power had no explanation to Earth's population. But the most common theory was that it had to do with better emotional control in men.
2077: An FTL experiment was preformed by Tygan-Shen Corporation. In which a wormhole was created at two points with an experimental Psi-Drive. Those two points led to various ends of the galaxy, which meant unlimited travel range for Humanity.
2093: Mass colonization efforts went underway on Earth. Hundreds of thousands of peopled set out for the stars to find more home for themselves. These efforts were funded both publicly and privately, with a hundred colonies being founded by the government. Many of the largest colonies were: New York II, New Los Angeles, New Detroit, and New Dallas.
2110: Alien base discovered on Mars. Found by Tygan-Shen Corporation's Hyperion Research Station's survey drones. A group of soldiers and scientists contracted by Tygan-Shen Corporation only found mention of a long lost alien civilization and a star chart. In that chart they found several dots that went through the radius of the galaxy. XCOM was given the coordinates to all the dots around the galaxy, they start with the one in Sol.
2118: Upon discovery of the relays, the Terran Republic mass mobilized ships. Over the past eight years ships were manufactured by Shepard Industries. By the end of their eight year contract, they had built 500 warships of varying classes. Twenty of these ships were expensive capital ships that cost as much as the Capitol Star Base each.
2151: First contact happened at New York II. These aliens called themselves the asari, and even announced they came in peace. But their emissary vessel was surrounded by cruisers until President Vladimir Yankovich greets them.
The President of the Terran Republic stood in the greeting room of the asari ship. His two psionic guards in powered armor by his side if anything went wrong. But these alien guests seemed to live up to their word, for now at least.
As it would seem, the design of the ship did not look like it was intended for warfare. Their designs were more artistic than militaristic, like the Oval Office in the Capitol Star Base. Though, they could still have ulterior motives for contacting Humanity.
This second contact could be the Second Ethereal War all over again. Which ended in Humanity having control of the most advanced technology in the universe. But wiped out over one-tenth the Human population of Earth when it happened. Then they formed the tyrannical, socialist state known as ADVENT.
These aliens could have the same intentions for Humanity. They contacted Humanity seeking advanced technology alone. Most likely, they had noticed the space time disruptions from human ftl drives on their telescopes.
But the President might have been acting paranoid, because telescopes can only detect disturbances that occurred years prior. It would have been detected thirty years after the event happened. A lot of time to waste watching the stars for something so trivial.
"These aliens sure do have a sense of style," commented Agent Richter with a look of fascination his face.
"Yeah. I can admit. They do have more of a style than us. In art. Not technology, we still hold that honor," replied President Vladimir.
It mildly bothered him that his bodyguards had a fascination with these aliens' culture. They should have been protecting their VIP, not ogling the aliens architecture. If they like these 'asari' they should revoke their Terran citizenship right then. It was the right thing to do for their species as a whole, this is human space.
One of the last things congress would have wanted were alien nationals walking in Human Space. His party would want him impeached if he gave aliens human technology as well. So as soon as the door opened in front of him, he would have to tell them Humanity was to stand on its own.
Humanity agreeing to any laws or treaties with them could prove politically disastrous. It could make humanity's status as a galactic power falter. As Aliens would gain access to human technology from agreements. Vladimir would never sign such an agreement when the time ever came.
Maybe the President was just getting ahead of himself. The aliens had not even shown their faces yet, and he was worrying about his people being politically screwed.
The whole meeting was just a wait in a well-lit meeting room. It was like waiting for an appointment for a doctor or psychiatrist. Never a very pleasant wait, as it felt like the President had been there for several hours standing.
The wide, oddly shaped door had opened in front of the President and his DPS guards. These aliens were different from the four-armed psychics they had expected. They were blue humanoids, with the shape of a human female. Instead of hair they had ridges that gave the Illusion of extremely short hair.
Some were wearing armor, while others wore futuristic looking clothing. Their fashion sense was very futuristic compared to the early 20th century traditionalism Humans were used to. But not extremely different from ADVENT's styling to say the least.
"What's with the heavily-armored guards? We've stated our intentions are not hostile," commented the Asari with a stern voice.
"I'm the head of state. Many people want me dead! Socialists, other radicals. Those nutjobs in our territory who rioted when I was elected President," stated Vladimir while he steepled his fingers.
"I see. What's ADVENT? Learning about other species is why I took this job," asked the Asari Diplomat sternly.
"An alien puppet government that ruled our race. Set up by aliens called the Ethereals. We overthrown them when we found out about their experiments. After the war, corporations used their tech. That's where we get these," said the DPS Agent who was showing the aliens his plasma rifle.
"Maybe we should make sure that weapon doesn't violate any Council weapons treaties. Can I have a look at it," asked the asari in armor.
"I'd have to respectfully decline, asari. We have no intentions of joining the Council in any capacity. So, those laws don't apply here," replied Vladimir Yankovich in a stern tone.
She looked disappointed, Vladimir could tell by her facial expression. Even some hints that he may have been a little condescending. But why should he worry, they were more worried about not having humanity in their galactic clubhouse anyway.
"I see. I can respect that you want to put your species first. After every thing that happened in your history. But it's short-sighted," replied the diplomat.
"Short-sighted? You have nothing that we don't already have. We've got better weapons tech. So, in-terms of military we can stand on our own. So how am I short-sighted," the President explained calmly, as he steeples his fingers fingers again.
"I can see why you think that way. But how taxing is your military? That type of high-tech army must cost you countless credits," replied the diplomat.
"Credits? Humanity uses Terran Republic Dollars," he said as he pulled a thousand-dollar, plastic bill from his suit pocket to brandish to the diplomat.
"Interesting. Your species still uses physical currency? Despite all the advanced technology you have at your finger tips. Humans still use physical currency," replied the Diplomat with fascination in her eyes at the fact.
The asari diplomat looked to the President as if he was being condescending. He was being condescending when he waved that money around like he was a big-shot. Politicians were rich, but they were never known to boast about their wealth.
"What type of economy does your species have," asked the Diplomat out of curiousity.
"We have a pure capitalist economy. No social services except the basics: municipal and federal departments, and the military. By doing this, we have low taxes and a thriving economy," replied the President with his head held high.
"How 'thriving' is your economy? What's your GDP," questioned the asari with a look of distrust towards the President and a hint of cynicism.
"You can take a read at this tablet. It will give you all the info on our culture. Our economy. Everything of that sorts," replied Yankovich as he handed the asari his tablet to give the aliens.
"This exchange was rather entertaining. But I have to go back and meet with Congress. They'll decide on what to do about this," continued President Yankovich..
"Farewell, Human," replied the asari to the President.
Yankovich was happy, he simply just gave the aliens information on human culture and history. It was nothing that would give them important human tech secrets. But he did know the rival party of the New Republican Party would have a field day. They would just want to use this to get Yankovich's rival elected in the next few months.
As he and his guards walked back to their ship, he contemplated what these events could do. It could get the Utilitarianist Party into power. Maybe even more seats in Congress or even worse, the House. Just a massive political fallout that could ruinYankovich's chances at another Presidential term in the Oval Office.
The Utilitarianist Party stood for the opposite of Yankovich's Party. They would see this Second Contact as an attempt to force alien immigration. Which would result in increased taxes, increased poverty for humans, and just an overall lower quality of life. The Founding Fathers fought against this, not for this kind of stuff.
Not to have humanity's liberties stripped away from them like it was long ago. That was why the Utilitarianist Party was called ADVENT 2.0. Because most of their election policies were against the Terran Constitution. One example, was when one of their presidential candidates wanted to ban plasma weapons and powered armor for private use.
So, to most citizens that were sane in Yankovich's mind, they would all vote for him. He represented their freedoms more than the rival party ever could. The freedom that almost a billion people died for a hundred years ago against the Ethereals, and lastly, ADVENT.
It was like the American Revolution, but with aliens instead of the British Empire. Humanity being harvested like last time, was just not something the President was going to let happen when he gets to Congress. Aliens were not going to run Humanity, and the New Republican Party was going to see that never happened again.
Around the stars of Alpha Centauri in the nearby sector of the Sol Commonwealth. A massive star base headed the executive branch of the Terran Republic. All decisions and policy changes happened from this massive spacestation. It was called the Capitol Star Base by every human in the galaxy for a reason.
It was massive, the size of Manhattan Island back on planet Earth. Taking a surprising cost of twenty trillion dollars to construct this space city. But it was the ninth wonder in human history, despite the massive cost and time it required.
In appearance, the Capitol Star was just a large ring shaped space station. One that rotates from far orbit of the hot Jupiter in close orbit to the binary suns. It had three ring habitats that orbited a centrifuge in between them. Each were small cities in their own right, the outer ring was Residential, the inner being the Commercial District, the smallest ring was the Capitol District.
It was a very well-defended Star Base as well. Using dreadnought grade fusion lances to protect it from meteors, and alien ships. With a fleet, it was impossible for any fleet to destroy the station without great losses.
Law enforcement of the station was handled by the Federal Bureau of Law Enforcement. A heavily-armed group of militarized police that keep order in the Capitol Base. Unlike most worlds, it was the federal police who handled law enforcement on the station. Which made sense, as it was the Capital of the Terran Republic.
The centrifuge was the President's home, a large one kilometer home that the President lived inside. It was the White House of the far future, complete with elevators to traverse the hundreds of floors inside the home. But this came at a price, the home watched everything the President had ever said and uploads it to the Internet.
This watch over the politicians gave the citizens the ability to make voting decisions on their leaders. They sacrificed their privacy when they chose to be the leaders of their species. The only party that complained was the Utilitarianist Party, they believed it violates the Constitution.
Another thing the Capitol Star Base did was count the electoral votes for the Presidential candidates. As the Terran Republic copied all aspects of the United States of America. It made sense they would copy every single aspect of that ancient government.
Every single aspect was taken from the Commander and John Bradford's knowledge of America. From what they view as the most free country to ever exist in Earth's history. Humanity graciously supported that idea after suffering from ADVENT's tyranny. It was another reason why a common slang for the city was "New Washington DC".
Both being capitals of governments that hold freedom in high regard. Both had functioned in very similar ways, except the Capitol Star Base was in space. Which was a blessing for the whole of mankind in general, because it could stand as a military command center.
It was in the Executive District where Congress and the House of Representatives were making the decisions about the Second Contact. Two parties were debating about how to respond to these new aliens.
One third were of the Utilitarianist Party; the other sixty-six percent was of the NRP. One side had seemed to for the aliens, the other was Humanity first. Utilitarianists wanted Humanity to benefit the aliens because they were a potential majority. NRP wanted to ensure that Humanity never suffered in the slightest to benefit a collective majority.
The leader of the Terran Empire was a member of the NRP. He was responsible for making sure that Human interests weren't violated by the minority of congress. President Yankovich cared too much for his people as he stood on the podium.
In the seat on the left of the ring, Congresswoman Sloan had different opinion. She wanted to give the aliens easy citizenship into Terran Territory. Not just citizenship, welfare benefits that take money from hard-working Human beings. To make matters worse, she even wanted to give the X-Rays free medical care from the taxpayers.
"Yankovich, you're saying we should just treat these aliens as Neighbors. That's it," asked Sloan in confusion.
"Yes. That's most logical course of action. They could crush our species like the Ethereals did last time. If they get access to psionics. Or God forbid… our naval technology. We'd be doomed. We lack the numbers to protect our species without our edge in tech," responded the President in shock at the Congresswoman.
"It could also benefit our economy. But we'll have to sacrifice the Terran Dollar for the Council Credit," replied Sloan.
"Our economy is thriving. Our GDP is at ten quadrillion dollars, and rising slowly. Our treasury has a twenty-five quadrillion surplus," rebuked the President with a smile.
The NRP members of the Congress were cheering. Reporters watched the whole debate, and were broadcasting it all over every world in Terran Territory. Polls were spiking high for President Vladimir Yankovich in the next election as a result of his comment.
Yankovich was looking in confidence that his re-election would be secured. All thanks to his objectivity when speaking with the legislative branch. It was just like an educated man debating a hippie in a political argument, all facts, and no opinions.
"What about the future of the galaxy. It's more than just simple Human egotism we got to consider here," responded Sloan.
"Our species matters. Not some blue aliens that your party has been claiming are like us. They're not like us in any conceivable way. So why should we bend to their laws and regulations, Sloan," replied Yankovich with a grin.
Sloan just remain silent, which meant the President's arguments were too sound to ignore. President Yankovich was always a politician that valued logic over selfless morality. He knew that Humanity had owed the galaxy nothing. As he knew that compared to the other species, Humanity was most likely an endangered species. Sloan probably realized by her silence, that Yankovich was the smartest man in that whole room full of thousands. Her political career was shot, she destroyed it by saying alien lives were more important. Yet, she was only following her party's philosophy.
Months after the congressional meeting, XCOM was in decline. Their funding was cut by a Utilitarianist Presidency twenty years prior. They had to rely on funding from mega corps to stay afloat.
Like XCOM in 2015, they had a Council. But this Council was a group of several mega corps that provided small funding. How small? On average it was around 150 million dollars every month from each corporation. These companies had seen a future alien invasion as bad for business.
XCOM was seen as a relic from a time past. No longer needed for humanity's survival, and simply cast aside for more peaceful methods. Those peaceful methods could jeopardize the security of humanity's foothold in the universe.
Because of the lack of funding, XCOM no longer had the funding to create powerful ships. They had to rely on stealth vessels. These ships were weak, and had regular lances for defense against enemy ships. Their only asset was stealth, and nothing more.
XCOM's soldiers were now nothing more than mercenaries fighting for the next pay check. They were often ex-marines from the Terran Military that came across XCOM when looking for options in security consulting. But there were still screening in their services to make sure they were the best soldiers XCOM could get.
Most of these soldiers were cheap, because their equipment was from their tour of duty. It was one of the perks of working for the Terran Military, it was free gear. But the downside was that skilled Psi-Operatives charged the most. As they were the hardest soldiers to come across, because they were the special forces of the Terran Military.
Psi-Operatives could be paid more for greasing the wheels of a Corporate takeover, or mind-controlling
a rich teen's crush. Despite how petty these options were, they often proved far less risky for the reward. And the most despicable thing about these actions, they're all criminal.
XCOM would hire criminals by often faking their deaths, and replaced them with clones. These clones usually get killed due to a lack of their surroundings. Many Psionic-sensitive individuals who were convicted of crimes such as: serial-murder, rape, and fraud, were hired from prison. This gives them a second chance at life, and a whole new identity.
There was a high criminal population in Psionic-sensitives. It was due to their power that gave them divinity-complexes. That often manifested themselves in crimes such as fraud and rape mostly. Because of this, people think rich psionics mind-controlled their way to the top. Despite this, they were still important individuals to primary industries in Human space.
XCOM was planning a way to create its own super soldiers. Their plan was to use young offenders who were locked up in maximum security adult prisons. They would only get training if they had strong psionic sensitivity. Outside of that, they'd rely on their augmented physical and intellectual abilities to secure victory.
This project was called the Asset Project. That was an endeavor to create soldiers that were superior in every conceivable way to humans. Twice as intelligent, five times as strong, and a lot faster than any human at the top of those areas. The brainchild of this operation was a man named Jack Harper, XCOM's top scientist.
In a base under the oceans of Europa, surrounded by strange lifeforms of all types. XCOM's Headquarters was safely hidden from the public's eye. Everyone inside could see the surrounding ocean, because the architects used windows made from nano material. Frames around these windows emitted holograms and light.
XCOM's board of directors discussed the future of XCOM. Harper the Science Director, wanted to present the Asset Program to the Chairman, Stephan Hackett. But all they did was discuss the funding, and the construction of their newer stealth boondoggle.
"Funding for the X-12 prototype costs billions. I think I have cheaper solution," asked Harper as he poked the center of his glasses.
"What is it, Harper. Not another ludicrous alloy that's one-percent better than previous generations, I hope," replied Hackett as he ran his finger through his beard.
"No. I present the Asset Project. Which is an endeavor to create a small group of super soldiers. These soldiers will have twice the intellect, five times the strength, and twice the speed of even the best in those human attributes. And for just 400 million, we can create an unstoppable army of supermen," replied Harper in amazement.
"Super soldiers? How do you intend to create these supermen," questioned Anderson, the Director of Engineering.
"Simple. The technology's a century old. Molecular Nanotechnology. Small implants that contain billions of nano machines in each. Each implant could enhance one ability. For example: stimulating the production of adult stem cells, which can give a soldier the ability to recover from crippling injuries in days. That's the first implant. The others are still on the drawing board," explained Harper.
"That's fascinating. But what makes them so unique from other soldiers," questioned Hackett in confusion.
"Training. Except for psionics is a non issue. All they need to know is how to shoot or throw a grenade. The rest will be gained from their superior intellect, which will allow them to adapt quickly to their foes' movements. Their reflexes and their increased IQ will make them able to aim with perfect precision," elaborated Dr. Harper.
"That's brilliant, Harper. If they learn fast enough…well. Training is just the battlefield. Their abilities combined make one invincible," replied Director of Engineering, David Anderson.
"What are the candidates for this Project going to be," asked Hackett questioningly.
"Juvenile offenders that are aged 14-16. Not the petty criminals. The hardened ones who robbed banks, or shoot up schools. They would not be missed when we snatch them from prison," answered Dr. Harper with a devilish smile.
"Brilliant. But I'm going to need to shelve your idea for now. Once we've determined that there are threats to humanity in space. The Asset project will be immediately activated. Until then solve work out the other implants," replied Hackett as he steeples his fingers.
On the well-lit area of the Presidium, a Human diplomat met with the Citadel. His name was Donnel Udina who hailed from East India. This was his first negotiation as a Diplomat, before, he could only get a job as a hostage negotiator. His job was to inform the Council on the Congress' decision.
The ring of the Presidium reminded Udina of the Residential District of his current residence. It reminded him of that when aliens looked at him in curiosity. All of them wanting to engage Udina in conversation. The Commandos telling people to not distract the human as he walked to the Presidium elevator.
There was an asari diplomat at the elevator to the Presidum Tower. She was the same Diplomat the President spoken with a month ago. She waved at Udina as he was being escorted to the location. Not even the President knew her name, she was a mysterious character.
As he moved in closer she made eye contact with Udina. Udina looked at her back, and realized how similar alien social cues are to humans. He could tell by that she wanted him introduce himself.
"My name is Donnel Udina. I'm the soon to be Secretary of Interspecies relations. Who are you," said Udina with a boastfulness.
"My name's Nassana Dantius, I'm the Diplomat who talked to your President. You have the exact same attitude as well," she said, as she shook her head a bit in disappointment.
"I'm just here to give the Council the President's decision. After that I'm going to have lunch with an online date from the Internet," replied Udina.
"Okay. Let me just get you to the Presidium Tower. Oh, I'd recommend changing your attitude. I can understand your attitude towards aliens. If I was in your President's position it would be no different. But let's just say this Council is no-nonsense. Sort of," explained Nassana with frustration over the Council.
Udina and Nassana walked into the elevator. Udina got the unfortunate privilege of listening to the terrible elevator music that looped. Even the frustrated Asari could not take the music, it was like she was on her last straw. She was frustrated with her job as it was.
"What seems to be the problem, Nassana? You seem kind of… frustrated," asked Udina with sympathy over her emotional state.
"The Council was not happy that I could not get your President to join them on the Capitol Star Base. Because they wanted to see the technological wonder your species created within less than a century of going to the stars. It was basically the first non-prothean mega-scale engineering feat," replied Nassana.
"That's just a large Stanford Torus. We had those in concept since the 1970s. Over a hundred years before we left our home planet," replied Udina as he downplayed the feat of technological engineering.
She was now calm and quiet, as she realized it was just a century old concept that made it into reality. In that Udina explained the Capitol Star Base, the elevator reached the Council Chambers. And the transparent, plastic door slid upward.
Nassana left Udina as he walked up the stairs to the Council. He was amazed how these Protheans blended nature and technology. There was trees that decorated the office, and they were tall alien trees from New York II. These Protheans must have explored the galaxy to gather all these plants. He even wondered if the Protheans were victims of the Ethereals from their disappearance.
As he met one of the councilors. Udina noticed three, one salarian, one asari, and one Turian. One of them looked directly at Udina with suspicion. The Asari was neutral; the Salarian seemed fascinated with the human.
"It's interesting to finally meet a Human. I assure you we're not how your reactionary President paints us," greeted the Asari Councilor with gratitude.
"I would not call his suspicion xenophobia. He's just afraid his rival party would increase taxes on the rich and middle class. As well as lose human cultural identity to appease aliens," explained Udina with a smirk.
"Why would they raise taxes on hard-working humans? Is it to help the poor? Pay for medical? Or anything like that," asked the Turian Councilor with suspicion.
"Of course. But not help us. It's to incentivise immigration for aliens. Give them free money and services at taxpayers' expense," explained Udina with concern.
"Looks like your species needs to clean house. That's not appeasing. That's just merciful racism that only benefits aliens. It's like they're just rear-kissing," replied the Turian Councilor.
"What's that 'political party' called," asked the asari councilor with disdain as she finger quoted one of Udina's sentences.
"The Utitilitarianist Party? The Yankovich Administration laughed it out of existence with his arguments to Congresswoman Sloan. They do, however, make up one third of the Legislative and Executive Branches of our government. I hope they dissolve! They lost credibility with one of their President's, who cut funding to XCOM. When Yankovich won. Their voters rioted on the streets. Dragged rich people out and killed them," replied Udina with disdain over that political party.
"That party will eventually dissolve. They made a fool of themselves recently. I don't think they'll recover," said the Asari Councilor with reassurance about that problematic party.
"Your technology. Speaking of which, we won't be able to reverse-engineer. Your species is the only psionic-sensitive species left. No psionics, no reverse engineering your technology. So only a small few of the galactic community's undesirables can get energy weapons and power armor. And we doubt they can attack even a freighter. So your species' weapons would only appear on black markets for immensely high, prohibitive prices," explained the Asari Councilor.
"Good. Now that I know my species is going to be fine. I think the President will be happy with the results of this diplomatic meeting with your civilization," said Udina as he was going to leave the Council Chambers with the news.