XCOM- Humanity Rising

Chapter 1: Awakening the Dragon

"We must find a way to increase volunteer rates." A rusty voice demanded as its owner confronted his fellows. Many would call the owner an Ethereal one of the leading cast of aliens that had taken up residence on earth. However this individual would be outraged at such a demeaning title, in part because he had transcended his mortal coils to project his persona as a mass of conscious psi-energy. He, if gender even mattered at this point, was now what all of the alien species knew as an Elder. The highest being in the ADVENT hierarchy.

Nearby floated the forms of his fellows each there to discuss the next course of action in their invasion of earth. It had gone well so far, the human's initial resistance had been easily crushed under their technological might and their leaders now pledged allegiance to their cause. Of course it helped that they had promoted that they had peaceful intensions and where to save humanity from themselves. In truth they had fooled the humans just like they had the Vipers, Sectoids, Mutons, and all the other races now under their command through decades of indoctrination and lies. Just like them the Ethereal would harvest their new slaves for any genetic advantage they had before molding them into another cog in the ADVENT machine. All of it to repair the Ethereal's physical degeneration. After all was it not the duty of primitive species to adhere to the desires of the superior ones?

Currently it was now sixteen years into their takeover of the human planet called earth and despite their initial success the ADVENT where behind schedule. The humans had shown to be the key to unlocking a physical body for their minds to inhabit but they were having trouble finding genetic matches they needed to finalize their research. They had been doing well with the kidnapping of those going into gene therapy to their black sites to be processed however it seems now that the humans where beginning to suspect that something was wrong.

"What is the problem brother?" another Elder asked wanting clarification on the problems specifics.

"The humans are becoming wary of our presence. They are notably suspicious of our human soldiers." The first elaborated.

"I thought the reason we made the human foot soldiers was to appease their worries? 'To see the potential of what they could be with us' I believe was what you said when the idea was put forward." The second said.

"Yes and it worked for a time! Do you see mass protests on the streets? Do you see the human militaries still fighting? No, my plan worked perfectly. However recently the humans have begun to notice that the human foot soldiers we have never remove their helmets, never show their upper face and don't appear to speak their language anymore. They have begun to be suspicious of us and thus are not applying for gene therapy." The first explained angrily.

"Then action must be taken. Are there any ideas amongst us?" The second elder asked the others that where assembled.

There was silence for a long minute before a voice spoke up amongst them "If the humans wish to see the faces of our forces then let us oblige them." The other elders turned to see this new speaker and where surprised to see the oldest Ethereal amongst them glide forward.

"You have a proposition Speaker?" one of the assembled asked the elder who was the group's leader.

"Indeed I do. I propose to the assembled that in order to alieve the humans fears we allow the creation of a human task force amongst the ADVENT ranks. If we administer the volunteers with the minimal genetic enhancements and allow them their free will by not installing the command implant than we can have a unit to which the humans can identify with. Soon they will see their fears were unfounded and apply for their gene therapy's post-hast." The speaker explained which caused a murmur amongst the assembled who debated the idea amongst themselves.

"Are you sure it is worth the risk? If the human unit discovers or accesses the inner workings of the ADVENT and somehow leaks it before we could stop them…" the first elder asks before trailing off knowing that all understood what he was implying.

"Please, the knowledge of our true motives and inner workings are only known by the units of our Special Division the most loyal of our forces. No other species amongst the ADVENT truly know our true intensions. I highly doubt that one human unit will find out when no unit before has. Additionally if we want to be safe we can simply station them away from anything of import. Keep them in the background seen but unseen. After all they are there for propaganda not actual combat." The Speaker relayed before the elders around him nodded in agreement to the plan before they delved into specifics.

(1 year later. Texas, USA)

(16 years after Unification day)

Captain Tyler R. Harrington cursed again at the infernal contraption that rang insistently in his room at five in the morning. Why officers had to get up this early for he would never know but with a bang of his hand atop the device it shut itself off and Tyler dragged himself from his bed before making the seemingly mile long shuffle to the bathroom attached to his quarters. The bathroom he stepped into was modest with a sink, mirror, toilet, and walk in shower that was his destination. As Tyler took off the pair of gym shorts that was his sleep wear and turned on the shower he couldn't help contemplate just how he had ended up here.

He had been born in Atlanta, Georgia USA to an upper class mother and father in the year 2010. Two years before ADVENT had taken control of earth so he suspected that things where still relatively awkward for the human inhabitants and their new neighbors during his early years. The first major event that had helped shape his future was seeing the different alien species patrolling the quite suburb he and his family lived in. He had been an innocent six year old at the time but he was still fascinated by the many different aliens he sometimes saw patrolling the area. The Vipers where especially interesting to him and he kept running up and asking them questions despite the fact that he could not speak Xeno and they merely tolerated him before he eventually had to return home. However that began to change when he was able to smuggle a steak from the family fridge and offered it to one of the Vipers on patrol that day. The Viper had been surprised and a little hesitant but eventually accepted the offered food and ate it in one swallow. After that the Viper pair that patrolled his neighborhood would make sure to pass by his house and even seemed to be amused by his company though it helped that he brought meat with him occasionally. As he got older and turned 14 he began to learn how to speak Xeno from the pair and eventually became fluent in it at the age of 15.

The Second event that impacted him was his interest in the military. At the age of 13 he was reading Sun Tzu and military novels highlighting the exploits of Patton, Heinz Guderian, Rommel, Alexander, Genghis khan, and Caesar. He even chatted away about military tactics online with people twice his age. He was smart, even his teachers could tell that he would go places in life. However his true displace of brilliance was a book he wrote at the age of 16. Using the knowledge he had gained from his talks with the various aliens patrolling his neighborhood and his knowledge of battlefield tactics, Tyler combined the two and made the Modern Mixed Battle Tactics a book that detailed how best to employ the various advantages of the different alien species of the ADVENT on the battlefield. Tyler had honestly expected the book to get him a passing grade in his class but instead his teacher had passed it along to a few colleagues and before Tyler knew it his book was considered a must read for ADVENT officers and was even a topic of discussion amongst the Ethereal's aboard the Temple ship. Now thrust into the spotlight of ADVENT Tyler was basically assured an officer position when he enlisted and so when his 18th birthday rolled around he did just that.

The final moment that sealed his fate was the apparent timeliness of his enlistment. Apparently a new unit was being created and Tyler being a prized recruit was slated to a new unit called the 77th Human Volunteer Group or the 77th HVG for short. He had been excited a new unit promised a blank slate, he would be helping write the units founding history! That excitement grew when he was given the gene enhancements. Now he was stronger, faster, thought quicker, his reaction had been cut in half, he could see further and in more detail, and even hear further. With his new abilities and body he felt like he could take on the world! So it was like a punch to the gut when he arrived at a small obsolete military outpost outside of Dallas Texas and discovered that this was his unit's home base. That disappointment only grew when instead of being handed a plasma gun like he had seen the Vipers carry he was handed an old conventional firearm and the normal ADVENT trooper armor. He had at first thought it was a mistake and went to the unit's commanding officer who then took his withered hopes and dreams and crushed them into a fine powder before releasing them to the winds of reality.

The reality was that ADVENT high command considered them a joke unit like their sister units recently created 76th and 78th HVG. Apparently humans where considered a joke by the rest of the ADVENT forces and for some reason the recently created units where treated differently than all the other human units Tyler had seen. This explained the shit weapons, the shit base, and the shit location. Hell they didn't even have any other aliens at their location or in the unit. It was an all human unit nobody cared about for a location that nobody cared about. The only thing they were told to do was smile and wave for the camera drone that showed up every now and then.

Now it was three weeks later and as the warm water rushed over Tyler's body he could honestly say he should have just gone into engineering and been done with it. Sighing to himself he stepped out of the shower and turned to the mirror on the wall. The man staring back at him stood at a little more than six feet with short brown hair still wet from the shower, and gold eyes that where a result of the gene enhancement. He was clean shaven with a white skin complexion that had been tanned by the harsh Texas sun. He has broad shoulders and muscular body that with the help of the gene enhancements retained its speed and agility. He had no scars on his body and with the way things were going he wouldn't be getting any for the foreseeable future.

Ripping his gaze away from his reflection he dried off before throwing the towel around his shoulders and walking into his cool room and sighing at the pleasant chill that crept over his body. As he made his way to the room's small dresser he glanced at his room seeing the small un-kept bed, metal floor walls and ceiling, a stand for his armor, a small nightstand, and a wooden desk he had purchased from a local store. Altogether the room was small and barely furnished but about what you would expect from a lowly ADVENT captain.

Shaking his head at the rooms meager furnishings Tyler opened the drawer to the dresser and quickly pulled out a pair of briefs and black socks followed by a skin tight black pants and long-sleeved shirt that were supposed to be breathable but Tyler had his doubts. The outfit was however perfect for going under the armor he was required to wear at all times when not sleeping.

So after getting the outfit on he made his way over to the armor stand where he saw the one piece of decent equipment ADVENT had decided to give them. The armor before him was the standard ADVENT officer armor with the exception of three things. Firstly it had no helmet for some reason, not that Tyler minded considering the heat in Texas would have been even worse in a helmet. Secondly was a painted emblem atop the left breastplate of the armor. The emblem was the 77th's emblem, a red dragon with wings spread and bellowing yellow fire upward with the ADVENT symbol in the background. Below the emblem was the unit's motto Temibile quando Adirato, Protettiva per il nostro gregge, which Tyler translated as Fearsome When Angered, Protective of our Flock. The unit had decided as a group on the emblem and motto and decided the unit's unofficial name to be The Dragoons. The third difference was the gold trim along the armors shoulders depicting him an officer and a unique paint design of the Dragoon officers. The rest of the units armors had been pained the same Maroon red and given the unit emblem on the back.

Piece by piece Tyler donned the armor and with a satisfying click of the arm guard he finished and made his way out of the room and into the blinding Texas sun that was just creeping over the horizon. "Another day, another pointless waste of time and resources." Tyler muttered as he walked over to the Command building in the center of the outpost.

The outpost itself was a simple thing, made during the pre-ADVENT world as an FOB it was surrounded by hesco barriers shaped into a square with two opening at the north and south side of the compound. Along the east side was the barracks building and Vehicle depot where the soldiers slept and where the company received its supplies from the monthly supply trucks. On the west side where the small row of apartments that housed the officers and were Tyler just came from. In the center was the Command building which was only a netted area with some sandbags and a small radio tower at the side. The outpost's only real military buildings where the four metal guard towers at the corners of the facility which each housed a trooper that vigilantly watch for any strange activity.

"Ha! I would give three years' salary if any of those guys were still awake." Tyler thought "After all who in their right mind would come here, much less start a fight here?" This thought however this belief would be blown out of his head when he finally reported to the units XO.

(30 minutes later)

"…What?" Tyler asked in a stupefied voice. The 77ths commanding officer shrugged as he checked over his shiny gold armor.

"Yep apparently someone from that Temple ship decided that they needed to see this sand dune we call a base and is coming over to inspect us in two hours." The commander replied as if stating the weather. Hot, if you were wondering.

"You mean an Ethereal is coming here?" the captain of Alpha squad, Captain Rinauld asked their commander in shock.

"Yep, so get the men ready and in parade formation. I want this unit looking tip top for the dignitary." The commander replied.

"Yes, sir!" Rinauld and Tyler replied along with Captains Davis and Cathic of Bravo and Delta squads, as they snapped a salute before quickly leaving the command 'building' and heading for the barracks.

Tyler made his way over to the barracks and quickly marched through the door and into the large room littered with rows of double bunk beds with sleeping ADVENT soldiers upon them. "RISE AND SHINE ASSHOLES! ON YOUR FEET, I WANT YOU OUTSIDE IN FORMATION WITH FULL KIT AND I WANTED IT YESTERDAY!" Tyler bellowed which shocked the men awake and sent them scrambling to put on their equipment.

It took the men a good ten minutes before they had managed to put on their armor and tidy up their beds. However now all forty men of the 77th where assembled in full armor and weapons in parade formation. The men were lined up in columns of five with a little extra space between every two columns to show each different squad. In front of each of the squads stood their captain who were facing a small podium where the Major would brief the entire unit.

As Tyler stood in front of his ten man squad designated Echo squad, he again wondered why an Ethereal would come all the way out here to see their unit. As Tyler debated this in his head the Major briefed the men on what was about to happen that day causing many to shift nervously.

As Tyler half listened he suddenly felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle causing him to glance around. "Why does it feel like I'm being watched?" he thought before the Major dismissed the unit to prepare for their guest.

(Same Time, atop a hill South West of the 77th's base)

"This is Grizzly, we have eyes on the AO. Numerous enemy contacts, ADVENT troopers and Officers." A grizzled man spoke from where he lay atop a small hill overlooking the 77th's fire base. Nearby the bearded man where his five team mates who all had their weapons drawn and where aiming down range at the unsuspecting enemies. Together the six man team made up the members of XCOM's fire team Bear led by their squad leader Grizzly.

"Copy that Grizzly, any sign of the target?" Came the reply over the comm bead.

Grizzly took one last glance threw the pair of binos before replying "Negative Central. We do have another hour before its scheduled to arrive though."

"Understood Grizzly, remember the transport truck is your number one priority all other targets are secondary." Central reminded him before signing off.

Grizzly snorted in contempt "No shit, as if I had to be told that the god damn Ethereal is the priority."

"Maybe he just wants to remind you so you don't get distracted with blowing stuff up again like last time." Black Bear the team's sniper replied with a snarky tone in the American women's voice.

"We did go a little over board last time." Panda said from where the Japanese man lay fingering his grenade launcher.

Unlike the other squads of XCOM Bear time was unique in that with the exception of Black Bear the entire unit was composed of grenadiers. This meant that naturally the squads go to strategy in combat was to use their grenade launchers to blow up anything that look important or moved in the AO. This made them unsuitable for covert missions but perfect in assaults like the one they were on now.

It had been a stroke off luck that XCOM had intercepted radio chatter about the visit of an Ethereal to a remote base in the desert. So acting upon this Central had quickly contacted the local resistance cell and also scrambled Bear to destroy or capture the Ethereal. Grizzly was going for the destroy option personally.

As the team continued to wait the sun started to rise higher in the sky and the heat began to shine down upon them making them sweat in their heavy Kevlar armor. Finally after a while the saw a convoy of three trucks including an armored personnel carrier approaching the base.

"Central this is Grizzly we have eyes on the convoy. Two transport trucks and an APC. I'm guessing our Target is in the APC." Grizzly announced as his squad readied their grenade launchers.

"Confirmed Grizzly. As soon as the convoy stops you are go for Operation High Example. Repeat when the convoy stops the operation is a go." Central replied.

The squad readied their grenade launchers as the convoy entered the base and the troopers lined up in formation to greet their guests. From his position Polar spoke up "So you think the resistance cell was able to plant the thing like they were supposed to?"

Black Bear smiled as she held up a detonator "Only one way to find out." She said as she clicked the button. A bright flash followed as the rear truck in the convoy blew up directly in front of the assembled ADVENT.

"Weapons free Bear!" Grizzly shouted as he and his men fired their five grenade launchers into the base riddling the area with explosions. "Move in!" Grizzly shouted as he and the rest of his squad minus Back Bear charged forward toward the base walls.

(Inside the Fire Base)

"Get to cover god damn it!" Tyler shouted to anyone still left alive after the initial blasts as a sniper shot dropped another soldier standing in the open. Tyler himself ran toward a sandbag wall before rolling behind it and taking stock of the situation.

The initial blast from the rigged truck had detonated directly in front of Bravo squad killing Captain Davis and the rest of his man near instantly. Tyler and the rest didn't have enough time to react before a series of grenades impacted their positions with the first taking out the nearest guard tower and the rest riddling the ADVENT troops where they were assembled.

As Tyler glanced around he saw bodies of his allies strewn around him. Nearby he could see that Captain Cathic had taken a sniper round to the head while his unit was scattered by a grenade that took out half their number. Alpha was scattered with Rinauld and his Lt having been blown apart by a grenade along with three other Alpha members. Tyler knew that Echo wasn't any better after a grenade had landed in the midst of his unit and taking out almost all of them.

Deciding to rally who he could Tyler began to shout orders amidst the chaos "Echo on me! Echo on my position now!" he shouted and soon he was joined by two other troopers he recognized where from his squad. "Richard, Neil where's everyone else?" he asked the panting troopers.

"Dead sir that grenade practically landed in their laps." Richard replied "It's just the two of us and you sir."

"Damn it!" Tyler snapped before glancing over his cover again looking for the Major after a second he found him and four other troopers behind the lead truck shouting orders.

When the Major noticed him he turned and began to shout orders "Captain Harrington take you men and get" he began only to be cut off as another series of grenades landed inside the base with one hitting the truck the Major was behind causing it to explode and consume the Major and his men in flames. The other four grenades either hit the APC destroying its turret or impacted the barracks building reducing it to rubble.

As Tyler watched a group of five soldiers jumped over the fire bases walls and began to dart from cover to cover toward the defenseless APC. Tyler instantly recognized the logo on their armor as XCOM the old world extremist group that had been a thorn in ADVENT's side for years. Ducking back down behind cover Tyler keyed his headset before setting the communication device to the ADVENT network. "This is Captain Tyler R. Harrington of Echo squad, 77th HVG. We are under heavy fire by XCOM forces! We are taking heavy casualties. Requesting immediate reinforcements!" he relayed over the net before a voice responded.

"This is the 3rd Viper Core, we are enroot. Hold your positions. Estimated arrival in five minutes." Came the calm female reply in Xeno from what Tyler could assume was a Viper.

"Understood will hold our ground till your arrival! Echo out." Tyler replied before looking at the advancing XCOM units and then to his men. "Alright here is the deal, we cannot let those ass hats get to the Ethereal. We have to hold them off for another five minutes so the 3rd Viper Core can get here. So if you want to live follow my orders exactly understood!" Tyler relayed and saw both Richard and Neil nod.

"Okay… On me!" he shouted before leaping over the sandbags and sprinting to the burned out husk of the rear truck with both men behind him. When they reached there they were joined by a pair of troopers who were already behind the debris.

One of the men turned before addressing Tyler "Sir, troopers David and Kevin of Alpha squad. Guess we are all yours now."

Tyler nodded "Glad to have you both. We have to hold these guys off for five minutes until reinforcements get here. You good on ammo?" he asked.

"Loaded and ready for payback sir." The other trooper, Kevin announced raising his assault rifle in demonstration.

Tyler nodded before glancing around and noticing the south eastern guard tower was still undamaged. "Richard I want you and Kevin to get in that guard tower and suppress that sniper position. Neil and David come with me. We have to get to that APC before XCOM does. Let's hit these bastard back."

"Yes, sir!" the four men replied before rushing to their tasks.

(With the XCOM Squad)

Grizzly and Polar approached the APC before they ducked down behind cover only twenty feet away. Behind them Brown Bear was suppressing two enemy troopers with his Cannon while Panda and Ursa where ready to move up from their low cover and approach the APC. Giving them the signal Grizzly watched the two approach the back of the APC before they opened the door.

After a minute of silence Ursa's voice shouted over the calm "What the hell there's nobody here!"

Grizzly froze in shock before an angry growl rumbled in his throat "Central this is Grizzly. The target is not here repeat the target is not here. It's a decoy!" Grizzly relayed

"Rodger that Grizzly. Evac the AO. We are detecting enemy reinforcements inbound. Call in the Sky ranger and RTB." Central replied.

"Understood. Alright Bear you heard him let's move." Grizzly ordered.

At the back of the APC Ursa turned toward Grizzly's position before a noise behind him caused him to turn around only to be greeted with the sight of an ADVENT officer with no helmet and a surprisingly human face leaning out from the other side of the APC. "Bye-bye bitch." The office growled before unloading a burst of automatic fire into the operative's chest at point blank range.

Ursa's body fell backward into the APC's compartment as Panda cursed and dove behind cover as another burst of fire sprayed the earth around his boots from a trooper behind short cover. "Ursa is down taking fire!" Panda shouted.

"Shit Black Bear cover Panda!" Grizzly shouted as he and Polar ducked down to cover.

"Got it- SHIT!" Black Bear announced as Grizzly saw a pair of troopers fire on her position from atop a guard tower. "I've been hit!" Black Bear shouted as she rolled down the hill and limped to the cover of the Fire Base's wall while clutching at the bullet wound in her right arm.

Grizzly growled "Brown Bear take out that officer!" he ordered.

Brown Bear shifted his Cannon to the enemy officer and unleashed a stream of fire that clipped the officer. "Get some!" Brown Bear yelled in glee as he continued to pour fire into the officer position.

(With Tyler)

"Ah fuck!" Tyler yelled as he clutched the gash in his cheek where the round from the cannon had grazed him. Neil leaned out of cover from a nearby sandbag wall to unload a clip into the enemy that had hit if Captain dropping the men who screamed in pain before falling backward and slumping against a low sandbag wall dead.

The enemy team leader bellowed in rage before he unloaded into Neil's position clipping the trooper in the arm and sending Neil to the ground in pain. The enemy that was closest to them had managed to scramble back to his allies amongst the firefight and now crouched behind a low sandbag wall.

As Tyler shook off the pain and peeked around cover he saw the enemy squad leader raise his hand and fire off a flare into the air. Soon after a ship flew in and hovered over the area apparently the enemy squad's exfiltration craft. "Advance! Don't let them get away!" Tyler shouted as he rounded the corner of the APC before grabbing a grenade off the dead XCOM operator and tossing it toward the sandbag wall where Panda crouched.

The explosion destroyed the cover but only tossed Panda back onto his ass. However before he could rise and get to cover Richard and David pumped a burst each from their position in the tower to the exposed XCOM operator's chest shredding him in a hail of lead.

As this was happening Grizzly, Black Bear, and Polar where wrenched into the Sky Ranger with Grizzly being the last man on the ground. Before he left he looked to the enemy officer's face and the pair's eyes met. In that second each knew that they would not rest till the other one paid for what happened here. Their stare off was broken by the wrench as it pulled Grizzly up and into the Sky Ranger that quickly took off into the morning horizon.

Tyler stood there watching it go before turning and seeing the destruction the enemy squad had wrought. There wasn't a building that wasn't damaged with the barracks and command building being completely destroyed. Fires flickered from burning oil and the dead lay everywhere spilling their life's blood onto the ground.

"77th on me!" Tyler shouted for any survivors to rally onto his position. Slowly out of the wreckage David, Richard, Neil, and Kevin emerged along with another trooper of Alpha squad and four Delta squad troopers who had been taking cover amongst the carnage. That was ten men including himself, single squad. In the span of a couple minutes they had gone from a forty-five man unit to a single ragtag squad. Part of him couldn't help but marvel at the enemy's effectiveness.

Looking back toward were the Sky Ranger had flew off to Tyler's gaze hardened as he whispered a promises to the wind and the approaching sound of ADVENT dropships.

"XCOM…this isn't over."

And Done! I know this may come as a surprise to you all as the idea for this fic suddenly came to me and so I began to write the first chapter down. Just so you all know this takes place in the same XCOM universe as spartanrex10's A Grab for the Heart fic but before his takes place.

So you all know I will be accepting SOME OC's but they will only play minor roles unless I decide otherwise. Anyway if you have questions about how to submit an OC or the fic itself, feel free to ask me in a PM or a review and I will answer you either in the next update or in a PM if I have time.

Anyway till next time stay frosty and don't forget to review.