Rictor had a quality most would consider arrogance. He called it knowing what he was capable of. Those like him were not super-human.
New training methods created elite soldiers in an 8-week time span, taken from Basic Training graduates in countries around the world. The Combat Unit was unlike anything Earth had ever seen. Only, the unit was a complete secret from the public.
ATCOM's mandate was to counter the primary threat to the people of Earth. It was the Anti-Terrorist Combat Unit. Until the Menace made itself known.
Whatever they were, their intent was clear from their first appearance. Even Rictor, leader of the newly-designated XCOM, cringed when he saw the results of what the UN designated Terror-01.
Everyone within a two-block radius of a European suburb was dead. There were violet-tinged scorch marks from unknown weapons, along with scattered corpses. Everyone who wandered into the Terror Zone was dead – no exceptions, no witnesses. That was when reports were released by world governments in a secret meeting at the UN. There was a new enemy, one ATCOM was uniquely equipped to deal with. The perpetrators of Terror-01 were waging psychological warfare against the people of Earth, and it was up to XCOM to ensure they failed.
Before Rictor sat all the men and women who were a part of XCOM. Eight soldiers, dozens of scientists and engineers. Behind him was a wall projection that showed the aftermath of Terror-01. The press of a button showed a corpse charred beyond recognition. It had a violet tinge.
"It is our belief that this damage was caused by hand-held weaponry. Our mandate, in part, is to stop this from ever happening again, so you can expect to encounter whatever weapon this was. Don't expect its wielder to be human." The room shuffled uncomfortably in their seats. Most knew what the "X" represented in XCOM, but it was still new to them. Their mellow reaction was precisely why this would be a secret war. The men were exceptionally well-trained to deal with this type of news. It was also why the X was not defined in any official records.
The scene behind Rictor changed to show a splattered ribcage and strewn limbs. "You've all heard the myth of cattle mutilations. What you don't know is that there really have been government cover-ups." The camera panned to show a murdered farmer, hunting rifle in hand. The body had the same violet-tinged scorch marks. "Obviously the same perpetrators."
On the wall, the photograph disappeared and a world map replaced it. Areas were marked with violet stars. A red star showed the location of Terror-01. "XCOM currently has one base of operations." A blue square lit up in Central Europe. "Our objectives are to identify the Menace and their goals. Remember, XCOM was founded to protect the people of Earth. This Menace – whatever it is – doesn't respect life, human or cattle." It was meant to impress the seriousness of the situation, not lighten the mood. No one cracked a smile.
"With our Skyranger transport, we can reach anywhere in Europe within 90 minutes. Hopefully, that will be enough to stop the Menace. Typhoon interceptors will be able to shoot down their transporters once our detection system is up and running.
"M-8 6.8mm, armor-piercing, exploding rounds. Ceramic armor laced with spider silk, capable of stopping any known rifle round or medieval broadsword. Training to match the SAS or Foreign Legion. We're the best there is, with the best equipment." A collage appeared on the wall next, containing images of corpses with violet burns.
"This is the war we're in, and we're currently Earth's only defense. Scientists and Engineers to provide technology and equipment to support our efforts around the clock. We will protect this planet from the Menace."