X-Com - The Unknown Menace
Chapter Eight – The Grim Horizon
March 25th, 1999
Forbidden City, Beijing, People's Republic of
As usual, Chairman Zhu's first chore of the day
consisted of a session of tai chi in order to prepare for the days' ordeal. He
had taken into not falling under the excesses of his predecessors, whose life
after obtaining high positions was of what he considered debauchery. One's mind
can be only clear in a fit body he thought, as he went through a series of
exercises, clearing his attention.
He had chosen one of the restored Imperial
gardens that rested in the middle of small plaza surrounded by buildings dating
from the Manchus, the last dynasty of China. The area was deserted, save for
himself, with specific orders having been given not to disturb him. The crank
of the old wood beneath him was only registered on his mind for a second, and
the anger of being interrupted quickly dissolved itself into a feeling that
something important must have happened. To deal with it, he decided to first
complete the exercise he was performing at the moment. Another series of
movements was completed, his arms dancing in the air in front of him, moving
through the rhythm of his body. He then stopped and said: "Speak!"
He felt his deputy indecision about how to
approach him, sudden freezing into place and after a second of hesitation the
man nervously said: "Comrade Chairman, I'm sorry to disturb you but contact has
been made". That caught Zhu's full attention and he opened his eyes to look directly
at his subordinate. The deputy waited that the Chinese leader made any
question, but seeing that his silence continued, he then carried on.
"An offer has been made, of collaboration"
"An offer or forced assistance?" Let's see who
wants to be the puppeteer here, Chu thought.
"They didn't specify details but merely pointed
that they are open to discussion". The deputy had become first exuberant when
he was notified. Now noticing his leader's reaction he wasn't sure of what to
think. He continued. "If true, it will allow us to dispense with X-Com this
minute and start looking for our own interests".
Chu eyes drifted through the ancient setting
where both of them were standing, considering his subordinate's words. "How and
when did it happen?"
"Last night. One of the Politburo's members
loyal to us was approached by one of their agents. He certified his identity,
we can be sure that he is one of them". Zhu listened to the last words of his
deputy and then restarted his training, saying nothing. After some seconds of
confusion, but afraid to disturb his superior again, the deputy quietly left.
As his body went through another set of trained exercises, Zhu started
meditating about what he had just been told.
April 1st, 1999
Mother One, Black Forest, Germany
Eva Johannes was looking beneath a large
reinforced window at an alien weapon that was mounted on a support in test
range. The brown and red pistol suddenly fired itself, releasing a green bolt
that hit a blackened wall. She then turned to one of the monitors who were
displaying the information received from the energized particle detectors. She
just shook her head in disbelief. Turning to Doctor Chevereux, who was also
present, she said: "Plasma. All of this just to get some plasma!"
"It merely confirmed our suspicions that were
based on the description of the beam the weapons emitted and the physical
results of the discharges, Doctor".
"How could we have over missed it, Doctor
Chevereux? It was that simple!"
"In reality it still isn't. We now have an idea
of how the weapons use the Elerium to generate the plasma or how they manage to
contain it and direct it. Or even how they use it to move their craft. On the
first aspect they most likely are a result of the matter-antimatter mutual
annihilation reaction but in the second we are still left in a blank".
"Meaning more months of experiments". And more
frustration to come, she added mentally.
"Yes, results just don't materialize themselves
on thin air and land at to our desks".
Traveling? Something connected at her head. "What did you said Doctor?"
"That we must continue our efforts, let's just
hope they don't decide to cut the funding for this also".
"No, something about air"
"Results don't appear out of nowhere and land
were we wanted them, or something like that"
"That's it!" The missing piece that was eluding
"Excusez-moi, doctor? Can you please explain
what are you saying?"
"During my stay at Area 51 I contacted with
several of the troopers involved in the assault of a two-story UFO near the
North Pole. I asked him about the things he had seen working inside the UFO and
if there was anything peculiar, but he couldn't remember at the moment
anything. But one day I heard him commenting about the lifts the aliens used
and his surprise about it. They had no moving parts and that an invisible force
elevated the passenger. The trooper said that he simply moved in the air and
"What is your point, Dr.?"
"Moving, landing. What's the name of the force
on Earth that attracts everything to the ground?"
"Gravity?" Dr. Chevereux thought for a minute
and added: "You mean the elevator was an anti-gravity device?"
"And now think about the raid on Coventry.
Commander Illyuschenko reported that when the UFO's engines stopped he suddenly
could feel the inertia of the craft, something that did not happen while it was
moving airborne, because the anti-gravity effect counteracted Newton's laws of
movements, that state that a reaction has a counter-reaction".
"An anti-gravity device? The Elerium can generate
an anti-gravity field? That would explain how the craft moves or how their
weapons control the plasma discharge, but how?"
"Like you said, Dr. Chevereux, we need to do
some more testing".
"Yes, unfortunately the research priorities
have been changed". He took a resigned look, of someone who had dealt with such
situations for many times.
"What? What do you mean? We can't have gone
this far to stop everything now!"
"The report from the Council of Funding Nations
came this morning and I wished it was an April' Fools Day joke. Many nations
are complaining of UFO activity within or close to their borders with no
response from X-Com's forces. As a result, they have decided to reduce their
contributions and the money we have is simply not enough to cover all our
expenses. Scientific programs have been put into a low-priority with the
majority of the funds going to cover military deployment costs".
"The Secretary General and the Commander must
be insane! You can't allow this to happen Doctor!"
"I supported their decision. The troops are
well prepared now to deal with the aliens. We need to deploy them or the cuts
will affect us more next month and might even lead to this whole operation
being cancelled. I have lived through hundreds of budget constrains and know
that if we don't present results, the Council will cut more. Legislators are a
funny kind of people doctor. They tend to think more in practical matters than
in the long-term".
"What are we to do then?" She felt defeated.
"You will continue with the Elerium research,
but at a minimal funding. But most of the staff on the project will be
redirected to other areas. We need know to find more about the aliens in order
for the military to be able to decipher their intentions and plans".
"But we are this close, Doctor. Remember your
words when we started? Elerium is the key to the stars". The older scientist
looked absent for a minute and then he replied.
"That might not be so, Dr. We still don't know
how or if it's used to transport to travel through speeds faster than light.
Zeta Reticuli, the system where the alien claims its species was born, is a
long way from here and, most likely the craft we have seen can travel through
planets but not out of our solar system. It would take them took long although
some recent discoveries archeological discoveries suggest that they might be
watching us for a long time".
"The theory that the aliens must have a base
inside our solar system to support their operations. Yes, I have seen the
conclusions of the…. interrogation made to the alien also."
"Yes. Interesting how we are seen as guinea
pigs by them, but not pleasant at all". He checked his watch and said
afterwards: "I need to be going Dr. Please continue with your testing and
notify me immediately if you come up with any interesting report".
"Of course, Dr. Chevereux". And I will get
them, she ordered herself.
April 7th, 1999
The nuclear powered Los Angeles class attack
submarine USS La Jolla was traveling at a speed of six knots on her three-day
trip from the Hawaii Islands to her pier at San Diego Naval Base. Most of the
journey had been uneventful so far, and, besides a group of whales migrating
and some merchant ships they hadn't had any contact in the first two days of
the trip. Since they were close to the US Coast, the sub skipper had decided to
go to the surface and allow his men to get some fresh air and sun, taking
advantage to the rather unusual weather conditions. The captain had also
decided to go outside and had been on the top of the submarine's sail for
nearly half an hour when the intercom started working.
"Captain, Sonar. We require your presence down
here sir. We have just picked a strange sonar echo on the passive sonar".
"Nature of the contact?"
"Unidentified sir. It is underwater and moving
at an impossible speed".
"I'm coming down". He dropped on the hatch
built on the floor of the tower that was built on the top of the submarine,
grabbed one of the rails and started going down. After less than a minute he
reached the sonar room where two technicians were very occupied.
"Ensign Rollins, what's the range to the
"43 nautical miles sir. But we first detected it more than sixty miles
The captain did some mental calculations and
frown his face. For the contact to have closed that distance it meant that it
was navigating at a speed never seen on a submarine. Unless it was not a sub.
He recalled the top security orders he had received months ago.
"Is the sonar signature completely unknown to
"Yes, I've triple-checked it already. And the
noise we are picking up is very strange; it doesn't quite fit the usual
transistent signal. It doesn't sound like mechanical parts working but more as
if it's a whale, but in this case it would be a whale with a metallic skin". The
senior sonar technician looked completely puzzled and shrank its shoulders.
Something on the earphones caught his attention and he looked at the data
monitors in front of him, even more astonished with what he saw. "Sir it just
suddenly stopped, but I mean a full stop. And it's moving again right now but
changed its course. It's not heading toward us anymore but going on a course
zero-four-seven. Have you ever heard of anything like it captain?"
The Captain remembered his instructions. They
were very precise on this point. "It must one of the Russian new submarines
that they are testing right now, according to the CIA".
If the technician even detected that his
commander was telling a lie, he didn't even showed it also when he replied:
"This close to our shore?!"
"Keep tracking it. And if you have not figured
it out yet, gentlemen, what you are seeing is classified. You may never discuss
this with anyone else or you will spend the rest of your careers on a federal
Both non-commissioned officers immediately
turned stiff and replied: "Yessir!"
"Inform me of any changes on his present
course, I will be in the communications room". He didn't even bother to hear
their reply as he was already thinking of a way to put the incident into words.
Santa Cruz, California
Going on night shift at the local radio was
always hell for the disk jockey on was assigned to it. And Terry was just
starting to feel what it was like, in his first night. First he thought that it
would be good to not have anyone else looking at you to see if the newbie made
any blunder. He almost wanted that someone would be shouting at him right now.
Besides the technician on charge on the transmission gear of the station there
was no one else on the top floor of a three-story office building where K-NUT
transmitted. And there was nothing to do also, besides occasionally mumbling
something into the mike just to wake up whoever would be up at this hour in the
night trying to no fall at sleep at the wheel of the car and choosing the
tracks that were being broadcasted.
At least the studio had a soundproof window in
front of him that opened to the outside and provided a view of the shore and
the Pacific Ocean. That helped out to not feeling also claustrophobic. But it
didn't do much in helping the boredom of the place. Terry considered going over
the technician to chat a little to see if it helped the time passed but when he
looked to the booth where he usually sat, there was no one there. Probably went
for a couple of coffee at the vendor on the corridor or to take a piss he
figured. He looked at the monitor and noticed that the last song on the list
was being played. Time to go to work again for some more minutes he thought,
while starting to think what it would be broadcasted next. While he was going
over the songs stored on the informatics system, his side view begun tracking
He first thought it was the Moon on her way
across the sky, but his brain remembered that it didn't the Moon didn't travel
that quick and also that its shape was never oval. He looked to the window and
became absorbed in what he saw. Something bright was flying offshore in front
of his eyes. He quickly jumped out of his chair and ran to the window. He
wanted to open it but it didn't have a handle so after some seconds of search
for one he just quitted and looked again. The oval thing or disk or whatever it
was still kept moving from the left to the right, close to the shore. What the
fuck was that, he asked? A voice asked behind of him.
"Hey! What are you doing? There's nothing
playing on the air right now you moron!" The technician shouted at him from the
door that connected the studio to his booth.
"There's something flying out there! It's a UFO
or something!" Terry kept looking at the craft.
"What? A fucking UFO? " He moved to the window,
and took a peek, but the UFO had already disappeared on the horizon. "Are you
nuts or something? There's nothing out there! You must have been smoking some
serious shit before coming to work!"
"I'm serious, it was big! We need to call the
police! We need to report this on the air!"
"Christ! Wake up! Hello, wake up! What you need
to do is to get some music playing right now, you idiot or you can be sure that
I will report you tomorrow! Fucking rookie assholes!" The technician turned and
went back to his booth, leaving Terry still searching for the now gone UFO.
Area 51, Nevada, US
The hangar where the F-22 interceptor was
parked was full of agitation, with technicians going over the craft and warning
klaxons sounded in the dark metal walls. The organized chaos that had been
installed was repeating itself on the other hangar next to it, where X-Com
personnel was also preparing the second advanced fighter that the West team
On a room situated on the facility, Lt. Colonel
Harris was finishing the final preparations on his flight gear, together with
Captain Clark, both pilots having been called in by Colonel Johnson. When they
both did the last checks they both turned to the West commander and waited in
Johnson then started talking: "Ten minutes ago
the US Navy detected an UFO underwater in the Pacific heading towards the US
shore. It disappeared and the NORAD picked it up afterwards on a course that
led it to San Diego. The radar track showed it to be one of their ships used
for terrorist attacks".
"What? Jesus!" Before both officers started
bombarding him with questions, Johnson raised a hand to stop them. "It over
flew San Diego and never launched any attack. Local authorities report no
strange events in the area. The UFO just continued its course and is lurking
around in the area. Current information puts him 10 miles off the city on Santa
Cruz, California. To prevent any possible attacks, the Air Force is putting
together a major operation to shoot it down. And you will be the spearhead of
that offensive. The Alpha, Delta, Epsilon, Omega, Phi, Zeta and Kappa squads
are already getting ready and boarding the Skyrangers, in case you fail".
Harris fought the urge to touch his face and
almost raised his hand to do it. Revenge. Just show me the fuckers, every last
one of them, he said to himself. Johnson seemed to pick something on the pilot,
because he turned to Harris and said: "I share of your fears about that thing
that is flying out there, but remember that this is a military operation! You
will do as you are told or when you came back here you will be spending the
rest of this operation cleaning up the toilets!"
"Just remember it! Now board your planes, you
will get briefed on the plan when you're airborne. And good luck!"
Both pilots grabbed their flight helmets and
left the room. When they entered the hangar, Clark turned to Harris and asked
him and they were on their way to the planes. "Harris, you know what that last
shit that the Colonel said was all about". The other pilot stopped and turned
to Clark, moving his index finger to the scars on his temple. He then moved it
over the other burned locations on his forehead, slowly rubbing them, to make
sure that the younger pilot knew his point.
"Gosh! I'm sorry sir. I didn't mean to
"Don't worry about it. Just remember to not get
on my way when we're on the air". He then turned to his plane and started
walking again, picking his pace. When he reached it he climbed the stairwell in
the cockpit and jumped inside, locking himself to the ejection seat and putting
his helmet. A couple of jacks coming out from it quickly found themselves into
locations in the cabin, connecting him to the radio. He then connected is
breathing apparatus and did the final checks. A technician came to the front of
his craft waving a hand carrying red little flags and he nodded. His plane was
ready. He keyed on his radio:
"Command, this is Comanche One. Ready to
"Comanche, commenting launch procedures now". Suddenly
the floor beneath the craft begun to raise it itself towards the top of the
hangar. The overhead doors started opening and the lift slowly brought the
craft up to the surface. Light greeted Harris, but he ignored it as he was
starting his engines. When the elevator stopped the F-22 was standing in the
middle of a sand-painted runway, with rotating lights coming out of their
concealed locations to help him see it. Behind him the F-22 piloted by Clark
had also come out of its hiding and was maneuvering to get himself being
"Comanche flight, clear to take off. Climb up
to angels twelve and maintain formation. Your heading is 294. Wait for Air
Force instructions from the E-3C Sentry on the area".
"Comanche One, roger. Commencing take-off".
Harris let go of the air brakes and applied almost full power to the engine.
The F-22 slowly started to move in the hot tarmac and started to gain speed.
When his airspeed showed it to be going over 150 miles per hour, Harris began
pushing the control stick to him and the plane took-off, closely followed by
Clark's. Both planes then reached their assigned altitude and started heading
towards their target.
Johnson and Major Patterson were also prepared
to take-off, seated on a C-130 Hercules aircraft, together with the remaining
Beta and Gamma squads. The thing wasn't as good as the EC-130E plane they were
used to, but there was no way they could afford to buy it or even request it
from the Air Force.
"Colonel, Captain Markovitch reports her
Skyranger is ready to lift-off. Forrester hasn't finished their preparations
but should be done any second.
"What's the status of Comanche and the other
"Comanche One and Two are already on their way
to California. There's also a flight of F/A-18C Hornets on their way from
Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, besides the flights of Air Force and National
Guard's F-16s and F-15s fighters on their way coming from bases all over the
West Coast. Northwestern Air Defense Sector at McChord AFB in Washington State
is coordinating the counterattack".
"Do they have more air resources available?"
"The carrier Carl Vinson and his battle group
had started two day ago their trip to their deployment to the Southern Pacific,
but they are too far away to help. The Air Force will have more fighters
available in some hours, but it might be too late".
"And on the ground?"
"One battalion of Marines ready at San Diego.
And some California National Guard units can also assist us".
"Let's hurry up the preparations then. We need
this thing on the air in case the fighters fail to stop the UFO. He when in the
direction of the Hercules' back ramp door to help carrying the last remaining
equipment inside the plane.
Over Central California, US
Harris was remembering his first contact. The
excitement and fear of approaching the alien craft. And the surprise and pain
afterwards, the sudden rush of air into the cut cockpit of the Aurora, the
frantic moments searching for the ejection handles before passing out. A voice
brought him back: "Comanche Flight, this is Sentinel. Target is still airborne,
near San Francisco. Keep your present vector. You are to fire at it at maximum
weapon's range and then clear the area. The other flights will then engage,
taking advantage of your discharges".
Harris looked at his weapons display. He was
carrying four AIM-54 Phoenix missiles and Clark was loaded with two other
Phoenixes and three AIM-120 Amraams, each group of weapons split between his
two weapons' bays, right in the intersection between the F-22's body and wings.
Usually it would take two or three Phoenixes or Amraam's to take one of the
Celtic cross type but the craft that was over the Pacific was much larger.
Although it would have been better to load a full AIM-54 Phoenix set on both
wings, there simply hadn't been enough time. But he preferred that way. Better
to keep things close and personal.
Further up north, a flight of four F-15A Eagle
interceptors from the 123rd Fighter Squadron of the Oregon Air
National Guard were circling, waiting for Comanche flight to make their attack
run. The leader, Major Armstrong, was afraid. So far he hadn't ever heard of
any exercise that consisted of scrambling all the fully armed, alert-status
planes at the base and have them wait off the American Coast. Another thing
that told him that something big was up was the amount of air traffic he could
hear on the military and civilian channels. He recognized some of the call
signs. They belonged to air defense fighter units all over the Pacific states.
And even more disturbing was the regular air traffic channels. All civilian
flight operations had been cancelled on the Bay Area and the airline pilots
were giving hell to the controllers, being forced to find alternate airports.
That could only mean that there was some immediate danger, most likely in the
form of a hostile attack. But who would be nuts enough to make an air strike
against the continent US or even have the resources to do it? The threat looked
as if it was coming from the Pacific, which meant that either they would have
an aircraft carrier lurking around or it had long-range bombers. The Russians?
The Chinese? Has World War III started all of a sudden?
California-Nevada border, US
The noise of the C-130 almost made it
impossible for Johnson to hear the radio or Patterson's voice. He waved for him
to stop and said: "Say that again?"
His executive officer raised his voice to be
heard. "Both Skyrangers are halfway to the Bay Area. Air Force is about to
attack the UFO".
"Think they are going to make it?"
"Your guess is as good as mine, Colonel. It
depends on the offensive and defensives capabilities of that thing. We know it
also carries plasma beams like the smaller UFOs. We just don't know what they
are capable of".
"And we on the ground, are we ready?"
"The whole company is ready sir. Army and
Marine forces are ready to deploy, but the location of the possible attack will
determine for long we will have to wait for assistance".
"Let's hope we don't need them and that this
all ends on a deployment drill".
Central California, US
The UFO was going steady, some 110 miles away
from Comanche Flight. Harris noticed that it seemed to be just cruising,
maintaining the same course and a low speed. The APG-71 radar situated on the
nose of the F-22 suddenly started picking the craft and it started tracking it.
Checking with Clark to certify that he had also a lock, he then contacted the
E-3C Sentry that was monitoring the situation.
"Sentinel. This is Comanche Flight, we have the
"Comanche flight acknowledging your status.
Weapons are free, engage at your discretion".
"Sentinel, this is Comanche One. I got a tone
on the target. Phoenix is locked and ready. Firing now! Fox Three!" The left
weapons bay opened and the missile dropped out of its releasing mechanism,
dropping for a bit more than a second before its engine blasted. The guidance
system received the information from the F-22's radar and started guiding it
towards the UFO. After the second Phoenix was launched the hydraulic doors
closed again and both missiles were soon racing over Mach five to their target.
"Sentinel, Comanche One. Both missiles are on
"Sentinel, Comanche Two, I got a malfunction on
my left bay. Only fired two missiles".
"Comanche Flight, get clear and remain close to
the area until further orders".
As Harris push the stick towards him and to the
right to clear the area, he looked at his radar screen, focusing on the echo's
sent by the four missiles and the UFO and ignoring the swarms of fighters that
were trying to take advantage of his salvo to get into range to also release
their missiles. One of the dots started going slowly off target, and after it
lost target lock it self-destructed, the blip disappearing off the scope.
The other three Phoenixes hit the UFO. Harris
monitored its speed and bearing, but it seemed that it hadn't been enough to
bring it down. Then he started noticing the other blips approaching the craft.
Four flights of F-15As, F-16Cs and F/A-18Cs were approaching the UFO from all
different locations. Since the planes couldn't carry the Phoenix missile, they
would have to come closer than 50 miles to be able to launch their AIM-120A
Amraam and AIM-7M missiles. Harris knew it could be a dangerous trick. Inside
that distance he had been several times been shot at by the UFOs.
Checking the altitude, course and airspeed, he
then turned its eyes back into the radar screen and changed the radio into the
"Sentinel, Cobra Flight, twenty more miles to
weapon's range. Target is slowing down."
"Air Flight, engage at maximum range. If bandit
opens fire start taking an evasive approach to the target"
"Sentinel, an evasive what? This isn't Second
World War anymore where you zigzagged while on an attack run! Repeat last order
"Oh my God! Jesus Christ! Cobra Three is hit! I
repeat, Cobra Three is hit! I just saw a flash and his F-15 exploded
"Bear Two is also down! He managed to eject!
Request search and rescue immediately!"
"How are they tracking us? There's nothing on
my threat detector!"
"Commencing evasive maneuvers! Wildcat One is
"Sentinel, Cobra Two, I got a lock and I'm
firing now! Fox Two!"
Harris looked at the screen and ignored the
calls made by the pilots while launching their missiles. Nearly half of the
attacking fighters had been downed already. It seemed that the plasma beam it
carried had more range and was more powerful than the ones of the smaller UFOs.
Major Armstrong couldn't believe what was going
on. Before Sentinel had given them the order to fire on the bandit, the damn
plane they were chasing had already downed two F-15s of his flight. Both pilots
had been immediately killed in the explosion that engulfed their planes, with
no chance of bailing out. What was that thing on the air and what was it
shooting? Nothing could be seen, not even the smoke trail of the enemy's
missiles or whatever he used while they headed out for his flight's planes.
He had launched his four AIM-7M Sparrow
missiles and was keeping a steady course to the bogey, since the missiles
required guidance from his APG-63 radar until they reached their target. Which
made the whole situation extremely risky, since he basically couldn't maneuver
or break away, unless he wanted to loose control over the weapons.
Another plasma bolt blew his wingman's plane,
transforming it in a mass of fire, metal and plastic. He almost went into panic
but he then saw that his missiles were about to hit the bandit. Take that you
fucker. Then another blast from the UFO consumed the cockpit of the F-15 and
his body, before his mind could even take notice.
Harris also saw the impact of the missiles on
his radar screen. The four Sparrows converged on the larger blip and hit it,
their radar echo's disappearing at the same time. But the UFO continued its
flight, as if it were an elephant being stung by mosquitoes. As the last
missiles launched from the surviving fighters hit the craft, Harris swore in
frustration, seeing that almost a score of pilots and planes had been
sacrificed for nothing. In spite of multiple missile hits, the UFO was still
flying on the air, some seventy kilometers to the northwest of his position.
And the last remaining fighter planes were trying to close in, this time taking
evasive maneuvers to avoid the plasma beam destructiveness and long-range. They
only had their short-range Sidewinder missiles and cannons now and most likely
they would achieve nothing. Harris looked at his weapon's board. He still had
three AIM-120Cs on the other weapon bay. Keying the radio button on the control
stick with his index finger, he already knew what he had to do. "Sentinel, this
is Comanche One. Requesting permission to re-engage and fire my remaining
"Comanche, negative on that. We are recalling the
remaining fighters. We can't afford to lose more men and aircraft".
"Damn it Sentinel, if that thing lands a lot of
civilians will be killed!"
"Orders came from National Command Authority
and Wolverine Command. Combat troops are already deploying to possible attack
locations. Your orders are to return to base".
So, Colonel Johnson and the President are
ordering us to retreat, while that thing is still flying and preparing to
launch a terrorist strike at a city. Making some mental calculations he estimated
that the UFO had been hit by at least a dozen missiles. It probably had been
hurt, since it had reduced more its speed and had made now a couple of erratic
"Sentinel, this is Comanche One. Your last
transmission was garbled. I repeat, I failed to receive your last transmission.
I don't know if you are hearing this, but I'm reengaging the craft". His mind
made up, Harris turned the F-22 until it was pointed to the direction of the
"Comanche One, negative! Break off this
"I still can't understand you Sentinel. My
radio receiver must be malfunctioning. Engaging now". Ignoring the angry voices
on the channel, he turned the volume down and concentrated on the Terror craft
in front of him. The Television Camera Set, a device developed for the F-14
Tomcat long-range interceptor that allowed the pilot to track at large
distances and display a television image of a large contact in the pilot's
monitor, picked up the craft in front of him and displayed its image for a few
seconds, until Harris threw the plane into a sharp turn out of instinct. A
couple of seconds later, a plasma bolt flew by him, missing his plane by narrow
yards. "Shit!" Harris cursed. He made another turn to put the F-22 back into
attack position and checked the distance to the UFO. Sixty more miles to go,
and the thing seemed to have put all of its defense system against him, forcing
him to take some more high-g turns while the green bolts flew across the sky,
the plasma disappearing itself after some more miles after the charged
particles dispersed themselves and interacted with the oxygen on Earth's
atmosphere, turning it into ozone.
Harris kept checking the decreasing distance
between his F-22 and the UFO and when he was inside the Amraam's range, he took
some more maneuvers to get him closer. He was already under the 35 mile mark
and wanted to get closer to assure a kill, but something on his screen changed
his plans. The UFO was increasing speed and pretty soon it would outpace his
F-22. "Oh, no you don't!" he spouted, and aligned the plane to launch his
missiles. The radar switched modes from searching to tracking and pretty soon
the computer was feeding the necessary data to the missiles' guidance systems.
A low whine come over his headphones telling him that the weapons were locked
on target. Not bothering to issue a warning he simply fired his remaining
missiles, which dropped in a synchronized sequence from his open weapons bay
and quickly made a left roll after the last one was on its way to the UFO.
The Terror Ship in front of him was trying to
leave the area, by increasing power to its anti-gravity propulsion system, but
the previous missiles already injured it. It fired a couple of shots at the
incoming missiles as a last-resort measure to stop them, but it failed. Harris
aligned the F-22 as the Amraam's were close to reach the UFO and watched it
through the TCS system mounted on his plane.
The gray fuselage of the circular UFO had been
already blackened in some places, as result of previous hits. And smoke was
coming out of one of the compartments attached to the main body where the doors
The first Amraam hit the UFO on the section
that connected the circular body to the "wings". The explosion obscured the
video image being displayed on Harris central monitor and prevented him from
seeing where the other missiles hit the target. But the end result was pretty
obvious. The UFO started spinning on the air, due to the failure of one of its
engines that left the whole craft with too many power on one of its sides. The
alien crew tried to correct it, but the power plant that was unbalancing the
craft suddenly overloaded as the amount of power it released was being elevated
to compensate for the failure of the engine on the opposite end of the craft.
Harris saw a sudden explosion on the main body that shook the entire craft,
with the matter-antimatter reaction carving a hole on the bottom of the craft,
while simultaneously wrecking the two remaining engines and leaving the UFO
powerless. Without the power of Elerium to counteract the effects of Earth's
gravity it simply dropped down on the air like a rock. Harris kept tracking it
until the radar blip finally disappeared on the waters of the Pacific. He then
turned on his radio again and spoke.
"Sentinel, this is Comanche One. Bandit is
down. I repeat bandit is down. Gimme a course to get back home". While he
waited for the surveillance plane to reply he took pleasure on the turning down
of the fire that was raging inside him just minutes before.
Situation Room, White House, Washington DC, US
General Thompson put down the phone and turned
to President Winston. "I just contacted the Navy commander in charge of the
Search and Rescue operations. So far
they only managed to retrieve three of the shot down pilots".
"How many still missing?" Winston felt sorrow
for the lost of so many men, but the alternative could have been much worse.
"Only two. Of the twelve fighters shot down by
the UFO, Sentinel registered that five had managed to bail out of their planes.
They will continue their search operations. And they have also recovered one
Sectoid body that was floating on the water".
"Better if they retrieve also all wreckage
belonging to the UFO crash. We can't afford that fishermen or someone at the
beach discovers an alien body floating on the ocean". The DCI commented.
Winston nodded in comply and asked to his Press Secretary: "What is the media
"We have pictured it as an exercise to test our
air defense force capabilities over the Pacific Coast".
"Word has also been leaked to the papers
through unknown military sources that it was also a test of a advanced plane.
We are officially denying it, of course. I suggest we keep some planes up on
the air for the past days, exercising and also inviting the media to attend the
exercises, sir". Mark Casper had approved the Intelligence's team's proposal of
disinformation and had forwarded it to the President for final approval. While
Winston wasn't fully briefed on the plan, to protect him in case the whole
thing went public, he knew and understood the necessity of keeping a tight lid
on the existence of the aliens.
"Very well. Has X-Com been able to determine
why the craft stood that long offshore?"
"The assessment team thinks it might be making
some reconnaissance before attacking. However, the approach method it used is
usually made on a surprise attack, going underwater where our detection
abilities are far lower than on the air. No one simply knows what where the
alien's intentions, sir". The President looked at the Chairman of the JCS, his
top military adviser.
"General Thompson, what do you propose?"
"Mr. President, the Navy could start a 24 hour
surveillance of our seaboard. While they suffered cutbacks on the area of
submarine warfare, we still have assets that can be deployed, such as attack
submarines and surveillance ships".
"I will sign the orders immediately then". He
finally moved into the American Representative to the X-Com Council. "I would
like to know also the name of the pilot that shot down the UFO. He needs some
sort of award for it".
Area 51, Nevada, US
When Johnson had learned about Harris actions'
and how he had directly ignored a superior order, he immediately called the
pilot to his office to have a small chat with him. Harris more than likely knew
why he had been ordered to attend to the Colonel's office, but as he opened the
door and entered, the pilot showed no sign of being bothered for it. He stood
up in attention and said: "Lt. Colonel Harris reporting as ordered, sir".
"At ease! I suppose you know the reason for
"I take it to be directly related to my actions
"Mr. Harris, let me tell you what I got here in
front of me on my desk". He pointed with his hands to the papers in front of
him. "I have a transcript of the communications between you and the Sentry. And
I also have a letter for the US President thanking X-Com for its efforts in
protection of American lives and expressing his sincere admiration at the X-Com
who shot down the UFO". Tell me, should I be pleased or should I be pissed
"I did my duty, sir. That thing flying over
there was a menace"
"That thing over there was a menace all right,
but this is not the place where you can fight your own little war! You had
orders, mister and you chose to ignore them over some personal vendetta! Can
you imagine what he would suffer if we lost half of our interception
capabilities if you plane was shot!?"
"Sir, I ignored the chain of command because my
superior officers were making a wrong decision!"
"The wrong decision was yours mister! In fact,
I even doubt you thought about it!"
"Colonel, I knew exactly its capabilities and
exactly how to strike. All of my moves were planned and I knew the enemy's
tactics and forces available. And as you can see, I was successful".
"Indeed Colonel, and that's why you are not
being canned for this little trick of yours. The letter also says that they are
considering you for the Silver Star for your actions and you will certainly
receive it later although I oppose it. Meanwhile, I want a full report by
tomorrow of your actions and the UFO's capabilities and also a complete
rethinking of our aerial tactics according to this information. Is that clear?"
Harris knew he would have to spend the whole night awake doing it, but at least
the Colonel wasn't grounding him. He replied affirmatively and was dismissed by
Johnson. When he got outside and was on his way to his quarters he almost
bumped into Captain Markovitch as he turned a corner. He immediately recoiled
back and apologized.
"Sorry Captain. I wasn't thinking in what I was
Markovitch dropped from her position of full
alert and replied: "Don't worry about it Colonel, no harm was done. By the way,
congratulations for your actions today!"
Harris winced and adding some irony to his
voice while he said: "Thank you. Unfortunately the commander doesn't feel that
way. Let me ask you something Captain: you have served with the Colonel before.
Did he always have this attitude of being the guy that does everything by the
Markovitch made a little smirk to him and
answered back: "I know what you are saying Colonel. I will have a little talk
"Good luck. From what I've seen so far, you
will need it, Captain". He nodded and started to walk again. Markovitch replied
and thought for some seconds. She then turned to the direction of Johnson's
office and headed towards it. Upon reaching it, she knocked and Johnson
She got in and saluted. Johnson raised its eyes
from the amount of paperwork he had in front of him and said: "What is it
Captain? I'm very busy at the moment and I have already congratulated you on
the readiness of your team".
"I know Captain, but I need to talk about
something else, Johnson". He stopped what he was doing and made a face of being
terribly annoyed. "Let's not bring this matter again, shall we Markovitch?!"
"I'm not talking about that, Colonel. I'm
talking about your attitude of giving the hell over Harris because of what he
did today. He's a damn hero and you condemned him because of his actions!"
"The guy acted irrationally and didn't measure
the possible consequences!"
"He took a risk Johnson! But a calculated
risk! He didn't wait for the tacticians
down here to analyze it over weeks, he made a combat decision! You should be
thanking him for President Winston not be cutting right now to X-Com's funding,
which could be happening right now if they had launched an attack".
"He ignored the chain of command and risked his
dumb ass and a plane worth millions of dollars that we can't afford to loose!"
"And saved the life of thousands of civilians!
Who, if everything had gone over the book or caution would be dead by now!"
"What's your point Captain?"
"You are when you say that the only thing that
we have on the same level as this aliens is intelligence and we should use it.
Otherwise we are nothing more than hairless apes going against them. But you
are also forgetting that you can't predict everything. And that sometimes is
better to charge if you feel the sudden urge to do it".
"If there's a rule then it's because there's a
damn good reason for it!"
"But if what no one ever thought about it? Or
if it made you act against everything you thought and believed, Johnson? What
would you do then?" He was about to speak but stopped at her last words.
"See what I mean, Johnson? Sometimes you forget
to let go, to ignore all the questions and just do. And you condemn other
people for doing it. That's why we had all those discussions before over
military matters when I was under your command. And that's why you never
understood and accepted that I wanted to join the 82nd. Think about
it". She turned and left and Johnson wanted to say something but couldn't
possibly think about what to say. He decided to turn back to his paperwork and
leave it for later when he recovered.
April 15th, 1999
Highway 50, Maryland, US
Williams was just finishing his coffee at the
diner located at the highway that connected Washington to Maryland when Davis
entered the establishment. Looking at his watch, he saw that Davis was half an
hour late on their meeting. The FBI agent looked all over the place at the few
customers that had to be up for whatever reason at this hour in the morning.
Detecting no danger, he then walked over to Williams's table and sat down on a
chair. "Good morning" he said.
"Good morning? Where have you been? You are
half an hour late".
"I stayed outside hidden to see if anyone had
followed us. Nothing like triple checking to be safe".
Williams was surprised and continued: "OK. Next
time just warn me so that I can bring the paper or something to kill the time.
Continuously looking at everyone who was in the
dinner, with his eyes changing direction every few seconds, he replied: "I got
about half a dozen suspects, but I doubt it, although I have them on
surveillance just to be sure".
"No big names. Almost all of them are regular
investigators. No, they are small fish".
"But still be careful. You heard about the
possibility of hybrids infiltrating our society?"
"Yes. Are my men looking for hybrids?" He fixed
his stare on Williams.
"I have reason to believe that the conspirators
might be using them. Be very careful, from what I've been reported they can be
"I will tell that to my men. I have already
informed them about the alien situation although I've kept myself quiet about
all the rest".
"Good. Watch out for yourselves".
"We will". He looked again at Williams and
said: "I take it that the brain washing deception factory is going quite well.
From what I've heard, the delegations of the Bureau all over the country are
starting to receive calls from concerned citizens about how a Neo Nazi
conspiracy is about to try to throw the country through the use of stolen
advanced weapons. That's one of the craziest things I ever heard on my life but
I used to thought the same about UFOs".
"We just took advantage of the television
focusing on the incidents up in California and the extreme-right militias and
patriot groups that appeared making warnings about the alien menace".
"And now you have the Secret Service going nuts
every day because of the fights in front of the White House between them and
the idiots who hold rallies supporting the aliens".
"Two bunches of lunatics fighting one another
on the evening news makes everyone else think that this whole matter is just
crazy stuff". The media was having a field day with the confrontations between
both groups in Washington and other cities and a set of rumors disseminated by
the intelligence team had sparked all kind of weird rumors, distracting
attention from the aerial fight over the Pacific.
"Yeah, whatever. Just remember me never to give
my vote to you on any election if all of this works".
April 20th, 1999
Unknown facility, unknown location, US
Every time Number Three came to the secret
installations of the Group at the United States he felt a natural repulsion
about the place. Too many things here stank of the alien presence and he had
never become accustomed to the place. Still he knew that the future of mankind
and of his position laid here, although the thought wasn't too comforting. He
wondered if Number One knew about that and had specifically called for the
reunion at this facilities, in order to put himself on a strained position. The
old fool must be too clever or too stupid to do that, he considered, but then
he realized that he couldn't tell from both choices. It didn't matter, he
concluded to himself, since everything was already set up in motion and nothing
could stop it.
"The Americans are acting to counter your own
deception. Their intelligence group has proven itself to be quite resourceful".
So this is from where the hostilities begun, Three said to himself, before
"Those are close to desperate attempts to
regain control of public opinion. In the end they will only contribute more to
their own discredit. What is necessary is that we can control the team. I would
assume it would have been already done by your part, since they would be fine
material for recruitment, since those men are the ones who have the better, if
grossly incomplete picture of everything".
Number One recoiled, furious that the other man
had the nerve to question his own actions. Regaining control, he shot back:
"That would pose as a very dangerous risk. They don't yet have the power
necessary to be of importance to us and they are unreliable on terms of
allegiance, since most of them don't appear to share of our motives"
"In that case, why aren't they being kept under
a strict watch and control? If they are not with us, then they belong to the
enemy". Don't escalate this anymore, or I will promise you that you don't know
yet how far you can sink.
"They have too much independence from a chain
of command. Ultimately, they are becoming analogous to us, starting to act on
their own. We need to think of other ways to contain them, since they might
suspect something if we keep a strict control over them".
"As we know, that can be arranged. But they are
not dangerous to us yet. And if they become, we will provoke their fall and
take care of any survivors that might exist. One way or the other they are ours
April 22nd, 1999
Times Square, New York City, US
What a shitty job I got, Blake thought as he
was looking at the crowd gathered at Times Square on their way of making a
rally against the alien invasion. Nevada had turned up into nothing and since
he had took the journey on its own, he wouldn't get any reimbursement for his
expenses. Worse yet, his next vacancies would be way too long now, since he had
taken a week off to personally investigate Area 51.
His queries had left to nothing. First it had
taken him days just to get a phone number of the base, with all federal and
state agencies denying even the existence of the installation. He finally got
through it by telling some innocent lies but even that had left into a dead
end. The person who had answered the phone on the other end ignored his request
to talk to Colonel Johnson and asked before saying or acknowledging anything
for his identification. He eventually hang up upon seeing that Blake was just
trying to fish for information. And a few minutes afterwards a police car
stopped at the gas station where Blake had made the call. When he noticed them
from the diner's where he was having breakfast he realized he had hit the
jackpot, but that I was useless since there still was no confirmation for
Johnson's presence at the base.
But something was going on Area 51 for sure. He
had driven his rented car into the base's limits, eventually finding the road
used by the military personnel. But after some minutes of hanging around in the
area to see if he could detect any movement an unmarked jeep had appeared down
the highway. They had parked close to him and two soldiers wearing Air Force
insignias had come out of the vehicle. They asked him about his business in the
area while keeping an aggressive pose. Blake made up an innocuous story to
explain for his presence there, but they proceeded to warn him against staying
in a classified area. Still he had managed to see a lot of night activity with
jets being scrambled, although he only saw their lights far away. The place was
too damn guarded to give away any of its secrets, he concluded after a week and
decided to get back to NY.
Upon getting back at the newspaper, his editor
had assigned him the task of covering the manifestations that where being held
for and against the aliens. "Since you are already familiar to the matter", the
bastard had said upon telling him his job for the next days, smiling. And one
of the lamest things I've ever done he thought.
The crowd was being restrained by police
barriers in one of the sidewalks on Times Square and was making a lot of noise.
The state troopers didn't know exactly what to do so they just stood around
trying to make a pose as calm as possible while the protesters waved signs
against Nazism and a Police State and defending Personal Freedom. Fishing out a
notebook out from the inside pocket of his leather jacket he moved towards the
crowd, which he noticed was about to turn itself into an angry mob. Looking up
he saw the reason for the commotion: in one of the electronic billboards on
Times Square an ad was just going through about the new movie Hollywood had
decided to put up by 4th of July. Independence Day, or how ET had
decided to take Earth on the Nation's Founding Day. Ironical, he thought before
noticing the leader of the protesters, a well-built man with brown hair cut in
a military style. Pushing through the crowd he approached the individual.
"Hi. I'm working for the NY Times. Could you
please tell me what this is all about?" The man looked at him with suspicion
and was about to ignore him until Blake added, while going for his wallet: "I
can show you some ID to prove who I am".
"Don't bother". He said in an icy voice. "It
doesn't matter if you are who you claim. You are nothing but a puppet at their
"I'm sorry, whose hands are those?" He
immediately took the cap off his pen and started writing.
"The ones who are trying to install the New
World Order. The ones who are trying to limit our freedom and manipulate our
minds through the use of propaganda like that". He pointed at the screen that
was now giving out some other commercial.
"You don't believe in UFOs?"
"By the contrary, we quite believe on them. But
the government knows what they are about. They made them and are using them to
blind our perception. The new millennium is coming and they are getting ready
to install their new order".
Blake immediately saw the whole picture:
another group of people that had decided after the Waco massacre that the
Federal government was after them. That and the hype surrounding the coming of
2000. "And what is that new order you are constantly talking about?"
"The one imposed by the new fascists, that are
hiding right now on these towers of oppression and in the government under the
disguise of Republicans or Democrats. They will take away all our freedoms and
make us slaves, but we won't even notice it. There are no aliens. There is only
a deception to make us believe they exist and that they are threatening us, so
that we abdicate of our liberties under the pretense of false war". He grabbed
his speaker and started shouting: "Say no to the false prophets! Say no to the
New World Order and their lackeys!" The crowd imitated him and kept shouting at
the NYPD personnel in the area who where know looking at one another without
knowing exactly what to do. The mob begun gesturing aggressively at the
policemen and Blake decided to leave the area, or at least watch the
predictable confrontations from a safer place. When he detached himself from
the protesters he saw police vans already appearing and unloading agents
equipped for riot control. As he watched them deploy he was already starting to
compose his article for next day's edition. But something kept troubling him.
April 25th, 1999
White House, Washington DC, US
The briefings at the White House were starting
to scare Williams, the hairs on the back of his head raising up as he went
through the corridors that led into the Situation Room. Everything pointed out
that the infiltrators should be men occupying considerable power positions in
US government and most likely at least one of the military and civilian
officers present at the meetings was related to the whole cover-up. And most
likely that person was watching him closely to see how far he got to the truth.
Even if he hadn't discovered that a conspiracy was in progress he would be in
danger, he concluded, which sent shivers down his spine.
But who? Going through the painting of past US
presidents he considered if any of them knew about the whole alien situation.
Hell, even Winston is not out of the whole possible lot, he thought. That would
make it one of the most cynical and cruel bastards ever born on this planet if
that was the case. But in any case he was going to leave the White House after
next year's elections, being on his second term of office. Could any of the
most likely Republican and Democrat candidates be it? Vice-President Longstreet
had the better chances of being nominated by the Democratic Party, while on the
GOP chances seemed that it would the present Governor of New York State,
Charles Vaughn. None of then had a really long career in politics or
intelligence affairs. Longstreet had been one of the Senators from Georgia before
being elected with Winston right on his first term, while Vaughn had climbed up
the steps in NY's State legislature until successfully running for Governor
some years ago. The VP was constantly informed of the whole alien situation
while Vaughn only had been told the minimum about the aliens, not knowing the
full dimension of their actions or their intentions. If the guy gets elected he
will probably think again if it was a good idea to run now for the presidency,
When he reached the door to the Situation Room
he decided to concentrate again to the job now on his hands. The two Marine
sentinels escorting the entrance opened it and he got inside. When he entered
several civilians and military chiefs were already inside talking to themselves
or sat at their places, going through some last minute information. He greeted
several of them on his way to his place by the center table and sat, choosing
not to talk to anyone but looking at them instead.
A voice came from behind him "Anything new
Williams?" The CIA man almost jumped on his chair but kept his calm as he got
up to see the person who had talked to him. He saw his boss, the DCI looking
back at him, waiting for an answer.
"No, sir. I have no new data to present besides
the information you have already seen".
"Very well". Dropping his voice so that only
Williams could hear him, he whispered: "The President knows not to ask about
too much about the situation on the alien infiltration thing. He knows we are
acting on it".
"Already taken that into consideration, sir".
"Good. And see you start lightening up on this
meeting. By this time you should have been accustomed to them". Williams tried
to appear relaxed. "Yes sir. Thanks for the advice".
"Don't mention it. You are doing a hell of a
job. Keep it that way".
Thoughts screamed at Williams's head upon
hearing that last sentence. Stop it! You are becoming paranoid and cannot think
or act properly on that state. Then the President entered the room and the
other officers took their places for the meeting to begin. Winston then said:
"Let's be brief, gentlemen, since I have a meeting this afternoon to discuss
this year's budget and the alien menace could look a piece of cake compared to
it. Mr. Williams, if you please?"
Williams got his notes and the control remote
for the video projector and replied: "Starting right now, sir. Starting with
the shoot out at the California Coast, the Navy has begun underwater salvage
operations of the UFO that was brought down in the Pacific. Initial findings
have shown it to be manned by Sectoids and carrying also a cargo of their
battle tanks and the usual type of weaponry they used. It is therefore
reasonable to conclude that they were equipped to mount one of their terrorist
strikes. The question remains of why they didn't do it and that interrogation
can't be answered right now". Clicking on one of the buttons in the remote
control, a picture of the UFO appeared in the wall left of Williams. "This is a
television picture taken by the system's of the X-Com F-22 that shot it down.
Although the whole incident was a military disaster, we have taken some lessons
on how to approach and take down these craft. It can be done, but the question
is if they have something even more potent, which in that case would mean that
ours fighters wouldn't have a chance against it".
The four-star General that was Chief of Staff
of the Air Force raised his hand and asked: "What's X-Com's situation on
research of UFO propulsion and flying technology? Can they replicate it and
make an UFO capable of fighting those things?"
"Not at the present moment sir. Research has
discovered some things about how to replicate the materials used and the
physics of the propulsion system but nothing on how the aliens navigate or
control the craft".
"That is not good, we need to stop them before
we land, while they are on their ships to cut down their numbers".
"That leads me into the another problem I was
going to pose, General". The military man motioned him to continue with his
head and Williams went on. "In spite of our victories we haven't managed so far
to slow down the activities of the aliens. So far, X-Com has monitored more
that one hundred UFOs on these first months, with possibly many more going
undetected. And the rate of growth of alien activity keeps going up. If it
keeps going up pretty soon we wouldn't be able to deal with all their
incursions and can only expect to hinder them as much as possible".
"Mr. Williams are you saying that we are
doomed?" President Winston asked.
"No sir. The scientific personnel have
speculated that the aliens must have a base on our solar system from which they
are maintaining and controlling their attacks. We know that the Sectoids
originally came from Zeta Reticuli although they later abandoned the system, so
they now must be living in some other part of the galaxy. The point of all this
is that, even at faster that light speeds a military command would have a tough
time coordinating and maintaining such an attack. The supply lines would just
be too long and the craft we've seen only appear to be capable of moving inside
a star system. Otherwise it would take them too long even if they are in the
nearest star system who is four light-years away from us. The question right now is of what exactly is
that base: an installation on a planet
or a huge mothership? In any case, for Earth to survive we need to find the
location of that base and destroy it".
"That might be easy to say, Mr. Williams, but
how do you know where it is and, more important, how do we get there and how we
destroy it". The National Security Adviser, was on one of her days, Williams
sighted to himself before concluding.
"Well, madam, although we have proven alien
interaction with human societies through known History and probably going far
back behind, it isn't here on Earth or we would have detected it because of its
size. As for our nearest companion, the Moon, the Clementine probe did a sweep
of his surface some years ago and it found no unusual ground formations.
However, analysis of the UFO's trajectories in space shows it that the majority
comes from the dark side of the Moon. Most likely they have a fleet operating
there, but whatever there's a Mothership there remains to be seen. Also, the
UFOs appear to be coming from other locations in the Solar System, although the
astrophysicists are only making guesses right now".
"That hardly answers my question Mr. Williams.
Even if we discover it, what are we going to do?"
"I don't know then Mrs. May. That's up
for the military planners to decide. But what we need right now is to get more
information, either by continuing research or by keep on interrogating captured
André Galvão, 2001