Been Reading X-COM: Second Contact and had this on my mind ever since. Agayek's story is amazing, but there are just some things that I think I would rather have be different. As such, I've decided to try writing this little plot bunny that's been running around in my head since I first read it.

Also, not sure I'll finish this, but I'm at least going to be writing this for as long as I am interested in it. Plot suggestions will certainly be appreciated.

Also I haven't abandoned my other stories, and I do have chapters mostly done for Halo: Mass Contact and Sword of the Zero, I just need to get this out now.


March 14, 2016: She did it. They did it. We did it. That goddamned Temple Ship the Ethereals brought in off the coast of Brazil is finally gone. It cost all of Mystic Team their lives, but they knew what the chances were going in, damn them.

Somehow I think they all knew they were going to die.

March 15, 2016: Chunks of the damn ship are still coming down all over half the planet, but everyone is still celebrating. The Council told me they're thrilled with the success of the team, even if they're saddened by the loss of the soldiers involved. I call bullshit.

Regardless, there's talk of the fourteenth being a world holiday, leading name so far is 'VE' Day or 'Victory Earth'. Even if that phrase already has another meaning already, if a very similar one, I can't say I'm personally against it.

June 23, 2016: Final death toll for the Ethereals' invasion and abductions along with the damage from the ship is in, the number is just over four hundred and fifty million people.

Christ...nearly half a billion dead just for what? So those arrogant fucks could make us psionics? I'm not sure it was worth it yet, but history may prove me wrong.

July 7, 2016: With many, if not most, of the dead buried, we've started rebuilding. It's the best way I can think of to snub out noses at those damn aliens. For the death and destruction they wrought, we'll get back up, and we'll be stronger for it.

October 23, 2021: We've done it now. Using the wormhole tech we acquired from the Ethereals, we managed to put a portal all the way to the moon and have now established X-COM: Luna near the Sea of Tranquility. We've started far, far away from the apollo landing sites to avoid ever damaging them.

With 'FORTRESS EARTH' as the Council now calls it established, humanity is pushing outward. There's debate about doing it one planet and moon at a time or faster, at least in our system as we begin to build a deep space navy.

Even with five years to retrofit everything, I'm still of the opinion that we need to take it slow. Until we have enough to both defend and attack, I don't like this. We already know we're not alone, there's no point in making ourselves vulnerable.

Fortunately the Council agrees.

December 31, 2021: To help move things along, the COuncil has finally taken the last needed steps to bring us true global unity. While countries will still be represented within the Council, humanity itself is now a united people.

January 4, 2023: Luna is prepared. It's a miniature version of Earth now. Air-to-Space fusion lances dot the surface, a sixth complete X-COM facility, forty-eight Mark IV Firestorm fighters, and a civilian population of two hundred and thirty million and growing fast.

The navy is growing fast, our destroyers, frigates, cruisers, and carriers are filling the combined orbits of Earth and the moon.

And now we go to Mars. Time to see if we men really did come from there.

April 22, 2023: Colonization and construction on Mars is going well but there's good news and bad news. Bad news is we found ruins, old, olds ruins of a different alien group on Mars that shows signs that they were observing and studying us but we don't know why. We've already got the best people we can picking them apart for knowledge. We expected there to be more alien groups, we just didn't expect to find evidence to soon.

Good news is real good though. Elerium power plants have finally cracked the nut scientists were working on to make a functioning warp drive. The ship fitted with it looks like a foot ball wearing a hola hoop, but when they turned on the drive it made a near instantaneous jump to just past Neptune before coming back. So we have a viable long distance travel method for ships besides the wormholes and if we encounter any of the aliens from Mars we'll have some potent kinetic weapons we can use if they have something like the Temple Ship.

December 12, 2026: Mars and its moons are ours. We've built hyper wave and weapon stations out beyond the asteroid belt and at Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus.

Even with its slow orbit, Pluto is going to get a heavy presence. It's the first stop into out system and humanity isn't going to give a warm welcome to anyone bearing a weapon.

February 18, 2027: Those ruins on Mars had a lot in them. Especially the new element we've discovered dubbed 'element zero' to account for its properties. Already it's being incorporated into weaponry and the fleet, but more importantly, the ruins pointed us to Pluto's moon before we got too well set up there. Apparently these guys put something in the moon.

Christ if we're dealing with a group that can build things the size of a moon we're going to need the warp powered kill vehicles.

May 1, 2027: The ruins on Mars have been reclassified as archives and we've got a name fore the owners too.


With a name for this group, we're on the path to understanding our enemy and thus defeating them. The staff analyzing the archives contents has been doubled from five thousand to ten thousand and we're finally getting the results of our scans of Charon.

The inside is an immense tuning fork shaped object and there's an unimaginably large core of element zero at the center. Our scientists are torn between tears it apart for resources and studying it.

I've directed them to do the latter before we even consider the former.

November 11, 2027: We've exposed the tuning fork inside Charon and the archives have told us what it is.

Apparently it's a method of FTL that uses element zero to jump ships across vast distances of space, and while we've already got two methods of travel, this third one isn't going to be ignored. However we won't be turning this thing on until we know what's at the other end and how we can turn it off again too.

November 13, 2027: There's another one of the relays at the other end along with a garden world. The system has been dubbed 'Arcturus' and colonization plans are already under consideration should we decide it's safe.

The even better news is that our scientists are making good progess on reverse engineering the relay since we turned it on yesterday before turning it off now that they've gotten a hyperwave scan of it in the active state.

Dr. Vahlen says it'll be possible to create weapon turrets for our ships using something akin to a smaller version of the Relay to fire our plasma weapons. Dr. Shen says once the research is done, his boys will have prototypes within a month.

For all the new faces that have come through X-COM in the last decade, it's good to still have them here, even if I can't micromanage like I used to.

August 26, 2028: Arcturus's colonization is proceeding smoothly, one planet at a time just like Sol's but much faster with how many people want to find their fortune in the new system.

Of a bit more important news to me though, the Armored Cruiser Harbinger left docks today for trials. She features six turrets, four to the front, two to the back, that are based on the relay we took apart for technology and resources. Really the turrets are just shrunken versions of the relay though and each one at a hundred meters in size fires massive blasts of plasma at several times the speed of light.

The consequence is the draw of power which means Harbinger has SIX elerium reactors compared to a normal cruiser's two in order to sufficiently power her turrets, barriers, and engines.

Already we've laid out the plans between Shen, Vahlen, and myself for a new class of super battleships with the armor, barriers, and shields to stand up to even our own weapons. The only issue will be funding, but I don't expect that to be too difficult with the Council. Label it a necessity for the defense and they'll get it funded.

It's cheap, but it works, and I'm not above it if it means being ready when we run into the Protheans.

April 8, 2033: Four more systems fully colonized and a new nanomachine medicine that stops aging.

It seems humanity is entering its greatest era. I don't know what to say about that, but I'm not letting my guard down yet. Pirates are starting to become an issue so I've dispatched fleet elements to deal with them.

Fortunately with the new medicine and public opinion, it looks like I have a long career ahead of me.

Unfortunately, and against my personal recommendation, our group studying the Archieves on Mars has been downsized, however the personnel involved will be going to study other Protheans artifacts.

September 9, 2087: Our hundredth world. Shanxi is yet another jewel for humanity to treasure. While the initial X-COM facility is only one level deep so far and the civilians won't even begin to move in till it's done, Shanxi is still ours, still a human world.

Once things are a bit more established, we'll find out where the relay there leads and then we'll break it down for the fleet to use.

My personal ship just finished trials, the Last Order. She's top of the line and while I only got to stroll the decks once so far, her Captain is good and reliable. Hackett was his name. I know I can trust her to him when I need to, and his XO too, Anderson. They both remind me of the Colonel.

Loyal. Devoted. Trustworthy. The kind of subordinates every commander treasures and wishes to never to have to send to their deaths.

January 21, 2091: Damnit.

Damnit. Damnit. Damnit.

Shanxi just went dark. We're not sure what happened but they got a message off before hyperwave went down which means the entire base is gone to destroy a bottom level facility like that.

I've given the orders, Hackett is moving the Last Order out along with the entirety of the Third, Fifth, and Eleventh fleets for Shanxi.

Whatever enemy is there, we will see them die for their transgressions.


So the first chapter is over and while it's mostly exposition, it does set the field for what's going to happen in the next chapter which is the First Battle for Shanxi.

Also, to address any thoughts on nanomachine medicine, I'm extrapolating that as a possible result of the Enemy Within expansion that's coming out given the technology that seems to be present.