Colina Campbell hadn't said anything yet, just keeping quiet as she admired the various aircraft that she had seen around the airfield. However, once she had seen the large plane that the small group had boarded her curiosity really flared up; it didn't seem like any plane she had ever seen the documents on. She mauled it over for a moment as she sat down and set her bag down beside her.
"Alright then," she addressed Brit, her voice rolling with a noticeable Scottish brogue, "Just how classified is this bird?" she lightly rapped the wall with her knuckles and smiled slightly. "Thrust seem a bit too much for a transport as well."
"I'm really sorry but these cigars are medicinal. It calms me down but if your pilot insists..." he put out he cigar carefully and added it to his pocket, "Gonna finish it later." Razvan turned around to Baxter, "Bucharest, is the capital of Romania and I have no idea who 2 + 2 is..."
21:31 Local (UTC +1)
February 25th, 2015
Airspace over Central African Republic
"Campbell, right?" Brit looked over at the short Scot "Heh, answering that question would spoil the surprise, I think. I can tell you that the number of this kind of bird that exist can be counted on one hand, though. And you're right, it is an awful lot of power for a transport." A mischievous smile crossed the Norwegian's face "Can't say anymore, though. Not until we land, anyways. Don't want to ruin things, hehe. Trust me, though, you'll love the other toys we have to show you guys"
There was slightly less than 15 minutes left in the flight, at the current flight speed, anyways. The Skyranger could go faster, but, once again, it had to maintain the illusion of normalcy. Couldn't spoil the surprise, indeed.
Cole looked at brit for a moment "I'm assuming this is all black then."
21:32 Local (UTC +1)
February 25th, 2015
Airspace over Central African Republic
Hagen turned towards the inquisitive Canadian, the shift causing her leg to send another brief pulse of pain up her spine. She hadn't been expecting this many questions.
"You could say that, Bracken. My boss- sorry, our boss now, I guess, prefers to call it "Grey", though. Well, he calls it 'gris', I think, but I'm pretty sure that means the same thing."
Brit then checked her watch. 21:33.
Let's move the schedule up a bit...
"Pilot!" she called out "We're far enough out. Open her up, get us home ASAP."
Hagen smiled and turned to look at Campbell. "You're right. It is quite a bit of power for a transport. Hang on!" And with that, a sudden surge of acceleration was felt, causing a sensation not unlike a rather intense roller coaster ride.
Baxter leaned forward, and shook her hand forward, and stayed leaning forward to listen, keeping quiet. When the ship took of, he slammed his head against the back, falling unconscious.
Cole shifted in his seat to account for the sudden thrust, it definitely was alot of power for a transport but it seems to be experimental so who was he to question it.
"So, where are we going anyway?"
21:40 Local (UTC +1)
February 25th, 2015
Restricted Airspace over Central Africa
Hagen had been prepared for the sudden speed boost from the Skyranger, but even still, she had been thrown about quite a bit. Nonetheless, she had recoved quickly and settled comfortably back into her seat. The trip would last mere minutes before they were home now.
It was silent in the cabin for several minutes, as the various occupants attempted to adjust for the sudden acceleration, or, in Yates case, slept soundly from bumping his head. It was after this silent pause that Bracken spoke up, asking about their destination.
"Now now, I..." her voice trailed off as she became acutely aware that the Skyranger had begun to slow down. Within a minute, they had decreased their speed and altitude significantly. And then, as if on cue, the Skyranger seemed to slow to nearly a standstill, followed by the distinct feeling of descent. "Maybe the question you should be asking, Mr. Bracken, is 'where are we now?'."
The descent lasted for nearly 2 minutes, and Brit took the oppertunity to look around the Skyranger's cabin and take in the facial expressions of the various passengers. The expressions of the pilots as they realized that the craft they were riding in was actually a VTOL-capable craft.
At last, the Skyranger touched down and the rear ramp opened, revealing the buzzing hive that was XCOM HQ's Hanger. Brit rose from her seat and started down the ramp.
"To answer your question, Mr. Bracken, You are Argh!!!"
Hagen nearly collapsed at the base of the ramp, taking nearly a minute to recover and regain her footing.
Damn my leg!
Having stood back up, Hagen turned her attention back to the group of new arrivals. "Uh, sorry about that. Anyways, Welcome, to Headquarters, your new home. If you'll just follow me, I can give you the CliffNotes tour, get you settled, and then finally explain what all the secrecy's been about. So.....Oh, no. uh, can someone help the American?"
Cole got up and tried to make the American conscious again.
"Neh." Baxter lazily pawed at Cole, before opening his eyes, and trying to remember what happened. "Why does it feel like a train made of Mohammad Ali's just hit me in the head?"
Hmm a tour. I wonder what high powered gadgets these people got holed up in here Razvan thought.
"Excuse me..." he spoke out, "a tours nice and all but I was wondering if you could start with the bedrooms as I'm exhausted." he gave out a yawn.
Cole looked at the wall behind the American noticing a dent "No clue."
"Well, we're here right? Must've been out for awhile." without listening, he hopped off, and rejoined the group, rubbing his head, "So what's this about a tour? I'm with him here, beds would be nice."
21:45 Local (UTC +1)
February 25th, 2015
XCOM HQ, Undisclosed Location in Central Africa
"Beds? Sure, I'll show you to your bunks, they're in the Barracks. Come on, follow me."
Hagen led the group from the Skyranger towards the Hanger exit "If you look up, you'll notice that the night sky is nowhere in view. There's a very good reason for that, which I'm sure is quite obvious." Hagen said, pointing towards the now-sealed Hanger entrance high above their heads.
"Through here" as the group entered the entrance hall for the base proper "is where things get interesting. On the right you'll see the entrance to one of the base armories; And through here..."
The group followed Hagen through the door at the end of the entrance corridor, and emerged into Mission Control "...is where I work. This, is Mission Control, the command center for all of our operations that we undertake. Feel free to stop by anytime, introduce yourselves to the staff. Moving on..."
Now Hagen led the group further into the base, past various support areas, elevators, storage rooms, and other miscellaneous structures, before finally arriving at the Barracks. Hagen led the assembled posse of recruits into the central lobby of the Barracks. "Welcome home, people. This is the Barracks. Dorms are through that door on the right, and they're in multiple levels. Stairs only through there. Plenty of bunks, though; just pick an empty one and fall in it. Get your stuff in the locker, and settle in. Below you, through the door on the left, is the stairs to the rec area, the gym, the troop cafeteria, and the infirmary. The elevator in the center here leads to the Command Level, which include the offices for Command personnel, such as the Commander and yours truly. The Situation Room is also up there."
Finally, Hagen turned to the whole group, addressing them all "Alright, just a couple quick things before I leave you. First, and this is for you, Dr. Schmidt, the Research and Engineering dorms are not located in the Barracks. They're two levels down, and you can get to them from the Mission Control elevator. The rest of you are welcome to stop there in your spare time and introduce yourselves to the staff, and feel free to do the same in Mission Control. Alright, last bit of business before I let you guys go. There's a mandatory briefing for all new arrivals at 23:00 in the Situation Room. I know, I know, it sucks that you can't just fall in bed right away, but trust me, we can answer all of your questions then. It's 22:05 right now, so you guys can get a little rest in right now, though. Just be upstairs in under an hour."
With that, Brit left the group to their own devices and entered the Command Level elevator.
Baxter went to medical bay for some aspirin for his headache. He left with a bandaged head and some aspirin, and with 30 minutes left, he went to introduce himself to the armory.
He knocked on the door a few times, and looked in. "Hello? Anybody home?"
Thomas remained silent throughout the trip to & slight tour of the base. Once left to their own devices, he placed his bag in an available locker & explored the area before settling at the bar, mixing himself a light rum & coke before practicing his pool-skills on the nearby pool table.
Colina was somewhat disconcerted when she was given a seeming run of the new base, The place didn't seem like a NATO installation; and it certainly didn't feel like one. Colina had worked with plenty of experimental units recently; it was most of her job these days; but even they were more organized, more orderly, more... well... military.
Apparently here though, new personnel were encouraged to wander at random, and the first official action would be an in person breafing with no prior materials at all. The fact that a non-combat transport was enough to actually incapacitate a team member did not do anything to reassure.
Colina didn't feel tired in the slightest so she quickly dumped her stuff in an unoccupied room, choosing one of the ones closer to the hanger, and wandered off to try an find a snack.
Cole placed his rucksack in an unoccupied locker and locked it, then he wandered off towards the hangar intent on studying that transport.
Razvan was exhausted after the long journey and the fact that he couldn't just go to sleep now was a real downer. However there were more pressing matters he had to attend to. For instance he was really curious to see what kind of fighter jets this organisation had. So without saying a word he shadowed the man who also seemed to be headed towards the hangar.
Seeing there were no armorers, he simply wandered in. He looked around for something that might interest him, and found an odd looking shotgun. He picked it up to test it out. The target at the firing range exploded into ash from the lasers.
"Uhm... about that... uhm..." he set the gun down and ran out of the armory.
22:30 (UTC +1)
Februrary 25th, 2015
Brit Hagen sat behind her desk in her personal office, just a door down from Commander Attano's. A minute ago, she had been looking at security camera footage from Armory C in the Barracks; but now she was looking at nothing, her head buried in the palms of her hands.
Why, oh why, did we recruit that American?
The American in question, Baxter Yates, had found his way into one of the armories in the Barracks, and had decided to test out one of XCOM's more unusal weapons out on the firing range, without telling anyone. The weapon he had pulled, a multi-barreled Metal Storm shotgun, had apparently been loaded with Incendiary Tracer rounds, judging from the laser-like discharge, and the fact that the cardboard target had been reduced to ash.
Brit sighed as she looked over the Armory inventory log, having minimized Yates' impromptu introduction to XCOM's big "toy chest". Why that weapon, a hideously unreliable piece of garbage that it was (only two like it were actually on-base, having been brought for testing and evaluation purposes, XCOM would not field such a poor weapon if Hagen had any say in the matter), had been readily available, much less unsecured and loaded would be a question that would have to be posed to the Chief Armorer.
Having made a mental note to find and fire the armorer who had left that weapon out (and to dock Yates' pay while she was at it), Brit had shut off her computer and was about to get up when she heard a knock at her door.
And so the door slid open, revealing Commander Attano.
"If this is about the screw-up in the armory, Luc, don't worry about it. I've got it covered."
The Commander raised an eyebrow and chuckled "I am sure you do; but that's not what I was -ere to discuss." Attano walked over to one of the chairs in front of Hagen's desk and took a seat "Endo told me that you were having issues with your leg? She said that you nearly fell out of the Skyranger as just as soon as she landed?"
"It's nothing." Hagen replied automatically.
"Are you sure? Brit, if it's giving you trouble..."
"I'm not going to the Infirmary, Luc, and I'm not using that damn cane."
The Commander sighed. Regardless of how many times he tried to help his long-time friend, regardless of what he did to help her, she was always too stubborn ti listen. Too proud.
"As you say. Very well, then. Shall we get ready to give the new arrivals their briefing? Perhaps we should include a segment on the proper use of XCOM property?"
Brit indulged herself in a smile and light chuckle "I'm sure Yates will find that to be very interesting. Sure, let's get to it."
With that, Attano stood and walked around the desk, extending his hand to help Hagen up from her chair. He matched her smile. "Let's go, then. Perhaps while we wait you can explain to me why we recruited this sorry lot in the first place?"
And with that, the pair left the Central Officer's office and headed for the Situation Room. It being 22:41, the new recruits would be due upstairs soon.
Having grown bored of practicing his skills at the pool table, Thomas grabbed his still half-full drink & explored the different kinds of alcohol available. While he wasn't much of a drinker, he did have some minor experience with bar-tending & mixing drinks. It was a few minutes later when he noticed the time. "2240... maybe I should... what the hell, it's better to be early then on time." With that thought, he quickly finished his drink and headed up to the Situation room.
Cole looked at his watch and realized he was going to be late soon and walked to the situation room.
Yates calmed down enough to look at a clock.
'22:48. Briefing was at 23:00. Better get going.' he walked, panting slightly towards the situation room. "Who leaves a loaded laser gun lying around?" he muttered, under his breath.
22:52 (UTC +1)
February 25th, 2015
Both Commander and Central Officer entered the Situation Room just before the appointed time for the briefing. Upon entering, though, Central Officer Hagen was surprised to see two other individuals in the room already.
"Uh, Luc, who are those two?"
"More recruits, mon amiee. I approved their dossiers seperately from the group you -elped select. I -ad them brought in from Lagos on Golovko's Skyranger. They arrived shortly before you and your group did. I didn't want to spoil the surprise." said the Commander, a smile forming on his face.
Hagen rolled her eyes, before examining the two other recruits. One was fairly normal in appearance, wearing what appeared to be a Canadian Army uniform; while the other, dressed in American ACUs, was a giant of a man. "Who exactly are they, anyways?"
"The bear is an American. Daryl Vanson. Olympic-level athlete, apparently, with an uneventful background. Presumably, he's not as dangerously curious as Yates is, or at the very least, we -ope that he isn't. The small one sitting next to -im is a Canadian, Alexander Summers. That one is....a special case."
"Special case?" Hagen repeated.
"-ere. Perhaps it is better if you read it yourself." the Commander said, pulling a folded piece of paper from his jacket pocket.
Hagen took the paper, apparently a segment of Summers' dossier, and began to read; she raised an eyebrow at the Combat Report included, and raised the other at the mention of "unusual mental and physical conditions. But then she saw the signiture at the bottom.
"Oh, Atchison." Brit said, shaking her head "He probably thinks that Summers is an alien, or something. Why are you so concerned about this?"
"Atchison is undeniably an overly-superstitious soldier, you and I are both well aware of that from our time working with him in Kabul, but I figured that Summers was a good addition to the organization regardless of what that lunatic thinks. Still, what do you make of the incident recorded on the paper?"
"To me, it seems like Summers just had good soldiering instincts. He saw a spot for a likely ambush and took cover out of caution. What's your read on it?"
"Much the same as yours, though the cynical side of me continues to bring up the possibility of cowardice. Perhaps Summers was simply trying to ensure -is own safety in an obviously dangerous area, and be good fortune, allowed -is unit to survive by following -is example."
"An Accidental Hero?"
"Is there any other kind?"
Hagen smiled at that "No. No there isn't." At this point, both Hagen and Attano became acutely aware that the Situation Rooom had filled up with the remaining recruits, the group that had arrived with Hagen in Endo's Skyranger "Looks like it's time, Luc."
"Indeed" the Commander said, as he strode towards the front of the room, coming to a stop in front of the large Television screen. Attano cleared his throat, and began.
"Bonsoir" he began, using French to begin as an indicator of his noticably accented English "I welcome you all to our organization. I am Commander Lucas Attano, the man in charge."
The Commander began to slowly pace from one end of the screen to another, eyeing every recruit as he passed. "No doubt that you all are wondering the exact nature of this operation, conjuring all manner of ideas in your minds. Well, I am -ere to rid the air of the secrecy that has surrounded all of you since you were ordered to arrive at an airfield and board a mysterious aircraft. You are -ere to join an organization that -as been formed by a Council of Nations, a coalition of governments the world over, to combat a threat to the entire world as we know it. A threat beyond the experience, or indeed, the comprehension of any established military force on this planet."
Attano paused for a moment, examining the faces of the crowd, gauging their reactions. They all seemed somewhat perplexed, at the moment.
Now, for the shocking moment...
"As such, I -ereby welcome you all to the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit, or XCOM, for short."
The Commander took another pause, listening too the quiet gasps and other surprised noises from the assebled crowd of recruits. Some faces showed shock, some remained impassive, and some took on a look of disbelief.
"I know that this may sound like an elaborate joke" the Commander continued "But I assure you the threat is quite real. And to combat it, we will need your assistance. All of you -ave been chosen for this organization, -andpicked to -elp us. I understand that all of this may be -ard to believe, but I implore you, -elp us. Join us."
The Commander finally stopped, and once again examined the crowd.
They still may require some convincing. Certainly, they are still no doubt curious...
"If you -ave any questions, please feel free to ask. Me and Central Officer -agen will be -appy to provide what answers we can. There are no more secrets, now."
"Extraterrestrials Sir? I'm guessing this means the recent events weren't hoaxes then?"
"Huh. Well how 'Bout that. I guess I owe my ol' buddy Earl an apology. I never believed him when he told me he saw an alien on his camping trip." Daryl said in his deep voice obscured by his fairly thick southern accent. He rubbed his thick beard like he always had when he was thinking. "Do we have a good idea of what these aliens look like or are we the ones who are meant to find out? I kinda doubt they are little grey men like in the ol' movies i watch on the television late at night."
Today was not Alex's day. His regiment's commanding officer had just been called a superstitious lunatic, he had been openly mocked as a coward by the brass in this outfit and now he was being informed that he was about to go and fight little green men with much more sophisticated technology, if the rumours were true. He could feel his hands starting to become clammy as he slid his face into his open palms. Sure, he had a little more kick when he was sprinting and his intuition was abnormally accurate, but there were dozens of soldiers who had records far beyond anything Alex could imagine himself accomplishing. So why was he here among the best of the best?
After a moment Alex straightened up, ready to absorb as much information as possible. If he was stuck here, he might as well try and live through the experience rather than be cannon fodder like the rest of his former squad envisioned him as.
"So, tell me, do we have support from Zeus? The smurfs are acting as field intelligence, right? You guys are secretly werewolves." His smile lessened from the rest of the groups apparent belief,
"I stopped believing in aliens when I was 15, this can't be real." he shook his head,
"You know what, give me any shred of evidence to the contrary, and I'll come with. Hell, I'll fight them in a fucking tutu. Blurry photos of lights in the sky don't count."
23:10 (UTC +1)
February 2th, 2015
"Indeed, Monsieur Bracken, the recent rumors are not -oaxes. The -oax claims were generated by the Council with the purpose of suppressing the possibility of global panic." Attano turned his attention to the large American "And as for information regarding the aliens, Monsieur Vanson, we -ave precious little of it. Our enemy is unknown, I'm afraid."
Attano looked from face to face, trying to gauge the emotions of each recruit. For the most part, there wasn't much in the way of skepticism, but poor Summers did look rather distraught. Attano's eyes flicked to Hagen, then back to Summers. The Central Officer had a good deal more experience in motivating troops than he did, so perhaps it would be best to let her speak to Summers after the briefing.
"So, tell me, do we..."
Oh, no.....so much for the lack of skepicism. Of course, it's that American Yates...
Before the Commander could respond, Hagen had stepped up and began speaking in a mocking (but, as she would always insist, not mean-spirited) tone. "We have all of that and more, Mr. Yates" she said, as a wicked grin began to form on her face. Lucas could already tell where this was going. "We even have some very interesting, very expensive toys to help you out when you go charging in blind to see what the enemy looks like. Do you know...."
She was cut off by the Commander coughing and clearing his throat. "Ahem, yes, thank you, Central Officer. If you wish to see proof, Monsieur Yates, I can provide that."
With that, Attano began manipulating the small tablet computer that he carried with him in his Jacket pocket. The Situation Room's screen came to life, and a map of the Middle East appeared.
"This is a radar map of the Mid-East. Approximately two days ago, an American Air Force F/A-22 Raptor was flying a patrol over the Persian Gulf from an airfield in Saudi Arabia" the appropriate emblems and icons appeared on the map, beginning a symbol-based reenactment of the events in question "An unknown radar contact was made at 01:24 Local time. The Raptor set itself on an intercept course, but the contact quickly began to speed away as soon as the fighter closed to within missile range. the Raptor pursued, -aving to go to afterburners to keep pace. It attempted to get a weapon lock, but the pilot reported the wing being struck by an unknown force before a launch could be made. The aircraft was nearly lost, but the pilot managed to recover control and brought the crippled craft back to base. This was what the result of the failed interception was."
An image appeared of the plane in question parked in a hanger. It's left wing had a rather large hole torn in it towards the leading edge (several smaller ones dotted the wing, suggesting some form of explosive force had been at play), but the strange part was the nature of the holes. Rather than having the jagged edges that were tell-tale signs of a missile impact or flak, the edges of the impact hole (and the secondary holes) were unbelievably smooth, as if the metal had been flash-melted from the impact, only to cool back down in the resulting dive that the aircraft entered immidiately after it was hit.
"No weapon developed on this planet is capable of inflicting damage like that. If you want a scientific explanation as to why, I suggest that you ask Dr. Vahlen in the Research Labs. If, -owever, you still require convincing, then -ere is a report from the Phillipines detailing a strange skirmish on an isolated island settlement."
The text, as well as the images that had greeted Lucas at his computer screen less than a week ago now filled the screen in the Situation room. The bizarre wounds on some of the dead, the inexplicable burn marks on the structures of the settlement, and finally, the knife, covered in yellowish-green blood.
"As a final note, perhaps you would like to see this photograph, sent to us by your National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It was taken by the Cassini probe in orbit around Saturn."
The Cassini image appeared, with the blown-up protion taking up much of the screen.
"Tell me, Monsieur, what do you make of that object? It is small and blurry, I know, but would you not say that it is far too uniform in shape and color to be a meteor?"
Hagen spoke up again, now. Her voice was very even-tempered, an attept to convey empathy with the recruits. "Is anyone still doubting this? Trust me, I know it's hard to believe, but it's real."
"Eh... I'm starting to believe. Anyone got a tutu?" he looked around, trying to restore some light-heartedness to the room. He sensed he failed though, and proceeded to shut up.
Razvan had doubled back quickly from his escapade to the hangar, just in time to see the Commander welcoming them to the XCOM. Damn it, they seemed to have started earlier than I thought. he thought to himself. Looking at the photographs of the damaged fighter plane he asked the Commander.
"Yes, I have a question, two in fact. Firstly, these UFOs must been pretty well built if they can travel in between planets so quickly. My question is how do we take them down because I assume shooting normal rockets at them is as useful as throwing rocks. Secondly did any of you manage to capture one of those 'aliens' because I am still curious what they look like up close."
"The enemy is unknown? Better get a mighty big weapon then." He said without a hint of worry. He leaned back in his chair. He pondered about what the creatures would appear as. Tentacled abominations? Humanoid? Cyborgs? Eh they all splatter the same. His thoughts wandered. When would he get the cold steel of a gun in his hands again? Its been quite a while.
"That knife... have you had the blood analyzed?"
23:20 (UTC +1)
February 25th, 2015
"As I said earlier, Monsieur Tanase, we know next to nothing about the threat we face. To your question, Monsieur Bracken, we did managed to get a chemical analysis of the blood from the knife. I'm sure that Dr. Vahlen could give a better explaination, but the gist of it is that the blood was highly toxic, but still blood. Unfortunately, that tells us precious little about the creature whose blood it is. Now..."
The Commander stopped himself when he noticed the door to the situation room slide open and a late-comer recruit do her level best to quietly slink inside. Unfortunately for the recruit, Central Officer Hagen was equally observant.
"HEY!" she shouted, as the whole audience turned to face the new arrival.
After an uncomfortable second or two of silence, Commander Attano cleared his throat. "Ahem. Take a seat, Mademoiselle Labelle. The briefing is being recorded, if you're interested in catching up. No doubt you at least caught the news of the day, I'm sure. Please, sit. I was just answering question now. Feel free to ask any you may have."
"Uh, I have one." came a whisper off to the Commander's side, from Hagen "Who's she?"
"She is another recruit that I had Golovko fly in. Corset Boulian Labelle." Attano whispered back.
"...you didn't recruit her just because she's..."
"No, I did not recruit one of my countrymen just because of nationality, she's quite qualified. And she's properly French, anyways, not like that turncoat from Strasbourg that runs the Research Labs..." Lucas cut himself off before going any further.
"So you did recruit her because..."
Not wanting to continue digging himself deeper, Lucas did the only sensible thing that he could think of: put Hagen on the spot. "Monsieur Tanase, you had questions about -ow we are going to combat our enemy in the air, oui? Central Officer -agen will answer them for you."
With that, Attano quickly shuffled off to the side, past Hagen, who shot him a look and a mischivious smile, while shaking her head. She pointed at him as he passed, then strode to the center of the Situation Room.
"So, Tanase, you wanted to know how we're planning to fight the X-Rays, right? Well, to answer your question about how tough these things are, we honestly don't know, but we have no reason to believe that our current weapons are completely useless. Remember, the contact that the USAF pursued still ran once it got spiked by search radar. If it was trying to avoid being shot down, despite being pursued by a more low-tech foe, that would seem to indicate that our missiles are more effective than rocks, as you say. Besides, you are going to be flying and shooting the best that this planet can give you, anyways. Let me see here..."
Hagen reached down to a case on her belt and retrieved her own small tablet computer, and began to manipulate it. The screen behind her began to display a wire-frame model of an advanced military jet that no one in the assembled crowd of recruits had ever seen before.
"This is the FI-340, or, as we call it, the Raven. Most advanced fighter ever developed...on Earth. 4 engines, a scramjet booster, and armed with the best terrestrially-developed missiles in history, the AAM-920, or Avalanche. We're also working on adapting it to use a heavily-modified rotary cannon that we call the Pheonix, but we're still working on that. It most likely isn't as good as what the X-Rays have, but we're not defenceless." Hagen beamed.
"Anyone else have any questions, or tutu donations for Yates?" Hagen said, grinning as she spoke the last bit of the scentence.