"We might not have time for that, but it's your call." Sara heard Fiona say.
Sara nodded and mulled over the thought of going down to investigate. Before she could come up with an answer, she heard Jimbo speak up over the radio. "Lancaster, that supply truck isn't going to hijack itself. Make a decision ASAP."
She bit her lip. Looking back to Fiona, Sara came up with her answer. "Jimbo, immobilize the truck. Lukas, secure it."
They needed that truck more than anything. The supplies it carried alone would keep Falcon going for another month at least. If they could secure the truck, then it wouldn't matter if they got any extra goods from the base. "Rifle team, be advised. Once you incap that truck, it's likely the base will respond. Expect a patrol to come and investigate."
Right after she said that, the lights in the corridor began to flicker and die. Eventually, they died out completely across the entire base. ADVENT troopers stopped what they were doing, and began running to their officers for instruction. The four troopers that were in a gaggle behind the crates seemed to be the first into action. They were leaving the warehouse through the large garage doors, and headed for the power station. "David, Carlotta, you've got company. Four troopers closing in with their rifles raised. We're going to be going loud soon, get read-" Sara was cut off by a horrible shriek over the radio.
She gasped from the piercing sound and pulled her headset off. She looked to Fiona, "What the hell was that?!"
Seconds later, a rumble could be felt in the building as a bright purple light blasted out from the access at the bottom of the ramp, followed by a fiery explosion. The flames billowed out toward the guards at the ramp, causing them to dive for cover. Scientists and troopers and staggered out of the brief blaze waving in dismay as they caught fire and burned alive. Fire alarms in the warehouse began ringing, and suppression systems spewed water in every direction. Sara hurried to get her headset back on, "I don't know what the hell you did, Carlotta, but things just got chaotic inside the warehouse!"
There was another rush of purple light from the access, and this time Sara could feel something. A massive shiver ran up her spine. It was familiar to her for some reason, like she had the feeling before but couldn't quite explain what had caused it. Sara clenched her teeth and looked to Fiona, "Supplies or not, we need to investigate what's down there."
The Executor walked through the metallic corridors of his ship. On his left were long windows, which gave him a view of the great expanse of space. A large nebula of orange and green dominated the backdrop, while a fleet of hundreds of ships occupied the foreground of the view. He always felt a rush of pride whenever he looked over his Grand Armada. It was a fleet the Executor had built from the ground up in the Elders' honor. Once the fleet of the elders could have been stopped. But since his ascension, their might had become insurmountable. Each warship in the Grand Armada was capable of punching above its class, and each one could act as a vanguard for invading new worlds. The Executor was at the head of it.
He was the Elders' mightiest fleet admiral, and the best commander his species could offer to the Elders. The Executor had fought in countless battles even before his ascension, the first of which were against the very masters he now served. There were no regrets. Not anymore. The Elders had improved the Executor in more ways than he ever could have dreamed. At first, his ambitions were small in scope compared to the Elders' vision. He wanted to rule his homeworld, the cradle of life for his people. But when he was chosen, he was granted the resources and tools needed to conquer more. His sights were no longer set on just one single world, but rather the galaxy in its entirety. He was successful thus far. And his name was feared throughout the expanse: Sempra-Tor.
While he looked over his armada of thousands of ships, he felt a calling in the back his mind. The Executor knew what it was. Something had caught the Elders' attention, and he was being called. The Executor let out a low growl, and dropped to one knee. His quill-like furs of his mane lifted slightly as psionic energy gathered around him. There was deep rumble, and a pillar of light engulfed him. When the light retreated, the Executor was gone.
"It is rare to be pulled away from my duties, masters. I inquire... What is so important that you call away the admiral of your fleets?" the Executor said as he emerged from the psionic rift in another chamber.
Towering over him was a halographic display of an Elder. Its regal robes and mask hid its appearance, but its presence in the room was absolute. The Elder turned its head to look down on the Executor. "Sempra-Tor. You have been a faithful servant to us, and we wish to extend our gratitude to you."
The Executor kept his eyes on the floor, "I am honored, my masters. But there is no gift so great that could match my servitude to you. Although... I will concede. How do you wish to show your gratitude?"
Another hologram appeared in front of the Executor, this one much smaller. It was a planet, marvelously blue and green. The Elder spoke while the Executor studied the orb, "This world is one of our newest acquisitions: Earth, as the inhabitants call it. More importantly, it holds the key that we have been searching for for the past millennia. The importance of this world is greater than any you have conquered for us. We grant you rulership over this world. Subdue it, and ensure it does not fall to the Great Enemy."
The Executor bowed his head again, "If that is your will, my masters. I will redeploy the fleet to ensure its safety."
"Good. We know you will not disappoint us, Execu-" the Elder was cut off as it keeled out and let out a shriek of pain. The Executor quickly stood to his feet.
"Master! What is it?"
The Elder clutched its masked face, "The Key. It is threatened... Go now, Executor! Travel ahead of the fleet to Earth, and ensure the Key's safety! We cannot replicate it yet, it is fragile!"
The hologram of Earth showed a red ping where the Executor was ordered to go. "At once, my master. Your Key will be safe under my watch."
Another beam of psionic energy engulfed the Executor. Just as fast as the beam of light had appeared, it vanished, along with the Executor.
The aetheric energy flowing through Gwynne's body was indeed taking its toll on her. Even though Topesh's gift had allowed her to contain more aether than the average human, it was a power that she had never gotten quite accustomed to. There was rarely a moment when Gwynne had to rely upon containing aether, but then again, there was rarely a moment when she was outnumbered ten to one in an ambush. She was breathing heavily, and the red glow in her eyes flickered as the energy tapered off. Her posture had dropped, it was was obvious that the containment had physically exhausted her. She looked at the surrounding footmen, knowing that their opponent was on her last legs.
Gwynne clenched her teeth, "Come at me, imperial dogs! Your job isn't finished here until my blood touches the ground!"
Much to Gwynne's surprise, an arrow passed by and grazed along one of the soldier's neck. The suddenness caught the rest off guard, long enough for another of the chosen to come charging forward to help her. Two soldiers broke off from fighting Gwynne to confront the new threat. It didn't matter if they formed a defensive line to keep him cut off from Gwynne. Salvio broke through them easily and fell in right next to her. She nodded to him, her breath heavy as she spoke, "Thanks...".
With his assistance, there were only two footmen left. Gwynne caught her second wind, reinvigorated now that she had an ally to fight alongside. Even though the aether in her body had mostly dissipated, Gwynne still had enough left in her to make her somewhat stronger and faster. Now that she had an ally, Gwynne could focus on one footman, while Salvio took the other. Gwynne stepped forward aggressively, making the footman think she was pressing into a direct charge. He lunged forward with his spear, but what surprised when Gwynne expertly sidestepped the lunge. She grabbed the shaft of the spear, and brought a powerful palm strike down on the shaft. Normally, a palm strike like that would do nothing to a properly made spear. But Gwynne's aether enhancement granted her enough strength to splinter the wood around her strike. The spear broke in two pieces, and Gwynne had the end with the steel tip. The soldier gasped in surprised, but expertly dropped the spear to unsheathe his short sword.
Taking the spearhead was only to force him into another action, distracting him long enough for Gwynne to build up aetheric energy in the palm of her hand. The air around her hand condensed and turned to frost. The small cloud of frost condensed further, turning into a cluster of razor sharp shards of ice. The footman was waiting for a stroke from the spearhead, but instead received four frost bolts. Two shot low, piercing clean through both of his knees and sending him to the ground. The third ripped through the bicep of his sword arm, while the third stuck itself into his thigh. The bolt in his thigh punched into the ground to keep him pinned there. Gwynne chose not to worry about the other footman, confident that Salvio would be capable of dealing with him. The red force orb floated near the pinned footman, and spoke aloud, "Playing with your food before you eat, apostate?" The soldier shivered in fear from the sinister voice emanating from the crystal ball.
Gwynne nodded, "He'll provide us with answers."
Armand sat on horseback just outside of the battlefield. He rode alongside the regiment commander and his entourage. The entourage consisted of his flag bearer, a body guard, and a messenger. Armand was taken by the sight of the battle. "These are no simple cultists, captain."
The captain glanced sidelong at Armandus and nodded slowly, "So it would seem... No cultist is capable of besting my men in such a way. The magic..." He trailed off in thought.
Armand saw fit to keep the captain's words going, "Is the work of a greater, far eviler power."
The captain took a deep breath and watched the battle ensue, "What are you not telling me, my lord?"
"Excuse me?" Armand said, looking back to the captain.
"You said it yourself, these are no normal cultists. Not only that, but when we happened across you, one of your battle magi had been severely crippled, and you seemed quite eager to leave her behind to pursue these cultists. There is a greater purpose for your being here, and I will not be a simple pawn rushing blindly into a conflict I know nothing about."
Armand was impressed by the captain. It was easy to tell why he was in command of this band of soldiers, even if many of them had fallen. The captain spoke his mind, and understood that he needed to approach situations with all the cards laid out on the table. Armand looked back to the battle, "Very well, captain. I'm tracking one particular individual. That one there." He pointed in the distance to the single woman surrounded by six footmen.
"What about her?" the captain asked, taking an interest in the woman.
"That is the apostate Gwynne Lancet. Perhaps you've heard of her."
"I know of the name. Though admittedly, I left the care to a more capable group meant to hunt apostates down. You wish to bring her to justice?"
"At first, yes. But there have been developments. She may play a part in greater events to come, I'm trying to discern as to what role that is."
The captain looked over to his messenger and gestured something to him. The messenger nodded and rode off back down the road they came from. The captain glanced back to Armand, "I can have my men capture her. She doesn't look like the one to put up a fight for long- Gods Above!" He cut himself off when he witnessed fire blast out from Gwynne's hand and incinerate a man to nothing. Never in his life had he seen such potent magic. "I thought such magic wasn't possible!"
"That's part of my curiosity about her. Though her potency in magic isn't exclusive to her. My companion, the crippled one, claims that the aetherwinds around that apostate are more potent than that of any magi tower. It appears Gwynne has found a way to conjure the winds as they once were. At the heart of my suspicions is that orb following her."
The captain looked over at Armand, "Well, my lord, I would be for acquiring this witch and her orb. But unfortunately it isn't as simple as that when she is accompanied by a host of equally as capable warriors."
Armand nodded thoughtfully, "I suppose you are right. We should observe for now and study our enemy. I'm sure another opportunity will arise where we can strike. You should pull your men back, captain. It is clear we are outmatched today..."
“Ground team, be advised. Two tangos armed with MAG-3 rifles nearing your position at 200 meters away from your position. Bearing approximately 30 degrees on your position, south-west, over.”
Sara looked over and saw the patrol their overwatch was talking about. She nodded, "I see them. Once they passed into the shadow of the warehouse, take them out."
Sara motioned to Carlotta and David to start moving on the power station now. Luckily, the space between between the buildings wasn't just empty. There were a number of stacked crates and vehicles they could use for cover. Whenever a spotlight passed over the crates, there were plenty of shaded areas they could use to hide in. While they broke off, Sara pulled the body of the morning's first victim right up against the bottom paneling of the laser fence. In the low light, the ADVENT's black armor clad body should be quite difficult to spot right under the trooper's noses.
The patrol was one hundred and fifty meters out now. Sara and Fiona would have plenty of time after the spotlight made its next pass to rush for the warehouse's access door, and get inside before the patrol would arrive. "Let's move now, Fiona. We're wasting our darkness by standing around."
Sara quickly rounded the corner, her MP7 raised and ready to fire at anything that could come out from the door, or around the far corner of the warehouse. Once they reached the door, Sara started first by simply touching the console on the door frame. Usually doors like these were unlocked when bases weren't on alert. Sure enough, the door let out a quiet hiss as it slid open. Sara peaked in through the door and saw nobody on the other side. She nodded to Fiona, and moved into the back rooms of the warehouse. "We're in. Warehouse is clear so far. Close that door behind us, Fiona."
They were in a long corridor. One side of the hallway was dotted with windows which looked in on the warehouse. The other side was filled with offices and storage rooms. The warehouse was mostly uninhabited in the early hours of the morning. None of the office lights were on, which worked to cloak the rest of the corridor in shadows. Peaking out one of the windows, Sara could see a few troopers standing in a gaggle behind some crates. One was smoking, while the other told a seemingly excited story. The troopers all laughed. They weren't wearing any helmets, and it clear that the troopers were human. They all looked fairly young. It was possible they were once orphaned teens who volunteered into ADVENT for regular meals and a roof over their head. Sara could understand their position. But they chose the wrong side.
Sara stayed low, keeping her movements deliberate and measured as she continued moving down the corridor. Once they reached the next window, Sara looked out again. "What the..." she said, somewhat surprised by the sight.
Half of the warehouse was a vehicle ramp that led underground. There were more troopers standing guard at the top of the ramp. "Falcons, seems the warehouse has a structure underneath it. It's possible they keep all the good stuff down there."
Despite being a fierce combatant, Gwynne was still only human. Once the initial shock of Gwynne's magical attack had worn off, the footmen came to their senses and surrounded Gwynne. They closed in slowly, wary of the force orb covering Gwynne's blind spots. One footman stepped forward with a sword and shield. He let out a war cry and held his tight in front of him while lunging his sword out. Gwynne sidestepped and flicked her wrist, sending the orb straight into his shield. The shield splintered and caused the soldier to stagger, but now she was exposed from behind. Another footmen sent his spear forward, aimed at her leg. "Behind you, apostate!" Topesh said in her head.
Gwynne turned her gaze and dodged the bladed spearhead just in the nick of time. She felt a sting in her leg, the bladed tip had grazed her and drew blood. It was superficial, but it did well to remind Gwynne that despite being a Chosen, she could still be killed. Her sidestep and brought her dangerously close to another footman, who took the opportunity to try and grapple her. As a child, Gwynne had practiced for countless hours how to break from a variety of grapples. Gwynne dropped her weight and rolled forward, taking the footman down with her. With his grip loose on her, she rolled to the side, and yanked his short sword from his hand. The same spearman that had cut her tried to stab again. She deflected the blow with the short sword, then grabbed a hold of the shaft.
"Topesh! I need strength from the aether." she said.
"Are you sure? The human body isn't capable of containing aetheric energy for long. It could harm you."
"I'll be harmed if we don't try! Do it!" She ordered.
The orb pulsed, and a streak of aetheric energy could be seen connecting the crystal to Gwynne's body. She took a deep breath as her pupils dilated. The effect was near instantaneous. While holding onto that spear shaft, she gripped it tight and tugged it free from the spearman's hands. The footman tried to keep his footing, but was surprised by Gwynne's sudden strength. He staggered forward, meeting the stolen short sword in his gut. He sputtered and dropped to the ground, holding his grievous injury. Gwynne flourished the spear, and dropped the blunt end of it on the throat of the footman she had acquired the short sword from. With his larynx crushed, it wouldn't be long before he too would die.
There were still five more footmen encircling her, one of them having sustained a broken arm from having the orb slam into his shield. He was the weakest link, so Gwynne targeted him next. She turned to face him, then felt a spearhead stab into the back of her right shoulder. Gwynne let out a yelp of pain, and twisted somewhat to stretch out her good arm in his direction. The footman's face was immediately fearful, as he knew what was coming. There was no time for him to dodge, or even react for that matter. Gwynne siphoned off some of the aetheric energy within her body to unleash of blue-hot gout of flame at him. The skin on Gwynne's hand burned, but the footman was reduced to ash, along with half of the spear shaft embedded in her shoulder.
Gwynne's red eyes glowed from the aetheric energy flowing in her body. She almost looked like a demon as she spat out the flames from her hand. She let out little pants, clearly feeling the rapid exhaustion setting in from containing the aether. "Topesh... I need more..."
"Some things cannot be reversed, apostate. You understand that?" Topesh said cautiously.
Gwynne gritted her teeth and pulled the spear from her shoulder. The footmen were staying their ground, once again fearful of her. She eyed them. "I do. Give me dark aether..."
The orb's brilliant blue hue shifted to a crimson red. "As you wish..." Topesh said, his voice deeper now.
The aetheric energy pouring from the orb turned red as well. Gwynne let out a pained gasp as it flowed into her body. She could feel the wounds on both her shoulder and her leg sealing. But the sensation wasn't that of magic healing, but more like the wounds crystallizing over. She'd have to inspect that later. But for now, she had a fight to win.
Morning. The air was frigid and the sun was still obscured by the surrounding hills, leaving the surrounding still quite dark. Every breath Sara exhaled was greeted with a mist. She could see dew forming on plants and grass, and frost forming on the very tips of everything. Sara had found herself pulling her scarf up over her face more than once during their tiring trek. But finally they had made it. Resistance reports had lead Falcon squad to this place, and ADVENT blacksite. ADVENT used these blacksites to hide valuable projects and store expensive equipment, equipment that Falcon squad needed. They managed to get quite close to the base, and were forced to approach prone. The crawl to the rocky ledge was slow and grueling. Nobody wanted to make a noise, but every time they shuffled forward, something would always give and make a sound. The sound was never extremely loud. But when a group's goal is to be silent and undetected, even a pebble dropping would cause the entire squad to freeze their motion.
When Sara reached the ledge, she looked over the blacksite. The low light meant that, at this time in the morning, ADVENT still had to use their floodlights to keep the base lit. Here and there, duos of troopers patrolled the base. Whenever they spoke, their voices would echo in the ravine the base was situated in. There was only one true way into the base, a road guarded by a checkpoint, which was flanked on both sides by tall watch towers. The troopers in the towers were armed with marksman variant mag rifles. Despite being an active blacksite, activity seemed quite low. Sara figured that perhaps most of the troopers were in the barracks prepping for shift change. Her suspicions were only confirmed as she saw some groups of troopers all making their way to one single building on the far end of the base, while others came out looking fresh and ready for the day. Sara looked back to the team and whispered, "We came at the perfect moment. The base's guards are either tired from the night shift, or haven't completely waken up yet. They aren't prepared for an attack."
She was right. But beyond that, most ADVENT recruits that found themselves assigned to blacksites grew complacent. Why should they be on alert? The bases technically didn't even exist. It was the flaw of recruiting humans to an alien cause. Sara surmised that these troops had likely not even seen combat. They were green, and when pitted against a veteran squad like the Falcons, they'd break easily.
Sara studied the rock face and looked down, spotting the laser fence that normally would have forced the squad through the singular entrance. But not from here. With some quick rappel work, the team could kick off from the rock face and land on the opposite end of the fence. Their insertion point would be obscured by the shadow of the large building, and in this light, they'd go practically undetected. "This is the spot," Sara said quietly, "Rope up."
Sara unclipped her rappel rope from her kit and secured it to a strong looking tree. She then clipped her carabiner to the rope and gave it a tug before backing over the ledge slowly. Her eyes followed the silhouettes of her squad mates as they did the same. "Jimbo, I want you to keep an eye on that barracks. Let me know who comes and goes."
When the rest of the squad was prepared, Sara gave a hand motion, and ordered the four infiltrators to go down the sheer rock face. Rappelling down a rock wall in low light was dangerous, incredibly so, but it was a far better alternative than to walk through the front door. When going down the face, one had to be careful where they put their feet. Kicking a stone loose would not only make a lot of noise, but chances were high that it'd bounce at the bottom and pass through the laser fence, and trigger an alert. Sara and the other traveled down the wall as fast as they could, which was still rather slow. They were forced to feel their way down before committing to the next step. But the team had done this before, and they were confident in their approach. Before long, they hung over the laser fence. Sara moved her weight around to start swinging a bit, and kicked off the rock wall when she had enough speed. She quickly dropped down the rope, and landed on the concrete foundation of the base as quietly as she could. To avoid the slack in the rope from dropping into the laser fence, Sara held it tight while unclipping herself. She looked to the other Falcons to check up on them, and then tossed the end of the rope over to the other side of the fence.
Sara then pulled her MP7 from her thigh holster, and quickly screwed on its suppressor. "This is Lancaster. Boots on the ground. We all went over the plan half a dozen times on the way here, team. Lets stick to it and get this over with as quickly as possible."
Sara switched on her MP7's laser sight and pressed the extending stock against her shoulder. "Fiona, on me. Stay low and watch my six."
She took point, moving quickly and quietly in the shadow of the large building. Sara stopped before reaching the corner, and waited for a spotlight to pass. When it left, she peered around the corner. A single trooper stood guard at a normal sized door, likely just an access into the warehouse instead of entering through the large garage doors at the front. Sara looked back to the fireteam that had infiltrated the base, "We're going to have to ghost this trooper once the spotlight passes again. David, you're up. Take him quick and drag him back here. Once we're clear, you and Carlotta break off and head to the power station."
Personality Profile Sara is a hopeful individual, who does everything with the intent of being reunited with her son one day. She acts quite motherly to the rest of Falcon team, and makes sure they're doing whatever it is they need to be doing. Sara is the an individual that'll scold somebody in one moment, and then love them in the next. She has been with Falcon squad ever since the original invasion, and has built a deep trust toward everyone else. While not technically the ranking operative in the team, she has adopted a sort of pseudo-leader position. She always seems to have the intuition to get through hard times, which has often made others wary of her.
Sara has no clue that she is psionic, as her gift does not manifest itself in obvious ways. Her senses are keen, and her intuition borders on clairvoyant. Stranger yet, is that her mood has a tendency to spread to the rest of the team, if even just slightly. A silly belief that has spread throughout the team is 'keep her happy and good luck comes our way'. True or not, if Sara is in a good mood, the squad is simply better off. On occasion, Sara has been known to even guess what somebody else is about to say before they even say it. In combat, Sara often draws the attention of other psionic enemies. Sara prefers to fight in close quarters like she was trained to do by ERT.
When she is on her own, Sara becomes vulnerable to her own emotion. Without somebody around to keep her mind off of things, her thoughts often drift to her son. 'Is he still alive? He should be 19 by now. Will he remember what I look like? Where on this forsaken planet could he be?' Even Sara is afraid to compromise herself in this way, so she tries to spend as much time as she can with at least one other member of the team to keep her focused. Sometimes in her sleep, she sees a regal figure reach out to her in her dreams, the very same one that she had seen during the Shangri La incident. While other members of the squad has their vices, such as drinking or smoking, Sara doesn't sleep often. She usually pulls longer watch shifts than the rest of the team, despite their concerns for her fatigue. Her gift keeps her sharp for longer than normal, but she is still only human.
Background Profile There wasn't much about Sara's childhood that was quite interesting. She had a loving mother and father in a three bedroom house in suburban Vancouver. Things were quite mundane, and she went through the paces of childhood like every other kid. When she was seventeen, Sara met her boyfriend, who she would have a child with at nineteen. She was still young, and was worried she wouldn't have the money to keep her child sustained. So after giving birth to her son, Sara went off to become a police officer while her boyfriend went to school for engineering and care for their child. Both found success, and at the age of twenty one, the two of them married.
Sara ended up becoming a beat cop in Vancouver, and her husband ended up joining the military as a combat engineer. Before long, her husband was sent abroad, and it was Sara's turn to care for their child. Despite her young age, Sara was doing well managing her time between work and her son. Things changed a later when Sara received word her husband was killed in a car bombing. Newly widowed, and left with a fatherless toddler, Sara knew she'd have to double down on her work to keep a roof over their head. Luckily, her brother in law, who was also a police officer, was around to help raise James in his father's stead. Knowing Sara was struggling, her brother in law put in a recommendation for training into the Emergency Response Team, Canada's SWAT equivalent. Sara accepted the offer immediately. During her tactical training, Sara proved herself as highly competent. Her instructor noted that she had a very good tactical sense, and was rarely able to be caught by surprise. As more time in training passed, Sara's intuition continued impressing her instructors. She graduated a few months later at the top of her intake, and gained ERT certification, along with the larger paycheck.
It was almost Christmas when she first took part in a crisis requiring the ERT. A french delegate had been taken hostage in a sky-scraper by armed terrorists. She and her team, including her brother in law, mobilized. They identified the terrorists as EXALT, and were about to breach into the building when they were told to withdraw. There wasn't much time, and withdrawing for another team be sent in would take too long. The ERT went in regardless, and secured the delegate quickly. However, three of the terrorists managed to hunker down and engage in a firefight. Before the ERT could process what happened, two of them were killed instantly by plasma fire. The terrorists, who were later identified as alien Thin Men, suppressed the ERT. While the ERT was pinned down, a squad of XCOM operatives burst into the apartment and made quick work of the aliens. But things only took a turn for the worse from there.
The ERT snipers outside reported some strange distortion outside the windows. Sara, who was in the room with the delegate, didn't have time to react. A flash of light filled the room, and began pulling Sara and the delegate toward the light. An XCOM operative quickly dove into the tractor beam, managing to get the delegate out of the beam, but getting trapped himself. Sara and the XCOM operative found themselves pulled into an alien UFO. The XCOM operative drew his pistol and started firing at aliens rushing after them. They executed the operative on the spot, and knocked out Sara. When she came to, she was strapped to an operating table of sorts. She saw that the aliens had dissected the killed XCOM operative, and were prodding around his insides. One alien saw she was awake, and stepped over to her. It placed a strange device against her forehead, and activated it. Sara cried out in pain from the lancing headache as images of a tall, regal alien flooded her mind. It reached out to her and whispered to her in a strange language that she somehow understood.
Whatever the aliens were trying to do to her, they were interrupted. An XCOM fighter had intercepted the UFO, and succeeded in shooting the UFO down. During the descent, Sara managed to break free from her restraints, and get to a safe location aboard the UFO just before it hit the ground in the Arctic Circle. XCOM was quick to move in, and it was a good thing they did. Sara was escaping the wreck when the ship's guardian AI, the Outsider, was trying to stop her. The XCOM squad sniped the Outsider from long range, and secured Sara.
Sara hoped she would be debriefed, ordered to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and go home, but she ended up spending a week in quarantine at XCOM's HQ. She was trapped in a small room with a cot, a privacy screen for the bathroom, and a large glass window to be watched by the dozens of XCOM scientists. While she was in quarantine, Sara was approached by an XCOM colonel. He told her that her brother in law had taken guardianship of her son, and that she was listed as missing in action. The colonel said she could go back to her normal life, but then told her that the aliens were entering into open war with humanity. He appealed to her desire to do what was best for her son, and that the world would burn if XCOM didn't have more soldiers to fight them back. It didn't take long for Sara to decide. She knew her decision would mean she would be away from her son for a long time, but if it meant she could make a safer home for him, then so be it. Once Sara was let out of quarantine, she received additional training for combating the alien menace, and sent to the far north with a platoon of operatives to secure a listening post.
The listening post had discovered a massive concealed alien landing zone, and before they could transmit the data, the aliens struck in full force. The battle was a crushing defeat. For every XCOM operative, there were ten aliens. Sara and her team, Falcon Squad, barely managed to escape after being given the order to retreat. Fifteen operatives had managed to escape the battle, but they were cut off from command. When they got into contact with HQ, they found out that the invasion was on a global scale, and that they didn't have the resources available to extract them. They were alone. A week later, Earth was conquered.
Over past ten years, the survivors numbers fell from fifteen to four. Falcon team managed to pick some new recruits up along the way. The squad had stuck with one another through thick and thin, but they're on their last legs. Battered, hungry, and out of options, the team decided to make a last ditch effort on an ADVENT supply base.
Inventory Benelli M4 Super 90 Semi-Auto Shotgun chambered in 12 gauge 2-3/4" and 3" w/ Collapsible buttstock, tactical flashlight, shell holder, and holographic sight. MP7A1 chambered in 4.6x30mm w/ laser sight, extended magazine, suppressor, and 2x magnification scope. 24x 12 Gauge Buckshot Shells 12x 12 Gauge Shotgun Slugs 6x Incendiary Dragon Breath Shotgun Shells 4x High Capacity MP7 magazines loaded with DM11 AP High Velocity ammunition 2x M84 Stun Grenades
Standard XCOM Plate Carrier, Black 3x Combat BDU sets [Woodland, Desert, and Arctic] MP7 Thigh Holster Black Tactical Helmet Black Balaclava Tinted Ballistic Goggles Knuckle Plated Combat Gloves Steel Toed Combat Boots 2 Sets of Civilian Clothes
1 Week's worth of MRE food rations Personal Hygiene Kit Picture of her son Wedding Ring
Squad Relations WIP
Sara pulled her car into the lightly snowed over driveway of her house and turned it off. After getting out, she walked to the back of the vehicle and opened the trunk, removing a wrapped up gift. Sara smiled to herself as she closed the trunk, locked her car and entered through the front door of the house. Immediately to her right was the kitchen, the light was on and there was a radio on the counter playing that classic Christmas music that everybody is forced to listen to every year. The cutlery drawer had been left open. Down the hall, was the living room. The lights were off save for the light given off by the television. "James, I'm home." Sara called out.
There wasn't any response, which made her curious. Sara walked down the hallway, still holding onto the gift. As she got closer, she heard a voice from the television, "Your reality is made by the limitations you believe you have. For just a couple minutes, I want you to forget about those limitations, and see what your mind can accomplish."
Sara rolled her eyes, turning the corner and looking straight at the television. It was a show that James, her nine year old son, seemed to always watch without her permission. The man on the screen was known as Percival, and he was the host to his show called 'The Third Eye'. The show had given her the creeps since the day it aired, and she told her son that he wasn't allowed to watch it.
"Oh. Hey, mum." a voice said from behind her, making her jump a bit.
James sat in the corner of the living room, staring intensely at a tea spoon. At his feet was a pile of the things, which explained the open cutlery drawer. Sara looked at her son for a moment, then back to the T.V. show host, "How many times do I need to tell you that you aren't allowed watching this show?"
Sara set the gift down on the living room coffee table and switched the channel to the Discovery channel. She made sure the program was good for him, it was a show on the planets of the Solar system. She then turned the light on in the room so it wasn't as eerie. James didn't even bother to look at the T.V., he just continued staring at the teaspoon. Sara tried to draw his attention away from it, "Well, Christmas is two weeks away, and I got you a gift that I think you'll love!"
"I don't like telescopes," the boy said in a flat tone.
Sara frowned and looked at the wrapped gift, she had just bought it and got it wrapped at the mall, how did he know. She decided to play it off, "Well it might not be a telescope, you never know what Santa has in store for you."
"It's a telescope," James said back.
Sara sighed and picked the gift up from the coffee table, bringing it to the kitchen with her. She set it down on the counter and closed the cutlery drawer. James called out from the living room, "Uncle Mike is here, mom."
She heard a knock on her door right before it opened. "Sara?" a man called out.
Sara got the chills, both from the winter air coming in and the fact that her nine year old just called something that she didn't even notice. "Hey, Mike." she said from the kitchen, turning his gaze to him.
He stepped into the house and took off his shoes, "Hey," he said back, "I heard about the results! Best in the whole class, huh? Congrats! I brought some beer!"
She chuckled and ran her hands through her shoulder length black hair, "Thanks, Mike. I actually wouldn't mind one of those right about now. Been thinking back, y'know?" she looked to the cabinet on the other side of the kitchen where a small shrine was set up around a photo.
The photo had a man in uniform, smiling with the Canadian flag behind him. To the right of the photo, was a small box with medals in it and to the left was a platinum ring with a ruby inlaid on top. Mike frowned a bit as he looked at the photo, "Ah cheer up! Let's have a drink and enjoy the Christmas season! I know that's what my brother would want." he took two bottles of beer from the case and opened them.
"Cheers," he said and held out the bottle.
Before Sara could cheer back, both of their phones rang. They answered them in unison. They were both silent as they listened to the man on the other side of the phone call. "Be there shortly," Mike said.
"Understood," followed Sara. She hung up the phone and set the beer on the counter, "We'll need to drink to Adam after."
Mike smiled and nodded to her, he then went to the door and put his shoes back on. Sara stepped into the living room, "James, mommy has to go to work. I will be back in a couple of hours. Make sure you brush your teeth and get in bed by nine-thirty, okay? There's some left over pizza in the fridge that you can heat up."
James only nodded and kept looking at the same spoon he had earlier. Sara sighed again before saying, "I love you, sweety." and left the house. __________ Forty minutes later...
"Welcome to ERT, Sara!" Mike cheered for her, followed by six other specialists around a black helicopter.
ERT, the Emergency Response Team, was Canada's equivalent to the USA's SWAT teams. Sara had just finished the advanced training necessary to become one. Sara was only a police officer before hand, but thought she needed to step up her game in memory of her husband, who died in Afghanistan. Sara smiled back to the other operators, "Thanks, glad to be here."
Mike patted her on the back and gestured everybody into the helicopter. Their chief stepped aboard right after. "Here's the situation. There is a hostage crisis on the fifty-seventh floor of the Living Shangri La in downtown Vancouver. There is a high profile VIP being held there by an extremist group that we've yet to identify. They're heavily armed and have the place fortified. You need to secure that VIP, his name is Pierre Lionne, a French dignitary on vacation with his family."
The helicopter lifted off and quickly climbed higher than the sky scrapers that graced the Vancouver skyline. It was easy to pick out the Shangri La, it was the tallest building in the city. The first stop was to drop off two of the operatives on the neighboring roof, they held sniper rifles in their hands. The two ERT specialists quickly ran and set up on the edge of the building. The helicopter lifted off again and brought the rest of the team to the rooftop of the Shangri La. They all disembarked and scanned the area. Things seemed clear, it probably wouldn't have been if Lionne had taken an apartment closer to the roof. Three of the specialists quickly ran to the edge of the building and began to set up for a window breach, Mike was one of them. Sara and the remaining two specialists were to take the emergency staircase. "Eyes on," said one of the snipers.
"I see thirteen. Ten of 'em are packing some serious gear. G36c carbines, grenades and body armor. The other three, though... Looks like triplets in all honesty. Tall, thin. Wearing suits, but I wouldn't be surprised if they got some armor underneath 'em. They've got briefcases, could be explosives or nerve agents. This is starting to look a little more like a terrorist act than a hostage situation."
Mike, who was now dangling off the side of the tall building, nodded. "HQ be advised, we have possible chemical weapons in the apartment. Team, masks on. Sniper, we're not in position yet, keep your eyes peeled. Any sign of who these guys are?"
"I see one of them wearing a patch on his shoulder, stand by... EXALT. Ever hear of 'em?" the sniper asked.
There was a quick response from everybody, all of them negative. Sara and the team she was with got to the door and stacked up, their gas masks already on. "We're in position. What's your status, Mike?" Sara asked.
"In position," he responded, "Stay where you are. We need to ID Lionne and the rest of his family first."
The five minute wait was unbearable, but it came to an end eventually. The sniper chimed up in their ear pieces, "Lionne spotted. He's alive and kicking. No eyes on his family yet."
Sara then spoke up, "Lets get in there and secure the place."
"We can't just go in guns blazing when the VIP is in such a vulnerable position and we have no idea where his family is." Mike advised, "Patience. You're just a rookie, wait and see."
It was another ten minutes of hell. Waiting. Listening as Lionne screamed in pain, EXALT had begun interrogating the poor man four minutes into the wait. Then the chief spoke again, "Team, withdraw."
Mike instantly replied, "Withdraw?! What are you talking about?"
"You heard me. I've got a guy breathing down my neck, some government agent who refuses to give me his clearances. But his name checks out. I guess another task force is taking over. I say again, withdraw."
Mike shook his head and looked at his team, the two others with him both seemed to disagree with this order. "We'll lose them all if we take the time for another team to set up. We need to go in now."
The chief was silent over the radio, another man spoke up instead, "Sergeant, the situation has developed beyond your expertise."
Mike cursed and looked to his two men, "Team, status."
The rest of the team checked in, all were still on standby and awaiting orders. Mike let out a long breath, the cold air causing it to turn to mist before he pulled his gas mask over his face. "Team, breach breach breach!"
It started with the two snipers picking off the man interrogating Lionne and another who would have presented the biggest threat to the team breaching through the door. Before they even hit the floor, the windows shattered and the door was kicked in. The operatives waited for the flashbangs to do their job before rushing in. From two angles, the ERT struck. The door team fanned out and killed another four EXALT as they were stunned by the flashbang. The three men in the suits ran out of sight from the snipers and the rest of the team, down a hallway in the apartment. The window team was quick in pursuit as Sara and the other two that came from the door dealt with the ones around Lionne, they were backed up by the snipers.
Mike was behind his two team mates. The man on point became nothing in an instant. It took a moment for Mike and the ERT operative in front of him to realize that he had just been vaporized. A hole was burnt into the drywall, and on the other side stood the three men in the suits, their open briefcases were on the floor. The men were carrying some strange weapons in their hands. There was a sort of green energy emanating from the weapons. Another shot came their way and burnt through the drywall like a hot knife through butter. The shot grazed Mike, singing his body armor around his stomach to just scraps.
The man next to Mike wasn't so fortunate as the next shot came. It took his head clean off, the sheer heat of the plasma cauterizing the stump of a neck left behind. Mike pulled back down the hallway, just in time to hear Sara yell, "Room clear!"
Mike yelled back, "Not clear! Take cover! Frag out!" he took one of the grenades off of the webbing of a dead EXALT member and threw it down the hallway. He dived behind a couch, Sara did the same. Lionne panicked as he was tackled by an ERT operative to cover. There was a distinct bang and a shriek. Then from the smoke and rubble, two more green bolts of energy flew toward them. Mike returned fire, putting four rounds into the chest of one. It hissed and lurched over. A strange cloud exploded from the wounds and ate away at the materials around it.
"The hell is that?! That's not a human!" Sara said as she fired more shots down the ruined hallway.
Mike gestured to the two remaining ERT members, the ones who had entered with Sara, "Suppressing fire down that hallway! Sara, find out if he knows what happened to his family."
Shots were exchanged, Sara had to yell over the gunfire to speak to Lionne, "Your family! Where are they?"
Lionne replied through a thick French accent, "They took them! They're gone!" he broke down as he said that.
Through the door, a squad of soldiers rushed through. They were wearing gear that Mike nor Sara had never seen before. Three of the four soldiers joined their fire with the ERT operatives. One went to Mike, "Major Shawn Jensen, give me a report, sergeant!"
Mike knew this was out of his hands, he quickly responded, "We got some sort inhuman things down that hallway! They bleed acid and are armed with-"
"We'll take it from here, Sergeant," Jensen interrupted him.
Shawn ordered his team forward into the hallway, and the firefight quickly came to an end. Whoever they were, they knew what they were doing. One of the soldiers was dragging the dead body of one of the creatures. "HQ this is Gold Squad, the report was accurate. Situation clear." Shawn said over a radio.
The ERT snipers spoke up from their own radio, "Uh... Mike? Are you seeing this?"
Mike replied, "Seeing what?"
"Everything just got distorted. You all are looking pretty wavy right now."
Then there was a light coming from the main window, it was blinding. From the snipers' point of view, they could see a strange disc like ship materialize out of nowhere. One of the glowing sections of the ship seemed to open up. The snipers could see inside, they could see the crew of the ship. Small gray creatures with large heads, classic gray aliens. They were dumbstruck, they didn't know what to do.
Inside the Shangri La, the light was too much. Sara felt lighter all of a sudden. Lionne started to scream uncontrollably. She heard Shawn, "Hold on!"
Hold on to what?! Thought Sara as she felt herself get lifted off the ground by some invisible force. It seemed Lionne was experiencing the same thing. There was a sudden thump as somebody tackled them. She lost her grip on Lionne as he was ripped from her by the tackle, but she was still weightless. Sara began to spin like she was in zero gravity. Shawn spoke up, "VIP secured! Get him to safety, men!" he seemed to be in a panic himself.
She also heard Mike, "Shit! Shit shit shit! Sara! No!"
It was as though she was the only one blinded by the light. And when it ended, she hit a metal surface. Seeing three of the soldiers, the two ERT operatives and Mike, with a look of terror on his face, staring back at her. She looked to her right, and saw Shawn. He must have pushed Lionne out of the way and got trapped in the light himself. But he was already standing and reaching for his pistol. He aimed at something, but a plasma shot punched through his chest quicker than he could pull the trigger. When Sara turned to see what Jensen was killed by, she saw the aliens. Six short creatures with large heads. In between them was an orange crystal which materialized into a humanoid being.
It looked at her, studied her, and then knocked her out with a swift kick.
Mike watched as the glowing section on the craft filled back in. There was a sound of some sort of engine powering up. A distortion of light. And a strange 'pow' sound as the ship launched of to the horizon in the blink of an eye. The UFO had taken Sara. He had promised his brother, that he would watch out for her while Adam was deployed. He couldn't keep his promise... __________ Two hours later...
Mike stepped through the door to Sara's home. All of the lights were off, except for the television lighting the living room. The kitchen drawer was open, spoons were all over the floor and trailed into the living room. All of them were bent. Mike followed the trail and saw James, the nine year old orphan, as he bent a twisted a spoon with his mind. There was a device set up next to the window, it was a telescope, Christmas wrapping was all over the floor. On the television, there was that psychic figure that Sara hated so much, Percival. He studied the figure, and recognized it right away. The man on the television, looked exactly like the three aliens he had encountered in the Shangri La.
Mike quickly turned the television off and turned to James, kneeling down to him, "Hey, buddy... Mom wants you to come stay at my place for a bit. Go pack some clothes okay?"
James lit up happily and ran upstairs. Mike remained in his place, looking at the twisted and bent spoons of the floor. He turned the television back on and saw Percival looking straight at him. He shook his head and switched the channel to the Discovery channel, Percival was there too, only it wasn't Percival. It was another television figurehead. He switched the channel again, everywhere he looked he saw these thin men. That's when he realized, that the Earth, had been invaded. __________ Aboard the UFO Undisclosed amount of time later...
Sara gasped as she woke up. She tried to sit up, but she found herself strapped to a table. Sara panicked and shook on the table, it was no use. She heard a gruesome squelching sound to her left, causing her to look over. She wished she hadn't. The aliens were poking, prodding, and dissecting Major Jensen's body. Her breathing picked up more as she looked around the UFO in a panic. She spotted a holographic projection of the Earth, as well a green blip that indicated their position. The Arctic Circle. As she continued to look around, Sara spotted a quarantine box with the major's pistol in it. Next was a long row of consoles that ran along one of the walls. A pair of aliens were interacting with the consoles. She heard an inhuman clicking noise and looked back toward the major, one of the aliens was looking at her. It squealed and crawled over to her with something sharp in its hand. She shook in her restraints in a feeble attempt to escape. The alien placed the sharp end of the device on her forehead and pressed a button.
Sara screamed as pain lanced through her head. She felt a burning, but the device wasn't doing any actual damage. After thirty seconds utter hell, the alien stopped. Sara went limp on the table and was breathing as though the wind had been knocked out of her. The alien signaled to another one. The second alien brought a hovering device over and fitted it over her head. Sara watched with fear as it obscured her vision. The inside of the device began to glow purple and vibrate. She panicked. Then it felt as though her head was being invaded again, this time she heard a voice in a language she didn't understand. Sara clenched her teeth tight and held her eyes shut. The face of a strange alien appeared in her mind, it was tall and regal. Sara tried to pull away as the mental image extended one of its four hands out to grab her face. But before it could, the device was pulled away from her head. The UFO was blaring alarms now, and the aliens scrambled around the ship in hurry. She heard voice coming from one of the consoles, a human voice. The aliens had intercepted transmissions.
"HQ this is Trinity 1-1. I have confirmed visuals on the bogey. Target is headed North, bearing 0-2-8. Over."
"Confirmed Trinity 1-1. You are cleared to engage. Be advised, the bogey does have prisoners aboard. Disable the craft so ground forces can move in and secure the site. Over."
"Copy that, HQ. Trinity 1-1 moving to gun range. Fox four."
Even from inside the UFO, the high pitched whirring of cannon fire could be heard from the fighter jet. The pattering of bullet on metal was distinct. The aliens clicked and squealed to one another. One of the gray aliens sat on a floating chair, which raised into a pod in the roof. Shortly after, the sound of plasma fire rumbled through the UFO. The transmission continued.
Sara shook in her restraints some more while listening to the pilot over the intercepted radio chatter. "Target locked. Fox Two. Fox Two."
More alarms blared in the UFO before an explosion erupted in the port side of the ship. Lights flickered aboard the ship and eventually stayed out. The restraints holding Sara in place lifted. She quickly shot up from the table and rolled off of it. She could feel the ship lurch and begin to lose altitude. She looked around amid the chaos and remembered the pistol in the quarantine bin. Sara launched herself from behind the table and made a dash for the pistol. She heard an alien screech behind her. A bolt of plasma lanced past her head, missing her by a handspan. She reached into the bin, pulled the pistol from it, and turned to fire at the gray alien. Three shots put the small creature down. Sara heard the transmissions again.
"HQ, bogey is losing power and altitude. Following it down- wait... HQ, I see gun fire coming from inside the ship. One of the prisoners may have gotten free. Over."
"Copy that, Trinity 1-1. Stay on the bogey. Over."
Sara rounded a corner and took cover behind it as another plasma bolt flew past her. She was breathing heavily, her head was aching worse than ever before. She looked around, trying to find a new place to fall back to. That's when Sara saw it, the ground. It was fast approaching. She fired another shot from around the corner, heard a screech, and then moved from her cover to another spot where she wouldn't be thrown around in the crash. Plasma bolts flew past her head as she hunkered down. She heard the fighter pilot talking. "Bogey eating dust in five... four... three... two..."
Sara put her arms over her head and braced. There was a loud thud as the ship hit the snow drifts and ice of the arctic circle. The entire ship rocked and rumbled, metallic creaking drowning out all other noise. Once the ship came to a halt in the snow, everything was quiet save for sparks flashing out from displaced cables. Snow blew into the ship as biting cold wind howled through. Sara looked from beyond her cover, the rest of the ship was a disaster. When she found it to be clear, Sara puled herself from the cover and limped out from the ship. The wreckage of the ship streaked on for at least three hundred feet. Fires blazed along the crash site. She was shivering from the cold, her gear wasn't rated for Arctic conditions. Sara staggered her way to a plasma fire not far from her to warm up. With her back pressed against a piece of wreckage, Sara looked back at the UFO. She could hear the fighter jet orbiting distantly around the crash site.
Beyond the white haze of the snowfall and the black smoke of the wreckage, Sara could pick out a strange orange light. She looked closer and saw a crystal floating from the smoke. Sara remembered the crystal and immediately burst into motion. The crystal manifested itself into the same humanoid shape that had knocked her out in Vancouver. Just as Sara dived behind cover, three heavier plasma bolts sang past her. She breathed heavily and checked the ammunition in her pistol, eight shots left... Sara could hear the metallic footsteps of the figure moving over metal wreckage and soft snow. It was drawing closer. She gripped her pistol tight and readied herself to launch from cover. She didn't need to, a loud bang could be heard across the crash sight. A sniper. The humanoid staggered back from the shot to its shoulder. Another shot had the humanoid kneeling down. Sara could see a group of figures in Arctic gear moving closer. They fired in unison at the humanoid and watched as it evaporated. One of the soldiers spoke over his radio, "Outsider down. Crash site secured."
Sara pulled herself from cover and groaned, she started to become very aware of the pain across her body. One of the soldiers looked her way and raised his rifle, a precaution. Another waved the trooper off, he lowered his weapon. Sara walked toward them, but didn't make it past four steps as she collapsed in the snow. __________ One day later...
Sara sat on a bench in an enclosed space. She felt like a lab rat being studied by scientists. "Sara Lancaster," a voice said through the room's intercom.
Sara looked out to the room and spotted a man who looked different from the rest of the scientists. He smiled assuringly at her. "You've been through quite a lot," the man said.
Sara stood from the bench and approached the glass. "Who are you guys?"
The man looked around, "Well you've had plenty of contact with us now. Shangri La, the fighter that shot down the UFO you were on. The retrieval team. These scientists."
Sara shrugged, "That doesn't answer my question. You can't hold me like this. I have a son!"
The man nodded, "Yes, James Lancaster. Your brother-in-law took him after the incident at the Shangri La. They're both under close surveillance. You're listed as MIA, Sara."
Sara sighed and stepped back from the glass, running her hands through her hair, "What am I doing in this cage?"
"You're under quarantine. You have had prolonged exposure to the aliens. These scientists are trying to discern if its safe for you to come out." the man said.
"And then what? This is clearly some classified shit I've stepped into." Sara said.
The man nodded again, "Indeed. You're standing in XCOM's North American headquarters."
"XCOM?" Sara asked.
"We are an internationally funded extraterrestrial combat unit comprised of the world's best soldiers, engineers, scientists, and pilots. We've been operating in secrecy for decades now. But while you were locked in here, a major attack on a European city center took place. Both XCOM and the alien threat have surfaced from the shadows." He explained.
"And what, while you're off saving the world, I'm trapped in here to be studied like the aliens did to me?" Sara clenched her teeth and eyed the man sternly.
He shook his head, "Actually. I've come here with a proposition. You've fought these aliens and survived to tell the tale. Not even many XCOM operatives can say that. My name is Colonel Lance Grenbridge, I pulled you out of that crash site. After talking with the commander, he agreed to recruiting you into XCOM. Your choice, you can remain in there for study. Or, you can fight these aliens to secure a future for your son."
Sara weighed those options, and in every way, the latter option was far more appealing. Her decision was quickly made the moment her son was mentioned. "Alright... I'll join you." she said.
Grenbridge grinned, "Good choice. You should be out of quarantine in a few days time. Get cozy, you'll have a locker assignment by the time you're out. Welcome to XCOM, squaddie."
Sara nodded to him and sat on her cot. "So what's my first assignment when I finally get out of here?"
Grenbridge glanced back at her before he made his leave, "You're being sent to your home turf. One of our listening posts in northern Canada has been reporting strange activity over the past couple days. Your platoon is running security detail."
Sara Lancaster just after escaping the wreck of the UFO. She is high strung and disoriented.