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Diary of the Volunteer (XCOM: Enemy Within)

This diary was found in the Volunteer’s room during the collection of his possessions to send home to his family – those who survived, that is. It includes daily entries from the day the alien attacks began up to the day of the final operation against the alien mothership.

Most of the entries are ommitted; however, those which divulge the important aspects of the Volunteer’s character are replicated here. Perhaps this will provide some insight into the mind of the man who sacrificed himself for humanity. – Central

March 16, 2015:
It’s about time! Shit, and I thought SpecOps training was hard. This XCOM program is seriously legit. The best training, equipment, and personnel on the planet.


Obvious that I would be a part of it. When they approached me with the offer, they barely finished yapping before I had my John Hancock on the form.

April 29, 2015:
Well, that was some seriously fucked-up shit. It’s actually been weeks since I was first deployed, and this time I had forgotten the actual horror of what these goddamn xrays will do to us if we let our guard down.

I’m not saying I blame the commander; hell, it was our first time fighting these things. Looked like something straight outta Starship Troopers, too.

xcom enemy within chryssalid

Killed like ’em, too. Spooked my buddy real bad, too. Probably woulda put a bullet in me if I hadn’t helped him keep it together. Got ’em back though; think we’ll call him “Twitch” from now on. Jumpy lil’ bastard.

May 17, 2015:
The commander asked me if I wanted to volunteer for genetic modification! Said I would be the first to get it done, if I was okay with it.

Long story short: this gunslinger doesn’t miss twice. “Nuke” is back, baby! Groovy.

June 1, 2015:
Things are starting to get even worse, and I didn’t think that was possible. The attacks on cities was bad enough, but now they got these mind powers? Fuck that.

Little bastard in their underground base took control of my squadmate. I figured we’d see the end of this thing together, but the commander had to make the hard choice that day. Annette put a slug of hot plasma right between Twitch’s eyes, so at least it was quick.

xcom annette sniper

We can’t let that happen again. Commander says this won’t be the last time we encounter the little shits but next time we’ll be ready. I dunno what they’ve got planned down there on the new third level, but they’re building something weird.

It ain’t gonna bring Twitch back, but at least I can let him rest easy by wiping these little shits off the face of the planet.

June 20, 2015:
Well, this is my last entry for a good long time. I’ll be absent for 10 days, stuck inside a metal capsule because they think I might have psionic aptitude.

Commander called me, Zhang, and Deadeye down to the labs. Said he had “news” for us, the highest-ranked members of X-COM’s active forces. The construction of the “Psi Labs” was complete, he said, and Dr. Vahlen had reported that the most experienced soldiers with a “high mental fortitude” would have the greatest chance of being found to have the “gift.”

He asked us like we had a choice, but we all knew what our answer was the minute he told us why we were here. We had all been on the field, watching our comrades get shot to hell. We were tired of everyone coming back wounded. We were ready to fight back.

I’ll be going under soon. Doc says it’ll take 10 days before we’ll know the result, so I’ll sign off here.

xcom enemy within psi labs

June 30, 2015:
Mind. Body. Soul. Life. Death. Power. Energy. Them. I feel all these things and I know I will never be the same. I am terrified yet exultant at my newfound powers, and I hunger to be tested.

Dr. Vahlen says the gift will develop with use, but I don’t really care. All I know is the temptation to reach out into the minds of my squadmates is terrible. They are my family, and yet…

I hope the Commander has an operation for us soon. I don’t think the training sims are gonna cut it much longer. Annette and Zhang are probably feeling something similar. Think I’ll go and hang with them for a bit.

July 5, 2015:
The feeling of taking a life – of literally snuffing out the force of being within another sentient creature – while directly connected to their mind is worse than the most addicting narcotic. And I don’t think I can ever quit.

As I reached into an xray’s mind, I heard myself laughing. Laughing. And I meant it. I loved it. I loved that I could finally do to them what they do to us. I loved inflicting the fear and pain upon them that have been our nightmares for the past few months.

I can’t wait for the next operation… yet at the same time I sometimes wish the xrays would just pack up and go home. Maybe then this feeling would go with ’em.

xcom psionic ability

August 13, 2015:
No one really talks to me anymore. Even Zhang and Annette, my fellows in the gift, can’t really look me in the eye anymore.

I can’t even blame them. Where their powers developed as defensive abilities to strengthen our brothers and sisters-in-arms, mine became… twisted. I can make an xray, a Muton, this terrifying mass of armor, muscle, and plasma be crushed by pants-shitting fear. I can actually reach into the minds of their “ethereals” or whatever the hell Doc calls them and dance them around like a puppet on strings.

I wonder if I’ll ever stop laughing.

August 30, 2015:
Well, they finally finished researching that purple orb-thing we found last week. Even built a special containment chamber for it. Doc says we need one of us to… interface with it. It’s obviously psionic in nature, but someone will have to put on that crappy armor Engineering built and check it out.

I’ve made up my mind. Probably always knew what I would do. Doc says it should be the key to taking down that mothership that appeared, so this might be it for a couple days.

Hang in there, Twitch. We’ll finish this soon.

xcom enemy within temple ship

September 2, 2015:
Hey, Greg. You really earned your nickname “Nuke,” didn’t you? Hell, I don’t doubt you’re watching me right now with your fucking creepy purply eyes. Like we think you’re actually dead.

Bastard. There really wasn’t any other way? You couldn’t have just… I dunno, lifted the ship from the Skyranger? Or maybe just the orb? Fuckin’ moron. Just stay up there in space, then.

And thanks. Because of you, we can retire. Shit, the council was so goddamn happy they gave every single member of the project enough dough to live however we want for the rest of our lives. But we all know who we owe it to. Not to say the Commander wasn’t a badass name-taker. For a pencil-pusher… eh. Not bad.

So thanks. Thanks, and goodbye.

– Annette Durand

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