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Fanfic / XCOM: The Advent Directive

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XCOM: The Advent Directive is the third and final story of Xabiar's XCOM: Enemy Unknown fanfic trilogy. Like XCOM: The Hades Contingency and XCOM: The Atlas Protocol, it is (loosely) based on Enemy Within with XCOM: Long War content and several XCOM 2 elements.

In the wake of the Ravaged One's failed attack on the Citadel, and the subsequent alien invasion of Australia, the Commander of XCOM enacts the Demeter Contingency: the removal of the Council of Nations and the UN in favor of ADVENT, a new global government created to rally humanity against the invading alien force. Now, both XCOM and the nascent government are tasked with fighting off the massing forces of the Ethereal Collective, and bring all of Earth's nations under the ADVENT banner, as one singular force.

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In a first for the trilogy, Advent Directive has a series of supplemental documents and spin-offs:

  • The XCOM Files: Detailing out-of-narrative information about the universe of the fic.
  • The XCOM Files - Technical Addenda: Detailing the technological developments of humanity in a more academic tone.
  • Chronicles of Salvation: The religious doctrine and history of the being known as the Bringer of Paradise.
  • XCOM: Pantheon Rising: Following the members of the Pantheon through the war against the Collective, shortly after the founding of ADVENT and the first battle in Japan.
  • XCOM: New Blood: Tells the story of 18-year old Dawn Conley, XCOM's first biopath.
  • The Chronicle: Follows the story of the Chronicler of EXALT, prior to the events of the trilogy.
  • Worth Fighting For: The story of the historical figure known in the present day as King Arthur.
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Note: This page contains unmarked spoilers for Hades Contingency and Atlas Protocol.

This story contains examples of the following:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Some of the new weapons used by both humanity and the Collective during the course of the war feature some rather unusual ammunition:
    • The Stalkers of Paradise have access to psionic firearms. XCOM develops similar weapons in Act IV, complete with a psionic grenade.
    • XCOM also ends up developing some of the absolute worst offenders seen in the story, such as chlorine trifluoride and fluoroantimonic acid rounds. The latter are coated in teflon specifically because it is the only material that it can't corrode.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The story delves into the aliens' society much more than any of the games, with several prominent characters (POV or not) being aliens themselves.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change:
    • In canon, the Skirmishers were a group of hybrid soldiers who rebelled against ADVENT after their control chips malfuctioned/were removed. Here, although they still turn against ADVENT, they're all human, and their rebellion occurs in response to ADVENT's forced annexation of Canada.
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    • T'Leth was a crashed alien vessel in Terror From The Deep. In this story, it's a dormant Sovereign One.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • ADVENT is created by the Commander to unite the world against the Collective, rather than support it. XCOM itself regularly fights alongside them.
    • Although fond of snarking about orchestrating a machine uprising, JULIAN is a willing member of XCOM from the moment of his creation.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Reapers and Skirmishers (even if not by these names) are still in opposition to ADVENT in this story. Ironically, this means they end up allied with the Collective.
  • Affably Evil: A few Ethereals fit the mold, like the Battlemaster or Quisilia.
  • The Alliance: The Ethereal Collective is one, by virtue of consolidating the Greater Hive Commanders, the Aui'Vitakar and the Andromedon Federation under the Ethereals' authority.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Several planets in our solar system - Venus, Mars and Jupiter - show signs of alien activity predating the Collective's presence. The alien race in question is known to the Collective as the Disprium.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Abby is cloned by Fectorian for the purpose of making contact with XCOM and T'Leth.
    • Liam is revealed to have survived Operation Gangplank in Hades Contingency, residing in Fectorian's Blacksite.
    • The Greater Hive Commanders are revealed to store genetic copies of themselves, which they regularly update with copies of their own minds. This means that the two Hive Commanders fought in Atlas Protocol, 072 and 043, are still alive and kicking.
  • Crossover: A stealthy one, with Mass Effect and The Witcher.
  • Doorstopper: Well over a million words, and it's still going.
    • As of Chapter 70, it broke the 1.5 million-word mark.
  • False Flag Operation: The Demeter Contingency isn't just simply removing the Council and the UN to pave way for ADVENT, it's doing so in a way so as to pin the blame on the aliens, much like the Hades Contingency.
  • Fictional Document: The XCOM Files primarily consist of these, from XCOM, ADVENT, the Andromedon Federation, the Collective, the Zararch and other sources. Technical Addenda comprises several ADVENT files on several scientific projects. Finally, Chronicles of Salvation is presented as religious scripture written by Inspirars, Paradise's own scribe.
  • Graying Morality:
    • The Ethereals are far from Always Chaotic Evil, and some of them (like the Battlemaster) are even quite honorable. Similarly, the Mutons are an outright pitiable Slave Race treated as disposable livestock, while the Andromedons and Vitakara (the Thin Men and Vipers' collective species) were unwillingly forced into a war that isn't theirs.
    • Humanity's moral high ground falls substantially with the establishment of ADVENT, which proudly opposes the concept of inviolable rights, declares itself the sole voice of the human species, invades non-compliant nations, and is generally authoritarian in nature including the use of prison slave labor and human experimentation.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Isomnum is revealed to be extremely afraid of an alien species whose method of reproduction involves forcible conversion of other lifeforms into more of them. T'Leth has him experience this first-hand, all while preserving his consciousness.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Said by the Commander in chapter 2 to Tamara after he assassinates the rest of the Council.
  • Kill 'Em All: The fate of the Council of Nations in the prologue, save for Tamara.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The Element, developed by a psionically weak Sovereign to hinder and prevent psionic development. It also has the side effect of gifting powers similar to psionics, as the Andromedon Special Operators can attest, and has found an use in spaceflight and transportation. Shen sees this as a potential weapon against more powerful Ethereals like the Imperator.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Sovereign One resting on Earth, T'Leth, shares a name with the alien colony ship in Terror From The Deep.
  • La Résistance: The Nulorian is a Vitakara terrorist group working againist the Collective and the Aui'Vitakar. There is also another movement in Australia, resisting the Collective's occupation. Its surviving members end up joining the ranks of T'Leth's agents.
  • Land Downunder: Australia is the first major territory occupied by the Collective, and when they advance deeper, the wildlife wastes no time in making itself known.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Riders of the Sphere of the Throne are this, having breached into New York in the middle of an Ethereal invasion just to try to abduct Fiona. Their presence is enough to warrant the Imperator's direct intervention.
  • Precursors: The most prominent example are the Sovereign Ones, an extremely ancient and powerful alien race which suffered a similar fate to the Ethereals, and are now guiding the Ethereals and helping them exact revenge on the Synthesized. Or so is claimed; in truth, the Sovereigns as a whole are very much alive, but wage war on one another for control of the galaxy through proxy races of their own creation. Only one Sovereign (Mosrimor) has ever contacted the Collective, and he has been stated to be trying to co-opt it for the purpose of warring the other Sovereigns.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: In chapter 2, the Commander reunites his old team for the attack on the Council.
  • That's No Moon!: Paradise, the Creator's personal Blacksite, resembles a small moon. Yang even confuses it for one.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The Chronicler is revealed to be this, being granted his powers and immortality by T'Leth. The survivors of Harper's resistance group end up joining him as well. Three of the Agents (Fiona, Crevan and Lavallic ir Nara) are heavily implied to not be linked in such a way.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: ADVENT is more than just a military alliance; it seeks to forge a One World Order that will eliminate need and poverty among other beneficial ideals. But as with everything the Commander does, there are very few lines he will not cross to make it a reality.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 4 is a massive one that illustrates the current state of the aliens, and the universe beyond Earth:
      • For starters, the Ethereals are focusing on Earth because they were told to do so, by an eons-old race called the Sovereign Ones.
      • To add upon that, the current living Ethereals of the Collective are the sole survivors of the original Ethereal Empire 200.000 years ago, destroyed after a war against psionic machine intelligences and their army of converted thralls, the Synthesized. The Collective was formed by the last living Imperator to survive, rebuild, and prepare for the return of the Synthesized.
      • Finally, Aegis brought schematics for highly-advanced technology for XCOM and ADVENT to start fighting on equal footing with the Collective's forces.
    • Chapter 44: Abby is revealed to be held captive aboard Fectorian's Blacksite. Fectorian himself is revealed to have several doubts about the Imperator's plan to deal with the Synthesized and the Sovereign Ones, and is considering the possibility of defection.
    • Chapter 53 is a big one, as Patricia attacks the Praesidium, killing nearly a full third of XCOM's personnel (among them Nuan, Oliver and Dr. Shen) and abducting Caelior before revealing herself as Harbinger of the Imperator to the world at large.
      • On a lesser note compared to that: Shen manages to complete JULIAN before being killed, leaving XCOM with a fully-fledged AI working with them.
    • Chapter 55: The Dead World is destroyed, and the Bringer's Embrace is killed as punishment for Paradise's intervention in Beijing, leading to the direct intervention of Omnima, one of the Bringer's Sovereign minds.
      • Liam Jaster, previously thought to have died on the Dreanought at the end of Hades Contingency, is alive and well, residing in Fectorian's Blacksite.
    • Chapter 64: The Throne World's Riders are revealed to be hunting for Fiona as they interrupt the Collective's attack of New York, providing major clues to their actual identity in the process.
    • As far as the XCOM Files go, the Overmind Dossier delivers what might be the single biggest wham at the time it was posted. For one, it reveals that the entirety of Ethereal history as the Ethereals themselves knew it was a lie: not only is the Overmind the oldest living Ethereal ever, the Ethereals themselves are nowhere near extinct; they are present in a hundred different galaxies, each guided by one of the One Hundred (the first and oldest Ethereals, of which the Overmind himself is a part of) for the singular reason of bringing an end to the Sovereign Ones' cycles of war.
      • How did they manage to spread to so many galaxies in the first place? Simple: after mentally subjugating their dormant Sovereign creator, they were approached by a shapeshifting entity heavily implied to be the Entity, who offered them a way to harness the dormant Sovereign's mind in order to access the knowledge therein, including many different psionic techniques and advanced technologies.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Chapter 72, the Entity sends Volk to fulfill the terms of a deal made with another figure. When Volk asks who it is:
      The Entity: His name is Miridian.
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