Introducing campaign tracking

Intern Agent Skaak crouched glumly on the floor of the shuttle. Things were quiet. The full GD agents had already defeated all the local xenos and advanced further across the Moon; possibly they had even made it to the alien home world already.

Which wasn't a problem, per se, except that the only things they left behind to eat were astronaut "spaghetti" and freeze-dried astronaut pistachio-flavored "ice cream." And after a solid week huddling in the shuttle, Skaak was well and truly sick of both.

Suddenly, a voice interrupted his grumpy reverie. "Human look! Xeno-Beta find toy!"

Skaak glanced over to find the Xeno-Beta lugging what looked like a huge metal coffin embossed with the glowing V-like symbol of the alien army. "What on earth is that?!"

"Xeno-Beta find! Human try on! Much good fun!" The Xeno-Beta dumped the thing at Skaak's feet with a clang and began busying itself with what appeared to be latches.

Skaak noticed what looked like a block of text in the alien language. "What does this say?"

The Xeno-Beta paused to look at the text. "Xeno-Beta read...'enemy bio-armor. Under no condition release. Lots dangerous.'" The Xeno-Beta paused thoughtfully, then grinned. "Good fun! Use for find good food, maybe moon-babe!" It flicked open the last latch and with a pneumatic hiss the coffin began to open.

Skaak scrambled backward desperately as a dark, brooding piece of what looked like living armor rose out from the fog and turned glowing eyes on him.

The Xeno-Beta didn't appear to notice the thing's ominous behavior. "Xeno-Beta not just find fun box! Also make good tool for adventure!"

From the darkened corner where the bio-armor had driven Intern Agent Skaak came metallic clangs and high-pitched shrieks of discomfort, but the Xeno-Beta was busily scrounging through the far side of the hold for a piece of scrap metal.

"Look look, human like! Helpful tool for record adventures!" The Xeno-Beta busily began scratching away at its piece of scrap metal.

The bio-armor came striding back across the hold, Skaak nowhere in sight, until it opened its mouth and said in a rasping version of Skaak's voice, "What the hell, man?!"

The Xeno-Beta didn't appear to care, but just shoved the scrap metal into the bio-armor's hands. "We go fight diggers now! Find tasty food, keep track with tool!"

The bio-armor lifted the scrap metal to its glowing eyes, Skaak already knowing what he was going to see. Scratched across its length was XENOBETA.COM/APP.

posted September 11, 2015

Commencing Operation Strikeback

"Polish the shuttle," Intern Agent Skaak grumbled under his breath. "It's just going to get dinged up leaving the atmosphere anyway, so why do I have to polish the dang thing? Plus aren't they supposed to be launching soon?"

As Skaak lugged his ladder back past the aft storage bay, a blue-gauntleted hand reached out and whisked him inside.

"Ack!" yelled Skaak, bravely thrusting his mop in front of him before he realized that rather than facing yet another hazing from Agent Titanium he had actually been assaulted by his old friend/arch-enemy, the Xeno-Beta.

"What are you doing here?!" exclaimed Skaak. "How did you get into the base?"

"Xeno-Beta want go moon," said the Xeno-Beta, with his typical non-answer approach to conversing. "Find moon-babes maybe?"

"You can't go to the moon!" growled Skaak. "This is a top-secret operation to push your dang invading army out of our solar system! I'm not even allowed along!"

"We no go?" said the Xeno-Beta. "Want go. Find human moon-babe, too."

"Absolutely not! Now, if you're not going to leave the base, then I'm going to have to turn you into my commander!"

"No no! Xeno-Beta help human on moon. Look, look, you like!"

The Xeno-Beta grabbed a spare Exacto rifle off a nearby weapon stand and eagerly started scratching away at its barrel.

"Stop that!" exclaimed Skaak, but as he rushed toward the Xeno-Beta to try and stop him from needlessly vandalizing his team-mates' armaments the storage bay door behind him sealed itself shut with a pneumatic hiss, and after a second of darkness the entire bay was slightly illuminated by red emergency lights.

"All agents strap in for launch," said a voice over the loudspeaker. "Operation Strikeback is commencing in 10."

"Well crap," said Skaak.

"Go moon!" said the Xeno-Beta happily, and thrust the Exacto into Skaak's unresisting arms.

In the dim red glow, Skaak could barely make out letters spelling out XENOBETA.COM/APP.

posted July 14, 2015

Site is live!

Intern Agent Skaak here! All attempts by senior agents to capture the rogue Xeno-Beta have been unsuccessful, so GD HQ has appointed me Official Xeno-Beta Liaison. As such, I will be helping Xeno-Beta with the day-to-day aspects of running a website so that he (she? It? I'm still not entirely clear on that point) will be free to develop more useful tools for my fellow agents.

Today, I'm happy to report the basic site is live! Check out Xeno-Beta's GD companion app for event deck and close encounter tracking, and find useful links on the resources page.

Xeno-Beta has some fun ideas for improvements, and will be updating the testbed once they are implemented. Let me know if you run into any problems around the site or have any suggestions to make it better!

posted June 10, 2014

Introducing Close Encounter tracking

Intern Agent Skaak peeked carefully around a dune in the desert surrounding the GD headquarters, specialized stun gun at the ready (modified by the egg-heads using some of the secrets they managed to discover while studying the alien weapons). GD HQ had not been happy to discover that a renegade Xeno-Beta was skulking around their base, but despite sending numerous more qualified agents out to catch the creature there had been no sightings since.

Certain that the thing still lurked about, they finally decided to send Skaak again, reasoning that if the Beta had approached him once, it might do so again. But this time, instead of returning with a bit of burnt-up claw, Skaak was determined to bring back the Beta himself. Alive, and ready for questioning.

Seeing nothing past the dune, Skaak swiftly rolled forward, sending up a puff of dust and settling behind a withered cactus. He scanned the area ahead, hardly daring to breathe. Still nothing.

Oddly, however, the desert appeared to be glowing slightly blue. Skaak's grip tightened on his stun gun. What sort of alien devilry was this?

"What we hunt?" rasped a voice right by his ear, as an alien blaster (the source of the blue glow) edged into his peripheral vision.

With a squeal like a high school cheerleader who has just learned her best friend was asked out by football star Hunky McHunkerton, Skaak levitated upwards, spinning about in mid-air. Somewhere near the apex of his flight the stun-gun slipped from his grasp and was catapulted out into the desert.

Crouched behind Skaak and somehow managing to look quizzical, was the rogue Xeno-Beta.

"No more hunt?" asked the Beta and, shrugging, stood up and slung its blaster along its leg. "Try no shriek next time."

"I, uh, well...good idea," managed Skaak lamely. Given his current unarmed state, he didn't think it a good idea to tell the Xeno-Beta it was his target.

"Know what human need!" exclaimed the Beta excitedly. "Xeno-Beta just finish, much good luck. When hunt, human need know what encountering." Before Skaak could so much as flinch, the Beta reached past him, tore a limb off the nearby cactus, scratched out a word, and thrust it at Skaak.

"Try again, you like!" insisted the Beta, before teleporting away in a flurry of dust.

As the dust cleared, Skaak stared down at the withered piece of cactus, already knowing what he would see.

Sure enough, it read XENOBETA.COM/APP.

posted May 29, 2014


"Why do I always get the boring, dirty jobs?" grumbled Intern Agent Skaak to himself as he trudged across the desert outside GD headquarters in a routine sweep for debris after the full agents engaged in a recent fracas with the invading alien force.

As he slogged his way past a dune, a nearby oversized tumbleweed trembled and said, "Hissst!"

With a start, Skaak fumbled for his P-66 and managed to drop it inelegantly in the dust. As he scrambled to retrieve his weapon, a Xeno-Beta's head emerged from the depths of the tumbleweed!

With a shout of triumph, Skaak managed to grab his gun, whip it towards the alien, and pull the trigger. Unfortunately, sand had apparently gummed up the inner workings, and as he futilely mashed at the trigger the Xeno-Beta fully emerged from hiding.

"Nice human no kill xeno-beta?" rasped the alien.

Skaak stared in shock. He hadn't been aware any of the lower ranking aliens spoke English.

Apparently taking Skaak's brief cessation of trigger pulling as an affirmative, the alien shuffled closer. "Nice human," it repeated. "Xeno-beta no like kill human. Other xeno-beta say bad beta. So xeno-beta leave, decide help human."

"Buh?" managed Skaak.

Now within arm's reach, the Xeno-Beta handed Skaak what appeared to be a fragment of aracnos claw with rough text burned across its length and in a flash teleported several meters away. "Human try!" shouted the alien. "See xeno-beta help. Come back later for have more help." And with a sudden flurry of sand, the Xeno-Beta fled beyond the dune and out of sight.

Skaak stared in perplexity at the claw in his hand and wondered how on earth he was ever going to explain what had just happened to his superiors at GD HQ without sounding like a complete incompetent. Maybe, just maybe, they would be interested enough in the claw that they wouldn't enquire too closely where it came from. Maybe.

The claw read: XENOBETA.COM/APP

posted April 9, 2014