XComEW Mission - Portent.png

Portent is a unique Council Mission introduced in XCOM: Enemy Within. This mission carries a randomized Operation designation and takes place in a random French city.


This mission is offered during the second month if Operation Progeny is enabled via the Advanced Options when beginning a new game. It is initiated by a Council transmission received at the Situation Room:

The Council has been monitoring unusual reports about a hijack attempt on an unauthorized French military convoy. Although the alleged perpetrators were human, our intel indicates the aliens may have also been in the area. If true, this raises a number of questions about the "cargo" being moved. We'll need a squad to investigate; Central should have our complete report momentarily.

– Council Transmission, XCOM: Enemy Within

Mission Brief[]

A French military convoy was caught in an ambush. The convoy's current status is unknown. Be prepared for anything.

– Mission Brief, XCOM: Enemy Within

Mission Objectives[]

▪  Investigate the area of operations
▪  Locate and secure any survivors as well as the convoy's cargo
▪  Eliminate any remaining opposition
– Mission Objectives, XCOM: Enemy Within

Like other Target Extraction missions, the squad must first locate a VIP and then safely escort him back to the Skyranger. Should the target be killed the mission objective defaults to "All soldiers report to the EVAC zone", but counts the same as aborting the mission.

Mission Site[]

Portent mission site

This mission takes place along two city blocks that were heavily damaged during the aforementioned ambush. The map contains two buildings and streets littered with overturned and destroyed vehicles, including cars, military trucks, and armored personnel carriers. The squad is deployed at one end of the map near a warehouse with large sections of its walls destroyed. The sole survivor is located at the opposite end of the map, past a damaged coffee shop, in the corner of two cars that form a 'T' shape.

Enemy Types[]

The alien forces encountered during this mission consist primarily of Sectoids and Thin Men.

On Impossible difficulty, there are 8 Thin Men on the way in (in pairs), and on the way out, the following aliens drop in as the VIP advances towards the Skyranger:

  • 2 Thin Men
  • 1 Thin Man
  • 1 Thin Man
  • 1 Thin Men & 1 Sectoid
  • 3 Thin Men (possibly not all at once, depending on how you advance)


Once the survivor is under the player's control, as he progresses towards the evacuation zone Thin Men will drop into the map and go into Overwatch mode. As the enemy drop-ins are triggered by the survivor reaching certain distances from the EVAC zone, it is encouraged to advance him slowly to reduce the number of enemies that arrive in a single turn.  At some points it seems like a difference of one versus two squares "forward" can make a difference to the number of Thin Man drops.

Aliens will often drop onto the rooftops; consider positioning troops up there, along the edges, before advancing the survivor, ensuring that the enemy cannot gain a height advantage, and that XCOM soldiers will have an elevation bonus when aliens spawn at street-level.  There are no street-level drops on the "right hand side" of the map, as you're returning to the EVAC zone.

Note that the fourth Thin Man will drop onto the roof of the large truck's cab near where the survivor is initially found. The survivor will have moved some way towards the EVAC zone by this point, so the Thin Man will be "behind" him.  Positioning sufficient soldiers to get two shots, on top of the truck's trailer should ensure that this Thin Man can't take a shot.

Assaults with Lightning Reflexes may be useful to scout the survivor's path and draw reaction fire, while a well-positioned Squadsight Sniper can take out distant enemies without triggering their reaction fire.


Status Updates[]

The following status updates are received from Central Officer Bradford during the mission:

  Event or Condition   Update
  Mission begins "There's been widespread speculation about this ambush on a French military convoy, but we don't have much to go on. Our primary concern is the Council intel report indicating alien activity in the area. We need to secure the site and look for some clue as to what happened here."
  Discover a victim "Those bodies don't look like they've been hit by alien weapons fire - these men were killed by conventional bullets..."
  Find the survivor "Sensors still indicate life signs in the area, Commander."
  Approach the survivor   "Commander - it looks like there's still someone alive over there - if we can bring them in for questioning, maybe we can figure out what happened here."
  Approach the survivor "We should try to reach that survivor if we're going to get to the bottom of this."
  Reach the survivor "It looks like he's the only witness to survive this fight, and for all we know he was one of the aggressors. We need to bring him in - whether he likes it or not."
  Mission complete "Excellent work, Commander. Our friend here might be uncooperative at the moment, but I have a feeling a talk with Dr. Vahlen will change his tune."
VIP Killed

"Dammit! We've lost the VIP, Commander! This guy was our only lead into what happened here. We're not getting any intel out of him now."

Source: In-game dialogue, XCOM: Enemy Within


The survivor taunts XCOM along the way to the EVAC zone:

  "You might as well leave me here...:cough: I have nothing to say to you people."
  "This is only the beginning...it's only a matter of :cough: :cough:"
  "You're nothing but :cough: a bunch of puppets..."
  ":cough: what are you trying to prove?!"
  "Hah...:cough: you're still not getting anything from me..."
Source: In-game dialogue, XCOM: Enemy Within

Mission Debriefing[]

Your squad's arrival was perfectly timed. The survivor should be able to aid us in identifying the missing truck and help us locate it for a follow-up operation.

– Council Transmission, XCOM: Enemy Within


The Council rewards XCOM with:

Next Mission[]

If Operation Slingshot is enabled, Friends In Low Places will be offered by the Council later this month.

Deluge is the next Operation Progeny mission. It takes place after XCOM assaults the Alien Base and the aliens retaliate by assaulting XCOM headquarters.


  • It is implied that the survivor is actually an EXALT agent based on his choice of clothing and uncooperative attitude towards the XCOM personnel sent to extract him. This is confirmed in the Council transmission given at the beginning of Operation Deluge, the Council spokesman directly refers to the captured survivor as an "EXALT operative".
    • As EXALT field agents encountered later on will always commit suicide to avoid live capture, the agent either was not given the suicide directive (making his capture the likely reason for the directive) or possibly lost the toxin syringe issued to him.