acts_of_gord: (right man wrong place)
[personal profile] acts_of_gord
Ten.

It all hits at once: the light, the heat, the pressure, the sense of every kind of impending doom there is. It's blinding, the way a sledgehammer to the skull is blinding: when every receptor lights up at once, when every nerve simultaneously screams, there is no way to see. It hits without warning and when his vision clears- as far as it can be said to clear- he has both hands and one knee on the ground and he's gasping like a freshly landed fish.

Nine.

He pushes himself to his feet. The relentless surging thunder of the Overmind is still there, pounding away at his brainstem with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. He still has a little strength from Alyx left to hold him up against it, but it won't last long, and he has Work to do. So he steps forward.

Eight.

It's every bit the nightmare of metal and flesh and who knows what else the thing in the suit showed him. If David Cronenberg could see it, he'd never lack for material again. Every atrocity the Combine have ever perpetrated against the people of Earth under their rule is writ both large and small here, in the bodies and brains of every species they've ever conquered. Every kind of crude, bestial jury-rigging, every kind of finely tuned, microscopically adjusted unification, is part of this thing and laid out to see for any who somehow make it this far alive. Gordon vaguely recalls that in medieval times it wasn't uncommon for someone about to be tortured to be shown the implements that were going to be used on him, that this was part of their sentence. He can't help but wonder what the entities that were integrated into this place saw, before- this.

Seven.

Probably doesn't matter. The Combine aren't torturers. That'd require them to care. They did this because it was workable, because it was efficient- because it makes it possible for them to calculate, down to the last quantum vibration, every datum necessary for their other creations to force open portals that go exactly where they want to go. This holds the Combine Empire together and tears everything in its path apart.

Six.

It's going to have to go.

Five.

If this place has a center he doubts he'll get to reach it before his body gives out. It doesn't matter, though. Not here. Not with what this monstrosity does. The thing in the grey suit pointed it out to him: the Overmind exerts an indescribable amount of pressure on reality here. Very, very precisely calculated and controlled pressure, balanced and counterbalanced in every possible direction, so that absolutely nothing has the chance to escape its control. So that there's no possibility of event momentum becoming self-propagating.

Four.

Gordon's carrying a gun that punches uncontrolled holes in local spacetime, another that's been supercharged with Combine energies to the point of constituting a counter-resonant singularity waiting to discharge, and a personal teleporter of a kind the powers that built this monstrosity have never been able to bend to their own wills.

Three.

This is gonna hurt. There's a very real possibility that it's gonna take him down with it, considering what he's about to do with an already freakishly reworked teleporter. But he's seen the math. He's seen its application in reality. The resonance cascade and the portal storms that followed it very nearly destroyed human civilization, in a reality with solid, established physical laws. Here, where everything is wrong and space is not so much a continuum as an oh-so-carefully maintained series of noncontiguous junctures? There won't be anything capable of stopping it until it's entirely too late. To break the Universal Union forever? That's an acceptable price to pay.

Two.

He's got the displacer cannon already; he's pulling the trigger, again and again and again, and the portals it's making are migrating towards the nearest available concentrations of mass. The air's ionizing around them. He can hear space shrieking- or maybe that's the Overmind. Doesn't matter. It's working-

One.

The cannon doesn't fire any more. It's dropped, it's forgotten, it doesn't exist. But the zero point energy field manipulator, the Gravity Gun, the Force lightning in a can- that does.

The first energy bolt from the Gun intersects with one of the portals.

Ignition. Resonance cascade initiated.

And then the explosion, blue-white and green nightmare energies slicing together through everything, forever-
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Gordon Freeman

December 2012

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