acts_of_gord: (Default)
1. Gordon had family members before the Black Mesa incident. Plenty of them. His mother, Barbara, was a family court judge in the King County court system. His father, Bill, was an airline pilot and almost never home. His older brother, Jay, narrowly missed the NFL draft thanks to a blown-out knee and was instead a football coach at the University of Washington. The baby picture in Gordon's locker in the first HL game is of his brother's daughter Ellie, who was a few months old at the time of the Black Mesa disaster. Whether any of them survived to the time of HL 2, I don't know.

2. Gordon babbled a little less than other kids when he was a baby, but it didn't bother his parents until they realized he wasn't actually speaking yet. He didn't go verbal until he was nearly eighteen months old. He spent a lot of time being poked by doctors to make sure he wasn't deaf or genetically defective somehow.

3. He's been an atheist for as long as he can remember. Not out of any kind of resentment of religion or because of any kind of bad treatment from ostensible believers, but because he never had any need or use for religion. This is not to say that he didn't investigate the possibilities, but when it came right down to it, he didn't notice any real difference between the outcome of events he prayed about and events where he didn't. He saw no need to introduce a deity into the system to explain anything in particular, and so decided that he simply didn't believe in any. (He was about eight at the time he 'officially' decided this.)

4. MIT wasn't hiring when he got his doctorate- or rather, they were, but they picked somebody else for the position he wanted. He got a job at Boston University instead, and it drove him absolutely crazy. He's really not a good candidate for teaching anybody short of doctorate students, and BU isn't his kind of research school. This is why he leapt at Kleiner's suggestion he apply to Black Mesa: no teaching freshmen, and RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH.

5. He met Isaac Kleiner for the first time when he was in high school, applying to East Coast colleges. He'd read some of Kleiner's papers as far as he was able before filling out the MIT application, and he had some questions for the man. They took to each other on the spot despite the age difference. It went very well. To this day Gordon considers Kleiner more of a father figure than he ever did Bill Freeman, and someone insulting Kleiner in his presence is in for a world of trouble.

6. His brother Jay never really understood just how badly he was irritating young Gordon with his constant insistence on being better than him at sports, wrestling matches, and other physical contests until the day Gordon snapped and attacked him during a game of freeze tag. Both boys wound up requiring stitches, and Barbara Freeman took everybody for counseling. Turned out Gordon had a hell of an anger problem and had for some time, and she'd assumed it was 'boys will be boys' stuff. Gordon learned to keep his mouth shut when he was angry during the counseling sessions, as it bought him time to think. Later he extended that to not talking to people he didn't respsect, and to keeping his mouth shut when he thought he might say something stupid or regrettable in general. (This, among other things, was heavily responsible for a profound lack of dating life in high school. Talking to girls was a fast road to saying something stupid.)

7. He spent some time studying in Austria at the University of Innsbruck and picked up most of his taste in alcohol- and a lot of his taste in food- there. He's not much of a cook, but he's very good at spƤtzle, and ate an inordinate amount of it while he was at Innsbruck.

8. He's a downhill mountain biker; he's always been good with bicycles. When he discovered he could outdo Jay on any bike ever made, he took to them even more strongly. He came very close to winning a Pacific Northwest downhill mountain racing regional tournament, but went over the handlebars at close to forty-five miles an hour on his last qualifying run for the final round. The impact snapped his collarbone, but he got up and finished the run anyway before collapsing. He placed third and got called a lunatic by everyone who ever knew him. He's still proud of that.

9. He has an inordinate fondness for country music. Nobody knows about this. No one. If he listens to a country music radio station he'll change the station to something else before turning the radio off or leaving the room. Not even Barney knew about it, although he suspected something was up when Gord always seemed to know whatever music might be playing when they went out drinking.

10. Gordon found out very early on at MIT that an astounding number of highly educated people were insufferable. A quick mind and a willingness to think were more important than education to having a good conversation. Gordon never was much of a social man, but he wound up becoming good friends with people who nobody else would've thought he'd find interesting. Barney Calhoun was one of them. The races through the Black Mesa ventilation system to get into Kleiner's office helped with that, since Gordon was sort of used to competition by then. Barney's got unofficial brother status in his mind by this point.
acts_of_gord: (ooc)
OOC note, since the question arose in narration in Milliways last night: As far as I'm concerned, the Lambda Complex at Black Mesa was named by a graduate of Case Western Reserve University. There used to be a core curriculum option for CWRU students called the Lambda Core (as opposed to the Case Core or the Western Reserve Core). It was mostly about providing quantitative and mathematical skills to liberal arts students. I'm declaring that whoever named Lambda Complex at Black Mesa did so as something of a joke in honor of their alma mater (although they were probably a Case Core graduate themselves) once they saw that the other areas of the facility were being named after letters of the alphabet.

But there was definitely at least one Case graduate at Black Mesa back in the late 1980s, and that's where the complex name came from- and where all the lambdas after came from, as far as I'm concerned.
acts_of_gord: (Default)
Given that the place where he works is pretty much La Casa De Security Clearance, it's probably safer for Gordon to talk family and school stuff than it is about work. At least until the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day happens.

Read more... )


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Gordon Freeman

December 2012



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