acts_of_gord: (interesting eye wear)
"Having a pleasant evening, Dr. Freeman?"

It was too dark to see the speaker. It didn't matter. There was only one voice like that, anywhere, ever.

A flicker of green briefly lit up a lipless, mirthless smile. "And here you'd been under the- impression- that you were all out of such things. That you would never have a quiet evening to yourself again. Or don't you remember?"

The Emperor's gone. The fleet remains. They have no commander to keep them in line now. They have no reason to negotiate with the Rebels. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by continuing the fight.

"Ah, well. I see I've c-c-come at a bad time... perhaps we'll talk again soon, mm? It's been far too long since our last chat."

There are footfalls dropping away into silence. The darkness remains. It takes him a moment to realize he's opened his eyes, that he's staring at the ceiling, that-

he's not here. he's not here. I'm awake he's not here it was just a dream Alyx is sleeping it's all right it's all right it's not all right he was right

Gordon drags both his hands over his face, swings his legs over the side of the bed.

The cold water helps, a little, but the thought is still there: the Emperor is gone, the fleet remains. That was... God, was that a year ago? Something like that? That long ago, that he and Alyx watched the Star Wars movies, and he realized that the Rebels were playing themselves for fools. And that he didn't mean the ones on the DVDs.

Whatever the Combine are doing with the trains full of people is only the first move in a vast retaliatory gambit. He's sure of it. They're going to strike at the Resistance hard enough to buy themselves time to punch the superportal open again and bring in the rest of the Combine Empire, the Union of Universes. They'll come. It'll be the end. Unless they're stopped.

And it won't be on Earth, that stopping. if it happens at all...

If it happens at all it's going to have to be on their end, on every single one of their ends. Earth can put up all the defenses it wants but it's still a planet under siege and- he's got to sit down for this, there's a desk and some paper and a pencil to write this down with- you don't win wars by surviving sieges. Not without the kind of outside intervention that he knows will never come. You win wars by taking the fight to the foe. This is going to be a war fought across the heavens of more worlds than he can number, if Earth is going to survive. The only way humanity is going to survive in his universe is if no Combine exist, anywhere, in any universe. Because if they do, they'll find their way back. They'll come and they'll descend on humanity with a rage there are no words for, and...

... he should never have given Alyx those books for Christmas. They're for something that's not going to happen until after the war is over. And staring at the papers in front of him, maybe not seeing them, maybe just staring through them, he's suddenly all too aware that it's just not ever going to be over, not while he lives, and he shouldn't have gotten her hopes up that way.

Damn it.
acts_of_gord: (civvies)
They should start receiving reports from the other Resistance cells soon, from what Alyx's told him. Gordon's taking her word for it. What he knows about the communication protocols and safety measures around here could fill a thimble. Right now he's occupying himself with weapon maintenance. It's necessary, and given how many weapons he's got, it takes up a lot of time that might otherwise be occupied by worrying or speculating. Plus, it keeps him out of the way. When there's a hundred and fifty new people crammed into a space the size of the White Forest buildings, staying out of the way is kind of an important thing.
acts_of_gord: (young)
The briefing's over and done with, and the newcomers from Seattle (Gordon will never think of it as City 08) are settling into their new living quarters. What they're going to do with them over the long term he doesn't know, but the long term's going to depend on their continued survival regardless, so it'll just have to take care of itself.

Right now, he's had time to get back into the swing of things here. Milliways is nice, but it's not important, not the way the world proper is. Useful though the Bar might be, this is where he belongs. And for all the Bar's books and people and other sources of answers, some things are best sought out in the universe from which they originate.

Months ago (or days, depending which side of the door you've been on), the Vortigaunts did something very strange at the bottom of a mineshaft somewhere deep in forest country. Gordon's hoping he can find a Vortigaunt now, and maybe an explanation along with it.

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acts_of_gord: (Default)
Gordon Freeman

December 2012

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