Originally written by Jaycie Ewald for Boreal Alyph
Creative Writing

Gordon carefully made his way up the snowy embankment, wary of any Combine stragglers that could be making their way to his position. Looking back at the smoking ruins of the Combine Listening Station in the valley behind him, Gordon pondered the directions Alyx had given him. They had been vague at best, and downright unhelpful at worst. After taking out the Station, he was supposed to scale the west side of the valley and reach a cadre of Resistance fighters on the other side. He might have called back to the main camp and asked for some more explicit guidance, except for the fact that a storm was picking up and his radio's effectiveness was already practically null. At any rate, he figured that any Resistance fighters eagerly awaiting his arrival would make themselves known.

Cresting the ridge, Gordon scanned the horizon. Stretched out before him was the old coastline. What once was the border between land and sea was now only a small rise separating the rocky beach from a long smooth decline of seabed towards the ice floes. He looked for anything that might indicate recent movement in the area, but saw nothing. The storm was quickly becoming more intense and his search became more frantic. Peering into the gale, he saw a large oblong shape several hundred meters away. Seeing no other shelter available, Gordon pulled up his parka and headed down the hill towards the shape.

He clambered over the edge and onto the seabed. As Gordon moved closer, he could see a large tower jutting out of the top of the mysterious shape. He was relieved to see that it was clearly not Combine in nature, and in fact appeared to be a large beached submarine. He took no time to wonder about why it was here of all places, and closed the distance. Coming up to the side of the sub, Gordon glanced left and right. A short ways to his left was a rope ladder that scaled all the way up the curved side of the hull. Clearly, he was not the first person to recently discover this wreck. Protecting his face from the wind, Gordon climbed up the ladder and made his way to the top. Unsteadily, he made his way across the tilted hulk to an open hatch the was tied into.

He slid down the steel ladder into the nearly pitch darkness of the submarine's interior. Gordon illuminated his flashlight and studied the room around him. Aside from the barely-disturbed layer of dust coating every surface in the room, the interior seemed to be a perfect time capsule of the pre-invasion world. Looking down, he spotted a scattering of footprints entering in and out of a nearby doorway. Gordon went absolutely still and listened intently. Above the roar of the wind outside, he could hear nothing in the way of company sharing the wreck with him. As far as he could discern, he was absolutely alone. He stepped towards the door and slowly pushed it open, pistol and flashlight first. The room he entered appeared to be the submarine's control room, complete with large radar screens and two periscopes. A decayed corpse, almost a skeleton, sat in situ at a control station, rusty pistol in hand. Other than the sound of screaming wind outside, the interior was dead silent.

Shining his flashlight around the control room, Gordon spotted a spray painted Lambda next to a door at the far end of the room. The footprints in the dust led right to it. He figured that if he was going to find his rebels, they'd be there. He crept past the corpse and the old control panels, careful not to disturb anything he passed. Gordon pushed through the door silently. The space beyond was small, barely two square meters. In the middle was a ladder going straight down. At the bottom of the shaft was the faint indication of an orange light. He braced himself against the ladder, using one hand to hold the rungs and the other to hold his pistol. He wondered if he was really making a smart decision. What if it was just scavengers? Would they shoot him on sight? Think he was a special Combine unit? His bright orange suit wasn't exactly the universal symbol that many people in the Resistance believed it was. He pondered this as he descended the ladder as quickly and quietly as he could.

Website created by Jaycie Ewald with help from Alpyne, Jon Uleis, Jakob, sarah taube and Jacob Salas. Image galleries by slick. Some icons from Silk Icons. Profile picture by @gentledownpour. © 2021