Chapter 1

*disclaimer* Before people go on and complain about this story, I want to say a few things. Yes, I have read the comics on Valve's website and I know about the story of Redmont and Blutarch Mann. Yes, I only have aspects of them in here and not the full story. This is what this is, a different story since I wasn't completely happy with Valve's edition, granted that the story does belong to them. Also, this is based more on what is seen in the "Meet theā€¦" series than the actual game. Thank you and please enjoy.

I never had a choice as to if I wanted to join this group or not. Well, technically speaking I did, but when I saw that letter appear in the mailbox of my dusty, old apartment I was about to be evicted from, I knew I had to take this opportunity or otherwise try my luck on the streets. I graduated from a fine university, though I would never agree to tell as to where that was, and managed to procure a job at a hospital in the town where I grew up. They never did agree with my methods or procedures, and the president was always was looking for an excuse to get me fired. I never expected that she would have gone so far as to have my license revoked. Some people just don't understand how true geniuses operate.

During my last day at that hospital, they kept yelling and yelling and yelling at me, just on and on about how I used to not do such things to people and what could have caused me to do this. They surprisingly didn't phone the police or have them brought into this situation for fear that there would be a lawsuit against the hospital. Instead they ruined my fun by forcing me to put the patient's skeleton back into the skin suit that lay separate. I don't remember exactly what they said or did to get me to reverse my experiment, but all I knew was that I had to or I would face private imprisonment. Now there is one place where I would rot away from my own inability to practice any of my experiments. But anyways, he had died soon after waking up and they had to explain to his family that his illness was worse than they thought and he died in the night. For shame, they would never know of my wonderful scientific breakthrough. At least I'm pretty sure no one has ever been able to extract a full human skeleton without leaving any scarring.

Needless to say, they threw me out of the hospital that day, making sure I took all of my office materials with me. I had only worked there for a little over five years, and now I was out of work and without a lab to occupy my simplest curiosities. The president had taken away all of my credentials with my job, and so now I wouldn't even be able to find new employment in the field of my profession. She had even made sure that no one in the hospital or in the area would see or hear from me again by getting a restraining order because I was "too dangerous". Sheesh, some people are such pansies.

Let's get back to the letter I received. It was a cloudy day in November with a promise of rain to come to the city. I was busy packing my things into those plain, old cardboard boxes one usually uses for such purposes as moving. I was an angry man at the time, muttering under my breath about those damn people that owned the apartment complex in my native language. Since I no longer had an income from any job, I couldn't even pay for this place that was already so dirty. I had been busy at my job, so I never had time to really clean it or take care of it that much. I had bought the damn one-roomed place, with the bugs and dirt and all already there, because it was cheap and I knew I would hardly ever be home. Those stingy dummkopfs downstairs discovered about my situation and took the first chance to bill me for the month and file a notice for eviction against me.

From outside the door, as I placed the last of my medical textbooks into a box by the single window of the single room, I heard heavy footsteps come down the hall and stop by the door. I expected a knock as I rammed another book into the overcrowded container, but instead I heard the small sound of metal clacking on metal and the footsteps going away. Oh great, the mail was here. It was probably a note with more insults from the president or another notice for my on-coming eviction. Grudgingly, I finished what I was doing and went over to pick up the single envelope lying on the grungy carpet beside the door.

Automatically, I noticed there was something off about this clean, white piece of mail. It wasn't dirty, so it wasn't from the apartment owners, and it had no return address, so it wasn't from the hospital either or any normal place really. The only thing that dirtied its surface was a few flower stamps and my apartment's address. Sitting down at my cleared desk, I fished a scalpel from my pocket and ripped the top of the letter open in one, clean motion. It was talents such as these that led me to be able to become a doctor in the first place. Adjusting my glasses, I put away the scalpel and removed the actual letter from inside the envelope. There was a seal stamped at the top of it; it was a black circle with four golden fan-shaped images inside of it. I had never seen anything of the sort in my life and was very confused and yet intrigued by it. Could this be a job offer from some hospital outside of Stuttgart, Germany?

I couldn't have been more right or wrong at the same time with that question. I unfolded the letter and began to read.

To Mr. Heilburger:

We are pleased to inform you that you have become one of our candidates for our special program. Since we are a very secretive society, we are afraid we cannot tell you who we are or where you will be going if you accept this offer. If you manage to proceed past being a candidate, you shall receive equipment every week for you to be able to explore your curiosities and a salary every month for you to save or use at your own pleasure. Not much more can be said except that this ticket enclosed will take you from your local airport to the state of Texas were an assigned driver will be waiting for you with a sign. He shall then take you to our facility after thoroughly checking your passport and ID. Be sure to have those with you. Your car with your materials shall be shipped from where you park it at the airport to the U.S. via boat.

Wishing you best of luck; Anonymous

I set the letter back down, utterly perplexed by what I had just read, but also completely curious; what would such a secretive company in the states be wanting with an ex-doctor from Germany, like me? Clearing my throat, I stood and walked over to the shabby window to look out over the streets of where I had grown up. Needless to say you know what my eventual decision was, but I have to say that I did take a while to make up my mind whether to trust an unnamed organization with my future and, ultimately, my life. I figured that since I now had no medical license and no way of making any money before I got kicked out of the apartment, I might as well as take this mysterious offer from an unnamed organization that was clearly out somewhere in the United States.
Sighing, I stepped away from the window that was only letting in some of the light of the now setting sun and turned on the overhead kitchen fixture to finish up my packing. I would need my sleep tonight in order to go through with this offer in the morning. I didn't want time to make me change my mind because this path would either lead to my fatality or a life filled with ways for me to satisfy my unending curiosity with the human body, or both.