-1Disclaimer: I don't own Half-Life.

The Black Mesa Incident

Epilogue

The blackness surrounded him. Consumed him.

Seconds passed.

Then…

"Rise and shine, Mister Freeman… rise, and… shine…"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(A/N: That's all, folks. It's been very nearly two years, but I've finally finished this story after starting it on a rather flimsy whim. It's interesting for myself to see how my writing style has changed (hopefully for the better, be sure to let me know!).

I'd just like to thank everyone who took the time to read and review this story. You've managed to make this the most popular story I've written, and gave me the boosts I needed when I found my commitment flagging. But I'm sure none of you will object if I give a particular thank you to hhgbh for unfailing beta work, even though Half-Life was a universe completely unfamiliar to you. So many thanks to you, I could fill up a chapter with them.

Well, next stop, Half-Life 2. I'm hoping none of you will blame me for wanting to take a little break, but rest assured, you will be reading about Gordon's holiday in City 17 as soon as I can manage.

But, y'know, for the impatient among you, here's a little something from a story I'm tentatively calling 'City 17 - The Revolution':

Dizzy, breathless and bleeding, Gordon had to scrape his shoulder along the wall to pull himself to his feet and stumble into the corridor beyond. It led off to the left and the right, both ways blocked by closed doors. Gordon headed for the right first. Before he could even reach the handle, the door flew open, three CPs waiting for him. Gordon turned and limped to the other door, only for the same thing to happen there as well.

The CP in front of him sparked his baton alight and swung it at his head. Gordon ducked, but couldn't avoid the baton of the CP behind him, and it struck him in the side of the face, banging his head back against the wall. He saw the officers converging on him as he started to drift out of consciousness.

"Over here!"

Gordon's eyes flickered open upon hearing the charged female voice echo from somewhere behind the CPs. They looked around and charged towards someone at the left hand door.

"No you don't!"

As he drifted away, Gordon heard the CPs grunting as something solid seemed to hit them over and over again. Thumping and cracking noises were randomly interspersed, quickly followed by the grunts of the officers as they tumbled to the floors. The last thing he felt before he lost consciousness completely was a gentle grip on his shoulders.

When he opened his eyes, Gordon was staring up at the ceiling. He looked around hazily.

And then a face Gordon had never seen before drifted into view, knelt over him and smiled a wonderful smile.

"Gordon Freeman, I presume."

Hope that keeps your attention until the rest is ready. ;)

Read and review time, people! Thanks again.)