Alyx leapt through the air, the entire compound crashing about her ears. She was a blur of motion, an untouchable stream of movement that wove through the maze of clanging metal. Explosions rocked the floor, and steam shot from the pipes.

Gordon. Where was Gordon?

She had done her part. She had connected the wiring and rigged the control panel while Gordon went off to deal with the big… THING they had seen. The teleporter had to be shut off, and the power had to be eliminated. Nothing could be left on the Borealis, the whole thing had to go up in flames.

Well, it was. And Gordon was going up inside it, somewhere. He and Alyx had agreed on a rendezvous point far outside the ship, but Alyx had called ahead and none of the rebels had seen him.

He was inside. Alyx knew this. Somehow he had been trapped. Perhaps a fallen beam, or some kind of Xen material…

There! There he was! Through the shimmering wave of heat she could see the tall form of the HEV suit, standing calmly amidst the…

Wait. Standing? Calmly?

Indeed he was. And not only that, but doing so apparently without any concern for the enormous hunks of metal that were crashing about him. Two wire frame glasses squinted inquisitively at his fiery surroundings. He seemed to be studying the way explosions affected the whirling portal before him.

That man. Infuriating.

"Gordon!" She screamed as she ran up to him.

He turned, and his eyes widened just slightly. "You…" His eyebrow arched upward. "What are you doing here? You are supposed to be at the rendezvous point."

"Yeah! So are you!" Alyx screamed. "What are you still doing here? It's time to go, Gordon! C'mon, you need to get out of here!"

"Me?" He looked at her quizzicly. "Why would I… Oh, right… The whole explosion thing." He glanced about. "Ah, I should be fine. Now go." He waved. "Go on, shoo. Time to leave. This place is about to explode, you should be a good distance away by that time. It's not…" An explosion rocked the hull and he stumbled a little. "…it's not exactly safe here."

Alyx stared at him. Was the man mad?

"Move it." A trace of fear moved into Gordon's expression. "You need to clear the blast radius by the time the countdown…"

"Are you TRYING to die?" Alyx screamed.

Gordon eyed her. "Well, not actively, no. You, on the other hand…"

"You need to leave!"

"Hmmm?" Gordon ducked as a new explosion sent debris whizzing past his head. "Oh no, no. See, the portal is still open. Someone has to stay here and make sure nothing else comes out. Makes sense, right?"

Alyx's brain flew through this information and came to a decision. "Well… I'll stay then! Now you get out of here!"

"What are you, suicidal?"

"NOW, Gordon!"

"Don't be ridiculous." His eyes were getting more and more nervous. Distantly it occurred to her that this was the first time she had ever really seen him scared. "The Resistance will need a new figurehead, now your father's dead."

"They already do! You!"

"Well, perhaps, but see, I'm staying here." He calmly indicated the portal. "And obviously one of us needs to survive, so if I were you, I'd start running. Maybe use that weird white gun we found in the one…"

"Gordon!" She screamed. "You! Leave! Now!"

"After you." There lay a definite sense of urgency in those eyes. "Please."

"No! I'm not losing you too! Now I order you…"

"Your father didn't die so you could follow him." Gordon glared at her. "Go."

"Same for you." She shot back. "I'm not leaving."

An explosion rocked the floor, and Alyx stumbled slightly. Gordon nearly fell over, but he regained his balance. He studied the walls, his brow furrowed. "Those cracks…" He turned on her, and the anxiety was clear in his face. "Run! The walls are thick, might shield you from the…"

"After you." She gritted through her teeth.

"We don't have time for this." He glared at her. "Look, there is obviously no reason for you to be staying here, and I'm…"

"Not Leaving." She glared right back at him. Standing stock still, they stared each other down, eyes locked in a battle of wills. Fire exploded from the teleporter, and sparks showered down around them.

Gordon drew a breath. "You…" He uttered, in an enraged tone that Alyx had never heard him use, "You are the most infuriating…"

The teleporter erupted in an absolute fanfare of explosions.

Instinctively, Alyx ducked forward, and instinctively, Gordon ducked over to shield her…

And the world erupted in white.





But to Alyx's surprise, it did not hurt. She could feel nothing, hear nothing, do nothing… it was as if time itself had frozen still. In fact, the only thing she COULD do was stare at the strange, gaunt man who came walking toward her and Gordon out of the explosion.

"Misss…. Vance. I have a…. proposition… for you."

A/N: REVIEW! Freinds, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your reviews. Give me your poor, your weary, your huddled criticisms yearning to break free... Ah, you get the idea. Please review.

I finally updated this thing. I think I'm going to call it quits for now... maybe after Episode III comes out I might open this up and add some stuff, but for right now this is it. In case it wasn't obvious, part of what gave me the idea for this series was Gordon's many interactions with the G-Man, and what it must seem to the other characters in the game. Alyx especially. Continuing in this vein, my idea for the end of Ep3 has Alyx getting the same choice Gordon did. Wouldn't that be kinda cool? Yeah. Which is probably why it won't happen. But I can dream.

Anyway. For the moment this is quits, though if I get any good ideas I might keep on.