The Defender of Good
Eli Vance's eyes snapped open. For the third time this week, his daughter had exploded into a crying fit. He got off of his bed, put on his prosthetic, and walked calmly to Alyx's room.
Ever since Azian had died and the entire Combine ordeal began, Alyx had never entirely been the same laughing and carefree child she used to be. The Vance family found it necessary to move into an old hydroelectric plant. With the help of twenty refugees and ten Vortigaunts, Eli Vance and Judith Mossman remodeled the place to work as a laboratory and safe haven for citizens. Many people were given a second chance to live a semi-normal life. But Alyx, being only eight years old, was as depressed as ever.
"What is it, baby?" Eli leaned over the young girl.
"I had the zombie nightmare again, daddy!" Alyx burst into sobs.
Since Alyx's first encounter with a zombie, she had a recurring dream that she was being carried away from her father by a group of zombies while a separate group was killing him.
"There, there, baby. It's all right. Do you want to sleep with me for the rest of tonight?"
Eli lifted Alyx off her bed and carried her to his bedroom. A lack of living spaces in the facility made Judith Mossman sleep in the same room as Eli. When he entered the room with Alyx over his shoulder, Judith asked what happened.
"She had the zombie dream again, Judith."
"I can sleep on the floor tonight, and Alyx can take my bed, if that makes you feel better."
"No, no, Judith. She'll sleep in the same bed as me. That way, no one will be inconvenienced tonight.
Alyx crawled into Eli's bed, his familiar smell comforted her as she fell asleep.
The next morning, as Alyx was eating her breakfast in the mess hall and flinging bits of cereal at other people, Eli and Judith discussed what to do about Alyx's loneliness and nightmares.
"She needs someone to keep her company, but it can't really be a person, because she could never become too close to that person. And I can't stand the thought of hiring someone to make Alyx feel better." Eli said.
"Our best bet would be a cat or dog, but those are extremely rare." Judith said.
The two tossed around a few other ideas before Eli suggested a mechanical pet with a friendly personality.
"That just might work. He should also be strong and be able to defend Alyx, but where are you going to get the parts to build it?"
"The scrapyard would be perfect to find old scrap metal. I could get help from the Vortigaunts to create a long-lasting battery."
"It's a good idea! But should Alyx know about it?"
"I think it should be better as a surprise." Eli said.
In his mind, the task of creating a working teleport in collaboration with Isaac Kleiner moved down on his priority list. The new top priority was to build this mechanical pet.
After breakfast, Eli and Judith went to the scrapyard and looked at all the metal pieces they could find. Eli drew a few sketches of the pet and Judith helped create the battery with the Vortigaunts. By the end of the day, Eli had collected all of the necessary parts after scouring every inch of the scrap yard.
Judith had found an empty can, which she turned into a battery with enough power to last thirty years. The Vortigaunts supplied the power.
Since Eli intended to sleep that night, he stopped all work and returned to the bedroom for the night. Alyx had spent the day exploring the facility, and she was drawing a stick figure when Eli entered the bedroom. The caption indicated it was Dr. Kleiner.
(A/N If you look at the bulletin board on the wall that hides the teleport in Dr. Kleiner's lab, you will see a child's drawing. I took the idea from that.)
Eli tucked Alyx into her bed in her bedroom and returned to his bedroom. He didn't want Alyx to grow up being a coward, so he didn't let her sleep in his room unless she actually had a nightmare.
Eli reviewed his sketches of the soon-to-be companion and bodyguard of his daughter. Maybe, just maybe, she could get over Azian's death and become a girl that could survive in a cruel and cold world.
As stated before, this is a two part story. I aim for this story to be touching more than anything else, and this is what caused the light rating of K. So, part 2 should come next weekend cause tomorrow I'll be in San Francisco for the day. (It's only a 45 minute drive.) So bye for now!