So yeah, it's been a while. Personally, I thought writing this chapter was a bit tedious. Zombies are just mindless things that charge at you and leave very little room for creative strategy, unlike soldiers, who can react to fire in many different ways and can use teamwork and tactics to take you down. By the way, if you happen to think that Shephard swears too much, I'm gonna have to politely tell you to deal with it. He's a soldier, and in my mind, soldiers swear a lot, especially when they are in stressful situations. Watch any movie involving soldiers in a war or watch raw footage from Iraq or Afghanistan, it would be hard not to find swear words somewhere. Hope you enjoy the chapter.

Ravenholm

The ladder was a long one. The mine shaft seemed to extend to 300 feet below the surface. At the end of it all, even Shephard started to fell the strain in his arms. The two men ended up in a small shack, then they walked out into the town. By now, the sun had completely set, and several dim lights scattered the area. There was faint stench in the air. A single raven crowed at their presence and the flew of into the night sky. There was a pod embedded in the ground, which caught the attention of Gordon. There was one particular feature of the area that caught the attention of both men. In the middle of the area was a bare tree; on one of its branches was a rope; and handing from that rope was a decomposing lower half of a human body that had been decapitated.

"Goddamn it, I take my previous statement back" Shephard said, pointing at the legs "THAT is fucked up. I mean, seriously, why would someone do that?" he asked. Gordon walked slowly, scanning the ground, then he found what he was looking for.

"To send a message" he simply stated. "Shephard, take a look at this" Gordon said. Shephard walked over to Gordon's position, and when he saw what Gordon was looking at, he instantly went for his rifle; but restrained himself when he noticed the creature was actually dead. Lying on the earth was a dead headcrab. Shephard started to feel nervous

"Aw shit" he stated, staring down at the pale creature.

"The Combine use these things as a form of biological weapon now." Gordon said pointing at the pod a few metres away. "Those pods are used to house them, I encountered a couple on the way to the lab. It's like the Combine's artillery." Gordon said.

"That's just great." Shephard mumbled. He was really feeling his nerve getting to him

"How many of these thing did the Combine deploy in here?" he thought

"Come on, we need to move." Gordon said, Shephard agreed, and both men walked towards another shack, which seemed to have artificial light coming from it. Inside, they found a cache of explosive canisters and rusty saw blades. which were embedded in the wall. On top of one of the blades at the far end of the room was the upper half of a human body, except his appearance didn't seem to paint a nice picture. His face was a mixture of pale white and bloody red. His facial expression was one of horror as he looked to be screaming, his clothes were covered with blood, dirt and dried puss. The smell was intolerable, both men recoiled at the stench. His chest seemed to have burst open, like the humans from the Alien movies, but this trait was also commonly shared with those who became the hosts of head crabs, these unfortunate souls have been known as Zombies ever since their beginning of their existence during the Black Mesa Incident due to the way in which they mindlessly staggered and hobbled towards their prey without any consideration or hesitation. On the floor below the circular blade was his legs and lower torso.

"Seriously, what kind of fucked up place is this?" Shephard thought. He started to walk over to the torso when he heard a groaning sound that sounded awfully familiar. Shephard reached for his M4, quickly flipped the safety off and aimed it at the door way. Gordon on the other hand, had an idea. He hoisted the Gravity Gun and pulled a blade from the wall. The saw blade was now resting in the middle of orange sparks or bolts coming from the centre of the contraption. Gordon walked into the path of the door way to find two zombies slowly hobbling towards them. Shephard moved behind Gordon to observe. Suddenly, a large orange lightning bolt propelled the sharp and rusty blade clean through the two zombies, killing them both and cutting them in half. Gordon looked at the Gravity Gun and gave a smug smile; he loved this thing. Shephard just stood with awe. Shephard stepped forward into the next room with Gordon behind him. He turned the corner into a dark hallway. He turned on his flashlight and continued, he then heard more groans around the corner. He turned to find another group of zombies, slowly approaching. He aimed his M4 at the crabs on their head at first, but he then noticed a red barrel sitting by the wall, in the direction of the zombies. He adjusted his aim and fired a single shot. The barrel ignited for several seconds and exploded. The resulting shrapnel tore the first zombie apart and ignited the second one on fire. The zombie lifted its arms and yelled, but still continued towards the two men. The flames ignited his clothes, but soon his entire body was engulfed in flames. It was almost as if he was doused in petrol. The zombie's yells almost sounded human. It sounded like he was saying "WHY ME?" or "GET IT OFF ME!". Both men did feel remorse, because they knew that hosts were just innocent people before, but they also knew that killing them could be seen as the ultimate act of compassion; as there was no way to un-reverse their mutations. The burning zombie eventually succumbed to it's injuries, and was still burning as the two men walked past and back out into a small courtyard. There was a crude looking device that was spinning in the middle of the passage way out, then a loud booming voice could be heard.

"For it was said that they became like these peculiar demons which dwell in matter, but in whom no light can be found!" Both men were alerted by the voice, they aimed their weapons at the roof tops, but there wasn't anything there

"You hear that?" Shephard whispered.

"Yeah" Gordon whispered back. They looked to where the spinning device was to see a pack of zombies staggering towards them. However, every single one walked straight into the spinning blade, which cut them in half one by one. After the zombies were finished, Gordon and Shephard had to figure out how to get past the thing, because they too would get decapitated by its blade.

"Any ideas Doc?" Shephard asked

"I think there's a switch in the main body of the contraption." Gordon said. He got down into a prone position, and he found that he was right, there was a small red lever in the middle of the contraption.

"Here, hold this." Gordon said, giving Shephard his Gravity Gun. Its extreme weight almost made Shephard drop it. As Gordon slowly crawled under the spinning blade, Shephard hoisted the Gravity Gun and picked up a wooden box with it. He was perplexed, and when he fired it into a wall, it broke into various pieces. he felt somewhat giddy. He wished he had something like this as a kid. Suddenly, the spinning stopped, and Gordon got up from the ground. Shephard gave him back the Gravity Gun.

"I really could use one of those you know" Shephard said with a smile. The men continued and cleared another room with zombies and several independent headcrabs. Then, they got to a network of small narrow streets. There was the undeniable smell of burning flesh lingering in the air. The pair turned a corner and were greeted to a unusual spectacle. Outside a building at the far end of the street, a large fire burned, it was almost like a wall of fire. The screaming of zombies could be heard, and figures emerged from the fire, hobbling down the steps slowly. Then, a door smashed opened at the top of the building. Shephard hoisted his M4 and aimed at the figure in the door way while Gordon un-holstered his MP7 and did the same.

The man was in undoubtedly in his sixties, he was bald and he had a moustache and a very pronounced beard. One thing Shephard noticed when looking through his ACOG was the golden cross on his person, Shephard quietly smirked. Even though he was technically a Catholic, he wouldn't consider himself to be a "practicing" Catholic, he found it to be a facade, there was a time when he didn't believe in God at all, recent events didn't really help much.

"What kind of God looks down on the shit that's going on here and smiles?" he asks himself. The man was wielding what looked like an old Winchester rifle. He aimed it down towards the burning zombies and gave out a eccentric sounding laugh as he fired his weapon, each round hitting a zombie's head with pinpoint accuracy. When he noticed the two men, he lifted his Winchester and shouted over at them

"What is this?" he asked, his voiced echoed along the street, it sounded just like the guy both men heard in the courtyard. "More lives to save? I will keep my eye on you two, but more than that, I can not promise." his voice sounded like a hybrid of Italian and Russian, or any similar Eastern European country.

At that, the man turned around and walked back into the building, and the two men slowly lowered their weapons.

"Come on Doc, lets go." Shephard said, walking down the street. They moved to the end of the street and they were once again greeted with a wall of fire, complete with of horde of zombies walking through it.

Gordon noticed a propane canister with a valve on it against a wall. He walked towards it and turned it. The flames went out.

The men walked forward over the smouldering corpses and this time, they were met with another obstacle, an electrified fence. What remained of someone who tried to climb over was sticking to the fence, constantly spasmimg due to the current flowing through him, he looked to have been dead for some time. It instantly reminded Shephard of a security guard at Black Mesa whom he watched meet a similar fate. Shephard followed a wire which went into a second story window of the house opposite. Personally, he felt both of them were just moving too slow.

"Look, Doc." Shephard said, wiping a gloved palm over his now sweating forehead "I think that we are moving too slowly, what do you think about us moving quickly through this town? We do have a mission to complete." Gordon though for several seconds.

"Please tell me that Alyx told you about our mission." Shephard said

"She did" Gordon said reassuringly "But...she didn't give me a lot of the specifics, she said she would leave it to you. Oh, and I agree, we need to move fast."

"Great, I'll get you up to speed while we clear that building." Shephard said, pointing to the building behind him. Both of them then started to jog back to the main street.

10 minutes later

Gordon and Shephard were slowly moving up a stairwell, Shephard was explaining the Resistance's objectives, manpower and capabilities

"So that's basically it" Shephard said. He paused as Gordon fired a burst from his MP7 into a lone headcrab at the top of the stairwell. Shephard then continued

"They plan to use armor and light vehicles to encircle the city and converge on what they call the "Citadel". All we have to do is destroy the Combine's air support at a detention facility called "Nova Prospekt". Getting there will take a lot of work though, since from what I remember of their maps, the facility is about 25 klicks north-east of here, and the final five is comprised of mountainous terrain."

"What comes after that?" Gordon asked

"To be honest, I don't know." Shephard replied "We become martyrs?" he joked. Before Gordon could reply, a strange clicking noise could be heard coming from the next room, it almost sounded like a rattle snake. Shephard put his index finger over his mouth as if to shush Gordon. His sense of directio told him that the room beside them was where the cable lead too. He clipped his M4 to his the front of his PCV and drew his Mk. 23 from its holster. Fighting headcrabs and zombies room to room wasn't a suitable task for his M4A1 Carbine, headcrabs were just too small to engage in close quarters. The needed the space and mobility that only a pistol could offer. He put his left hand on the door handle and lifted his pistol up to face level. He slowly pushed down on the handle, but it was blocked by something on the other side. He looked at Gordon pointed to the open doorway ahead of him, Gordon nodded. Shephard slowly moved, and cleared the next room, Gordon was behind him. He found another doorway into the room where the sound came from. He hugged the wall and slowly moved to the other side, his Mk. 23 at the ready. In the room was what definatley was a headcrab, but it was black and slightly larger than it's brethren, and it had several black hairs growing out of its body. It turned towards the doorway, making more clicking sounds. Then it lunged at Shephard, making a screeching squeal and chopping noise that would have scared the anyone out of their skin. Shephard quickly fired a precise double tap into it's under carriage, and it dropped like a stone.

"Jesus Christ" Shephard said panting slightly after the shock, staring at the new headcrab "What the fuck is that thing?" He walked over to the switch on the wall and yanked it. The generators behind the fence were heard powering down. Shephard walked over to the new species of headcrab and nudged it slightly with his boot. He unclipped his M4 from his PCV.

"Lets go Doc" he said walking away from the crab and out of the room, Gordon was right behind him.

They got back to the fence and they used the ladder to climb over it and up to the top of the catwalks. When both men got to the top, another door burst open in front of them. Both of them reached for their weapons, but stopped when they say that it was the priest.

"Well done brothers!" he shouted over to them "Feel free to make use of my traps, but do be careful not to to fall into them yourselves!" he smiled, but it was instantly wiped off his face as he looked at something above and behind them.

"Behind you!" he shouted. He quickly fired a shot from his Winchester and a headcrab fell from a ledge above them. This one was also different. It had the same colour as a normal one, but it had longer legs and it looked smaller and thinner than a regular headcrab.

"In Ravenholm, you do well to be vigilant." the man stated, and then he walked away. Gordon looked back at Shephard and nodded in the direction of the drop in front of them. In the middle of a wall, about 10 metres above the ground, there was a walkway made from wooden planks that ran along the building's exterior wall. Gordon volunteered himself to go first by jumping over to the platform. Shephard, who had his mouth open as he was going to ask who was going first, shrugged and followed him. The two men walked along the walkway until it came to an abrupt end where something must have broken it. Gordon then jumped down to the ground and landed on an old car roof, Shephard followed, he almost lost his footing. Then, clear growls could be heard from around the corner, and a massive pack of zombies hobbled towards them. Gordon noticed that there was a thick rope connected to the car, he then noticed a motor attached to a tri-pod a few feet behind him. He went and activated it, the car slowly moved upwards and went to the level of the wooden walkway. He waited as five zombies unknowingly hobbled into its shadow. Gordon let go of the leaver and the 2 ton car crushed the zombies in its way with a very loud and unattractive crunch sound. Two more zombies hobbled around the corner, but were quickly dispatched by accurate bursts from both Gordon's and Shephard's weapons. A large pool of red mixed with yellow pooled from the car in front of the two men, who quickly continued forward, avoiding it. In the next street, there was another car, but it was dangling in the air, and there was another walkway. Another idea hit Gordon.

"We can climb back on to the walkway." Gordon stated

"How?" Shephard asked

"Use the car." Gordon flipped the switch, and the car came crashing down. Shephard jumped on to the trunk and the car started to move back up. He stuck his hand out to Gordon, who jumped and caught hold of it. Shephard pulled him up. When they regained their balance, they jumped on to the platform. Then, the priest appeared on a rooftop in front of them.

"Better and better!" he shouted "I am Father Grigori. You have already met my...congregation" he snickered at his own joke, and it erupted into laughter as he turned around and walked away.

The two men climbed through a window sill into a small room. They ran through the building and went down the stairs. When they got to the bottom, they opened the door and they were back on another street. However, this one was surrounded by relatively taller buildings. When the men walked into the street, a loud, wolf like howl could be heard. Then, thin silhouettes could be seen leaping to and from buildings about 200 metres away. They were galloping like horses and they ran using their arms and legs. Then, something could be seen galloping towards the two men, letting out a huge scream. Both Gordon and Shephard fired a burst from their respective weapons and killed the new form of zombie before it got close. The men advanced slowly down the street towards the body in light of this new threat. The body's appearance looked familiar to both men; it was like the first body they encountered in the mine shaft. It had no skin but all of its muscles, bones and major organs were visible for all to see. Except this time, it had a headcrab on its head, but it wasn't an ordinary headcrab, it was one similar to the one the Grigori killed as it snuck up on them not long ago. Both men wondered that if each crab made a different variation of zombie, what would the black headcrab zombie be like?

Their thoughts were interrupted by another loud howl. Shephard was mindful of an ambush, as the pairing of faster, more agile zombies and tall buildings surrounding them didn't add together to give a nice answer. They needed to get up to a roof of one of the buildings. He looked around for an exit, and found a door leading into one of the tallest buildings.

"Doc, we need to move!" Shephard shouted. "Follow me!" He ran towards the door and kicked it open. Both men ran inside and they moved towards the roof. When they got to the roof, Shephard kicked to door down and moved on to the roof top. On a catwalk stood Grigori, except he had a different weapon in his hand, it was a SPAS-12 with no buttstock.

"Here brothers!" Grigori shouted, both men walked closer towards the catwalk.

"You two have stirred up hell!" he laughed loudly at his own pun. "Men who are after my own heart. Here, I have a more suitable weapon for both of you. Catch." He threw the SPAS-12 that he was holding over to Gordon, he then turned around and picked up another one which was leaning against the wall behind him beside his Winchester and threw it towards Shephard. Gordon tapped Shephard's shoulder with a red box with twelve 12 gauge shotgun shells in it.

"Where did you find these?" Shephard asked

"They were just lying around here." Gordon said. Shephard nodded, took the shells and put them into pouches in his PCV. He swung his M4 around so that it was on his back along with his M24. He pulled back the pump and found that the shotgun was loaded. Then, there was a loud hum of something moving along metal. Grigori picked up his Winchester

"Hush, they come. There is no rest in Ravenholm. Go, and I will meet you at the church!" he shouted. Then, he opened fire at a fast moving silhouette above him. The moving sound got louder and louder, Gordon and Shephard stood closer to one another, covering both sides of the roof.

"See that open water tower over there?" Shephard asked

"Yeah" Gordon replied

"Think you can jump it?"

"Maybe"

"When I give you the go, jump, I'll cover you." Gordon nodded. In front of him, a head poked up from where the drain pipes in front of Shephard.

"Aw shit, Zombies can climb buildings now?" Shephard thought. He lifted his SPAS-12 up to face level and pulled the trigger. The zombie was relieved of it's headcrab as it disintegrated into a yellow mist. Right behind it, another zombie leaped up from the pipes, but Shephard quickly pulled back the pump action and fired another shot, blowing off the zombie's arm. He lifted his foot and kicked the surprised zombie, who was staring at the place where what was left of his arm was, off the roof. He pulled back the pump again. Behind him, Shephard could hear Gordon opening fire too. He moved backwards and gave Gordon a pat on the back

"GO!" Shephard shouted. Gordon ran forward towards the edge of the roof. Another zombie emerged from the edge and lunged towards Gordon, but it was intercepted mid-air by another shot from Shephard, which sent it flying back over the edge. They were like ragdolls. Gordon leaped from the roof and landed inside the water tower, signified by the splash of water which could be heard from the roof. Shephard quickly followed and landed in the tower, Gordon seemed to be waiting for him.

"Goddamn" Shephard said, reloading his shotgun with fresh shells, "these things mean business"

"That's true" Gordon simply replied. He then got on to the ladder and climbed out. He peeked out to get a look at the area; there was another ladder on a adjacent roof top which led to a door, that where they were headed. Gordon then lunged quickly out of the tower and on to the adjacent roof top, firing at the zombies that jumped from other rooftops to intercept him. Shephard followed him out, firing and moving. Gordon found another box of shotgun shells on the ground which were swiftly taken before he opened the door. He ran inside and Shephard ran in not long after him. He turned and quickly shut the door and turned the lock. On the other side, it sounded like the zombies tried to scratch their way through the door, one even tried to throw himself at it. Gordon and Shephard shared out the shells from the box and moved away, hoping that they wouldn't break through. When they got through the building, they emerged on a low roof above a street with a wide network of alleyways. Behind them, not that far away, were the two spherical towers of the church, a distinct sign of Russian architecture. The town was silent, both men could feel that something wasn't right. The silence was broken by a flock of ravens flying away from another rooftop. From their position, the entire length of the street could be seen. At the other end of the street, a slow moving figure could be seen, it looked odd, but it was obscure and blurry from a distance since it was in the shadows. They were around 350 to 400 metres out according an educated guess from Shephard.

"Doc, cover me." Shephard said He put down his SPAS-12 and took his M24 off his back. He got into a prone position and unfolded the bi-pods. He looked through his scope to get a better view. What he saw was horrifying. This was another new zombie. The host's body looked bloated and was bent forward, and was covered with two or three black headcrabs. One was attached to it's head, while the rest were latched to his back. He looked up from his scope to make sure he wasn't seeing things.

"Wow, you, my friend, are one ugly son of a bitch." Shephard said.

"What do you see?" Gordon asked, his eyes squinting behind his thick glasses.

"A got a zombie who's carrying two or three of those black headcrabs on his back" Shephard stated. He looked up from his scope and noticed Gordon's difficulty in seeing the zombies. He stuffed his hands into his PCV and found a small monocular with a 4x lens.

"Here" Shephard said, tossing the device up to Gordon, who nodded his thanks looked through it and looked towards the slow moving zombie.

"Ouch" Gordon commented. Shephard flipped the safety of his rifle and took aim. There wasn't any wind, and using his mil-dot scale, he angled the rifle up by half a dot on the vertical scale. Then, the zombie did something that was completely unexpected. He put his hand back and picked a headcrab off of its back and threw it towards the two men. It landed about 100 metres in front of the zombie.

"Holy crap, he just tried to throw a headcrab at us!" Shephard said, laughing, mainly due to high amount of adrenaline in his system. He pulled the trigger. The sniper rifle fired a single .308 round and propelled the bullet to a speed of just over two and a half thousand feet per second. Before the zombie even heard the shot, the bullet penetrated the headcrab on its head and entered it's skull. It then ricocheted inside, and broke into various tiny pieces of hot lead. Some fragments left the body though the back and killed a crab on its back. The body slumped over and a surviving headcrab clambered off to where it came, squealing. The other headcrab, which was thrown, was scared by the loudness of the sniper rifle thanks to it's enhanced sense of hearing, and did the same. The sound of the gunshot echoed through the surrounding area, which prompted another loud howl.

"Shit!" Shephard exclaimed, quickly folding his bi-pods forward and putting his rifle back over his back. He picked up shotgun from the tiles of the roof. Gordon jumped down on to the street and Shephard did the same. There was another howl, but this one was different, it was deeper, and sounded a lot more pained. It repeated its self a few times, and was followed by another regular howl. On the roof on both sides of the street, fast moving zombies were galloping parallel to the men. Both men checked their weapons.

"We have kicked the hornets nest here." Gordon said

"And it's our job to clean it up" Shephard finished. "We need to find a way up to those wooden catwalks" Shephard said, pointing up to the improvised passage way 20 feet above them.

"Let's go" Gordon said. He started to run down the street, Shephard was behind him. Their adversaries cames seemingly out of thin air. The men were rushed on most sides by fast moving zombies, but all were quickly eliminated. Then, another black headcrab zombie could be seen. Gordon lobbed a frag grenade over towards its path. It exploded, sending a barrage of white hot shrapnel in all directions. The zombie was vaporized and stray pieces of shrapnel caught several other zombies.

"Nice one Doc!" Shephard said. He saw a pair of fast moving zombies moving towards them amd quickly shot them with his shotgun. "Try that alleyway!" Shephard shouted. Gordon nodded and ran ahead towards the said alleyway. In it, they found a ladder going up to a catwalk. They moved up the ladder and emerged on the woooden catwalk. There was another howl. Gordon started to theorise that the howls were in fact a warning to the rest of the zombie populace that there was a unwelcome guest in their home, because after every howl, there was another wave of attacks. Gordon was probably right, because as they jogged along the catwalk, a group of fast zombies ambushed them by jumping on to the catwalk by way of the adjacent roof tops. Both men were quick to react by opening fire, Shephard even kicked one off the catwalk when he was in the middle of reloading his shotgun. After the wave was repelled, the men continued forward. The church was only beyond the the row of buildings in front of them. At the end of the walkway, there was an open window, and again they fought through another nondescript building which someone could have easily lived or worked in 20 years before.

The trapdoor opened to reveal a rooftop which had a view of the entire town. Large buildings, warehouses and tall chimneys could be seen a few miles away. But they were nothing more than old relics, which symbolized the ways of the past, which were long forgotten in this new era of oppression and dictatorship. The rooftop was adjacent to the church courtyard, which was surrounded by a high, chain link fence topped with barbed wire. The was a short cable running from two poles; one was on the roof while the other was inside the church courtyard. At that end of the line, there was a small cable car. Standing on some rocks behind the fence was Grigori.

"Ah, there you are!" he shouted, his voice echoed through the unusually quiet area. "I will sent the cart over, it will be but a moment." He walked over to a panel and flipped the switch, the cart at the other end of the cable started to move, painfully slowly.

"Aw, you've gotta be shittin' me" Shephard though out loud.

"Patience brother!" Grigori shouted. Then, another loud howl could be heard across the town, signifying approaching wave of a fast zombie assault. Shephard literally slammed shells into his shotgun to highlight his frustration.

"Goddamn it!" he shouted "When are these things just going to back off?". Then, the zombies could be heard climbing up the drain pipes. Shephard walked over to the one on his left, aimed his shotgun at the climbing zombies, and fired. The first zombie fell and brought the other two behind it along with it. Three zombies emerged from the other pipe, Gordon then too opened fire. The cart took several agonizing minutes to arrive, and the two men were running low on ammunition. Eventually, the cart arrived and both men climbed on. The zombie onslaught was intensifying.

"Doc! Pull the handbrake!" Shephard shouted. Gordon reached out and pulled the yellow leaver outside of the cart and the cart started to move again, painfully slowly, just as before. One zombie was ambitious, and jumped towards the cart, just about grabbing hold of the edge. However, it was met with a 12 gauge shell to the face from Gordon's shotgun.

The cart slowly moved towards the church's courtyard, where Grigori was waiting for them. The cart stopped in the middle of the yard and both of them leaped over the edge and landed. Beside Grigori was a table which had a variety of ammo in 5.56mm; 4.6mm; .45ACP .357 Magnum and 12G Buckshot. There was also vials of morphine that were compatible with both HEV and PCV systems, but they were not needed. Shephard picked up some 5.56mm and .45 rounds and manually refilled his magazines by slapping in each individual bullet, as did Gordon, but with the 4.6mm and .357 rounds. Both men shared out the shotgun shells generously. Then, once they were ready, Grigori addressed them.

"Greetings brothers, we meet at last. You are to be commended for avoiding my traps. They were the work of a man who once had too much time on his hands but now only find time for nothing more than the work of salvation. I imagine you have no wish to stay in Ravenholm, so I will lead you to the mines. As for me, a shepherd must tend to his flock, especially when they become..unruly" He was about to turn, but he then added is a quiet or hushed voice "Tread lightly brothers, for this is hallowed ground."

At that, Grigori began to move around the side of the church, Gordon and Shephard followed him. He went through a small metal gate into what looked like a narrow valley. They moved swiftly, yet somewhat cautiously. Another zombie howl could be heard in the distance and silhouettes could be seen in the distance. They began to pick up the pace and they reached another metal gate. Gordon and Shephard now understood what Grigori meant by 'hallowed ground', because beyond the gates was a massive graveyard, and judging by some fragments of the Cyrillic script that Shephard understood, it was filled with people from way back into the 19th century right up to before the Black Mesa Incident in mid 2006. After that, there wasn't anyone around who had any time to bury the dead. The three men moved slowly through the graveyard, then, as if out of thin air, they were ambushed by the zombies. For the next thirty minutes, their waves of attacks were relentless, but they were held at bay and the three men advanced through the graveyard. When the attack of zombies died down, they reached another high fence, suspended by wires above it, behind it was a door to another building. Grigori lifted the fence by pulling on a lever.

"Go through the gate brothers" Grigori said. Gordon and Shephard ducked under the fence and Grigori let go, and walked over to the two men.

"Farewell brothers!" he said "I fear I deliver you to a darker place. Let the light of lights illuminate your path!"

"Thank you, for everything." Gordon said

"Yeah, thanks father" Shephard also said. Grigori shook his head

"Do not mention it brothers." There was a sound coming from behind him. Grigori stopped and looked back for a second then turned back to the two men and offered one last piece of advice

"Look to your own salvation!" he shouted. He then turned and opened fire; running towards an old crypt. He let out a long eccentric laugh. There was an explosion and flames could be seen, but Grigori continued back towards Ravenholm. The two men turned and moved towards the door that would lead them to the mines.

I'm skipping out the small sequence in the mines and going straight to the coast in the next chapter. It's just more of the same headcrab/zombie action and nothing much interesting happens, so it can be sacrificed. You may also have noticed that I am concentrating slightly more on Shephard than Gordon, for that I apologize, but it will probably be the same throughout. As always, I can offer no ETA on the next chapter, but I am in the middle of another Semper Fi chapter, so sit tight. R&R.