Damnant quodnon intelligunt
they condemn what they do not understand.
-=Half Life 2 Episode 4: Possibilities=-
-=Prologue: Nuclear Larcenists=-
Five months after Gordon's death, undefined Siberian location
It was cold.
Then again, it was almost always cold here. The skies were grey and it was cold.
His mind continued to return to this undeniable fact. His body wouldn't, nay, couldn't forget that he was walking through a small, claustrophobic hallway in subzero temperatures. But of course, he had good reason to be somewhere other than his heated quarters or out on the field of battle fighting those Resistance bastards whose human flesh had seemingly adapted to the frigid air centuries before the Combine had even come to Earth. Of course, it helped that they not only had giant fur and woolen coats wrapped around them but vests made of Kevlar underneath, meaning they were not only warm but bullet-resistant also.
The reason he was here was so important in fact that he had left a particularly vicious battle about fifty kilometres away by helicopter an hour ago, just to be present at this hurriedly-convened meeting.
The end of the corridor arrived, complete with a metal door painted bright red that contrasted completely to the dull grey and white flaking paint on the concrete walls all around him. Without delay, he rapped on the small frosted glass window at eye-level in the centre of the door. Someone opened it immediately, saluting him with their free hand when they recognised him. "General, sir," The soldier greeted the officer as he stepped into the office-like room, closing the door behind him, "we're ready for you."
The General nodded as he sat himself down at a wooden table that looked as cold as he did, possibly more so. He looked around at the five other officers gathered and he clasped his hands together professionally. "Well, let's get down to it, shall we?"
One of the officers leaned forward in his chair. "Sir, I assume you were informed as to the reason requiring your presence here?"
The General chuckled, turning his head to the officer. "Indeed I was, albeit briefly. So," he looked out at the others once more, "am I right in believing we have located a nuclear missile... intact and operational?"
"Not quite, sir," another officer corrected, "we have located a nuclear missile fully intact, however it has not been operational for almost fifteen years since constant maintenance is required to keep them in a condition to launch. Since the human race was only able to utilise nuclear fission as a weapon a mere seventy years ago their methods are crude, unreliable and disastrous to the environment."
The General nodded slowly, "so we have a dead missile?"
"Yes sir. The missile will never launch." The officer paused before continuing, "But the warhead is a different story."
Nobody said anything for a few moments. "What type?"
"Five megaton 8F021 from an SS-18 Satan Intercontinental Ballistic Missile containing three Multiple Independently targeted Re-entry Vehicle warheads."
"So this missile, if it ever fired, would go up, release its missile shroud and drop three independent warheads on up to three different locations?"
The General leaned back in his seat. "So we've got five megatons of nuclear warheads?"
Looking around at the others gathered, the General sat up in his seat. "Where is this warhead?"
The officer directly opposite him clapped his hands together, and three soldiers headed out the second door in the room, the one right behind the officer who had clapped. About twenty seconds later, they came back in, carrying something in their hands about the size of a large backpack. They walked over to the gathered officers and gently placed the object base-down on top of the table.
The General's eyes were masked by the mirrored lenses over them and therefore the others didn't see them glistening in delight. "And we can detonate this?" He whispered sinisterly, leaning forward to observe the large item now lying on the table.
"Whenever we need to, it'll be ready for us."
The General nodded, leaning back in his seat. "Excellent."
Seven months after Gordon's death
—Universal Union Advisor News Report:
Human resistance efforts have proved catastrophic to the Capital of the Universal Union. A fossil-fuelled rocket-propulsion system carrying a basic Xenium Resonator and a warhead containing approximately five hundred grams of extremely potent Dark Energy was sent through the Superportal in the Earth's atmosphere and detonated in high-orbit above the Capital.
Fatalities number in excess of twenty billion.
The Capital no longer provides the minimum requirements critical to the operation of Combine Administration throughout the universe. No such replacement has yet been decided upon. At present all planets under Combine Administration are independently controlled by their Advisors.
Any situation updates will be relayed to Combine Administrative Nexuses when they arise.
—Universal Union Terran Operatives Transmission Report:
Data received by Combine Administration of Planet Trysik
Connection established via basic function Long-Range Digital Message Delivery Unit by Terran Combine Operatives at 5:18:56 PM Central European Time
Time elapsed between connection and signal loss: 0.82 seconds
Information received: 73 bytes of ASCII-encoded text
—two anticitizens one dead send phyx to inferno abyss find body of soldier
Phyx Unit departed from Trysik Special Operations Institute to Inferno Abyss Correctional Facility, Norbotten, Northern Sweden at 29:81:40 MV Global Capital Time.
Awaiting further contact.