Anzhela stepped off of the porch, the afternoon breeze ruffling her long wavy hair. She brushed the brown locks out of her blue eyes as she stepped down to greet her father, Afon, at the mines. Yes, it was indeed a lovely day as Anshela walked through the lovely town, greeting the various townsfolk and receiving some in return. As she reached the mines, Dmitri waved as he walked towards her.
"The lift is on its way up," he informed. "Your father will be here soon."
"Спасибо, Dmitri." she thanked her father's friend, as she walked towards the mine entrance.
Dmitri tipped his worn hat and walked towards the church.
"Anzhela!" a familiar voice called out to her.
"Папа!" she called back, as she rushed to embrace her father. "We must return home. Mama is making supper."
The father smiled at his daughter as they walked through their hometown of Ravenholm, unaware of the changes the next day would bring.
"Papa!" Anzhela raced through the town, her mother right behind her as they sought after her father.
"Anzhela! Galya!" Dmitir called out as he reached them. "The mines have caved in! Your father is trapped inside, if he's still alive."
Galya then fell to the ground sobbing. "How? How could this happen?" she screamed as the sounds of battle surrounded them.
"Get to shelter, you two! I must fight along with the others!" he shouted as he cocked his gun and ran out to where the aliens were trying to breach the town's safe walls.
Galya grabbed her daughter's hand. "You go on, I will wait for your father."
"No, Милая, you must hurry! I cannot leave your father." she reprimanded as she gently pushed her daughter away. "Go to your friend, Grigori!" she called after her daughter's retreating form.
She ran, passing by the others as they scrambled to safety or fought against the invading enemy.
"Anzhela!" Grigori spotted his friend. "Follow me! My family has found a safe haven in the church!"
Anzhela nodded and followed after her friend as they ran through the battle.
One of the foreign soldiers grabbed her by the hair and glared into her blue eyes as she struggled to escape his grasp. He placed a device on her forehead and watched as she slowly fell unconscious, her language being transferred to him. He noticed she spoke three different languages, Russian was her first, then English, and German.
He shoved the now useless form aside as he continued to attack the town.
"Anzhela, where are you?" Grigori called as he raced back to retrieve his fallen friend.
"Oh no," he whispered as he saw her still form. However, she then stirred and bolted upright.
"Grigori!" she called out frantically.
"Anzhela, hurry!" he pleaded as he helped her off the ground, half-carrying her to the safety of the church.
"Grigori!" another voice called.
"Coming, Mama!" he called back as the two kids pushed through the frantic crowd of townsfolk.k
"No! Get away from-!" the voice of his mother cut off by a strange buzzing noise.
"Mama?" he raced towards where he heard the voice, and gasped when he saw her still, bloodied form trampled over, the enemy soldiers still actively beating her.
He was about to cry out, when a hand came over his mouth. "The church is no longer safe," Anzhela whispered to her mourning friend. "I'm so sorry."
He hugged his friend as she pulled them off to find another place to hide, finding one in the old cemetery's shed.
"The old mines, we should escape through there!" Anzhela cried as she pointed to the old entrance past the gate.
"No, those are dangerous. Remember why the newer ones are on the opposite side of the town?"
Anzhela sighed in defeat as she slumped down against the wall. Grigori sighed along with her as he rubbed his hand through his thick hair as they waited for something...anything to happen. There they sat for hours, hearing the screams and cries from those outside. Gunshots and strange noises resounded around them as they heard casualties from both sides take place.
Eventually, the sounds of battle started to die down, and Grigori started to silently weep over his loss, Anzhela having fallen asleep a while ago.
Knock knock knock.
Grigori snapped out of his tears as he heard the knocking start to get more frantic.
"Anzhela, wake up!" he shook his slumbering friend awake.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!
Anzhela stared at the door, before Grigori pushed her gently behind some equipment and reached for the door.
"Grigori!" Dmitri's voice whispered as he entered the cramped shed. "I'm so sorry," he whispered as he hugged the grieving child.
"Dmitri!" Anzhela louldly whispered. "Thank God! What happened?"
Dmitri sadly looked down at the two young children. "We lost. Earth has surrendered. And Anzhela...your parents have died as well."
There they hid for days, listening as the soldiers left the town on alien aircrafts. When two days passed with no noise from the outside, the trio emerged.
"We should bury the bodies.," Dmitri stated as he walked through the barren wasteland of a once nice town. He walked past the streets littered with bodies to the building that was once his apartment. The kids also noticed the corpses of small, animal like bodies scattered about as well. He held each of the kids' hands as he opened the beaten door, and pushed the glass aside. He wished more than anything that the children didn't have to witness the sight before them...
The two kids remained calm, however, as the walked up the stairs to Dmitri's apartment. The first thing they did when they entered the room was to see what was available in the kitchen, eating all that they could before Dmitri stopped them mid-bite.
"We should ration the meals."
The two kids nodded, setting down the food, as they went out to bury the bodies.
Several hours later, the task was done, and the dirtied trio laid back against the church walls, when Dmitri faced the two kids.
"There are some...creatures that roam about once in a while. They were also attacking us during the battle. All of us, they are hostile towards our enemy and us," he stated as he reached into his pocket, pulling out to pistols. "I want you to carry these."
The kids nodded and picked up the taboo devices, carefully observing the deadly weapons.
"God shall help us," Dmitri reassured.
He didn't really believe in a God, but now he wanted more than anything for Him to be real.
They spent a couple of years like that, wandering the town, scavenging for food. At night, they would huddle inside of the church, reading verses of the Bible to calm themselves to sleep. The two kids gradually became teenagers, and were good with the weapons bestowed upon them years ago, their targets being the creatures that would occasionally try to attack them. The teens then grew to young adults, and Dmitri weakened with age. So weakened, to the point, that one day, one of the creatures jumped onto his head easily, and Dmitri lost control over his actions easily as well.
"Dmitri, please stop it!" Anzhela cried as Dmitri rambled in a voice that wasn't his. "Take that thing off!"
Dmitri, or his body, anyway, then proceeded over to Anzhela, and started slashing out at her, clawing her across the chest.
She fell to the ground, astounded that he would do that to her, when she noticed large claws took place of his fingers, and his insides were visible to her. She dodged his next attack when she realized this wasn't Dmitri.
Dmitri was dead.
With that now in her head, she didn't hesitate to pull the trigger on the monster that was using Dmitri's body, and watched him fall.
"Anzhela!" Grigori cried as he rushed into the church. "I heard gunshots! What happened..." he glanced down at the body of his father-like friend, his face twisted in pain, and saw one of the creatures not to far. He then noticed Anzhela sobbing in the corner.
"I had to, I had to...he wasn't there anymore..." she cried as she rocked herself back and forth, cradling the gun.
Grigori set down the rifle he had discovered and sat down beside his friend, grieving along with her. He reached out to his fallen friend, and found the cross he always wore around his neck. He unclasped it then wrapped it around his own.
There they sat for hours, until Anzhela calmed down somewhat. She gestured to the new gun. "What's that?"
"A rifle, I think. I found it in my mother's closet," he said as he fondly touched the gun. "I think it was my father's."
"You should name it," Anzhela said.
"It's the only thing left of your father, it's sentimental to you," she replied.
Grigori nodded at his friend. "I'd name it after my father, but seeing I'm named after him, that won't work. I'll name it after my mother then, Annabelle," he smiled at the memory of his American mother.
"I think that works."
A few weeks later, a couple of people rushed into the town.
"We made it!" one of them called, a tall middle-aged male in a blue uniform. Grigori noticed that they spoke English.
"This place looks abandoned...must have happened during the Seven Hour War," a female stated.
"Poor guys..." the first whispered quietly. The two then sat down for a moment of silence.
"Hello," Grigori greeted in his accented English.
The two startled up. "Hello," the female hesitantly said after a bit. "Did you live here?"
"Yes," Grigori said. "My name is Grigori."
"I'm Amy, and this is Johnathan. We escaped from City 17. Is it okay if we stay here?"
"Yes, of course you can. What happened outside after the battle?"
"It's a long story, kid," the man said. "But it looks like we've got time."
Grigori listened as the two told of the war around the world, and how a Dr. Breen surrendered on behalf of Earth, and now everyone surviving was enslaved to the Combine race, and moved around like animals.
Grigori then told of his tales here in Ravenholm, of his family and friends. He then told them that he and Anzhela were the only survivors left, and led them to his safe haven in the church.
"Anzhela! There are more survivors!" he called out in Russian.
The girl then appeared before the bunch. "Hello," she greeted in Russian.
"They speak English," Grigori supplied.
"Sorry. Hello," she said again in English.
The two newbies smiled at the girl, and after a few days, Anzhela also knew of the world outside.
Weeks passed, and gradually, few people at a time started to file into the once abandoned town. They called themselves rebels, and eventually, there were enough people to qualify the town as a small village. Grigori and Anzhela were glad at their new found company, and happily showed everyone the secrets of the town.
A couple of years passed, new rebels entering the town was now a common occurrence. Word had spread around outside about the safe haven called Ravenholm, the town off Combine maps. "Underground Railroads" were built to get to the haven, and a man named Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx built a place called Black Mesa East as the final checkpoint to Ravenholm.
Eli and Alyx visited Ravenholm a lot, and befriended everyone there, bringing news from outside in, and told tales of a man named Gordon Freeman.
It seemed as though nothing bad could happen to people once they came to Ravenholm. Soon, the town became a town again, instead of just a base for people to hide out in.
That was the mistake that caused the second downfall of Ravenholm, however.
Shells were falling from the sky. The creatures called 'headcrabs' fell from the shells, and attacked the town. Dropship after Dropship came, bombing the town with the alien-filled shells, devastating the city. The cries the two original survivors thought they'd never hear again once again filled the air.
The headcrabs latched themselves onto the refugees, creating monsters called Zombies who continued to wreck havoc on the town. Grigori and Anzhela busied themselves with guiding the people out to the old highway, and building traps for their fallen hostile friends.
Until the day Anzhela fell victim to a headcrab. Grigori hesitated to shoot his long-time friend, and watched as another rebel killed the zombie she had become.
Soon, the town had become totally devastated. Most of the people now roamed the town aimlessly, searching for future victims to bring into Hell with them.
And Grigori took the name Father, and tried to bring them back to salvation, quoting the Bible in an attempt to both cleanse the tormented souls below, and to regain his sanity he had lost years ago.
Those verses were the only thing he could take that belonged to Anzhela. His wife.