Chapter 1

30 Miles from the Black Mesa Facility

1030 hours

Pvt. First Class Bryan Scoville

1.5 Hrs. after event

The roar of the rotors nearly drowned out the words of Sergeant Dendy as he briefed our squad in the details of the coming operation.

"Alright men, as of 900 hours today, the Black Mesa Corporation experienced some sort of disaster. We have orders to clean up the mess that those fools made, and eliminate all involved. If it is deemed necessary, all personnel will be eliminated. There is also the possibility of encountering specimens that the scientists have extracted from alternate worlds. These are also to be destroyed. Any questions? No? Then do your final checks and prepare for drop off."

I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, thinking about the long hours to come. When we were first briefed on the mission, I was not the only one having doubts about killing civilians, but I have now accepted it, as the consequences for disobeying orders were too great. The main worry that I had now was the other contacts that the Sergeant discussed.

Suddenly, when we were about ten miles away, one of the other helicopters, Call sign Goose 3, was hit by an orange colored ray, causing its engine to explode and crash: a strange flyer, shaped like manta ray, flew past, pursued by a pair of F-16 fighters.

"What the hell was that?" I yelled.

Greenwood shouted back at me "I don't know, but today is going to be a long day."

The next few minutes were spent in silence, the only talking heard that of the pilots in the cockpit franticly trying to find out what had just hit our transports. Those Flies were definitely not from this earth. Where they sent by the scientists to try and stop us? It seemed unlikely, as word of our operation would not have reached them at this point in time.

As we neared the facility, I could smell smoke on the air, and when I looked out the window I could see that a huge smoke column was rising from the far side of the facility.

As soon as we landed, we left the Osprey and spread out. I watched as the aircraft rose and then flew back in the direction of the base, likely to pick up the second force of Marines. Barely a minute had passed since we had landed when a few scientists with a security guard ran out of the one of the building near us, shouting "Please, wait! We're with the science team!"

Corporal Pennell spun towards them and opened fire with his SAW machine gun. The high caliber rounds tore through the hapless civilians, leaving only a mess of body parts and gore.

"Damn!" He exclaimed. "This is going to be too easy!"

"Watch it corporal, were not here to have fun." Rebuked Dendy with a frown.

"Alright squad, the majority of us Marines are going to be waiting topside for the 2nd Armored to help secure the topside areas. But Command needs some lucky SOBs to go down into the maze-like hell down there and flush out the surviving scientists. "He growled at us. " It won't be easy, but somebody needs to do it. And don't worry about those guards, their weapons can't pierce our armor, so you'll have few to no threats, as far as we know. "The sergeant then turned towards Pennell." Corporal, I need you to take Greenwood, Scoville, and Monk with you down into the Facility. You know what to do. Good luck and Godspeed."

Our team, followed by a few other small groups, entered a large reception area where several soldiers had already started setting up a base. Blood coated the back half of the room, and a pair of Marines was in the process of dragging the bodies down the hallway to the left.

We then made our way towards the elevator, and, as the other teams went down there separate areas and elevators, our door opened and we all stepped inside.

"Next floor, Level 5" A monotonous voice crackled from the speakers

The elevator then shuddered and began to quickly descend. After a few minutes we reached our floor, and boring white hallway heading to the left and right. We were greeted by the corpse of one of the employees lying in a pool of blood with a large burn on his back.

"I wonder what killed this guy," Monk observed.

We then began to travel down the white hallway, looking into the windows on the walls for survivors. In one of the rooms there was what appeared to be some sort of operating table with a twitching body on it, and in another was the dismembered body of some poor soul. Up ahead we could see two hallways leading off to the sides, with an open doorway to right. When we neared the doorway Monk moved towards it and entered. As I prepared to follow I heard him scream and begin to fire his MP5 smg. I sprinted in and found him being dragged through another door by what appeared to be a scientist. I raised my SPAS shotgun and fired one shell directly into its head. The scientist stopped and raised the fullness of the height, and only then did I realize that it was no scientist, not anymore. A strange growth covered his entire head; its chest was completely ripped open, and its hands had mutated into horrible claws. I yelled in surprise and stumbled back, and fired both barrels of the shotgun into its chest knocking it back into the dark room beyond.

I looked down at Monk to find he was merely knocked out. I grabbed him by the straps of his backpack and pulled him back into the hallway. Greenwood quickly crouched down and began looking over the unconscious soldier before grabbing a needle from his med kit and jabbing it into Monk's neck. After a few seconds he rose to a sitting position and shook his head.

"Damn, that thing came out of nowhere and hit me across the head. Next thing I know I'm here."

Suddenly an unholy chorus of moaning reverberated from down one of the hallways and the room they just left. Suddenly a swarm of those creatures began pouring out of the room, and another began coming from down the hallway.

"Shit!" Pennell shouted. "Open fire!"

I quickly fed shells back into the gun, and snapped the barrel towards the nearest foe. I pulled the trigger and felt it kick against my shoulder, and saw the spray of brownish-yellow blood as it sprayed from the thing's head area. It fell back against its fellows, who pushed its body out of the way. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Pennell and Monk spraying down the main hall, while Greenwood stood by my side and was fire controlled bursts with his smg. For a few seconds it seemed we could hold them off, but quickly more appeared. Pennell franticly glanced around and gave the order to retreat. I quickly sprinted away with the others, glancing back to see the creatures slowly shuffling after us.

When we finally got to the elevator we were all out of breath, so it took us a few seconds to notice that the body of the scientist was missing.

"Huh, I wonder where the old man wandered off to." Greenwood mused to himself. Immediately after he said that a loud electrical noise sounded behind us. I immediately spun around a saw a pair of strange, brownish creature with a small third arm growing out of their chest and a large, reddish eye.

"Maybe they're friendly." Monk said nervously. He set his gun down and began slowly edging towards one.

"Be careful man, we don't know what these things are" I warned. As he began to turn around to rebuke me, the creatures began forming strange green balls of energy, which they quickly fired at the distracted Monk. The first bolt took off his arm at the elbow, launching the limb down the hallway, the second catching him in the stomach, causing him to stumble back and fall. I shouted and fired both barrels at one of the monsters, while the other was gunned down by Pennell. The elevator doors suddenly opened, revealing a startled scientist. I lifted my SPAS with one hand and took off his head in one blast. I didn't have time to deal with him. The scientist's brains splattered against the back of the elevator, and his body slumped to the ground. Greenwood and I quickly dragged the mortally wounded Monk into the elevator, while Pennell quickly jabbed the control for the lobby.

"OH GOD! MY ARM!" Monk screamed clucking the bleeding stump of his arm. He was damned lucky that his suit blocked most of the damage from the shot to the gut, but if he didn't get treated fast, he was likely to die.

"He's going into shock!" Greenwood shouted as he injected a needle into Monk's neck. I glanced at the scientist, and regretted my decision, but orders were orders.

Today was going to be a long, long day.