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"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to bid farewell to our friend, colleague and father," Dr Magnusson read as he stood before Eli's coffin.
Alyx quietly wept and huddled into Gordon's shoulder.
The theoretical physicist turned saviour of mankind stood silently, as he always did and put his arm around the weeping daughter of his old friend, having removed his HEV suit temporarily.
"May he rest in peace, for all eternity. And now, Dr Kleiner, if you would say something," Magnusson said and stepped down from the podium.
"Um, yes... Magnusson..." Kleiner coughed nervously and addressed the crowd. "I know this may not the most appropriate time - and take as much time as you want by all means - but Gordon and Alyx should get moving to find the Borealis as soon as possible, why if the combine-"
"My father's dead Isaac," Alyx glared at the timid scientist, who cringed under her gaze. "I'll do whatever it takes to kill these bastards. Gordon's with me too. Aren't you?"
Gordon sighed and nodded.
"Well then... I... um..." Kleiner sputtered.
"Oh get out the way you old fool," Magnusson muttered and waved Kleiner away. "So you two will take Eli's helicopter, piloted by none other than Mr Calhoun, to the Arctic to find Dr Mossman and this 'Borealis' super weapon. Agreed?"
"Calhoun? Barney's here?" Alyx piped up eagerly, "Where is he?"
"Oh he's back there somewhere," Magnusson said and waved a hand in the general direction of the hangar. "Now, Dr Freeman, if you would join me in my study. We have business to discuss," He said and gestured to the building behind the funeral.
Alyx sniffed again and let Gordon go. He glanced over his shoulder with a worried look at the poor orphaned girl, then turned and followed Magnusson.
"Now, Dr Freeman, we must discuss about the finding of the Borealis. It is crucial that you- are you even listening to me?" Magnusson said as he glared at Gordon.
Gordon shrugged apologetically and pulled a chair closer to the stuffy scientist and hunkered down, listening with a bored face.
"Hmmph. Well, it is crucial that you do not, I repeat: not destroy that ship. It contains far for useful information than either myself, Dr Kleiner or Eli could ever have imagined," Magnusson said as the door burst open.
"Now hold on here, Magnusson, Eli's last wish was to destroy the Borealis and all her secrets, however useful they may in fact be," Kleiner said defensively. "And I think that we should respect the dead's final wish, don't you?"
"While I respect Eli's wishes, I must insist that the Borealis and Aperture Science must be kept in the loop of things, and not outright destroyed due to an old friend's wishes." Magnusson glared at Kleiner.
Gordon sighed and stood up.
"Here's an idea," Kleiner declared. "How about we let Gordon decide?"
"Agreed. I'm sure the good doctor will choose the correct decision. Well Gordon? Which is it?" Magnusson turned to Gordon, expecting him to choose to save the ship, instead of wastefully destroying it.
Gordon opened his mouth to say something, when the door burst open again. "Where is he- Gordon! Long time no see!" Barney Calhoun, still clad in his Civil Protection uniform, and Gordon's faithful sidekick from Black Mesa, cried happily. "I hear you an' Alyx are gonna be flying with me to the Borealis?" he said happily as he and Gordon shook hands.
Gordon smiled and nodded.
"Woohee! Just the three of us? Oh boy it's gonna be great, taking on the entire combine by ourselves..." Barney slowed down as Kleiner whispered something in his ear. "Oh... is he?" Barney whispered and looked around at the sullen faces in the room. "Oh crap... I'm sorry Alyx..." he muttered.
Alyx sniffed behind him. "It's alright, Barney."
The ex-security guard hugged her gently then pulled away. "Should we, uhhh... get moving then?" he said awkwardly and scratched his elbow.
Gordon nodded hurriedly before Magnusson or Kleiner could bombard him with more questions and ushered Barney and Alyx out the door, leaving the scientists to their squabbles.
"So." Alyx clapped her hands together. "Is the heli ready to go?"
Barney nodded. "You bet. C'mon, this way," he said and led them to the hangar, where Dog was waiting for them, hopping up and down happily.
"Hey boy, you stay with Kleiner and be good you hear?" Alyx said as she scratched his plates.
Dog sat on his hind legs and pounded his chest, making a mournful sound.
"I know boy. I'll miss him too," Alyx murmured sadly. "But you gotta stay here. It's too dangerous for you where we're going. Alright?"
Dog made a low whine and lay down, spreading his long forelegs around the trio, hugging them tightly.
"Alright boy, down. I think you're crushing Barney," Alyx laughed.
"No, no I'm just peachy," Barney grumbled. "But hey, at least getting crushed by Dog is better than gettin' your freakin' head humped," he growled, remembering that infernal head-crab of Kleiner's. "Speaking of which, where is that little snot?"
Gordon shrugged and grinned to himself. He had, in fact, last seen Lamar in the satellite missile, stuffed behind that bloody garden gnome he'd dragged, for god knows what reason, to White Forest. He opened the door to the hangar, and gazed at the rescue heli with the Lambda symbol sprayed on it's side.
"Hey Gordon, you should get suited up. You don't wanna go to the Arctic Circle in your civvies do you?" Barney chuckled.
Gordon nodded and walked over to where the HEV suit charger was - the 'Changing Room' - and punched in the code and allowing the suit to be revealed.
He grinned with content at the suit, which was more like a part of him now. Even without the helmet.
He stepped out the changing room and flexed his fingers inside the suit, sighing contentedly as he felt the suit's warmth spread across his body again.
"Ah, Gordon, I see you've found your suit. I've taken a few liberties with it his time-" Kleiner started with a smile on his face.
"You what?! Isaac! That is priceless Black Mesa property, and you do not simply go 'taking a few liberties' with it," Magnusson shouted, his face livid.
"Oh shut up you old buzzard," Kleiner grunted and turned back to Gordon. "I've upgraded it so now it holds the capacity for a grappling hook. I saw back in Black Mesa you requested one be put in." He smiled at the saviour of mankind.
Gordon smiled back and examined the new doo-hickey on his arm, pressing a button and jumping in shock as a grappling hook shot out just above his wrist, and locked onto the wall on the far side of the hangar.
"Now, now Gordon, take it easy with that thing. It's very dangerous when not used properly. I'm sure it will also be useful for battling those ghastly Advisor things," Kleiner said and lowered Gordon's arm, pressing the button just below where the hook had fired from, retracting it instantly.
"Shall we get goin' then?" Barney asked as he climbed into the pilot seat. "Gordon you get on the gun, Alyx you in the co-pilot seat."
Alyx and Gordon obeyed without a word as they climbed in. Gordon spooled up the minigun's barrel, feeling satisfied at the whirr it made and grinning slightly, where Alyx just laid back in the chair, gazing out the window with a faraway look in her eyes.
"Careful Dr Freeman, that thing heats up quickly," the rebel mechanic said as he stepped away from the heli. "All your's Barney."
"Thanks. Alright guys, buckle down," Barney murmured as he switched the engines on
Magnusson and Kleiner stepped back into group of rebels formed outside and gasped as the heli rose up and out of the hangar. The rebels waved goodbye, some tearful that the Freeman was leaving, some excited that the combine might be finally get kicked off of Earth, some worried about Alyx having just lost her father, ad some just wishing them home safely.
Gordon gazed down at them and smiled. He lay back and put his hands behind his head.
"Hey. Don't get comfy mister, we've still got a ways to go, and who knows how many combine are between us and Judith," Alyx joked as she turned and saw him with his eyes shut.
Gordon waved a hand and smiled.
Alyx laughed and turned back to the controls. "So we're actually doing this huh?" she asked her co-pilot.
Barney nodded. "Mhm. I hope Judith's alright," he murmured.
"I'm sure she's fine," Alyx said comfortingly and yawned.
"You should grab some rest while you can," Barney told her.
"No I'm... fine..." she replied and stifled a yawn mid-sentence.
"Heh. Gordon can take over for a bit if you want."
Gordon opened one eye and glared at his friend, then sighed and sat forwards.
Alyx smirked. "You've got him trained, Barney."
"Guilty as charged," Barney laughed. "Now go get some sleep. We'll be fine."
Alyx smiled and nestled down next to Gordon, who smiled and patted her head, then got up and moved into the co-pilot's chair.
"Hopefully we'll be there within the week," Barney muttered.
Gordon nodded and took the controls for a bit.
"Careful, don't wanna go crashing into anything," Barney chuckled. "Actually I'm gonna get some shut eye too. See you in a bit, Gordon."
Gordon nodded and continued staring out the window, feeling another of his migraines coming.
"Doctor Freeman..." his voice said.
Gordon shook his head and focused on flying the helicopter.
"It seems that your... friend... ah... followed my orders to the letter. I'm... so sorry.... about our friend Eli. Our... mutual... acquain-tance?" The pale figure in the dark blue suit whispered in Gordon's ear.
Gordon grunted and shook his head again.
"Now, now... Dr Freeman... we wouldn't want to crash... now would we?" The G-Man said.
Gordon looked to where the voice was coming from and glared at the G-man standing over Alyx.
"Such a useful child, she is. It's a shame really... oops. Have I said too much?" He grinned at Gordon. "Wake up, Doctor Freeman."
Gordon's eyes snapped open as he narrowly avoided crashing, and killing, or maiming, them all. He shook his head and tried to stay awake, or at least keep him out of his head for now.
Meanwhile, In another universe, a certain white alicorn with a flowing, pastel coloured rainbow mane rubbed her temple with a hoof.
"Anything the matter sister?" her younger sister asked.
"I'm fine Luna," the bigger sister snapped. One Princess Celestia: Stewardess of the Sun and Co-Ruler of the land known as Equestria with her baby sister, Princess Luna of the Night.
Princess Luna frowned. "It's not like you to keep secrets. Tell me. Is it your headaches again?"
Celestia nodded stiffly. "Mhm. They've been worse lately. Like something trying to rip my skull open."
Luna winced. "I could not possibly imagine what that is like sister. But it sounds awful."
"It is. I keep hearing a voice, it says: 'Rise and shine' all the time. It's really quite disturbing," Celestia groaned as she rubbed her head again.
"Want me to call the doctor in?" Luna asked and stroked her mane.
"No. It'll pass. It always does soon enough," Celestia grunted and nuzzled her sister. "Thank you for the offer though. Now I must take over the day from you. It was another beautiful night, little sister." She smiled as they rested against each other.
"Mhm. Don't try and change the subject. I'll see you tonight, wer we'll talk about your headaches and this... 'voice'. Good day, big sister." Luna grinned and trotted off to her own chambers for the remainder of the day.
Celestia forced a smile out, then as soon as Luna was out of earshot, she immediately groaned and clutched at her head. She began to see visions of several individuals. And monsters. Monsters with large red eyes on their heads. With three arms, firing green lighting everywhere.
And then there was him.
A pale, thin faced human, who wore a grayish, blue suit.
"Rise and shine... princess... rise and... shine..." he whispered to her over and over again.
"Get out of my head," she grunted and shook her head, trying to clear the thoughts.
Suddenly, a huge flash of light lit up the early morning sky, sending rays of ice blue light showering down upon the world. Celestia covered her eyes and winced at the sudden brightness, and gasped as a large, same icy-blue coloured beam shot up into the sky, many miles away.
"What?" she murmured as the world turned grey and fuzzy, then she passed out as his voice whisper in her ear.
"Prepare... for unforeseen consequences..."