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"Ew what is that stuff? It's gross! Looks like-" Twilight went to poke at the green and yellow sludge. It popped and gurgled, sloshing about the concrete mold.
"Don't touch it!" Gordon scolded, "It's highly dangerous! Radioactive waste, burns to the touch."
"An acid I'm guessing?"
"Residues and acids yes. I've swam in this stuff before, it's not pleasing."
"What's the yellow stuff on top?"
"Build up from whatever burns it in. Skin, bone, blood, hair. A lot of organs, seeing as it's yellow."
"Agreed, what you're stepping on is the same thing, but solid."
"Oh." Her ears went flat, "Hey whats that ahead?" She pointed straight down the large canal passage way, seeing what looked like a refugee camp (an underground railroad station). A single civilian was pounding his radio and checking over all of his supplies.
"The next station, hurry!"
They ran down across the dried muck and jumped over the waste puddles. The man that runs this station obviously didn't know what he was doing when he put the large wooden platform down, it was already rotting away quickly from the waste underneath.
"Headcrabs!" The man yelled. He grabbed his SMG and took aim to the ground.
Gordon saw the threat and used his pistol to pick off what was left. Headcrabs waddled around, hopping at their prey. Twilight used her magic to throw them in the waste, and they floated back up, sizzling. Twilight grimaced as yellow headcrab blood splattered on her face.
"Hey!" The man exclaimed, "You're Freeman aren't you? We got word you were comin'! You got here at a bad time."
"ZZzt! Black Mesa east to station six do you read? Doctor Freeman is on his way down river! Lend him the airboat and give him all the help you can! Repeat, Gordon Freeman has returned! It is critical he reaches Black Mesa East!" The radio buzzed.
"You better get goin'." The man looked at Twilight and rubbed his eyes. He shook his head and sat down, "It's probably all this gas."
Twilight stayed an inch away from Gordon as they walked down the passageway. The ground was soft and mushy underneath. It wasn't like stepping in mud or soft earth but like stepping in a pool of hard vomit. They were slow, pushing forward, looking out for headcrabs that could ambush any second. Gordon had to bend down to pass the end of the passageway, but Twilight only needed to lower her head.
"Look- I'm sorry for what I did earlier."
"It's ok, I get it, you were scared. If I were you I would be scared of this place too."
"I- I've never killed with a weapon before!"
"I understand, but sooner or later you're going to have to."
Twilight simply nodded.
"Their shelling us!"
"CRASH!" Black canisters rocketed down and smashed into the muck.
"Gordon, what's going on?!" Twilight looked around frantically, dust filled the air.
"This isn't good-" Gordon frowned. He saw the headcrabs plop out of the canister one by one. "Twilight, you're going to have to work up your fear of killing and take this!" He took out his pistol and handed it to Twilight, she picked it up by her magic. "You remember what to do?
"Yeah," She aimed down the sights and took aim at whatever Gordon said.
"There, see 'em?"
"Mmphm." She pulled the trigger and fired three bullets into a headcrab. It flung around and laid dead, tumbling around with its round body.
Gordon ran out with his crowbar and kicked one of the headcrabs. It countered his attack by hopping at him, it's large teeth bare underneath. Gordon took the advantage and swung at it, sending it miles up. Behind, Twilight was having problems with her gun.
"It stopped working!"
Gordon yanked a clip out of his belt and chucked it at Twilight. "Put it in the bottom! Press the button to release the magazine!" She did so, it slid out and she replaced it with another. By then, Gordon had gotten the last headcrab.
"Those things are creepy!"
They bended around the corner of what felt like a maze made up of scraps. Straight ahead was a small living enclosure, inside a man was being attacked! The headcrab suckled on his head and tore into his skull, blood dripped down his shirt and pants. He tugged on the headcrabs sharp, stubby legs but it was no use, he gave in to the headcrab's victory and fell on his knees, becoming top heavy. He smashed through a table and laid dead on the floor, the headcrab finally able to dig into his skull.
"Shouldn't we help him?" Twilight looked away from the body.
"Yeah-" Gordon grabbed Twilight's floating pistol and put a bullet to the headcrab. It twitched and fell over.
They kept moving, picking off the pests and even forced through a metal container that would kill them if they touched the hanging electrical cords. Now a small gap was in the path. Either jump quickly or go slow, cross on the wood, and not risk anything. As soon as Gordon set foot on the plank across, something came towering out of the gunk. It was human, but a suckling headcrab had dug into the skull. Intestines hung out from the torn chest cavity, ribs cracked and all organs exposed to the boiling waste. The smell of rotting stomach acid and dried blood filled the air. Twilight couldn't hold it in, she had to let it out; so she vomited all over it. For a minute, it stopped moving around, then started to growl and moan. The sounds of the dying human underneath made Twilight want to die right there and then.
"YABBAH!" It paused and gargled on blood. "MY ICING!"
Twilight thought for a moment, it just spoke English! (Er, Equestrian?) Gordon aimed his SMG but Twilight grabbed it out of his hands as the zombie shuffled around. "English!" Twilight said, almost excited to talk to it. Now out of being a science nerd, it washed away her fears and replaced it with curiosity.
"What?!" Gordon was shocked at her reaction. Usually she would be screaming and clinging to his legs.
"It said words!"
"I think the gasses have gotten to you."
"No, no, it said- er- something about icing?"
"You know, cake icing?"
"Why would it be saying that?"
"You're the scientist here, maybe it likes cake!"
"How do you know?"
"Ask it yourself." Gordon pointed behind her, the zombie was towering over her head almost a whole pony higher. She squeak. Gordon, with somewhat protective instincts, socked it in the- er- headcrab. It shuffled backwards with a wet garble, and waddled forward again, Twilight was so disgusted with it by this point she got over her fear of killing something alive, of course, it is dead already- kind of.
"Get off!" She bucked with all her might, sending it flying into an explosive barrel. It tumbled over, knocking over other zombies that were getting up. She picked up the SMG and fired into the barrels, an angry look on her face.
After what seemed like an hour of dust and flying headcrabs, they could see the damage. All that was left was zombie guts and some legs. The headcrabs skewered all along the metal debris and bodies spilled into the waste, gurgling and popping filling the air with the putrid smell of burnt, rotten zombie flesh.
"Okay, that's nasty." Twilight grimaced "Kinda made a mess." She looked over at Gordon, who looked somewhat surprised, even for what he has seen in his lifetime. "Speechless?" Twilight had a devious smug on her face.
"Well for a talking purple magical unicorn from a different time and space, which is highly illogical, unrealistic, not to mention improbable, and so impossible every way shape or form, and that's afraid to kill, and that is female, you have a creative way of- er- killing. I did the math. And I’m good in math."
"I'm gonna take that as a compliment."
"Yeah, good idea."
"C'mon you chicken!" Rainbow Dash coaxed.
"Dash we can't go outside! The human says so!"
"Fluttershy, don't you wanna see what's out there?"
"N-Not if it's d-d-d-d-dangerous."
"He's just saying that! What if he does weird experiments on us?"
"W-w-w-why would he do t-t-t-that?"
"You tell me Fluttershy, you tell me. From what that Barney guy says, humans are pretty mean."
"But I like the D-d-d-doctor."
"I don't know- Dr. Kleiner, I think."
"I'm pretty sure they said Dr. Killer, Fluttershy."
"Yeah! Now be quiet and help me get this window open!"
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy had been sitting in the teleporter room discussing this escape for an hour or so, up on Kleiner's control panel. They could get up without his mini elevator, being pegasi. Dash pried the window open while Fluttershy sneaked out. She then held it open from the outside, and Dash slipped out underneath. Both of them carefully shut it so it wouldn't slam.
"Stupid humans and their stupid flipping windows. Can't they just slide instead? Yeesh!"
"Dash, we should be quiet!"
"We're outside now! We can be as loud as we want!"
"YAHH! (EEEP!)" Both ponies squealed in unison. Lamarr had somehow gotten outside and landed on Rainbow's head. She batted at it, hitting and pulling.
"Augh! Whhha? Uahhh?"
"Is it hurting you?!"
"Not really." The headcrab perched on the top of her head, as if it was a hat.
"Then don't hurt it! Maybe it just needs a friend. Come here little guy." Fluttershy patted the ground to pet it, but it remained on Dash's head. She giggled at Dash's appearance.
"What's so funny?!"
"It likes you!" She grinned.
"Psssshht stupid alien."
"Aw, poor little guy."
"Let's just dump him here and let's go explore!"
Fluttershy gasped at that idea. "We can't just leave him here Rainbow Dash! He's a living thing!"
"How do we even know it's a 'he' in the first place?!"
"He just seems like a he."
"Does it have a- never mind. I'm not checking. Let's go."
Gordon and Twilight walked along a thick wooden pathway over a river of highly toxic, boiling acid that popped and hissed. Gordon would survive a fall into the acid, but Twilight would be skinned to the bone in a matter of seconds. To make things even worse, little spider things bolted out and after Gordon. One lunged after him, but he ducked and it hit Twilight. It scratched at her snout, not able to couple the head correctly, cutting and slashing. Angered, she whipped it around and it smashed against concrete, sliding down into the acid below. The other creature pushed its comrade off the side, and lunged after Gordon again. He had already gotten out his crowbar and batted it off the side.
They proceeded into another section of canal, but it was filled with the acid. A woman stood in her dirty wet civies, filling the airboat. She noticed Gordon and jumped in surprise, of course ignoring Twilight. Illusions and sickness was an everyday thing to the citizens of City 17, to her Twilight was just an image from the brain damage. Damn gasses.
"Hey! Doctor Freeman I was hoping you'd show up! Got this airboat all gassed up and ready to go. It's gonna be tough dodging Civil Protection out there in the open, but drive hard and you'll make it. You'll find more help at Station 7, just up a few bends up the river. It's the old red barn. Climb on in fire her up!"
The only problem was...... it has one seat.