Chapter 17

Accessing File: Test of the Spiral Gems

When a potential Spiral user comes in contact with one of the Spiral Gems, the gem they come into contact with will put the potential host through a powerful test in the mind to test their resolve. If the person passes the Spiral Gem transforms into an object that best suits the person, a sword, shield, spear, staff, or even a flute or harp. Depends on the person. If they fail the person can still take the Gem but it remains in its true form and offers only a small amount of its power.

Accessing File: Dr. Gordon Freeman

Age: 27.

Education: PhD in Theoretical Physics, MIT.

Employer and Position: Black Mesa Research Facility, Research Associate.

Assignment: Anomalous Materials Laboratory.

Clearance: Level 3.

Administrative Sponsor: Classified.

Disaster Response Priority: Discretionary.

Combat Training: One semester of combat training in Freshmen year of Highschool

A native of Washington, Freeman harbors an early interest in theoretical physics, such as quantum mechanics and relativity. His earliest heroes are Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Richard Feynman.

He has no dependents and is a graduate of MIT, having earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. His thesis was titled Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction Through Nonlinear Transuranic Crystal of Extremely Long Wavelength (ELW) Pulse from Mode-Locked Source Array (the behavior of large stuff {Supraquantum Structures} relative and related to each other {Entanglement} after a very short duration {Mode-Locked} "Extremely Long Wavelength Pulse" by an arrangement {Array} of crystals with an atomic number greater than 92 {Transuranic}, without coming into physical contact with the structures in question {Induction}) (In laymen's terms... looking at teleportation effects on crystals when you fire lasers at them. Which is basically the same procedure that caused the resonance cascade at the Black Mesa Research Facility).

After graduating from MIT, Gordon travels to Austria, and observes a series of teleportation experiments conducted by the Institute for Experimental Physics in Innsbruck. Eventually, he becomes disappointed with the slow pace of teleportation research in academia and begins to search for a job outside the education sector. By coincidence, Freeman's MIT mentor Dr. Isaac Kleiner has taken charge of a research project at a government-owned, integrated research facility known as the Black Mesa Research Facility and offers Freeman a job. He accepts, hoping that at least part of the immense funding would go towards civilian applications of astrophysics and quantum computing.


"The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference... in the world."

Within a black void there was nothing but the G-Man, he was looking in the direction of the audience and grinning.

"When disaster strikes who do you expect to answer the call? The right man in the right palce?" The G-Man said as the screen changed to show Black Mesa under siege from Xen with his face appearing transparent to allow the audience to see the facility through it. "You would expect a superhero to come saving the day and solving the problem. Or even a super soldier with a vast military expertise." As he said this it showed Valhallen, Krunk, and Living Bullet fighting the invaders from Xen, and when he mentioned a super soldier the screen changed to show a man wearing green armor with a gold visor fighting different aliens in what appeared to be an alien spaceship.

"But what if they are not there to help?" The screen shows members of the Black Mesa personnel being killed by Xen invaders and HECU marines. "Do you simply cower and pray that you aren't found? Do you surrender and hope that the enemy lets you live?"

The G-Man's face disappears and appears walking along the still images of people and aliens and looks at them. "I believe anyone in this situation should wake up and smell the ashes." The image changes and the G-Man is walking past still figures of members of the Black Mesa team fighting back against the marines and aliens. "All sentient beings in the cosmos have the innate ability to fight for survival even if the odds are not in their favor. For it is in the fight for survival that one is able to discover what they are truly capable of."

As the G-Man walks by the still figures he stops by one and smirks at it the still figure is Gordon Freeman. In one hand he held a crowbar that had smashed the forehead of a marine and his other hand has an SMG that had fired into another marine. "I admit I have a fascination with those who adapt and survive against all odds. They rather remind me of myself."

The scene changes back to the black void and a white doorway appears that the G-Man notices and walks toward it. "It seems my future client has finished his mission. This is where I get off." The G-Man says as he walks through the white portal and it disappears behind him.


As Gordon exited the portal, he finds himself at the top of the top of the tower. All around him he sees a swarm of flying mantas flying around the tower completely ignoring him. Gordon sees that the exit portal was on a small island that broke off from the platform at the top of tower. He sees another island in front of the one he's on and that it was close to the platform. Taking a deep breath Gordon sprints forward and uses long-jump module to get to the other island and repeats the process to get on the platform.

As Gordon walks toward the portal he remembers everything that happened since the resonance cascade from yesterday morning. Aliens invading the facility, the marines coming to 'clean up' the facility, the satellite he launched to stop the invasion, him coming to the Lambda Labs to enter this dimension, freeing the Vortigaunts from enslavement, and now he's approaching the lair of the alien leader. This more than what anyone would've asked a theoretical physicist like Gordon to do in their whole life. Now he has to finish this fight and get back whatever that gem is from the Nihilanth.

Gordon reaches the portal and sees that it's a red orb hovering over a hole in the ground and is surrounded by what looks like pincers. He can't reach it because of its current position and so he sprints toward it and uses his long-jump module to get through it. Once he enters the orb everything goes white.


Gordon exits the teleporter and finds himself in midair of an unknown room. He finds himself falling to the ground and thanks to his landing jets he lands safely. The room was quite dark, and he saw something floating in the center of the room and what worried him was when it spoke in that same demonic sounding voice he heard all across Xen.

"Freeeeemaaaaaannn..." The creature said as it raised two arms that Gordon recognized from the start of the resonance cascade when he saw that orange gem get snatched away.

"The Nihlianth I assume." Gordon said as he summoned the Gluon Gun

"The last... I am... the last..." The Nihilanth said as his hands glowed blue allowing Gordon to get a better look at him.

The Nihilanth resembled a gigantic, abnormally proportioned brownish-gray fetus with a massive head atop a smaller body. The creature's minuscule legs appeared to either be vestigial or the remains of amputation, and because of that he seemed to rely on a levitation device for movement.

His head is so large that it must be kept upright with a small cord/string that extends from the base of the spine to the back of the head. Like all of the other sapient Xen species, he has 3-fingered hands, multiple eyes, and a third appendage protruding from the middle of his chest. Underneath his third arm is a surgical scar that goes down his abdomen, and around his head were some stitching lines going up. He has unusually long arms, huge hands, and disproportionate fingers. In addition, the Nihilanth was also wearing metallic wristbands similar to those worn by enslaved Vortigaunts.

As the Nihilanth brought his hands together Gordon took notice of three objects in the room that lit up. They each had a large cluster of blue crystals that lit up and produced some sort of energy shield that was divided into sections around the Nihlianth. As the field was completed Gordon saw metal plates form a spinning cone around each cluster of crystals. Gordon points the Gluon Gun and the Nihilanth and fires at him. The beam hits the shield but doesn't seem to do any damage making Gordon stop firing.

The Nihilanth raises two of his hands as large spheres of orange energy gather in them. "Now die... now die... now..." The Nihlianth says as he fires multiple energy spheres at Gordon.

Gordon stores away the Gluon Gun and runs across the room to avoid the attacks, but while he avoids most of them the last one manages to hit him causing him to land on the ground with.

"Aura at 72%." The HEV suit says.

Gordon grunts as he gets back up and looks at the three objects on the walls of the room. 'Those things are shield generators, if I want o break through those shields, I have to eliminate them!' Gordon thought to himself as he summons the Gluon Gun again and moves toward one of the generators and fires at it. The energy beam hits the first generator and starts destroying its metal plates until the crystal cluster is seen and is destroyed by the Gluon Gun.

The Nihilanth gives out an inhuman gasp and does something odd. He spreads out his arms and red energy appears in his hands but does nothing with them. Gordon then notices a red light on the ground around himself, he looks up and sees multiple red energy beams coming down on him and the area around him. He sprints out of the way and switches to his RPG and fires it at the second shield generator. The first rocket hits and takes down multiple metal plates, as Gordon sees the metal plates spin he sometimes catches a glimpse of the second crystal cluster. He fires a second rocket and it manages to make it through an opening and destroy the cluster.

The Nihilanth was not happy about this and gave out a new threat. "Die... you all die... you all die..."

Gordon made sure to avoid any more energy spheres the Nihilanth fired a him or any energy beams he tried to make rain down on top of him by using his suit's sprint mode and long-jump module. Gordon successfully avoids the attacks and gets near the last shield generator and destroys it with more RPG shots.

When the last shield generator was destroyed the Nihilanth looked around the room to see that it was true. He growls and starts to fire the energy in his hands as streams of lightning that moved in the direction, he points his hands at. "The truth... you can never know... the truth..." The Nihilanth says as he fires his lightning at Gordon.

'Run. Think. Shoot. Live.' Gordon thinks to himself as he moves around to avoid the attacks. As he runs, he summons back the Gluon Gun and fires at the Nihilanth's shield. The beam destroyed the segments that were in its path but since the shield was rotating the beam would hit a new segment, but on occasion it would hit the Nihilanth who gave out screams of pain, but seemed strong enough to withstand the beam of a weapon that's basically a quantum destabilizer.

When about half of the shield was gone and the Nihilanth took some damage he then raises his hands and large jagged rocks move out of the ground around Gordon. It was blocking his attacks on the Nihilanth so he switches to his SMG and tries to find a way around the mess. When he was a good angle of the Nihilanth he fires his SMG and brings down segments of its shield and gets s few hits on it.

"Alone... like you you alone..." The Nihilanth says as he raises his hands and gathers white energy in them. The raised rocks return to their original level and around the Nihilanths head appeared portal spheres with Black Mesa security cars in them. It seemed that he was teleporting things from the facility to Xen now. When the spheres disappear the Nihilanth uses its telekinetic abilities to launch the objects at Gordon. Using sprint mode and the long-jump module Gordon is able to avoid them but the shockwave from the explosion of one of the cars hits him sending forward and landing on his stomach. Gordon gets up and sees a capsule teleport in front of him with ammunition and depleted uranium-235 batteries.

"They're still trying to help me." Gordon says as he runs forward and uses his Semblance on the capsule to get most of the stuff in it without having to grab them all one at a time.

Gordon then switches to the Gluon Gun and replaces its battery with a new one making it full charged. While he was doing this, he was carefully avoiding boulders the Nihlanth was telekinetically throwing at him and when the alien leader switched back to energy attacks Gordon goes back to attacking the Nihilanth. The energy beam hits the Nihilanth and destroys the last segments of his energy shield.

"Die... you all die... you all die..." The Nihilanth says as he gathers energy into his hands. He then crosses his arms and releases an energy wave that envelops the room. Soon the walls of a tornado envelop in the room carrying debris such as crystal shards and boulders. Suddenly he starts gathering blue energy into his third arm and spreads out his other two. Energy comes down and hits the ground around the Nihilanth creating energy waves that spread out across the room. The Nihilanth also finishes gathering the blue energy and fires an energy beam at Gordon who manages to avoid it but has to doge the energy waves which he isn't able to dodge every attack.

"Aura at 19%. Find cover and regenerate Aura levels."

Gordon moves around and switches to his SMG and fires on at the Nihilanth. While Gordon was able to land hits on the alien leader, he would summon a round blue energy shield to block Gordon's attacks forcing Freeman to move around and attack the alien from behind. When he got behind the Nihilanth Gordon fired every SMG grenade he had at the alien's backside, and then, something happened.

The Nihilanth gives out a roar of pain and brings his hands to his chest and begins to spin around. "You are man... he is not man... for you he waits... for you..." The Nihilanth says as he spreads his arms out and the stitches around his head are undone causing his head to open up. Inside the Nihilanths head Gordon could see a large cluster of yellow crystals. Gordon switches to his RPG to fire at the cluster but the Nihilanths powers begin to behave erratically.

Energy waves are sent throughout the floor and red energy beams started to rain down in every area of the room. Whatever Gordon's last attack did seem to have worked a little too well. Gordon had to dodge each attack that came at him and position himself out of the way of rocks that move out of the ground to block his shot. Once he had a good position and the Nihilanth's head was turned to Gordon he fired the RPG and it struck the cluster.



The Nihilanth gives out a roar of pain and one last message to Gordon. "Deceive you... he will deceive you..."

Suddenly Gordon is slowly lifted into the air, it appears that destroying the crystal in the Nihilanths head had caused the gravity in the room to work differently.

'Think Gordon, there's got to be a way out of here!' Gordon thought to himself as he looked around the room for something.


A voice called out his name, but it wasn't just any voice it was the voice he heard coming from that orange gem. He looks in the direction he heard it and he sees the same gem fly out of the Nihilanth's huge grotesque head. Gordon also spies some boulders flying around him and in his path for the gem. He narrows his eyes and grabs onto a passing boulder, he firmly plants his feet on it and jumps off while using his long-jump module to head for the gem. Gordon manages to run across passing boulders and makes use of the long-jump module when he has enough power for each of the three jumps to make his way toward the gem. He reaches the last boulder near the gem and jumps off it and nearly catches the gem.

"No!" Gordon shouts as he almost touched the gem. He looks at his HUD and sees that long-jump module is still recharging for the next jump. He looks back at the gem moving away from him and then back to his HUD. His next jump is ready to activate.

"Come on let's do this!" Gordon says as he activates the long-jump module again propelling him to the gem. He reaches the gem and grabs it.


When Gordon grabbed the gem, he found himself back on the train when he was on his way to the Sector C Test Labs. He was confused because everything seemed to be the same but what was different was that he was on it with Barney, Eli, Isaac, and a woman who wasn't supposed to be at Black Mesa.

"Hey there Gordon." The woman greeted casually.

"Alyx? Alyx what are you doing here?" Gordon asked the woman he knew as Alyx.

This woman is Alyx Vance, the 24-year old daughter of Eli Vance and Gordon's girlfriend. Alyx has brown, short hair with streaks of red, a headband, and green eyes. She wears worn-out clothes: a brown leather jacket with the right sleeve attached to the rest with duct tape, jeans and brown work boots, with a grey hooded sweater bearing the Black Mesa logo, with the words "Black Mesa" under it. She has black fingerless rappelling gloves and a tensor bandage around her right hand. Around her neck is a little box-like jewel, made was either made out of wood or metal, which Gordon knew belonged to her deceased mother as he had seen it in the Vance family picture that Eli keeps with him. A birthmark can also be seen at the stem of her neck.

"Alyx what are you doing here? You're supposed to be at MIT." Gordon says as he approaches Alyx.

"Actually, I'm not Alyx I am a representation of someone you hold a strong bond with, as are they." 'Alyx' said as she motioned to the copies of Eli, Barney, and Isaac. "The Gem of Bond created us to test how strong the bond you share with your friends and loved ones are."

"The 'Gem of Bond'?" Gordon asked.

"That orange gem you touched." 'Alyx' explained. "One of twelve gifts given to mankind that possesses great strength. When you touched the gem, it pulled your mind into your own mindscape to see if you are worthy of its full strength or not. The time in the outside world is considerably slower, but we're currently pressed for time since the Nihilanths base is about to blow up, so we'll have to skip to the last part of the test. It's a little unorthodox and we normally don't do this but like I said you 're about to die outside and the mindscape can only work faster than real time for so long."

"I understand." Gordon answered.

"But be warned this part of the test is the most difficult for it truly tests how far you'd go for those you care about." 'Alyx' stated. "Tell me Gordon, would you die, for the people you care about?"

The area changes and Gordon finds himself in a hanger with Alyx and a noticeably older Eli Vance. However, they were attacked by two pale, floating grub-like creatures with no discernible facial features. They have a device similar to a gas mask attached to their front end, as well as a cybernetic eyepiece on the left-hand side of the faceplate.

Each grub wears a skin-tight olive-green bodysuit that covers all but the ends of their bodies, with a collar adorned with golden glyphs around their "necks." They also have a pair of thin black robotic arms implanted to their backs. Out of the mask of one of the creatures was an appendage which protruded from its mouth like an elongated tongue, though looked more or less phallic in appearance.

In the scene Gordon realized that him and Alyx were being telekinetically pinned to the wall and Eli was being held by the creature with the weird tongue. But everyone was frozen place.

"What is this!?" Gordon asked as he struggled to break free.

"The test Dr. Freeman." 'Alyx' but it didn't come from the ALyx in the room with him. "Now watch."

The scene unfreezes and Gordon hears Alyx cry out to Eli who tries reassuring her.

"Alyx sweetie, look away!" Eli called out as the tongue approached the back of his head. "I love you sweetheart!"

At that moment the grub's tongue struck into Eli's neck killing him.

"ELI!" Gordon shouted.

"DAD!" Alyx cried as she began to sob. "…oh my God…oh my God…"

Gordon struggled to get out, but he couldn't move, and the creatures were advancing upon him and Alyx. But salvation came when he heard an electronic whine and beeping sound.


Gordon sees a robot that had a body structure that resembled a gorilla made out of what appeared to be scavenged scrap metal, hydraulics and wires. However, its head looked strangely familiar to him…

"Dog!?" Gordon said as he recognized its head that had only one eye and three flaps that moved to express emotion. Dog was a robot that Alyx constructed to act as a pet for her, but the last time Gordon saw Dog he was only around the size of a small dog not 8 ft and resembled a gorilla. Dog came in and grabbed the closest creature and slammed it into the floor. The grub crawls away from Dog as the robot tries to attack the other one but it flies away with its comrade following it.

With both creatures gone Gordon and Alyx fall to the ground but Gordon hits his head and starts to blackout. But before he loses consciousness, he sees Alyx cradling her fathers body as Dog looks at them in sadness.

"Please dad…don't leave me!" Alyx says to her dead father while sobbing.

As Gordon blacks out the area changes back to the inside of the train and he's with 'Alyx' again.

"What was that!?" Gordon vehemently asked the fake Alyx.

"You saw your best friend die Dr. Freeman." 'Alyx' said. "You and Alyx were telekinetically pinned by the Shu'ulathoi and Eli was struggling to focus because they hit him with a psychic attack. He was able to attack one of them before it killed him. Now I'll ask you this, if your positions were reversed would you die for your friends?"

Gordon tightens his hands and narrows his eyes at 'Alyx' and tells her, "Eli was prepared to die for us I'd do the same for him, Alyx, Barney, Isaac, and anyone else in a HEARTBEAT!"

Gordon's last word echoed out and the area changes back to the hanger, but this time Eli was telekinetically pinned to the wall and Gordon was facing the Shu'ulathoi. In his right hand was his crowbar and he approached the creature ready to strike it, but his movements were slowed as his head was in pain. This was no doubt the grubs psychic attack. As he got close to it, he let out a yell and attack the creature with the crowbar. The creature then hits Gordon with a telekinetic blast that sends him face first into the floor. The creature then picks him up and he sees Eli and Alyx call out to him. He closes his eyes as he knows what's about to happen. He feels the sharp pain of something striking the back of his neck and everything goes black as the voices of his friends fade away.

"Congratulations Dr. Freeman, you passed."


Gordon opens his eyes and finds himself floating back in the air of the Nihilanth's chamber. He sees that the Gem of Bond is glowing and suddenly it transforms into a staff with ornamental markings and at the top of it was a small orange jewel. He gripped the staff somehow knowing how to wield it and when it began to glow it teleported him out of the Nihilanth's chamber.


Gordon finds himself still in Xen, but he was on an island far away from the one the Nihilanth's tower was on. He saw it in the distance, but he could also see the giant mantas flying away from it along with other flying Xen creatures. He stares at the red sphere at the top of the tower and noticed that it was glowing brighter than it did before. He then hears the Nihilanth' roaring out in pain when suddenly…


The Nihilanth's island explodes its resulting shockwave broke apart any island to close to it and pushed some islands away from it. Before Gordon had a chance to use the staff to teleport away his vision went white.

"Gordon Freeman in the flesh," said a voice Gordon didn't know but as his vision returned, he saw that it belonged to the G-Man who stood on the thin and walked toward him. "Or rather in the hazard suit."

"You!?" Gordon said in surprise at seeing the mysterious G-Man again and surprised at how he somehow stopped time around him and Gordon.

"Yes me." The G-Man said with a smirk on his face. "Under normal circumstances I would relieve you of your weapons since most of them were government property but that Semblance of yours makes it rather impossible. As for the suit I think you've earned it. Thanks to you the borderworld Xen has liberated from enslavement, for the time being." The G-Man says as he turns his attention to the staff in Gordon's right hand. "Now there is only the matter of that staff. I've put in a lot of effort to ensure that its original form made it into your hands Dr. Freeman and to make sure your mind was resolute when you faced the trial."

Everything changes and Gordon sees himself back in the Anti-mass Spectrometer pushing the crystal sample into the beam. The scene then changes to Gordon fighting aliens and the Hazardous Environmental Combat Unit back in Black Mesa. After the scenes Gordon finds himself back on the train with the G-Man but they were going through a black void.

"You were the one responsible for the resonance cascade!" Gordon said upon realization. "Those last-minute changes were you're doing!"

"I had to convince administrator Breen to have the Anomalous Materials team put the anti-mass spectrometer at 105%." The G-Man calmly explained.

"Do you know how many innocent people lost their lives because of you!?" Gordon said accusingly.

"Yes, though it was regrettable I was impressed by how the survivors adapted and survived." The G-Man said. "I admit I have a fascination with those who adapt and survive against all odds. They rather remind me of myself."

"Just what the heck are you!?" Gordon demanded.

"Perhaps what I am is not as important as what I can offer you in exchange for that staff of yours Dr. Freeman." The G-Man said as he faced Gordon while the train disappeared around them. "I can't simply take away a Spiral Gem after its with a new host."

"You said you wanted me to have the Gem of Bond." Gordon said as he tightened his grip on the staff. "Why take it back?"

"Allow me to explain." The G-Man said as the area changed to them standing in space, while above what looked like coral, with a few planets and a single star away from them. "Some believe the fate of our worlds is inflexible." The G-Man said as he separated into a bunch of shadow copies that walked around. "My employers disagree. They authorize me to…nudge things in a particular direction from time to time." The setting turns back into the black void and Gordon sees the G-Man standing behind him now.

"My employers are offering you a chance to save your world from a threat that has been plaguing it for the past 50,000 years as well as others in exchange for the Gem of Bond." The G-Man said as he approached Gordon. "Allow me to show you what this threat is."

The scene changes and Gordon sees two women standing before a Grimm spawning pool and out from it came a Beowolf carrying a baby that had deathly pale skin and the eyes of a Grimm. He next sees the child as an adult with red hair fighting an army being led by four beings that commanded fire, ice, and for some reason candy and slime.

As Gordon watches them fight the G-Man says to him. "That is Sammael the first of the Fallen, they are a breed of humans who have been infused with the essence of Grimm."

"Humans with the essence of Grimm? That's impossible!" Gordon said as he tried to deny the possibility of such a being even existing.

"I'm afraid it's true Dr. Freeman." The G-Man said as Sammael was left fighting the four elementals. "The original Fallen were no different than the mindless beasts that the Grimm are. However, a priestess who could command the Grimm stole a wish granting crown that could alter the very fabric of reality and brought a woman with a sickly son to the Grimm spawning pools. The mother was to wish for her son to be safe from death but to make sure that it was her wish the priestess threw the child into the pools and the mother put the crown on and made her wish. What came out was the first successful Fallen. Eventually Sammael grew up and found the other Fallen and helped them become like him. But as a side effect of the wish Sammael became immortal."

"Immortal?" Gordon asked.

"Yes, and because of Sammael and several others your world's future is separated into 15 million futures not all of them ruled by Sammael but only one of them has his permanent death." The G-Man said as the past elementals impaled Sammael through his chest and back making him cough up blood. "This future is considered the 'golden ending' as it has the most promise."

"But not permanent peace I assume." Gordon said with a tone of annoyance.

"Of course, war is always unavoidable." The G-Man stated as the area faded away when Sammael killed two of the past elementals. "However not all of these futures end in disaster some are considered rather…bitter. I'm offering you the chance to make this future happen and to end all world breaking catastrophes."

Gordon thinks back to what the Nihilanth was telling him when he fought the creature. 'You are man... he is not man... for you he waits... for you...' Now realizing the alien was talking about the G-Man he demands from him one thing. "Tell me everything about this future you want me to make real."

The G-Man sighs but concedes to what Gordon's request. "Very well."

The scene changes and Gordon sees a copy of the G-Man approach a group of…

"Shu'ulathoi!?" Gordon said in shock. "I thought they were just part of my trial."

"Yes and no Dr. Freeman, these creatures are very real." The G-Man explains as his copy gives the Gem of Bond to the Shu'ulathoi. "Some trials of the Spiral Gems use scenarios that they take from the past, possible futures, or even ones they make up to test new wielders. The Shu'ulathoi you saw just so happen to be from the future my employers wish to make happen. But you should know that they are also known as the Advisors the masterminds behind the Combine."

"Wait, the Combine!?" Gordon says in surprise as the Vortigaunts told him that they were the ones responsible for invading their homeworld and forcing them to Xen. "They're the reason why the Nihilanth invaded Black Mesa and almost caused a global invasion!"

"Indeed, however they are necessary for this future." The G-Man explained as the scene changed to Earth with portal storms happening around the globe bringing Xen wildlife and the Vortigaunts to planet. "They will use the Gem of Bond to find your world and then to bring Xen life forms that will cause a mass panic across the globe. Citizens will be forced to flee to major cities for protection while the military and Huntsmen are sent to face any hostile invaders and Grimm drawn to the chaos."

The scene changes to show several Vortigaunts hocked up to cables. They screamed in pain as their energy was drawn into the cables and sent to the Gem of Bond. The scene made Gordon sick, but he noticed cracks being formed in the Spiral Gem from all the energy sent into it.

"The Combine will learn of Sammael along with his immortality and devise a way to defeat him without having to kill him." The G-Man explained as the scene changed to Sammael's lair showing Sammael sitting on his throne as he conversed with his allies about the worldwide crisis. A flash appears in the center of the room getting their attention and when it clears, they see the Gem of Bond floating in midair but its cracks were growing bigger. Sammael's eyes widen as he realizes what's about to happen.


The Gem of Bond explodes and the scene changes to show the outside of Sammael's lair being engulfed in a sphere of black energy that then recedes and disappears. Everything that got consumed by it was gone and not a single trace of it was left.

"What happened?" Gordon asked as he looked at the new wasteland within the Darklands.

"Using their technology the Combine will run simulations about the best way to defeat Sammael the Combine finds a successful simulation that reveals by using the Vortigaunts own energy they could destroy the Gem of Bond and the resulting explosion will send anything caught in it to a dimension one can never escape from." The G-Man explained. "With Sammael gone Combine will enter their next phase for Earth…global invasion."

The scene changes and Gordon finds himself standing in the streets of a city that became a war zone. To one side he saw soldiers in a defensive position, but they were being bombarded by heavy fire, and to his other side he saw the alien soldiers and they were unlike anything he'd seen before. They had muscular legs that made them swift, a big left arm, and a thin right arm. Gordon noticed that they seem to possess both organic and robotic characteristics, possibly meaning that these soldiers are synthetic in nature. The aliens held rifles that fired pulses of energy. One alien saw a group of humans heading for it and fired some sort of alt fire mode in its rifle and released a ball of energy that disintegrated the soldiers.

"The Combine will first target military installations in order to weaken the armies of Earth. However, their greatest troubles will come from the Heroes and Hunters of the planet." The G-Man says as the scene changes to show the Justice Friends, those Shinkalions from Japan that he heard about, and Hunters engaging the Combine's armies. "But the Combine will discover something of particular value in your world that will seal the Earth's defeat."

The scene changes and Gordon finds himself and the G-Man in an unfamiliar room. Inside he finds Combine soldiers working at consoles with an Advisor with them and in the room are four pods linked up to some machines, with each pod giving off a different color. One was green, another was pink, another was blue, and the last one was red. The aliens press some buttons and the machines, and the pods begin to glow. The scene changes again and Gordon sees a tower on a hill that releases an energy wave that goes in every direction. Images appear before Gordon allowing him to see people caught in the energy wave and does with Auras see their own Aura disappear even though they didn't take any damage.

"What was that?" Gordon asked.

"That was the Combine's suppression field." The G-Man explained. "They use it on worlds they conquered to prevent the inhabitant's bodies from generating certain protein chains important to the process of embryonic development. And when combined with the energy of what they found in your world they managed to suppress Aura on your planet as well as Semblances."

The scene changes to show the heroes whose powers didn't rely on Aura and Semblances be overpowered by the Combine and then it shows Combine soldiers standing over the destroyed Shinkalions and the blue mech of New Jersey.

"Eventually Wallace Breen will find a way to contact the Combine and negotiate the surrender of Earth." The G-Man explained as the next image shows a man with black hair and a beard standing before the UN council and a monitor that shows a combine soldier talking to them. "The Suppression field will stay up and the Earth will belong to the Combine."

The scene changes to show people wearing identical blue denim boiler suits being leading by humanoid figures wearing gas masks and some sort of black uniform. Among the crowds Gordon could see Vortigaunts wearing their manacles again showing that they are being enslaved once more.

"What happened to the Combine's forces?" Gordon asked.

"The Combine's forces are phased out and they'll start to employ earthers into their forces. However, these earthers will only serve as law enforcement. Their military on Earth consist of transhuman soldiers." The G-Man explained. "These are individuals that have been surgically modified on the brain, neck and general body with the Combine technology, which leads to full obedience, emotional suppression and enhanced fighting skills."

"And what about the Grimm?" Gordon asked.

"During the war the Combine will acquire some of the dark substance and bring it back to one of the dimensions they control for study." The G-Man explained. "In that dimension time moves faster thus allowing the Combine to create a gas will exterminate the Grimm and their spawning pools for good."

"Will the people still fight the Combine?" Gordon asked.

"Yes." The G-Man answered as the area changed to show rebels working alongside the Vortigaunts. "Resistance cells will form all across the world and be led by former Black Mesa scientists such as Dr. Vance. If you hand over the Gem of Bond, I will place you in suspended animation and bring you back twenty years later to fight the Combine. And three years before you return, I will send Alyx Vance into the future to save her father from being captured by the Combine so the resistance will continue."

'So that's why Eli looked older than me and Alyx.' Gordon thought to himself. "If I accept, will I remember anything from this conversation?"

"All that you will remember is that I offered you a proposition and that you accepted it. All memory of this future and the memory of the Gem of Bond will disappear from your mind." The G-Man explained as he held out his free hand and gave a small smile as the area changes back to the black void. "Come now Dr. Freeman, you and Ms. Vance are the key to reclaiming the Earth from the Combine. Your return will lead to an attack on their citadel that will result in the suppression fields destruction, their portals home to go offline, and any hope of communication to be lost. Isn't it better to choose a future with certainty over one that is uncertain?"

Gordon looked at the G-Man's hand and back to the staff. He's offering Gordon a chance to save the world from an evil that has been plaguing it for 50,000 years and probably other evils. But is the death of billions more people worth it? And why offer Gordon this if it doesn't really affect him? Does he get something out of this…

Gordon's eyes widen as he remembers something the Nihilanth told him. 'Deceive you... he will deceive you...'

Gordon narrows his eyes at the G-Man and stores the staff away with his Semblance. "No deal, there's something about Earth that is of interest to your employers. I'm not prepared to condemn billions more just so you can have it!"

The G-Man narrows eyes and then straightens his tie. "Hmph, then we'll just take our business to another part of the omniverse. Enjoy the world that you know Dr. Freeman because you may have-"


A voice that Gordon has never heard before rings out across the black void. A tear in the void is made and Gordon sees two hands in it making an opening for someone to enter. As the tear got wider Gordon sees that the person entering was Sammael himself and he looked ticked off. As he stepped through the rift he screamed out in pain and smoke seemed to come off of him. He looked at Gordon and the G-Man and was panting heavily.

"I must say I'm impressed Sammael not many can enter this void." The G-Man explained as he grinned. "And very few can do it without harming themselves."

"SHUT UP!" Sammael said at the top of his lungs. "I told you to never interfere with my world!"

"If it's of any consideration to you Dr. Freeman has declined my offers and so my employers and I will have to take our business to a different part of the omniverse." The G-Man explained. "Fortunately, there's an alternate Combine, Xen, and Earth for us to bring our work to. Though that Earth is much different than yours it really shouldn't be a problem it'll just make things easier for us."

Sammael turns his attention to Gordon and says in a calm voice, "Gordon Freeman, I've learned much about you. You've done so much more than what any Huntsmen can hope to accomplish in a lifetime." Sammael than holds out his hand. "Give me the Gem of Bond and I can promise you that you and your loved ones will be safe from what's to come."

"I've seen your immortality and what you capable of, no deal." Gordon says in response.

Sammael narrows his eyes and fires an energy blast from them at Gordon. Gordon on instinct raises his hands and the beams stop in midair.

"What!?" Sammael says in surprise as he makes the beam dissipate.

Gordon looks at his hands and surprise and says, "Huh, I guess I can use the Gem of Bonds power even if it's in my little pocket storage."

"And I wouldn't kill Dr. Freeman if I were you Sammael." The G-Man says. "If he is to die than everything in his dimensional storage will be lost and you need the Gem of Bond for your plans. Also, don't try any mind manipulation on him either, he's to stubborn for it to work. Reminds me of someone I told Douglas Rattman to use in order of defeating GLaDOS."

"Gordon give me the gem and I won't hurt you." Sammael said as his eyes briefly flashed red.

Gordon looks at his hands as he thought about it before he summons the Gluon Gun.

"Go to hell!" Gordon says as he fires an energy beam at the Fallen.

Sammael sighs as his Aura forms a sphere around him and blocks the attack.

"This won't work Gordon; my Aura has evolved over the millennia to be so much more powerful. That quantum destabilizer won't have enough time to even-" Sammael says before he's cut off from the sight of his Aura flashing. As it flashes even more his eyes widen and his Aura shatters with the gluon beam hitting him dead on.

Sammael screams from the pain of the energy beam. He stops after the energy beam disappears, but he's been left with a huge scarring on his chest and over his left eye making it milky white.

"It seems entering my realm was far more taxing than you realized Sammael." The G-Man said with a smirk. "It appears that much more of your Aura was being used to heal you from the stress of entering this realm. Though it seems the Gluon Gun wasn't fully charged or else you might have been injured even more. At least your immortality kept you from dying."

As Sammael got back up he narrowed his eyes at the G-Man and looked like he was about to strike him when suddenly a chanting began to fill the void. To him it was unfamiliar but Gordon he knew exactly who those voices belonged to, after all he heard the words being chanted before.

"The Vortigaunts?" Gordon said as he put out away the Gluon Gun.

Vortigaunts began to appear all around the three. They were purple-colored, semi-translucent, and theirs eyes were a cobalt blue. The Vortigaunts appeared around Sammael and the G-Man with their hands held out toward them. Sammael tried to blast them but his attacks did nothing to them. The G-Man just narrowed his eyes, straightened his tie, and opened a white portal behind himself that he steps through but not before turning to Gordon and saying one last thing. "Goodbye Dr. Freeman."

With the G-Man gone the Vortigaunts focusing on Sammael make him fade transparent, a sign that he was being sent away.

"Dr. Freeman think about this! If you continue on with that gem it'll only lead to blood on yours hand and regret, you'll never be free of!" Sammael said as he began to fade. "And I won't be the one responsible for any of that!"

"Did you miss the resonance cascade? I'm already living with it." Gordon says in annoyance. "Take me home guys I've had enough of this place to last a lifetime."

The Vortigaunts comply and everything goes white again.


"Great Scott! He's back!" Said a voice that Gordon recognized as Dr. Kleiner's.

"Isaac?" Gordon says as he opens his eyes and finds himself back in the teleporter room with the Vortigaunts. He looks up at the observation room and sees Black Mesa personnel with Living Bullet, Krunk, and Valhallen alongside the HECU. He didn't understand why the HECU wasn't attacking but he took it as a good sign.

Gordon turns to the door and sees members of the Black Mesa team along with members of the HECU enter the room to congratulate him. Among them he saw Eli, Isaac, and Barney and other members of the Anomalous materials team.

"Well done Gordon!" Isaac said.

"I officially forgive you for destroying my casserole Dr. Freeman." Said another.

"I knew you could do it Gordon." Eli said congratulation.

"Now about the beer I owe you." Barney said.

Gordon looked at the observation room and saw the superheroes staring at them. They must've learned about that Spiral Gem but that was something that could wait for later cause right now Gordon was just happy it was finally over.

It was best to let the next big thing wait until later.


Emergency Broadcast System.

The following message has been transmitted by the United States Department of Defense. As of 9:47pm mountain standard time. The attack at the Black Mesa Research Facility has ended in the defeat of the attackers. The identities of the terrorist are currently unknown. Survivors of the Black Mesa team have been found and rescued. All residents of the state of New Mexico may return to their homes. Do not approach the Black Mesa Research Facility as it has suffered heavy damage and military teams are still looking for anymore survivors that have not been found yet. We appreciate your cooperation through this trying time.


Sebben's Office, sometime later

With the situation at Black Mesa over Valhallen contacted Sebben to talk with Gordon Freeman. They informed him that as a Spiral Wielder he must learn to use his new powers and to keep the Gem of Bond safe at all times. Gordon and the surviving members of the Black Mesa team would be working at a branch lab the Dr. Breen had finished setting up in GrimmFall during the Black Mesa incident. This would give Sebben and his allies the time they needed to help train Gordon in using the Spiral Gem and in any other combat skills if he would face Sammael again and any of his associates. Before his conversation with Fr. Freeman ended Gordon told Sebben that before he comes to GrimmFall he would first help the Vortigaunts move to a new planet. Fortunately they found a planet in the dimension they could move to, first they needed to move certain wildlife from Xen to the new planet. One of which was something called an Antlion. Currently Sebben was having a conversation with Major Glory about the whole incident.

"So, this 'G-Man' apparently can see the future like you old friend?" Major Glory asked.

"Apparently so, and if what Gordon said is true then he was trying to get a certain future to happen on our Earth." Sebben explained. "If Gordon hadn't refused then billions would have died against the Combine."

"Do you believe Gordon made the right choice?" Major Glory asked.

"Yes. The loss of so much life isn't worth a world free from Sammael's evil." Sebben said. "But there's something that I want to discuss with you."

"The HECU's orders." Major Glory answered.

"Yes, they were order to kill everyone at Black Mesa and the order came from a Colonel Michael Rossbach" Sebben said as he typed some commands into his computer. "However, a few associates of mine looked into the military's records and their isn't anyone by that name in their records. In fact, Michael Rossbach doesn't exist at all."

"How is that possible?" Major Glory asked in surprise.

"Someone managed to create a fake identity in the military with a high rank to send an army to do their work for them without it being traced back to them." Sebben explained as he narrowed his eye. "This can only be the work of someone…grey."

"The Grey Agency?" Major Glory said upon realization. "They're responsible for the HECU's involvement."

"Yes, and without Project YoRHa they needed someone to do their work for them without it being traced back to them." Sebben said before sighing. "Unfortunately, we can't procure any evidence and bring them in for this. We should at least be fortunate that word about an alien invasion at Black Mesa hasn't reached the public."

"Indeed, but now we have a new Spiral Wielder. Any idea on what that path may lead to?" Major Glory asked.

Sebben brings a hand to his eye patch and says, "We'll just have to wait and see."


Sammael's lair, Darklands

Moloch stared at the doors to Sammael's meditation chamber in interest, fully aware of the members of the Invisible Hand gathering behind him. Specifically, the members of Teams JJIBA, DWWM, KLAW and TRMT.

"Moloch, sir." James, better known as Gentle-Jim spoke carefully. "Forgive me if I sound insolent but perhaps with our leader's current injuries should we consider calling off the strike on Van Kleiss?"

"Call off?" Moloch glanced over his shoulder. "And why would we do that?"

"Our leader was heavily wounded and weakened by his attempt to take the Gem of Bond. I do not doubt his power to recover from such an attack but considering the timing of our assault..." James trailed off.

"As usual you have a way with words, James." Moloch stated, looking back to the doors. "But you are about to see why there is no need for concern."

Just as James was about to ask what he meant there was a sudden tremor and from the doors came an invisible wave of sheer power that caused everyone to nearly freeze.

"He is recovering quickly." Moloch said, unphased by what had just happened.

"What was that?" Katz asked once he regained his balance.

"Sammael is utilizing the full potential of Aura at his disposal." Moloch.

Inside the dark mediation chamber Sammael was hovering above the ground, posed in a lotus position as his blood red Aura flared.

"Despite what some people believe Sammael has not survived for so long because of a wish granting object so powerful it could alter reality and made him immortal. No, that was merely the beginning. Having witnessed death and destruction at a young age Sammael vowed to become strong enough to avoid being crushed as our world's very nature invited challenge from its own people and from others across the cosmos. He pushed himself to the absolute limit to become the strongest he could be and honed his skills with the dark powers the very nature of his being granted him."

Volts of electricity erupted from the mediating Sammael, his slowly healing injuries beginning to disappear faster.

"He studied everything about this world, its people, their potential and the potential of the Grimm and the dark source they had been spawned from. He sought to master every form of combat, every form of magic he could discover and even master Aura even if it is fairly limited to the potential of magic."

At the base of Sammael's spine appeared a surge of red energy.

"Including mastering the limits of Aura and beyond."

Next there was a surge of orange light at the sacrum and more appeared along the body.

Stomach: Yellow

Chest: Bright Green

Throat: Aqua

Forehead: Blue

And finally the crown: Purple

Sammael's eyes shot open, his eyes engulfed by a white light that turned red and there was another surge of power that shook the entire fortress and perhaps even the Darklands.

Outside Moloch and the rest of the Invisible Hand watched as the doors slowly opened and from the shadows came Sammael, a soft red glow surrounding his body that was completely healed.

"Master!" I and Am bowed, their heads lowering so much that they touched the ground.

Everyone else watched in silence as the red glow receded Sammael let out a small sigh before smiling. "Sorry to keep you all waiting. I wanted to make sure I was fully healed with my strength fully restored."

No one said anything at first until I and Am looked up with gleeful smiles, speaking at the same time. "Can we begin?"

"Yes." Sammael walked past them and they quickly bowed again.

Everyone else quickly moved out of his way.

"I have a feeling that we are going to be very busy for the next little while. I hope you are all prepared." Sammael said, stopping just a few feet away with his back facing his cohorts.

"Sir, I don't mean to question but to merely understand." James took a deep breath. "Are we to believe that we will be dealing with forces just as powerful as the ones you faced?"


"The Elementals have returned, Sebben and the Justice Friends are on the move and Van Kleiss has a weapon he intents to use to destroy us." Jujunga stepped forward. "We are strong, yes. But even we have limits against such numbers. To fight these odds...It would be to invite Death."

Sammael looked over his shoulder, eyes glinting as he grinned. "I'm counting on it."


(The End)

(Credits: Creeping In My Soul by Cryoshell Starts to Play)

Written by EndeavorT

Special thanks to Lord Maximus and everyone who read the story

I see your face before my eyes
I'm falling into darkness
Why must I fight to stay alive?
Heroes falling

Wake me, can't you hear me calling? (Calling, calling, calling...)
Out of darkness, they come crawling

Here I am
I am lost in your land
And I hope you will be
Creeping in my soul
Shadows fall, let me out
Hear my call
And I'll always believe
Creeping in my soul

I fade away into the night
My eyes are closing in
Shadows are fleeing from the light
My nightmares can begin

Wake me, can't you hear me calling? (Calling, calling, calling...)
Out of darkness, they come crawling

Here I am
I am lost in your land
And I hope you will be
Creeping in my soul
Shadows fall, let me out
Hear my call
And I'll always believe
Creeping in my soul

(I got to find my escape and get out of this black hole
('Cause justice in the world is hard to find)
(Time has come, got to make up my mind)
(No matter how deep or remote I hide)
(All my thoughts seem caught up inside)
(Creeps from the deep's gonna be freaking up your mind)
(Creeps from the deep's gonna be feeding off your spine) (Spine, spine, spine...)

Here I am
I am lost in your land
And I hope you will be
Creeping in my soul
Shadows fall, let me out
Hear my call
And I'll always believe
Creeping in my soul

Here I am
I am lost in your land (Here I am)
And I hope you will be
Creeping in my soul (I'm lost)

Shadows fall, let me out
Hear my call (I'm lost)
And I'll always believe
Creeping in my soul (Soul, soul, soul...)







Well good things must come to an end once more ladies and gentlemen. Thumbs up to anyone who caught the two references I put in this chapter. I may make a bonus chapter that explains some stuff from the timeline the G-Man was trying to get Gordon to create. I hope you all remember to wash your hands and to wear masks when going out we are still in the middle of a pandemic after all.