We are a team of volunteers working to recreate the original Half Life 2 in a way that is different from other mods doing the same thing, but still capturing...
I am a writer and concept artist that is good with fantasy and even better with science fiction. I am trying to assemble a team for a Half Life 2 mod named Dark Skies, that closely follows the ideas and concepts of the Air Exchange storyline.
Ch. 6- Gathering Storm
Wilderness 2: This part of the Wastelands is made of Salt Flats, Hills, Dead Forest, Riverbeds, Mountains and Rocky Coastline. Here Gordon will face old enemies as well as Worm Soldiers, Whip Soldiers, Synth Soldiers, Bradleys, Crab Synths, Mortar Synths, Combat Dropships, Breeders and Tripod Hoppers. In this part Gordon will retrieve the OICW, Rocket Launcher, Tripwire Grenade and the Sniper Rifle.
At the hills across the salt flats, Gordon can see a Rebel outpost as two dropships fly toward City 17. About half way there he is attacked by three Wasteland Scanners. Quickly dispatching them, he continues to the aid of his rebel allies. Sadly, they are all dead by the time he arrives; leaving Gordon to fight three Worm Soldiers, two Whip Soldiers and two Synth Soldiers. After killing these enemies, he can retrieve the OICW and then move on through the desolate hills ahead. Gordon drives over and around the variously sized hill, fighting Chargers, Tripod Hoppers and Houndeyes in the process. He soon passes by a mesa with a Bradley and several conscripts on top. The Bradley, being too tuff for any of his guns, can be taken out with a couple grenades. Past this, Gordon spends more time driving and running over Chargers, Houndeyes and Wild Skitches. Also during this time, the wind picks up drastically; blowing heavy amounts of ash and dirt into the air and thus lowering visibility. Eventually, Gordon comes to another mesa with a Wasteland Outpost on top.
Wasteland Outpost: These structures appear as slightly domed guard towers, often with smaller structures at their bases. They are common across the wastelands and are used by Combine, Conscripts and the Resistance. They often contain smog shields to keep the interior breathable.
Though before arriving, 4 Mortar Synths destroy his buggy with a bombardment of Dark Energy armillary. This causes the vehicle to flip over and for Gordon to fall out and roll a few feet before getting up. He then has to deal with the immediate threat, and then move on to the six Worm Soldiers and two Synth Soldiers atop the mesa. Making his way up the steep slope, he can kill the first three as they are outside. Then once on top he can continue into the building. Upon entering, Gordon sees two Synth Soldiers standing over a rebel. One of the soldiers knocks him to the ground and then shoots him. Then both turn to face the Freeman. Killing those two, he heads up stairs and finishes the three last Worm Soldiers. Looking outside, Gordon can see a Combat Dropship coming toward the outpost; its engines roaring with the wind. Down stairs, he can find a Rocket Launcher and some grenades for his OICW. At the same time, six Synth Soldiers enter the building after being dropped off. Gordon battles these foes, then heads outside to deal with the dropship and the four Mortar Synths flying with it. After this, he heads down the other side of the mesa, into a forest of dead, mangled trees. Walking through the woods, Gordon can see a flicker of green light just over a hill.
Particle Storm: An electric entity that floats around tearing things apart with its telekinetic field. These mysterious entities are impossible to kill and cause mass amounts of damage to anything in their way. They appear randomly throughout (specific spots in game) the wastelands appear as green masses of electricity surrounded in a swirling cloud of dust and debris. When a Storm is in the area, Gordon will have to resort to stealth in order to survive; hiding behind rocks, in ruined buildings and keeping quiet. Failing to meet these needs will alert the Storm to his position; further causing his death. In game, Particle Storms will roam around a fairly open space, attacking anything it sees. If shot at, not only will it attack, but its kinetic field will fling the projectiles (except for Pulse Weapons) back where they came from. Every now and then the Storm will disappear when the player isn't looking; only to reappear somewhere closer than before.
As the Storm draws closer, Gordon has to use the rocks, trees and various old shacks to hide. Heading in the direction of the obstacle, he can come by several Wild Skitches, Headcrabs, Mr. Friendlies, Fast Walkers and Panther Eyes that may attack him or the Particle Storm. Of course, doing the latter always ends with them being ripped limb from limb. Eventually, Gordon reaches a dried river bank which he jumps into to escape the Storm. Soon after, the wind begins to die down.
Ch. 7 - A Treacherous Hike
As Gordon follows the riverbed he's attacked by a Bullsquid, two Fast Walkers and a flock of Stuckabats. Soon after, he passes under a bride being crossed by four Synth Soldiers, a Crab Synth and three Wasteland Scanners. These can either be engaged, or avoided by keeping low and letting them pass. Continuing down the river, Gordon comes by a pack of Houndeyes before arriving at a rebel occupied Wasteland Outpost. A man approaches him and nods toward the structure.
Rebel 1: Over here Freeman. We got some supplies for you.
The man leads Gordon out of the river and into the outpost's back room.
Rebel 1: Just some ammo for ya. There's some health and power there too. Take what you like.
Here Gordon receives some basic supplies, before heading back outside.
Rebel 1: This river doesn't go much farther and once you reach the lake, head up the mountains to the North.
As they approach the river, a woman and a vortigaunt greet them.
Rebel 2: And watch out for Combine at the lake. They have an outpost there.
Vortigaunt: May the Freeman's foes peril in his wake.
Then Gordon is off.
As said by the rebel, he soon reaches a lake surrounded by rocky, wooded (dead) mountains and two cabins. Attached to one of the cabins is a Wasteland Outpost with a Worm Soldier manning an emplacement gun. On sight of the Freeman, the Worm opens fire and four other Worm Soldiers plus three Whip Soldiers rush out of the building. Gordon fights them off, searches their outpost for supplies and then heads to the right side of the lake. Here he finds a trail leading up a mountain. Following the trail, he's attacked by a Wild Skitch and a Panther Eye, and a Flock of Stuckabats later on. After a bit of hiking uphill, he reaches the top. At this time, ash starts to fall from the (now really close) clouds of smog. Heading to the North-West, Gordon soon comes to a ruined shack. Inside is a Sniper Rifle and two corpse with their gasmasks laid out before them. As Gordon picks up the rifle, a Breeder drops down from a hole in the roof. After dealing with this agile assassin, Gordon can also get the Hopwire Grenade. At the same time a patrol of Synth Soldiers and Conscripts, on a ledge below you, are alerted by the gun shots and start attacking. Considering the distance and the haziness in the air, it is easiest for him to use the sniper to eliminate the enemies below. Once this is out of the way, he keeps following the ridge. Eventually Gordon begins to descend into a canyon. As he climbs down, a Wasteland Scanner can be seen watching from a distance. If attacked, it will fight back, but otherwise will just watch. Soon after six Mortar Synths assault him from above. The blast from their mortars causes the ground beneath him to break. Gordon falls several feet and takes minor fall damage; before continuing his journey. At the bottom of the canyon are several Mr. Friendlies, Bullsquids and Wild Skitches. Gordon works through the canyon and eventually comes to the coastline.
Ch. 8 - Dry Tides
Coastline: This section of the wasteland is rocky and hazardous with an old, ruined highway running through it; and is infested with Sand Barnacles, Antlions, Tripod Hoppers and Chargers. Also along the coast, are many outposts for both the Combine (+ Conscripts) and the Resistance. Here Gordon will receive the GR9.
As Gordon emerges from the canyon, he stumbles upon a group of rebels in a firefight with several Worm and Synth Soldiers. Gordon joins in just as a Dropship leaves from delivering six Conscripts. At the end of the battle a woman confronts him.
Rebel 1: I take it you're Freeman right? Thanks for the help. We still lost some guys, but it could have been worse had you not shown up when you did.
Another rebel joins in.
Rebel 2: We lost five men. I'd stay and bury them myself, but there's probably more Combine on the way.
Rebel 1: Then let's get moving. The base is just three miles North of here.
With that, the group heads up the road. As they work their way along the hazardous terrain they come across five Tripod Hoppers and three Chargers. Soon they arrive at a destroyed bridge and are forced to cross the sandy beach below.
Rebel 1: Watch you're step people. Looks like there's antlions below.
Stepping on the sand here will result in antlions coming to catch their prey. Along with that threat, Sand Barnacles will try and drag Gordon and his friends closer to feed, and there's a Wasteland Outpost, with two Emplacement Guns, at the back side of the beach. This outpost is slightly elevated by rock and is somewhat safe from the Antlions. The Worm Soldiers inside attack on sight. This area brings up a challenge, but nothing the Freeman can't overcome. Soon he and his friends make to the other side of the bridge, only to find two Cremators, four Conscripts and a VAB. During the fight, Gordon can get the GR9. These enemies kill two of the six rebels before being defeated themselves.
Rebel 2: Dammit. They got Charlie and Francis. They were good men.
Another rebel motions to the dead Conscripts.
Rebel 3: It’s a shame we have to fight these guys. I'm sure most of them hate the Combine just like we do.
Rebel 2: Say whatever you like. They've still killed plenty of our guys.
Rebel 1: Alright boys, let's not get too caught up in this. We need to get Freeman back to base.
Moving on they come by two more Combine outposts inhabited by Cremators and Worm and Synth Soldiers. At the second one, both Combine and Rebels are sent running as a Gargantua smashes through a building. The massive creature torches Combine, smashes the Wasteland Outpost and then chases Gordon and his allies down the road. During the chase, parts of the road and cliffs overhead will crash down due to the earthquake of the pursuing Gargantua. Eventually they descend into another sandy beach infested with Antlions and Sand Barnacles. The hulking beast jumps down after them, causing the whole area to shake, and for a large number of antlions to emerge. Here Gordon must use his heavier weaponry to take down the Gargantua. Once this is done, the creature will explode from the gases inside it. The blast causes rock to crumble and create a way for Gordon and the Rebels to get back to the road.
Rebel 1: Dang, Freeman. You actually killed it. I can say I'm thoroughly impressed. Now let's go. We're almost there.
Soon they arrive at a port inhabited by the Resistance. The place is fenced off and has several guard towers surrounding the perimeter.
Rebel 1: Here we are.
Rebel 4: About time you guys showed up. And I see you got Freeman with you.
Rebel 1: Yeah, but we lost a lot of guys just getting here. Now let's hurry and get him inside. Maxwell will want to know he made it.
A rebel across the fence moves to open the gate. As he does so, a gunshot sounds through the air. The man on the guard tower falls off dead. Then more gun shots follow, hitting their targets.
Rebel 1: COMBINE!
Five Synth Soldiers can be seen firing from atop the cliffs, with four Mortar Synths arriving to their aid. Then two Assault Ships fly over them.
Rebel 5: Incoming!
The ships open fire, blowing the fence apart, bringing the guard tower down and creating a series of craters. As they pass overhead, six Synth Soldiers drop from the back of each one.
Rebel 1: Freeman! Fall into the base!
Following his friends, Gordon makes for a stack of shipping containers. Once there, he turns to help defend the port. He and the rebels kill the soldiers but only for a Dropship to bring six Worm Soldier. Along with that, a couple Synth Carriers drop off two Crab Synths.
Rebel 1: There’re rockets in this pod! Use them to take out those Crabs.
As Gordon does so, eight more Mortar Synths and three Wasteland Scanners come to make things worse. After finally dispatching these enemies, the two Assault Ships return to fight. Once these are out of the way, the attack is finally over, though the rebels have suffered a large death toll.
The woman Gordon had traveled with can be seen standing in the middle of the carnage; bodies and rubble littering the ground around her.
Rebel 1: Damn the Combine! We've lost too many today.
She pauses, then turns to Gordon.
Rebel 1: Come. We'll contact Eli, let you stock up on supplies and get going.
She then leads him to a building close to the dock yard. Inside, she motions to a stack of crates to the left.
Rebel 1: Take what you need.
Then she makes for a computer. After pressing a few buttons, Eli's face appears on the monitor.
Rebel 1: You'll be happy to know Freeman arrived not long ago.
Eli: Thank God, you made it. We had to leave the colony. Got overrun. Luckily we had a backup shelter nearby. But none of that matters. You need to proceed west.
Rebel 1: We're sending him on his way as soon as we're done here. The Combine just attacked and we want him out before they come back.
Eli: Get to the Depot; take a train to the Air Exchange. Alyx Vance will meet you there. She'll fill you in on the rest. Good luck.
The screen goes black.
Rebel 1: This way. We've got a combine mining vehicle ready for you.
Opening a door, she stands aside. Gordon then enters the dock yard.
Ch. 9 - Sailing on Sand
Ocean Floor: This area exists due to large portals draining the Earth's oceans. The area will be sandy and rocky, with Antlion Hills, old ships, submarines and oil rigs. It will be infested with Antlions, Chargers, Bullsquids, Fast Walkers and Panther Eyes; as well as Combine, Conscripts and some Rebels. Gordon will receive the Digger, Missile Launcher and SLAM. During this section of the game, he will also face HK-707s and Desert and Combine Launchers. In many places, Hydras will keep Gordon from straying too close to the edge of the map.
Digger: This combine vehicle is durable and has a powerful rotor for crushing rocks, aliens and anything else that gets in the player's way.
The Digger can be found on a broken dock (acting as a downward ramp for the vehicle), waiting for Gordon to drive it. As he approaches, rebels shoot at Antlions and Chargers with Emplacement Guns. In the distance he can see large rocks, Antlion Hills, ships and an oil rig. Also faintly visible, is the far-off silhouette of the Depot. Gordon enters the vehicle and then takes off down the ramp; running into any creatures that get in his way. At first, Gordon drives across a sandy reef with antlions constantly rising from below. He soon starts going downhill until he enters a much rockier area; infested with Sand Barnacles, Antlions and Fast Walkers. As he drives through and crushes his enemies, he comes to a Conscript outpost with a railroad running next to it.
Here a VAB, three Wasteland Scanners and seven Conscripts assault him. He can either kill them or drive on by. Doing the latter will result in a Combine ambush soon after (the Scanners called it in). After this, he continues through the rocky terrain and encounters several packs of Chargers. He then enters a deep ravine lined with various caves in the walls. These caves are inhabited by Bullsquids and Panther Eyes that may come out as he passes by. Soon he comes into an open, sandy area littered with wrecked ships and a submarine on the far side. When he reaches the approximate halfway mark (between the ravine and submarine) there is a green electrical explosion as a Particle Storm appears right next to Gordon. This causes the Digger to go haywire and crash into a ship; breaking through the bow and coming to a stop inside. The Freeman then has to get out of the vehicle and then the ship as the Storm tears apart to get to him. When he emerges, he can get out of immediate danger by hiding in his surroundings. At that point he must get to the submarine on foot. After sneaking around he finally makes it to his destination. At a hole in the submarine, a rebel waves to Gordon.
Rebel 1: Psst! Up here! Before that thing sees us!
He then uses the Gravity Gun to position pieces of the submarines metal to climb up to the man. Once up, he leads Gordon further inside.
Rebel 1: My partner and I have been hauled up here for a couple of days and haven’t seen another soul since we left the coast.
Soon they pass through a smog shield, onto the submarine’s sleeping quarters.
Rebel 1: Hey Allen, look what I found.
Another man, sitting by a lantern turns to look at Gordon.
Rebel 2: Aw man, you didn’t lead that thing here did you? You’re gonna get us all killed!
Rebel 1: Don’t mind him. We’ve both been on edge with that storm out there.
Rebel 2: Whatever man.
Rebel 1: So where you headed? There’s not much out… (gurgling sound).
As he talks, a blue light streaks through the air like a bullet; hitting him in the back of the neck. Then a Breeder drops on top of the other rebel as another attacks Gordon from behind.
After dispatching the two assassins, Gordon can stock up on supplies and find his way through the submarine. He emerges into a large crevice and eventually descends into much wider and deeper section. At the bottom, he can find the entrance to a cave.
Ch. 10 – Ant Hive
Antlion Caves: These caves are home to Barnacles, Antlions (including Antlion Guards and Workers), Sewer Hoppers and Hydras; and unlike the surface, it still contains water. This is also where Gordon will fight the Antlion King.
Hydra: These enemies are primarily an obstacle that in most cases (all but 1) are un-killable to the player. A hydra has three heads: the Seeker to find the player, the Smacker to knock things out of the way and control the player’s movements, and the Impaler to kill the player. If one of the heads is blown off, it will simply grow back.
As Gordon strolls through the caves, he is attacked by a Sewer Hopper, several Antlions and Antlion Workers. Eventually, he comes into a wider cavern with an abandon Conscript camp and a pool of water in the center. To the left of the pool is a woman walking toward Gordon.
Woman: Hey! Have you seen anyone else come this way? My group got split up after we ran into one of those Guards.
As she comes away from the pool, an Impaler rises from the water. The head lunges forward and stabs right through the woman; swinging her in the air before dragging her corpse into the pool. Then two more heads emerge. Now Gordon must hide behind rocks and crates to get past the Hydra. Meanwhile the creature will try to spot him and knock things out of the way when it does. After getting past the obstacle, he continues through the caves. On his way he battles an Antlion Guard and passes an Impaler that he must decapitate in order to buy time to get through. Soon he enters a narrow system of Grub burrows. Here he also encounters another Hydra obstacle. This time around, it will stick its heads into the burrows to find him. Once Gordon gets through this area, he comes out onto a ledge of a cliff above ground. Below him is a sandy expanse with a deep, narrow crevice and wrecked ship on the far side. Upon touching the sand, Antlions, Including a Guard, will emerge and attack. After dealing with them, Gordon heads for the crevice where three Hydra heads rise to challenge him. Hiding behind barrels and ship wreckage, he finds a cave that leads him into the crevice. Now Gordon can see the Hydra’s body and has to destroy it while hiding and avoiding the heads. Once this is done, the Freeman can jump into the water below and swim through a short tunnel into another cavern. Soon he comes into a much larger chamber inhabited by the Antlion King.
Antlion King: This creature is much larger than a strider and cannot be killed with any weapon in the player’s arsenal. It will use its massive arms and swarms of antlions to attack the player and will be killed using the environment.
When the massive bug spots Gordon, it tries to smash him and sends a continuous flow of Antlions after him. This causes him to run for a tunnel on the far side and follow it upward. When Gordon comes to openings in the wall, the King try to smash him again. Avoiding this, he makes to the chambers above the Antlion King’s lair. These chambers are full of large holes AirEx pipes that Gordon must destroy to pour toxic waste on the King. When he breaks enough of these, the Antlion King will become so angry it starts to tear away at the ceiling. The Freeman then has to quickly find his way upward until he reaches the surface. Then the King will burst through the ground and begin to chase him until Desert Launchers open fire. The missiles rip through the King’s flesh until it dies and falls to the ground; causing an earthquake when it lands. Then the Desert Launchers fire on Gordon. Running for cover, he makes for an upside down boat.
Ch. 11 – Catching a Ride
Ocean Floor 2: This area will be relatively similar to the first stretch of ocean floor but will contain Desert Launchers, Combine Launchers, HK-707’s, Conscripts and previously encountered Combine units; as well as Antlions. This will also be where Gordon receives the Missile Launcher.
Inside, Gordon finds a Missile Launcher and a crate of Missiles next to a skeleton. With this new weapon, Gordon can take out the Desert Launchers by guiding his missiles into them. At the same time he will have to avoid the fire of HK-707’s (as they’ll shoot the missiles down) or destroy them and then take out the bigger threat. Once this is done, he can safely head for the Combine base. When he gets close, Four Conscripts, followed by three Worm and Whip Soldiers (each). After the short conflict, Gordon can take missiles from the destroyed Desert Launchers. Then he follows a rocky ledge up a cliff where yet another Desert Launcher begins firing upon him. At the same time, Conscripts from the same outpost also open fire. When the missile turret is destroyed, he directly engages the Conscripts, and then continues through a trench and into a large, rocky expanse infested with Antlions. This area is also being bombarded by Combine Launchers.
Depot: This is a large Combine train Depot leading to the Air Exchange. The alien structure is also built into an island prison with a lighthouse.
Dodging the Dark Energy missiles, he makes his way toward a nearby cave. Inside, he fends off two Antlion Guards. After this, Gordon follows the caves closer to Depot and comes out behind a large boulder. As he works to get even closer, he continues to hide behind rocks until he reaches the cliff on which the Depot sits. Here the four Combine Launchers can’t see him; allowing the Freeman to climb up to the lighthouse where he can retrieve both missiles and cover. When he gets to the top, he can deal with the HK-707’s and take out the Combine Launchers. Then he heads back down and approaches the prison. As he walks along the wall to find an entrance, six Mortar Synths attack from above. After dispatching of them, he continues into a drainage pipe. Shortly after entrance, Gordon comes out into the prison yard. Here he is met by three Synth Soldiers, four Conscripts and a Bradley. While battling them, he makes for the Depot its self. Once he gets to it, he first has to enter the main part of the prison which quickly fades into Combine architecture. In the Depot, Gordon hitches a ride on a Razor train passing beneath him. Once inside one of the cars, everything fades to a barely visible background as the silhouette of the G-Man appears before him.
G-man: Very clever Mr. Freeman. You have made quite some progress in… such a short time. But don’t relax just yet… for there is much more to… accomplish. So in the meantime, I’ll be seeing you up ahead.
Ch. 12 – The Enemy of My Enemy
Air Exchange: The Air Exchange is one of several of the Combine’s Atmospheric Repossessing Plant and is heavily guarded by Conscripts, Synths, Desert and Combine Launchers, Auto Guns and other things. This area is made up of several smaller areas: Waste Disposal, Factories, Reactor Control, and External and Internal Reactor. The outer parts of the AirEx are much dirtier than anywhere else in the game and contain large amounts of ash, toxic wastes pipes protruding from the ground. Here, Gordon will befriend the Conscripts and encounter Synth Elites, Super Soldiers, Combine Guards, Striders, Stalkers and previously encountered Combine units. Gordon can also retrieve the AR2, S.L.A.M and Pulse Cannon.
For a second time in the week, Gordon wakes up to the interior of train. It’s dimly lit and filled with crates of ammunition, Stalker Pods among other things. Suddenly there’s and explosion and the whole car shakes. Then it begins to tip and fall off the tracks. The contents, along with Gordon, are flung to the side as the train crashes into the ground. The lights go out. As the sound of falling cars and collapsing railroad fade out, they are replaced by distant gunshots. Then he hears clamoring footsteps on the metal door of the Razor Train; which is now directly above him. The person above takes a few steps and sets something against the door with a thud. Then a few more steps before jumping off the train. There’s a quick chirp and another explosion. This one tears through the door, sending shrapnel flying inward and breaking several crates. Seconds later, the person climbs back onto the car.
Alyx: Check him Skitch.
As she speaks, the woman sits down, aims a gun at Gordon, and hangs her legs into the car. Then a small creature crawls up next to her and leaps onto a box near Gordon. Now that it’s closer he can tell it’s a Skitch; though this one doesn’t look as starved and beaten down as the others he’d seen. Skitch hops to another crate, looks to Gordon and hisses. Saliva drips from its mouth and starts to sizzle and steam as it hits the ground.
Alyx: Don’t move. One bite and you’ll be dead by your next breath.
Alyx drops in; her boots clanking on the metal. Then she raises a flashlight and turns it on.
Alyx (with a gasp): You! What’re you…
She’s interrupted by the sound of footsteps and the bizarre chatter of Synth Soldiers approaching the train wreck. Alyx holds a finger to the filter of her gasmask as she listened. Then she looked at Gordon.
Alyx (Whispering): Alright. I’m going to trust you. We’re supposed to help each other anyway. Now take this.
She hands him the AR2 and then scrambles out of the car; ducking low as not to be shot. Gordon follows as she begins lopping grenades into the Synths below. The blasts light up the ground as they tear the creatures apart. Then the Freeman’s beside her, firing his new weapon. At the 20 Soldiers that shoot back. With Alyx’s grenades, the firefight ends quickly.
Alyx: More on the way… big ones. Let’s stock up and get out of here.
She then drops back into the train car and grabs some stuff and tosses it up to him; then climbs out again.
Alyx: Oh, I’m Alyx. I already know who you are, and where you’re headed.
She motions in the direction of the mountainous silhouette of the Air Exchange. Then she jerks around as a series of heavy thuds sound in the distance. A group of three tripods, headed toward them, are visible in the same direction. A blue light appears on one of them.
She hops off the car just as it explodes, sending the two of them flying. They land hard and lay there for a second. As Alyx gets to her feat, Skitch injects Gordon with adrenaline (which heals him in the game) from his whiskers. Then Gordon rises and follows Alyx. They run several yards till they reach a narrow ravine, which they jump into. Then an Assault ship flies by and drops two enemies. They land heavily above the trench, temporarily crouched from the impact.
Alyx: Shit. Super Soldiers.
The two Synths open fire before jumping into the ravine. Gordon and Alyx fend them off, using the AR2 and explosives to kill them.
Alyx: Let’s go. Before those Striders get here.
They then head up the ravine. As they do, Alyx speaks.
Alyx: I have a place we can rest not far from here. Once we get there I’ll fill you in on the mission.
Soon they come to an open space with a group of Conscripts fighting four Worm Soldiers.
Alyx: Hold your…. Shit!
As she speaks, an Assault Ship guns down the Conscripts and drops six Synth Elites. These new enemies immediately spot Gordon and Alyx and sprint and fire in their direction. Before the two can get far, the Elites are on them. After they deal with them, the Striders fire their pulse turrets as they draw nearer.
Alyx: Go, go!
Alyx runs for another trench near a wrecked ship. This one is much wider and deeper than the last one and has water at the bottom. Alyx jumps onto a ledge ten feet down with Gordon following right behind. She runs several feet before leaping to a ledge on the opposite side. Then she leads Gordon to a narrow opening in the wall.
Alyx: In here.
Entering the cave, they take a sharp right turn and then another to the left; and then pass through a Smog Shield.
Alyx: Well, here we are... it's not home exactly. I never stay anywhere long enough to call it home.
Alyx Cache: This small cavern is where Alyx resides at the time of Dark Skies. Inside, Gordon can find ammunition, Health and Armor Chargers and the S.L.A.M.
As Alyx walks to a table covered in ammo, she takes off her mask and goggles.
Alyx: There are some supplies if you need it, so stock up. Once I’m done explaining things, we need to move.
When she’s done gathering ammo, she turns to Gordon.
Alyx: So I assume Maxwell filled you in on the basics. The Air Exchange needs to be destroyed; you need to spark a rebellion and all that? Good. Now first off, the Conscripts are our friend. I’m sure you’ve had to kill a few to get here, but that’s only because they’ve been forced to hunt you down. Now they’re part of the plan.
And explosion sounds outside, causing dust to fall from the ceiling.
Alyx: They’ll be helping us infiltrate the AirEx by fighting the Combine – which they’ve already seemed to have started for some reason. Anyway, we’ll be getting you in through the waste disposal; which should have fairly low security… compared to everywhere else at least.
Another explosion. This one closer and more intense. It’s shortly followed by gun shots and more explosions.
Alyx: Come on. Let’s not waste the Conscripts’ distraction.
She then leads Gordon through a tunnel branching off her Cache and to the surface where they’re met by two Bradleys, a VAB and several Conscripts fighting the three Striders and eight Synth Elites. After battling the Striders, a Conscript approaches Gordon and Alyx.
Larson: So this is the guy that’s been killing my buddies. Freeman right?
Alyx: You know he had to in order to get.
Larson: Yeah, well until he blows up that reactor, I’m not willing to settle our differences. Meanwhile, we need to get moving before the Combine sends more striders. Oh and the names Larson.
The soldier turns to his squad.
Larson: Listen up! This… Free Man over here is the one we’ve been waiting for! And we have to get him to the outer waste control so he can enter the Air Conditioner! Now move out!
With those orders, the Conscripts start heading for the southern side of the AirEx with Gordon and Alyx in tow.
Alyx: So why’d you guys start early?
Larson: You’re father got word that our friend here had hitched a ride at a Depot 80 miles east of here. By the time he told us, he said Freeman would be here any minute. I’m guessing he didn’t tell you?
Alyx: No. He didn’t.
Larson: Probably got busy fighting.
As they pass through a trench, they’re ambushed by three Super Soldiers four Synth Elites and three Wasteland Scanners.
After fighting the synth infantry, two Dropships fly by and drop the same amount of Crab Synths.
Conscript 1: We got crabs!
Alyx: Gordon! Over here!
Taking cover behind a Bradley, Alyx and Larson wave Gordon over.
Alyx: I’ll get Gordon out of here while you take care of this. It’ll be faster with just the two of us.
Larson (with a nod): Got it. When we’re done here, we’ll head for the Air Ex.
Alyx: Good luck. Let’s go Gordon.
Then the two of them make for the opposite end of the trench while the Conscripts fend off the Combine. As they leave the trench, two Mortar Synths bombard them from above. Killing them, they continue through a system of rocky, toxin filled trenches until their path starts to lead upward.
Alyx: This is it. The Waste Control is just up ahead. I’ll have to take another route and meet you in the Factory Sector. The amount of toxins here is too hazardous for me. We only chose this way for you because of your suite. And I’ll send Skitch with you. She can withstand the toxins.
Turning to her pet, she begins to talk to it.
Alyx: Alright girl. Go with Gordon. I’ll see you soon.
Then Alyx runs off in the way they came, and Gordon and Skitch continue upward.
AirEx Waste Control: This area of the Air Exchange deals with the facility’s garbage and excess chemicals. The Waste Control resembles a sort of industrial sewer plant with pipes and tunnels guiding toxic waste to many locations. It also has low security (compared to the rest of the facility).
Soon Gordon comes to a concrete wall with two Synth Soldiers and a desert launcher on top. After dealing with them, he uses the various pipes running along/from the wall to climb over it. Then he follows a short ravine to a larger and deeper chasm filled with toxins and junk. Opposite side of the chasm is the main wall to the Air Exchange. On a ledge of the wall are four Synth Soldiers. On the rocks to the right of the chasm is a bunker with an Autogun; and on a concrete platform directly to Gordon’s right are two Worm Soldiers. Heading to the right, he is forced to follow the rocks into the chasm (due to a gap between him and the platform) while fighting the enemies and staying out of the Autogun’s line of fire (meanwhile, Conscripts battle Crab Synths and Synth Soldiers + Elites on a bridge overhead). He then has to cross the toxic pools of the bottom of the chasm - where he fights a Cremator – until he reaches a rocky ledge leading him to the left of the Autogun bunker. Once there, he goes around to the back, enters the bunker and destroys the Autogun’s power source. After that, Gordon walks along the rocks to the concrete platform. Now he can use the pipes between there and the wall to reach the ledge previously inhabited by Synth Soldiers; entering a vent when he does. This leads into yet another (concrete and metal) chasm, covered in different sized pipes. Many of these pipes gush toxins into this chasm or run through the wall and gush them into the chasm outside or to someplace else. In here, Stalkers can be seen on walkways, repairing things with their lasers or attacking Gordon. Below him is a big pipe with two walkways on each side of a raging river of toxic waste. Again, Gordon uses the pipes running across the chasm to reach the larger pipe. Inside he encounters two Cremators and a Stalker and shortly comes to a ladder. Climbing up it, he comes into a room with walk ways on all sides and pipes running down the open center. In here are two Worm Soldiers and another Stalker. At the top of the room is a hallway that leads to a tunnel meant for vehicles.
When the Freeman enters this tunnel, he joins several Conscripts and a VAB in fighting a Combine Guard and six Synth Soldiers. After winning the small Skirmish, the Conscripts start moving through the tunnel. Gordon can also retrieve the Pulse Cannon from the dead Combine Guard.
Conscript 2: This way Freeman. We’re headed to the surface.
Accompanying them, Gordon and Skitch come to a large elevator with several supply crates stacked on it. The Conscripts and their vehicle board the lift.
Conscript 2: Freeman, if you’d be so kind to push the button, then we can get going.
AirEx Factory Sector: This part of the Air Exchange is made up of warehouses and factories with smoking chimneys and industrial machinery.
As the elevator reaches the top, they enter an open yard with factories on all sides.
In the yard are more Conscripts fighting a Super Soldier, Combine Guard and five Elite Synths. As Gordon joins the fight, two Dropships release a Strider and Crab Synth. Once these enemies are dealt with, even more arrive. Three Crab Synths and Combine Guards with nine Synth Soldiers and four Worm Soldiers attack from an alley to the left of the Gordon’s entrance to the area.
As they come, a grenade rolls from behind a building and detonates under a Crab Synth; killing it and three Synth Soldiers. Next, Alyx, Larson and his squadron join the fight from the same alley. After this battle, Alyx and Larson approach Gordon.
Alyx: Looks like we came at just the right time. Got here faster than I thought we would.
Larson: The Captain’s in Reactor Control on the west side of the main reactor. I’ll take you there now.
Heading for a bridge, Larson leads them to a wide alley between a factory and warehouse. Then with him and Alyx ahead of Gordon, a Strider fires its warp cannon at crosswalk above them. Rubble crashes down, separating The Freeman from Alyx, Skitch and Larson; leaving him to fight the Strider on his own. Once it’s dead, Alyx calls to him.
Alyx: Gordon! We can’t get over this! See if you can find a way around and meet us up ahead!
With that, Gordon enters a factory to his left. Maneuvering through the industrial machinery, he comes into contact with three Stalkers and a Cremator cleaning up Conscript corpses. Then he continues up a set of stairs and out onto a walk way suspended above an open vat of industrial solvents. When he’s halfway between the factory he just left and the warehouse in front of him, a Desert Launcher rises from the ground below. Right away it fires at the walk way; breaking it and causing him to fall into the vat. Climbing out behind it, Gordon enters the warehouse from ground level. Then he makes for the exit on the far side of the building, enters an alley and comes around to the Desert Launcher. After destroying it, he heads through an arrangement of tanks and vats toward a tower with a pool of solvents at its base. To the right is a Combine gate leading to the AirEx Control Sector. This gate is locked and guarded by two Combine Launchers that Gordon must destroy before taking an elevator to the top of the tower. There he is met by three Whip Soldiers and two Worm Soldiers. After killing them, he presses a button to open the gate. Then an Assault Ship arrives and blows a hole in the wall. Gordon then shoots it down and jumps into the pool below. As he climbs out, a Combine Guard and four Elite Synths come from the now open gate. Dealing with them, he enters the Reactor Control.
We are a team of volunteers working to recreate the original Half Life 2 in a way that is different from other mods doing the same thing, but still capturing...