An envelope arrived in the post this morning. Thick, stuffed with books. Diaries, in fact. Someone has sent me Gordon Freeman’s diaries from the last eight years. I don’t really know what to do about this. I mean, this is obviously big news, but this is also someone’s private life. But what if it was Gordon himself who sent them? What if he wants the… the misery therein to be exposed?
I’ve decided on a compromise. I’m going to publish some extracts, picked almost at random from the lot. If Freeman wants them taken down, he can get in touch and we’ll honour that right away.
Oct 11th, 2007
Alyx still hasn’t spoken to me. I don’t really blame her. I guess I just sat there, held by that Advisor. I just sat and watched as her father was murdered by those fat alien baby things. D0g tried to help. I did nothing. And as Alyx sobbed over the still-warm body of her dad, I just stared. What the hell is wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just say something? Offer some words of condolences? But I just stared. I wouldn’t talk to me, either. Shit.
December 23rd, 2007
Alyx and I exchanged a few texts a couple of days ago, but I’m pretty convinced nothing’s happening re. Christmas this year. I guess it’s another year of uncomfortable pullovers at the Vortigaunts’.
June 14th, 2008
Sooooo… So yeah. I was rather expecting to hear something from the folks at Valve by now. Things are still pretty awkward with Alyx – I guess we’re not friends any more. We’ve met up a couple of times, at gatherings with others, and sort of been polite. I tend to keep myself to myself at such things – not a big one for small talk – which always makes it trickier.
There was also that time we bumped into each other at the coffee shop in White Forest. God, that was uncomfortable. I didn’t say anything, but that only seemed to make her more annoyed. But yeah, getting worried about the lack of any communication with Valve. I was pretty sure they’d be wanting to send me off on a new task by now – at least give me the chance to avenge Eli. It’s kind of weird.
August 20th 2009
Money’s getting tight, and the alien overlords controlling us all unchallenged sucks pretty hard. I keep finding my eyes glancing at the old crowbar, there on the mantel. I’ve not gone alone since my first day at Black Mesa, and that went pretty epically badly. No, I’ll wait until the honchos at Valve get in touch, that’s the right thing to do. I’m sure it’ll be any day now.
February 1st 2011
Wow, it’s been weeks since I wrote in here. I’ve been busy, new job and all. I’ve picked up some part-time shifts at the White Forest Cafe. It’s not great money, but it’s money. Far better than that cleaning job at the Combine’s facility – creepy as all hell, that was. A year of my life I’ll never get back, and I’ll be glad to never wear that disguise again. I can just about manage the rent, but if I can pick up a couple more shifts things will be a lot easier.
October 27th 2011
Oh wow, you’ll never guess who was in the cafe today! Dr. Kleiner! It’s so long since I’ve seen him, and we had a whole bunch to catch up on. He’s retired now, living in an annex off Barney’s place, back in the hills. He still tinkers around in the garage apparently. Says it’s good to be prepared in case Valve ever contact us. I hadn’t even thought about Valve for – god – months until he mentioned them.
I suppose they still might. Things have been in limbo here for so long, it’s hard to imagine anything changing. Still, it was great to see Kleiner – he’s the one guy I’ve never felt judged by. I wish I could tell him that, but, well, you know.
October 28th 2011
Urk. Barney was in today. He asked me if I’d seen Kleiner. I said yeah, sure, he chatted to me for about an hour yesterday. Barney explained that, well, Kleiner’s not so well. Apparently I caught him at a good moment, but he’d disappeared from Barney’s place a few days earlier saying he was looking for Lamarr. Lamarr’s been dead for years. I feel terrible.
August 3rd 2012
Mossman was in the cafe again today. Oh, I should say first, I’m assistant manager! After they made me full-time, Angela quit because she wasn’t happy with her hours. Then when Philip was moved to City 17’s head offices, that meant Julie became manager, and I guess I was the natural choice! It’s a lot more responsibility, and it keeps me busy. Anyway, as I was saying, Mossman was in again.
She comes in once a week or so now, always talking about how she’s about to set off in the Borealis. The Borealis has been in dry dock for, what, five years now? I’m worried about her – she needs to move on.
March 29th 2013
I had a funny moment in the cafe today! Julie couldn’t get the staff locker open, and her car keys were inside. She had to pick up her kid from school, and she was panicking. I’d put the crowbar in the toolbox out back a few months back, as it just looked silly in the flat. So I grabbed it, popped the locker open, and handed her the keys.
She was really grateful, but couldn’t understand why I was laughing so hard. I tried to explain, tell her about my old job, but she was already late and she seemed a bit weirded out. Thinking about it, I’m not sure why I was laughing now.
March 13th 2014
So the White Forest Cafe closed down for good. Since the Combine stopped coming in, money was getting really tight. A few locals really weren’t enough to prop up the place, and head office said either we all take half wages, or it closes. Julie and Brian were totally against a pay cut, and I figured maybe it was time to find something new to do. Not sure what though. Got a month’s pay, so there’s time.
September 10th 2014
Dammit, it happened again. I was checking my emails and there was something about Valve. As ever, my heart picked up, but it was just bloody spam. Something about selling “Bucket Valves”, whatever those are – it made little sense. BLOODY HELL. God.
July 28th 2015
I turned 40 last week. I didn’t do anything for it – it didn’t feel like something to be celebrated. Anyway, it’s hard to fit more than a couple of people into the bedsit. I remembered something this morning, kind of wish I hadn’t. Alyx and I, back in the day, had joked about when we turned 40. We said that if we’d not found anyone yet, if we were both single at 40, we’d just marry each other. We were joking, but I think we both meant it a bit too.
I didn’t hear from her. I mean, I haven’t heard from her in a couple of years, but I did wonder if the big four-oh might have given her a nudge to say hi. Dunno. Her 40th is next month – maybe she’s waiting until then? Fingers crossed.
October 4th 2015
I’m sorry, I need to let this out of my system. Sometimes I think about Valve, about the promises, the agreements. I think about the contracts we made, verbal of course – because I’m always the fool. I think about how we were going to bring down the Combine together, how Mossman was finally going to take her cargo, whatever the bloody hell it was, and how Alyx and I would make a real difference. And maybe I’d have finally found the courage to tell her how I felt. Feel.
I think about what could have been, had they just kept their word. I’ve tried contacting them, obviously, but after a couple of non-committal replies from Doug saying they didn’t have an answer right now, there’s been nothing. Not a word. Look, I just thought I meant something to them. I thought we had something special, something they cared about too. I guess that just makes me the bloody fool again, doesn’t it?