The man pointed his gun at Gordon Freeman and slowly backed into a corner away from the exhausted physicist turned folk hero. The balding, stocky man was wearing torn overalls and a white shirt so stained with blood that it had taken on a permanent orange hue. He swore at Gordon and waved the gun at him furiously, all the while shouting, "Get away from me, I'm not going back out there! I don't want to turn into one of those things!"

Gordon didn't respond. He knew there was nothing he could say to this delusional man to convince him that he was not an enemy, and that they still had a chance to escape. Even if he had the words to say, he lacked the energy to say them. His eyes were swollen and blurry from the scuttle the two had been engaged in just minutes prior, just narrowly escaping a pack of dozens if not hundreds of head crab zombies.

As he sat in the corner of the dark, abandoned farmhouse dining room, he could hear the creatures scratching at the walls all around them. The zombies had surrounded the house and were minutes from breaking in, and because of this fool staring him down with the gun, Gordon had no weapons to defend himself, not even a crow bar.

Looking at the man, now slumping over across the room leaning on the dining table with the gun in his hand and furiously trying to catch his breath, Gordon felt his head becoming heavy and brain hopelessly trying to stay alert. He could hear the man mumbling to himself something incoherent to Gordon's exhausted ears. He was able to make out a few words before the man would do something altogether shocking but expected. Gordon could make out the words "No sir, I won't do it. No sir, I won't."

Upon hearing this Gordon looked up through his swollen eyelids to see the man talking to the air in front of him and raising the gun to his own balding head, his hand trembling with one last bullet in the chamber. Silence befell the room for a split second before Gordon heard the shot. The man had taken his own life to avoid becoming a walking corpse for all eternity. His body collapsed in a pile of blood on the table.

Gordon could feel his eyes becoming heavy, his breathing slowing and his heart pounding. His head was having trouble holding itself up. He knew he must stay alert to escape the coming flood of creatures that would soon be feasting on his fallen companion's flesh at that dining room table, and he would be next. Though try as he might, his weary mind could not fight it. Gordon quickly succumbed to his body's demand for respite. With the zombies just outside, Gordon passed out on the farmhouse floor.

Twenty Minutes Earlier

"Ah sure hope yer good wit dat thing cuz I don't wanna get shot in the ass wit no razorblade. Jus make sure yer pointin' it at the zombies an' not me." Said the short, balding farmer. Gordon slung the gravity gun off his shoulder and tested it out on a can of tomato soup, grabbing the can and launching the contents at the man's feet, creating a blood red puddle right in front of him as if to make a point. Gordon just smiled as the farmer scoffed at his way of expressing himself.

"A simple yes or no woulda sufficed." Spat the man, unamused, but nonetheless impressed by the gravity gun's wizardry. As they walked up to the cemetery gate Gordon prepared himself mentally for the challenge that lay on the other side of that gate. Stumbling around the cemetery were about seven head crab zombies just looking for new hosts. most of the bodies had been dug up and inhabited already, but two fresh ones were just about to join the party.

There was no way to go around. The way was blocked. There was no way to go in stealthy either, since the gate was boarded shut and barbed wire had been tied around the perimeter to keep in the horde. They would have to go in loud and just fight their way to the other side of town. Ravenholm wasn't the only ghost town in City 17. Gordon had done this before, he could do it again.

He used the gravity gun to rip the boards off the door and zombies turned their attention toward to duo. "Ok here they come. My house is this way, we can make it, just stay close." The farmer was wielding a revolver and a shovel. Gordon began picking off zombies immediately, launching a two by four into the crowd and literally nailing a crab right in the head. As a zombie came lumbering towards the farmer, Gordon spied a pick axe on the ground and sent it hurtling into the zombie's head. Another approached and another fell. The pair made quick work of this pack, but knew they had to move quick to avoid the horde that was likely hurtling towards them, attracted by all the noise.

As they exited the grave yard, the farmer stopped suddenly and grabbed his head. "What? I...I...I'm sorry father." Gordon was disturbed by this and walked up to the man, grabbed his shoulders and was about to ask him what was wrong when the man simply looked up and said "What're ya lookin' at? Let's get goin.'" Gordon just let the man lead the way, now feeling weary of him with every step. A place like this could make a person go mad, and any person who had survived in it as long as this farmer had, must surely have gone insane years ago.

The farm house was near. They could see the silo from where they stood in the field. The moon shined a bright orange through the fog and the wheat, the only thing to survive in this god forsaken hellhole, waved gently and serenely. Then they heard it. The howl of a fast zombie. Then another. Then another. This was unlike anything Gordon had experienced in Ravenholm. They never attacked in such number before. These beasts were hungry. The zombies sped across the field from all directions. The creatures tore through the wheat like tigers through a jungle, dead set on catching their pray.

"RUN!" Shouted the farmer. "We need to get inside." The pair sprinted for the farm, still two football fields away. On either side climbing down from the hills around them, jumping down from trees and seemingly springing up from the ground, the fast zombies hurtled towards them gaining ground with every second. Gordon looked around for things to launch with the gravity gun. There was nothing.

They had but one choice. They had to run. Gordon felt his legs moving faster than his torso could keep up. He wanted to make it inside that farmhouse no matter what. As they ran, the zombies ran too. At this point it sounded to Gordon like a herd of thousands was nipping at their heels, but he would not look back. He would not let himself look back. The zombies were dead set on him, and he was dead set on the farmhouse. As they crossed the fence to the yard, the zombies had caught up to them. One of the creatures launched into the air and tackled Gordon. He was pinned down, the monster tearing at his face, his eyes welling with sweat and tears. He felt something now that he had trained his brain to ignore. Gordon was afraid. As he struggled to tear the zombie away from his face, he could see the head crab crawling off the host and preparing to attach itself to Gordon's brain. Then suddenly the crab squealed and flew through the air, landing at Gordon's feet. The body slumped over limp onto his torso and he pushed it off to see the farmer standing with the gun smoking.

He helped Gordon on his feet. "Let's go! Hurry!" Another zombie dropped down from the roof as they approached the porch. It knocked the gravity gun out of Gordon's hands and into the trailing crowd of zombies. Gordon kicked the zombie off him and it barreled towards its fellow flesh eaters. The gun was lost, but the pair slipped inside the house to safety. 

They barricaded the door with a large oak hutch. "Alright feller, there's a hidden passage in my basement. We can make it back to the city through there."

As he lit a candle on the table, the farmer stopped and looked up at Gordon with blank eyes and a glazed, haunted expression on his face. "I can't do this for you anymore. I can't continue to serve you." He raised the gun and pointed it at Gordon.

Rise and Shine

"Rise and shine Mr. Freeman. Rise and shine. Your time here isn't over. His was. He proved to be an unworthy candidate. But you Mr....Freeman. You are still one of my most cherished assets." The G-man disappeared into thin air as Gordon awoke in the corner of that dining room. The zombies broke in through the window first. The crashing glass not slowing them down one bit. Gordon got to his feet and looked around the room. He was trapped. He could hear footsteps upstairs, and the only doorway out of the dining room was blocked by a lumbering zombie.

He decided to take his chances with the loner rather than wait for the fast zombies to surround him. He walked up to zombie, and for all the gravity guns, crow bars and shotguns in the world, Gordon knew he still had one weapon he couldn't drop. He reached back and slugged the zombie with his clenched fist. It his hard, pounding the fleshy parasite off the body and down the hall. The body fell over and Gordon sprinted through the house as dozens more flooded in through every window.

He searched all over the house for the basement when he found a door locked up with a chain. This had to be it. He searched around for a blunt object to break the chain. He spied a baseball bat in the corner surrounded by lumbering zombies. As the fast zombies drew closer he quickly snatched the bat from the corner and smacked a few head crabs on the way. He reached the door again and banged it open with a few good thrusts. He had no way of barricading the door and anyway he had no time. He sprinted down the steps to find the basement had been dug open to reveal a tunnel and an ATV sitting at the entrance.

He hopped on the vehicle as the beasts closed in behind him. Turning over the engine furiously but not getting any power, he finally got the four wheeler to start on the third try. With a puff of exhaust he took off down the tunnel away from the sprinting herd. The fast zombies kept pace however. He used the baseball bat to knock them back. He could see the exit from here. He was close.

He came to the gate and could see the combine equipment from there. He barrelled forward. Then the guns started. The mini guns shot down all the approaching zombies. He couldn't believe it. This was a tunnel straight into a combine base. He was just jumping out of the fire and into the frying pan. He had no choice. The doors opened and he sped into the base, crashing over the handlebars as the ATV tumbled through the threshold. The zombies couldn't catch him as the doors closed and the guns shot them down.

As he lay on that cold floor surrounded by combine gear and hearing strange voices, he braced himself for the punishment that was to come. He was exhausted, couldn't see straight and had no interest in fighting back. He closed his eyes as a blurry figure approached. He braced himself...

"Gordon?!" It was Alyx's voice he heard. "Gordon? You made it! Oh thank god. Hey Barnie get over here. It's Gordon." Once again, but this time with relief and peace in his thoughts, Gordon Freeman passed out.