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Duplicate file exists here edition.

At some time around nine in the morning yesterday, the Anomalous Materials lab at Black Mesa performed an experiment involving teleportation, exotic matter, and what they thought was the empty space between universes. While MIT graduate Gordon Freeman was in the vast chamber of the Anti-Mass-Spectrometer, you were finishing your shift working undercover as a security guard. Unbeknownst to the administration, you had taken up a false identity as a security guard in order to spy on the Black Mesa facility. When the incident went terribly wrong, you, Agent Gabriella Oppenheimer of the Central Intelligence Agency, were still in the lobby at Black Mesa. Space itself began to rupture as a power surge tore through the equipment, letting unknown alien horrors nest inside Black Mesa. Perhaps opportunistically, or perhaps by plan, more intelligent aliens began strategically teleporting in to the facility. In response, the US military ordered a full purge of the facility. A division of hazardous environment combat units was flown in to push back the aliens and silence the remaining staff.

Throughout your trek through the mess that Black Mesa has become, you've managed to get both Dr. Kleiner and Dr. Vance to the infirmary, where many of the staff had held up. Leaving Dr. Kleiner behind, you moved on with Dr. Vance to find his family at the staff housing, taking a neurologist named Dr. Guttman with you. After recovering Vance's daughter and cleaning up what was left of his wife, you managed to exfiltrate Vance and Alyx. As well, you managed to make contact with a fellow spy, Agent Marietta Poskanzer, who had been stuck in the Black Mesa robotics laboratories. Forced to leave the apartments as marines began to kick down doors, you, Guttman, and Marietta moved out, eventually finding the rest of your team dead or dying. As one of the spies was revived, you had discovered that their memories had somehow been altered by the aliens to believe you were dead. As a result, the team moved on without you to fulfill their orders of capturing Dr. Freeman. Most of them were killed. The final surviving spy, Agent Reilly, joined your party along with an elderly microbiologist named Dr. Wythoff.

Throughout all of this, you have been plagued with a splitting migraine that seems to surround your own consciousness. For some reason, if you manage to get past the pain , you can find new information from the alien's psychic network of communication. However rather recently you managed to take that further, not only bating a group of aliens into your world to distract a sniper, but also fighting the alien mentally by chasing it down after it attacked your own mind.
(cont.)
>>
Previous threads:
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Black+Mesa+Black+Ops+Quest%2C
>>4281118
(cont.)
When both the aliens and the sniper were dealt with, you managed to capture the well equipped sniper, who soon revealed to you that Special Operations Command was illegally deploying agents of the Intelligence Support Activity in order to free themselves from dependency on the CIA for information. Many of them were ordered to track enemy movement, and this one was ordered to track you. With both a silver tongue, and luck, you convinced him to surrender, fighting alongside you so you can exfiltrate him. Despite successful interrogations by your colleagues, you still don't know the man's name.

Knowing you need to move out soon, you decide to quickly ask, "Do you have a callsign we can use to identify you by?"

His response is only, "Let's go with Stephenson."

"Fine with me," Marietta says, "Let's move out."

It's most certainly not his real name, or even his ISA codename. As the group begins walking up the hill, you consider getting more out of him.

>This man shot you in the leg, you deserve a real damn name, something that you would be proud to send your handler. (3d6+2, pass on a 17.)
>You should at least try and get his actual ISA codename, so you can trace him back to his superiors. (3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
>Just leave it for now. You have something to identify him by, your superiors can worry about real names.
>>
>>4281119
>You should at least try and get his actual ISA codename, so you can trace him back to his superiors. (3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
Oy come on. Give us something cool. He already knows about "Magestic team twelve" silly ass name. Spill the beans. What stupid name did you get? I bet it was Karen.
>>
>>Starting a new thread when the previous one has less than 600 replies...
>>
>>4281119
>>You should at least try and get his actual ISA codename, so you can trace him back to his superiors. (3d6+2, pass on a 14.)

Hell even be honest about it. He knows we're legit operators. He knows we're trying to extract innocents. He knows the shitshow is primarily DoD side and not CIA side considering killing them all isn't a CIA order.
>>
>>4281194
Sorry, I didn't know that was a problem. It just seemed like a good place to cut for any future readers, and I usually create a new thread on page 8.
>>4281126
>>4281207
"Don't give me secrecy right now." You respond as you help Reilly in the trek uphill. "You know I'm a member of the CIA. You know I'm not the one trying to kill innocents, that's the department of defense. All I want is an actual codename."

The sniper takes a moment to give it some consideration. He knows he's not in a position of power at the moment, but he also is smart enough to know what even a simple codename or callsign could reveal about him.

Four players roll a 1d6. The top three rolls will be added into a 3d6+2.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4281240
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4281240
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4281240
He also probably knows that helping us will only help him as well by this point.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4281240
>>
>>4281257
>>4281262
>>4281269
>>4281279
The sniper is silent as he walks with the group, before he sighs, then says "Operative Kirchhoff." He shrugs, then says "It's not the name god gave me, but its what SOCOM calls me. Happy?"

That's the kind of short negotiations that only ever happen between the kind of people that know the psychological tactics of their enemy. A codename is what you asked for, so you simply respond, "Yeah, that'll do."

As you continue on, you start to reach the carnage of your own efforts. The dead Xen Controller is covered in the electrical burns of his own dying discharge, and the vortigaunts either pile around the creature, or trail away from it. While most of the vortigaunts still seem completely unconscious, a few are beginning to stir, shifting as they realize in confusion that their minds are free again. Seeing this, Kirchoff groans"Jesus H, some of these fuckin things..." you lose track of his voice as you realize that he's reaching for his rifle. Thinking they're still hostile, he wants to execute the aliens. With quick, trained hands he's already got the safety off.

>Physically jump over and grab the barrel of his rifle. You just need to make it unsafe to shoot, you don't need to wrestle the guy. It'll probably make him even less trusting of you though.
>Quickly make up a lie about why he can't shoot the vortigaunts. Keep him in the dark about the vortigaunts. (3d6+2, pass on a 12.)
>Quickly tell him to stop, then explain the status of the vortigaunts servitude towards the aliens. (3d6+2, he believes you on a 10.)
>Let him do it.
>Write in.
>>
>>4281328
>>Quickly tell him to stop, then explain the status of the vortigaunts servitude towards the aliens. (3d6+2, he believes you on a 10.)
I mean we just have to point at the collars and have half our crew back us up on that.

Also the fact the freed vorts appear to have saved our lives from the ambush the other operatives were on.

I mean the CIA knows about this too. We could even get our handler to verify. There's literally no reason for him to fight us on this if he's decided to cooperate.
>>
>>4281328
>Quickly tell him to stop, then explain the status of the vortigaunts servitude towards the aliens. (3d6+2, he believes you on a 10.)
>Write in.
Kick the Xen Controller for shits and giggles. Fuck em. Is that one vort spy alive?
>>
>>4281328
>Quickly tell him to stop, then explain the status of the vortigaunts servitude towards the aliens. (3d6+2, he believes you on a 10.)
>Add the vorts to our little strike team
>>
>>4281347
multiple are alive.
Also killing these guys is like shooting civvies.
>>
>>4281339
>>4281347
There doesn't seem to by any vortigaunts with "Fake" collars on. It seems that this is not the same group of aliens.
>>4281353

"Stop!" You shout quickly. "They're friendlies."

"No they're not, they're green." Kirchoff replies immediately. It's clear he's not a particularly open-minded individual.

"No, look at they're necks. They were collared by the other aliens. They're a form of conscript." You start, hoping he'll care about your explanation. People in the ISA are often giving more conventional tracking jobs for a reason, they fail to acknowledge the possibility that the universe is absolutely insane.

Four players roll a 1d6, the top three rolls will be added into a 3d6+2.
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Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4281370
>>
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Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4281370
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Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4281370
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4281370
>>
>>4281376
>>4281378
>>4281423
>>4281440
"That's fuckin' insane." Kirchoff responds. "And how would you know that?"

"I've removed the collars before, they become friendly after the removal." You explain. "They've aided me a few times already."

"And you say this as someone who knows what the word infiltration means?" He responds

"And what secrets are they gonna take? They don't know our language, probably don't understand our technology, and our now cut off from their superiors without those collars." You explain.

"Have you never read a comic book lass? They'lll suck your brain out through a straw." He responds. He's got a clear air of sarcasm in this last comment, a little method of dodging criticism that they don't teach in the CIA. Even if he's not entirely convinced, he's not shooting them, he's choosing to trust it as an order. It's actually a really good sign that he chose to trust your judgement this early on.

More and more of the vortigaunts are starting to wake. Most of the team except for Kirchoff seem rather content to wait a moment for them to awaken fully.

>Respond with the obvious joke. Reference the sniper's apparent experience in sucking.
>Just tell Kirchoff to shut up.
>You have read plenty of comic books, enough to understand that species other than humans can and often be enslaved.
>Explain that they couldn't hurt a fly, just look at them, they're the least threatening of all the aliens.
>Explain that you're pretty sure that's what the big one tried before it started electrifying itself.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4281475
>Respond with the obvious joke. Reference the sniper's apparent experience in sucking.
And as an aside
>Remember to ‘thank’ (tease) him for the new pistol he ‘loaned’ us
>>
>>4281475
>Respond with the obvious joke. Reference the sniper's apparent experience in sucking.
>Write in a response.
Try to appear friendly to them and pull up images of you helping other Vortigaunts. Pull out the battery and see if they're nice enough to charge them.
Show them an image, or try to make one up of a vortigaunt changing the battery.
>>
>>4281487
>>4281529
"So you like to read about sucking?" You say, with a big, goofy smile under your balaclava.

"You're a child." Kirchoff responds.

"Thanks for the gun by the way." You say, tapping the special operatives pistol in its holster. "Really good deal, spending one grenade for a genuine Mark-23."

"Fuck you." Is all he says in response. You giggle like a child as he silently fumes.

One by one the vortigaunts begin to stand up. Watching curiously, you watch as they wake, and quickly begin to converse with each other. They make strange, alien noises for a few moments. Then two of them just simply start walking away. It's rather confusing to watch. They were just a moment ago enslaved, and now they already seem to have this idea that they're needed somewhere.

The other two start approaching you, with their hands growing green. This time, the color is gentle, rather than arcing from the ground with a blinding power.

As they approach, one moving towards you, the other towards Guttman, he backs off from the creature, saying "Gabby I just fixed your leg, be careful, don't get zapped."

>Tell Guttman to do let it do it's thing, last time this happened they charged your suit.
>Let Guttman avoid the alien, but let the vortigaunt do what it wants to do.
>Pull back away from the alien yourself, and let Guttman back off.
>Wait, don't let those other two vortigaunts leave. Move past the vortigaunt, and chase the other two.
>>
>>4281631
>Tell Guttman to do let it do it's thing, last time this happened they charged your suit.
>Boop them on the face
>>
>>4281631
>Tell Guttman to do let it do it's thing, last time this happened they charged your suit.
>When they finish, run a quick test. Use some of the hand gestures you taught the vortigaunts back at the tram - if they respond appropriately, then they're clearly learning from each other remotely.
>>
>>4281631
>>4281713
This.
>>
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>>4281636
>>4281713
>>4281798
"Calm down Guttman." You say. "They're fine. The things are like living batteries, so they can charge up your suit."

"Just don't name these ones." He responds as he tentatively stops backing up. The creature slowly comes closer. To you, it reaches out all three of its hands, including the small, shriveled one in the center of its chest. The light builds, then dissipates. For a short second, your suit makes a noise indicating charging, then quickly stops.

(68/100 health, and 25/50 armor power, and 28/50 cloak power)

While you're focused on this strange showcase of alien electrical manipulation, you hear an electrical crack, like someone touching an improperly insulated wire, and Guttman shouts "Motherfucker!"

You turn around quickly, seeing Guttman holding his hands over his eyes like an untrained victim of a flash-bang. You instinctively perform a small hand-waving motion, the same one you had taught the vortigaunts on the tram, to shoo away the skinny alien. It complies in a timely manner, obediently stepping back over the sand covered rocks a few feet away from the rest of the group.

Guttman's hands shift to holding his forehead, his eyes still closed.

>Ask if the vortigaunt attacked Guttman.
>Ask Guttman if he messed with the Vortigaunt while it charged his suit.
>Just ask Guttman if he's okay. Don't bombard someone in pain with quiestions.
>CIA training kicks in. You've been duped, kick the vortigaunt!
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4281830
>Just ask Guttman if he's okay. Don't bombard someone in pain with quiestions.
>>
>>4281830
>Just ask Guttman if he's okay. Don't bombard someone in pain with questions.
>>
>>4281834
>>4281866

"Guttman, Guttman, are you alright? What happened?" You ask as you see him in distress.

"The slimy ass tased me!" Guttman groans as you come closer. As you approach, you notice a strange smell. It's the sterile smell of hospital cleaning chemicals, the kind of stuff you smelt back in the infirmary when you managed to avoid the smell of blood and bodies. Yet it doesn't seem to be coming from the environment, but rather that strange little hole punched into the migraine.

"Do you want to sit down?" You ask. "Are you hurt?"

"No, no, for fucks sake, I'll be fine it's just... goddamn..." He groans for a second, then his eyes start to slowly flicker back open, readjusting to the bright light of the desert, "Is that what it's like to be tazed?"

The vortigaunt seems rather content with himself. It's hard to tell the specific emotions of a completely alien face.

>Ask Guttman if he smells anything, like the smell of a hospital.
>Try the eye tracking check he always uses on you guys after a seizure. Make sure his head is still in shape.
>Try to confront the vortigaunt. Even if it doesn't understand english, it should be able to understand the idea of "Don't do that again!"
>Start asking Guttman specifics on what happened.
>"Judging by your response? You've been space-flashbanged."
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4281952
>Start asking Guttman specifics on what happened.
>>
>>4281952
>Try the eye tracking check he always uses on you guys after a seizure. Make sure his head is still in shape.
>>
>>4281952
>Ask Guttman if he smells anything, like the smell of a hospital.
>Try the eye tracking check he always uses on you guys after a seizure. Make sure his head is still in shape.
>>
>>4281240

> Sorry, I didn't know that was a problem. It just seemed like a good place to cut for any future readers, and I usually create a new thread on page 8.
Just so you're aware, these threads can go on for thousands of replies and will sit in the catalog for really long time.
>>
>>4281955
>>4282079
>>4282145
As his eyes open, you move your finger in front of his face in the same pattern he uses to check your own eye tracking. His eyes fail to track for the first motion, jumping towards it periodically, but they gradually begin to recover as you continue the motions. The timing in his visions recovery does remind you of a flashbang, so you decide to expand your check with "Are you ears ringing?"

"Nah." He says. "I'm fine, just give me a minute. C'mon back off." He gently pushes on you, sending the message that he just wants some space for a moment. You comply, letting him get his bearings for a moment. The dilation of his eyes return to normal, and he regains his balance.

"What the fuck was that?" He asks as he recovers. "It brought that big glowing ball over to me, then it zapped me." He begins listing off his symptoms like a doctor meeting another doctor for a diagnosis. "Head pain, loss of vision, loss of balance, erm..." he groans for a moment as he collects his thoughts, "I guess sudden confusion and disorientation too."

"Maybe your suit is broken?" Marietta says. "The crack sounded a bit like bad insulation to me."

"Maybe the alien just thinks you're an asshole Guttman." Reilly cracks.

"I was right." Kirchoff says smugly, "I'd bet that was some kinda alien mind reading."

"Operative..." Wythoff says, "While I'm no expert on xenobiology, electricity, or matters of intelligence, it seems rather unscientific to draw such conclusions from an apparent electrical shock. Precise data would hardly survive arcing through open air."

>Theorize that maybe the vortigaunt did suck Guttman's brains out through a straw, just with electricity. Ask him if he has all of his memories.
>Marietta's probably right, the simplest solution is usually the answer. They probably weren't designed to be charged by ET's glowing finger.
>Ask Guttman if he messed with the vortigaunt while it tried to charge his suit.
>It seems pretty clear, alien flash banging"
>Try inspecting the vortigaunt. See if it seems any different after doing that.
>If Guttman is feeling better, than it's time to move. You can investigate this at the infirmary.
>Write in.
>>
>>4282651
>Try inspecting the vortigaunt. See if it seems any different after doing that.
>If you dont find anything, try to ask it mentally about it.
>>
>>4282651
>Try inspecting the vortigaunt. See if it seems any different after doing that.
>If you dont find anything, try to ask it mentally about it.
>>
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>>4282661
>>4282697
As your party argues, your attention shifts from Guttman to the vortigaunt itself. You move towards the vortigaunt that just zapped Guttman, who seems rather content with himself as he observes the group from the distance arguing over the possibility of data extraction through electrical arcing. His eye shifts more curiously than his brothers, as though he's performing his own investigation. As you walk closer, the aliens eye settles on your face.

Looking closely, you track its eye, and notice a very subtle shift in position. Its no longer looking directly at your face, but right at its left side, where the "extra-cranial brain activity" was shown on your brain scans. This causes a little primal chill in your body, and you touch the side of your head quickly. Nothing is there but hair and skin.

That strange intangible smell is slightly stronger near the alien creature. You're about to investigate when you hear Kirchoff shout behind you, "Now that one is running!"

A quick glance shows the other vortigaunt who had charged your suit now dashing off to join his brothers in whatever alien task they had decided on. Still, his hunched over form and spindly legs are not particularly fast on the desert sand.

Your head still really hurts after that fight with the Xen controller. You could try pushing the migraine, but something in your stomach doesn't like the idea.

>Ignore the pain, worm through the migraine and follow the smell towards the vortigaunt. (3d6+3, pass on a 16.)
>Follow the running vortigaunt, what is it so intent on doing?
>Tell the group that your pretty sure there's something up with the vortigaunt here, but you don't have the tools to investigate it yet.
>Just move on. You don't think you should reveal your every suspicion towards the party.
>Tell the party that you trust this vortiguant had a reason for flashbanging Guttman. You're gonna name him Bubba.
>Write in.
>>
>>4282741
>Ignore the pain, worm through the migraine and follow the smell towards the vortigaunt. (3d6+3, pass on a 16.)
Ask someone if they can go investigate it? Marietta? Gonna try to get some alien sign language or something.
>>
>>4282741
>Ignore the pain, worm through the migraine and follow the smell towards the vortigaunt. (3d6+3, pass on a 16.)
Ask someone if they can go investigate it? Marietta? Gonna try to get some alien sign language or something.
>>
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>>4281475
>>4282754
>pass on 16
LIKE WE'RE GONNA GET IT
>Ignore the pain, worm through the migraine and follow the smell towards the vortigaunt. (3d6+3, pass on a 16.)
fukkit tho
>>
>>4282741
>Ignore the pain, worm through the migraine and follow the smell towards the vortigaunt. (3d6+3, pass on a 16.)
Prepare your god damn brainstem, gabby
don't let that cuck keep clamping on it
>>
>>4282752
>>4282754
>>4282795
>>4282834
"Marietta." You say before doing anything with the migraine. "Investigate that vortigaunt, don't run too far, but see if you can find out where Gump wants to go."

"She's named it already." Guttman exclaims.

"That's fine." Marietta responds . "I'm on it." She says to you, before jogging after the creature.

You focus yourself, ignoring the sound of Reilly muttering something to herself as Marietta runs off, or the sound of Kirchoff questioning what the hell you're doing. With your attention on the migraine, you stalk it, watching for a path through as it fizzles on the edge of your thoughts.

Four players roll a 1d6. The top three rolls will be added into a 3d6+3.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4282858
watch this 1
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4282858
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4282858
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4282858
Witness this 6.
>>
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>>4282864
>>4282867
>>4282872
>>4282879
>>
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IF THAT GOD DAMN MIGRAINE MAKES US SEIZE UP ONE MORE GOD DAMN TIME
>>
>>4282903
THIS IS A GOOD PAIN
>>
>>4282858
TOUCH THE TINY ARM
>>
>>4282864
>>4282867
>>4282872
>>4282879
As you watch the migraine move, gently fizzing at the edge of your head, you suddenly feel it grow in intensity. You don't even get to making a move towards the infinitesimal keyhole before it spots and closes in on you. Searing pain rages at your skull, and pulls closer into you head. Your body doesn't start seizing, the migraine just wants to send a message this time, not pull you back into a reality you never left.

You grab your head, wincing at the intense pain. You try pushing back or hiding away somewhere deeper in your head, but the migraine grows to encompassing everywhere, except for the one little hole in its presence. Its absolutely relentless as it pushes down on you. You can hear that distant, computerized voice once again stating something sterile in the distance, but you can't even try to make out the words.

Above you, you start to see the vortigaunt producing some sort of green glow. Within the sea of pain, something is worming its way into your disabled head, walking around your mind with the same grace as a human could through the real world.

>It's gotta be the vortigaunt helping you, right? Let it do what it wants to do.
>You have enough shit in your head right now! Alert the migraine to its presence, it'll do the job for you.
>>
>>4282967
Lets let an unknown alien do shit to us

NOTHING CAN GO WRONG
>>
>>4282967
>It's gotta be the vortigaunt helping you, right? Let it do what it wants to do.
Beat the shit out of the migraine
Tag team that nigga
>>
>>4282967
>It's gotta be the vortigaunt helping you, right? Let it do what it wants to do.
>>
>>4282970
>>4282997
>>4283024
You allow the alien to rifle through your mind as you cringe on the ground. You're pretty sure Dr. Guttman is trying to check on you, but the pain of the migraine screeching at your disobedience leaves you unable to respond to his medical questions. Without any medicine, he's just left to ensure your airways are still open and your heart is still beating.

The alien is clearly looking for something, and as it reads through your mind it scans over secrets both private and federal. Matters of national security and your own personal life fall under the creatures gaze. As it moves through, it seems to begin to understand the migraine quickly, moving around its gaze as it continues to lash out at your own pained mind.

More importantly however it quickly begins to understand your mind, or even the human mind in general. It begins to learn things that you didn't know about your own mind. The migraine doesn't know about it either.

The vortigaunt can't fight the migraine, and you can't either. The vortigaunt knows this, but it also knows much, much more. As the migraine thrashes away, the vortigaunt offers you a place of safety, another route out instead of the infinitesimal keyhole. A great network of the green energy the vortigaunts summon. It's always been there, but without the vortigaunts help, you couldn't have possibly seen it.

>Escape into the vortessence, away from the migraine. It will leave you unconscious and on the floor for some time, but it will be an interesting experience to say the least.
>Just suffer through the pain of the migraine. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't, and you cannot afford to fall unconscious in a warzone like black mesa.
>>
>>4283082
>Escape into the vortessence, away from the migraine. It will leave you unconscious and on the floor for some time, but it will be an interesting experience to say the least.
Space magic.
Space magic is answer and should be the only answer.
>>
>>4283088
our awareness of the vortessense is a good thing.

Leaving now is a bad idea tho.
>>
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>>4283082
>Escape into the vortessence, away from the migraine. It will leave you unconscious and on the floor for some time, but it will be an interesting experience to say the least.
BALLS TO THE WALL
FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD
||INSERT QUOTE FOR WHEN YOU'RE ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING STUPID AS FUCK||
>>
>>4283093
What do you mean?

>>4283112
DICKS OUT FOR HARAMBE
KICK ASS AND CHEW GUM
>>
>>4283132
We're in an open area, still need to get back into cover, and our goal was to get to the site of the cascade.

last thing we need is our crew busy carrying our limp body.
>>
>>4283133
No, that just what they need. They skipped on on leg day. Leg day is todays!
>>
>>4283082
>>Just suffer through the pain of the migraine. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't, and you cannot afford to fall unconscious in a warzone like black mesa.
>>
>>4283082
>Escape into the vortessence, away from the migraine. It will leave you unconscious and on the floor for some time, but it will be an interesting experience to say the least.
Born to compete, never retreat.
>>
>>4283088
>>4283112
>>4283220
>>4283242
The outside world begins to fade away, and so does the pain of the migrane. Within a small pocket of the vast alien network your mind is given a respite from Black Mesa. You are caged in, away from much of this strange realm.

It's calm in here. A part of you had expected to be dragged through strange alien tunnels or be confronted by a vast hive-mind, something strange at least. While this experience is certainly alien, it's quiet. A part of you doubt that it's a true representation of their collective consciousness. You're no stranger to being lied to by your own allies, and this very much gives you the same feeling you once had in the lobby and conference room of MI6, where the lovely classical architecture keeps the civilian eyes away from the shady backdoors where teeth are pulled out. This is what they want you to see of them, not the true experience.

The landscape of this realm is alien to you, the walls of your little hideout here are not physical walls, but rather censors dictating where your thoughts can roam. You don't know if this is for your safety, the security of the vortigaunts information, or perhaps both. Still, perhaps as a show of gratitude, or maybe a method of using you as an asset, you have a few pathways to take beyond where your mind would normally be able to travel.

That vortigaunt saw things, not just as a result of snooping through your head, but was directly looking for information while in there. It saw classified federal documents, operations that were classified from the public, names no longer in use and names still in use. If you're right about the nature of these creatures, then that means every free vortigaunt knows these facts now.

You ought to take some time to pull some thoughts together before searching through the paths not walled off.

(You have +1 to spend.)

>The migraine: You become better at hearing through the other side of the migraine
>Shooting: Hitting and wounding targets gets easier.
>Physical training: Kicking, punching, catching, throwing, and avoiding getting hit yourself.
>Stealth: Avoiding being seen or heard as you move around.
>Charisma: Manipulating, leading, lying, threatening, etc. Will give also give a bonus to anyone your instructing/leading when it comes to skills you're competent in.
>Spy work: Lockpicking, screwing with computers, stealing things, picking pockets, reading files.
>Science and engineering: Trying to operate or interpret any of the crazy machines and experiments from black mesa.
>>
>>4283260
>The migraine: You become better at hearing through the other side of the migraine
Space Magic. Nuff said.
>>
>>4283082
>Just suffer through the pain of the migraine. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't, and you cannot afford to fall unconscious in a warzone like black mesa.
Fucking with the Vortessence doesn’t seem like a good idea. I’d rather not get some wires crossed wake up in someone else’s body.
>>
>>4283260
>The migraine: You become better at hearing through the other side of the migraine
Normally, I would vote for almost anything else, probably shooting given what we're bound to go through.
However, with recent events, this simply feels like the most appropriate possible choice. Narratively, we've done a lot towards trying to broaden our skill and familiarity with the boundaries and applications of 'the migraine' since our last resting period. Plus, right now we're in the vortessence, so...
>>
>>4283287
A little too late there.

>>4283294
I hope we get to learn how to shoot lightning like Palpatine.
>>
>>4283294
>>4283265
>The migraine: You become better at hearing through the other side of the migraine

Really the other stuff is more important to our ability to meet our goals and survive...

But 1: fuckin space magic
2: No way we get to the bottom of this without really getting skilled with the migraine
3: Migraine is there to supress our ability to do this shit. Fuck the migraine, we gonna grow so powerful it can't do shit to us. They gonna have to send someone in person to stop us.
>>
>>4283265
>>4283287
>>4283294
>>4283442

Your head feels a bit more focused now that you finally have a place to truly rest, although that calm may very well be the result of alien manipulation. Either way, focusing, being able to recap with yourself what you've learned about your unending headache will help you in the future.

(You now have a total of +4 to all migraine checks.)

There's a good chance your body is being pulled across the final stretch of surface that Black Mesa has to present. The fact that you aren't fearing the multitude of things that might be happening at the surface confirms your little theory of alien calming.

You take little peaks of the numerous paths available to you. Some are distant and winding, far from you, and some are close, one even returning to a little forgotten fragment of your mind. They all happen at once, what was or will be is.

At the end of one is a set of documents you almost recognize. These are the kind of documents involved in placing an undercover agent, replacing old names with new ones, and establishing a new position. This one places an agent of the CIA as an assistant right in the heart of the cover up operation, among the HECU marine's highest commanding officers.

Through another tunnel, a familiar set of legs is within a CIA cell dressed up to be homely enough to fit the fatherly physicist and three foot seven inches tall occupant fiddling with a little necklace around her neck. The place is strange to her, the occupants not nice, but she's safe with her father now.

Another path takes you to a world that, in only a few days, is rapidly changing for a man in security guard gear. The individual is stuck in a distant hotel with rain, desperately calling a loved one as the physicists he travels with stare out of the window at anomalously changing weather. Like a nuclear blast in a hurricane.

Of course, finally, there's one that doesn't sit right. A memory of yours that you don't remember, kicked up by the vortigaunt looking through your own mind. It was well before Black Mesa, or even the CIA. Without fully submerging yourself in the memory, you don't know why the vortigaunts want you to see this.

>Follow the CIA documents. It might not be intended for your eyes, but you want to know.
>Follow Alyx, with her father. You want to check up on them.
>Follow the man in the Black Mesa Security gear. Who is he, and what's going in?
>Why the hell are the vortigaunts showing you your own childhood? Investigate it.
>>
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>>4283451
>Why the hell are the vortigaunts showing you your own childhood? Investigate it.
When will be make sense of this madness
When will our friends ever thing that we're not crazy
>>
>>4283451
OOC I want the hotel. Knowing what follows is important.

IC the CIA docs or the childhood.
Childhood is definitely important, but those CIA docs are more important to making sure good decisions are made in the present.
>>
>>4283451
>Why the hell are the vortigaunts showing you your own childhood? Investigate it.
Mystery box.
>>
>>4283451
>Why the hell are the vortigaunts showing you your own childhood? Investigate it.
I bet we were visited by GMan.
>>
>>4283451
>Follow the CIA documents. It might not be intended for your eyes, but you want to know.
>>
>>4283451
>Why the hell are the vortigaunts showing you your own childhood? Investigate it.
>>
>>4283458
>>4283477
>>4283478
>>4283997
>>4284215
>>4284284
Timidly moving through the narrow path of the vortessence, you grow closer to your own forgotten memories. Slowly, you start losing control as you travel further, coasting through as you forget some things, and remember others. What was then becomes now, the concepts indistinguishable in this alien realm.

You are not Federal Agent Gabriella Oppenheimer yet. Right now, you are a five year old little girl waiting excitedly in an orphanage meeting room.

The attendants say that if you are really, really nice, you might find parents who will take you home with them. Some of the kids at school say that parents are mean, but they haven't met the staff here. Whoever comes through that door, you know they will be at least a little nice.

This is taking a long time. You kick your legs excitedly as you wait. This is a big building, maybe they couldn't find the meeting room? Maybe you should go outside and find them. You can always find your way around. Sometimes when the volunteers aren't looking, you even go play in the vents.

You look around the little office as you wait. Before you is a desk that your head barely pokes over, even while sitting on one of the big adult chairs with an extra pillow on it. From here, the window is a bright white color from the reflecting snow outside. You can hear a few cars pull into the parking lot, could it be them? Through the door, you can hear a woman's voice and... what you think is a mans voice? The woman sounds confused. On the wall there is a flag sticking out of the wall. The pastor says you should be happy to live here. In some countries, kids like you can't stay with orphanages, and are snatched up by the government to fight in the army. Some of your friends parents say he's lying, and you're not sure who to believe.

This sure is taking a long time. You want to meet new parents, but you also wanna go explore.

>You're a good kid. Stay in the chair like the orphanage told you. Maybe count the stars in the flag to occupy yourself.
>Go stick your face against the window. It's not that far from the chair, and you're really curious.
>What are they talking about? You're a good listener, you should get up and listen to the door.
>The curiosity is killing you. Get up, and peak your head out of the door. You have to see what's out there.
>>
>>4284473
>What are they talking about? You're a good listener, you should get up and listen to the door.
>>
>>4284473
>The curiosity is killing you. Get up, and peak your head out of the door. You have to see what's out there.
>>
>>4284473
>What are they talking about? You're a good listener, you should get up and listen to the door
>>
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>>4284479
>>4284487
>>4284697
You slowly hop down from your chair, moving over to the door curiously.

"I understand if such manipulAtions seem rather cruel, but I simply ask that you deNy this paRTicular family for the Time being."

"And for what reasons?" The female voice responds, sounding offended.

"I have reason to believe they would be... Harmful... to the child's future opportunities."

"What reasons?" The female voice responds. "Do you understand the effects of growing up without parents on one's psychological profile? Likelihood of incarceration, sociopathy, dropouts."

"I can asSUre you I am well... acquainted with such psycHological knowledge." The strange voice responds. "However, the current aplicants do not fit the correct ideological profile for the child. I can assure that far more suitable handlers will come along with patience."

"What?" The lady makes some strange, confused noises, and sounds like she's about to say something when the strange voice interrupts.

"Perhaps if such an offer is out of the QUestIon, then I could arrange a moment to speAk with the child."

The lady groans, but for whatever reason, you don't hear anything else come from her mouth. The door starts to open. The first thing you see is a leg in a well dressed set of pants. You look up to see a strange looking man in a suit looking down at you with a strange smile.

>Tell him you really don't want him to adopt you.
>He's scary, run back towards the other side of the room.
>Call for one of the orphanage attendants.
>Just stand still. You don't know what to do.
>Try greeting the strange man. He talks and looks weird, but maybe he's nice?
>Just stay quiet, quickly move back to the seat where the attendants told you to sit.
>>
>>4284824
>Try greeting the strange man. He talks and looks weird, but maybe he's nice?
Oh shit, try to pretend we didn't just get caught eavesdropping.
That's what I'd do at that age. Play it cool.
>>
>>4284824
>Try greeting the strange man. He talks and looks weird, but maybe he's nice?
Are you a doctor, mister?
>>
>>4284824
>Try greeting the strange man. He talks and looks weird, but maybe he's nice?
>>
>>4284832
>>4284869
>>4284991
This stranger may be creepy, but you really do not want to get in trouble. Smiling, and trying to look innocent as possible, you say "Hello Mister!"

He continues to stand straight. You're nervous. Usually the adults crouch down to your level when they wanna talk. They only stand this high when they're mad at you. "Hello, my dear." He says.

"Are you a doctor?" You ask curiously. He dresses like one, and he certainly is scary, just like some of the doctors you've met... but they usually give you a lollipop or toothbrush when you're done.

He chuckles. "I'm afraId not." He adjusts his tie, then, still looking down at you, says "I'd like to addresss a certain... potential emplOyee, so please listen carefully child."

You just stare back dumbfounded, slowly nodding. You can listen, but you certainly don't understand. Still, you're afraid of what might happen if you don't listen.

Finally, he does crouch down to something approaching your level, but its almost more disconcerting than him standing straight. His skin is pallid, and tired, drooping like he hasn't slept in days.

"Agent Oppenheimer." You quickly look around for someone else in that room. There's no one here but you, and you've never heard that name before.

The strange man continues. "It does seem that the rather..." He makes some strange grunting sound, and adjusts his tie again, as if it were choking him."TemPoRAl side effects of your benefactors actions have proven useful."

You don't understand a word of what he just said.

>You're scared, cry for help. You were told never to talk to strangers.
>Just stay silent, let him talk. He told you to listen closely, so you should listen closely.
>Tell him you don't understand. Hopefully he'll explain. Maybe he's a teacher for big kids? They use those kind of words a lot.
>You need to know what he means. Ask who Oppenheimer is.
>Your a brave kid, ask him directly who he is.
>Try to slip past him, towards the door exiting the meeting room.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4285066
>Just stay silent, let him talk. He told you to listen closely, so you should listen closely.
>>
>>4285066
>Your a brave kid, ask him directly who he is.
>Write in a response.
You ever played pattie cake before?
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4285115
>>4285231
>>
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>>4285115
>>4285231
>>4285399
Stiffening your lip, you keep your back straight and stare the suited man in the face. "Who are you?" You ask curiously. "What's your name, Mister?"

The man just chuckles in response, killing your confidence quickly. "I am a man simply making a long term investment in you, child."

"What's an investment?" You ask in response.

"You'll learn in good time, my dear." He responds. "Now... if I mAY." He adjusts his tie, before continuing to refer to this other person. "You may be wondering, Agent Oppenheimer, why I use... such inDirect Methods. Due to the specific nature of your allies... I must abide by, resRICtionss."

"What allies? Who are you?" You ask again. He just ignores you. With his eyes, it seems like he's saying "Quiet, adults are talking," but he still seems to be addressing you directly.

"This method was the best I could produce for meeting my employers... expectationss." He says. "At the moment, your organization threatens to... silence..."

Upon saying the word silence, you blink, and all of a sudden you're no longer in the orphanage. You're in a hospital, with bullet riddled bodies all around you. You scream, unsure of what is going on. In an instant, this encounter has taken on the characteristics of a nightmare.

The strange man is still with you. He continues "... certain agents of my own." As he says this, he moves out of the way. Before you is a man in a bloody brown suit and graying facial hair laying on the ground, holding his hands up as a woman dressed in thin black fatigues, stained with the woman's own blood and numerous bandages aims a silenced pistol at him.

You're only a kid. What is this place? You feel like you want to cry. A primal instinct of childhood fear runs through your spine, making you wish you had a mother to call to.

>You can't watch, cover your eyes, you're too young to watch this man get shot.
>Let it out, cry. Maybe this strange man will have a heart and bring you back to the orphanage.
>Try your hardest to keep yourself composed and try to ask the man what's going on, or where you are.
>You can't pull your eyes from the horrifying scene. Watch every detail closely with wide eyes.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4285465
>Muster up all your courage, and tearfully ask the woman to stop. Maybe she'll listen?
Tis a kid, I doubt she'd know that it's just a vision of events to come.
>>
>>4285465
>Try your hardest to keep yourself composed and try to ask the man what's going on, or where you are.
>>
Where is everyone?
>>
>>4285646
possibly dead or rioting
>>
>>4285646
either busy or just passively watching m8. Mostly a cutscene here with any actions having little likely affect
>>
>>4285465
>Try your hardest to keep yourself composed and try to ask the man what's going on, or where you are.
>>
>>4285465
>Muster up all your courage, and tearfully ask the woman to stop. Maybe she'll listen?
*Tiny Secret Agent Sobbing
>>
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>>4285791
I apologize if the options seem limited. I want to let you guys determine how Gabby will react, but it's hard to give truly impactful choices given the circumstances.
>>4285538
>>4285548
>>4285907
>>4286262
"What's going on? Where are we? I wanna go home!" Are all the words you can think of at the moment. You quickly look around, observing the surroundings. The words "Black Mesa are written on the wall, just peeking out from the woman's black Silhouette.

"What's a Black Mesa?" You say tearfully.

The strange man places his hand on your shoulder, and you reflexively twitch away, pulling black. "Black Mesa my dear is..." He breathes in, as though he were quietly struggling for air. "where you will consIDer my offfer."

The strange man continues on his face uncomfortably close to your own. "All I ask of you, Agent Oppenheimer is that... fitting with in the INtErrrests of natIOnal intelligence..."

Behind him, you see the woman's index finger move, having been placed along the barrel of the gun, she slides it around the trigger. You pull away from the mysterious suited man, shouting tearfully "No! No please stop! You can't shoot him, please!" You wish you could say something more persuasive, but the words escape your emotionally muddled mind.

"...and of course,, the surVIval of your specIes..."The mysterious man continues. Just as the woman's gun spits, you are transported elsewhere. Ruins, dust, smoke, even more bodies, burnt out cars with families still inside, tanks among them. In the center of it all, the same man who you thought had just been shot is now talking to something. A worm like creature floats in the air, speaking with the disheveled human. All you can do is stare dumbfounded by the scene, occasionally wiping tears from your eyes.

"...that you ensure the survival of Black Mesa's humble administrator." He finishes. You are once again pulled away from this scene, and returned to some sort of war room. Your head just barely pokes over a massive green table with a screen featuring hundreds of military readouts. Unoccupied terminals read the data from distant missiles and defense systems. From a grand chair at the other side of the table, the suited man sits, finally asking you. "So, Agent Oppenheimer, what will it be? Protect the administrator or..." He inhales again, adjusting his tie, "Endure the conssequencess."

You're still confused, teary eyed. Your nose is dripping, and now... your head really hurts. Still, you feel driven by a strange, distant thought to say something. The thought feels more mature in your head than your other emotional and unprofessional childlike thoughts. It still feels like one of your own regardless.

“I assure you dear child, you have, deCAdes to decide.” The strange man says.

>Tell the stranger yes. It's what the strange thought says.
>Tell the stranger no. It's what the strange thought says.
>Ignore the thought. You just want to go back to the orphanage.
>>
>>4286321
>Tell the stranger yes. It's what the strange thought says.
It’s important enough of an event to preserve, sadly.
>>
>>4286321
>check your nose
>>
>>4286321
>Tell the stranger no. It's what the strange thought says.
Fuck Breen.
>>
>>4286321
>Tell the stranger yes. It's what the strange thought says.
Well fuck ok. Green's just gonna lose in the end. This fucking 5D chess game ffs.

>>4286388
Tbf Breen hasn't done anything directly hostile to Gabby yet. As he is now, he's just the director or Black Mesa.
>"Endure the conssequencess."
I think bad shit happened to Freeman at the end of Half Life 1 if you declined the offer.
>>
>>4286321
>Tell the stranger yes. It's what the strange thought says.
You don't just say no to Mr.G-Man.

On another note QM, here's a song that i think fits the scene perfectly tone wise.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy3KBgT1dRw
In general i think more melancholic Synthwave goes perfect with the character of Gabby.
So Lazlo any thoughts on creating a quest playlist and posting parts of it when its appropriate (preferably managed by you) like some quests do?
>>
>>4286346
>>4286388
>>4286420
>>4286481
Sorry for the wait, I wanted this to be a proper vote. I wouldn't have thrown you into a room full of grunts like in HL1, but I did have plans. I do apologize if it felt like you were being pushed.

Following the strange and mature thought, you shakily say, "Okay...." You sniffle as tears go down your face. "Yes. I'll do what you want. C-can I go back now?"

"A wise choice, Agent Oppenheimer." He says, clasping his wrinkled hands together. "Follow through, and I assure you will find the benefits of our partnership to be quite..."

The war room starts blaring with alarms. The screens go red, showing new symbols alongside the old ones. The green begin disappearing rapidly, and the new black symbols quickly start flooding into the models of America, starting with New Mexico.

"...beneficial, in the long term." The strange man finishes. He disappears, then the war room follows around you. Suddenly you're in some sort of strange computer room, which on one wall holds a large pod, big enough to store a person in. Then you hear a man's voice with a Kiwi accent optimistically say "I've got something!"

Your vision starts going white, burning your ears. In your final few seconds, you lose control over your own emotions. The man leaves you to your own devices, and when your vision clears, you're back in the orphanage. You wail out from within the room, loud enough to be heard from outside. The strange man is gone.

You are once again a twenty-six year old spy, given the name Gabriella Oppenheimer, you realize this when something comes down to your emotionally muddled mind, grabbing you with a clawed hand and pulling you back into the vortessence.

You remember the orphanage had cancelled the meeting after your sudden breakdown, they couldn't calm you down. Later on, you were sent to a temporary foster family, and were juggled through the foster care system until you turned eighteen and were told to make it on your own. A part of you wants to sit and wonder what would have happened had that family adopted you in the orphanage, but you're a spy for the CIA with a matter of national security on hand.

The man in the blue suit was addressing you directly. He knew exactly when this memory would resurface.

The man in the brown suit, you recognize now. You met Dr. Wallace Breen in the infirmary, and you remember feeling as though he were disingenuous, but something the blue suited man rang true to you in that discussion. In the matters of national intelligence, it would be good to keep the man alive, if only so your superiors can pull teeth until they figure out how to clean up this mess.

Desert light starts filtering into your strange pocket. The walls of it start to dissolve, and a pain in your head, far lighter than the screeching agony that tortured you some time ago, now returns.
(cont.)
>>
>>4286481
It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, so I’ll definitely consider it. Although knowing my own organizational skills, it might be a little messy on occasion. Still, I like the idea of having a soundtrack to post occasionally, and listen to while I write.

>>4286540
(cont.)
You're laying out on concrete, your eyes wincing at the sun. You can hear Marietta mumbling to herself as she picks a lock. Guttman is the first to see your watery eyes opening, and he kneels down next to you, followed by Reilly.

Dr. Guttman checks you up, asking a series of medical check up questions that you groggily answer. Reilly eventually interrupts with, "What happened Ghost Cop, are you feeling okay?" She sounds genuinely concerned.

>Just don't say anything. It should probably stay confidential, and it's somewhat personal.
>Tell her you think you made some sort of a deal… and now you’re supposed to keep the administrator alive.
>It turns out the vortigaunts know more about you than you know about yourself.
>You have genuinely no goddamn idea what just happened.
>You feel like you need a hug.
>Ask if you’re at the infirmary yet, you’d really like some more pain medication.
>Write in.
>>
>>4286544
>Ask if any of them have ever met a man that fits the description of the extremely strange one you saw.
>>
>>4286544
>Write in.
Space magic is one hell of a drug
>>
>>4286544
>Try to tell them about the deal, fail to almost breakdown while doing so.
>You feel like you need a hug.

Since you like my idea, here's the song i originally wanted to post.
Its absolutely perfect for Gabby.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNS78xVKLdg
>>
>>4286635
Correction, it should be "fail to, and then almost break down.
>>
>>4286544
>Ask if any of them have ever met a man that fits the description of the extremely strange one you saw.
>Space magic is one hell of a drug
>>
>>4286561
>>4286592
>>4286664
"Space magic is a hell of a drug..." You groan, quickly regaining your wit. Sitting up, you add, "This has to be the worst place I've ever had a bender in."

Reilly chuckles, but as Guttman continues your check up, he interupts with, "But really, what the fuck happened. You just laid down and past out.

"I saw a pretty strange man while I was out if that helps." You say. "Slightly old guy in a blue suit, wrinkly, decrepit skin, and a weird voice. He kept adjusting his tie and breathing loudly while he talked."

"Probably one of the investors. Administration has people fitting that description all the time. You probably just remembered one of them while you were out." Guttman responds.

"I don't think he was an investor." You respond. "Although he did talk in business terms."

"Did he have a suitcase?" Kirchoff asks from a few meters away.

"Yeah." You respond.

Kirchoff just responds with a small nod, and "Hmm. Sounds like a business type."

He's not trying to hide the fact that he knows something. He's just hinting to you, "I can't talk about this around civilians." If you can find a private spot later in the infirmary, it'd be a good idea to have a chat with him.

You hear a distant, final click from Marietta's door. "Alright. We're good to go. Are you good to move Gabby?"

"Yeah, I can stand." You say, getting up from your position on the ground. The party is entering through a small and out of the way back entrance to the infirmary.

Marietta, having led the group while you were unconscious, says “Let’s head off then.”

You continue on with them, past a small storage area and down the stairs. As you walk down the stairs, Dr. Wythoff asks, “Forgive me if this question seems intrusive, but I’m just curious. You ladies aren’t using your real, birth names, like Kirchoff right?”

Of course you’re not using the name you were born with, but you can’t reveal an agent's birth name, even your own, to a civilian, your handler would have your ass.

>That’s incredibly classified information. For his own safety, tell him to drop the question right now.
>Lie to him, and say that you are using the name you were born with.
>All your CIA names are way cooler than your real name, so you’ll stick with them.
>No one knows you by your real name, so if anything its less real than your current name,
>No comment, but let the other spies answer if they please.
>Tell him that it's rather suspicious that he asks a question like that.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4286812
>That’s incredibly classified information. For his own safety, tell him to drop the question right now.
Curiosity killed the cat, Dr. Wythoff. You're better off not knowing.
>>
>>4286812
>All your CIA names are way cooler than your real name, so you’ll stick with them.
Except when it's for a group, like Magestic 12. Seriously that's pretty lame.
>>
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>>4286823
>>4286891

"Dr. Wythoff, I'm saying this out of concern for your own safety, never ask a question like that again. You're better off not knowing." You respond. "You're far better off not knowing."

He just nods in understanding, but it leaves a heavy tone in the air, the kind that often just leaves a secret more enticing. Deciding to lift that a bit, you add "Besides, real names are boring. All the names the CIA gives you are way cooler than what you're born with." You consider making a joke about the codename of the ambush team, but then back off, knowing that if Dr. Wythoff is a man in touch with old UFO conspiracies, it'll have him asking you a lot of questions.

"I suppose they would be." Wythoff says. "But very well. I'll leave it."

As you enter the infirmary through one of the rear entrances, you immediately notice how much quieter it is than before. Last time you were here, the sound of triage was loud enough to be heard from the storage halls. Now the loudest sounds are creatures rummaging through the mostly unoccupied halls. It doesn't take much to get through the "sealed off" doors of the infirmary's back end. Without anyone to guard them, its a simple matter of punching in the emergency codes they gave to you as a security guard.

As the party moves through the infirmary, the first sign of life you eventually find is behind a locked door. Within the main lobby is a security guard. Seeing the group pass by, many of whom are wearing military grade equipment, he reaches for his gun, shouting "Freeze!" from behind the sliding door.

You'd know that under his desk is likely an alarm button, because there was one under yours.

>Ask him what he plans to do with a security grade sidearm against five people in military gear.
>Lie to him, you're regular Black Mesa staff, you just stole these uniforms to keep yourselves safe. Most of you have Black Mesa ID's on you, so it won't take too much convincing.
>Explain the true story to the guard. You're with the CIA, who are currently trying to prevent the military's purging of the facility.
>You have emergency codes for infirmary doors. Ignore his threats, and open the door.
>Ignore him, and continue up and into the infirmary. Of course, he might press that alarm button.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4286976
>Lie to him, you're regular Black Mesa staff, you just stole these uniforms to keep yourselves safe. Most of you have Black Mesa ID's on you, so it won't take too much convincing.
>>
>>4286976
>Lie to him, you're regular Black Mesa staff, you just stole these uniforms to keep yourselves safe. Most of you have Black Mesa ID's on you, so it won't take too much convincing.
>>
>>4286976
>Lie to him, you're regular Black Mesa staff, you just stole these uniforms to keep yourselves safe. Most of you have Black Mesa ID's on you, so it won't take too much convincing.
>>
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I'm going to take a bit of a break today, to avoid burnout and actually do some planning for once. Updates should resume tomorrow if all is well, then as always wednesdays will be off.

As usual It'd be nice to hear any feedback and criticisms you guys have to give, especially about the recent scene with Our Mutual Friend.

And in general, thanks to the players who have been sticking with the quest throughout. It's great seeing when people get invested and interact with something I made, even just simple write ins or players explaining there thought process in voting makes for a good day.
>>
>>4287803
Nothing wrong I can find about the quest so far my dude. Nothing but smooth sailing from here.
>>
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>>4287017
>>4287064
>>4287290
I've gotten together a few mismatched songs for future use, night start linking them alongside other updates.

You quickly throw your hands up, quickly recognizing a plan, the group follows. "Hey, calm down, we're staff, just like you." You start.

"Yeah I'm sure about it Spec Ops." The guard retorts. "And I'm Dr. Breen. My other suits in the wash."

"For gods sake, I can show you my Identification." You respond. "Let me reach for it, and I'll slip open the door."

The guard groans, then says "Alright, but one funny slip and I'm pulling the trigger."

Ignoring it, you calmly reach for your pockets, where your old ID designating you as "G. Oppenheimer" sits. You hold it up against the glass, and the security guard gets a quick look at it, and says "Slide it under."

Complying, you place the card on the ground and flick it towards the man. He picks it up, reads it, and says "I'll be damned." As he hits the button on the door. "So what's with the suits?" He asks.

"We pulled them off dead soldiers." Reilly says casually. "It's grim, but it keeps you alive."

"Huh. I guess that's smart, but I'll stick with not getting haunted by my clothes previous owners." Responds the security guard. "I hope you're not coming here for medical aid. Most of the medical doctors got sick of waiting and tried there look in the facility or up topside. It's only researchers left in here, trying to find out what the hell any of these things are and how to kill them."

>Tell him you're here for the administrator, Dr. Breen. Ask if he's still here.
>Tell him you need to get to the anomolous materials lab, even if it does seem crazy.
>Tell him you're here for Dr. Kleiner, is he still here?
>Don't give him you're motives. You're just here to hunker down for a while. You won't be able to get any information from this, but it'll help maintain secrecy.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4289542
>Tell him you're here for Dr. Kleiner, is he still here?
We came in with him earlier, so it's less suspicious overall.
Asking for breen is too direct and fishy.
>>
>>4289542
> Ask who's left.
>>
>>4289609
I mean "Ask if anyone important is still here".
>>
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>>4289561
>>4289609

"We came in with Dr. Kleiner yesterday." You start.

The guard interrupts by saying, "Yesterday. Goddamn have we been stuck here that long?"

"It's felt like longer personally." Guttman responds.

"Well, anyway, I left Dr. Kleiner here, is he still hunkering down?" You ask.

"Yeah, emphasis on hunkering." The guard responds. "He's taken one of the empty offices on his own and hasn't really been talking to anyone. He's been working his ass off though. Filled up two whiteboards with god knows what."

"What kind of god knows what?" Marietta asks.

"You know... equations and math. I'm just a security guard lady."

"Fair enough." You respond, having used that excuse very often while undercover as a security guard yourself. "Is there anyone important still here?"

He seems a little put off by the nihilistic undertones to that question.

"Well other than Kleiner the bulk of the administration is still here, Breen included. I wouldn't call them super important anymore though. Everyone's just listening to the science team, while they tell us to sit in place and do nothing." He shrugs. "But it's not like we've got air support so we can't travel far, so what're you gonna do. Look, if you wanna head up with the docs, I'd suggest you take the bulletproof vests and burglary kits off. Carry them with you sure, but you'll scare the hell out of the scientists if they think military has finally gotten in."

>Head upstairs, see if you can scrounge around for some medical supplies. If people have been leaving they've probably taken much of the useful stuff with them. (3d6. Get quality medical equipment above an 11, just basic supplies below an 11.)
>Head upstairs, look for Dr. Breen. You've not only been meaning to talk to him, but there's the matter of your recent deal.
>Head upstairs, find some place away from prying ears to talk to Kirchhoff. He definitely knows something.
>Head upstairs, look for Dr. Kleiner. If he's been getting a lot of work done, he probably knows something by now.
>Head upstairs. Now that you have some time out of danger, maybe you should talk to someone you trust about the crazy shit you saw in the vortessence.
>Write in any questions you might have for the security guard.
>>
>>4289641
>Head upstairs, see if you can scrounge around for some medical supplies. If people have been leaving they've probably taken much of the useful stuff with them. (3d6. Get quality medical equipment above an 11, just basic supplies below an 11.)
>Take Kirchoff with you, have the others get some much needed R&R for a little bit. You'll probably find an opportunity to talk with him while you search.
>>
>>4289641
>Head upstairs, see if you can scrounge around for some medical supplies.

>I'd suggest you take the bulletproof vests and burglary kits off.
and the military attacks right after.
>>
>>4289649
>>4289670

"Alright," You say, pulling your balaclava and PCV off. "Thanks for the information. We're gonna head upstairs."

You turn to the team, who is currently doing the same. Looking over, you affirm that none of their bandages match those of the woman you met in the infirmary.

Of course, at the moment the infirmary is not lined with corpses, so you decide to leave it while you collect medical supplies.

"Alright, everyone except Kirchoff get some rest, you still owe me for blasting a hole in my leg." You explain. "We're gonna head upstairs and find some supplies."

Kirchoff just shrugs, and follows.

Moving up the stairs, you notice quickly how desolate the infirmary seems. They've seemingly dealt with many of the corpses who had built up during triage, and the lack of distant gunfire or creatures clawing at your face seems almost alien to you. You occasionally spot a fat security guard wandering around, but other than that you'd guess the scientists aren't feeling particularly safe enough to want to leave their offices.

The group splits up, Guttman claiming a set of medical beds as his own and telling Reilly to lie down so he can replace her bandages, meanwhile you and Kirchoff rummage through the empty rooms.

Four players roll a 1d6, the top three rolls will be added into a 3d6.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4289764
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4289764
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4289764
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4289542
>Most of the medical doctors got sick of waiting and tried there look in the facility or up topside.
Oh god fucking dammit. They had, ONE JOB!

>>4289764
Where's that "Nam" guard? I wanna rub our survivalbility in his face.
>>
>>4289766
>>4289771
>>4289779
>>4289782

As you search through the old looted cabinets with Kirchoff, you quickly find a pair of quality Black Mesa Medkits surprisingly left behind. The little device is designed to automatically administer itself, with a set of computerized controls and IV that comes from a built in panel. You store it away, for later use.

(You now have two medkits. In combat, they can be used to instantly gain 15 health. No other actions can be taken while using one.)

As you rummage through for more supplies, you talk to Kirchoff, making sure no prying ears are nearby.

"It sounded a lot like you knew something about what I saw outside." You start. "Is that right, you didn't want to tell civvies?"

"Yup. Sorry for the secrecy, but I'm sure you understand." He breathes in, then sighs. "I'm sure you've heard about Dr. Freeman. Guy's been ripping through the marines like butter. There's a whole team of guys like me assigned to tracking him."

>Keep in him the dark. Nope, you've never heard of him.
>Tell him you've heard of him, but only through marines, you've got no other connection to him.
>Tell him you know he was at ground zero because you were also at ground zero, you used to work the front desk at his lab during night shift.
>"You mean my main competitor in the burglary of the science teams lunches? How could I forgot the man?"
>Tell him you know freeman, in fact, you have reason to believe he's headed to the lambda labs.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4289863
>"You mean my main competitor in the burglary of the science teams lunches? How could I forgot the man?"
>Tell him you know freeman, in fact, you have reason to believe he's headed to the lambda labs.
>Write in a response.
I've head from the marines that he eats missiles and spit death. It would be kinda funny if it weren't for the fact I say him blitz through a +10 group of armed marines (not our spies) like a hot knife through butter. Track him if you want, just dont try and fight him.
>>
>>4289863
>>4289874
OUT IVY. THROUGH OUR CONNECTOR. LIKE A SPEED DEMON.
>>
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>>4289883
What
>>
>>4289885
I think we were joking a few threads back about how this Gordon is a speedrunner and thus bhops though just about every interaction he can.
>>
>>4289899
Who ever said that was a joke about speed running.
No one.... is safe.
Didnt he also kill Majestic Twelve?
>>
>>4289863
>"You mean my main competitor in the burglary of the science teams lunches? How could I forgot the man?"
>Tell him you know freeman, in fact, you have reason to believe he's headed to the lambda labs.

>>4289899
See this is why Barney loses every time when the two of them compete to unlock the door for Kleiner. Barney just can't keep up with the bhop speed, and once Freeman gets to the vents it's all over.
>>
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>>4289874
>>4289981
There's gonna be a pretty big delay between this update and the next.

https://youtu.be/uMntM9NRuNI

"Freeman?" You exclaim. "You mean my main competitor when it came to the burglary of the science teams lunches?" You chuckle to yourself with a big goofy smile as you stow away a pack of bandages. "But I do know him, and that he's headed for the lambda labs. Still, the marines seem to think that he eats missiles and spits them back out. I wouldn't suggest you fight him. It'd be funny if he didn't scare me."

"Either its true that Ted Bundy acted really nice during conversation, or the CIA is rather good at finding sociopaths." He responds. "Whoever the man is, he's not on our side. The ISA has collected all these reports involving a man in a blue suit with a suitcase watching over the guy, sometimes even helping him. We don't know how he gets around, or how he keeps evading us, but he's either working for another country, or something above any of us."

"How so?" You ask.

"Well the man's too illusive to be just another countries agents, especially while doing it all in business attire. He seems to know it as well. He stands in places no competent undercover agent would, in plain view, then gets out of sight line just before an operative can line up the shot." Kirchoff explains, pausing for a moment when he hears distant footsteps. As they fade away, he continues. "It's like he knows where everyone is already, and is just fucking with us."

>Maybe he's working with the aliens somehow. You know they have organized intelligence, perhaps he's apart of it.
>Perhaps its not the same person, just many people who look similar. That would explain how he gets around so easily.
>Perhaps he's some sort of illusion. That's why no one can track him, because he is fucking with you.
>Maybe he is on your side. He fits the old UFO conspiracy theories about men in black, perhaps the theorists were right.
>Don't make any theories or throw out ideas. Just let Kirchoff talk.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4290082
>Write in a response.
Tell me more. Did he occasionally adjust his tie? Did he look oldish with sunken eyes?
>>
>>4290082
>Perhaps he’s one of the aliens.
>>
>>4290082
>Have you seen him personally, or just heard reports about him?
>You have any weird dreams or thoughts lately?
>>
>>4290082
Where Dr. Coomer at tho
>>
>>4290082
>>4290088
supporting
>>
>>4290088
this.
i thought only freeman could actually see him, that he was invisible to everyone else
>>
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>>4290088
>>4290091
>>4290119
>>4290189
>>4290288
"He looked old, really sunken eyes and drooping skin, right?" You ask. "And he adjust his tie a lot?"

"He looks a little old, but I don't know about the tie thing." Kirchoff responds.

"Well have you actually seen him, or are you just telling me about reports you've read?"

"I won't lie, mostly reports, but they showed us a few still images during briefing. They wanted us to recognize the guy and report in a location if we saw him. I've heard a few radio calls marking locations, and even a few notices that they're engaging. Every-time that tries just sounds embarrassed afterwards. But still, they've developed a pretty nice pattern on the maps." You see him move his hands towards his backpack as he considers showing you one of these maps, but he stops, knowing just how much data that would reveal to the CIA. "With a few exceptions, the guy seems to be orbiting around Freeman. I think he has something to do with Dr. Freeman's immunity to everything the world throws at him."

You sometimes wish you had that much communication with your bosses and colleagues. The CIA barely tells you anything. "Surely it's just as likely that he's just watching, or maybe even hindering Freeman." You suggest.

"I don't think so. We've been trying to corner the doctor, but every time we strategically lock up doors or blockade exits, another exit somewhere mysteriously opens around the time of another sighting." He explains.

"Seems reasonable enough. Have you had any weird psychological issues lately?" You ask. "Dreams, thoughts, head pain?"

"Nope. Why do you ask?" He asks. He saw you unconscious, and right after you woke up, you started asking about the stranger. He already has plenty of reasons to believe you've been experiencing something.

>Lie, and tell him no, you were just wondering if it could be some sort of induced hallucination. Perhaps to distract the marines.
>Keep it vague. You've definitely experienced some strange symptoms, and some cranial pain.
>Explain that the aliens have some sort of telepathic powers, and it appears to trigger psychological symptoms.
>Tell him you're somehow tuned into the aliens psychic network, and you've been hearing strange things. (3d6+2, below a 12 he thinks you're crazy.)
>Explain the migraine to him, and tell him about the deal you made while unconscious. (3d6+2, below a 14 he thinks you're crazy.)
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4290614
>Explain that the aliens have some sort of telepathic powers, and it appears to trigger psychological symptoms.
>>
>>4290614
>Explain that the aliens have some sort of telepathic powers, and it appears to trigger psychological symptoms.
>>
>>4290614
>>Tell him you're somehow tuned into the aliens psychic network, and you've been hearing strange things. (3d6+2, below a 12 he thinks you're crazy.)

For a bonus, prob explain it as a freed vort let us into their system for some reason
>>
>>4290614
>>4290919
This works.
>>
>>4290614
>>Explain that the aliens have some sort of telepathic powers, and it appears to trigger psychological symptoms.
>>
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As usual, since today is wednesday, I'm taking the day off to get my assignments done. Yell at me for being a filthy procrastinator if I start updating. Updates will continue tomorrow.
>>
>>4291598
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
>>
>>4291598
Good luck
>>
>>4291598
bro, i read quests that update like once every three days
i'm used to absolutely abysmal and unforgiveable update speeds
you're gucci
>>
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>>4291727
I just like to keep you guys in the loop.
>>
>>4291814
FILTHY PROCRASTINATOR
>>
>>4291727
He is tho
>>
>>4290623
>>4290651
>>4290919
>>4291331
>>4291355
"We've figured out that the aliens definitely have some sort of telepathic communication." You explain. Closely skirting the fact that you've made direct contact with them, you continue, "It's brought out a pretty irritating reaction in me."

"What kind of reaction?" Kirvhoff asks. "Psychic allergies?"

"Mostly psychological symptoms." You start. "But also head pain and the seizures you've already seen."

"Could be a symptom of something trying to get in your head. Has it happened in any of the other spies?"

"Not that I know of, and I probably would've noticed one of them having a seizure." You explain. "The neurologist among us as well."

"Well then maybe something wants to root around in your head in particular." He suggests. "You know something the rest of us don't?"

Asking questions like that is bold for a man in his position.

>If you did, you sure as hell wouldn't tell Kirchoff. You don't know anything, nor would you be at liberty to disclose anything that you knew.
>You were at ground zero, so perhaps they want to know about the anomalous materials labs.
>You know about the backup plan to vaporize the whole facility with old nuclear weapons.
>Explain that you might have seen there leader in a pair of hallucinations or visions. (3d6+2, he thinks you're crazy below a 12.)
>Explain the meeting with the suited man, back when you were a child. (3d6+2, he thinks you're crazy below a 15.)
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4293306
>Explain that you might have seen there leader in a pair of hallucinations or visions. (3d6+2, he thinks you're crazy below a 12.)
>>
>>4293306
> we've seen G-man, maybe they want info on him?
we dont have to say that we saw him when we were a child, just that we saw him.
>>
>>4293306
>>4293400
Sure, I'll back this.
>>
>>4293322
>>4293400
>>4293413
"Well, I've definitely seen quite a bit of this investor." You respond. "If he is connected to Freeman, then perhaps they want to know more about him. If we don't know about him, than it's just as possible that the aliens don't either."

"It would make sense, but I haven't heard any reports of Operatives having any issues." He responds. "And they've been actively attempting to track the man."

"Perhaps they have and it's been classified. I know my bosses wouldn't tell me about another agent experiencing psychological symptoms unless if they wanted me to extract or kill them. " You explain. "Or there's other factors at work. I doubt mind trickery is a simple process."

"Yeah. Maybe they decided you're weak willed enough to be worth tapping into."

Your torture resistance training says otherwise. "You're the one who surrendered to me." You retort, as you pull some more basic medical supplies, bandages, a medical sewing kit, and a bottle of consumer painkillers left behind by people preparing to trek on their own through Black Mesa. The stuff won't counter the pain of a bullet, but it'll take the edge off.

It seems to be the last of the stuff left behind in storage. Kirchoff's section is emptying out as well. “I think we should probably wrap up the chat soon.” Kirchoff says as he finishes searching. “Otherwise people will start getting suspicious, especially since I wouldn't exactly consider you a friend."

>Look for Dr. Breen. You've not only been meaning to talk to him, but there's the matter of your recent deal.
>Look for Dr. Kleiner. If he's been getting a lot of work done, he probably knows something by now.
>Now that you have some time out of danger, maybe you should talk to someone you trust about the crazy shit you saw in the vortessence.
>Scout out the entrance to the Anomolous Materials storage, get a peak at what awaits you down there.
>Write in any more things you want to ask or say to Kirchoff.
>>
>>4293455
>Look for Dr. Kleiner. If he's been getting a lot of work done, he probably knows something by now.
>>
>>4293459
This
>>
>>4293459
this
also is the vortigaunt we left still here?
>>
>>4293516
Dont forget about the Xen Controller
>>
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>>4293459
>>4293465
>>4293516
>>4293518
"That's a fair point." You say to Kirchoff. "I've got some people I want to talk to anyway."

"See ya." He says as you walk out.

Walking through the infirmary in search of the physicist you left behind, you get a grasp on what the medical researchers seem to be studying. The bodies of marines rest in the hallways, restrained in a grim study. A few noteboards show "Observed phases of mutation," while others show "Possible removal techniques," many of which have been crossed with red marker, far more than the possibilities left.

The stench coming from some of the hallways is enough to make your eyes water. A few of the scientists are wearing full hazmat suits. In the distance, you hear a scientist ask, "Is the MRI ready yet? The subjects mutations are progressing much faster than previously expected."

Finally, your search takes you up a level, away from the smell and ethically questionable experimentation. The more general practice offices of Black Mesa's infirmary are mostly empty, with their doctors gone or occupied. Still, a few house people hoping to find a moment of privacy to cry or sleep. Others hold a few administrators, looking over a map of the facility, and discussing possible options for survival. Finally you find one filled with confiscated whiteboards, all filled in with physics equations and theories. On the door is a note writing "Left for restroom, DO NOT TOUCH WHITE BOARD. FUTURE OF HUMANITY DEPENDS ON IT," written in messy handwriting.

Stepping inside, you see a room full of every book on the subject Dr. Kleiner could find. The whiteboards are filled with massive equations that feature symbols you've never seen before.

In the corner, a few small animal cages are stacked up, labeled "POSSIBLE FUTURE TEST SUBJECTS, CONTROL GROUP NEEDED."

As well, one of his notepads shows a small drawing of a vortigaunt, with "In Room 306," writen on the corner. Sets of notes describe what he's learned about the creature, alongside a list of possible names.

If Kleiner left for the restroom, he should be back soon.

>Leave the room and wait outside. You understand the importance of secrecy, and don't want to scare the old man.
>Read the notes on the vortigaunt. See what he has learned about the creature.
>What kind of future test subjects has Dr. Kleiner collected? Look inside the animal crates.
>Try and get an idea of what he's learned on the whiteboard. Of course, you're no physicist. (3d6. You get the gist on a 15+.)
>>
>>4293574
>Read the notes on the vortigaunt. See what he has learned about the creature.
>Try and get an idea of what he's learned on the whiteboard. Of course, you're no physicist. (3d6. You get the gist on a 15+.)
Might as well try.
>>
>>4293574
>Read the notes on the vortigaunt. See what he has learned about the creature.
The vortigaunt notes we can understand. Kleiner will be able to explain the rest of the whiteboard contents to us when he gets back.
>>
>>4293574
Can we try contacting the general and tell him to stop this shit fuckery for just one second?
>>
>>4293574
>Read the notes on the vortigaunt. See what he has learned about the creature.
>Try and get an idea of what he's learned on the whiteboard. Of course, you're no physicist. (3d6. You get the gist on a 15+.)
>Take a picuture of the white board
>offer spare MRE's to some people
>pet some houndeyes puppers.
>>
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>>4293614
Just getting a call with the commanding officer of an operation on this scale would be rather difficult, and at the moment you'd be handing the marines the location of numerous knowledgeable scientists.
>>4293582
>>4293585
>>4293616

https://youtu.be/RJN19V9-8hs

Pulling your goggles out, you hold them in front of the many whiteboards for long enough to get a good collection of images of Dr. Kleiner's studies, simple experiments, and many calculations. Confident you have a solid collection of images for later study, you pick up the whiteboard and begin to read over it.

The papers document the studies by the medical crew of the specimen, before many of them left. Skimming some of the notes reveals a very basic understanding of their anatomy, rather frail and weak, but capable of generating electrostatic energy from an unknown source. What quickly comes to interest you further is a basic behavioral examination. The creatures appear to intuitively understand certain human hand gestures, despite major differences in their language and appendages.

The creature has a "seemingly perfect memory, recalling fine details of a scene with a precision indistinguishable from being in the presence of said scene."

As well, the creatures were notably, "able to describe certain scenes without previous introduction. REQUIRES FURTHER INVESTIGATION BEFORE CONCLUSION"

You flip through a collection of x-rays and scans, but suddenly find interest in a brain scan. A note is attached to it, reading "MEG techniques non-functional on subjects' brain."

A picture of the creature's brain is shown, and overlaid with those same colors that seemed to leak out of your own brain, however this time it spreads out in all directions, unhindered by the borders of its neurons.

Finally, almost as an afterthought, a final paper is written on the Xen Controller, detailing the difficulty in scanning the subject, finally with a note saying “Subjected Terminated by Otis Laurey after being deemed a danger to Black Mesa staff. Creature placed in storage, full autopsy scheduled.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4293703
(cont.)
Finally, you return to the front page, where Dr. Kleiner has pulled together a list of possible names, including “Uriah, Galvani, Alessandro, and Wheatstone.” The first, “Uriah,” appears to have been underlined.
You’re about to move on to attempt to decipher Dr. Kleiner's immense studies, but as you place the noteboard back where you find it, you hear the door open behind you.

Flicking your vision around, you see Dr. Kleiner entering the room with you. “Ms. Oppenheimer!” He exclaims as he sees you. “I was unaware that you had returned. How are you doing? I can only begin to imagine what it must be like out there, on the surface.”

>It sucks, but it all evens out, because you got to shoot a gun that shoots bees.
>It’s hell out there. You had to put down Eli’s wife, and you’ve been shot at, and nearly drowned.
>You’re decently sure that you’re gonna need therapy when all of this is done with.
>Killing aliens is exactly what you signed up for, god bless america and god bless humanity.
>It’s all insane, and you’re not even sure where to begin describing it.
>You’re slowly starting to hate your own government for a variety of reasons.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4293707
>It sucks, but it all evens out, because you got to shoot a gun that shoots beeeeeeeeeeeees.
>>
>>4293707
>It sucks, but it all evens out, because you got to shoot a gun that shoots bees.
>>
>>4293707
>It sucks, but it all evens out, because you got to shoot a gun that shoots bees.
>Write in a response.
Show him the BEE GUN. So did you learn anything from the Vortigants and Xen Controller?
>>
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>>4293736
>>4293747
>>4293752

"It's really awful out there." You say. "Aliens or marines every three feet. However what makes up for it all is the gun I confiscated that shoots bees at my enemies. "

"Fascinating!" He responds. "A weapon that fires insects? How does it work, is it a mechanical device, or perhaps some sort of..." He brings his chin down, tapping his finger against it as he thinks for a second. "May I see it?" He asks.

"Sure, just don't break it." You say.

"I wouldn't think of it my dear." He exclaims as you pull it out of your bag. He gently picks up the weapon, and immediately begins to examine it. "Quite marvelous." He says. Quickly, you snatch it away from him as he starts to stare into its maw.

You quickly yank it out of his hands, shouting "For gods sake, you're gonna shoot yourself doing that!"

"Hmm. Yes, excuse me. It's easy to forget that such an alien device is a deadly weapon. Perhaps I should collect one for study later." He adjusts his coat, and then asks, "So what can I do for you Ms. Oppenheimer?"

>Ask him to explain the contents of his whiteboard to you in laymans terms.
>Just ask him how he's been holding out down here. The guy seems to be mostly alone down here, and all of this is rather traumatic.
>Ask him about his studies with the alien specimens. You've already learned a lot from the clipboard.
>Ask Dr. Kleiner about the administrator, Dr. Breen, you're curious to see if he's been up to anything.
>Being rather near to the anomolous materials labs, ask if he's learned anything about ground zero.
>Write in any questions you have for Dr. Kleiner.
>>
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>Subjected Terminated by Otis Laurey
glad you includede the best guard in the game
>>
>>4293825
>ask about the G-man
from what i know G-man was the one who gave blavk mesa the unstable sample, which caused the cascade
>>
>>4293825
>Ask him about his studies with the alien specimens. You've already learned a lot from the clipboard.
>Ask him to explain the contents of his whiteboard to you in laymans terms.
>Being rather near to the anomolous materials labs, ask if he's learned anything about ground zero.
Arranged in order of priority, for me.
>>
>>4293825
>Write in any questions you have for Dr. Kleiner.
Ask him how to feed and care for Pewter. The new name for the bee gun.
>>
>>4293849
Supporting this.

>>4293835
I’m not sure it’s a good idea to speak about Government Manfred to outsiders. Employee confidentiality and all that.
>>
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>>4293828
How could I not? You're currently right near the opening of "Welcome to Black Mesa."
>>4293835
>>4293849
>>4293868
>>4294037
"Well before you came in I read your research on the aliens, I hope you don't mind."

"Nonsense. I'm sure if all of the government's agents had the same enthusiasm for the sciences as you, this situation would've been wrapped up far sooner." You explain.

You smile at his enthusiasm as you continue. "Well, what else have you learned?"

"Well, not much that wasn't recorded in those very documents. However I'm sure you saw Dr. Brodman's dismissive manner towards our brain scans." He explains, picking up the clipboard. "Ahh, here it is. I'm sure you remember your own brain scans. Extra-cranial brain activity seems to be even more present in these creatures. I have a specific hypothesis that I would love to test, but require a second specimen. I believe that it may be connected to their mental abilities."

"I noticed in the report that the aliens react intuitively to hand gestures." You note, "I taught a few of them some of the hand signals I used back in the CIA. Could that have something to do with it?"

Kleiner seems taken aback. As though you jumped at him, his head pulls back, and he has to adjust his glasses as they resist the doctor's movements. “You have? Fascinating! I’ll need to investigate this, but your little act of communication may have proven the existence of telepathy in these extra dimensional creatures. I can only wonder at the processes behind it.”

>Suggest that perhaps it has something to do with teleportation. You know the aliens can teleport, so why can’t they transport information?
>Maybe they’re like bees, and they all have one big collective mind.
>So if you were to get these creatures on your side, you could possibly use them as methods of simultaneously gaining and transmitting information?
>Maybe it’s not psychic, what if they just have some sort of implant, or biological radio in their head?
>Suggest that it might not be possible to understand how the vortigaunts communication works.

>Change Topic. Ask him to explain the contents of his whiteboard to you in laymans terms.
>Change Topic. Just ask him how he's been holding out down here. The guy seems to be mostly alone down here, and all of this is rather traumatic.
>Change Topic. Ask Dr. Kleiner about the administrator, Dr. Breen, you're curious to see if he's been up to anything.
>Change Topic. Being rather near to the anomolous materials labs, ask if he's learned anything about ground zero.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4294113
>So if you were to get these creatures on your side, you could possibly use them as methods of simultaneously gaining and transmitting information?
>Maybe it’s not psychic, what if they just have some sort of implant, or biological radio in their head?
>Suggest that it might not be possible to understand how the vortigaunts communication works.
A mix of all three? There seems to be some method for them all to communicate with one another, and the fact that they're aliens that shoot lightning mean's we cannot disapprove the theory. It could that, it might not be, I'd rather stay optimistic about it for now. We freed some of them so hopefully that might earn us some gold stickers you know?

Can we do another brain scan? Been having lots of weird brain stuff going on and I want to make sure I don't get super brain cancer. Again.
>>
Err don't we already know that the vortessence exists seeing as we used it to sort of "escape" from the migraine? Is there an option positing a sort of sea of information shared between psychic creatures to kleiner?
>>
>>4294170
the vortessence can be a mental abstraction as far as anyone knows.

Of anyone, Kleiner will take everything we have to say seriously.

>Maybe they’re like bees, and they all have one big collective mind.
We saw the "abstracted room", that's promising

>Change Topic. Ask him to explain the contents of his whiteboard to you in laymans terms.
>Change Topic. Just ask him how he's been holding out down here. The guy seems to be mostly alone down here, and all of this is rather traumatic.
>Change Topic. Ask Dr. Kleiner about the administrator, Dr. Breen, you're curious to see if he's been up to anything.
>Change Topic. Being rather near to the anomolous materials labs, ask if he's learned anything about ground zero.

All of this is important.
>>
>>4294144
The neurology equipment is busy at the moment, as the researchers are doing a lot with headcrabs.
>>4294170

You do know that the vortessence exists, but you don't know how it works.

Still, you could most certainly choose to describe that idea to Dr. Kleiner, and he would take it as a solid hypothesis. You could even describe your experience in the vortessence if you wanted.
>>
>>4294113
>Describe the idea of the vortessence
>Change Topic. Ask him to explain the contents of his whiteboard to you in laymans terms.
>Change Topic. Just ask him how he's been holding out down here. The guy seems to be mostly alone down here, and all of this is rather traumatic.
>Change Topic. Ask Dr. Kleiner about the administrator, Dr. Breen, you're curious to see if he's been up to anything.
>Change Topic. Being rather near to the anomolous materials labs, ask if he's learned anything about ground zero.
>>
>>4294208
>>4294357
If you guys wanna go through all four provided topics that's fine, but I'd prefer you'd pick one at a time, that way you can react to the conversation and ask questions and react to the conversation as information comes up. Next update should be tomorrow morning.
>>
>>4294467
>Change Topic. Just ask him how he's been holding out down here. The guy seems to be mostly alone down here, and all of this is rather traumatic.

In that case I'll stick with this option
>>
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>>4294144
>>4294208
>>4294357
>>4294478
“Interesting…” You say. “So if I could reliably communicate and work with these creatures, they’d be a pretty useful tool for gathering intelligence.”

“I do suppose so… but.” He seems rather disinterested in the idea. He’s a man of science, not one to wrap himself up in the affairs of nations. “... I doubt such creatures would even have a concept of national identity.”

It would be an issue if you were to use them outside of Black Mesa. Creatures psychically connected to each other would probably not be as interested in concepts like patriotism that often make for reliable agents.

“Of course, without understanding the nature of this connection, we won’t understand its sociological effects for some time.” Kleiner explains.

“It could also be impossible to understand how it works.” You suggest.

“Nonsense. All can be explained by a truly investigative eye, although it will take quite some time.” Kleiner responds.

“So you’re saying it’s possible that it's not exactly psychic, just some sort of technology, or science?” You ask.

“It most certainly is possible, but I’m afraid that the strange world that science often presents can seem indistinguishable from magic.” Kleiner responds. “The scientist has achieved much when terms like psychic or magic are no longer applicable. I’m sure the aliens adaptations have physical underlyings that we are yet to understand.”

“Maybe it's like bees or ants.” You propose. “There could be some sort of hive, with a collective thought process.”

“A solid hypothesis Ms. Oppenheimer.” Kleiner exclaims. “It would also open up the possibility that there are perhaps numerous communities within their species.”

“Well, earlier, when I was in contact with a vortigaunt, I think I captured a glimpse of their network.” You start, trying to formulate a method of describing the idea. It’s stayed in your memory much like a dream, and similarly lacks the detail.

“Really?” Kleiner curiously asks. “Please, do tell me more!”

“It was like another place.” You explain. “I think they cordoned me off to a small room in their realm. There were a few tunnels leading through it.”

“Fascinating.” Kleiner replies. “And where did those tunnels lead?” He asks.

“Ideas.” You say, keeping it strategically vague. “Things like memories, and stories. Sometimes from other humans. Apart of me thinks that the tunnels were just preventing me from wandering through their secrets. I’d bet it’s naturally like… maybe an ocean of thoughts? Perhaps some sort of other dimension?” You suggest.l They’re far out ideas, but it's a strange experience to theorize about.
(cont.)
>>
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>>4295145
(cont.)
“Absolutely marvelous… I… how did you enter? Were there other beings?” He suddenly stops himself from going off on a tirade of questions. “I apologize Ms. Oppenheimer, I understand you are a busy woman. When this is all over however, I would dearly appreciate your assistance in future studies of these creatures.”

“You got it Dr. Kleiner.” You respond. “So how have you been doing down here since I left you.”

“Well, I suppose I’ve been rather productive, to say the least.” He says, glancing over at the drawings. “It helps to have a distraction from everything that's… happened.”

You think of saying something to comfort the old man, but instead he continues talking. “But it is good to know I am still among bright minds. Many of the researchers in the medical labs have been working just as tirelessly to assist all of humanity. I’m sure you’ve seen them on the floor below attempting to remove the parasites from a squad of marines.”

You can tell Dr. Kleiner feels a lot of guilt for the events that happened at Black Mesa, he just refuses to show it. If this isn’t covered up by the government, or turns into a worldwide catastrophic event, you doubt history will remember him this way.

“However, it seems the facility’s administrators have been apathetic to much of this. I simply don’t understand how so many of them can think to simply hunker down like this.” He responds.

>You saw the research into the zombified marines. They referred to them as subjects. It all seems rather grim. It would probably just be better to put them out of their misery.
>You saw the research into the zombified marines. It might be noble, but for the researchers own sake, they shouldn’t be trying to help. They should execute those marines if they can.
>Take a moment to comfort the old man. He’s probably blaming himself for all fo this.
>Ask if he would prefer to be able to stay here and help, or be exfiltrated.
>Ask him about the equations he’s been working on while stuck down here. It all seems rather important, and him explaining it to you will keep his mind off blaming himself.
>Suggest that if the administrators are acting strange, then perhaps they’re up to something. Ask him if he’s seen them doing anything.
>Try to get Dr. Kleiner to shift the blame onto his administrators. Rosenberg mentioned things to you about it before the test, so you know they mandated it. It would definitely help you get Kleiner to give information on the administrators. (3d6+2, pass on a 10)
>Ask him if it concerns him being so close to the anomalous materials lab. He has to have heard things from the lab. See if he’s learned anything from ground zero.
>>
>>4295147
>Take a moment to comfort the old man. He’s probably blaming himself for all fo this.
g-grand pa

>Try to get Dr. Kleiner to shift the blame onto his administrators. Rosenberg mentioned things to you about it before the test, so you know they mandated it. It would definitely help you get Kleiner to give information on the administrators. (3d6+2, pass on a 10)
>tryentering the vortessence again to see if we can gain any insight in the head crab process and if the victims could be saved. For Kleiner's sake.
>>
>>4295147
>You saw the research into the zombified marines. They referred to them as subjects. It all seems rather grim. It would probably just be better to put them out of their misery.
>Take a moment to comfort the old man. He’s probably blaming himself for all fo this.
>Ask if he would prefer to be able to stay here and help, or be exfiltrated.
(He'd ideally get information from us and CIA resources + a safe place to work with Eli)
>Suggest that if the administrators are acting strange, then perhaps they’re up to something. Ask him if he’s seen them doing anything.
>Try to get Dr. Kleiner to shift the blame onto his administrators. Rosenberg mentioned things to you about it before the test, so you know they mandated it. It would definitely help you get Kleiner to give information on the administrators. (3d6+2, pass on a 10)
(Less so BLAMING the administrators as much as figure WHY something like this was being pushed so hard.)
>Ask him if it concerns him being so close to the anomalous materials lab. He has to have heard things from the lab. See if he’s learned anything from ground zero.
>>
>>4295178
>>4295212
"Dr. Kleiner, you don't have to hide if you feel guilty." You say as you begin speaking. "You aren't the person to be blame."

Dr. Kleiner starts to stammer, saying "I... ehrm... I'm afraid I don't understand." He says, trying to pull away from the subject.

"I heard from Dr. Rosenberg how the administrators were pushing unsafe procedures on you. You were pressured into this, why do you think that is?" You continue.

Four players roll a 1d6. The top three rolls will be added into a 3d6+2.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4295293
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4295293
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4295293
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4295293
>>
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>>4295299
>>4295306
>>4295318
>>4295323
we did it
>>
>>4295299
>>4295306
>>4295318
>>4295323
“I suppose you make fair points but…” Kleiner pauses for a moment, gathering thoughts. “I would prefer we focus less on blame at the moment, and more on solving the matters at hand first.”

IThinking quickly, you respond, “That’s exactly why we should be investigating Breen, and not forgetting the fact that he wanted you to do that experiment. There’s a good chance he wanted this to happen, and wants it to continue.”

“I suppose it is suspicious, but I should focus on my work, surely I can leave such matters to such finely trained professionals?” Kleiner says. It’s a nice attempt at flattery. A part of him thinks that if he convinces you to oversee him, he’ll be able to simply focus on work, as he wants. You know better.

“We can’t be everywhere Dr. Kleiner, you’re gonna need to keep suspicions yourself. It’s the uncomfortable nature of the situation.” You explain. “Besides, his actions yesterday killed people, and it’s possible he could only make it worse. He deserves your suspicion.”

“I can’t argue. “ Kleiner sighs. “The administrator has brought this blasted invasion to us. I can only presume it was negligence, but I should not be quick to rule out other possibilities.”

“I’ll help you out. Why don’t you start telling me if you’ve seen anything odd with Dr. Breen? Then I can arrange a channel for you to call me, or my superiors if you see anything strange.”

“I wouldn’t know what to look for exactly.” Kleiner responds.

>Has Dr. Breen been talking to any shady figures lately? Investors that seem out of place?
>What kind of justification did he use to explain away the unsafe testing procedures?
>Had he been taking any other irrational actions before yesterday’s test?
>Has he seemed paranoid lately? Covering up certain information more excessively than usual?
>Write in any questions about Dr. Breen.

>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs. You should probably wait until you’ve
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen. Ask him about all the information on the whiteboard.
>>
>>4295395
>Has he seemed paranoid lately? Covering up certain information more excessively than usual?
>Write in any questions about Dr. Breen.
What has he been up to as of late?
>>
>>4295395
>Has Dr. Breen been talking to any shady figures lately? Investors that seem out of place?
>What kind of justification did he use to explain away the unsafe testing procedures?

IIRC the gman pushed black mesa into using that specific sample to be tested which caused the cascade failure.
>>
>>4295414
>>4295416
“Well, have you noticed him acting rather paranoid lately?” You ask. “I know there’s already a high expectation of discretion here, but has he been getting more secretive? Covering things up he’d normally be more open about?”

“Well, I believe I heard Barney comment a few days ago that Dr. Breen was having more of his meetings behind closed doors. He’s often suspicious of things so I didn’t think anything of it at the time.” Kleiner explains.

“Well, have you had any glimpses of the people he’s been talking to. Perhaps shady men who look a lot like investors.”

“I’ve never really paid Black Mesa’s financial status much attention.” Kleiner responds. “Although I suppose the day of the test there was a rather odd man conversing with the scientists.” He says, sitting down and holding his chin as memories return to him. “He had some sort of speech impediment.”

“A speech impediment really narrows things down. Can you tell me what it sounded like?”

“The fellow often emphasised the wrong syllables, and occasionally hissed plurals.” Kleiner explains. “I presumed it had to be the result of some health condition.”

“Did he have a visible ID? They require one to enter and roam the labs.”

“I don’t remember.” Kleiner responds. “Although I do believe, given the timing it would have been you who checked him in. Did you not see him?”

“No.” You respond. “Which means he had another way of getting in, somehow. Let’s leave that aside for a minute.” You say, dodging the possibility of having to discuss your encounter in the vortessence. “What has Breen been up to recently?” You ask.

“Mostly speaking with his fellow administrators, or being alone.” Kleiner explains. “Many of the administrators have forfeited the possibility of maintaining their authority for quite some time.”

“Have you noticed him doing anything strange when he thinks he’s alone?” You ask.

“I’m afraid not. I’ve been spending much of my time alone here myself. Few other physicists are left in the infirmary.”

“When he pushed yesterday's tests in spite of safety, what was his reasoning? What did he tell you it was for?”

“I recall he claimed that the project was given high expectations from the government and investors alike. He often refused to go into specifics. He’d often berate members of the science team for opposing him on this. I must say, it was rather out of character. He’s typically calm and well mannered.”

“That sounds like the kind of reasoning someone would invent when they can’t tell you their real intentions.” You respond. “He was definitely up to something. “

“I believe that’s what the security guard, Barney, said about the issue.” Dr. Kleiner responds.

There’s a good chance that Dr. Breen isn’t a good person, but he doesn’t seem dumb either. He’s certainly at least tried to cover his tracks.
(cont.)
>>
>>4295590
(cont.)
>Ask if he would be willing to take some time away from his research to spy on Dr. Breen for you.
>Ask where the administrators typically discuss among themselves.
>Ask if the stranger in the labs ever offered deals, or asked for favors.
>Ask if the stranger in the labs took an interest in freeman.
>Ask about Barney Calhoun. He seems to be a conspiratorial man, he might have figured out some things.
>Ask about the meetings. Are there transcripts recorded anywhere? Security footage?
>Write in any questions about Dr. Breen.

>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs. You should probably wait until you’ve
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen. Ask him about all the information on the whiteboard.
>>
>>4295594
>Ask about Barney Calhoun. He seems to be a conspiratorial man, he might have figured out some things.
I heard he managed to tried to escape. Not sure how though.
>>
>>4295600
“You’ve mentioned Barney a few times now.” You mention. “Do you think he would know anything? You said he was conspiratorial, do you think he could investigate Dr. Breen if he wanted to?”

“I’d imagine a decent amount.” A small smile develops on his face. “I remember Mr. Calhoun once snuck in to the lower levels of the anomalous materials of the Lambda labs by wearing one of the spare lab coats. All simply because he had found one of the helmets for the HEV suits.” He shakes his head, and for the first time in a while you see him chuckle. “I will never quite understand how the handling teams manage to lose so many of those blasted devices.”

“Dr. Kleiner, you’ve never seen an agent misplace nuclear launch codes.” You respond, with a goofy smile. It’s one of the few CIA jokes you’re allowed to tell civilians, mostly because it sounds far too absurd to be as true as it is. “I’ve watched a war room scramble because an intern shredded the wrong documents.” You chuckle to yourself as Dr. Kleiner reminisces about before the incident, which now seems like an eternity ago in only two days. “But we should focus.” You say, realizing you’re getting sidetracked. “Where would I be able to find Calhoun?” You ask.

“Well, I’m sure with Mr. Calhoun's he may very well be alive. Although he could very well be in the facility.” When he finishes saying this, he suddenly has a thought. Bringing his hand and chin together, he taps his finger, then remembers. “Yesterday I remember one of the groups who had left was headed towards the old teleportation labs. They had heard that Dr. Rosenberg and a security guard had brought them to operation. If anyone were to be able to perform such a task, it might be Mr. Calhoun.”

If that’s true, then it changes the situation rather drastically. While the vortessence gave you a vague hint, this is far more powerful evidence that rogue elements have left Black Mesa. Not only does it mean this Barney could be anywhere, but that there is a group that could easily leak this whole situation to the media.

If the CIA already has an idea about him, it puts him in great danger of being aggressively silenced by your superiors. Of course, if he's anything like Freeman, he won't go down easily.
(cont.)
>>
>>4295735
(cont.)
>Ask Kleiner for his physical description. That way you can tell your handler to capture him for information. Otherwise they may try to kill him.
>Ask if there’s anyone else who is often suspicious of Dr. Breen.
>Ask Dr. Kleiner if there’s anyone Barney would likely go to after the incident.
>Try to ask Dr. Kleiner a few questions to determine whether or not Barney is a spy for other countries.
>Ask if the stranger in the labs ever offered deals, or asked for favors.
>Ask if the stranger in the labs took an interest in freeman.
>Ask about the meetings. Are there transcripts recorded anywhere? Security footage?
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen and Barney. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs. You should probably wait until you’ve
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen and Barney. Ask him about all the information on the whiteboard.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4295740
>Ask if the stranger in the labs ever offered deals, or asked for favors.
>>
>>4295740
>Ask if the stranger in the labs ever offered deals, or asked for favors.
>Boop Kleiner on the nose
>>
>>4295740
>>Ask if the stranger in the labs ever offered deals, or asked for favors.
>>Ask if the stranger in the labs took an interest in freeman.
>ask what he looked like, blue suit, carrying a suitcase and blue eyes
>>
>>4295804
>>4295893
>>4296455
"So, back to that stranger roaming the labs. Can you just tell me what he looked like?" You ask. "Just to clarify things."

"I suppose he appeared to be rather sickly. Sunken green eyes, cold and decrepit skin." Kleiner explains. "He carried around a Black Mesa suitcase, so I suppose it could be possible that he was a part of the administration team."

“What kind of clothes did you say he wore?” You ask.

“A blue suit and tie.” Kleiner responds.

“How about his mannerisms. Did he have any habitual actions?”

“I suppose he had a habit of constantly fiddling with his tie. It might have just been poorly fitting however.” Dr. Kleiner explains.

“Did he have any interest in Dr. Freeman?” You add.

“He had an interest in most of the science team, but I suppose. Freeman never mentioned any communication but he had watched him a few times.”

“That’s good information.” You explain, feeling like a police officer questioning a witness. “Did the stranger ever attempt to garner favors, or make deals with people?”

“Dr. Rosenberg and Dr. Vance both mentioned being harassed by the man.” Dr. Kleiner says. “I could see why. They’re both particularly senior. Dr. Keller never mentioned any particular interactions, but one of the more junior researchers mentioned that he had been talking to the man. Those are the only ones I’ve heard of personally. I wouldn’t doubt that more have had encounters with him, but with the amount of personnel who’ve passed… it...” He sighs wearily, “It may be quite an endeavor to find more.”

“Did he make any deals with you doctor?” You ask gently. You try not to sound accusatory. He’s emotionally distressed and not in a state to easily withhold information.

“I’m afraid not.” Is his response. He sounds honest.

>Ask Dr. Kleiner if there’s anyone Barney would likely go to after the incident.
>Ask Kleiner for Barney’s physical description. That way you can tell your handler to capture him for information. Otherwise they may try to kill him.
>Ask about Dr. Breen’s meetings. Are there transcripts recorded anywhere? Security footage?
>Ask if there’s anyone else who is often suspicious of Dr. Breen.
>Ask if Dr. Keller was acting differently, more suspicious or defensive.
>Ask if there’s a possibility Dr. Keller is still alive.
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen, Barney, and the suited guy. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs. You should probably wait until you’ve
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen, Barney, and the suited guy. Ask him about all the information on the whiteboard.
>Write in a question.
>>
>>4296618
>Ask if there’s a possibility Dr. Keller is still alive.

Should we leave some weapons here for the Security Team in case the military stumbles upon the infirmary?
>>
>>4296618
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen, Barney, and the suited guy. Ask him about all the information on the whiteboard
>>
>>4296618
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen, Barney, and the suited guy. Ask him about all the information on the whiteboard
>>
>>4296642
>>4296664
>>4296687
“Is it possible that Dr. Keller is still alive Dr. Kleiner?” You ask.

“With his disabilities, it’s unlikely he’d be able to survive alone.” Kleiner explains. “Although he was working closely with two physicists wearing the same equipment as Dr. Freeman, so it is a distinct possibility. I would have little idea where to find him.”

“Thanks for the information Dr. Kleiner.” You say calmly. “It really helps.”

“Of course.” Dr. Kleiner says dejectedly. “We must use the knowledge we have to its greatest potential. Lives are being lost, now is not the time for secrecy and infighting.”


How easy that would make your job, you think. Looking for new information, and something to pull him away from his slump, you look to his work. What is no doubt groundbreaking research into his field done in only days sits on a whiteboard. “So what have you been working on?” You ask. “I was hoping you could explain some of what you’ve found out so far.”

He looks up, and turns his head to the board. “Ah, of course, my research. I’m afraid it’s not gotten as far as it may seem. With few instruments, it’s hard to get solid readings from here. I’ve had to rely on rather shaky telecommunications from other departments. The readings I have received are perplexing at best.”

“How so?” You ask.

“They fit the resonance cascade far too neatly.” Kleiner responds. “Ms. Oppenheimer, can you tell me what a False Vacuum is?”

You’re pretty sure he’s trying to use socratic teaching, but has forgotten you don’t have a PhD from MIT. Not having a clue what that means, you just say, “I don’t think I can.”

“Of course.” Dr. Kleiner responds. “I apologize. It can be easy when surrounded by physicists to forget that many’s genius lies in other fields.”

He fiddles with his coat, then explains, “False Vacuum is a state of a field or particle in which it is considered stable, despite not being at its lowest point of energy. Think of it like falling out of a tree, but instead of hitting the ground, you’re caught in a hammock.”

He takes a moment to let you take that in. You can really see the MIT professor in him coming out.

“I explained to you earlier that the resonance cascade caused our universe to enter a higher state in the resonance cascade, after which it violently crashed back down. However, and I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s not settled as normal.”

>Try your best to follow along with Kleiner. Predict what he’s gonna say, like in a lesson. “So, now the universe has gotten snagged on something?”
>You don’t need the full lesson, just cut to the point. What does this mean for you?
>Tell Dr. Kleiner what he said has to be the nicest way anyones ever said, “Not everyone can be as smart as me.”
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4296780
>Try your best to follow along with Kleiner. Predict what he’s gonna say, like in a lesson. “So, now the universe has gotten snagged on something?”
>>
>>4296780
>Try your best to follow along with Kleiner. Predict what he’s gonna say, like in a lesson. “So, now the universe has gotten snagged on something?”
>Write in a response.
Is there any equipment we can get him to help?
>>
>>4296780
>Try your best to follow along with Kleiner. Predict what he’s gonna say, like in a lesson. “So, now the universe has gotten snagged on something?”
>I wouldn't presume that there is anything we can do to un-snag our universe?
>>
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>>4296796
>>4296802
>>4296914
“So there’s something the universe is snagged on, preventing it from flattening out entirely?” You ask, trying to predict Kleiner's thinking.

“So it seems.” Dr. Kleiner responds. “Cleverly done Ms. Oppenheimer. Of course, it may not just be snagged, there are near infinite possibilities to explain this phenomena. However, that’s where the measurements become truly marvelous.”

You stop him for a second, saying “You said you were having trouble getting proper measurements. Would there be any way I could help with that? I could retrieve equipment from the labs.”

“I appreciate your eager offer of aid, but I’m afraid much of the required equipment ranges from the size of this room to a relatively small particle accelerator built around the foot of the mesa. However, any information you could possibly receive from the laboratories likely damaged computers would be of great use.” He responds. Thinking back, before the incident, you gave the CIA access. That dongle would’ve been left in those machines until their last moments, as the resonance cascade was happening. It would also feature the corrupted image from the email, which you suddenly realize your handler never got back to you about. You wonder why.

As you think, Dr. Kleiner adds, “Oh do I envy the greats who could change the world with nothing but calculators and brainpower. But I intend to make do with the equipment I can contact, and the valiant work of the science team.”

A part of you wants to ask about the Particle Accelerator you’ve never heard about, but then you remember that yesterday’s experiment involved a machine that sorted matter from another universe. Instead, you just ask, “Alright, I might be able to get you data. I wouldn’t presume that there is anything we can do to shake the universe loose?”

“To accomplish such a task, we’d first need to understand the nature of our false vacuum in the first place, which brings us back to the astounding nature of the information.” Kleiner explains. “It is likely far more than just a simple snag, the nature of quantum interaction does not allow for jagged edges to form on this sort of scale. “ He finds one of the rare empty spaces left on the whiteboard, and quickly draws a diagram, showing a downward slope, with a sort of valley built into the side.

Continuing on as he draws, he explains, “Our universe is significantly more likely to be trapped in a valley with particularly high edges, as the large amount of disturbances caused by interdimensional travel would create numerous opportunities for quantum tunneling, or the universe itself effectively teleporting to a lower state.”

“So we need a lot of shaking?” You respond.
(cont.)
>>
>>4296984
(cont.)
“Not quite. You see, we’ve noticed two things in our experiments so far.” He responds. “Firstly, the energy state of the space near Black Mesa appears to be set at a near perfect position for interdimensional travel. It’s the goldilocks zone of teleportation.”

You stay quiet, and allow him to explain the second anomaly in the numbers. “And secondly,” Dr. Kleiner continues, “the borders that dictate where our universe can fall, seen to be… for lack of a better word, reacting, to our efforts.”

>Does that work both ways? Surely that means we could travel through and give the invading aliens a taste of the department of defense.
>Is there a possibility that that could come about naturally, or is that a sign that it's deliberately placed there?
>So if it's in a delicate position, doesn’t that also make it easier for us to knock it out of that position, and slow the aliens?
>You said it’s at the “Near” perfect position. What happens at the absolute perfect position?
>Is it possible for a state like that to be achieved by something telepathic?
>Could a state like that be achieved by something man-made? Could this be sabotage?
>Tell Dr. Kleiner about the creature you saw when the rocket launched. Perhaps that could be linked to it.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4296988
>Tell Dr. Kleiner about the creature you saw when the rocket launched. Perhaps that could be linked to it.
>You said it’s at the “Near” perfect position. What happens at the absolute perfect position?
>>
>>4296988
>Is it possible for a state like that to be achieved by something telepathic?
Can we draw him an image of the big baby boss guy?
>>
>>4296988
>>4296998
Supporting these.
>>
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>>4296998
>>4297021
>>4297090
“You said it’s at the near perfect position.” You say, with a tone of concern in your voice. “What would happen if it reached a perfect.”

“Such a state is not practically possible.” Kleiner starts. “It would require a section of space to be infinitely compressed. You would know such a state as a black hole Of course, without astronomical amounts of mass creating its own infinite inward force, reaching this state wouldn’t be possible. Finally, teleporting from the singularity of one black hole to the singularity of another with no outside energy wouldn't be particularly useful or sustainable to any intrepid interdimensional traveller.” He clears his throat, then says, “For our purposes, that perfect state is recognized as an asymptote. The universe can forever get closer to zero energy travel, but never intersect it.”

Kleiner takes a moment to adjust his glasses, and points to a set of equations on his whiteboard. “Of course, the closer one gets to this state, the easier it becomes to travel through worlds. Much like metals that become superconductors at the right temperature, it rapidly becomes easier and easier to travel through dimensions. As well, the energy requirement for the creation of exotic matter reduces significantly, and in turn a reduction is seen in the lower limit for the creation of wormholes. The right spark could punch through to worlds unknown.”

You nod along with his lecture, and then say, “You mentioned that the… universe was acting reactive somehow, is that right?”


“Precisely.” Kleiner responds.

“When the rocket launched, I caught a glimpse of something big. It looked a lot like one of those big-headed controller aliens, although it was huge, and seemingly stitched together. Remember how I managed to somehow communicate with the aliens, you even scanned my head? I saw it through that same phenomenon.” You explain. “We’ve seen that the creatures have abilities that aren’t normal, so is it possible that somehow that thing is preventing us from ending all of this?”

Kleiner has a look like he’s just been punched in the face. “It’s… certainly a possibility.” He says. “You said you saw a power creature, correct? Was it here, on earth? What was it doing? Did it speak? It… there’s no evidence that it is connected to the false vacuum, but it does provide an interesting theory. An intelligent interference would explain the reactivity to our efforts.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4297130
(cont.)
>This is information that should stay classified. Convince Dr. Kleiner to keep it that way. (3d6+2, pass on a 14. Below an 8, Kleiner loses some trust in you.)
>It probably does mean a lot, but for now what should be focused on is how to kill the creature and the aliens.
>Would it be possible to enter the creature's realm somehow to interfere with it?
>Assuming the creature leads the aliens somehow, what could it possibly want with earth?
>So it will only get easier for the aliens to enter our world, unless we stop it?
>You’ve asked enough questions about Breen and Barney. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4297131
>Assuming the creature leads the aliens somehow, what could it possibly want with earth?
It's also mean.
>>
>>4297131
>Assuming the creature leads the aliens somehow, what could it possibly want with earth?
>So it will only get easier for the aliens to enter our world, unless we stop it?

Are you going with the original nihilanth or the black mesa super nihilanth?
>>
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>>4297168
>>4297202
“I’d guess that creature I saw was their leader. I can’t imagine how they’ve organized, but they’ve shown clear signs of being a military force, as opposed to bandits, or interdimensional gypsies.” You explain. “But If that is the one making decisions among them, it still leaves me to wonder what the reasoning is behind their invasion.”

“Well, I suppose a simple attack of opportunity.” Kleiner responds. “Resonance Cascades are not common, natural occurrences, and the rarest resources in any universe is always biological material.”

“So you think they want to eat us, Kleiner?” You ask, slightly surprised at how confident he was in the answer.

“It’s a distinct plausibility, and an easy hypothesis to start with among the countless possibilities. Without reliable communication, it would be incredibly difficult to understand the reasoning of such creatures.”

“I guess that makes sense.” You respond. “So if the aliens are able to make the portal infinitely wider as time goes on, will it only get worse?”

“That depends on their available power.” Kleiner responds. “It takes exponentially more energy as one approaches the perfect conditions for interdimensional travel, and just as much to hold it there. It will eventually close if the power source runs out.”

“Well how long would that take?” You ask.

Kleiner quickly and sullenly responds, “The progression towards the asymptote has shown no signs of slowing down. In layman's terms, the portal is only growing easier to traverse. This is why it may require a change in strategy to reverse. I personally couldn’t even begin to make such plans with the resources and knowledge I have on hand. I do hope that the Lambda labs has the possibilities.”


With the information you’ve learned, you do have the option of attempting to relay it to the lambda labs. Telecommunications are unstable, but you have a rather powerful handheld radio. They must have an emergency frequency, you know the Anomolous Materials labs did, you’d just have to find it.

>Ask Dr. Kleiner if he’d know how to contact the Lambda labs, or know anybody who might.
>Would it be possible to enter their world, and stop the source of the aliens power from the other side?
>If the creature will run out of energy eventually, then the focus should be on containing its armies to New Mexico.
>This is information that should stay classified. Convince Dr. Kleiner to keep it that way. (3d6+2, pass on a 14. Below an 8, Kleiner loses some trust in you.)
>You’ve asked enough questions about Kleiner’s work. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4297202
Probably the original. I felt like Black Mesa’s depiction was kinda corny in how he constantly said menacing threats in an evil voice, and he lacked the surreal feeling that the old one gave me, even if the original nihilanth was nowhere near as impressive. I’m also probably the only person in the universe who actually kind of liked the way the nihilanth kept teleporting Freeman away. I like the idea that this creature is so used to being the most powerful that he’s just dismissive of Freeman, saying “Fuck off, I’m busy!” Instead of actually dealing with him as the threat he is, and having that be his fatal flaw. Just like the Advisors, the Nihilanth was too arrogant for his own good. Maybe I’m reading too much into it and Valve just isn’t very good at boss fights.
>>
>>4297378
>Would it be possible to enter their world, and stop the source of the aliens power from the other side?
>>
>>4297378
>Ask Dr. Kleiner if he’d know how to contact the Lambda labs, or know anybody who might.
>Would it be possible to enter their world, and stop the source of the aliens power from the other side?
>Write in a response.
What if we introduced exotic energy like some or competing energy to act as a jammer or interference to hamper or destabilize the current field?
>>
>>4297411
>>4297578
I'm feeling a little under the weather today, so there may not be many updates today, I might even end up taking a full break. I’d love to hear your feedback and criticism on the quest in the meantime.

"So you said that the universe is in a Goldilocks zone for teleportation, meaning that knocking it out of there would slow the aliens?" You ask.

"That's mostly correct, yes." Kleiner responds.

"Well, what if we put in our own efforts to destabilize the system." You suggest. "We have access to exotic matter, and that can mess with reality, so surely if we just make it less stable then it will slow the aliens."

"A creative and clever, but unfortunately dangerous strategy Ms. Oppenheimer." Kleiner explains. "While it would certainly increase the energy expenditure of the creatures required for teleportation, introducing exotic matter into a state such as this risks the creation of a wormhole, opening a microscopic portal to another world far beyond ours. The portal would quickly suck in the surrounding negative energy and expand. Of course, the risks that the wormhole does more than create heavy atmospheric disturbance and an entrance to an empty universe are astronomically minimal."

"So it could work, but it risks opening a hole into another universe?" You ask, ensuring you've understood Kleiner's lessons.

"Precisely."

"Alright." You say moving on. "What about more direct action. Does it work both ways? If we could disrupt them from their own universe through military action, would that stop it?"

"I suppose so. A crude method, yes, but not a strategy to be dismissed." Kleiner responds. "However, our own technology for interdimensional travel is apparently centuries behind the aliens. The mass of a single squad of soldiers could easily draw the power of the entire facility."

"That assumes you've been kept in the loop of Black Mesa's full research into the subject." You respond. "Black Mesa doesn't seem to like telling their people much."

"An astute observation." Kleiner responds. "I still have little understanding of the Lambda labs available resources. How I wish our leaders understood the value of transparency like the research teams."

"Speaking of the Lambda labs, would you have any method of contacting them directly?" You ask.

"I'm afraid not with any reliability." Kleiner responds. "But if you wish to put your own charms to use, I believe Dr. Breen would have authorization to contact the various departments through all methods."

“Alright, I’ll look into it.” You respond to Dr. Kleiner.
(cont.)
>>
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>>4298093
(cont.)
>So what happens if a wormhole is accidentally created? We’re not gonna end up with a second race of invading aliens are we?
>You don’t suppose a few soldiers or scientists could invade an entire alien homeworld?
>How secure are communications with the lambda labs? How closely will Dr. Breen hold on to them?
>You’ve asked enough questions about Kleiner’s work. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs.
>This is information that should stay classified. Convince Dr. Kleiner to keep it that way. (3d6+2, pass on a 14. Below an 8, Kleiner loses some trust in you.)
>Write in a response or question.
>>
>>4298095
>You’ve asked enough questions about Kleiner’s work. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs.
Then we go off to secure Breen
>>
>>4298095
>If soldiers can't invade successfully, how effective would Freeman be?
>You’ve asked enough questions about Kleiner’s work. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs.
>>
>>4298095
>You’ve asked enough questions about Kleiner’s work. Ask him about the state of the anomalous materials labs.
Didn't Wythoff have a way to contact Lambda?
>>
its already been like 1 and a half day right? it took Freeman 2 and a half day to get to and the kill the big floating baby. what are our plans for when that happens?
>>
>>4298292
Considering how swiftly our situation typically changes, I'd say it's too soon to reliably say.
God knows what we'll find in the test chamber.
>>
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>>4298217
I had forgotten to mention that, apologies, I should have brought it up earlier. What Wythoff handed you was effectively a company cell phone a few years ahead of any 200- consumer counterparts.You could use that to communicate with Lambda. It would take some minor work to get around the rather basic security measures preventing access to Lambda communications, nothing out of your own skill, however, you would be risking some of your security. With a very vested interest in Lambda teams security there is a distinct possibility their wireless calls are being recorded somewhere else, and with multiple intelligence groups on hand, someone might be listening. On the other hand, it would remove your dependency on Dr. Breen,
>>4298097
>>4298128
"Well, if we can't send in soldiers with any efficiency, what about Freeman?" You say, clearly piquing Kleiner's interest at the mention of his favored students and colleagues.

"What of Freeman?" Kleiner says, clearly not entirely on board with the idea, risking sending one of his own to a possible death. "He's a member of the science team. While I'm sure that HEV suit will protect him the best it can, there's surely only so much one man can do."

"I've seen his work Dr. Kleiner, he's a member of the science team who tears through marines and the aliens without stopping for a nap." You respond, keeping a stern but understanding tone. You know Kleiner understands having to make a difficult choice, he's an objective man at heart. "If he's already heading to the Lambda labs, he might be our best bet." You didn't know Freeman particularly well, he tended to come far too late to be seen by you on the night shift, but out of respect for Kleiner and in an attempt to get him on your side, you mimic a sorrowful tone. "And with as much as Freeman’s been through, I’m sure he’ll find a way to survive."

You’re not really sure.

"I suppose." Kleiner responds. "Dr. Freeman has certainly proven himself to be a worthy combatant over the past few days. I can't argue with you. If you feel he's the best candidate, suggest him to the Lambda labs when you propose such an idea."

You just nod in response,giving Dr. Kleiner a short moment to contemplate, then moving the conversation forward. "So Dr. Kleiner, do you know anything about the state of the anomalous materials labs? I intend to head in there and collect information, and with the infirmary not being far, I was hoping you had learned something.”
(cont.)
>>
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>>4298602
(cont.)
Kleiner nods, then says, “Yes, I’d be happy to keep you informed.” He takes a moment to gather his thoughts and memories, then begins to explain. “The security teams have kept close eyes on the anomalous storage room, but they’ve been getting pushed out. Alien Flora has rapidly spread and overcome through the halls of the place. What’s worse is that the more wild creatures seem to inhabit similar conditions.”

“So my entrance is going to be filled with alien wildlife?” You respond, noting it down in your head.

“Precisely.” Kleiner responds, nodding as he does. “Please Ms. Oppenheimer, if you do intend to investigate down there, do so with extreme caution. A few physicists have headed down there earlier in hopes of retrieving critical data. They had members of the security team with them, but none of them have returned. ”

“Don’t worry Dr. Kleiner.” You say reassuringly. “I’m sure I’ve been through worse.” You doubt it, but easing stress is almost always the best choice. You need Kleiner to keep his work up, and it’s important that he stays calm to maintain his workflow.

It doesn’t always feel good to often be the best liar in the room.

“While I’m gonna be down there Dr. Kleiner, I intend to collect as much information as I can.” You say calmly. “Where should I be looking?”


“Well, the best place would be the computer systems, but I doubt that they’re still fully operational. Of course, some drives must have survived.” You still haven’t told Kleiner about the CIA download. “More reliability would be the individual filing cabinets of the science team. The most fruitable options would have to be Dr. Vance, Dr. Rosenberg, Dr. Kellers, and Dr. Magnusson, and my own.”

“Thank you.” You respond with genuine gratitude. Very rarely are you handed the locations of documents in your line of work. “Is there anything else you’ve noticed that seems strange.”

“Quite so.” Dr. Kleiner says with curiosity in his voice. “The alien subject we’ve acquired, the vortigaunt, seemed rather intent on heading into the labs himself. We didn’t allow him, but it was a curious matter.”

>You mentioned that people headed into the laboratories earlier. Who were they, and what exactly were they looking for that was so important?
>Ask Kleiner why he thinks the vortigaunt was so interested in the anomalous materials lab.
>According to the laws of physics, what would the test chamber itself look like by this point?
>Is there any risk of radiation, and if so, where could I find any sort of protection?
> Tell Dr. Kleiner about the CIA download before the test that day. Your superiors have a copy of those last moments of the databanks that might interest him.
>Tell Dr. Kleiner that you intend to be in contact with Dr. Vance through the investigation. Ask him if he would like to add his own assistance throughout.
>Write in a question or response for Dr. Kleiner.
>>
>>4298605
>You mentioned that people headed into the laboratories earlier. Who were they, and what exactly were they looking for that was so important?
>Make a mental note to jack into the vortessence and ask if there is anything they want us to help them with while we are in the AM labs
>Is there any risk of radiation, and if so, where could I find any sort of protection?
>>
>>4298605
>You mentioned that people headed into the laboratories earlier. Who were they, and what exactly were they looking for that was so important?
>Make a mental note to jack into the vortessence and ask if there is anything they want us to help them with while we are in the AM labs
There is risk of radiation in the lab, but there was mentioning of lead protective suits. No HEV suits unfortunately.
>>
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>>4298292
Prepaare for un-forseEn consequencesss.
https://youtu.be/ZLjGrNl1luY
>>
>>4298605
>Make a mental note to jack into the vortessence and ask if there is anything they want us to help them with while we are in the AM labs
>Is there any risk of radiation, and if so, where could I find any sort of protection?

>As a side note, ask Dr. Kleiner if Time could potentially be affected in the same manner that Space has been affected by the resonance cascade. Clearly something is at work here which could mess with time, given how a certain someone spoke to your current self from the past.
>>
>>4298605
>>4298742
Supporting

Yeah time is definitely wonky from what I remember with stuff from blue shift being heard in other half life games, etc. Would be interesting to hear an explanation though.
>>
>>4298742
this is good. thought the G-man timetravelling could probably just be put down to his standard shananagins
>>
>>4298636
>>4298649
>>4298742
>>4299154
>>4299175
Hearing about the vortigaunt’s apparent interest in the Anomalous Materials laboratory you think back to your encounter with the vortigaunts from earlier. While it’s questionable how willing they will be to let you enter their realm on demand, you’re sure they would at least be willing to communicate. You remember to investigate the alien’s interest in the anomalous materials laboratory. Perhaps you could even bring the creature with you, if Kleiner would allow such an experiment.

“You mentioned that a few members of the science team had made their way into the laboratories.” You say, watching as Kleiner nods in affirmation. “Who was that exactly, and why would they go down there? What was so important?”

“I believe Dr. Magnusson was at the head of their group.” Kleiner explains, clearly not particularly remorseful of such a fact. “They had hoped that the equipment for monitoring eddies of negative energy may still be operational. While I respected their dedication, I felt that preventing the minor risk of wormhole development was not worth risking the lives of the science team. Dr. Magnusson respectfully disagreed, and descended into the laboratories with a team of researchers.”

“Is it possible they’re still alive?” You ask.

“Of course, but they have failed to return, meaning that they are either trapped or… past.” Kleiner explains rather sorrowfully.

“Alright, if they are still down there, I’ll try and help..” You affirm. “Is there any risk of radiation while I’m down there?”

“Not at the upper levels, no. There’s far too much shielding for gamma radiation to penetrate that far. However, as you approach the test chamber, there may very well be hotspots of radioactivity.”

“Well then where would I find protection for when I do need it?” You ask. “Will there be any of the hazardous environment suits left?”

“We struggle to work with the amount of suits we have on a good day. I’d doubt any of them are available. However for the rest of the staff, they do provide more basic protection gear that is still rather advanced.” He looks you up and down, clearly focusing more on your black, carefully fitted stealth suit rather than your body. “Although I’d doubt it would fit underneath your current equipment. You may have to sacrifice some of your camouflage for such protection.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4299403
(cont.)
“Damn.” You exclaim flatly. “My favorite part of the job is being invisible.” Looking for more possible information to gather, you think back to your encounter during your childhood. The suited man greeted you when you were a kid. Perhaps it wasn’t really a repressed memory, but something doctored and planted in your head. Perhaps the man predicted all of this somehow, and used the opportunity to set his cards in place well in advance. Still, there’s always the final option, that he’s somehow travelled back in time to relay his message while avoiding his “restrictions.” If teleportation is easier, then perhaps time travel is somehow as well? Considering this, you ask Dr. Kleiner, “Would travelling through time be affected the same way as space has?” You ask. “They’re both interconnected, right? If it becomes easier for someone to travel through space, would it also become easier for someone to travel through time.”

Kleiner considers the question for a moment, with a curled, thoughtful look on his face. “I do suppose.” He says. “Although, the energy requirement to move through time is astronomical in comparison to the relatively small amount of energy required for teleportation.” He explains. “However yes, you are correct. Both time and space have very similar properties. A strong gust of energy applied to an interdimensional traveller may send them tumbling through time, if applied in the wrong direction.” Kleiner says, pointing a finger in the air as he lectures. “Although far more often, one will instead be hit by vibrations of energy. These Harmonic Refluxes may send someone tumbling through space and time at once, although very rarely will they travel any significant distance in time, typically no more than milliseconds at once.”

“So it does become easier to time travel, as well as teleport?” You ask, trying to gain some clarification among the lecture.

“Yes, although the energy costs are still relativistically high.” Kleiner responds.

Still hard, just easier, you think to yourself. You’ve been talking to Kleiner for quite a while, and while he’s not saying anything, you can tell by how he keeps glancing to his equations and notes that he’s interested in returning to his work.

> Tell Dr. Kleiner about the CIA download before the test that day. Your superiors have a copy of those last moments of the databanks that might interest him.
>Tell Dr. Kleiner that you intend to be in contact with Dr. Vance through the investigation. Ask him if he would like to add his own assistance throughout.
>Explain your encounter with the suited man that you had in your childhood. You don’t know if he’ll have an explanation, but he’ll certainly be intrigued.
>Ask Kleiner if he would be alright with possibly taking the vortigaunt with you, into the anomalous material labs.
>Say goodbye to Kleiner, and start considering your other options in the infirmary.
>Write in.
>>
>>4299404
>Tell Dr. Kleiner that you intend to be in contact with Dr. Vance through the investigation. Ask him if he would like to add his own assistance throughout.
>Ask Kleiner if he would be alright with possibly taking the vortigaunt with you, into the anomalous material labs.
On the chance that we can't get the copy of the data, I don't want to get kleiner's hopes up for it. If we can, we'll surprise him with it later.
>>
>>4299404
>>4299432
Backing.
>>
>>4299432
This
>>
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>>4299432
>>4299472
>>4299550

"You said the vortigaunt we brought back from the storage rooms wanted to go back to the laboratories, right?" You ask.

"Precisely." Dr. Kleiner responds. "The creature initially attempted more simple methods of entering the labs. It started by simply walking away, not expecting the resistance of Black Mesa security. Then as time went one, it still maintained a behavioral interest in exits leading to the laboratories, and seemed to plead with the researchers. Of course, for its own safety, we chose to restrict the subject." He keeps a firm stature as he says this, reminding you of a teacher discussing school policy to one of your foster parents.

"Well would you be alright with me taking it down there?" You ask. "We could learn about why it’s so interested in the labs, and I can keep the vortigaunt safe. They're not defenseless either. I’ve been shot with lightning enough to know that." You develop a particularly goofy smile, this time not hidden by a balaclava, and say "Besides, I don't know how anyone can say no to that big puppy dog eye."

Kleiner smiles in return, but takes a moment to consider the proposal. When he finishes thinking, he states, "I suppose so. I wouldn't consider myself an expert on tactical analysis, so I will leave the decision to you, Ms Oppenheimer. If you feel you can keep them safe, I will gladly surrender our alien ally."

"Of course." You say to Dr. Kleiner. "If I bring them, I'll keep them safe." You have no idea whether that's really true, given that you have no idea what you could find in there, or what the vortigaunt’s intent is. “Another thing.” You add. “You already know that I extracted Dr. Vance and his daughter.”

With a renewed interest, Dr. Kleiner states, “How could I forget? How is Eli doing? Is his daughter alright?”

“They’re definitely shaken.” You start, dropping your smile and looking to the ground as you talk. “Alyx was scared, and Eli just lost his wife. Things aren’t going to feel normal with them for a long time, but they’re safe. They’re currently being kept in a holding facility together.”
(cont.)
>>
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>>4299564
(cont.)
“That’s good to hear.” Kleiner responds. “We’ve lost far too many bright minds in only days.”

You just nod, and continue, “I’m able to contact him on radio, and I intend to have him in my ear while I investigate the laboratory. Would you like to join in on that conversation?”

“I would be glad too.” Pulling his body up with enthusiasm as he says those words. “There is much to learn in such an investigation, and I owe my best in ensuring the safety of such an ally.”

You smile, and then say, “Thanks. You’ll need an encrypted radio. I’m decently sure my fellow spy, Reilly, is planning on staying in the infirmary for some time, given her injuries. I’ll let her know that you need her radio before I leave.”

Kleiner nods, then says, “Well, I’d be glad to help. It’s been a nice conversation, but I’m afraid I should return to my work.” He doesn’t mean to be rude or dismissive, you can easily understand that. His work is going towards ending the invasion, and that’s top priority to him.

>Say goodbye to Kleiner, and look for Dr. Breen. You've not only been meaning to talk to him, but there's the matter of your recent deal.
>Say goodbye to Kleiner, and contact your handler. You could ask him about the data, the status of ISA negotiations, the CIA download, air-drops, and other possible inquiries.
>Say goodbye to Kleiner, and then go find the vortigaunt “subject” in room three hundred and six.
>Now that you have some time out of danger, maybe you should talk to someone you trust about the crazy shit you saw in the vortessence.
>Scout out the entrance to the Anomalous Materials storage, get a peak at what awaits you down there.
>Write in any last things you want to say to or ask Dr. Kleiner.
>>
>>4299567
>Say goodbye to Kleiner, and look for Dr. Breen. You've not only been meaning to talk to him, but there's the matter of your recent deal.
>>
>>4299567
bbbbbrrrrreeeeeEEEEEIIIIINNNNNNNNN REEEEEEEEEE
>>
>>4299567
>Say goodbye to Kleiner, and look for Dr. Breen. You've not only been meaning to talk to him, but there's the matter of your recent deal.
Obtain benefactor
>>
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>>4299572
>>4299587
>>4299640
“Thanks for the help Dr. Kleiner.” You say with a smile as you leave the room. “I’ll promise I’ll do what I can to help finish this mess.”

Dr. Kleiner is already half way to returning to his obsessive mathematical calculations, but he still turns as you leave, saying “Thank you for all you’ve done for the science team. Everything we do in these few days may have a drastic impact on the course of human history.”

“You’re doing good work doctor.” You add as you close the door waving goodbye. Looking around the empty halls of the hospital, you start your search for the facility’s administrator. Looking through door to door, you note the silence of the infirmary. Before, you could always hear the sounds of distant bombing and gunfire, or at least had someone to talk to. Now it's just the flickering buzz of lightswitches running on damaged power grids.

Most of the rooms are simply empty, freeing up your mind to notice that the smell of necrotized flesh is starting to waft upstairs.

You start noticing that slowly the doctor’s offices start looking more and more like regular offices as you move through the building. Your solitude is broken as you see a few people in suits sitting in their offices, biding time until someone else finds a way out of this situation, or the military kicks the door in.

Eventually, one of the doors draws your interest because of the man standing in front of it. The large framed security guard stands like a bouncer in front of the door to a meeting room, where through the glass you can see Dr. Breen talking to the large, head security guard you met yesterday, among others.

As you peer through, the guard holds a hand out and says “Sorry Ma’am, administrator wanted me to tell anyone coming through not to come in. Can’t let you in the office, ‘specially nobody in…” He takes a moment to scan you up and down. “Ninja pajamas. Where’d you get that get up?”

>You got it from the CIA, and that means you outrank him. Show him your CIA credentials and go in there.
>You apologize for not being able to get dressed in your best attire, but you have urgent matters to discuss with Breen. (3d6+2, he lets you through on a 12.)
>If it’s alright with the guard, you’d like to wait for Breen’s availability. What you won’t tell him is that you’ll attempt to listen in on the conversation Breen is having. (3d6+2, above a 13 you hear the whole thing, below that you only hear half of it.)
>Write in any clever ideas.
>>
>>4299733
>Recruit Dr. Coomer
>>
>>4299733
>If it’s alright with the guard, you’d like to wait for Breen’s availability. What you won’t tell him is that you’ll attempt to listen in on the conversation Breen is having. (3d6+2, above a 13 you hear the whole thing, below that you only hear half of it.)
>Write in any clever ideas.
Flash him the security guard badge. Us security guards know how boring it can be waiting around doing nothing. We can spot him for a while so he can go get himself something to eat, or at least a few minutes to nap.

We'll find Coomer later.
>>
>>4299733
>If it’s alright with the guard, you’d like to wait for Breen’s availability. What you won’t tell him is that you’ll attempt to listen in on the conversation Breen is having. (3d6+2, above a 13 you hear the whole thing, below that you only hear half of it.)
>>
>>4299733
>If it’s alright with the guard, you’d like to wait for Breen’s availability. What you won’t tell him is that you’ll attempt to listen in on the conversation Breen is having. (3d6+2, above a 13 you hear the whole thing, below that you only hear half of it.)
>>
>>4299746
Sure I'll grant a +1 for that. I'm tempted to give you more, but I don't think he'd necessarily leave his post, but you'd gain some trust.
>>4299771
>>4299850
"Sorry man." You say, pulling for your company identification. "It's just my night wear, I'm security, like you." You hold the identification up, and he investigates it, nodding.

"It checks out." He responds, shrugging his shoulders. "Hell of a time to choose pajama day though."

This guy is really trying to push his "ninja pajama" joke. You can't blame him, standing around in these empty halls gets boring and lonely quick. At the very least the man gets to stand, instead of slowly developing back problems from sitting in an empty lobby in the middle of the night. "If you wanna tap out for a minute, I'll watch the door. I'm just planning to wait until Dr. Breen becomes available."

"That's alright errr..." He squints for a second. "Gabriella. You're free to wait though."

You nod in response, sitting on one of the many nearby benches lining the halls for people awaiting a meeting. With a bit more trust from the security guard, you feel somewhat safer placing your ear to the thin walls of the infirmary's meeting room. It wasn't made to house the same kind of secrets the rest of the facility holds, more often just resource meetings and staff gatherings, as opposed to discussing the future of mad science.

Attempting to subtly listen in, you focus, tuning out the rest of the world.

Four players roll a 1d6. The top three rolls will be added into a 3d6+3.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4299967
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4299967
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4299967
Would the DC be lower?
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4299967
>>
>>4300016
We got a +3 instead of +2
>>
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>>4300005
>>4300010
>>4300016
>>4300019
>>4300082
I might start being more favorable towards write-ins in the future, since I do like when you guys make them.

https://youtu.be/VUc1n_NK6gU

As you align your ear to the wall, you notice just how disinterested the security guard next to you really is. Most would stop you from what is clearly listening in, or at least ask what the hell you’re doing, but the guard, standing stock still and looking around elsewhere, lets you put your sensitive ear to the relatively thin wall and hear almost all of the conversation.

The sound of Dr. Breen’s voice is muffled through the wall, and you can barely make out his oddly calm tone. “I’m simply suggesting that we be realistic in this situation.” He says, as though he is enlightening the room with his voice, “We are not an institution of soldiers, we’re simply researchers, doctors, and security guards.”

“And with all due respect doctor, that’s still going to be true whether we are under fire today, or tomorrow.” You hear the gruffer voice of Sgt. Corey, the rotund old security guard you met yesterday. “The original reason you-”

“The original reason I ordered our shut in,” interrupts Breen’s gentle voice, with a surprising push of authority that overpowers the former soldier’s voice, “Sergeant Corey, was that I was placing the lives of those I knew I could save in highest priority. I’m sure all of you can agree that the sentiment still stands.” He pauses for a moment, most likely to watch the group's reactions reinforce his statement.

“If you would allow me to finish my statement, Doctor,” Sgt. Corey responds with clear underlying frustration. “The reason for closing off the infirmary was to wait for rescue. The government is here, and they’re not rescuing us.”

“All the more reason we need to focus on staying safe.” Dr. Breen says, once again interrupting and maintaining a quiet dominance over the meeting room.

“How are we supposed to sustain this!” Sgt. Corey shouts, loudly. “Are we just gonna wait for the marines to change their damn minds?”

“We are going to do what we have to to maintain the safety of our facility staff.” Dr. Breen says, adding a calm, but now more stern and authoritative tone in response to the security guards shouting. “And we cannot ensure anything while chasing after fantasies of teleportation. Even if we assume Dr. Rosenberg successfully utilized the incredibly unpredictable and currently inactive teleportation laboratories, there is no guarantee that it will be usable on a larger scale. We can not even ensure that we will arrive at the equipment safely.” Dr. Breen pauses for a moment, likely assessing the opinions of the room, then states “Now I will have no more discussion about endangering the lives of our staff.”
(cont.)
>>
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>>4300344
(cont.)
“Oh fuck you Wallace!” Sgt. Corey yells in response, loud enough to be heard without placing your ear to the wall. “We’re under attack, this is life and death, and you wanna give me some bullshit rhetoric about why we oughta sit here with our thumbs up our asses and wait to die?”

“That’s quite enough sergeant.” Dr. Breen responds calmly. It’s easy enough to see his strategy, to show himself as the reserved intellectual, while pushing Sgt. Corey into the spot of the emotionally distressed and irrational.

“Bullshit it’s enough, you haven’t-”

The security guard is suddenly cut off by Dr. Breen one final time. “That is enough, Sergeant. I will not have you irrationally screaming in a place of science. This meeting is dismissed.”

You hear the security guard take in a heavy breath as he imagines what he’d like to do to Dr. Breen, and then people start filtering out. The first to storm through is the security guard. You wait patiently, watching until you see a man in a brown suit, with graying hair trail behind the rest of the crowd.

Standing up, you quickly approach him, eliciting his apparently mastered calm, collected response as you say, “Dr. Breen?”

“Hello miss. Can I help you with anything?” He quickly glances up and down at your attire. “And what is your assignment in the facility?”

>Keep it simple. You’re a security guard, you just didn’t have time to get dressed before the incident, and you’d like to discuss some basic matters in private. You don’t want to drop your identity.
>Quietly let him know that you’re with the central intelligence agency, and that he is going to answer all of your questions. A CIA spy is certainly more intimidating than a security guard in nightwear.
>Dr. Breen doesn’t need to know anything about you. He understands psychology, so you can’t give him an inch. With as little words as possible, get him to return to the meeting room where you can talk in private. (3d6+2, He pushes past you below a 15. You will still have some recovery options if you fail this roll.)
>Write in.
>>
>>4300348
>Write in.
Shoot the shit? We never really had time on the job to just go talk to everyone in the facility, but since everyone is either dying or we're waiting for the inevitable we might as well give talking to our "boss" a try. So what's his grand plan on dealing with this whole situation?
>>
>>4300348
>Dr. Breen doesn’t need to know anything about you. He understands psychology, so you can’t give him an inch. With as little words as possible, get him to return to the meeting room where you can talk in private. (3d6+2, He pushes past you below a 15. You will still have some recovery options if you fail this roll.)
I’m hesitant to let him know we’re connected to GMan.
>>
>>4300418
Is that what you're suggesting we do?
>>
>>4300423
No, I’m suggesting we don’t do that unless absolutely necessary. I’d rather stay out of Breen’s machinations as much as possible, and if he learns GMan has some interest in us we immediately become known to him as potentially useful, making him try to keep us close to him. He could also see us as a threat. Either way, it might make our own shit harder to accomplish in the long term.
This is, of course, assuming Breen hasn’t already been told by GMan that we’d be coming to help him and he’s just testing our character.
>>
By the way, what are Gabby’s eye and hair colours again?
>>
>>4300351
You could try that, it might cause him to lower his guard, but he's still a rather professional man. I assumed though that you want to want to get him somewhere away from prying ears while you guys talk, is that something you want to do?
>>4300543
I don't think I ever really explained what Gabby looked like. I guess I could leave you guys to decide if you want.
>>
>>4300348
>>Dr. Breen doesn’t need to know anything about you. He understands psychology, so you can’t give him an inch. With as little words as possible, get him to return to the meeting room where you can talk in private. (3d6+2, He pushes past you below a 15. You will still have some recovery options if you fail this roll.)
if that dont work, then.
> Dr. [s] Pavel [/s] Breen i'm CIA
>>
>>4300351
>>4300418
>>4300577
“Dr. Breen, do you think I could talk to you in private for a moment?” You ask, keeping yourself in between him and the door.

“Well Miss, you must understand I’m rather busy at the moment.” He responds, clearly trying to move past you. “Would you mind letting me go to my office.”

You move around, blocking his path. “I’ll just be a moment. It’s urgent, I won’t take much of your time.” The crowd moves around Breen, but you keep him nearby, directing him back into the assembly room.

Four players roll a 1d6. The top three rolls will be added into a 3d6+2.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4300608
oh boy. The odds are not in our favor but here goes nothing.
>>
>>4300608
Wait a second. He's going to his office? Why don't we just ask if we can talk to him about stuff in his office, that's probably isolated from people near by?
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4300608
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4300608
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4300608
Come on, gimme that 6
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4300608
>>
>>4300613
>>4300615
>>4300619
Phew, just barely.
>>
>>4300622
Hot fucking damn. I was really nervous.
>>
>>4300613
>>4300615
>>4300618
>>4300619
>>4300620
“Look Dr. Breen, I just need a moment of your time. It’s urgent and I fear discussing it all out here.” You respond.

Dr. Breen sighs, irritated. He makes one last push to move around you, but you nimbly track his movements. “My dear, what is it that is possibly so important that you cannot discuss such matters while we walk. Or perhaps wait until I reach my office.”

You know that he doesn’t simply intend to enter his office for a more professional setting. He wants to avoid you, and he’s stalling. If you agree to come to his office, he’ll have thought of an excuse to get rid of you. He’s raising his voice in hopes that the crowd of administrators hears him, but many of them have already left.

“Dr. Breen, I’ll just be a moment.” You repeat, slowly guiding him back to the door. Being shorter than him, it’s difficult to play on intimidation, but you manage to pass yourself off as a distressed staff member, not enough of a threat to be worth more aggression or authority from Dr. Breen.

The administrator groans. “I will give you a moment of my time but please do remember I am very busy. The safety of our staff is at risk and I will not put that over games or pranks.” He turns around, opening the door to the now dark meeting room. You follow in after him, leaning against it once it closes.

“Now will you please explain what is so urgent?” He responds. You already know the administrator will attempt to weasel his way out of your question

>Ask him about his involvement with the man you saw in your memories. Start by keeping it vague, and asking about a strange suited man in the lambda labs.
>Ask about yesterday’s test, why was it pushed so hard, and against the safety procedures?
>Ask about the closed door meetings he’s had before the tests. Why was there such an uptick in discretion before yesterday’s test?
>Why is he so insistent on staying inside the infirmary, if there are ways out of Black Mesa?
>Inform him of the fact that you work for the CIA.
>Write in any questions.
>>
>>4300644
>Write in any questions.
Is the reason he's so insistent on staying inside of the infirmary because he has some insurance from a third party for his safety?
>>
Okay, before we vote I think we should confirm what we want from Bremen and what we intend to do with him. Currently we have GMan wanting us to get him to safety, and it’s probably not a good idea to defy the potential time traveller. We could also coordinate a better evacuation of Black Mesa and more knowledge of its goings-on, which would help with making IC plans.
Any other suggestions?
>>
>>4300660
>Bremen
Breen, fuck.
>>
>>4300660
You do bring up a good point. Discussion might cost the whole day until Lazlo can post again til Thursday, but the potential...
So we want to confirm our intents of what we want to discuss, and how we want to deliver them. The extraction of Black Mesa staff is a good idea, in addition of using Breen to extract as much data as we can from the surviving portions of the facility, which would require us to bring up the fact we're from the CIA and might need to bring up G-Man if we need to prove the point. If we manage to thoroughly cow Breen into cooperating then he might even give us something spectacular to work with. I don't know, maybe an all purpose Administrator's Key card or password?

Thing is, will he try to barter for more in addition for his safe escape?
>>
>>4300660
I think showing our CIA credentials is a no brainer. We need leverage, simple as that. We could also subtly mention GMan to fish for a reactio. Whether he knows of him or not.

We need to extract Breen, try to save as many Black Mesa staff as possible, and get in contact with Lambda labs about what we discussed with Kleiner.

Extracting Breen will be easy as long as he agrees to it since CIA will eat him up.
Contacting Lambda relies completelly on getting Breen to get us in contact, otherwise its too risky unless we hoof it there on foot. We can do this in many ways, by making his extraction a reward for this, convincing him sending freeman to xen is the way to go, or bullshitting Breen well enough.
As for saving staff, the CIA choppers can only extract single people, so we need alternatives we currently lack. I dont have many good ideas for this. Lambda labs could work, but it would be a very risky, and time consuming move.
>>
>>4300681
Well actually they can sorta extract two albiet a man and child, but if we don't request and gear then they might be able to bump that up to a three or four.

>Lambda labs could work
you mean with the teleporters? Yeah, it could work. The previous teleportation group probably left their corordiantes the same, so it might only be a matter of doing minor calibrations and powering all they systems up again. If we can acomplish that then we might not need to rely on CIA choppers, and instead the CIA sending armored transports to the rough location of where they just were...or we just let them go so the CIA doesn't kill the useless ones and torture the smart enough ones.

There's also the need to contact the general once we're out of the Infirmary so we can convince him to stop the assault, or at the very least stop the killing of human personnel.
>>
Well Rosenberg was successful in teleporting some scientists out, I never played blue shift but from reading the wiki it looks like the only reason more scientists didn't get it was because they got killed before getting to teleport out. So extraction via CIA helicopters isn't necessary if we instead make it a point to clear a path towards Rosenberg so that we can teleport everyone out. I guess it's just a question of which one is harder to do.

As a side note, was there any real point to what happened in Half Life: Decay? They weakened the resonance cascade, and I'm going to assume that doing so would've greatly lessened portal storms stemming from the resonance cascade, but seeing as the Nihilanth was holding the portals open in the first place didn't they effectively do nothing?
>>
>>4300695
>>4300713
I’m not sure we should talk about the teleporters as an option. If Breen learns of a way out of the facility without CIA assistance, we lose a massive bargaining chip. We should be making ourselves seem like the best - and if possible, only - option. Like >>4300681 says, it should be easy to extract Breen and some science team members he chooses if we sacrifice the equipment cache for some extra passenger seats.
That said, though, I have to wonder if we should let Breen take any people with him. Think about it; the more high-level scientists the CIA has access to, the less leverage we have over them. Eli might become less valuable to them.
>>
>>4300730
Of course. Let's not bring up the topic of the Teleporter to Breen. For him he and one or two other guys get the helicopter treatment. For everyone else they get the teleporter.
>>
>>4300730
I say we use the CIA only to extract the cannon characters who got out (Kleiner, Magnusson, Breen) as that seems to be the best compromise between importance and leverage we keep in our hands.

Regarding influencing the marines, that may be a lot of cost for not much long term benefit. Yes, currently it would be extremely usefull, but OOCly the millitary gets wiped when the combine arrive anyway. Its also not gonna be easy unless we get some GMan/Vortiguant shenanigans.

As for the teleporter, we need a clean route, thats the biggest issue. We need to find one, and watch over every dingle step of the evacuation of staff. I think i remember the old teleporter being near a railway station, maybe we could commandeer a switching engine + box car for long enough to transport everyone? However im not sure if theres a railway anywhere near the infirmary, and this will certaibky attract the marines like flies. We gotta ask Breen, he may give us more ideas, and make the railway one known IC/more viable.
>>
>>4300743
>>4300748
Regarding asking Breen, we can sell ut to him that a CIA extraction would be MUCH safer than the teleport one which is true. We can also appeal to his greed by implying the CIA will reward him greatly for his info (which well enough might be true as he was the mediator after the seven hour war)
>>
>>4300748
>Regarding influencing the marines, that may be a lot of cost for not much long term benefit.
It doesn't have to be long, because the governments of Earth are gonna have their shit pushed in by the Combine soon enough. We just need them to comply-

>As for the teleporter, we need a clean route, thats the biggest issue.
-long enough for us to evacuate everyone or at the lest stop being ass hats and getting in our way.
>>
>>4300748
>extract the cannon characters who got out (Kleiner, Magnusson, Breen)
I wonder if Kleiner will even want to leave. We may need to persuade him that he should stop doing science and GTFO.
>Regarding influencing the marines
As you say, probably not worth it. Besides, if we’re taking the Blue Shift route then Barney has already shredded much of the competition.
>I think i remember the old teleporter being near a railway station
Kind of, but we don’t know how the rails we see link together. It’s also near a car park with plenty of spare vehicles, so if the teleporter plan falls through we can try to fall back on those. We’d probably have to leave under some sort of cover to prevent being noticed, though, assuming the nuke hasn’t gone off by then.
Speaking of which, what do we intend to do about the nuke? Should we try to stop it, or just get out of range before it goes off? I’m not sure how long we’ve got left until it explodes, but Freeman isn’t at Lambda yet so we should have a fair amount of time.
Is this line of discussion too reliant on OOC knowledge for your liking, OP?
>>
>>4300770
>Is this line of discussion too reliant on OOC knowledge for your liking, OP?
I'd prefer you guys not be reliant on knowledge from having played the games. It's unavoidable to an extent, but I think so long as your basing your decisions off of what you know now, it should be alright. It's not that big of a deal if you plan ahead what you'll do when you do find out about something. For now you're fine, although you don't really know much about the train yards, but otherwise you're mostly riding the line. It's not too big of a deal though as its kind of unavoidable.

Also, you do already know about the nuke. Your handler told you around the time you found Reilly.
>>
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>>4300652
>>4300660
>>4300663
>>4300675
>>4300681
>>4300695
>>4300713
>>4300730
>>4300743
>>4300748
>>4300752
>>4300757
>>4300770
I'm gonna try to get a basic gist of what you guys want to say to Breen here. There's a lot of really good discussion, and I'm just gonna try and organize it together for my own sake.

>Reveal that you're working for the CIA for leverage purposes.
>Suggest Breen's involvement with the Gman, but don't give him any concrete indications of what you know.
>Suggest Breen's exfiltration, alongside other possible assets.
>Try to acquire increased access credentials.
I should also mention that Dr. Breen did talk about Dr. Rosenbergs teleportation in the meeting you eavesdropped.

I'm going to let you guys discuss until your have a concrete idea of Dr. Breen, but I'm probably going to ask you guys tomorrow morning to narrow it down until I have a good idea of what exactly you intend to say to Dr. Breen. Then I'll write it out before taking my day off to do my responsibilities so I can procrastinate longer..

On another note, do you guys prefer longer, less common, but more detailed updates, or the way it was earlier in the quest? Scheduling and what not has made it harder to maintain the older update rate, so I've been trying to compensate with more detail put into each update.
>>
>>4300908
Longer but less common works for me in that my availability is all over the place, but I'm always afraid that stuff like that lowers quest participation. Whether or not my fears are unfounded... eh.
>>
>>4300908
As far as updates go, just play it by ear. Long convos for lore building like this are probably good, but as a QM, detail is as much of a tool as options and dice rolls; putting more detail on certain aspects gives them significance. Shorter updates seemed to work well for fights and exploration though, from what I could tell.
>>
>>4300908
If anything we can say that he can expect the CIA to pick him up somewhere around the facility if he really pushed towards wanting to leave Black Mesa by going through the teleporter route, but if he tries to avoid going to the CIA our agency might try to hunt him down.
>>
>>4301021
I guess if we wanted to we could offer extraction to the CIA as an option and if he declines make it clear it wasn't actually an option to begin with.
>>
>>4301085
Maybe we could even get away with bullying Breen for his lunch.
If we steal his lunch, we'll be a legend around the security staff. QUEEN GABBY!
>>
>>4301085
this is a god idea
>>
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Alright, I'm just gonna restate the prompts, alongside a few extras, just so I can tell where exactly you want to start, and what exactly you want to say.

>Ask him about his involvement with the man you saw in your memories. Start by keeping it vague, and asking about a strange suited man in the lambda labs.
>Ask about yesterday’s test, why was it pushed so hard, and against the safety procedures?
>Ask about the closed door meetings he’s had before the tests. Why was there such an uptick in discretion before yesterday’s test?
>Why is he so insistent on staying inside the infirmary, if there are ways out of Black Mesa?
>Subtley suggest Dr. Breen's involvement with the suited stranger, but keep it vague to avoid giving him information.
>Ask about increased access, he may need a reason to give these.
>Ask him if he wants to be extracted. Will require you to reveal you work for the CIA.
>Tell him he's going to be extracted. Will require you to reveal you work for the CIA.
>Inform him of the fact that you work for the CIA.
>>
>>4300652
I thought this was a pertinent question, too.
>>
>>4301389
Oh, and of course you can still write in and everything. I just wanna get a more precise idea of where you guys wanna start with the conversation/interrogation
>>
>>4301389
>Why is he so insistent on staying inside the infirmary, if there are ways out of Black Mesa?
>>
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>>4301392
>>4301447
Please do tell me if you ever feel like I'm railroading or restricting you guys. It's something I often get concerned about when asking you for things like more concise responses.
“I was just hoping to ask why there hasn’t been any plan to leave the facility yet?” You ask, acting the part of another concerned staff member. “It just doesn’t seem like we can stay here very long… and people keep leaving, but... “ You feign a sigh. “I don’t want to leave unless there’s a real plan behind it.”

“My dear.” He says, putting on his best face of concern and sympathy. “I can assure you I put the safety of our staff at the highest priority. In fact just a moment ago I had a meeting with our security team to discuss keeping us protected from hostile elements.”

“Well, what did you talk about?” You ask, leaving out how much of it you already heard. “Are we going to get out of the facility anytime soon?”

“Miss, I’m sure you can understand what Black Mesa administration talks about in these meetings are confidential matters. I would prefer not to discuss the specifics, I am a busy man.” He readjusts his coat, giving an air of professionalism.

“Can you just, tell me if there’s any sort of plan in development. Should I be ready to leave?” You ask.

“No. We’ve determined that its in the best interest of the staff that we stay put.” He comes closer, and while not touching you, tries to give the presence of some sort of mentor. “Until the situation improves we will remain in a position of insured security.”

This is no fortress. You got in easily, you know the scientists are leaving and recovering injured marines, you saw it downstairs. One breaching charge could spearhead a massacre.

“Trust me.” Breen continues. “It’s safer here.”
(cont.)
>>
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>>4301502
(cont.)
All the doctor has given you is rhetoric, but he’s cleverly disguised it as reason. It’s easy to see how he became an administrator of such a facility. Noticing his avoidance of an actual answer, you try to move on to forcing his hand. Accusations will push him into defending himself, and he might give more solid reasons.

“Well, I’ve been hearing rumors.” You respond, continuing to play the part of simply a concerned staff member. “People have been saying you’ve made a deal with someone to get out. They’ve been saying the government, or some other sort of agency.”

“Well, I don’t understand how such baseless accusations could be created.” Dr. Breen responds, with a confused tone. “I’ve never done anything of the sort. I know it may seem like there is a degree of separation between the staff and administration, but I can assure you we are on the same team.”

“People said you were talking to shady figures.” You suggest. “And you’ve been spending an awful lot of time alone in your office.”

“My dear, you must understand that in an organization as secretive as Black Mesa, such shady figures are often members of our own staff.” Dr. Breen responds, with his hands held in front of him, in almost a pleading stance as he calmly explains himself. Its as though he’s saying, “Please, allow me to educate you.” He continues, saying “When people, even the bright minds of science, are left without answers they often turn to superstition and conspiracy, and that’s all these theories are, superstition and conspiracy.”

Quickly, you’re learning that Dr. Breen has no end to his reserve of rhetoric and non-answers. He intends to dodge your questions all day.

>Reveal to him the fact that you work for the CIA, and that he’s going to start giving you answers soon.
>Act angry at him, try to pry some more reasoned answers out of him.
>Hint to him that you know about the Gman, keep it subtle, just enough to scare him.
>Flat out tell Dr. Breen that you know about the stranger, if he is working with him, it’ll scare him, if not, it’ll confuse him.
>Give his rhetoric an endurance test. You know enough about tactical defenses to make it impossible to deny how unsafe your situation is.
>Ask about yesterday’s test, why was it pushed so hard, and against the safety procedures?
>Ask about the closed door meetings he’s had before the tests. Why was there such an uptick in discretion before yesterday’s test?
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4301504
Wait a sec. I thought today was your break day from QMing.
>>
>>4301539
I also said yesterday that I was gonna give you one update before the conversation started because I really don't want to do my assignments.
>>
>>4301541
Make that to start off the conversation/interrogation.
>>
>>4301504
>Hint to him that you know about the Gman, keep it subtle, just enough to scare him.
>>
>>4301545
Maybe just EN-un-CI-ate a few wor-RD-s like Gman and pay attention to his facial responce and body language? I imagine we have some training on reading people's body language.
>>
>>4301608
Now wouldnt that freak him the fuck out
>oh god there are TWO of them now
>>
>>4301504
>Give his rhetoric an endurance test. You know enough about tactical defenses to make it impossible to deny how unsafe your situation is.
His 'logic' isn't going to hold up under this, unless he reveals he actually is working with an outside party.
This area isn't safe.
>>
>>4301504
>>Reveal to him the fact that you work for the CIA, and that he’s going to start giving you answers soon.
Dr. Breen i'm CIA
>>
>>4301504
>>4301608
ahah supporting
>>
>>4301504
>Give his rhetoric an endurance test. You know enough about tactical defenses to make it impossible to deny how unsafe your situation is.
Then

>Reveal to him the fact that you work for the CIA, and that he’s going to start giving you answers soon.
Basically, destroy his logic and then paint ourselves as the feasible escape route that we are. This A) makes us more valuable to Breen, and B) makes sure he knows that we know the extent of that value. As a result we get much more control over negotiations.
>>
>>4301880
Swapping to this tactic
>>
>>4301504
>>4301880
Supporting this
>>
>>4301880
i'm swapping to this
>>
>>4301545
>>4301608
>>4301640
>>4301644
>>4301656
>>4301880
>>4301883
>>4301956
>>4302282
“Well… I just don’t see how we’re so safe here.” You respond, pausing for a moment to bait him into responding.

“My dear.” Breen says holding out a hand. “Now is not the time for unfounded fear and superstition. This is the safest location we know of.”

“Well can’t the aliens teleport anywhere?” You respond, while still thinking of more failures of security. “I remember them appearing right in front of me at one point.”

“And even assume such a feat is truly something as fantastical as teleportation and not the product of illusion or confusion,” He says, confidently dismissing teleportation from the position of a man funding teleportation research. “The energy requirements for such technology would be so astronomical that major limitations would be present, as evidenced by their failure to make use of it so far?”

“But on the surface. I saw the marines getting encircled and flanked all by the aliens teleporting into strategic positions.” You say, adding a slight tone of military professionalism into your voice. “Anyway, don’t the soldiers also have breaching charges and battering rams?”

“Well I suppose, but with far more pressing matters than a group of heavily unarmed civilians, I simply do not see the military prioritizing such a sector.” Dr. Breen says. This is good, you’ve got him fighting on your own terms, moving away from dodging questions. “Besides, Black Mesa security is designed to be far more resilient than the entryway of a bombed out insurgent.”

“Well then how come it can be opened with a lockpick in under thirty seconds?” You respond, no longer holding up the old time.

“Well I don’t see how one would be able to be so objective in such a matter.” Dr. Breen retorts, before you interrupt.

“We’re also only about three meters below ground at the highest level.” You respond, pushing more undeniable truths about your situation. “And with about a meter between every floor. Any of the military’s bunker weapons could penetrate straight into the hospital.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4302457
(cont.)
“I’m sorry, what exactly are you trying to accomplish here?” Dr. Breen responds. Once again, you continue to prevent him from getting any more words in.

“As well, the military’s current objectives are to eliminate anyone knowledgeable of the incident. That only makes it a matter of time before they either find us and gun us down, or bomb the facility into powder.”

“And what exactly does that prove?” Dr. Breen loudly responds. If the security guard hadn’t left, he’d be knocking on the door after hearing it. “Have you forgotten that almost none of our staff have the ability to leave on their own, that this place, while temporary, is our only refuge?”

“It proves that you aren’t getting out of here so easily by hiding in place.” You say directly, pulling your credentials out from your pockets. “I’m with the Central Intelligence Agency. Don’t worry, I”m not here just to clean up a mess the grunts can’t handle, I’m trying to collect intelligence, and I can’t talk to dead staff members. It does mean that you’re going to start answering my questions now.”

Breen looks flabbergasted for a second, then puts on a stern face as he collects his thoughts. “Under the same government that is currently trying to kill my staff, you’ve abused my trust, and put the infirmary at risk? What exactly do you want from my administration that could be so important?”


>Hint to him that you know about the Gman, keep it subtle, just enough to scare him.
>Flat out tell Dr. Breen that you know about the stranger, if he is working with him, it’ll scare him, if not, it’ll confuse him.
>Ask about yesterday’s test, why was it pushed so hard, and against the safety procedures? Did he have other intentions for the test?
>Ask about the closed door meetings he’s had before the tests. Why was there such an uptick in discretion before yesterday’s test?
>Why is he really so opposed to leaving the infirmary for greener pastures? He’s a smart enough man to know that the situation here will only get worse.
>Start talking exfiltration. He needs you, because you’re his safest way out of this mess.
>Write in a question or response.
>>
>>4302459
>Why is he really so opposed to leaving the infirmary for greener pastures? He’s a smart enough man to know that the situation here will only get worse.
>>
>>4302459
>Why is he really so opposed to leaving the infirmary for greener pastures? He’s a smart enough man to know that the situation here will only get worse.
Then
>Start talking exfiltration. He needs you, because you’re his safest way out of this mess.
>>
>>4302459
>>Ask about yesterday’s test, why was it pushed so hard, and against the safety procedures? Did he have other intentions for the test?
>>Ask about the closed door meetings he’s had before the tests. Why was there such an uptick in discretion before yesterday’s test?
>>Why is he really so opposed to leaving the infirmary for greener pastures? He’s a smart enough man to know that the situation here will only get worse.
>>Start talking exfiltration. He needs you, because you’re his safest way out of this mess.
>>
>>4302459
>“Under the same government that is currently trying to kill my staff, you’ve abused my trust, and put the infirmary at risk? What exactly do you want from my administration that could be so important?”

Even now he's trying to put us on the backfoot instead of putting the people of blackmesa first. Best shove that in his face while we're at it.
>>
>>4302488
>>4302513
>>4302552
>>4302589
“You’re really trying to put me on the hook? I’ve saved more lives than you here today, while you’re putting your hide before the people at this facility.” You say, pushing the authority in your voice and backing it with strong, heavy gestures. “So why are you really insisting on staying in the infirmary?”

“I’ve told you.” He responds, doubling down quickly. “This is the safest location available to our staff. We will not be evacuating through a practical war-zone unless it is totally necessary.”

“You’re an intellectual Dr. Breen, I can see that pretty easily.” You explain, attempting to appeal to his own ego slightly, lowering his guard. “You can tell as easily as I can that this situation is only going to get worse, and that the sooner you get out of it, the better.”

“And what exactly do you suggest I do?” It’s posed as a pedantic retort, but you can detect a hint of a legitimate question within. You have a hefty chunk of authority not granted to an average citizen, making you a possible route out for him. Still, he continues on, saying, “Should I send my staff to their death? It’s irrational, based all on a fantasy of driving out, and to what? A government that will hunt us down?”

“And what are you hunkering in here for, Breen? You’re just sitting here waiting for them to come to you. ” Letting it process a moment, you move to accusations. “ Is there something you haven’t told your staff? Do you have some sort of insurance policy here? A third party?”

“I…” He sighs for a moment. Then regains his calm stature. “Of course. I am not a man who makes decisions without proper information. I can assure you I have my sources saying that waiting here is my safest possible option.”

“You have sources? What kind of sources?”

“I can assure you I am a resourceful man.” He explains, regaining his stiff posture and calm, mentorly attitude. “But of course I assume a woman like you understands the importance of keeping one’s connections secretive.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4302655
(cont.)
“Did your sources tell you that I intend to exfiltrate you?” You add, watching his facial expression as you do.

He makes a slight jerk of his face, as though your words slapped him in the face. “Well that’s… that’s great news. I had assumed the entire government was out to kill us.”

“No. Intelligence agencies are generally more intelligent than the department of defense.” You explain. “However you better stop dodging my questions, because I know you need me right now.”

“And would you truly leave me behind?” He asks, attempting to regain control of the conversation. “I know many things about the facility that you are no doubt unaware of. Would you really waste that to find out the identities of mere individuals keeping me informed?”

He’s really trying to not give up any information about his “Sources.” You can’t blame him. He’s right that you wouldn’t give the names of your informants, but you need that information, and have a wriggling feeling you know who it is.

You lose focus for a second when the migraine kicks the side of your head, vibrating through your cranium.

>Tell Dr. Breen that he can keep the identity of his informant a secret for now, but let him know your superiors are probably going to pry it from him.
>Suggest to him you know about the Gman. It’ll certainly shock him if you’re right, but it’ll also reveal what you know as well.
>You have the power to send a man like him to guantanamo right now. You could have him arrested for suspicion of treason unless of course, he proved his sources weren’t spies or elements from other countries.
>Ask about yesterday’s test, why was it pushed so hard, and against the safety procedures? Did he have other intentions for the test?
>Ask about the closed door meetings he’s had before the tests. Why was there such an uptick in discretion before yesterday’s test?
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4302656
>You have the power to send a man like him to guantanamo right now. You could have him arrested for suspicion of treason unless of course, he proved his sources weren’t spies or elements from other countries.
Put the squeeze on him about what the CIA might do to him. The sooner he tells us things, the less harsh the CIA will have to be. For all his charisma he doesn't come off as a strong man.
>>
>>4302656
In the end, us ex-filling him is up to our digression, not his. If we find that he isn't actually a good asset to extract, we already have several others (slight bluff but also true) that are of equal importance lined up who might be a bit more willing to show their worth.
>>
>>4302656
>How did Black Mesa get their hands onto exotic matter, Dr. Breen? Exotic matter that, as far as I'm aware, can't be synthesized even with this facility's impressive array of technology. Exotic matter that is necessary to reach the space between worlds, where it rests in abundance, to begin with.

A call back to thread 1, boooois.
>>
>>4302726
this is good.
if im not mistaken, they got it from both G-man and the lambda labs
>>
>>4302726
I’m not so sure about this.
If we say this then we let on that we’ve been in contact with the few high-level scientists with clearance for knowledge of that sort, all of which Breen knows by name. If we do that then we reveal more about ourselves, meaning Breen has a better grasp on what sort of person we are and how he can manipulate us. He could also break out his own science knowledge to flex on us, which is certainly greater than our own and will put us on the back foot in a conversation. We can’t allow him that small victory.
The more Breen has on us, the harder he is to control. We must remain an untouchable enigma.
>>
>>4302759
Just grab him by the balls and squeeze until they pop.

He was to stay alive and in the future humans are not allowed to have kids anyway.
>>
>>4302662
>>4302670
>>4302726
>>4302737
>>4302759
>>4302769

“You’re not the only person in Black Mesa with information Dr. Breen.” You explain casually, showing yourself as unconcerned towards his fate. “It is my decision to leave you here or not, the CIA gives me that discretion.”

“Then tell me Ms. Oppenheimer, without an informant of your own, what would you have accomplished here?” Dr. Breen gives you his ever so calm and collected smile as he continues. “You see, you’d simply be lashing out at me as an irrational expression of anger, while sabotaging your own operations. Now of course I’m sure you could leave the infirmary and face the conflicts of the aliens and the military in order to perhaps find someone from the lambda labs, but you already have the head of this facility standing in front of you. Why would you squash that opportunity, putting the country I can assume you hold dearly in jeopardy, all over an emotional and simply irrational response.”

“I already have direct contact and location of my other candidates.” You respond calmly. “I’m a lot farther reaching than you think.”

“Well then tell me of these other candidates.” Breen responds. “Without any sort of evidence my safest assumption would be that you’re bluffing.”

He’s not getting information on you that easily. “Go ahead, but you need to show your worth to me, I’m the one with the helicopter.” You respond. “But if you were right, and I was just acting out of anger, I have many more options to express my anger. I’ve currently got all the reasons I need to accuse you of colluding with foreign espionage.” You say, letting the threat hang for a moment. “So unless you can prove that it wasn’t true without a moment of due process, your best interests are to answer my question and don’t give me anymore reason to suspect you.”

Dr. Breen definitely slinks back slightly as you say this. He groans, then asks, “What exactly do you hope to accomplish with such threats?”

“I’d like for you to tell me about yesterday’s tests.” You start. “How did Black Mesa get their hands on so much exotic matter? Exotic matter that, as far as I'm aware, can't be synthesized even with this facility's impressive array of technology. How exactly did you manage to get enough of the stuff to reach what I’ve heard is the space between worlds? It is in abundance there isn’t it? You wouldn’t have happened to have been given outside help, would you?”
(cont.)
>>
>>4302806
(cont.)
Breen returns to his stern face, pulling himself up. “For your information, Black Mesa does feature technology capable of synthesizing rudimentary exotic matter.” He sighs, thinking back on your threats. “But you are correct. It is difficult to produce it in any large quantities. However, some of our more seclusive investors appear to have their own methods.”


“These seclusive investors wouldn’t have any connection to your current informants, would there?” You interrupt. He holds out a hand in response, as if to say “please hold all questions to the end.”

“I didn’t question how they acquired it. Many developments are made in Black Mesa that wouldn’t be revealed to other organizations.” He straightens his jacket. “But we did have outside help. I don’t understand the specifics of how the first sample was acquired, but after the first, the lambda labs quickly expanded, acquiring more subjects for other departments to study.”

“And is this investor connected to your informants?” You repeat, causing him to think back to your threats.

“I can admit that, yes.” Dr. Breen simply responds.

>Ask about his uptick in secrecy and closed door meetings. Were these also connected to his informants?
>Ask about yesterday’s test, why was it pushed so hard, and against the safety procedures? Did he have other intentions for the test?
>Suggest to him you know about the Gman. Is that his so-called investor, and informant?
>Write in a question or response.
>>
>>4302806
>>4302807
I'm not entirely sure if I represented the votes right in this one, so please do tell me if you feel I didn't. The way it worked out while writing made it awkward.
>>
>>4302807
Low key imitate the speech impediment of G-Man like those anons suggested.
>>
I just had a thought.
If the gaunts saw gabby's memories and such...are we going to suddenly see vortigaunts with the knowledge of how to pick locks? Operate CIA technology? Use guns?
>>
>>4302807
>Suggest to him you know about the Gman. Is that his so-called investor, and informant?
Also, forgot to vote. I'll go with this one. Sorry, I was distracted.
>>
>>4302807
>Suggest to him you know about the Gman. Is that his so-called investor, and informant?

I mean I want to ask about the test and if he had any specific intentions, but I feel that it was the Gman who had a goal in mind while Breen was sorta just along for the ride.
>>
>>4302806
>>Suggest to him you know about the Gman. Is that his so-called investor, and informant?
i mean we know for a fact that it was G-man who gave them the unstable sample
>>
>>4302807
>>Suggest to him you know about the Gman.
I want to troll him a bit like here >>4302828
>>
>>4303295
>>4303297
>>4303323
>>4303332
>>4303361
“You’re going to start telling me about this connection.” You demand, thinking quickly of ways to get it out of him. You need confirmation, but you suspect that the man you saw as a child is somehow connected through all of this. “Did you get a name, any sort of contact information?”

“My dear, you don’t seem to understand the sheer amount of obfuscation involved in running an organization such as this.” He says in his mentoring tone. “Many of our technologies, and no doubt the research of others, could send the world into geopolitical arms races comparable to another cold war. Mankind could barely handle the atom, could you even begin to imagine what the gluon would do to political stability?”

He’s dodging the question, trying to redirect and make it about your competence, or scientific concepts. Considering your latest encounter with your suspect you wonder if the man would even give Dr. Breen such information. You double down, covering his exits and not allowing him any room to dodge. “If he hasn’t given you a name then just say so.”

“No, I was not provided with identifying information.” He responds calmly. “Black Mesa has strict measures of informational security.”

“Well then describe him to me, I can use more than names.” You respond flatly, stating it as a demand rather than a request. Before he has the chance to maneuver around, or espouse rhetoric, you start asking your own, more specific questions. “Was he in the anomalous materials lab on the day of the test?”

“I can not possibly hope to keep track of the location of every single visitor or investor who comes through the facility.” He explains, retaining a smug smile. “You would be far better suited asking the more local security personnel.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4303538
(cont.)
“Then what did he look like. Did he wear a blue suit, carry a suitcase?” You respond, watching a slight tinge in his facial expression, but whatever emotion Dr. Breen felt in that moment is quickly swept away.

“Many of our investors wear similar attire. In fact, I’m sure if you were to use that as your identifying clue you would likely convict most of the american business world of foreign espionage.” He says, adding a small chuckle onto the end of his sentence.

“Short black hair? Sunken eyes?” You add, keeping your voice flat as you push more and more identifying characteristics onto him. It’s as much of a performance as it is psychological manipulation, reminding him of a fear and slowly confirming it to him.

“I…” He pauses for a moment, shaking his head. “I don’t see what you expect to win here by playing childish games of twenty questions.”

A devious idea formulates in your head as you think back to your childhood memory. A part of you, especially the migraine currently kicking into the side of your skull like a soccer player, doesn’t want to think back to it in any detail, but you’ve been tempered to far worse things throughout your life.

“Did he have any strange speech impediments?” You ask calmly, before recreating the man’s rather alien speech patterns in your head. “I can assUre yOU, I understand the impORtance of.. disCRetion.”

It’s not perfect, but the look in Dr. Breen’s eyes quickly show that it accomplished what it needed. “What…” He pauses for a moment, thinking of a way to respond. He makes a few more confused sounds as he starts and throws away sentences, until all he finally asks is, “Did HE send you here?”

>Tell him that HE did send you to Dr. Breen. It’s why he’s coming with you, and going to start answering questions.
>You’re asking the questions here. What kind of deals or agreements has Dr. Breen made with his “investor”?
>Ask Dr. Breen if his uptick in secrecy was because of the need to keep his contacts with the suited man secret.
>Did HE play a part in yesterday’s test? Why was it pushed so hard despite the regular safety protocols.
>Does Dr. Breen have any ideas of what the suited man’s intentions were, or who he worked for?
>Write in a question or response.
>>
>>4303543
WE ASK THE QUESTIONS. We also know most of the answers. Play ball because we can tell when you're evading and when you're lying. We're done hinting at our hand, and non-compliance will result in the complete loss of your leverage.

We can even say we're from a specific part of the CIA related to this specific Investor.


That said, as for "Did HE send you here", He didn't TELL us to come here to talk to him.

>You’re asking the questions here. What kind of deals or agreements has Dr. Breen made with his “investor”?
>Did HE play a part in yesterday’s test? Why was it pushed so hard despite the regular safety protocols.
>Where was he when the test was being executed
>Inundate with unnecessary questions to obfuscate goals
"did you see him touch the foreign matter yesterday"
"Did you see him come in contact with X scientists"
"Did he ask for you to keep all the personnel here in the infirmary or just for you to stay here?"
"Who were the scientists performing the test. Was HE here?"
>>
>>4303543
Bitch you best start answering or your funna catch these hands. Lefty is Unforseen, and Righty is Consequences.
>You’re asking the questions here. What kind of deals or agreements has Dr. Breen made with his “investor”?
>>
>>4303295
It may just be that they choose not to use technology. They had plenty of time to learn by half life 2.
>>
>>4303543
>You’re asking the questions here. What kind of deals or agreements has Dr. Breen made with his “investor”?
>>
>>4303553
>>4303558
>>4303611
“You’re the one being interrogated here Dr. Breen.” You quickly retort. “You’re losing more and more of your leverage every time you dodge my questions, so you should start playing ball.”

“Interrogation?” He says, apparently not knowing when to stop. “My dear, we are two bright minds discussing things unknown to most of the world, we should be conversing like intellectuals, not playing twenty questions and pulling teeth!”

“Stop.” You flatly command. “I can tell when you’re dodging and lying. Start answering my questions.”

Dr. Breen just stiffens his back, and groans. “Very well.” His expressions don’t give you much to work with, but a part of you fears questioning him, and possibly giving away part of your motivations.

You quickly think up a set of questions to obfuscate and throw him off, planning to throw them in alongside his other questions. “Did you see him directly handling yesterday’s sample?”

“No, I wasn’t there.” He responds. He’s probably not lying, he’s an administrator, and the samples are clearly dealt with by younger, physically fit physicists. “That’s a question for the science team.”

“Well did you see him talking to any members of the science team yesterday? Conversing with them?” You ask, knowing that he’s also not going to be able to answer such a question.

“I wasn’t there yesterday. I was in my office, a whole section away.” He responds, clearly irritated. “Please, what is the meaning of these questions?”

“This isn’t a conversation anymore Dr. Breen, I’m not playing your games anymore. Answer my questions and the interrogation will be over soon.” You explain, talking like a police interrogator. “Do you know which scientists ran the quest?”

“Well I should think that the physicists of the anomalous materials labs ran the tests.” He says, even more thrown about. “One of them has been around here, locking himself in one of the offices I believe.”

“Did the suited man ask you to keep everyone here? Or just yourself?” You add.

“Just myself.” He responds. “Many of the other staff members have left already, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.”
“Well then tell me about your investor.” You say, finally getting to the more important questions. “You already said he gave you the first sample, but what kind of other deals have you made with him? Why is he now so interested in keeping you here?”
(cont.)
>>
>>4303711
(cont.)
Dr. Breen seems to have at least partially surrendered dodging questions. “Oftentimes investments made in Black Mesa are made through equipment and samples, rather than monetary investments.” He begins explaining. “This investor in particular brought us a particularly generous sample, more exotic matter than any of the science team had ever thought possible to acquire. A specimen of study like that could have brought us decades into the future, as I’m sure you already understand.”

“I think I’ve seen it changing the world up on the surface.” You retort.

Ignoring what you said, Breen continues on. “When the investor came back, requesting more control over the research process, the entire board agreed. It only seemed rational to give the man who had made it all possible the power to direct the focus of study. He was the one who suggested founding a lab dedicated entirely to researching the border worlds.”

“And which lab would that be?” You ask, despite already knowing the answer.

“The lambda laboratories.” Breen responds. “They became the focal point of every department, studying the samples they brought back, not even understanding where they came from. These changes led to us advancing our fields of study by decades in only years.”

>Dr. Breen never mentioned yesterday’s test. Ask him if it was executed under the suggestions of his investor as well.
>Ask Dr. Breen why he’s still listening to this investor, even though the Gman’s actions apparently caused the incident.
>Did the investor ever suggest any reasons for giving you the sample? Would Breen have any possible idea where it could’ve been obtained from?
Write in a question or response.
>>
>>4303712
>Ask Dr. Breen why he’s still listening to this investor, even though the Gman’s actions apparently caused the incident.
>>
>>4303712
>Did the investor ever suggest any reasons for giving you the sample? Would Breen have any possible idea where it could’ve been obtained from?
Followed by
>Dr. Breen never mentioned yesterday’s test. Ask him if it was executed under the suggestions of his investor as well.

Not necessarily right now, but before we end the interrogation process, we should get Breen to tell us the highest access information (username and password? authorization codes? whatever) he knows. It's imperative not just for the mission, but for getting him out safely as well.
>>
>>4303718
>>4303719
“It seems a lot like your investor is the root of all this.” You suggest, giving a suspicious look to Dr. Breen as you do. “How can you still trust him? What exactly makes you think this isn’t what he wanted?”

“There is currently no other rational option.” Dr. Breen explains. “With the government-” He looks at you, gives you a look as though he’s expecting you to be offended and is apologizing, then corrects, “-the military brutally enforcing ignorance, and so little contact with any other organizations, this is the one contact I have available to me with any resources. I’m simply making use of the only options I have.”

You genuinely cannot tell if he’s lying by handing you rhetoric, or telling an honest, unfortunate truth. He’s most certainly not in a position to pick and choose his allies so the latter would not be unlikely.

“You still haven’t ruled out to me the possibility that he wanted this from the start.” You respond, waiting expectantly.

It takes a moment for him to gather his thoughts, but when he does, he continues with his enlightened smile. “My dear, I believe we are at an impasse from the differing expectations of our fields. It would be irrational and unscientific on the lack of evidence of the contrary.”

“I asked if you could rule it out, not if you suspected anything.” You return quickly, attempting to shoot down his hyper-rationality rhetoric before it can develop. “Did you ever find out why he gave you the original sample, or get an idea of where it came from? Did your investor ever tell you that?”

“I’m afraid I was never made aware. Although for your second question I would suspect that HE had somehow gained access to the border worlds himself. I wouldn’t know how, but whoever our benefactor is, he has extensive resources.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4303926
(cont.)
Conjoining your mutual friend’s secrecy in explaining his abundance of physics defying particles and reasons for such generous donations, there’s a distinct possibility that this investor wanted the invasion to happen from the start. Deciding to investigate the possibility further, you ask, “Was it him who wanted the test? You haven’t talked much about yesterday’s experiment, why was it pushed so heavily?”

“While he did support the test in private, I will admit it was I who pushed the hardest for yesterday’s procedure.” He explains, while sounding certainly sorrowful, but not apologetic. “One should remember, while it seems too easy to regret with the hindsight of today, what happened here was a singularity of probability, an infinitesimal chance. A resonance cascade, not to mention one stable enough for living organisms to slip through, has a near zero chance of occurence. I was the major factor in play to push yesterday’s test. However, I do feel great sorrow for the lives lost here today. While I may not always show it, I don’t understand how I’ll recover from this event.”

If he’s lying about feeling sorrow, he’s putting on a very good performance, adding slight tremors to both his voice and body that you’re not sure if you can trust. However he does seem to be telling the truth that he pushed for yesterday’s test. However given that the mysterious man was able to greet you in your childhood, you wouldn’t write off the possibility that such events were carefully orchestrated.

You’ve been in here for quite a while, alone, with the head administrator of the facility. There’s a good chance people might be getting suspicious.

>While you have the chance, try and acquire security credentials off of Dr. Breen. You’d doubt that he’d have a mechanical master key on his person, but perhaps a master code for door locks? (3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
>Scare him straight, make sure that he never speaks of this conversation again. (3d6+2, pass on a 12.)
>Let him know that he needs to stay put, that way he can be exfiltrated, detained, and even more thoroughly interrogated by your superiors.
>Convince him to move the infirmary staff to rosenberg’s teleporters, so they can escape Black Mesa on their own. (3d6+2, pass on a 15.)
>Write in any questions or responses.
>>
>>4303927
>While you have the chance, try and acquire security credentials off of Dr. Breen. You’d doubt that he’d have a mechanical master key on his person, but perhaps a master code for door locks? (3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
The recovery of sensitive data and other staff members is important, and if he want's to assurance to a comfortable ride out of here, he'll give it to us.

>Convince him to move the infirmary staff to rosenberg’s teleporters, so they can escape Black Mesa on their own. (3d6+2, pass on a 15.)
In addition were he to do that and we in tandem called the CIA to pick the up we could relatively safely evacuate more people out of here.
>>
>>4303927
>While you have the chance, try and acquire security credentials off of Dr. Breen. You’d doubt that he’d have a mechanical master key on his person, but perhaps a master code for door locks? (3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
followed by
>Convince him to move the infirmary staff to rosenberg’s teleporters, so they can escape Black Mesa on their own. (3d6+2, pass on a 15.)
>>
>>4303927
>While you have the chance, try and acquire security credentials off of Dr. Breen. You’d doubt that he’d have a mechanical master key on his person, but perhaps a master code for door locks? (3d6+2, pass on a 14.)

>Convince him to move the infirmary staff to rosenberg’s teleporters, so they can escape Black Mesa on their own. (3d6+2, pass on a 15.)
>>
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>>4303979
>>4303996
>>4304086
I didn't even realize it, but I mistyped. The 14 threshold was meant to be a 13. Sorry for the confusion.

You're not comfortable letting the Black Mesa staff sit here and wait to die while they have a potential way out. Dr. Breen is a charismatic and, if not wholly respected, still the accepted leader of the facility. If you could get him to start leading, then it would not only make your job a whole world easier, but probably save lives in the process.

Not only that, but you're also given an opportunity. Dr. Breen no doubt has high clearance that security emergency access wouldn't even be able to provide.

Of course, if Dr. Breen is less willing, there are other ways of acquiring these things.

"Alright. You're not following the orders of your investor anymore, doctor." You say, like a military drill sergeant directing a fresh trainee. You don't need him to believe or respect you, you just need him to follow your orders. "First of all, I'm not having you endanger people's lives for your investors demands. When I leave this room, and let you out, that's when you're gonna start a plan to get people through the facility."

Before he has a chance to object, you make a second demand. "Secondly, I need better clearance. I've got my own places to be, and I'd like to encounter less locked doors. You're going to give me the highest access you can at the time being."

Four players roll a 2d6+2. The first d6 is for getting Dr. Breen to agree to relocate the staff to the old teleportation labs, the second d6 is to get high tier access codes.

I don't say enough that I love writing for you guys. Each and every one of you was clever and creative during the interrogation making it an absolute joy to write. From calling back to the start of the quest, to clever psychological tricks, or getting passionately and hilariously angry over Dr. Breen's bullshit, you guys made me love writing it. Thank you all.
>>
Rolled 4, 6 = 10 (2d6)

>>4304127
Thanks Laz, keep up the good work!
>>
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Rolled 1, 3 = 4 (2d6)

>>4304127
I'll never not love reading the development of the bee simulator.
>>
Rolled 4, 5 + 2 = 11 (2d6 + 2)

>>4304127
>>
Rolled 4, 3 + 2 = 9 (2d6 + 2)

>>4304127
>>
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>>4304131
>>4304133
>>4304138
>>4304143
the taste of success is so sweet today
>>
>>4304131
>>4304138
>>4304143
>All 4s on the first roll
Oh baby, a triple!
>>
Well getting Breen to get everyone to the old teleportation labs is nice, though iirc that's what Rosenberg tried to do as well and everyone but a select few died. Here's hoping we can help clear a path so that Barney has an easier time of slaughtering his way through in order to get everyone out.
>>
>>4304131
>>4304133
>>4304138
>>4304143
>>4304158
>>4304194
>>4304201
“Ms. Oppenheimer, if you do not remember, I am not in a position anymore to be obeying the federal government. You have already attacked me and my staff, and for the survival of my staff, I will not be walking into certain capture.” He responds, sternly.

“I haven’t attacked you at all.” You explain authoritatively. “I don’t work for the department of defense, if you weren’t aware, that’s a drastically different department. We have no intention of killing you.”

“I do believe the line between both government organizations is rather blurred, isn’t it?” Dr. Breen explains.

“Dr. Breen, cut the shit.” You respond, with even more authority in your voice. “Your don’t answer to your investors anymore, you answer to me if you want to get out of here without being added onto the list of people tried for war-crimes and treason in this event. When I leave this room, you’re going to start organizing a plan to leave this room.”

Dr. Breen takes a deep breath in, adjusts his jacket. “So be it, but I can assure you history will not look favorably on threats of abusing your power.”

“I’m not abusing it, this all to my discretion.” You respond. “You’re also going to give me the highest access you have on hand.”

He sighs, then explains, “Every one of the key code locks in the facility has a reset code. Nine-eight-zero-nine.” His voice sounds slightly defeated.

“Thank you.” You respond. It’s been quite a while now, you should probably wrap things up before people come looking for Dr. Breen.

>Let Dr. Breen go, and contact your handler. You could ask him about the data, the status of ISA negotiations, the CIA download, air-drops, and other possible inquiries.
>Let Dr. Breen go, and then go find the vortigaunt “subject” in room three hundred and six.
>Now that you have some time out of danger, maybe you should talk to someone you trust about the crazy shit you saw in the vortessence.
>Scout out the entrance to the Anomalous Materials storage, get a peak at what awaits you down there.
>Go talk to the party. It might be helpful to take some time to organize things.
>Write in any last things you want to say to or ask Breen.
>>
Next update might come a little late tomorrow, I've got some stuff planned and shit I've got to do.
>>
>>4304264
>Write in any last things you want to say to or ask Breen.
Careful not to send people out until we give the signal, or there wILl be, Un..forseENconsequences.

Find some place to sit down and investigate the migraine.
>>
>>4304264
>For what it's worth, Dr. Breen, I'm on your side. I just can't afford to be lighthanded when it comes to getting critical information with everyone's lives on the line. When everything's over, I'll make it up to you.
This is to establish a rapport, standard CIA tactics to make it seem like it's not our fault and that we're actually one of the nice ones etc etc.
>Let Dr. Breen go, and contact your handler. You could ask him about the data, the status of ISA negotiations, the CIA download, air-drops, and other possible inquiries.
>>
>>4304366
this, even if he is going to become the dictator in less than a week
>>
All the more reason to establish ourselves as someone Breen thinks he can trust
>>
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>>4304272
>>4304366
>>4304586
>>4304648
“For what it’s worth Dr. Breen, I’m not here to fight you. However, the CIA gave me the authority I have for a reason. I can’t be light handed right now, no one can be.” You explain this with a heavy sound of regret in your voice, gesturing as though you intend to hold yourself out to him, someone in need. “I’m here to get critical information, and I need to be strict when lives depend on it. When this is cleaned up, I’ll find a way to make it up to you.”

“While I do agree that now is not the time for frivolous infighting, I don’t think it’s very likely that the world will be the same.” He responds, calmly and rationally. “I don’t believe the intelligence agencies of the world can hope to contain everything that’s happened here. The sheer chaos that’s unravelled in only a few days is more eventful than decades of human history.”

He’s not wrong, even if you can repel the aliens, keeping knowledge out of the public's hands will be its own war. There’s a distinct chance that the power dynamics of the country will shift, be it in favor or to the detriment of your own organization. You just shrug, nodding as you say, “I can’t argue with you Dr. Breen, but whatever the world looks like after all of this, just know that I’m on your side. We’re all humans here.”

“There are some that wonder if that’s true, irrational as it may be.” Breen responds as you wave goodbye, stepping out of the room. As you search for a place away from prying ears, you ponder what he was implying. While Dr. Breen doesn’t seem like the type to believe, you wouldn’t put it past the staff to develop theories of alien infiltrators, especially with little understanding of the extent of their abilities.

The nearly empty infirmary quickly provides you with a secure and quiet room that you trust won’t feature eavesdroppers listening in to your suspicions conversations with an advanced, military style radio. Locking the door and moving to the far side of the room, you set up the encryption, and hunt down the necessary frequency.

Without much wait, a rather exhausted sounding woman takes you through the security protocols, until your handler picks up the phone, audibly spent from the chaos that’s been happening over the past few days.

“Oppenheimer. What’s happening?” Is all he says.

>Ask about how the ISA negotiations have been going, and the status of the military’s plans.
>Try asking about the status of the nuclear device. Of course, he might not give you that much information.
>Ask about the data downloaded from yesterday’s test.
>Report in some of the things you’ve learned since you last spoke.
>Request air drops, extractions, or anything else that might require a helicopter.
>Ask to speak with Dr. Vance for some time.
>Write in anything else you’d like to request or say.
>>
>>4305046
>Ask about how the ISA negotiations have been going, and the status of the military’s plans.
and
>Ask about the data downloaded from yesterday’s test.
followed by
>Report in some of the things you’ve learned since you last spoke.

as always, negotiations for extractions should come after everything else pertinent has been gone over
>>
>>4305081
This
>>
>>4305081
>>4305105
“I was hoping to get an update on how the deals with the ISA have been going.” You say calmly, and briefly. “As much as you can say.”

“Well the department of defense is getting more and more fed up with both us and the situation. They were starting to make threats to leak to the public and pull back to a more defensible position.” He explains, before suddenly pulling away from the call to command some unknown agent. When he returns, he continues, “Of course, since they brought in toys they weren’t supposed to, we suddenly have a lot more negotiating power. There's a pretty large discussion right now considering telling them to pull out.”

“Then what happens to the facility if they pull out?” You ask, a small part of your brain brings up a fear that the answer might be, “the nuclear response.”

“Then we take over.” Your handler responds, letting you relax slightly. “Our own operatives move in to relieve the situation, and clean up the mess the grunts can’t handle.”

“What will happen to the staff?” You ask.

“If they cooperate, interrogation and possible extraction.” He says. “However, any uncontrollable elements will have to be dealt with. It’s a mess down there, and we can’t tread lightly when it comes to keeping it from the public.”

You don’t say anything, but a distinct fear formulates in your head. The CIA avoids civilian casualties if they can, as an unexplainable death causes even more questions than someone randomly fleeing the country, but you’ve already seen some operative’s willingness to silence staff.

“Right before the incident, I gave you access to one of the major computers in the laboratory. Can I get an update on that?”

“Yes. We don’t have many physicists on us, so we don’t necessarily know what it means, but we’ve been giving Dr. Vance access to it on request.” Your handler explains. “It’s a lot, so it wouldn’t be possible to send all of it to your laptop, but you could request sections of it if you need.”

“I intended to share it with one of the physicists on hand. He’s been doing his own work to slow the invaders.” You explain.

“Then…” Your handler thinks for a moment. “First of all, make sure you can trust him. Second of all, give him one of your dongles, and have him hook it into a secure terminal disconnected from any other networks. Then we can send it to him on request.”

“Understood.” You respond. “I had also seen an image in the servers this morning, it looked similar to some sort of detonation in a storm.”

“That’s what you saw on the anomalous materials server?” Your handler asks, his voice suddenly coming to a stern attention.

“Affirmative.” You respond quickly.
(cont.)
>>
>>4305224
(cont.)
“Then forget you saw it, for your own safety.” Your handler says, with an authority in his voice that makes a chill travel down your spine. It features this unprofessional quality to it that suggests, “It’s not an order from the CIA, it’s an order from me.”

Of course, if that’s true, there are other ways to get such information, you just have to avoid getting it through him.

“Do you have anything to report?” He asks, interrupting your line of thought.

>Describe to him your experience in the vortessence. There’s a rather good chance he’ll consider it a hallucination.
>Explain what you’ve learned about the Gman, focusing on his connection to Breen and Freeman.
>Explain what you’ve learned about the vortigaunts, and how they are connected mentally.
>Tell him that you have reason to believe a group, namely Dr. Rosenberg and a few other staff members have escaped the facility already.
>Tell him about the vortigaunts interest in the test chamber.
>Write in.
>>
>>4305228
>Explain what you’ve learned about the Gman, focusing on his connection to Breen and Freeman.
>Take the time to explain that, as Kleiner was able to partially confirm, the resonance cascade has made it easier to jump through both space and, potentially, time. Looking at a timeline of events won't necessarily make sense if there's entities out there that could potentially take advantage of such.
>>
>>4305228
>>Explain what you’ve learned about the Gman, focusing on his connection to Breen and Freeman.
>>Explain what you’ve learned about the vortigaunts, and how they are connected mentally.
The G-Man thing might not end well for us, if the order of "forget about it" came from him, but im willing to try
also this is a good idea
>Take the time to explain that, as Kleiner was able to partially confirm, the resonance cascade has made it easier to jump through both space and, potentially, time. Looking at a timeline of events won't necessarily make sense if there's entities out there that could potentially take advantage of such.
>>
>>4305228
>Explain what you’ve learned about the vortigaunts, and how they are connected mentally.
>>4305249
>>4305267
These too. These seem smart enough
>>
>>4305228
>Explain what you’ve learned about the vortigaunts, and how they are connected mentally. >Take the time to explain that, as Kleiner was able to partially confirm, the resonance cascade has made it easier to jump through both space and, potentially, time. Looking at a timeline of events won't necessarily make sense if there's entities out there that could potentially take advantage of such.
>>
>>4305228
I would like attempting to use the GMan Cadence on him during the conversation just once. See if it shakes anything from the tree.
>>
>>4305249
>>4305267
>>4305301
>>4305498
>>4305503

This update might be a little funky, I had to change it a few times.

“It seems that a lot of the major decisions at Black Mesa are being influenced by the agent of an unknown third party.” You explain, before adding, “Although it may be possible that the individual is working independently. Little is known about the individual beyond those he influences and his appearance.”

“Describe him to me.” Your handler says. Among the many sounds of people talking in hushed voices or using their many computers near your handler, you hear one click that sounds louder than the others.

“Tall, probably over six feet, green sunken eyes, short black hair, and a notable speech impediment, or an accent of no known country.” You say, listing features off like a police report. “He’s been seen with a direct interest in Dr. Freeman, however the two have never been reported to communicate. The subject has aided Dr. Freeman through opening up otherwise inaccessible paths through the facility. It’s unknown how the subject has been able to move so freely through the facility.”

“And have you been tracking the subject yourself? Are you hearing this from marines… spoken to Freeman?” Your handler asks, listing off a few ideas.

“His relations to Freeman are known because they were willingly disclosed to me by the captured ISA operative still in my custody.” You explain stiffly. Your voice is calm, cool, and collected as one would expect from a government assassin, but occasionally it wavers when the migraine kicks, sending pain rolling over the surface of your brain. “However, the subject has a clear connection to the administrator of the building, who after some manipulation, admitted to being aided by the subject. In return, the administrator was expected to allow the subject to play a part in the decision making of the facility.”

“Understood.” He says, and you hear that click again. “That could be a real game changer, but keep focus on the invasion. Always remember that finding out who to blame is for courts, our job here is to fix this. Still, do what you have to.”

“Of course.” You state, moving on to your next report. “I’ve also had some new developments on the mental state of one of the alien species. The lanky, red eyed creatures that shoot electricity have become known as vortiguants.” As you say that, you’re suddenly unsure if you’ve actually heard anyone say that word. You toss the thought aside. “The creatures work as conscripts for the aliens, unwillingly fighting for them. We’ve freed a few, and one of them has been studied by the medical research teams. The researchers found that the creatures could learn information from others without any direct communication.”
(cont.)
>>
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>>4305524
(cont.)
“That’s… genuinely interesting.” He says. “Although it changes the field. Do the freed ones seem to be on our side.”

“As far as I can tell, yes.” You say.

“Fair enough, but don’t share too much confidential information with them.” Your handler explains. “If they can learn from others, then anything they’ve learned is out of our control.”

“Understood.” You respond, leaving out the fact that they’ve already rooted through your brain. “I also need you to buckle up, what I’m about to report might be a little confusing.”

“Okay… What is it? I’m sure I can handle it.”

“One of the scientists explained to me the nature of the situation in scientific terms.”

“All right, fair enough, just explain it as he did, if I don’t understand, I have multiple physicists on hand.” Your handler responds.

“To the best I can remember, the resonance cascade, which is the event caused by yesterday’s experiment on a sample of exotic matter, caused the universe itself to explode.”

“Wait?” Your handler is about to ask you to repeat and confirm that, but instead he just adds “Sorry, I won’t interrupt, please continue.”

“Somehow, the universe itself was pushed to a higher state of energy. Normally it would just return, really violently, to its regular state. For some reason however, the universe is snagged on something, and can reset to where it’s supposed to be.” You explain, trying your best to summarize the incredibly wordy lectures of Dr. Kleiner, while also not misinterpreting the details. You’re not sure if you’re getting it one-hundred percent correct, but the point is across. “According to the doctor, the position it’s stuck in makes it very easy to move through time and space instantaneously. He described it as a goldilox zone of teleportation, and it seems to be only getting easier for the aliens to enter Black Mesa.” You explain, taking a moment once again to gather your thoughts. You take a breath, and continue. “The state makes it not only easier to teleport, but also makes it easier to travel through time. We definitely can’t trust locational data, but we might also not be looking at a linear timeline.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4305525
(cont.)
“You’re suggesting that there’s time travel involved?” Your handler responds.

“It’s a distinct possibility, with some evidence.” You explain. “On the other hand, the doctor who disclosed this to me did also state that it would still take incredible amounts of energy.”

“Hmm.” Your handler says, audibly writing something with interest on a pen and paper near the microphone. The addition of non-linear time would no doubt require the change of a million reports and readjustments of documents. “So we know how the aliens are moving in so easily then.” He adds. “Is there any evidence or possibility that this ‘snag’ as you called it is deliberate interference?”

>Tell him the full story. You have reason to believe that the alien’s leading figure is somehow forcing the portal to stay open.
>Tell him that the science team noted that it did seem like there was evidence of intelligence behind it.
>Don’t tell him much and keep it vague. You do not have any sufficient evidence of intelligent interference that you wish to report.
>Write in.
>>
>>4305528
>Tell him that the science team noted that it did seem like there was evidence of intelligence behind it.
>Suggest getting into contact with Lambda Labs, who our local informants believe might know more about the situation and possible solutions.
>>
>>4305525
>>4305534
Supporting
Here's hoping our people can offer the tiniest bit of support in getting the military to fuck off from the lamba labs
>>
>>4305534
This

>>4305528
So with the insurance we bout from the ISA, would that be enough to convince the military to get out of our way, or at the least stop shooting other people? At least asking that might make it easier to saving those still stuck within the facility. It's good to know the CIA is prioritizing saving the place than blowing it up.

>>4305606
After our call is over with Handler, we should really answer the headache or Vortiessense before it becomes too distracting.
>>
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>>4305534
>>4305606
>>4305668
“I can’t give you any concrete confirmation, but the science team has noted signs of intelligence.” You begin to explain. “According to my sources, the ‘snag’ letting the aliens through has been reacting to their efforts to close up the breach. Every time they try to close it, it pushes back. I’m unaware of the exact nature of their tests however, and am relying on second hand sources from the science team.”

“And you trust these sources?” He asks. It’s not meant to convey doubt or sarcasm, he just needs these kinds of verbal confirmations.

“Affirmative.” You respond, confidently. “They seem to be the most accredited experts available to me. The one I’ve spoken to specifically admitted to being a former professor at MIT, and had a major position in the anomalous materials labs. He also has no affiliations with relevant opposing forces, or cause for suspicion.”

“And how have they been running these tests with the anomalous materials labs destroyed?” He asks, once again, not out of suspicion, but the ever present need for information.

“Many of the other departments still have working equipment, and the scientists have been working rather tirelessly to keep them working and perform experiments with them.” Your mind quickly wanders back to the scientists you’ve seen hiding in place, and correct, “Or at least a significant portion of the science team has made an effort to resume emergency tests.”

You hear that click once again, followed by your handler losing his professional tone. “It’s a shame this can’t make it out to the public then.” Your handler notes. “They might have caused it, but still tryna fix it with all that’s going on? You don’t expect that outta the lab coats.” You hear the click again. “Continue on.”

“Speaking of the scientists, many of the departments seem to be built around the work of the Lambda laboratories.” You start. You suddenly have to pause for a moment, listening to someone walk past the door. When the hallway sounds clear, you continue. “They’re rather secretive, but everything seems to be revolving around their work. If we can get in contact with them, then it’d give us a lot more information, and might finally pull in some possible solutions.”

“How much do you already know about them?” Your handler asks.

>Tell them about how Dr. Breen’s “Investor” played a part in the creation of the lambda labs, both through his suggestion, and providing the sample.
>Tell your handler about their research into the space between universes, and how they seem to provide samples for the rest of the facility to study.
>Just tell your handler that the sample of yesterday’s catastrophic experiment was provided by the anomalous materials laboratory.
>Inform you handler that the subject of the earlier capture attempt, Dr. Freeman, appears to still be alive and is heading to the Lambda laboratories.
>Write in.
>>
>>4306388
>>Inform you handler that the subject of the earlier capture attempt, Dr. Freeman, appears to still be alive and is heading to the Lambda laboratories.
I really hope he doesnt order us to go convince or capture Freeman. That last group shot a security officer he was with, which understandable angered the scientist. There was only one surviving agent left afterwards.
Dont fuck with the science team. Nerds hella scary.
>>
>>4306388
>>Tell them about how Dr. Breen’s “Investor” played a part in the creation of the lambda labs, both through his suggestion, and providing the sample.
>>Tell your handler about their research into the space between universes, and how they seem to provide samples for the rest of the facility to study.
>>Just tell your handler that the sample of yesterday’s catastrophic experiment was provided by the anomalous materials laboratory.
>>Inform you handler that the subject of the earlier capture attempt, Dr. Freeman, appears to still be alive and is heading to the Lambda laboratories.

Now's probably a good time to ask about additional assets, primarily extraction and special boolet. For when we return from the resonance cascade test chamber..
>>
>>4306388
>Inform him of everything you know about the Lambda Labs so far.
>>
Sorry for the longer wait on this one.
>>4306443
>>4306498
>>4306651
"I've yet to interact with them myself, but I've gathered some good information on them.” You explain, starting off as you gather your thoughts. “I know that the subject-” click “-from earlier played a part in their development. According to the administrator, it was his ‘investor’ who suggested the organization of the lambda labs. Their research was kickstarted by the subject, who provided the facility with a substantial quantity of exotic matter necessary for their research.”

Click, “And what do they research?” Your handler quickly asks.

The migraine pulses, lighter and duller than usual.

“From the information I could collect, their focus of study seems centered on the space between universes.” You tell, trying to recollect the manner Dr. Kleiner explained it to you. “According to the science team’s explanations, there are numerous universes beyond ours. WIth exotic matter, they were able to enter the space between them. They found a sort of border world on the other side. Everything they pull back from there is studied by the other research teams.”

“And are the other research teams aware of this?” He asks, with a touch of authority in his voice.

“Only the highest ranking members of the science teams are made aware of the Lambda teams research.” You explain. “Otherwise, no. Many members of the anomalous materials labs were not aware that their samples, including yesterday’s samples, were sourced from the lambda labs expedition into the border worlds.”

“Understood, continue.”

“It seems that the origin of the invaders is within this space somehow.” You start, leading into the report of Dr. Freeman. “There’s been discussion among the science team of sending someone to the other side. Doctor Freeman was never captured by the ambush teams backup, and is still moving around the facility.”

“I’ve heard.” Your handler intejects.

“He’s apparently heading towards the Lambda laboratories. He seems to be their main candidate for an expedition into the border worlds.”

“Understood. We’ll try and establish communications with the group. Once we do, we’ll provide you with a frequency.” Your handler says again. You hear the small click once again, and your handler’s professionalism drops slightly. “I want you to know you’re doing good work out here. Will there be anything else?”

>Try asking about the status of the nuclear device. Of course, he might not give you that much information.
>Request air drops, extractions, or anything else that might require a helicopter.
>Ask to speak with Dr. Vance for some time.
>Write in anything else you’d like to request or say.
>>
>>4306695
>Try asking about the status of the nuclear device. Of course, he might not give you that much information.
Do we need to "secure" it?

>Request air drops, extractions, or anything else that might require a helicopter.
We have Dr. Breen to exfiltrate later, and some people to send through the teleporter. Any objections?

>The migraine pulses, lighter and duller than usual.
Soon my pretty.
>>
>>4306695
>Try asking about the status of the nuclear device. Of course, he might not give you that much information.
then
>Request air drops, extractions, or anything else that might require a helicopter.
>>
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>>4306707
>>4306741
>Try asking about the status of the nuclear device. Of course, he might not give you that much information.
>Request air drops, extractions, or anything else that might require a helicopter.

You take a short pause, listening for anyone near to the door. When you’re absolutely sure you’re clear, you ask, “What’s the status of the nuclear option? Do you need me to assist with it?”

“We don’t have anything for you yet, but we’ve made good progress.” He begins. “I won’t explain how, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few possible locations.”

Your daily commute took you past a missile yesterday, you would guess that’s at least one of the locations, however with the knowledge that the aliens can extract a person's memories, you doubt your handler will disclose that, or even appreciate you mentioning it.

“Is there any consensus on whether or not we intend to initialize them?” You ask, keeping your voice low.


“No, it’s a last resort, and we intend to keep it that way. We’re especially not going to do it before we can at least talk to Black Mesa.” Your handler explains. “But we have made preparations.”

The emphasis he places on preparations is enough to tell you what he means. Cover stories, media expulsion, local evacuations. It would be impossible for this whole situation to simply never escape, but they can create a false narrative, especially one far more sensible than the rather insane truth of alien invasion and subsequent government cover up.

“Understood.” You respond, not hearing your handler continue. You already know this is a topic he doesn’t want to discuss, so pushing it with twenty questions will only cause him to distrust you. “What’s the availability of the Black Hawks?”

“The skies have only gotten worse since you last requested a landing.” Your handler explains. “But your capture of the ISA operative bought us some leeway. Like you suggested, we negotiated them into giving us one of their own pilots. Their own helicopters, their own markings, their own callsigns, it’s one free ticket in. Use it wisely. Anything else, and you’ll have to sell to me. As well, if you really need a care package, I’ll be willing to parachute it down tonight, but you’d have to fish it out of wherever it lands. Not gonna do the same with data however, just equipment.”

“Understood.” You say, silently assessing your options. Keep in mind, all but the ISA marked helicopter will come at night.
(cont.)
>>
>>4306886
(cont.)
(Choosing more than two will increased the threshold for each by 1. One flight will be granted to you regardless of roll. After rolling, you can choose to retroactively drop certain options to reduce other thresholds.)

>Organize an equipment drop. Feel free to specify if there's any equipment you have interest in. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 12. You can retroactively lower the threshold for this to a 10 by choosing to have it parachuted in from high above, but you will have to manually retrieve it.)
>Organize a full information drop, giving you a better understanding of military and alien positions in black mesa. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
>Organize and exfiltration of your allies in the infirmary. Due to the nature of the situation, each person requires a team to assess and decontaminate. The more you want to extract, the more staff you put at risk. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 10 if you choose to just extract one person, a 11 for two, a 12 for three, 13 for four.)
>Have a team patrol around the mesa out of the line of fire, waiting to meet the teleporting infirmary staff.(Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 12.)
>Request the aid of a specialized team to help you collect samples and take readings in the laboratory. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
>Request the aid of a black ops team to escort the infirmary staff to the teleportation lab.(Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 13.)
>Write in anything you might want to request, and I’ll tell you what the roll would be.
>>
>>4306911
Sorry for the delay between posts, thought I had clicked autopost when I walked away from the computer.
>>
>>4306911
FIRST and FOREMOST.
>Request the aid of a black ops team to escort the infirmary staff to the teleportation lab.(Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 13.)

>Organize and exfiltration of your allies in the infirmary. Due to the nature of the situation, each person requires a team to assess and decontaminate. The more you want to extract, the more staff you put at risk. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 10 if you choose to just extract one person, a 11 for two, a 12 for three, 13 for four.)
Extracting one Dr. Wallace Breen into CIA custody.

And lastly
>Organize an equipment drop. Feel free to specify if there's any equipment you have interest in. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 12. You can retroactively lower the threshold for this to a 10 by choosing to have it parachuted in from high above, but you will have to manually retrieve it.)
The best Hazmat Suit the CIA can give us, Potassium iodide, Prussian blue, Diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid, and...Diazepam. Parachuted in near the objective.

I'll explain my logic for this particular order:
It saves the largest number of lives possible, while leaving an exfiltration option for Breen if they refuse to personally pick him up. It would be wasteful to spend the guaranteed flight on Breen alone. I also do not want to extract Kleiner into CIA hands, because of how trusting and open the man is. The Hazmat Suit gives us a CIA-grade suit that, while probably not nearly on the tier of the HEV suit, will be useful. We don't know exactly how many intact hazmat suits will be available, so having extras sent in will be useful if we want to bring allies in with us. The first three medications are all to reduce the long-term detriments to radiation exposure, while the last one is to help us with seizures and muscle tremors.
>>
>>4306973
I'll support this. We were never given a number for the hazard suits available.

>>4306914
It would also help if they could dump a few more grenades. I want to ask for a bullet proof shield but that's probably too bulky. But if it's not an issue then that too.
>>
>>4306973
>>Organize and exfiltration of your allies in the infirmary. Due to the nature of the situation, each person requires a team to assess and decontaminate. The more you want to extract, the more staff you put at risk. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 10 if you choose to just extract one person, a 11 for two, a 12 for three, 13 for four.)
>Extracting one Dr. Wallace Breen into CIA custody.
>Implying this oughta cost anything

Breen is a chief intelligence target and should be extracted with impunity. Bringing up his attempts to dodge questions and difficulty to interrogate on site should make it clear he needs to be interrogated at the FOB.
>>
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>>4306973
Do keep in mind, if you want to make use of the drop in the AM labs, you will have to wait a short while for them to drop. You're perfectly free to do that, and it wouldn't be too long, I just want you guys to be aware. Since you do have the ISA leverage, and you're not asking for too much overall, I won't make you wait all the way until nighttime like the last drop on the apartments.
>>4306994
You do make a fair point, so I'll say you won't loose Breen on the roll, but it'll still add another point to the next threshold since it is still taking up resources for the CIA.
>>4306978
While I wouldn't stop you from asking for a ballistic shield, I will tell you that just carrying it around would take some penalties. They're pretty big and bulky.
>>
>>4307099
Yeah, I'm fine with waiting a short while for the drop. We still have things to do around the infirmary, and every break we take is good for our character's physical and mental health.
>>
>>4307099
More grenades, rubber bullets, some big boy rounds for the anti-tank gun, and lots of MRE bars. Food!
>>
>>4306973
I'd like to make an addendum to my own post.
Add Phenylpiracetam to the list of requested medications.
>Phenylpiracetam reverses the depressant effects of the benzodiazepine diazepam, increases operant behavior, inhibits post-rotational nystagmus, prevents retrograde amnesia, and has anticonvulsant properties

It'd be really good to have this if we're getting Diazepam as well. And, I will admit, I'm curious if the amnesia-prevention effect will be useful against mind-wipes.
>>
>>4306973
>>4306978
>>4306994
>>4307116
>>4307314
>>4307434
I'm decently busy today, and haven't gotten much sleep. There might not be many posts today. Sorry.

"The first thing I need to ask for is a team. There's a group of civilians here, for more than I can exfiltrate with just a helicopter." You start. "However the facility reportedly features teleportation experiments that are viable for human use. They're planning to head there, let's give them an escort."

He takes a heavy breathe, then says, "Fair enough, I'll have a group follow them through, and give them a meeting place once their out of dodge."

"Thank you." You say. "I'd also like to organize an exfiltration for the administrator of the facility, a man named Wallace Breen. He's been showing reluctance to participate in field interrogations, and I'm hoping you can get more out of him on the base. The man has to be a treasure trove of information."

"Yeah, done." He responds quickly, with a tone that says "That's more like it!" You hear a click, and he says "That's the kind of people we want to see brought home. More like that and you're next assignment will have you undercover in Palawan." Something clicks again, and your handler says, "Continue."

"Finally, if it's possible, an equipment drop." You ask. Quickly, and calmly, you list off a set of requested supplies. Hazmat gear, some anti-radiation agents that will give you a bit of protection beyond the limited, concealable supplies in your poisoning kit, and of course, seizure medication.

Four players roll a 1d6. The top three rolls will be added into a 3d6+2.
>>
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Rolled 3, 1, 2 = 6 (3d6)

>>4307499
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4307499
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4307499
Here's hoping for 13.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4307499
BIG
MONEY
SHOT
>>
>>4307499
Were we supposed to make the four rolls for all 3 choices, or will we make two more sets?
>>
>>4307564
I was just gonna go with one roll, and apply that to all thresholds. Two of three of them are guaranteed anyway.
>>
>>4307565
Makes sense. Which ones were successes and failure?
>>
>>4307657
Did we even decide on a second person to exfill?
>>
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This might be the last post of the day. I think I'm coming down with something.
>>4307657
>>4307518
>>4307535
>>4307551
>>4307561

"We can get you the squad, and I won't argue with you about the administrator, that's a high value target." Your handler explains. "But there really isn't any hazardous materials gear in the facility? They probably have whole teams related to cleanup. We also just gave you munitions. What do you need Diazepam for? The other two fly-ins are already stretching resources at the moment."

"I don't know what state that equipment might be in. There's a good chance staff have already taken it for their own survival, or its been hit in the crossfire." You respond. Deciding not to risk your credibility by explaining the seizures to your handler, you make up on the spot, "As well, one of the civilians I've got as a field connection is suffering from some sort of reaction to the invasion. If I can prevent those, it will help me operate out here."

"And the extra munitions on top of all of that?" Your handler asks. "We're stretched for resources over here keeping this shit quiet and away from the public. Are you sure you need them?"

"I wouldn't be asking if I didn't think it was necessary for the country. Some of these extradimensional ape-men have arms larger than my chest." You say, chuckling slightly as you do.

"Alright." Your handler says, sighing. "But you'll have to fish it out yourself. We'll parachute it in for you, but there's no guarantee it will land by your feet, prepare to fight for the thing."

"Understood." You respond.

"Is there anything else?" Your handler asks.

>Hang up. Now that you have some time out of danger, maybe you should talk to someone you trust about the crazy shit you saw in the vortessence.
>Hang up. Scout out the entrance to the Anomalous Materials storage, get a peak at what awaits you down there.
>Hang up. Go talk to the party. It might be helpful to take some time to organize things.
>Hang up. Take some time to make Breen and the security team aware of the incoming CIA.
>Ask to speak with Dr. Vance for some time.
>Write in anything else you’d like to request or say.

>On second thought, you want to request something else to be flown in or out. (Pick one from below. You'll have to roll again for whatever you ask for, with the earlier modifiers applied.)
>Organize a full information drop, giving you a better understanding of military and alien positions in black mesa. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 16.)
>Organize and exfiltration of your allies in the infirmary. Due to the nature of the situation, each person requires a team to assess and decontaminate. The more you want to extract, the more staff you put at risk. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 12 if you choose to just extract one person, a 13for two, a 14 for three, 15for four.)
>Request the aid of a specialized team to help you collect samples and take readings in the laboratory. (Roll 3d6+2, pass on a 14.)
>>
>>4307657
>>4307667

Since you gave highest priority to the black ops team, that's your gift from the ISA. >>4306994 made a fairly reasonable point in saying that the CIA doesn't have much reason to deny exfiltration of Breen, if you had asked for anyone else alongside him I would've applied the roll to him as well. So since it was lowest priority, the roll is for the supply drop. A 12 puts it below the threshold for landing it in, above the threshold to parachute it in.
>>
>>4307686
>Hang up. Find a quite place and investigate the headache presence thing that's been tapping away all through out the past posts since we've been in the infirmary.
>>
>>4307686
>>Ask to speak with Dr. Vance for some time.
We need him on standby once we hit ground zero. And once inside we'll have no communications.

Best set the plan of action now.
>>
>>4307686
>Ask your handler about the scope of the resonance cascade. Have there been any reports of creatures teleporting in outside of the Black Mesa facility?
then
>Hang up. Take some time to make Breen and the security team aware of the incoming CIA.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d3)

You guts deserve at least one more update today. Sorry for how slow its been in recent days.
>>4307691
>>4307698
>>4307935
Tie breaker roll. 1 for >>4307691, 2 for >>4307698, and 3 for >>4307935

>Ask your handler about the scope of the resonance cascade. Have there been any reports of creatures teleporting in outside of the Black Mesa facility?
Since this is something that can be answered quickly and won't have any negatives, I'll say you ask this regardless of roll.
>>
>>4308261
Noice
>>
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Rolled 1 (1d3)

>>4307691
>>4307698
>>4307935
>>4308261
"Yeah, I'm curious how far this catastrophe has spread." You state, following up with, "Is it contained to Black Mesa, or have there been any sightings in the surrounding areas? Anything in the nearby towns?"

"Any civilian presence has already been evacuated, so there's no need to worry about videos or pictures leaking." Your handler responds. "However there have been sightings of the intelligent life in the surrounding dessert. The invaders don't seem to have an interest in anything outside of Black Mesa, so it seems they intend to use the place as a beachhead for future operations once they kick us out."

"You said the intelligent life hasn't been spotted out there, correct?" You inquire. "What about non-intelligent life? Will we have to worry about the alien wildlife?"

"It seems so." Your handler states. "We've got satellite imagery of roaming packs of hound-eyes, large green tentacles coming out of the ground, the whole damn inter-dimensional zoo. The DoD's reserves have been keeping it contained as far as we can tell, but it'll be a bitch to clean up when this is over. Even the nuclear option might not get rid of everything."

"Alien hunting season." You quip, before moving on. "I was also hoping I could talk to Dr. Vance, is he available?"

"Yeah, he's just in his cell at the moment." Your handler says, pulling his head away from the microphone. "Gauss." He shouts, at someone distant. "Redirect this call to Vance's cell."

"Yes sir!" A distant voice responds, and then your met with silence for a moment. The sound of a microphone being handled by clumsy hands plays, before you hear "Alyx honey, let me see that!"

"Hello?" Says the voice of Dr. Vance.

"Hey Dr. Vance!" You respond, putting on an optimistic tone.

“Hey Ms. Oppenheimer!” He responds, trying his best to return the sentiment. It’s easy to see that the old man is not as upbeat at the moment as he tries to be. The future is uncertain, he just lost his wife, and now that he's kept in an undisclosed location, he’s had time to really take it in. “How’s everything going?”

“Well, I’ve managed to make it to the infirmary, and Kleiner is still here, safe and sound.” You disclose. “There’s a plan in the works to get them out as well, although as usual it required everything short of twisting a bureaucrats arm to get it put into action.”

“Oh thank god.” He says, exasperatedly. “At least someone up there is answering my prayers today. What can I do for you?”
(cont.)
>>
>>4308299
(cont.)
(Most of these branch into further options, so please only pick one for now.)
>Ask him how he and Alyx are doing in CIA facilities. Personalize with them a bit before asking them anything.
>Ask him if he’s been able to accomplish any work at the base, if he’s learned anything new.
>Ask him if he can do a favor for you. He has access to the database on request. Perhaps he can request the email database, allowing you to see the image from yesterday morning. Of course, you don’t know what possible consequences it might bring for you or him.
>Ask him if he knows about a blue-suited “investor,” that was walking around the lambda labs this morning.
>You owe it to him to tell him what you learned about Dr. Breen’s “investor,” and the part he played in the anomalous materials labs. Then ask him what he knows about it.
>Start discussing the anomalous materials labs, starting with what it might look like in there.
>Write in.
>>
>>4308301
>Start discussing the anomalous materials labs, starting with what it might look like in there.
After this call I wonder if it's possible to negotiate with the Vortigaunts or Vortessence to see if they can be convinced to help stop the other aliens. If they could agree then perhaps a deal could be struck: marines will use less than lethal rounds and other tools to disable the slaved vortigaunts before freeing them, and they'll do what they can to kill all the other hostile creatures and prevent their spreading past the facility to the best of their abilities.
>>
>>4308299
Did we already give our handler the call sign of the ISA boy?
>>
>>4308301
>Ask him if he’s been able to accomplish any work at the base, if he’s learned anything new.
He does have access to that database, so hey, he might have done some digging into the data collected prior to the universe freaking out.
>>
>>4308301
>Start discussing the anomalous materials labs, starting with what it might look like in there.
>Ask him if he’s been able to accomplish any work at the base, if he’s learned anything new.
>>
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>>4308301
>Ask him if he’s been able to accomplish any work at the base, if he’s learned anything new.
>Ask him if he can do a favor for you. He has access to the database on request. Perhaps he can request the email database, allowing you to see the image from yesterday morning. Of course, you don’t know what possible consequences it might bring for you or him.
>You owe it to him to tell him what you learned about Dr. Breen’s “investor,” and the part he played in the anomalous materials labs. Then ask him what he knows about it.
>Start discussing the anomalous materials labs, starting with what it might look like in there.
>>
>>4308407
>>4308436
>>4308712
>>4308731
"Well, I'm heading into the anomalous materials labs pretty soon.” You start. “I was hoping I could get an idea of what it might look like by now. I’ve already heard about the risk of radiation, but what else might I see down there?”

“Death.” Vance exclaims.”I don’t think you should really return to that place. Please stay safe down there.”

“I will.” You respond reassuringly, “But I need to know what the environment might look like. I have to get down there, so the best you can help is to tell me what I might face down there.”

“Well… if you have to... “ Dr. Vance pauses for a moment, and you can hear his foot tapping nervously below the microphone. “It was a damn inferno down there when we escaped. Everything had some sort of fire. It’s probably burnt through by now, but if it’s hit any of our samples, the radioactive material could’ve been aerosolized.”

Vance doesn’t need to explain the horror that could bring. When they trained you for poison detection, the CIA showed you the effects of someone who ingested radioactive particulates. “You don’t need to worry about that Eli.” You reply. “I’ve already sourced some protective gear. Is there anything else I should be watching out for?”

“Well, if you’ve met with Izzy, I’m sure the man’s already talked your ear off about how the cascade works.” Dr. Vance says.

“Yeah.” You confirm. “He’s told me all about how much easier it is to teleport right now.”
(cont.)
>>
>>4308813
(cont.)
“Well, you can forget about all of that in there.” Dr. Vance responds. “The labs are the worst place you could ever invade from. They’ve been giving me satellite readings of the facility, it’s way too unstable to hunker down in. Things will be teleporting in from all over the damn cosmos.”

“Would that mean I might be pulled through?” You ask, worried.

“I’d doubt it.” Vance responds. “It takes a hell of a lot more energy to get someone out of our universe than in. But I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything about what’s going on in there.”

“Well what have you figured out so far? You’re a bright man Eli, and from what I’ve heard you’ve got good data being given to you. I had the CIA download the laboratory databases right before the test, what have you learned from that?”

“I’ve been more focused on Alyx and…” He lets out a deep breathe, “Every other crazy damn thing that’s happened because of this test. But I’ve looked over the data.” He groans for a moment. “What the hell were we thinking.”

“It’s not your fault Eli.” You say, comfortingly. “You certainly weren’t the one making the decisions here. Besides, hindsight is 2020.”

“But this was information that we had before the test. We picked the worst possible conditions for this damn test.” He explains sorrowfully. “The whole universe was ready to rupture right inside that test chamber yesterday, but everyone was afraid of the administrator, and to the same extent, even Dr. Keller.”

"What do you mean the universe was ready to rupture?" You ask.

"The conditions were just perfect for a resonance cascade in the test chamber." He explains. "We were already pushing the machines past their limits, but if that wasn't bad enough, we just put aside how unstable the test chamber space had become."

>Get him to shift the blame to Dr. Breen, the same way you had Kleiner do it. (3d6+2, pass on a 15)
>Explain what you’ve learned about Dr. Breen, how he was pushing so hard because of a shady “investor’s” expectations.
>Wait, Dr. Keller was pushing for the test as well? Ask him the details about the scientist’s behavior.
>Explain what you’ve learned about the possibility of intelligent interference. Perhaps that had something to do with the conditions of yesterday's test?
>You heard Dr. Magnusson went down, back into the laboratories, where might he be, and why would he go back down there?
>Write in.
>>
>>4308814
>Wait, Dr. Keller was pushing for the test as well? Ask him the details about the scientist’s behavior.
>>
Just to be clear with you guys, I decided not to bother with,
>(Most of these branch into further options, so please only pick one for now.)
The two most voted for options were just merged together.
>>
>>4308814
>Wait, Dr. Keller was pushing for the test? Ask him the details about the scientist’s behavior.
We shouldn't say "as well" since he doesn't necessarily know Breen was pushing for it.
>>
>>4308824
>>4308906

“I had heard from Dr. Kleiner that Keller was acting oddly.” You start, leaving out any reference to your mutual friend, as Kleiner mentioned it came after a conversation with the “investor.” “What was his behavior like? Why was he pushing it against safety features?”

“He just seemed to fall back on the administrators orders.” Eli explains. “Everytime anyone brought up the risks, he said “The administrator was very specific.” Eli sighs. “We all swore it was strange, but he threatened to have our grants redirected towards Magnusson’s projects, and that had Izzy furious.”

“Did anyone attempt to confront him directly, or did he respond like that even to passive remarks?”

“Most were all rather passive.” Vance says. “Magnusson wasn’t on the chopping block so he didn’t bat us an eye, Freeman doesn’t have the seniority to try anything, Kleiner was too focused on the whiteboards, and Alyx was taking up too much of my time to get involved in lab politics. That left Rosenberg to fight it. Everyday you’d hear the man, at some point, come storming down from Dr. Keller’s office talking about how he was insulted, and not given any real explanation. We all thought it was strange how a scientist was throwing those around instead of a bureaucrat, but it got so common it just became normal.”

“You mentioned that the conditions of the test chamber were poor?” You ask, hearing him affirm it quickly. “Had Dr. Keller seen that? Did he have any part in the science team not noticing or ignoring it?”

“We had all played a part in ignoring it. I didn’t even give it much thought until now, when I was able to look through the databanks. That test chamber was a resonance cascade waiting to happen.” Vance says. “It had never seemed relevant before. We just adjusted the calculations accordingly, and continued on. By god, I remember even when Freeman was in there, some of the scientists were noting discrepancies.”


>Get him to shift the blame to Dr. Breen, the same way you had Kleiner do it. (3d6+2, pass on a 15)
>Explain what you’ve learned about Dr. Breen, how he was pushing so hard because of a shady “investor’s” expectations.
>Ask if Dr. Keller had been talking to a mysterious man in a blue suit.
>Dr. Keller was trying to shift funding to magnusson? What does Magnusson do in the anomalous materials lab?
>Ask about these “discrepancies” he’s noticed looking through the old databases. Could they have something to do with the same interference Kleiner found after the tests?
>Ask him if he can do a favor for you. He has access to the database on request. Perhaps he can request the email database, allowing you to see the image from yesterday morning. Of course, you don’t know what possible consequences it might bring for you or him.
>Write in.
>>
>>4309009
>Dr. Keller was threatening to shift funding to magnusson? What does Magnusson do in the anomalous materials lab?
>Ask about these “discrepancies” he’s noticed looking through the old databases. Could they have something to do with the same interference Kleiner found after the tests?
>>
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>>4309009
>>Dr. Keller was trying to shift funding to magnusson? What does Magnusson do in the anomalous materials lab?
>>Ask about these “discrepancies” he’s noticed looking through the old databases. Could they have something to do with the same interference Kleiner found after the tests?
>Dr. Keller was trying to shift funding to magnusson? What does Magnusson do in the anomalous materials lab?
>Ask about these “discrepancies” he’s noticed looking through the old databases. Could they have something to do with the same interference Kleiner found after the tests?
>>
>>4309009
Hows your leg by the way?
>Dr. Keller was trying to shift funding to magnusson? What does Magnusson do in the anomalous materials lab?
>>
>>4309015
>>4309028
>>4309062
https://youtu.be/vy3KBgT1dRw
"You mentioned that Dr. Keller was threatening to hand all the funding over to Dr. Magnusson's projects. What exactly does he do?" You ask. When you were undercover, you didn't know the man for his work. Your day to day experiences with Dr. Magnusson involved signing him in when he came early, and his complaints about the security staff when your replacement was late.

"Arne was always as much of an engineer as he was a scientist." Dr. Vance explains. "He always focused a lot less on the theoretical side of studies in the anomalous materials labs. He focused a lot more on finding out how to control the samples lambda sent us. Not to mention the wild inventions he'd always have up on the whiteboards."

"Well what was he trying to develop?" You ask, partially hoping to figure out why the man returned back to the Anomalous Materials labs despite being in the safety of the infirmary. "Anything useful?"

"There aren't any prototypes down there, no. Just a load of ideas titled from Magnusson A to Magnusson Z" Vance jokes, chuckling to himself. "No, he was just more short sighted than the rest of us, focusing more on the properties that could be used today, rather than practical teleportation that doesn't require a whole hydro-electric dam or nuclear power plant for power. He probably paid for our department as well, considering how much of his work got sent to experimental weapons. " Vance sighs. "Arne was rash, but he did good work. I hope he's still safe."

"I didn't know him like you did, but if it means anything, I do too. If I can help him get out of here, I'll try my best." You say reassuringly. "So back to what you've learned from the database. What exactly do you mean by a discrepancy. You said that the test chamber was "ready to rupture?"

He sighs. "I shouldn't lecture you with the details, I'm sure Kleiner has already yammered your ear off." He takes a moment to gather his thoughts together. "To put it simply, theirs a threshold we had to match for a resonance cascade. It still took mountains of energy to reach it when we did the test, but it was lower than usual. I can only begin to imagine why it was like that, but it was for a few days. Most of us just had assumed it was a natural downturn, and adjusted the calculations accordingly."
(cont.)
>>
>>4309212
(cont.)
>No Dr. Vance, you do want to be lectured. You have a duty to your country to understand this situation as best as possible, therefore you're gonna sit through this physics lesson like a true American!
>Explain to him the possiblility you've discovered involving intelligent interference, is it possible that was the reason for the strange conditions?
>Perhaps not as many people as Vance thinks didn't notice the circumstances. You know Dr. Breen and Dr. Keller were pushing for it, and many people follow them. Psychology took over from there, and people selectively ignored it.
>You do know someone who used to work in weapons testing before she ditched her cover. What kind of work did Magnusson create, and how effective would it be at killing aliens?
>Get him to shift the blame to Dr. Breen, the same way you had Kleiner do it. (3d6+2, pass on a 15)
>Ask him if he can do a favor for you. He has access to the database on request. Perhaps he can request the email database, allowing you to see the image from yesterday morning. Of course, you don’t know what possible consequences it might bring for you or him.
>Write in.
>>
>>4309214
>Perhaps not as many people as Vance thinks didn't notice the circumstances. You know Dr. Breen and Dr. Keller were pushing for it, and many people follow them. Psychology took over from there, and people selectively ignored it.
If we go down there looking for the doctor, would there be anything we should look out for? Oh how do we use the ceiling turrets?
>>
>>4309214
>Ask Dr. Vance if he ever met a certain man with stilted speech and a blue suit.
Afterwards:
>Explain to Vance what you know of him so far, and ask why he might have taken Aizan's necklace.
It'll be rough for the man, bringing it up again, but this has been bothering me since thread one...why take the necklace? What, exactly, does Eli know about this man?
>>
>>4309214
Dunno about the lecture... that might take too much time. We just need to understand to the extent that matters to us...

>Ask Dr. Vance if he ever met a certain man with stilted speech and a blue suit.
Afterwards:
>Explain to Vance what you know of him so far, and ask why he might have taken Aizan's necklace.

>Ask him if he can do a favor for you. He has access to the database on request. Perhaps he can request the email database, allowing you to see the image from yesterday morning. Of course, you don’t know what possible consequences it might bring for you or him.

We can save that image for when we're in a safer space.
>>
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Since today is wednesday, I intend to take a break from the quest to catch up on my regular responsibilities. I might give you guys an extra update if I want to procrastinate on my work. Sorry if it's been slower than before.

Feel free to throw around any criticism or complaints you have, I like to know where I can improve.

Updates should resume tomorrow if all goes well. You guys are all a joy to write for, so I look forward to it.
>>
>>4309745
Where are we on the timeline of events? Has Freeman arrived at the Lambda Labs yet? Is Race X due to invade soon?
>>
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>>4310326
Currently surface tension, getting close to the start of OpFor's "Welcome to Black Mesa," and "Forget about Freeman."

Race X is coming relatively soon. Prepare for unforseen consequences.
>>
>>4310352
>Surface tension
Haha, oh shit.
The military is really ramping up now. That's when they start bombing surface facilities, right?
>>
>>4310362
>The military is really ramping up now. That's when they start bombing surface facilities, right?
The surface was under military control by that point, so yeah, the bombings have been going on for some time. You're just not the militaries center of attention like Freeman was, being that you're more subtle and difficult to track than everyone's favorite knight in bright orange HEV armor.
>>
>>4310352
Give me thunderbug babies. It's time to dual weild the Hivehand and Thunder gun.
>>
>>4310691
Create a genetic hybrid of the two.
>It shoots lightning bees
>>
>>4310691
>>4310774
Shockroach and hivehand are good and all, but anyone who doesn’t think the spore launcher is the best alien weapon is beyond saving.
>>
>>4310691
>>4310774
>>4311324
All of you are wrong, because the barnacle is a grappling hook, and grappling hooks are the best utility in every situation.
>>4309240
>>4309331
>>4309702

“Eli have you ever had any experience with a man in a blue suit and tie? Sunken eyes, a very off putting speech impediment?” You ask, trying to gauge his awareness.

With the exception of the distant sounds of alyx wandering around the small holding cell, the microphone is silent.

“I- I think I know who you’re talking about Gabby.” Is all he says. Whatever he knows, it's not something he wants to hide from you, it's just something he wants to ignore, like a patient's earliest schizophrenic hallucinations.

“How much do you know about him already?” You respond calmly, attempting to not allow him to ignore the truth.

“Well he…” Eli pauses, gathering his thoughts before saying, “This is gonna sound really crazy.”

“Trust me Dr. Vance, anything you could tell me won’t be able to top the list of today’s insanity.” You explain. “My job is to find things that sound crazy.”

Vance takes a deep breath, and begins to explain. “Yesterday, right before we were about to do that test. I had seen him before around the office. I had assumed he was just another one of Breen’s damned bureaucrats that always tried to hover over us during a project. We all heard him talking to the other scientists, trying to interrogate them while they worked. He’d pull a few of them aside sometimes.”

“Did he ever talk to you?” You ask gently. You notice that the sound of Alyx playing has stopped.

“Yes. While Freeman was in the test chamber.” Vance exclaims. “I had thought I had finally gotten clear of the administration in the high security areas. Then while the rotors were powering up, I heard him in my ear.” Vance pauses for a moment, gathering himself before he whispers them into the microphone, low enough so Alyx can’t hear. “Prepare for unforeseen consequences. I turned around, and there was nothing there. I thought I was crazy for a while.”

“I can definitely say that you aren’t Dr. Vance.” You reaffirm. “Whoever this guy is, he’s very real. He’s got Breen in his pocket, and effectively kick-started the entire project.”

“What do you mean?” Eli asks. “Kick-started the project?”
(cont.)
>>
>>4311460
(cont.)
“You already know Black Mesa gets its exotic matter from the border worlds, but they can’t get to the border worlds without xen crystals, right?”

“And I’d guess you’re curious where they started?” Vance finishes.
.
“Don’t read me too well Dr. Vance, most of my head is classified.” You say with a clear joking tone. “But you’re right, and I managed to find out too. They were supplied by the man you heard as an investment earlier in the facility's life. Whoever this guy is, he’s got a lot of resources. He seems to be everywhere as well, hovering around Freeman while perfectly avoiding the military’s attempts to capture him. I wouldn’t doubt it if someone told me he could teleport.”

“By god.” Dr. Vance exclaims. “It’s starting to sound like he’s a ghost.”

“Yeah, and I have to ask you something about him that might be difficult for you to tell me.” You explain, just hoping to give him a moment to prepare himself.

“It’s alright Gabby.” Vance quickly responds. “I’m not hiding anything anymore. I’m sick of Breen and keeping his secrets.”

“It’s not about Black Mesa. It’s about your family.” You respond. “Azian and Alyx specifically. I just want you to be prepared when I ask you.”

“What happened with my family?” He quickly responds, sounding somewhat defensive. “What do you want to know about them.”

“They haven’t done anything, I don’t intend to throw around accusations or interrogations.” You say, easing him into the question. “But when I went back to clean up Azian’s remains for you, the you heard in the test chamber was standing over her.”

Eli pauses. The receiver is totally silent for a moment, your radio making no noise except for the slight background static that you typically wouldn’t notice over the sound of dialogue. “What- what did he do to Azian?” He’s not taking it like you would expect. He sounds surprisingly mad, in a way that breaks his typical gentle tone.
(cont.)
>>
>>4311461
(cont.)
“He didn’t hurt her, but he took her necklace off of her body, and then left.” You explain. “I couldn’t find where he went, it was like he disappeared, just like the military’s reports. However when I came back upstairs, I noticed the necklace he took on her neck.”

Vance stays silent, you hear the sound of the microphone being placed on a mattress, and then Vance distantly says, “Alyx, honey, come over here.”

You can hear the sound of a four-five year old girl walking towards Dr. Vance. “Where’d you get this?” Eli asks. “Did a stranger give it to you?”

There’s a slight pause, likely as Alyx looks down to her neck. “Hmm-hm.” She says, affirmatively.

“Why did he do that, can you remember?” Vance asks.

“Advance payment.” She responds, using a phrase you doubt she knows the meaning of.

Eli stutters for a moment, then says “Advance payment? Payment for what honey? Did the stranger ask you to do anything?”

“Who?” Is all Alyx says.

“The stranger.” Eli responds. “The one who gave you the necklace.”

“It’s mommy's necklace.” She replies, not understanding what her father is talking about.

Vance pauses, then you hear him mutter, “Yeah baby. It is. Hold on to it for me.” He returns pretty quickly to the radio, talking very quietly, but with a wrath you didn’t know he was capable of. “What the hell did he do to my daugher?”

>Tell Dr. Vance that you have no idea, because while you can’t disclose why, you have reason to believe that this person operates through time as well.
>Take a few minutes to explain how the “investor” apparently avoided his “restrictions” by making a deal with you as a child. Perhaps he did the same with Alyx for some reason?
>Don’t disclose anything more, tell him you don’t know what the man wants or why he gave the necklace to alyx.
>Try convincing Dr. Vance not to worry about it, Alyx is just confused and traumatised, and doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It’s probably fine.
>Additionally, warn Dr. Vance that the CIA’s psychologists are going to be talking to Alyx more often. This is something you should notify your superiors about this.
>Write in a response.
>>
>>4310774
>It shoots lightning bees
That's beautiful

>>4311324
What's that?

>>4311460
You.... you can actually use one of those? Oh my god. The possibilities are endless!

>>4311461
>>4311463
>Tell Dr. Vance that you have no idea, because while you can’t disclose why, you have reason to believe that this person operates through time as well.
>>
>>4311463
>Tell Dr. Vance that you have no idea, because while you can’t disclose why, you have reason to believe that this person operates through time as well.
>Additionally, warn Dr. Vance that the CIA’s psychologists are going to be talking to Alyx more often, for her own good. We swear to not mention "His"(G-Mans) influence.

I think Eli deserves our confidentiality. However i'm not against mentioning to our handler that in general, there may be some time travel shenanigans going on. We could cite the donation of the first exotic matter, Gmans appearances and dissapearances, and the correlation between low stability of time and space as proof.
>>
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>>4311461
>xen crystals
OH SHIT WE KNOW!

>Take a few minutes to explain how the “investor” apparently avoided his “restrictions” by making a deal with you as a child. Perhaps he did the same with Alyx for some reason?
>Additionally, warn Dr. Vance that the CIA’s psychologists are going to be talking to Alyx more often. This is something you should notify your superiors about this.

It tracks with advanced payment. Additionally, we'd ask Vance's permission for that. I mean technically we don't need to, but I'm sure he wants to know too, and they'll be gentle with her while checking for anything she may need to be treated for.
>>
>>4311467
>>4311501
>>4311516
“I don’t know Eli.” You say. “It’s clear he’s done something Alyx can’t remember, and I don’t think what it is is going to be a simple answer. I can’t tell you why, but I have reason to believe that our subject is operating beyond linear time.It’s impossible to tell what he wants.”

“Good god.” Vance exclaims angrily. “It’s bad enough that everything starts creeping into earth, but it has to get into my daughter’s head as well?”

“It seems like everywhere I look has been toyed with by this guy.” You respond. “If it makes you feel any better, knowing is probably half the battle.”

Vance lets a sigh run through gritted teeth. “Don’t worry, if I see him touch her, by god, I don’t know who or what he is but you better hope your bosses find him before I do Ms. Oppenheimer.”

You honestly didn’t know this side of Dr. Vance existed up until this moment. You didn’t think he was capable of threatening to kill something that… might be human. It’s not something you can find unreasonable either, given that with the exception of a few of his fellow scientists, Alyx is one of the last things he has left. He was already willing to trek through a war-zone for his family’s sake.

“We’ll do our best to find him. I can promise you that.” Is all you can really say, given how elusive this subject seems to be. “There’s clearly a lot going on behind the scenes here, but he’s on our home turf right now. The more he tries to play people, the quicker he’s gonna run into the CIA’s scarier segments.” It’s the kind of motivational talk that certainly sounds cool, and brings the spirits up, but doesn’t actually mean very much, carefully avoiding making any untenable promises or revealing information.

Vance stays silent for a moment, likely watching closely over his daughter. “Thanks Gabby. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to spend a little bit of time alone with Alyx.”

“Before I go, I think I should mention that Alyx should probably be seeing one of the CIA’s psychologists.” You explain. “More often than she already does, at least. It’s up to you, but it’s clear who-ever’s toying with us has messed with her head.”

“That… that sounds okay.” Vance responds. “As long as I can make sure no-one hurts her.”
(cont.)
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>>4311623
(cont.)
“This is for her own good as much as it is ours, Eli.” You assure. “I promise you they’ll be gentle with her, and if you don’t want me to, I won’t mention who influenced her.”

“No that’s alright.” Vance says. “I want whoever did all of this to be found.” He explains, but pauses for a second in between sentences, pulling away to say, “Just a minute baby.” Eli continues, “You can tell your superiors if you need to.”

>Hang up on Dr. Vance, go tell your superiors about Alyx’s encounter with your mutual friends.
>Hang up on Dr. Vanec, but don’t tell them about the suited subject. Just tell them that you want them to psychologically monitor the girl more.
>Hang up, and write in anything else you’d like to say to your handler.
>Actually, just one more moment Dr. Vance. You need a favor. Ask him to request the email server you downloaded before hanging up.
>Actually, just one more moment Dr. Vance. Write in analyst things you want to ask or request from Dr. Vance before he returns.
>>
>>4311626
>Hang up, and write in anything else you’d like to say to your handler.
HEADACHE TIME
find a pillow
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>>4311626
YO what happened to Dr. Wythoff. I want that Doctor to surivce throughout all the shit we go through in Black Mesa and beyond. He's a OG nigga
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>>4311671
He's with the rest of the party in the infirmary.
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>>4311656
+1
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>>4311656
>Hang up on Dr. Vance, go tell your superiors about Alyx’s encounter with your mutual friends.

Can we ask our handler for the email server data. We want to compare some of the data with what we find in ground zero.
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>>4311626
>Hang up on Dr. Vance, go tell your superiors about Alyx’s encounter with your mutual friends.
It's a show of good faith; they were almost definitely monitoring our interactions with Dr. Vance anyways.
>>
Sorry for the delay here.
>>4311656
>>4311694
I'm gonna ask you to hold up on this write in for now, because it'll involve some rolls, and does tie in to some of the other options you have around the infirmary. I'll throw it in the below prompts where it'll fit a bit better with the given options and have its threshold rules.
>>4311699
>>4311820
"Alright. I'll let them know." You say in response. "Take care of yourself there. We'll get you somewhere normal when this is all over."

"Dear god, sitting in this cell feels like a lifetime already." Vance exclaims. "I hope I see you again Gabby, be careful in there."

After you both have said your goodbyes, you return your frequency to your handlers. "Oppenheimer, anything else you need?"

"Yes." You respond, returning to the flat, expressionless voice of an agent talking to her handler. "The exfiltrated physicist's daughter, Alyx Vance, is being manipulated by the subject-” click from the other side of the call,“-we discussed earlier, the same one with Breen in his pocket."

"The kid? She's... what, four, five?" Your handler responds confused. "What is anyone gonna do with her? She's just a kid."

"Whoever our subject is, he seems to be trying to manipulate every variable he can." You respond, occasionally stuttering as your head pulses in the sterile hospital lighting. "I can't tell exactly what he did to the girl, but I'd recommend you have a child psychologist talk to her regularly."

"Fair enough.” Your handler responds, writing something down. You hear another click. “I’ll get her down for a schedule. The kid’s traumatized anyway, and a psychological analysis will make it easier to make sure the kid doesn’t talk to her friends about daddy’s job blowing up the universe.” He sighs. “I should’ve probably called one in earlier.” Your handler pulls away from the receiver, and shouts to some staff member across the room. “Hey get administration on call, I need a list of their child-psychologists.”

The staff member says something inaudible from that end of the room.
(cont.)
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>>4312049
(cont.)
“I know that, but I want a list. I’m going to pick the psychologist myself.” Your handler shouts back. “They’d send me Joseph Mengele if I let them decide. I just want a list, so I can request someone specifically who won’t hurt the child.” There’s a pause for a moment, as the staff member responds affirmatively. “Thank you.” Your handler responds, before returning back to your microphone. “Alright, I should have a shrink for the kid by the end of the day. This call is getting dangerously long, and I don’t want the military tracking a suspiciously encrypted signal, if you don’t have any last requests or reports. , I’m going to cut you off.”

>Hang up. Now that you have some time out of danger, maybe you should talk to someone you trust about the crazy shit you saw in the vortessence.
>Hang up. Scout out the entrance to the Anomalous Materials storage, get a peak at what awaits you down there.
>Hang up. Go talk to that vortal test subject you brought in earlier. You know he has an interest in anomalous materials, and being a vortigaunt could always help you out with your own head issues.
>Hang up. Find some place quiet, where you can focus, and try and find what the hell is going on with the migraine. (Roll 3d6+2, get the full picture on a 16+, get something vague on a 12+)
>Hang up. Go talk to the party. It might be helpful to take some time to organize things.
>Hang up. Take some time to make Breen and the security team aware of the incoming CIA.
>Write in anything else you’d like to request or say.
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>>4312053
>Hang up. Take some time to make Breen and the security team aware of the incoming CIA.
Last thing we need is a misunderstanding resulting in a firefight.
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>>4312053
>Hang up. Take some time to make Breen and the security team aware of the incoming CIA.
>>
>>4312053
>Hang up. Take some time to make Breen and the security team aware of the incoming CIA.
>>
>>4312142
>>4312144
>>4312177
“Negative.” You respond to your handler. “I’m good to go. I may delay recon into the test chamber until the drop arrives. Is that alright?”

“It’s your choice.” Your handler responds. “Just remember, you have no idea what’s going on down there. I can’t blame you for wanting some good protection, but things involving nuclear physics tend to get worse when you leave them alone.”

They’re usually at their worst however, when someone is dying of radiation poisoning. Still, he brings a fair point. You know from Kleiner and Vance that the place is a mess of incoming teleportation, and that may only grow over time.

Saying your goodbyes to your handler, you wince as you look up from the radio. Your head is kicked by the ever present migraine as your eyes get another glare into the stark white light of the hospital. Moving out of the small, solitary room you’re in has you peek out, instinctively avoiding leaving with others nearby, lest even small leaks lead to further suspicion. Still, now that you have a plan of action and additional resources for the civilians, you need to inform what’s left of Black Mesa’s administration to the plan, less you end up with a sudden conflict, and unnecessary delays, or at its worst, a firefight. While obfuscation has its place, communication saves lives.

The floor you’re on is void of Dr. Breen, but still features some of his administration. Empty doctor’s offices have been commandeered into “administrative” offices where, without any lasting chain of command remaining in this crisis, the bureaucrats bide their time. Moving downstairs has you once again among the gruesome experiments done on the poor souls of the marines who were unlucky enough to be caught by the headcrabs.

“We cannot allow these experiments to continue, doctor.” One of the staff says. “The medical facilities at the other end of the complex are already reporting their subjects to be hostile.”

“Subjects?” The other doctor responds. “These are patients, inflicted with a parasite. You’re a doctor man, help them.”

“The infirmary near the lambda complex had one of these patients break free from its restraints on the MRI, maul a scientist, and shatter the observation glass before harassing the scientists. The subject even had a rescued marine running for his life, and that was one of his own former comrades!” The scientist shouts in return as you move past him.

The migraine kicks with a steel tip at the mention of a “rescued marine” in one of the other infirmaries, and you have no idea why. Continuing your search through the lower levels of the infirmary, among medical laboratory equipment, you finally find Dr Breen.

“Oh. You again.” He says, sounding disappointed. “Can I help you Ms. Oppenheimer?”
(cont.)
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>>4312401
(cont.)
“I’ll just be a moment Administrator.” You day in this flattering, respectful tone that a man like him probably lives off of. You quickly direct him to the side, where less people can hear you, and quietly tell him about recent developments. “Firstly, I got you your ticket out of here. The CIA is eager to tag and talk to someone like you, you’re an information gold mine, so it’s easy to convince them to fly in here.” You explain.

Suddenly his look towards you of resentment and irritance turns to appreciation with a hint of smug. “That’s… wonderful!” He says. “Please, do understand that you have my gratitude. I apologize if our talks earlier seemed hostile.”

“I’ve also requisitioned a team of black ops to help the infirmary staff escape.” You add. “The plan is to get them all to the teleportation labs, then out of harm's way.” You explain.

“Thank you. It truly does allow me to breathe freely knowing that someone within the federal government is not intent on slaughtering us.” Dr. Breen responds. “Of course, there is still the matter of explaining to the staff that I will not be leaving alongside them.”

>Dr. Breen is a charismatic man, he can figure it out himself.
>Dr. Breen can figure it out himself, just make sure he doesn’t mention you.
>Tell Dr. Breen to tell his staff that it was your decision, not his, taking the blame for any hostilities caused.
>Tell Dr.Breen to just keep it as vague as possible, don’t even mention the exfiltration if he doesn’t feel he has to.
>Write in a response.
Apologies if this one seems janky. Due to unforeseen cconsequences, I was forced to write it on my phone.
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>>4312405
Typed in my trip wrong.
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>>4312405
Cool let me just read this
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>>4312405
>Tell Dr.Breen to just keep it as vague as possible, don’t even mention the exfiltration if he doesn’t feel he has to.
>>
>>4312405
>Dr. Breen can figure it out himself, just make sure he doesn’t mention you.
>Maybe he can try taking personal credit for it, say that he called in some favors with the people black mesa sold some of their experimental tech to.
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>>4312471
Support
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>>4312405
>Tell Dr. Breen to tell his staff that it was your decision, not his, taking the blame for any hostilities caused.
He was the HVT, and our superiors would be pissed if we didn't put him on the extraction helicopter. But we won't abandon the rest of the personnel, which is why we have a pickup ready for the teleportation labs plan.
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>>4312462
>>4312471
>>4312596
>>4312752
I'm sorry if this one is a little janky as well, currently performing exploratory computer surgery.

“Try to take your own credit for the action.” You respond. “You’re a well connected man, and Black Mesa acquires its funding from fulfilling department of defense contracts. People won’t question you calling in contacts within the government.”

“Yes, but you’re forgetting my dear that people will question my intentions if I choose such an easy route out of the facility.” He says, bringing up a decent point. Still, you can’t lift the full weight here, and Dr. Breen is a charismatic man who can deal with these things himself.

“You’ll have to figure that out yourself Dr. Breen.” You respond. “I’d like to help you out more, but I’ve got my own issues, and I can’t reveal my presence to every staff member I meet. Whatever you tell them, don’t mention me.”

“You understand that many of my staff are already tense. Suddenly finding out the same government trying to massacre them is now offering extraction will be jarring.” He responds. “They won’t accept vague answers. They're more likely to accuse me of being a collaborator with those trying to exterminate us.”

“You’re a charismatic man Dr. Breen. You’ll be able to figure something out. There are reasons why you might be pulled away, let them know there are factors beyond your control if you have to, just don’t blow my cover.” You explain. “Let them know that they’re being escorted by the best of the best. These guys coming to save yo, are the ones who clean up the messes that even special forces can’t handle. They’ve got the civilians in good hands. You’ll be able to convince them to go with them, that’s not hard. Even if they think you’re ratting your way out of the trek, you can always rebuild that reputation.”

“I understand the situation I am placed in well enough Ms. Oppenheimer. I intend to call another meeting to discuss the plans, and in the interest of maintaining good faith with your superiors, I intend to keep your cover intact.” Dr. Breen responds, seeming rather irritated. If he keeps your secrets, his staff aren’t going to like him for it. There’s a natural resentment that grows towards the person who gets a free helicopter ride out, while the rest have to trek through a warzone. Still, Dr. Breen’s reputation is a low priority right now.

“Then you should be able to handle it with ease.” You respond. “We’re trying to save lives here, and that puts being informed over reputations. I’ll leave you to it.”

“Thank you.” He simply responds. “I should go and gather the administration.”

With Dr. Breen informed of his oncoming situation, and your identity secure, you consider some of your other options in the infirmary.
(cont.)
>>
>>4312776
(cont.)
>Now that you have some time out of danger, maybe you should talk to someone you trust about the crazy shit you saw in the vortessence.
>Scout out the entrance to the Anomalous Materials storage, get a peak at what awaits you down there.
>Go talk to that vortal test subject you brought in earlier. You know he has an interest in anomalous materials, and being a vortigaunt could always help you out with your own head issues.
>Find some place quiet, where you can focus, and try and find what the hell is going on with the migraine. (Roll 3d6+2, get the full picture on a 16+, get something vague on a 12+)
>Go talk to the party. It might be helpful to take some time to organize things.
>Write in anything else you’d like to say to Dr. Breen before he leaves to discuss evacuation.
>>
>>4312777
>Go talk to that vortal test subject you brought in earlier. You know he has an interest in anomalous materials, and being a vortigaunt could always help you out with your own head issues.
The Xen controller is dead isnt it?
>>
>>4312777
>Go talk to that vortal test subject you brought in earlier. You know he has an interest in anomalous materials, and being a vortigaunt could always help you out with your own head issues.
>>
>>4311699

>Can we ask our handler for the email server data. We want to compare some of the data with what we find in ground zero.
I know I'm realizing this way too late, but I did intend to give this to you and forgot to even mention it. Any sort of data that you've found and wouldn't be prevented access by your handler I'll say will be accessible from a computer connected to the CIA.


>>4312792
>>4312937
You allow Breen to collect his teams, meeting up to discuss how they plan to work alongside the black ops team, and how they’re going to convince the staff to place their trust in the same government who, only a branch over, decided to clean up this mess by eliminating everything that has an intent to move. You understand Breens concerns, trying to get the infirmary staff to trust the government while not telling them the full story is a difficult task, but the doctor is nothing if not manipulative.

Moving up the stairs and away from the science teams experiments on the parasitic creatures, and the attempts to free their disfigured victims, you navigate by room number, until you find Dr. Kleiner’s “Room 306,” a small, emptied out Doctor’s office with a vortigaunt inside, who you can see through the small glass slit of a pane in the door. On the door is a chart, labeled “Feeding attempts,” with a list of separate foods, “Meats, earth vegetables, alien fungi, wheat products, dairy products,” all crossed off.

The only feeding attempt not currently crossed off is, “Alien wildlife and parasites,” featuring a small, comical drawing of a headcrab right next to it, placed snugly between two loaves of bread. Another note also features, “Perfect disposal method for these disgusting pests, make medical labs aware.” with “-Magnusson” signing it.

As you step inside, you can see that the subject's restraints have been cut away at some point, and a metal tray with what you can only assume is the inedible portions of a headcrab left behind by the vortigaunts successful feeding. The creature, sitting patiently in the corner of the room likely seeing the world through its brother’s eyes, suddenly comes to attention when it sees you entering.

It seems to recognize you immediately, approaching you without fear. It mutters something unintelligible in its alien tongue, and holds itself in what you can only assume is a reserved stance, leaving its claws clasped together.

Looking to your right, you see how much free time the creature has had. The blood from the head-crab meal it ate, yellow and sticky, has been draped across the walls to create both human and inhuman figures. Without some time to inspect it, you don’t know what the hell it means.
(cont.)
>>
>>4313013
(cont.)
>Find somewhere to rest your head, and try to find the creature within the migraine. Considering the mastery the creature has over the mind, if you can get to it, it’ll be able to talk to you as long as the creature wants. (Roll 3d6+3, pass on a 13.)
>Maybe you should have Dr. Kleiner in here to help you with this, a lot of the research done on the creature was done with his aid, so he’ll know a lot.
>Maybe you should have Dr. Guttman in here to help you. The man’s a neurologist who’s seen a picture of your brain, it might be helpful having him on hand to observe, or help you.
>Before you do anything, take a look at the vortigaunts strange mural standing behind him.
>Write in a response.
>>
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>>4313014
>Before you do anything, take a look at the vortigaunts strange mural standing behind him.
>Write in a response.
Boop the alien
>>
>>4313014
>Before you do anything, take a look at the vortigaunts strange mural standing behind him.
>>
>>4313014
>Before you do anything, take a look at the vortigaunts strange mural standing behind him.
>Maybe you should have Dr. Guttman in here to help you. The man’s a neurologist who’s seen a picture of your brain, it might be helpful having him on hand to observe, or help you.
>Find somewhere to rest your head, and try to find the creature within the migraine. Considering the mastery the creature has over the mind, if you can get to it, it’ll be able to talk to you as long as the creature wants. (Roll 3d6+3, pass on a 13.)
+
BOOP THE SNOOT
>>
>>4313014
>>Find somewhere to rest your head, and try to find the creature within the migraine. Considering the mastery the creature has over the mind, if you can get to it, it’ll be able to talk to you as long as the creature wants. (Roll 3d6+3, pass on a 13.)
>>
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>>4313031
>>4313073
>>4313335
>>4313414
Sorry for how slow its been lately, but I need to take a break tomorrow. I do want to update as often as I used to, I love writing for you guys, but with normality slowly returning I have to actually do things again. On sunday, I'll probably start a new thread.

https://youtu.be/blFOsaaRczI
The creature's apparent art-work is reminiscent of an old tribal painting, the kinds of things early societies would draw on walls as, and with the limited amount of materials the creature had, it has a similar degree of detail and size. With nothing but unspent time, the alien clearly attempted to draw more, but you can see the clear points where he gave up, realizing his lack of materials.

You’re not sure if it’s for this reason, or others, that you’re not entirely sure what you’re staring at. Massive mounds of scratches and scribbles lie next to grand, blocky shapes, fire oozing off of them, letting smoke billow into the sky in the form of scribbled circles, that turn into scratches once the creature’s makeshift paint runs out.

The centerpiece focuses on what you can clearly tell is intended to be a representation of a man, staring up at some sort of bean-like shape. At one end of the shape is a circle, with numerous featur