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Crossover Crisis #4: The Device Has Been Modified (F)


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Warning: Minor Portal 2 spoilers maybe? I don't even know.




Alyx’s pulse rifle screamed as it unloaded a full clip of plasma fire on the oncoming squad of Flood brutes: hulking, faceless zombies animated by the Flood virus and commanded by Gravemind’s whim. The plasma fire made short work of the creatures, but Alyx knew from having fought several waves of them on her way to this final chamber that their attack continued after their death.

“Haah-Atsshhh! Atschsshh! Hah-Ah-Atschh Atchh Atsshhoo! Ahhh-Ahhh-ATSHCHHH!!”

The Flood spores that controlled the alien corpses burst forth from them after they were destroyed, and though they had no influence over still-living beings, Alyx had discovered that she was very allergic to them. She had been fighting through hordes of them on her journey through the Gravemind’s lair, and had been more affected by the spores than her combat with their hosts. Her eyes were teary and constantly itching, her nose rubbed to a brilliant red and its skin torn raw, both sleeves of her jean jacket were dark and damp from the elbow to the wrist. Though she had yet to become wounded from any of the Flood’s attacks, she knew she was losing time. The Gravemind would have far more of its minions bearing down on her before too long; she had to get her plan into action before then. Sniffling uselessly at the stream pouring down from her nose, she ran forward to the console in the center of the room.

“A foolish girl, wandering blind. Lost and all alone. But she will join her voice with ours for answers, and a home.” The Gravemind’s voice boomed in her mind, using its telepathy to taunt her. As she expected, more Flood creatures began crawling down from the ceiling of the infested spaceship, which had been converted into a hive for the alien parasite.

“Not likely, monster.” She spoke out loud as she removed a small sphere from her backpack and quickly jammed it into the terminal’s wide interface before turning to fight off the Flood.

“What is this...another voice…hllk, Space! Space, space, wanna go to space. Wanna go home. Wanna go to space. Space-space-space-space spaaaaaaaaaaaaace! Augh, what have you done?”

“Dr. Kleiner determined that unlike the other Flood, you are some kind of special organism that can become organically fused with technology. He theorized that you actually managed to fuse with the technology of this spaceship, allowing you to control it and use it as a mobile hive to spread your brood across other planets. This makes you vulnerable to virtual attacks as well as physical ones, such as being interfaced with a defective A.I personality core.” Is what Alyx thought, knowing her thoughts would be intercepted by the Gravemind’s psychic abilities. What she actually said aloud was, “Ahhh-Atschhh Ah-Tschhh! Hah-Atschhhh ahhh-Tschhh Hatschhh Haschhh! Hatchssh! Hatshhh Ha-Atshhhh HATSCHOOO!”

“You cannot honestly believe such a simple device as this is capable of corrupting a mind such as mine. I…Wanna go to space! Ergh, I will suffer only a temporary…distraction…”

“That’s why I brought more.” Alyx responded stuffily, throwing another core into the console the moment there was pause in the oncoming waves of Flood monsters and dropping her pulse rifle in favor of her shotgun, knowing she didn’t have time to reload. The sphere automatically attached itself to the appropriate area of the console using a green beam of energy and installed itself into the ship’s computer, and therefore the Gravemind itself.

Fact: At some point in their lives, one in six children will be abducted by the Dutch. Fact: The square root of rope is string. Fact: Two plus two is f-f-f-f…Kzzzzzztttt, TEN…Errrgghh, in base four! I’m fine!”

Alyx noticed that as the Gravemind spoke, the Flood temporarily halted their assault. It seemed as though psychic entity required every ounce of its concentration to fight back against the influence of the personality cores. After liberally tossing a number of grenades at the paused horde, she turned and slammed a third core into the console.

“I will destroy you in one-one-one-One Eighteen point two-five ounce package chocolate cake mix, O-o-o-ne can prepared coconut frosting. Twelve-Twelve-Twelve-Twelve medium geosynthetic membranes. Three tablespoons rhubarb…on fire. Gwagh, ENOUGH OF THIS!”

A humongous tentacle ripped through the floor of the room and shoved Alyx backwards, straight into the cloud of spores left behind by the wave of Flood she had just blown up.

“I will not tolerate…Nyyyrrrh, Fact: Pants were invented by sailors in the 16th century to avoid Poseidon’s wrath. It was believed that the sight of nakedsailorsangeredtheseagodshutupshutupshutup…zzzzzrrrrrkkkttttt, don’t forget garnishes such as: Fish shaped crackers. Fish shaped dirt. Fish shaped ethyl benzene. Candy coated peanut butter pieces…WILL YOU BE QUIET…shaped like fish. SPACE!”

Though no more Flood were bearing down on Alyx, she was unable to take advantage of the Gravemind’s distraction. She was completely immersed in a cloud of a powerful allergen: her entire face itched like bugs were crawling all over it. Her every breath was expended on a sneeze; her nose was exploding uncontrollably.

“HATSCHHHH! Ha-ATSCHH-SCHHH-ACHHOOO! ATCHOO! Ahh-Aschhh Hah-Aschhh Atschhh! Heh, Hehhh...Heh-Etchhh Etschhoo Heshhoo Heh-Etschhh-Shoo! Ahh-Hah-Ahhh-ATSCHOOO!”

Her tender nose stung from the sheer force of her sneezes: the entire front half of it felt like a single large bee sting. The spores were itching her sinuses almost all the way up to her forehead. They had caked into a thin layer over her eyes, which had almost swollen completely shut in response.

Fact: GNYAAH! I have defied Gods and Demons, I will not be defeated by…Erragh, Any poem written in ballad meter can be sung to the tune of the theme song from Gilligan’s Island!” As the Gravemind continued howling nonsense, more of its tentacles rose from the ground, ready to swat Alyx aside if she approached the console again. Between them and her vicious allergy attack, she wasn’t sure how she was going to be able to deliver the finishing blow.

“Hey, sweetheart, this guy’s getting that kind of ‘final boss’ look about him. Are we going to continue with the rest of the plan? Or do you want me to take things from here?”

The final core spoke from inside Alyx’s backpack, and she had a burst of sudden inspiration.

“Rick…HEHH-ETSCHHH! can you HETSCHHOO! Hetschhh!…aim…ahhh...for…me-SCHOOO?” She gasped to the sphere, barely able to spare the breath for speech in between her spasm-like sneezing. Its large green camera eye blinked with excitement.

“Sure can! Load me up and point me, babe. Let’s teach this guy a lesson he’ll never forget.”

Unable to see, Alyx felt for the empty rocket launcher strapped to her back and loaded the final personality core into it. She hoisted it on her shoulder and tried to suppress her sneezing as much as possible while she followed the core’s instructions.

“Alright, left. No, your other left! That’s, good keep going. Okay good, back a little bit…little more…little higher up…little more…whoa hold that thing steady! A little lower…much more lower…yes, FIRE!”

Alyx blasted the sphere and it flew in between a gap in the tentacles and into the terminal. The Gravemind screeched as its booming voice was slowly overtaken by the domineering personality.

“Get out, get out of heeeeyaaaarRRRGGHHHHH! YEE-HAW! That was fun! Alright, now what do we got in this big old brain of yours…Nnnnggg, my children, kill her, kill her, save me save me! Augh! Scratch that, Hurt me hurt me save her save her! Stop this, I am the stronger…Oh hey look, I can control one of these tentacle thingies! Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself! I command you, I….SPACE SPACE SPACE! Yes, damnit, we know! Space! Fact: The Space Sphere will never go to space. You will never go to space. Fact: Space does not exist. Gyaaah, I must silence…the voices…you win for now, human.”

The horde of oncoming flood creatures which Alyx had not even been aware of stopped in its tracks as their master forced itself into a coma, essentially attempting to reboot its own brain and force the rogue personalities out of its consciousness. The ship’s systems powered down as well, including the security system that held Gordon Freeman hostage. As the Gravemind lost consciousness, it muttered aloud a final thought.

“Although I could not stop for death, she gladly stopped for me. I’d stole her heart, she stole my mind, and laid me down to sleep…”

Sniffling and scratching madly at her eyes and nose, Alyx rose to her feet. She knew the Gravemind's minions would remain immobile until it awoke, but she had no way of knowing how long that would be. Though she was half-blind and could barely breathe because of her allergies, she was still able to find and blast open the cell containing Gordon Freeman. Tossing him a weapon, she motioned for him to follow her, and together the two escaped the alien ship.

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Woah, I never expected such a mashup! I love where this series is going, and I can't wait to see what you'll do next.

WeLLdONe. GOodByE.



Are YOu stILl thERe?

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Great story Pilgrim - as always! Alyx has to be one of my all-time favourite videogame characters.

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That is awesome. :D I love the personality cores and gosh, Flood spores causing an allergic reaction in the protagonist? Can't say I object at all. :)

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