Arya still couldn’t believe her eyes. Right in front of her in the middle of the tunnel, a portal was open. It had an oval form, black on the inside and shining on the edges.The bright blue light around the edges was raw energy escaping from the portal and dissipating on the spot. She counted at least six combine soldiers in full body armour stepping out and establishing a perimeter around the portal. A few seconds later the portal collapsed on itself and disappeared.
Arya remained hidden behind a concrete column on the right side of the tunnel. She could hear them communicating among themselves, but was unable to understand them, barely making out some words like “search”, “perimeter”, “intruder”, but not much else. Even so, it was perfectly clear that somehow they knew she was in black mesa. “How the hell did they knew?” – She asked herself.
After the portal vanished, the Combine started scaning the area and they would eventually find Arya if she didn’t act. She was looking around trying to find somewhere to get away from there, but the only way out was a side tunnel behind her or deeper into the tunnel, right into the Combine’s hands. It would have to be the latter since the side tunnel was in plain sight of the Ccombine. With a bit of luck and the element of surprise on her side, she could maybe, just maybe, take all of them down.
The lucky part was that they weren’t carrying weapons apart from the electric battons, however, they still had their armour, which could resist a few shots from her rifle.
Arya set her rifle to three round burst, leaned out of the concrete column, aimed at the head of the closest soldier and squeezed the trigger once. A loud triple explosion echoed in the tunnel with a bright light coming out of the rifle’s muzzle. Instant headshot. Blood spurted from the back of his head and the soldier fell to the ground like a sac of potatoes without making any sound other than the thud of his body hiting the ground. In that same split second, she hid back into the column and the remaining soldiers took up defensive positions behind some debris that where scattered throughout the tunnel. She could hear them drawing and arming pistols and at least one rifle.
At that point she figured she was doomed. Why hadn’t she noticed they were carrying? But anyway there was no way out without being noticed. She cursed everything while trying to devise a plan to survive. The tunnel was silent again and Arya kept very alert to any footsteps approaching her. She could hear them communicating with each other, working out the strategy to take her down. She realized that they thought she wasn’t alone and that alone would stop them from assaulting her position, which was a very big bonus for her.
Drawing a small snake camera she positioned the fiber optics tube just out of her hiding spot and watched the small black and white screen figuring out their positions. One was crouched beihnd a cement blocker that must have fallen from the ceiling, she could just make out the top of his head turning left and right. Another two where behind a set of stairs that led to an upper walkway running along the entire left side of the tunnel. Probably a service walkay. The last two where nowhere to be seen.
“Shit, shit.. Where are they?” – She put away the camera and decided on her plan.
She took out a small explosive spider. She had learned to make them when she was younger, her mother told her thet she used to make them with her father. At first they were just made with simple explosives. Tiny robots, the size of her hand that would go on a pre-determined route and exploded when reaching their target. As she became older so did the spiders evolve, up to a point that now they didn’t have any conventional explosives. Intead they release a massive energy shockwave, wich would propel everything in it’s radius with an amazing force, shattering glass, breaking down doors and smashing bones on every living being unlucky enough to be inside the blast area.
With the spider now programmed to reach the two soldiers on the left, Arya put it gently on the ground and turned it on. The tiny spider started moving very fast towards the left of the tunnel, jumping over or crawling beneath obstacles and almost undetected. Halfway through one unseen soldier saw the spider and after stubmling a bit, managed to grab the spider. He was trying to find the killswitch, confident that the spider would only blow up upon reaching is targer. A big energy blast threw him and another soldier against the side walls of the tunnel. Both of them landed with a heavy crunch sound; no armour could widstand the force of the shockwave. These spiders where Arya’s own recipe. Custom made to explode when someone tried to tinker with them, even if they haven’t reached their programmed target.
Three Combine soldiers left, time to go berserk. Arya guessed that with the death of the first one and that explosion, the remaining soldiers would be frightened enough, reducing their reaction time and incresing the chances of them paralising with a berserker charge.
She stepped out of her hiding spot screaming and started running towards the stairs on the left side. The soldier on the right side, seeing this took a second or two to react, but eventually stepped out from behind the blocker and aimed his 9mm pistol at Arya. As he was going to pull the trigger, three holes opened up in his chest, blood gushing out from both from and back of his body. While running to the left she was already aiming to the right. Arya stopped and rolled to the right as both soldiers stepped out of the stairs and started shooting at her, missing miserably. When she regained her footing, kneeling, she let out two three-round bursts from her rifle, one hiting dead center on a soldier and the other on the second soldier, in the belly and legs, severing the femoral artery. They wren’t dead, but they would be in seconds.
The silence returned to the tunnel and Arya sat down to take a breather. She knew she couldn’t stay here for much longer. Other Combine forces would come. Better armed and better prepared.
Arya had to keep moving.