Article: Half-Life 2 Story Speculation
Author: Bite Feedback: Comments/Discussion
Date Added: August 7th, 2004 Print: Printable B&W Version

This article is one amalgamation of several theories on the HL2 storyline and background. The views are entirely my own, and, unless stated otherwise, everything is speculation based on all available material. It's important for continuity that you read the whole thing in the given order, because I will always backtrack to previously mentioned facts. It's also a big read, so you might want to put the kettle on. Several theories were brought up by other forum members, so I'd like to thank Mooreberg, Sprafa, Azza and any others I might not have mentioned. To the speculation!

Resonance Cascade
First I will list the events that unfolded in Black Mesa. I refer to this article about the entire HL storyline, so here I will limit myself to the facts pertinent to the speculation.

First of all, it's pretty clear that the powers that were in the Black Mesa Research Facility wanted the resonance cascade to occur. A letter in the Half-Life: Decay (PS2 Half-Life game) states that the Administrator stressed the importance of the specimen that was used during the experiment, even though it showed unexpected spectral analysis fluctuations during preliminary testing. Also, the anti-mass spectrometers used during the test had a capacity of 80%, and they were pushed to 105% for this sample.

The scientist personnel in Black Mesa was experimenting with teleportation technology. The Borderworld, which we refer to as 'Xen', was discovered by accident. In order for a teleportation event to take place, Xen was used as a relay. Several survey teams were sent to this Borderworld to gather specimens to be tested upon back in the facility. Ethics weren't involved, the scientists went to some lengths to get conclusive analyses on the specimens. A new method of aiming the teleportation field was later devised, and the first method of using the Borderworld as a focal point was abandonded, along with the survey teams that lost contact.

"We've assured the administrator nothing will go wrong."
When Freeman pushed the sample into the beam, it triggered a resonance cascade, causing the two dimensions (Xen and Earth) to merge, effectively bringing Xen lifeforms into the complex. This rift was later closed by Dr. Keller, who managed to trigger a resonance reversal, effectively closing the gateway between Xen and Earth. But the damage had been done. The facility was infested by alien lifeforms which were hostile to humans.

But it's important to note that Xen lifeforms weren't hostile by nature. They simply acted on instinct after being suddenly teleported into a strange world they had no bearing of. But this is only the case for certain lifeforms. There isn't one 'Xen' race, it's a collective of several races. The "wildlife", such as Headcrabs, Houndeyes and Bullsquids act on instinct and simply do what they do. Then there are the sentient beings, such as the Vortigaunt, Controllers and Alien Grunts. The Vortigaunt (or Alien Slaves) were the standard workhorse of the collective. Around their wrists and neck were shackles, indicating they were under the control of a powerful entity.

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