Chapter One – The Night

The train was a simple monorail maglev which used to belong to the now extinct Trans Continental Railways Corporation. It was composed of only two cars with the engines and machinery spread out along their bottom side. Signs of wear and tear where visible on the outer fuselage of the cars, however Arya made sure that the inside was kept in pristine shape; she got that from her grandaddy.
Big long tubes of LED lighting where layout out inside the cars, providing more than enough illumination at night. That wasn’t needed in Black Mesa as the big UV lamps of the caverns would be a good lighting source regulating and simulating day and night cycles. The lighting system was designed to follow the outside’s sun and lunar cycles, and it did so with incredible precision.

With base camp all set up, Arya sat at one of the big cushions she had spread out on the back side of the first car, and started reading gran’s journal while taking notes on her own diary. Even after all the preparation before coming here, there was still a lot more to prepare. There were a lot of variables, a lot of unknowns to take into account.
In spite of all reports claiming that the facility was abandoned and empty, there was no way of knowing that for sure. A lot was still unknown from that era a hundred years ago. For all she knew the place could still have aliens hiding inside. She could even find some surviving Vortigaunt; nobody knew exactly how long they lived.

Even with the sound of the generators and engines in the reactor room this was still a creepy place, one could almost hear the ghosts of the past. Every now and then a sound would break the constant humming from the engines. Probably a mouse our some other type of small animal. Fortunately Arya was not a jumpy type of person, she didn’t scare easy, so these sounds were quickly dismissed.
With everything set to start the exploration in the morning, it was time to sleep, get some needed rest after the long journey here. Arya stretched her legs inside her sleeping bag and used her backpack as a pillow.

A big metal noise woke her up. No animal could have made that noise; not a small one at least. Still a bit dazed she stood up and peeked out the windows of the train. It was almost pitch dark outside, all the UV lamps where turned off simulating the night time and only a few white-blue lamps where on to give the sensation of a half-lit moon. She went for the big lantern on her backpack, but decided against it. – “I need to let my eyes get accustomed to the darkness.” – she thought.

There it was again, that metal noise, like a big metal door creaking and closing. It was not too close, but it was definitely in the train station somewhere. She turned on her personal shield, picked up her plasma rifle and made her way out of the train into the platform. One quick look on either side revealed nothing moving or out of place. She walked slowly but steady to the end of the platform always scaning around her and stopped listenting attentively to every sound, waiting for the door again.

Nothing. Just the faint humming of the engines, an old fan was whirilng away in a ventilation duct above her and to her right, making a noise similar to a card on a bike wheel. Probably some piece of debris stuck on the fan. Arya decided to return to the train and try to sleep some more. Not that she had to, but she loved waking up early.

The night was uneventfull until she woke up the next morning.

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