Alyx had stopped moving. Already the alien grass had begun to nuzzle up against her prone form, as if taking her into its embrace and making her part of the landscape forever. Gordon fell to his knees beside her, the gravity gun rolling away in the light Xen gravity. Her hair fluttered gently in the breeze but her eyes didn’t open.
“Congratulations Mister Freeman,” the G-man said, stressing his syllables.
He walked towards Gordon, avoiding the fallen carcass of the hivemind. Gordon reached for the gravity gun but it vanished before his fingers could reach it. He stood, crowbar in his hands, ready to face the cause of it all.
“Please Mr Freeman, there is no need for dramatics. My employers have learnt the answer to their question.”
The G-man paused to straighten his tie. Gordon could feel the EEV suit doing its best to numb his wounds. His feet felt heavy, the crowbar taking all his strength to keep up. He doubted he had another swing left in him.
“Such a pained life,” the G-man said, nodding at Alyxs body. “So short. To have loved and lost so much.”
The G-man took his briefcase and placed it on the ground between himself and Gordon, running one long finger across the tumblers of the combination lock. It hummed quietly before a portal tore into reality above it.
“My employers are not without gratitude Mr Freeman. You may return to Earth, of what remains since your departure,” he said, referencing the crater that now constituted much of Central Europe. “Or, you may return.”
With a wave of his hand, Gordon saw through the portal. He saw a young girl laughing in the corridors of Black Mesa. He saw colleagues and friends, people who had been lost to him, ever since that fateful day. He saw them all and they were happy, with not a care in the world for what was about to happen.
“If you choose to stay, my employers will consider this experiment concluded and leave your race in peace to repair the damage caused to this timeline.
“The alternative, Mr Freeman, is to go back. At which point all changes will be reverted. To the closest approximation, you understand. Quantum theory is not an exact art, as this little… endeavour has taught us.”
The G-man stepped back, each footstep robbing his physical form of matter until only his outline remained.
“Time to choose Mr Freeman. Time to choose.”
Prompt originally posted by alien_infiltrator429 on reddit and received 11 upvotes.