Before you read:

I'd like to introduce you to my blog! I've decided to log my exciting adventures so my friends and family (Hi Dave & Lisa!) could keep up on me. Because of the way blogger organizes the posts, you might want to visit the Blog Archive on the side bar in order to read the first posts. We wouldn't want you to see any SPOILERS!

Visit my Flickr page to see all of the photos in this blog, plus more!

Monday, March 16, 2020

My Sleeping Beauty

Good morning, Gnomegoers! I have fantastic news, but I will try to hold back before you've heard how we got here!

Last we talked, Kilgore, Dr. Freeman, and myself were ascending a large cavern deep within the mines in search of the extract. While Kilgore is short on words, he's quite a formidable fighter. We witnessed the alien creature take on four or five antlions all on his own! I don't think I could do that if I only had one eye.

After discovering a faulty elevator, Gordon and I made our way into the den of the mother Antlion. I apologize, but Gordon and I found ourselves running for our lives, and forgot to snap any pictures! Well, there is one. Gordon's over my shoulder, demanding I post it. I didn't think it was very funny at all, considering our circumstances. There were bloody pools full of dead bodies in holes very similar to this one. Gordon is laughing harder as I type. Sometimes I don't like that man at all.

Being an experienced adventurer like myself, you grow accustom to seeing gruesome things like that. I believe we've seen over twenty skinless corpses, and countless other dead bodies, including people we know. The last stretch of the mine was no break from those images, either.

A shame that this poor fellow died so close to a medical pack. Oh goodness, Freeman is still laughing!

This guy must've lost his head. Oh, it seems the Doctor stopped laughing suddenly. Why doesn't he see my humor?

After some investigation, we discovered this engine below where Kilgore was waiting. Through my extremely well developed logic, (and of course, we gnomes are the tinkering race!) I was able to solve this mind boggling puzzle. A gear was missing! How convenient that I should find a gear just feet from the broken motor? It's almost like this little brain teaser was intentionally placed in order to break up the monotony of bug smashing and caves! Don't you love the way life works?

The gear fit perfectly, as if it were a spare gear intended for this motor specifically. Strangely, there were two other gears laying about that were of the exact same size. If I recall my mechanics class, gears have to be accurate within a quarter of an inch in order to function properly. So lucky that we would find three gears all within the vicinity that were so well calibrated?

After getting Kilgore down to our level, he lead us deep into the Antlion hive. He explained that the extract from these combs could help his species do anything. Becoming 'unstuck in time' (as he put it), knowing every wheel of fortune puzzle with only 3 letters, and bringing people back from the brink of death were all easy with the extract. Kilgore sounded like a junkie, to me.

With the extract in hand, we raced up the mine shaft on our repaired lift. It was so convenient that the same elevator leading to the extract was also the elevator leading to the outpost where Alyx was.

When we arrived, the Vorts were all crowded around my beautiful, ready to bring her back to life. Then there was a long and drawn out process where all of the Vortugaunts passed around the extract and described their trips. They offered me some, but I was hesitant, considering they were all turning purple and moaning. Gordan had four hits to their one! No wonder he saw this crazy looking fellow sitting over the future Mrs. Gnome!?

Whatever that trip was, it was worth it. After only an hour of psychedelics, the four brought my beautiful back to life!

I have longed for this moment. Sure, she'd only known me for the last 10 minutes before she was attacked, but the things I whispered into her ear while she was unconscious... The way I caressed her skin while she lay motionless... how I kissed her gently when no one was looking... she must've known all of that for the way she looked at me. She must know how I loved her!

We stayed the night at the outpost, allowing the lady to rest from her wounds. As I lay next to her where she sleep, (Sneaking over from our sleeping arrangements as not to wake her) I dreamed of the life we'd have, and the beautiful kids we'd make.

In the morning, Alyx was still exhausted and weak. We helped her onto the lift, but she was in quite a bit of pain. I'm embarrassed to show these images, as I was blushing from her somewhat attractive stretching. Gordon is quite the trickster with his camera!

We're on our way up the mineshaft and into the day again. I'll post again as soon as possible!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Antlions Go Marching One By One, Hurrah! Hurrah!

With Alyx dying somewhere behind us in the caves, we tried to lighten our spirits during our adventure for the life-giving extract that the Vorts were so excited about. Speaking of Vorts, I wanted to introduce you to our personal guide into the depths of the mine: Kilgore. Kilgore is awfully quiet, and seems to think quite highly of the Doctor. He hasn't even spoke to me once since we've left!

Speaking of the doctor: He's up to his mischief, yet again. While traversing the Antlion infested mine, we discovered a large puddle of blood:

I couldn't quite figure it out until Dr. Gordon pointed out an interesting web above the puddle. It seemed to contain the same sort of skinless corpses we'd been finding so often lately.

Of course, the Doctor couldn't leave it at that. He made questionably ignorant comments about the tension of the web, and acted marveled by its elasticity, going to far as to pluck at it with his crowbar.

I was hardly amused.

Despite our good humor, I'm starting to worry about some of the dangers we've been facing. Everywhere we go, there's a foul stench of decaying flesh and dried blood. It seems that the infamous headcrabs that we've grown accustom to killing have a nasty affect on their hosts: Their skin rots off. While this is quite dreadful, it does happen to make for awfully humorous photographs!

I did end up burying the poor fellow out of respect. It felt nice to get down in the dirt with a tool in hand. I am a garden gnome, after all! We found the shovel in a locker nearby. Gordon couldn't resist the opportunity for unoriginal humor. Gordon called it "an inside joke."

I've decided to start sending these photographs to a roommate I had while living in France. Raphaƫl Poulain always wanted to travel, but never could convince himself to go. I thought that if they didn't disturb the old fellow, at least they might convince him to try getting out and seeing the world? I might refrain from sending him a few of the skinless corpse photos, though.

While the rest of our travel has been uneventful, we did find a bit of excitement. After pushing aside a large grain depositor, Gordon and I fell into an out of control grain car! We rushed down the shaft at blinding speeds. Ahead of us, I saw a vertical shaft leading to heavens knows where. Acting fast, I dived in front of the wheel, pushing with my sudden burst of strength. If I died here, who would retrieve the extract for my darling Alyx?

The car slowed and sparked as I heaved all of my massive weight at it. Gordon was able to leap from the car at the slower speed, leaving me just enough time to dive out of the way as the car ascended deep into the chasm. Gordon claims he heard a water splash, but I'm certain it was a never ending pit to the depths of the earth, and that my heroism would be remembered in the history books. Sadly, there were no action photos, as Gordon was too busy drying hims- I mean, too busy crying in the fetal position at the bottom of the cart.

After my heroic accomplishment, we discovered an outpost deep in the cave. It seemed to be owned by the mail carriers that brought me my booze every week. Finding their outpost ravaged and invested with zombies brought tears to my eyes. At least they still had their skin?

I tried to employ the Doctor's method of humor in the face of my sadness. Indeed, I discovered a mine! "Hey look! A mine in a mine!" Oh, I had quite a laugh. Kilgore and Gordon didn't seem to find it so humorous. As if the lockergnome bit were any better?

This outpost has wifi, so I decided I'd post this before we head up the elevator nearby. The zombies are closing in, and I really would like to see my lovely Alyx. Oh how I miss her. Kilgore says that the extract is very close by. Hopefully I'll have good news in a few hours!

The Only Good Bug Is A Dead Bug!

Gordon and I have made it through the treacherous caves, and are now enjoying the comforts of a makeshift outpost deep within the mines. The outpost boasts some familiar and welcomed comforts of society: Wifi, food, ammunition, and supplies.

But most importantly, the Vortigaunt has made it here safe and sound with my beautiful Alyx. He's been keeping her alive with his green glowing hands, bless his soul. I spent many moments just looking at her beautiful face, so calm and peaceful despite her condition. I thought about what our children would look like, if she knew how I truly loved her, and if she really could love an ugly gnome with a hard life. The Doctor offered a few kind words and a pat on the back. He's a good friend.

Our two new human friends were very respectful of our situation, but warned us of an imminent attack on the outpost. It seems several antlion workers were grouping for a rush on the outpost, and our defenses were meager. Having little more than 4 firearms between them and their turrets, our barging in on their little cave dwelling was good fortune for them. Now they had true warriors on their side. Dr. Freeman and I agreed to help defend their base, along with my beloved Alyx.

The antlion are a fearsome bunch, full of hunger and determination. I admire their dedication, despite it being our damnation. The antlion fought for the better part of an hour. Luckily, between the four of us and the turrets, we were able to cover the 4 holes as their indication lights sounded. Freeman was a little absent from the battle, however. It appears that he has not lost his scientific nature, and decided that taking photographs would better help our situation than actually defeating the beasts along with us. In either case, we've got quite a few battle scenes captured on film:

Just as we thought the beasts would overtake us (I would've defended my love to the death!) we were saved by 3 more of the strange alien Vortigaunts. Their battle prowess is impressive to even a hardened warrior as myself.

Our saviors didn't stop at the defeating of our attackers. They immediately grouped their powers together and assisted in the healing of Alyx. After deliberation, they decided that her wounds were too severe, and that they would need a sort of extract from the bowls of the antlion colony. Without hesitation, Gordon and I volunteered to retrieve the extract. Along with one of the Vortigaunts, we are setting out for course as soon as I finish this entry. Wish us luck.