Half-Life/Codex/Blue Shift Plot Summary
Chapter 1: “Living Quarters Outbound”[edit | edit source]
08:42 May 15th, 200* – Black Mesa Security Officer Barney Calhoun leaves the Area 8 Topside Dormitories and takes the train to work through the East Personnel Entrance, en route to the Area 9 Central Transit Hub. On his way, he passes Tesla’s Tacos and Tony’s Pizza before he reaches the Security Checkpoint in Area 9. The guards there approve him, and his tram is sent to Area 3 Medium Security Facilities. He passes Gordon Freeman (who is waiting to embark from the Level 3 Dormitories), and arrives at the Area 3 Facility.
Chapter 2: “Insecurity”[edit | edit source]
The door to Area 3 is locked. Calhoun knocks on the door as Freeman passes him in the next train. With the door unlocked, Barney gets his uniform from the Personnel Facilities, and his sidearm from the Armory. The monitors in the Video Surveillance room show Gina Cross pushing Sample GG-3883 to the delivery chute and Gordon Freeman walking to the Personnel Facilities. The Section Manager tells Barney that the Main Access Lift in Sector G (the Hydroelectric sector) is malfunctioning. He is sent down to check on the problem. He heads through the H-E Particle Labs, to the tram system. A scientist informs Barney that all the trams in the area are not working. He heads through a maintenance access point instead. On his way through the passage, the G-man passes on a tram. Arriving at the Sector G Main Access Lift, he finds it jammed on Level 1. Since the scientists inside are impatient, Barney repairs the elevator quickly, and it heads down.
At Level 3, the lift stops. The announcement system warns of main power failure on levels 3, 5 and 8. One of the scientists blames the Anomalous Materials Lab. At level 4, the announcement warns of an extreme electromagnetic field in Sector C. The elevator begins to shake and, at Level 5, aliens begin warping in. Confused and frightened, they begin killing members of the science team, causing accidents and explosions. Barney’s elevator falls approximately 10 levels. The crash knocks him unconscious for an unknown amount of time.
Chapter 3: “Duty Calls”[edit | edit source]
Barney wakes up and finds himself trapped on what appears to be level 15: A Small Materials Storage Area. He discovers a scientist in the adjacent lab, who informs him that he should be able to escape through the drainage canals beneath the base. Before Barney leaves, the scientist gives him the Paranoid warning that ‘they’ are trying to kill everyone. Continuing on, Barney enters a larger storage area in an old section of tunnels. The North Tunnel is blocked, so Barney heads through the South Tunnel.
Using a Crane Control Unit, Barney climbs up to Drainage Canal Access Entry Point B-03. Climbing down the Drainage Canal, a sign informs him that waste disposal and crushing in 50 ft. ahead. The ladder to the Drainage Canal Exit is broken, so he heads to the Lift Control booth, and brings down an explosive crate, which he uses to blast through the blades of the waste disposal unit. Climbing out of the canal, Barney sees two marines dropping a guard’s body into the water. They complain that they are doing the disposal duty that Shephard’s team would be doing if they weren’t missing.
Chapter 4: “Captive Freight”[edit | edit source]
Barney reaches the surface through the Drainage Canal Exit, but finds the South Exit road locked down by the marines, as is the road to the Train Yard and Freight Warehouse. He travels down through the nearby Steam Tunnel Access and through the Steam Tunnel Maintenance Area until he reaches an elevator.
The elevator takes Calhoun to the large Warehouse Basement. In the Maintenance Office there, he finds two marines attacking a scientist named Harold. The dying Harold tells Barney that the marines ambushed him and Dr. Rosenberg on the way to the Section A-17 Prototype Labs. The marines have taken over the freight yard, and are killing everyone, and capturing a few scientists for questioning. Before dying, Harold instructs Barney to find Dr. Rosenberg, as Rosenberg has an escape plan.
Heading to the Main Stairwell, and the Freight Management Offices of the warehouse, Calhoun finds the second floor Yard Manager’s office and the third floor Freight Records locked, but the first floor Storage Room is open, and it leads to the exterior of the warehouse. Barney climbs up to the second floor window and moves through the Yard Manager’s office and the Warehouse Security office. Moving on to Storage Area 1 and Storage Area 2, Calhoun rescues a captured scientist from the many marines, but it is not Dr. Rosenberg. Barney moves on to the Freight Yard. There, he rescues another scientist, but he is not Dr. Rosenberg either. Continuing down to the Freight Car Storage Yard, a tank that has been shipped in confronts him. Barney goes past the tank, and through a Maintenance Area, to reach the Railroad Yard Turntable.
At the turntable, the New Mexico Railroad Line Access Tunnel that leads out of the base is sealed, but Calhoun finds Dr. Rosenberg inside a freight car in Railroad Yard Tow Engine Bay 5. Dr. Rosenberg tells him that he has been working on teleportation technology for years, and that he may be able to use the equipment in Prototype Lab A-17, near where Barney met Harold, to teleport to safety.
Dr. Rosenberg leads Calhoun back to the Freight Warehouse, and up to the third floor Shipping Receiving and Freight Records offices, and back to the Warehouse Basement, where the elevator to the Section A-17 Prototype Labs is hidden. Dr. Rosenberg says that the Lambda labs would be preferable, but the scientists there are more concerned with using Gordon to stop the invasion than escaping.
Using his Level 7-fingerprint identification clearance, Rosenberg lets Barney into the Displacement Field Lab. A scientist named Walter is busy aligning the Power Cell Matrix. He informs Dr. Rosenberg that they have put together the equipment, but that Rosenberg must make the final adjustments. While making the adjustments in the main room, Dr. Rosenberg tells Calhoun that the prototype equipment is not able to target an earth destination in its current state.
Teleportation is not simply point A to point B. A border world, between point A and B, called Xen is involved in the process. It kept the science team from accurately predicting where any teleport event would lead to back on Earth. Research developed a device that could be attached to the strange yellow crystalline structures that are found on Xen. Theoretically, it would act as a focal point and relay that would improve the ability to pinpoint destination targets. A survey team set up the device on Xen, but lost contact with Earth before activating it. They later found ways of aiming the fields, but the prototype labs still use the old technology.
Rosenberg tells Barney that he must go to Xen and activate the device by powering it on and aligning the emitters until the signal reaches maximum strength. When they receive the signal, Rosenberg will re-open the portal back to Earth.
Rosenberg initiates the teleporter charging sequence. Once the primary capacitors have reached full charge, a scientist named Simmons releases the dampening locks, and opens the field. Calhoun jumps into the portal.
Chapter 5: “Focal Point”[edit | edit source]
As predicted, Barney appears on Xen, in an area relatively close to the device. He fights past houndeyes, into a complex series of vent-like tunnels inhabited by a dozen or so headcrabs. From there, he fights several vortigaunts who teleport in via manta-shaped ships, and travels through a system of rivers and ponds until he reaches the device. Once the Focus Emitters are aligned to maximum signal strength, vortigaunts, controllers and grunts warp in. Barney fights past the vortigaunts and reaches the re-opened portal, where Rosenberg can be heard urging him to jump in, because the portal is beginning to destabilize.
When Barney appears back on Earth, he is asked to go and retrieve a newly charged power cell from the prototype lab’s sub-basement, in order to replenish the power reserves enough for the machine to calculate an exit point and transport everyone to safety. A few others were sent down, but didn’t come back. Rosenberg opens the Auxiliary Generator Access for Calhoun, and sends him on his way.
Chapter 6: “Power Struggle”[edit | edit source]
After finding the way to the power cell on Level 2 blocked, and the men sent down earlier killed by vortigaunts, Barney heads to the Coolant Reserve Basin. There, he encounters more marines, who have discovered the prototype lab. Barney fights past them, in search of the Auxiliary Generator that will power the Level 2 Access Lift and recharge the power cell.
Using explosives that the marines left behind, Barney blasts the door to the Coolant Pump and the Coolant Exchange systems, and enters the Coolant Basin. There, he makes an impromptu bridge out of some barrels. He heads to the Control Room, and activates Generator Unit 1 & Unit 2.
Returning to the now-active Level 2 Access Lift, Barney charges a power cell in the Power Cell Charging Station, and sends it up to Dr. Rosenberg through the Power Cell Delivery Lift. He then returns to the Displacement Field Lab.
Chapter 7: “A Leap Of Faith”[edit | edit source]
Dr. Rosenberg tells Calhoun that they have already begun setting up the device with the new power cell. While Rosenberg monitors the system levels and directs the procedure, Calhoun is tasked with activating the Main Power switch and releasing the Displacement Field Dampening Locks when the system’s Charge Meter is full, opening the displacement fields. The procedure goes smoothly except for a brief moment when the primary coolant line ruptures, but Barney reduces the pressure and stabilizes the system. The Interpolating Resonance Coils achieve focus, and the Main Capacitors are charging. Soon, both Simmons and Walter are teleported to safety. Rosenberg jumps into the portal next, after setting the system to automatically go through the charging sequence to let Calhoun through.
Once the Main Capacitors reach full charge for the final time, marines break into the prototype lab, but Barney fights past them and steps into the portal. When Barney materializes, he is caught in a Resonance Displacement Anomaly. He fades out, and appears on a rock in Xen, where Shephard eventually ends up when he uses the displacer gun’s secondary fire. Barney teleports again, ending up in a storage closet in Black Mesa. Two marines drag a barely conscious Gordon past the window. Finally, he reappears back at the end of the Black Mesa South Access Tunnel, 5 miles from the facility. Walter has managed to crowbar the gate open, and Simmons has hot-wired an SUV. Rosenberg is glad that Calhoun didn’t become caught in an Infinite Harmonic Reflux because of a last-minute malfunction. They get into the SUV, and drive away from Black Mesa.
Blue Shift ends