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Published on November 27th, 2019 | by gareth


Black Friday

Another Black Friday underground Barney said to himself as the train moved ahead deeper and deeper into the depths of the Black Mesa facility. While he was grateful for the work; not to mention the very generous overtime bump this shift offered; Barney rationalized that extra money around the holidays is never a bad idea and perhaps he can take a vacation after the start of the New Year.


As he exited the tram and made his way to his security office; Barney made sure that his bag of Thanksgiving leftovers was gathered from the seat next to him. It would not do to be without your lunch and dinner he mused to himself as he settled in for what was hopefully going to be a fast-moving and uneventful shift.


As he entered the security wing; he noticed mainly a skeleton crew on hand thanks to the holiday and that also applied to many of the scientists and regular staff who either took advantage of four days off or came in early to work so they could take part in the sales, football, family, or whatever over the weekend.


As he settled into his chair with his first of what was likely to be several cups of coffee today; Barney notice that much of the paperwork had already been done leaving him with precious little to do outside of staring at security monitors, doing rounds, and waiting to see if somebody actually called and needed him,

not one to pass up a good opportunity; Barney decided to use the time to double check the paperwork for the upcoming new employees.


While they all looked pretty standard scientists; one individual in particular stood out. Dr. Gordon Freeman certainly have the required PhD’s that many scientist at the Black Mesa facility touted; but certainly seemed much more fit and assured than what you would expect from an egghead.


With time passing preciously slow; Barney opted to make a walk around the facility confident that in an emergency he would be contacted by radio and responding as required. As is the hallway he noticed an elevator that was malfunctioning and made a note to himself that he would have to get that seem to even though it likely would be delayed until after the new employees arrived.


On his way downstairs Barney past Dr. Rosenberg who nodded in his direction as the past. Naturally much of the work of Black Mesa was ultra-top-secret but there have been some unusually loud noises and prolonged blackouts in various parts of the facility and Rosenberg was getting more and more excited each passing day though he was naturally not want to talk about his work outside of his lab even if it was allowed.


There were some crazy rumors about what exactly went on at the facility but Barney had always believed that need to know was a good policy and as long as it did not affect the security and well-being of the employees in the facility; then it really mattered not to him even if they were sitting in the back room playing cards with little green men.


Barney was just about to complete his rounds when he came upon a power cell that somebody carelessly left out in the hall. Barney figured out some individual likely had little too much holiday spirit and decided not to make an issue out of it by filing a report. Why would someone through all that trouble for something as basic as power cell which Barney was more than happy to return the storage. You figure to score some karma for doing a good deed and besides the paperwork would take longer than it would to simply return the item so it was a win-win situation.


Returning to his office Barney noted the time and figured it was time to make his first forage into the refrigerator for his Thanksgiving leftovers and another cup of coffee. Wally desperately wanted a beer to go with his food; alcohol was not allowed in the facility outside of celebratory champagne when events warranted.


As he a Barney debated how much weight he wish to lose as he had made an impressive drop simply by being more active and more selective with his diet. The security guard mainstays of donuts, soda, and coffee simply were not the pathway to proper nutrition and as such Barney adjusted his eating habits accordingly.


While he ate; Barney watched some of the television stations that were airing the Black Friday mayhem at the local shopping outlets as well as the grander chaos nationwide. As Barney settled into his chair he thought to himself that he was lucky to be at Black Mesa as he certainly wouldn’t want to deal with anything as chaotic as he was watching unfold on the screens and perhaps the boring old Black Mesa facility were nothing exciting happens at all was just the place for him to be.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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