Half-Life: Resonance

Friday March 28, 2003:

I called in sick today; pretended I was running a fever down the phone to Miller. Risky I know, but I had to make sure that my new pet was doing okay.

I stole down to my locker, expecting him to have croaked his last, but it hadn’t even moved and seemed fine. I snuck him outta there and took him back to my room, hoping that Miller wouldn’t catch what I was doing on the cameras. I put the little guy in an upturned cardboard box and looked at him. He stared back at me.

I gave it a little bit of water in a bowl, which it ignored. I figured it would get dehydrated, but no amount of coaxing would get it to go near the liquid. I threw the contents down the sink and tried a bowl of beer instead. Nada. Same for OJ: no dice.

It wasn’t until I tried a can of Alpine Hue that it began lapping the soda up with its long, prehensile tongue. I wasn’t sure what purple lizards liked to eat, but it scarfed down the Slim-Jim I fed him without complaint.

Satisfied that the little guy wasn’t going to die on me anytime soon, I set off to the Black Mesa library, and took out a heavy book called Reptiles of New Mexico and took it home. I sat with it on my lap, poured over page after page, looking from book to critter and critter to book again. In four hours, I couldn’t find any animal, vegetable, or mineral, that looked like remotely my new roommate.

Hot damn! I knew those scientists were working on something crazy, and now I’ve found one of their projects. At first I wondered if the thing was an alien, but that a bit far-fetched. How could this thing travel millions of light-years and end up on this planet, when it can barely move ten foot without taking a nap? Nah, it’s obvious what’s really going on here.

Black Mesa is experimenting on animals.

I saw it in a movie once. Think about it: they’re taking some ordinary horntoads from out in the desert, bombarding em with gamma rays and what-not, and mutating ’em into a new species of supertoad. Eventually they’ll test the process on humans, and give us new mutant powers. They don’t want anyone to know about it in case PETA finds out and starts a protest, so they’ve kept it on the down-low. My roomie must have escaped from somewhere hidden.

So, after all these months, I’ve finally managed to uncover something top-secret! But now I wanna find out where he came from … and whether or not it’s radioactive or anything.

I’ve decided to keep him in my locker for safe keeping. Although it’s tempting to let him stay in my dorm, there are too many ways for him to escape, and I worry about one of the cleaners finding him. Anyhow, I can always take him back for a runaround if need be.

I’ve decided to name him, ‘Chumtoad’, since he’s a toad and my chum. I’m still tempted to let Gordon or Lauren in on my zoological discovery … but to be honest, I kinda like knowing something those two don’t for once.

I gotta go now Chum; I promised I’d meet Lauren and Gordon for drinks at Feynman’s. Catch ya later!

Published by itshendo

Callum Henderson is a carbon-based life form who graduated with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Strathclyde in 2016.

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