We may never get to play the long, long-awaited Half-Life 3, or Half-Life 2: Episode 3, or whatever Valve once had planned for the future of its legendary series. But we might now know how its story would have unfolded.
Ex-Valve writer Marc Laidlaw, who worked on Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and its episodic expansions, has published a summary of the series' next chapter on his blog. Titled, 'Epistle 3', it details Gordon Freeman's next adventure.
Except, likely for copyright issues, the whole story has been genderswapped. So Laidlaw's tale speaks of Gertrude Fremont, Alex instead of Alyx, Elly instead of Eli, and so on.
It is, presumably, the full plot of Half-Life 2: Episode 3, the third episodic expansion which will now likely never see the light of day. All of the series' main characters make an appearance. There's even a nod to that Half-Life Easter egg which popped up in Portal 2.
"I hope this letter finds you well," the blog begins. "I can hear your complaint already, 'Gertrude Fremont, we have not heard from you in ages!' Well, if you care to hear excuses, I have plenty, the greatest of them being I've been in other dimensions and whatnot, unable to reach you by the usual means.
"This was the case until 18 months ago, when I experienced a critical change in my circumstances, and was redeposited on these shores."
My website's down for now. I guess fanfic is popular, even a genderswapped snapshot of a dream I had many years ago.— Marc Laidlaw (@marc_laidlaw) August 25, 2017
I know only of Gertie Fremont, Elly Vaunt and her son Alex, Jerry Maas, and Wanda Bree. I don't know why fans are genderswapping my chars!— Marc Laidlaw (@marc_laidlaw) August 25, 2017
18 months ago was, not so coincidentally, when Laidlaw also left Valve. He had worked at the company 18 years.
"Where Valve may choose to take Half-Life in the future is not in my hands," Laidlaw said at the time. "I have been a grateful co-creator, but my time working on the series is behind me." At least now we have a glimpse at what could have been.