MINERVA is a series of episodic mods released by Adam Foster for Half-Life 2 (a first-person action video game) where the player is guided by a mysterious entity who refers to itself (herself?) as Minerva (a Roman goddess, often associated with wisdom). Under her directions the player is lead to accomplish her personal agenda, which is in no means necessarily in the player's own interests...
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 04/01/2002-13:37:01 ...
I see, another visitor.
I'm under the impression that you don't particularly want to be here. That makes two of us.
If you're lucky, my experience and insatiable kleptomania might help you, but I doubt it. It hasn't improved my situation much.
I'm just around the corner, always out of reach...
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 04/01/2002-13:59:12 ...
Impressive, isn't it? It took mankind sixty years to get from general relativity to glimpsing this kind of science. I doubt you appreciate it - you seem to prefer the stains of alien blood to the subtleties of physics.
I played a large part in mankind's discovery of this, although few would like to admit it.
And as for getting home? The hardware can do it, but needs fine-tuning. You just have to approach things from the right angle.
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 04/01/2002-14:07:49 ...
Aren't you trying to get home? Such enthusiasm towards this world reminds me of someone. Remember that soldier, the bloodthirsty poet?
His predicament had to be recorded somewhere, even someplace away from prying eyes. Such an incident, the second of its kind, had to be remembered.
Second? You're the product of the third. Don't forget that.
- "Your conspiracy theorists had it all wrong. There was no Area 51, no Roswell incident. The closest the US government ever got to a downed alien spacecraft was the capture of an unlaunched Soviet ICBM. There were no UFOs, only aircraft. No laughable alien abductions, only delusions.
The real aliens were closer than you ever thought - just around the corner, but out of reach, caught by a quirk of twentieth century physics. Half the universe, inaccessible to all but the highest energies.
But such a boundary could never remain unbreached.
We are trapped in an immense world of delight, closed by our senses five."
MINERVA: Metastasis - Carcinogenesis
- "The true method of knowledge is experiment. So, strapped to the underside of a stolen Combine helicopter, you're part of my latest scientific investigation.
Objective: To infiltrate and observe this peculiar little island a few miles off shore, its heart burrowed out by our ever-loving benefactors... "
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.16:42:18
You've survived this far, so I may as well introduce myself.
I am your Athena, you are my bastard Perseus, and our Medusa for today is this island; our aim is to infiltrate, reveal, destroy.
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.16:47:23
Well, I guess it was worth a try. How was I supposed to know there'd be a heavily armed outpost the other side of the island?
Oh wait, it was on the satellite photos.
Never mind. Have fun!
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.17:34:30
What is this, Breen's own personal Mittelwerk? Those steel cells contain stalkers; worked to death, and now finally reaching for freedom, liquefying out of their cages into stinking pools of filth.
You'd be the same if it wasn't for me.
MINERVA: Metastasis - Downhill Struggle
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.18:26:30
Those are power storage banks below. The terawatts provided by the power downlink obviously aren't enough to kick-start whatever machinery's operating in this place; the last time I saw anything like this it was clustered around the heart of a Combine Citadel.
We're on to something huge - your suit's radiation monitors have been detecting all sorts of intriguing sub-atomic detritus.
I wouldn't worry about any potential health effects, of course. Your life expectancy is already measured in minutes; I'm surprised the real security response hasn't turned up yet.
MINERVA: Metastasis - Depth Charge
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.19:06:42
Let me brief you on something. You're a recycled carcass trapped in a gorgons' nest - without your mirrored shield, winged sandals or invisible cloak, you're just a dumb, processed grunt with your larynx torn out.
But you're in the right place to make a difference - you're the key spanner in our benefactors' foul works.
Do some damage. NOW.
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.19:17:02
Surrounding the shaft are plasma buffers, designed to counteract a potentially catastrophic flaw in this laughable power downlink system - something to do with the distance to geosynchronicity and the speed of light...
Disable the plasma buffers, and the stabilisation system will become vulnerable to power surges inflicted from above.
You may have the lives of billions resting upon your shoulders - but still you soldier on, killing and maiming and destroying...
It's why I chose you. Please continue.
MINERVA: Metastasis - Pegasus
- "*** BMRF: HEV-OS v4.1alpha -- Hardware Node ID: 00:00:00:00:00:00 ***
[kernel init - 00:00:00 01/01/1970]
--[timeout: /dev/clock not responding]
[kernel interrupt - 00:00:01 01/01/1970 - spurious console input]
--[log contains unformatted data]
$ofut&re nokpa't no pres-nt no li2e no deaH# no wSrldddddddddd
[kernel interrupt - 00:00:02 01/01/1970 - terminal pts/0x07d reset]
[kernel interrupt - 00:00:03 01/01/1970 - firmware update available from source (null)]
--[accepting 14,012,031 octet overwrite from source (null)]
--[reflashing device: /dev/membackup] ........................................ done
--[reflashing device: /dev/memkernel] ........................................ done
[kernel restart - 00:00:15 01/01/1970]"
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.20:01:02
I know that after your ... augmentations, your skull contains little in the way of independently functioning neural tissue - but for once, could you properly look for real structural weaknesses in your surroundings?
If you're not careful, I may have to bring your world crashing down in an entirely different manner. One with fewer options for escape, for a start.
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.20:14:50
Please don't take it as some residual aspect of my own purported humanity, but I've grown quite attached to you. I'm holding off that final, cauterising blast from the power downlink - but I have no idea how long this humane gesture can last.
Continue to the surface. Every moment longer that you survive is a further insult to your former Combine masters.
- "***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.20:16:17
I hope you appreciate this small gift of these turrets, lovingly reprogrammed to no longer target former traitors like yourself.
I expect these new weapons to be of some use, especially against the hordes of parasited slaves and soldiers crawling their way up beneath your current position...
MINERVA: Metastasis - Epilogue
- " "If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgement; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh."
There is no merciful god; no more benevolent deities to aid us.
We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?
Only time will tell."