LORE Brief Timeline: -Black Mesa Incident/Resonance Cascade- 2001 Scientists at Black Mesa mistakenly opened unstable wormholes into a border dimension known as Xen. Alien flora and fauna slipped through the wormholes and arrived on Earth as well as an army of alien footsoldiers. A marine clean-up detail as well as multiple black ops agencies descended on the site, but were not able to contain the situation. Gordon Freeman stops the catastrophe by killing the Nihilanth, but not before hostile aliens were allowed to spread far and wide. -Seven Hour War- 2010 Before the people of Earth even had a chance to rebuild from the horror that was the Resonance Cascade, a second alien empire launched a successful invasion. The Combine eliminated all of Earth's armed forces in only seven hours, putting an end to billions of lives in the process. The Combine then occupied Earth and enslaved the survivors, forcing refugees to live in work camps, and forcing prisoners of war to work as involuntary footsoldiers, called Conscripts. -Air Exchange- 2012 A general name for the draining of Earth's atomosphere, as well as other vital resources such as food and water, to be used by the Combine on their own worlds. -Ascension and The Consul's Assassination- 2014 These two events go hand-in-hand. During the Combine's early occupation Earth, they relied on conscripted footsoldiers to do their dirty work. Eventually the Transhuman supersoldiers replaced the Conscripts -- by force. This betrayal was proclaimed by the Consul, a human representative to the Combine, to be an Ascension. The few Conscripts that survived managed to retaliate and assassinate the Consul, who had organized the attack. -Global Uprising- 2021 The Global Uprising occured when Gordon Freeman returned and sparked a revolution in almost all Combine occupied locations. The end result was a major war between the Resistance and the Combine, and the total destruction of City 17. During this time many other Cities fell, such as City 45 and City 18. The Resistance also managed to largely shut down the Air Exchange program. -Armageddon and Second Dawn- 2021-2022 In City 25, New York City, a fanatical alien cult from Xen and a large invasion force from dimension X invaded, drawn to an experimental power source in the City's Citadel. A large rebel group known as the New Dawn fought against these alien foes head on, before retreating inside the City, where fought alongside the Combine to keep the aliens at bay. Eventually they were forced to nuke the City and sacrifice their own lives in order to stop the invasion. Second Dawn chronicles the trials and tribulations of the New Dawn's escape from the ruins of City 25, while being persued by both aliens and a rogue Combine element known as the Combine Special Activities Division. -Haven's Stand and Out of Time- 2023 Months after Armageddon took place, the New Dawn's settlement, Haven, is attacked by the Combine. They teamed up with a rebel cell called the Fat Nargodians to push back the Combine, before embarking on a mission to stop the Combine from opening a portal to the Combine Overworld. Before the Dawn could escape, the wormhole device was activated prematurely, causing the entire site to be destroyed. -Operation Patricide and Operation Vortigore- 2023 Members of High Command abandoned their posts, the CSAD "Rogue" squad was deployed to find and eliminate them for treason. After completing this mission, Rogue squad was dispatched to eliminate a Vortigaunt leader and capture two high-profile rebel leaders, Jack Rider and Herb Samson. Though they were successful in eliminating the powerful Vortigaunt, the two rebel leaders narrowly evaded capture-- Though they lost many good men in the process. -The Overlord's Rise to Power- 2024 With all but one member of High Command eliminated, and with the Advisory's focus elsewhere, the surviving member held full control over the entire Combine military on Earth. With this power, he declared himself the new Combine Overlord, and used his military leverage to establish control over all remaining Combine territories. After this, the Overlord focused all efforts on war. Over the following months and years many settlements were completely wiped off the map. -War with No End- 2024-Present Day With the disappearance of Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance, and the death of Eli Vance in 2021, the Lambda Movement slowly lost its foothold. Other groups were quick to take up arms, and as more and more Cities were liberated, more and more rebels came to answer the call, with groups becoming more and more organized over the years. However, after the Overlord took power, the Combine have been fighting back with all they've got. Though almost ten years have passed since the Global Uprising, humanity is still nowhere closer to regaining control of Earth. -City Eight: Refugees Welcome- 2032-Present Day After years of executing anyone who tried to enter the City, hunter choppers flew over refugee settlements across the world. Instead of bringing death, however, they brought a message: Refugees will be granted amnesty for their rebellion and will be welcomed with open arms, should they lay down their weapons and return to the Cities. Despite severe paranoia, many could no longer endure the harsh conditions of the Outlands or the realities of war, and flocked back to the Cities in droves. And to their surprise, they weren't greeted with bullets. Instead they were greeted with was a new CID card, a pressed blue shirt, a clean pair of jeans, and a hundred credits.