The adventures of Number 234. Hope you like it. Number 234 sat among the others of his kind. Dark. Cold. It always was, but then, that’s the way the Combine wanted it. But not 234. Nor any others around him, by the sound of it. With the constant screeching and scraping, 234 never found it comfortable to rest. Long. Cold. 234 had been in there, that combine fortress, for to long. 234 wanted out. But how? He would get no help from his bretheren. Only if it helped them, and 234 wasn’t interested in their benefit. But how to get out? Hungry. Freedom. He was always hungry. Not for the regular food he was fed by the Combine. You can’t live off of Xenian Bulbis forever. And it never filled up that hole in 234. He wanted more, he wanted to attain the higest of his potential. But for that, he needed living prey. Light. 234 was being taken out. This was 234’s chance. Chance for what? Escape. Food. Ah, that’s right. Living prey. A crackly voice filled his “hearing” “Take samples 233, 234, and 235 to the loading center…Yeah, activity in that region is up, and I guess they need to put it down. Hehe.” Warmth. 234 had been taken out of his cell. The sudden change in tempature shocked him. Enough time for the arms go come and grab him. He tried to move his claws. They met with nothing. He worked his mouth. Still, nothing. Hungry. This continued for some time, this tormenting state of being unable to grasp anything. But then… CLUNK! 234 had been thrown rudely into another cell, only this one was cylindrical, and very tight. Moving forward, 234 discovered another. 235 seemed startled at this sudden change of cells. Moving backward, he encountered 233. 233 was not at all pleased with the close contact. With its longer legs, 233 lashed out at 234. The Long-legs always were bigger. BAM! CRACK! 234 heard a whistling sound, after the cell seemed suddenly to be thrown violently forward. It was flying through the air. This sudden change startled 233, 234, and 235. Now, they could not contain themselves, and clawed and bit at each other, trying to escape. WHAM! The cell ground to a halt. Find a way out! That was 234’s goal. Suddenly, 233 toppled out backward behind him. 234 was not far behind. 234 fell to the ground, and lay stunned. Warmth. Light. 234 waddled toward the nearest dark spot, and lingered there. It was too light. He must find a better place. But that could be done later. After all, 234 smelled an abundance of life. An abundance of prey.