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Since 3 isn’t out and after finishing episode 1 I’ve been thinking about where combine troops are after the transmission got cut. After all, with no advisor or threat of annihalation by the rest of the combine some of the combines human members like the metro cops have the opportunity to flee for the first time in 2 decades. My best guess offers three cases

Former metrocops joined the resistance for two reasons: to fight back against xens wildlife and the remaining combines alien forces, or to rebuild society. Overwatch soldiers stopped finding a reason to fighting and simply came to either wander the planet, without memory of the world before the 7 hour war. They simply roam without purpose and may have been abducted by either the remaining forces of the combine to resume their war, or taken captive by the resistance to be studied and potentially regain their memories and humanity. Case three, the combine now operate similarly to the aliens and still continue fighting against the resistance. Here they would be at their most vulnerable without clear coordination from advisors or any other leaders and may be overwhelmed by earths remaining human population, seeing their conclusion as the last remaining threat the combine offered before humanity comes to restore itself and the planet.

 

>>29362
The combine forces are bio-augmented (including for loyalty) which would seemingly make it difficult for them to survive without the overlord or to join the rebellion.

 

>>29363
I might be wrong on this but the metro police don’t have any or as much augmentation as the overwatch and mostly just comprise of civilians that couldn’t handle living off rations in poor homes that saw their standard of living improve after joining

 

Transhuman people continue following whatever orders were last given (e.g. "defend this door" the guy stands there until he starves/gets shot), metrocops decide for themselves (but brainwashing and all the benefits combine gave them might keep some loyal.).

 


>>29362
I actually believe that the plot of HL3 post Half-life Alyx is about GMAN taking over Combine Earth Remnant and Gordon going after him

>HLA ending hints strongly about a final confrontation

>Combine armed forces will follow anything strong enough to seize control

 

God damb I fucking regret posting that image for the OP
Reminds me of seeing Barney in the first episode all fucked up after hl2. Remembering the last words were “don’t leave me” just feels worse and knowing it’ll take years before hl3 comes out

 

>>29365
Aren't metrocops slightly transhuman? Not enough that Barney can't pose as one obviously.

 

File: 1690407179601-0.jpg (71.73 KB, 950x1300, Trenchcoat_CG.jpg)

File: 1690407179601-1.png (156.74 KB, 512x236, Decalgraffiti056a.png)

>>29412
The Civil Protection are pretty explicitly stated in-game to be unaugmented humans who volunteered to be part of Combine's occupation police force in exchange for better access to food, water, medicine, protection of their family members and VR pornography, or whatever "non-mechanical reproduction simulation" could mean. During their service, they are gradually brainwashed and sterilized, until the point the Combine command deems them loyal enough and direct the metrocop to Nova Prospekt for "promotion", where the subject's memories and basic instincts are overwritten with Combine's commands, their bodies are implanted with basic synth technology and then are transferred to the Overwatch units.
As for Barney, my theory is that he managed to evade the brainwashing and being turned into a cyborg because he likely was a new member of the Metropolice and did not take any mind-altering drug laced rations the Combine has paid him with for his service.

 

>>29365
Transhuman soldiers would really suck at their job if they had 0 agency and couldnt handle any situation where they get disconnected from Command.

My theory is something similar to SERE Training that US Air Force Pilots undergo. The Transhuman soldiers and synths would attempt to regroup and hold the fort while waiting for help that might nevers arrive

Purely worldbuilding-wise, how that military enclave might turn out when they realize that help coming is highly unlikely is an interesting premise


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