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|“||What in the history of today makes you think you're gonna stop her? Look, this guy we've got in there survived Black Mesa. He raised holy hell and then just disappeared. We finally caught him and you're just going to let him go again? Move the box!||„|
|~ The Scientist to a Combine Advisor|
The Scientist, referred to as the Contractor in game code, is an unseen minor, yet pivotal character in Half-Life: Alyx, serving as a major antagonist. She is a high-ranking human scientist working for the Combine, who has a direct line of communication with the Combine Advisors.
She is voiced by Kim Dickens.
Not much is known about the Scientist's backstory, or her true identity, as the player only sees her silhouetted shadow, and does not interact with her physically as she is only seen in an inaccessible room.
It is inferred that due to her knowledge of the G-Man’s involvement in the Black Mesa incident, she was formerly a research scientist there that was among the humans who defected to the Combine following the Seven Hour War.
In the fifteen years following the Combine’s takeover of Earth, the Scientist personally overlooked the G-Man's capture, and containment in the Vault, a fortified structure suspended in the air through cables powered by the energy from enslaved Vortiguants. Much like Wallace Breen, her fear of him being released confirms or indicates that she is aware of the G-Man’s capabilities, such as how he can influence a series of events.
When the Scientist receives word that Alyx Vance entered the Quarantine Zone, and had brought down one of the Vault’s power stations, the Scientist has Combine Soldiers attempt to kill her. This is futile, however, as she manages to overcome and kill them. When Alyx further approaches the Vault, she walks in on an argument between the Scientist and a Combine Advisor, who she speaks at with condescension and derision. She affirms the severity of the situation, fearing the G-Man's release, although not mentioning him by name. She expresses familiarity of his involvement in the Black Mesa Incident, after having detonated the atomic bomb which wiped out the laboratory at the end of Half-Life: Opposing Force.
She frustratingly orders the Advisors to move the Vault, but it is too late, as Alyx and the Vortiguants would later go on to crash the Vault to the ground, and liberate the G-Man.
While not much about her character is revealed in the game, it is known that she acts condescending towards the Advisors, proudly claiming that she is her own supervisor. She uses sarcasm and snippiness in her tone of voice, indicating her frustration with her superiors, and fearlessness of any repercussions from them for talking up to them with a level of disrespect.
- The identity of the Scientist has been left up to speculation since the release of the game. There is never any confirmation as to the Scientist's identity in the game, so it is unknown if the Scientist is a character that has appeared in previous Half-Life installments, or if she is a brand new character. It has been confirmed by developer Erik Wolpaw that the identity of the Scientist is intended to be kept a secret, as she will return in future installments in a more prominent role.
- Many have speculated that the Scientist is Judith Mossman, a recurring character in Half-Life who was the right-hand woman of Wallace Breen and an infiltrator of the Lambda Resistance before defecting from the Combine helping the Resistance after Gordon Freeman's arrival. This is a popular theory since both the unnamed Scientist in Half-Life: Alyx and Mossman are female scientists who colluded with the Combine. However, it is unknown if Mossman had any knowledge of the G-Man in Half-Life 2 and it's subsequent episodes. Alas, Mossman speaks with that of a calm and professional demeanor compared to that of the Scientist, who speaks with confidence and snarkiness.
- Another popular theory is that the Scientist is Colette Green, a research scientist at the Black Mesa Research Facility at the time of the Incident in Half-Life: Decay. Sharing physical commonalities with the Scientist, she would also have knowledge of the G-Man's involvement in the Incident, and understand how vital it is that he remain in containment. It should be noted that when she is de-textured, she is a middle-aged caucasian with dark brown hair, which fits Green's physical appearance and not Mossman's. It would also make sense considering the timeline of the Half-Life series; she is 31 by the events of Half-Life: Decay, and would be 46 by the events of Half-Life: Alyx.