Borealis (Aperture Science ship)

{{DISPLAYTITLE''Borealis'' (Aperture Science ship)}}
{{Youmayd|the Aperture Science ship|the location cut from Half-Life 2|Borealis (cut ship)}}
{{Vehicle Infobox
| image=FileBorealis logo.svg|250px
| image2=FileBorealis Ep2.jpg|250px
| name=''Borealis''
| era=Combine occupation of Earth|Combine occupation
| affiliation=Aperture Science
| type=Research icebreaker
| health=
| built=20th century''Portal 2''
| destroyed=
| location=Stranded in the ice in an undefined Arctic regions|Arctic location''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''
| crew=
| passengers=
| usedby=
| maker=
| size=
| length=
| width=
| height=
| weapons=
| maps=ep2_outland_11b
| entity=
| designer=*Jeremy Bennett (appearance)
*Marc Laidlaw
*Chet Faliszek
*Erik Wolpaw (backstory)
{{Quote|Our peers at Aperture Science were at work on a project of some promise, but in their rush to beat Black Mesa for funding, they must have compromised ordinary standards of risk. We heard their research vessel had simply disappeared. Vanished - with all hands... even part of the dry dock!|Isaac Kleiner|Half-Life 2 Episode Two|Filekl silo givenup02.ogg}} 

The '''''Borealis''''' is an Aperture Science research icebreaker introduced in ''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''. According to Isaac Kleiner, Aperture was working on a promising project, but in their rush to beat Black Mesa for funding, they neglected ordinary safety rules and the ship simply disappeared with parts of her drydock, which earned her an almost legendary stature. It is assumed that the ''Borealis'' contained an immensely powerful and dangerous secret, yet to be revealed.


FileMossman vid base.jpg|Mossman sharing her discovery with the Resistance.|thumb|left|200px

===''Half-Life 2 Episode One''===

Many years after the Combine invasion of Earth, Judith Mossman, Resistance operative, finds the ''Borealis'' in an Arctic location. She is attacked by Combine forces soon after, and is only able to send an incomplete transmission of her discovery to White Forest. This is intercepted by the Combine, and in turn stolen back by Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance from the Citadel Core during their flight from City 17.  

===''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''===

After safely reaching White Forest, Alyx and Gordon deliver the data to the Resistance, which reveals that Mossman was cunning enough to encrypt ''Borealis'' photographs, coordinates, blueprints and hailing frequencies within her message. Once Eli Vance and Isaac Kleiner have decoded these and realize the full significance of the transmission, a rift opens between the two Resistance leaders. Kleiner believes the technology the ''Borealis'' contains could be used by the Resistance against the Combine; Eli, haunted by memories of the Black Mesa Incident and not wanting a second Seven Hour War, believes that the ''Borealis'' has to be destroyed at all costs.

It is not clear whether the Combine know of the ''Borealis'', and consequently if they themselves have some interest in the ship's contents. Given the attack upon Mossman's forces, the interception of her message and the death of Eli Vance, it seems very likely.

While the nature of the secret hidden within the ''Borealis'' is unknown, one of the blueprints indicates the presence of at least a Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grill|Material Emancipation Grill and an Aperture Science Unstationary Scaffold|Unstationary Scaffold within the ship.

{{QuoteRefInline|I'm fairly sure I've pinned down the location of the Project. It's hard to say how much of it might have survived intact, or whether there's anything remaining that could compromise our work... if it were discovered by the Combine. We'll need to take a close look at it, of course, but I should be able to give a better opinion within a few hours. If the site is where we think it is, then it should be no more than... I'm going to cut this short. We may have been spotted.|Dr. Mossman''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''}}

===''Portal 2''===
FileBorealis drydock.jpg|thumb|right|200px|The ''Borealis''' empty drydock.

In ''Portal 2'', a large drydock for the ''Borealis''' can be found in the 1970s section of Test Shaft 09, near the offices where Chell finds GLaDOS in the bird's nest. The dock is completely empty, save for several life preservers bearing the ship's name scattered on the floor. This reveals that the Borealis had been in existence since some time around 1971.

Unlike other rooms in the same area, this room was not vitrified. In fact, the large bulkhead door has been blasted straight out of its hinges. There is no gate or exit of any sort through which the ''Borealis'' could have been entered or left the room, so it can be assumed it teleported out, perhaps through some violent portal event. Kleiner says in ''Episode Two'' that the ship disappeared with parts of its drydock; he likely refers to scaffolding, cranes or any contraption, as the drydock itself appears intact.


As suggested by the end of ''Episode Two'', the ''Borealis'' is expected to be focal point of Future of the Half-Life series|the next ''Half-Life'' game. The 3 pieces of concept art released in 2008 show the ''Borealis'' stuck in ice, covered in Combine technology and flanked by Advisors, suggesting the Combine will have a presence around the ship.

==Related Achievements==
{|class=wikitable style="vertical-aligncenter;" width=50%
!colspan="2" style="text-alignleft"|''Portal 2 Achievements and Trophies|Portal 2''
|rowspan=2 width=64px|FileNO BOAT.jpg
!style="text-alignleft"|Ship Overboard (10G)
|''Discover the missing experiment.''

==Behind the scenes==
{{Main|Borealis (cut location)}}

*The icebreaker ''Borealis'' was originally to appear in ''Half-Life 2'', Borealis (cut location)|as the ''Hyperborea'', then the ''Borealis''. In one of the earliest versions of the story, Freeman was to start the game by boarding the ship, bound for City 17.http// The Final Hours of Half-Life 2, Page 6 The Hemoglobin, on GameSpot Later in the game's development, she was to appear between two other cut chapters, the Air Exchange and Kraken Base,''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''WC mappack before being eventually cut with the whole part set between the Depot and the City 17 uprising.

*The original ship was based on existing WikipediaUnited States Coast Guard Cutter|research icebreakers, the WikipediaUSCGC Polar Sea (WAGB-11)|USCGC ''Polar Sea'', the WikipediaUSCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10)|USCGC ''Polar Star'' (both sister ships) or the WikipediaUSCGC Healy (WAGB-20)|USCGC ''Healy'', all United States Coast Guard vessels, homeported in Seattle, Washington. One of them (it is unknown which one exactly) was visited by Valve when docked in Seattle; several members of the ship crew being ''Half-Life'' fans, they were glad to grant them access to their ship to do their research.http// Half-Life 2 - PC Preview, page 4 on IGN

*The name "Borealis" is likely associated with the term "WikipediaAurora (astronomy)|aurora borealis", the northern polar lights only visible in the Northern Hemisphere. "Borealis" comes from "WikipediaAnemoi|Boreas", a wind god in the Greek mythology. "Hyperborea", the early name for the ship, was the name of the land of the WikipediaHyperborea|Hyperboreans, a mythical people who lived far to the north of Thrace. "Hyperborea" means "beyond the Boreas", thus beyond the land of the wind god Boreas. "Aurora Borealis" is also the name of a European research icebreaker being constructed.http// Official website of the ''Aurora Borealis''

*The images hidden in Mossman's message are located in the ''Episode Two'' texture files, in the folders "effects" and "Props".

*One of these images shows two of the unknown scientists of Kleiner's FilePhoto group001a2.png|Black Mesa main team photography, a bearded man and the only woman, posing in front of the ''Borealis''.

*Other images include three blueprints of the ''Borealis''. The original images are not blueprints for any of the United States Coast Guard research icebreakers mentioned above but those of a naval warship, the WikipediaUSS Newport News (CA-148)|USS Newport News, a United States Navy heavy cruiser launched after World War II. They also feature tables, taken from other blueprints. The images also feature a QSL card, originally for the USCGC ''Polar Star''.

*The ''Borealis'' seen on the screen at White Forest can be found within the map "ep2_outland_11b" and accessed with the "noclip" console code.

*The ''Borealis''’ teleportation mishap shares many similarities to the urban legend of the WikipediaPhiladelphia Experiment|Philadelphia Experiment in which the warship WikipediaUSS Eldridge (DE-173)|USS ''Eldridge'' was rumored to have been rendered invisible by experimental technology. In some versions of the story, the ship had accidentally teleported from its dry dock to a U.S. naval base over 200 miles away. In the most radical versions of the story, the ship achieved accidental time travel. When Marc Laidlaw asked about it, he stated that he had it in his mind way back.http// Marc Laidlaw Vault on Steam Users' Forums (January 25, 2012)
*While the ''Borealis'' was apparently located in an area of the Enrichment Center built in the 1970s, the ship's blueprints feature GLaDOS' name where the corporation's owner would sign, as well as the modern Aperture Laboratories logo. This issue has yet to be addressed or retconned.


===Game files===


FileBorealis plans 01.png|Other blueprint. The word GLaDOS can be seen, as well as the location of Aperture Science's labs and administration, Cleveland, Ohio, and an Aperture Laboratories stamp.
FileUSS Newport News MainDeckAft.jpg|WikipediaUSS Newport News (CA-148)|USS ''Newport News'' blueprint. The left portion is one of the sources of the previous image, reversed, while the right portion is the source of next image.
FileBorealis plans 03.png|Other blueprint, with again an Aperture Laboratories stamp, and turrets clearly visible.
FileBorealis plans 02.png|Other blueprint indicating the presence of a Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grill|Material Emancipation Grill and an Aperture Science Unstationary Scaffold|Unstationary Scaffold within the ship (misspelled as "Scafford").
FileUSS Newport News Level04.jpg|USS ''Newport News'' blueprint, one of the sources of the previous image.


FileBorealis schematic 001.png|Unused texture. QSL card.
FilePolar star qsl.jpg|The original QSL card, for the USCGC ''Polar Star''. Of note is that its name was crossed out each time it appears in the ''Borealis'' image.
FileBorealis filmslide 001.png|Unused texture. Two Black Mesa scientists from FilePhoto group001a2.png|Kleiner's Lab photograph posing in front of the ''Borealis''. The ship used here is an WikipediaArktika-class icebreaker|Arktika-class Russian icebreaker.
FileBorealis01.jpg|Unused texture. The ''Borealis'' stranded in the ice.
FileBorealis image 001.png|Unused texture. Another view, which seems to have been taken with a spotting scope.


FilePolar Sea and Polar Star.jpg|The WikipediaUSCGC Polar Sea (WAGB-11)|USCGC ''Polar Sea'' and her sister ship WikipediaUSCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10)|USCGC ''Polar Star'' near McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
FileBorealis E3 screen.jpg|Promotional screenshot of the original ''Borealis'' for E3 2002. 
FileBorealis mini episode two.jpg|The ''Episode Two'' model.
FileAperture Labs Borealis container.svg|Aperture Laboratories logo as seen on a container in the ''Episode Two'' model. 
FileBorealis Advisors.jpg|First released concept art for ''Episode Three'', featuring the Borealis and Advisors.
FileHalf Life 2 Episode Three concept 2.jpg|Another ''Episode Three'' concept art, with Advisors following a humanoid figure into the ''Borealis''.
File19551on2.jpg|Isaac Kleiner, Eli Vance and Alyx Vance talking about the ''Borealis'' at White Forest. 
FileBorealis life preserver p2.jpg|Life preserver model featured in ''Portal 2''.

==List of appearances==
*''Half-Life 2'' {{1st}} {{Gf}} {{Nc}}
*''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar'' {{Nc}}
*''Half-Life 2 Episode Two'' {{Vo}}
*''Portal 2'' {{C|Drydock only}}


CategoryAperture Science transportation
CategoryArctic locations
CategoryAperture Science locations
CategoryJeremy Bennett designs