Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Aftereffects

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    Wheatley
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Wheatley on Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:40 pm

    Yes, indeed! A very Wheatley-esque compliment, slightly backhanded and probably cramming a nonexistent foot into his nonexistent mouth, but... meant well. In a moronic sort of way. (Not that he'd admit to it, or do anything less than firmly deny it.)

    Not a moron.

    Anyway, this was actually rather nice, wasn't it? He'd been expecting... well, gnawing guilt and shame and probably terror. Mostly terror, actually. Also probably some agony, mental anguish, that sort of thing. Instead, they were sitting here, just... sort of... chatting. Joking, a bit. She kept smiling.

    This was not how Wheatley had expected this chat to go. However, he was not going to argue, even though a small part of them felt like he should have. Everything was fine now, see? (Except for all of the reasons from before that it wasn't fine at all, and wouldn't be, and what was he thinking...) They'd helped each other, just like old times, and... and everything was all right again. Mostly all right. Slightly almost on the way to almost possibly being just a little bit fine again, forever and ever.

    Possibly.

    "Ooh, company's what I'm good at! I'm brilliant at being good company. Good manners, witty banter, shout-y encouragement, that sort of thing. Any time you need a spot of company, I'm your man. AI Core. AI Core... man.... person. Anyway." He really honestly should have been feeling more terrible, and... and it was still there, sort of in the back of his head, but the Personality Core's ability to focus on important matters had always been rather flimsy. Without the imminent fear of repeating his mistakes looming over his head, it was a lot easier to just... change the subject than worry about anything else.

    Still, though... that thank you made his chipper mood teeter back into the serious, if only briefly. He didn't know why she was thanking him, but... she was. He didn't deserve it, but she didn't seem to believe him, no matter how hard he tried to explain it to her, so... So, maybe he'd learn from his mistakes, and trust her, for once. "Um. Thank you."
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Chell on Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:22 pm

    It was nice. Well, nicer than Chell had expected, anyway. Just months ago, if she'd known somehow, had some premonition of what was to come and was burdened with the knowledge, she might have vowed to cut herself off from him entirely. After all, giving him a second chance hadn't exactly been the easiest thing she had ever done, it had just... it had seemed right somehow. They were in a new place, in the midst of new lives, and Aperture was far behind them as it could possibly get--incomprehensibly far, actually. She'd still had nightmares now and again, and the hurt and anger he'd caused her still raging on despite it all, but she'd resolved to try her very best to give up the baggage once she'd settled in; let go. It had taken a long, long time, some of it still holding on despite it all, but she'd made some big steps in her life as of late. Had she known beforehand what was coming, though... she couldn't help but wonder exactly how big of a wrench that would have thrown into everything.

    But now that it was over, now that it was all said and done, she felt... fine. Nowhere near cloud nine or anything, but fine. It was like every confusing, rotten emotion she had ever associated with him had exhausted itself on that battlefield, leaving her drained and more than willing to just talk to him, for once. Sort of like they had in the old days, minus all of the running and near death experiences. The former test subject couldn't help but snort as he rambled on about being good company, but the overall good humor in her features still remained. This is what she'd been trying for, after all. Dragging him out of that rut of self pity, and showing them that he had a purpose, somewhere. Snapping him out of it and giving him... just a nudge in the right direction. A positive, more productive one.

    He may have been the Intelligence Dampening Sphere, but as far as she was aware, there was nothing in this universe that said that she couldn't be a good influence on him if she really tried.

    Once he had accepted her gratitude, she nodded, looking slightly uneasy at her own admission, although some inexplicable emotion tightened in her chest when she heard the emphasis on that last word. Understanding. They had finally come to an understanding, or at least it seemed like they had. It had taken them long enough, but she couldn't help the tiny flare of pride she felt in spite of herself. She had never been fantastic with words, (obviously), but if she got him to trust her just this once, then maybe they really did have a shot after all.

    Still, she couldn't help but add on one more line to her notepad to emphasize her point, a well intentioned, but still firm word of warning... "Seriously though, if something like this ever comes up again, you better damn well tell me you're feeling weird before you get put under the control of an alien computer."
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Wheatley on Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:27 pm

    Baby steps.  That's what it would take.  And even baby steps were difficult for the Personality Core and his lack of feet, metaphorical or otherwise.  Still, it was something, just a little bit farther than they had been, and not quite so far back as they once were.  It wouldn't be easy, getting past the kind of setback that was, well, attempting to murder one another (or, well, in her case it turned out it had been less trying to murder him and more trying to stop him from murdering her... but he'd been really quite terrified at the time).  It wouldn't be easy, but they were trying.  And he'd keep trying, too.  He owed her that much.

    Even if occasionally it scared him quite a lot.  

    This time, though... Wheatley cringed away from the words on the notepad, but it wasn't out of fear.  Just pure sheepishness.  "How was I supposed to know?  Honestly.  Its not as if it happens every... other month... or anything.  Uh."  Really!  This was only the third time in his whole life that he'd been horribly mind controlled by another computer.  Though the first time was probably still debatable.  Still.  Definitely less than... average.  "But, um, but to be on the safe side, if I do ever feel a bit... odd, I'll, um, I'll make sure to tell you.  Definitely.  Straight away.  Only..."  

    Alright, alright, no more self pity.  Though, he was still trying to ignore that little niggling worry that it was just something wrong with him.  It had proven to be false, of course, but that didn't necessarily mean that it wasn't true.  Uhm.  Somehow.  

    "...well.  To be honest.  Its beginning to get... a bit frequent, isn't it?  And, uh, its, its not my fault, honestly, it just seems like there's quite a lot of evil AIs running around, infecting the rest of us, and, um, I just thought... It might be nice if, uh, instead of waiting until it starts happening again, maybe there was something we could... do... about it?"
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Chell on Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:12 am

    ((So sorry for the wait, the holidays and illnesses ate me alive!))

    Baby steps were about all they could do at this point. Had this been a few months ago, Chell might have doubted it could happen at all, because... well, as previously stated, it was a little hard to move past someone trying to murder you, human or otherwise. The fact that she had been on the receiving end of an attempt by AIs more than a few times certainly didn't help. But she had wanted too, or at least wanted to make peace with the fact that he was here, and she was safe now regardless. She had been hoping they could happily coexist, and that maybe one day she could find it within herself to forgive him, even, that she could finally let go of the weight she had been holding for so long. Maybe she wasn't quite there yet, but she was definitely one step closer than she had previously been. The fact that they'd made it this far already was a pleasant surprise, even to her.

    And yet, even with all this in mind, the former test subject was not one to let people off easily. She watched, lips pursed and brow raising higher and higher as Wheatley fidgeted with a response to her scolding--especially since, well, this kind of did happen every other month. Not in regards to him, necessarily, but in regards to the world they now lived in. You just came to expect that from Portal Breach, she knew that just from some of her friend's stories alone. Once she heard what she wanted to hear, she nodded, a satisfied smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. Time would tell whether or not he took her words to heart, but almost anything seemed possible after today. After all, she was slowly learning that the key to keeping disasters like this at bay with just about anyone was honest communication.

    He didn't stop just there, though. The pleased look on her face gradually gave away to something inquisitive as she tried to connect the dots on what he was saying. Well, he wasn't wrong in that there were obviously ways more devious AIs could prey on less devious ones here (Although he seemed to be implying other instances--had this happened to him before?), but she wasn't quite sure what he was expecting to do about it, other than letting her know if he started to feel murderous again. She couldn't snuff out all of the evil in the world single handedly, especially one as unpredictable as the Breach.

    Jotting down another note, she held up the notepad to him, unable to help feeling a tinge of apprehension. "What did you have in mind?"
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Wheatley on Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:39 pm

    ((No worries! I definitely know the feeling. It was kind of nice taking an impromptu break, 'n' refilling my bucket. Now t' get back to it. :D))

    Wheatley would be lying if he said he hadn't been hoping she might have some ideas.  Because he definitely didn't have a single one besides "fix this thing.  This thing that keeps happening."  Possibly... classes?  How to Not Be Evil 101?  "Oh, I've got loads of ideas," the Core said, lying blatantly.  "I've been thinking about this for ages."  Not... technically far from the truth, though mostly it had been dwelling on the events rather than trying to think of ways to stop a.) getting drunk with power b.) turning evil and c.) trying to murder his friends.

    But, here he was, without a single idea, having just said he had loads, and Wheatley had never let a little thing like truth or reality slow him down. "Possibly... firewalls? Better, um, better firewalls? Password protection? Not that, ahah, not that I'm not already password protected! Probably. Uncrackable password, practically uncrackable, but, uh... you know, possibly could use sort of... redundant... layers of protection?"

    It should be noted that Wheatley had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. (But then, that goes without saying).

    "Or, um. Uh. Hm. Some sort of button, I could push. Or, or you could push. If I ever start acting eeeevil again, you know, and then... um, and then... Ooh! Then, there could be some kind of... cage, right, that, um, that drops out of the ceiling and traps me, ooooh, so I can't get out and wreck terrible havoc. And... that would give you... or someone, um, a chance to fix me?"

    This? Was a terrible plan. Wheatley gave her a hopeful look.
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Chell on Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:30 am

    Loads of ideas, huh? The former test subject cocked a very skeptical eyebrow at the core as he prattled on, already unsure as to if this was going in any sort of productive direction. It wasn't that she was trying to be cruel, it was just... well. The ideas he did have tended to be quite... special, was a kind way to put it. An endless stream of terrible ideas as someone else had once put it, the memory of that voice and the scene that took place directly afterwards causing a chill in her veins. He had gotten a little better, surprisingly enough for an AI designed specifically for that purpose, but they still tended to veer on the more absurd side of things. She knew now that he couldn't really help it, but that wasn't enough to keep her from mentally steeling herself for whatever was to come next.

    And as it turns out, absurd was a pretty good way to sum it up. Eyes glazing over, Chell found herself staring blankly ahead, trying futilely to connect talk of buttons and cages in ways that would make logical sense. She understood that he was nervous, hell, she even appreciated it, but once he stopped talking, the only response she could manage was to focus her attention on her hands, brows furrowing in puzzlement. He was talking to the wrong person when it came to programming, to start, she didn't know a lick of it. Being nearly murdered by two super computers multiple times over the course of her life kind of put her off of wanting to learn any more about them, even if times were changing. Was something like a firewall even possible? And for that matter, would it even help? It seemed like the more plausible thing out of all his other suggestions, but she couldn't help the sinking feeling that it might not do anything beneficial at all.

    His programming just seemed far too complex for that now. He was so confusing.

    And yet...

    "I don't think something like a firewall or a button is going to prevent this sort of thing." she finally wrote after a resigned sigh. Definitely not the cage. "I know that's not what you want to hear, but I think it's true. You have to move beyond this now. You have to be strong. I get that you're not human like I am, but in the end, it's still up to you."

    Blunt, maybe, but honest. After everything they'd be through, she didn't want to lie to Wheatley, didn't want to give him false hope where there most likely was none. She could be wrong, of course, but from her point of view, existence was so much more complicated then pressing a button to prevent yourself from doing something possibly unethical. Still, she wasn't finished yet, and gave herself pause to to add on another line, silently preparing herself for what she was about to offer him. "But... if it makes you feel any better, you can stick around a bit. With me. I don't mind." her stomach churned unpleasantly as she wrote, but she was full of resolve once she presented the text to him. "And if you start feeling off in the future, we can catch it early, and I can take you to someone who can help. We can figure it out, like partners. It's up to you."

    She realized she was giving up a lot of privacy if he agreed to this. It would mean having someone besides herself to look after, a potential lack of safety, and for sure a lack of peace and quiet. But it also meant possibly giving the little core a glimmer of hope, and she of all people knew how valuable that could be when things looked bleak.
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Wheatley on Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:04 pm

    That sound? That sound there? That was the sound of Wheatley's spirit being crushed. All his hopes and dreams, ground down beneath the harsh boot heel of reality. Well, alright, bit melodramatic, that. Not crushed, exactly. Sort of bruised a bit, or... dented, maybe. And the bit about all his hopes and dreams was rubbish, really, just sort of threw that in there...

    ...the truth of the matter was, what was really getting crushed was his illusions. Because, it was very possibly that she was right, and there was no simple way to open him up and de-program the going to the bad programming or glitch. No magical bit of technology that would keep... this from ever, ever happening again. The only thing that could possibly prevent Wheatley from re-treading the same old moronic path again was... himself.

    If the little Sphere had been offered the choice between two crushing things: The harsh reality of day metaphorically crushing his delusions or one of the spike-y mashing death-plates literally crushing him (and possibly his delusions as well in the process).... Wheatley would have definitely gone with the second option.

    Well. Maybe not definitely. He would definitely have had to think about it, though. For several minutes.

    He did not want it to be up to him. Because he'd be absolutely rubbish at it, even if you'd never get him to admit it. He would. Nothing seemed to ever go quite like he wanted it to... Even when he tried so very hard.

    Mind you, in hindsight, it was probably a bloody good thing that it hadn't gone his way, but... but even when he'd been big and strong, he- he'd been...

    How could he do it? Him? Alone? You might as well chuck him back into space where he couldn't hurt anyone...

    Words appeared in front of his eye again, and Wheatley dutifully read them, though it took him an extra few seconds before he really read them. "But... if it makes you feel any better, you can stick around a bit. With me. I don't mind." The big blue lens of his eye flickered up in her direction, and then back down to the page. Wheatley read, not just now but in general, with the kind of intense concentration that ought to have been accompanied by a finger tracing the words and possibly a tongue poking out the side of a mouth---or just simply mouthing the words as he went. The fact that he had none of these things didn't change the impression. And, particularly now, he was determined to make sure he was reading this right, with the kind of desperate hope of someone lost at see who thinks they've just spotted a life raft.

    "And if you start feeling off in the future, we can catch it early, and I can take you to someone who can help. We can figure it out, like partners. It's up to you."

    Oh thank god. Well, that was a relief. Err, though it was a bit funny, thinking about sticking around with her when not too long ago he'd been worried that she was going to enact some kind of revenge... He couldn't say he was worried about that anymore, at least. And staying with her was certainly a better idea than... than not, really, just any way he thought about it. At least, now that the whole revenge thing had gotten cleared up. Things had just always gone right with her around.

    At least, until they'd started going wrong again, but... look, besides the point, besides the point.

    "Yes! I mean... Alright, that sounds, you know.... fine. It's um, not as if I have much of anything on my plate, you know, at the, at the moment." He felt a momentarily twinge of guilt, because that wasn't precisely true. Kefka was out there, somewhere, and they hadn't exactly left it on the best of notes the last time he'd talked to the clown... but explaining Kefka to her would just have to wait for another day. Anyway, staying here for a bit just felt... right, somehow.

    Partners.

    Wheatley's initial enthusiasm and then attempt to backpedal into nonchalance both melted into a moment of uncharacteristic, if brief, seriousness. "Like you said, we'll... figure it out, right? Like partners." He paused, and then added, serious vanishing rapidly and sounding much more like his usual self, "I knew the cage idea was rubbish."
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Chell on Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:57 am

    Well, here was the moment of truth, as it was. Wheatley was remarkably expressive for something that was essentially a giant metal eyeball--be it with the use of his iris or his voice--and seeing as how that voice was especially quiet after she gave him her little speech, she could only imagine he didn't really like what he'd heard. As suspected. Chell hadn't exactly gone in with the intentions of crushing his hopes and dreams, but lying to him would have done neither of them good. Hell, lying to him may have actually led to something similar to what happened earlier affecting him again somewhere down the line, if such a thing was to ever come along. Honesty was always the best policy, as far as she was concerned, and if keeping them both safe meant upsetting him a little, than so be it. They would both benefit from this in the end, and if he accepted her next offer, then she would see to it that he remained as safe as one could possibly be in Portal Breach.

    As the core read over what she had to say next, she felt an odd flutter of nerves and turned away, biting her lip cautiously. She had never planned on offering him this... hadn't planned on ever offering it to anyone, really, and if it hadn't been the idea that seemed to make the most sense at the moment, she honestly would have been surprised at herself. The former test subject had never really had a home before, and stumbling across a staff member for the inn upon first arriving here was still one of her greatest strokes of luck, as far as she was concerned. It had given her a quiet space to acclimate to the hustle and bustle of the city, to meeting new people, to being around people in general. No matter what happened, no matter how overwhelmed she was, at the end of the day she knew she could always return to her room, where everything made sense again. Where everything was hers. That was something she had never in her wildest dreams intended on sharing with anyone, beyond a few visits here and there. The thought of giving up that peace and that privacy made her more nervous than anything in recent memory.

    But then... some things were more important than her sense of comfort. There were people in this world beyond just herself, she knew that now. And Wheatley, frankly, had been a big part of her little world ever since he came bursting into her life (and subsequently, her relaxation chamber), both in very positive and very negative ways. Their relationship was a strange one--it would probably always be a little strange--but he meant something to her now. In just a few days, he had shown her so much potential. Chell wasn't even sure he had someone to look out for him, much less a place to come home too.

    She just couldn't turn him away now.

    So, when the little robot enthusiastically accepted her offer, she felt an odd mixture of relief and a vague sense of loss, causing her to deflate rather quickly. She would miss the tranquility that living alone brought... and even with a roommate, she knew she would have to find certain times to just be alone. Boundaries, she knew, would almost certainly have to be set. But... after seeing such a lift to his spirits, she decided that could wait, just for now. Let them both be happy for a minute after what they had just been through. When he mentioned partners, the former test subject gave him a soft smile, full of both apprehension and just a hint of pride that he was willing to try this thing, even if it would be a new experience for them both. Of course, with Wheatley, nothing stayed very serious for long...

    Wheatley wrote:"I knew the cage idea was rubbish."

    And somehow, that did it for her. Bursting into a bout of silent laughter, Chell planted a hand firmly over her mouth, letting all of the tension and exhaustion of the day fizzle out through each spasm, easing both her muscles and her mind in one fell swoop. She wasn't used to being so open in front of other people, especially him, but however hysterical it might have seemed to be laughing after making such a life changing decision... she had to admit, she'd needed that. Once the fit had subsided, she shook her head and gave a long suffering sigh--not an entirely unhappy one--and wrote down one more line, switching on the TV and leaving the notepad beside him before making her way towards the kitchen. "Right. Make yourself at home, then."

    After all... in the aftermath of a day like today, she figured she deserved one hell of a dinner.
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    Re: Aftereffects

    Post by Wheatley on Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:43 am

    ((One last post to finish this off~))

    Wheatley was entirely incapable of admitting it, even quietly to himself, in the back of his head where he wasn't quite paying attention, but he really did need someone like her. Because, while yes, having one's hopes and dreams crushed was uncomfortable... sometimes one's hopes and dreams were just one deluding one self into not facing the reality of the situation. And, in Wheatley's case, that was somewhere around 99.99999999999% of the time.

    Not that he was even remotely capable of acknowledging that fact or, really, even aware of it. Nevertheless, the fact remained that a Wheatley with Chell was much better off than a Wheatley without. And, even if he couldn't articulate it, or really understand why, the Core couldn't help but feel a little more optimistic about the future, when it included her assistance.

    "Grinning" a bit self consciously when she laughed---he couldn't remember her doing that often, and it was with a more than a little lingering guilt that he quietly acknowledged that he'd been part of the reason why---Wheatley chuckled a bit along with her. Like it had with Chell, the laughter seemed to ease some of the tension that had had him all wound up. There. That was settled, at least for now. And it was settled... pretty nicely, actually. He hadn't expected that.

    He didn't need sleep, and didn't feel tired, per say, the same way that humans did. He didn't run low on battery, even, at least he hadn't ever yet and had no reason to believe that would change. Still, it had been an emotionally exhausting day. When she presented him with that last message, Wheatley was more than happy to take her at her word. As she wandered off out of his sight, the Core's gaze slid over to the TV screen, and Wheatley quite happily shut his little mind off, in favor of staring at the reassuring drivel of a string of commercials about car insurance, cereal, and various medications now available on the market...


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    Re: Aftereffects

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