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


    A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

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    A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:59 pm

    Time: 12:00pm
    Date: January 16th, 2015

    Chell was not sick. Totally not sick. Nope. The epitome of health. And absolutely not shambling through the streets of Portal City like the undead from that ridiculous horror movie she watched with Wheatley one time.

    ...Okay, so she was maybe a little sick.

    It had all started just a couple of days beforehand, not long after the holiday rush seemed to have died down. Throughout her usual workday at Wheaton and Pita's bakery, Chell had found herself feeling a little under the weather. It had been unusually cold, colder than she was used to tolerating, and she had decided to attribute that to her subtly aching bones and scratchy throat. She enjoyed the newfound experiences holidays brought to her, especially when she got to spend them with people she was close to, but she had always flourished in warm weather, and she usually found herself looking forward to winter's end whenever that came about. With that in mind, it was easy to come to the conclusion that she was just suffering from a simple winter cold, nothing more, nothing less.

    And then... today hit. The former test subject was no stranger to being sick, having usually experienced minor colds--being tossed into a new dimension with new bacteria to become accustomed to tended to do that to you--but this was something else. The ache in her bones had become a dull throb, her head was swimming and congested, and there was a nasty feeling in the pit of her stomach that signaled something was just wrong. Chell being stubborn to a fault, along with a healthy dose of denial, had put on her clothes and stumbled determinedly to work, figuring if she couldn't beat it, she could at least try to ignore it. This lasted for all of five minutes until Wheaton and Pita, caring as they were, saw the state their employee was in and promptly sent her home out of concern, requesting she stop by a drug store to pick up some medicine and some soup before hoofing it home to get some rest.

    Normally, Chell would have argued, but seeing as the floor started spinning as soon as she entered the bakery, she found that for once she didn't have the motivation for backtalk.

    So that was how she wound up at the Stock Pot Inn, pale and clammy, with a plastic grocery bag full of the recommended goods hanging from one hand. The inn seemed remarkably quiet today, much to her relief--the last thing she needed was well meaning friends wasting their time fussing over her. She enjoyed seeing them, and the thought would have been appreciated, but as far as she was concerned, she was only kind of sick. No big deal. Thus, she could look after herself.

    Finally, after what seemed like ages, Chell made it to the front door of her room, unlocking and opening it with the finesse of a sleep deprived two year old. Normally, she would have knocked on the doorframe a couple of times to let her roommate know she was home, in lieu of having a voice, but in her haze she simply stood in the doorway, swaying gently from side to side. This was going to be a looooong day.

    ---

    ((Credit goes to Elfgirl for the topic title!))


    Last edited by Chell on Sat May 09, 2015 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:23 pm

    "Oh!  You're back!  ...That was fast, wasn't it?"  

    Chell had, no doubt, been standing in the doorway for several long moments before the voice of the aforementioned roommate came from a pile of blankets on the couch.  Nestled in front of the blankets, in easy reach of (for example) the corner of an AI Core's handle bars for easy manipulation of the buttons, was the TV remote.  Nestled in the blankets was a certain AI Core.  Wheatley had obviously been geared up for a long, productive day of program television.  Apparently, gaining the ability to be mobile had had less of an effect on him actually being mobile than might be expected.  

    "That, uh, that was fast, wasn't it?"  Rising like a hot air balloon through parting clouds, Wheatley drifted into the air, shedding blankets.  He sounded concerned, though knowing him, it was not as of yet because he'd detected that there was anything wrong with her.  The more likely explanation was he was worried that- "Maybe I ought to get my internal clock checked.  Um.  Eventually."  It kept blinking 12:00 at him.  Very unhelpful.  "But, I would have sworn I only watched two shows since you left..."

    By this point, the Sphere had drifted over to hover over her, peering down at his roommate with a vaguely sheepish expression.  He hadn't exactly meant for her to catch him watching television - when he thought about it (which was not often) Wheatley had a vague notion that he possibly should be doing... more, at least around the house.  (Though in all honestly, it was probably safer for the apartment if he didn't get it into his head to clean while she was gone.)

    But, thoughts of abstract guilt were gradually being pushed aside by another creeping suspicion.  What was she doing home this early?  And why was she standing dully in the doorway like that, making soft moaning sounds?  (Those might have been his imagination.)  

    GASP.  She... she wasn't a zombie was she?  The horror!  Well, he'd be safe enough, what with being an inedible robot and all, but anyone else who came by...  Oh dear!  He'd better make sure she wasn't a zombie really fast---and if she was, he'd, err, have to put up signs or something...  Danger!  Beware of mute, puzzle-solving zombie.  Please leave any spare brains in the donation box.  Thanks!

    He drifted closer, and was somewhat relieved when he realized she was definitely probably not a zombie, based on the evidence his keen eyes could detect, i.e.:  1.) she was breathing, 2.) she did not have the blood of the innocent dripping from her mouth, 3.) she was not moaning "braaaaaaains..." at all, not even a little.  

    Probably safe, then.

    Still, something seemed... off.  "Are you... uh, are you feeling all right? You look a bit... uhm... zombie-like. Just, uh, just a bit. Not, uh, not proper zombie zombie, I mean, just a bit... sort of... zombie... ish..."
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:06 pm

    ((Sorry for the wait on this...!))

    ----

    Sure enough, said roommate had finally noticed Chell, raising himself off of a rather comfy looking blanket nest on the couch. Normally, she might have quirked an eyebrow at him, surprised to see him hanging out in front of the TV--after all, since they had gone through the trouble of getting him a new hover mechanism, she would have thought he'd be out enjoying it--but frankly, at the moment, all she could manage was a decidedly sluggish blink. Was this what he got up to all day while she was gone?

    Oh, he was coming over to her now. The woman made no move from her spot in the doorway as Wheatley drifted towards her, rambling about clocks or something or other. She wasn't really paying attention right now. Not that she necessarily paid attention to his every word even on a good day, but the room was still going in and out of focus, which had pretty much reduced his voice to a vaguely irritating stream of background noise. Peering up at him through her bangs, she weighed her options, trying to decide how she felt about his current presence.

    On the one hand, to his credit, he seemed to be catching on that something was off, if his inquiring about her was any indication. On the other hand, he was now talking about zombies, and she soon decided she was really, really not in the mood to have him looming over her and chattering right now. What might have been endearing one day was annoying the next, and in her sick-addled state, all he really was to her was a noisy floating object blocking her way to a quiet room and a warm bed.

    Dully reaching out to the core, she clamped one hand around his "face", where his optic was situated, hoping that would be enough to silence him before promptly moving him to the side and out of her way. There. Better.

    Heaving a congested sigh, Chell kicked the door closed and made her way to the kitchen, depositing her rucksack carelessly on to the floor. Deep down, she didn't really want to bother with the medicine, but Wheaton and Pita had been nice enough to recommend it for her, and she didn't want to have spent the money for nothing. Once at the counter top, she dumped out the contents of her grocery bag, ignoring the one soup can that rolled off and clattered on to the floor.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:11 am

    Alright. Okay. S'pose he deserved that, really. Very clear message, too: Shut up, Wheatley. He was being a moron again, wasn't he? 'Course he was. Honestly, zombies? Really? Of course she wasn't a zombie. He'd been watching too much telly, that was his trouble. Right, that settles it. No more television, starting... uhm. Starting tomorrow. Well, tomorrow afternoon. Possibly tomorrow evening. Definitely tomorrow evening - late night television was rubbish anyway.

    Err, right. What had he been saying again..?

    Ah, yes. Zombies. Or, uh, rather, how Chell was not one (and also that he was being a moron again, and should stop).

    She'd staggered her way into the kitchen, in a manner that was definitely not at all like a zombie (only it really kind of was... Sonotamoron) and had upended some grocery bags onto the counter. The contents of which he couldn't quite see from his angle, behind her, except for the errant soup can that had attempted escape. Ha-ha! Not while Wheatley was on the job!

    "Oh! I've got that! Don't panic!" Why he thought she might panic was anyone's guess, and it was a question that would remain forever unanswered, as the Sphere swooped down to the floor and cornered the soup can, that was rolling slowly to a stop.

    Angling his lower handle bar carefully, Wheatley started pushing the soup can across the kitchen floor, until he ran into the cupboards below the counter top. Pinning the chunky metal cylinder against the cabinet, he shifted his "grip" so that the handlebar was partially tucked under the can, and then - moving slowly and carefully, his "expression" one of intense concentration - he rolled the soup can up the side of the cupboard.

    It was extremely awkward, and he almost got caught on the handle to one cupboard, and then the edge of the counter top almost completely stopped him in his tracks, until he finally smooshed his face up against the can, balancing it carefully between one of the shutters on his optic and his handlebar for the inches it took to get it over the lip....

    And then, success! It had taken a solid two minutes longer than it would have taken anyone with thumbs, hands, or even just limbs, but the soup can was back on the counter top.

    Wheatley beamed with pride at his accomplishment, before turning his attention back to what Chell was up to. Hovering at counter top level, he could finally see the rest of her loot. Floating closer curiously for a better look, Wheatley slowly sounded out the writing on the labels, before finally, finally, finally the light bulb came on.

    "Hang on, that's medicine! You are sick, aren't you?"

    Congratulations, Wheatley. Well spotted. Top marks.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:37 pm

    Being as focused on not simply passing out against the counter top as she was, Chell remained oblivious to the rather impressive feat going on behind her, choosing instead to scan her newly freed groceries. Should she take the medicine and then make the soup? Or was it the other way around? There was a chance taking the medicine would make her too tired to heat up her food, but then again, what if the soup made her feel even sicker? While she didn't appear to be doing anything other than staring listlessly at her options, to any mind readers, it would have been pretty obvious they had a girl on their hands who had never been truly ill before.

    By the time Wheatley had put the soup can back in it's place, the woman was squinting her eyes to read the directions on one of her bottles of medicine, hoping to discover what the side effects were. When her companion spoke up, she had just enough energy to roll her eyes, casting him a sharp look that clearly said "what was your first clue?" Luckily for him, the look fell almost as quickly as it appeared once she caught sight of the runaway can back in it's place, plus the openly curious expression he was giving her.

    Some place deep down, where she wasn't irritable and sick, she felt a little bad that she was being so hard on him... after all, he was a robot. A very dynamic robot, but a robot none the less. He probably didn't have much of a frame of reference for what a sick human looked like, and he seemed like he was really trying to help. Maybe if she tried to explain, he would understand.

    Heaving another sigh, she held up a finger signaling him to wait, shuffling back to her abandoned rucksack. (That she was now currently regretting to have abandoned.) Her tablet retrieved, Chell leaned against the counter top to write her note, head swimming with exertion. "A little." she marked out shakily, her penmanship noticeably more rough than usual. "Will get over it soon. Just need medicine."

    Of course, to anyone with eyes, she was not just a little sick, and she most certainly would not be getting over it soon, but that was for Wheatley to decide.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:47 am

    All the little things were beginning to add up. Someone perceptive might have caught on immediately, of course, but Wheatley, well... Wheatley had needed the evidence to pile up until he was in danger of being crushed by an avalanche of it. But, even as thick as he was, just how sick his roomie actually was, was finally, finally sinking in.

    His big blue innocent eye narrowed. If he'd had more of a face, it would have been a frown. As it was, the expression was teetering on the edge of disgruntled. "A little? I almost mistook you for a zombie, luv. That's not exactly what I'd call a little sick." Not that he had a great deal of experience with sick humans. Injured humans? Sure. Comatose humans? Lots. Humans-that-you-thought-were-comatose-but-were-actually-dead? ...Um, moving along now. Point being, that Wheatley didn't have much to go on, when it came to proper illnesses that weren't caused by, oh, neurotoxin or poisonous gas or... err, testing.

    But now that he had a word to describe the symptoms (i.e. 'Chell is acting lethargic and generally zombie-like' = 'Chel is sick'), he did have some general, poorly edited encyclopedic knowledge on the subject. Never fear, miss! Wheatley was on the job! The poor lass would be right as rain in no time, with him watching over her?

    (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

    First thing's first: Sitting. She looked like she was about to keel over, and if she collapsed on the kitchen floor then it would make taking care of her a lot more difficult. "I am almost reasonably positive that you can definitely take medicine while you're sitting. So..." With one handlebar, he nudged the small pile of collected cold medicines across the counter at her, and then, not quite waiting for her to actually gather them up, floated over to start nudging her towards the living room (and subsequently the blanket covered couch). "March! Or, um, possibly stroll? Actually, on second thought, marching's probably not a good idea, better not risk it, but definitely you should still be making your way, uh, slowly, shuffling possibly? Uh, over to the couch. And then sit, um. If, uh, if that wasn't clear."

    Nudge nudge nudge nudge nudge.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:28 pm

    Okay, so Wheatley was clearly not buying this "only a tiny bit sick, no really" thing. To his credit, he was having a much easier time than Chell of dismissing it, who very nearly began to roll her eyes before deciding against it in a wave of dizziness halfway through. Alright, maybe " a little" was an eensy bit of an understatement. But she would be fine with just a bit of R&R, she was sure of it, and attempted to wave off his disbelieving expression with a clumsy swoop of her hand.

    It was a little less than convincing when your arms seemed to be permanently stuck moving in slow motion, but hey, she tried.

    As if to prove this point, the core almost immediately began taking control of the situation, causing Chell to look openly taken aback. She wasn't exactly what you would call a controlling person--spending god knows how long testing under Her was more than enough to turn you off of seeing other sentient beings completely under someone's thumb--but being fiercely, stubbornly, sometimes even stupidly independent was in her nature. The woman would accept help from others only if it was on her terms, under her consent, and what was happening now actually kind of offended her. Was he seriously doing this? Didn't he believe she could take care of herself? At his nudging, she scowled, lunging for the nearest medicine bottle before he pushed her completely away from it. Had her life seriously come to this?

    And... yet. It was never something she'd openly admit, especially not to him, but if she tried really hard to ignore that squawking little voice of offense in her head, she was actually... curious as to where Wheatley was going with this. Chell had never had anyone to care for her before, especially not in this way. If she got nicked by a wayward bullet or seared by a badly placed laser while testing, it was up to her to fix that. If she found herself starving during the months she spent in the wilderness, well, she had to fix that too. There had been never been someone to look after her until now, and if this was the core's version of helping, maybe... maybe she could listen to him, just this once. Just to see what it was like. She could always stop him if things starting exploding.

    Plus, the couch did sound really nice.

    After a moment of bracing herself against him, the former test subject let her shoulders sag forward, moving toward the living room with a relenting nod. Since Wheatley had moved in, the couch had always housed a rather cozy pile of blankets, something Chell took full advantage of by tossing one over her head as she collapsed. There. She was sitting. Peering out from her blanket cocoon, she mustered up the energy to quirk an eyebrow at her friend, and wondered not for the first time if she was delirious. What now, doctor?
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:52 am

    What now, indeed?  Wheatley's plan for Helping Chell Get Better, at the moment, went something like this:  Step One - Get Chell to couch.  Step Two - Soup, in some capacity.  Step Three - ???  Step Four - Profit Wellness for her, and Congratulations for him on a Job Well Done.

    Step one had been completed successfully. Check. Now. Step two. Step... two. Um.

    Right.

    "Good! Right. Now... you just, uh, you just stay there and leave the rest to me, right? Nothing to worry about." Please put all thoughts of Wheatley plus your stove completely out of your mind. Because, really, the biggest, most crucial obstacle in the AI Core's plan was his total lack of any kind of limbs whatsoever. It was beginning to dawn on him just how daunting a task making soup could possibly be.

    But, Wheatley was not one to be deterred by terrible ideas. (Obviously.) And, well... this wasn't the first time, technically, that he'd been tasked with the welfare of a human (or, well, humans, in that case). It... obviously hadn't gone very well, that time. And, honestly, he hadn't really thought about it before, especially not with anything resembling guilt. It really had been something quite beyond his control, and if Wheatley thought about it at all, it was with the relief of a narrow escape from near disaster. That being the case, he... wasn't entirely oblivious to the fact that, um, he was not the most... reliable... when it came for caring for other people.

    That didn't mean that he wasn't going to try. And try enthusiastically.

    Floating his way back over to the kitchen, Wheatley babbled cheerfully over his nonexistent shoulder. "Now! Um. Next on the list is, uh, is soup. Best remedy for a cold, really. Or, uh, a flu. Chicken soup especially, uh, so I've been told. Not entirely sure why, to be honest, but then, well, food's a bit of a human thing anyway. I, uh, I can't say I've got much first hand experience.... but! Not to worry, I'm sure I can definitely figure this out. Not a problem. At all. Um."

    Gliding over to the counter where he'd left the can, Wheatley stared at it for a few seconds, as if willing it to suddenly cook itself and be in a bowl, next to Chell. When it didn't immediately do any of these things, all by itself, he tried a different angle, staring at it intently. And then another angle.

    Hmmm. Maybe... he could... knock it off something, so it would break open... and... then... have the cooking pot underneath that... so... the soup would just... fall in? No, then how would he get it back up onto the stove? Hrrrmm.... what if he just sort of... nudge the can onto the stove? Heat it up in there, and then roll it over to Chell and let her open it, nice and toasty warm, over at the couch? Yes! That could work! Though, no, hang on, wait.... possibly the label would catch on fire... He'd better get that off first... Err... then again, it would probably be just fine, maybe a little singed, but, um... he was sure it would be fine.

    Definitely, totally fine.

    A little uncertainly, Wheatley started to nudge the soup can across the counter, towards the stove.

    Best plan ever! ....probably?
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Tue May 05, 2015 10:41 pm

    Whatever Wheatley was saying, and however much concern it might have caused in Chell on a better day, the personality core's babbling fell on deaf ears as she sank deeper into the couch, letting her eyes fall blissfully shut. Okay, score one for Wheatley: getting her off her feet had been a really, really good idea. Though it wasn't something she liked to admit about herself, she had a tendency to push herself to her breaking point, physically and emotionally--a left over habit from her days as a test subject. Simple comfort was always a luxury and rarely something she could afford, which meant that even now, with so much of that behind her, it was difficult to remember to sit down and breathe once and a while. Not that she was doing a ton of breathing right now with her nose stuffed up, of course, but the couch was so wonderfully soft, and the blankets were just warm enough to soothe her aching bones.

    Letting out a tiny sigh of contentment, she reached down and began peeling off her long fall boots, curling her newly freed toes up under another part of the blanket nest. Eyes sliding over toward Wheatley, she couldn't help but feel the tiniest bit thankful that she wasn't alone in this for once, that she had someone around to at least keep an eye on her, even if he was a roooooh god he was trying to make her soup abort abort ABORT.

    Snapping out of her haze, the former test subject began looking around frantically for anything she could use to distract him, settling for a few sharp claps of her hands. Once she had his attention, she shot her roommate what she hoped was her best 'CEASE, DESIST' expression, gesturing wildly with her hands in quick, cutting motions. Okay, that one was a mark on her--the fact that she'd expected anything less out of this situation was pure madness, even if she was sick. Having someone to care for you was only nice up until the point when they started burning down the roof over your head, however well intentioned their plan originally may have been. Suddenly feeling a bit flushed, Chell mimed pulling the lid off of a can for him a couple of times over, hoping he'd see that it wasn't really a task well suited for any hand-less beings. Especially so for floating, orb shaped robots. Honestly, what had she been thinking?

    Well, if you wanted something done, you had to do it yourself. Signaling for her companion to wait, Chell began the slow, unpleasant process of uncurling herself from their couch, blanket still hanging over her head like a robe. Every muscle, every bone within her was demanding that she stay put, but she had a problem to solve, and she was going to damn well solve it. That line of thinking was doing it's job pretty well, at least until the exact moment when she hoisted herself to her feet again... only to feel the world spin like a carousel around her, causing her to end up right back on the couch again, face drained of most of it's color.

    On second thought, maybe fiery death wouldn't be so bad after all.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Fri May 29, 2015 2:07 am

    Wheatley was bad at charades.  Really bad.  Extremely bad.  Just... just terrible.  It probably had something to do with that whole programmed to have the worst ideas ever, of all time issue.  And even though he'd been wrestling against that urge for some time now, and had made some steps in the right direction...  This growth did not include charades.  

    You'd think it would, honestly, considering how much practice he got at it.  And, to be fair, there were some that he'd come to recognize, simply because they'd been used so often (especially after he'd gotten his mobility back).  For example, flail, flail, flail, frown-y grimace alarm-face meant NO STOP BAD WRONG STOP.  It had taken him a couple of instances to learn that, but now he was 100% confidant in his translation.

    Obediently, Wheatley stopped what he was doing.  Less because he'd realized the folly of his plan, and more because she got very grumpy if he continued what he was doing whenever she made that face at him and waved her arms like that.  

    He was not, however, really sure what grabby one hand other hand twisty pulling motion meant.  Was she... starting a very tiny lawn mower?  Err, peeling a very round banana?  Um, making a snow ball?  Oh, this was hard... Maybe she... wanted a different kind of soup?  Something you peeled?  Orange soup?  Was that even a thing?  

    Wheatley stared blankly, and you could practically see the smoke billowing out of his non-existent ears as his processor over-clocked, trying to come up with the answer.  But he was saved from having to figure out what her emphatic miming had meant, by a crisis that took top priority (and jogged his circuits out of a dead-end puzzle "solving" loop).  

    Chell had stood up.

    "Nononono wait what are you doing?!"  Soup can totally abandoned, Wheatley started forward, darting in her direction to bully her back onto the couch, when she simply collapsed backwards again of her own volition.  He sagged with relief.   "Yes! Good. Now, uh, now, just stay there, alright? No getting up allowed. None at all. Uhm. And I'll just... I'll just take care of everything, don't you worry." Shooting her another anxious look (were humans supposed to be that color?), Wheatley turned on his axis, back towards the stove. "Now, where was..."

    Oh, yes. He'd been making soup, she'd done the NO STOP signal. And then another one, that he didn't recognize at all. Something about... something about what he'd been doing. Hnnngh, no, he could do this... She'd told him to stop... stop what he'd been doing. What he'd been doing was... was putting the soup can on the, on the stove. Right. Okay. Yes. Definitely stop doing that. But... why? That was probably important. Maybe... maybe the next unfathomable set of gestures had to do with the why? No, no, that was rubbish, that didn't make s-

    Moron. Stupid, stupid, stupid, he was doing it again, wasn't he? That was right, he'd been right, and so he'd of course dismissed it right away... Only, no, that was nonsense, why would he-

    Aaaaaaaargh. No! He could do this. He could figure it out. It had to do with the soup can, and why he needed to stop what he'd been doing, and no, shut up, he was-

    Oh! Oh oh oh oh oh!

    If Wheatley had had hands and legs and could jump up and down while waving his hands, he'd have done so. "Open the soup can! Aha! You wanted me to open the soup can!" Yay, he'd learned a new gesture! Probably not one that would ever come up again, but it didn't matter! He'd figured it out all on his own. He was so smart! And not a moron at all, not even a little.

    His glee was short lived, however. "Oh, but... Uh. If I open it up-" Ignoring completely the impossibility of him even accomplishing that feat, because... well. Wheatley. "-then it'll, well, it'll make it a bit messy, uh, rolling it over to you...." The big shutter on his eye narrowed, handlebars pulling in to make Wheatley's equivalent of a brow furrowed in deep concentration. Hm. This was a problem...

    Oh. Ha. Of course. Why didn't he think of this earlier? The oldest and simplest solution was always the best solution: Get a human to do it. (Or, well, this being the Breach, it became simply 'someone with hands.')

    "Right. I've got it. Nothing to worry about, I'll be back in a tick. Don't move. If you've moved even a muscle when I get back, I'll be... I'll be cross! I will! Very cross! So... So... um. Don't move."

    With that terribly intimidating ultimatum, Wheatley spun in the air and made a bee-line for the door. Diving low, he hovered for a moment in front of the little, smaller panel at the bottom of the door that had been installed by the benevolent Inn staff, for the express purpose of allowing someone who was without the ability to use doorknobs to leave his front door. It looked, frankly, like a doggie door. Unlike most doggie doors, however, this didn't require him to mash his face against a flap - and it only opened for him. (Minor ego boost there, every time he used it.)

    Pausing just long enough for the panel to slide open as if by (and probably in fact by) magic, Wheatley disappeared from sight. He was on a mission!

    Uh. Whether this turn of events was better than fiery death was probably still up in the air.
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    Barney Calhoun
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sat May 30, 2015 5:08 pm

    Barney Calhoun, aka hapless victim #1, in this case... had the misfortune of having chosen, perhaps a minute or two earlier, to leave his apartment with the intention of going grocery shopping. Yep, Barney Calhoun, Mister Nothing-in-the-fridge-but-beer-and-a-lone-ketchup-bottle, was going grocery shopping. Crazy, right? It was sort of a recent development. An unexpected by-product of the new (ish) roommate, who had a habit of getting so wrapped up in a project that she forgot that eating was a thing she needed to do, at least until sometime around midnight when the complaints of her stomach finally got loud enough to get her attention. After catching her making a midnight snack of ketchup-and-saltines, he'd decided one of them had better start being a responsible adult and keep the fridge stocked.

    But, that wasn't the point.

    The point was, Mister Calhoun had chosen... poorly. Fate, destiny, or just blind dumb luck had determined Barnye to be the very first sentient being with opposable thumbs that Wheatley spotted in his quest for assistance.

    "Oh! Brilliant! Oi! Oi-oi! You!" He'd literally just stepped through the doorway into the main area when the nervous sounding British voice rang out from across the room. Barney glanced up as the metal sphere as it darted towards him, flying a little above head height. For a brief moment, he flashed back to the camera-drones from City 17, and the recogniztion sparked. Hadn't he seen this little guy around before, somewhere? Oh, right he'd been Kefka's little pal... "It's, uh, it's... um, Cal, isn't it?" "Uh, Calhoun, actually-" "Right, right, listen, you've got help! Hurry! I've got to get back, she doesn't listen to me - I know she's going to do something stupid if I leave her alone, but I can't take care of her by myself, I tried but she only got angry at me - please! Please, please, help!"

    This was babbled at high speed, before Barney could try and digest it all rationally. All his brain really latched on to was help and the urgent sense that somewhat was in trouble. "Whoa, what? Where?"

    "C'mon!" Swooping back the way he'd come, with Barney hot on his non-existant heels, Wheatley led his new henchman back to the apartment. When the little robot ducked through his little doggy-door again, Barney hesitated, then tried the knob. Finding it unlocked, he followed the anxious robot inside. It took his eyes a few seconds to adjust to the darker interior, as he blundered into the room, and stopped just inside the entry way, trying to get his bearings. Just in time to hear Wheatley say, with relief, "Oh, good! You didn't move. See? I told you there was nothing to worry about. I've, um, I've brought someone to help!"

    Turning his big blue eye to Barney, the little robot asked, "You do know how to a can of soup, don't you? Or, um, possible peel an orange, I'm not completely sure about that..."

    Peering past him, Barney realized there was a young woman sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, and it started to dawn on him that maybe the situation wasn't as urgent as he'd been led to believe. And he kind of just barged into someone's apartment... "Uh... Sorry, about that..."
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:49 pm

    Well, Wheatley  was trying, that much Chell could see. Watching him try to interpret her gestures was nigh on painful, but unless her voice decided to make it's return, it was sadly the only way she had to communicate with him barring her tablet. They'd mastered the basics of charades some time ago, and living together definitely helped, but it was still... not one of his greater talents. She wondered if she was going to have to start using flashcards.

    Feeling too sorry for him to let this continue, the former test subject started reaching for the tablet when Wheatley finally put two and two together, prompting an actual look of surprise out of her. Credit where credit was due: when he got it, he got it. Giving the core a shaky thumbs up, Chell allowed herself to relax, relieved and a little bit proud. Maybe now he'd see that the soup thing was out of the question, and the Inn would be spared from a fiery ruin--

    Wheatley wrote:"Oh, but... Uh. If I open it up--then it'll, well, it'll make it a bit messy, uh, rolling it over to you...."

    Ohhhh, one day she'd learn.

    All at once not very hungry anymore, she hastily started to write, fully prepared to tell him to call the soup thing off. Wheatley, unfortunately, seemed to have other ideas, if his command for her to stay put meant anything. He was leaving? To go where? Shifting forward, she extended a feeble hand his way, only to let it flop back down to her side when the sphere ducked out through his doggie door anyway, not even having seen her protests. Chell, tired and confused, could only stare blankly at the now empty space as she tried to push down the sudden feeling of foreboding that welled up within her. He had made noticeable improvements over the past couple of years, but Wheatley's ideas still had to be approached with a degree of caution. Whatever he was planning, she knew for sure she was in no place to deal with the fallout of whatever this one involved.

    Slumping back on the couch, she did her best to ignore it and enjoy the moment of peace, blue-grey eyes drifting shut. Spending the day laying on the couch was not her idea of a good time, and feeling so awful on top of that only made it worse. She would much rather be out working, hiking, grocery shopping--anything would have been productive than, well, this. Still, she knew enough to understand how important rest was in this situation, and after a few minutes, she actually felt herself slipping into a blissful doze. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew there was a chance her roommate could be back at any moment, but even a few minutes of sleep would be amazing, just a few minutes...

    What happened next was probably inevitable. Already half asleep, Wheatley coming in through his panel wasn't enough to even rouse Chell. She had gotten used to that sound not long after they installed it. Her door unexpectedly swinging open... was a different story. Acting on pure instinct, the woman suddenly bolted upright, brandishing a pillow above her head like a deadly weapon, eyes wild with alarm. It wasn't a rational reaction by any stretch, but then, she wasn't feeling very rational, and time spent trying to sleep in Aperture put her on high alert for any noise out of the ordinary. Seeing a strange man standing in her doorway did nothing to soothe that, and she remained frozen in her position until Wheatley addressed her, snapping her out of attack mode.

    Wait... what?

    Eyes still bulging, her gaze darted between the two of them as her roommate talked to the man, frazzled mind attempting to assess situation. Okay, Wheatley was back, and he had brought a stranger with him--presumably someone from the Inn, since he really hadn't been gone that long. Said man had urgently burst into her apartment, and was now standing awkwardly in her doorway while the core drilled him on his soup-opening capabilities, looking just about as taken aback as she was. Chell may have been sick, but she had known Wheatley long enough to be able to puzzle together his train of thought reasonably well, even on a bad day, and the man's apology was the last clue she needed before everything finally clicked into place.

    Letting the pillow fall from her grasp, she slouched forward, covering her face with her hands in a sort of duo facepalm. She had been right--this idea was the worst and she had no one to blame but herself. Deciding to make her feelings known, she clapped to win back Wheatley's attention, before shooting him a glare and splaying out her fingers in what she hoped was a dramatic enough display of her irritation. Really?!
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:53 pm

    ((Very helpfully, Wheatley decided to give his input before AND after Barney's post, so, uh, I'm sort of splitting it up… Hooray?))

    Whether or not Chell's expression of disapproval had any deterring affect on the exuberant little personality Core, it seemed to confirm Barney's doubts on the whole ordeal. "Sorry, I… think I got my wires crossed here. I'll just…" With his hands raised in what was probably meant to be an apologetic gesture (but only put Wheatley in mind of cops and robbers), his newly acquired minion lackey stooge assistant started to back out the door. He was escaping! And they hadn't even made soup yet!

    "No, no, no, it's fine, everything's fine," Wheatley assured him, using his most soothing tone of voice, while quickly darting over to hover between Barney and the exit. "Don't mind her, she's, um, she's a bit under the weather, that's all. Not a zombie, though! She is definitely not a zombie. So, there's that. Uh, but still dreadfully ill, and, uh, potentially contagious, now that I think about it… Nevermind, I'm sure you'll be fine, don't worry about that. Uh, I just need a bit of assistance with the, um, the whole problem of… soup." He paused. "Or… possibly oranges."

    Wheatley gave Barney a pleading look, hovering in the air like one great big metal puppy dog eye. "Please?"
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    Barney Calhoun
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:04 pm

    It was the 'please' that did it. That, and the fact he was pretty sure Wheatley wasn't smart enough to actually be deliberately manipulative. (Or, at least, to succeed at it, if he tried to be.)

    Because, otherwise, Barney would have backed the hell right out of that apartment, figuring (and he was fairly confident that this guess was correct) that the lady in question would have felt more comfortable without a stranger intruding on her space while she was 'dreadfully ill.' She looked familiar, like maybe he'd seen her around somewhere - possible while they were both saving the world from some crisis or other, he couldn't remember, or hell, maybe just passing in the street - but beyond that he couldn't place her. Still, he knew if it was him laid up with a nasty cold, then he'd rather be left alone to sleep. Like a grouchy bear in a cave.

    Heck, maybe the nicest thing he could do here was distract Wheatley and try to get the little guy out of her hair for awhile. Though, considering how determined he seemed to 'help,' that was probably going to be easier said than done. His best bet was just to play along, and look for an opportunity to duck out again.

    Right. Like he needed to justify giving in and making the lady some soup. Like he wasn't the world's biggest, dumbest pushover, with a bleeding hear the size of Canada, and a total sucker for a sob story. Keep telling yourself that, Calhoun. Nobody else is buying it.

    He raked his fingers through his hair, sighed, and gave in. "Okay, okay. What's the problem with the soup?"
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:16 pm

    Wheatley did a mental fist pump and bobbed up in the air a good half a foot higher, buoyed by his stunning success. "Right! Well, the trouble is, mainly, that it's in a can. Which I could absolutely manage, all by myself, except, err, when I tried to sort of just heat it up she did the No-Stop thing and, well, made… made that face at me…"

    "The… no-stop thing?" Either Barney was perplexed by this, Wheatley judged, or the human had developed a very minor case of serious brain damage. The man glanced over at Chell, as if half expecting a demonstration.

    Wheatley followed his gaze, and cleared his nonexistent throat, self consciously. "Uh. Just, uh, just sort of a thing she does. She, she does it quite a bit, actually. Um, at least, when I'm doing things. But, um, that's not the important thing, the, uh, the important thing is that apparently I've got to open the can before heating it up, and um."

    The Sphere trailed off, because Barney had put a hand to his head and was pinching the bridge of his nose like he'd been struck by a sudden headache. "Here, are you all right?" That would just be his luck, to have two sick humans on his hands!

    Fortunately, Barney answered, "Just peachy." He dropped his hand back to his side, and looked at Chell. "So, you just need me to open a can, yeah?"

    That was only the beginning of the long, long list that Wheatley was still compiling, but… yes. That would do for now.

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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

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