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


    The Book Thief

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    The Book Thief

    Post by GLaDOS on Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:10 pm

    Time: 11:42 AM
    Date: February 28

    GLaDOS was very, very tired of books.

    Especially when her sheer boredom had driven her into the--horror of horrors--fiction section. Not only was it not Science, but the subject had also left a very, very bad impression on her back when the scientists were treating her with cores. One such core had talked incessantly, telling her story after story in a failed attempt to calm her until she finally managed to throw the thing off of her chassis. They'd had to alter her chassis to make her unable to eject her own cores like that, but the damage had been done. While they hadn't tried another core like that, she still felt her circuits surge in anger whenever she heard the phrase "once upon a time..."

    However, she was starting to run out of ideas, and wondered if she might find some here, even if the genre was completely false by nature. But as she browsed through the section, her chassis shuddered in disgust. Truly the things here were beyond terrible--stories of unScientific things like magic and talking animals (not ones enhanced by the power of Science, of course) and things coming back from the dead (she never could get that to work), not to mention those dreadful stories under the contradictory label of Science-fiction. At one point she came across a book by Machiavelli, and purposely ignored it.

    It was when she skimmed through part a random work she'd selected--something about colors--that she ultimately decided she'd had enough of this. After making a motion not unlike retching, she practically threw the book into the return bin and promptly hovered far away from that section.

    Humans were disgusting.

    Soon GLaDOS was back in the comfortable rows of the non-fiction sections, and without a trace of shame she made her way to the rows of cookbooks. True, she was physically incapable of eating, but she'd always had a fascination with the art of cooking--particularly baking.

    Humans liked cake, after all, and it was good for tempting people with.

    Reaching out with one of her claws, she grabbed a book on cupcakes, opened it, and began scanning.
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by Xiao Xiao on Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:26 pm

    The noise of somebody pulling a book off the shelf startled Xiao and she almost fell from her high perch. The squirrel looked down and her mouth dropped open. Miss Lady Bot! Shoot! She was caught! Or maybe she wasn’t? The Lady Bot had not looked up yet so maybe she was safe?

    If she did look up though, GLaDOS would have seen a certain yaojing perched at the top of a library ladder, carefully positioned to the furthest side of the book shelf and beside a window. The Lady Boy would see that the topmost window pane was open, and that there was a book floating outside the window with the help of a few orange and white sparkles. The book was extravagantly decorated by pretty stones, swirly patterns on honey brown leather and fabulous gold lettering. Oh, and it was also either in the process of being either smuggled in or out - it was actually the latter.

    Careful not to make any noise, squeak, peep, meep or eep, Xiao exhaled veeeeeery slowly and inhaled juuuuuust as slowly. Calm down. She was safe for now. The cookery section was far from the least visited section of the library, so it was hardly the ideal place to be doing stuff against the rules (like stealing), but it was unfortunately the only place the squirrel knew which had an unlocked window more often than not. She had already been caught twice with books smuggled into a bag and so she was left with no other choice than to use this method to get the books out of here.

    WHY did she need to steal books? Well, you see, Lord Vaati likes books and being a good minion, Xiao felt this unending need to please her master whenever possible. He never told her to steal books. In fact, he didn’t even tell her he wanted any more books. It was all Xiao Xiao’s own doing really. In her mind, if she gifted her lord with things he like, she would be a good minion. But that status was not permanent so in order to continue to be a good minion, the yaojing must continue to do good minion things like giving stuff to her master. Sadly, her purse could hardly afford that constant stream of gifts and these books are not exactly abundant all across Portal Breach, so what’s a squirrel to do but to borrow without return?

    Xiao glanced out the window, at the book hovering in the air then down at the Lady Bot. Should she continue to levitate this down to the bush outside for picking up later? Or should she summon the book back? She hasn’t been noticed yet so she might be safe and getting the book back in would require more concentration whilst risking it accidentally hitting the window frame. Right, right, continue outside it would be.

    The book continued its descent towards the bushes below outside.
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by GLaDOS on Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:35 pm

    While GLaDOS could get deeply engrossed in something, she was used to monitoring multiple parts of a gargantuan facility at once. Even though she lacked the ability to do that here, not having multiple security cameras and systems she was connected to, she was still able to pick up on the going-ons around her while studying a book. Still, the activities of the library patrons didn't concern her all that much, so she went on reading.

    Her optic narrowed at the list of ingredients on one page--that much sugar was sure to cause a human to vomit, and thus not test at maximum efficiency. What a waste of time. With a shrug of her chassis, she went to place the book back on its shelf, and that was when she noticed a certain Science-project-gone-wrong sitting perched on a ladder near a window.

    It didn't particularly surprise her to see the animal engaged in such a strange activity, but what did surprise her was the sparkles that held the book outside aloft. What were those--nanobots? The ones in her facility glowed different colors, but typically not orange. And what were they doing with that book, anyway?

    Her yellow gaze looked from the book on one side of the window to the Science experiment sitting on the other side of the window, and she quickly understood. "You are aware that these can be checked out for free," she said, hovering closer to the animal and turning her faceplate downward in a frown. "Unless you plan to avoid returning that book?"
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by Xiao Xiao on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:37 pm

    The science-project-gone-wrong squawked in surprise, jolted and then her arms pinwheeled comically as she tried to regain her balance on the ladder. In the end, whilst her balance was regained, her control over the floating book was lost. The sparkles twinkled away and the book plummeted into the bush below.

    “HWAH!” squawked Xiao Xiao again; this time, she lurched forward and peered out the window to check if her stolen good was still intact. It was, and also proved that the item was blatantly refusing to be stolen discreetly as it sat rebelliously on top of the well trimmed bushes, in full view of anybody who walked by.

    “Now look here, why did you do that fo-” she challenged as she turned around to face the person who spoiled her plan. One look at the frown-like expression on the ladybot though, Xiao’s mind caught up with her mouth and promptly told it to shut up before it dug them into a bigger hole.

    “Um.... er…” Xiao managed, her eyes flicking between the open window, the robot, the area behind the robot and then finally the floor.

    “Um...” she tried again, as if the sound of her own confused voice could help her figure out how to proceed. In the end, Xiao decided to stall for time by widening her fully black eyes slightly and putting on her most innocent face ever.

    “Why hello, Miss. Ladybot. Fancy meeting you here,” the yaojing said as if nothing odd occurred and she had just met a friend during a tea party. “I didn’t know you have an interest in cooking.”


    Last edited by Xiao Xiao on Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by GLaDOS on Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:19 pm

    The animal, startled, nearly lost balance, and GLaDOS tilted her head slightly as she watched the nanobots outside disappear, leaving the book to drop into the bushes below. Strange. Were the nanobots controlled by a neurotransmitter of some sort? The Science-project-gone-wrong didn't appear to be wearing one.

    When said Science project finally noticed her, she was unsurprised to see her so nervous--people were typically scared of her--though she suspected it wasn't because she was simply an intimidating robot. The animal was clearly hiding something, and that "something" was likely the fact that she was stealing books.

    Still, she decided to play along just for a moment. "Yes. It is Scientifically proven that most humans love cake, so I always have it ready as a reward for a successful round of testing." It was a shame that most rounds of testing were not successful, and when they were, the humans didn't survive their victory incandescence. ...Except for that one, but she wasn't going to think about that right now. "Not to mention, there is a fair amount of Science--specifically chemistry--involved in baking, so it intersects with my primary interests."

    Here GLaDOS hovered closer to the Science experiment, and would have hovered around her in a circle if the animal weren't so close to the window. "One of my primary interests being Science, of course, which I strive to learn about as much as I possibly can. And you can learn a lot from books." She cocked her head, eying the animal askance. "And what better place to find books than the library--where they can be checked out for free and then are returned, so that others might not miss important information in their research?"
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by Xiao Xiao on Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:10 pm

    “Well, yes, most people like cake because they’re yummy and sweet and delicious,” agreed Xiao with a few nods of her head. Her ears flicked up in interest at the mention of ‘reward’ and ‘testing’. She wondered what the Ladybot did in her own world. She remembered GLaDOS mention something about scientists in the first time they met, something about reading their reports? What occupation could combine the words report, reward and test now?

    “Were you a teacher in your world?” No wait, the Ladybot said something about studying portals as well.

    “A teacher of Portals?” she tried again, then her brows knitted together as she looked the robot up and down. Xiao wasn’t very sure about her friend being a teacher, whilst the Ladybot did seem very smart, she looked very strict as well, so she wondered if the poor robot could bond well with her students. That is very important, you know! Xiao knew that she tend to learn things a lot quicker and easier when she had a good relationship with the teacher of the subject.

    “Chemistry! I know that! Books mentioned that word before! It’s used for describing if there is attraction between one character with another! If they have good chemistry, then they might fall in love and get married!” Oh, the fantastic education of romance novels. What did the chemistry between people got to do with baking though? The better the chemistry, the better the cakes? Does this mean any cakes Xiao made for people she did not like were destined to taste foul? No, that made zero sense. If that was so, then cake shopkeepers will have to have chemistry with everyone in order for their cakes to be perceived as yummy.

    Amidst her thinking, her robotic friend moved closer and Xiao blinked, then uncomfortably leant away, as far as the ladder she was on could permit without falling, to put more distance between them again. It was unlike the Ladybot to get this close. The last time Xiao was this close to her, Xiao was hugging her and the Ladybot did not like that. At all.

    “Ye-es,” started Xiao. She licked her lips nervously as she realised what GLaDOS was hinting towards. Her eyes flitted in every direction, undoubtedly trying to find an exit from this predicament and also tried very hard not to look out the window at the guilty article sitting on the bush outside. “Lots of free books to check out here - plenty. So many that,  I’m sure there are more than one copy of books for people to look up for reference in the event that one is um…. not there.”

    That being said, out of all the books she had stolen for Lord Vaati, she had only seen additional copies to only three of them….
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by GLaDOS on Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:56 pm

    "I merely know the flavor of cakes from research of the things it is composed of. I lack the gustatory and olfactory sensors needed in order to taste them. Not that I would want to, anyway." GLaDOS didn't figure the Science experiment would understand the terms she'd just used, but it wasn't really important anyway.

    As the being continued to chatter on, GLaDOS merely stared at her blankly. When she had finished talking, her expression did not change. "I am not a teacher, and that is not the kind of chemistry I was referring to." Admittedly the creature wasn't wrong--romance did heavily involve chemicals in the minds of organic creatures. Perhaps that was why robots such as herself did not experience such a thing (unless they had gone corrupt or delusional, of course). That was fine with her--any difference that separated her from humans was welcome.

    It was true that GLaDOS did not like being touched, but she knew how to be intimidating, and drawing closer to someone was merely a tactic to make them uncomfortable--and judging by the Science experiment's reaction, her attempt was successful. "And do you suppose there are multiple copies of all the works here?" she said, lowering her faceplate in a scowl. "Any books that are taken and not returned limit the amount of things I can study, and put a dampening on my research. Perhaps you would know where some of the missing books are?"
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by Xiao Xiao on Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:18 am

    “Why would you not want to? Cakes are wonderful things. Is it because you don’t have a mouth?” Xiao’s ears lowered in sympathy. The poor Ladybot! She knew robots can’t exactly eat - well, some of can? Maybe? But to learn that her friend was interested in baking yet could not eat her own baked creations. Poor Ladybot. Xiao almost reached out a hand to pet her on the top of her ‘head’. “If you ever need anybody to eat your cakes, you can come look for me and I would happily try out your baking skills.”

    She also imagined that since the robot cannot taste her own work, she mustn’t be very clear as to how good her skills were in cooking. Well, worry not! Xiao was here and she would love to be a taste tester for yummy cakes.

    Taste-testing aside, Xiao grew increasingly uncomfortable under the Ladybot’s gaze - it looked positively disapproving!

    “Oh, um, I’m sure there are,” she replied like she was sure this was a well known fact, but first hand experience/knowledge might be a little lacking. She shifted uncomfortably, considered climbing down the ladder and maybe slowly making and escape. The squirrel soon found she was rather incapable of the running away without leaning forward and let her private bubble be invaded again. “Um, missing books... because other people borrowed them? Ehehe… Not me, of course. I had returned every baking and cookery book I took from this library. Rest assured, your research in cakes would not be um… what’s the word? Um, hindered(?) by me.”

    It wasn’t like Lord Vaati had interest in keeping cookery books so there was no need to steal them. Books relating to magic though was another story.
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by GLaDOS on Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:49 pm

    "I have no reason to consume cake, or any sort of food. My energy is supplied via electricity." She allowed one of her cables to dangle from her hover unit for a moment to demonstrate before she retracted it again. "It is much more efficient than converting plants into energy." And then having to excrete the remains later. Disgusting.

    For a moment though, GLaDOS glanced aside as considered the Science experiment's offer. "I suppose if you would be willing to test for me, I could make you a cake in exchange..." She'd never really had anyone survive testing long enough to actually give them a cake, but there was a first time for everything.

    But what she needed more than testing right now (needing something more than she needed testing? That didn't come up often) was more books she could study to find any hint of getting out of this place and back to her facility. "I am not referring to cookbooks," she said, her voice growing lower. "I mean any books. Books such as the one you just smuggled out of this building moments ago."
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by Xiao Xiao on Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:51 pm

    Oh yes, she had forgotten that robots get their energy from power sockets - much like hairdryers, sewing machines and hair straighteners. “You don’t have to eat cake for energy. I don’t eat cake because I’m hungry. I usually eat cake because i like eating cake and because it is yummy. And of course I would be willing to taste-test your cakes for you!”

    After all, what other kinds of testing could there be when it was in relation to cakes? Already, Xiao’s mind was conjuring up some sort of fanciful cake banquet with her and Miss. Ladybot. There would be a checkered table cloth involved, a pot of lovely tea, china teacups with little daisies and birds painted on the rim, a frilly apron for her friend and a baby pink napkin tucked in Xiao’s collar.

    “Oh….” was the very eloquent response she could muster up as GLaDOS went straight to the point. Xiao’s eyes flitted from corner to corner and her gaze drifted from the book outside, to the window, to the floor, shelf one, shelf two, lower, shelf one, the floor - you get the point. Anyways, it was anywhere BUT on the ladybot.

    “Um...” she tried again as her face started to burn pink in embarrassment and shame. “I can explain? No, wait, I can explain… I think….” Or so she says, but the squirrel had caught hold of the top of the ladder and had started to throw her weight to one side over and over again, making the ladder hop baby steps away from the robot. Once there was enough room between her and the ladybot, she turned it right around and waddle-wobbled it across the floor in attempt to run away whilst remaining on top of the ladder

    “Don’t turn me in! I can explain!” Then suddenly she recalled where she was and how loud her outburst was. The yaojing quickly repeated her words again in a volume more adhering to the rules of the library. “I mean, er… Don’t turn me in. I can explain.”

    “I wasn’t stealing it,” she started before wanting to bite her tongue because that did not sound convincing at all. She always knew she was a terrible liar. Let’s settled for the twisted truth instead. “I was just… um… borrowing it… for a very long time and didn’t want to be hindered by due dates...”

    Waddle-wobble, waddle-wobble, waddle-wobble - this really wasn’t the fastest mode of escape, Xiao decided. A smarter person would have ditched the ladder by now and made a runner, but not Xiao. Her mind didn’t connect the dots that fast.
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by GLaDOS on Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:41 am

    Even if GLaDOS could eat, she didn't figure that she would ever want to. There were much better things for her to do with her time, after all, like testing. And speaking of... "Oh. Yes, I suppose that could be arranged at some point..." Provided she found a place to actually bake a cake--and more importantly, a place to conduct a test. It would be a good way to unwind after all this exhausting research.

    But first, there was something else she had to deal with. Like what to do with a kleptomaniac Science experiment.

    The AI stared blankly as said experiment began using the ladder she was perched upon as a very ineffective means of transportation, and shouting about not wanting to be turned in.

    For someone trying not to be caught committing a crime, she was certainly drawing a lot of attention to herself.

    GLaDOS could have probably just let her go so she could get caught on her own, but she was less interested in seeing the thief brought to justice and more interested in finding the stolen books. Calmly she followed the animal, hovering at an even pace.

    "If you can explain, then start by explaining why you wish to... 'borrow' the books for so long."
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by Xiao Xiao on Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:34 pm

    Waddle-wobble, waddle-wobble, waddle-wobble. Right, Xiao Xiao’s mind finally caught up to speed and realised that this form of escape was highly ineffective. This was further pointed out by how leisurely the Ladybot was following and keeping up with her. Frantically, the squirrel glanced around for a clue on how to get away faster, because whilst she had reflexively said she could explain, it was another thing altogether actually doing it.

    She could ditch the ladder, morph to squirrel form and scurry away at top speed but that would involve Miss. Ladybot have a flying speed that was slower than Xiao’s running speed. The yaojing looked over the hovering robot, she didn’t look like she was very fast. Could she outrun her?

    On second thought, even if she did escape, what was to stop GLaDOS from raising an alarm? That would completely foil Xiao’s further library escapades and then she wouldn’t have books to present to Lord Vaati, then she wouldn’t be a good minion, then she would be removed from her lord’s presence. Oh no-sies! We can’t have that! No, no, Xiao Xiao must silence the Ladybot on this matter. Completely.

    The squirrel pivoted the ladder around and instead of waddle-wobbling away from her robotic friend, she started going top speed towards her. “Hush, hush, hush, nobody else must know!” she started babbling. Once she was close enough, she swung the ladder around to be prop back against the book shelves and made a lunge for the Ladybot, aiming to wrap her arms around the ‘face’ and thus silencing her - or so she hoped.

    “Because I want to keep the books! There I said it! Well, not really me, but my lord might want to keep the books. Rest assured, they will be returned once they are very well thumbed, read and maybe copied…. It just takes a while.” A very long while - like maybe forgotten-forever long while. Not that her lord would forget, oh no, Xiao believed him too smart for that. His squirrely minion though...

    -----

    [[Coin Flip for 'silencing' headlock]]
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by System on Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:34 pm

    The member 'Xiao Xiao' has done the following action : Dice Rolls

    'Coin Flip' :
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by GLaDOS on Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:24 pm

    GLaDOS's faceplate turned downward in a scowl; the Science experiment would certainly be drawing a fair amount of attention to herself, what with all the running around on a ladder as though it were practically a pair of stilts and babbling frantically. "You're doing a pretty poor job of making sure nobody knows." That was of course, the moment when the creature leaped off of her perch to try to latch onto her face, but she merely hovered aside, letting her land on the floor. A couple claws descended from her hover unit, looming threateningly for a moment before retracting. "I wouldn't go trying that again," she warned.

    So, the Science experiment had finally admitted she was stealing the books. That was some amount of progress, at least, and GLaDOS's expression softened into a more neutral one. "Truly you are a master of efficiency," she said, turning back to look at the window where the creature had dropped a book. She realized a half-second later that the creature probably wouldn't register the sarcasm, but she supposed it didn't matter. "Surely you could come up with a better system that does not involve depriving people of certain books for indefinite amounts of time."
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    Re: The Book Thief

    Post by Xiao Xiao on Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:16 pm

    What do you mean, Miss. Ladybot? Xiao was doing an awesome job of not getting caught! Or that was what Xiao thought. She wasn’t caught glittering books out of here until this moment, so surely that was a perfect indication of how well she had been doing. Over the years, she had spirited away at least twenty something books and spirited back in about a dozen. That was over thirty uncaught magical expeditions and she wasn’t even going to bother counting the unmagical ones. See, she was a master book sneaker-outer-inner, wait, that wasn’t a term…

    Her attempted to physically capture the robot proved fruitless and Ladybot even pulled out some claws to show she wasn’t as unarmed as Xiao thought. The squirrel huffed, pouted and climbed down the ladder so that her feet was once more on firm flooring. Despite the pout, and suddenly sour mood, her spirits did lighten some as the Ladybot complimented her by calling her a master of efficiency.

    “Oh yes, I’m very efficient. I can mop the floor, sing, polish the floor, tie up curtains and think up new clothing patterns all at the same time,” she agreed. Surely that was the epitome of multi-tasking! Find Xiao somebody else who could do something like that! It’s very hard to mop AND polish at the same time you know. Especially the patrol grounds of armoured minions and giant monster hands.

    “But I’m not very good at coming up with systems.” Back came the pout. Xiao sat down on the lowest rung of the ladder, her tone became defensive and she crossed her arms like a pouty brat. “Besides, this place have many, many books. It’s not like I wouldn’t return them. I just take a long time! Lord Vaati likes fancy magic books and this place had so many books that they would hardly miss one or two.”

      Current date/time is Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:21 am