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


    Finding the Key

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    Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:06 am

    Time: 10:32 AM
    Date: September 21, 2014

    GLaDOS could be patient. She had to be. She was used to sitting in one place (having been originally built to perpetually hang from the ceiling in one room for eternity) and waiting for a person to complete an objective. That was a large part of what testing was, alongside observing the person and recording data.

    Now, however, she was not hanging from the central core chamber in Aperture Science, but rather, hanging in mid-air a good distance off to the side of the main entrance to the library so she wouldn't draw too much attention to herself. And while she was technically waiting on an objective, it wasn't one she could observe, for the objective was for the test subject--or subjects, in this case--to arrive at this location. And these were not just random humans summoned to test a portal device--no, these were two beings that could possibly hold the key to her leaving this Science-forsaken place for good.

    It was getting difficult for her to wait.

    She yearned to experiment, to study, to analyze something, not just to fulfill her programmed desire to test, but also so she could be one step closer to getting out of here.

    But she tried to keep herself still, mulling over the information she had discovered during her research last night. She had looked up information on this "Transistor," sifting through the generic technological information until she found what she sought. The word "Cloudbank" had been the key to finding it, and she had finally come across the rambling notes of someone from the mute human's world. Said world seemed to be an... interesting place. Some of the descriptions of it reminded her more of computer architecture, software, and virtual reality rather than actual physical things... though the people within didn't seem all that different from the humans from her world, taking various oddities for granted rather than actually researching things. In any case, she'd found some information on the Transistor and what it could do, yet, little information on how it could cross universal boundaries or return to places from a supposed point of no return.

    No matter.

    That was what research was for, after all--figuring things out, testing boundaries and limits, and so on. She would soon discover everything this strange device was capable of, and whether or not it could get her home.

    ...Or at least, she hoped it would be soon, for her test subjects had still not arrived yet. She would give them until noon, and if they didn't arrive by then, she would come looking. And she did not enjoy having to hunt people down...
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    Red and the Transistor
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by Red and the Transistor on Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:49 pm

    This was not one of Red's better mornings, if one could even still call it "morning" by this point. As if sleeping in late on the day of her appointment with a misanthropic machine weren't bad enough, Red now found herself speeding toward the rendezvous point with said machine as fast as a woman wearing high-heels and dragging a surfboard-sized slab of glass and metal behind her possibly could.

    Which honestly wasn't very fast, but fortunately she could still use Turn() to speed things up a bit.

    "I know that robot thing said it was going to figure out a way to get us home after this..." the Transistor had to nearly shout to make itself heard over the sound of glass scraping against concrete "...but just in case, I'm adding 'buy a motorcycle' to the list of things to do while we're stuck here. Here's to hoping they rent those at the same rates they do hotel rooms."

    The Transistor had meant that to lighten Red's sour mood, but it wasn't exactly working out as planned. Instead, it got Red thinking: could that robot really get them home with the Transistor? Could she be sure its "experiments" wouldn't harm it, or more importantly, who was inside it?

    Did she really want to go back to Cloudbank, knowing what the Process left of it?

    "There! Turn left here!"

    Red snapped out of her musings, and she quickly triggered Turn() to make a hairpin curve down the street indicated by the Transistor. She was rewarded with the sight of the Solid State Library just ahead of her, and slightly less rewarded by the sight of the hovering mass of metal and wires glowering impatiently at her from beside the entrance. Within a few moments, Red stopped herself just in front of the stairs leading to the main entrance, panting heavily and just barely managing to support herself on the upright Transistor, exhausted from her run but relieved it was finally over. Though now that she saw the hovering robot's expression up close, she suspected she should probably be dreading that fact instead.

    "Hey", the Transistor chimed in over Red gasping for breath

    "Sorry we're late."
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:08 pm

    GLaDOS's head tipped upward as she scanned the city again, her optic narrowing. These humans certainly took their time getting from one place to another. Automated systems and AIs always handled things much faster. ...Well, so long as the AIs involved weren't complete idiots, anyway. Otherwise, she did prefer transporting humans to their testing areas rather than allowing the humans to take their time wandering there themselves.

    Her optic widened for a moment when she caught sight of a woman with red hair, and carrying an oversized sword-like object. There they were. The human appeared to be slightly disheveled in appearance, and was out of breath by the time she reached the stairs.

    "Yes," GLaDOS replied to the not-AI's apology. "I see that."

    She watched the two carefully, giving them a moment to mount the stairs. "I did some research last night in preparation for today's tests. My searches yielded some very rambling notes about your... Transistor, but nothing on how it can transport people from a place of no return. Am I to take it that this is a new function of the device that you have discovered?"
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by Red and the Transistor on Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:07 am

    Both Red and her companion were somewhat surprised to hear that the robot had actually been successful in its search for information about the Transistor, but decided that expressing their doubts about a sociopathic machine's information-processing power in the presence of said machine. Instead, Red just fished a notepad and pencil from one of the pockets in her jacket and started writing while the Transistor chimed in:

    "I wouldn't know- I was unconscious through that part and almost all our other Functions have been locked since we got here."

    Red, meanwhile, having finished writing her note, picked up the Transistor by its handle and began ascending them toward the waiting robot while presenting her own response, written in a small but legible font:

    "I think so; Bracket seemed surprised about the whole thing, like he was seeing a side of the Transistor he didn't know existed."

    Just to be safe, Red held her notebook within a reasonable reading distance of the robot's eye and kept it there for a couple seconds- in case this machine needed time to process her handwriting- before withdrawing it and returning it to her pocket.

    "So... you said you had some tests prepared for today... what kind of tests are we talking here, exactly?"
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:02 pm

    The human's surprise didn't escape GLaDOS's notice, but she did not comment on it. She supposed they hadn't expected the documents to be available--though she would never admit it, she herself hadn't quite expected the vast number of documents that the library had to offer. "Yes, your 'functions' being locked is part of what this place does to you. You will likely gain them back in time, but if our tests yield favorable results, we should be leaving this place before that happens," she answered the not-AI.

    When she was finished speaking, the human held up a notebook, and she quickly processed the written text. "It appears as though many people from your world are unaware of a lot of things," she mentioned. "Don't worry. It's a typical trait of humans."

    At the mention of "tests," GLaDOS's optic settled into something of an eerie smile--that was a word she liked hearing. "From what I read, that object--" she indicated the Transistor with a flick of a claw, which quickly disappeared back into her hover unit, "was once plugged into a much larger object, so it can connect with things. I would like to see if I could connect with the Transistor myself to see what data I can find. Perhaps I can unlock the functions required to take us back to our places of origin."
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by Red and the Transistor on Fri May 08, 2015 7:05 pm

    Given the machine's track record of spouting little other than insults and condescension, Red was tempted to just tune out everything it said as she followed it up the stairs to the library. It was fortunate that neither she nor the Transistor actually did that, otherwise they would have missed what it said its plan to study the Transistor actually was. Red's surprise at what the computer proposed was evidenced enough in the look she shot it as she came to a sudden stop beside it, while the man in the Transistor was naturally much more vocal:

    "Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa you want to go INSIDE the Transistor?"

    Either the robot was completely mad- an entirely plausible supposition- or it genuinely didn't know what it was getting itself into.

    "I seriously hope you know what you're doing lady, I got where I am today last time the Transistor connected with me. And let me tell you: if I could disconnect from this thing, I would have a long time ago."

    In that moment, the same thought occurred to both Red and her friend in the Transistor. What if she really could disconnect from the Transistor?

    "...Which reminds me: if you can plug into this thing without getting turned into a Function, could you perhaps look into, I dunno, letting me out of here too? Just something to think about in case something doesn't work out and we can't all go home tonight."
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Fri May 08, 2015 7:21 pm

    GLaDOS's smile faded into a more neutral look at her subjects' surprise. Was it really that shocking for a machine to request a connection with another? "Of course," she answered. "If I can connect to the Transistor, I should be able to get a more thorough idea of how it works."

    As the not-AI went on, however, she figuratively stepped back to analyze the situation. She hadn't considered the idea of becoming trapped inside that thing, and after having been trapped inside a certain other immobile object that will not be mentioned... well. Her optic narrowed as she looked the Transistor up and down. He had mentioned before that he had been something else--presumably human--before getting trapped in there.

    "You are trapped inside there, and you mentioned other 'voices' before. Those were presumably other humans." She tilted her head slightly in thought. "Since I am not a human, there should not be the same risk involved in my becoming trapped in that device.

    At the not-AI's other request, however, she straightened. "That was not part of our original goal," she began, and was going to leave it at that before she thought better of it a nanosecond later. It probably wouldn't be wise to risk these people's refusing to test, especially if they did wind up being the key out of here. "...But Science is Science, and it's not every day that I get to study an object such as that one. I'll look into it."
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by Red and the Transistor on Fri May 08, 2015 11:05 pm

    "Well, okay then. If you say so."

    Both still had their reservations about this whole ordeal, but what other options did they have? Aside from just staying here, of course, but Red still wanted to return to Cloudbank on the off chance she could still undo some of the damage the Process had done. At least the worst that could happen would be the Transistor integrated this machine's Trace- or whatever it had that passed for one- and gained a new Function, though the thought of being stuck with that belligerent female voice for the rest of her life made Red shudder a little.

    "I guess no matter what happens we're bound to learn something useful, right? May as well get started."

    At that, Red shouldered the Transistor and waited for the machine to lead the way to- wherever it was it planned to perform these tests.

    "By the way, " the Transistor spoke up after a while, attempting to get the machine's attention, "I know this is kinda awkward, but for all this time we've spoken, I don't think I ever caught your name."
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Mon May 11, 2015 11:28 pm

    "I do," she replied in calm certainty. Though somewhere in the back of her processor, she was frightened at the potential of being trapped once again in an inanimate object. But there was always a risk involved in Science, and if this experiment meant she could possibly discover a way back to her facility, then she would gladly take it.

    At the not-AI's note to get started, she proceeded to lead them into the library. Given the sheer immensity of the building, it wouldn't be too difficult to find a place where they could conduct their experiment in relative peace, away from other people. GLaDOS did wish that she had a proper lab to conduct this experiment in, but she didn't expect this to take long, and if all went well, she would be having her lab soon enough.

    As they made their way deeper into the library, she heard the not-AI speak up, and did not turn around to answer him. "That would be because I never spoke it," she answered, and left it at that.
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by Red and the Transistor on Thu May 14, 2015 9:31 pm

    He wasn't sure what sort of response he was expecting, but it wasn't that.

    "...yes, I noticed, but- gah, you know what, nevermind."

    As frustrating as it was to strike up a conversation with this machine, even he could see the hypocrisy of someone who often called himself "Mr. Nobody" causing a fuss over not knowing someone else's name. Not that it mattered, in a few moments they would be home, and to the Man in the Transistor, all of this would be as inconsequential as his last hangover.

    As the trio continued further inside the library, Red began to grow more and more nervous. Just how much could she trust this machine to safely handle the Transistor? What if it absorbed her personality and it replaced her friend's? What if she lost her User status like the Camerata did when they tried to take her? What if it sent them both back to the Country and she left her trapped there alone? What if she couldn't connect to the Transistor at all?

    ...actually that last one didn't seem so bad compared to the others; compared to the rest, all that meant was another night at that nice little inn-

    "So... this is it?"

    Red was snapped back to reality just in time to stop herself from crashing into the back of the floating machine, which had now stopped at what was evidently their intended destination.

    "For some reason I was expecting some sort of 'warehouse out back'-type thing, but I guess this works too."
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Thu May 14, 2015 10:29 pm

    GLaDOS found herself rather pleased to hear the not-AI drop the topic of her name so easily. She'd never been called by her name before--the scientists always called her "her" or "it" or "that thing"--and as far as she was concerned, it could stay that way. It was nice, in a way, having people so terrified of you that they wouldn't even speak your name.

    Fortunately her two test subjects stayed quiet after that, allowing her to lead them on through the vast library in silence. The library was impressively large, but as a being that did not require sleep, she was able to explore much of it in a shorter length of time than other people could manage, and she knew of spots that didn't get visited near as often. So when she finally stopped, the place seemed eerily silent, even for a library.

    "I do not possess a 'warehouse out back,'" she replied, turning to face the two. "But should everything go well, I will have unlimited access to a facility even more vast than this library." She went silent for a moment, glancing around the dusty shelves. "This isn't a section that is often visited--it will serve us well enough for our purposes. And now that we are here, I will have to ask you--" here she spoke to the human, "--to allow me access to your device."

    As she spoke, a claw dropped down from her hover unit, open and waiting to be handed the Transistor. But already GLaDOS was looking the thing over with her optic and extending several connectors from her hover unit, trying to figure out which one she could use on the device.
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by Red and the Transistor on Fri May 15, 2015 11:06 pm

    Red backed away slightly, defensively clutching the Transistor as the floating robot suddenly extended a myriad of wires and connectors from its chassis. She was still rather loath to part with the relic that held her only surviving friend's Trace, especially to some strange machine she only met little over a day ago and still didn't trust.

    "Red. It'll be fine."

    Her gaze shifted from the robot to the Transistor.

    "Right now this is our only shot at getting back home. I know it all seems sketchy, but unless you want to just give up now- and in all the years I've known you I KNOW quitting is not your thing- you're just going to have to trust me. and... her."

    Red held up the Transistor by its sides so she could look it in its eye. Were they really ready to do this? She had no guarantees what that robot would do to him, and she didn't want to risk losing him again.

    "Red, it'll be fine, it won't be like last time. I promise. Like she said, it's just going to be a few tests, nothing real serious quite yet. Just go ahead and hand me over, let's get this over with."

    Red sighed and gave the Transistor a quick hug.

    "I love you too, Red. This isn't over, I promise."

    After a moment Red released her grip on the Transistor, levitating it off the ground a couple feet, and presented it "point"-first to the waiting computer.
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Sat May 16, 2015 10:10 pm

    GLaDOS listened silently as she continued to look over the Transistor, comparing it to the different connectors she possessed. Back when she had designed this chassis, she hadn't been sure just what sort of outlets she would find in Old Aperture, so she had made connectors of every conceivable kind, should she need stay down there and recharge her chassis. But since this thing was from another world--an alternate universe of some sort--she wasn't entirely sure if she could even make a successful connection with it. Not that that would stop her from trying.

    As she listened to the not-AI speak, she was a little surprised to hear that the two seemed to be in a... relationship. Thinking back, she did remember hearing the not-AI mention his "girlfriend" before, so she supposed it made sense. That was unfortunate--it meant that the human would probably stupidly interfere should she feel her significant other was in too much danger. Ugh.

    But the human did present GLaDOS with the rounded end of the Transistor, its contacts pointing toward her. There was nothing for her to directly plug into, but she wasn't about to give up there. "This should only take a moment," she said, hoping to calm the human enough to be sure she wouldn't do anything stupid.

    Without looking up to give them so much as a second glance, she drew her connectors down toward the Transistor, bringing them in contact with the, well, contacts at the end of the device in hopes of establishing a connection.
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by Red and the Transistor on Sat May 16, 2015 11:22 pm

    [ >EXTERNAL HARDWARE DETECTED

    >ANALYZING...

    >DEVICENAME: "Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System"

    >COMPONENT DEVICES DETECTED

    >GRAVITIC DRIVE HOVER UNIT/ERROR: DEVICE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CURRENT SYSTEMS

    >AUDIO-VIDEO INPUT ARRAY/ERROR: DEVICE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CURRENT SYSTEMS

    >ROBOTIC MOTIVATOR SYSTEMS/ERROR: DEVICE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CURRENT SYSTEMS

    >INTERNAL MEMORY DRIVE/DEVICE DRIVERS DETECTED

    >INSTALLING...

    >EXTERNAL DEVICE MOUNTED

    >TRACE DATA DETECTED

    >WARNING: FORMAT NOT RECOGNIZED

    >ANALYSIS MAY YIELD FLAWED OR INCOMPLETE RESULTS

    >ANALYZING...

    >TRACE DATA ANALYSIS COMPLETE:

    {
    GLaDOS

    Age:
    ??

    Gender:
    F

    Selections:
    Physics,
    Robotics.

    Reasons Cited:
    'GET THIS THING OFF ME'

    Trace Status:
    Recorded
    }

    >FUNCTION DETECTED

    >INTEGRATING TRACE DATA...

    >ERROR: SEGMENTATION FAULT

    >CONNECTION TO EXTERNAL DEVICE
    "Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System" LOST

    >UNABLE TO COMPLETE INTE- ]

    "-BORT ABORT RED PULL OUT-"

    *clang*

    Neither Red nor her friend knew what to expect when the floating robot tried to connect with the Transistor, but they had a feeling it wasn't supposed to just seize up and plummet lifelessly to the ground the moment its myriad cords and cables touched the end of the Transistor. Fortunately Red had no trouble severing its loose, improvised connection, and hopefully she was not too late to avoid any permanent side-effects. Red of all people would know what even a failed Integration could do to you.

    "Did it work? ...She's still not moving, I think we might- no, wait, her eye just lit back up. That's a good sign. Hey, on the ground there, you ok? You looked like you were having some technical difficulties so we-"

    Something seemed to catch Red's attention- several things in fact, judging by the way her gaze seemed to wander the entire room- and in response Red quickly fished a notepad from her jacket, and scratched out a quick private note to the now free-floating Transistor.

    "-wait, the what are back?"

    A quick edit to her note, and she showed it to him again.

    "Oh yeah, those things! For a second there I thought this thing could even- wait a second, that means... Hey! Robot lady! Can you still speak?
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    Re: Finding the Key

    Post by GLaDOS on Sun May 17, 2015 3:35 pm

    Though she wouldn't admit it, GLaDOS was startled when the device was the one to analyze her first. The code rapidly began to look her over, tracing her data before she could scan the Transistor herself. Unprepared for such an action, she felt the panic begin to creep into her systems. Stop it, stop it, she wanted to get into the device herself, she had to look it over--

    All of this, of course, took place over the course of less than a second, as she suddenly felt her processor blank and shut down.

    CRASH!

    Her entire frame collapsed to the ground, her wires spilling everywhere and her optic going dim. For a moment, she appeared to be a serpent made of cables and armor, lying dead on the floor. While her processor was quick to reboot, the moment it did, she felt herself becoming nearly overwhelmed with panic--her optic was still off, and her hover unit wasn't picking up. This couldn't be it--she wouldn't be immobile, not again, not again--

    Her optic flickered on, and she found herself looking at the bottom of the Transistor and the feet of the human. It was then that she began to process what the not-AI was saying, though she couldn't hear--read--the human's side of the conversation. The not-AI sounded a little concerned, while the human, from what she could tell, was more interested in what had happened to the Transistor, and the both of them were causing the AI's frame to overheat with rage. She didn't want sympathy and she didn't care about this stupid device if it wasn't going to get her home, and if it was going to leave her paralyzed--she wasn't going to go though this again, get up, get up, get up--

    With a sudden whirr, GLaDOS was yanked back up into the air and into her original position, where she pulled all of her connectors back into her hover unit and drew up her body in on itself, looking not unlike a tense, threatened cat. "Yes," she growled, her voice thick and ungraceful, "I can speak."

    While she was more than relieved to find that she hadn't actually lost her ability to move, her coolant system was working overtime to keep her absolute rage in check. Rarely did she ever have such a complete lack of control over her own experiments, and rarely did she ever put herself in that much danger. She had never been scared when conducting an experiment before, and the thought of that fed her rage over the unfairness of her situation. The experiment had been a failure, and she was no closer to returning to her facility than she had been before. Her voice became low and dangerous as she continued: "I never got the chance to analyze any of its data, because it nearly killed me." Or left her stuck in a helpless, immobile form.

    Her head dipped toward the human, her faceplate low, her optic narrow. "I suppose you should get used to being stuck in this place, you monster, because that device of yours will get you nowhere."

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