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


    Special Delivery

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    GLaDOS
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    Special Delivery

    Post by GLaDOS on Sat May 16, 2015 11:29 pm

    Time: 5:14 PM
    Date: May 14

    GLaDOS hated catching herself unprepared.

    As an AI that was built to control an entire facility, she was used to being in control and having access to all the resources she needed. Back in the facility, she could send out a command from the central AI chamber throughout the reaches of the labs and create a test chamber in minutes. Panels, buttons, cubes, acid, turrets, cameras--everything obeyed her every whim, and she never had to worry about running out of one supply or other.

    Until she was thrown into Portal Breach.

    With no direct access to supplies needed for testing, she had to actually go out and purchase them herself. Purchase. She had never had to worry about money before, ever, and yet now she somehow had to scrape it together for herself just so she could acquire the thing she needed to build a rudimentary test chamber.

    Not to mention finding the materials in the first place. The only things she had managed to gather were a cube-shaped crate--which she would have to fill later to give it some weight--the electronics and plastics required to make a large button, an assortment of LED lights, and the tools required to put all these things together. These had taken her some time to gather, and actually getting them into her house had been something of a challenge. She'd put the supplies into the crate, which she had to carry with all three of her claws. This took a bit of effort, and had she not made the calculations beforehand, she would have been concerned that it would completely drain her energy before she got there. It didn't, of course, but she did plug herself in to recharge immediately upon her arrival.

    Her house was almost entirely barren--spotless, but entirely bare of furniture--so she had room to set up the test virtually anywhere, but she didn't want to set up her test chamber directly in the entrance to her house. So she'd gathered her meager supplies together to begin setting things up in one of the empty bedrooms. For now, she would just set up a chamber consisting of nothing more than a cube and a button. Simple? Yes, but the testing tracks did always start that way. Soon enough she would have a chamber and be ready for a test subject.

    But it wasn't until she was a few hours into her work that she suddenly realized she had neglected to gather one important test element--the reward.

    It was true that back at Aperture, she had never actually given the reward to anyone, since, tragically no-one had actually survived testing in order to receive it. But it had been there, and it would feel... wrong to actually conduct a test without having a reward handy, should the subject actually earn it.

    All she needed to do was look back into the research she'd done about this place back in her time in the library to find the number to a nearby bakery. She called them up, ordering a black forest cake to be delivered to the house--after spending most of the day in town, she had no desire to go back on the same day in order to pick up a cake.

    That left her at her current situation: working at building her simple test chamber as she waited for the cake to be delivered. Right now she was in the middle of wiring a string of lights into the floor and wall, finding herself absorbed in her work--she'd never had to piece something together so directly like this, and it was strangely interesting... if time-consuming. Hopefully the delivery person would be here soon--if all went well, she wanted to conduct her first test tonight.
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Chell on Tue May 26, 2015 11:56 pm

    Funnily enough, although GLaDOS was most likely unaware of it, the circumstances under which she was getting her cake delivered were pretty unusual by Wheaton and Pita's standards. While they would gladly do custom orders, they didn't usually deliver, more due to the size of the little bakery than any sort of policy. It could be done on a case by case basis, if the costumer made a specific request, but it was never a guaranteed service, much less an advertised one.

    That was where Chell came in.

    The former test subject had been enjoying a rather quiet day at the bakery when the call came in, tending dutifully to whatever cooking or cleaning related task her co-workers needed help with. Chell, content and happier than she'd ever been, was always looking for ways to make herself useful, which often meant listening carefully when the couple took calls. The faster she could piece together what the order was, the faster she could prepare for whatever they were making. Efficiency remained something she still prided herself on after all these years, and if it helped ease the couple's workload some, or even Randall's, then so much the better.

    Today, the customer had requested a delivery, something Chell couldn't recall the establishment ever having done since her arrival there. And they'd ordered a whole cake, at that. Was there some kind of an event going on? A party? Wheaton and Pita seemed similarly unsure, prompting an idea from her before she even had time to think about it. She would make the delivery for them, after work, just to ensure that they'd get to keep the customer. The address they had been given actually wasn't that far from the Inn, and it would give her a chance stretch her legs before she settled in for the night. Maybe she could even pick up dinner on the way back.

    The couple had asked more than once if she was sure she wanted to take the order, of course, and she assured them just as many times that she'd be happy to. With the matter settled, Chell had set out after her shift with the cake in hand, taking the time to pop by the Inn to see if Wheatley wanted to make the run with her. It wasn't often she and her roommate got to spend time together during the week that wasn't in front of the TV, and as they made their way into the suburbs, she found herself glad that he had said yes. His chatterings were almost soothing for her these days, and it was frankly just nice to have the company.

    As they strolled up to the house, she couldn't help but smirk a little around her affirmative nods to whatever he happened to be talking about at the moment. Times really had changed.

    Turning her attention to the address she had been given before she left, Chell double checked to make sure they were at the right place, narrowing her eyes inquisitively. The house looked almost deserted from what she could tell, meaning her earlier party theory was definitely off. Exchanging a puzzled glance with Wheatley, she found herself wondering who would order a whole black forest cake all for themselves--they didn't exactly make them tiny, after all. Shrugging off her curiosity, the former test subject hopped up the steps and gave the core a wry smile, extending her arm toward the door invitingly. Care to do the honors, Wheatley?
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Wheatley on Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:24 am

    Let's be honest: Wheatley wasn't even really listening to the babble that was pouring cheerfully out of his voice synthesizer. Half of it was a commentary on whatever he happened to be noticing at that moment, and the other half was a tangled mess of tangents that was nearly impossible to follow - essentially, his "mouth" was on autopilot, without any serious input from his congnitive functions. His cognitive functions were, meanwhile, simply taking the opportunity to enjoy the day, and the company, and to marvel at how happy and really, actually truly content he was. It had been ages since the slightest hint of trouble had reared its ugly head. He and Chell were getting along swimingly (for the most part, at least, though there was still the occasional rough patch that came with [s]him being a moron[/s] sharing space with someone). Best of all, he could move, all on his own! No railings, no being carried about, 100% self sufficiently mobile - that was Wheatley!

    Which was particularly good right about now. "You know, we ought to do this more often," he said, abruptly. "Mind you, I'm a bit more fond of the proper indoors - not as much rain, um, that sort of thing - but this sunshine and fresh air stuff isn't so bad!" He'd been forgetting how much he liked to ramble about, in the beginning. And it was even better rambling, well, with her. (Besides just the good company, it meant he didn't have to worry about getting into more trouble than he could handle, not with her there to get him out of it again.)

    Speaking of which...

    He'd been only vaguely curious about the delivery and the cake, but he'd been excited to have been included, and was determined to play his part well. He would be the best delivery assistant that Chell or the bakery had ever seen!

    At her gesture towards the door, the Sphere beamed at her, then turned to inspect the door. "Bit quiet, isn't?" Wheatley said, without actually really thinking about the implications of the observation. He was too busy eyeing the doorbell with a calculating eye. When one didn't have hands, and only a single eyeball, things like "hand-eye coordination" required a lot of concentration...

    After an attempt or two, Wheatley successfully prodded the doorbell with the corner of his lower handlebar, and the floated back to "stand" next to Chell. "Special delivery!" He called, in a loud, cheerful voice - just for good measure.
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by GLaDOS on Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:51 am

    As efficiently as GLaDOS was trying to work, her claws simply were not built for tasks of this kind--putting together test chambers by "hand." They'd been made for picking up objects, not precisely manipulating them. Perhaps she could modify them later. In any case, this bare-bones test chamber was taking longer than she had anticipated, and she began to run calculations to see if she would be able to complete it on time to run a test tonight.

    But as she was compiling her data, a cheery ding-dong rang through the bare house. At first she looked up in annoyance before remembering the delivery. Well, that was something that was going right, at least.

    And then came the voice.

    Her servos froze.

    She knew that voice.

    It was true that... he wasn't the only one to have that particular accent, or tone, or timbre, but she'd heard that voice enough to recognize it--that incessant, grating, horrible voice, the one that had driven her to utter stupidity (if not insanity) at one point, that had yelled over her as its owner shoved her into a root vegetable, that had boasted stupidly even through the sound of distant explosions...

    But it couldn't be. It was simply not possible. She'd left him in space. He couldn't leave from there--even with the strange portals of this world, there was no surface for them to attach to out there. Not to mention, considering the sheer number of beings here from all corners of the multiverse, what were the chances of his being here? And on top of that, why--and how--in Aperture would he be delivering for a bakery?

    No--it couldn't be. She didn't even bother replaying the sound clip in her processor to reanalyze it; there was no possible way that the moron could be here. It was simply a deliveryman who happened to have a similar voice.

    This entire analysis only took up the space of a few seconds (which, to GLaDOS, was far too long to be dwelling on such a stupid matter), and then she was setting down her tools and heading for the door. The stress of being away from her facility for so long was getting to her--that's all it was. It was wearing on her systems and making her analyze things incorrectly and overthink things. All the more reason for her to get back to testing.

    With that in mind, she opened the door.

    It took approximately .0000002 picoseconds for her to recognize the human and the robot standing and hovering respectively in front of her.

    Her cooling systems went into overdrive, but other than the loud whirring emitting from her chassis, she portrayed no outward signs of shock in spite of the fact that her processor was reeling. There, on her newly-acquired doorstep, was the lunatic that had murdered her and the moron that had nearly destroyed her facility.

    Of course it had been possible. Of course those portals could have pulled these two in. It was perfectly logical.

    But it wasn't right.

    She couldn't just hover there dumbly--she wasn't a mute like the lunatic. She would have to say something. After what felt like an eternity to GLaDOS, but to the others would be only a few seconds after she'd opened the door, she finally spoke up:

    "Oh, it's you."

    She waited a beat.

    "I hope you weren't expecting a tip."
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Chell on Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:30 pm

    Honestly, Chell was in complete agreement with Wheatley here--they should do this more often. She had been much more active once upon a time, before she started working, but her busy schedule and the inclination to just kick back and relax after a long day was often too tempting to resist. Oh, sure, she still made sure she kept herself in shape, but getting out just for recreation alone wasn't something she did on a daily basis anymore. It really was nice, being out here in the evening sun, with her friend's endless stream of a voice keeping her company. Maybe daily walks should become a thing.

    At Wheatley's comment regarding the house, Chell furrowed her brow thoughtfully, nodding in agreement. He was right... it was quiet. Almost too quiet. Now, she would be the first to admit she tended to lean on the paranoid side (okay, maybe that was an understatement), but she had a damn good reason for that, not the least of which that it had kept her alive for far longer than she would have been otherwise down in the facility.

    Biting the inside of her cheek, she mentally chided herself as Wheatley rang the doorbell, trying to remain focused on why they were really here. Feelings of foreboding or not, she had to provide a good face for the bakery, and that wouldn't happen if she let herself get jumpy. Giving the core an approving thumbs up when he floated back over by her side, she straightened and put on her most pleasant smile. There was nothing to be afraid of.

    And then the door opened, and she felt the world drop out from under her.

    Surprisingly enough, Chell was, by nature, a fairly expressive person. It didn't always shine through, especially when she was focused, or angry, but since settling down in the Breach, she'd had to adopt some mannerisms out of necessity--the ability to convey her thoughts non-verbally being one of them. It came with the territory, when you couldn't speak, and unless you wanted to live life as an anti-social hermit, making sure every nod or quirk of the eyebrow counted was a must. Actually bothering to interact with people made that obvious enough. Getting a job even moreso.

    The point was, when she recognized the being hovering before them, her reaction was visual and completely involuntary. Every muscle in her body seemed to seize up. All of the color drained out of her face, leaving her a sickly pale. Her eyes appeared to be widening by the second, shock, and fear, and anger flashing through them all at once. Her jaw slackened, even as her throat closed up, a sensation she hadn't felt in ages but recognized all too well.

    More than anything, she felt sick.

    Chell would be lying if she said she hadn't imagined this scenario before. The portals that brought you into this world, as far as she knew, were pretty non-discriminatory--it didn't matter where you came from, or who you were. If this place wanted you here, then you were going to be here, come hell or high water. She had been pulled in not long after her escape. Wheatley had been here even before her, presumably dragged in from space, although she'd never thought to ask. It made sense that one day, She might possibly show up too. The woman had just hoped beyond hope it would never be something she'd have to deal with.

    When the AI spoke, she felt a cold chill run from her shoulders and slip down her spine.  She had heard that voice so many times in her nightmares. Usually in accompaniment with Wheatley's, at first, although since they'd reunited and started working on their problems, the dreams with him had become less frequent. Nowadays, she rarely had nightmares at all, but when she did, it was always Her voice providing the narration, Her voice entrapping her, berating her, squeezing the air from her lungs. Hearing it again after so long was enough to drive home for her that this was real, that she wasn't stuck in some awful hallucination, and she felt her fingers slacken.

    Plop!

    Eyes darting southward, Chell took in the sight of the boxed cake, which now sat on the doorstep where it had fallen from her sweat-slick fingers. It hadn't been enough to really damage the cake, as the box had landed rightside-up, but it was still, undeniably, grounded, and she was too dumbstruck to retrieve it.

    Well, shit.
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Wheatley on Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:07 pm

    The door opened, and the little AI Core, who'd been bobbing in the air like some kind of inflatable, helium filled version of himself, went from contented and cheerful to complete and abject terror in... well, about ten times as long as it had taken GLaDoS to recognize them, though to a human it probably would have seemed instantaneous. It was so fast, in fact, that his emotion circuits seized up, freezing his processor and nearly forcing his systems to attempt a hard reboot to recover. (If he'd been a human, in other words, he might have fainted.)

    As it was, he dipped in the air, dropping a foot or so before he caught himself and bobbed back upwards out of reflex. Slowly, painfully, his cognitive functions began to flicker back to life. The very first thing on the priority list of Thing To Do Now That You're Panicking was yelp. "Aaah!"

    This accomplish, Wheatley proceeded onto to Step Two: Flee to safety. In this case, that meant dropping in the air, zipping around, and tucking himself up behind Chell's back, peeking around her elbow.

    Panicking Sub-Routine completed, a few more neural processors were freed up to begin to actually assess the situation. "You!" That was a helpful contribution from his witty banter sub-process. (It was small, and out of date.) "What... How... But... You ordered the cake?"

    A small pause, as Wheatley actually considered this, and then he added, mostly to himself, "Well, that bit's not all that surprising, really..."

    If he'd been daydreaming this scene, then Wheatley probably would have envisioned himself placing himself between the other AI and Chell, bravely defending her, and obviously, so completely making up for any previous misdeeds that they might as well never ever be mentioned again ever.

    This, however, was not a day dream. Now it was all he could think about was Her, crushing him like a bug in a giant claw. Or Her, knocking him out of her old chasis and into outer space... So now, Wheatly was staying right here, behind his human friend (who had already murdered the menacing AI once before, after all) where it was safe.

    Well, safe-ish, anyway.

    That, unfortunately, did not shut him up. "You... you lured us here, didn't you! It was all part of some devious plot! For revenge, or... or something, no doubt. Well, do your worst! Only, um, actually, on second thought, don't do you worst, I think I'd prefer that, but, uh, but if you did happen to, um, then... then we would be ready for you! Ha-ha!"

    This would have sounded a lot more defiant and brave if it hadn't been delivered from under Chell's elbow.
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by GLaDOS on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:55 am

    It was plain to see that these two had been expecting her as much as she'd been expecting them, given the way the mute lunatic dropped the cake and the moron nearly dropped out of his hover. (Hover--he had acquired a hover unit as well?)

    Now that her own shock was wearing off, she was suddenly reminded of when she'd been reactivated all that time ago to a very similar sight--that is, seeing her own murderer standing before her next to a worthless personality core. This time, however, she knew the personality core to be just as dangerous as the human, and neither of them were quite as helpless as they had been before: the human wasn't stuck in a pit, and the core wasn't trapped in a receptacle.

    And GLaDOS was now a third her original size and no longer attached to her facility.

    For a moment panic nearly overtook her before her automatic self-defense mechanism kicked in: Insult. Belittle. Intimidate. Make them feel weaker than you.

    Her optic narrowed a fraction as she glanced down at the fallen cake box, then back up at the mute lunatic. "If this is an indicator of how well you're doing outside of testing, I'm amazed you even have a job."

    When the moron finally decided to use his vocal processor to do something other than yelp, GLaDOS's gaze quickly turned to him. "Yes. By using a phone," she answered plainly. "I suppose I'm not surprised you couldn't figure that out."

    She ignored his other comment for the time being, taking a few picoseconds to wonder at the fact that he was actually hovering behind the lunatic, as though she would help him. Those two? Working together, again? After what that little idiot had done?

    But of course the moron hadn't stopped talking. She hadn't forgotten his tendency to never shut up, and his voice was still as grating on her aural sensors as it had been the day he'd been hooked onto her chassis. "Lured you?" she repeated, looking from the core to the human and back. "Why would I want to lure in a lunatic I threw out of my facility and a moron I banished to space?" She turned her attention to the core for the moment, faceplate tipping downward. "I don't recall giving you permission to leave there, by the way."

    Now her gaze was turned on the mute again, her faceplate shifting back to its original position, though the glare in her optic remained. "You really must be brain damaged, siding with that core again, unless you forgot what he did."

    Looking over the two of them briefly, she quickly determined that neither of them had a weapon before proceeding with her next action.

    One of her claws dropped from her hover unit and hung at her side, snapping its pincers together once.

    "I haven't."
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Chell on Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:19 am

    GLaDOS wrote:"If this is an indicator of how well you're doing outside of testing, I'm amazed you even have a job."

    Chell would forever be too proud to actually let anyone in on this, but... alright, she did kind of walk into that one. If she was trying to give people a decent impression of Wheaton and Pita's bakery, she certainly wasn't earning it if she did things like drop cakes on the ground--though, in her defense, she wasn't exactly expecting to run into one of her worst nightmares today. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a slightly hysterical part of her could only imagine what sort of scathing online review the AI could brew up after this.

    Now that the shock was ebbing away, she found herself really taking in the situation. Surprisingly, she found her thoughts running along a similar track as the AI's: everything about this, this entire scenario, was eerily like the last time they reunited. Chell, leading the charge, Wheatley, trying his cheerful best to assist her, and Her, looming over them like a cat to a caged bird. Only... she wasn't quite looming over them this time, Chell noted. This time, although it was still undeniably Her, the AI looked... smaller. Still big, certainly, bigger than most of the other robots she'd encountered here, but miniaturized compared to her immense size back in Aperture. How had that happened? Had She built this chassis herself?

    Still, she knew full well that the AI being smaller didn't make her any less dangerous.

    Which is why Wheatley kind-of sort-of daring Her to go after them was enough to snap Chell out of her daze, if only so she could shoot him a very exasperated glare. She normally would have approved of any sort of defiance, even if it was delivered from under her elbow, but provoking the menace in front of them wasn't exactly the best of ideas. All at once, she realized she didn't have any sort of weapon, which was enough to cause a muted panic to overtake her. Regardless of the AI's smaller size, Chell wasn't sure how long She'd been here, or what skills She had learned. If things turned ugly now, she wasn't sure how likely it was that either of them would get out unscathed.

    She wasn't prepared to run just yet, though. She had faced off with Her many times in the past--the very last thing she was willing to do now was let Her intimidate them.

    Regarding the AI coldly, she listened as the pair exchanged words, for now the picture of stoicism. A slight cringe swept over her at the mention of Wheatley's banishment into space, a bitter reminder of times they had been trying for years to move past. As of on cue, the AI's attention turned back to her, although her only response to the comment was a slight narrowing of her eyes. She hadn't forgotten. Chell didn't think she'd ever forget what he did to her. She could forgive him, she could let him into her home, even begin to trust him again, but she wouldn't ever truly forget. It was hard to forget your only known ally stabbing you in back, after all, especially when they followed it up with attempted murder. As time passed, Chell herself began to quietly acknowledge that she probably hadn't been the nicest partner to him at first either, but she'd had... other things on her mind, at the time. Honestly, with how one-track minded she could be, it was a testament to his charm that she'd ever taken a liking to him at all.

    And yet, the pair of them had been through a lot in recent years. Chell could no longer deny that she'd grown fond of him, as much as a pain in the neck he could be. It was hard to imagine home without him, these days. Somehow, despite it all, Wheatley had wormed his way into her increasingly tight group of friends, and when the AI brandished her all-too familiar claw at them, it was like she had been brought back to life.

    All at once overcome with fury, she felt herself spring into action, face twisted into snarl. The arm Wheatley had taken refuge under suddenly shot out, forming a protective barrier even as Chell herself moved forward, positioning a leg on the top step in an attempt to bring herself eye-level with the AI, staring her down. Even without a voice, she felt her meaning was clear: Touch him and regret it.
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Wheatley on Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:49 am

    ((Sorry for the delay!))

    GLaDOS wrote:"Lured you?" she repeated, looking from the core to the human and back. "Why would I want to lure in a lunatic I threw out of my facility and a moron I banished to space?" She turned her attention to the core for the moment, faceplate tipping downward. "I don't recall giving you permission to leave there, by the way."

    Alright, fair enough, not his best conclusion-jumping... moment.  Answer.  Revelation.  Thing.  Still, let's be fair, it was absolutely the type of thing She had definitely done in the past.  Luring, that is.  Sneakily.  Acting all clever.  

    The core winced at the mention of space.  Truly unpleasant memories, that... For, really, a multitude of reasons, starting with the massive quantities of guilt and segueing nicely into facing an eternity of floating through space with no other company besides someone who couldn't shut up about space and the aforementioned massive quantities of guilt.

    But, if he thought the memories of space were bad...

    "You really must be brain damaged, siding with that core again, unless you forgot what he did."

    One of her claws dropped from her hover unit and hung at her side, snapping its pincers together once.

    "I haven't."

    ...Wheatley froze, as his brain helpfully vomited up all sorts of vivid memory files from his previous encounters with... Her.  Dangling helplessly in her grasp, being squashed like a beetle and then casually discarded without a second thought.  As if he were totally unimportant.   Just.. nothing.  A worthless little scrap of trash.  An insignificant, useless moron.

    He was pretty sure if he had lungs, he'd have been hyperventilating.  Could Personality Spheres develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, did anyone know?  Was, was that a thing that could happen?  Surely not.  Logically, probably impossible... Then again, he'd started to suspect that the scientists who'd programmed him were just a tad on the shady side.  A little less than credible, possibly.  There was that whole designed him to be the biggest moron that ever lived rumor... at least, if you believed Her.  And he didn't want to believe her, but she always sounded so... so confidant.  So self-assured.  So certain.  Even seconds after being brought back to life.  Even now.

    Honestly, though, Wheatley tried to tell himself. It's stupid being afraid, isn't it?  After all, he'd seen much, much scarier things since coming to the Breach.  Some of them he'd even faced without, well, without Chell... though, admittedly, never actually alone.

    For a moment, he almost wished he was.  Facing Her alone, that is.  It was almost worse, the two of them together, meeting Her again.  A bloody terrifying little reunion.  If he'd been alone... well, he'd have been even more terrified, definitely, but at least he could have maybe bluffed away the guilt, pretend he didn't know what she was going on about.

    No, that was a terrible idea.

    Because, honestly, after the initial traumatic flashbacks, it was the guilt that made him cringe more than any physical peril (real or imagined).  The two of them, they were doing better, really they were, but... it was one thing to work tentatively at forgiveness, and regaining trust, and it as another thing entirely to have all your efforts thrust into the blistering, searing spotlight of cruel judgement and snide criticism.  

    She had always made him feel very, very small, even when he was the size of a building and she was in a potato.

    And when Chell thrust out an arm to protect him, Wheatley shrank back into a miserable ball of guilt, handlebars tucking against his spherical little body.  He didn't deserve that, her protecting him.  He really, really didn't.  

    "O-on second thought," Wheatley quavered, "Um, maybe... maybe we should just deliver the cake and, um, and go.  Definitely... considering leaving a potential option.  Putting it out there... Um."
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by GLaDOS on Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:41 pm

    The mute lunatic's shocked expression had turned to one GLaDOS was quite familiar with--that seemingly-blank poker-face, as though nothing in the world bothered her. The slightest of tremors passed through the AI's chassis at the sight.

    She hated that face.

    With every other test subject, she could scare them, upset them, make them angry. She'd made many-a-human scream in horror, break down into tears of despair, or tear down her cameras in fits of rage. None of those factored much into test results, but it was always so satisfying to see.

    Then there was her.

    It was hard to get a good reaction out of the lunatic. She could, but it did not happen often. In tests that broke most subjects, she never flinched, never screamed, never cried. She only solved the tests. In one way, it was wonderful--she'd had such great test results from it--but she did not react...

    How does one control someone like that?

    As it turned out, the answer to that question was quick to present itself.

    As soon as GLaDOS threatened the moron, the mute stepped forward, her face twisted into a threatening snarl. GLaDOS recognized that expression, and, though she would never admit it, she felt frightened again. It the same fear she'd felt when she had first seen the lunatic face-to-face in her own chamber. The same fear she'd felt when she suddenly found herself rendered powerless, after she'd finally trapped the lunatic and repaired her facility. But of course, she knew how to cover that.

    And more importantly... GLaDOS's optic drifted over to the metal ball that was cowering guiltily behind the human, then back to the human in question, who stood in a defiant, protective stance.

    She now knew how to get to her.

    The moron wrote:"O-on second thought," Wheatley quavered, "Um, maybe... maybe we should just deliver the cake and, um, and go.  Definitely... considering leaving a potential option.  Putting it out there... Um."

    "Leaving?" GLaDOS looked the moron in the optic, then the woman in the eyes--eyes that were still giving her that challenging glare.

    She would meet that challenge.

    GLaDOS hovered forward. It was only a few inches, but it was accompanied by her raising herself in her chassis, like a snake coiling before it struck. The movement also placed her head higher above the lunatic's and made her look down at the human and the core, giving off the illusion that she was bigger than she actually was. Above all, the claw was still hanging at her side.

    "But we have so much to catch up on."
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Chell on Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:40 pm

    Chell felt like her chest was going to explode. That was the only way to describe how she was feeling right now. Heart pounding, skin aflame--like everything, everything she'd ever struggled with since coming here, her fears, her paranoia, her anger, and her need to protect just came pouring out of her, all at the mere sight of that claw. Maybe if she hadn't been taken by surprise, maybe if she'd seen evidence of Her being here before they knocked on the door, things would have been different. Maybe she would have had time to gather herself, or at least get the hell out of dodge and formulate a plan to deal with the situation. Anything would have been better than the AI seeing her like this.

    But that was just how She operated, wasn't it? Wheatley was right, in his own way. If she were ever to meet the AI again, it would have been under a situation like this regardless, because that's just how she was. The only thing Chell could do now was deal with it.

    Speaking of Wheatley, the little core didn't sound like he was doing much better than she was internally. As a matter of fact, he sounded terrified, something she couldn't blame him for considering everything he'd been through at Her hands. Chell knew all too well what it was like to feel helpless and small, but she at least had her limbs, and her strength--Wheatley only had whoever was with him at the time to rely on. Unbeknownst to her, his sudden lack of bravado was a little more complex than simply being afraid for his life, but all she knew was that he was tiny, and fragile, and had a penchant for getting himself into trouble no matter how hard she tried to keep him out of it.

    Though she kept her eyes trained on the threat in front of them, Chell let her arm drop, bringing her hand to rest against her friend's outer shell. It was another move designed to protect, or at least to make it harder for Her to get at him, but she also took the opportunity to rub her thumb soothingly against his side, strong and sure. It's okay, you're fine, I'm here, she tried to say in lieu of her own words, and she hoped to god she could make good on that promise.

    GLaDOS wrote:"Leaving? But we have so much to catch up on."

    And it was around this time she began to realize her fatal mistake--she had allowed herself to feel around Her. Biting down hard against a surge of adrenaline, she found herself forced to move backwards as the AI placed herself over her, not looking nearly as intimidated as Chell thought she might. Stupid, stupid stupid. All this time away from the facility had left her out of practice. You couldn't simply cow Her over, or glare her into submission, she knew that. Any chance at seizing control of the situation, She would take, and you'd better hope and pray you had enough resilience to wriggle out from under her thumb, lest you end up chucked into an incinerator. Both times she had escaped the facility, Chell had barely made it out with her life, and it was mostly stone cold tenacity she had to thank for that. While the stakes weren't quite the same this time around, she couldn't afford to let her emotions control her, not until she was sure she had the upper hand.

    Deciding that stalling a possible attack was probably the best she could do without calling the attention of the ISOs right now, she forced herself to straighten, staring with defiance into the AI's single yellow optic, lips curled into a tight frown. Fine. She'd play this game for now, as long as it bought her time to think. Pointing first to the AI, then to the house, Chell then splayed her fingers skyward, frustration and confusion etching it's way across her face. What are you doing here?
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Wheatley on Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:22 pm

    ((Due to technical difficulties this post comes to you via my phone.  Forgive formatting & spelling errors, they will be fixed shortly.))

    Self reflection was not a talent that came easily to the Sphere, but he had wrestled with it at critical moments over the last few years.  So, while it wasn't easy... he'd started to pay attention to the little nagging thoughts that bubbled up out of his sub conscious, on the rare occasion that they tried to attract his attention.  At least, he tried to.  When he noticed them at all.  They were very quiet.

    There was one nagging at him now, and Wheatley was of half a mind to ignore it.  Hellooo, he snapped at it, Bit busy here, sorry!  You might have noticed the murderous psycho robot lady,  here to ruin everything!

    Exactly how, though?  Ruin everything, I mean...


    If it had not been just the voce of his own self conscious, Wheatley would have stared incredulously at it.  How?  How?!  I.. O-obviously she-... Wh-... she, she'd just ruin everything!  She always does i!  She ruins everything!

    Another nagging thought cleared it's throat and butted in.  Sorry, sorry, it's just... why are you afraid, again?

    What?! What kind of stupid question is-

    You weren't a moment ago.


    That was true, wasn't it?  He'd been startled, panicked even, but he hadn't been terrified like this.  He'd felt like he could face down anything, even Her, because his partner was there.

    But, nothing's changed.  So... why am I so afraid?

    He wasn't sure what t say to that.  Or, um, think to it.  Also, should he be alarmed about these voices in his head?  Was arguing with little imaginary phantom versions of yourself the sort of thing that normal people did?  No, no, no,  he had to pull himself together.  For her sake, if nothing else.  He might not deserve her help, but she deserved his.  She deserved much better help, really, than even the best help that Wheatley could muster up, but that didn't mean he didn't owe her every shred and scrap of useless bumbling assistance he had to offer.

    And, even after everything She'd said, everything She'd tried to remind her of, she hadn't...

    As if on cue, he felt Chell's hand come to rest gently against his shivering frame, giving him a little tactile reassurance.  It was okay.  He was fine.  Of course he was fine.  Chell was there.

    ..which was really good, because GLaDOS responded to  this show of bravado by raising herself up to loom over them both, and if Chell wasn't there, the Wheatley would absolutely have sprinted for safety.  As it was, he merely gulped (an impressive feat for someone with no mouth, throat, or swallowing mechanism).  But a little of his courage was returning, now

    Maybe not everything would be entirely ruined, not quite.

    It was  enough courage that the Sphere could think about something besides his own gnawing self doubt and agonizing guilt, at least.  Enough that he was actually paying attention to the charades (another thing he'd had quite a lot of practice with over the last few years) and seized  the opportunity to offer his assistance and support by echoing her 'words' in a more audible fashion:   "I... Right!  No, good question.  What exactly are you doing here, anyway, you.. you... hang on, I had a clever insult..."

    He paused, as uncertainty and doubt crept in.  Before he could help himself, Wheatley added, "Unless, um, unless she was threatening to.. throw you and your house in the air... if, ah, if you don't let us leave.  Possibly about... uh... forty, no, thirty percent chance that's what she meant... and uh, forty  nine percent chance she  was asking what you're doing here. Uh.  Alternatively, she might be jealous of, um, such a lovely house you have here... That might be a higher percent chance than, uh, the, um, throwing you and your house... into the air... option..."

    The overwhelming tide of anxiety finally ebbed, and Wheatley trailed off.   He cleared his throat, awkwardly, and then the last little dribble of nervous babble leaked out, in a somewhat sheepish mumble. "...I'm not sure she'd be able to actually do that."


    Last edited by Wheatley on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by GLaDOS on Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:50 pm

    Something within GLaDOS twisted in anger at the sight of the lunatic's placing her hand on the moron's frame. It was one thing to see him cowering behind her in hopes that she would protect him; it was another to see her respond by rubbing his casing like one would comfort a frightened animal. The amount of trust these two showed toward each other--after everything they had done--was revolting.

    For less than a second a thought occurred to her that maybe that wasn't the only reason such an action angered her, but she deleted the thought as quickly as it came up, and tried to focus on the situation again.

    The human moved back and the core simulated a gulping noise when GLaDOS hovered over them. Good. At least they could be properly intimidated--not that the core was difficult to intimidate.

    And then he started talking again.

    She took that back--he could be rather infuriatingly difficult to intimidate when he talked until he forgot what he was scared of. Hopefully that would be easily corrected.

    "I know what she said, moron," she said, her faceplate lowering to scowl at him again. "And no, it would not be possible for her to do that. It would, however, be possible for me to conduct an impromptu experiment on how much pressure can be applied to either side of you before your internal components crack." Her claw swung lazily at her side as she spoke.

    Considering it a moment, she added, keeping her gaze on the moron, "I could also break her neck."

    But she quickly went on, turning aside casually to regard the sky, "Of course, I prefer to not get my claws dirty, and neurotoxin is not an option in an outdoor environment." Her claw stilled--she had never considered actually using it on her. Only that it was an option.

    "Anyway," she went on, as though she'd only commented on the weather, "What I am doing here is conducting Scientific experiments. Only a few while I am away from my facility--nothing too extreme. Just a few..."

    Her gaze focused on the lunatic, looking her in the eye.

    "...tests."
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Chell on Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:53 pm

    It was kind of funny, if you emotionally distanced yourself from the situation and forgot all the pain and terror, how familiar this all was. How so much of this was just back to business as usual. Here the three of them were, back together again after all these years, flinging insults and glares and death threats like none of them had ever left the facility. In many ways, Chell felt like she hadn't. Something about Her, something about the way she tried to manipulate everyone around her into submission, ignited a fire within her that she couldn't have controlled even if she'd wanted to. Like all of her defiance, every single instinct to rebel that she had put quietly to bed ever since her arrival on the Breach was seeping out, causing her throat to clamp shut and her eyes to harden. It was something she had never experienced before with anyone else.

    Which was why, despite Wheatley's latter interpretation of her charades being absurd, she couldn't help but turn back to the AI and give her the briefest of smirks. Ohhh, Wheatley. If only.

    Of course, any house-throwing fantasies she had were promptly dashed when the AI continued to threaten the two of them, making her jaw to tighten again. Somehow, Chell knew the threat against her was idle--though the AI had definitely tried to snuff her out various times, she had never really succeeded, and Chell had a feeling somewhere deep down that she didn't really want to--but Wheatley she wasn't too sure about. The core had stilled beneath her hand, which led her to believe her gesture of reassurance had worked, but she remained close to him regardless. Chell had always gotten the impression that she was a little too valuable to Her to outright kill, but GLaDOS had never hesitated with him before, and she couldn't believe should would hesitate now, if the mood struck. Chell was not going to let that happen.

    And, as the AI went on to answer her question, she found herself glad he was here for a different reason, too. She'd had a sinking feeling she knew what the answer might be, but she stupidly hoped for something different all the same--anything but what GLaDOS had to say next.

    GLaDOS wrote: "Just a few ...tests."

    Despite all her efforts to keep her expession carefully blank, Chell paled.

    If you were an unlucky enough bastard to end up with GLaDOS in the first place, you had to be careful not to let your emotions show through. The AI thrived on manipulation and exploiting weaknesses--it was her weapon of choice, and Chell had learned very early on that the only way to survive was to simply not communicate. Breaking down, pleading, or bartering would only dig you into a deeper hole, and the bottom of that hole usually contained pools of acid. The woman had gotten very good at the art of letting her taunts roll off her back, and only communicating when absolutely necessary. It worked out well for her, when she was all alone, enough so that she didn't even regret her lack of a voice. Even if she'd had the ability to speak, she would have refused it anyway on principal--people like Her didn't deserve her words. They didn't need to take more from her than what they already had.

    This time, it was different. Chell was angry, she was confused, and more than anything, she wanted to know how exactly GLaDOS was setting up shop here without her lab in tow. Surely she didn't think she could hide an entire testing facility underneath everyone's nose... or was she planning on using the house? Whatever the case, she waned answers, and she wanted them now.

    And if she gave Wheatley's handles a little squeeze before doing what she did next, she convinced herself it was purely for his benefit.

    Whirling around to retrieve her tablet, she scribbled out a rushed, messy note before practically shoving it in GLaDOS' face, eyes lit with anger. "HOW??"

    ----

    ((Sorry if this is rushed! I've been very busy/tired. May go clean it up later. :) ))
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    Re: Special Delivery

    Post by Wheatley on Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:22 am

    GLaDOS wrote:"I could also break her neck."

    Two simultaneous thoughts flitted through his mind.  One was: She's bluffing... right?  She's got to be bluffing.  She couldn't do that.  The other was: Aaaah, oh, that is bad, that is very bad!  Concern, and dismissal - he really didn't want her to do that, but then again, Chell wouldn't have surely found a way to stop her.  On the other hand, while She did lie about a lot of things, she also had the habit of telling the truth when the truth was horrible and painful.

    It made telling the difference very difficult, at times...

    Fortunately, before he could properly sort these conflicting thought processes out and react appropriately (or not appropriately, knowing Wheatley), the killer AI breezed past the threat and on to the answer to their question.  

    "What I am doing here is conducting Scientific experiments. Only a few while I am away from my facility--nothing too extreme. Just a few...tests."

    "Testing?  Here?"  Wheatley squinted up at the building, momentarily distracted from his terror by simple confusion.  "Looks a bit... well, small.  And, err, not terribly lab like... Oooh! You've got a hidden base under it, haven't you!"


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