|The Schizophrenic's Daughter II
Author: T Stark PM
It was the moment Doug dreamed of for thirty-two years. After being freed from Aperture, he tries to re-build his life on the surface. But there's one thing missing: the daughter who's been transfered into an AI. And now, he's on a quest to keep her safe.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Sci-Fi - D. Rattmann & Weighted Companion Cube - Chapters: 5 - Words: 7,018 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 01-05-12 - Published: 12-31-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7696847
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So, this is the sequel to The Schizophrenic's Daughter, as you may have figured out. It takes place directly after Dampening Stephen II. Have fun!
The entire world was like a dream. Everything was just as he remembered it. The way the sun reflected off the grass, the color of the clear blue sky, just the same as his eyes.
The same as hers...
He had to shield himself at first, for the thirty-two years of captivity had deprived him of any natural light. He'd scurried into the shadows to allow him vision of the world he'd been torn from all those years ago. He did not tell his saviour of their relation, that she had the same eyes as his late uncle, though he briefly mentioned her mother. He left her with the man she loved, with her family. And he left with what was left of his.
No one had questioned how the companion cube had exited through the emancipation grill. There were matters much more important that that to be worried about. But he knew why. He knew it well.
It was because Aperture's Artificial Intelligence was permitted to.
Once they were safely out of hearing range, Doug became aware of a partially-mechanical voice. A very real voice, unlike one of the voices that haunted him in his mind. "You did it. You actually did it." He looked at the companion cube strapped to his back and smiled despite the pain in his heart.
This was not a normal companion cube. It was not an inanimate object brought to life by his condition. B was real. She was an AI prototype- the first to ever function correctly- Destroyed by GLaDOS and put into the cube by Doug to hide her survival.
She was also his daughter.
She'd no memory of her human life. She didn't know that the reason she'd decided on being called B was based off of her former identity, back when she was known as Breanna. Breanna Rattmann.
He couldn't remind her of the days they spent together, but he himself could never forget. If he were to tell her, it would greatly risk her life. So he lived with what remained of his darling girl.
"It w- wasn't just m- me." He stuttered. "I'd have d- died without you."
B issued a noise that resembled a sound of modesty. "What are you going to do now? I can't help you out here. Where will you go? It's been almost forty years. You don't know how much things have changed."
Doug shook his head. "I d- don't know. And to be honest, I d- don't c- care. Just so long as we n- never see that p- place again." He pushed a piece of hair out of his face. "Is something w- wrong?" He asked when B stayed silent.
She hesitated for a moment. "I'm scared. I don't know what it's like out here. Neither do you, not really. It's so different than Aperture already, and we're only about a mile away. And... I feel like I've seen this place before. But I guess that sounds dumb."
Doug felt a tug at his heart. He wanted- no, he needed to tell her that she had been to this hillside, that all the flashes of memory did have meaning, that the holes weren't from a hard drive wipe. He needed to tell her that he loved her, that she was, and always would be, his Breanna.
Breanna. The only thing he'd lived for after the death of the woman he'd loved his entire life. The girl of fifteen with his obsidian hair and stunning blue eyes. And her face the same as her mother's, the only discrepancy being the dark circles of an insomniac below her eyes. Doug knew he would never see any of those again.
But in a way, her transformation had been a good thing. Were it not for the technology, his daughter would truly be gone, without the ability for him to hear her voice. When it had first happened, he'd blamed his late uncle for taking her away early. Now, though, he was glad the decision had been made. After all, it was what she'd wanted. He looked up at the sky and smiled. Thank you, Uncle Johnson.
Eventually, he knew he had to respond. "Not at a- all. You c- could have seen a p- picture or someth- thing."
"Yeah... Where are we going, anyway?" She asked.
Doug smiled. "M- my homet- town. It's not f- far." He was taking a risk bringing her back to the place of her childhood. The imaginary voice of Cave Johnson repeated their last conversation in perfect clarity.
Doug, if you ever happen to come across her again, there are two things you can never do. One: Never say a paradox. Two: Never try to remind her of her life before. It'll confuse her, fry her circuits. It would be the equivalent of having a fatal stroke...
But, over the years, she had remembered. Small details, too discreet to make anything out of. A drawing, a face, a Swedish phrase, all important, yet not enough.
The sun was descending, and Doug hated to see it go, but with the sun gone, the stars would blanket the world in their shimmering light. He'd gotten a glimpse of the moon once, ten years ago, when Wheatley had taken over the facility, and he'd been sure it was the last time. But now, it was coming to greet him again. Now and every night from then on.
He felt the thirty-two-year-old paper in his lab coat pocket. After all the taunts, all the voices, he would finally be rid of it all. He would once again be able to at least pretend he had some sanity left.
He wanted to go on forever, never stopping until he saw a familiar landmark, but he had to rest his bad leg- The one which had gotten shot by a turret many, many years ago. He didn't sit. That would take him longer to get on his way afterwards. He set B down and leaned on her, keeping the weight off his right side. B mentioned how strange the grass felt, and Doug smiled.
He remembered their little house- nothing great, just big enough for the two of them- when Breanna would play in the yard, giggling as the blades of grass tickled her face. And when she got older, she would play the piano in the living room, singing to him in that beautiful alto voice of hers. He couldn't help but shed a tear and give a slight grimace at the painful recollection.
"What's wrong?" He looked down at the construct that had once been his daughter. He wouldn't lie, but he wouldn't tell her the exact reason, either. "J- jut my old w- wound." He put his hand on his leg as if to prove a point. B looked at him- or rather he assumed she was looking, he couldn't tell- and muttered a sceptic "Alright, then..." It was obvious she'd seen right through him, but she knew better than to ask any more questions.
She knew this place. She knew the feeling of the wind, the grass, the freedom. But she'd never left Aperture before; it was the place she'd been built and, until very recently, the place she would be destroyed for good. This new world was just another missing detail in her sorry, artificial life.
Doug stopped in his tracks. He saw pinpricks of light in the distance. Like hundreds of stars on the ground. I... I'm home... He stared for a moment and fell to his knees. He cried, and for the first time, they were tears of joy.