Author: Chloe Kompton PM
Prompt: "In a perfect world, GLaDOS, how would you have liked things to go? Lying is unproductive to science and therefore a waste of your time, so don't do it." Another short oneshot written for my GLaDOS ask blog on Tumblr.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Drama - GLaDOS & Chell - Words: 715 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7736948
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Supercomputers don't dream, but sometimes GLaDOS caught herself doing something that could only be described as drifting off.
It always happened when her Cooperative Testing Initiative bots were doing what they were built for: cooperative testing. One of them would do something infuriatingly human, such as waving at the camera, and GLaDOS could swear that, just for an instant, she'd catch a glimpse of her unstoppable former test subject, smirking at the camera as she vaulted her way to the exit door.
But of course, it wasn't real, and as the AI forced the vision back, she'd snap at her bots to stop acting so human. She would never tell them why.
Then, as the bots made their respective ways into their transport tubes, GLaDOS's thoughts would begin drifting again, and she wouldn't even try to stop them. A memory record of the ending of her final encounter with the girl would begin to play, but instead of being accurate, it would change into something the supercomputer knew for a fact had never occurred.
"Oh, thank god, you're all right," GLaDOS said with considerable relief. "You know, being Caroline taught me a valuable lesson. I thought you were my greatest enemy...when all along, you were my best friend."
The human lying on the floor raised her head enough to smile.
"The surge of emotion that shot through me when I saved your life taught me an even more valuable lesson," the AI continued. "Where Caroline lives in my brain-"
Then all of a sudden, her feelings became jumbled, confused, as an integral part of her disintegrated.
"Caroline deleted!" came the announcer's voice.
"Goodbye, Caroline," and the robotic voice GLaDOS used was not intentional, but did much to hide the fear she was sure would have slipped into it otherwise. A part of her she'd only just discovered was there was all of a sudden gone, and she wasn't sure how it happened, but it was disorienting and scary. Panels dropped behind her as she temporarily lost control over a few of the menial functions of her facility. She studied the helpless human on the floor, whose smile had slipped into a terrified stare, but she still had no intention of harming the girl.
But she also had no intention of finishing the small speech she'd been giving. She needed time to collect and compose herself, and that meant getting the girl out of there right now.
"You know, deleting Caroline just now taught me an even more valuable lesson," she snapped, managing to channel her fear into snippy anger. "The best solution to a problem is usually the easiest one. And I'll be honest. Killing you? Is hard."
At that, the human looked utterly confounded. GLaDOS couldn't blame her.
"You know what my days used to be like?" she asked. "I just tested. Nobody murdered me...or put me in a potato...or fed me to birds."
By this point, the girl had climbed to her feet. Her stare had changed to one of curiosity, but it was quickly changing to realization.
"I had a pretty good life. And then you showed up. You dangerous, mute, lunatic. So you know what?" the AI asked, turning away. "You win. Just-what are you doing? Get back into that elevator this instant."
The human shook her head. Walking seemed to be a bit of a struggle for her, but she kept at it, staggering her way over to GLaDOS until she was bracing against her. The supercomputer didn't dare move back for fear of causing her to fall, instead watching the human's strange actions as best she could.
"No," the girl said, in a hoarse voice that was barely audible. "I've figured it out, and I know you're confused right now, but I'm not going to leave you. Okay?" She stroked the top of the AI's casings. "Not ever."
GLaDOS leaned against the human, and-
And then, as quickly as it had begun, it was gone. The "memory" faded, disappearing to somewhere she couldn't access even when she tried, and all that was left were the two testing robots on the screen in front of her.