"Once upon a time…" Wheatley paused, cast a glance at the stasis pod containing Chell's body, then at the expectant, newly-activated greenish-grey personality core. "Once upon a time, there was a girl named Chell. Uh, a woman, actually, a woman named Chell."

"Chell! I like that name," the other core interrupted. "Chell, Chell, Chell. I'm going to be called Chell, okay, Wheatley? Chell, Chell, Chell. Chell!"

"Yeah, luv, you can be called Chell," Wheatley said, heaving a sad sigh as he again looked at the stasis pod. "It…it suits you.

"But anyway, this Chell, the woman, she was put through all sorts of experiments by Her. You're going to meet Her, you know. Right after this, actually…And these experiments, they were for science." He gave a bitter chuckle. "SCIENCE. Bloody science, it ruins everything. Friendships, lives, sanities…and anyway, Chell, she managed to escape. And she shut Her down, but then she was forced back inside the testing facility by one of those, oh, whatchamacallits, one of those Party Bot…things."

"I like the testing facility," the other core said, spinning in a circle on her management rail. "I like it. I do, I do, I do!"

"And then this is the part where I come in," Wheatley continued. "I helped her. We helped each other, actually. But then…" He paused and shuddered as though this was a painful subject. "…Then I did some bloody monstrous things to her, and I thought that she was going to escape. Really, truly, I did. But apparently She decided that Chell hadn't suffered enough."

The other core was silent, waiting expectantly for him to finish the story.

"I don't know the full details of it all," Wheatley explained. "All the rest of what I know is just what the experiment was."

The other core frowned, thinking, remembering. Trying to remember. There was something, just a bit out of reach…

"Just GO," GLaDOS said, glaring at the elevator Chell was standing in. "It's been fun. DON'T come back." The elevator started moving upwards, and Chell breathed a shaky sigh of relief, leaning against the wall for support. It was over. After all this, it was over. It was finally over.

But then the elevator stopped. Chell felt it right away, and frowned as it began moving back down. When it reached GLaDOS, it stopped again. Chell stared out at her, making sure her expression was both pained and furious.

"Oh, don't look at me like that," GLaDOS sighed. "I'm sorry, I forgot that I had just one last test for you to do. But as soon as you complete it, you can go."

Chell smacked her hand against the elevator's door in frustration. No. No more tests. She had been so close…

"It's just one more," GLaDOS reiterated. "And you'll have a companion throughout it." A cheerful, sardonic lilt entered her voice as she continued. "The Intelligence Dampening Sphere. I have already activated its homing signal, and it will be here soon."

NO! Chell smacked the door again, harder, and with both hands this time. Not him. Anyone but him… It was his fault she wasn't already out and on the surface. An involuntary tear dropped from her eye as she thought about him and all he'd done to her.

"Are you…crying?" GLaDOS sounded shocked, but she recovered quickly. "If what you are concerned about is being paired with the Intelligence Dampening Sphere, then don't worry: you'll soon forget your reservations." She chuckled, and just as Chell's eyes widened with realization as to what that could mean, a knockout gas began hissing into the elevator. In panic, Chell started banging on the door, hoping that somehow she could break the glass. But it didn't budge, and as the elevator began moving downwards, Chell's eyes rolled up into her head and she hit the floor.

The greenish-grey personality core blinked her optic as the memory disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. She refocused her attention on Wheatley, who hadn't noticed the lapse.

"All I know," he said, locking his optic on hers, "is that She took her memories. Put her in a core." He searched the other core's optic for something, didn't find it, and sounded even sadder than before as he continued. "And I know that even if she was here…even if she was right here, listening to me tell her a story…even if she was here, she wouldn't have a bloody clue who I am." He sighed and looked away, back at the stasis pod. The other core, although concerned, remained silent. "But…Chell…" He stared into her optic again, a new, fierce look of determination in his own. "I'm going to save her. No matter what. I owe her that."

"How touching," GLaDOS drawled through an intercom before deactivating him. One way or another, he would cooperate with her. "Test Core, you are to report to my chamber at once."

Without a single backwards glance at Wheatley, Chell turned and zoomed off in the opposite direction.

[A/N: I'm operating under the assumption that Caroline has truly been deleted, and I'll continue this if people want me to.]