Sometimes he thought he was going mad. In fact, he was quite certain of it. It was one of the few things he could be certain of anymore.
The companion cube spoke in fleeting whispers. It was just as afraid of Her as he was.
It didn't make sense. They'd built Her, so they should have been able to destroy Her. But Cave Johnson had wanted the best and he was God. They made GLaDOS too powerful, too smart, too ruthlessly unsympathetic toward Her creators or any other humans for that matter.
In fact, the AI saw them as obstacles standing in Her way of moving science forward.
It was one of Aperture's many mottoes. Even human lives were less valuable than their precious technology that would one day change the world if it ever made it through the countless stages of rigorous testing without being stolen by Black Mesa first. The engineers were going to make dreams come true as well as nightmares. Many of the things that came out of the lab unnerved him, but never as much as the GLaDOS initiative.
It began as Cave Johnson's insane attempt to live forever. He had become more unstable in the past few years, unreasonably delusional and egocentric, thinking up ideas that were downright unethical. Some said mercury poisoning was to blame, others insisted it was moon rocks that were killing him. Doug had to admit that the portal device was genius though. It really would change the world if Johnson lived long enough. Aperture's founder believed his mind was truly worth preserving inside a computer. But life had other plans for him, or death, as it happened.
That was not the first time Doug seriously considered walking away from a project to which he was assigned. But he needed this job; it was the only way he could afford his medication, and without that he wouldn't be able to work at all anyway. Aperture at least paid its employees well to keep quiet about the things that went on there.
Caroline...the woman who had worshiped the very ground Cave Johnson walked on and practically lived to pour his coffee in the mornings.
Caroline, who had touched his arm after noticing how disturbed he was the first time he watched a man die. That happened sometimes. He knew that. What bothered him was how useless the death had been. They didn't need to risk the lives of innocent test subjects to prove that people couldn't survive having a super conductor turned up to full blast and pointed at them or a bloodstream of pure gasoline. This wasn't advancing science at all. It was just mad science.
"How are we supposed to sleep at night?" Doug asked her. "How are we supposed to live with ourselves? We do what we must because we can, huh?" Another one of Aperture's favorite sayings.
"All in the name of science, Mr. Rattmann." Caroline had said, giving him that brainwashed smile of hers.
"Well I have a new test for you," he'd replied. "Let's see how much guilt the human conscience can take before someone snaps and burns this whole facility down with the combustible lemons. All in the name of science, of course."
Caroline was a good woman, just impressionable. She hadn't wanted this, not for the sake of science, not even if it was Cave Johnson's dying wish. They forced her to become immortal, stripped away her humanity and somehow still expected her to bend to their will. Aperture Laboratories would live on. Her mind and soul were now vexed into a massive metal body. It reminded Doug of a woman in bondage, hanging helplessly by her feet.
She became Her. Capital H quite necessary, for She was a goddess of science. Caroline wanted to die, but GLaDOS quickly developed a desire to live.
The cores...they drove Her mad in the end. They were meant to regulate Her behavior, but all the voices trying to get Her attention at once was too much. He knew what that felt like. She turned against them every time they activated Her.
The scientists grew desperate, and began sacrificing themselves, volunteering to have their minds boiled down to the most dominant emotions and personality traits which were then transferred into spheres glowing optics. They attached these spheres to Her, trying to find the one that would tame the monster they created.
Every day there were more cores and fewer employees. Doug feared his time was coming. Nothing worked. It seemed there was no soul within Aperture pure enough to soothe Her rage, not even him. He was a coward. He witnessed the evil allowed to take place here and did nothing to stop it. Through his inaction, Doug sold his soul for science, too. They'd brought this upon themselves anyway by playing God.
Then the solution was found, but it was already too late and entirely immoral.
That was the cost of creating Morality.
No one suspected it at the time, but quietly brilliant Doug Rattmann was slowly losing his mind.