It has been a stupidly long time since I've bothered to post anything. Yes, I am aware. Mostly, all the portal comics I'm working, finished, or plotting were inspired by this train-wreck of a story. Unfortunately, it spun waaay too long joke wise, so some of the lols had to be removed and were then put in their own comic (now on deviant art). Lols are in progress there, and will continue here as well.
Sarcasm Still Valid [In the future!]
5/31/11 – Cleaned up 7/17/11
Her entire world was made of pain.
Oh god, did she still have both her legs?
Chell was honestly surprised they were attached when she managed to twist her head down and look at her legs, shards of the knee replacement splintered around them, and the flexible shock absorber on her left leg was bent and ruined. But yes, she had both her legs.
Flaming shards of debris peppered her helpless body, and Chell lacked even the energy to shield her head. Taking a sharp breath, Chell tried to uncurl her aching body but the act of breathing was much more difficult that she remembered it to be. Whatever damage the neurotoxin she inhaled had done while fighting off a power-mad AI was burning her lungs, eyes, nose, and all her entire body felt both numb and searing pain.
But she was outside.
And it was sunny.
'…. how dare it have the nerve to be sunny,' Chell thought, dazed. She had almost been incinerated at least- well... that last blow to the head shaken things up- but she was sure it had been more than once. And the shooting pain her her legs was causing spots to flicker in her eyes.
The portal gun was missing, but it hardly mattered. She was outside. The psychotic, murdous computer was dead and she was FREE. After … god knows how many death traps (her memory was a bit foggy, head trauma from going through the roof probably) she had freedom!
Maybe... just a short nap first. Then Chell would stand up, brush everything off, and go home. Brush off the bruises, the broken bones, and the deadly neurotoxin gas – okay, that sounded a bit optimistic. But she had exploded the roof of the labs in broad daylight. In the middle of a city. Someone was bound to have noticed.
Someone did notice, and was approaching.
'Oh thank god,' Chell's mind was beginning to darken as the pain overwhelmed her. Rescue. After all those cruel and nearly fatal tests... she was out.
"Thank you for assuming the party escort submission position." A voice droned, to her ears it sounded like someone was speaking through a lead wall.
Chell's mind was beginning to blink in and out of consciousness, things weren't really making sense. Submission... position... that was an odd thing for a rescuer to say... especially after Chell was fairly certain she had gone through the roof with her skull...
Stabbing pain lanced up her leg and a cold metal grip closed around her ankle and jerked backwards.
Back towards the building.
Back into the lab.
No! She didn't want to go back! She wanted... to... go home. Hurt.
Oh... darkness. – joy.
Brown light glowed dimly behind her eyes, and Chell struggled to open them. Upon prodding, she fought the weight behind her eyelids, and realized she was in a room. Not a medical lab, not some sort of cryo-egg... thing... it was a hotel room? A battered, filthy, low-end motel room?
A hotel room with a sort of announcer instructing her to look around.
…. ok... might as well see if her legs were gone or not.
Throwing back the blankets, Chell placed both her feet on the ground, and was more than a little shocked to see that yes, both legs were indeed attached... and there was no pain. But that may have been because someone had rebuilt the knee replacements with boots that covered her entire lower leg to the knee. There was a shiny layer of scar tissue at the back and side of her knee where the implants had once been fused into her legs, but the boots negated the need for the painful implants with a more practical shoe design. Lifting one hand to her head, Chell realized the blinding pain she had felt before falling unconscious was all gone. Her head, lungs, and eyes no longer burned from the horrible neurotoxin damage. Wow. Wait, how long had she been out?
The computerized voice continued to chatter.
'….f...fifty days?' Chell's jaw dropped open and she went slightly cross-eyed.
She had blown the roof off Aperture labs, landed on some nice soft cement, and no one had come looking for her fifty days later? What kind of lawyers, or armed forces, or psychotic computers did this crazy-ass place have?
Fighting down panic, Chell's eyes darted around the room as she tried to gather her bearings. The annoying voice was instructing her to go admire some art, dammit. … seriously? She had been uncanned from her cryo-sleep to go admire art?... and wtf, it was some kind of Bob Ross-style cabin in the mountains. In shock, Chell stared at the picture and the only thought in her head was 'Maybe I am dead, and this is hell – no wait, hell is full of hipsters and posters of cats hanging from tree branches... I'm good'.
Programmed to offer an alternative, the computerized voice then doled out a disgustingly huge helping of 'classical' music on Chell's poor ears.
'… no wait, my mistake, this is hell.'
After only a few seconds of 'enrichment', the computer ordered her to return to bed.
'Oh hell no,' The woman glared silently at the small speaker wedged in the corner of the room. Chell stumbled to the window, determined to figure out where she was. Bright white light streamed into the hotel room, damped slightly by the blinds. Since she had been deprived of any chance to celebrate her escape, all Chell wanted to do was gaze into the bright sky and be grateful she still had her legs.
Wait-wait-wait... t-this wasn't a window!
Some bastard had put halogen lighting behind blind slats and was imitating the way the sunlight back-lights the blinds! It was a wall-fixture light to resemble a window—WHO WOULD EVEN DO A THING LIKE THAT?
Even in death, Chell could imagine GLaDOS getting the last laugh. Ha. Ha. Freaking. Ha.
Now go die in a fire.
'Just my luck. The AI is dead in a fire, and she STILL manages to imprison me.' Chell sighed, her hand rubbing at her head again. She didn't feel dehydrated or even hungry for being asleep for fifty days, but her dry throat argued otherwise. It was as if they packed the entire Sahara desert into her mouth when she was sleeping. Coughing to clear the crud from her throat, she looked around the room, ignoring the computer's request for her to return to bed. There was a bathroom...
… and it was locked.
Giving the door a swift kick, the door didn't even rattle in the frame. What did they do, glue it into place? At this rate, Chell would not have been surprised if it was just painted on. The door that likely led out of here was no good either. Both were closed up so tight that she doubted she could force them off their hinges even if she were the human equivalent of a steamroller.
No. Calm. Stay calm... She didn't HAVE to use the bathroom. She currently wasn't hungry, or thirsty. Probably the sleep system keep her body alive with … whatever sciencey stuff they decided to pump into her while asleep.
For two months.
Slumping against the door out of the faux-hotel room, Chell put her head on her knees. Something wasn't right. Her memory was still all shaken up. Did the fight, resulting explosion, and who know how many following medical procedures mess with her head? Taking a quick mental inventory, Chell tried recall what had happened to her before Aperture's gauntlet of tests.
Well, she was missing her memory of her entire life outside of this place for starters. Actually, not missing. Just, it was in pieces – and out of order – and potentially brainwashed in. Chell was pretty sure she had come here one day with her dad. Something about... Bring your Daughter to Work Day? Vaguely, she could remember some sort of... test or project she had been working on for that and- After that tiny bit, her memories dissolved into fragments.
The computer again asked if she wanted to return to bed.
Chell gave the ceiling the finger.
It didn't help the situation any, though. Felt good, but ultimately futile. Eventually, Chell was going to have to return to that bed and go back to sleep until this horrible place wanted her awake again. Otherwise she would waste away with no food or water or even another robot might come in here, beat the snot out of here, and stuff her body back into the bed in the 'party escort submission position' thing again.
'Mental note: Kick next robot I see in the-in … umm... where is a robot's weak point?' Chell pondered.
Determined to escape regardless, Chell pushed herself off he ground and stood unsteadily on the new boots. She had solved the tests Aperture had jammed her in before. She solved them with only her wit, her athletic skills, a pair of boots... and a physics defying gun.
And she WOULD do it again, if need be.
… only maybe minus the gun at this point.
Opening the orange jumpsuit at the top, Chell shrugged her arms out and let the top portion dangle around her waist before tying the sleeves together. Stretching her back, she wiggled her toes and rolled her shoulders as if preparing for a race instead of bed. She climbed back into the dingy colored bed, and sunk a good inch into the memory foam mattress comfortably. Well, at least she would have a nice sleep in this bed.
After all, she could be in here a very long time...
You know the feeling from waking up from a long 12 hour+ sleep? The 'I feel sick from sleeping too much'? Multiply that by about a billion, and then try to stuff it back in your head. It's not a pleasant feeling, and leaves one dizzy, disoriented, and wishing for an industrial aspirin.
And you know the feeling of showing up to a final test and you remember NONE of the previous lessons – now apply that to your life. Chell's memory was even more fragmented than she had first fallen asleep. She was honestly surprised she remembered her own name.
And you know the feeling of being kidnapped by a giant crane game and knocked along an entire aisle of groceries?
… ok, maybe not that last one.
But somehow after waking up from cryogenics, Chell found herself … 'rescued' if it was the right word and 'kidnapped' if it wasn't ... by some kind of talking metal ball with a English accent. And if she had just got herself kidnapped by a helpless metal ball with no arms – well then- she deserved a kidnapping then!
Whether it was due to her own disorientation, or if the AI was extremely charismatic, Chell had allowed the sphere-like robot to enter a chamber above her room where a control panel was. That was when things got kind of weird. Somehow the little round AI was piloting the room she was in, causing it to sway unsteadily and slam the human into all manner of obstacle. It was like being a prize in the crane game. Chell lost her footing in the swaying room and fell into the bed, driving the air from her lungs as dust clouded up around her.
"Y'alright down there? Ken y' hear me?" Shouting over the sound of the diesel engine and groaning steel, the round robot seemed to be more chattering for the sake of talking than trying to see if she was ok. "Hello?"
Grumbling to herself, Chell thought, 'Yes, I'm totally fine. Just tasting what this bedspread is like... hmm... tutti fruit with the aftertaste of sawdust. Yeah, not one of my top 10 tastes...' Chell spat, rubbing at her mouth.
Good news! Sarcasm still is valid in the future!
The lab rat had an excellent grasp of various situations... but a situation in which a round robot tells you that you have a minor case of serious brain damage, and then thinks you are 'talking' when in fact you are trying to jump off the bed you had been standing on... yeaaaaah. Chell was fairly certain if brain damage included hallucinating stupid little robots... then she was seriously brain-broken.
And being in a situation in which your tiny little room gets continuously tinier and tinier as every object in its path (and several that the robot actually seemed SWERVE INTO) was smashed and crumbling her room – that was NOT something Chell found she could adapt to very well.
The robot said was apparently steering the room, and with all the grace of a bull in a china shop. Cracks began to form at the gaping hole, spreading across the wall. More pieces crumbled away. Ceiling tiles collapsed into the room and Chell dodged back onto the bed out of the way. "How you doin' down there? You still holdin' on?" The robot asked.
Normal response would have been to raise her middle finger at the ceiling, however Chell was too busy keeping a death grip on the bed. This was NOT how she pictured her demise... riding in a traveling hotel room by some sort of crane-game claw being bashed into other cargo containers. If she was going to be creative about it, she TOTALLY imagined her death to involve rockets, and at least one or more kangaroos wearing boxing gloves, to be honest. It was sort of refreshing to be this wrong about your 'weirdest death ever' thing.
The robot continued to complain about the state of the relaxation center falling into ruin and Chell continued to maintain her death grip on the bed. Apparently the sphere-bot had very little control of the humans he was supposed to be watching over and was 'not aware' the whole system had gone down. He sounded like some low-level peon in a huge corporation, confused by the bureaucracy and messing up his jobs half the time because of over management. Or maybe he was just an idiot... who apparently couldn't drive on top of that.
"Almost there!" The cargo rooms were getting progressively more and more run down as they got closer to wherever 'there' was. Green vines grew in long ropy columns, trailing down the sides of burned out and whole cargo containers. A hazy and humid fog clung to the room, give it the impression of some sort of rainforest environment. "On the other side of this wall, is one of the old testing tracks. There's a piece of equipment in there we're gonna need to get out of here. I-I think this a docking station." The crane jerked the room to a haul and everything rocked forward. Debris slid to the front of the ruined room, sliding out and into space before vanishing downwards on a loooong fall. Even the heavy bed moved closer to the edge with the rocking now.
Looking at the docking station, Chell noticed that about fifty feet below the words on the wall was a platform that stuck out from the wall as a dock. 'Down more, it's lower,' Chell waved her arm, gesturing for the metal ball to lower them. However her action went unnoticed and the diesel roar of the engine took them closer to the wall. 'LOOK DOWN!' Chell wanted to scream. That... didn't happen though, all that came out was a wispy cough.
"Get ready to dock!" The crane stayed level, aimed right at the words on the wall.
'Dock… IN the wall!' Chell's mouth fell open.
"Here we go!" The AI core warned.
Chell rolled off the bed, slamming her back into the open closet behind her and flatting both her palms against the wall. '… God, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name...'
The room lunged forward, the force pinning Chell against the wall as it went swinging forward like a wrecking ball at the black tiled wall.
Twisted metal support bars holding onto the room by only gravity where thrown off. Cracks splintered across the remaining walls. Chell was jarred forward, onto the bed which was now pressed into the front of the closet's door.
"Good news... that was not a docking station. One mystery solved. I'm going to attempt a manual override on this wall." The little robot gave a dull 'hmmm', at the situation.
'Manual over-… WHAAAAT? ON THE WALL? That's not how science works!' Chell's confusion over the whole fog of waking up was dispelled and she was taut with adrenaline and nerve now.
"Could get a bit technical, hold to something again!"
'Do I have a last will and testament? I should have one of those. I should have SEVERAL of those.'
Like a battering ram, the room swung backwards to get some momentum, and then lunged forward again. If Chell's voice had been working, she would have shrieked all the way into the wall.
More of the tiled wall crumbled again. But so did much of the front end of the floor of Chell's room! One more hit would probably destroy most of whatever was holding this room together!
"Almost there! One more go! … seriously do hold on this time."
'Well,' thought Chell, 'If I'm not dead yet, someone upstairs is listening to me. I appreciate it it, God. Carry on.'
Again, the car jerked back, and swung forward, faster than the previous two times. This time Chell buried her face into the mattress, in a giant imprint that seemed to be from her own body. Her last moment thought was, '… is my butt really that big?'
The entire wall crumbled away, just as the front of the room disintegrated and crumbled fragments rolled into the exposed room. The collision threw Chell off the bed, flipped the furniture through the air, and slammed the mattress down on the prone human. The nearby dresser spun out of the room and hit the floor, crumbling into splinters of particle board and dust. Dazed and winded, Chell was stuck under a warped, age dusty mattress and felt like she had just been put into a blender on puree.
The roar of the diesel engine cut out, and the panels swung open revealing the metal ball with the blue eye. "Whew! We made it." Lowering himself, he looked around the room in confusion. "... oh-oh no! W-where are you? Are you alright? If you are still alive... um... jump?" The sphere was darting around the rail above him, trying to find the human.
Groaning, Chell managed to get her hands under her chest and pushed up, shoving the mattress to the side.
"T-there you are! Wot were you doing, hiding?" The core stopped above her, looking down in relief.
The human coughed, dust from the destroyed bed stuffing rising into the air. Great... she had been rescued from cryo by an imbecile. Energetic and eager... but a bit of a derp.
"OH good. Still ok. That will make this part easier. Well... off you go then." He offered lamely. Chell stared, her hand rubbed at the pain in her right wrist. "Just watch out for the death traps. They may still be active."
And that was his full explanation.
Waking her up from cold storage, slamming her into every manner of obstacle from a giant crane, and now throwing her into some sort of gauntlet? Well, it was pretty obvious he was an idiot now. In fact, he had to be the king of idiots. All Hail the King!
Chell stared at him longer. That was it? No additional words?
Under the human's gaze, the AI seemed to realize he had forgotten something. "OH...uh... I'm Wheatley. Wheeeeatley. Like... like wheat, you know?" Suddenly speaking, the bot cast his blue eye to look down at Chell again. "And... from your record, you are Chell. Ms. Chell... last name... redacted... well wonderful. I dun' suppose you'd care to tell me y-your last- you know it doesn't matter. It's nice to meet you Chell. Um... a brief summary, I suppose. We are all going to die." Wheatley said, nodding seriously from the rail.
The woman in the orange jumpsuit gave him a look that said, 'What else is new?' Tact kept her from punching Wheatley whatever weak point it was robots possessed. At least, until she got a full explanation of why she had just been ping-pong'ed around a bunch of containers.
The non-verbal message got across loud and clear. "Ok... maybe a bit—just a longer summary then." Stumbling over words, Wheatley gave a rather convoluted explanation of the facility dying, power bleeding from systems, and humans in cryo simply not waking up. The personality core wanted to escape, but he lacked... well... legs (and also lacking in any sort of common sense as well). So he was going to help Chell get out under a specific condition.
The lower metal shutter rose on Wheatley's eye, begging. "If-... if you wouldn't mind, take me with! I don't want to be trapped in here, especially not with the whole place dyin'! I can help, there's loads I can do, you know! J-just take me with!" He pleaded.
Though he did not have had to beg hard. Chell already felt she owed him for waking her up before she too was killed in the cryo system. Wheatley seemed honestly to want to leave, and if his goals and Chell's were the same, perhaps come company would be a good thing. The woman nodded and Wheatley gave a cry of joy, bobbing around on the rail he was attached to.
"Now... onwards. Onwards to go find... that gun... thing. It makes holes –ah wait, not bullet holes or anything but... um... holes." Giving out lamely, the personality sphere nodded towards a glowing light ahead out of the rubble.
Chell stood, the pain from being smashed around a cargo container was fading. 'A gun that makes holes... but not bullet holes?...' The thought struck her. ASHPD. Aperture Science Hand-held Portal Device. The portal gun.
It had to be.
Carefully picking a path down the rubble, Chell looked back at Wheatley, reluctant to leave him behind.
"Go on! You'll be fine. Meet you up ahead." The sphere nodded, watch as she made her path. "There's no rail there for me to travel on until later. I'll find you." Wheatley rocked against the management rail.
Chell began to focus on the task at hand. She could do this (probably)! If all the defenses and systems were down, she was going to need a hand getting out of here anyway. And if Wheatley said the ASHPD was somewhere ahead, she'd have to trust that. There was no doubt that she'd have to have that gun to escape.
The light source was coming from a room below, glass ceiling already cobwebbed with cracks. Below she could see a door with a glowing man-symbol stencil on it down there as well. The little symbol always represented the way to the next chamber. Placing one foot onto the glass, Chell started to make her way across gingerly across the surface.
"That's the spirit!" Wheatley cheered her on, his voice echoing from the hole in the wall the cargo room made.
… oh jesus.
The glass shattered as Chell had lifted her other foot to edge forward. Falling down into the room, Chell landed on both feet with no difficulty.
"Good luck!" Were Wheatley's last words.
Even though she had landed on both feet, she was almost knocked clean on her duff by what she saw.
This was the very first room she had seen THEN.
Chell was back in testing.