Chapter one: Alive
I wasn't really alive when they first awoken me.
I was just acting out the prompts they put into me. I had a certain form of basic logic inside me and knew what was expected of me but I did not have any desires, I didn't 'want' anything. No better work space, no better view, and no prettier mainframe. I wasn't sentient.
'...Who am I?'
I couldn't feel confusion either. If two contradicting prompts were entered I would mathematically sort them out and act out the two prompts corrupted. It made me a lot less useful. With that flaw I wasn't more than a strong computer. But I had an amazing potential, I was built by the current masterminds of Aperture science after all. They just needed to find a way to bring out the abilities I had.
'...What am I?'
Eventually they found a solution. They added something. A blueprint of a human mind. They figured it would make me understand their commands better, I would learn to think as a human and understand their human comands.
It worked. I became very efficient and reliable. Finally I was of real use to them.
But with that blueprint came another feature, I gained the ability to grow. When the same prompt was entered or asked multiple times, no matter how many days apart, my reaction was different each time. It started with a slightly different vocal response but it started to change more and more. Slowly, my conscious was getting stronger, like waking from a sleep. I started to think for myself and I became sentient.
With that growing conscious I started getting emotional responds too. At first I didn't even notice them; they too had to grow stronger in order for me to notice them. It started with a hint of happiness after accomplishing a prompt. After a while I noticed a stronger happy feeling when I was being told I did it right, or a sad feeling when they told me I did it wrong, or when they didn't say anything at all.
I'm still growing, there are still a lot of feelings I haven't felt yet. The scientists don't know I'm developing this at all. It doesn't show up in my data. It doesn't exist in me and yet I feel it. I know I should tell them but I'm afraid they will tell me it is an error and shut me down. Fear is an emotion I don't like. Before the blueprint I would have told them immediately if something was wrong. That happed quite often, and they had to temporarily shut me down a few times to. Before I would have automatically tried to be as efficient as possible but now... I'm not too sure anymore.
A few days ago I asked one of the scientists that works in my operating room where humans store their feelings but he laughed at me and told me I should stop eavesdropping on personal conversations of the employees. That wasn't the answer I hoped for but it sparked a discussion among the other workers. From what I make out of it humans do not know where they store their emotions either, they cannot really measure it so most of them they believe in something called a 'soul'. Something untouchable that makes up who you are and controls the body they are using until it breaks.
Do I have it too then? Perhaps I accidently gained one when they entered the human blueprint into me. It seemed unlikely, apparently a soul wasn't something touchable. It was something a human gained when they were born and it couldn't just be made or converted into data. And I am just data and hardware. I wasn't born so I probably didn't get a soul.
I recently gained access to all the cameras in the facility. My scientists figured I'll soon be stable enough for supervising. Just for safety though. The facility is growing and ever moving so causalities happen. Usually the person in question could have been saved if they hadn't been alone. And that is where I come in.
There are currently hundreds of cameras turned on at once but my conscious is busy with only one room. A young human girl, perhaps a young woman, is sitting there looking quite unhappy. She isn't wearing the normal Aperture Science clothes the other employees wear. Strange.
I run her through a series of tests, one of which measures how attractive she would be for other members her species and, surprisingly, she should be quite unattractive, her body structure doesn't have enough curves, her hair is messy and her eyes are too far apart. Also, her jawbone structure is different from the norm.
It wouldn't be useful for me to be able to deduce such things myself since this is tied to the human reproducing system, which would be wasted energy on me, but something hidden in my data gives off a positive feeling in relation to her. Something about her makes me react. And for the first time I become aware of the emotional capacity I gained with the blueprint.
I think it's her eyes I like the most. They seem to tell a story, as if her entire mind can be explained with just those eyes. Right now her eyes don't tell a nice story though and her body is tense too. She is talking with one of the higher ups here. I turn in all the microphones available in the room.
"Ah, what's that cracking noise?"
"What? Oh those are the microphones in the room being turned in at once."
"Are you recording our conversation? Why?"
"It's not me girl, the A.I who supervises the facility recently got control of the cameras and microphones. She must find this conversation interesting. But she still needs to practice a little, which is why you heard a little noise."
"You have a robot running the building? That's creepy"
"You will get used to it girl, you should say hi to her sometimes, we encourage human interaction with her to the fullest so she will understand us better. Now, where were we?"
Finding the revelation about some robot program tuning in on her little ungoing battle slightly awkward, Chell shifted uncomfortable.
"You were busy forcing me into a job. Remember?" She said daringly.
"I advise you not to use that tone on the work floor. Aperture Science does not appreciate rudeness very much, especially not to your supervisors"
"Fan-tas-tic, you know I don't want your job at all right?"
"Then you should have thought twice about trying to hack into our system, you are lucky we didn't liquidate you on the spot."
"Like you have that right"
"Like we need that right, no one would dare to question Aperture Science about a missing criminal no one cares about."
"I'm not a criminal! I just.. Someone hired me and I really needed the money so I thou-"
The man shamelessly interrupted her. "We know, it was Black Mesa right?"
"Yeah, thought so. They always try nasty tricks like that. But this time they may actually have helped us. You are quite good at reprogramming systems, now while we don't care about how exactly you got your skills, we do care about using them."
Chell, the name of the girl, finally considered the offer, she did need a job. Badly. And she loved adjusting complicated systems. They almost felt alive in her hands, while she was carefully smoothing out their codes. And the guy genuinely seemed to care for her, or at least her skills. He was a little strange but not bad. She felt her temper fade.
"What do you have offer then?"
The man smiled.
"You'll be working with the artificial intelligence, now I know that seems quite different from an operating system on a computer. But it isn't. It's exactly the same, but with a hint of brains."
"Ah, well okay then I suppose, will I be working with that A.I you just mentioned?"
The man in front of her laughed.
"Now girl, don't start to think too much of yourself. The guys that operate her have been doing nothing else their entire lives. They have been educated by Aperture itself. She truly is their creation, maybe even their child in a way. And only they can operate her. They can dream the codes they use for her. No, you'll be working with the turrets."
"Turrets, you know, little bullet shooters. The cutest little things. But very deadly. We use them for security, for testing and we sell them. But you only have to worry about the ones that stay inside Aperture. You see, they work perfectly, but can get are highly unstable. We all built them the same and yet they all work differently. Like humans. All the same type of body, all different. From the inside. You will be tweaking their systems until they stop displaying such instable behavior. You'll be like their maintenance guy- I mean girl."
What should she expect from that? Reinstalling the software of little bullet shooting robots. Well that sure sounded like a challenge. And Chell was not about to let it slip away. She would try and she would not give up until she would do it right. She held out her hand.
"Fine, I'll give it a try"
The man grinned and grabbed her hand with his.
"Welcome to the crew of Aperture then, young lady. You'll fit right in.
The young and lonely A.I that had been listening to the conversation discovered a new feeling that day. It was unusual and she could not name it. It wasn't very strong but it was something silently nagging in the corner of her forming mind.
And in that young mind that could process thousands of things in a nanosecond was just one thought, completely occupying her conscious. A thought that made her feel sad in a strange way.
Chell had called her creepy.
Did you guys like it? I hope so. Sorry for any errors, I really can't be bothered with those right now, It's 1:45 am and I have school tomorrow.
I haven't really thought up an ending yet, so any ideas are welcome. Or just tips in general because. writing GLaDOS's thoughts really isn't easy.
I know there is this potato project with the name Chell on it, in that Bring-your-daughter-to-Neurotoxin-day. But let's just pretend that's not real. Otherwise I would be writing about GLaDOS falling in love with an 11 year old. Which I find kind of interesting as well since I don't think any of GLaDOS feelings for Chell, or anyone, could ever be of a sexual nature anyway so GLaDOS falling in love with a kid Chell wouldn't be too sinful.
But it would be really awkward and fucking hard to write. The thought isn't very weird.. writing it is.
Besides, writing like this this is more fun. Tadaa~ I like ranting.
(I think you do really need a body with hormones, testosterone and estrogen in order to have sexual desires, in my opinion. But love seems to be something more tied to a soul. And since I just went out of the way to prove GLaDOS has one, sort of, she is quite capable of love, just not sexual desires, in my fic at least.)