A/N: To all who read, this I thank you personally for taking time out of your busy day. Thank you. It would be great if you actually took some more time to review or comment or whatever. Thank you again. This is the start of my fanfiction to Portal and Portal 2 Most of this chapter is a written version of Lab Rat but there will be original writing followingI promise you this. It's actually in the works as I type this. I hope you enjoy.
Blood dripping from his wound, he crawled over to the final resting place. There he would be alive and dead just like her. He could only hope She would forgive him for all the trials he made her do.
Not that She would say anything, anyway.
"Oh shut up, that's not funny right now." He coughed and blood came dripping out of the corner of his mouth. He grabbed the grey cube that was beside him. For him it shone a pinkish glow. Perhaps it was part of the side effects of his disease, not that it mattered after so many years. He heaved it up carried it in a satchel behind his back, like Santa's bag of joy and wonder, most of the corners peeking out. "You're getting heavy. Did you know that?"
You could just leave me behind.
"Like I'd do that, I need you. I told you this earlier wh-" A coughing fit stopped his sentence short. More blood this time. The pain from his thigh wasn't helping. He thanked whatever was out there that the cryogenic chamber wasn't far.
The journey seemed to take an age with a shot leg, a cube, and several bloody coughing fits. The hall ways were spinning and the edges of his vision were getting fuzzier and darker by the minute.
It's here, on your right.
"OK." He stopped and didn't even think about doubting his companion. He had no reason to, not after all they had been through. After all the trails he passed through with her. Not that she really had a was different for everyone as GLaDOS had nicely reminded him at every other opportunity it even had one for her. GLaDOS always referred to it as a male. Even though he told her that it was a female. No fear of that any more, She bet GlaDOS. She bet the manic computer. She had set everyone and him and Cube free.
He had seen even seen the sunlight. The warm blinding sunlight was something Cube had never seen before. Even then she only had it for a brief moment. The Party Escort found her. An AI that was more or less outside the mainframe, a joke made by the employees based on the brief picoseconds that GLaDOS was on. It actually shouldn't be possible, but as coincidence would have it.
She collapsed in that stupid position. The AI's only function to escort anyone in the party position to the party or in case of mainframe failure to the long term relaxation cyro-chamber and await further instructions. The AI had other uses as well, but to be honest it didn't perform them very well. In fact, he performed them terribly and he was constructed to do. A joke AI, merely there to annoy and distract, carrying out the one thing he could do.
It was a horrible moment for him. Should he run away and be free while his saviour is locked away possibly forever? Or go after them, hopefully save her and get killed?
You don't have to go back in there.
It made sense. Walk away be free, forget the terrible years. Sacrifice Her, just as he had done before but… "I can't just walk away."
You're right. Walking is too slow. Run away.
"Running is what I've been doing. Running and hiding." Like a rat fleeing from the cat claws. Here he was, ready to leap back in to its claws.
It's why you're still alive. You're not a hero. Heroes die.
Tempting. So very very tempting. With the right nudge he would follow that sweet sweet voice of desire. Things were different this time. He could do the same for Her as She did for him. Only She didn't know and She didn't have a choice. He knew what dangers there were and he had a choice if he wanted to face them. The answer was obvious.
No, he didn't want to follow them. No, He didn't want to face the dangers. No, he didn't want to go back through the tunnels in which he had been hiding all these years, slowly going crazy. No, he didn't want to make the choice.
But he had made the choice. A horrible feeling, a small truth in his brain somewhere told him what to do. He had to follow it.
"You don't understand, it's my fault she's down there. I'm not leaving Her." The same way she had not left him. Unknowingly freed him and helped him. He had to do the same. "I would have been trapped forever if not for Her." That was the truth. He was exiled from all he had known. He had run out of luck. It was only a matter of time before she would have gotten him.
Listen, it's too dangerous. You're going to get killed.
Tempting voice. Oh sweet tempting voice don't stop. "So be it. But I'm done running. I have to at least try and save Her."
Then you are really crazy.
He ran through all of his hidden tunnels and passages. That way they would be able to find him and Cube together. I'm not feeling so good. Those pills you took… I think the medicine is starting to work
She was right. The medication was starting to work only now when everything was nearly done, when he needed her the most. He started to run faster leaping down whole stairs, sliding down pipes trying to get faster.
It was like the time GLaDOS was after him. Weapon-less, afraid, exiled and going crazy. Those times when Cube was his only comfort.
Soon you won't need me any more, Doug…
Panting up stairs, he wheezed out one sentence, unsure if she'll ever hear it. "I'll always need you." That was true. Through too much together and much more to see. Cube still had to see a deer. He was a deer while outside. At least he thought he did. Maybe it was the drugs talking, Or memories or lonely nights. Who knows. All he knew was that Cube didn't see the deer and he wanted to show her.
Throwing himself around the corners and through the passages he knew so well after so many years. He only had to get to the cryo-units before AI. The passages seemed to get longer and longer. Then he reached them.
Such a simple word. Only one syllable. Only one constant. Only one vowel. So much weight behind it, it could crush him. The 5 pound cube on his back became so much heavier. Its 1 foot cubic volume became so much bigger. At least that was the way it felt.
"They've already put her in long term relaxation…" At least he could take his time now. After all the long term cryo-relaxation units were hooked up to the main grid…
Which was blown out… by the explosion…
He had to check it out. Running again, hiding from turrets, the same as before. Everything was too fast, he was under more pressure than before when hiding from GLaDOS. Back then it was only his life he was holding on to and Cube's of course but he was sure Cube could manage on her own. She survived so far even without him. Swiftly moving through the narrow spaces Rattmann moved towards the control centre. Just two more corners. Last corner. He slid out only to scrabble back before all the red lights on him were followed by bullets. At the last second, he managed it not to have any of his limbs turn in to Swiss cheese.
"Okay, do I dive left or right?" He asked Cube. The lack of answer unnerved him. Then the memory of medication flashed through his mind. "Hello? Are you still back there?" The lack of answer made him sad and the task in front of him 10 times more difficult. Unable to believe his friend was gone, he tryed again. Left or right? Don't make me guess." Still no answer from the satchel. "I'm running out of time!"
He wanted to scream at the cube. Furious that it won't answer him. Furious that it wouldn't accept his decision to return. Furious that his friend was gone.
Now wasn't the time for anger. If he had let anger control him all these years while hiding he would have died. Now was the time for action. It was simple really: Cross the room. Get past the turrets. Jump the rail and dive either left or right when the time came. Only one shot at it.
A deep breath. "Well, ready or not..." Then he ran for it. The cube bounced on his back awkwardly. He ran as fast as his over-tired body would let him. A small red dot appeared on his front as ran directly for the sentry turret. Then the high pitched voice of a computerised child came from one of their speakers, "There you are!" that gave him about 0.5 of a second before they start firing. He wasn't going to make it across the room on time but it was enough time for him to grab the nearest one and aim at the others. "Put me down!" was the only sign of resistance the deadly computer gun gave before targeting its fellow Ais. The turret shook and recoiled in his hands as it mowed down its comrades without a second thought. Doug Rattmann tossed the turret aside carefully. Nothing was worse then getting so far and being shot by the one thing shielding you.
He had seen it with other test subjects. They throw away the turret, it goes bonkers and shots everything it aims at. It even happens if the turret was knocked over. They were the most deadliest they that Aperture Science invented. Except of course for GLaDOS, she topped all of them.
So far he managed to clear the turrets or so he thought. After jumping the rail ahead of him he realised the mistake a turret had been placed there and it focus on him. "There you are!" The high pitched voiced machinery let out a stream of bullets that went everywhere. Doug ran but just as he passed the turret it got him. His left leg now gushed warm wet blood down his leg to his shoes. The pain and the exhaustion was enough to knock him out. He tried to resist the dark edges expanding over his sight. He had to move. Reaching out, he tried to grab for the cube that had fallen a few feet away. A few feet too far. The effort knocked him out. The turret folded back its guns.
The darkness started to fade. Light was returning. Doug know he was waking up simply because with the light also came the feeling of pain and a warm wetness. He started to heave himself up.
"How long was I out?" He asked himself the question without expecting an answer. He was alone after all.
Long enough for what? Wait. Cube was there and talking. "You're back!" The shock nearly knocked him out again.
I never left you. There something I want to ask you. How did you know about the girl?
That she was the one.
"Just something in her file." Cube knew of the file. Doug carried it everywhere since he found it. She sadly couldn't read and perhaps it was for the best she couldn't. She might have been against all he did if she knew what he did from the beginning.
She had the highest IQ?
"No, some were higher."
Then she had to be the fastest? Or the the most athletic?
"No, nothing like that."
"Just a hunch. You are asking a lot of questions today, Cube. "
Yeah, yeah, now hurry and get up. You might still be able to save her.
"What?" Doug struggled to get up. He couldn't believe what Cube said. " How? I can't get inside the cyro-chamber."
You can't save her but you can save her. You can patch her cyro-unit to the reserve grid.
He managed to drag his body to the console to try and sort out all the problems. She'll sleep indefinitely until someone wakes her up, he thought. After all the hardships all he could do for her was this. A long sleep and a request for forgiveness.
He got up on his shaky legs and made his way out of the room that was only light up with the blue light of the computer screen.
He struggled down the hallway with his damaged leg and coughing up blood. All he had to do was reach a cyro-unit and the unit will patch him while he slept.
Having reached the unit, his leg went under him and he was unable to lift himself so high to get in the unit. It was an impossible height, the 3 foot height.
"I'm so tired." He was so very close to giving up.
You have earned a rest.
The cube was placed as close to the unit as possible. He shifted himself on top of the cube and rested there for about 10 minutes while Cube encouraged him to move on. Explaining to him what would happen if he didn't make it. How Cube would feel. The cube was his companion throughout the years and even know in front of the infinite unknown Cube only had words of encouragement. The pink heart in the centre of every face is a very good embellishment for her, thought Doug. The low humming that came from her soothed Doug.
If he could only stay like that for a long time. No more running away. No more hiding. No more voices. No more death.
He climbed the full way in to the cyro-unit. "See, I told you, I would always need you." The humming started and stopped from Cube indicating a chuckle.
I'll be here waiting.
"Thanks, one more favour please? Here are the files of the girl. Please... Please keep them safe." The words were getting harder to say. He was just too tired. He placed the files on top of Cube, She would know what to do. She always did. A small smile lifted on his face. The unit closed and he breathed in the gas that would keep him here with Her, both alive and dead. They escaped the claws of the cat once more.