The turret locked its beam on the humanoid figure hiding in the doorway. Its wings opened as it prepared to fire, but no bullets came out. It paused, confused; its red beam blinked on and off as it tried to fire again.
The person walked over to the turret. He set down his faithful companion cube on a table, and picked up a wrench that was stuck underneath her.
"I know what you're thinking, Doug," she warned, "and I don't like it."
Doug chuckled, and lightly stroked her cracked casing. "Oh, there are a lot of things you don't like, Cissy."
Doug walked back to the turret. A light from above shone on his face, showing his hollow cheeks and tired eyes. The wrench slipped in his sweaty hand. He bent down and opened the back casing of the turret, peering at the whirring mechanics. "Are you still there?" the turret asked. Doug reached for the kill switch.
The moment his finger rested on the button, the turret began to look around wildly, trying to fire. "Help!" it cried, beginning to shake. Doug sighed and went to press the button.
Doug paused. The turret stopped shaking. For one whole minute, neither man nor machine moved. Then, as Doug slowly withdrew his hand from the mechanics, the turret said, "Thank you." The wrench slipped to the floor. The metal clang brought Doug back to his senses.
"What are you?" he breathed, turning the turret round so it faced him. Its flashing beam pointed at his face. "Pr- Prometheus. Prometheus…" it stammered. Doug took hold of one wing and shook it. "I'm Doug," he said, "Doug Rattmann."
The turret stared at him a moment longer, before returning its wings to its sides. Its beam stared straight ahead again. "Prometheus was punished by the Gods for giving the gift of knowledge to man. He was cast into the bowels of the Earth and pecked by birds."
Doug stared at the turret. "Tell me more," he whispered. It was silent for a moment. "Her name is Caroline," it said quietly.
Doug spent an hour listening to the words of 'Prometheus' and trying to work out what they meant. Some were still unexplainable to him, such as the Prometheus myth and the words "The answer is beneath us." Cissy helped with a few of the riddles, but eventually the turret said softly, "That's all I can say."
Doug sighed. This turret had knowledge GLaDOS should never get her hands on. He had to hide it. But where?
"The clogged-up tubes!" Doug and Cissy exclaimed at the same time. Doug got slowly to his feet and hauled his companion cube onto his back. He then picked up the Prometheus turret with his weak hands and began in the direction of the tubes.
The blinking screen of Test Chamber 08 was humming quietly. Rattmann peered through the broken wall. The only camera was lying underneath a pile of debris, and plants had dislodged the one on the far wall. Picking his way over plants that were flourishing in puddles of blood, he stepped through a crack in the wall. Through a door Doug found himself beside a cracked tube. Broken turrets were lying among weighted storage cubes that had been scratched so badly the Aperture logo had worn off. It was perfect. Doug gently laid the turret down so it could still see out of the tube. "You okay, little guy?" he asked. "I'm… different," it replied. Doug chuckled.
"What are you doing?"
Doug spun round. What was it? His mind playing tricks again? No, it was just a personality construct that was wandering around. It peered at them curiously, it's bright blue eye shrinking slightly. "What's going on?" it asked.
Doug thought quickly. "This turret must be left here because it is dangerous, and if you talk to it, or even look at it, it will start speaking in the language of paradox."
The construct stared at him, looking scared. "I- um, okay, I think I will just…" the core's last words were lost as it sped round a corner. Doug smiled.
"How often do they clean these tubes out?" Cissy asked. Doug shrugged. "Every five or ten years, and now there's no GLaDOS, who knows when?"
The turret began to whine as they walked away. "No! Stay! Please!" it cried. Doug looked at Cissy. He would always follow his companion cube's advice over that of a turret. "The word Vilify always makes turrets go into sleep mode," she suggested.
Doug sighed. His hand reached into his pocket and grabbed the radio he kept in there. He walked back to the turret and pressed the on button. Immediately, piano chords began to drift out of the radio. Doug cleared his throat. He wasn't much of a singer.
"Exile; It takes your mind, again," he sang softly to the turret. It was silent as it listened to him sing it a lullaby, looking straight at him. Eventually Doug was reaching the end of the song. "Vilify," he sang, "Don't even try."
The turret stopped looking at him.
"Vilify; don't even try."
The red beam began to flash slower.
"Vilify; don't even try."
The beam switched off, though the eye was still glowing.
The black dot expanded and filled the whole of the eye; the turret turned off just as the last long note faded. Doug coughed slightly. He slowly stood up and continued walking, carrying the radio. He found his feet taking to a test chamber that had never been tested. He had built a den there, but had never used it. As he lowered himself into it, his legs gave way and he fell to the floor. The radio skidded into a corner. Doug reached for a can of beans; the running and thinking had exhausted him. As he opened the top, he set Cissy down and leaned against the wall, thankful for somewhere to sit down. The singing had made his heart feel lighter. He suddenly started singing the song again, loving the sound of the notes against his ears. Once he had finished his can of beans, he picked up Cissy and ran back into the maintenance areas, singing at the top of his voice.