"At the risk of sounding clichéd, I'm sure that none of you know why you're here," Agent Alix said, smirking as she turned to face the small group that was in the chamber with her.
"Why are we here?" the Curiosity Core asked, its wide orange eye spinning, trying to take in everything as it voiced what was definitely going through everyone's head. "Who are you? Why are you here?"
"I'm Agent Alix, Freelance Plot Protector," the relatively short yet oddly intimidating girl introduced herself, placing her hands on her hips and tossing her dark, braided hair importantly. "And believe me, yours is a plot that needs protecting."
This statement spurred a slew of comments from the gathered AIs.
"P-Protecting?" Wheatley stammered. "Protecting from what? I don't— we're not in trouble, are we? Ohh, that doesn't sound good, mate…"
"Protection from you, most likely," GLaDOS sneered, turning her head to face him. "How did you get back in here anyway, moron?"
"I am not a moron!"
"If it's protectin' you're needin', you just had to ask me, hun!" Rick said to the PPC Agent. "Handlin' danger's what I do best!"
"Fact: The Adventure Core has never protected anyone."
"Shut up, you little pink-eyed—"
The end of Rick's comeback was drowned out by ATLAS and P-body's nervous chattering and the Anger Core's growling.
"Where's space? Whathappenedtospace? Space? Space! Gottagoback! Gottagotospace!" the Space Core jabbered to the Intelligence Core, which ignored it with a gloomy "Three slash four cups butter or margarine…"
Only three members of the Agent's audience were silent: Chell, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor, the Morality Core, which was in the middle of the other cores clustered beneath GLaDOS, and the Oracle Turret, which was standing beside Chell. Alix herself was quietly watching, not sure whether to be annoyed or amused at the chaos.
"What I still want to know is why we are here," GLaDOS said, raising her voice above the general rabble. "And why I shouldn't just turn on the deadly neurotoxin right now."
"Don't bother with that," Alix said, calmly studying her fingernails. "My partner's probably disabled it by now, anyway."
Everyone fell into a shocked silence.
"You what?" GLaDOS snarled.
"It was just so that you wouldn't kill us before we got our point across!" Alix said. "You'll get it back, don't worry."
"What is your point?" Curiosity asked.
Alix looked up from her fingers. "I don't suppose you're familiar with the concept of fanfiction?"
There was a silence. Then, everyone who was capable of doing so nodded as they realized that they did in fact know about fanfiction.
"Fanfiction… Those are the stories, right? The stories our fans write about us," said Wheatley.
"Yes, moron, it is," said GLaDOS. "And those supposed 'fans' usually get the facts horribly wrong."
"Granted, fanfics can be fun and entertaining," said Alix. "But there has been a recent explosion of bad Portal fanfiction. Writers using bad spelling and grammar, assuming absolutely ridiculous things about your universe, and making you do things that you either can't or shouldn't do. They're not thought out and they're badly written. And they're painful to read," she added with a shudder.
"Fact: Ninety percent of fanfiction writers are immature adolescents," said the Fact Core. "Thirty-two percent of Portal fanfiction involves Mary Sues. Sixty percent of Portal fanfiction involves the characters behaving in foolish, humorous ways. Forty-seven percent of Portal fanfiction is made up of sappy romances, usually either about Chell and Wheatley or Chell and GLaDOS."
"Say what?" Wheatley gasped.
"Oh, you are kidding me," GLaDOS muttered.
Chell sat up straight, her eyes wide with shock.
"Fact: Eighty-three percent of statistics are made up on the spot," Alix added. "But he has a point."
"What are we going to do about it?" Curiosity asked.
"Antisthenes once said that the most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue," the Oracle Turret suddenly spoke up. All eyes turned to the "different" turret.
"Oracle's right," said Alix. "The best way to fix the fanfiction is to go to the source: the writers. We will bring them here and teach them how to write well. And we can torture them if we really want to."
"More test subjects would be nice," GLaDOS mused.
Other mutterings of approval moved from AI to AI. Chell nodded, a determined look in her eyes.
The door to the chamber opened, and in came another girl. She looked a lot like Agent Alix, except that she was taller and her hair was not braided. She was cradling something large and oddly shaped in her arms.
"Ah, Katz!" Alix said as the girl approached her. "Everyone, this is my partner, Agent Katz."
"Alix," Katz said in a softer voice than the one her partner used. "Look what I found. It was wandering around near the neurotoxin generator."
She held out the object in her arms. Everyone stared at what appeared to be two turrets and a cube smashed together. It chirped nervously, feebly waving its two legs as it stared back with wide eyes.
"Ah, one of the moron's creations," GLaDOS said. "I thought I'd destroyed them all."
"It… It had been a good idea, you know, at the time, since I didn't have any test subjects…" Wheatley weakly protested. Seeing the helpless, terrified little creature was unnerving everyone.
"And you brought it up here why?" Alix asked her partner. "Go take it back; it's creepy."
"Alix, its name is GLADES."
Alix's eyes widened with horror. The Freelance Agents stared at each other for several silent moments. The characters waited for one of them to explain.
"We need to open the school," Alix finally said. "Now."
Alysen Allison finished typing and sat back, feeling satisfied. Chapter one of her new epic fanfic was complete. The Princess Sunshine of the Ohio Tribe had been welcomed into the Aperture Science facility and started testing. GLaDOS was so happy with Sunshine's performance in the tutorials that she'd skipped her ahead to Test Chamber 6, which was the first really exciting one. And she'd replaced the ugly orange jumpsuit with a pink, sparkly one. Much better.
She had most of the story planned out already…but she wasn't sure how to end it. Would Sunshine talk GLaDOS out of murdering her, or just kill her and escape? She'd decide once she got there.
Alysen logged in to the fanfiction site and uploaded her chapter. Then she clicked NEW STORY. Or thought she did; she had opened her inbox by mistake. Weird. She was sure she—
She had a new message. She decided to read it after she posted her story, and clicked NEW STORY again. And somehow opened the message.
The webcam on her laptop turned itself on, and the light next to it was bright red. "Hello," said the laptop, in a breathy voice Alysen thought she recognized. "You are hereby charged by Plot Protectors with the creation of a Mary Sue. As punishment, you will spend the next eight weeks at the Aperture Science Fanfiction Enrichment Seminar. Please read the printed message and return the form."
The what? Alysen thought. What was her computer doing? She scooted her chair back.
"Are you still there?" quavered the laptop. Alysen suddenly knew what the voice was, and wondered bizarrely if it would stop if she dropped the computer. The red light from the webcam shone on the table, played across the floor to her feet… "There you are!"
Alysen backed away again. "Fill out the form, without performing internet searches, and return it," the laptop said, "and I will not shoot you."
She had just been threatened. By a turret. That was inside her laptop. And would shoot her, if she didn't answer the email. Alysen scooted back up and started reading as fast as she could.
Greetings, test subject. Thank you for accepting your invitation to participate in the Aperture Science Fanfiction Enrichment Seminar. (Not that you had a choice.) Before you join us, however, there are a few things we need to take care of. Please answer the following honestly. Dishonest answers will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your testing record, followed by death.
You as a student
Name Alysen Allison
Physical description Petite, black curly hair, brown eyes, glasses
Shoe size 7 ½
How would your friends describe you? Sweet, peppy
How would your enemies describe you? I don't have enemies. Hmph.
Do you have any fears or allergies that we should know about? spiders… *shudder*
Have you been to an OFU before? What's an ofu?
Name ONE luxury item to bring with you. My laptop
How do you feel about wearing orange? Ew.
You as a writer
Why do you write Portal fanfiction? For science. You monster.
Who is your favorite character? The portal gun
What pairings do you write, if any, and why? People write pairings?
Do you write human-transformation fics? Hmm…thanks for the idea!
If yes, which cores do you portray as female? Let's see…Curiosity and Morality sound like girls.
Have you ever created a Mary Sue/Gary Stu/godmoding character? Who's Mary?
What ratings do you usually give your stories? (K, K+, T, M) T
What genres do you usually write? Adventure
Do you write Portal crossovers? Another great idea!
If yes, what fandoms do you cross with? Gotta think about that now…
You and the canon
Have you played Portal and Portal 2 to completion? The first one and part of the second.
Have you read Lab Rat? What's that?
What aspect of Chell makes her most able to defeat GLaDOS? Um…she's fast?
What famous thought experiment is it implied that GLaDOS attempts to recreate? Wait, what?
Describe the first Rattmann Den in the first game:
-In which test chamber does it appear? Please give a number. Um…13?
-What new challenge is introduced in that test chamber? Turrets!
-What initially prevents you from entering the Den? Weren't there cubes in the way, that you need to kill the turrets with?
-What phrase is repeatedly written on the wall? THE CAKE IS A LIE THE CAKE IS A LIE THE CAKE IS A LIE
Up to what temperature can Aperture Science technology continue to operate? That was mentioned?
What visual feature makes the Companion Cube unique? Oh! Oh! It has little hearts on it!
What shape is an Edgeless Safety Cube? That's stupid. Cubes without edges?
Match these eye colors to their corresponding cores: purple, red, green, pink, orange. Morality was purple, Anger was red. There wasn't a green one, but pink sounds cute! And there was definitely an orange one. Ew, orange.
When in the game is Chell's name used? Um…at the end of the second one.
How does Rattmann make killing turrets easier? He draws X's on the ceiling!
How long has Chell been in Extended Relaxation when Wheatley wakes her up at the start of Portal 2? How am I supposed to know?
What is Wheatley's official title? He has a title?
What happened to Cave Johnson and his assistant? Who… Oh, was that the guy who talked about the lemons? He had an assistant?
What item does Chell have with her at the end of Portal 2? The portal gun?
What do you discover at the end of the Cooperative Testing Courses? Cooperative Testing?
By signing this waiver, I hereby release Aperture Science from all liability regarding injury to me over the course of, or resulting from, this eight-week seminar. Any such injury, up to and including death, will be regarded as essential to the pursuit of science and to enriching my Portal-related writing.
Participant Signature x_Alysen Allison_
Thank you for helping us help you help us all.
Alysen copied the form, with her answers, into a new message and sent it. "Good night," her laptop whispered, and then it shut itself down. Alysen closed it and went upstairs, wondering whether she should tell someone that her laptop tried to kill her. But everyone else was already asleep.
"Oracle?" Agent Alix said, leaning back in her chair in an office many miles away from the slightly traumatized student-to-be.
"That was brilliant."
Hey, everyone! This OFU fic will be co-written by katzsoa (me) and fellow author Alix Cohen, but it will all be posted here!
Registration for main characters is now CLOSED. Thank you for your applications. HOWEVER, if you would like to have a cameo character appear, please PM a name, gender, favorite character, and personality quirk to me or Alix.
Keep in mind that this will be first and foremost a funny fic about crazy fanfic writers, so don't expect anything to be taken too seriously.
Except canon. Alix and I take canon very seriously, as the students will quickly find out... But more about that later!