"You work for Black Mesa."

It was the single most accusatory thing Chell had ever heard the AI say, and she gulped, then nodded, feeling ashamed even though she knew she had no reason to. She was an adult, after all. She could work where she damn well pleased.

"Why?" And now GLaDOS sounded almost hurt. Chell gave a small shrug of her shoulders.

"It's the single best place to work for a Physics major. There's no other company around that can even come close to competing with it. Working there, I can help with some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of our time." The speech sounded rehearsed even to her, and Chell realized just how much she'd been dreading talking to GLaDOS about this.

Narrowing her optic, the AI jerked her head closer to Chell, who gulped again but didn't back away. "The only way Black Mesa ever got anywhere was by stealing Aperture technology."

"Yeah, well, that was then," Chell said defensively. "And this is now. Sure, they don't have anything like a dual portal device that I can work with, but it's not like I understand the mechanics behind that anyway. They're good people, and we're really making progress in—"

"Would you like to?" the AI interrupted.

"What?" Chell asked with a blink. "Would I like to what?"

"Understand the mechanics behind the dual portal device," GLaDOS replied. "And work with it." A panel opened in the wall beside Chell, revealing what appeared to be some sort of laboratory, and she turned to look at it.

"You want me to work with you?" she asked, and the AI nodded. "Do you mean it?"

"Of course I mean it," GLaDOS replied. "Your working with Black Mesa is a waste of intelligence and perfectly good talent. I just have one request. Well, it's actually more of a demand, but you get the idea."

"And what's that?" Chell asked, still staring at the laboratory. Her eyes practically shone.

"You have to quit your job," GLaDOS said, and Chell laughed.

"It's a deal."