Troubled Mind

Chapter 1

Speach without Signs

a/n: Ive never played half life, yes I know the series are interconected, but though Chell's perspective is (at times) going to take place after Portal 2 it's rarely going to brush up against the other game despite it being canon. If that changes I'll toss out some questions in an author's note the chapter before, and do some research on wiki.

She came back to the world on the wings of a media storm. World's ending, world ended. Gone were the relics of childhood that she only sorta remembered.

She no longer could wend through fantasy and actual rememberence. Just as she could no longer construct the sounds that forged the sylables that equated higher form of comunication and understanding. Thus she was shunned, ignored, and her oddities that alluded to the personal tragedy of her existance were merely things to be stared at.

So, turn by turn, eye for an eye, they stared, she stared, and one fact remained.

She was not normal. The world strived to remind her of this at every turn.

Too quiet, too still, her blue eyes flicked to every nook and crany of a room before acknowledgeing the people within. Though they spoke her name she scarcely seemed to hear. And all attempts at small talk were deflected by the simple fact that she kept walking, leaving the would-be conversationalist behind. Enshrouded in a pocket of silence, she drifted from behind her cubicle to the water cooler, and all around her chatter died.

And stares were born.

For those about her, for them there were stares and gapes, grumbles and growls.

For her there was only silence, and corners, and white walls she both loathed and loved.

One drink later, another stroll through the hush of the world, and she was back at work. With type speed so fast and computer sciences so sure, she could never be denied her job due to her oddities.

They knew that, she knew that, and that's all that mattered.

Fingers a whirl she was like all the others though they never knew (never asked either, always asking about orgins and adventures, never the simple things like "How's your day going?" little wonder she never smiled, never lingered, little wonder...). Like any other she dreamed of things not work related. Like impromptue naps, a good book, a better movie.

The clock clicked home, the lines aligned, and she stood, almost smiled.

Thoughts of cake, or better yet, a baked potatoe longered in her mind like temptation. Even as those about her muttered about going to the bar, wanting to unwind she contemplaed her store of milk, her catche of butter.

And a masher.

Chell definitly wanted some downtime with the masher.

One drive later -the details a blur, insignifigent and gone before they could be realized- and another ticket probably to be sent in the mail -curse those cameras at that intersection!- and she was troting up the stairs, keys jingling a merry tune in her loose grip. A poke in the lock, one turn, and a flip of the switch and there was light. Sunsets myrid wash of colors were behind her, not noted, the only color was the one before her. Red, and round, surounded by white, mounted on legs of black. It... or perhaps she, her voice though breathy was fenimine after all, perked up. Never moving, features never changing (for they couldn't, a flat shell of metal wasn't the most flexable face after all) it was hard to distinguish how she perked up.

Only that she did.

"Hello friend."

And unlike all those other tiems that she heard that voice saying those words, she didn't flatten against the wall with thoughts of flight filling her mind.

Chell smiled, the first time since morning and leaving. And though she couldn't say the words, her lips moved, saying without breath...

"Hi, long day?"

And like always, she understood.

"Product undispensed."

"Nice to know."

The eye flashed red, and the turrent wobbled, her stiff legs inertwined with a rolling office chairs wheels. Said chair was a comfortable thing, the best Chell's paycheck could afford. Despite the generosity offered to the prosterior the sitter never noticed. Couldn't notice, truth be told. But that didn't matter.

"Move any today?" She asked, then turned, turned her back on the Turrent that wasn't really like any other.

A fumble, a click, and the door was locked.

She'd locked herslef in the room with a Turrent. One of Apature's best patetened room wreckers. A sentient, bullet shooting, sociopathic, artificual intellegence with a perchance for prophecy.

It went without saying that her psychologist thought she had a few problems.

"No." Sing songed the AI. The eye flashed, and it was Chells' turn to be asked the questions. "Product dispensed?"

Chell, considering the screens of data she'd fiddled with -aka reformated per the update and cleaned out the varied viris' within- nodded.

"Good, sleep mode?"

"Dinner first." Chell mouthed. "Tatters, extra smooth."

A whirl and click served the AI for laughter.