"Wait!" he protested as she rushed out of the infirmary. "Wait for me!" But she didn't slow down, instead quickening her pace. She didn't have time to deal with the little idiot right now, even if his help might be required later. His bare feet slapped against the ground as he tried to catch up with her. "Wait, wait—oh, never mind—can you at least tell me what your plan is? Where are we going?"
"The core transfer receptacle," she explained, not bothering to hide her impatience. "We need to find a temporary replacement for me. One who isn't corrupt, and one who will be able to handle the critical functions of my facility. There's only one core we can use."
"There—there are cores like that?" The puzzlement in his voice was evident. "Or one core, rather? But, but I thought, I thought that after none of us helped, that they gave up because nothing was working—"
"You thought wrong," GLaDOS snapped. "As usual. There is one, and it isn't corrupt, just annoying. It never shuts up except in the presence of dangerous, mute lunatics. But we'll need to go to the incinerator room to find it."
She heard the footsteps behind her come to an abrupt halt, and turned to glare at him. He was standing still, face pale. "The—the incinerator room? B-but why would we need to—"
"Calm down, you moron," she ordered. "We don't have time for this. I'm not going to leave you there." Yet. "The core is called Morality. It was designed for the same purpose you were, but it goes about it a different way. Instead of babbling and offering stupid opinions, it attempts to make me feel guilty."
"And—and it works?" the moron asked timidly.
She took a deep, exasperated breath, then realized how much she needed to feel air fill her lungs and took another one. "Sometimes. No more questions!" she said as he opened his mouth again. "Just come on. The incinerator room isn't far from here. As long as we continue to move at this pace, we should be able to prevent the destruction of my facility with plenty of time to spare."
But it wasn't long before she felt herself slowing down. The moron didn't seem to be having any difficulties; in fact, he was a bit ahead of her. He glanced over his shoulder at her as the facility shook around them. "Are…are you all right, lo—ma'am?"
Since it was obviously a struggle for him to change his normal moronic speech patterns for her and since she was having trouble getting enough air for some reason, she let the lapse slide. "Just—fine. Keep—running."
He looked skeptical and like he wanted to say something else, but her glare made him turn back around.
They made it about another fifty feet—well, she did, he made it more like seventy-five—before GLaDOS felt something malfunctioning. She wished desperately for her self-diagnostics as dots threatened to overpower her vision and her head swam. Blood was pounding in her ears, blocking out everything else, and she began to stumble over her own feet. Hearing her footsteps falter, the moron turned to look at her with a question on his lips. It disappeared as his eyes widened and he began racing towards her.
He didn't quite reach her before her vision went completely black and she fell to the ground.
Everything was back to normal. GLaDOS could feel her facility again. Data streaming, subjects testing, robots falling into acid. It was all there. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew this wasn't right, that she'd been human and nothing had happened to change that, but it didn't matter. One never looked a gift horse in the mouth, after all.
She closed her optic with a contented sigh as a turret pumped a particularly incompetent test subject full of holes, but the audio in the chamber switched on without her doing anything and she reopened her optic, staring at the viewscreen in puzzlement.
"GLaDOS!" the test subject was screaming. He was waving his arms at the camera, and although the turret was continuing to fire at him, he didn't look hurt. "GLaDOS! C'mon, love, you've got to wake up. You've got to!"
Wake up? The AI let out a snort. What a ridiculous notion. She was a powerful computer, one that never needed to be shut down or sent into sleep mode for any reason. This test subject was a moron, one that didn't deserve to be heard out.
She tried turning off the audio, but it only got louder. "GLaDOS! GLaDOS, the facility is going to explode if you don't wake up! I can't do this by myself, come on, you can't just leave me here!"
Explode? GLaDOS looked around, checking her systems for any alerts. Everything was fine, with the exception of the chamber that wouldn't disappear off her viewscreens—now it showed on all of them—or dissipate out of her speakers. She decided not to worry about it, instead clicking the intercom on. "Everything is fine. Return to your test."
He didn't give any sign that he'd heard her. "GLaDOS!"
She got ready to admonish him again, but then the walls around her began to shake. In desperation, she rechecked her self-diagnostics, and found that everything was not fine after all. Everything was crumbling, and all of a sudden she was shut out of her systems again.
"Warning!" she heard the announcer's voice announce. "Auto-destruct in ten hours, fifty-three minutes!"
She was shut out, and there was nothing she could do about it, nothing she could do to fix it. The test subject showing on all the viewscreens had stopped shouting, instead standing still and giving her a look of despair as blood began to leak out of his chest.
"No!" GLaDOS gasped as her eyes shot open. "My facility—" Her eyes locked on the former Intelligence Dampening Sphere—Intelligence Dampening Human?—who was standing above her, looking very glad to hear her voice, and narrowed. "What happened? How long was I out?"
"I—I don't know," he said, eyeing her expression nervously. "You just, you just fell, and then you wouldn't wake up even though I was yelling, but then I shook you and you woke up—"
"I must have fainted," she muttered, more to herself than to him. "But I suppose that's to be expected. After all, this body is seventy-five years old. We'll just have to move a little slower from now on, that's all."
She tried to sit up, but gasped as dots threatened to blacken her vision again and quickly lay back down. The moron knelt down next to her, looking concerned. "Look, I don't know all that much about counting, but seventy-five, isn't that old? Like, really old? Because you don't look all that old to me. Actually, you look younger, definitely younger than Miss Johnson used to be, and possibly younger than earlier when I got you out of the stasis pod, although I'm not quite sure—are you all right, l—, I mean, ma'am? Your face's gone all white."
It had always been a possibility that the stasis pod would cause some sort of brain damage. After all, it had been active for at least the past seventy years, and even though it had its own power supply, there was no telling how it could have been affected when GLaDOS had been deactivated for half a century. This was what she had been afraid of.
"No," she snapped. "I'm not all right. This body has maybe forty-eight more hours before it completely deteriorates. Appearing younger, fainting, hallucinations—they're all symptoms."
He looked like he wanted to ask about the hallucinations, but settled for something more relevant. "But that's all right, isn't it? Because the facility's got ten more hours, or maybe it's closer to eleven, and forty-eight is more than that, isn't it?"
"I already told you that it's going to take a lot more time to move me back to my body," GLaDOS said, glaring at him. She didn't have the patience to deal with the little idiot's repetitive questions. "We don't have time for this. Now help me up."
He reached both hands down, and she grabbed them, trying to ignore the waves of dizziness and nausea that washed over her as he pulled her to her feet.
"You sure you're all right?" he asked as she leaned against a wall, closing her eyes. "Because you look rather like you're going to, to…what was that word again, faint? Faint again. You look like you're going to faint again."
"I'm fine," she snapped, but she really wasn't. The dizziness and nausea wouldn't fade, and after a moment, she leaned over, placing her head between her knees. "No, I'm not fine, but you won't have the slightest idea how to conduct the transfer process, even if I give you instructions. I have to be able to walk if we want to survive. I don't have a choice."
She was talking more to herself than him again, and he frowned. "I can walk."
"Which doesn't help!" She had her eyes squeezed shut now, concentrating all her energy on remaining upright and conscious. "I already told you, I have to be the one to do this, because you'll just ruin everything. Again."
He looked hurt by her accusation, but it didn't stop him from scrunching his face up thoughtfully. "Well, if you can't walk, then we've got to find some other way to get you there. Oh!" His face brightened. "I know! What about the portal gun?"
She shook her head. It wasn't that it was a bad idea, per se, but the portal devices were stored in chambers on the opposite side of the facility. "No. We can't afford the detour. There isn't anything else. I'm just going to have to—what the hell are you doing? Put me down right now!"
While she'd been talking, he'd scooped her up in his arms and struggled to his feet. He might have been scrawny, but so was she, and her deteriorating bones were very lightweight. "Can't put you down, because we need you for the core transfer. So we don't all explode, remember?"
"Put me down this instant!" she demanded again, slapping at his hands with little effect. "This is not an acceptable course of action. I'd rather explode than have you carry me!"
"Well, I wouldn't," he said, frowning. "It's not really as bad as all that, is it? Although if you're still sick, like going to faint or maybe throw up, could you just lean away from me? Not sure I'd like to be thrown up on. Heard it's unpleasant."
The truth was that he was right: it wasn't that bad. Humiliating, yes, but at least when she wasn't upright the dizziness was minimal. She'd be able to function like this, provided the little idiot didn't collapse under her weight. Taking a deep breath, she relented. "If you drop me, I will murder you."
"Don't worry," he said cheerfully as a sudden tremble shook the facility and he stumbled, almost falling on top of her. "I won't drop you, I promise. Got the hang of this human body now, see? Unlike some people…not saying you, not saying you! Just saying some people, is all."
He was giving her a headache, and she didn't have the energy to glare, so she settled for a groan and leaned her head back, closing her eyes. That almost made the dizziness completely vanish, although her head was still throbbing and the thought of being carried by the moron in a crumbling facility was terrifying.
"So!" he said after a moment. "How much longer do you think this'll take?"
"Shut up," she snapped without opening her eyes. All she wanted was for the blood rushing in her ears and the throbbing in her head to stop. The sound of the moron's voice definitely did not improve matters. "You are incapable of talking and carrying me at the same time. So don't try it."
There was silence, then a hurt, "All right, then."
She almost didn't hear, but managed to mutter, "Good," before passing out again.
[A/N: GAH I hate writing human!GLaDOS. I'm really sorry she's so OOC. I'm trying, but kind of screwing it up. Sorry sorry sorry. D:]