This is about one of many theories I have about the Portal universe, where all the cores were once human like GLaDOS. I don't know if I'm correct or not, but it's a fun idea to explore. I wanted to write a story-mainly about Wheatley/GLaDOS-before they were changed into what they are now. The first thing that came to mind was the day that Caroline actually became GLaDOS, and how Wheatley reacted to it. Anyway, this is just something small I came up with the other day. It's not really edited, so bear with me here. T_T
This day was different from the start.
First, I was told that I didn't need to research or look up anything today. That was...odd. I was assigned to Aperture Laboratories specifically to assist the scientists with stored information, crucial data that made it possible for our tests to take place. While they work on new chambers, I'm supposed to locate files and previous knowledge to aid their process. Everyday went on like this, me running errands around the lab while half the staff slaved away on new chambers and test subjects. I'm fine with it, though, because I enjoy learning new things and providing answers to life's many mysteries. But this...this was different.
Second, I heard Caroline was asked to report to one of the Enrichment Center's testing rooms. That was strange. Caroline is only an assistant, or at least, she was before our CEO and founder Cave Johnson passed away from moon-rock poisoning a few weeks ago. Now I don't know what Caroline is-and I don't think she does, either. They say she's the new CEO. Mister Johnson was always ordering her around as though she were his personal slave, constantly having her run from one end of the laboratory to the other. She always looked so exhausted, like every command was slowly sucking the life out of her bright face. When Mister Johnson was out of the picture, though, she visibly improved; the light returned to her eyes and a sincere smile replaced the miserable scowl she wore when following our CEO around.
I love speaking with her. She's intelligent, I can tell you that, and she really does care for science. In fact, if it were possible, I wouldn't be surprised if she married the study. You can see her love for knowledge shines when she discovers something new. She grins, prances about the room and promptly instigates a twenty minute rant about how it change the way we live. And I join in, too, because her happiness makes my day.
We've kissed...only once. It was after a particularly mind draining experiment Aperture was participating in, and she decided to tag along. Mister Johnson had left Caroline alone to go fetch something, and I had come into the room as part of my daily errands. Our founder's assistant appeared overworked, her dark eyes glazed over as she stared at the many computer monitors and the pen in her hand threatening to drop. Deciding that my research could wait, I cheered her on, and it wasn't very long at all before she emitted a gasp and declared that she had solved the problem. In a flurry of celebration and idiotic dances, she grabbed me by the tie and kissed me.
A moment later it was over and we looked at each other, embarrassed, and pretended like it never happened. I understand her way of thinking, though: science comes first, and even romantic relations can't break the walls she's built around her mind. Besides, she's right, and that was a long time ago.
Though part of me wishes that she wasn't.
Anyway, now I found myself exploring the blinding white corridors of Aperture Science in search of her. She had to be in the main experimental room, I decided. Over the past few months there had been hushed talk about a project...one that dealt with Artificial Intelligence. I rolled my eyes at the thought. It would most likely end up failing, and the whole experiment would either get sent away to storage or trashed. I knew the only reason why Aperture is even going through with this because of our constant rivalry with Black Mesa. It was pathetic, really, that we'd result to something so impossible just to appear superior.
In my opinion, the AI plan titled Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System Project-or, the GLaDOS Project for short-isn't going to go as originally planned. They're supposedly going to unveil this AI soon, and I will be honestly surprised if they do. Artificial Intelligence isn't an idea to be messing with, though I'd never tell anyone that. Especially Caroline. She'd just call me a moron. To her, science should be thoroughly explored and a person should exceed all odds to do just that.
She must have been asked to look at this new AI. I guess it couldn't hurt if I slipped in to get a peek as well. If they questioned my presence, I would just say that I had no idea that anything significant was taking place. Hopefully that would work.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted one of my friends-Rick-headed in the opposite direction. He wasn't exactly a friend, but...a close acquaintance. I don't have many friends.
"Hello, Rick," I greeted simply, waving my clipboard at his profile.
Much to my surprise, he grinned back. "Wheatley! Are you headed to see the new AI?"
I didn't know what to say. Hesitantly, I straightened my glasses and replied, "Er...in fact, I was. Yes."
"Well, according to the technicians, it's done! I managed to get a glimpse on my way back here, but for now they're keeping its completion quiet. They're only showing it to the most important guys today, which, unfortunately, isn't me or you."
Done? That...that didn't sound right. There was no way that project would have met Aperture's expectations. "Is...that so?" I asked almost painfully.
"Yeah, but," Rick leaned close and cupped a hand over his mouth, as if he were about to tell me a secret. "I bet you could get a look. I did, and...man, it looks awesome. You're not going to believe it when you see it."
I stared ahead at the vast hallway, tempted. "Huh."
Rick gave me another one of his signature grins and began to leave once more. "Trust me, you'll want to see it. They say it's going to change our entire program-even all of science!"
And with that, he was gone.
His last words continued to echo around in my head, plaguing my brain. Could this Artificial Intelligence really change Aperture Science? Even...science itself? Well, there was only one way to find out. I pulled my lab coat tighter around my form and continued to shuffle through the laboratory.
I reached the main testing room far too soon. I couldn't go inside, of course: the room was closed off from this area and in place of a door were two massive, glass windows. Good. Perhaps if I just looked in through the glass I wouldn't be questioned. Inching closer to my destination, I could only make out tangled cords inside and...smoke? I furrowed my brow. Strange. Was the AI supposed to emit that?
Feeling like a nosy child, I slipped around the corner, slinking across the wall until I was mere centimeters away from the glass. I exhaled loudly as I pressed my back against the cool, white metal. Was this Artificial Intelligence really worth looking at? After all, if it was releasing smoke...it was most likely malfunctioning. The technicians didn't like other employees of Aperture to see their failure, either, so I'd probably anger them if they saw me.
I closed my eyes. Oh, who am I kidding, I really want to see that AI.
Before I could change my mind, I whirled to face the glass, pressing my fingers against the cold material.
What I saw made my entire body go numb.
There was this giant...thing attached to the ceiling. It was far more massive than I expected, taking up a good space in the room. It had what almost resembled a torso, and this curled downward to form a sort of makeshift body. Radiant buttons and switches I didn't understand covered its entire form, giving it a rather creepy, otherworldly look. What I inferred to be the AI even had a face: a square-like head came out of a wired neck, and a single, yellow eye stared back at me.
But that wasn't the disturbing part.
It was Caroline, who was connected to this robot by a glowing head piece.
She looked absolutely awful. Her arms and legs were bound by white spheres protruding from the wall and floor, keeping her immobile. Her face was downcast, but even from this angle I could make out the crimson blood running from the helmet she wore, down her cheeks and then dripping onto the sparkling floor. Her mouth was agape, as if she were in the middle of a silent scream. More cords from the AI came down and were connected to her flesh; they had ripped through her lab coat's sleeves and blood was spilling from there as well. Despite all of this, she compulsively twitched, and the action caused all the equipment to sway.
I couldn't move.
I couldn't breathe.
A blinking sign that read 'GLaDOS PROJECT' had '48%' below it in neon text. Below that, numbers and words that scrolled down so fast that I couldn't read them.
And I knew.
Caroline was becoming the Artificial Intelligence.
Was this...really the only way?
A loud bang shook me out of my shocked trance and I saw Caroline struggling to rid herself of the white cuffs. She was screaming, I could hear her pained cry even through the thick glass. Almost immediately, a booming voice came over a speaker, "Contain the subject, please."
As if something invisible had just hurt her, Caroline shrieked even louder, flailing until she went limp again.
More blood spilled from the head piece and down her face.
The horrible sight caused something inside me to snap.
"No! No, no, no, NO!" I roared, letting the clipboard slip from my fingers. I began to pound on the unbreakable glass, hoping that just this once it would fall through. "Damn it, NO!"
A man that had been staring at Caroline as though this experiment were a normal, everyday occurrence whirled around to look up at me. His eyes widened, and at once he called upon more people in the room.
I decided to follow my instincts and just run.
Run and find the hidden door to that room.
I'm going mad, my mind told me, but I already knew that. But this...this was just inhuman. Aperture Science is about discovering new things to help society, not to-
I couldn't even finish the thought without getting sick.
All these halls were rushing by me in a white flash, and I couldn't make out where I was headed. I didn't care; all I cared about was saving Caroline. They were doing something terrifying, like...
Could they be transferring her mind into the AI?
My heart sank at the possibility as I kept running. The main experimental room is on the floor below me, so the hidden door has to be located down there. But where to look?
I knocked things over and I ran into people, but that wasn't my priority right now-I have to stop Aperture from doing something they'll regret soon enough.
Deciding that the elevator would take far too long, I found our emergency staircase, thumping down the concrete steps as if my life depended on it...and from my ragged breathing, my health probably is at stake. As soon as I reached the bottom, I flung open the heavy doors, one of the only set in our entire laboratory that isn't automatic. People were giving me strange stares, I realized, but I didn't have time to explain my situation to them. I had to rescue Caroline, and from what I saw earlier, the technicians were after me as well.
"Entrance to the main chamber?" I began to shriek, looking from scientist to scientist as I flew by them. If they didn't open their mouth right away, I kept going, having no time for a long, drawn out reply. "Does anyone have an idea where the entrance to the main chamber is...where the AI is being held?"
They merely looked on with wide eyes, unable to process what I was up to.
This isn't good.
I stopped for a moment, staggering over to the wall and trying to catch my breath. "Damn it," I wheezed, partially from being out of shape, but mostly because I was terrified beyond all reason. "Is there honestly not one door in this entire facility that leads to that room?"
And then I had a thought.
Looking up from the blinding, tiled floor, I locked eyes with a nearby scientist. He appeared confused, shifting his gaze from the paperwork in his arms to my disheveled form. "Handheld portal device," were the first words that came out of my mouth. "Do you know where I can get a portal device?"
For a moment I was convinced the man wouldn't answer me. But then, uneasily, he began, "I...I'm almost certain there would be a portal device in Chamber 1, sir."
"Thank you!" I managed to yell as I was off again, not taking the time to stick around. Of course, there would always be a gun in Chamber 1! When our test subjects start out, they are immediately equipped with a device-like a gun-that can shoot what we call 'portals'. This device can alter material and allows you to travel between inaccessible areas. It creates two gateways to a point: when you go in one, you come out the other. This would be perfect for locating Caroline. And, since the first chamber is always open to all employees, I would have no problem getting ahold of it.
I located Chamber 1 in no time and unlocked the entrance with a button attached to the floor. The door whizzed open on contact with the button and I rushed inside. These test chambers have alwayscreeped me out, really. They've always had this eerie air to them. Not wanting to stay long, my eyes caught the portal device resting on a glowing stand in the middle of the room. In my odd state, I grinned, and took ahold of the item quickly.
An alarm sounded.
I darted out of the chamber like a frightened animal, guiding my feet in the direction of the main experimental room. The shrieking alarm was going off in all parts of the laboratory, it seems, and a flashing red light changed the hue of the snow white walls. I'm in trouble, and I know it. The sooner I find the location of Caroline, the better.
Scientists and employees ran frantically all over the place, having no idea what the alarm signified. I ignored their confusion and continued on my seemingly never ending trek. It would have to be on the left, I decided.
I'm running out of time! were the only words in my head that I could fabricate over the ear splitting alarm. People were reacting as though we were being infiltrated, because such a noise has never been heard in the facility before.
Then I came to a dead end. It was a white wall, with seemingly nothing beyond it.
I found myself smirking. Well, we'll see about that.
Looking down at the invention in my hands, I studied its functions. When these devices first came into being, we were required to obtain some basic knowledge about it. I know how to work the gun well enough, at least: shoot an orange portal at your destination, and walk through a blue one.
But how would the orange one work out?
No time! My head lectured me. Forget it, just make a blue one and hope it works!
Rather than hesitating, I aimed the device at the wall and put it on the blue setting. As soon as the portal escaped the gun and appeared in front of me, I rushed through it without taking the time to study my surroundings.
I thanked God in heaven-if there is one-that what met my sight was Caroline and the AI.
And some very angry technicians.
My gaze darted to the blinking sign. '89%', it read in blaring, doomfulletters.
Baring my teeth, I pointed the portal device at the people forming a circle around me as if it were an actual weapon. "What the hell do you think you're doing!" I demanded, my hands shaking from the scene I was having to witness.
"We could ask the same of you," one man sneered. He suddenly extended his arm, and in a voice fit for a small child, he said, "And I do believe you're holding something that doesn't belong to you. Please give it back."
"Release her," I barked, barely able to sound out my command.
Another technician spoke up, "I'm afraid we can't do that. If you know what's best for you-and this entire program-you'll hand over that portal device."
I heard footsteps behind me, and I didn't have to look to know that the men after me earlier had just stepped through the portal I had formed.
I stared him right in the face. "No."
"You'll be fired!"
"I don't care!"
Not wanting to waste a minute longer, I pushed past the miniature angry mob, escaping their outstretched clutches. I went straight to the AI and the dangling Caroline, running out of options. In an emotional frenzy, I began to yank at the cuffs at her legs, hoping that somehow, just somehow this horrible machine would give her back to me. She didn't scream as I tried to free her, and that alone angered me further. I could hear the technicians and scientists shrieking behind me, but I wasn't listening. They aren't important.
"Caroline, please!" I wailed, feeling the tears brimming at my eyes as I continued to claw at the cords attached to flesh. No matter how hard I pulled, they wouldn't budge.
The woman I love just hung there, her head lowered and her hair creating a veil around her face.
"Someone go get a sedative! This man needs to be contained!"
I felt a hand on my arm, and I failed to elbow the person in the face. "Let go of me!" I sobbed. "Let. Go. Of. Me!"
More people grabbed my arms, and they desperately tried to get me away from the disturbing experiment in the room. They were yelling things in my ear, loud things...threatening to hurt me...cursing...but I didn't hear any of it. All I heard was the quiet beeping of that massive sign as the percentage increased much faster than before.
"Damn it, go away! Leave me alone!" My voice was hysterical, and even I didn't recognize it.
Through my blurry vision, I saw a man approaching me from behind with a filled syringe.
I was on the floor now, my hands outstretched toward Caroline's dangling feet. More people were quick to grab me, keeping me down by the shoulders. "No, no, no, no! Caroline, NO!"
The sign now read '98%'.
"Let her go! You're killing her, I know you are! Don't lie to me!"
I was just saying things now, and I didn't even know what.
"I'm sorry, but this is the only way," someone told me. Who was that? I don't know. The same person tried to push my head down so I wouldn't see what was happening. But I knew. I knew what they were doing.
Another beep made me struggle to raise my head. 99%.
"Stop," I choked, unable to say anything more. "Just...stop."
"It's okay," the person lied to me again. "It's all okay."
One last beep sounded, and this one seemed to ring the longest.
A strangled sob escaped my lips. "Go to hell. All of you."
At that moment I felt something sharp puncture my skin, and the room became even more foggy than before. In one last attempt to make a difference, I managed to raise my head.
The AI was staring directly at me.
I don't remember anything after that.
"Moron!" GLaDOS seemed to screech at me for what seemed like the 999999th time. "I can't believe that you failed to access that entryway...again. Again being the keyword, of course."
I tried to keep my attention as far away from her taunting yellow eye as possible. That wall is pretty interesting...with its...colors...maybe I should look at that instead.
"Would you please just let me explain what happened?" I begged, slowly gaining the courage to float closer to her. But not too close. Who knows what she'll do if she gets the chance. "You never let me speak."
"Morons don't deserve to speak," GLaDOS replied simply in her monotonous voice.
"For the last time, I am not a moron!"
The dictator-like AI tilted her head. "Oh, really? So you're saying that someone who isn't a moron would also have trouble typing in a five lettered code on a machine that even a tennis racket could control?"
"And that someone who isn't a moron would also have no idea how to open a door? Do you know what a door is, Wheatley?"
"Of course I do, but-"
"I don't think you do." If GLaDOS had a proper face, she would have been glaring at me. "Wheatley, you know how much Aperture Science means to me, and with you in the way tasks can never be completed. That's what you were created for. Your entire existence revolves around being an utter moron."
I didn't know how to come up with a proper response.
The AI continued to stare at me. "I bet if something vital was at risk you wouldn't be able to save it, would you? That's how dumb you are. You would destroy this whole facility in a nanosecond without even trying. You can't do anything right."
My single eye lowered to the floor.
Sometimes I wondered.