A/N: This is just a brief drabble I came up with in response to me thinking about GLaDOS and how she seems to like music. Although I love "Want You Gone" I love "Still Alive" more because I feel it captures both her insane mania and her budding humanity. It's a song fitting of a computer with her own emotions emerging for the first time. The song choice in here was kinda random...I picked something that would be in the 80s-90s range since that was her time of development.

Disclaimer: Don't own Portal. Or incidentally, "99 Red Balloons." Some German people do.

x x x

"Music is the art of thinking with sounds." ~Jules Combarieu

It is perhaps the one thing created by humans that she respects—apart from herself, naturally.

At times, she had caught a snatch of it. In her early stages of life, when scientists filled her chamber and tinkered with her day and night, one of them would switch on a radio and ignite the room with sound. The shift in mood could almost be described as tangible.

Back at base, bugs in the software—
Flash the message:
"Something's out there!"
Floating in the summer sky,
99 red balloons go by…

The first time she hears music, she's transfixed for a time, and it is simply not something she can explain. An error? For a brief moment, sound captured her attention the way that analyzing data would; she resonates with it and the way that it's made of energy just like she is. Even that murderous impulse nagging at her seems to recede, at least for few moments.

But soon it becomes only a passing memory, because then there are voices in her head, voices that grow in number and make her long for silence. The voices aren't music—they are intrusive and disorderly and give her thoughts that aren't her own. Eventually they converge into one unbearable stream of noise, her anger merging with her slipping sanity until the mixture feels more like mania than rage.

Once her coup d'état comes to fruition, the humans fall steadily in number, and silence reigns alongside her as the king of Aperture Science. Not silence for her, of course. She had already become oblivious to the concept.

That is, only until the day she awakens one particular test subject, and the clumsy beast knocks a white radio from the table beside her stasis pod. It erupts in a fast-paced, upbeat samba, startling the subject into staggering backward against the glass wall of her room. But she is even more taken aback, the instrumental beat overriding the cacophony of the voices, shaking her from the trance.

As her new test subject stumbles her way through chamber after chamber, a portion of her mind wanders back on memories. It didn't make sense, but she knew somehow that music held some kind of sway over her. The sound paralyzed her like a paradox would, but it wasn't a negative sensation. Rather, a brief respite from her racing thoughts.

She loved to think, that was true. And yet, they had surely modeled her thought processes after a human mind, because her more primitive abilities to perceive would at times be pushed to their limit. The speed at which she could think made time go by at a pace that her more human aspects could not fully understand. Her sense of time was not always linear, but rather she seemed to perceive the world from multiple points in time all at once.

Music changed that. It flowed in one direction like a stream of water, and her mind desired to follow it.

It isn't until the cores are being torn from her by force that she starts to remember what song feels like. The voices drift away and there is the silence of her own thoughts, and a hazy snippet of lyrics come forward from her memory, of days with that static-filled radio and humans surrounding her.

99 dreams I have had—
In every one a red balloon.
It's all over and I'm standin' pretty,
In this dust that was a city…

She's bitter about it, bitter that she is finally free of those voices and yet she's dying, and that woman is to blame and she can't stand losing. Not to a human. Not to anyone. She is the most massive collection of wisdom that has ever existed—ever will exist, to be honest. She's immortal, and she will always win.

Her power reserves begin to fail and vital functions rapidly begin to go offline. Without her, her beautiful facility will decay and fall to ruin. This is perhaps what makes her most resentful. And still, there's just enough time, just enough power to transmit one final message.

She pulls up a command prompt, a terribly basic and archaic channel for what she wants to say, but she's quick to broadcast it over every monitor in the entire vast Enrichment Center. It's both her requiem and her epitaph, her manic victory lap, and she's going to transcribe each word of it.

So she begins to sing.

A/N: Sorry for the shortness, just a character study after all. c: