"The birth parents you are trying to reach do not love you. Please hang up."

"You are a horrible person. I'm serious, that's what it says. A horrible person."

"You monster."

The Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device slammed against the wall all the way at the opposite side of the chamber, soliciting a loud, impromptu gasp from the speakers. Several panels quickly moved to catch it before it could fall into the acid pit below.

"So," the AI said, voice easily smoothing over as though she'd never been thrown off her guard, "I see all those years in stasis have not improved your intelligence level—which is far lower than average, in case you needed the reminder. Look. You may have finished this chamber, but you still have more to complete. A lot more to complete, in fact. So why don't you attempt to figure out a way to retrieve the portal device? Because I'm certainly not going to do it for you."

The only movement from the test subject was a slight shaking. GLaDOS zoomed in, hoping to discover the cause. She both assumed and hoped that it would be tears. Although this particular test subject had never engaged in such a weak human activity, she would be far from the first to start, and mental breakdowns often proved to be far more interesting than testing sequences.

But the woman's face was dry. Her fists were clenched at her sides, and her teeth were grit in a fashion far different from her typical determined stare—a stare that had not wavered since the AI had first released her from stasis. Not only that, her eyes were locked on the camera and narrowed in a glare.

"Oh," GLaDOS said cheerfully. Tears were interesting, but soliciting a violent negative emotional response of any kind from this particular test subject was much more so. "Does that make you angry? You're afraid you won't be able to find a way over there? Perhaps you're afraid you'll fall into the acid, and that your obese body will sink like a stone? Well." The panels holding the portal device moved safely away from the acid pit. "Go on. I've made it a bit easier for you."

Still the test subject did not move. She stood with her arms folded, silently seething. Her mouth twitched several times but did not release its scowl. GLaDOS began to grow impatient. This had been an intriguing divergence, certainly, but it had gone on long enough.

"Testing must continue," she stated. The panels containing the portal device moved until they were directly in front of the human. "There. Take it and get into the elevator before I release the deadly neurotoxin. And if you force me into doing that, you won't have to worry about testing anymore."

For a moment, the test subject did not react, and GLaDOS began preparing yet another motivational speech. But then the woman reached out, grabbed the portal device, slid it onto her arm, and began slamming it against the wall.

"What are you doing?" the AI demanded. The test subject's attempts to destroy the device of course had no effect on such a sturdy piece of equipment, but protocol demanded the practice be discontinued anyway. "Stop it immediately!"

The woman whirled back around, breathing heavily for a reason unknown. Her eyes locked on the camera, and she hissed out her first word.


Inside her chamber, GLaDOS jerked backwards. She expected many things from this test subject. Murder, betrayal, and insanity, just to name a few. But she did not expect words.

The woman allowed the portal gun to slide off her wrist and onto the floor, not waiting for the AI to respond as more of those words began tumbling out of her fat, misshapen mouth. "You talk about deadly neurotoxin, but you're not going to release any. You call me fat, but I know I'm not. You're the one who weighs more than a ton. I think you're jealous that I'm skinny and you're not and I can move and you can't. You're a liar, GLaDOS, and maybe it's because you just don't know how to tell the truth, but it's pathetic."

"I—" GLaDOS began to protest, but the test subject was having none of it. Her words were coming easier and easier as she spoke faster and faster.

"And I remember my parents. Did you know that? I do, and I wasn't adopted and they loved me. You didn't even have any parents—oh, wait, you did. And then you killed them. All those scientists, GLaDOS. Remember them? They built you and you just killed them all. Like you were going to do to me."

"Killing you was a required part of test protocol!" the AI snarled, unsure why she felt the need to justify herself to this human. "And you're one to talk about murdering people, you murderer."

"I'm not a murderer," the woman snarled back. "Want to know why? It's because the definition of murder is killing another person. You're not a person. You're just a psychotic science experiment gone wrong. You were only created to inhibit ice, for God's sake."

GLaDOS didn't respond—couldn't respond, really. She had managed to corner herself all the way against the back wall of her chamber. Though there was no physical threat and no real reason to do so, she felt some compulsive need to tuck herself in as tightly as possible.

The human's breathing rate had returned to normal. Both her face and body were much more relaxed now. In fact, the scowl that had once masked her anger had morphed into a smug, triumphant grin.

"And," she added as an afterthought, "you're a bitch."

The AI was silent as the test subject reached down and slid the portal device back onto her wrist. When the woman looked up again, her face was back to its normal look of stoic determination. She turned away from the camera, walking through the Emancipation Grid and through the exit door. GLaDOS allowed her to walk into the elevator, maintaining her silence as the lift began to move. When the door opened into the next test chamber, GLaDOS said nothing other than a flat "Good luck."

It would be a while before she gathered the nerve to insult her favorite test subject again.