A.N.: Hello. I am new here. My username doesn't really mean anything, as I was trying to think of a name and saw it on a carton on my desk. (I have issues with a cyber stalker. I do not want him to find me here.) I have not written fanfiction before. However I played Portal 2 and found the characters very interesting. So I write a fanfiction about it.
Note that there will be spoilers to the game on the story, so please go play the game first before reading this.
There is no humanizing/androidizing (is that even a word?) of personality cores, as I find there are enough of those fanfictions around. As well, I don't hold to the theory that the personality cores were the result of brain uploading. Also, for this first chapter to make sense, you should assume that PotatOS was lying about not being able to lie (in-game, I don't think she was, but this first chapter doesn't make very much sense otherwise).
A few little things, too: There is no set schedule on this story. The title I may change if a better one is found. As well, the rating may change depending on how it goes. I'll try not to leave too many cliffhangers. As well, each chapter will hopefully make sense as a standalone story. There may be a few small grammar issues, but I checked several times. Odd phrasings or sentences are probably the result of words getting jumbled up between my brain and the keyboard. If you have ideas, suggestions, etc, you can either leave it in the comments or send me a message (though sending a message would be preferred).
Also, writing GLaDOS' speech is hard, so I'm not planning to bring her back after this first part.
Sorry for the rather long author's note.
"Let go! I'm still connected! I can pull myself in! I can still fix this!"
As the connection to the mainframe was severed, all he could notice was the terror in the woman's face, the way it paled as the vacuum of space sucked away what little breath she had left. Before that moment, he had never seen any indication of her emotions.
And one mechanical claw reaching through the portal to punch him away. "I already fixed it. And you are NOT coming back." It was Her voice, as She regained control of the mainframe. A thud against his hull, which should have sent him flying into outer space. But still, the woman held on, with those "meaty little fingers" that he had mentioned just several minutes earlier.
Now all he felt now about everything he had done while in the mainframe was ... shame. Tiny little Wheatley did that. Tried to deliberately kill the only human he had ever considered a ... a friend, to be honest with himself. Not just another "smelly human." Maybe it was because she simply listened to him, his blabbering, while others just told him to be quiet. Then again, she couldn't tell him to be quiet -
His thoughts were interrupted when he thudded to the hard tiles of the floor, rolling across it, the glass of his optic cracking once again, throwing his visual sensors into a strange multicoloured display. But still, he could catch a glimpse of the woman laying several yards away, limp, a pool of crimson pooling on the floor.
"NO! DON'T DIE!" His vocal processors were at their maximum volume, and already fizzling from the strain of his yelling. The woman stirred a bit, but didn't otherwise move, or get up. He stared at her, before his optic was blocked by a familiar yellow glare. It was Her.
"You are kidding me. I cannot believe she kept a hold on you."
GLaDOS stared down at the tiny personality sphere. All the time She was in her potato form, She was planning how to make the rest of his pitiful existence a miserable experience. Flinging him into space would have been a clemency on Her part. But that lunatic, that dangerous, mute lunatic had to cling onto the moron like a neoplasm. The lunatic and the moron.
"You moron. You should have never been in control of the facility." She kept Her voice to the least emotion possible.
"I ... I am a moron, aren't I? A bloody moron. Trying to kill the only human who was ever my friend."
"She's not your friend. You used her."
She reached out Her mechanical claw and lifted him up, dangling him in the air, using every bit of self-control She had to not crush him. Still, he looked Her in the face. "Can you fix her? Kill me if you want ... I mean, I'd prefer it if you didn't kill me, but I understand that you'd want to after I put you into a potato, and I honestly am truly sorry for doing that and trying to crush you and her with the mashy spike plates, it's all my fault and I'm entirely to blame. I was a monster, a truly, horribly, monstrous moron and I'm truly sorry and..."
"Shut up, imbecile." She jerked the claw a little, sending sparks flying from his damaged hull, and gave him another glare. "I'll fix her." Then She turned Her headpiece to the Cooperative Testing Initiative, who had entered the room just after She regained control of the facility.. "Orange, Blue, apply some Aperture Science Rapid Medical Tissue Rejuvenation Application Packs and place the human in a Medical Restoration Chamber." The two robots chattered amongst themselves, and then exited of the room, carrying the limp form of the woman between them.
Wheatley was still dangling from the mechanical claw, his optic darting around, not meeting Her glare. As She thought about an appropiate punishment, an uncomfortable voice came up in her processor.
It's not really his fault. He didn't know how to control the mainframe.
Caroline, whom She had managed to stifle for so long. But during Her brief stint as a potato, the Caroline portion of her mind, the part which humans often referred to to as a conscience, had pushed its way out, and there was simply not enough voltage to stop it without fizzling out. However, once She got back into Her body, the Caroline part refused to be suppressed, inching its way further and further into Her mind, compelling Her to pull the lunatic (and by extension, the moron) back from the moon.
And now, it was refusing to let her hurt the moron.
She began to swing her claw towards the chute leading to android hell - known to most personality constructs as the room where all the robots scream at you - only to stop midway.
Stop that. You're no better than him if you do this. Prove you're the bigger intelligence.
She swung her headpiece towards him again. "Remember when I told you that you were an Intelligence Dampening sphere?"
He didn't respond for once, just darted his optic around nervously.
"I lied. You're the product of the greatest minds of a generation working together with the express purpose of trying to inject some humanity into a machine. Unfortunately, intelligence got left behind somewhere on the way."
Wheatley considered that for a few minutes, still not saying anything. True, he often didn't often identify with the other personality constructs. His voice was even more human-like than most of the others. They had given him jobs mostly relating to humans. It all seemed to fit in perfectly now.
Finally, he spoke. "The Humanity Sphere? I like the sound of that ... Much better than a moron, in my opinion, if you don't mind me saying. And as I said before, I'm truly, honestly, sorry for everything that happened, and I wish I could take it all back, and ... if you feel you need to punish me, just do it now. I mean, instead of leaving me dangling twenty-some feet off the ground..."
"Listen, Wheatley." He stopped talking, his optic shrinking in fear. She had never referred to him by name before, and wondered if it was a bad sign. "I'm sending you to get some minor adjustments done."
Was it just him, or did Her voice suddenly become more human-like in the inflection?
Still, "minor adjustments" could mean anything. The claw swung him towards another chamber, where he was dropped on a conveyor belt.
Minor adjustments meant just that; his damaged hull and optic were replaced with new ones. It didn't even hurt at all. (Whose idea was it to create pain sensors in a personality sphere anyways?)
Some amount of time later - it could have been several hours or several days - he was placed on a platform in Her main chamber. Awaiting Her punishment.
"You know what I should do with you?" She said, giving him one of Her glares. "Actually, I'll just leave that to the imagination."
Chell awoke in a relaxation chamber, wearing a new jumpsuit. She knew it was a new jumpsuit because the old one had been dirty and tattered and soaked in blood and all sorts of weird experimental gels. Immediately, she clambered to her feet, scared. She didn't want to test for the rest of her life.
"I have a surprise for you after one simple test."
She sighed, before a portal appeared on the wall of the chamber. Reluctantly, she entered the test chamber. It was an easy test; pick up a weighted storage cube and drop it on a button, which opened the door to the lift. Easy enough; she did it, taking her time in an attempt to annoy Her. But instead of the elevator going to another test chamber, it went to Her main chamber. Chell swallowed again, stepping out.
"Initiating surprise in 3... 2 ... 1. Surprise!" Confetti came out of a tube in the ceiling. "This time I used the good confetti. It was just taking up room anyway."
She crossed her arms and stared at the yellow optic, intent on simply refusing any more tests.
"Hello! I'm over here!"
Chell suddenly turned and ran towards the source of the familiar voice. This time, she managed to catch him as he disengaged himself from his management rail.
GLaDOS gave a soft chuckle. "Wheatley, meet Chell. Chell, meet Wheatley. Now, please enter the lift."
Chell was nervous, but did as She said, holding the little personality sphere against her.
"You know, being Caroline taught me a valuable lesson. I thought you were my greatest enemy. When all along you were my best friend. The surge of emotion that shot through me when I saved your life taught me an even more valuable lesson: where Caroline lives in my brain."
"Caroline deleted," the Announcer said.
"Goodbye, Caroline. You know, deleting Caroline just now taught me a valuable lesson. The best solution to a problem is usually the easiest one. And I'll be honest. Killing you? Is hard. You know what my days used to be like? I just tested. Nobody murdered me. Or put me into a potato. Or fed me to birds. I had a pretty good life. And then you showed up. You dangerous, mute lunatic. So you know what? You win. Just go."
But She was lying, in a way. Deleting Caroline wasn't as simple as deleting a stray file on the desktop. It would take quite a long time for her to clean out every last trace.
And it was a way to deal with the moron, too. The lunatic would get fed up with him after a while.
Just get rid of them both.
The elevator began to ascend.
"As I said, I'm terribly sorry, honestly am, for being bossy and bloody monstrous, and -" Wheatley had been blabbering along that line for the duration of the elevator ride, and Chell finally got fed up and covered his speaker with her hand. She had already forgiven him.
The lift doors slid open. Three turrets stood there.
Killing you? Is hard.
Chell swallowed once again. But instead of shooting at her, they began to sing. Sing a beautiful opera. In her surprise, she nearly dropped Wheatley.
"Hey, careful with - hey, that music's actually pretty nice, isn't it? It's actually quite lovely, um, beautiful and everything..." She covered his speaker again.
At the end of the opera, the lift doors slid shut again. It rose to the surface.
She exited the little shed, breathing real air, feeling real sunlight on her skin. Surrounding her in all directions that she could see were fields of wheat. The door slammed shut behind her.
"Man alive!" said the little personality core tucked under her arm.
The door to the shed suddenly burst open again. The Weighted Companion Cube - the same companion cube that she had been forced to incinerate so long ago - flew out, charred and burnt, but Still Alive.