Processes 100% complete. Ready. Awakening.
It's bound to be a good day. The brand-new testing sequence is tough, but today's subject seems to be particularly bright – the woman in the Relaxation Vault stands up quickly, ready and confident. In her no signs of anger, but much intelligence and the typical glance of a very hard-working one.
Nothing too out of the ordinary; they will just end faster than usual. And after all – with the lasers, the green smoking pits, the abysses – what harm could a test-subject do?
I see you.
It must be the twelfth day of sleeping in the same corner. In the strong red shower from behind, the pink heart is barely visible. It's about time for them to move.
He lifts his friend and spies from his concrete doorway; yet he sees but the cubes he's leaning on. There's no-one for him; just glowing darkness, and a lot of black nothing beyond.
He shivers and curls back on the floor, opening a new can of beans. He wishes he could move, but he is scared – he knows that, as far and deep as he may crawl, she sees him. She will always see him.
Is anyone there?
When she was on the other side, when she pierced silver walls with her orange and blue, she never stopped. Now she has fallen right onto the other face – she explores, she digs in, and the walls crumble under her touch.
But the signs, the remains that time should have left of all that desolation, are not complete yet. She seeks for trails who may tell her where the others have ended, in which sea waves their bones are resting.
She sighs, telling herself that everything in life is a chance for learning. If she had never been there, testifying for death, she would never have learnt how deserted a battlefield can be.
Could you come over here?
As it often happens to anxious people, it seems she cannot stop talking. Her tongue never misses a beat – she hopes her words can reach her. She cannot hope by all other means; her microphones chant muffled buzzes, her cameras are blank stares.
God knows in what depths she is running, coming closer and closer. God knows how it will end for her. God doesn't exist.
What is worse, she cannot resist calling her – she talks and talks against her fortress of silence, defying her and being sure of her superiority to the last bit. But there is no response, and she eventually gets lost in her well-hidden terror.
She envies her in a way – she wishes that, out of the two of them, she actually were the one to want her there.
There you are.
The mists of the mind are the most unpredictable ones, especially when your reality is split in halves and is born from the ghost of a dead place. On the other hand, the rays of light always lie to him; they lead to certain death, and this is why he prefers darkness.
So when her face shines, feet away from his own, and bursts in splendour through the renewed test-chamber, he can barely believe what he is seeing. He would not even hope to see her, if he hadn't learnt to trust what is out and around him.
The turrets' voices never lie. She is right there, alive and awake.
I don't blame you.
Awake or not, she surely would not like to hear those notes, as they crumble for her in the sunburnt air of the outer world. But she is safe – she lies unconscious in the grip of a robotic arm, and another cryo-chamber awaits with its ages of sleep.
Maybe – maybe – the song her backup system is singing has nothing to do with her. Maybe those words of happiness and forgiveness are as casual as their meaning is false.
But rage and unfinished matters can't be erased by a song. And, most of all, lies are something her ears could never stand.
She'd rather sleep forever and stop breathing, step by step, sunk in blessed ignorance.
He must say he has had enough of all of this – crappy job, worst tasks and decaying rails are the last things he wants. As if he didn't risk death ten thousand times a day already.
He will report as soon as he finds his boss. If there is a remote chance to find him alive, he will certainly do it – he is tired to do useless things, and yet his contract forces him to roam endless zones of Relaxation Vaults. Containing dead bodies, certainly dead bodies.
But oh, something new! There's a living being in there. A fair lady with deadly pale skin and dusty hair. A little brain damaged, but let it pass – if she is alive, she must be brighter than circumstances suggest.
Are you still there?
This is a time and place they have already lived, but it feels like it all is running the wrong way.
Opposite roles and dangers, and she is leading the games now. The only difference is him – the cause, the third element who can't do anything but stare in awe and terror. And still there is something different in her; her usual calmness sounds broken in remote shades of her voice, the voice who dispenses threats and promises of death, and yet screams, so scared and unsure, asking her with all its force why on earth she has survived too.
No hard feelings.
She knows perfectly how unfair her request is – a murderous machine with a little pride should never be pleading her victim. She hates it, and she hates it even more when the woman accepts her presence, a few grammes of annoyance stuck on the end of her Portal Device.
There's no doubt about it – she must be really, really stupid to accept this. Probably, she always was.
She wouldn't want to think about such things. It's useful and clever to ask for help when you're in trouble, but it's never easy, not for her. And what makes it even more painful is the feeling that, deep down, she wants and needs to stick with her. For now.
That was a huge mistake. On second thought, he could have gotten rid of them immediately; if they survive that bottomless pit, the fall may be ineffective and they – probably – might cause some minor problems.
But it is matter of no importance to him, as long as they don't show up again. He sets to his new task, swinging on his throne; yet he ignores, and this is the proof he is not a good ruler.
They are all walking towards destruction. And the real danger is that, by now, none of them knows for sure what has to be fought – they'll have to guess who the hunter is, and who the prey.
She is astonished to see how incredibly fast everything is falling to pieces. She listens to the teasing, running in silence through the electronic voices, and cannot decide whose words are more nonsensical.
They make it all so complicated. All she is aware of is that they are in terrible danger, and something must be done.
She always believed that, somehow and somewhere, there must be something very wrong with Aperture. But if she recalls the way she first used to believe it, she finds herself resigned and almost smiling.
Truth is, everything is wrong in there, and she's gotten used to it. No time to waste in remembering now – there is a potato to save, and a core to run to.
Humans are not like her – they feel pain and suffer from wounds, unable to live up to their full potential twenty-four hours a day. She can do it, and shakes her newly rebuilt head as if the gesture could cancel her thoughts.
Even the strongest subject of Aperture has fallen in the end. Her lens watches, focusing slowly in her huge rusting body.
She looks so unaware and defeated, with drops of blood trailing the pale skin. She might kill her on the spot, fast, effective and perfect as she has always been, without a single hesitation. And yet, somehow, the idea does not sound perfect at all.
She will leave her in her long black night. As much as she hates to admit it, for once, for now, she fully deserves it.
Using the turrets' lines as prompts is an old idea of mine. I'm really proud of what came out. :3
Although the quotes were originally chosen at random, this collection has a very clear structure. Six drabbles for Portal (GLaDOS - Doug - Chell) and six drabbles for Portal 2 (Wheatley - Chell - GLaDOS), in chronological order.
I hope you appreciate this little work of mine. Thank you all 3