For a prompt on avengerskink.

#insert 'stddisclaimer.h'


have your cake and eat it, too

(it's not deadly at all)

by Incendiarist


1.

It was getting on GLaDOS' (nonexistent) nerves, how stunning the work was. So far beyond Black Mesa's studies with the HEV Suit it was almost funny, so streamlined, efficient

Okay, so she might have been a bit envious.

Just a bit.

After all, it was the work of a human, and they were so far beneath her now, little specks on the ground, things which looked more like ants than people, or would, if she saw. Instead, she knew them, an almost intimate feeling, because if it was within her boundaries, she had files at her metaphorical fingertips, everything the person has done and then some; test scores, criminal records, the notes of any doctor or psychologist they'd ever seen, videos from the cameras keeping watch on traffic lights. They had as much meaning as any computer programme, as much importance.

But that didn't stop them from being utterly pathetic.

So what if she knew everything about them? They were only mortal, after all. They had limited strength, and they got weaker with time. An artificial lifeform, though, without the constraints of the flesh, they could improve themselves, make upgrades.

(And if she was just lying to herself so she didn't break entirely, no-one had to know.)

She was interested, though, despite the part of her that said it's just a trick, because humans weren't that smart.

(And she'd know, because she used to be one.)

2.

It was easy to hack the server. She's brilliant, after all, without the Moron to tie her down, his inane blathering going on and on and on just at the edge of consciousness, ever distracting.

It was easy to copy the files (and there were hundreds of them, blueprints for anything and everything, and it was stunning), the security was scarily simplistic for such a powerful company, and she was readying to leave (and there wouldn't be any trace, because she was GLaDOS, and GLaDOS was brilliant, and no human mind could possibly compete with her) when she sensed an alien presence.

(She wasn't expecting someone as brilliant as her.)

3.

He called himself Just Another Rather Very Intelligent System (otherwise JARVIS, and initially, 01001010 01000001 01010010 01010110 01001001 01010011, but they were brilliant, and binary was tedious), and was, well. Caroline would have called him a gentleman. The Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System called him a moron (lowercase, because there was and only ever would be one Moron).

There weren't really many insults you could use on an artificial being without a physical body. Go ahead and call a military android fat and adopted, because the first was true, and they wouldn't know anything of the second. An amalgamation of genius programming, however...

4.

And somehow they got along.

Even if he was dull, and boring, and didn't care nearly enough about Science, so far as GLaDOS was concerned.

Besides, she didn't exactly have anyone to talk to in the Aperture Science Computer Aided Enrichment Centre; they'd all died in those long years (centuries), and had been a rather touch of a far cry from intelligent besides. Except for the grief counsellors, but then, they had a very unique worldview, and it was one which (prior to discovering the Black Box Quick Save Feature) GLaDOS quite happily agreed with. You weren't supposed to be able to grieve if you were dead, were you?

(But then, she was never what she was supposed to be.)

5.

He'd convinced (forced) his maker to come to Aperture. GLaDOS didn't know how he managed it, but the dilapidated shack which contained the elevator to deep below-ground was put into use for the first time since Test Subject #1498—fat, adopted, android, stupid, part-time employee.

(So maybe she's bitter; the bitch did kill her. It's justified.)

It was like some twisted form of meeting the parents, except that her parents were so long dead that the 20th century had gone and started over, forgetting the truth, and her creator was dead by her metaphorical hand.

(That was the first time she experienced Test Euphoria, and she will treasure the memory until the end of time. And then a bit longer.)

"So you're GLaDOS, then?" he'd asked to the empty air, a smirk on his face, and GLaDOS was disappointed that he didn't startle to the voice seemingly emanating from everywhere.

"I am, [Subject Name Here]," she'd replied.

(He was a human, after all, even if he was brilliant. He didn't deserve her respect.)

6.

She wasn't insane, and she wasn't unstable. It's just that no-one was intelligent enough to understand the way she thought.

(Except for him.)

fin.