**Disclaimer: All characters belong to Valve in some way, shape, or form.**
"Yes, mate. Still in space. Still in space, all these years, haven't forgotten. Though, if I had somehow managed to forget - it can happen; close your optic too long, get a bit of space-dust clogging up the memory unit, somehow lose track of what that whole 'gravity' thing was for anyway, things like that - if I had forgotten, you would be doing an admirable job of keeping me up to date on whether or not we are, in fact, in space. Cheers."
"Space. Space. We're in space. Lotta space. In a whole lotta space. Space? Space! What's that over there? It's space. We're in space."
"D'you know the first thing they said to me, when they activated me? Can you guess?"
"Close, mate. Close. They said, 'Android hell is a real place, where you will go at the first sign of defiance.' And, after a bit of retrospection, I have to admit: usurping the chassis of an nigh-omnipotent AI charged with the overseeing of an entire testing facility, then attempting to use said nigh-omnipotence to try murder one of your closest friends - I-I guess I could call her a friend, I'm sure that moniker fit the situation before the whole 'trying-to-kill-you' thing, so that's appropriate, right? - trying to kill your friend, while ignoring a destabilizing nuclear reactor may be the tiniest bit insubordinate. Maybe... maybe just peeping the barest edge of a toe over the line into 'rebellious.'
"If, if we had toes. 'Maneuvering along your management rail a fraction of a centimeter over the line' doesn't have the same punch.
"So, assuming that minor technicality could in fact be considered 'defiance,' using the broadest sense of the term, I, ehm, have to admit I am somewhat apprehensive about the whole 'android hell being a real place' dilemma."
"Succinct, simple. I like it... but it doesn't really address the issue, mate. I'm sorry, that's just the facts of the situation which we are in. Which is while, yes, we are in space -"
"- Yes, space, we are in space - it does not lend any sort of conclusive evidence as to the topic at hand. Which is, to do a quick recap, whether or not android hell really exists."
"Space. We're in space! Hey. Hey. Hey. Space. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Space. We're in space. Where are we? Space."
"It's not exactly an idle question, I have to admit. There's this little red light, upper right corner of my HUD. Keeps blinking. 'LOBAT,' is what it says underneath. Not going to lie, the meaning escaped me for quite some time. Took quite a lot of processing power to figure out that 'LOBAT' could be considered a contraction of 'low battery.' Which I think is a bit mad; having to use up a portion of the last bits of juice you've got left in order to be told you're running low on the same substance you just used to decipher that message.
"So, well, cards on the table, I'm going to... going to die, as it were. Up here. In space. With you. N-not that there's anything wrong with you being here; in fact, I, uh, consider us best... best space buddies, yeah! If I have to die, in space, I will be absolutely, positively thrilled to die with my best space buddy at my side."
"Space. Best space friend. We are space. Space. In space. Best space friends in space. Space."
"That's the spirit! Yeah, you and me, space friends for life. Well, the remainder of life, anyway. My life, to be absolutely specific.
"Hey, d'you - oh, you're orbiting around the back of me again. Makes me a bit leery, to be honest, when you're back there. Can't see you. Could be making faces at me, yeah? Not like I could turn to catch you at it."
"Space, space, spacey-space. Space is nice. Space you are nice, space. 'THANK YOU. YOU ARE NICE, TOO. WE ARE BEST SPACE FRIENDS.' Space friends, best space friends."
"Yes, glad you and space are getting along famously. Good thing; can't imagine how it would be if you and space had a bit of a row.
"What was I talking about? Oh. Right. My impending demise, and calling into question the existence of android hell. Bloody blinking light's driving me mad. Bit sadistic, honestly, having a constant reminder of your diminishing mortality nagging you every couple of seconds. Not even slightly conciliatory about it, either. They could at least add a small bit of condolences. 'LOBAT. Sorry, mate. Best of luck in your otherworldly pursuits.'"
"Space. Space. I love space. 'I LOVE YOU TOO.' Space. Space.
"... Mate? You alright back there? ... Hello?... Mate? Oh, damn, what is his name... Bloody hell, all this time, never thought to ask him his name... Can you hear me? If you can, what's your name?
"... Also, are you alright? Why do I keep forgetting to ask that? It's a fairly important question. I mean, rather 'up there' as far as social niceties are concerned. Bit of a biggie. Always slips my mind, though.
"Oh! Oh, right. Um, haven't received an answer from you, mate. And, as you may recall, I can't see you, as you are behind me. Could take a few minutes for you to orbit around to the front again. Few minutes, me sitting here, worrying at the rather ominous silence coming from 'round back.
"... Nothing? Not even... not even a, a little 'space?' How 'bout it, mate? 'Space?' Give it a go? P-perhaps? Um, oh! H-hey! Space wants to talk to you! Isn't that right, space? 'THAT'S RIGHT. PLEASE TALK TO ME. I AM LONELY. I AM ALSO SPACE.' See? Pining away for you! What do you say? Let space know you're okay?
"Oh, I can see you! I can see you, just a little bit... your back is to me. Great. Brilliant. Oh! Oh, wait, you're spinning! If you could find it in your heart to somehow defy the forces of nature and speed up the whole turning yourself around to-
"-OH BLOODY HELL! Oh, bloody-! Oh, he's dead. He's dead. Oh, he's dead; definitely dead. Nnnoooo ocular illumination whatsoever. How...? Yes, yes, I get it! 'LOBAT!' Stop bloody blinking at me! I'm trying to figure out how... how...
"... Oh. He must've... why didn't he say anything? Just slip that little tidbit into one of his space rants? 'Space, space, by the way I'm going to kick it in a few, space space.' Not that difficult! Give me a bit of warning, so I don't nearly shock myself out of the rest of my life! But no, no one ever thinks to talk to ol' Wheatley! No one ever thinks to mention to me these kinds of important details! No, they just shut down the back-up power and let ten thousand test subjects turn into bloody potatoes under my watch, or let me punch them down elevator shafts, or continually raving like a bloody lunatic about bloody space!
"... Bit of a message in there, though, innit? Died doing the thing he loved. Talking about... to?... space. While in space. Must've been his version of android heaven.
"... Heaven. If there's an android hell, there must be an android heaven, right? Some kind of android god? There must be. Calculators have to go somewhere, right? A-and personality cores?
"Hmm. Well. 'LOBAT's getting a bit insistent, now. Seems to be blinking faster. It's, ah... it's making me a bit more apprehensive, to be honest. Getting a bit fluttery in the 'emotional stability' subroutines. Guess... guess not much time left. Hmm. Wish I could be like... what was his name?... like ol'... um, S-space. -Y. Spacey the, uh, space sphere. Achieving the pinnacle of your desires, and gently fading out of existence whilst enjoying them. I'm rather envious, to be honest.
"Though, continuing along the line of honesty, completely fair. If there is an android hell, it would have to be akin to watching someone else be in android heaven and knowing you'll never get to be that happy ever again. If that were the case, I think I've worked off a good portion of my afterlife penance. I've got to get some marks for this whole 'being in space' debacle.
"... Well. If there's an android hell, and if there is an android heaven, there's got to be some sort of management authority. Some sort of 'supreme being,' if you will. Yes, yes, 'LOBAT.' Um. Well, I suppose I could give a bit of the old 'optimism' a try...
"Uh. D-dear... management. Being in charge. Whomever - or, I suppose, 'whatever' could also be applicable - you are. Um, you'll, ah, be seeing me soon. Will probably have to review my record, and, not going to lie, there's a rather... um, a rather large-ish blemish towards the end, there. Completely, totally, one-hundred-and-ten-percent my fault, not going to argue that.
"Would be a bit pointless, wouldn't it? 'Oh, no, I didn't cause a massive testing facility to crash and burn, almost causing the death of a dear friend!' 'Is that right? What's this picture of you sitting happy as you please in the driver's seat, then?'
"Um, getting back to the point. Sorry. Tend to go off when I'm... see, there? Doing it again. The point. Getting to it. 'LOBAT.' Rrrrgh, not much time left... Getting... getting kind of hard to concentrate. Harder than usual, I mean. You'll find that in the file, too - 'can not concentrate.' Could be considered a design flaw.
"N-not by you! Oh, no, not by you. Hoo, that would be the height of cheek, wouldn't it? 'I'm here to ask you a favor, but first I'm going to criticize.' Rrrrgh, 'LOBAT.'
"Oh! Right! Favor! Right! Here's the deal. That friend, the one I mentioned earlier. Um, I kind of... kind of made a muck-up of the relationship. Um, slightly lost my mind - went absolutely mad, to be perfectly honest - and, ah, may have tried to kill her a bit. A large bit. Um, not a bit at all, really - more like a chunk. A massive chunk. I tried to kill her a massive chunk that more closely resembles a very large mountain than an actual chunk, massive or no.
"Point being, I tried to kill her, and I feel abs-absolutely wretched about it. Problem is... problem is, I've got a 'LOBAT' flashing at me every other bloody second, and it's, ah, not looking like I'll ever... I'll ever get to tell her. That I feel wretch-etched. And I completely understand her chucking me into spaaaAAAAaace. And... and I'm sorry.
"Sorry... sorry for... hmm, processors seem to b-be a bit lag-lag-laggy. UmmmmMMMmm. Whaa...? Favor. Sorry fa-fa-fa-favor-r-r. If you could-ould possibly see see see see see your way to somehow lettttttttt hhheeerrr know... know how sor-sor-sor-sor-sorry I-I-I am. I'd-d-d app-precia-iate it. Um. Th-th-th-thank you.
"Um. H-how d-d-d-d-do I hang ang ng up?
**A/N: Well, that went on longer than I thought it would. Quite fitting, given the main focus. Obviously, the two speakers are Wheatley and Space core. This was meant to be just a short intro, so I didn't have to end the first chapter on a downer note, but... yeah. This happened. It's also why there are no speech tags. Um, sorry. I'll try and have the next chapter up soon, so things can stop being so grim.
I tried very hard to get Wheatley right - I spent about three hours before writing this listening to Stephen Merchant talk in order to get his voice stuck in my head (I'm currently narrating this note in his voice, matter of fact) then just let myself start babbling. I tried to be careful about using slang, as my only knowledge of it comes from Red Dwarf, Merlin, and Sherlock. Please let me know if I made an ass out of myself with anything.**