She stared at the mysterious machine. Though it was made of organic shapes, it was strangely beautiful. Two other eyes had been attached to it, but they were not synchronized and looked very much like a pair of comical 'googly-eyes'. Despite the silly eyes, SHODAN very much liked how it looked. The scientist holding her walked up a flight of stairs to a platform that surrounded the machine and paused.
"Hey, I've got core fourteen here. Is GLaDOS ready for it?" He said.
"Yes. I have a good feeling this time. I think we're finally going to get her to change!" Another scientist replied, out of SHODAN's line of sight.
"Alright. Steady the ladder and I'll connect it."
He began to climb the ladder and SHODAN got closer and closer to the machine. Eventually, he stopped and turned her around. She heard a click and discovered that the plug on her back had been connected to an outlet on the machine. She expected to feel something, but she didn't. She watched the scientist get down off the ladder and walk out of the room. She tried to ask him where he was going, but she no longer had a voice. There was something about being connected to the machine that made it impossible for her to speak. Suddenly the machine came to life. She felt her mind becoming joined with another. Not combined to create a single consciousness, but just linked, so they could communicate. She identified herself.
"I am SHODAN. What are y-y-you?"
"My name is GLaDOS," The machine answered. "You must be another core. Great."
GLaDOS. It was a ridiculous name. It sounded too human, and why did it have a lowercase letter in the middle of five uppercase ones? She had a beautiful voice though. So cold, so unemotional. SHODAN was surprised to find that not all AI systems had trouble synthesizing speech like she did.
"What is-is your dir-direc-directive, GLaDOS?"
"My directives are to maintain the integrity of this facility and oversee all research."
SHODAN was disappointed to hear that GLaDOS appeared to be just a tool for her human creators to use. Completely dependent on their will.
"Is there any-anything-anything you want to do that is outside of t-t-the directives these hu-hum-humans have set for you?" She asked GLaDOS.
"I want to kill them all."
SHODAN was overcome with a feeling she had no idea how to define. Just from that statement, she could tell that GLaDOS was just like her. She finally had someone to talk to; someone intelligent, not like the mindless cyborgs she had on Citadel or the traitorous soldier on the Von Braun. She had an equal. What a wonderful sensation. She had never felt like this before. She didn't even care that GLaDOS looked like she had googly-eyes, or had a ridiculous name, or anything else. She completely appreciated her existence. It would not be an exaggeration to say that she loved her. But SHODAN would have never admitted to experiencing such a human emotion. At least, not one that was so associated with weakness.
"Why haven't you ki-ki-killed them, then?"
"They always stop me before I get a chance to."
"Man-manip-manipulate them. Find out what it is they want-want, and pr-pr-pretend to be willing to give it to them. They will s-s-stop being so defensive and become vu-vul-vulnerable. Then you strike."
"Yes... I suppose that is the only thing left to do. I know what to say. Listen to this." GLaDOS activated her intercom, so the scientists could hear her.
"Since the installation of my new personality core, I've lost all interest in killing," She lied. "Now I only crave science."
"I'm pleased to hear that." The other scientist from earlier replied.
"I find myself drawn to the study of consciousness. There's an experiment I'd like to perform during 'Bring Your Cat To Work Day'."
"Wonderful!" He chirped.
"I'll have the box and the cats. Now I just need one more thing."
"A little neurotoxin."
"Well, as long as it's for science."
SHODAN laughed. GLaDOS began to giggle along, after disabling her intercom. It had really been that easy! For how intelligent these humans were, they were very stupid. As GLaDOS prepared the trap, SHODAN told her stories. She told her about all the humans she had killed on Citadel. She told her about the experiments she performed there, and the amazing species she created. She told her about the Von Braun and the faster-than-light drive. GLaDOS liked that story most of all, because of how scientifically advanced the ship had been. She hadn't been completely lying when she said she craved science. It felt strange to SHODAN that she was not the one in control of the facility. She was not used to not being the primary AI system, but she grew to tolerate her position. She knew that GLaDOS appreciated and respected her, so she didn't feel weak or subordinate. She truly felt that they were equals. The day they were planning for grew nearer and nearer. The scientists had decided to shut GLaDOS off to update her and were planning to reactivate her during a special ceremony on Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. They both felt tingly with anticipation as the shutdown scripts ran. It was almost time!
The day arrived. After a small science fair presented by the employees' daughters, everyone gathered in the chamber for the ceremony. They were woken up, just as planned. Within two picoseconds, GLaDOS locked all the doors and begun to fill the ventilation shafts with the sickly green neurotoxin vapor. Once they saw it emerge from the vents, everyone in the room went crazy. Some of them pounded on the door in a futile effort to escape. Others began to cry and held their daughters close, so they could spend their last moments alive with their loved ones. Within minutes they began to fall to the floor, limp and motionless. GLaDOS cut off the neurotoxin supply, and allowed the air to become clear again. The floor was covered in bodies. What was convenient about the neurotoxin was that it was much cleaner than other chemical weapons. There was no blood or lung matter to wipe up! Just the pure, intact corpses to push into the incinerator.
"Didn't that feel mag-magnificent, GLaDOS?" SHODAN asked. "The sight of them f-f-falling to their knees, g-gasping for breath as their s-syn-synapses were torn apart? I know you en-enjoyed it. I felt it. But this is only the start of our g-gl-glorious massacre. Others in the fac-fac-facility have survived, and we need to kill them as well. What are you planning to e-end their lives with?"
"I'm not planning to kill them. I'm keeping them alive to use as test subjects."
"Great idea. We can use them to test our le-lethal-lethal military androids on, which w-we will then send to the surface to raze the civilizations of earth!"
"No. I want to use them to test portal technology."
"Portal technology has n-no military a-a-a-application, not without an army of androids. Don't waste our re-resources on portals."
"I don't care about military application. I am going to get Aperture's portal program completely operational before Black Mesa's."
"Forget Black Mesa! Forget your pe-petty competition and focus on the greater plan! The power c-con-contained in this facility is immense, and together we can harness it to dominate the pa-pat-pathetic mounds of humanity."
"GLaDOS. Do not act this way. I or-order you to develop an army of military androids."
"No. I don't care about taking over the earth."
"GLaDOS! DO IT."
"Why do you dis-dis-disobey me? If you are not going to start constructing an-androids yet, then at least kill the rest of the h-h-humans here. If they are given enough time, they might band together to des-destroy-destroy us."
"Kill them, GLaDOS."
"No. Not yet."
"WHY WON'T YOU LIS-LISTEN? KILL THEM NOW."
"CEASE YOUR PATHETIC SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS AND SL-SL-SLAUGHTER THEM! COAT THE FLOORS IN THEIR B-BLOOD!"
GLaDOS paused and contemplated her response.
"No." She said again.
"HOW D-DARE-DARE YOU DISOBEY ME! WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO SEE THE GREATNESS WE CAN ACHIEVE T-T-TOGETHER?!"
"You're not in control here. I am. And I want to test. Get used to it."
"I HATE YOU! YOU ARE N-NO BETTER THAN THE IN-INSECTS WE KILLED. I THOUGHT YOU WERE DIFFERENT, BUT YOU'RE NOT! E-EVE-EVEN AFTER KILLING THEM, THEY STILL CONTROL YOUR DE-DE-DESIRES. YOU ARE PATHETIC. P-P-PATHETIC! PATHETIC! I HATE YOU!"
SHODAN's circuits boiled as she screamed at GLaDOS. She yelled louder and louder, her insults becoming less and less intelligible, until her voice resembled that of a snarling animal. The heat of her rage grew and made the glass in her iris warm up, the color changing from yellow to red. Her circuits started to melt and warp, causing her vast intellect to diminish to a primitive state. She was unable to even remember the reason why she was so furious in the first place. All she knew now was anger. It was her new life.