One Big Aperture Family
It was unknown how long the Old Woman and her two companions had been sitting at the old bus stop outside of the city. The old highway hadn't been used in years and weeds grew around the old bus stop. The summer sun beat down on them, though they looked relatively comfortable where they sat. Their bus stop faced the wheat field, which seemed to be pretty abundant despite the wheat being wild. She sat there, almost motionless, as her two companions looked around anxiously.
If any vehicle had passed by (unlikely), they probably would have noticed the Old Woman and her companions had been sitting patiently at the bus stop for about a day and a half. Where they came from wasn't known, along with how they got to the bus stop and why they were waiting in the first place. The Old Woman stood and looked at the sun over the wheat field. She determined, quite accurately, that it was early afternoon and the bus (if it indeed existed) was running late.
The Old Lady held herself regally with her purse close by. She wore all white, except for the yellow ribbon on her hat. Her white hair was neatly tied in a low bun, being shielded by the brim of the hat. Her white cardigan was draped smoothly over her shoulders, only moving with the soft summer wind. Her sunglasses were the only thing about her outfit that wasn't white.
Her two companions, a young man and a young woman, seemed to be color oriented as well. The young man wore a blue shirt and black pants with his blue hair in a short, messy cut. The young woman wore an orange sleeveless jumper dress that went just above her knees. She looked like she was wearing orange rain boots with her black tights. Her orange hair was fitted into two low, stringy pigtails. These two didn't wear sunglasses and their eyes (blue for the young man and orange for the young woman) shimmered in the afternoon sun.
Though the day was hot, as the middle of summer tended to be, the small group didn't look uncomfortable in their attire or sitting on the broken bench waiting for a bus that would never come. The deserted two lane highway looked like it went on forever. It probably did, only turning off every so often. The wheat in the field adjacent to the bus stop seemed to be timed with the ticking of the Old Woman's watch as it flowed back and forth with each tick. The Old Woman, though having sat there for almost a day and a half, was starting to lose her patience.
"Well, my dears," she murmured for the first time in hours. "…it would seem the bus is late." She said in a somewhat mechanical way. Her companions looked up from what they were doing (the girl was sitting on her knees looking through the foggy, broken glass while the boy was examining the ancient gum under the bench) and nodded in an equally mechanical sense. "If we want to get to our destination, we'll have to walk. I don't think they know to pick us up."
The Old Lady got up and started walking. Her companions followed behind loyally.
At the Pendleton Household
The last box unpacked, the final piece of furniture in place, and the scuff marks on the hardwood floors cleaned up, the brick Victorian style house on the hill just off Autumn Street was now a home. Two stories, basement converted into den, four bedrooms, three bathrooms (half one downstairs, one upstairs and one in the master bedroom), nice spacious kitchen, big backyard, and lots of room. Wheatley Pendleton stood in awe as he took in a big breath of air. He was relieved to finally have enough space to move around.
After their Aperture adventure, the apartment he shared with Lillian and Angela (Lil and Angie), became much more crowded. Little surprises tend to happen in Wheatley's life more often than he'd prefer. Lil announced to Wheatley that she was pregnant when they arrived back from Aperture and were staying at a hotel during the repairs being done around the shopping district. Though the birth of their first child was a happy occasion, it left the apartment dwellers with a little less space.
When baby Chell (called Chelly most of the time) was born, she stayed in a bassinet in Wheatley and Lil's room. When she got older and too big for the bassinet, she stayed in a crib in Angie's room. It was a tight squeeze, but they somehow managed it. When she was old enough, she got Angie's old toddler bed.
Things were going well, if not somewhat cramped. Wheatley and Lil's "private time" was constantly being invaded by one thing or another. Lil was hesitant to look for a bigger place, despite looking at real estate magazines constantly. It wasn't until the night Dr. Rattmann took Chelly and Angie to a festival in the park that things turned around for Wheatley and Lil. A few weeks later, Lil announced she was pregnant with their second child. It was then she conceded and told Wheatley to help her look for a house.
Humanity, though he had gotten used to it, still somewhat confused Wheatley. Admittedly, he felt he had reentered society well, though Wheatley still found himself doing things that embarrassed Lil or made Dr. Rattmann grab his sleeve and drag him out of a room. Simple things (like learning that toothpaste isn't glue for your teeth or the potpourri in the bowl on the table isn't a fancy salad) Wheatley grasped pretty well, but when it came to social graces, he still lacked.
Luckily for him, Lil and Angie were good teachers and didn't mind giving him a hand. Dr. Rattmann did what he could, but he himself was still readjusting to life above ground. Wheatley's memories seemed to be in place, at least for the time being. Sometimes, he would "zone out", as Lil put it, and it seemed that he would enter another world. The one thing that he found himself fighting the most was the memory of a love lost over one hundred years ago.
On the mantel, sat a picture of Wheatley and his former girlfriend, Pam. She was the love of his life and the reason he worked so hard for Aperture before his time as a core. He often wondered if there was an afterlife and if there was, if she was watching him. If there was and she was watching, Wheatley hoped she was proud of him and what he had accomplished. With Lil's blessing, they named their first child Chell Pamela Pendleton.
Taking another deep breath, Wheatley stretched out his arms with a big smile. The one thing Wheatley loved most about this house was the tall ceilings. Being unusually tall, he liked not hitting his head on everything. Enough room the stretch and enough room to breathe. No more tripping over children's toys or almost stepping on someone trying to make his way around with his long legs.
"This is wonderful, isn't it?" he asked as if expecting an answer from nowhere. "The stores are doing well, we have a new home, and everything just seems to be falling into place. I have all I need and will ever need right under one big roof." Wheatley turned around and looked out of the window on the kitchen door leading outside. His family enjoyed the summer evening in their big backyard. His wife, Lil, five months pregnant with their second child, relaxed on the patio reading a book. Wheatley smiled and often asked himself how he got so lucky. "And now, I just have to get dinner started."
If there was one thing Wheatley liked about Lil being pregnant (besides the hormones putting her constantly in the mood for love), it had to be her food cravings. On the one hand, they were amusing. When she was pregnant with little Chell, Lil craved nachos. But not just any nachos; they just HAD to be nachos from a specific convenience store and she knew the difference. Wheatley wasn't sure how she knew when he came home with nachos from the gas station down the road. And cheese wouldn't cut it; she wanted the white corn tortilla chips with chocolate sauce on top with the white cheese sauce on the side. Many a night Wheatley trudged out to the corner food mart in his robe, pajamas, and a pair of sneakers only to have the late night kid stare at him, asking him if he "had the munchies big time". Wheatley wasn't sure what that meant.
This pregnancy benefitted everyone as Lil, though usually a strict vegetarian, craved steak (well done, if she saw an ounce of pink she chased Wheatley with the fly swatter). It made Wheatley very happy, as he could now start using the new grill on the back porch. Lil may have been craving steak, but she didn't think the new grill was safe. "Wheaters, are you sure you know how to use this thing?" asked Lil, sitting in a chair near the patio table.
"Of course, Love! The manual clearly states how to use this…gas powered food heating apparatus." Wheatley reassured Lil as he placed the plate of steaks on the patio table. Dr. Rattmann resigned himself to sitting in a wicker chair while watching Angie play with little Chell in the big back yard. He relished the setting summer sun and appreciated every moment he had now. Though he slept in the basement, Dr. Rattmann was not reclusive, as it was usually him that picked Angie up from school or looked after the girls when Wheatley and Lil needed a night to themselves. Of course, he wasn't complaining.
Down the road a little ways, a man working in his front yard pointed down the street. Three figures let the man finish his directions before finally walking down the road. "There we are…" the old woman muttered as their destination came into view behind some trees. Her movements seemed somewhat stiff compared the sporadic and happy movements of her companions. The girl with orange hair looked like she could barely contain her excitement. The guy with the blue hair looked eager as well.
"Oh, the reports mentioned the house was nice, but this is spectacular. I can't believe that idiot is doing so well." The Old Woman murmured, as she took off her sunglasses to examine the house. As if almost instantly, she knew all about the house. "Red brick Victorian style home, about 3501 to 4000 square feet, four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, large backyard, refurbished basement, and a finished attic. Most impressive, to say the least. Plenty of space for a growing young family and a few long lost relatives, wouldn't you say?" she murmured to her companions, who nodded eagerly. "It should do as a temporary place…"
The Young Man tugged on the Old Lady's sleeve and pointed toward the house. Her yellow irises looked where he was pointing. "Ahh, I sense it too. Something going on in the backyard, maybe lethal based on the levels of gasoline detected." The Old Lady murmured again, bringing her purse close to her as she put her sunglasses back on.
In the backyard, Lil waved her hand in front of her face to keep the smoke from her eyes. "Wheaters, I think it just might be time to give up. I can whip up some pasta real quick or we could go for Chinese. We just moved in to this house, I don't want you burning it down already." Lil coughed as she struggled to get up from the patio chair.
"No, it's fine, Lil, really! I promised everyone steaks and we are having steaks!" Wheatley shouted as he poked one of the burnt pieces of meat with a meat fork. Dr. Rattmann, happy that he was in the yard and not on the porch, chuckled softly under his breath and reclined as Chelly poured sand on his shoes.
Dr. Douglas Rattmann, or "Grandpa" as Angie called him, took nothing for granted anymore. Despite not being of any blood relation to Lil and Angie, he welcomed the Grandpa status with open arms, as he had watched over their mother during her great Aperture adventure many years before.
Still somewhat unstable, the medication he obtained (through false identification) kept him mellow. Though, in truth, he didn't quite need it as much as he used to. He had plenty to keep his mind occupied now, and one of them was pouring sand on his new shoes. Dr. Rattmann only chuckled softly and relaxed in the early evening sun. It took some adjusting, but he fit pretty well into society after a little while. He definitely looked the part of Grandfather, with his graying hair and his few wrinkles here and there. He still had a limp, but didn't need his cane as much as he used to. It was for the best; most of the time, Chelly would take it and hide it.
"Ahh, you like dumping that dry sand on Grandpa's new shoes, don't you?" Dr. Rattmann cooed as he picked up Chelly. Dr. Rattmann, when not helping with home repairs or helping with the girls, spent a lot of time in his den, which was also his bedroom and workshop. He felt it needed to keep himself occupied as much as possible and decided to keep up with building things. Angie wasn't allowed downstairs without him, and she often described it as an evil villain's lair, like in her favorite comic books. Dr. Rattmann looked the part of mad scientist and often joked about it.
Angie, age eight going on nine, when not with little Chelly, spent most of the summer helping her sister and Wheatley get everything organized. As she grew, her two high pigtails morphed into a mid-high ponytail and she looked almost exactly like her mother but smaller and with fairer skin. At age seven, she discovered she had a fondness for comic books when Lil decided to start carrying them in the second bookstore. She was the envy of her class for a while because she always had the latest comic book before it was even released.
Though it felt unusual being an aunt at such a young age, Angie took to it well. She was more of an older sister to Chelly than anything. Angie got up from her spot on the grass and ran up to Dr. Rattmann and Chelly. "You might want to get up, Grandpa. I got a feeling we might be going for pizza soon." She giggled.
Dr. Rattmann looked over at the porch and chuckled. "I think I might be in the mood for Chinese personally." He chuckled, placing Chelly on the ground softly. With the two little ones, Dr. Rattmann approached the porch just as the smoke cleared. On the patio table sat a plate of charred steaks. He motioned for Angie and Chelly to stay back.
"Alright, who wants the first one?" asked Wheatley. Everyone looked at each other and then back to the steaks. "Oh, come on, they aren't that bad! So I added a bit too much gas. It's not like they're frozen solid like last time, just give them a taste!" Wheatley presented the plate to his family, though everyone looked on questionably. The steaks, if one could call them that, took the appearance of burnt wood and looked like they were hard enough to break one's teeth. Wheatley looked at the steaks and sniffed them. The smell reminded him of those candles Lil liked to light around Christmas time. "Fine, more for me, then." Wheatley sighed as Dr. Rattmann ushered the girls inside.
Lil folded her arms and looked at Wheatley. "I'm waiting…" she murmured, waiting for him to eat the steaks. Lil, who had been against the use of the grill in the first place, decided to ignore her cravings this time just to watch her husband wince as he placed one of the steaks into his mouth. She tapped her foot and watched. Her pregnant belly rumbled, and she started to decide in her mind what she wanted to eat.
Wheatley stuck his tongue out and attempted to taste the steak. Lil sighed and started to go inside. "Do you want pepperoni, Wheaters?" she shouted, opening the patio door to the kitchen. Wheatley didn't answer. "Well, me and the baby are going to order pizza for everyone. I'll order you something too." Lil sighed, rubbing her stomach.
It seemed like hours that the small group stood at the bottom of the hill. The house was on a slight hill with stone steps toward the porch. Though not from fear of getting tired from the walk up, the group did seem a bit nervous about approaching the house. The Old Woman sighed softly and looked at her companions, who seemed very excited. "It has been a while since we've seen them. I wonder how well they'll take to our visit." She sighed as her companions hopped in place.
As if knowing what they were going to ask, the Old Lady shook her head. "No, we shouldn't tell them. Not right away. They might have some hostilities about us being there, I doubt they'd take the other news well. We're still not sure if it's a threat yet, so our little 'vacation' can go as planned. You have to admit, it's nice to get out once in a while, and not just on reconnaissance missions."
The Old Lady had a worried expression and decided to take the first steps up.
Wheatley tossed the burnt steaks in the trash as Lil put the phone down. "Alright, the pizzas should be here in about thirty minutes." She murmured, sitting on the couch. She patted the cushion next to her and Wheatley sat down, looking defeated. "Don't worry, Wheaters. You'll do better next time. Until then, leave the grilling to Dr. Rattmann. For a guy who used broken CPU parts for a stove for almost thirty years, that man can grill one hell of a steak, can't he?" Lil giggled, putting her head on Wheatley's shoulder.
Wheatley folded his arms and grumbled. With a kiss on the cheek, Lil finally made Wheatley smile. He put his arm around Lil and sighed happily. "You know, Lil, I still have trouble believing we're living in this house. It's so big and spacious. No more stepping on things, no more cramped quarters, no hitting my head on things. Everyone has a room and we finally have some privacy."
Scooting closer, Lil sighed in agreement. "Which reminds me; I scheduled my ultrasound for next month. We're going to find out what this baby is so we can start putting that spare bedroom together. We can probably use Chelly's old crib, but if we're having a boy, we'll have to take those pink bows off of it."
"I say we just paint the room yellow right now and decorate it with ducks." Wheatley joked. Lil sighed and cuddled closer to Wheatley. He could hear the crickets outside and the sounds of a warm summer night in the making. "I have a few names for boys I want to run by you, Love." he whispered as he brought Lil closer. Lil nodded and leaned her head on Wheatley's shoulder, placing his hand on her stomach.
This is what humanity was to Wheatley. He smiled as he felt his child kick within Lil. Wheatley still didn't get pregnancy, but whatever he didn't know, Lil happily filled him in. To him, it felt like the baby was in its own little universe and all those books Lil made Wheatley read just fascinated him more. "This is beautiful." He murmured softly. "We have a wonderful life, dear. Nothing could spoil how good I feel right now."
The doorbell spooked everyone. "That was fast. They must know we tip well." Lil murmured, as Wheatley helped her up. He watched Lil waddle as she walked and put his arms around her. Lil giggled and faced him with a big smile and a kiss. "Still excited about the house, I take it?" she asked happily.
"I still can't believe this is ours. Lock, stock, and barrel. Everything just seems to be falling into place." Wheatley murmured as he rubbed his wife's stomach. "I'll get some paint this weekend. Dr. Rattmann and I will start painting that spare bedroom. Anything is better than that ugly green color it has now."
Everyone got up from what they were doing and ran to the door. "Alright, let's not crowd the poor kid like last time." Lil shouted as she took Chelly's hand.
Wheatley reached into his back pocket and took out his wallet as he reached for the doorknob. A horrible sense of dread swept over his body. He hadn't felt anything like this since the first day the Androids came to live with him and Lil all those years ago. He felt the phantom of the implant, though it was long gone and he grabbed the back of his head. He didn't understand why he was feeling the tugging feeling at the back of his head or why he suddenly wanted to barricade the door and hide in the attic (which was currently in the process of being converted into a guest room/home office).
"Wheatley, what's wrong?" asked Lil, urging him to open the door.
"I just got…it's nothing, Love. Sorry, I'll get right on that." Wheatley murmured as the doorbell sounded again. Wheatley, despite the invisible force of the long gone implant telling him not to, turned the doorknob slowly and opened the front door. He was met by a wave of confetti and a lack luster noise maker sound. "What the bloody…" Wheatley waved the confetti from his face and looked out the door. On the porch stood an old lady wearing only white accompanied by two young adults.
Oh no… he thought, wondering why he hadn't slammed the door yet. He had no idea why he felt he knew this woman. The rest of the family walked up to the door and stared at the old lady, who held her purse close and held herself regally.
"Well, Moron…aren't you going to invite us in?" she asked, taking off her sunglasses. Though he wasn't sure why, Wheatley stepped out of the way and let the Old Lady and her two companions inside. The woman's yellow irises sent a horrible shock through Wheatley's body. The Old Lady tucked her sunglasses away in her purse and looked around. "Ahh, I see it's much nicer on the inside. I must say, I am genuinely impressed. That should be taken as a compliment; it actually takes a lot to impress me."
The Old Lady looked down as Angie wandered up to her and studied the lady for a bit. The Old Lady smiled. Angie returned the smile with a glint in her eyes. "GRANDMA!" she shouted, giving the lady a hug.
"GRANDMA?!" Wheatley, Lil, and Dr. Rattmann shouted together.
Angie happily hugged the Old Lady's legs with a big smile. "Grandma! Look at you! You have a body!" she shouted happily. "You look great, Grandma! I was going to wish for you to visit me on my birthday but now I don't have to! Look, Lil! Grandma's here!" Angie took the Old Lady's hand and helped her inside.
Angie was the only person happy to see this lady. "It…it can't be…" Wheatley murmured angrily. "Is is…really you…GLaDOS?" Wheatley sounded like he didn't want to say that name. The Old Lady smiled and nodded, giving Wheatley a very bad sickly feeling in his gut. "But how…" Wheatley couldn't find the words to describe what he was feeling. Was it anger? Surprise? A mixture of the two?
"If this is 'Grandma', why isn't she a giant computer attached to the wall?" Lil asked.
GLaDOS smiled softly. "All in due time, my dear. But first, I'm sure you remember…Uncle Blue and Aunt Orange?" she murmured as her companions joined her from the porch. "Or, what was it you called those two again? I keep forgetting the names they give themselves. Well, they accompanied me."
Lil looked like he was fighting to urge to scream and strangle the person-android-thing standing before her. Before she could say anything more, Angie shrieked happily. She looked like she was about to burst into tears upon seeing the two familiar androids happily greet her. "Mr. ATLAS? Miss Pee-Bee?" she chirped. ATLAS and P-Body nodded and bent down to embrace the child as she ran to them. Her hug almost sent them backward as she embraced them tightly. "I thought I'd never see you guys again. I never got to say good-bye." Angie whimpered. P-Body shushed Angie and stood up.
Wheatley stood there, not sure what to think. It had been three years since he had seen the last of Aperture and he had hoped it would stay the last. But there they were, apparently. The very embodiment of the things he had to overcome to get to where he was now were standing in his living room, hugging his sister-in-law. Lil looked like she had a tantrum brewing in her and Dr. Rattmann looked at his watch, wondering if it was time to take his medication for the evening.
"Well, I believe we have much to discuss. Where is it you humans usually adjourn to discuss important matters? It's the room where you stuff yourself with consumables." GLaDOS chimed in, looking around. She felt P-Body tug on her sleeve and chirp something in her mechanical language. "Ahh, yes, the kitchen. It looks like you don't need to spend any more time in there, my dear." GLaDOS goaded, pointing to Lil's pregnant belly. Lil fumed and tried to ignore that comment. GLaDOS blinked once and smiled, making her way toward the kitchen with her two companions following close behind. It was at that time the pizza delivery boy knocked on the open door.
After paying for the pizzas, Wheatley put them on the kitchen counter, feeling GLaDOS's gaze follow him. "This is a pretty nice house, Moron." She said, mockingly. "You and the older one must be doing quite well."
"We have names, I'm sure you remember." Wheatley murmured, making himself a pot of tea. Lil was unsure of what to make of this. Was this really GLaDOS, the machine that tried to suck Lil's consciousness out of her body and replace it with her own? Either way, Lil wasn't happy. She folded her arms as Wheatley prepared his cup of tea and sat down. From the kitchen doorway, one could see into the living room, where Angie was giving ATLAS and P-Body the grand tour.
GLaDOS smiled as she watched Wheatley place two spoonful's of sugar into his tea and stir it around. Lil didn't trust GLaDOS, nor did she ever have a reason to. Just three years before, she tried to take over her body and kill the man that would be her husband. Something in her mind made Lil suspect GLaDOS was up to something. "Alright, I'll make this short. What do you want? You obviously don't want a body, seeing as you somehow made one yourself. Which begs the question: Why did you try to suck out my brains and use mine?!" Lil screamed.
With a happy sigh (it sounded automated); GLaDOS folded her arms and copied Lil. "Remember when you were told that my deteriorating program kept me from making rational thoughts? That was one of them. After my two companions administered the 'Quick-Fix', as you would call it, into my systems, I began to slowly repair myself. In doing so, I remembered that I had made almost human bodies for those two, so I could also do it for myself. Though, I must say, mine is made from far superior materials and a lot more time went into it."
"That doesn't explain why you're here." Lil growled. She hated how calm everyone was being about this super-computer turned android sitting at her dining room table as if nothing happened.
With a soft chuckle, GLaDOS nodded. "Indeed it doesn't. You see, though I am happy within my lovely facility, it gets quite tiring. The Cooperative Testing Initiative and I decided we needed a little vacation. Thus, I had this little number made up…" GLaDOS rubbed her sides with her hands. Her android body had a lovely figure, which made Lil fume even more. "…of course, I'm not young. As a grandmother, I have to look the part." GLaDOS played with her hair a bit and smirked.
GLaDOS's eyes darted to her feet when she heard a soft coo. Her eyes widened in surprise at the sound's origin. At her feet sat Chelly, playing with some measuring cups Lil gave her to keep her occupied while the adults talked. "Oh, well, is this…" GLaDOS knelt down and stared at Chelly. Chelly had big brown eyes and dark brown hair. She got her complexion from her mother as well as her cheeks. Chelly gave GLaDOS an inquisitive look that reminded her of Wheatley. This child was equal parts Wheatley and Lil. "Yes…you're the one I sensed within your mother…"
Chelly chewed on her little fist as GLaDOS picked her up. "You already seem smarter than your father." she murmured softly as Chelly blinked. Lil immediately got up and grabbed Chelly from GLaDOS. "Well, looks like you finally did something right, Moron." She chuckled. Wheatley snorted a bit and folded his arms. GLaDOS looked at Chelly again as she wiggled about in Lil's arms. "The smallest human…what is her name?"
Sighing heavily and placing Chelly in her high chair, Lil went to the cabinet and took out a small plate. "Her name is Chell, but we call her Chelly." Lil growled as she took a slice of the now cold pizza and cut it up on the small plate. Lil placed the plate in front of Chelly and then went to find a sippy cup. Chelly looked into GLaDOS's eyes and gave her a worried expression. "Please don't scare my child." Lil growled again as she filled the sippy cup with apple juice.
"Hello there, Tiny One. Just call me Grandma." GLaDOS cooed softly. Lil gripped the sippy cup tightly and twisted the cap on. Chelly only cooed. "Can't she talk? Or is she mute like your mother?" asked GLaDOS.
"She's shy around new people." murmured Wheatley, sipping his tea. "Particularly old ladies with yellow eyes who come in out of nowhere claiming to be her great grandmother." He added. GLaDOS huffed and fixed herself up a bit. Dr. Rattmann, who had been silent the entire time, kept himself in a semi-meditative state. GLaDOS barely recognized him without the scraggly beard and the insane look in his eyes. He looked almost placid and held himself in a chill manner.
Lil called Angie into the dining room and set a plate with a slice of pizza on it in her spot. Angie scampered in with the Androids right on her tail. "So, I should just call you Uncle ATLAS and Aunt P-Body now?" Angie asked as she sat in her chair. Being older, Angie was able to pronounce P-Body's name without problem. The Androids nodded and stood near Angie. "Sorry we don't have enough chairs. Grandma is sitting where Grandpa usually sits and Grandpa is sitting where Lil sits and Wheatley is sitting where…he usually sits." Angie giggled. Angie had stopped calling Wheatley "Mr. Wheatley" around the time he and Lil were married. He was her brother-in-law now and the "Mr." wasn't necessary.
After Wheatley found some extra chairs, the family sat down to their dinner. GLaDOS watched as the crowded dining room table bustled with laughter and smiles of a family. She stayed stoically in her spot as Angie tried to feed ATLAS and P-Body some of her pizza and as Chelly made a mess of her piece. Something twitched within GLaDOS, and she made a note to do diagnostics on herself later.
"So, if you and the Androids are here, who's running the facility?" Dr. Rattmann finally asked after finishing his slice.
GLaDOS tapped her right temple softly and smiled. "Remote access. I can keep an eye on the facility while still wandering around here. This is the part I worked extra hard on. With it, I can still send messages to the test subjects and keep everything running. It normally would take up too much power, but this body is built to last. It's more powerful than any modern computer." said GLaDOS, somewhat self-satisfyingly.
Coughing softly, Lil stood up and started taking plates. She was so mad she could swear the amniotic fluid in her womb was boiling. Not wanting to stress out herself or the baby, Lil decided it was time to step in and do something before she started pulling out her hair. "Well, this has been fun, 'Grandma', but it's getting late and we all need our rest. That's something we humans do. Sleep…"
"Ah, yes, it IS quite late." GLaDOS stood up and looked at Angie. "Our journey was long, as we had to walk all the way here. We should indeed power down for the night. I'd say I need my beauty sleep, but that would be inaccurate. Your wife on the other hand could use a full eight hours, it seems." GLaDOS chuckled as Lil gritted her teeth. "We can discuss more tomorrow. Small one, please show us where we will be staying." GLaDOS fixed herself up a bit as Angie excitedly ran to her.
Wheatley's eyes bolted open. "Staying?" he panicked, almost knocking the chair over. "What do you mean by 'staying'? You can't stay here!" he shouted.
"Where do you expect us to stay? We're on vacation after all, and we have nowhere to go. You wouldn't throw out family, would you?" GLaDOS goaded. Wheatley balled up his fists and was about to say something when he felt Lil grab his shoulder.
"Excuse us, please…" she murmured, dragging Wheatley into the living room. Lil made sure no one was listening before glaring at Wheatley. "We can NOT let her stay here. ATLAS and P-Body are fine, but this woman, robot, android, whatever tried to suck me out of my own body!" Lil tried to keep her voice down. Wheatley rubbed Lil's shoulders and tried to calm her down. "Secondly, we don't have any room for them! They are NOT staying in the spare bedroom, that's going to be the nursery."
Wheatley, trying his hardest to calm Lil down, sighed softly. "I know, Love. Look, we'll make ourselves very clear. We don't want her here, we want her to leave, no stress. Alright?"
Lil took a deep breath and nodded. She placed her hands on her pregnant belly and took another deep breath. Lil then put on her war face. "If she thinks she can try and suck out my brains and get forgiveness, she's sadly mistaken!" Lil growled, balling her fists and marching back to the kitchen. Wheatley shook his head and followed behind.
"Are you really staying here, Grandma?" asked Angie, as Lil and Wheatley reentered the kitchen.
"For the duration of our vacation, yes, Small One, we are." answered GLaDOS.
Angie beamed happily and took GLaDOS's hand. "This will be so cool! I'll show you everything! Grandpa and Wheatley have been fixing up everything to get ready for the new baby! I'll show you the backyard, the cool playground down the street, the other bookstore with the comic books, and the shortest route to my school that Lil doesn't like taking because of the railroad tracks!"
GLaDOS nodded happily as Angie tugged on her hand. Wheatley and Lil entered the kitchen just as Angie was leading GLaDOS toward the living room. "Our new house is so big! We have plenty of room for you guys! We got tall ceilings because Wheatley keeps hitting his head on stuff. Grandpa lives downstairs, my room is upstairs across from Chelly's and right next to the new baby's room. Wheatley and Lil stay in the big room at the end of the hallway from my room. Sometimes at night, I can hear them playing this really loud game where Lil shouts 'Yes, yes, Wheaters, keep going, more, more!' over and over…"
Lil rushed to Angie and covered her mouth while laughing nervously. "Angie, don't bore Grandma…why don't you go get Chelly and get ready for bed…" Lil pushed Angie back towards the kitchen as GLaDOS chuckled softly and watched the two humans before her blush. Wheatley cleared his throat and Lil stood straight. "Alright, we've discussed it and we want you out. Now!" Lil said plainly.
Blinking softly, GLaDOS made no other movements. "Well, that's too bad. I understand your hesitation, and I am not offended. I was wrong for what I did. I'd apologize, but that'd be beneath both of us." If there was any doubt in his mind that this was indeed GLaDOS, Wheatley's fears were at that moment put to rest. "You wouldn't understand the situation, so I won't bother explaining it. The fact of the matter is we have nowhere else to go and we don't intend to leave. We'll stay on the porch if need be, but we aren't going anywhere. This is our vacation, and we plan to spend time with our family…"
Wheatley balled up his fists and gritted his teeth. "Now you listen here…!"
He didn't get to finish his sentence when Angie ran up with Chelly trailing behind. "Chelly, Grandma is staying with us! Isn't that great?" Angie asked. Chelly nodded softly, her big brown eyes looking GLaDOS over. "She can come with us to the park and she can come to my school for Family Day so I can prove to that meanie Melanie Anderson that I do have a grandmother."
"This 'Melanie Anderson' child said you didn't have a grandmother?" asked GLaDOS as Angie and Chelly led her to the couch.
"I tried to tell her you lived in a super cool science lab and she called me a liar because you weren't in the family picture I gave my teacher to put on our photo wall." Angie whimpered, plopping herself and Chelly down next to GLaDOS. "She called me a liar and made the whole class laugh at me. She's just jealous because her grandparents are retired and aren't as cool as you and Grandpa."
GLaDOS smiled deviously and placed her hands on her lap. "We'll set this 'Melanie Anderson' person straight. Don't worry, Small One. Now, why don't you and the Tiny One go get ready for bed?" GLaDOS smiled as Angie led Chelly towards the stairs. GLaDOS got up and smiled deviously to Wheatley and Lil. "Well, it seems they want me to stay. My scans indicate that there is a spare bedroom and an attic in this house."
Lil folded her arms and thought about locking GLaDOS in said attic. "Yes, but the spare bedroom is being made into a nursery for the baby and the attic is in the process of being converted into a guest room." Wheatley piped up. "So, as you can see, no room for 'Gran', unless you want to sleep in the tool shed out back. No? Oh, that's too bad, let me just help you to the door…" Wheatley started rushing GLaDOS to the front door. "I hope you have a good trip back to Aperture, we'll see you in, oh, when's an appropriate time for a visit, do you think? How about the Tuesday after NEVER? Does that sound good? Because it sounds great to me!"
Wheatley then he found himself stopped by GLaDOS digging her heels into the floor. "A home office/guest room out of the attic? Why, that will be a perfect place to 'set up shop' as they say." GLaDOS chuckled as she started going toward the staircase. Lil blocked her path.
"Listen, 'Grandma', as lovely and unwanted as your being here is, we made it very clear that…" Lil found herself interrupted by Angie and Chelly coming downstairs in their night clothes.
"Grandpa and Wheatley are making the attic into an office and a bedroom, Grandma. You can stay there!" Angie shouted as GLaDOS took her hand. "I have a bunk bed in my room so Aunt P-Body can stay with me and Uncle ATLAS can stay in the basement with Grandpa since he has a spare cot! Won't this be fun, Lil?" Angie asked excitedly.
Lil looked at Wheatley and sighed. "I guess it's better than them sleeping in the pantry like last time…"
It seemed that Wheatley and Lil's minds had been made for them. Dr. Rattmann joined the two bewildered adults as Angie helped GLaDOS towards the stairs with ATLAS, P-Body, and Chelly trailing behind them. "I thought we bought this house because we wanted more room. Now, there's even less room than before." Wheatley whined, his right eye twitching. Dr. Rattmann, a bit lucid from taking his medication, patted Wheatley and Lil on their backs and made his way toward the basement door. He apparently had to set up the spare cot.
Wheatley sat Lil next to him on the couch as they listened to all the excitement happening around their home. Angie and Chelly shrieking happily as they helped "Grandma" get the attic room ready above them, Dr. Rattmann grunting loudly as he pulled the spare cot from its spot under his bed and the noise it made as he dragged it across his floor under them, and now their own exasperated sighs.
Lil rested her head on Wheatley's shoulder, nothing needing to be said. "Well, home sweet home, as they say…" Wheatley muttered. "I doubt I was going to use the attic as an office anyway."
With a few adjustments, the attic/guest room/office was now GLaDOS's space. While she was sure the noise of her preparing her new quarters would keep the others awake, GLaDOS worked hurriedly and finally set up her equipment. How she fit all of it into the purse was something she didn't bother to explain to anyone.
Her purse, a patent pending "Aperture Science Travel-Sized Trans-dimensional Storage Carrier, Ladies Edition in white suede" let her carry any and everything she needed to turn the attic/guest room/office into her own mini facility. With one flick of a switch, GLaDOS was now online with Aperture again, keeping an eye on the entire facility from the remote access in her head and in the attic/guest room/office. Her android body, though very powerful, still needed to be recharged. Hauling around that kind of computing power in her "Grandma" body took a lot of energy.
With an automated sigh, GLaDOS had finished setting up her equipment. She and the Androids may have been on vacation, but there was still work to do. She took out a cable and lifted up the bun she had her hair in, revealing an auxiliary port. She hooked a cable into the port and hooked the other end into the computer. After a flash of one and zeros, GLaDOS was once again hooked into the Aperture Science database. After some typing, she found her way into the security feed and leaned back in her chair with a smile.
"Well, it's good to see total anarchy hasn't befallen my facility." She murmured. As if looking for something specific, GLaDOS glided across the feeds and stopped at one in particular. It was of the incinerator room or the entrance of it anyway. The door, which was made of high grade heat resistant metals, had been yanked off and sat on the ground, hanging on by one hinge. GLaDOS was in complete denial over the truth and she preferred it that way. "A turret must have combusted near the door…yeah…"
The truth was far more sinister and she felt she could hear it laughing at her from an area out of the camera's reach. She found the feed to the Central A.I. Chamber and sighed her happy automated sigh. Her chassis was still there, untouched. She synced her new body with her chassis and could keep an eye simultaneously on the facility and her surroundings should an emergency arise. But she could feel herself grow tired, as her energy was running low. She needed to recharge.
Tomorrow was a big day.
N'cha, everyone! The name is Luna Peachie (Miss Peachie if you're naughty hehehe)! But you guys already know that, right?
Well, here it is, the sequel to "Reconstructing Humanity" has finally arrived! This story won't be as long as its predecessor, but I do have high hopes for it. Most of the story will take on a "slice of life" type of storyline, which I have a lot planned. You'll see plenty of GLaDOS and her Androids attempting to glide across the world of their human "family" and all around making life miserable for the adults of the Pendleton household.
There will be plenty of time to explain that later, Okie? I hope in my heart of hearts that this story will take off just like its predecessor. Either way, I have a lot of work ahead of me, don't I? Well, I'm just glad you guys are around to enjoy this momentous occasion with me. I love you guys.
Well my dears let me know how I did and if I should continue! Because I really, really, really, want to continue this! I have so much planned, it's crazy!
Read, review, and be merry, my doves!
GLaDOS, Wheatley, ATLAS, P-Body, and Dr. Rattmann belong to Valve.