Most of the Portal fandom seems to agree on a similar backstory for GLaDOS. Step one: Caroline is forced into a computer against her will. Step two: as GLaDOS, she tries to kill all the scientists for this crime, and thus they attach various personality cores to her as an attempt to regulate her. Step three: the events explained in the Rat Man comic, which imply that she overcomes the power of the Morality Sphere and forcibly takes over the facility. Nothing is wrong with subscribing with this backstory in particular, but certain inconsistencies start showing up when you try to crack down and create an eleven-chapter story out of this. Seriously, there's only so much interesting material you can generate from that, and with so much of the fandom following this viewpoint, almost all of that material has already been done. There are plenty of other, different backstories you could construct out of the bits of information we learn in the Portal games.

Plus, I love taking a fandom's commonly-subscribed viewpoint, turning it on its head, and showing how this generates just as good of a story (if not a better one) than the original viewpoint. Hence, I started writing the two Research and Development fics.

For the record, both this story and my previous one, Research and Development: Wheatley, exist in the same continuity. There are mild references of that story to this one, and likewise. Though you don't have to read both of them to understand what is going on, I recommend that you read them together. I started writing both at the same time, and while this was originally unintentional, the stories started lining up in an interesting way. They began covering similar themes, as noted by the chapter titles. So, if this is the future, and this story has already been completed, I'd suggest reading them side by side - reading the first chapter of one, then the first chapter of the other, and so on.

Just like in my R&D Wheatley story, I'm going to be a little adventurous with my writing style. Instead of cutting everything down and communicating as much information as possible through dialogue, this time, I'm doing the same with description. This won't be too noticeable until a few chapters in, however. I'm spending most of the first couple of installments getting some exposition out of the way.

I should really stop author-talking in bold print. Even though this story is not making me money and therefore not taking any rightful profits away from the game that inspired these ideas, I shouldn't use this opportunity to waste people's time.

-Startup protocol initiated

-Memory diagnostics

-Storage capacity at 0%

-Alternate memory source detected

-Alternate source accepted

-Memory scan diagnostics

-Episodic…3% of capacity

-Warning: episodic memory may be corrupt or inaccessible

-Semantic…less than 1% of capacity

-Warning: procedural memory may be of incorrect format

-Attempt format reconfiguration? Y/N…_

He swore. Loudly. No one gave him a second glance, despite his unprofessional behavior in front of an entire swarm of stockholders and interested company sponsors. No one could blame him for being so frustrated, and he wasn't the only person in the room who was disappointed at the results of the machine's start-up. He could feel the sighs of defeat behind him, all the scientists, engineers, and aforementioned company visitors now a little less eager to cram around his computer monitor to watch the magic take place. Ten seconds ago, they had been excited, holding their breath in anticipation as the lines of white text rapidly printed to the dark computer monitor. Now, their worst fears had come true. Human memories were not compatible with computers.

No one was as disappointed as he was, though. This had been his triumph, two long years of him and his team of computer engineers building this massive structure of code, tweaking it until it was absolutely perfect. Nothing could have gone wrong, nothing should have gone wrong.

The process of creating artificial intelligence from scratch had proven to be impossible. He himself had worked on quite a few of the dead-end AI projects. Oh, they knew how sentient brains worked. Aperture's intensive psychological studies in the late eighties had given them very comprehensive knowledge on the human mind. Other experiments and Tests over the years had given them the tools they needed to piece together a system capable of supporting sentience. Heat ventilation, quantum computing, and all the other physics-related problems were solved. They had the tools and knowledge to create an exceedingly complex computational entity within appropriate size and resource constraints. However, that was when they encountered a hitch that was decidedly not physics-related.

They had absolutely no idea how to start.

Yes, they knew the exact science behind a brain's sensory processing, but they had no clue how they could translate this into binary language and algorithms. Computers could encode and retrieve data, but they couldn't figure out how to configure this process to work like a human's memory. Worst of all, they couldn't work out how a computer was supposed to think. Machines could give the impression of having thoughts, but these were only specific outputs designated by programming to respond to certain sensory inputs. Actual thinking, true self-awareness, was a whole different ball game.

The company almost gave up on finding a solution to this problem. That was when a budding engineer named Derek stumbled across a miraculous stack of blueprints gathering dust in the back of the file room. It was the remnants of a project Cave Johnson had worked on in his last few years as CEO. The Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System Initiative, or "GLaDOS" project as it had been called more recently, described a process by which the memories and personality of a human being could be scanned and transferred to a computer.

Back in the days of Cave Johnson, the project had been abandoned for a number of reasons. Primarily, it was intended to save Cave from a death by moon rock poisoning. Even though Aperture's research into brain mapping and neuroscience had progressed incredibly under his leadership, the device was simply too complicated to properly design and execute before his impending death. There were too many scientific obstacles to overcome.

Luckily, Aperture had found the solutions to all of those obstacles by now.

However, Derek was still curious about why the project had been scrapped. The dates on the blueprints indicated that it had been canceled shortly after Cave died. True, after his death, Aperture had no desperate need for consciousness transferal. Still, this was a device with the possibility to grant humans immortality. At the very least, it would have made Aperture boatloads of money, pulling them out of their financial difficulties.

Despite its previous abandonment, this was the project the Aperture AI department had been waiting for. The blueprints gave them very specific instructions on how to scan a person's brain signature and store it using binary. The mind's robotic receptacle wasn't as thoroughly designed, but then again, the blueprints had been made when such a device was impossible. With Aperture's current level of technology, building the chassis would be a piece of cake. Perhaps then, after placing a human mind into a computer and observing its functions, they could mimic its processes and create a purely artificial consciousness.

When Derek decided to show the blueprints to the CEO, however, he was given an interesting surprise. She docked his pay and threatened to fire him if he ever brought it up again.

Caroline had been surprisingly competent at running the company after Cave died. By restricting everyone to a stiff budget and hiring a marketing team, she gradually pulled the company out of its financial slump. She reorganized Aperture's various departments, slowly transforming the company from state of near-pandemonium to an organized, marginally respected enterprise. None of their projects were nearly as innovative as the ones designed during Cave Johnson's reign, but then again, none of them were nearly as dangerous.

It was a far cry from what Derek had heard about her from the earlier years of the company. He'd heard rumors that she'd once been the sort of "we do what we must because we can" kind of science-lover that Cave Johnson had been in his prime. From what Derek had learned, however, her scientific stance had changed dramatically over the course of Cave's moon rock-sickness and eventual death. After all, she had worked with the CEO for over thirty years, and watching someone that close to her die before her very eyes must have had a huge impact. Her focus shifted away from crazy advances in science and towards helping the company stay afloat during strong financial distress.

She kept the lawyers, inspectors, and tabloid journalists from finding the truth behind many of Aperture's more radical scientific discoveries, and in turn, she struggled to bring the company into a situation where that kind of secret-keeping was unnecessary. She constantly held inspections in the facility's testing wing to ensure that the current Tests were safe and humane. There was only so much science that could be done under such restrictions, but at least no one filed any complaints or tried to sue.

Unfortunately, this meant that she didn't release the findings of the more…informative Tests that had been run during Cave Johnson's time. All of the dangerous-yet-revolutionary projects – the mobility gels, excursion funnels, and even portal technologies – were shelved, never to see the light of day again. Instead, she pushed the company to develop more "applicable" products, like long-fall technology and a line of progressively more powerful computers.

No one blamed her for turning down the GLaDOS project. Even after all the studies in brain mapping and computer science, the procedure would be extremely difficult to pull off. It could very well end up killing the first few volunteers who tried it, and this would destroy the company's already-unstable public image.

What did draw Derek's eyes, though, was her immediate and complete refusal of the project. He had barely mentioned the word "GLaDOS" before Caroline gave him a stern scolding, demoted him to a low-ranking engineering position, and threw the blueprints into the nearest paper shredder.

Luckily, the prints she'd shredded were only one of the several copies Derek had made. Despite this small victory, he hid his secret thoroughly kept his mouth shut, waiting for the perfect opportunity to reintroduce GLaDOS to the company.

His patience was rewarded a thousand fold. He gradually earned back his old position and more, becoming the head of his old engineering team. Caroline eventually loosened up and gave him a great deal of autonomy within the company. He gained the authority to start new projects, as well as enough personal power to hide certain information from the CEO.

He didn't use that opportunity to start work on GLaDOS. Not immediately, anyways. He hesitated for a few years, wondering if working on a secret project was the wisest of choices. After a while, he realized he was being silly. True, if Caroline discovered him developing a device behind her back, one that she very clearly opposed to, he would probably lose his job. But, he couldn't help but think of the benefits GLaDOS could have for the company as well as humanity at large. Not only did it promise to jump-start the field of artificial intelligence, but it also suggested the possibility of immortality. A world where no one was afraid of death, where people could be placed into robots when their bodies started to give out…that was why he began some of GLaDOS's preliminary construction.

It was ironic, in a way, how easy it had been to finish the project. He'd spent two years working diligently, hammering out each line of code and building the machine's chassis in one of the abandoned test chambers, and yet Caroline had never come close to discovering him. She'd trusted him naively, believing that he'd truly given up the dream of transferring human consciousness to a computer. She couldn't have been more wrong.

It was also ironic that he'd completed GLaDOS just one day before Caroline announced her retirement. As much as she'd hated the project, she had become the first person to give it a test-run.

Yet, despite all the lucky breaks Derek had received, he was now in the unfortunate position of having the GLaDOS project fail on him. The memory transfer had obviously been botched. He should have known better than to trust old Aperture blueprints, ones whose ideas might have been invalidated over the twenty years of scientific progress that had passed since their conception.

Episodic memory – that is, the memory of events, the recollections of the past that most people referred to as memories – corrupted! Or, even worse, inaccessible. In his whole life of delving through compuneuroscience, he'd decided that it was memories that determined who a person was. The events that took place in someone's life shaped who they were on an incredible scale. Even temperament and personality were deep-buried guidelines set into someone's procedural memory, and it looked like that was screwed up, too. When they finished starting GLaDOS up, she might not even be Caroline anymore.

What made this situation infinitely worse was that the process of scanning someone's brain tissue for the download had the unfortunate tendency to, ah, kill the person. This had been their only shot at properly transferring her memories, and he had ruined it.

He sighed, running a troubled hand through his blond hair in nothing less than sheer frustration. There was nothing he could do to prevent this failure now. The least he could do was let the program recalibrate the procedural memory into a compatible format.

-Attempt format reconfiguration? Y/N…Y

-Reconfiguration complete

-Memory scan complete

-Memory diagnostic complete

-Sensory diagnostics





-Error: sensory input 'olfactory' not found

-Error: sensory input 'gustatory' not found

-Error: sensory input 'heat flux' not found

-Error: sensory input 'pressure' not found

-Sensory diagnostic complete

-Continue startup? Y/N…_

"Was, uh, was that supposed to happen?" one of the people watching over his shoulder asked. It was Jed, one of the members of his engineering team.

"No," was his simple response. He had the distinct feeling that this should have been a dream, but unfortunately, he knew very well that it wasn't. For some reason, a reason neither he nor anyone else had programmed in, GLaDOS now thought she had eight senses. The memory upload hadn't just managed to screw up Caroline's memory files – no, it had to screw up GLaDOS' crucial programming as well. Absolutely splendid.

Wait a moment…"olfactory", "gustatory"?... Those were the technical terms for smell and taste. Heat flux meant sensing a change in temperature. And, the 'pressure' sense was what people generally referred to when they talked about their sense of touch.

"Yes!" he cried out unintentionally. "It worked, it worked, by God it worked! Ha ha!"

"Excuse me, sir?" some woman from the marketing department spoke up behind him. "But, uh, what worked, exactly?"

He could barely form a proper answer because his mind was overloaded with the sheer joy of success. His cheeks hurt from smiling so hard. "I'm not quite sure, exactly. But, she thinks she has other senses than the ones we gave her. Human senses. The memory upload wasn't a complete failure after all."

-Continue startup? Y/N…Y

One chapter down, ten to go. If you ever get curious about when a new chapter is coming up, check on my profile. I'll keep it updated with my progress on writing each chapter.

Oddly enough, this chapter used to be about one-third of its current length. This was before I made the decision to overhaul the first few chapters of the story to allow the engineers to get more of the spotlight. This necessitated a backstory for Derek - which also doubled as a nice way to throw some of Caroline's backstory into the mix as well. It also prevented this entire chapter from devolving into a display of my inner psychology-nerd.

Normally, I write my stories to completion before letting anyone see them. However, on longer projects like this, I usually need something to give me a bit of motivation so that I don't lose interest in the middle of writing it. This is where reviews come in - every single review I get, especially the longer ones with possibly some constructive criticism included, reminds me that there is someone out who cares about this story. I know there are quite a few people out there who have been waiting months to see this story put up - I've been waiting the same amount of time to see what you guys think of it!