I can't even begin to explain how busy I have been! I know that I have posted a few one-shots here and there, but I really wanted to wait until I had time to really do this right.
Let me just say, I am not abandoning this story. I just need patience from you all between updates! Thanks for waiting, and sticking around! Please enjoy until next time!
The boys didn't know what to look at. On one hand, Dean was still processing what just happened. He fell through the wall. Because of those things. Dean doesn't think he can summon the strength to stand.
Sam was looking at the girl. Even if she was just a test subject, she knew what she was doing. The way she carried the gun exuded a strange sort of confidence. Perhaps it was just Sam being cocky, but he sympathized with that confidence. Hell, if there he possessed technology like that, he would be shouting it from the rooftops.
"Dean, this is huge." Sam is nearly inaudible, and is staring at the portal gun tucked under her arm.
"Ya think?" Dean grits his answer through his teeth and jerks up to stand.
"This is huge. We haven't dealt with anything like this."
"I'm gonna need you to stop saying that. We'll deal with it. We've got the girl, and whatever else this town knows." Dean bends to pick up one of the strange boots from the ground. Turning it over in his hand, he traces his fingers over the cool metal of the spring, and the place where the heel should be.
"I can't believe you can walk in these. They're like stripper boots from the future." With a smirk from Dean and a glance to his brother, Dean flings the boot through the portal on the ground, and nimbly catches it.
"I think I'm getting the hang of this!" Dean continues throwing things through the portals and catching them. With a suggestive glance towards Sam, Dean hops through the floor portal and comes out through the wall. Sam huffs and rolls his eyes, still a bit weary of the impressive technology.
"Dean, I don't think you should be messing with that. It could be radioactive, or
"Come on. Of all the things to kill me, do you really think that some invisible waves are going to do me in?"
"Well she's a test subject, so you never know." Sam doesn't relent his look, but he is crumbling internally. He really wants to try his hand at it.
"You know you want to, Sammy." Yes, yes he does.
Sam grabs the strange boot from Dean's hand and drops it through the floor. Catching it, curiosity gets the best of him, and he jumps on through.
It was like a rush he never felt before. His stomach dropped, but then he was jolting sideways onto the floor. A blur of blue and orange block his vision for only the slightest of moments. Sitting at Dean's feet, Sam is uncertain of what he should feel.
Sam recants his mental note of being cocky about this technology. Now that he has experienced it, he is really knows nothing of what to feel, but his gut is telling him not to trust it.
"This kind of technology shouldn't exist, at least not yet. This has to be decades of research, and I don't even know how much money. This shouldn't be possible." Sam stands and walks to the foot of the bed, where Chell is sleeping. Finally taking a break from their boyish curiosity, the pair notice she is sleeping quite fitfully.
She is lying flat on her back, legs spread apart, and one arm extended out. The other arm is still holding the gun. Only her head is moving. Her eyes tighten and relax at odd intervals. Slight jerks of her head are the only noticeable movement, but she still sleeps.
Sam considers waking her, but thinks twice. He is all too familiar with those restless sleeps, and thinks it will be smarter to plot their next move before the woman wakes.
"People. They used people. Human test subjects. She's one of them," Dean speaks out, his mind racing a mile a minute. Chilled, Dean doesn't know what they can possible do now.
Of course, it all makes sense. The only way that Aperture could progress so quickly was by thrusting the potentially shoddy research on people. Sam is thinking the same thing, noting that there is a reason why human trials for vaccinations and treatments occur when it is guaranteed safe.
"What came first, the gun or the boots?" Sam muttered. Dean shakes his head. He thinks that they don't want to know.
With a sudden gasp from the sleeping woman, the heads of the brothers turn to face her, but she still doesn't wake.
"Sam, we need to help her. This case might be out of our league, but we need to help her. She knows."
"She has no reason to help us. We found her in a wheat field with a burnt box. She obviously got out. She has nothing to gain by helping us." Sam doubts that she is going to want anything to do with the Winchesters when she finally becomes aware of just how deep they are planning to go.
"Maybe, but she has a lot to lose by going off by herself. I think she wants to help at least a bit. She came to us!" Sam considers this. It will all be on her, he supposes. With a shrug, he jumps into the other twin bed.
"Do we need to worry about her taking off?" Dean slouches into the couch and covers his eyes.
"Nah, we'll hear her." As the strange party in this desolate part of Michigan nods off, Sam and Dean are unnerved by the third person sharing their space. It isn't so much the fact that she's a stranger with a weapon that may or may not be a weapon, it's the obnoxious orange glow from the damned thing she was holding.
The night passes uneventfully. From a lifetime of hunting, both men sleep with one eye open, but find it unnecessary. Chell makes no attempt to flee or harm the pair while they sleep. The next morning, she wakes and sits up in bed, half expecting to be back in her relaxation vault. Instead, the tall man in the bed next to her, and his scruffy brother on the opposite couch are still snoozing.
Pleased to be in a soft bed and not in the corner of a testing chamber, she carries her portal gun into the bathroom, just in case the boys try to do anything bold. She winces as her swollen feet touch the hard ground, and softly shuts the door.
As she does, Sam and Dean bolt up and look at each other. Without words, the two decide to feign their sleep, just to see what she will do. Sam nods and lays back down. Dean resumes his position, but lets his eyes wander over the ceiling.
Chell exits the bathroom and sits on the edge of her bed. Flipping through the TV, she cannot believe just how much she has missed. The news baffles her, as she has no idea about anything going on, and morning talk shows mean nothing, since she can't identify the celebrities being interviewed. Settling for a national news broadcast, Chell begins to rub her sore feet, trying to think of the last time she had taken her boots off.
Oh yeah. Her surgically implanted long fall springs. The boots are endlessly better.
As the newscaster's voice returns from the commercial, Dean sits up and glances at Chell, who responds with a sheepish smile. Dean mulls about, grabbing Chell a glass of water before jumping into the shower.
As the sounds of the pouring water begin, it's Sam's turn to get up and greet Chell good morning.
They watch TV in silence until Dean emerges fully dresses and dry, who takes a seat back on the couch. Clearing her throat, Chell looks both of the brothers in the eye before turning off the TV and taking a breath.
"You wouldn't help me for nothing, so I guess you want to know." Chell's voice still is not whole, and by the pain in her throat, she is uncertain of when it will be back to normal. She sips from her glass and wait for the inevitable yes. The brothers wait to respond until her focus returns.
Sam gives a soft 'yes', and Chell solemnly nods, with her eyes closed. She doesn't mind telling them. She isn't 'haunted' by her time, per se, just really, really mad that she had to test for so long, and against her will.
She begins in a voice barely above a whisper. To hear, Dean moves to sit next to his brother. She tells of her first memory, waking up in the white, glass pod, back when Aperture still looked like a research facility. The tests were alright. Tricky at times, yes, but not as bad as dealing with the AI that guided her. Her method of retaliation was to simply not speak, to not fuel whatever the surprisingly responsive computer had in mind.
She told of the Rattmann's dens, and how she was almost burned at the conclusion of her testing track. That threw Sam for a loop. Not only were humans being used as subjects, they were being discarded for no apparent reason. Chell nodded in between her sips of water. Her throat may be hurting, but she is pleased that she is no longer coughing.
She finishes the first half of her story with her fight against GLaDOS, and elaborates on the use of neurotoxin in the facilities. She remembers being let go, only to be dragged back in and put into her relaxation vault. She has no idea how long she was asleep, but when she was, the facilities were in ruin. Overgrowth everywhere, and the introduction of Wheatley. She was so close to freedom, until GLaDOS returned, out for revenge.
Recanting through her trials through the testing tracks, and the buried spheres of the facilities, she finally ends her tale with defeating Wheatley by shooting a portal onto the moon. Sam choked on the water he was sipping, but the blank glare Chell gave him left no room for error. She was serious.
"Moon rocks are portal conductors. The ground up powder is poisonous and is what killed the founder, Cave Johnson." Wiping the water off his shirt, Sam nodded and Chell continued.
"She let me go. She knew she couldn't kill me so the best think she could do would be to let me go. I was lifted up this elevator and pushed out of this shack in the middle of the wheat field. I wandered for days before I ran into you."
The boys don't know how to respond. This isn't anything supernatural at all; it's a computer with abilities even Chell doesn't know about. Initially, it is so insane that neither Dean nor same want to admit they believe her, but from what they can see with the portal gun, it has to be true.
"So, is she, the computer, done testing humans, if she's testing robots? Is she still a threat?" Dean spoke first.
"I don't know. She just said that that I should never come back. I don't know what more can be done." Chell cleared her throat, pleased she was able to talk as much as she did without pain.
Dean rolled his head over, thinking about how to proceed from here. This isn't like anything they are familiar with, and he can't get over that.
"If we're going to do this, we can't do it alone." Chell locked eyes with Dean and bit her lip.
"I don't know what I can do, but if I can help, I will try."
Even though the Winchesters have her knowledge, the weight of the task at hand pressed the room.
Sam nods a quick yes, and lifts himself from the bed to stand.
"Alright. Tell us about the gun."
Chell smiles. Her story is one thing, her skill-set is another.
I'm excited for the next chapter! She talks about her gun, the boots, and the companion cube.
I didn't want to bore you to tears by repeating her entire story, so I hope you will be ok settling with this.