When you have one dream that you dedicate your entire life to dreaming about, what is there left to do when that dream comes true?

All Chell wanted was freedom. Every test, every day spent in Aperture, every brush with death she was pining for freedom.

And all of a sudden, she had it.

And all she had to do was shoot a portal on the moon.

GLaDOS had granted her her freedom after all those years of being tortured in chambers and wasting life in Cryo-sleep. And for what? Science? All the contact with Aperture products worked! The portal gun, the repulsion gel, conversion gel, hard light bridges, her long fall boots too.

Especially her long fall boots. She was thrilled they had removed her surgically implanted leg braces, but the thought of all the people who suffered and died before her to make these things work, she was beyond lucky. If she was trapped, testing forever, at least she would be alive and not testing the truly risky gadgets.

But she was free! And she had her companion cube! What more could be asked?

Well, many things actually. For one, she was in the middle of a wheat field, and unsure when the adrenal vapor would run out of her body. And then what could she do?

Eat wheat straight?

What a stupid thought! Chell quickly averted her focus.

The world. What has the world come to? What happened to Aperture? Where is she going to go? What happened while she was under?

So many questions, and no one to answer them. But first and foremost, where was she to go?

With no information and not a friend in the world, where is she going to go? Would people even be there to find? A lot could have happened.

With a burst of love and happiness, she looked to the sun, thrilled to be in natural, warm light and breathing clean air.

She forgot how beautiful the sun was. Maybe she never knew. All her memories were fuzzy, corrupted with GLaDOS' smear tactics.

But here she was! Free at last! With the largest smile she mustered in a long time, she let out a croaked half to the sky, followed by a coughing fit.

It's been awhile.

She smiled once more.

With a renewed sense of optimism, she took another look around her and saw the faintest trace of a trail leading through the wheat. With no other options than wandering aimlessly, she picked up the cube with the gun, marginally surprised it wasn't taken, and left to follow the trail.

xxx

Her sense of distance was biased as she was so fit. Miles after miles blew by, hindered not by her tiring legs, but the bulkiness of the cube, but evened out with the springiness of her boots. After so long, she began to grow doubtful, thinking perhaps she is following the trail of an animal, until in the far far distance, she saw a wall of grey and the faintest outline of various levels of buildings.

At was Aperture for sure, but at least there would be a road.

With purpose, she continued walking past the golden glow of wheat, not taking the air, sun and quiet for granted. She let her mind go blank as she methodically wandered. No use being pessimistic about the world. She was free, and if she was the last alive in a post-apocalyptic world, she would much rather die in an abandoned luxury shoe store than in a death camp that took the lives of thousands.

At one point, her mind wandered back to when Wheatley pulled her from Cryo-sleep. As he navigated her to the testing track, she couldn't help but notice all the different pods that surely contained people. Surely if she could survive, they could too? What if they were still there, not dead or alive until someone (she?) opened the box? And Wheatley by chance chose her?

No.

She shook the thought from her mind. There would be no way to reach them, anyway. She only felt more determination to continue as the skyline morphed into a more definitive outline of civilization.

She was okay, she will be okay, and she survived Aperture, she could survive this.