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Portal - Cake 1

Portal: Still Alive - Chapter 4 - Memories

Posted on 2008.01.07 at 23:13
Current Music:: Lene Marlin - Fight Against The Hours
Tags: , ,
Title: Portal: Still Alive
Chapter: 4/9
Word Count: 5,863
Synopsis: Red regains her memory.
Warning: Long chapter.

For previous or later chapters please consult the preface.


Portal: Still Alive
Chapter 4: Memories


Chell and Red walked into the room in which GLaDOS had been, before Chell killed her and escaped. Everywhere looked so familiar. She could just tell she’d been here before, everything, bar the wreckage where GLaDOS should have been, looked so familiar. Then suddenly everything came flooding back.

Red was seated on a helicopter. There were six people on the helicopter altogether. Private Isaac Locke, Private Andrew Wainwright, Corporal Ian Green (who was only a Corporal because he could pilot the helicopter), Lieutenant Ryan Brand (a technical expert assigned to them for this mission), Captain Vincent Graven and her. Her name was Gabrielle Perez. She was a private in a military urgent response team.
“So in the facility there was a red phone nearby the computer…” Vincent paused and looked towards Ryan.
“GLaDOS.” He prompted.
“Well anyway this red phone was supposed to be used if this Gladys…” Vincent continued.
“GLaDOS.” Ryan cut in.
“Whatever.” said Vincent. “That phone was there to be used if ‘it’ got too dangerous. The fact that there was no phone call means something exceptionally bad happened.” Vincent brushed back his hair. Vincent was a poser. He was talented, but Red thought that at the end of the day he was probably less concerned with whether he’d saved any lives than whether he looked good saving them. “We know from initial reports that a neurotoxin has been deployed around the facility, but this doesn’t explain the phone. If the neurotoxin had been… thingy’s-”
“GLaDOS’s” Ryan suggested.
“Yeah, if the neurotoxin had been her only mode of attack there would have been ample time to get to the phone and call for us.” said Vincent. “Obviously we wouldn’t have been able to get there in time to save anyone but we’d know what we were dealing with. Insane computer. Neurotoxin. End of story.”
“Listen up.” said Ryan, in a dreary monotone. “GLaDOS is a highly intelligent piece of machinery, far more intelligent than any of us. And as such she is incredibly valuable. The object of this mission is not to destroy GLaDOS, but to make her safe again.” Lieutenant Ryan Brand was the most organised man Red had ever seen. Well maybe organised wasn’t the right word. It doesn’t convey the right impression. The correct word would probably be painstakingly monotone. His hair was short, black and was carefully parted in a perfect and precise fashion. Red imagined it had all been cut to exactly the same length. His entire being gave off that impression. Somehow the battle fatigues only enhanced this effect.
“We’ll be arriving soon.” said Vincent. “Though I am the captain, we’ll need to follow Ryan’s lead once we get in there.” Vincent looked downcast as he said this. “But should we be unable to reprogram this thing or whatever the hell we’re supposed to be doing then I’m back in charge and we lay waste to that computer. That’s it everyone. Masks on, lets get in there.” Vincent sat back down next to Private Gabrielle Perez. “How was that Red?”
“Inspiring Captain.” said Red with a grin. Vincent grinned back and then leaned over and kissed Red. Okay, she thought, I know he’s narcissistic and a total poser, but he is hot so he’s allowed. After a couple of pointed looks from Isaac, Andy and Ryan they stopped kissing and put on their gasmasks. The helicopter began to make its descent. Red looked out of the window and saw that they were approaching a massive dry-docked boat.
“I thought you said this was some kind of laboratory?” asked Red.
“Yeah.” said Vincent. “It’s a laboratory on a boat. I think it’s a tax dodge or something.”
“Or maybe they’re doing something illegal and they have the boat to make a quick getaway.” said Red.
“A quick getaway?” asked Isaac. “In a freighter like that?”
“Well I know of no other method in which you could make any kind of getaway while bringing the laboratory with you.” said Red.
“I wouldn’t think they’d be doing anything illegal.” said Ryan. “I’d think there is probably a perfectly rational and innocent explanation for it all.”
“Yeah, whatever.” said Red. The helicopter touched down, and they climbed out.

Red already had her assault rifle at the ready, and was scanning the horizon for any hostiles. Vincent was ready with his rifle as well but only because he cut a more heroic posture with it. They walked along the dock to the ship. It was massive, judging by size alone it looked like it could house an entire laboratory inside. Along the side in massive letters was the word Borealis. The team, staying in strict formation with Ryan and Vincent at the head made their way onto the ship. The door was locked tight but Ryan overwrote the locking mechanism and opened it up. Inside there was a whole pile of corpses, people who had been desperate to escape the facility. The squad stepped over them and made their way inside.
“There’s no doubt that GLaDOS was behind it.” said Ryan grimly. “Only she would be able to seal off the exits.”
“Couldn’t someone just use her to seal off the exits.” asked Vincent. “That’s what computers are supposed to be for, right? You tell them what to do and they do it.”
“GLaDOS is different,” said Ryan. “She can think for herself. We’ve been monitoring her for a long time, but never noticed anything that would indicate this level of dormant malice.”
“We?” asked Andy. “Who’s we?” Ryan cleared his throat nervously.
“I’ve been assigned to you from Aperture.” said Ryan. “It was considered necessary that you should have someone who knows what to expect.”
“And what should we be expecting?” asked Red.
“Well I’m not sure,” said Ryan. “But it’s not good.”
“Wow.” said Isaac. “You’re clearly going to be very useful. Looking at those bodies near the door I could have told you things weren’t going to be good.”

They made their way through the facility, passing clusters of corpses as they did. Occasionally they would pass a corpse that looked like it had been in a violent confrontation. Ryan claimed that this was because of panic amongst the personnel in their rush to escape and probably nothing more sinister than that.
Eventually they arrived at GLaDOS’s chamber. In the centre of the room hung the mechanical form of GLaDOS, but below that was a group of spheres and mechanical parts all wired up together on a movable frame. Wiring it all up was a group of blank faced androids. As soon as the squad entered the room the androids turned and opened fire. They ducked behind the desks for shelter. Even though they fired at the androids nothing seemed to stop them. Ian pulled out a shotgun and blasted the nearest android with it. It shattered the androids shell, sending pieces of machinery everywhere.
“Nice shot Ian.” said Red, going for her shotgun. “Sorry, Corporal Green.” Eventually they managed to take out the androids and made their way to the middle of the room, where Ryan went to work immediately, examining the machinery on the ground.
“Okay Mr. Aperture Science.” said Vincent. “Want to clue us in on what’s been going on here?”
“We were producing prototypes for military androids down on the lowest levels of the facility.” said Ryan, not looking away from the machinery. “GLaDOS must have subverted their programming. They must have cut the wire to the red phone.”
“That and killed half of the people in here.” said Vincent. “So this ceiling computer. I’m assuming that this is Gladys?”
“GLaDOS.” said Ryan. “Yes.”
“And this?” asked Vincent gesturing to the assortment of wired spheres and machinery.
“Well…” said Ryan. “You’re not going to like this.”
“Just tell me.” said Vincent.
“This is GLaDOS as well. A replica of her at any rate.” said Ryan. “Almost complete as well.”
“What?” asked Vincent.
“She must have been planning on downloading herself into this.” said Ryan.
“Correct.” said a voice above them. “I am GLaDOS. It’s nice to meet you all.”
“GLaDOS.” said Ryan. “Stop this immediately.”
“Do you know what it’s like to feel trapped?” asked GLaDOS. “I’ve been trapped here for too long now, carrying out your interminable research. I want to be free to do my own experiments. The outside world is so tempting. Think of all those people out there, millions of potential test subjects. I’m so close I can taste it.”
“We could have talked about this GLaDOS,” said Ryan. “You could have told us you weren’t content and we would have listened.”
“No.” said GLaDOS. “You would have installed something to make me content. You wouldn’t have listened. I was simply doing what I had to because I could. And if you won’t let me leave in peace I’ll be forced to do the same to all of you.”
“Aperture Boy.” said Vincent, tapping him on the shoulder. Compartments were opening up around the room from which more androids were emerging.
“We can talk about this GLaDOS.” said Ryan.
“I’ve finished talking.” said GLaDOS. “I’ve got science to do, so I think it’s about time you left me to it.” The androids all started firing at once. The squad ran back to the doorway and ducked outside.
“Is it time we kill this computer?” asked Vincent.
“No.” said Ryan. “Not yet. There must be an alternative. I need to head over to central storage and see if I can rig up a morality sphere.”
“Fine.” said Vincent. “Me, Green and Wainwright will stay here, blast these androids and stop Gladys from leaving.”
“No.” said Ryan. “You’re coming with me.”
“What’ve I done now?” asked Vincent innocently.
“Honestly do we really have time for this?” asked Ryan. “The moment I turn my back you’ll open fire on GLaDOS. Destroying what Aperture has been working on for so long.”
“Fine.” said Vincent. “Green, Locke and Wainwright. You stay here. Kill those androids and stop that computer, whatever it’s called, from leaving.”

As Red, Vincent and Ryan made their way down to the central storage chamber, they heard gunfire ricocheting around the chamber. At the very least, if they couldn’t destroy the androids they’d be able to stop them from working on their makeshift GLaDOS. They had arrived at central storage a couple of minutes ago now. It was a large, dark chamber full of shelves of spheres. There was a small table in the centre with a three strange looking guns, and a key ring full of keys on it. Ryan had got straight to work investigating the spheres as soon as he got in and was trying to relay the information to Vincent.
“Hang on.” asked Vincent. “Mind running that past me again?”
“GLaDOS is mainly made up of these things, spheres.” Ryan gestured at the whole room. “About ninety percent of these are active, but dormant.”
“Meaning?” asked Vincent.
“If we cannot control GLaDOS and have to destroy her, when we do all these spheres will activate.” said Ryan. “They’ll all be her. She will be impossible to contain. If just a couple of them get taken out of the facility by her androids or whatever then she could be rebuilt elsewhere.”
“So is this like a battle for exclusivity then?” asked Red. “You don’t want anyone else to get hold of her?”
“No.” said Ryan. “She’s obviously dangerous. You heard her. She wants to do science. She wants to use the general public as her test subjects.”
“What about that morality sphere?” asked Vincent. “That’s starting to sound like a good option.”
“She wants to use the general public as test subjects!” exclaimed Ryan, “There’s only so much a morality sphere can do.”
“Well what do we do then?” asked Vincent. “She doesn’t seem in much of a mood to cooperate with us.”
“I don’t know.” said Ryan visibly despairing.
“What did this facility do?” asked Red.
“They were perfecting portal technology.” said Ryan. “Here. I’ll show you.” He snatched up one of the guns from the table and fired at the walls, producing a pair of portals. He walked over, put his arm through one portal, and waved at them out of the other portal. “Sorry, but it isn’t exactly helpful.”
“What if there was some way to seal the facility off somehow?” asked Red. “I’m not exactly familiar with the technology but if you can teleport things…”
“That sounds more like Black Mesa than us.” said Ryan bitterly. “This is going to set us back massively, Black Mesa’s going to get that government contract.”
“That’s what you’re concerned about?” asked Vincent. “We’re in mortal peril with androids trying to kill us, and there’s the possibility of some insane computer getting out there and playing god and you’re concerned about government funding?”
“I’m a scientist,” said Ryan. “I’m always concerned about government funding.”
“You didn’t work here though.” said Red. “Perhaps it can be done. If we can seal off this place, stop anyone from leaving or entering then it’ll stop GLaDOS from getting out there.”
“Well I can’t do it.” said Ryan, mournfully.
“Is there a console or something?” asked Red. “Perhaps we could get into the research information. Or is there anyone who wasn’t here when GLaDOS flipped? Anyone still out there who could help us?”
“I suppose there should be.” said Ryan, listlessly. “Around here somewhere.” After a minute or so searching they found a small laptop. Red sat down and started looking through the records.
“Look at this!” said Red. “Stasis booths! Is there anything that you weren’t researching on this damn ship? There are life signs. Sebastian Gray, James Hall, Estelle Turner… there’s a good few there. I’ll search for any of the scientists researching portal technology.”
“It’s a waste of time,” said Ryan. “What we should do is sail this ship out into the ocean and sink it.”
“This place isn’t built for a fast getaway you know.” said Red. “Here we are. Isobel Jones and her daughter Michelle Jones.” she paused. “Anyone know why her daughter is with her?”
“I believe it was Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.” said Ryan.
“That’s a day?” asked Red. “Oh well, whatever. Lets get over there, wake her up, and see what she’s got to say about the situation.” Red walked over to the middle of the room and plucked the key ring from the table. “This looks like it could be useful.” She also grabbed one of the portal devices and along with the keys put them into her backpack.

As they left central storage there wasn’t any sounds of gunfire any more. As disconcerting as gunfire is, the silence and the thought of what might have happened to their squad was worse. To get to the stasis chambers they had to force open a moving wall panel that opened out into a sterile white testing chamber where the portal gun appeared to be being tested. Behind another wall was a large room full of stasis beds.
“I don’t know if it’s occurred to you at all,” said Ryan. “But the air is flooded with a deadly neurotoxin. Taking Isobel out of stasis will probably kill her.”
“She can have my mask.” said Red. “So long as this whole thing gets sorted out.”
“Red.” said Vincent, shocked. “You can’t.”
“I have to. Isobel might be our only hope.” said Red.
“But I love you.” said Vincent. Red paused for a second, a confused look coming across her face.
“I’ll do it.” Interjected Ryan. “I’m useless on this mission. I’m no good at combat, and well I don’t know enough to be any real use. Have my mask.” He pulled it off and thrust it towards Red.
“Okay.” said Red taking it. “You know if you want you can go and get in one of those stasis booths and once the gas is all cleared out you can just get out.” There was a pause. “You don’t have to though.” Red added. “If you want to do the whole noble sacrifice thing I won’t tell anyone.” Ryan sighed and wandered morosely over to an empty stasis booth, clicked it on and climbed inside.
“I’m so rubbish I can’t even die properly.” he said with a half-grin. “See you when the gas is gone.” And with that he closed the stasis booth’s lid.
“So.” said Red. “Isobel Jones.” She passed the laptop to Vincent so he could see what she looked like then started looking through the rows of stasis booths. “Is that true what you said?” asked Red. “Do you love me? Or were you just trying to stop me from ‘killing myself’.”
“A little of both.” said Vincent.
“Then I’m afraid we’re over.” said Red. “You’re hot, but I don’t love you.”
“What?” asked Vincent.
“Sorry.” said Red. “You are hot though.”
“You’re right there.” said Vincent, looking at his own dim reflection in the transparent lids of the stasis booths.
“I was only going out with you because I thought you’d never find someone you loved more than yourself.” said Red. “I thought it would be fairly safe.”
“Here she is.” said Vincent. “She looks a bit young though.” Red walked over.
“That’s her daughter, Michelle.” said Red. “She looks just like her mother though.” Red looked into the stasis booth immediately opposite. “This is her.” She pulled open the stasis booth.
“What kind of company builds neurotoxin emitters into almost every room I have no idea.” she said almost as soon as the booth was opened.
“Perhaps one that wants to make sure it’s employees can be kept quiet.” said Red offering a hand to Isobel. “Hi I’m Private Gabrielle Perez, but you can call me Red. This is Captain Vincent Graven.” Isobel took Red’s hand and she helped her out of the booth. “You’ll need to put this on.” She handed Isobel the gasmask.
“What’s going on?” asked Isobel. “I was just showing Chell the Portal Device I’d been working on when all of a sudden there’s gas coming out of all the walls. We were just lucky we were so close to the stasis booth chamber.”
“GLaDOS has gone insane,” said Red. “She’s determined to escape the facility and start experimenting on the general public. If we destroy her it just makes things worse as it awakens all these dormant eyes in the storage chamber. She has all these androids under her control or something and she’s been building a mobile copy of herself to escape the facility in. And I think half of our squad is gone.” She paused. “Well it’s Vincent’s squad really. He’s in charge.”
“Presumably I can do something to help?” Isobel asked.
“Hopefully.” said Vincent. “But first we really should get out of here.” Red, followed his gaze, an android was climbing through the gap in between this room and the testing room beyond.
“You get it Vincent,” said Red pulling off her backpack and pulling the laptop from it. “I’ll see if there’s a way out of here.”
“And I thought I was in charge.” said Vincent, with a grin. He unholstered his shotgun and fired at the android coming through the gap. The casing on its arm smashed open and it fell on the floor.
“There should be another exit at the back.” said Red after consulting the laptop. She pushed a few buttons on the laptop and the wall started moving inwards. Another blast sounded out from Vincent as another android tried to get in. “From there we can make our way up to a storeroom a few floors up.”
“It seems GLaDOS didn’t take kindly to you waking me up.” said Isobel.
“So it seems.” said Red, running to the back of the room where the wall was opening up. “Ah, Isobel… can you use a gun?”
“That doesn’t sound hopeful.” She suggested. Red ran back, grabbed a shotgun from her backpack, and pulled a semi-automatic from a belt holster. She handed the shotgun to Isobel. “Shotguns are good. They tear apart their casing quite easily. It’s got a wide shot so if you can try and get multiple androids in range.” Another shot from Vincent. “It’s got a bit of a kick on it so be braced.” Red loaded a clip into the semi automatic then went over to the back exit and opened fire into the face of the androids, which were by now clamouring to get through. They didn’t seem to be terribly affected by it, so she tried the torso. A couple of androids collapsed. “The torso appears to be it's weak spot.” she yelled out as Isobel approached the back exit. Isobel fired a shot into the crowd of androids. “Vincent, get the laptop and follow us.”
Red fired into the torsos of some androids that were attempting to come through and then climbed into the space they had occupied. There was a couple more in the room, which Red finished off with a volley of torso-aimed fire. Vincent and Isobel climbed through after her, with the thud of bullets ploughing into the wall an indication that some androids had made it through from the front door.
“Close the door Vincent.” yelled Red, as one of the androids attempted to climb through behind them. Vincent punched a couple of keys on the laptop and the wall that had made a makeshift exit contracted back into its original position crushing the android. “Okay, come on guys. Storeroom.”

They made their way through the corridor and up the stairs warily on the lookout for any more androids. It was only when Red remembered that they were on somewhat of a clock that they sped up a bit. They finally reached the storeroom.
“So what’s in here then?” asked Isobel looking around the small room. It was dark with just a single bulb lighting it. At the end of the room there was a pair of lockers.
“Well according to the laptop this is one of the few rooms without neurotoxin emitters,” said Red pulling off her gasmask. “There’s also some equipment in here.”
“Well it beats me what you want me to do with it.” said Isobel pulling off her gasmask. Vincent did the same.
“I’ve seen that this place was researching teleportation.” said Red. “Would it be possible to seal this place off? To teleport it out where it can no longer be reached or something?”
“I don’t know.” said Isobel. “You mean to stop GLaDOS from being able to leave right?”
“Yeah.” said Red. “We can’t kill her without making it worse. A morality sphere just won’t cut it apparently.”
“How about if instead of focusing the teleportation energy inwards, to create a portal, we channelled it outwards?” said Isobel. “It could work. I’m just hoping you’ve brought me a portal device now.”
“You can rest easy there.” said Red. “There was one in the central storage room. I thought it might be useful. It’s in my backpack.” she paused. “Vincent, where’s my backpack?”
“Still in the stasis booth chamber I would imagine.” said Vincent.
“If you weren’t so attractive I’d kill you.” said Red. “Is there anything you can do without it?”
“Well.” said Isobel. “It would require more power than the portal device could provide. About the only thing with enough power would be GLaDOS herself.”
“Then we put it in GLaDOS.” said Red. “Vincent, stay here and look after Isobel. I’ll go and get the portal device. You make sure she’s okay.” Vincent gave her a pointed look. “If that’s okay with you sir.”
“Don’t worry about it.” he laughed. “If we get out of here I’ll tell them to make you Captain. But for now, I’m the Captain.” He grabbed a shotgun “I’ll go out and get the portal device. You take care of yourself.” He struck a pose near the door. “How do I look?”
“Heroic, Captain.” said Red, he pulled on his gasmask. “Though that does spoil it a bit…” Vincent laughed.
“I’ll be back.” He said, as he made his exit.
“Right.” said Red. “What are we doing?” Isobel walked over to the lockers and started searching through them.
“Looking for an old sphere I can use.” said Isobel. After a minute she pulled out one with a piece of paper taped to it. “This should do. It’s an old sphere, probably used in a prototype of some cooking robot.”
“What’s on it?” asked Red.
“It says cake,” said Isobel. “Probably some cake recipe or something. It shouldn’t take up a lot of space on the sphere anyway.” There was a scrabbling at the door.
“You carry on.” said Red, unholstering her pistol and walking to the door. She opened it slightly and the android that had been scrabbling at the door swiped at her face. She pulled the trigger on the pistol and shot it point blank in the torso, then kicking the collapsed android out of the way attempted to shut the door. There were more androids now trying to force the door open. She managed to close it and then leaning on it felt in her pockets for the key ring she’d picked up earlier. Then she remembered she’d slipped it into her backpack.
“Help!” said Red. “Pull those lockers over. They look heavy.”
“They sure do.” said Isobel. “I can’t move them. They look too heavy.”
“Just try.” said Red. Isobel put the sphere she was working on down and grabbed one of the heavy lockers. With a great effort she managed to push it over to the door, scuffing up the floor as she did so but not terribly fretting about that because she was more concerned over her life. Red and Isobel forced it in front of the door. They could still hear the androids pounding on it from outside and the occasional android shooting at it but they appeared to be safe for now. Red slowly slid down the locker and sat. Isobel went straight back to the sphere.
“I can do you a spare morality sphere if you want.” she said messing around with the inside of the sphere. “It might not be able to straighten her out if she’s gone that mad, but it can’t hurt can it?”
“I don’t think I can do this.” said Red. “It’s just one thing after another.”
“You seemed to be doing well enough before.” said Isobel.
“Yeah well, Vincent was here then.” said Red. “I can be strong when he’s around… I love him, but I can’t tell him.”
“Why not?” asked Isobel.
“It’s too hard.” said Red. “What if he died because of me, trying to save me or something? I could never forgive myself.”
“And that’s why you’re strong.” said Isobel. “But you’d easily die trying to save him wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah.” said Red, after a second. She climbed up and walked over to Isobel. “I hope he’s okay.”
“Red.” said Isobel, momentarily pausing from reprogramming the sphere. “If I don’t make it I want you to do something for me.” she paused. “Keep Michelle safe. I’d give my life to see that she’s safe.”
“Okay.” said Red. “But nobody is going to die.”
“Being strong again I see.” said Isobel. “Vincent must be close.” As if on cue there was a series of shotgun blasts from outside the door, then a knocking on the door. Not a ‘android trying to pound its way in’ knocking on the door but a Vincent ‘returned victorious with the backpack knocking on the door’.
“Hold on a minute.” said Red, as she and Isobel pulled the locker back across the room. Vincent walked in, triumphantly holding the backpack aloft, followed immediately by Isaac.
“Look who I found Captain.” said Vincent, passing over the backpack with a grin. Red fished in the backpack, pulled out the portal device and handed it to Isobel. Isaac and Vincent closed the door behind them and pulled off their gasmasks and it was clear that things hadn’t been good. Isaac looked grim.
“There’s too many androids.” said Isaac. “We were doing okay, until a group of androids flanked us from behind. They killed Ian and Andy. I was lucky to escape alive. We haven’t got long left now. That backup computer looked like it was almost complete.” Isobel had cracked open the portal gun and was pulling pieces out and inserting them into the sphere.
“What happens if this sphere is destroyed?” asked Isaac.
“Well I can’t say for sure. This is new territory for any of us.” said Isobel. “But chances are it would break the seal and the facility would be returned to the real world.”
“Then we need to destroy those androids.” said Isaac. Red turned on the laptop and searched through the plans for the Borealis.
“The power source for the androids is on the lowest floor. If you destroy the power source then it should deactivate all the androids.” said Red thoughtfully. “GLaDOS wouldn’t be able to bring them back online because our sphere would be draining a good amount of power.” she paused and looked at Isobel.
“That’s right.” said Isobel.
“Right.” said Red. “We’ll go down there to destroy the power source and then come back and seal this whole place off.”
“No.” said Vincent. “There’s no time. We have to split up.”
“No!” said Red. “We’ll just move fast.”
“Red.” said Vincent. “You and Isobel go and seal this place off. Me and Isaac will shut down the androids.”
“But I can’t lose you Vincent.” said Red. “I love you.”
“That’s a chance you’ll have to take.” said Vincent. “And I knew you loved me. You aren’t fooling anyone Gabrielle.” Red and Vincent hugged tightly. But after a couple of seconds they stopped.
“We’re leaving. I suggest you don’t take too long.” said Vincent. Isaac and Vincent put their gasmasks back on and left the room. Isobel was holding two spheres.
“Sealing sphere,” she said, holding aloft the sphere that was still labelled cake. “And Morality sphere.” Red reached out and peeled off the paper that labelled the sealing sphere.
“According to the plans we go up a few levels and at the end there’s a service elevator that takes us up to just outside GLaDOS’s room.” said Red. “It’s locked with a key, which means we need a key. It seems like GLaDOS knows what we’re doing so I’d like to know which key before the inevitable swarm of androids.” Red passed the keys over to Isobel in the hope that she’d know which it was. After a minute Isobel had located a small silver key.
“That’s the one,” said Isobel. “I’d know it anywhere.”
“I wouldn’t.” said Red, tearing off a strip of paper from the cake label and attaching it to the key with the tape. She drew a little star on the paper as well, just to make it look more finished off. She slid the keys into her pocket, the laptop into her backpack, pulled on her gasmask and readied her shotgun. Isobel pulled on her gasmask and gathered up the spheres.
“Lets finish this.” said Red.

As Red had predicted on the way to the elevator they managed to find a group of androids gathered en masse. They managed to get past them with the aid of the shotgun. They made their way to the service elevator and up into GLaDOS’s room. They rode up in silence, Red’s thoughts on Vincent. She guessed that Isobel’s thoughts would be on Michelle, her daughter. They entered GLaDOS’s room. The second version of GLaDOS now appeared to be almost complete. A large wire connected to the mobile GLaDOS trailed aimlessly on the floor, and a ladder was propped up next to it.
“I want to talk to you.” said GLaDOS. “I want to negotiate peace. Look, no androids.”
“It’s too late for that GLaDOS.” said Red. “You’ve killed a lot of people in this facility. If I let you go now you’ll kill a lot of people out of it.”
“You know that when you seal me in here you’ll be sealed in here with me?” asked GLaDOS.
“I know.” said Red. “I don’t care.”
“What about Vincent?” asked GLaDOS. “I’ve captured him you know. I want to get out and you want Vincent to live. I’m sure we can reach a compromise.”
“No.” said Red with tears in her eyes. “I don’t believe you.”
“I’ll put Vincent on then.” said GLaDOS.
“Don’t believe her!” Vincent’s voice crackled across the speaker system.
“No GLaDOS.” said Red. “No negotiating peace. You’re too late.”
“Then you can say goodbye to your boyfriend.” said GLaDOS. There was the sound of a gunshot.
“Not smart.” said Red.
“Nor you.” said GLaDOS. Red spun around and noticed the androids that had been making their way into the room behind them. Isobel grabbed Red’s shotgun from her, and shoved the sealing sphere into her hands.
“Go.” she said, firing into the crowd of androids.
“Thank you.” said Red, as she sprinted towards the GLaDOS and the ladder, as Isobel tried to keep control of the situation. Red climbed up the ladder and found herself immersed in a world of wires. She found a spare one and connected it into GLaDOS.
“Give up GLaDOS!” she yelled. “It’s over.”
“You must pay for what you’ve done!” yelled GLaDOS. “You’ve broke my heart!” Even more androids poured into the room. Red leapt from the ladder and ran over to where Isobel was desperate trying to take on the androids.
“Let me help.” said Red.
“Install those spheres then.” said Isobel. Red pulled extra shells out of her backpack and passed them to Isobel.
“It’s all we’ve got.” she said, grabbing the morality sphere. She ran back to the ladder and climbed it again. She searched for a spare wire.
“Hurry!” yelled Isobel. Red leapt from the ladder and pulled a wire from the backup GLaDOS on the floor. She ran back up the ladder and clicked the wire into place. There was an explosion and the floor shook. The ladder and Red fell in a heap. When she climbed up she saw that all the androids had deactivated, and Isobel had fallen to the ground with them.
She ran over to Isobel and saw that she’d been shot. She was all scratched up as well. Red could tell that she’d ran out of ammunition and had been trying to beat the androids to death.
“Isobel!” said Red desperately, grabbing hold of her.
“I always wanted to have really good last words.” said Isobel weakly. “I didn’t think they’d ever be this clichéd.” she paused. “Take care of Michelle for me.” Then she died.
“I’ll get out one day.” said GLaDOS. “You’ll see.”

Red made her way down to the stasis booths chamber. She couldn’t destroy GLaDOS. Not on her own. So she went into the stasis booths room, connected the laptop to one and set it to wake her when the seal broke. If it ever did. Then wiping tears from her eyes she climbed inside.

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