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Portal - Cake 1

Portal: Still Alive - Chapter 1 - Awakening

Posted on 2007.12.30 at 00:03
Current Music:: t.A.T.u. - Show Me Love
Tags: ,
Title: Portal: Still Alive
Chapter: 1/9
Word Count: 2,006
Synopsis: In the immediate aftermath of Chell's escape GLaDOS wakes up someone else, to use them as a test subject... or a mercenary?

For later chapters please consult the preface.

Portal: Still Alive
Chapter 1: Awakening

This is the first thing Red can remember. This small chamber. This tinny music playing from a radio on a small table. She knows what things are and how they work, but no specific information related to anything that may have occurred before this. She’s wearing a white jumpsuit that she doesn’t think is hers and she is barefoot. The floor is cold underfoot. This chamber doesn’t feel very welcoming. Red has shoulder length red hair that has been tied back in a ponytail. Red experimentally feels along the clear walls to see if there is any way out of the room, when a computerised voice crackles out of the walls.
“Welcome, Red, to the Aperture Science computer-aided Enrichment Centre.” the voice says. “Unfortunately you were left in stasis for longer than originally intended. Any memory loss is a side effect of this and your memories will return in time. We apologise for the inconvenience. Regrettably there is not time for you to recover your memories, as there is currently an emergency situation that must be remedied immediately. Please stand back, the portal will open in three… two… one.” A shimmering blue hole opened up in the only solid wall of the vault. Through it Red could see herself, via another portal, an orange one, outside of the glass. Cautiously she stepped through, into the corridor outside the small chamber in which she’d just been.
“Thank you for your co-operation.” said the computer voice. “My name is GLaDOS. Please follow the corridor around the relaxation vault to the orientation chamber.” Red walked cautiously, following the sterile white walls around the chamber. High on the wall above her there was a frosted glass window looking out over the relaxation vault. There was a flash of orange as something moved in the room beyond. Red carried on, pretending not to notice it, and entered a small chamber. It was darker in here, lit by a red light in the middle of the room. Along the outside of the room were racks of guns and ammunition. In the centre of the room there was a small table with two chairs. There was a pair of mechanical looking things on one side of the table and a freshly cut slice of chocolate cake on the other.

“Stasis can be very trying on the body. Please enjoy a complementary slice of chocolate cake to help recover your strength.” said GLaDOS. “On the table you will find a pair of heel springs. Please feel free to wear these, as the Enrichment Centre can be a dangerous place for the unprepared. Along the outside of the room there is a selection of weaponry. Please take as much as necessary, it may not be possible to return here later.” Red walked to the centre of the room and picked up the heel springs. She looked at them for a moment, and tested their springiness in her hands; apparently satisfied she sat down on the nearest chair and put them on.
“While you are preparing yourself I will endeavour to help resurrect your memories.” said GLaDOS. Red having put the heel springs on now tested them out, walking around the small room. “Your name is Rebecca Shepard, although you typically go by your nickname, Red, which derives rather obviously from your red hair.” Red sat down at the table and suspiciously sniffed at the slice of cake then taking an experimental bite. “You grew up in Santiago in Arizona, with your mother Estelle, your father Jack and your brother Adrian. You joined the military around the same time as your brother, but rose through the ranks faster than him reaching the rank of Captain. Your girlfriend is a scientist here at Aperture Science called Michelle Cross. You were on your way here to see her when unfortunately the facility underwent a Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure. In the ensuing chaos you and Michelle ended up in Stasis pods along with a number of other staff.”
“What’s happening then?” Red asked, finishing her cake, she indicated the other chair. “Are we expecting company?”
“No. It’s to help put you at ease.” said GLaDOS. “Imagine that I’m sat there with you, possibly enjoying a delicious slice of cake with you.”
Red looked thoughtful for a second as she considered this idea. “You said there was some emergency?” she said eventually.
“Well, when I said that you’d been in stasis a little longer than intended?” asked GLaDOS. “By that I mean you’ve been in stasis for twenty years. Due to recent events the facility has started existing again and what I’ve found out so far is that the Earth has been taken over by a race called the Combine. They’re currently trying to enter the facility, which by itself is bad enough but there is also a saboteur trying to destroy me. She doesn’t seem to realise that I’m the only thing preventing the Combine from overrunning the Enrichment Centre and killing everyone within it, then using the technology in here to kill everyone on the planet. I can take care of the Combine. I needed someone to stop this saboteur though before she kills us all. You were the only person in stasis with the training to take on such a task.”
“Anything else?” asked Red.
“Once you’ve stopped the saboteur I’ll revive Michelle from stasis and there’ll be cake for both of you.” said GLaDOS. There was a pause.
“Okay then.” said Red. She stood up and surveyed the weaponry. Though none of her memories had returned yet as she looked at the guns she noted that she knew precisely how to use them. She kitted herself up with a pistol, a pair of submachine guns and a shotgun, holstering the pistol and submachine gun in holsters thoughtfully provided on her jumpsuit, and strapped the shotgun over her shoulder. “I’m ready.” she said.
“Good. Proceed into the elevator.” said GLaDOS. Red walked from the chamber through into a small elevator that clicked closed behind her. After a second or two the lift started to ascend.

“The saboteur has stolen Aperture Science technology. She’s taken a device known as the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device and is using it to make progress through the facility. She is to be considered armed and dangerous.” said GLaDOS as the lift rumbled upwards. “Luckily I have just the weapon to fight back with.” The lift slowed and the doors opened out onto a large white sterile looking room. Towards the back of the room there was several rows of dummies, while immediately in front of Red there was a podium. On it there was some kind of weapon. It was like a white gun, but at the front there was a set of three black prongs, immediately behind was another set of three black prongs. Red walked up to it and ran her hands across it.
“It’s a ‘failed’ prototype for the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device.” said GLaDOS. “It works, but it was deemed to dangerous for use. Go on try it.” Red picked up the device, it was smaller than it looked, and she held it comfortably in one hand.
“When you say dangerous I’m hoping you don’t mean dangerous for me.” Red said, hesitating. There was no response, so after a minute or so Red shrugged to herself and fired the device at the wall. A shimmering black portal appeared there. It was just a shimmering black thing at this point, as it didn’t seem to be connected to anything. She fired the other trigger and created another one next to the first portal, which opened up both. The most recently fired one had a shimmering white edge.
“To prevent confusion.” said GLaDOS. “When you go up against this saboteur in battle you don’t want to be confused whose portal is whose. Try it on the dummies I meant. That was rather the point of having them in here.” Red pointed the device at the dummies and pulled the trigger. Instead of opening a portal behind them, it tore the dummies that would have been in front of the portal to pieces.
“Can’t think why anyone would deem this thing too dangerous.” said Red sarcastically.
“It’s technically known as the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device Prototype but I prefer ‘The Shredder’.” said GLaDOS.
“What was the point of giving me those other guns?” asked Red. “The Shredder here will tear straight through that saboteur.”
“Just in case it doesn’t,” said GLaDOS. “It pays to be prepared. Practice for as long as you like. When you’re ready to move on just head into the next elevator.”
“I think I’ve got it. Point it, fire and the thing you’re pointing it at gets torn to pieces.” said Red, heading across the room. She stopped for a second to take a look at the pieces of the dummies that had been thrown clear across the room, before walking on into the elevator. It closed promptly behind her and started descending.

GLaDOS didn’t seem to be quite as talkative this time. The elevator doors opened on another sterile room. This one seemed a little less open plan than the others though. There was another podium just into the room on which was a key ring full of keys and an access card. Behind the podium in the room proper were a couple of dummies behind a glass screen that extended almost to the ceiling.
“Something else that should help you after the saboteur.” said GLaDOS. “Keys to every door in the facility and a keycard that’ll get you through any electronic doors.”
“You’re not cutting any corners are you?” asked Red, picking up the keys and the keycard. “Even going so far as to create a training course for The Shredder.” She fired a black portal up through the gap in the ceiling and wall to the ceiling over the glass booth containing the dummies. Then she shot a white portal onto one of the walls of the room. She fired again through the white portal at the dummies. Nothing happened. This didn’t appear to be the reaction that Red was expecting. “Oh right.” she said. “I get it. You can’t fire the Shredder through one of it’s portals. Awesome.” She pulled her pistol from it’s holster and fired a couple of shots at the dummies via the portal. Red looked slightly disappointed and holstered her pistol. “It’s not the same as tearing them apart.”
“Interestingly.” said GLaDOS. “The approved version of the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device is larger that the Shredder and requires both hands. It makes it really impractical for use with weapons. The reason the approved version is larger is because it requires extra parts to concentrate the portal energy and make it safe.”
“Fascinating.” said Red sarcastically. Suddenly there was the noise of a muffled explosion and glass shattering. Red looked up into the corner of the room to see that one of the frosted glass windows had been smashed.
“Shut up for now GLaDOS.” Red whispered. “I need to concentrate.” A couple of seconds later a figure dressed in orange ran into the room which until recently was hidden behind the frosted glass window. She fired a large portal device at the wall inside and down at the floor next to Red. Red walked up to it, bent down and looked inside, to see the orange suited figure gesturing to come through. Red paused slightly, then before she could come through the orange suited figure sighed and reached through the portal, grabbed Red’s free hand and pulled her through. Red stumbled through, disconcerted by the sudden change in axis. The figure supported her. After a couple of seconds Red was okay and stood up properly.
“Portals take a bit of a while to get used to don’t they?” asked the orange suited figure.
“You could say that.” said Red. “I’m Red.”
“I’m Chell.” said the orange suited figure. “Come with me if you want to live.”

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