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Portal - Cake 2

Portal: Still Alive - Chapter 5 - War

Posted on 2008.01.14 at 20:28
Current Music:: HIM - Killing Loneliness
Tags: , ,
Title: Portal: Still Alive
Chapter: 5/9
Word Count: 1922
Synopsis: With her memories back Red must decide what to do and Chell must decide who to trust. GLaDOS might have had to decide something but if she did then I didn't write about it.

For previous or later chapters please consult the preface.

Portal: Still Alive
Chapter 5: War

“Oh god.” said Red, as the memories flooded back. “This is bad Michelle. This is very bad. We have a disaster on our hands. No, scrap that, we’ve got two disasters, a certain disaster and a potential disaster.”
“What?” asked Chell.
“I saw this room and my memories came back.” said Red. “I’d love to go into it but GLaDOS isn’t going to hang around, and well I’m not sure how friendly those Combine are going to be.”
“That’s assuming there is such a thing as the Combine.” said Chell. “Before we go anywhere I want to know what’s going on. I’m the one with the guns remember.”
“Well essentially I was part of a military response team sent to this facility to bring GLaDOS under control.” said Red. “Can we walk and talk because seriously we are wasting time stood in here?”
“No.” said Chell. “I’ve been lied to by both you and GLaDOS, almost killed several times, once again by you and GLaDOS. So we’re just going to stay here until someone’s told me what’s going on.”
“Sorry for the whole lying to you and trying to kill you thing.” said Red. She sighed and sat down. “This may take a while. You may want to sit down.”
“I’m just fine.” said Chell.
“When my squad and I arrived GLaDOS had filled the facility with neurotoxin.” said Red. “She had also subverted the programming of a horde of military androids. She was using them to build herself a replacement system. The one she had was a little too hard-wired into the building for her liking. It was clear she was a threat to the general population and we couldn’t let her leave the facility. We went down to the central storeroom. There were all these spheres in there lying dormant. If we’d killed GLaDOS then the spheres would have activated and keeping her on board would have been impossible. So we came up with another solution. If we could use the teleportation technology being developed to seal off the facility from the rest of the world then we could destroy her without any fear of her escaping. We didn’t have any grasp of the technology so we went to the stasis booth chamber and woke up the only scientist who had been working with the technology who was still alive; Isobel Jones, your mother.”
“My mother?” asked Chell.
“Yeah. Her name was Isobel Jones and you are Michelle Jones,” said Red. “Ring any bells?” Chell paused for a moment, staring up and to the right, as if that was where the past could be found. A look of clarity came over Chell.
“I remember now,” said Chell. “It was Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. She was showing me this new technology she’d been working on, the portals. Suddenly there was this gas coming out of the walls and alarms going off everywhere. People were dying around us. We could hear gunfire coming from everywhere. Fortunately we were near the stasis booth chamber and we froze ourselves in there, to wait for rescue. Is she okay?”
“She’s fine,” said Red. “We would have been lost without her, she created something called a sealing sphere which while in operation would keep the facility cut off from the world. We did it. But afterwards I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle destroying all of GLaDOS on my own. So I put myself into stasis. I set the booth to reawaken me should the seal ever be destroyed.”
“On your own?” asked Chell. “What about my mum?”
“Well I meant I was the last remaining of my squad. Your mother was just fine.” said Red quickly. “But she wanted to protect you. She couldn’t risk her life any more. She went back into stasis, and I couldn’t destroy GLaDOS on my own. But more importantly since I’m up and about again I’m guessing the sealing sphere has been destroyed.” Red looked to the pile of rubble where GLaDOS had been. “In fact I’m looking at where it should be right now.” Chell followed her line of sight.
“It was in GLaDOS?” asked Chell.
“Yeah.” said Red. “It was the only place with enough power to do it.”
“Then I destroyed it didn’t I?” asked Chell.
“It was on an old sphere that had a recipe for cake on it or something.” said Red.
“Then I definitely destroyed it.” said Chell.
“That’s what GLaDOS wanted,” said Red. “You said before that you were following markings that led straight to GLaDOS left by someone who had escaped. But that isn’t right. They were exit signs and GLaDOS isn’t the exit. GLaDOS left those signs to point you towards her. So you’d destroy the sphere.”
“But she tried to kill me.” said Chell.
“How did you escape?” asked Red.
“With the Portal Gun.” said Chell thoughtfully.
“The same Portal Gun GLaDOS gave you?” asked Red. “She wanted you to escape. The whole thing was designed to make you hate her and then take you straight to her, so that you could destroy the one thing keeping her here.” A look of clarity passed over Chell’s face, as if she’d just figured out something that had been bothering her.
“That evil machine!” she exclaimed. “I will kill her!”
“That’s the spirit,” said Red. “But it doesn’t give us much of a bearing. I know I left the laptop in the stasis booth room but it’s been twenty years. It could be anywhere by now.”
“That’s assuming GLaDOS was telling the truth.” said Chell. “Plus we head back down there we could wake my mum up. She may not be military trained but I’m sure she’d want to help us out.”
“Good point.” said Red. “But we have a limited time. GLaDOS is probably making her way out of the facility as we speak. We should head down to central storage. Hopefully she’ll have decided to set up near there so that she didn’t have to move her parts very far.”
“Okay.” said Chell. “You are a trained soldier after all. We can always come back and wake everyone up afterwards.”
“Now since the sealing sphere is no longer draining on GLaDOS’s power she’s probably got all the androids up and running again,” said Red. “So if you wouldn’t mind passing me back my pistol and semi-automatic.” she paused. “You do trust me, right? I’m not a hostage any more?”
“Of course not.” said Chell passing the weapons over.
“You keep the shotgun,” said Red. “That’s fairly easy to handle. Now lets go and kill that evil manipulative computer.” They walked out of the destroyed room and headed back into the service elevator.

As the elevator headed down the floor shook and there was the sound of gunfire. Red swore in the darkness and grabbed Chell’s hand.
“The Combine” she suggested.
“I would assume so.” Chell said. The lift slowed to a halt and Red pulled the doors open. The entire corridor was bathed in red light, which usually indicates some kind of emergency. The noise of gunfire was louder in here. They made their way down the corridor. Ahead of them were a couple of androids blasting away at some soldiers who had ducked into rooms and were ducking in and out to blast at them. Red fired a couple of shots at the torsos of the androids and they collapsed.
“It’s okay!” Red shouted. “We’re not androids. We’re humans. We need help trying to find and destroy this supercomputer called GLaDOS. She’s very dangerous.” There was silence. “She’s in charge of these androids in fact.” Red continued hoping to win around the masked soldiers, unfortunately seconds after the combine opened fire. Red pulled Chell through the nearest open door. It led into a small stairwell, which went down just one flight.
“Not very friendly these Combine.” said Chell.
“Come on.” said Red, pulling her down the steps. “We don’t stand a chance in a proper fight. We have practically no ammunition and no long-range weapons. Why didn’t I pack for long-range combat this morning?” The wall of the room was opened up into one of the test chambers. Red climbed through into the sterile chamber. It was practically empty and looked infuriatingly enough like a dead end. Chell climbed through.
“It probably wasn’t a good idea to tell them about GLaDOS.” mused Red. “If GLaDOS was telling the truth then she would be a very valuable resource to them.”
“Then why would she be fighting them?” asked Chell.
“Well the whole point, her entire goal was to get out of the facility. She doesn’t want anyone in control of her. She wants independence.” said Red. “Maybe we can use her fighting with the Combine to our advantage. They’ll be distracted, maybe we can just make our way through the facility without really having to deal with them.” There was a loud smash as what Red recognised from the monitors as a hunter leapt through the frosted glass window on the wall opposite them. “Or then again maybe not.” said Red. The hunter focused on Red and fired at her. She dodged to the side and Chell fired the shotgun at the hunter. It turned to focus on her. Red pulled out her semi-automatic and emptied the clip into the machine before it could fire on Chell. It seemed to hesitate unsure of who was the greater threat then started firing upon Chell. Chell dodged away, and Red ran up to her and grabbed her, pulling her back towards the open wall panel. As if on cue the wall panel slid shut.
“GLaDOS! You come down here and do that!” Red yelled. She pulled out the pistol and fired a couple of shots into the ‘eyes’ of the machine. There was a further smash of glass and two androids came running into the room.
“Oh Christ.” said Red. “I’m sorry Chell.” She grabbed Chell and tried to shield her from the hunter and the androids. “It’s my fault. I should have killed GLaDOS while I had the chance.” There was the noise of the androids running and then the hunter firing but oddly enough Red and Chell still seemed to be in one piece. Red opened her eyes and looked around. The androids had leapt on the hunter and they were attempting to tear it to pieces. The hunter seemed more concerned with them than with Chell and Red. Chell thrust the shotgun into Red’s hands and pulled the Portal Gun from her belt. She fired into the observation room across from them, and at the ground beneath them. The next thing they’d fell through into the observation room. Chell who had obviously been expecting it and was used to the whole portal thing, landed on her feet and then helped Red up. She fired another portal at the wall to get rid of the one in the test chamber then she and Red ran out of the observation room and into another corridor.
“Anywhere look familiar?” asked Chell.
“I don’t know.” said Red. “They’re just corridors.” There were more gunshots behind them so they opened another door almost bumping into a couple of androids, which Red deactivated with a quick shot to the torso.
“Up or down?” asked Chell.
“Down.” said Red. “The central storage chamber was pretty deep into the facility.” The ground shook underneath them again. “I just hope we can get there in one piece.”

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