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Portal - Companion Cube

Portal: Still Alive - Chapter 6 - Cake

Posted on 2008.01.29 at 11:56
Current Music:: Madina Lake - One Last Kiss
Tags: , ,
Title: Portal: Still Alive
Chapter: 6/9
Word Count: 2,063
Synopsis: While searching for a way to locate GLaDOS Chell is reuinted with an old friend.

For previous or later chapters please consult the preface.

Portal: Still Alive
Chapter 6: Cake

The sounds of battle between the androids and the combine seemed far away now, but Chell was still ready with the shotgun, just in case. Chell was moving cautiously and carefully, whereas Red appeared to be less worried, judging from her speed alone. She was moving down the corridor opening all the doors and peering through looking for central storage. She opened a door and looked in for a good few seconds before calling back to Chell.
“In here.” said Red as she walked through. The room was long and dark. There were shelves arranged in a square around the centre of the room. They were stacked with spheres. The spheres were active and had a small red circle glowing on them giving the room a dim red glow where they were facing. Red felt along the wall. “There doesn’t appear to be any lights,” she said. “I suppose we’ll have to navigate by the eerie red glow of all those spheres…”
Chell came through the door a couple of seconds after.
“Creepy.” she said. “Ever get the sense that someone’s watching you?”
“Well yeah.” said Red. “All those spheres for one.”
Red started hunting through the shelves. She was doubtful that the laptop would be in here, but she was going to look anyway, there didn’t seem to be much else they could do without searching every room of the facility and she was even more doubtful that GLaDOS would have just left it where it was. Chell walked off along the wall of shelves, after a second there was a gasp of surprise. Red ran over to where Chell was standing, a gap between the shelves where a piece of chocolate cake was sitting on a table. A small note lay next to it and on the other side of the table was a large grey box with a heart on it.
“Cake!” said Chell excitedly. She ran over, picked up the slice of cake.
“Wait!” said Red quickly.
“You’ve already had cake.” said Chell defensively. “This is mine.”
“Just wait.” said Red, walking to the table and picking up the note. “To Chell.” she read. “Thanks for everything. GLaDOS.” Red looked pointedly at Chell. “She was just trying to kill you, you know. She almost succeeded. If I hadn’t regained my memories…”
“Oh you wish.” said Chell. “If we’d carried on fighting. I would have won.”
“No you wouldn’t have done. I’ve been combat trained, plus I had more weapons.” said Red.
“Yeah but you’ve never killed any real people have you?” asked Chell. Red paused for a second.
“And you have?” she asked.
“Well I thought I’d killed GLaDOS.” said Chell.
“Doesn’t count.” said Red. “Even if you had killed her she’s still a computer. Anyway that wasn’t the point.”
“Is this point relevant to my cake?” asked Chell. “Because I’ve been waiting for cake a while now.”
“She was just trying to kill you then she decides to give up and instead bake you a nice cake instead?” asked Red. “It doesn’t sound that likely does it? She’s probably poisoned it.”
“I don’t care,” said Chell. “I feel I’ve earned some cake.” She took a defiant bite out of the cake before Red could argue.
“Okay.” said Red. “I’m going to go and see if I can find the laptop. But I’m not holding my breath.” Red searched through the shelves until she was satisfied that it wasn’t here. “I can’t find it.” she said. “I think we may have to go and check the stasis booth room after all and if it’s not there then well I’m not sure what we’ll do then.” Red turned around to see that Chell was walking out from behind the shelves with her portal gun out. The large box with a heart on it that had been in the centre of the room was suspended in the air at the tip of the gun. There was a pause as Red and Chell looked at one another.
“What’s going on?” asked Red after a minute.
“This is the weighted companion cube.” said Chell. “It’s coming with us.”
“Coming with us?” Red repeated.
“I’m not leaving it behind again.” said Chell with an air of finality.
“But you can’t seriously be suggesting we haul around a box with us?” asked Red.
“It’s not a box.” said Chell. “It’s the weighted companion cube and it’ll help us.”
“That cake had some kind of hallucinogenic in it didn’t it?” asked Red.
“No it did not!” said Chell emphatically. “Can we just get on with it?”
“Fine.” said Red. “I can’t find the laptop in here so we’re going to have to go to the stasis booth chamber.”
“Lead the way then.” said Chell. “The weighted companion cube and I are right behind you.” Red shook her head as they headed, companion cube in tow back into the corridor.

Chell, Red and the weighted companion cube were making their way back to the stairs to head further down into the facility. There was a hissing noise and gas started to come out of the walls.
“Neurotoxin.” said Chell. “Think it’s intended for us or the combine?”
“It doesn’t really matter.” said Red, rushing over to the nearest door and looking inside. “It’ll kill us anyway. Help me find a room which is neurotoxin free.”
“It’s for us,” said Chell not moving. “The combine are all wearing those masks. They’ll probably be alright.” Red rushed to the next door and looked inside.
“Come on will you?” she said.
“What’s the point?” asked Chell. “So what we find a room without any neurotoxin in it and we just wait in there until the combine finds us or GLaDOS finds us or what? We can’t get to GLaDOS, wherever she is, and destroy her in the time we’ve got.”
“Never give up.” said Red running to the next door and looking inside.
“You gave up,” said Chell. “You went to sleep when you should have destroyed GLaDOS. If you hadn’t given up we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
“But we are.” said Red. “So learn from my mistakes and help me find a room free of neurotoxin.” Chell turned and walked to the first door behind her. It opened up on an observation room. She looked into the sterile environment below and was surprised to see that it was free of gas.
“Over here.” yelled Chell. She put down the portal gun and the weighted companion cube, pulled the shotgun from off her back and blasted the observation window. Red came running up into the room.
“Good.” she said. “Let’s barricade the door, limit the amount of gas that can get through.” They pulled the desk with it’s various paraphernalia in front of the door and then jumped through the broken window, Chell making sure to bring her portal gun and the weighted companion cube with her.
“I never thought I’d be back in these test chambers.” she said sitting down against the wall. “But at least we’re still alive I suppose. Plus I’ve had cake and I’ve got my companion cube back. What more could I ask for?”
“Chell.” said Red, sitting down next to her. “You’re right. It’s my fault that we’re in this mess. I’d just lost Vincent, my boyfriend. GLaDOS had just killed him to make a point.” Red paused. “You know in films when the person the main character loves dies. The main character becomes consumed with revenge; determined to avenge their lost love. I didn’t feel like that. I just felt empty. Just numb. I couldn’t do it.”
“It’s okay,” said Chell, reaching out and taking Red’s hand. “You’re not on your own now. Together we can do this.”
“I’ve got something to tell you…” said Red. “Your mother is dead.”
“What?” asked Chell blindsided by the revelation.
“We were installing the sealing sphere into GLaDOS. She was manning the gun against the androids. I couldn’t stop GLaDOS in time. She killed her. GLaDOS killed your mother and the man I loved in the space of five minutes.” said Red.
“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” asked Chell.
“Because I was being stupid.” said Red. “Because it was my fault I suppose.” There was a pause. “How do you feel?”
“Numb.” said Chell. “No, more than that I’m angry… angry at GLaDOS for all of this. It wasn’t your fault. GLaDOS killed my mother. She put me through her sick tests for her own purposes and now she’s trying to kill me. Even cake can’t make up for this one GLaDOS!” There was no response, just silence.
“I think she’s wrote us off.” said Red.
“Well she’s going to get a shock then,” said Chell. “Regardless of neurotoxin, of androids, of combine I am going to find you GLaDOS. I’m going to find you and I’m going to kill you properly this time!” Chell stood up and looked down at Red. “Come on. We’re getting out of here.” Chell surveyed her surroundings attempting to get her bearings, and then grabbing her portal gun and weighted companion cube she walked over to a small lift platform. Red stood up and joined her on the platform. As they stepped on it slowly rose until they were at the top and facing an elevator.
“You think GLaDOS is going to operate the lift for us?” asked Red.
“I’m hoping its automated.” said Chell, walking towards the open doors. She and Red stepped inside, the elevator doors closed and it began to descend.
“That’s just lucky.” said Red grinning. “You must be just naturally lucky or something.”
“Doesn’t feel that way.” said Chell. After a minute the elevator arrived and the doors opened. They walked out of the elevator and into a long corridor. A sign flashed up on their right.
“Chamber 17…” said Chell. “Somehow I don’t think we’ve ended up here by accident.”
“Why not?” asked Red.
“Well this is the weighted companion cube chamber,” said Chell. “It would be a major coincidence.”
“You think GLaDOS is going to attack?” asked Red.
“Who knows.” said Chell. “Probably. She must be sick of the sight of us by now.”
“It might be an idea to put that cube down then,” said Red. “If we’re under attack we’ll need all the firepower we can get.”
“Are you kidding?” asked Chell. “The weighted companion is a faithful companion and I’m sure it’ll help us through here.” Red sighed and pulled out her semi-automatic and slid a new clip into it.
“Okay lead on.” she said. Chell and the weighted companion cube led the way into the next room where there were two platforms, which were higher than either Red or Chell could jump, and walls on which portals don’t work.
“See.” said Chell, placing the weighed companion cube at the foot of the platform. “Alone we cannot make it up these platforms but with the weighted companion cube we get up easily.” She climbed onto the weighted companion cube and then up to the next level.
“Yeah.” said Red patiently. “But you could have just given me a lift up and then I pulled you up. Honestly carrying this cube around is unnecessary.” She climbed atop the weighted companion cube and then up onto the platform. Chell glared at her as she climbed up.

They made their way up the second platform and then down a pair of long corridors before exiting onto a platform in another room. The room was long with three transparent platforms raised in the air to the right, a door on the wall opposite and another door on the wall to the left. Part of the wall beneath them was open just enough to see through. Another section of the wall was open behind the three raised platforms. Chell was looking at that section of the wall.
“That wasn’t open the last time I came through here.” whispered Chell. Red dropped down off the platform and stalked over to the open segment of wall her semi-automatic out in front of her. Red looked behind the protruding section of wall, then turned back to Chell.
“I thought this place looked familiar.” she shouted back to her as she stepped through into the room beyond. Chell dropped down from the platform and climbed through the open wall segment.

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