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Portal - Cake 1

Portal: Still Alive - Chapter 7 - The People Who Are Still Alive

Posted on 2008.01.30 at 12:03
Current Music:: Madina Lake - One Last Kiss
Tags: , ,
Title: Portal: Still Alive
Chapter: 7/9
Word Count: 2127
Synopsis: Red and Chell make an unexpected discovery while they hunt for GLaDOS.

For previous or later chapters please consult the preface.


Portal: Still Alive
Chapter 7: The People Who Are Still Alive


The room beyond was a large room full of stasis booths. Well it had clearly been full of stasis booths at one point but there were only five left in here now. Red presumed that they’d been taken off to participate in the same experiment that Chell had been through and they hadn’t survived.
“I don’t trust this.” said Red, still poised in case of attack. “We’re trying to find the stasis booth room, we hop into one of the test chambers to escape the neurotoxin and this is the first place we turn up. The door is even open for us.”
“It does seem a little suspect.” said Chell, walking up to the nearest stasis booth.
“And why GLaDOS isn’t pumping neurotoxin in here.” said Red. “There was neurotoxin everywhere when we were called in. She’s holding back for some reason.”
“Didn’t we come down here to look for a laptop?” asked Chell.
“Yes.” said Red. “But in all honesty I can’t see it actually being where I left it. Not after all this time.”
“There's a man in here who has one.” said Chell. Red walked over to the booth and looked into it. She looked confused then started working the controls. “You know him?” Chell asked. Red pulled open the stasis booth.
“Vincent.” she said.
“Hey babe.” He said. “Did you miss me?”
“Miss you?” asked Red. “I thought you were dead.” Vincent held the laptop up in Red’s general direction.
“Nope.” he said. “Little help?” Red sighed, grabbed the laptop from him, and put it down on the floor then grabbed his arm and helped him up.
“Well?” Red asked impatiently.
“Gladys didn’t kill me,” said Vincent climbing out of the booth. “She didn’t even have me captured. I tried to tell you not to believe her. Nice jumpsuit by the way.”
“Why didn’t you wake me up?” asked Red.
“Thingy, the computer, locked your booth down.” said Vincent. “I couldn’t get in there. So I took the laptop and did the same thing as you.” Vincent turned and looked at Chell. “Hi. I’m Captain Vincent Graven, and you are?”
“I’m Chell.” said Chell. “You still remember what happened here?”
“Well yeah?” said Vincent. “Amnesiac?”
“We were.” said Red. “GLaDOS said it was because we were in stasis for so long but I should have known not to believe a word she said.”
“You remember everything now though?” asked Vincent.
“Yeah.” said Red.
“I knew you wouldn’t be able to forget me.” said Vincent. “So what’s going on?”
“I’ll just go and look through the other stasis booths, see if any of my old friends are in there so I can gossip with them.” said Chell, walking towards the other booths.
“Well in a nutshell the facility was sealed away but now we’re unsealed and under attack from something called the combine. GLaDOS is in full control of her androids again. She’s releasing neurotoxin into everywhere that isn’t a test chamber. She’s created a copy of herself somewhere although we don’t know where. The way it’s looking she’ll either escape or she’ll be captured and used by the combine. I’m not sure which is worse.” said Red.
“Wow.” said Vincent. “Things just seem to get worse and worse around here.”
“You've got that right.” said Red, picking up the laptop and placing it on the top of the stasis booth that Vincent had just been in. “I hope this still works.” She opened it up and the screen flickered into life. She started looking through the system. It seemed to be working okay. There were massive chunks of information missing from the upper deck but that was probably because of the combine and the androids fighting up there. Vincent gestured over to Chell.
“They’re all empty,” said Chell. “I guess it’s just us three.”
“Unless Isaac survived and in hiding and it just slipped your mind?” asked Red.
“Nope.” said Vincent sadly. “Those androids tore him limb from limb.” There was a pause as Red carried on searching through the laptop.
“That’s weird. GLaDOS has built another version of herself right on the lowest floor, where the androids were manufactured.” Red announced. “She wants to escape, so why would she set up down there? It’s about as far from a way out as you can be.”
“I don’t know,” said Vincent thoughtfully. “Is there like an escape hatch or something? This facility is a boat after all.”
“There doesn’t seem to be one,” said Red. “But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t plan to blow open an escape hatch of her own.” she paused. “Okay lets do this properly this time. There’s an armoury down a few floors that looks like it should be accessible from the next test chamber. We go there and get some supplies, hopefully including some gasmasks. Then Vincent you go back to central storage.” she paused. “The room with all the spheres? Blow the place to pieces. Make sure to destroy every last sphere in there. Chell and I will carry on down to the lowest floor and we’ll kill GLaDOS. Once and for all.”
“One problem.” said Chell. “Do you know how we access the lift in this chamber?”
“Nope.” said Red. “You’ve done it before though right? With our help it should be a breeze.”
“I’m not doing it.” said Chell. “We’ll get out of here and go via the stairs if we have to but I’m not killing the companion cube again.”
“You’d rather risk death via neurotoxin or who knows what than kill an inanimate object?” asked Red.
“Pretty much, yeah.” said Chell.
“Incoming.” said Vincent, looking towards the open wall panel through which a couple of androids were attempting to force their way.
“Looks like it’s back outside either way then.” said Red punching a few buttons on the laptop. A section of wall at the back of the room began to open.
“I am getting such major déjà vu.” said Vincent.
“Good point.” said Red with a grin. “Vincent you get those ones. I’ll check that there isn’t any waiting for us to open the back door.”
“With what?” asked Vincent. Red paused for a second but then Chell threw her shotgun to him. He blasted the couple of androids that were almost through. “How many more shells do we have?”
“None.” said Red. She checked behind the opening back wall. It was mercifully clear of androids. There was a smack as Vincent attempted to bludgeon an android with the end of the shotgun. Red turned to Chell and gestured through the opened section of the back wall. “Quick, go.” She said. Chell climbed through the opened section of wall, which started to slide closed. Red started hitting buttons on the laptop again.
“Vincent!” Yelled Red. “Quickly! I can’t keep it open!” Vincent turned around to look at Red when one of the androids climbed through and pounced on him.
“Save yourself!” he screamed as he and the android hit the floor.
“No!” Red yelled. “I won’t let you die on me again.”
“Red!” Chell shouted from past the hole in the wall. “Come on! We have to get out of here while we can!” Red thrust the laptop through the closing gap, ran over to Vincent, and kicked the android in the torso. Although it hurt her foot this didn’t seem to faze the android and it just seemed to make it focus on her. It climbed off Vincent and stalked towards her snapping it’s metallic jaws at her. She produced her semi-automatic and aimed point blank at its torso. It collapsed onto the floor at her feet and she ran over to Vincent. Chell was suddenly at her side and they reached down and pulled him up.
“The door?” Red asked.
“Don’t worry.” said Chell. “I’ve got it covered.” There was the creak of metal under stress coming from the wall panel that was currently holding the androids back. “Quick, go back and get through.” Chell insisted. Red passed her the semi-automatic and helped Vincent back to the back wall panel. There was another creak and then the sound of a snap. Red glanced back to see that the panel had been ripped off and androids were swarming through the gap. Chell blasted at them managing to dismantle a couple of androids but then turned and ran towards the exit. Red helped Vincent through then climbed through herself. Chell turned and fired a few shots at the crowd of androids before climbing through after them.
“How?” asked Red. Chell grabbed the portal gun and used it to wrench free the object that was holding the door open for them; the weighted companion cube.
“I told you it’d be a faithful companion.” said Chell with a grin. The room was one of the more decayed varieties of room, although luckily there didn’t appear to be any neurotoxin being released in here. The walls were the type that portals don’t work on.
“Okay I admit it. The companion cube is useful after all.” said Red. Vincent slumped against the wall. “Are you alright?”
“I’m a little bruised, but otherwise I’m fine.” he said. “We should hurry on.” Red grabbed the laptop and started searching with it.
“If we’re to believe the theory that all test chambers are safe then there appears to be a completely isolated test chamber two floors down.” said Red. “If we go via there we can get a break from the neurotoxin.” she paused. “But before we go, Vincent take off your shirt.”
“I don’t think there’s time for any of that.” said Vincent. Red glared at him and he pulled off his jacket and shirt. Red tore off three strips of the shirt and gave it him back.
“That was my favourite shirt you know.” He said. “How am I supposed to look suave and dashing with a ripped shirt on?”
“Ripped shirt or death?” asked Red.
“That’s a tough one.” said Vincent grinning as he pulled his shirt and jacket back on. Red passed a strip of material to Vincent and Chell.
“Makeshift gasmask.” she said, wrapping it around the lower part of her face. After only a small amount of complaint from Vincent about how it wasn’t fashionable enough, he and Chell did the same and they set off back into the corridors of the facility.

They moved quickly and silently, partly so that they wouldn’t attract attention from any nearby combine or androids, and partly so they wouldn’t breathe in the neurotoxin too much. They made their way straight to the stairs and then straight to the isolated testing chamber, the laptop definitely helping with navigation. Red opened the door into a small dank backroom and then messed about with the laptop for a couple of seconds until the wall panels opened in front of them and they climbed through into another test chamber. This one was slightly less sterile than they had been used to. There was a bed, a table with a single piece of paper on it, but piles of scrunched up papers littered around it, a small radio which Red imagined would probably only play that one tune that all radios in this place seem to play. There was a small kitchen in one corner of the chamber, with an oven and a fridge and everything. In another corner was a toilet and a shower. There was a pile of clothes neatly folded next to the bed. The chamber had no doors or windows. However the view was clearly dominated by the kicked over chair and the dead body that was hanging from the ceiling. Red walked over to the desk piled with papers.
“GLaDOS asked me if I knew what it was like to be trapped,” she read aloud. “I do now. Ryan Brand.”
“Ryan?” asked Vincent. He looked closely at the dead body’s face. “He must have been stuck in here for years. He’s practically unrecognisable.”
“Why would GLaDOS do this?” asked Chell.
“He worked for Aperture.” said Vincent. “She felt trapped by them. I guess she thought she was getting revenge.”
Red walked over to the kitchen corner and searched the drawers until she found a knife. She walked over to Ryan’s body, picked up the chair, and climbed on top of it. Chell and Vincent held onto Ryan’s body as Red cut the rope.
“I know we can’t really bury him at the moment.” said Red as Chell and Vincent lay him down on the bed. “But I couldn’t leave him like that.” She paused and took a deep breath. “Now lets go and kill GLaDOS. God knows she deserves it a few times over by now.”

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