Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Reunion

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    Chell
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    Reunion

    Post by Chell on 8/7/2012, 18:31

    Time: 3:15 PM
    Date: July 21st

    Okay, on second thought, maybe deciding to take an afternoon hike had been a bad idea.

    Chell frowned, peering up at the quickly darkening skies with a mixture of caution and annoyance. She had taken to frequenting the the many trails laid out throughout the lower part of the mountains for quite some time now, and never once had she encountered a storm, or anything of the sort, really. In fact, the utter tranquility of the place had been what initially drew her to it after reading about it in one of the many pamphlets she had scattered about her room, and the fact that she that she could hike there with relative ease had really just been the icing on the cake.

    While the former test subject had been fine with sticking to herself and simply observing the city during her most of her time there, she had eventually recovered from her arrival enough to want nothing more than to just get out, away from the usual hustle and bustle of the city, and the sense of restlessness she had felt had almost been too much for her to bear. Spending a large chunk of your life solving tests and fleeing from maniacal AIs made being lazy feel more than a little unnatural, after all. In the end, using walks as an opportunity to stay active had done her a tremendous amount of good, leading her to seek out the mountains as often as she could possibly manage.

    Today, however, her sense of good timing seemed like it was coming to an end, at least if the weather had anything to say about it. The sky honestly hadn't looked all that bad when Chell first set out, but already she could feel the temperature dropping, and the first few initial raindrops prickling her skin. Huffing, she picked up the pace a bit, knowing it was only a matter of time before she got drenched. Rain was all well and good most of the time - to this day, she was still a little mesmerized by it - but when it came to traveling in the stuff? Yeah, not so much. She'd learned that the hard way. At this point, she knew that no matter how good of a runner she was, she had traveled too far out to have any hope of stumbling across a building anytime soon - or at least, none that she knew of. Begrudgingly, she decided that her best bet now was to find shelter, and fast.

    And, as luck would have had it, at the moment the wind kicked up, sending a sudden torrent of rain down and almost immediately soaking the woman to the skin, causing her to grimace. Oh, fantastic, now she really had no choice. Slinging her bag of supplies over her shoulder, Chell quickly veered off of the trail and into the trees, hoping with no small amount of irritation that this wouldn't take long.
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Wheatley on 8/8/2012, 20:13

    The sky was taunting him. Great big grey rain clouds were forming overhead, swelled with condensation, and threatening to let loose at any second. And here was Wheatley, stranded in the middle of nowhere, staring up at it in strained anticipation. It wasn't as if he would rust. Probably. He was fairly sure he was water resistant. No, that wasn't the trouble. In fact, it wasn't so much the rain itself. The weather was just the icing on the cake, as it were. The misery cake. That was full of lies.

    Sigh.

    He'd been having such a good day, too. As per usual, Wheatley had been a busy little buzzing bee, using the borrowed Float spell to travel far and wide in the allotted time. He'd grown so accustomed to Kefka just turning up, sooner or later, to renew the spell that he'd honestly forgotten that he could have been keeping track of the time. (Though his internal clock was a bit unreliable. It kept flashing 12:00 at him. He had yet to figure out what that was supposed to mean.) So, as usual, he'd been smack dab in the middle of nowhere when the spell ran out. This particular portion of nowhere was actually a deer trail that he'd found, and been following out of sheer mindless curiosity. The trouble was, on top of the spell running out and sending him plummeting abruptly back to earth... well. It had been raining quite a lot, lately. The deer trail had been well trodden, and, consequently, churned up. Now it was not so much a trail as one long patch of thick, sticky mud.

    Wheatley's only consolation was that he hadn't landed face first.

    Usually, Kefka---the originator of the spell---would turn up in short order and renew the spell, and Wheatley would be on his way again. No harm, no foul. Unfortunately, the harlequin had been... somewhat preoccupied, lately. Possibly, he was busy. Possibly, he was tired of having to chase the Personality Core down every four hours or so. Regardless of the reason... this time he hadn't turned up, promptly. An hour or two had passed, with nothing more interesting happening than the occasional bird flitting overhead. Which brings us to now. With the poor little Personality Core, lying on his side in the mud, staring up at the rain clouds in the sky, and hoping against hope that maybe if he willed it hard enough it wouldn't actually rain on him. Or at all.

    A drop of rain landed smack dab in the middle of his lens, and Wheatley jerked, trying to shake it off. "Augh!" Plink, went the rain drops, gradually beginning to speckle the mud around him. Plink... plink plink... plinkplinkplinkplink... What began as a few drops quickly turned into a proper shower, and was seriously threatening to become a deluge.

    But that, as Wheatley quickly found out, was not even the beginning of his problems. Because, as boggy ground he'd found himself in became even more soggy and wet, the Sphere found himself... sinking. He realized it with a jolt, and it was a terrible sensation, that came with an overwhelming flood of panic. What if he sunk all the way? What if he was buried? What if no one ever came for him? It would be worse than space! He'd be buried alive! Frantically, the Sphere began rocking from side to side, as his eye spun back and forth, looking for a way out. And, of course, the babbling began... "Oh no... Oh no no no no no- No no nonononononnonono noooo nooooo this can't be happening, this... Kefka! Buddy! You're around here somewhere, right? Its... its very funny! Ha ha! But, uh, please come out now! ....Anybody? Somebody?"
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Chell on 8/10/2012, 12:31

    The thicket of trees Chell had sprinted into were reasonably dense, but did a fairly poor job of keeping out a shower of this magnitude, much to her misfortune. As it was, the woman had taken to following what appeared to be a small trail of sorts, probably too small to be man-made - though her reasoning was that if animals used it that frequently, then maybe it could lead her somewhere useful. Like... a cave, or something. The woman frowned as she continued her search, slouching and bundling her arms around her torso. Annnnd just to make things even better, she couldn't help but notice that her white long fall boots were getting absolutely caked with mud. Her hiking clothes - a black tank top and a pair of shorts, to be exact - would be simple enough to wash, but those were going to be hell clean, she should have just tried walking without them today...

    Suddenly, something pulled her out of her internal grumbling - or someone, it had sounded like, causing her to stop in her tracks. The noise kept going, and although it was too far out and too muffled by the rain for her to be able to make out any words, it was definitely a voice, she decided. A fairly human sounding one, too. Granted, Chell couldn't say she was the foremost authority on those sorts of things, but even from a distance it was clear that whoever it was wasn't happy, as the voice had a desperate, distinctly rambling tone to it.

    In fact, it almost sounded a little... familiar...

    Chiding herself for her paranoia, the former test subject broke into a jog towards where she heard all of the commotion, and tried to ignore how unnerved she suddenly felt. Human or not, the owner of the voice clearly needed help. The woman had managed to cover a decent amount of ground when something snagged the back brace of one of her boots, sending her stumbling forward and grasping for whatever she could reach. Her hands had shot out to catch the thin lower branches of a nearby tree, though it didn't prove to do her too much good in the end, as the branches promptly broke upon impact. The resounding snap! echoed across the area, loud enough to probably scare away any nearby animals, and definitely loud enough for whoever had been yelling to hear, Chell thought with a grunt. Wincing, she managed to yank her boot free of the large, upturned root it had caught on and pulled herself upright, picking splinters out of her hand as she continued on her way. For as useful as they could be, those boots could be a pain sometimes... hopefully she hadn't scared whoever was nearby out of half their minds.
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Wheatley on 8/18/2012, 12:12

    That was a vain hope, but perhaps not entirely Chell's fault. Wheatley was already in such a state that practically anything would have scared him half out of his mind, since at least half his mind had already been primed and ready to flee at the first sign of trouble, worked up into such a panic as he was. Needless to say, the sudden, echoing SNAP of the tree branch had made the Sphere nearly jump out of his casing. "AAAAAAAAAAAH!" The scream was not immediately followed by another, as Wheatley rolled his eye around on its axis, trying to figure out where the noise had come from and what had made it. He rolled onto his "back" just as Chell staggered into view.

    His reaction was somewhat dramatic and quite expressive, considering he was only a small round ball with a solitary blue eye for. The shutters around his 'face' flew back as far as they would go, the blue lens in his optical sensor narrowing to a mere pinprick, and the whole of his body tried to shrink in on itself, as if trying to turn concave. "AAAAAAAH!"

    Wheatley had actually thought a lot about what he'd do, or say, to her, if he ever saw her again. The one thing that had worried and concerned him at all about his arrival in the Gamma and upon learning that their world was apparently destroyed, was the thought that maybe she'd been destroyed along with it. It had somehow seemed... unfair. After everything she'd been through---after everything he'd put her through---she deserved to get away. (Mind you, it wasn't as though he were entirely in the wrong, here. After all, she had been trying to murder him, just like she'd murdered Her, in a very, um, determined sort of fashion and so, yes he'd probably overreacted, but could you honestly blame him? Though... well, yes, alright, there was that part where he'd taken over the facility... and... but, look, she'd put him there, so, so it wasn't completely his fault.... Though, um, it was still probably mostly his fault, on the whole...)

    He'd really, really wanted her to be here, because that meant she was safe! It meant she was alright, and free, and maybe might forgive him if he apologized, and then it'd be just like the good ol' days when they were friends, good old friends...

    Okay, so, perhaps not the most realistic little fantasy. At this very moment, upon receiving his wish that she was here and alright, Wheatley did not feel relieved at all. Well, no, that was untrue, he felt a very little tiny bit relieved, but mostly what he was feeling could be described as Oh, no, she's going to kill me. After all, she'd shot him into space! Not that he blame her for that, it was entirely provoked and he completely deserved it, but still she'd shot him into space. After he'd thrown bombs at her! And blown her up! And tried to crush her, or slice her up, or incinerate her, or, or, or, oh god she was going to kill him wasn't she.

    If his first reaction was based purely on terrified shock, his next was based upon this certainty sinking in. Wheatley slammed his eye shut and huddled in a tiny, quivering, pathetic ball. He'd had a speech, once, all worked out about what he'd say to her if he could see her again. At the moment, all he could remember of it was "I'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorrypleasedon'tkillmeI'msososorry!"
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Chell on 8/20/2012, 20:15

    Chell had never really considered herself to be all that easy to surprise. Oh sure, loud, sudden noises made her jump like any normal person, and the scars Aperture had left on her mind kept her from ever feeling truly at ease around any sort of advanced technology, but feeling genuinely shocked by anything was something she figured most people grew out of after spending enough time in Portal City. She had seen things she couldn't even begin to wrap her mind around since settling down, and as far as the former test subject was concerned, nothing could catch her off guard anymore.

    Stumbling across Wheatley sitting as plain as day in the clearing ahead of her changed things.

    At first, her reaction almost mirrored his, as she came to an abrupt halt and simply stared at him, shell shocked. His next scream immediately changed her demeanor, however, and in a fit of blind panic, Chell snatched up a nearby rock and lifted it threateningly over her shoulder, shooting him the most enraged glare she could muster. To anyone else, it would probably look like a complete overreaction, but the woman was acting on pure instinct at this point. After all, the last time she had heard that voice had been under significantly more deadly circumstances, and it was something she had really, really hoped she would never have to hear again.

    At the back of her mind, she knew she shouldn't be too surprised to find him here. She may not have been the most worldly person, but even she knew that people came and went from this world all the time. It made perfect sense that anything from her world could have made it over, it was just she really didn't want it to. She had been perfectly happy to leave that portion of her life far behind her, but now he was here, right in front of her, and all the semi-rational part of her mind could think was what are you doing here, you're supposed to be gone, why are you here. He had betrayed her, used her, and attempted to do her in more times than she could count. In the end, she wasn't really sure which was worse.

    And now that little robot that had caused her so much trouble was sitting in a trembling, endlessly apologizing heap at her feet.

    Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Chell dropped the rock, taking a few staggering steps backwards as she attempted to reassess the situation. Okay, so he was here. Fine. She would have to accept that - his apology was a different matter entirely, and she would deal with that later. Lastly, he didn't seem to be much of a threat to her anymore - in fact, he seemed to be stuck in a puddle of some sort. She wondered why that of all things had gotten him up into such a panic, but after observing him for a moment, it was clear he seemed to be... sinking. Slowly, but she could still tell from where she was standing. However he'd managed to get himself there, it was clear he needed help, and soon.

    And there was her catch, she realized, she didn't have to help him. She was free now, it was entirely her choice to make. Pressing her lips into a thin line, she whirled around, mind racing. On the one hand, it would be so easy to bolt and just forget she had ever seen him. Maybe someone else would find him eventually, or... dig him up, one of the two. On the other hand... was leaving him really going to do anything for her? She had worked so hard to keep her humanity intact after everything that she'd been through, and leaving him... well, didn't really sit well with her to be honest. Helping the core wouldn't mean she forgave him, it just... meant she was better than leaving him to rot. Even if it was probably more than he deserved.

    And besides, abandoning something helpless? It seemed far too much like something She would have done.

    ...Goddammit.

    If there was one thing you could say about Chell, it was that once her mind was made up, she always acted quickly. Turning on her heel, she made it over Wheatley in just a few bounding strides and stopped. After giving the situation a good hard stare - god, he really was wedged in there - she cracked her knuckles, reached for his handlebar, and tugged.
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Wheatley on 8/29/2012, 14:28

    He was still babbling, as Chell dropped her rock and debated his fate. when death did not instantly descend on him, the urgency of Wheatley's terror was eased, even if he wasn't, strictly speaking, relieved. She could still murder him at any moment (in fact, she was probably just taking her time in deciding the most painful, horrible method possible), but every moment she didn't was one he felt compelled to fill. The alternative was ominous silence. "-so very, very, very sorry. N-now, I realize that, that you, um, probably have a lot of very good reasons to, uh, to doubt the, um, the sincerity of my, my genuine, heartfelt regret and, and, well, apology---well, I say heartfelt but, well, you know, metaphorically speaking, not actually... I mean, technically speaking, I don't have- nevermind, nevermind, not the point, the point is that, um, I realize I, I might not have been the, um, the most.... um. Well. Reliable person. At the end, there. (Quite reliable, um, before... I, I don't suppose you remember me rescuing you, uh, from the testing track. That- that was fairly, um, fairly reliable, I feel.) But. Right! You, um, you should know that I was very sorry, b-before you even-"

    At which point, hands closed around his handlebar, and Wheatley yelped. A second later, however, her intent seemed to sink in, and Wheatley risked opening his eye. "Oh! You're saving me! That's... well, practically the opposite of killing me. Oh, I can't begin to tell you how relieved-" Wheatley caught himself before his relief grew too exhuberant. After all, he'd been convinced she would be the last person in the world who might help him. Bit ungracious of him to take her change of heart for granted, then. And Wheatley was trying his best not to be the unthinking, monstrous jerk he had been, when he was in charge of the facility. It had brought out a part of him that Wheatley wasn't sure he liked, in hindsight.

    When he continued, barely a heartbeat later, it was somewhat more soberly. "That is, um, I realize you don't have to be doing this, really, and I probably don't deserve it, but, um, what I mean to say is... really, just, genuinely thank you."

    He felt silent, then, until her tugging freed him from the muck, with a rather unpleasant shlurping sound. "Oh, augh, yuck. That was horrible. Just... just disgusting. What's the point of mud, honestly? Just, just... aaagh."

    Now much more mobile, relatively speaking, Wheatley looked around, squinted up at the rain that was still pattering down through the branches, and then at Chell. "Um. Just a suggestion, but, might be good to get out of the rain. Possibly. That is, um, if you think its a good idea. And! Um, um, I say we, but, um, not to, uh, not to sort of suggest that, that you would necessarily have to, or, or, really, might be planning on, um, going anywhere... with me. Though, if you would, um, take me with you, for, for a bit, I would really, very much appreciate it."
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Chell on 9/5/2012, 13:25

    Ohoho, 'unreliable' was an understatement. Chell couldn't say she believed herself to be the sort of person who held long, unwavering grudges towards just anybody, but she did have certain standards she expected those she associated with to live up to. Standards that most certainly didn't involve stabbing her in the back when she was so close to her goals, or attempted murder, for that matter. Multiple counts of it. As far as apologies went, they were all well and good when they were genuine, although as much as she hated to break it to the sphere, he was far from being off the hook yet. Oh sure, he could babble on about sincerity as much as he liked, but how much of it really meant anything? From where she was standing, he was completely helpless - at her mercy. Despite her decision to save him, there was still that nagging doubt in her mind that he was only trying to appease her here, and that things could very well be radically different if he had the means to save himself. As far as she was concerned, forgiveness was something that had to be earned, and frankly, the core had a lot of catching up to do.

    Grunting as her first attempt failed to separate him from the mud, the woman tugged again, brows knitting with determination. God, how heavy was he? He'd seemed light enough during their first attempted escape from the labs, although granted, that had been with the aid of her portal gun. For the first time since her escape, Chell found herself almost missing the thing. Finally, her persistence was rewarded when the third yank freed him the muck, causing the former test subject to stumble backwards a few paces before regaining her footing. Well, that had been tedious, and she was more than a little muddy now, but it was nothing she couldn't handle in the end. After taking a moment to catch her breath, she brought her attention back to Wheatley as he asked, in a typically round-about way, if she could take him with her to find shelter.

    Narrowing her eyes, she brought him up to eye level and peered at him from under her bangs, obviously mulling the idea over in her head. It would be so easy to just plop him under a tree somewhere and pretend none of this had ever happened, but... honestly? As much as she was tempted (and she was very tempted), there was this tiny, nagging part of her that wanted to bring him. Oh sure, she still trusted him about as far as she could throw him, but was he really any threat to her now? He was no longer in control of the environment around her, and still seemed to be, for all intents and purposes, immobile. On top of that, she couldn't help but feel a twinge of curiosity as she'd half listened to his babbling while she had been trying to free him - he seemed so subdued here, far removed from the desperate megalomaniac he'd been the last time she'd seen him. Now that she had calmed slightly, there were a few choice questions she had for him that sprung to mind, and she intended on getting an answer. Besides, maybe he would be of some practical use for her.

    Her mind finally made up, Chell shot the core a glare before pointing two fingers towards her own eyes and then back at his, following it up with a sharp jab in his direction. Words may have still been beyond her, but she felt her meaning was clear - try anything funny, and I'm chucking you into the nearest pond.

    With that settled, the former test subject continued on her way, using one arm to hold Wheatley up like her own, extremely talkative lantern. If he was coming with her, then he was going to have to do his share, and that meant helping her find a shelter. Preferably soon, she thought as she swiped her now matted bangs out of the way - she was soaked to the skin.
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Wheatley on 9/9/2012, 20:16

    Eep. That had been a very scary look she'd given him, just now, and even an oblivious moron like Wheatley could get the message. He was definitely not off the hook just yet. Even if he wasn't entirely positive what all that pointing and jabbing had been about. Probably some human.... cultural superstitious thing. The Evil Eye or something. The AI Core shrank back, just in case it worked. You never knew, after all. Spending several months tagging along with Kefka Palazzo had made him more open to the possibility of magic. Even if he was still positive it was all just very advanced, unorthodox Science.

    But then, they started off, and she held him up where he coudl see (unless she was just dangling him in the air, threatening to drop him into the muck again, which was really uncalled for, but he'd try and give her the benefit of the doubt.) "Oh, oh!" Of course! He knew what she wanted. "Right! Searching for shelter! Brilliant! Let's see..."

    He flipped on his axis to peer out into the rainy woods. "Ummmm. Not much, really. Trees, mostly... more trees... still, yes, still trees. Oh! No. Nevermind. Still trees." Extremely talkative lantern indeed. This continued for a bit, with Wheatley announcing anything he laid his gaze upon (mostly trees, but occasionally small rocks, and once a squirrel). Until...

    "Oh! Ohohohohoh! There! Look! Its, um, its, well, it looks like a cave." Wheatley squinted through the foliage. The mountains in this area were fairly riddled with caves, but he'd never explored them himself. It was far more interesting to see the open sky or the outdoors than poke around in caves where he would definitely get lost. In this cave, a cave would be vastly superior to the open sky with all the water falling from it. "There. Over, over there. See it? Look, I can't point..."
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Chell on 9/10/2012, 12:13

    Had she not been so preoccupied with finding shelter herself, Chell would have rolled her eyes at the core's endless babbling. Yes, this was definitely the Wheatley she had come to know during their short time together as a team, if she'd ever had any doubts. Thankfully, it was relatively easy to tune him out - a little too easy, in fact. Hearing that voice almost constantly in her ear while they had been attempting to escape the facility was something she had gotten a little more used to than she would care to admit, and it was odd how eerily familiar the situation seemed to be now. Not exactly in a comforting way, of course, but familiar none the less. (Although the thought of hooking him to the nearest tree branch and leaving him there to be some kind of bizarre birdhouse was still verrrrry tempting.)

    In fact, the rambling had been going on for so long that she nearly missed it when he did spot something, so wrapped up in her own searching that she almost walked right past the cave. The genuine excitement in his voice caused her to pause though, her head swiveling this way and that as she attempted to see what he was seeing. She was so wet and muddy that a cave sounded absolutely perfect right about now, but where was it? Finally, after squinting through the branches herself, she spotted it - an opening, small, but inviting enough to her eyes, tucked into the inside of a cliff. Well, color her impressed. With a pleased nod, the former test subject trotted over to the cliffside and hunched down, peering into the opening. From what she could see, it looked big enough for the two of them to hide out in for at least a little while, but a combination of the overcast skies and the general depth of the cave made it hard to see inside. Frowning, she reached into her supplies bag and pulled out a flashlight, aiming it into the darkness.

    ...Annnndddd nothing, save for a few flickers. Fantastic, she must have forgotten to check the batteries before she left the Inn. It wasn't that she was afraid of the dark, it was just... well, she knew all about the sorts of animals that liked to wander the mountains, and they weren't all docile. The cave seemed uninhabited from where she was standing, but still, the last thing she needed right now was an angry bear on her tail. Turning her attention back to Wheatley, Chell eyed the sphere for a moment, before giving the side of his optic a few, insistent pokes. Once she had his attention, she waved her flashlight out in front of her, hoping he would get the clue. Hopefully that light of his still worked after all this time.
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Wheatley on 9/18/2012, 07:29

    The Sphere winced when she tapped his lens, though it obviously didn't hurt, just startled him. She did have his undivided attention, however. For all the good it would do. Wheatley stared blankly at the tube she waved in front of his face. "Yeees, that's, um, that's a very nice... thing..." What was she on about? Why wasn't she going into the cave he'd found? The, um, the dark... slightly ominous cave, come to think of it. Wheatley couldn't honestly blame her for not wanting to go in there. He wouldn't want to, either. But what other option did they have? It was the spooky cave, or stand out in the rain.

    But, alright, alright, she was trying to tell him something. Something to do... with that tube... Augh, why was this so hard? He should be able to figure this out. Something... with the tube... and the cave... that she wanted him to...

    Oh, he gave up. He'd have to figure out what she'd wanted once they were in the cave, where it was dry. If she wouldn't go in because it was dark, well, he could easily fix that.

    "O-kay, right. Look, I'll be honest, I really, really have just no idea---at all---what you want me to do. So. Um. Let's, let's just go inside and I'll um I'll try to figure it out some more. Right? Right."

    He turned on his helpful little flashlight beam---honestly, this was just about the best thing ever, he had no idea why they'd told him not to use it, it was probably one of the thing about himself he was most proud of---and swiveled around to illuminate their find. A quick glance showed the cave was empty of angry bears or birds. It seemed to be somewhat flat and wide, with a damp, sandy floor that got drier towards the back. Wheatley's little light couldn't illuminate the whole room at once, however, but a few passes with the beam was enough to show that it was clear.

    "Oh, this brings me back," he said, without thinking. And belatedly started thinking, as his mouth tried to backpedal and instead began digging him deeper. "To, uh, to, right, the good old days, you know, escaping. Together, I mean, not, not, um... look, never mind, forget I said anything."
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Chell on 9/20/2012, 16:11

    Had Chell had a free hand to use at the moment, she would have facepalmed. Right, maybe it had been a bit dumb to expect the core who once tried to entice her to her death with a pony farm to know what a flashlight was. For all his yammering on about them he had done during their time as a team, she never once believed Wheatley knew much at all about humans or their way of life. Of all the grievances she currently had with him though, it was a little hard to hold that one against him. Because, honestly? If there was one thing Chell had learned since actually meeting people and slowly adjusting to her new life in the city, it was that Aperture was just about the poorest representation of humanity she had ever seen.

    Still, either way, she now had no idea how to communicate with him what she wanted. As she stood trying to contemplate how to mime this one out, Wheatley seemed to figure it out on his own - in a roundabout way, of course. As light swept over the inner walls of the cave, the former test subject took a few cautious steps inside, allowing herself to relax a little once she saw that it was indeed abandoned - and dry, thank god. At the rate the rain was pounding, she looked like she had fallen into a lake.

    Wheatley's little comment did not slip past her, however, and the woman happily returned it with a warning glare and a snort. The good old days, huh? Either the time he'd spent in space had warped his memories, or he was just that oblivious, but they had been anything but good for her. And, frankly, her time in the facility would have been cut a hell of a lot shorter if a certain someone hadn't gone all power-hungry and punched her down an elevator shaft. Truth be told though, he was right - this entire situation was eerily similar to their time sneaking around behind the scenes of the facility together, right down to the way his voice echoed slightly off the walls of the dimly lit cave. It put her in something of a mood, and she refused to make another glance in his direction as she made her way to the back of their new sanctuary.

    Once she'd found a spot she liked, Chell set Wheatley on the ground before flopping down herself about a good five or six feet away from him, unable to resist letting out a heavy sigh as she did so. God, what a day. If she had known going on an afternoon hike would result in her getting caught in the rain and running into her former enemy, she would have just stayed home. Although, if she hadn't, she reluctantly reminded herself, said former enemy would have been done for. At the moment, she was rather pointedly ignoring the core as she worked on wringing the water out of her hair, and used a small cloth she had pulled out of her bag to wipe off her bare arms and face. Admittedly, it was partially in preparation for what she wanted to ask him soon, and partially just to make him a little uncomfortable - after all, surprisingly helpful or not, she was still rightfully irritated with him. She simply couldn't resist watching him squirm, just a little.
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Wheatley on 9/30/2012, 10:11

    And squirm he did. Not literally, but only just. When she'd placed him on the floor, he had very slowly fallen over onto his side. Oh, he missed his float spell. So, so, so much, you really had no idea. Especially now. As glad as he was to see her alive and well, it would have been nice to not be entirely at her mercy. He hadn't been joking before, it had reminded him of the old days. Whatever she felt about them, while they'd been absolutely terrifying, they'd also been... well, like she'd thought, Aperture science hadn't been chock full of shining examples of sane human beings, and besides the scientists, there were only the turrets to talk to. Having a... a friend for the first time ever had made that first desperate escape kind of enjoyable. Of course, then he'd ruined everything.

    Now, of course, it was like the old days but without the fun. He'd resent that, but he only had himself to blame, after all.

    Fidget, fidget. My, he's managed to stay quiet for a few seconds now. That couldn't possibly last.

    "So, um. Thank you, again, for, uh, for not leaving me there. And, and, taking me with you. Because, I realize I'm not exactly your favorite person. Least favorite, actually. I imagine. And, and, I'm not complaining, obviously. Obviously not complaining. Its just that I'm pleasantly surprised. So, thank you. Um. Again."

    Paaaaaaause.

    "Have, have I mentioned that, uh, that its- its- I'm glad to see you? Glad to see you here, um, um, rather terrified to see you face to face, but, um, glad- glad you made it, too! How, how have you been liking the place? I've been here months. Its amazing. Oh! I should introduce you to Xiao Xiao!. She's, um, she's a squirrel. Sort of. Very friendly, likes pretty hair and ribbons and-" his voice grew exasperated under the cheer "-putting stickers on me." He wasn't sure about introducing her to Kefka just yet. The clown was... not for the faint of heart, as much as Wheatley liked the bloke.

    "Or, Karkat! He's, well... a bit grouchy, actually, but pretty brilliant. Oh, oh, or Livewire! We've, um..." Oop, stepped in something he was embarrassed to admit. The next was mumbled, as if he was hoping she wouldn't be paying attention, "...have been reading at the library..."

    And then, back to being bright and chipper. "Have you been to the Sanctuary, yet?"

    -----

    (And I apologize for how long this took, I had the post written up a few days ago and my notebook and my computer kept not being in the same place.)
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Chell on 10/2/2012, 10:35

    (No worries! I've actually been on vacation all week, so it didn't feel like that much of a wait.)

    ---

    Well, that little moment of awkward silence sure hadn't lasted long - as to be expected when you were in Wheatley's company, Chell thought. At least he seemed to get that she was still irritated with him. The woman licked her lips thoughtfully and gave a halfhearted shrug at his thanking of her for what had to be the 50th time, not entirely sure how he expected her to respond. 'Least favorite person' wasn't entirely far off the mark, but what else could she have done? She was angry, yes, to a degree that four months away from the facility had done little to heal, but while he may have been one of the last people she'd wanted to see here, she just... she couldn't have left him behind. For as ruthless as she could be when she needed to, it wouldn't have sat well with her. It could have very likely been a bad move, she knew that, but for now, she wanted to size him up a bit before she started leaving him behind in puddles.

    She still refused to look at him, although that seemed to have done little to deter the core, as he soon started babbling again. The former test subject worked on getting her hair back into it's customary ponytail while he went, listening to him carefully. For all his nervousness, he sounded genuinely relieved to find her here, something that surprised her, although she still reminded herself to take it with a grain of salt. She was not surprised to hear he had made friends in the apparent months he'd been a part of the Breach - after all, if she of all people had been able to form budding friendships with a few certain individuals here, then someone as extroverted and chattery as Wheatley was a shoe-in for it. The names of the people he'd mentioned were unfamiliar to her, however, although she had to bite her lip to suppress an amused smile when he'd brought up his sort-of-squirrel friend. Stickers, huh? Maybe she really would have to meet this Xiao Xiao, if that was the sort of entertainment she'd get...

    Unfortunately for Wheatley, Chell was quite a sharp listener (as she had to be), and his mumbled statement caused her to turn and look at him for the first time since they'd stepped into the cave with just a little bit of surprise. That was... something she hadn't expected from him, actually, although it was something she'd always wondered about. If it was true, it would certainly make her job here about a million times easier, however the thought of willingly communicating with him might have made her feel.

    After a moment of considering him thoughtfully, the woman fished around in her bag for a moment before pulling out a small notepad and a pen, something she made sure to always carry with her no matter where she went. She was writing now, although she still took the time to shake her head at his question regarding the Sanctuary. No, she hadn't been yet, though she'd certainly heard of the place - frankly, the thought of it had never really appealed to her. It wasn't that she was shy, not by a longshot, it was just that putting herself in a place where the entire goal was to get to know people? Yyyyeah, not really her cup of tea. It had been hard enough to open up to people in more relaxed settings. For now, it would either take some more time or a lot of coaxing from someone else before she was ready to set foot in the place.

    But, back to business. It had been hard to write in the dim light that Wheatley's optic created, but from what she could see, the text was readable enough. After chewing on the blunt end of her pen for a moment, she turned her paper towards him - before quickly flipping it sideways once she saw the position he was in. "You can read?"
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Wheatley on 10/18/2012, 19:10

    ((I really, really need to stop sitting on these posts. Right. No more slacking for me!))

    The piece of paper was thrust in his face, and his big blue eye widened in surprise. The lens shifted, making tiny adjustments as his gaze ran over the words. and ran over them again. and again. And then again, more slowly. He could read perfectly well. He had quite the vocabulary filed neatly away in his brain, even if he didn't actually bother accessing most of them. The trick was not reading the words---or, rather, it wasn't recognizing the scribble on the page as standing for words and letters that he knew the meaning of. No, the real trick was... reading.

    It took intense amounts of concentration to get his processor to focus on the words, because it really, really didn't want to. It wanted to latch onto tangents and run, or zip down unrelated flights of fancy, or spin itself up in nonsensical musings. It did not want to read words and absorb them in any meaningful way. Reading books was a feat of willpower that, more often than not, he lost. Repeatedly.

    Three words was less of a trial, but it still took him several long seconds more than it would have taken anyone else. If he'd had a mouth, he would have been carefully mouthing the words as he read. "....Yes," he replied, at last, still squinting uncertainly at the paper. "Of course I can."

    He glanced up at her (inadvertently shining the beam of light in her face), and added, with some exasperation, "Pen and paper, why didn't I think of that? Great big facility full of computers and, and, desks and things, you'd think there had to be a pencil lying around. Piece of charcoal. Something."
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    Re: Reunion

    Post by Chell on 10/19/2012, 15:11

    ((Hahah, it's fine, really. Take all the time you need))

    ----

    The former test subject watched attentively as Wheatley's optic ran over her notepad, mouth forming a tiny 'oh' shape once he answered her back. She had suspected as much - after all, it probably would have been counterproductive even by Aperture standards to design an AI who couldn't even read - but frankly, she had always wondered if he really, genuinely could. (She remained firmly convinced that he had never read or understood a word of Machiavelli.) This seemed to answer that question, thankfully for her, although it was obvious he'd struggled with it. It was really just her luck that the one person she probably really, really needed to communicate with through written words to get her point across had a mind that wanted to run off in about ten different directions at the same time 24/7.

    Chell, however, was willing to be patient when it really counted, and as far as she was concerned, this did. What she did not have the patience for was wayward light beams shining themselves into her eyes and owwww that smarted. Wincing, the woman brought an arm over her eyes, trying in vain to rub the spots she was now seeing in her vision away. Once she had fully recovered a few moments later, she shrugged, jotting down the words in her notepad with far more intent this time. "We were kind of on a time crunch." And then, because she valued her eyesight, she added on one small request before turning her paper back to the sphere. "Also, please stop blinding me."

    Once she was sure he had read all of it, she sighed, returning her notepad back to her lap and staring wearily towards the opening of the cave. She was fully prepared to listen to him babble on for a while longer - and to be honest, that was what she was more comfortable with - but something within her was encouraging her to keep going. Chell was stubborn, almost abnormally so, but the desire to actually get somewhere with the core, as unlikely as that may be, was overriding the part of her that still felt she had a bone to pick with him. Or maybe that was her intention. She couldn't really say.

    Whatever the case may be, she decided she desired progress in this particular situation, and after a lonnnng moment of silence, went back to scribbling in the dim light before giving him another note to read. "Do you miss it? Aperture. You were talking about the good old days." She had a feeling she already knew the answer to that question, but it could help get them on the right track.

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    Re: Reunion

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