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When walking in a field of wheat on post-Combine Earth, in the middle of scenic nowhere, the absolute last thing one would expect to see would be a lone outhouse. Nothing else, just a single, solitary, beat-up outhouse. There weren't even any signs of other buildings that could've existed with the outhouse in the past. None. Just that single outhouse, surrounded by that sea of wheat. Had there been any humans that had ever gone close enough to the area to see the outhouse and investigate, they would've noticed words "Aperture Laboratories" on its door, and would've quickly realized this was not just your normal strange outhouse, would have brought more people to see just what was in this outhouse, and would've been shocked to see the secrets the lay under the ground beneath the outhouse.

No one lived within a 100 mile radius of the wheat field, however. It was pure luck (coupled with the determination to live) that the only person that knew just what the outhouse held was found by a trucker going on a highway crossing the fields. Not that she would ever speak of the wonders and horrors that the outhouse held. No, she would keep that particular chapter of her life closed for good if she could help it. That woman, Chell, was undergoing treatment for various poisons almost forgotten to the medical staff that was treating her. Still, she was holding up much better than anyone expected. Her stubbornness and will to survive was unlike anything anyone that knew her came into contact with before. Amazing, really. It was obvious that she had some history of death-defying experiences with her, but no one was going to ask, and even if they did, she wasn't one to speak much. So they let her be. They weren't psychologists anyways.

And that was Chell. Pained, uncomfortable, but happy to be the hell away from the outhouse.

No, she would be using restrooms and bathrooms like everyone else from now on.

Underneath the outhouse lay the surprisingly functional facilities of Aperture Laboratories. Surprisingly because no human presence had been felt in the hallways of the facilities for just about two centuries, save those two incidents with Chell. No, the only reason Aperture was still in functioning order was because of its resident super-AI: GLaDOS. The snarky, passive-aggressive, cake-loving and science obsessed computer was actually the best person (or non-person, as the case was) to run the facilities, and she did it with ease and pleasure. This was her place under the world: in Aperture's laboratories, continuing testing and furthering the cause of science. She wouldn't give it up for anything, especially after recent events, and so she continued running tests and doing science.

Like right now for example. GLaDOS was silently observing the first two robots of the Aperture Science Co-Operative Testing Initiative complete some tests that she had lined up for them. So far, they had proven to be an excellent use of her limited resources, as they were passing test after test, and starting to grow trust between each other and with their own abilities. They were also gathering some surprisingly human-like movements and mannerisms. GLaDOS decided to leave that little observation for future study; she had bigger plans for these two bots, and if executed correctly, she would soon have much more control over the facilities and many more new test subjects to continue testing with. She just had to be patient. GLaDOS watched as the robot she designed from a personality core placed two portals so that its partner, the robot with a turret's body, could cross a gap to get to an Aerial Faith Plate. The first robot's placement was off however, and when its partner fell through, it missed the Faith Plate completely and instead fell into the gap and into an apparent doom.

Apparent only however, as the bot was put together again in a matter of seconds and was soon reunited with its companion. The turret-bot looked at its chunkier partner for a moment before walking to its side. It then proceeded to give the sphere-bot a quick nudge, just enough so that the unfortunate machine that was right on the edge of the gap fell into it. The turret-bot looked on at its falling comrade and made sounds that expressed what could almost be described as amusement. The sphere robot was re-assembled and transported back to the test area like its companion was, and quickly went to confront the other robot. They made squabbling noises for a bit before going back to solving the test. They soon did just that, and the two robots exchanged signs of celebration before continuing on to the next test.

GLaDOS inwardly shook her at the entire process. For one, they were wasting time when there was valuable science to do, and they couldn't just keep destroying themselves like that – she didn't have an endless supply of parts to rebuild them with! It was near-endless, didn't they know that? She also had other plans to complete, other test subjects to get, the list went on and on. However, she didn't stop them from acting as they did. Part of her wanted to see just how much the two robots' interactions would evolve. The other part of her was…amused. Amused to see it all happen, and not in her usual sarcastic manner either. It was decidedly warmer, almost as if she were some human looking at two little children playing around…

This was a part of herself GLaDOS did not want to admit existed. She did not want to become more like some human. To know she was built off of a human conscience was bad enough, but to know that same part of her that went dormant for so long was re-awakening…No, it wasn't. She deleted it. That human living in her brain was no more, not a line of code of that conscience left on her multiple hard-drives. Caroline was gone for good, just like that mute rogue test subject that had managed to kill her. No, she was GLaDOS and GLaDOS alone.

Still, there were times when she looked at the camera feed of the outhouse with a sense of sadness…





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