She woke up and her muscles were stiff, sore. Turning her head was painful, trying to lift her arms exhausting. Everything was covered is a sort of sticky haze, drenched in unreality and frozen back, untouchable.
Eventually she found the strength to sit up, to swing to legs over the edge of the bed and squint out at all the bright around her. In the back of her head she registered sound, noise, eventually recognizing it as music. Turning her head, she could see the white half-circle radio. It looked vaguely familiar.
She fumbled and stood up and realized she couldn’t quite remember her name. She couldn’t quite remember anything, to be precise. The bed behind her made a sound, and turning she could see it form a translucent barrier. Going back to sleep wouldn’t be an option.
The haze in her mind slowly cleared as she walked around, the small white chamber coming more into focus, memory starting to dance at the edges of her brain. There was… a laboratory. A potato. A lot of other kids playing, but not playing with her. An adult-
“Hello,” a computerized voice suddenly cut through her thoughts, and she shivered involuntarily, “and welcome, again, to the Aperture Science computer-aided enrichment center. We hope you brief detention in the relaxation vault has been a pleasant one.”
She wasn’t sure the ‘detention’ had been particularly brief at all, but the voice kept talking and she wasn’t given any more time to think properly. Something seemed off, seemed just a touch wrong, but it wasn’t the frighteningly clean chamber, or the lack of human test coordinators standing in the viewing bank nearby, or even the computer glitch that caused the voice to cut itself off, break into Spanish, and skip the warning part of its message.
She couldn’t put her finger on it, though, so when the fiery orange hole opened up in the wall, she walked straight through, getting enough of a glimpse of herself to wonder just how interesting this day was going to be.