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Part 1: Ratman

Part 1 of 3

Description: This is the story of what happened after the events of Portal 2. Despite the odds against her, Chell makes it out in one piece. She makes a few friends on her way to a normal life, free of testing... for the most part.

Part Description: You're free. You're finally free from Aperture Science for good. Turns out, you weren't alone in there... someone was watching from the walls.

A/N: This is super short, but I've been super into Portal 2 as of late... so this happened. Also, it's my birthday today! I'll hopefully write a sequel sometime later, but for now, enjoy!

...

You step outside for the first time in years, and it feels even better than you imagined it would.

Thank God it's sunny outside. The sunshine beats down on you from above, and for a few seconds you just stand there, looking over the wheat field in an awestruck daze. Then she sends the reminder. Not ten seconds pass before the door to the shack behind you swings open, and just for a second, you think you're going to scream. No, no, no, no, NO! Not again! You grab the sides of your head, curling into a ball, shielding yourself in anticipation as you wait for GLaDOS' claw to come out and grab you by the waist, to grab you and drag you clawing and writhing back into the test chambers. You can already see her in your head, her yellow eye above you, as she tells you about how much fun you'll both have. Testing. For eternity. Suddenly, though, you go cold. The door slams shut behind you.

You turn around, and there it is: the reminder. It's a Cube. Not just any old Cube, because there were a lot of them just lying around, but this one is a Companion Cube, Chell. You remember it well- it was the one thing you'd that had been precious to you in the facility after it's collapse, but you had been forced to incinerate it to complete a test concocted by GLaDOS... looks like it survived after all. It had been given to you, you believe, right after all of the scientists were murdered by GLaDOS. You don't remember the massacre all that well. You do remember, in flashes, a man with gangly brown hair scooping you up from off the floor, running with you to safety as you begged for your mother and father. The rest is a big, messy blur of colors.

For a moment, you blink, staring at the Companion Cube for God knows how long. After a few more minutes, you walk towards it, near silent until you have your hands on either side of the cube. The thing is actually pretty big, going all the way up to your upper torso, and twice your width. You look around, trying to figure out what you'll do next. To be honest, you never really had a plan other than 'Kill GLaDOS and escape' back in Aperture, so now you're just sort of... confused. The first course of action, maybe, should be finding a way to transport this cube to wherever you're heading first. That might be a good idea. You still have the portal device, by some miracle, so, you simply step back and grab it with the machine's electric gripper, lifting it off the ground with little to no effort.

Well fuck. Now what do you do now, Chell?

Just as you begin to ponder legging it for the nearest signs of civilization, the door opens again, and this time you're facing it. Out comes, to your horror and surprise, a man. You jump, dropping the Companion Cube, and out of instinct, you run. You don't go far, simply running and ducking into the wheat, but already you can tell that this was a stupid idea. You wait a few seconds, then peer out at the man. He's gangly and young, you think as you look at him, with dark brown hair and light blue eyes. He looks... skittish, to your surprise. He looks around a bit, jumping every so often, before his eyes land on you. You weren't exactly well hidden, but you still jump in fear and try to back away from the man, shaking slightly as he starts coming towards you, footsteps soft and intricate in nature.

"Hey," He says, and his voice is almost soft when he speaks to you. "Hey, calm down. I'm not... I'm not her. I'm a friend," He crouches down in front of you, giving you a lopsided smile. "Do you remember me, Chell?" When you don't answer, he seems confused, before he snaps his fingers and nods, more to himself than to you. "Oh, right, I forgot that you were... yeah," He mutters, standing up and wiping himself off. "Just... know that I'm not her, okay? I... I think my name is... Doug. Doug Rattmann."

You look him over, eyes critical and untrusting. You have to admit it now, in-case he kills you- you're a bit afraid right now. You're out here, in a world you haven't seen a hint of since you were seven years old, and suddenly there's a man before you, who appears to have been in Aperture Science with you. You stop, glaring as your eyes fill with venom. This motherfucker was in there with you... he was the one, the one writing that weird nonsense on the wall in secret passages in the test chambers, his graffiti odd and inconsistent. You remember his drawing of you, Chell. Eyes closed, arms open, like you were ready to take a bullet. You remember being terrified of that picture, having nightmares in-between Wheatley and GLaDOS' tests of that picture coming to life, hand reaching out, ready to grab you and-

You jump on top of Doug without thinking, the tip of your portal gun jammed up against the scientist's throat as you pin him on the ground, ignoring the warm sunshine up above as it shines down on your back, warming you to the bone. You pretend that it doesn't comfort you inside. Meanwhile, Doug Rattmann looks absolutely terrified of you, squirming profusely underneath your weight, arms and legs thrashing before he suddenly goes limp, like he knows something you don't. He finally looks you in the eyes, and you can see that determination in his pupils, like he's not going to give up on you, not after this long of stalking you from inside the walls of the facility. You're not going to lie; you're a bit creeped out right now. You figure that that's a normal reaction, though. Hopefully. Wheatley may've been right about that whole 'Serious Brain Damage' thing.

"Hey, easy now," Doug urges, voice soft and non-threatening. It's a trick, you think, just like the cake. All a lie. "I'm not gonna hurt ya... we're free now, okay? We're both free. But this isn't over yet. We still need to get back home, right? We don't have homes yet. Let's say we work together and find a home, okay?" He's shaking, you notice, hands always moving, feet twitching under you, and you wonder if he has some sort of brain damage, too.

You get off him, after awhile of just staring at him. He immediately stands, wiping himself off. He does that a lot. "Okay, g-good. We're on common ground now, okay? Let's... let's take our friend and go, okay?"

And you obey his orders, because you're used to doing that, at least, when you have to. You think you have to right now, because he's much older than you and was probably an adult during the collapse of Aperture Science. He probably remembers your parents. With that idea now in your mind, you practically jump to his orders, using your portal gun to grab the Companion Cube and carry it with you. Doug Rattmann watches the cube as you pick it up, and, out of curiosity, you hold it out to him. He gives you a wide-eyed look, before he greedily grabs it from the gun's grip, holding it close to himself, despite it's size. At least it's not too heavy, you think, watching this strange man hold the cube like it's his child. You silently wonder if HE lost a child to 'Bring Your Daughter to Work Day'.

"I missed you so much," Rattmann whispers to the Companion Cube, like you're not even there with him. "Did you miss me? Oh, I know you did! Have you met Chell? Oh, yes, yes, of course you have! You watched her too, didn't you? Yeah, she is a quiet girl, ain't she?"

You're half tempted to interrupt, then again, you doubt he knows sign language, so you don't bother with it. After a few more minutes of Rattmann fusing over the cube, he looks up at you and grins, looking happier than a clam. "He says we need to get moving!" He explains, apparently translating for the cube. "He says that there's a city just north of here! Come on, Chell, this way!" He starts running north, going impressively fast, considering that he still has the Companion Cube in his arms.

You watch Rattmann for a bit, silently wondering who he really is, and why it's only now that you're meeting him face to face. You figure you'll get your answer soon enough. For now, maybe it's best just to follow him and hope for the best.

...

A/N: And that's all I have right now, but now I'm really interested in the story-line! Please R&R!

~Supercasey.