The elevator got stuck about three-quarters of the way down to where the laboratory was housed.
Medic pried open the doors. They stepped onto the catwalk.
“We should find where those guns and boots are,” Scout said, and Chell nodded in agreement.
Over where GLaDOS was, she hummed to herself. The elevator was part of her plan. Hopefully they’d find their way to the hidden test chambers, where…
“I thought I told you to go away,” GLaDOS said, looking at Chell through one of her many cameras.
Chell refused to say anything. Instead she picked up a gun from a rack at the wall and experimentally fired a portal. The others did the same, slipping on boots and hearing the fwoosh of portal technology right near them.
A wall next to them shook and then opened up. They saw a door to a testing chamber.
“Let’s get started,” said GLaDOS.
GLaDOS hadn’t been expecting them to bring Chell. The mute lunatic was back and she didn’t like it. Just a couple more adjustments to the next test.
They gaped as they entered the next test chamber. Acid pits, laser walkways, deadly.
They had to use all of their portals to get through to the end. And even then, there was a problem.
“Someone has to stay behind.” Medic said, pointing out what some already knew but did not feel like saying.
“It has to be me,” Chell said. “She wants me out of the way.”
“We can try something else,” said Pauling. “Is everybody sure that there aren’t any cubes?”
While the mercenaries were debating whether or not using a cube to solve the test was feasible, Chell walked over to the controversial button and stood on it. Suddenly, cables sprung out and wrapped around her feet, holding her down and in place. At the same time, the wall shook and broke, exposing a length of hallway from which they could escape the room.
“Go, go!” shouted Chell.
Most of the team had no problem leaving. Heavy stopped and tried an experimental yank on the cables, but even with his strength they wouldn’t budge.
The wall began to close.
“I’ll figure it out myself, just go!”
“She can talk,” muttered Wheatley from where he was in Scout’s pocket. “I can’t believe she can talk.”
Chell was tied up. Then she slowly felt herself being elevated off the ground floor.
They eventually were led to a room that housed GLaDOS herself.
“Hello, everyone,” she said. “Do you like my birds?”
Three crows circled around the room, around GLaDOS.
“Wait… but… huh?” Scout managed to get out.
GLaDOS chuckled. “Yes, they’re mine. Ornithophobia, no more.”
“Huh?” a good portion of the room asked.
“Fear of birds,” said GLaDOS.
Engie pulled out a small contraption from his pocket as GLaDOS continued to speak.
“Yes, well, you had put me out for a little while with that stunt of yours. But that won’t happen again. Attack , my darlings.”
The crows did nothing, continuing to fly around the room.
“I said, attack --”
She was cut short by Engie materializing behind her, attaching the contraption to her “body”.
Spy briefly looked down at his wrist. “You took my watch,” he said.
Engie nodded as the contraption made some chittering noises. Then, the entire room started to shake.
“There’s no more structural integrity,” he said. “Go, go, I’m right behind you.”
The team went back the way they came, only to find a gaping hole in the ceiling where Chell must have gone through.
A few clever portals later, and Scout was only a few feet underneath the exit. “I see her!” Scout said, making eye contact with Chell through the hole.
“Wait!” said Miss Pauling. “What about--”
“I’m here!” shouted Engie. “I’m here.”
They navigated the portals to the top and climbed out one at a time onto the field that they came in. Engie was the last one out and as soon as he had stepped away from the opening the entire lab crashed with a sound like thunder.
Engie put his contraption in his pocket. “Well,” he said putting an arm around Medic and Demo. “Let’s go home.”
Much later, in the Engineer’s lab…
Engie plugged the contraption into the mainframe of the base’s only computer, down in his lab.
There were a few “beeps” from the upload, then a voice came through the speakers. “You saved me.”
“Well, that I sure did,”
“Why?” GLaDOS said from her new home in the base’s mainframe.
“Well to be right honest with you, I don’t know. But I reckon I could find a use for you.”
“Find a use for me.” GLaDOS deadpanned.
“Well sure. Why don’t we start by going through footage of the battles and calculating optimal portal coverage?”
GLaDOS could have protested. But instead she was content. If she could have smiled, she would have. Everything was going to plan.
She knew those birds wouldn’t attack on her command. And she knew that the Engineer would be too curious to just shut her down when she coaxed him to come back. She just had to play assistant to this man until he trusted her, and then…
“Yes, sir, Mister Conagher,” she said,sounding much like her old old self.
Lines of code and video of battle footage started scrolling through the screens, as Dell leaned back and tinkered well into the night.