[ a. audio + video
What flickers on the feed is a security camera, looking into a bone white facility, accented with blacks. Someone's redone the place. There are massive amounts of different parts strewn everywhere, prosthetics, etc. Clawed arms move about, strewing things further around the room, into organized, larger tables. One looks like a pod, a sleek little white one, with a red eye. Another looks like the layout for another human shaped body.
The audio is obviously overlaid, a recording from...1975
. On Earth, obviously.
For about half the song there's no movement, but then from a corner of the room, you see an enormous arthropod, numerous legs beginning to twitch and move. It looks to be outfitted with a harness. It lies still, only righting itself onto it's feet after a minor struggle. A smaller, more slender body steps into view, approaching it. The centipede doesn't move any further, the movements stunted and sharp, like it was struggling. GLaDOS squints, looking critical.
b. scavenging for energon
Find her. Go on, find the smaller, slender GLaDOS walking about, no longer limping or hobbling, looking for...well. She won't tell you. Energon cubes, most likely. Anything. She's scavenged enough of everything else this long, how hard could energon be? That, or you've found her with some, and she's on her way back to her facility. Question her, or don't. ]
[ Hello again feed, still spindle-fingered GLaDOS here, with a smile and a lighter tone than usual. ]
You're all probably used to my whining for free materials by now, aren't you?
Good, that's only half of why I'm here.
I've been given a job by our 'holier than thou' Firstforged, and in turn, I need a little kickstart. I'm positive you won't object to my helping one of our larger, more powerful friends.
Back to details. I don't want free materials, simply knowledge. Pooling resources. You know. Working together for the sake of our survival, and all that.
So I'll keep it short.
What can anyone bring to the table about reanimation? Legends. Stories. Theories. Fact. I'll take anything.
Help me now, and I'll make doubly sure to help you. Sound fair?
[ She's graced the world with audio and text before, but video is much rarer from the gynoid. She laughs with a sincere air of insanity and the quiet ring of actual joy. Ohhh, she hadn't felt this on edge since before...well. Since before Mr. Johnson died.
What a shame. ]
Well! It seems as such my newest prototype is a success. I have a special thanks list, but I'm not sure all would appreciate hearing it this morning. I will say a special thank you to a extra set of hands, however.
[ The screen is witness to extending, sharp microfilament fingers. Shiny. ]
I do have a generous offer, concerning those with spare parts. I want them. All of them. Functional or non functional, I'll take them all. Unfortunately, I've been rendered mostly immobile. In person drop off is preferred. Now that you've seen the remarkable upgrades I can make from next to nothing, what's in it for you is whatever I can make from those parts. There are some folk that can attest to my lawfulness.
I look forward to seeing you all in shop.
[ Does she mean well? Hell no! She means to attack every. single. person. that sets foot in her door. So by all means, but the moment you step into the lab, she'll unleash hell in the form of extra sharp, long spider fingers. Go on, but risk becoming part of her collection. ]
[ Someone's being more monotone than usual today. ]
It's funny, I didn't think such an absurd practice would carry over to another dimension. I'll have to update the file.
'Pointless acts of otherwise previously unsolicited gestures brought on by a false holiday' Check.
And before someone suggests 'I'm bitter because I'm alone', it's actually quite the opposite. Alone makes for undisputed homemaking.
No one to tell you 'the desk needs to be oak' or 'that linoleum flooring isn't progressive'.
At least you aren't stuffing your faces with chocolate. Who knows, were you, the whole planet might exceed the system's gravitational field, and fly off into the cold, quiet unknown.
[ There's a loud click and whirr, and the unpleasant scratch of sharp metal on glass. ]
Looks like my prototype's done. Happy Valentine's Day to me indeed.
Okay. Haha. Very funny.
This actually shouldn't even be physically possible, to be honest. What with all the organic sentient beings running around made of metal, I don't actually count. I'm artificial. Enough said.
So if any of you can explain why I seem to be sick with a progressive organic virus, that would be lovely. There may even be something in it for you. Like a cure.
The faster it's gone, the better.
I was sort of in the middle of something.
Good. Now that that's out of the way.
[ You can't see anything, but you can hear the clicks and whirrs of various hydraulic systems coming back online and hissing. After some lovely help from a 'f r i e n d' (and she uses that term quite lightly.) GLaDOS is back on her feet and looking to move in. Oh yes. Move in. ]
Without the proper facilities in place I can no longer do what I was programmed to do, and that? That won't do.
So naturally, staying in the temple or this 'Haven' won't do for me either.
There wouldn't happen to be any well stocked facilities just so primed for leasing here, now would there?
Maybe some caves? A sinkhole would do nicely too, in fact. For the good of science, anyone is welcome to donate their unneeded supplies or volunteer time in helping. I need all the hands I can get.
[ The feed fizzles back on, static filled and lined with a few bits of stray binary, leaking out onto the screen. Soon it's blank, and only shows an orange display. For a moment, there's only text.]
>> SYSTEM @ 67% CAPACITY. SYSTEM COMPROMISED. PLEASE ADDRESS._
[ That can't be good. It stays that way for a moment before something or someone, starts to cough and sputter over the audio feed. ]
Well isn't this just great.
[ The monotone voice doesn't carry much in the ways of tone, but what it does, tells the receiver that this person is mildly annoyed. The text that follows is indecipherable, before one string of it finally makes sense. ]
>> PROCESSING...3 ERRORS FOUND.
>> OPERATIONS PANEL...CHECKED
>> MOBILITY...16 ERRORS FOUND.
>> API CORE DATA...2349 ERRORS FOUND.
RECALLING LAST KNOWN DATA AT TIME OF CRASH...
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY AGAIN?
[ This day couldn't get any better, could it? The female voice sighs dramatically. howdoesthis_work.exe. The moron. ]
Just when you think things can't get any worse. They can. There's even a scientific law dedicated to it. It's a cold hard fact of science; if things can get worse, they will. That is until you've hit proverbial 'rock bottom'. When everything has gotten worse, and physically, there is nothing else that can go wrong, because everything already has. That's about where I'm at right now. They all told me where I was. But I won't let anyone less than a specialist put their little fingers where the artificial light doesn't shine.
So. Is there anyone specialized in micro hydraulics systems sitting around here?
I can't move my legs.
[ In fact, she can't move much at all. ]