blue sky book

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The Portal fanfiction Blue Sky in pdf form.

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  • Cover Art by drawsperiodically

    Chapter Headers by K Chapter 2 Art by Jessica Sheffield

    Chapter 4 Art by Paperseverywhere Chapter 5 Art by Pizza-soup

    Chapter 7 Art by Rubitinmyeyes Chapter 8 Art by Chelsea

    Chapter 9 Header by Waffleguppies Chapter 9 Art by Niki

    Chapter 14 Art by rubitinmyeyes Chapter 15 Art by Niki

  • FIRST UPLOADED 3 OCTOBER 2011

    BLUE SKY

    A PORTAL FANFICTION

    WAFFLES

  • CONTENTS

    1. THE RECALL .................................................................................. 1

    2. THE RESCUE ................................................................................ 17

    3. THE ASCENT ............................................................................... 38

    4. THE SECOND STRIKE ...................................................................... 70

    5. THE MISTAKE .............................................................................. 93

    6. THE TOWER .............................................................................. 113

    7. THE MONSTER........................................................................... 136

    8. THE COLD HARD TRUTH ............................................................... 157

    9. THE LAST RESORT ....................................................................... 180

    10. THE BROADCAST ...................................................................... 204

    11. THE ORACLE ............................................................................ 226

    12. THE FALL OF EADEN .................................................................. 251

    13. THE OLD FRIEND ...................................................................... 275

    14. THE TERRIBLE IDEA ................................................................... 298

    15. THE END ................................................................................ 324

  • Counterfeit- a Plated Person- I would not be-

    Whatever strata of Iniquity My Nature underlie-

    Truth is good Health- and Safety, and the Sky. How meagre, what an Exile- is a Lie,

    And Vocal- when we die- -Emily Dickinson

  • 1

    1. The Recall

    Somewhere deep within the vast vaults of Aperture Laboratories, two small robots charged down a long catwalk, the echoes of their footsteps clanking off the distant walls. One- short, stocky, with one bright blue eye at the centre of its spherical body- squawked briefly at the other- taller, slimmer, its jointed torso housing a single orange eye- and took the lead, raising the strange gunlike piece of tech in its jointed hands and firing down the corridor at an angled panel at the far end. A blink-and-you'd-miss-it bolt of blue energy sizzled through the air ahead of the two robots, zipping down the catwalk and across a huge section of missing floor, a gaping unjumpable chasm where the metal looked as if it had simply been ripped away by a giant hand.

    The bolt struck the angled panel, opening a shimmering blue hole. Without even breaking stride, both robots hurled themselves off the edge of the broken floor, plummeting down into a dark, wire-choked chute that flung them right, left, and finally into freefall, the catwalk a dwindling point of light above them.

    Tucking into a tight roll in midair, the blue robot twisted shoulders-downwards, and fired again. The very bottom of the pit- a corroded, grease-stained white surface- opened up with a half-second to spare into a second blue-ringed oval. Both robots shot through at terminal velocity and rocketed out of the angled panel, arcing a two-hundred-foot parabola into the murky girder-crossed ceiling, trailing garbled, dopplering squeaks of glee.

    The orange robot was the first to land, hitting the highest platform in a crouch, riding the impact with the powerful shock absorbers in its long, sticklike legs. The blue robot landed a second later, rolling upright- being basically spherical, it was better suited to rolling- and jerking its high shoulders towards the big red button set into the floor. Catching on, the orange robot stamped down hard, and a sweet, blocky chime sounded as the exit door set into the wall behind them slid open with a hisss.

  • 2

    The two robots high-fived enthusiastically, scattering sparks, and trotted forwards.

    "You solved it." The Voice came from everywhere at once, cool, modulated, and

    inexpressibly bored. "Good for you." Stopping in the middle of the next chamber, the robots paused and looked

    around. The blue robot shifted its weight, the orange hopped nervously from one foot to the other. They had been programmed to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances- that was one of their primary functions- but even by their standards, there was something a little off about this chamber. It was, well... blank.

    "There's been a change of plan. I'm placing the Co-operative Testing Initiative project temporarily on hold."

    No buttons, no cubes, no turrets. And, now that the round hatch had sealed itself behind them, no exit.

    "Your performance has been adequate," said the Voice. "Goodbye." The two little robots looked at each other for a moment, puzzled- -and exploded. It was a fairly undramatic explosion. There wasn't much noise, and- apart

    from a little shower of metal bits and a small cloud of oily smoke- hardly any mess. After a short interval, a panel opened up in one blank wall and a small jointed plate unfolded from it, busily sweeping all the little bits of the two robots neatly into the gap before shutting up again and fitting back inside itself.

    Silently, the panel closed, leaving the chamber clean and empty once again, apart from a few oily spots and a faint, lingering smell of smoke.

    ()~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~() Space, thought Wheatley, was big. It was massive. There was so much of it, that actually processing how big it

    really was proved downright impossible. The glittering vault of stars stretched out endlessly in every direction, defying comprehension, staggeringly, mind-bogglingly, infinitely big.

    It was also really, really boring. Sad, but true, the beauty of the infinite cosmos palled after a while. It was

    fine to start with, awe-inspiring and breath-taking and all the rest of it. You could spend all the time you liked staring at it, getting to know all the different types of stars, things like that. Wheatley didn't know their actual scientific names- observational astronomy was not part of his programming- but in the absence of official nomenclature he'd made up his own. You had your basic 'little twinkly ones'- they were probably a very long way away, even by star standards, and accounted for most of the stars he could see- and then there were the 'big bright ones', which were either a bit closer or planets

  • 3

    and things, and 'multicoloured ones' which he wasn't really sure about, and- very occasionally- you had your 'ones that turn out to be bits of space junk whooshing past while exploding.'

    Hours of fun, those ones. He'd also dabbled in the constellations, with less success. Picking out

    shapes in the stars when you were ceaselessly orbiting a lunar body was challenging, and Wheatley wasn't really up to it. For a start, his optic was damaged- the glass was cracked, splitting his field of vision into two slightly misaligned halves- which meant that focusing on anything too much made him feel motion-sick. Motion-sickness, artificial or otherwise, isn't funny even when you're able to stop moving and have a sit-down until it stops. Having motion-sickness when you have no choice but to go on orbiting the moon at roughly seventeen thousand miles an hour with a slight tailspin, on the other hand, is utter hell.

    He'd tried, though. Once an orbit, there was a roughly Z-shaped formation of stars which he'd called the Management Rail. Then there was one of the 'big bright ones' in the middle of a sort of arch of 'little twinkly ones', which- not having much of an imagination when it came to naming things- he'd called the Sentry Turret.

    In this manner he'd named an entire zodiac; the Ceiling Tile, the Catwalk, the Potato Battery, the Pipe Network, the Deadly Death-Trap, the Power-Crazed Idiot, and so on. It passed the time, and there was a lot of time, up here.

    Once you'd sorted all that out, though, got everything star-related nicely pigeonholed away, there just wasn't much else to do. There were only four things in Wheatley's field of vision which weren't stars or blackness, and none of them offered much relief from the monotony. The craggy lunar surface, miles below him, that was one. Then there was the Earth, a white-blue sphere in the distance, laughably far off. Wheatley, who had never seen the surface of the Earth first-hand, sometimes wondered vaguely if it really was like the files, the vast archive of visual data he'd had access to when he was jacked into the Enrichment Centre's mainframe.

    There'd been all sorts of weird stuff in those files- huge masses of water, he supposed that was all the blue- fields of green fluffy stuff that waved around in the- what was the word? It was on the tip of his verbal processor- wind. In the wind. Animals, too, not just humans but all kinds of crazy life-forms with mad names like elk and platypus and tiger and ebola Zaire and unicron. Wheatley had no idea what a unicron was, but he thought it sounded pretty bloody impressive, all the same.

    Then there was the sun. The files had suggested that from the Earth's surface the sun wasn't that bad, but up here in space without the protection of all that white wispy stuff around the Earth it was an intense, cold-yellow glare. Wheatley didn't dare to look directly at it with his broken op