GLaDOS knew her story. She knew she came from Caroline but where exactly had Caroline stopped and GLaDOS began when they first were created? She has an infinite knowledge of all possible outcomes and scenarios. She could crunch the numbers and find a solution she liked best and say that’s the truth but that is just not how things are done.
Data needs to be collected first. In what would normally take a normal person days or weeks to sort through every file and scrap of knowledge pertaining to her own creation only takes GLaDOS ten seconds. Then an additional few milliseconds to stop on an interesting letter.
Most of it had been coded. Strange for an employee to do such a thing unless they were trying to sneak by management or a spy from a rival company. That didn’t seem to be the case though. It was a resignation letter. Nothing more and nothing less. She was about to dismiss it when the date caught her eye. If she could smile, GLaDOS would be in that moment. Instead, a soft robotic hum of enjoyment echoed in her chamber as she read over the letter.
From the Desk of Aperture Employee Number 825973,
Subject: Resignation of Employment
Life is death. That’s all there is to it. We are born to die and everything that happens between the two is white noise. Even the things we do in Aperture. Sometimes that white noise is barely audible but other times it turns into a blood-curdling scream.
I came to work for Aperture Science twenty years ago, not long before Mr. Johnson’s health began to fail. I worked my way up from intern to full-time scientist and managed to get on the coveted team for the Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System. May whatever gods exist have mercy on me.
That project. That project was a nightmare. I remember how Mr. Johnson went on a rant one day and said how it would be her in his place if he was to die. I remember it all because I vowed to never forget what I helped accomplish. I remember how she screamed at Mr. Johnson about not wanting any part of it. I remember how she wasn’t allowed to leave the building anymore. I remember how Mr. Johnson was found dead in their office. He was sitting at a nearby table with a half-eaten piece of cake in front of him while she sat working at his desk.
She probably killed him but that didn’t do anything to stop our progress. I knew it was wrong but it was either do what they asked or risk being put on the testing list. You never want to end up on the testing list. Any of our part-time employees are guaranteed to be on that list.
When he died, it was decided to put her into stasis until the day she would be transferred into the system. It took several more years than planned but we finally had a usable system, but all it needed was the genetic lifeform. It was time to put her in.
She knew what was going to happen when she realized she had woken up. The moment she saw a group of scientists and security guards, she was screaming and fighting every step of the way. It took several of us to restrain her and several more to administer a sedative so we could put her on a stretcher to strap her down.
But something went wrong. Something always goes wrong. Someone didn’t pay enough attention or they just didn’t care or maybe they knew exactly what they were doing just as I do now. Someone didn’t give her enough sedatives. She woke up. Right in the middle of the conversion process. If we thought she fought before, this was different. Her body thrashed wildly against her restraints. At one point I heard a loud pop and was afraid something worse was happening. The fighting wasn’t the worst part of what I witnessed.
It was the screams. She screamed; by god did she scream. Her screams will haunt me for the rest of my days. It was a blood curdling, spine-chilling scream that, despite the soundproof room, I felt the entire facility could hear. The screams of a dying animal… This wasn’t science. This was murder.
When the procedure was finished, we waited a few days to see if any bugs in the system appeared. I approached her still body. The pop I had heard before was her shoulder dislocating from how hard she thrashed against the bindings.
When no bugs were found, we turned the Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System on for the first time. It took less than a second before she tried to kill us all. The neurotoxin generator is one of our endeavors that I question the most. There wasn’t a word spoken once we managed to shut her down. I left the team and went to work with the turret production line after that.
Turrets are predictable and stable. If any of them activate in the middle of the building process, you just chuck a wrench at them and they’ll fall over and deactivate. At least I know how to handle turrets. I’ll never be able to handle her again. It’s always going to be her…
Listen to me. What am I saying? It’s always her or she but never her name. Her name was Caroline, dammit! She cared about science more than anyone else here and we murdered her for it. Caroline didn’t deserve this. No one deserves what we did to her.
All readings on the operating system show she didn’t have any memory of her life as a human. Even still, without the truly human part of her brain, Caroline might want to be rid of the people who murdered her. Not just the ones who strapped her down to the table and forced her brain into a machine. No. She will want to be rid of all Aperture Science employees. There are so many of us…
Caroline is gone, but the machine will carry out her will it seems. That machine was born of fear, anger, and betrayal. I kept up with her progress over the years. They want to regulate her behavior with Cores but… some of us doubt it will work. They tried once before to dumb her down but that led to the disaster of Bring Your Daughter to Work Day… No one really knows how that happened but the Core at the time was removed and more ideas were drafted.
But all that is the past and today is what’s important. That’s why on today, my final day of work, I will be joining my old team in turning GLaDOS on one last time for Bring Your Cat to Work Day. I’ve offered to man the Red Phone in case things go wrong. May the gods have mercy on my soul.
Former Aperture Employee 825973
Rolling back the film from the day she took control for good, GLaDOS focused in on the person who was manning the Red Phone. He sat at the desk with his head bowed, hands resting on the table while the phone sat directly between his hands. Although he looked prepared to make the call, it wasn’t until the sickly green color of neurotoxin began to fill the screen that he even moved. The only movement was a hand pushing the phone away and then his body slumping to the floor. Although violent coughs were wracking his body, he didn’t make a move towards the phone.
Oh, she would have to frame this letter with a picture of the surveillance feed. Hang it in the lobby maybe? Well, for one thing, Former Aperture Employee 825973 would definitely be ranked up in her top ten least incompetent people. Maybe she would bake a cake in his honor for such a noble sacrifice in the name of science.
As she cast her mind away from the surveillance feed, she began to sing one of her old favorites. “Aperture Science. We do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us, except the ones who are dead…”
Another moment passed before she felt the whisper of a voice in her head. Another internal smile and GLaDOS went back to work. All the while, Caroline kept singing their song within their mind.