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About Photography / Professional Member Casey Hadyn WilliamsFemale/United States Group :icondepressionawareness: DepressionAwareness
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Casey Hadyn Williams
Artist | Professional | Photography
United States
Current Residence: United States
Favourite cartoon characters: the Elric brothers

I am an artist who works for a newspaper in Athens, but I also love drawing, photography, and writing. Check out my fan fiction Portal 3 if you're interested.

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I took this online personality test, and it turns out that I am an INFJ.  That means that I am introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging.  I have a strong sense of morality and have the ability to fight for what I believe in even if I don't like being the center of attention.  Apparently, my personality type is rare.  I am the type that not only dreams of a better world, but has the ability to put a plan into action.  I am also very empathetic and want to serve others and make peace.  I have to say that I am quite happy with this result.
  • Mood: Content
Albina flew out of the hole in the testing chamber and looked around.  She was not sure where to go next, but she knew that she had to move fast before GLADOS did something else.
Fortunately, Kayla was flying by in the vent.  She continued to mark the sides of the vents with her spray paint.  She stopped for a second to catch her breath and looked out through the grating.  She smiled the biggest smile that she had smiled in weeks, because she saw Albina.  Kayla could have just called out to Albina, and she would have heard her.  The vent wasn’t far from where Albina was flying.  However, Kayla came up with a funnier plan.  She picked up her iPhone and quickly found the song she was looking for.  She found the instrumental track to Albina’s “favorite” song.  Kayla made sure the volume was turned all the way up and pressed play.
Albina immediately heard the music and turned around.  She wasn’t sure what to think until she heard Kayla’s singing voice.
“The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen,” Kayla sang.
“Kayla?” Albina called out.
“A kingdom of isolation,
and it looks like I'm the Queen.”
“Thank God!  How have you been?  Are you alright?”
“The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in;
Heaven knows I've tried.”
“Kayla, why are you singing that song?  You know how I feel about that song.”
“Don't let them in,
don't let them see.”
“Cut it out.”
“Be the good girl you always have to be.”
“Where are you?”  Albina said as she flew closer to where the sound was coming from.  The music stopped.  She noticed the grating on the vent and immediately froze it off.  Kayla wasn’t there.  Then from the right side of the vent, the music started again as did Kayla’s singing.
“Conceal, don't feel,
don't let them know.
Well now they know.”
As Kayla continued singing, Albina climbed into the vent.  She managed to fit in.  She then created a layer of ice under her feet and blew her icy winds behind her so that she was propelled forward into the direction of the voice.
“Let it go, let it go.
Can't hold it back anymore.
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care
what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.”
Kayla kept flying further and further into the vent while she was singing.  In her way, she was leading Albina to where their headquarters was.  Meanwhile, Albina was sliding through the vents very quickly.  As she flew through the vents, she noticed that Kayla had spray-painted directions on the vent walls.  She figured out that she was heading for a place Kayla titled “h.q.”
“It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all.
It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I'm free!
Let it go, let it go.
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go!
You'll never see me cry.
Here I stand
And here I'll stay.
Let the storm rage on.”
Kayla had slipped out through the entrance of the vent where their headquarters was.  She was singing to Albina to guide her with her voice.  Albina was getting closer and closer to where she was.  Kayla’s voice was getting louder and louder.
“My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast.
I'm never going back, the past is in the past.”
Albina crawled dawn the vent corridor where she knew Kayla was.
“Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go.
That perfect girl is gone.
Here I stand
In the light of day.
Let the storm rage on!”
Albina slid out of the vent and flew down to the floor.  She looked up to see Sylvie sitting on the couch, three robots standing in awe of her presence, and Kayla flying in the middle of the room as she prepared to sing the last line.
“The cold never bothered me anyway!” Kayla sang and then flashed a large smile.
“Hi, Albina,” Kayla said mischievously.  “What did you think of my song?”
Albina smiled and shot ice straight at Kayla who was able to fly fast enough to avoid it.  The robots started to panic.  Atlas and P-Body hid on the other side of the couch behind Sylvie while Alpha prepared to deploy his guns.
“No,” Sylvie said turning to Alpha.  “Leave her alone.  She’s a friend.”
Then turning to Albina, Sylvie said, “What was that about?  Why were you trying to freeze Kayla?”
“I was not trying to freeze Kayla,” Albina said crossing her arms.  “I was just messing around.”
“Well, you looked like you were trying to freeze her to me.”
“I was trying to make her shut her mouth so that she would stop singing that annoying song.  You could stand to chill out yourself.”
“Watch it, Albina!  I’m not in the mood to deal with your mouth.”
“It’s nice to see you, too.”
Sylvie just glared at Albina who was holding her ground calmly.
“Will you calm down please, Sylvie?” Kayla asked.  “We really were just messing around.  You know that she would never hurt me.”
“I wish Chelsea was here,” Kayla thought to herself.  “I don’t like dealing with this drama.”
“Whatever,” Sylvie said standing up.  “Let me get you something to eat.”
Albina walked over, grabbed Sylvie’s wrist with her cold hands, and pulled her down to the couch.
“Actually, I want to know what is the matter with you,” Albina said.  “You are usually not this tense.”
“Yeah, Sylvie,” Kayla said.  “What has happened?  Why are you freaking out so much?”
Sylvie shook out of Albina’s grip and calmly said knowing that there was no point in hiding anything from Albina, “You’re right.  Something did upset me, but I know what I have to do about it now.  So, that problem is taken care of.  Now, let me get you food, Albina.”
Kayla seemed willing to let the matter drop, but Albina was not satisfied.
“Sylvie, we are your family,” Albina began.  “I want to know what is burdening your soul.  You will never feel any better unless you let it out.”
Atlas beeped in agreement.  P-Body did the same thing.
“Shut up,” Sylvie said.  “What would you two know about talking about your emotions?”
The two robots gave her looks to talk and the two other girls sat there in silence waiting for Sylvie to reply.
“She is sad because she saw dead people,” Alpha chimed in.  “It made her sick, and she’s been sitting on the couch ever since.”
“Alpha,” Sylvie said in shock.
“Sylvie,” Albina said.  “What does he mean by that?”
Sylvie knew that she had to tell them the truth and that bearing her problems on her own shoulders was not an option anymore.
Sylvie looked down at the ground and began, “I was hacking into the Aperture Science computer system.  I have been looking through everything possible for us to defeat GLADOS, so I looked at the video surveillance footage.  I saw the test subjects die during testing.  I also saw GLADOS kill everyone else with her neurotoxin gas.  She killed adults and children.  I watched them all die.”
Kayla was horrified.  “Oh, God,” she said.
Albina kept her composure.  “Sylvie,” she said.  “You said that you had found a solution.  What did you mean by that?”
Sylvie looked up with a determined look on her face.
“I am going to keep on going with it,” she said.  “I will look through the video footage and everything else.”
“But, why?” Kayla exclaimed.  “You’re just torturing yourself!  Can’t you just skip over it?”
“I have to do it,” Sylvie began.  “As those people were dying, they thought that they were dying alone and that no one would ever bring them justice or know what happened to them.  They thought that they would be invisible to God and the rest of the world forever.  For their sake, I cannot let that happen.  I am going to transfer all the video footage to P-Body over here and I will absorb everything else I can possibly learn about this place.  Then once we escape, I’ll compile all the footage into one video and all the information into a book about this place.  I will tell the world about the evils of this place.  Everyone will know what happened here and justice will finally be done.  People will know so that like the Holocaust they will never ever repeat the same mistakes again.  The souls of everyone who died here will finally be able to rest in peace.  God is using me to bring justice to his people, and I cannot pass up that opportunity just because what I see is disturbing.  You don’t have to worry about it taking long.  It won’t take terribly long.  I’ll have all the information in about two days.  We can use the information we learn to defeat GLADOS, too.  You don’t have to worry about me either.  I’m a strong girl.  I’ll be able to handle it.”
Kayla still a little shocked at hearing the most that she had ever heard Sylvie talk at one time replied, “Sylvie, I hate to be the cynical one, but the world is still broken.  Once we get out of here and your work is done, how will you distribute the work to everyone?”
Sylvie smiled and said, “I have thought long and hard about that one, too.  Albina, when you go out to fight against the Combines, will you allow me to go with you?  If I am going to carry out this mission, I will need to carry out the larger mission for the sake of our world, too.  I need to fight all the injustice of the world.”
Albina smiled and said, “Of course, once your work is done, you shall come with me.  I am proud of you, Sylvie.  You are very noble.”
Kayla pitched in, “Then, can I come?  I want to kick some alien ass, too.”
“You are too young,” Albina said.
“I am not.  The man who started the Navy was eleven years old when he became the captain of his own ship!  You should have seen what I did to GLADOS with my telekinesis.  I can totally handle myself.”
“We will talk more about this later.  I think we had better catch each other up on all that has been happening and figure out what to do in the meantime.”
Kayla sunk down into the couch and sulked.
“Agreed,” Sylvie said.  “For right now, who is in the mood to eat?”
Sylvie used the food synthesizer to get turkey sandwiches for the three of them and gave Albina her water.
After they prayed, Sylvie and Kayla recounted to Albina everything that happened after they got separated.  From escaping from the gas to finding Zaki, Pastor Roberts, and Chell to hearing from Chelsea and getting separated again to forming a partnership with the robots to spray-painting the vents to reuniting with each other and fighting GLADOS to finding Alpha, they explained it all.  Albina on her end did not have as much to talk about but it was nonetheless important.  She talked about how she escaped GLADOS’s testing chambers and how more importantly Chelsea was doing.
“GLADOS is forcing Chelsea to get married?” Kayla said in disbelief.  “To Hugo?”
Sylvie was speechless.  She was not angry at Chelsea or Hugo as neither of them would ever do anything to hurt her.  She was angry that GLADOS was forcing them both to betray her.  She wanted them to be safe.  She also wanted her boyfriend to be with her.  She could not say any word to show her disgust for a minute but then she spoke up.
“We have to stop her, for good,” Sylvie said getting up.  “It’s time to get back to work.  Come on, P-Body.”
P-Body nodded and followed her to the corner where they were before.  Kayla got up, threw the garbage away, and filled her water bottle up.
“Wait a minute,” Albina said.  “I have to do something, too.”
“What do you want to do?” Sylvie asked.  
“Vandalism,” Albina responded with a smile.  “I shall cover all her testing chambers with ice so that she cannot test.”
“That’s a good idea,” Sylvie responded.  “Get to it.”
“I’m going,” Kayla said.  “I’ll see you later.”
“I’ll be there in a minute, Kayla,” Albina said.  “Go on ahead.”
“Whatever,” Kayla said.  However secretly, she lingered near the entrance of the vent to see what would happen.
Albina walked towards Sylvie.
“What do you want?” Sylvie said.  “We have work to do and you two need to go.”
Albina said nothing but gave Sylvie a hug.
“I don’t want to leave you alone like this,” Albina said.  “You are so upset still and need support yet you are acting so strong.  I don’t like seeing you so sad.  I want to bear the pain with you.”
“I’m not weak, Albina,” Sylvie said forcing Albina to let go.  “I don’t need you to take care of me.”
“You can’t bear yourself alone with no support," Albina said.  "You need to stop pushing people away.”
Sylvie knew that Albina was right.
“You’re right,” Sylvie said slowly and humbly realizing her pride.  “I’m sorry for being so short with you.”
“I meant what I said when I said was proud of you," said Albina.  "You are such a strong and noble person for what you will be doing.  However, you don’t need to let the pain crush you just because of how dark this place is.  God is still good.  He has triumphed over all the evil of this world.  For that, we have a reason to be joyful.  The darkness of this place will not destroy us.  You don’t have to let it.  Life can go on.  I understand how you feel.  The Combines killed my mother and everyone in the group I was traveling with except me and my brother.  You can trust me.”
“I’ll try to remember that," said Sylvie.  "You are truly a sister to me, Albina.  Thanks!”
“Then what am I?” shouted Kayla poking her head out of the vent.
“Can’t we have a moment without you interfering?” Albina yelled.
“No!  I’m not a baby.  I can be involved, too.  You know.  I love you too, Sylvie.  Albina’s right.  There is more to the world than darkness.”
“Thank you, Kayla,” said Sylvie.
Albina said to Kayla, “You can be such a pain.”
“Let it go!  Let it go!” sang Kayla.
“Oh, you little brat,” yelled Albina as she ran towards the entrance of the vent.  
Kayla laughed and flew further into the vent.
Albina stopped just before she flew into the entrance of the vent and turned towards Sylvie.
“I’ll see you tonight, my friend,” she said.
“Au revoir,” Sylvie said.  “Head back at six.  Alright?”
Albina nodded and flew up into the vent.
Sylvie heard her yell, “I’m going to turn you into a cube of ice, Kayla!”
Sylvie chuckled to herself for the first time since that morning.
Smiling bittersweetly, Sylvie said, “God, you have overcome all evil with your sacrifice.  Even the evil in this place as horrible as it is will not conquer us.  Albina and Kayla are right.  You are using us to stop it.  I do not have to let it make me depressed.  Thank you for your goodness!”
With that, Sylvie touched P-Body’s head and went back to work.  At first, she saw more of the same horrible things.  The survivors installed a morality core on GLADOS, but she forced them to test.  It was horrible watching all the test subjects die.  All the survivors were caught and tested except for one.  GLADOS was more cruelly apathetic than all the scientists were.  While the testing went on around the same time, Sylvie saw a lone man running free around the testing facility.  According to the computer records, his name was Rattman.  GLADOS cruelly taunted him for his schizophrenia, but he still managed to run free from her.  That made Sylvie happy.  There was hope in this dark place.  Rattman was a bit weird.  He ran around with a companion cube on his back.  Nevertheless, Sylvie rooted for him all the way.  The poor guy was trapped in this place for years.  Sylvie wondered whatever happened to him.  While she saw him, she also saw something weird happen with the testing list.  Chell whose name was originally at the bottom was moved to the top.  Sylvie did not see GLADOS do it, so she figured that it had to be Rattman.  Chell’s files said that she was an extreme outlier in terms of tenacity.  Perhaps, that was why he did it.  Sylvie was excited to watch Chell test.  Chell was so strong, so silent, and so brave.  Sylvie knew how much pain that she was in but admired how hard she fought.  She watched Chell escape and fight off GLADOS.  However after that, something weird happened.  Chell disappeared but then reappeared in one of the long term relaxation chambers.  The power had been off, but it was turned on again by a mysterious force just for Chell.  That force had to be Rattman.  GLADOS was dead.  He stayed behind for her.  Sylvie was glad that she could tell his story now.
“Whatever happened to you,” Sylvie began.  “I am glad that now I can tell the world about you.  Thank you for saving Chell!  Your bravery will not be forgotten!  I promise!”
Sylvie was still sorrowful over the deaths of all those people but was happy to see the hope in all this darkness.  The video camera footage leaped ahead to many years later when GLADOS woke up, Chell was forced to test again, and a stupid core named Wheatley took over.  She watched Chell and GLADOS work together to overcome Wheatley and then saw Chell get sent away.
Then she saw Atlas and P-Body in the footage for the first time, GLADOS tested them for a while but got bored and wanted humans to test with again.  These were the next group of people who were tested.  Sylvie was shocked.  GLADOS had lied to them and told them that they were saving the humans, but they still inadvertently had a hand in all their deaths.
P-Body who saw everything that Sylvie saw got up and ended the transmission.  He sat on the couch and held his head in his hands.  He was suffering from guilt.  P-Body never knew how the people had suffered.  He never thought about it or cared about anything that GLADOS did not want them to care about.  He felt used, and he felt like a murderer.  Atlas sat next to him and tried to comfort him, but P-Body pushed him away.
“You did a horrible thing, P-Body,” Sylvie said standing up.  “You both did.  There is nothing you can do now to bring those people back.  However, you can be forgiven by God.  In our faith, the Son of God, Jesus, died and was resurrected in order to make it possible for men to be forgiven for their sins.  You can be forgiven too if you ask.  You two are not humans, but I think God still cares about you.  Please trust me.  I think that God wants to forgive you, too.”
P-Body and Atlas did what Sylvie asked, and they were both forgiven that day.  They felt free for the first time in their lives.  They walked with a new determination.  They wanted to defeat GLADOS and right the wrong that they had done.  P-Body sat down, and Sylvie continued to hack into the computer system.  Atlas just sat and stared at her with an air of a thankful disciple.  He now felt even more strongly for her.
After that bright patch with Chell, it was more of the same cruel testing as thousands upon thousands more people were killed.  Sylvie no longer was crushed with sorrow but burned with righteous anger.  She knew that they would kill GLADOS.  To tell the truth, Sylvie was looking more and more forward to it.  She wanted that robot to die.  By the time Albina and Kayla returned in the evening, she had caught up to modern day testing.  Next, she would look over the files that contained the history and layout of the facility.
Meanwhile in the vents, Kayla continued mapping and spray painting the vents.  She was very glad to have Albina to accompany her temporarily at least.  Kayla guided her to where the testing portion of the facility was and the two agreed to meet there once it was 6pm, the time that Sylvie ordered them to return.  Albina broke through the vent at the testing portion of the facility and got to work immediately.  She flew out and looked.  It was a large open expanse with testing chambers as far as the eye could see.  There was a pit of toxic water at the bottom.  The boxes were all held up with support beams and were created from platforms that were connected to the wall.  These boxes were all standing in a line.  That would make Albina’s work a little bit easier.  She created a trail of ice from the vent to the first testing chamber box and then all the others afterwards so she would not get lost.  She flew on top of the first box that was a testing chamber.  Albina landed on top of it.  She looked around to make sure that there were no cameras around.  Albina saw one looking right at her.  She froze for a second, but then she smiled.  She blasted an ice beam right at it, and it malfunctioned and fell into the bottomless pit.  Albina knew that she had to act quickly from that point on.  Vandals usually acted in secret, and GLADOS now knew that she was there.  Next time, she would have to be more discreet.  Albina blasted ice from her hands onto the walls.  They froze over.  The ice spread and spread and spread until it covered the walls of the entire area meaning that neither the platforms on the wall or any other of the cameras could function properly.  GLADOS may have known she was there, but now there was officially nothing that she could do about it.  
Albina knew that she had to break down the first box.  However, she first wanted to check to see if someone was in there, so she quickly grew and icicle down from the ceiling to break the box open.  It was empty.  It was set up to be used with turrets, cubes, and lasers, but there were no humans in there.  This box must have been stored for future use.  Too bad!  Albina blasted her ice beam into the box.  
“What are you doing?” GLADOS asked over the PA system.  “I may not be able to see you, but I know that you’re in there and that you’re doing something.”
Albina was silent and kept working.  She filled the box until it was completely full of icicles.  If the testing chambers could not be used, GLADOS could not test.  If GLADOS could not test, no more humans would die.
“Are you mad at me for forcing you to test?” GLADOS asked.  “If you want to express your anger, express it to me.  Don’t take it out on the testing chambers.”
Albina finished her work on the first box and moved on to the next one.
“You know that damaging private property is a crime that you could be arrested and deported for,” GLADOS said.
Albina ignored her and repeated her same process on all the other testing chambers.  She smiled at the thought of GLADOS’s reaction when she saw all her precious testing chambers covered in ice.
GLADOS continued to blast out threats like this one, but Albina ignored her and kept going.  Albina finished and had nothing left to do but wait for Kayla to come back that way.  So, she waited.  However as she looked over her good work, she found that she was not satisfied.  The testing chambers were unusable but the space was still usable.  GLADOS could easily take down the boxes and add new ones.  Albina realized that she needed to do something more.  She flew up and down and surveyed the room to see what else she could do to destroy it more completely.  Albina then flew down to the toxic pools of acid.  She flew just above the face of it with disgust.  This acid had killed untold numbers of people.  Sylvie had watched it all happen.  How fitting would it be if Albina could use the force that destroyed the lives of so many people to destroy the place that had destroyed them?   Albina had a plan.
Albina used her hydrokinesis in order pull all of the acid from its place.  She hovered just above the ground not landing for fear of contaminating her bare feet with the toxic leftovers of the pools.  Albina pulled the acid apart so that she could make the acid into toxic icicles.  Using half of these toxic icicles, she pierced each of the chambers multiple times.  She used the other half to freeze and warp the support beams until they became unstable.  Then with a powerful arctic wind, Albina knocked over all of the testing chambers.  She flew into the air above them to get out of their way.  They fell with a big bang that shook the facility.  Even GLADOS could feel it from where she was in her chamber.  She immediately sent a few robots over to where she knew Albina was, so that they could investigate.  
Meanwhile, Albina was pleased with her work and decided that while she waited for Kayla she would make this room look beautiful.  She covered the room’s now fallen and broken chambers with 1,000 feet of ice forming glaciers in the room.  That in itself took a few hours.  After that, Albina put an extra layer of ice over the walls and created layers of snow to cover the glaciers.  She created larger icebergs and icicles hanging off of the ceiling on top of that.  It was a literal winter wonderland in there.        
Albina had no idea what time it was so she decided that she would have as much fun as possible before Kayla came back.  
She made it snow some more and started to build ice sculptures and other structures.  She did whatever came to her mind.  She flew up into the air and made it rain icicles.  Albina made ice stairs with ice balconies that wrapped all the way around the room.  She was very bored.  Albina created a network of crystal chandeliers from the icicles hanging on the ceiling.  They were strong enough to hold her weight so she sat with them for a while admiring her work.
Just then, Albina heard a picking sound like something was trying to break in.  She held still waiting for whatever was ready to encounter her.  The things responsible finally broke open a panel and busted through the ice.  Albina saw two red robots fall into the room and land in the soft snow.  They looked up and looked around in awe.  Albina figured they were hostile spies sent by GLADOS, but she thought that it was a better idea to sit where she was and watch them act.  Albina smiled at the thought of what GLADOS’s reaction would be.  
“Oh, my God,” GLADOS yelled over the PA system.  “What the hell happened to my testing chambers?  They’re all gone!  How did that one mutant manage to destroy a whole room of testing chambers?”
Albina still sat hidden on the ice chandeliers attached to the ceiling.  She giggled quietly to herself.
“Where did they even go?” GLADOS asked.  “Quickly, dig through the snow and see if they are hidden under that.  See if they are stacked up under it.  I need to know where they are and how she has managed to level out the floor this much.  Hurry!”
The robots quickly obeyed and dug through the snow.  They reached the ice and zoomed in with their eyes.  The ice was clear, so they could see all the way down.  Albina silently snickered to herself.
“Oh, God,” GLADOS said.  “How did she do this?  This could take months to thaw out.  She did it.  She destroyed everything!”
Albina continued to laugh quietly to herself.
The robots sat up.
“When I find that little demon, I’m going to kill her,” GLADOS said.  “I will strap her to a rock and throw her down into Android Hell!  I order the two of you to find her now!  Spread out!”
Albina decided that then was the time to act.  She flew down and created icicles dropping them so that they impaled the robots where they stood.
On her end, all GLADOS got was static with images fading in and out.  
“Hello,” she said.  “The reception is terrible.  What is going on?”
Albina could not resist getting down and looking into the eye of the robot.  
“Hello, GLADOS!” Albina said as she lay in the snow on her stomach.  “How do you like my work?  Is it not beautiful?”
“You little demon,” GLADOS said.  “You know I have had trouble figuring out which one of you freaks I hate the most.  First, it was Chell, then it was my subject’s boyfriend, then it was the electric old man, then it was the blond technological telepath and then it was the telekinetic cripple.  However now, you have really done it.   I have firmly decided that it is you that I hate the most.  Congratulations!  You are the worst person ever!”
GLADOS played her clapping sound effect over the PA system.
“You do not include Chelsea’s name on the list?” asked Albina.
“How could I?  Her gifts come from the radiation of the facility’s hard light bridges.  To hate her would be to hate Aperture Science itself.  I could never do that.  Besides, she is a gateway to all kinds of scientific discoveries.  She is going to teach me so much.  How could I ever hate an opportunity like her?  You on the other hand seem to be capable of nothing but wanton destruction.”
“Don’t flatter me,” said Albina sarcastically.  
“I do not intend to,” said GLADOS.  “I am going to kill you, Albina.”
Albina felt slightly scared by the way that GLADOS said her name.  Nonetheless, she held her composure the whole time.  She knew that GLADOS was angry.  However from talking to Sylvie and Kayla, she also knew that the neurotoxin machine was still broken, so unless she could get a bunch of turrets down into the room there was nothing that she could do.
“There is nothing you can do to me,” said Albina.  “Even if you kill my body, you will never destroy my soul.  My God will avenge me.  I do not fear you.  Besides that, I highly doubt that you will get to me anyway.  I can freeze anything you send my way.  Do you not wish that you had the confidence that I do?”
“You’re going on about that again?” said GLADOS.
“I feel sorry for you.  You are all alone, and you have nobody who cares for you.  God Himself has abandoned you.  You are doomed and surrounded by His humans who you can never hope to control.  It is completely hopeless for you.”
“You are pretty pathetic yourself.  You were abandoned by peasants, and your step-mother is dead.  You are an orphan who is loved by no one.”
“That is not true.  In Christ, I have a huge family.  All the believers are my brothers and sisters.  The Spirit of God lives inside me, too.  I will never be alone.  You however have not realized it yet, but you are so alone.”
“You must have so many unanswered questions about your life that must absolutely torture you.  Why do you think your birth parents abandoned you?  Do you think they tried to kill you because they believed you were actually a demon?  You certainly look like one.  How do you know that you are not really an ice demon?  You think that you are a Christian, but maybe you were born to demons and were left on earth for the purpose of causing pain and suffering.  Perhaps you are a creature of darkness.  That would not surprise me at all.  You are certainly nothing resembling a human.”
GLADOS’s words shocked Albina.  However, she knew that she had a relationship with God and that GLADOS’s words were just spiteful lies.  She was just shocked that anyone would say such things to her.  Albina stood up and began to turn to walk away hurt by her words.
“In Russia, there are legends of creatures like you.  Are there not?” GLADOS said.  “They say that the fallen angels who were not evil enough to be sent to hell remained on earth as spirits of the elements.  You have no idea where your parents came from, so that could be true of you.  You said you were a spirit of the ice.”
“A woman of science believing in legends?  That does not sound like you,” Albina said stopping in her tracks.
“In the absence of other explanations, one must examine every possibility.  I don’t think you have completely dropped the idea yourself.  Think about it.  The only purpose for your talent appears to be destruction.  That is all winter is under an honest eye.  It is the death of everything.  That sounds like something demons bring about.  Does it not?  All of your friends have gifts that have other uses.  Chelsea uses hers for protection, her boyfriend uses his for self-defense, the cripple uses hers to function, the telepath uses hers to control technology, and the old man uses his to create electricity.  All ice can do is destroy life and cause problems.  Face it.  You were meant to be something evil.  If your parents were human, they were correct to be afraid of you.”
Albina walked a few more steps in the direction away from GLADOS.  She was thinking over her next reply.  It had to be something good.
Finally, Albina turned back and said, “No one is meant to be anything evil.  That is a choice we make for ourselves.  Our gifts can be used for good or for bad, no matter what they are.  We turn ourselves into monsters.  By that logic, you are more of a demon than I will ever be.”
She turned back and continued walking.
Albina said, “I tire of your conversation.  I am as immune to the coldness of your heart as I am to the coldness of this room.  I am in no mood to hear any more of it, so I will take my leave of you now.  Farewell, GLADOS!”
Albina walked to the top of her icy staircase and made her next move.  She pulled icicles all through the floor.  One icicle impaled the robot head on the floor and ended the transmission with GLADOS for good.  Albina sat down in fatigue.
About fifteen minutes later, Albina was lying on her back on top of a pile of soft snow with her arms folded behind her head.  Kayla flew through the grating hole in the vent.  She looked around in absolute awe.  Albina had truly outdone herself this time.  The room looked nothing like it did before.  It was now beautiful.  Kayla flew all over the room to check it out and take pictures of everything for Chelsea.  It was a lot to take in at one time but she managed to get pictures of it all as she flew around the room.  She flew along the balcony on the side of the wall.  She flew down the stairs.  Kayla flew to the ceiling in order to check out the network of ice chandeliers.  Then looking down on the room, she admired the icebergs, the snow, and icicles on the floor.  Kayla flew in to get a closer look and that was when she got a good look at the dead robots.  After Kayla took her picture of them, she flew backwards in fear.
“Do you like my work?” she heard a voice from behind her say.
Kayla turned around to see Albina standing at the top of the stairs.
“Yeah, it’s really beautiful,” Kayla said smiling.  “I took pictures of everything so that Chelsea and Sylvie could see it.”
“I just couldn’t help but notice the dead robots lying on the ground.”
“GLADOS sent them to investigate this area.  I had to take them out before they found me.”
“Did you get to talk to GLADOS?”
“Of course.”
“Was she angry?” Kayla asked as her eyes grew wide with excitement.
“She was furious,” Albina replied proudly.  “She told me that she hated me the most out of all of us and that she was going to kill me.”
Kayla’s smile disappeared in a flash.  She was not as concerned about Albina’s safety as she was about her emotional state.  
“Did she say anything else super mean to you?” Kayla asked with a motherly concern that went beyond her years.
“She did call me a demon and say that my parents abandoned me because I looked like a Russian spirit of the elements,” Albina said straightforwardly.
“Did that upset you?”
Yes, but you do not need to worry.  She is just like a viper with a mouth full of venom.  I know that nothing she says can be trusted and is filled with spite.  She has made me doubt, but I know inside that what she says is not true.”
“Okay, good!”
“Is it time to go back?”
“Take a picture of the chambers covered in ice before we go.”
“I would but it’s covered in snow.”
“I’m on it.”
Albina flew up in the air and lifted up her hands.  In one swift motion, she dissolved the snow and the icicles covering the ground into thin air.  With all the debris moved, the floor was clear ice with about 1,000 feet of ice separating them from the bottom of the room where all the test chambers were lying in pieces.  
“Thanks,” Kayla said.  
Kayla took pictures with her iPhone of all that she saw down there.  She had to zoom in a lot but because of the transparency of the ice she got a clear shot.  Kayla smiled at the result but just then her phone rang.  Albina flew over to her and pulled the phone away from Kayla’s telekinetic grip so that she could use her fingers to answer it herself.  
Albina answered the phone and said, “Hello, Sylvie!”
“Hello, Albina,” Sylvie replied.  “Where’s Kayla?”
“She’s in the chamber with me.  I have completely destroyed some of GLADOS’s testing chambers and managed to make her hate me even more than she did before.”
“I expected as much.”
“Well, it is what it is.  She is already trying to kill us, so nothing has really changed.”
“Well, be that as it may.  I want you two back here pronto.  It’s starting to get dark, and I don’t want you two by yourselves at night.  I would rather have all of us together.”
“Yeah!  Yeah!  You sound just like my mother.”
“Albina, I’m being serious.”
“I know.  We’re coming back right now.  Alright?  I just need to clean up in here so that I can make sure we will not be followed.  I already killed two robots that were searching for me.  Odds are that GLADOS has sent more our way.”
Kayla tensed up upon hearing that and looked around.  She then flew closer to Albina.
“Alright Albina,” Sylvie said.  “Clean up and come back quickly.  Okay?”
“I understand,” Albina said.  “We will see you soon.  Goodbye!”
“Oy,” Albina said as she handed back the iPhone to Kayla who telekinetically grabbed it and dropped it into the side pocket of her backpack.
“How are you going to make the room impenetrable?” asked Kayla.
“Get your iPhone out again and put on the video,” Albina said.  “I will show you.”
Kayla did what she said.  She pulled out the iPhone and turned the video on.
“Show them around the room, Kayla,” Albina said.  “Because soon all of the beauty you see will be turned into a disaster.  If GLADOS is right and I am an ice demon from the spirits of Russia, she will soon see all of hell’s wintery destructive power right here and right now.”
Kayla flew around the room showing off all of the balcony space, the stair space, the chandeliers, the icebergs, and the chambers frozen deep under the floor.
“Fly back to the front of our exit, Kayla,” Albina said.  “Now, I have to destroy what I have created, but keep the camera rolling.”
Kayla flew back to the front of the vent where the grating was and yelled, “Action!”
Quickly, Albina pulled multiple huge and sharply pointed icicles up from the floor.  These icicles were thick and they were everywhere.  They covered every square inch of the floor and reached all the way to the top of the room up to where the ceiling was and poked through the icicle chandeliers and out through the top.  It would be impossible for anyone to traverse this room by foot.  Albina did not stop there either.  She covered the walls once again in thick sheets of ice.  She then flew over to where Kayla was floating.  Albina motioned for Kayla to move.  Kayla slid out of the way, and Albina covered the vents in solid layers of ice as well.
“What are you doing?” Kayla asked.  “We’ll be freezing in there.”
“If GLADOS somehow manages to cross the floor, I don’t want our escape route to be obvious so I’m leaving no traces of our departure anywhere,” Albina responded.
Kayla hovered in silence while Albina finished her work.  Albina covered ice in everything except the hole where the vent grating had been.  She had blown off the vent grating, and it had fallen to somewhere below.  Looking back, Albina knew that she shouldn’t have been so careless.  If GLADOS noticed that the vent grating was missing, she would realize that the group had vanished through the vents.  Albina sat down on top of the ice covered vents and started forming an ice vent grating quickly out of her own bare hands.  Kayla flew up next to her and hovered over her shoulder to see what she was doing.  Within five minutes, she was done.  Albina had made it look as realistic as she possibly could in a hurry but nonetheless did a good job.  From a distance, it was indistinguishable from the original and it would take GLADOS a long time to figure out that it was a false grating.  Albina smiled exhaustedly and used her head to motion for Kayla to go back into the vent.
Kayla stopped the video.  “That’s a wrap,” she said.
Then Kayla flew inside the vent.  Albina held the vent grating she constructed in her hands.  She let go of it but lifted it up using hydrokinesis so that it did not fall to the ground.  Albina then flew up into the air.  Looking over her shoulder, she backed into the vent.  Kayla moved over to the right side in order to give Albina room.  Albina meanwhile was using all of her powers to concentrate and get this right.  She needed it to look convincing.  Kayla was as quiet as a mouse.  She instinctually knew to be silent at a time like this.  Albina finally made it into the vent, and she held the grating in place.
“Kayla,” Albina said looking over her shoulder.  “Would you hold the cover in place for me?  I need to freeze it in place.”
“Of course,” Kayla said.  
She then used her telekinesis to hold the grating in place while Albina froze the vent grating in its place.  When that was done, Albina relaxed.  She suddenly felt really tired and rested her back on the back of the vent.
“You can’t rest here,” Kayla said cheerfully.  “We have to get back.”
“I know,” Albina said.  Then sitting up once again, she said, “Let’s go.”
Kayla flew in the direction they had come from.  Although Albina was exhausted, she did not let out one complaint about it.  She created a trail of ice under her feet and used her hands to create strong winds behind her that would propel her forward.  In this way, they both made their way back to the room.  It was a good thing they left when they did because GLADOS sent another group of robots into the room to capture Albina.  The robots arrived about fifteen minutes after the girls left.  After opening a panel from the wall using a pick axe, four of them rushed in and impaled themselves on top of the icicles on the floor.  The fifth robot looked after his friends and around at the icicles from the opening they fell through.  GLADOS looked around.  The ice demon was clever.  She set up a trap, and she left no trace of how she had left the room.  Everything was frozen over so that she there was no trace of a rushed departure.  GLADOS was both frustrated and impressed.  She had once again found a worthy opponent.  However in the deepest depths of her mind although she refused to admit that she was feeling it, GLADOS was slightly worried that she had received more than she bargained for and did not know how to control these creatures.
Meanwhile, Kayla and Albina made their way back to the room.
Kayla flew through the entrance of the room’s vent with a big smile on her face.  Albina landed on the ground with a tired smile on her face.  Sylvie sat on the couch with her arms and legs crossed giving them the stare.
“What is it?” Albina asked.  
“I asked you to hurry.  It has been like thirty minutes,” Sylvie said.
“Well, I apologize.  I wanted to make sure we were not followed, so I took my time covering our tracks.”
“You should have seen it, Sylvie,” Kayla said.  “It was amazing.  I have never seen her use her power that much before.  She was like an ice goddess.”
“More like an ice demon according to GLADOS,” Albina chimed in.
“You need to be more careful for now on,” Sylvie said.  “Alright?  Try not to let her see you.  What exactly happened again?”
Kayla said, “Don’t worry.  Albina took care of everything.  Anyways, do you want to see all of what Albina did?  I took pictures of the place before, and I took a video of Albina wrecking the place.”
“Sure,” Sylvie said.  
Kayla flew over to the cushions and telekinetically pulled her backpack off of her back.  She then flew over and sat next to Sylvie.  After that from where she was sitting, she telekinetically pulled her iPhone out of her backpack and handed it to Sylvie.  Sylvie began flipping through the photographs.
Albina walked over to the chair to the right where P-Body was sitting.
She asked him, “May I borrow the cushion on your chair?”
P-Body handed it to her immediately.
“Much obliged,” Albina replied.  
Albina holding the blue cushion under her arm walked over to Atlas sitting on the left who was staring intently in Sylvie’s direction.
“May I borrow the cushion on your chair?” Albina asked.
Atlas made no appearances of responding or of even having heard what Albina said to him.
“Did you hear me?” Albina asked.  “Hello?”
She waved her hand in front of his face, but he still did not respond.  
“What is the matter with him?” Albina said turning to P-Body.  
P-Body shrugged.  Then he got up and walked over to Atlas.  He made some beeping noises.  When that didn’t work, he slapped him on the side of the head.  
Atlas responded immediately with a beep.  He looked at P-Body angrily.  P-Body pointed to Albina.  Atlas turned to face her.  
“Now that I have your attention, I was wondering if I could use the cushion on your chair to sleep on,” Albina said.
Atlas sat up and handed her the cushion.  
“Thanks,” Albina said.
Albina walked away with the two cushions as P-Body stared at Atlas.  P-Body started to wonder about Atlas.  He had been acting weird all day.  He had just been staring and paying extra attention to Sylvie ever since that morning.  It was weird.  P-Body had to figure out what was happening.
Albina walked up to the door where Alpha was standing.  She tapped him on the head, and he turned around.
“Tell me, friend.  Are you tired of watching that door?” Albina said.  
“I need to watch this door to protect you,” Alpha said.
“Let me take over for you.  I can make it so that no one can get through this door.”
“Yes.  Just watch.”
Albina dropped her cushions on the floor and lifted up her hands.
“Move aside,” she said.
The turret stepped aside, and Albina made her move.  She covered the door with a thick wall of ice so that it was frozen in place.  That way, no one was able to come through that door.  
Albina smiled at the result.  She looked down to see Alpha nuzzle against her leg like a metallic cat.
“Thank you,” Alpha said.
Albina bent down and rubbed his head with her fingers.  She then set up the cushions on the floor so that they were lying right in front of the door.  Albina sat down on the cushions and rested her back against the frozen wall.  Alpha came up in front of her, and she began stroking his body like a cat.  He started to make a noise that sounded almost like purring but it was actually him giggling.  Alpha liked the one on one attention.
Meanwhile, the sun went down, and it continued to get darker and darker.  Sylvie continued looking through all of the pictures and finally at the video.  She sat there stunned.
“I have to say, Albina,” Sylvie began.  “I am quite impressed.  I have never seen you do this much with your ice before.  It is really incredible!”
“What did I tell you,” Kayla said.  “Albina is a goddess!”
“It’s not like you to be quiet,” Sylvie began.  “Come on over here, and I’ll get us some dinner.”
After another moment of silence, Sylvie turned around to see what was happening.
She looked to see Albina sitting on top of the cushions with her body hunched over on top of Alpha.  She had been so tired that she fell asleep on top of him as she was rubbing him.  Her head was lying on top of her folded arms on top of his head.  Alpha didn’t seem to mind though.  He was just standing their supporting her weight on his head.
“Shhhhh!” he whispered.  “She’s sleeping.”
About an hour later with dinner finished and done, the other two were, too.  They fixed Albina so that she was no longer lying on top of Alpha but lying down on her cushions with no blanket because she liked feeling the cold in her sleep.  She was lying down on top of her stomach with her head supported by her folded arms.  Alpha was standing next to her head.  He wanted to be there for security if all else failed.    
Meanwhile, P-Body sat on his chair awake wondering what to do about Atlas.  He was just sitting in his chair watching Sylvie sleep.  P-Body suspected something was up, but he did not know how to pursue him to find out about it.  Not once in their friendship had they ever kept anything from each other.  Just then, P-Body was struck with an idea.  He got up and walked slowly over to Atlas.  He tapped him on the shoulder in order to get his attention.  Atlas looked in his direction.  P-Body opened a side compartment of his body and pulled out some old playing cards that he had found that were held together by an old rubber band.  P-Body pointed to the cards and pointed to the bathroom to ask him if he wanted to play.  Atlas nodded.  
“May I play, too?” they both heard a voice behind them ask.
They turned around.  It was Alpha.  He was so cute and innocent.  He just wanted to be included.  P-Body and Atlas looked at each other and then they looked at him.  
P-Body nodded his head.
“Hooray!” Alpha said jumping up and down.
P-Body and Atlas simultaneously grabbed him and held him down.  They pressed their fingers to their faces so that Alpha would get the message.
“Sorry,” the turret said.
The two motioned for the turret to come to the bathroom with them.  They used the bathroom to play in because it was the one place where they could go and turn on the lights without waking up the ladies or alerting anyone in the hallway of their presence.  They walked into the bathroom, turned on the lights, and then P-Body shut the door behind them.
Alpha and P-Body sat with their legs crossed on the floor.  Alpha just stood there waiting for the game to begin.    The way the game worked was kind of weird because P-Body had actually never seen a human card game ever be played before.  He just found the cards in a desk and decided to keep them.  The card game was a card game that P-Body invented.  It worked more line jenga than a real card game.  First he built a house of cards from the deck, and then everyone had to remove a few cards without knocking the whole thing over.  That was much easier said than done especially with their clumsy hands and the tiled floor.  The two robots started playing.  Alpha just watched the first round because he did not know what to do.  
“Why can’t you talk?” Alpha said out of nowhere.  “The turrets who shoot bullets can talk, GLADOS can talk, and the cores can talk, but you can’t talk.  It makes no sense.”
Atlas and P-Body looked at each other and just shrugged.  They did not know the answer to that question.  
P-Body painstakingly stacked the cards into a house of cards.  Then the game began.  P-Body went first and pulled a few cards off of the top.  Atlas was not paying attention at all.  He was staring off into space thinking about Sylvie.  He did not even notice when it was his turn.  P-Body had to tap him on the shoulder to remind him.  Absentmindedly, he grabbed a few cards off of the side knocking over the whole thing.
“You lose,” Alpha said.
P-Body face-palmed, shook his head, and gave out a heavy sigh.  Atlas was usually not like this at all.  He was usually the one who was level-headed and aware.  He was really good at this game.  For him to be this absentminded was not normal.  P-Body decided that it was time to confront him.  
P-Body moved in front of Atlas and shook his head all around.  Atlas smacked him on the side of the head to make him stop.  P-Body held out his hands asking him in his way what the problem was.  Atlas shook his head to say that there was no problem.  P-Body looked at him in such a way that implied that he could not be serious.  P-Body then cracked the door open so that they could see Sylvie sleeping from where they were in the bathroom.  He pointed to her and then he pointed to Atlas.  Then, P-Body imitated Atlas.  He made the dreamy looking expression on his face that he was making and gave a longing sigh.  Atlas acted defensive and crossed his arms.  P-Body beeped and got his attention.  P-Body pointed to his head to communicate that he had an idea about what was happening.  He pointed to Atlas, he pointed to Sylvie, and then he made a heart symbol with his hands.  He was saying that Atlas was in love with Sylvie.  
Atlas was really defensive then.  He shook his head vigorously.
“Mhmmm…” P-Body said nodding his head.
Atlas shook his head again.
“Mhmmm…” P-Body said again nodding his head.
Atlas shook his head yet again.
“Mhmmm…” P-Body said again nodding his head.
Atlas finally sighed in order to show that he conceded.  He held up his fingers and pinched them close together to symbolize a little bit.  P-Body squealed a little bit.  Atlas turned his head in time to see Sylvie toss and turn in her sleep.  Atlas quickly shut the door.  
Then, Atlas held his finger to face and said, “Shhhh!”
“You’re in love with Sylvie?” Alpha asked.
Atlas nodded his head painfully.
He looked straight at P-Body and then at Alpha and pulled his finger to his face to show them that he wanted them to keep it a secret.
P-Body nodded in agreement.
“I can keep a secret,” Alpha said.
Atlas relaxed against the wall.
“She has a boyfriend,” Alpha said.
Atlas nodded his head to show that he knew.  
“What are you going to do?” Alpha asked.
Atlas shook his head to show that he wasn’t sure of what to do.  He had never felt this way before.  He did not know what to do.  He rested his back against the wall, pulled his legs close to his body, wrapped his arms around his legs, and lay his head on top of his knees.  P-Body wrapped his arm around Atlas’s shoulder.  Atlas looked up at him and then he leaned on P-Body for support.  
“Is the game over?” Alpha asked.
P-Body nodded.
“Can I leave?” Alpha asked.
Atlas sat up and pulled the door open to let Alpha out.  
“Thank you,” he said and walked out and back over to where the door was.
In the moonlight, Atlas got another glimpse of Sylvie.  He sat staring at her for a moment.  P-Body twisted his body over to see what he was doing and saw him staring at her.  Then Atlas shook his head, shut the door, and curled into his former ball of depression.  He knew that it could never be.  P-Body wrapped his arm around his best friend.  He for once did not know what to say.  The two of them sat for a long time in silence and eventually fell asleep leaning against each other’s side for support.
Portal 3 Ch. 8
Disclaimer:  I don't hate the "Let It Go" song but Albina sure does.  I'm glad she's here.  Poor Sylvie needs some emotional support from someone who isn't twelve years old or a robot.  In this story, I am allowing Rattmann to get the recognition he deserves.  Albina kicks ass.  The legend about elemental spirits in Russia is really a legend in Russia.  I think GLADOS is beginning to think that her kidnapping a group of mutants was a bad idea to begin with.  Alpha is so adorable here!!!! Holy crap!  Poor Atlas! 

Start at the beginning.…

Read the next chapter.…
Hugo, Roscoe, and Brandon got the message from Zaki and Sylvie.  They were to meet up with the others and get directions from Sylvie to find Chelsea.  They could find Sylvie by following the directions in the vents that Kayla had been marking up all week.  Their task now was to find a ventilation system.  
After their night of rest on top of the testing chamber, Hugo flew Brandon and Roscoe to a pathway grating that looked promising.  After walking for almost the entire day, they came to a wall.  
“Great,” Hugo said.  “A dead end!”
“Not necessarily,” Brandon said walking past him.  
He got up on the railing of the grating and phased his head through the wall in order to get a good look inside.  What he saw was shocking.  
“Holy shit,” Brandon said pulling his head back.  “You two need to see this.  You are not going to believe this!”
Roscoe and Hugo got up on the railing, Brandon grabbed their arms, and their heads phased through the wall, too.  They saw the ice chamber that Albina had created.  It was still lit up from the lights on the ceiling and absolutely beautiful.  
“Your sister has really outdone herself this time,” Brandon said.  “Why do you think she did this?  GLADOS must have been pissed.”
Hugo turned his full-body flames on, flew the rest of his body through the wall, and landed on the ground.  He pulled off his gloves and created a fire that melted the spiked ice on the ground around him.  With that done, Hugo pulled on his glove once again and knelt down.  He still could see the broken test chambers all the way down to the bottom.  Roscoe and Brandon were still standing at their previous positions watching Hugo.  
Hugo finally looked up to them and said, “It’s just as I thought.  Albina destroyed the testing chambers and covered them in a layer of ice that must be thousands of feet thick.”
“That’s incredible,” Brandon said looking around.  “Maybe GLADOS is right, and your sister really is an ice demon.”
At that remark, Hugo blasted a ball of fire in Brandon’s direction.  Brandon phased himself and his Dad right back through the wall in order to avoid it.  After that happened, Brandon and Roscoe phased through the fall and landed on the icy floor right next to Hugo.
“What the hell was that?” Brandon said walking towards Hugo.  “I thought we agreed that we could be friends on the condition that you did not try to kill me anymore.”
“I was not trying to kill you,” Hugo said.  “I was just trying to tell you to not insult my sister!”
“It was a joke.”
“You shouldn’t call people names for the sake of making a joke,” he said walking towards him with his boots crushing the broken shards of ice beneath his feet.  “It’s wrong.  Besides, ice demon is the name that GLADOS gave her.   I don’t want her to bear that name.  I don’t want her to think of herself as a monster.”
“Since when do you care?  You were insulting her the night before all this happened.”
“I learned that it was wrong.  She told me that she didn’t want to be insulted like that anymore.  I told her that I wouldn’t insult her like that, and I would make sure that no one else insulted her like that either.  I intend to keep my word so shut up!”
“You let Chelsea insult you.”
“I did because she was doing it to build me up in some way.  I was being an emo, macho asshole.  I needed to be told that.  You’re just doing it because you think it’s funny.”
“You know, Brandon,” Roscoe said.  “That is a jerk thing to do.  You could stand to be more respectful to people.”
“You’re taking his side now?” Brandon turned to him and asked him incredulously.
“Brandon, I want to be able to be honest with you.  As strong and resilient as my sister is, I know that she still can be hurt.  I don’t want the words of that monster to stick with her.  I don’t want her to think of herself as an ice demon.  Understood?” Hugo said.
Brandon was astonished.  He had no idea that he cared for the honor of other people that much.  He was becoming to him less and less of the emo boy that he thought he was and more like an honorable man who would die to protect a lady’s honor.  He really had misjudged him.  
“Okay,” Brandon said.  “I get it.  I won’t refer to Albina as an ice demon anymore.  I’m sorry!”  
“Thank you,” Hugo said.  “Now, let’s get out of here.”  
Suddenly, Hugo looked up and flew to the other side of the room without saying a word.  He had seen from where he flew in before the ice balcony and the ice stairs and flew forward in order to check them out.  The tall icicles blocked them from the views of the others.  Hugo turned his flames off and landed on the top of the ice stairs.  He looked up, and he saw the ventilation system covered in a layer of ice.  That was where they needed to go.  Hugo turned his flames on again and immediately flew back to the others.  Meanwhile, Roscoe was talking to his son.
“You know, son,” Roscoe said.  “I think having Hugo as a friend might be good for you.  He could teach you some manners.”
Brandon smirked at him and said very sarcastically, “If you love him so much, why don’t you just adopt him?”
“I thought I already did.”
“Where did Hugo go off to anyway?”
Just then, they watched Hugo fly back and land in the middle of them.
“Where’d you go?” Brandon asked.
“I went to see what the rest of the room looked like,” Hugo replied.  Then he pointed to the other side and said, “On the other side of this room, there is a ventilation system covered in ice.  That is probably how Albina got out of here.  If we get into the vents, we will find Kayla’s markings and be able to find the others.”
“That’s awesome!  Let’s go!”
Hugo handed the two his gloves once again, and he picked them up to carry them across the room.
While they were flying, Brandon started talking.
“Hey, Hugo,” Brandon said.  “I was thinking.  You really need to calm down and stop acting so serious.”
“You are bringing this up now because…” Hugo replied.
“You’re like a dragon.  You’re always burning with rage and anger.  You’re strong, but you will be miserable if you’re always prepared to be bad at the world.   You need to learn how to laugh and cut loose.  You don’t need to take everything so seriously.”
Hugo was thoughtful for a second and then he understood.  He smiled and then he dropped Brandon.  As Brandon fell to the floor screaming towards the pointed icicles, Hugo flew over him, grabbed his hand, and continued flying once again as if nothing had happened.
“Dude,” Brandon yelled in a panic.  “What the hell was that?”
“You’re too serious all the time,” Hugo replied imitating Brandon.  “You need to cut loose and just relax.  Try not to take everything so seriously.”
Roscoe could not stop laughing.
“Shut up, Dad,” Brandon replied.
“Don’t talk to your father that way,” Hugo said.
“He’s joking, Hugo,” Roscoe replied.  “He’s not trying to disrespect me.  Brandon has a point.  You do not have to look at life so severely.  Life is not perfect, but it’s okay to have joy.  The world sees it as naïve, but we know that these trials that we face are making us more like Jesus and more ready to change the world.  I think in his clumsiness that was what Brandon was trying to say.  We don’t have to let life make us bitter.”
Hugo nodded and smiled to show that he understood.  He started to feel more joyful than he had in a long time.  He was happy to be making some new friends.  Hugo continued to fly forward until they reached the ventilation.  He then set his passengers down and got his gloves back from them.  Brandon looked at the ice stairs and the ice balcony that went around the room.  
“Albina is an amazing architect,” Brandon said.  “This is absolutely incredible.  I wish I had a camera to take pictures with.”
“The grating looks frozen shut,” said Roscoe.  “Hugo, can you melt it off?”
“I could, but it looks like she set everything up in such a way that GLADOS would not be able to follow them.  I don’t want to do anything to reveal that we were ever here,” Hugo said.
“I’ll just phase us through,” Brandon said turning back and walking over to them.  “It might be a tight fit, but we can manage it.”
“I’ll fly you up there,” Hugo said handing him a glove.  
“That won’t be necessary.  Dad, could you give me a boost?”
“Okay,” Roscoe replied getting on his hands and knees on the floor.
The ventilation system was not but 7 feet up from where the balcony floor was, so Brandon thought he could reach it.  He was right.  Brandon climbed onto his Dad’s back, and he phased the upper half of his torso into the vent.  Brandon then pulled the rest of his body in.  Roscoe got up rubbing his sore back as it regenerated back to normal.
“You know, son,” Roscoe said.  “You’re lucky that I can regenerate like Wolverine or else your fat ass would have broken my back.”
“What are you talking about?” Brandon asked smiling phasing his head through the side of the ventilation.  “I’m not fat!”
“You might as well be with how much you weigh!  You could have killed me!  Owww!”
Hugo chuckled to himself quietly.
“Dad, do you want me to pull you up here?” Brandon asked.
“With all you have put me through, I suppose that it is the least you could do,” Roscoe said.  
“Hugo, could you give me a hand?”
“Of course,” Hugo said.
Brandon bent over and grabbed his Dad by the arms.  Hugo lifted up his legs and made it easier for Brandon to phase him into the vent.  After that, it was finally Hugo’s turn.  
“Oh, no,” Brandon said.  “How are we going to get Hugo in here without melting the ice on the vent?”
“I’ll just do it quickly,” Hugo said.  “Do you see the ice on the wall back there?  It didn’t melt because I went through it quickly enough so that my flames didn’t touch the ice.  Don’t worry.  It’ll be fine.”
“Alright,” Brandon replied.
Hugo handed Brandon a glove for his left hand, then he phased him through, too.
They were now all inside the vent, and all had enough space to sit up.  However, that was about it.  Hugo and Brandon were ready to go, but Roscoe was staring in one direction without blinking.  Brandon handed Hugo his glove, and he looked at him in confusion.
“Dad,” Brandon asked poking his shoulder.  “What is happening?”
“Roscoe,” Hugo asked putting on his left glove again.
Roscoe responded by holding up his hand like he was talking on the phone or something.  He sat in the vent like that for about a minute before he responded.  Roscoe finally shook to his senses and started to blink a lot.
“Dad,” Brandon asked.  “What happened?”
“I just got a message from Zaki,” Roscoe replied.  “I have two pieces of good news to share with you.”
“What?” Hugo said.
“First of all,” Roscoe said.  “They were able to find their way down to the vaults where all the other human test subjects were being kept, but they need us to find the others before we can help them.”
“And the other news?” Brandon asked.
“Jeffrey has found Chelsea,” Roscoe said.
“What?” Brandon replied.
“He has been wondering around the facility since we got here, but he has finally found her.  He apparently has been watching her for the past week.  Chelsea has been in a bad condition, so Jeffrey has been watching and waiting for her to get better so that he could help her escape without endangering her,” Roscoe said.
Brandon was relieved.  Jeffrey and Chelsea were close friends, so he knew that he would take care of her.  He was also his trusted friend, too.  However, he could not but feel slightly jealous.  Knowing what a gentle and kind person Jeffrey was, it was a bit uncalled for.  Brandon just could not help himself.
“That is wonderful,” Brandon said sincerely.  “We better get to Sylvie as quickly as possible then, so we can help him out.  Jeffrey’s smart, but he can’t heal.”
“Jeffrey is a shape shifter, right?” Hugo asked.
“Yes,” Brandon replied.  “He has the ability to morph his body to take the form of any object, animal, or human.  He is the master of disguise.  I hope he’s alright.  He’s been alone for weeks.”
“We can talk for the next day or we could get to your girlfriends faster,” Roscoe said faster.  “Which sounds better to you?”
“I get the message, Dad,” Brandon said.  “Let’s go!”
The trio crawled through the vents following Kayla’s directions in order to find the ladies’ headquarters.  Roscoe was in the front, Brandon was in the middle, and Hugo was behind him.  They weren’t really fast, so it took them several hours to find their destination.  
However eventually upon the evening, the trio came upon an opening.  Roscoe looked down, saw a green carpeted floor, and heard familiar voices talking.  These voices were the voices of Kayla, Albina, and to Hugo’s delight, Sylvie, who were just eating dinner.  Hugo could feel his heart beat faster with excitement.
Roscoe called out, “Hey, ladies!  Do you mind if we come in?”
The three girls jumped.  Kayla flew upwards inside the vent.  She smiled the biggest smile that she had smiled in a whole month.
“Uncle Roscoe!!!!!!” Kayla screamed.
“What?” Albina said.  Meanwhile, Atlas, P-Body, and Alpha just looked at each other in bewilderment.
Kayla moved out of the vent.
“Who’s there?” Alpha asked.
“It’s Roscoe and Brandon,” Kayla said.  “They’ve found us.”
Then looking at Sylvie, she said, “They brought someone else with them, too.”
Sylvie, knowing who she meant, straightened up and got off the couch.  Atlas watched her movements.
Roscoe jumped down from the vent, Brandon jumped down from the vent, and then finally, Hugo jumped down from the vent.
Sylvie upon seeing Hugo had tears in her eyes.  She walked past Brandon and Roscoe and straight up to him.  Sylvie stared into his eyes for a second and then threw her arms around him.
“Grace à Dieu,” Sylvie said allowing her head to rest on his shoulder.  “You’re alive.  I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you too, my love,” Hugo said gently wrapping his left arm around her waist and stroking her neck and back with the other gloved hand of his right arm.
“Is that your boyfriend?” Alpha asked innocently.
“Yes,” Sylvie replied smiling.  “This is my boyfriend.”
P-Body and Alpha watched on in fascination, but Atlas watched on in what can only be described as pure, unadulterated jealousy.  How could she love that creature?  He was scary-looking.  He had glowing red eyes, weird-looking hair, and dark skin.  He looked more like a monster while she looked like an angel.  It didn’t make sense!  Atlas felt something dark towards this strange man.  He did not like him, and he wanted him gone immediately.  
Hugo and Sylvie turned to share a kiss forgetting the danger of it for the moment.  Hugo’s lips burned Sylvie’s face almost immediately.  In spite of the pain, she lingered for a while.  There was steam rising from his lips as they burned hers.  
Atlas jumped up in a panic.  He grabbed the back of Sylvie and pulled her backwards causing her to fall over onto the floor.  
“Atlas,” Sylvie yelled sitting up.
Atlas bent down and held her up looking at the burn marks on her lips.  
“What was that for?” Sylvie asked.
Atlas touched his hand to the burn marks on her face, and then he turned and glared at Hugo.  
“It’s alright,” Sylvie said standing up.  “He didn’t mean to burn me.  He can’t help it.”
Hugo walked over and looked at the burns.  
“I’m sorry, Sylvie,” he said.  
“It’s alright,” Sylvie replied.  “I guess we both got a little carried away.”
“I’ll say,” Kayla said sarcastically.  “There are innocent eyes in this room.”
“You aren’t really innocent,” Albina said.
“I was talking about Alpha,” Kayla replied.
Meanwhile, Alpha was standing on the floor trying to comprehend it all.
“Kissing is dangerous,” he concluded.
“In any case,” Roscoe said.  “Let me heal that for you.”
Roscoe healed Sylvie, and the burns went away immediately.  Sylvie was healed, but Atlas wasn’t forgiving.  He still continued to give Hugo a hate-filled glare.
Meanwhile, Hugo walked over towards his step-sister and gave her a hug as well.
“I missed you too, Albina,” said Hugo.
“Did you now?” Albina replied somewhat surprised by his affection towards her.
“Yes, I did.”
“I suppose that there is a first for everything.”
“Albina,” Hugo said grabbing her hands in his.  “I know that I have not been a very godly man towards you.  I just wanted to let you know that I’m sorry, and I will try to do better.”
“We are opposites,” Albina said thoughtfully.  “We are ice and fire.  That is understandable.”
“That is no excuse.  Albina, will you forgive me?  I meant what I said before all this happened you know.  I want to treat you like the smart woman you are instead of like an obnoxious little kid.  If I don’t, you have my permission to freeze me.  What do you say?”
“I say yes under one condition,” Albina said with dignity.  “Please stop trying to cook your girlfriend.”
Hugo said squeezing her in a hug, “I’ll try.”
“I love you too, my brother,” Albina said smiling as she hugged him back.
“Now, that that’s over,” Brandon said.  “Do you ladies have anything to eat?  I’m starving.”
“Of course,” Sylvie said walking over to the machine.
She quickly got food together for the guys.  The men were starving.  They ate their sandwiches in no time flat.  The ladies continued to eat, too.  Atlas continued staring at Hugo very jealously.  He was disgusting.  He looked like a pig the way he ate.  How could Sylvie fall for someone so vile?  However in spite of himself, Atlas felt something else for him: respect.  He legitimately seemed like a man who went out of his way to treat people well.  He was also so tender with Sylvie.  He treated her like a queen, better than Atlas ever could.  He hated Hugo so much, but he also felt an undeniable amount of respect for him.  How could this be?  Atlas was truly becoming more human.  He wanted to pray.  He did not understand the emotions that were mulling about in his mind.  He felt so confused.  
As Atlas continued to stare, the group talked and ate for a while.  The ladies explained to the men anything that needed explaining such as the origin of the robots and all that Sylvie had found when searching through the records of Aperture.  They were happy to be with each other and were glad to see each other again.
After a while, Sylvie spoke up.
“Would it be alright if I talked with Hugo somewhere alone?” Sylvie asked.
“Not unless you mind talking in the bathroom,” Kayla said.
“That’s alright,” Hugo said.
The two of them walked into the bathroom and locked the door so that they could have some time alone.
Everybody else sat on the chairs and the couch in the middle of the room and continued to talk.  Atlas sneaked away when they weren’t look and crawled to the door to spy on Hugo and Sylvie.  He had made it to the door when he felt himself be lifted into the air.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Kayla said moving him telekinetically back where they were.  “They said that they wanted alone time, and they are getting alone time.”
Kayla dropped him back where they were, and the group continued talking.  Atlas sat next to P-Body on the outskirts.  P-Body smacked him on the side of his head, crossed his arms, and shook his own head disapprovingly.  Atlas glared back at him, looked at the door, and looked at him pleadingly.  He was saying that he wanted him to help him get back to the door.  P-Body shook his head to say no.  Atlas continued to stare at him pleadingly.  P-Body finally cracked and nodded his head in agreement with a sigh.  Atlas hugged him.  P-Body got up and walked towards the group.
“What’s up, P-Body?” Brandon asked.
P-Body got out his cards and played an improvised version of pick a card with them while Atlas snuck back up to the door to listen to what Sylvie and Hugo were saying.  
From the outside of the bathroom, Atlas was overhearing their conversation.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t understand a word because they were speaking French.  Translated, their conversation went as follows.
“C’est incroyable les choses qu’a passé ici,” Hugo said.  “Cette place était et est enfer encore.”
(The things that happened here are unbelievable.  This place was and still is hell.)
« Alors, tu comprends pourquoi j’ai besoin d’aller, » Sylvie said.  « C’est seulement moi qui en peut dire à tout le monde.  Dieu me veut amener la justice aux ces morts.  Pour faire ça, le monde doit être en paix premier.  Je peux faire quelque chose pour aider, alors je ferai quelque chose. »
(So, you understand why I need to go.  I’m the only one who can tell everyone about it.  God wants me to bring justice to these dead people.  In order to do that, the world needs to be in peace.  I can do something in order to help, so I will do something.)
« Tu sais que c’est dangereux.  Nos parents sont morts car eux, » Hugo said.
(You know that it’s dangerous.  Our parents are dead because of them {the aliens}.)
“Je sais,” Sylvie responded sadly.  « Mais il vaut la risque.  Tu penses ?  Hugo, tu et moi pouvons faire les choses impossibles pour les autres.  Nous pouvons aider le monde avec nos pouvoirs.  Dieu nous en donne pour faire quelque chose bonne.  Voilà une chance à faire quelque chose bonne !  Nous ne pouvons pas faire rien.  Je n’ai pas peur de mourir.  Nous mourions éventuellement.  C’est bien si je vais en ciel essayent faire quelque chose bonne comme ci au moins.  C’est un ordre de Dieu.  Je ne peux pas dire non. »
(I know.  But it’s worth the risk.  Don’t you think?  Hugo, you and me are able to do things that are impossible to others.  We can help the world with our powers.  God gave them to us in order to do something good.  Here is a chance to do something good!  We cannot just do nothing.  I am not afraid of dying.  We will all die eventually.  It is good if I go to heaven trying to do something good at least.  It’s an order from God.  I can’t say no.)
« Tu as raison, » Hugo said thoughtfully.  “Si c’est un ordre de Dieu, c’est nécessaire à faire quelque chose.  Mais puis-je faire quelque chose aussi ? »
(You’re right.  If it’s an order from God, it’s necessary to do something.  But may I do something, too?)
“Quoi?” Sylvie replied.
« Je vais avec toi, » Hugo said.  «Pour beaucoup de temps, j’ai voulu à faire quelque chose.  Cependant, j’étais en conflit parce-que je n’avais pas te quitté, mais maintenant c’est comme Dieu a donné un signe.  Je peux aller maintenant avec toi.  Nous avons la même mission à battre ensemble.  Puis-je aller avec toi ? »
(I am going with you.  For a long time, I have wanted to do something.  However, I was conflicted because I did not want to leave you but now it’s like God have given me a sign.  I can go with you now.  We have the same mission to fight together.  May I go with you?)
« Bien sûr, » Sylvie said.  « Je ne veux pas te quitter non plus. »
(Of course.  I don’t want to leave you either.)
« Je veux te demander quelque chose autre, » Hugo said.
(I want to ask you something else.)
“Oui,” Sylvie asked.
« Tu veux me marier? » Hugo asked.  « Je ne suis pas un homme parfait.  Je ne peux pas te toucher sans te blesser.  Je ne pourrai jamais te donner des enfants.  Cependant, je promets que je t’aimerai toujours. »
(Will you marry me?  I am not a perfect man.  I can’t touch you without hurting you.  I will never be able to give you any children.  However, I promise that I will always love you.)
«Oui,» Sylvie said.
Just then, Atlas heard a noise behind him.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Kayla yelled at Atlas.
Atlas was telekinetically pulled into the air and dropped into the middle of the group.  
Then turning to P-Body, she said, “You were distracting us to help him.  Weren’t you?”
P-Body put his cards away and started to walk away, but Kayla picked him up telekinetically, too.
“You two are troublemakers,” she said.
Kayla sat them both down on the floor with Atlas on the left and P-Body on the right.  
“Hey, Albina,” Kayla said.  “Could you help me out here?”
“Yes,” Albina replied.
Albina froze their legs to the floor while Kayla held them down.  The two robots squealed in disapproval.
“I’m sorry,” Kayla said.  “But you two won’t leave Sylvie and Hugo alone.  I’ll get you out once they come out.  Okay?”
P-Body crossed his arms and looked at Atlas.  Then he smacked him on the side of the head, and gave him a look that said, “Why did you drag me into this?”
Just then, Alpha walked up to them.
“You two are bad robots,” Alpha said.
Atlas looked at him and pushed him over on his side onto the floor.
“Hey,” Alpha yelled.  Then turning to Kayla, he yelled, “Help me!  He’s being mean.”
“You were mean first,” Kayla said not even looking at him.  “It’s mean to kick someone when they’re down.”
Atlas and P-Body surprised by her response, just laughed in the background.  
“I’m sorry,” Alpha said in the cutest way possible.
Kayla picked him up telekinetically and got him back on his feet.
“Thank you,” he said.
Then the group went back to talking.
“Guys, I have to say that I’m sorry about all of this,” Brandon said.  “It’s my fault we all got in trouble in the first place.  Chelsea wanted to leave before we even entered the building.  I shouldn’t have made her come here.  She has had to endure so much horror, and it’s entirely my fault.”
“Don’t worry about it, son,” Roscoe said.  “It is going to be alright.”
“You didn’t mean to do it, Brandon,” Albina said.  “You need to forgive yourself.  Besides, what is feeling bad about it going to do?”
“Yeah,” Kayla said.  “This situation isn’t all bad.  Some good things have resulted from it.  At least, we’ll finally defeat GLADOS.”
Then looking at Alpha and lifting him telekinetically into the air, she said, “We also have made some new friends.”
Alpha laughed and said, “Hooray!”
The flash of recognition finally came across Atlas’s and P-Body’s eyes.  They had been too preoccupied to figure it out before, but it finally occurred to both of them.  They recognized Brandon’s face.  They looked at each other in shame.  That guy Brandon was the one they had carried done to the medical lab a month before.  They had watched as GLADOS conducted medical examinations on him and Chelsea.  They had watched Brandon test, too.  They felt really awkward.  They stared at the ground in embarrassment.
“What can you do?” Alpha asked Brandon as he spun around in the air.
“What do you mean?” Brandon asked.
“Sylvie reads the minds of machines, Kayla can make things fly, Albina freezes things and flies, the dark man burns, and the hairy man heals.  What can you do?”
“Oh,” Brandon said finally understanding what the turret meant.  He got up from his seat.  Brandon walked away from the sofa and stood in front of the wall.
“Watch this,” Brandon said to Alpha.
He ran straight forward and right before he was about to hit the wall, he phased through it just in time.  Alpha, Atlas, and P-Body were all stunned.  Brandon phased right back into the room.  
“So, what do you think?” Brandon asked.
“Oh my, God!” Alpha said as Kayla sat him down on the floor.  “You’re all amazing.  Why aren’t other humans like you?”
“What?” Brandon asked.
“You are not how my programming describes humans to be,” Alpha said.  “You are all different.  Why are you different?”
Roscoe replied for Brandon, “We don’t exactly know how.  We were just born this way.  We think that we might have an idea though.  We think it was caused by the radiation from all the wars that Earth has had with the Combines.”
“What are Combines?” Alpha asked.
“They are a race of aliens that came to earth in order to use our technology to make some kind of teleportation device or something like that.  Gordon Freeman and a bunch of other fighters defeated them before, but they returned about twenty years ago.  They were kept under control at first, but then they started winning and took over in all of the major cities.”
“They killed my parents who fought against them,” Kayla said sadly.  “They probably killed Sylvie’s parents, too.”
“The Combines also killed my mother and Hugo’s father when we were fleeing through Siberia to reach a rebel stronghold in Canada.  The Combines killed everyone in our group except me and Hugo.  I was able to kill the aliens with my ice but was too late to save my parents.  That used to haunt me so much.  Once we reached the stronghold by ourselves, we were taken south to Michigan where Pastor Roberts and all these other people lived in a hotel so we would be safe.  Now that I’m older, I want to go back and fight.  Hugo wants to go with me, too.”
Atlas heard this and looked towards the bathroom.  Hugo and Sylvie had suffered more than he realized.  Atlas did not understand the idea of loss.  He was a robot.  The only person who had mattered to him was P-Body, but P-Body was rebuilt whenever he was destroyed.  He could not imagine what it must have been like to have someone you love be killed and never rebuilt.  It was through this revelation that he painfully began to acknowledge that Hugo would be good for Sylvie.  They understood each other’s pain, they cared about each other, and they had the same goals in life.  He was big, strong, and caring.  Atlas was only a robot.  He knew that he could not care for Sylvie like Hugo could as badly as he wanted to.  These facts were painful to acknowledge, but he had to accept them as the truth.  
Atlas’s thoughts were interrupted by Kayla who said, “I’m going with you guys.  I’m going to fight them, too.”
“Kayla,” Albina said.  “We’ll talk to your grandfather about this, but I still think that you are too young.”
“I may be young,” Kayla said pleadingly, “but I am powerful.  You know that.  You all need me.  You know you do.”
“You are still a child,” Albina said.
“I am not a child,” Kayla yelled suddenly in frustration.  “I am completely capable of doing anything that you can!  I am not weak.  I am not a handicap.  I have done well here.  Haven’t I?  How are the Combines that different?  I can kill them as easily as I kill the other robots.  Stop looking down on me just because I am twelve years old!”
Kayla was so mad that she started lifting Albina in the air telekinetically.  She slammed her against the wall.  Kayla flew closer to her, and they looked at each other tensely in the eyes.  Albina could not move, but managed to keep her cool nonetheless.
“Stop it, Kayla,” Roscoe said.  “Just calm down.”
Kayla turned away and dropped Albina on the floor.  
“You are so immature,” Albina said angrily.
Kayla turned away as her eyes started to well up with tears.  She flew to the window and opened it telekinetically.  They were not far from the roof, so she flew to the top to be alone.
Roscoe ran to the window and tried calling her back, but Kayla was not listening.  Albina got up and walked towards the back.  The ice that she froze over the door had a reflective surface that she used as a mirror.  Albina got a hair tie out of her pocket and started to braid her hair.  She fidgeted with her hair whenever she was upset about something.  Roscoe walked back over to her.
“Why did you have to say that to her, Albina?” Roscoe asked.  “You know that she’s right.  She is probably the most powerful out of all of us.  She could rip the aliens apart in a second.  She has also survived here.”
Albina continued to mess with her hair in the mirror and did not even turn around to look at Roscoe.
“I do not deny that she would be a big help,” Albina said.
“Then what problem do you have with her helping out,” Brandon asked.
“Emotionally, she is not ready for something like this,” Albina said.  “She is smart and has helped us out a lot through mapping the vents and stuff like that, but she has also endangered her life and other lives because of her recklessness.”
“What do you mean?” Roscoe asked.
“When she gets upset, she does stupid things.  When the robots found her and the others, she ran away in the vents while the others faced GLADOS.  When Sylvie stepped in to protect the robots from GLADOS, she saved them from the neurotoxin but had to practically be dragged out of the room when it was time to escape because she wanted to finish off GLADOS.  Kayla also went on a rampage and destroyed several rooms afterwards.  She almost went insane.”
“Any one of us could have stooped to that level, Albina.  She is not a perfect human.  Neither are you.  We all make mistakes.”
“But will she listen to other people correct her when she makes them or will she stubbornly go on her own way and get herself and others killed?  That’s what I’m worried about, Roscoe.  She is so immature that she refuses to listen to other people.  She refuses to stop her course once she makes up her mind.  That mindset could get her killed, and I don’t want to watch her die like I watched my mother.”
Albina let her hair fall to its full length all the way down her back.
“So, what you’re saying is that if she was more humble and more responsible then you would feel better about her coming with you?”
“Yes, but that is just the problem.  She will never let herself stoop to listening to anyone other than herself.  If she can’t make that choice of maturity, she will never be of use to anybody except as cannon fodder.  I will not let her die.”
Albina let her hair fall to the ground, and her eyes started welling up with tears.  Alpha walked over to her and watched this new phenomenon.  He had never seen tears fall from human eyes before.
“Losing my mother was the most painful experience of my life.  I was unable to protect her.  I know what danger is.  I want to know that she will handle herself well when the trouble comes.  I don’t want to watch her get herself killed,” Albina said.
“I’ll talk to her,” Roscoe said resting his left hand on Albina’s cold shoulder.  “She looks up to me.  She might listen to me.”
However just then, Hugo and Sylvie came out of the bathroom holding hands and smiling and looking at each other.  Sylvie’s eyes rested on Atlas and P-Body who were still frozen to the floor.
“What have you guys been doing to my robots?” Sylvie asked gesturing in their direction.
“They were eavesdropping,” Brandon said standing up.
“Well, get them out,” Sylvie replied.
Brandon walked over to the robots and phased both of them through the ice.  Atlas and P-Body were happy to be unfrozen.  They walked over to the open window and pointed out of it.  The sky was growing dark and the moon and stars were appearing.  Sylvie read their minds and instantly understood.  
“So, Kayla got into a fight with you guys?” Sylvie asked.  “Then flew out the window?”
“Yes,” Albina replied.
“She’s most likely on the roof,” Roscoe replied.  “Whenever she got upset at home, that was where she would go.”
Roscoe knew Kayla well.  He had helped George Roberts raise her from the time she was a baby.  She was like his niece in Christ.  He knew that he had to talk to her.  Roscoe knew that perhaps he was the only one who could get through to her besides Chelsea when she wouldn’t listen to any of her other friends.
“I’m going to go talk to Kayla,” Roscoe said looking out the window and up at the roof that was the next floor up.  
“Before you go,” Hugo said.  “There is something that we want to tell you, Roscoe.”
Roscoe turned around and looked at them to wait for their reply.
“We are getting married,” Hugo said wrapping his arm around Sylvie.
Roscoe and the others felt unbelievably happy for the both of them.  P-Body gave a thumbs up in approval while Alpha was jumping up and down.  Atlas however was not happy.  He felt an unbelievable amount of sorrow take over all of his senses.  He could hardly stand.  He turned away from the crowd, walked away to the bathroom, and curled up into a ball in the corner.  If he had tear ducts, he would be crying.  P-Body saw him walk away and turned to follow him.  He had no idea of what to do, but he just sat next to him and attempted to comfort him.  Atlas’s heart was broken.
“That is not all,” Sylvie said.  “We’re also going to fight the Combines together.  I will make the world a safe place, and I will tell everyone about this horrible place.”
Albina stood up crossing her arms and smiled quietly.  
“Congratulations, my sister,” Albina said walking towards her.  She then did something unexpected.  Albina took off her necklace that held her mother’s wedding ring and held it in her hand.
“This wedding ring was given to my mother by his father, but now I want you to have it,” Albina said handing it to her.
“Albina, I can’t.  It belonged to your mother.  That is all you have of her.  I can’t take that away from you,” Sylvie said.
“This is not all I have of her.  I also have a crucifix of hers, and I have pictures of her, too.  I will put on the crucifix when we go home.  Please Sylvie, you are like my big sister, and I don’t think I will ever be married anyway.  Please take it.  You deserve it.”
Sylvie was crying tears of joy.  Hugo took off his gloves and picked it up from Albina’s left hand.  She was the only person that he could touch without burning because her icy cold skin counteracted the effects of his hot skin.
“Thank you, sister,” Hugo said.  
He then very carefully put the necklace around Sylvie’s neck.  Sylvie was beaming with joy.  Now, her wedding ring matched his.  
“Now, it’s official, love,” Hugo said and then gently kissed the top of her bandana.  He hated that he could not touch her skin without burning it and that he would never be able to give her children, but he was happy to know that she would love him for the rest of his life.
“Congratulations,” Brandon said.
They would have had a loud party but they knew that they had to be quiet in this place.  So, they celebrated quietly.  Roscoe turned and walked towards the window once again.  He looked up at the dark night sky, and then he turned around.
“Hey, could you help me with something, Albina?” Roscoe asked.    
“Yes,” she replied.  “What is it?”
“I need to get on the roof to talk to Kayla.”
“You need a lift?”
“Yes, but you don’t have to stay on the roof with me.  I just need you to get me up there.  Okay?”
Albina agreed and flew up in the air while the other three talked about prospects for the future.  She grabbed Roscoe and pulled him out the window.  Since he was heavier than she was, she had a hard time holding him up, but she managed.  In the light of the crescent moon, she could see the roof.  Albina flew upwards and pulled Roscoe with him.  She then dropped him on the roof out of fatigue and flew back down.  Roscoe thanked her as she flew back inside, and then he turned to face Kayla.  But, she was not there.
GLADOS watched Chelsea as she slept in the bed of the room that she had prepared just for her.  There was so much more to this human than she had previously thought.  She looked like any other human, but she was different for more reasons than her obvious mutated powers.  GLADOS was really confused by her behavior.  She said that she had forgiven her but what could she have possibly meant by that?  Did she really mean what she said?  No one had ever spoken those words to her before.  GLADOS knew what forgiveness meant.  According to her internal dictionary, it was the voluntary and intentional process by which a victim voluntarily and intentionally lets go of their negative attitudes towards their offenders and increasingly wishes their offenders well with the possible intention of restoring a relationship with them.  However, these were only words.  They explained what had happened while at the same time not doing the word justice.  The words did not explain why a human decided to undergo this process.  GLADOS knew that it usually happened after the offender apologized, but she had done no such thing.  So, why did Chelsea forgive her?  What reason could she have?  
GLADOS turned away in annoyance.  These were only the words of a delusional human.  Why should she care?  Why should they bother her?  Did this human have the ability to give off pheromones to influence people?  GLADOS had never been this disturbed by the words of anybody.  She considered herself superior to humans and had thus considered their words trivial.  However whenever this human opened her mouth, GLADOS was always left disturbed as a result.  Why was this insane freak so different?  Chelsea’s friends had said Christian things, but she was not disturbed by them.  They threatened that she would die unless she repented.  GLADOS had heard multiple curses such as that before.  Humans would curse others to give them courage to face their supposed enemies or to intimidate their enemies into giving up.  The motivation behind their words was obvious.  Whenever Chelsea explained her theological beliefs, GLADOS had tried to interpret it the same way, just another way for the human to give herself courage.  GLADOS may have been disturbed in the moment.  She may have even admired her conviction and courage for what Chelsea said, but she quickly pushed off the words like she did the words of anyone else even though she was disturbed by her words.  However, this most recent outburst was unbearably disturbing because GLADOS could find no reason behind it.  Chelsea had nothing to gain from telling GLADOS that she was forgiven.  If anything, it was humiliating to her because she had been keeping up an image of being strong.  She possibly may have been trying to give herself a peace of mind but she was captured.  What peace did she think that she could have with GLADOS?  Was it some kind of religious obligation?  Was it some kind of trick?  Why did she do it?  GLADOS wished that she could brush off the words like she did the others, but she found it impossible.  GLADOS thought and thought about Chelsea’s words to understand what she meant by them.  Finally, GLADOS thought of another possibility that was almost too crazy to even consider from a cynical point a view.  Chelsea could have been doing it out of a desire to show genuine, Christian love.
GLADOS turned to look back at Chelsea who was starting to stir on the monitor.  Could that really be her reasoning?  GLADOS was taken aback and startled by the idea yet she pushed her cynicism forward.
“How ridiculous,” GLADOS said to herself.  “Showing love?  That is just ludicrous.”
Chelsea moved around in her sleep some more.
“Maybe she’s a saint,” GLADOS said.  “I’ve never heard of a saint having a tattoo.”
Chelsea opened her eyes and beheld a weird sight.  She saw a room that looked very much like a room in the hotel where she lived.  She looked up and realized that she was sleeping in a queen-sized bed with a clear white canopy over it.  Chelsea touched the sheets and noticed that they were white Egyptian cotton, with a white fleece blanket over that, and then finally a dark blue comforter over that.  Chelsea wondered if it was possible that she was back home sleeping in one of the luxury suite beds of the hotel.  She sat up in the bed and as the covers slid off of her she noticed the gauze bandages that were wrapped around her breasts.  Chelsea sighed as she realized that she was still somewhere in Aperture.  She looked around at the room and noticed that it was home decorated.  The room was as large as a standard single hotel room so it was a decent size.  On both sides of the bed, there were matching bedside tables with antique lamps on top of them.  On the one on the right, there was a digital alarm clock that read 12:35pm.  Against the wall on her left side, there was a desk with a computer from the 1990’s on top of it.  Further down, Chelsea noticed a door.  She got out of the bed to see where it led.  The door was a sliding door that was motion activated.  Chelsea walked up to it, and the door slid up to open.  She looked inside to see a large luxurious bathroom with a sink, a toilet, a vanity, a towel rack, a closet, and a large tub with a shower attached.  Chelsea turned to her right to look to the front of the room and saw a wardrobe and next to the wardrobe a cabinet of some sort.  She opened the wardrobe and saw a bunch of dresses and high heeled shoes.  Chelsea grimaced as she shut the wardrobe doors and opened the cabinet doors.  In the cabinet, there was a large television with one videocassette and a remote on the shelf under it.  She looked to the right of the cabinet and saw a small sitting area in the right corner.  There was a tall bookshelf with many books, a blue couch with a coffee table in front of it, a red rug under that, and a floor lamp next to the couch.  Chelsea noticed that all the furniture was made of chestnut wood.  Caroline must have made good money to be able to coordinate everything so well.  Everything was home-decorated except for the floor which was the same tile as the rest of Aperture.  The rest of the wall was blank except for a portrait of Cave Johnson and Caroline hanging over the couch.  On the ceiling, there was a light and a small vent.  As she took the view in, Chelsea was very confused.
“Where am I?” Chelsea asked herself out loud.  “What in the hell is going on?”
“This is the surprise that I was telling you about,” GLADOS said.
Startled, Chelsea looked around and found GLADOS’s camera hanging just in front of the cabinet where the television was.  
“Working in the facility often required long hours from Caroline,” GLADOS said.  “She arranged for the construction of a home away from home as a place for her to stay when she had to work those long hours and did not have time to go back home.  That is how this room came to be.  Not many of Aperture’s employees knew about it.  This room’s existence was kept secret from almost everyone for the sake of her privacy.  Only Caroline knew where it was located and how to get in… or out.”
GLADOS allowed enough time for her last words to sink in.  Chelsea’s eyes flashed with horror as she looked around and realized that there were no doors or windows in the room or in the bathroom.  In a panic, Chelsea ran around the room to look for anything that resembled a door.  She checked in the bathroom, under the desk, under the bed, on the other side of the bookshelf, and on the other side of the cabinet, but she could not find anything.  Chelsea stood in terror from a sort of claustrophobia.  She felt like a trapped animal.  Her breaths were shallow, and her heart beat quickly as she wondered what she would do next.  Was this her psychological treatment?
“Your food is going to get cold,” GLADOS said calmly.
Chelsea looked at the coffee table and noticed a tray of food sitting there.  There was a glass of water and a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with silver wear and a napkin.  Chelsea eyed it very suspiciously.
“No offense,” Chelsea said looking at the camera.  “But the last time that I took any meal of yours, I woke up drugged on a gurney about a week later.  I think I’ll pass.”
“I did not put anything in the food or in the drink this time, princess,” GLADOS said.  “I don’t need you to sleep anytime soon.  You can eat without worry.”
“I ate a dead bird this morning,” Chelsea said smiling.  “I think I’ll be fine.”
“Disgusting,” GLADOS said not hiding her disgust in her voice.  “All the same, that was several hours ago.  It is now the afternoon.  You need to eat something else for lunch.  You surely cannot tell me that you do not even feel a little bit hungry.”
Chelsea did feel hungry, but she did not budge.  She felt her mother’s stubbornness build up inside of her.
“I do not want to eat,” Chelsea yelled.  “I want to leave!  Tell me how to get out of here.”
“That is too bad,” GLADOS said in an emotionless tone that gave Chelsea chills.  “Since you refuse to eat, I’ll have to put you to sleep again.  When you wake up, there will be doctor robots forcing predigested food into a tube down your esophagus.”
“You want to force feed me?”
“I do not want to, but if you give me no other alternative, I will have to resort to it.”
Chelsea stared at the ground in fear.  
“Get this into your head, princess,” GLADOS continued coldly.  “If you want to act like a lunatic, you will be treated like a lunatic.  Is that understood?  Now, are you going to make me get out the feeding tube or are you going to eat your food voluntarily?  The choice is yours.”
Just then, Chelsea heard a whisper sing into her ear, “I feel you, Johanna.  I feel you.  Do they think that walls can hide you?  Even now, I’m at your window.  I am in the dark beside you buried sweetly in your raven hair.  Johanna!”
Chelsea’s eyes lit up.  It was Jeffrey.  He had shapeshifted into a lizard and crawled behind her right ear.  He was hidden from view by Chelsea’s black hair.  She had to talk to him.
“Alright, GLADOS,” Chelsea said looking up.  “I’ll eat the food.  Okay?”
“Good,” GLADOS said.
Chelsea picked up the tray and started walking to the bathroom.
“What are you doing?” GLADOS asked.  
“I am going to eat alone in the bathroom,” Chelsea replied.
“No, you’re not,” GLADOS replied closing the door in front of Chelsea.  “I want you to eat out here with me.  Now, sit down on the couch.”
Chelsea sighed and reluctantly obeyed.  She walked over to the couch and sat down.  
“Well, there goes my plan,” Chelsea thought to herself.  “How am I supposed to talk to Jeff now?  Help me, God.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to her considering our last conversation.”
GLADOS snapped her out of her thoughts.
“Aren’t you going to eat?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Chelsea said coming back to reality.  “I was just praying.”
Chelsea looked over the food.  It was a meal that she recognized only from media.
“Is this spaghetti?” Chelsea asked.
“Yes, it is,” GLADOS said.  “Spaghetti and meatballs.”
“I see you didn’t hesitate to slaughter another cow,” Chelsea said sarcastically.  “We’re going to run out of milk at this rate.”
“We have plenty more where this came from,” GLADOS said.  “You don’t have to worry.  This meal requires some experience to eat correctly.  Considering your background, you probably do not have this experience.  Do you need me to tell you how to eat it?”
Chelsea decided to mess with her.  
“Oh, no! I know how,” she said smiling.
Chelsea held her hair back with her right hand and started eating the food face first like a dog making as many disgusting noises as possible.
“Oh, God,” GLADOS said in disgust.  “Did your mother teach you any manners at all?”
Chelsea sat up and said, “Of course, she did.”
She wiped her face with the napkin that was on the tray.  Then Chelsea placed the napkin in her lap, and she started cutting up the food gingerly with a fork and a knife.  She ate a cut up piece of meatball.  Chelsea had to admit to herself that it tasted pretty good.  GLADOS was speechless at the sight of this human’s bizarre behavior.  
“I was just messing with you,” Chelsea said.
“Why?” GLADOS asked.
“Why did you tell my mother that you had found her parents when you were making her test?”
“I thought it would be funny.”
“That is why.”
Chelsea cut the spaghetti up and proceeded to eat it.  She actually knew what she was doing.
“I’m surprised,” GLADOS said.  “If you have never eaten this before, how do you know how to eat it?”
“I watch movies and television shows,” Chelsea said.  “It is actually not that hard.”
“Well, I hope you enjoy everything that I will feed you,” said GLADOS.  “In fact, I hope that you enjoy everything.  I want you to be so happy that you never even consider running away from me ever again.  You can be comfortable here.  I’m doing everything I can to make that possible.”
“I wish that she would stop putting on this act, God,” Chelsea prayed in her mind.  “I know she doesn’t really care about me.  Why is she going out of her way to pretend otherwise?  Does she really think she can convince me?  It’s obnoxious.”
“That is why I prepared this room for you,” GLADOS continued.  “It was a mess when we found it but after several weeks of work we made it look like new.  I thought it would be a nice place to stay.  You will be staying in here and eating all your meals here from now on.  Speaking of which, how do you like it?”
“It’s actually really good,” Chelsea replied honestly.  “Have to worry about the carbs though.  If you keep giving me this many carbs, I could get fat.”
“That is the idea.  While I don’t want you to be morbidly obese like your mother, I need you to be at a healthy weight so that we can go on with the experiment.  If a mother is underweight, then the baby could make it worse.  I want your pregnancy to be healthy, so we need you to eat as well as possible.”
“You won’t have to worry about that.  I’m not getting pregnant.”
“Whatever you say, princess,” GLADOS said not in the mood to have this conversation with Chelsea once again.  
GLADOS may have respected her stubborn spirit just as she respected Chell’s, but it sure felt grating at times.  The teen was relentless and would never give up.  It was almost enough to get on GLADOS’s nerves.  However at the moment, she had something else on her mind.  She had a question that she wanted to ask, but she was unsure about how to go about it.  GLADOS pondered how to go about it for a few minutes while Chelsea ate.  Eventually, she decided that she would just be straightforward.
“I need to ask you something,” GLADOS said.
Chelsea looked up in anticipation.
GLADOS went on, “When you were on the floor about to pass out from the gas, you said something weird.  You said that you forgave me.  What did you mean by that?”
Chelsea was scared.  She did not know how to reply.  She wanted to honor God with her response, but she really did not know how to answer GLADOS.  However she knew that if she just trusted God and was willing to speak, God would give her words to say.  
Chelsea prayed and opened her mouth to speak.
“I meant exactly what I said,” she said calmly.  “I forgive you for the horrible things you have done to me.  I forgive you for kidnapping me, for dissecting me like a frog, for threatening my family, for starving me, for experimenting on me, for wanting to ruin my life, and for even literally scarring me.”
“Why?” GLADOS asked.  “Why would you do something like that?  What could you possibly have to gain?”
“As a Christian, I want to do things that honor Jesus.  Jesus told his followers to love their enemies and show kindness to those who hated them.  Jesus prayed for the people who tortured him to death and did not seek revenge after his resurrection even though he was the Son of God.  I want to show love to him by doing what he wants me to do.  Furthermore, I don’t want what happened to you to happen to me.  I don’t want to be so consumed by my bitterness and my anger that I forget who I am and turn into a monster.  I want to be able to move on.”
“You truly are a mature little saint.  There is something else I need to know.  If you forgive me, what does that mean for me?  In the event that you escape, would you still try to kill me?”
Chelsea picked up her glass of water and drank it in order to give herself a minute to think.  That was a very good question that GLADOS was asking.  If she forgave her, did she still need to kill her?  Forgiveness did mean that she was not holding her sins against her anymore.  Chelsea no longer needed to carry out her vengeance.  However, Chelsea also realized that she could not leave GLADOS alone.  She would only kill more humans.  Chelsea had the power to stop that from happening, so she had to stop her.  Forgiveness did not mean allowing people to continue to carry out evil deeds.  God still commanded justice to be done.  Chelsea could pray for GLADOS’s soul, but she still had to defeat her.  Since GLADOS was not one to listen to reason, the only way to carry out justice was to kill her.  Killing to stop someone from doing something evil is not a sin after all.  It is a necessary act of justice.
Chelsea put down the glass and looked up at the camera again.  
She said, “I still have to kill you, but I am not doing it to avenge myself or my mother anymore.  I am doing it to bring you to justice.  I cannot allow you to kill or ruin anyone else’s life.  Besides, forgiveness does not mean letting someone get away with doing wrong.  Does it?”
“What does it mean then?  For our relationship?  Has anything really changed?” GLADOS asked.
“What do you mean?  I just said that…”
“I want to know how you are going to treat me from now on.”
Chelsea ate her food for a minute as she thought about what she was going to say next.  She did not know how she was going to treat GLADOS for now on.  Maybe Chelsea was not going to be mad anymore but she was not going to let the robot push her around either.  How was a Christian supposed to treat someone who was going to carry out an experiment on her?  She had to escape but she also had to love her enemy.  How was Chelsea supposed to do both?  She did not know so she just prayed and then opened her mouth.
“I will try to be kind to you I guess,” Chelsea said.  “I will also be praying for your soul.”
GLADOS laughed over the PA system.  It caught Chelsea off guard and put her on edge.
“You are really funny, princess,” GLADOS said.  “You want to kill me, but you also want to save my soul?”
“Yes,” Chelsea replied defensively while at the same time knowing how ridiculous she sounded.  “You have to face justice, but at the same time, you don’t have to go to hell.”
“You have done it, saint.  For the first time, I don’t know how to reply.  Your words are so ridiculous that I am literally at a loss for words.  Do you know how little sense you are making?  Why would you show love to someone who you are planning on killing?”
“I’m only killing you because I have to, because you are evil.”
“All the same, you still plan on killing me.  Isn’t that ethically questionable?”
“Not at all, you are evil and can’t be reasoned with.  I have no choice but to kill you in order to stop you.  You will just keep murdering people if I don’t.”
“It must be nice to be that morally simplistic.”
“It’s not simple.  If I had my way, I would not show love to you at all.  I only do it because God wants me to.  I personally find you despicable.”
“Tell me then, why would your God tell you to do something so ridiculous?  Why would he tell you to love someone so despicably evil?  Can you answer that for me?”
“Because you have done horrible things and have destroyed many lives, but God still loves you.  He wants you to admit that you have been wrong, Caroline.  He wants you to come to him so he can clean you from your sin.  Would you be willing to give him that chance?”
GLADOS was taken completely aback.  She fell silent and did not know what to say as she thought about Chelsea’s words.  Chelsea continued to eat and drink in silence.  She finished everything and sat back against the couch.  Chelsea looked at the books on the book shelf.  She read over the titles.  Chelsea saw The Inferno, Moby Dick, The Prince by Machiavelli, and a bunch of other books.  Caroline must have been quite the reader.  Chelsea unconsciously wrapped her arms around her body to keep herself warm.  
“You look cold and dirty,” GLADOS said waking Chelsea from her thoughts.  “Go take a hot bath and clean yourself up.  The robots will bring you some clean clothes in a little while.”
“But, why?” Chelsea asked.
“Just go.”
Chelsea stood up and walked to the bathroom.  The door opened for her to enter.  She stepped across the threshold to enter the room, and the door slid shut behind her.  Chelsea turned on her heels and put her hands on the door.  It was just as she thought.  GLADOS had locked her in.  Chelsea turned around and slid to the ground leaning against the door for support.  She was finally alone and could talk to Jeffrey who had been hiding behind her right ear the entire time.  
“Make sure the room is not bugged,” Jeffrey whispered into her ear.
Chelsea immediately got on her hands and knees checking under the tub, the vanity, the toilet, and anywhere else she could think of in order to find a recording device.  Chelsea sighed in relief when she did not find anything.  She picked Jeffrey up from behind her ear and held him in her hands.
“It’s alright, Jeffrey,” she said quietly.  “I couldn’t find any bugs anywhere.”
Jeffrey shapeshifted back into a human.  He smiled sadly as he untied the sweater that was tied around his neck, and put it back on. Chelsea gave him a big hug.  They proceeded to talk as quietly as they could.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t save you any food,” Chelsea said.  “That was one reason I wanted to come in here.”
“It’s okay,” Jeff said.  “I’m not hungry anyway.”  
“What are we going to do?”
“Don’t worry.  God will provide us another way to escape.”
“I hope so.”
“I don’t hear any running water in there,” GLADOS said from the other side of the door.  
Chelsea turned around and then looked back at Jeffrey.  
“Whatever happens,” Chelsea said.  “She can’t know that you’re here.  Stay hidden.”
“Okay,” Jeffrey said and then shapeshifted into a cockroach.  “I will stay hidden, but I will not abandon you.  I promise you that.”
“Thank you.”
“What are we going to do now?”
“I suppose that I should take a shower before she gets pissed at me again.  Don’t look.  Alright?”
Jeffrey crawled onto the wall behind the shower curtain while Chelsea removed her bandages, her necklace, her boxer shorts, and her necklace.  She placed those items on the chair of the vanity and stepped into the tub.  Chelsea turned on the shower.  She looked and saw a white shower caddy hanging from the railing.  It had shampoo, soap, and all that she needed on it.  Chelsea took the shampoo and lathered it into her hair.  
“Jeffrey, the first thing we need to figure out is where the door is,” Chelsea said.  “How long were you awake before me?  Did you see anything?”
“By the time I woke up, you were already in the bed and the food was already out,” Jeffrey said.  “I didn’t see anything.”
“You’re right though.  An exit has to exist.  They had to get us in her somehow.  It would be a secret door that only Caroline knew how to open,” Jeffrey said.  “Since the place was hidden, a conventional door would not have been built anyway.”
Chelsea suddenly heard GLADOS’s voice on the other side of the door.  She poked her head out from behind the shower curtain.  
“Yes?!” Chelsea yelled.  
“I told you to take a bath,” GLADOS said.  “You are taking a shower.”
“Why do you care?!”
“Showers can be drafty, but a bath would make you warmer.”
“I’m just fine in a shower!”
“Take a bath.”
“Fine, just let me rinse off!”
Chelsea shut the curtain and put her head under the faucet.  She wondered why GLADOS was asking her to do something so strange.
“What did she want?” Jeffrey asked.
“She wants me to take a bath instead of a shower,” Chelsea said.
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”
“Oh well, we will have to be quieter since there will be no running water.”
Chelsea came to a realization about why GLADOS asked her to do what she did.
“That’s it, Jeff,” Chelsea said.  “Oh, shit!  She’s suspicious.  I’m so stupid.  She must have heard us talking in here.  She wants me to take a bath so the running water won’t block out the sound of me talking to anyone.  She wants to hear if you’re in here.”
“How could she hear us?” Jeff said.  “That was why we were quiet and made sure the room wasn’t bugged.”
“I don’t know.  She can hear some things.  I guess.  I just don’t know how much.”
“We’ll just talk when the tub is filling up with water.”
Chelsea finished rinsing off her hair and turned off the shower.  She then turned on the water to fill up the tub and put a stopper that was on the caddy in the drain.  Chelsea was stressed and scared.
“Oh, Jeff,” Chelsea said.  “Maybe she doesn’t really suspect anything, but is only trying to make me nervous to the point where I psychologically break down.  She is going to drive me crazy.  What am I going to do?”
“Calm down and pray,” Jeffrey said.  “We’re going to get out of here.  You still have to get outside to smell the autumn air and that bush you like so much.  Remember?  It’s all still waiting outside for you.”
Chelsea closed her eyes and remembered the outside world.  She remembered the beauty of Michigan in the autumn, and it inspired her to fight.  Chelsea had to go outside and see it for herself.  She opened her eyes and realized that the tub was almost full.
“You have any ideas,” Jeffrey asked.
“I don’t have anything yet,” Chelsea said.  “You?”
“Same here,” Jeffrey said.  “You and I need to think about where in the room the secret door could be.  We will each be quiet and try to get the attention of the other if we think of something.  Ok?”
“Okay,” Chelsea said as she turned off the water.  
Chelsea washed her body and her face.  Then after making sure she got all the soap off, she laid back and soaked in the tub for a while.  She prayed that God would give her an idea for anything really.  She was trapped in a room with no doors, her friend was in danger of being caught, and she had to find a way out to get to the others before GLADOS impregnated her.  However in the midst of her troubles, Chelsea’s mind began to drift around like the minds of people with ADHD tend to do.  She wanted to remember something happy to stop the pain.  Chelsea held her breath and went under water.  She remembered all the shows and movies that she enjoyed watching.  She would probably never watch a movie or television show ever again if GLADOS had her way.  Actually, that was not true.  There was a television in the room with a videocassette.  That was weird now that she thought about it.  Caroline was so much of a workaholic that she would have a secret room made for her to sleep in so she didn’t have to go home, but she had a television around?  Sure, Chelsea saw Caroline go to a movie one time in her memories, but was she such a huge fan of movies that she would have a television placed in her room just so she could watch them?  Surely, Caroline would have considered such an activity a waste of time if she was a super busy woman.  So, why was the television there?  Wait a minute!  
Chelsea had her eureka moment.  She came back to the surface gasping for air.  As soon as Chelsea caught her breath, she peaked her head behind the curtain and whispered for Jeffrey.  Jeffrey crawled back along the wall until he was in ear shot.
“What is it?” Jeffrey asked.
“Jeff, I think I know where the exit is,” Chelsea said.
“I think it’s the television.”
“Yes, think about it.  Caroline was a workaholic whose mind was always on her work for the most part.  Watching television is one of the most mindless things you can do with your time.  It would be used for entertainment.  She would have used the computer for work or the books for reading, but she would have considered herself above doing anything mindless like watching television especially sice she only had one videocassette.  The television could have connected to cable or something, but it probably was mostly used for another purpose.  There was only one cassette after all.  It’s a long shot.  I know that, but I think that we should look there first.”
“You have a good point.”
Suddenly, the two of them heard the door open, and they immediately went silent.  Chelsea turned her head towards the direction of the sound while Jeffrey shapeshifted into a cockroach and hid under the tub to get a better look.  Jeffrey saw a robot walk into the room carrying clothes.  The robot laid the clothes on top of the vanity.  Then he picked up the bandages, adult diaper, and boxer shorts and walked out.  Chelsea peaked out from behind the curtain to see what he had left.  She recognized her bra, her underwear, and the white dress that GLADOS had picked out for her days before.  Chelsea figured that the robot wanted her to get out soon.  She pulled up the stopper to the tub and let the water out.  Chelsea pulled a blue towel off of the rack on the wall and wrapped it around her body.  Then she stepped out of the tub.  Chelsea walked over to the vanity and picked up the dress.  She could not believe that GLADOS still wanted to dress her up like a doll in some poor woman’s death dress and force her to get married.  Did Chelsea’s words not have any impact at all?  Could GLADOS be saved?  
However for the time being, Chelsea had no choice but to do what GLADOS wanted until she could escape.  As she sat on the vanity seat and brushed her hair with a brush she found sitting out, Chelsea started to think of a plan to do just that.  This plan would be better than the other ones.  She would actually think this one out completely, so that it would actually work.  Chelsea prayed for strength as she thought.  She was desperate to escape and did not want to mess this one up.  If Chelsea did, things would probably only get worse for her.  She stared at her scar on her left shoulder.  Chelsea did not want to know how far GLADOS’s wrath would go.  However, she and Jeff needed to escape.  The fear of a machine would not stop her now.
Chelsea put on the underwear, the bra, and then the dress.  She did not notice it before, but there were flowers embroidered on the dress.  It was actually quite pretty.  It was a bit baggy on her due to the fact that Chelsea was so thin, but it was pretty nonetheless.  The dress was sleeveless, so Chelsea's tattoo and scar could both be seen.  GLADOS did not know the scar would be added when picking out the dress, but right now, it was obvious that Chelsea was wearing the dress for that reason.  GLADOS liked looking at the scar.  Chelsea winced in disgust, but she smiled in joy as she thought about the plan.  
Jeffrey climbed to the top of the vanity mirror as Chelsea put on her red-beaded necklace.  She looked at him and smiled.
Then Chelsea whispered, “Jeff, I think I have a plan.”
“What is your plan?” Jeffrey replied.
“Hold on a minute.”
Chelsea pulled out the drawers of the vanity until she found what she was looking for.  It was a hair dryer.  
“I hope this thing still works,” Chelsea said.  “It looks old.”  
“I thought you didn’t blow dry your hair,” Jeffrey said confused.
“I don’t normally.  It takes too long.”
“Then, what are you doing?”
“I have to make sure that she can’t hear us somehow.  I just hope this thing doesn’t explode or something.”
Chelsea was nervous about plugging in the hairdryer.  It was from the 1990’s and although it looked fine on the outside, she knew from Sylvie that that did not mean it was safe.  It could be damaged on the inside.  The whole thing could explode, but it was the only way that Chelsea could ensure their privacy without other listening ears.  To protect herself, Chelsea created a force field around her hands.  She messed with the force fields for a minute to see how skin tight she could get them to be.  She finally got a skin tight force field over both of her hands so that she would not be electrocuted.  She smiled with satisfaction and picked up the hairdryer.  Chelsea plugged it in into the wall and nothing bad happened.  It didn’t short circuit or anything.  She smiled as she turned it on and blew dry her hair.
“Sorry about losing your boxer shorts, dude,” Chelsea said.  “I didn’t expect her to take them away.”
“It’s alright,” Jeffrey said.  “I have plenty more of those at home.  Anyways, what is your plan?”
Chelsea held her finger up to her mouth and continued blow drying her hair.  When she was done, Chelsea took the hairdryer and walked until its cord could not stretch out any further.  She then laid it down on the ground in front of the door and left it running.  Chelsea then sat down in front of the vanity, picked up a hair tie and a brush to mess with her hair some more, and started talking.
“Ok, Jeff,” Chelsea said brushing her hair.  “Here’s what I have in mind.”
Chelsea explained her plan in every detail possible.  She discussed it with Jeffrey to smooth it out as much as she could.  He was better at thinking through all the minute details of plans than she was.   He had confidence in her ideas and believed that it was risky but it could work.  Talking to him helped Chelsea feel more confident in her own ideas.  She was still scared, but she was willing to take the risk.
“We need to tell your Dad what we’re going to do,” Jeffrey said.
However before Chelsea could respond, she heard GLADOS.
“You can come out whenever you like, princess,” she said.  “I’m ready for you.”
“Alright,” Chelsea yelled as she finished putting her hair in a half pony tail that covered her ears.  “I’m coming out!  Just a minute!”
She then turned to Jeffrey and said, “Talk to him for me.  I have to face her again.”
Chelsea walked over to the sink and looked at herself in the mirror.  She looked down and saw a toothbrush and toothpaste.  She used these items to brush her teeth.  After that, she quickly used the bathroom one last time.  After washing her hands, Chelsea looked at the mirror and realized that she was breathing hard with fear and starting to sweat.  She walked over to the vanity, picked up a stick of deodorant, and put it on.  Chelsea looked at herself in the mirror and looked down.
“Don’t be afraid, Chelsea,” said Jeffrey as he flew onto her neck, shapeshifted into a lizard, and went behind her right ear.  “God is with us.  We are doing the right thing, and we shall succeed.”
“You’re right, Jeff,” Chelsea said looking up.  “We will succeed.”
Chelsea looked on the vanity and saw some Aperture Science brand everlasting lip balm.  She rubbed it on her lips to make her lips feel better.  Having lip balm on always helped Chelsea feel better.
“Are you ready to go, Jeffrey?” Chelsea asked.  
“I’m ready to go if you are,” Jeffrey said.
“Okay, but just remember to be quiet.  Do not make a move until I say so.  You got it?”
“Yes, I’ll be praying.”
Chelsea nodded.  She prayed to herself in her brain as she walked towards the hairdryer.
“God, in spite of the hell that I have endured, I know that you have been good to me,” Chelsea prayed.  “You have brought me my friend so that I wouldn’t be alone here anymore.  You have given me the ability to show your goodness to an enemy who does not deserve it.  You have given me ideas so that I can get us out of here.  God, I know that you have been good, but I am also afraid.  She is not above mutilating my body to make me behave.  God, I don’t know what she’ll do to me next if this doesn’t work.  You know more than I do what she’s capable of.  I’m afraid that no one can reach her now, not even me.  She’s lost in her own insanity, and she is going to kill me.  Help me, God!  I act brave, but frankly inside I am scared to death.  Don’t abandon me!”
Chelsea picked up the hairdryer and turned it off.  She carried it back to the vanity, unplugged it, and placed it back in the drawer.  Chelsea looked at herself in the mirror one last time.  Before, all of her plans were carried out so quickly that she didn’t have time to get scared, but this time, she had time to be nervous.  Chelsea was afraid of the consequences of failure, but at the same time, she was willing to fight.  She would rather die than let that robot have her way with her.  Chelsea walked to the door shaking on the inside but also determined with courage.  Courage after all was not the absence of fear but the willingness to keep fighting in spite of it.  
The door moved up as Chelsea approached it, and she stepped out of the bathroom.  A group of about three robots ran into the bathroom behind her, and Chelsea turned around just in time to see the door shut.  She turned and looked around the room.  The room was cleaner than before.  The tray was gone, and the bed was made, but that was not all.  The robots had cleaned the floors and everything else, too.  The place was spotless.  No wonder GLADOS wanted her out of the way.  Chelsea smiled impressed.  They certainly did a lot in such a short period of time.  
“Don’t you look lovely?” GLADOS said causing Chelsea to jump.  “I wanted to see how you looked in the dress.  I must say that you should really clean yourself up more often because you look beautiful.”
“Thanks,” Chelsea said looking at the camera.  “I get my looks from my mother.”
“You have your looks by the grace of your God,” GLADOS said spitefully.  “If it were up to genetics alone, you would be hideous.”
Chelsea scowled at her and said, “I appreciate the return of my bra and my underwear by the way, but I was wondering if or when I would get my other clothes back.”
“Be patient,” GLADOS said.  “You earn them back for good behavior.  First, you got the necklace for answering my questions.  Then you got your cleaned undergarments for eating and bathing.  Next, I will give you more of your cleaned clothes back if you behave.”
“You are rewarding my good behavior with clothes,” Chelsea said.  “Unbelievable.”
“Anyways, GLADOS said.  “I thought the dress would fit you better.  Right now, it’s too big.  Oh, well.  You just need to gain some weight.  I need you to look as pretty as possible for him.”
“Who is him?” Chelsea asked.
“He could be any one of the young men that are in this facility.  Since the mutated man is no longer available and your stallion can’t be found, then you get to choose a husband from the men that are still left.”
“That’s not going to happen.”
“I was afraid that you would say that.  If that is the case, princess, then I will simply have to exterminate them.”
Chelsea was shocked.  She knew that the men were being freed, but she thought about what would happen if they weren’t.
“What?” Chelsea exclaimed in order to not let on to GLADOS that they were being freed.
“There’s no reason to keep them around if you don’t like them,” GLADOS said nonchalantly.  “I’m moving in a new direction in my work so I have no more need for the test subjects.  I’ll just show you pictures one by one and eliminate every person until you find one you like.”
“You don’t have to do that.  No, I’ll choose one.”
“Good, I see that you don’t want anyone to die, but for the future, I have to tell you that you may have to get past that mindset.”
“Why is that?”
“We may have to exterminate your babies.”
“Your energy is precious.  I can’t have you waste it raising a child that I don’t need for the experiment.  If the child is not mutated as you are, I will throw it out and start over.”
It was apparent that GLADOS was trying to stir Chelsea up.  She stared into the camera with fire behind her eyes.  Chelsea’s fear melted away and was replaced with anger.  She lost any hesitation she previously felt about killing GLADOS.  There was no question in her mind about it now.  She had to do it.  Anyone who could talk about destroying a God-made life as nonchalantly as she was able to did not deserve to live.  Chelsea created two discs in her hands.  She was about to tear the place apart with her own two hands.
“Calm down, Chelsea,” Jeffrey tried to whisper in her ear.
“I’m not hearing any more of this,” Chelsea said.  “I’m getting out of here!”
“You try anything, and you’re going straight back to sleep,” GLADOS said.  “If you continue in your violent behavior, I can just keep putting you to sleep.  My lifespan is eternal so I can afford to be patient.  I’m not so sure about you though.”
Chelsea turned her back to the camera.  
“Chelsea,” Jeffrey whispered into her ear.  “Your Dad said that Sylvie and the others are on their way to the anesthetic gas room.  It is only a matter of time before she finds a way to shut it down now.  It will be alright.”
Chelsea smiled in joy.  Part of her plan was coming into being.  Once the gas was off, Chelsea and the others could not get caught as easily.  However, she pulled herself together and made her face sullen so that she could face GLADOS once more.  Then Chelsea turned around.  
“Well, saint,” GLADOS said mockingly.  “What is it going to be?”
“Okay,” Chelsea said as she dissolved her discs.  “I get it.  I’ll calm down.  What do you want me to do for you now?”
“The robots are cleaning up the bathroom.  I need you to sit on the couch and pray or whatever it is you like to do until the robots are done.”
“Then what?”
“Once the robots are done in the bathroom, one of them will need to ask you questions to fill out a questionnaire for testing purposes.  But until then, just relax.  I don’t want you to do anything else.”
Chelsea sat down on the couch.  After a few seconds, she crawled on the couch over to the bookshelf to get a book to read and pass the time.  She reached and grabbed The Inferno.  Chelsea opened the book to the first part and started reading.  If this book was every bit as good as her Dad had always said that it was, then she should be able to get into it in no time.  That was good because if Chelsea was into a story enough she could mentally block out the whole world.  At the moment, that was all that she wanted.  Chelsea wanted to block out GLADOS.  She had to stay calm and not let GLADOS make her angry.  That was essential for her plan to succeed.  She had to keep GLADOS distracted just long enough for them to find a way to turn off the gas.
“It’s up to you now, Sylvie,” Chelsea said inside her head as she read.  “God, please help her.  I know that she can do it.”
I took this online personality test, and it turns out that I am an INFJ.  That means that I am introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging.  I have a strong sense of morality and have the ability to fight for what I believe in even if I don't like being the center of attention.  Apparently, my personality type is rare.  I am the type that not only dreams of a better world, but has the ability to put a plan into action.  I am also very empathetic and want to serve others and make peace.  I have to say that I am quite happy with this result.
  • Mood: Content

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SarahMyriaCarter Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Writer
Look I made a Will Carter Toy…
SarahMyriaCarter Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Professional Writer
Hey I am holding another contest and hope you consider entering it's for book 2(Seekers Temptation)…
InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Professional Photographer
I would, but I haven't even finished reading the first book yet. 
SarahMyriaCarter Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Professional Writer
OK Do you like it so far?
InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Professional Photographer
Yes, I do actually.  The only problem I see so far is grammatical errors. 
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seradonna Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav. ♥
InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Professional Photographer
You're welcome!
SarahMyriaCarter Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Professional Writer
HI I just wanted to let you know Seekers Temptation is out now…
InGodzHandz Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks for telling me!
HopperSkotch Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankiesu for the :+fav: :)
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