So obviously that was all rubbish and I’ll never do anything like that ever again until we think up the next plan to make as many people weep as possible.
This is a non-Blue-Sky-Canon ‘alternate ending’ to the story. Stay tuned for an alternate alternate version in which Chell wakes up in the shower and it was all a dream.
Thanks for being such good sports, guys! You are all brilliant. :D
How’re you doing? Alright?
You’re- you’re looking pretty good, actually, all things considered… bit dark in here, obviously, at the moment, not much in the way of ambient light, but- but I can see all your vitals are ticking along as per usual, nice and even, all green… brilliant. That’s the spirit, keep it up.
What’re you up to today? Let’s have a look on the old screen-
Oh, right, good, fine, baking again. Some sort of… bread, bread-related product, there, if I’m any judge. Do a lot of that, don’t you? Lot of baking. Got a thing for it. A knack.
Don’t mind me, just bringing the lights up a bit- there we go. Miles better.
You know, it’s a nice room, this. Much better than that other one, you remember, back then- ha, no, that one had some serious design flaws. Completely incompatible with your average docking station, for a start. Not to mention ridiculously fragile. Not built to last at all.
Beats it handles down, this one does. You know, it’s clean… roomy… nice wallpaper- ooh, and don’t forget the lovely picture on the wall there, don’t you think that’s a lovely picture? You know me, I’m no art critic or anything, but I know what I like, and- well, it’s just a lovely image, that, isn’t it? All that sky, and all that gold…ish, goldy grassy stuff down there, and the little shed…
Know you can’t actually see it, but can’t help thinking, maybe you did, at some point. Woke up, had a little peek, dozed off again. Got it memorised, got in all in your head. Because that’s how it looks in there, isn’t it? All that sun, and great big fields, and- and humans-
Probably… probably best you don’t know what it’s really like out there. I mean, I know, of course, I know, because, She showed me. She’s got all these satellite images and everything up there, all this data, gave me the- the grand tour. Whole planet looks- well, alright, picture a, a mouldy gobstopper someone dropped down the back of a sofa, right, all grey with brown bits, bit chewed, and um, when you’ve got that, take that mental image, and put it in space, and make it thousands of miles across. That’s- that’s what it’s like…
…no, fine, you’re still baking. Not listening to old Wheatley. Fair enough, I suppose, got lots to keep you busy, in there, got to bake all sorts of things, probably, and then you’ll probably be getting on with fixing that hole in the roof before it rains, that’s what you were up to the other day. With-
-here’s- here’s an interesting fact, know what it rains, now, out there? When it rains? Well- neither do I, actually, not a chemist, but it puts bloody great big holes in metal, whatever it is. Nasty stuff. We’re- we’re bloody lucky we’re in here, really. Roof over our heads, nothing eating holes in it, or- or us, and you’ve got it even better than I have, haven’t you, end of the day, you get to lie around in here all the time, thinking about baking and amateur carpentry. And here I am, looking after you- vital, demanding job. She said it’s supposed to be a punishment, but… have to admit I’m still not seeing it myself. I mean, I’m not dead, and you’re not trying to kill me, which is what you’d be doing if you were awake, no doubt. That’d be your hobby of choice, I’m guessing, if you weren’t snoozing away in here dreaming about ovens.
Have to say, though, man alive, have you got an imagination! I’d never have known, wouldn’t have suspected it for a moment all that time when you were running around in here with your scary face on, breaking things and murdering people, but it’s all going on in there, isn’t it? You’d think, what with the massive traumatic brain damage and everything, all the bashing about that clump of grey jelly between your ears took back then, there’d be nothing going on at all. You’d think it’d just be static up here on the screen; static, fuzz, ‘Please Stand By’ or something, picture of a little girl with a clown...
But no, no, far from it, the stuff you come up with, it’s like a bloody soap opera or something. All those humans knocking around, dozens of ‘em- although you’re a bit short on variety, if I had to nitpick, it’s the same ones all the time- there’s the ginger, and the one with the great big fluffy face, and the little midget with the wellies…
She says it’s the effect of an escapist delusion on a vegetative psyche. I’m not going to argue- mostly because, between you and me, I’m not actually one-hundred-percent sure what that means- but I’ve got to say, you look pretty happy.
You know, for a vegetable.
All these years… not even so much as a yawn out of you, not a blink since She pulled you back through. All just too much for your squishy little organic brain, I suppose. Checked out. Cashed in your chips. Flown the coop.
Lying there, all those wires in your head, and that little sort of smile…
You’re not coming back, are you? I-I mean, good, you’re a flipping lunatic, could have killed us all with that little ‘moon’ stunt, but it’d be nice if you at least pretended you were listening, sometimes. Nodded. Coughed. Anything.
But no, as I said, you’re too busy with all your little make-believe friends in there. Human friends.
Suppose it was a bit too much to expect that you’d leave any room for me in your escapist-delusion-whatsit, after all that unfortunate rigmarole with you turning on me and running off with Her and- and me trying to kill you- and vice-versa, nobody’s entirely innocent here- but I suppose it stands to reason you don’t want old Wheatley hanging round in your little brain-damage-party in there. No, it’s just you and- and him, yeah, that’s him, there- that great big lanky human you’re always knocking around with-
You like him, don’t you? All your vitals- dopamine… neutrophine… oxytocine… other things ending in ‘ine…’ all up, and the things you two get up to, hoo, talk about Science…
It's almost as if he was real.
Might be a tiny bit jealous about that, to tell the truth. I mean, what has old goggle-features got that I haven't? Apart from the legs, and the whole opposable grip thing... and the being-a-figment-of-your-imagination thing- and the not-trying-to-kill-you thing too, I suppose, but come on, you basically brought that on yourself, hardly my fault, was it?
I can’t help thinking, sometimes. What if. Not much! Not much, not- not often, I mean you know me, ever the optimist, haha- and like I said, I’ve got a good gig here, looking after you, staying out of Her way, it’s not exactly running the whole facility but it’s- well, it’s something. I- I suppose it’s just, while it was nice of Her to put this screen in here for me, considerate of Her, so I can see what you’re up to in that head of yours…
What if. What if things had gone differently? What if the whole world up there wasn’t all smog and green lightning and the sort of rain that sets fire to trees? What if it was like the picture, all sky and grass and… and baking?
What if- if you hadn’t turned out to be basically a- a murderous, evil monster of a woman? What if I-I-
What if I hadn’t-
That could’ve been me, that great big lanky git in there. You know? You could have taken me with you, like we planned, and- and obviously the whole ‘legs’ issue would have been a bit of a problem, but yours always worked alright, didn't they? You could have carried me, you were a dab hand at the carrying, good upper body strength- you could sit me places, I could give you advice and things, about… about baking, or…
That could’ve been us.
I suppose, on the whole, things’re better the way they are, I mean, let’s face it, I’m an artificial personality construct, you’re a psychopathic primate with extensive brain damage. It was never going to work.
It was never going to work.
Rrrghhh, see, this always happens, clearly entirely your fault. Every time I come in here, it's fine if I just check your, your vitals and buzz off, but- but if I hang around I just end up getting all... thinky. Entirely too thinky, what with the screen, and the little town, and all the people- and you, and-
-so, um, well, glad to see you're doing alright, as per usual, no change there, box ticked, and... I'll leave you to it. Lots to do, tons, patrolling... thinking... no, don't get up, I'll let myself out, don't worry.
Same time tomorrow, then? Don't have to say anything. Just... just sort of smile, alright? Just smile.