We arrived at Test Chamber 92. Some platforms were retracting and coming out repeatedly. GLaDOS spoke again. “Oh well,” she remarked, “if it isn’t the grand return of King Moron, his Mute Princess, and the Huntress. You’ve come ‘Back to the Future’ of science, I see. As I said earlier, not that you were listening, I’m still fixing up the place. So, hold on a moment.” She managed to fix the platforms to make a bridge as we headed to a rather open chamber.
“Oh, OH! I remember this test!” cheered Wheatley “I tried it once, couldn’t do it, and, well, I simplified it! See if you can do it, go on!” In the middle of the chamber was a weight switch that opened the door in the middle of the wall ahead. I assumed it triggered a ramp once unlocked. I summoned the Companion Cube and put it on the switch. It did as I assumed. “Yay!” called Wheatley. “You did it! Well done you!” I was about to approach the ramp, but Chell put a hand on my shoulder. She shook her head.
“You think GLaDOS would change the test back to its factory settings?” I guessed. Chell nodded. “I can see why you would say that,” I continued, “but, maybe, she won’t notice this one.”
“NO!” snapped GLaDOS. “This is NOT an acceptable Test Chamber! Nor is it acceptable to ruin perfectly good testing scenarios! Here, let me fix it to how it was!” The ramp went down and the weight switch flipped over. An energy ball emitter and its acceptor ran along the wall on the right of the door. Above them was a platform with turrets blocking the way to an excursion funnel leading to a weight switch. On the door’s left, there was an Aerial Faith plate leading to the turret platform and a panel on the ceiling facing one on the floor with a target switch nearby.
“Then again,” I wailed, “I could be the victim of wishful thinking!”
“I don’t want to say, ‘I told you so’, but I told you so!” signed Chell.
“I MAY have been a little hasty in thinking GLaDOS would let it slide,” I sighed as I summoned the turret and cube. I sighed as Chell made a portal from the wall panel to the ceiling panel. She got me to press the button to release the energy ball. Chell then got the turret to fire on the target switch. The panel on the floor tilted towards the acceptor. The energy ball went through the portal and was directed to the acceptor. It made the part of the bridge the turrets were on tilt to let them fall into a pit. Chell then grabbed the cube with the portal gun and used the Aerial Faith plate to get onto the platform once the bridge came back.
“Have you ever had a fly buzzing around your head that won’t leave you alone?” asked GLaDOS. “No matter how hard you try, you can’t get rid of it. It just keeps coming back time and time again.” Chell then put the cube into the Excursion Funnel and it floated up to the weight switch. The door unlocked again and the ramp came back.
“YaHEY!” cheered Wheatley. “That’s it! Simple, isn’t it really, once you’ve figured it out?” We went into the elevator and went up. Test Chamber 93 was our destination.
“This is one of my most recent chambers,” reported GLaDOS, “and you’ll be glad to know I’ve completely reinforced the Aerial Faith plates to account for your bubbly personality.” A target switch was near the door, connecting to an Aerial Faith plate on the wall. There was one on the ground as well. We explored further to see a light bridge connecting two areas. There was an energy ball emitter and a white panel facing it on the bottom. Chell made a blue portal on the panel. I summoned the turret and got it to fire at the target switch. It tilted the Aerial Faith plate on the wall. I used the one on the ground to reach the wall one and I went to the rightmost area. I saw an Excursion Funnel with a weight switch on the ceiling, summoned the cube, and placed it in the Funnel. It floated upwards, activating the switch. It connected to the Energy Ball transmitter and released a ball. Chell came up as well.
“Just a quick FYI,” warned Wheatley, “those High Energy Pellets are NOT candy and actually really hurt if you come into contact with them. Best to just use them to solve the Test Chamber and not try to eat them.”
“Did he try to do that?” signed Chell.
“This IS Wheatley we’re talking about,” I reminded her. Chell went to an area where there were two moving platforms to stand on and a white panel beside them. Chell made a blue portal, thus making the portal tunnel complete, and the High Energy Pellet went through and into an acceptor. It activated a piece of wall that allowed a white panel to appear on the side. We went on the moving platforms and went into the new area. Chell saw a tilting panel and made a portal between the two panels in the area. I went down a flight of stairs and summoned the cube again. I put it on the weight switch and it brought the tilted panel up and we went into the portal to get to the elevator.
“That wasn’t so hard,” signed Chell.
“Even SIGNING that is a bad idea!” I protested. We entered the elevator and went up, right into GLaDOS’ chamber. She had remodeled it after our last encounter and was humming to herself while looking through a door.
“Can’t even solve the test I sent them!” she hummed to herself.
“Hello!” called Wheatley. Idiot! We were going for stealth! “What are you hiding there?”
“You?!” snapped GLaDOS as she turned to face us. “I thought the elevator from Test Chamber 93 went to the incinerato…Party…Cake…Location! But, this makes sense. Criminals always return to the scene of the crime! And look who else showed up.” She tilted her “head” to a core on the ground. Cores are machines like Wheatley, but this one had an orange eye instead of Wheatley’s blue.
“Space is my favorite color!” it called.
“The Space Core?” I asked. That specific core was a corrupted one obsessed with Outer Space.
“Spaaaaace!” laughed the Space Core. “Spaaaaace! Spaaaaace? Space. Spaaaace.” Wheatley groaned.
“That guy is really annoying,” he moaned. “I mean, honestly, you wouldn’t believe how annoying he is. Very annoying, annoying, annoying.” He started flying around GLaDOS, the Space Core, and us! “Annoying! Annoying!” I think you get the picture. “And I just, I can’t even be bothered. I’ll explain what I mean later, but he’s…he’s annoying!” He started repeating that word again, for a while, until Chell whacked him without looking like Bruce Lee.
“GLaDOS,” I demanded, “I’m giving you one last chance! Surrender the rift tech you have or Chell and I will take it!”
“I’m surrendering NOTHING!” snarled GLaDOS. “You have embarrassed me for the final time, meat-sack! If I obeyed you, my credentials as a computer more powerful than anything Black Mesa could dredge up would be at stake!”
“I appreciate that your reputation might be a little shaken,” I conceded as I drew my i.d tag, “but not letting me have the tech now will be an action you’ll regret later! Henshin!
“I’m sorry,” taunted GLaDOS as I changed, “but there won’t be a later. Because, here’s another old friend of yours: neurotoxin!” The gas came up!
“Kamen Rider Hunt!” I called. “I shall always get my prey!” Chell looked at me. “Well, don’t you have a catchphrase?” I asked.
“No,” she signed, “because my vocal cords are paralyzed!”
“I love space!” remarked the Space Core.
“Neurotoxin level at capacity in five minutes,” said an announcer program.
“Time for round three, is it?” asked GLaDOS.
“Okay,” suggested Wheatley, “here’s my plan, I think we should try and force a good old-fashioned Core Transfer. Classic, okay? If we can find a way to damage her, then we can force that space monkey into her body!” Maybe I have a dirty mind, but that couldn’t have been what Wheatley meant. “Why not take a look around and see what we can use?”
“Keep it down!” I snarled.
“I will NOT have my core transferred!” shouted GLaDOS. “Can’t you learn some new tricks?” We found a weight switch. I summoned the cube and placed it onto the switch while Chell used the portal gun to make a portal going from a panel in front of a High Energy Pellet emitter and a panel behind GLaDOS. The energy ball came on and went through the portal. “OUCH!” protested GLaDOS as the pellet hit her. “What is it with you?!” The panel fell, revealing where the Space Core wandered off to.
“Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey Lady!” it called. “Space! Lady! Gotta go to space! Lady! Hey…space.”
“Warning,” announced the announcer program, “Core Corruption at 25%.”
“Yes!” cheered Wheatley. “Yes, this is it! You’re on to something! You’re on to something! Keep going with this! I like it! I love it! You look great, by the way, have you been working out?” We went up a ramp made from the wreckage and summoned the turret to shoot at a target switch. It activated an excursion funnel and I used an Aerial Faith plate to launch myself into it. I used it to arrive at a button which, when I pressed it, activated another panel behind GLaDOS. Chell made a portal between the new panel and the panel in front of the emitter. The cube was put back on the weight switch and the High Energy Pellet was thrown into GLaDOS’ backside.
“I let you go!” she snapped to Chell once she recovered. “I sent you away!! Why won’t you leave me alone?!! FOREVER!!!!” An explosion made a pipe full of repulsion gel spill its contents.
“Warning,” called the announcer program, “Core Corruption at 50%.”
“Oh, she does NOT like that!” mused Wheatley.
“One more should do nicely,” I pondered, “and then we can initiate the core transfer.”
“You cannot force me to agree to th-,” GLaDOS was cut off by static. “My voice?! What” more static “to my” more static. She regained her vocal processors. “All you need to do is turn around and leave! There is NOTHING for you here anymore!” I bounced on the Repulsion Gel and landed on the platform with a button. I was about to press when…it happened! At first, I didn’t want to believe it, but, there, delivering a kick to my ribs, was Igura!
“YOU?!” I snarled, remembering her involvement in Vortech’s plans.
“Me,” confirmed Igura. “And YOU are trespassing in Shocker Rift territory.”
“Shocker Rift?” I scoffed. “That’s what you guys call it?”
“Not my first choice, but the troops like it,” replied Igura as she revealed her belt, with the symbol of Shocker on it, an eagle holding the earth. “I don’t think I told you the name of my belt, did I? I call it the Talon Typhoon, so much better than the ‘Shocker Driver’ that Ambassador Hell wanted to call it.” She then did her henshin sequence like in the DC Comics world. She crossed her left arm in front of her, with the hand in a clawed fashion, and slowly moved it across the front with her right hand at her hip. “Nova…” she began. Her left hand then went to her hip as her right hand moved across her front with a clawed hand. “HENSHIN!” She opened the wings to split the Earth it had in its talons to reveal the fan. She ran to make enough wind pressure to make it turn and activate the suit. She became Kamen Rider Talon again. She drew her foil and we clashed. We were fighting over who stayed on the platform. I kept up the attack and switched my blade to gun mode. Talon leapt out of the way of my shots. She kept her distance, my intention, as I went for the button.
“STOP HER!” roared GLaDOS.
“What do you think I’m trying to do?!” screeched Talon. She leapt on me, we dropped our blades, and we grappled each other. I was doing everything I could to get to the button, but Talon was holding me back. We were in a tight spot. Soon, we were trying to push each other off the platform, then Talon got me in a better position. My back was to the button! When she pushed harder, I let go and side stepped to allow her to stumble towards and accidentally press the button. Another panel behind GLaDOS popped up and Chell made the portal again. She fired off one last High Energy Pellet. It caused damage.
“Warning,” alerted the announcer. “Core Corruption at 100%
“YaHEY!” cheered Wheatley. “Get in! That’ll teach her.”
“Manual Core Replacement required,” reported the announcer program.
“Quick!” called Wheatley. “Stick Spacey in there before she figures out another way to stop us!” GLaDOS tried flipping the panel the Core rested on, but Chell made a portal and grabbed it. She then installed the Space Core into the Core Replacement terminal.
“Alternate Core detected,” reported the announcer program. “Substitute core accepted. Substitute Core, are you ready to start the procedure?”
“Oooh! Yes! Yes! Let’s go to space!” answered the core.
“Corrupted core, are you ready to start the procedure?” asked the announcer program.
“NO! NEVER! I AM NOT CORRUPTED!” shouted GLaDOS.
“Stalemate detected,” reported the announcer program. “Transfer procedure cannot continue unless a Stalemate Associate is present to press the Stalemate Resolution Button.”
“Don’t do it!” shouted GLaDOS.
“I would listen to her!” supplied Talon.
“Can’t do that, sorry,” I called. A button popped up.
“No!” roared GLaDOS.
“Yes!” I countered.
“Īe!” (No!) called Igura.
“Ndiyo!” (Yes!) I replied. I pressed the button. GLaDOS gasped.
“Stalemate resolved,” reported the announcer program. Panels popped up around GLaDOS and machinery started their work. The Core Replacement terminal brought the Space Core down. As the machinery did its work, I heard GLaDOS screaming.
“A beautiful sound, really,” signed Chell.
“I’m gonna have to debate that,” I gulped.
“As would I!” snarled Talon as she attacked us. The attacks went so rapidly that Chell couldn’t sign her thoughts. We ended up in the room GLaDOS poked her head into earlier. Inside, the was a gateway, like the one on Vorton! It didn’t have the Keystones, so, no powers for her. Thank goodness. Talon shoved us out of the room and back into the main chamber. The Space Core then spun around, screaming “SPACE!” and whacked a corner pipe off and sent it flying at Igura’s head. She didn’t duck fast enough.
“Vent system compromised,” called the announcer program. “Neurotoxin offline.”
“Oh, that was close!” sighed Wheatley. “I mean, not for me, but you two were almost done for. All right, now, let’s see what she was hiding. I bet she’s got tons of skeletons in her closet. Literally, there used to be loads of staff here. I’ve not seen hide nor hair of them.” Wheatley entered the room with us as I cancelled my transformation. He found something near the gateway. “Oi! What’s this then? Some sort of flash drive? Valuable stuff is on it, I bet! We could use it!” He then saw boxes with “Black Mesa” on them. “Well, I never! Where do you suppose she got these then?” While Chell face-palmed, I got to work on the gateway. Chell tapped my shoulder.
“What are you doing?” she signed as she retrieved the flash drive.
“I’m setting this thing to blow once we use it to get to Vorton,” I replied.
“What is V-O-R-T-O-N?” Chell had to spell out Vorton.
“The base of operations for me and my team,” I answered as I put the finishing touches to the program.
“Nice, what are you up to?” asked Wheatley, proving he hadn’t paid attention. The rift opened. “That answers that, then. After you?” Chell went first. I looked at Wheatley. “Go on, ladies first.”
“No, I need a brave knight to scout ahead with Chell,” I purred. I had to stoke his ego.
“Well, if you insist!” called Wheatley. He went in, then I followed. The truth is, I wanted to keep an eye on him since he betrayed Chell a while ago. The rest, you know, Your Highness.