Another little Dark Materials/Portal frag, this one from a suggestion by Holly. Blame her. I did.
Warily, Chell eyed the spitting, sparking door. Triese hissed from her shoulders- his sentiment was hers, neither of them were keen to trust it, to put themselves at the mercy of the powerful anbaric mechanism that could slam shut in the blink of an eye, regardless of anything luckless enough to be in the way.
“Hey! Hey! Up here!”
She turned, fast. Wheatley, again, his long grimy palms splayed flat against the other side of the panel of frosted glass high up in the wall, peering down at her from the observation hallway running parallel with her own. The queasy stomach-turning shock of looking at him- so fundamentally, horribly wrong but completely unaware of it- was muted by her relief that he was still alive.
It was still amazing to her that he was coherent, let alone as talkative as he was, that he could still think and feel and move and breathe. Amazing, and terrible- better that he should be dead, said her gut instinct, better that than to be so- mutilated -and still alive to feel it. However it had happened, she suspected he was functioning in a state of deep, protective denial, the same denial that made him believe that Triese was just a cat, that there was no such thing as a dæmon, that he was missing nothing at all. However long he’d been out of stasis before he’d found her, there’d been no-one around in this empty, decrepit place to prove otherwise.
The blurred lines of his body suggested he was crouched, bent double to see her better- the tempered glass made it hard to see him in any detail, but she could just about make out his proud, elated grin.
“Yeah! That was me, I jammed the door mechanism! Shut it right down. I- AAAH! BIRD BIRD BIRD BIRD-”
Neither Chell nor Treise saw where it came from, and without his scream they wouldn’t have had the slightest clue what it was- from their side of the glass Wheatley’s attacker was nothing but a tiny blur of pale, faded colour, launched full-speed from nowhere, battering desperately at his face. He fell backwards, yelling, arms windmilling madly, and vanished from sight.
Chell gave Treise a wry sideways glance, but he seemed oddly distracted, staring up at the high, smeary pane, and wouldn’t settle.
“Okay,” Wheatley gasped, pawing suddenly back up against the glass. “You know what that was- only that flipping bird again! Absolute lunatic, going at my face, no idea what I did but, gah, it was livid! Nearly had my nose off! All fine now though, dealt with, swatted the bloody thing. Anyway, the point is, I should be able to break you out of there in about five more chambers, you and your little pet moggy there, if you want, so- oh, god, She’s coming back, She’s coming back- act normal, you never saw me! Remember, five more chambers!”