Al-rightly, here we go! First chapter, about 7 pages worth. :P
Once this story is done, then I’ll start working on art for it. Feedback would be nice, and if anyone sees any major grammar or spelling errors, leave a message. Thanks, and enjoy.
“Are you sure that was today?” asked the small one.
“I’ve checked, double checked, and even triple checked. Yes, we have it today.” answered the lanky one.
“Last time you were off by a few days and we missed the set date. We got an earful for that one, don’t forget.”
“Aw, don’t bring that up. Everything worked out, didn’t it?”
The two continued their conversation as they made their way through the hallways deep within the depths of Aperture. To the other robots of the faculty, seeing the two AIs stroll by reminded them that not everything created in Aperture necessarily had to be ‘intelligent’. The term ‘moron’ just may have been created just for those two. You could even say they were cut from the same cloth. They even shared the same name.
The first one, which was dubbed ‘Wheatley-1’, with his dorky smile and gangly stature paralleled in comparison to the height of the other Wheatley, but that was where the major differences ended. ‘Wheatley-2’, as he was often called, looked dwarfed whenever he stood next to the taller one. Some would guess they were going for the more ‘compacted’ version when they created him, as the older model was a little on the tall side.
However, if there was one thing one could say that was positive about ‘the Wheatleys’ were their relationship with each other. It was like they were made to be comparable with one another, sharing even the same not so great ideas and executing them with the same level of epic fail. They were rarely ever seen separated. They were the same, but at the same time, different. That just may be more impressive then their lack of real intelligence.
“I just don’t feel like getting a lecture from the repair-bots is all.” continued Wheatley-2, “You know how I hate to even come down here.”
“I don’t care for it either, believe me.” said Wheatley-1. “But it’s the only area that offers recharging ports for our models, both you and I.”
Wheatley-2 just made a sound that could only be described as a annoyed sigh.
“At least we only have to do this once every few months, right?” added Wheatley-1. He messed up Wheatley-2’s already messy hair, giving a grin. It helped lighten the mood. Wheatley-2 just smiled and batted the hand away before running his own fingers through his hair.
Recharging rooms were as plain as plain can get. White for every wall, with only the occasional Aperture logo to break up the blinding void, and it always looked clean and sterile. Repair-bots were always around, which were simple looking robots with tread wheels for mobility, a single glass lens for ‘eyes’, and two grasping claw-like hands. They wheeled around checking and re-checking the robots and other AIs that were currently catching some much needed deep sleep mode. While normal sleep mode helped conserve power, deep sleep mode was just another way of saying the machine was being recharged. Each room contained two bed-like tables, side by side, with a large computer to help with monitoring and additional scans. Models varied on when and how long each had to have this done. In the Wheatleys’ case, it would take about five to six hours for both of them.
Wheatley 1 and 2 were greeted by a repair-bot in front of one of the rooms.
“Unit W1124-1 and Unit W1124-2…” the bot rambled off the Wheatleys’ model numbers in a cold, robotic tone of voice. “…We’ve been expecting you. Please follow me.”
Wheatley-1 gave a little smirk and nudged Wheatley-2. “Told ya, mate.”
Wheatley-2 didn’t take the little shove to heart. He never tend to hold any grudges; it was just how they were together. It was a lighthearted understanding they had. If one was right, then they both should be happy for the other. Why bicker on about it?
They followed the repair-bot into the room and each picked a bed. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but once you were in deep sleep, it didn’t really matter. It serves its purpose. The repair-bot that greeted them earlier handed the Wheatleys their corresponding connecters, each linked up to the computer in the room. Wheatley-1 located the necessary port at the back of his neck. It was a thin black cord, like your normal USB. Wheatley-2 on the other hand needed help with his connecter, since the port for it was located on his back. It was also a little larger then most connectors. He was designed to be able to be plugged into pretty much anywhere in Aperture, which can be either a blessing or a curse. He tried reaching around his own back, but in the end the repair-bot gave him a hand.
Plugged in the two got as comfortable as they possibly could on the flat beds. Wheatley-1 had the luxury of being able to lay flat on his back, but Wheatley-2 had to lay on his side due to the large cord in his back. Again, once they were in deep sleep mode, it won’t matter. They’ll be ‘out like a light’, as they say.
“Activating deep sleep mode in 30 seconds…” stated the repair-bot.
As the bot begun to count down the seconds, Wheatley-1 turned his head to his smaller counterpart, who looked like he was already sleeping. That wasn’t the case as Wheatley-2 opened one of his eyes and was looking right back at his taller counterpart.
As the countdown neared its end Wheatley-1 flashed a dorky little smile. “Sweet dreams, mate.”
“You too.” the smaller one replied back, also with a smile.
“Activating deep sleep mode…”
At the same moment both of them powered down; their glowing blue eyes fading lightly before closing. The glow on Wheatley-1’s shirt slowed to a weakened hue, brightening and fading repeatedly like a relaxed heartbeat. Wheatley-2 also had such a feature, only it was covered by his one piece outfit.
The repair-bot eyed the computer screen, seeing everything looked green. It then left the room, planning on coming back every hour to recheck on them.
Six hours seemed to glide right on by. The computer monitor in the Wheatleys’ room read both of them as fully charged and ready to be woken back up. The repair-bot struck a few keys on the keyboard.
“Deactivating deep sleep mode in 3…2…1…”
A low hum could be heard in the room as the computer gave the signal to wake the two up from their slumber. The effects of just waking up from a recharging status was much like when a human woke up from a deep sleep; drowsing and a little wonky feeling.
Wheatley-2 stirred before opening his eyes. His head felt a little foggy, but that was to be expected. He sat up and stretched his arms up and over his head. He let out a long, drawn out yawn before letting his arms fall on his lap. After a moment to recollect his thoughts he turned and planted his feet on the floor.
That was when he noticed Wheatley-1, still flat on his back, eyes closed. He looked like he was still out cold. The glowing bit on his shirt was still rhythmically fading in and out.
Wheatley-2 turned around to see the repair-bot still at the keyboard, typing away. “Um…excuse me? Could you wake up my friend here, please? He’s still out of it.” Wheatley-2 waited for an answer, but the bot seemed like it was purposely ignoring him. Feeling rather annoyed he slid off the bed and made his way over to the computer. He was ready to voice his opinion on the robot’s lack of bedside manner.
Just as he was about to a red flash caught his eye. The screen was displaying an error message. Wheatley-2 turned his attention to that rather then the repair-bot, and after reading the data being shown, it became clear why the bot wasn’t answering him. The message read:
UNIT W1124-1 Status: Charging complete. Now rebooting…
- ERROR DETECTED – UNIT W1124-1 has failed to reboot. Run repair scan? [Y]
Error located within central neural structure of UNIT. Attempting to repair……
The moments that ticked by felt like an eternity. Wheatley-2 looked at the error message over and over while he waited for the result.
An error in the ‘central neural structure’? That would be his head, right? His mind, or the AI itself. ‘This sort of thing must happen all the time.’ Wheatley-2 thought to himself. ‘This shouldn’t take long. Not a problem. Not a problem at all…’
His positive expectations were suddenly met with the results of the repair.
UNIT W1124-1 could not be repaired. Please contact the closest Aperture Repair-bot for further assistance.
Wheatley-2 shook his head, thinking he read the message wrong. But after reading it again, and again, and one more time, it become sickeningly clear to him that this was now a real problem. Most repairs were fixable and rarely posed as a cause for concern. However, the older the AI, the higher the risks, and Wheatley-1 was an older model. He’s never really had any major problems before, but he was pegged as ‘obsolete’ by the majority of other services in Aperture.
The repair-bot next to Wheatley-2 wheeled itself out of the room and came back with two other bots. They all looked over the data on the screen and started a conversation with one another. Wheatley-2 was pushed to the side when he tried to listen to what they were talking about. The air was already heavy with worry and potential dread, and this wasn’t the treatment he wanted at all.
“Excuse me!” shouted the upset AI. “Could somebody please let me in on what is happening here?”
The three repair-bots turned and stared at Wheatley-2 with focused lens. The small clone shrunk back a bit. He nervously rubbed his hands, looking for what to add to that little outburst of his. When the words didn’t come, one of the bots finally broke the silence.
“UNIT W1124-1 is experiencing a serious data error deep within his cerebral and circuital system. This type of error is rare, but are not unheard of in models like him. If this error can not be repaired, W1124-1 will not be able to resume proper function.”
Wheatley-2 listened with intensity to what the repair-bot was saying, and all at once the reality of the situation became as clear as open air. He clench his chest, squeezing the fabric of his one piece suit. He started to shake, and without thinking about it he found himself sitting back on the bed, trying to get a grip on the situation itself.
‘This isn’t happening. This ISN’T happening! Not to him. What if they can’t fix it? What if they can’t wake him up? …no. No, no, no, no!’
He curled himself up, knees touching his chin, arms wrapping around his chest. The shakes were getting worst. He couldn’t bear to even think about it, but it was right in front of him; the real possibility that he will never wake back up. They were not mere humans; they didn’t age so the thought of the end never graced their minds. But that didn’t make them immortal. It was still possible; still possible to have a expiration date. That thought hung on Wheatley-2’s mind like a noose, swaying and mocking him.
The repair-bots discussed their opinions on what to do. One attempted another deep scan but it was unable to pinpoint the error and how to fix it. Another suggested a direct link repair to the unit, but Wheatley-1’s model just wasn’t compatible with the repair-bots’ system. They tried it, but he was not acquiring their signals, thus not able to make a complete connection.
“Repairs on UNIT W1124-1 have failed.” announced one of the bots.
Wheatley-2 snapped his head up.
“Prepare the UNIT for proper disposal.”
That was all Wheatley-2 had to hear for him to leap off the bed and lunge himself at the repair-bot. His hands wrapped around the robot’s lens piece like he was trying to strangle it. He looked right into it’s ‘eye’; his face no longer exhibiting worry or grief. He had the look of a determined, over exaggerated being who was two seconds away from showing he was more then capable of showing just how pissed off he was just now.
“NO! No flippin’ way are you going to do that!” screamed Wheatley-2.
One of the repair-bots caught hold of his shoulder handles and tried to pry him away, while the other caught hold of the connecter still attached to his back. But Wheatley-2 was stronger then he looked. His left handle became unplugged from his body, causing the bot to fall flat on its back. The connecter became unplugged smacking the repair-bot in the lens. It didn’t seem to affect the upset AI as he continued his argument.
“There has to be a way to wake him up! You’re just not trying hard enough!” He paused, letting his hands release from the bot’s lens as his knees hit the floor. He hung his head, biting his lower lip, trying to reattain his composure. “Please… isn’t there anything you can do? Anything at all?”
Repair-bots are not known for showing any real emotion. They’re simply build to do their job. However, they are also build to do whatever they can to do that job, and that was to fix and restore other robots and AI units. Failing to do so is against their programing.
“Scanning for any alternative methods of repair…” announced the repair-bot.
Wheatley-2 looked back up from the floor, eyes wide with nervous anticipation.
“…Scan complete. One method found.”
A sudden surge of renewed hope flash on Wheatley-2’s face. He got back up, his legs still feeling woozy. “What is it? What is it?”
The repair-bot paused, like it was actually hesitance to answering that question. “…DIVING.”
“…What. ‘Diving’? Wha…what does that mean?”
Another pause before there was a proper explanation.
“DIVING: a obsolete form of advance AI repair. Used only as a last resort to repair damaged or corrupted AIs. It requires another AI, one willing and capable, to link up with the damaged AI’s on all cerebral and circuital levels. The percentage of success varies between both AIs, but risk of errors and other complications are high.”
Wheatley-2 thought he got all of that. He never knew that AIs could connect with each other like that. He’s never even heard of this ‘DIVING’ thing before. But he still had questions.
“Just what sort of…complications are we talking about?”
“Both AIs could become permanently corrupted. Another risk is the damaged AI will be restored, but the DIVING AI fails to return to it’s body. Cases of these have happened in past attempts.”
“It’s body? You mean…are you saying one mind…goes into the other mind? Or something like that?”
“The DIVING AI leaves it’s body and enters into the damaged AI’s consciousness.”
Wheatley-2 wasn’t sure how to reply to that. Would that mean that AIs actually have something like a psyche, or even a soul? He was always told clones had no souls. What the heck was a soul, really?
He shook the philosophical questions off. It was just making this more complicated.
“You said this…DIVING thing requires another AI who is willing and capable.” said Wheatley-2, “But…who could we get…to…”
He realized that the other repair-bots were staring at him. It suddenly became pretty clear.
“M-me!? But I-I don’t know if I could-”
“UNIT W1124-2 is the best possible candidate for this method and situation.” said the bot that explained everything before, “You are the closest to matching W1124-1’s own consciousness. You are a more recent model. You both should have the best possible chance.”
Even with that positive explanation, Wheatley-2 still wasn’t too sure about it. He turned to see Wheatley-1, laying on the bed, and by all accounts, dead to the world. There was a sharp feeling of guilt. Wheatley-2 suddenly hated himself for even hesitating a moment ago. This was his best mate who was on the line! If he was the only AI that could do this dangerous DIVE thing to save him, then why on earth was he even questioning it?
Wheatley-2 turned back to the repair-bots. “I…I’ll do it.” His answer was shaky, but still sounded resolute. “Link me up.”
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