• Published 22nd Apr 2019
  • 293 Views, 50 Comments

Enchorus - GMBlackjack



Stories set in the Songs of the Spheres multiverse written by a variety of authors.

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The Leap Untaken (Keywii_Cookies55)

You know, despite what they say, you never really escape your past. There’s so many programs and features and filmettes that show people living happily ever after when their big story adventure comes to an end. But those things are filled with wasted realness, they don’t contact our lives in any way. You can run and sprint and speed yourself away, but your life back there will always be back there, no matter how far you end up. The same can be said for actually trying to leave the world that scarred your mind and took your happy innocence.

What?

I’m telling a story, do you want to listen or not?

I like saying things weird, it’s fun and-

Fine, you win, I’ll stop using words like ‘filmette’ and ‘realness’ but it really loses something when I tell it normally.

Anyway, as I was saying: your past, can’t escape it. Basic lesson. But for me it was different. See back when I was found I had just lived through the most traumatic… few weeks? Months? Amount of time I’d ever gone through in my entire life. And worse than that, I went through it twice - back to back.

I still remember the second time too, right after I abandoned my ‘villain’ and all responsibility, making a beeline for my escape. I was… okay, so some context, it’s not really what my story is about, but here’s where I was.

I’d fallen down this multi-kilometre tall shaft with a potato, the stupid British ball I thought I trusted betrayed me, and I hit the ground deep in the bowels of the Michigan salt mines. I was sure all hope was lost, but I had my trusty gun, I had a new place to explore, and potentially forever to at least calm down over the betrayal I’d just lived through.

I…may or may not have spent several minutes screaming and punching things… heheh, well that’s just who I used to be. Oh you have no idea how much I used to be this spiteful, vindictive person there’s ever been. I didn’t give my trust lightly, and when I did you had better never have broken it. But the little moron did when he got control of the facility and I took it pretty hard.

When I finally calmed down and started thinking rationally again, yes, I may have thought of revenge to enact on him, but even right after being betrayed I wasn’t feeling it, you know? I’m not really sure why, maybe it was because my last bout of revenge ended with being betrayed, maybe it was later when the very same AI I took out helped me deal with my stress and was a root vegetable. Who really knows, but revenge wasn’t really my number one priority.

Right, well, I made my way through the old testing tracks, and I mean the old ones. The ones from back when humans actually still ran the place. Learned about the three different gels I could mess around with, reunited with potato AI, learned about what happened with Cave Johnson.



Sigh. Yes, the guy that sounds like J. Jonah Jameson, can we move past that, please?

Right, well I eventually made it back up to the facility I was familiar with, the one I woke up in, and I had starchbot on my gun, top prong, and a mission at the front of my mind. Or at least that’s what Glados wanted: revenge. I was silent back then - you know, because of the spite - and also because my vocal chords were pretty atrophied.

Wow I was a real mess mentally back then.

Well anyway, she wanted to get revenge on Wheatley for his betrayal, and talked about how she planned to do that and all that crap, but I was pretty indifferent. The real thing on my mind was escape. I’d foolishly invested my effort into revenge in the meagre hopes that I’d be able to make it to the surface, breathe fresh air again, and finally put to rest that bet about what was actually going on up above.

So as I was in one of the idiots stolen tests, I lazily went through the motions, put cube here, point laser there, break display monitor. I was on autopilot as I figured a way to actually accomplish my goal of escape, ‘cause at that point I had no idea if I was gonna get betrayed again, and again, and whatever.

My future was uncertain, so on a whim I looked down one of the smoggy pits. That’s when I spotted a beam of light, like, natural light, from the real sun. I followed its direction and sure enough found a small opening in the ceiling far off into the distance that I could make my way out through. Aperture was already going down pretty hard at that time, so I determined that if I was ever going to make an actual choice of my own, that was the time.

I think veg.0 noticed what I was doing and tried to talk me out of it, but I already made up my mind. I figured out the path I was gonna take, and my god was I getting out of there. I took Gladdy off my gun, which powered her down, but as a last act of courtesy I attached her to a sparking exposed wire. She booted up, pleaded with me and I ran as fast as I could.

Obviously I’m remorseful about leaving her there, even if I didn’t later find out that she’s redeemed by that point, I’d still feel bad, I’ve matured and know the problems I used to cause. I can’t change the past, no matter how much I want to, so we’re moving on.

Thank you.

The jump was probably the most treacherous part. I didn’t know if I could even make portals, but I was precision focused on my decision by that point. Sounds vanished, smell and taste went with them; all I had was my sight and my calculator of a brain. Before I even leaped I calculated the jump, my angle, the distance, and as my luck always had it, two surfaces to place some orange and blue.

I fell and saw that the entire thing would be perfect, I placed my first portal below me, wind whipping past my ears and pulling at my jumpsuit. The dive was going perfectly. I aimed my arm and knew from earlier testing that the drop off for portal light was about 0.03%, you know, give or take. Taking the angle, distance, and speed into account, I launched off my matching spacehole and smirked, I was close.

Fifteen feet before I hit solid ground at terminal velocity, I heard the telltale sound of an opening portal and in the same moment I felt gravity reverse and my dive was straight up. I had the angle slightly off, but I was going to make direct impact to a piece of loose sheet metal beside my hole in the high wall, so I was okay with that.

Closing my eyes and letting my hearing take over, I curled into a ball and started flipping. It actually sped me up, but the reason I did it was because I thought it’d be cooler. Heheh. My speed slowed and I knew I was reaching the apex of my leap. Opening my eyes I saw my freedom and as quick as it started, my escape ended. I burst past the loose scrap metal and ended up in the free world above.

I hit the top of my jump and landed outside, the sunset greeting me as my hellish journey finally came to an end. I landed on my feet in an old abandoned parking lot. Immediately in front of me was old, cracked, and overgrown ashphalt next to a wheat field expanding as far as the eye could see. The sun was still just above the horizon, but it wouldn’t be long before night fell on the surface world. I couldn’t believe my eyes at first. I looked in front of my feet and the grass and weeds poking through the cracked lot and kneeled down to pick a dandelion.

I took off my portal gun and placed it on the ground beside me, soaking in the reality that I’d actually escaped: no AI, no contrived plans of patiently out-waiting trust, no more tests, no nothing but a fresh start. I picked the weed and gave it sniff. It smelled so fresh, so real. I smiled for probably the first time in decades.

Subjective decades, I mean from my perspective, I was put in stasis if you’ll recall.

Right, well I was the most ecstatic I’d felt in I don’t even know how long. I picked up my gun, and stood back up, planning to take in the field itself. And just to physically distance myself from the facility. I didn’t want to look back, so as to not give my mind any fuel for nightmares going forward. I was probably right to do so, admittedly I have no idea if it would have gone better or not.

What I do know is that after I took a few steps I couldn’t help but notice something felt off, I wanted to ignore it, but it was like an itch at the back of my mind, like I was being watched. Specifically from my right side. I glanced to my right, subconsciously expecting another camera. But what I got was… something I would have never expected.

Standing there in formation was a group of four, a horse with wings that-

Yes I know she was a pegasus.

Yes, obviously I know that now I’m telling my story from the perspective of how I experienced it back then. That means you get a confused human that knows nothing about Merodi, okay? Can I please return to what I was saying?

Good.

Right, so it was a group of four, a winged pink horse, a white horse with a headspike.

Because I didn’t think unicorns were real back then, okay? Let me talk!

Winghorse, spikehead, a short red human with a crystal for an eye, and a normal looking human in a jean jacket and red vest. I almost didn’t believe my eyes at first, who or what were they?

I froze in place at that time for a variety of reasons, the first was that I had no idea what I was looking at. They didn’t seem real; I was almost convinced I was hallucinating, but when that wore off, I was pretty heavily wondering if this was a third slice of hellcake and I was just so hungry because no matter what I did I kept eating more of it.

The white unicorn was the one that spoke first, but I didn’t understand any of it. I saw her mouth move, and she brought her front hoof up to calm me, but my mind was racing. What sort of trick was being played on me, had the neurotoxins induced visual hallucinations? I kept not finding answers to the questions that were piling up, all the while the unicorn slowly approached me. Even in my panicked state I could tell based on its actions, it wanted to be as non-threatening as possible.

My eyes darted and spotted a portalable wall behind them, I briefly wondered if I could even use asphalt as a surface. But in the end I didn’t have to do anything. The unicorn stopped exactly fourteen feet away from me, still holding up her hoof in that universal signal for ‘stop’.

I wasn’t about to feel spite against her at that point due to just the absolute baffling nature of the situation, and so I never entered the mindset of thinking “I will forever deprive you of my voice.”

Right, but she was talking: to the winged horse, who set up some kind of antennae. I didn’t understand any of it until, after a short amount of time, I actually did. Bits of words came through and I cocked my head in confusion, she seemed to sense this and in mostly understood sentences explained that there was a magic spell translating for me from loose radio signals they were picking up. She then must have recognized the… well, recognition in my eyes and so introduced herself as Nord and her three friends. Ribbon, Jemma, and Marty.

Like any rational minded person, I appreciated the greeting and wanted to reciprocate. Opening my mouth for the first time in who knows how long, I croaked out a inhuman sound. Confused, I tried again and got the same lack of my own voice.

Nord understood and told me I didn’t have to speak, and asked me about the world as if she wasn’t familiar with it. I assumed she was an alien of some kind based on that, but I pointed at my throat and she giggled before realizing I couldn’t answer so switched to yes or no questions.

Through getting talked to by her I learned they arrived less than a minute before I burst out of the wall. If I had to guess I was already running for my escape jump when their dimensional portal closed and they started taking in their surroundings. I also learned that they were from Merodi Universalis and were an expeditions team. They wanted to speak to whoever was in charge, but I just silently laughed and hand motioned wanting a pen and paper.

I placed my portal gun on the ground and explained everything. That my name is Chell, that I literally just escape a science facility and that they were taking me with them when they left. Nord opened a portal and sighed, saying it was their third mission in a row without actually getting to explore, but I didn’t care, I had my out and with a pop and a flash I left the world behind me.

Yeah.

No, I never went back.

The moral? Not every story has a moral, this isn’t cartoon network, this is my life.

Oh, right, sorry, what I meant by never being able to escape your past is because when you’re in the multiverse you always come across signs of your old life. People defining you off of where you’re from, finding different versions of yourself, stuff like that. It just goes to show that even if I never saw my Glados or Wheatley ever again, and probably won’t since it’s incredibly likely that because I never faced off against him, my Aperture melted down and blew up.

It’s just the way of things, you know? You do so much to escape, and then you learn you’re from a popular video game and the stigma that you’re an alternate version of said video game character, one that made different decisions, well it’s something you can’t ever really leave behind.

Not that I’m complaining obviously-

Well, I didn’t mean to sound like I was, anyway, that’s all I wanted to talk about.

Because it’s been on my mind recently, I don’t know, you’re my friends, you should just respect that sometimes I want to talk about how I got involved with MU.

Thanks, and yeah, I’m pretty hungry, I’ll buy.

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