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"Meteors, signals, apologies, and that tricky little thing called humanity- four years after the events of Portal II, Wheatley’s been handed a second chance, but it’s not going to be plain sailing…"
-Waffles, the Story's author, under each chapter's Tumblr post.
Blue Sky is a Portal fanfic by Waffles, and is hosted on both livejournal and Fanfiction.Net. A Humanized Wheatley fic, it spans 15 chapters and it's one of the longest Portal fanfictions on FFN, clocking in at 176,808 words.It's been four years since Wheatley and the Space Core were launched into orbit around the moon. Chell has escaped and is living peacefully in a nearby town, GLaDOS is working on the Cooperative Testing Initiative, and all seems to going, if not well, at least fine. Then the Space Core gets blasted to bits by a passing meteor, knocking Wheatley out of orbit and into a collision course with Earth's surface. After he sends up a distress signal almost by accident, GLaDOS takes notice and decides she might have a use for the metal ball.What follows is an exploration of Wheatley- his pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, talents and flaws. It also provides excellent voices for Chell, GLaDOS, and even ATLAS and P-Body.It can be read on livejournal here, and Fanfiction.Net here. Head to the first link for some beautiful artwork accompanying each chapter. It is complete, and there is a sort of epilogue in the one-shot titled Kick as well as another (NSFW) one-shot taking place between the story's end and the epilogue titled The Itch.Check out the Blue Sky image page for lots and lots of fanart. It has two Fanmixes, The Blue Sky Fanmix of Musical Brazillance, and Blue Sky Music Madness. The former was compiled by the author's writing partner, and the latter is made up of fan suggestions. Both are located and available for download here. It also has its own original fan-written song, From the Monster, With Love, and a sung version of the in-universe turret song.A character page has finally been made but is currently under construction and in need of assistance.And for those suffering from the various uncontrollable emotions that this fic is sure to invoke, there is also a Blue Sky Support Group.Currently, there is a project underway to convert the nearly 180,000 word story into a fan-produced audiobook, fully-cast and unabridged.In case you haven't figured it out yet, this fic has a very loyal, very creative fanbase.
This work contains examples of:
Abnormal Ammo: Chell finds a gun early on that has a barrel too large to shoot any normal caliber bullets. It's broken, so we never actually find out what it was for.
Can Not Spit It Out: At no point during the story do the characters or narration mention GLaDOS by name, referring to her largely as "Her", barring a brief mention of her full name. Also, no one uses the word "love" to refer to Chell and Wheatley's relationship, though just about everyone in Eaden already thinks they're dating.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Wheatley has the digital equivalent of one drink of moonshine.exe and gets fairly trashed.
Chekhov's Gun: A subtle example, but present. When Wheatley is trying to send himself into Aperture Labs, he needs the exact coordinates as a destination. Luckily he had that scrap of Chell's map from her Three-Strikes demonstration on him.
Also the : de-inhibitor/moonshine.exe.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The space core, affectionately named "Kevin." And Wheatley has shades of this, as well.
Converse with the Unconscious: Wheatley helps Chell through her nightmare of doing Science. Then he talks to her about his confused feelings. Except she woke up after the nightmare.
“I am going to kill you. I’m going to kill you and I’m going to make her watch. And then I’m going to bring you back, and I’m going to kill her, and I’m going to make you watch. And after that I’m going to get really creative.”
Cutting the Knot: Chell uses a homemade explosive as a way to “manually override” walls in the facility and rescue Wheatley from GLaDOS.
Death by Irony: Invoked and executed by Wheatley as he proceeds to give GLaDOS all his “terrible ideas” and switch her off. He points out that if she had never tried to murder all the Aperture employees there would have been no need for him in the first place.
Wheatley: "Whoah, whoah, whoah, hold on, what's the urgency? Is something on fire? Oh, God, n-nothing's on fire, is it? Because if it is, if something is on fire, I understand you probably didn't want to ruin the mood back there- bit of a party-killer, fire- but we should probably tell someone, like, um, the fire... person- the person in charge of fires-"
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In-universe, Wheatley lampshades this Aperture Science Mk. IV Personality Core Emergency Protocol: What To Do in Case of Catastrophic Circumstances Not Included in the Manual, Such as Being Knocked Out Of Lunar Orbit By a Meteor
Wheatley: "Wow, they really did think of everything, didn't they?"
Doomed Hometown: GLaDOS kidnaps the entire town of Eaden, Chell’s adopted home, in order to blackmail her into testing.
Dream Weaver: An odd, non-supernatural example. Wheatley talks Chell out of her night terror, leading her through an imaginary Aperture Labs by describing it to her.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Wheatley's redemption comes at a hefty cost, but his courage to face death and separation from Chell wins the safety of Eaden. And thanks to Caroline, Wheatley is granted his original human body and a life with Chell, while GLaDOS gets to go on testing, far, far away from them.
Emergency Transformation: An odd example, since it's from a robot to a different kind of robot. And again, but to a human body.
Flanderization: Not the fic itself, but invoked In-Universe by the Aperture scientists, who messed with Wheatley's personality after putting him through Brain Uploading, so that the part of him that came up with terrible ideas would be dominant over all the rest of him.
Foreshadowing: At one point, Wheatley asks the Hatfield twins which one is the evil twin. It later turns out that Foxglove has an "evil twin" in GLaDOS.
Early on, Chell describes Wheatley's chattering as "listening to a radio constantly tuned to Twit FM." This foreshadows Wheatley hosting his own broadcast later on.
In the first half of the story characters casually discuss the telepathy of the vortigaunts in what seems like a simple tie in to the Half-Life universe. Later, Wheatley begins to communicate by wireless with Foxglove and transmits himself to Aperture Laboratories.
Green-Eyed Monster: Wheatley has a bad case of this toward Garret until about mid-way through the story.
Grew Beyond Their Programming: Chell considers that Wheatley may have done this, as he has depths that no other Aperture Science core does, other than GLaDOS. And he even displays compassion in rare moments, which she pointedly lacks.
Wheatley's backstory, however, provides a rare inversion of this trope: He was originally a human, but the Aperture scientists uploaded his brain into a computer and then cut his brain apart so it would fit into the programming they needed of him.
Foxglove, however, is a clear-cut, straight example. She's far more than a simple communications tower, thanks in part to Garrett's hand-cobbled and slightly eccentric programming style. She is also far more than a simple scion of Aperture Science.
Good Is Not Nice: Chell has little use for social niceties, such as conversation, and has a strong ruthless streak. She's also merciless in dealing with threats, and not above using Wheatley as a frightened, shaking mouthpiece to warn Aaron of the dangers of "the northeast" in her place.
Hard Light: The Aperture Science Human Relations Avatar Device. It contains a human bio scan that projects the solid image over the device. The device is powered indefinitely by solar power - and its default setting is really really hot!
Helpless Good Side: Subverted. Caroline turns out to be far from helpless, and, while still a saint compared to GLaDOS, perhaps not all that good either.
He Who Must Not Be Named: GLaDOS is never addressed as such, except technically when she's referred to by her full designation. Instead, she's referred to simply as She or Her. The Aperture facility is sometimes given this treatment as well, with it simply being called There or That Place.
Heroic Sacrifice: As of his rescue of Chell, Wheatley became just a bundle of files in a dormant mainframe. It didn't stick.
Wheatley didn't have much evidence to go on, besides that very bright, very charming, very frightening laugh, but if there was one thing he'd learned about the whole putting-a-human-mind-in-a-computer thing, it was that whatever you tried to do to it afterwards, the human bit sort of stuck. There was no getting rid of it- it clung to all the shiny new programming you put in there like the glue of a particularly stubborn sticker, and unless you were prepared to spend half your time attacking it with the coding equivalent of wire wool, you were lumbered with it for good.
Informed Flaw: Averted. Although Wheatley is portrayed sympathetically, the author doesn't gloss over his flawsat all, and he really screws things up for himself because of them. Of course, that just makes it all the more heartwarming when he finally overcomes them and pulls a Heroic Sacrifice.
Ink-Suit Actor: Some of the physical characteristics of Wheatley’s avatar (ridiculous height and glasses) borrow from Portal 2’s voice actor Stephen Merchant. Wheatley’s first name is Stephen.
Ironic Echo: Wheatley's first conversation with GLaDOS and his last both involve suggesting she relax and the various way she could do it.
Law of Inverse Recoil: Let loose with a shotgun, Wheatley takes the full recoil to the face and knocks himself flat on his back.
Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: When Chell and Wheatley are reunited, Garret coughs awkwardly and announces he's going to go back and take a closer look at the singing turret.
Lethal Chef: Wheatley, and his mutated sin-against-science-and-nature loaf of bread.
Wheatley's loaf was a work of art, in its own horrific way. Puffy in places it should have been flat, flat in places it should have been puffy, it leaned like a set of Penrose steps, baffling to the eye. It had strange geometry. It had been out of the oven for at least an hour, but it wouldn't stop smouldering (making the candle and the open windows a necessity, at least for the five present who needed to breathe) suggesting that there were still unpleasant chemical reactions taking place inside. What it had done in the oven was almost as worrying- showing alarming cannibalistic tendencies, it had overflowed its tin and eaten half of Chell's own loaf. It had the surface texture of sandpaper, and seemed to have gained at least two pounds of mass out of nowhere. It weighed roughly about as much as a bowling ball, which was a coincidence, since it was about as edible as one.
Love at First Sight: Defied, Played Straight, and Discussed. Human Wheatley doesn’t believe in this trope. Then he sees Chell. Later he realizes he can’t say he loves her if he doesn’t even know her, but he really wants to gather the courage to ask her out for a drink.
And that was when she caught it, the tiny blink-and-you'll-miss it instant when the balance shifted in her head and she realised that somewhere along the line I can't lose had become through the smallest touch of extra truth I can't lose him.
Made of Iron: Chell, in Chapter 4. She's exhausted, shot in the side, bleeding profusely (including Blood from the Mouth,) and even after Wheatley spends the whole night carrying her to Eaden, she's still alive. After maybe a day or two in treatment, She's up and running again.
Meaningful Name: The town of Eaden, an example of human civilization after the apocalyptic Combine invasion, comes from a half decayed sign that originally read "Dead End."
My Eyes Are Leaking: More of a "Your eyes are leaking" when this is Wheatley's response to Chell upon realizing she is tearing up.
My Greatest Second Chance: Exaggerated. Wheatley has the second chance to be a decent person offered not once, but twice by Chell. Only after he has “struck out” does he set things right.
Offscreen Crash: The narration is from Chell's Point of View, and Wheatley has just decided its time to stand up for the first time. This is the result.
Wheatley: "Knees and everything! Wow. Okay, well… let's have a bash at it, then. Left… hand. Right. On the floor. Get the old knees involved, there we go, ready… gently does it… aannd… upsy-daisy-"
There was a horrendous, multi-part crash. Chell, who was currently bearing her whole weight on the crowbar, shut her eyes and waited for it to end. Things hit things and fell on top of other things, knocking them into other things on the way. The last thing, whatever it was, sounded quite small and went clingclingcling… clink.
Wheatley: "You know what? We've ascertained one thing, definitely, and that is that this body absolutely does have the ability to feel pain."
Pinch Me: Wheatley asks Chell to touch him when they meet again to ensure she's real and he isn't seeing things.
Portmanteau: Dale, CA, Intern tells Wheatley that 'Brazil' is short for a cross between 'Brilliant' and 'Resilient', which leads Wheatley to make up the word 'Brazilliant'
Later, this exchange takes place between Wheatley and Caroline
Wheatley: I'm... I'm going to die, aren't I?
Given what happens next, it's clear that she didn't quite mean it the way he thought.
Ridiculously Human Robot: Wheatley, with his ability to feel pain and emote isn't actually an example of this. He used to be human, and had his mind placed into the core. All the other robots are noticeably inhuman, especially Orange and Blue.
Robot Names: Wheatley's complete identification code, according to Aperture Science, is 00004/[F]AS[IV]IDPC241105/AS[I]HRAD — a random string of numbers and letters with no hyphen, but brackets and slashes galore. All AI he meets acknowledges him as this, though one kindly abbreviates it to "00004."
Robotic Reveal: Due to the flawless appearance of the avatar’s hologram most of the town of Eaden believes Wheatley is human. Garret understandably needs a drink when he sees Wheatley plug a lead into his neck and connect to a laptop.
Schizo Tech: Eaden gives off this vibe, with skim batteries and floating cube toys next to fuel-powered generators and old camcorders. Justified due to being an isolated post-apocalyptic town.
Sequel Hook: The monologue at the end shows GLaDOS found ''something'' after Wheatley had messed around with the facility again.
Shirtless Scene: Subverted. Garret makes a comment on Wheatley's gratituitous lack of shirt after he's restored to his human body; however, as the body in question is Wheatley's, has been in stasis for a very long period of time, and is covered in goo, it's likely not an impressive sight.
Stealth Pun: On a whim, Wheatley dubs the Space Core "Kevin" while trapped in space at the start. If he had a second name, it could well be Kevin Spacey.
Tarot Troubles: In a flashback, the Oracle Turret gives a Tarot reading for Wheatley when he crosses her path unexpectedly. She dubs him The Fool, and predicts that he will "rise above us all." Her words more or less prompt Wheatley to instigate the events of Portal 2.
Tempting Fate: Cubicle-drone Wheatley does this in a flashback by stating that he '(doesn't) have anything life-altering planned in the forseeable future.'
Later, he tells Chell that he never, ever wants to set foot in the facility again- 'not even part of a foot, or even a finger.' He gets his wish... after a fashion.
GLaDOS: "I can see that spending all that time out there with her has had a bad influence on you. You were the dumbest thing in the entire facility before, but this is just embarrassing. What are you trying to do? Save her? Or are you just trying to prove you're human? Please. You're not human. You're not even a functional machine. You're just an experiment that went horribly, horribly wrong. Let's face it, around here, that doesn't exactly make you unique."
Title Drop: Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky”
Troubled Fetal Position: Wheatley assumes this position when he finds out that he used to be human. It's comforting to a being that used to be entirely spherical.
Tuckerization: Most of Eaden - for example, Aaron Halifax, Romy Hatfield, Garrett Rickey, and Martin Otten - are real people; their names are in the credits of Portal 2.
Uncanny Valley: In-universe. Everyone in Eaden, more or less, sees Wheatley as a clumsy, weird, slightly unhinged person, but nothing strange other than that. Only Ellie and Duke can tell, right off the bat, that there's something not right about him.
Unexplained Recovery: In Chapter 5 the Hatfield twins tell Chell they'd heard she was dead. She tells them she 'got better.'
Walking Disaster Area: GLaDOS eventually decides that Chell is one of these- she doesn't even have to try to end up destroying everything she touches.
Was Once a Man: Wheatley. Also, as in the game, GLaDOS.We get to meet the (wo)man this time, too.
Wreathed in Flames: Wheatley the hard-light hologram has the ability to clean himself off by activating the Incalcination cycle, which burns any offending material away at 2000 degrees Kelvin. Surprisingly - especially considering that flour is as explosive as gunpowder - nothing else gets burned aside from Chell's kitchen floor.