Fanfic: Target Acquired


"I mean," she said, a little less like an automated bit of machinery, and more like a human herself, "that I will help you and your human, personality construct, but it is not advisable for the Prototype to be activated in the presence of a human. I do not doubt that you have good reason to have located this Test Shaft against state and federal regulations, but bear in mind that once the Central AI is reactivated, it is best your human does not remain inside of the Enrichment Center, Upper or Lower."
Carrie in Chapter 13

Target Acquired is a Portal fanfic by StillAliveDoingScience. It was started in April of 2012 and is currently twenty two chapters (and 175k+ words!) long, though it is still being continued.

The story starts where Portal 2 ends: with Chell's showdown with Wheatley. But unlike the game's ending, Wheatley is not sent out into space, but pulled into the facility. Rather than releasing Chell into the outside world, GLaDOS sends her and Wheatley into the extended relaxation vault, where they are kept for a number of years before GLaDOS decides to pull them out for testing again. Chell is not thrilled at all to be working alongside the treacherous core, but Wheatley, feeling a strong desire to make up for his mistakes, feels that breaking Chell out of the facility like he had originally planned will fix everything. The two manage to break out of the testing track, and work their way down into Old Aperture, seeking out something that will help them take down GLaDOS once and for all. But their plan is a shaky one, and not everything goes as expected...

(This page is a work in progress and we would greatly appreciate any help in expanding the tropes here!)

Target Acquired contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Minor characters such as Orange and Blue get larger roles later on in the story, and Cave Johnson and Caroline get extended flashbacks.
  • Adorkable: Wheatley and Carrie.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Of the "What If" variety, changing the ending of Portal 2.
  • A Simple Plan: Wheatley seems to think their plan is a simple one, but as usual, his plans tend to go awry. Especially when they finally activate the old mainframe, and their plan completely caves in on them.
  • Backstory
    • GLaDOS searches Caroline's memories to find a bit of this.
    • Chell and Wheatley run into more of Aperture's history as they explore Test Shaft Ten.
  • Break the Cutie: Wheatley, to an extent. Also possibly Carrie.
  • Break Them by Talking: GLaDOS does this to Wheatley.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Again, GLaDOS does a bit of this to Wheatley to extract some information from him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: GLaDOS.
  • Deuteragonist: Wheatley and possibly GLaDOS later on.
  • Emergency Transformation: Wheatley is dying from the conduction gel, and to save him, GLaDOS transfers him into the body of a brain-damaged test subject. He takes to it as well as you might expect—which is to say, not well at all.
  • First Time in the Sun: Chell, when she discovers some sunlight coming in from the broken ceilings.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Wheatley has one of the core transfer scene, except he doesn't realize it's a flashback, but thinks Chell is forcing him to go through the core transfer all over again.
  • For Science!: Cave Johnson's reasoning for creating things, such as the conduction gel.
  • Foil: Carrie the sentient rail guide to Wheatley.
  • Heroic Mime: Chell, of course.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is named after an achievement from the games.
  • Letter Motif: Chell, Caroline, Carrie, Cecil, Cave, and Cliff.
  • Mad Scientists: Cave Johnson and even Caroline to some extent.
  • Must Make Amends: Wheatley desperately wants to right his wrongs by getting Chell out of Aperture.
  • Neural Implanting: GLaDOS must do this to Wheatley in order for him to function at all in his new human body.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Wheatley and Chell have reach the old mainframe and reactivate it to stop GLaDOS. Except it doesn't. It nearly kills Chell, and starts breaking down the facility.
  • Time Skip
  • Title Drop
    • At the start of chapter six.
    • When Carrie begins activating the old mainframe.
    • Spoken by the prototype mainframe, just before shooting Chell.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Chell and Wheatley, at first.