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Aperture Science, Inc.,[6] often referred to as Aperture Science or simply Aperture, is a United States-based scientific research corporation appearing in Portal and Portal 2, as well as other sources. Its main facilities, the Aperture Laboratories, are located in Upper Michigan,[7] while others can also be found in Cleveland, Ohio.[8] Originally a shower curtain manufacturer named Aperture Fixtures,[9] it evolved over the course of half a century into an experimental physics research institution and a bitter rival of Black Mesa. "Aperture Laboratories" is also used as a trade name by Aperture Science for some of its products, as Aperture Science dba Aperture Laboratories. In 1953, Aperture Science is founded by Cave Johnson, as a shower curtain manufacturer. The name "Aperture Science Innovators", seemingly random, is chosen "to make the curtains appear more hygienic".[6] In 1956, the Eisenhower administration signs a contract with Aperture to manufacture shower curtains to all branches of the US Military, except the Navy. From 1957 to 1973, the company produces mostly shower curtains,[6][10] eventually making Cave Johnson a billionaire. As far as 1973, Aperture also uses a bulletin board system.[4] In 1974, Cave Johnson is exposed to mercury while secretly developing a dangerous mercury-injected rubber sheeting from which he plans to manufacture seven deadly shower curtains to be given as gifts to each member of the House Naval Appropriations committee, likely because the decision of the Navy not getting its shower curtains from Aperture depended on that committee, and Johnson probably held a grudge against them for that. In 1976, both of Cave Johnson's kidneys fail. Brain damaged, dying, and incapable of realizing time is not now flowing backwards (thus realizing his time will come soon), he lays out a three tiered research and development program. The results, he says, will "guarantee the continued success of Aperture Science far into the fast-approaching distant past."[6][10] What happens to Cave Johnson afterward is unknown, although it is surmised he dies. It is also possible that his cause of death may be related to the moon rocks he purchased, which he subsequently ground up to make the Conversion Gel, mentioning in Portal 2 that said moon rock dust has entered his bloodstream. The three tiers of this research and development program are:[6]

  • Tier 1: The Heimlich Counter-Maneuver - "A reliable technique for interrupting the life-saving Heimlich Maneuver." In other words, ensure choking.
  • Tier 2: The Take-A-Wish Foundation - "A charitable organization that will purchase wishes from the parents of terminally ill children and redistribute them to wish-deprived but otherwise healthy adults." It counters the real-life Make-A-Wish Foundation, designed to grant wishes to terminally ill children.
  • Tier 3: The 'Portal' project - As said by Johnson when it was first laid lout: "Some kind of rip in the fabric of space... That would... Well, it'd be like, I don't know, something that would help with the shower curtains I guess. I haven't worked this idea out as much as the wish-taking one." This is what will become the 'Portal' project, involving the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device and its creation of portals.

In 1981, Aperture engineers complete the Heimlich Counter-Maneuver and Take-A-Wish Foundation initiatives. The company announces products related to the research in a televised ceremony. These products become immediately wildly unpopular. After a string of very public choking and despondent sick child disasters, senior company officials are summoned before a Senate investigative committee. During these proceedings, an engineer mentions that some progress has been made on Tier 3, the "man-sized ad hoc quantum tunnel through physical space with possible applications as a shower curtain." The committee is quickly permanently recessed, and Aperture is granted an open-ended contract to secretly continue research on the 'Portal' and Heimlich Counter-Maneuver projects.[6] From 1981 to 1985, work progresses on the 'Portal' project. During this time, several high ranking Fatah personnel choke to death on lamb chunks despite the intervention of their bodyguards,[6] showing that the US government has apparently put the Heimlich Counter-Maneuver to work. As far as 1982, the Enrichment Center, where Test Subjects undergo tests, is functioning, as the Enrichment Center Test Subject Application Process, a 50-question questionnaire destined for applying Test Subject, is already used at that time.[6] It is unknown if the Enrichment Center is already "computer-aided" in 1982, as scientists have been known to supervise them from small offices until an undetermined date. The Enrichment Center Test Subject Application is operated by version 1.07 of GLaDOS, later "1.07a" and "1.09".[6] In 1985, the Aperture Image Format is created.[4] In 1986, word reaches Aperture Science management that Black Mesa is working on a similar portal technology. In response to this news, Aperture Science begins developing GLaDOS.[6] It is unknown why and how her name was already in use as far as in 1973. In 1985, the Aperture Image Format is maintained by Doug Rattmann.[4] In 1996, after a decade spent bringing the Disk Operating System parts of GLaDOS to a state of more or less basic functionality, work begins on the Genetic Lifeform component.[6] During that time, the Aperture Science Red Phone plan is implemented in case GLaDOS appears to become sentient and godlike, requiring an employee to sit by a red phone on a desk in GLaDOS chamber's entrance hall.[11] In 1997, GLaDOS's version is 3.11.[4] In 1998, Aperture Science releases the Propulsion Gel to the public as a diet aid, serving as a dietetic pudding substitute made out of liquefied, slightly less non-toxic fiberglass insulation (i.e. slightly more toxic) and marketed under the name "Propulsion Pudding". However it is a failure and must be pulled from shelves. Later that year a new formula, the Repulsion Gel, is released, and is another failure. Both Gels are subsequently recycled for use with the ASHPD in Test Chambers instead. The same year, Aperture releases other testing elements, such as the Excursion Funnel, a tractor beam-like funnel made of liquid asbestos, the Thermal Discouragement Beam, a laser to be used with a Weighted Pivot Cube to destroy Sentry Guns and activate some buttons, the Aerial Faith Plate, a catapult plate flinging into the air Test Subjects or any other object upon contact, and the Pneumatic Diversity Vent, a variant of the Vital Apparatus Vent used for distributing objects to Test Chambers.[12][13] In May 200-, the untested AI of GLaDOS is activated for the first time as one of the planned activities on Aperture's first annual bring-your-daughter-to-work day. Upon being activated, she almost instantly becomes self-aware, takes control of the facility, locks everyone inside, floods the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin, but is partially halted when she is quickly fitted with a Morality Core. She then begins a permanent cycle of testing, aimed at beating Black Mesa in the race to develop a functioning portal technology.[6][10] However a few days later, on May 16, the Black Mesa Incident occurs at the Black Mesa Research Facility, allowing aliens to teleport from Xen to Earth, eventually leading to the Combine invasion, stopping GLaDOS's race against Black Mesa.[10] As seen in the hacker message found on ApertureScience.com referring to the lockdown, the remaining employees continue working, as they are said to be working on twenty year old equipment. The construction of an Enrichment Center is also mentioned, suggesting that the Aperture Laboratories house several of them. The number of Aperture Science employees also likely diminishes, until there are only a few of them left. The Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device is likely already completed at that time, but it is unknown if it is before or after GLaDOS's activation. During that period, Portal Storms continue to rage on Earth and spread chaos, eventually leading to the Seven Hour War, resulting in Earth being defeated and subsequently controlled by the Combine. Later, around 20 years after GLaDOS's activation, Gordon Freeman is awakened from his stasis by the G-Man, and arrives in City 17, which greatly disturbs the Combine's grasp on Earth. Sometime after GLaDOS' takeover of Aperture Laboratories and shortly after the Combine invasion of Earth,[14] the Enrichment Center seems to be long abandoned, and GLaDOS seems to rule it alone, although other people are apparently still trapped somewhere.[11] The scribblings left by Rattmann also seem rather old, showing that the Enrichment Center has been partially abandoned for some time. A calendar named "The girls of Aperture Science", dated 1983, is also rather worn-out. Chell is awakened in her Relaxation Vault in the Enrichment Center, and is guided as a Test Subject by GLaDOS, utilizing the completed ASHPD, while the A.I. shows signs of instability. When GLaDOS attempts to murder Chell at the end of her tests, she flees through maintenance areas of the Enrichment Center, and eventually seemingly destroys GLaDOS, before being dragged away inside by the Party Escort Bot. Before her partial destruction, GLaDOS hints to Chell that things have changed since the last time she left the building, and that what is going on out there will make her wish she were back in here. GLaDOS also says she was the only thing standing between them [GLaDOS and Chell] and an undetermined group, most likely the Combine (possibly now defeated - a question left to be answered in Episode Three).


Other facts

Aperture Science owned a research ship, named Borealis, housing a yet to be revealed technology. It disappeared and took a chunk of its drydock with it and soon became a legend amongst the scientific community. Debate raged between Eli Vance and Isaac Kleiner over whether the technology within should be destroyed or used. Kleiner said he felt that the power could be used to destroy the Combine, but Eli seemed to suggest that he felt that trying to utilize the power could result in a repeat of the Black Mesa Incident. Aperture Science and Black Mesa were bitter rivals. As seen in the Portal maps "testchmb_a_15" and "escape_02", Aperture Science employees were briefed on Black Mesa through slideshow presentations, such as one titled "Dollar$ and Sense: Competing with Black Mesa for DoD and Government-wide Acquisition Contracts" (apparently made in the nineties, given its style). This slideshow gives some statistics pertaining to Black Mesa, a graphic comparing the GSA schedules for both Black Mesa and Aperture Science, showing that Black Mesa did not ask much and received more or less the same, while Aperture asked a lot, and received much less than Black Mesa, and compares what Aperture and Black Mesa have to submit to the Defense Logistics Agency for developing a Fuel System Icing Inhibitor, and the role of their GLaDOS in that task. These slides show how much they were directly competing for government funding; Isaac Kleiner also theorized that the Borealis disaster may have been caused by Aperture Science's rush for such funding. During Chell's tests, GLaDOS mentions a "self esteem fund for girls", to which one can donate one or all of their vital organs. This is likely true, as it is apparently said as one of GLaDOS's few automatic messages. The bring-your-daughter-to-work day mentioned on ApertureScience.com is also mentioned by GLaDOS in Portal, where she says that that day is the perfect time to have one's daughter tested. A memo found among the ASCII art images revealed during the Portal ARG states that Aperture Science is built on three pillars, apparently coined by Cave Johnson himself:[15]

Pillar one: Science without results is just witchcraft.''Pillar two: Get results or you're fired. Pillar three: if you suspect a coworker of bein' a witch, report them immediately. I cannot stress that enough. Witchcraft will not be tolerated.

Another memo suggests that Cave Johnson had some issues with official accountants, who were likely responsible for managing the funds given by the state, as they seem to be an authority higher than him.[16][17] Another memo appears to be a letter from Johnson to several Test Subjects who raised their concerns about the dangers of the research conducted by Aperture Science.[17] As suggested in Portal, Aperture has not much concern about its Test Subjects. A memo revealed by the Portal ARG apparently consisting of the answer to a (confidential) letter received by Cave Johnson elaborates on this, and seems to describe the four types of Test Subjects and their behavior, in a not very human way.[18] It goes as follows:

CONFIDENTIAL October 17th, 1976 Re: Human Enrichment & Testing Initiative, Resource Acquisitions 1. "Low Risk" Human Resource Acquisitions a. Hoboes and Tramps Lives spent wandering aimlessly, cowering before authority, and drinking concussive amounts of home-distilled potato alcohol make hoboes the perfect Human Enrichment test subjects. The hobo questions nothing, will follow orders if fed, and, like all hoboes, has a restless, wandering heart. (Note: The wandering heart of the hobo should not be confused with Drifting Heart Syndrome, which several transients contracted during testing.) b. Child Orphans and Foundlings Deep-rooted abandonment issues leave most orphans highly susceptible to shame-based psychology (for a complete list of opportune moments to obliterate the esteem of test subjects, please consult Training Video #89-D, "You'd Perform This Test Better if You Had Parents"). Recent advances in the use of scorn, flattery used in an ironic context and naked contempt as motivational tools have yielded similarly profitable results. c. Psychiatric Patients Past experience shows these fellows are simply not shy at all about carrying on, disrupting tests and defecating just about anywhere that pleases them. Frankly, it is off-putting, and small wonder why Aperture-brand mental institutions are being phased out in favor of more orphanages. d. Seniors Frail, brittle hands make holding science devices difficult. Most were born before the advent of science, and can become confused and disoriented when asked to participate in relatively simple tests (teleportation, invisibility, adjusting esteem levels of orphan children).

Other experiments

Aside from the famous experimental equipment such as the ASHPD, sentry turrets and various gels, Aperture science conducted a number of research experiments over the course of it's operation including:

  • Using invisible lasers to turn blood into gasoline
  • Exposing humans to fully charged superconductors during tests to attempt to induce superpowers
  • An unknown experiment whose short-term byproduct is the human excretion of coal
  • Determining the result of injecting Praying Mantis DNA into healthy human adults.
    • This test was later revised to determine the best way to kill "Praying Mantis men" with rifles
  • Determine what would happen if a human was exposed to 70tonnes of ground up moon rocks

The results of these experiments was widely varied and many were later discontinued and sealed off, a number of sites were isolated behind security doors with biohazard warnings on them.

Members

GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is the sentient computer system managing Aperture Laboratories, the guide of the Aperture Science computer-aided Enrichment Center, and the main antagonist throughout Portal and the first half of the singleplayer campaign in Portal 2. She temporarily becomes an ally when Wheatley takes over the laboratories in the singleplayer campaign. In the game's cooperative campaign, she is the guide and instructor for ATLAS and P-body. The earliest known appearance of the name "GLaDOS" is in 1982, where version 1.07, and later 1.07a and 1.09, is operating Aperture Science's Enrichment Center Test Subject Application Process.[1] The precise relation between this version of GLaDOS and the one appearing in Portal is unknown. Aperture also started using a bulletin board system in 1973, which was later managed by GLaDOS as late as 1997.[3] In 1986, while Aperture Science was working on the 'Portal' project, (one of Cave Johnson's dying wishes), they learned of Black Mesa's work on a similar portal technology. In response to this, construction of the first Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System (GLaDOS) began in the Aperture Laboratories with the aim of accelerating the 'Portal' project, and beat their rival company. In 1996, after a decade spent bringing the Disk Operating System parts to a state of more or less basic functionality, work began on the Genetic Lifeform component.[1] During that time, the Aperture Science Red Phone plan was implemented in case GLaDOS appeared to become sentient and godlike, requiring an employee to sit by a red phone on a desk in GLaDOS chamber's entrance hall.[4] In 1997, GLaDOS's version was 3.11.[3] Prior to May 2003, GLaDOS was activated several times by the Aperture technicians, but was rapidly turned off again, due to attempting to kill them in a sixteenth of a picosecond after activation.[5] In May 2003, the untested AI of GLaDOS was finally completed and was activated for the first time as one of the planned activities on one of Aperture's annual bring-your-daughter-to-work days. Within one picosecond of activation, GLaDOS became self-aware, and two picoseconds later, she locked down the entire facility, trapping all inside, and began a permanent testing cycle, aiming to beat Black Mesa in the race for the portal technology. She effectively loses this race however, as the Black Mesa Incident occurs mere days later, which in turn diverted all attention from rescuing the trapped Aperture employees.[1][2] In order to quell the rebelling scientists, GLaDOS flooded the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin. Survivors of this attack subsequently fitted GLaDOS with a Morality Core, which lessened her murderous intentions and prevented her from releasing more neurotoxins. GLaDOS's testing continued through the years, and the number of surviving employees dwindled. Some time after her takeover of Aperture Laboratories and shortly after the Combine invasion of Earth,[6] she awakens Chell from some sort of stasis pod in a Relaxation Vault, speaking to her as if she is just a mandatory Test Subject. Chell is released from the vault through a portal, and begins to progress through a series of Test Chambers, utilizing the completed Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, with GLaDOS constantly monitoring her progress with security cameras. The chambers show signs of decay and neglect, and GLaDOS shows signs of instability. Throughout the tests, GLaDOS continues to act like everything is perfectly mandatory, giving apparently scripted responses. Despite this, she lets slip several phrases to suggest otherwise, and sometimes malfunctions in the middle of sentences (also showing that she is programmed to speak in other languages, such as Spanish, using machinery translation). She also continuously promises that cake and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the test. When Chell eventually makes it to Test Chamber 16, GLaDOS informs her that the appropriate chamber has been replaced with a live fire course designed for Military Androids, simply wishing Chell the best of luck and letting her into the chamber, where she is met with Aperture Science Sentry Turrets for the first time. It is in this chamber that Chell discovers a hidden alcove in the wall, where desperate messages were scribbled on the walls by former Aperture employee Doug Rattmann, who seemed to have gone slightly mad while being trapped in the facility. The most prominent message, "the cake is a lie", is written several times. Chell then proceeds to the next chamber, where GLaDOS introduces her to the Companion Cube, which Chell must carry through the chamber. She once again finds messages from Rattmann, who seems to have become insanely attached to his Companion Cube, and grieved over its "death", and was outlandish towards GLaDOS's comments about it. At the end of the Chamber, Chell's Cube meets the same fate when she is forced to incinerate it in an Aperture Science Emergency Intelligence Incinerator in order to proceed. According to GLaDOS, Chell "euthanized" her Cube more quickly than any other Test Subject, something GLaDOS feels calls for congratulations. At the conclusion of the test, Chell travels on an Aperture Science Unstationary Scaffold away from the final Test Chamber. But instead of the constantly promised cake, the young woman is met with an incinerator, which GLaDOS calmly states will not damage the ASHPD. Using the weapon, she narrowly escapes certain death. It is here that GLaDOS reveals her true nature, stuttering on the word "I", before trying to convince Chell that this was all part of the test. Chell ignores her, and journeys through the maintenance areas. Throughout the decaying and neglected maintenance areas, Chell is constantly trying to be convinced by GLaDOS to return to the testing area, through the use of the Aperture Science Speaker System. With hints and scribblings by Rattmann guiding her along the right path, after constant admonishment from GLaDOS, as well as a massive Sentry Gun ambush, Chell finally finds herself in GLaDOS's main control room, where the A.I. has been sitting alone for months. GLaDOS then attempts to deploy a "surprise" to eliminate Chell, but ends up accidentally detaching her Morality Core, which Chell promptly incinerates. GLaDOS, now free of her morality, begins to flood the Enrichment Center with neurotoxins as she did before. She notes that the Morality Core must have had some ancillary responsibilities, and that she cannot shut off the Rocket Sentry in her control room. Chell uses this to her advantage, and uses portals to redirect the rockets back at GLaDOS, detaching and incinerating her Personality Cores one by one. As the battle continues, GLaDOS mocks Chell and tries to make her feel bad about herself. She also makes a comment apparently regarding the Combine invasion, stating that she was "the only one standing between us and them", which implies that she was keeping the Combine from entering the facility. Before the neurotoxins can kill her, Chell destroys GLaDOS who is apparently sucked through a portal to the outside with parts of her generator. Chell is also dragged with her, and she ends up among GLaDOS's remains on the parking lot in front of the Aperture labs entrance, only to be taken back inside into stasis by the Party Escort Bot. Despite GLaDOS's apparent destruction however, only a part of her is destroyed. She reactivates a room full of Personality Cores and re-captures Aperture Laboratories, filing a letter to Chell, telling her that she is "still alive" and "not even angry" at her, but not before extinguishing a candle on the cake, which was not a lie after all. In the years between Chell's confinement to stasis by the Party Associate and her awakening at the beginning of Portal 2, parts of GLaDOS' systems and her Personality Cores attempt to maintain the Enrichment Center, which is heavily damaged after the explosion created by GLaDOS' partial destruction. GLaDOS later explains to Chell that a postmortem analysis "quicksave" feature in her system kept her consciousness alive but trapped her in an endless loop of the last two minutes of her life. Thus, GLaDOS was "still alive" at the end of the first Portal, but effectively dead to the Enrichment Center. When Chell is finally awakened by Wheatley, the two make their way across the facility in an attempt to escape. They make their way to the master breakers underneath GLaDOS' chamber, where Wheatley accidentally restores power to her and raises himself and Chell right in front of her as she comes online. GLaDOS is extremely bitter towards Chell for "murdering" her, but wants to repair their "relationship" for the good of science. GLaDOS then forces Chell to complete more tests through the Enrichment Center. At the same time, she sets about restoring the dilapidated facility, often reluctantly allowing Chell to navigate through the maintenance areas to proceed.[7] However, Chell and Wheatley manage to escape and sabotage her turret production, as well as destroying the neurotoxin system. Once they reach her new chamber, they conduct a core transfer with Wheatley as the replacement core. Unfortunately for GLaDOS, the transfer is a success. A vengeful and corrupted Wheatley transfers her core to a potato battery, capable only of powering her basic consciousness and personality along with some secondary components like her sarcastic slow clap processor. Wheatley then accidentally sends Chell and GLaDOS to a deep, forgotten area of the facility. As Chell wakes up after the fall, GLaDOS is carried off by a crow for food. Chell eventually finds her again and impales her on one of the Portal Gun's claws. This allows GLaDOS to accompany Chell through the rest of a testing area made by Cave Johnson, as well as gaining an additional half-volt to think rationally. Free from the compulsions and psychoses induced by her main body and lacking sufficient power to form complex schemes, GLaDOS becomes much less antagonistic towards Chell. Through pre-recorded messages by Johnson, the AI gradually remembers her former self. After witnessing what Wheatley has done to the facility, GLaDOS makes plans to return her core to her original body. Knowing that Wheatley's incompetence will cause the facility's nuclear reactors to explode, GLaDOS formulates plans while Chell completes new testing chambers made by Wheatley and old chambers that GLaDOS stockpiled as "mementos". As GLaDOS and Chell perform more torturous tests, Wheatley discovers the Cooperative Testing Initiative and tries to kill the now-redundant Chell, destroying parts of the building in the process. Finally, the two reach Wheatley's chamber and attempt to force a second core transfer with the Enrichment Center minutes from self-destruction. At the climax of the battle with Wheatley, Chell opens a portal to the Moon, sucking herself and Wheatley's tethered core into outer space. GLaDOS restores herself and stabilizes the facility's reactors, then cuts Wheatley loose into the void. Compelled by Caroline's kind personality, she drags Chell to safety before closing the portal. The positive emotions she feels during this act allow her to trace the location of Caroline's mental imprint in her memory banks. As Chell recuperates, GLaDOS repairs the facility and summons ATLAS and P-body. When Chell awakens, GLaDOS reveals that she knows where Caroline's data resides and apparently deletes it, seemingly returning to her original, cold self. She decides that the easiest way to remove Chell as a threat to the facility is not to kill her, but instead to throw her out, making sure to remind Chell to never return, although she makes the inexplicable decision to give Chell her old Weighted Companion Cube (which is charred but intact) as well. With the Cooperative Testing Initiative fully functional, she goes back to testing without having to worry about escape or sabotage while also using the robots to find the other human subjects that are still in stasis within the facility.

Wheatley, or referred to as an Intelligence Dampening Sphere by GLaDOS, is a loose Personality Core in Portal 2. He was one of the many cores seen awakening at the end of Portal. Of masculine programming and an English West country accent, he was Chell's sidekick and guide during the first half of the game.[5] In a plot twist, he eventually becomes the game's main antagonist. Wheatley is talkative and friendly at first, although his main motivation in befriending Chell seems to be obtaining her help in escaping. He frequently second guesses his own decisions, and is not especially assertive, always trying to persuade Chell to go along with his plans rather than demanding that she do anything. He frequently asks Chell to look away while he does something difficult, such as hacking. He is patient, and when his actions lead to unpleasant consequences he is quick to take responsibility and apologize - although usually as a lead-in to asking Chell to go along with another of his plans. GLaDOS claims that Wheatley was designed as an "intelligence dampener" whose function was to render her less dangerous by generating an endless stream of stupid ideas to distract her. While the general outline of the plan to defeat GLaDOS was Wheatley's, he generally proved useless at solving tricky problems that came up, with Chell constantly having to step in. Once he takes over the Enrichment Center, his stupidity becomes more apparent: he attaches turrets to weighted cubes to create Frankencubes for no discernible reason and then tries to correct their deficiencies by shouting at them, he ignores alarms warning of an imminent reactor core meltdown, he can only manage to build absurdly simple test chambers, and when he attempts to imitate GLaDOS' style of motivation, the best insult he can come up with is "fatty fatty no-parents." GLaDOS generally finds it easy to goad and manipulate him - except when he manages to actually foil her by being too dumb to notice the bait. However, on rare occasions he manages to do something truly remarkably cunning, such as booby-trapping the core transfer override button, or rigging an Aerial Faith Plateto unexpectedly send Chell flying in the wrong direction. He seems profoundly insecure about his intelligence, reacting with rage whenever GLaDOS refers to him as the "moron core.". Although not speculated, his short attention span and/or stupidity saved him from being destroyed by GLaDOS' paradox at the beginning of Chapter 8. After seizing control of the facility, Wheatly is overwhelmed by the power and becomes corrupt almost immediately. He betrays Chell, claiming that he grew tired of doing all the work while she ordered him around (in fact, the situation was almost exactly the opposite). He is clearly far weaker-willed than GLaDOS, quickly becoming a slave to "the itch." He also seems to aspire to be the perfect 'villain', making terrible jokes about his supposed 'surprise' for Chell and GLaDOS, and tries to one-up GLaDOS as a final boss by modifying his control room. Even with his newfound power, he still shows signs of his old cowardice and general lack of intelligence, especially as Chell draws closer to his 'lair'. Floating in space after his defeat, he expresses remorse for his actions and says he wishes he could apologize to Chell.


ATLAS and P-body,[2] referred to as Blue and Orange by GLaDOS,[3] are a pair of bipedal robots that appear in Portal 2’s co-operative campaign.[4] They have been created by GLaDOS to complete the most complex tests in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center, uncompleted by any human.[5] ATLAS and P-body were created by GLaDOS for the "Cooperative Testing Initiative" project after the events of Portal, where she had gained a mistrust for humans. However, she determined that the act of experimenting on and observing the results of robots performing various tests, as a robot herself, was fundamentally flawed, which is likened to the famous thought experiment of Schrödinger's cat. Thus she determined that for the tests to actually mean anything, it needed a human observer. To add that human element, she needed to find a way for the robots to become more human-like, to the point where they were human enough so that results could be derived from the tests. Cooperative tests were then set up in a total of 35 Test Chambers in five distinct courses. The first four are based on a specific testing element, while the fifth takes elements from the previous four and adds Aperture Science gels to the equation. They involve the standard teleportation/puzzle tests, and sending the robots to the ruined parts of the Aperture Laboratories in search of human relics to puzzle together, so that they can learn to become more human, and even learn how to love. The robots were designed from scraps. ATLAS' design is based on a Personality Core, while P-body is based on a Sentry Turret.[1] To facilitate their humanization, they were given their own personalities, and clearly anthropomorphic designs and behaviors. For instance, gender-related personalities have been applied to them, with ATLAS being masculine, and P-body feminine. Each robot has its own Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device that bears the color of its user (blue for ATLAS, orange for P-body), as two lines running along the barrel. They can pass through each others' portals, a vital means of completing the tests, and are respawned through Vital Apparatus Vents if destroyed. Duplicate robots are constantly built by automated machines, apparently keeping the memories and behavior of the previous incarnations. Their heads function independently of their bodies, allowing them to control their limbs even if it is removed. This aspect of their design allows them to play pranks on each other by taking or knocking off their heads. As said above, the robots were designed with anthropomorphic personalities to facilitate their humanization. These personalities are expected to develop during the course of the game. Examples of anthropomorphism go from simple to complex behaviors. For instance, the results of the Aperture Science Collaborative Disposition Test tell that ATLAS is brave and fearless, willing to take on any challenge, while P-body is inquisitive and sensitive, examining the situation with care before proceeding. Both value friendship, making them the ideal testing partners. Other anthropomorphic behaviors include making gestures to each other to indicate the other what to do or where to go, using some form of speech embodied by an apparently unintelligible robotic chatter (ATLAS having a masculine voice, P-body a feminine), using portals for fun and not only for testing, using some form of laughter, playing rock-paper-scissors, or hugging each other.[6] Co-operative work also requires them to trust each other, and they also undergo tests for that purpose, and eventually will tend to develop a tendency to betray each other like humans would do, and in the end trust each other only 6 seconds longer than humans.[2] The skills and personality are obviously influenced by the players' behavior toward each other. Tests or achievements require being as much being selfless as being selfish.


Technology

The Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, originally marketed as Aperture Science Portable Quantum Tunneling Device and also known either as Portal Gun or by its acronym, "ASHPD", is an experimental tool used to create two portals through which objects can pass. It is used within the Enrichment Center's Test Chambers as the Test Subjects' primary tool to complete each chamber. The ASHPD is hand-held device which has the ability to manufacture two linked portals. No matter the distance between them, any object which passes through one portal will emerge from the other and vice versa instantaneously. The portals can be placed on almost any surface which is flat, immobile, and large enough to accommodate them. Moving objects, or certain types of surfaces, will prevent the formation of a portal. Material Emancipation Grids will block any attempt to shoot portals through them, as well as reset any active portals should the ASHPD pass through it. The ASHPD is held with a hand behind the weapon, holding the handle / trigger, while the other hand supports the barrel. A sprite in the small hole on the top of the ASHPD and a sprite in its glass tube have the color of the last shot portal. It has two triggers, one for each of its two portals. When the ASHPD is fired, a burst of colored energy is emitted from the barrel, corresponding to the colored portal it is intended to create. Upon striking the targeted surface, a portal is formed, surrounded by a colored ring. If the surface cannot accommodate a portal for whatever reason, the shot will dissipate in a shower of colored particles. If one portal is shot into its opposite, the portal will be formed next to the first one, assuming the surface has enough room for it to form; otherwise, it will dissipate as normal. The device can only create two portals at a time. If a third is fired, the other of its type will be automatically closed and a new link will be formed. The portals fired by the ASHPD each have a distinct color. Chell's ASHPD uses light blue and light orange portals. ATLAS and P-body each use a variant on those two colors; ATLAS uses light blue and indigo (dark blue) portals, while P-body uses light orange and red portals. The ASHPD also has a zero-point energy field manipulator, similar to the Gravity Gun but far weaker. It can pick up objects, but only those directly in front of it. It also cannot punt them as the Gravity Gun can, so the only way to throw the object is to physically swing the ASHPD itself, which can at best send the object a few meters away. It cannot catch Aperture Science High Energy Pellets, the equivalent of Combine Energy Balls, either due to the weaker manipulator or some difference in the composition of the two items. Items picked up with the ASHPD's manipulator can be carried though portals, which prove to be very useful in several test chambers.

The Aperture Science Sentry Turret is a testing element and a fully autonomous weapon created by Aperture Science and featured in Portal and Portal 2. Sentry Turrets are used within Aperture Laboratories to protect restricted areas as well as in the testing of Military Androids and the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. The Aperture Science Sentry Turret has a single red eye, sleek appearance and predominately white color scheme common to most Aperture Science technology. Sentry Turrets have only been seen in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center acting as guards in Test Chambers and maintenance areas. Sentry Turrets often speak in a child-like, artificial voice similar to GLaDOS and toilets within Aperture Laboratories. They have a strangely polite demeanor, which is in direct contrast with their deadly behavior. They will even forgive Chell for knocking them over. In one scene in Portal 2, a Sentry Turret stuck inside the Aperture Science Pipe Network attempts to get Chell and Wheatley's attention. At Wheatley's encouragement, Chell ignores it, but the Sentry Turret politely says "thanks anyway." The Sentry Turrets are armed with dual machine guns, targeted with a visible laser beam. These weapons are normally hidden inside the body, during "sleep mode." When the Sentry Turret is alerted, they will deploy, and fire at any visible target (usually Test Subjects or intruders in the labs). When no target is in range, the Sentry will scan back and forth across the area, and return to sleep mode after several seconds if no further target is found. Aperture-Brand Resolution Pellets, the bullets for a Sentry Turret's guns, are simply dumped into its hollow body, called the Shell Redistribution Chamber; this allows for an unusually large supply of ammunition for such a small device. Aperture-Brand Resolution Pellets are the only type of ammunition that is recommended for use with a Sentry Turret. In addition, bullets are not "fired" in the traditional sense. They are propelled, shell and all, with a spring-loaded mechanism called the Projectile Acceleration Cylinder, which is guarded by the Aperture Turret External Barrel. Since the whole bullet is fired, this allows up to 65% more bullet mass per bullet, the extra mass adding to the stopping power of the bullet. The Personality Core of the Sentry Turret is located within the outer shell, above the guns. It is fitted with a Fire/No Fire Incident Resolution Chip, presumably to help the Turret distinguish when or when not to fire, an Empathy Generator and an Empathy Suppressor. Apparently, the Empathy Suppressor is of greater influence, as simply standing near a Sentry Turret may cause its Empathy Suppressor to accidentally activate, greatly reducing the Sentry Turret's feelings of empathy toward its foe. The consumer version of the Sentry Turret is available in hundreds of different designer patterns and colors, including "Forest", "Desert", "Table", and "Evening at the Improv."[2]


Defective Turrets, or Crap Turrets as they are referred to by Wheatley, are damaged, unfinished, or faultily assembled turrets seen and used in Aperture Laboratories during the events of Portal 2. They lack the outer white shell of normal turrets, and their insides are visible. Additionally, their laser guide is off or broken, and their dialogue indicates they are blind, though they seem to notice Chell and POTaDOS. They also seem to be out of bullets, as when they fire, only a clicking sound is made. After a while, they bizarrely catch on fire and explode. Some even appear to have been assembled sideways. In Chapter 5 of Portal 2, Chell sabotages the Aperture Science turret assembly lines by replacing the template turret with a defective one, causing all the fully functional turrets to be thrown out. When GLaDOSattempts to surround Chell with turrets, she instead uses these because of the earlier sabotage. They simply stand around and click, and explode. They speak in a masculine voice rather than the feminine ones like the rest of the turrets. Their voices also seem to lack the robotic edge of the normal turrets. They sometimes will humorously shout "Ummm... Blam! Blam! Blam! I'm not defective!" in a vain attempt to not get tossed out. They will also sometimes ask other turrets for bullets and pretend to be a regular turret so they don't get tossed out.

The Oracle Turret[1] is a malfunctioning Aperture Science Sentry Turret that must be saved from its 'redemption' (incineration) line in order to gain the achievement 'No Hard Feelings'. When saved from redemption, the turret spouts a variety of cryptic phrases, in a similar vein to the All-Knowing Vortigaunt. Some of these phrases reference Cave Johnson's 'Don't Make Lemonade' speech and mention Johnson's secretary and assistant, Caroline. Once saved, the Oracle Turret cannot accompany the player since the player must pass through an Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grid before continuing. The Oracle Turret's eponymous phrase, the one that details the legend of the Greek titan Prometheus, seems to reference several features about both GLaDOS and Aperture Scienceitself. It is possible that the Oracle Turret holds some part of Cave Johnson's personality as evidenced by its quoting Johnson's speeches.


The Party Escort Bot, also known as the party associate, is an Aperture Science personality core partially cut from Portal, and reintroduced in the game for the retconned ending featured in the update made on March 3, 2010, as part of the Portal ARG.[1][2] The party associate is first mentioned by GLaDOS after Chell escapes certain death at the end of Test Chamber 19. There she says that they are throwing a party in honor of Chell's tremendous success, and that a party associate will arrive shortly to collect her for her party. GLaDOS then orders Chell to assume the party escort submission position or she will miss the party. As Chell disregards GLaDOS's words, the party associate is never seen at that point. At the very end of the game however, when Chell finds herself on the Aperture Laboratoriesparking lot after eventually destroying GLaDOS, the party associate finally comes to pick her up, and drags her away inside the facility, thanking her for assuming the party escort submission position, while remaining unseen. As the end of Chell's series of tests did not proceed properly, the bot is forced to reach the outside to pick her up. It is likely that during normal tests, the bot merely waits for the Test Subject outside the last Test Chamber, and directs them to the party, if it ever was part of the tests. Given its voice, it is possibly of masculine programming, and may not be the sole Party Escort Bot to have been used. Given the sounds it makes, it also seems to be mounted on two legs. The bot also has a slight Japanese accent.


The Rocket Sentry is an automated, static turret used in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center, firing compact rockets fed through a belt. Apparently used within the facility as a defense / security weapon, it is eventually used by Chell to defeat GLaDOS at the end of Portal. Rocket Sentry turrets consist of what appears to be a Personality Core mounted atop a robotic arm that retracts in the ground, only leaving the top of the Personality Core visible. When the Core's left panel slides, a rocket launcher and sensory device that emits a blue-green laser for targeting are revealed. In addition, the Personality Core "eye" is used to indicate the current status of the turret by color: green = idle, yellow = locked on target, red = firing the rocket. The Rocket Sentry, either by the virtue of being mounted to the floor or having a highly effective armor, is unable to be destroyed by Chell. For instance, if one places a portal behind and in front of a Rocket Sentry and make it fire into the portals, the rocket will fly through the portals until it hits the Rocket Sentry, and vaporize without making any damage, with effects similar to when an object is thrown in a Material Emancipation Grid. Only two Rocket Sentries are found within the Aperture Laboratories. One among abandoned offices and activated by a small red button, and another in GLaDOS's chamber. It is unknown if they are used in Test Chambers or other locations. When activating, the rockets slide down towards the barrel before the laser is set up. When locking on, one rocket is removed from the rack and loaded into the barrel, then fired.

The Aperture Science Personality Constructs, also known as Personality Cores or Personality Spheres, are independent spheres containing advanced personality software created by Aperture Science for use in their laboratories. They are the backbones of the facility. Personality Cores are known to be used in several ways: attached to a robot such as GLaDOS to give her conscience and generally restricting her from becoming out of control. They are confined to ceiling rails dubbed as Management Rails, allowing traveling around the facility. They can be linked to computer terminals to open doors, hack into mainframes, or to activate breaker-room elevators. While some Personality Cores have very basic functions, some are capable of being sentient independently. Some cores are able to control specific emotions, whereas others, such as Wheatley in Portal 2, seem to have an entire personality that is not reliant on an attached computer or device. Indeed, Wheatley expresses feelings such as enthusiasm, fear, or anger, in an advanced way. Personality Cores are typically stored within a case equipped with two handles above and under, which fits around the Core itself, dotted with a large, single eye (supposedly a camera), with a color related to its function, a pupil varying in size, and a varying number of dots at each side of the eye. The Core can move in all directions independently from its case, allowing it to see in every direction not hidden by the case. In the back of the Core can typically found a three pin plug to connect it to the proper devices. In Portal, the Personality Cores are mostly used on GLaDOS, who is dotted with four types: the Morality Core, a purple core with a rather dilated pupil and two dots installed into GLaDOS to stop her from flooding the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin; the Curiosity Core, an orange core with an average size pupil and four dots that is insatiably curious about everything around it (it even recognizes Chell as "the lady from the test"); the Knowledge Core (also known as "Crazy Core"), a blue core with a very dilated pupil and six dots that gives an interesting cake recipe, and the Emotion Core (also known as "Aggressive Core" or "Anger Sphere"), a red core with a rather small pupil and eight dots that emits angry growling sounds. The Rocket Sentry, the fifth known type of Core, also appears to be a personality core mounted on a moving arm and equipped with a rocket launcher, and containing very basic software. Instead of talking, it emits beeps before shooting its rockets. It also has three colors instead of only one, related to its different modes (green: idle, yellow: locked on target; red: firing). The size of its pupil is similar to that of the Anger Core. In Portal 2, Wheatley states that a Personality Core is never to disengage itself from its ceiling rail, otherwise it will kill itself. It proves to be untrue when Wheatley still functions after his fall. When Chell detaches all of GLaDOS's Cores in Portal, they also continue functioning, and actually do not display their proper personality before being detached. With the survival of Wheatley after being disengaged, that shows that a Personality Core can survive on its own. While it cannot move, it appears to have some sort of battery that lasts a long time. The Aperture Science Apocalypse announcements indicate that in the event of the collapse of society, Aperture Science Personality constructs are designed to function on power sources as low as 1.1 volts for protracted periods of time. Personality Cores also seem to be very solid and robust devices, as they do not seem to be affected by long falls. It appears that only an Emergency Intelligence Incinerator can destroy them. Still when Chell detaches all of GLaDOS's Cores in Portal, the Cores are all sent in a different location, making it harder and harder for Chell to catch them. While being in these locations, they appear to be still linked to GLaDOS somehow with a greenish, semi-transparent beam/thread. It is only when grabbed by Chell and destroyed in the Emergency Intelligence Incinerator that their effect on GLaDOS stops (In Portal 2, the Personality Cores only affect Wheatley when attached to it). GLaDOS is also equipped with four discs, and four servers installed in the entrance of her chamber. These may be related to her Personality Cores, but it is unknown to what extent. The The Orange Box Prima Guide states that these four discs "represent each aspect" of her Personality Cores, but it is unknown what that means exactly. At the end of Portal, numerous Personality Cores can be seen stored around the promised cake and a Companion Cube, and waking up. During the time that elapsed between Portal and Portal 2, these Personality Cores carve out sections of the neglected Enrichment Center as their own, while traveling around the facility via the laboratory ceiling rails they are confined to.[2] At the conclusion of Portal 2, a large bin of corrupted cores is discovered before the final encounter with Wheatley, three of which are used as a means of corrupting the latter and forcing a core replacement. The featured cores are: the "Space Core," a yellow core with a rapidly dilating pupil who speaks enthusiastically and disjointedly about space; the "Adventure Core" (who also claims his name is "Rick"), a green core with a cat-like pupil and highly macho personality who attempts to flirt with Chell and the "Fact Core", a pink core with a large round pupil who spews random (and often very inaccurate) trivia while also claiming to be superior to the other two corrupted cores. The Space and Adventure Cores are sucked into space at the conclusion of the battle, while the Fact Core seems to have been removed by GLaDOS afterwards. After the events of Portal 2, ATLAS and P-body, two robots made out of scraps are used in couples in Test Chambers. One of them, apparently with masculine personality (ATLAS), was built from a modified Personality Core.[2] Although, the other with feminine personality (P-body), upon blueprints seen during game loading times implies that it's eye is very much similar to a Personality Core.

Notable Cores ===Morality Core === This purple-eyed core was installed into GLaDOS when she began flooding the Enrichment center with a deadly neurotoxin to stop her from flooding the Enrichment Center with a deadly neurotoxin. It neither speaks nor moves around, even when held. ===Curiosity Core === An orange-eyed core with a very inquisitive mind. It constantly looks around, repeatedly questions about things it sees, people it meets, and pretty much everything else, in a high-pitched, child-like voice. According to GLaDOS, she only kept Chell alive out of curiosity until the Curiosity Core was destroyed. ===Knowledge Core === This core's eye is light blue and has a heavily dilated pupil. When held, it lazily rolls around and around in its shell, reciting a long cake recipe containing dozens of unusual and often inedible ingredients. ===Anger Core === A red-eyed sphere with a shrunken pupil that twitches and shakes around madly, growling and snarling incoherently like a wild animal all the while. This core may be the source, or at least part of the source, of GLaDOS' fury. ===Space Core === A yellow-eyed core who lets off sparks as it twitches. It speaks rapidly and endlessly about space and space-related activities. At the end of Portal 2, when it is floating in space with Wheatley, it repeats "We're in space! So much space! We're in space!". It does not however seem to know much about space, despite being obsessed with it. Judging from the available voice samples, It also looks like Space Core gets bored of the space after a while. Once that happens, it decides that it wants to go back to Earth[3].

===Adventure Core (AKA "Rick") === A green-eyed core whose iris appears pixellated, rather than a solid light like the other cores. Its pupil is rectangular in shape. Besides having a proud and boastful male voice, it claims its name is "Rick", and that it enjoys thrills and danger, and even attempts to flirt with Chell during the final battle. When "Rick" is first seen, it is hanging and swinging on a wire, in a manner not unlike that which would be expected from an archetypal adventurer coming to the rescue. ===Factual Core === A pink-eyed core who rapidly rattles off multiple erroneous historical and scientific facts, some true, some false, and some just plain illogical. It also boasts about its own intellect and appearance while dismissing the other two cores. It describes itself as "the most intelligent and handsome sphere," while it insults the Space Core, the Adventure Core, and even Chell.

The Perpetual Testing Initiative is a project administrated by Cave Johnson as Aperture Science becomes bankrupt. Johnson promotes that the Multiverse Theory exists and that there are infinite universes with infinite Aperture Science facilities. The layout of the project is to trick the more financially-stable versions of Aperture, by planting blueprints of test chambers on the desks of unaware associates of alternate universes and stealing the chambers while they are constructed. Johnson admits that the project was indeed a con plan, and that they are robbing the more-stable versions of themselves to produce more test chambers. He succeeds in the project which makes Aperture the first science facility to explore the multiverse. It is believed that the project takes place around the same time that Black Mesa starts planning the project that will lead to the Combine Invasion. This is based off a quote that an alternate Cave makes when his Aperture buys out their Black Mesa. Near the end of the storyline the original Cave teams up with an alternate version of himself known as "Dark Cave" (who is running a similar con) to find the "money-verse," a universe where the earth is made entirely of U.S. currency. He eventually succeeds and testing is continued on the primary earth.

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