Blue Sky

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Fanfiction
Title: Blue Sky
Author(s): Wafflestories
Date(s): Oct 2, 2011 - Apr 1, 2012
Length: 169,766 words
Genre: Gen, Het, rated T
Fandom: Portal
External Links: FFN Link

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Blue Sky is a popular Portal fanfiction of novel length and professional quality writing. It contains 15 chapters, each of considerable length, and a wide cast of original characters. It also employs a very accurate and in character representation of canon characters. While there are hints of romance in it and a sub-plot involves Wheatley/Chell, the bulk of the work revolves around an original plot and character backstory. Its popularity had earned it fame in the Portal fandom, and Blue Sky itself has produced numerous accounts of visual fanart and spin-off fanfiction.

The author, Wafflestories, has little about themselves on their FFN profile and does not usually employ the making of notes before or after chapters. However, based on their spelling and the use of "Grandmother's Footsteps," they are likely European. Wafflestories has a Tumblr where they post their art called WaffleBloggies. They also had a Livejournal called Wafflestories where the fanfic was posted, however this has been inactive since 2012. Waffle made a handful of other fanfiction in the Blue Sky universe though most aren't on their FFN. A list can be found here.

Plot Summary

Sad, but true, the beauty of the infinite cosmos palled after a while. It was fine to start with, awe-inspiring and breath-taking and all the rest of it. You could spend all the time you liked staring at it, getting to know all the different types of stars, things like that. Wheatley didn't know their actual scientific names- observational astronomy was not part of his programming- but in the absence of official nomenclature he'd made up his own. You had your basic 'little twinkly ones'- they were probably a very long way away, even by star standards, and accounted for most of the stars he could see- and then there were the 'big bright ones', which were either a bit closer or planets and things, and 'multicoloured ones' which he wasn't really sure about, and- very occasionally- you had your 'ones that turn out to be bits of space junk whooshing past while exploding.'Blue Sky, Chapter 1: The Recall

Blue Sky is set four years after the end of Portal 2. Wheatley falls back to Earth and GLaDOS forces him to emit a radio broadcast begging Chell to rescue him, because GLaDOS wants her back. Chell, who has made a life for herself in a nearby human settlement called Eaden, immediately makes a plan and heads to rescue him. She very easily breaks into Aperture, grabs Wheatley, and readies to leave. GLaDOS ends up frying Wheatley's core body while he's plugged into a wall. Chell then uploads him into a new device. This cigar-shaped device projects a hard light hologram of a human man's body, which Wheatley can no control. They escape the facility, but not before Wheatley nearly leaves Chell behind to bleed out and die.

Wheatley carries Chell's passed out body into town using the map she'd given him. An original character, Doctor Viktoria Dillon, fixes up Chell's gunshot wound. Chell wakes up and leads Wheatley to her home, which doubles as a bakery. Wheatley goes into sleep mode on her couch and begins having memories of a human man. In this memory he sees a woman setting out bagels and is instantly in love with her. The next morning Chell takes Wheatley to the general store, and they two warn Aaron Halifax (another original character) about Aperture.

Wheatley meets Garret Rickey and his communication tower Foxglove. Later, Wheatley has more memories of a human man while in sleep mode, implying Aperture scientists had 'scanned' his body before, and then again did a different kind of 'scan' after. He wakes up and hears strange noises from Chell's room. After seeing she's having a nightmare he talks to her in her sleep, guiding her through it. By the end of it she's calm and Wheatley leaves, but not before he vented to her believing she was still asleep. Chell, who heard the end of what he said, becomes determined to help him adjust to his new life. Back at Aperture GLaDOS is testing with robots.

The next day Chell has Wheatley help her bake bread, and it doesn't turn out well. She then has Wheatley and Garret shooting skeet with the blackened bread, which he also fails at. Later, Chell asks Wheatley his first memory and he lies about the memories he's had of his human self. In the night as Wheatley sleeps, Chell uses a laptop to view a memory from him and watches one where the man (who looks like Wheatley) was about to ask a woman (who she recognized as herself) out for a drink. He was interrupted by scientists and never asked her out.

Chell, having seen herself in his memories, now remembers bits of her life before she'd been a test subject or put into cryosleep. Freaking out, Chell goes for a night walk. Wheatley wakes up soon after and has a breakdown because he didn't want to accept that he was once human. He discovers the hidden laptop and realizes that Chell had secretly used it to see the same memory, and this makes him worse. He runs to find Garret so Garret can remove the human memories. Instead, Garret gets him drunk with a benign virus and Wheatley just rants instead. Garret, now knowing his a robot, takes him to the communication tower named Foxglove in hopes Wheatley can help him activate her.

Wheatley does indeed get Foxglove working, causing all the radios in town to pick up on far away signals. Wheatley is proud and Chell is too. At the same time GLaDOS spots the Aperture signal coming from it and sends her testing bots, Orange (P-Body) and Blue (Atlas), to go capture whoever they find at the signal. The whole town celebrates with a party under the tower. Chell bakes bagels (a reference to the memory Wheatley had) and she and he go for a walk. They talk about her desire to protect the town then she falls asleep on his chest. Orange and Blue arrive while they are away, gas the humans, and begin taking them back to Aperture with a portal. Foxglove wirelessly contacts Wheatley, taking them up, and he and Chell rush to the scene. Chell damages Blue but they get away.

Chell knows she has to follow but Wheatley hesitates and says selfish things. Chell, disturbed and betrayed, leaves him to rescue her friends. GLaDOS puts Chell back to testing under threat of killing her friends who are in cryosleep. Wheatley, back in Eaden, realizes the reason he always has bad ideas is because a line of code tells him all bad ideas are good and all good ideas of bad. He uses this to realize he has just had a good idea. He uses Foxglove to download himself into Apertures mainframe and learns Foxglove actually has bits of GLaDOS in her. From there he can command GLaDOS around. He has GLaDOS take Chell to the cryosleep center, slam the entire section up through the facility and onto the surface, and puts her to sleep. The humans escape but Wheatley tells Chell his download was a one-way trip. He loses signal and seems dead.

Chell goes back into the facility with Garret as her friends climb down from the cryosleep chambers they woke up in. Wheatley, who is nothing but code in blank space, meets the human code of Caroline. Caroline says she has a surprise for him. She puts him into his old human body, which Aperture had in a long-term relaxation pod. Wheatley wakes up actually human. Chell finds him, tells him he's human, and kisses him. Everyone leaves, GLaDOS is woken by Caroline and discovers a cache of humans in the facility, and Chell and Wheatley live happily together in Eaden.

Response

Blue Sky became popular enough to have its own Tumblr tag. "Blue Sky," while containing numerous images of sky photography, also has a handful of fanfic fanart and pictures of Wheatley. Narrowing it down to "Blue Sky Portal" comes up with dozens upon dozens of fanwork. One user even made a Blue Sky themed quilt. Archive of Our Own also has a "Blue Sky (Portal)" tag. As of June 2020 Blue Sky has 16 spin-off fanfics on AO3 using this tag, some of them having been written in 2020, seven years after the original fanfic was completed. There is also a Blue Sky fan made web comic.[1]

Some fans of Blue Sky have had the fanfiction printed as a hard back or paper back book.[2][3]

There is a reference to Blue Sky in the Geekender's Portal, the (Unauthorized) Musical.[4] At one time the Geekenders were even planning to act out at least one scene from Blue Sky and suggested fans donate to them to help. They were using the author as a consultant. This never came to fruition as there are no videos or references to this actually being produced.[5]

Harry101UK, a popular Portal Youtuber who continues to make Portal videos in 2020, voiced a handful of scenes from Blue Sky.[6] Fans often use these to make anamatics and animations. Though there isn't a full podfic version of Blue Sky, the one that exists has Harry101UK voicing Wheatley.[7]

Influence on Humanization

The Portal fandom has a high level of fan humanization of the game's robot characters, including Wheatley. In Blue Sky Wheatley is six feet tall, wears a tie, has short blonde hair, blue eyes, and glasses. His color scheme is mainly white and blue. Essentially Wheatley resembles his voice actor Stephen Merchant.

It is possible that Blue Sky's immense popularity also influenced the popularity of this specific type of Wheatley humanization design. There are some references online that suggest a humanization of Wheatley that was around before Blue Sky gave Wheatley brown or white hair and a more sci-fi looking outfit/body.[8] Blue Sky, having revealed Wheatley's human appearance roughly between Oct 2011 and Apr 11, would have had to begin its influence around that period. However, there is evidence that Wheatley's design from Blue Sky was based on a popular interpretation of human Wheatley, meaning that his humanization design came before Blue Sky. This can be seen in the collaborative art work here from Aug 1, 2011, two months before Blue Sky. This art piece depicts exactly 87 interpretations of human Wheatley, and many of them are similar to the design in Blue Sky. While Blue Sky certainly did not start the trend of drawing human Wheatley blonde, with glasses, and a tie, it no doubt made it even more popular, solidifying it as the most drawn design for human Wheatley.

Reviews

Hey I absolutely LOVED this story! Very well written! It did not seem far-fetched at all. Wheatley sounded just like he does in the game, and so did Glados. It was funny, smart, and written with a lot of description. I didn't see many errors. I honestly can't give any tips for improvement. Great job!kiwipixel77, on Chapter 1, 2011
This is one of those books I would have devoured in a three-hour sitting if it had been a finished paperback or something. Unfortunately it is a series of weekly installments, which means that my experience is divided into 20-minute periods of euphoria followed by days of cliff-hanging. Basically what I mean to say is good solid job of writing here. Just very good, generally.The Guy, on Chapter 1, 2011
So I thought after sleeping on it and rereading the chapter I would be able to form a more coherent response, but maybe not.

Just... go Wheatley! He is so awesome here, taking charge but not in a bad way... finally doing what he was supposed to do, forcing GLaDOS to have terrible ideas. Brilliant stroke of writing, there, turning his greatest weakness into a strength. I was inwardly cheering throughout, especially when he gave GLaDOS a talking-to. All things considered, he has a right to be annoyed with her. "You called me a tumour, well, Miss-High-And-Mighty, thanks to you, I'm worse than that. I'm the world's most perfect generator of terrible ideas and I've got your number." :D

And then the last bit, the moment when Chell realizes something is terribly wrong and we get a glimpse of the charred lightbee swaying in the breeze... gah. D: D: D: He wants her to leave without him. It's the most selfless thing he's ever done, and it's heartbreaking. He won't even let her TRY to come back for him. ::sobs::

I can see dozens of ways for this to end, some good, some bittersweet, and some downright depressing. I know which one I'd prefer, but I have absolutely no idea which direction you are going to go in. My apprehension level for Monday has hit the roof.

Anyway, have a song: watch?vK6sMuNuBlQo Here's to hoping Wheatley makes it through.Anonymous-cat, on Chapter 14, 2012
I read this fic twice over the weekend. I *never* reread stuff, because I feel like after I've read it thoroughly once I've gotten most of the good stuff out of it and rereading it would bring diminishing returns. Not so with this fic. Not by a long shot.

When I reacquainted myself with Portal 2 the game a couple months back, it really struck me how *different* Wheatley was from the other cores Chell has interacted with throughout Portal-how much more personality he had, how much more *human* he seemed. With this, a backstory began forming itself in my mind, one in which Wheatley came about in much the same way GLaDOS did, one in which his old body was still squirreled away in an employee cryochamber somewhere, ready for use...

What I am trying to say is that your fic read my mind :) I realize this story has been finished for over a year by this point, but I think it still counts :P This fic contained everything I had ever wanted for Wheatley's backstory, realized more fully and beautifully than I could have ever dreamed of doing...as well as a few things I didn't know I wanted beforehand :)

I've never read Portal fanfic before, admittedly because I was not interested in the slightest in the hackneyed ways people paired up Chell and literally any other character they could find, including a spherical robot who, while lovable in an annoy-the-pants-off-you kind of way, did become uncomfortably murderous and then a lunar satellite. Not exactly prime boyfriend material there...without an absolutely killer redemption and character-development plotline, which you succeeded at tremendously.

Part of the reason I needed to reread the fic was to trace again the gradual, natural, and completely sensible way Wheatley grows throughout the story, from a deeply-flawed, cowardly, selfish, and *guilty* individual into someone who is capable of bravery in the face of probable death, who is aware of his flaws and works to overcome them, and who is a powerful source of good in others' lives-particularly Chell's. I generally abhor shipping, but I unashamedly cheered for Chell and Wheatley at the end of this fic...and then fervently wished there were more chapters ahead. I'm cool with them living happily ever after too, though :)

I've been going on and on and could continue to do so for a while yet, but I'll spare you the continued gushing :) To sum up: Thank you. There is so very much right with this fic, with its perfectly-realized characters, beautiful narration, gradual and sweet romance, and compelling plot in which absolutely everything is supported by prior threads. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And I'll certainly be back to read it again :DDaftProdigy, on Chapter 15, 2013
This is my review of the entire book... it's too short first of all. But it's extremely well made this fan fiction was the best idea ever even better than explosive lemons...you're take on Chell was interesting and your wheatly theory was extremely well thought out. But another downside is that what about the OTHER cores such as space core (or Kevin) or the signing turrets I think you should right ANOTHER fan fiction about that. My overall review is that your fan fiction changed my perspective of other people... anyways blue sky a portal2 fan fiction was the best book ever. (That I have actually read)Leon, on Chapter 15, 2016
The only Portal 3 I will ever fuckin accept.

Waffle, you... You are a fucking genius, dude. Holy fuck. That was a fucking rollar coaster. Are you kidding me? My God... It felt like I was right back in the world of portal, even the crazy stuff about Blue Sky are brilliantly melded into the story that it doesn't matter if someone had a plot synopsis, They have no idea what kind of Song of Ice and Fire levels of writing can do to similar concepts you can find in other fanfics.

5 stars 10/10 100/100 you pass A This was fantastic. You took every trope that was shamefully put into lesser fanfics and with your amazing writing you managed to pull it off.ScottBruckner, on Chapter 15, 2020

Fanworks

Visual

Fanfiction

Videos

Music

Meta and Further Reading

Links and Resources

References

  1. ^ Blue Sky: the web comic, Tumblr. (Accessed 6/20/2020)
  2. ^ ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-look-what-came-in-the-mail, Tumblr. 2018 (Accessed 6/20/2020)
  3. ^ Its Been Years Since I First Read this Amazing..., Tumblr. Sept 16, 2019 (Accessed 6/20/2020)
  4. ^ He capitalized it, Tumblr. Apr 3, 2018 (Accessed 6/20/2020)
  5. ^ SO! How much would we need to fork over to get a Blue Sky production going? Tumblr. 2017 (Accessed 6/23/2020)
  6. ^ Portal 2 - Blue Sky|Oracle Turret Scene
  7. ^ Blue Sky- The Podfic, Podbay. Apr 5, 2014 (Accessed 6/20/2020)
  8. ^ Human Wheatley, Portal Fanon Wiki. (Accessed 6/28/2020)