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 2011 novel-length fanfic by Wafflestories, based on the Portal video game (2007). The story is divided into 15 chapters, each of considerable length, and includes a wide cast of original characters. While there are hints of romance and a sub-plot involving Wheatley/Chell (Chelley), the bulk of the work revolves around an original plot and character backstory.

Blue Sky was posted to fanfiction.net between 2011 and 2012. As of May 2022, it had 1,200+ reviews, 3,700 favorites, and 1,200+ follows. It was also posted on Wafflestories's Livejournal.[1]

The story is well-known in Portal fandom, and has inspired numerous accounts of visual fanart and spin-off fanfiction.

Waffle wrote a handful of other stories in the Blue Sky universe though most aren't on their FFN. A list can be found on the Tumblr titled imreallyhereforportal.[2]

Plot Summary

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…
Description of Blue Sky on Fanfiction.net

Blue Sky is set four years after the end of Portal 2. Wheatley falls back to Earth and is rescued from GLaDOS by Chell. During the rescue mission Wheatley's consciousness is transferred into a small cigar-shaped device which projects a hard light hologram of a human man's body, which Wheatley can now control and feel through.

Chell takes Wheatley to a nearby human town where she'd been living for some time, called Eaden. Wheatley begins having dreams of a human man who looks like his hard light hologram and a woman who looks like Chell. Wheatley meets the original character Garret Rickey and his communication tower Foxglove. He continues to have dreams about the strange man and woman in a way that implies he was the man and that these are memories. Back at Aperture GLaDOS is testing with robots.

Chell tries to help Wheatley fit in but it doesn't go well. 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 now remembers her past life as well. 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 feel worse. Garret gets him drunk on a virus after realizing he is a robot and requests his help with Foxglove.

Wheatley gets Foxglove working, expanding their radio network and causing GLaDOS to spot the signal. She sends her testing bots, Orange (P-Body) and Blue (Atlas), to go capture them. While Wheatley and Chell are away the two robots arrive and steal everyone away to Aperture before Chell can help.

Chell leaves Wheatley behind to go rescue them after Wheatley says selfish things and doesn't want to go. 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 Aperture's mainframe, from there he can command GLaDOS around. He uses this to free the humans and put GLaDOS to sleep. The humans escape but Wheatley loses signal and appears dead.

Chell goes back into the facility to look for him. Wheatley's code meets Caroline's code. 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 made a Blue Sky themed quilt. Archive of Our Own also has a "Blue Sky (Portal)" tag, though Blue Sky is not on AO3. 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.[3]

Some fans of Blue Sky have had the fanfiction printed as a hard back or paper back book.[4][5]

There is a reference to Blue Sky in the Geekender's Portal, the (Unauthorized) Musical.[6] At one time the Geekenders were 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.[7]

Harry101UK, a popular Portal YouTuber who continues to make Portal videos in 2020, voiced a handful of scenes from Blue Sky.[8] Fans often use these to make animatics and animations. Though there isn't a full podfic version of Blue Sky, the one that exists has Harry101UK voicing Wheatley.[9]

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. This humanization design 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.[10] 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 a collaborative art work from Aug 1, 2011, two months before Blue Sky.[11] 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 one of the most popular 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, Oct 3, 2011[12]
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 :D
DaftProdigy, 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. ^ wafflestories, Livejournal. (Accessed 8/3/2021) (Archived 8/4/2021)
  2. ^ Allow me to remind all Blue Sky fans, Tumblr. Jun 14, 2019. (Accessed 8/3/2021) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  3. ^ Blue Sky: the web comic, Tumblr. (Accessed 6/20/2020) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  4. ^ ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-look-what-came-in-the-mail, Tumblr. 2018 (Accessed 6/20/2020) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  5. ^ Its Been Years Since I First Read this Amazing..., Tumblr. Sept 16, 2019 (Accessed 6/20/2020) (Deadlink)
  6. ^ He capitalized it, Tumblr. Apr 3, 2018 (Accessed 6/20/2020) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  7. ^ SO! How much would we need to fork over to get a Blue Sky production going? Tumblr. 2017 (Accessed 6/23/2020) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  8. ^ Portal 2 - Blue Sky|Oracle Turret Scene, YouTube. Jan 23, 2012 (Archived 7/27/2021)
  9. ^ Blue Sky- The Podfic, Podbay. Apr 5, 2014 (Accessed 6/20/2020) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  10. ^ Human Wheatley, Portal Fanon Wiki. (Accessed 6/28/2020) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  11. ^ Wheatley collab, Aug 1, 2011 (Accessed 8/3/2021) (Archived 8/3/2021)
  12. ^ kiwipixel77 comment, Fanfiction.net. Oct 3, 2011 (Accessed 8/3/2021) (Archived 8/3/2021)