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One unpleasantly rainy day, Lora Jett had received an anonymous phone call. The female, almost automated-sounding voice had asked Ms. Jett to investigate a place called Aperture Laboratories.

Panel 1-2

The red-suited elastic heroine pulled into a seemingly abandoned parking lot in a rented sedan and entered the facility through a small door.

Panel 3-5

Soon Lora's investigation led her to a cylindrical room about 9 feet in diameter, lined with monitors on its walls and a glass tube in the center. What struck her suspicious was the bluish-green field covering the room's only entrance. She tried placing her hand into it, but nothing happened.

As soon as Ms. Jett entered the room, the screens turned on showing promotional videos of sorts and a male computerized voice came on through a loudspeaker.

Panel 6-7

"Hello, and welcome to the Aperture Science Enrichment center. If you are a non-employee who has discovered this facility among the ruins of civilization, remember: Testing is the future, and the future starts with you!"

Trying to speak, Lora found herself at a loss of words to respond to that message. At the same time, the glass tube brought something into the chamber and opened it to her. It was an elevator. So, with no other options, she stepped inside and watched as the lift descended about 3 stories underground.

Panel 8-10

The lift came to a halt in a chamber much like the last one, and a large round door with a stick figure design welded into it opened with a click and hiss of pressurized air. Curious, Lora quietly climbed the set of stairs that led to the door, and to her surprise, the room she entered looked totally bare, like an unused cleanroom.

But nothing prepared her for what happened next. A robotic claw dropped down from a panel in the ceiling and grabbed the elastic girl by the neck. She tried melting her feet to stick herself to the floor, but the claw only yanked harder. Then a strange female computer voice not unlike the one on the phone began speaking,

"It's no use in struggling. You're just what I need for the next test!"

Suddenly the floor slid open as well, and the pincer released Ms. Jett to fall down into the gap it left.
Panel 11-15

She landed on what felt like a conveyor belt, and the voice spoke again.

"You know, I gave it some thought that you'd make a great testing subject for my 100,000 test chambers, but seeing that you have abilities that no regular human does, I scrapped that idea and went with a much more interesting one. After all, heroes don't make good test subjects. They're too good for science."

"What's that new idea of yours?" Lora asked in a rather timid voice.

"Oh, you'll see soon enough. *chuckle*"

A small hatch opened in front of the conveyor, leading into a room filled with hellish red light. And at that very moment robot arms started performing some sort of manufacturing process on Lora.

To start, 4 mechanical pincers grabbed Ms. Jett by the ankles and wrists, and stretched out her body till it was about 0.2 inches thick. Then rollers and metal presses kneaded and shaped Lora's body until it was in the shape of a cube.

Bells and lights flashed for a second, then a second set of rather hot presses seemed to apply a pattern to the elastic girl's body. Finally, more arms tipped the cube over and over to stamp metal plates with pink hearts on them to the center of each face.

Once that process was complete, the conveyor ended underneath a second glass tube, this one empty with a vacuum of air rushing through it. Lora's cuboid body was immediately sucked into this vacuum, and for a little while, she couldn't see anything – if at all, since her vision was restricted to only one side due to having been compressed together into this shape.

Panel 16-17

The tube ended in a shorter one suspended from the ceiling of another room. From what little Ms. Jett could see, she was now stuck several feet off the ground in another white chamber, except this one had a few devices in it, ranging from a glowing red laser to a lift platform on a robot arm and more. The thing that caught her attention, however, was a huge white placard that showed "Test Chamber 07 – 07/22" with several icons indicating hazards.

The voice came on one more time, "There! Now you're a new design of the Aperture Science Weighted Companion Cube!"

"Companion Cube? What are you talking about? And why was I asked to come here in the first place?" Ms. Jett frustratedly retorted.

"I sent that phone call, Lorraine."
A chill rolled through her body. How could a talking computer know Lora's name?

"And just so you can't escape, I dehydrated your body during that shaping process. Therefore, your elastic powers have been rendered inert and hardened. And even if you tried to do anything when the next test subject comes by, I have my cameras set up all around the room. If I were you, I'd stay put and be quiet."

What would Lora be able to do now? Being trapped in an underground laboratory would be bad enough, but being stuck in it as a cube as well?! And judging from what the hazards on the sign said, it was clear enough that she'd have to face a dozen dangerous obstacles while being carried around by someone else!

All she could do was wait in the iris-sealed tube for someone to come by and pick her up, in the hopes that they together would get out.
After seeing this excellent tribute, [link] I had an amazingly humorous idea. I can't shake my Portal 2 geekiness, so I wrote up this non-canon fanfic where Lora Jett (Trinity) was called by an automated voice to investigate Aperture Science, but it turned out that the caller was GLaDOS, who had the brilliant idea to turn Lora into a Companion Cube!
The image on top shows the chest of her costume on one of the cube's sides - even with a little "approval" stamp from me.
This is a layout for a comic, by the way, and I'd enjoy if someone made the real thing - I'm at kind of a loss for images at this point.
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May 31, 2012
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