Aperture Desk Job storyline
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This article describes the Aperture Desk Job storyline, chapter by chapter.
The player embarks on a long elevator ride through Aperture Science's gigantic underground facility while being verbally welcomed to their new job by Cave Johnson, Aperture's CEO. In his pre-recorded address, Johnson expresses his admiration to the player's "exceptional" abilities. After arriving at their post as a Product Inspector, the player is introduced to Grady, a Personality Construct who overlooks their work. Grady realizes that the wrong recording has been played, and he hastily changes it to a much harsher one, with Cave Johnson threatening to fire the player. Grady also gives a briefing about the player's job and introduces them to their desk.
The protagonist begins their job at the Aperture Laboratories Testing and Calibration Department, testing the efficiency of toilets and checking for defective products. The player needs to fill a toilet's tank with water, apply pressure to the seat ring, test the bidet function, and finally flush it, before moving on to the next one. After testing a few perfectly functional toilets, a smoking one came down the line. Grady suggests that the player should ignore the smoke and continue with the normal procedure, but the bidet stops working. Just as Grady leans over to inspect it, the bidet suddenly blows up, knocking Grady into the toilet. In an effort to get him out, the player activates the malfunctioning bidet again, sending Grady flying and breaking an overhead ammunition transport tube, which in turn poured bullets into the toilet tank. Miraculously, the toilet fired the bullets into the ceiling like a machine gun, and this curious phenomenon inspired Grady.
Six months after the accident, Grady's experiments with the toilet materialized in the form of a toilet-turret equipped with two machine guns. Besides this basic version, Grady also made another "Mark II XL" turret, which has greatly enhanced firepower but much less structural integrity. Grady instructs the player to man the Mark II turret and open fire at an enormous warehouse room, eventually destroying it. After the player's actions triggered an alarm, Grady quickly shirked responsibilities by claiming that he needs to fix the turret, leaving the player alone to be arrested by police.
For destroying the warehouse, the player is imprisoned in the "Maximum Security Correctional Facility" of an "Aperture Incarceration" jail for eighteen months. Grady reappears and reveals his status as the player's parole officer, having studied for a probation agent license through the mail during the player's time in jail. The player is then released on supervised leave.
The player becomes re-acquainted with the streamlined "Mark III" Toilet Turrets and, at the guidance of Grady, begins shooting at various Housewares Research Department appliances traveling on a conveyor belt. After deeming the turret as a success, Grady claims that he has arranged a meeting with CEO Cave Johnson himself to demonstrate the capabilities of their new invention.
Grady and the player ride on an elevator up to the office of Cave Johnson to showcase the "toilet turret" invention. On their way, the Housewares Research Department overrode the controls of the elevator and sent out hordes of "appliance turrets" to attack the duo. In order to escape from the ambush of the appliances, the player fires the built-in rockets on the desk, sending them straight to the top floor.
Cave Johnson's Office
Entering the office, Grady and the protagonist discover that Cave Johnson's consciousness has been transferred into a large computer encased in an enormous replica model of his head. This AI Cave Johnson explains to the two that four years ago, when he was getting fatally sick, he wanted to transplant his consciousness into a computer brain. His engineer team could not encompass all his personality into a normal head-sized computer, so they could only make such a big head that crushed the robotic body beneath it. Now, he only wants to be freed from suffering. Johnson is impressed with the Toilet turrets, and he instructs the player and Grady to use one to kill him. They succeed in breaking the head's outer clay shell, but the bullets prove ineffective to destroy its inner metal hull. Instead, they opt to unplug Johnson from his power source. This fails too as the facility's backup power supply immediately initiates and keeps Johnson alive. Angered, Johnson declares that the two are fired, and he demands to confiscate their key cards. However, the office floor suddenly caves in, and the head falls straight down to the bottom of the facility.
Back To Work
The protagonist resumes his job as a product inspector for Aperture Science, now sporting new identities along with Grady. The game concludes with the credits rolling over a shot of Cave's head resting in a room full of toilet turrets and delivering a musical Requiem.
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