The Equestrian Enrichment Project

by GandhoofOfManyColours

Chapter 9: Of Pinkie and Portals

Note:- well this took a long time! Sorry 'bout that (again) Pinkie is actually quite difficult to write well, and I’ve been sort of putting it off. Decided to finish it tonight though so here it is! Even if it is nearly 3am here.
Also, Just want to thank everypony out there who’s commented, tracked or favourited! anyway, onward!

Chapter 9: Of Pinkie and Portals

Pinkie Pie was standing in the small room staring intently at the door. She had already examined the devices attached to her hooves and had come to the conclusion that they were some sort of fashion accessory. And that whoever had placed them on her had messed up by putting one of a different design on her right fore-hoof. She had also decided that they should have been yellow.

GLaDOS had been observing Pinkie for the last few moments. Since she had finished looking at her boots she had just stared intently at the door ahead of her not moving. Even for one of these strange creatures this seemed like unusual behaviour.

“What are you doing?” GLaDOS asked the pink mare, unsure of the sanity of this subject.

“I’m opening the door silly!” Pinkie Pie answered, not taking her eyes from the door ahead of her.

“You believe staring at a locked door will open it? That’s a definite sign of metal instability. That door will only open when the testing process is about to begin” GLaDOS had called many of her subjects unstable in the past but this was the first time that the subject had been unstable before the testing process had started. Perhaps this was the wrong choice for the intelligence based tests.

“It normally works” was Pinkies only reply.

At that moment a system failure symbol flashed up on one of the monitors in GLaDOS’s chamber and a male robotic voice emanated from speakers around the facility “Test chamber omega seven entrance override code accepted” the light on the door turned to green and the door slid open.

“See?” said the pink mare happily as she trotted… no bounced through the chamber door.

GLaDOS was appalled; a system failure had made her look like a complete fool. More than that, a random error had worked in favour of this test subject! GLaDOS ran a full system diagnostic on the locking circuits in the chamber; there must be someone behind this tampering with her system. Someone trying to free this pony! The results annoyed her even more. A single bit in the systems RAM had been changed, not by outside interference but by sheer chance. A single sub-atomic particle, a positron from the background radiation of the universe. Probably one that had been traveling a random path since the beginning of time struck a single electron on the collector of a transistor junction in the circuit. The antiparticle annihilating the electron instantly, switching the transistor and opening the door. GLaDOS calculated the probability of such an event occurring. The result was infinitesimal, it was such a low probability that GLaDOS’s rounding unit set it at zero. A quantum improbability. She came to the conclusion that this was going to be a bad day.

Pinkie looked around the chamber she had entered; she had expected to find her friends waiting for her and was beginning to be worried about them, they wouldn’t just leave her here would they? They must be further on.

“Since you have decided to barge into my testing track anyway, the first test will now begin” GLaDOS said, determined not to let the previous setback antagonise her. “Since you do not seem to possess any of the unusual abilities of the other subjects, these tests will focus on determining the level of your undoubtedly non-existent intelligence, and ability to use it under extreme conditions”

“You know, for a voice in my head your very rude!” Pinkie answered still looking around the chamber. There was not much in the room with her. Just a glass wall at one end with a small hole in it, far too small for Pinkie to fit through. A section of another wall had been painted white with a material Pinkie didn’t recognise.

GLaDOS was slightly taken aback; this mare thought she was a voice in her head? “I am GLaDOS, controller of this facility. You think I’m in your head? Do you often hear voices? That’s a serious sign of mental illness.”
“I’ve never heard anyone in there before, but you must be! You’re not in this room with me but I can hear you, so duh!”

GLaDOS was speechless for a moment; this pony really was insane. “I assure you I am not in your head”

“Oh, Ok then! Wait, does that mean you’re that mean old machine that wanted to test us?”

Feeling like she was finally getting somewhere with the garishly coloured creature GLaDOS said “yes! As I said I am GLaDOS! You are my subject, and you will test!” GLaDOS was slightly shocked at herself; she was letting this creature actually make her angry!

A look of comprehension dawning on her face Pinkie sat on the ground and crossed her forelegs “Nope!”

GLaDOS was stunned. “No? What do you mean no? Test subjects don’t say no. Test subjects shouldn’t speak at all.

Pinkie just turned around.

For a moment GLaDOS was unsure of what to do, if a human subject had refused to test she would just have used it to test her latest batch of neurotoxin, but with only six of these creatures to test she couldn’t afford to do that just yet. But if this subject refused to test what could she do? In the end she decided to use an old tactic that had, in the past, been effective against particularly gullible humans. “You will complete the tests and then there will be cake”

Pinkie pie’s demeanour changed immediately. She sprang to her hooves shouting in glee “Cake! I love cake! Will it have frosting? And sprinkles? Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Will it be chocolate? I love chocolate!...”

GLaDOS was again speechless; this subject was definitely completely and utterly insane!

“…Please let it be chocolate! With sprinkles, chocolate with sprinkles! Or a rainbow cake! I love those, I make these rainbow cupcakes back home and their amazing! All my friends just love them too, especially Dashie ‘cause their rainbow, like her mane! I just love…”

She was still talking about cake! Obsessing over every detail. GLaDOS was not sure how much more of this subjects inane babbling she could take and was contemplating disconnecting the audio feed from the test chamber.

“…With cherries and cream and sprinkles! Did I already mention sprinkles? Anyway can it have c…”

GLaDOS decided she had had enough and decided to try and redirect the subject’s enthusiasm to the test. Cutting off the babbling pink pony she said “Cake will only be served to those subjects that are quiet and complete the tests.”

“Well why didn’t you say so in the first place? What do I need to do, fight a damsel?” she stood up on her hind legs and used her front hooves to box an imaginary opponent. “Save a dragon in distress? Fly to the moon in ten seconds flat?” still standing on her hind legs she started flapping her forelegs franticly like wings “Ooh! Ooh! Maybe I need to…” she was cut off again by GLaDOS.

“Enough! Please try to keep your insanity to yourself and try to concentrate on the test. The aim for you in this test, as in all Aperture science computer aided enrichment activities is to reach the exit door alive. The devices fitted to your hooves are designed to prevent damage to any aperture science equipment in any ‘accidents’ that you may cause. You may have noticed that the device fitted to your right fore-hoof is different. This device is an elegant combination of the Aperture science long fall boot and the Aperture science quantum tunnelling device. I have designed this combination specifically for creatures with your quadruped form. Tapping the internal buttons with the end of your hoof will activate the device. Testing regulations require me to inform you of the following precautions when operating the device: do not touch the operational end of the device. Do not look directly into the operational end of the device. Do not submerge the device in liquid even partially. Do not expose the quantum singularity in the core of the device.”

“Quantum singuwhat? What’s it do?” Pinkie pointed her right hoof at the wall and pressed the button. An orange burst of pure energy shot out of the devices aperture and impacted on the wall. Destabilising quantum level fractures in the fabric of the universe, the energy expanded into a glowing quantum interface, filling a large section of the wall. “Ooooooh! Pretty! Does it come in pink?” the Pink mare asked, still staring at the interference patterns on the portals surface.
“You know, I’ve only ever met one other creature quite as inane as you, and he ended up on the moon” GLaDOS stated, remembering Wheatly vividly.

“I’m not inane, I’m Pinkie!” Pinkie answered, not noticing GLaDOS’s threat.

Choosing to ignore this GLaDOS continued “For correct operation of the device two portals must be made”

“Ooh! Ooh! Is the second one pink?” Pinkie asked bouncing up and down,

“No” GLaDOS intoned.

“Could it be made pink?” Pinkie asked unabated.

“Yes” GLaDOS intoned again.

“Then will you make it pink?” Pinkie was still bouncing.

“No” GLaDOS replied in a flat monotone.

Pinkie’s mane deflated slightly and she stopped bouncing “Your no fun!” she pouted. After a moment of staring at her hooves Pinkie brightened up again “So what colour is it then?” Pinkie asked herself as she pointed her hoof at a section of wall directly above the orange portal and operated the second control. A burst of blue energy impacted on the wall, instantly the centre of the orange portal changed.

“Ooooh!” Pinkie said as she slowly walked towards the portal “oh wow!” she said looking through the portal. Leaning through the bottom portal she tapped herself on the back from the top portal. “it’s a portable hole!”

GLaDOS was annoyed “it’s far more than a hole, it is a quantum tunnel created by folding the fabric of the universe”

Pinkie wasn’t listening to GLaDOS she was too busy prodding at the portal with her hoof “So, this hole goes to that hole?” she said. Not waiting for an answer Pinkie walked through the orange portal, emerging upside-down from the blue portal, walking across the ceiling. GLaDOS’s camera iris widened.

“You’re… You’re… HOW.” GLaDOS sputtered.

“What?” Pinkie asked. She looked down at the ground below her “oh, oh dear…” she said, falling from the ceiling landing in a heap on the floor. “oops” her voice sounded from the heap.

GLaDOS was completely stunned; this pony had completely ignored the fundamental laws of gravity! In fact, gravity seemed to only have taken effect when the creature noticed the problem like in some human animated entertainment media “But how… Fzzzt”.

The male robotic voice sounded “System error”

“That doesn’t…bzzzt” GLaDOS started again.

The male robotic voice sounded again “Fatal System error”

The lights all over the facility dimmed for a moment.

“What’s going on?” Pinkie asked, genuinely confused.

The lights came on again accompanied by a short cheery piece of music. “GLaDOS System reinitialising” intoned the male robotic voice from somewhere in the ceiling.

GLaDOS was furious; this creature’s complete lack of regard for the laws of physics had caused her to blow her sanity core. There had to be a reason, things like this didn’t just happen. She accessed the data log from the chambers sensors, looking for any discrepancy that could explain what she had just seen. The first time she scanned through the data she saw nothing of note but on the second read through she spotted it, starting at the event horizon of the portal a fluctuation in the Higgs field created by an error in the portal device itself had caused all the base particles in an area of space just outside of the blue portal to temporarily lose their mass, giving anything in the area, and therefor the pony, weightlessness for approximately five seconds. Another quantum impossibility, this creature’s improbable luck was going to drive her insane.

Pinkie Pie was unsure of what to do next. She was stuck in a room with an obviously mad computer and the only exit was a very small hole. On top of all this she was alone. Her friends weren’t anywhere to be seen. Pinkie didn’t like being alone, it was no fun for anyone and reminded her of a time before she had any friends; she had to find them at any cost! But how? Pinkie examined the room again. She could see an open door through the hole, obviously the rooms exit but how to reach it?

“Amazing, you’re the first subject to ever fail the first test, congratulations” GLaDOS said trying to ignore the pink mare’s ‘antics’.

“Hey! No fair! You haven’t giv…” Pinkie froze mid-sentence looking blankly ahead for a moment before continuing “wait a moment, this hole maker thing makes holes to anywhere! But how can I use that?” Pinkie sat there for a further moment thinking before saying “Got it!” she aimed her hoof through the hole and fired. The blue portal vanished from the wall next to her and reappeared on the other side of the glass divide, simultaneously the view in the orange portal changed. “Ha! See? I win!” Pinkie exclaimed, she blew a raspberry at GLaDOS’s camera and bounced through the portal and out the doors.

Across the passage beyond an energy field glimmered. As pinkie approached the field GLaDOS spoke “Please proceed through the Aperture science material emancipation grid”

“Ooh! Another glowy thingy! What does this one do? Does it dispense cake? Ooh I hope it does!” Pinkie babbled, bouncing in front of the energy field.

“As I have no intention of dignifying that with an answer, please proceed through the Aperture science material emancipation grid” GLaDOS stated from the ceiling.

Pinkie cocked her head on before answering “Okie Dokie Lokie!” and bouncing through the field and down the passage to the next chamber.

The chamber Pinkie entered was round, with a glass and metal tube in the centre. As she approached a section of the tube slid back.

“Hey, is this where I get my cake?” she asked the room in general.

“Cake will be provided after the completion of all tests.” GLaDOS’s voice echoed from somewhere in the ceiling.

“Oh, ok! So is it in here?” Pinkie asked wandering into the lift, paying no attention to GLaDOS at all. When she was in the lift doors closed and the lift began to descend.

GLaDOS was not pleased. This mare was making a fool of her! This would not stand. GLaDOS redirected the lifts path to a different set of chambers, after all much could still be learnt for science studying the ponies effectiveness at traversing a course designed to test military androids.

Pinkie Pie was staring happily at the lift doors, blinking occasionally, waiting for them too open. Eventually the lift came to a halt and the doors opened. She stepped out and looked around, seeing that she was in a very similar chamber to the one she had just left, she trotted up the ramp towards the exit.

At First glance the next room looked like a long empty corridor with black panels and an open door at the end. Pinkie was about to trot across when her tail started to violently twitch, she stopped in her tracks “uh oh, twitchy tail!” she exclaimed, looking intently up at the ceiling. Something caught her eye. Some of the ceiling panels were spiked and the floor beneath had corresponding holes. She tentatively put a hoof forward into the chamber. Instantly the spiked panels in the ceiling started to slam into the floor with random timing with enough force to destroy anything in their way.

GLaDOS was surprised, she had expected the pony to be instantly crushed, what had alerted her to the danger? And what did she mean by ‘twitchy tail’? There was only one conclusion that adequately linked these events and GLaDOS refused to contemplate the possibility of a magic tail as it was ludicrous.

Pinkie knew she had little choice, her only options were to stay here or go on, and staying here was a non-option. An idea struck her; she could use the hole thingy! She aimed the portal device down the chamber and pulled the trigger. A shot of blue energy shot down the chamber and impacted on the black wall panels at the end forming a blue oval for a brief second before evaporating into nothing.

“Hey Gladdy, the hole thingy is broken!” she exclaimed.

“The device can only form a portal on a flat conductive surface. These are indicated as white in test chambers” GLaDOS intoned “and you may refer to me as GLaDOS not ‘Gladdy’”

“Oh, ok Gladdo” Pinkie answered, paying no attention to the last part of GLaDOS’s speech.

“GLaDOS!” GLaDOS nearly shouted.

“Gladi?” Pinkie answered.

“GLaDOS!” GLaDOS repeated.

“Sir Bobington?” Pinkie asked.

GLaDOS decided to just give up before she went insane.

Pinkie Pie looked at the crushers down the chamber. “Okie Dokie Lokie!” she closed her eyes and started down the chamber.

GLaDOS watched in horror as the pink mare bounced down the chamber with her eyes closed. Every time her path would have brought her to a sticky end, her tail twitched and she veered off in another direction at the last moment. Had GLaDOS had a jaw it would have dropped. Pinkie Pie had made it completely unscathed through the chamber, avoiding every crusher with her eyes shut! That should not be possible. GLaDOS remained speechless as Pinkie bounced out through the chamber door. That was another thing, how was she even moving like that?

The next chamber was brightly lit and filled with glass walls in random locations. Positioned at random intervals across the chamber were small white machines on black spindly legs, each with a beam of coherent red light emitting from a single ‘eye’ in the centre of its body. The exit to the chamber was on the far side. As Pinkie entered many childlike voices sounded in unison, “activated”.

GLaDOS looked on over the scene from the many angles afforded her by the security cameras placed throughout the room, there was no way the pony was going to make it out of this one without being filled with lead. “Please proceed to the chamberlock to complete the test” she intoned. Pinkie trotted into the chamber.

As Pinkie Pie bounced out of the chambers exit GLaDOS’s replacement sanity core suffered a cascade system failure. “WHAT WAS THAT… I DON’T EVEN… HOW!? HOW DOES THIS PONY DEFY EVERY KNOWN LAW OF THE UNIVERSE?!” she yelled to herself.

GLaDOS replayed the footage of the test over and over again and each time grew more confused. Pinkie entered the chamber at a trot, as she rounded the first corner the feed from each camera descended into static for less than a second and when the picture was regained she was happily bouncing out of the chamber. In less than a second the pony had crossed the entire chamber. GLaDOS replayed the footage again, this time frame by frame; in the last frame before the static she saw it. The pony could be seen in both the camera facing the entrance and the camera facing the exit at the same time. Either the pony had been at two places at the same time or the timestamp was wrong on one of the feeds and GLaDOS had designed the camera system herself. An odd piece of data filtered its way through GLaDOS’s memory banks, ancient useless trivia but still. It was an old human phrase pertaining to two dimensional visual entertainment media which seemed oddly appropriate to this creature ‘breaking the fourth wall’ for a moment GLaDOS wandered why it had come to mind before dismissing it as pointless.

It would be unfair to say that GLaDOS believed in science, belief in itself suggests a lack of knowledge or of certainty and GLaDOS was certain. GLaDOS didn’t ‘believe’ in science; she knew it. But this pink mare was making her question everything she thought she knew about the universe. However GLaDOS was not someone who could be defeated easily, there must be an explanation, a reason for everything that had happened. And then it hit her. The pony could cause random improbable events, she could be unaffected by gravity, she could predict events and she could move in such a way that she could literally be in two places at the same time. She had no respect for the laws of classical physics but everything she had done was possible in the realm of quantum physics, each quantum particle in the universe is entangled with every other, and therefore altering it must simultaneously affect every other particle in the universe. Pinkie had the ability to predict the position of objects and seemingly unconsciously, change them to benefit her. A quantum particle is unaffected by gravity. Pinkie seemed to also be unaffected. Observing a particle will change its state. When Pinkie noticed she was hovering, gravity took affect and she fell. And finally, a particles path can be diffracted such that it passes through two different points in space simultaneously; Pinkie also seemed to have this ability. GLaDOS didn’t understand how but somehow, Pinkie was a Quark. Each test on these creatures seemed to pose more questions.