Doing Science

by dashie76

Chapter 19

Twilight stepped up to the boxlike structure, holding the voice recorder with her magic. She walked around the house a few times, her eyes tracing every inch of it. As she swept her hoof across the door, she spoke into the machine.

"This document is intended to record the proceedings of operation Delta 64.2, the retrieval of Rainbow D. Dash from the facilities of Aperture Science Laboratories. This is Princess Twilight Sparkle speaking. I will be leading the following operation and be accompanied by the four remaining current Element Bearers."

Twilight clipped the device onto her saddlebags. "And now that the formalities are out of the way..."

She yanked the door open, revealing a dark, cramped interior. She trotted in without a moment's hesitation and turned back to glance at her friends. "Come on, let's go."

They trotted in warily, their eyes searching the unassuming box for anything hinting at the enormous complex that they knew lay below them. Twilight simply reached up into the darkness of the ceiling. "Hold on, I think it's...ah, here we go."

Her hoof wrapped around a minuscule lever, pulling it to the side. The floor suddenly heaved downwards, eliciting a collective gasp from her friends. After a moment, they continued their descent at a slower pace. The floor descended downwards until it rested between four walls, contrasting the dirt floor with shiny, metallic colors. Another such wall slid neatly into place above them, forming a ceiling, and a few moments later, a single fluorescent lightbulb popped out, flickered for a moment, and lit up.

Twilight let out a breath, rubbing her forehead. "Alright, everything's gone according to plan so far...Pinkie?"

"Y-yeah, Twi'?"

"...we've stopped moving now, so let go of me."

Pinkie obliged and sheepishly slinked back to the ground. "S-sorry about that..."

"Don't worry about it. Just don't get too clingy." She put an ear to a wall and rapped it with her hoof. "Anyways, we're in the main elevator right now. Our goal is to get to Dash as soon as possible, but at this point, she's almost certainly aware of our presence and had probably already placed defenses, anticipating our arrival. Theoretically, we could take this elevator directly to her..."

She leaned back and firmly tapped the wall in several places. A section of the wall slid open and a small panel slid out, covered with a number of square-shaped buttons. It resembled a small sort of pocket calculator. She pressed a few keys and pushed the panel back into the wall. The opening slid shut, and after a slight lurch, the ponies felt the room descend. Twilight motioned for her friends to huddle together in a group.

"...but there's no way that'll turn out well. We need to get a sense of how strong Dash is before we reach her, and we also need to retrieve a certain item before we confront her. Thus, we need this elevator to take us to a section of Aperture that's near Dash, but not so near that it puts us in danger, and that's also closeby to the item. Keeping that in mind, I've broken our plan down into three phases: During Phase One, we find a reliable way to conceal ourselves as we move throughout facilities. During Phase Two, we retrieve the item from wherever Dash has hidden it. Finally, we need to reach Rainbow Dash's location her for Phase Three. Once that happens, all of Aperture's systems will go dark, so ideally the six of us can leave with no resistance following Phase Three."

Twilight sighed and paused for a moment before continuing.

" more thing. Now that we're here, we're really on our own. There isn't anyone behind us, there's no Princess, no royal guard, and nowhere that we'll be absolutely safe from harm. We're on our way to save one of our friends, but...I-I don't know what I would do if we had to rescue another one. So please, everypony...whatever happens...stay safe. Come out of this alive so that we can all go home together. Alright?"

One by one, the ponies around her nodded, steeling their nerves. They smiled slightly, and Twilight took comfort in the fact that, despite her descent into potential demise, they would be with her every step of the way. She felt a wave of confidence wash over her and turned towards the door of the elevator, ready to receive any blow that Aperture would throw at her.

The door slid open silently, revealing the first of many challenges she would face.


Who are you?

Her eyes widened.