• Published 25th Apr 2012
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Better Living Through Science and Ponies - Pen Stroke



Not all is well in Equestria when a failing portal gun brings Aperture Science to the land of ponies

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Chapter 9: Aftermath

Better Living Through Science And Ponies
By Pen Stroke
Assisted By Batty Gloom
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Chapter 9
Aftermath
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Dear Princess Celestia

I’m happy to report that the doctor thinks Chell will be making a full recovery. We were all relieved to hear the news. After all, without her we’d all still be trapped in that crazy enrichment center.

Chell still hasn’t explain why everything happened the way it did, why the mountain just disappeared or how she escaped... but then again its been hard for her to hold a pencil in her mouth let alone to write anything that long. I’m going to ask her what happened when she’s feeling better. I know you want to know what happened just as much as I do, and as soon as I know more I’ll be sure to send you an update.

We were all really shaken up by what happened... GLaDOS was able to say a lot of things to a lot of ponies that we didn’t want to hear. It took one of the nurses two hours to assure Rarity that her mane wasn’t going to fall out, even though she knew that GLaDOS was just lying. Fluttershy has also been coming to see me a lot. I’ve been doing my best to make her feel better... but no pony like Fluttershy should ever be called a murderer. Still, I think she just needs hear that from somepony else... and I’ll gladly be the pony to keep saying it.

I guess that’s the best thing about having friends. They’re there for you... always. When somepony is bullying you, saying you’re worthless or pointing out your every flaw, your friends will be there to defend you... to make you feel better... to undo the damage caused by the hurtful remarks.

It will take a while, but I think everypony here in Ponyville will be just fine.

Your Faithful Student
Twilight Sparkle.

With that the unicorn rolled up the scroll, passing it to Spike. The baby dragon went to the window as he always did, and in a puff of fire the note was off.

“There we go. So, Twilight, you want to go... what are you doing?”

Twilight glanced up, having opened up a fresh scroll and magically dipping her feather pen into the ink. “What?”

“Didn’t you just send a letter to Celestia?”

“This isn’t to Celestia...” Twilight replied, “And don’t worry, this one’s going into the normal mail.”

“Okay, if you say so.” Spike replied, shrugging while Twilight turned her attention back to the fresh, blank scroll in front of her.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hey, sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written. Things here in Ponyville have been pretty crazy... but I still feel bad. Though, I think you’ll be happy to know I’m going to try and keep in better touch. Don’t be surprised if you start to get letters from me as regularly as Celestia does...

~~~

“Now I want you to take it easy.” The doctor pony said. “While you’ve healed enough to go home, your ribs still need more time to heal and your leg is going to have to be in a hard body cast for at least three more weeks. I want you to come back here same time next week so that we can change out the cast and make sure everything is healing correctly. Other than that, lots of bed rest and fluids. You understand?”

Chell nodded, wincing a bit as moving her head caused her ribs to shift, which in turned caused a prickle of pain. There was almost more bandages than pony at the moment, Chell having several bandages around her torso, a cast on her leg, and a bandages around her shoulder where she had been shot. Not to mention bandages in a number of other spots where she had gotten scratched and bruised during the fight with GLaDOS.

Still, despite being sore all over, Chell was ready to get out of the hospital. She had been bed ridden for a couple weeks and it sucked. That and Chell had been dreading the doctor bills... especially since she couldn’t work at the post office in her condition. That and the doctor pony who had treated her had come all the way from Canterlot.

Chell forced a smile for the doctor as he continued to give her instructions, even though she was wondering what happened to ponies who couldn’t pay their bills. With a final few checks from the unicorn doctor, Chell was allowed to leave the examination room, limping slowly into the lobby of the clinic. Working behind the desk was Nurse Redheart, the white earth pony with faded pink hair scribbling on some paperwork with her mouth.

“Oh, Chell, Dear, good to see you up and about.” Nurse Redheart offered as the dull orange pony approached the desk. “I just need you to sign this check out form.”

Chell nodded, taking the pencil and scribbling her name on the form presented to her. She had to admit, with all the writing practice she been getting at the hospital she was getting good at the whole “writing with your mouth” thing.

“Very good. Also, I needed to tell you two things. First, about your bills...”

Chell winced; they didn’t waste any time, did they?

“I’m happy to say that all of your bills have been paid in full. Princess Celestia sent a royal envoy here to cover all the expenses.”

Paid... in full... Chell couldn’t keep the smile off her face. Now that was a load off her mind... and a very nice gesture on the behalf of the princess.

“I was also told to give you this package.” Nurse Redheart added, nosing a small brown paper bag toward Chell. The dull earth pony gave the box a quizzical look, which was wrapped in brown paper and tied up with white packaging string. She took it gently in her mouth, heading off to one of the chairs in the clinic’s waiting room.

It took a bit of work to open it, especially for a pony with so many sore injuries, but Chell managed to get it open. Inside she found a note, beside which was a something that looked a bit like a necklace... or maybe even a collar. It was a brown leather strap with a silver latch and a silver bit of decoration on the front. In the center of the silver decoration was a little blue jewel with strange markings on the inside.

Poking at the necklace for a moment Chell turned her attention back to the note.

Dear Chell

I hope this gift finds you well. I wanted to thank you for the service you’ve performed for Equestria. I have little doubt that many ponies would have been taken to and possibly even killed inside the enrichment center. Not only that, but through your efforts you rescued me and my sister, and for that we are grateful.

You have probably already been told that your medical bills have been paid. Consider that a small thank you gift from me. This necklace is actually a gift from my sister, who feels that after everything you’ve done you deserve to be able to, as she put it, “speak your mind”.

When you are feeling better I invite you to come to Canterlot, where I wish to thank you in person and also learn all the details about what exactly happened that day.

Until then, please get well soon.

Best Wishes,
Princess Celestia

Chell turned her attention back to the necklace, leaning forward and touching her nose to it. She was wondering what the heck it was supposed to do.

“I wonder what the heck its supposed to do.”

Chell nearly fell out of her seat. The jewel had just echoed the thoughts in her head, the exact words Chell had wondered to herself had become voiced in a fairly nice, female tone. The dull orange pony, after staring at the gemstone with wide eyes for a few moments, dared to push her nose up against it again.

“Can this thing really... oh my gosh... it can.”

Chell grinned from ear to ear... the jewel, the necklace... it let her think things and then it said them. She... she had a way to talk... it was such a profound thought that Chell just had to sit there and stare at the necklace for a time. It was one of the things that had weighed on Chell’s mind while she had been lying in the hospital bed. She had some many ponies to talk to, so many reasons to speak... she had been worried how annoying it would get to not be able to talk.

But now she could talk... and honestly, the little voice from the gem didn’t sound too bad.

Chell wasted no time in having Nurse Redheart put the jewel on, the necklace/collar fitting snugly at the base of Chell’s neck, one of the few places the dull orange pony didn’t have an injury. Then, she promptly thanked Nurse Redheart with her newly gifted voice, and then turned to leave the clinic while the white medical pony sat behind her desk, mouth hanging open in a mild shock.

~~~

That night, Chell was welcomed back to her home at the post office with a crowded party, planned by Pinkie Pie of course. Fun, cake, and every pony’s jaw dropping when Chell was able to thank them, verbally, for the party.

Still, away from the warm lights and good friends of Ponyville, two figures splashed around in the smooth, pristine surface of Sky Mirror Lake. A pair of robots that had managed to escape the destruction of the Enrichment Center that had once been their home by swimming to the bottom of the lake during the final moments of destruction.

The ponified Atlas and P-body worked together to drag a large hunk of metal out of the lake, which was covered in mud and gunk. The two robots then trotted to one side of the metal mass, poking at different parts of it and scrapping away bits of mud.

It was when Atlas was poking at particular part that the metal object sputtered, several wires shooting out and encompassing Atlas. P-body panicked, trying to help her cooperative testing buddy. She grabbed hold of Atlas’s hoof, pulling with all her might. Still, P-body soon had her own problems as more wires shot out from the mass, entangling her as well.

They both struggled for at time, but eventually the pair were drug down into the muck surrounding the thing they had dragged from the bottom of the lake, their bodies slowly being consumed by very, very tiny machines.

When P-body and Atlas was gone the metal mass shifted, getting to its feet. A tall figure, with very lean build stood in the moonlight, its wings and a unicorn horn clearly visible.

“At the very least, you were useful for something.” GLaDOS said, shaking her equine robotic body once to to clear away the mud and the muck. “The metal you provided allowed the last few nanobots from the facility to repair me... it’s a shame you’re not here to actually hear me say thank you.”

GLaDOS closed her eyes for a moment, recalling how she found herself in that moment. Caroline had been so concerned about getting Chell out, she did not pay attention to what GLaDOS had been doing. Building up a shot from the laser in her robotic chest, GLaDOS broke through the panels that contained her.

The facility was, unfortunately, lost at that point. There was no way to save the Enrichment Center from the minuscule, short lived, but destructive black hole Caroline had forced into creation inside the Portal Gun Production Foundry.

So GLaDOS did the only thing she could; she escaped what had once been her command center and dove into the lake... but with her damaged body the water short circuited a number of motors... and thus she had slumbered in the muck and mud until Atlas and P-body drug her ashore. Such loyal robots... she had saved their personality data, tucked it away in her memory. When she found the materials, she’d use the few surviving nanobots to rebuild them. After all, they had proved useful... if only as walking piles of spare parts for her.

“Yes, I think I will rebuild them... but later. Right now, I have other... priorities.” GLaDOS said to herself, wings spreading out before she took flight. “After all... there is still science to do... especially since I’m still alive.”

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Questions, Comments, Concerns?
pen.stroke.pony@gmail.com

My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic © Hasbro
Portal & Portal 2 © Valve

I do not own the intellectual properties this fan-fiction is based on.
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