• Published 26th Aug 2011
  • 5,939 Views, 176 Comments

The Equestrian Enrichment Project - GandhoofOfManyColours

The Mane six get captured by creatures from a strange portal. Crossover with Portal.

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Chapter 10: Buck the system

Note:- So here it is the long awaited next chapter. Got to apologise here guys for my tardiness, I kept looking at the blank page and deciding that it was future me’s problem, that and general life happened, anyway enjoy!

Chapter 10: Buck the system

Applejack was not pleased. Strange things had been attached to her hooves and she had been locked in a room not much bigger than she was for what felt like several hours. The door would not open no matter how hard she bucked at it; all she had succeeded in doing was to break the light. She was alone in a small dark room and all she knew was that whoever or whatever had put her in here was going to pay. She was about to give up all hope of breaking out when a voice sounded from above.

“Welcome to Aperture science Test facility zeta five zero. The testing process will begin shortly, please refrain from causing any more damage to the aperture science testing facility as you wait.” It was the voice of the machine GLaDOS and if filled Applejack with rage.

“Why you, your that darn machine ain’t you? You let me out of here or so help me Celestia!” Applejack bucked at the door again to hammer home her displeasure.

GLaDOS ignored this and continued “The testing process will begin in three… two… one” on one the door to Applejacks room slid open.

As soon as the door had opened Applejack trotted out of the room. The hall beyond was long and brightly lit. Although she knew that it would have been unlikely, Applejack had hoped that she would find her friends out here and their absence was discouraging to say the least, however not being one to lose heart so easily Applejack continued onwards. At the end of the corridor was a large room split into two halves by a strip of foul coloured and even fouler smelling water, as Applejack entered the room the door slid shut behind her. Across the room Applejack could see a closed door identical to the one she had just passed through and a large red button on the floor. Atop a tall pillar jutting out of the water lay a strange metallic box with rounded corners. The only other items of interest in the room where a pair of strange looking oblong machines built into the floor.

“What in tarnation? What is this crazy place?” she asked nopony in particular.

The voice of GLaDOS answered from the ceiling “’This crazy place’ as you so inelegantly put it is the first chamber on the aperture science equine aerial faith plate aptitude testing track. The aerial faith plates were designed to determine whether human test subjects could solve fourth dimensional logic problems whilst hurtling through the air. Results were conclusive, they could not. You have been selected to test whether or not garishly pigmented diminutive equines can solve fourth dimensional logic problems whilst hurtling through the air, my prognosis is that you cannot. The goal for you in this test as in any Aperture science testing environment is to reach the other side of the chamber alive. Testing protocol requires me to inform you that any contact with the water in this chamber will lead to disqualification from the testing process, followed by death.”

It took Applejack a moment to fully process exactly what had been said and she didn’t understand most of it.

After a moment she replied to the seemingly omnipresent machine “An’ if I refuse?”

“Oh, I can wait; I have until the universe achieves maximum entropy. Until the last proton decays in a vast uniform expanse of nothing. How long can you wait?”

Applejack thought for a moment, mouth slightly open. The machine was right; she couldn’t go back, even if there was anywhere to go. And she couldn’t stay here forever, going on was her only choice, after all if there was going to be any way to escape it would be onward.

“Fine” she begrudgingly uttered “exactly what do I’ need ta do?”

“Simply solve the task and proceed to the chamberlock to complete the test” GLaDOS answered.

“Yeah, simply” Applejack uttered under her breath. “And exactly how do I do that?” she said in a much louder voice. Her only answer was silence. “Well fine then, I’ll figure it out myself than shall I?” She said sounding annoyed, still there was no answer.

“Great, just great.” Applejack said to herself as she surveyed the chamber looking for any hint as of what to do next. Her eyes fell on the oblong machine built into the floor a few feet from her position. The device was unlike any other she had seen in this place so far. It was a similar grey colour to the surrounding floor with a glowing blue circle in the centre, in one corner it had the round logo that seemed to be on everything in the complex. Above the contraption, painted on the floor was an arrow pointing towards the other side of the foul water and directly at the pillar in the centre of the room.

Not knowing what else she could do Applejack trotted over to the contraption to get a closer look, an action she instantly regretted. The moment she placed her hoof on the device she was instantly flung unceremoniously into the air and across the room over the pillar. As the floor on the other side rushed up to meet her she squeezed her eyes shut, this was going to hurt. Several moments passed. Eventually she cautiously opened one eye; she was stood safely on the ground. She hadn’t even felt the impact.

“What the hay?” she opened both eyes “what happened?” she asked her voice sounding loud in the silence.

“Your impact was absorbed by the aperture science long fall boots. These complex devices are designed to protect aperture science property from fall damage caused by unintelligent test subjects” the voice of GLaDOS echoed in the silence.

Applejack’s confusion turned to anger with the insult “Who the hay do you think ya calling unintelligent ya bucket o’ bolts!” Applejack hadn’t expected a reply to this and wasn’t surprised when none came. “Well ‘least I’m at the other side now” she said to herself as she proceeded to the chamber door. To her surprise the door remained steadfastly shut. Hey, I got to the other side let me out!” she called out annoyance prevalent in her voice

“The chamber door will open once you complete the test” The voice of GLaDOS rang out unhelpfully from the ceiling.

“So what else do ya want me to do?” Applejack hadn’t really expected a helpful response to this and was unsurprised when none came. She took another look around the chamber trying to work out in her mind exactly what the insane machine could possible want her to do. Her eyes eventually fell on the large button in one corner of the room noticing for the first time an orange line drawn across the room’s wall connecting the button to an orange cross symbol directly above the door.

“Really?” Applejack said to herself dryly not wanting to believe that she had missed something so obvious. She trotted over to the corner and placed an experimental hoof on the button, sure enough the orange cross turned into a blue tick and the door slid smoothly open with a hiss. After taking a deep breath to alleviate her annoyance Applejack turned back towards the door. The moment she lifted her hoof the door snapped shut. “What!?” Applejack exclaimed in sheer disbelief. “Hey, this here buttons broken!” Applejack yelled into the silence but it remained otherwise unbroken. “How exactly do you expect me to do ya dumb tests if ya don’t tell me how!” Applejack exploded, directing her anger at the unseen voice of GLaDOS.

“The test is of your intelligence, if you are truly as dim as you look and unable to solve even the simplest of problems then you have failed the test. Congratulations no creature has ever failed on the first test before, you have set a completely new level of stupidity” the voice of GLaDOS rang out, with an almost gleeful hint at the mention of the orange mare’s failure.

Applejack was seething inside, nopony called her stupid but she held back her anger sensing a possible way out “Fine ok I fail, can I go now?”

“The chamber door will only open upon completion of the test” GLaDOS intoned.

“But if I were to fail the test…” Applejack was cut off.

“The chamber door will only open upon completion of the test” GLaDOS intoned again.

“Fine then be that way”

Applejack looked up at the box on the pillar. During the conversation she got a pretty good idea about exactly what needed to be done in here. She trotted across the room towards the second faith plate. Placing a hoof upon it she was flung back across the water with far more grace now that she knew what to expect. In one fluid movement she landed and turned to face the pillar.

“Ok then, here goes nothing” she said quietly to herself before leaping back onto the faith plate. The plate flung her back into the air and towards the pillar; this time instead of sailing over Applejack rotated in the air and aimed her hind-hooves at the box. Right at the apex of her flight she bucked at the cube on the pillar sending it flying towards the button in the corner. It landed at the same time as she did right on the centre of the button causing the door to slide open with a hiss. Applejack smiled to herself as she trotted out of the room.

The corridor beyond sloped downwards towards a round room containing a glass tube.

“Congratulations you eventually completed the first test, you must feel so proud” the voice of GLaDOS rang down from seemingly nowhere “Now please enter the complementary victory lift to the next chamber”

Applejack looked up in alarm “whoa nelly, next chamber? You didn’t say nothing ‘bout a next chamber, I did ya test now let me go!”

GLaDOS remained stubbornly silent.

“Fine” Applejack said dejectedly, trudging into the lift.

The next chamber was far larger than the last. The only usable floor space was in the form of a series of islands in a sea of the foul water, there were many more faith plates including some that were active and continuously bouncing cubes between each other. Something on one of the chambers walls caught Applejacks eye, high up on the wall was a window to one of the abandoned offices, its lights were flickering and desks in disarray, for a second she was sure she could see a shadowy figure standing on its hind legs near the window but the next time the light flickered back on the figure was gone.

“Great, I’m starting to see things” she said to herself shaking her head.

The voice of GLaDOS rang out from the chambers ceiling causing Applejack to jump “this test involves advanced aerial faith plates and how a creature with intelligence as limited as yours copes with advanced aerial faith plates. As with the last test your goal is to make it to the other side of the chamber alive. I have calculated your probability of success at zero point two two percent, good luck”

“Are you saying I’m stupid?!” Applejack was getting very annoyed by the machine.

“I am merely stating the known facts” GLaDOS intoned.

Deciding responding was not worth her time Applejack turned back to the chamber paying particular attention to a pair of the large buttons at each side of the chambers exit and the pair of cubes sailing back and forth across the room.

“Well after that last room this don’t take no genius” she said to herself observing the faith plate nearest to her. Trotting forward she watched the trajectory of the nearest cube slowly counting down under her breath before putting her hoof forward and being flung into the air. As she flew towards the first cube she twisted her body aiming her hooves squarely at it, bucking hard sending it flying across the room. Seconds later she twisted in the opposite direction, her hooves impacting directly into the second cube again, sending it flying. She landed on all fours with a smug look on her face at the exact moment that the two cubes impacted onto their respective buttons, opening the chamber door.

“An’ that’s how us earth ponies take care o’ business” Applejack exclaimed, trotting out of the chamber.

GLaDOS would never admit it, least of all to herself but she was ever so slightly impressed. This pony exhibited none of the additions that seemed to make the others special in fact the only major differences from the equines on record were the colouration of her fur and her vocal cords and yet she had managed to pull off the entire test in a single movement. No human subject had ever managed to do anywhere near as well, at least, except for one.

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