• Published 26th Aug 2011
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The Equestrian Enrichment Project - GandhoofOfManyColours

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

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Chapter 13: The Science of Friendship

Note:- well it’s been a while, I can only apologise for the time this has taken. a lot of stuff happened in my life all at once, some good, most bad but that should all be in the past now and everything has worked out for the best in the end. Ill try and get this all done ASAP but as I kind of just proved, we can’t make promises about the future, anyway onward!

Chapter 13: The Science of Friendship

Twilight emerged from the elevator into a chamber much larger than the one she had just left. A sudden noise from behind made her jump, spinning round she saw its source. In this chamber there was not one elevator shaft but six placed at regular intervals along the wall. For a split second she saw a pink blur before she was knocked to the Ground.

“Twilight! Hi! Where’ve you been? Are you ok? Where is everypony? Have you seen a cake? There’s this voice that’s been asking me to do stuff and it said there was a cake have you seen it? It should have sprinkles!” Pinkie Pie babbled as she bounced on Twilight.

“Pinkie! I’m so glad to see you!” Twilight exclaimed after recovering from the initial shock and hugging the bright pink pony. “So if you’re here does that mean…” Twilight spun around again and sure enough four more ponies were in various stages of emerging from the elevator shafts.

“Thank Celestia y’all are alright, I’ was beginning to think I’d never see y’all again.” Applejack started, stepping out of the shaft “I take it y’all have been through the same nonsense I have from that there crazy contraption?”

“Oh you wouldn’t believe!” Rarity exclaimed “it made me run some ridiculous experiment and said all sorts of simply dreadful things to me. All while playing its ghastly mind-games!”

“It… it said some very mean things…” Fluttershy added quietly.

“Celestia dammed thing tried to kill me! Did you know those egg things shoot balls of metal at you?” Rainbow exclaimed, lifting off the ground into her preferred position of hovering slightly above it.

Twilight was ecstatic to see her friends again but also slightly shocked, GLaDOS had actually taken her suggestion to test them all together. ‘Big mistake GLaDOS’ she thought to herself, grinning.

“If you’ve all quite finished with your pointless pontificating,” The harsh voice of GLaDOS rang loudly from the ceiling cutting off the pony’s conversation. “It has been brought to my attention by one of your number that you believe that you operate better in a group, via the so called ‘magic of friendship.’” GLaDOS said the phrase with the utmost contempt. “And while such nonsense is greatly discouraged in this facility your co-operative testing efforts can hardly be worse than your individual results have been thus far and so you have all been moved to the Aperture science Diminutive Pigmented Equine Co-operative testing track. Due to the previous co-operative testing subjects rather ‘inventive’ actions on the testing course there are some additional rules for these tests. First these are co-operative tests, this means that you are required to work together to complete the tests not, as previous subjects have done attempt to kill each other in ‘amusing’ ways. Second, some of these tests require two portal devices to complete therefor two of you have been equipped with these devices. The third and perhaps the most important rule, do not under any circumstances ever wave at, dance in front of, ‘high five’ in front of or make faces at any Aperture Science Test chamber video capture devices. These actions will result in an immediate disqualification from breathing.” During the last sentence the camera monitoring the ponies focused itself on Pinkie and narrowed its lens aperture.

Before the ponies could respond GLaDOS’s monologue continued “Please proceeded out of the chamber-lock and begin the test.” At this the chamber door slid open.

“So what do we do now?” Applejack asked the group in general. “Do we do these tests of hers?”

“I don’t think we’ve got much choice at the moment” Twilight answered quietly. “We’re not going to get anywhere by staying here and there is no way back, our only choice is to go on and hope we find an escape route.”

“I have a question” Pinkie Pie loudly asked the ceiling “Since we’re working together now does that mean that we’ll be getting six cakes? Or will we have to share one? And also, do we all get the same type of cake?” This was met with silence both from GLaDOS who refused to dignify such an inane comment with an answer, and the other ponies.

Twilight stared at Pinkie mouth slightly open for a full minute before she spoke. “Pinkie, you know there’s no cake right? Whatever she’s told you she’s just lying to you to get you to do things.”

“Yeah, the cake is a lie!” Rainbow added remembering the writing she had seen on the wall.

Until the blue Pegasus had spoken Pinkie had looked quite down but with that phrase she quickly turned back into her normal self “Silly Rainbow, you can’t use that meme it’s terribly old!” with that she turned and bounced out into the chamber beyond, her cake question forgotten. The other ponies looked at one another for a moment in disbelief before following the pink mare.

GLaDOS surveyed the scene with an equal amount of disbelief, that creature was insane even by the others standards.

The chamber beyond was small compared to the majority of the chambers in the facility; the exit door could be seen on a ledge at the top of the wall. There was a lift under the ledge but it was non-moving, the button that the ponies presumed started the lift was at the top on the ledge. The walls were all black non-portable surfaces. In fact only three tiles in the room were portable one directly next to the lift and two in the corner of the room one on the ceiling and one on the floor, most of the corner was blocked off by a grate and the only entrance to the section has a material emancipation grid blocking it off positioned such that any pony in the section would not be able to shoot a portal onto the other tile.

“Ok then.” Twilight said seeing the solution immediately. “One of us needs to get up there to press the button so the rest of us can ride up on that platform. If one of us goes into that.” she indicated the grated section. “And I shoot a portal onto the top and bottom tiles through the grate that pony will start falling endlessly gaining momentum. If I then move the top portal to the other tile then they will fly up to that platform and be able to press the button to get us all up there.”

“Whoa there Sugarcube,” Applejack interjected “What in tarnations a portal when it’s at home?”

“You haven’t seen one yet? They’re quite fascinating actually. Basically, a portal is a hole in the fabric of the universe that allows you to go from one point to the other instantly, I’m not quite sure exactly how they work but this machine attached to my hoof can generate them on any white surface they seem to-“ Twilight was cut off by Rainbow Dash.

“Ok, ok Twi she doesn’t need to know all the sciencey stuff just what they do. Anyway we could do all that, or I could just fly up there.” Rainbow didn’t wait for a response, she just flew up to the platform, alighting softly on its edge. “What are you all waiting for? Get on the lift and let’s go!”

Twilight was speechless for a moment, why haven’t she thought of that? Shaking her head slightly she stepped onto the platform with the other ponies.

GLaDOS was angry, that flying equine had cheated! Skipping the entire test! It had become clear to GLaDOS that the old human and later robot co-operative test chambers would be entirely unsuitable for her current equestrian subjects, but with no suitable chambers in storage or time to design more she would have to improvise. Around the facility many chambers started moving together and rearranging themselves, there would be no time to replace the age worn parts but that should be acceptable for now.

The chamber the ponies entered into was long and not well lit. The room was dirty and damaged and several on the light fixtures had obviously failed due to age. One half of the chamber was separated from the other by a glass wall; this half featured a long drop into darkness with several platforms spaced around the wall. Part way down the wall beneath on of the platforms was the window to a ruined office, its glass shattered and no light source remaining. As Twilight ran her eyes across the chamber she thought she caught a movement in the office but after looking harder she dismissed it as nothing. There was one portable tile affixed in the centre of the glass divide on either side of the glass, directly above an alcove in the glass. The top of which was covered by a grate. Another pair of portable tiles were positioned on the floor and ceiling in one of the chambers corners. A final tile was positioned at a forty five degree angle facing the tile at the centre of the glass divide.

Rainbow Dash was the first to speak, directing her voice to the ceiling. “What’s the matter GLaDOS no time to clean? We must be moving too fast for you!” she taunted the psychotic machine.

“For that pointless outburst, blue is penalised five science collaboration points.” The machine answered calmly.

“Who are you calling ‘blue’?!” Rainbow counted.

“Fifty point penalty.” GLaDOS answered simply.

“And what the hay is a ‘science collaboration point?!” the blue Pegasus countered again, more confused than angry.

“Five hundred point penalty, and if you keep going it will be five thousand.”

“Rainbow, this isn’t getting us anywhere.” Twilight injected before the blue Pegasus could respond again to the machine. “We just need to get through this.”

“Any ideas ‘bout doing that Twi?” Applejack asked.

Twilight momentarily scanned the room again before answering. “I think so, doesn’t seem like too much of a problem, we just need to work together.” She trotted over to the alcove and fired a portal through the grate. “I need to put one here.” she trotted back into the room and fired her second portal at the tile on their side of the glass. “And one here. Then I need Pinkie to place a portal on the floor and the ceiling over here.” She walked over to the corner.

“Okie Dokie Lokie!” the Pink pony exclaimed bouncing over to Twilight and firing her portals.

“Now what?!”Rainbow asked impatiently.

“Ok, now I jump into this portal and build up some speed. Pinkie, after a few seconds you move the top portal over to there” she indicated the last remaining portable tile in the room. “Understand?”

“Sure thing Twi!” Pinkie exclaimed simply.

“Ok then, here goes nothing!” Twilight leapt into the first portal, instantly emerging from the second. Gaining speed and bringing new energy into the universe as she fell infinitely through the dimensional faults. After a few seconds Pinkie re-shot her first portal sending Twilight hurtling towards her portals in the glass and over the divide beyond onto a far ledge.

What transpired next happened before anypony had a chance to react. The ledge Twilight had landed on had sat undisturbed under a leak in the roof for several centuries, over that time in the water that had accumulated on the surface; microscopic plants had started to grow eventually spreading into an algae that covered the surface in a thin layer. So instead of coming to a stop atop the platform as she had intended Twilights hooves carried on their momentum on the slippery surface. She slid into the far wall of the chamber, bounced off and skated right off the edge into the void below.

“Twilight! NO!” cried five ponies in unison as they watched their friend falling, seemingly in slow motion down past the window.

Almost as quickly as the fall itself, a dark shape thrust itself out through the ruined office window below the platform. In a blur the shadowy figure grabbed at the flailing body of Twilight, catching her and dragging her into the darkness of the destroyed room.

For a moment the five ponies sat there in silence unable to move, mouths agape. But their shock and horror was quickly interrupted as Twilights impact with the chamber wall had had another consequence. Over the centuries a pillar that had once been holding up a now missing section of the ceiling had been weakened by its constant contact with water, the vibrations from the impact on the adjacent wall finality robbing it of the last if its structural integrity, the pillar leaned to the side. Its movements started off slowly but it soon built up speed as it fell towards the glass. The ponies scattered, running away from the falling beam just as it smashed its way through the glass at the very place they had been standing seconds before. Showing them with bits of glass and debris.

Twilight groaned bringing a hoof to her throbbing head, she felt like she had been hit by a train… or a large monster! Twilight shot to her hooves franticly looking around. She was in the small ruined office off the test course. The room was dark, the only light streaming from the broken window but Twilight was not alone. In the shadows in the rooms far corner stood a large figure, far too large to be a pony.

Twilights stressed mind went blank as she backed away from the creature, desperate to find a route of escape but none was available. The creature took a step forward towards Twilight and into the rooms scant light.

“Is pointy pony ok?” asked the diamond dog, a slight hint of concern evident in his gruff voice.

Twilight didn’t answer for a moment staring at the dog mouth slightly agape, truth be told she had forgotten about the dog. She hadn’t expected to see it again especially after all that had happened in this place but now she probably owed it her life.

“I… I’m fine… thank you, you saved my life…”

When the sounds of falling glass finally stopped Rainbow opened her eyes, coughing from the dust thrown up by the impact. “Is everypony alright?” she asked turning to her friends.

“I think so, nothin’ seems broken” answered applejack straitening her hat “but that wall certainly ain’t”

One end of the pillar now rested on the platform the ponies were standing on amidst the wreckage of the glass wall, the other had become wedged just above the office window Twilight had been taken through.

“We’ve gotta save Twilight! Celestia knows what that thing that took her was or what it’ll do to her” Rainbow didn’t wait for an answer and took off, flying into the open office, the other four ponies following her carefully picking their way across the downed beam.

“What are you doing? Test subjects must not leave the testing area! Return immediately!” the voice of GLaDOS rang down onto deaf ears. “Return and there will be cake.” Pinkie’s ears twitched at the mention of cake but the ponies continued their way out of the chamber.

“LEAVE TWILIGHT ALONE!” the blue Pegasus yelled as she flew at speed towards the creature with twilight, hooves stretched out ahead of her.

A look of horror crossed Twilights face as Rainbow yelled. “Dash, no! wait!” she exclaimed jumping in between the blue Pegasus and the diamond dog.

Rainbow’s eyes grew wide, unable to stop herself in time to prevent a collision she veered off crashing into a desk terminal, the terminals display imploding in a shower of sparks and glass. The other ponies arrived in the office as Rainbow was extracting herself from the wreckage “what the Tartarus, Twilight!” the brash Pegasus exclaimed looking between Twilight and the dog in confusion. “Wait, is that who I think it is?”

“Please don’t hurt him Rainbow he saved my life“

“Why on Equestria would a diamond dog save a pony?” Rarity asked having surveyed the scene, still distrustful of the canine.

“Pony fall. Dog and pony both stuck here so dog help pony. Why flappy pony try hurt dog? Why pretty pony no trust dog?” the dog spoke with a hurt expression.

With the dogs last sentence Rarity’s demeanour instantly changed all traced of distain disappearing from her voice “Well of course I didn’t mean to sound distrusting darling and naturally we all thank you for your noble deed and I’m sure Rainbow is sorry for the misunderstanding, right Rainbow?”

“Well you’ve sure changed your tune, that’s all it took ‘pretty pony’?”

“Why whatever do you mean Rainbow? He’s clearly not one of the ruffians that attacked me back in Ponyville. This creature clearly understands class, and I’d never hold a grudge over an entire species. Besides our new canine friend here just saved Twilight! So of course I’m going to trust him.” Rarity said primly.

“Right...” Rainbow wasn’t having any of it. “But yeah, thanks there dog, for saving Twilight that is” she said turning to the canine.

“An’ we’re glad you’re ok too Sugarcube, ya had us worried there!” Applejack added placing her hoof on Twilights.

“So, what do we do now? Anypony know the way back?” Rainbow asked getting to the point.

Twilight paused for a moment; she hadn’t thought of that. They had no way of knowing where they were in the massive facility. She was about to speak when the canine interjected.

“I know way, I find gate they use bring us here. But gate no work, need power” he stated in broken Equestrian.

Twilight looked up with a glimmer of hope “if you know the way we can get home! We already fixed the power; it was bringing the reactors back on line that woke that… voice.” She trailed off for a moment before continuing. “There should be enough power now to open the portal!”

“Then what in tarnation are we waiting for? Lead the way dawggie!” Applejack stated triumphantly heading for the rooms only door.

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