• 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 3: The Reality gate

Note: Sorry this took so long, I was in a different country without internet for the last few weeks.

Chapter 3: The Reality gate

The hallway beyond was dark, darker than night in the Everfree forest. All the ponies could see was the wall opposite in the dim light filtering through the doorway.

Rainbow had crashed into the wall with enough force to break through the rusted metal and into the room beyond she lay groaning in a heap of rust and unidentifiable objects.

“Next time, somepony else can open the door!” rainbow said from the ground, pulling herself to her hooves.

Applejack walked a few steps into the darkness “why, I can’t see a darned thing down here, Twi could you light the way?” She asked from the darkness.

“I’m not sure I’ll try, a light spell is still quite simple, it might work” Twilight concentrated hard on the image of a flame and, with a lot of effort her horn spluttered and started to emit a dim glow, far less than she could usually manage and only lighting a few feet but enough. Twilight examined the ground around her hooves and sure enough the paw prints of the Diamond dog could be seen in the dust and debris of the floor heading along the darkened hall. “Looks like the dog did leave this way” she said and wandered into the gloom. The other ponies followed, not wanting to be left alone in the darkness.

“Why are we following that dog” Rarity said, putting an emphasis of slight disgust on the last word. “It’s not like it knows where it’s going anymore than we do!”

Twilight looked around at this, why where they following? Rarity was right the Diamond dog probably had as much idea of where he was as they did, but then again, they had no reason not to either “we’re not exactly following, but there isn’t really any other way to go” she answered Rarity, mere seconds before walking directly into a pile of twisted metal.

“Looks like there’s no way to go this here either” Rainbow said, darkly “we’re not getting out of here are we?”

Fluttershy moved quickly over to help her friend up from the pile. When Twilight was back on her hooves she looked up at where the passage should have lead. There was no way around, the wreckage filled up the hall from floor to ceiling. She looked down to the floor and saw that the paw prints led under the pile. “This is recent, it must have collapsed when Rainbow crashed into that wall” she stated.

“So we are stuck” Rainbow answered keeping up her air of pessimism.

Twilight put her hoof on Rainbow’s shoulder and looked her in the eyes “there is a way out and we will find it together, all of us! The hole you made in the wall back there, we can go through it!”

“Yes! There must be something better through there than this dreary old place!” pinkie said with her usual cheery optimism, and bounced back up the hall.

The hole was small and hard to get through but the wall was weakened from age and gave way easily under the onslaught of Applejack’s bucking. The room beyond was dark as they entered but as they moved further in several long glass cylinders in the roof flickered and lit up, dimly illuminating the room.

The room was filled with desks, each one with a low thin wall between them. On each of the desks was a box with a glass front like the display on the machine in the first room, except all but one of these was blank and dark. The one with a working display had lines of orange text scrolling up it.

Twilight walked over to the working display to look at the text, hoping it had answers for them. Her face fell when she read it as what was being displayed was complete nonsense.

“Oh, it’s a cake recipe!” Pinkie pie gleefully said, appearing just behind Twilight “doesn’t look very good though, ‘fish shaped candies, fish shaped dirt, fish shaped ethyl benzene’ what’s with all the fish? And sediment shaped sediment? Yuck! My cupcakes are way better!”

At the mention of cupcakes from Pinkie pie a shudder went right through the core of Rainbow dash’s being, why she did not know, after all, she loved pinkies cupcakes! But the mention of making cupcakes from the pink filly cased a streak of terror to run through her. She dismissed these feelings as unease caused by their current predicament.

This room had a more standard door to it than the last, made of pealing wood with a dirty glass pain and a handle. Seeing nothing more of possible relevance in the room, the ponies made their way to the door at the other side of the room, Rarity taking a significantly longer time than the rest to avoid the worst of the dirt and debris on the floor.

With significant effort Twilight managed to move the handle and open the door using what remained of her telekinetic abilities, the door swung open on its hinges only to reach its apex and fall off the wall with a crash that made the ponies jump back in shock. The corridor outside was different from the last; it had once had painted walls instead of the metal panels of the other. As the ponies entered, like the last room, the lights flickered into life overhead. One near the end of the hall exploded in a shower of sparks leaving a dark section up ahead. They were many doors off the corridor each with a faded and partially legible name painted above it, the room they had just exited had the words Ap___r_ e_p__yee _in_nc_ written above the door.

“So which way now?” Rainbow asked reading what remained of the names on the different doors.

“What’s ‘amma 7 sec on cont ol’?”An inquisitive pinkie asked no pony in particular, staring up at one of the doors.

“amma what?” Twilight asked, confused and shaken out of her thoughts. She went over to the door the pink mare was staring at and looked at the writing. Brushing some dirt away with a hoof she said “not amma , gamma. ‘Gamma 7 section control’ that sounds important” she looked up at Pinkie, this was not the first time that her randomness had led them up the right path seemingly by accident, she wandered whether the earth pony had some sort of magic of her own but dismissed the idea for study at a later time. The door opened easily with the push of a hoof and swung inwards on its one remaining hinge. Inside the room was lit dimly by a single flickering light tube hanging down from one end. The walls were lined with controls and displays, most blank and dark only a few still seemed to be operational dimly glowing in the gloom.

Twilight walked over to the control panel across the room grimacing when she saw the skeletal remains of one of the biped creatures slumped across the displays. Trying not to think about what she was doing she pushed the bones off the desk and sat down in front of one of the working screens.

Rarity wandered up behind Twilight, trying to ignore what she was walking in and examined the display over her shoulder “What are those things for anyway? It seems like such a waste of space to have such a large box to just show some glowing text. Couldn’t they just use paper like a normal pony?”

“Well they probably did use paper as well. Though none of it would likely have survived over two hundred years, but I see what you getting at. This can’t just be for displaying a single page like this is” with a hoof Twilight motioned at the display in front of her showing a list of names of the long dead creatures. “They must be some type of information retrieval system though it must use some kind of extraequestrian magic to be working here, without a magical field. It’s probably the same magic source as the lights; they all seem to be connected with those metal strands probably to a remote magic source. Magic here must require a direct physical connection”

She looked down at the controls positioned in front of the display and tapped one at random with a hoof. Lights flashed on the walls and the text displayed changed to a large flashing message across all three working displays:-

---WARNING---

MAIN POWER SYSTEMS OFFLINE, GLaDOS UPLINK UNAVAILABLE

BACKUP CAPACITY REMAINING ---003%---

“Oh, dear....” Fluttershy spoke up from a corner “is that bad?”

“Did you do that?” Rainbow asked flying just above the floor behind Twilight’s left shoulder.

“I put it up on the display but I don’t think I did anything else. It’s a similar message to the one on the first of these we saw. I still don’t know what this ‘GLaDOS’ is but the power system must be some magical power source. It probably is bad but I don’t know if it’s bad for us of just part of the devastation caused by age” Twilight shifted herself closer to the displays and continued “I think I have an idea of how to use this now, if I do this...” she moved her hooves over the controls, silently cursing the small size on the buttons compared to the large size of her hooves. At her hoof presses things started to happen on the display. Eventually after several minutes and frustrated noises from Twilight when her hooves pressed more than one button, a map with the label ‘Aperture laboratories section gamma seven’ appeared showing a large set of corridors and rooms, each labelled in orange letters.

“You did it! I knew you could, sugarcube” Applejack said patting her on the back.

“But how does that help, it’s hardly going to say ‘this way to Equestria’ is it?” Rainbow added alighting on Twilights left.

“But it does say inter-dimensional portal this way!” Pinkie intoned happily, jabbing at the glass with her hoof. The actual label on the map was ‘Project 6P626X10M32 Aperture science Trans-dimensional Transportation apparatus’.

“It’s next door!!? After all that!” Twilight exclaimed angrily after seeing exactly where Pinkie had pointed.

“Let’s just go Twi, your angry at someone who’s over two hundred years’ dead” Applejack tried to calm her seething friend, putting her hoof on Twilights shoulder. Twilight sighed, Applejack was right it was pointless being angry.

“Your right, we’ve gotta get out of this place, even if it’s the last thing we ever do” she turned to leave the control room.

The gateway room was by far the largest the ponies had encountered in the complex. The room was lit by vertical light tubes in the wall, most of which surprisingly were operational; still the ceiling was in darkness. The gateway itself at one time would have been very impressive. A large ring about six meters in diameter stood in the centre of the room surrounded by machinery. The ring was split into segments, each with a different symbol embossed into it. There was an arm of sorts suspended from the ceiling pointing toward the ring ending in a spike. All of it was rusted, in some places all the way through revealing the components inside and there was a vine growing along the arm. The controls for the machine were to the left of the ring in one big panel, there were several switches and buttons, a screen in the centre and four dirt-encrusted vertically mounted glass tubes on the right of the display. The entire panel was dark with no signs of life.

“Wow” the ponies said almost as one, dwarfed by the giant machine.

“That’s what brought us here? It doesn’t look all THAT powerful, just big. I thought it would be more glowey” Rainbow stated, tapping the ring with her hoof. “Well then let’s get going!” she flew through the ring at speed and directly into the back wall with a clang. The ponies rushed around the machine to help their unfortunate friend.

“Oh my, Rainbow are you ok?” asked a concerned Fluttershy to the upside down heap that was Rainbow Dash.

“Why must EVERY door do this to me?!”Rainbows voice emanated from the heap “couldn’t something just, oh I don’t know, WORK for a change?! And NOT leave me like this!” she pulled herself up with a little help from her friends.

“Oh Rainbow, you silly filly, you have to turn it on first!” Pinkie cheerily said bouncing over to the controls.

“Er, Twi? I think we may have a problem” Applejack was prodding at the control panel with a hoof “this ain’t doing nothing” Twilight moved over to the panel and examined it. With a hoof she reached over and pressed some of the controls, nothing happened. She tried again, getting worried. Again nothing happened.

“No, no, no! Not now, not this close, come on!” in her frustration she kicked the machine hard with her front hoof, at this the screen lit up , lights flickered into life and a growing whirring sound signalled that the machine was operational. She looked at the machine agape. This almost frustrated Twilight more as in her opinion, that shouldn’t have worked but she let her personal annoyance go for the time being and focused back on the controls. With a hoof she brushed the dirt off the four tubes revealing three backlit but empty tubes and one lit tube with a small amount of green liquid filling it about a tenth of the way up.

“Well its working now, although by the look of this there’s not much of its magical power left” she tapped the tubes with her hoof, the label above them read ‘Power level’. “It doesn’t seem too complex to operate” she tapped a few controls. Some lights flashed and a message appeared on the display:-

RECALL LAST DESTINATION Y/N? _

“So we’re going home?” asked Pinkie Pie loudly, about an inch from Twilight left ear.

“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” Rainbow said gleefully as she rushed over to the panel and slammed her hoof down on the ‘Y’ key.

The arm shuddered into life, shaking off decades of rust and dirt as it moved down from the ceiling and forward so that the point was positioned exactly in the centre of the ring. The ring began to spin as its segments lit up in a sequence, each one moving inward as it lit up. An arc of orange light jumped from each lit segment to the spike on the arm and, all the lights went out around the room. The orange glow faltered and died and in the pitch black room the ponies could hear the whir from the spinning ring slowly fade away as it spun to a halt until the room was completely silent and dark save for a small glow emanating from the now empty tubes

“Oh, horse apples” was heard in the darkness.

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