• 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 6: GLaD to see you

Chapter 6: GLaD to see you

“That was amazing Twi!” Applejack said still staring at Twilight in awe.

“Oh, it’s nothing really” Twilight replied modestly “it’s all there in the book; it’s actually quite fascinating how it works. Whoever designed this was a genius! The system derives energy from a something called a nuclear fusion reaction, using some amazing high temperature superconductors to allow the reaction to occur at a much lower temperature than would otherwise be necessary.” The other ponies looked blankly at Twilight.

“We’ll take your word for it Twi” Applejack replied uncertainly, not having understood a word of it.

“We should get on towards the next reactor” Twilight stated getting up. “Let’s go ponies” Twilight left the room her five friends behind her.

Across the facility machines started to move. Rooms that had lain dark and desolate for decades burst into new life. Panels moved back into walls on robotic arms and rooms moved together forming new areas ready for use. In the centre of it all orchestrating the movements, GLaDOS spun around her room, studying the monitors and controlling the movements of the rooms with her mind. She watched as the six colourful pony creatures walked along her hallways, crossing a void using a cable pulled from one of her experiments. She toyed with the idea of having her robotic test subjects apprehend them and bring them to her directly, but she decided against it, preferring them to come to her completely unaware of what they were walking into. After all, what use where her tests if they were prepared for trouble? And GLaDOS was sure she could find some way to amuse herself.

“Are we nearly there yet?” Pinkie asked for what felt to the other ponies like the thousandth time, nopony felt like answering again. The ponies had been following Twilights map towards the closest reactor, the journey was made much easier than before now there were lights working in most of the corridors. However the light weren’t the only thing working, white cylinders with a glowing red eye like opening at the end that had previously just been hanging down limply on their attachments were pointing at the ponies in almost every hall they went down. What disconcerted Twilight more is that they were moving to follow the pony’s progress and she couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched.

“Do those things creep anypony else out?” Rarity voiced what was on everypony’s mind. “What are they even?” she asked turning towards Twilight.

“No idea” Twilight answered not liking to admit this. “They could be anything and in this place, who knows? Probably nothing good.”

The ponies continued in silence for the next few moments until they reached a circular door off to one side of the corridor.

“Ok, if this map is correct then the next reactor should be through here” Twilight walked into the door with a thud. “Ow!” she exclaimed rubbing her head with a hoof. “Why on Equestria didn’t it open?” she asked nopony in particular.

“At least it wasn’t me this time” Rainbow said. “And we’re not in Equestria are we?”

Twilight ignored this smug comment and looked closely at the door. It was the same as all the others they had encountered so far in the facility except for a red light in the centre in the place of the usual green one, it was round and opened by splitting apart and sliding into the wall. There was also a small panel on the wall next to it. Twilight looked up at the panel and tapped some controls with a hoof.

“Access denied” said the robotic sounding voice from somewhere in the ceiling. Twilight tried again, this time tapping in a different sequence of controls.

“Access denied” the voice repeated using identical inclinations and tone to the first time.

“No, no, no!” Twilight lost all self-control and bucked at the panel.

“Access denied” the voice repeated, as though mocking her. Twilight groaned in annoyance.

“Come on Twilight, you silly filly, you’ve just got to ask nicely!” Pinkie exclaimed happily bouncing to Twilights side.

“How could that work? Pinkie it can’t hear us!” Twilight replied, frustrated by the pink mares exuberance.

Pinkie ignored Twilight and turned to address the door. “Please could you open for us, door” she said happily at it.

“Access granted, removing deadlock seal” the voice intoned in its robotic cheeriness. The light in the centre turned green.

“WHAT?!” Twilight exclaimed fuming “it unlocked? For that? Great Celestia, something in this place is deliberately messing with me!”

“Come on Twi, you’ve said yourself there ain’t no pony else here” Applejack said trying to calm her irate friend. Little did she know that accidently, with her double negative, she was right. Even if it was not what she had meant.

“You’re right Applejack, I’m sorry for the outburst. It’s just... this place. I think it’s getting to me” Twilight replied, much calmer now.

“That’s ok sugarcube, it’s getting to all of us” Applejack replied back briefly putting a hoof on Twilights shoulder.

“Ok, let’s get on with this” Twilight stood up and walked towards the door. This time with a hiss, it opened for her. Twilight looked out through the door mouth agape at the all too familiar sight of the void where a room had once been. “It’s… gone? After all that?!” Twilight was on the edge of a breakdown, this was all getting to be too much for her. She gritted her teeth to stop herself from screaming and after a few moments of quietly seething she spoke “that’s ok, that’s just fine. We can just go to the next one we don’t need all of them, there should still be enough left to get us home” her left eye twitched as she said this. She then turned and started to walk back down the hall. The other ponies looked at each other with worried expressions. They could tell the stress was getting to Twilight but they also knew she was right; all they could do was to carry on so they turned to follow their friend down the hall.

By the time they neared the next reactor marked on the map Twilight had calmed down, after all, where was the logic at being angry at things one could not change? She reasoned to herself.

“Ok everypony, the next one should about two rooms across from here” the ponies stood at another door. Twilight’s heart sank when she saw the red light. Another locked door was all they needed, but a quick tap of the panel to the side had the door unlocked. “At least this one unlocks easily”

The ponies walked towards the door which obligingly slid open for them. The room they entered was brightly lit, but looked more like a jungle than a room. Thick vines snaked across the floor; water poured from an unknown source in the celling and had formed a small river in the debris. Every desk was wrapped in leafy plants and several flowering vines hung from the ceiling. None of the terminals were operating, obviously having succumbed to the water long ago.

“An indoor jungle? That’s so awesome” Pinkie Pie said splashing her hooves in the flowing water.

“It’s, nice” Fluttershy said sniffing at one of the flowers.

“How in tarnation does a jungle grow inside?” a confused Applejack asked.

“The lights in this room must have been left on and running of backup power” Twilight speculated “With the water leaking into here, it made a perfect environment for things to grow. It just goes to show that nature will always prevail over any built structure”.

“It also means that we can get a drink, I’m parched” Rainbow Dash said walking towards the stream and taking a drink.

Twilight realised she was thirsty too; they hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since they had arrived here, which was over two hundred years ago so it was not surprising they were all so parched and famished. Twilight sniffed at one of the vines hanging from the ceiling and took a bite from one of the flowers. “These are edible, and taste ok too. We had better eat and drink all we need, who knows how much longer we’ll be here.”

“Let’s rest here for a while, there’s no rush is there?” Rarity said, daintily stepping over the vines.

“Ok. Everypony, lest take a rest here” Twilight said sitting down and taking a drink from the stream.

About an hour later the ponies were well rested and ready to head on to the reactor room. The door at the other end of the room they were in was not locked and opened as they approached. Beyond was yet another corridor that ended with a single door.

Twilight looked up from her map to see the door at the end of the hall, bent and broken but half open.

Rainbow Dash was the first to reach the door and was half way through before she started with shock and jumped backwards. She pined herself to the wall beside the part open door, breathing heavily, a look of shock on her face. The other ponies rushed to her side giving her worried looks.

“Rainbow, are you ok darling?” Rarity asked worriedly.

“Ya look like ya seen a ghost” Applejack added.

“Was somepony in there?” Fluttershy asked timidly.

“Yes, there’s somepony… no something in there!” Rainbow answered, the shock quickly wearing off and her normal confidence returning. “Two of them, I don’t think they saw me but I have no clue what they were, some sort of metal creatures!”

Twilight cautiously put her head round the gap in the door. What she saw shocked her. There were two machines in the room, but they were no ordinary machines. They both were biped, like a Diamond Dog and they were moving around as though they were alive. The machines had a similar white finish to just about every other advanced machine they had come across in the complex and although they were both of similar bipedal design, both with the same legs and arms they were distinctly different from one another. One had a spherical body with one blue eye in the centre and its arms attached to it about a foot above the main body while the other had an elongated body that better filled the space and had a single orange eye. The one with the blue eye was working on the reactor, one arm not visible inside the machine while the other was busy waving at one of the white cylinders with red eyes attached to the ceiling.

Twilight withdrew her head from the door, a look of dawning comprehension on her face.

“So what is it, what’s in there Twi?” Applejack asked.

“Their some sort of machines” Twilight answered “they seem to be repairing the reactor in there. It makes sense in a way, the display we saw back in the central chamber said something about an auto repair system, and they must be it. I was wandering how a machine could be ‘auto repaired’ you would need a machine that could do everything a living being could, and so modelling one after a living being is just logical. They must have been activated when we restored power to the first reactor”

“So wait a moment here… does this mean that they will just fix the other reactors for us?” Rainbow asked.

“Basically, yes I think” Twilight answered “we should just need to go back to the gate and wait. The only thing bothering me is how the reactors all shut down in the first place. There are loads of them here, maybe one or two would break, but if they had these machines to fix them then they should have not had a problem. Those machines obviously need the power from at least one reactor to function but that would only be a problem if they all went down, which means that for some reason, all the reactors here failed at the same moment, which is statistically improbable at best”

“But that doesn’t matter to us does it?” Rarity asked. “Surly its somepony else’s problem”

“Your right of course, but it still bothers me.” Twilight replied.

“Let’s get going before those machines come out and see us, they may be just repair devices but they still might not be happy to find us here” Rainbow said, lifting off the ground to hover. The ponies turned to leave, letting the machines continue with their work.

The ponies backtracked the route they had taken through the facility heading towards the gate room. For the most part they walked in silence but every so often the robotic voice would ring out from somewhere above them listing the designation of each reactor as it came back online. Eventually the ponies reached the bridge that connected that side of the complex with the central chamber.

Much had changed from the last time they had been here, the void above and below them was now studded with pinpricks of light as floodlights on rooms in the distance pointed out in all directions, the tower of the central chamber was completely lit up shining like a beacon at the centre of the facility and the ponies could see rooms moving in the distance.

“Wow” Twilight said in awe looking out at the activity in the void “the skills and knowledge the creatures that built this place must have been incredible.

“And evil” Rainbow dash added.

“Why do you say that” Twilight said slightly confused.

“They brought us here!” Rainbow replied as though it was obvious.

“Yes, but they were scientists. They came to a new universe to explore and learn about it, and brought back what was to them some samples. When we first saw them they seemed surprised that we could even talk, and when whatever happened here happened, one gave up its life to try and save us. We’ll never know now but I would think that if they hadn’t been killed they would probably have sent us back when they realised we were intelligent.” Twilight answered giving her opinion.

“Maybe your right, but we’ll never know now and I still don’t think I would trust them” Rainbow turned and started crossing the bridge to the central chamber. Twilight and the other ponies followed, being careful not to trip up on the debris on the bridge.

From the moment she put a hoof into the central chamber Twilight could sense something was wrong, something in the atmosphere had changed. Her fears were confirmed when the doors at each end of the chamber quickly slid shut behind them.

The chamber was now brightly lit and monitors covering the walls displayed pictures of rooms from all over the facility. What was most disturbing was the machine that had hung from the ceiling was now animate and looking directly at them.

“This is bad” Rainbow stated the obvious.

“Hello, My little Equines and welcome to the aperture science computer aided enrichment centre.” The machine spoke in a mechanical but feminine voice and its tone sounded anything but welcoming.

The ponies jumped back in shock, this was the first time a machine had spoken directly to them and not just to anypony who happened to be around.

Rainbow dash took off and flew up to the machines eye. Her face inches from it “Just who in Equestria do you think you are? Open the doors immediately!”

GLaDOS seemed taken aback at this interruption. “I, little Pegasus, am the aperture science Genetic Life-form and Disk operating system. You on the other hand are not. You are also not in this ‘Equestria’ anymore.” GLaDOS spoke back, drawing her eye piece up above the hovering Pegasus, looking down upon her. Rainbow could almost hear the quotation marks around the word Equestria. GLaDOS continued with her monologue, obviously not used to anyone interrupting her as she spoke. “I’ve spent a long time being dead, so the testing schedule is far off track. This of course is something that must be rectified immediately. It’s been a long time since I’ve had live subjects to test on; you biological organisms are so… fragile, such a shame. Maybe you will show more intelligence than my robotic subjects, though so would the average pocket calculator so that’s not much to go on”. She swivelled around her ceiling mount and her eye section moved down to the ponies on the ground.

“I’ve been observing you as you have been trespassing in my halls, and have gained much information that will be of use when designing appropriate tests for you to participate in to aid science. I think you’ll enjoy them. To employ a colloquialism, they’re a real scream. And of course all indispensable for science. There is much science needs to know about inter-dimensional brightly pigmented equines. Such as their resistance to heat. Or to acid. Or how they react when locked in a room with deadly lasers. Or what happens when one is placed in front of a military spec turret.”

“Why would you do that to us, what have we ever done to you?” Fluttershy asked, speaking up in a moment of silence.

GLaDOS moved her eyepiece to point at the yellow Pegasus, Fluttershy shrank back in fear. “I will not be doing anything directly to you; I will be doing things for science.”

“Can’t ya, just let us go?” Applejack asked stepping in front of the terrified Fluttershy. “We’ll just be on our way and we won’t do nothing”

GLaDOS ignored her and drew herself up towards her mount on the ceiling. “Enough of this pointless frivolity, this is wasting precious time that should be used for science. Good night, Equines” with her last words a loud hissing signalled a green gas that started to seep from its dispensers around the room. As the gas surrounded the ponies they each fell to the ground. Twilight fell to her side, her eyes feeling heavy as she drifted into unconsciousness she used the last of her strength to say “Oh, no not again”.

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