Doing Science

by dashie76

First published

You're not safe In this place All of us warned you of the big white face

You're not safe
In this place
All of us warned you of the big white face

Edited by Gilimmar from Chapter 13 on.

Chapter 1

View Online

May 3rd, 2010

Um...

So...hi?

Erm...my day's been...good...

Hey...uh, boss? Is this right? I just, like, say whatever?

Okay, Mr. Johnson.

So...I guess this is right. Kinda awkward, though.

But I'm so lucky I got this job! Aperture Science is the innovative force for the future! It's truly the pinnacle of modern scientific research. To start with, I'll go over its history!

Aperture Science was founded by...

...

Okay, good. Cave's gone. I can speak for real now.

Honestly? It doesn't make any sense that I was sent here. This facility is stinky, everyone here is sarcastic, and my friends are all back in-

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. I guess I should tell you who I am first.

My name is Rainbow Dash. I'm the coolest, most awesome pony that's ever lived! Someday I'm going to join the coolest, most awesome flying team that's ever lived: The Wonderbolts!

I'm a pegasus pony that lives in the land of Equestria. I also represent one of the six Elements of Harmony - Loyalty. I live with my five best friends in the world in P-

...

I used to live in Ponyville with them.

Agh...Ponyville. I'd always wanted the bustling Canterlot city life, but when I went to that little country town, everything changed. The scenery was gorgeous with exotic flowers everywhere, the ponies there are the nicest I know, and the wildlife is adorable. The Everfree Forest...err, yeah. Not so much.

Anyways, that's where I met my five friends. I'd known four of them just from walking around the place, but Twilight was really the one who brought us all together in the beginning. Y'see, she's Celestia's prime student. With her kind of magical talent, she couldn't have been anything less, although she can be a bit of an egghead at times. But even still, she's pretty cool. I've seen her face off against a horrible Ursa Minor from the Everfree Forest and win. Win! She had no idea how cool she looked...

...Err...never mind. Back to story.

So, being Celestia's student, she was sent away to Ponyville to help us prepare for that year's Summer Sun Celebration. It's an annual celebration where one town in Equestria hosts it and everypony there stays up the whole night and watches Princess Celestia raise the sun. It's always reminded me of New Year's a bit since everypony stays up until the crack of dawn to party.

Anyways, the six of us all met together for the first time as a group when Pinkie Pie - our friendly neighborhood party animal - threw Twi a welcome party at the library where she'd be staying. I've already told you all how awesome I am, though. Let's talk about my friends.

Oh yeah, and one more thing. Each one of my friends is an Element of Harmony, just like me.

So, first off there's Applejack. She's an incredibly strong earth pony and probably the only one who could give me a run for my money in a footrace. She lives at Sweet Apple Acres on the outskirts of Ponyville with her little sister Applebloom, her big brother Big Macintosh, and her Granny Smith. Hooray for puns. She's also one of the most truthful ponies around. Always gives it to ya straight. So she's the Element of Honesty.

Next off is Pinkie Pie. I've already told you a bit about her. Saying that Pinkie Pie loves to throw parties is probably the understatement of the century. Her cutie mark is balloons, for Celestia's sake! Her lot in life is literally to throw parties and make all of the ponies around her happy! Her parties are probably the best around, with dancing, games, ice cream, and tons more! So it makes sense that she would be the Element of Laughter.

Next is Fluttershy. I actually have a bit of a different sort of friendship with her, since I first met her-

Honestly, Aperture Science is just great! You wouldn't believe how awesome it is to work here! Black Mesa doesn't stand a chance in the portal race! It's the greatest job ever! In fact, it's so great that its greatness is...

...I really wish Cave would knock before he comes in...

So like I was saying, I've known Fluttershy for a longer amount of time than my other friends since we went to Junior Speedsters' Flight Camp in Cloudsdale together. She's always been very soft spoken. Like, really soft spoken. Seriously. As in you have to strain your eardrums and refrain from breathing to even hear. So her name is pretty fitting that way. But we're her friends, so she opens up to us more. But she's not always shy. Sometimes she gets pretty scary. Once, I saw her talk down a horrible manticore in the middle of the Everfree Forest by being kind. By being kind! Blows my mind...So, yeah. Also she's the Element of Kindness.

Finally there's Rarity. She's probably the most high class pony I know, even though she isn't from Canterlot. Her standards are astronomical, which reflects in her business. You see, she works at the Carousel Boutique making and selling dresses. I've never been one for all of that namby pamby girly stuff, but even I have to admit that her dresses are quite good. She really puts in all of her extra time into making them. Not that she doesn't...didn't...spend time with us, that is. She's also the Element of Generosity, which completes the six.

Uh...so, yeah. That's us. I hung out with them back in Ponyville like I said, and we had some pretty good times. But naturally, things went wrong...

I used to work at Ponyville managing the weather. I was Cloudsdale Weather Corp's go to pegasus, right? I would clear out clouds, cause rainstorms, do whatever was needed of me. It wasn't a bad job, all things said and done. It payed the bills, left me with a little extra for foodstuffs and the like, and it wasn't hard work either. Not when you're somepony as fast and awesome as me!

But then I got a letter about a week ago telling me that I was being relocated. That my skills with weather manipulation were needed elsewhere.

Where, you ask? Aperture friggin Science, that's where.

I never really knew much about Aperture anyways. It was founded a couple years ago by my boss Cave and I've heard a few rumors about the facility. But I never really paid much attention until I got that letter.

I had to pack my things, say my goodbyes to all of my friends, and set sail for Canterlot. Enjoy.

Well...I suppose I'm not in Canterlot proper. You know how the big city is stationed up on the side of the Great Equestrian Mountain Range? Well Aperture Science is an underground laboratory in the valley created by the range on the opposite side of Canterlot. It's stationed right on Equestria's border. So basically I'm as far away from Ponyville as I could possibly be.

It really sucks. I mean, I haven't even done anything with weather down here yet, and I'm not allowed to fly either. And at least in Ponyville I could breathe in fresh air while on the job! Ugh...

It's really been bad here. On the first day, I had to sit through a three hour film for new employees where Cave made sarcastic jokes in about every line he had. Which was every line.

So naturally, after all of that preparation, they gave me two jobs:

Research portals. Keep a video log.

That's it. Three hours of my life completely down the drain.

And I don't even know anything about portals! I don't know the difference between Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics or about the spacial relationship of time and velocity! How in the hoof am I supposed to know any of that bullcrap?! Did they not know they were hiring a pony who's been on weather duty her whole friggen life?!

...

...Pardon my french, I guess. I'm just really wound up, is all. But seriously, they don't even tell me much about the portals we're researching. They run the experiments, they send the data to me, and I'm supposed to organize it into tables and stuff. The problem is that I don't even know what any of the data means! So it's all pretty pointless to me.

Oh yeah, and the other thing is that everypony who works here is supposed to keep a video log. They don't really care how often we record sessions as long as they're at least ten minutes each and are recorded at least biweekly. So that's what I'll probably do.

So yeah, it's all pretty awful here. Except for Doctor Who-

How do we get all of those bullets in 'em? If you'll view this Aperture Science Handheld Emergency Intelligence Turret Diagram, you'll see that there are four loading compartments marked A, B, C, and D. Compartments A and B require...

I swear to Celestia I'm going to buy a lock for that door.

Um...I forget what I was talking about. Oh well.

So...yeah. I guess I'll have to record another session in two weeks, so I'll see you then.

...

Oh, who am I kidding. No one's watching this.

Chapter 2

View Online

May 15th, 2010

Um...hello again, I guess.

So I know that I said I would only do the bare minimum number of these recordings, but I got kind of lonely after a while with only Cave to talk to. So here I am again.

A few things have happened since I've been gone. I still have to do these video recordings, but I don't have to chart out the scientists' data anymore. Turns out I was only doing that 'cause the guy that normally does it got sick, so cool beans. Of course, with only one job to do now, I've spent a lot of time in my dorm banging my head against the wall. Management keeps telling me they aren't ready for me to take up my official job which utilizes my weather abilities yet, so here I am with almost nothing to do. And they still won't even let me go back to Ponyville. I mean, what's the problem? I could easily do these videos back home.

That's one thing that hasn't changed, at least. I'm still homesick for Ponyville. I couldn't forget about the place, even if I tried - and it doesn't help that Pinkie Pie sends letters to me almost every day. You'd think that being in a dark, dank, smelly underground lab full of sarcastic psychos would toughen you up, you know? Make you immune to homesickness and the like. But no.

Oh! Oh! Just remembered! I made a mental note to myself to tell you about the Doctor. I can't remember if I told you about him last time, but hey, with a stallion like him, two times are better than one, right?

...

Oh my goddess, Cave's personality must be rubbing off on me. Seriously, that was awful.

Anyways, the one pony here who's truly my friend is Doctor Whooves. Even though he's higher up in rank than me, he treats me like his equal. I guess you could say that when I came to Aperture he took me under his wing - ironic since I'm the pegasus and he's the earth pony. Whenever I needed help with the data, I always asked him. Not just because were buddies, but the guy's also a whiz at science. Believe me, when it comes to mathematics and general know-how, this guy makes Twilight look like a magic kindergartener. He can solve problems and conduct experiments at speeds that I didn't think were possible.

...I didn't think until I met him, at least.

He's also really into all this portal stuff. You get the feeling that he really joined Aperture Science for the love of the job, not for the pay of it. Which, by the way, is a lot. He seems to know everything I don't know - Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Physics and all the other Quantum things. But he tends to lose me a lot of the time when he gets deep into his science-y mode, so I just nod, smile, and giggle when appropriate.

>CRASH<

What? Hold on, I gotta take this.

CAVE! THERE'S A LOCK ON THE DOOR! AM I GOING TO HAVE TO EXPLAIN THIS EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO WALK IN?

WHAT?

LOOK, I DON'T CARE IF HE IS HANGING ABOVE A PIT OF HYDROFLUORIC ACID! I'M DOING SOMETHING RIGHT NOW, OKAY?!

Sorry about that. Cave must have crashed into the door again. I installed a lock on it the other day, but he never remembers and always ends up ramming into it. But hey, it's pretty amusing to me, so whatever.

Also, I've been hearing rumors about a big project that's going on with a bunch of the high ranking scientists. They've almost hit a major breakthrough in their test chamber production line, so I'm looking forward to...

Huh?

Oh, check it out. I got an email from one of Cave's associates. Maybe I'll finally be able to start working now.

I guess it was about that time anyways. I'll talk to you guys in a week or two, so bye.

>SMASH<

ARE YOU DONE YET?!

Chapter 3

View Online

May 25th, 2010

Great news, everypony! I finally get to do something interesting!

It turns out that having the Doctor as a friend paid off in the long run. He knew that I've been sad with nothing to do really, (and kind of homesick as well, )so since he's higher in rank than me, he managed to pull a few strings and get me a job working with him on the test chambers.

It's actually a lot different than I expected it to be. I figured that I'd just be totally out of place, surrounded by all of these super smart scientists and all, but they turned out to be pretty cool guys. They all treat me like an equal, just like the Doctor does.

Oh, except for Frosty. He's just kind of a pervert.

Anyways, remember that rumor of a big breakthrough in the test chamber production line I was telling you guys about last time? Well, it turns out those rumors were true. The scientists decided to add a new element to the test chambers they're building.

Oh! Oh! Almost forgot! Part of the intro to this new job is that I got to see a test subject go through a few test chambers.

It.

Blew.

My.

Friggin.

Mind.

Seriously, just imagine it for a minute - what if you had a gun that could rip through the fabric of space-time itself? What if you could make portals in this way? What if you could traverse great distances, solve puzzles, and a ton of other stuff using them? Sounds like science fiction, right?

Not anymore, it's not.

And mind you, I've got no clue how the thing works. But I do know this - all of the walls (well panels, actually) of the test chambers aren't just normal walls. They're made from special materials that conduct portals well, prime among them being lunar rocks. Weird, right? I mean, how much dough did Aperture have to pay to get their hands on so many space rocks? Mountains and mountains of dough, I bet.

Anyways, inside of these test chambers are a number of different things called "elements." With a lowercase "e" so that they don't get confused with the Elements of Harmony. Anyways, these elements include laser beams, which can be potentially fatal, laser catchers, which activate something when a laser goes into them, weighted buttons, which can be activated by a weighted cube or sphere, and deadly goo, which is always fatal once touched. Come to think of it, almost every element is fatal in one way or another. Pretty sure that Aperture is breaking one or two laws with all of that stuff...

Oh yeah, so the job that the Doctor put me on is involved with making new elements for testing. They recently got an idea as to what they should add next - a tractor beam. Totally badass, right? We could fly around in a spaceship, abducting cows and other stuff. That would be so cool...

So all of the scientists were brainstorming how they would go about creating this sort of thing. And this is where I come in - they need someone who can manipulate clouds. Specifically, the clouds' precipitation. You see, they figured out that if they group together the correct amount of hot and cold clouds in the core of the machine, they can create an endless spiral of rain, creating a miniature hurricane. They would also create cloud generators from water condensers and whatnot, so they wouldn't ever run out of hurricanes. I don't see how that sort of thing could possibly work, but they're scientists, so they've got to know what they're doing...

Plus, they have the Doctor on the team. He's better than all of them combined...

...<sigh>...

...Uhh...what? N-Nevermind.

So they need me to gather up some clouds and make them a hurricane in one of the more secluded test chambers. Then they want my opinion on whether or not some of the technology they're implementing would work with the precipitation rate and all of that other science-y stuff. I'll do my best to help them.

So...that's basically what I've been doing for the past week or so. Wake up. Shower and eat. Make some storms with the Doctor. Go to the underground bar. Drink. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. It's actually a pretty busy schedule, so it was hard to find some time to make this video log. I made time, though.

But I still miss Ponyville...Despite everypony at Aperture being welcoming and kind (almost everypony, Cave) I still miss all of my old friends. Pinkie would find the portals totally amusing...Twilight would talk science with the Doctor for hours on end...as much as I hated Aperture in the beginning, there's at least one thing about it for each of my friends that they would like. And Pinkie still sends me a ton of letters. I reply to them, of course. Just told them about the Doctor today. We'll see what their opinion of him is pretty soon -

>knock knock<

Oh...crap. That's probably Cave. Hold on, I gotta take this...

Hello? Come in.

>clack< Oh! Evening, Rainbow.

Oh! Um...Hello, Doctor. What...what are you doing down here this late?

Well, I was going through some files and realized that the power in this room was on. I couldn't tell if it was a glitch or what, so I was just coming down here to check. Why did you say you were here at this time of night?

Um...I had to do my video log...

Ah, yes. Always a bother, that.

Wait...Oh, I'm interrupting, aren't I? It's okay, I can just leave you to finish...

Oh, no, it's cool. Actually, come here for a second...

Hey, guys! Look who decided to drop in!

Um...evening? Afternoon? Rainbow, what time are they watching this at?

I...never really though of that. Hm.

I know! We should make a program that could tell the time of day that the recording is being watched at and generate an appropriate greeting for the viewer!

I don't think that's worth the effort for a greeting, Doctor...

Rule number 32: The most important part of any conversation is the greeting.

More rules, huh...I though you were done after "the Doctor is always right..." and it's not even a conversation...

Hey! It's a conversation! It's just...one sided, is all!

...Okay, that was clever. I'll give you that.

Thanks. But...it really is kind of late, so I should probably get back to my dorm.

Okay...um...let me just stop the recording.

Huh? Why?

We can walk back up together.

Chapter 4

View Online

June 7th, 2010

So...um...it's been...interesting since we last talked. Or since I last talked. To the computer.

First off, we finally managed to complete that tractor beam I was telling you guys about. It took us a lot of tries, though. Who knew scientists could be so demanding? I feel like I've flown more in the past two weeks than I've flown in my entire life. And it wasn't just simple flying either - it was "can you make the storm wider," or "can you make the storm taller," or "could you please try that last one again?" I never fully appreciated how varied hurricanes could be until now.

Anyways, five days ago they finally asked for too much. The storm was so powerful that even I couldn't get it under control. It got seriously out of hoof and destroyed most of the eastern wing of chambers. The noise was deafening...it was tearing panels off from the walls like nobody's business.

Things haven't been so great because of that, actually. A lot of employees here can't work anymore because they were stationed in the eastern wing. As far as I know, they're going back to their families until the situation is resolved. All of the employees that were working in the eastern wing at the time of the storm have been injured, some more seriously than others, although no one...no one has died yet. All of the ponies who have broken a limb or worse are still in medical right now.

They were only able to stop the thing because we called in the emergency squadron of unicorns. They used their magic to get the hurricane under control, but just as they were about to purge it, one of my co-workers ran up with a tractor beam. It wasn't working, of course - it just kind of looked like a metal circle with lights blinking around the edge. I still don't understand how he could have been thinking about something like science at a time like that...But regardless, the squadron managed to shrink the storm and stuff it into the beam. The logical science behind it completely eludes me, but somehow it worked. But if they expect me to make a storm like that every time they want a new beam, they can go screw off. Ponies could have died. Nothing is worth that.

Most of the other projects have been put on hold because of the incident so that everypony can work on repairing the facility. With all of us working together, we should have it fixed in about a week. That sounds really quick, right? Well, one of the projects that are still running is the test chamber production line. They're going to be building panels for us to use for repair. They're cranking out those things as fast as we can put them in, so if all of us work really hard, we should be done soon.

What really gets me is that this whole thing is my fault. I know that the others have tried to comfort me, but I know that they're just being generous. I was already fed up with all of the demands the scientists were putting on me, and I should've been a lot more careful than I was. This is my job now. It shouldn't frustrate me to such an extent so that I cause this sort of catastrophe.

My friends must have caught wind of the whole thing back in Ponyville by now. I can only imagine what they must think of me now that they see how careless I was. Pinkie even stopped sending me letters. She used to send them every day, but two days ago they stopped. I don't blame her. Why would they ever even want to see me again?

Well...aside from that, nothing else has happened. Nothing else could've happened. We've all been working on this hurricane situation so much that there hasn't been any time for us to do anything else. I should just be thankful that-

>CRASH<

MOTHER BUCKER, CAVE, I TOLD YOU THERE WAS A LOCK!!!!

Did you? I don't remember.

Well, I did, you idiot.

HEY! You can't speak that way to your boss! I could still fire you for that whole hurricane shenanigan you pulled!

Argh...I know, I know...

And you would do well to remember it. But I'm not here to lecture you. You've got a visitor. Several visitors.

Several? Who...wait, why?

They told me not to say. You'll find 'em downstairs, hanger thirteen.

Wait, why can't...

Ugh...

I have to go. Some ponies are here for me. Probably one of the injured's family here to sue. I'll see you guys - or talk to a computer screen alone, I guess - in a few weeks, provided I make it out of court okay.

Chapter 5?

View Online

Hello? Hello-hello-hello?

Hey, Twilight, I think I got it to work! The light's on!

Pinkie, the light has to be off for it to working.

What?! No it doesn't! It should totally be on! It's definitely working, and now there's going to be cake and ice cream and parties and fun and-

No, no, you're both doing it wrong. You must - oh, just give it here.

No! Wait-

Chapter 5

View Online

-ee, Twilight? I was right! The light does not lie!

Okay, okay, Pinkie, you were right. Just - oh, this is going to come back to bite me later, isn't it...

'Fraid so, sugarcube.

I-I won't bring it up if you don't want me to...

Nor I, Twilight! I was brought up to believe that one never has a good reason for teasing their friends!

Okay...um, fine. Whatever. Anyways-

I was right and you were wrong! You see? I'm not just crazy, logic defying Pinkie Pie after all. I'm smart-

Pinkie Pie! How rude of you!

Oh, come on, Rarity. It's not like you've never made fun of a friend for something! And besides, it's not like I'm being mean to her or anything.

I'm, um, sorry for being so mean that one time...

Girls...

Fluttershy, you've nothing to apologize for. Everypony makes mistakes and everypony can make up for them. And you've already made up for yours by being our friend.

I agree! Fluttershy, you've been nothing but a faithful companion to us for a long, long time-

Hey! I think we should do something to celebrate Fluttershy's non-meanie-mcmeanie-pants-ness! Let's have a par-

GIRLS!

...

...

...

...I'm, um, sorry-

Fluttershy...it's fine. Really. Now that everything's in order, let's just get down to business.

So...who's watching this? Do we even know? I want to make sure I address them in the right-

Good morning! Good evening! Good afternoon! My name is Pinkie Pie! My other friends that are here are Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Applejack! Read me in pink! Read my friends in purple, yellow, gray, and orange, in that order.

R...read...but that...

Don't worry about it, Twilight. Inside joke.

With the pony that's listening to - okay, fine. Just fine.

Anyways, you've already heard Pinkie, so I guess you know who we are. We're all friends of Rainbow Dash, who works here at Aperture Science Laboratories. This is actually her computer and webcam we're using, so I hope she doesn't get mad...Anyways, Aperture Science is-

Hey, Twi? Could you just skip this bit? Ah think they know that already.

Um...eheh. I guess so.

Anyways, we've already looked through Rainbow's previous recording, and I'll assume you've listened to it and know of the tragedy that has occurred here. Because of Rainbow's involvement in the creation of the hurricane, we feared that she would think herself to be the cause of the grief and misery that has accompanied Aperture these past five days. We have come here to-

Throw a party!

...

...Hee hee hee...sorry, Twilight. Carry on.

As I was saying, we're here to ensure that she doesn't hold these thoughts in her mind. Although, judging from the last recording, she already has...

Oh, I do hope we can change her mind...

...And that's why we're here. Thank you, Rarity.

...My apologies...

Well...that's it. We're here to cheer Rainbow up and help her to feel better about the whole situation. Honestly, we would've come no matter her involvement just to check up and see how she was. But since she was involved with the storm, we want to ensure that we leave her not blaming herself.

And hooooooooow are we going to do that, Twilight?

...We're going to throw Rainbow Dash-

A PARTY!

...

Oh! Oops! Um, sorry, Twilight. I just get really excited about parties, and you were going to say it, and I just...

...No, it's fine Pinkie. I probably need to loosen up a bit anyways.

Well, don't put all of the blame on yourself. You had to lock me in the basement for two days because I couldn't control my urges to write to Dashie and spoil the party!

Not an easy task, I assure you.

That mare's tougher to tie up than a herd 'a' rabid timber wolves.

Um...I-I hope you're not still hurt from that...are you...?...O-oh dear, I'm so sorry-

Aaaaanyways, yeah, we're going to throw Rainbow a party! Hopefully this will lift her spirits and show her that we do care about her and would never think any less of her for anything she would do at Aperture Science-

Shh!

Pinkie, what? I've been lenient, but if you keep interrupting me, than-

Twilight, shh! I think she's coming back!

...

Holy horse feathers, she's right! Everyone hide! Turn off the lights!

I-I got the lights...

And make sure we yell surprise in unison! It's got to be like that or else it won't work!

Rarity! We've got it! Now get ready! Here she comes!

...

...Geez, it's really dark in here...huh?

Well, why in the hoof is the light on this thing still on?

Lemme just...

SURPR-

Chapter 6

View Online

So...um...I didn't realize they were coming...

Twilight should've let me tell you!

I would've kept the camera running for my reaction if I knew...yeah...

We don't blame ya for that, sugarcube. There's no way you could've known anyhoo.

Well, it was well done. Maybe too well. I'm gonna have to find a way to fix the dent my head made in the ceiling.

Ah...

Anyways, back to business. You remember why we turned the camera back on, right?

Oh...come on, Twilight...

No, Rainbow Dash! You promised you would say it on camera!

It is very unladylike to break a promise, no matter the circumstances.

Um...I-I don't mind...if you don't...um...

Speak up, Fluttershy. We can barely read you!

Fine, I'll do it...what?

...

Wait, wait...what?

Basically what we were thinking. None of us understand why she keeps saying things like that, but we're putting it down to her just being Pinkie Pie.

Now then...your promise.

Aww...

Rainbow...

Okay, okay. Fine.

<ahem>

Before you guys showed up today, that whole...hurricane thing...well, it was sort of bugging me.

"Sort of?"

Okay, okay...it was really getting me down. I was thinking that the whole catastrophe was my fault. I made the hurricane that hurt so many of my coworkers...and friends...

But then you guys showed up. My first true friends. You came to lift my spirits like I would come to lift yours. You helped me to realize that...whatever I did to cause the hurricane...there was no way I could've known that it would bring about such a huge disaster. And...even if there was a way...

...that's okay too. Because in life, when you get stuck and make mistakes, the best thing you can do is get up, dust yourself off, and make up for them. I'll have to work pretty hard to make up for this one...I'll do my best to help everypony affected by this tragedy...but I know that I can do it.

Because I know...that my friends will help me through it all.

Awww...

If you ever tell anypony I said that on tape, I will...

Well, never mind.

I think that was very sweet, Rainbow Dash. You've come to terms with your inner feelings!

Heh...my inner feelings...yeah...

What's that, sugarcube?

Ah, it's nothing. Hey, where's Pinkie?

I don't know...where has she gone?

She was just here a second ago.

Um...I-I can look for her for you...

That's fine, Fluttershy. I can...

Hold on...my bedroom door is cracked...

OH MY GOD, CAVE!

Hrrgh...y-yeah...now it's a party...<hic>

HHHey, Rainbow...<hic>ch-check out this cider that <hic> your boss brought in for us...

CAVE, HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING IN MY BEDROOM THIS WHOLE TIME?!

I'm...<hic>...you're boss, Ms. Dash...<hic>...I can go wherever the hell I want...

Um...

No, Cave. No. This is the last straw.

H-Hey, what are ya...<hic>...OW! HEY! That hurts!

You're leaving my apartment now.

<crash>

Heheh...why don'tcha give me a reach around while you're at it...

YEEOW!

GET! OUT!

Okay, okay...jeez...<hic>...party pooper...

...

Don't suppose you heard any of that.

....

...

I'll...talk to you guys later, okay? We've got to get Pinkie sober.

'Cause IIIII love to make you <hic> smile, smile, smiiiiiiile...heeheehee...<hic>

...Yeah. Bye.

Chapter 7

View Online

June 10th, 2010

Crap. Crap. Crap.

Okay, okay, I know that it's only been three days since my last recording, but I think that this warrants another video. Okay? Okay. Um, here goes.

The Doctor asked me out to dinner.

I know, right? It's crazy. It's like he knew that I was interested in him somehow. Wait...you didn't know that, did you? Oh, no. If anypony ever gets ahold of this, and they see me, Rainbow Dash, the most awesome pony in all of Equestria...oh, Celestia...I hope not...Aaaaaagh...

Okay, okay...deep breaths...in...

...>heep<...

...and out...

...>hoo<...

...just like that...

...>heep<...

...>hoo<...

...>heep<...

...>hoo<...

...Okay...I think I'm better now.

So...I guess I just needed something to talk to, you know? To bounce my words back off of. I mean, the whole thing kinda put me under a lot of stress. You see, I've never actually been asked out on a date before, so I don't really know how it all goes down. Like, do I need to wear something? Do I need to use some kind of special etiquette? I mean, it's my first date, and it's with him, too. So what do I do? I mean, I'm getting kind of desperate over here. I don't want to screw myself over on the first try.

But maybe it won't be that serious. I mean, it's not like the food here at Aperture has a five star rating. For that matter, I don't even know where we would eat. Cave was too cheap to pay for a cafeteria, so I usually just grab my dinner from the kitchen and take it back to my dorm to eat it there. The Doctor told me not to worry about it and to just meet me at eight outside of my room, but I'm still worried...

I actually got so stressed a few hours ago when I got back that I sent a letter to Twilight asking for advice. I even paid for the deluxe shipping. But I know that there's no way that her letter will get back in time, even if she writes one out. So I'm on my own.

Cave won't be any help either. He'll either make fun of me or tell me to act like those sluts that live in the bad part of Canterlot. I'm too good for that. For that matter, the Doctor's too good for that...

Anyways, I think that I'll just act like myself. That's what they always say to do in the movies. I'm still not entirely sure that it'll work, though. It's not like I have any perfume or anything that I could smack on. Not that I'd use that stuff...ugh. Oh, well. I've still got some time to think about how I'm going to play this out. It's only...

Sweet Celestia, it's 7:57. The vultures are officially circling. Um, um...how should I greet him..."Hey, how's it going?" Nope, too casual. Um. "Good evening, Doctor." Too formal. Err...aaaaagh...

BOO!

AAAAAAAHHH!

Ha! I got you, didn't I?

Ah...heheh...>ahem<...y-yeah, you did. Heh...um, how did you even...

Oh, you left your door unlocked. I didn't think you'd mind me coming in to greet you. Right?

Oh, it's fine! It's totally cool! Heheh...

Are...are you okay?

What? Oh, yeah! I'm fine! Everything's fine!

You're sweating.

Um, I, I, I just went out for a quick jog before you got here!

A jog.

Yeah! Totally! Gotta build up those muscles, right?

It's eight 'o' clock at night.

B-Better late than never. Right?

Rainbow?

Yeah?

Close your eyes.

What? Why? W-What are you-

Quiet, quiet. Just do it.

O-Okay...

Good. Now take a deep breath with me. In...

...>heep<...

...and out...

...>hoo<...

Better?

Uh...yeah. Thanks.

Good. Now then, shall we get going?

Okay. Where are we-

>poof<

...

Whoa. What was that? It looked like a dragon's fire. And what's this?

W-We should really get going now...

"Always be honest. Tell him exactly how you feel and hope that he returns those same feelings."

D-Doctor...

"Also, even though it's your first date, don't be afraid to show a little spunk. Make him want more-"

DOCTOR!

Ah!

Let's - get - going.

Y-Yeah. Sorry. I'll just leave this here...

Okay...okay, good. You'll lead the way, I presume.

Uh...aren't you going to shut off that computer first?

Oh, right. Heh. Almost forgot.

Chapter 8

View Online

June 15th, 2010

Hey, everypony. Um...how's it going?

Sorry. I was never very good at the introductions for these things. Anyways, this really is supposed to be a log for work, so...business before pleasure, I suppose.

Heh heh.

It's actually been pretty great up here at Aperture Science. Cave's personality has done a complete one-eighty - not only did he scrape together enough money for the hurricane repair job, but the other scientists told me that he can't get enough of the tractor beam! He says that if we can design a construction line to mass produce them, he'll give us all a raise by the end of the month. Thankfully, we won't have to physically generate another storm - we just have to create new ones from the original device we put together. How all of that works doesn't make any rational sense to me, but that's alright. I just can't figure out what turned Cave into such a cool guy all of a sudden...

We've got new projects on top of that as well. Cave wants my team to design a line of "Mobility Gels." He says that they'll be used in all of the new test chambers along with the tractor beam. Apparently, they're going to be a special group of chemicals that will affect the test chamber environment - he wants Speed Gel, Repulsion Gel, and Conversion Gel to start. The Speed Gel will make you run faster, the Repulsion Gel forces non-portalable objects away from it, and the Conversion Gel converts non-portalable surfaces to portalable ones. I don't understand how any combination of chemicals on the planet could make stuff that has those properties, but, again, I won't question it. As long as I'm getting paid, that is.

Then there's the Doctor.

Now, due to my reputation as being the most awesome mare in all of Equestria, I cannot allow you to divulge any of the following information to anypony. However, I can tell you this - he is, without a doubt, the most awesome stallion in all of Equestria.

I mean, I was thinking about it the other night and it just seemed so silly to me, y'know? Everything about him that I like has been said before in those cheesy novels that Rarity likes - he's funny, he's brilliant, he's handsome, and he's got the sexiest accent this side of Apploosa.

Don't tell Pinkie I said that.

But anyways, I was thinking about this the other night and I thought to myself, "well, there's got to be something else about him. Something that makes him different from the hundreds of other guys I've seen throughout my life." But I couldn't think of anything else. Everything about him just works together - personality, accent, looks. It all just seems so...right.

I never thought love would be so simple - or so cliche. If it is love, I mean. It's all working out just like those novels - the stallion's amazing and the mare is absolutely awesome. I've never tried to hook up with anypony before because I just figured that it would make life harder down the road. Ponies' feelings would end up getting hurt, things would get complicated, and everypony would just end up sad. But it's not like that with the Doctor. Even though I act like a total klutz around him, he still keeps me around. He never seems to have any problems - he doesn't stutter, he doesn't stumble. He always just acts so natural around me. It's both endearing and infuriating.

And that's the other thing. Am I allergic to him or something? Because every time I've been around him lately - with our co-workers, that is, and no matter what the situation is - I literally can't speak. And it's not even annoying me that I stutter, it's that I stutter around him of all ponies. Why can't I stutter around Cave or one of the other scientists? It's always him. I also can't fly for my life when he's in the same room with me. I'll crash into a wall or desk or something. He seems to think it's funny...

So...yeah, I guess that's it. Next time I'll hopefully be able to tell you more about those Mobility Gels. See you then!

>click<

Okay, there. I did my recording for this week. Are you happy now?

Oh, yes. And by the by - sexy accent?

Oh...um...

The most awesome stallion in all of Equestria?

Doctor...

Ah, I'm just messing with you. Truth be told, that's a big compliment, coming from you.

Doctor...I like you and all, but you can be a real egghead sometimes. Did you really have to make me do all that before we...you know.

Of course! Work should always come first.

Ah, yes. Work...before pleasure.

Now you're talking. Get over here, little miss sexy accent...

>Rustle<

...

...

...?

Hey. Time out for a minute.

Oh, come on!

You shut that thing off, right?

Yes, of course.

So why is the webcam still blinking?

...

Cave...

Oh, Celestia...now, Dashie? Please just-

CAAAAAAAAVE!!!!

>CRASH<

>ZOOM<

Oh, boy. Allons-y!

Chapter 9

View Online

June 22nd, 2010

Hello again, everypony. I've got another report for you guys today.

First off, the Mobility Gels are running smoothly. We've already got the Speed Gel down, and all that's left are the Repulsion and Conversion Gels. Should be easy enough to get those done. We also started that production line for the tractor beam. It's not really done yet, but we'll definitely finish it off by the end of the month, meeting Cave's deadline and then some.

I also formally pitched my idea for a "Cleansing Gel" to Cave that negates the effects of the other Gels. I made a pretty strong argument, I think. To me, it doesn't make sense that a test subject should have to deal with Weighted Cubes and Spheres that are covered with the different Gels. But like I said, I put a lot of thought into my pitch. So it'll probably get funded eventually.

What else, what else...oh, yeah, I finally got hooked up with Rainbow Dash. It wasn't as hard as I expected it to be and I was worried about rushing things, but she actually seemed pretty desperate for me. What can I say? Everypony digs the accent!

All seriousness, though, she's pretty cool. She isn't really one for science, but that never seems to matter when we're together. She just really likes being around me, and I, to some degree, like being around her. She also trusts me completely. I think that I could ask her to do anything and she would honestly try to do it. And while that does mean good things for me, it also means that she'll be perfect. Cave was right.

There...has been a slight complication, however. Cave has already made it quite clear to me that I can't grow too attached to her. I understand why - for obvious reasons that would be too redundant to explain here - but I worry that I will not be able to...how shall we say...hold up my end of the agreement.

Now, I'm not saying that I will complicate things in the future - Celestia, no - but it's just something that I think I need to work on, is all. That's it.

Anyways, I did have something else that I wanted to try before this session ends. Now, I presume that Cave will be watching this, so I'll now be speaking directly to him. Cave, you know my position. I am not asking for your permission this time. We are done debating. I am going to run the prototype, and if it doesn't work, then at least we'll both know, once and for all, that your plan is the correct one.

I have already taken the necessary precautions. Anything that goes wrong will be dealt with in a calm and orderly manner. Do not try to stop me. I already have it prepped, charged, and at the ready. All I've got to do is flip-

>KKKCCCCHHHHH

































>TRANSMISSION/END

Chapter 10

View Online

June 15th, 2010

Uh...hey, guys. So I'm doing my report early again. But this time I have a good reason, I promise.

Something...well, something bad happened again. It wasn't anypony's fault, though. There was an overload in one of the Computer Rooms on the lower levels - one of the big ones, to boot. It short-circuited multiple systems at once, halting the work on any projects they were managing. One of them must have been working on the gas pipes at the time of the overload because a segment of the pipes ruptured. Combine that with the heat of the short-circuit and, well, you can guess what happened.

This time it was in the West Wing of the Facility. Thank Celestia, there were barely any ponies working there at the time. Few are injured and none have lost their lives. The situation is being dealt with by a select group of employees that were hand picked by Cave. We're all worried about what this means for the future of Aperture - after all, two accidents of such magnitude in such a short amount of time can't reflect well on us among Celestia's Parliament. Some ponies have even said that we could get shut down if anything else goes wrong.

Now, first off, I just want to say I'm thankful nopony was killed. And secondly, I'm not really worried that we'll get shut down. Cave is a pervert and a goofball, but he's also a smart business stallion. He's got resources that only he knows about and can worm his way out of almost any situation. We'll be fine.

But the whole thing still sort of...intrigues me. It happened on a Saturday, when most of us have the day off. It's just kind of strange to me that one of the biggest Computer Rooms with more processing power than the others would overheat on a day when most of us weren't even using the servers. It's also just as weird that Cave would only have a small number of workers clean up the area while he would normally jump at the thought of having us slave away for him. And also, he's refused to reveal the identity of those who were injured to us. So I snuck into the file room and found out that the injured were all poisoned. They should've had burns or bruises, but they showed traces of a toxic gas instead.

There's one other thing. I was curious about how the Room overheated, so I hacked into the computer logs to see who was on the server at the time of the explosion. There were only a few, as expected, but one of them experienced an abnormal spike in activity just seconds before the explosion. It was the latest computer model we had, and I know who owns it - none other than the Doctor himself.

But here's the spooky part - the Doctor is also one of the few who were called down by Cave to fix the West Wing.

These coincidences are just too big for me to believe that that's what they are. Something is going on here - something that's potentially bigger than me, Cave, or anypony here at Aperture. And I've got to figure out what it is. For now, I'll be a good girl and keep my head low about all this, continuing my work as well as my relationship with the Doctor. But I'll confront him about it eventually.

I'll have to.

Chapter 11

View Online

June 22nd, 2010

Hey, everypony! I'm back again.

Okay, so it's been a little while since my last update. But I have a good reason for that! I'll tell you about it later, I promise!

First off, my team just finished that production line earlier today, so Cave gave us all the day off. And we all got raises too, so score! He still doesn't really give us a lot, but at least it's more than before. If I play my cards right and save my pennies, I might even make it to Ponyville for a vacation! I'd have to work hard all summer, though. Also, I'd probably have to start wearing the skintight lab coat around Cave...But I don't mind. It gives me more time to work on that project.

I've been spending all of my extra time researching Cave's past actions. Specifically, anything he's done with the Doctor. What I found was...very interesting. First off, this isn't the first time that particular Computer Room - specifically, Room 78 - has overheated. There have been a total of five meltdowns in that particular room over the last two years, and the highest recorded number in any of the other mainframes is two, which definitely makes me think that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to that particular one. One of the creepiest things about the meltdowns is that whenever one happened, save the most recent one, somepony went missing. They didn't die - they went missing. No bodies, no traces, no nothing. I'm going to have to investigate the room proper soon.

Not only that, but every meltdown has some sort of connection to Cave, the Doctor, or Cave's select group that went out to clean up the latest disaster. Cave has gone on record stating that one of his programs corrupted the mainframe and caused the first one, a few ponies from Cave's group were working in the room the second time, and so on and so forth up to the most recent meltdown, for which the Doctor himself seems to be solely responsible.

The Cave group has only gotten shadier from there on out. The different members have been sued multiple times over seemingly unrelated things. A few of them got in trouble with the Princesses themselves for hacking the Canterlot mainframe to get classified information, actually. But all of them have been sued at least once for "Abuse of Scientific/Genetic Experiments." Those files were buried so deep that I could only get the name of the offense along with the ponies involved - unsurprisingly, all of the Cave group. It'll have to do for now.

It's clear at this point that something is going on, something potentially bigger than me, the Doctor, or even all of Aperture Science. I have decided that I must discover the reason for the Doctor's involvement in all of this, if nothing else. I'm afraid that our relationship is a fa├žade that I will have to keep up for a little while longer, at least until I can confront him about all of this.

Oh, and one more thing - in early 2010, Cave began a classified project of his own. These files are buried on a whole other level than even the court files, and I could only get the name of the experiment. But since it's the only classified project that Cave himself has founded in his entire history at Aperture, I can bet that his little inner circle is involved. The name itself doesn't even make any sense - it's got to be an acronym for something.

The name of the experiment is Project GLa-

SSZZRACK

HTT...

>Whump<

...

...You shouldn't have done that, babe. You really shouldn't have done that...

Chapter 12 - End of Act 1

View Online

Date: Classified

Time: Classified

Well...this will be the final entry of this project's log.

First, I want to thank everypony who helped to make this possible. Cave and I didn't do all of the work - everypony standing here contributed in some way. So thank you, to everypony.

I'm not going to bother sweet talking you through this stage of the project. I hope that none of you will lose sleep over what's going to happen here today - what has to happen. Remember that this is for the betterment of the world, and most importantly, the ever forward progress of science.

You are all dismissed to your respective stations. Let the final stage of Project GLaDOS begin.

...

They know that we're ahead of schedule, you know. You didn't address that in your little speech.

What would you have me do, Cave? She was too close to discovering the truth. Don't lecture me.

I'm not lecturing you. I'm just saying that you should tell them things like that, lest they lose their faith in you, and by extension, me.

I get it. Now are you going to help me prep the system or not?

...Very well.

...

...Huh?

Oh Celestia, not now...

T...This isn't my office...

She's all yours, Doctor. You're the one who brought her here.

Cave! What's going on?! I demand to know!

Dash...honey...look, just try to calm down, okay?

Calm down? You kidnapped me! You tazed me in my own office!!

You forced my hoof. I had no choice.

You...So you were up to something, you little weasel...

Come on, don't be like that. You know I would never try to hurt you.

...Where are we? Room 78?

Yes...and no. We're just below Room 78, in the additional part of the mainframe that Cave added on a few years back. And no, it's not on any sort of official record.

So this is where..."Project GLaDOS"...has been taking place.

That's right. Clever of you to figure it out.

Stop doing that.

...What? Stop doing what?

Stop acting like there's still something between us.

...

It ended the moment I figured out your involvement in this conspiracy.

...Fair enough.

Now then, what's this whole experiment about, huh? What are you trying to accomplish?

What we're trying to accomplish is the beginning of a whole new generation of science. It's the most ambitious Aperture experiment to date and it's going to push forward our company to totally unprecedented heights.

Yeah. Hopefully it'll work this time.

...

I know about all those other meltdowns. This isn't the first time you've tried...and failed.

No. This time it's going to work. This time we're going to come out on top.

How do you know? Why won't this time turn out like the others?

Because this time we have-

Doctor? All machines are prepped and ready to go.

Wha...okay, okay. I'll be there in a minute.

Can't forget to say our goodbyes, can we?

Rainbow...

Go on, go! This time you'll do better! This time you'll-

CLICK

...

The only reason you're still alive is because I find your sass mildly amusing. You would do well to remember that.

...Y-Yes, sir...

Now, I've got to go and flip the switch on this thing. Behave yourself while I'm gone.

...Yeah...okay...

Good.

...

You okay?

...Fine. Everything's ready?

They're just waiting for the go-ahead from us.

Then let's give it to them.

KRUNK

Here we go...phase one.

OW!

Readings are normal...

Hey! That hurt! What did you do?

Internal monitor says...it's progressing smoothly.

What's going...ahh...

Sorry, babe.

...I can't feel my body...what the hell did you do...?

We've been at this project for quite a while, as you know. We should've succeeded by now. But there was one detail that always eluded us...One detail that threw the whole project off...

...No...Oh, no...

That's right.

...The...The missing ponies...

You didn't connect the dots, did you?

...N...No...

They were all mares.

This isn't the time, Doctor. Something's going on with the readings.

Phase two is beginning. But...hold on, what in Equestria is that?

BANG BANG BANG

THIS IS THE CAPTAIN OF THE ROYAL GUARD! I AM UNDER ORDERS TO STOP YOUR CURRENT EXPERIMENT! OPEN THE DOOR IMMEDIATELY!!

Is the door...

It's locked. It'll hold. And right now, we've got other problems. There's an unusual amount of brainwave activity.

What part of it?

Medulla Oblongata. It controls...let's see here...it controls anger and aggression...aggressive behavior...

Y...You...You did this to me...

It's the final phase. This had better finish soon.

THIS IS PRINCESS CELESTIA!! AS YOUR RULER, I AM ORDERING YOU TO OPEN THIS DOOR!!!

You...D...Doctor...

Oh, boy. What now?

We stick with it to the end.

CRASH

STOP THIS MACHINE IMMEDIATELY!!!

Doctor...!

It's almost done!!

DOCTOR!!!!

click

>...

>GLaDOS online

>Priority One: Doctor

Chapter 13

View Online

Dear Princess Celestia,

Hello, Princess. I'm sorry to bother you, but I have a matter of small concern to bring to your attention. For starters, I'm sure you're aware of the recent rumors surrounding the calamity at Aperture Laboratories. Matter of fact, you were probably busy dealing with that when you received this letter...anyways, these rumors affect me more deeply than most. As you know, Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty and a dear friend of mine, was recently relocated to Aperture Science by Cloudsdale Weather Facilities. Although I have sent her many letters over the last few weeks, she has not replied to a single one.

Considering the latest news...well, I'm sure you understand my concern.

If possible, I would like you to get in contact with Aperture Laboratories and have Rainbow Dash send us something - anything - to let us know that she's alright. Thank you.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

----------

Dear Princess Celestia,

Hello, it's Twilight again. I normally don't send you letters this frequently, but you didn't reply to the previous one. I don't want to bother you, but me and the rest of my friends here in Ponyville are very worried about Rainbow Dash. I don't want to impose, but we really want to hear from her as soon as possible.

Also...Princess, I know that something's up. I've been looking into the situation, and this isn't just Aperture being Aperture. I asked around, and essentially all of Aperture's employees, including the high ranking officials, have gone dark. As far as I know, there's been no contact with any of them since before this crisis began, and now half the royal guard's away, burning through funds on - what was it - border patrols and foreign conferences?

We're really worried, Princess.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

----------

Dear Princess Celestia,

Princess, it's me again. I don't want to continue bothering you, but I don't understand what's happening. It's not like you to just ignore two of my letters without sending even a small note back to me. Now, see here - I know that things must be pretty bad over in Canterlot, but Ponyville isn't exactly smiles and sunshine either. Pinkie Pie hasn't thrown any sort of party in several weeks, and Rarity's having trouble focusing on her sewing. Applejack hasn't been to the market square since last Monday, and Fluttershy, who's been a friend of Rainbow's since they were just fillies, is actually living with me. She's so distraught that she can't even focus on taking care of her animal friends - thank Celestia we've got Zecora. (Thank you, I guess...) Not to mention the rest of Ponyville - not to mention the whole of Equestria - all of whom haven't heard a peep from Canterlot or Aperture since the whole incident went down last month.

If you don't reply to me soon, I'm taking things into my own hooves. You know me well enough to know that I'm not bluffing.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

----------

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

Gather up the remaining Elements of Harmony residing in Ponyville with you and come to Canterlot immediately. I will explain the situation to thou upon thy arrival.

Princess Luna

Chapter 14

View Online

Dear Princess Celestia,

Hello, Princess. I'm sorry to bother you, but I have a matter of small concern to bring to your attention. For starters, I'm sure you're aware of the recent rumors surrounding the calamity at Aperture Laboratories. Matter of fact, you were probably busy dealing with that when you received this letter...Anyways, these rumors affect me more deeply than most. As you know, Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty and a dear friend of mine, was recently relocated to Aperture Science by Cloudsdale Weather Facilities. Although I have sent her many letters over the last few weeks, she has not replied to a single one.

Considering the latest rumors, I'm sure you understand my concern.

If possible, I would like you to get in contact with Aperture Laboratories and have Rainbow Dash sent us something - anything - to let us know that she's alright. Thank you.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

----------

Dear Princess Celestia,

Hello, it's Twilight again. I normally don't send you letters this frequently, but you didn't reply to the previous one. Me and the rest of my friends here in Ponyville are very worried about Rainbow Dash. I don't want to impose, but we really want to hear from her as soon as possible.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

----------

Dear Princess Celestia,

Princess, it's me again. I don't want to bother you, but I don't understand what's going on with you. It's not like you to just ignore two of my letters without even sending a small note back to me. Now, see here - I know that things must be pretty bad over in Canterlot, but Ponyville isn't exactly smiles and sunshine. Pinkie Pie hasn't thrown any sort of party in several weeks, and Rarity's having trouble focusing on her sewing. Applejack hasn't been to the market square since Monday, and Fluttershy, who's been a friend of Rainbow's since they were just fillies, is actually living with me. She's so distraught that she can't even focus on taking care of her animal friends - Zecora's doing that for her now.

If you don't reply to me soon, I'm taking things into my own hooves. Seriously. Mark my words, I will trot all the way to Aperture Laboratories and find Rainbow Dash myself.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

----------

Dear Twilight,

Hey, Twi. Really sorry about not replying to your letters, but I couldn't. (Hear me out, it isn't an excuse this time.) Thing is, after the whole disaster last month - you had to have heard about it by now - my boss has been running us into the ground. All assets that were being funded but weren't helping us deal with the crisis were taken down. I guess that includes the mail. Must've been sent to a warehouse or something. All I know is that we just now recovered it. So...yeah, sorry about that.

But enough about me - what about you? You'll trot all the way to Aperture and find me yourself? Geez. It hasn't been that long since my last letter. You've gotta worry less and live a little more, Twi'. (Tell that to Fluttershy, too. She needs to hear it.)

I still feel kind of bad for worrying you guys, though. So, to make up for it, why don't you come on over in a week or two? We'll be able to catch up and it'll hopefully ease your mind a bit. And since we'll probably be done cleaning up Aperture by then, Cave shouldn't have any problem with it.

I'll...well, I'll see you then, I guess. Sorry again for worrying you.

Rainbow Dash

Chapter 15

View Online

She was crying again.

Sighing, the mare shifted her body and tugged the blankets close. Facing the wall, she shut her eyes and tried to ignore the sobs. The combined noise of the howling wind and the rumbling engine seeped in through her bedsheets relentlessly.

Damn.

Deciding that sleep was no longer possible, she rose from the hammock, stretching. Rubbing her eyes, she slid out of her bed and strode forwards with her head down. Each hoof felt like a bucket of lead, and her eyes were moist and set deep into her face over dark shadows that told of a slumber that had never come. Shuffling towards the door connecting the two cabins, she felt the train rumbling on beneath her hooves, taking her farther and farther away from her quiet, peaceful life and ever closer to her dark, dangerous future. A future shrouded in uncertainty and pain and suffering and...

She shook her head.

Can't afford to break down now.

She reached her hoof towards the handle before she remembered to use her magic. Sighing, she turned the doorknob with an eerie lavender light. As the door creaked open, a bright light ambushed her tired eyes, and squinting, she looked down at the pony responsible - partially, at least - for her early awakening.

"Go to bed, Fluttershy."

The timid pegasus in question looked up to the speaker. Her eyes were bloodshot, her soft and soothing mane stained with the tears of a broken soul. An orange earth pony sat next to her, hugging her. Comforting her.

Ha.

"It's practically dawn. You need to get some sleep for tomorrow."

This brought on a fresh batch of tears as she buried her face in Applejack's neck. The farmer gave Twilight a halfhearted glare as she rubbed Fluttershy's back. Twilight groaned and mentally kicked herself. "I...sorry..."

"N-No..." the pegasus sniffed, drying the last of her tears. She lifted her head to meet Twilight's. "I shouldn't be this...this emotional about it..."

"Well...Alright, I don't know about that. I don't blame you at all for feeling-"

"That's not what I meant."

A few moments passed. The wind flew coldly across the railroad as the train rumbled along, dragging the tired group of friends forwards, ever forwards, to their destination. Each bump in the tracks, each whistle of the wind served only as a bitter reminder of their progress.

"I need..." she shakily stood up. Applejack quickly rose, reaching out to help the pegasus. She brushed her off and looked into Twilight's eyes. "I need to be strong. For her."

"...Yeah."

Silence.

"I...I'm sorry...I'm going to go and...um..." Twilight nodded. Fluttershy cast her eyes to the floor and plodded down the hallway. The door was heard sliding open and then softly shutting.

Finally.

"Well, that's that. I'm getting some sleep, and you should, too." But as Twilight turned to walk back to her cabin, she felt a hoof on her shoulder. Applejack gave her a sad look.

"You really shouldn't be so hard on her. You know how close the two of them were."

Twilight sighed. "Applejack, I'm out of patience and out of time. I've got to be strong, not just for her, but for everyone. None of us can afford to break down - she needs to put her emotions aside and sleep. We need to stay focused...and prepared."

After a few minutes, Applejack's hoof fell. She pulled her stetson over her eyes.

"You're acting different, Twi'. This is changing you in a way that I don't think any of us like."

The unicorn slid open the door and walked through. "I'm just doing my best, Applejack."

The door shut behind her. She slumped against it, her body collapsing against the cold, hard floor. Her coat grew matted and damp from the tears. As the chilly air seeped through her tear stained fur, she felt herself slipping into a cold, unfeeling sleep. As all thought and emotion left her body, she thought of the day that was ahead of her. A day filled with heartbreak. Sorrow.

Sadness.

"I'm just doing my best..."

Chapter 16

View Online

She was crying again.

She fell off of the bench, writhing in agony. With each second that passed, the pain in her stomach grew more and more intense. She felt the train rumbling beneath her as she gazed up at her tormenter, tears streaming from her eyes and staining her coat.

"S-Stop it, Pinkie...I'm going to throw up..."

The party pony giggled and snorted, her own body wracked with laughter. "No! No, Twilight, it's like this-" Pinkie flattened her usually bouncy mane into bangs and fell down against the floor next to the prodigy. She closed her eyes, imitating sleep, and then "woke up" with a start.

"Right on it, Spitfire! I...uh...oh, it's morning..."

The train car roared with laughter from each and every pony within. Even Fluttershy, normally quiet and reserved, had to cover her mouth to keep her tears from falling into it.

"P-Pinkie Pie..." the timid pegasus managed. "T-That sounds exactly like Dashie..."

This sent a fresh bout of giggles throughout the room, and as the train carried the group of friends ever closer to Aperture Science Laboratories, their future shined brighter than ever. As the tracks rattled beneath them, the ponies slowly subdued their laughter into chuckles and snorts, and finally gained a moment to simply breathe.

An orange farmpony grabbed at a mug of hot cocoa sitting beside her. "Heh...You sure know how to tell 'em, Pinkie Pie..." She took a swig and set the mug back down again.

"Oh, I know that, Applejack!" Pinkie Pie leaped back up into her seat next to Fluttershy. "I'm the best in town when it comes to jokes! And I hadn't even started on you guys yet."

"I do hope you're joking, dearie." said Rarity. "Surely your, ah, collection isn't that extensive?"

Twilight Sparkle finally picked herself up from the floor and sat down next to the fashionista. "I think it would be best not to test her on that one, Rarity."

Pinkie gasped. "Collection? Are you kidding? I've got a freaking arsenal!"

"I'm sure you do, Pinkie," replied Twilight. "Anyways, what would you guys like to do now?"

Applejack yawned. "To be honest, Twi', I'm real tired. I think we should all get some sleep for tomorrow."

"I agree with Applejack," replied Rarity. "After all, look outside. It might as well be dawn."

Twilight glanced out the window, craning her neck. The night sky shimmered brightly overhead, the canvas of stars seemingly sweeping its way across the atmosphere. The full moon twinkled and sent a softly shining light through that canvas. It was a breathtaking sight to behold.

"Yeah...I guess you're right." The purple unicorn stood up and stretched, her neck cracking. "I guess I'll see you all in the morning, then."

A quiet murmur of agreement passed through the crowd and the mares began to trot back to their respective cabins. Twilight levitated the used plates and cups from earlier in the night onto a table nearby. I'll wash them in the morning, she thought. She turned back towards the couches, seeing that only Fluttershy remained. The pegasus was staring blankly at a wall, seemingly lost in thought.

Twilight frowned. "Fluttershy...?"

The pegasus blinked, her body jumping slightly. "O-Oh...Sorry, Twilight." She hung her head. "I was just, um, thinking about Rainbow Dash. It...feels like a long time since we've last seen her..."

"Yeah, I know what you mean." Twilight sat down next to Fluttershy, smiling. "It really wasn't that long ago, but we used to see her all the time. Now that she lives so far away from us, I guess...I don't know. It's just strange. But don't think that way. We'll see her tomorrow. You should be excited!"

"Oh, I know that, and I am, really...i-it's just..." the pegasus gulped. "I mean..."

"...what if something bad happened to her...?"

Twilight tilted her head to the side. "Uh...what exactly do you mean?"

"W-Well...there's a lot of machinery where she works, right? I-I mean, what if something malfunctioned or went wrong when we were gone..." Fluttershy brought a hoof up to her face. "I-I almost wish I could be there right now...just to make sure she's okay..." She felt a hoof turn her face towards Twilight's. The unicorn smiled sweetly.

"Nothing happened, Fluttershy. I guarantee it. Honestly, I don't know why you're so worried all of a sudden."

She smiled sheepishly. "Yeah...I guess you're right. That was kind of silly of me."

Twilight stood up and trotted towards the cabin door against the far wall. She opened it and turned back around to Fluttershy. "Now let's get to bed. We really should get some rest."

The pegasus nodded. "Alright. S-Sorry about all that worrying. I don't know what came over me..." She looked up playfully. "You wouldn't happen to know some kind of mass teleportation spell, would you? To get us there quickly, I mean."

Twilight chuckled and grinned. "I'm just doing my best, Fluttershy."

She closed the cabin door behind her and stretched one more time. She plodded her way into her hammock and squirmed around for a few moments, trying to get comfortable. Finding a desirable position, she sighed and felt her mind slipping into the sweet embrace of sleep. As she drifted off into a land full of dreams and nonfeeling, she thought of the day ahead of her. She thought of her friends and smiled once more.

"I'm just doing my best..."

Chapter 17

View Online

Wham!

Cursing under her breath, Twilight sat up and rubbed her aching skull. Opening her bleary eyes, she realized that she had fallen out of her hammock onto the floor of the train. Still half asleep, she stood up and plodded her way back to her hammock. Using her magic, she fixed the covers and was about to climb back into their warm embrace when she began to ponder why she had fallen initially. After a moment's thought, her eyes widened.

The train had stopped moving.

That could only mean one thing.

She sat down on the freezing steel floor again and took a few deep breaths, now fully awake. Pressing her hooves to the sides of her head, she closed her eyes and began to meditate. She tried to think of happy things, but all too soon her mind returned to the situation at hoof. Deciding that there was no avoiding it, Twilight sighed and stood back up again.

Walking through the nearby door, she began to make the rounds, shuffling back and forth across the nearby hallway and waking the other residents of the train. Although she had saved one particular door to be the last, her procrastination only bought her a few moments. Bowing her head, she dragged her hoof upwards and knocked three times.

"...Fluttershy?"

Twilight frowned slightly. She was surprised at how...awful her voice sounded. It was scratchy and raspy, and sounded like that of a mare twice her age. She began to think deeply on this. It worried her - no, frightened her - that her voice had changed so much in so little time. Pondering this, she didn't hear the movement behind the door until it had reached the door proper - and opened it.

Twilight lifted her head. A yellow pegasus stood before her, and though Twilight knew it to be Fluttershy, she found no resemblance between the timid Fluttershy she knew and the pony who stood before her. This Fluttershy stood tall, without slouching in the slightest. Her wings were snapped back to her sides, not shifting about or rustling. Her eyes were hardened, her mouth pulled into a deep frown. In the back of her mind, Twilight remembered always being taller than Fluttershy - but this pegasus, straight as a board, easily rose above Twilight by a few inches. Gulping, the unicorn seemed to shrink under this new Fluttershy's imposing presence.

"I've had a lot of time to think, Twilight."

Her voice was defined, crisp. There was no hint of uncertainty or meekness. Every word had a purpose - was said with purpose.

"I have come to a decision."

Twilight felt a hoof on her chin. Her face was lifted up to stare into the pegasus' eyes. Her eyes held kindness, yes - but fiery determination, too. This was a pony that would stop at nothing to achieve her goals, whatever they may be.

"All my life, I've been pushed around. Even as a grown mare I had trouble facing other ponies. I've always been the coward...the victim...the weak one."

Dimly, Twilight felt sweat drip down her cheek. She didn't even dare to wipe it off.

"And then, my best friend - somepony whose been with me through thick and thin, hell and high water - is taken away. And I sit down and cry...as a coward...a victim..."

Fluttershy snorted.

"...a weakling. But I've realized that there comes a time when a mare does not run from a fight, no matter the circumstances or odds. No matter who they are, be they brave or cowardly, saviors or victims, strong or weak, they do not run. They cannot run. And that time in which they do not run is the time in which harm - real harm - comes to their loved ones.

"Twilight, I've felt like a burden to others throughout my whole life. I really have. But if I can stop that for this once instance - this one mission - then I know that I can die happy."

Fluttershy suddenly stepped forwards. Twilight shut her eyes and tensed her muscles...but felt only the warm feeling of hooves wrapping around her neck. She slowly opened her eyes, a confused look on her face.

"I won't be a burden to you. I won't run away from fights, I won't hide in the shadows of my friends, and I won't just sit by and watch. I'm going to be strong - I'm going to get stronger - and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get back Rainbow Dash. Because it's necessary. This is the time that I will not run away."

Twilight's eyes began to water.

"I...I think I see what you're saying, Fluttershy..."

The two of them sat there for a minute, savoring the moment. But this time, Twilight wasn't procrastinating. She felt ready now...she felt stronger. Friendship is Magic, she thought. And though she had heard it said many times before, she got it - really got it - in that moment. And she knew that she was ready.

Twilight sniffed and finally pulled away from Fluttershy and looked her straight in the eye. She did not falter.

"It's time."

----------~~----------

Twilight and Fluttershy strode out into the early morning sun. They were the last to arrive. Applejack was nervously twisting her hat around in her hooves, Pinkie Pie's mane had fallen flat and she was pacing back and forth through the field of yellowed ferns, and Rarity simply stared at the ground with a glazed look in her eyes. All three glanced up upon the arrival of their friends. Fluttershy stayed back with the group and let Twilight walk forwards alone.

In front of Twilight stood a door. An old, wooden door. The door was a part of what appeared to be a run-down outhouse, with a tin roof and a broken window. But at that moment, it was the most intimidating thing that Twilight had ever come to witness.

She frowned. "Guess there's not point in putting it off any longer."

She levitated a small device out of her saddlebags. It was a small black box housing various gears and wires. Twilight pressed a button on the device.

----------~~----------

Day one. We have arrived at Aperture Science.

Chapter 18

View Online

June 30th, 2010

That's right, everypony. I took a little break from these updates - and by "little break," I mean about eight days - and now I'm back!

Unfortunately, I don't exactly have anything interesting to talk about today - well, not anything that's work-related, anyways. Aperture has been having a lull in projects and experiments for a little while now, which is a first for this place. I really don't know why, since Cave usually works us to the bone. Anyways, the lull was so out of the ordinary for Aperture that rumors started floating around that we actually weren't going to become operational again. After that disaster went down a little over a month ago - the one that we can't talk to the public about, keep it quiet, yadda yadda yadda - ponies were already starting to wonder whether we were going to be able to get back on our hooves. This lull only fueled those ideas.

The thing is, deep down, Cave really does care about the integrity of Aperture, so I don't really know what he's trying to accomplish by keeping everything on the down-low for now. I've been wondering about what this means for the future...then again, I don't think anypony really believes that Aperture is going to be shut down. And I don't generally care too much about that stuff anyways, because if anything happens to Aperture, then Cloudsdale will just relocate me back to Ponyville, which I certainly wouldn't mind.

Well...actually, now that I think about it, I don't know. I've kind of gotten used to this place, and...well...look, I'm always going to miss Ponyville, but I've also sort of gotten attached to Aperture, too. My job really forces me to think outside the box, and I need to be commited to it if I want to do well. Take my word for it, being a part of anything involving the testing chambers is hard. I guess it's just been a nice change of pace from taking naps all day, and...I don't know if I could go back to something like my old job. But...eh, maybe I'm getting sentimental for no reason.

Actually, speaking of jobs, somepony new just got hauled in earlier this week. He's kinda shy and even shorter than I am, despite the fact that he's a stallion. I...don't really like him. Whenever he tries to make a joke he just comes off as being awkward, he thinks that he's good looking (even though he isn't), and he's got such a cocky attitude all the time that I just can't help disliking him. It's not the kind of cocky attitude I sometimes get, either - that's only when I'm competing against others. He does it in this weird, annoying way that...

It's indefinable, I think. There's just something about his whole persona that makes him the type of pony I hate the most. He's the coward...the victim...the...the weakling. But he's got to be strong. For me. Because there comes a time when





...

...I-I'm sorry. I forgot what I was just talking about.

Anyways, I guess that there's one more thing I should mention. My five Ponyville friends, being the worrywarts that they are, are coming down to see how I've been doing. Twilight was initially worried because of that thing that went down, but I wrote her back and told her that I was alright. Apparently, that wasn't enough...I'm not complaining, though.

They're going to be here this afternoon, I think. That means that...actually, they should've been here already. And Cave is supposed to tell me to come down and meet them, too...well, whatever. Knowing him, he probably just forgot to let me know. I''ll go see if they're here now, so I'll be right back.

...

clack







Clear. Let's do this.

Yippee! I love surprises!

Chapter 19

View Online

Twilight stepped up to the boxlike structure, holding the voice recorder with her magic. She walked around the house a few times, her eyes tracing every inch of it. As she swept her hoof across the door, she spoke into the machine.

"This document is intended to record the proceedings of operation Delta 64.2, the retrieval of Rainbow D. Dash from the facilities of Aperture Science Laboratories. This is Princess Twilight Sparkle speaking. I will be leading the following operation and be accompanied by the four remaining current Element Bearers."

Twilight clipped the device onto her saddlebags. "And now that the formalities are out of the way..."

She yanked the door open, revealing a dark, cramped interior. She trotted in without a moment's hesitation and turned back to glance at her friends. "Come on, let's go."

They trotted in warily, their eyes searching the unassuming box for anything hinting at the enormous complex that they knew lay below them. Twilight simply reached up into the darkness of the ceiling. "Hold on, I think it's...ah, here we go."

Her hoof wrapped around a minuscule lever, pulling it to the side. The floor suddenly heaved downwards, eliciting a collective gasp from her friends. After a moment, they continued their descent at a slower pace. The floor descended downwards until it rested between four walls, contrasting the dirt floor with shiny, metallic colors. Another such wall slid neatly into place above them, forming a ceiling, and a few moments later, a single fluorescent lightbulb popped out, flickered for a moment, and lit up.

Twilight let out a breath, rubbing her forehead. "Alright, everything's gone according to plan so far...Pinkie?"

"Y-yeah, Twi'?"

"...we've stopped moving now, so let go of me."

Pinkie obliged and sheepishly slinked back to the ground. "S-sorry about that..."

"Don't worry about it. Just don't get too clingy." She put an ear to a wall and rapped it with her hoof. "Anyways, we're in the main elevator right now. Our goal is to get to Dash as soon as possible, but at this point, she's almost certainly aware of our presence and had probably already placed defenses, anticipating our arrival. Theoretically, we could take this elevator directly to her..."

She leaned back and firmly tapped the wall in several places. A section of the wall slid open and a small panel slid out, covered with a number of square-shaped buttons. It resembled a small sort of pocket calculator. She pressed a few keys and pushed the panel back into the wall. The opening slid shut, and after a slight lurch, the ponies felt the room descend. Twilight motioned for her friends to huddle together in a group.

"...but there's no way that'll turn out well. We need to get a sense of how strong Dash is before we reach her, and we also need to retrieve a certain item before we confront her. Thus, we need this elevator to take us to a section of Aperture that's near Dash, but not so near that it puts us in danger, and that's also closeby to the item. Keeping that in mind, I've broken our plan down into three phases: During Phase One, we find a reliable way to conceal ourselves as we move throughout facilities. During Phase Two, we retrieve the item from wherever Dash has hidden it. Finally, we need to reach Rainbow Dash's location and...save her for Phase Three. Once that happens, all of Aperture's systems will go dark, so ideally the six of us can leave with no resistance following Phase Three."

Twilight sighed and paused for a moment before continuing.

"...one more thing. Now that we're here, we're really on our own. There isn't anyone behind us, there's no Princess, no royal guard, and nowhere that we'll be absolutely safe from harm. We're on our way to save one of our friends, but...I-I don't know what I would do if we had to rescue another one. So please, everypony...whatever happens...stay safe. Come out of this alive so that we can all go home together. Alright?"

One by one, the ponies around her nodded, steeling their nerves. They smiled slightly, and Twilight took comfort in the fact that, despite her descent into potential demise, they would be with her every step of the way. She felt a wave of confidence wash over her and turned towards the door of the elevator, ready to receive any blow that Aperture would throw at her.

The door slid open silently, revealing the first of many challenges she would face.

...

Who are you?

Her eyes widened.

"Oh..."

Chapter 20

View Online

...crap! Oh crapcrapcrapcrap-

<crash>

Could you quit jumping around for one minute?!

Oh, come on, Twilight...

No. We need to document our meeting.

<Groan>...

...

Good morning! Good evening! Good afternoon! My name is Twilight Sparkle.

S'up...<hic>...

Ugh...Rainbow, grow up. Cave said that this is standard procedure. Are you going to do your job or not?

Implying that Cave's word is anything to go off of...you've been here before...<hic>...can't we just-

No. We've got to do it by the book.

But none of us wanna do it by the book...

Tough. Tell them who you are.

<sigh>...I'm Pinkie Pie...I guess...

I can barely hear you. Speak up.

Come on, Twi. It's not a big deal. If it's that important, why isn't anypony else doing this with us?

Yeah, how come-

<CRASH>

I GOT...<hic>...I GOT THE...I GOT THE RATS 'N' THE...THE FLOWER...

<clonk>

Zzzzz...

...because of that guy. Pinkie?

Yeah?

Get off of me!

Ah! S-sorry!

...?

I didn't mean to...Twilight?

Hm...

Uh...Equestria to Twilight? Permission to land? Over.

...oh, sorry. You're fine, Pinkie...

Are you fine? You spaced out for a minute.

Yeah, I'm fine. It's...I got the weirdest sense of deja vu just now.

Oh, I know what you mean. I've been getting that a lot, lately.

Really? That's kind of weird.

Snrk...me too...

...What?

Uh...me too...

...

IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

AH! I DIDN'T DO IT! IT WAS RAINBOW DASH'S FAULT! SHE MADE ME DO IT!

Excuse me?

Oh...I...nevermind...

You bet your plot, nevermind...

Time out. That stuff has been happening to all of us lately? Like, more often than normal?

Uh...seems that way, Twi'.

Odd...really odd...

This isn't odd, Twilight...this...is a mystery...

Regardless, at this point, I don't think we're going to get anything else done...so you guys can go back to the party.

Fresh! Pinkie, let's move out!

Awesome! Drinking contest?

Drinking contest!

...

...Cave...?

Whuzzat?

Those Portal Guns of yours...how does Aperture make them?

Itz supposed to be a secret...<urp>...but I'll tell you 'cause you're pretty...

...thanks?

Miniature black holes...inside the machines...<hic>...warps space-time...creates wormholes. Programming the connected wormholes from there is a piece of cake...

Uh...I'll ignore the impossibility of "miniature black holes" for now. How do you make them?

Machine...connects to outer space via wormhole tech. <urp> Warps space-time...compresses real black holes...transports them back to Aperture via wormhole tech...plug 'em into a gun...and voila...

...

Why'd you...why'd you wanna know...?

...that machine sounds really interesting.

Do you think you could bring me to it?

Hiatus - Author's Note

View Online

So...Doing Science is going to be on break for a little while. Before you guys say anything, this isn't going to turn into one of those stories that goes on hiatus and then never comes back. Realistically, it shouldn't be gone for more than a month and a half, and it's not due to anything like writer's block. Something big is coming, and I need every ounce of my focus to be on that. So, for now, Doing Science needs to wait. When it comes back, I promise that I'll have two brand-spanking new chapters for you guys. For now, I need to ask for your patience and kindness.

Thank you.

-MASH

P.S. I'm sorry.