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Fanfic / A Trusted Friend in Science and Ponies

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She's still alive.

A Trusted Friend in Science and Ponies is a Fan Sequel to Better Living Through Science and Ponies written by Rethkir. Like its predecessor, it is a crossover fic between My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Portal.

It is an ongoing fic, first written two years after the publication of the original in response to its Sequel Hook and lack of a sequel. The story takes place following the events of the original, continuing the Story Arc. Picking up where the original left off, it is a longer and more in-depth tale that chronicles GLaDOS's plan to rebuild Aperture Science and the emotional turmoil it causes for Chell and her friends in Ponyville.

Spoilers for Better Living Through Science and Ponies will be unmarked.

After saving Equestria from GLaDOS's evil, Chell is finally able to live the life she never had... until GLaDOS sets in motion her plan to rebuild Aperture Science. It's only a matter of time before the experiments begin again, and only Chell will be able to stop her.


Tropes that appear in this story:

  • Alliterative Title: The title of Chapter 3 is "The Practical Purpose of Portals."
  • Anti-Magic: Again, the magic-restricting cones. Emancipation grills are shown to also block the use of magic through them.
  • Arc Words: The phrase "still alive" is said a lot early on.
  • Ascended Fanon: As of chapter 20, Portal: Prelude is considered canon to this story.
  • Bad Dreams:
    • GLaDOS, of all characters, has one in chapter 10.
    • Chell has her own in chapter 13.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The way GLaDOS disregards the Diamond Dogs can be quite humorous.
  • Complexity Addiction: GLaDOS' plan is a lot more complicated than it probably needs to be.
  • Continuity Nod: It's filled to the brim with them, both for Portal and for Better Living Through Science and Ponies.
    • Ditzy calls GLaDOS a monkey wrench in chapter 9.
    • Many of GLaDOS lines are references to things she said in Portal or Portal 2.
    • When GLaDOS first speaks to Chell, she mentions that it felt like she was ignoring her in the Portal games, which is, according to Word of God, the real reason why she never talked.
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    • When GLaDOS escapes from the facility, she is described as flying like an eagle… piloting a blimp.
    • When she first contacts Rarity, she describes herself as having a medical degree… in fashion… from insert French counterpart nation here.
    • GLaDOS repeats many of the insults she used on the Mane 6 before.
    • GLaDOS sings a new version of Still Alive in the first chapter.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: GLaDOS punishes Rover by forcing him to listen to a repeating audio recording of Rarity whining for the rest of his life. Her punishment of the other two Diamond Dogs is genuinely terrifying, although Rover considers his punishment to be worse.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: GLaDOS doesn't even try to win the fight against Chell and her friends in chapter 20.
  • Crossover: With Portal, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and Half-Life.
  • Darker and Edgier: Very much so compared to the prequel. The tone of this sequel is far darker and heavyhearted than the original.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Some of GLaDOS' dialog is this way for humor.
  • The Determinator: No points for guessing that Chell fits this bill, but she takes it to the extreme in chapter 20 during her fight with GLaDOS, when she refuses to give up even after she's been defeated.
  • Dramatic Irony: Used in the beginning when the ponies are unaware that GLaDOS is still alive.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: GLaDOS steals a cake that Pinkie Pie made and eats it.
  • Evil Counterpart: GLaDOS is this to Celestia, since they look very similar and love cake. They are also foils to each other.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Fluttershy's sacrifice takes place in a forest fire, as it begins to rain.
  • Foil: Celestia and GLaDOS are foils to each other, as they share a similar appearance and both love cake, but have very different personalities.
  • Forced to Watch: GLaDOS's plans to to make Chell watch the destruction of Equestria and her friends.
  • Foreshadow: There's a healthy amount throughout, but Chapter 6 takes the cake, no pun intended.
  • Freudian Excuse: This fic delves into the reason why GLaDOS changed after Portal2, and generally attempts to cast GLaDOS in a sympathetic light, despite the terrible things she does throughout the story.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: GLaDOS's laser canon becomes her signature weapon.
  • Ghost Memory: GLaDOS obtains Caroline's memories early on. You'd better believe it's a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Combine is this throughout the first half of the story, as GLaDOS drives the plot by attempting to bring them to Equestria.
  • Heroic BSoD: Happens to Chell when she finds out that GLaDOS is still alive. Ditzy is able to pull her out of it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Fluttershy sacrifices herself to save some animals. (She doesn't quite die, though.)
  • Kill the Cutie: Almost happens to Fluttershy. The readers were not taking it well.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: It's very hard to talk about this story without spoiling the ending of the original, considering that GLaDOS being Not Quite Dead was a Twist Ending.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • GLaDOS offers this gem: "Don’t give me one of your stupid pretentious friendship lessons. I’d watch a show for little girls if I wanted to hear that. I swear, I feel like I’m in one when I’m around you stupid, happy ponies."
    • And of course, there's Pinkie: "Oh, Rarity, you don't need to address me with expositional dialog explaining the characters, setting, and situation. That's what the narration's for."
  • Logic Bomb: Pinkie Pie attempts one on GLaDOS involving Opposite Day. It doesn't work.
  • Mechanical Horse: GLaDOS has adjusted very well to her new body.
  • Mundane Utility: Celestia and Chell agree the portal guns could easily fall into the wrong hands, and so limit their usage to creating an Equestria-wide transit system via the portals, keeping the guns locked up after.
  • Near-Death Experience: Fluttershy has one in chapter 8.
  • People Puppets:
    • How GLaDOS brings Atlas and P-Body back.
    • She does this later with Princess Celestia, except this time, GLaDOS is the puppeteer.
  • Pillar of Light: The Anti-Mass Spectrometer produces a spectacular one whenever it is used.
  • Portal Cut: Chell explains why this doesn't happen in chapter 3.
  • Portal Network: Utilized for transportation in Equestria during the Time Skip.
  • Powered By A Forsaken Pony: Poor Twilight.
  • Precision F-Strike: In chapter 20, courtesy of Chell.
  • Pyromaniac: GLaDOS loves burning things with that laser.
  • Recursive Fanfiction
  • Sequel Escalation: It’s significantly longer than the original and has a more intricate plot, and all of Equestria is now at stake.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The anti-mass spectrometer requires 1.21 gigawatts of power.
    • Chell and Ditzy briefly meet the Doctor. He calls Ditzy "Derpy" and mentions that they've been on adventures before, a reference to Doctor Whooves and Assistant. He asks if there are any Zeppelins and mentions knocking four times.
    • The pegasi that Rainbow Dash selects to assist Fluttershy with the animal rescue are some of the main characters in Ace Combat: The Equestrian War.
    • Pinkie speculates using Chell's necklace to allow dogs to talk, a reference to Up.
    • GLaDOS attempts to activate Twilight's powerful magical state by saying "yip-yip."
      • Later, Celestia quotes Uncle Iroh.
    • GLaDOS places a Moon's Tear in the anti-mass spectrometer.
    • The Space Core sings "Whalers on the Moon" and the Star Wars theme.
    • In chapter 20, GLaDOS plays the Final Boss theme of Portal: Prelude and references the game.
  • Skewed Priorities: GLaDOS is relieved that the giant snake eating Spot is not venomous because she could only say I Warned You for giant snakes, not giant venomous snakes. Her priorities in general are pretty skewed.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: GLaDOS was corrupted again when after she came back in her old body at the end of Portal 2.
  • Time Skip: A few months pass during chapter 3.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Chell in fact does not stop GLaDOS, and in fact is instrumental in her evil plan succeeding.
  • Tsundere: GLaDOS, big time. It becomes apparent during chapter 10, as her personality becomes more erratic and switches between mean and kind.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Nopony is able to stop GLaDOS from bringing the Combine to Equestria.
  • You Have Failed Me: GLaDOS is not very forgiving to her Diamond Dog minions.