Bonnibel took a deep breath to steady her nerves. "This is the tricky bit." She muttered as a wisp of smoke rose from the tip of her soldering iron. "One false move and its BLAMMO time for all of Ooo!"
As she made the final connection to the live circuit, she kept one eye on the Singularitron scope. If the readings went completely snazzo, she would have approximately ten fifteenths of a second to dampen the fields and shut down the system. The effort would be moot though. Her best time in the simulation program she had constructed was three point two seconds. Putting the soldering iron down in its cradle, she turned to the bank of fine tuning knobs and slowly went to work.
The readings grew ever closer to red line, but the princess kept her head. "Just a little more." She whispered as the screen turned red and the laboratory began to glow with an unflattering sickly green energy. "Keep it together, Bubblegum." She hissed as she continued to adjust the micro controls. "I don't want to show my age!"
Green lightning sizzled and crackled over every metallic surface in the lab. "Almost there." She hissed as her long delicate fingers turned knobs in infinitesimal increments nearly undetectable to the eye. "Don't blow it now, Bubblegum!" she warned as the green light became nearly blinding. She took a deep breath, and grasped knob forty-two. "Now!" she cried, as she viciously turned it until it wouldn't turn any more!
With a loud pop, the sickly green light vanished. The scope screen turned back to its normal cheery yellow. "That was a close one! Just a couple more points and every bit of background magic would have been instantaneously siphoned out of Ooo! Still, it would have been quick. Mostly nobody would have noticed, they would have died so fast. Finn would have been upset though to see every creature in the land suddenly turn to dust around him when the magic was sucked away!"
Bonnibel couldn't help a little grin. "Finn would have positively freaked if he saw my physiological appearance suddenly match my chronological age before I went POOF! He can be such a child sometimes."
Whistling a happy tune, the princess closed up the access panel on the side of her upgraded portal control consol. She donned dark goggles and securely welded the panel shut over the bank of knobs. Finally, she picked up a magic marker and wrote "No user serviceable parts inside. Do not even think about touching!"
Bonnibel stretched luxuriously, feeling fulfilled after a job well done. More importantly, she was more than a little relieved that she hadn't destroyed Ooo in her quest for knowledge.
"Finally, after all of our correspondence, we'll be able to see each other." Her cheeks grew even pinker than usual. "Perhaps even interact, as well!"
"Science!" she said confidently as she turned to the controls. "It's time to reestablish the link!" Her fingers danced over the consol keyboard in the well remembered sequence as she imputed the final coordinates. "Hello Equestria? Are you there, princess Celestia?"
"My dear princess Bubblegum, it has been quite some time since I have heard your voice."
"Heard?" Bonnibel grinned. "You ain't heard nothin' yet!" Bonnibel gently put a finger to the big friendly green button marked OPEN, and pressed. Instantly, a perfectly round shimmering vortex appeared almost, but not quite against the wall. "Ta-da, it's a fully functional portal! Now we don't have to rely on sending written scrolls or having static marred audio only chats."
Celestia turned and was quite surprised to see a portal had formed in her bedchamber, without the utilization of a magic mirror. This was quite a bit beyond Twilight Sparkle's use of science to bypass the thirty moons time limit, in order to open the mirror portal to the human world at will. "Congratulations are in order, my dear. You seem to have a unique new technique for bi-location spells."
"No, there's no magic involved, just a very good understanding of basic quantum physics coupled with a steady hand at building new circuitry. Magic is just science I haven't figured out, after all."
Celestia chuckled. She and Bonnibel had thrashed out that discussion many times over the centuries. She peered through the portal. "Is that really you, Bonnibel?"
Bonnibel stared back at the stunning winged and horned white mare. "I think so. More importantly, would you by chance happen to be a horse?"
"Pony, actually." Celestia corrected with a smile. "You appear to be a bipedal life form, similar to the "Humans" princess Twilight has described to me after her journeys to their world."
"Oh, I know a human. I guess I do look a bit like one." She smiled. "Why don't you come over for a visit, princess Celestia? I'll make us some tea."
Celestia hesitated. "While I would love nothing better than to spend a little time with you, I have royal duties that need my attention."
"Just one cup of tea?" Bonnibel smiled. "I have oatmeal cookies. I could even have the Banana Guards fetch up some plain old oats, if you prefer. Heck, some of the Banana Guards are quite ripe, if that's what you prefer."
Celestia laughed at the perceived joke. "You tempt me, perhaps another time my dear."
"Come on, don't you ever get tired of your royal duties? I know I do!" Bonnibel sighed. "Sometimes you just have to trust to luck and hope your subjects don't destroy themselves while you get a little "me" time. What do you say?"
Not quite sure if the bipedal princess was joking after all, Celestia chuckled lightly. "Okay, just one cup of tea."
The graceful equine strode up to the portal and stepped through. Once fully in the lab, she staggered and nearly fell.
"Princess, what is the matter?" Bonnibel shouted as she rushed to help steady her large guest. "Are you ill?"
Celestia felt something new to her. All her life she had been surrounded by Equestria's strong natural magical field. Now, it was only detectable from the direction of the portal. Her heart raced as she fought to stay calm and keep the unexpected fear at bay. "I had thought this world had magic." She said with a tremble in her voice. "Did you deceive me, princess Bubblegum?"
"No, Ooo has oodles of magic. We're simply dripping with pesky wizards and witches!" She turned to her instruments. The readings were astounding when she aimed them at the open portal. "I never detected such levels before. My Googoomomometer has gone total negative babies! It's never done that before!" The device in her hand erupted in a cloud of smoke. "Glob, now it broke!"
"What does that mean?" Celestia said as she backed slowly toward the portal. "Perhaps I had better leave."
"No, I must study this!" Without thinking, Bonnibel initiated the portal shutdown sequence. She felt a burst of pride when necessity enabled her to shave a whole second from her best simulation time.
Celestia gasped as the strange feeling intensified. She was isolated. The magic she had known throughout her long life was gone! She whinnied softly. "What is happening?"
Bonnibel was to intent on her findings to notice the panic in Celestia's voice. "This is amazing! The neutron flow in Equestrian magic seems to have the reverse polarity of that in Oooian magic! The wavelets mirror each other perfectly! I'm glad I didn't decide to step through to your world. Things would be seriously bad if the portal collapsed and I was isolated from Ooo. Much as I hate to use the word, it would be intensely messy if I were to suddenly discorporate due to a lack of magic!"
"I, I don't understand!" Celestia put a front hoof to her head and moaned. Sweat matted her forehead at the base of her horn as she desperately tried to concentrate. "I can't even cast a simple light spell!"
"That's because you're isolated from Equestria, and your body can not process the magic of my world. It's a good thing you're made of organic protein protoplasm. That gunk holds up fairly well without magic to support it. I'd kinda drop dead, being that my biomass is primarily candy." She cringed. "Trust me. I know what I'm talking about. It would be quite messy. I'm talking "Splat, it's time to repaint the walls" messy, if I were to be so isolated."
"Quick, reopen the portal!" Celestia ordered in a fair approximation of her normal voice.
Bonnibel paused. "Celestia, how well do you understand computer chips and printed circuits?"
"I, I don't know! Is that like vacuum tubes and wires? My world has little need for such things!"
Bonnibel laughed. She wasn't a cruel leader, but this was getting rather interesting. "I suppose you know nothing of Quantum physics either?"
"No! Now hurry!"
"What's the rush?" Bonnibel smiled at her guest and tried to lie with a straight face. "I, um, I need to let the circuits rest a bit. Yeah, that's right! I need to keep the portal closed for a couple of hours, at least so the integrated circuits have time to recharge and regenerate. Besides, we haven't had our tea yet."
"You, you don't understand! My, my thoughts are growing muddled! I feel myself dwindling! I'm trying to hold on! I must hold on! Twilight never mentioned this, but on her first journey she had the magic of her crown to sustain her! On her second trip, the magic within her friends supported her. Even then, she could not cast any spells! I, I was born an Alicorn! Natural born Alicorns need magic so much more than a Unicorn that becomes a princess!"
Bonnibel's heart pounded, but it wasn't from fear. This was strangely exciting! "Princess, are you telling me that your brain needs magic to function efficiently?"
"Yes!" Celestia cried. "I'm slipping! Restore the link so I can leave!"
.... There is more of this story ...