"But it makes sense! Think about it; we'd be able to hold things without magic, we'd be much taller, sure we wouldn't be able to run quite as fast…but with a little-"
"LYRA!!!" Screamed the purple mare, who had had enough of Lyra's rantings. The bright green unicorn snapped out of the trance she had fallen into while discussing her favorite topic; humans. She found herself inside of what was now Cheerilee's schoolhouse, the exact same schoolhouse they both had attended as fillies. The walls were lined with pictures the fillies had drawn in crayon along with various other forms of in-class artwork assignments. The rows of desks sat facing towards the large wooden teacher's desk with the main chalkboard behind it, which had seen it's fair share of math problems, cursive, and the occasional doodle either by the students or the teacher herself when she was bored.
Lyra looked at Cheerilee, then at the fillies, some wore expressions of confusion while others, like the Crusaders, wore expressions of pure delight. Lyra still had a yard stick floating lazily with her magic in front of a poster board with a crude drawing of a human on it. Cheerilee grabbed it from her, she didn't share in her enthusiasm. This was the third day in a row when she had come barging into her classroom and began telling stories to all of the young fillies in her class. Lyra had lost track of time since she had started talking, having arrived sometime after lunch and staying long enough for the sun to drop considerably behind the mountains.
"Ms. Heartstrings; I respect your enthusiasm, but this is neither the time nor the place! Now, if you want, you can give the rest of your 'presentation' after I finish this less-" An ear-piercing ring cut her off as the school bell chimed and the sound of cheering and stampeding hooves roared through the schoolhouse. Lyra's ears folded down as she sighed and drooped her head. "-on…*sigh* Well, I suppose now we'll never hear the rest of your riveting- oh, girls. You're still here."
"Really? Somepony stayed!?" Lyra's heart warmed up as she quickly scanned the room to see who was still there. Her hope dropped as she was met with only three little fillies staring back at her. "Oh, did you girls need to talk to Ms. Cheerilee…?" her voice trailed off as she spoke, her eyes once again finding their way to the floor.
"NOPE! We wanted to hear more about those humans!" said Scootaloo.
"Yeah, those things sound pretty funny, Ah'd like ta' hear how they're supossta walk around with only two legs!" said Apple Bloom as she examined the drawing Lyra had made. Lyra's spirits began to lift again. Well, it was better than having nopony stay behind. She levitated the yardstick from behind Cheerilee's desk as she galloped to the front of the room. The Crusaders took the front three desks as Cheerilee sat at her's.
"Well, since class is over, I suppose I could stay and listen to your speech. Go ahead Lyra," said a very tired Cheerilee as she brushed back her pink and white mane. Lyra shot her a quick smile and then turned to face her class. "Class". Although she could never be a teacher, she still loved to play her lyre (which looked almost exactly like her Cutie Mark) for whoever wanted to hear, so she was happy somepony was willing to listen to her.
"Okay, so we all know that monkeys don't have hooves like we do, instead they have these things called 'fingers'". She pointed the levitating stick towards the crudely drawn hands of her human. Sweetie Belle raised her hoof.
"But Ms. Lyra, if they carry things around with their…uh…"
"Yeah, with those things; then how do they walk around?" finished the little unicorn as she tried to make sense of the two legs the human was standing on. Lyra placed the yardstick on Cheerilee's desk, slightly waking the now very exhausted teacher. Lyra's face shifted to one of nervousness and false bravado.
"I'm glad you asked that, Sweetie Belle. Because it…just…so…happens…that…" Lyra had propped herself against the blackboard, using her front hooves to help stabilize her as she righted herself. Now even Cheerilee was paying close attention, this was even more interesting than the time Apple Bloom had shown them how to do loopty-hoops. The four ponies stared in amazement as their mouths fell open at what they saw; Lyra was now standing on nothing but her back hooves while using her front two to help stabilize herself, which, even though the others had seen her sitting like that before, was nothing compared to what they saw. She was much taller, just like she said, and the three fillies had to tilt their heads up just to maintain eye contact.
"You see? It's really pretty easy, the hard part is keeping your…balance WHOA!!!" Yelled Lyra as she stepped on a stray pencil and lost her balance, tumbling backwards into a large pile of ungraded homework as the thee fillies winced. Cheerilee had had enough at this point; on top of coming up with a new lesson plan for tomorrow, now she had to sort through all that backed-up work. Again! She shooed the fillies out of the schoolhouse before throwing Lyra and her poster out the front door.
"Hmph!" Cheerilee was about to slam the door when she saw Lyra beginning to well up with tears. She sighed and trotted over to her, patting her on the shoulder as she did so. "Come on, Lyra. Don't be sad. There…now why don't you run along home? I overheard the pegasi mention something about a 'lightning storm to end all lightning storms' happening tonight." Lyra wiped her cheek and brushed her mint green mane out of her face, she smiled weakly at the school pony as she stood.
"Thanks, Cheerilee." Lyra began to head home, where she could finally get some rest and forget this embarrassing day. It was unusually dark by the time she got into the market place, although the venders were still open and busy as ever. The venders were hard at work, trying to catch the eye of anypony that may have been heading home from work, or simply in the mood for whatever they had to sell. The Apple Family had left Big Macintosh in charge of the apple wagon for the day and was racking in quite the sales, since most of the mares bought apples just so they could get a chance to talk to the great red stallion, not that he'd say much other than his famous "Eeyup" anyway.
Lyra trotted passed the old library too, a large tree that had been hollowed years and years ago and transformed into an extensive library that also had housing for the resident librarian, and that just so happened to be none other than Princess Celestia's pupil herself; Twilight Sparkle. She could usually be seen inside the library, either reading a large pile of books or forcing her dragon assistant Spike to do some OCD task she had thought of. Lyra loved being in the square with all of the other ponies, although she didn't come off that way, she was actually very social.
The dark sky above began to grow sinister as the mild grey clouds turned into thick blankets that blocked out Celestia's sun altogether. Lyra picked up the pace and made to her home near the outer part of Ponyville. She opened the door with her magic and closed it quickly behind her. She glanced out the window as the winds began to pick up and rain started to fall.
"Wow," she said aloud "this is gonna be one violent storm..."
"SENTRY DOWN! Dammit, Pyro, get yer head outta where ever the hell it's stuck and help me!" The Engineer shouted over his radio. Dell Conagher, A.K.A the Engineer, was having a very bad day; BLU Team thought it would be funny as all hell if they had four Spies on their team, with a bunch of Demomen providing a distraction for their cloaked mischief (and by "distraction", they mean fire grenades at anything that moves). He could hardly hear himself think over the explosions, cries for Medics, shouts of pain, and worse of all; the Scout's ideas on where he thinks the Dispenser should be.
He was fairly certain that they had done this just to spite him, and he was make sure that they got what was coming to them; oh yes, every ounce of his wrath ripping through them at 1000 RPM from his Level 3 Sentry Gun…if he could just get a little backup! He had managed to get one of his patented Sentries to their maximum level a couple of times, only to have to have it sapped by a Spy posing as a teammate or to have a stray grenade blast it to scrap metal. An explosion shook him out of his thoughts as the Soldier came crashing down from over the building the Engineer was hiding behind. "Howdy, Soldier. How's the war goin'?"
"TERRIBLE!" the grizzled man screamed at the texan as he got to his feet and dusted off/extinguished the smoldering embers on his jacket. "This team is nothing but a bunch of PATHETIC EXCUSES FOR HUMAN BEINGS!!!" The shout had managed to pierce the sounds of the battle raging on a few yards behind them, causing a passing Scout to show him a none-verbal yet universal sign of disagreement. Dell couldn't blame him for being upset; no wonder it was called "Dustbowl". He could hardly see more than 60 feet in front of him even with his goggles, and since the slightest movements were kicking up clouds of red dust, the frequent ordnance exploding all around the abandoned mining facility would make the sandstorms in Cairo look like a kid throwing sand in a backyard sandbox.
The dust had been wreaking havoc on the gear as well, forcing everyone on the Reliable Excavation Demolition (or RED) team to experience jams or malfunctions of some sort. Anything from the Heavy's mini gun not spinning, to the Sniper's rifle getting clogged, to the Pyro's flamethrower backfiring. The Soldier rammed a few more rockets into his launcher and prepared to rush the oncoming BLU Team. "I'm stopping those maggots here and now…Engie! I want a Sentry up and running before I come back! Do you understand that!?" The Engineer just glanced at him, then to the heap that once WAS a Sentry, then back to the Soldier before simply answering;
"Alright, you got it hoss…" He ran back to his Dispenser, the large ammo-packed box had been slightly damaged from some of the stray grenades, but he could worry about that later. Right now, he needed to get something to halt the Builders League United (BLU) crew from getting any further than they already had. The original plan was to stop them at the mine shafts, but thanks to unforeseen consciences (and that damn Pyro for not Spy-Checking as much as he should have been), they lost the first control point and were forced to retreat to secondary and final positions. "Sentry goin' up…" Dell didn't really know why he always said that, just something he had gotten used to he guessed.
After whaling on his Sentry for a few minutes, the Sentry sputtered and began to unfold; the short forward barrel on the gun retracted as twin chain guns rolled out to either side. The tripod it was resting on threw down multiple supports to keep it from tipping over, and the center ammo storage increased two-fold. It beeped as it scanned the surrounding area for any possible threats, and the sound also had a calming effect on Engie; the beeping meant that he wasn't in any immediate danger…at least, not from any VISIBLE targets. He still had to worry about Spies, and with no Pyro, he would have to constantly eye any teammates that came by and watch for shimmers.
A few more whacks from his wrench, his Sentry once again began to transform from Level 2 to Level 3; the lid on the ammo storage popped off as a box sprung from the opening, revealing a quad-missile launcher. The barrels also raised slightly, and were now thicker, which meant the damage output was increased. This was the ultimate defensive device; incredible range, multiple methods of dishing out death at amazing speeds, and, not bad to look at either with an even coat of bright-red paint. Dell was pleased with himself. He had worked tirelessly on the original designs that his grandfather, Radigan Conagher, had made and no other Sentry on earth could stand up next to it (except for that copying BLU Engineer. Cheating rattlesnake).
"Fine work, Engie!" said the Soldier, who had volunteered to stand watch while the Engineer upgraded his Sentry. Actually, wait a minute, Dell didn't remember the Soldier staying behind to help, he thought he had left earlier. Yeah, he reloaded at the Dispenser and then disappeared behind the-
"Disappeared…SPY!" yelled the texan as he withdrew his Pomson 6000 and pointed it squarely at the "Soldier's" head. The sleek red ray gun glistened in the desert sun and starkly contrasted the rest of the environment, which made sense, since the Engineer had found it from a para-dimensional space pod that had crashed through his house. "I gotcha now, ya shape-shiftin' varmint."
"Oh; PLEASE…" said the Soldier with a voice unlike his own. Smoke began to billow around him as his features became distorted, until he had radically changed from the familiar, rugged, self-proclaimed war vet right before the Engineer's eyes. "You filthze cowboy, do you really think you can stop me with…zat dreadful looking thing?" said the slender french man now standing before him. He discarded a paper mask with a picture of the RED Soldier on it to reveal his terrifying true mask underneath. He brushed off his clean-pressed suit with his free hand, while starring down the Engie with his Ambassador revolver in the other.
"Cowboy up!" Dell squeezed the trigger and a brilliant red particle beam shot out of the split conductor barrels of the Pomson 6000. The particle discharge began to form into cone shape as it flew further from it's point of origin, gaining speed as it did so. The Spy side-stepped it and let fly two rounds from his Ambassador, one struck the Engineer in his leg and forced him to the ground with a cry of pain. The other shot, however…
"AW YEAH! I'm domination' here, woo-hoo-hoo! Hey Engie, need a Dispenser her-AAAAAAAAAAAAGGH!!!" The unfortunate Scout's sentence was cut sort as the second shot found it's mark on the back of his throat, causing his head to pop like the time Heavy shook up his Bonk! Atomic Punch.
"Oh dear. I've made quite a mess. Now, where were-"
"YOU were about to get a little frontier justice, buddy. 'Cause this thing ain't on autopilot!" The Spy looked at him with a puzzled expression on his face, that is, before it changed to one of horror as his noticed the laser dot bobbing up and down on his lapel streaming from the Sentry gun. The alley lit up as bullets ripped through the Spy's body, sending his rag doll flying against the wall before it slumped to the ground. "Hehe…looky there, Spy, now you've got all sorts a' holes fer smoke to come outta."
He chuckled to himself as he released his Sentry from the effects of his Wrangler. The red aura around the the Sentry began to dissipate as did the laser pointer, while the Sentry itself powered down for a reboot back to autopilot. He still wasn't able to stand since the bullet that had dug into his upper thigh basically rendered his entire left leg useless until he could hold of a Medic, or rip it out himself.
"Oh, did I throw a wrench in your plans?" said an invisible voice. A crackling sound told the Engineer that his Sentry was being magnetically destroyed by the Spy's Sappers. Engie was confused for a moment; had the Spy's ghost returned to haunt him? No, wait; that watch. The Spy had withdrawn a pocket watch right before the Sentry had torn him apart. A Dead-Ringer, the Spy faked his death with a Dead-Ringer...
"Dammit dammit dammit!" cursed the Engineer as he went for his Pomson, while the Spy went for his leg. "Now, let's not have zat," he said as he flicked a cigarette with accuracy that would have embarrassed the Sniper into Dell's fresh Purple Heart qualifier. Another yelp of pain followed by incomprehensible muttering and cursing. Spy kicked the Pomson just out of reach, "What's ze American expression for zis situation? Ah, yes: 'Yippie Ki Yay, mother-"
"-humhhur," came an unmistakeable muffle. The mood of the situation was spilt into polar opposites; fear and rejoicing. Also a little annoyance.
"Where HAVE you been? Ah was waiting for ya," muttered Dell in between sharp breaths from his now slightly cauterized wound. Spy whirled around, aiming his Ambassador as he did so. He could feel the sweat dripping down the back of his neck, the unholy demon had found him, and there was very little he could do about it. Fortunately, another randomly launched grenade tossed up enough dust to buy the Spy time to disguise himself as a RED Spy.
"Hummph" said the Pyro with a muffled voice. He stepped forward, his black filtered gas mask glistening in the desert sun with it's blank, soul-piercing gaze. The sun was magnified due to his glass space helmet he was wearing over it that had a tobacco pipe attached to the front. The helmet was attached to a rocket-shaped oxygen tank that was strapped to his back, the upper cone being painted the same bright red as the Sentry.
His questionable headgear wasn't the only thing that shown brightly in the sun, he himself was pretty luminescent too. His body, encased in a full-length asbestos-lined suit, also had a brilliant red color that matched the decals on his equipment almost perfectly. It got darker and more charred the closer it got to his black gloves and boots, which suggested that might not have been their original color. He wore a strap that looped around his shoulder and had three cylindrical grenades hanging loosely from it. The protective suit squeaked slightly with every move he made, but it was almost undetectable with the steady hum of his shinny new flamethrower; the Phlogistinator.
The Phlogistinator, much like the Pomson 6000 and the Pyro in general, looked like it was horribly out of place when compared to the rest of abandoned mining facility. It had a wooden handle and a polished silver body, which was connected to front of the wide barrel by bronze wiring, while the barrel itself was little more than twin wrought iron loops connected loosely to the coiled neck. It wore team colors just like the rest of Pyro's gear; a red band wrapped around the small fuel canister near the bottom of the body with Dr. Grordbort's crest on the side.
Spy couldn't believe that this walking Section 8 was the biggest threat to him out of all the other classes he had gone up against. It was embarrassing. Spy almost broke character at this thought, but regained his composure and quickly made his way over to the bizarre space jockey.
"Pyro! Thank goodness! I zought we were in trouble for a moment. A BLU Spy got past me and…just look at what he did to ze Engineer." Dell, who at this point wasn't listening to their conversation, was trying frantically to flag-down a Medic so he could at least start walking again. No luck, a legitimately injured Heavy got his attention first and the Medic rushed off without even glancing at the downed cowboy. Dell could REALLY feel the love coming from his team.
"Mmmphm?" said Pyro as he looked where the Spy was pointing.
"Errr…yes, zat's right. I think he went down that way, he'll probably try to disguise as one of us and come back around."
"Mmhmm…" He raised his strange flamethrower in anticipation as he scanned the area, not noticing the Spy inching closer to him as he circled around to his back.
'Zhat's it, don't mind me, just keep looking that way you filthy maniac.' Pyro couldn't see anything, which meant only one thing; the Spy was still near by, and now was the time to do what he was born to do…
"MHHHMHMHMH!!!" Pyro squeezed the trigger on his Phlogistinator and swung in a wide arc as fiery disk-like rays lit up the immediate area. The Spy was set ablaze, screaming as he tried to extinguish himself. The Pyro's gaze locked on to where the Spy was standing, he turned his ray gun on him once more, this time, with much more lethal results. The Spy began to disintegrate into fiery autumn leafs that fell slowly to earth and formed a neat little pile.
The Pyro was not satisfied, he had fallen for this trick one too many times; 26. And each and every time he could have prevented it by not celebrating after killing the Spy the first time and letting his guard down, no he just needed to hold the flames (or rays, whatever) over the body a little…found him! What was once the shimmer of the Spy attempting to fake his death yet again was hit by the rays and burst into flames like a Mann Co. shovel as he ran for the safety of his teammates. Not flipping likely. The Pyro tore after him, space gun blazing, hell-bent on stopping the infiltrator.
"Yeah, Pyro, go get that-HEY! Watch it! Don't touch that-"
Now, there is a reason why the Phlogistinator and the Pomson 6000 look so similar; that's because they both fell through the Engineer's house in the same para-dimensional craft sent by Dr. Grordbort. While the Engineer, Pyro, and Soldier (who had received his Cowmangler 5000 way before Engie and Pyro found theirs) had all figured out how to operate their respective ray guns, they didn't know much beyond "Point-this-end-that-way" and "Don't-get-this-near-power-lines". They simply didn't have the necessary time to really test them with their eternal land grab forcing them to all corners of the globe, so they were discovering new side-effects all the time.
Pyro is moments away from finding side-effect #324; what happens when you overheat the Pomson 6000 with the Phlogistinator. The rays engulfed the particle-smasher and it began to crack, releasing strange lights from the crevasses as it shock violently. It seemed to jump into the air and then foiled into itself with a terrifying crunch. The lights that were coming out of it were now forming their own sphere in the air around it, creating a massive energy ball that enveloped the immediate area. Pyro snapped out of his mad charge long enough to notice that his arm was being sucked into the spiraling vortex, and so was the rest of his body. Once his shoulder was gone, the rest of him was swept off his feet and disappeared into the void before the energy ball erupted into a multitude of colorful fireworks.
"Aw, hell. This ain't gonna be fun to try and explain later…" sighed Dell as the rest of the team stopped to admire the fireworks that used to be Pyro.
"Alright, who's ready for truth-or-dare?" said Twilight as she plopped down on one of the pillows on the floor of the library.
"ME!!!" The shriek was magnified partly by all of the mares sitting in the circle on the floor yelling at the top of their lungs and the fact that main part of the old library wasn't all that big. Twilight was practically beaming with joy at the large gathering; ever since Rarity and Applejack had been stranded in her house during that one thunderstorm, she played hostess to every pony who wanted a place to stay during big storms.
"Alright," she flipped open her book on sleepovers and turned a few pages with her magic, "Uh, Colgate! Why don't you go first?"
"Oh, okay! Umm…Berry Punch; truth or dare?" Lyra smiled as she watched her friends having a good time. She was glad that Bonbon had come over and told her about this party. Lyra really didn't like storms, she wasn't scared of them or anything, she just didn't like the thought of being killed by a random bolt of energy crashing down from the heavens is all. "Huh, I always thought you were more of a cider girl. Well, whatever. Pick somepony else!"
Berry Punch looked around the room for a moment, glancing over at Spike (who was busy moving dishes and snack trays) before her eyes met Lyra's. "Lyra! Truth or dare?" Lyra perked up, the moment of truth was upon her; Berry Punch was a horrible pony to get picked by, the dares were brutal and she always asked the most embarrassing questions. She had been embarrassed enough today, so…
"Uhh…DARE!" blurted Lyra, quickly regretting her decision. Berry was already thinking of one before she said that, and answered immediately with a twisted smile.
"I dare YOU to make-out with Big Mac!" All of the mares squeed and laughed while shooting looks at Lyra (who was now about the same shade as Big Mac) and at the stallion who was watching the fillies for the mares while they chatted. He turned around at the mention of his name with Dinky still on his head, only to be met with a bunch of giggling ponies and one very red Lyra. He paused, while he had been doing a good job of drowning them out, he had heard "truth or dare" a few times, and they were looking at him, and that one mint-green mare was blushing like…no. Oh no, no way. Not happening. He felt a small hoof tapping on his forehead, he looked up at the grey and blonde unicorn.
"I think they want you to go play with them," said Dinky with a whisper.
"*Sigh* Eeyup…" he said as he lowered Dinky to the floor. She scampered off to join the other fillies in a library-wide game of tag while Mac slowly moseyed over to where the mares were sitting. Lyra was burning a hole in the pillow she had buried her face in and Mac was turning slightly more maroon than he normally was. This was awkward for the both of them, since 1) they saw each other all the time in town, 2) Lyra and Mac had never really talked before, and this was going to be the first real 'interaction' between the two of them, and 3) Applejack was sitting four ponies over from both Mac and Lyra.
"C'mon Lyra, kiss him!" said Berry between squeals. Lyra was frantically trying to think of a way out of this horrible mess she'd gotten herself into, if she had only learned that teleportation spell back in school. Suddenly, and idea crossed her mind. It was a long shot, but…
"Well," she said as she lifted her head from her pillow, still a bright red, "I guess I hav- OH! Actually; I JUST remembered that I left my presentation board outside of the schoolhouse and I'd better go grab it before it starts to rain again!" With an awkward forced laugh, she bolted out the door and sped down the road towards the school. Those left behind were dumbfounded by the sudden rush and sat there just staring at the blur formally known as Lyra. Twilight glanced down at the index in her book for any possible section about party guests running screaming into the night. No avail.
Lyra stopped after a while to catch her breath, she had taken off in such a rush that when she looked up, she noticed that she had almost ran past the schoolhouse altogether. She was glad she had escaped the torment of truth-or-dare and could feel the cold air cooling off her warm cheeks as she trotted over to her poster board that was laying in a mud puddle. She sighed as she lifted it out of the muck with her magic and shook it off.
She got a nervous chill down her spine; something was amiss. The pegasi were becoming frantic, and the lightning was becoming more concentrated, it seemed to gather all in one place. The cloud right…above…her…
"Oh Celestia." She ran for cover behind the rickety old schoolhouse as the once gloomy night sky turned turbulent; winds whipped around the trees knocking everything that wasn't attached into the great yonder, the dark clouds lit up as lightning poured out of them, striking anything and everything. Lyra was still wasn't panicking, she knew that the pegasi had it all under control. She thought that, until she saw the pegasi dodging the thunderbolts too and started to head for Cloudsdale as fast as they could. NOW Lyra was scared.
She could actually hear the lightning forming above her as she hunkered down, she wished she had just stayed and kissed Big Mac instead of getting blasted apart by a force of nature. She looked up into the darkness as a surge of energy crackled above her, if she was going to die, she wasn't about to just shut her eyes and take it. She felt tingling sensations all throughout her body, and especially in her horn, this next one was going to be close. She braced herself as the light grew brighter and brighter until…
It changed color.
Lyra stood in awe as the raw energy went from bright white to a neon red, and clustered together to form a brilliant sphere that cast the clouds from it's presence. It rotated violently within it's confines seemingly as if though it was trying rip itself apart. It came together in a cone before ejecting something. Something large, roughly the size of Princess Luna, went sailing past the schoolhouse and crashed somewhere in the tree canopy of the Everfree Forest. The clouds and lightning subsided soon after.
Lyra, now cautiously checking her surroundings for anymore surprises, stepped out from behind the storm-tattered school and wandered towards the faint glow beyond the tree line. All the fillies in Ponyville were taught from birth to never enter the Everfree Forest after a storm (they were told never to go there period, but especially after a storm), because the wild animals will be awake and out prowling for food. Naturally, after reading so many of Daring Do's books, she and every other pony her age had broken that rule at least once to see what horrible things were REALLY in the forest, but the most they ever saw was a Timber Wolf or two.
As she made her way through the forest, she began to realize that the light was much more powerful than she originally thought, forcing her deeper into the dark woods to discover it's source. She hiked a good mile before coming across burnt leafs and broken branches. The light she had been hunting seemed to be nothing more than a small bonfire, a bonfire with a strange device at it's center. Lyra levitated the shiny cylindrical device out from the flames and moved a few feet from the wreck.
It was unlike anything she had ever seen. She couldn't figure out how to lift it without magic; it was too heavy for her to pick up with her mouth, and it was awkward to hold with her hooves. Then it hit her, this strange thing was created for creatures with one particular appendage:
"Hands! Whoever- whatever build this…'Phlogistinator' thing had HANDS! It had to have been a human! I knew it! I knew they were-" she was quickly cut off by a snarl coming from behind her "-real?" She screamed as a pack of Timber Wolves surrounded her, she hadn't noticed them approach in her euphoric state. The wooden wolves circled around her, growling all the while. She was about let out another scream when she heard more rustling in brushes in the direction of the crash.
'Great, more wolves. Maybe these new guys will fight the ones already here for who gets to have me for dinner.' She ducked her head down and the wolves turned to see what horrible monster had come to the party.
"Huddha? Huddha-huh!" That didn't sound like any creature Lyra had ever heard, and the wolfs sure didn't like it either. They refocused their attention from the quivering pony to this new bipedal attacker, which towered head and shoulders over them. One of the wolves lunged at the newcomer, only to be diced in half buy the Pyro's Third Degree; an axe with a white-hot metal coil for a blade that had also be crafted by the infamous Dr. Grordbort, as was the Pyro's next trick up his sleeve. The next wolf jumped from the other side, possibly hoping to avoid the glowing axe that had made short work of the previous wooden beast. Well, its plan worked, it never even touched the axe before the Pyro dispatched it; like a cowboy in an old western, Pyro had withdrawn his Manmelter (another fine product from Dr. Grordbort) and shot a beam of light that caused the wolf to burst into flame before crashing into the tree behind the quick-shooting space man. It was down to the last wolf. The wolf had it's glowing yellow eyes locked with Pyro's soulless goggles and neither was about to break that lock. The wolf ran at him, Pyro once again took a shot at it with his Manmelter only to miss and cause a bush containing a cockatrice to explode into a fireball as the terrified bird/snake hybrid ran off with it's tail ablaze. The wolf took this chance to side-swipe him and knock both the Manmelter and the Third Degree out of his hands, leaving him wide open.
Lyra, who had been watching with awe, noticed this and was about to fling the Phlogistinator over to him but he raised a hand to stop her. He coupled his hands behind him as a flame danced in-between the two jet-black gloves and grew into a fireball. The wolf, unimpressed, lunged once again at the red menace.
"Huddha-MHMMMM!!!" he pumped his hands forwards as the wolf got within biting distance, Lyra wanted to close her eyes, but she was glad she didn't. The fireball that had been forming shot out about a foot from his hands and connected with the wolf's torso, the wolf exploded into bits of wood and twigs rained down as is if though the trees were molting. He stood triumphantly, moments before falling over from exhaustion and landing with a thud into the bushes.
Lyra rushed to his side, but nearly fainted herself as she looked over the mysterious hero. He…she…IT had to be human, everything points to it being a human, and now she could finally prove to everypony that she had been right this whole…time. No, she couldn't do that.
'The Princesses would have him taken to Canterlot for sure, and I'd probably get banished for showboating this guy around, or imprisoned, or imprisoned in the place I'm banished! NO! I have to keep this secret.'
Lyra thought hard about what to do, in the mean time, she had better get all of this thing's stuff rounded up before the Timber Wolves pulled themselves back together. She collected the Third Degree and Manmelter from the bushes they had set on fire and placed them next to the still unconscious Pyro before heading back over to the crash zone. She was surprised to find a bag of sorts near the crater. It looked like a saddle bag, except it didn't seem to fit the same way. She was even more surprised at how HEAVY it was, she could barley left it with her magic, and it took some doing just to get it back over to the Pyro.
"Well, now that I've rounded up everything; what am I going to do???"