Pyro had never felt so spent, and he had fought a eighteen-hour long control point match for Gorge…but this was on a whole new level of difficulty. He could feel the sweat pouring down his asbestos suit-clad skin, his muscles ached and screamed for him to stop, but he pushed through it. He tightened his grip on the Back Scratcher and prepared to reengage his unyielding foe: the fearsome deep-rooted dandelion. He was normally adapt at dispatching the little pests (since he was the only one at RED who knew how to maintain a garden), but this one had repelled his Back Scratcher like it was nothing.
He had been attempting to dislodge the foreign flowery violator for the past fifteen minutes to no avail, the pollinating perpetrator would not give up it's ill-gotten spot in Lyra's flowerbed. This calls for desperate measures; hand-to-stem combat. He discarded his blood-splattered rake and slammed his knees into the soil, gripping the faux flower's neck tightly, he summoned all of his might and attempted to stand while taking the weed with him.
He managed to get to the "stand up" portion of his two-part endgame when he hit a snag, namely, the weed wasn't as keen on reaching new heights as the flame conjuror was. Pyro continued his tug-of-war for but a moment when the devilish eyesore slipped from betwixt his dark gloves, much like how some of the craftier Spies had done so in the past.
He rolled backwards into the freshly painted picket fence and cracked the wooden barricade (along with his skull) with the tremendous impact as the yellow demon looked on mockingly at the defeated human. Pyro had had just about enough of this fiend, and were it not for the innocent roses and tulips that encompassed the small offender, and the fact that Lyra would kill him, he would have just incinerated the dandelion with one of his flamethrowers…but maybe there was a way he still could.
Pyro checked to see if anypony was looking (which he probably should have been doing in the first place) before turning to face his worthy adversary and readjusting his fashionable Madame Dixie hat.
"Mmmhmhmhmhmhm…" he chuckled to himself.
He cracked his fingers and placed one of his gloved hands directly above the leafy abomination, he concentrated on the palm of his hand; fire…ashes…lava…sun…sparks…embers…smoke…heat…BURN! Flames began to dance wildly between his fingers before converging right in the center.
He spread his yellow-tipped digits as a jet of fire and smoke shot forth onto the weed. Fiery chunks of dirt and topsoil went flying in every direction as the flame-based drill bore into the well-maintained flower bed. After a few seconds of pyrotechnics and maniacal laughter, Pyro reigned in the palm pilot light and took a step back to admire his work. The area where the little rage-inducing flower had been was no more and was replaced with nothing more than smoldering embers, smoke rising lazy from the point of impact…
…and one barely charred dandelion.
Pyro; soldier of fortune, terror of Teufort, and master of cross-dressing, fell to his knees and held his arms to the sky. What cruel deity would MAKE something like that!?
"Hmm?" said Celestia, her voice echoing in the previously silent room after Pinkie's startling revelation.
"What is it, sister?" said Luna as she continued to eye the pink party pony sitting at the end of her bed and trying to figure out what else she might not be telling them.
"I thought I heard my name called…never mind; Ms. Pie, would you kindly explain how you learned about the arrival of this…'Pyro'?"
"Sure!" she said behind a warm smile, "I was out helping Fluttershy round up some super-yummy berries for Angel when we saw this big bright ball up in the clouds! It was all; KA-BOOM! SHOOM! CHOOM! BLAMO!" Pinkie stood on her hind legs and reenacted every possible sound effect she could think of to describe the phantasmal orb. "So I turn to Fluttershy and ask her what she thought that was, but she took off and boarded up her house for some reason…*giggle* silly-filly! That doesn't stop lightning, lightning doesn't knock on pony's doors…*GASP* or maybe it DOES and the super powerful lightning bolts is just it's way of trying to say hi! I should bake a welcome cake next time there's a-"
"PINKIE!" barked Twilight.
"Oops, sorry. So the big ball shot out this thingy and it went crashing into the forest. Since Fluttershy probably couldn't get out of her house, I went to go make sure all of the cute little animals were okay. When I got there, there was this HUGE crater with fire everywhere! I really wish I had brought marshmallows with me, and some chocolate, and crackers too…Oh! Hotdogs would have been great too! Then I wouldn't have had to go home for-
"PINKIE!!!" shouted Twilight, this time being aided by Luna AND Celestia.
"Pinkie, PLEASE. You need to focus, what did you see!?" said Twilight as her stomach reminded her that all she had had to eat that day was the tea she didn't even finish. "…and please, no more talking about picnic food."
"Okay; the crater was WAY too hot for me to get very close, but I saw this…this…human I guess, laying in the fire! I couldn't just sit there and let him get all burnt and toasted, so I dragged him into a bush to let him cool off while I bounced home to get the welcome wagon!" this was made all the more vivd by Pinkie bouncing laps around the room for effect. "But when I got back, he was gone! The only thing left were a few burnt Timber Wolves that Fluttershy was taking care of. That was just rude, leaving while somepony was trying to give them a proper welcome, humph!" She sat down on her flank, forelegs crossed angrily across her chest, she couldn't believe that somepony had just blown off one of her greetings. Even Cranky Doodle Donkey had buckled under her persistence and given into letting her use her welcome wagon (an action he soon regretted).
Celestia and Luna both sighed…and Twilight was about to snap, "That still doesn't explain how you figured out his name!" she squeaked as her voice got more shrill and her eyes began to go into a nervous twitch.
"Uh, it was stitched on his backpack. Duh."
Celestia saw that this conversation wasn't going to end well for her pupil if she continued questions in her current state, "Alright Ms. Pie, thank you. Although I would like to know more, this information only confirms my decision I made earlier today." she said retracting her wings from around Luna and stepping off the large bed.
Twilight managed to stop starring slack-jawed at Pinkie and turned to face the Princess, "What decision, Princess?"
"I've decided to hold this year's Nightmare Night celebration here in Canterlot." she said with small smile as Twilight's big purple eyes began to sparkle.
"YES!…Princess, I am SO sorry, I didn't mean to scream that loudly…" said Twilight as her lavender coat began to turn a more pinkish shade. The already bright-pink Pinkie couldn't control her giggling at the sight of her usually reserved friend jumping well over the alicorn's head while shouting at the top of her lungs. Even Celestia was impressed at the feat.
Pinkie continued to giggle through the look Twilight was giving her until she remembered something critical, "What's so special about having Nightmare Night in Canterlot? Doesn't all of Equestria celebrate it?" said Pinkie as Luna slowly sank into her silky sheets. All of Equestria? That means she would have pull a Santa Colt and travel everywhere there was a Nightmare Night Celebration and explain that she in no way, shape, or form wanted to eat the children who didn't give her an offering of candy. That is, until her sister revealed her master plan.
"The reason why it's so important is because this year, I sent invitations to everypony in Equestria to attend. The mailmares should be delivering the cards as we speak." she said in a soothing voice. As she watched Pinkie Pie and Twilight jump hoof-in-hoof around the room, she mauled over her real intension for the nocturnal festival: With the HHH still roaming the countryside with no real way to track him without risking whomever she sent, she figured that with such a concentration of ponies at the capital city and him being as predicable as ever, he wouldn't pass up such a opportunity to overthrow the two rulers in front of what would become his new subjects.
At least that's what she hoped for. She also hoped that Luna would have time to show everypony that she had changed and they wouldn't secretly (or in some cases openly) fear her.
"Twilight Sparkle," said Celestia sternly, "you, Ms. Pie, and I are going to Ponyville to announce the festival…and to capture this Pyro."
Lyra couldn't believe her yellow eyes. This photograph, although yellowed around the trim, wrinkled from being handled so many times and slightly burnt, was one of the most beautiful things she'd ever beheld: A family picture of humans. She analyzed every detail from the clothes, the colors, the sky above their smiling faces, their haircuts, the house behind them, and even the way the little boy was digging for gold in his nose.
She couldn't help but smile, Lyra had thought about having foals from time to time, but she had never found the right stallion (it would be a little awkward going after one of the guys in town since everypony knew everypony and word would get around faster than the Wonderbolts if somepony had lit their tails on fire). The little boy (or at least that's what her research about humans concluded he was) was getting his hair ruffled by what appeared to be his father, although he was mostly covered by a scorch mark that enveloped everything from his chest up…except for his smile that he and his wife shared. Cross species aside, Lyra thought her very attractive for a human; ginger hair just like Carrot Top's, a very sleek body covered by a breezy sun dress with polka dots and she was holding a small blanket in her arms that one could only assume was a very young human.
Lyra's gaze drifted to the tip of the amazing picture when she noticed the other letter Derpy had dropped off before Pyro had been sentenced to garden duty. She carefully placed the photo back inside the safety of the Postal Pummeler and withdrew her mystery letter before sealing the mailbox with her magic.
She nearly lost control of her magic when she saw who it was from, the Royal Seal had that effect on ponies other than those who worked in the palace, or Twilight. She carefully lifted the letter out of the envelop and began to read-
*knock* *knock* knock*
"Bon Bon!" exclaimed Lyra, she had been so absorbed in the photo that she had completely lost track of time. "Great, I didn't even get a shower. *Sigh* Well, I don't NEED one…" she said to herself as she trotted downstairs and left the opened letter laying on Pryo's bed.
Before she opened the wooden door into her home, she glanced out of the screen door that lead to her garden out back. 'Good, Pyro's already moved onto the back flower box. That should keep him out of sight.' thought the sly unicorn as she opened the door for her best friend in all of Ponyville. "Hey, Bon Bon. How's-"
"HI MS. HEARTSTRINGS!!!" came three shrill voices that startled the unsuspecting harpist. Before she realized what was happening, three fillies wrapped up in hoofmade maroon capes came flying through the door and zipped around the living room followed shortly by their disheveled caretaker for the day.
"Bon Bon…wow. You look like you just went a few rounds with an Ursa Major. What's with the Cutie Mark Crusaders?"
Bon Bon lifted her messy head and looked at Lyra with bags clearly visible under her cyan eyes, "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, Lyra; Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Applejack were all in a huff about something to do with Twilight and were trying to figure out what to do with their little sisters…and Scootaloo." The two mares trotted over onto Lyra's couch where Lyra proceeded to sit upright while Bon Bon sat the "correct" way, "Rarity spotted me and asked if I would look after them in return for discounts at the Carousel Boutique…and I do need something to wear for the big Nightmare Night celebration."
"Wh-What? What 'big Nightmare Night celebration'?" said Lyra slightly surprised that this was the first she was hearing about this. Well, maybe not that much. She hadn't been able talk with Lotus or Aloe about overheard gossip at the spa for the past week so she was out of the loop.
"Yeah, didn't you get an invitation? I thought I saw Derpy leaving your house earlier today while I was rounding up these three from around the fountain." said Bon Bon, indicating the three terrors buzzing excitedly about what next to do to get their Cutie Marks on the other side of the living room.
"So THAT'S what that letter was about. I was actually just opening it when you knocked." said Lyra a bit sheepishly.
"I didn't knock, those three were so excited about heading over here that they ran head-long into your door." They both got a good laugh out of that since it didn't appear to register with the small fillies whatsoever.
Meanwhile, the fearless CMC were busy on another adventure; operation scour Lyra's house for something fun to do while the adults yakked was in full swing. Mission status: absolutely nothing.
"This is SOOOOO boring!" said a disheartened Scootaloo as she rolled on her back and stared up at the ceiling.
"Ah know. But there has ta' be SOMETHIN' to do here." replied Apple Bloom.
"Hmm…HEY! What's that?" said Sweetie Belle as she excitedly pointed with one of her light grey hooves at Lyra's hall bathroom. The intrigued trio crept their way around an end table and peered in to see something they had never seen before; a gigantic silvery cylinder resting against the counter. They approached it carefully, not sure if it would attack them or not, and began to examine the Degreaser.
"What'd ya suppose it is?" said the yellow farm filly.
"Maybe it's a rocket! It's kinda shaped like one." said the orange and fuchsia pegasus.
"Or, or maybe it's a…a…" Sweetie Belle struggled to find something to compare the device to, "a boat!" Swing and a miss.
"A boat? What kind of boat would look like that?" said Scootaloo raising an eyebrow.
"Well, it could float," said Apple Bloom sensing an argument coming on that she didn't want to have to suffer through for the rest of the day, "help me place it in the tub!"
The three fillies lifted the deceptively heavy flamethrower onto their backs and were about to drop it into the cold bath water that had been resting since earlier that morning when Sweetie Belle, who was at the back and holding up the handle, accidentally bumped the trigger and jammed it, causing flame to pour uncontrollably out of the nozzle up by Scootaloo.
They screamed and dodged the searing flame as they made a b-line for the safety of the hallway, when the force of the output flipped the Degreaser around and covered the doorway with a jet of hot propane that engulfed the doorframe. They stopped and barricaded themselves within the oak cabinets, barely avoiding another pass by the deadly stream as it lashed the twin doors and set them ablaze.
Lyra and Bon Bon were in shock, they had jumped up when they heard the little ponies scream and when they arrived at the bathroom, they had just enough time to watch the CMC dive into the sink's cabinets before the man-made dragon forced them to take cover on either side of the doorway.
"Lyra! Use your magic, HURRY!"
"I can't! It's moving around too much for me to concentrate!" Lyra's mind raced, she could just wait for it to run out of ammo but she didn't know how much propane the Degreaser could hold or how long the girls could survive with that type of heat. She tried to call them and tell them to stay calm but the roar of the fire drowned her out…and the sound of the screen door opening.
Pyro knew he was going to get chewed out for this. Incinerating an entire flower box to eliminate one devious dandelion with his one-handed Hadouken was just plain sloppy, and spending as much time killing unaware Snipers as he did, he knew that sloppiness could be fatal. He ran through every possible excuse he could think of, mostly just replacing certain words on ones he used all the time; like "Spy" with "dandelion", "friendly sentry" with "flower bed", and "furious Engineer" with- Lyra?
He looked over at his temporary hostess and the other pony Pyro had seen in some of her pictures standing on either side of the bathroom with horrible looks on their faces. What the devil where they doing? Was there something…uncouth in there? Oh no did he…no, no he had flushed, so what was it?
Suddenly, another jet of bright orange flames roared past the open doorway and Pyro knew exactly what had happened; the Degreaser (despite it's namesake) had the worst tendency to jam and dump it's entire payload of fiery death in a matter of seconds. Pyro had a hard time remembering exactly how many times he had rushed out of the starting gate with the rest of the assault squad, only to return moments later for accidentally using an entire canister of propane to completely cremate a Scout and having to make a mad-dash back to the lockers. Swift action was required.
Bon Bon, in between dodging the fake dragon's breath and coughing on the smoke of it's aftermath, had not given up on trying to make contact with Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, or Sweetie Belle as they cooked within their wooden tomb they had sealed themselves in. She only stopped in full when she saw Pyro.
Normally, Bon Bon would have screamed and passed out at the sight of something so shocking, but she didn't have the luxury to fully grasp what her eyes were showing her before the flame alchemist dove headlong into the raging inferno that was once Lyra's bathroom.
The heat inside the small room was reaching deadly levels, but Pyro shrugged it off, he liked the "taste of his own medicine" as it were. Which was good, since he got a whole booster shot when the Degreaser turned on it's master and set him ablaze but for a moment as his crimson second skin extinguished him an instant later. He reached through the flames and throttled the homemade barbecue as he wrestled it into submission.
As he got his primary weapon under wraps, he faintly heard small cries of help coming from the blazing cabinets under the sink. He threw the doors open to find three young ponies huddled together in the one spot that hadn't been reduced to ashes and scooped them up in his arms. He barreled back through the fiery doorway, clutching the fillies tightly to his chest and trying to shield them as best he could.
He deposited them into Bon Bon's waiting hooves, she held them tightly and rocked gently as she wiped away stray tears from their eyes as well as hers. The pyromancer turned to brave the inferno once again, this time taking up his trusty battlement and using it's compression blast to blow out the flames.
The once spotless water closet lay in ruins; all of the wooden features had been burned to ash, all the porcelain and tiles had been marred by black scorch marks like horrible wounds, and the mirror had actually melted…Pyro couldn't be prouder of his third flamethrower design with results like that! He placed his hands together and had a moment of silence for the fallen rubber ducky he was unable to save…and tried to buy time to come with ANOTHER excuse.
Bon Bon couldn't believe her eyes. This strange dragon-like creature had just willingly jumped into an oven that would have burnt her or any non-alicorn to a crisp without so much as a glance back and rescued the trio of fillies SHE was supposed to be taking care of…but that didn't help the fact that Pyro was downright menacing up close.
"Uh, Lyra? Hehe, who's THIS?" said Bon Bon nervously, she did her best to maintain a smile but it all when down the drain when she meet Pyro's soulless gaze dead-on.
"Oh, him…" started Lyra as she debated weather or not to tell her the truth, "Well, he's clearly a…he's more of a…you see he's not really-"
"A HUMAN!" screamed the Cutie Mark Crusaders in unison as their big round eyes threatened to completely encompass their heads. Sweetie Belle was the first to break Bon Bon's tight grip and stood shin-height next to Pyro, he knelt down until he was only head and shoulders above her. Sweetie Belle was frozen, she thought that getting a better view of the mysterious figure would be cool until she actually got a better look. She could see her own open-mouthed expression reflected in the tinted goggles of the gas mask and feel the amazing amount of heat that poured from him.
Lyra was now banking on that picture she had found earlier for Pyro's experience with children, because it seemed to her that he was contemplating whether or not to pat her on the head or light her up like a marshmallow.
The suit squeaked slightly as Pyro's arms moved from his sides and wrapped around Sweetie Belle, who naturally screamed before realizing the scaleless dragon was only giving her a rather warm hug, which she quickly returned. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo quickly followed suit until all three girls were examining the strange creature now sitting criss-cross in the middle of the hardwood floor.
Pyro himself was curious too, as he noticed that the small orange pony with the purple mane had what appeared to be wings. Well, Lyra had a horn that she could clearly use magic with as did the small pale filly that had received one of his famous hugs. He needed to learn more about this strange place in order to function within it, and if at all necessary, to better conquer his new environment…but for now, he had three little ponies who desperately needed something to do. He snapped his fingers (an impressive feat with those gloves) as he remembered that he had a beach ball in his backpack and headed upstairs to fetch it while the CMC rushed Lyra and launched a barrage of questions at the overwhelmed unicorn.
Pyro gracefully ascended to the topmost step with an extra flourish and landed with a perfect ten-point pierre en flambé. He skipped marly into his (hopefully) temporary room and was about to rummage through the dusty brown bag he had unwittingly brought with him when he noticed an open letter out of the corner of his shielded eye. He picked up the scroll and began to read it aloud:
"Mmmhm mmmhm, huddah-huh mmhrm mmhmrm humph hurmm huddah mmh, huddah…MRIRMUR MURPH!?" exclaimed the shocked salamander wannabe as the final sentence rolled by under his gaze, "Nightmare Night"? Could that be this universe's Halloween? Pyro scratched his rubber covered head, this could really be bad. If the ponies were reacting as violently as they did upon seeing him, then…he had to leave before Hallo- Nightmare Night, he couldn't allow the ponies to see the-
He looked at his backpack, an object that he could identify every single scratch and stain on with stunning accuracy, and immediately noticed something out of place. Namely, something amiss about the Postal Pummeler. He reached over and picked up the melee weapon, looking specifically at the small hinged door.
It had been opened.
Pyro popped the stubborn lid and peered into his prized skull-basher and withdrew the treasure within. No gems or gold could be found here, only a worn reminder of a time that he desperately wished everyday he could return to; before FTP, before RED and BLU…before he was forced to become a mercenary.
The screams of ponies playing tag just one floor below shook him out of his daydream, he carefully sealed the portal into the past back within it's unconventional container and proceeded to grab the promised beach ball and headed back downstairs.
Of course, there was no way the Postal Pummeler just HAPPENED to open by itself. Someone, or somepony as the case my be, had opened it. This made Pyro paranoid, and when Pyro got paranoid, things tended to get burned beyond recognition. Lyra had never told him exactly which side she alined herself with, she could have easily gone through his equipment while he was locked in combat with the those vile weeds…COULD SHE BE A SPY? Well, even if she was, he had ways of dealing with those back-stabbing traitors. He chuckled as he patted the small orange handgun tucked safely away behind his oxygen tank.
"Really? So every pony is just packing up and heading out to Canterlot?" said Lyra as she poured a cup of coffee for Bon Bon. Bon Bon nodded as she took a deep gulp of the dark brew, exhaling as she finished.
"Yeah, from what I heard from my friends who live there, the inn keepers are having an absolute field day with all of the families staying there for the weekend. Lucky for you, Ms. Heartstrings, I already got us rooms near the festivities." said Bon Bon with a smile as she downed more coffee, she was going to need every boost she could get if she was going to have to watch the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
Lyra's yellow eyes lit up, "Bon Bon, that's…thanks. How much do I owe you for mine?"
"No no," said Bon Bon holding up a hoof and finishing her drink, "this is a gift. Besides, it'd be boring going all by myself."
"Oh my gosh, I need a costume…any chance you could help me with that too?" she said with a shrug as a red and blue beach ball bounced into the next room, followed closely by Pyro and Scootaloo with Sweetie and Apple Bloom trailing behind.
"Nope, sorry Lyra. I'm still getting my costume together, it has to be flawless since we're going to be in front of so many ponies. You wouldn't believe the caravans that've been heading up that way." She turned her head and glanced over at the miniature trio attempting to best Pyro at a game of Keep Away with the inflatable ball. "So, white manticore in the room, how'd you ever find…that?"
"Oh, Pyro? Uh, well…" Lyra knew that her brilliant "Nightmare Night Decoration" lie wasn't going to go very far, "remember that energy ball that appeared in the sky the other day? Well…"
"Ah got it! Ah got it!" Apple Bloom jumped as high as she could and whacked the ball with her muzzle over to Scootaloo who spiked it down to Sweetie Belle who gave the orb a tail whip and sent it back the young farm filly, thus repeating the process. Pyro watched the festivities from the corner of the room, occasionally returning the Mann Co. grade beach ball back into play (and patting out the flames the couple of times it spontaneously combusted).
He was content. The small ponies were extremely energetic much unlike the rest of his team other than Scout, but he never wanted to play anything with Pyro that wasn't baseball, and Pyro was always pitcher/crimson retriever when the ball flew well over the fence (which he was positive Scout did on purpose)…so being able to play something other than that or potentially fatal Rocket Tennis was a nice change of pace.
But some things never change, like the sense that something was wrong, the sense that…that blue pony has the intel AND a payload bomb!?
Pyro foolishly rubbed his goggles in disbelief (foolishly because that did nothing to improve his vision), was it even possible? The BLUs had never tried to steal their critically important intel (which Pyro had never even seen the contents of) and blast their base to kingdom come at the same time. Now he knew it couldn't have been Lyra who opened the Postal Pummeler, it must have been this one.
Pyro crouched behind the windowsill as he observed the blue Equestrian pushing the large cart with a flashing blue light on top and a red briefcase dangling off the side. The pony herself was pushing the cart along with relative ease, stopping every now and then to survey her surroundings or wave hello to a passerby. Pyro didn't buy it for a minute, she was planning on killing anywhere from eight to twelve REDs with that menacing device, and those ponies were just walking by like nothing was wrong.
He withdrew the small pistol he had tucked away; the Detonator. While not as quick as the Manmelter, the Detonator had something it didn't, an alt-fire that caused the launched flare to explode and ignite anything within it's blast zone. He lined up his shot, with any luck, he could set the BLU pony on fire, destroy the vital intelligence, and maybe even prematurely set off the payload. The mere thought of all that wondrous flame engulfing everything in it's splendor gave Pyro all the more reason to followthrough with his hasty plan. He followed her as she walked until she stopped to stretch out her back. He squeezed the trigger-
"PYRO!" came Lyra's voice from the doorway. The shout made Pyro jump and launched the flare through the window and off into the distance.
Outside, Colgate (who had been charged with hauling one of the Nightmare Night balloons to the train station along with it's repair kit) looked up while she wiped some sweat from her brow as a dazzling red flare soared high overhead and arced it's way across the bright blue sky.
"Opalescence! Get down from there, I need to get going to meet Twilight and you're not helping!" shouted Rarity as her spoiled cat snickered at her from her perch just outside the Carousel Boutique. Rarity was getting absolutely furious with this nonsense, not that she would let it show beyond lightly grinding her teeth. She had been trying for the past twenty minutes after dropping off Sweetie Belle with a reluctant Bon Bon to get the prissy feline out of the tree in front of her store.
As the white unicorn continued in vain to get her down, she heard what she swore sounded like a buzzing sound, or a…sizzling sound? She looked up as a red ember came streaking through the sky, barely missing a brightly colored bird and plunged into the tree top. The flare exploded with a deafening bang, raining down leafs and small branches. A terrified Opal came flying out from her hiding place and landed claws-first onto her startled owner.
"Opal! It's okay darling, mommy's got yoooooOOOOOW! Not the claws! Ohhhh…"
Pyro eased off on the second trigger of his Detonator and looked down at a shocked light green unicorn with her mouth hanging open. Lyra couldn't believe that Pyro had just tried to flash-fry Colgate who was just minding her own business! She gave Pyro a stern, almost motherly look and extended her hoof. Pyro, who was forever cursed to be a horrible judge of people's (and pony's) emotions, cracked his fingers and gave Lyra's raised hoof a quick slap, then began to jump up and down as he clapped for joy.
Lyra sighed, "No Pyro, not a high-hoof, give me the gun." she said with a commanding voice that she hoped covered her fear of what other brash thing Pyro might attempt upon hearing the news. The masked salamander stopped clapping and fell to his knees, his arms hanging loosely at his sides in disbelief.
"Mrrum murm? Mrrrmh!" he grunted and crossed his arms angrily.
"Pyro…" he turned away from her with a 'humph'. She wrapped the object in question in a green aura and levitated it out of his belt. He turned to grab it but only fell on his face as Lyra trotted out of the room with the CMC in tow. She trotted back out into the living room to continue her conversation with Bon Bon, only to find her missing and her front door open. She walked over to close the door when she saw everypony heading to the Town Square, including Bon Bon whom she and the three little ponies following her caught up to.
"Bon Bon, what's going on? Did you really just try to ditch me with the- Mmph!" she was cut off as Bon Bon quickly shoved a pale cream hoof in her mouth and pointed over at Town Hall, it was swarming with Royal Guards. They all looked around at the crowd of ponies that had gathered with surveying eyes checking for trouble makers as usual, but they also seemed to be scanning for something in particular. As the last of the residence of Ponyville gathered, the guards began sounding trumpets and raising the Royal Canterlot Flags. Lyra lifted Apple Bloom and Scootaloo onto her back for a better look while Sweetie Belle hopped on Bon Bon.
"Hey, look it's…Twilight?" said Scootaloo.
Lyra and Bon Bon peered at the distant stage to see that that was indeed Twilight Sparkle, and she seemed to be waiting for somepony behind the stage. As the guards continued to play, a hush fell over the crowd. A bright light began to radiate from behind the platform as everypony began to bow. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna had arrived. The quiet murmur died instantly as Celestia raised a gilded hoof.
"Citizens of Ponyville," began Celestia, "my sister and I have come here to announce that this year's Nightmare Night Celebration is to be held in the capitol city of Canterlot!" Cheers erupted from those present along with what sounded like a stampede of hooves stomping the neatly cut grass as a few pegasi did loops in the air.
Luna quieted them once again, her face a bit more serious than her sister's. "Yes, but now I must first ask something of you" her voice was still a little rasp, "it has come to my attention that the bizarre energy disturbance that manifested here, was more than meets the eye." The ponies went silent. All eyes and ears were now focused on the midnight blue Princess. "It dropped off a traveler, a creature Equestria hasn't seen since before…Nightmare Moon's first appearance," a few shocked gasps escaped the crowd as the murmurs started up again, "so, we ask that whoever has seen this creature please step forward."
Pinkie (who had been hiding behind the platform) bounded out with a large banner that Rainbow Dash and Applejack helped prop up, the massive scroll was bound with a large red ribbon that Rarity untied with her magic. The parchment rolled out and revealed a large, detailed wanted poster of-
"'Pyro', as the creature has been identified. We ask that if you have any information of his whereabouts, that you would please talk with one of the guards that shall remain here in Ponyville until he is found." said Celestia in her Royal Canterlot Voice.
Lyra felt a small hoof prod the back of her head, "Well, go on, go tell the Princess 'bout Pyro! Ah'm sure she'll be nice, she is the Princess after all…" said Apple Bloom with confirming nods from Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle.
"Girls," started Bon Bon, "this needs to be our secret. Nopony needs to know about Pyro staying with Lyra. So we'll just keep quite." She turned around, and was positive that her jaw slammed onto the grass directly below her.
Up on the platform, in full view, was Pyro, holding his hands in front of his face as though he was taking a picture of the drawing Pinkie Pie had made. There was an absolute silence as he continued to look over the wonderful portrait she had made of him. Luna was the first to break the quiet scene.