Cole groggily stirred, groaning as a soft breeze passed over him. Am I... Dead? The Conduit wondered to himself. If it hadn't been for the fact that grass was coming off onto his shirt, the fact that he was cold, and the fact that there was a breeze, the Conduit would've said he died. "But the RFI..." he thought aloud, before a ringing in his head made him wince. "Nnnnnnnngghhh..." he held his head with his fingers in pain, before closing his eyes and fluttering them open. The pain slowly subsided, and he yawned.
Cole decided that he should be figuring out the situation he was in. "But the-... The RFI... I'm... I should be... Dead?" he wondered rhetorically, not being able to make any sense of the situation as he stood, an audible *CRACK* came from the Conduit's back. He slouched over, and did a few stretches. "Do I still have..." his question was answered as blue shocks of electricity crackled throughout his appendages...
"Good." Cole stretched his arms out, and cracked his neck. He yawned. "Man, where the hell am I..?" he asked in disbelief, taking in the cartoon-like terrain. "Yeah, I'm probably dead." the Conduit scratched his head in utter confusion. He seemed to have awoken in some sort of grassy, cartoon-y plains.
Deciding that he had no other choice, Cole decided to walk until he found a town...
* * * * *
What Cole found wasn't a town, or God, it was just...
... And a forest.
Sighing in disappointment from wasting his time, Cole facepalmed. "Well, I guess I'm lost." he decided, taking his hand from his face. What should I do... Keep looking, or wait until someone finds me? Cole wondered. Suddenly, he heard a roar from the forest from his right, which made Cole leap into a defensive position, readying an Artillery Bolt. The Conduit heard snapping of trees and branches, and the creature, the source of the noise, finally emerged...
And it was like nothing Cole had ever seen before.
Standing on all-fours at about eight feet tall, nearly twenty feet from Cole was... A Manticore. An enraged, pissed-off looking Manticore. "Ho-ly shit!" Cole exclaimed, throwing himself backwards as the beast began to progress aggressively towards him. If Cole wasn't in shock, the Manticore would've been either dead or paralyzed already, but due to him thinking they were just myths, and actually seeing one, made the Conduit nearly panic.
Cole finally snapped out of his stupor, and leaped into the air, landing in a roll directly in the path of the enraged Manticore. The Conduit quickly changed tactics, switching to an Ice Grenade, and throwing it bang-on to the Manticore, sending it flying. Cole didn't stop here; he jumped into the air and flew over to the Manticore, just before it hit the ground, he used a Graviton Blast to send it flying into a large tree, knocking it unconscious.
Landing with another roll, Cole brushed himself off. "Well, that was easier than I expected. 'Least I made the best of it." he thought aloud, as he ran into the woods. He reached around his back hopefully, trying to grab the Amp. He succeeded, pulling out the weapon. "Whew. Good thing this is still with me." Cole quickly wiped away the cold sweat of worry, and continued running, pulling out the Amp to clear a path if anything got in the way.
Luckily for Cole, nothing did.
* * * * *
Not even a single resident to Ponyville hasn't heard about Rainbow Dash, calling herself Equestria's finest flier, or in her words...
"I'm the most awesome flier in Equestria!" the cyan Pegasus mare bragged to a semi-new colt who arrived recently in town, who was apparently interested in Rainbow Dash, because they kinda ran into each-other.
The young colt's eyes went agleam with starstruck-ed-ness. "That is so. Cool!" he exclaimed, hopping up with a smile on his face. "It'd be great to see you fly!" the colt said hopefully.
Rainbow suddenly wore a look of remorse on her face. Since Rainbow was both an... Arial acrobat, if you will, and a weather-pony, she had her duties to attend to. Today, she had to clear the skies just around the Everfree forest. She looked back to the colt, and sighed. "Sorry little buddy, I have to go and clear the skies. But I'll be sure to arrange when you can see me strut my stuff!" with that, the competitive Pegasus took to the skies, leaving her new friend behind.
Rainbow veered right, the soft yet strong wind blowing through her mane. Adrenaline at it's best, the Pegasus mare chuckled to herself, heading for the medium-sized patch of fluffy clouds poised over a clearing lying dead before the Everfree Forest, where ponies dared not to tread, because of both the eeriness of the place and the creatures that can be found in the monstrous forest.
So Rainbow Dash began to do her job, bucking clouds into smaller particles of clouds, which disappeared nearly immediately after. She continued said action for around four minutes, before she took a small breather.
The Pegasus mare laid back onto one of the un-bucked clouds, and let out a sigh of relief. Chuckling to herself, she openly stated her new personal record for beating her old record at 'cloud-bucking'. Dash had made her work into a little game, where she counted the clouds she bucked. Every time she passed her old limit, she would congratulate herself. "Thirty-six clouds in four minutes! Yeah!" she threw her hooves over her head, laying back on the cloud comfortably as she sighed again, resting her head on the fluffiness of the pillow-like cloud.
Rainbow's rest was interrupted when she heard something. "Huh?" she wondered, peeking her head over the cloud's edge, squinting to get a better look at where the sound was coming from. Must be a creature from the Everfree... Wait, they don't come that close to the treeline! Dash thought frantically, before she heard very faint grunting, as if somepony was running through the thick forest. Deciding to take a closer look, Dash sat up and stretched out her wings. She jumped from the cloud, and began to descend.
When Rainbow touched the ground, she stretched again, and approached the treeline to the Everfree Forest gingerly. She kept her distance, just in case something did jump out at her.
She peered into the darkness of the forest, only to see something... Crackling? Yes. Crackling. Quick but noticable little zig-zags of blue light seemed to be faintly be seen by the naked eye of Rainbow Dash. Suddenly, the 'lights' went out, as she heard a snapping noise, presumably from a branch.
She then heard a male voice yell in the distance, "Damn! I gotta..." Rainbow Dash couldn't understand the rest.
The lights reappeared, but they were less constant. As whatever generated the small crackling lines of blue light drew closer to the edge of the Everfree Forest, Rainbow began to get a little paranoid.
She then clearly heard a colt's voice, sounding somewhat exhausted. "Now, why couldn't I have just flown over the forest?... I don't know. Ugh."
Seeing that the speaker was obviously a Pegasus, from the mentioning of flying, she spoke up. "Hello?" Rainbow asked nonchalantly.
The voice came back, "Who's there?" it asked with a question.
"Rainbow Dash, fastest flier in all of Equestria!" she perked up, only to hear the snapping of twigs as the speaker came out of the forest. As soon as it came into view...
She dropped her facial expression, and fell on her flank.
"Ha, listen, anyway, I'm kinda lost and I--" the speaker stopped too. The two of them stared, dumbfounded at each-other.
The speaker wasn't a Pegasus, nor did it have wings or any sort of flying appendages, but it was some sort of clothes-wearing, talking, standing-on-two-foot, hairless ape.
The clothes-wearing and talking hairless ape was the first to break the silence.
"What the hell is going on here?!"