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SteelEagle

Meets and Greets (EQG AU)

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The gymnasium at Canterlot High certainly had nothing on the extravegance of Crystal Prepatory Academy, but Valen wasn't going to allow himself to make any undue judgements based on such flimsy observations. It was a pattern that was feeding into the outrageous propaganda they had been fed at Crystal about their rival school, however. He had only been here for a few hours and everything felt a little more quanit, a little more laid back, and not as well presented. He even heard some floorboards creak somweherem obviously meaning it was poorly made. Obviously. Probably. Didn't matter in the end, for as much as they had pumped his head full of beliefs regarding this school he was willing to give them a chance.

 

He hadn't really wanted to come over here in the first place, but President Glimmer had other ideas and fored the issue. Some may refer to him as a toady, others a lackey, he preferred the title of Vice-President. It behooved him to take up this student exchange offer, did it not? Sure it was Glimmer who brought the forms and filled them out and only needed him to sign them. Sure it happened while he was half asleep. Sure he didn't know what was going on when he was informed of the transfer. But all of that was in the past and he was here now, ready and willing to learn whatever it was that students at this school learned except for courtly graces and other more obscure elements of good character. He was ready for Student Orientation.

 

It was a simple event held right at the start of the school year. Incoming freshmen as well as exchange students were gathered to receive information from the administration as well as several students that were willing to out their front foot forward and help teach the gathered masses what was expected of them here as well as what was the 'cool thing' to do. After the little assembly there was a meet and greet as well as time to talk one on one. Which was what they were transitioning to as Principal Celestia finished her speech to the applause of the assembled, who got up and started milling about.

 

"That seemed pleasant enough, I do believe. Isn't that right, President Glimmer?" Valen asked evenly as he spoke with his President, looking around and hoping to spot some of the well known local students. What better way to learn than by talking?
 

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As much as he thought the whole thing a bit of a bore, Blueblood Platinum was one of the Senior Students front and center for the orientation welcome.  As president of the Canterlot High Sailing Club, he of course had a booth promoting his pet ECA, complete with brochures, posters, and pictures of students ostensibly having the time of their lives out on the water.  And this was mostly honest marketing, too; the Club was one of the few things Blueblood made any sort of effort to be actually decent at.

 

The other thing was presenting his own good looks, which was another reason that Principal Celestia had specifically requested him to be prominent in this year's orientation.  Or so he supposed, and it made sense as far as he was concerned.  After all, this scion of the Platinum family had all the handsome attractiveness of a recruiting poster; so why not act as one?

 

Hence, the blond senior was stationed right by the seats reserved for the exchange students, dressed in much finer clothes than called for by the school's dress code.  It made the Crystal Prep crowd feel at home, or so he felt.  Speaking of which, there was one such fresh mea- er, Freshman now.  Giving him a languid wave, Blueblood addressed Valen.  "Well, welcome to our little corner of paradise.  I trust the transition was smooth?"

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Awesome! The first day of her time as a part of the Trottingham academy's exchange student program. The day as of to an amazing start! The sun was shining, birds were chirping, flowers were blooming! Days like these were just meant to be enjoyed and that's just what Presteza had planned. Full of her unusual mix of grogginess and morning vigor, the girl rushed a bit through her morning ritual... which honestly wasn't all that different. Her platinum locks were rather messy with bangs that jutted out slightly in various directions, with strategic openings in her hairstyle to not impede her vision. 

 

She was about to burst out the door of her host family's house but froze once she noticed something was missing. Hands patted down her person, until one of them slapped her face when her eyes fell upon her favorite accessory hanging on the expected place: The hat rack. With a swift motion her favorite straw hat was on her head and bolted out the door to school. 

 

The Run to school was good for the cardio but definitely exhausting, combined with the fact the handiwork of Canterlot high's gardening club messing with her breathing: It was going to leave her  out of breath when she made it there... 

The Gymnasium doors flung open as high school student sprinted through, skidding to a halt in front of the group who'd already arrived. "I-I... ahh... *gasp!* I ma... made..."  The Silver haired student stumbled forward and huffed and puffed with her head hanging down and her hands rest on bent knees, "I... made it..." 

 

Once she had some time to catch her breath she looked up and waved to the group with a goofy grin, "I'm Presteza, Exchange student from Trottin' 'am academy." She sniffled sharply and laughed, "It's great ta meetcha!"

 

 

 

 

 

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A new year, a new potential host of interesting challenges and memories to be made - hopefully, Sunset thought to herself, there would be less 'challenges' of the magic variety to worry about this year than she had encountered in more recent times...which, when she looks back at it now, was a thought that she wouldn't have entertained even in the slightest a few years ago. There was once a time that Sunset Shimmer would have embraced and thrived in a situation charged to the nines with magic and sorcery, but given how trouble much it had brought upon the denizens of CHS...yeah, it was a much better time when things were just a little less unpredictable.

 

Shaking her head free of the pondering thoughts, she returned her attention to the here and now where the throngs of newly inducted Ex Crystal Prep students were awaiting the instructions for the day ahead, and in due enough time a small tour of the essential places of Canterlot Highschool itself - 'the grand tour', Sunset chuckled to herself lightly, always a highlight for new students. As ever, Sunset had joined the list of those willing to assist with such an endeavour - although now it was because she truly desired to offer assistance, as the lingering tendrils of the doubts of her misdeeds were finally coming away...her efforts to atone for her transgressions seemingly bearing some major fruit in the last few months, most certainly aided by her very public assistances with the defeating of occasional evils.

 

Still, it promised to be a pretty interesting group and she was definitely looking forward to lending some assistance where it was required...although for now it was just her, since the others seemed to be a tad busy and Twilight, the Pony Princess and not the raging but adorable Scientist, seemed to be altogether unavailable to lend a helping hoof/hand. That wasn't really a big deal, although it would probably have been appreciated - Sunset was more than capable of handling her part in this scenario without assistance, and thus planned on participating by putting on a perfectly passable performance.

 

And so, she delved into the fray to see just what was up...and to lend some help if indeed it was required for her to do so...taking care to politely greet the late arrival as she passes by!

 

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Clothes? Check. Hair? Check. Far too long and rather unnecessary speech from the Principal. Ugh, check. Everything was going just as Starlight had expected. Which is to say dull and pointless. Something something school spirit. Something something working together to make your futures brighter. All sorts of inspirational blather that was sure to make an ice cube's difference in the desert. But the students of CHS seemed to eat it up, and if she wanted to keep up appearances, she had to at the very least feign interest in the whole thing and sit through til the very end. Which thank everything wasn't very long.


Finally she and her ever dutiful Vice-President were able to get up and away from the nonsense and move into the second most frustrating portion of orientation, mingling. At least this would give her some initial insight into the sort of people she was dealing with. Not that she really expected much. "Oh absolutely. It was nice and to the point." No it droned on and was a sappy as a maple tree. "I'm sure the time spent here will be a great learning experience!" For Canterlot High, anyway.


Most of the student body and the transfer students were mingling with one another as Starlight and Valen strolled through. Likely not approaching them due to Crystal Prep's...reputation as snobbish. Which given was not unfounded and suited Starlight just fine. It afforded her a chance to observe her prey-er-fellow students in their natural state! Her thoughts and planning however were distracted by a rather...well 'rich' would be an appropriate term, voice. The source of which appeared to be a overly dressed senior waving to them. Well truthfully waving more to Valen, but if they were waving to him they were waving to her.


With a wave of her own and a charming little smile, Starlight wandered closer. "As smooth as silk, thank you! It's a pleasure to meet you, I'm Starlight Glimmer, student council president of Crystal Prep. And this is my wonderful Vice-President, Valen!" Richie Rich here seemed to be the poster child for when too much money meets not enough sense. Still though if he was rich, he was influential and if he was influential being on good terms couldn't hurt. Before the conversation could carry much further than exchanging pleasantries, the sound of a door flinging wide grabbed most everyone's attention. A late comer from Trottingham Academy, it seemed. Well at least she tried, Starlight was sure she'd get a gold star for effort with how this school seemed.

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Man, what a drag

 

Not that he particularly had anything against these types of inspirational, drawn out speeches, in and of themselves...they were expected, and pretty much mandatory for any sort of get-together here at CHS, especially at the start of a new school year. But the fact that so much pomp and ceremony was winding up in favor of welcoming freakin' Crystal Prep was...less than usual, and as equally warming. Like the name implied, that school was filled with so many pompous and snobby students that the one time he had visited as part of the Soccer Team, he had considering it a blinding miracle he'd escaped without suffocating on all the smug. Much like the schools he'd competed for and failed to enter back in Manehatten, Crystal Prep was for the elite, the rich, and often times both. 

 

Though, not every student was bad, of course. Just last summer he'd hooked with a Crystal Prep girl who'd shown him exactly what she thought of his preconceived notions about CP students being too high and mighty to hang out for a good time. He'd never been whooped so badly at laser tag, before.

 

The sound of polite clapping abruptly drew Inkbrand out of his inner musings, realizing that Principal Celestia had finished up her speech at some point or another. Freakin' finally. The blue-haired boy let his chair flop back onto all fours with a loud thunk!, already moving up and out of his seat as murmured voices began filling up the gymnasium, students automatically moving towards friends while exchange students and freshmen generally stood around looking lost. Already he could see Sunset Shimmer, a familiar face that had been heavily involved in some magical weirdness the past couple of years, standing by and greeting various students, presumably of the exchange and freshmen kind. 

 

As for himself, he was....technically, suppose to be helping man the booth dedicated to sports clubs. But after sitting down for so long, Inkbrand really did not want to be stuck behind a desk for another hour or so. Plus, Captain was there to represent the Soccer Team, so it was all good, right? 

 

Right. 

 

Plus, now he had time to go antagonize one of his favorite targets, one he could clearly see thanks to the blindingly posh white outfit he was wearing. In all honesty, Blueblood looked and acted like he'd be much more at home at a school like Crystal Prep than CHS - but president of the yacht club or whatever it was aside, the guy threw the best water-side parties in the entire school. Money probably helped with that. But however he got it done, Inkbrand wasn't about to complain, even if he couldn't help ruffling the guy's feathers from time to time.

 

"What's up, Buttercup?" Inkbrand drawled as he approached the blonde student, grin widening as he caught the tail end of introductions from a veritable bevy of Crystal Prep-looking students around his person. Figures the suit-wearing Blueblood would be drawing in the Prep (and Trottingham?) crowd. "Letting the exchange-ies know about the first party of the school year? Good man, him," the blue-haired student abruptly switched gears as he turned to address the exchange students, languidly resting his behind against Blueblood's booth and crossing his arms in order to converse more comfortably. "That's Blueblood," Inkbrand added, with a toss of his head over one shoulder towards the blonde student sitting behind the booth, "and I'm Inkbrand, Vice Captain of the Soccer Team." A toothy grin and wink accompanied the hand he thrust out for one, or all three, of the exchange students to shake, but he let his words die out after his introduction. Wasn't really good form to try and talk over the student who's booth he'd chosen as a pit stop. 

 

Didn't mean he was ready to leave, yet. Despite himself, Inkbrand was interested in the transfers this year. He could only imagine how disdainful some of them must be over their new surroundings, those these ones seemed perfectly amiable. 

 

Heh, who knew. Maybe he was looking at an entire school year of laser tag.

 

 

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Among all the students of Canterlot High sent to welcome the newcomers, it was around his booth that the crowds were coalescing.  Which, as far as Blueblood was concerned, was as simple and natural as the sun rising in the east.  Ego inflating under the warmth of that morning sun, he couldn't resist shooting a brief, smug look at Sunset Shimmer before turning back to the pair of transfer students... which were the President and Vice-President of the Crystal Prep Student Council!

 

The blond-haired youth beamed welcome at them, like a monarch welcoming foreign dignitaries to his kingdom.  "Well!  I must say, that would make you the highest-profile transfers between our schools so far.  I, myself, am Blueblood Platinum, President of the Sail Club, and premier-"

 

"What's up, Buttercup?"

 

Blueblood sighed deeply as Inkbrand intruded upon his introduction.  It wasn't that he actively disliked the Soccer Vice-Captain, on a personal level.  It was just the type of person that he was that irritated Blue, like a clashing color scheme.  It couldn't be denied, though, that Ink definitely livened up the parties he attended, which in turn heightened the profile and membership of the Sail and Boating club, which in turn promoted Blueblood's own social standing.  For such a symbiosis, the Platinum heir was willing to put up with whatever ribbing it came with.

 

"Ahem... yes, as he was saying, the Sail and Boat Club hosts Marina and Island parties.  The former are open to the whole student body, the latter are club-exclusive.  After all, you do have to sail to get there!"  He chuckled, no matter how many times he'd made that little joke, it never failed to amuse him.  "The first Marina party is on Saturday, so I trust I will see you two there?"

 

Suddenly, with a floorboard-rattling clash, the doors burst open to admit the last of the transfer students, who stood puffing in front of the booth everyone was gathering around.  Blueblood peered with minor interest above Valen's head at her, but upon actually recognizing the newcomer, his eyes widened in surprise.  "Why, Presteza!  I can't say I expected to see you here; when did you leave Trottingham?"  As the two of them were born pretty much of the same class (though with wildly differing attitudes towards that heritage), their parents naturally orbited in the same social circles, dragging offspring alongside like planetoids.  Blue couldn't say that he remembered much about Pressy, aside from a certain artistic flair.  Not a very likely club recruit, though.

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The first local to make his way over and introduce them was a well-heeled fellow with a sense of style and confidence that spoke far more to Prep sensibilities than it did to these more eglatarian surroundings. It didn't take much for Valen to place him. He was Blueblood Platinum, one of the richest children in the land. The family was well known for their dominance of certain trades. It was up for debate who was richer: The Oranges, with their constant business meaning a tidy flow of profit, or the Platinums, who experienced ups and downs but were certainly more newsworthy. It wouldn't have been impossible for them to have met before they attended different schools- same circles in the end. It was good to see that he had adjusted well here! If he had, why couldn't Valen?

 

The Vice-President was about to speak, but then the President spoke and Valen's mouth closed, as was their protocol. Speak when spoken to, be silent when the President speaks and toe the party line. Simple rules. There were far more complicated and detailed rules for their relationship that he wouldn't get into, not that he had a say or agreed to any of them, nor did he have the ability (realistically and otherwise) to say no. He wasn't even here by his own writ. She had gotten the forms and convinced him to sign them. He was a 'useful person to have around' that allowed her to 'take proper actions to better the student populace'. Which was a fancy way of saying she told him to jump, he asked how high- whether it was allowed by the rules or not. 

 

He was about to speak once again, but another party joined the fracas. He was tall, dark, and handsome. Soccer Club? Valen played a few sports. Did they offer water polo? He'd be interested in that. He was simply no good at soccer. He had joined the soccer team at Crystal Prep, but only so he could 'lose' his spot to a 'friend' of Glimmer's who needed the confidence boost- and a good reason to believe that Glimmer saw the 'truth in people'. So vote her. He was therefore intimately familiar with the kicking of balls and whatnot. He seemed a very laid-back yet aggressive sort, interjecting because he could with a sort of casualness that told Valen that despite his own beliefs, this was anything but a casual guy.

 

"A pleasure to meet all of you. Blueblood, I do believe I know your cousin- Bluebelle is it? She was at the Gala we held recently at my family's summer residence. A pleasure to meet you! An island party, you say? Would that be the Gallop Island or the Roughback Island chain? Gallop Island is better if you want a beach party on the island, but some of the Roughbacks have stunning lakes and hot springs. What boat do you sail with? I have experience on the Peterson 44 and Hunter 356, though I think my most enjoyable experiences have been aboard the family's Catalina 30," Valen responded, excited at the prospect of being able to share some experiences with the youngest of the Platinums.

 

Next, the Co-Captain of the Soccer. "Wonderful to meet you too, Inkbrand. I am glad that all manner of clubs are welcome here! I, for one, am very much a fan of the soccering, what with the kicking and sliding and protecting the net," he said, intentionally sounding like a doofus. Underestimation could only lead to him learning whatever hurdles would be placed in front of him by the overly sporty kind that he was informed stalked the halls of 'lesser' schools, though he had no evidence of inferiority to back such deep-pressed propaganda. 

 

Sunset Shimmer approached. He knew who she was- most did, as they did her friends. There was a certain aura of...weirdness about her and the rumors were downright unbelievable. Yet after the events of the Games, what couldn't be believed? It made his own secrets seem downright mundane. Not that he had them. Still, she was hopefully as kind as he more recent reputation would indicate. "Hello there...I believe Sunset Shimmer is the name?" He asked, extending his hand for a nice shake. He'd wait for Starlight to do the introductions, as was their custom.

 

Boom, bam, the doors flew open- and who was thaaaaaaaaaaaaat she was so preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty. He looked at her for a few seconds, then shook his head and looked away- back to Starlight and Ink and the Platium boy and the Sunset, blushing lightly. "So many nice...people! Trottingham, yes. Very nice," he said to the air in the middle of everyone.
 

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"I can't believe I'm late!" Watermelon said as she ran down the hallway, her twin pigtails flying behind her like flags. It was bad enough that she was not at the bottom of the scholastic food chain being a freshman, but even worse was she was going to look very foolish being late to this meet and greet. She hoped this was an opportunity for her to make new friends, but being late wasn't helping that. 

 

"Ok, almost to the gym. I hope I don't cause a scene," she said dashing in. But no sooner had she stepped in, she began to skid. Was it new polish on the gym floor or someone spilled something on the floor? She wasn't into the whys right now as she began spinning out of control, her pigtails now like helicopter blades.

Somehow she managed to dodge everyone there, but then she saw it. 

 

"Oh no! I'm going to..." she started as she crashed headlong into the wooden bleachers! 

 

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Well...it seemed like things were KIND of going okay?

 

Sunset wasn't exactly *certain* on how everything was really going with the orientation overall right now, but if there wasn't immediately something making with bad vibes then, she figured, everything was kinda going smoothly enough to the point where she could at least relax a little more...although it seemed as though the little tete-a-tete between Inkbrand and Blueblood was seemingly becoming a whole lot of 'male bonding' - but as long as it didn't spill out into the surroundings then there were no massive causes for concern there.

 

She found her attention caught by the mentioning of her name out loud - she paused and glanced over in Valens direction, noting the hand outstretched...and caught unawares, a whole beat of a moment passed before she realised that he was awaiting a handshake, which she quickly made to attend to upon the realisation. " Uh...yeah, that'd be, uh, me... " she responds with a nod as her thoughts caught up with her. " Nice to meet you...and you are? "

 

Before the answer to that question could be given, however, Watermelons dramatic entrance took place...distracting many in the immediate vicinity as the unfortunate student and Wooden bleachers got quite noisily acquainted in full view of everyone present - and ouch, that did NOT look like a fun time was being had. 

 

" Oh geez - that looked painful! " Sunset winced, remarking as the scene transpired before her eyes. " looks like we have our first casualty of the year! "
 

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Platinum huh? With a last name like that you were either obnoxiously rich or...Well, no. Probably only that. It seemed Starlight's dear Vice-President was familiar with the name and family, even if she herself wasn't. Not that she'd mention it. This guy seemed like the type to have a conniption if someone dared to have never heard of the 'Great Platinum Family Line' or some such nonsense. Better to just smile politely and play along. The second one to arrive still left something to be desired. This Inkbrand, he certainly was handsome and clearly didn't turn his nose so high up in the air that he'd drown when it rained so he had that going for him. But he also seemed cocksure and abrasive, which to Starlight made sense seeing as how he was vice-captain of a sports team. So many sportsball players always seemed to have that kind of attitude.


"It's an absolute delight to meet the both of you! A party sounds like an excellent way to get acquainted with the student body. Valen and I will do our best to be there! Is there any sort of required dress?" Starlight had been through this sort of rigamarole before, fancy parties, fancy dress, fancy fruity alcohol-free drinks, snobbish laughter. But if ol' Blue here was allowing the whole of the school to attend these events and not just the more elite members, then surely it was more lax. Before that train of thought continued any further, the ever watchful Valen spotted and greeted someone who was likely one of the most interesting students here at CHS, and one Starlight had long since made a mental note to watch out for. "Oh! Sunset Shimmer, it's wonderful to finally get to see you in person. I am Starlight Glimmer, President of Crystal Prep's Student Council and this is my Vice President, Valen Orange," she said with a bright smile, extending her hand to shake as well. She was certain it'd be shaken. Wouldn't want to look unfriendly in front of the freshman would she?


"You and your friends were quite the talk of Crystal Prep for a while! And-" Crash-thud-wham! God gracious if there wasn't the noise and distraction of someone bursting into the place it was someone crashing into something! Couldn't a girl gauge the intelligence of her ene...vict...peers in peace!? Although...this did make for a good opportunity. Nothing says 'trustworthy' like helping someone you don't even know! "Ouch...Valen, please handle the introductions if you could? Thank you so much dear." Starlight gave Valen a gentle pat on the shoulder and a smile to shake him from his daydream before making her way over ground zero, so to speak.


Offering a hand to the crashed and likely bruised late arrival, Starlight put on her best sympathetic smile. "That was some landing, Miss. Are you alright, here let me give you a hand!"

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The girl's ears twitched a moment as she heard the familiar voice of none other than Blueblood platinum. She had to fight the urge to give a bit of a sigh. One of the reasons she'd even gotten the transfer from Trottingham academy was to escape the poshness of the upperclass... still though, Blueblood did actually have some good points but already she was worried this was off to a bad start. Despite her internal worries she managed to straighten herself up and smile at the ... two? 

 

Presteza looked at the blue haired boy. A laugh was stifled when she heard the newcomer's nickname for her acquaintance. "Buttercup?" She asked, looking in Blueblood's direction. "I decided it was time fer a change o' pace, bruv." A hand came up to brush the bangs from her eyes and remove the straw hat from her head, letting the string that held it in place rest around her neck loosely. "You know how the Trottingham academy is right? Nothin' but prudish people always trying to mess with eachother ta make 'emselves more popular." 

 

A hand was presented to the Soccer player, "Nice to meet ya, Inkbrand! I'm Presteza... although I guess thanks ta the other half o' yer double act 'ere ya figured that out already! Ya known Ol' blue long?" 

 

Valen's actions were a bit confusing, seeing as he wasn't looking at her but mentioned Trottingham... Presteza couldn't help but wonder if he was talking to Blueblood rather than her. For the time being she could only converse with those who had actually talked to her openly.

Spoiler

(Sorry for the bad quality)

 

 

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Well, he got one out of the three, so there was that. 

 

At least the other two seemed friendly enough, even if they seemed disinclined to shake his proffered hand. The young boy, especially, seemed genial and friendly - and Inkbrand didn't bother stifling a sharp grin at the other boy's description of a sport he obviously understood little about - while the girl he was latched onto gave off more of an air of...he wasn't sure what. Charm, sure, but not exactly warmth. Starlight Glimmer was charismatic, that was for certain, and judging by the way she and Valen interacted with each other, well used to being a leader that other students looked up to. 

 

Probably president of Crystal Prep's Student Council, if he had to take a guess.

 

The third transfer, the one that had taken his hand, was as equally affable as the other two, and spoke in a thick Trottingham accent that was only really heard in movies. Inkbrand had to silently wonder exactly where all these transfers were coming from, and for what purpose. Some morbid curiosity over the weird magical happenings that had been plaguing CHS? Or just interest in expanding their horizons? Glimmer and Valen seemed the type to up and leave to another school simply for the academic mark it'd given their records, while this Presteza seemed to just want a "change of pace". 

 

Despite himself, the blue-haired student couldn't help but snort. If this year progressed any similarly to the previous ones, all three transfers would be experiencing a lot more than a simple change of pace. 

 

Presteza's comment, however, had Inkbrand's ears figuratively perking upwards as a sly smile stole over his face. "Oh sure," the tattoo sporting boy exclaimed as he pushed himself off the booth and slunk around the back until he was standing next to Blueblood, leaning down to rest one hand against the booth's surface as his other arm draped itself unceremoniously across the blonde boy's shoulders. "We're old pals," Inkbrand extrapolated, fingers drumming slightly against the tabletop, "real chummy. I'm always the first to get an invite to those parties of his," he claimed, teeth exposed in a grin as he shook the other student's shoulders slightly. Whether or not Blueblood refuted the claim didn't matter at all - at least not to himself. The blond boy might take some offense to the notion that the newcomers would think he was buddy buddy with CHS' resident 'bad boy,' though.

 

Though, speaking of bad...

 

The first spectacular wipeout of the year happened right under their very noses, and even Inkbrand couldn't contain a wince at the loud crashing that echoed throughout the gymnasium, courtesy of a very green and red girl crashing inelegantly into the bleachers. He let out a whistle to accompany some scattered laughter from nearby students who had witnessed the crash, but otherwise remained where he was, seeing as Glimmer was already on her way over to help her up. "Definitely not going to be the last one though, eh S-squared?" Inkbrand crowed, reaching over to nudge the red and yellow haired girl with one elbow, but let up after that, turning back towards the transfers.

 

"So...you're a fan, huh?" the blue haired student said rhetorically, not bothering to hide the speculation in his gaze as his golden eyes trailed over the other's body. "Ever think of playing it yourself? You've got the build for it," he said graciously, though the inquisitive gleam didn't leave his eyes. Just as Crystal Prep had some students attending CHS, they'd lost a couple people to different schools as well - one of which had been a rather amazing sophomore starter on the Soccer Team. And Valen, though he lacked muscle and endurance from the look of him, had a slim and wry build that was great for speed and agility.

 

Official tryouts would be held soon enough, of course - but, it never hurt to cast the net and see what came up in the waters, beforehand.

 

 

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It might have been a little too early to judge at this point, but Blueblood was willing to state that this crop of transfers to CHS was much more promising than that of any previous year.  Which was good, since this would be his last.  Not only had he found a potential member of the sailing club, but he had experience and class to go with it as well!  The senior beamed at the Freshman Valen as the younger student recounted his sailing experiences.  "Ah, yes, the little Cat is a swift cutter, but best for short round trips from the Marina, I think.  I'm more a fan of longer journeys out to other places, myself, and for that I think you can't do better than Northstar.  My personal vessel is the NS320."  

 

He pulled up from the conversation, clearing his throat.  He'd love to dive into the technical details, of course, but that might risk his perceived character slipping from 'social elite' to 'nerd.'  Which would just be terrible.  "Anyway, you were also asking about the island parties?  Well, we generally do half and half, between Gallop and Roughback, though some club members have stronger preferences or antipathies than I do."

 

Speaking of antipathies, Blueblood had a particularly strong one against unsolicited touching.  Thus, when Inkbrand oh-so-casually draped an arm around him, he gave a look at the unwarranted limb which clearly expressed all his inner feelings.  Not that he would ever put that into words; that might initiate a verbal sparring, which would look bad in front of the crowds. Not to mention the remote possibility of the Platinum scion actually losing to the blue-haired punk, which would be intolerable!  And Blueblood knew that Inkbrand knew all that as well.  Thus, without a comment, and with a smile pasted back over his face, he picked up the other students hand with the ginger touch reserved for a dirty rag, and let it drop away.
"There's no point in not giving you an invitation to a party.  I've never known you to let that get in the way."  He gave a friendly sigh and a laugh, partly for show, partly as an expression of the more-or-less truce that had been arranged between them.  Principal Celestia tended to not let inter-student drama persist for very long; one had to come to terms eventually, come magical hell or high water.  Almost literally in some cases over the past few years...

 

"Yes, I remember Trottingham alright.  Things are definitely different here, Presteza!"  He thought about trying to explain to her just what made it different, but no matter what explanation he ran through in his head, it all sounded like he'd gone off it.  "I... do hope you're prepared.  I rather wasn't, to tell you the truth.  But most student's weren't, so at least you'll be in good com-"

 

*CRASH*

 

Blueblood winced at the sound of a student-bleacher collision, but as a student was already helping the newcomer, he restricted his response to a few sympathetic tuts.  "There's one every year..."  He muttered under his breath, before turning back to Starlight Glimmer.  While he could read crowds well enough, Blue could be a little dense as far as individual judgments of character went.  Thus, he was willing to take Starlight at her superficial appearance of friendly and outgoing.  "Anyway, I do hope to see you on Saturday.  No fancy-dress required at the Marina, besides School Event Code minimum."

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Well, the dramatic entrance and subsequent pratfallings seemed not to have accrued any serious levels of injury, and whilst Sunst was tempted to address watermelon and see if she was okay, it seemed as though she'd been beaten to the punch on that by one of the transfers, who had but a few moments ago was in the middle of an introduction to herself. Naturally, when things had transpired and the crashing event took place, Sunset hadn't exactly gotten a chance to make a response and shake the offered hand - she had no reason not to in the surroundings, even if there was something a little off about it's owner.

 

Well, whatever...in all honesty, she knew there was nothing to really base those initial uneasy feelings on - Starlights overfriendliness could just have been a desire to not show herself up in front of CHS students, especially ones who had been no doubt been spoken of in more than mere passing. Sunset simply inwardly shrugged and put her thoughts down as a simple case of kneejerk reaction to new faces...that was something she'd still have to work on and she was now clearly made more aware of that than ever.

 

Her thoughts dissipate when Inkbrands irreverent sense of playfulness punched through her brief pondering, and she simply gives a small chuckle - yeah, he was pretty on the nose about the fact that there would inevitably be plenty of injuries and unfortunate trips through the rest of the semester...unlucky though Watermelons fall was, it was a reminder to keep your wits about you and to turn down the rushing on campus.

 

" Well, I'm just glad it's nothing too serious... " she says finally, exhaling sharply.

" The last thing orientation meetings need is somebody breaking something more serious than an anxious sweat! "

 

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Watermelon was shaken and stirred, but thankfully not injured save for her pride. For a moment she thought that her not-so-graceful entrance would go unnoticed, but then a student came to inquire about her safety. It was nice, but also a little embarrassing. 

 

"That was some landing, Miss. Are you alright, here let me give you a hand!"

 

"Oh, thank you," she said trying to hide the red blush on her green face, "Guess I made an interesting first impression, huh? I'm Watermelon Gush by the way, what's your name?" 

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Sunset Shimmer seemed a little shy and pensive about taking his hand or indeed gettint too mightily involved. He didn't blame her. All the weird stuff that had happened to her and around her certainly must have taken a toll on her, and the rumors that swept around her and her friends were a bit much. He wasn't there and didn't see all the commotion but he wasn't going to believe all that hubub about magic and tails and another world. He would believe what he could see and what he saw was a girl who seemed a little uncomfortable with herself and a bit out of her element. He could relate. After Starlight introduced him to Sunset, Valen was allowed to speak. "I am very excited to get to know you, Miss Shimmer. I have heard a great deal about you, and I am sure that with greater companionship we can bring our two schools closer together," he said diplomatically. Her and her friends were truly vital to any success they were to have here and Valen wasn't going to torpedo that.

 

Speaking of torpedoing, he wondered if that was a soccer move. If not, he guessed that the co-captain Inkbrand could tell him. Was he in the same position as Valen was? Probably not. He didn't have the disposition of a number two. Whoever that number one was must have been fiercely competitive and of good quality to beat him off of the top spot. The way he looked at Valen was a bit much though, sadly, he was used it. Generally not like this though, more like when he was on one of Starlight's...umm, voter turnout initiatives, or something to that effect. Of course judging by what was going on and who it was, this was a more sporting sort of deal. "I do enjoy some of the soccering. I can play the...umm, not the middle man, but center attacker? Center attacking midfielder, is it?" He asked intentionally quizzically, allowing Inkbrand to hopefully draw the proper conclusions.

 

Proper conclusions were being drawn all over the place regarding Blueblood, however. Yep, he was as Valen had pegged him which was just as well. He was a pleasant sort who knew his way around the pier and, most importantly, wasn't trying to lord it over others. The formation of a sailing club spoke to that. Allowing anyone near such expensive and sensitive things spoke to a willingness to open himself uo to others, and that was important. As was taste in vessels. "A fine choice! Though I always do prefer the short trips. Or maybe it is just the way my parents operate. Whenever we go out to sea for any length of time it is on the O'Mega," he said with a sigh, "I do miss her. Oh well! So, tell me. How long have you been sailing? It isn't something I get to talk about very often," Valen said, only partially lying. He likely had more to say with students at Crystal Prep than Blueblood did here at Canterlot High. Back to the party discussion. "Yes, we would love to attend those parties. I am somewhat indifferent as to the exact details, however, as I am much more a fan of people-"

 

As he was speaking with Blueblood, he was interrupted by the newest arrival deciding to fight the bleachers with her body, and the bleachers won. Valen reflexively went to help, but Glimmer took the lead. Well, that was good. She was going to look like a kind, caring, and compassionate sort who leapt to help others. He wasn't going to dissuade her from this, nor was he going to allow her character to not profit it from it as much as possible. If he didn't help her profit, he'd be the one paying the price. "There she goes again, haha. Starlight is always on her way trying to help people! You'll know that soon enough. God knows she's helped me tremendously so," he said with practiced sincerity, hoping he would be met with approval. Approval from them meant approval from Starlight, and that meant only good things for him.

 

All of this was a fine distraction from the heart-stopping beauty from Trottingham, whose mere presence was causing the young boy from Manehattan to crimson and lose himself. Luckily his wild flustering wasn't jumped on was nice. He stole some glances- but that accent, hnnng. "W-where in Trottingham did you live?" he managed to stammer out, slowly composing himself. Slowly.

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'At least I found one guy around my age who looks like fun to hang out with.' Thought the painter as she watched him getting 'chummy' with the platinum scion. He seemed to have a laid-back mischievous demeanor that was somewhat endearing. His sense of style was simple, but stood out enough that it didn't blend in to the crowd. "Oi... Vice Captain, ya ever think o' modelin' fer a picture?" She asked with a glint in her eye.

 

"Shame I wasn't around fer those parties! Ya seem like the kinda guy who'd be the life of 'em, mate!" The painter grinned brightly at Inkbrand before momentarily turning to the more familiar visage of Blueblood. "I'm more then just prepared! I'm absolutely Pumped!" The Exchange student jumped in place, her hands high in the air before she came back down, the intensity of her enthusiasm coming off her in waves. 

 

The younger guy besides the girl from crystal prep seemed a bit less nervous from earlier. Heck, this time he even openly asked a question about her! 

 

 

"Well um... I lived in one of my family's ...manors there. Trottingham's got the primary one and it's pretty close to the academy." Presteza voice lowered to a mumble once she reached the word "manors", almost as if she were ashamed to admit it on some level. Her volume returned to normal as she swiftly changed the topic, "Fer now though I'm stayin' with the Apple family."

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"Oh it's no trouble at all!" Starlight said with a smile and a polite bow. "My name is Starlight Glimmer, Student Council President of Crystal Prep and one of the exchange students alongside my vice president. It's a pleasure to meet you miss. I hope that slip there didn't injure you too badly." First impressions, they say, are everything. If you act like a jerk around someone the first time you meet, you're a jerk in their eyes from then on. If you act like an angel, you'll have them wrapped around your finger before you know it. People were so easy.


A slight glance was cast over in Valen's direction when Starlight had mentioned the boy. In part to direct Watermelon's attention to who she meant, but mostly to make sure that he wasn't screwing things up or too busy drooling all over himself thanks to that Trottingham girl. She would have to keep an eye on her. If Valen started losing focus, who else could be to blame. The girl wasn't on Starlight's list just yet, but you better believe she was on the list for the list! Or, something like that.

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Oh sure, that was true enough, he supposed. Little details like invitations usually never bothered him, that much.

 

The snarky grin on Inkbrand's face didn't let up in the slightest, even when Blueblood delicately picked up his arm between two fingers like he was afraid it would turn around and claw him to death, and the blue-haired student let it flop back down to his side as the Sailing Club president began speaking with Presteza again, causing his own attention to turn back onto Sunset Shimmer. Her comment made the grin on his lips turn a bit sharper as he folded his arms over his chest, once again leaning against Blueblood's booth for support. 

 

"You think so?" he questioned mildly, golden gaze roving onto the green-haired girl that Glimmer was helping out, before flitting back to Sunset. "It's too bad not everyone feels that way." Inkbrand stated casually, though his eyes remained fixed on Sunset Shimmer, "we've always gotta have those couple of students bent on breaking things, 'ya know." The words were said carelessly, without any intention to insinuate or lay blame, but Inkbrand wasn't the type to carefully tiptoe around old hurts or past humiliations, either. A person could own up to their mistakes, or wallow in self-pity, and either or, he wasn't about to pretend magical weirdness never happened in order to spare someone's feelings. 

 

Besides, those mistakes usually made for some great storytelling. Hey, remember that time I turned into a demon and tried to enslave everyone? Yeah, that was pretty funny!

 

Inkbrand didn't have much time to consider the few stories he had that could come close to topping any of Shimmer's, however, as Valen turned to address him again. This time, the blue-haired male couldn't stop the roll of his eyes at the other students painful iteration of 'the soccering,' but even aside of his use of the noun as a verb, Inkbrand could admit he was a bit surprised. He would have taken the slimly built male as a winger, maybe even a playmaker - all roles that tended to use brief bursts of speed and accuracy, rather than the more physically taxing role of an attacking midfielder. 

 

...Didn't seem to be the only role he was capable of either, and Inkbrand couldn't help the smirk that formed as he observed Valen figuratively fall all over himself for Presteza. Didn't sound like a long-time crush, considering they'd introduced themselves to each other...but was he really going to pieces at the mere sight of a pretty girl, like he'd never even seen one before? Apparently so. Inkbrand felt a brief pang of pity for the clearly out of his depth student, and was almost tempted to do something ridiculously humiliating, like pinch his cheek, or lean down and whisper exactly how he could show his appreciation for the girl.

 

And then probably take bets on how much blood he'd lose.

 

Sadly, Valen was too far removed from his person to do either of those things without him having to awkwardly reach out and grab him. Still, the distance didn't stop the blue-haired student from waggling his eyebrows in an outrageously exaggerated fashion behind Presteza's back, before the girl herself turned around and he was forced to stop.

 

And subsequently blink at the sudden turn around.

 

"Modeling?" Inkbrand repeated, one eyebrow raising in a somewhat suspicious manner, as if he hadn't heard her correctly. "What, you mean like, for a painting class, or something?" As a matter of fact no, he had never considered it, because the idea of stripping down in front of a bunch of easels just wasn't an idea that naturally came to him, for whatever reason. "Why?" the student questioned slyly, leaning his upper body forward slightly as he studied the transfer student, "you already eager to get me naked? You wouldn't be the first, sweetheart," Inkbrand mock-warned as he leered at the Trottingham transfer. And the funniest part was that he wasn't even joking, at least not entirely. A few girls in the school seemed to take guys like him as a challenge, see who could grab their attention the fastest or the longest, and he supposed it was just one of those side-effects of being hot as

 

...Wasn't like he made it particularly hard on them, either.

 

 

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With Starlight busy extending a friendly hand to the crashed student, Valen was the only Crystal Prep representative currently engaged with Blueblood.  Of course, they all were trying to put their best foot forward, which meant that appearances would lead to more optimistic character assessments than might otherwise be the case.  For instance, if Valen had been dropped cold into the halls and classrooms of Canterlot High two weeks into the year (as sometimes happened with transfer students), first impressions would be greatly different, indeed.

 

Blueblood, for instance, was not acting the Prince as Auntie Celestia had sometimes caught him doing.  But get him in an event of his own planning or financing... "Oh, I've been sailing for longer than I could swim, but I think I was ten before they let me handle the rudder myself.  Freshwater boats, though; lake craft and the like."  Indeed, buried deep, deep in familiar photograph albums were pictures of the young Platinum boy dressing as a Pirate, sailing the seven seas of imagination.  That was before his parents had let him know how undignified it looked.  "Well, if you join the club, Valen, you'll get a lot more opportunities to talk about it, and to actually do it, too!  The sign-up papers are right here, just fill them out and get them back to me by the end of the day."

 

Actually finding a club recruit close to his own class buoyed his mood, practically to a jovial level.  He turned back to address Presteza-

 

And immediately had his good graces punctured by being in the presence of the crassness of a soccer vice-captain.  "Oh, good grief!"  Blueblood huffed.  "Must you, Inkbrand?  You can get into serious trouble for saying things like that."  There was only the slightest bit of emphasis on the word 'you,' as if to say, *I could get away that, of course, if I were the sort to stoop so low in any case.*

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"Oh it's no trouble at all!" Starlight said with a smile and a polite bow. "My name is Starlight Glimmer, Student Council President of Crystal Prep and one of the exchange students alongside my vice president. It's a pleasure to meet you miss. I hope that slip there didn't injure you too badly." 

"Well, it's nice to meet you Starlight. This is actually my first year at Canterlot High School, and I guess since you're an exchange student this will be your first year here, too! I have to admit high school is really nice but I get nervous at times. As for my fall, I'm ok. I get bumped and bruised around my family's farm all the time!"

 

Watermelon Gush couldn't help but notice that Starlight was looking over to a very handsome guy talking to a girl. She wondered if he was the aforementioned vice-president or maybe a friend. Before she could ask, she felt something oozing from her side. Looking down she saw something red. For a moment she was worried that she cut herself falling into the bleachers, but then using a finger to scoop up the liquid she placed the finger in her mouth.

 

"Phew! Not blood, only watermelon. Speaking of watermelon..." the teen said tp Starlight pulling a plastic bag from her pocket that was leaking slightly, "Want some watermelon? My parents and I harvested this one just a few days ago and it's really fresh and sweet."

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At least she wasn't the only one from CHS here, or she'd be in some troubles for getting so caught up in being so terribly distracted...with so much taking place, and so many students, it was kinda difficult keeping track of all the things that were going on - Sunset wondered how anyone could even keep up right now, but then again it was probably really just her getting a little overwhelmed by the situation more quickly than she'd have liked.

 

Valen seemed sweet enough, with a somewhat calm head on his shoulders and a fairly pleasant demeanour...she was more just kinda taken aback by his sudden appearance and conversational suddenness...but he was at least seeming to be pretty receptive to her, after Starlights casual introduction - she clears her throat and gives a small nod...trying to reassert herself after being caught so offguard during this particular little encounter. " Oh, uh...yeah, it's a pleasure to meet you too - with everything thats taken place, I think we're all in a little bit of a daze but...if we work together and make the best of this opportunity, I have a feeling things may well just work out okay. "

 

Of course, the moment her words had left her, it seemed like something else had stolen his attentions...which turned out to be inkbrand whom she had partly been party to speaking with not moments ago - and who, it seemed, was even now remarking something along the line of casually responding to her earlier comment. She knew what he was poking at, and an internal flash of annoyance rose, and died as quickly, within her...resulting in a small tsk of acknowledgement, a small attempt at trying to not let the casual reminder of transgressions get under her skin - it wasn't like she hadnt been actively trying to get into the good books of everyone present, so a comment like that almost felt like a red hot poker on a healing sore spot. " Well, you may have a point... " She replies calmly, letting her own inner annoyance simmer away to a faint fizzle. " Doesn't mean that there aren't ever good reasons behind them for doing it! "

 

Yeah...It wasn't like she didn't get he was making light of things, but perhaps that was what bugged her a little about it - that something she was trying to escape from being so casually thrown around like a bad joke. And on a day like this, where good impressions and calm heads were required...she didn't really need folks focusing attention on her, not when she was trying to make good on being a better person

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Valen was just pleased to have found someone with similar attitudes. Blueblood may have a bit more of that flair about him that bellowed wealthy, but their experiences were generally similar. It would be a fun club to join and it was another way of getting close with others, which was always one of his biggest driving motivations. Vaken looked over the club's documentation. He picked up a flyer with all the information and then signed up, his name in excellent penmanship. "Blueblood, I am looking forward to the next meeting of this fine club. When will that be?" Valen asked, wanting to start a calendar with all of his current obligations on it. He intended to involve himself in a number of clubs and activities!

 

One of them would be soccer, which of the eye rolling soccer aficionado was any indication, he would have some leeway in. He certainly wasn't a superstar by any stretch of the imagination and his interest was normally passing at most. His effort would be there though and with some fun to be had, all would be well. Of course it was hard to keep a straight face as the playful boy made a face behind Pressy. He was a real 'stinker' as his mother would say, and just the sort of fellow he was normally prevented from playing with. He would be a hoot. Hopefully he wasn't going to stop being friendly. 

 

Speaking of friendly, the Trottingham import continued sounding and looking soul-crushingly incredible, even as Inkbrand's faces kept him from being as uptight as he could have been otherwise. She was also wealthy based on the manor comment, though unlike other similarly financially imbued students, she seemed more ashamed of it. What, was her family business something embarrassing? He could imagine a few possibilities but none of them that he could think would be total shockers. Valen had lived in manors himself and knew to some extent that their sheer size could slowly squeeze some of the sociability out of you. Hopefully nothing had been squeezed out of her. "Well you know, the Apples are. Good people. You know, good. And such," he said with the greatest confidence and without any stammering at all.

 

Starlight responded- she seemed pensive, but that was fine. Meeting new people was always had even for a person with such an...extensively odd backstory and history. It was even harder for Valen- so many new people. But if he had to tap her for anything based on what he knew of her, it was as a leader under duress and not anyway else. It was hard to be a leader and even harder when you were in some ways foreign to every element, but she had done well. Hopefully she could help a certain Class President find her friendship, for Valen's sake. "Hope, friendliness, and some elbow grease- those are always the base elements of success. With that, I concur, Miss Shimmer."

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The transfer student leaned back slightly in surprise as the boy did the same but in the opposite direction of motion. She brought a hand up and cupped her chin as her lips curled up into an amused smile, "... I'll admit that yer a looker, Mate and the ideas tempting... but I'm no' lookin' ta get thrown outta this place so soon." Presteza's eyes roamed up and down the boy's form. She wasn't kidding earlier: He was a handsome specimen, was likely one reason she'd love to paint him sometime. "Also... Just so ya know." She said with a playful smile, "You -can- model clothed ... although if I could get away with it I'd prefer ta paint more guys au naturale  especially since I need ta get more experience with paintin' more masculine musculature... Maybe you could go shirtless!" She said with an almost devious smirk.

 

Blueblood's criticism was met with a shrug from the painter, "Well I doubt anyone here's gonna go and blow a whistle on 'im, Bruv!" She smiled at the fer fellow noble blooded teenager. "'Sides. I think yer friend's a charmer!"

 

Hearing a familar voice speak up, Presteza's head turned to look at Valen. His suggestion made sense; especially for her personal preferences. She'd been hoping to find a more practical and down to earth family to live with. From the things she'd heard about the apples they sounded perfect, but there was one thing that had prevented her from asking, "Ya think they'd take me in? I mean I've never done any work on a farm 'fore... then again if they're as great as everyone says I Guess I could give it a try! Wot's yer name again?" 

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