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Seapony Fishbowl! (Sponsored)

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There are those who live deep under water, in the endless expanse of shimmering blue under cool salty breezes. A place where there are arguably even more beautiful forests and lush gardens than on the surface, with fascinating creatures to call them home. It is here that the Seaponies make their home, and by the grace of Celestia are permitted to bring just a bit of their underwater paradise to the surface for one and all to enjoy!


Azalea was so very excited to get started. She had only met a few ponies in her lifetime, and they were  sailors. Once in awhile you'd get an adventurous pony who swims out a bit too far, but her interaction with surface dwellers was minimal at best. This was going to change that! She wanted to show these ponies the wonderful things they were missing out on under water! Though she was told to expect some to be apprehensive about the exhibit. For most, this might be the first time anypony has even seen a Seapony! They must have so many questions! But so did she! It was a shame she couldn't leave the exhibit. It wouldn't be very good for her health.


Indeed, rather than a booth for the Seaponies was a rather large, circular tank, filled to the brim with saltwater! It had taken quite a bit of time to carefully move what Azalea needed for the most wonderful display she could muster! Anypony could enter this tank through an enchanted archway at one end of the tank, thanks to some of Equestria's most talented unicorns! The magic kept the water confined as a sort of barrier between air and water in this archway, and should anypony step through it, they would be granted the ability to breathe underwater until they leave! It was her understanding that communication wouldn't be an issue either. She had tried to speak to ponies underwater before, sailors gone overboard and such, but their words were always garbled, and they were in too much of a panic to get to the surface. The magical properties of the archway seemed to correct that. Very fascinating! She didn't know how it worked, but she really wanted to ask when those ponies came back when the expo was over. Magic was so interesting. Not something you see a lot of in the ocean!


The centerpiece of this tank was a rock that rose up above the surface, more-so for her than anything else. She could come above the surface for at least a minute and look around, but that was the extent of it. Everything else was for everypony to enjoy! The most beautiful colors anypony could ever see, all right there in crystal clear waters. She had a lot of coral moved into the tank, mostly for display. They were very pretty to look at, being a lot of bright reds, oranges, greens and blues! They were good for scratching your back too! But that probably wouldn't be very appropriate for a 'diplomat'. There were also some colorful anemones, sea urchins, some beautiful aquatic flowers, and pretty rocks too! But she also had some friends in the tank with her. Not enough to crowd it, but enough to make it not feel empty. There was a dolphin swimming around, though only one, so Azalea hoped some ponies might come by and play. The last thing she wanted was for any of the critters to feel lonely. There were few brightly colored fish swimming around, their fishy scales shimmering in the suns rays. She wanted to bring some jellyfish, but it probably wouldn't have ended well. They were pretty to look at when they swam around sometimes, but she knew somepony might accidentally get stung. Unfortunately, she had to leave them behind. But there were a couple of squids swimming around! Almost as good! There were a couple of hermit crabs skittering about with some very pretty shells, and a small skate gliding around the sand-covered floor of the tank. There was a little sea turtle around someplace, but at the moment Azalea couldn't seem to find her. She knew they were all going to be startled by visitors at first, but they'd warm up. She was sure of it!


Last, but not least was her good friend, Sheldon. The red lobster followed her around, helping her arrange and organize things. Such a good helper!


Oh what wonderful things she had to show the ponies of Equestria! The beautiful plants, the coral, swimming with a dolphin, seeing fish up close... But that was only the half of it! She had a small display of foods set up, though she didn't expect a lot of ponies to try it. Mostly made of clams, seaweed and kelp, but she tried to mix it up and make it look appetizing just in case! She was going to be more than happy to answer any questions about Seapony cities, their way of life, how wonderful things are... She could talk about history, her family... She could even sing some songs! She so loved to sing! She was sure she was going to get a lot of bad 'where did you go to school' jokes, but she was prepared for that.


Most importantly...




She was told Equestrians loved sports! So, she had a few Blitzball rings set up so they could play! It was so much fun, and very easy to learn! They were going to need a few ponies for a good game, but at least ponies could shoot some hoops! As Azalea inspected the ball, she saw Sheldon reaching his claws for it out of the corner of her eye and held it away from him.


"I'm sorry, Sheldon, but you know you can't play without your mitts. You might wreak the ball..." the soft-spoken merpony explained to her hard-shelled friend. 


*click**click**clickclick**click* He snapped his claws at her in some kind of code, to which the pink mare could only smile. 


"You're absolutely right, we don't get mad at accidents. But this is the only ball we have, so we have to be careful! If you find your mitts, I promise we'll play some catch!"


With that taken care of, she set the ball down in the middle of her little makeshift field and went to the glass by the archway. So many new things to see! Oh... She wished she could leave... For now, she just waited for her visitors with bated breath.


Oh, goodness. That was another fish joke she'd have to watch out for.

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So, this was the famed World Friendship Expo, huh?

So long as a stampede of Changlings or Caribou or three-headed dogs flying in from the pits of Taurtarus didn't come charging through the event, he could easily admit that he was impressed.

The sheer size of the event was, for one, something that had Inkbrand's jaw close to dropping as he first stepped into Centail Park. Oh sure, he visited the park from time to time like any good Manehatten resident - it was pretty much the only place a pony could see anything that was natural and not pony-made, for one - and he knew it was an enormous area in and of itself. The veritable flora and small-form fauna was, to some Manehatten bred, as much a foreign concept as Unyasi was, and it was always a pleasure to sit back, kick up his hind legs, and breathe in the smell of newly mowed grass and pine.

But never would the grey stallion have guessed exactly how much Centail Park could actually fit within its confines.

Seriously. Was that a bucking airship? Sweet as.

Inkbrand felt his head move almost on a swivel as he trot to and fro within the event, a little miffed at exactly how wondering he felt about the entire thing. He hoped to be meeting up with somepony further in the day, but he honestly had been too curious about the various constructions and towers and tents that had been set up weeks in advance to wait at the start. The whole premise of the event - a gathering of cultures from far and wide for some huge, world-wide bonding session or rot - wasn't something that sounded particularly appealing to the grey Earth Pony, persé, but the sights and promise of interesting food items had been more than enough to drag him out of his apartment and into the park.

And it was the visuals themselves hat really caught and pulled his attention as Inkbrand wandered, eyes lingering over the myriad of unfamiliar objects that fairly screamed foreign and unknown. Some of the booths seemed fairly normal in appearance, some boasted strange and unprecedented additions, and nearly all of them were larger than the average house. It was a wonder they'd managed to get all of this into the park, considering the extreme differences in the objects and set-ups and stations the exposition was boasting.

And it was one such exposition that caught and compelled his interest pass the others.

"The buck is…" Inkbrand questioned himself as he slowly trot up to the giant…tank, it was a giant tank. Or aquarium. But it was circular in nature, almost like an over-the-top goldfish bowl. Aside from the shape and size, everything else appeared fit for a Manehatten apartment. A plethora of colorful coral and rocks and what Inkbrand could only assume were underwater flowers littered the underwater landscape, and they came with additional sea life that -

'Dolphin', his mind helpfully supplied, as said creature gleefully swam past where he was standing. Yup, dolphin, and squid, and a sedate looking sea turtle, all happily plodding along inside the tank. With its size and color and bucking water, the tank was easily the most interesting booth Inkbrand had found - which was ironic, considering that there were no actual booths accompanying the spectacle.

But that still didn't answer exactly what country, or species, or buck all group this tank was suppose to be representing, causing Inkbrand to slowly wander around to another side, eyes fastened on the movement swirling in the water.

'…Oh. Duh.'

Inkbrand had heard about Seaponies, true - but to see one in real life was a bit surreal, and the grey stallion's face held no shame as he unabashedly stared at the pink creature floating near one side of the tank. After all, Seaponies supposedly lived at the bottom of the ocean, or at least near the bottom of coral reefs, and it wasn't like he - or any pony, really - spent enough of his life taking casual strolls along the seabed. And he'd seen pictures in books, yes, but they rather paled in comparison to the real thing.

It was startling, how similar the pink Seapony was to, say, an Earth Pony…sans hind legs, of course. But the Seapony's tail seemed to consist of the same flesh as the rest of her body did, rather than the illustrations that depicted Seaponies as part pony, part fish, with scaly tails and fins. In fact, Inkbrand was fairly sure that if he'd come across the Seapony lounging half-hidden in the water, he would've thought nothing of it, aside from wondering if the mare would take kindly to him lounging alongside her.

Amidst other things.

Curiosity sufficiently piqued, Inkbrand strode forward confidently, though his steps faltered a bit as he finally got right up next to the large bowl to see a - well, he wasn't exactly sure he was seeing, causing his head to tilt to one side. It, looked like a giant archway had been cut out of the glass itself…but the water beyond wasn't spilling out into the park. In fact, the water pressed right up against empty air, as if held back by some magical force.

…It probably was. Bucking Unicorns and their magic.

A furious, mental debate raged through Inkbrand's head in the span of a second. The rational, practical side of his mind recalled all the times Unicorn magic had bunked something up to generally ruin his day. The illogical, rash side of his mind argued that he was bored. Both sides held hefty reasons, but one had the advantage of being something he absolutely hated.

…Buck him.

"So you might have to help me out here, sweetheart," the tattoo-clad drawled out as he finally moved closer, right in front of the supposed magical barrier now. The Seapony herself was floating right nearby it, and she looked amiable enough…but could she even hear him? Or, understand him? "I'm not exactly well-versed in underwater exploration. Is, this for staff use only, or?…" he trailed off, dubiously poking the water wall with one hoof.

It came away wet, meaning a body could pass into or out of it…and as he'd observed before, there were no booths set up outside the giant fishbowl itself, nor anypony lingering around that seemed ready to tell him off for messing with something that was 'Look Don't Touch'.

Not that that had ever stopped him before, really.







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A visitor! Potential visitor? Observer? 


He seemed the dashing sort, maybe he'd come in! But for now, he seemed to be drinking it all in. He seemed confused by the display at first, and actually Azalea found it kind of cute. She wondered how many ponies probably thought it might just be a big aquarium for ambiance or something... 


She watched the rugged-looking grey pony with great interest, though she was sure her staring would probably come off as creepy after awhile. But what she just couldn't wrap her mind around was the odd markings on the stallion's legs. She had never seen tattoos before, and they weren't necessarily something that could be done underwater. Fascinating! She hoped asking about it wouldn't offend him. 


Was he going to come in? How exciting! She watched him come up just short of the barrier before stopping. He didn't look very happy to see the barrier, making the mare tilt her head as she observed him. But then he started talking! Unfortunately, it all came out garbled at first, so she quickly swam to the barrier and poked her head out to listen, her mane spilling a bit of the salty water onto the outside. Whoops! She kept a hoof braced against the glass to keep herself from falling out as she interacted with the stallion. That wouldn't be good. 


"I'm not exactly well-versed in underwater exploration. Is, this for staff use only, or?…"


Luckily she had got out in time to hear his question! The dry air stung her eyes a bit, but other than that she could talk to him for a short bit like this. Luckily for him, she spoke Equestrian! Most Seaponies she knew did, which made things pretty convenient if they ever made surprise visits to beaches. Which was... Almost never. Never for her, really. She was a stick in the mud when it came to going places. Usually a homebody. But how could she pass up an opportunity like this?


"Oh, no, it's for everypony!" she eagerly answered, grinning "I assure you it's perfectly safe! The magic in the entrance will let you be able to breathe in here! At least, that's what they told me... A couple of the unicorns tested it after they set it up, and they seemed to be fine!"


She had to stifle her giggling, looking around real quick to see if anypony else might be coming. If they saw somepony come in, maybe the rest would follow! Kinda like how everypony seemed to wait for that first one to hand in a test.


"I'm sorry, this is just so very exciting! I've never met a land pony before today! Would you like to come in...?"

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Aside from having to suddenly backpedal to avoid getting whipped in the face by a wet mane, Inkbrand was pleasantly surprised.

The Seapony spoke Equestrian for one thing, which was definitely a plus - though, why a country or species would send a non-native speaking pony as a representative in the first place was beyond him. Still, he hadn't assumed that the Seapony would be able to understand him, so the fact that she did was definitely a bonus.

That, and she was pretty cute. In a weird, fishy sort of way.

Her words though, however reassuring they were meant to do, did little to instill confidence in Inkbrand as the grey Earth Pony poked his hoof back through the water wall next to the mare's head. "Well we're on even ground - so to speak," he amended, with a quick wink and flirtatious grin thrown at the pink mare, "I've never met a Seapony before, either." The casual dialogue did well to cover up the skepticism floating through his brain as the grey stallion gave the water another poke, as if prodding it enough would reveal all magical flaws within its design.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't. The water wall remained as blithe and uncaring as ever, completely defying the laws of nature because of Unicorn bucking magic.

…Ah, buck it.

"Ah hay, why not," Inkbrand breathed, with a self-depricating sort of shrug, "that's what I'm here to do, right?" And without giving himself anymore time to think it through, the grey stallion sucked in a deep breath, paused - and galloped straight into the water wall.

For one disorientating moment, Inkbrand simply - floated, in water, the momentum from his gallop causing him to completely flip over once inside, the archway upside in his view. The strange sense of weightlessness that came from being underwater was bewildering, compounded by the fact that he needed to breathe but he couldn't because he was completely submerged, and his limbs flailed about wildly for a moment before necessity forced his mouth open, lungs taking in beautiful mouthfuls of air so he could -

"That, I - bucking, buck me," the tattoo-clad stallion exclaimed eloquently, struggling to understand how he was breathing while a fish blithely swam by his face. It was pretty obvious that understanding would take brain cells that he rarely exercised however, and instinctively Inkbrand fell back on fail-safe - doing, not thinking. With a kick of his hind legs, the grey stallion and 'righted' himself in the water, though he ended up slowly floating in a circle as he took in the sights around him.

Which were much more crystal clear in here, than out there.

"This is…sweet as," Inkbrand murmured, more to himself as he inspecting his forelegs floating aimlessly out on either side of him, and was unable to hold back the slightly breathless chuckle that wormed its way from his throat. "Ai, this is bucking amazing!" And it was, causing the grey Earth Pony to twist and turn, searching for the Seapony that had invited him into her little domain, a world unto its own.

Not for much longer, though.

Though not nearly as fast as a creature with a large fin instead of hind legs, Inkbrand didn't let that bother him as he kicked his way further into the fishbowl, a crowing "Whoo-hoo-hoo-hooooo!" leaving his lips as he ended up floating near the base of the giant rock. "Yo whaddup!" he greeted jubilantly, flailing a hoof towards a couple of squid, who gave him the squid equivalent of a deadpanned stare before drifting away. None of which stopped Inkbrand from swimming his way back towards the pink Seapony, shaking his head wonderingly.

"This is crazy," he complimented, twisting onto his back to watch the sunlight sparkle and dance across the surface of the water, "how the buck did you even get all this done?"





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The already pink mare couldn't do much to hide her blushing, but his poking of the barrier did well enough to distract her. She was about to give him some further reassurance, but it seemed he didn't need it. As he sucked in a breath, Azalea quickly pulled herself back into the tank and waited, making sure to stay out of the way as best she could.


Once he crashed into the water, his arrival sent a ripple through the tank, the sensation being almost like a breeze, but he was in! Yahoo!


He seemed to be struggling with his sea legs, so to speak, since the first thing that happened was he went belly-up. Normally cause for alarm, but he seemed okay. She wanted to remind him that he could breathe thanks to the magic, and didn't have to hold that breath... But she was sure he'd figure it out on his own eventually. And he did! Hearing that first gasp of breath brought a grin to her muzzle! This was great!


Though before she could say anything, he was off like a shot around the tank! The dolphin attempted to mimic his cheers of jubilation, bringing some much needed life into the tank thanks to his visit. His new-found energy and excitement sent Azalea into a gigglefit, especially watching him greet her seacritter friends. When the squids swam off, she called after them, "Don't be rude!" The squids seemed to stop their retreat from the stallion and return his wave, but he was already onto bigger and better experiences by the time they did.


But the behavior of the squid aside, she was happy to see Inkbrand was enjoying himself. When he returned to her, she calmed her giggles and took a breath. "Well, most of this was done before I got here. I think they must've put the decoration in here, did the magic with the archway and then filled the tank... I was brought here after everything was done. Sheldon helped me with finer details to make it look nice!"


Speak of the devil, the lobster from before came back, lifting now what appeared to be leather covered claws for the seapony to see!


"Good! You found your mitts! Well, maybe this pony would like to play some ball with us!" But, she had only just realized how rude she was being, blushing furiously "Oh, goodness! I'm sorry, I've been so excited about you being here I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Azalea! May I ask yours? I'd hate to refer to you as 'this pony' for the rest of your visit!"

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Mitt-wearing lobster that helped throw together decorations for a culture-themed fair?

Seemed legit.

Inkbrand gave the lobster a rather cheeky wave of one hoof as he continued to idly float about, often rotating against his will opposite of where he actually wanted to be pointed. He didn't mind though, because buck this was cool. Unicorns got something right, for once. He imagined this is what it felt like to be a Pegasus, maybe, languidly gliding along the clouds on their backs - though, the water gently stirring around on all sides still took some getting used to. Bucking weird as to feel his mane floating all around his face but breathe as normally as if he were taking a jolly stroll through the park.

Which, he sort of was, actually.

"Whassat, a flower right?" the grey stallion hazarded as the pink Seapony introduced herself, twisting his body back around so he could stop looking at her upside down. His knowledge of flowers pretty much extended as far as knowing which ones were frequent stars in his salads and sandwiches, and not much beyond. Come to think of it, if an azalea really were a type of flower, then the Seapony's cutie mark more than likely bore its resemblance.

Or so he hoped. How bucking lame would that be, to be called Azalea and have a dandelion or rot stamped on her flank?

"I'm Inkbrand," he stated gleefully, hind legs sporadically kicking outwards as his body continued to get used to the new environment, "best bucking Tattoo Artist in Equestria - er." The familiar and instinctive phrase rolled awkwardly off his tongue as he took the time to consider the fact that he was talking to a Seapony - sea, being the operative word, there - who'd never even met an Equestrian pony before, much less observed some of the more edgier aspects of their culture.

"That is, I paint these - " and here he paused, an exaggerated wiggle of his left hind leg to show off the most extravagant tattoo on his self "- markings, on ponies. They're called tattoos. S'form of self-expression, see?" Inkbrand trailed off for a moment, the mere subject of tattooing already taking hold of his mind as he idly pedaled around the Seapony in a circle - or at least, as close as he could to smoothly swimming in a circle.

The pink would be a little annoying to deal with…but the shades of red in her mane were interesting. Could definitely go an orange, pink, and red route, maybe some daring purple thrown in here and there, mimicking an underwater sunset. The smooth transition from back to fin would only make the tattoo run equal smooth down her entire body, ending in a swirl right around the base of her fin. Buck, he could almost see it.

…Aside from the whole, wearing ink underwater thing. She'd probably have to beach herself for at least an hour to let it all dry out.

Which is when Inkbrand abruptly realized he'd been staring for a shade longer than polite. Not that he really had a problem with that, but in this instance, a question was left hanging in the air, causing the grey Earth Pony to mentally shake his head as he raked his gaze back up towards Azalea's eyes, a roughish grin on his face. "You guys, uh. Play a lot of ball for fun, eh?"





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The lobster in question had gone off on his own to play with the Blitzball by himself whilst the two conversed. Its play consisted of picking the ball up and attempting to toss it into the vertical hoops. He was... less than successful, but he kept going back and trying again. Horray, sports!


"Hm?" she was distracted from her friend when Inkbrand questioned her name, immediately displaying her cutie mark which was, luckily, an Azalea. "Uh-huh! I've never seen a real one, though. Just my cutie mark... Which is a bit strange, I think. How can our cutie marks know something that we haven't seen? My mother says it's right though. She's seen them a couple of times."


Her mother also spent more time near the surface when she was younger, so she was much more worldly than her daughter. She still just couldn't wrap her mind around how her cutie mark became something only her mother had seen. It was pretty though!


It was at this point inkbrand introduced himself. She made sure to commit it to memory. It wouldn't do to accidentally forget or butcher the name of her first guest! When he named his profession... She seemed quite confused. But, before she could ask, his explanation brought about questions from earlier! "Ooooh, so that's what those are! I was wondering before you came in here and was afraid to ask... We don't have anything like that in the ocean, which I think is a terrible shame. Tattoos look like fun!" Having done a bit of staring herself at this point, it wasn't until now he noticed Inkbrand doing likewise. Those for... quite a bit longer. She expected it, having been told many ponies hadn't ever seen her kind before. Didn't make it any less awkward, but she held still for him. 


Eventually his eyes came back up to hers, the seapony clearing her throat and looking to Sheldon still trying, and failing, to put the ball in the hoops. "We do! Yes! It's called Blitzball, very popular where I'm from! My friend Naia is a far better player than I am, but she couldn't come... Something about wrangling a giant squid..." She huffed at that, but returned herself to a smile nonetheless. Naia was reckless, sure, but she was still her friend. 


"Anyway, it's a pretty easy game to learn! You can play with six to twelve players for a full game, and all you have to do is get the ball through one of the three hoops! The highest and smallest one is worth 10, the middle is worth 5, and the lowest is worth 3. You can either play for time or for score, but that depends on preference..." She didn't want to bore him with too many specifics in case he wasn't interested. If not, that was fine! She was up for talking about anything at this point.


"Did you find what you were looking for, by the way?" she teased with the sudden question, chuckling. He seemed like fun, so she figured a prod at his expense shouldn't be too too bad.

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Three months...was it really that long since the meeting in Saraneighvo? After that he was sent to the solo mission, far away from the civilization.

But now....now after a long time he had a time for his own disposition. Not to be Swift Squall, no...that he wasn't allowed to do. But he could spend a single day to live....and be with one pony that mattered the most to him. And what better day to make unforgettable memories then the World Expo.


Magenta mane, coral coat and even changed voice - his disguise by necessity had to be perfect. 'Quattro' wore a white bomber jacket with black fur trim collar and black v-neck shirt underneath that.  On stallions nose was pair of silver sunglasses, hiding the emerald eyes behind them. The front legs were adorned with pair of silver bracelets, the source if his current look. And finally around unicorn's neck was silver chain that contained three pedants. A silver serpent head with emerald eyes, a dog tag, and most importantly a golden locket pedant in the form of half heart that contained much more precious then itself photo inside. So it happened that the mare that was on the picture was holding the matching half of the pedant.



Squall, 'Quattro' just stood before the bowl waiting. It's been a while since he saw a seapony, years actually, not since Unyasi. And even then it was only a short dialog. Noblepony always wondered why ponies of the sea tended to avoid their land cousins. It's not like they couldn't live in the shallow waters, right? After all even the nocturnal areions reappeared after return of their patron Princess. Maybe they thought that life

was so much better that they didn't needed any connections? Unicorn wondered what incredible things would be possible if the land, sea and sky would work together. With the eyes of imagination could see Manhattan as even greater metropolis then it already was, from the cloud-formed pegasus houses connected with the ground by the skyscrapers they were built around. The Carneighie Hall modernized, with places not only for quadruped but also those with fins. And finally the city during the night, with water lit even more - not only from reflection, but also from light beneath the surface, the city sprawling even beneath the waves. He could see buildings looking half-submerged, but in reality constructed with that in mind. With water pumped to the higher floors, so even the sea pony could enjoy this one of the kind panorama....


'Quattro' shook his head. Right now he wasn't Swift Squall, the philanthropist billionaire. That pony was buried....for now. In that moment unicorn made a vow, when it will be time for the young Squallcoast to rise from the ashes, he will do his best to make the seaponies more welcome in Equestria. Stallion managed to make a slight smile, who knows? Now was an era of unification, so why not? If the crystal ponies could find their place in this world - away one thousand years from the one they remember - then why not sea dwellers.


But he was thinking ahead, and got lost in thoughts as he tended to. 'Quattro' shook his head and return to observe the gigantic water container. His prior meeting with seaponies may be fleeting but he was much more familiar with the hoops present inside.

"Blitzball" he muttered to himself, cracking yet another smile. Heh, she wasn't here yet and he managed two already in such short time, it had to be a record.

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Fellow Seapony friend that declined a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity because she had some giant squids to round up?

…Seemed legit.

Then again, what the buck did he know about the lives of Seaponies. Aside from the fact that they lived out said lives underwater, next to nothing. Maybe Seaponies raised giant squid farms and had to herd them in and out of kelp pasture every now and again, like Applejack did her cows and whatnot. Maybe Equestra's supple of ink came from those same giant squid farms, and without Azalea's friend to herd them in and out of their kelp-filled farms, the price of ink would skyrocket until it became obsolete forever, ushering in a new wave of ink-free communication.

…Yeah. Probably something like that.

Fairly pleased to discover this revelation on inner Seapony farm workings, the tattoo-clad stallion crossed his forelegs behind his head. For all intents and purposes, he appeared nonchalant as he idly floated on his back, though his serene expressions as momentarily replaced with a lecherous grin at Azalea's explanation of Blitzball. "I've always been more about score than the timing, myself," he said mysteriously, with another flirtatious wink shot in the pink mare's direction - though, whether or not the Seapony would understand the implied reference was up for debate.

Still, this Blizball seemed like a heap of fun, Inkbrand silently mused as his gaze roved back up to the innocent looking hoops. Probably more fun for a Seapony than an Earth Pony awkwardly gyrating his legs every which way, though that was to be expected. Inkbrand himself had never really been involved in any particular sport outside the exercise they facilitated and the gathering of friends he could subsequently get to eat his dust, but physical activity was as much a neighbor to him as sand was to the ocean. Any chance to let off a little steam with a round of…Blitzball…was more than fine by him.

Azalea suddenly spoke up again, and Inkbrand's head swiveled back in the pink mare's direction - once again upside, as his body had felt the need to rotate itself. But her question stymied him a little bit, causing the grey Earth Pony to both figuratively and literally scratch at his head for a moment. "Well…'course I did," he eventually answered, cocky grin flitting across his face as he settled on bull-rotting his way through an answer, "I'm staring right at her." This, followed by a leer, though in all honesty, Inkbrand was still confused as to what Azalea had been referring to. Maybe his initial statement about underwater exploration?

Bah, whatever, too much thinking. Too much thinking was for nerds, 'go-with-the-flow' was definitely a much better approach.

…Aheh. Because flow, and water - yeah.

The grey stallion's mental congratulatory pat for his clever wit was momentarily stymied, however, as a warbled shape suddenly made itself known outside the bowl, distorted and misshapen by the water. It eventually cleared up into the shape of a magenta-colored pony, who seemed to be standing off to one side and observing the Blitzball hoops located in the tank itself. Very conveniently forgetting that he himself had lingered around the outside of the tank for a short while, Inkbrand felt a mischievous smile tilt his lips as he swam right up next to the pony, a look of exaggerated surprise on his face as he held one hoof to his ear. A repeat of the motion followed, though he had to stop and chuckle with mirth at the pony's expense, highly amused at the simple action of being a part of this magical world while the other pony wasn't.

…Well buck, it wasn't like he'd be able to hear the pony if he was even talking anyways.

"Maybe you need a sign over the entrance or something, yeah?" he chuckled, using the wall of the tank to kick off and drift back towards Azalea, "great big flashing neon sign. 'Step right up, don't bother holding your breath!'"





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"Never heard of it.", a red mare cantered into view, curious to see what this 'fishbowl' that her stallion had lead her to. She had played hoofball during her high school years, and while there was some similarities, the one very big difference was the large tank it apparently took place in. She glanced at the small guidebook, which she pulled out and spread onto the ground. There were plenty of exhibits, events and also one interesting 'Taste Of Friendship' food and wine festival area that she had been looking forward to. One devoted to Saddle Arabia, along with Aquellia would be on the list of places to go.


The idea of permitting changelings their own friendship exhibit did give the mare something to distress over. While she had heard about 'good' changelings, she had her doubts. They were simply parasites who feed off the love and life-forces of their hosts. This usually ended with the host's death. Would Equestria continue their efforts to befriend those monsters if they did not look like ponies? Maybe their more well known be-carapace'ed forms were an illusion as well. Would they be still sought out if they appeared as oversized Strongyles? Probably not. There was also something going on with Discord. This would be another exhibit she would have to pass.


At least this looks rather nice...oh....feathers...It was HIM!


Normally she would have paused to admire the beautiful mermare, but her eyes quickly passed the impressive sea-pony and hit the grey stallion. Ink freaking brand. She had spent a rather insane day in Ponyville with the strange marked pony. This was a story she would have to tell 'Quattro' over a few glasses of wine. Maybe make that a few bottles of wine. And while she had the urge to drag her special somepony by the tail towards a less Inkbrandy area, she knew the unicorn wanted to check out the strange aquirium and here they were. Still couldn't believe her old friend Zelda thought the world about this guy. Even went into details about their little adventures together after the Pegasus mare returned fro her own series of adventures. These were graphic details. Stuff she did not really need to know about. The blacksmith was such a dirty bird!


"Are we supposed to go inside that thing?", she asked, "Looks rather inviting, but I didn't bring my bathing suit..."
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Azalea was a bit out of her league when it came to flirtatious behavior, that much was obvious. But, she was having fun! She tried to cover up her blushing with her hooves, but that wasn't helping mattered much. "Well, Um... good!" Anyway!


"Anyway! I'll bet I can show you more things you didn't even know you were looking for aside from me! Maybe I could tell you more about my people? Our cities? Maybe the different kinds of seaponies! Naia is a bit different from me, has glowy bits to help her see in the deep-deep ocean. Very pretty! I wish she were here to meet you. You would've liked her, I'm sure!" 


It really was too bad her friend couldn't come.  She wished she could say the reasoning was because of something so fantastical as an ink farm of sorts, but really it was because Naia was a bit of a daredevil. She seemed to enjoy the company of jellyfish and loved to take risks. Hence, the giant squids. She tried her luck at it once to keep one away from her old home before she moved to the reef, but the thing nearly crushed her. No, she'd stick to smaller animals, thanks. She wouldn't even tangle with sharks. Or kelpies for that matter. She'd have to warn ponies of those if they ever ventured into seapony territory. From a distance Kelpies looked like seaponies, but up close it became pretty apparent, and usually too late. More angular faces, and muzzles filled with sharp teeth! It made she shudder,suddenly, and she forced the thought out of her head. Of course, some places used them as guards, and they seemed nice enough. Didn't mean she trusted them. Naia probably adored them, but Azalea didn't think less of her for that. If anything it just meant she had a bigger heart than Azalea did, if that made sense.


At this point, Inkbrank directed her attention back to the archway, noticing not one, but two new ponies observing the bowl as he was earlier! She gasped, both at the sight of them and the thought that ponies might just crowd the tank with their curiosity sooner or later! Not that that was a bad thing! She didn't want to get ahead of herself in her thinking though.


"Flashing neon?" needless to say, they didn't have this sort of thing under the water. But, a sign! That would help a lot! Of course, she had to laugh at his suggestion for a sign, making her way over to the archway "Haha, that seems a bit morbid, don't you think? Shoot! I wish I had something to make a sign... I probably should've asked for one, huh?"


If you didn't forget one thing, it was always another, right?


She got to the enchanted arch as she finished speaking to Inkbrand and, as she had done before, poked her head out of the archway, spilling more water on the walkway below and bracing herself inside. She hoped nopony slipped on that... "Hi there! Sorry I don't have a sign or anything, we were just talking about that! It's perfectly safe to come in, I promise! It's enchanted to allow you to breathe! See?" she motioned with her head inside the tank toward her other guest, Inkbrand, who indeed seemed to be surviving perfectly well in there. "Won't you come in? I'd be very happy to have you!"

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"Moto." said the stallion, his face illuminating upon hearing that most desired, sweet voice. He turned towards her, feeling more like himself then ever for a long while.

"I...would want to hug you...but there may be somepony here who knows us. We can't....not until we will be alone." he explained, walking forward before touching her hoof with his. "Do I sound strange?" he asked, suddenly aware of his changed voice. His attention however quickly shifted towards where her eyes were directed.


"You know that clown." swordpony said, in statement instead of the question. "You will tell me later." he quickly decided.



"Are we supposed to go inside that thing?", she asked, "Looks rather inviting, but I didn't bring my bathing suit..."



"You look alluring whatever you wear Moto." 'Quattro' complimented her. "Afraid to get little wet? Don't be. Unicorn, remember?" Squall 'pointed' at his horn with one of the hooves - implying that he's capable of getting them dry in a flash. And then...


"Hi there! Sorry I don't have a sign or anything, we were just talking about that! It's perfectly safe to come in, I promise! It's enchanted to allow you to breathe!"


"We know." noblepony answered without turning towards Azalea, although it was more 'I' then 'We'. Seems like this - like many other things - was something that stallion did before.


 "Won't you come in? I'd be very happy to have you!"


"Looks like we were invited. It would be rude to refuse. Shall we?" he asked before walking through the arch as if he was entering the grocery, gracefully switching from walking to floating. Surely unicorn had no need for adapting.

"Use your wings. As a pegasus you you have much easier time in water then other land ponies. Well save areion perhaps." he advised the crimson mare while crossing his front legs on the chest. With this he turned his head towards the aquatic host,his long magenta mane swirling in the water due to movement.

[color-coral]"That would be fou...five." 'Quattro quirky corrected seeing mittens wearing lobster. "Still not enough for a game...Miss...?" noblepony trailed off leaving an obvious, hanging question.

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Oh, that was a crying shame. Inkbrand, for one, was always up for meeting pretty mares, whether or not they had flippers instead of hooves.

"Yeah sure, tell me about your giant squid farms sometime," Inkbrand said nonchalantly, and with a light shrug of his shoulders as he continued drifting across the fishbowl on his back. In truth, he wasn't all that interested in sitting around asking question after question about some faraway culture he was never ever going to interact with again - s'why he'd dived straight into this exposition and not any of the others, so to speak. Buck, if he wanted to sit around and listen to a lecture, he'd head on over to the Canterlot library for an open session or something.

Or find some pony who'd tell him what exactly was wrong with his life and lifestyle. Buck, they were common enough to find in Ponyville.

But no, Inkbrand was more than content to live out the experience than inquire after it, and the grey Earth Pony watched mildly as Azalea moved back over to the archway, presumably to speak to the ponies lingering outside as he had with him. It was rather amusing, really, to get an eyeful of her finned backside while the Seapony's head became distorted and warbled thanks to the refracting qualities of water, and allowed him to drink in more of his fill while Azalea was otherwise occupied.

The smooth transition from top to bottom still confused and fascinated him, but his earlier observations stood - the Seapony looked ever inch a land pony, sans the fin. It made him wonder, briefly, why Seaponies were so removed from other cultures, deep in the ocean. Maybe they just required a certain oceanic depth to cultivate and grow large cities?

Giant squid farms probably couldn't fit along shallow coral reefs, at that.

Something to ask Azalea, then, after she'd finished attending to her new guests, and Inkbrand drifted back towards the side of the tank, one eyebrow raised as the magenta-colored Unicorn stepped through the archway - and proceeded to speak, presumably to the crimson blob - a Pegasus, he could see now - he'd been standing with outside. It was enough to make a bubbling chuckle leave the grey Earth Pony's as he slyly glanced back towards the Pegasus still outside.

When he'd first shown up at the fishbowl, Inkbrand himself had instinctively known that a creature underwater wouldn't be able to understand him, proven by the fact that Azalea had had to stick her head outside of the water twice now to communicate. Apparently this Unicorn either hadn't stopped to think about the logistics of it - understandable - or didn't really care if his Pegasus friend heard what he had to say. And wings were nice, he supposed - could give a pony an extra boost in the water - but they also created more water resistance, the same way they did in air. To say a Pegasus was more advantaged in water than any other type of pony was a stretch.

The tattoo-clad stallion didn't bother pointing any of this out however, feeling far to amiable and carefree to bother - and not really caring either way. "Assume that means your friend'll be joining us?" Inkbrand questioned as he jerked a hoof over one shoulder towards the Pegasus still standing outside, completely at ease including himself in the conversation that had been solely directed at Azalea.

Tch. Some ponies.

"Though two more players might be a better fit," he amended after a quick moment, kicking off the ground to drift next to the red lobster still valiantly trying to score through one of the hoops, "no offense, little guy." Inkbrand plucked the ball away from Sheldon to grasp with one of his own hooves, the other bouncing the lobster a bit in the weightlessness of the tank. Not that the tattoo-clad stallion had any particular aversion to throwing hoops with a crustacean, but a group of ponies all rough-housing and thrashing with one another in an effort to nab the playing ball?

…Yeah. Probably not the best environment for a small lobster, no matter how tough his shell might be.





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“Could be a friendly hug.”, the mare’s bottom lip started to quiver, “One only shared by really super duper best friends?”, she was just playing with the stallion as there were far better and more secretive areas on the grounds where she could snuggle with her favorite pony.  There had to be a few dark rides in this ‘expo’. Maybe a slow ride that celebrated the peoples of the world with a song with all the races portrayed by creepy dolls. Not like anyone actually paid attention to the ride. They were generally a easy way to get a quick rest in  an air conditioned area and take the weight off one’s hooves. Just how long was it when they had their first date and rode through the ‘tunnel of love’?


“You sound fine, don’t worry.”, her eyes slowly drifted towards the large ‘fish bowl’ before they returned to her disguised love. “Yes, I will tell you later. I don’t dislike the pony, not at all. I prefer to see the good in all, and he’s a very er, unique individual, but this will be a story for later.” Maybe Inkbrand would not recognize her. After all, she was a filly for most of the little ‘event’ and there were all sorts of creatures there more interesting than she. From a pelican duck griffon thing, to deer from space. The last one confused the heck out of her.


Fire Walker gave the unicorn her best ‘pouty face’ as he tried to convince her that going into the strange tank. He knew she was one of those rare ponies who preferred to wear clothing. “Right. I’ll go. But I swear, if you start making ‘stripper music’ noises, I will slug you so hard.”


She glanced up at the mermare and waved  her hoof, “Oh yes, we’re coming.”, she finally got a good look at the sea-pony and couldn’t help but be awed by her beauty. She made her way towards the entrance of the tank and scanned the area, “Hope they have lockers. Don’t just want to leave my things just laying around. Not only did she have her clothes, there was also her keys, beloved “Chu-Chu” cinnamon sugarless gum, camera and all of her bits.


Once her things were secure, and both she and her partner were ready, it was into the big tank! Hopefully this breathing underwater-magic was a real thing.
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((Sorry for the wait!))


Following her explanation to the couple outside, the unicorn stallion's first response to her seemed pretty dismissive to her, but she took it with a grain of salt. It seemed they were coming in anyway! Wonderful!


"Silly, we don't have giant squid farms! She just likes to wrestle with them!" She clarified once she got back in the tank. But she didn't expect him to know that. She didn't want to give Inkbrand a wrong impression afterall! Though it begged the question of why they would farm giant squids in the first place. Naia just liked it for the thrill. The mare had a deathwish, she thought, but she seemed to enjoy that kind of stuff. Azalea had to admit it was impressive to watch... But watching usually implied she got caught in the crossfire, so she usually opted out of going with her whenever she was seeking a rush. No, no the nice, calm coral reef and her small sea creature friends suited her just fine.


Right away, it seemed this new stallion was interested in Blitzball! He must be if he knew the minimum count to get a game started. "My name is Azalea! If I may ask yours? Also, how do you know about Blitzball? Do ponies play it on the surface?" That'd be great! Though then it would beg the question of how it caught on up here, since she knew the game was invented underwater. Or she was probably just assuming. This pony could have been a diver of some sort and played a game, perhaps. She'd seen divers once or twice before, especially near her reef, but was always afraid to go near them. 


Speaking of Blitzball, it seemed Sheldon was being excluded. Understandably, she wouldn't want him to get hurt, but she knew the lobster probably wanted to play. Evidenced by him still attempting to reach for the ball as he was bounced by Inkbrand. She carefully took Sheldon from him and gave the lobster a gentle hug. "You were great!" she encouraged her friend before letting him go onto the sand below. He soon scurried off to busy himself with something else.


"Thanks for letting him down easy, Inkbrand. He can be stubborn sometimes" It was very much appreciated, the smiling mermare looking to the two she had now while they waited for the other mare. "If you ponies wanted, we could always play something else if we don't have enough players for Blitzball. Of course, I'm just happy to have you here!"


Once the pegasus came in, Azalea couldn't help but stare. Wings seemed so pretty! Such soft, colorful feathers! Of course, the water probably wasn't very good for them. She felt a little bad about that, but it was overshadowed by her fascination with the mare in general. Hey! She just noticed she had a helping of all land pony races in here! Of course excluding an Alicorn. She never ever thought in a million years she might meet one, but that was okay. She had never met any of her own leaders in the sea either.


"I really like your wings!" she complimented, not wanting to exclude the mare and looking for a way to excuse her staring.

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Fire Walker gave the unicorn her best ‘pouty face’ as he tried to convince her that going into the strange tank. He knew she was one of those rare ponies who preferred to wear clothing. “Right. I’ll go. But I swear, if you start making ‘stripper music’ noises, I will slug you so hard.”


"Only in my head." he answered while smirking. Seems like it's going to be more fun then he thought. Fire also seemed to be worried about her belongings getting soaked. This was little embarrassing, his own clothes and items hidden in the pockets were completely waterproof. Another thing coming from combination of the near-unlimited money and paranoia. Swift scrunched his eyebrows - it really didn't seemed fair to be only one clothed.

 As such he took his bomber jacket an shirt off, leaving only silver chain with pedants and bracelets on himself. He used one of the corals near a bottom as a makeshift hanger.

The act also exposed 'his' Cutie Mark - two swords planted in the smoking crater, forming a 'V' shape. This part of disguise was made intentionally. Swift found a description of such Mark in an very ancient writing on the crumbling stone tablet and judged as one fitting enough to use. The tablet currently was safely hidden in one of the many vaults under Squallcoast Manor.


When 'Quattro' was already in the tank he got assaulted with the questions, the first one coming from the blue maned stallion.



"Assume that means your friend'll be joining us?" Inkbrand questioned as he jerked a hoof over one shoulder towards the Pegasus still standing outside, completely at ease including himself in the conversation that had been solely directed at Azalea.



"  'Assume' implies place for doubt." Squall answered with faith for his mare while flowing in place. Was that earth pony suggesting that she....?

"This arch....It does not come with telepathic contact?" he said in the mild surprise. The one time when he used such relict it was for the retrieval job for the cargo in the sunken ship. To make things easier it granted kind of temporary mind-bond in addition of water breathing. The one used in this tank seemed to be simpler. Yet another lesson for the unicorn - he shouldn't be quick to jump with assumptions of how the magical devices work.


"My name is Azalea! If I may ask yours? Also, how do you know about Blitzball? Do ponies play it on the surface?"



Even more questions came from seapony host herself. From the speed at which she gave them, she had to be very hungry for knowledge. But it was more then alright, after all the whole Event was to make various parts of the world know themselves better.


"Azalea? As in for flower?" unicorn asked while rising an eyebrow. He quickly gazed through his sliver sunglasses at the appropriate spot - and behold - the Cutie Mark indeed depicted the flower that aquatic mare shared the name with.

"That's....unusual." he commented. Unusual but not impossible. Squall both heard and saw the ponies with Cutie Marks that depicted phenomenons, items or living things they have no contact with. After all, more often then not the Mark was symbolic in it's appearance. And talent does not have to equal knowledge.


"Now the questions. In order. Quattro, Quattro Badge. I learned to play it during many visits in Gallopocus Islands. Yes and no, due to certain limitations. As I said, Island ponies play it almost exclusively. I assume it was where Bliztball was picked up - it being place where your kin and land ponies interact most frequently, biggest coastline, number of reefs, shallow waters and such being the reason for this. There is a League between particular Islands but Ministry of Sports to this day didn't dispensed budget big enough to make it bloom beyond them." swordpony gave the fin possessing mare the most comprehensive answer he could manage.

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Well. At least Sheldon hadn't pitched a fit, unlike Chime when he'd forbidden her from eating disgusting mushrooms. He still hadn't gotten around to replacing that end table.

Inkbrand nodded sagely with his forelegs crossed in front of his chest, as if he had all sorts of experience with stubborn lobsters who wished to play a sport with much larger and sturdier bodies than his own. He didn't have much time to contemplate the dangers of privileged pets however, as the magenta colored Unicorn suddenly answered his question from a moment earlier, causing one of Inkbrand's eyebrows to raise upwards. "Yeah," he stated slowly, as if speaking to a pony he wasn't particularly sure had heard him correctly, "I doubted. Which is why I asked in the first place."

Cripes, what a stiff-neck. He was probably one of the flowery types that tended to answer questions with questions - or worse still, like That SODD, who answered questions that were never asked in the first place, and threw in some existential bullrot to boot. Still, the Unicorn was obviously more knowledgeable about these types of…environments?…than he was, causing Inkbrand's second eyebrow to join his first.

Magical underwater barriers with additional telepathic mind-melding were apparently standard enough for the Unicorn to question the lack of said melding in this one. Though, how he'd expected to telepathically contact his friend when she hadn't yet passed through the barrier herself was…confusing.

…And made no bucking sense at all, but eh. Whatever.

Inkbrand only deigned to shake his head, content to let boring Unicorn stuff he had no interest in wash over him as he continued to idly float around, watching amusedly as Azalea began gushing over the red Pegasus' wings.

…Which was enough to slow down his lazy floating to the underwater version of a veritable crawl, forelegs slackening from behind his head as his golden eyes narrowed in on the red Pegasus' cutie mark. The intense red of her color scheme wasn't all that uncommon…but that cutie mark looked far too familiar to be coincidence. Where had he seen a mark like that before?…

Huh. Tilting his head sideways didn't jog his memory any better. He'd have to think on it. With a mental shake of his head, Inkbrand once again orientated himself upwards in the tank - just in time to hear the magenta Unicorn's introduct -

'Aaaand it's another bucking SODD. Buck, I hatebeing right sometimes.'

The clipped sentences, 'Con Mane' introduction, and systematic breakdown of answers as if he were lecturing a classroom full of ponies threw Inkbrand back to That SOOD so violently, that he actually felt the urge to punch the magenta-colored face for one brief, visceral moment. As it was, the tattoo-clad stallion had to let out a deep whoosh! of breath, reminding himself that the brown Earth Pony who constantly smelled of bitter coffee wasn't in front of him, just some random Unicorn he didn't even know.

Abruptly, Inkbrand realized that lazily floating about underwater probably wasn't help the pent up energy he had so early in the day, and without another thought they grey stallion pushed off a rock to sail back towards Azalea, forelegs once again locked behind his head. "So long as we're making the niceties, I'm Inkbrand," the tattoo-clad pony introduced himself, more towards Badge and the red Pegasus than Azalea, though he soon swiveled around to face her as well. "And if you don't have giant squid farms, what else do you guys do for fun?"

She mentioned other games aside from Blitzball - which was a little disappointing, considering this Blitzball was sounding more and more like a grand 'ol time - but anything was better than endlessly drifting about all morning and afternoon. He wanted to experience something fast-paced and energetic inside the giant fishbowl before he left for another exhibit.

And maybe to catch some grub, buck. Should've taken some lettuce to eat on the way to the park.





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Fire Walker removed all of her gear and clothing and placed them into a nearby locker. While she believed there was a small chance that anyone would try to swipe her stuff, there were always a very light criminal element in these sort of events. Pickpocketers and those who would could easily knick items from distracted tourists. Once she was ready, the mare entered the pool and slowly let herself sink deeper into the waters for just a moment. This alone was pure bliss! She unruffled her feathers and let the soothing, magical waters work their stuff. If only they had just tossed a big pool somewhere on the grounds for ponies and others to relax. It would have been an odd thing for a expo, but she couldn’t think of a better way of people from all over the world to get together and just chill. They just needed somepony to sell margaritas nearby and things would be prefect! It was a shame they had to spoil this little piece of heaven with sport.




Hopefully once Swift was finished with all of his business and was able to toss off all of his silly disguises, they would be able to take time to visit the Gallopocous Islands together. As in a proper vacation. No adventures. No silly pirate ghosts or zombie ghosts, or sneaky crooks disguised as pirate ghosts. If she found a secret map hidden in a bottle that just washed up, that bottle would go back into the ocean! She opened up her mouth just a little bit to let the enchanted water work its stuff and permit her to properly breathe underwater. She had encounter such magic before during her little adventure in the south seas. However, this came in a potion that gave her temporary gills so that she and the others could explore the hidden caves without drowning.


Once she was comfortable, she turned her attention to Azalea and her cute little crustacean friend. "Thank you.", she took another good look at the mermare, "I can see the stories of your kind's beauty were not exaggerated." She had read the story about the 'Little Mermare' when she was a filly and always wondered what it would be like to meet one. She had also heard stories about the heroics. Always there to lend an hoof to sailors in need.


Apparently Inkbrand had forgotten her from their previous little 'adventure' together. Or maybe he did what she did, and immediately hit the nearest pub and tried to drink the memories away. However, unlike the mare, he succeeded. "I am Fire Walker, nice to meet you Mister Inkbrand.", she let her wings slowly relax back onto her body. "I'm up for whatever you all wish to do, but I have no problems just drifting and relaxing. Sweet Celestia, I can't even remember how long it's been since I could just relax."


OOC: While the picture had her wearing her armor..She probably just had 'normal' type clothes. A generic shirt, probably a festive one with a Wonderbolts logo, and a saddlebag to keep all her stuff. I just really like the pic Egophiliac did for me...She rocks.

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World Friendship expo, huh? Seemed like a hoot at least. Normally, Khamsin didn't care too much for the world beond his studio or whatever it was he was doing at the moment. But hey, this place had a nice looking saddle Arabian exhibit he could check out later. Could never learn enough about one's heritage right? Supermare was always looking for her traces or hints of her home planet when they came up. In the end Khamsin decided that the Exhibit belonging to his mom's homeland wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, so he may as well check out a few other exhibits...


Oh, Seaponies. That could be a cool experience, he'd always sorta wondered about them, mostly about their society, what it was like to swim, and more personal questions that were more suited to being answered behind closed doors. C'mon Khamsin, keep yer mind out of the gutter. There were relatively few things that caught his eye quicker than the stunning crimson pegasus already attending. The blonde stallion arched a brow and smirked, "Hm... I heard seaponies could be considered an omen of good luck... but I thought that only was for sailors. Welp, I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth." Then the stallion's eyes drifted over the lovely specimen of the seapony at the booth and whistled, "Such a shame they don't leave the water as often if all of them look like that..." His orange eyes scanned the scene and soon noticed the entrance way to the exhibit and swiftly flew down and strolled in, seeing as everyone else was already settled inside the waters. 


It took him only a moment to prepare himself before he entered and experienced this weird new sensations that floating about in the waters like this was giving him. Using his wings was hardly necessary now, so he propelled himself forward towards the group with a smile and then smirked at a familiar face in the group; Inkbrand!


Soon Khamsin shot over to the rest of the group before grinning mischievously at the grey stallion, "Holy Crop, Well if it isn't Inkbrand... Nice ta see ya again! These lovely mares ... and the cloaked guy friends of yours." Approaching the seapony khamsin gently took her hoof and bowed his head planting a kiss on the top of her hoof, "Ahlan was Sahlan... The name's Khamsin" and gave her a wink before swimming over to Fire and repeating the gesture and introduction.

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"Azalea? As in for flower?"


"Uh-huh! My mother had seen them before. I hope I can someday, but perhaps that'll be a goal for another visit!"


This stallion was also kind enough to satisfy her curiosity. So there's a league! She'd never heard of it... But, now she might be able to drag Naia away from her antics to do something fun and with a high probability of returning alive! Unless she had known about it this whole time and hadn't told Azalea. But she was sure her friend wouldn't keep secrets. Not one like that anyway.


"Well that's unfortunate... I hope they can find room in their budget for it soon!" Regardless, she was going to find and probably become involved with this league... If she could find enough time away from her reef to be an active member. But the pegasus pony had paid her a compliment! How nice! "Oh, that's very nice of you to say, miss! Though I have to say your kind, the pegasi, leave me in awe. I've looked up at the sky a few times and dreamt of what it must be like up there. Truly, I envy you!" Sunsets were her favorite to watch from shallow waters. Such beautiful colors... She always wondered what one must look like when you witness it from above the clouds. Also, what did clouds feel like? She had no idea, no frame of reference. These ponies of the sky were lucky indeed!


At this point, Inkbrand had a question while they were all still somewhat on the subject of recreation. What else do they do for fun? "Oh, lots of things! I personally love to sing and tend to my reef. Naia likes to wrestle, which is a popular pasttime for the stronger-willed of us all... Others find time to make art, glass sculptures and such, which I think is fascinating! I have this little statuette a friend made for me..." Oh, but she didn't want to drone on. Not just yet. "Anyway, others like to exercise as well! For the more daring of us, we like to 'test the waters' as somepony I know puts it. He and a few others like to make whirlpools and ride them! It seems like fun, but I always worry that a ship might not be paying attention and accidentally sail into it... That would be awful!"


The new arrival, this blonde stallion, caught her by surprise, having come in while she was explaining. She flinched when the stallion spoke up, but seemed to calm herself just as quickly. She was a jumpy thing, certainly. Not a huge fan of sudden surprises. Of course, the stallion's courtesy was appreciated, but also unexpected. Who said chivalry was dead? "O-Oh! The pleasure is mine, Khamsin! I'm Azalea"

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"Azalea? As in for flower?"


"Uh-huh! My mother had seen them before. I hope I can someday, but perhaps that'll be a goal for another visit!"


"You may have a hard time doing so, depending how well your kind feel in freshwater. This is a kind of flower that tends to prefer shade, it feels best under trees." he explained to her. Squall however had nothing to say about possible financial shifts when it came to sports. With a recent evens Equestria had gone through, stallion couldn't say he shared seapony hopes. Noblepony didn't interrupted the exchange of words between of Fire and Azalea, although he was listening closely...


 "Oh, that's very nice of you to say, miss! Though I have to say your kind, the pegasi, leave me in awe. I've looked up at the sky a few times and dreamt of what it must be like up there. Truly, I envy you!"


"Huh...heard something like this from few pegasi before., only opposite." he muttered to himself as he floated away from the girls. "Come to think of it, sky and the sea are like mirrors to each other, so fascination is only...natural?"


He managed to make whole circle around the tank walls before he returned to hear answer to Inkbrand question.




 "Oh, lots of things! I personally love to sing and tend to my reef. Naia likes to wrestle, which is a popular pasttime for the stronger-willed of us all... Others find time to make art, glass sculptures and such, which I think is fascinating! I have this little statuette a friend made for me..." Oh, but she didn't want to drone on. Not just yet. "Anyway, others like to exercise as well! For the more daring of us, we like to 'test the waters' as somepony I know puts it. He and a few others like to make whirlpools and ride them! It seems like fun, but I always worry that a ship might not be paying attention and accidentally sail into it... That would be awful!"


"I see your kin is the one who is mostly rooted into the present. That's...different from us, land ponies. But I won't be boring you with a lecture." 'Quattro' made a brief comment, but true to his word, he didn't elaborated on it.


But out of sudden an another pony appeared, one more pegasus, who so it happened to already know the Earth Pony. However it was something different in this brown flier. He seemed slightly taller and bigger then most ponies. Swift thought about it for a moment, he saw others like him - of that he was sure.

And out of sudden it struck him - all while swimming upside down too - he had to be of Saddle Arabian descent. Squall squinted his eyes a little - how fortunate they were hidden behind the sunglasses. The way he moved, and his physique implied the material artist. Well nothing to be worried about, right? Or surprised honestly. It was both Big Orange and during World Expo to boot, cultural diversity was pretty much expected.


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Buck, it was a pair of stiffed-necks. 'Your kind's beauty was not exaggerated,' please. How difficult was it to say, 'Baby, I think you're sexy'?

Or, some rendition thereof.

Inkbrand didn't have time to think of all the ways he could comment on a pony's 'beauty', though, as the red mare was quick to introduce herself, leaving the grey stallion to nod a few times, forelegs still crossed, before her actual words assaulted his brain. Said assault resulted in an abrupt jerk of his entire body - which, in turn, caused Inkbrand to perform a complete one-eighty, head tilting towards the floor of the tank. A few comical gyrations of his legs had him somewhat right-side up again, but it didn't matter as the grey stallion swam closer to the red mare.

To Fire Walker.

"You," he stated almost accusingly, eyes once again riveted on the cutie mark that now, only now, replaced itself in his mind and memory. "Fire Walker, I remember you. You - " here, he cut off, one eyebrow raising slightly as he stared at the mare's body, larger and longer than it had been seemingly only a short while ago. Buck, how long had that little Ponyville escapade actually been? Felt like an age ago.

"You're a lot bigger than I remember," the grey Earth Pony finally conceded, with just a bit of grump behind his words as he folded his forelegs across his chest…and hadn't he said the same thing to Foxed Glove, back on the blasted island? Buck, he suddenly felt stuck in the wrong play or something. Still, he couldn't help but remember the filly's - mare's - rather colorful accusations that she had hurled at him during that confusing time, causing a slight smirk to cross his features. "Don't think you can stay out of Wicked Caster's clutches forever, there," he gloated, with a quick wink and half hoping he might incite a similar reaction in the now adult mare.

Though if he had, it would have to wait a moment as Inkbrand abruptly tuned into Azalea's miniature speech, managing to catch the tail end of it. "They, create and ride?…" the grey stallion trailed off, disbelief crowding in the edges of his words.

That…well hay. That sounded kind of fun, actually.

And immensely stupid, if Azalea's friends were capable of creating whirlpools large enough pull down a ship. Maybe a group of mischievous Seaponies are what had shipwrecked him, Weaver, and Glove on that island in the first place?…

But no, that had been a storm. Hay, he'd seen the storm pulling away as he'd strolled up and down the shoreline with the other two. Still, it was a mildly disturbing thought, now that he thought about it. Pegasi could make mistakes in their weather creation, though it seemed to rarely happen - entirely possible a coalition of Seaponies could do the same, too. Same thing, right?

…Sort of.

Thoughts of drowning in a whirlpool filled with whooping and hollering Seaponies aside, Inkbrand's train of thought was again interrupted - but this time by a familiar voice, causing the grey Earth Pony's head to whip around in the water, surprised expression quickly replaced by a rot-eating one.

Buck, he knew coming to this Expo would be worth it.

"Khamsin, brother," Inkbrand crowed, reaching forwards to bump hooves with the stallion before he swam over to the others, "where the buck you been, eh?" The last time he'd seen his friend had been at the opening of his studio - which was thought enough to make Inkbrand glance warily at the archway, golden eyes looking for any familiar flash of brown. "Trust you didn't drag anypony else here with you, huh," he questioned, though the lack of inflection in his voice made it more of a statement, "else I'll have to give 'im a pounding - again."

A smack of his hooves against once another, slightly dulled thanks to water resistance, emphasized his meaning - but in all honesty, Inkbrand was keen on avoiding a fight today. He had no doubt the various staff members stationed around the area would not take kindly to an underwater fight spilling over into what was suppose to be a peaceful gathering over varying cultures.

That, and he also wasn't all that keen to feel Applejack's lasso of justice 'round his middle again…even if the thought of being tied up by the orange mare was kinda hot.





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The red mare glanced over at the newcomer and gave away a proper, but friendly Canterlot smile as the charming stallion kissed her very wet hoof. “Fire Walker, and it’s a pleasure to meet you, Khamsin." Of course he would know Inkbrand. That stallion apparently got around quite a bit. She started to wonder about the seapony's world. Did they have underwater communities? Were they a communal species like ponies and griffons? Did they have modern conveniences, and how would they work? How does one even drink underwater? Beyond a few fanciful stories, she knew very little of her race. And one thing she wondered about magic. While her species was limited to normal Pegasus magic that permitted her to fly, stand on clouds and even be protected against the somewhat harsh environment in the sky, she could not work direct magic like a unicorn, but like all R.E.A officers she still had to study it. To learn how to work alongside her unicorn peers, and in rarer cases, how to handle an unicorn who choose to use magic against her, ala 'Defense Against The Mystical Arts'.


"I've heard of magic that permits and non-Pegasus pony to fly and touch the clouds, and even one to allow ponies like myself to breathe underwater, but I wonder if there is a spell that would allow a seapony such as yourself to be able to walk about the land and breathe air?" The red mare had a zillion other questions to ask, but this one would do for now.


'ho-boy', apparently Inkbrand did remember her. Guess it would have been difficult not to, considering she had led a small 'army' of children against him, and spent a moment giving him a good pouncing! She quickly shook her head as her thoughts ventured into places she did not want them to go. Pouncing, like a cat, or smaller creature against a larger one! "Oh yes..That..", she slowly sunk into the water ever further, hoping the water would mask the fact that the red fur on her face had shifted into a darker shade. The R.E.A officer had spent the morning having breakfast with her parents and kid sister in Ponyville and had been turned into a filly shortly after. Not only had she been turned into a child, her adult memories had been temporaly banished for the moment, which lead to her leading an small squad of kids against who she assumed was responsible for the whole thing, or at least one that might have been part of it. The very snarky Inkbrand.
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