Swimming Lessons
IC date: Winter 38, 1007
OOC date: January 26, 2013
PCs: Dream-Daze, Goody Horseshoes, Heartsong, Magpie, Muzaji, Skyflower, Thunnini
NPCs: Eddy, Tale Chaser
GM: Diamond Dog

In the center of Silver Shallows is the port district, and in the center of that is a tower-like elevator leading from the undersea city to the wharfs up on the surface. At the bottom of the elevator is a broad plaza at which a number of roads that wind through the city convene; if anything counts as the town square, this is it.

Adjoining the square is a round building that pushes outward into the sea, and inside this building is a chamber, and at the center of this chamber is a broad, round pool. Cold water laps about inside- ocean water, in fact- and looking down into the pool reveals the sand and rocks of the water below. This is one place where ponies can cross over from the sealed-up, air-filled portions of the city- the 'inside'- to the watery open waters of the 'outside.' Assuming, of course, they have a means to do so. Seaponies have that sort of functionality built in! Others… have to make do.

"And today we're going to learn just that!" explains a pastel-toned near-filly with an aquamarine coat and a soft pink mane. It's Eddy, and she's cheerfully rifling through several cabinets and racks along the walls. Inside are some flippers and snorkels, but the main feature are floats. Ring-shaped floats! They come in all sorts of colors and shapes, as long as those colors are bright and cheery and those shapes resemble cute little water critters. "Lesse… okay, still have some foal-sized ones. Still have some big ones, too. Even got some mediums! Good, good! Good!"

Thunnini is also here and is currently floating in the pool, forelegs crossed on the edge of the pool and her chin resting on her legs, waiting to help the ponies as they come into the water to swim.

Also present: Tale Chaser, the young scholar from the Silver Archive. He's sitting off to the side, legs folded awkwardly as he sits and watches. He looks like he's not entirely sure why he's here. That Eddy, every so often, tosses a ring-shaped float over his way and tells him to hold onto it may give some indication whose idea his presence was.

Goody-Horseshoes stands eagerly awaiting his 'swimming' equipment. He's standing a little different, but it's hard to pinpoint how. It's as if a weight has been lifted off of him a little. Then again, he /has/ been spending a lot of time in the library studying.

Heartsong hangs out near the back of the group, blushing deeply and prancing in place, looking rather nervous. Her wings are all aflutter and her ears are twitching, and the little near-filly just generally a bundle of nervous energy! /Swimming/. WAT IS THIS. This is new and different and a little bit terrifying! Hay, she can barely fly half the time, how's she supposed to /swim/? But who would pass up this opporunity? A coward, that's who! And is she a coward? …Maybe! She does look a bit like she's considering running right back down the hall!

(OOC) Spindrift http://mylittlewiki.org/wiki/Floats

Muzaji stands next to the good captain, partially because he's the one that's proven to be the other 'reasonable adult' around here… that Muzaji is probably the other 'reasonable' anything is a scary thought in general. The zebra is calm and quiet for the most part right now, still thinking over the things they learned from Sinking Stone. It's like every time they get some questions answered, more crop up in its place. Oh well. She's also 'naked', at least compared to usual, having left her vest and cloak and her jewelry in her suite at the hotel…. so she's basically dressed as much as a normal pony would be right now.

"Okay, so the floats…" Eddy draws away from a cabinet and holds one up, clutching one of its little rubbery fins with her teeth. "These were originally made to help young seaponies learn to swim. They were imbued with some basic magic to help ward off some of the more harmful conditions in the water. Eventually the spells were strengthened, and the design refined until now they work on adults! Tale Chaser, c'mere!"

Tale Chaser squirms about, then pushes to his hooves and approaches. Though he and Eddy are of a similar age to eachother- and to Heartsong, for that matter- Eddy's unusual teenage height causes her to positively loom over the younger colt.

"Put this on," she says, dropping the ring on Tale Chaser's head.

He yelps, the ring-shaped float encircling his muzzle and covering his eyes, and staggers back a few steps before slipping and landing on his butt. "It's too small," he protests.

"It'll work! Do it!" commands Eddy, stomping a hoof. "-We have to demonstrate the safety precautions!-"

Tale Chaser picks the float off his face with a shuffle and starts wedging his head and shoulders through it, tugging it down to his middle. It's a blue ducky. "I don't need it, though," he mumbles. "I'm a seapo-"

"SO THAT'S HOW YOU WEAR THEM," explains Eddy, interrupting shamelessly and smiling cheerfully across to Goody and Muzaji and Heartsong. "They let you breathe underwater, as well as ward off the cold temperatures of deep water. And the pressure. They're pretty resilient, so you don't have to worry about them popping or anything, but you do want to make sure you keep 'em on pretty securely when you're out there."

Goody-Horseshoes gives a nod and a smile to Eddy. He's got a sharp mind after all so understanding the instructions seem easy enough. He does ask, however, "What would happen if somepony were to remove the floatie while out swimming?"

"Huh?" Muzaji snaps out of her thoughts as Eddy starts tossing floats out and explaining what they do. ".. Looks like they didn't upgrade the colors to something more adult though," she murmurs to herself. That's a dumb question to as.. wait, no, considering some of the ponies she's meet over the years, that's a perfectly viable question.

Splash! Suddenly a small filly practically leaps out of the water, scrambling to her hooves and shaking water off of her. Dream Daze blinks when she realizes that coming back, she's run into a party apparently about to go out again. She blinks, ears perked, her tube of choice being a aquamarine turtle snug around her middle.

Dreamy coughs on a hoof, smiles her best 'foal' smile, and slinks back towards the pool to be next to the other foal in the group.

Thunnini grins and hugs Dreamy, then turns and waves at Heartsong. "Want to join us, miss Heartsong?" the seafilly says with a cheerful smile. "Swimming's fun, and I'll be there to help you if you need it."

Tale Chaser and Eddy exchange glances, then look to Goody. Eddy tilts her head and furrows her brow. "Well, are you planning on taking yours off?" she wonders. "That would be silly, wouldn't it!?"

Tale Chaser reaches up to push his plate glass spectacles up into place, then blinks owlishly at Muzaji. "We haven't been able'a figure out how to alter the appearances without disrupting the enchantments. We might needa develop a completely new method of making the enchantments stick if there're any significant alterations. Most ponies decide lookin' silly is better'n trying to figure it all out again."

Eddy blinks as Dream Daze surfaces. "Oh!" She watches her for a moment, then smiles cheerfully. "Dream Daze learned how to use these the other day! See, if even a filly can make use of them, then there's obviously NOTHING to worry about! Ha ha ha!"

Dream-Dazemimics Eddy's 'ha ha ha' pose. Even if she can't laugh. Yeah! If she can do it, anyone can! Ha. Ha.

Pranceprancepranceprance WHY WOULD YOU ASK THAT. That is not what Heartsong wants to be thinking about right now! Reasons /not/ to be able to breathe underwater. The idea of breathing water is weird enough without thinking about /failing/ at it. She perks her ears a bit at Thunnini's voice, pausing in her prancing for a second. "Oh… oh, um… well… well, I…" Deep breath. HUFF. "Yeah, I… I guess I can… give it a shot."

Goody-Horseshoes shakes his head with a smirk at Eddy, "I wasn't asking for my benefit. I was asking more for everypony's. I think I can imagine on my own what would happen." He sits down, removing his hat and jacket with his horn magic. His attention seems to anchor towards a green and blue floatie.

"Some ponies need to hear it for themselves," Muzaji adds. "But lets not focus on that, shall we? Toss me one of those rings, miss. I've been swimming before but not -underwater-."

"If you've ever been diving, you already know what it's like!" says Eddy, turning towards a rack. She turns to look back at Muzaji for a moment, gauging her size, before seizing a floatie- a green frog with puple spots- and tosses it to the zebra. "Here! You guys want to pick out your own?"

She turns and nods towards a distant cabinet on the other side of the room. "We also have diving suits if you want. They're not magic, they're just big and heavy and made of metal and glass. You won't be able to swim worth beans, but some ponies prefer it that way!"

Tale Chaser is wiggling out of the float for now, tripping over himself several times along the way, then kicks the ring off with a grunt. Pulling himself up straight, he adjusts his glasses, then starts digging around in a little pouch around his neck, soon pulling out his phylactery- a copper chain supporting an old, tarnished bronze coin in a setting. He trots over to the side of the pool and hops in, and when he surfaces, it's with a fishy tail instead of back legs. How do his glasses stay on underwater? -Talent.-

Goody-Horseshoes chuckles at the thoughts of the diving suits as if it brings back some fond memories. He walks over to the floaty he's had his eye on, "I'll take this one if you dont mind!" and picks it up with a glow from his horn.

Magpie trots down towards the swimming room, chattering excitedly to Skyflower. "You /gotta/ try it, it feels really weird at first but it's really fun! See, and everypony's already here— Oh! It's you!" She gallops over to the edge of the pool and grins at Tale Chaser. "Hi! We met in the library the other day!"

Tale Chaser drifts over to the side of the pool. "You don' have to go underwater if you don' want," he calls out, to Heartsong. "We're gonna need anybody goin' with us out to the temple tomorrow to bring one of these, plus any other research we're doin' out in the field will need 'em. But not everypony is cut out for it."

"Yep!" says Eddy, putting a few floaties back in place. "Completely optional! Some ponies just don't like being underwater. Seems fishy to me, but, well, when I think of being up in the air, in the sky above the surface? Where the pegasi live?" She shudders, a little vibration visibly running from her nose to her hooves. "Yeeshy yeesh!"

Muzaji ducks her head down as the floatie is tossed, letting it ringer around her neck. Then lifts up and pulls it down into place with a little bit of wiggling it get it over her front legs. "Ah. Excellent." She grins a little as she looks at the head of the float. "This will certainly keep me from," she pats the froggy head with a forehoof, "croaking."

Tale Chaser looks with alarm as Magpie bustles near, his eyes widening, the glasses making them seem all the wider. He blinks a few times as a shrimp regards a hungry shark bearing down upon it, and then, with a little splash, he disappears under the surface of the water and out of sight.

Magpie says "W-wait! Come back!"

Heartsong blushes and tucks her wings to her sides tightly, clearing her throat. "No, I… I want to try. I do. It's just, well… I've never… been in water before. …I don't know how to swim at all, see." She moves over to the floaties shyly, looking them over before picking one out at random. It's pink and appears to be some sort of… lobster thing. "Where I'm from there's not… really… water."

Magpie spins around and starts looking over the racks. "Where's the blue fishy with the orange fins?" she demands. "Did somepony take the blue fishy with the orange fins?!"

Goody-Horseshoes lifts his floaty over his head and uses his magic to slip it down over himself. He lifts his front legs and it slides the rest of the way back, "A perfect fit I must say!" The blue and green turtle head stares blankly.

Dream-Daze hops into the water again, after giving Thun a quick return-hug~ She dives down and starts swimming about, waiting for everyone else to get situated.

At Muzaji's joke, Eddy's legs give out from under her and she flops about with a cackle. After a few moments she pops back up, still snickering, then turns and grins at Heartsong. "You'll be fine! We'll be there to help. The floats probably make it easier to learn here than it would on the surface, since you don't have to worry about sinking! Just remember to relax!" She turns back to the rack and starts rattling around inside. "Ahhh… oh!" There's the blue and orange fish. Foal-sized. She plucks it out and holds it up to Magpie. "This one?"

Magpie gleefully grabs the fishy float and wiggles into it. Next moment she's diving into the water. "Chaserrr! Come back here!"

Thunnini blinks as she watcher Magpie pursue Chaser. "Um… do you have any idea what's going on?" she asks Dreamy.

Goody-Horseshoes trots over to the edge of the pool and peers down into it. Oh! Right! He hovers his jacket and hat off, setting them over near the floaty cabinets. He steps into the pool slowly. "Here goes nothing!" the captain says, grinning at Eddy just before dropping into the water.

Dreamy pops up next to Thunnini again, shrugging. She has a good guess though, and projects a mirthful image of Magpie, chasing Tale Chaser, and little hearts surrounding the pair~

The pool leads down a short, lighted distance into the open water beneath the chamber, which rests above the ocean floor on heavy, stone columns. Swimming out a short ways places one in the open water; though the immediate area is natural, consisting of sand and rocks, heading in any direction soon brings you up against the glass and stone walls that contain the air-filled portions of the city, or the open pathways and clustered structures of the 'outdoor,' native seapony costruction.

But Tale Chaser hasn't gotten very far. He's lurking down near the bottom of the ocean, looking up, with a small degree of terror as he sees Magpie splash into the water up above and pony-paddle in his direction. The young colt glances about quickly, so panicked for the moment he can't even decide on a direction to run in!

Skyflower follows after Magpie. "Well, I HAVE been meaning to see the sights, and if I'm going to do that then clearly I shall have to get my hooves wet, as it were." She chuckles lightly at her own joke and then starts looking through the floaties. "Hmm. No, no… nnnno. This would work with Whistlestop's coloration. Ah, here we go!" She selects a light blue one and steps into it. "So what does one do, then?"

Heartsong blushes and clears her throat, trying to squirm into the floatie she'd grabbed. For a moment she is quite unsure what to do with her wings. Just… through the… no, not like that… no, that hoof first… and fold… no, that's not right… yeah, okay, it's more like that… oh, but now the other one… Alright! …No, one wing's still folded wrong. Just… here… okay! Now alright. She blushes deeply, standing in place rather awkwardly and looking herself over. Is this right? She hopes it's right. Squirm. She pricks an ear at Skyflower's words - does color make a difference? None of them were the same color as she was!

"You hop in the water and swim around!" explains Eddy, turning to smile cheerfully at Skyflower. "The floats let you breathe underwater and protect you from the pressure and cold down here. See- like that!" She gestures to Goody Horseshoes as he hops in.

The good captain- and any other land-dwellersn ot sure what to expect- will find the water cool, but when wearing the floats, not nearly as chill as they might expect. The biggest obstacle, however, is convincing the body to breathe underwater, which instinct strongly cautions against! Still, should it be a struggle one overcomes, the sensation is… interesting. Though it feels like water spills into the nose and mouth, past an inch or so it instead starts to feel like a warm mist, passing wetly but harmlessly into the lungs. Breathing water is a bit slower than air- it's heavier, thicker- but with some measured breathing it's just as effective.

Magpie laboriously paddles down towards Chaser. She only gets about halfway, though, before she runs out of air and has to expel a huge cloud of bubbles. What follows is several seconds of panicked thrashing and breathless coughing until the filly's nose gets used to having water in it. Oh CELESTIA that's awful!

Eddy scoots over to start helping Heartsong get adjusted, though it seems to comprise mainly of pushing her wings up and out of the way. So inconvenient, they look like! "There we go! That'll do." The seapony draws back with a satisfied smile. "Maybe you can use your wings to help paddle underwater! I wouldn't know, I've never had any. I'm a seapony, not a flying fish! Tee hee hee!" She erupts into a giggle as she totters away to start stowing assorted personal belongings left behind in a secure container.

Thunnini giggles at Dreamy's image. "Maggie has a crush? D'awww!" Suddenly an impish grin crosses the seafilly's face. "Wanna help her out?"

When Magpie finishes her coughing and sputtering, she finds that as the bubbles clear around her, Tale Chaser is a bit closer. Not -close,- but he's actually a bit nearer the piebald pony. "Are… are you okay?" he asks, his tone unsure, because he is clearly unsure if he should be approaching her.

Muzaji follows the others into the water, pausing for a moment to marvel at the matter. Huh. It doesn't feel cold as the ocean usually does. Must be part of the enchantment. And… okay, yeah, she -can- breath under water. It takes a bit of huffing and mentally convincing, but she manages. Feels weird as buck though. Huh. This is going to take a little adjusting to, but not too bad.

Voices underwater carry surprisingly well, at once a bit muffled in tone but amplified in distance, such that as Tale Chaser speaks to Magpie, she can hear it, but his words carry up to the moon pool above, where Goody and Muzaji are jumping in as well.

Skyflower joins the rest of the ponies in the water. "Why… why this is simply marvelous!" She goes into the water which, yes takes some getting used to, but soon she's following after everypony else with relative ease. "How very droll!"

Magpie coughs a little. She nods a little to the sea pony. "Y-yeah. I'm … it's hard to start breathing water." She laboriously pony-paddles towards the colt. "So, uh. I wanted to say, y'know.. sorry if I was buggin' you the other day. I mean, uh.." She looks down and grins. "Um… Hey, you look good in a tail."

There's a bubble of air around the captain's head, his horn glowing as he falls beneath the surface of the water. He takes a deep breath and the bubble shrinks until it disappears completely. It takes a little bit for him to adjust to the breathing but the experienced sailor catches on quickly. He swims to Muzaji, "If I'd have ever thought we'd be doing something like this…"

"It's okay…" says Tale Chaser, shuffling about. Little, subtle swirls of his tail seem to keep him hovering in place. He glances about a bit, then down at himself, then reaches up to scratch behind his head. "Thanks… I was kinda born with it, though."

Magpie gives an awkward laugh and puts a hoof behind her head. "Ahaha. Well, yeah, of course. Only you weren't wearing it last time I saw you." … "So, uh.. any… places you like to go, uh… out here?"

Heartsong, a bit behind the group as always, edges her way up to the pool, nervously dipping a hoof in. Woah. That's weird. It's not like ice at /all/. She taps at it for a moment or two. Splish splash splish. And then slowly moves to actually climb in - which works pretty well for about the two seconds it takes for her to get her back hooves in and sink. She squeaks and clings to the edge of the pool for a second, hind hooves flailing, until she gets semi-used to the unusual feeling. …This is weird. Water is weird.

Eddy sits near the side of the pool, sticking with Heartsong for as long as it takes. She seats herself on the edge and peers down, watching. "That's it! Okay, a little more… good! Okay, a little more… and…" As Heartsong stops, Eddy stares. "Alright, now just keep doing that!" Her front hooves lift and she makes a little shoo-shooing motion. "Go more in!" She may be -willing- to help, but that doesn't mean she knows how.

Dreamy swims about, having gotten much more used to this whole 'swimming' thing with a few days of practice under her belt. Swimming little circles around other ponies, so she can wave at them, and be all friendly~ Yet with this nagging feeling that she's forgetting something. Hm…

Muzaji merely chuckles and nods to the Captain.. oh hey, being able to breath under water lets them talk too. Boss. "You and me both, Captain, but a pleasant surprise, if it will help us get to where our answer hopefully lies."

Tale Chaser squirms about, looking around. "Not… really, uh…" he says. "I kinda never… I don' leave the library much." He looks back to Magpie and pushes his glasses back up his nose. "Sometimes I go pokin' around in the trenches to see if there's something nobody has found yet, but… but they've kind of found everything there is to find in the city already…"

Skyflower dives in deeper, seeming to relish the experience of the water itself. "Magpie, darling, don't go off too far, all right? I wouldn't want to have to tell Ruby you got lost."

Magpie oohs. Her eyes sparkle. "We should go have an adventure!" she says, in an undertone since Skyflower thinks she's Mom again. "Um…" She looks around, pony-paddles a bit. "Maybe you could /tow/ me to an adventure?"

Thunnini looks at Heartsong, then thinks for a moment. The seafilly grins, then swims over, ducking under the worried pegasus and surfacing in such a way to dislodge Heartsong's grip on the pool edge. "C'mon, let's go swimming!" Thunnini grins as she takes Heartsong's hooves and drags the reluctant mare down into the water.

Right. Right. More in. Gulp. Heartsong sloooooowly loosens her grip, sinking further into the water. Waist… wings… chest… neck. Oop. There she stops again, gulping. "…I can breathe, right? This thing lets me breathe. I'm not gonna… yah!" And she's grabbed! She starts back from the sudden seapony, losing her grip right well, and is quite easily pulled down further into the water. Which is not to say that she goes /willingly/ so much as she's too startled to resist! In fact she's gone rather stiff. Were she on land she probably would've fallen right over! Presumably with an appropriately baaa sound effect to accompany the flop.

She's also holding her breath, because nopony answered her question! But that's probably not going to last long. There's already some bubbles going on here. Glub blub blub.

Goody-Horseshoes gives a smile to the zebra, "Yes. I hope so to. But, even if the journey is in vain, the experience of being able to do this will still be a reward in itself." He looks towards Magpie and laughs a little, "I think the rest of us need to get situated before anypony runs off on any adventures."

Muzaji sighs, rubbing her face with a hoof. "Yes Heartsong, as the nice seapony already explained, the floaties allow us to breath underwater. Just take it slowly."

"Whoops!" says Eddy, at once shocked and alarmed as well as grateful Heartsong is fully in. The seapony hops in without a moment's thought, splashing in beside Heartsong, and with a fluid and practiced motion, fishes out her phylactery and dons it. In a moment she's in proper seapony form, and able to flash Heartsong a grin, as well as reach out to settle a pair of steading hooves on Heartsong's shoulders. "You're fine!" she says. "You're fine! Just sloooowly relax. Keep your eyes closed and try breathing in slowly. See? Muzaji has the right idea! She knows how to do it!"

Tale Chaser leans to the side, peeking past Magpie and up at Skyflower. He seems to notice the other ponies in the water soon enough, blinking behind his glasses at Dreamy as she paddles by. "Your friends're having fun," he says. He then squints at Heartsong. "I think…" Scratching his nose, he looks back to Magpie. "Are you goin' to the temple with us tomorrow?" he wonders.

Skyflower titters. "Oh fine, darling. I don't want you not to have fun, I'd just rather you not get lost." She swims closer to allow Magpie to grab on. "Just take hold, darling."

Magpie gives Chaser a little shrug. "I guess so." Ancient temple? Hidden treasure is almost guaranteed! "Awwr, I wouldn't get /lost/. I'd have Tale Chaser with me! He'd get me back."

Close eyes. That seems like a good idea to Heartsong! Her eyes are closed. Tight. Meep. She lets out a breath in a stream of bubbles, and then, slooooowly, tries to draw one in. It takes a minute. And results in a good bit of coughing and sputtering. A little flailing. Mostly more stiffness. But she slowly relaxes, bit by bit getting used to the feeling - coughcoughblub - and even, eventually, peeks an eye open again. Not dead? Not dead. Success!

Eddy turns and cheers to the other ponies! "She made it!"

Magpie applauds

Tale Chaser looks up at Skyflower ruefully, head lowered a bit. She has a motherly bearing and he is susceptible to authority. "I'll… I'll help make sure she doesn't get lost," he says. "It's okay."

Thunnini huggles Heartsong. "See? It's not so bad once you're in the water," the seafilly beams, swimming around the pegasus.

Muzaji says "Indeed, this is actually rather relaxing once you get accustomed to it."

Magpie beams! She awkwardly swims sideways and hooks one hoof around Tale's.

Goody-Horseshoes smiles brightly and swims over to Heartsong, "There you go! I know it's scary at first…but seaponies are just as good with magic as us land ponies! You've got nothing to worry about!

Skyflower looks from Magpie to Tale Chaser and smiles knowingly. "Well. Hmm. Ohh… all right. I suppose that so long as you have somepony watching after you it's all right." She knows what she's seeing, or at leastwhat she thinks she's seeing.

Tale Chaser's pale red color deepens to an even pinker shade. He stares up at Skyflower with wide eyes. Sweet merciful Abalone, she agreed. His gaze darts sideways to Magpie.

The open waters surrounding the open area beneath the moon pool beckon. Someone who wanted to go swimming around and exploring certcainly could do so if they so wanted. There's a definite difference in the style of the "outside" portions of the city compared to the "inside." Inside the port, it's all the bustling multiculturalism of traders buying and selling and making their weird red banana foods and carrying boxes to and fro, but outside, from a distance, things look a bit more sedate. There is the occasional outlander with a floaty on, but mostly it's quiet streets lit by the starlight lanterns, and a preponderance of shadows cast by the rocks of the landscape and the architecture, which is stacked on top of itself as often as not.

Magpie 's terrible at swimming. But that's okay, she has a motor now. "Oh! I wanna go down to the real city. I wanna see those lights up close!"

Heartsong blinkblinks, looking around. "…I'm swimming? …I'm swimming!" GASP. She's… not very good at it. She has quite an awkward pony-paddle and she still has /no clue/ what to do with her wings. If it weren't for the floaty she'd probably be on the sea floor right now. But she's in the water, and staying in place, and /not dead/ - that's a big one - and eeeeeee swimming! She looks around in awe. Most ponies would probably be gaping at the environment. /She/ might just still be awed at the water.

"The lights?" says Tale Chaser, looking off towards one of the settled areas away from this "park" of undeveloped sea floor. "What's so fancy about the lights?" He hesitates, then starts off in that direction, tightening the hook of his hoof around Magpie's to tug her along. He may be short and scrawny, but he's built to swim, and pulls her along easily, though not for a lack of nervousness on his part!

"What's so fancy," Muzaji chimes in as she wades up alongside Chaser and Magpie, "is you must remember, none of us have seen your wonderful underwater city before. What seems so common to you is a tremendous new experience to us."

Magpie lets out a 'wheee!' "What's so— they're pretty! That's what! They look like little stars down there."

Goody-Horseshoes beams a smile at Heartsong, "Woah! Hold on there! You can't just go waggling your legs around! You won't get very far like that. Here: watch me!" He demonstrates in slowed-down forms how to perform basic swimming, "See! Now you try!"

Skyflower swims along at a distance to Tale Chaser and Magpie, watching them with a satisfied little smile. "Ooh, it IS pretty down there. We simply must go exploring. I can't wait to see the sights and the shops."

Tale Chaser starts as Muzaji draws near, snatching his hoof away from Magpie's as if he'd been caught with it in the cookie jar. The delicious seapony cookie jar. Seapony cookies probably taste like seaweed. After a moment he reaches out and nabs her hoof again. "Yeah… I guess you're right."

He swims further. It's about fifty yards from the moon pool to wear some of the houses and roadways of the town begin. The city features all manner of archtectural styles as various cultures clash- not just surface-dwellers coming to the seapony world, but different clans and generations of seaponies building in different styles. These houses look like bubbles or fish eggs, being largely round, with round doors and windows, stacked atop and against eachother, and made of a dull green rock that accumulates small mosses and plants. There are streets, but they are more for the sake of having open avenues to move through. You don't need to actually touch them when you swim… and as such, the cobblestones are elaborately carved, swirling about and joining together like puzzle pieces.

Tale Chaser draws Magpie up to a street lamp; it's much like the ones inside, though its glassy surface is a bit thicker. Inside, a few swirling motes of light gleam with assorted colors that blend into white. "S'what the kingdom got its name from. The Starlight Kingdom, that is." He looks up at the distant 'ceiling' of the ocean's surface, so high above. It's dim, suggesting evening approaches in the surface world. "We don't even see the real stars very often, but there's sort of a fixation with 'em down here."

Thunnini nods. "Real stars are very pretty," she agrees.

Eddy hums cheerfully as she hovers near Heartsong. She watches Goody with a grin. "He's got the right idea! Try that. Don't be afraid to move around," she advises. "That's one of the nice things about being underwater, you're probably not gonna crash into stuff like you would if you were flying and you crashed! Unless you get to be VERY GOOD at swimming VERY FAST. But that's probably not going to happen for a while! Hee hee!"

Muzaji doesn't touch the street, instead wading over to one of the houses and scraping some of the moss off with her hoof to investigate just what it is. And the rock beneath it. So many new things, and while she's more interested in the trip they're practicing for, this is helping to at least keep her curiosity occupied. "So now that the city we've found," the zebra turns to the two seaponies as she points at the house with her mossy hoof, "how come the houses down here ar round?"

Magpie reaches up to the light and puts her hooves on it. She smiles. "They're pretty," she murmurs. She glances around, then gives the bulb a tug. An da twist… does it unscrew, or what..?

Heartsong blinks and nods slowly, watching Goody for a moment. That's not a way she would normally think to move! Not like flying, really. It takes a moment for her to pick up on it, trying to mimick his movements. She gives a slight giggle at Eddy's words. "Yeah… I doubt I'll be very fast. Like… ever."

Goody-Horseshoes smiles proudly when Heartsong starts catching on, "I don't know about that…you have an advantage!" He points at Eddy and Tale Chaser, "They can move fast because they have fins. You can use your wings in a similar way! Sadly, I can't show you myself…"

Eddy is further back, with Heartsong, towards the 'moon pool,' and a fair distance away from the street where Tale Chaser has brought Magpie and those that have followed. This means Tale Chaser is the impromptu tour guide as Muzaji asks her question. He doesn't seem as excited about it as Eddy would be. She will likely be very unhappy later on that she missed the opportunity.

He looks to Muzaji, then at the house. "This is the traditional style… s'what a lot of… what most houses and stuff looked like a long time ago. More conservative communities stick to it, and so do rural towns that don't have a lot of fancier building materials available. It's practical, though, an' kinda cozy." He reaches out and pokes at the side of the house. "A lot of them are just made of mortared stone. Tends to accumulate a lot of plans and stuff, though, so it breaks down after a while. A lot of towns and even cities just sorta… crumble away when people stop living in them. One a the reasons we do a lot of archaeological research from the academy."

The sphere that Magpie toys with is affixed in its little sconce by some thick, waxy substance that resists, but cannot hold out entirely against prying. It's self-contained, like a bubble of glass, with no visible way to get inside. The sphere itself is about the size of a soccer ball, though, so if Magpie was looking to pocket it, she'd have to have a pretty big pocket.

Muzaji makes a note to herself, she needs to visit the market and find some suitable underwater gear, because without her vest and cloak she lacks pockets to put anything in. Thus she has to resort to just shaking the plants off her hoof and into the water, likely to find some other place to settle. "I see. So this is how they built before you had overworlders to consdier as well." Idly the zebra swims lower to investigate the decorative cobblestones. Because who would actually be walking down here..

Eddy nods rapidly in agreement with Goody's explanation. "Yeah! Your wings can work like giant paddles. You'll have to be careful that you work them well, but… but it'll be like… like paddling a boat!" She peeks back over her shoulder at her dorsal fin. "Though you could just use them to help guide you along, too, if you propel yourself with your legs. Like this." And then, holding her tail still, she pony-paddles through the water using just her two legs.

Heartsong blinks and looks back at her wings. Advantage? "Oh, I don't know about that… heh, I'm not a very good flier." She gives her wings an awkward flap, which might indeed add a little speed, but also shoots her up a good foot or two in the water and twists her sideways, which she did not seem to expect. "Whoops!" She flounders a bit, trying to right herself.

Skyflower seems to be exploring everything, mostly just taking in all the beauty. "Oh, I wish Whistlestop could be here to enjoy this. I'd so love to explore the city with him." She has a dreamy little smile. "Do lunch, see the shops, possibly take in the theater…"

Goody-Horseshoes gives a hearty laugh, "You've got the right idea, but you need a little fine tuning! Try it again, only this time when you flap your wings, try to push back instead of up. Imagine yourself moving forwards."

Eddy continues to hover near Heartsong. "You're a better flier than meeee!" she croons. "Hey! That's a good start. Try flying… swimming… more forward, though. Like…" She holds her hooves out at her sides, then pushes them back behind herself. "Hnunh! Like that."

Eddy points at Goody. "Yeah! He's got the right idea!"

Magpie peeks over at her escort. She has an escort! And it's not like a parent or a cop at all! But he's probably not gonna let her rip off a street light, still. Regretfully, she lets the lamp alone. Sigh. "So," she says, swimming back over to the seapony. "…where d' you wanna go?"

The cobblestones of the road, when viewed up close, look all fancifully carved, but the overall effect is like a stylized representation of a series of waves, all lapping together, and forming a river. Being somewhat ornamental also frees the street to flow over hills and pitch from side to side, further adding to its smooth, river-like effect as it winds its way up and switches back and forth, disappearin ginto the clustered houses of the town.

A few windows are uncovered and lit, and curious faces peek outside at the explorers gathered in the street. Further up the way, a couple of younger seaponies peek out from behind a house, looking towards Tale Chaser and Magpie and Muzaji and Skyflower with wide eyes.

Tale Chaser shrugs at Magpie, gaze downcast. "I dunno," he says. "Where do… where do YOU want to go?"

Heartsong manages to get herself back upright, nodding a bit and watching them both for a second before trying again. Back, not up. A bit more success ensues! She stays on the same level, the flap moving her forward about a yard. She still ends up a little sideways, though. Maybe her wings are uneven? Except she twisted the other way this time. Over-correction, perhaps!

Magpie giggles. She pokes Tales in the chest with a hooftip. "Hey, nu-uh, I asked YOu first!"

Magpie wheedles. "Isn't there someplace you always thought was pretty? Or somewhere you always had fun? Or… something?"

Muzaji mostly just drifts along in the background as the others talk, admiring the artistic scenery.

Skyflower stretches, tilting her neck. She yawns, dramatically. "Oh my, I'm afraid these old bones are getting a bit tired. I do believe I'm going to find a bench and have a bit of a lie down." She smiles. "Tale Chaser, do take care of Magpie, will you?"

Goody-Horseshoes smiles encouraginly at the tiny pegasus, "See! You're starting to get it! Now, try it again, only this time both wings at the same time! And, make sure you aren't pushing one more than the other. If it helps, try facing the direction you want to swim!" He seems rather interested in watching the foal succeed.

Tale Chaser looks with alarm between Skyflower and Magpie, then nods. "Y-yeah…" he says, to Skyflower, then back at Magpie. "Not… not really… I kinda don't go out a whole lot." He reache sup and scratches his cheek with a pastern, glasses skewing out of place. "I wanna go out and do more field work but… but I always end up doing research in the library instead…"

Eddy squints at Heartsong's most recent attempt. Not sure if flying underwater or falling underwater. She shakes her head and smiles cheerfully. "Okay, I've got an idea!" she says, darting close, circling beneath the pegasus and coming up beneath her. "Here- I'll reac out, like this…" She reaches up with both hooves. "You hold on and I'll swim along and pull you with, and you can practice with your wings and see how they affect your movement! It's like training wheels~!"

Magpie bumps against Tale's side. "Let's go find a field to research now!" she says with a grin. "Giddyap!" Swats TC's fishy flank.

Heartsong nods slightly, re-righting herself again. "Right. Evenly." This is tricky for a teen who's still trying to master that 'flying' thing! It's tricky to learn to fly on one's own, after all. As great a caretaker as Pinkie Pie could be, she couldn't exactly teach a Pegasus how to fly! (Well, not with regular wings, anyways.) She blinks and blushes, but reaches out for Eddy's hooves. "O-okay… I, um, I'll do my best! I… sorry for the trouble."

Eddy latches onto Heartsong's hooves and looks about ready to TAKE OFF, but catches herself before she does this. "Okay! Here we goooo!"

Aaaaand little tail-paddlin' follows. Like an outboard motor, the seapony tugs Heartsong along with, swimming away from the moonpool and further out into the open waters. Eddy is forced to roll her head back and watch where she's going upside-down, but doesn't seem bothered, otherwise. "Don't apologize! Really! This is neat! I've never been able to teach a pegasus how to swim before!" She considers. "I think you're the first one I've ever actually known!"

Tale Chaser squawks as he's swatted and reaches back to cover his flanks with his hooves. His cutie mark, by the way, are a pair of scrolls, rolled up and crossed beneath a tablet- a nerdy take on a skull and crossbones theme. "We can't leave the city! Not right now. It's a long way towards anything else. There's just a whole lot of nothin' out there…"

Muzaji chuckles a bit as Eddy and Heartsong motor past her. "Spoken like a true aspiring scholar."

Goody-Horseshoes swims alongside Eddy and Heartsong, a smile across his face. "Brilliant idea, Eddy!" he says to the seamare. "See! You're doing great! You're getting it!" he cheers to the pegasus.

Magpie giggles and pokes TC's nose. "We could go see the stars?" she suggests.

Tale Chaser looks around at the little residential street, then up. "You wanna go all the way up there?" he says, with equal parts curiosity and dubiousness. "It'd be a lot of swimming…"

Magpie smiles. "You like stars, right? The question is…do YOU wanna go?"

Tale Chaser stares at Magpie for a moment, then looks up, then back at Magpie, then up again, then nods. He takes her hoof, if it escaped his again, and starts swimmin' upwards.

It is a long way to the surface. It might take a while to get there. Still, it's easy to figure out where to go, at least, and getting back is similarly straightforward. Or straightdownward, if you will.

The lights and streets and houses slowly fall away. This might sort of be what flying is like! Except soggier.

It takes the young pegasus a little while to get used to the feeling of being towed along enough to start using her wings. They really were something like fins, she imagined - not that she had any clue what fins were like! But if she moved this way, she'd turn that way; if she moved that way, she'd turn this; okay, this all made sense. /Kind of/ like flying, but water's more resistant than air. Okay, there's a trick to this - and she's, gradually, figuring out what that trick is. At least, the trick to not spinning quite so badly.

Magpie smiles at TC. "So… lot of time in the library, huh? Why don'cha come outside more often? If I was a seapony I'd be aaaaaall over this place." And there would be a lot fewer shiny things sitting around.

Wings are a strong enough resisting force that, if Heartsong isn't careful, she can arrest Eddy's gradual pace entirely, or force the seapony to veer to the side. The seapony patiently adjusts as necessary, though, and seems to enjoy the process anyway, grinning up at Heartsong frequently, and waiting for wings and whatnot to get resettled before she paddles further. She keeps the pace slow, lest the effect of an errant wing on their progress be overly exagerated, and works in a slow, broad circle. "You've got the right idea! It's about managing your ~aquadynamics.~"

Soon Tale Chaser and Magpie swim higher than anything else in the city, save for the distant spires of the Academy, a few odd towers here and there and, of course, the elevator in the center of town. That, needless to say, is their constant companion on the ascent gleaming dully in the distance in its muted silver colors. Tale Chaser glances to her. "M'not really old enough to go adventuring. That and the Curator doesn't lket me go out much. He says there's too much research that needs to be done inside… s'just him and me left, now, so someone needs to stick around and work on stuff in the library…"

Muzaji continues to just half-wade, half-drift around, taking in the sights of the scenery laid out before (and below) them.

Goody-Horseshoes has defintely been swimming before, but being that he's the captain of a ship it would be expected. It doesn't take much for him to keep up with the foal and her training pony. "Do you think you're ready to try on your own, or do you want to keep practicing?"

Magpie makes a face. "So you're gonna let some stuffy old catfish tell you not to go outside just 'cause he won't?" She gives Chaser a friendly shoulder punch. "You gotta get out and do stuff or you'll… you'll… I dunno, grow coral or somethin'."

Heartsong gulps a bit, letting out a breath slowly. "I… I think I'm kind of getting it," she says slowly, nodding a bit. "It's kinda like flying, but… well, this is almost more like gliding. But I think I'm kinda getting it…"

"Okay!" crows Eddy. "Now, keep your wings controled, but also kick kick kick~! with your back legs a bit. Like…" Riding a bike? Ponies don't do that. "Like you're running along! With little dainty steps." She keeps her tail churnin' and the progress forward-like. "Watch the wings, don't- yeah! Keep them held right there. Perfect! Now…" Slowly, Eddy draws her hooves back, letting go of Heartsong, to see if she manages to swim along without issue.

Tale Chaser 'ows' at the punch, and frowns at Magpie. "I'm not gonna grow coral. I like the library…" He looks up. Swim, swim, swim. Up, up, up. As the two swim higher, the wharfs and boats that surround the top of the tower can be better scene- dark shapes crowding the surface of the water. Tale Chaser angles away from them, off to the side, so the pair rise towards a more open patch of water to the side. Hitting your head on the bottom of a ship? Not fun. "I'm gonna go tomorrow. I don't think… I don't think he wants me to but I'll hide out on the transport if I have to."

Goody-Horseshoes swims backwards infront of the pegafoal to give her a distraction from Eddy letting go. "Swimming is easy once you learn how to do it. It's really hard to forget how!"

Magpie grins widely. "Yeah! That's the spirit!" She waggles her hind hooves, though how much they're helping with the whole swimming thing is questionable. "I'm not sayin' there's something bad about books or nothin'. I'm just… sayin' it's not good to, y'know, be in there so much you don't even have favorite spots outside."

"I guess…" says Tale Chaser, a bit unsure of himself. Upward and upward the pair swim! Assuming Magpie doesn't make herself too much of an anchor, it's easy enough to pull her along. The floaty helps. The town spreads out along the ocean floor below them, lights glittering. "Where do… where do you like to go?" he wonders. "Wherever it is you live, that is…"

Whoop! Solo swimming! Heartsong keeps on paddling. She does seem to have gotten the hang of the wings better! She's not sideways, that's an improvement. She's not incredibly fast, but she's going forward! And she is beaming very wide. "H-hey! I think I've got it! This is kinda fun!"

Magpie hmmms. "Back in Horseshoe harbor?" She smiles a bit. "Oh… there's great places all over. I used to climb up on top of the Rusty Bucket — that's the ship over there with the rude words on the bottom — and listen to 'em singing." That probably sounds better than it was, 'cause it was a bunch of drunken sailors doing the singing. "Or go up into the mountains back of town and just… sit. It's so quiet out there. Cold, except in the middle of summer. But.. all alone…"

Eddy distances herself a bit more from Heartsong now that it seems like her hovering presence is no longer required. Not that, you know, HEartsong runs the risk of crashing into anything. The worst that is going to happen is that she's going to flounder in place for a bit and not hurt anything but maybe someone else who gets close enough to take a swinging hoof to the nose. But still! Eddy smiles cheerfully. "Yeah! It is, isn't it?!"

Tale Chaser listens quietly, and doesn't really follow up with much else. More swimming ensues. The surface looms nearer with every moment, a gently undulating sheet of dull silver drawing steadily closer. Closer, closer still, and…

Sploosh. Both of the young ponies pop up out of the water. Tale Chaser has pulled them up so that as they surface, they face away from the wharfs and the ships, such that the view is one of uninterrupted ocean spread in all directions. The night is clear, not a cloud in the sky; the moon is nearly full, shining brightly like a white beacon in the sky. It interferes a bit with seeing the stars, but even then, out here, away from the lights of a city, they still spread out and shine clearly, thousands upon thousands of tiny gleaming specks. The ocean rolls gently, bobbing ponies about in the embrace of its waves. Tale Chaser blinks a bit behind his wet glasses, then reaches up to wipe them off and peer upward at the sky.

Goody-Horseshoes beams brightly at the foal again, "See! You're doing it right now! All /on/ /your/ /own/!" He adjusts himself so he's swimming next to her and leans his head in close to hers, "Who knows…with those wings of yours, if you keep practicing you might learn to out-swim us all!"

Magpie takes a nice breath of air and lays back in the water. Stares up at the stars. She wouldn't admit it, but no matter how well built it is, the undersea city still feels stifling, with all those fathoms of seawater pushing down from overhead.

Heartsong giggles shyly at this idea, ears perking. That'd be new! A sentiment she expresses. "I don't know about that, but… I'll keep trying!" She's not really good at physical things. An athlete she is not! But she's still a Pegasus, and she still enjoys some physical activity! And this is kind of fun. Wait 'til she tells all the other ponies back in Daybreak that she went /swimming/!

Tale Chaser stays quiet for now, boggling at the stars for a short while, then turning to look at Magpie. He watches her for a moment, then looks back up, unable to help but smile a little as he reaches up and adjusts his glasses.

Magpie catches Chaser looking at her. She lifts up from the water. "See? There's some really neat stuff you can't get in a library." She lifts up from the water. "Like stars. Or… um…" She pauses, then leans in and pushes her muzzle against Tale Chaser's.

Tale Chaser seems to be caught off guard, eyes widening. He lets go of Magpie's hoof in his surprise and squirms about and seems about ready to pull away and flee, but overcomes that moment of panic and turns to give her a kiss. A rather clumsy kiss, admittedly, and one he pulls back from after a moment, but hey, it's progress, right?

Meanwhile, down below, Eddy has taken to swimming in circles around Heartsong. She seems to be enjoying herself immensely, stopping frequently to cheer the pegasus on or clap her hooves at minor improvements in Heartsong's technique.

Magpie beams widely. She's just as clumsy and new to this whole… kiss… thing… But she pushes herself over to lean against Chaser's side, nuzzling his cheek.

Smiling again, Tale Chaser fixes glasses set askew in the impromptu amateur smooch, then hooks a foreleg around Magpie in the awkward fashion of someone doing what they think you're supposed to do rather than what he feels like doing. Though he finds the results enjoyable all the same, and settles in to admire the stars along with her.