Standard disclaimer: This is a not for profit fan work. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is copyright Hasbro, Inc. I make no claim to any copyrighted material mentioned herein.
Chapter 2: The Road to the Equestria Games
Blue Seas was practicing swimming in the family’s pond when he noticed a small shadow on the surface. He looked up and spotted his little sister flitting above.
“Hi, Cirrus!” he called.
“Hi, Blue Seas! Are you swimming fast?”
“I’m focusing on swimming fast and in proper form,” he replied. He stopped swimming and paddled to shore. “Don’t you have chores to do?”
“Nope! All done!”
“Don’t you have my chores to do?”
“Nope! I beat Juniper at a game of Battleclouds, and now he has to do them!”
“You’d think he’d have learned by now.” Blue Seas was back at home, with less than a month to practice for the Equestria Games. He spent almost every waking hour swimming, in the Ponyville pool when it was open, and here at the pond when it wasn’t.
He still hadn’t talked to his family about what he learned about his heritage. He wasn’t sure what to say. But maybe he could show them?
“Hey, Cirrus?” he called. “There’s something I want to show everypony. Some new magic.”
“New magic? What is it?” She zoomed down, hovering right by his face.
“But, I’m not sure it’s going to work. Can you stand on the ground, behind that tree? And no peeking!”
Cirrus frowned, but flew over to where Blue Seas said to go. Blue Seas concentrated, reaching out to the seapony magic living inside him. He thought about the water, about the desire to swim as fast as possible. He felt the magic collecting in him, but instead of being focused through his horn, it flowed across his body, accumulating in his hind legs. Then he felt it. The transformation wasn’t painful at all; in fact, it felt a lot like a sudden muscle cramp. He looked down, and saw his seapony tail.
He looked over to Cirrus. He wasn’t surprised to find her peeking. But by sending her away from the water, she wouldn’t be able to see his change.
“Okay, Cirrus. I’m done. Could you ask everypony in the family to come here? Tell them it’s important.”
“Important. Got it!” Cirrus zipped away.
Blue Skies swam a few laps with his tail, relishing the power and control the appendage offered him. He could feel the ambient magic in the water much more strongly, to the point of sensing changes in the motion of the water at all depths at once. He only swam for a short while, as he wanted his tail concealed when his family showed up.
A few minutes later, his parents and four siblings approached. “What’s up, son?” Golden Harvest asked.
“When I was at the meet in Fillydelphia, I met some other swimmers. They had manes that looked like mine, and I was like them in another way. They all have a seapony parent, and... well, so do I.” Blue Seas twisted, floating on his back, revealing his seapony tail.
They all stared for a while. Finally, Golden Grain broke the silence. “Well, isn’t that something.”
“Guess that explains why you’re a natural swimmer,” Red Streak said.
“I think this is a wonderful surprise!” Golden Harvest said. “You’ve always been special to us, Blue Seas.”
“Where was your tail hiding?” Junebug asked.
“I had to use some kind of transformation magic,” Blue Seas said. “It uses some innate power that I didn’t know I had until my swimming friends in Fillydelphia helped me unlock it. All I know is it’s not normal unicorn magic.”
Cirrus flew up to him, poking his tail curiously. She then glomped onto his tail, wrapping all four legs around it. “Look, Daddy! I caught the fish! I’m a fisherpony just like you!”
Blue Seas laughed. “You haven’t caught me yet!” He swished his tail and splashed the surface, drenching Cirrus. But she gamely held on.
“Looks like you caught a fighter!” Golden Grain said.
Blue Seas swam around the pond, being careful to stay near the shore. Cirrus giggled as she fought being dislodged. Eventually, she was laughing too hard to keep her grip, and plunged into the water. Blue Seas picked her up and took her back to shore.
“Dinner’s about to be ready,” Golden Harvest said. “Why don’t you two clean up and head inside?”
“Okay!” Cirrus chirped.
“Okay, Mom,” Blue Seas said. He frowned. “Just as soon as I figure out how to get my legs back.”
There was somepony else he wanted to share his heritage with. Two days later, Blue Seas took some time to visit Pumpkin Cake. He met her at Sugarcube Corner, after the young mare was finishing her shift at the bakery. Pumpkin Cake was halfway in one of the ovens, scrubbing it. She finally finished, crawling out and brushing the soot off her hooves. She peeled off her dirty apron and the headband that had been securing her mane, dropping both in a nearby hamper. That left her mane all askew, partially plastered to her head with sweat. Blue Seas couldn’t help but find that cute.
“How’s the swimming going?” Pumpkin Cake asked.
Blue Seas dropped his saddlebags on the floor. “I’m practicing ten hours a day on most days. I have to schedule things like this just to force myself away from the water.” He opened one of his saddlebags, retrieving a bunch of flowers. “Since I’ve been spending so much time by the pond, I picked some wildflowers.”
“Thanks! I love those!” Pumpkin Cake levitated the bouquet over to her, and took a bite of the sweet flowers. The succulent blooms melted on her tongue. She took another bite, and then offered the bouquet to Blue Seas.
“Thanks,” he said, and then took a bite. He left the rest for Pumpkin Cake; she actually liked the stems.
“So you’ve been swimming, and I’ve been baking. Anything else new?” Pumpkin Cake asked.
“When I was in Fillydelphia, I learned one of my birth parents was a seapony.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense.” Pumpkin Cake looked at him skeptically. “Did Pinkie put you up to this?”
“No. It’s true! Watch this.” Blue Seas concentrated, and he touched the reserve of seapony magic within him. He felt the change, and then fell to the floor, his seapony tail hitting the wooden surface with a heavy thud.
Pumpkin Cake stared for a moment. “I guess you weren’t joking.” She watched Blue Skies expectantly. “Aren’t you going to change back?”
“It’s going to take me a while to change back. I’m not really good at this magic,” Blue Seas admitted. He laughed. “I didn’t really think this through, did I?”
Pumpkin Cake shook her head. “Let’s get you into the bathtub.” She concentrated, and he felt her magic lifting his seapony tail. With the counteracting force, he was able to walk awkwardly on his forelegs. It was a lot like foals playing wheelbarrow.
After awkwardly traversing the stairs, Blue Seas was more than happy to flop into the bathtub. “Do you want water?”
“Sure, I guess.” Blue Seas realized he didn’t know much about this form. Would his tail start itching if he spent time out of water? In any case, the cool water was welcome. He must have gotten some dirt or flour under his scales when he fell to the ground, as he felt relief when the water washed over his tail. But the tub made him feel restless. He couldn’t swim, and the sensations from his tail were making him feel slightly claustrophobic.
“Sorry I doubted you, Blue Seas,” Pumpkin Cake said. “It’s just that Pinkie Pie’s been trying to prank me recently, and since I know all her tricks, I was afraid she’d gotten to you.”
“Don’t worry about it, sweetie.”
“So, uh... a seapony.”
“Yeah. I guess, looking back, it makes sense, but it’s still a surprise.”
“How did you find out?”
Blue Seas recounted his experiences at the meet in Fillydelphia, about how he met other swimmers that shared his mane style and the race that caused him to transform for the first time. “And they’d never heard of somepony not knowing about their seapony heritage.”
“Does that mean Princess Twilight Sparkle is related to seaponies?”
“More likely, the seapony is my father.” Blue Seas idly flicked at the water in the tub with his fins. “I’m just trying to figure out how my mother and father met.”
“What about the other half-seaponies? How did their parents meet?” Pumpkin Cake asked.
“I didn’t really ask them. I gathered they all knew both sides of their families, so I guess it was some lonely sailor meeting a seapony, and falling in love. And love makes them do silly things, like marrying somepony you can only see when one of you is using magic. Except in my case, that love didn’t last, and my mother gave me up for adoption.”
“How do you know it was your mother? We’re talking about seaponies. Maybe it was your father who gave you up. Remember that section in health class?”
“Yeah.” Blue Seas chuckled. The health class section on reproduction was an awkward experience. Nopony really wanted to be there, not even the teacher. The lessons included details specific to the three kinds of ponies, various other equines, and other races that ponies could be fertile with, including griffons and seaponies. And the bland textbook description of how seapony stallions carry the foal to term triggered titters from the fillies and uncomfortable looks from the colts. “I really hope this doesn’t mean I have to bear a foal.”
“And what do you have against bearing foals?” Pumpkin Cake asked crossly.
“Nothing, it’s just, you know, stallions aren’t supposed to....” Blue Seas trailed off. “Wait a minute!” He tried to get out of the tub, but then remembered he was missing two legs still. “Pumpkin Cake, would you get my saddlebags from downstairs?”
“What is it?”
“Just go, and hurry!”
Though confused, Pumpkin Cake left the bathroom, soon returning with Blue Seas’s saddlebags. He opened it with his magic, searching until he pulled out a paper scroll.
“I wrote down the heritage spell you tried to cast before I returned the book to the library,” Blue Seas explained. “I want to see something about it.”
Blue Seas unrolled the scroll, placing it where he and Pumpkin Cake could see it. The scroll was covered with the arcane pictographs used to record unicorn magic, each symbol representing a magical motion used in shaping the spell. But each phrase of several symbols also held a meaning, one that could be translated into basic Equestrian.
“So if I translate this spell, I get something like ‘Search through the connections of heritage and reveal the soul of the mare that carried the subject.’ Right?” Blue Seas said.
“Yes, I think so,” Pumpkin Cake replied.
“This phrase, it means mare, specifically, right? It’s not used in a generic sense for all ponies, or all adult ponies?”
“Right. Stallion would have a clockwise flourish instead of a counterclockwise one in that symbol.”
“So if the spell is designed to reveal the mare who bore me, but it wasn’t a mare who bore me, the spell wouldn’t work, right?”
“It would probably return a null response. Like the one I got!” Pumpkin Cake said excitedly.
Blue Seas grasped Pumpkin Cake’s foreleg. “So could you try the spell again? Except, this time, looking for a stallion?”
“Okay. I’ll try.” Even though the spell was being changed in the simplest of manners, one that unicorns learned while still foals, Pumpkin Cake still felt nervous. She took a deep breath, steadying herself before attempting the complex spell. She focused her magic on Blue Seas, shaping the energies in her mind to follow the pathways of heritage.
Like when she first attempted the spell, a glowing patch appeared. This time, the glow brightened. Colors appeared, mist formed definite shape, and soon, a cutie mark appeared.
“You did it!” Blue Seas exclaimed. “But what is it? A magic star?”
“No, there’s eight points, not six. And it looks more like two shapes overlaid.”
“It looks kind of nautical.”
“I know! It’s a compass rose,” Pumpkin Cake said. “Kind of like the one Daring Do has, but not as detailed.”
“A compass rose? Like, an explorer? That actually makes sense.”
“So what are you going to do with this information?”
“I’m not sure,” Blue Seas admitted. “An explorer could be living anywhere, or he could be retired by now. But seaponies are insular. I can’t imagine there are that many ponies who visit the seapony waters.”
“So you’re kind of in the same place as before?”
“Yeah, I guess. If Princess Twilight Sparkle won’t talk....”
The bathroom was quiet for a while. “Have you heard from those other half-seaponies?” Pumpkin Cake asked.
“I got a letter from one of them, but it was more advice on the Equestria Games. Like, pay attention to the official communications, what to do at the athletes’ village, and bring an extra trunk.”
“An extra trunk?”
“Yeah. Apparently, we’ll get a lot of free things, and I’ll be coming home with a lot more than what I brought with me.” He splashed his tail in the tub. “But I think my questions about this are better asked in person.”
“Do you think you’re ready to change back yet?” Pumpkin Cake asked.
Blue Seas closed his eyes, feeling for his magic. Not experiencing that exhausted sensation that came immediately after he changed, he focused. Again, he felt the strange stretching as his seapony tail split into two legs.
Pumpkin Cake held a towel in her telekinetic aura. “Come on, let’s get you toweled off.”
Blue Seas dried off. “So, how about a nice, normal walk around Ponyville?” he suggested.
“That sounds good to me.”
Three weeks later, Blue Seas stood with his family, Pumpkin Cake, and Scootaloo on the platform of the Ponyville train station. Two trunks rested on the ground near him. All around, ponies were embarking and disembarking.
“Good luck, son. We’ll be there for the opening ceremonies,” Golden Grain said.
“We’ll all be cheering for you!” his mother added.
“Don’t forget to stretch!” Scootaloo cautioned. “If you’re going to injure yourself, do it in an awesome way!”
Blue Seas laughed. “I’ll stretch, drink plenty of water, and turn in early. I promise!”
Cirrus flew up and hugged him. She was soon joined by the rest of his family.
Once that hug ended, Pumpkin Cake sneaked in and gave Blue Seas a quick peck. “For good luck.”
“Thanks.” Remembering the skill of the other swimmers he met, he mentally added “I’ll need it.”
“All aboard for Baltimare!” the conductor announced.
Blue Seas had one last hug for his mother. “I’ll be looking for you in the crowd during the opening ceremonies.” He picked up his trunks and boarded the train. Taking a seat by the window, he smiled at his family. As the train started moving, he waved. They waved back, with Cirrus even following after the train until its speed was too much for the young pegasus.
Blue Seas sighed and looked out the window. The train car held only a few ponies, a situation that would soon change as spectators headed to Equestria’s nautical capital for the quadrennial Equestria Games. He wondered if anypony else on the train was an athlete. But for now, it was just Blue Seas, his thoughts, and the rhythmic sound of the train.
It was a rather boring train trip. The train stopped at a number of towns even smaller than Ponyville. Blue Seas managed to doze off at some point. It at least made the six hour trip go by faster.
When the train arrived, Blue Seas grabbed his trunks and disembarked. He looked around, noticing a large banner.
Equestria Games Athletes – Check In
Below the banner, a mare waited at a booth. Blue Seas approached. “I’m here for the Games,” he said.
“Welcome to Baltimare. Can I have your name and home town?” the mare replied.
“Blue Seas. Ponyville.”
She checked a list, and then took a pencil in her mouth and marked her list. “Do you have your luggage?”
“Good. Please have a seat over there. Once everypony is off the train, our carriage will take you to the athletes’ village.”
Five minutes later, the same mare came by. “Looks like it’s just you,” she said.
Blue Seas nodded and rose. He followed her to the entrance of the station, where a number of carriages were waiting. “Hey, Porter, one for the village.”
A burly earth pony stallion behind a two-pony carriage tipped his hat. “Right away. Need any help with your luggage, sir?”
“No, I’m fine,” Blue Seas replied. With each trunk only half full, he had no problem lifting them with his telekinesis. He loaded them into the rear of the carriage, and took one of the seats.
Porter released the brake and started pulling the carriage, pulling out onto the street. The train station was near the docks. Towering ships could be seen over the roofs of the warehouses. The smell of the ocean was even more prominent than Fillydelphia.
The stallion expertly maneuvered through traffic. He darted around slower wagons and took shortcuts through alleys and side streets.
“Is this your first visit to Baltimare?”
Blue Seas was impressed. Despite his physical exertion, Porter sounded like he was making normal conversation. “Yes, it is,” he replied. Living on a farm means one doesn’t often get away.
“Everypony in Baltimare is proud to be hosting the games. See those buildings up there?”
Blue Seas looked up. There in the sky were a number of cloud buildings. “Uh-huh.”
“Those are temporary cloud hotels. The pegasi from Covert built them to host our visitors. And they’ll be disassembled afterward.”
Porter was rather talkative, narrating Blue Seas’s trip. He pointed out landmarks and several of the facilities that would be used during the Games. Finally, they arrived at Royal Baltimare University. “I’ll drop you off at the dorms,” Porter said.
Once out of the carriage, Blue Seas was immediately met by another volunteer. She wore a blue collar. Now that he thought about it, that mare at the train station wore one too. “Do all the volunteers wear those collars?”
“That’s right. If you have any questions, talk to one of us, and we’ll help you. You’re in room 213. There’s an orientation meeting in the cafeteria every evening at 5:00. There’s a schedule on the wall of carriages to the various practice facilities. Again, if you have any questions, ask one of us.”
“Thanks.” Blue Seas took his trunks to his room, a standard dormitory room with two beds. The room was currently unoccupied, but judging by the bags in the room, his roommate was already here.
Blue Seas headed back downstairs and wandered around the athletes’ village. All around him were young ponies, all at the peak of physical fitness and most quite attractive. If he didn’t have a marefriend at home....
“Like what you see?”
Blue Seas looked to see the speaker. It was definitely one of the half-seaponies he had met at the trials. His mane was a blend of violet and magenta, contrasting with his midnight blue coat. Blue Seas remembered it was the stallion from Baltimare. “Sea Star, right?”
“That’s me. How are you feeling, Blue Seas?”
“Well, the surprise has worn off. But there’s so much I don’t know about myself.”
“I thought you might have some questions. Fortunately, we’re roommates, so you’ll have plenty of time to ask them.”
“What?” Blue Seas exclaimed.
Sea Star smiled. “I knew one of the volunteers in charge of housing. I asked for a favor. I figure, it’s the least I could do after how we treated you.”
“You don’t need to apologize. There’s no way you could have known.”
“Let’s sit together for dinner. I’ll leave you to your pony watching.” Sea Star placed a hoof on Blue Seas’s withers and leaned in close. “And if you need the room to yourself, put a hanger on the door.”
A moment later, Blue Seas figured out what Sea Star meant, and he blushed.
Blue Seas was surprised at how friendly his fellow athletes were. Certainly, the athletes he knew locally were good ponies, but he was afraid that, at this higher level, competitiveness would make them unfriendly. But even the ponies who directly competed on the field were cordial to each other.
He was content with making small talk, even when sharing a table in the dining hall with Sea Star. Because of that, he wasn’t surprised when Sea Star spoke to him that night, as they were getting ready for bed. “I take it you didn’t want to talk about your heritage in public?”
“Yeah. ‘Hi. I’m Blue Seas, and sometimes I have a fish tail.’ How do you even start?”
“Normally? I don’t. If I say I’m going to spend the week with my father’s family, most ponies will assume that my parents are divorced, not that my father lives underwater,” Sea Star said.
“You live with your mother?”
“Yes. Well, lived. I’m on my own now.”
“What was that like?”
“Let’s see.” Sea Star thought for a moment. “My best friend growing up spent most of his time living with one parent. His father was a traveling salespony, and he only saw him a couple times a month. So when they were together, they made the most of that time. It was the same for me. We worked at staying together as a family.”
“How did your parents meet?” Blue Seas asked.
“Dad was a trader. Not a lot of seaponies are comfortable in dry space, even if almost all can transform, so he was always busy trading with the surface. Mom ran a seaside resort. They say it was love at first sight. And judging by the way they still act all nauseatingly cute around each other, I’m inclined to believe them.”
“I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that. My parents have, I don’t know, an intense familiarity, if that makes sense.”
“I think I get what you’re saying. So my parents made sacrifices to make their relationship work. There was all that time apart. Relationships with landponies are still considered strange in the seapony world, so my father had to deal with that. Plus, he wouldn’t know the joys of fatherhood. Uh, you know about that, right?”
“You mean pregnancy? Yes, we had that lesson in health class.” Something hit Blue Seas. “Do we have to worry about becoming pregnant?”
Sea Star laughed. “No. Not unless you’re with a full-blooded seapony. Our unicorn heritage dominates for purposes like that.”
“That’s a relief.” Blue Seas reflected for a moment. “What is a seapony city like?”
“Smaller. Mariana—that’s where my father is from—only has a few thousand seaponies. Everything looks more organic, built from coral and stone and shaped by magic. Instead of roads, we have currents, and we can have doors at any level of our buildings. But really? You’ll be surprised about how much is the same.”
“I think I’d like to travel there sometime. Maybe I’ll meet my birth mother.”
“I’d recommend visiting the capital of Atlantis, which is near Fillydelphia. Maybe one of the others could take you there; their families are all from Atlantis.”
“That would be very nice,” Blue Seas said. “I’d have to talk to my parents about it first, though.”
“Yeah,” Sea Star replied. “Wait a minute. You said you might meet your birth mother. Why do you think your mother is a seapony?”
“I used a heritage spell. It identified that a stallion bore me. A stallion with a compass rose cutie mark. I’d probably have better luck finding out his identity by going to Atlantis, right?”
“What do you mean?” Sea Star asked.
“There are a lot more ponies than seaponies, right?”
“By orders of magnitude.”
“But the number of ponies who visit the seapony cities has to be even smaller. So hopefully, someone would remember an explorer who visited.”
“Maybe not,” Sea Star cautioned. “Your father could be a sailor, maybe a ship’s navigator. They might have, uh, trysted on the surface.”
“Oh,” Blue Seas uttered. He was so sure he knew something about his father, but Sea Star had another idea. And he had to admit Sea Star’s idea made more sense.
“What do your parents do?” Sea Star asked.
Blue Seas was grateful he changed the subject. “They’re farmers. Carrots and wheat, mostly.”
“Do you work on the farm?”
“I have chores, but not so much related to growing things. I have a brother and sister—earth ponies—who can use their magic to help with the growing, but their special talents are going to take them away from the farm And two other siblings, both pegasi. We’re all adopted.”
“Wow. I’m an only child. So are the other guys. It comes with the territory of having families like ours.”
“When you have younger siblings, there are many days you wish you were an only child,” Blue Seas said with a laugh.
“I guess that’s why I get along with the swimmers from Fillydelphia. They’re the brothers I never had. And I think I speak for all of us that’s it’s nice to welcome a long-lost brother.”
“Thanks. I really mean it,” Blue Seas said.
“The others are arriving tomorrow. Let’s all practice together, and at dinner, you can ask them about Atlantis. I know they like to visit after big tournaments, so maybe you could join them.”
“I’d like that. I’ll need to talk to my parents, of course.”
“Blue Seas, it sounds like you get along well with your adoptive parents. Are you sure you want to go looking for your birth parents?”
“I am.” He paused. “It’s hard to explain. I have loving parents, great friends, and a friendly community, but even after all of this, there’s this hole in my soul that comes from not knowing. I’d love to build a relationship with my birth parents. But even if I can only meet my birth parents once, it will make me feel complete. I know it might be painful to meet them, but it might also be wonderful, and it hurts not to know which it is.”
“It’s your decision. But no matter what, we’ll all be there to help you learn about your seapony heritage. Tomorrow. I think I need to get to sleep.”
“All right. Good night, Sea Star.”
“Good night, Blue Seas.”
Blue Seas closed his eyes and reflected on the day. He didn’t know what to expect when he arrived in Baltimare. Thoughts about his heritage could have been a huge distraction, one he didn’t need right now. But after talking to Sea Star, he now felt a lot more comfortable in his skin.
Even the part with scales attached.