• Published 6th Jun 2018
  • 3,690 Views, 45 Comments

School Recruitment - Calliope Pony



Before opening her School of Friendship Twilight needs to recruit students from Equestria and beyond. Luckily, her friends are there to help.

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Recruiting in Seaquestria

As Rarity approached Mount Aris she considered what her best options might be to alert the seaponies to her presence. Last time they had been lucky that Princess Skystar was at the water’s surface. If they were all deep underwater on this occasion it might simply be a matter of waiting for somepony to surface. Perhaps she could wrap a message around a rock and drop it into the water?

Fortunately, however, all these considerations became moot as she came nearer to the mountain. On her previous visit the city had been nothing more than a ghost town, its inhabitants vanished beneath the waves. Now she could see colorful forms flying around the mountain. With the Storm King gone the hippogriffs must have returned to their former home!

At the city’s gate she was greeted by a tall, handsome hippogriff guard.

“Greetings, Miss. Will you please state your business at Mount Aris?”

“Good day to you, sir. I am Rarity. Princess Twilight Sparkle of Equestria has sent me as a diplomatic envoy. I wonder whether you would be so good as to let me speak with Queen Novo or Princess Skystar please?”

“Certainly, Miss Rarity. Princess Skystar has spoken very highly of Princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends. Please come with me.”

As he led her through the winding streets Rarity turned her head side-to-side trying to take in as much of the view as she possibly could. Everywhere she looked teams of hippogriffs were repairing and restoring buildings, cleaning away accumulated rubble, and tending the plants which grew in profusion. The hippogriff architectural designs were lovely, and she was itching to pull her sketchpad out of her saddlebag. Still, business first! She only hoped that once her mission was completed she might be granted a tour of the city. Or even both cities! She could see definite similarities in the building designs both above and below the water’s surface. How fascinating to see the same styles adapted to different environments! Perhaps she could use it as inspiration for a line of swimwear which could be used for both swimming and for everyday use!

So caught up was she in the aesthetic possibilities that she was caught by surprise when her guide stopped. She looked up to see Princess Skystar zipping from side to side as she directed hippogriffs in various tasks. The young princess was clearly having the time of her life. She didn’t seem to notice the visitor until the guard spoke.

“Princess Skystar, may I present Miss Rarity of Equestria on a diplomatic visit from Her Royal Highness, Princess Twilight Sparkle.” He bowed low, and Rarity followed suit.

Princess Skystar whirled around to stare at Rarity for a moment before letting out a gasp worthy of Pinkie Pie.

“AHHH, Rarity! It is so good to see you again!” She swooped down to hover right in front of Rarity’s face. “How have you all been doing!? How’s Princess Twilight? How’s Pinkie Pie? How’s everypony in Equestria? Are you all doing well since the Storm King’s gone? We’re doing great here! We’re repopulating Mount Aris! Well, duh, obviously you can see we’re repopulating Mount Aris. It was such a mess when we first came back up, but so many of us wanted to fix it up! And guess what? Mother put me in charge of rebuilding! Squeee! Most of the population is still living underwater in Seaquestria, and Mother is mostly staying down there, at least for now. She comes up now and then to see how we’re doing, but so far everything’s going really well. Just see how great everything looks!”

Rarity was grateful for a long association with Pinkie Pie which allowed her to follow Princess Skystar’s extremely fast speech.

“The city is looking truly remarkable, darling. Why, if I didn’t know it was the same place I saw before I simply wouldn’t believe it. You’ve done wonders in such a short time. I do hope that after we’ve had a chance to talk you’ll give me a tour.”

“I’d love to! What do you want to talk about? You said Princess Twilight sent you?”

“Indeed.”

Rarity drew a brochure from her saddle bag and told Skystar about the school and Twilight’s wish to recruit hippogriff students. Skystar’s reaction was encouraging.

“A school of friendship? That sounds like so much fun! I’m sure there’s plenty of young hippogriffs who’d love to go! Come on, let’s show this to mother!”

Without further ado, Princess Skystar grabbed Rarity by the hoof and started pulling her down toward the coast. She called back over her shoulder, “I’m going down to see the Queen! Salina, you’re in charge until I get back!”

They trotted quickly to the water’s edge. Skystar went in up to her fetlocks and turned to face Rarity. “I can turn us both into seaponies to go under. Are you ready?”

Rarity adjusted her girth strap and made sure everything was secure. Twilight had thoughtfully placed a water-proofing spell on her saddlebags and all their contents. Both the brochures and Rarity’s sketching supplies would be fine underwater, but it wouldn’t do to have things accidentally floating off.

“I’m ready. And I would like to tell you how pleased I am to see you find the school so favorable. We are so looking forward to having your students with us.”

“Of course! This sounds like a great idea! And I know mother will think so too.”

***

“Absolutely not.”

Queen Novo had greeted Rarity politely and had listened with courtesy as Rarity pitched the school. But when the unicorn had asked for assistance in recruiting young hippogriffs to come to Equestria the queen’s reply had been immediate and firm.

“But, Mom, why not? The Storm King is gone, so it’s perfectly safe!”

“One threat is gone, Skystar, but that does not make the world perfectly safe.”

Rarity cleared her throat and made a little bow before speaking.

“If I may, Your Majesty. I can assure you that Princess Twilight will have the students’ safety as one of her highest priorities. We would be as distressed as you if anything were to happen to them.”

“I don’t doubt your sincerity, but I have serious concerns. Equestria is a dangerous country. There have been many attacks there by vicious creatures. Furthermore, the Hippogriff kingdom is still weak from the Storm King’s attacks. As you saw above, we are in the middle of a difficult reconstruction. I am already dealing with having my population split between Seaquestria and Mount Aris. I cannot, in good conscience, send some of our youngest and most vulnerable civilians to a foreign country without supervision at this time.”

“I do understand your concerns, Your Majesty. But might I suggest that that is precisely why this would be an opportune time to send students abroad? Princess Twilight has started this school in the hopes that it will strengthen international bonds which will lead to greater unity between nations. Surely this goal is in line with your reconstruction efforts?”

“It is an admirable goal, but the concerns for the fledglings’ safety-”

Queen Novo was cut off as two young seaponies swarmed into the throne room. The filly was pearly pink, and the colt was the color of sea foam. As soon as they saw Skystar they doubled back towards the entranceway and hollered, “Dad! She’s in here!”

A periwinkle stallion swam in followed by a light yellow mare. The mare quietly scolded the two while the stallion apologized.

“Sorry, Novo. I asked them to help me find Skystar, but they should have known better than to interrupt you while you’re with a guest. Kids, say you’re sorry.”

“Sorry, Aunt Novo,” they responded in unison.

“It’s all right,” Queen Novo said. “This is Rarity, an envoy from Equestria. Rarity, this is my sister, Ocean Flow; her husband, Sky Beak; and their children, Silverstream and Terramar.”

Rarity made another little bow. "It is quite an honor to make your acquaintance."

"Likewise." Ocean Flow gave her a warm smile.

Sky Beak offered a much wider grin and said, "I hope you're enjoying your visit, Miss Rarity. And I hope you'll come back again when our rebuilding is complete. Mount Aris is going to be more wonderful than ever by the time we're done. Silverstream, Terramar, say hello to our guest."

The filly and colt were staring agog at Rarity. She was starting to feel just a little bit awkward when they pounced.

"You're from Equestria?"

"Are you really a unicorn as a surface-dweller?"

"Do you know the princesses?"

"Were you there when the Storm King was defeated?"

"What's it like living on the surface?"

"Why are you visiting Seaquestria?"

"How long are you staying?"

Rarity was trying to figure out what to say when Sky Beak came to her rescue. "Kids, kids! She's a guest, not a subject for interrogation. Let the poor mare breathe!"

"Thank you, Sky Beak." Rarity recovered herself quickly. "I'd be quite happy to answer their questions." She turned to the wide-eyed children.

"I am indeed a unicorn from Equestria, and I was present at the defeat of the Storm King. Princess Twilight sent me to Seaquestria, though I don't know how long I'll be here for. Once I have finished my business with the Queen I would be most grateful for the opportunity to visit for a short while."

"Why did a princess send you here?"

Rarity wasn't sure if it would be diplomatic to tell them about the school when she had not yet finished discussing it with the queen. Fortunately, she was spared making a judgment call when Princess Skystar answered the question for her.

"Princess Twilight is starting a school in Equestria to teach about friendship, and she's inviting students from lots of different countries. Rarity's here to convince Mom to send hippogriffs to go there!"

Terramar merely looked curious at the mention of the school, but Silverstream's eyes grew large as saucers. She immediately turned to her parents.

"Mom, Dad, could I go to an Equestrian school?"

The two of them glanced uncertainly at each other. "Well, honey, we'd need to learn a bit more about it before making a decision."

Queen Novo had a fin raised to her eyes as she groaned, "I've just been telling Rarity that I don't feel it would be wise to send our children abroad at this time. We don't know how dangerous it might be."

Silverstream whirled around and practically threw herself at the queen.

"Please, Auntie Novo? We're finally allowed to go to the surface, and it's so amazing, and there's so much to explore, and Skystar told me about Equestria, and it sounds awesome, and I'd love to go and see what it's like, and school here is boring, and going to a friendship school sounds like fun, and I'd get to meet so many other creatures, and maybe I could be an envoy to the ponies like Rarity is to us, and I really, really, really, really want to go!"

Rarity could see the family resemblance between Skystar and Silverstream.

Ocean Flow gently pried her daughter away from Queen Novo and turned to look inquisitively at Rarity.

"Before we make any decisions could you tell us more about this school of yours?"

Rarity gave her best salesmare smile as she levitated some brochures out of her saddlebag. "I'd be delighted."

***

Rarity felt the discussion had gone very well. She had given them the full sales pitch, and they had seemed moderately interested. Ocean Flow and Sky Beak had taken the brochures and promised to talk it over and give their decision in a day or two. In the meantime she was free to explore, and Skystar was eager to act as a tourguide.

Skystar spent the next day showing Rarity the sights in Seaquestria. She was happy to stop anytime Rarity wanted to pull out her pad to sketch a building or the landscape. In the afternoon duties called Skystar to the surface to supervise the workers, and Rarity was free to explore Mount Aris. It was a lovely day.

When evening drew near Rarity made her way back to where Skystar was working. As she approached the princess she was surprised and pleased to see the family (now all in hippogriff form) coming from the opposite direction. When they saw Rarity Silverstream ran ahead to greet her.

"Rarity! Mom and Dad said I can go to the school!"

Rarity beamed at Ocean Flow and Sky Beak as they came up to her.

"I am so pleased to hear that! I know Princess Twilight will love having your daughter as a pupil."

Skystar flew over to join them. "How did you get Mom to agree to let her go into the big, scary world?"

Ocean Flow gave a little smile that might almost be described as a smirk. "Novo may command all the seaponies and hippogriffs, but she's never commanded her baby sister. She's insisting on sending a royal escort to take Silverstream to the school, but aside from that she'll trust our judgment.

"Now it's getting late. Skystar, why don't you and Rarity join us for dinner?"

"Sounds good, Aunt Ocean. Come on, Rarity!"

As they all made their way down to the water Rarity chatted a bit with Terramar.

"Are you at all interested in coming to school with your sister?"

The colt looked a little bashful as he replied, "I'm just starting to explore Mount Aris. I mean, visiting Equestria might be fun, but there's so much right here, and it would be so far away from home…"

He trailed off. Rarity laid her hoof reassuringly on his shoulder.

"Don't worry about it, darling. I completely understand. I do hope you'll come to visit us sometime, though."

"That would be fun. And I bet Silverstream will really like it. She's already looking forward to going."

As they stepped into the water and transformed Ocean Flow gave a little sigh. "That's better. I just can't seem to get used to walking on four legs again after swimming for so long."