“The Princess has asked us to go on another diplomatic mission, Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy tried to hide the trembling of her limbs. She was not fond of the missions that the Princess saw fit to send her on; usually when it was her that was chosen as the second pony it was because they would be talking to some ferocious animal or scary beast. Fluttershy knew it wasn’t Twilight’s fault, but she was still a bit shaken up from the last trip they had gone on together. All the way up in the Caneighdian Mountains, wouldn’t you know, to try and smooth things between the Norse Ponies and the Scandy Griffons. It had been terrifying when the Griffons had begun screeching obscenities, and Fluttershy had hidden behind Twilight nearly the entire time.
Twilight was incredibly brave. Fluttershy wasn’t even sure why she didn’t just go on these missions herself instead of bringing along another burden to look out for.
But Twilight looked at her pegasus friend with a soft expression. “You don’t have to come if you don’t want to. I know you don’t like it when I drag you along, but I think this time you’ll actually enjoy yourself.” Twilight smiled. “Plus, I really think your talents will really be useful.”
Fluttershy shuffled from hoof to hoof. “Well… I don’t know if I… I’m kind of busy at the moment. I mean… What is it you’re doing?”
Twilight’s eyes sparked and her voice picked up into the tempo of excitement, “We’re going to the seafloor, Fluttershy! We’re going to visit a tribe of seals and renegotiate a treaty!”
Fluttershy furrowed her brow in confusion. “Seals? Seals don’t live on the seabed. They live on land.”
Twilight laughed. “I know! But these seals adapted to the seabed to avoid predators because, get this, they’re permanently infants!”
“Infants?” Fluttershy felt herself straighten. “I don’t understand. How is that possible?”
Twilight tapped her chin with a hoof. “I have no idea! We don’t have much information on them considering they like their privacy, but all I’ve heard is that they look like baby seals their entire lives.”
Twilight and Fluttershy shared a long gaze, each one betraying their burning desire to go and see this phenomenon for themselves. Fluttershy couldn’t help herself. She just had to say yes.
“I don’t mean to suggest you don’t know what you’re doing, but… I didn’t know you knew how to scuba dive.”
Twilight looked up from the straps on her chest at the anxious pegasus. “Well of course I do. I used to go quite regularly when I lived in Canterlot.” Twilight used her magic to adjust Fluttershy’s tank on her back. “This is compressed air. It’ll flow through the tubs to your regulator here.” Twilight pointed the mouthpiece. “Just stay calm and breathe as normally as possible, okay?”
Fluttershy’s eyes darted over Twilight’s air tank. “Um… Are you sure it’s a good idea to use these?”
“Of course! Why not?”
“It’s just…” Fluttershy swallowed. “They’re called “Bombastic Air Tanks” and I don’t…” She trailed off, hiding herself behind a curtain of her hair.
Twilight nudged Fluttershy’s shoulder. “It’ll be alright. This is the brand I’ve always used. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe.”
Fluttershy took a deep breath and nodded. Twilight took a few minutes to show Fluttershy how to breathe with the regulator, and did a few final checks to make sure everything was working right before she led the charge and jumped off the dock. Fluttershy followed a bit less enthusiastically. They swam down, both thoroughly enraptured by the reef around them.
Fluttershy nearly choked when she heard Twilight’s voice in her ears. “Fluttershy? Come in, Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy looked over at the unicorn who mimed a few gestures that Fluttershy did not understand.
“Just talk normally. There’s a com system in the respirator.”
Fluttershy swallowed. “Um… hello?”
“There you go!” Twilight beamed at her. “We’re making our approach. Just remember that we’re diplomats, so try not to treat them like inferiors.” Twilight chuckled. “Not that that’s ever been a problem with you. Rainbow Dash is a pain on these missions. I don’t know why Celestia keeps insisting I take her.”
Fluttershy peered down, and sure enough there was a small gathering of rocks and shells that were arranged in a vaguely town like pattern. Two white shapes darted towards them, and soon enough they became recognizable. Small cylindrical bodies, black beady eyes, tiny noses and whiskers; they were the baby seals Twilight had been talking about. Fluttershy tried to contain her squeals of joy.
“Halt!” The seal on the left barked. “This is as close as you get!”
Fluttershy hadn’t expected them to speak Equestrian! How interesting.
Twilight spoke, “Hello. My name is Twilight Sparkle and this is Fluttershy. We are the representatives from Princess Celestia, here to discuss the TMP Treaty.”
The seal on the right replied, “Well met. I am Donny and this is my right hand seal Robin. Are we correct in assuming you wish to extend your boundaries?”
Twilight chuckled. “Right to business? Very well. The Princess asks that you allow her to shave a bit off of the Kyro Reef so that she can allow for the relocation of some of her other subjects.”
They were so cute. Fluttershy would see tiny black dots above their eyes that looked like eyebrows lower, and they looked as though they were attempting to be threatening.
Robin squeaked, “Other subjects? You mean troublemakers and scoundrels!”
“No no no!” Twilight shook her head emphatically. “They lost their homes to a dragon attack and you of all creatures know how long it takes to regrow a reef!”
Fluttershy really wanted to grab one. She really really wanted to hold one and feel that soft looking fur on her face. They really were tiny. Infantile. Sweet Celestia, she wanted to feed one treats and stroke its belly.
Donny shook his little head. “You expect us to believe that? What would a dragon be doing by a reef?”
Robin piped up, “Yeah! Dragons leave the ocean alone!”
Their squeaky little voices! Fluttershy tried her hardest to suppress a giggle. Twilight shot her a quick glance, but refocused on the task at hand.
“It’s true that dragons typically ignore all bodies of water when rampaging, but didn’t you hear? The dragon plummeted right out of the air and thrashed all over the reef while the second dragon attacked him from above.”
Fluttershy inched a bit closer. She wouldn’t touch. She would just look.
Robin shot Fluttershy a nervous glance. “We did hear of that, come to think of it. Our neighbors in the Krizak Sea made mention of it.”
Donny whipped his tiny tail behind him. “I suppose it would be foolish of us to deny the aid to our brothers of the water.”
“Oh thank you! The Princess will be so pleased to hear this!”
Robin nodded. “Make no mention of it.”
Twilight turned to grin at Fluttershy, but Fluttershy was gone. The protégé of the Princess whirled around to watch in horror as the pegasus cradled an emissary of the baby seal people in her arms and rubbed her cheek against his belly.
“Ooooh! You are just the cutest thing! Aren’t you? Aren’t you?”
“Let me go this instant! You mock me, pony!”
Donny flailed his flippers in a vain attempt to get free.
Robin began ramming her head against Fluttershy’s forearms. “Set him free at once, you brute!”
Twilight could say nothing as her friend simply scooped the other seal into her forearms and cradled them against her chest.
They probably weren’t going to get that aid after all.
The Princess would be so disappointed.
See, what I don’t get is why your other submission is called “What Is This I Don’t Even…” when this story is the one where I was saying that every five seconds. Seriously, I… I… I have a SEA? Donny’s Boy and Robin represent the
Lollipop Baby Seal Guild? The Norse Ponies don’t get along with the Scandy Griffons and Bombastic Air Tanks and Kyro Reef and-and I have a SEA? This is madness, dear, pure madness, and I love it, even if nobody here at TMP is qualified to impartially critique it.