On Tuesday afternoon in Rainbow Dash’s gym at the School of Friendship, Sandbar, Yona, Gallus, Silverstream, Ocellus, and Smolder stood in a line facing Rainbow Dash herself and Starlight Glimmer.
“Master Rainbow Dash,” Ocellus said, “before we go, can you tell us about you know…how you’ve been with the uh…you know.”
“Dude,” Sandbar said, leaning in, “I don’t think Counselor Starlight knows.”
“Actually, she does,” Ocellus informed him, “and this is really my first chance to ask in a long time. Professor Dash is always busy outside of school hours.”
“You are?” Gallus put the question to Rainbow.
“I do have like four jobs now,” Rainbow told him. “The school is just one of them. None of you are nocturnal, right?” She pointed a hoof with the question.
They collectively shook their heads. Silverstream asked, “No, we’re not, but why does that matter?”
“Only in that I sometimes stop by the school gym to exercise at night, so if you any of you really want to ask or talk about it, I’m there. Most of my jobs are day jobs,” Rainbow admitted.
“Can we really?” asked a hopeful Ocellus. “So it’s true that master mevs don’t need much sleep. I found only one book about mevs, and I was hoping that I could ask you about it.”
“Mevs: An Explanation?” Rainbow asked.
Ocellus nodded with a smile.
“I have a copy at home. I’m glad the mev thing has turned into more of a curiosity than anything else,” Rainbow told them, mainly referring to Ocellus, “but we could be here all day if I went on about that. This field trip is for the school. The good news is we’re meeting some friends of mine who know about my mev status as of yesterday, so you don’t have to talk around that. We should still be focused on the lesson: Teamwork.”
“So, where are we going?” Smolder asked. “Somewhere out there,” she gestured, “for an outdoor sport? Soccer maybe.” She grew contemplative, trying to guess.
Starlight shook her head. “Nope. Rainbow has something very different in mind for today.”
“We’re going on an air ship,” Rainbow declared proudly, raising herself into a hover.
“That could be cool,” Smolder thought aloud.
“Yona not sure Yona likes this idea,” Yona noted quietly.
“Don’t worry,” Sandbar said. “Most of our friends can fly, and Professor Dash is the fastest flier around. She saved four ponies at once once,” he told her in a reassuring tone.
“You did?” Smolder asked, widening her eyes. “When did that happen?”
Rainbow blushed, patting the back of her mane. “Yes. I really do want to brag, but we’ll never leave at this rate. If I can squeeze in the story on the trip, I’ll tell you.”
“So, how are we going to get there?” Silverstream asked. “An air ship must be really far. You’re strong, Master Professor Dash, but I don’t think you could carry all of us.”
“Heh,” Rainbow chuckled to herself that she probably could handle more than they knew. “We have an escort with Counselor Starlight here. We’ll be teleporting.”
Gasps and murmurs ran through the group.
Rainbow Dash touched down to the ground and nodded in Starlight’s direction. “Starlight, if you would…”
Starlight’s magic lit on her horn, and the entire group flashed away to land on the air ship in question.
“There they are, scallywags,” Captain Celaeno said. “Master Rainbow Dash’s class from Equestria.”
“Pirates?” Gallus asked, a small smile starting to form on his face.
“Professor Dash, you’re going to teach us teamwork on how to be pirates?” Ocellus posed the question nervously.
“They prefer the term ‘swashbuckling treasure hunters’,” Rainbow explained, “and they’ve been delivery birds in the past. All the same, we’re here to focus on the team part of running a ship together. This here is my good friend, Captain Celaeno.” Rainbow hovered over to the pirate in question to give another hoof bump like from the day before.
At this, the students seemed to be quite impressed, even Ocellus, despite herself.
Celaeno went on to explain the different roles of her crew. “I’m the captain, so that means I steer and make the big decisions for us as a group. This here is Lix Spittle,” she gestured to the stocky and short bird in question. “She’s our cook.”
Lix grinned at them and gave a little wave.
The students stared on and listened while nodding at the same time.
“Mullet,” Celaeno gestured over to a lean green figure wearing a bandana and eyepatch, “is our navigator. Basically, once I’ve decided where we’re headed, he takes on directing us how to get there.”
Mullet nodded in the affirmative.
“Boyle,” Celaeno gestured at a stocky green figure who stood wider than Mullet and taller than Lix, “is our engineer. He looks after the machinery of the ship itself.”
“Got that right,” Boyle said with a nod.
“And Squabble…” Celaeno gestured over to a short light green figure with eyes that pointed out in different directions.
Celaeno smiled. “…helps out for anything the rest of us need. Now, there are five of us, and six students here, so I’m going to pair off most of you with one of us, but two of you will be with me.” She noticed Yona shivering in fear and standing close to Sandbar. “You two, with me,” she ordered.
Sandbar nodded in agreement and then looked at Yona, nodding that she should join them. Yona nervously complied.
Smolder was paired with Lix who helped prepare snacks to give to the crew. Gallus was paired with Mullet who showed him maps of where the crew had been and where they were going after the lesson would be over. For now, they’d help navigate the general area to keep an eye out for storm clouds or such hazards. Silverstream was paired with Boyle who showed her around the ship and the inner workings of the engine. Ocellus was with Squabble, who didn’t talk but would escort her around from one pair to the other and gesture for her to observe, which she did. Being with Captain Celaeno helped ease Yona’s nerves.
The crew finished explaining their roles and letting the students try a turn at helping them. Ocellus and Squabble made the rounds again to gather everyone on deck to re-convene. Lix Spittle and Smolder served up the snacks they prepared. Not long after, the ship was running quite smoothly. As everyone stood proud of the work they’d done, Mullet said, “We should do the song while Rainbow’s here.”
“Oh, what song?” Silverstream asked, hovering with interest.
“Time to Be Awesome,” Lix Spittle informed her.
“What do you say, Rainbow? We’ll change up the lines a little since things are better for the crew, but the core thing will sill be there,” Boyle encouraged.
“A reprise!” Lix said, raising her fist with enthusiasm.
Squabble squawked to affirm his agreement at the idea.
“It would be a good way to wrap up your lesson,” Captain Celaeno pointed out. “We still haven’t seen the rainboom.”
“You don’t have to ask me twice,” Rainbow said. She looked at her students. “This is another kind of teamwork. Prepare yourselves for a performance. All of you are on drums. Trust me, it’s easy. Follow the lead of our treasure hunting friends.”
The students looked at each other and then smiled to look up at their teacher. Starlight stood with a ready, curious smile of her own. She had only heard about her friends’ adventure second-hand. The song was news to her. The pirates readied a number of wooden crates for themselves in one cluster and the students in another on the deck. Starlight sat opposite them to be the observing audience.
From her hover, Rainbow began to sing:
I know the world can get you down
Things don’t work out quite the way that you thought
Feeling like all your best days are done
Your fears and doubts are all you’ve got
But there’s that light, shining deep inside
Beneath those fears and doubts so you squashed ’em
She gestured to the captain when she reached the line, “And let it shine for all the world to see,” right before “That it is time, yeah, time to be awesome.” She twirled in mid-air, stretching out her forelimbs wide.
The pirates began the drums Rainbow mentioned. The background lines echoed through, “Ah, ah ah, ah, awesome / It’s time to be so awesome.”
Smolder, Yona, Sandbar, and Silverstream were clearly the most into the drumming. Ocellus started off timidly but did her best. Gallus stared at the whole thing as if confused at first but did his part nonetheless.
Celaeno began her updated part singing in the space between the drummers and Starlight so that they could all be the audience of her and Rainbow as the leading duo.”You’ve no idea how hard it’d been“. The background vocals from the pirates softly added again, “It’s time to be awesome.” The captain of the ship continued, “That dull routine we were forced to do.”
Still hovering with flapping wings, Rainbow sang, “You didn’t let them rob who you are,” patting a tip of the captain’s hat. Celaeno smiled in agreement. Rainbow gestured her forelimb in a wide sweep emphatically indicating the students instead of Celaeno as she sang, “Be awesome, it’s all up to you!“. A quiet “awesome” from the background vocals could be heard. The students felt it in their hearts, the magic of those words from one friend to many and how important it was from a time when such friends were down on their luck. By this part of the ensuing performance, all of the group, class and crew alike, were clearly enjoying themselves.
Celaeno continued her turn next with, “I feel the light, stirring deep inside / It’s like a tale still yet to be told,” followed by another,”It’s time to be so awesome,” from the background.
Together Rainbow and Celaeno sang:
And it was time
To break the shackles free
And start living like
The brave and the bold
The pirates parted their crates to ready themselves as further support to the song. They brought out a chest to give the students accessories to wear, bandannas for Silverstream and Gallus, hats for all the others, including the largest they could find for Yona. “It’s time to be awesome,” Mullet, Boyle, and Lix sang.
Rainbow and Celaeno followed with, “Let loose, be true, so awesome“.
“It’s time to be awesome,” the rest of the singing crew sang again.
“Go big, be you, so awesome” Rainbow and Celaeno declared together.
The students grasped with all the movement and latest verse that a new phase of the performance was upon them.
Mullet grabbed a mildly startled Starlight Glimmer as he rode, swooshing on a rope. He sang, “We get to soar through the clouds of the skies.” Starlight gave way to a smile as she listened and felt the wind against her mane in the swoop.
On the floorboards of the deck, Lix Spittle sang, “Elaborate schemes we do love to devise,” while marking spots on a map. Yona, Ocellus, and Sandbar crouched down to see the map as they listened and watched.
Boyle brought out a treasure chest as he sang, “We rescue our treasure and store it away.”
Celaeno joined him and added, “Saving these gemstones for a rainy day.” She held up one such gemstone in front of Smolder who looked at it with hungry, interested eyes licking her lips, knowing not to take and simply appreciate it.
Everyone together continued, even the students and Starlight could sing along by this point. “We see that light / Filling up our skies.“
Rainbow sang, “We took the Storm King’s orders and tossed ’em.”
Captain Celaeno gave an affirmative nod.
Silverstream balled up her claws together, shook them tight close to her chest and couldn’t help herself, letting out an excited, relatable shriek.
Again, everyone sang, this time, “‘Cause it’s time to let our colors fly,” immediately followed by Celaeno with her final sung line of, “Hey scallywags, it’s time to be awesome!“
More drums and declaratory “Hey!” proclamations filled the air. The singing itself was finished for all, but the performance required a little more.
“We saved this part for you, Rainbow,” Celaeno told her friend and then addressed her crew. “Let’s show these students how it’s done!”
The pirates handed each student a rope to tug, which they all did to see vibrant rainbow-colored sails unfurl from the large wooden zeppelin of the ship.
“And now for the finishing touch!” the captain commanded with a wink at Rainbow Dash.
The sky blue pegasus gave an eager salute and flapped her wings to take off. The students stared upward in awe to see the rainbow-streaked path. Rainbow turned right and flew straight for awhile before turning around for her diagonal dive. She flew fast, her forelimbs stretched before her, her entire body stretching thinner with the increased speed in her flight. Faster and faster she went, until finally…
A brilliant circle of rainbow colors lit the sky against the colorful sails of the ship. The students were now astounded, and they could hear their teacher laugh as she circled the ship to wrap it in more rainbow colored rings of her tail trail before she finally dropped into land back on the deck with everyone else.
The pirates cheered. Starlight gave Rainbow a congratulatory hoof bump.
“Wow,” Ocellus uttered in an impressed breath.
“Did any of you know Professor Dash was this cool?” Gallus asked them.
The other students innocently shook their heads, except for Sandbar, who replied bashfully, “Kinda.”
“I heard things, but this…” Gallus remarked.
“That was a live Sonic Rainboom!” Silverstream said. “It really was awesome!” she shrieked with joy.
Yona nodded. “Yona admit…that true.”
“The tail trail sparkles with more vibrant colors. It’s not as blurred on its end, and it’s longer,” Ocellus quietly informed the rest.
Rainbow marched toward the group of her students with a proud smile. “And that, my friends, is how you work as a team. You make things awesome together.”
The students all gathered around their teacher and gave her a hug. Rainbow Dash blushed. For all her efforts of trying to do things worth appreciating, sometimes she was still taken aback when it actually worked. “Thanks,”she told them all in a gentle voice and softened smile.
Starlight wiped a little happy tear from her eyes. Rainbow asked her the time, and everyone was disappointed to realize it really was time to go back to Ponyville. The students said their happy farewells to the pirates as did Rainbow Dash and Starlight Glimmer.
There had been no time to talk about mevs or saving Rarity and three other ponies while winning the Best Young Fliers’ competition, but all told, everyone considered it an awesome field trip. That made Rainbow happy. Mission accomplished.