A Different Perspective

Long Path, an earth pony living in Canterlot, and his best friend, a griffon named Free Agent, set out in the company of Twilight Sparkle to visit various places and species to look into what makes them different, and hopefully learn how to get along with them better. Things rarely go to plan though, and along the way, they discover things about themselves, and find love, drama, and laughter. Then Chrysalis changes everything, and the fate of the whole world might be at stake. Their lives will never be the same!
This story is set mostly after the events of Conversations in a Canterlot Cafe and builds on the fanon of the series, especially changelings, so you might want to read those stories first for background material.



29. Chapter 20: Begetting A New Beginning

Ponyville was a hive of activity. It was an especially apt metaphor as it was the construction of the new Blue Hive that was the source of much of that activity, as well the reason for the growth in both the population and the businesses that catered to them.

Free had moved all his tunnelers to Ponyville for the project as they were no longer needed in the Crystal Empire. The intervening weeks between the battle and the start of construction had been spent repairing and improving the stark tunnels and chambers of the Empire hive for the benefit of the changelings still there, but when the new hive was finished, only the dormant soldier drones would be left behind, and they neither needed nor cared about anything done to improve their quarters. The tunneler drones were close to being ecstatic at their change of location. Unlike the soldier drones, they were fully developed and as intelligent as the average pony, and the mind-numbing work that Chrysalis had been forcing them to do for years was finally behind them.

It was not just the changeling tunnelers who were working on the new hive however. By Free’s decree, this was a joint project between the changelings, ponies, and a few griffons, and it was the latter two who needed accommodation, food, and entertainment, while the changelings reaped the positive emotions of the happy workers. Most of the time, the working relationship between species was extremely good, mostly because bigoted ponies were weeded out of the workforce before they got the chance to foment discontent. There was a huge advantage in having an employment officer who could taste their real feelings about their potential workmates.

Nevertheless, there is always potential for conflict, and ironically a lot was coming from near the top of the hierarchy. That morning, the Herd Path members were inspecting the progress of the new hive which was already making quite an impression on the local landscape. A very large honeycomb-like structure of glass and steel in a dome formation marked the entrance to the hive, and while for now it was merely providing a sheltered and well-lit area for the workers to prepare materials, in the future it would be the main interface area between the changelings and all other species. Most of the real hive though was being built into the mountainside and out of sight, but the exact design had been a major source of contention between the main architects. The foursome became aware of a considerable amount of aggravated squawking coming from a room ahead.

“They’re at it again,” Roseclaw commented.

“Who?” Path asked.

“Techbird and Clue.”

Free sighed. “Not that again?”

Roseclaw nodded regretfully. “Yes, again.”

They walked into the room that was currently serving as the design and planning office, and witnessed Techbird and a male griffon with blue feathers and black fur screeching at each other in Griffish. Clue had wanted to keep his pony persona separate from his changeling work in case he wanted to go back to his pony career, and so he had taken on another form specifically so he could work with Techbird in the construction of the hive. It would be a while yet before there would be harvesters to train, and this put his knowledge and experience to best use in the meantime. However, his traditional views frequently conflicted with Techbird’s modern style of doing things, and arguments were frequent.

Path raised his voice. “What are you two arguing about this time?”

“It’s the color scheme that he wants – it’s all wrong!” Techbird protested.

“It’s normal Blue Hive colors! This is still the Blue Hive, isn’t it?” Clue retorted.

“It’s boring and old-fashioned!”

“It’s normal and comforting!”

“I’m here to bring a changeling hive into the modern age, and I say this needs updating, changeling!”

“And I’m here to tell you how a hive actually works, griffon!”

“QUIET!” Free yelled.

Both griffons looked at Free in surprise.

Free frowned at them. “As queen of this hive, I want it to look exciting and new without compromising what we are. One major thing has changed – and that’s me. Perhaps we should call this the Chrome Hive now. I want it to reflect the new age we’re heading into, so find an artistic type who can find a suitable compromise between you two. Got it?”

“Yes, sir,” they chorused.

Free inclined his head towards the door. “Let’s get on with the inspection and see if they’ve managed to work out the other details together yet?”

The tour of inspection went well, with only a few notes taken on minor things that they wanted altered. On their way back out, they passed by the site office once more. Again their were noises coming from the room, but this time it consisted of crooning and clucking. They cautiously peeked inside, and then stepped away hurriedly.

“Are you kidding me?” Path said incredulously. “An hour ago, they were ready to bite each other’s head off!”

Free and Twilight were chuckling, and Roseclaw responded, “Aggression is very much part of passion, you know?”

Path rolled his eyes. “Griffons have to be the horniest creatures that I know!”

Roseclaw gave him a wing-hug. “And you love it!”

Path had to join in the laughter.

“Actually, this brings up something that I’ve noticed lately,” Twilight said. “There seems to be an increase in general in sexual relations with changelings that is far above my expectations.”

“Can’t blame griffons for all of that,” Roseclaw responded with a grin.

“No, but I think I can blame Free.”

“What? Me?” Free said in surprise. “Hey, if it’s about me having sex with the hive breeders to get a new generation of hive workers under way…”

Twilight waved him off. “It has nothing to do with that, and stop worrying about my feelings about it. I completely understand the need, and in fact knew you would have to before the wedding. I married a changeling queen, and I have no regrets about that. However, it’s because you are a queen that I believe that this wave of sexual urges is happening. Remember what the other queens told you? Well, I think you’re going into breeding mode, and that’s affecting all your drones.”

“But Clue isn’t even connected to my hive-mind!” Free protested.

“Tell that to all the mares who got pregnant as a consequence of your lust spells in the Crystal City,” Twilight reminded him.

“I haven’t done that since!”

“No, not deliberately, but as a queen, you can transmit as well as take in emotions, and I think your control of your sexual urges is slipping as you start to go into heat.”

Free looked shocked. “I was hoping that wouldn’t happen for years!”

Twilight shook her head. “I guessed it would happen sooner. Breeding is your natural urge, and it’s been triggered by acquiring the hive-mind and taking over the hive. You might have been repressing it, but nature will take its course.”

Free stopped and stared at his feet for a long moment while the others waited patiently. Eventually he sighed and said, “You’re right. Now that I think about it and pay attention to my feelings, I can tell that I must be going into heat. The thing is, I still haven’t figured out what to do.”

Twilight hugged him. “You have to decide on a suitable mate to impregnate you. I… there’s a spell… a gender-swap spell that I could use… that is if you really want to….”

Free put a single talon over Twilight’s lips to stop her talking. “No, Twi. I would love it if my child was sired by you, but I know that you don’t really want to become a stallion. It’s not you – you’re very much a mare, and I don’t want you to feel obligated to be anything that you don’t really desire to be. There is one other close to me though who would make a perfect sire, but he’s always rejected me before.”

All eyes turned to Path who gulped at all the attention.

“Free, I never wanted to have sex with you because I didn’t want to spoil what we already had between us. You’re my soul-brother, the one who has always been there for me since we were foals. But just because our relationship has been perfect without sex, it doesn’t mean that I can’t be there for you if you truly need me.”

Free stepped up to Path and put one of his taloned feet on Path’s shoulder. Looking him directly in the eyes, Free said, “Long Path, will you do me the honor, the pleasure, and the utmost joy of siring our child?”

Path smiled lovingly. “I will.” He then kissed Free.

Surprised at first, Free quickly responded. As they were absorbed in each other, Free’s form was briefly lit by magic fire, although he seemed to be unchanged. Roseclaw noticed a difference though.

“Free’s changed into a female.”

Twilight nodded. “It’s beginning. I don’t think Free even noticed changing.” She looked at Roseclaw. “Does it bother you that Path is going to mate with Free?”

Roseclaw shook her head. “He is my warrior and my herd stallion both. He has chosen a mate from his herd and that satisfies me. They will make a child who will bring honor to our House.”

Twilight had to admire her House-mate’s attitude to the situation, and hoped that she could match it.

When Free and Path stepped apart again, Roseclaw asked, “So, when will you mate?”

Free replied, “I’m not sure if I’m quite ready yet. Maybe tonight. Now that I’m not ignoring my body’s signals, I think I’ll know when it’s time.”

“Meanwhile, you think you can ease up on broadcasting your feelings to everyone?” Path asked.

Free just grinned in response.

# # #

The evening family time ended as normal with Streak reluctantly being put to bed. When Path returned from tucking in the colt, he found a slightly familiar earth pony mare waiting with Twilight and Roseclaw. She was the epitome of pony femininity, with voluptuous curves, magnificent mane and tail, and bedroom eyes which she fluttered at him. Her cutie mark was a dead give-away though.

“I take it that you’re ready to mate, Free?” Path asked her.

“Yes. You like?” Free answered as she modeled her new form sexily for him.

Path considered his response before replying, “Nope.”

Free blinked in surprise. “Wha…? Why?”

“This isn’t you. I intend to make love with Free Agent, not some fantasy mare.”

Free stared at Path for a long moment before a smile grew on her face. Magic fire flared, and Free changed form. She was still an earth pony mare, but in Free’s familiar brown fur and red mane, and without the exaggerated feminine features. “Better?”

“Perfect,” Path agreed.

Free turned to Twilight and said, “Wish me luck, darling.”

Twilight kissed her on the cheek. “You don’t need luck, but you have my best wishes anyway. Enjoy yourselves!”

“Do us proud, my warrior,” Roseclaw told Path.

“I will, love. Are you ready, Free?”

“As much as I’ll ever be, I suppose.”

Path held out his right foreleg and took Free’s, and they walked out of the room together. They made their way to the big communal bedroom and got onto the huge bed.

Free hesitated and then said, “For the first time in my life, I think I’m nervous about having sex. How do you want to begin?”

Path smiled. “We already began this morning. Let’s take it up from there.” He then pulled Free into a fervent kiss, expressing his love for his soul-mate, and the changeling melted in his grasp.

“I love you, Long Path. Take me – I’m forever yours.”

# # #

For what happens next, see the Author's Notes.

# # #

It was a particularly lovely sunset that day, and the foursome were lounging on pillows, enjoying the view while sipping on cold juices after the heat of the day. Free was still in mare form as she had been since the day a month ago when she and Path had made love, and she could sense the new life growing within her. They were in the middle of a conversation when Free suddenly gasped and changed into her natural changeling form.

“Free, what’s wrong?” Twilight asked.

“I… I… don’t know. I feel… strange. I… I’m going to….” Her eyes opened wide and she squatted. Moments later, a large steaming egg was deposited on the crystal floor. Free turned to regard the object. “Holy crap! I laid an egg!”

“That’s what changelings do – you know that, Free,” Twilight said with a touch of amusement.

“I thought it might be different with a pony sire, but I laid an egg!”

Roseclaw looked the egg over. “Yep, you sure did. Bigger than a griffon’s too.”

Free turned to Path and eagerly said, “Look! That’s our kid. I laid an egg!”

“Yeah, she looks just like you too,” he replied drolly.

Free stared at Path for a long moment before bursting into laughter. One change of forms later, and griffon Free was back, although still chuckling. “Sorry about that, guys – I was a bit shocked. I don’t know what I expected, but it was weird when it happened. Anyway, I’d better call one of my breeders to help me take care of the egg.”

As Free used his link to the hive-mind to call one of the breeders, Twilight asked Path, “Have you thought about a name for her yet?”

“Actually I have. If Free likes it, I’m thinking of calling her Epiphany.”

“Epiphany? How did you come up with that name?”

“Oh, it just came to me in a moment of insight,” he replied with a deadpan face. Moments later, he had to start dodging pillows hurled by the outraged alicorn.

Free grinned at the shenanigans and patted the egg. “My little Pif, you’ve got four crazy parents, one huge family, and a heck of a future ahead of you. Welcome to the world!”

# # # # # # # # # #



Free posed later in mare form for this special commemorative moment.

# # # # # # # # # #

Author's Note:

Mare Free looks so adorable with her egg. =^_^=

This story has finally concluded, but there's still more to be read if you want. There is an extended bedroom scene which is very much NSFW, which has some surprises and unexpected consequences. If you are an adult and don't mind some sex, go check out my one-shot story which expands on this a lot!Begetting A New Beginning

The House of Path returns in The Growing Years.

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