The Growing Years

This story is a sequel to A Different Perspective
Both the House of Path and Herd Path enjoy strong growth in the years following their establishment. Like all such things though, they both have their highlights and lowlights. These are vignettes in the lives of the children of Twilight, Path, Free, & Roseclaw, from foals to young adults.
This is a series of stand-alone stories of events that occur after the events of A Different Perspective, which I strongly recommend that you read first.
My collaborator, AlaskaIsCold, has written some of these and I mostly just edited them.


9. Spring Break - part one

Author's Note:

This is another episode by AlaskaIsCold, edited and whipped into shape by me.

“Mmnhh…” Blue groaned slightly, and covered himself up tighter in the blankets. Still cold, he grabbed something heavy and pulled it over his midsection before his eyes opened and he looked down and saw a golden leather wing draped over his midsection. He snickered a bit and turned around to face Cinder… who was still passed out with her mouth wide open and her tongue lolling out.

“My girlfriend, everybody,” Blue snickered.

Ssnnoore!” Cinder droned.

Blue slowly closed her muzzle, took a deep breath and blew into her snout as hard as he could. The dragon’s eyes shot open, and as she started to flail around, Blue let her muzzle go as she coughed and huffed.

“Ngh… early…” Cinder grabbed Blue tighter and rolled over, wrapping him up with her wings as she blew a small jet of intense fire into the air to heat up the room.

Blue sighed softly and nuzzled up against her as he drifted back off to sleep.

# # #

Downstairs the rest of the family were eating breakfast.

“Where is Blue?” Twilight looked around as Free started to grin.

“By the taste of things – curled up with Cinder in his room.” Free just grinned.

Twilight rolled her eyes. “I have half a mind to go up there…”

“Oh, just let them sleep. I’ll wake them up if they aren’t up by lunch time. It's not like they have any classes; it's Saturday after all,” Path said with a smile.

“Sigh… fine, but he better not make it a habit!” Twilight huffed. “Anyway, I need to get going; there are a few meetings I need to handle. And Free, you need to talk to the Western Hive Queen. She is thinking about letting some of her drones transfer to the Equestrian campuses.”

Free rolled his eyes. “If it’s not one meeting, then it’s another. I'll be gone till dinner.”

Rose piped up, “And then we have the dinner with the other heads of the griffon Houses.”

Both Free and Path groaned.

Rose narrowed her eyes. “Do I need to get Warfist to encourage you two?”

The two males jumped up. “No, ma'am!”

Twilight laughed as the two guys ran out.

“Sometimes they are too easy,” Rose smirked and looked at Twilight. “Come on, let's get started.”

The two cleaned up after themselves and left the meal hall.

# # #

Blue woke up yet again with a groan. “Come on, Cinder… get up. It's nearly noon.” He squirmed a bit and nibbled on her neck.

Cinder yawned and stretched, her tail uncoiling around Blue’s legs as she licked her lips and looked at him. “Mmm… morning, Blue.”

“It's nearly noon, and being so late to wake up isn’t going to make it easier to convince Moms and Dads to let me go with you to the dragonlands,” Blue huffed as he rolled out of bed. Cinder soon followed him, heading down to the main hall just as lunch was being served. Already Blue was starting to feel tense; he did not know how to approach this. Soon the tension was noticed by Free.

“So… gonna tell us whats going on?” Free slowly turned to Blue with a grin which made him feel another apprehensive spike when Cinder became tense.

“Hey, Dads…” Blue said in his sing-song I-want-something kind of voice.

“Oh, here it comes,” Path said with a grin. “What is he going to ask for this time?”

“Last time he wanted to go to the moon.” “The time before that he wanted a chrome suit of armor,” Free chuckled.

“Might as well just spit it out, Bluey.” Cinder looked at him as she put her head on the table with a grin.

“I'm waiting until they get here,” Blue stated.

“Who?” Twilight asked.

Blue just grinned as Techbird walked in, carrying what looked like a new pair of metal wings. Azon walked in behind her holding what looked like a mask and a pill. Blue pulled out a few papers as he cleared his throat. Twilight just blinked, looking at the three of them while Free whistled.

“Looks like our son has a plan,” Free commented to a grinning Path.

“I am officially submitting Form 20L and four different Form 35A's,” Blue said to a confused Twilight.

“Intent to leave the grounds for a measure of time greater than 3 days and shorter than two weeks, and Intent to test four prototype projects,” Twilight rattled off for those around her who didn't know what the form numbers meant. “You were paying attention during your high school orientation?” she said in astonishment.

Free, Path, and Rose started laughing at her last statement as they all sat down.

“Okay, Blue, where are you going for spring break?” Twilight asked with a grin.

“I want to go with Cinder to meet her parents in the Dragon Lands.” Twilight was about to say something before Blue cut her off. “And… and I'm going to test two innovations from Techbird and Azon. They're here to present their projects that have made it past the theoretical phase and now need a practical trial.

Azon made a motion to Techbird as she started speaking. “Okay! So I have two things I want Blue to test for me. The first one is the Albatross-1E, a pair of magitek wings that are designed to overcome the limitations of the original magitek wings. While the original prototype was good for combat situations, it cannot last for more than about two hours. These use crystal capacitors to hold a large charge and release it slowly so there is less of a drain on the user. Performance goes down though, so I created them to be soaring wings. They're much larger and slower than the Rainbow Dash style wings I modeled the first types after.”

“The second innovation is something that Proper Place noticed during the crystal siege. When Blue ran and broke the sound barrier, as he spoke on the crystal com at speed, his voice was pitched lower. After experimenting I have come up with this!” Techbird pulled out what looked like an ear piece. “This is an undercharged version of your trottie and has a range of only about fifty miles. The pitch changes subtly depending on how it's moving in relation to its companion crystal. With this we should not only be able to track the speed of Blue, but also his direction!” Techbird was almost jumping up and down with excitement.

Azon chuckled a bit as he soaked in the ambient emotion. “My innovations are not nearly as flashy, but just as important. The first one is an enzyme supplement. It will allow a pony to eat fatty meats without the resulting… unpleasantries. However it does not give him the eleven necessary vitamins and oils needed that are found only in plants.” He then held up the mask. “This is kind of a combination effort between Techbird and I. This mask is so that those used to being on the ground can breathe the thin air without passing out. However, the higher the person goes, the faster they need to be going to make sure the mask draws enough air.”

The two sat down as Twilight hmmed a bit.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting to be outmaneuvered like this. I have got let you go to the Dragon Lands even though I don’t want to, because we need to get the devices tested. So some ground rules – You will use the trottie to call me every day at noon. No drinking! And you have to give a report of your time in the Dragon Lands to the first-years so they might consider going there as well,” Twilight stated.

“So I can go?” Blue started to tense up.

“Yes, you can go. Don’t make me regret this decision.” Twilight grinned.

“Hey, aren’t you going to ask if we say yes?!” Free pouted.

“No, because once Blue came in, you were already on board with what he wanted. You two always are.” Twilight smiled and gave Free a kiss on his forehead.

Blue looked at Cinder. “Let's get ready!” Blue dashed out of the hall and outside.

“Cinder… make sure he behaves,” Twilight sighed as the dragoness started to walk out after Blue.

“Don’t worry, I'll make him be good.” Cinder smiled as she left.

# # #

Cinder smiled a bit as she watched Blue race around the room, picking up things and then setting them down. “Bluey, you're only going to be able to bring a backpack with you… so here… let me help.” Cinder walked over and picked up his trottie crystal before digging under his bed.

Blue Streak looked over to her as he panicked. “H-hey, don’t dig under my bed!”

Cinder looked over to blue with a deadpan face. “Really, Blue…. Really?” She held up a ‘questionable’ magazine. “Why would you even have this? I'm right freaking here!”

Blue just chuckled. “Well for what it's worth, I haven’t actually used the book in a long while. Why were you digging under there?”

Cinder chuckled and pulled a silver bottle from under his bed. “I was looking for this. Now, go to the mess hall and eat. I'll be down in a bit.”

Blue laughed and walked out of his room.

# # #

It was early morning, just before dawn, when they all met up at the field. Blue was wearing those large wings and he extended them a few times.

Techbird and Twilight were going over their calculations. “Okay, Streak, these are soaring wings. They aren’t acrobatic style. So what we need you to do is keep them closed. Then run along the ground to your top sub-sonic speed, then slam them open. The resulting lift will thrust you up into the upper atmosphere, where Cinder tells me there is a high speed air current.”

“The seers call it ‘The Breath of Equus’. It allows us to go vast distances in a short amount of time. It's faster than even than the Skyshark.” Cinder walked over to them as she smiled. “Ready to go?”

Path and Free walked over to Blue and gave him a hug each. “I want you on your best behavior – you are an ambassador of the House, the first ambassador. Please be good,” Path begged.

Then Free came up and grinned. “Don’t listen to Path; be yourself! That’s what he did.”

Blue laughed as he walked to the far end of the field and opened the wings a few times. “Okay, Cinder, get a head start. I'll catch up with you!”

The dragoness nodded as she took to the air. She was surprisingly fast as within a few minutes she was just a dot.

Azon ran up to Blue. “Sorry I'm late! Here are the devices!” He slipped the mask over Blue, and put a bag of pills in his backpack. “Oh... and when you are in a crowded area, wear these and tell me your findings.” Blue raised an eyebrow as the griffon put a pair of spectacles in his pack as well.

Techbird started to grin. “Ten seconds till launch!”

Blue crouched down as he felt the energy move into his hooves.

Techbird shouted, “Go!”

Blue shot off like a rocket, accelerating faster and faster crossing the field, and at the last possible moment the magitek wings shot open and the lift carried him up into the air. His body tensed up under the acceleration as he soon caught up with Cinder as they both went higher and higher, his respirator enabling him to still gain altitude.

“Get ready, Blue, we are about to enter the Breath.” Cinder gave one final flap as she angled her wings strangely.

Blue saw them fill with wind and she shot off like a rocket. Blue mimicked her movement and soon he was accelerated as well, flying beside Cinder as they cruised. “How long will it take to get to your clan?”

“About 13 hours. We'll arrive just before sundown.” Cinder grinned as she watched Blue loop around her.

“It doesn’t even seem like we're going that fast!” Blue commented as he looked down at the ground slowly moving by.

“We're going faster than you can normally. Ask a seer about it when we get there, but speed and air don't work the same this high up,” Cinder said.

Blue Streak nodded as he kept those wings open, silently watching as they moved to the east.

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