Questions and Answers with Long Path

This story is a sequel to A Different Perspective
Long Path receives an invite from the head of the journalism department to a series of talks for the students, however when word gets out that he is going to have a no limits Q and A. The small meeting that was expected to be a short talk with under 30 students exploded into a week long series in the university's largest amphitheater with several hundred in attendance, not just those from the university.


1. 1

There was a large crowd in the large amphitheater – ponies, griffons, changelings of various hives, even a few zebras and dragons. In the middle of the stage there were two chairs, one of which had the dean of the journalism department in the University of Canterlot, and in the other there was a rather plain-looking earth pony with a green mane, but everyone knew who it was – Lord Long Path.

Clapping started as Path looked and waved to them all rather excitedly. The dean stood up and motioned for them all to quiet down as he started to talk, the collar he was wearing amplifying his voice so all could hear.

“I am glad you could all make it tonight. We have a very special guest tonight: a pony who has worked to do what most have thought impossible, building bridges in days that others could not in years. I give you Lord Path!” The dean motioned to path as he slowly stood up and smiled, people clapped for a few moments before the stopped.

Path tapped the collar as his voice was amplified.

“It is nice to meet everyone. I’ve actually decided to change up the format of this interview if that’s okay, Dean?” Path just grinned as the unicorn blinked a few times and nodded to the earth pony. They both shut off their collar mics and talked as the crowd looked on. He nodded after a few moments.

“This is going to be a highly unorthodox interview. I will go into the crowd, pick a person who wants to ask a question. They will ask the question, and after receiving the answer, they will take the collar and pick somebody else!”

The crowd started to murmur and talk amongst themselves before the dean stated to walk into the crowd. They quieted down as they looked to see who he picked. It took a few moments before he handed the collar to what looked like a filly earth pony; maybe a freshman in college, if that.

“Mister Lord Path?”

Path chuckled. “Just call me Path. I’m not one for titles unless it’s for something fancy.”

The pony nodded. “Path, how do you do your thunderhoof technique? Can anybody do it?”

The crowd started to talk again, as Path quieted them down.

“As of right now, I can tell you that you need to be at least a significant amount earth pony to be able to learn it. For example, one of your parents is an earth pony. I know this because other earth ponies can do it, and my daughter can do it but only from her back hooves, not her front talons. I’m full earth pony, Lucida is a hippogriff, so she’s half, and Twilight Sparkle can do it because alicorns embody all three pony types including earth. I tried to teach Free Agent, and I tried to teach Warfist, but it is outside of their capability. I hope that answers your question.”

The filly nodded before she got up with the collar and started to look around… she moved up one isle and down the other until she handed it off to a rather stern looking Unicorn. Path looked to the unicorn and he internally groaned. A loyalist… great… He took it and started to talk.

“Path, you have been to so many countries – tell us why Equestria is the best country on Equus.”

Path just blinked while others looked at the Unicorn.

“I can’t tell you that… because it’s not…”

The crowd gasped and started to talk again.

“For a country to be the best, it has to be better than all of the other countries in every category without exception, and that’s just not the case. Every country has their pros and cons. To compare it on some kind of ranking chart isn’t fair. That’s like asking what city is the most beautiful… it’s entirely up to personal interpretation.”

Path started to walk toward the front of the stage.

“I can say this though: Equestria is the best country, in your opinion.” Path smiled at the unicorn who looked even more angry than before.

“Okay, okay… then… in YOUR OPINION… what is your favorite country, Lord Path?” The unicorn grinned as Path rolled his eyes.

“Well, the answer is simple but not what you would expect. My favorite country is the moon.” Path smirked.

“The moon is not a country!” the unicorn snapped!

“Actually… the funny thing is that it is. I’ve read the historical documents, and while there may not be any inhabitants of the country right now, it’s still a valid autonomous region.” Path just grinned as the unicorn passed the collar to his left… to another unicorn loyalist. Path rubbed his eyes; this was going to be a long meeting.

“So you say your favorite country is the moon…does that mean you are a Lunarian?” the unicorn practically growled out.

Path sighed. “Talking about one’s beliefs without an open mind is the best way to close doors, but I said I would answer every question. I am a Logicist variant of a Discordiant… one who uses science, logic, and reason to guide their life, but also realizes that in order for the closed system to remain dynamic, chaos on some level is required.”

The unicorn loyalist was about to say something before a yellow aura grabbed and pulled it away.

Path breathed a sigh of relief as a yellow changeling started to talk.

“What was it like, going up against the Mad Queen?”

A few people looked at the changeling and then back to Path.

“Well, for lack of a better word, it was terrifying. A lot of the stories that I’ve read make it seem like we all beat her in five minutes and it was easy. Let me tell you that it was not. Not only did our plan A fail, but so did our plans B, C, and D. We had nothing left. The improvised magical relay Twilight created barely supplied enough power to beat the queen, and in the process I was killed, it took them five minutes to revive me and I’m still recovering now. We won, but it took everyone to just barely do it. I hope that answers the question?”

The changeling nodded before he handed it over to a griffon male a few rows back.

“Rumors are floating around that you eat meat. Is that true?”

Again the room started to murmur before Path cleared his throat.

“Yes, I am an avid meat eater. What most don’t realize is that ponies are actually omnivores. While they are designed to eat primarily plants, they can also consume meat, as long as there’s not too much fat, and let me tell you – meat tastes really, really good.”

Path sat down as he started to smile.

“Actually I remember when I first went to Griffonia. I ate with all of the dignitaries, and they put meat in front of us as a joke. Then they watched on as I picked up a slab of meat, and then ate it. I overheard one betting ten crowns that I couldn’t finish it. They lost that bet.

The audience laughed a bit as the griffon passed the collar over to a zebra.

“At work I sometimes overhear my coworkers talking about the time they felt you in the hive mind; how did you go into the hive mind? Did they kidnap you?” The Zebra seemed to be nervous, but as Path started to laugh, he started to calm down.

“First off let me tell you that they felt me in the hive mind, because I was in the Green Hive’s for about fourteen hours.”

A few people’s eyes went wide.

“However… a non-changeling getting connected to a hive network takes a lot of time and energy, and the person being linked has to consent. Also it can only be done by royalty, so in short, no, they don’t kidnap ponies and turn them into changelings. I really thought we moved on from silly rumors like that.”

The zebra wilted slightly and Path started to backtrack.

“But it is still a good question if we expand on it a little – what is it like to be connected to a hive network?”

Path paced for a few moments.

“It’s not something that a pony can accurately describe. The best thing I can do is say that it’s being able to see everyone and everything at once, and being able to shift perspectives at will. It’s very disorienting, and very addicting if you have a passion for academics. In the fourteen hours I was in there, it felt like minutes. Free Agent had to come in and get me, or else I would have been lost.”

Path just smiled a bit and sat back as the dean started to talk.

“We are going to have a short recess before we continue the questions from the audience!”

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