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.


3. 3

Path watched as the collar was passed to yet another person.

“Here's one: just how will the chapter houses in other countries work? And how will joining them work?”

Path looked over to Hewolf as he asked the question, and it took a few moments to come up with a response. “We are actually still working on that, to be honest. We only have one fully-established House in Griffonia, although construction has begun on House chapters in the Crystal Kingdom and Ponyville. Twilight, Techbird, and Free have been working on breakthroughs in real-time communication to facilitate this. We are already starting to build a framework – the Griffonia House has a slightly greater focus on the physical, while the Ponyville house will have a stronger focus on the academic. As for how you can join, it will vary from House to House and depend on the age of the applicant, but generally there is an interview with the heads of the House, then some academic testing, and finally a physical assessment. Overall it takes nearly a full day per applicant. We take the time to really get to know them to see if the House would be a good fit for them.”

He watched as the collar was passed to a green changeling with a lime-green carapace, wings, and eyes, with a name-tag that read ‘Twitch’.

“Um, Lord Path, I believe? What is the most interesting aspect about us changelings? And may I inquire as to which species you prefer? Mine is griffon, they’re awesome!”

“Hmm, good question, Twitch. The most interesting aspect of changelings… well, it has to be their hive network. I have been nagging Dianthia and Free all the time about it. Apparently they can transmit information across vast distances, but there is a drop-off that increases as the distance from the hub increases.” Path looked at Free who just rolled his eyes. “As for your second question…” Path mused.

“Here we go again,” Free groaned.

“What is my favorite species? Well it could be the griffons; they hold honor above all and it shows in their culture. Or it could be one of the kinds of ponies. The magical unicorns, the acrobatic pegasi, the strong earth ponies, or the crystal ponies and the thestrals, who are reemerging onto the main stage for the first time in years – I could pick any of those, but there’s one species that is more important than all other species in Equestria.”

A few others started to look intensely at Path, curious as to what his answer would be.

“My favorite species… is grass.”

Free blinked a few times at Path in surprise and started to laugh.

“What? I’m serious! Without grass, the most abundant food on Equestria, ponies would have never created the complexity needed to build a civilization. This is true for nearly all herbivores. As for the carnivore species, how could they live if what they preyed on had nothing to eat? Without those complex civilizations being created, the changelings would have had a much harder time existing, if they would have evolved at all. Nearly every species directly or indirectly owes their existence to the grass. And that is why grass is the most important and my favorite species.” Path grinned a bit, looking at the shocked faces of those in attendance.

This time when the collar was passed, he was looking at a dark blue thestral with a blue and gold mane. Path’s heart started to sink when he started to as his question and his ears drooped.

“How are talks proceeding with the deer-folk? What sort of interesting things have you found out about them? Have you been able to make much in the way of connections with them?”

After a few moments thought, Path started to speak. “Well, Midnight Star… the talks are going as well as one could expect. Progress is slow. They actually don’t like talking to me very much; they prefer to talk to Twilight and my son Blue Streak than me. We have been working on purchasing more land so that their traditional roaming range is protected, but since we have to do a careful balancing act with the budget it is slow going.” Path looked somewhat sad when he talked about the cervine clan.

When the collar moved to what looked like a small brown earth pony by the name of "Stalwart Guard" on his sticker path started to smile again.

“I was wondering... you talked about magitek… what is it?”

Path’s grin returned and he looked over to Free who rolled his eyes again. Looking back to Stalwart, he said, “The short answer is that Magi-tek is the name of the fledgling think-tank that was founded by Techbird and Twilight in the new field of the fusion of magic and technology. The Blue Hive has recently joined the think tank as well. They have already created a few inventions so far. We are working on refining them so they can be released to a wide audience.”

The next stallion to take the collar was a slate-gray unicorn with a charcoal black mane. His cutie mark appeared to be a warm burning ember with an orange hue that matched his eyes. However, the most interesting detail was that the stallion had one forehoof clasped around the talons of a very beautiful and very pregnant griffon hen.

“Hello, Lord Path.” His voice was coarse but every bit as warm as his cutie mark. “My name is Ash Rain. First, let's take a break from the hard questions. So how are you enjoying fatherhood?”

Path sat down a bit and started to smile as he looked at the happy couple. “Being a father… Well, I have two kids actually – Blue Streak and Lucida Path. Blue Streak is a handful as he keeps moving faster and faster in comparison to everyone else, but he is helping Lucida learn how to fly. He plays a game called kite with her. Lucida is very young and still learning how to fly. Twilight and Rose are trying to educate her early but I think two is a little too young for their advanced concepts. I just take it day by day and deal with issues as they come up. Last thing that happened was when Blue was playing kite with Lucida again and he got her stuck in a tree.” He paused to chuckle.

Ash said, “I hope it goes well for us as well. I am looking forward to it as we are just a month away. Anyway, for my last question, and forgive me if this too forward, but is your House interested in adding geology to its curriculum? If so, how do I submit my application?”

Path started to grin. “If you can make it to Ponyville, we will be holding instructor interviews in a few weeks once the House is mostly constructed.”

He nodded a few times to Ash Rain before the collar was passed over to a green unicorn stallion. His sticker said ‘Fink’. “You said that being without magic has made you stronger in certain ways. How so?”

Path sat back down again as he thought a bit to himself. “Without the normal magic powering me, my body has had to learn how to do things the hard way. It took me nearly a month after the battle before I could walk normally again without tiring, but soon I became stronger and stronger. Right now I am stronger than I ever was before when I had earth pony magic. Twilight is actually trying to figure out how that’s even happening.

Path stood up and shook his head a few times before he suddenly tensed up, the muscles underlying his fur tensing up to the point of which their outlines were visible. “But then again… if you have a griffon like Warfist ‘encouraging’ you, anything is possible.” Path chuckled.

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