An Academic Visit is a short story based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic describing the experiences of a pony mathematician named Silver Compass during his visit to a blockaded province of the Griffon Empire. A province that has been effectively occupied by strange creatures calling themselves 'humans'. During his stay here, not only does he encounter the works of a society that chose a drastically different direction of development compared to that of Equestria, but also learns about the events that immediately followed the first contact.
This work provides examples of:
- Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Not necessarily applied to arts per se, but there exists a massive demand on magical items produced in GDR, which makes for significant part of their income. Similarly, griffons are said to be absolutely fascinated with computing technology if it involves touchscreens.
- Alien Invasion: Goes both ways in the backstory. Griffons managed to take over a portion of Africa before being beaten back. After that, human military captured the portal and prevented griffon mages from closing it, leading to occupation of the province it contained.
- Assimilation Plot: Humans are accused of playing a long-term cultural and economic one with the intention of destabilizing Griffon Empire.
- Atomic Hate: Humans nuked a large griffon city to shock them and force them into considering peace talks. It worked, but a character claims that the destruction of administrative and economical center has devastated the entire province to the point of it being effectively abandoned. It also attracted the attention of the Princesses.
- Culture Clash: Constantly. The fact that griffons of GDR have started to adopt some human habits doesn't help.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: These are implied to have gone both ways. Griffons were routing the armies armed with conventional weapons due to being Immune to Bullets, but folded when more developed nations used weapons of mass destruction against them.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Using nuclear weapons to break the fighting spirit of your enemy and thus avoid even greater casualties. Are we talking about Hiroshima?
- Fermat's Last Theorem: Known to Equestrian society as "Startswirl's Unsolved Theorem". The protagonist is very grateful to receive a proof, though he notes that some of the approaches used have no analogues in Equestrian mathematics.
- First Contact: Discussed. A griffon character muses that humankind must have felt lonely being the only sapient species of their homeworld, and dreamed of a contact with another civilization. Said contact came in form of griffon armies invading the Earth.
- Godzilla Threshold: Imperial Army gave humans such a scare they started using weapons of mass destruction with reckless abandon. Large areas surrounding the Earth side of the portal have been devastated as the result.
- Great Offscreen War: The Griffon-Human war has formally ended some years before the events of the story, but the hostility is still high, and the GDR is effectively under lockdown by the Empire.
- Immune to Bullets: Griffons, at least in regard to regular ammunition. However, it's stated that humans have found a way to circumvent this by using Cold Iron.
- No Biochemical Barriers: Averted. Life on Equis, while carbon-based, uses mostly different set of amino acids than life on Earth. While not outright poisonous, consuming otherwordly food is still ill-advised.
- Humanity Is Advanced: Subverted. Nations of Equis are ultimately portrayed as being simply different. In particular, during the conference it is shown that while humans are leaps and bounds ahead in fields like computational number theory, Equestrians have better understanding of multidimensional topology and manifolds.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: Downplayed. While the former province is now called Griffon Democratic Republic, it's far from being a true democracy.
- Proud Warrior Race: Griffon Empire, of course. They don't take it well when they are beaten on their own turf, too.