The Chase

Bucky Bitters struggles to escape the airborne affections of Derpy Hooves after a chance encounter caused them to bump noses together. His real mistake was trying to comfort the mare after the snoot-bump. Little does the poor stallion realise that their meeting was only the prologue to a journey that will change not only his life, but the lives around him forever.

This story is a sequel to The Catch

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Trying to connect with multiple bees was difficult, and Dinky found that she could not see through the eyes of multiple bees, she could only see what one bee was seeing. It frustrated her and she gritted her teeth together. Beside her, Piña looked up from her book when she heard the sound.

“Give it time Dinks, you only just figured out how to do this today,” Piña said as she returned to reading. Starjammer might be a lousy writer, but his work was interesting. “Whatever it is you are frustrated about, it can’t help you to be upset about it,” the earth pony added.

Dinky relaxed a bit, realising that Piña was right. Instead, she focused on range, sending a bee out as a scout. It zoomed off at an alarming speed and Dinky felt dizzy seeing just how fast the landscape was moving all around her.

Piña flipped the page. “You know Dinky, if you can connect with bees, there is probably nothing stopping you from connecting to other bugs. Maybe even spiders,” Piña said with a shiver. “There are bugs everywhere Dinky. You could probably see anywhere you wanted to just by tuning into the bugs in the area,” Piña suggested.

Dinky’s mind began to race with the possibilities of what Piña was saying. It was almost too much to bear, and she felt her concentration waver for a moment. She refocused her will and held everything together.

“I bet there are even bugs in the palace. I remember a picture of the royal gardens… there were butterflies everywhere. I bet if you wanted to, you could even spy on the princesses, once we get home,” Piña said, thinking out loud. “Distance might be a problem, but you are a type three… you should be good for hundreds of miles once you learn how to focus,” Piña said informatively.

Once again, Dinky felt her concentration waver. She would never have these sorts of good ideas by herself.

“Spying on the princesses would be wrong though. We would get in trouble,” Piña muttered.

“Piña, how hard would it be find out where the wolves are hiding? Think I could get the bees to find them?” Dinky asked in a low voice.

“Doubtful,” Piña replied.

“Why doubtful?” Dinky questioned.

“Bees don’t normally go where the wolves are. You’d summon a bee and then just fly around randomly looking for wolf dens,” Piña answered with a thoughtful look upon her face.

“That might take a while,” Dinky grumbled, hating that Piña was right.

“I’d try to reach out and touch minds with flies,” Piña suggested.

“Why flies?” Dinky returned.

“Wolf poop. Surely there are flies buzzing around it. Of course, you might get flies buzzing around pony poop. Or other types of poop. But where there is poop, there are living things making the poop, and sooner or later you would find wolf poop,” Piña explained as she failed to contain her giggles.

“Poop!” Dinky repeated, her concentration wavering as she giggled.

“Poop,” both fillies said together.

“Once I know where some wolves are, I can prank them,” Dinky said.

“Prank them?” Piña asked doubtfully.

“I think a thousand bees stinging them would be pretty funny,” Dinky said coldly.

Piña did not reply but turned her head to look at Dinky.

“Make them hurt. Make them afraid. Make them suffer,” Dinky hissed.

“Dinky Doo Hooves,” Piña scolded. “Stop scaring me,” she insisted.

“Sorry Piña… I don’t know what comes over me sometimes,” Dinky apologised. “My bee has reached the ocean. I can see water,” she announced.

 

 

“Last night has me thinking,” Rising Star said in a low voice.

“I think it has all of us thinking,” Ripple replied.

“I know, it has been on my mind all day,” Loch Skimmer admitted.

“I’d say kissing has been on your mind all day,” Sparkler quipped.

“Why do you think I’ve been, well, kissy… I don’t know what to say. I have all of these feelings and I don’t know how to express them but I thought a kiss would be good way to show them and the idea of losing all of you makes me want to cry and kissing Rising Star has kept the tears bottled up,” Loch blurted out.

“I was teasing you just a bit Loch,” Sparkler said, looking at her herdmate as she did so.

“If I didn’t have a broken leg I would hug you to death Sparkler,” Loch said.

“I still can’t get over Sentinel screaming. I mean, he’s a tough little pegasus. That screeching sound… I couldn’t comfort him,” Ripple said, looking down at the ground.

“You really love him don’t you Ripple?” Loch asked.

“More than anything,” Ripple admitted in a small voice. “And Bucky,” she whispered in a very tiny voice. Ripple’s wings fluttered and her head darted down to preen her feathers.

“It is good that you love them Ripple… after how things have been for us,” Loch said to her sister, her voice wavering with concern.

“We’re his foals now,” Ripple whispered after she smoothed out a feather. “We might be grown up, but we are his foals. He loves us,” she insisted. “I saw the look in his eye… the way he looked at me. There was so much concern and fear.”

“I must admit, I felt safe pressed between him and Derpy,” Loch said. She stretched out her neck and nibbled on a bit of clover. She chewed thoughtfully before she continued. “Piña trusted him. Even in that moment where he wasn’t himself, she truly believed that he would not hurt her… I wish I had the trust that she does.”

“We could have that for ourselves,” Rising Star said, looking around at the three fillies around him.

“I want that,” Loch admitted. “I want it more than anything. I think I am ready for us to be a family now,” she said in a trembling voice. “I mean, I know we are together, I… but we haven’t actually… there is going to be a fight soon… everything is so tense. Look, whatever lies ahead, I want to face it together knowing that I can trust in my family. It is time for us to come together and it is time for me to grow up and stop allowing my past to rob me of my future.”

“So the three of us are going to need some time together,” Sparkler said.

“Before you three have your time together, there is something I want,” Ripple asked.

“What is that?” Loch asked her sister.

Ripple did not reply. She rose to four legs and slowly approached Sparkler, her ears folded back against her skull and her head low in the submissive posture common to pegasi. She didn’t look at Sparkler as she approached. With a sudden movement, she raised her head and caught Sparkler by surprise, pressing her lips against the startled unicorn’s muzzle.

It was a brief but passionate kiss and Ripple pulled away breathlessly. “When my time comes, I am yours if you will have me,” Ripple offered in a timid voice. She stepped away from Sparkler, backing away slowly, and then approached Rising Star cautiously. She kissed him on the cheek. “I still don’t know what to make of you yet, but you no longer scare me,” Ripple said to the colt before her. “I will be your wife. We will work something out between us,” she promised. She retreated from Rising Star and then sat down in the grass near her sister with a contented half smile.

“Okay, that left me kind of flustered,” Sparkler admitted.

“Good,” Ripple said with a smirk. “Bon Bon and I have been talking.”

Sparkler’s face turned to one of tender concern. “Have Lyra and Bon Bon been helping you sort things out?” Sparkler asked.

“Well, our time to talk has been limited, but I don’t feel so confused or wrong about what I am. And I do not doubt what I am,” Ripple replied. She took a deep breath. “Rising, even if I don’t find you attractive doesn’t mean I can’t love you. Just has to be a different kind of love. Bon Bon wanted me to say that to you and I have been waiting for a good time,” the filly stated. “And I do love you. That day we went for a walk with Berry… I felt it then.”

“So now we move forward,” Rising Star said.

 

 

Keg Smasher landed upon the deck with a thud, the enormous heavy pegasus dropping out of the air and coming down hard. His wingspan was like that of an albatross and he could be best described as a flying brick. Not that anypony would ever dare say anything like that to his face.

He grinned sheepishly as several startled ponies turned to look at him. “Sorry,” he apologised.

He strode purposefully ahead, seeing the pony that he hoped to talk to. He climbed the steps to deck above the cabin and approached Bucky slowly. Keg Smasher couldn’t help but notice how small and frail looking Bucky seemed, but believing that Bucky was actually frail was a terrible mistake. The little unicorn was unassuming and looked like a stiff wind would blow him over.

But Bucky was made of iron, Keg Smasher had concluded.

“You okay?” Keg Smasher asked, his voice thick with concern.

“I had a bad night,” Bucky replied. “Had a much better morning. I feel fine.”

“I heard about what happened. Berry Punch told me everything. I suppose by now that you’ve figured out that I know more than I’ve let on… and I am sorry about it but Celestia made me promise not to say anything until you came to this conclusion on your own,” Keg Smasher said as he sat down on his haunches.

Bucky nodded. “I have indeed been wondering about it. I was going to wait a while and collect my thoughts. And then I was going to come to you,” the unicorn admitted.

“I don’t actually know that much,” Keg Smasher confessed. “And that’s the truth. But there have been others who have come here. And they have met messy ends. Lord Wrecker knows more about this than I do… he and I have been talking a great deal.”

“So what is this place?” Bucky asked.

“I asked the same thing… Celestia told me it isn’t just this place. There are others. Fate brought you here. After the peace was broken, I sent her a message and we began to communicate-”

“You have a means to communicate with Princess Celestia?” Bucky interrupted.

“I have a dragonfire candle,” Keg Smasher answered. “Well, I had a few, but I am down to one and they only get a few uses,” he explained.

“Sorry, do continue,” Bucky said politely.

“After I sent her a message, Celestia realised that fate would bring you here. We talked a bit. There is a lot I don’t know, and I feel bad for leaving you in the dark, but I had to play ignorant. Celestia told me to tell you that she did everything in her power to help you. I guess she has rigged the game in your favour. She said she can’t see here. Something blocks her vision. And she can’t interfere here because of the treaty. She wasn’t allowed to come here. Well, the treaty is over now… I guess she could come here now, but things have been bad for her,” Keg Smasher explained.

“Other places,” Bucky said, mostly to himself. He sighed, reached up with one hoof, and then he scratched his barrel.

“I hope you will understand…” Keg Smasher said in a voice filled with uncertainty.

“Puts a new perspective on things,” Bucky stated. “So when you had me flog Loch Skimmer and Ripple’s father, you wanted the fear placed on my shoulders… but you weren’t exactly expecting me to go home at that time were you?”

“I don’t know lad,” Keg Smasher said. “To be honest, after you lived through the wolves mauling you, I wasn’t sure what I believed in. You’re a little hard arse. I mean, you’re just a wee unicorn. I’ve seen much bigger unicorns than you, big solid types brought down and laid low. No offense, but you’re not even enough for a decent meal.”

Bucky threw back his head and laughed riotously and Keg Smasher couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. The laughter sounded a little… mad.

The big pegasus looked around and realised that ponies were staring at them. And Bucky was still guffawing. Keg Smasher grinned a nervous sheepish grin and turned a worried gaze upon Bucky.

Bucky’s laughter died abruptly. “I hope I make my enemies choke to death,” he said vehemently.

Keg Smasher felt his blood run cold. The unicorn’s demeanor had changed. Something gleamed in his remaining eye and it spooked Keg Smasher. The giant pegasus had lived for a long time because of a well developed sense of knowing when something was dangerous.

“And when they do I will pull myself from their fetid ruined corpses and I will string their festering guts along the rails of this ship. I will festoon the prow of this craft with their severed heads,” Bucky snarled as he raised his eyebrow over his remaining eye. “I will skin my fallen foes and wear their pelts as a cloak.”

Keg Smasher shivered and wrapped his wings around himself. The air was cold, every bit as cold as his blood and his spine.

“Afraid?” Bucky asked.

“Y-y-yes,” Keg Smasher stammered.

“You wanted your subjects to feel this way about me,” Bucky said flatly. His voice was soft now and it brought both calm and comfort. “I will subdue my enemies. I will keep this craft as a home fit for foals. And I don’t want their filthy skins anywhere near me. I have embraced my darkness. But I am not a monster.”

Keg Smasher took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “You had me go-”

“I am tired of being toyed with,” Bucky interrupted. “And you took part in it. I forgive you for it, I understand that you didn’t have much choice, just like the others caught up in this have had little choice. And right now, I am going to give you the option of telling me everything you know, withholding nothing. I have sworn to never bring harm to one of my fellow ponies ever again, so I am asking you to do this out of common decency. Should you continue to withhold information, mark my words; after I eradicate these wolves and go home, I will do everything in my power to make sure that you are no longer in charge here.”

“Aye lad, I’ll tell you everything I know, which honestly isn’t much. And I’ll tell Lord Wrecker to come and have a talk with ya,” Keg Smasher promised.

The big pegasus took a deep breath, and then proceeded to tell Bucky everything he knew.

 

 

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