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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12. 12

A lone earth pony pulled a heavy wagon, loaded down with dry goods and supplies. In the wagon was an assortment of goods. Bags of sugar, crates of brewer’s yeast, cracked corn, and molasses aplenty.

The earth pony pulling the wagon was named Berry Punch, and she enjoyed her task. Pulling the wagon allowed her to sweat out her alcohol based indulgences. Also, being an earth pony, pulling a wagon allowed her to think. Berry Punch believed that between her hard work and drinking, that she was something of a philosopher.

It was an odd quirk of earth pony physiology, their minds seldom working to true capacity unless the body was physically stimulated. And while Berry Punch came from mixed tribal ancestry, she was an earth pony in every way that mattered. Berry Punch was fiercely proud of her ancestors, being able to trace a bloodline all the way back to Smart Cookie.

Berry Punch also liked to joke that she was a draught (as in beer!) pony going a long way back.

The wagon wheels creaked and squeaked, the axle needing to be greased.

Berry Punch thought about her current state of affairs, her newfound attraction to her best friend and her budding interest in her best friend’s new friend. Her mind did its best to wrap around this new situation. She had never been interested in a mare before, and yet something in her brain burned brightly for Derpy Hooves after her searingly hot plumage display. Berry tried to puzzle it out, why this had happened, and she thought about the fact that she could “speak pegasus” and wondered if she would feel the same if she did not understand what was being said.

And then there was Bucky. Bucky who was handsome, no doubt about that, but Berry had never been particularly picky in that area, beer goggles being what they were. No, Bucky had something else, something Berry craved. Bucky was an excellent intellectual foil. Bucky had the potential to scratch an itch that hadn’t been scratched in a while, and Berry Punch really needed to get laid intellectually.

Berry Punch was a slave to her physiology, shackled to a need for physical stimulation in order for her mind to function at peak ability. Derpy certainly had the physical end covered. Her end was fantastic. And Bucky had the potential to meet her intellectual needs.

What Berry Punch did not know, could not know, could not even begin to understand, was that biology was now working against her, conspiring for the greater good of ponykind.

Pheromones. Dreaded pheromones and their inevitable interaction with hormones.

Derpy’s preening display had released a flood of chemicals into the air, a last ditch effort to create the perfect breeding environment. Biology had sensed that conditions were near perfect, just the right ponies were present. Pheromones had battered down poor Bucky’s defenses, fooling him into thinking he was smelling some sweet perfume on the day of the birthday party, teasing and titillating his brain, and working him over. The pheromones had also worked a number on Berry Punch, battering down her psychological barriers, assaulting her brain, rewiring her thinking, and making her feel a powerful sense of attraction for her best friend, releasing what can be scientifically described as a metric ton of dopamines and oxytocin, along with subtle amounts of norepinephrine and serotonin, along with a near overdose of vasopressin that spiked her need to pair bond to new and previously unexperienced levels for Berry Punch. The vasopressin alone was enough to cause Berry Punch to pair bond with a statue, which is fortunate really, as unicorns tended to become statuesque as part of their mating ritual displays. Bucky had certainly been stony enough to allow pigeons to roost. Pheromones, and the hormones affected by pheromones, had had their say.

Biology was ruthless and played to win. It had delivered a master stroke in the case of Bucky, Derpy, and Berry Punch, finding what it believed to be a herd within a herd, an ideal family unit for the creation and raising of foals. Bucky had strong intellectual needs, Derpy had strong physical needs, and Berry Punch, being an earth pony, had dual conflicting needs that could not be satisfied unless both were satisfied.

To drive home its point, biology cruelly spiked poor Berry’s brain once again with a healthy dose of the chemicals responsible for love and pair bonding, causing her to stop pulling her wagon, wipe her brow, and grumble about how hot the day seemed to be getting.

Berry Punch paused, feeling a hot flash burn through her body, causing to break out in beads of sweat, making her plum coloured coat shine with a shimmering sheen in the sun, and made her raspberry coloured mane cling to her neck. She wiped her brow, took a deep breath, and then grumbled a bit about the hot sun and how it hated hard working earth ponies.

Suddenly, for reasons she could not explain, she really wanted to be talking to Bucky and sitting close to her friend Derpy Hooves. She shrugged off the thought and resumed her task, pulling the wagon loaded down with goods.

 

 

The pony in the mirror wasn’t exactly who Sparkler wanted to be. While she was confident in herself, or tried to be, and while she believed that she was pretty, or tried to be, Sparkler had one little issue that drove her to distraction.

She really wanted wings for her own plumage display. She didn’t mind having a horn, but she would trade it in a hot second to have wings. Sparkler really wanted to emulate her mother. Derpy was the ideal figure of what a mare should be for Sparkler, the example that she tried to live by. And Derpy had wings.

It caused a tiny bit of trouble for poor Sparkler, who did not have wings and could not engage in plumage displays. Not that she would engage in plumage displays. And she certainly wouldn’t give Rising Star the satisfaction of a good show.

She stared at herself in the mirror, feeling flustered and a bit bothered. The creep had kissed her, he had even had the nerve to nibble on her lip. It had been her first kiss. She was angry, she was more than a little resentful, and she privately treasured the moment even though she would never confess this to anypony, certainly not Rising Star.

Sparkler felt a bit angry and a bit frustrated with herself because of her attraction. She didn’t want to end up as a teenaged filly single mom… she had seen the consequences of that up close and personal and taking care of Dinky every day was all the reminder she needed to behave herself.

And yet, in spite of her efforts, she felt a powerful attraction to Rising Star, which scared her something awful. He had already kissed her. And while Sparkler knew that kisses were harmless, you couldn’t have a foal just from just a kiss, something she had been foolish enough to believe in when she was younger, kissing led to other things, things Sparkler wanted no part of.

The pony in the mirror stared back at her, a strange horn sprouting from its forehead, a horn that didn’t belong there. It should have been wings. Sparkler sighed, thinking that she would be just perfect if she had wings, but she could settle for being above average and having a horn.

“I’m hawt,” Sparkler reminded herself, trying to convince the pony in the mirror that this was true. She was almost the total package, a good body, excellent table manners, she was almost the perfect pegasus. She just needed wings.

 

 

Diamond Tiara surveyed the playground, ruler of her domain. For a variety of reasons that she had very little knowledge of, or even understood, she was keenly aware of the herd dynamic. It was her place to rule, to guide the herd as she saw fit.

Diamond Tiara had no concept that her herding instincts had been perverted and corrupted by her father’s careless nurturing of all the wrong traits.

Rather than draw in the weak to protect them, surrounding them with the strong, Diamond Tiara drove the weak out, pushing them to the outer edges of the herd, leaving the strongest in the middle, allowing the weak to be picked off by the various factors of life, leaving the strong to prosper in the wake of intentionally sacrificing the weak. Her behaviours mirrored behaviours of those who had come before her, a long terrible lineage, the anomaly in the herd dynamic that created the strength needed for the herd to survive in a hostile world. The weak had been sacrificed, and undesirable traits had been weeded out.

Now, society had changed, and the weak continued to thrive, passing on undesirable traits to undesirable offspring, and the anomaly that existed within the herd dynamic was unable to be rid of such weakness, causing no end of grief to the biological relic of an earlier time when such an anomaly was necessary.

Diamond Tiara understood none of this, she simply behaved as her biology demanded, she continued to try and cull the herd for the sake of survival, forcing the weak away from the center so that the strong could thrive and leave behind viable offspring.

Her behaviour, once a valued asset to evolutionary biology, was now a social nuisance that caused her and all around her to suffer needlessly.

Diamond Tiara scanned the playground, her eyes carefully gazing over all she saw, determining who was fit for survival and who wasn’t, her mind instantly taking in complex levels of social hierarchy, group interaction dynamics, and then performing the complex algebra of survival based on the factors she took in as input.

Not seeing any lone stragglers she could drive away, she turned her attention to her fellow anomaly Silver Spoon and felt a biologically driven sense of revulsion that caused her to feel intense hatred for her so called friend, something that Diamond Tiara repressed, causing untold psychological harm. Silver Spoon was the only other creature quite like her in her peer group, and both were locked into a paradoxical bond of attraction based on their mutual revulsion of one another, each one driven to drive the other out.

On some level, biology understood that sometimes anomalies became undesirable traits that needed to be culled.

 

 

A tan unicorn ran, his hooves thudding through the dirt, a plum coloured earth pony running close beside him, her eyes wide with excitement and her mane streaming out behind her, both of them being chased by a grinning grey pegasus mare that flew after them, all of them enjoying the chase.

Each of them had performed their tasks for the day and were enjoying a little time together, content to chase one another and put on a good show. The ponies watching this show all saw different things, each according to their conditioning and perspectives.

For the ponies chasing one another, the worry about what other ponies thought was temporarily gone, the only thing that mattered was the chase. They laughed together, sides heaving, lost in the moment, simply doing what felt good to them.

Bucky delighted in new friends, feeling something different for each of them, strong feelings that he didn’t understand. He simply allowed the moment to happen, feeling an indescribable joy, finally feeling like a pony, running within a herd.

As the group tore through town, a purple pink filly joined them, finding a place between Bucky and Berry Punch, Sparkler joined into the chase, feeling a need to belong, but not understanding why. Chemicals rushed through her brain, rewarding her for her actions, making her feel good, giving her a rush of self-worth, driving her onward to continue in the chase.

Berry nosed Sparkler gently as they ran, the nose touch a simple gesture of affection, but a complex agent of biology, the momentary contact causing a complex mixture of chemical signals direct access to the brain through the nostrils, making Berry Punch feel even closer to Sparkler, causing their bond to strengthen. A nuzzle, a nosing, a snoot-bump, a kiss, all of these simple gestures of affection, all them complex agents of biology.

Above them, pegasi circled and lounged on clouds, watching over their ground bound flock members, watching the social display, observing the still forming herd developing beneath them.

Derpy swooped down, snatching up Sparkler, holding her close and squeezing the stuffing out of her, pressing her own muzzle into Sparkler, and planting a kiss on her head just between her ears, just behind her horn. Derpy flew with Sparkler for several minutes, squeezing her fiercely, and then gently set her down on the ground, allowing her to run free.

It was a lovely Monday afternoon, the perfect day to chase.

 

Author's Note:

Another chapter to enjoy.

Don't worry, more is forthcoming, another should be released into the wild either this afternoon or this evening.

As always, leave a comment if you have something to say. I hope this encourages lively discussion.

And for those of you confused and bit conflicted by the previous chapters, thank you for giving this story a chance and continuing to read. Be patient and allow events to play out, explanations and reveals will continue to take place over time, so events that seem confusing or out of place now will make a bit more sense later as the scene pans out and perspectives come into play.

And yes, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's perspectives come from real world anomaly factors, facets of evolutionary biology. There will be more about them in time, but a slightly bigger picture has already been revealed.

 
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