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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13. 13

A headache was a terrible thing to labour under. Bucky was already terribly distracted, thinking about his coming date with Miss Derpy Hooves. Miss Berry Punch would be there as well, as both a friend and a translator. Panic was gnawing away at Bucky’s insides, making his mouth dry and his head throb even harder.

He was having a great deal of trouble studying the accounting ledger on the desk in front of him, between his headache, the thoughts of two mares that intrigued him, and his current thoughts about writing a resignation letter.

It went against everything he believed in. It was a rash spontaneous action, something he would never even consider under normal circumstances. And yet here he was, thinking about it. Berry’s offer had been a little too tempting. Cutie marks were all about destiny, and his destiny was a future in brewing. Not accounting.

But accounting paid the bills.

And Bucky had bills.

Having been disinherited from his family, he had no real finances available other than what he made himself, and he was barely keeping his head above water. The train rides and the charges on his credit card were going to damage his remaining available funds.

Despite the high cost of living, life remained popular.

He stared at the ledger, looking at the numbers, checking the receipts, checking over every jot and tittle. He blinked several times, realising he saw a huge oversight, an error that was costing Mister Rich a considerable amount of money.

“Mister Rich?” Bucky called out, looking at the stallion himself through the open door to his office.

Filthy Rich got up out his chair, left his office, and stood before Bucky’s desk. He stared at Bucky patiently, smiling slightly, Filthy Rich liked Buckminster. “Something you need?” asked Filthy Rich.

“Sir, I’ve spotted a place where we are bleeding money and I have a solution that will stop the hemorrhaging and save a lot of money I think,” Bucky replied, licking his lips out of nervousness.

“Tell me,” commanded Filthy Rich, now looking very concerned about the news, a little angry about the situation, and slightly pleased with Buckminster, one of his most faithful accountants, somehow able to express all of these emotions all at once. Buckminster had the most wonderful case of obsessive compulsive disorder according to the employee file, and an eye for detail that nopony that Filthy Rich employed could ever hope to match. Ponies with obsessive compulsive disorder made magnificent company assets.

“The train situation when we send our agents to Canterlot for business transactions. They hop a train, go to Canterlot, and then come home again. And a day or two later, they do it again. We’re losing so much money on this. What we need to do is reschedule everything to one single day of the week, take a three AM train to Canterlot for the ten percent discount, arrive in Canterlot bright and early, attend to meetings, get everything done in one day, and then catch a post commuter ride home with a discounted fare. It would be a very long work day to be sure, but you could allow a day off or two for the business agents willing to follow the more efficient scheduling, something I am sure most of them would be willing to do to spend more time with their families,” explained Bucky.

“Hmm,” replied Filthy Rich, now looking pensive yet quite pleased.

“With the money we save on train fare, you could spend a small fraction of it on employee meal perks, offering to secure them breakfast, lunch, and dinner, preferably within the establishments of your business contacts at a steep discount because you would buy in bulk, and you could look very generous. With the show of generousity, many agents would agree to the long day, expenses would go down, and productivity would probably go up considerably,” Bucky patiently continued.

“That’s brilliant,” Filthy Rich said in a low voice. “I could endear myself to my employees and probably increase employee loyalty as well. That damnable Fancy Pants would have a much harder time stealing away valuable company assets.”

Bucky nodded, knowing that the time for words was done, and it was time to allow Filthy Rich time to catch up, take everything in, and then find a way to take credit somehow for the idea.

The front door to the office banged open suddenly and one of Mister Rich’s runners came running inside the office, panting, and looking panicked.

“There’s been an incident at the school!” he exclaimed, his breathing ragged, “You need to go right away! Diamond Tiara has been assaulted!”

Filthy Rich didn’t bother replying other than a startled grunt, he simply took off out the door, running, his tie flapping in the breeze.

Bucky felt a surprisingly strong twinge of panic and then followed Filthy Rich out the door, feeling a terrible sense of worry.

 

 

Dinky Doo emerged from the schoolhouse, out into the playground, blinking her eyes as the sun blinded her. She had gone back inside to use the little fillies’ room, and now that her business had concluded, she was going back outside to play with Piña. She trotted along the side of the building, heading to the back, heading back to the seesaw where she had left Piña, hoping to enjoy the rest of recess.

As she came around the corner, she saw Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon backing Piña up against the slide, Piña looking quite panicked and afraid.

Something inside of Dinky boiled. Her horn felt itchy, something that had never happened before. Her legs stiffened and she puffed out her barrel, trying to make herself look larger, a characteristic she had learned from her mother, without actually knowing that she had learned it. She began to stride forward, in stiff legged walk that belonged to a pegasus, not a unicorn.

But Dinky was a unicorn.

Silver Spoon raised her hoof and gave Piña a shove, knocking her backwards into the metal ladder, Piña let out a pained cry, panicked and now hurt, and Diamond Tiara moved in swiftly sensing weakness, her lip curled into a sneer.

Dinky tried to speak, but no words came. Her throat felt hot and dry.

Piña let out another pained yelp as she was shoved again, and foals all over the playground were now watching, waiting to see what would happen next.

Cheerilee was inside, grading papers.

Diamond Tiara turned and glared at Dinky Doo. “Get out of here you retard spawn,” she hissed, narrowing her eyes and lashing out with a swift kick using her hind leg, driving it into Pina’s ribs, sending Piña sprawling.

Dinky felt an odd hot sensation, followed by a weird thrum coming from her horn. And then, the world went white.

 

 

Diamond Tiara froze, watching Dinky as Dinky rose up into the air, her horn glowing purple fire, her eyes now white. White and purple bolts of energy crackled up and down Dinky’s body, and she heard a whimper of panic coming from Silver Spoon.

Dinky hovered, held aloft by invisible forces.

The air smelled like a thunderstorm, and energy crackled and popped. Diamond Tiara felt a painful crushing sensation in her bladder, and very nearly lost control of herself. The air was filled with an odd thrumming sound, it made everything vibrate painfully, and produced an odd sensation in the soft tissues of her eyes. It made the fillings in her teeth vibrate painfully. She could feel her horseshoes begin to tingle. Her tiara vibrated off of her head and fell into the dirt.

And then, the air was filled with an angry buzzing roar.

The sky above Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon went dark with a swirling seething mass, it made an odd vibrating roar as it moved, darting back and forth as one buzzing mass.

It was a cloud of bees.

Thousands of bees. They dove, as a single unified mass, swooping down towards Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. And they did the only thing two foals could do when confronted by an angry swarm of bees. They ran.

Diamond Tiara let out a pitiful cry as the first bee stung her, her bladder finally letting go, causing her to stream urine behind her as she ran, now braying pitifully like a donkey, running from the angry swarm, Silver Spoon right behind her.

Bees swarmed everywhere, and they were angry!

No other foals were stung, the swarm focused entirely on Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, who ran, running, trying to find someplace safe to run. There was no safe place, and the bees kept stinging.

Eventually, Silver Spoon was overcome, and she lay on the ground and covered her eyes with her forelegs, screaming madly for help, which did not come.

Cheerilee stood in the door, her mouth open wide in horror, unable to do anything. Several adult ponies from the surrounding town of Ponyville also stood around, panicking, dancing in place on their hooves, knowing that nothing could be done.

Finally, Diamond Tiara fell. She too, covered her face, trying to keep the angry bees from stinging her eyes. She bawled with terror, still sounding a bit like a donkey, her eyes covered and she rolled on the ground, trying to make the bees stop stinging.

But the bees did not stop stinging.

When Diamond Tiara rolled over, they began to sting her tender exposed belly and her now exposed delicate places, plunging their stingers into her soft unprotected flesh. They swarmed inside of her mouth as she howled, stinging her tongue and the inside of her cheeks.

Eventually, Diamond Tiara’s howls ceased and became frantic whimpers, and then nothing at all. Silver Spoon suffered the same fate, stung into unconsciousness by the writhing mass of bees, who stung once and then vanished, popping out of existence.

Eventually, the bees ceased their relentless assault and the remainder blinked out of existence, leaving behind a schoolyard full of stunned foals and one very terrified teacher who stood frozen, still unable to move.

It was during this moment of shocked paralysis that two ponies arrived upon the scene.

 

 

Bucky, following Filthy Rich, arrived at the schoolyard just in time to see Dinky falling to the earth, released from invisible bonds, falling down with a thump and slumping over motionless. Filthy Rich ran to the side of his foal, bellowing wordlessly in panic, while Bucky went to Dinky.

Reacting swiftly, Bucky, rolled Dinky over and checked for breathing, placing his ear upon her barrel. It was difficult to hear over his own thudding heart beat and the sudden ringing in his ears. It took a moment, but Bucky finally heard faint sounds of breathing.

Other ponies began to arrive on the scene, Dr. Stable and Nurse Redheart showing up, their hooves pounding the earth as they ran to the schoolhouse from the hospital. After assessing the situation, Nurse Redheart began to gently try and lead Filthy Rich away from his foal, to give Dr. Stable room to work.

Many little fillies and colts had formed a circle around the two fallen bullies, all of them looking worried and solemn. Not a sound was made. Cheerilee began to pace back and forth, looking quite frantic.

Piña, terrified and unable to find comfort, had collapsed and curled into a fetal position, and was now crying hysterically.

Bucky settled back on his haunches and gently began to rub Dinky’s barrel, trying to get a response from the now comatose foal. Magic surges were unpredictable and could cause any number of physical problems, and Bucky was terrified.

Panic had found its perfect moment, a weak place appearing in Bucky’s defenses. Something inside of his chest seized, forcing all of the wind out of his lungs, leaving him gasping.

“You little monster, what did you do?” Filthy Rich growled, now advancing on Bucky and Dinky, spittle flying from his lips, his eyes bloodshot with rage.

“Mister Rich, back off, now is not a good time, go calm down, this was an accident,” wheezed Bucky, feeling even more panic flooding in, trying to shore up his mental defenses, attempting to repair the levees before everything gave way completely.

Pegasi were landing now, many of them pegasi Bucky recognised. Some of them began to try and lead the terrified foals away.

“That little monster almost killed my foal,” Filthy Rich snarled, still advancing, now entirely too close to Bucky.

Another crack appeared in the levees, and the first trickle of failure began to manifest.

“STAY BACK!” Bucky commanded, reaching out with a tiny fraction of the force he was capable of and sending Filthy Rich flying backwards, tumbling through the air like a rag doll.

A large piece of the levees gave way, causing something truly awful to rush forth.

Knowing it was too late to hold back and bottle it up, Bucky reached out and extended his will, wrapping his magic around the slide. With a single jerk, he tore it free from the earth, ripping it free of its concrete anchors, holding it aloft in the air, and then struck it with several tons worth of force. A metallic screech echoed through Ponyville, causing quite a bit of alarm. Bucky struck it again, warping and bending the metal, causing it to become white hot from the applied force. And then, in a moment of rage, he applied multiple tons of crushing pressure from all sides, causing the whole slide to be compressed into a white hot glowing ball of metal not much larger than a foal’s ball. With a toss of his head, he sent it soaring into the lake quite some distance away, causing a pillar of steam to rise out of the lake and a torrent of bubbles.  

“I TOLD YOU TO STAY BACK!” Bucky screamed, his voice ragged with panic.

A charcoal grey pegasus stallion landed nearby, slowly and cautiously approached.

Bucky turned and glared at Thunderlane, his barrel heaving, one eye twitching in an alarming fashion.

“Come on Bucky, let us take Dinky and go,” said Thunderlane in a calm soothing voice. “We need to go,” he repeated, his tone gentle and enticing.

Filthy Rich was now getting up on his hooves, cursing and spitting, quite irate.

“Bucky, I don’t mean to pressure you, but really, right now, we need to go,” begged Thunderlane, still speaking in a low soothing voice.

Bucky nodded slowly, almost mechanically, forcing his legs to work. His movements were jerky and spastic. He let out a startled cry of alarm as two legs wrapped gently around his barrel and he found himself lifted into the air and being carried away by an unknown pegasus. Thunderlane had gently collected Dinky and was now airborne, trying to whisper soothing words into Dinky’s ear. Piña was gently taken into the air by a third pegasus, and the group departed, fleeing the scene.

A large crowd had gathered, and Bucky could see it now from his airborne perspective. He felt his panic threatening to overwhelm him, promising torment if Bucky kept resisting. Bucky struggled to hold back, his horn now hot and itching, the air filled with the stench of ozone.

Halfway to Derpy’s home, Derpy had intercepted the group, looking terrified, Berry Punch running along on the ground behind her, looking very worried. Dinky had been gently transferred to Derpy, and now the group continued their retreat to Derpy’s home, Berry Punch being snatched into the air by yet another helpful pegasus, one of the many now circling overhead.

Berry Punch was dropped by the front door, and she opened it immediately, allowing Derpy to fly inside. Dinky was gently settled into an overstuffed chair, and Derpy landed, her wings still flapping with nervous energy.

Bucky found himself dropped at the door, and then shoved inside by Berry Punch, who grunted and swore loudly, saying words that no foal should hear, causing many adult ears to flicker and twitch with alarm from the blue streak inducing words streaming from her mouth.

Several steps into the room, Bucky collapsed, falling over to the hardwood floors with a loud “thud.” The panic had him completely now, and he began his slow downward spiral into being consumed by panic.

“I don’t know what is going on!” shouted Derpy, now in a state of panic herself.

“Panic attack most likely,” replied Berry, who was looking down at Bucky. “He’s too high strung and this has been too much,” she explained, now looking at Dinky.

“No no no no no!” cried Derpy, running around in circles, not knowing what to do, fear beginning to gnaw her insides.

“He’s seizing,” Thunderlane cautioned, gesturing at Bucky, who began to twitch frightfully, a line of white foam coming from his muzzle.

“Oh pony farts!” swore Berry, stomping her hoof into the floor.

Derpy, who could not think of anything better to do, pulled Bucky into her forelegs and began to hold him still as he twitched, his horn glowing with terrifying luminescence. She gently folded his forelegs over his barrel, wrestling them into place, and then began to squeeze gently, murmuring soothing sounds.

“Bad idea Derpy, he’s gonna blow, we should get him outside before something happens,” Berry warned, looking scared.

“No!” refused Derpy, holding ever tighter. “He’s scared. He’s still in there, he needs to know that everything is okay!” she said.

Bucky began to flail, more foam dribbling out, his eyes rolled back completely into his head. Berry Punch watched this for a moment, and then lunged forward, grabbing Derpy and Bucky both, squeezing them tightly, pressing against Bucky.

“A unicorn to light my way, a pegasus to watch over me, and an earth pony to shoulder my heavy burdens,” Berry Punch whispered, remembering something her mother had always said to comfort her, not really understanding what it meant, but knowing it was a quote from Smart Cookie. It comforted Berry a great deal to say it, and she pulled even tighter, leaving Bucky quite unable to thrash in between them.

“I have Dinky,” announced Thunderlane, “just keep doing what you are doing, it seems to be working.”

The last parts of Bucky’s brain that still contained Bucky felt a soothing warmth coming from all sides, a gentle pressure, like being back in the womb. For a brief second, he felt safe, secure, a profound feeling that he did not have time to enjoy as the last string of consciousness snapped and his mind tore free from reality.

 

 

 

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