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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Bucky awoke with a feverish notion, an idea tickling his brain. His snoot was pressed in between Berry’s teats and he could smell the sweet smell of fresh milk. Berry’s hind leg was draped over his neck. He could hear low soft voices, ponies whispering to one another so they wouldn’t wake the day sleepers.

Pulling his head from between Berry’s legs caused her to let out a startled gasp and Bucky sat up. He yawned, his mouth feeling sticky, and then used his magic to pull some paper and a pencil over to himself.

“Bucky?”

Bucky did not reply to the dulcet sounds of Derpy’s voice. He began to scribble down the thoughts in his head, his magic making an invisible hard surface for him to write on. It was one of the first of many difficult spells he had truly mastered, and he had done it at an impossibly young age. His accomplishment had been rewarded by getting to have an ice cream sundae with Princess Celestia and a quiet chat about the nature of talent.

Berry Punch sat up beside her husband, worried because he hadn’t been asleep all that long, and Bucky needed sleep. She watched as Bucky scribbled, scrawled, and scratched words onto the paper he held in the blue-green glow of his magic.

After several minutes of scratching away on the paper, Bucky carefully placed the paper on the table along with his pencil. He grabbed Berry Punch around the neck, hauled her in close, kissed her warmly, and then threw himself down upon the bed.

In moments, he was asleep again.

 

 

“What was that all about?” Derpy asked.

Berry shrugged. She smacked her lips. Bucky had milk breath and he smelled a bit like a newborn foal. The kiss had been somewhat confusing.

Sentinel rose from Derpy’s side in the straw, went to the table, and then guiltily picked up the paper, pinching it between his grasping digit and the central knuckle on his wing. He looked around the room, looking at both Berry and Derpy, looking for some kind of reassurance.

He calmed a bit when Berry gave him a faint nod and he began to read his father’s rather carelessly written script, which wasn’t like his father at all.

“Well, read it,” Berry suggested in an impatient whisper.

Sentinel took a deep breath, held the paper a little closer to get a good look at it, and then cleared his throat a few times. “I am an equine. Specifically, I am a pony. I was a citizen of Equestria, a loyal subject of the Royal Pony Sisters, but now I am no longer certain I am either of these things. I have things to answer for and my future is uncertain. I am a member of Clan Pickled. Of this, I have no doubt. I am welcomed and loved by my clanmates. I am the new Founder. I am the Father of my tribe. I lead a tribe of ponies. We will identify as ponies. We are all ponies. Ponies with horns or wings or even fins, but we are ponies first and foremost. We are more than a herd. We are what we should have been since the beginning. We are one tribe and we make no distinctions,” Sentinel read. He stopped for a moment, pausing. He looked up at Derpy. “There is a horseshoe at the bottom of it with a snowflake in the middle. Somehow, he drew the most amazing looking snowflake in such a short amount of time,” the colt said in awe. “Below the symbol he drew, he scribbled “the winter brought us together and I am the Lord of Winter” in teeny tiny letters.”

“So he wakes up after falling asleep while suckling on my teats to jot down a moment of crazy brilliance, kiss me, and then lay back down and go to sleep,”Berry said.

“So what is he going to do exactly?” Derpy asked in a low voice. “Bring back some horrible blizzardy winter that buries everything in snow and forces ponies to come together again to survive?”

“Perhaps,” Berry replied.

“My family is weird,” Sentinel muttered. “My sister has a terrible potty-mouth. My other sister keeps mumbling about the balance of power. My big sister is now reveling in her newfound slaphappy brutishness. My littlest sister looks like she’s been struck by mama Lyra’s lightning. And now, my father might be planning some sort of frozen doom. I need to write all of this down. I need to copy father’s ravings into my journal.” The colt went off to retrieve his journal and snatched up the pencil on the table as he did so.

“I guess milk does do a body good,” Derpy quipped.

“I’m not worried about Bucky freezing the world over,” Berry announced. “We have ways to keep warm.”

“My thick pelt might be useful,” Sentinel murmured, mostly to himself as he flipped his journal open.

“Bucky’s pelt is getting longer and shaggier. He’s got that wonderful patch of really long shaggy hair on his chest that feels so good when my I run my frogs over it,” Derpy said as she looked down at the two sleeping foals under her wing.

Berry stroked Bucky gently. He was laying beside her, sprawled out on his belly now, his hind legs kicked out behind him in the strange manner that Bucky tended to stretch out. He still had bald patches on his hide, terrible scarring, but hair was growing back into some of the gnarled and disfigured places. Vast expanses of his hind legs were still bare and the flesh was as withered and shriveled as a raisin. She stroked his tail, smoothing it out, and she suspected that the reason why he kept it so long and full now was that it helped to cover his hind legs when he stood. She felt a pang of sadness for his self consciousness. Berry genuinely didn’t care what he looked like and she was not repulsed by his appearance. She leaned down and sniffed, taking in his scent, and then she smiled at Sentinel, who was watching her intently.

“Are his balls comfortable?” Derpy asked in concern. She lowered her voice. “When he’s sweaty they cling to the bare skin on his legs and I know he chafes,” she explained as she cast a sheepish glance at Sentinel.

There was a scratching sound as Sentinel scribbled something in his journal.

Berry pushed aside Bucky’s tail and gently prodded and poked around, which made Bucky snort in his sleep. Nothing was sticking or clinging and Bucky wasn’t sweaty. She quietly smoothed his tail back into place and glanced at Derpy, who seemed relieved.

“Sorry Sentinel,” Derpy said in a low voice. “When you get married and love somepony you will understand.”

“Why be sorry? I have balls. Two of them. I know what it means to have them hurt. I can only hope that I have a wife that cares about them,” Sentinel replied as he scratched away.

Derpy squirmed. That wasn’t the sort of reply that she had expected.

 

 

Rising Star quietly meditated with Dinky sitting beside him. It was a quiet moment of focus, something he needed to do more and more, and the quiet moment of reflection allowed him to settle his thoughts. He could hear Dinky beside him, trying to mimic his breathing, the long slow deep breaths he took as he tried to slow down his mind.

A fair distance away, Sparkler was working on her aim while shooting at a boulder. She was getting quite good at the electric zap spell she had learned back in Ponyville, and while she was no electromancer like Lyra, her static discharges were becoming fearsome, if she said so herself.

Piña and Ripple were sitting in the shallow water watching Thistle, who was fishing. Thistle grumbled occasionally, saying that Bucky needed to learn how to fish, but everypony sort of understood just how busy poor Bucky really was, including Thistle.

Loch Skimmer was sitting with Sour Mash and the two of them were having what was quite possibly the most perverse conversation that either of them would ever enjoy in their lives. Techniques, likes, desires, Sour Mash spared no detail, explaining to Loch Skimmer that penises were like dragons, they had to be slayed when encountered, their precious treasure taken and hoarded away. Loch Skimmer listened with rapt attention, learning even more about earth pony sexual arts.

Concentrating on his new sense of focus, Rising Star levitated a ball of water up over his head, trying to make sure that no water trickled out. He still had leaks, little streams of water that escaped from the tiny gaps in his magical field. Bucky could levitate water with no leaks, and Rising Star wanted the same level of control. Levitating a ball of liquid steel and having some of the contents dribble out would be terrible.

Dinky attempted to do the same, and she too had quite a number of leaks. In no time at all, her pelt was damp from the water dribbling down from the sphere of magic over her head. The trickling water felt good in the summer sun and sent faint tickles through her body, which made it that much harder to concentrate. Her concentration broke and a large mass of water splashed down upon her head. She heard a laugh, followed by a startled cry and a wet sounding splash. She opened her eyes and saw a soaked Rising Star laughing at her.

Dinky found the whole thing surprisingly funny and began to laugh along. Today just wasn’t a day to be angry about anything.

 

 

 

 

My father’s words have affected me greatly. He wrote them out only a little while ago, but I have already been thinking upon their meaning. There is truth in his half awake ravings. I have never understood my place, but I think I do now. I am a pony with leathery wings. I am called a lunar pegasus by type, but my tribe is my father’s tribe. And in this tribe, we are ponies. Some of us fly, some of us walk, all of us have some kind of magic, some of us are grass eaters, a few of us are flesh eaters. Some are adult, some are young.

I have all of these thoughts that I do not know how to fully express. My father has ideas. These ideas are going to change his foals, myself as well. I get the feeling we are going to grow up learning my father’s new ideas, and he is going to keep getting more ideas. And it will be up to us to tell other ponies about these ideas.

My father, whatever his fate might be, has done one thing worth noting already. He has brought us all together and we do not squabble. We are as he said, one tribe. I’ve been learning history from Lyra and Bon Bon. Lyra told me how the unicorns used the pegasi to bully the earth ponies into growing food. Bon Bon and Lyra both told me that many unicorns still have this belief, that the other tribes should be beneath them. I have learned about horrible words like “mud pony” and even writing them down or thinking about those words makes me feel sick.

Should those words ever be uttered around me, I will feed somepony their own teeth. I will not be little forever.

I must look angry because my mother Berry Punch is looking at me funny. I love her so much, and I wish I could tell her how I feel, but the words never come easy. Writing is so much easier because I have a chance to think about what I want to say. I think about what my mother Derpy told me… there are well spoken pegasi and even book writers. I think I might like to be a writer of books.

I think when I am bigger and stronger, I will make it my life’s work to defend all those who are smaller than I am, and those who do not have wings. Father speaks often of how the Princesses have failed the earth ponies and that somepony needs to step in and do something to help them. In far off Equestria, they are rioting now because they have been treated so poorly for so long.

The words of my mother Bon Bon still bother me. She told me how she was taken from her home as a foal, snatched away and stolen from her family, how she was taken away on a ship filled with other foals, and brought to a city called Fillydelphia. She told me how they shaved her bald all over, shaving off her mane, her tail, and her pelt, and how she was sprayed with something to kill lice and bugs, how they got it in her eyes, how it burned her eyes and her skin, and how she was blind for a month afterwards. She was kept in a freezing cold orphanage with no pelt as winter approached.

Father is not the only one with a painful burden now upon his shoulders.

 

Squire Sentinel, son of Buckminster Bitters.

 

 

Author's Note:

Sentinel's journal entries are a relatively new addition to The Chase. I only recently committed to adding them. I am still on the fence about them, but I think I might try them out and then make a decision once I see what the reaction is. Yay or nay?

 
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