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 stared down into the pool of water and saw his own reflection. He could see the moon above him and his face in the water below him. His eyes, both of them, were wrong. The blood red crimson irises had slitted pupils and the whites of his eyes had turned a foul shade of green. The foal in the water looked up at him with a sad, pained expression upon his small face. He could see a tiny pair of wings fluttering at his sides.

“What have I become?” Bucky asked his reflection in the water below.

As he watched, he saw his mother’s face in the water, appearing next to his own.

“YOU ARE A MONSTER! AN ABOMINATION! YOU ARE THE WORST MISTAKE I HAVE EVER MADE! JUST THE SIGHT OF YOU NOW SICKENS ME!”

Bucky cringed away from the water, a whimper escaping his lips.

“I tried to tell your father that nothing good would ever come from having foals! I told him! I TOLD HIM! I begged him to leave me be! But one drunken night and he has to hold me down and force me… and then YOU happened, an everlasting reminder of my shame!”

“No…” Bucky whimpered as he looked over his body and saw that he really was a foal, and it wasn’t just his reflection.

“I begged your father to let me drown you in the river… or to leave you in the orphanage!”

“No… why are you telling me this?” Bucky whined. “Stop, please stop!”

“When you were little I tried to POISON YOU! You lived you little monster… the doctors saved you… said the manticore venom would stunt your growth… you became even more worthless. Your father had to cover everything up. He made the doctors believe it was an accident, you got into something you shouldn’t have… I wish it would have killed you!”

“No… Why?” Bucky pleaded. He could take no more and he backed away from the pool, falling over his own hindhooves as he stumbled from fear.

And then, he heard the wolves howling all around him.

Bucky did the only thing he could do, he ran, a corrupted purple haze streaming from his eyes as he did so. He ran as fast as his stubby legs would carry him, his small stunted body darting off into the darkened woods, his wings flapping but unable to provide him lift. The howls grew closer and Bucky felt his bladder give way.

He slipped between shadows in the trees, running for his life from the wolves that now hunted him. He hear them drawing closer, their heavy ragged breathing, and the snapping of their jaws, all of them hungering for his flesh.

“You monster!” one of the wolves shouted in Celestia’s voice.

“I didn’t want to be this way!” Bucky cried as he willed his tiny legs to run faster.

“You have fallen into shadow!”

“I didn’t have any choice!” Bucky protested as he ran, his sides hitching, now burning from his exertions. He was having trouble breathing.

“There is no point in running! The light will find you. My light will find you!

“What else could I have done?” Bucky begged as he ran for his life from the wolves who were closing in all around him. Turning to look over his shoulder, he could see one now, drawing close, jaws open, teeth gleaming in the moonlight, ready to take him down.

“Your mother was right! You should have never been born!” one of the wolves cried in Celestia’s voice.

The night was filled with an explosive roar and even darker shadows moved all around Bucky as he ran. Something truly black and terrible descended down upon him. Something so dark that it made the rest of the night seem like daylight in comparison.

BEGONE FOUL SPAWN OF TARTARUS! GET THEE HENCE YE FOUL MONSTROSITIES OF FELL SHADOW! THIS DARK ONE IS MINE!

Bucky felt himself taken in by magic, his running halted, there were four legs standing around him like bars in a cage, and a tall dark figure up above him. He cowered, not knowing what was happening, but all around him was swirling shadow.

Then there was a bright piercing flash of light and Bucky saw everything. All around him were enormous lunar pegasi and they were battling horrible misshapen demons. It was a fierce battle, full of flashing fangs, claws, and hooves.

“SECURE THIS REALM! PROTECT YOUR PRINCE!” Princess Luna commanded, using the Royal Voice.

Bucky clung to Luna’s leg, burying his face behind her knee. The sounds of battle all around him were horrible. Screams, tearing and rending of flesh, savage sounds, bones snapping, and the wet spattering of blood hitting the earth and the trees. Bucky wrapped all four of his legs around Luna’s leg and held on to her, shivering and afraid.

More demons came, blinking into existence all around them, and even more lunar pegasi arrived to do battle. Luna’s horn flashed again and gleaming moonlight shone around her and the foal she sheltered beneath her. She glared fiercely at anything that drew close.

Nothing made it near enough to attack her.

Luna kneeled down, settling herself to the ground, and cradled the tiny foal she was sheltering in her forelegs, holding him close. She wrapped her wings around him and shielded him from the sight of the horrific  battle being waged all around them.

“I have you Buckminster,” Luna said in a soothing voice, whispering into the foal’s ear.

“Why is this happening?” Bucky whimpered.

“Ssh, be calm little one,” Luna whispered in a soft silky whisper that somehow carried over the sounds of the battle all around them.

“Why did my mother say those things?” Bucky asked.

“Those were demons my precious little foal,” Luna explained. “Not your mother.”

“Was it true?” Bucky inquired, burying his face into Luna’s neck and wrapping his forelegs around her neck tightly.

“Sadly, some of it, yes,” Luna answered, her voice full of hesitation. “The demons spoke the truth, knowing it would hurt you. Not the parts about you being a monster. You are not a monster.

“So my mother did that?” Bucky asked. There was a sound of ripping flesh nearby and he cringed. The hot smell of sulphur and blood filled the air all around them.

“Yes,” Luna answered.

“How could they get away with that?” Bucky questioned, the first shuddering sobs beginning to overtake his tiny frail body.

“I wasn’t here to watch over dreams and scare ponies back into the light. I wasn’t here to stop the shadows as they burrowed into the minds of my subjects. I was locked away on the moon and the shadows prospered. All manner of horrible things happened and I could do nothing to stop them. My sister simply does not have that kind of power. She held up our nation as best as she could, but she could not stop the decay happening from the inside. She wasn’t capable of watching things as I can watch things,” Luna soothed, her voice practically a lullabye.

“My mother…  really…  poisoned me…” Bucky sobbed.

“Had I been here, I would have possibly prevented that,” Luna whispered comfortingly. “Or would have found out through her guilty mind. She would have been punished. There is so much work to do now, I am overwhelmed. There is simply too much decay to deal with. Canterlot is a cancerous growth upon our society.” Luna wrapped her wings a little tighter around Bucky as a severed demon head went soaring past and blood splattered over her muzzle. She looked up in annoyance and then dropped her head back down to focus on the injured dreamer in her embrace.

“Does Celestia really hate me? Is she going to kill me?” Bucky whined.

“She is… upset. She is worried. She is still trying to figure out exactly what has taken place here. I will shield you from my sister’s anger though. Do not worry about her. She does not know the full extent of what you have endured, or what you had to do. There was no other way, little Buckminster,” Luna answered. “She has made mention about having you permanently exiled to the Shetlands though. She is confused, hurt, and upset right now. I will deal with her, give me time.”

“There was nothing else I could do!” Bucky wailed.

“I know. I can see it all in your mind right now. I helped you once, and I will help you again. I am tired of losing my precious foals to darkness. No more,” Luna said in a forceful voice. “I will preserve you. What our society might throw away, I still see great value in. You have endured a terrible trial and you did what had to be done. I will do everything I can to heal your mind, but it is going to take time, if you will permit me.”

“Help me,” Bucky pleaded.

“Do not worry, I will,’ Luna promised as the battle began to die down around them. She watched as her lunar guard formed a protective perimeter around them, a circle of muscle and rage, a wall of fury and fangs. “You are mine now, I have claimed you. I have put down my hoof and laid claim to your life, as is my privilege. Celestia’s hurt and confusion will blow over and she will come to terms with all of this in time. You must come home soon Buckminster, I give you my word, you will be safe if you do. There is much that needs to be done.”

“Okay,” Bucky snuffled. “Why didn’t you come to help me sooner? When I had that horrible dream… they were all dead, and everything hurt so much!”

“There was a crisis Buckminster, I do hope you will forgive me. I could not come. I could not help. Everything had collapsed and fell apart, and in the chaos, an old enemy from our past tried to take revenge. He has been dealt with and now we are rebuilding,” Luna answered.

“I would forgive you anything Luna,” Bucky whispered, wiping his face against Luna’s neck. “Am I an alicorn now?”

“No Bucky, this is a dream. You are seeing yourself for how you really are, what you are meant to be, the alicorn of war,” Luna explained.

“I don’t want to be an alicorn,” Bucky whined.

“Why not?” Luna asked in confusion. “This is what everypony dreams of, Buckminster, you have earned this. This is your rightful place, your destiny. Even my sister, for all of her confusion right now, knows this.”

“But she was going to exile me,” Bucky said.

“Well, the Isles could use an alicorn to assist them and lead them,” Luna said. “Not that I want you exiled. What do you have against being an alicorn?”

“I’ve had dreams Luna, look into my mind. I will let you see everything. The alicorn of war only has one purpose,” Bucky said.

“I will examine your dreams in time,” Luna replied. “I hope you realise that you cannot hold off your destiny. This was meant to happen. You have been Touched.”

“Don’t make me do it,” Bucky begged.

“Now is not the time for this decision. You are wounded and fragile. You were poisoned with necromantic death magic. Recover Bucky, now is not the time to worry about this issue. A mutual acquaintance of ours had made sure you had something to drive the magical poison from your body and render it harmless. All of us involved in this affair are still wondering how you survived being struck by that spell. It should have been instantly fatal, severing your soul from your body,” Luna said as she stroked Bucky with her wings. Her guard stood stone still now, resolute and unmoving as statues. They snorted occasionally as they peered into the darkness around them.

“Will they come back?” Bucky asked.

“The demons? No. I shall be speaking to their master about their release. This wasn’t supposed to happen. There are many forces at work here Buckminster, all of them wanting something different from you,” Luna replied.

“What do you want from me?” Bucky inquired.

“I want to see you happy,” Luna answered. “More than anything else. More than living up to your potential. You have endured a miserable experience. And if you really do not want to be an alicorn, then I suppose I can find a way to live with that. The others will hound you though.”

“Thank you Luna,” Bucky said, finally sounding somewhat at peace.

“Now rest, my foal. I will watch over you. You exist on the edge of life and death at this moment. And since everything else is breaking the rules I have chosen to be clever as well. You will live Buckminster, I will see to that. I will stay here with you and watch over the fragile connection you have to your body. Now rest. Sleep here in my embrace,” Luna said as she began to hum a soft song of sleep.

Feeling safe and secure, Bucky allowed himself to slip off into slumber, Luna’s lullaby cradling his very soul in a velvet embrace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Note:

I said he would awaken, I never said how he would awaken.

See any typos?

This chapter explains briefly how and why everything went wrong in Equestria. There was no Luna to police the dreams of bad ponies. There are also a metric ton of clues and answers to be found in this chapter for those paying attention.

 
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