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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Yew Wood looked up at the large griffon hulking over her, a soft smile turning up the corners of her mouth. She couldn’t feel the pain in her leg when she looked at him, and there was something certainly attractive at about the big predator. He had fought valiantly in the battle, fearlessly charging in to deal with all threats, and he had struck down the banshee. He had braved the darkness to rescue Bucky.

Trembling slightly, she reached out and carefully smoothed out the ruffled feathers along his broad chest, and she felt him jerk slightly at her touch. Yew understood she had power over him, she could gently push him and he would fall over and go belly up for her.

“How is Bucky?” Yew asked.

“Recovering. I think he will live,” Lugus replied.

“Mmm, that will be good, if we have young together, I want them to know their chief,” Yew said suggestively.

The big griffon made a nervous squawk.

“I have decided that I want to keep you. If you will still have me. You and your cat-like curiousity. You and your fascination about us ponies and our squishy parts. If you would like, I will show you all of my squishy parts. I could show you all of my expressive and silly faces I can make if you would like to see them,” Yew said, looking at Lugus as she spoke.

As she watched, Lugus reached up and smoothed down his feather crest with his talons.

“Have I shown myself as a worthwhile mate?” Yew inquired sweetly.

The big griffon nodded slowly and then scratched at his left front leg with his right set of talons in a careful sort of way that he did not cut himself with the sharp edges or tips of his claws.

“So how do griffons marry? Do we write out a contract? Go before Keg Smasher?” Yew asked in a low seductive voice.

“I do not know. I do not wish to write a contract for you. No words could be used to describe your value,” Lugus responded nervously. “There is no way to accurately measure your appropriate worth.”

“Aw, you really know how to make a mare feel special,” Yew gushed.

“I give you my solemn vow that I will be a good life-mate for you. My life for you,” Lugus said in a low flat voice.

“I accept Lugus… I offer you everything I have in return,” Yew replied. “So are these our vows? What comes next?”

“I spend the rest of my life proving worthy of your affections,” Lugus stated.

“There you go again, making a mare feel good,” Yew said teasingly. “I’m tired Lugus. Care to take me back to our quarters on The Scorned Mare?”

Saying nothing in return, Lugus carefully took Yew into his talons, spread his wings, and took off into the air with a single leap from his powerful hind legs.

 

 

Bon Bon held Harper’s tiny body close to her and tried to put everything back together inside of her mind. Lyra was beside her, sleeping fitfully and crying occasionally in her sleep. Her husband was hovering somewhere near death. She had witnessed a terrible battle and she could still hear it in her ears. The banshee’s wail had caused her to freeze completely, like it had so many others.

She could still hear it shrieking.

She tossed and turned a bit, trying to find a comfortable position to lay in, still clutching Harper to her barrel. The foal was finally asleep and Bon Bon didn’t want to wake her up. As Bon Bon struggled to deal with everything on her mind, she felt a warm sensation spreading over her barrel and stomach.

“As if mama didn’t have it hard enough, you just had to widdle, didn’t you Harper?”

 

 

The sun settled over the horizon and ponies remained outside. Guards were posted just in case a few shadow wolves had somehow survived somewhere, but no howls had been heard. Ponies were slowly coming to the realisation that the nightmare was over.

Ponies remained in the grassy meadows around the castle and the tiny town, staring up at the stars and the moon, finally able to enjoy Luna’s night without fear. Fires were lit and ponies gathered around to talk and tell stories.

Far above them, on the deck of The Scorned Mare one pony who truly loved the night sat staring up at the moon as it rose over it trees, a sad distant look upon his face. He sat alone, a crude journal upon the deck planks in front of him, and a pencil held between his grasping digit and the central knuckle on his wing. The pages in his journal fluttered in the faint breeze.

“I don’t know if you can hear me Princess Luna, but if you can, my father needs your help. He’s not well. All of those ponies down there below me, they are out celebrating your night… something they would not be able to do if my father had not reclaimed it from the evil that has plagued these isles,” Sentinel said in a quiet voice. “I am not saying you owe him, but it would be awfully nice of you to help him if you can hear me.”

The colt scribbled something down in his journal, his ears folded back as he wrote.

“My father ended the nightmare here, the dark shadow that tainted this land. I only know a little bit about you, but I know enough to know that surely, you of all ponies must know what it feels like to be trapped in a nightmare,” the colt said in a low whisper to himself. “And what it means to be freed from darkness,” he continued.

Sentinel looked down at the sketch in his journal, the outline of trees and the moon rising over them. He didn’t think it was a very good sketch, but it captured the moment well enough. He sighed, wishing he could draw better. It was something he was going to have to work on.

“I would do almost anything you might ask of me if you will help him,” Sentinel offered, glancing up briefly at the moon.

He scratched down a few more lines, trying to add shape and definition to the trees. He made careful soft strokes, and what he drew resembled the suggestion of trees rather than actual trees themselves. He added a few round circles to the moon that were intended to resemble craters. He tried shading one and then frowned, not happy with the results.

As he continued to scratch and scribble, the sky in front of the moon began to warp and shimmer. Sentinel looked up and saw the disturbance in the sky, his mouth dropped open, and he let out a small startled cry.

The sky above him swirled, a dark vortex of shadow, and silver streams of moonlight shimmered through the whirling shadow. There was a distant roar in the night, followed by a loud thunderous boom, and then the sky was filled with silver light.

Two very large figures came out of the vortex and came streaking down to The Scorned Mare, and a general cry of alarm went out as the pegasi guarding the deck began to mobilise to deal with the new threat.

The two figures drew close and Sentinel realised what they were. Lunar pegasi. Big ones. Really really big ones. They came down hard and came to a skidding halt upon the deck, each of them as wide at the shoulder as a pony was tall. They were clad in heavy plate armor.

“Stand back you lot!” one of the two lunar pegasi warned.

“We are Mistress Luna’s Myrmidons, and as of this moment, this ship is now Princess Luna’s sovereign territory. We are here to secure Prince Buckminster,” the other explained.

Sentinel rose slowly, assumed a submissive posture, and then slowly approached the pair. As he did so, he realised that they were female. As he drew near, he raised his head slightly and looked up. The two big mares looked down at the trembling foal and then both of them bowed their heads down, which left Sentinel stunned and confused.

“You are his son, are you not?” one of the mares asked.

“I… I… I am,” Sentinel stammered.

“I am Grimglammer and this is Shadowguard. We need to see him at once. We come with supplies, medicine, and we are to stabilise his condition. More of us are coming, but they have to fly here. Opening a shadow portal is very draining. Will you take us to him?” Grimglammer asked.

Sentinel looked around him at the pegasi on the deck, all of them looking confused. “Stand down,” he commanded in a soft voice. “Come with me,” he said to the two big armored mares. He began to cross the deck slowly, his heart thudding painfully in his barrel.

“Do not slink little one, it is ill befitting our kind and your stature,” Shadowguard commanded.

Sentinel stood up straight as he walked and he felt a hard nudge in his backside.

“Head high,” Grimglammer demanded in a harsh bark.

The colt lifted his head high and approached the cabin door. It opened, and Lyra came out, looking bleary eyed. Her horn was glowing with an alarming intensity.

“What is the commotion… oh my goodness!” Lyra said, her last words becoming a gasp.

“Lady Heartstrings?” Grimglammer inquired brusquely.

“Yeah?” Lyra replied.

“We are here for your husband,” Shadowguard announced.

“Mother Lyra, they are here to help,” Sentinel said, trying to calm his mother’s seemingly frazzled nerves. He reached out and touched Lyra’s leg softly. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw Lyra’s horn go dim.

 

 

“Lady Hooves,” Grimglammer said, bowing her head slightly.

Derpy stared up at the two big armored figures as they loomed over her and Bucky. Sentinel was standing beside the bed, and Lyra stood nearby. Others had begun to gather, crowding into the small room.

“Permission to examine our Prince,” Shadowguard said.

“You may,” Derpy said in a low somewhat confused voice. “Prince?” she muttered.

Grimglammer leaned down and began to look Bucky over, sniffing him a few times, placing her head over his barrel and listening, examining his the remains of his leg, and finally peeling back the bandage over the gash in his side.

“Have you been able to get anything down his gullet?” Shadowguard inquired.

“We, uh, well, Berry actually, she got him to suckle at her teats several times now,” Derpy said in a somewhat embarrassed voice.

Shadowguard stared at Derpy for a moment, turned around, focused her intense stare upon Berry, and nodded. “You are a clever mare. Just what he needs. Nutrients and hydration. Probably why he is still alive. Too bad there are no IVs here,” Shadowguard stated.

“Thank you,” Berry said, backing away shyly from the big mare who stared at her.

“I thought all of the Royal Guards were male?” Bon Bon asked. She cringed when Shadowguard focused her piercing upon eyes on her.

“We are not Royal Guard. We are Mistress Luna’s Myrmidons,” Shadowguard said. She turned and looked at her companion, who was still examining Bucky. “How does he fare?”

“He is bad off, malnourished looking, and surprisingly alive,” Grimglammer answered. The lunar pegasus mare popped a latch upon her armor using her wing and then pulled one of her saddlebags free. She opened it, stuck in her central knuckle, and began to dig stuff out.

She pulled a giant syringe from the supplies, held it up to the light, gripped between her grasping digit and her central knuckle, read the label, her lips moving slightly as she did so and a faint murmur escaping her fanged mouth, pulled off the cap from the needle, and then stabbed Bucky in the buttocks with the enormous spike. She jammed down upon the plunger and emptied the syringe.

“You better make sure he lives Grim, I am not in the mood to have the Mistress sever my head from my shoulders for failure,” Shadowguard muttered as her companion worked.

“What are Myrmidons?” Bon Bon gently inquired.

“We do not exist,” Shadowguard replied as she focused her attention upon her companion and Bucky, scowling as her companion worked.

“You look pretty real to me,” Sentinel said.

“Here squire, hold this,” Shadowguard said, taking off her helmet using both of her wings. She plunked it down upon Sentinel's head, and it nearly took the colt down to the floor.

The colt stood on trembling legs, struggling to hold up the immense weight of the heavy plated helm. His knees banged together and with great effort, he held his head up high, unable to see anything.

“Huh,” Shadowguard grunted. “Colt has grit, I’ll give him that. There are grown ponies that couldn’t hold my helmet. You got balls squire.”

“Thank you ma’am,” Sentinel said in a quavering voice. “Might I hold anything else for you ma’am?”

Grimglammer pulled out another syringe and began to prepare it, this one holding a dull pink liquid. She was still scowling. “His body has been purged of the worst of the necromantic poison, this will make him sweat out the rest of the toxins in his body,” she muttered as she stabbed the six inch needle just below Bucky’s hops plant mark. “He must have a natural resistance to poison or something, no pony should be alive in his condition. Even the Princesses would be laid low for quite some time by this kind of magical venom. Worst thing is, if he would have died, I do believe this would have revived him from the dead as some sort of zombie. Mistress mentioned something about that as she procured the medicine I brought.”

“Grim, stop, you are scaring his wives,” Shadowguard said in a low voice.

“Has your husband ever been poisoned by magical toxins before?” Grimglammer inquired, looking up at Derpy.

“No… I don’t know… not that I know about,” Derpy replied, looking worried.

Grimglammer nodded and resumed her task. She pulled Bucky’s mouth open and examined his tongue, which looked purple. “Nuts, Mistress will have my head,” she grumbled.

“So more of you are coming?” Sentinel asked, still standing on trembling legs and holding up Shadowguard’s helmet upon his head.

“Yes. We’re going to haul this ship back to Canterlot. Mistress is worried that there are things that might take an interest in Prince Buckminster never returning home. He’s made enemies, the likes of which you can scarcely imagine, which is why we are here,” Shadowguard replied.

Grimglammer poured a liquid over Bucky’s gash that smelled like sour bananas, her nose crinkling as she worked. She pulled the bandages away from his stump and then poured the rest of the liquid over the burned end. It sizzled as it made contact with the seared skin.

“Squire, we will require quarters. One bed. We can hotswap our rack. But one of us is to be standing guard at all times,” Shadowguard said, looking down at the colt that was still struggling to hold up her helmet. She smiled a crooked smile, revealing her fangs.

“I am sure we can come up with something,” Sentinel replied from within the helmet.

“One of us is required to be at his bedside at all times. I apologise in advance if this upsets you ladies,” Grimglammer said. “Orders are orders.” She went back to work, this time applying fresh bandages to cover Bucky’s wounds.

“Thank you,” Derpy said in a raspy emotional voice.

“We are here to serve, Lady Hooves,” Shadowguard replied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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