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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Lugus stood near while Yew said goodbye to her sisters in arms, watching her as she hugged and kissed members of her fellow brigade, wished them well, and exchanged hopeful words about the future. He settled back upon his haunches, and gave Peekaboo a gentle squeeze, holding her tucked in one foreleg. Peekaboo was apparently in some pegasus stage where she needed constant contact and affection, and her little forelegs were wrapped around Lugus’ leg, refusing to let go or be put down.

He watched as Keg Smasher was airlifted onto The Scorned Mare. A gust of wind came up unexpectedly, causing the ship to move slightly on its tether, and he could feel his feathers ruffling.

His time upon these isles had been brief, and he found them every bit as savage as his homeland. This was an awful place, but it was getting better. Equality was taking root here. His chief had left behind an indelible mark upon the isles. It would be a long time before all of the change had any real widespread effect, but the seeds had been planted.

Lugus wanted to plant seeds in his homeland. He clicked his beak thoughtfully and bounced Peekaboo a bit, causing her to giggle.

“Bath?”

Again, Lugus bounced the foal he was holding. “No Peekaboo. It is not bath time.” He felt the foal go still in reply. “It is goodbye time. Our tribe is heading home,” he said. Lugus felt a tingle as he felt Peekaboo’s breath ruffling the feathers at the base of his neck. He valued her breathing quite highly, and Yew Wood teased him frequently for his constant checking to see if Peekaboo was still breathing after being asleep and quiet for a few hours.

The big griffon was beginning to understand Bucky’s mania with foals, and he lived in constant worry.

 

 

A pair of lunar pegasi stood near the prow, a smaller male and a much larger female. Both were armored, one in light partial plate, the other in full heavy plate. They stood close to one another, watching the bustle all around them.

“I was serious, I want to have a foal. Just one. Maybe two,” Grimglammer whispered into her husband’s ear.

“Hmm, Equestria is a real mess right now. Tirek managed to destroy pretty much everything that was left. We are going to be very busy ponies for a while,” Furious responded.

“Furious, please, don’t make me pull rank on you and give you orders,” Grimglammer replied, her tone soft and needful. “I don’t want to do that but I will… I mean it, being around this… this herd has done something to my mind. They live with reckless abandon and love one another so much, I want to be like them. I feel like I have been infected with some kind of disease after being exposed to them. Even in their darkest moments, you should see how they are.”

“I have never been able to say no to you,” Furious muttered. “I am a spineless wretch.”

“That’s not true!” Grimglammer snapped.

“Hey, I was making a joke,” Furious said in soothing tones. “Take a deep breath, I think the stress is getting to you. First everything in Equestria, and now this.”

“You are the bravest pony I know,” Grimglammer said, turning her head so she could see her husband. She lifted the visor on her helmet so she wouldn’t have to peer through the slit.

“I don’t know about that, but I had to be brave to marry you, they call you the Night Terror,” Furious said with a crooked smile. “But I hear you are now called “Arse Stabber” by these ponies here.”

The big mare shifted her weight, causing her armor to clank and rattle. “I mean it, I want a foal. Which means getting cut from active duty. And to be honest Furious, I am not sure I plan to return. After everything that has happened in Equestria… and then everything I’ve witnessed standing bedside over our new Prince… I think I’m done. It is time to have a family.”

“You are actually serious about this,” Furious stated.

“Of course I am serious about this you mental midget! If I stop now, if I have a foal now, if we have a foal now, I will be past my half a century mark when they graduate the guard academy. Or go to university. Or do whatever it is they want to do,” Grimglammer responded.

“You know, I never wanted to be a guard,” Furious confessed.

“No?” Grimglammer replied. “Then why did you join the guard academy? I mean, all of your years of service… all of your accomplishments… and you didn’t want to be a guard? Why did you join?” she questioned.

“Well, there was this really sexy filly I met one night who wanted to be a doctor,  she was all angsty because she wanted to be a doctor and a guard. She wanted everything all at once… she was really hot. I mean really hot. She was the total package. So my dick made a decision for me, and I joined the guard academy hoping to get laid at some point…”

 

 

Dinky could barely contain herself because of the excitement in the air. She could scarcely believe they were leaving. She sat upon the upper deck, the deck above the cabin in the rear of the ship, and watched as the final preparations were being made.

There were solar and lunar pegasi saluting one another before the solar pegasi flew away, there was a cheering crowd down below them, and the skies around them were filled with pegasi and a few griffons who were now part of the guard.

There was a loud cry as the tether was lifted away by Lyra, and the ship began to drift away from the castle. The lunar pegasi began to slip into the harnesses secured along the long lead, the lead being played out slowly as the lunar pegasi took their positions.

“I can’t believe this is happening.”

Turning her head, Dinky glanced at Piña.

“I’m scared Dinky… at least here, as bad as it is, we are accepted,” Piña whispered, scooting closer to her sister and wrapping a foreleg over Dinky’s withers.

“Home… Piña, home… ice cream again. And cupcakes. And grocery stores full of food that is not pease porridge or some glop,” Dinky said to her sister and best friend.

“Root beer,” Piña said wistfully.

“Scratch and sniff stickers,” Dinky quipped.

“Oh gosh,” Piña gasped as The Scorned Mare lurched.

The ship began to move as the lunar pegasi team pulled. It picked up speed rapidly. The fliers had shed their armor and were free to give all of their effort to pull on the harness. The castle rapidly began to become smaller behind them. Clouds whizzed by in the sky.

“Poor Sentinel, he just got smooched,” Dinky said, feeling genuine sympathy for her brother but also a strange sense of happiness which unsettled her for reasons she could not explain. She silently watched Piña’s reaction, which seemed to be one of curiousity rather than disgust, but she couldn’t tell for certain.

The siblings felt another pony sit down behind them, and it was Piña who craned her head around to see who, because Dinky’s attention was now focused on watching Sentinel and his stoic responses to Moonbow’s friendly affections.

“Hi Berry, how is Harper?” Piña inquired.

“Harper is napping, right along with Bucky, who spent some time wobbling around this morning. He wore himself out,” Berry replied, stroking her sister and then patting Dinky affectionately.

“When he wakes up again, can we please spend some time with him if we are careful about his wounds and we are very, very quiet?” Dinky asked.

“Yes Dinky, he has been wanting to see you. He isn’t himself… he is full of morphine and a couple of other drugs to keep him from suffering,” Berry Punch answered.

“Is his mind okay?” Piña questioned.

“We don’t know yet. He’s so drug addled… there are some concerns though,” Berry said with soft honesty in reply to Pina’s question. “Both of you are going to have to understand that Bucky, your father, might be a bit different. He has survived an ordeal that has changed him. He is going to need your help to see him through as he recovers.”

“But the bird will help him, right?” Dinky asked.

“Yes, that silly crazy bird seems to be helping him and Lyra. All of us actually. If we start to get weepy, it comes over to cheer us up,” Berry replied.

“Phoenixes are very rare and powerful animals, Starjammer has a lot to say about them. When they choose to bond with another creature, they are the best friend you could ever ask for,” Piña said, her muzzle scrunching as she tried to recall what she had read.

“Does it have a name?” Dinky asked.

“Bucky keeps grumbling about freezerburn in the room. It stays a little chilly in the room now, and the bird leaves icicles where it roosts on occasion. I do believe that Bucky is calling the bird Freezerburn, but it is really difficult to say. Your father is like a very simple minded foal right now,” Berry answered.

 

 

“We’re out over open ocean,” Bon Bon reported, sticking her head in the door. “There are sea birds flying along side of us. White birds with grey heads. They’re beautiful!” she added, before slipping out of the door and vanishing.

“Wet birds,” Bucky said in a slurred voice.

“Yes, sea birds,” Shadowguard said, smiling down at Bucky and trying to look dutiful with a phoenix perched upon her helmet. She could feel the cold radiating through the metal.

Derpy made a wordless noise of worry and carefully pressed her snoot against Bucky’s neck, breathing in his scent and trying to remind herself that she was grateful that he was alive.

“Cold bird… ice bird,” Bucky muttered.

“Phoenix,” Shadowguard said helpfully.

“Freezerburn,” Bucky said. He struggled mightily, his thoughts were active in his mind, but he was having trouble speaking. He was having trouble concentrating. And everything was coming out garbled no matter how much effort he put into trying to communicate. He couldn’t understand what was wrong.

Your mind has been damaged. Be patient. The moon pony is repairing it.

Bucky squirmed, hating all of this, hating that he sounded like a drooling idiot. He raised his stump and looked at the bandaged end, trying to focus his eye. He currently saw five or maybe six different stumps. The world was very confusing and he had trouble trying to form a coherent thought in his mind.

“Too many half leg,” Bucky heard his mouth say, and he seethed inside when he heard himself. He could feel Derpy touching him and he made a vain attempt to move his body closer to her, all he succeeded in doing was exhausting himself and making it difficult to breathe.

The moon pony really is trying… you should not even be alive.

“Bucky, love, you have some visitors,” Berry Punch said as she stepped through the door. “Bon Bon told me you were awake, and I promised some very concerned foals that they could have some time with you today.”

“Foals,” Bucky gasped, a long string of drool gushing from the corner of his mouth. He squirmed when he felt Derpy wiping his face. He felt like an idiot. More than anything, he wanted to kick, scream, and shout, to force his body to move around and to communicate something other than gibberish.

“Hi daddy,” Dinky said as she climbed up on the bed, her brow furrowed with concern.

“Hey there,” Piña greeted, pulling herself up behind Dinky and drawing close to her father.

“Father?” Sentinel asked, standing by the bedside and looking on with a serious gaze.

Remaining silent, Bucky could feel his heart breaking. He wanted to say something meaningful, he wanted to say he loved them, he wanted to express that he was okay, but he could not make anything work the way he wanted it to work. He could feel his girls settling in beside him and then he felt the bed shake again as Sentinel climbed on and drew close.

 

 

A loud cry of alarm had mobilised the deck, and three faint shapes could be seen on the horizon. Grimglammer peered off into the distance, trying to discern the threat. The sunlight dazzled her eyes and made it difficult to see, but she had a nagging suspicion of what it might be out here over open ocean.

“Prepare the emergency evacuation plans. I am going out to intercept those fliers. If I don’t come back, if I can be seen fighting, take whatever time I can buy you and get everypony off of this ship. Carry them on your backs. Leave behind half of the guard so we can buy more time for Knight Captain Bitters, his family, and Keg Smasher,” Grimglammer instructed.

“I am coming with you,” Furious said.

“No, you are not. Rally the guard and prepare to evacuate, should it become necessary,” Grimglammer said.

“NO!” Furious barked.

“STOW YOUR SHITE! That’s an order!” Grimglammer shouted as she took wing.

“You heard her. Do everything she said… we will buy you time… three dragons coming in hard and fast. Move quickly!” Furious commanded as he took off after his mate.

 

 

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