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


191. 191

Lugus peered out toward the horizon with his griffon eyes, both of them narrowed and squinting, straining to see what was going on. He saw five figures heading back towards the ship. Three dragons and two lunar pegasi.

“Stand down!” Lugus shouted.

The ponies on deck remained alert, but waited as the figures drew closer.

Finally, after many suspenseful minutes, Grimglammer landed upon the deck, lifted her visor, and folded back her wings. “Reinforcements!”

There were many sounds of relief as the three dragons drew up alongside the ship and glided on enormous leathery wings. One flew on each side, and one dropped down below the ship. One was black, one was green, and the last was blue.

“A gift from the Queen of the Sea Dragons. She owes Mistress Luna a favour and sent help. They will escort us back to Canterlot. We are officially under the Queen’s protection and we can relax our guard a bit. Two more dragons will be joining us shortly,” Grimglammer explained.

The big mare looked at Furious, who handed landed beside her. “You!” she barked. “You are in a world of shite! I gave you an order and you defied me, you brave stupid bastard!”

Furious gave a sheepish grin and looked at his mate. “I saw an opportunity to improve myself. It was only three dragons, I figured we could take them.”

“I am going to finally get some rack time. Captain Furious, I demand a word with you down below,” Grimglammer commanded. Her expression softened. “Don’t you ever disobey me ever again when it comes to a matter like this. I’ve already killed one dragon. I am not a helpless filly. I can handle myself.”

The stallion stared at his mate, drew in a deep breath, and let it out slowly. “We go together. If I am with you, and I see you in trouble, I am coming with you. Don’t be a bitch about it.”

“Furious, please, a word with you in private. Come with me,” Grimglammer said in a soft low voice. “I am angry with you, but I do not intend to chew you out.” Having said what needed to be said, Grimglammer turned and headed towards the door that led to the crew quarters. After she stepped through the door and it closed behind her, a series of low cheers erupted from the guards left on deck.

“Why is it that I am more afraid of her than I am a dragon?” Furious asked of himself in a low whisper, slowly heading for the door. He shook his head in confusion, feeling an odd mix of fear and love for the big mare he called his mate.

“Captain, we are all more afraid of her than the dragons,” one of the lunar pegasi reported, snapping his wing into a salute. “Good luck, sir.”



The stars overhead seemed to drift by slowly. Bucky watched them as they passed. He was sprawled out on a blanket propped up between Derpy and Thistle, with Berry Punch sitting close by. The moonlight seemed invigorating and everypony seemed to notice the change in Bucky when exposed to the night.

“Moon,” Bucky mumbled, his mouth sounding like it was full of food and his tongue slipping out from between his lips as he spoke.

“Yes Bucky, moon,” Berry said in reply, sounding very much like a mother speaking to her foal. She pointed at the moon and then repeated the word again. “Moon.”

His frustration rising, Bucky seethed and kicked against the prison that was his body. He made a mental note that one day, he was going to screw Berry Punch silly. His eye darted about, looking for something, anything he could use to make his point, some means to communicate. His gaze fell on Sentinel, and in particular, Sentinel’s journal. He struggled to pull his willpower together, his mental focus, and strained to snatch the pencil out of Sentinel’s grip, to free it from the funny little thumb that Sentinel had sticking out on the joint of his wing.

His body began to sweat from the effort. This was like learning how to levitate a feather all over again, which had seemed like an impossible task at the time. Or learning how to lift a one ton statue for the first time. That had been tricky. The only difference between lifting a feather and lifting a one ton statue was raw magical aptitude and willpower. There were plenty of type threes who could barely write their own names using their magic because of how little control they had.

You are going to rupture a blood vessel in your brain if you continue… Bucky heard inside of his mind.

The phoenix was a distraction that Bucky didn’t need. He strained, trying even harder, forcing his brain to focus, it was just a pencil and a simple message. All of his efforts caused a few tiny drops of urine to dribble out, and nothing else.

Oh you are impossible. Very well, I shall help you before you give yourself an aneurysm or have a stroke. You did save me from the horrible crystal lich. Your stubbornness disturbs me and worries me war pony, I shall go and pester the honour pony and steal his writing stick.

The phoenix took wing from the deck railing, swooped around Sentinel’s head, snatched away the pencil, and then landed on Sentinel’s journal. Holding the pencil clumsily in his claw, the phoenix began to scratch something down, and the ponies on the deck watched in wide eyed awe.

After completing his task, the phoenix made a squawk of annoyance, dropped the pencil, and flew off, circling overhead a few times before landing on the deck rail and staring at Bucky.

“He wrote something,” Sentinel said in a confused voice.

“What?” Berry asked.

The lunar pegasus colt dropped his head and struggled to read the rough poorly written letters. After a few minutes of study, he cocked his head to the side and read it again, this time with his lips moving. He then began to read in a loud clear voice. “Sorry honour pony. War pony angry. Not stupid. Not foal. Having trouble. Wants to angrily mount too smart pony for… hey, I don’t want to finish reading this… my apologies.”

Grimglammer threw back her helmeted head and laughed riotously, stomping one foot on the deck. After a moment, she composed herself and drew nearer to Bucky. “Your mind is intact inside of there somewhere… oh that’s a relief.”

“How?” Berry Punch asked. “What?”

“Sentinel, please continue,” Derpy said in a pleading voice.

“Very well mother, I suppose you want to hear father’s thoughts... Wants to angrily mount too smart pony for speaking to him like a foal and make her go stupid after many hours of mindless rutting,” he said, finishing the crudely written words and making a face of disgust, his muzzle contorting and crinkling.

“That sounds like Bucky,” Berry said. She looked at him apologetically. “When you get better and you are capable, I will try to make it up to you,” she promised.

“So… Sentinel is honour pony, Bucky is war pony, Berry Punch is too smart pony, what are the rest of us?” Derpy asked slowly as she turned to look at the phoenix, now aware that there is was a lot more to the bird. “And how did the bird know what to write down?”

“My most educated guess is telepathy of some kind,” Grimglammer said. “Would explain how it knew how to write. It borrowed Buckminster’s knowledge. Which means that bloody bird knows everything Buckminster knows. Oh my stars and moon, we have a phoenix that is using the future alicorn of war as a library… nice birdy… good birdy,” she said in a saccharine worried voice.

Squawking and shrieking in annoyance, the phoenix took flight, flying off into the darkness of the night to find food.



“I wonder how fast we’re moving,” Derpy said, looking over at Berry in the dark as they tried to go to sleep.

“I dunno, but we should be home soon,” Berry said.

“Bucky got a whole lot better tonight after the time in the moonlight. Grimglammer says he is like the lunar pegasi now,” Derpy said, aware that Grimglammer was right beside the bed and listening. It was difficult to have a conversation with a guard beside the bed. She pressed her snoot against the side of Bucky’s face and inhaled deeply, glad to feel warm flesh against her own.

“I wonder what the sun will do to him,” Berry said, knowing that there would be an answer.

“Sunlight will be disorienting and confusing for him. Might cause headaches. Lowered visual acuity. A loss of some physical strength. On the list of positives from his change, he will have increased strength and stamina at night. Trust me ladies, you will grow to love this part of him. He will heal minor wounds quickly by drawing in shadow. It is how we lunar pegasi are able to deal with tears and rips in the membranes of our wings. Your husband should be able to shadow dive, and will very likely be able to dreamwalk. Hard to tell what gifts the shadow may have manifested in him. His physiology is not at all unicorn-like anymore,” Grimglammer explained in a low steady whisper.

“So… he’s like a… a lunicorn?” Berry Punch asked in reply.

It took a moment of thoughtful silence for Grimglammer to ponder Berry’s question, picking apart the word lunicorn carefully, and there was a snort in the dark. “Not bad, not bad, good work too smart pony,” she said in a low breathy voice that contained a hint of laughter.





We race towards a home I am not certain I belong in, towards a future I am not sure if I want. Perhaps it is my nature, but I fear the worst is somehow yet to come. As I watch the stars go flying past, I am afraid, deathly afraid of what lies ahead. We move swiftly, how fast I cannot tell, but in my mind, we move at the speed of thought. It seems there is only one thing to do on this ship as we travel, and that is think. For me, it is thinking about being trapped on a ship moving towards something that fills me with dread. I am not even sure what it is that scares me, I just have a bad feeling about returning to Canterlot.

The phoenix calls me “honour pony.” Is that what I am? Is that the sum of my parts? Is that all I amount to? Am I like my father’s armor? A strong sturdy shell but empty on the inside? I hope this is not the case.

I am still trying to deal with how the war ended. It was a war… there were two sides, a well defined enemy, there was right and wrong, black and white, and a goal in mind for each side. On our side, it was fought by good and brave ponies, ponies who understood that being free was going to take some sacrifice. They worked tirelessly, they gave all they had, and thankfully, they had a champion to do battle with the darkness under the mountain.

Our part in the war is not yet done. They get to celebrate, they get to be free, the shadow in their lives finally gone. What do we get? We get the broken remains of the champion, that’s what we get. I’ve heard the guards talking. Princess Celestia has actually said that she wants my father held accountable and there has been a bitter dispute between the two sisters. The sisters are on the verge of war over my father’s fate. I don’t even think my family is aware of the trouble that lies ahead. Or maybe they are and they say nothing, trying to spare us “foals” from further pain.

War. We ended one war, and I fear we are heading for another. The sisters have fought before. I’ve heard the guard talking, Equestria is in ruin and there is so much fighting and squabbling already. War between the sisters would be the end of all things I think.

There is nothing worse than fighting between siblings, which is why I maintain my passive nature with my sisters. I love them dearly and would never do anything to offend them, hurt them, or cause them to hate me. Father commanded for me to protect them, his final instruction was for me to look after them if he fell.

I believe the fall is yet to come. I hope I am the pony my father believes me to be.


Squire Sentinel, the honour pony.  




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