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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“We just flew over the remains of Manehatten,” Furious reported, sticking his head in the door and making a brief announcement. “We should be arriving in Canterlot in a short time. This evening, if the wind holds.”

“Remains of Manehatten?” Bucky said in a slurred voice, struggling to turn his head and look at Furious. “Remains?” The stallion squirmed in frustration, Furious was already gone.

“Manehatten was hit hard by Tirek’s rampage,” Shadowguard said. “And before that, the earth ponies rioted against the unicorn government in the city. The government sector was burned to the ground, except for the big steel and glass buildings. Word got out that House Avarice was tainting the city’s drinking water with birth control chemicals to keep the earth pony population in check.”

Suddenly filled with rage, Bucky kicked out his hind legs feebly and made a wordless cry of anger. He lifted his good front leg and struck the mattress, venting his bile.

“Good, good, starting to see some fine motor control, Grimglammer will be pleased, so will my Mistress,” Shadowguard said.

Taking a deep breath, Bucky tried to regain control of himself. He wasn’t sure how many days had passed. Time was a blur. He was getting sick of being drugged. He wanted to feel pain again. “No more shots,” Bucky grumbled, turning his head enough to look upwards. “No more.”

The pegasus beside him scowled. “Bucky, you need those to keep you from pain,” Derpy said soothingly, stroking her mate with her wing and watching as Bucky’s muscles quivered from her touch.

“No more drugs!” Bucky demanded, his words only slightly garbled. “Want to feel something again by damn! Want to feel your lips on mine when you kiss me!” he mumbled angrily.

“Well, at least he has the ability to talk again,” Bon Bon said. She stroked Bucky softly, trying to calm him down. She lifted Bucky’s hind leg and carefully moved it back to a better position and then patted him on his cutie mark. She lifted Harper, hooking a foreleg around her, and then dropped her in front of Bucky’s face, figuring she could fix the fussing foal and the grumpy stallion in one fell swoop.

“Harper,” Bucky said, seeing the foal suddenly in his field of vision and his mood instantly improving. “Hi fuzzball.”

Biting her lip, Bon Bon held back her irritated retort. She watched as Harper wiggled over and cuddled up against Bucky’s face, trying to smother her father to death by laying down over his muzzle, one more repeated attempt at patricide. She sighed. She thought of another little filly with a frizzy fluffy mane, a filly named Twist who sometimes helped her in her shop in exchange for sweets. She remembered Twist’s nasal lisp and her sunny disposition.

Bon Bon fervently wished that Twist would be there when she returned to Ponyville.

 

 

Derpy watched the standoff, worried about the outcome. Sentinel was standing over Bucky, teeth bared, his lips curled back, and a fierce but tiny growl was coming out of the colt. She started to reach out and pull Sentinel away, knowing that he would submit to her touch, but then she decided to leave him be, which was a very difficult decision.

“He said no more,” Sentinel snarled.

Feeling angry for a variety reasons, being summoned out of her rack and now being challenged by a colt of all things, Grimglammer tried to suppress her own need to growl in reply. “I am under instructions to keep him from suffering. I was given orders by my Mistress to keep him free from pain and to look after his well being. Please, stand down.”

“No!” Sentinel shouted, spreading his wings and standing stiff legged. He could feel his father touching one of his legs, a soft clumsy contact from his father’s good front leg.

Squinting one eye shut to clear her vision, Derpy studied Grimglammer, and decided to only interfere if she had to. If Grimglammer made a move towards Sentinel, there would be words. And maybe violence, for all of the good it might do. Grimglammer wasn’t wearing her armor.

“You will respect his wishes. He said no more, and you will obey!” Sentinel said, puffing out his barrel and trying desperately to look intimidating.

There was a deep savage sounding growl from behind her, and Grimglammer realised that Moonbow was in the doorway flanking her. Moonbow wasn’t very big yet, but her growl certainly was. The growl trailed off and become a demonic sounding hiss, followed by a series of clicks, pops, crackles, and chirps made by echolocation. The most direct translation into spoken words was “touch my mate and I will murder you and then eat your corpse, afterwards I will crap your remains into your empty skull.” Realising that this was a fight she didn’t want to win, Grimglammer stood down. She recapped the syringe and placed it into the container near the bed.

Sentinel hissed, trying to mimic Moonbow’s demonic death hiss, hoping to drive home his victory. He did not stand down, but continued to stand stiff legged, wings out, and barrel inflated as much as possible, his eyes never leaving Grimglammer, and he remembered all too well the feeling of being stabbed in the backside.

Ignoring Sentinel and turning around to face Moonbow, Grimglammer offered up a peacemaker’s smile. “You have quite a way with threats,” she said.

Moonbow stood down, relaxing her posture and folding her wings. She raised her head high and perked her ears forward. “And I meant it too… never try to dominate my male ever again. He is mine.”

“I get that,” Grimglammer said in neutral tones. “I am going back to my rack. If you need anything, come and get me,” she said as she made her way to the door. “Oh, and Moonbow… I am impressed. I will speak with you later after I sleep. You did good. You continue to surprise me.”

Sentinel gave one final yowl as Grimglammer stepped out the door, his pride still stinging from the vaccination. Once she was gone, he deflated, folded his wings, stepped away from his father, sat down, and then fell over, breathing heavily from fear and panic.

Derpy snatched him up immediately and began to squeeze him.

“You did good my squire,” Bucky said in a rather clear voice.

“Thank you father… for a moment, I thought I was going to piss myself and bring shame down upon my head,” Sentinel replied.

Moonbow hopped up onto the bed and settled in near Bucky, watching Sentinel get comforted by Derpy. She felt immensely proud, seeing Sentinel stand up to the big mare made her have a peculiar feeling inside.

“You said something in echo talk, what was it?” Sentinel said, as he calmed, feeling Derpy stroke him. He snuggled closer to his mother and tried to make his heart slow down.

“I told her that if she touched you, I would murder her, eat her body, and then crap out whatever was left into her skull,” Moonbow said, cocking her head to the side to study the drifting purple mist that continuously spilled from Bucky’s eye.

“I am starting to love you just a little bit,” Derpy said to Moonbow.

Bucky gave a faint chuckle but said nothing.

“Does that impair your vision? Do you see the glowing purple whatever it is coming off of your eye?” Moonbow asked.

“No, I see nothing. Everything looks normal,” Bucky replied.

“Are you in pain?” Derpy inquired.

“I can feel again, it is much easier to talk,” Bucky answered. “Where is Freezerburn?”

“I think he went off to find food. He always comes back,” Derpy said. “So you are in pain,” she added, looking a bit glum.

“It isn’t so bad,” Bucky said, reaching out and touching Sentinel with one trembling leg.

“I wasn’t sure which side to take,” Shadowguard said from her corner in the room. “I was beside myself over here thinking I might have to step in.”

 

 

Berry Punch and Bon Bon stared down over the rail as the day neared its end. Both of them had seen the devastation from their lofty height. A massive forest fire had burned away a large section of forest and left behind the blackened remains of now dead trees.

A massive black dragon flew along their side of the ship, its body longer than the ship itself, but not as long as the gasbag. The pair could see the dragon occasionally turning its head to look at them. The dragon’s talons were longer than a pony’s body.

“So much has happened,” Berry Punch said.

“And there is so many things we don’t know,” Bon Bon added.

“Look over there, out in that big field, you can see campfires and each of those campfires probably have ponies around them. I think it is a refugee camp,” Berry said as she pointed with her hoof.

“I hope the dragons don’t spook them,” Bon Bon said, her voice full of concern for her fellow ponies. “Those poor souls have probably suffered enough,”

“Hey hey, look at that, I spy with my little eye a pony necking with a griffon and giving the griffon neck nibbles,” Berry said as she poked Bon Bon.

Turning her head, Bon Bon saw Yew Wood planting kisses along Lugus’ impossibly broad neck and the griffon’s feathers continued to fluff out with each kiss as she worked upward. Peekaboo was sitting on a blanket watching the world go by.

“Those two have been using this little trip home to honeymoon. I really hope that biology plays nice with both of them and gives them offspring,” Berry Punch said in a wistful voice.

The air was warm, almost uncomfortably so, and was unusually humid. There was a tension in the air, the tension felt just before a thunderstorm. Berry looked around, scanning the sky, and off in the distance, she could see dark clouds and flashes of lightning. Something felt wrong, and it bothered her earth pony senses.

“Is that a wild storm?” Berry asked one of the lunar pegasus guards on deck.

“Yes,” the guard replied. “During the collapse, we lost control of the weather. Many of the weather teams were busy doing other things, like acting as a militia or trying to deliver supplies to needy ponies. Princess Twilight Sparkle used her influence and secured much needed food and supplies from the Saddle Arabians. I don’t know what she offered in return, but there is no doubt she has saved hundreds of thousands of lives because of her efforts.”

“Discord also used his magic to feed ponies. The draconequus proved his worth. I hope he will recover,” another guard said in a voice filled with concern and worry.

“Recover?” Bon Bon asked.

“Discord battled Tirek. Tirek moved towards Ponyville and Canterlot, and Discord engaged him in battle. It destroyed the countryside, ravaged the Foal Mountains, and destroyed the Hollow Shades. That’s the burned forest you could see as we passed,” the guard explained.

“Why… why would Discord risk himself like this? He’s never struck me as the noble self sacrificing type,” Berry Punch said in disbelief.

“Word has it he did it because he loves some mare named Fluttershy,” the guard replied.

There was a loud gasp from Berry Punch, and she began to cough and sputter. She hacked, horked, and wheezed, until Bon Bon pounded her on the back, trying to help her breathe again.

There was a loud cry of alarm which didn’t help Berry Punch and her breathing at all, and the deck all around them was suddenly exploding with activity. The guards mobilised and formed ranks, forming neat rows along each side of the deck along the rails.

Berry heard a loud squawk from Lugus. She then saw the big griffon gently extracting himself from Yew’s clutches, getting up on his paws and talons, and then standing protectively over Peekaboo.

“Over there!” Bon Bon cried.

Looking around, Berry saw what Bon Bon was pointing at. A flock of pegasi approached as the sun began to tease the horizon. In the soft light of sunset and the approaching twilight, Berry Punch saw a pink figure that stood out in the mass of dark hues and she felt her heart leap into her throat. The flock approached quickly, and would be on deck in minutes.

“Oh nuts, somepony, quick, go get Sentinel!” Berry commanded, and she watched with satisfaction as a guard scrambled to do her bidding. She secretly delighted in her newfound authority. She wasn’t sure what her authority was, or if she was even technically royalty now, but she did enjoy watching the guards hurry to follow her occasional commands.

 

 

Captain Furious stood on deck, near the center, waiting for the honoured guests to land. At his side was the colt known as Sentinel, and the colt was clearly beside himself, breathing heavily from fear, worry, and apprehension.

“Calm down,” Furious whispered to Sentinel. “Stand at attention. Prepare your best salute. Remember who you are, and who your father is. Behave in a manner befitting your position, squire.”

“Y-y-y-yes sir,” Sentinel stammered as he drew himself to attention. He closed his eyes and waited, trying to slow down his breathing. He heard a thump on the deck, and then a few more thumps and thuds. For a moment, he thought his throat was going to close.

And then, he opened his eyes. Above him, inches away from his snoot, was Princess Luna. She was covered in full heavy plate mail, the visor was up, and her face was visible. Sentinel felt his knees buckle and he fell down to the ground, cowering and bowing, forgetting to salute. He closed his eyes and shivered.

He felt the electric tingle of magic all over his body, lifting him up from the deck planks, and then he was gently set down upon his hooves. Something cool touched his cheek, and he realised it was metal. He opened his eyes and saw Princess Luna looking at him in concern. Slowly, it dawned upon Sentinel to salute, and his wing haltingly went out, finally snapping into the correct position.

“Why do you fear me?” Princess Luna asked.

At that moment, Sentinel wanted to crawl into a dark hole and die. All that came out of his throat was a whimper. He could feel his cheeks flooding with heat, and his ears were on fire, especially his stitched ear which still hurt. He saw Princess Luna leaning her head down, drawing close to him, until he could feel her breath near his ear. An embarrassingly loud squeak escaped from him, and he felt his balls being sucked into his stomach.

“I heard every word,” Princess Luna whispered, speaking into Sentinel’s ear.

 

 

The small room was crowded, and two alicorns stood near the bed, one dark blue and wearing full heavy plate mail, the other pink and wearing a light partial plate which seemed more ornamental than anything else.

“Cadance, how is your foal?”

Cadance, who was getting ready to say something, felt her breath slip out in a gasp. She heard a similar gasp come from Luna beside her. She stood there open mouthed for a moment, blinking in disbelief, and then she regained her composure. This was not the greeting she expected at all.

“How did you know?” Cadance asked.

“I don’t know,” Bucky said, struggling to lift his head.

“Stay down Buckminster, do not attempt to rise upon our account,” Luna commanded.

“You must not say anything. Nopony knows. It is currently a well protected secret,” Cadance said in hushed whisper.

“I will defend you and your secrets with my life,” Bucky offered, still trying to lift his head.

“Buckminster… your eye… your body… you...” Cadance said, taking it all in.

Luna’s armor clanked and creaked as she turned her head and watched as Cadance began to weep. She wanted to comfort Cadance, but wearing heavy plate made it difficult to hug other ponies. She had to be content to stretch out a wing and stroke Cadance.

“What happens now?” Bucky asked in a weak voice.

“We return to Canterlot. Cadance and I are to secure this ship, the magical munitions, and the dangerous artifact onboard. They are all evidence against you now. As of this moment, you are in custody and under arrest for a list of crimes that stretch from Canterlot to Ponyville,” Luna answered.

There was a loud angry growl from Derpy, but Bucky silenced her by feebly raising his stump in her direction.

“I understand and accept everything. I will not attempt to resist,” Bucky said in a weak raspy voice.

“Buckminster… do you trust me?” Luna inquired in a cold emotionless voice.

“I’ve let you touch every part of my mind while I’ve been dozing away in drug induced slumbers, of course I trust you,” Bucky said to Luna.

“Shining Armor is already preparing your legal defense and so is Twilight Sparkle. She cannot defend you though, that will be Shining Armor’s job. After the treaty is signed, you will be brought before a court of four alicorns, you will be tried, afterwards, you will be sentenced once the nature of your crimes have been examined and discussed. And no matter what happens, I beg that you trust me,” Luna explained. “Please trust my sister as well,” she added.

“After everything he did to end the terror on the isles,” Derpy whimpered. “Why?”

“I did bad things,” Bucky admitted. “I did immoral things. I did wrong things. And I am prepared to face the consequences for doing those things. Princess Luna, I am trusting that you have a plan to see me through this.”

“It will be difficult, and there is no way you can avoid punishment. I do have a plan, however, I am sure that you understand that I am forbidden to speak about it with you,” Luna responded in a cold officious voice.

Bucky nodded weakly.

“Buckminster, why did you turn to dark magic? You have so much love in you… so much strength… surely there was some other way?” Cadance said in a voice that cracked with emotion.

Drawing in a deep breath and closing his eye, Bucky went limp on the bed. After a moment of silence, his eye still closed, he let out his breath slowly and drew another. “There was no other way Cadance.”

“That is for the Court of Royals to decide,” Luna stated.

 

 

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