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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It had seemed so simple at first. One simple command with a straightforward reward. Capture the cold blue phoenix and get a promotion. He had been at this almost all day, and the long string of disasters was getting worse.

Private Summer Alfalfa wasn’t even sure if he would still be a guard when the sun set.

Being a guard was good work for a type two like himself. His talent was voice projection, as evidenced by his bullhorn cutie mark. Normally, all he had to do was stand in one spot for a few hours and announce when so and so was coming or going. Occasionally, Raven would use him to make announcements.

That horrible bird had frozen the water in all of the toilets in all of the public bathrooms and quite a few private bathrooms as well. It had created snowponies in the public gardens that were doing very perverse acts upon one another and had caused Princess Celestia herself to shout “That carrot does not belong there on a snowpony!” within earshot of a group of delegates from Saddle Arabia. It had flown by and frozen the ink in Raven’s inkwell. It had flown into the kitchens and frozen Princess Celestia’s cake solid, turning the icing into something resembling reinforced concrete. It had perched upon a chandelier and had dropped something frozen that was not an ice cube into Princess Twilight Sparkle’s coffee, which had not been noticed by Twilight Sparkle until it was too late. In her half awake - half asleep state, she had not noticed the frozen lump until it had clinked against her teeth. In a furious rage, Twilight Sparkle had fled the castle and had returned to Ponyville. It had flown through the medical wing and left many of the medical instruments highly chilled, causing a lot of shouting, shrieking, and general trauma when the Gamma Brigade had come in for their bi-annual prostate exams and STI checks.

The phoenix known as Freezerburn had been deemed public enemy number one… or pubic enemy number one by many of the Gamma Brigade.

Summer Alfalfa had no idea how to catch the dreaded corrupted phoenix.

 

 

Bucky watched as Freezerburn preened himself and made himself comfortable, perched upon the ornate headboard of the bed above him. The phoenix seemed worn out and a little tired.

“Haven’t seen you in a while Freezerburn,” Bucky commented.

Found mate. Much shagging. Tried to teach ponies not to take themselves so seriously. Made the big burny pony angry, Freezerburn replied inside of Bucky’s mind.

“Burny pony?” Bucky asked.

Big. White. Horn and wings. Much burning and fire. Big burny pony.

“Celestia?” Bucky questioned. “Wait, where did you find a mate?”

Big burny pony has a pheonix friend.

“Oh shite! You shagged Philomena!”

 

 

"Ripple, I know it has been a long day, but I was wondering if you had a moment,” Sentinel said, looking up at his big sister pleadingly.

“I always have a moment for my little brother,” Ripple said as she hopped up on the couch and settled in beside Sentinel.

“Father and Lugus have had their knighthoods reinstated. Lugus is in need of a squire. I told everypony including Princess Luna that it should be you. I think you would make a fantastic knight,” Sentinel said in a low solemn voice.

Not knowing how to respond, Ripple fell silent. Her wings fluttered nervously. “Can females become knights?” she said after many moments of silence.

“Princess Luna said that you might be the first,” Sentinel said in low proud whisper. “You have to be the youngest Dragoon there is. Look how the guards react when they hear that. Ripple, that means something really important.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Ripple said in a stunned voice.

“Well, I was tasked to talk to you about it to warm you up to the idea and get you to think about it. This is a really big deal. This is potentially history in the making. At some point, Lugus is going to formally ask you to be his squire and you need to be prepared to answer,” Sentinel stated.

“How could I refuse?” Ripple blurted out in a rather loud voice, causing several ponies in the room to turn and look at her. “I like fighting. It is what I do best. What else am I going to do? Become a schoolmarm? Push clouds? I know I can’t join the guard here. No females.”

Wiggling in place, Sentinel’s seriousness fell apart and his face split into a wide toothy grin.

Suddenly, there was a series of heavy thumps upon the door and everypony in the room jumped from the sound. Getting up from the couch where she was sitting with Thistle and Yew, Berry Punch got up to answer the door.

She pulled open the door to reveal Shadowguard and several other heavily armored figures. Shadowguard bowed her head slightly to Berry Punch upon seeing her.

“Ma’am, I have come to collect the lunar pegasus known as Moonbow,” Shadowguard announced in a loud commanding voice.

“What?” Berry Punch asked. She heard hooves behind her and knew Derpy was now in the room and moving rapidly towards the door. She hoped that Derpy was in a friendly mood.

“Do I get to say goodbye?” Moonbow begged in a quiet submissive voice.

“Of course you do. But time grows short. We have to have you secured in the Chapel of Night before the moon rises,” Shadowguard replied.

“You’re leaving?” Sentinel asked.

“You knew this was coming,” Moonbow said in a quiet voice.

“I thought we would have more time,” Sentinel said, his eyes now beginning to shimmer with wetness. He jumped from the couch and moved to stand near Moonbow.

“This is why I wanted to spend some time with you today and why I wanted to play with you,” Moonbow said. “Think well of me Sentinel. I am doing this for us. Our tribe needs a protector.”

Not knowing what else to do, Sentinel raised his wing slowly and sadly in a forlorn salute.

“When I return to you I will be both a worthy mate and guardian,” Moonbow promised.

“In your absence I shall do all I can to prove worthy of your efforts,” Sentinel vowed.

“You can’t just take her,” Berry said angrily.

“I choose to go,” Moonbow said in a sad voice. “Berry, please, you have been very kind to me. I am doing this so I can protect you and your foals.”

“Come little one. Time grows ever shorter,” Shadowguard said in a low voice.

One of the Myrmidons came forward and set a set of shackles down upon the floor before Moonbow. He stood over her, a fierce expression his face. A low growl resonated in his throat.

“Submit to him willingly female. It is time to begin your humiliation. These are your first chains. Later, there will be others. From this point onwards, you will address all of us as Mistress or Master. You no longer have a name little female,” Shadowguard said. “Now roll over and show throat.”

“Yes… Mistress,” Moonbow said. She slowly eased herself down to the floor and rolled over, her legs now up in the air.

The big male Myrmidon lifted the chains using his grasping digits upon his wing knuckles. With well practiced movements, he quickly hobbled Moonbow.

Sentinel and his family looked on in silent shock. He stumbled over to Berry Punch and wrapped one foreleg around hers, seeking some kind of reassurance. He felt Derpy move beside him and her wing brush over his back.

With a harsh jerk, Moonbow was pulled up to her hooves. She yelped in pain as she kicked out to keep her balance and the hobbles bit into her fetlocks.

“Wait!” Sentinel cried.

“Hold!” Shadowguard barked.

Not knowing what else to do, Sentinel rushed forward to Moonbow and kissed her, the sort of big wet kiss she always seemed to want from him. He had no idea what he was doing, but it didn’t stop him from trying. He could feel one of her fangs trail over his lip slightly as he clumsily pressed his muzzle against hers, and his mouth filled with the taste of his own blood.

He pulled away and looked Moonbow in the eye. “Will we be able to see each other?” Sentinel asked in a fearful frightened voice that was entirely unlike his usual demeanour.

“Only if she earns it,” Shadowguard said. “And for one year, you will be able to see her, but she will not be able to see you. It is called the year of blindness. Prepare yourself young Sentinel. Outsiders are forbidden to know our ways, but I feel that you should know. I would feel dishonest answering your question otherwise.”

“Thank you,” Sentinel said to Shadowguard. “Moonbow, I know you will prevail.”

“I do this for you,” Moonbow said solemnly. “A knight needs a suitable mate.”

“A Myrmidon deserves a worthwhile partner,” Sentinel replied.

Saying nothing else, Moonbow began to hobble towards the door, her chains preventing her from moving in a dignified manner. Instead, she had to shuffle and nearly tripped over her own hooves several times. She yelped and whimpered with each step. Her face burned with shame as she was unable to hold in her cries of pain.

“Moonbow… good luck,” Derpy said, raising her own wing slowly and offering a clumsy salute.

“Look after my mate… mother,” Moonbow said as she stumbled through the door.

“We must be going. Goodbye,” Shadowguard said as she backed out of the door and then shut it behind her.

The room fell silent and the faint clink of chains could be heard in the hall outside of the door. In a few moments, the clinking faded and there was no sound. All who had witnessed Moonbow’s departure remained stunned, and nopony knew what to say exactly.

 

 

Lyra felt sick to her stomach. She couldn’t bear to see Sentinel the way he was. He was stoic as always, and had only cried for a little while, but somehow, seeing him not crying and sitting in a chair looking morose was worse. It was the look of resignation on his face that made Lyra ache on the inside. He had been sitting in that chair for hours after Moonbow’s departure and the other foals had gone to bed. Not reading, not writing, just sitting here staring blankly ahead.

Stroking Bon Bon for a moment to make herself feel better, she slipped from the couch, crossed the room, lifted Sentinel in her magic, crawled into his chair, and then eased him down into her embrace. She knew something was terribly wrong when he didn’t squirm or try to kick free. He merely remained limp in her forelegs, his head resting in the crook of her neck.

“This herd knows how to deal with tragedy,” Lyra whispered.

“We’ve seen so much,” Sentinel agreed.

“You were starting to bond with her… a meaningful bond. Friends,” Lyra said into Sentinel’s ear as she ran one of her forelegs down along his spine. “How is your lip? I saw that you cut it.”

“My lip is fine,” said Sentinel, sounding horribly dejected as he lifted one foreleg and wrapped it around Lyra’s neck. “Would you play me some music mother?”

“Sure,” Lyra whispered as her horn glowed in a soft golden light. Her lyre appeared overhead and soft sad melody began to play.

After a while, Lyra felt Sentinel calm and go completely still, his breathing soft and steady. With a sad smile, she realised that her colt had fallen asleep. Leaning back into chair, Lyra cast a glance at Bon Bon and continued to hold Sentinel, not wanting to move for fear of waking him up.

 

 

Alone and bound, Moonbow struggled to keep her balance. She was secured in the Chapel of Night, whatever that was, bound in heavy chains. A tight collar was around her neck and a chain was secured to the wall high up above her. To keep from strangling, she had to stand and stay balanced upon the very edges of her hooves. Her legs burned as though they were on fire. A tight clamp had been placed upon her dock, and it worked like the collar around her neck. So long as she kept her hindquarters held high, she could keep herself almost free from pain. If she lost her balance and slipped from the edges of her hooves, the sudden pain in her dock was blinding and made her bawl with agony as she had discovered. The pain was debilitating and the puddle of urine around her hind hooves was evidence of her failures.

Heavy weights had been secured to her collar and it made it very difficult to hold her head up and keep her balance. Chains had been wrapped around her body and no matter how she wiggled her wings, there was no comfortable position to be found. She struggled to breathe, struggled to swallow, and focused all of her efforts on balancing on the edge-tips of her hooves.

Her thoughts drifted to Sentinel and she resolved that she would make it through the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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