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


232. 232

Sitting by the fire, but not in Barley’s chair, Bucky made himself comfortable and sighed. He suspected the peace wouldn’t last. His belly was still full from dinner. He was mildly worried that there were no leftovers. Every last bit of lasagna had been eaten. There was a lot of mouths to feed, and some of them were unicorn mouths, which could be bottomless pits.

Derpy sat beside him, reading something, and he wasn’t sure what it was. Feeling curious, he leaned over and prodded his pegasus mate gently, noticing the softness of her padded sides. It gave him ideas.

“What are you reading?” Bucky inquired.

“Flight camp brochures. I found them in a drawer. We have a few pegasi now… and they need to learn how to fly. Properly. From pegasi who are better fliers than I am,” Derpy answered, her voice serious and calm.

“I suppose you are contemplating sending our foals away to flight camp?” Bucky asked.

“Well, I thought about it, until I saw this brochure. This is a flight camp that comes to you. I like this one because I don’t want to break apart our family. It is run by a pony named Surprise. She’s a Wonderbolt. She brings military style flight training but with gentle instruction. She focuses on defensive flying and responsibility. I like this brochure a lot,” Derpy replied.

“We can look into it,” Bucky said.

Outside in the yard, Bucky heard one of the guards shouting, and then there was more shouting. Wondering what the commotion was, Bucky slipped off the couch and made his way to the front door. The shift had changed a while ago with fresh guards coming in for the evening.

He made his way outside and saw a chariot along with a wing of lunar pegasi. Peering up, he squinted, and was able to make out two figures in the chariot. He made his way to the steps, hobbled down the steps, and then trotting on three legs, walked out onto the lawn where the guard began to salute him.

He watched the chariot land and the two figures stepped off. After a moment, he recognised them and began to hurry forward as fast as his three legs would carry him.

“Witching Hour, Tiddlywinks, what brings you here?” Bucky asked as he approached the pair ponies. He felt a little concerned and hoped they were just here for lessons.

“Princess Luna sent us here,” Witching Hour responded. “We need a place to stay for a while. This is not a secure location, but Princess Luna couldn’t think of a better place to send us and we refused to stay in Canterlot Castle. IT GIVES MY HUSBAND THE WILLIES! Celestia has clairaudience spells all over the castle.”

“You need a place to stay? What happened?” Bucky asked.

“Our apartment building exploded. Our apartment specifically. We have several. We never stay in the same apartment two nights in row,” Witching Hour replied. “We checked the door, it showed no signs of tampering. Turned the knob, opened the door, BOOM! Winky’s reflexes saved us both. As soon as he heard the popping crackle sound, he teleported both us to safety in a fraction of a second.”

Swallowing loudly, Bucky sat down with a thump, his hindquarters hitting the grass. He could see that they were both trembling with fear and their eyes darted around everywhere.

“PONIES KEEP TRYING TO KILL US!” Witching Hour shouted. She froze for a moment. “Sorry… shouting. Right,” she said, taking a deep breath.

“Well, I have a few spare rooms… you could pick one. The guards have been staying in the unfinished dormitory towers. You are welcomed to stay with us,” Bucky offered.

“We keep a highly modified tent in our private fold space. We’ll set up someplace private. We need quiet time. You probably won’t be able to find our tent or even see it. If we need something, we will come to you. We will need something to eat… and we hope you will not be insulted if we thoroughly inspect our food. SO MANY PONIES HAVE TRIED TO POISON US!” Witching Hour said to Bucky.

Private fold space?

Bucky thought about what Witching Hour had said. He knew it was possible, but he had not looked into creating one for himself yet. Nothing from Sombra’s memories seemed to surface about the matter, which lead Bucky to the understanding that it had to be a magical development that happened after Sombra’s time.

The lunar guards were deploying all around the property and Bucky watched them disperse. He heard soft whispering as the guards discussed various duties amongst themselves.

“Stay here as long as you need. My home is your home, always. Do whatever it is that you need to do to feel safe. Try not to spook my foals. Watch out for Dinky and Piña. They’re overly curious and will probably ask you a million questions. And if anything comes here trying to harm you, you have powerful protectors all around you,” Bucky said to the pair.

Both Tiddlywinks and Witching Hour nodded gratefully and then began to make their way towards the school. Bucky watched them go and began to feel a sense of worry. Lyra was going to need to cover this place in wards. He turned around headed for the house, and he saw Derpy and Berry Punch on the front porch watching.

“We heard everything,” Berry said as Bucky approached.

“That was very nice of you to let them stay,” Derpy said.

“We came home to a different Equestria,” Berry said in a sad voice.



At the same time, in a different part of town, Coco Pommel was sitting on a soft overstuffed fainting couch, recovering from her ordeal while sipping hot tea. Her hooves were so sore that she could barely even hold the tea cup, and she smelled strongly of medicated liniment that had been liberally applied not long ago.

“You pulled a wagon full of ponies all the way from Manehatten to Ponyville,” Rarity said in a cultured voice. “That was so kind of you, darling.”

“I’m an earth pony,” Coco replied in a calm voice. “I was able to find out how strong I was.”

“You poor dear,” Rarity whined. “How dreadful. Look at you. You are in such a state. It breaks my heart to see you like this.”

“We were attacked by bandits. They wanted to drive the males away and keep us females,” Coco said, her words causing ripples to form in her teacup as she spoke into it. “A pegasus in our group, the most gentle and kind pegasus you ever did meet, he killed one of them. They all ran away after that.”

“Ruffians,” Rarity hissed.

“And then there was a forest fire. It was burning on both sides of us. We were trapped in the middle. We had no choice but to keep going and hope that the flames didn’t burn us,” Coco said, her voice finally losing its calm and wavering slightly.

Rarity lifted her own teacup and took a sip of the hot tea, a blend she had made herself of peppermint, anise, and chamomile. Her eyes lingered on Coco’s blistered back and the places she had been rubbed raw. It made Rarity ache to see another pony she so loved in such a sorry state.

“We met a nice dragon. He helped us. He lifted the wagon and carried us over a raging river. The bridge was gone. He stayed with us for several days and gave us a chance to rest. He was very kind. I would have never thought a dragon would be kind. He gave us quite a scare when we first saw him though,” Coco said as she let the steam from her tea soak into her snoot.

“Not all dragons are bad, dear… some of them are simply delightful. Like my little Spikey Wikey. He is such a nice little gentle-dragon. Twilight Sparkle has raised him so well,” Rarity said.

“Thank you so much for taking me in,” Coco said graciously.

“About that. Darling, we need to talk. To be honest, I took you in with an ulteriour motive. I need help. I know you have organisational skills because of your time spent working in the theatre. You know how to work with large groups of ponies and keep everything focused. I need you to help me,” Rarity said bluntly. “Take a few days to settle in and get rested. We’ll talk more later.”

“I want to help,” Coco said. “I’ll start tomorrow.”

“Very well. Tomorrow. I am so glad to see you again and know that you are safe!”



Sitting in the library, Sparkler had her nose buried in a book about an officer’s obligations to the public. She reread several words over and over again, trying to fully understand their meaning. Short simple words.

An officer is to protect civilians from the soldiery.

The book elaborated that in the event that the guard was deployed as a constabulary force, there was a risk of the guard treating civilians as combatants due to their training, and the entire chapter was about the escalation of conflict and how an officer was to prevent it from happening. Civilians were soft targets, but to the common guard, it was easy to forget that in times of crisis.

An annoyed feeling crept over Sparkler as all four of her legs began to tremble and then her back muscles began to spasm painfully. She gritted her teeth and kept reading, ignoring her body as it rebelled against her wishes. Very much against her will, she found herself crying out slightly.

The guard were there to battle enemies of the Crown, and by extension, citizens who engaged the guard might be treated as enemies of the Crown. This left a sour taste in Sparkler’s mouth. The guard were there to protect and serve the Crown. Something was needed to protect and serve the ponies. The common pony was not an enemy of the Crown and didn’t deserve to be treated as such.

An officer’s duty was to make sure to rein in the guards that became too overzealous in their duty. Sparkler thought about this, turning it over in her mind. The most obvious solution was to not use the guard to pacify the citizenry, but during these troubled times, something was necessary. Sparkler had read plenty of stuff in the newspaper about violence in the camps. Sexual assault. Ponyville had more ponies than ever before and in these trying times, the worst sorts of behaviours came out of panicked ponies who were desperate and scared.



“Going to be Piña’s birthday real soon,” Berry said.

“I need to go home and get the book I have for Piña in my closet,” Derpy said. “I have a copy of “A Filly’s Guide to Growing Up” sitting on my closet shelf for Piña to have on her birthday.” Derpy scowled. “I guess that place isn’t home anymore.”

“Change is always a bit rough,” Berry said as she patted Derpy.

“The summer did kind of go as we planned it. Dinky and Piña both grew up a bit and both know what it means to be young fillies. I just don’t know what went wrong… they learned all of the right stuff through all of the wrong ways I think,” Derpy grumbled.

“They learned about the important stuff. Love, sex, family values, probably a few lessons they weren’t quite ready for, but they adapted quite well. I think in the long run, this summer will make them better ponies. A little rough around the edges, but our little girls are growing up. They’re becoming just a bit more independent and want to push the limits to see what they can get away with,” Berry said.

“At least we have Harper and Peekaboo to fawn over,” Derpy said in a low voice.

“Well, for now. We’re going to be overrun with foals soon,” Berry said with a laugh.







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