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


233. 233

Twilight Sparkle slowed down and began her descent, circling overhead and gliding down gently near the farmhouse. The guard saluted her. She was aware that Bucky had visitors, having received a message last night about the situation. She scanned the area, looking around. She saw Loch Skimmer and her sister Ripple.

Ripple was running around on her front legs and leaping, which confused Twilight greatly. Ponies should run around on four legs. Not two. And certainly not the two front legs. And they shouldn’t be leaping all over the place.

Seeing Twilight, Loch Skimmer came over to be friendly, tackling Twilight in an extra squeezy pegasus hug. The pair embraced for a moment and then Loch Skimmer let go.

“So how do I go to work?” Loch asked.

“Don’t worry about that right now, you have the job. Wait for things to calm down and get settled, and Fluttershy will start coming out here to train you,” Twilight replied.

“Okay,” Loch said as she pranced around in a circle around Twilight Sparkle.

“Is Barley up yet?” Twilight inquired.

“I don’t know,” Loch answered. “I haven’t seen him yet.”

“Hmm,” Twilight hummed.

“I know that Sparky wants to talk to you,” Loch announced. “But I don’t know why.”

Twilight nodded and made her way to the front door. She let herself in and peered around the house. She saw Barley in the kitchen fixing coffee. Twilight made herself at home and immediately began to prepare tea.

“Morning,” Barley said amicably.

“Good morning!” Twilight cheerfully replied.

The two ponies had been at this routine for a long time now, and moved around the kitchen with an easy grace, easily sidestepping one another as they went about their separate tasks. Barley hurriedly stuck his scones in the oven and began to bake them.


Turning, Twilight saw Sparkler. “Good morning,” Twilight said as she began to set the table and lay out the tea service.

“I need to talk to you,” Sparkler said.

“Well, I have time. That is what I am here for. There’s a lot to talk about today,” Twilight responded, smiling as she spoke.

“The ponies need protection. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I was up for most of the night reading Sentinel’s officer training manuals. The part about an officer’s duty is to protect the citizenry from the guard… it stuck out in my mind. We need a way to keep the peace but not with the guard. I know there are problems here, I’ve seen the paper,” Sparkler said in a hesitant voice.

“Like a police force?” Twilight said. “Like they had in Manehatten and Baltimare?”

Suddenly feeling stupid, Sparkler facehoofed. She had been so focused on the problem that she had failed to grasp the obvious. She had read quite a few crime novels as a filly.

“You okay?” Twilight inquired.

“Having myself a stupid moment,” Sparkler mumbled. “Yes. A police force. I am sure the militia does a good job, but Ponyville needs a dedicated police force.”

Pressing her lips into a flat line, Twilight Sparkle stood looking thoughtful for a moment. She made a thoughtful grunt and her wings twitched. “That is actually a really good idea.”

“I want to help,” Sparkler announced.

“Oh bother,” Barley said. “The grey mare is gonna be in such a tizzy.”

“You want to help organise a police force?” Twilight questioned.

“I am a Buck Sergeant. I have experience with actual command. I’ve had combat experience. I thought about pressing for military service with the guard, but then I realised I have trouble right here at home that needs to be looked after. I can’t save the world, but I can make Ponyville a better place,” Sparkler stated.

“So what brought this about?” Twilight asked. “I mean, you’ve been thinking about this.”

“When I read in yesterday’s paper about the guard breaking a stallion’s leg because he stole something,” Sparkler muttered. “Overwhelming use of force to gain submission is the right thing to do in combat but the stallion in question was stealing turnips.”

“The guard in question is being reprimanded,” Twilight said in a soft voice.

“That isn’t enough! Who protects the citizens from the guard?” Sparkler retorted.

“This is a very delicate issue,” Twilight said in a calm voice.

“Yes it is. I might be young, but I know I have been declared a legal adult with all of the responsibilities and privileges that apply to being an adult. I am willing to help,” Sparkler said. “I’ve given a lot of thought about what to do with my life. Before we left home, I had everything planned out. I was going to go to university. I was going to lead a quiet boring life doing absolutely nothing useful. But then, I went off and I grew up. I saw the world for what it really is. And now I am home and nothing in life makes sense anymore,” Sparkler said, struggling to speak as her face twitched violently. She sat down in a chair as one of her legs began to kick.

“Are you willing to help me create a police department for Ponyville?” Twilight asked.

“Yes,” Sparkler said, hiding her face with her hooves. She didn’t want others looking at her during these states. She felt hideous and unattractive. She silently wondered when she should start taking the pills. Her sudden self consciousness set off a whole new round of twitches and spasms.

“Give me a few days to ask around. I’ll get you some ponies to work with. You will keep your rank of Sergeant when you take command of the constabulary. I trust that you will lead a force of gentle protectors,” Twilight said.

Stumbling into the archway, Bucky staggered into the kitchen looking bleary eyed. Even the purple haze drifting from his Taint filled eye looked half awake. He hobbled to the table and sat down, leaning over on the table for support.

“Morning pegasi… Loch Skimmer,” Bucky muttered. He yawned, revealing fangs.


“Stop. No more Buckminster. Call me Bucky… really… I hate my name,” Bucky insisted.

“Bucky… okay then. Bucky, there will be a royal accountant coming out today to visit you. They will let you know about your financial situation. Luna is hoping to come out today at some point to speak with you, Witching Hour, and Tiddlywinks. She might not be able to make it. Mayor Mare has requested an audience with you. I have you penciled in for ten o’ clock. If you try to skip out like you did on the day of your coronation, I will never forgive you. This is VERY important. It is about the school and what you want from the community. Mister Rich will be coming by later today after your meeting. He is one of my most trusted civic planners and he is going to help you with getting the school going. Construction is scheduled to begin again on the dormitory towers. Each tower holds seventy six students and there are currently two towers which are partially completed. More towers will be built in time. Down the road from here, we plan to construct housing for the teachers and staff members. So these are all issues that concern you,” Twilight explained in her usual long winded fashion.

Bucky yawned in reply.

Barley, always thoughtful, shoved a cup of coffee under Bucky’s nose and then went back to watch his scones in the oven. He fretted to himself, worried if they would come out perfect.

Twilight watched as Bucky added cream and sugar to his coffee. “I think the water crisis is over. I did some calculations. The ice we brought back should give us enough water to work with until winter. But we need to clear out the last of the refugee camps before it gets cold. We are building suburbs outside of Ponyville. Some of the refugees are going to be sent to other places that need labour. To help with the food crisis, we have another train full of goods coming up from Saddle Arabia soonish. Celestia said she might have both of us guarding the train. I know how you feel about not hurting ponies, but the bandits must be dealt with. Just give them a really good scare and make sure that the train keeps moving.”

“How are you getting food from Saddle Arabia?” Bucky grumbled.

“Sharing my own personal arcano-tech research with them. Right now, I am working on organising a mutual assistance pact between our nations. They have resources we need, we have resources they need, and I have been working very hard to foster better relations between us. They are preparing to send a whole lot of food. Mostly grain, soybeans, and rice. Enough to see the refugees through the winter. Things are still going to be difficult though,” Twilight said.

“Oh sure… little miss popular leaves out one important detail,” Barley groused.

With a panicked gasp, Twilight grinned sheepishly and glanced at Barley. “The Saddle Arabians love Barley. He and Luna left a lasting impression upon the delegation they sent up here.”

Nodding, Bucky lowered his head and stuck his lips into his coffee cup. He slurped some out and then blinked a few times. Lifting his head back up, he turned to look at Twilight. “I will meet with Mayor Mare but only if I may take my squire. I either act in my official capacity as a knight or I don’t act at all.”

“That’s acceptable. She wanted to speak with her prince-”

“Chieftain,” Bucky corrected.

“That title is just to humour you,” Twilight groused. “Because you acted like a foal and took off during the day of your coronation. You have all of the powers of a prince at your disposal as Equestria’s War Chief.”

“Bah!” Bucky grunted.

“Don’t take no guff Bucky,” Barley said as he pulled the scones from the oven.

“Don’t encourage him!” Twilight snapped.

Thinking of a response, Bucky continued to drink his coffee and he sniffed a few times as the scones were set down to cool. He glanced at Sparkler, who was sitting quietly and looking thoughtful. “So… what are my legal rights as prince exactly? I mean, where is an official list of my powers and what are the limits of my control?”

Twilight opened to her mouth to respond, fell silent, started to say something else, made a wordless noise of irritation, inhaled sharply, began to speak again, and then her eyes narrowed. “I don’t know anymore.”

“That’s what I thought,” Bucky grumbled.

“You still have obligations!” Twilight retorted.

“Yes I do,” Bucky agreed. “I am not a prince. I am a slave. I exist to serve others.”

“I serve others too…” Twilight said defensively.

“I know you do. Which is why I am willing to do anything within my power to help you. You live in a library. I live in a farmhouse. We are easily accessible royalty. We’ve made ourselves available to those we serve. You accept your title and the prestige that comes with it. I do not,” Bucky explained.

“Bucky… I don’t understand you,” Twilight sighed.

“I am happy to be a slave. I chose this. Your brother worked out a deal with me and even though I did not know the punishment, I knew that if I jumped through all the hoops and did everything asked of me, I would get to be with my family. My title of slave means more to me than any other title I have a claim on. Prince. King of the Crystal Empire. Knight,” Bucky said in a low voice. When he was done, he drank some coffee and then rested his stump upon the table.

Twilight lapsed into sullen silence. She levitated over a scone, spread some butter on it, and then she slowly nibbled off tiny bites as she sat in her chair thinking. She eyed Bucky a few times but could not figure out anything worth saying.

Bucky smiled in a smug self satisfied sort of way and drank his coffee.








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