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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Sitting in deep concentration, Piña tried to focus her will. Her father was sitting beside her, and she tried to match his steady breathing. For almost an hour the day before they had done this, and nothing had happened other than a strange feeling of pressure and a faint tingling in her hooves.

She was determined to become an earth pony mystic.

Not far away, Berry Punch laid in the grass watching Piña, Dinky, and Bucky meditating together. Dinky was levitating slightly, as Rising Star was also starting to do on occasion. A state of supreme focus, something few adult unicorns managed, from what little bit that Berry knew about magic.

“Dinky… do you wish to try teleporting?” Bucky asked in a low whisper.

There was no response right away. Dinky continued to levitate slightly, just a few inches above the grass. Her eyes remained shut. The only observable response for a while was the movement of her throat as she swallowed. Finally, she spoke.

“I am ready,” Dinky responded.

She disappeared in a burst of cold and reappeared a fair distance away. Berry Punch was up on her hooves in a hurry when she heard Dinky gag and strangle. A second later, Dinky was vomiting out her breakfast all over the grass.

Somehow, Piña held her concentration even with the sounds of her sister being violently ill and the sudden burst of freezing cold. She suspected that her father had teleported Dinky for that very reason, and Piña tightened her resolve and focus. She forced her body to relax and listened to the sound of her father’s breathing.

 

 

Sitting at the kitchen table, Sentinel watched his mothers working, Lyra and Bon Bon both preserving food for what was certain to be a difficult winter. As they worked, he sketched what he saw, Bon Bon standing on her hind legs at the stove and Lyra beside her at the counter. An army of jars stood ready.

“How do I talk to fillies?” Sentinel asked.

Continuing at her task, Bon Bon took a deep breath. “Just talk to them, dear. Why don’t you ask your father for his advice?”

“I plan to do that, but both of you are lesbians. You have experience in talking to fillies or mares. You know what fillies want to hear, right?” Sentinel asked. He had been thinking about this for a while, and he felt his logic was unassailable.

Tittering, Lyra looked over her shoulder at Sentinel and smiled.

Snatching a carrot with his thumb, Sentinel lifted it to his mouth and began crunching down upon it. He chewed thoughtfully and slowly, holding the carrot in the thumb of his left wing, while he continued to scribble with his right wing. He swallowed and looked at Bon Bon. “Fillies confuse me.”

“Oh that’s how it is supposed to be, dear,” Bon Bon said as she worked. “I suppose you are confused about what Diamond Tiara did.”

“Moonbow too… I miss her,” Sentinel said morosely. “I have weird feelings. I want to protect fillies… mares… females… but I don’t want them to feel like I am superiour, like they need my protection, that they are somehow weaker. I don’t know how to be chivalrous without being insulting. My officer’s manual says to behave in a chivalrous manner at all times and protect the weaker sex. But I don’t think they are weaker at all. Nothing makes sense right now.”

“Oh my, this is a moral conundrum,” Bon Bon replied. She turned her head and looked at Lyra, her face serious, her previous smile now gone. “I thought you were having the usual problems a colt your age has with fillies. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting you ask me something this complex.”

“Bonnie, he is a sensitive little introvert like me. He is never going to have the common problems common to colts his age,” Lyra said in a low voice. For a moment, Lyra felt an odd emotion and she couldn’t tell what it was. It was almost like a physical ache in her barrel, and then the feeling passed.

“I wish I understood why Diamond Tiara did what she did. I fail to understand her motivations,” Sentinel said, explaining his position. “And since that happened, there has been this weird awkwardness between me and my sisters. My sisters and I… ugh, they’ve been treating me differently ever since it happened and I can’t figure out why. And when I asked them about it last night, they got quiet and changed the subject. And I can’t figure out why.”

“Sentinel, they are probably embarrassed and ashamed that their friend used you,” Lyra replied after thinking about Sentinel’s words for a few moments. “They know that Diamond Tiara has some behavioural troubles. Maybe they feel bad that you saw a bad side of her.”

“I have a bad side,” Sentinel admitted.

Snorting once, twice, and then a third time, Bon Bon finally laughed.

“I do too have a bad side. Sometimes I am curt,” Sentinel confessed, his ears splaying out sideways. His once torn ear flickered. It had healed well enough, but it was sometimes a bit spastic.

Unable to help herself, Lyra began to chortle. She tried to hold it back, but failed completely and finally let out a chuckle. “Sentinel, if that is the worst your bad side has to offer, I think you’ll be okay,” she said, still sniggering slightly as she spoke.

 

 

“Surprise will be out this way in a few days,” Derpy announced.

“So I’ll be able to fly again?” Yew asked.

“Yes,” Derpy replied.

Dancing in place, Yew looked extremely pleased. She danced a little jig of happiness, her hooves clattering on the hardwood floor.

“Are you happy in the attic?” Derpy inquired.

“I like it. Barley says he is going to have a door put in and a little balcony for us to take off and fly from. And get it insulated before the winter. Right now the only problem is going up all of the stairs,” Yew responded.

“Lugus is a big creature,” Derpy stated. “I worry about him being comfortable. I mean, he’s huge. Nothing is big enough for him. Couches, sofas, chairs, rooms, beds, bathtubs, he’s a giant. He has trouble going through doors.”

“He’s a big pussycat… eagle hawk bird of prey creature… I’m trying to say he’s gentle,” Yew replied. “He’s been good to me. I'll curl up at night and he wraps himself completely around me. It’s like sleeping in a walled fortress.”

“You love him,” Derpy said.

“Like you love Bucky,” Yew answered. “Our foals are going to grow up as sisters.”

“I think so,” Derpy agreed.

“Sissy,” Harper announced from where she was sitting on her quilt.

“Yes! Sissy!” Yew praised, looking at Harper.

“Can you say my name? Not mama, but my name?” Derpy asked.

“Burpy?” Harper replied, her brows furrowing with concentration.

“Close enough,” Derpy sighed. She pointed at Yew. “What about her name?”

Harper looked briefly frustrated. “She.”

“No, her name is Yew,” Derpy corrected.

“Harpy?” Harper inquired.

“No, Yew,” Derpy said again.

“Me?” Harper asked.

Realising the problem, Derpy sighed and gave up.

 

 

The late afternoon sun shone brightly. Bucky and Sparkler, well rested and full of energy, looked at one another for some time, studying each other’s moods. Sparkler didn’t seem nearly as twitchy as she sometimes was, and Bucky was in an unusually subdued and laid back mood.

“Ready?” Bucky asked after several minutes of silently settling in.

Sparkler said nothing but nodded.

The Tree of Harmony was not too far away and it sat upon an intersection of ley lines. Bucky reached out with his mind and touched the lines, drawing energy from them. He then drew Sparkler in, causing her to gasp loudly. When the magic overtook her, she turned to stone, first grey stone, and then it steadily darkened until she had turned into what appeared to be a  mass of black obsidian.

Both unicorns rose up into the air, moving in a binary orbit around one another. A line of raw crackling magic went from Sparkler’s horn down directly into the earth. The ground trembled and there was low rumble that filled the air.

The earth split open a moment later and a spike of black basalt came creeping up like a sapling seeking the sun. It curled and moved around, finding its direction, and then more earth was moved aside. A mass of black rock came creeping out, slow and steady. It moved like clay upon a potter’s wheel, flexible and supple, flexing and moving under Sparkler’s magical guidance.

It snaked skyward, moving ever so slowly, gaining mass and width. It did not grow in a straight line. It moved fluidly. There were curves, twists, bulbous protrusions, and a strangely organic looking growth. At a little over one hundred feet tall, it stopped. It continued to widen, nooks appeared in the sides, places where pegasi could sun themselves just as Bucky requested. The top of the tower split open like a gaping maw. Bucky intended to create a glass dome to cover it. The sides continued to widen and spread out. Windows opened along the sides and a door opened near the base.

Inside, stairs formed a sloping spiral leading up along the inner outer walls. Multiple floors appeared, seven floors in total, and doors opened along the stairs to give access to the different floors. The stairs were wide enough for a pegasus to fly up. Several nooks were created along the stairs for decorations. Fireplaces bubbled into existence. Not big square fireplaces, but round curved fireplaces that were rotund with small openings. The stone would absorb heat from the fire and radiate warmth for hours.

More stairs formed, leading into the bulbous room in the bottom of the tower, which would become a vault. The whole tower had once been a massive solid boulder. The inside of the boulder had been hollowed out and reshaped into the tower that was now above ground.

The tower was near the school, but not too near, and was roughly the same size as the dormitory towers, but much wider. Towers were efficient and efficiency appealed to most unicorns. Maximised living space in the smallest available footprint and easy to heat in the wintertime since heat rises.

The tower was not at all straight. It leaned to one side, then the other, some sections were wider, others were thinner, and it appeared to look more like a tree trunk than anything else. None of the windows were any kind of recognisable shape.

Bucky let go of Sparkler’s mind and both of them fell to the grass with a gasp, and Sparkler slowly returned to her normal pony form, the stone fading into flesh.

 

 

The tower would need to have a secure door made. Bucky made his way through the entrance and looked around. The stairs looked like they were made of black flowing liquid. Each stair was slightly different in shape and size. The first floor was open. There were stairs going up, and there were stairs going down into what would be the vault. He would need to construct a door that would keep his orb safe. The entry room needed furniture Bucky decided. He stood at the base of the steps and snorted. He winked, exploding into a cloud of snowflakes, leaving Sparkler behind to climb the stairs.

He appeared on the second floor and nearly slipped and fell down the stairs, stepping on his own sheet ice. A quick cantrip saved him. He stepped off the landing and went through the door into the second floor room. He peered around. Large and spacious, and rather egg shaped. He liked it. There was a fireplace along the far wall. Several windows let in light.

Sparkler moved into the room to look around and he left her behind. He winked again once he stood on the landing. Several quick winks later, he was on the top floor, and had a good idea of where not to wink, so he didn’t teleport into a solid wall. Now he could travel from the first floor to the top. The room at the top he planned to turn into his office as Headmaster. It was much larger than Celestia’s office, and this made him feel more than a little pleased.

When the glass dome was constructed he could place a ledge around the outer perimeter to walk on when star gazing. He could hear Sparkler’s laboured breathing as she trotted up the stairs. The sound of her discomfort brought him a strange sense of satisfaction.

“Think of the students. They will be exhausted when they reach me. And quite easy to manage I suspect,” Bucky said with a wicked grin.

“You… are… a… bad… pony…” Sparkler panted as she finally crested the stairs.

“I make no claims on goodness,” Bucky said in a serious voice, his grin vanishing.

“You… stinky… cheese… smelling… warlock… you… need… to… teach… me… tele… port… tation…” Sparkler heaved.

“Why yes, I do believe being sent to see the Headmaster will be quite a punishment. Nothing quite like climbing to the top of a hundred foot tall tower,” Bucky stated, looking thoughtful as Sparkler heaved out a sigh and fell to the floor. “Note to self. Place a trash can right near the door for students who are bound to throw up.”

“You… dastard!” Sparkler huffed as she lay on her sides. For the first time in her life, Sparkler finally believed that her father might be capable of a tiny bit of evil.

 

 

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