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


243. 243

“You look like you just got out of the shower,” Luna said with a wry smile as she saw Bucky hobble through the archway into the kitchen. She was sitting at the table drinking a bottle of cold cider and Barley was sitting across from her.

“Something like that,” Bucky responded awkwardly.

“It will just be us tonight,” Luna stated. “We shall be going to Canterlot. Prepare yourself for a different means of travel. It will be… unpleasant to say the least. Are you well fed and rested?”

“Well, I am kinda tired, but I did eat a decent sized dinner,” Bucky replied.

“We shall be going in just a while. Say your goodbyes, my student. It will be a long night,” Luna instructed in a patient but commanding voice.

“Yes Mistress,” Bucky said, bowing his head slightly when he heard the tone in Luna’s voice. He turned and made his way back down the hall to say goodbye to his wives.



Going through a shadow portal was unpleasant. It was like having something reaching up painfully inside of his tailhole, grabbing him by his spleen, and yanking him inside out in one smooth fluid motion. He stood gasping inside of a large room inside of Canterlot Castle.

It was a room he had never seen before. It had no windows, the walls were grey stone, and it made him feel really weird to be standing in it. It made him feel strong. It was like standing next to the shadow crystal in the lair of the crystal lich.

“This room always makes our kind feel strong. My sister complains of weakness when she enters this room. Through this door is one of Equestria’s greatest secrets,” Luna said as she headed for the door she mentioned.

It opened as Luna approached and Bucky saw something wondrous, something that made his breath catch in his throat and for a moment, it felt as though his heart had stopped beating. His hind legs gave out and he sat down upon the stone floor, his eye wide and staring.

Inside the room was a massive stone arch and it was alive with shadow.

“This is the Shadow Gate. My sister brought it here from our old castle. I am constantly connected to the dreamscape. I roam the dreams of my subjects even now as we talk. I am everywhere and in every mind. This shadow gate however, allows my faithful dream wardens to enter the minds of dreamers everywhere. Normally, they have to shadow dive and then enter physically into the body of a dreamer to gain access to dreams, much like Sentinel did for you. This gate allows them to shadow dive and then go into the minds of dreamers almost anywhere. It acts as a bridge between all dreaming minds. Each night, hundreds of my lunar pegasi patrol the dreamscape, protecting the minds of dreamers from the destructive influences of escaped imps, mephits, demons, and shades,” Luna explained. She watched Bucky, who was completely enraptured. It was like watching a foal experience their first Hearth’s Warming Eve. She pushed the doors shut slowly and waited for Bucky to regain his senses.

“But this is not the purpose of why I brought you here tonight. There are those whose minds I cannot connect with and that this gate does not touch. A few days ago, some of my Myrmidons subdued and captured a most interesting unicorn. We’ve been trying to interrogate him. I cannot go into his dreaming mind, I cannot enter into his mind at all actually. Neither can my sister. We have decided to try dark magic to force entry into his head. I am not that skilled in dark magic, and my sister is worried about scrambling his mind if she uses just a smidge too much power and slips. So, this leaves you,” Luna said, bringing various relevant points of detail into the conversation. “My lunar pegasi have no means to peer into his dreams either,” she added after a moment of thought.

“Hmm,” Bucky hummed noncommittally .

“I don’t want you to hurt him. We want to stop him and others like him from hurting others. We captured him outside of Ponyville by sheer luck. Some of my Myrmidons were conducting war games in the Whitetail Woods. He had a detailed map of Ponyville showing the residences of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Applejack. Also on the map were the marked secondary targets. Ivory Scroll, the mayor. Silver Shill, the head of the Farmer’s Union. Cherry Berry, who heads the airborne watch. We don’t know what he was planning to do for certain, but we suspect he might have been there to gather intelligence or possibly assassinate selected targets,” Luna explained.

“This is worrisome,” Bucky whispered. “So you want me to use dark enchantment and my knack for communing to connect to his mind and forcibly extract information?”

“Yes,” Luna replied.

“Where is he?”



The unicorn was dark brown and his mane and tail were the colour of muddy water. An inhibitor was upon his horn and he was chained to the floor with a shackle around one of his hooves. He stared defiantly at Luna.

“What, no monologuing about how I am going to beg to talk when you get done with me?” the unicorn snarled. “How scared I should be?”

“Oh, you should be scared,” Luna replied. “Buckminster, do be a faithful student and come to your Mistress,” she commanded.

When Bucky entered the room the unicorn backed away as far as his chain would allow. His mouth dropped open. When he saw Bucky’s head turn, and Bucky’s single Taint filled eye was visible, he let out a soft whimper.

“The time for talking is done. You had a chance. Now, now we shall simply take,” Luna said in an icy voice.

“He is like War Empress Umbra… She of the Fallen Shadow, Student of Nightmare Moon,” the unicorn gibbered, now cowering with what appeared to be real fear.

“Interesting. Is there anything else you wish to tell me?” Luna said.

“You can’t listen to her. She is like Princess Selene… She’ll turn into a monster… ours was called Nightmare Moon. She was the end of everything… everything! She will bring eternal night!” the stallion cried, pleading with Bucky. “Turn back from your evil… there is still time…”

Exchanging a glance with Bucky, Princess Luna looked thoughtful for a moment. “I am going to step outside and leave you two to get acquainted. Find out as much as you can my faithful student.”

“Yes Mistress, I shall do as you ask,” Bucky answered.

The stallion panicked and tried to get away from Bucky. He pressed himself against the wall of his cell and cowered, his legs buckling and his body sliding down the wall to the floor.

As Luna left the room, Bucky sat down a safe distance away, out of reach of the strange stallion and began to focus his mind. He took a few deep breaths, calmed himself, and then he closed his eye. His horn ignited effortlessly with dark magic.

As he reached out to touch the other stallion’s mind, the room filled with screaming.



Bucky found himself in an unfamiliar body in a strange place. He was in the middle of a castle courtyard. It was nighttime, and the sky was dark. There was no moon and no stars, only a black sky. Unicorns stood all around, providing light with their horns, illuminating the courtyard.

Before him was the body of a dead alicorn. She looked identical to Nightmare Moon, the monster that Princess Luna had become, but her mark was different. It was a blood red full moon on a black inky patch. She had been beheaded somehow, and what Bucky presumed to be the immortal alicorn of the moon was dead, which confused Bucky a great deal.

A starburst of light shot from her body and struck the pegasus standing over her, and somehow Bucky knew that the pegasus had been the one who had struck the killing blow. He watched the pegasus rise into the air, lifted by an unseen force. A glow overtook the pegasus’ body, and the night became as bright as day as the glow intensified.

As he watched, the pegasus became an alicorn.

“A new alicorn!” a unicorn cried.

“With all the rest of the alicorns now dead, we have a new one! Commander Night Watch has become an alicorn!” another unicorn shouted.

“Doesn’t matter. This world is dead. Magic is dying. There is no sun. There is no moon. What little bit of life is left is dying off. The plants have long since vanished and without the magic of Nightmare Moon, the mushroom forests and the magical plants of the night will die. We’ll have nothing to eat. We’re doomed,” a pegasus said.

“I will preserve us,” Night Watch said as his hooves touched the ground. “We will find a way to continue. There is so much more that I understand now.”



Bucky felt a stabbing pain in his head. He blinked. The stabbing pain came back, stronger this time, and he felt his connection to the unicorn forcibly sever. He focused his gaze upon the unicorn and saw the strange stallion’s head smash into the already blood soaked wall, and this time, his horn snapped off completely at the base.

“No!” Bucky cried, rising up on his hooves, knowing he could do nothing. As Bucky watched, the strange unicorn seized, shook, and then slowly died, his eyes becoming dull and vacant looking. “LUNA!”



“This is most troubling,” Luna whispered.

“Indeed,” Celestia agreed, her voice strained.

“So are they mirror travelers?” Bucky asked, fearful of causing injury to Celestia’s feelings.

“It seems likely,” Luna admitted. “Which would explain a lot.”

“So we have an enemy that we cannot see, cannot track, and probably cannot reason with,” Celestia said, summing up the situation.

“If we can capture a few more, I might be able to attune the Shadow Gate to be able to work with their minds. I do not know if I could go into their minds, but my lunar pegasi might,” Luna suggested.

“I have my doubts, my Mistress,” Bucky interjected.

“Do explain,” Luna commanded.

“It stands to reason that they specialised in fighting against you. They killed the alicorn that was their Master of Dreams. Even if you do find a way into their heads somehow, they will counteract it. They survived a war with you,” Bucky explained.

“This is worrisome,” Celestia stated. “Buckminster brings up a valid point.”

“I do believe that the unicorn, whomever he was, allowed me to see this one memory as a warning,” Bucky said, expressing the thought that came creeping into his mind. “And this goes without saying. If they killed Selene, the Luna of that world, I suspect that they might have the means to kill either one of you, immortal or not.”

“I cannot even begin to figure out how they might have done that,” Celestia said, her face contorting with fear and worry. “Luna and I are linked to primordial elements… and celestial bodies… so long as those elements exist, so long as those celestial bodies exist, we are immortal.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, what is your connection?” Bucky inquired.

“Light… fire. So long as light exists, so long as there is fire in the world, I will be reborn like a phoenix,” Celestia answered.

“And Luna is the dark? Well, their world had gone dark, Selene should have survived,” Bucky said, now looking thoughtful and he turned his eye to Luna. “I am not a terribly bright unicorn. I don’t know what to say or do.”

“I can’t exist without Luna, and she cannot exist without me,” Celestia said.

“We define one another,” Luna added.

“Although one of us did exist for a time without the other,” Celestia stated.

“Sister! Speak not of such things,” Luna warned.

“What? He can know our secrets,” Celestia said.

“Secrets?” Bucky asked.

“Buckminster, which one of us is the older sister?” Celestia inquired, holding out a commanding hoof to silence her sister.

“You?” Bucky replied to Celestia in a quizzical tone.

“Think again,” Luna whispered. “I only call her my big sister.”

There was a flash of light from Celestia’s horn and a scroll tube appeared upon a nearby table. Celestia levitated it over, popped off an end cap, and slid out a sheet of paper. She unrolled it silently, and then held it before Bucky so he could have a look.

“Whose destiny mark comes first on the tree?” Celestia asked.

Bucky stared at the picture of the Tree of Harmony and then his jaw dropped.

“In the beginning, all was darkness. But the darkness was not aware of itself. And then, light appeared, and there was contrast. The darkness became aware,” Celestia said in a voice that was not quite like her own. Her eyes blazed with inner fire as she spoke.

“She has always been the brave one. The strong one. She has always loved me and done everything she could to protect me,” Luna said, looking at her sister.

“Does Twilight know?” Bucky asked.

Both sisters nodded.

“Back to the subject at hoof. What do we do about the strange unicorns visiting our world?”





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