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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The dreamscape had shifted. Things were different now, but Bucky didn’t know what all had changed. He had fangs now. A red focusing crystal protruded from his forehead, and it gave off a fiendish red glow. He was standing in a vast hallway made of glowing crystal and swirling black tendrils of shadow swam through the crystalline structure like fish in a glass aquarium.

“Briarburner, report,” Sombra commanded.

Bucky saw Briarburner. The lunar pegasus looked awful. He was thin looking, pinched, he had aged terribly. One eye was missing. His face and body were a mass of scars. The years had not been kind to Sombra’s second in command.

“Sire, your project to turn the crystal ponies into living focusing crystals has been a partial success. Some of them do indeed amplify the magical radiation from the ley lines and greatly increase what can be drawn upon from a limited location around them. We are gathering those who exhibit this phenomenon and they are being brought here for your inspection. It should increase your magic by a hundredfold or more. There is no accurate means to measure this, but it is speculated that your power will far exceed an alicorn,” Briarburner reported.

“This is good news,” Sombra hissed.

“Sire, more news from the south. The Royal Pony Sisters advance north with their army. Sire, please, hear me out. It doesn’t have to be this way. Luna still loves you. Celestia is angry but I know she still loves you as well. If you would just step back from this madness and talk to them, they could help you… Sire… Sombra, I am still your friend. I might be the last one you have, I am begging you to reconsider this course of action,” Briarburner said in a pleading voice.

“And you know this how?” Sombra asked, turning to stare balefully at the lunar pegasus.

“I have spoken with them, sire. I went to them with a white flag. I begged them to spare your life, that there is something wrong with you and that you should be offered mercy. You need healing, we can avoid this violence,” Briarburner whimpered, now cowering before his king.

“So that’s it then, my last loyal servant has betrayed me,” Sombra whispered.

“I followed you because I loved you like my brother, you were my brother,” Briarburner growled, his posture slowly becoming defiant. “You were my brother. I was never your servant, but your friend.”

“You speak in the past tense,” Sombra said and then gave a low chuckle.

“We can be brothers again, let the sisters help you… heal you… urgh… hurghk…”

Briarburner fell silent and his eye bulged. His body slowly lifted into the air and he began to scrape his front hooves over his throat. His tongue lolled out of his mouth as he struggled to breathe. He shot one last pleading look at Sombra, a look of love betrayed.

“Simply letting you die is too easy,” Sombra whispered as writhing black shadow crawled along his body. “First, you will hang for a bit… but not too long… I want you aware of what comes next.”

Briarburner gasped, sucking in wind, a wet whistling wheeze could be heard in his throat as he struggled to breathe. He remained suspended in midair.

“Next in the process of drawing and quartering, we emasculate the traitor,” Sombra announced calmly as his horn flashed.

Screams filled the hall and there was a wet tearing sound. Briarburner shrieked, a ragged cry that echoed through the hallway. Wet bits of flesh splattered as the fell to the floor. Blood trickled from the open wound and began to pool upon the crystal floor.

“A little necromancy to keep you from dying right away,” Sombra said in a low steady voice. “Tsk tsk, we can’t have you dying. The next part hurts and I want you to feel it, brother.”

“No, Sombra, please, no,” Briarburner croaked as he felt pressure in his stomach. A moment later, his guts spilled out upon the floor. He felt his head being forced to look down at his own entrails, and he let out a whimpered cry. His legs kicked feebly in the air.

“Well, you’ve been drawn, how about the quartering?” Sombra asked, licking his fangs as he spoke. His horn flashed again.

Briarburner gave a feeble cry as one leg was twisted and then torn free. He hung limply in the air now, suspended by shadowy tendrils that came out of the walls of the crystalline passage. The walls and the floor pulsed as he neared death. With a sharp yank, his other hind leg was torn free. One front leg was twisted slowly, the bones cracking and popping as it was pulled, until it finally snapped and then it was torn free. Briarburner let out a feeble yelp. The only thing keeping him alive and conscious now was the foulest of magic, and he felt his last leg slowly being ripped from his body.

“Any last words Briarburner?” Sombra asked. “We rapidly approach the part where I take your head. I recall saying that I would have to take your head once. Where are your witty criticisms now my sharp tongued brother?”

“I… loved… you… turn… back-”

“Turn back and the sisters will forgive me... I grow weary of this puerile behaviour,” Sombra said in a cold dismissive voice. He began to twist Briarburner’s head slowly around, almost teasingly, enjoying hearing the sounds of neck bones breaking. With a final wrench, Sombra pulled Briarburner’s head from his neck.

He allowed the body to drop to the floor. Already, the crystal was absorbing the blood and body parts, transmuting them into the crystalline structure of the tower. The tower was a living thing, and Sombra had constructed it from the bodies of those who had crossed him.

Sombra turned and walked away from the rapidly vanishing corpse.

 

 

With a low cry, Bucky awoke, sweating, his heart pounding wildly in his ribcage. He lay in the bed, terror making every nerve his in body twitch, and he struggled to draw in air after his initial cry had emptied his lungs.

Within seconds, the first tears began to fall. He rolled over and clutched a pillow. The large bed was empty and Bucky lay in the middle. He felt miserable after what he had just witnessed. His stomach churned and the remaining contents threatened to come up violently. He could taste the bile in the back of his throat.

Not all of Sombra’s memories were pleasant or helpful.

 

 

Taking a deep breath, Bucky sank even lower into the tub. A sense of lethargy had overtaken him, a creeping malaise that made him want to sink into the water and not return to the surface. He drew a deep breath and tried to push the revolting images from his mind, wishing that the memory of the dream was not so vivid. The water was hot, as hot as he could get it without scalding himself, but somehow, Bucky felt cold as he soaked. He shivered occasionally and felt as though his teeth would begin chattering at any moment.

He conjured up a glass and a bottle of gin. Having second thoughts, he returned the glass to its source and kept the bottle of gin. He chilled the liquid with his magic, lifted his head out of the water, tilted the bottle to his lips, and drank down a quarter of the bottle in one long pull.

He belched ferociously, the resonating sound causing the drinking glass full of toothbrushes on the sink to rattle and the medicine cabinet made a clattering sound. He laughed, a hollow sound that conveyed no real emotion, the empty laughter of the damned and the broken.

The bathroom door opened and Derpy stuck her head inside the bathroom. She looked at Bucky, then the bottle of gin, and then back at Bucky once more. She raised her eyebrows in concern and her ears perked forward.

“You’re awake. I heard a sound. I was worried,” Derpy said as she came inside the bathroom and shut the door behind her. “You look a little off.”

“I feel a little off,” Bucky admitted. “But seeing you, I feel a little turned on.” He snatched the pegasus mare in his magic and pulled her into the tub with him, setting the bottle of gin down upon a small wooden crate by the toilet that was covered in magazines.

Squealing, Derpy fell into the tub with a splash.

“This water offers no warmth,” Bucky whimpered. “I need to feel something warm,” he begged as he pulled Derpy on top of him. “Like you,” he whispered as he pressed his muzzle onto Derpy’s and drew in her warm breath into his lungs. He took several shuddering breaths as he kissed her, finally feeling warmth in his body again. Some things certainly felt warmer than others. He needed to feel Derpy’s life affirming heat, and it was only something that could be found inside of her.

The grey mare let out a low shuddering moan as she melted into Bucky’s embrace, their bodies entwining in the tub, and she gave Bucky the sort of warmth she knew he needed. Pegasi were naturally hot blooded creatures, and Derpy definitely felt heated as Bucky’s hoof and diminished leg trailed over her body. She lifted her head, pulling her muzzle away from Bucky’s when she felt him taking her, and let out a gasp.

“I am yours,” Bucky whispered into Derpy’s ear. “Do with me as you will. I am your slave.

 

 

“It just sort of happened,” Derpy said apologetically to Berry Punch.

“I told you, I’m not angry,” Berry replied patiently.

“But we have rules, and I broke them. I should have made my intentions clear before we did anything,” Derpy said as she slumped down upon the kitchen table.

“I pulled you into the tub,” Bucky said in a low voice. “So this is my fault.”

“I’m not angry… look, heat of the moment thing and I understand. Bucky was having one of his turns. He needed you. There wasn’t an opportunity to come and announce your plans. And you didn’t try to hide it afterwards,” Berry explained. “There was no time to declare intentions or make your plans known. So stop fussing about it. The rule is there to make sure we communicate, like we are doing now.”

“I’m not upset either,” Thistle said. “I just want Bucky taken care of. He had a bad dream and he turned to you for comfort. How can I fault you for giving it to him?”

“We’ll be in trouble if we start sneaking around behind one another’s backs and stop being honest,” Berry stated. “So long as there is total honesty, I ain’t got a problem with what happened.”

“Rules and laws have one thing in common,” Bucky muttered.

“And what’s that?” Berry asked.

“They’re useless,” Bucky replied.

“How so?” Berry inquired.

“Well, in the case of laws, good ponies don’t need them and bad ponies don’t follow them anyway. As for our rules, the fact that Derpy and I are baring our guilty souls to you and Thistle shows that we don’t need the rules, and if we were bad ponies, we wouldn’t feel guilty about what we’ve done at all,” Bucky explained in reply.

“I never thought of it that way,” Berry said, suddenly looking thoughtful. “Way to undermine our entire society you jerk.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” Thistle said. “Or that I want to.”

“Because you are a good pony,” Derpy said as she scratched her belly.

“Damnit Bucky, now you have me thinking. I need to go for a walk and get my body moving so I can think properly. You’ve presented an entirely too logical argument against law and order in general,” Berry fussed. “Anyway, I’m not mad. Thanks for being honest. I’m going for a walk around the house and the lake.”

“I think I’ll join you… all of these waffles are making me fat and jiggly,” Derpy said in a low voice, her eyes darting over to Berry, still looking apologetic for what had happened. “Pegasi shouldn’t be fat or jiggly.”

“I’d join you but I don’t know if I can waddle that far,” Thistle huffed in frustration.

“I think I will take this opportunity to use my disability to my advantage and walk behind two mares with big jiggly backsides,” Bucky announced.

“Bucky, I appreciate your earlier honesty, but my plot is not at all big or jiggly,” Berry replied in a steely voice, leveling her narrowed eyed gaze upon her husband.

“I bet I could make it jiggle,” Bucky teased in a low whisper.

 

 

 

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