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


290. 290

The clicking sounds were soothing. As he worked, Sentinel mimicked the clicking sounds from his knitting needles with his echolocation, while working under the watchful eye of Fluttershy, who peered carefully at his efforts. He held the knitting needles in his grasping thumbs, pinched between them and the central knuckles on his wings, and with his fine sense of control, he was able to produce neat even stitches in no time.

“Knitting has long been a part of our heritage as pegasi,” Fluttershy stated as her group worked. “I don’t know how long, but it has long been a part of our warrior culture. The ability to hold knitting needles in our wingtips helps us to train our primaries for fine control, allowing us better flight,” she instructed, turning her gaze around to look at her students. “It kept our warriors sane after battle, giving them something peaceful and calming after all of the killing, soothing their minds and washing away all of the horrors of war. A long time ago, we pegasi kept sheep on our high mountain tops, and we protected them in exchange for wool,” the pegasus explained.

“It is soothing,” Ripple agreed, almost looking as though her eyes were going to slip closed at any moment. Her ears were drooping as she laboured and a soft smile remained upon her face.

“I find that knitting keeps me serene and calm when life is troubling,” Fluttershy admitted. “I don’t like some of my more troubling pegasus instincts.”

“I think I understand,” Yew Wood stated, lifting her head after Fluttershy spoke her words. “But I like my pegasus instincts. I can understand why someponies might not though.”

“Knitting is boring,” Rainbow Dash called over from the chair where she was sitting and reading a Daring Do novel.

“And this is why you have behaviour problems Rainbow Dash,” Fluttershy gently returned. “If you don’t mind me saying… oh dear, there goes those pegasus instincts again… why must I be so forceful and combative.”

“I do not have behavioural problems!” Rainbow Dash retorted.

Lowering her needles, Rarity glared fiercely at Rainbow Dash, her blue eyes flashing over the top edges of her reading glasses, and one fine thin eyebrow lifted towards her maneline as she gave her friend the strongest glare of disapproval she could muster.

“Okay, maybe I do have a few minor issues-”

The sound of Rarity clearing her throat seemed quite loud in the common room, but thankfully, it didn’t throw anypony off of their counts, ruining a perfectly good row of stitching in the process.

“Okay, so maybe… just maybe, I have a couple of issues that-”

Shaking her head at the recalcitrant pegasus, the corner of Rarity’s mouth curled back into a sneer of annoyance and critical disposition. Rarity made a moue of displeasure and her nostrils flared as her ears rotated inner sides forward, a well refined equine expression of I can’t believe the thickheadedness of this dunderhead before me.

Seeing Rarity’s ears swivel around, Rainbow Dash snorted in anger. “Fine. So maybe I’ve got some troubles!” she snapped. The blue pegasus slammed her book shut, lept out of her chair, and then stomped out of the common room, each step thudding on the floor as she went.

When the blue pegasus was gone, Rarity sighed with frustration. “That mare is so hard to reach sometimes. What she needs is to settle down and marry… becoming a mother would cure her of her… brutishness and constant selfishness,” the unicorn murmured in frustration.

Lifting her head and leveling a piercing gaze upon Rarity, Fluttershy rotated her ears, turning the inner parts forwards, and gave Rarity a bitter taste of her own medicine.

“Why I never!”




“We should be arriving not too long after dawn,” Bucky announced as he studied the navigation projection. He was squeezed into the tiny navigation command cabin with Lugus, who was far too large to fit into this small room.

“I am worried,” Lugus said in a muffled voice, his beak not moving as he spoke.

"That’s two of us,” Bucky replied.

“It was a mistake for me to come… I am putting us all at risk,” Lugus said to his chief, voicing his concern. He reached up with his left talons and smoothed down his crest.

“Nonsense. I don’t care what Celestia says, I’m going into this with the assumption that there will be killing on an immeasurable scale before this is over. And if anybirdy comes along and tries to harm you, well, I think we both know by now what I do to things that harm my family and tribemates,” Bucky said in a low voice fraught with meaning.

“We all need to be exterminated for the sake of a better world,” Lugus said in a low voice that resembled a whisper. "Maybe not all of us, but most of us. Those of us who are good are already in Equestria, but there are still a few in Muninn that are worth saving. Perhaps,” the griffon mused sorrowfully, his feathers drooping. “Huginn is a horrible place. They’ve killed the land. There are no fish in the rivers or the lakes. Things have trouble growing. All of the factories and the industrialisation… all of the coal we burn. The land is poisoned and not much grows. There used to be great cities, many great cities, but they have all died off as the land died. We’ve burned up our country and Huginn and Muninn are all we have left really, the Twin Cities, the two shining jewels that exist on the coast. We gather fish from the sea. And of course, we range far to the south to hunt zebras and ponies, the north to hunt the llama race, and far to the east to hunt others.”

“So Muninn is different than Huginn?” Bucky inquired.

“I was born in Huginn, but I belonged in Muninn,” Lugus replied. “Not that the griffons in Muninn are perfect. Far from it. But a few good griffons have banded together in Muninn and have tried to change things to make them better. They are universally hated and reviled.”

“How many griffons are left in the world?” Bucky asked, subtly shifting into accountant mode and mentally preparing to run some numbers.

“Less than a hundred thousand, more than twenty thousand,” Lugus answered slowly, his crest rising into a thoughtful position. “My race is dying. Just before I was born, we had a civil war… one of many, and our precious numbers were almost halved by the conflict. Before that, there was an actual war against the entire world… the pirates of the world united and declared war upon us… this was about two hundred years ago. We lost many ships and many griffons were killed. The world still had guns and magic then. I hate guns. I dislike them a great deal. Not honourable weapons at all. They require no discipline. They are a coward's weapon. I hate that my species and the minotaurs invented guns.”

“I don’t know, guns aren’t inherently bad. They’re just used by individuals with bad intents. Doesn’t make the gun bad, just gives spineless types a means to fight,” Bucky returned. “If honourable sorts, like yourself for example, used guns, they’d have a better reputation. If ponies and the other races saw guns on honourable types, and those guns were displayed but seldom if ever used, eventually ponies would become used to them as being a last resort, rather than say, a means to instigate trouble,” the stallion reasoned.

“Maybe you are correct, doesn’t mean I would soil my talons with a gun,” Lugus answered, his beak clicking together in frustration. “At least the minotaurs saw reason after the world war… they saw the destruction of their own species looming. They changed. They ditched their guns, abolished slavery, and sane leaders emerged to lead them out of their long march to extinction. I don’t know that my kind should be saved.”

“Lugus, my dear friend, if more griffons were like you, the world would be a magnificent place. I know you hate your species, but you do yourself a disservice by speaking so harshly about your own kind. You do have redeeming qualities,” Bucky said, looking up at his friend in concern.



Laying on the floor, Flash Sentry watched Harper and Peekaboo playing with one another, his eyes following their every movement. He sighed occasionally, thinking about foals and family, and wondered what to do about his odd little dilema.

“You are so much easier to talk to when you are little,” Flash whispered to the fillies. “But at some point, you grow up and things become complicated. You require rituals of appeasement and honeyed words to continue your affections,” he mused to the filly foals.

Taking an interest in Flash Sentry, Peekaboo stopped rolling the ball back and forth between herself and Harper, and she trotted over to Flash, sitting down beside his head. The little filly smiled, her eyes bright and merry, and she giggled when she saw Flash’s eyes look at her.

“See what I mean? You get happy if I just look at you,” Flash Sentry whispered. The stallion heaved another lovesick sigh and thought about foals again. Little lavender coloured foals. With blue manes perhaps. Or little orange foals… with rainbow coloured manes perhaps.

Inhaling sharply, he wondered where that thought came from. He expelled it forcefully from his mind. As attractive as Rainbow Dash was, he was not about to call down the wrath of Twilight Sparkle upon his head to flirt with the obviously interested pegasus.

Sensing that she was no longer the center of Flash Sentry’s attention, Peekaboo grabbed ahold of Flash’s ear, pinching it in her fetlock, and then gave a mighty tug. She gave several more smaller yanks, giggling while she pulled, until her grip slipped and she fell over backwards, with all four of her legs sticking up into the air.

Indignant, Peekaboo nickered angrily, righted herself, and then sat down by Flash’s head once again, her wings buzzing with embarrassment. “I fell down… go thump,” she announced.

“You sure did,” Flash Sentry agreed.

“You nice, not laugh,” Peekaboo said. She leaned over and planted a kiss on the much larger orange pegasus’ face. “Bad to laugh at fillies when they fall down, go thump.”

“Yes it is,” Flash Sentry agreed, feeling himself blush from the unabashed affections from the foal. He felt her warm body wrapping around the side of his head and squeezing him, hugging his skull.

There was a bright flash and a popping sound, startling both Flash Sentry and the foals. Flash lifted his head and whipped it around, his instincts taking over quickly. He saw Twilight Sparkle holding a camera in her telekinesis field, and a broad smile was on her face.

“Sorry,” Twilight Sparkle apologised. “But you looked so adorable,” she explained, her wings flaring out from her sides and her tail swishing around wildly in a state of high agitation, as though she was swatting at an army of invisible flies.

“I like foals I think,” Flash Sentry admitted.

“That’s good,” Twilight Sparkle answered, lifting her right front leg and scratching her left front leg with her right hoof.

His eyes darting around, Flash Sentry wondered if etiquette demanded that he offered Twilight a seat. He swallowed, feeling nervous, and licked his lips. “Um, Princess Twilight, I can’t help but notice that you are just standing there… may I sew you to a sheet?”

Silence exploded into the room with deafening force. Twilight turned a fascinating new shade of a colour that had never been scientifically observed before. Her mouth slowly fell open and her eyes went impossibly wide.

“Show you to a seat,” Flash Sentry corrected, his voice nearly an ultrasonic squeal that only lunar pegasi and various species of bats might hear.

“Sew her to a sheet!” Peekaboo chirped as she reached over and hugged Flash Sentry’s leg.

“Sheet!” Harper peeped.

“Well, this got awkward,” Twilight croaked in a dry raspy voice.

“It sure did!” Rainbow Dash chortled. “Both of you are a bunch of dorks!”

“Rainbow!” Twilight shrieked. “How long have you been standing there!”

“Long enough!”




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