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


296. 296

Twilight awoke, completely tangled up in the legs of Rainbow Dash on one side, and a much smaller than herself Ripple on the other, sandwiched between two pegasi, which Twilight Sparkle felt was a good thing. She had long grown used to pegasi and their sleeping habits, the compulsive and habitual cuddlers that they were.

At some point in her life, Twilight Sparkle wanted to do a sleep study on pegasi to see how much of their social behaviour existed in the unconscious realms of sleep.

Yawning hugely, and making a faint whine as she did so, Twilight looked around, smacked her lips when in her yawn ended, and saw Buckminster and Lugus were wide awake, reading silently, together. Flash Sentry had taken the first watch when they had gone to bed, and he was now asleep in a bunk all by himself, his mouth open, and his orange tongue was hanging out.

Upon waking, Twilight suffered a peculiar thought as she thought about having to pee in a bucket. Why are we having to pee in a bucket when we have seen evidence of a sewer system? her brain asked of her. She did not have an answer, other than humiliation and abasement.

She attempted to extricate herself from the pegasus sandwich, only to have Ripple clamp down with surprising ferocity. Twilight felt her bones creak painfully, and she bit down on her lip to keep from making a sound as she closed her eyes.

“Keep princess safe,” Ripple murmured in her sleep, rubbing her cheek against Twilight’s neck, her eyes closed, one wing fluttering under the blanket.

“Who keeps me safe from Ripple?” Twilight muttered. She bit back an angry reply when she heard Buckminster chuckling from his chaise lounge in the corner. Opening her eyes, she glared at Buckminster, and Lugus had joined in on the chortling.

Teleporting, Twilight freed herself from the pegasus prison. She stood in the middle of the room, yawning again, and smiling a somewhat sadistic smile when she heard Rainbow Dash grunting as Ripple latched on to her.

“Morning Twilight,” Bucky greeted.

“What an odd turn of phrase,” Lugus remarked.

“I suppose it is,” Bucky agreed, never once taking his nose from his book.

“Whatcha reading about?” Twilight muttered.

“Trying to understand defensive abjurations… cognisant self healing self aware mirror matrices have me completely baffled,” Bucky admitted.

“Oh those are easy,” Twilight groaned, not quite awake. “Each matrix should overlap and be ready to draw from or offer power to the other should one of them fail. If you summon, say, a gross of spell barriers, that is to say one hundred and forty four, you stagger them in such a way and connect them in a manner in which each will support the others for additional strength if you are suddenly struck with something that delivers a lot of damage to your protective barrier. I had to explain it to my brother so he could improve his shield barrier spell…” Twilight said, her explanation dwindling off into nothingness as she realised that Bucky was looking at her as though she had sprouted a second head. “Oh… that’s right. I forgot… Mister Big Bad Warlock can’t even figure out basic spell defenses.”

“Basic?” Bucky grumped. “Basic you say… I’d love to see you teach a couple of first years or even second years using that kind of talk.”

“Sorry Buckminster… I suppose you need to go back to magical kindergarten,” Twilight teased.

“Why thank you Twilight Snarkle… say, would you like a crash course in basic transmutations or enchantments? How about a common come to life spell that doesn’t cause farm equipment to go on a rampage?” Bucky replied, returning shots fired.

“Applejack,” Twilight grumbled, her eyes narrowing. She turned her head to look at the sleeping orange mare laying in bed with Rarity.

“Should I even mention your usage of the want it-”

“Enough! Truce! I’m sorry I teased you! I gotta go!” Twilight said, vanishing into the bucket corner behind a fogged over spell bubble.



“ENOUGH!” Twilight shouted, trying to be heard over the rush of the angry voices.

Twilight’s friends fell silent and the room quieted. Not five minutes before, news had been delivered that King Tanner would not be meeting with them, and it had caused an explosion of hostile rage to come boiling out.

“If we are desperate and frustrated, we are more likely to agree to things we would never agree with otherwise for the sake of feeling like we accomplished something and make progress after being locked in a room for a day or two,” Bucky explained in a low voice that did more to silence the room than Twilight’s outburst. “This is just part of the headgames. We must endure.”

“So another day of sitting around and doing nothing… this stinks!” Rainbow Dash protested as she banged her hoof into the rough timber bedpost.

“And we can’t leave and go spend time on The Scorned Mare because it might seem rude if we weren’t here, waiting in this awful room to be at their beck and call… I don’t understand this,” Applejack groaned, falling over backwards on the bed.

“I am not so sure I want to be diplomatic with the griffons,” Rarity interjected, her lip protruding in a pout. “I say we go wait aboard The Scorned Mare anyway… they have wings, when they want us, they can come and say so.”

“They’re just trying to -cough- test us to see if we are willing to stay the course because we believe in peace,” Fluttershy remarked, laying her hoof ever so softly upon Rarity and trying to soothe her. “What kind of message do we send if we grow impatient? This -cough- goes beyond our needs, this is about two nations making a -cough- lasting peace.”

“We need to stick together. We need to stay together. And we need to spend each moment as though it might be our last,” Pinkie Pie said, latching on to Rainbow Dash and squeezing her tightly. “I love you Rainbow!”

Crushed in Pinkie’s embrace, Rainbow Dash squirmed uncomfortably. “I love you too, Pinkie… this is embarrassing!” The pegasus grunted when Spike tackled her as well, wrapping his forelegs around her middle and giving the blue pegasus a loving squeeze. “Ugh! Sappy!”

“Good, seems like we all have our heads screwed on straight,” Flash Sentry said, looking worried. “Twilight, I don’t like this-”

“I know Flash, nopony likes this,” Twilight interrupted.

“No, Twilight, please listen to me,” Flash Sentry said, looking at Twilight with wide focused eyes and perked ears.

“Sorry, go ahead,” Twilight replied, her ears drooping and her head dropping slightly.

“I don’t like these long periods of boredom. Stuff like this tends to cause a pony to drop their guard. This is becoming tactically dangerous,” Flash Sentry explained.

“Flash is correct,” Ripple said, moving to stand next to Flash Sentry.

“My squire has learned much,” Lugus said proudly, stroking his chest feathers with his left talons as he spoke.

“Maybe we should have brought yarn for knitting,” Ripple said. “More to do.”

“We can pick that up when I go to pick up breakfast,” Twilight stated.

“Seems wise,” Sentinel agreed. “Boredom is the enemy here.”

There was a knock upon the door, which made Fluttershy squeak and then collapse into a coughing fit. Rarity held Fluttershy, trying to ease her friend’s suffering, patting her on the back and trying to ease her through the coughing spell.

Lugus opened the door, looming largely over the much smaller doorframe.

“Prince Tannis,” Twilight said, seeing the prince.

“I apologise for my father… he says he is unwell. He has terrible headaches frequently… I have his permission to deal with you this day. He has asked me to take you upon a tour of the area by airship, so I can show you what Huginn and Muninn has accomplished by working together, to inspire what we can do if we work together,” Tannis said, his tone humble and apologetic. “My father has been talking to Fleshrender, trying to bring our own kind together in some form of cooperation.”

“A tour would be lovely,” Twilight Sparkle replied in an overly cheerful voice. “I assume we would be on The Scorned Mare for the tour?”

“Oh, of course,” Tannis replied, bobbing his head. “Our ships are coal burning steam. They are noisy. It would be impossible to hold a conversation on deck.”

“Before the tour, perhaps you could show us to where you find fresh fish,” Bucky interjected, a clever grin upon his face. “The canned sardines, while nice, are no substitute for fresh fish and I do believe Lugus would enjoy spreading his wings for a bit.” Bucky felt a burst of pride… fresh food, fresh air, a chance to be away for a while from this industrial sump-hole, and a chance to do something to lift flagging spirits. A subtle master stroke on his part, resetting the game board a bit more in their favour.

“That would be pleasant,” Tannis agreed. “We can make a lovely day of diplomatic relations between us… again I apologise for my father. He has taken ill, it cannot be helped. Agnetha will be joining us if that is okay. And her chaperone of course.”

“That would be lovely. I am sure my friends would love to meet Agnetha,” Twilight Sparkle said, looking around the room at her friends, who were all nodding eagerly from her words. She felt a burst of pride bloom within her barrel, knowing that her friends would always be there for her.

“I am certain that Agnetha would be most appreciative of having some female company. She doesn’t get a chance to socialise much,” Tannis said in a low voice.

“Oh... we can do girly stuff,” Rarity tittered, causing Rainbow Dash and Applejack to roll their eyes together. “I could use some girly time… I’m grey!” she whined, brushing at her sooty pelt.

“Well, shall we make a day of this?” Tannis inquired politely, bowing his head to Twilight Sparkle.

“I’d love to,” Twilight responded with an awkward giggle.



Crushed by Bon Bon, Bucky struggled to breathe. Just as he started to open up his mouth to inhale, he felt Bon Bon’s lips clamp down upon his own. He felt dizzy and lightheaded as Bon Bon smooched him. She pulled away with a wet pop, and Bucky once again attempted to draw in air, only to find Lyra’s lips latching onto his own as Bon Bon continued to squeeze him nearly to death.

Nearby, Lugus was getting worked over by Yew, and the much larger griffon had fallen over, bowled over by the much smaller pegasus’ affections. Yew hugged and squeezed Lugus’ neck, and planted kisses all over his face, ruffling his feathers.

Agnetha, standing next to Tannis, felt her feathers ruffling as she watched the display of affection, something that was almost unheard of in her culture. She started to move towards Tannis and heard an angry squawk from her chaperone. She looked at Goshawk, her chaperone, who clearly did not approve of Lugus and Yew’s antics. Pressing her luck, Agnetha nuzzled the side of her face against Tannis’ neck, earning her a painful wing slap from Goshawk.

“I am off to take a shower!” Rarity announced, trotting off to the door that led belowdecks. “I do not wish to be disturbed!”

“Let us be away from this place. I’ll get us moving,” Bucky said as he wiggled free from Bon Bon and Lyra’s overly enthusiastic affections. He left his trunk on deck and made his way to the navigation cabin to pilot the ship manually.

“You have no guards and you are not wearing your armor,” Twilight observed, looking at Tannis, coming to a slow understanding about the situation.

“I am trusting you,” Tannis said, lifting his head high. “My safety and my life is entirely dependent upon you. I want to be your friend,” he explained.

“I think I see Buckminster waving, I suspect he needs your input on where to go,” Twilight said, gesturing at the small navigation cabin at the rear of the ship. She smiled at Tannis. “Thank you for trusting us.”

“This has to work… otherwise me and my kind are dead. My life and the lives of my fellow griffons all depend upon your help,” Tannis replied to Twilight, bowing his head humbly and then heading off towards the navigation cabin.

“I intend to be queen of Muninn one day,” Agnetha stated as she watched Tannis walk away. “I make no bones about it… I want to see my species restored to their former glory. Peacefully. But to do that, I need those who will back my gambits. I do hope that we will be friends Twilight Sparkle. I hope that we have a glorious day.”

“Agnetha, it would be my honour to help you. Thank you for making me believe that peace is possible,” Twilight responded, smiling at the griffoness and her chaperone.



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