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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Most of the city of Huginn was gone, with the areas around Huginn castle still somewhat intact. Twilight Sparkle didn’t want to risk doing harm to Buckminster, who still worked within, doing whatever horrible things Buckminster was doing.

Twilight Sparkle didn’t know what Buckminster was doing in there, but at one point, a writhing mass of long black tentacles sprouted from one of the inner courtyards and started to snatch griffons with rifles out of the air. Twilight didn’t know what had happened yet, because she couldn’t bear to look.

All Twilight Sparkle understood was that a portal to Tartarus had been opened not once, but on several occasions, and things had temporarily been allowed to rampage. Twilight could feel the lingering magical signatures, knowing what had happened, like a lunar pegasus sniffing the wind and knowing everything around them by scent. Twilight was far too sensitive to magic now.

Her morning rampage had caused yet another growth spurt, leaving her longer legged, larger winged, and now she had a few more inches of horn. Twilight Sparkle was completely oblivious to this though at the moment. On the horizon, more griffon warships were coming in, returning to the city from whatever secret location they had been moored in. Twilight noted their direction and fully intended to go hunt down what had to be a secret griffon military base.

She now flew without flapping her wings, borne upwards on updrafts of pure magical currents. She felt them in her feathers, which were blazing with pink-white intensity flames. Twilight Sparkle had discovered Magic, the same Magic that Buckminster had also discovered, the intoxicating drug-like thaumaturgy that made her brain buzz with nearly orgasmic aftereffects. The Magic had set her free, just like it had set Buckminster free. Twilight Sparkle finally had control because she had  Magic with a capital M.

Much like Star Swirl and Sombra before them, Twilight and Buckminster were doing what they were born to do, which was cast mind boggling levels of magic and perform impossible feats.

The big dreadnaughts moved with shocking speed for ships their size. Scanning the city below her, Twilight lifted up several steel girders from a pile. With an effortless flick of her magic, she instantly accelerated the steel girders to one thousand seven hundred and one meters per second, give or take an extra meter per second, launching the steel beams at the dreadnaughts.

They struck with explosive force, obliterating the airships cleanly and neatly.

Twilight Sparkle smiled, revealing that even her teeth were on fire. She noted more ships moving in on the distant horizon and she wondered if she could hit them from here with her improvised magical railgun.

 

 

A lone armored figure emerged out of Huginn castle, exiting through the ruined gate and onto the bridge, wading through a river of blood that ran in a raging torrent from out of the partially destroyed castle behind him.

The figure walked slowly with a steady mechanical gait, it was clearly in no hurry. There was no need to run. He refused to run after his prey, their running only led to them dying tired with sore legs. Floating along behind him was a rifle of beautiful construction, a one of a kind piece of art, and as the figure walked, the rifle was carefully cleaned and reloaded, freeing it from filth and making it useful once again.

The rifle had once belonged to King Fleshrender, who made the mistake of telling Buckminster that he would surrender his arms when they were pried from his cold dead talons, which Buckminster had found were perfectly acceptable terms of surrender.

But not before finding out everything he wanted to know from Fleshrender about everything that had happened. That took a while… it took time and dark magic along with a dash of unspeakable cruelty and sadism. But Bucky was patient and he was rewarded with everything. Most of Fleshrender’s skin had been peeled away, and as a point of pride, Bucky had kept him alive without using necromancy, something he would love to be able to boast about but he didn’t know to whom.

Those weren’t Fleshrender’s griffons bursting into their bedroom in the middle of the night.

Well, most of them. King Tanner had to offer up a few of his own troops as proof of loyalty, to show that he was willing to go along with the plan. Unknown to Tanner, Fleshrender was busy rewarding Tanner’s loyalty by having his son, Tannis, killed.

Griffon politics were horrible, but Bucky found that he rather liked them on some level, appealing to something deep within his inner nature. He stomped over the bridge, his armored hooves thudding with every step, and it felt good to have four legs again, even if one was only temporary.

King Fleshrender had done it for power, King Tanner had done it for money.

As he walked, Bucky cackled maniacally, and he made plans to feed King Tanner his own crown. It seemed only fitting, and Bucky had already formed a plan to help the griffon king swallow it.

 

 

Entering Muninn, Bucky slowly paced the hallways, trying to find wherever it was that Tanner had hidden himself away. The castle was strangely empty, there were no guards, no griffons fleeing, it seemed deserted. He held the rifle at ready in his magic, it was truly a beautiful machine of death and he appreciated it, both the aesthetic and purpose. It was perfect for killing ponies… or griffons.

He found himself in a long hall filled with tables, and scanning the room, he saw several guards who had been up to this point, relaxing. That was until they saw Bucky. He scanned the room, noticing the equine shaped body roasting over the fire in a spit, vast sections of it already missing, and one of the smaller griffons who had been recently killed being prepared to be placed over the fire, plucked and skinned.

“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but Huginn has been destroyed,” Bucky announced.

There was a moment of tense silence as the guards calculated the odds of their survival. The griffons fidgeted nervously, unsure of what to do next. A low panicked scream came from small griffoness tethered to a table, a heavy rope around her neck, and she flapped her wings pitifully to try and get away. One hind leg was twisted and useless, and she held it up against her body as she tried to escape.

Realising there was an innocent present, Bucky changed his plans from punishment to swift kill. Using his telekinesis, he began snapping necks in a methodical efficient manner, and one by one, the griffons watched each other dying, the last one letting out a pleading squawk before going down.

Approaching the table with the rifle pointed at the ceiling, Bucky moved slowly towards the small griffoness, who cowered before him.

“I mean you no harm. Would you like safety and freedom?” Bucky asked in a terrible mechanical growl that probably did not help the griffoness feel at ease.

“Please! They killed my sister and wanted to do things with me,” the griffoness replied, still cowering away from Bucky in fear.

“What is your name?” Bucky asked.

“I’m a nobirdy… I do as I am told and hope to live to see another day,” she replied.

“Surely you have a name?” Bucky asked again, scanning the room for any incoming threats. He untied the rope from around the griffoness’ neck and freed her.

“My name is Belisama,” the griffoness answered, standing on three legs.

“Belisama, you look injured. I am going to send you to a place where you can be helped, but the trip is going to make you sick. You will recover… I am sorry that I did not come sooner to save your sister,” Bucky said in a low voice.

“I give you my life,” the griffoness offered, bowing her head.

“I don’t want your life,” Bucky retorted.

“But you are saving me… everything has a price, you have shown me kindness, I offer myself up willingly,” Belisama said in a low frightened voice.

Bucky studied the small griffoness. She wasn’t any bigger than Sentinel, bright eyed, covered in soot like most griffons, making it impossible to figure out her real colouring. “Look, I don’t want to keep you,” Bucky said, trying to be reasonable.

“All the more reason to give myself to you… you will be a kind and responsible master,” Belisama argued. “And a master keeps their property safe.”

“You are not my property!” Bucky said, his voice approaching a shout.

“But I have already given myself to you as payment,” Belisama replied. “Thank you master for saving me.”

“Away to the ship with you!” Bucky snarled, suddenly filled with an anger he didn’t understand. His horn flashed a bright blue-green and he teleported the griffoness away to The Scorned Mare.

Feeling tired, his bones aching with weariness, Bucky continued through the doors at the other end of the long hall, off to search for King Tanner.

 

 

Bucky looked down the bodies and studied them, some of which were wearing the uniforms of King Fleshrender’s guard. He’d recognise them anywhere. He had just got done killing thousands of griffons wearing that uniform while they uselessly kept firing guns at him.

He carefully fished out their bullets and stowed them away in his saddlebags.

No sense letting the useful things go to waste. He stepped over the bodies and made his way down the wide hallway, approaching double doors at the end. He threw them open and a group of guards rushed him. Feeling impatient, he slammed them aside with his telekinesis and made his way through the door.

Walking into the throne room, Bucky immediately saw Tanner, who was sitting on his throne, waiting patiently. He was wearing fine ornately decorated armor and a crown. He made no move to defend himself, or to flee, he sat there on the throne calmly, doing nothing at all.

“Greetings I suppose,” Tanner said in an irritated voice. “I suppose we should exchange the usual pleasantries. I’m not like that weak minded fool Fleshrender. I will tell you nothing.”

“I’m done asking questions,” Bucky replied, moving towards the griffon on the throne. “Fleshrender already told me everything I needed to know.”

“Has he now? Well, then, I surrender,” Tanner said, giggling as he spoke.

“I am not in a position to accept your surrender,” Bucky answered.

“Oh dear, you plan to be dreadful, don’t you?” Tanner inquired in a sarcastic voice.

“Fleshrender tried to murder your son,” Bucky stated.

“Oh come on, I know that Fleshy is probably dead and you probably killed him. there is no use trying to turn me against him now,” Tanner tittered obscenely.

“You and your alchemists improved the black powder design, making it foul the firearms far less. You were preparing a crippling poison to place into Equestrian water supplies. You planned to make the Sea of Grass your new homeland and Equestria your hunting grounds. All of this was your plan… and Fleshrender planned to repay you by killing your son and eating him as you were forced to watch. Fleshrender has the brawn, you had the brains,” Bucky said coldly.

“Guilty as charged,” Tanner admitted in a bored voice filled with sarcasm. “But I don’t believe you about my son. You are… how do you say, ‘yanking my chain’ to get me to feel bad about betraying you. I don’t. I did what was right for my subjects.”

“And I am about to do what is right for my subjects,” Bucky said, snatching the crown off of Tanner’s head. “Your son is lost to you. I am claiming him as spoils of war.”

Bucky seized the griffon in his magic, forcibly tilting his head back and prizing the griffon’s beak open. Tanner  tried to fight back against the invisible bonds holding him, to no avail. Tanner watched as his crown began to melt above him, going from a solid to a liquid in the span of moments.

Tanner gagged in fear and watched as the magical bubble containing molten gold opened, releasing a rivulet of liquid gold, which dribbled into his open beak. The former king of the griffons let out a gurgling scream that was quickly silenced as more gold was poured down his gullet. His body twitched and kicked, and he was forced to drink every last drop.

Bucky dropped the griffon’s lifeless body to the floor and stared down at it.

He felt tired, weary, his head hurt and his throat as well as his ribs were sore from laughing. He was thirsty, his calorie dense snacks were almost gone, and he felt as though his work was done. It was time to return to The Scorned Mare and take a well deserved rest.

Saying nothing, he turned to leave the throne room and a dead king filled with a fortune in gold upon the dirty stone floor. He walked away with his slow mechanical gait, making his way to an exit so he wouldn’t have to expend so much mana to teleport himself aboard his ship.

As he walked through the doors of the throne room, he let out a weary sigh.

 

 

 

 

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