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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One last group of survivors had been gathered up from Muninn, a group of griffons guarded by a warrior that Tannis knew, who had been huddled in a house basement waiting for the storm to blow over. A rather large, though not quite Lugus large, griffon had protected a group of much smaller griffons and griffonesses, keeping them safe.

The warrior was being carried below, and Bucky doubted he would survive. Had they found him sooner, he might have been patched up, but he had done what his honour demanded be done, keeping those smaller and weaker than himself safe and getting them out of the castle when everything had gone down.

There were far too many lives on board The Scorned Mare and Bucky worried about what to do. Sighing, he made his way into the navigation cabin, closed the door behind him, and then sat down in the command chair. The console came to life when his magic touched it, and he set a course for the archipelago where they had held a picnic not all that long ago.

As the ship moved off towards its destination, Bucky realised that the griffons and non unicorns shared a problem, getting the short end of the stick from the universe. There was a distinct lack of magic and life simply wasn’t fair. As he departed from the blackened city, his thoughts drifted towards noble goals and aspirations, a desire to make life a little bit more fair somehow, to give the griffons and non unicorn races a better brighter future that did not include ruining the earth and poisoning themselves. There had to be a happy medium with industry and mechanisation. There had to be a replacement for magic, or at least a substitute.

The door opened and Lyra entered, she came in quietly and sat down in the chair beside him, squeezing up against him. The chair was large enough for one very large pony, a full sized stallion, or one Bucky and a mare.

“Hello Lyra… come for a lesson?” Bucky asked, glad to feel Lyra pressed up against him. He caught a whiff of the distinctive scent of ozone that Lyra always had about her and felt a wave of relaxation crash over him, like the ocean slamming into the rocky shore.

“Yeah I did,” Lyra replied, rubbing her ear against Bucky’s neck.

“How many?” Bucky inquired.

“Too many,” Lyra answered. “But not enough. The current count at this moment is one hundred and forty one griffons plus the ponies we have with us, not counting Lugus, crammed on board a ship meant to hold sixty. We don’t have enough bathrooms. The bunks are crowded. We have griffons sleeping on the floor in the common room and the dining area. The entire crew area is stuffed and the passenger cabins are overcrowded.”

“Oh dear,” Bucky said.

“And yes, I counted the griffons we just took on,” Lyra added.

“How are the gender ratios?” Bucky inquired, a look of concern spreading over his face, his nostrils flaring.

“More females than males, but I don’t have a hard count yet. Sorry. I didn’t think of that. From what I’ve heard, among the smaller griffons, a lot of the little males fought valiantly to buy time for the females to escape. Being a member of the servant caste sounds like it sucks. They get treated worse than the earth ponies do. The little griffons don’t seem as… off as the larger griffons,” Lyra replied.

“The bigger griffons are sick from eating sapient life I think, and other griffons. I’ve read about this happening… it happens to diamond dogs that eat other diamond dogs. They become psychotic. The diamond dogs however got smart about it, and they started killing diamond dogs that had a taste for their own kind. The little griffons are the food… from what I’ve been able to gather, the little ones fly off to find fish because nobirdy bothers to feed them or look after them, at least in Muninn. I think we can save them Lyra… I have a plan,” Bucky said, wrapping his good right foreleg around Lyra’s withers and pulling her close.

“I’ve been talking to Belisama,” Lyra said. Her brows furrowed when she heard Bucky groan loudly and tense up beside her. “What? I spoke with Lugus at length. Bon Bon too… Bon Bon and Belisama are rapidly becoming besties.”

“Oh for the love of Luna’s night…” Bucky swore.

“Lugus brought up some very compelling points,” Lyra said in a low patient voice, the voice she used when there was something she wanted from Bon Bon or Bucky.

“Lyra… can’t we talk about something, anything, other than this subject?” Bucky begged in a wheedling voice to Lyra beside him.

“If you keep her as an owned servant Derpy is going to give you the wing slapping of a lifetime. It might even be worse than the time Celestia got ahold of you and I already know that when Derpy hears what Lugus has to say that Derpy is probably going to demand that you do the right thing… once she cools off about it that is,” Lyra said in a low voice, leaning on Bucky and rubbing his chest with her hoof, making little circles, stroking him gently.

“And just what is the right thing?” Bucky demanded, his patience running dangerously thin, and he feared he knew how Lyra would answer.

“Bucky… you are now the undisputed king of the griffons. If you keep her as a servant, the entire world will see that as a sign of you subjugating the griffons and enslaving them. The other sapient species will talk… but if you marry her, if you keep her as an equal, so the griffons have a queen who is actually a member of their own species, the rest of the world will see that you treat the griffons as equals… more so, elevating one of the servant caste griffons, the smallest and weakest of their species, to the position of queen, it will be a powerful political statement against their culture of war and domination,” Lyra explained in reply.

“And let me guess, Lugus told you this?” Bucky questioned.

“A little. Some of this is my own reasoning. I do try to be a philosopher at times,” Lyra said in a low voice with a teasing smile. “This is why I am awesome and Bon Bon loves me.”

“No, Bon Bon loves you because you have a soft squeezable plot and you make the most adorable ‘meep meep’ noises while she works you over,” Bucky grumbled.

“Did she tell you this?” Lyra asked in panic.

“In her sleep, she told me about all kinds of things as I laid there awake and listening to her as she snuggled me to death… she thought I was you and she said all kinds of things,” Bucky answered, a rakish grin spreading over his muzzle.

“Bon Bon told me she loves me for my mind,” Lyra breathed in shock, her eyes as wide as saucers, her ears splaying out sideways. “But this whole time she’s loved me for my sexy sexy buttocks.”

“You sound okay with that,” Bucky stated, turning to look at Lyra with his remaining eye, having to turn his head around completely because she was on his right.

“Every mare wants to know she is pretty… even me,” Lyra admitted.

“Oh, you are pretty,” Bucky agreed.

“Distracting me from Belisama will not make the problem go away,” Lyra said, raising her eyebrow and squinting one eye at Bucky.

“Nuts!” Bucky snapped.

“She is in our cabin speaking with Bon Bon right now and getting the lowdown on the living situation back at home,” Lyra reported. “Bon Bon is also giving her a list of your known weaknesses, how and when you like your tea, how you like your coffee, and various ways to get on your good side.”

“Bonnie has betrayed me!” Bucky bellowed.

“Oh stop being a camel kisser,” Lyra muttered.

“What?” Bucky asked, his voice full of confusion.

“A camel kisser… a drama dairy lover,” Lyra explained.

Bucky’s expression went blank, his eye blinking rapidly. Dromedary lover… His eye twitched painfully as he thought about his love of milk… especially fresh from the teat. With just a few words, Lyra’s wit had completely defenestrated him, leaving him dumbstruck.

Somehow, Lyra Heartstrings had completely undone Buckminster Bitters, known to some as the ‘Dark Lord,’ known to others as the ‘Boogeypony,’ while others simply called him ‘father’ or ‘daddy’ with the exception of one who called him ‘mama.’

Lifting her hoof, Lyra gently closed Bucky’s mouth, pressing his lower jaw upwards and causing his teeth to gently click together. She gently wiped away a little dribble of drool from the corner of his mouth, kissed him gently upon the lips, gave him a little squeeze, and then Lyra allowed herself a maniacal victory laugh.

 

 

Sitting down in the sand, Rainbow Dash tried to collect her thoughts as she watched the many griffons pulling fish from the tidal pool while others soared over the surrounding ocean looking for prey.

Her head ached painfully and each throb of her scalp made her vision fuzz over. All she could think about was the feeling of the griffon’s talon slipping under her scalp and tearing downwards along her skull. Just a little bit more, just a tiny bit more... she would have lost her eye, and with that, her depth perception. No more trying to be a Wonderbolt. No more precision flying. No more being Rainbow Dash. Life missing an eye wouldn’t be much of a life at all. She had killed one griffon, she knew that for certain, and maybe one or two more. It was hard to tell, things got confusing in the chaos of the battle. The knowledge that she had killed something weighed heavily upon her mind.

She fell over backwards in the sand and felt the sun on her belly.

“Why did I do it?” Rainbow Dash muttered to herself.

Because… when you saw Twilight Sparkle and Flash Sentry in danger, you moved to save both of them, her mind answered.

The pain in her head spiked and she felt a wave of nausea.

“I love them both,” the pegasus murmured to herself in an almost inaudible utterance, her face contorting with pain. “I want their happiness more than my own. I was willing to die for both of them.”

 

 

“Have you spoken with Buckminster yet?” Rarity asked Applejack, who was sitting beside her in the sand.

“Not yet, but I plan to do so… unless you want to be the one who does it,” Applejack replied in a low voice, watching Rainbow Dash who lay muttering in the sand a short distance away.

“You talk to Buckminster and give him some of that horse sense you have,” Rarity said. “You make him listen to reason Applejack… how did your talk with Twilight go?”

“She was real easy to lead to water, I just hope we can get her to drink,” Applejack replied. “She’s all for the marriage idea to Flash Sentry, away from the controlling demands of Princess Celestia. I think she’s thirsty. Once she goes to drink, and Buckminster goes to perform the ceremony, we drag Rainbow Dash to Twilight Sparkle and Flash Sentry, and we do what’s best for all three of them, ‘cause we’re good friends and we know what is best for her. Ayup… she ain’t been bred yet Rarity, that ain’t natural for a mare her age.”

“What if Rainbow Dash resists? I mean, she doesn’t seem like she could put up much of a fight right now, but she is stubborn, just like another mare I know,” Rarity questioned.

“Hey, that’s not nice, talking about Pinkie Pie when she’s comatose,” Applejack scolded, turning to scowl at Rarity. “And if Rainbow Dash resists, by golly, I got rope. I never leave home without rope. Too durn useful.”

Her lips pulling into a moue, Rarity made a pouty look at Applejack. “Yes… poor Pinkie… so we tie her up then? Think we’ll need a gag?”

“Yes, if we have to, I’ll tie up Rainbow Dash… again… I’ve lost track of how many times it’s been by now,” Applejack replied, raising her eyebrow and looking at the blue pegasus in the sand with a great deal of concern. “And if we have to, we’ll gag her.”

“And what about Twilight?” Rarity inquired in a low conspiratorial whisper.

“Just stick with the plan. She’s right ticklish. If she tries to say no, go for her ribs. Spare nothing Rarity… use that fancy magic you got and you make her beg for mercy. This is for her own good and her happiness, and I know that Buckminster will do what is best for her, ‘cause he’s cold blooded evil like that. He’ll do the right thing,” Applejack answered.

“And what of Flash Sentry?” Rarity questioned, confirming the last part of the plan.

“He can’t talk, so he can’t say ‘no’ unless a miracle happens,” Applejack responded.

“So operation ‘Form a Flock’ is definitely on?” Rarity asked.

“Once I talk to Buckminster and make him see reason, yeah it is,” Applejack replied.

“I’m worried Applejack… if we are doing the right thing,” Rarity admitted.

“Oh foalnapping the wedding couple and encouraging them to do the right thing is a fine earth pony tradition… stop being such a unicorn Rarity.”

 

Author's Note:

In this chapter... much plotting. The most dangerous form of diplomacy.

And typos. Maybe.

Rarity and Applejack are about to pull a Smart Cookie and Clover the Clever. See, earth ponies and unicorns have a long and noble history of working together to make the world a better place.

 
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