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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A loud klaxon went off, nearly deafening Bucky, and he saw five blips moving on the projection screen. He growled angrily, infuriated that something would threaten him, his ship, and those he was sworn to protect.

“So this is what Lyra woke up to,” Bucky snarled as he watched the map come to life with five big blips and hundreds of smaller ones. “What an awful sound.”

He watched as Twilight Sparkle teleported on deck, her horn glowing fiercely, and for a moment, he felt a powerful spike of love for her. Not romantic love, but a fierce love nonetheless, a powerful feeling of fraternal love that exists between siblings.

Lyra appeared by his side quite suddenly, popping into existence in the navigation cabin. She snatched a horn ring tethered to the console with a fine crystalline cable, slid it over her horn, and then she convulsed for a moment while her thaumaturgical system integrated with the ship’s arcano-tech defense systems.

“Oh that’s a rush,” Lyra moaned, an almost orgasmic sound, her eyes going white as her body flooded with excessive mana. The smell of ozone filled the air and The Scorned Mare thrummed with power as she merged with Lyra.

Bucky stepped out of the navigation cabin and teleported to the commander’s cabin.

 

 

He burst into existence with his usual flurry of snowflakes and ice, greeted by a frightened squawk. Belisama shrieked when Bucky burst into the room, and Bucky saw her cling to Bon Bon. A hairbrush lay on the bed, evidence that Bon Bon and Belisama were getting to know each other.

Saying nothing, Bucky went to his trunk, flipped it over, opened it, and began to pull out his armor. He snatched up several spell jars and slipped the helmet over his head, which caused his armor to rapidly come together around his body. In his hurry, he neglected to close the lid of his trunk.

Now armored, Bucky looked at Bon Bon and Belisama. “Stay in here. We’ll be fine.”

Ready to go, Bucky stomped out of the commander’s cabin, down the hall, and made his way to the deck of The Scorned Mare where Twilight Sparkle was waiting.

 

 

“We got a problem Buckminster,” Twilight reported.

“And that is?” Bucky replied.

“I can’t tap into the sun again, it’s dark,” Twilight Sparkle answered in panic.

“So use other combat spells,” Bucky responded.

“I really don’t know other combat spells,” Twilight whimpered in alarm.

“Figure something out Twilight,” Bucky barked. “Our lives depend on it!”

Twilight watched as Bucky headed over to the rail and looked down. She went over to join him and peered over the rail at the ships rising up and gaining altitude to greet them. Many griffons flew alongside the ships, and incoming rifle fire began to happen, the bullets bouncing from the kinetic dispersal shields of The Scorned Mare.

Reflexively, Twilight Sparkle cast a powerful shield around the ship and began to summon her magic, preparing to use her telekinesis as an offensive weapon.

“Goodbye,” Bucky announced and then leapt over the rail.

Screaming, Twilight watched as Bucky dropped away, she tried to grab him but felt her magic being blocked, a gentle nudge of telekinesis to let her know that it was okay. She watched him plummet to the ship beneath them, slam into the gasbag, rip through, and disappear from sight.

“He’s a madpony!” Twilight screamed as the first volley of cannonfire hit her shields.

 

 

Tearing through the gasbag and dropping through the compressed stormclouds inside, Bucky felt a tingle through his armor. It was like kissing Lyra when she was excited or being playfully zapped by Harper when she was in one of her moods. A second later, he dropped through the bottom of the gasbag, crashed into the deck of the ship, tore through the deck of the ship, dropped through the floor below, and came to an abrupt crushing halt in a dining room several floors below the deck, surrounded by several very frightened looking griffons, a few diamond dogs, and one very disturbed looking minotaur.

“Mind if I drop in?” Bucky deadpanned, his voice cold and mechanical as it came out of his helmet.

With a flash of blue-green light, a glowing purple orb dropped to the floor, bounced several times, and smashed at the hooves of the minotaur, who was still frozen in shock and surprise.

“You poor dumb bastard, you have no idea,” Bucky growled as the spell took hold of the minotaur and several nearby diamond dogs, outlining them in a purple glow.

The room around Bucky erupted in sexual violence, a frenzy of frantic frenetic rape.

“My work here is done,” Bucky announced, moving on and leaving the room behind him. He exited a doorway, moved into a hall, and was immediately shot in the face, the bullet slamming into his visor.

The griffon yanked down on the lever and fired again, and again, and then a third time, before reaching the conclusion that his gun was doing nothing. He screamed, turned to flee, and Bucky froze him solid.

All around him, the ship began to freeze over, water pipes began bursting, and metal screeched as the cold became unbearable. Stomping down the hallway, Bucky found some stairs upwards, took them, and then emerged onto the next deck. He peered around, the lights flicking as the electric systems began to die. The ship was no doubt leaking cloudstuff and was probably sinking. He took the next flight of stairs, and kept going upwards, until he emerged onto the deck.

All around him was electric death as the electro-cannons on The Scorned Mare fired upon the griffons who tried to take his ship. The ship that Bucky was on was indeed sinking, and a nearby ship was on fire and going down as well.

There was a deafening boom and Bucky saw the shields around The Scorned Mare flicker. A gunship with an enormous cannon was firing upon The Scorned Mare and Bucky immediately realised that the gunship was a credible threat. Twilight Sparkle couldn’t hold off that kind of firepower forever, and the shields around The Scorned Mare would deplete rapidly.

Knowing that it would drain him terribly, Bucky teleported, moving himself and the enormous mass of his armor to the gunship, preparing a few orbs to be ready to drop ahead of time.

 

 

Bucky was greeted with gunfire, bullets slamming into his armor from all sides, and he began to laugh crazily as the absurdity of the situation took hold. He dropped his orbs, one purple, one black, tossing them into the crowded deck carelessly, not caring who he killed or targeted for the snuggle-struggle about to happen.

The Love Boat, the ship he was last on, was sinking rapidly, he watched it go for a moment before turning his attention to the task at hand.

What he saw concerned him. A massive figure strode through the crowd, shoving others aside, ignoring the magical compulsion around him. A large Lugus sized figure, only larger than Lugus. And far more terrifying.

The griffon, if it could even be still called a griffon, was more machine than griffon. Its beak was gone, replaced by a serrated metal beak, one eye was missing, covered in a shining steel plate, and both front legs were gone, replaced by mechanical legs and talons. The figure was armored, and both wings were metallic and batlike. On its back, there was a large square armored box with several steel coiled tubes that connected into the griffon’s neck.

The most terrifying thing about the massive figure was the odd magical signature he had, which was distinctly unicorn magic in nature. It worried and concerned Bucky. He immediately began to worry that the griffons had powerful unicorns working with them.

The figure charged, and much to Bucky’s surprise, he felt something slam into his armor. The big griffon wasn’t simply bounced away by Bucky’s defensive protections. Bucky felt himself sliding backwards towards the rail, and, as rage overtook him, he angled his legs to hook his claws into the wooden deck planks.

Summoning up a massive thudding blast of telekinesis, Bucky knocked the figure away, a blow that should have been instantly fatal, but the big armored figure was already shrugging it off. All around the two armored figures was a cacophony of murder and rape, the effects of Bucky’s spell jars having a horrible effect upon the griffons.

The griffon lept again; Bucky felt the much larger griffon slam into him for the second time, and then he heard the screeching of metal. Realising that the griffon’s mechanical claws were somehow cutting into his own armor, Bucky felt a growing sense of concern. It was time to end this, no matter the cost of magical energy expenditure.

He grabbed the big griffon by the head and began squeezing, applying as much force as he could. Bucky felt his magic being resisted, something was pushing back, the griffon had powerful enchantments upon his armor and his body. A strange green glow surrounded the griffon’s body as Bucky lifted him into the air, still applying crushing force to the griffon’s head. Bucky began to apply his will, concentrating upon the goal of simply pinching the griffon’s head between two massive forces of applied telekinesis.

The big griffon squawked, his mechanical beak opening wide, and there was a screeching sound of metal fatigue. Beside him, another airship suddenly exploded, and the ship that Bucky was on shuddered from the blast.

Finally, the griffon’s head exploded, bursting like a busted boil. There was a bright flash of green light and the griffon’s body fell the ground, convulsing, his mechanical legs kicking and shredding the deck.

A concussive blast came from the griffon’s chest as it suddenly exploded, showering the area around the body with internal organs, bits of meat, and feathers. The metal box upon the griffon’s back burst open, a flood of green liquid spilling out, and with it, the slimy body of a unicorn, a legless, eyeless unicorn whose body only existed as as life support system for the horn. Tubes emerged from the unicorn’s body in several places, and a magical collector was still connected to the horn. The griffon and the unicorn had been connected by a series of tubes.

Bucky felt sick and disgusted. He froze all of the moisture in the gasbag above him solid, causing it to rupture, and then he teleported away as the ship exploded violently, releasing shards of ice flying off in all directions, damaging the remaining ships, the massive ice bomb killing hundreds of airborne griffons, skewing them with ice or freezing them solid.

He miscalculated his teleportation to The Scorned Mare and found himself appearing mid air. Sighing, he gave up and accepted the fact that he was going to fall, and he looked down at the shipyard below him. He had found the base. They were well into what used to be Donksylvania at this point.

He crashed into the ground a few moments later, surrounded by some very surprised diamond dogs and a hoard of minotaurs, all of whom looked at him stupidly. Above him, a battle raged. Not too far away, a large airship crashed into the ground, landing on top of a massive building, setting the whole thing ablaze.

The group, looking at Bucky, wanted no part of the armored figure that had just fallen out of the sky from the flaming battle up above them. They fled, running as fast as their legs could carry them, and Bucky was content to let them go, the minotaurs mooing an apology to the angry armored figured that had dropped out a sky filled with lightning, ice, and fire.

The base was in ruins. Flaming wreckage was falling all around him, and Bucky saw a massive opening in the mountainside where two ships were housed, hidden from view from up above. Another ship was moored out in the open, and it was currently on fire. A large chunk of airship hull dropped upon him, and Bucky grunted as he had to free himself from beneath the flaming chunk of wreckage.

The battle here was all but done, but Bucky suspected there would be more bases of operations in the Hinterlands. He began the long walk to the cavernous opening in the side of the mountain, seeing the airships gave him an idea, and he hoped that a little luck would be on his side.

 

 

A few dead griffons, minotaurs, and diamond dogs later, Bucky approached the hangar, eyeing the airships as he walked, stepping over the corpses of those foolish enough to oppose him in battle. He was willing to live and let live, but these stupid few had decided to open fire upon him.

The ships were fairly large and were clearly of zebra make. One was partially dismantled, being stripped apart, probably so the griffons could turn it into a warship. The other was mostly intact and hadn’t been picked over yet. The gasbags were made with unicorn magic, and Bucky guessed that these ships came from the shipyards of Tradewinds.

The skies above him had gone silent, and Bucky was thankful that it was over. He craned his head around and saw The Scorned Maredescending slowly, the electro-cannons still glowing brightly, and a bright magenta coloured shield still around it.

Something nearby exploded, and Bucky couldn’t be bothered to investigate what it was. He turned his head back around and began to investigate the hangar, his visor spotlight beam glowing brightly, flooding the area with lurid green light that was easy on his remaining eye. He had fixed the focusing problem on his visor and it now produced an abundance of light, drawing directly from his emerald sunstone eye.

The mostly intact ship seemed sound, and Bucky slowly walked around it, looking it over as it floated just a few yards off the ground, moored in place with chains and cables. The griffons had taken it cleanly and swiftly, without a lot of damage to the ship itself.

It looked to be a convoy freighter, longer than the The Scorned Mare by half, and whatever armament it once had, had been stripped away. It was a large vessel, and as Bucky came to the rear of the ship, he saw there was one big problem.

The rear section of the ship was open, gaping, and the propulsion system had been completely gutted, probably removed and placed on board a griffon ship of some type to upgrade it to modern airscrew propulsion. As he walked around the rear, he saw some doors in the back of the hangar, barricaded doors. He suspected he knew what would be found behind them, and he did not look forward to opening the doors.

Bucky heard voices, familiar voices, and he looked off in the direction of the hangar opening. Twilight approached, Lugus by her side, his axe upon his back, and much to his shock and surprise, he saw Belisama.

With his rifle.

The little griffoness was flying, flapping her wings, the rifle clutched in her talons, taken from his trunk. Bucky watched as she flew rapidly to meet him, her crest raised in concern, her wings beating rapidly.

“Master! You are safe… I was worried for you! I saw you drop over the rail when I came abovedecks,” Belisama said when she saw Bucky.

“What are you doing out of the safety of my cabin… and more importantly, why do you have my rifle?” Bucky questioned as Twilight and Lugus approached.

“I was worried for my master and I took matters into my own talons,” Belisama replied, averting her gaze and looking down at the ground, her head ducking low. “Master’s wife Bon Bon tried to stop me, but I was very quick, and she is very slow.”

“But what are you doing with my rifle?” Bucky demanded, his patience wearing somewhat thin.

“At first, she was missing, but once she had the basics figured out, she was making headshots on the griffons, picking them out of the air and shooting them where they stood on the decks of the other ships… her skill… her rapidly acquired skill, and accuracy, is impressive,” Lugus reported as he drew near. “I do not approve of firearms, but Belisama is a remarkable shot.”

“I don’t approve of this at all,” Twilight muttered. “You shouldn’t even have that rifle Buckminster… I’m sure Celestia will have plenty to say about this.”

“I was worried for my master and my king… I could not sit idly by and do nothing,” Belisama said in a pleading suplicative voice. “And I saw the means to protect my fellow griffons. I had heard stories of such things, and I am a very quick learner.”

“So let me get this straight… you snatched my rifle, some ammunition, watched me drop over the rail, you used the rifle a few times, figured out how it is used, how to aim, begin killing by shooting moving targets out of the air, and killing other targets at extreme distances, and in the course of a single battle, become a sharpshooter?” Bucky inquired.

“It certainly seems that way my-”

“Silence Lugus,” Bucky interrupted. “Belisama, do you have anything to say for yourself?” he demanded.

“Master, it is easier to beg forgiveness than it is to ask for permission?” Belisama responded, her tone more of a question than a statement of certainty. “I deserve to be punished master… I will not ask for mercy, but I will hope for it. You seem to be a kind master.”

Inside of his helmet, Bucky smiled and he looked at Belisama, who was still averting her gaze. He felt a warm rush of emotion towards the brave little griffoness hovering near him. “You crazy little sparrowhawk... Never defy me again or put yourself in danger.”

Looking up at the convoy freighter, Lugus’ crest raised as the giant griffon looked thoughtful. “Planning on adding a second ship to your fleet?” Lugus inquired, craning his head around to look at the much larger vessel. “She’s a big ship… missing her engines, but I think we can tow her. She is big enough that there would be enough room for everybirdy to spread out a bit… I wonder what she looks like on the inside.”

“Go check it out, but be careful Lugus,” Bucky ordered. “Twilight, Belisama, there are some doors in the back of the hangar that I saw. They are barricaded from this side. I suspect we have some rescues waiting to happen. We should go investigate.”

“Master must never scare me like that again,” Belisama begged, following after Bucky as he moved away, the rifle in her talons raised and ready.

“I can’t believe you used yourself as a cannonball,” Twilight muttered. “Celestia was right about you… something is rotten in your brain. A sane pony doesn’t use themselves as a ballistic weapon.”

“Twilight… you wound me!” Bucky replied in a voice dripping with sarcasm as he approached a door. Exhausted, he ripped away the the locks and heavy beams upon the door, securing whatever was locked inside.

His horn glowing brightly, he opened the door.

 

 

 

 

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