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


314. 314

With an annoyed grunt, Bucky tore the massive vault like door from the side of the mountain, his magic nearing the end of its limits. Inside was a long hallway, extending at a slight downward angle, with a smooth floor that had two lines worn into the flooring, the wheels of many carts having worn it down.

Nothing moved to stop them. After having exited the barracks with the crazy writing on the walls and the severed head in the freezer, they had encountered a group of diamond dogs led by a minotaur who pleaded for mercy. Bucky, feeling merciful, even after the incident with what was in the freezer, took their guns away and then used a powerful dark magic fear spell upon them, sending them away from the base, they would forever be deathly afraid of the sight of a pony.

Walking down the hallway, Bucky saw an open door and a room full of small carts, large carts, and pallet movers. He ignored that door for now and continued moving, coming to another door. He pulled it open, ignoring the lock, and smiled at what was inside. Medical supplies of all kinds. Gauze, bandages, medicine, antibiotics, everything that might be needed could be found here.

“This is fortunate,” Lugus stated, looking at Belisama who was still riding on Bucky’s back, held securely in place by Bucky’s magic. “Might even be painkillers which are needed.”

“I suppose we are going to loot this place and take everything?” Belisama asked.

“Loot is such an ugly word,” Bucky interjected. “We are going to appropriate.”

“Good… we shall appropriate everything that isn’t nailed down and find hammers for everything that is,” Belisama stated, peering into the room one last time as Bucky began his slow march down the hall.

Bucky opened several doors in the hallway, some having nothing but empty storerooms behind them, others having miscellaneous goods, like a room full of rubber tires and wheel assembly parts. Bucky supposed it was to keep the rubber from dry rotting.

Behind a locked and heavily secured door, Bucky found an armory. He flicked the light switch and the lights flickered on, the dull yellow light flooding the room. He immediately saw boxes of rifle ammo.

“Hey Lugus, what does ‘ten mm’ mean?” Bucky asked, looking at the boxes.

“It means ten millimeters. They are using the measurement system from Fancy and the old world Ponyland, places like Germaney. I am not sure how it applies to the bullet though. It is clearly a measurement of some sort.

“Lugus, over there, shells like your gun uses,” Belisama said, pointing at an open box that read ‘20mm’ in bright red letters. Below that were the words ‘Brimstone Busters’ in bold black print.

“I plan to take all of this. I wasn’t in a good position to loo- er, appropriate Huginn castle armory, I blew it all up, but I plan to seize everything in here and dump it in front of Celestia,” Bucky said in a low somewhat angry sounding voice. “Make her think about what these sort of projectile weapons might do to her… no, our little ponies. I’m betting the ten whatevers would punch right through the magic shields of most type twos in just a few shots and even most type threes would have trouble holding up under sustained fire. And those shells as big around as cherries, over four inches long, and weigh about a pound, those would obliterate most unicorn defenses. I’m not even sure I could stop those for very long.”

“It is all very troubling,” Lugus admitted, looking around at the racks of ammo and the rows of rifles.

“What’s this?” Belisama inquired, taking wing from Bucky’s back and flying over to a cabinet. Using Bucky’s rifle, she smashed the glass of the cabinet doors, sending shards of sharp glass falling down to the floor. She knocked a few large dangerous shards out of the way and reached inside. With her other talons, she pulled out a very large pistol, holding it up to the light. “Here, master, hold this rifle and this pistol for me please, there is a book in here I wish to grab. There are more pistols too.”

Levitating the pistol and the rifle, Bucky watched at Belisama reached in and pulled out a book. He floated the pistol over, observing the design. It was like nothing he had ever seen before.

Opening the book, Belisama began to flip through it, scanning over the pages. She stopped a few pages in. “These are prototypes that are being field tested. They are revolvers, based on an original design by a unicorn named Rye Mash. Rye Mash favoured guns with multiple shots, but hated guns with too many barrels. So he created a revolving cylinder design that held four bullets in different chambers that revolved so the bullets would line up with the barrel for fast firing. He would later invent an improved design that held eight shots of black powder load. These revolvers are based on Rye Mash’s design, but use the new shell casings,” Belisama summarised as she scanned over the text.

“So prototypes,” Bucky stated, taking in every detail of the revolver. The revolving cylinder held eight bullets, was quite large, and the barrel was intimidatingly long. With a flick of a small delicate locking system, the cylinder fell open and Bucky figured out how to load the weapon, it was just a simple matter of sliding the shells into the eight holes and then closing the cylinder back into the gun. He looked up at Belisama and saw she was busy securing an oilcloth canvas harness system around her body with two holsters secured under each of her wings.

Something about the griffoness became quite attractive to Bucky as he watched her heft two revolvers, one in each set of talons to get a feel for them, then she jammed them into the holsters and then began stuffing bullets into ammo pouches.

“We’ll come back and appropriate everything here,” Bucky said, backing out the room to continue down the long hallway. With a flash of light, he tucked the book into his saddlebag for later perusal.

Belisama and Lugus followed a moment later, the little griffoness loaded down with two enormous revolvers and ammunition. Lugus had reluctantly added more shells for his hand cannon.

“You know, it was the minotaurs who invented the hand cannon,” Lugus said in a low voice that carried down the hallway. “I learned that in school. Everything about the minotaurs is a competition. Horn sizes, how loud their voice is, how tall they are, everything has to be bigger, better, or faster. To compete with the black powder pistols of of that era, the minotaurs invented a ridiculously large hand cannon to establish firearm dominance. I am guessing that it was the minotaurs who designed and created my weapon.”

“Maybe,” Bucky agreed. “I don’t know enough about this sort of thing to have a say.”

At the end of the hall was a massive pair of double doors, heavily locked, and reinforced. Bucky tore them free from their hinges and entered into a vast underground chamber. He flicked the light switch and waited.

With loud clicks and pops, the lights came on a few rows at a time. Bucky found himself smiling in spite of all of his inner turmoil. Ahead of them was a vast underground warehouse full of food. Bin after bin of different types of root vegetables. Tinned goods stretching off for impossibly long rows. Bucky stomped over the tinned goods and saw a minotaur offering a thumbs up, just as he had seen on the beer bottle. The tin was labeled at ‘cream of celery soup’ and promised to be the most delicious soup ever eaten, with a guarantee by a minotaur named Galveston le Garlique. Another tin was labeled as ‘Fancy onion soup’ and yet another tin examined was labeled as ‘mushroom bisque.’

Bucky sighed with relief and continued to scan the soups, hoping that most of it was suitable for ponies. Minotaurs were omnivores and most chose vegetarian diets out of a sense of conscious obligation. There were thousands and thousands of tins of soup here.

He finally came across one that read ‘crab and corn chowder’ and Bucky felt his mouth watering. Hot soup sounded good. Hot soup with crab and corn sounded excellent. And maybe Bon Bon might be bothered to make him some cornbread.

“This is a lot of soup,” Lugus announced. “And some of it would be good for griffons,” he added. “There are giant tins of sardines over this way,” the griffon said as he took off for the sardine stockpiles.

“There are giant bags of coffee and big crates of tea over here,” Belisama pointed, hovering high in the air over the assorted supplies. “And over there I see wheels of cheese.”

“So we are set for food,” Bucky said, his voice full of relief. “As soon as possible, Twilight Sparkle and I will begin moving all of this out so ponies and griffons can eat.”

“With the exception of the root vegetables, all of this is stuff that will last for years. This was a very well supplied depot,” Lugus said. “And most of this comes from Minos. I find this very troubling. I hope the minotaurs at large were not secretly supporting Griffonholm.”

“Hopefully all of this was secured though a supplier or group of merchants and not offered though government aid,” Bucky said in reply, peering around. “I’d hate to have to go visit Minos as a diplomat.”

“The minotaur envoys came to Griffonholm,” Belisama reported. “I acted as a food server when the delegates were there. King Tanner tried to get the minotaurs to engage in a trade treaty, offering coal and mineral resources. The minotaurs politely declined and the government appointed delegates left a few days later. They refused to trade because of the stories of griffons taking slaves and other horrors.”

“So then, how did all of this get there?” Bucky asked.

“There are always shady merchants that need their necks wrung,” Lugus responded.

“I spy diamond dog goods over in that corner,” Belisama announced, zipping off. She stopped over a large rack of tins and swooped down. “Fifteen bean chicken chili,” she read off of a can label. “Guaranteed to make your anus the envy of all your neighbors. Become popular!”

“Diamond dogs are so weird,” Lugus grunted in disgust. “Butt sniffing.”

“Lugus, you and I live with pegasi… what sound do you usually wake up to in the morning?” Bucky inquired, shouting to be heard in the vast expanse.

“Point taken my friend,” Lugus acknowledged reluctantly. “Squeezing Yew Wood is a hazardous proposition.”

“I’m tired… I don’t know how much longer I can keep going,” Bucky announced. “Teleporting with this armor takes a lot out of me. I’m starting to feel shaky and weird. Too much mass.”

“We should head back,” Lugus agreed. “I will come back here with Lyra and some of the griffons and we’ll haul back enough food for a feast. When you have rested, you and Twilight Sparkle can clear this place out and load it into the freighter.”

“That sounds like a good plan Lugus,” Bucky responded. “The medical supplies should prove most useful.”

“Griffon food,” Belisama said, hovering in a distant corner.

“Nothing horrible I hope,” Bucky replied, lifting his head and trying to look at Belisama in the distance.

“Big bags of chocolate covered crickets. I haven’t seen these in years. The factories stopped making them when Fleshrender announced his master plan to turn Griffonholm into the leader of world industry,” Belisama said, sounding sad. “I love chocolate covered crickets… I would get them when I was a good cub and got good marks in school. And over here is a big cannister of mealworm flour! I haven’t seen this stuff in years!”

“Mealworm flour?” Bucky grunted in disgust.

“Griffons eat a lot of bugs… good source of protein,” Lugus replied, offering a brief explanation. “Or some of us do when we can get it. When I lived here there were still bug farmers. Griffons that grew mealworms, crickets, and giant roaches for eating.”

“Oh… BLARGH!” Bucky gagged.

“Oh master… let me fix you some mealworm puff puffs and change your mind,” Belisama begged, flying back to Bucky’s side with several bags of chocolate covered crickets clutched in her talons.

Sighing, Bucky hung his head. He recalled being disgusted by fish. “Very well. I shall try your mealworm puff puffs,” he acquiesced to Belisama. “And Lugus… bug farms… I want to know more about this concept, my little griffons will need to eat.”

“I am not a farmer, but I will tell you what I know,” Lugus offered. “I do know you can grow a lot of food in a tiny space.”

“Talk to me as we return to the others…”




Author's Note:

In this chapter, the not so subtle hint of how the griffons will survive peacefully in Equestria.

Also, Rye Mash.

And Belisama arming herself with not one, but two 10mm revolvers. 

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