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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Bon Bon didn’t like this plan at all, but Bucky was insistent about his desire to appear in public. His remaining eye was completely swollen shut, leaving him blind, and his entire face was misshapen. A ragged red gash between his horn and his ear was hidden beneath bandages.

“My head hurts but I don’t feel bad,” Bucky whispered in a soft but reassuring voice.

“I can keep us safe,” Twilight Sparkle promised.

“I just don’t know if I can go out and face the public again,” Bon Bon admitted.

“It is just us this time. Everyone else is safely secured,” Twilight said reassuringly.

“He has made his wishes known. We should respect them,” Belisama said impatiently.

Sighing, Bon Bon bowed her head in defeat. She swallowed, her throat feeling dry and parched, her lips felt dry, and her head ached slightly. Being married to Bucky had some trying moments and Bon Bon steeled her courage to the sticking place as she tried to prepare herself for what must be done.

“How are we carrying him?” Belisama asked. “He can’t walk.”

“We’re going to cover him in that cloak and then I am going to carry him on my back,” Bon Bon responded, speaking what she had on her mind for a plan.

“That cloak is weird,” Twilight muttered. “It gives off no magical signature but it isn’t normal. It isn’t even made out of fabric. I can’t find any threads in it. It isn’t woven. I can’t figure out what it is.”

“Will it keep him safe? Ash Tanto said it would keep him safe,” Bon Bon questioned, concern in her voice.

“No idea. This cloak isn’t natural. I’m not even sure it is supernatural,” Twilight answered, shaking her head. Ash Tanto… she thought to herself, making a mental note. “I can carry Bucky in my telekinesis,” Twilight offered.

“No. My husband, my responsibility,” Bon Bon said, shaking her head at Twilight.

“Belisama, I know you’re tired. Want a ride?” Twilight inquired.

“If you don’t mind,” Belisama said shyly, turning to look at Twilight.

“Let’s do this then,” Bon Bon announced.

 

 

The voluminous black cloak draped around both Bon Bon and Bucky, but did not drag along the ground. It was Twilight who noticed that the cloak hovered above the ground and did not touch.

A small crowd had gathered in the plaza, but not the thousands and thousands who had been there this morning at dawn. The crowd that was there looked terrified and kept glancing around to look for hidden assassins.

Twilight kept a shield bubble around the group, taking no chances. She approached the podium with Belisama upon her back and Twilight could feel the griffoness quivering with fear. Using her magic, Twilight levitated the microphone to Belisama, who took it in her trembling talons.

Looking out upon the crowd, Belisama closed her eyes, pulled the sheet of paper from her satchel with her other talons, and then opened her eyes. She cleared her throat and tried to ignore the throbbing in her broken hind leg.

“My husband asked me to pass this message to you. Write this down. Spread this message to the whole of the world,” Belisama began, holding up the paper. She looked out upon the crowd and saw them staring up at her. Flash bulbs flashed as reporters captured this moment in history.

Speaking with a clear voice, Belisama continued.

“For a time, I entertained the idea of championing the cause of firearms. I saw them as a means to promote equality with magic and perhaps as a means to allow slaves to rise up against their masters. A means for the oppressed to have a voice,” Belisama said, reading from the paper.

“But the events of this morning changed that. I freed a nation of slaves. I prevented a war that would have brought the entire world into conflict. And for my troubles, I was shot in the head by a would be assassin. Lugus, my very best friend and boon companion, a noble griffon who champions the causes of others, was shot in the side. My colt, Sentinel, who is also my squire, was shot several times. These events have changed my mind. The world has the means to use firearms, but not the discipline, the morals, or the sound mind required for responsible use,” Belisama read, her eyes darting up from the paper to look out over the crowd.

“I have a message for you,” Belisama announced. “Lay down your weapons. Surrender your firearms. Relinquish all of your stockpiles of gunpowder. If you value your lives, you will do as I ask. You don’t want to know what is in store for you if you fail to acknowledge my simple request. Forget even the idea of guns and gunpowder if you ever want to know peace again. Failure to comply will mean your lives are forfeit.”

More flashbulbs exploded and the crowd looked completely stunned.

“The world is changed by examples, not opinions. Do not force me to make an example of you and your opinions. What happened this morning is an example for why firearms should not be allowed. The Council of Immortals was wise to impose a ban upon them and I will be enforcing that ban, no doubt with the backing of the Council of Immortals. Make war against me at your own peril. This has been a message from the Lord of Winter,” Belisama read from the paper, her eyes darting over the words as she spoke to the crowd.

“Are there any questions?” Belisama asked as she looked out over the crowd.

“How will you make guns go away?” a reporter asked.

Looking at the paper, Belisama flipped it over until she found what she was looking for. She cleared her throat again. “I will create an army of golems that will police the world and they will be attracted to gunpowder. Draw your own conclusions from there, but let it be known, these impartial peacekeepers cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be bargained with. And they will be unstoppable.”

“Automatons that hunt down gunpowder?” a zebra shouted.

“Spell jar golems made of glass and filled with spells,” Belisama read from the paper.

“That’s… horrifying,” a unicorn shouted. “If you were to damage one it would release the spells inside.”

“That is the idea,” Twilight Sparkle announced in a magically amplified voice. “Fighting back will be useless. The only sane option is to submit and obey. Know this, Bucky is my friend and I am appalled at what was done to him, his friends, and his family because of this event. It is my intention to make sure that this plan goes forward and I will be helping Bucky with the creation of the army of golems. Surrender your arms now or be destroyed.”

A stunned silence lingered over the crowd for several long minutes, and after the pronounced silence, a single cheer came from a large black stallion near the front of the mob surrounded by three mares. His cheer caused the rest of the crowd to erupt in cheering, and soon the crowd was roaring with approval.

 

 

Bucky lay in bed sleeping, Belisama beside him, and Bon Bon sat by the bed on the sofa, rubbing her head and trying not to think about how Derpy was going to react to everything that had happened under Bon Bon’s watch. Lyra was beside her on the couch, sitting quietly, trying to take everything in that had happened during this impossibly long day. Harper was asleep in her crib, mumbling in her sleep.

The door opened and Sentinel entered. He peered around, looked at Bon Bon and Lyra, went to couch, crawled up between them, and curled into a small miserable ball.

“Trouble sleeping?” Lyra whispered.

The colt nodded but said nothing.

“Need to talk about it?” Bon Bon inquired.

Shaking his head, Sentinel continued to lay there, a miserable lump of pony.

“Well, I think you did the right thing,” Lyra said in a soothing low voice. “Bon Bon and I don’t love you any less because of what happened.”

“I made a mistake. I killed him. That’s the second thing that can talk that I killed,” Sentinel whimpered. “And now they can’t question him. Can’t find out who sent him. Bocor Oya spent some time talking to me.”

“Don’t worry about those things,” Bon Bon murmured, stroking Sentinel softly. “In much pain?”

“No,” Sentinel grunted.

“Your father is going to be okay. The doctors say that when the swelling goes down on his neck he’ll regain his movement and control over his body. He won’t be like this for long,” Bon Bon explained in a low soft voice as she continued to rub Sentinel softly. “The bullet actually did more damage to his neck… it gave him whiplash. They say the wound on his head is superficial, even though it looks awful.”

“I wanted to eat him,” Sentinel confessed.

“I sorta figured that out on my own Sentinel,” Bon Bon replied, shaking her head softly. “Which is why I stopped you. I’m just glad I could reach you.”

“I feel like a monster. That’s twice now that I’ve ripped something limb from limb,” Sentinel said in a pained raspy whimper. “I can’t even write about it because I am so upset. I don’t know how to make myself feel better.”

“You’re not a monster,” Lyra crooned softly. “You are what you are. You are a creature with powerful instincts and a lot of love for your family. I feel safer knowing that you are here to protect me, Harper, and everything I love.”

“Spike is having trouble too… he killed something that talks. He’s asleep. I left him in my cabin by himself,” Sentinel murmured as he squirmed around and covered up his face with his wing.

“Sentinel, baby, there is nothing that you could do that would make me stop loving you. I’m your mother. And so is Lyra. There is also Derpy, Berry, and Thistle. In time, I am sure Belisama will become very fond of you. But speaking for myself, I know you are a good little colt. You did what needed to be done to keep your father and others safe today. As bad as it was, as bad as it feels right now, and as much as it pains you, everyone that is important to you is still alive and the minotaur that tried to murder your father is dead,” Bon Bon whispered, saying reassuring words to Sentinel.

“Belisama said she was proud to call me one of her cubs,” Sentinel mumbled in a gravelly voice.

“See, you are well on your way to winning her over with your charms,” Lyra said, shifting positions and curling up next to Sentinel. “You’re the other special male in my life. Have I told you that Sentinel?”

“Yes Lyra,” Sentinel responded in a low exhale.

Nosing Sentinel with her snoot, Lyra grunted. “Well, I’ll just keep saying it for my own benefit then.”

“I know Moonbow will be okay with what I’ve done, but when Diamond Tiara finds out, I’m scared she won’t like me,” Sentinel admitted, making a quiet confession of his fear, a rare act for the colt.

“You know Sentinel, Diamond Tiara isn’t perfect, but I will say this. Don’t underestimate her. You’ve offered to be her friend during a very rough moment of her life. You even offered to be her friend after she wronged you and Princess Luna. For all of her many faults, she may surprise you on this issue,” Bon Bon whispered as she continued to rub Sentinel with her hoof.

The trio fell silent as Belisama began to make peeping noises in her sleep, her chest hitching, it was evident to any watching that the little griffoness was afraid of something. Her talons flexed and she muttered one word, “Bandua,” before falling silent again.

“She and Bandua were so close,” Lyra said in a pained whisper. “She told me that she would do anything for Bucky just because he killed her sister’s murderers.”

“She treats it like a debt,” Bon Bon responded.

“For her, it is a debt Bonnie,” Lyra replied. “For griffons, justice is usually something paid for. If you can’t deal with it yourself, you hire somebirdy to do it for you. If somebirdy wrongs you, you have a few options on how to do deal with it. For the servant griffons, offering yourself in servitude was one way to secure justice. I talked with Lugus about it for a little while. The big warrior griffons collect a lot of little servants this way to look after all of their needs and all they need to do is go crack somebirdy’s skull open like an egg.”

“He’s asleep,” Bon Bon murmured to Lyra, her eyes darting down to Sentinel as she spoke. “Maybe we should go to bed as well.”

Yawning, Lyra nodded.

 

 

 

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