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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“Can you even see anything at all?” Lyra asked, her lips a few scant inches away from Bucky’s ear, causing it to flicker as she spoke. Lyra gently stroked Bucky’s neck and wished she had some way of making Bucky feel better.

“I can see a little bit, but I can’t open my eye more than just a crack,” Bucky grumbled in reply. “I can see outlines and blurry shapes. I was able to see my sisters earlier. Was kinda weird, I was able to see them well enough but not much of anything else.”

“They give me the creeps… I’m not saying anything bad about them, just that they give me the creeps,” Lyra said as her stomach gurgled at a startling level of volume. “Oh that stuff I drank... I feel miserable.” The minty green unicorn clutched her stomach and bared her teeth in pain. Something hideous lurked in the depths of Lyra’s bowels, and the unicorn mare wasn’t sure if it was safe to pass gas, so she held it in and tried to cope with the pain and the pressure.

“I wonder what they are saying to Twilight… I hope Twilight isn’t having her mind blown,” Bucky said as a dreadful feeling of concern began to overtake him. He took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then let it out slowly. “My mind is already pretty broken so certain things don’t bother me… but Twilight Sparkle is kinda fragile. And the things that my sisters have to say can be… upsetting.”

“Feels weird to hear you call them your sisters Bucky,” Lyra remarked, shaking her head. “If I understand things correctly, I think I know who they are.” A resonating gurgle came from Lyra’s stomach, it sounded like a partially clogged drain sucking down water. Her lower belly was filled a terrible heat and a very painful cramp made Lyra squeeze her eyes shut.

“Best not to talk about it Lyra, unless you want garble coming out of your mouth uncontrollably,” Bucky warned. He paused, sniffing, catching a whiff of something rather foul in the air. “Did you just fart Lyra Heartstrings? Ugh, I can taste it! I’m stuck here on the bed and I can’t run away either! You’re a horrible pony…”  

“I gotta go!” Lyra blurted out, departing from Bucky’s side with great haste, her tail tucked tightly between her hind legs.

 

 

Confused and left without Celestia’s guidance, Twilight Sparkle tried to take in everything that the Fates had told her. She was certain that the Fates hadn’t told her everything, but they had certainly told her enough, and once again, Twilight was left questioning everything she thought she knew, just like she had once done after Celestia had explained a great deal of what went on in the background after Twilight’s return from Fillydelphia. She lay in the bed staring up at the bunk up above her.

At least the Fates had been kind enough to explain how to help Pinkie Pie and spared no detail. Twilight Sparkle knew just what to do to make Pinkie Pie better.

Scowling, Twilight Sparkle immediately put her mind to work on figuring out the Fates’ cryptic riddles, hints, and half explanations to what was really going in the world.

A miserable blue figure pushed her way through Twilight’s door and flopped out on the bed beside her. Rainbow Dash’s stomach gurgled and made cringe-worthy squelchy-squirty sounds. Rainbow Dash rubbed her stomach and pressed tightly up against Twilight Sparkle.

“I’m dying Twi… I wanted to tell you that you’re my very bestest friend,” Rainbow Dash moaned as her stomach continued to churn. “I’m dying and this is the end of me. I’m gonna explode and all that will be left is a few feathers.”

“You’re not dying Dash,” Twilight gently corrected, her own stomach beginning a conversation of growls and gurgles with Rainbow Dash’s. “Rainbow? What if somepony you loved was being led astray… misled… by their… their parent and this pony trusted their parent and believed that they could do no wrong… but there was no way to reach them or help them see that a mistake was being made… how would you help them?”

Doubling over and clutching her guts, Rainbow Dash farted in reply, a trumpeting blast worthy of her pegasus nature. “Oh my gosh… I’m so glad my plot didn’t just explode,” Rainbow Dash muttered, ignoring Twilight Sparkle’s question. “The last time I farted it was lumpy. By the way, never ever go into a bathroom after Rarity gets done filling up the thundermug… may cause blindness Twi.. the Element of Generousity leaves behind a stench that generously lingers forever.”

“Can’t be as bad as Applejack,” Twilight murmured, allowing herself to drop her usual guard against such subjects. She rolled over in her bed and wrapped one foreleg over Rainbow Dash, pulling her close and holding her, and finding much to her surprise that Rainbow Dash did not try to resist. “One time, and I’ve never told anypony this, but Applejack just let herself into my bathroom at the library while I was showering. She came in, sat down, started reading a newspaper, and even tried to talk to me while I was in the shower like it wasn’t a big deal.”

“Yeah… Applejack did that to me when we were in Manehatten helping Rarity and staying in that big hotel room. She just came right in while I was in the tub and started talking to me about the sweet corn harvest as she was dropping  hot plot dumplings in the gravy bowl,” Rainbow Dash responded as she snuggled up a little closer to Twilight and allowed herself to be comforted.

“Is that what friendship is?” Twilight inquired in a low voice, whispering in Rainbow’s ear as she cuddled against her friend’s back feeling disgusted by Rainbow’s words but also somewhat aroused by holding Rainbow Dash so close.

“What do ya mean Twi?” Rainbow replied.

“I mean, is that what friendship is… being so comfortable with somepony else you can just walk in on somebody and feel safe… you know… pooping in front of them or in the same room as them,” Twilight explained in a strained voice.

“Twilight, I think she does it because she’s a big country bumpkin,” Rainbow Dash answered, a soft giggle overtaking the blue pegasus mare. “You know Twilight, I think you and I are close enough that I could pinch a loaf in the same room as you,” Rainbow Dash confessed.

“Ugh… gross! Pinch a loaf? Really Rainbow… that’s awful!” Twilight protested, her troubles from the Fates now completely forgotten. “Are we really that close?” she asked, her tone suddenly serious.

“Yeah Twilight… I love you,” Rainbow replied, internally cringing in horror at her slip of the tongue. She panicked for one brief second and felt a tightness in her barrel. “I mean, as a… as a friend,” she stammered in correction. “Nothing mushy.”

 

 

A feculent funk lingered throughout The Scorned Mare and the ship’s atmospheric regulation systems were powerless against the stench. The Albatross suffered a similar fate as the purgatives took hold and worked their magic. Everypony and everybirdy was laid low, and many either sat upon an available toilet or huddled miserably in their bunks.

Only a scant few were left completely unaffected by the chemical cleansing of toxins from the system. Sentinel was largely unaffected, but then again, very little bothered his stomach being an opportunistic carrion eater. Bucky was completely unaffected as well.

 

 

Left to his own devices and able to see just a tiny bit, Bucky kept himself busy sketching out his plans and making notes. On a sheet of paper, using his telekinesis, he scribbled out designs for tiny spell jars with arcano-tech powered propellers to be used as a delivery system for spells, and in between sketching, Bucky scribbled down his thoughts on how to keep innocents safe. The entire system would be completely non-lethal while still being an effective means of pacification.

As he scribbled, in the back of his mind, his mind was hard at work thinking of ways to prevent the events of Griffonholm from ever happening again. His idea for an automated spell jar delivery system would allow his glass globes to travel anywhere in the world and disperse spells. With the right spells, he wondered if he could stop wars, free slaves, and put an end to tyranny, but mostly he wondered if he could do it as bloodlessly as possible.

Never once did Bucky stop to think if he should be doing this, only that he could be doing this, his mind ablaze with possibilities. The violence had to stop. Conflict had to end. Bucky had no doubts that he could in fact wrangle most of the sapient species into submission and make them behave. Most of them didn’t need to be wrangled into submission and made to behave. There were only a few species that continuously created trouble for their neighbors. If left to their own devices, the zebras were a perfectly peaceful species. Most of the equine species were harmless.

No, the real threats to the world were the unicorns, some of the more predatory sapient species, and those who had hands or manipulatory digits. Guns would never be a serious concern as far as the zebras, earth ponies, or the pegasi were concerned, none of which had fingers. Sure, manipulation shoes could be used to discharge a firearm, but it wasn’t practical for an earth pony, who was a quadruped. Guns made bipedal creatures with hands fearsome in much the same way magic made unicorns dangerous, and both needed a way to be contained.

Scowling, Bucky realised that there wasn’t a whole lot he could do about the unicorns, other than help Twilight Sparkle regulate magic and make sure that the abuses of the past could never happen again. What he could do was put an end to one species preying upon another by taking away their means of power and subjugation.

Most of the world’s sapient species were perfectly content to live in peace, but because of a few troublemakers, one group that Bucky was now the king of, the entire world had to live in fear of conflict.

Sucking in his lip and pressing down upon it gently with his teeth, Bucky realised that Sombra had gone about this all wrong. Creating an army of twenty foot tall unstoppable juggernauts of destruction were not the answer. Crushing your enemies with force would only leave them bitter and seeking revenge.

Surely it would be better to completely subdue your enemies, doing no harm, killing no one, and then figuring out what had caused the conflict in the first place so something could be done to correct it. If the troublesome species were gently reprimanded and taught to live in peace and more power was distributed equally, the reasons for war could be countered.

But could this be done?

His pen scratching furiously, Bucky began to create a list of things that led to wars, the first thing he wrote down was a lack of education followed by a lack of a fair distribution of resources. He paused thoughtfully for a moment and then his pen moved again, expanding on the lack of fairness in the distribution of resources, and Bucky thought about exploitation, how those with resources tended to bleed their neighbors dry to further solidify their own power by making those around them weaker. House Avarice had done plenty of that.

Bucky had a tribe to lead, and his tribe would wage war upon the causes of war. He took a deep breath, his mind whirling with far too many thoughts. It was time to reveal himself to the world, not as the nascent alicorn of war, but as the founder of a new tribe, a new way of life, his vision that he had in the Shetlands finally coming into perfect focus. And for all of this to work, his tribe had to stop killing and attempt to use non lethal means to wage war. What he couldn’t subdue with gentle correction he would make powerless with fear. He certainly had the dark magic and the reputation that would allow for that. The dangerous predatory species understood fear as a motivator and Bucky was prepared to use it as a temporary measure.

An impossible task loomed ahead of Bucky and for a moment he was uncertain of his ability to even begin such a venture. His pen ceased movement, hovering in the air doing nothing, and Bucky was overwhelmed as he came to the stunning realisation that everything he had experienced in his life had happened to prepare him for this moment.

It was time to show the world a better way. The only way for life to continue living was to present a united front to the creator alicorn intent upon destroying the world. Somehow, Bucky had to prove that life was worth saving, and that the world was capable of better things.

A soft faint cackle escaped Bucky’s lips as he began to plan.

 

 

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