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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Alone in the dark, Bucky cackled as his body was wracked with pain. He wasn’t sure where he was, but it was quiet. A terrible smell was in the air, a wretched funk, but it was quiet, dark, and peaceful. He flexed his legs, trying to make sure nothing was broken, carefully moved his neck, and then he flexed his aching jaw.

Other than his side, he felt that he was mostly okay.

He ignited his sunstone eye and it flickered to life, barely functional. The dim light was enough for him to see by, but no matter how much he willed it, there was no more light to be had. Panicked, he raised his talons and began to try and flex his talon fingers. They moved, but not smoothly, the routines were disrupted and partially dispelled. He hoped that he would be able to walk on it. He was going to have to fix himself later and work on better enchantments that were harder to dispel.

Gnashing his teeth, Bucky realised how much easier it would have been to simply kill them, freeze them solid, or crush them with thousands of tons of telekinetic force. He had been defeated because he had held back, and the experience was galling.

He peered around at his surroundings, trying to get some idea of where he was. He saw racks of clothing and other goods. There were hangers all over the floor. There was a display of foal sized wagons in a barely visible corner. He determined that he was in some sort of a department store after several minutes of looking around.

He looked down at his side and saw a flap of skin hanging off. Blood slowly but steadily trickled out of the wound. It looked worse than it really was. It had peeled away a layer of skin, but the wound wasn’t as deep as it could have been. He could see muscle tissue in the faint green light.

He ignited his horn for better light and fought back a wave of nausea. He was still stunned, in a lot of pain, and having trouble thinking clearly. His ears rang but he could still hear, which made him glad. He had enough problems without being deaf.

In the distance, Bucky heard something clatter to the floor. He immediately began to summon up as many spell protections as he could, which wasn’t many. He was exhausted and there wasn’t much of him. All of his high energy snacks were abandoned with his armor. The situation looked grim and Bucky began to consider the option of a tactical retreat.

“Lord of Winter?” a voice called out. A strange voice.

“Who’s there?” Bucky demanded, tempted to use lethal force if necessary. He wanted to be home with his wives and foals, and at this point, he was done playing around.

“Friends,” the voice answered. “We mean you no harm, we ask that you do not kill us. We wish to offer aid.”

Nervous, Bucky licked his lips and tried to clear the fuzz from his brain. He shook himself and stood up on his hooves. “Well that depends. It would help if I could see you. I’m not in a position where I have much trust right now. And how do you know who I am?”

“Our queen knows of you, thus we know of you,” the voice answered.

A icy feeling manifested in Bucky’s stomach, his blood ran cold, and he felt his testicles retract up into his body. He became aware of sounds all around him.

“Honestly, we mean you no harm and wish to offer you help,” the voice said.

A moment later, a small black changeling stepped into view. He peered at Bucky, his eyes glittering in the faint light. “Here I am. Kill me if you so desire. My queen has determined that I am a worthy sacrifice.”

Hating himself, Bucky held back his spells. Instead, he waited and watched.

“Ah, the stories are true. You are far more reasonable than most other ponies. Your Majesty, our queen wishes an audience with you. She is here. She sensed you entering the city and tried to reach you before you made the terrible mistake that you made. She wanted to help you,” the changeling said in a soft voice. “She sensed your arrival here and teleported us to your location.”

“Show yourself,” Bucky demanded.

“Oh very well,” a voice purred in the distant darkness.

Bucky could hear hoofsteps approaching and then a tall figured stepped into the light. Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings. He watched her carefully, never taking his eye off of her, staring at her as she studied him.

“You are injured,” Chrysalis said in a voice of sincere concern.

“Why do you care?” Bucky asked, glaring at the tall insectoid creature that sort of looked like an alicorn. “Why are you here?”

“I need a healing drone over here,” Chrysalis barked, her tone cold and commanding.

“No,” Bucky protested. “No healing magic, you don’t understand,” he said as he backed away. He watched small changeling approaching him and he prepared a spell. Much to his alarm, he felt himself become completely immobilized and unable to move.

The small drone made a gurgling sound and spat, horking out a large green blob of what appeared to be glowing mucus. It struck Bucky in the side, causing him to cry out, and there was a loud hissing and sizzling sound.

Much to Bucky’s surprise, there was no pain, but relief.

“You have nothing to fear. The spit causes rapid cell growth. I know all about your aversion to healing magic. I’ve been studying you a great deal, to be honest. You fascinate me, Lord of Winter,” Chrysalis cooed in a seductive sounding voice.

A moment later, Bucky felt himself released from whatever invisible bonds that had restrained him. He felt his head clearing and the pain slowly retreated from his body. He stared at Queen Chrysalis, now curious, but he was still wary.

“I bet you are wondering why I am helping you,” Chrysalis stated in a soft silky voice. She blinked at Bucky a few times. “You know, I could give you your eye back. Even the full use of your legs. I suppose you’ll want to keep your horn though, it is the source of your power, but I could restore that too. I could make you whole again. All of you. Make you young again. Take away that silver hair. And never once would you have to worry about growing wings.”

“If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” Bucky responded.

“I assure you, I could make you whole again. A little dip in changeling spit would do wonders for your body,” Chrysalis teased in a sultry voice.

“No doubt you want something. How can I help you?” Bucky demanded.

“Well, to start, you mounting me and filling me with your delightful seed would be a good start, but since I doubt that is going to happen, I suppose I should talk about our mutual enemies,” Chrysalis replied, looking at Bucky with what appeared to be genuine affection and concern.

“I don’t know that I trust you,” Bucky stated, looking up at the changeling queen.

“I can be trusted when I need something or I want something. Right now, you can trust in my selfishness. If you don’t want to trust me, go ahead, kill me, I’ll do nothing to stop you. Deal?” Chrysalis offered.

“Killing you would do me no good,” Bucky stated as he shook his head. “No doubt that once I killed you, whatever you are would just take over the body of a drone which would just turn into another you.”

“Oh my… you are clever,” Chrysalis cooed, closing her eyes and inhaling with a sharp hiss after she spoke. She opened her eyes and gazed at Bucky. “When they write about you in the history books, I do hope they will discuss your cunning… it is the one thing I look for most in a mate.”

“What do you want? No more games,” Bucky snarled, losing his patience. He kept his Tainted eye locked on Chrysalis and refused to allow himself to be flattered or distracted.

“Oh very well,” Chrysalis snapped. “I need your help and you need my help. They keep stealing my eggs and invading my colony. They’re breeding themselves an army to destroy you and all of Equestria. Right now in that hotel there are probably two hundred and fifty thousand or so changelings that they plan to unleash upon you in a swarm. In Equestria’s current state, you’d be in big trouble.”

“Why help us?” Bucky asked.

“WE NEED EACH OTHER YOU DOLT!” Chrysalis shouted. “You have cunning but by the stars, you are as dumb as a post at times.”

Seething silently, Bucky glared up at the queen, contemplating murder as he did so.

“I know what you are thinking,” Chrysalis said in a dismissive voice. “Those ponies you are fighting, they have no love. None at all. They purge their minds of soft weak emotions like love and affection. They intend to kill you. All of you. And your princesses. Trust me, I know. They’re planning. They don’t know how to do it just yet, but they are planning. And if you die, or enough of you die, then we die. And I can’t allow that.”

“So mutual survival,” Bucky said, nodding his head slightly.

“Yes,” Chrysalis whispered. “So it is in my best interest to help you. I have a plan.”

“I’m listening,” Bucky stated, relaxing his posture a bit. He sat down upon the floor but never took his eye off of the changeling queen.

“I will send a small group of infiltrators with you through the sewers. I’ve scouted out the area. I know where to go and how to get there. You will encounter heavy resistance if you just went in though… which is why I am going to throw everything I have at the outside of the building during a well timed attack. What you want, what you are looking for, is located in a small police substation in the hotel basement. The foal that you were sent to retrieve is there, being held for now, but I do not know for how long. You will come up out of the sewer, leading my group of infiltrators. Once they get inside, you get what you came for and they stay behind to cover your escape.”

“And the guards inside will be greatly reduced because of the swarming of the building from the outside,” Bucky said, catching on to the plan.

“I intend to sabotage their efforts. I just need to get a few changelings inside to do so, and the chances of me doing so are much higher if you are escorting them,” Chrysalis explained, her tone surprisingly sincere and honest. “Tell me, are you feeling better? How is your side?”

“I feel much better… thank you,” Bucky responded. He saw no need to be rude anymore and felt that civility would serve him better in this situation.

“Pretend that this is your school days and focus on what you do best. Avoid detection. Use aversion. Brute force will not help you in this venture. But you… you can think like a changeling. I suggest that you do so,” Chrysalis said in a silky soft voice that dripped with fond appreciation for Bucky.

“I will do as you ask… it seems we will both gain something from it. Make no mistake though, if you come into Equestria, if you prey upon ponies, don’t think for even one moment that any feelings of goodwill and appreciation that exist now will stop me from doing my job later,” Bucky said, his ears folding back against his skull.

“Perhaps though, since you are willing to talk, we shall come to another agreement in the future. Once beneficial to both of our kind. I am willing to admit that… perhaps mistakes were made,” Chrysalis said in a soft gentle voice that she knew was making Bucky relax.

“So the mirror travelers are using your brood to make themselves an army?” Bucky questioned, allowing himself to look around finally. He was surrounded by at least three dozen changelings of different shapes and sizes. None of them were remotely threatening in the slightest.

“You fight a foe that you can barely even comprehend. As much it pains me to admit it, they caught me off guard and I’ve been fighting a losing battle until only recently. I’ve brought the battle to them, here in Las Pegasus,” Chrysalis replied, watching Bucky study her changelings. “I have drones coming with food for you. You can conjure up your own water. Rest for a while. You are safe, I give you my word. You are deep in my controlled territory, which was very lucky for you.”

“Thank you,” Bucky said graciously, offering up a bit of a smile to his host.

 

 

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