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


371. 371

Using his magic, Rising Star held the massive ventilation fan in place so it could be installed. The forge needed to be cooled down so the griffons could safely work in here, both to help Rising Star and to work upon their own projects. Rising Star found that he quite liked the griffons, they were earnest hard workers and wonderful companions. It was hard not to like them.

Several griffons bolted the massive fan in place, working with big wrenches.

“Scorch, I’m having some second thoughts about this Stable of Representatives thing… what if I get up in front of everypony and choke? I’m worried… I feel lost, I don’t want to quit, but maybe I need advice?” Rising Star questioned.

“Just be honest and be yourself. Do nothing that would shame your earth pony mothers. Watch out about giving your word, that is a tricky issue for us. If crowds are a problem… just close your eyes or something. You clearly don’t want to give up, so you just need to find a way through this worry and doubt,” Scorch said in a low voice.

“This council of immortals… you’ve been a leader for a very long time… any advice?” Rising Star asked, looking towards Scorch with a hopeful expression.

“Remember when you came to Tartarus and how scared you were?” Scorch questioned, moving his earth pony form around to look at Rising Star.

“Yeah,” Rising Star replied, nodding his head.

“How did I treat you?” Scorch inquired, raising one eyebrow.

“With kindness, consideration, and respect,” Rising Star said, looking up at the ceiling while he recalled the memory.

“There you go,” Scorch said, making a gesture with his hoof. “My advice. The secret to my success. Also, play foalsitter to powerful deities and entities, look after their offspring, and never, ever, under any circumstances, not have nookie when there is a good opportunity with a willing partner and favourable circumstances.”

“Um, pardon me for asking, but do you…”

“Get busy?” Scorch asked, cutting in on Rising Star’s dangling unfinished question.

“Well, yeah,” Rising Star said in a low voice.

“There is this primordial electrical elemental. She’s real kinky. Her name is Skyfire. A long time ago, the pegasi and the griffons used to worship her. She’s the one who gave them the gift of cloud walking,” Scorch said, his eyes going unfocused as he reminisced. “There’s been a couple of mortals too… a few ponies, a griffon, a minotaur or three, I gave them offspring. I’ve outlived so many of my own children.”

“I’m sorry,” Rising Star apologised, shaking his head.

“I’m not,” Scorch replied, looking up at the newly installed ventilation fan. “Best nookie I’ve ever had was with one of my own great great great great great granddaughters.”



“Class, today I want to talk to you about some changes,” Cheerilee announced. She looked out at the foals of her classroom, all of them crowded and packed in together. Some were looking back attentively, some looked dull and vacant, and a few were asleep. “There has been a meeting between myself, the mayor, and the education board over the weekend. Due to the recent problems that have happened, it has been discussed that help is needed.”

Pausing, Cheerilee looked around her classroom, feeling hopeful that this would work, but also fearing that this plan would fail. Either way, this was a temporary measure until Buckminster’s school could open.

“After much debate, discussion, and a great deal of time looking at personality profiles as well as academic records, it was decided to make several of you prefects, to give you authority over your classmates, to hand out demerits, detentions, and to enforce good behaviour,” Cheerilee announced.

The fuschia mare was met with thunderous silence. Wide eyes stared at her. Little mouths hung open. Little ears swiveled around and perked forwards. Cheerilee smiled, appreciating the deafening silence, enjoying it, savouring it, drinking it in like it was a fine wine. She shivered from the surge of raw emotion she felt, she had finally silenced her classroom.

Looking around, her smile almost impossibly wide, Cheerilee clapped her front hooves together and sat back in her chair. “Without further ado, I shall read the list!” she announced, lifting up a sheet of paper. “Sunny Daze, Peachy Pie, Cheery, Lance, Apple Bloom, and last but not least, Sentinel,” Cheerilee said in an excited voice.

There was more stunned silence from the class as Cheerilee bounced in place while sitting in her seat. The teacher took a deep breath. “Come and see me during recess. You get to wear the most adorable little sashes… and I have permission to take your picture to mark this momentous occasion.”



Witching Hour looked at her silent husband and then around the room. The small apartment they were in was another safe house, and the unicorn and the pegasus that had led them to it were currently in custody. There was a lot to search through. There was a bookshelf and a great many things could be hidden in books. Many things in the room gave off magical signatures. The trap to detonate the apartment had been broken by Tiddlywinks, it was, luckily for them, clumsily made and rather easy to break.

There was no portal generator here, but there was a small magical mirror that had already been placed into a protective anti magic crate to keep it safe.

Shining Armor pushed through the door, his barrel wrapped in bandages and a thin red line was just under his eye. He paused upon entering the apartment and looked at Witching Hour, then Tiddlywinks. “I’m very happy to see you safe,” Shining Armor said in a relieved voice.

“We’re magical burglars. Next time, you leave the BREAKING AND ENTERING to us. You’re LUCKY you didn’t lose an EYE,” Witching Hour said, twitching slightly as she spoke.

Saying nothing, Shining Armor allowed the pair to go back to work. He shook his head. They were legends, but one didn’t speak and the other tended to shout when nervous. This was all that was left of the once infamous Black Cloaks. Shining Armor wasn’t sure if they would be put out to pasture or not.

Tiddlywinks stood next to a small table with a silver bell. He stomped his foot and made a gesture by throwing his head in the direction of the bell. Witching Hour crossed the room and studied the bell carefully.

“Nopony TOUCH this,” Witching Hour commanded. “TRAP!”

Curious, Shining Armor came close and studied the bell. It gave off no magical signature, but he found that he had a hard time looking directly at it. He scowled, understanding the nature of the enchantment when he put two and two together.

“If the BELL is picked up it WILL release whatever is UNDER it,” Witching Hour explained, looking a bit more nervous than usual. “Winky doesn’t know HOW to disarm it.”

“I am really very curious what is under the bell,” Shining Armor said, still trying to look at the bell. The aversion spell was poorly done, he could see it, but only just barely. It was just hard enough to be challenging. And he really wanted to know what was under it.

“Don’t BE a simpleton you MORON!” Witching Hour warned. “The aversion spell is only PARTIAL, it wants to be LOOKED AT so you will want to TOUCH it! FORBIDDEN FRUIT!”

Nodding, Shining Armor backed away from the devious trap.

“This is like something the WARLOCK would do as a PRANK,” Witching Hour announced, shaking her head. “This STINKS of his SORT of evil. Make no MISTAKE. My BOSS is EVIL!”

“I dunno about that,” Shining Armor said as he peered over the bookshelf, fearful of pulling out any books. “He’s a family pony… I find that personally, I can forgive a pony if he is a good father. Buckminster is… misunderstood.”

“Warlock,” Witching Hour argued as she stared at the bell.

“We are at war… He’s on our side… I cannot fault him,” Shining Armor replied, shaking his head vigourously at Witching Hour.



Lugnut and Spanner looked down at their cubs and felt a strange sense of pride. Cog and Sprocket were wonderful cubs, full of curiousity. Lugnut, somewhat larger and black, sat on his haunches in a protective watchful pose, while Spanner, smaller and grey, lay on his side with his head raised, watching the two cubs play with one another.

Nearby, Magpie was sitting with the other cubs on the deck of The Albatross, allowing the little ones to get some sun. She watched the two males watching their young and felt a warmth in her heart.

“Are both of you happy?” Magpie asked.

“Very much so,” Lugnut replied.

“This is the life. We don’t have to worry about being eaten, being beaten, we have a good king that appreciates our work, gives us good food, and does not threaten us,” Spanner stated, his crest rising. “And we are the Royal Mechanics.”

“How is life for you, Royal Nanny?”

“I had my doubts and some worries, but I’ve settled in,” Magpie said as she rolled over to allow the sun to shine on her other side. She watched as one of the cubs yawned, his beak opening wide and his eyes closing.

“We have to do some work later, can you look after Sprocket and Cog?” Lugnut questioned politely, looking hopefully at Magpie as he spoke.

“Of course. Where are you going?” Magpie responded.

“Very soon they will have the boiler ready in the school. We are going to calibrate and fine tune the lift once they are completed. The labourers say we should have the school finished before the month is out,” Lugnut answered.

“The ponies said it would take weeks… maybe even months,” Spanner said, his eyes narrowing. “Griffon pride my fellows, griffon pride.”

“Those towers are certainly going up quickly,” Magpie agreed, looking over at the towers protruding above the treeline. “Be careful with the steam powered lift, steam can be dangerous.”

“We know,” Spanner said, his eyes turning to look at the scar tissue on his left talons and wincing at the memory of the burn.

“We’ve also got to flush the radiator system and figure out why it has no pressure,” Lugnut said in a glum voice, his crest drooping.

“Not all jobs can be fun,” Magpie stated.



Half awake, Bucky stumbled into the kitchen after getting a few hours of sleep, his eye half open. Very much like a zombie, he shuffled past Lyra, shambled past Derpy, who was busy doing something with foal food for Harper, goosing her and lifting her tail with his snoot as he past, causing  the grey mare to whinny, and then he fell into a chair at the kitchen table, staring ahead vacantly.

“Hello zombie,” Lyra said, smiling at Bucky.

Graaaaains,” Bucky groaned.

“Bucky! No puns!” Derpy shouted, looking flustered. The pegasus turned to look at Harper, who was sitting in a high chair looking rather petulant. “Mashed peas and squash… nummy,” Derpy said, licking her lips.

Harper shook her head no and narrowed her eyes defiantly.

“Take a look Bucky,” Berry Punch said, tossing a folded newspaper at Bucky. “Special edition. Came out late, just before noon. Talks all about Las Pegasus and how thousands of ponies were mysteriously teleported outside of the city by some kind benevolent benefactor just before the big explosion happened. But the real story is on the front page… or at least what passes for the real story, I think it’s a fluff piece.”

Suddenly finding himself very, very awake, Bucky wondered just how Chrysalis had managed to teleport the ponies outside of the city… she must have become quite powerful in that incarnation of herself. He still hated her, but now felt a sense of grudging respect. She could have let the bystanders die.

He opened the paper, saying nothing, and looked at the front page. There was a full colour photograph of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. In between them was a jet black foal with a soft pastel pink mane, wearing glasses that had bright green frames. The foal had kissed Luna on the cheek just as the picture was being taken, Luna looked both horrified and disgusted, cringing back and making a funny face of revulsion with her tongue sticking out for all of the world to see.

“Princess Celestia and Princess Luna encourage adoption to relieve overcrowded orphanages and orphanariums. The Royal Pony Sisters adopted a foal named ‘Tourmaline’ to live in the lap of luxury. They saved a cruelly abused sob story from a wretched life. You can do the same,” Bucky read in a low strained voice, unable to stop staring at the photo. Luna hated bugs, icky bugs, and didn’t particularly care for big bugs at all, much less changelings, and she had just been kissed by one. Celestia was openly smirking in the photo, and there was no doubt that the big white alicorn had put the foal up to no good with Luna.

“Fluff pieces. For so long, the newspapers printed actual news. This was kinda disappointing,” Berry grumbled, failing to notice Bucky’s stunned expression.



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