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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When Princess Luna saw Buckminster, she cringed. He looked mildly irritated, his sneering muzzle extending out beyond his black hood. She looked him over, her eyes coming to rest upon his mechanical prosthesis. She shivered. Sombra, for all of his evil, had remained whole of body somehow, even with all of his dangerous engagements and direct combat.

“I am sorry,” Luna said apologetically, her ears splaying out sideways as she spoke. The alicorn mare took a deep breath. “Alas, our enemies do not wait for us to finish dinner or spend time with our families.”

“I understand,” Bucky replied, his tone patient and calm. “How is Tourmaline and Glass Slipper?” he questioned.

“Tourmaline was finally able to heal herself, she is doing much better; Glass Slipper has gone home with Princess Twilight Sparkle. Glass Slipper wants to speak with you, it isn’t every day a filly is rescued by a prince,” Luna responded, a faint soft smile spreading across her features.

“And how are you adjusting to Tourmaline?” Bucky inquired, his words full of apprehension.

“I must confess, she is growing on me. She is so affectionate and kind. She is not what I expected Buckminster, she is very much like a foal… she even eats, and I don’t mean just love either, she is more than the usual psychic vampire like other changelings. She eats food. A lot of food. Celestia suspects that love is what powers her magic. There is so much we do not know, we have never encountered a changeling in their unaltered state. She does not have holes in her body,” Luna said, her face showing a wide range of emotions as she spoke. The mare paused for a moment and focused her eyes on Buckminster. “They kept tearing her wings off. I cannot imagine how much it must have hurt her. But they cruelly tore her wings off to keep her grounded.”

“See that she is treated well, I beg of you Mistress,” Bucky said in a soft pleading voice, the hazy purple mist of his Taint creeping up and out of his hood.

“Buckminster, I suspect that there is some kind of pheromone signal here that makes you want to love her… no, do not look at me so fiercely, I do not mean this as a bad thing,” Luna said, taking a step back from Buckminster. “I see I need to earn your trust again, very well,” she sighed. Taking another deep breath, Luna continued. “I strongly suspect that there are powerful pheromone signals involved to make one feel love and affection. Given Tourmaline’s unusual gifts and what she is capable of, this suggests a beneficial symbiotic relationship rather than a parasitic relationship.”

“This is fascinating,” Bucky said as his lip uncurled from a snarl.

“You stink like a naval vessel,” Luna complained, her nostrils flaring. “Have you been drinking engine degreaser?”

“And a fine red wine too,” Bucky said, speaking in a breathy voice. “Semillon made pasties served with Fancy onion soup.”

“Egads, no wonder you have such an atrocious funk, cease breathing upon my royal body this instant,” Luna commanded, a slight grin upon her face.

“So why am I here?” Bucky inquired, getting to the point as he grinned at Luna.

“We have two mirror travelers staying as our guests. I want you to begin some special friendship studies with the both of them,” Luna responded, her tone becoming imperious as she spoke.

“I can be their special friend,” Bucky hissed, his voice becoming cold and sepulchral.

“Come… before you endear yourself to them, I need to speak with you. I am going to need your help soon. I have launched the Shadowbolt Initiative, and this is going to involve a lot of questionable body modification as well as alteration. Given how you have transformed into altered shadow nature, I am hopeful that others can do the same. I have been in your dreams Buckminster, I have studied the effects of the shadow crystal you stood near in the lich’s lair. I believe that you and I can replicate that and we can give the gift of shadow to ponies who belong in the night,” Luna explained, her voice low and guarded.

“You are going to bring other ponies into the night?” Bucky questioned, his hood falling away from his face as he looked upwards at Luna. “Is this wise?”

“We are at war… a war we have to win,” Luna stated in reply.

“Yes, of course, I understand that,” Bucky said, shaking his head as he spoke. “But this is a drastic measure by any reasoning. I am not against it, I am merely suggesting caution as we continue.”

“I agree… but our enemy is weak to shadow magic, they fear it, we must exploit this weakness,” Luna argued in a calm voice, glancing down at Bucky. “We have encountered no lunar pegasi in their ranks. They do not use dark magic. At all. Ever. I believe they find it taboo or something, but I know they fear it,” she explained.

“War Empress Umbra,” Bucky said, recalling his previous encounter with the mirror traveler unicorn. “She of the Fallen Shadow, Student of Nightmare Moon,” he recited, digging deep in his memories. “My appearance scared our unicorn visitor nearly to death.”

“Princess Selene fell into darkness and shadow,” Luna said mournfully. “It seems I am fated to stumble no matter which reality I find myself in.”

“Mistress, do not dwell upon those dark thoughts. You have recovered and now guard others against that sort of darkness. Some darkness is needed however, it is a part of the balance,” Bucky said in a gentle voice. Reaching out, he gently touched Luna’s side with his right front fetlock, trying to offer some means of comfort.

“You are so much like him,” Luna said in a pained voice, her eyes narrowing.

“I know… a part of him tried to take me over… leaving a large part of Sombra behind. I don’t know who or what I am anymore. Am I still myself? Have I become Sombra? I know that I have changed, I am not who I once was,” Bucky mused, sharing his thoughts.

“You should get started,” Luna suggested as she wiped her eyes with her wing.

“As you command, Mistress,” Bucky responded, bowing his head as he spoke.

 

 

The pegasus was nervous, sweating, it was easy to see that he was absolutely terrified. Bucky had observed him for a while through the one way window, the unicorn guard were making sure the pegasus was properly restrained, and the pegasus had been completely fearless, even defiant towards the unicorn guards as they worked.

Upon seeing Bucky enter the room though, the pegasus had rapidly lost his composure and was now a gibbering mess. Bucky was beginning to agree with Luna that some of the mirror travelers seemed a little too afraid of dark magic.

“I will tell you nothing,” the pegasus whimpered.

“Silence coward… cease your theatrics. You will tell me everything. There is nothing you can do to stop me. I have no intentions of hurting you or allowing you to come to harm. You will simply tell me everything I desire to know, and you will enjoy doing it,” Bucky said, his tone cold and emotionless.

In his bed, the pegasus kicked and thrashed against his restraints, gritting his teeth and trying to escape. A white froth lathered along his pelt as his fear began to overwhelm him. The stallion whinnied in terror.

“I have come to the understanding that you believe in tribal superiority,” Bucky said in a soothing calm voice. “You treat earth ponies poorly… are they draft animals to you?”

The pegasus let out a keening wail as Bucky flexed his talons and made himself comfortable in a chair. Try as he might, there was no escaping his restraints.

“Well… tsk tsk tsk,” Bucky remarked, clucking his tongue three times. “You look down upon the earth ponies, so I suppose it is my place to look down upon you… how does it feel to be a servile pegasi? Are you prepared for me to establish my dominance? Do you have any last words before I scramble your brains and rip open your soul?”

“I will never submit!” the pegasus screamed.

Sighing, closing his Tainted eye, Bucky let his magic flow, reaching deep. He had been studying, preparing for this sort of moment. He had been deep into Sombra’s writings and had even refined some of Sombra’s work. He called forth his shadow nature and his vast reserves of dark magic.

“Submit,” Bucky commanded in a low soft utterance, a voice that was like a breeze blowing though a pile of leaves.

The pegasus immediately went still and silent, becoming limp in the bed.

The room darkened, the light becoming dim as shadows writhed around the bed, long fingers of elemental darkness creeping out from the dark places beneath the bed, a seething mass of shadow crawled from Bucky’s cloak, swarming over the pegasus and crawling into every orifice. The pegasus’ eyes flashed green as the dark magic overtook him and his breathing became still and regular.

“How do you feel?” Bucky question.

“I feel comfortable and safe,” the pegasus said in what almost sounded like a foalish voice. “I feel warm and secure.”

“Good,” Bucky stated, giving a nod and smiling. “See how pleasant this is? Since I have made you comfortable, I was hoping that you could do something for me…”

“That seems reasonable,” the pegasus responded in a soft voice.

“There is much I need to know,” Bucky said in the same smooth voice he used to speak to troubled foals. He pushed his own perspectives into the pegasus’ head, making the pegasus feel what he felt, sharing his pain. “Foals have been hurt… we cannot allow that. This hurts me, it makes me feel sad.”

“Yes… sad… I can feel it, hurting foals is a mistake,” the pegasus whimpered, feeling Bucky’s pain. The pegasus stallion kicked against his restraints feebly. “Oh it hurts, make the pain go away.”

“I will… be a good foal, now hush,” Bucky soothed in a silken whisper, his voice only just loud enough to be heard over the pegasus’ pained whimpers.

“We should start at the beginning,” Bucky stated as he looked at the glass observation window where he knew that Luna and several others were watching. “Tell me, how did you manage to kill Nightmare Moon? She was an immortal, correct?”

“Yes,” the pegasus responded, nodding his head. “Princess Selene was an immortal. An alicorn. She became Nightmare Moon. She destroyed everything. She made the night last forever. She destroyed the sun. That happened before I was born. The war had been raging for a long time… we finally figured out a way to stop her.”

“And how did you do that?” Bucky questioned in a soft calming voice.

“We… we made deals with the demon lords of the Abyss… so desperate… there was nothing left. We figured we had to stop her at any cost. They betrayed us, as we knew they would,” the pegasus answered.

“So what happened?” Bucky asked.

“We opened the gates to the Abyss. An army came out. They began to sever Nightmare Moon’s connection to the stars and the moon. They destroyed the moon. All that is left of the moon is a ring of debris that circles the planet, or so I was told by a unicorn. Some unicorns foolishly hope that the moon could be fixed somehow, put back together,” the pegasus replied, his eyes glowing a bright shade of green now, he was completely ensorcelled by dark magic and was doing nothing to resist.

“So they severed Nightmare Moons connections to the heavens to weaken her. You made her mortal. And then you killed her?” Bucky questioned.

“Yes,” the pegasus answered. “Commander Night Watch changed. He became the Night Stallion…  his destiny mark even changed, a rising sun coming out of darkness. Something spoke to him, told him of other worlds. He used his magic to keep us alive, to battle the demons now infesting our world. He’s kept us alive, preserved us, and he’s opened portals to other worlds.”

“Like to this world,” Bucky stated. “Where are the portals?” he asked.

“Las Pegasus. That is the one I came through.  I know there are others, but I don’t know where. There is one far to the south in a desert city, something about saddles… I don’t know. They don’t tell us everything when we are sent through. Only what we need to know,” the pegasus explained in reply. “The Night Stallion can’t actually go through the portals… he can, but they close and they are hard to open again from the other side. He is forced to stand in the portal to keep it open so we can pass through and then step backwards into our world. Only one portal can be open at a time. He’s very frustrated about this,” the pegasus added helpfully.

“Very good, you are being so helpful, such a good foal” Bucky praised.

The pegasus smiled a weak smile, looking hopeful. “I want to be helpful. I’m a good foal… I want to be a good foal.”

“So you can only have one portal open at a time and your main portal was in Las Pegasus?” Bucky questioned.

“Yes… all of our Equestria operations that I know of were staged from the Las Pegasus central portal. It was a big pool of water. We constructed it in a giant water basin in the building we used as a base. One of our slaves called it a swimming pool. The building was very strange,” the pegasus replied, his face becoming puzzled. “Why swim in drinking water? Fresh water is so precious and scarce.”

“You’ve been very helpful, but we have so much more to talk about. I’m going to introduce you to my special friend, and you are going to be so very nice to her,” Bucky said, speaking to the pegasus as he might speak to a foal.

“I want to be helpful,” the pegasus said, looking hopeful and even a little happy. “I feel so happy, warm, and safe. You have been very kind to me.”

“Yes I have,” Bucky agreed, flooding even more dark magic through his connections to the pegasus, further destroying what little remained of the creature’s will. The pegasus was now thoroughly dominated and Bucky realised it would probably be safe to remove the restraints. The poor creature would never again know free will or even an adult mindset.

“All of my worries and troubles are gone… I’m not afraid anymore… why did you help me? Make me better?” the pegasus asked.

“Because… I love you and I want you to be happy,” Bucky responded in a hypnotic sonorous voice as he flooded the pegasus with his shadow essence and bringing the pegasus into a state of a waking dream.

“I thought we were enemies… I was mistaken… I feel sleepy,” the pegasus said.

“Soon you will sleep, and I will watch over you to make sure nothing bad hurts you. It is bedtime for sleepy little foals. But first, there is somepony I want you to meet,” Bucky said. He made a gesture towards the observation window and then flooded the pegasus with feel good sensations.

A moment later, the door opened and Luna entered.

“This is Princess Luna… no matter what you think, this is not Princess Selene. She loves you too… and she wants to be your friend. She is going to be your foalsitter while I am away,” Bucky said in a soothing cajoling voice to the pegasus, whose eyes were now blinking rapidly. “Say hello to Princess Luna.”

“Hello Princess Luna… are you going to be my foalsitter?” the pegasus murmured, barely able to stay awake.

As Luna watched, the pegasus slipped into slumber, looking very much like a foal who had been read a story and lulled to sleep.

“Buckminster, what have you done? This is horrifying,” Luna whispered, her eyes wide with fright.

“I have done as you asked. I have turned him into a foal. He will do anything we ask of him. He will love us in much the same way a foal loves their parents. He will do anything to please us and all you have to do is offer him a kind word or a bit of loving praise,” Bucky exclaimed. “Maybe a cookie or a brownie if he becomes a little petulant.”

“This is not what I asked for, not exactly,” Luna retorted, looking sickened. “Dark magic is certainly effective… more so than I would have ever imagined.”

“Mistress, I grow weary, this magic is exhausting… I need for you to listen and follow my instructions. Our minds are connected… for a time. I know you cannot enter into his mind, but right now, I am seeing everything. I need for you to put me under and then jump into my mind. There is too much here, I am overwhelmed. You are better at this sort of thing… please hurry, to be honest, I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up,” Bucky said, explaining what to do. “The fatigue is actually more than I can bear.”

“Hold on Buckminster… I will sustain you,” Luna said as she dove into shadow and became living darkness. She trickled into Bucky’s ear, pushing her way directly inside of Bucky’s head, flooding him with her strength.

On the other side of the observation window, Celestia shuddered at what she had witnessed, horrified by what she had seen, and fearful for the state of Buckminster’s soul.

 

 

 

 

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