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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“Why is there a Great and Powerful Trixie standing upon my common and humble porch?” Bucky asked, squinting at the blue unicorn standing upon his porch and feeling only mildly irritated, yet still somehow happy to see her.

“Trixie was talking to Princess Twilight Sparkle when Princess Twilight Sparkle was in Canterlot last… Trixie… I… -ahem- It is my understanding that you took in the former criminal and exile, Sunset Shimmer. I was wondering if you had a spot for another social reject… your school is opening soon. I would very much like a chance to prove myself and I willingly submit myself to you. I’m miserable in Canterlot. Princess Luna told me to come to you and to humbly beg for sanctuary,” Trixie said, stammering a few times, the mare was clearly nervous.

Feeling incredibly irritated with Princess Luna, Bucky grimaced. “I suppose you will be wanting to teach illusions?” Bucky questioned, his eyebrow raising as his various emotions all jockeyed for position as he attempted to hold everything in check.

“Princess Luna… suggested… that I humbly offer my services to you and allow you to decide what I would be most useful for,” replied Trixie in a fearful voice. “So Trixie is now throwing herself upon your mercy and your wisdom,” she added in a fearful squeak.

“Fine… you are now the drama teacher,” Bucky grumbled, not having enough coffee to deal with the day… or Trixie.

“WHAT?” Trixie shouted, her eyes going wide as her mouth hung open.

“See! That was dramatic! You can teach foals the fine art of drama. Theatre. Being a showpony. Adding illusions and a bit of magic to a play perhaps. You can get paid for just being you,” Bucky explained.

Her eyes narrowing, Trixie stared at Bucky. “Very well. I accept. Where shall the Great and Melodramatic Trixie stay?”

A terrible, horrible, no good, malcontent’s grin slowly spread over Bucky’s lips. “For now, you can stay with Sunset Shimmer. She has an apartment just below my office at the top of just a few stairs. Want some breakfast?”

 

 

Feeling frustrated and angry, there was only one place that Flash Sentry felt as though he could go for help. He could of course go to his wife, Princess Twilight Sparkle could certainly make things happen, but Flash Sentry had come to the quiet conclusion that such an act would make them both look bad. He needed a subtle means to counter this threat. He needed somepony devious and maybe just a little bit evil.

Folding his wings, Flash Sentry landed in the front yard of his friend's home.

It was nearing noon and the day was finally warm. He saw a group of foals sitting on a blanket spread out over the grass. Flash Sentry smiled at them as he trotted to the steps, then up the steps, crossing the porch, and then standing at the door.

Feeling apprehensive, he knocked.

“Hello Derpy… I need to see your husband if I can,” Flash Sentry said when he saw the grey mare standing in the doorway looking at him with a sad looking smile.

 

 

“...so I understand that my position in the Lunar Court is an honourfic at best, but I need help,” Flash Sentry explained, telling Bucky everything as the pair sat in the farmhouse library where Bucky liked to hold his personal court.

“I have grown so weary of the bureaucrats. Twilight Sparkle foolishly believes they can be reasoned with. She will not let me scare them…I wouldn’t even scare them much... your wife is a spoilsport,” Bucky grumbled as he rubbed the withered side of his face with his right fetlock. “There are no honourifics in the Lunar Court. You are either in or you are not. And you are in,” he stated as he closed his eye and rubbed the other side of his face.

“My wife is a beautiful creature who believes in the inherent goodness of ponies,” Flash Sentry said, his eyes lingering on the bookshelves. Some of the books were bound in leather and the stallion found this unsettling.

“It is something I love a great deal about Twilight… it is my hope that she never loses that belief. It would pain me to know that she had somehow lost that ideal,” Bucky responded as he opened his eye and looked at Flash, who seemed distracted. “So what do you need exactly?”

For a moment, Flash Sentry looked pained. “I don’t even know exactly. Sparkler took on an impossible job… I can’t believe she’s managed as much as she has. There are ponies that are openly hostile towards the idea of a police force, saying that it is the police that draw crime to a community. I ran into such rampant stupidity today. Others still believe that Ponyville does not have any active crime and my efforts are a waste of resources. One mare called me a thug and an extortionist… she actually made the accusation that this was a racket, a con job, that the so called criminals and the police were actually in cahoots with one another to extort money from the community and she’s swearing that she’s gonna tell the papers and blow the lid off of this whole racket. Sparkler warned me to stay away from City Hall and to just stick to patrolling the community, but we need help!”

Settling back in his chair, Bucky took a deep breath and wished that Mister Rich was here. Mister Rich had a knack for dealing with bureaucrats. He didn’t mind getting dirty and playing the crooked game of politics. Filthy liked playing in the mud.

“We need a way for the police department to function outside of the oversight of city hall, at least for a while… until we get established. We need funding and the means to be able to do our job. I understand how horrible this sounds,” Flash Sentry said in a low voice, his eyes darting around guiltily.

“I dunno, I don’t think it sounds so horrible,” Bucky stated as his talons flexed. “How dedicated are you to this course of action?”

For a moment, Flash Sentry’s blood turned to ice and his muscles all became solid frozen chunks. Something about Bucky’s silky cold voice frightened him. Flash suddenly realised that he was dealing with somepony that did not play by the rules at all. At some point, Bucky had given up on law and order and simply began to do what needed to be done. Flash Sentry shivered when he looked into Bucky’s Taint filled eye.

“You have two options. You can continue to try and deal with city hall, or you could submit yourself to a different source of oversight. I must warn you… do not make mistakes. I think there is a way to help you. I know that you are a good pony and that you would never abuse your power… because you love Twilight and you fear disappointing her. I will speak with my Mistress. I strongly suspect that you will have the funding you need and you will gain the ability to perform your job unhindered,” Bucky said in a low sonorous voice.

“Thank you,” Flash Sentry said in reply, feeling his skin crawl and wondering just what he had gotten himself into.

“You need not be so nervous. We will never ask you to do anything questionable. We will never ask you to do anything that might shame you. But make no mistake, for the sort of concessions you are hoping for, we are going to hold you to a very high standard of accountability and we will expect results. The Lunar Court demands results, not hopeful estimations. We have a different way of doing business,” Bucky explained patiently, trying to reassure the nervous pegasus.

Taking a deep breath, Flash Sentry tried to relax. “I know that you are having a very hard time right now with everything that has gone on, but I need your help with something else. I know that Sparkler has told you about “Daddy” and his group of foal aged accomplices. I have a map of most of the known caves in the area. There are hundreds. I was wondering if there was something you could do to help us narrow it down. I’m going to ask Twilight as well.”

“You know, I think I have an idea,” Bucky replied, looking thoughtful as he gazed at Flash Sentry and watched the stallion fidget. “Sentinel has a very powerful nose.”

 

 

Laying on the floor, Berry Punch cradled Harper in her forelegs as Bittersweet tried to teach them ear language. Peekaboo was sitting beside her, watching her beloved donkey nanny with rapt attention, while Harper remained sulky and fussy.

“Bunny,” Berry Punch said, carefully moving her lips so Bittersweet could read them. She watched as the donkey made the ear signs for “bunny” and Berry Punch moved her own ears to mimic what she saw. The earth pony watched as Peekaboo did the same.

The little unicorn foal known as Harper however, folded her forelegs over her barrel and stuck out her tongue. Harper was upset, and rightfully so. She hadn’t eaten since forever. She had refused her breakfast of mashed bananas and oatmeal, had been turned away by every mama she had gone to, and left to starve to death all alone. Her tummy gurgled and made squelching noises, which frightened Harper a great deal. She worried that something was in there. Something horrible. She could feel it moving around, a painful feeling, she didn’t like it at all. Not one bit.

“Bunny,” Peekaboo said, her ears moving through the complicated gestures of ear language as she spoke.

Bittersweet pantomimed an expression of great surprise, leaned forward, and planted a kiss upon Peekaboo’s nose, which caused the pegasus foal to giggle. Reaching out with her hoof, the donkey affectionately patted the pegasus and smiled.

Not knowing what else to do, Harper began to shriek at the top of her lungs, unhappy about all of the changes that had been so brutally enforced upon her lately. She wailed, inhaled sharply, and let out an even longer and louder ear piercing scream. Knowing that sometimes it helped, she turned on the waterworks and began to let the tears flow, hoping that some mama would take pity on her and how hungry she was. She was even hungry enough to eat the horrible glop they kept trying to feed to her on end of some horrible metal torture device called a “spoon.”

“Aw, poor little Harper,” Berry Punch said with genuine concern. “It’s rough, isn’t it? It’s been a whole six hours since your early morning feeding and you refused to eat your mashed bananas and oatmeal. It’s about noon… I suppose I can let you nurse, but only after you eat a little solid food for me. Are you willing to cooperate yet?”

 

 

“Sentinel, I am very sorry, but the community needs us. Our work is never done,” Bucky said in a low voice. He looked down at Sentinel and let out a sad sigh. “I know that you want to spend time with Diamond Tiara and you are very worried.”

“I have duties… I understand. A knight needs his squire,” Sentinel said in a warm voice, looking up at his father. “Do not look so sad. I understand what is required of me father. Is Ripple coming with us?” he asked as he saw Ripple preparing herself.

“Yes she is,” Bucky responded. “The Raptors are getting their first field test. I have no doubts that we are dealing with a mirror traveler. He’s probably dangerous. Sparkler is coming as well. Sentinel, I need your nose. We’re going to fly from cave to cave, and I want you to sniff around the openings and see if you can find the cave we’re looking for,” he explained.

“I can do that,” Sentinel said, an unmistakable pride creeping into his voice. “Should the guard be forming a posse with the police?”

“The Black Cloaks are getting involved. Mirror traveler… I have decided that my involvement is necessary and under the authority that Twilight has given me, I can call in whatever resources I deem to be necessary,” Bucky answered.

“If we are rescuing foals and carrying you and Sparkler around, we’ll need a sky wagon,” Sentinel stated, his keen mind already planning.

“One is being secured,” Bucky remarked, smiling at Sentinel and feeling a proud fatherly feeling for his colt. Reaching out with his right hoof, he stroked his son’s face affectionately.

“I suppose you want me to stay out of harms way,” Sentinel said, looking just a little bit disappointed as he spoke.

“No Sentinel,” Bucky responded, shaking his head. “If combat happens, I want you to take him down if you have the chance. But no killing. It is fine if you make him realise just how horrifying the sorts of things you can live through can be however. I will not be overly upset if you break every bone in his body.”

Looking aghast at his father, Sentinel’s mouth hung open in stunned shock.

 

 

 

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