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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“Belisama, I want them ready to go as soon as possible. I need as many griffons as I can possibly get. I need strong flyers, hard workers, and gentle spirits. We’re taking The Albatross. I need an army. Equestria needs the griffons,” Bucky commanded, looking about his living room at the various ponies and griffons gathered there.

“What of the Raptors?” Belisama questioned.

“Them too. Ripple and Sentinel both,” Bucky answered.

“We’re coming,” Lyra said, looking at Bon Bon.

“As much as I want for you to come, you are just now getting your shop in order and it is becoming the holiday season. You should stay,” Bucky said in a pained voice as an agonising spasm worked through his body. “I won’t stop you, but I will advise against it.”

“I’m coming,” Twilight Sparkle stated.

“Twi… no… I gotta disagree… hear me out and stop looking so angry… we’re going to need somepony to organise relief on this end. Plus, Ponyville and our foals need you. I’ll go. I can fly through any storm,” Rainbow Dash said, being surprisingly reasonable.

“I’m coming,” Loch Skimmer said, looking around the room at the many faces. “You need me. I’m being trained as a paramedic. Plus, not to brag like Rainbow Dash here, but I am a strong flier. I’m not fast, but I’ve flown whole steel girders by myself for strength training.”

“She has, I’ve seen her, it was awesome!” Rainbow Dash cried, pressing both forehooves to her cheeks and geeking out.

“I can bring Coco… Coco is shockingly strong. I mean, you wouldn’t know it to look at her, but sweet little Coco almost beat Big Mac in a hoof wrestling match… he was sweating and grunting from all of the effort it took to subdue her,” Rarity said, looking troubled as she thought about the double meaning of her words. She felt a flustering hot flash and fanned herself.

“I can’t go. I hope you understand,” Applejack said forlornly. “I can’t leave my family right now… I know I’m needed, but I’m needed here at home more.”

“I’m coming! But this had better be a better trip than last time. The griffons were ruuuuuuuuude!” Pinkie Pie chirped. “Plus, Mister Grumpy Pants will need the help.”

“I suppose Cheese will be coming as well,” Bucky stated.

“Of course! This will be like a honeymoon!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

Sighing wearily, Bucky said nothing. There was just no reaching some ponies.

Lifting his head, Lugus’ crest rose as he looked around the group. “This could be dangerous. Storm surges usually sweep in sea monsters, sea serpents, wyrms, all manner of awful things from the deep. With extensive flooding brought about by the storm, there is the chance that the area will become a place for these creatures to gather and feed.”

“Your input is noted,” Bucky said, looking pensive. “All the more reason to bring the Raptors and you. If there is trouble, it will need to be put down. How is their combat readiness?”

“They are dangerous with slings,” Lugus replied, his wide eyes focused on Bucky. “I would personally say they are a credible threat. Especially Loki.”

Reaching up, Bucky stroked his nasal bridge and closed his eye. He tried to gather his thoughts, tried to find ideas, tried to find something, anything that might help in this situation. He was about to wage war on a hurricane. If he couldn’t stop it, than he was at least going to save as many as he could from the aftermath.

“Master, I am coming with you,” Sunset Shimmer said in a soft voice.

Opening his eye, Bucky looked at his apprentice. “Thank you Minion.”

“This is what I am here for,” Sunset responded.

“I will have Lugnut and Spanner rig up winches on the decks. We can pull ponies up to aid the rescue efforts,” Belisama announced.

“Good idea, it will take some of the load off of the flying pegasi and earth ponies are plenty strong,” Rainbow Dash said, looking at Belisama.

“Lyra, as much as I would like to go, I think Bucky is right. We need to take care of things here. We have foals to look after, a business to run, and one very sick foal upstairs that needs care. Sunset Shimmer will not be here, and Derpy and Berry Punch are already looking after Thistle, who can do nothing to help herself right now,” Bon Bon said, looking somewhat guiltily around the room as she spoke.

“Okay ponies, we have a lot to do and no time to do it in. Time to pony up and get to work,” Rainbow Dash said, bouncing up and down with enthusiasm.

“We can’t just fly into a hurricane with winds like that, the ships will be ripped apart,” Sunset Shimmer said, looking around the room and then at Bucky.

“We fly above the storm. When we get there, I’ll try to figure out what we can do to stop it, if it can be stopped. if not…” Bucky paused, a pained expression upon his face, He closed his eye and rubbed his head with his right hoof.

“If not, we begin the relief efforts straight away and save as many lives as possible,” Sunset Shimmer stated. “Master does not look well. I will coordinate everything that needs to be done before we go. Rainbow Dash, help the griffons get The Albatross untethered and ready to go. Belisama, when you go and tell Lugnut and Spanner about the winches, also make sure to tell them to have the electrical cable ready to go so we can connect it to The Scorned Mare. Master, shall I ask Trixie to come?”

Lifting his head and opening his eye, Bucky looked at Sunset Shimmer. “Yes… Minion… do tell her that she is about to get a crash course on how to serve others.”

“Very well Master. I shall tell her at once,” Sunset Shimmer replied.

 

 

Moving about his office, Bucky gathered as many spider golems as he could. He wasn’t sure if they were quite ready for field deployment, but he was going to commit them anyway. A cloud of rotocopter golems moved about in a tight formation, awaiting his commands.

“You dirty little hooligans… some of you little vandals have left graffiti upon my walls! How could you! You sorry little glass imbeciles!” Bucky shouted, looking around at his creations.

 

.--. .-. .- .. ... . / - .... . / ... ..- -.

 

“Which one of you little jokers wrote this?” Bucky asked as he read the wall. He glared down at his creations. He watched as one single spider golem was shoved forward by his fellows, two little legs raised high as it pled for mercy.

“You… nice work. Good to see something thinking for itself,” Bucky said to the cowering creation as it stood trembling before him. Upon hearing Bucky’s words, the golem’s relief was visible as it began to dance about, kicking out its eight little legs in different directions as Bucky watched.

 

- .... . / .-.. --- .-. -.. / --- ..-. / .-- .. -. - . .-. / -.. --- . ... / -. --- - / .... .- ...- . / . -. --- ..- --. .... / .-.. . --. ...

 

“And this one… this one troubles me! I give you life! I give you consciousness! I give you a tiny bit of free will… and this is how you repay me? Bad humour?”

 

 

“I’ll be back soon,” Sentinel said, looking into Diamond Tiara’s blue eyes.

“Go do good things,” Diamond Tiara said in a sleepy voice. “You’ve been so good to me. I’m never going to forget this.” The foal closed her eyes and snuggled under her blankets. “I think I love you… you’re my special somepony.”

The colt began to blush furiously as both of his little sisters began to giggle. He nervously licked a fang, his tongue curling around the point. He gulped, turned to look at Dinky and Piña, and then he lowered his muzzle to Diamond Tiara’s ear. “You’re my special somepony as well.”

“We’ll look after her,” Dinky promised.

“And we’ll spend plenty of time talking about you,” Piña giggled.

His cheeks and ears blazing, Sentinel closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Sisters were so trying sometimes. He loved them both dearly, they were his world, his purpose in life, but they seemed to love to torment him.

 

 

“I have to go,” Ripple signed with her ears, her movements still rather clumsy. “But I wish I could stay,” she added, her ears twitching into different positions.

The donkey known as Bittersweet did not reply right away. She sat there, looking sad, looking a little worried, and then she leaned forward and kissed Ripple on the cheek.

“I am a lot like my father. I want to be with the ones I love, but my duties get in the way,” Ripple said, using ear language, her ears still moving about.

“You love me?” Bittersweet asked, her lips and her ears moving.

Nodding, Ripple blushed. “I’ve told you this before,” she signed.

“That felt more like crush-love,” Bittersweet responded, her lips and ears moving together in unison as she spoke her heart. “Things have changed a little.”

Things had changed. Little kisses on the cheek had been replaced by gropy grabby makeout sessions and sweaty petting that left them both breathless. There had been one very flustering encounter with both Bittersweet and Sparkler where Ripple had found herself tag teamed by a unicorn and a donkey. There had been that one moment where Bittersweet had stuffed her nose under Ripple’s tail and had herself a sniff, leaving Ripple’s wings sprung for almost twenty minutes from the sensation of a curious nose snuffling against her nethers.

“Be waiting for me when I come home,” Ripple signed, a pleading look upon her face.

 

 

With a slow careful movement, Belisama sheathed the curved officer’s sabre. The blade was as long as she was, but it was well balanced and light. She looked down at her cast, aware she could not get it too wet, and realised it might be a problem in this environment.

The griffoness didn’t care.

Belisama was determined to prove her worth.

“Please stay safe.”

Turning, Belisama looked at the kelpie she now called her friend.

“Please, please come home safe,” Thistle begged. “We've become so close. You’ve been so kind to me. So good to me. You scratch all of those places I can’t reach anymore. You read to me. You keep me company. We spend so much time talking,” Thistle said in a low worried voice.

“In all of my life I never thought I’d have a friend quite like you… in some ways you remind me of Bandua. Both of you are similar. Being with you is almost like having my sister back. Both of you are so kind and gentle,” Belisama responded, her crest rising. She strapped on her rucksack and her bandolier. She secured her sword to her back, making sure the straps were all carefully squared away.

Reaching up, she drew her sword in one fluid motion with her left talons, the curved blade slowly coming out of the sheath with a dull hiss. She gave the sword a twirl and then slid it back into the sheath.

“Bucky needed a wife that was more like him. Lyra would follow him into battle, but Lyra is crazy, not war-like. There is a difference. Derpy would gladly follow him into battle, and she has… there was a terrible battle not too long ago… but Derpy is a defender. She’s a protector. But you, you’re different.,” Thistle said as she watched Belisama prepare herself.

“How so?” Belisama questioned.

“You’re a killer,” Thistle whispered in a low voice.

“Only if I have to be,” Belisama stated in reply.

“Just like Bucky,” Thistle responded, offering a nod of her head.

“I finally have a good mate. He was my master, but he is now my mate. I am forcing myself to learn the difference and acknowledge the change. My kind finally have a worthy king. I… think I love him. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel such strong emotions. I’ve said I love him, because that is what one says about their mate. But lately, my feelings… my feelings are unknown. I would follow him into Tartarus if he needed me. I would do anything for him,” Belisama said, baring her heart to Thistle.

 

 

As Bucky began his final preparations and the ships were being loaded, a shadow fell over the farm. He looked up and saw an airship approaching, slowly descending, a more modern zeppelin design with the cabin directly below the gasbag rather than suspended.

Two figures came out of the side of the airship, graceful fliers, and they danced through the air with one another, rolling and diving as they made their way to the ground.

Tannis and Agnetha were a welcome sight.

The griffon landed first, the griffoness a moment later, and both tucked in their wings carefully as their claws flexed nervously in the grass. The pair watched the hustle and bustle all around them, and then Tannis finally looked at Bucky.

“I really hope that you weren’t planning on leaving without us,” Tannis said in an accusing tone. He lifted his talons and pointed one at Bucky, shaking it in a mock-lecturing manner.

“I’m being trained as a nurse. This will be good talons on learning for me,” Agnetha said as she stood at her husband’s side. “We’ve brought our flock. We have medical supplies. Princess Celestia wants to see what we can do on this mission of mercy.”

“Is there any more help to be had?” Bucky asked.

“Princess Celestia told me to tell you that most of our troops are currently deployed in other places because of a mutual assistance pact that some well meaning pony agreed to. She also said that it now becomes that well meaning pony’s responsibility to deal with this, since the well meaning pony plans to go there anyway,” Tannis said, his tail swishing.

“Princess Luna plans to send some lunar guard for night missions. She is recalling them from their patrol in the north. Something about hunting abominable snow monsters,” Agnetha said, passing along Luna’s message.

“Well, I must say, I am very relieved to see both of you,” Bucky said, honestly glad to see the two griffons.

 

 

“You know girls, I’m starting to have second thoughts.”

“Shut up Apple Bloom.”

“No… Scootaloo, I’m thinking Apple Bloom might be right. This was a bad idea.”

“Sweetie, we discussed this. We might get our cutie marks.”

“But Scootaloo, this was a bad idea.”

“No it wasn’t Apple Bloom, stowing away in the box with the blankets got us onboard.”

“Do you know what Rainbow Dash is going to do to you Scootaloo when she finds out?”

“She’ll be at home, in Ponyville, with Twilight and Flash. Mom and dad. Family. Those ponies. I’ll deal with the consequences when I go home. Now be quiet Sweetie Belle.”

“Rarity is going to kill me.”

“Don’t feel bad Sweetie Belle, I lied to get here. I lied to my big sister Applejack.”

“Shut up, both of you!”

“You girls talk too much.”

“Shut up Rumble!”

“Don’t tell me to shut up!”

“Don’t make me shut you up!”

“Rumble, Scootaloo, is this the best time to have a fight?”

“It wasn’t a serious fight.”

“Just being pegasi.”

“Brutes. Both of you are brutes.”

“Shut up snob!”

“Yeah! Snob!”

“That’s not nice.”

“Oh hush, numbskull.”

“Sweetie Belle… how could you?”

“Oh it’s all in good fun.”

“Hanging out in a box of blankets with three fillies. This is kinda awkwards. All three of you smell weird. And these blankets are dusty.”

“Colts smell weird… we fillies smell good.”

“That’s just not true. Have you smelled my sister’s farts?”

“Rumble, you beat up ponies when they talk about your sister!”

“It’s okay when I do it Scootaloo… I think they named her Cloudstreaker because she leaves skidmarks everywhere she sits.”

“That’s horrible!

-pherpth-

“Speaking of farts…”

“Bleh, that has to be a pegasus.”

“That’s tribalist!”

“It isn’t tribalist if its true!”

“Scootaloo, was that you?”

“No!”

“When can we get out of this box?”

“Not soon enough Rumble.”

 

 

 

 

 

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