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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The snow was almost coming down sideways. The Scorned Mare and The Albatross hovered low over the city, above the place where the devastation was the worst. Griffons and ponies were already hard at work digging out survivors. Bucky had unleashed his host of golems into the city, to crawl into nooks, crannies, and passages that others might be unable to explore. Sunset Shimmer had already started an enormous fire and ponies were crawling out from the debris as they realised that help had arrived.

Knowing more help was needed, Bucky began constructing more golems, massive bipedal brutes that could lift up fallen walls and collapsed roofs, shaping them from the readily available ice. Feeling strangely energised, Bucky placed a lot of power into the golems, he needed them to work hard and save ponies.

Loch Skimmer and Yew Wood both worked to lift the injured and the infirm aboard the deck of The Albatross where a group of griffons waited to get them indoors, get them warm, and look after their wounds as best as they knew how, with Bartleby coordinating the care of the passengers taken aboard.

Trixie and Sentinel worked with a group of griffons and ponies out on search and rescue, sending up flares when they found a survivor that needed help. She traveled within a globe of warmth, keeping the air around her warmed. Her group was growing as some of the survivors now worked to help those less fortunate. Sentinel used his echolocation to hunt for survivors, and his keen nose led the way to those still trapped.

Rarity and Coco worked together with Lugus and a team of griffons. Coco and Lugus used brute strength to pull away the rubble and lift away debris while Rarity used her magic to pull out those trapped beneath and she occasionally launched up a flare when she came across somepony too injured to help or to head off to a fire to get warm.

Even the littlest griffons, the cubs, helped out. When the injured or the infirm were ushered aboard, Magpie used the griffon cubs as personal heaters so the pony brought aboard had something to snuggle with and get warm. They brought comfort and a bit of cheer. Magpie moved among the wounded, trying to comfort them, and she took special care with the foals brought on board. Pegasi did not have a monopoly on strong feelings of motherhood.

Overhead, Rainbow Dash flew from group to group, doing what she did best, which was coordinate team efforts and keep the groups organised. She flew through the almost sideways falling snow and wind, leaving behind her a rainbow coloured contrail that make the snowflakes glitter in every colour imaginable. She watched for flares, kept an eye on trouble, and her keen eyes peered through the near white out conditions, able to see where most might be almost blind.

Ripple and her Raptors began to prowl the wreckage, the Raptors slipping into tight spaces and exploring for survivors. Branwen, an albino, was almost invisible in the snow. Flench, being rather rotund, pushed his way ahead through the snow, making a wide path for his fellows. Shaquah carried a small cask of high test whiskey upon her back, as nothing brought a pony back from near death frozen-in-the-snow quite like a good fiery single malt whiskey being poured down their throat.

Supervised by Lugnut and Spanner, four little stowaways operated a winch, slowly lowering goods and supplies down to the gathered ponies below, who then distributed them among the ponies standing around Sunset Shimmer’s fire. The work was taxing, somewhat painful, and it took all four of them working on the handle of the winch to make it work. Apple Bloom grunted, Rumble huffed and puffed, Sweetie Belle moaned, and Scootaloo gritted her teeth, all of them aware that they were making a difference.

 

 

It was getting close to noon when the snow let up just a little bit, now coming straight down rather than sideways, the wind dying down a bit and the wind chill easing off. The coordinated efforts were going well, the number of those saved had grown quite large, and many of the residents of Baltimare were now assisting in the relief effort themselves.

It was during this lull in the storm that a flock of pegasi flying in a tight formation came streaking through the sky, punching through the snow clouds and blazing across the city, streaming multi-coloured contrails behind them. They circled overhead, moving as one single unified swarm, and then made their way down to street level.

 

 

“Knight Major… Damn glad to see you,” Spitfire said as she shook snow and ice from her wings. “A little birdie told me that you might be needing some help. I’ve brought some friends. The Wonderbolts are here at your service. We also brought our rookies just in case we need expendables,” the flamboyant mare added, chuckling at her own joke, her eyes blazing with inner fire as she strutted around.

“Your help is most appreciated,” Bucky said, now beginning to feel weary after being awake for too long.

“All I ask for in return is a little help from you. I scratch your back, you scratch mine,” Spitfire said brashly. She studied Bucky, squinting with one eye. “I have almost a hundred pegasi with me, including our medics. Just tell us what to do.”

Grinning shrewdly, Bucky decided right away that he liked Spitfire. “You help me out here and I’ll be happy to help you out,” Bucky stated, smiling a fang filled smile. “Talk with Rainbow Dash. She’s our coordinator. I don’t know how she does it, but somehow she is keeping all of this organised. She’s incredible.”

“She’s one of our reservists,” Spitfire said in a proud tone. “Soarin! Go find Rainbow Dash! Everypony else, get ready to work! Consider this a flight training exercise!”

“We’re getting a lot of badly wounded. We’re trying to fly them off to a hospital that is high up on a hill. There’s a zeppelin up there somewhere nearby,” Bucky said, still studying Spitfire.

“Say no more. We can do it. I see a lot of flares,” Spitfire announced, peering through the snow. “Must be a lot of injured.” The brazen mare began to assess the situation, looking around, trying to see through the falling snow.

“We’re starting to dig down into the rubble. A lot of buildings collapsed. Too many buildings and not enough rescuers, even though quite a number of residents are now joining us,” Bucky said, looking worried. He shook some snow from his pelt, his long thick shaggy pelt now incredibly useful.

“Well, now you got some help. And something tells me that more help is on the way,” Spitfire said with a smile. “I’d better get busy before Rainbow Dash hogs all of the awesome. She’s a pain in the plot like that.”

 

 

Bucky was moving building to building, block by block, with The Scorned Mare overhead to assist in lifting away massive chunks of collapsed rubble. Right now, they were lifting away an entire concrete slab that was the side of a building. They heard voices inside calling out for help, and a rotocopter hovered over the rubble blinking frantically. He could only imagine the efforts of those working the winches, and he knew it must be miserable.

Nearby, a group of Wonderbolt cadets all worked together to lift away a section of roof covered in ice and snow, trying to reach the group of ponies trapped in the attic. Spitfire was screaming at them all, calling them a bunch of whiny milksops as she too tugged and pulled on the chains they had hooked into the edge of the roof.

There could be no doubt that Bucky liked Spitfire.

It was in the middle of all of this that a new sight coming down out of the clouds above caused a commotion. An airship descended, large, long, narrow, a beautiful delicate craft. Squinting through the snow, Bucky realised it was the royal yacht.

He broke away from his group after making sure they didn’t actually need his help and approached the yacht as it came down to street level. It hovered just above the snow, moving around slightly in the breeze, and a large panel opened in the side. A gangplank folded down and a large white figure came out that was difficult to see in the snow.

Princess Celestia was a welcome sight. She wore a long colourful scarf around her slender swan-like neck and a thick red and green fleecy vest was wrapped around her barrel. A rather long and ridiculous looking winter hat was perched atop her head, a large pom-pom dangling from the crown.

“Buckminster… you have done well. I must say, I am impressed,” Princess Celestia said cheerfully as she drew near. She lifted her head and looked around. “Oh my, you have been busy.”

Suddenly, Bucky knew why Celestia had done nothing to stop this. It was for the same reason why he couldn’t pacify the world. It would be a death sentence. Princess Celestia needed to know her subjects could pull together in times of crisis. She needed to know that her subjects could survive. She needed to know that she could trust them in times of trouble.

“Very clever, trading one disaster for another. I do believe this one is a bit more manageable,” Princess Celestia stated, looking proud. “For once, you used your head and look at all of the good that came from it,” she said in a low teasing voice.

As Bucky watched, a group of foals began to file out of the royal yacht. Some were little, some were larger, some were teenagers. Adults also began to file out. All were unicorns. They were all dressed up in a similar manner as Celestia. Fleecy vests, scarves, and silly winter hats.

“Come along students. Mind your teachers. We have a city to save. We have to follow the Lord of Winter’s example and use our magic for the greater good,” Celestia called out, her voice easily carrying over the wind. She lowered her head and kissed Buckminster on the cheek. “I am very pleased that you took responsibility for this. Sometimes, we have to deal with the consequences of our power. You have become powerful, make no mistake. Everything you do causes ripples. There will always be consequences and reactions. You have performed admirably here, and I am proud of you.”

“I had to do something,” Bucky said in a stunned voice.

“And you did do something. Something impressive. Your efforts have saved thousands. The city is coming together to deal with the disaster by the looks of it. You have provided a unique opportunity for my students to be field tested. And as I have previously stated, you have made me proud,” Princess Celestia said in a loving voice.

“Hi Bucky,” a cheerful voice chirped.

Squinting, Bucky saw Tourmaline. “Hello again Tourmaline,” Bucky greeted.

“I have to act proper. I’m gonna hug you later,” Tourmaline promised.

“Good filly… It is important to behave,” Bucky said, trying to sound as honest and as serious as possible. If Bon Bon was here, Bucky would be getting the stink eye and he knew it.

“I am going to hug you later,” Celestia gently corrected, looking at Tourmaline with a half smile. She turned to look at Bucky once more. “Luna is coming. She will be bringing the night relief. I brought some of the guard with me, but there isn’t many. I see the Wonderbolts have arrived.”

A crowd of ponies had gathered to gawk at Princess Celestia. The Sun Princess looked upon her subjects with adoration, her smile brightening their day. The regal alicorn lifted her head high and looked out over the crowd. A radiant glow emanated from her body. The feeling of fatigue and weariness present in the ponies around her dissipated as the glow revitalised their spirits.

“We must work hard and save those that we can,” Princess Celestia announced. “Do as the Lord of Winter bids you. Be kind and good to one another during this time of trouble. During the collapse, this city turned upon itself and the residents committed heinous acts of violence upon one another. Now is the time to amend for those past sins. Its is time to do what is right and for you to be the little ponies that I know that you can be!”

 

 

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