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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“It feels funny seeing you as a griffon,” Belisama confessed in a low voice as she sidled up closer to Bucky. “You’re handsome.”

Feeling his crest rise, Bucky turned to look at the griffoness at his side. “Thank you.”

“So… is this body functional?” Belisama peeped through her closed beak.

Reaching out a wing, he wrapped it around the griffoness and pulled her closer. “In every way imaginable. But I can’t kiss you in this body. Feels funny not having lips… also… I do not have barbs,” he said as he tucked his head down towards Belisama and began to preen her neck feathers.

“Could we have cubs with this body?” Belisama inquired as she allowed Bucky to preen her feathers, trusting his razor sharp beak against her throat. She felt a prickle of fear, but she held it back.

“They’d still be crossbreeds. Hippogriffs. Feels funny to talk deep down in my throat and not use my beak for speaking,” Bucky replied as he carefully smoothed out a ruffled feather on Belisama’s neck.

“Good… I fell in love with a pony. While I find this body attractive, I think I’d rather be with the real you. The pony that saved me. That is who I want my cubs to take after.” Belisama admitted as she felt her tail twitch from side to side. “But this could be fun to play with sometimes.”

“I have weak back legs… but really strong wings… or so Surprise tells me. Funny how magic and shapeshifting work,” Bucky remarked as he watched a group of griffons stretching.

“You are a swift flier. You need to tuck your legs in more though. When they hang like that, it creates a lot of drag. Pull them in and tuck them against your body more,” Belisama instructed, giving Bucky advice on how to be a better griffon.

“I can feel the wind tugging on my scrotum,” Bucky bluntly remarked.

Blinking up at her mate, Belisama sighed. “I don’t have one of those. I have no advice.”

 

 

“Hi Shiny,” Tourmaline said as she crawled up onto the sofa beside the moody white stallion, her own jet black pelt standing out in sharp contrast. “I can feel your sadness.”

A pained moan escaping his lips, Shining Armor closed his eyes for a moment and rubbed his head with one front hoof. “I know you can Tourmaline and I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay to be sad,” Tourmaline said as she wrapped her forelegs around Shining Armor’s neck and collapsed against his body, sprawling out over his back and laying down on top of him. She pressed the side of her face into Shining Armor’s mane and gave a nuzzle.

“Do you know how special you are?” Shining Armor whispered as he felt the foal settle across his back. A part of him was fearful of changelings after what had happened, but the rest of him ignored that part. This was Tourmaline. She was perhaps every bit as gentle as Fluttershy, and Shining Armor knew this.

“I don’t like feeling pain,” Tourmaline replied as she rubbed her foreleg against the side of Shining Armor’s neck. “It bothers me… it hurts me deep inside where I can’t reach.”

Closing his eyes, Shining Armor settled his head down upon the arm of the sofa and took a deep breath. Try as he might, he could not stop the tears once they started to fall, and he could feel Tourmaline start to cry with him. Somehow, having her so close made it okay. The floodgates opened and everything he had been holding back began to pour out. He was no longer in Canterlot, he no longer had to keep a brave face, he was just a heartbroken and grieving stallion laying on a couch that was inside of a farmhouse, cuddling with a changeling disguised as a pony.

 

 

Grinning nervously and unable to stand still, Rainbow Dash watched as Pound and Pumpkin began to explore the nursery and meet their new playmates. Pound, always the brave one, or so Rainbow Dash had been warned, roamed about on wobbly legs, his sister Pumpkin just behind him.

On a quilt spread over the center of the floor, Harper, Peekaboo, and Cadance watched the newcomers. Harper was sitting up, Peekaboo was standing, and Cadance was content to lay on her back and look off to the side.

“I was given a long list of instructions and because I didn’t want to mess this up, I had them write them all down,” Rainbow Dash announced to Derpy. “Twilight told me to try that, otherwise I might have messed up right there. I love Twilight for how she is. Anyhow, Pound and Pumpkin are almost potty trained already. Pound is still having accidents and Pumpkin only sometimes has accidents, and if she does, she freaks out about it until she can get a bath and be made to feel better about it. They’re good eaters, but Pumpkin will only eat her food if it is warm and Pound will only eat cold stuff. Pound has to get ear drops every few hours otherwise he’ll start to cry and his balance will go all wrong. Inner ear infection. The drops burn a little so I’ve been warned to prepare for a struggle.”

“That sounds pretty normal,” Derpy acknowledged as she smiled down at the foals upon the floor.

“So I guess I’ll be sleeping in the nursery with them all?” Rainbow Dash asked as she looked around the room. “This is a nice nursery… this makes me feel all… I dunno inside.”

“Rainbow Dash… I have to ask… what about all of your hopes and dreams about being a Wonderbolt?” Derpy questioned as she gave Rainbow Dash a poke with her hoof. “Being a mother makes a lot of demands upon your time.”

“Oh that… I have a trainer lined up already. Surprise. She’s still a Wonderbolt after her pregnancy… just a bit more hard work than usual. Twi has already promised to look after the foal when I can’t. We’re both gonna nurse. I really want this… just as much as being a Wonderbolt… and darn it all, I will have both,” Rainbow Dash replied as a fierce look of determination settled over her face.

Using her snoot, Peekaboo pushed a large green and yellow ball towards Pound, who stopped to watch it roll towards him. Extending his neck, Pound nosed it back, sending it rolling towards Peekaboo, who giggled and then gave it a good whack with her front hoof, sending it skittering back towards Pound, who was all too happy to give it a good pounding.

“They’re playing!” Rainbow Dash cried out excitedly.

Derpy nodded. “Foals do that if left alone with one another for a few minutes.”

Breaking away from her brother, Pumpkin approached Derpy in an unsteady trot, sat down at Derpy’s front hooves, pointed at the bookcase on the far wall, and blinked a few times. “Story?” the foal asked in a small shy sounding voice.

“I can read you a book,” Rainbow Dash offered.

The little unicorn filly known as Pumpkin began to clop her front hooves together and looked pleased. She looked up at Derpy, then up at Rainbow Dash, and then she began to burble happily, blowing spit bubbles while bouncing up and down in place.

 

 

Secure in his cubby under the stairs, Sentinel took a deep breath. There were too many fillies in the house. His sisters, Dinky and Piña. Diamond Tiara, Tourmaline, Glass Slipper, and Twist. Opening his book, Sentinel returned to the spot he left off, shivering when he started to read the words.

Sombra, always looking for some way to increase his power and make himself a more effective warrior, sought ascension. It was an obsession that both he and his brother Star Swirl shared. Sombra worked towards the goal using brute force and eventually dark magic, while his brother Star Swirl sought to unlock the secrets of the alicorns by changing destiny.

Both destiny and fate could be changed, through magic anything was possible.

One brother stayed within the light, doing what was right and good, while the other took a pragmatic approach, doing what was effective and necessary. Star Swirl gained power slowly but steadily, locked away in his tower and forsaking almost all contact with others, while Sombra marched upon the enemies of Equestria, growing in power by using the battlefield as his laboratory.

Turning the page, Sentinel felt a twinge of pity for Sombra.

Scanning the page, he saw a section of footnotes at the bottom and the title of the subsection made a feeling of cold fear travel down his spine. He felt his testicles pull up into his body and his dock turned into a chunk of ice.

The Origin of the Vampire.

Sombra, the book said, always hungry for more power, merged with shadow, bound himself to darkness, and over time, learned to feed off of the life force of others to sustain his own life. It was at this point in Sombra’s life that the Royal Pony Sisters knew that they had lost him, and began to move against him. Battlefields became feeding grounds, places were Sombra gained strength. He became war.Sombra passed his dark curse on to those most loyal to him, allowing them to feed upon the life force of others to heal their bodies, restore their magic, and extend their own lives unnaturally.

For a moment, Sentinel thought of the shadow wolves and how they could drain the life force from their victims, leaving behind a grey husk. Steeling his nerve, he kept reading.

Especially vulnerable were the unicorns, which from what Sentinel read, Sombra was fond of drinking. Through a process the book called parasitical thaumaturgical transfer, Sombra would sink his fangs into the necks of unicorns, tap into the thaumaturgical glands found therein, thus tapping into the thaumaturgical system, and then using foul shadow magics, drain all of the liquid mana from the thaumaturgical system. The process drained life from unicorns and gave life to Sombra. On the battlefield, Sombra would move from victim to victim, draining, drinking blood and mana, growing strong, each bite bringing him closer towards some terrible ascension, but into what was unknown. All ponies and most other sapient species had some magic in them, the magic in the blood could be drawn in by drinking it, drawing it in through shadow essence.

Trembling, Sentinel kept reading, his teeth nearly chattering. One sentence in particular chilled him to the bone and made his colt bits shrivel up deep inside of him. Suddenly, more than anything, he wanted to feel Diamond Tiara’s warm body against him as he could no longer bear the agonising cold he felt.

All those touched and changed by Sombra’s dark shadow bear this dark curse…

Gritting his teeth together to keep them from chattering, Sentinel thought of his father. After the dream, his father had changed. The slitted eyes. The fangs. The sudden need to feast upon flesh. His father’s constant need for warmth from living things, the need to be near warm bodies… and perhaps the most disturbing thing of all, his father’s need to suckle milk from a living breathing warm body. Shaking his head, Sentinel tried to force the thought from his mind. There was no way his father was substituting milk for blood.

Was he?

Turning the page, Sentinel saw a scrap of paper tucked in between the pages. The ivory coloured parchment was folded over. Using umbrakinesis, he grabbed the paper in shadowstuff, pulled it out of the book, and carefully opened it.

“And now you understand one of the many burdens your father carries. Be strong Sentinel. We will talk about this later. Much love, Luna,” Sentinel read aloud in a whisper as his eyes took in the beautifully written words. His concentration broken, the paper fell down to the pages of the book, trailing wisps of shadowstuff.

Slamming the book shut, Sentinel scrambled free from his hiding spot beneath the stairs, deciding that he needed some time near a warm body himself, the cold he felt had become too much to bear.

 

 

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