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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Yawning, tired even though he had gotten some sleep, Bucky stared out at his classroom full of students. An Introduction to Dangerous Magics. Dinky was here, so was Piña, Rumble, a little pegasus colt along with a few other pegasi, one griffon cub, and an assortment of unicorns, each student selected because of temperament, potential, and the ability to harness dangerous magics.

Driving all distractions from his mind, Bucky smiled at his students. “Who can tell me why this class has all three tribes represented and a griffon?” he asked and then stood in place looking hopeful.

Seeing Rumble raise his hoof, Bucky was glad that it wasn’t one of his own foals about to answer. “Rumble, if you please… tell the class the answer.”

Looking a little nervous, Rumble licked his lips and rubbed his two front hooves together while he sat at his desk. He cleared his throat once, then again, and then he sat up straight and held his head high. “A lot of ponies seem to think only unicorns have dangerous magic, but they forget that we pegasi can generate storms and the clouds reflect our moods. My sister Cloudstreaker over there is gifted with cloud seeding… she’s really good at making weather happen in a cloud. In the past the pegasi have used the weather as a weapon. As for Piña Colada being in this class, she has magic too… I’ve seen it and she can be dangerous. If she has it, then other earth ponies can have it too.”

Nodding in appreciation, Bucky looked at Rumble. “Very good Rumble. Each tribe has something they can bring to the table when it comes to offensive magic. So we have the means of generation… class… can we talk about types?”

Most of the class stared blankly at Bucky while Dinky and Piña squirmed in their seats. Both of them clearly had answers but wanted to give the others a shot. Bucky waited patiently, the class had barely started and they still had forty five minutes to go.

“Headmaster Mister Bitters?” Sweetie Belle asked as she shyly raised her hoof.

“Please, Sweetie Belle, call me ‘Bucky’ if you don’t mind,” Bucky replied as he looked at the unicorn filly that possessed a lot of destructive potential. All of the signs were there for those who knew what to look for.

“There are the usual spells… fireballs, lightning bolts, icicles and stuff. Um… and then there is telekinesis blasts-”

“Telekinetic blasts,” Bucky gently corrected.

“Yes telekinetic blasts… spells that cause a lot of hurt when you cast them which is why foals don’t cast those spells,” Sweetie Belle continued. Her awkwardness melted away and Sweetie Belle began to look pleased with herself when she realised she had answered well.

Turning away from the class and lifting a piece of chalk, Bucky wrote out the word ‘transmutation’ on the chalkboard behind him. Below it, he wrote the word ‘transmogrification’ and then he turned to look at the class.

“Not everything is big flashy destructive fireballs. Seemingly harmless magic can be the most dangerous. Subtle magics can be the most effective. Today class, we are going to have a demonstration.” Bucky patiently explained as he watched his class, looking for interest from the students… and saw that he had it.

“What is transmogrification?” a pegasus filly asked in a shy squeaky voice.

Grinning, Bucky turned to look at the filly. “Transmogrification is the application of hostile transmutation magics. It means to change or modify grotesquely. It is something I am personally gifted in… and would like to see a greater appreciation for, if you will forgive me for introducing my own biases to all of you.”

“I just want to see some magic,” Cloudstreaker stated, expressing her desire and interest openly. She looked over at her brother Rumble for a moment and and then she looked at Bucky.

Moving away from the chalkboard, Bucky moved towards the open space in the corner where protective wards had been placed upon the floor and a mass of safety precautions had been set up by Witching Hour and Tiddlywinks. “Today class, I am going to show you how bring your enemies low with a raincloud.”

“Flood them out? Hit them with thunder and lightning?” Rumble questioned excitedly, bouncing up and down in his chair behind his desk. “High winds?”

“None of those things,” replied Bucky as he began to chuckle. “This is a fairly simple spell. A well skilled type two might be able to cast this, provided they were dedicated, any type three of sufficient study should be able to cast this, if they studied enough, and once cast, any group of brave magically protected pegasi would be able to deliver these to a city, which would completely subdue it,” he explained as his horn began to glow with a bright blue-green light.

“This is harmony magic?” Sweetie Belle asked when she noted the glow of Bucky’s horn.

Nodding, Bucky said nothing in reply as a small cloud popped into existence in the corner. He cast a protective spell upon himself, shielding his nose, and then he began to cast the spell that would change the raincloud. With a loud -fwoosh- of magic, the cloud was forever altered.

A moment later, it began to rain and the classroom filled with an abominable stench.

“OH LUNA’S MOON IT’S RAINING SKUNK JUICE!” Rumble shouted as he vacated his desk and headed for the corner the farthest away from the cloud.

There was a stampede as the rest of the class joined him. They huddled in the corner together, gagging, holding their noses, and Sweetie Belle was squealing repeatedly in horror. Brought together by the powerful stench, the students had a unique chance to bond with one another as they each clung to one another in disgust.

“One unicorn could make a mass of these clouds, protect the noses of their pegasus allies, and then the pegasi could push these clouds over a city, which would in turn completely wreck the city. You will note that this is not a fireball, it is not bolts of lightning, but this is completely incapacitating,” Bucky said in a slow careful manner, delivering his lesson in a way that he hoped his students would understand.

“EEEEUGH! THE STINK! MY EYES ARE WATERING! I CAN’T BREATHE!” a little unicorn colt shouted.

“Well, we need a brave little pegasus volunteer… who wants to try and push the cloud away?” Bucky questioned as he looked at his class. “Surely somepony could fly up and push the clouds away from the city, right?”

“You need to be able to breathe and to see to fly,” Rumble responded as he held his fetlock clamped over his nose. “There’s no way that a pegasus could push those away.”

“Some might,” Bucky said in a low voice. “But most would succumb to the stench just like you have. A city held under these sorts of rainclouds would be helpless. I doubt most unicorns would be able to concentrate enough to cast spells. As for other species, well, they have noses. Diamond dogs would be especially vulnerable to this tactic.”

“This is why ponies call you a warlock,” Sweetie Belle squeaked as she held her nose and kept her eyes squeezed shut. “You take simple magics and make them bad! Real bad!”

Unable to help himself, a cackle escaped Bucky’s mouth. He spent several minutes uncontrollably cackling, chortling, and having a good laugh as his students reacted to the stink generating raincloud. After Bucky felt his point was made, he cast a dispersal spell at the cloud, causing it to vanish. He cast another spell upon the stink-water-puddle as well, which made it disappear. The foul smelling funk remained however.

“You don’t need dark magic or fireballs to be effective in a conflict. What you need, my students, is creativity. Something that all of you have shown. Each of you have an artistic bent, a natural aptitude for destruction…” He paused and looked at Sweetie Belle for a long moment with a pleased smile upon his lips. “...and each of you in your own way have caused mayhem with pranks or have been in trouble for your agression. These are assets. These are not negative traits. I, and others, will mold these talents for mayhem into something worthy. You are valuable to Equestria’s future. And I am trusting each and every one of you to protect your fellows.... your peers… if at any time you use what you learn in this class for bullying, or bring harm to others, you will be expelled from class and will face disciplinary action…” He paused once more and glared at Rumble meaningfully. The colt, getting the message, gulped and stared down at the floor guiltily. “...and you will not like that disciplinary action, trust me. So be good defenders. Be good protectors. You are going to be trusted with extraordinary knowledge with dangerous applications. Do not disappoint me. Now… who has some questions before we move on to our next display?”

 

 

Hearing the sounds of crying, but not the sounds of a pony crying, Cheerilee’s ears perked. Four days into the school being opened and many were still adjusting, some were quite emotional. The school was mostly quiet… the halls were mostly empty. It was lunchtime, and most of the students were in the cafeteria. She paced the hall, listening carefully for the sounds of crying.

It didn’t take long to find what Cheerilee was looking for.

In a quiet little nook where a student could sit and study, Cheerilee found a sobbing pup. She approached cautiously, slowly, still unused to being around diamond dogs, and she gently touched the sobbing little pup with her hoof.

“Why are you crying?” Cheerilee asked in a soft gentle voice, a voice she had used so many times to gain confidence and find out what the source of so many hurts. Her voice was a weapon against pain, and her gentleness was a balm certain to soothe. “What is your name?”

The pup lifted his head and looked at Cheerilee, and there were few things sadder looking than a crying diamond dog puppy. She felt her heart ache as she looked at the pup, and, saying nothing, she eased herself into the chair with him and pulled him close in a hug.

“Tell me what’s wrong,” Cheerilee whispered as she gave the pup a reassuring squeeze.

Sniffling, the pup wiped his nose with his paw. “Everyone is scared of me,” he whimpered in a low whine. “I just want to be a good dog… I’ve always been a good dog.”

“I’m sure being a good dog is important for you… I guess you are aware that there are a lot of bad dogs. I guess you think that the students in this school are worried that you might be a bad dog?” Cheerilee questioned, trying to find the source of hurt. “Want to tell me your name?”

“My name is Growler… of Clan Dachshund. We’ve always been good dogs. We protect the good ponies of Germaney,” Growler answered as he wrapped his short stubby forelegs around Cheerilee and held on to her tightly.

“Have any students been mean to you?” Cheerilee asked in a soft voice as she stroked the oddly proportioned pup affectionately.

The pup shook his head and sniffled in reply.

“But you think they’re afraid of you?” Cheerilee asked.

“None of them want to play with me. They look at me and my fellows funny. Blitz tells me I’m overreacting and I’m too soft,” Growler murmured.

“I see,” Cheerilee said in a soothing whisper. “I think what we have here is a sensitive little soul in need in some special attention. I know exactly what you need to show everypony… er, everyone that you are a good dog.”

“You do?” Growler asked as he wiped his snout with his paw.

“I do. Can you come with me?” Cheerilee responded as she smiled down at Growler.

“Yes,” Growler replied as he sniffled.

“Follow me,” Cheerilee instructed as she slipped out of the chair and stood waiting.

When Growler hit the floor, Cheerilee took off down the hall at a slow trot with the long bodied diamond dog pup following along behind her. Growler shyly peered around as he followed after the earth pony mare. They made their way down the school hallway together, past a window and a sunny patch of tile floor, past many classroom doors, heading towards the school cafeteria. Finally, they came to a room and Cheerilee stood waiting at the door.

“Come on little one, right through here,” Cheerilee instructed as she pushed open the door and stepped inside.

Inside the small break room was a small pale green filly with a sunny yellow mane at a small table, eating lunch from her tray. She lifted her head, looking panicked, her eyes blinked, and her ears perked in attention.

“Sorry Sweet Pea… it is just me, Cheerilee,” the earth pony mare announced.

“Somepony else is with you,” Sweet Pea stated.

“Yes Sweet Pea, there is. Somedoggy,” Cheerilee said in a soft voice as she approached the table and made a gesture for Growler to approach.

“Doggy?” Sweet Pea asked as she cocked her head off to one side and listened.

“Growler, this is Sweet Pea. Sweet Pea, this is Growler. He’s a diamond dog,” Cheerilee said, making an introduction between the pair. “Growler, Sweet Pea is one of the refugee orphans. She has been moved here to the school, to live here in one of the towers. She’s blind. We’re trying to help her so she can be educated.”

Growler bashfully hid behind Cheerilee’s hind legs and then cautiously peered out to look at the earth pony foal. He wrapped one foreleg around Cheerilee’s hind leg and squeezed nervously.

“I think I see a way that you can show everyone that you are a good dog,” Cheerilee stated as she felt Growler clinging tightly to her hind leg. “Do you think you can help her get around? I can arrange it so that both of you will be in all of the same classes together.”

Growler whimpered but made no reply.

“Sweet Pea is very kind… the teachers have to make sure she is looked after and that someone shows her to her classes. Growler, you could help us… make sure she is walked to school from her tower, see that she is brought to all of her classes, make sure she gets her lunch, if you did this, everyone would see you being a good dog,” Cheerilee said in a low soft voice.

Moving away from the table, Sweet Pea cautiously moved towards Cheerilee, taking slow halting steps while she paused to feel around with one front  hoof extended in between steps. Cheerilee nudged the foal once she came within reach, and then gently scooted her towards Growler.

Sweet Pea immediately latched on to Growler and began feeling him all over, while Growler whimpered and squirmed. Cheerilee watched as the blind earth pony filly grabbingly groped and examined the diamond dog puppy.

“You have a long body,” Sweet Pea observed.

“I’m funny looking, even by dog standards,” Growler whispered.

“Lunch is almost over,” Cheerilee observed. “Sweet Pea needs to go to class soonish. Tell me Growler, what is your next class?”

“Literature,” Growler replied as Sweet Pea continued to prod him with one front leg.

“Take Sweet Pea with you to your literature class. See that she is read to. Tell Mister Chips that I sent Sweet Pea with you,” Cheerilee instructed in a patient voice.

“Okay,” Growler replied as Sweet Pea pulled him into a hug and squeezed him hard enough to make his eyes bulge.

“After class, do you think you can keep helping Sweet Pea? I’ll check up on you after class and see how both of you are doing,” Cheerilee said as she beamed at Growler.

“I can help,” Growler responded as his tail wagged slightly.

“Good dog,” Cheerilee praised, taking note that the words made Growler look much happier. “When everyone sees you helping Sweet Pea, everyone will know that you are a good dog and no one will fear you or be afraid of you. And I know that Blitz will be proud of you… the dog clans of Germaney pride themselves on service… now you protect Sweet Pea. Help her with her school work. Be her friend. She’s blind, which means she needs to trust you. Never let her come to harm.”

“Okay,” Growler replied as a grin overtook his face.

“You’re a nice doggy,” Sweet Pea said as she gave Growler another squeeze.

“You two are adorable together. Now off you go. I’ll see that the tray is taken care of. I’ll let everyone know that you are her noble protector Growler. Now off with both of you,” Cheerilee said in a mirth filled and joyous voice.

 

 

 

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