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 buffalo want nothing in return for their sand… they’re kinda happy that somepony thinks their sand is valuable… they say the sand is special,” Longhaul Hoofer said in a long slow drawl as he pushed his hat back upon his head.

Nodding, Bucky could feel the trace residual magic radiating from the sand in the wooden barrel. He suspected that the sand was sitting over a major ley line down in that area. He smiled slowly, feeling very relaxed and pleasant. Not exactly drunk, just very… slowed down.

“They say that those who sleep in this sand have strange dreams and see the future. The plants that grow in that part of the desert are strange too… there are magical cactuses that’ll shoot needles at you and trees that will walk from one place with water underground to the next,” Longhaul said in conversational tones.

“Neat… I need to go visit,” Bucky replied as he peered at the sand. He was feeling some kind of weird feeling but he wasn’t sure if it was from the sand or what he drank. Fluttershy warned him that the cannabis plant would make him feel strangely, and mentioned that she frequently ate it cooked in her foods to ease her anxiety. “Must visit the wise buffalo… and maybe sleep in their sand to share their visions.”

Bucky suddenly felt a strange urge to learn how to knit from Fluttershy and he didn’t know why. He also felt rather hungry.

“I’ll be back in a while once the sand is unloaded and the booze is loaded up and ready to go,” Longhaul announced in an Appleloosan accent. “I’m off to have me a good look around Ponyville… I like it here. Nice place to visit, not sure I would want to live here though.”

“Go have a nice time… I’ll take care of the sand and load up the wagon,” Bucky responded in a distracted sounding voice. “And maybe I’ll go visit Bon Bon and eat her chocolate.”

 

 

Sitting down at a long table, Princess Celestia found that she prefered diplomacy over tea and cakes. It was her favourite battlefield, the one she understood the best, and it was the battlefield where she got to show the side of her that she earnestly wanted the world to see.

Across from her was a representative of Minos, a diplomat named Ferdinand.

“I understand that you are one of the heads of a merchant guild,” Princess Celestia said in a low voice as she watched her guest carefully nibbling upon a tiny cake. “Specifically, a guild that deals with overseas investors. You deal with transactions… and lending, I do believe. A banker. Equestria is still rebuilding our economy… bankers are always welcomed.”

“Yes we do your Grace,” Ferdinand responded after he swallowed. “And we would love to be business partners with you. You have things we want… we would love to help you grow your economy.”

“I also understand that you lost your wife in Labyrinthia,” Princess Celestia stated in an apologetic sounding voice. “I offer you my most sincere condolences. Also, please, just call me Celestia… It is my desire that we are friends.”

“The marriage was a corporate merger of sorts. I was fond of her. We were friends. I suppose it makes it easier on me to view it as a business deal,” Ferdinand responded after he wiped his mouth. He carefully picked up his teacup in his massive hands and held the tiny cup carefully. “I would like for our empires to be friends… the rebels are a minority… most of us minotaurs just want to conduct business and make money… the rebels want a return to the old way… to restore the old monarchy, rebuild the slave markets, and to restore the mercenary guilds. The guns have reawakened something which should have remained in slumber.”

“Which concerns me a great deal,” Princess Celestia said she held a teacup in front of her snoot. The alicorn allowed herself a small pouty frown and then watched for a reaction.

“The new gun designs make some of the minotaurs believe that we can restore ourselves to prominence again as a conquering empire… they don’t believe in market domination, or financial domination, they want bloody conquest once more,” Ferdinand explained after he took a swallow of tea. His expression became somewhat strained and concerned. “Paying a body for labour doesn’t have the same sort of financial returns as keeping slaves and a lot of minotaurs feel that having to pay a wage to common labourers is an offense to their bottom lines.”

“But you do not feel this way,” Celestia remarked as she peered down her muzzle at Ferdinand. The minotaur was visibly unnerved and this made Celestia happy. He wasn’t just offering lip service, he seemed genuinely bothered by the events that were going on and Celestia felt reassured about her decision.

“No… no your Majesty, slavery disgusts me… I believe in a free market, the operative word being ‘free’ in all literal meanings. Paid labourers mean more buyers for goods, which means a larger market for all, not just the wealthy and the privileged,” Ferdinand replied in a nervous voice. “Which is why I am here… to plead for my fellow minotaurs… we want the rebels gone… we can’t fight them. We want nothing to do with guns or violence. We are merchants… if you help us, if you can rid of us these rebels, we will offer you our goods tariff free. We will open our markets and make everything available to you… and the other heads of the guilds are willing to sign a mutual assistance pact… all we ask is for the same treatment as the Sea of Grass. We are already brokering a deal with them… all of this conflict is bad for global markets.”

Smiling, Celestia’s ears perked forward. “Do not worry my dear friend Ferdinand. I have every intention of helping you. I already made up my mind before meeting you actually. Equestria is going to help you with the rebels. Afterwards, Equestria, the Sea of Grass, and the Old World Alliance, specifically, Fancy, which borders your nation, will help you rebuild. We will shelter your citizens. We will provide building supplies. It will be a struggle, but we will see you through it.”

“And what do you want in return?” Ferdinand asked, his eyes narrowing as he peered at Celestia, concern growing upon his face.

“A stable global economy, free markets, and peace. I have already drawn up the treaties. You may view them. I think you will find the terms quite favourable. There is more we need to discuss, but we face a global threat, which I believe you were informed of this morning,” Princess Celestia replied in a warm gracious voice.

“Yes… the mirror travelers as you call them,” Ferdinand responded.

“All we ask in return is the ability to move our agents freely inside of your borders to root them out and maintain global security. A very reasonable request,” Princess Celestia remarked as after the swallowed a sip of tea.

“Done. We will do whatever we can to assist you in your fight against the mirror travelers if they become a larger threat. I look forward to a new era of peace and prosperity between our nations,” Ferdinand said as a look of relief settled over his face.

“Already we are mobilising help. An army of bocors, witch doctors, are traveling from the Sea of Grass… Fancy is organising as much help as it can. When the camps are liberated, your citizens will be given the best possible care. Winter is coming and we will do everything we can to help you. We look after our friends,” Princess Celestia said in a reassuring voice.

 

 

“Oooh hoo hoo laddy, we’re gonna make a fortune off of this stuff… heh… I’m feeling young again,” Barley said to himself as he pondered the new brew the brewery would be working on. “I feel as giddy as a young colt that’s just discovered that place on a filly where he can keep his noodle warm and wet… cause a warm wet noodle is a happy noodle.”

“Barley!” Berry Punch shouted from the other room. “What has come over you?”

“Hah! Fer once, I’m feeling young enough to be on top… and have something cum under me!” Barley quipped. The old stallion chortled as he moved about the brewery with a spring in his step.

“Berry! I’ve fallen down and the ceiling is very interesting… the grain of the wood is very pretty!” Bucky shouted from the back room.

Feeling worried, Berry Punch trotted to the back room and found Bucky laying on his back, staring serenely up at the ceiling. He was smiling and waving his talons in front of his face while flexing his talons.

“Are you drunk?” Berry asked bluntly as she looked down at her fallen husband.

“Are you sexy?” Bucky replied as he looked up at his standing wife, envying her ability to remain upright ever so slightly.  

Reaching out with her hoof, Berry Punch prodded Bucky. “Cast a spell and sober up,”  she demanded. “We have a lot of work to do.”

“I can’t sober up… I’m not as thrunk as you dink I am,” Bucky mumbled as he looked up at Berry Punch. “You… you are a very pretty pony… have I ever told you that?”

Unable to help herself, Berry Punch giggled coyly. “Bucky, sober up,” she repeated.

“I can’t. I can’t. You don’t understand. Fluttershy gave me some cannabis to put in the beer… it is related to the hops plant… the little buds had a lovely toasty flavour… I ate almost a dozen buds to get a taste for them and then I added about four ounces of Fluttershy’s special medicinal herbs to a one gallon test brew I made in a spell bubble, and the second batch used almost six ounces for a gallon because I was trying to see how it would affect the flavours… Barley and I drank both gallons… and now I can feel my mane growing… really,” Bucky rambled, his words slurring slightly.

“Bucky! What are you doing with Fluttershy’s medicinal herbs? She uses that stuff to sedate Harry the Bear when she has to give him spinal alignments!” Berry Punch exclaimed.

“She also uses it to relieve her social anxiety… she said she uses about two to three grams in her special cakes… I didn’t know how much to add to the beer…” Bucky’s words trailed off and the stallion began to giggle as he looked up at Berry Punch. “You’re gonna have my foals!” he shouted and then began to laugh riotously.

Berry Punch facehoofed, grunted, poked Bucky, and then facehoofed again. “This stuff will even lay a unicorn low… good job Bucky… I don’t know if you’ve created better beer or a new weapon on the dreaded state of sobriety. Look, you just lay there and try to wait this out.”

“Come here Berry… I love you… I love you so much… I love you because you are an earth pony and I really love earth ponies… there is a lot to love about earth ponies… did you know that you and Bon Bon keep me grounded? Get it? Grounded…” Bucky’s words trailed off into giggles as he reached out both of his forelegs towards Berry Punch. “You kept me alive on the Shetlands Berry… you don’t even know it… but all that time spent together in the brewery there with you… all those times you comforted me… I thought about killing myself to make it end Berry… I’m ashamed to admit it, but it crossed my mind… but you kept me going,” Bucky babbled, the filter that existed between his mouth and his brain now completely gone. “You’re having my foals and that’s like the nicest thing you could ever do for me… and I can’t ever thank you enough for doing that… I owe you so much and I love you-mmph-”

Leaning her head down, Berry Punch ended Bucky’s ravings with a kiss, pressing her muzzle into Bucky’s and kissing him forcefully as she stepped over him. She felt Bucky grasp her head in between his front hoof and his talons. She felt her knees go weak as her lips parted and she felt his tongue carefully seeking hers. Almost involuntarily, she felt her tail swishing from side to side, her dock tensed, and it became difficult to keep her tail down.

Finally, Berry Punch pulled away, gasping for air.

 

 

 

 

 

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