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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“I finally got him into the bed and got him to let go of me,” Derpy grumbled as she emerged into the kitchen, looking flustered and out of sorts. “He wouldn’t stop giggling or trying to kiss me while he was groping me. Said he loved my eyes and said thank you to me for having his foals. Then he got interested in Thistle and let go of me. When I left, he was talking to Thistle’s belly.”

“Fluttershy said that you can’t get hurt from her medicinal herbs, she and Zecora share a good working knowledge of the stuff, but Bucky is going to be wasted for at least a day to a day and a half,” Berry said as she looked at Derpy. “At least Barley only drank a little. Bucky ate a dozen buds and drank the elixir of stupidity he crafted. Fluttershy said just one bud put into her special calming cakes will leave you doped up all day long.”

“He is like a griffon that has discovered nepeta cataria,” Belisama remarked as she began to chuckle.

“That’s catnip,” Semillon said from her place by the stove. “Does that really affect griffons?” she asked as she turned to look at Belisama.

“Yes. Catnip affects us greatly. Sniffing it or eating it makes us giddy,” Belisama answered. “Many griffons like to brew it in tea and drink it.”

“Note to self, catnip beer,” Berry Punch commented in a low voice.

“Have a hunger. Send hummus!” Bucky’s voice suddenly announced in the kitchen, coming from seemingly nowhere. “Also, send that sauce made from cucumbers, yogurt, and mint. Serve with crackers. Thank you!”

A moment later, there was a shrill equine squeal, a squeaky titter, another squeal, and then raucous laughter that was certainly Bucky’s.

“Oh… I forgot to kill off the projection spell… whoops… back to eating dessert before I eat dinner,” Bucky’s voice said as Thistle could be heard breathing heavily and coquettishly giggling in the background.

There was a faint pop and a few sparks as the spell died.

“Our husband, the Lord of Winter,” Berry Punch quipped in deadpan. “He’s getting a chance to relax and blow off steam. This is good for him,” the earth pony said in a patient voice. She looked at Derpy. “All of the pressure and nearly losing Sunset was hard on him. I don’t mind him acting like a foal I guess.”

Sighing, Derpy nodded.

“Anyhow, I am going to spend some time with Cadance, Harper, and Peekaboo,” Berry Punch announced as she departed the kitchen.

 

 

Looking at Diamond Tiara, Sentinel heaved a sigh and continued to stare forlornly as the pink earth pony filly did her homework. He held a pencil in between his thumb and central knuckle, which darted down to the paper in front of him, slashing and drawing fine lines as he slowly recreated Diamond Tiara’s image.

“I’ll be moving in with Rarity and Coco after Nightmare Night,” Diamond Tiara remarked as she hunched over her paper. She peered through her glasses at the fine print and she read a paragraph about how electricity functioned.

“Looking forward to meeting your brother?” Sentinel questioned as he studied Diamond Tiara’s scrunched muzzle. “I’m going to miss you when you're gone,” he confessed in a such a low whisper that he wasn’t sure if Diamond Tiara even heard him.

Shrugging, Diamond Tiara looked up from her homework. “I don’t know how I feel about that to be honest. I plan to be nice to him and to get to know him… but to be honest, I can’t figure out how I feel. I just feel sort of empty inside lately. I think it is the drugs.”

Expressing his emotions through his scribbles, Sentinel peered carefully at Diamond Tiara’s ears. “You’re getting better. The drug dosages are going down,” he said in a reassuring voice. He flicked his pencil just so… Diamond Tiara had a little patch of pelt that went in the wrong direction at the base of the opening on her left ear, which gave her a little fluffy tuft of protruding pink hair. It had tickled his snoot earlier, and had nearly caused him to sneeze.

“Please tell me that you are not drawing me with glasses,” Diamond Tiara said in a pleading voice.

“Okay… I am not drawing you with glasses,” Sentinel replied as he carefully sketched the temple of her eyeglasses near her ear.

“Ugh!” Diamond Tiara huffed as she rolled her eyes. “You’ve developed this sense of humour lately… I just don’t know about you sometimes.”

Blinking, Sentinel looked skyward for a moment. “I don’t know about myself sometimes.”

“You know, you’re one to talk… you can’t see in the daylight and you’re always squinting. Where are your glasses? Or goggles? Or something to protect your eyes?” Diamond Tiara retorted in an irritated voice.

His eyes narrowing, Sentinel leveled his gaze upon Diamond Tiara. “That’s… that’s different,” he stammered defensively.

“Do tell Sentinel… do tell me how your eye troubles are different than me being farsighted and needing glasses to see anything up close?” Diamond Tiara questioned in a tone of sarcastic inquiry as she grinned a lopsided grin. “You know, maybe ponies would think you were friendlier if you weren’t squinting all of the time and making faces while you were trying to see.”

Cringing, Sentinel knew that he had just been vanquished by a filly.

 

 

“I’m going to be gone for a while,” Scorch announced as he moved around the shop, moving a massive pile of steel ingots in his telekinesis field. “I have to go deal with some… some… some children of mine that have left me very angry,” he explained.

“Children?” Rising Star questioned as he carefully gave shape to a helmet.

Snorting, his earth pony form stomping, Scorch dumped the ingots and then turned to face Rising Star. “My children! The minotaurs I raised up from being primitive savages. I taught them engineering! I taught them the secrets of stone and stone construction. I taught them metallurgy! I gave them the gift of civilisation... and look at how they are acting! Barbarous SAVAGES!” he shouted in a voice that shook the entire foundry. “Death camps,” Scorch hissed.

“I suppose your children have been naughty indeed if their god is now angry enough to go and deal with them face to face,” Rising Star stated as he carefully shaped the hole that a unicorn’s horn would go through.

“I try to be benevolent. I try to be a good and fair being. I try to reward those that are worthy, I try to be kind. I am by all accounts a fair ruler over my own plane in Tartarus. Celestia remembers me fondly as her nanny… what am I to do when my own children have done something so reprehensible that it makes me… me physically ill?” Scorch responded as his form shifted and he became a pegasus with flaming wings.

“I am not a godlike being of near infinite power… but I understand that an example must be made. The gun issue was bad enough, but their other actions demand a display of power be made. I suppose every couple of generations a godlike being has an obligation to remind the mere mortals why they are godlike beings and why we as mortals need to behave ourselves,” Rising Star said in somewhat distracted voice as he shaped the front of the helmet and the horn-hole.

“Many of us little griffons still revere you Scorch… my mate and I would never turn away from you,” Lugnut said as he set down the instrument panel he was working on for a gyrocopter.

“We remember your teachings… while we have our own opinion on guns, we trust in your wisdom enough to obey your instructions,” Spanner remarked. The griffon paused for a moment and his crest rose. “Sprocket and Cog, our offspring, they will grow up knowing your name and your teachings.”

Turning into a large flaming griffon, Scorch turned to look at Lugnut and Spanner. “If more beings in the world were like you two, I wouldn’t need to worry about guns. They would be a non issue. But to protect beings in the world like you two, I have to be worried about guns and what certain beings will do with them.”

“We understand,” Spanner stated as his dexterous talons assembled a small gearbox. “We know what it is to be slaves. We are glad to be free. We don’t need guns… even though they might be nice… we have a king that protects us and actually wants what is best for us.”

“Buckminster is a good king… you serve him well,” Scorch commanded.

“Of course,” Lugnut said as he used a screwdriver to tighten a screw.

“I’ve been a bad protector… I should have done something to prevent what Griffonholm became. I listened to Celestia and the Fates though… I stayed my hand… withheld my judgment… which was a terrible mistake. I feel terrible about what has taken place,” Scorch admitted in a voice that sounded like a crackling fire. “Celestia insisted that heroes would rise and that the world would achieve equilibrium. That never happened… the world just became worse and worse.”

“I dunno, a hero did rise. The Lord of Winter came to Griffonholm,” Spanner responded. The little griffon paused in his task and stared down at the screwdriver in his talons for a few moments, looking conflicted, confused, and sad. He resumed turning the screw and a look of concentration settled over his face.

“At least now we are back to a more active role in world management,” Scorch grumbled as he shifted into the form of a large fluffy haired diamond dog. He lifted up a massive hammer and headed off towards an anvil in the corner.

 

 

Moving cautiously as she approached the treeline, Ripple carefully looked around, on guard and ready. Just a few steps behind her, Dinky and Piña followed, and around her, her Raptors moved along with her. With her ears perked and ready, Ripple stepped into the Everfree forest. Only a few steps in, and Ripple felt strangely already. The world seemed a little darker.

Following after Ripple, Piña bounded ahead, and she too, felt the change. She could feel it in her hooves. The earth was funny here. The dirt felt differently, this place had its own magic. Piña felt strangely energised by it. This place spoke to her. Things grew wild here. The animals looked after themselves. The plants grew wild, natural, without equine intervention. Overhead, the clouds moved without pegasi pushing them around and storms happened here frequently.

Piña felt her strength surge.

Feeling ready for anything, Dinky followed after Ripple and Piña. The Everfree was full of all kinds of scary monsters and creepy critters, not that Dinky was particularly concerned. She had her magic, she had Ripple, the Raptors were all around, and not much seemed scary after her time on the Shetland Isles.

“Capture something historical,” Ripple muttered to herself. “Dinky, couldn’t you just get a rubbing off of an old headstone or snap a photo of Ponyville’s clock tower?”

Sticking out her tongue, Dinky blew a raspberry at Ripple and said nothing in reply.

“Not much is more historical than the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. Besides, Dinky gets bonus points towards her grade if she gets something special that nopony else in class captures,” Piña explained in Dinky’s defense.

“Yeah… Cheerilee said to be creative and photographs of Ponyville’s historic clock tower would only be worth one point. That and a headstone rubbing will get a passing grade and probably a lecture from daddy about how I can do better and as a type three I need to apply myself,” Dinky said, her voice taking on a mock-serious tone as she mentioned the lecture.

“Well, daddy is right… and you’d deserve the lecture,” Piña remarked as she scrambled over a log and then slid down the other side.

“I know… I’m not complaining. At least daddy is fair with his lectures… when you’re getting one, you know you have it coming,” said Dinky as she calmly lifted a troublesome log in her path out of the way with her magic, passed under the lifted log, and then carefully dropped it behind her.

“What sort of lecture do you think our beloved father will give you for heading off into the Everfree?” Ripple asked in a teasing voice as she led the way.

“Oh… see, that depends,” Piña answered as she pulled up to Ripple’s side. “There is a variable here that will determine the outcome and a few logical factors to examine.”

“And those are?” Ripple questioned as she cast a sidelong glance at her younger sister.

“The main variable is if we get in any trouble out here,” Piña replied as she looked up at Ripple. “That will determine a variety of factors. The single most important factor, the one most relevant to Dinky and I, is the fact that you are our big sister. If something happens, daddy is going to lecture you for failing to look after us and for not talking us out of going on this little adventure. Dinky and I will get a scolding, but you will take the worst of it. After weighing the risks, this venture seemed worth it.”

Snorting, Ripple rolled her eyes and was silently thankful for the Raptors.

 

 

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