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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Looking down at her two sisters, Ripple had a little trouble believing everything she had been told, but she had no good reason not to believe them. The room felt warmer, safer somehow, her danger sense had stopped trying to let her know that something was wrong. Ripple watched as Dinky wandered off to snap more pictures.

“I don’t feel any smarter,” Piña remarked as she blinked a few times.

“Maybe it doesn’t make you smarter… maybe it just makes you know stuff,” Dinky replied as she looked at a tattered dusty tapestry. “Princess Celestia will be by to tell you more… we should have a tea party with her and maybe she’ll bring Tourmaline,” she suggested.

“You like Tourmaline,” Ripple stated as she watched Dinky take a picture.

“I do… she’s easy to talk to,” Dinky responded as she lowered her camera.

“She saved Sunset Shimmer somehow… she has some kind of healing magic,” Piña said as she lifted one hoof, looked at it for a moment, and then pressed it back down into the blackened scorched stone. When nothing happened, the foal looked a little disappointed. “Nopony will tell me how it works. She grew Sunset Shimmer a new horn and I know from books that such a thing is very hard to do.”

Lifting her head, Dinky examined a statue of an alicorn, one wing had been broken off and half of the horn was gone, but she noticed that the statue was distinctly male, which struck her as being a little odd. She thought about what she was looking at, then she thought about her father, realising he was meant to be an alicorn, and Dinky slowly reached the logical conclusion that if there were alicorn mares, there had to be alicorn stallions as well.

“Say… if there was a male alicorn and a female alicorn, they’d have alicorn foals, right?” Dinky questioned in a low voice.

“I dunno… maybe… seems likely,” Ripple replied as she looked over at Dinky and the broken alicorn statue.

“So if there was a male alicorn, would he have to make alicorn foals with a mare for the good of the alicorn tribe?” Dinky inquired as she circled around the statue.

“You mean an obligation? I dunno… that’s a good question,” Ripple responded as her face became thoughtful. “We don’t know how alicorn reproduction works… maybe Twilight Sparkle will have an alicorn foal… I mean, there might be a chance.”

“We should get home… it’ll be getting dark soon and Ripple probably wants to spend some some playing smoochy face with Bittersweet,” Piña Colada suggested in a teasing voice. Her stomach growled loudly and Piña gave a sheepish grin. “Maybe getting something to eat after that little magic surge would be wise.”

“Yes, I’d like to be playing smoochy face with Bittersweet… but I had to foalsit my sister so she could do her homework,” Ripple huffed impatiently. “Instead of playing smoochy face with my donkey I have to explain that my sisters stepped into some kind of weird creepy puddle of bad magic.”

“We’re both fine,” Dinky retorted as she rolled her eyes. “At least we didn’t get exploded.”

 

 

Sitting up on her own and looking around the room with wide barely blinking eyes, the Empress of the Crystal Empire seemed as though she was surveying her kingdom as she peered around. Balanced upon her haunches, she used her front legs to prop herself up.

Laying on the floor in front of Cadance, Berry Punch blew a raspberry at the foal, which made Cadance giggle and nearly fall over from losing her balance.

Burbling and blowing spit bubbles, Cadance expressed her annoyance from nearly toppling over. She dribbled and drooled as Harper, who was heading towards Bittersweet, went wobbling past on four trembling legs.

“Shiny,” Cadance announced in between burbles.

“Cadance?” Berry Punch whispered in stunned surprise. “Cadance… say it again… come on Cadance… talk to mama,” the earth pony mare urged.

Cadance blew a raspberry at Berry Punch in reply.

“I think I just heard your first word,” Berry Punch breathed. “Say it again Cadance… please? For mama?”

“Mama?” Cadance gurgled.

Inhaling sharply, Berry Punch crawled forward on her belly towards Cadance. “I’m very happy to hear you call me that, but can you say ‘Shiny’ for mama?”

A look of intense concentration appeared on Cadance’s face. She lifted one hoof and pointed at Berry Punch. “Mama.”

Berry Punch allowed her head to fall to the floor with a thump.

“Shiny?” Cadance asked, looking rather worried as she spoke.

Lifting her head, Berry Punch stared at Cadance with her mouth hanging open.

“Pthoo!” Cadance spat, spraying spittle everywhere and then giggling.

“We need to have Shining Armor hear you say his name,” Berry Punch whispered.

“Shiny,” Cadance said as she stared at Berry Punch and smiled.

 

 

Shaping metal through the force of raw will, Rising Star’s brow furrowed as he worked. A thought nagged at his mind, something he wasn’t sure how to express. He shaped metal like clay, creating a curved, nearly domed structure that had an almost woven like grid of metal on the underside. It was a new helmet design, it was lighter, stronger, and once he perfected the technique, would be made of moon-silver.

“Scorch?”

“Yes Rising Star?”

“I was thinking… you have phenomenal god-like powers. You can supposedly create new life from what little bit I know about you… so there was something I was wondering,” Rising Star as he worked.

“Ask away,” Scorch replied as he carefully shaped a long panel of steel. It was curved and almost looked like a quarter of some large cylinder.

“Can you give creatures magic?” Rising Star asked.

The tap tap tapping of Scorch’s hammer stopped.

“Things not unicorns,” Rising Star clarified.

Clearing his throat, Scorch looked over at his apprentice. “I did that once. I gave gift of magic to a group of my followers. They revered it for a time, but then squandered it. They failed to appreciate what was done for them. In time, they rejected it and the gift has nearly died.”

“Who were they Scorch?” Rising Star asked as he looked up from his work and stared at the fey demon that was currently in his bipedal form and staring back at him.

“The griffons. I gave them powerful, but subtle magic. The sort of magic that could shape an empire of beauty, art, and culture. They had no appreciation for the gift!” Scorch spat in a voice that sounded like a roaring fire coming to life. “I gave them a wondrous gift and they squandered it!”

“Maybe now, with some encouragement, they will revive it… the griffons now are a very different group of creatures,” Rising Star said thoughtfully.

“Perhaps,” Scorch admitted reluctantly. “Bucky married one that has the gift.”

“Maybe if more races had magic, the need for an equaliser found in guns wouldn’t be so pressing. I understand that magic can cause a lot of problems in the world, I get that, I really do, but maybe, just maybe, if the minotaurs had some means of magic they could use, perhaps they would feel like equals and not feel the need to establish dominance. Well, some of them anyway… some might go bad and use magic in the wrong way… but some might do good with it. At least then, it might feel a little more fair. Even zebras have magic… the bocors are powerful… maybe the other species just feel left out,” Rising Star said, blurting out everything that was on his mind and then some.

“Tirek was half minotaur and half equine…” Scorch remarked.

“He was bad, no doubt about that,” Rising Star agreed. “But I believe the other races might not feel so left out if they had magic,” he insisted.

“The other species gained magic… during something that happened a long time ago… they brokered deals with demons and outsiders… they warped… changed… became monsters,” Scorch said in a low voice as he set down his hammer.

“A lot of unicorns became monsters,” Rising Star argued, his voice an impassioned plea. “But there are a lot of good unicorns… I’m one of them. Sparky is a good unicorn. Bucky, for all of his faults, is a good unicorn. My parents are good unicorns. The good will counter the bad!”

“You don’t sound so entirely sure of yourself,” Scorch retorted as he folded his arms over his chest. He glared at Rising Star with a sneer. “Maybe it’s me, but from what I heard in your voice, you sound as though this is what you hope will happen.”

Curling his lip back and revealing his fangs, Rising Star snarled. “Yes… it is my hope that the world somehow becomes a little more fair. Beings like you… you have an obligation to us… whether you want to admit it or not. It is time to spread the wealth a little bit… we have to try and level the playing field somehow.”

Extending one arm and holding out a finger, Scorch pointed at Rising Star. “Spoken like a politician. Good work. I find myself agreeing with you even though I don’t want to. But keep those fangs to yourself. It isn’t nice to flash those at someone… I know you’ve been taught better manners.”

Allowing his lips to slide over his teeth, Rising Star offered a careful smile.

“I guess I’ll start with you… how would you like some wings? Believe me… I could do that,” Scorch chuckled as he took a step towards Rising Star. “I could make you an alicorn, right now… a worthy gift of magic. You’re halfway there already.”

“NO! No, that’s okay… I’m good just the way I am… you just save that magic for something more deserving,” Rising Star protested. He looked confused for a moment. “So how would you go about giving the other races magic?”

Heaving a sigh, Scorch slumped over. “If I tell you, it takes all of the mystery out of it.”

“From what I know of watching Master and Minion, having an apprentice means you teach them your secrets,” Rising Star muttered in annoyance.

“Look here you little four legged imp… bah… you’re not scared of me at all… nuts… with the griffons, I added a bit of random chaos magic to the existing bloodlines. When the right griffons made offspring, those offspring had a connection to magic… I could do the same with minotaurs. They already have horns… it wouldn’t be too hard to alter them,” Scorch explained in a frustrated voice as he gave Rising Star the stinkeye.

“And the diamond dogs?” Rising Star patiently inquired.

“Technically they have magic, even though very few realise it. Including the diamond dogs. They were made to be protectors… a long time ago before they became twisted, they evolved from the canis majors and the canis minors… the constellation wolves. Onuava, a spirit that assisted fertility, and Rhea, the daughter of the embodiment of stone, they sort of changed the constellation wolves, making them intelligent, fierce, giving them speech, and giving them purpose… they protected the ancient equines, who even then kept the earth, serving Rhea’s mother, whose real name I cannot say. It was the two of them that gave the diamond dogs their sentry magic… when protecting another sapient creature, a diamond dog becomes more fierce, has a better sense of smell, sharper eyesight, and they gain a great deal of strength. After the event that twisted them into what they are now, the magic was forgotten. It is powerful magic… some of them even regenerate in battle… making them very difficult to kill,” Scorch explained in reply. "I haven’t spoken to Rhea in ages… we had children together… we bred with various species and gave them a little of our magic… and Rhea’s mother… whom I cannot name, sorry, it is a fey thing, I’m sure you’ll understand, she had children too.”

“The diamond dogs need to know this… we have diamond dogs at Bucky’s school… they should know this,” Rising Star stammered. He blinked and looked at Scorch. “Whatever happened to Rhea’s mother?”

“She laid down and became a mountain range on the far side of the world. Took a nap. Been snoozing for almost ten thousand years now… she said she felt sleepy,” Scorch replied. The fey fire elemental looked mischievous for a moment and then grinned. “She probably has a dragon’s nest in her fertile valley. I wonder how her son is doing.”

“Son?” Rising Star asked.

Scorch snapped his fingers and a terrifyingly large pegasus appeared in the shop. The pegasus looked around, blinked a few times, stared at Scorch, and then snorted in annoyance.

“Hiya… Shield. How is your mother?” Scorch politely inquired.

Uncle Scorch,” Shield replied. “It has been a long time… at least a thousand years or more. Mother is fine. Auntie Rhea and I were just playing cards and I was winning even though she cheats.”

“Never play cards with Rhea… sorry… you’re probably going to lose now… she’ll look at your cards,” Scorch said in sympathetic tones.

“Yes… of course, the fey have no scruples,” Shield stated in a matter of fact voice.

“You’re not a pegasus,” Rising Star said in a low voice as he looked at the immense pegasus standing in the forge. Keg Smasher looked tiny by comparison.

“You’re not a unicorn… at least not in the strictest sense of the word,” Shield retorted as he looked around. “This place is getting a lot of residual magic… it is going to warp everything around it.”

“Way to ruin the surprise!” Scorch bellowed and then snapped his fingers, causing Shield to vanish with a loud thunderclap. “Ugh, the fey… so annoying!”

“What did he mean by warp?” Rising Star questioned as he raised his eyebrow.

 

 

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