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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Sense. It all made sense. Bucky had suffered a profound understanding while under the effects of the cannabis infused beer, and now he understood everything. He shuffled about his office at the top of his tower, pacing, thinking, half in and half out of shadow state that did not have legs.

There had been a massive burst of creativity earlier after he had woken up.

He was forming a plan to strike back against the mirror travelers. He would hit them where it would hurt the most. Cadance had said her first word. He needed to go to Canterlot, visit the nursery, study the unicorn’s distinct magical signature, and then work with Twilight Sparkle to modify the portal that lead to the world where Sunset Shimmer had been banished. That first word had been ‘Shiny.’ The real trick would be locking on to where the earth pony mushroom farms were located beneath the city. He knew of their existence from the ponies he had ‘interviewed’ after he had liberated them from all forms of troubling complex thoughts.

Bucky intended to steal himself some earth ponies.

Portal in, snatch the enemy slaves, portal out, and then Bucky intended to sit back and gloat for months if he could get away with it. It was a lovely idea. He would be entitled to gloat and free to be as annoyingly smug as he wanted for a very long time, and if somepony dared to complain about his gloating or his smugness, Bucky could raise one talon to shush them and remind them that he had freed the earth ponies from their oppressors. It would be glorious.

Cadance seemed to remember Shining Armor.

Looking around, Bucky realised his office was far too small and cramped for his liking. Golems were scurrying everywhere, lining the walls with webs of shadow infused phased glass. Eventually, they would cover every inch of this tower, adding to the already impressive magical fortifications.

The night, which would be the dawn quite soon, was too lovely not to go for a walk.

 

 

Loch Skimmer awoke and did not know what to do. There was no dawn brigade this morning. The birds were mostly gone now, escorted south by helpful pegasi. She lay in bed, under a pile of blankets, and Rising Star’s body was warm against her. Sparkler was apparently still gone on patrol. For months now, Loch Skimmer had awoke and assisted with the dawn. This was her purpose. This is what defined her life. And now, she did not know what to do.

Rolling over, Loch Skimmer bumped into another warm body. Loch knew right away that it was Ripple, and beside Ripple was Bittersweet. Loch Skimmer vaguely remembered both of them coming to bed late last night.

Throwing a foreleg around her sister and Bittersweet, Loch Skimmer pulled them both closer, sandwiching Ripple between her and Bittersweet. The donkey made a silent groan in her sleep, but did not wake.

Closing her eyes, Loch Skimmer started to slip off into sleep, and as she did so, she felt Rising Star turn over to spoon up against her back. Murmuring sleepily, Loch Skimmer drifted off.

 

 

Ah, yes, perfection, Bucky thought to himself as he looked up at the massive ice sculpture he had just finished in the middle of Ponyville town square. It was Princess Luna and Princess Celestia. The two sisters stood side by side, regal, noble, heads held high, they were dignified and ready for any sort of danger. They were perfect down to the very last detail, save one. His horn flaring brightly, Bucky strained to concentrate enough for the final detail, his brain still fogged over from his mind numbing brew. With a grunt, he made the magic happen.

Both princesses now had flowing moving manes and tails made out of moving, shifting ice. Luna had sparkly stars in hers, and Celestia had her usual pastel rainbow.

Something wasn’t right though, and Bucky had trouble thinking of what it was. After several whole minutes of intense concentration, Bucky realised that Princess Celestia and Princess Luna were fierce protectors as he had made them, and there was nothing to protect.

This would not do.

Conjuring more ice, Bucky went to work.

 

 

Berry Punch waved at the punctual pegasus as the morning papers were delivered. She scooped them all up in one foreleg, walked into the house on three legs, and dumped the papers onto the kitchen table. There was an enormous platter of cinnamon rolls on the table that had not been there when she had left a few moments ago.

There was also a hot cup of coffee for her.

Unrolling a paper, Berry Punch scanned the headlines, looking for anything interesting. Much to her dismay, she found it right away. She read for a few moments and then her mouth hung open in shock.

“What is it now?” Derpy asked and then yawned.

“So called new founder’s plan to ruin Equestria, wants to destroy the equine race with crossbreeding, thus bring about the end of the equine species,” Berry Punch read aloud.

“What?” Derpy questioned as she leaned over and looked at Berry, locking her good eye upon the earth pony and her paper.

“There is an article here criticising Bucky’s plan, his school, and a statement that this sentiment of interspecies unity is a threat to our species. There is some idiot creating a movement to preserve the equine way of life… I can’t believe what I’m seeing here,” Berry Punch muttered.

“Are you saying there is an equine superiourity movement?” Semillon inquired in a low shocked voice. “How horrid… how absolutely dreadful. What utter nonsense. Our species existed as slaves for who knows how long, and all manner of terrible things were done to us during those dark times. Many crossbreeds were born and you can still see them in the world, but the equine species did not die out then, and it won’t die out now.”

“Thank you Semillon… a wise voice of reason exists in our kitchen and it is cooking at our stove,” Berry Punch replied in a frustrated huff. “A pegasus wrote this?” Berry muttered as she looked at the paper. “What… well, that’s shocking too… so much for my own biases. Damn.”

“Thistle’s in the lake,” Lyra reported as she burst into the kitchen. “The kelpie has been freed from her prison for a few hours. What’s up?”

“This!” Berry Punch exclaimed as she tossed the paper she was reading down on the table She snatched up a cinnamon roll and then bit down into the steaming treat angrily, savagely growling as she fiercely tore away a bite.

Sitting down at the table, Lyra picked up the paper to have a look…

 

 

Much better, Bucky thought to himself as he looked around. Dozens and dozens of little ones for the two sisters to watch over. Foals of every tribe, even a few lunar pegasi, a few diamond dog pups, a flock of griffon cubs, some minotaur calves, and even some zebra foals, all of them made of ice and huddling around the legs of the sisters.

The early morning risers were now gathering to watch as the Lord of Winter made art. A few reporters gathered and were snapping pictures, along with ponies who were not reporters but wanted a photo of the ice sculpture garden while it lasted.

Looking at the collection of ice statues, Bucky pondered the scene. Something else was missing. Something felt off. Curling his lip back into a snarl, Bucky pondered the scene and what he could do to fix it.

 

 

Flipping through a different paper, Berry Punch found herself three pages in and looking at what many ponies felt was meaningless news. Occasionally, really good reads were found here. And then, near the bottom of the page, she found what she was hoping for. She began to read eagerly, her eyes devouring the fine print.

“Off to keep an eye on the monsters while they have their breakfast,” Lyra reported as she departed off to the dining room to have breakfast with the older foals who were just now starting to wake and stumble down the stairs.

“Ponyville is going to get a mail sorting facility,” Berry Punch announced in a happy voice. “Says here a compromise was reached. The facility is going to be outside of the city proper, and they plan to use an earth bermed building technique to hide the big ugly buildings.”

“Bermed?” Derpy asked as after she swallowed her cinnamon roll.

“Berming… bermed… the old way that earth ponies used to build their houses sometimes. You’d dig a big deep pit down into the ground so that about half of your building would be set down into the earth, keeps the temperature stable you see, and then you build your building down in the pit. When you are done building it, you pack earth around it, sloping upwards from the ground to create a hill over the building, and then you place dirt and sod over the roof, completely burying the building in the ground to insulate it. Only in this case, they are hiding it because it’s ugly,” Berry Punch explained as she peered at the paper. “Seems Bucky reached a compromise with Twilight Sparkle.”

“Well this will be a good thing,” Derpy remarked. “This will mean a lot of jobs. I miss my mail route sometimes… but not enough to go back to doing it.”

 

 

Taking a few steps back, Bucky admired his work.

Princess Twilight Sparkle was in an aggressive stance, her wings out, and her head lowered. Her lip was curled back into a snarl and one eye was narrowed menacingly. Beside her stood the Crystal Defender, Shining Armor. Shining Armor stood tall, resolute, calm looking. Beside Shining Armor, an enormous griffon loomed. Lugus had his massive wings spread, and his beak was open as though he was roaring a cry of challenge.

All in all, Bucky liked the scene.

“Oi… where are you?”

Turning, Bucky saw a little spotted pinto colt. Small, not much older than a yearling.

“I don’t see you anywhere,” the colt said in a strange accent.

“Hi there… what’s your name?” Bucky questioned as he sat down and looked at the colt.

“Pipsqueak,” the colt answered. “I know who you are… yer my favourite princess’ apprentice,” he added as he sat down and looked up at Bucky.

Smiling, Bucky nodded in reply. “That I am,” he admitted.

“Yer also my headmaster,” Pipsqueak announced in a chirpy voice. “So why aren’t you here?” the colt asked once more.

Shrugging, Bucky looked over at the collection of ice statues and the ponies that had gathered to have a look at them. He sighed. “These are the heroes that Equestria deserves. I don’t belong here.”

“Poppycock,” Pipsqueak retorted angrily.

“Look kid, you deserve good heroes that do good things. I’ve done some very bad things. Questionable things. Things I know I’m going to roast in Tartarus for... for a very long time. And I know what’s waiting for me down there for the things I’ve done… I’ve already experienced it once,” Bucky said in a soft weary voice as he thought of the hook.

“I know what you did… I heard it from me mum and me dad… I understand, really, I do… in the Power Ponies comic, there is a time when The Masked Matterhorn has no choice but to kill The Mimer, an evil minotaur that put Hum Drum into an invisible box and Hum Drum was running out of air and dying from a box that nopony else could see or touch. Realising that Hum Drum was going to die, the Masked Matterhorn had to do something awful. The Mimer got blown up and Hum Drum was saved. It is like a rule or something… if your sidekick is in trouble, you gotta save them… you do anything to save them, even if it means crossing that line, as the Masked Matterhorn called it. You do anything to protect your sidekick. Otherwise you become a hated hero that gets shamed,” Pipsqueak blurted out, saying everything rapidly in the way that an overly excited foal tends to spit everything out.

“I suppose you’re right,” Bucky responded as he looked down at Pipsqueak.

“You also have to have a clever phrase to say when you vanquish your enemies that try to kill yer sidekick… when The Mimer was dying, he screamed a lot and The Masked Matterhorn said ‘you lied… you do make sounds’ and it was really awesome,” Pipsqueak continued.

“I don’t think I’m that cool,” Bucky said as he smiled down a the colt.

“But yer the Lord of Winter… you have ice powers!” Pipsqueak argued.

Realising that he had been had, Bucky’s ears splayed out sideways and he grinned sheepishly.

 

 

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