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


474. 474

Bucky’s face contorted into a one sided frown. He didn’t like the idea of taking Cadance off to some place full of what was sure to be snooty immortals. In the nursery, Luna was feeding Erebus. Seeing this caused Bucky to think of practical thoughts… and possibly a way out of what was sure to be a mess.

“What if Cadance gets hungry?” Bucky asked. Feeling impatient, Bucky felt his tail swish over his withered hind legs. One ear twitched.

“You may bring one of your wives. Erebus is greedy and I am slight of build. He takes everything I have,” Luna said.

Shaking his head, Bucky let out a low irritated growl. “I don’t like this. Cadance can’t do anything yet anyway but drool and look adorable. She doesn’t need to be there.”

Rolling her eyes, Luna took a deep breath and summoned her patience. “Cadance’s fellow immortals would probably like a chance to meet her. I assure you, Cadance will be perfectly safe. None of the so called ‘evil’ immortals will be there. Just relax.”

Feeling frustrated and powerless, Bucky did the only thing he could do in this situation. “Fine. I’m bringing Berry Punch.”

The look of alarm upon Luna’s face when she choked and then sputtered gave Bucky no small amount of smug satisfaction. Bucky had very little control over his own life as a whole, and he took satisfaction wherever he could find it.

“Perhaps bringing your matriarch would be more appropriate,” Luna said after she regained her composure. She looked at Bucky, she made her eyes as pleading as possible, and hoped that she could use Bucky’s own affections against him.

A wicked grin sundered Bucky’s withered face. “No… no, in this case, I do believe it is Berry Punch’s time to shine. There is a whole bunch of immortals that I just know that she would love to give an earful of earth pony wisdom.”

Once more, Luna rolled her eyes. “Buckminster, thou art a wicked creature, full of vile mischief.”

After planting a kiss upon Harper’s head, Bucky turned to look at Luna. “Which is why you keep me as your apprentice. It is why you send me to do your dirty work. If I was not the way I am, I would be of no use to you, isn’t that so Mistress?”

Taking a deep breath, Luna let it out slowly as Erebus chewed upon her tender flesh with his needle-like teeth. “Minion, save your clever tongue for your wives. Or perhaps the Council of Immortals. I have no plans to tell you to be on your best behaviour.”



“Wait, wait for us!”

Discord landed with a thump, rolled, tumbled, and then regained his feet. Behind him landed Fluttershy, who even with her distended belly, was a good deal more graceful.

“We’ve been summoned too… but I can’t open the portal… I’m so glad that we got to you in time,” Discord said as he scuttled up to Luna.

“Fluttershy was summoned?” Luna asked as one eyebrow slowly raised.

Slumping downward as though he had been struck, Discord nodded. “She was summoned along with me.”

“How interesting. Congratulations Fluttershy. You have obtained that which many dream of. Very well, I can take you with me. Give me a moment to open the portal,” Luna said as her horn began to glow with a piercing light. “Where is Scorch?”

Clearing his throat, Bucky then replied, “Scorch became impatient and left. Said we were taking too long. Also said something about going to see an old friend.”

“What about Twilight and Spike?” Berry Punch asked.

Luna’s horn was blazing like a miniature sun now and the surrounding yard was as bright as day. The air was filled with a crackling sound. Luna’s eyes had gone white as her body was flooded with excess mana. “I do not know. I suspect Twilight has the means to get herself there if she tries.”

Uncomfortable with all of this, Berry Punch bounced her body to readjust the saddlebag full of stuff for Cadance, glanced at Bucky, squinted at Luna to protect her eyes from the piercing light, and then asked, “Where are we going?”




The gathering place of the immortals was not what Bucky expected. At all. It was well decorated without being ostentatious. There were fine carpets on the floor. The walls were some kind of wood, or appeared to be. The air was pleasant, neither warm nor cool, and the room they had appeared in had places for all of them to rest and be comfortable.

All things considered, Bucky found that he rather liked the place. The immortals had good taste and hadn’t gone all out with needless finery.

While the others were settling in, Bucky had slipped out to explore a bit.

“Lord of Winter!”

Hearing Scorch’s voice, Bucky whipped his head around to see the fey fire elemental approaching. With him was a bipedal figure that seemed to be made out of dirt, roots, rocks, and leaves. In her arms, she was carrying something wrapped in a blanket.

“Bucky… this is Rhea. A friend of mine. In her arms there is somebirdy who really wants to meet you. So… Rhea and I are going to leave you two to get acquainted for a while,” Scorch said as Rhea went and placed her blanket wrapped bundle on a nearby sofa.

Bucky watched as Scorch left with Rhea, the strange earthen figure. He turned his head to the blanket, which was moving, and then he trotted over to the sofa and sat down.

“Hello?” Bucky greeted as he made himself comfortable on the couch. He heard a wheeze from beneath the blanket. Using his magic, he carefully pulled back a corner.

Beneath the blanket was the oldest looking griffon Bucky had ever seen. A servant griffon. Small, tiny, frail looking. One eye was white and milky looking, the other a piercing bright purple-blue. His feathers were patchy and many were missing. His fur was a faded yellowed white. He looked as though he was part raven.

“Oh my… you don’t look well, is there anything I can do to help you?” Bucky asked.

There was a long low wheeze and then…

“My name is Odin… there is in fact something you can do to help me. I can’t seem to die even though I remain upon the verge of death,” the ancient griffon said.

Bucky carefully tucked the blanket around the griffon, who seemed cold, and tried to make the griffon as comfortable as possible. “How might I help you old one?”

The griffon coughed for a moment, hacked, several more feathers fell out, and he feebly raised his head to try and look at Bucky. “Save my griffons… you already have saved them from the worst of the darkness but there is still more to do. The skalds have gone silent. The music is nearly dead. I cannot yet die but I continue to linger in this state.”

Carefully lifting the old griffon’s head, Bucky stuffed a pillow beneath it and then patted the griffon gently. “What caused this? Why have I never heard of you?”

“The defilement of the alicorns!” After his feeble exclamation, Odin began coughing, a wet wheezy raspy cough. After coughing for a while longer, and then several long moments of recovery, Odin continued: “My power was stolen… stolen! All those who worshiped me were corrupted and those who refused were killed. Deals were made with treacherous beings, agents of disharmony. The first thing they destroyed was the music… I can barely hear the music… I have no more skalds…”

“If the music dies completely, will you go with it?” Bucky asked in a low whisper.

The griffon did not reply but offered a feeble shrug.

Bucky watched as the old griffon shivered, coughed, and trembled. Something in his heart ached as he watched the feeble dying god. “I will do whatever I can to help you. The chance that you might die is awful. Just tell me what to do, how can I save you?”

“I drew my power from wisdom… from art, beauty, learning, our sagas, our history, our lore, all of it was kept in song. The knowledge of our species is fading along with me,” Odin said.

Reaching up, Bucky rubbed his face with his right fetlock as he searched for something to say. Something in his guts clenched and suddenly, Bucky felt old.

“You call the little griffons ‘servant’ griffons… that is what they have become… slaves… at one point, they were my favoured… my chosen… my artists. I created the hunters and the warriors to protect them and the ponies that we once lived in harmony with. I introduced the random call that lead to greater glory. I did not know… I did not know that my gift would be my undoing… when the alicorns were defiled, my gift became so easily corrupted… and now look at what it has done,” Odin said in a wet raspy voice.

Reaching out once more, Bucky gently rubbed the old griffon through the blanket. “Just hold on… give me some time to work… I’m still trying to undo the damage from centuries of oppression.”

“You have more enemies than you know… come closer… I want to help you,” Odin said.

Leaning down, Bucky came almost snoot to beak with the old griffon.

“Funny… you should have been born a griffon… you would have been a good one… I am going to give you a gift… something to help you… something that will help keep you safe from your enemies… I do this to help my griffons… I am sorry about this,” Odin said.

“Sorry for wha….aaaaaaaargh!”

Bucky felt sharp talon points digging into his snoot. Not enough to pierce the skin, but enough to hold him still. The grip was impossibly strong, Bucky found that some odd force compelled him not to move.

As Bucky was held in place, he watched as Odin reached up with his other talons and ripped out his own eye. His good eye, not the eye that was milky and dead. The torn out eyeball floated midair, strange energy crackled around it, and it changed into a small blue gemstone.

Odin’s other talons reached up and Bucky felt something tugging on his fulgurite eye plug. There was a strange feeling of pressure… he couldn’t see what was going on on that side of his face very well, but he saw something blurry. With a gasp, he realised that his plug had been pulled out the socket somehow. There was no pain, but there was an odd feeling.

“This might sting,” Odin warned in a whisper as he grabbed the blue gemstone shard.

Too late, Bucky realised what Odin was about to do. He tried to pull away and discovered he could not. One talon slipped inside of his nostril and pressed into the tender flesh within. Bucky whimpered, more from panic than pain, and then watched as Odin rammed the gemstone shard upwards to where Bucky knew his now emptied eye socket was waiting.

There was a terrible pain…

Slipping off of the couch, Bucky could feel something burrowing through his head. It crawled around inside of his eye socket. He felt something wet, there was a slurping sound, and then he felt moisture dribbling down the mass of scar tissue that was his cheek as he rolled on the floor clutching at his face.

“I’m such a bastard,” Odin said in a weak soft voice as he watched Bucky writhe on the floor. The old griffon began to chuckle feebly, the chuckle sounded more like a wheezing death rattle.

As Bucky got to his hooves, he realised that he could see again out of both eyes. He blinked, looked around, and realised he had depth perception once more.

Huddled beneath his blanket, Odin sighed. “What a pity… all of that suffering and your eyes don’t match.”

“I can see again,” Bucky gasped.

“Oh you can do more than that… that eye will allow you to see all of your enemies. It will allow you see invisible creatures. There is more that it does but I will leave you to discover it,” Odin said in a tired sounding voice.

“I can see again…” Bucky repeated.

The old griffon cleared his throat. “Odin pays his debts. You’ve saved my children… now save me… I can’t bear being like this any longer. Call them servants no longer, but artists. Help them make the world beautiful once more, like they did so long ago.”

Looking at the griffon, Bucky nodded. Turning his head slightly, he saw the oddly shaped fulgurite plug and the sunstone laying on the floor. He had made such plans with that eye replacement.

“Help them to remember me… build a shrine…” Odin said.

Rhea and Scorch both reappeared in the hallway, both looked solemn and serious. Scorch took a step towards Bucky while Rhea went and collected Odin from off of the couch, gently cradling the old griffon in her arms while cooing softly.

“I will do as you ask… but what do I build?” Bucky asked.

“Scorch will know,” Odin answered.

Striding towards Bucky, Scorch stopped an arm length away, reached out, grabbed Bucky’s muzzle, and gently lifted Bucky’s head upwards. “Your Taint is unable to corrupt the eye of a god. One eye is a bright piercing purple-blue… the other bears your vile sickness.” Scorch paused, still looking Bucky in the eye. “Come. There is much to be done. Odin needs his rest now. How does it feel to see again?”

“Wonderful… thank you Odin… I will do all that I can repay you for what you have done for me!” Bucky called out as Rhea carried the almost dead but seemingly unable to die griffon away to his rest.

Letting go of Bucky, Scorch went to the fulgurite plug upon the floor, bent over, picked it up, and then held it in his fist. He squeezed and it became fine powder, gemstone and all, which floated off when Scorch opened his fist.

“I can see…”

“Yes, Lord of Winter, you can see. For everything that has been taken from you, something has been restored. Come. There is much to do,” Scorch said.



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