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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“Twilight Sparkle, Buckminster, there is so much that both of you should know. I feel as though I have let you down by not informing you about all of this…” Celestia’s words faded out as the crowd continued to gather. The massive room was filling full of strange beings. “There hasn’t been a meeting called together like this for a long time. Usually, they call together our most active members. When the worldwide firearms ban was instituted, there were less than a dozen of us. We're not supposed to get involved.”

There was a dull roar through the crowd as Scorch and several others that Bucky did not know took seats in what appeared to be important positions. Several seats were empty. There was someone beside him, Bucky had met her but could not remember her name.

All around him, Bucky could see the many immortals of the world. He had no idea how many had packed into the impossibly large room. Some of them were quite curious and left Bucky filled with questions. One appeared to be a flame living on the end of a candle. He had been burning for a little too long, and, as Bucky watched with intense curiousity, someone used the old candle to light the new one, giving the flame creature a new place to rest, and then placed the new candle down into the holder after the old nub winked out of existence.

“There are Observers here… those who Watch. The last time I saw them was when I… was… when I...” Celestia fell silent, her words catching in her throat with a pained gasp.

Bucky knew what she was going to say though. Celestia had seen the Observers when she had gone through the mirror to be with Sombra. Beside him, Cadance gurgled, snapping him out of his moment of concentration.

Looking over, Bucky could see Berry Punch patting Cadance on the back, and little Cadance was squirming in Berry’s grasp. Cadance gurgled once more, her stomach made a squelching sound, and then a thunderous belch filled the cavernous room.

All around Bucky, various immortals began to snicker. He grinned sheepishly as he looked around him. Some of them had stopped snickering and had started laughing. Glancing over at Celestia, he saw the same embarrassed look that he knew was plastered over his own mug. Celestia was looking around, doing much the same as he was, trying to gauge reactions.

“It is her first meeting and she already has so much to say…”

Bucky heard the whispered words and felt the corners of his mouth turning upwards even more, his scarred cheek crinkling. As he felt the side of his face contort, Bucky came to the startling realisation that not only did he have an eye on the right side of his face again, but he had eyelids once more. Now distracted, he wondered how they had grown back.

“This meeting is now called to order!”

The voice belonged to Scorch and it boomed through the cavernous expanse. Nearby, Erebus whimpered and then let out a fearful whinny. Bucky heard Luna shushing the colt.

“We have a problem. Once more, outsiders have come and have changed the natural progression of things. Our whole world faces a threat and some of you believe that it is time to get involved.”

So much for pomp and circumstance. Bucky took note that the meeting simply started, no time wasted with titles or gimmicks. So far, he liked what he was seeing.

“It is not our place to get involved!”

“The Observers have become involved. Those who Watch are fearful of what may come. The weapons of another realm have come to our world. Guns of a terrifying new design unlike any other that we have seen here in this realm.”

“Whatever will happen will happen! We should not get involved!”

“The last time we had invaders from another realm it ended in the defilement of the alicorns! Do we want something like that happening again? Our world nearly ended!”

Bucky recognised that voice… that was Clotho, a mare he called his sister. He looked around, trying to spot her, and finally saw an earth pony mare. Some of the seats at the head of the gathering room was empty, and Bucky assumed that one of them must have been hers.

“You became involved, you and your meddling sisters! What good has it done the world?”

Biting down on his lip, Bucky swallowed an angry retort, knowing that it was not his place to say anything. He heard an angry growl from Luna and a snort from Celestia. A low murmuring filled the room.

“After enduring many trials and tribulations, after suffering complete collapse, Equestria rises like a phoenix from the ashes. It has become a beacon of hope and it is bringing the whole of the world together, along with the Sea of Grass. We have powerful agents that are finally undoing the damage done to the world by the defilement of the alicorns. The damage done to the griffon species is being purged and the griffons are now being restored to what they were meant to be because of our meddling,” Clotho said to the gathered immortals in a booming voice that easily carried through the room.

“Now that the Two Sisters are once again together, we have signs of tribal unity once more in their part of the world. The Chaos War and Discord’s reign did so much damage to the equine tribes—”

“WHICH IS WHY WE SHOULDN’T GET INVOLVED!”

Bucky saw Atropos boil over with anger at being interrupted. He saw her take a deep breath and regain some of her composure before she continued.

“Discord may have disrupted the equine tribes and their purpose, but he has since seen the error of his ways. He has worked to save them, he is now their protector, their guardian, and he was rehabilitated because of our so called meddling. Celestia and Luna are wonderful examples of what can be done when we do become involved but limit how much we interfere,” Atropos said.

“We can lead those we rule towards the greater good. The world is better place for our involvement. Can any here say otherwise? Might I remind you, without our rebellion, this world would have died,” Lachesis said.

The room fell silent.

Bucky felt Berry Punch lean up against him, he could feel her lips brush up against his ear, and then he heard her whisper, “Now, now, you will not get a better time.”

Licking his lips, Bucky stood up, looked back at Berry, felt her muzzle press against his own in a brief kiss, and then he screwed his courage to the sticking place.

“In the depths of Canterlot castle, there are now seven ponies that can tell you the fate of what will happen if you do not get involved. Mirror travelers. They come from a dead world. Many of their immortals died. I wonder how many of them kept saying ‘don’t get involved’ over and over, the battlecry of apathy… when the world was finally on the brink of destruction, powerful magics were used and many immortals were severed from what gives them power. The war against them ended with them dying… we can either learn from their mistakes… or you can continue to talk yourselves to death with platitudes about not getting involved and the danger that getting involved poses,” Bucky said.

Fear flooded every fibre of his being. He had been in a lot of harrowing situations, survived much, and fear was something he seldom felt, but he felt it now. He could hear the anger building up in some of the crowd. He knew that he would be utterly powerless against these beings.

“Ah… the world ender has spoken…”

“I have no desire to end anything… I have rejected my purpose and chose something else,” Bucky said, feeling the need to defend himself. “Were I to ascend, would any of you try to stop me, or would you just sit back and wait for me to kill you? Stopping me would be getting involved. My purpose is to end each and every one of you. Right now, my mind is already thinking of the ways and means of ending each and every one of you.”

This wasn’t entirely true, but Bucky knew that with time, it could be true. For now, he figured the bluff would be enough to serve his purpose.

“I now work to save one of your number, the griffon deity Odin. I chose life,” Bucky said.

“I have a question… if I might ask one.”

Bucky turned to Berry Punch, his eyes narrowed, and he wondered what Berry was up to. He smiled a mischievous smile. This was why he brought Berry.

“Speak earth pony mare… I would like to hear what you have to say,” a large minotaur female said in a voice that silenced the many murmured protests.

“I cannot help but wonder. Out of those who want to be involved, how many of you have been parents? Raised your young? How many of you have nurtured life? Protected it?” Berry asked.

The room filled with many voices, all speaking at once.

“SILENCE!” Scorch demanded.

The room fell silent. Bucky slowly began to understand just how much power Scorch had. One of the fey demon lords of Tartarus and the parent to quite a bit of the gathered pantheon.

“I have had many children. Both mortal and immortal. I have been both male and female. Life is something worth continuing. I raised Celestia and quite a number of you as well. How many in this room call me father or mother?” Scorch said.

“Many of us have never had offspring,” Clotho said.

“It is a great failing. We fail to understand the very lives that we strive to preserve, directly or indirectly,” Atropos continued.

“We have no other connection to this world other than our purpose,” Lachesis finished.

“Perhaps what you say has some truth. Perhaps I will go out and find some waif to rescue,” a large diamond dog said as he stood up from his chair and looked around the room.

“Perhaps some perspective is in order,” a giant pegasus said.

“Shield makes a good point,” Scorch said.

“The earth pony mare has got us talking about direct involvement,” the large female minotaur said in an amused voice. “If only for the sake of understanding. How many of us serve our purpose but still feel empty?”

“Perhaps we should spend some time gaining some understanding. But that is not why we came together here in this place. We have more pressing concerns. For now, I am willing to relax my position about involvement and say that, yes, we should become involved. The gun issue is of great concern to me. The introduction of weapons from outside of our realm disturbs me,” a being that was made out of clouds said in a voice that sounded like the rushing wind.

“We have one of the weapons here, with us. I have not seen its like, but I know the Observers have. Such is the way of things in many realities and realms.”

“Most realms that develop advanced weapons usually destroy themselves with violence.”

“Magic too,” a voice interjected from somewhere in the back of the room.

“Steps have been taken to control magic before it went too far out of control.”

“The alicorn of magic is mortal!”

“She may still fix the problem, serve her purpose, all before she dies.”

Looking at Twilight, Bucky could see her trembling. He wasn’t sure what she was feeling exactly, but he could tell that she didn’t like being spoke about in such a way. He felt a heated rush of anger.

“Look, we must come together. We must work together. The guns are a temporary problem at best. What of our Creator, who actively wishes to destroy us all? We have no chance unless we all stand together and become involved. The gun issue is merely a good point for us to begin to learn how to work with one another!” Clotho said.

“No one else can save us!” Atropos said.

“We face a real threat to this world. This is our chance to band together and see what we can do. If we can face down this threat, if we can learn to stand together, we might still be able to save ourselves from our Creator who wishes to destroy us. The alicorn of war was created to put an end to us all but he now works to save us. Anything is possible,” Lachesis said.

“To deal with the gun issue, we should discuss the fate of Labyrinthia,” Scorch suggested in a voice that completely silenced the room once more.

 

 

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