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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As many introverts tend to do when thrust into uncomfortable social situations, Bucky fell silent and watched those around him. Spike was in an animated discussion with Piña and Sentinel about comic books. Berry Punch was talking with Twilight Sparkle. Derpy was being shy but still managing a conversation with Rainbow Dash and Flash Sentry. Glass Slipper was playing with Cadance and Harper, while Bittersweet watched over them all. Scootaloo had her ear pressed against Thistle’s belly and a look of wide eyed wonder plastered upon her face. Bon Bon and Lyra were discussing something with Loch Skimmer that was making all three of them giggle. Rising Star was reading a large heavy book about practical enchantments and their everyday applications in the life of the common pony. Belisama, who had curled up beside him, had her eyes closed, but Bucky knew that she wasn’t sleeping.

Already, Bucky was missing home. There were things to do. There were thousands of golems to create; he had already created thousands, but there was still so much to do. He heard Berry Punch and Twilight Sparkle talking about the soon to happen session of the Stable of Representatives and the issues on the docket. He heard Rainbow Dash and Derpy talking about motherhood and Rainbow Dash’s pregnancy. Bucky was already beginning to feel overwhelmed. He gritted his teeth and tried to tune out the sounds he heard all around him.

Twilight and Berry Punch changed the subject to talk about Tannis and Agnetha. Bucky heard them discussing how much power they had, how much influence they had on Equestrian politics, and both seemed happy that the griffons were trusted by Celestia.

So was Bucky.

He felt Belisama move against him, her small body wiggling around as she tried to get comfortable. Bucky had noted that Belisama had been closer as of late, and he couldn’t help but compare her behaviour to Lugus’. It seemed that griffons, no matter their size, could be quite attentive of their mates. If Belisama wasn’t with him, then she was with one of the mares in the herd. Bucky heard her let out a little whimper as she shifted and he wondered if she was in pain.

Even if he asked, Bucky knew she wouldn’t tell him. He sighed and felt a little frustrated.

The train rocked back and forth as it continued along the steep incline that lead to Canterlot. Bucky closed his eyes and began to make plans. There was so much to do and so many lives at stake.

The world was still reeling from the loss of Labyrinthia, but the response had been positive. The only place still friendly to the rebels was now the Hinterlands and the lands to the far east, those lands that bordered on the wild dragon territories. The various diamond dog kingdoms were all now seeking peace rather than face obliteration. The rebels, those with guns, found no shelter in any country. Plans were being made to deal with the mirror travelers, to hunt down their portals, and then destroy them.

There were already problems down in Saddle Arabia and Bucky was certain that he was going to have to go down there to deal with them in pony. Truth be told, he didn’t mind. He missed the food.

No doubt, the trip might be dangerous. Labyrinthia had been easy. The minotaurs had guns, not advanced magic. The mirror travelers were more than capable as far as magic skills went and turning into a dragon to deal with them might not be the very best of ideas.

Bucky wasn’t sure how to deal with the issue, but he knew he wasn’t alone. Soon, there would be help. The Shadowbolt Initiative would play upon the one thing the mirror travelers feared most; shadow magic.

Fear was Bucky’s favourite weapon.

 

 

“No, no there hasn’t been any morning sickness yet. I’m hoping that with all of my stunt flying and training that I’ll be able to just ignore the nausea,” Rainbow Dash said in a low voice to Derpy.

Derpy chewed on her lip in a thoughtful manner. Something about that didn’t quite make sense to her, but she wasn’t sure what. She said nothing, not knowing how to warn Rainbow Dash that it didn’t quite work that way.

Rainbow Dash smiled a winning grin. “The doctor said that I’ll have elevated testosterone levels during my pregnancy just like Surprise said I would. We’re going to work on a training regimen that will help me build up some muscle mass and strength training. Nothing that will hurt the foal though… Surprise tells me that it is perfectly safe and that she put on a whole bunch of muscle mass while she was pregnant. She had Spitfire and a professional trainer helping her.”

“I wonder if that is why I am so strong… I had Dinky while everything was still developing as a teenager,” Derpy said as she thought about what Rainbow Dash had said.

Shrugging, Rainbow Dash’s face became one of confusion. “I don’t know… maybe?”

Derpy didn’t know either, but now she wondered.

“This could help my career as a Wonderbolt if everything goes just right,” Rainbow Dash said as she turned her head to look out the window. The pegasus took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then let it out a little at a time. “Of course, if this pregnancy goes all kinds of wrong, it could ruin my career too… I hope that doesn’t happen.” She turned away from the window and looked over at Flash Sentry.

Reaching out her wing, Derpy touched Rainbow Dash on the cheek to comfort her. “You’ll be fine, stay positive.”

“I hope it’s a colt,” Flash Sentry said.

Snorting, Rainbow Dash leaned over and nosed Flash Sentry and then prodded him with her hoof. “And Twilight wants a filly. Nopony cares what I want.”

Flash’s eyes opened wide. “That’s not true. Twilight and I both know that you want it healthy. I want a healthy colt… Twilight wants a healthy filly.”

“These jerks have placed a bet on the whole issue,” Rainbow Dash said.

Derpy’s ears perked up. “Ooooh… what’s the wager?”

“What?” Rainbow Dash asked, her voice filled with incredulous surprise.

Flash Sentry grinned. “Slavery. If Twilight wins, I have to be a slave to her and Rainbow Dash for one month. If I win, Twilight has to serve me and Rainbow Dash for one month.”

Nodding, Derpy liked this outcome. “Either way, Rainbow wins and she gets a month of being looked after when the foal is born.”

“Yep,” Flash Sentry replied.

“You jerks are still betting on my foal though!”

 

 

Sentinel tried to ignore the strange feeling of the glasses upon his nasal bridge. They looked like regular eyeglasses, but functioned as sunglasses to protect his eyes from the bright light. Using the central knuckle on his wing, he readjusted them.

“In the latest issue Princess Punishment dies. The Diabolical Dimwit finally gets lucky and kills her,” Spike said, sounding more than a little disappointed.

Piña made a dismissive gesture with one front hoof. “Comic book heroes die all the time and then come back… Princess Punishment will be just fine.”

Feeling the need to make a point, Spike puffed out his chest and pointed his claw down at the comic in question. “But she dies to the Diabolical Dimwit. He’s super-stupid and makes others around him super-stupid. The Diabolical Dimwit isn’t even Princess Punishment’s villain, he is the arch-nemesis of Professor Piledriver.”

“But Professor Piledriver is currently evil because he is being mind controlled by the Mane-iac and her shampoo of subversion,” Sentinel said.

Spike nodded. “And that is why this whole thing is stupid. Princess Punishment should have been trying to free Professor Piledriver from the Mane-iac’s evil clutches and not off fighting the Diabolical Dimwit.”

Superheroes. More and more, Sentinel thought about superheroes. There was real evil in the world, this world, not just in the comic books. Evil that needed to be put down. And while his father worked against said evil, Sentinel knew his father tried to stay out of the public eye as much as possible.

What ponies needed though, was a hero to inspire them. Like the Mare Do Well. There were real life superheroes. The city of Baltimare currently had a pegasus dressed up in a costume and a mask that was foiling crimes and kept showing up in the paper over and over.

The papers called him the Hoot Owl and the Hoot Owl was making the police look bad.

“Where are the Power Ponies?” Piña asked.

The Hoot Owl had gadgets, or so eyewitnesses said. Smoke bombs. Bolos. The Hoot Owl did not kill, but dispensed justice and then dragged criminals in, leaving them on top of the police stations, up on the roof.

“Oh, the Mane-iac sent them back in time and now they are trapped. They’re having to fight pirates while they look for some magical artifact that will send them back home to the right time,” Spike replied.

The Hoot Owl was giving ponies hope… and much to Sentinel’s surprise, had been joined by a unicorn wearing a mask. The unicorn was named the Mysterious Marevellous, and she had joined the crusade against crime.

Sentinel believed this was awesome.

The Mysterious Marevellous was already being investigated by the Black Cloaks. Sentinel had heard his father discussing it with Twilight. Sentinel hadn’t meant to eavesdrop, but his ears were just so sensitive. He couldn’t help it.

This was not awesome.

Sentinel believed that the world needed superheroes. Ponies like the Hoot Owl and the Mysterious Marevellous were making a difference in the world. They were common ponies. Everyday average ponies. Sentinel believed that was important. His father was a type four unicorn. That was not an everyday average pony, and while his father was a hero, Sentinel knew that Bucky was exceptional.

“So if the Power Ponies are in the past, why not just use the magical artifact to jump ahead to the time when the Mane-iac has her accident that makes her an evil villainess and stop it from happening?” Piña asked.

Sentinel believed that Ripple had all of the right stuff needed to be a hero… and so did he.

“I dunno… that’s a good point,” Spike replied.

“Comics are stupid sometimes,” Piña said.

The young lunar pegasus colt began to wonder what it would be like to be a real life superhero. To make a difference in the world. To fight evil. To bring hope. To inspire others to stand up and make a difference in the world. The big cities were full of crime… and evil.

Ponyville, not so much. Sparkler and Flash Sentry had pretty much cleaned up Ponyville. The Ponyville police force had done their job and now Ponyville was boring and unexciting. But Baltimare, Fillydelphia, the ruins of Manehatten, Vanhoover, and even Las Pegasus, which was being re-established as a city, those big cities had big crime. They had bad ponies. They had criminals. They had potential villains.

Villains. Criminals by trade and doers of evil. Repeat offenders. Those who organised crime and waged war upon the police. Sentinel was all too aware of their existence. Comic books. Crime novels. Murder mysteries. There was a whole dark underworld out there just waiting to be busted up.

Sentinel wanted to be the one doing a little busting.

“I still don’t understand how the Mane-iac turned a washing machine into a time travel portal,” Spike said.

Rubbing her chin, Piña gave thought to the problem. “Perhaps she fiddled with the arcano-tech somehow. It’s stupid, but with magic, anything could be possible.”

No, with muscle and sinew, anything was possible. A pegasus could become a hero. Even though Sentinel had magic, he didn’t think he was very good at it yet.

“Sentinel?”

Piña’s words jolted Sentinel out of his thoughts.

“Huh?” Sentinel asked.

“Are you okay big brother? You’ve been staring at the wall for a long time now. Are you feeling okay? Do you need to take some pills like I did so you don’t get motion sickness? You seem out of sorts,” Piña said.

Sentinel took a deep breath, held it for a moment, tried to think of what to say, and then exhaled in a huff. He cleared his throat. “I was just thinking about stuff.”

Unable to help herself, Piña had to tease her brother. “I bet you were thinking about ‘stuff’... tell me, is the stuff you’re thinking about pink, wear glasses, and named Diamond Tiara?”

Blushing, Sentinel turned away from Piña and stared down at the floor.

“I’ll be sure to tell Diamond Tiara that you’re thinking about her ‘stuff’,” Piña said.

With his cheeks and ears now on fire, Sentinel gave his sister a bit of a stare. Nothing too harsh, but Piña’s teasing was unbearable at times.

Spike pointed with one claw. “Heh! Look, Sentinel’s glasses are fogging over!”

 

 

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