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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The bar was far too long… endless, stretching off towards infinity in each direction. Sitting upon a cushioned stool, Bucky began to suspect that something wasn’t quite right with his reality. The bartender was a grey pony with a figure eight infinity loop and he was polishing glasses with one brilliant white spotless rag.

Lifting his glass, Bucky took a drink and set it back down. The level of beer in the pint glass did not budge. This reality, however messed up as it might be, had at least one pleasant and worthwhile thing worth noting.

Hunched over the bar, Bucky heard a bell behind him. He looked over his shoulder and saw himself come into the bar and behind himself was Twilight Sparkle. Doing a double take, Bucky realised that something was wrong.

He and Twilight looked a little long and kind of wrong.

Turning his head, Bucky stared down into his glass of beer as a draconequus Twilight Sparkle sat down beside him and a draconequus version of himself sat down on the other side of her. Perhaps if he ignored them, they would go away.

Twilight, turning to draconequus Bucky, gave him a nudge. “Hey Bucky… why the long face?”

Draconequus Bucky roared with laughter and almost fell off of his barstool. He clutched the bar, howling and slapped Twilight on the back.

Something was very wrong with this reality. Bucky gritted his teeth, annoyed by his own braying. After taking a moment to regain his calm, he looked over at Twilight and himself. “Why are you here?”

Twilight grinned. Her eyes were yellow and red. Her body was long, serpentine, and part of it was covered in shimmering purple-green scales that either looked purple or green depending on how the light hit them.

“Why are any of us here?” Twilight replied. She nodded, her head bobbing up and down on her long neck. “I can tell you Bucky… one little word. Wanna know what it is?”

Sighing with frustration, Bucky’s eyes fell back into his glass of beer. “Sure. Why not. What is this word that explains why are we here?”

“String!” Twilight cried. “I have a bold new theory. I call it ‘string theory’ and I found it because of you.”

Draconequus Bucky fell off of his stool as he laughed but he did not hit the ground. He floated in the air, defying gravity, his long tail curling into a question mark.

“And how am I responsible for this?” Bucky asked, not quite sure if he wanted to know the answer. He looked over at Twilight and realised that she was mad. Completely and utterly mad. Mad as a mercury miner.

“Because you are my friend.” Twilight paused. “And because I love you. I really really love you. And because I love you, I had to save you.”

“She saved me,” Draconequus Bucky said in a manic sounding voice.

Bucky raised an eyebrow at himself.

“The problem, as I saw it, was an intruding destiny. It is like needing to go to the dentist because you have a tooth growing in under a tooth that is already there. Anyways… we’re from a few realities down. In that reality, Discord and Fluttershy fell in love. You’d be surprised how often this happens. And Fluttershy started becoming a draconequus because she was infected. Or maybe she was cured, now that I think about it.” Twilight Sparkle the draconequus looked confused for a moment. She reached down and scratched her scales with a the massive hairy arm of an orangutang that hung from her right shoulder.

“In some of the realities we’ve checked in on, Discord becomes a pony… he becomes a slave to string, tied up by twine.” Draconequus Bucky reached over a tentacle and helped Twilight scratch her itch.

“This is all very fascinating.” Bucky looked at the pair of draconequus beside him.

“When Fluttershy started her change, I investigated. I had to figure out what made her different. She and Discord were unique… different. Untouched by destiny. At this point, I was dissecting Starswirl’s destiny spells and all of his studies, hoping to find a way to free you. Eventually, it all came down to string.” Reaching out with her hairy orangutang arm, Twilight pulled her griffon foreleg off and began using it as a back scratcher.

“String?” Bucky asked. He gave Twilight an incredulous look.

“String!” Twilight replied in a singsong voice. “Discord had control of his own string. And so did Fluttershy. Their strings became entwined with one another. So… I had to hunt down and figure out who controlled the strings. Whoever was doing it was doing a very lousy job and I knew that I could do better. That’s the real purpose of my talent Bucky… I was more than just the alicorn of magic… my magic was to duplicate, to replicate any magical talent I found… eventually, my search led me to the Sisters. The Fates.”

“The Fates are bitches! To think I once called them sisters!” Draconequus Bucky tied himself into a knot and turned an angry shade of plaid.

“The Fates didn’t want to hand over your string… there was a bit of a fight. I got my plot handed to me. It was bad… real bad. Almost killed me they did. But I couldn’t just let you die… you were my friend and I love you… and friends rescue each other. So I did what any quasi-deity would do in that situation when their friend was in danger.”

Bucky looked at Twilight. “And that was?”

“I went to Tartarus and started shopping around in the black market, looking for answers. I peered into other whens and wheres. After some time and a few deals that I had to make, I popped into another reality and mugged a very young Tirek just as he was beginning to understand his power. I killed him and I stole it… I saved that reality, did them a favour. But at that point, I was able to duplicate his magic because of my own talent. I was able to suck out magic and steal it away far better than he ever could.” Twilight smiled, revealing far too many teeth, some pointed, some flat, and one very out of place molar that was growing next to a bicuspid in the front of her mouth.

The bartender looked up from polishing his glass. He gave Twilight a peculiar glare.

“When I next battled the Fates, I smacked them down and I smote them. I SMOTE THEM! I took your string, but I did not know what to do with it. I had it, but no idea how it worked. Sorry about that…”

“Sorry?” Bucky asked.

“Really am sorry… there were some accidents. I had your string and you became a slave to my whims. I didn’t mean to. But I was in full control of your destiny. I had the string… what makes you… well, you. Wanna know something really interesting?” Twilight waited, looking expectant.

“What… just tell me,” Bucky said, feeling very concerned.

“The strings are made up of even more strings. It is all string. And the Fates control string. Their cutie marks are balls of twine. Some strings are local, some stretch across multiple whens and wheres. But it all forms a weave. I can see that now. But I made some mistakes with your string… I still feel pretty bad about it, but I fixed everything as best as I could.”

“What happened? Twilight… tell me what happened?” Bucky asked.

“Well, I had your string, your destiny… your fate. And I discovered early on that I had to be real careful about what I thought about you… what I felt. Because if I wanted something that was specific to you, reality warped and things began to happen.” Twilight popped her griffon foreleg back into place and gave it a pat.

Feeling a sinking feeling, Bucky stared over at his draconequus self and then back at Twilight. Something felt very wrong about all of this.

“I realised that I could make you ascend and then make sure that you didn’t destroy the world… it was a pretty powerful thought. I realised… hey, I am an alicorn… and you could be an alicorn… and it takes two alicorns to make natural born alicorns and restore the alicorn race into the world. But there was a problem, see…”

Bucky no longer wanted to be sitting at the bar. More than anything, he wanted to leave.

“You were married. You were in love. You had foals. And so I continued to fixate on bringing alicorns back into the world and you continued to love and make more foals, and the Fates came and tried to take your string back a few times. So in a way, this is kinda their fault… too… maybe.”

Bucky felt sick. He pushed his beer away.

“I needed a way to smack down the Fates and shut them up. I needed a way to solve the alicorn conundrum. And I got a little careless with my thoughts… I didn’t guard my mind. I didn’t have the mental resolve to keep everything well organised upstairs. I’m sorry.”

“What happened?” Bucky asked in a cold whisper.

“Everything I wanted manifested. You ascended. Cadance… Cadance met a bad end. You crushed the Fates and imprisoned them in Tartarus. Your family… they hated you for killing Cadance with your ascension. The world began to fall apart. With the Fates in Tartarus and their power broken, there was nopony pulling the strings and making sure that everything held together.” Twilight looked crestfallen for a moment, the sadness on her face was indescribable, but then she grinned and started laughing. “But I was able to save the world… I gave everything their own string and then I figured out how to sever my own hold over their fates… I freed the world. Suddenly, everyone was in charge of their own fates… their own destinies. It was glorious!”

“Yes it was!” Draconequus Bucky cried.

“There was only one teensy weensy side effect though.” Twilight, unable to stop giggling, covered her mouth with her big orange orangutan hand.

“We all turned into draconequuseseseseseses and now our reality has gone mad. But at least Twilight and I love one another. She’s a fantastic lay, really… she studies and she keeps her cloaca super-tight!” Draconequus Bucky began to cackle.

“These are the consequences of not doing what you were made to do!” Twilight fell off of her barstool and hovered in the air, laughing a maniacal laugh.

“Sadly, we had to put down Celestia when she tried to stop us. She didn’t understand what we were doing… the great favour we were performing for the world by trying to free it. She almost freed the Fates from Tartarus and gave them their power back.” Draconequus Bucky reached up wiped a tear away from his red and yellow eyes.

Not wanting to hear another word, Bucky reached up, stuck his talon-finger tip into one nostril, and his talon-thumb tip into the other. He squeezed with all of the force he dared muster. The pain was explosive and his muzzle filled with agony. He saw stars.

“I don’t think Bucky got the joke!”

 

 

“Bucky, wake up… wake up… we have a stowaway,” Berry said, shaking Bucky and booping him in the snoot with her hoof.

“OW! My nose!” Bucky reached up and clutched his muzzle.

“Did I boop to hard?” Berry asked, looking worried.

“No… no I was having… I was having a really weird dream. Never mind… we have a stowaway?” As Bucky asked his question, he became aware of the sounds of a commotion taking place. He rolled out of bed. Pushing his way past Berry, he made his way into the hall and headed for the source of the trouble.

“In the kitchen. We found our little stowaway in the kitchen. She’s scared… awful scared and everybirdy is afraid to touch her. She’s hidden herself away in the back of a cabinet and wet herself. I thought I’d come get you so you could magic her out,” Berry said, explaining the situation as she followed after Bucky.

“I’d rather not use magic to pull her out… magic implies force and takes away choice.” Bucky thought about his dream. “I’d rather earn her trust and lure her out.”

“Whatever works,” Berry said, nodding as she trotted at Bucky’s side.

As Bucky entered the common room that also served as the dining hall, he heard the frightened squeals of what he knew right away was a foal. His heart lept up into his throat as he approached the kitchen. Standing in the doorway, Bucky looked around at the little griffons, all of whom looked terrified.

“We didn’t touch her! We didn’t hurt her!” one said.

“One of us found her in the kitchen. She panicked when she saw us!”

“But we did no harm!”

“Calm down, all of you. I trust all of you with my own foals. Let’s see if I can talk to our visitor and get her to come out,” Bucky said as he entered the kitchen.

 

 

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