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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Dinky, her voice no more than a whisper, leaned over towards the unicorn sitting next to her, and asked, “Psst… hey… Sunny Springs… what is a pony and griffon hybrid with no wings called?”

The unicorn next to her shrugged. Looking down at her paper, Dinky began to feel panicked. Her textbook had said nothing about this. She had looked everywhere. She looked over at the chubby colt sitting nearby. “Hey, Truffle Shuffle, do you know?”

The colt shook his head and Dinky saw that he was just as confused about the issue as she was. Dinky, alarmed, was running out of options. “Rowanne, do you know?”

The griffoness cub, always silent, let out a startled peep and said nothing.

“Oh snot,” Dinky said to herself.

“Class, it has come to my attention that there is a question on the test not covered in your textbooks…”

Heaving a sigh of relief, Dinky looked up at her teacher, the tough but fair zebra mare.

“A hippogriff born without wings is known as a sphinx… but this isn’t always the case. Sphinxes have the heads of ponies, not avians. This is a defining characteristic. They are seen as half lion and half pony. In some cultures, a sphinx may still have wings, but it lacks talons on its front legs. Instead, it has the paws of a cat. Sometimes, these are also known as sphinxes. What is important is, sphinxes always, always have the head of a pony. That seems to be the only thing everyone who studies these sorts of things can agree upon. Please, class, take notes. This will be on the final exam when you take it.”

Using her pencil, Dinky wrote down everything the teacher said, noting that sphinxes came in wingless and winged variants, had the heads of ponies, and that sometimes, it was the front legs that catagorised them.

“Hey Dinky… Dinky… do you know what a naga is?”

 

 

“You lucky little cat brains got out of school early… you are going to get your physical education scores from me.” Loki’s eyes glittered with pure unadulterated malice as he looked at Scootaloo and Boadicea.

“I should have went on the trip with my family,” Scootaloo said, her voice quavering.

“I’m gonna hang you by your hind legs from that branch over there… and then you are going to do one hundred sit ups for me before I cut you loose.” Loki pointed at the tree branch. A coil of rope lay in the snow. “To make things interesting, I’m going to throw things at your head. Lugus did it to us, and now I’m going to do it to you, you little worthless hairballs.”

“Boadicea, I’m scared…”

“We’re both scared Scoots…”

“Silence, both of you. Save your breath… you’re gonna need it.” Loki made a gesture for the pair to get moving towards the tree.

 

 

“Bucky? You look a little down… are you okay?” Belisama climbed up onto the couch with her husband and settled against his side, using his ribs to rest her back.

“I feel pretty good actually… was just thinking… been thinking a lot about it lately… Harper is growing up so fast. She is showing signs of intelligence… curiousity… she has a personality now, she is showing signs of being an extravert, which worries me a little, I still find it hard to relate to extraverts sometimes.. She has so many questions and she trusts me for everything she wants or needs… it… it… it boggles my mind.”

Laying her head back, Belisama went limp against Bucky’s side. She felt a bit of movement inside of her shawl. “I adore Harper… I hope that Bandua calls me ‘Sama mama’ just like Harper does.”

“She is such a funny little filly… my life has been made better for knowing her.”

“My life has been made better for knowing you.” Closing her eyes, content, Belisama began to purr as she reclined against Bucky’s side.

 

 

“Hold still… stop… just hold still,” Loki said as he took Scootaloo’s leg in his talons.

“It hurts!”

Grasping Scootaloo’s hoof and the upper part of her leg, Loki, with gentle care, turned her fetlock, listening for the sound of grinding bones. He heard the filly hiss and he patted her with his wing. “I think you just gave it a good twist when you took that turn in the snow. It will be fine, but I think you’ll need to rest and stay off of it.”

Laying on her side in the snow, Scootaloo sniffled as Loki continued to examine her leg.

“Already got a bit of swelling. Come on, let’s get you inside the house. Fresh Meat! Get over here! You’re carrying Table Scraps inside and then you are going to wait on her talon and paw!” Loki barked.

Boadicea, doing as she was told, came near. She watched Loki help Scootaloo get up on three legs, and then with a bit of effort, Scootaloo climbed onto Boadicea’s back.

“Careful,” Loki said in a soft voice, giving Scootaloo a gentle shove to keep her from sliding off. “Fresh Meat… a lesson. Always look after your own.”

“Sir, yes sir,” Boadicea said, bowing her head.

Reaching out, Loki grabbed Boadicea by the beak. “No… I want you to take this lesson to heart… we live or die together. We look after one another. You will look after Scootaloo until she’s better… if you slack off, I will flay you.”

Frightened, Boadicea nodded.

“Once I have both of you indoors and sorted, I will go pay a visit to Big McIntosh and let him know that Scootaloo has been injured. He will worry if she doesn’t make it home.” Loki’s feathers fluffed out as a cold wind gusted.

 

 

“Behold, one of the great wonders of nature, the noble pegasus… see how she sleeps, slumbering, hibernating through the winter and her long pregnancy…”

On the bed, Derpy drooled. A strand of her mane rose and fell as she inhaled and exhaled. She lay on her stomach, her front legs kicked out in front of her, both Bell Heather and Cadance were sleeping and using her front legs as pillows.

“This is a fierce creature, a fearsome protector, known to chase dragons, harangue manticores, and is even known to dive into freezing waters to save her offspring… the she-brute pegasus…”

“You silly,” Peekaboo said, looking up at Bucky.

“You, my precious little filly, are also a pegasus. This is what you will grow up to be. A noble, majestic creature,” Bucky said in a low whisper.

“She’s pretty.” Peekaboo turned her head and looked at her wings.

“Yes she is,” Bucky replied. “You know what… you should sneak up on her and boop her nose. Go on…” Reaching down, Bucky prodded Peekaboo’s backside to get her moving.

“No…” Peekaboo braced her legs.

“Go on, get boopin’,” Bucky said, giving Peekaboo another gentle shove.

The filly, giggling, dropped down into a crouch and began to creep forward, catlike, something she had learned from all of her time spent around griffons.

“Following the terrible advice of a bored unicorn, a brave young pegasus filly goes on the hunt… her prey… a tender snoot in need of booping. Will she survive the encounter with the much larger mother pegasus?”

Slinking along on her belly, Peekaboo approached the bed, her hooves only making the slightest sounds as she crept forward. Her wings flared out as she stalked, her movement was far more feline than equine.

“So brave, our noble little pegasus hunter…”

Reaching the bed, Peekaboo stood on her hind legs, peered over the edge, and then, flapping her wings, boosted herself up and onto the mattress. She slid forward along her belly, her movements careful, slow, steady, every inch gained was cautious to the danger she was in.

She lifted one hoof, reached out, and with a faint giggle, Peekaboo pressed her hoof to Derpy’s snoot.

The grey mare let go a foghorn blast from out of her backside, right as Peekaboo pressed upon her snoot. Derpy snorted, now awake, having been startled into wakefulness by the nose boop and the powerful blast of her own flatulence.

Squeaking, squealing, Peekaboo took to her hooves, bolted, and when she hit the edge of the bed, she flapped her wings as hard as she could as she lept for safety, trying to escape the blast zone.

Cadance awoke with a cry, sniffed once, and covered her face with her hooves.

Bell Heather let out a startled grunt and filled her diaper from fright.

Chaos erupted.

Lifting her head, Derpy looked around, trying to figure out what had just gone wrong, because she didn’t know. She blinked several times, her eyelashes clinging together, her nostrils flared as her muzzle crinkled, her mouth opened and her tongue fell out.

“Blech!” Derpy shook her head, her tongue flapping, and her mane spilled around her eyes. The grey mare’s face held an expression of sleepy confusion and mild panic.  

Peekaboo never stopped running, she hit the bedroom door and kept going, streaking off to find her mother and perhaps saner ponies with better advice.

Falling over the floor, Bucky clutched his sides as he began to howl with laughter.

 

 

“What happened?” Bucky came around the corner and stood in the archway entrance to the living room.

“Table Scraps twisted her fetlock a bit during a sharp corner,” Boadicea replied.

“Hmm, I’ll go make an ice pack,” Bucky said.

Loki, making certain that Scootaloo was comfortable upon the couch, lifted the filly’s head and stuffed a cushion beneath it. He looked worried, his crest was half erect, and his neck feathers remained fluffed.

Yew popped her head into the room, smiling, but her face became serious when she saw Scootaloo on the couch. She trotted in, stepped over Loki, and looked down at the filly. With her surviving eye, she studied Scootaloo’s fetlock.

“Any grinding sounds? Or feeling of something catching?” Yew asked.

“No. Moves smooth. No sounds,” Loki replied as he stepped aside. “Rotates well, but it hurts her.”

“What happened?” Yew, whose snoot was inches from Scootaloo’s swelling fetlock, looked worried.

“Sharp corner. Lost traction in the snow. Went down.” Loki sat back on his haunches and reached out with his talons. He brushed Scootaloo’s mane out of her face and then stroked her cheek.

“We’ll keep an eye on it. If it swells too much, Lugus will fly her to the hospital.” Yew sat down upon the floor, rubbed her stomach, and closed her eyes for a moment. Opening her eyes again, she shook her head. “I feel kinda nauseous. I don’t know why.”

Bucky, returning with an ice pack, laid it down upon Scootaloo’s fetlock and then eyed Yew Wood. His eyes narrowed.

“I am off to tell Big McIntosh what happened,” Loki said as he turned and began to leave.

“Going to be sundown soon. Hurry back, the dark brings cold,” Bucky said to Loki as the griffon departed.

“That feels a little better.” Scootaloo sniffled and wiped her nose with her good leg.

“Anything you need?” Boadicea asked.

“Just sit with me and keep me company,” Scootaloo replied.

 

 

Yawning, Harper woke up from her short nap with Sukari. She felt a little hungry. Yawning again, she shook her head to clear away the sleepy. Beside her, Sukari was still asleep. The nursery was quiet and cozy.

Harper felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up when she heard a scritching scratching sound though. Something felt… off. She lifted her head.

“What?” she asked.

There was no reply.

There was a faint soft scratching sound, a squeak, and a hiss. Harper, growing alarmed, did not like what she was hearing. Her dark purple eyes narrowing, she felt a tingle in her horn, but this was not a good tickle, this was a bad tickle.

Something black and ugly was scurrying over the floor and towards the cushions where Harper and Sukari were cuddled together. It had red eyes. It was hard to look at and Harper squinted to see it.

“Bad. Go away.” Harper’s tone was fearful.

The creature squeaked.

“Want zap?” Harper asked.

The creature, its red eyes flashing, darted towards Harper, its mouth open and long yellow teeth bared. A bad smell filled the nursery.

“ZAP!” Harper cried, her horn igniting. Lightning arced from the tip as Harper unloaded.

Sukari, now awake, clung to Harper and whimpered.

The black creature with red eyes was consumed by electricity and burst into flames. An alarmed whinny was heard from the next room.

“Harpy make zap!” Harper lifted her head. There was more squeaking. Harper didn’t like what she was hearing at all. Her horn, still charged, began to emit sparks.

The creature let out a pitiful agonised squeal as flames consumed its body. Harper watched it die with cold curiousity in her dark purple eyes.

Derpy, standing in the nursery doorway, took notice of what appeared to be a giant rat scurrying across the wooden floor, running past the charred smoking mess in the middle of the room.

“Bucky! Help!” Derpy cried in a frantic voice…

 

 

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