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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His teeth chattering, Sentinel kept his eyes squeezed shut. His body, which felt freezing cold even as it was burning up, convulsed and quivered. He felt clammy and nauseous. The medicine he drank had somehow made him feel worse.

For a moment, Sentinel wondered if he was going to die.

Something wet touched him on his belly. The warmth was soothing, whatever it was, it wasn’t water, it made his skin tingle and made the burning pain in his bites dull down to a lingering throb. He heard the sound of water, like water trickling, and then he felt the warm wet touch of something against his flesh, perhaps a sponge. It rubbed, pressing against his skin, and he felt it slide over his injured scrotum.

Opening his eyes, Sentinel saw something blurry and pink. He struggled to sit up a little so he could see better.

“Hold still…”

That voice… Sentinel’s fevered brain rang the alarm bells. And she was touching him!

“I said hold still you big dumb brute!”

A very strong hoof pressed upon his chest shoved him down into the mattress and the sponge continued to rub away filth. Sentinel could hear ringing in his ears.

“This needed to be done… and I’ve seen it all anyway… and you’ve seen mine.”

Sentinel’s tongue felt too thick for his mouth.

“You have blood poisoning. Zecora brought lots of medicine. The stuff you drank is giving you a fever and purging your blood. You’re going to sweat it out and you’ll feel better. But your bites need to be cleaned and there are only so many nurses and so I am doing it. Now LAY DOWN!”

There was another hard shove when Sentinel tried to lift himself up a bit so he could roll over. Sentinel moaned, gave up, and lay still. He could feel the sponge along his balls, along his belly, along his sheath and inner thighs.

The fuzzy pink shape sitting beside him sniffled. She was crying. Sentinel felt terrible.

“You’re so chewed up… this looks awful. I can see inside of you.”

The touch of the sponge was gentle, whatever was being dribbled into his wounds made them feel better. The strong stench of something medicinal was in the air.

Without meaning to do so, Sentinel drifted off to sleep. It had been a long night.

 

 

Opening his eyes, Loki took a look around. All around him was an endless expanse of grey. He was laying on what appeared to be a soft fluffy cloud. Nearby there was an old griffon sitting with a white alicorn, and the pair of them were busy looking at magically projected images of scenes in Loki’s life. On one screen, the screen they were looking at, Loki was reaching up and thrusting his dagger into another griffon’s groin.

Loki, suspecting the worst, made the assumption that he was dead.

He knew his end was coming, he had felt it in the farmhouse. He picked himself up off of the cloud and began to brush himself off. He wondered what the Sun Mother was doing in his afterlife. Reaching up, he smoothed out his crest.

“I have arrived,” Loki said as he tried to make his wings look presentable. He was a vain creature, and even in death, he planned to have perfect wings. “I await whatever eternal torment I deserve. I’m a bad griffon and I’ve done bad things. I’m practically vermin.”

“I disagree,” Sun Mother replied.

“As do I,” the old grizzled griffon said.

The pair turned around and looked at Loki.

“I’ve done nothing good with my life… behind me, I’ve left a trail of bodies in my wake. I’ve done every bad thing my mama told me to never do and then some.” Sitting down, Loki looked the pair in the eye.

“And in the end of your life, you defended a family of earth ponies… farmers.” Sun Mother raised her eyebrow. “Why?”

Loki shrugged. “I don’t know. They fed me.”

“You considered them one of us,” the grizzled old griffon said.

“Earth ponies get crapped on from the day they are born… well, most of them. If I was going to have an end, I suppose I wanted to have an end with someone I can associate with.” Loki began smoothing out his neck feathers. “Besides… I was bored and a fight seemed like a good idea at the time.” Loki stopped his preening and looked up. “Getting your throat wet, getting your dick wet, getting your blades wet. That’s all there is in life.”

“I must respectfully disagree,” Sun Mother said with a teasing smile.

“So what sort of horrible punishment am I in for?” Loki asked, getting to the point.

“You are going to live,” the grizzled old griffon replied.

The greasy looking harrier cocked his head sideways. “What?”

“I am Odin… as you know. And recently, I came into a little power. Instead of squandering it for my own benefit, I plan to make the world a better place.”

“And in the spirit of cooperation, I have decided to help him,” Sun Mother said, giving Loki a serene smile. “You have proven to be a trustworthy trickster.”

The large white alicorn turned her head and looked at a projected image. “This is you… showing your gentle nature with one of my subjects… Scootaloo.”

Odin pointed to another screen. “This is you… stabbing your own brother in the back after you found out he sold your mother for a few coppers.” Odin frowned. “You did a bad thing, but you did it for the right reasons I suppose.”

“And this is you… this is you sacrificing your life for a few earth pony apple farmers.” Sun Mother pointed to a projection with her wing, a smirk upon her lips. “You could have flown away. You could have taken yourself to safety. There was absolutely no need to endanger yourself.”

“Loki… I am in need of servants… the world is in need of changing… and to this end, I am going to make you one of my psychopomps… one of my messengers… and you are going to live.” Odin leaned forward and extended his right talons.

“I might have have a little gift to give you as well,” Sun Mother said, smiling and showing perfect teeth.

 

 

“Sentinel? Sentinel… Can you hear me, Ensign Sentinel?”

Opening his eyes, Sentinel tried to focus. There was something pleasant and blue looking in his vision. Beside it, there was something pink. And there was something grey. His ears rang. His body felt warm and cold. His legs ached in the worst way. His groin area felt as though there was a white hot poker being jammed up his backside and twisted around.

“He’s so little… the poison is harder on his body.”

“He will be fine, I assure you. Lunar pegasi are quite durable. When he comes out of this, he will be almost immune to such maladies in the future.”

“I cleaned him up… when the nurse finally got around to look at him, she said I did a very good job. The doctor came in and gave him a few stitches in different places, including six… in… uh… a very… uh… delicate place that no colt ever wants stitches.”

“Thank you so very much, Diamond Tiara.”

Sentinel tried to process this information and failed. His brain balked at the very notion. He heard bells ringing in his ears. His mouth felt dry and his tongue felt like it was going to split open.

“This doesn’t seem fair.”

“What does not seem fair, Diamond Tiara?”

“Everypony is celebrating and happy… and Sentinel is suffering from a horrible fever.”

“So are many others.”

“But Sentinel was a hero…”

“So were many others.”

“I just feel so bad for him… it makes my heart ache and I don’t know how to deal with it!”

“Diamond Tiara… you have learned compassion, I do believe. You keenly feel the pain of another. You have bathed his wounds and endured embarrassment and awkwardness for his sake. I do believe you are getting better.”

“It needed to be done. Yes, I felt all squirmy doing it, but there was nopony else and it needed to be done and my guts were hurting and I felt sick with worry and there was an ache inside of my barrel—”

“Hush.”

Sentinel heard a whimper. He tried to lift his leg and found that he could not.

“Stay here with his mother and look after what I hold most valuable.”

 

 

Loki awoke, feeling funny all over. His eyes focused right away. He turned his head and saw Boadicea and Scootaloo, who were both sitting beside him. He was laying on a folded blanket on the hard floor. A cushion was beneath his head. A blanket was placed over him.

“You died!”

There was fear in Boadicea’s voice, Loki could hear it.

“You died and Doctor Mawu came over here and poured something down your beak and then you coughed and started breathing again,” Scootaloo said.

“Want some water?” Boadicea asked, holding up a water glass.

Nodding, Loki took a deep breath. He lifted his head and opened his beak. The water hitting his throat was cold, so very cold, and felt good going down.

“We look after our own. We’ve been your nurses,” Scootaloo said.

“I just had to rest a while.” Loki let his head fall back upon the pillow.

“They had to give you a blood transfusion,” Scootaloo said. “You didn’t have much left.”

“Somebirdy gave me blood?” Loki asked.

Holding out her foreleg, Boadicea showed Loki her bandage. “They had to take a dangerous amount of my blood to fill you back up. I’ve been feeling lightheaded and woozy now for hours.”

“She gave you about one third of her blood. She was the only available match.” Scootaloo pulled the blanket back over Loki’s girth and then gave the griffon a gentle pat.

“Thank you,” Loki said in a low voice.

“Aw, don’t mention it,” Boadicea replied.

 

 

Standing amidst the wreckage, Princess Luna looked even more regal than usual. Smoke rising from a burned building whirled around her. The sun blazed bright, but offered little warmth. Ponies stared at her, some bowing, some fearful, a few with gazes of adoration.

“Thunderlane… for your courage, I do believe you are due for promotion. I have spoken with Sparkler… alas, Flash Sentry is gone off with my sister, but Sparkler does heartily agree… you are to be given the rank of Lieutenant and with it, a substantial pay raise. As a Ponyville police officer, you went above and beyond the call of duty. Because of your actions, many were saved. Normally, I would have a much better speech prepared, but I felt that your actions deserved recognition now rather than later. Strike while the iron is hot, and all that.”

Standing between Flitter and Cloudchaser, Thunderlane lifted his head high. “I was just doing my job.”

“Yes… yes indeed, many ponies and griffons last night were just doing their job. You did your job, they did their job, and because so many of you were so dedicated to doing your jobs under the very worst of conditions, many of my subjects continue to draw breath.” Princess Luna’s eyes narrowed as she stared at Thunderlane. “The pegasi of Ponyville could have saved themselves by waiting on clouds until this crisis was over. You chose to stay and fight. And you, you, Thunderlane, you offered a little more. Your leadership under Sentinel’s supervision was exemplary.”

“I just made ponies listen to what Sentinel had to say, that’s all,” Thunderlane said, his ears splaying out sideways.

“Yes. Exactly. That is the point I am trying to make.” Princess Luna stepped forward. “I must wonder… how many lives were saved because you swallowed your pegasus pride… how many lives were saved because you took orders from a colt… how many lives were saved because of your sense of command and doing what was right?”

Flitter leaned on Thunderlane and rubbed his neck with the side of her face. Cloudchaser, her eyes brimming with tears, held her head a little higher.

“Rebuild!” Princess Luna commanded. “If only Canterlot had fared so well. If only the citizens of Canterlot had your courage and your valour, as well as your leadership. Half of Canterlot was burned to the ground last night because some panicked fools lacked leadership and tried to fight the rats by burning down every building where the rats held ground. The ponies of Canterlot lacked horse sense.”

Looking at the crowd, Princess Luna saw fierce pride in the eyes looking back at her. Her words had buried themselves into the heart of every pony and griffon present. For this, she felt glad. She was weary of bellyaching and mewling cries for help when even minor trouble happened.

“All of you have proven your worth… and I, the Princess Luna, am most impressed.”

 

 

 

 

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