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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“Loki, I would really like to know what you were thinking when you let Boadicea stowaway aboard this vessel… really, I would,” Bucky said in a low voice as he looked at the little griffon sitting at the table across from him.

Puffing out and raising his crest, Loki did his best to look offended. “Some gratitude.”

“Loki, it isn’t about gratitude, it is about me trying to come up with some kind of logical excuse so I can stop Lugus from killing you.” Bucky lifted up a teacup in his talons and felt a sense of wonder as he felt heat against his flesh.

There was a worried peep and Loki’s feathers pulled tight against his skin. “I saw Boadicea climbing up the side of the vessel. She can’t fly. And I think to myself, she could get in all sorts of trouble for doing this. But then I thought about you, and how much trouble you get into, and I have an obligation to you. So… I climbed up as well and tucked myself away. Boadicea was tailing you the entire time. And that cub is foolish! She almost gave herself away because she allowed emotion to govern her behaviour. So I grabbed her and explained that it would be better to kill them one by one. So we snuck along together and eventually, we bump into Sunset Shimmer. She was tailing you too. But when we met her, she was a very nosy looking goat—”

“A goat?” Bucky asked, looking first at Loki and then at Sunset Shimmer.

“I had my reasons.” Sunset Shimmer looked miffed.

“Nobirdy ever suspects a goat.” Loki shrugged. “Goats follow. Isn’t that what they do?” Loki paused and took a deep breath. “So we show up at the shacks where the mine entrance was and Sunset Shimmer is still a goat and this unicorn guard shows up and he’s looking at this goat—”

“Loki, shut up. Not another word,” Sunset Shimmer said, her eyes narrowing.

Bucky shook his head. “Loki, keep going.”

“Master!”

“So this unicorn is looking at the goat and I’m wondering, is the unicorn feeling lonesome?” Loki’s crest rose and he looked at Bucky. “I’m moving into position and the unicorn starts trying to milk the goat and Sunset Shimmer is going ‘baa’ and I wait for the unicorn to be disappointed by getting no milk.”

“And that’s when Loki stabbed him,” Boadicea said.

“You waited for him to be disappointed?” Bucky’s eyes narrowed and he looked at Sunset Shimmer, who had turned away and looked pouty.

“I got molested.” Sunset Shimmer snorted and refused to look anypony or anybirdy in the eye. “He was rough too… just yanking way on my little goat teats. It hurt.”

Twilight Sparkle’s laughter escaped in the forms of little snorts and she bit her lip to keep from laughing at her friend.

“After that, there was a lot of killing,” Boadicea said.

“Master, I did a little interrogating while we were still above ground… I bored into a unicorn’s mind and did a little digging. She didn’t give me what I wanted, and the next one didn’t either, but I learned something interesting from the third unicorn guard that I took a little peek inside of.”

Setting down his teacup, Bucky narrowed one eye and looked at Sunset Shimmer. “And what is that?”

“As a pegasus, the Night Stallion had a power… a strange magic that caused weakness in others proportional to their strength. In combat, it made him a powerhouse. I think that is what gave him the advantage needed to fight an alicorn. Now, as an alicorn himself, his talent is much stronger. It is how their city survives. The strongest demons and eldritch abominations are weakened significantly when attacking the city and the defenders hold them back.” Sunset Shimmer shuddered. “I saw through the unicorn’s eyes… I saw what it is like for them. I saw their fight, their struggle. Each day they just keep scraping by somehow.”

“A magic like that is dangerous.” Twilight, who had stopped laughing, now looked concerned. “I don’t know how to counter something like that. How does one fight something like that?”

Bucky shrugged. “I don’t know. But it explains how he keeps gaining ground I think.”

 

 

Unable to help himself, Bucky reached out and touched a griffoness as she brought more tea. He could feel each soft feather under the fleshy pads at the ends of his talon fingers. He angled his claws away from her tender flesh.

The griffoness peeped and Bucky pulled his talons away.

“If you were to pull my tail, I would not resist you… I would even welcome it,” the griffoness said. She looked up and stared into Bucky’s eyes, managing to go for almost a whole minute before looking away.

“That was not my intention, forgive me,” Bucky said in a soft voice. “I could sort of feel things with my metal prosthesis. The illusion of sensation. This… this is real.”

“Am I not pleasing to you?” the griffoness asked.

“You are.” Bucky smiled a soft smile. “You are one very pretty griffoness… and you will someday make somebirdy very happy. But not me. I have enough wives.”

“Not all females have to be kept as wives within a pride… some are pets. Playthings.” The griffoness looked up again with a hopeful expression.

Bucky’s ears fell back against his skull. “I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to give you the wrong idea.”

The griffoness heaved a disappointed sigh. “I very much want a husband or a keeper.”

“See that griffon, the one right over there? His name is Loki, and I know for a fact that he is single. Maybe try bringing him tea. He likes honey and crystalised lemon slices.”

The griffoness fluffed out her shiny blue feathers. Her crest rose. “He is more predatory than I am. He is a harrier… I have a jay beak.”

“Since when does that matter?” Bucky asked. “Give him tea and a plumage display.”

“Do you think he will notice me?” the griffoness asked.

“If he does, tell him I said no touchy touchy unless he means it.” Bucky glanced over at Loki and then back at the griffoness. He nudged her and she peeped in alarm. “Go on, be brave.”

 

 

“You’re almost as tall as I am.” Twilight looked Sunset Shimmer over.

The pair stood on deck as the sun was setting and The Scorned Mare raced towards home. Both were tall, regal looking, and radiated majestic power. Both mares, named for this time of the day, were enjoying the setting sun together.

“This is temporary,” Sunset said to Twilight in a low voice that contained a hint of sadness. “Every time I tap into this power, it will burn away and in time, I will become as I once was. Just a regular unicorn. I hope I do not squander it and I have no idea what to do with it.”

“Oh.” Twilight’s face fell. She looked at the purple, blue, and gold clouds in the distance.

“They beat him so badly Twilight. I saw him. He was dying. I was so angry… I was filled with so much rage… and wearing the alicorn amulet… that rage was almost the end of me.” Sunset Shimmer cleared her throat. “Master wanted to test me… to see if I was ready for real responsibility and power. He gave me a horrible test. It made Trixie cry seeing the amulet again.”

“I bet it was hard on her.” Twilight glanced over at the unicorn by her side.

“I almost failed. Seeing him hurt like that… it made me so angry… I’m still angry.” Sunset Shimmer watched as the clouds drifted in front of the setting sun. “I almost ascended Twilight… I had it right there in my grasp. I could have bound the phoenix souls to me and I would have become a dark alicorn of fire. I was so close. My rage wanted to burn. Everything the old me wanted was right there, and ready to be taken. I’m angry at myself for being tempted.”

“We all have our moments… the important thing is, even though you were tempted, you chose something else.” Twilight leaned on her friend and wrapped a wing over Sunset’s back.

“I wonder what Master’s moments are like.” Sunset Shimmer, glad to have Twilight so near, felt a little better about her near failure.

“Bucky is too stupid to fail.”

“Twilight, what a horrible thing to say!” Sunset Shimmer felt the alicorn beside her shrug.

Lowering her voice, Twilight Sparkle did her best Bucky impression. “Super evil dark artifact that will give me godlike power… but will it give me teats and beer?”

Unable to stop herself, Sunset Shimmer chortled.

“With this, I could rule the world… but would it get me laid?”

Both mares broke into guffaws.

“This could make me into a being of near infinite power… but will it make me a better daddy?” Twilight asked, holding back her laughter and making a very serious looking face.

Lifting her front leg, Sunset Shimmer reached up and wiped her eye with her fetlock.

“I’m a little angry with Bucky too,” Twilight said as wrinkles formed on her forehead and her eyes narrowed a little. “He never told me about the plan. He just expected me to trust him. It hurt me so much to watch him being led away. Part of me still wants to go and give him a piece of my mind.”

“Master doesn’t like sharing his plans with too many. He feels it increases the chance of something going wrong.”

“I don’t know how I feel about this. A lot of ponies died in Mustangia. I’m still angry at Bucky. But we got the control rod and Bucky is… well… Bucky is better than he has been in a long time and you, well, you’ve faced a real test of your character.” The creases on Twilight’s brow deepened and the wrinkles grew more wrinkles.

Sunset Shimmer nodded as the sun at last slipped below the horizon. “The mirror travelers are dead and the portal was destroyed. We hurt them real bad… Master, he said something about revenge in there… I didn’t catch all of it because of everything going on at the time, and he started coughing and vomiting up blood. But he said something about revenge and not risking his beloved… but I’ve been thinking about it.”

“And what have you thought about it?” Twilight asked.

“Did we take revenge? Or was this just a mission? It started to be about revenge I think. But then, things got dangerous. Master was so insistent upon finishing the mission. He was willing to die I think to make certain that we finished up our task. But when it became dangerous… when my life might have been in danger, he gave the order for us to get out of there. He was afraid of what he might do if the Night Stallion or somepony else hurt me.”

“I understand Bucky’s fears,” Twilight said. Her brow became even more wisened. “I have grown very fond of Glass Slipper. She is… she is more than just a little walking focusing crystal that amplifies my magic and sometimes helps me out in the laboratory. I miss her so much right now.” Twilight Sparkle’s eyes began to water over. “If something was to hurt her… I might drop the sun on their heads. I understand now part of what makes Bucky so dangerous and why he is the way he is. When we were in Fromme du Lac I was so scared that my friends were going to be hurt. Or that Slippy might get hurt. Discord said I had a bad case of mama pegasus going on.”

“Having lived around Derpy and Yew Wood… a bad case of mama pegasus is a very serious condition. Derpy dove down into freezing lake water to save her foals. And Yew Wood… she’s only got one eye… and she gives off this vibe sometimes… you just know that if she got angry, she’d be dangerous.” Sunset Shimmer watched the darkening sky as it faded into shades of indigo, blue, and the soft hues of night.

“Hey! Hey you silly fillies!” Bucky’s voice carried over the wind on the deck. “We’re stopping in Appleloosa on the way home. I want to see a pony named Longhaul and I’m in the mood for refried beans!”

 

 

Author's Note:

The moral of this chapter is, whatever you do, don't get Bucky's goat.

 

 

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