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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“Daddy, could you wait here with me… the rest of you, Dinky, Sentinel, could you please go on in the house,” Piña said as she watched two figures approaching, one a dark purple grey and the other a vibrant shade of orange.

“Dinky, Sentinel, why don’t you wait here with us… this promises to be entertaining.” Bucky glanced at Piña and his muzzle held a teasing smile.

Standing in the snow, Piña squirmed. She looked up at her father, then her brother, and then the filly she called her sister. She blinked and then turned her head. Larch and Babs were getting closer. For a moment, Piña worried that she might explode.

“Hi Larch… hiya Babs… Babs, what are you doing here on the weekend?” Piña asked as the pair drew nearer.

“Apple Bloom is here working on the big super secret project. We were helping. And we were studying. And I was trying to give Larch some helpful advice,” Babs Seed replied.

“Mister Bitters, hello, I was wondering if I could ask you a question.” Larch paused a short distance away from Bucky and stood there, trembling somewhat.

Piña felt her breath catch in her throat. She saw Babs gesturing at Larch with her eyes. After a few tries, Piña caught on to the meaning of what Babs wanted and moved to stand beside Larch. As she stood on Larch’s right, Babs moved in and stood at his left.

Larch, now between Piña and Babs, glanced to his left, then to his right, and then looked up into the horrible Taint filled eye of the school headmaster, the pony that had rescued him from the Tall Tale orphanarium. He glanced at Sentinel. Sentinel was his friend, he liked Sentinel, but now, Sentinel seemed terrifying for some unknown reason.

The earth pony colt licked his lips.

“Out with it Larch… my time is limited,” Bucky said in a low soft voice.

“Sir, I… er… um… well, I am above average in every way but I do not get perfect grades. I do work very hard for the grades I do get, I’m smart, but not so smart that school is easy for me and I have to work very hard for everything I am given.” Larch paused, wondering how this was going, not certain he had chosen the best way to approach the situation. “Anyway, sir, I would like to earn the privilege of asking Piña out on a date and gaining your permission. As an earth pony, I expect to work hard for it.”

“Oh dear,” Bucky said in a voice that contained a hint of teasing.  He glanced at Babs and smiled at the earth pony filly. His eyes focused back on Larch. “Hmm, I don’t know… Piña is one of a kind. She is very dear to me—”

“Daddy, don’t be a jerk!” Piña narrowed her eyes at her father.

“You see, she comes from Shetland stock, so she isn’t fully tamed. And you, Babs Seed, what are you doing here with Larch and Piña?” Bucky asked.

“Oh I was going to go out with them. Us fillies have to stick together Mister Bitters.” Babs Seed looked up at Bucky without fear. “The world is a bad place, just ask Applejack.”

Mistah Bittahs. Bucky drew in Babs’ Manehatten accent and felt more than a little affection for Babs. She had recovered so well and come so far, due in no small part to Luna and Luna’s continuous efforts to rehabilitate Babs in the dreamscape. Come Summer, Babs was going to stay with Luna, under the guise of being Luna’s personal astronomy student.

“Larch, there is no further effort required on your part. If you wish to take Piña out, you have my permission.” Bucky waited for relief to settle over Larch. Watching, waiting, he could see relief settling into the colt’s eyes, and then Bucky pounced like a waiting cat. “But… Sentinel might have something to say about you dating his sister.”

Larch let out a yelp of surprise and looked at Sentinel.

“I am agreeable to this,” Sentinel said in a low voice. “But if she ever comes home crying, if she comes home with a mussed mane and a fearful or worried look in her eye, you should know, I am extremely fond of my sister.” Sentinel’s eyes moved to Babs. “That goes for you, too. Do not betray my trust.”

Piña darted forward and kissed her brother on the cheek. “Thank you, Sentinel.”

Larch nodded. “Thank you, both of you. I will not let you down.”

Babs grinned. “I’m trouble, you’d better keep an eye on me.”

 

 

Sprawled on the floor by the fire in the living room, Bucky pulled Bell Heather a little closer and rubbed his cheek against her side. The foal squealed, wiggled, and her stubby little legs clutched at his face.

“Daddoo.”

“Mama… play with Harper… play now!”

It was getting harder to ignore Harper. Bucky grinned at her. “Harper, I played with you. Now I am having a moment with Bell Heather.” Bucky gave Bell Heather a squeeze to illustrate his point.

“Now you sorry… Harper dead.” Harper gagged, fell over, and her four little legs stuck up into the air. She lay on the floor with her eyes closed and her little orange tongue hanging out.

Bell Heather cooed at her sister’s death and then rubbed her snoot against Bucky.

Cadance, wobbling around on four shaky legs, made her way to Bucky, collapsed against his side, and then laid there. “Harpy dead.”

“Yes, Harper is dead.” Bucky’s voice was alive with repressed laughter.

“Bucky… why… why did you allow Harper to die?” Lyra asked.

“I are dead,” Harper said in a low mumbling voice. She spit her tongue out again for good measure once she was done speaking.

“Ooh they’re just perfect at this age,” Bucky said as he nuzzled Bell Heather. “Bell, don’t grow up on me, please?”

Bell Heather, hearing her father’s voice, yawned and then smacked her lips.

“I see somepony is getting hungry again,” Bucky said as he looked up at Lyra.

Lyra heaved a sigh and nodded. “I can feed her… or I could find Thistle. I think she’s in the back keeping Derpy company.”

“Nopony love dead Harper.”

Bucky stretched his neck out and prepared for foal necromancy. There was only one way to revive a foal that had died from a lack of attention. He sucked in a deep breath, pressed his lips to Harper’s exposed belly, and blew a powerful raspberry.

Harper, now filled with life, squealed as her four legs kicked. She wiggled free from the flatulent touch of her father’s lips, got her legs beneath her, and then took off at a speedy run, her fluffy orange tail streaming out behind her. She shot out of the living room and took off down the hall, shrieking for help.

“Bucky… that… that was funny.” Lyra grinned and her golden eyes were merry.

 

 

Scowling in frustration, Sunset Shimmer shook her head and looked at the spider golem in front of her. She felt a heated burst of anger and then took a deep breath to cool off. The spider golem waited, tapping one leg, letting her know that it was bored.

Taking the spellbook beside her in her telekinesis, Sunset Shimmer looked over the pages, flipping back and forth, trying to figure out what she had missed. This was beyond frustrating. The spider golem had a portion of her own essence, something that Bucky had drawn out of her, so the enchantment could be taken.

“Master makes this seem so easy. A flash of the horn… a little wave of his talons… and then, tada! Archmage level enchantment and perfection on the first try!” Sunset set the book down and slammed it shut.

“Buckminster makes a lot of mistakes… he hardly ever gets things right on the first try. He’s just too stupid to quit,” Trixie said, trying to make Sunset Shimmer feel better.

“Trixie… I am being groomed as his replacement.” Sunset Shimmer closed her eyes. “Master is not going to live forever. Somepony has to continue his work after he is gone. Somepony has to make certain that the school is run with his vision in mind. Somepony has to look after his golems.” Sunset Shimmer prodded the spider golem with her hoof.

“Somepony has just proven that they have Buckminster’s iron will.” Trixie took a step forward. “Somepony took the alicorn amulet, used it, and was not overcome by it. Somepony has shown that they have tenacity and courage.” Trixie took another step closer. “Even though you were scared, you followed his commands and everything turned out okay.” Trixie took one final step forward and then kissed Sunset Shimmer just behind the ear.

Feeling Trixie touching her, Sunset Shimmer let out a sigh of relief and closed her eyes.

 

“Now stop being a mopey pony, get your muzzle back in that book, and do not disappoint the Great and Powerful Trixie.” Trixie pressed her muzzle into Sunset’s mane and inhaled.

“Bartleby?”

“Yes?”

“Coffee please… the robusto Sea of Grass blend. This all day project is going to become an all nighter. I’m going to need help, I can’t do this on my own. I’m going to need both of you.”

“Glad to be of service,” Bartleby said as he scrambled off of the bed to make coffee.

“Master insists that I can create an alarm for things attuned to the specific energy of the mirror travelers. Those things I took from their research lab… they’re not from Equestria. I was able to get blood and tissue samples from Loki and narrow down the magical signature, and  these items match. So we know these items are from their reality. Truth be told, I don’t know where to begin.”

Trixie’s brow furrowed. “What do we know? Anything else to work with?”

“The mirror travelers' magic mirrors our own. Their magic resonates with the ley lines here. I have one of their research journals, but I already knew this. In other realities, their magic is weak or even non existent. In some realities they’ve gone to, their pegasi can’t fly, in other realities, their unicorns have no magical abilities at all. In yet other realities, they reported having strange bipedal forms. Here, in this reality, their pegasi fly, their unicorns have the strongest magic, and this is the place they want to resettle. They are almost like us, but not like us.” Sunset Shimmer watched as the bored spider golem began to tap dance across her desk.

“So Buckminster wants golems to detect them?” Trixie asked. Her eyes narrowed. “Shining Armor can detect them because of their hostility and hatred and that they register as a threat to Equestria, but he gets the same feelings from cultists.”

“Master wants a spell of detection that the golems can use but also almost any unicorn… he expects a spell that could be cast by type twos because there are so many of them in the guard. My recent attempt on the spider golem was a simple alarm spell that should have made a ringing sound when the mirror traveler’s blood sample came in close contact to the golem. Nothing happened.”

Pulling up a chair, Trixie sat down beside Sunset Shimmer. She looked at the pile of books, and took note of the authors. Starjammer’s books were the bulk of the pile. Trixie shuddered in revulsion. She hated reading Starjammer’s works. There was a unicorn that was full of himself.

“Forgive me for stating the obvious, but has anypony asked Twilight Sparkle?” Bartleby asked in a soft voice as he poured boiling water into the Fancy press coffee pot.

“If Master wanted Twilight to do this, he would have asked her. And no doubt, she would have this problem solved in no time at all,” Sunset Shimmer replied.

“Very well… we will not ask Twilight Sparkle. Let us go and ask Discord instead. Perhaps it isn't magical advice we need, but a change of perspectives. Perhaps Discord can see something we’re missing.” Trixie leaned back in her chair and looked at Sunset Shimmer.

“That… that is an excellent idea.” Sunset Shimmer rubbed her head. “You’re brilliant.”

“Trixie is aware of this, but it is still nice to hear,” Trixie replied.

 

 

 

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