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 gathering of the stable reps would not actually happen until Monday, and Rising Star wondered what he was going to do with his time. The Stable of Representatives building had lodging for the representatives, small but comfortable rooms for single occupants, and a fair number of larger rooms for whole families that showed up.

Rising Star of course had a small room for single occupants, one that he was sharing with Bittersweet right now. There would be just enough room for both of them in the bed, but only if they spooned or remained very close together. Of course, Rising Star could let Bittersweet sleep in the bed and he could go find some way of standing in a fire somewhere without freaking other ponies out, which was easier said than done.

History was going to be made. Not only would tomorrow see democracy in action, but Rising Star would have Bittersweet repeating everything he said in ear language.

Reaching out, Rising Star tapped Bittersweet on her side. When he had her attention, and she could see his face, he said, “Come on, let’s go out. I know it’s cold, but I can keep you warm. Let’s find a bite to eat and maybe have a look around.”

Smiling, looking hopeful, Bittersweet nodded.

 

 

“Look how much joy a simple balloon brings.” Thistle watched as Peekaboo bounced the balloon from her snoot, sent it flying, and then as it came down, Harper nosed it and sent it flying again. Peekaboo bounced it upwards once more, and then Sukari prodded it with a hoof.

Cadance, who wasn’t quite coordinated enough to keep up, sat on her hindquarters and clopped her front hooves together, grinning and giggling as she watched the game. Cadance’s wings fluttered as the filly’s eyes almost glowed with happiness.

The balloon came almost straight down and instead of bumping against Harper’s nose, it touched the tip of Harper’s horn. The balloon, being a thin skinned sort of creature and exposed to Harper, a unicorn who could be a real prick, popped. The popping of the balloon produced a loud scary sound. The loud scary sound startled one very skittish zebra with excitable nerves. The very skittish zebra with excitable nerves, now startled, popped in very much the same way the balloon did and took off at a full run for Thistle. Thistle, a kelpie, who had decided to perform a good deed, was now the mother of one very skittish zebra with excitable nerves and Thistle, being a mother, heard her foal cry, and she too, became a creature with excitable nerves. Her ears, which had been in a relaxed position, perked straight up.

With a leap, Sukari collided with Thistle and clung to Thistle’s neck, bawling in terror.

After wrapping her foreleg around the foal hanging from her neck, Thistle noticed that even though Sukari had been spooked, no accidents had happened. The zebra was getting better, and a little more progress could be seen each day.

Harper, who had a disturbed expression upon her face, looked at the tattered remains of the balloon. “Floaty dead, go bye bye.” She raised her hoof and waved to the remains of the balloon.

 

 

Haute Culture. Rising Star half scowled and half smirked at the sign. A small cafe specialising in yogurt. Bittersweet was making the faint wheezing sound that she made when she was laughing, and Rising Star was glad to hear it.

Opening the door, Rising Star let Bittersweet go in first and then he stepped inside. He froze upon entering, and felt his balls shrivel up into his guts as he felt a worrying sense of panic that gnawed at his belly like a living thing turned loose inside of him.

While there were a few ponies inside the cafe, most of the occupants were donkeys, and every single one of them was staring. Rising Star wondered where his air went and his lungs now felt empty. Rising Star felt Bittersweet bump into him as she took a step backwards.

“It’s him,” a donkey said to another donkey.

“It’s her,” another donkey said.

Not knowing what was going to happen next, Rising Star’s muzzle split into a wide sheepish grin, revealing far too many teeth, some of them pointed. “Hi,” he said, his word a nervous squeak.

“We all came to see you.” A donkey mare looked at Rising Star with wide brown eyes. “My name is Sulky. We came from all over to see you. We’re citizens of Equestria too and we want to know why there are no donkey stable representatives. Or any other species for that matter. All of them are ponies.”

“That… that is a very good question actually and one I’ve been wondering about myself.” Rising Star, recovering some of his aplomb, lifted his head and tried to look serious. “Our government is just getting off of the ground. A lot of mistakes are being made as we try to make things right. I am hoping to address some of these issues and maybe fix some of the faults in the system. That is why I brought my wife Bittersweet with me.”

Bittersweet, who had a shy smile, waved one ear at her fellow donkeys.

“So until we can get our own representation, are you willing to speak for us?” Sulky asked, her eyes narrowing and her ears repeating her words in ear language.

“Well, uh, that was sort of what I was hoping to do with Bittersweet,” Rising Star replied.

“I know Dreary. I know you you tried to help her.” Sulky’s ears kept moving, pouring out a stream of language that Bittersweet understood.

Rising Star gave Bittersweet a gentle shove forward and then moved out of the way of the door. He scooted Bittersweet along and pulled out a chair at a table for her to sit down. He looked over at Sulky. “Sulky, would you care to join us? I can’t talk to all of you at once, that would be chaos, so why don’t you come and talk to me?”

Looking around at her fellow donkeys, Sulky saw them all nodding and she saw many ears telling her to make the best of it. She looked over at Rising Star. “That would be wonderful, thank you.”

 

 

Meanwhile, in the town of Ponyville, in Sugarcube Corner, a very worn out Apple Bloom slumped over a table in the corner, sitting by herself, and sometimes casting a glance at Silver Shill and Applejack, who were necking with one another at another table. Too much study, too much science, too much time spent with her muzzle in a book. She had trouble seeing and the letters had finally jumbled together. She sat back and closed her eyes.

So exhausted was the earth pony that she didn’t notice the dragon sitting down in the seat across from hers until she opened up her eyes and saw Spike grinning at her and waving his claws.

“Hiya Spike… how ya doing?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Oh, you know, staying busy. Well, not busy now. Taking a break actually,” Spike replied.

Apple Bloom dragged herself up in her chair and sat up straight. She rested her hooves on the table in front of her and watched as Spike devoured a large frosted cupcake, paper and all. Dragons, she thought to herself.

Licking pink frosting from his lips, Spike focused on Apple Bloom with a serious expression. “Hey Apple Bloom… I was wondering… about the League of Extraordinary Earth Ponies, you know, the club?”

Nodding, Apple Bloom leaned forward. “What about it?”

“I want to join.” Spike licked a glop of frosting from one of his claws.

“Now, I ain’t saying you can’t join, but I gotta know, why would a dragon want to join a club for earth ponies?” Apple Bloom raised one eyebrow and her ears perked forwards. She found that she wanted to hear what Spike had to say on this issue and an ember of curiousity burned within her mind.

“See, I heard it was open to anypony… anyone… anyhow, I’m a dragon, and as a dragon, I have all of this great potential that nopony seems to notice. So I understand what it feels like to be an earth pony, I think. To know that you can do great things, amazing things, and the world just sort of ignores you,” Spike replied. “I’m an earth dragon.”

Feeling sad without knowing why, Apple Bloom nodded. “Yep. That’s being an earth pony. Spike, I had no idea you felt that way.”

With a half smile, Spike nodded. “So, when do we meet?”

 

 

Rising Star stared down into his bowl of yogurt, granola, and dried fruit. He drew in a deep breath, rubbed the side of his head with his fetlock, and exhaled in a huff. He was all too aware of every eye in the cafe staring at him. Every ear was listening to what he had to say. Feeling miserable after everything he had heard, he stuffed his spoon between his lips in a careless fashion and got yogurt all over his muzzle.

“So you see, the laws that are supposed to protect workers, the employers try to say that those laws only apply to equines. We have to eat. We have to pay rent. What choice to do we have? We have to just live with this mistreatment, being paid half as much for doing twice as much work, and if one of us gets hurt, we only have each other to fall back upon.” Sulky tapped her hoof upon the table and then looked at Bittersweet.

Bittersweet had seen everything that Sulky had to say by watching Sulky’s ears.

“Can you help us?” Sulky asked.

“I want to help you, but I can’t make promises. I don’t know what I can do. I will help you all that I can, but I don’t know what I can accomplish. If anything is going to happen at all, we’re going to need allies,” Rising Star replied. He licked the yogurt from his lips and then hunched over his bowl.

“Will the Lord of Winter help us? We know he sympathises with earth ponies.” Sulky lifted her head and looked around the room. There were many hopeful eyes.

“Of course he will, he’s already helping. He’s working with Dreary… as for more help, I know that he will,” Rising Star said in a low miserable voice. “How do things become so screwed up… I don’t get it. Things just get out of hoof without warning.”

 

 

“Think we can save our nest? Or are we totally horned? I’m worried that we’re horned,” Sparkler said to Loch Skimmer, who was sitting on the couch beside her. Sparkler leaned over a bit on Loch Skimmer, glad to feel the pegasus against her.

Closing her eyes, Loch Skimmer took a deep breath and tried not to feel overwhelmed. Ripple was a mess and had be sedated again after Doctor Mawu had come back. Loch Skimmer had nervous queasy feeling that wouldn’t go away, and there seemed to be no way of fixing this, making it all better.

“Loch Skimmer, how much crazy can you handle in a day?” Sparkler asked.

“I dunno, but I think I’ve approached my limit,” Loch Skimmer replied.

Sparkler looked at Loch Skimmer. “I think I know how to make Ripple better.”

Sighing, Loch Skimmer’s ears splayed out sideways. “What is your idea?”

“She needs her donkey and she needs Rising Star. We need to be together.” Sparkler looked over at the bedroom door. “Think we can sneak out and go to Canterlot? Think you could carry us? Might be real hard to explain to ponies on a train why we have a drugged filly.”

“Do you want Ripple to wake up and break every single bone in our bodies?” Loch Skimmer asked. “Have you gone as barmy as Ripple?”

“Maybe. I suspect that I have. But I have a feeling that Ripple isn’t going to be better until all of us are together and staying together and giving her what she needs… we’ve done her wrong. We have really done her wrong. We hurt her. You’re hurt. I’m hurt. I think we’re all hurt.” Sparkler closed her eyes. “Or maybe we should think about calling it quits. Maybe we made a mistake. Maybe we’re all messed up and we have no business doing this, and continuing to hurt one another.”

“Shut up Sparkler!” Loch Skimmer snapped.

Sparkler opened her eyes and looked at Loch Skimmer.

“If everything is going to go wrong, it might as well go wrong with all of us together. I’ll get my harness and I’ll strap both of you in. If Ripple wakes up and gets feisty, use your magic to take her out if you have to. Nopony alive trains as much as Ripple does to condition her body. If she decides to take us out, we’re in big trouble.”

“I know, she slammed me through the floor.” Sparkler shook her head.

“I’ve seen Ripple catch Lugus off guard and power throw him a couple of times now. One time it took Lugus a few minutes before he got up and when he did get up, he was moving around all achy like.” Loch Skimmer’s muzzle became covered with worry wrinkles.

“Well then, I say we get bundled up and get going. I’ll wrap Ripple up in a blanket. I wonder if we have any rope… I wonder if rope would even hold Ripple if she got riled up? You get your harness, and then we’ll slip off. I’ll have to miss work tonight, but that’s okay. Thunderlane likes working at night, says it makes him feel important guarding sleeping ponies.” Sparkler looked at Loch Skimmer. “Are we really going to do this?”

“My brain is screaming at me that this is a terrible idea, so yes… why not… what else could possibly go wrong?” Loch Skimmer replied. “All aboard the flaming pegasus express.”

 

 

 

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