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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“Majesty, we have reports of violence in the outer crescent beyond the mid city walls. There are angry protesters in the streets. There are different groups, each of them angry about something. There are also angry guards demanding that you overturn the Lord of Winter’s decision.” The pegasus guard looked up at Princess Celestia with wide fearful eyes.

“Summon Captain Hierofalco and his regiment. Have him look after the guard and see if their ruffled feathers can be smoothed over,” Princess Celestia replied. “As for everything else, try to bring calm to the situation if possible and keep me informed of any changes.”

The guard snapped off a salute with his wing, turned, and then departed.

Watching the guard go, Princess Celestia wondered if the fragile peace would hold.

 

 

“I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all. I can feel the hatred and hostility that is seething in this city.” Shining Armor stood near Princess Celestia’s empty throne.

On the floor, not far away, Cadance, Glass Slipper, and Tourmaline played together.

“There were a lot of emotions today. A lot of ponies had everything they believe in challenged. A lot of ponies had their entire way of life threatened. While a lot of ponies are angry, I think it will be okay.” Twilight Sparkle looked over at her brother. “We have to trust in the good of our subjects. There are good ponies. There are lots of good ponies and there are a lot of good unicorns, so don’t bring that up again either, Shining Armor. I saw them today, trying to help protect and defend those who could not protect themselves. While the violence in the Stable of Representatives chamber today was unsettling, a lot of good ponies stepped up to do the right thing, unicorns included.”

“I’m not worried about those unicorns,” Shining Armor said in a soft voice to his sister as he moved towards the three foals playing on the floor. When he reached the quilt where they were playing, he sat down on the edge. “I can feel this city’s sickness.”

“Shiny!” Cadance bounced up and down where she was sitting and looked up at Shining Armor, her eyes glittering with adoration.

“Do you need a hug, Cady Bug?” Shining Armor asked.

“Yes!” Cadance extended her forelegs.

Scooping Cadance up in telekinesis, Shining Armor held her close. He wrapped one foreleg around her and clutched her to his neck. He kissed her, once, and then closed his eyes as he squeezed her.

“I feel dizzy,” Tourmaline said as she looked at Shining Armor and Cadance. “Almost too much… my head…”

Worried for her friend and playmate, Glass Slipper threw herself onto Tourmaline and squeezed as hard as she could. “Love makes you stronger, silly!”

“Too much at once.” Tourmaline fell over with Glass Slipper on top of her. She rubbed her head and let out a low moan.

“This is what I mean Shining Armor… we have a pony that is best friends with a changeling hugging on the floor right in front of you. While this city might be sick, there is still hope. Things can still change. We have to look for the good in things and celebrate them when we find them.” Twilight Sparkle smiled and looked at Glass Slipper and Tourmaline.

Shining Armor opened his eyes. “You speak as if there is some mystical, magical force that friendship brings.” His tone was teasing and there was half smile, half smirk upon his face.

“My recent trip with Princess Celestia and all of my friends taught me that there is a lot of good in the world still. There are brave souls willing to fight and do what is both good and necessary. The trip… the trip reignited my passion and gave me perspective. It made me grow as a pony and a leader. I can choose to focus on the negative, to worry and fret… or I can focus on the good in the world and then work to reinforce it so that it grows stronger. I choose a more proactive stance and I look to what I can defend rather than what I can fight.”

“Little sister, you have grown up…”

 

 

Standing on the balcony of Princess Luna’s room, Bucky stared off at the lurid orange glow on the horizon, feeling a painful lump in his throat. He glanced over at Luna. They had just watched the moon rising. In Luna’s eyes, Bucky saw tears.

“Not again… how can I protect them if they keep doing this to themselves?” Luna’s voice was a pained whimper. “These fools… they have set the city on fire… Buckminster, prepare yourself. I must secure Erebus.”

A lunar pegasus landed on the balcony, folded his wings, and bowed his head. He looked at Bucky, then Luna, and his slitted eyes blinked. “Majesties, I have dire news to report. As you can see, the outer city, the poor quarters, have been set ablaze. But there is a bigger problem. Somepony has gated in a demon and it is running amok near the trainyard.”

“Buckminster... Buckminster, this is a real crisis…” Luna felt a burst of cold and then she realised that Bucky was gone. “Get rainclouds on those fires! Secure the school! Begin trying to evacuate the quarter around the railyard! Mobilise the entirety of the guard! MOVE!”

The guard’s wings snapped out and he launched himself from the balcony, off to do his Mistress’ bidding.

 

 

Flying in griffon form, Bucky followed after Twilight Sparkle. They flew over a city now caught in the grip of fear. Beneath them, ponies stampeded through the streets. There was violence happening, but there was no time to intervene in the troubles down below. Those were minor troubles compared to what was ahead.

There was much bigger trouble ahead.

There was a loud supersonic crack and Bucky knew that Luna was off to deal with the outer city, off to summon up as many stormclouds as she could. He poured on some speed and tried to keep up with Twilight, who kept accelerating towards the terrible threat that was ahead.

Bucky hoped that he could keep Twilight Sparkle safe.

 

 

“We have screwed up.”

“No denying that.”

“We don’t have much to live for.”

“No denying that as well.”

“The city is burning. Again.”

“They keep building the new buildings out of wood!”

“We may not be able to pay our debt, but we might be able to earn forgiveness. Who’s with me?”

“We’re confined to these quarters.”

“And earlier, most of us deserted from our posts for a variety reasons, which is what got us here. We’re already in trouble, it can’t get any worse.”

“Anything is better than sitting here.”

“One last chance to prove ourselves… do we take it?”

“You know, we could use this chance to escape the city… we could go south… or somewhere…”

“Well, I plan to go and redeem myself. I have no idea what the rest of you are going to do.”

 

 

“Hey ugly! I got bad news for you… there is only room in this town for one ugly messed up looking creature, and I was here first!” As Bucky taunted the demon, he brought up spell protections. He could see that Twilight was doing the same.

The demon, taller than a building, glared at Bucky. It was a massive, fat, disgusting thing with four arms, two legs, a large protruding belly, and a head that looked like all of the worst parts of a hippopotamus had been smashed together with a naked mole rat in the most haphazard manner possible.

With a beam of telekinetic force, Twilight Sparkle began the exchange of hostilities. It struck the demon in its fat, gross gut and bored a hole through him. The demon grunted, paused, and then began to chuckle as the hole began to close up and his flesh knitted itself back together.

Moving faster than the eye could see, the demon lunged for Twilight Sparkle. He snatched her up in his greasy fifteen fingered fist, squeezed, and then rearing back, hurled Twilight away.

Bucky watched as Twilight Sparkle smashed into the side of a building. The wall shattered and Twilight kept going. The building crumbled from the impact and the wall collapsed. Bricks poured into the street.

Filled with rage and grief, not knowing if Twilight had survived, Bucky darted forward as shadow, streaking past the demon, moving towards the train yard as a black intangible blur. The demon followed, stomping on its large flapping feet.

Ahead, a locomotive sat on the tracks. Bucky became just solid enough to use his telekinesis. He lifted the locomotive up, feeling the strain inside of his mind, and then with as much force as he could muster, he slammed the steam engine into the side of the demon’s head.

The titanic creature, almost a hundred feet tall, toppled over as his skull caved in from the force of the impact. It landed on its flabby, fetid belly. Still holding the locomotive in his telekinetic field, Bucky circled around, almost blind with rage, everything in his vision was shades of red or grey, and with all the force he could muster, Bucky stuffed the steam engine into the massive, cavernous cleft of the creature’s buttocks.

The demon let out a howl of pain as the steam engine was rammed up his backside.

Bucky was already picking up another locomotive as the demon got up on its feet. It hunched over, bellowed in pain and rage, grunted, squatted, and shat the train engine lodged in its backside out. Just as the engine tumbled to the street, Bucky slapped him with the second locomotive.

The demon was felled once more, this time landing on his back, and Bucky brought the engine down upon the demon’s exposed and vulnerable groin.

“Oh… that’s how it is… you wanna throw ponies through buildings!” Twilight cried as she came around the corner. The alicorn’s feathers were disheveled, rumpled, and her mane was mussed. She was dirty and covered in soot. Twilight Sparkle shook herself off, bared her teeth, and then burst into flames.

Following Bucky’s lead, Twilight picked up her own locomotive and began clubbing the demon, breaking its arms and legs, smashing his skull, hammering away and raining down blows as Bucky did the same.

But the demon was healing almost as fast as they could damage it.

Twilight Sparkle tried burning it, but it ignored her flames and her fiery conflagration did nothing to slow down the demon’s regeneration. Bucky froze the creature’s arm and Twilight struck it with her steam engine. The arm shattered into tiny pieces.

The tiny pieces dissolved and the arm began to grow back.

 

 

A single, lone pony marched through the panicked mobs. The mobs were all heading one way, and the lone pony went the other. Pegasi guards flew overhead, trying to herd the ponies out of the danger area. Most ponies moving against the herd would be stampeded, crushed, trampled, but this pony was not like other ponies.

What made her different from other ponies was, she was made of stone. She pushed her way through the mob and ponies bounced off of her. She was very, very careful not to crush other ponies beneath her hooves. She pushed ahead, oblivious to the seething mass of bodies around her, and not slowed down in the slightest.

At long last, she pushed her way through the mob and into clear streets where only a few ponies remained, all of them fleeing, running after the departing mob. She picked up her pace a little bit, her stone mane and stone tail had a pert bounciness to them as she worked her way into a canter.

Alone, smiling, she headed for the sounds of battle.

After a few more blocks, she came across two ponies trying to beat a demon to death with steam engines. The demon, now enraged, had gone berserk and the crushing blows did almost nothing stop him. It seemed to be shrugging off the blows of the locomotives. It could do nothing to harm its attackers. It tried to grab the amorphous black shadow attacking it and came away with handfuls of smoke and shadow that slipped out between its many fingers. The flaming pony kept teleporting around so that she was always just out of reach.

The situation seemed to be at a stalemate. The forceful blows of the levitated train engines were no longer even knocking the colossal creature over. It had grown powerful and strong with rage and hate.

Seeing what it thought was a helpless pony in the street, the massive, flabby, disgusting demon snatched one of the now battered locomotives out of the air, reared back, and hurled it at the stone pony.

The hurled engine struck the stone pony with terrific force. The pony, being made of stone and struck with a steam engine, shattered. Pieces of the stone pony flew everywhere and the train engine slid over the street, into a tall group of rowhouses, and toppled them over.

There was a furious howl of rage that filled the night and the demon began to chuckle.

 

 

 

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