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 wagon was full of straw, a few ponies, and a very large lunch had been packed. The morning sun was warm and soothing. Bucky was already drinking, which dulled his pain. He would burn away the mind numbing effects of the alcohol soon enough. Dinky and Piña were in the wagon with him, and everypony else was walking. The wagon was being pulled by Berry Punch, who didn’t mind a little hard work. As she plodded along, she was having herself a good think.

Without a word, Derpy took to the air, soaring and circling overhead. Sentinel also took wing, flapped a few times, managed to stay airborne for several minutes, and then came in for a stumbling landing. He looked up, frustrated, and resumed his walk by the wagon, grumbling all the while.

Thistle walked beside the wagon, occasionally giving a worried glance at Bucky, concern and worry was clear upon her face. The flower bud in her mane had bloomed, revealing a beautiful pink blossom, which smelled quite fragrant.

The scent was distracting and intoxicating for Bucky.

Rising Star walked with Berry Punch, looking sour, casting a backwards glance over his shoulder at Sparkler, who was walking and talking with a pegasus filly they had met yesterday when they were out exploring the grounds. Both of the fillies were giggling and glancing at one another, occasionally looking ahead.

The pegasus was named Loch Skimmer and she was the filly of a large family of fisherponies. She was charcoal grey and her mane and tail were the colour of straw. She seemed to be about Sparkler’s age, and both fillies behaved as though they had been friends forever.

The proposed site of the guard tower was only an hour or so walk from the castle, in a tiny hamlet whose main function was to grind grain. A windmill was located there, a collection of cottages, an inn, and two main roads crossed there. The area had been hard hit by wolves, and the population of millers had suffered tragic losses.

As she walked, Berry questioned the purpose of the guard tower. The shadow wolves, being shadow, could phase right through walls. They could teleport through solid objects. She wasn’t sure how defensible a tower would be, other than to serve as a barracks for resting soldiers. She supposed if it was kept well lit on the inside that it would be defensible.

The earth pony crested the faint rise and the hamlet was before them, the windmill visible, and a collection of small cottages and buildings. The tower could be seen from the rise as well, and even from here, Berry could see that it was crooked. She sighed. It was like everything else on this Princess forsaken isle.

The plum coloured mare looked up at the grey mare circling overhead. There was something comforting about having a pegasus watching over you. Derpy was a much better flier than ponies gave her credit for, at least in open spaces. Her lack of depth perception was what made it difficult to fly in crowded spaces.

Sentinel took another attempt at flight, getting aloft, gaining some altitude, and then gliding for a spell. As he neared the ground, Derpy swooped down, grabbed him, flew him to a much higher altitude, and then let go. The colt was able to glide for a considerable distance, Derpy staying close in case something went catastrophically wrong.

Lunar pegasi took to flight much later than solar pegasi did, relying upon a different means of flight. Lunar pegasi, while not as fast as solar pegasi in general, were far more agile fliers in the air, able to change direction on a whim, due to adapting for flight in tight tunnels and caves, the dark places in which lunar pegasi tended to live.

As they traveled, Bucky thought about his plan. Today would be a good first step to see how much magic could safely be channeled though Sparkler and Rising Star. He was going to have to talk to them about what may happen in the future. Rising Star was level headed and well motivated, Sparkler was strong willed and well focused. Both would make good type threes, though Bucky did have some concerns about the increased levels of neurosis they were sure to have. It would be a long talk, of that there could be no doubt, and much of his future plan rested upon their shoulders. He wouldn’t force them, but he did plan to be persuasive.

He wondered how Celestia would react to what he was planning.

“Fixing” Dinky to draw her up to the next tier didn’t seem possible. He had deduced that. Not with her physiology. For most, it seemed that a type three was the natural pinnacle of what the common unicorn was capable of. Rising Star and Sparkler could be “fixed” though. It was a matter of forcing the growth of a massive number of thaumaturgical neurons by carefully inducing a repeated series of controlled surges. Type ones probably didn’t have a good physiological base for the “fix” having underdeveloped glands and systems, but type twos had all the right stuff, just not enough of it. Tapping his mind into the ley line had shown him so much, and Bucky now had a powerful understanding of magical theory.

He thought about the school Celestia asked him to head. He could do more than teach magic there… he could take unicorns with worthy gifts and develop them. If something could be done about the inherent neurosis issue, the type twos so common outside of Canterlot could be developed, greatly benefitting Equestrian society a great deal. Rising Star seemed so much more leveled out as a type two than a type two found in Canterlot. What was needed was a generation of unicorns with different perspectives and cultural outlooks. He hoped he could convince Sparkler and Rising Star to be the first.

Typically, the only ones who changed the world where the ones crazy enough to believe that they could, and the recent attack by the wolves as well as tapping into the ley line had driven Bucky slightly mad.

Dinky and Piña remained silent, watching Bucky, realising their father was deep in thought, and not wanting to disturb him. They watched the pastoral countryside roll by as the wagon moved down the lane. Dinky watched her mother fly overhead, occasionally swooping down to grab Sentinel and give him a lift. Piña occasionally watched Thistle, fascinated by the kelpie, mostly by the living plants that were part of her body. Piña didn’t understand how a pony could be part plant, but it fascinated her.

It wouldn’t be long until they reached the hamlet.

 

 

“Sparkler, Rising Star, Dinky, are you ready? We are going to commune again, and I am going to channel magic through you. Are you prepared?” Bucky asked.

The trio nodded in agreement, Rising Star looking serious, Dinky looking eager, and Sparkler curious.

“Make sure everypony stays back,” Bucky warned.

The tower was partially built, and badly done. There was a rickety wooden scaffold around it, and the large stones had been lifted into place using block and tackle, strong earth ponies pulling on heavy ropes that were run through pulleys.

The entire structure was a death trap, and Bucky intended to knock it all down.

“We are NOT to be disturbed, no matter what. Make sure of that,” Bucky announced. “Come close and you WILL die,” he warned.

There was a large crowd of ponies who had gathered to watch, all of them at what Bucky hoped was a safe distance. There was the tower, the scaffold, and the enormous pile of stone blocks, far more than what was needed to build a small squat tower. No doubt they would be used for town projects later. Bucky had other plans though.

Bucky took a deep breath, feeling slightly intoxicated, his body numbed from his alcohol intake. His faint state of drunkenness would be gone, burned away soon enough. He worried about his horn, but that was a distraction he couldn’t afford. He shoved it from his mind.

He took another deep breath and looked at his family. Derpy and Berry Punch sat a safe distance away, Piña and Sentinel in between them. Thistle, not family, not yet, sat beside Derpy. Sparkler’s friend sat near Berry.

Drawing his third deep breath, he summoned the vast magic he held within, the sort of magic he had tapped into the day he had fended off most of the city of Ponyville. His horn ignited, burning bright, and smoke rose from the tip. He extended his will, reaching out and touching Dinky. In a moment, he had her mind connected to his own, and thoughts began to spill between the two of them. He could feel Dinky’s love for him and it humbled him, even in this state of focus. Dinky was his ground and kept his mind leveled. She was the only one strong enough to counterbalance.

He tapped into Sparkler next, and the sudden intrusion of her thoughts pressing into Bucky’s mind was jarring at first, but smoothed out. Sparkler had a natural affinity for rock, and he was going to need that. For Sparkler, the rocks would answer, and the ground would do her bidding. Sparkler was a born geomancer, she just didn’t realise her full potential just yet, Bucky hoped to one day open the door for her.

Rising Star was last, drawn in carefully. Rising Star brought calm and serenity, allowing the four connected minds to function together in something resembling harmony. Rising Star had an affinity for fire, fire that could mimic the blazing atomic furnaces of the stars. Rising Star was pyromantic, something that was held in check by being a type two. One day, Bucky hoped to free the fires within and allow Rising Star to experience his full potential.

As the crowd watched, the communing unicorn’s eyes all went white, and the deep magic began to happen. Gravity relaxed its hold upon the four of them, and they rose up from the ground. Bucky remained locked in the center, Dinky, Sparkler, and Rising Star moving in orbit around him, drifting slowly through the air.

Bucky tapped into the ley line once again, feeling it surge through him, speaking to him, whispering about all things probable. He began to channel the raw energy into the others, doling it out carefully, tapping into their inner potentials and drawing their strength into their own. He clung tightly to Dinky’s feeling of love. It balanced everything out, and kept him from the siren’s call of becoming one with the ley line. Dinky’s voice was much louder and far more appealing. Dinky was far more important than any promise of absolute power.

Bucky reached out with his will and with an explosive roar, the tower toppled. There was a gasp from the spectators, watching all of their hard work being undone in seconds. The stones collapsed into a heap.

Rising Star’s horn ignited and a stream of raw magic lanced forward. Sparkler’s horn blazed to life and also emitted a stream of raw magic, joining Rising Star’s in a common focal point. And finally, Dinky also contributed a stream of magic that joined the others, forming what appeared to be a small blazing sun, which Bucky contained in his own magic.

The heat was immense, and it was only through Bucky’s magic that the group did not combust and be incinerated. Many ponies in the gathered crowd began to back even further away, no one able to look at the nexus of magical fire directly.

Bucky lifted two stones in his magic, feeling their heft and their weight. It would take a half a dozen earth ponies to haul these on a sledge. He took up two more and they began to orbit around the magical nexus, gaining speed rapidly.

With an explosive thud, two of the stone blocks smashed together, instantly turned to dust from the force of the collision. Then, the other two were crushed together, the dust coalescing into a glowing cloud around the magical nexus. Bucky lifted four more stones and smashed them together, and the dust cloud grew brighter and hotter.

More stone blocks were crushed, and the dust cloud became a ball of liquid rock after a while, a tiny planet orbiting an artificial star, arcs of raw magic occasionally striking the ball of molten rock. Bucky kept adding more stones to the orbit, and eventually, he didn’t have to smash them together. He smashed them into the blob of magma he had created and they melted, slowly absorbed into the bubbling mass.

Soon, he has a massive mass of roiling magma. He drew some of it away, holding it in a powerful telekinetic field. He shaped it into a ring, a massive stone ring that would form the foundation for the tower.

Bucky brought his own element into play, cold. He had a natural affinity for cold that was rare among unicorns, and he had always been able to cast cold spells better than anypony else he knew. A common cloud of cold would not do here. He summoned raw elemental cold and began to cool the stone ring carefully.

He set the stone ring down upon the earth and added more stone blocks to the magma orb. He crushed the orb with immense pressure, keeping it boiling. More stones were added, and then a few more.

Again, he drew some of the mass out, this time forming a flat disc, several feet thick, and the same size as the stone foundation ring. He blasted it with cold, cooling the seething mass, which smoked, sizzled, and popped as it cooled.

He laid the disk down upon the stone ring and added more stones to the writhing red and white mass of magma, increasing the levitating lump of liquid rock’s mass so he could create the raw material needed for construction.

Sparkler was writhing and moaning in mid air, a look of indescribable pleasure upon her face. She was a unicorn in throes of magical bliss, channeling her talent, and fulfilling her purpose. To those who didn’t know, her writhing seemed sexual, but the truth was far more meaningful. Sparkler was experiencing something deeply spiritual that would profoundly impact her being and change her life.

Rising Star was doing much the same, his mane and tail were now gone, replaced with burning fire that did not consume him. Bright pink flames blazed from his white blank eyes and sparks shot from his hooves.

Dinky looked happy, holding herself and hugging her own barrel, raw magic coursing through her. She giggled occasionally, and make pleasurable little moans like she did when she was eating ice cream.

More stone blocks were added to the ball of magma to continue the process of building the tower, which was growing steady.

The next stone ring was almost ‘C’ shaped, open at one end for a door, it was cooled slightly, and then dropped upon the base. Another took shape, and then another, Bucky adding stones even as he shaped the sections,

The sections cooled into one another, forming a solid mass of stone, the tower already taking shape, the walls were several feet thick and smooth. There was no weakness in the construction, no imperfect stone blocks that brought about instability. The base of the tower was still terrifyingly hot.

The crowd could only gasp in awe as the unicorns did in an hour what would have taken months of work. The tower, only half formed, was perfectly straight and tall, seemed impregnable in its construction, and was an impressive looking structure already.

And it continued to grow, more stone rings being added, solid stone rings now that the door had been added. Stone stairs had been molded and fused into the structure. Narrow windows had been added near the higher levels of the structure. A solid stone disc had been added to form a second floor, the walls were built, and then another stone floor was added, the stairs snaking up along the walls, and small access points had been left in the stone discs forming the floors.

This was how much of Canterlot had been constructed, not so much stacked stone construction, but construction made by shaping the living rock and molding it like clay. Everypony in the crowd bore witness to the true might of unicorns. The tower would be completed before noon, even though it would take several days of cooling before it would be safe for a pony to enter.

Not content to merely build a tower, Bucky used the extra stones to build a large square stone building adjacent to the tower, a communal hall large enough for the entire hamlet to take refuge in if need be. He shaped several fireplaces, added chimneys to both structures, and left two partially finished buildings that would only need to have doors and glass windows added to complete them, as well as any furnishings that might be added.

Exhausted, he shaped the final remaining mass of magma into a statue resembling Keg Smasher and placed it upon the roof of the communal hall.

Bucky could endure no more. His horn was charred black and thick black smoke rose from it. He lowered himself gently to the earth and the others in his thrall as well. He released them, letting go of their minds, and released his connection to the ley line.

The last thing he saw before slipping into unconsciousness was Dinky looking down at him, her face furrowed with a mix of elation and concern. Before slipping away completely, Bucky was able to smile to let the foal know it was okay.

 

Author's Note:

I've been waiting a long, long time to write this chapter.

I wanted to show what a communing group of unicorns could do together and why Equestria became what it is. It took groups of unicorns to raise the sun and the moon, and this is how I imagined that they would do it, communing together, one exceptionally powerful unicorn perhaps tapping into a ley line if possible, focusing the will and the energy of the group into something miraculous.

This is how I imagine equine civilisation was born. A few unicorns figured out that they could connect their minds and do the impossible.

Also, we see Bucky's first glimpse into the future and how he could benefit society as the headmaster for a school. He has big ideas.

 
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