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


673. 673

With a groan, Dinky awoke. It took a moment to focus her magic, but she managed, and reaching out with her telekinesis, she silenced her alarm clock. She heard Piña moan up above her and Dinky forced her eyes to stay open. Falling back to sleep would be bad.

With a grunt, Dinky crawled out from beneath the covers, got her hooves on the floor, yawned, shook her head, yawned again, and then began to cross the room. The sun had not yet risen and the only light was the night light, keeping the darkness away from the other bunk beds in the room.

As she crossed the room, Dinky saw the mysterious box Sentinel had left for her in the faint light. She paused to glance at it for a moment, but decided to wait until Sentinel was home to open it. Dinky felt her heart swelling in her barrel as she thought of her brother.

Sentinel was the ideal big brother.

With Sentinel’s example in mind, Dinky approached the other bed and stood there. “Good morning girls,” she said in a soft voice, trying to wake the two adorable sleepers. Harper and Sukari clung to one another, a tangle of legs, and the alarm clock had done nothing to wake them.

“Wake up girls… come on, time to rise and shine,” Dinky said once more in a singsong voice to her two younger siblings. She didn’t want to scare them; Sukari still had accidents, but had not had one in quite some time. Dinky didn’t want to break the streak.

After a moment of being patient, Dinky was rewarded with a yawn from Harper. “Sukari… come on Sukari… we have to get you up and out of bed so you can have breakfast.”

“Wake up, sissy stripes.” Harper shook the zebra foal she was clinging to. “Harpy need go pee pot!”

The zebra’s eyes open and her small body jumped with a start. She looked around, eyes blinking, and realising there was no danger, she yawned, letting out an equine whine as her eyes squeezed shut mid yawn.

“Yay, the bed is dry and there are no accidents! Who are the best sisters in the world!” Dinky bounced in place a few times and her mane’s forelock tumbled down into her eyes.

From in her bunk, Piña let out a wordless grumble, followed by a grunt. “Ugh.”

As Dinky helped Harper and Sukari out of bed, she heard Piña drop down to the floor behind her. Dinky first hugged and then kissed Harper, and then afterwards, Sukari also got her morning hug and a kiss as well.

“Harpy go pee pot now,” Harper whimpered as she squirmed and danced in place.

“Come on Harper, let’s go, follow me,” Dinky said.



Standing up on her hind hooves, Piña steadied Harper on the toilet, made certain that Harper’s tail was out of the way, and that Harper did not fall in. Even in her not quite awake state, Piña’s balance was rather good.

“Gonna make it, Sukari?” Dinky asked.

Sukari nodded. “Will make it.”

“Good!” Dinky said, her voice full of affectionate praise.

There was a plop in the water beneath Harper and the frizzy maned foal grunted. She closed her eyes and made a face of concentration. “Harpy make plop plop not rain drop.”

“Looks like we all get a shower together this morning.” Piña smiled for a moment, then yawned, and then she leaned in and gave Harper a kiss on the cheek. “Good foal.”

“Might not make it.” Sukari began to dance around a little, shuffling her hooves, making them click on the tile floor of the bathroom. “Gotta go. Gotta go. Hurry…”

“There is a universal truth… a fact as sure as fate… there are some things that cannot be hurried, and there are some things that cannot wait,” Piña said as she continued to hold Harper up.



As Dinky was coming down the stairs, she decided that being a clever unicorn was the best sort of unicorn. Letting Sukari pee in the shower had taken care of two tasks at once. Now, Dinky led the way down the stairs, followed by Harper, then by Piña, and Sukari bringing up the rear. Sukari, who was fine going up the stairs, was terrified coming down the stairs, and Piña stood ready incase Sukari started to tumble.

At the bottom of the stairs, Dinky saw a light in the living room. She stuck out her neck, peered around the corner, and saw her daddy. He was holding Bell Heather, and Bell Heather’s soft, snuffling cries could be heard.

“Daddy? She okay?” Dinky asked. She saw her father looked up.

“One of her ears is hot. I think she has an earache. I poured some medicated sweet oil down in there and she seems to be doing a little better. Poor thing,” Bucky replied.

“Mama…” Harper gave Dinky a stern glance.

“Harper, you can say mama, I say daddy. Now hush!” Dinky glared down at Harper in a contest of wills, her head held high and her eyes narrowed.

After a moment, Harper looked away and muttered, “Mama.”

Sukari made a sour face at Harper. “Baba.”

“And Bell Heather says daddoo, so nya nya to the both of you,” Piña said, allowing herself to lapse into immaturity. She stuck out her tongue and shook her head at Sukari and Harper.

Chuckling, Bucky looked at his foals and blinked. “She’s getting her first buds. Little green knots that Thistle says will turn into a mane and tail of water weeds.” Cradling Bell Heather in his forelegs, Bucky rocked her back and forth, bouncing her just a bit as he did so.

“Come on girls, time for breakfast,” Dinky said as she got behind Harper and nudged her towards the kitchen.

With a nudge from Dinky, Harper’s mood brightened and the dispute over mama was now forgotten. Harper pronked away, bouncing twice on legs that wobbled, and then she took off at a somewhat more normal walk, her frizzy mane bobbing up and down as if she was still pronking.



Glancing at himself in the bathroom mirror, Bucky grinned a terrible, horrible, no good mischievous grin. Realising that he had been exposed to the shadow generator twice now, and both times he had been bombarded with magic, he had made a connection somewhere between his ears about what he had been exposed to.

Closing his eyes, he focused his will. He thought about being somepony else. He ignored the tingling in his horn and tried to call forth other magic, something he knew was there. Something… different. He opened his eyes and stared at himself in the mirror as nothing happened. He gritted his teeth and continued to try and make something happen.

For a brief instant, his grey eye flashed green and lurid green flames danced around his body. A faint cackle escaped his lips. Nothing yet, but it was a matter of time before he figured out how to make this work.



The village of Podunk was small, little more than a switching yard for the trains, but it did have a decent enough hotel. For this, Sentinel was grateful. His wing joints ached and his spine was full of painful kinks.

Standing in the hotel lobby, Sentinel was not certain what to do. He had slept like a stone after the long flight, and the Raptors would be departing again soon enough. Sniffing, he smelled food. Hearing his stomach gurgle, Sentinel decided that his rations were subpar and he sauntered off to the diner on the east side of the hotel lobby.

It was a greasy spoon and there were no Raptors to be found.

“Come on in, hon,” a waitress said. “You’re here on a royal stipend. Your meals are covered if you want something. Have a seat. Don’t see many bat ponies.”

Polite to a fault, Sentinel said nothing about the despised racial slur. The waitress didn’t know any better. Instead, he smiled and looked gracious as he took a seat on a wooden seat, climbing into a booth.

“We ain’t got any meat, sorry. No call for it here, but we do have eggs and lots of them. Watcha want, hon?” the waitress asked in a bored sounding voice.

“Coffee… I need coffee,” Sentinel replied in a groggy voice. “Lots of coffee and keep it coming. I’ll also take a dozen eggs, soft fried, and a mountain of hash browns with everything you can throw on them, including gravy if you’ve got it.”

“Somepony is hungry,” the waitress said in a bored monotone. “I’ll be right back with your coffee, sugar.” The waitress sashayed off and disappeared through a swinging door into the kitchen.

The diner was empty. Sentinel realised that he was the only pony present. The scent of coffee in the air made his mouth water and for a moment, Sentinel thought he might have to wipe away drool.

“What about capers?”

“Look, the bat pony said everything you can throw on them—”

“Do bat ponies even eat potatoes? That seems weird… I thought they drank blood and sucked your guts out like a spider does…”

Sighing, Sentinel closed his eyes and rubbed his head. There was no point in saying anything or being upset. He heard the creak of hinges and the waitress returned with a large mug full of steaming coffee, which she set down upon the table in front of Sentinel.

Saying nothing, the waitress wandered off, leaving Sentinel alone.

Feeling a peculiar feeling of loneliness, Sentinel, more than anything else he could think of, wanted his mother, the grey solar pegasus named Derpy, in this troubled moment. To Derpy, he was just another pegasus and her son. Hunched over his coffee, he heaved a dejected sigh.

Staring down into coffee, Sentinel realised that he was going to spend his entire life saving ponies just like these. The thought made him feel even more depressed as he stared down in the black depths of his coffee.



Hunkering down, Neon Blitz looked the crying earth pony in the eye. Reaching out, he patted her on her shoulder with his paw, and then he placed his paw under her chin, lifting her head, so that she might look him in the eye.

“What troubles you, tiny one?”

The earth pony sniffled and wiped her eyes. “Ponies keep calling me ‘princess’ and I don’t like it. I understand why Bucky gets upset now. I feel awful. Everypony is treating me different and this morning I got a summons for my coronation and I don’t want to get crowned.”

“Hmm… I see,” Neon Blitz said in a soft raspy voice that was filled with as much kindness as he could muster. “Would you like some advice?”

Still sniffling, Apple Bloom nodded.

“When ponies call you ‘princess’ you should respond by asking how you can serve them. You should say to them, ‘what can I do to help you, I am your devoted servant.’ It will throw them off guard… and if you are lucky, it will cause a few to stop and think about what being a princess really means. You might change how they see the world. At the very least, this will show ponies how seriously you take your duties. If ponies call you by your name, respond as you always would to your friends… but if somepony calls you by your title, reply to them in a formal manner.”

“Do you think that will help?” Apple Bloom asked in a hoarse whisper.

“I don’t know. It might,” Neon Blitz replied.

“Thank you, really, you’ve made me feel better.” Apple Bloom rubbed her eyes once more and offered a trembling smile to the diamond dog.

“How are your friends dealing with it?” Neon Blitz asked as he patted Apple Bloom on the shoulder once more, his tail wagging in affection.

“There was a little teasing, but not in a bad way. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle have been really good about it and they keep hugging me and telling me how happy they are for me.” Apple Bloom heaved a sigh and then rubbed her cheek with her folded fetlock. She felt a hot flush creep up over her neck and blossom into her ears. “Rumble said I was already his princess…”

“My advice, stick with your friends as much as you can, but do not distance yourself from others. Remember those that stood by you and helped you achieve what you have become. Surround yourself with those who saw you through your troubles, and they will continue to see you through your troubles. Now… you should be getting back to class… I will ignore this infraction for now, seeing as how you are having a tough time.”

“Thank you,” Apple Bloom said in a warm and sincere voice. “I just needed a moment to myself… all of this has been very hard on me.”




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