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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“Has there been any word?” Derpy looked over at Berry Punch with wide, pleading eyes. Laying on her side, Derpy was almost comfortable for the time being, her head propped up on several pillows. She was dopey and a bit spacey from painkillers as well as the anti-inflammatory medication she had taken.

“Only that the invasion has begun a week early. After the Rendezvous, Keg Smasher made the decision to waste no time and Bucky backed his decision fully. The article doesn’t go into specifics, but Princess Celestia wanted more time for the troops to get to know one another and rest.” Berry Punch snorted and shook her head. “After being cooped up on an airship for a week or two, I bet those soldiers were itching for a fight. Not another week in the air.”

“He’s in danger,” Derpy said in a fearful voice, her ears falling and drooping against the sides of her face.

“We don’t know that.” Berry, who was sprawled on her back, reached over and grasped Derpy’s fetlock with her own. She gave her best friend a squeeze. “He has Belisama. We have to trust that Bucky will keep her safe, and by extension, keep himself safe.”

“I hope this is over soon.” Derpy felt a little better with Berry Punch holding her fetlock. "I hope Twilight stays safe. I’m worried about her too… all of them.”

“Princess Celestia remains off of the coast of Fancy, parked out over the ocean, hundreds of miles away from where the fighting is expected to be. The mountains are where our enemy is hiding. That hospital ship has a small fleet of protectors. They’ll be fine. There is also Princess Celestia herself, Twilight is no slouch in the magic department, and Discord, the killer of Tirek, is also there. Anything attacking the hospital frigate deserves whatever happens next.”

Derpy sighed and allowed herself to feel just a tiny bit better. “I can’t wait for all of this to be over. Not just the war, but everything. I want to be able to run and walk again. I want to be able to chase after Bucky and play with my foals. I want to go swimming.” Straining, grunting, Derpy made a tremendous effort and with a great deal of struggle, she rolled over onto her back. At the end of her exertion, her sides were heaving. “When Dizzy and Ditzy come out, I am going to give them a piece of my mind for what they’ve done to me.”

“Ooh… idea… we take all four of the little monsters and we foist them off on the others while you and I go on a vacation. I don’t know where we’ll go, but we’ll leave all of this behind.” Berry grinned and her hoof began to rub her belly in slow, lazy circles.

“Hmm…” Derpy rubbed her chin and gave thought to Berry’s words.

“We can celebrate being thin again. We can spend all day staring down at our filly bits… even better, we’ll be able to reach our own filly bits again. I don’t know about you but I am getting tired of having to ask somepony else to scratch the itchy places down there that I can no longer reach—”

“Like when your tail gets pinched in your plot furrow and no amount of wiggling will get it out,” Derpy said.

“Yeah!” Berry Punch nodded and felt better for having distracted Derpy from her worries. “And no more getting stuck in the bathtub!”

“Um, Berry, speaking of tails caught in your plot furrow…”

“Yeah?”

“Could you help me pull mine out? It’s driving me crazy…”

 

 

When missing those that were loved, some waited, some despaired, some sought to comfort others, and some chose to work to distract themselves. Dinky, missing her father, laboured towards the goal of impressing him upon his return, and worked towards figuring out teleportation. She could teleport rocks now, her own equivalent mass and then some. She had made a thorough study of the subject, even making an attempt to understand what happened to the equine consciousness when it didn’t have a body.

That endeavour had lead to both understanding and confusion. Dinky had spoken with Sparkler, who had been without a body for a short time and then had used her magic to create herself a new body under extraordinary circumstances.

Teleportation, or winking as it was sometimes called, was something that any unicorn could do, or so it was said. Some did it as an instinctual reflex during some extreme situation, preserving their life through dire circumstance. Nopony was certain how it even worked, but there were many competing theories, some of the best written by Star Swirl the Bearded and Twilight Sparkle the Absent Minded.

In Dinky’s own independent studies on the matter, she had discovered that fire continued to burn when teleported. She had no idea why this was. But lit candles remained lit after teleportation.

It was cold, the temperature hovered near zero, but Dinky failed to notice. She stood sucking in deep breaths, filling her lungs with cold air, preparing herself. No more rocks, no more blocks of wood, no more bales of hay, she was determined to send herself through the aether. Today was going to be the day. She tried not to think about all of the horrible things that could happen.

Closing her eyes, Dinky began to focus her magic…

 

 

Frustrated, angry, Cheerilee stared down at the crumpled up piece of paper for a long, heated moment and then looked over at Violet Velvet. The earth pony mare shook her head, unable to comprehend how somepony could do this.

“You look upset,” Violet said to Cheerilee. “There is no point in getting upset. Yes, it is awful, but this is their choice to make.”

“She’s a foal! She couldn’t help what she did! It was an accident, like wetting the bed, you don’t punish a foal for wetting the bed,” Cheerilee snapped, her emotions getting the better of her.

“Cheerilee, calm down,” Doctor Mawu said in a well practiced, soothing voice.

“No!” Cheerilee slammed her hoof down upon the table. “I will not be calm about this! I’m sick of being calm about this. This is going to hurt her and who is going to comfort her?”

“Look, Cheerilee, as awful as this is, this is their choice to make. And they have chosen to relinquish custody of Firelock over to the Crown. Their home was burned down. They have other foals as well as themselves to think about and there is a great deal of concern for their own safety. And while Firelock is getting some control, we both know that she is dangerous.” Violet peered through her reading glasses down at the folder on the table.

“But she is getting control! Sunset Shimmer has worked miracles with that foal… and she’s been helping Rising Star in the forge.” Cheerilee’s eyes glazed over with tears and she reached down to rub her rounded stomach.

Doctor Mawu leaned over and placed a hoof upon Cheerilee’s withers. “She has control under ideal circumstances while under the tutlage of fellow fire type unicorns. Her parents do not feel that they can safely look after her needs while also looking after the needs of their other foals.”

Wiping her eyes, Cheerilee shook her head. “But she could learn control and then go home when she’s older. That’s why we have dormitories… we can get them through the rough spot. Why can’t they see that this will get better?”

“Cheerilee, I am very sorry, but this is their choice to make. I also feel that they are making a mistake, but as a professional I must respect their decision. Now we need to figure out what is best for her and try to pick up the pieces,” Violet said.

Sniffling, Cheerilee nodded. “It makes me feel better to hear you say that they’re making a mistake. I think I might be a little hormonal.” Cheerilee regained a bit more of her composure, shook her head, then looked at both the zebra and the unicorn sitting at the table with her. “So, what do we do now? Where do we go from here? And who is going to break the news to Firelock?”

 

 

“Are you going to come out?” Loch Skimmer asked. She reached out a hoof and touched the cardboard box.

“No,” a voice replied from inside the cardboard box.

“No?” Loch Skimmer sat down on the floor and her head cocked to one side. “Why not? It has to be dark in there. Surely you don’t want to stay inside of a dark box.”

The box moved, the edges lifting from the floor, and then the box walked a few steps away. Loch Skimmer watched as the box moved away and she could see little black hooves.

“Come on Sukari… come out… I want to be a good big sister and play with you,” Loch Skimmer said as she continued to try and coax Sukari out from her fortress of boxitude.

“No.”

Heaving a sigh of exasperation, Loch Skimmer flopped down upon the floor with a thump. She crawled forwards on her belly towards the box and then knocked on the side with her hoof. “Come out and play.”

“No.”

Lifting her head, Loch Skimmer looked over at Cadance, hoping for some kind of help, but all Cadance did was shrug. Loch Skimmer scowled, Cadance was no help at all. “Thanks Cadance, thanks a lot. And after I went through all that trouble to preen your wings and make them pretty.”

The pink alicorn foal giggled.

“Come on Sukari, won’t you please come out?” Loch Skimmer pleaded.

“I can’t.”

At least that wasn’t a no, Loch Skimmer thought to herself. “What do you mean you can’t? Just lift up the box and crawl out.”

“No.”

“Yaaaaaaargh!” The frustrated filly rolled her eyes. “Why can’t you come out of your box and play with me?”

“I’m a turtle.”

 

 

Dinky was not in the same place as she had started. A powerful wave of nausea slammed into her and she felt like vomiting. She gritted her teeth and fought back, refusing to give in. She was alive and she seemed to be in one piece.

Reaching up with her hoof, she touched her hat, after having a terrifying thought about it being fused to her head after her teleport. Her smoking cap moved, sliding over her scalp, and Dinky felt both relief and extreme nausea.

It seemed so easy now that she had done it. Dinky realised that she could have done this a long time ago. All the practice done on rocks, wood, and bales of hay wasn’t as necessary and she had made herself believe.

Gagging, Dinky lost her struggle. She barfed up the liquefied remains of her breakfast and chunks of her lunch, spewing into the snow at her front hooves. This was a temporary discomfort and she knew it would pass. She had magic now. Real magic. Powerful magic. Even as Dinky emptied out the contents of her stomach, she celebrated the fact that she had joined the accomplished ranks of skilled magic users.

Snorting, Dinky tried to blow chunks of hot, stinging vomit out of her nostrils.

“You did well.”

Dinky lifted her head, feeling more than a little concerned about her appearance at the moment. She saw Luna standing in the snow. Luna, who now seemed a little taller than she had been this morning at breakfast. Dinky took a deep breath and forced out another snort, trying to clear her nostrils.

“As I am sure you know, it gets a little easier. But that first wink is always a doozy.” Luna’s eyes narrowed. “You are accomplishing much at your age. You are driven.”

“I want to see the world change,” Dinky replied in a raspy voice. “If the world will not change willingly, then it shall do so under the brute force of my magic.”

A thin smile crept over Luna’s lips, like a foal who was late and sneaking into a classroom. “Is that so?”

“Yes.” Dinky gagged and she felt her knees began to wobble. “My father taught me that I don’t have to sit back and complain about how the world is. I don’t have to cry about how unfair the world can be. If change will not happen on its own, then I will force it to happen, just as he has.” Dinky shook her head and then wiped her muzzle with her fetlock.

“Fascinating,” Luna said in a low voice. Her eyebrow raised.

“Apple Bloom has ideas. Good ideas. With magic, anything is possible. I’m going to help make those ideas a reality,” Dinky said to Luna. “Apple Bloom is building an army.”

“And finding capable soldiers, so it seems.” Luna, who was feeling a powerful sensation of elation, realised she was feeling pride. And not self pride, the sort that brought a nasty tumble. “My dearest sister is going to come home and find that she has competition as the do goodingest princess.”

Dinky gave Luna a weak smile.

“When I give lessons to Sentinel you are invited to come and join us. I will give you instruction as well. You have taken an extraordinary step and now that you have done so, you have earned my attention. I will instruct you in advanced magical theory, if you would like.”

Dinky had trouble believing what she was hearing. She looked at Luna and her heart started thudding inside of her barrel.

“Of course, I do not do this for your own benefit… but for Apple Bloom and the world in general.” Luna gave Dinky a teasing smile. “Come Dinky, let us go inside the house and get you cleaned up. Be mindful of the zebra turtle.”

Dinky blinked. “What?”

 

 

 

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