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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“So we know nothing about what has taken place in Baltimare,” Sunset Shimmer said to Witching Hour in an annoyed and somewhat impatient voice.

Witching Hour, who seemed almost calm, nodded.

“But we do know that Doctor Caballeron was involved.”

Again, Witching Hour nodded.

“So we know that ponies with serious bank power have become involved in a pharmaceutical company that was working on the next generation of mood altering drugs. And now, it appears, we are engaging in a clandestine war against them.”

Witching Hour did not reply right away. She gave thought to Sunset Shimmer’s words for a while, giving them careful consideration, and then, after a few minutes of thought, the unicorn mare shrugged.

“Where are Fever Cure and Mask right now?” Sunset asked.

“Fever Cure is at Canterlot castle hospital, working on research to aid the war effort. Mask has also taken up residence at Canterlot castle. He is POSING as an INTERIOR DECORATOR on the castle staff and he will be SPENDING his time around the foreign dignitaries, trying to PICK UP on their secrets or useful information.”

Frustrated, Sunset realised there wasn’t much she could do here. She shook her head and sighed. “Witching Hour, you and your husband should stay here at home for a while. Take more downtime. I am certain there will be no shortage of trouble that you will need to respond to, and I want you well rested.”

Smiling, Witching Hour nodded, turned tail, and left.

 

 

“Okay class… today, we are going to work upon our flouncing! I, the Great and Powerful Trixie, shall show you a proper flounce!” Trixie lifted her head high and her nostrils flared. “First, one must look suitably angry. Look at how angry Trixie looks!”

The class, full of all sorts of creatures, all watched Trixie in manner that could only be described as mesmerised. Ponies, griffons, diamond dogs, a few little minotaurs, zebras, all of them brought together over a love of drama.

At the moment, all of them were tossing their heads back and trying to flare nostrils, except for the griffons, who had to settle for trying other ways to emote their anger. Boadicea settled on fluffing out her neck scruffle and raising her crest to a forty five degree angle.

Trixie then prance-stomped forwards, her steps exaggerated as she lifted her hooves high, her hooves then striking the wooden floor with a sharp kick downwards, with each prancing stomp she tossed her head around a bit and snorted. The classroom filled with a hullaballoo of stomps, snorts, and eager little students followed Trixie’s example.

At the end of her dramatic march, Trixie threw herself down upon a fainting couch, raised her right front hoof to her brow, and cried, “OH WOE IS ME, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE, I HAVE COME TO KNOW LOSS AND HARDSHIP!”

As the class stomped around and engaged in drama, Babs Seed turned to face her new friend. “This is great, ain’t it?”

Lifting a wing to her brow in a manner most dramatic, all while looking as though she would faint at any moment, Boadicea nodded and then said, “Oh woe is me, I am but a poor griffoness, and all of my shinies have been stolen!”

Encouraged by what she was seeing, Trixie watched as her students got into the act. The new batch of students were quite good. Some of them had a good look about them, and some of them made wonderful tragic figures, like the black griffoness with black eyes. This class was showy. While the last class had some potential, and some of them had done quite well, most of the class had taken drama believing it to be an easy class that they could slack off in. The Great and Powerful Trixie had shown them. She had worked them almost to death and now, now she had a reputation. The only students signing up for this class now were those most dedicated to the cause of good drama and the desire to engage in a bit of show business.

When the door opened and a rainbow beaked griffon stood in the doorway, Trixie cried, “My beau! The love of my life! That which I cannot live without!” She rose from her fainting couch in the most dramatic way possible and then sashayed towards him in an exaggerated and sultry strut. Trixie was most pleased to see Bartleby’s feathers fluffing out.

“I was sent to help and to be your assistant,” Bartleby said in a low voice. “You rang?”

“Class, this is Bartleby the Butler.” Trixie grinned at her students. “We’re going to be putting on a play. The play is called ‘How I Helped the Hired Help’ and it is about a young heiress that falls in love with a clumsy butler… to express their societally forbidden love, separated by social classes and a variety of other factors, she teaches him how to tapdance. The two go on, triumphant, to become a singing and dancing sensation, loved by all, and their tragic romance has a happy ending!”

Sappy!” a student shouted in a flamboyant manner, giving the ‘s’ sounds a bit of a drawn out lisp.

“I know this story!” Babs began to bounce up and down. “The heiress was disowned. She and the clumsy butler had to dance for tips on the street corners of Manehatten.”

“Correct!” Trixie trilled her ‘r’ sounds and pointed at Babs with her hoof.

“Oh my, what have I gotten myself into?” Bartleby muttered.

 

 

“...and then the lock washer goes on, just like this,” Spanner said to Firelock. He pulled his head back to allow the unicorn foal to get a better look. “After that, we put a bolt on and tighten everything up.”

“I see.” Firelock nodded and lifted a wrench up in her telekinesis to have a good look at it. The foal was covered in grease and soot. The only place clean on her was the whites of her eyes. “And this is done to keep the bolts from working free because of vibration.”

“Right,” Spanner said, nodding his head. “You’re a smart filly.”

“Hey, I need you for a moment,” Lugnut said as he dropped down from where he was at the top of a skeletal looking mechanical framework. Reaching out, he grabbed Firelock, who started giggling, and then flew back up to the top of the metal framework.

“Whatcha need?” Firelock asked.

“I need a strut that goes from here to here,” Lugnut replied, pointing from place to place. “Think you can spot weld something for me?”

“Sure thing!” Firelock balanced upon the narrow metal framework, fearless, knowing that she would be caught if she slipped and fell. She pulled her smoked glass goggles over her eyes and her horn began to glow.

Lugnut held up the metal support bar and wedged it into a corner where two major metal struts came together, forming a triangle. Firelock’s horn glowed a bright eye burning blue and the metal she applied her magic to began to merge together with a hiss.

Some distance away, Rising Star watched the filly work. She spent almost all of her time in the forge now. Learning things that she could not learn in school. Rising Star felt that she was learning important things. When the support strut was welded into place, Lugnut hung himself from it and began to do beak-ups to test its structural hold.

“Sir, somepony to is here to see you,” a grubby looking griffoness said.

 

 

That somepony turned out to be Spitfire. She was wearing a heavy winter coat and sunglasses. She paced in the snow while looking at the school. Rising Star found that he was glad to see her, but he could not say why.

“Rainbow Dash is messing up our Wonderbolts Academy.”

Confused, Rising Star shook his head. “I beg your pardon?”

“Rainbow Dash… the flight school she has here. She has a perfect safety record, you know. Her students all have higher average speeds. They have better flying metrics. I don’t know what Rainbow Dash is doing, but so far, her performance here is outstanding. She’s making future Wonderbolts. Future soldiers. This generation of fliers is off to a damn good start, and it all starts here. Cloudsdale’s flight camp has nothing on this place, and the Wonderbolts’ juniour flight academy looks like an absolute disaster when you compare the flight records.”

“We do things differently here at the Founder’s Forge,” Rising Star said to Spitfire. “Why are you here?”

“To seduce you into a political alliance,” Spitfire said, lowering her sunglasses and batting her eyelashes at Rising Star. “Get into bed with me, I’ll make it worth your while. I’ll work your shaft and your balls if you give my filly boner the attention it deserves.”

“Okay, start talking,” Rising Star said to the brazen mare.

“I’ve been in contact with Princess Apple Bloom. She has a secretary now, did you know that? Some mare named Diamond Tiara. Real professional like. Anyhow, Apple Bloom is creating an initiative called ‘Foals First’ and she wants me to drum up support because I like the idea… it is why I was thinking out loud about what Rainbow Dash is doing here. We need to look ahead Rising Star, the old way is dying out fast and the next generation is all set to replace us.”

“Lots of talk with very little said.” Rising Star’s eyebrow raised and he shook his head. “Is there a point to this?”

“Apple Bloom wants to create a program that will appeal to today's youth, get them into after school programs, extracurricular stuff, and have all the programs populated with talent scouts, skilled wizards, experienced fliers, et cetera, et cetera… and then when real talent is spotted, it is snatched up, taken, studied for its fullest possible potential, and then given every possible chance to succeed. The idea here is to get at the real talent when they are as young as possible in order to maximise the returns on educating them. Apple Bloom wants the best and the brightest at everything. Apple Bloom is building an army.”

“I see.” Rising Star cleared his throat.

“This is going to rock the political boat, so to speak. It is going to cost money and it is going to need all kinds of support. Apple Bloom wants the program to be ready to be presented by the spring session.”

“Oh dog farts.” Rising Star’s jaw dropped open. “Spring session?”

“Yeah, Apple Bloom has this whole Twilight Sparkle vibe going on. She wants the impossible done and she wants it done last week.” Spitfire looked up at Rising Star, her glasses still low down on her nasal bridge. “Rising, we have a chance to do something amazing here. This is where the change we need can start. All kinds of ponies from all walks of life. Fliers, spell casters… little engineers that like to play with fire. We can spot them early and make sure that no talent goes wasted. We won’t have some brilliant earth pony with an engineering bent stuck pulling wagons because he never got the education he needed to make his full potential possible.”

Turning his head, Rising Star looked at his foundry. He thought of Firelock. She had seemed like a walking disaster upon first glance, but she had brilliance and raw talent. Staring at the large black iron double doors, Rising Star mulled the situation over in his mind.

“Look, this is something that could bring some real equality…”

Rising Star’s head began to bob up and down as he found himself in agreement. Class equality was just as important as tribal equality. Rising Star began to see that this was a way to bring about some real change in the system. Which meant that it would be fought every step of the way by the old guard. “I’m in—”

“YES!” Spitfire’s wings snapped out and she stomped her hoof down in the snow.

“So, tell me, do you want to go and meet with Apple Bloom and her lovely secretary, Diamond Tiara?” Rising Star asked.

“Yeah, actually, that’d be great,” Spitfire replied.

“Let’s go.” Rising Star took off at a trot for the main school building.

 

 

 

 

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