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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After taking a sip of coffee, Berry Punch pulled the newspaper from the protective sleeve that kept it dry and secure. She wadded up the sleeve, tossed it upon the table, and then she picked up the paper in one hoof, the right one. Using her other hoof, she lifted up a hot scone, crammed over half of it into her mouth, began chewing, and then put the remainder of the scone down upon her plate.

She opened the paper to have a look.

THOUSANDS DEAD AFTER MALICIOUS MASSACRE!

Berry Punch almost choked upon her food. She coughed, swallowed a little, coughed again, swallowed a little more, then, straining, she forced the rest of the food in her mouth down her gullet, she could feel the painful lumps stretching the tender flesh of her throat.

The earth pony began to read, her eyes darting back and forth as she began reading the stark type. When the paper had something pleasant as a subject matter, they used soft, easy to read letters. When the paper had unpleasant subject matter, it was made worse by the usage of hard, austere type.

“What is it, Berry?” Lyra leaned over the table, all traces of her sleepiness gone.

“Bucky used his golems,” Berry replied as she kept reading. “Thousands died… independant sources have taken photos of the ruined enemy fortifications, most of which have collapsed. There are thousands of corpses and photos are forthcoming, to be released unto the public in the near future. The carnage is called indescribable but they do their best to describe it anyway.” Berry Punch kept reading, her brow crinkling as her face became serious. “The various heads of state are demanding an inquiry into whether or not Bucky’s methods were justified… it says here that there is war and then there is what the Lord of Winter has done, which is monstrous and goes beyond any reasonable action done as an act of war.”

“What did he do?” Lyra asked.

“The usual stuff that Bucky is known for, and while that is disturbing enough, he did something pretty bad Lyra… I don’t know if you really want to know,” Berry replied.

“How bad could it be?” Overwhelmed by curiousity, Lyra snatched the paper out of Berry Punch’s hooves.

“Lyra… Bucky created a new transmutation spell that changes thaumaturgical liquids into nitroglycerine—”

“Unicorns are filled with thaumaturgical liquids! I’m filled with thaumaturgical liquids!”

“Yes Lyra… living unicorns were turned into high yield explosive bombs… which is why every head of state is freaking out right now and wanting answers and reassurance that Bucky will never use this magic against the unicorns of this world… I was just starting to read about it before you stole my paper.”

 

 

Staring down into his oatmeal, Sentinel lifted up his cup of coffee and took a sip. The breakfast table was quiet this morning. Too quiet. School had been cancelled all across the nation and families were encouraged to spend the day together.

“I don’t understand why they cancelled school,” Piña said as she prodded her oatmeal with her spoon.

“Piña, we’re not living in the same world today that we were living in yesterday,” Bon Bon said in a soft, gentle voice. “The paper says that with the creation of a new super weapon, a new weapon of mass destruction, that we are living in a new era.”

“Life goes on. School should too.” Piña looked up at Bon Bon, her expression quizzical. “I don’t understand the big deal.”

“Piña, honey, something so horrific has happened that the civilised world needs a little time of quiet reflection, some time to think.” Bon Bon winced when the sound of Sentinel’s spoon clattering after it hit the table reached her ears. She turned her head in time to see Sentinel picking up his spoon and offering an apologetic look.

“The paper is full of malarky. Father would never use that spell to commit unicorn genocide. It’s just scare tactics… words being said by a bunch of creatures that are frightened by what they don’t understand,” Dinky said.

“Dinky… Bucky might not… but now, the knowledge that this can be done now exists in the world. What has been done cannot be undone. There is no going back. If another unicorn figures out how Bucky did this and then replicates the process…” Bon Bon’s words trailed off as the earth pony bowed her head and closed her eyes.

Blinking, Dinky sat there in her chair, unmoving as Bon Bon’s words settled into her mind. She hadn’t thought of this line of reasoning. She began to feel queasy. She looked over at Piña, another creature also filled with thaumaturgical liquids. Piña did not look well.

“I think I’m gonna be sick,” Piña said as she lept out of her chair and took off at a run.

Sentinel, his head drooping, looked up at Bon Bon. “I’m certain that father had good intentions.” The colt shook his head. “I’m not certain that father thought of the consequences.”

 

 

Surrounded by her foals, Derpy lay with her eyes closed, trying to sort out all of the thoughts in her mind. The papers had said a lot of horrible things, terrible things, and all of those things were said about a pony that she loved a great deal. Reaching up, she wiped a tear away from the corner of her eye.

At least the war was considered almost over. Derpy took comfort in that. All that had to be done now was hunt down the survivors that had fled into the mountains, root them out, and finish them off.

“What sad?” Harper asked.

Derpy did not know how to respond to the question in a meaningful way that Harper would understand. She sighed and tried to think of what to say. Some answer, even if it wasn’t an explanation. Not that she would tell Harper that Bucky had just done the unthinkable.

Standing up on her hind legs, Cadance rested her body against the bulge of Derpy’s stomach and pressed her ear into Derpy’s navel. Cadance rubbed a little circle with her right front hoof. After a moment of listening, Cadance lifted her head and looked at her siblings. “Foals.” Cadance tapped with the hoof that she had been using to make little circles.

“Mama swallow foals to keep safe,” Harper said.

Unable to help herself, Derpy smiled. She felt it spreading across her face. However bad the situation was, life went on. Perhaps the world had changed. Here at home, things remained the same. Derpy was startled from her thoughts as a little hoof brushed over her left teat.

“Foals inside. With milk.” Harper, sitting on her haunches, patted on Derpy’s left teat and looked up at Cadance.

Cadance’s ears fell back as her wings buzzed at her sides. She slid down from Derpy’s belly, sat back on her haunches, and balanced herself by placing her hoof on Derpy’s thigh, which pressed into the skin just above the bubbles that were Derpy’s cutie mark.

Derpy squirmed. She couldn’t see what was going on because her large belly was in the way. She felt a hoof step on her dock and half of a whinny escaped before she swallowed it back and held it in. She felt a small warm body clambering up and climbing between her legs, but she could not see who. She felt two lips fumbling around one of her teats.

“Bell hungry,” Harper said in a chirpy, cheerful voice.

Relaxing, Derpy allowed her head to sink down into the pillow and she went still once more. Bell Heather’s body was like a small hot water bottle laying right on the spot where Derpy ached.

“Do you need anything?” Magpie asked.

“Yes, actually… I’m thirsty,” Derpy replied. “Is there any more of that mint ice tea sweetened with honey?”

“I’ll go look. I think there is though.”

“Mint,” Sukari repeated.

“Yes, Sukari, mint. Mint is minty and good.” Derpy could not see the foal at the moment, but she was glad to hear Sukari’s sweet, soft voice.

“Mint taste does cold,” Harper said. She began to clamber over to where she could see Derpy’s face. “What?”

“I don’t know why mint tastes cold,” Derpy replied, glad for the distraction from her troubling thoughts.

 

 

Looking out the window, wrapped in a paisley printed robe, Luna watched as the freezing rain glazed over everything with a layer of glimmering ice. Behind her, on the bed, Barley was having a quiet moment with Erebus while the foal was in a good and cooperative mood.

Barley’s room, which on most days was the cleanest, neatest room in the house, looked like some Fancy bohemian crash pad had exploded. There were teacups aplenty, saucers, small plates that had once held food, rolled up sheets of canvas, an easel sat in the corner, a picture half completed upon it. Sheafs of sheet music were scattered about. Books sat in little piles. Barley had ceased complaining long ago, after learning, and then accepting, that alicorns had an insatiable need for creation.

Bothered by what she had read in the papers, Luna shook her head. She hopped down from her seat by the window. She stood in front of the easel, looked at her paint brushes, lifted one in her telekinesis, sighed, slumped, and then put the brush down. She lifted up a piece of sheet music, picked up a pencil, wrote down a string of a musical notes, frowned, and then tossed down the sheet music as well as the pencil.

She stood there, her robe hanging from her body. “Barley… there is only one thing I can think of that would make me feel better right now and that is—”

“No.” Barley shook his head.

“Barley… at this point, I have to have the body of a teenage filly… I am still an adult and I—”

“No.” Barley ignored Luna and focused on Erebus.

“Why?” Luna whined.

“Listen to yerself.”

“This isn’t fair!”

“I rest my case.”

“Since when did you become such a prude? You’ve screwed every orifice of my body.”

Barley’s head turned and he looked over at Luna. “Since I fell in love with the one mare that I want to spend the rest of my days with and she became something more to me than just a means to scratch my itchy old, wrinkly dick with her hot little squish pocket.”  

Sulking, Luna sat down with a huff and kicked an empty saucer, sending it skidding over the floor. “You… you are impossible to live with. There are times I don’t know what I see in you or why I love you the way I do, you crotchety old fart.”

“Yer older than I am.”

“Yet right now there is this concern about cradle robbing… you… you are an infant compared to me.”

“Right now, I am the responsible adult of mostly sound mind. Sorry Luna.”

“You are impossible!” Luna’s cheeks bulged as Luna held her breath to calm down.

“Aye lass… I can be.”

 

 

“This is kinda nice,” Sentinel said as he looked up from his book and looked around the farmhouse library. He was sitting in his father’s chair. He looked over at Dinky and Piña, who were curled up together on the sofa. He could feel the warmth of the fire seeping into his flesh and understood why his father liked to sit here.

Ripple was laying on the floor, an open book between her forelegs. Pressed against her side, Bittersweet was also reading.

“Where did Loch Skimmer go?” Piña asked as she looked up from her book.

“She left a little while ago to be with mom,” Dinky replied. She looked at Piña and watched as Piña nodded.

“Mommy lessons,” Dinky and Piña said together in unison.

Turning a page, Ripple snorted and then began to laugh. The filly’s tail twitched, swished, and then whipped around, coming to rest against Bittersweet’s curvy backside.

“Sunset Shimmer was telling me that they don’t read a lot of books in the human world,” Piña said as she rubbed her eyes. “They have things called televisions, they’re like movie screens, but are in little wooden and plastic boxes.”

“Everypony knows that books are always better than movies,” Dinky said.

“I dunno.” Piña shrugged. “Sometimes, you just want to watch a movie. I guess I can see why it would be so popular, but I have a hard time believing that books aren’t as popular.”

“Sunset has a lot of crazy human stories. As a species, they don’t make a lot of sense.” Sentinel shook his head. “They sound weird.”

Dinky looked at her siblings with wide eyes. “Hey, who wants to go and pester Sunset? Maybe we can get her to tell us a story!”

 

 

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