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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Bucky held his fellow unicorns in his thrall. This was rapidly becoming his preferred way of teaching. Words were inconsistent and could only convey so much. Direct mind linkage was efficient, and there was a certain clarity that was only available by giving his students access to his thoughts. He was not aware that the ability to commune and link minds was a rare gift. He had experienced it in school with an elderly mare who had been one of his favourite teachers, and the encounter had left a lasting effect upon him.

And now, as a teacher, Bucky used his rare gift to provide his fellow unicorns with a lifetime's worth of experience in moments, allowing all those connected to his mind to rapidly gain information. Bucky's own wealth of knowledge passed easily to Dinky, Sparkler, and Rising Star. Dinky was already far advanced for her own age, having a depth of magical theory that should have been impossible for a foal her age. Where foals Dinky's age struggled with learning the basics, Dinky was struggling with advanced concepts like remote viewing and the application of willpower to increase spell output, something she would have not learned until she was practically an adult.

The group was in the grass, under the protection of the other herd members. Their eyes were closed, and each one of their horns pulsated in synchronisation with one another.

“Today, I am going to offer you something special,” Bucky said in a low voice, speaking so the others around him could hear his words. “Piña was very wise to bring up that words can't always say what you feel... at times they fail to express the true depth of your emotions. To that end, there is something I want you to experience with me. I am trusting you to venture into my most private thoughts, the inner recesses of my mind,” Bucky explained.

The unicorn extended his will, grabbed both Derpy and Berry, and then using his magic, he pulled them close to him, close enough to reach out to touch them. He sat back on his haunches and touched both of them briefly, resting his hooves upon them, feeling them both. He took a deep breath and flexed his will once again.

“This is my love,” he said softly. “This is my strength, this is what sustains me, this is why I have endured. This is the essence of what I am, the foundation of my being,” he explained. He snatched up Piña and drew her near. “And this is pretty special as well,” he added. “I don't think I'd get by without this one.”

Piña giggled as she felt the warm tingle of Bucky's magic. She reached out and clung to her sister, delighted that she was the center of attention for a moment.

Bucky opened his mind, hiding nothing, offering unfettered access to those he loved and trusted. His emotions spilled into their minds, raw, almost overpowering, and there were little gasps and murmurs from the other unicorns he was linked to.

Derpy watched her mate, trying to understand exactly what was going on. She touched him gently on a place where it was safe, stroking him gently with a fetlock, understanding that something of serious importance was going on. She turned to Berry for a moment, winked, and then she surprised Bucky with a soft gentle kiss on the lips.

The unicorn trembled slightly from the kiss and those connected to him mirrored his reaction, the strongest reaction coming from Dinky, who let out a surprised cry.

It was a profound moment of realisation for Dinky. Bucky's strong emotion for her mother nearly caused her mind to overload, and in this moment of exchange she also felt Bucky's love for her. With the exchange came the knowledge that these feelings were powerful assets. It was almost too much to take in all at once. Her mind reeled as she tried to understand the depth of what was being shown to her. She felt small and humbled, but she also felt the siren song of power... Bucky had tapped into a powerful resource, something potentially even stronger than the ley lines he had been channeling. The feeling brought stability, something that unicorns needed. Dinky realised this was the magic of friendship, taken to its logical extreme. A part of her own mind focused on Piña, her constant companion, her best friend, and now a sibling of sorts.

Bucky's realisations also had a profound impact on Sparkler and Rising Star, both of them understanding now just how much potential power they could draw from one another, how much strength, and the much needed element of stability. Peering into Bucky's mind was eye opening in more ways than one, and it allowed both Sparkler and Rising Star to learn from his mistakes, his many mistakes, and a chance to look directly into the center of Bucky's own weaknesses.

Bucky's solution for his own neurosis was total surrender of self to his mates and a state of dependence upon them, the realisation that he was not a whole creature, and the acceptance that he needed his mates along with what they offered to complete him as a whole pony.

It was a powerful revelation to the three unicorns connected to Bucky, something potentially life changing. All three of them considered Bucky their strength, but to sense his weakness, to feel it, for him to bare himself so completely to them, it brought the understanding that their real strength lay with their love for one another.

Bucky's magic suddenly fizzled and a column of black smoke rose from his horn. He blinked several times, shaking his head, and then focused on the world around him. “That was intense... sorry about the overload. Is everypony okay?” he asked in concern.

“I'm fine. I feel really dizzy and lightheaded, but I am fine,” Sparkler replied.

“I'm good,” Rising Star reported. “Feel like I gotta sneeze though, which is weird.”

“My ears are ringing, but I am alright,” Dinky announced.

“Maybe I shouldn't have kissed you,” Derpy said, her tone one of concern. She touched Bucky's face with her wing, stroking the good side.

“No, actually, I am glad you did. They got a chance to feel what I feel about you...” Bucky replied. “Twilight has proven that friendship is magic... and magic is fine and good. Love is power though. I really began to realise that when Cadance had us all in her spell when we were married. Cadance is a creature of immense power and it isn't because she is an alicorn. I used to hunger for understanding, and I suppose that I still do... but now, I hunger for power as well, now that I understand where I can draw from a nearly infinite wellspring of raw primal power. All of you are my strength. This is why I requested a foal as the cost of entry from Bon Bon and Lyra. I must confess, the feeling of power is intoxicating.”

“The feeling of love is intoxicating you mean,” Berry quipped.

“The two are indistinguishable for me,” Bucky replied.

“I see,” Berry said.

“I think I understand,” Derpy said slowly. “You draw your power from us, so increasing your family size-”

“So much more than that though,” Sparkler interrupted. “I get it now... it isn't just power, it is stability as well. Father is at his peak power when he is stable, and he has been drawing in all of the things he is missing as a pony from all of us... we are his stability as well as his source of empowerment. It is so difficult to put into words, but I felt it and now I want it for myself,” the filly admitted.

“I too, think I finally understand what it is I want from life,” Rising Star muttered, rubbing his head. He fell over into the grass with a groan.

“This is going to be very important for both of you,” Bucky said to Sparkler and Rising Star. “I have a plan, and it involves both of you. I believe I can jump both of you to type threes.”

“What?” Sparkler asked.

“Will it hurt them?” Derpy asked in concern.

“How?” Rising Star asked.

“I will explain how later, no my love, it will not hurt them, but it will cause them some issues... dealing with that much power can be tricky and it requires a very focused mind. Which is why I wanted them to see where I draw power from now, and how I am learning to stay focused and bear the mental load I have to carry,” Bucky explained. “I will not force you, this is your choice, but I know that I can unlock your full potential. Sparkler, as a type three, you would be able to summon gems, as you have seen when I channeled strong magic through you. Rising Star, you... you might actually lose a little magic stepping up to a full blown type three.”

“What? How?” Rising Star said, lifting his head and blinking at Bucky in confusion.

“You have an inherent pyromantic nature. Your current magic limits what your pyromantic nature can channel, so it manifests as common magic as an outlet. A jump to a type three would free your magical focus, so more of your magic would focus into pyromancy, which might actually weaken some of your abilities. I think. Think of it as diverting power from one area and refocusing it to another,” Bucky explained.

“Would it be like adding more light bulbs to a circuit and then the light bulbs would grow dim?” Rising Star asked.

“Something like that, I think. I am not sure I fully understand what will happen. Pyromancy is different that harmony magic. It is chaotic... primal. A raw base element. Celestia would know more, she is the alicorn of pyromancy. She has both types of magic available to her,” Bucky replied.

“So I would have harmony magic and pyromancy?” Rising Star asked.

“Well, you have it now, but it is nearly dormant, you lack the physiology to channel it fully,” Bucky answered.

“I see,” Rising Star said. “Well, that settles it, I'm in,” he announced.

Sparkler looked apprehensive. “I won't tell you what to do, but I plan to think about it a bit,” Sparkler said, her ears folded back against her skull. “I will probably do it, as I understand that it needs to be done, but I want to make sure I am doing this for the right reasons and I understand fully what it is I am getting into.”

“That seems wise,” Bucky stated, giving Sparkler a nod.

“I am not making this decision lightly,” Rising Star said, feeling a need to defend his choice. “I understand what we are up against here. I have three wives to worry about. My own concerns are small, weak, and meaningless compared to what it is I need to do to provide for all of you. Pyromantic magic would probably be very useful for dealing with the damnable wolves. There are far too many other ponies that could benefit from what I have to offer, so for me it becomes the needs of the many outweighing the needs of just one. All I have to offer right now is myself, it is all I have to give, so I offer of myself freely.”

Sparkler sighed but did not reply.

“I think I understand,” Ripple said, cautiously approaching Rising Star. “You are doing what needs to be done now, and you will deal with the consequences later.”

Rising Star nodded.

“I understand that all too well,” Thistle quipped.

“I suppose you would Thistle,” Rising Star said to the kelpie.

“When the time comes I would like to follow my husband's example,” Ripple said in a small voice full of resolve. “If there is something I can do, I will. I am small and weak, but I am determined to help.”

Loch Skimmer shot Sparkler a concerned look and the two fillies exchanged a glance. Nothing was said between the two, but Ripple asserting herself into the herd had been noted.

“What will Princess Celestia say about all of this? Bucky, I am almost certain that she is not going to be too pleased about you bypassing biological restrictions and jumping your fellow unicorns into something far more powerful... I will support you with whatever you do, just as you have supported me, but by the time this whole awful mess is over, most of this herd is going to be in hot water with the crown,” Berry said.

“You did the right thing Berry, and I am confident that I am doing the right thing as well, when and if it happens. We do not have the luxury of second guessing ourselves right now,” Bucky replied. “All bets are off. I lost my eye and bits and pieces of my body. These wolves are a menace to these ponies. These are extreme times... and I plan to use extreme measures. If Celestia wants to fault me for what I am going to do, let her. In the end, I don't answer to her, I answer to my mares.”

“Well, I trust you to do the right thing,” Derpy stated. She leaned over and planted a soft peck on Bucky's cheek.

Berry nodded and heaved a sigh. “All is fair in love and war,” she muttered.

 

 

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