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


760. 760

The day, grey, overcast, the air filled with bitter cold, was almost perfect for Sentinel. It was Saturday, not a school day, which made the day even better. Everything was glazed over with ice from freezing drizzle that had happened in the wee morning hours.

Low to the ground, wings flared, Sentinel stalked his prey. He had an insatiable hunger that needed to be satisfied, there was an emptiness in his belly that oatmeal did not satisfy, canned or frozen fish did nothing to ease, and Sentinel’s nostrils quivered as he smelled what he needed.

The hare was large and was white so it would be camouflaged with the snow. It had a pink nose that twitched and wiggled. Most gentle sorts would see it and think of it as being cute, adorable, something pleasant to watch, pleasing to look at. Sentinel saw it as a meal. The twitchy nose triggered his feelings of aggression, he didn’t want his prey catching wind of him.

Sentinel’s wings flared out a little more from his sides and his ears pitched forwards. Eyes narrowing, Sentinel’s body dropped even lower to the ground. Catlike, Sentinel went still as the hare lifted its head and began to look around.

When the hare turned its head in the opposite direction to look for danger, Sentinel pounced, making a good twelve foot leap. He came down hard, fast, legs extended, wings out wide, mouth open, and fangs bared. The hare, realising death came from above, tried to run. It lept away, but Sentinel caught it mid air, clamping his jaws down upon the base of the hare’s skull, and with a well practiced motion, Sentinel whipped the large hare around to break its neck. There was a loud, shrill, pitiful squeal and then a loud gurgling scream as the hare was whipped around.

He dropped the hare into the snow and sat down as the hare kicked and twitched, going through its final motions. Sentinel licked his lips and then looked around, hoping that nopony was watching him while he was eating. This was the third catch of the day and Sentinel’s hunger showed no signs of abating.

After another almost guilty glance around, Sentinel attended his prey. He sniffed it, filling his nostrils with the salty, coppery scent of blood. He placed one front hoof down on the body, applied a little pressure, and then bit down upon the head. Jerking upwards, he tore the head free of the body.

Sentinel tossed his meal up into the air, caught it, crunched down once, shattering the hare’s skull, and then swallowed it whole, ears and all. His throat bulged as the hare’s whole head slipped down his gullet. The fine white hairs made it a little difficult to swallow, but Sentinel managed.

After belching, Sentinel set to work. He sheared off one front leg, using his molars to bite it free. That went down easy. He bit off the other front leg, lapped up a little somewhat frozen blood from the snow, tore off the hind legs one at a time, devoured those, and then he glanced down at the limbless, headless torso.

“Sorry… it’s nothing personal,” Sentinel said to his food.

He picked up the corpse by the blood encrusted neck stump, flipped it up high into the air, and then caught it by the neck stump once more. Tilting his head back, he began the process of swallowing his food, chewing, crushing bones, rending flesh until it was soft, tender, and easy to swallow.

When Sentinel was done, there was nothing left but blood on the snow, and Sentinel began to devour the snow, gobbling it down, savouring the delicious frozen treat. After another belch, Sentinel realised that he felt sated. He also felt a little guilty. His brain, ever his tormentor, gave him a quiet reminder that the hare was almost the same size as Sukari or Harper.



Fighting back a wave of nausea, Thistle rubbed Harper’s stomach, trying to make the foal feel better. Some of the foals were sick, others were just fine, and then there was Harper, who was sick, no worse than the others, but with the way that Harper was acting, one might think she was dying. Thistle attributed it to Harper missing Bucky.

Sukari, free of any sign of sickness, was cuddled up with Bell Heather, who dozed away a low grade fever. Peekaboo was curled up into a small miserable blue ball and was tucked into the bowl shaped chair with Magpie, who was looking after Bandua.

“Is little Bandua showing any signs of sickness?” Thistle asked.

Magpie looked up from the bundle cradled in her forelegs. “Bandua seems fine. More hungry than usual. She is a little quiet though.” Magpie made a peeping sound and bounced Bandua in her embrace. “She’s starting to crawl around more and watch stuff.”

“Harpy dying.” Harper covered her eyes with her foreleg and then out a foghorn belch.

“Harper, I thought you said you were dead fifteen minutes ago,” Thistle said to the foal on the floor. She fanned the air with her other hoof as her nostrils crinked from the smell of rotten eggs. Thistle thought of Harper’s troubles with maintaining useful digestive gut flora. “Poor Harpy… you and your tummy troubles. Do you want to try and eat some yogurt? Or maybe your special cookies with that yeast extract stuff?”

“No food,” Harper replied, shaking her head.

“Harper, honey, I’m worried about you. If you don’t eat something, I’m worried that your precious little insides will seize up… wanna try to eat some yogurt for me?” Thistle tried to look as sad as possible. It wasn’t hard. She was missing Bucky, feeling nauseous, and had a sick foal that she was worried about. “I’ll add a little mango jelly to the yogurt.”

“Okay.” Harper belched again and then made a disgusted face. “Eggy.”

“We can’t have Harper getting colic again or getting bound up from gas… make sure you feed her as much yogurt as you can,” Magpie said in a worried voice. “We have to keep her digestive processes going.”

“Getting the flu makes things complicated,” Thistle said as she sighed. “Come on Harper, off to the kitchen.”



Creeping in the back door, Sentinel slunk down the hall, hoping not to be noticed. He was still a bit messy and needed to get cleaned up, but there was one thing that he needed to do before that could happen. He made his way down the hall, past the door of his parents bedroom, and to the door the of nursery. He peered through the door and around the room. He spotted Magpie and felt relieved.

“Magpie?” Sentinel said in a soft voice.

“Yes?” Mapgie replied.

“Magpie, I caught you a hare… so you can feed Bandua… but I also wanted to thank you for looking after my sister,” Sentinel said to the griffoness.

“You caught me a hare?” Magpie blinked and her crest rose.

“It is outside, on the back porch, sitting in a snow bank. I just wanted to show my appreciation. It’s still quite warm, I flew home right after catching it. Or you could have it cooked I guess, if you wanted to. It’s up to you. But I thought you’d enjoy a nice meal.”

The griffoness reached up and rubbed her eyes with her talons. “You are the most considerate little colt… thank you. I’ll go outside and get it in just a moment. Go get cleaned up before somepony wakes up and sees you.”

“Yes ma’am,” Sentinel replied as he backed out of the doorway.



Standing in the shower, his eyes closed, his belly full, Sentinel allowed the steaming hot water to run down his sides, which tickled and made him shudder. He lifted his wings, allowing the water to run down into his wingpits, trying to make certain that every last vestige of blood was washed away.

Sentinel felt sleepy now and did not know if it was because he was full or because it was daytime. The falling water plastered his mane to his neck and made his tail heavy. Closing his eyes, he faced the shower head and allowed the water to spray down onto his face. He curled back his lips, revealing his teeth, and could feel hot water flowing through the gaps in his teeth.

The colt began to whistle, but not with his lips. Using his echolocation, Sentinel sang in the shower, belting out a cheerful tune as he worked to clean his shaggy pelt. The water beating on the thin, tight membranes of his raised and extended wings produced faint drum-like beats.

Using his grasping digits and his central knuckles, Sentinel lifted up a bottle of liquid soap, squirted it out along his spine, let out a shrill squeak as the cold soap hit his skin, and then after he set down the bottle of soap, he went to work with a wooden handled scrubbing brush. Feeling good about himself, Sentinel laboured to make himself presentable.



The hinges of the door creaked as Sentinel pushed the door open. He stuck his head through the door, his ears pinned back, and looked around. “Dinky, Piña, both of you okay?”

“I’m fine, but Dinky is dying,” Piña replied.

“Oh. That’s not good.” Sentinel made his way into the room, the sounds of his sister’s hearts beating in his ears. Dinky’s heart was still beating strong, much to his relief. Even though he knew that Piña had made a joke, a part of Sentinel still worried.

“How is my second favourite pink pony?” Sentinel asked.

Piña, closing her book, narrowed her eyes at Sentinel. “Curse you and your favourite pink pony!” Piña made a wild gesture with her hoof. After a dramatic pause, a smile appeared on Piña’s face. “I’m good. Finished my homework for the weekend. If Larch and Babs aren’t down with the flu, I think we’ll get a game going tomorrow, so I am excited. You?”

“I can’t complain.” Sentinel looked around the room. Dinky was huddled under her blankets. Piña was sitting on a cushion on the floor. There was a gathering of stuffies upon Harper and Sukari’s bed. There was a pile of brushes and combs upon the low table in the corner, the low table that was sometimes pulled out to the middle of the room for tea parties or arts and crafts. “Dinky, can you say anything?”

“Anything,” Dinky replied. She coughed and then pulled her head beneath the blankets. “I can’t get warm. So cold.”

“An hour ago, she was roasting and refused to cover up,” Piña said, turning to look at Dinky as she spoke. “I tried to tell Dinky to stay covered even though she was hot, or she’d just freeze later.”

“Sh’up,” Dinky mumbled from beneath her blanket.

“Hey, Sentinel, up for a game of chess?” Piña asked.

“I’d love to,” Sentinel replied. “I was kinda hoping that we could do something together, which is why I stopped in to check on the two of you.”

“I’ll get the chessboard and the pieces out of the closet!” Piña squeaked.



“Will you look at that… North Star has a lovely hat,” Princess Celestia said to Twilight Sparkle as the pair inspected the deck.

Looking up from her clipboard that held her checklist, Twilight Sparkle saw the large, white lunar pegasus. He wasn’t wearing his armor, but had a bright blue blanket draped over his back. Sitting on the top of his head was a small black and grey griffoniness. Without meaning to do so, Twilight Sparkle giggle-snorted. Somehow, the tiny griffoness was perched and sitting between North Star’s ears, her tail was curled around her companion’s broad neck.

“They are inseparable,” Princess Celestia said in a low whisper to Twilight. “They have become fast friends. Many of the Myrmidons and their riders have become boon companions. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

“So many new friendships,” Twilight Sparkle said her eyes becoming unfocused. “This war has been awful, but there have been so many new friendships… friendships that cross the oceans.”

“Twilight, we are going to have to recreate the postal service. While there is a means to send mail from country to country, it involves private couriers and a lot of money. I want to see these friendships continue. I have ideas, Twilight, and I want to talk to you about them. A world-wide postal service, for friendship’s sake. I want you to make a proposal to the Sea of Grass and see if Equestria and the Sea of Grass can somehow pay the bill so the poorer nations of the world can also have access to this mail service.” Princess Celestia turned to look at her student and saw that Twilight Sparkle was staring at the lunar pegasus and the griffoness. “Twilight, did you hear me?”

“She loves him,” Twilight said, oblivious to everything that Celestia had said.

“What? No… Twilight, they are just friends.” Celestia turned to study the pair. “Twilight, you cannot just make those kinds… of… assumptions…” Celestia’s words faded out as she studied the pair.

“Look at her.” Twilight squinted her eyes. “See how she clings to him. How she strokes his ears. Look at how attentive they are towards one another.”

“Twilight… they… no… Twilight…” Celestia stammered. “Twilight, oh cookies, I think you are right.”

“They’re going to need some help.” Twilight’s expression became thoughtful.

“Help?” Celestia shook her head. “Why would they need help?”

“Well, at some point, they are going to want to express their affection—”

“Twilight Sparkle!” Celestia jerked her head back. “You used to be such a nice pony before you became involved with that mustache drawer, Rainbow Dash.”

“Well, he’s really big, and she’s really little, I mean, he can wear her as a hat,” Twilight said in a low voice as she waved her clipboard around with her magic. “I’m not sure that it is even physically possible for them to—”

“Twilight!” Celestia gasped. She reached out gave her former student a gentle shove.

“Well, I understand how it is… when you are around somepony that you love you just get urges. Like right now I have urges… and I keep thinking about a certain orange pegasus waiting for me back home.” Twilight Sparkle fell silent and then bit down upon her lip as she made a whimpering sound, her tail swishing around her hind legs.

“Majesties!” A nurse came running out over the deck, breathless and excited. She stopped at a respectful distance away from the pair of princesses. “Prince Buckminster has awakened!”



Not bothering to knock, Princess Celestia shoved the door open and went inside. Much to her shock and surprise, she saw Bucky sitting up in the bed, propped up on pillows, and he was levitating Cadance in front of his face in a blue-green bubble of magic. Just as Celestia stepped through the door, a loud, wet raspberry filled the air and Cadance’s squeaky giggles could be heard.

This isn’t what Princess Celestia expected at all. Paranoid, worried, even a little frightened, she had not expected him to just let go of Bucky. A million things all raced through Princess Celestia’s mind all at once. Another raspberry caused Celestia’s ears to twitch.

“Buckminster, nephew, are you okay?” Celestia asked.

“I feel great. I’m a little stiff, but really, I feel fine. Fluttershy here tells me I was out for a while and that all of you were worried,” Bucky replied as he plopped Cadance down onto the bed.

“No, daddy, lift!” Cadance demanded, flapping her wings. “Obey Cady! Now!”

Reaching out his forelegs, Bucky snatched Cadance up and squeezed her close. He smiled as he cradled her. Overcome with joy, he began to kiss her upon the top of her head over and over.

Eyes wide, Princess Celestia let out a shuddering sob of relief, her mind still racing.



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