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


776. 776

“You griffons have secured for yourselves a worthy future.” Odin, sitting on a cushion, looked at the many griffons and other creatures packed into the mead hall. His gaze lingered upon a large pale white lunar pegasus for a long while. Odin bowed his head. “We have suffered losses, though few they may be, each one of them is a terrible loss.”

Odin lifted his head. “Every Raptor is accounted for.” Odin took a deep breath. “For this, I am glad. The Raptors represent our hope. They embody change. They started out as freed slaves and became something else. Something worthy. Now, their numbers grow. The ponies have joined their number.” Odin closed his eyes and slumped down on his cushion.

Crest rising, Odin opened his eyes after a moment and looked out upon the crowd once more. “A promise made long ago has been restored and we have taken our first step towards our return to glory. Queen Belisama bears upon her the mark of destiny. Soon, others will follow, or so is my hope.”

King Tannis, having come down from Canterlot, leaned over and wrapped his foreleg around Queen Agnetha and then looked down at Beauregard. He looked around the dim, smoke-filled mead hall; after taking everything in, his gaze came to rest upon both Bucky and Belisama.

“We are not alone,” Odin said. “There is an enclave of griffons down near Saddle Arabia, living on the coast. They fled Griffonholm years ago. I have been in contact with their chieftain, a griffoness named Gossamer. The entire colony have dedicated themselves to the healing arts, peaceful pursuits, and have proclaimed themselves as pacifists. Gossamer will not help us in battle, but she will help us fight in future conflicts. She will be coming to visit us in the spring. I want it known that I recognise her leadership. She does not call herself Queen, nor does she have any desire to do so.”

“We look forward to welcoming her into our family,” King Tannis said in a loud, but gentle voice. “I have sent her a message, welcoming her, recognising her leadership, and inviting her to come and stay with us. Please, when she comes, see that she is welcome.”

Lifting his mug, Bucky looked at the room around him. What he saw gave him hope. Gofannon the griffon was sitting beside his mate, the pegasus known as Helia. There was North Star and Kiara. Bartleby sat between Trixie and Sunset Shimmer. Lugnut and Spanner had their cubs, along with one new addition, not yet finalised, the unicorn foal known as Firelock. Where there had once been hatred, a species at war for thousands of years, there was now unity and even love.

Glancing around, Bucky realised that there was something missing. Several somethings missing. He felt a twinge of worry. There was no sign of Loki Apple, the first griffon recognised as an Apple. He spotted Gormlaith, but she was alone. Sentinel was missing and so was Boadicea.

“Keg Smasher has given us an entire island that is rich in resources and has abundant fish. The griffons of the Shetlands call the island New Griffonholm. The griffons of the Shetlands are few in number, but in time, with peace, I hope their numbers will improve,” Odin said. The older looking griffon’s crest rose. “I demand that you all make more griffons and hippogriffs. We have an island to colonise and a nation to rebuild.”

“Excuse me,” Bucky said in a low voice as he got up. “I seem to be missing some of my subjects. Pardon me while I go look for them.” He leaned down his head, kissed Belisama, and then slipped away, stepping between griffons and ponies that had crowded into the mead hall.



The night was dark and cold. Huffing, Bucky could see his breath. Crowds always made him nervous, and truth be told, he was thankful to be free of the mead hall. It was far too crowded in there, hot from too many bodies and roaring fires. The cold air hitting his lungs made him feel better, calmer, and some of his nervousness eased.

Walking through the snow, he saw a group near the school. There was a small figure running, another small figure flying, and a gathered group of onlookers. Bucky approached to go have a look.

“What is going on?” Bucky asked as he approached. He saw Ripple, Sentinel, Boadicea, and an earth pony that he did not know. He spied Loki flying around, chasing after a dark blue foal that was difficult to see in the darkness.

“I think Loki is about to drop dead from exhaustion,” Ripple replied as she turned to look at Bucky. “I ordered Loki to run Fledgling Kebab until she puked. Kebab has ran and ran and ran for hours and has not run out of endurance.”

“That’s my filly,” the earth pony stallion said.

“You must be proud.” Bucky grinned at the earth pony.

“Father, this is Fletcher, Archer’s father.” Sentinel, tearing his eyes away from the griffon chasing the earth pony foal, turned and looked at his father. “Ripple, I don’t think that Kebab is going toss her cookies any time soon. Loki however, is starting to lag behind more and more.”

“I’ve been preparing my daughter to fight from an early age. That’s my girl!” Fletcher lifted his hoof and waved at Archer, who bounded through the snow and showed no signs of slowing. “Honey, you run that griffon until he pukes!”

“Yeah, okay, I can do that!” Archer shouted back in reply.

Taking in the absurdity of it all, Bucky snorted. Fletcher seemed to be enjoying this far too much. Archer was well prepared for this moment, having been trained from an early age. The situation needed a good kick in the backside to make things interesting again. “Sentinel?”

“Father?” Sentinel looked over Bucky.

“Go after her.” Bucky grinned. “Let her know that if you catch her, you are going to slobber all over her. No flying though.”

“Okay,” Sentinel replied as he bolted, taking off at a run.

“OH NO! SENTINEL! NO!” Archer, doubling her speed, was now going at a flat out run with Sentinel just behind her, his tongue dangling out of his mouth as he ran. “SENTINEL, WE’RE FRIENDS! DON’T DO THIS!”

“Well, that should make things interesting.” Bucky watched as Loki flapped over and then landed beside Ripple. “So, Fletcher, you must be very proud.”


“Archer is one of a kind.” Fletcher turned and looked at Bucky. “You have daughters. Surely you must know a father’s fear. I raised my daughter to look after herself.”

“Wow, Archer is really moving.” Ripple’s remark was made in an awestruck whisper.

“Daughters are special. I worry non stop about all of mine. Even Ripple—”

“Daddy… don’t embarrass me!” Ripple scooted away from Bucky, shaking her head. “I’m on duty… I am supposed to have an image of command and authority.”


“Fletcher, how would you like to join us in the mead hall? Care for a drink?” Bucky asked the earth pony standing near him.

“I’d love a drink,” Fletcher replied. He looked at his daughter, who was now running at full speed with Sentinel chasing just behind her. “He’s holding back… why isn’t he catching her?”

“Sentinel is a good colt.” Bucky grinned and looked at his son. “He’ll catch her eventually, when she’s finally been worn out completely.”

“I am going to go find Gormlaith,” Loki muttered as he stomped off through the snow.

“Fletcher, just follow Loki. I think I’ll stay out here and keep an eye on these two.” Standing in the snow, Bucky took a deep breath, allowing the cold air to fill his lungs. “Ripple, I bet there is a donkey that is missing you. You should go look after her.”



As it approached the midnight hour, the party in the mead hall showed no signs of slowing down. Enjoying the cold, Bucky prowled the grounds of the farm and the school, looking around, exploring, and feeling good that he was home.

The dormitory towers were all dark now, save for a few faint lights in the windows, probably night lights or glowing horns. There were several new houses built at the edge of the woods that lie between the farmhouse and Ponyville.


Lifting his head, Bucky turned towards the sound of Scorch’s voice. He saw the Demon Lord of Tartarus approaching. Unable to stop himself, Bucky, thinking of Luna’s words, grinned. “Hello Scorch.”

“Nice night for a walk,” Scorch said to Bucky.

“I was just out collecting my thoughts.” Bucky’s eyes narrowed. “I heard that you once paddled Celestia with a spoon.” Bucky’s ears perked as Scorch sighed.

“On more than one occasion. She was nothing but trouble.” Scorch shifted form, becoming a flaming alicorn. He looked down at Bucky. “I’m glad that I found you alone. I wanted to talk to you.”

“Well, here I am. Talk.” Bucky drifted in and out of shadow, his legs vanishing so he could drift above the snow in comfort.

“There is a matter that I am hesitant to bring up.” Scorch’s ears perked forwards and his flaming wings fluttered. “I know it is a lot to ask, but I keep getting nagged about the issue. I made a promise that I would bring it up to you when I had the chance.”

Bucky, his talons in shadow, made a gesture, trailing tendrils of black shadow. “So, tell me about it. There is no need to be hesitant. We’re both friends.”

Scorch sighed, his cheeks puffing out. He took a deep breath and cleared his throat. “I had this fling with a rather nice demoness. She really wasn’t evil. Honestly, she isn’t a bad sort. She stays away from the politics of Tartarus. A few centuries ago, she got interested in having offspring. But, being a demoness, she knew that if she had a little demon spawn, there was a good chance that it might be evil, seeing as how demons are soulless creatures. Not every demon makes good choices.”

“I see.” Bucky looked up at Scorch. “Fascinating.”

“So, she asked me for a soul. It didn’t have to be a particularly high quality soul, but something practical and serviceable,” Scorch said in a low voice.

“You can give something a soul?” Bucky asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, yes… I can. I can make life, create souls, I am a being of near infinite power. But I rarely do any of that anymore. It breaks the balance of things,” Scorch replied.

“Okay… carry on.” Bucky drifted up a little higher to be at eye level with Scorch.

“So, I created her a very simple soul and then we got about to the business of making new life the old fashioned way. Whips, chains, the fires of Tartarus, oceans of lubricant, hot pokers, tentacles, it took several attempts before she became pregnant,” Scorch said, continuing his story.

“Neat.” Bucky raised his eyebrow.

“She had a son. A son that inherited a portion of her soul.” Scorch shifted form, becoming bipedal, and began to scratch his head with his hand. “He’s not a bad sort at all. A bit weird. Somewhat withdrawn. Has a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder. And he is fanatically fixated upon the secretarial sciences.”

“Okay… what does this have to do with me?” Bucky asked.

“Well, his mother wants him to attend school and make friends—”

“Are you shitting me?” Bucky asked, cutting Scorch off.

“No!” Scorch shook his head. “No… I’m dead serious.” Scorch held his hands up. “Look, he’s not evil. He doesn’t have any friends because he doesn’t fit in. He’s quiet and a bit shy. He has a soul and that makes it difficult for him to be a heartless asshole and be accepted by his peers. He gets teased a lot and it bothers him. He’s sensitive.”

“I have heard everything,” Bucky snapped, his shadow form mimicking Scorch’s bipedal form, but without a solid body. He tossed two vaguely arm shaped appendages up in the air.

“I want to enroll him when spring comes rolling around,” Scorch said, unable to look Bucky in the eye. “And just because he is one of my many, many offspring, I don’t want him getting special treatment.”

“I don’t know about this—”

“Look, you want diversity, here you go…” Scorch held out his hand to his side, making a gesture. “He’s about this tall… maybe a meter. He has three legs and two arms. His name is Zaster and I think he could do well here.”

“Zaster?” Bucky shook his head. “What sort of name is Zaster?”

“His full name is Dee, short for Demon, Zaster—”

“You have got to be screwing around with me!” Bucky cried in disbelief.

“His mother is a demon! She tries to be nice but even with a soul she just can’t help herself… she gets into mischief… look, he’s not a bad kid, okay?” Scorch replied. He reached up and began to rub his forehead. “Look, he’s one of my children...”

“I want to meet him before I decide anything.”

“Fair enough.”

“Dee Zaster… do you know how disruptive that is going to be in a classroom?”

“I’m sorry.”

“If I enroll him, you owe me.”

“Of course.”

“There had better not be any tentacles…”



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