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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Never liking to give up, Lyra Heartstrings looked at her new machine. The step through portals had been installed, but the machine was not quite finished. Not yet. At the bottom of the machine was a large basin. At the top of the machine there was a small metal plate with the step through portal attached. In between the two portals there a small waterwheel. The waterwheel was connected to a dynamo to create electricity.

Step through portals, considered a magical toy by most, were one of Lyra’s favourite things. They weren’t considered useful. There was a severe distance restriction, beyond a certain point the energy required to keep them powered grew at an exponential rate. The size of the portal was limited. Up to this point, when not being used as a science fair demonstration, wealthy ponies used them as dumbwaiters between floors of a house, a dumbwaiter just large enough to pass a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich.

A passive ley line charger could only generate so much magical power. There just wasn’t very much power to work with, which is why step through portals remained a scientific curiousity or a novelty.

“Lyra, are we ready for the water?”

Feeling a growing sense of excitement, Lyra nodded at Gertrude’s words. “Yes, I think we are… I can’t wait to see if this works.”

“It’ll work,” Gertrude replied. “This is a better idea than the magnet passing through the tube, I think. No more runaway reactions. If this will turn a waterwheel, we’ll have to rebuild so the water will pass through a turbine of some sort.”

“Yes!” Lyra’s teeth flashed white as a manic grin took over her face. “We’re going live!”

Several griffons scrambled to safety and Lyra slid a pair of goggles over her face. It was important to follow proper safety procedures. Gertrude did the same, covering her eyes with goggles that had safety glass lenses.

“Infinity generator, version eleven!” Lyra shouted.

“This time it will work!” Gertrude added.

Lyra lifted up a large plastic container that was full of water, holding it in her telekinesis. She poured it into the basin at the bottom of her contraption. Many gallons of water glugged out of the container, filling the basin halfway, and then Lyra looked over at Gertrude.

“Gertrude, my lovely assistant, if you would please do me the honours of hitting the switch,” Lyra said. She watched as the griffoness’ crest rose, almost unable to deal with her own growing anticipation.

Nervous, her beak clicking, Gertrude hopped up onto the table, approached the machine, reached out with her talons, and flipped the switch. The step through portals activated. There was a low hum and the top portal began to trickle water. The trickle became a flood, growing in strength and speed. Then, the flow became a self contained torrent, pouring out of the top portal, falling down, hitting the water wheel, causing it to turn, splashing into the basin at the bottom, and then spilling through the step through portal located in the bottom of the basin, where it was teleported back to the top to begin the process again.

“It’s working!” Lyra shouted. Her ears perked as she heard a cheer from all around her. It felt good to have success… at least, so far, this was a success. The previous ten attempts had all been failures.

“We have electrical generation!” Gertrude cried as she stared at the instrument cluster connected to the water wheel that was powering the electrical dynamo.

“What are we making?” Lyra asked over the growing whine of the machine.

“We’re cranking out point five pony power… so about three hundred and seventy watts of electricity… which is pretty good for our controlled test.” The griffoness looked at the various gages and then her wings started to flutter. “The forty eight volt airship battery is charging… we have steady growth.”

“Adding more water,” Lyra announced as she picked up a second container.

Gertrude backed away from the machine, but her eyes remained upon the instrument cluster. The griffoness let out a peep of excitement and watched the gages as Lyra poured in more water. The low whine of the machine became a mechanical thrum.

“We’re at one pony power… which means about six hundred and forty watts or so of electricity. The water wheel can only spin so fast, so we’re limited for RPMs, and that restricts our efficiency.”

“We need a turbine.” Lyra’s head bobbed with enthusiasm as the noise level continued to increase.

“Cubby steps… we need to see how this one works,” Gertrude replied, her voice almost inaudible over the hum of the machinery.

“It’s working… beautifully… I just can’t see this going wrong.” Lyra leaned her head down and studied the gages. A little over one pony power, six hundred and fifty one watts of electrical generation, and the nickel-iron airship battery was being charged “There are still plenty of things we can do to optimise this system, this is merely proof of concept… but I think this is going to work!”

“It certainly seems like it!”

 

 

Something tickled Derpy’s ear. The sleeping grey pegasus snorted, then farted as one of her hind legs twitched. Derpy’s brain awoke just enough to register that there was probably a foal playing with her ear. Snorting again, Derpy sank back down into the depths of slumber.

The tickle happened again, causing one wing to flutter. And now, something was tickling her nose as well. Some little foal was going to get cuddled to death for this. Derpy’s good eye cracked open and she peered out, trying to see who was pestering her.

“That was some welcome.”

That voice. Derpy’s eye opened wider as she lifted up her head and yawned. She smacked her lips together a few times, feeling just a little bit thirsty, and then her blurry vision focused upon a grinning face and sharp teeth.

“Hello.”

“Bucky, you’re back,” Derpy said to pony sitting beside her.

“I snuck inside… nopony knows I’m here yet. I wanted a moment with you… but just a moment… and then I’m going to announce my presence and get mobbed. The foals are in school, so it shouldn’t be too bad.”

“Harper had to be hospitalised for a while.” Derpy stretched out her neck and kissed Bucky on his chin. “She’s okay, but her stomach problem has become worse. She’s fine now, or seems to be. She’s been dying to see you.”

“Poor Harper.” Bucky slumped over and his ears drooped.

“She got constipated real bad… her digestion shut down for a bit and she couldn’t poop. Dinky had a very grown up moment and so did Sentinel.” Derpy paused. “Kiss me… please? Before you go.”

“I can do that,” Bucky replied, nodding his head.

 

 

Sprawled out on the floor, Bucky was overtaken by foals and one kelpie that could not hold herself back. He tried to acknowledge each foal in turn, but it was difficult with Thistle’s forelegs around his neck and trying to squeeze the life out of him.

“One of mine,” he said to Bell Heather as he pulled her in for a kiss. “You’re up and moving about… oh no… that’s not good.” He felt Bell’s body shake as she began to giggle. “And Harper… I heard you got sick… Poor Harpy.”

“Mama bad for leaving Harpy!” Conflicted, a little angry, but glad to see Bucky, Harper didn’t quite know what to do. She kissed Bucky’s cheek and then pushed him away, letting out a frustrated huff as she did so.

“Sukari… get over here… don’t make me come over there to get you.” Bucky looked at the zebra foal. Sukari sometimes got overwhelmed with too many other foals around. He watched as she stood up and took tiny, hesitant steps as she approached.

A wisp of Cadance’s ethereal mane drifted into Bucky’s face, reeking of roses. He almost sneezed. “And how have you been, Empress?”

Cadance lifted her head, assuming an almost regal pose, and puffed out her barrel. “In charge.” Her wings fluttered at her sides and she looked very proud and solemn. When Sukari passed, Cadance reached out her foreleg and gave the zebra filly a reassuring pat on the backside.

“Mean mare stuck something up Harpy’s plot.”

“Oh no,” Bucky replied as he pulled Sukari closer.

“It was cold.

Bucky nodded and gave Harper a sympathetic look.

“Harpy’s butt exploded. Go boom. Make mess.”

Unable to help himself, Bucky began to snicker as he gave Sukari a little much needed affection. He could feel Bell drooling on his right foreleg, soaking his shaggy pelt. “Mmm… four little fillies aren’t enough… I can’t wait until I have more.”

“I could help with that,” Thistle whispered into Bucky’s ear.

 

 

“Is something wrong?” Berry Punch reached out and poked her husband with her hoof as she blew her mane out of her eyes. “You look distracted… what’s wrong?”

“There’s an earth pony I’m missing,” Bucky replied.

Ah, Berry Punch thought to herself. Bon Bon. She looked Bucky in the eye. “She’s working. Bucky, you know how driven she is. She didn’t know that you’d be home today… none of us did. You just sort of showed up.”

“Well, I wanted to surprise you.” Bucky’s ears splayed out sideways and he scowled.

“It’s the foal, isn’t it?” Berry asked. “The foal has made you take interest in Bonnie.”

“I love Bon Bon—”

“I know you do… but now that she’s pregnant, you’re feeling protective and you want her where you… or somepony you trust, can keep an eye on her.” Berry Punch watched as Bucky’s mouth moved but no words came out. “You want to herd all of your mares together for safety. How sweet.”

“Maybe I do…” His scowl darkened. “How can I keep her safe and protected if she’s in Ponyville? How do I keep an eye on her? How do I know if she’s okay?” Bucky’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Berry Punch.

Shaking her head, Berry Punch sighed. “You don’t.”

“Perhaps a flight of stairs in front of her candy store could keep her safe…”

 

 

“Ooh, a two-fer.” Bucky stood in the doorway, not quite knowing what it was that he was seeing. There was a whole gaggle of griffons and one very excited unicorn. Belisama was hovering in circles around Lyra’s head. Lyra was pronking. Something had happened that had made Lyra quite pleased, by the looks of things.

“Bucky!” Lyra pronked again, this time clicking all four of her hooves together.

“My noble steed!” Belisama flapped over and landed upon Bucky’s back, then placed her forelegs around his neck to squeeze him. “Lyra’s newest invention works better than we had hoped.”

Just as Bucky was about to say something, Lyra, lascivious, locked lips, latching on lecherously, like a libidinous, lubricious leech, leaving a loving, lusty, lingering, licentious lewd lick. Recovering, Bucky leaned into the kiss, determined to leave Lyra weak in the knees, but Lyra surprised him by tickling him with her magic.

Pulling away with a pop, Lyra grinned, licked her lips, and then bumped snoots with Bucky. “I’ve broken the established laws of the universe again and this time, nothing exploded. I have a working infinity engine.”

“You used one of the oldest bits of mechanical energy known to ponykind… the waterwheel.” Bucky lifted his head and looked at the machine. A minor enchantment had been placed upon it, silencing it. The water poured down in an endless loop, turning the waterwheel, and cranking the dynamo. It was mechanical simplicity itself. It was something that should have been invented a long time ago—and hadn’t, for whatever reason.

“We have it turning at two pony power… I think that’s the best we can hope for from this prototype. That’s one thousand four hundred and ninety two watts of power. We have it running a forty eight volt system that is charging a forty eight volt airship battery. Which means that if you follow the formula for watts, volts, and amps, we’re getting a little over thirty one amps. Which is amazing… this isn’t even optimised yet… we’re going to try a turbine next.”

A little griffoness stood up beside Lyra, looking shy, but also joyful. “With the turbine and perhaps a little more water flow, we might be able to hit twenty pony power… that would give us fourteen thousand, nine hundred, and twenty watts of power. On a forty eight volt system, like that of an airship, that’s over three hundred and ten amps. The extra power will be useful for shield generation and the electro-cannons.”

“I have no idea what any of this means,” Bucky said, giving the griffoness a blank look.

“Bucky, what my assistant Gertrude is trying to say is, we have a better means of electrical generation than stormcloud generators inside of a gasbag and battery banks. We’ll be able to have smaller, sleeker gasbags, which means more speed for an airship, just enough cloudstuff to be buoyant, and then we’ll have an alternate means of electrical generation. A bank of ten or twenty of these gravity powered loop engines would turn an airship into an electrical powerhouse,” Lyra explained.

“Which means a better warship,” Belisama added as she gave Bucky’s ear a tug.

Stunned, Bucky looked at the endlessly turning waterwheel. The falling magnet had caused no end of problems and complications, but the turning wheel was simplicity of the highest degree, removing all of the major worries of cooling, friction, and a runaway reaction.

He lifted his head, curious, watching the falling water. He cocked his head to one side. It seemed like such a simple idea, and he thought once again how somepony should have figured out this solution by now, an efficient means of electrical generation that produced no pollution. It was like a self contained hydroelectric dam, only smaller. This would fix the world energy crisis. This would make certain that every creature who needed electricity would be able to have it.

This would destroy an uncountable number of jobs and bring ruin to an entire industry. Bucky sighed as his brain reached this conclusion. Dams and large scale industrial power plants would be needed for manufacturing. But for the common house, the average pony would no longer need to pay the electric company. All of the ponies employed to keep the lights on, keeping the power lines connected, many of them would soon be out of work. If ponies could buy, or even make a loop generator for themselves, there would be no need to pay for power.

Lyra had solved a major problem for the world, but had created another problem that might be just as bad. Bucky stared at the machine and glanced at the gages. A cheap, easy to produce means of electrical generation would devalue electricity and wreck the market for it. In time, factories and manufacturing facilities would build their own generator banks, reducing the need for municipal and industrial power plants.

“This is the greatest day ever!” Lyra shouted.

 

 

“Two pink ponies and one pony in a very stylish hat,” Bucky said as he materialised in front of Dinky, Piña, and Diamond Tiara, slipping out of shadow. “Talking about colts no less… should I warn Sentinel and Larch what terrible fates await them?”

“Um, hi.” Piña blinked and did her best to look innocent as Bucky leaned his head down and kissed her. She wrapped a foreleg around his neck and gave him a squeeze, aware that other ponies were watching, and feeling a little embarrassed.

“We were having a private conversation, you creepy spook,” Diamond Tiara said as she tilted her head to one side so Bucky could kiss her cheek. She smiled and also gave him a quick hug, tugging on his neck with one foreleg as he kissed her.

“Hey, I was just listening, I don’t even like colts.” Dinky launched herself at Bucky when he had finished kissing Diamond Tiara, wrapped both forelegs around his neck, and squeezed for all she was worth. She didn’t care who saw her hugging him and could worry about being embarrassed later. “Did you have a nice trip?”

“It was nice enough. I’m just glad to be home,” Bucky replied. He looked around. “Where is Sentinel, anyway? I haven’t found him yet.”

“Oh, he’s getting the stuffing beaten out of him by Heif… I can’t watch, it’s too upsetting.” Diamond Tiara scowled and her pink face darkened. “I understand that it needs to happen, I just don’t like it. At all. And it makes me want to kick something.”

Nodding, Bucky gave Diamond Tiara a reassuring nudge. Heifer Aestus’ tutelage was essential for Sentinel’s development, and soon, Lugus would also be beating lumps onto Sentinel’s head, teaching Sentinel aerial combat.

“It isn’t spring yet, but Ripple has already started teaching the Fledglings combat. Yesterday, she whooped them all over the yard, throwing them around, and shouting at them. It was upsetting to watch,” Diamond Tiara said. “I guess I have a hard time because hearing her shout at them about how worthless they are reminds me of how I was and I’m still having issues. Maybe I should talk with Doctor Mawu.”

“Diamond Tiara, I hope you understand how necessary these things are.” Bucky wrapped his left foreleg over Diamond Tiara’s withers and pulled her closer.

“When Daddy teaches me magical stuff, he has to hurt me a bit… I have to know there are consequences for failure… otherwise, I don’t learn very much.” Dinky sighed and then rubbed her side. “Or Luna… Luna really piles on the hurt and you only want to make a mistake once… because of Luna, I’ve really improved my shield spell.”

“We’re heading towards some big fight and everypony is scrambling to get prepared.” Piña lifted her eyes and looked up at her father, then at Dinky, and then at Diamond Tiara. “It feels like being back on the isles again and all of the tension as the big fight got closer and closer.”

Bucky sighed and wished that he could spare Piña from this feeling somehow, but knew that he was powerless to change it. He swept all three fillies into his embrace, and then kissed them all on top of the head once more in turn.

 

 

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