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


821. 821

Something had happened, Princess Luna was sure of it. She stared at Moonbow, who had a secretive smile upon her muzzle. Raising her eyebrow, Luna looked at Sentinel. No! For a moment, Luna almost held her breath. It only took a moment for her to realise what had taken place behind closed doors. She stared at Moonbow and the filly stared back, doing nothing to avert her gaze.

The other foals had not come out yet; it was only Sentinel, Moonbow, Diamond Tiara and Boadicea. Luna stepped forwards, trying to think of the right words to say, she wanted to say something, she wanted to say the right thing. One of her future Myrmidons and her godson had just—

“Mistress, I know that every aspect of my life is laid before before you, but in this instance I beg for privacy,” Moonbow said to Luna in a soft voice, her head bowed, but her eyes remained locked upon Luna’s.

It was all Luna could do not to smile. Sentinel was slinking along beside Moonbow, watchful, his movements catlike. Lunar pegasi were all so delightfully similar, Luna had watched this scene play out so many times. Luna felt a swelling of pride; she was going to have to tell Bucky about this, perhaps it would cheer Bucky up. Bucky needed cheering up, Doctor Mawu had said that Bucky had experienced a full blown nervous breakdown.

“I have no idea what you mean, Moonbow,” Luna said to the filly, “did something take place that I am not aware of?” Luna grinned, her wings fluttering at her sides, she was supposed to be angry with these foals, she was supposed to look dour, intimidating and scary even, but at the moment, she could not. She gave Moonbow a knowing wink and then composed herself, making herself look serious and solemn once more.

Only Princess Celestia had a better poker face when it came to hiding emotion.



“—the earth ponies are going to have to pull the sleigh,” Princess Luna said to the gathered foals. She saw Sentinel bristle at her words, his hackles were rising, and Luna realised that Sentinel was about to stick his hoof into his mouth. She decided to let him.

“So that’s it then, that’s what they are along for? Beasts of burden? Are they just here to pull the sleigh? Moonbow and I can pull the sleigh! I… I can’t believe that you’d do this!” Sentinel assumed a posture of defiance and challenge, his legs going stiff, and his hackles bristled. “Apple Bloom is a princess, not just some animal meant for heavy labour!”

“Sentinel, are you done being stupid or is this to become a regular thing?” Moonbow asked.

“Are you going along with this?” Sentinel demanded as he whirled on Moonbow. He had just… done something with her. Now, feeling betrayed, he was ready to fight. His emotions were getting the best of him, he felt angry, hurt, and confused.

“Sentinel, don’t you dare challenge me!” Moonbow snarled. The lunar pegasus filly bared her teeth and raised her hoof. “You’re being an idiot! Stop being angry and think!”

“What is there to think about?” Sentinel’s voice came out a low growl and he moved himself between Diamond Tiara and Moonbow. “You and I can pull this sleigh just fine!”

“By the stars, you are stupid!” Moonbow shook her head and waved her hoof at Sentinel. “If you and I are in the harnesses, and something attacks us, we’ll be all tangled up! We’ll be unable to defend the others, you ignoramus! The earth ponies are the ones most suited for pulling the sleigh and the heavy load! The unicorns certainly can’t! We can’t even have the unicorns out walking! We need for them to conserve every calorie they can so they can keep their magic ready! We can’t have them exhausted if we need their magic for a fight or for our survival! Scootaloo could pull the sleigh, but that would be stupid! She’s a pegasus, she’s more suited for cold weather with her natural insulation! Having her in the sleigh with with the unicorns will allow them to stay warmer, shiver less, and burn fewer calories trying to keep warm, you idiot!

Sentinel stood down, assuming a more submissive posture. He ignored Luna’s hard stare. After a moment of staring at Moonbow, he dropped his gaze. “Your words are reasonable, I’m sorry.”

“What about me?” Boadicea asked.

“You’re in the sleigh too,” Moonbow replied, “Your talons will freeze right off in this kind of cold, while you might be useful in a fight, you’re no good if your talon fingers freeze and snap off. So it is your job to keep Sweetie Belle and Dinky warm.”

“I can do that,” Boadicea said, puffing out her fluff.

Apple Bloom walked forwards and gave Sentinel a nudge. “I appreciate you standing up for me… for us… but this time, our earth pony strength is needed to do the hard work. Sentinel, just keep us safe.”

Sentinel nodded.

“Piña Colada will be out in the front, using Sombra’s horn to guide your way. I suspect that as you get closer, Piña will no longer need the horn, given her unique nature, she will just know.” Princess Luna looked at Piña and gave the pink earth pony filly a stern look. “Little one, you carry the fate of millions upon your shoulders. The fact that you seem utterly immune to the horn’s influence may mean that you might be the strongest earth pony that has ever lived. You carry the world upon your back… I hope you are mature enough to understand the seriousness of what you are doing.” Luna blinked and swallowed her emotions, refusing to allow tears to come to her eyes. “Sunset Shimmer was chosen for this task because she resisted the Alicorn Amulet after much time and study under Buckminster’s tutelage. Sunset’s willpower is almost equal to Buckminster’s own, but I must confess, my sister and I were worried about her ability to resist the horn. Even Celestia and I felt a powerful compulsion to stab it into our heads.”

“Oh, Grandpa keeps whispering about all of the horrible ways he’s gonna kill me for touching his horn and suffocating it with my pink pony goodness… and once he ascends he is going to wipe the mud ponies from the land and push them into the sea… he’s cranky.” Piña gave Luna a bright smile.

For a moment, Luna thought of Pinkie Pie and then looked at Diamond Tiara. Diamond Tiara was comforting Sentinel after his lapse into stupidity, patting him, and whispering something into his tufted ear. Luna had one thought that echoed through her head: Pink ponies might just be the salvation of us all…



Sentinel had a bit of trouble moving after he was bundled up. He had a heavy woollen coat, a down filled vest that went over his body, and a thick woollen cloak. Protective boots covered his hooves; Luna had informed him that the ice he would walk though would slice his legs open. The boots were enchanted to keep him from falling through the snow. All of his companions were also bundled up. Sweetie Belle, Dinky Doo, Scootaloo, and Boadicea were already tucked into the sleigh. Piña was hitched at the front of the line, Diamond Tiara was right behind her, and Apple Bloom was the one closest to the sleigh, being the strongest.

It was already cold, each puff of breath was visible. While it was spring elsewhere, it was still winter in the frozen reaches of the north were the Crystal Empire was. It would be even colder as they trekked north, heading into the icy wastes.

Twilight Sparkle stood near the sleigh, kissing Scootaloo over and over, nuzzling the orange pegasus foal, but was unable to bring herself to say ‘goodbye.’ Shining Armor stood nearby, giving some advice to Dinky and Sweetie Belle.

Princess Luna herded both Moonbow and Sentinel together, using her wings to nudge them along, until they were separated from the rest of the group and had a bit of privacy due to distance and howling winds. Luna cleared her throat and put on her most emotionless mask.

“Moonbow… you are to keep them safe. I am trusting you with the life of a Princess of Equestria and the future Prince of the Griffons… not to mention that Sentinel will very soon be a Prince of Equestria himself. Do not fail me.

“Of course, Mistress, I will do as you command. My life for them if necessary.” Moonbow bowed her head.

“Sentinel… I hope that you learn from your father’s mistakes…” Luna shook her head, her mask almost slipping. “I do not mean Bucky, my student. I mean your father. Sentinel, do not cloud your mind with thoughts of revenge… your father’s need for revenge caused him to fail you and left you an orphan. Here you are, brought to this point by revenge. Sentinel, son of Buckminster, Lord of Winter, change your ways!” Luna stared down at the colt—Sentinel looked away, but Luna grabbed his muzzle in her telekinesis and she made him look her in the eye.

“Revenge can cloud the mind, dull your senses, it can make you stupid… it will lead you down a dark path… it brought you here. I know that you want revenge upon Sombra for what he has done… you had better change your heart before you reach him, lest you give Sombra the weapon he needs to defeat you and destroy your companions. Make no mistake, Godson, he will be your ruination! Do not make this easier for him, if there is to be a fight, make him work to claim your soul. This is why Buckminster has no hope of ever defeating Sombra… my student is far too weak in this one regard, Bucky would be motivated by revenge, he would move against Sombra in anger with a heart filled with hatred… and Sombra would undo him… make no mistake, Sombra will do the same thing to you, if you let him.”

Sentinel, looking up into Princess Luna’s eyes, nodded. “As I walk north, I will search my heart and attempt to mend my spirit—”

Luna’s wing extended, and with a thunderous crack, she slapped Sentinel across the muzzle, sending the colt flying. “You insignificant little fool, you will not make the attempt, you will do it! If you fail to do this, it could mean the death of all of your companions! It might mean the death of all those you know and love… the fate of millions… endless numbers of lives rest upon your back! Sentinel, do not fail me! You have long seen the kindness and mercy that I have, but I can be a cruel Mistress… I will not rest the fate of endless numbers of souls upon what you might or might not do… you chose to do this… the time for foalhood is over. If you fail… if things go horribly wrong, it will mean the end of everything you know and love… it might even mean the end of my sister and I. Everything! So you sort your shite out and you get your heart, mind, body and soul into fighting condition before you reach Sombra, you insufferable little insolent foal, or so help me…”

Luna’s mask broke and she began crying as Sentinel struggled to get back up on his hooves. Tears spilled down her cheeks and a pained cry lingered in her throat. “I would go with you myself, were I allowed, but Amaranth assures me that all of you are the ones who carry our salvation… Sentinel, please, do not fail us!”

Sentinel bowed his head and nodded. “I will not fail you. I will set out and I will accomplish the task I am given.” His lips moved as he struggled to make more words, but nothing came out. After several tries, Sentinel continued, “Out of the many slaps I have been given recently, that one was the one I most deserved. I apologise, my Mistress, I will not fail you. I live to serve.”

Princess Luna sat down in the snow and swept Sentinel up to her, crushing him to her. “You are so very precious to me, I have grown to love you so much, I cannot bear this pain I feel lancing through my breast and impaling my heart… it wounds me so. When you come back to me, I will try to shield you as best I can from your father’s wrath, and your mothers’… but I can make no promises.”

“I understand.” Sentinel began to sniffle as he wrapped his forelegs around Luna’s neck. “When I go home, I will take the punishment I deserve… please, Godmother, do not think less of me for the errors I have made as a foal.”

“Sentinel, go and be the better pony that neither of your fathers could be…”






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