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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Derpy looked up at the minotaur approaching her in the pale morning light. She watched as Scorch shifted forms, he shimmered like a patch of heat rising up off of a road and then became something else, this time becoming a flaming donkey. She closed her bad eye and squinted through her good eye, trying to read his expression.

“You wanted to see me?” Scorch asked.

Nodding, the matron mare of Bucky Bitters did her best to focus her attention upon Scorch. She cleared her throat, her wings fluttered for a brief moment at her sides, and then she replied, “I want to know what happened.”

“Is Bucky okay?” Scorch, in donkey form, sat down on the edge of the wooden porch, near the stairs and kept a respectful distance from Derpy. She had that look about her.

“He came home, grabbed Crisis, held her, cried a whole lot, I mean he bawled his eyes out and kept saying something about Crisis’ mother that I couldn’t make out and then he went to sleep—”

“He went to sleep?”

Derpy, interrupted, took a moment to recover. “He’s sleeping like a foal. He’s totally out. The little ones woke up in the nursery where Bucky is sleeping and they bawled and he didn’t even open an eyelid. He slept right through it. It took some real effort to free Crisis from his grip. He didn’t wake. It’s all very weird.”

“So he’s sleeping like a foal… good… good… he needs sleep.” Scorch’s long floppy donkey ears stood straight up.

“I want to know what happened!” Derpy insisted.

“I can’t say much,” Scorch replied in a soft voice, “but I can say that the number of souls that Bucky has just saved outnumber the stars.”

Blinking, Derpy’s legs wobbled and she sat down with a muffled whump. Her ears drooped and she continued blinking, then shook her head in disbelief. “What happened?”

“A very old mistake was corrected. For a few minutes, Bucky became an immortal being of unbelievable and immense power. He then gave that power away to another, and then that power was given to yet another, this one far more deserving of it. Now the power will be used responsibly and for good.”

“Immortal?” Derpy asked in a strained voice.

“No longer. Bucky had everything… immortality, immense, unending power, absolute power. He had power over me, for a moment, he was one of the biggest fish in the pond and I must say Mrs. Hooves, I admire your husband. He could have held that power, but he chose to give it away.”

Gobsmacked, Derpy smacked her lips together and spent a moment trying to piece everything together so that she might recover.

“Your husband wisely chose to make Princess Celestia the single most powerful being in this local existence. There has been a major shift in the powers that be. With his actions, the beginning of the end of necromancy has taken place. Much will change. How much things will change remain to be seen. I’m sorry I can’t give you more details, but certain events go beyond the ears of mortals.”

“So Bucky was immortal?” Derpy asked, repeating her earlier question.

“Yes.” Scorch nodded.

“I’m glad he walked away from it.” The grey pegasus mare shuddered, blinked, and then shuddered again. “Call me selfish, but I don’t want him living forever. I don’t want him to see me grow old and suffer. I want as much time with him as I can get, but I don’t want him to live forever. So he’ll be normal now?”

“Well, as normal as Bucky gets.” Scorch let heave a sigh. It was difficult to put normal and Bucky into the same sentence. “Bucky doesn’t even know what he gave up. But he made things right, and that’s what counts. A very old wrong has been corrected. Bucky took a stab at the problem and managed to fix it.”

“That’s why I love him,” Derpy whispered.

“I think Bucky will be able to start grieving. He is going to need you.” Scorch shifted forms again, this time becoming a griffon. “I need to go. I am supposed to give some inferno rubies to Belisama so she can make an alchemical brew that will protect the drinker from fire.”

“She’s in Bucky’s tower, in the alchemy lab. She said she wanted an early start. She’s never done anything this complicated,” Derpy replied, trying to be helpful. “Something about fighting giant fire ants. How big can fire ants get, anyway?”

“Oh, you’d be surprised…”

 

 

Drowsing, Luna felt Barley stirring beside her in the bed. Erebus was a warm, fuzzy lump against her stomach. Erebus was sound asleep and Luna in her half awake state listened to the sound of those she loved breathing. Feeling warm, feeling secure, Luna sighed and drifted closer to true sleep.

Last night, she had felt the shift in power and now, in the morning after, she felt peaceful and secure. She was certain that every being with elevated senses had felt what she had felt. It was almost as if the very planet itself had heaved a sigh of relief and had relaxed.

Strangely enough, when everything had gone topsy turvy during the night, Luna had felt her own power grow by a magnitude. She did not yet know why or how, but she resolved that she would get down to the bottom of it sooner or later. Celestia had done something, that was all that Luna knew.

But all that would have to be dealt with later. For now, the Princess of the Night wanted sleep. Her eyelids fluttered and she felt Barley cuddle up closer against her back. She yawned, and then the Alicorn of Night slipped into the realms of slumber.

 

 

Twilight Sparkle let out a very worried whinny. She scowled, for the lack of anything else better to do, then looked over at Sunset Shimmer. The unicorn was busy peering into a portal peeper. She had been silent, totally silent, and Twilight assumed that Sunset had found nothing. Had she found something, she would have said so by now.

The makeshift lab down in the library tree’s cellar was cramped, even with the extra dimensional expansion. Glass Slipper was colouring on the floor. Little Glass Slipper was supposed to be going to school, but Twilight didn’t have the heart to send her away. She wanted to keep educating Glass Slipper herself.

“Nothing.” Twilight’s voice broke the silence.

Sunset Shimmer nodded. “Nothing.”

“So… there is nothing left of the mirror traveler’s fortress. No rubble, no debris, just some broken rocks. An entire mountain range is now gone, along with a massive fortified city. How does something like that just disappear?” Twilight began pacing, walking through the crowded lab and stepping over Glass Slipper. Even in her most distracted state, Twilight was mindful of little Glass Slipper—a good mother never stepped on her foal and Twilight was determined to be a good mother. Her own mother, Twilight Velvet, had never once stepped on her. Twilight Velvet had her own problems… like not believing there had been groaning ghosts in the air ducts. The corner of Twilight Sparkle’s eye twitched at the memory.

“The only thing I get is a weird bit of magical feedback. There is detectable magic, but I can’t determine what happened. The magic that was used was used in such a way that it scrubbed away any chance of determining what has taken place. All of my attempts to figure out what has happened have failed.” Sunset Shimmer closed her eyes, tilted her head back, and let out a heavy sigh. As she rested her eyes, her neck crackled.

“All of my attempts have failed as well. Divination hasn’t worked, studying trace magical signatures, there is just nothing there to go on. The mirror travelers and their fortress are gone. Maybe there was a magical accident that destroyed them… but I doubt it.”

“Twilight, I hate to say this, but there is nothing for us to go on. Nothing at all. We’re not going to get any answers.” Sunset Shimmer’s eyes opened and she looked at Twilight, who appeared to be frustrated as she paced. “If they are still around, we will have to wait until they reveal themselves.”

“But that puts us at the disadvantage,” Twilight snapped in reply. “I’ve learned a few things from Bucky… and maintaining an advantage is one of those things. Bucky maintains a fine illusion of supremacy and power because he always tries to maintain an advantage.”

“Twilight, I doubt there is anything else we can do. The mirror travelers are gone, at least for now. All we can do is be watchful.” Sunset Shimmer watched as Glass Slipper put down her crayon and lifted her head so that she might look at her mother.

“Mama, I think you need a cookie and some milk,” Glass Slipper suggested.

Ears perking, Twilight looked at Glass Slipper. “You know, I think you might be right…”

 

 

Yawning, Berry Punch glanced over at Sour Mash, who was slumped over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. The two mares were almost silent, the only sounds were their yawning and the slurp of coffee. The kitchen however, was noisy. Harper was eating a breakfast of mango bits, yogurt, and oatmeal. Cadance was eating oatmeal too, and Sukari had already finished her oatmeal. The little zebra’s ears twitched with every sound made.

Cadance, a beautiful, graceful, delicate creature, had oatmeal on both her eyebrows and in her ears. The sole advantage of an ethereal mane was that it was impossible to get oatmeal into it. To make up for it, Cadance worked extra hard to get oatmeal everywhere else.

Using her developing telekinesis, Harper hurled a bright orange bit of mango at Cadance. It struck Cadance in the nose and the pink foal’s eyes focused on the bright orange bit of fruit on her muzzle. Her mouth opened, there was a flash of orange as Cadance’s tongue crept out, and then Cadance licked the bit of mango from her muzzle.

Hoping for a different reaction, Harper sighed with disappointment. Her horn still glowing and spitting out little sparks, she turned her attention to Berry Punch and Sour Mash, the two sleepy mares who were drinking the gross stuff in mugs that adults liked to drink.

Grinning, Harper used her telekinesis to flick a bit of mango at Berry Punch. The sweet little tidbit soared through the air, there was a bright flash, and then the little cube of mango had butterfly wings. Harper’s mouth fell open as she realised that her magic had done that. She watched as the butterfly mango bit flew away, fluttering around the kitchen.

Berry Punch took one look at the fluttermango and heaved a sigh. “We’re in trouble,” Berry announced in a loud voice that made its way through the farmhouse, “I think Harper has officially hit the super-mischievous stage. I repeat, we have a type three with random mini surges. This is not a drill. Pony up to your battle stations.” Berry lifted up her coffee cup, took a sip, and then yawned again. She looked over at Sour Mash and shook her head. “We’re doomed.”

“You know, I’m thinking it is time for me to go soon,” Sour Mash said.

“You can’t. Bucky is planning on loading up your ship with something special. You gotta stay. Don’t worry, you get used to the weirdness around here. You should have seen Bucky’s egg.”

Sour Mash blinked her eyes and shook her head. This place, a place of wonders, was far too strange. She watched as the fluttermango thumped up against the kitchen window, leaving behind a sticky smear each time it hit the glass.

“What do?” Harper asked in quiet voice filled with awe.

 

 

Smiling, Derpy hooves looked down at two very important little unicorns that she loved. Dizzy and little Barley were cuddled together. Dizzy was a little sleepy still, but Barley was bright eyed and alert. The nursery was dimmed a little, to allow Bucky to sleep better, he was curled up in the bowl shaped chair in the corner.

Ditzy, Berry Pinch, and Brandywine were in the bathroom with Broom, getting a bath. Bell Heather was off with her mother. It was perfect, it gave Derpy some time with the two little unicorn colts that she so adored.

Dizzy, looking up at his mother, gave her a sleepy wall-eyed yawn, his bright orange tongue visible for a moment. Reaching down with her foreleg, Derpy stroked his mane back with her fetlock, smoothing it away from his tiny, budding horn. Fond memories of Dinky as a tiny foal flooded Derpy’s mind. For a pegasus, she was pretty good at making unicorns, or so she thought. Dinky had turned out well… Dinky had turned out powerful even, and Derpy wondered how Dizzy would turn out.

“You’re going to be like your daddy, I think,” Derpy said in a low, maternal voice. “At least, that is my fondest hope. I think you’ll be good, and kind, and gentle, and maybe a little powerful. Amaranth told me that one day you will take up your father’s title of Lord of Winter so I’m guessing you have some magic in you.”

Derpy paused, took a deep breath, glanced at her sleeping husband, and sighed. Crisis had been tucked back in with Bucky and the strange little filly was sound asleep, drooling out strange drool that had an odd greenish sheen in the light, sort of like how oil on the surface of water made rainbows.

“One day, I’m not going to have your father around any more,” Derpy said to Dizzy and little Barley. “But I’ll have you and the others, so that will be okay. I’d like to think that all of the best parts of him that I love will be found in you. All of you are so precious to me. Both of you are so perfect.”

Sniffling, Derpy wondered if perhaps she had a bit of hay fever.

 

 

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