"Well, we've been sitting here long enough. Time check?" Seventy-One asked while setting his tea cup down on the table between himself and the yellow creature that still enjoyed their own cup.
Mission Time: 59:58
Eighty-Eight jumped from the small couch underneath her, grabbing her helmet and rifle in the same movement. "Long enough. We're overdue for the next waypoint."
Seventy-One took his partner's tea cup and set it down next to his own, taking his helmet from the table with a smile. "It's been pleasant, yellow creature, but we have work to do."
Moving for the door and doing their best not to step on obstructive animals, the two scout troopers reached the door just in time to have it fly open with a gust of wind. Critters ducked for cover from the force of the door's opening, and the path was obstructed by the purple leader and what appeared to be its friends. The flying blue one made an appearance as well, though it seemed grumpy.
"We really don't have time for this." Seventy-One commented, attempting to gently move the purple one to the side.
The creatures stood firmly in their path with mixed expressions. A white one seemed interested in them, and an orange one was more confrontational. The two troopers shared a masked look of exasperation and sighed loudly through their helmet's speakers.
"Should we give it the old 'Imperial Password'?" Eighty-Eight suggested, gesturing to the purple one in their path and moving her finger closer to the blaster's trigger.
"That's not going to go down well with the locals. I think we should--" Seventy-One had replied before being interrupted by a distinctive chirp and scratching noise in their helmet.
"Oh great," Eighty-Eight groaned, "It's the Lieutenant."
Holding their left hand to the side of their helmet, the two troopers joined the incoming communication.
"Troopers TS-588 and TS-571, you are overdue for your reconnaissance. Reports show that you haven't moved in some time. What is your status?" Krandel questioned over their communication links. The creatures that blocked their path began talking to each other in quiet, higher pitched tones and with seemingly worried expressions.
"We were... impeded by the wildlife, Lieutenant. The local population has basic understanding of structures and lives in a communal gathering. We didn't want to upset the locals, and they insisted that we-" Seventy-one explained, before he was again interrupted.
"You are not diplomats, Troopers. You are scouts. You provide intelligence, not inter-galactic relations. Extricate yourselves from the situation as carefully as you can manage and resume your operation." Krandel ordered firmly, his tone as biting over the commlink as it was in person. "Provide a situation report immediately."
Seventy-One took a deep breath to calm himself before re-engaging his commlink and continuing. "Yes Lieutenant. Additional observations thus far are as follows..."
Doorway to Fluttershy's Cottage
"Who are they talking to?" Rainbow Dash loudly whispered. "And why are they holding their head like that?"
"Maybe they have some kind of..." Twilight trailed, her face scrunching with uncertainty, "...Distant communication spell in their helmets?"
"Maybe we should get out of their way. They don't seem the friendly type to me." Applejack interjected. "They got what looks like armor on, and whatever it is they got in their hands doesn't look that helpful for talking."
"We can't let them leave, what if somepony else finds them or they damage the town?" Twilight reasoned with a worried tilt. "When I found these two with Rainbow Dash, they were about to be attacked by a manticore. They came out of the Everfree Forest without a clue to what was around them, and now they're just going to walk off again to who knows where!"
"They seemed pretty nice while we waited for you, Twilight." Fluttershy pointed out with a raised hoof. "I think they even said a 'thank you' for the tea."
"You gave them tea?" Rainbow Dash asked incredulously.
"It would've been rude to drink tea without offering them any." Fluttershy explained politely. "Besides, the giants are very cute."
Rainbow covered her face with a hoof. "You think everything is cute, Fluttershy."
"You remember the parasprites?" Applejack added. "Now I don't think these two are gonna go around eating everything, but that doesn't mean we should be careless."
The giants had apparently finished their garble and scratchy talk with their helmets. Looming over the group of ponies and attempting to gently shove their way through the group, Twilight stood firmly in their path.
Mission Time: 1:04:30
Eighty-eight shook her head, pointing the barrel of her blaster towards the group and flicking a switch on the side of her blaster. "You gotta love impatience, right? Sure, let's order the troopers to stun the locals, that'll win hearts and minds."
Seventy-one placed his hands on his hips, longing for his own pistol that had been scrapped. "One thing at a time, Eighty-eight. We have to get our speeder bikes and finish our route. We're not diplomats, after all. We're troopers." He added mockingly.
"On three?" Eighty-eight suggested, preparing the rifle as the crowd became more vocal and confused as to what was going on.
Seventy-One crouched low to be eye level with the creatures. In a higher toned and parental voice that was somewhat defeated by his helmets speakers, he cooed "Alright, come close and listen you bunch of colorful nerfs. Daddy Seventy-one has a story to tell all of you." Waving his hands closer to draw the crowd in, he continued. "Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, there was a group of colorful idiots that didn't understand how blasters work."
"One." Eighty-eight blurted, her rifle beginning to emit a low hum as the battery cells switched output to a lower setting.
"They all gathered around two Imperial Troopers with wide eyed stares and innocent expressions and looked right into the barrel." He added, pointing to the barrel of Eighty-eight's blaster. "Yeah, right there. Can you see it? There's something down the length of it if you look close enough."
The creatures gathered around suspiciously, peering into the slim metal tube that was nearly finished charging. "Two." Eighty-eight announced.
"Then, after the creatures all looked at each other with confusion, they huddled together to try and figure out what the Imperial Troopers were trying to get them to do, just like you're doing now!" Seventy-One added with a mockingly sweet voice someone would use for children. "They wrapped their alien limbs around each other like a huttball team, chatting away and tried very hard to come up with an idea."
"Three." Eighty-Eight finished with bored tonality. "You finished with your story, Seventy-one?"
"The taller trooper pointed to his friend's barrel, which was glowing now, and said a whole load of sweet sounding gibberish that the aliens couldn't understand, and then he nodded to his partner, giving her the signal to..." He trailed, rolling his hands in a circular motion towards the group of colorful creatures.
With a loud blast of electricity that rang out in a circle, the creatures were struck as a whole group. Their bodies jerked around for a moment before they fell into a fuzzy pile on the hovel's wooden floor, gently breathing and otherwise unharmed. More importantly, they were all wonderfully unconscious and no longer barring the trooper's path.
Eighty-eight slung her rifle on her shoulder. "Do you always have to tell a story like that? I still remember the first time we did that to the Jawas on Tatooine."
Seventy-one mocked an insulted tone. "Hey, it worked. The things are out of our way, their hair is frazzled and ridiculous looking, and nobody died. Another glorious day in the Empire."