Strider was sitting on the side of the Transportation bay of the Gunship, the berry bit cupcake in his hand. He remained this way for a while, thinking to himself. He hadn't really thought about the fact that he was just another number. Strider continued to rotate the cupcake in his hands.
"What am I doing? I need to get the Gunship online." Strider told himself, setting the cupcake down and walked over to the open panel.
With a few tweaks and twists of wires, a spark flew through the panel, jolting the Gunship to life. The Transportation Bay lit up with green lights, signaling that the doors were ready to open, which they were.
Seeing the Gunship's power restored, quickly shoved the number thoughts out of Strider's brain.
"Haha! You bucket of bolts still has some character don't you!" Strider declared, looking at the now working lights.
Strider went over to the power box and put the panel back into place. He screwed the bolts back into the panel and gave it a tap. Good as new.
The trooper went over to the side of the Gunship with the broken wing and looked up at it. That was the elephant in the room. With that wing broken, the Gunship wouldn't make it for feet above the ground before tumbling to the ground.
"Hmm, i'm gonna need to take the whole wing off and repair the wing. That's gonna take lot's of new metal, not to mention several fresh canon's and--CRASH!!!"
Strider locked up, identifying the noise to be the sound of his DC-15S blaster falling to the ground. He knew it had been set near the middle of the bay so it couldn't of fallen off by its self. He looked over in the direction of where he had set the blaster, seeing that it was no longer in the Gunship.
Slowly, Strider tip toed over towards the side of the bay and looked around. He spotted the DC-15S laying on the ground below his feet. He grabbed it and switched off the safety, before taking another look around the area.
After a few seconds of pure silence Strider spotted a hint of yellow fur between two crates. Slowly, Strider went over to the crates, keeping the barrel pointed at the crate. Once he was right over the crates, he made his presence clear.
"Who's there!? Come out or I shoot!" Strider exclaimed, pointing the DC-15S at the crates.
Slowly, the pony behind the crates rose up, exposing a filly with a red mane and tail behind them. The pony was wearing a pink bow that was much to big for her head and her sun yellow eyes were looking down at the ground.
Strider lowered the DC-15S at the sight of the filly, sighing under his helmet. "Who are you?"
"Uh, Apple Bloom, sorry for mess'n with your stuff." Apple Bloom apologized, still looking down.
"Why are you even here?" Strider questioned.
Apple Bloom fidgeted with her fore-hoof. "Well, ya ended up breaking mah sister's apple cart but she wouldn't tell me who so ah wanted to know who ya were. Ah saw this strange thing and wanted ta know what it was. Ahm very very sorry!"
"Don't worry, just make sure that you don't sneak up on a soldier." Strider explained.
Apple Bloom's worried look slowly faded and she smiled. "I promise it won't happen again!" Apple Bloom promised, before taking off in the direction of Ponyville.
Strider sighed, switching the blaster back to safety mode and went back to looking at the wing. Maybe the town has a store that sells metal, or maybe he could find a way to get it transported to him, or--
Strider's thought's froze up as he spotted Apple Bloom rushing back towards him.
"Ah never caught your name!" Apple Bloom stated.
"Oh, my name's Strider." Strider answered.
"Nice ta meet ya Strider!" Apple Bloom proclaimed, still smiling.
Strider wasn't sure why, but seeing that filly smile made his day all sorts of better. He felt something he hadn't since the crash.
Strider didn't know why. He shouldn't be feeling happy. Apple Bloom was just ease dropping and nearly got a plasma bolt to the face. But something felt different about this pony then the others.
He knelt down so he was closer to eye level with the filly, and removed his helmet, letting Apple Bloom see his face.
"Woah, is that a suit of armor!?" Apple Bloom asked, now looking into Strider's brown eyes.
"Yep, Clone armor. I think it would be best if I said this with my helmet off." Strider claimed.
"I'm no Jedi, but I can tell that your gonna go far kid." Strider exclaimed.
"Really?" Apple Bloom asked, her eyes widening.
"You can bet on it." Strider answered.
Apple Bloom's smile widened, before to Strider's shock, she wrapped her hooves around his chest in a hug.
Not really knowing what to do, Strider returned the hug, smiling himself. In all his years of being a trooper for the republic, he had never ever been given a hug. And it felt amazing.
After the hug, Apple Bloom trotted off back towards Ponyville with a glowing smile. Strider continued to smile himself as he put his helmet back on and went back to the Gunship.
The Clone Trooper quickly returned to work, unscrewing a few bolts from the left wing of the Gunship. However, he was gonna need some sort of pulley system so the wing wouldn't fall and get even more damaged. Maybe Fluttershy had some spare rope.
Strider paused for a moment, realizing that he hadn't seen Fluttershy all day. Where was she?
"Probably getting stuff at that market I saw." Strider assured himself, before looking back at the wing.
Before he could get back to work however, the pegasus in question popped into view. Strider looked over to see Fluttershy, but something was wrong.
She was rushing into her cottage, shutting the door violently.
Strider got down from the Gunship and went over to the cottage. He knocked on the door and waited.
After a few seconds of waiting with no response, Strider tried the handle. It was locked.
"You alright Fluttershy?" Strider asked through the door.
That was when he heard muffled sobbing. That was the signal that something was definitely wrong. Strider rushed over to the Gunship and grabbed a few tools. He went back over to the door and with some work, and a few back up screwdrivers, he unlocked the door and entered.
Inside, Fluttershy was face down on a green chair, sobbing into a pillow. Strider went over to the pegasus's side and knelt down.
"Fluttershy? What happened?" He asked.
Fluttershy tried to stop crying, but tears still fell as she looked over at him.
"I-I w-was j-just trying t-to help t-those b-birds." She stammered out, before returning to her sobbing state.
Strider wasn't exactly a negotiator, but he needed to do something. Slowly, he extended out one of his hands and wiped some tears from Fluttershy's face.
"It's ok, can you tell me what happened?" He asked again.
"I-I was j-just g-guiding some b-birds t-through t-the street a-and s-she s-shouted at m-me." Fluttershy explained through sobs.
"A G-Griffon." She finished, before she lost her words to more sobs.
Strider removed his helmet, setting it to the side. He spotted Angel Bunny, who wasn't glaring at him, but looking worried at Fluttershy.
"Hey, do you think you could grab a glass of water for her?" Strider asked.
Angel Bunny stood there for a few seconds, before nodding and hopping off into the kitchen.
"Don't worry Fluttershy, you didn't do anything wrong." Strider claimed.
Fluttershy's sobbing slowed, her watery eyes focused on his exposed face.
Angel Bunny came back into the room with a glass of water in his paws. He passed it over to Strider, who set it down on a table next to the chair. The bunny then hopped up next to Fluttershy and went over to help comfort her.
"Thanks," Strider said to the bunny, who nodded.
Angel Bunny looked at Strider, then to his helmet. Then, he gave him an expression that said exactly what Strider was going to do.
Teach whoever did this a lesson.
Strider grabbed his helmet and put it back on. He looked back to Fluttershy, who was slowly calming down thanks to Angel Bunny. Then, he put his helmet back on and walked out the door.
Strider went over to the Gunship and grabbed the DC-15S and primed it. He made sure the safety was off, before taking off towards Ponyville.