A Forgotten Trooper

by SonicTeam34

Chapter 20: Distress Signal

One week later...

Strider twisted a screwdriver a few times to the left, tightening a loose bolt. Once it was secure, Strider put the screwdriver down and looked at the repairs he had made to the wing. So far, he had managed to fill a hole that had been made by a broken tree. He also managed to straighten out most of the bent areas and even managed to make new parts that consisted of wood, spare metal, and lots of glue.

"Getting better and better by the day aren't you." Strider said, tapping the wing.

However, the part of the wing he had tapped instantly broke off the wing and to the ground. Strider sighed and picked up the broken part of the wing and examined it. One of the sides of the part had been bent and due to his tap, it broke off from the rest of the wing.

"Sort of...why did I have to end up working with a hunk of junk." Strider grumbled. He was sure that this Gunship must have been the weakest one ever made.

Strider put the broken part on the ground of the transportation bay and reached for a tool box, but a beeping noise quickly caught his attention.

The Trooper quickly stopped what he was doing and rushed out of the Gunship and towards the cockpit. He climbed up the makeshift ladder he had made and sat down in the pilot's seat. He looked at the monitor in front of his face which was beeping loudly. Strider pressed a few buttons and flipped a few switches until the monitor flicked to a green radar.

Strider watched the green needle rotate around the radar until it went over a blue dot which flashed into view for a few seconds. A blue dot meant a distress signal on this style of radar. That meant that either another Gunship had crashed on this planet, or it was an escape pod from the Venator.

"YES! Someone else escaped from the Venator!" Strider cheered, pressing a few more switches to pinpoint the location.

Strider's cheers quickly died down when he realized that the distress call was coming from the Everfree Forest. If the survivors didn't have weapons then then they wouldn't last the night in that forest! He needed to find them and get them out of the forest.

Strider took a holoprojector from his utility belt and downloaded a path to the signal into it. Once it was done, Strider quickly shut off the radar and climbed down from the cockpit.

The second he reached the ground, he rushed over to the transportation bay and grabbed his replacement DC-15S. However, Strider realized that if a crew member was wounded, it might take to long to exit the forest before night fell. And he knew one blaster wouldn't be enough to tackle the forest.

Strider opened up the cargo hold and grabbed a crate. He pulled it out and onto the ground before popping the lid off and examining the content inside. A few other DC-15S's rested against the side of the crate, but deep down, a few thermal detonators rested deactivated.

Strider picked up a few thermal detonators and put them in his utility belt, along with a few spare power packs. He shut the crate back up and put it away in the cargo hold. Strider turned towards the forest and was about to take off, but a voice from behind him caused him to halt.

"Strider? Where are you going?" Fluttershy asked.

Strider turned around to face the pegasus, lowering the DC-15S. "I'm going into the Everfree Forest. The Gunship picked up a distress signal from it and it could be coming from an escape pod that escaped the Republic Cruiser that caused me to end up here." He stated.

"Y-Your going to go into the E-Everfree Forest alone?" She questioned, fear seeping through her words.

"I'm a soldier, I can handle the punishment. But the crashed ship or pod has zero idea about the forest." Strider exclaimed.

"But you don't know much about the forest either! What if you get attacked and hurt!?" Fluttershy said.

"I don't have choice. The Gunship still isn't flyable and I can't leave a possibly injured crew in that death trap after dark!" Strider stated.

The Trooper turned away from Fluttershy and was about to run off but Fluttershy flew in front of him, causing him to stop.

"I-I know what i-it's like to w-want to help someone or somepony, b-but the Everfree Forest isn't s-something even you can h-handle alone." Fluttershy claimed.

"I can handle it, now I have a crew to find!" Strider stated, taking off running towards the forest.

Strider ignored Fluttershy's pleadings and focused on the mission at hand. He grabbed the holoprojector from his utility belt and activated it, causing a blue holographic map to appear above it. Once he was sure he knew a route, Strider deactivated the device and put it away, grabbing hold of the DC-15S with both hands.

It didn't take long before Strider reached the entrance of the forest which was surrounded by thick trees and bushes. Strider ignored the dread that came with the looming forest and charged down the path towards the signal.

Strider glanced up at the sun which was resting in between the horizon and the middle of the sky. Night was already beginning to creep up.

Images of that wooden wolf with the pilot's helmet in its mouth flashed into Strider's mind, nearly causing him to hesitate. However, knowing that his brothers and other crew members could need his help pushed back his fear and fueled his determination.

As the Trooper ran through the forest, several lime green eyes locked onto his white armor from the underbrush. Those lime green eyes then had several sets of red eyes next to them. Then purple eyes. The whole underbrush appeared like a massive wall of eyes, each one locked onto Strider as the Trooper rushed past them.