A Forgotten Trooper

by SonicTeam34


Chapter 24: Back To The Forest

Sunlight shined through the cracks in the metal doors, illuminating the transportation bay. Strider opened his eyes, blinking away the drowsiness. He got to his feet and stretched, before putting his phase one armor back over his bodysuit. He secured his helmet over his head and opened the doors, letting more light shine into the bay.

However, something was waiting for him on the other side. Strider was greeted with several different colored birds, each one looking at him with confusion.

"Uh, hi?" Strider greeted.

The birds chirped at him, before using their beaks to point towards Fluttershy's cottage.

"You want me to go to the cottage?" Strider asked. The birds nodded in agreement.

Strider hopped down from the transportation bay and walked over to the cottage's front door. He knocked a few times, waiting for Fluttershy to answer.

The shy mare slowly opened the door, looking very confused at the Trooper. She stepped aside, letting Strider enter, before shutting the door.

Inside, Angel Bunny appeared to be laughing in their basket, tears running down their eyes. That was something knew from that bunny.

"What's got him laughing so badly?" Strider questioned, watching the bunny roll a little in the basket.

Fluttershy didn't answer. Instead, she looked down at the ground, rubbing a hoof against another.

"Uh, are you feeling ok?" Strider asked.

Fluttershy took in a deep breath, before letting it out. She looked at Strider, before opening her mouth.

"I, don't really want to talk about it." Fluttershy stated in a very deep voice.

To say Strider wasn't expecting that was an understatement. He stared at Fluttershy, mouth agape, dumbfounded at what he had just heard. Angel Bunny went into another laughing fit while a few birds standing on a bird house chuckled a little.

After a few seconds of silence, besides Angel Bunny's laughter, Strider finally managed to form words again.

"Do I even want to know?" He asked, mouth still agape. Luckily, it was hidden under his helmet.

"....no. I'm going to go to Twilight's and see if she can do something about this." Fluttershy explained before trotting over to the door.

"Okay, good luck with that." Strider stated, watching the pegasus shut the door.

Strider looked over at Angel Bunny, who seemed to have recovered from their laughter fit. The Trooper knelt down next to the basket, eyeing the bunny.

"Do you have any idea as to what happened to Fluttershy's voice?" Strider questioned.

Angel Bunny shrugged, shaking their head.

"Well, i'm gonna go replace some tools. If she comes back, can you tell me what she might have found out?" Strider asked.

Angel Bunny put a paw to their chin, seemingly in thought. The bunny remained this way for a solid while, before Strider sighed.

"Your not gonna do anything I ask aren't you?" Strider muttered.

Angel Bunny nodded, a smirk on their face, before resuming their thinking pose.

"Never mind then." Strider finished, standing up and walking towards the door.

Strider shut the door behind him as he exited the cottage, before checking his utility belt for the pack of bits he had. Then, he began walking back towards Ponyville for round two of searching for a screwdriver.


"That will be fourteen bits." The shop keeper pony stated.

Strider reached into the pack that held the money and fished out fourteen. He set them down on the table and grabbed the screwdriver he had set in front of the pony.

"Thanks." Strider told the shop keeper pony, before pocketing the tool and setting off towards the edge of town.

As the Trooper exited town, he spotted a familiar looking filly running towards the Everfree Forest.

"Where the heck is she going?" Strider wondered, watching Apple Bloom for a few seconds, before realizing that she was going into the forest.

"OH COME ON! WHY IS IT ALWAYS THAT STUPID FOREST!?" Strider emphasized out loud to no one in-particular.

Strider rushed off towards the forest, grabbing the DC-17 Pistol from his utility belt and priming it. He reached the entrance and took off down the path.

Strider tried to spot Apple Bloom through the underbrush, but the filly was nowhere to be seen. What was Apple Bloom thinking? She had just entered a very dangerous area without any weapons or experience! Strider had to find her before something else did.

"APPLE BLOOM!?" Strider called out, listening for any reply.

Silence answered.

Strider muttered something under his breath, before spotting something on the ground. He knelt down to see a set of hoof tracks rushing down the path.

Strider followed the tracks until they shifted off the path and down an opening in the shrubbery. Strider pushed aside a few branches before spotting what appeared to be a hut inside the base of a tree.

The hut had a few strange bottles hanging from branches of the tree it was in, the bottles filled with strange liquids and substances. A strange mask hung above a pale red door which had two windows on either side of it. Yellow light leaked out from the windows, giving off an eerie feeling.

"Strange place." Strider stated, approaching the door cautiously.

With the DC-17 Pistol aimed in front of him, he opened the door and pointed the Pistol inside. However, the room was empty.

The room he was aiming into was full of strange masks and potion bottles. A massive black cauldron rested in the middle of the room in a stone circle for keeping the flames from igniting the tree. Several shelves had bottles and books scattered on them, followed by a few strange golden objects.

Strider checked the room from the doorway, making sure it was empty, before stepping inside. He approached what seemed to be another room and peaked inside. That room had a bed with yellow spotted covers. It was empty as well.

Strider was about to leave the room when he spotted a brown cloak with a hood hanging up on a hook next to the bed. Had he seen that cloak before?

"Wait!" A voice shouted from behind Strider, causing him to turn around sharply right as a bamboo stick froze in front of his face.

The creature holding the bamboo stick was the zebra from before that Fluttershy had called Zecora. Strider was about to raise the DC-17 Pistol, but Zecora knocked it away.

Apple Bloom came rushing towards the two from the door, a worried expression on her face.

"Strider what are ya do'n here?" Apple Bloom asked.

"Better question, what are you doing here?" Strider countered.

"Ahm try'n to fix a mistake ah made." Apple Bloom stated.

"By rushing into a forest filled with creatures that are ready to chomp down on you?" Strider said.

"If you two could quickly break from your tension, might I be able to ask some questions?" Zecora questioned in a rhyme.

Strider grabbed the DC-17 Pistol from where it had been tossed and holstered it back into his utility belt.

"Yeah, I think we all have some questions." Strider stated, glaring at Apple Bloom.