Night had begun its accent over the world, engulfing it in its darkness. That didn't stop Strider from his work. He kept twisting a wrench around a bolt on a piece of metal even as his viability began to lower. He did what he did with the first bolt the rest before taking off the panel and looking at the bundles of wires inside.
Strider pushed some wires out of the way until he spotted a relay box at the back of the compartment. It also had a few bolts locking it down.
As Strider began to work on opening the relay box, his mind continued to pry up memories. He tried to ignore them but each memory struck him worse than the others, like a hammer bashing at his helmet.
"EAT LASER CLANK-AHH!"
"MAN DOWN! MAN DOWN!"
Strider pried out a bent bolt and tossed it to the side. He moved onto another bolt and began twisting the wrench around it. As he did, blaster fire filled his ears.
"Super Battle Droids on your right!"
"I've got it!"
Strider grunted as a bolt refused to turn, he applied more force but the bolt remained stuck. It must of been another bent one.
"He's GONE Strider! We need to keep- ACK!"
Strider snarled under his breath, anger rising as he remembered the horrific battle.
"EVACUATE TO THE GUNSHIPS! THE SHIP'S LOST!"
"MATT TAKE COVER!"
Strider finally couldn't take it anymore.
"RRAH! SHUT UP!" Strider shouted as his anger finally overtook his actions.
Strider shot up from where he was working and chucked the wrench at the Gunship. It soared through the air until it struck a panel and fell into the grass below. Strider stared at the tool for a few seconds before his mind began wrapping more images in front of his eyes.
"I'll hold them off, GO!"
"NO! I won't leave you!"
"We don't have any other choice! GO!"
Strider was so subjected to his own mind that he didn't notice Fluttershy exit her cottage. She was about to head off towards Ponyville but stopped once she spotted Strider.
Fluttershy's happy expression faded as she saw Strider's frozen figure staring into nothingness.
"Strider?" Fluttershy asked, beginning to trot towards Strider.
Strider stayed silent, not moving as she approached him, his mind keeping him in a trance.
"Strider? You ok?" Fluttershy questioned, getting closer and closer towards the Trooper.
Strider slowly walked over to where the tool had landed and picked it up. He walked over to where he had been working and knelt down next to a panel.
"I-I don't know what your thinking about, but I can tell that something's wrong." Fluttershy claimed, only a few feet away from him now.
Strider started to twist the wrench at a screw, getting ready to pry open the panel. But before he could unscrew the final bolt, Fluttershy said one last sentence.
"I want to help you." Fluttershy claimed, her words echoing through Strider's mind.
Strider stopped twisting the wrench, Fluttershy's words repeating through his brain. Then, Rust's words shot like blaster bolts across his eyes.
"We always have each others backs Strider."
"I'm all ears Strider."
"Will make it through this Strider, and when we do, drinks are on me."
"I've got you!
"Keep fighting Strider! We can beat these clankers!"
"I'm always here to help.
Images of Strider's team flashed before his eyes, each one showing them working together against the toughest odds. Taking down droids, blowing up tanks, defending the wounded against thousands of enemies.
"WATCH YOUR LEFT!
"Hold on tight! Will get you out of here!
"I can't keep them back!
"I've got your right!
"If we go down, we go down together, and FIGHTING!"
The memories of him fighting with his brothers transitioning to Cosmo getting shot, Trigger getting blown up, Matt holding the line to safe him and other Clones, Rust turning to stone.
He was the last member of his team, a single trooper on an unmarked planet.
Right as the memories began to get even worse, they began to slow down their attack on Strider's psyche. Finally, one last image flashed in front of Strider.
"Good Soldiers follow orders"
Then, It all stopped. The screaming, the fighting, the blaster fire, everything playing in the back of his head stopped. It was like someone had just hit pause for a simulation.
After what felt like an eternity, the memories began to fade, being sucked away into some part in his brain. Strider didn't hear the screams, didn't feel the anger, like his mind had been refreshed.
It felt wrong...
Strider watched as his vision faded between each battle he had fought in, to Fluttershy's worried expression.
Strider's mind finally began to process her words again, his ears empty of the noises from the battlefield.
"-o you need some water? Please tell me if your ok!" Fluttershy begged, fear leaking with her words.
"I'm alright, i'm alright." Strider muttered, a headache splitting through his skull.
Fluttershy noticed Strider's hands slightly trembling as well as his heavy breathing. She wasn't buying it.
"Your not. Please tell me whats wrong and I can help." Fluttershy said.
Strider looked at Fluttershy, his vision beginning to blur.
"I said, i'm....fine..." Once those words left Strider's mouth, the Trooper fell to the ground, his whole body locking up.
Strider's thoughts scrambled again, words falling on deaf ears. He tried to get up but his muscles refused to cooperate.
Suddenly, Strider's helmet was taken off and tossed aside. He looked up into Fluttershy's scared eyes, her mouth making motions like she was talking but all he could hear was muffled whispers.
Strider tried to say something but nothing came out. Fluttershy was increasingly becoming more and more panicked by the second, frantically calling out to what Strider assumed to be some animals.
Fluttershy's face suddenly began to fade away, replaced with nothing but darkness, before Strider completely fell unconscious.