Bounty Hunter Anon III

by Sunny Solaire


Recuperation

Stepping off the ramp of your ship, you disembark onto the concrete floor of Keldabe spaceport with Anon. He's gripping his side, but you support him every step of the way, while Pinkie and Rainbow help Rarity along. The bacta she used took most of the immediate pain away, but she still needed additional help. Gilda messed her up good.

As you continue forward, more Mandalorians rush to aid you. Coco Pommel is among them. She moves to Rarity and helps her along.

"Here, let's get her to the medical bay. Hurry!" She says.

Pinkie releases Rarity into Coco's care while Rainbow continues to help, but follows right behind them. You and Anon follow them as well. The bacta did wonders for his flesh wounds, but his broken ribs need attention. Luckily, there was a medical center close by, so it wouldn't be a far walk.

Despite this, a floating gurney was waiting for Rarity a few feet away. She lays down on it and sighs, obviously relieved from the painful burden of walking. Coco and Rainbow leave her side as a couple of Mandalorian medics quickly take her away.

They turn their attention to you and Anon. "Anon, do you need a gurney too?"

Anon shakes his head. "No. I can walk just fine."

He grunts under his helmet with every step. He's clearly in pain, but he endures it. Of the two of them, Rarity's injuries were more extensive. Unsurprising, seeing as how Anon was the one clad in beskar.

After a few minutes of walking, you finally reach the medical center. Rarity is already being checked out and administered to. Hopefully, she doesn't mind the grittiness. Mandalore is lacking a bit in the pristine, fancy tech that Rarity was probably used to, but that doesn't mean they couldn't get the job done.

A couple other doctors come over to lead Anon into the examination room neighboring Rarity's.

You squeeze his hand. "I'll be right here when you're done, Anon."

Anon nods silently at you before turning his attention back to the doctors. You just watch as they take him away and close the doors behind them.

Not much more you can do at this point except wait. It kills you that you can't do anything else to help him right now. He needs you, just like you need him.

You sigh and turn around. Pinkie, Rainbow, and Coco are all standing there behind you.

Rainbow takes off her helmet and looks at you with concern while Pinkie speaks up. "Sunset? Are you okay?"

You take off your helmet and rub your eyebrows together. "Not really, Pinkie. No. I'm not okay."

Rainbow stays silent while Coco steps forward, removing her helmet as well. "Don't worry, Sunset. Anon and your friend will be okay. These Mandalorians are some of the best doctors in the system. They know what they're doing."

You nod. "I know... I can't help but worry though, you know? I almost lost him again."

Personally, you'd rather deal with Rakghouls than Gilda any day. They're both vicious, bloodthirsty monsters, but Gilda is the one who's actually evil. Rakghouls are just beasts.

You step across the room and sit down in one of the chairs they have and rest your head in your hand, taking another deep breath. Coco's right. You know she's right, even though you're still worried. Anon is tough. One of the toughest Mandalorians you've ever known. He'll be just fine.

Pinkie takes a seat next to you and rubs your shoulder. It does help ease your worries, you're not going to lie. She's turned out to be a great friend. You're glad you met her.

Rainbow clears her throat. "What do you need from me, Sunset? Anything at all I can do to help?"

You sigh again and rest your chin on your fists, not looking at her. "I just... I need to stay here and catch my breath for a while, Rainbow... Could you go check on Discord and make sure he behaves?"

She nods and heads to the door. "Of course, Sunset."

When she leaves, you're left there alone with Pinkie while Coco still stands there.

There's a bit of an awkward silence in the room before Coco takes a step backwards. "I'll... leave you guys alone for now, I guess."

You look up at her as she puts on her helmet again. "Did you need something Coco?"

She continues to step toward the door. "It can wait. Don't worry, it's not important. I'll join Rainbow Dash."

Coco leaves and you continue to ponder to yourself and try to relax while Pinkie rubs your shoulder.

---

Once the Mandalorian doctors finish patching you up, you carefully swing your legs off the operating table and stand. The operation took about an hour. They had to go in and mend your ribs with some kind of gel, or something. You don't know. You aren't a medic.

In addition to that, they also removed what was left of your robotic arm. It was irreparably damaged from the fight with Gilda. Luckily, you planned for such an event. You have a spare on your ship.

You stand up and feel your side. It still hurts, but it will get better.

The doctor looks down at a datapad in his hand before speaking. "Take it easy for a while, Anon. You'll be fine."

"Thanks, Doctor." You reply. "How's Rarity doing?"

The doctor takes another look at his datapad. "She's doing fine as well. She's stable and resting, but she's awake. If you're feeling up for it, you can see her now."

You nod at him. "Thanks again. I will, but first, I need to see Sunset."

"She's right outside." He turns his attention back to his surgical tools and you grab your helmet.

Once you slip it on, you step outside the operating room and look around the lobby of the small medical center. Sitting in the small waiting area, just by the entrance, is Sunset.

She turns to face you, and jumps to her feet. Before you can say anything, she runs to you and wraps you in a tight hug. It hurts your side still, but you don't try to stop her. Like you said before, any pain you endure is worth it for her.

She lets out a breath in your ear as you hold each other. "You're okay..."

"Of course I am, Sunset..." You reply. "Thanks to you."

This is now the second time in recent memory that you've actually almost died. You take a look at your missing left arm as you remember the Rakghouls.

She takes another deep breath. "That was too close, Anon. We're not splitting up when we go anywhere ever again, alright? I can't lose you yet."

You chuckle. "I can't lose you either." As you and Sunset keep hugging, you look around the waiting area again. "Where are Rainbow and Pinkie?"

Sunset finally releases you. "Rainbow went to check on Discord with Coco. Pinkie went with them a little while ago."

"I assume Discord is still locked up safe and sound?" You ask.

"I haven't heard anything bad, so he must be."

"Good."

You tap on the side of your helmet, but your comms are unresponsive. Gilda did a number on you back there. You take off your helmet and look at it in your hand. It has a large, noticeable crack in your visor as well. You'll need to repair it as well.

"Contact Rainbow for me and tell her to bring the spare arm I have in the armory. I feel lopsided." You say.

Sunset smiles at you. "I will. But first, now that I can finally see your face..."

She reaches up to your chin and makes you look at her before holding your arm and leaning in to kiss you. You're a bit taken back at first, but you melt into it kiss a second later. You press against her as much as you can. It's a bit awkward with one arm, but you don't care. Everything just feels so much better now.

When the kiss finally ends, you're both smiling at each other, saying nothing.

She's the best.

"Thank you, Sunset." You smile.

"Anything for you, Anonymous." She smiles again and releases you. "Now I'll get Rainbow here with your arm."

You chuckle as she puts a finger to her ear and contacts Rainbow. While she does that, you turn around and head into the neighboring operating room to yours. Sunset follows behind you when she finishes talking to Rainbow.

Stepping inside, you see Rarity laying down in a medical cot. Her hair is a mess and she has a bruise on her cheek, but other than that, she's been cleaned up pretty well. A small bandage is on her forehead. She looks absolutely devastated. No other emotion is present on her face other than despair.

As you walk toward her, she turns to you and a small smile creeps onto her face. "Hello, you two."

"Hi Rarity." You return the smile. "How are you feeling?"

She takes a deep breath. "Fine, I suppose..."

Her smile fades a little. She's grateful to be alive, but there's no way she's not depressed about what she lost in exchange. There's not much you can say right now. Nothing you say will bring it all back. Her fashion empire is in ruins.

Come to think of it, you didn't meet any resistance or public curiosity on Cato Neimoidia, but with her power and position, there's no doubt that her building catching fire made someone notice.

You reach into a large pocket on your belt and pull out everything you took out from the electronic safe in her office. It's just a small datapad, some papers and a large red jewel in the shape of a heart, among other things. Most of this other stuff must have sentimental value to her, more than anything.

You step over to her and place it all on the table beside her cot. She looks at it for a moment.

"I'm so sorry, Rarity. I really am." You tell her.

She doesn't reply for a long moment. Finally, she reaches over to the red jewel and takes it in her hands. She feels it for a moment before smiling and taking another breath. "It's alright, Anonymous. I can salvage and start again, after this whole thing with the Sith is done and over with."

You smile back at her.

Sunset steps forward as well. "If there's anything we can do to help, Rarity, you know you can ask us."

You nod at Rarity, validating Sunset's statement.

Rarity smiles again. "Thank you both so much... I'm so very happy I met you." Her smile fades again after a few moments as she stares at the jewel in her hand. After a few moments, she looks back up at you. "Who was she?"

You draw a breath and stand up straight. "Gilda..."

Rarity nods and you look at Sunset for a moment.

She looks back at you. "You knew her better than I did, Anon."

You pause for a moment before setting your remaining hand on your hip. "She and I grew up very close to each other, proximity-wise. We were never friends, but we did fight together in a few skirmishes around the system when we were younger. She was always brutal, even as a child. It's like she was destined to have an affinity for bloodshed."

Rarity continues looking at you. "Forgive me, but I was under the impression that all Mandalorians had an affinity for bloodshed. I thought you and Sunset were exceptions to that."

That's a pretty popular stereotype. Rainbow assumed that at first too.

Sunset speaks up. "Mandalorians are warriors. Fighting, conflict, and battle are our way of life. But our people still have rules, codes and standards that we live by. Some of us will resort to killing without a second thought, as it is usually the easiest option available, while others will do it while not particularly enjoying it."

"I kill when it is necessary, I'm pressed for time, or when no other option is available." You say. "We don't have to like it, but we must be willing to do it if needed. Like Sunset said, we still have rules. Murder is still murder."

Rarity looks between you both again, her mouth agape somewhat. "I'm sorry. I-I didn't mean to offend."

"Don't worry, you didn't. You're not a Mandalorian, Rarity. We know you're not familiar with our culture." Sunset gives her a smile.

She seems comforted by that.

You continue. "Gilda did not adhere to our rules and customs when she was younger. She was a damn good fighter, but she was continually chastised and punished for all kinds of horrible things she would do. I'll do you a favor and spare you the details. Some time after I met Sunset, she came out and openly declared that Mandalore was a fool before challenging him for his title. Despite his age and her ferocity, he still beat her easily. After that humiliating defeat, she was banished from the clans and was instructed never to return here. She would be killed on sight if she did."

Rarity takes another deep breath and sighs. "At least that means we're safe here."

You nod at her. "Yes. We're safe here."

She gives the jewel in her hand another squeeze before looking back at you. "Thank you both so much for saving me from her. I can't repay you for it."

Sunset steps forward. "You won't need to, Rarity."

"You're more than a business partner." You say. "You're our friend."

Rarity smiles again. That meant a lot to her.

The door opens behind you and Rainbow, Pinkie, and Coco enter the room.

Rarity turns to them and smiles. "Hello, everyone."

Pinkie waves excitedly. "Hi! Glad you're okay, Rarity!"

Rarity giggles a little. "I've been better, but thank you anyway, Pinkie." She looks at Rainbow. "You must be Rainbow Dash. We haven't officially met in person yet."

Rainbow smiles and waves a little. "That's me! Nice to meetcha too."

"Likewise, darling." She looks at Coco and tilts her head a little. "I'm sorry, I don't know who you are. What's your name?"

Everyone looks at the young Mandalorian as she stands there awkwardly. "Uh, my name is Coco. Coco Pommel." She takes off her helmet and rubs a hand through her light blue hair. "I just wanted to clarify... You are Rarity? The Rarity? The fashion mogul from Cato Neimoidia?"

A small smile creeps onto Rarity's face. "Yes I am, darling. The one and only."

Coco's eyes brighten up and she smiles wide. "Oh my goodness! I'm such a huge fan of yours! I've always wanted to meet you! I love fashion, and you've been such an inspiration for me!"

That's a bit surprising. You can tell that Rarity is surprised as well. She probably wasn't expecting to find a lover of fashion on Mandalore, of all places.

Coco pulls out a datapad and rushes to Rarity's side. "I've even been doing a bit of my own designs in my spare time! Can... Can I show you please? I would love some tips!"

Rarity giggles a little in bewilderment. "Why of course, Miss Pommel! I'd love to see them!"

Coco smiles even wider as she opens up her datapad and starts scrolling through the pictures.

You can't help but smile at how happy Coco is. You had no idea that she was into fashion. Then again, you don't really know her. She is pretty young, after all.

Rarity scrolls through the pictures and her eyebrows raise after a few moments. "These are... very good, darling."

Coco gasps a little. "Really?"

Rarity nods as she continues looking at the pictures. "Oh, yes! I mean, I have a few notes, but you show tremendous promise here. I'm quite impressed."

Coco keeps smiling. She can hardly contain her excitement. She bounces in her boots a little as Rarity continues to look at her designs. It's a bit funny seeing a fully armored Mandalorian so excited by something like this.

You take a step toward Rainbow, Sunset, and Pinkie. "We'll leave you two alone for a little bit. Sounds like you have a lot to talk about."

Rarity looks up at you as you leave. "Oh, alright darling."

She smiles as you leave and continues talking with Coco.

The door closes behind you and Sunset chuckles a little. "That was unexpected."

"Yeah it was." You reply. "But it was nice to see Rarity smile after everything that's happened."

Rainbow turns around and holds out your spare arm she got from the ship. "Oh, I forgot. Here you go, Anon."

You take it from her. "Thanks, Rainbow."

Sunset turns to you. "Need help?"

"Please."

She takes the arm from you and holds it up to the metal socket on your shoulder to begin installing it.

You look at Rainbow. "Any word from the Republic yet?"

Rainbow shakes her head. "Not yet. Discord is getting antsy, but he's still secure in the ship."

You nod. "And that's where he'll stay for now."

You're not really surprised you haven't heard from the Republic yet. It's only been a few hours since you gave the communicator to Twilight.

Pinkie pulls out a datapad of her own. "We did hear on HNN about the fire in Rarity's building though."

"About time. When was that story released?" You ask.

"Coco showed us about 15 minutes ago." Pinkie says. "They say that Rarity has been presumed dead. Even though they can't find her body."

Well, that's because her living, breathing body is here with you.

Pinkie continues reading the article. "It says that they're looking for a replacement CEO, they're cleaning up the place, and they're wondering who attacked her building in the first place. It doesn't say anything about us though."

"Good."

Sunset finishes tightening your arm into its socket. "No surprise. Rarity was careful about covering her tracks, it's just that Gilda is very, very good at what she does."

She takes a step back and you feel a small jolt of electricity surge through your torso as your arm activates. You bring it up and make a fist before wiggling your robotic fingers a little.

Satisfied, you lower your prosthesis and put both it and your real hand on either side of your waist. "Well, we'll let Rarity know about this little fake news story soon. Unless Coco lets her know first. She can deal with it at her leisure. We'll let her rest for now. Until we get some contact from the Republic though, we've got some time to kill."

Sunset clears her throat. "What about that little... thing we found..."

You look at her in confusion. "What?"

"You know..." She points to your gauntlet.

Ah, now you know what she's talking about. That shipment of cortosis you found on Discord's ship. You wanted to keep it secret.

"Oh, that... What if we went and... took care of that now?"

She grins and Rainbow looks back and forth between you two. "Uh, what are you talking about?"

It's none of her business. Not yet, anyway.

"An errand we need to pick up. Don't worry about it." You look at Rainbow and Pinkie both. "We're going to leave for a little while, just me and Sunset. Rainbow, take Pinkie to your new place and relax. Study your Mando'a, or go shopping for a while or something."

Sunset chimes in. "Don't let her gamble though."

Pinkie deflates a little bit. "Aww come on! Just one game of pazaak! Pleeeease?"

"No." You reply flatly. "We can't have you making enemies here."

Rainbow looks a little confused. "Does she cheat or something?"

"No, she's just good. Really good." You reply. Pinkie giggles again. "You guys hold the fort here and keep us updated on everything that happens. If Mandalore comes asking about us, tell him our channel is open."

Rainbow nods. "Got it. Be careful with wherever you guys are going."

You take your helmet and put it back on. "Thanks, Rainbow. We will."

You and Sunset wave goodbye to Rainbow and Pinkie and the two of you head back to your ship. Finally, you're alone.

Sunset turns to you. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm okay." You reply. "Still a bit sore, but I'm fine."

Sunset smiles at you before putting her own helmet on and grabbing your right hand. You take her hand in yours and give it a little squeeze as you walk toward your ship. Up above, a number of starships are flying around in Keldabe's airspace. It's much busier than usual. You didn't notice it before.

"From what I heard, ships have been arriving all morning from all over the galaxy." Sunset says, looking up to the sky as well.

"Mandalore's call to arms gets around quickly. That's good."

The two of you pass by a couple other Mandalorians before stepping back onto your ship. As you proceed up the ramp, you hear a loud groaning from inside.

"Uuuuughhh... I'm soooo BOOOOORED!"

You just grumble to yourself as you step inside the main hold and open the door to the cargo hold. Discord is laying on the floor, looking at you upside down, with is feet up on his cot. He's like a damn child.

He groans loudly again as you step inside. He does his best to adjust himself and sit up. His wrists are still in binders behind his back. "You know, you Mandalorians are so inhospitable! I've been here for hours completely alone with my thoughts! I don't usually mind my own company, but even I need a break from myself from time-to-time. Too much of anything is bad, you know..."

"Any amount of your talking is too much." You snap.

He recoils slightly, looking offended. "Well I never! Now you're just being mean, Anonymous!"

"Keep talking and you'll find out just how mean I can be." You turn around and head back towards the main hold.

"Ha! That's a good one!" He laughs. "We all know you won't kill me! I'm far too valuable for that. Why else would I have lasted this long?"

You stop in the doorway and turn back to him, waving your robotic hand slightly. "You'd be surprised what you can live through..."

Discord pauses as he looks at your appendage before smirking and leaning back against the cot, saying nothing.

Without another word from either of you, you close and lock the door to the cargo hold to join Sunset. The ship rumbles to life as you enter the cockpit. Sunset is sitting in the pilot's seat and taking off.

"Okay, open up that message and find out where this cortosis is stashed." She says.

"Sure thing." You sit down in the co-pilot's seat and press a few buttons on the control console in front of you. After a few seconds of skimming through the message, you find more details. "Okay, here. It's located on the moon of a planet in a small, unrecorded system. About twelve parsecs west of Bakura, which is west of some planet named Endor."

Sunset shakes her head a little. "I've never heard of Endor."

"Neither have I."

As the ship leaves the atmosphere, you do a little bit of digging on the planet Endor. Apparently, it was a nature reserve that was nicknamed the Sanctuary Moon by the Republic. There was nothing else really special about it. It was also located clear on the other side of the galaxy, just on the edge of the Unknown Regions. It'll take hours to get there.

You input the data into the navicomputer and Sunset hits the throttle, blasting off into hyperspace.

You sigh and lean back in your chair. "I'm tired."

Sunset nods. "Me too."

It's been a very long, very stressful day. Capturing Discord, getting into a fight with Gilda, surgery, everything. It's been about twenty hours since you last slept. You've got a lot of time now though.

After a couple of minutes in contemplative silence, you stand up and stretch. "Let's go see if our guest is hungry."

Sunset looks up at you and nods. "Okay."

She stands up and follows you into the main hold. You grab a tray from the kitchen area and head to the food processor.

The processor dispenses this pinkish-grey colored food slop onto the tray. It smells rancid, and that's not just because it's rotten. You never use this thing for food. You have ingredients to make real food here. Normally, you're nicer to your 'guests', but you're tired and aren't in the mood right now. So, Discord gets foodstuff slop.

After mixing in a little salt for flavor, you head to the cargo hold with Sunset.

Discord perks up when he sees you holding the tray. "Oh, finally! I'm famished!"

Good. That means he shouldn't complain about how disgusting it is.

Sunset opens his cage and you set the tray down in front of him. His grin fades immediately when he sees the slop.

He blinks a few times. "Oh, what fresh hell is this?"

You shrug. "I wouldn't call it 'food', but it's edible."

"Barely! It looks disgusting!" He shouts.

You undo his binders and he brings his arms around in front of him, rubbing his wrists.

You sigh. "I don't care. It's that or nothing."

He exhales as he looks up at you and Sunset as you close his cell again and walk out of the cargo hold.

You finally take off your helmet and set it down on the table in the main hold. Sunset does the same. You breathe again and pop your neck, wincing at the pain.

"Why don't you get some rest, Anon? You've had a rough day." She says.

"Yeah..." You turn to her and give her a smile. "We both have."

She smiles back at you and places a hand on your armored chest. You place your hand on her waist and gently pull her close to you. She leans in and you kiss each other again, her eyes closing as she places her other hand on your head and pulls you toward her. You kiss each other for a few long moments. It feels like it's been so long since you've been able to be alone with each other like this.

Finally, the kiss ends, and you're both panting softly as you press your foreheads together. You look each other in the eyes as you hold her, saying nothing. Words are not needed now. She's there for you, and you're there for her.

Nothing, no one else exists in the entire galaxy right now except you and her.

After a few seconds, she stands up straight and looks you in the eyes. She doesn't smile. She's so tired. You both are.

"I'm going to take a shower..." She says.

You nod at her as she walks to the refresher behind you

Before she gets too far, she stops and leans into your ear. "...and you are going to join me..." She whispers.

That was not a suggestion.

You draw a breath and shiver a little in sudden anticipation as she takes your hand in hers and leads you into the refresher. Upon entering, you stop and stare at each other for another moment before closing the door behind you and turning on the shower...