• Published 23rd Jun 2019
  • 6,692 Views, 397 Comments

A Forgotten Trooper - SonicTeam35

A lone Clone Trooper wakes up in the rubble of a Gunship with his brothers dead around him. The Trooper soon realizes that the Gunship has crashed on an unmarked planet in the galaxy, which is full of ponies, unaware of the war just beyond their sky.

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Chapter 12: A Party For A Soldier

Author's Note:

(If this is your first time reading this story and have not seen the original version of this chapter, please ignore this.)

This is probably the only time I will do this so don't worry about having a chapter getting re-published. The only reason why this one is is because I really didn't like the original and wanted to change it. I also wanted to finally add Pinkie's welcome to Ponyville party which is in this chapter. Don't worry, you don't have to read it if you don't want to. The end result will still be the same as the original, but I believe that it is now much more detailed and contains a lot more new paragraphs.

Again, you do NOT have to read this chapter again if you don't want to.

The sounds of distant chirping from a group of birds filled Strider’s ears, slowly stirring him from slumber. It didn’t take him long to realize that he’d fallen asleep in the co-pilot’s cockpit, somehow managing to get comfortable enough to sleep, even with all of his armor on.

Even in his drowsy state, Strider located a certain button on one of the control panels and gave it a press. A complete three dimensional hologram of the gunship appeared in front of him, certain parts glowing light blue while others were red, pointing out pieces that needed repairs.

Strider pushed a switch to the right, causing the image to slowly rotate in place which allowed him to see the hologram at all angles. He eyed a patch of red dots near the main fuel line, along with several wires and circuits which linked up to the mainframe. Strider stared at the highlighted sections for a few more seconds, before his mind made a plan of action and he shut the hologram off.

So far the backup power lines were the only thing keeping the consoles active, the main one damaged in several key spots that would be near impossible to fix without the proper equipment. But Strider wasn’t one to give up, even with impossible odds being the only thing on the table.

The trooper hoisted himself out of the secondary cockpit and climbed down the makeshift ladder until his boots made contact with the ground. He trudged over to the transportation bay and opened up an old red rusty tool box that Fluttershy had been kind enough to let him borrow. Inside were some basic tools, along with the ones he found in the maintenance crate, broadening his tool selection.

With the hologram of the gunship painted in his mind, Strider took a pipe wrench from the toolbox and made his way over to one of the inside walls of the transportation bay. He felt around the metal plating for a few seconds, before stopping at a large rectangular panel that had its right edge wedged under a neighboring slab of metal.

Strider used the pipe wrench to strip the panel of its bolts, each one landing with an audible clang against the metal flooring of the bay. Once each bolt was removed, Strider set the pipe wrench down and stared at the wedged area between the two panels.

”This is gonna take more than a simple tug, maybe a crowbar…” Strider wondered out loud, his mind debating on what the right tool would be.

The trooper glanced over at the toolbox to see if any good tools would make themselves present, only to see a crowbar floating in front of him. Strider stumbled back at the sight of the flying tool, but was quick to calm down when he noticed that it wasn’t flying, but being carried by three colorful birds.

One of the birds whistled, motioning with its eyes at Strider’s hand. Slowly, he extended his hand outwards until it was directly below the crowbar. The birds dropped the tool, letting it fall right into Strider’s grasp.

"Uh, thanks?" Strider said, looking at the birds.

They chirped happily at him, before taking off towards Fluttershy’s cottage, each one humming a few musical notes on the way. Strider watched them vanish, before his brain reminded him of what he was originally going to do. He looked the crowbar over, testing its weight as well as how sharp the ends were.

The tool seemed to be in prime condition, so Strider quickly went into action, wedging it in between the two panels. He pushed on the crowbar, the sound of metal scraping against metal ringing through the transportation bay. The second the panel was free of its counterpart, it fell and made a loud clang as it hit the ground.

Where the panel had previously been placed, was a set of large wires that ran up the entire back wall. A power box was in the direct center of all the other wires, the box colored black to contrast all the brightly colored wires.

"So that’s where you were." Strider muttered, staring at the wire.

Strider quickly went to work, opening up the miniature power box and stared at the now exposed flashing lights and snapped wires. He tapped a circular red button, before taking a torn apart wire out of the box and into the light. It was completely disconnected from itself, meaning that he was gonna have to get a new wire or figure out how to keep it linked together.

“Hmm, i’m definitely lacking in the spare parts department. Where could I get some new wires…” Strider wondered out loud.

“Oh! Give me a moment! (Shuffling Intensifies) Here!” A voice said from behind, earning another surprised yelp from the trooper.

Strider spun around just in time to see a familiar pink pony who had a handful, (hoof ful?) of wires dangling from her left forehoof. She presented the trooper with the wires, earning a few seconds of nothing but silence as the clone tried to calm down from the sudden surprise. Once he felt like he was alright, he gently took the wires from Pinkie and set them down next to the nearby toolbox.

“How did you get in here without me hearing it? I can understand the birds, but you?” Strider questioned.

“Well the door was open and I wanted to talk to you so I simply trotted over here. You were probably too focused to hear me.” Pinkie exclaimed, before reaching a hoof up into her puffy pink mane. “Which reminds me, I believe this is long overdue!”

Pinkie Pie shuffled her left forehoof around in her messy mane for a few seconds, before pulling out a pink envelope with the G.A.R.’s logo on it. Strider accepted the envelope and opened it, revealing a folded up piece of paper within. Strider pulled the piece of paper out from the depths of the envelope and unfolded it, exposing a simple message written in a simpler form of Galactic Basic.

“Dear Strider,

I, Ponyville’s designated party pony have invited you to your very own welcome to Ponyville party at Sugar Cube Corner tonight at nine o’clock sharp! I hope to see you there!”

-Pinkie Pie

P.S. What type of cake flavor do you like?

Strider re-read the invitation a second time, before meeting Pinkie’s gaze. “Uh, thanks Miss Pie, but i’ve got lots of work to do still.”

Pinkie Pie’s smile didn’t falter, in fact, she responded almost immediately;

"I haven't missed a welcome party since moving to Ponyville, and I am not stopping today! It's gonna be fun Strider! I Pinkie Promise! Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye." Pinkie Pie exclaimed while doing several motions in the air. “Besides, there’s always tomorrow! You aren’t on a time limit silly!”

The trooper glanced down at the invitation again, his mind heavily debating on what actions he should take. Getting back to the G.A.R. was his top priority, and repairing the L.A.A.T. was his best way to do that. In fact, his mind would of already set that as his decision, but…

Pinkie’s face was filled with some sort of energy that seemed ready to explode depending on his answer, her eyes almost as wide as his helmet as she waited patiently. Something in the back of Strider’s brain knew that if he turned this down, then it would probably cause more harm than simply just going.

Eventually, Pinkie’s eyes won him over and he simply nodded. That was all Pinkie needed for her smile to somehow widen even more as happiness flooded her veins. She looked like she was about to take off like a rocket into space, but luckily for both Strider and the Gunship, she didn’t.

“You won’t regret this Strider! I’ll make sure this’ll be the best party you’ve ever been thrown!” Pinkie promised, before zipping out of the transportation bay and down the road towards Ponyville.

Strider watched the pony fade into the distance, before his gaze returned to the torn wires that he needed to replace. He took a single step forward, before stopping when he spotted an object coming towards him at speeds that made hyperspace look like a stroll.

The object turned out to be Pinkie Pie, who had returned with a rather guilty look on her face.

“I never learned what flavored cake you like… “ Pinkie exclaimed.

“Well, i’ve never actually had cake before. So, I guess just do what you think is the right choice.” Strider responded.

Pinkie Pie gave the trooper an ‘alright’ expression, before bouncing out of the gunship yet again and dashed off towards Ponyville for the second time, leaving a very confused trooper in her dust.

Strider set a large box of gears down in front of a newly opened panel on the gunship, multiple pieces of machinery sticking out of the gap in odd angles. He was about to reach for a wrench, but stopped when he noticed Fluttershy staring at him from her cottage’s now open front door.

Once the pegasus knew Strider was looking at him, she slowly trotted towards the trooper with a worried expression. She halted a few feet away from Strider, taking a glance between the gears in the box and the open panel on the ship.

“Hello Strider, I was, um, just wondering if you knew that it’s almost time for your party.” Fluttershy stated.

Strider glanced back and forth between Fluttershy and the open panel, before reluctantly standing up and followed Fluttershy down the path. He double checked the makeshift sling he had made, making sure that he would be keeping his new blaster on him. He was sure Rust would of punched him around a dozen times if he had seen his actions with his previous weapon.

It didn’t take long for the two to end up back in Ponyville, almost everypony who was still out stared at him awkwardly or fearfully. Their gazes were quick to lock onto the DC-15S, some whispering to others with wobbly hooves. Had they even seen a blaster before? Now that he thought about it, Strider hadn’t seen anyone with even the simplest of blasters in the town yet.

Before Strider could ask Fluttershy about it, they arrived at what looked like some sort of two or three story house with baked walls and a frosted roof with a large cupcake on top. Their were a few open windows which allowed faint glows of yellow light to emit from it and into the darkening town.

“We’re here, Sugar Cube Corner.” Fluttershy stated, grimacing slightly as a burst of stray confetti blasted out of a surprisingly quiet window.

As the two opened the large pink front door, loud music suddenly began to play and Pinkie Pie launched into Strider’s face from seemingly nowhere. “You made it! Exactly on the dime too!”

Sure enough, a nearby clock showed that it was exactly nine o’clock sharp. Being a clone trooper of the G.A.R. does make getting somewhere exactly on time a habit. But that wasn’t exactly what Strider was thinking about at the moment.

The main restaurant/shop area was covered head to toe with confetti, streamers, and other colorful objects, along with an old record player which rested in a corner playing a familiar sounding toon. A few white and black bundles of balloons were tied to some exposed support beams and outcroppings in the walls.

There were also several tables, most being set aside to give ponies more room to trot around. Two brown tables with light blue cloth placed on top of them were conjoint against a flight of stairs on the far left. Many basic yet colorful food items were spread across it, some looking exactly, if not better than any holoimages Strider had seen on Coruscant. There were cupcakes, muffins, punch, cookies of all flavors, popcorn, chips, and even a red gumball machine.

Then, there were the ponies. Several ponies had attended, each giving each other some rather confused and worried looks upon realizing who the party had been thrown for. Yet there were a handful that didn’t seem to be taken aback at all at the sight of the trooper. In fact, one seemed to be staring at him with sparkling sun yellow eyes rather intently, like they had just found out that their biggest theory that no-one believed had been correct all along.

To say Strider was taken aback by the sight would be an understatement of the highest order. In all the world's he'd been stationed on, he had never seen so many bright colors splashed together, nor the amount of sweets present at one table.

“Strider? Hello? You in there?” Pinkie asked, starting to worry with the lack of response she was getting from him.

Strider quickly snapped out of his stunned silence and looked down at Pinkie, before gesturing at everything around him. “You threw this entire party, just because I showed up?”

“Yep! Every new face around Ponyville is always given their very own dedicated welcome to Ponyville party! And yours was far overdue, so I did my best to make up for it with more streamers, sweets, and music that I knew you’d enjoy!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, before turning to the crowd. “Alright everypony! Let’s all give a warm welcome to our newest resident and friend, Strider!”

Even though many ponies were confused, slowly but surely, they began stomping their hooves on the wooden floorboards. As more ponies joined in, the more relaxed everypony seemed to get. And in no time, everypony had begun talking and laughing with each other, all the while dancing to the music and helping themselves to the food provided.

Fluttershy gave Strider a slight nudge, causing him to avert his gaze from the party and over to her. “Maybe you could, um, take off your helmet? If you want to.”

Eh, what harm would it do? Strider gripped his helmet and removed it, exposing his face to the public. There were a few more gasps and one pony fainted, but they were back on their hooves in seconds and smiling like they had just won a new starship.

Strider put his helmet under his arm and began walking towards the dessert buffet, his eyes already locked on a rather tasty looking muffin. He took a muffin from its spot on the trey with his free hand and took a bite, his tastebuds instantly taking in the sweetness of the bread.

The muffin was wolfed down in seconds, followed by another. Once he finished the second, Strider spotted something he had somehow managed to miss when he went to the food table. Standing next to the cupcake trey was a purple and green scaled lizard of some sort, its eyes shut as it chewed. It was small, stood on two legs, and had three fingered claws that were currently holding a cupcake with white frosting. Once the lizard was done savoring the taste from the bite they had just taken, their purple eyelids opened, exposing a set of large emerald green eyes which were quick to focus back on the cupcake it was holding. However, it caught a glimpse of Strider’s white armor in the corner of its eye, which quickly led to it turning to the right to face the trooper.

“Whoa, you’re even taller than I thought!” The lizard explained in a low but youngling like voice, making Strider assume it was male. “You’re Strider, right?”

“Correct. CT 3719 of the G.A.R. reporting for duty.” Strider responded, giving the lizard a moc salute.

“I’m Spike, Twilight’s number one assistant. She told me that you took on Nightmare Moon all by yourself!” Spike exclaimed.

“I wouldn’t say I took her on all by myself. I put up a fight but Twilight and her friends were the ones who finished the battle.”

“Well, from what Twilight told me, you still helped return Nightmare Moon back in the story books.” Spike stated, his smile not faltering. “And that’s still a win in my book.”

Strider simply shrugged, but couldn’t resist allowing a faint grin to spread across his face. Knowing that he still proved to do some good even though he was defeated made him feel a bit better at how the battle played out.

“Heh, thanks kid. But in the battles i’ve been in, I can’t let my guard down and underestimate the enemy.” Strider exclaimed, knowing that when he had fought Nightmare Moon, his normal methods had likely been somewhat tamed due to all the pastel colors and non-vicious looking ponies.

“Wait, you’ve been in fights like that before?”

“Plenty, i’ve lost count as to how many droids i’ve… “ Strider eyed the little reptile. “Deactivated.”

“Have you ever saved anyone?” Spike asked.

Strider winced a little bit at that, but did his best to hide it. “Yes. The team i’m on made sure to keep any civilians who are in danger safe. Some of us believing that more than they should of…” He did his best to try and keep that last sentence quiet so it would simply blend into the noises of the party.

“Whoa, you’re like a superhero from the comics!” Spike claimed.

Now that was something Strider hadn’t been called. He had spent a fare amount of time stationed on a G.A.R. trading post, where several parents sometimes brought their kid or kids to purchase action packed stories through illustrations on a datapad or piece of paper. Even some of his brothers read comics in the mess hall or the barracks, so he was aware as to what a ‘superhero’ was. And he knew he wasn’t one.

“I wouldn’t say i’m a superhero. I’m a soldier of the G.A.R., a clone amongst thousands bred for battle. We’re all just… numbers…”

As Strider trailed off, Spike’s smile finally began to fade. The trooper was no longer facing him, simply just staring blankly at his helmet.

“Strider? Are you ok? Strider!?” Spike asked frantically, worried that he had said something wrong.

The trooper snapped out of his trance, quick to set his attention back on the young assistant. “Sorry. I just, got lost in thought.”

Spike seemed to ease up a little at the answer, but still gave him a worried frown. His mouth opened up to let out his words, but they didn’t reach Strider’s ears. He reached over to the table and plucked his helmet from the table and sat down on the bench, his eyes locked on the metallic black T visor.

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