• 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 24: Back To The Forest (Revised)

Beams of light leaked through open panels in the metal doors, brightening certain spots in the transportation bay. Strider cracked open his eyelids, blinking away the drowsiness of sleep as well as the dramatic increase in light. He got to his feet and stretched, before putting his phase one armor back over his body-glove. He secured his helmet over his head and opened the doors, letting more light shine into the bay.

The clone dropped onto the grassy hill the gunship was perched on, his eyes locking on the wing that still needed repairs. He dragged the toolbox with him outside and set it down besides the wing, before kneeling down in preparations for another long day of repairs.

However, before he could begin working, Strider was greeted with several different colored birds. They landed peacefully on the wing before him and stared.

"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 stared at the building in question for a few seconds, his mind filled with confusion and newfound curiosity. He set the tool he'd been holding back in the box and abandoned his spot next to the wing, choosing to do what the birds were asking of him and began walking towards the the cottage. It didn't look any different than it usually did, yet for some reason he could of sworn that it had an aura of uncertainty around it. But that aura didn't keep the trooper from swallowing his unease and knocking on the front door.

It didn't take long for the shy mare to answer, the door cracking open just enough to allow one of Fluttershy's eyes be visible. Once she saw Strider's armor, she pulled the door open the rest of the way. The trooper quickly entered the house, Fluttershy shutting the door behind him.

Inside the main room, Angel appeared to be laughing in a basket next to the couch, their eyes filled with tears from laughing so much. That was something he hadn't seen from the bunny. Usually whenever he was near that animal, they'd glare at him and on occasion would stick their tongue out at him.

"What's got him laughing so badly?" Strider questioned as he advanced towards the couch, all the while watching the bunny roll a little in the basket.

Fluttershy didn't answer as she trotted towards one of the armchairs. She sat down on the one with a table next to it and looked at Strider, her mouth forming a small sad upside-down U.

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

Fluttershy shook her head.

"Can you elaborate?"

Another shake of disapproval.

"I can't really help you unless you tell me what's wrong Fluttershy."

The pegasus gave the trooper a long drawn out look of embarrassment, before she took in a deep breath. After letting the excess air out of her lungs, she locked her eyes on Strider's visor.

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

That earned another round of laughter from within Angel's basket, along with a couple of nearby birds who had been watching on an open windowsill. Strider found himself staring, completely dumbfounded the pegasus. What in the universe had he just heard escape from Fluttershy's mouth?

Her voice was completely alien compared to her normal voice, yet she didn't look any different. She showed no signs of illness or tiredness. She didn't even have any bags under her eyes.

After a long few seconds of silence, (with the exception of Angel's laughter) Strider finally managed to form a coherent sentence.

"Do I even want to know?" He asked, mouth completely agape. Luckily, it was completely masked to the pegasus under his helmet.

"....no. Even if you did, I'm just as confused as you are... " Fluttershy answered, her gaze drifting to the floorboards of the room.

"Oh, well, do you have a plan to fix this problem?" Strider inquired.

"I was thinking about going to Twilight's and see if she can help." Fluttershy explained, getting up from the armchair.

"That pony does seem to know her stuff. Good luck with that, and don't be scared to ask me for help. It's the least I could do for everything you've done to help me." Strider stated.

Fluttershy flashed the trooper a smile, before she opened the buildings front door and made her depart. Strider quickly followed suit, abandoning his spot on the couch and began walking towards the still open door. His gaze drew towards the now quiet basket, where Angel bunny was currently sitting and recovering from their massive laughing fit.

The clone turned around and knelt down next to the basket, eyeing the snow white bunny.

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

Angel gave him a simple shrug, shaking their head.

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

Angel put a paw to their chin, appearing as if deep in thought. The bunny remained this way for a few minutes, making Strider sigh in annoyance.

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

Angel nodded, breaking from their thinking position just long enough to give him a tooth eating grin.

"Never mind then." Strider finished. He stood back up and left the bunny to their business, walking through the doorway and back into the outside world.

Strider made sure to shut the door firmly behind him, before he set off down the path towards Ponyville. While he walked, he checked his utility belt for the pack of bits again. Still satisfied with the amount, he shut the pack and continued on his way.

Hopefully he'd have better luck today in finding an open shot that sold screwdrivers...

"That'll be fourteen bits." The shopkeeper pony stated.

Strider retrieved the named amount of currency and dropped it on the counter, each coin clinking slightly as they made contact with its wooden surface. Next to the newly formed pile was a screwdriver with a black plastic handle and a well forged steel tip.

The shopkeeper tallied up the bits before placing them in a register, nodding to herself at the satisfying cha-ching! "Thank you for your purchase, the tool's all yours."

"Thanks." Strider told the shopkeeper, picking up the tool and hooking it onto his utility belt.

The shopkeeper gave him a friendly wave as he made his departure, the bell above the door chiming as he opened it. He heard the bell chime again as the door touched it while it closed itself, but he wasn't paying much attention to it. Instead, his mind went to forming a plan for repairing the wing. Now that he finally had that replacement screwdriver, he could finish dealing with those stubborn screws and get through to the damaged power lines.

Hopefully if he used his time wisely, the wing should only need one or two rotations more before it's ready to be reunited with the rest of the ship. That begged the biggest question/problem he was gonna encounter. How could he get the wing back on the ship and keep it there? He had a plan, if flimsy, to keep the wing in place. But getting it up there would be almost just as challenging.

But he knew he'd do it somehow. Maybe after Fluttershy figured out what was wrong he could ask her for some assistance from her animal friends. After all, they'd managed to combine their strength enough to drag the whole ship out of the forest.

As the trooper left the outskirts of Ponyville, he couldn't help but notice small yellowish red blob in the corner of his eyes. He switched his gaze away from the trail and towards the shape, noticing just in time to see a small figure gallop into the Everfree Forest.

At first, he thought it might of just been him seeing things. But the more he thought about it, the more something stuck out to him. He'd seen something on the figures head, something that looked very familiar. It had been pink, and appeared to be shaped like a---

"Bow... " Strider muttered, realization hitting him like a speeder bike.

The trooper soon found himself running towards the forests entrance, and the dirt path that he'd seen the filly transverse. Sure enough, far down the path he could once again make out the shape of a small figure. Their coat color matched Apple Blooms, along with their mane and tail. It was definitely the young filly who'd saved him from the Ursa Minor.

"What's with me getting dragged back to this forest?" Strider questioned, more to himself than anyone else.

The forest now held a dark aura for him, knowing that it was the final resting place for so many of his brothers, including his squads leader Rust. Even with those feeling plaguing his mind, Strider sprinted off down the path and into the forest. As he ran, he unholstered his blaster from its spot on his belt and primed it. He was well acquainted with the creatures inside this place, and he wasn't planning on letting it add another victim to its list.

"Come on Apple Bloom, you're smarter than to just run here for fun. What's your plan here?"

"APPLE BLOOM!?" Strider called out, hoping that the filly would stop and explain herself.

The only reply he'd been given was silence.

Strider mumbled a curse and tried to spot Apple Bloom down the path, but something else caught his eye first. His sprint grinded to a halt, followed by him kneeling down until he was only a few feet from the path. Printed in the dirt was a freshly made set of small hoofprints, obviously Apple Blooms.

Strider followed the tracks for awhile on the path, but the tracks suddenly took a hard left directly into the forest. That caught him off guard, that was until he noticed that past a handful of bushes was another path, much smaller than the original and well hidden. The tracks continued down this path up until it changed from dirt to grass. With the trail grown cold, Strider was left with simply continuing forwards whilst calling out for the filly.

After a couple of minutes of walking, Strider came across a strange looking structure built into a large knotted and twisty tree. It was surrounded by more ancient looking trees, but stood out drastically due to it having both a door and windows. It also had several strange bottles filled with liquids dangling via ropes from its branches.

The whole area had an assortment of strange masks scattered throughout it, some leading up the the tree-hut with one final mask hanging above a pale red door which had two windows on either side of it. Thick yellow light leaked out from the glassless windows, giving the structure a feeling of unease.

"Strange place. You better be safe Apple Bloom." Strider thought, making sure to make as little noise as possible as he approached the door.

Before he decided to barge in, he went over to one of the windows and took a peek inside. Their seemed to be three to four rooms, with two having doors while the other two were linked together. The main room was clearly the largest, with several shelves that held bottles, books, and other items on them. There were several more masks skewen about, most hanging on the walls with the occasional one resting on the wooden floor.

A massive black cauldron rested in the middle of the room within a stone circle, supposedly to keep any flames from igniting the tree when in use. However, the the object that caught Strider's attention was the brown cloak that was hanging on a nail in the wall.

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

The creature holding the staff seemed to match the description of the zebra from before that Fluttershy had called Zecora, the brown cloak he'd seen adding onto that as well as their home being in the forest. Strider rose his blaster but the zebra was quick to knock it out of his hands with their staff.

Before the clone could retaliate, Apple Bloom emerged from behind the zebra, a worried expression plastered on her face. Zecora didn't press an attack, choosing to let the filly speak instead.

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

"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 could swallow you up whole!?" Strider pointed out.

"But ah-"

"I've lost brothers in this forest, who were armed and trained! Why in the whole galaxy did yo- "

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

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

The zebra opened up the hutt's front door and motioned for the two to enter. Strider scooped up the blaster and holstered it back on his utility belt, before following Apple Bloom inside. Zecora stared at the trooper for a few seconds, before she shut the door.

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