• 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 25: Learning Road (Revised)

It had taken some back and forth explanations between the clone and the filly, but Zecora eventually got the picture of the situation that had quite literally shown up at her doorstep. Yet, she didn't seem mad or even slightly annoyed. But her expression was also expertly hidden, so Strider couldn't really tell if she was mad and simply masking it.

The three had entered the zebra's hut, with Zecora and Apple Bloom standing beside the large cauldron while Strider was leaning against a wall. Luckily for him, the ceiling was much higher than necessary which gave him plenty of room to stand up completely.

"That was definitely not what I first thought, but rest assured Apple Bloom that it wasn't your fault." Zecora exclaimed, her hoof-steps echoing against the wooden floor as she trotted over towards a shelf.

Apple Bloom let a muffled sigh escape her muzzle and set her hooves over a small table. Strider thought about what Apple Bloom had stated about what happened to the others. It appears that Fluttershy wasn't the only one who'd gotten affected by something. But what was that something?

Strider let that thought circle around his mind for a while until Zecora returned to her spot next to the cauldron, a green hardcover book in hoof. She set the book down on the cauldron's removable lid and flipped through the pages before coming to a stop on a page that held a few images of plants.

"As it says in this paragraph below, the reason behind their changes is because of Poison Joke." Zecora stated.

Strider read over the passage, then looked at the illustration of a plant next to it. Surprisingly, he'd seen the plant before. It appeared to match the mental image he had of the blue flowers that had kept him from becoming wolf food. Good to know he'd made the right choice crossing the fallen tree instead of dashing through the field of flowers.

"To reverse the effects of this particular plant, all you need to do is mix up a special bubble bath." Zecora claimed.

Sure enough, another paragraph below exclaimed what to do and what ingredients were necessary for it to work.

"So all ya need ta do is put that stuff into that cauldron and then have mah sister and her friends take a bath with it?" Apple Bloom questioned.

"That is the basics of-" Zecora was cut off by a low sigh that came from Strider, who already knew what was coming.

"Where's the catch?" Strider asked.

Zecora glared at Strider for a few seconds, before continuing.

"-what we could do, but I lack some of the ingredients to start this special brew." She finished.

"Called it." Strider muttered, knowing from past experience that nothing was every that easy.

"So what do ya need?" Apple Bloom questioned.

Zecora grabbed a blank sheet of paper from another shelf and set it down on the table, along with a quill and a bottle of tainted black ink. She then wrote down the names of the items she needed, before showing it to Apple Bloom.

The little filly looked over the names for a few seconds, before passing the paper to Strider. The trooper picked up the newly made list and glanced over the names.

"Hmm, and where would we find these? Half of them don't even sound like real things." Strider asked.

"Some items might catch your suspicion, but most could likely be in your very own kitchen." Zecora exclaimed.

Strider put the paper into a container on his utility belt, before flashing a stern glare at Apple Bloom.

"Come on, I'd like to have a talk with you on our way out of this forest for this stuff." Strider stated.

Apple Bloom simply nodded squeamishly, saying nothing as she followed Strider out of Zecora's hut. The zebra watched the two fade into the underbrush, before she shut the door with a loud clank.

It didn't take long before Strider and Apple Bloom found themselves once again on the trail that would take them out of the forest. Neither of them had said a word for the first few minutes, the ambient noises of the forest only being disturbed by the clopping of Apple Blooms hooves and Striders boots as they made contact with the dirt path.

The silenced wall between the two didn't stand for long.

"Now that we're alone, can you tell me what in Kamino were you thinking!?" Strider questioned.

"Ah was just try'n to fix ah mistake ah made." Apple Bloom claimed in a rather fragile tone, her eyes locked with the path.

"I understand that part. I was talking about rushing into this dangerous place blindingly without any weapons or plan." Strider exclaimed.

"Ah can defend myself! Ahm not a defenseless little filly!" Apple Bloom proclaimed, looking up at Strider with a noticeable trace of anger.

"Your mind might be telling you that, and you did prove that you aren't afraid to fire a Z-6 at that Ursa Minor. But if a group of those wooden wolves sprung up around you and you didn't have a weapon, you're a droid lined up on the shooting range." Strider stated.

Apple Bloom's eyes emptied of anger while she processed the troopers words. Then, she returned her gaze to the ground.

After a few more minutes of walking in silence, Apple Bloom spoke up.

"You sound just like mah sister..." She muttered.

Strider looked down at Apple Bloom for a few seconds, confused at what she'd said.

"What do you mean?"

"Ya tell me that ah need to stay out of the bigger situations, claiming that it's to dangerous for ah little filly. But ah know all that and ah know that some situations would be out of mah hooves. But this ain't one of them, almost none that mah sister states are one." Apple Bloom exclaimed. "Ah just wanna prove that ahm not just a little filly and can handle mah self."

Strider was caught off guard from Apple Bloom's explanation. Yet again, he never really needed to prove himself that he was good enough to handle something.

Well, except for the training on Kamino. Actually... now that he thought about it, Apple Bloom's situation was closer to his training than he'd thought. Strider had wanted to prove to the rest of his squad that he was a good soldier and teammate.

His squad which back then had been simply called the Indigo squad, had managed to run the Citadel Challenge right behind the Bravo Squads set time. That squad had gone to become ARK troopers, but sadly, theirs didn't make that cut.

They weren't nearly as bad as the Domino Squad, but ARK trooper Colt's words were still fully on display in his mind. He doubted he'd forget those words.

"Not bad, but there is room for improvement." Those words had nearly crushed Rust. Their leader had worked so hard to get the squad up to the top, but his efforts fell on deaf and highly judgmental ears.

Strider still remembered that one training session where he had tripped over part of the ground and had accidentally shot Cosmo in the foot with his training DC-15A. And how furious Rust had been with him, even throwing down the YOU'RE NOT EVEN A GOOD TARGET! card.

Strider had managed to prove himself to the squad on the final test when he'd managed to hit every single shot he had fired as well as being the one who grabbed the end pole. But that had only been because of his squad and other troopers encouraging him.

Apple Bloom was just trying to prove herself to be able to handle responsibility, like how he tried to prove to his squad that he was a good soldier.

"Apple Bloom, you might not believe me on this, but I've been in your situation before, to a certain degree anyway." Strider claimed.

Apple Bloom looked up at Strider, surprise and confusion on clear display in her eyes.

"My squad that I fought with had to go through training before we could start fighting for real. During that training, I wanted to prove to everyone that I was capable to do anything needed on the battlefield. But when I focused to much on that, I ended up firing at one of my brothers." Strider stated.

"Your mind might claim that you're ready to try and prove something, but you need to make sure that you don't end up doing something that could end up proving them right or end up with you in danger. If I did that same mistake on the battlefield, my brother would have most likely died by my hands, not the enemy. That is the worst thing you could ever do, endanger someone you care for." Strider exclaimed, trying not to groan in annoyance at how cheesy this was sounding.

"So what you're saying is that if ah try and do something just to prove mah-self then ah might end up causing more damage than proving a point?" Apple Bloom summarized.

"Precisely. No one who cares about you wants you to do something that could end up hurting yourself." Strider said.

Apple Bloom stopped trotting, causing Strider to halt himself. The filly looked up at Strider's helmet, before smiling.

"Thank ya for tell'n me that, you're a great friend, ya know." Apple Bloom claimed.

Strider's helmet hid his expression from Apple Bloom, but he was smiling under it.

"Let's go get that stuff Zecora needs for that antidote." Strider exclaimed, beginning to walk down the path again. Apple Bloom followed with a slight spring in her steps.

Author's Note:

This came out a lot more cheesy than what I was thinking.

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