• 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 30: War Always Leaves A Cost

"Can't you at least check?" Strider inquired, his eyes focused on the mare before him from across a well kept counter.

"Sure, just give me a second." The mare responded, before leaving the counter to check her inventory behind the stand.

While she was gone, Strider unhooked the box full of bits from his utility belt and got ready to pay. Surely at least one of these hardware stands would have the correct set of screws. He didn't want to think he'd only wasted his time coming to town instead of working around the screw loose area of the right wing.

The town seemed to of gotten used to him being around, the initial shock factor having done its course and had departed. He rarely saw fear in the towns citizens eyes anymore, and he'd even been given a few welcome smiles from a handful of them. He was still given a few weird glances though, especially from a mint green unicorn. He's still a bit jumpy when opening a crate ever since he'd found that unicorn waiting inside one.

After a few minutes of waiting, the mare finally returned to the counter. However, Strider quickly noticed that the mare had come back empty hooved.

"Sorry sir, but I couldn't any of the screws you described." The mare said apologetically.

Strider resisted the urge to groan in annoyance at yet another delay, instead he just said a simple "Thanks for checking." and walked away.

That had been the sixth stand he'd went to so far and none of them had the right screws. If this continued then he might have to use something else to keep the wing together. But his resources were strained, and he doubted he could find something strong enough to replace the missing components for an extended period of time.

Deciding that he'd wasted enough time and just would check back tomorrow, Strider began the journey back to Fluttershy's cottage. He'd memorized the best route by now for weaving between the crowds of ponies, and was on the outskirts of Ponyville in mere minutes, his target already coming into view.

As he walked, Strider took in his surroundings. There were a few pegasi flying overhead, pushing clouds into clumps or kicking them out of existence. A few grounded ponies were chatting with each other, some eating snacks on a checkered tarp. The whole place seemed so peaceful, so calm, so quiet.

Strider shook those thoughts out of his mind again, he had things to do. He absentmindedly quickened his pace, wanting to return to his work immediately to make up for his lost time. As he broke off from the main trail and approached his gunship, something caught his eye.

Standing in front of the closed transportation bays blast doors, was a familiar looking purple unicorn, her left hoof politely knocking on the solid metal plating. Standing next to her was Spike, who he'd met at Pinkie's party. In his left hand, was a blank piece of parchment, and in his right, a red quill.

Strider approached the two, his boots quick to alert them of his presence. The duo turned around, Twilight Sparkle's eyes immediately locking onto him.

"You need something?" Strider asked.

"No, well, sort of. I was just curious about your metal shed and that blackish grey thing, not to mention your species. I couldn't find anything in all the books in my library, nor from the Canterlot Archives from when I was living there. And I've read lots of books in my spare time." Twilight exclaimed.

"She has been up a whole night now trying to discover information about you and your stuff." Spike claimed, earning him a glare from Twilight.

"Anyways, I was just wondering if you could answer a few questions for me quickly." Twilight said.

"Depends on the questions, but ok, I don't see the harm of it." Strider stated.

Twilight's eyes widened with joy at his response. She looked over at Spike eagerly, already preparing her questions mentally.

"Spike! Get ready to take notes!" She declared.

Spike unrolled a very long and blank scroll before raising up his already dipped quill, ready to write. Something deep in Strider's mind told him that he was gonna be here a while.

"Alright, to start this off, what's your species?" Twilight began.

"Human, although I'm a semi special case. I'm a clone, one amongst thousands with the same genetics from a lone template." Strider answered.

"A clone?"

"Correct, unlike most humans, I was bred in a remote facility for combat. Myself and my brothers are biological copies of another human." Strider stated.

"Fascinating, the ability to create a fully sentient copy of some-creature on a massive scale." Twilight muttered, more to herself than to Spike, who'd written down everything anyways. "Ok, second question; what is this contraption?"

"I'm assuming you mean the gunship?"

"Is that what it's called?" Twilight inquired, glancing over at the metal machine.

"Yes, this bucket of bolts is a Low Altitude Assault Transport, or L.A.A.T. for short. This ship is designed to bring infantry, supplies, and special units in and out of battle. It's got plenty of weapons to keep enemy ships off its tail, and strong reinforced plating to help keep it fighting even after a bad crash." Strider couldn't help but look up at the broken area where a wing should be, the hole hosting an occasional small spark from its damaged components.

"Are there more of these?"

"Yep, thousands of ships like this one are probably in use as we speak, reinforcing the G.A.R. and providing a beacon of hope for wounded soldiers."

"How does it work?"

"That's a rather complicated question." Strider answered truthfully.

"Oh, well how about that thing on your belt? The blackish grey thing that you use as a weapon?"

Strider un-holstered the blaster in question, raising it up and rotating it to the right so the unicorn could get a good view of it.

"This is a DC-15s, a blaster carbine that can fire up to five hundred charged plasma bolts. While I personally prefer a DC-15a, this blaster is reliable most of the time, easy to carry, and simple to use."

"Amazing, the ability to control and use plasma as a source of firepower. We're still working on improving our gunpowder weapons. Could I study that?" Twilight asked.

"Sorry, but these blasters are G.A.R. property, and could easily cause more damage than good. I've already made that mistake, and I don't plan on doing it again." Strider exclaimed. Twilight seemed dejected at that, but didn't press on, choosing another question in the meantime.

"What is this G.A.R.? You said that the blaster was G.A.R. property, is it like a company or something else?" Twilight questioned.

"The G.A.R. is an abbreviation for Grand Army of the Republic. It's what myself and my brothers are fighting for, making sure it doesn't fall to the Separatist Alliance." Strider claimed.

"Separatist Alliance?"

"They also go by Confederacy of Independent Systems, or C.I.S. for short. They broke away from the Republic and are taking actions against us. They wanna destroy the G.A.R. and take the galaxy for themselves." Strider stated.

"That doesn't sound very nice of them." Twilight pointed out.

"It isn't, and it's led to war on a galactic scale between the two sides. Hundreds if not thousands of worlds are under the tyranny of the Separatists, and it's up to the G.A.R. to liberate these worlds and unite the galaxy once again."

"Whoa, that sounds like a comic I once read." Spike proclaimed, halting his writing to say his part.

"If only it was."

"Can you tell me more about this Republic?" Twilight asked.

"Sure, but it's a lot of information filtered through combat."

Twilight didn't look the slightest bit deterged, meaning that they were gonna be here for awhile. Strider took a few steps past Twilight and gestured up towards an all to familiar symbol plastered on the gunship.

"Well, to start this off, here is the galactic symbol of the Galactic Republic... "

Strider didn't know exactly how long it'd been, but he noticed the nearby star was beginning its descent towards the horizon, signifying the approach of nightfall. Yet, to his surprise, Spike hadn't faltered nor complained in the slightest at all the information he'd written in one sitting. Twilight had held onto her smile the entire way through, eager to obtain as much knowledge as she could from him.

Now, Strider didn't know the whole complete picture, but he knew enough to help guide the mare through the basics, which seemed more than enough to satisfy her questions. He'd been sure to filter a couple of things that were classified, like their battle tactics and strategies. But the part about the galactic senate seemed to of taken the brunt of Twilight's questions, so it never became an issue.

By the time he'd finished up, Spike seemed ready to drop the quill in exhaustion, yet his grip on it didn't seem to falter in the slightest. He must of done this quite a bit to have this much stamina. Twilight on the other hand, looked like she was planning five different battle plans at once in her mind.

However, the little break didn't last long, and Twilight was quick to resume her questions. Strider was expecting another question about the senate, mainly due to his lack of full knowledge on it forming blanks in his explanation. But the next question to leave the mares mouth caught him off guard.

"What's it like to be a soldier in a war on a galactic scale?" Twilight asked. "I've read my fair share of books about olden Equus and the wars that took place, but i'm curious as to if they're any different if the war is beyond a single planet."

Strider looked at Twilight, his expression completely masked by his helmet. Both Twilight and Spike noticed the subtle change in his demeanor, but weren't able to ask about it before Strider responded.

"If you want me to answer that question, then follow me." Strider instructed, his feet taking him towards the gunships transportation bay.

With one quick button press, the blast doors opened up, exposing the bays near empty interior. Twilight hopped inside the bay, but before Spike could follow suit, Strider held up his hand.

"Not you Spike, you can rest your claw." Strider said, shutting the blast door before he could respond.

"Hey! Why can't Spike enter? He isn't dangerous." Twilight claimed.

"That's not why I didn't let him in. You don't have to worry about taking notes on this, you'll remember." Strider stated as he walked towards the north wall. He flicked a lone switch, activating a series of lights which illuminated the pitch black bay.

After a few moments of silence, Strider answered the question.

"Terrifying." Strider said blankly.

"What do you mean?" Twilight questioned, breaking the silence for a few seconds. Her tone had changed from excitement and fascination about the new knowledge she was learning, to worry and confusion.

"Imagine landing somewhere you know almost nothing about with a team of people you care about beside you. Your ship lands and you exit right as a round of projectiles are launched towards you from the battlefield. You have no idea about what any of the wildlife could do but you have to take cover behind it to avoid being killed." Strider's words were filled with no emotion, his original tone in answering so many questions completely absent.

"All you can do is fire towards the enemy, hearing the screams of the ones you care about all around you, but you have to ignore them and keep fighting." Strider said, looking directly at Twilight.

"Imagine having to do that every day of your life until the fight is over." Strider finished.

After those final words were spoken, Strider opened the blast doors again, allowing the two to exit back outside. Twilight trotted over to Spike and whispered something into his ear, before turning to face Strider.

"Strider, thanks for the information. I'm.. I'm sorry to know what you had to deal with your entire life. If you ever need something from the library than please ask." Twilight stated.

Strider didn't say anything, instead he just walked over to a tool box and picked it up. He watched as Twilight and Spike began trotting/walking back towards Ponyville in silence, their figures slowly fading in amongst the rest of the town.

Why did Strider even tell Twilight about the war? She along with the inhabitants of Ponyville likely don't think about how rough war is. Yet, he felt like it needed to be said, for both his sake, and theirs.

Strider went back to work on the right wing, not saying a word as his mind began to pry up memories that were better left forgotten.

Author's Note:

Alright, this will be the last chapter before I take off for BronyCon.

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