• Published 7th Dec 2020
  • 244 Views, 9 Comments

Bounty Hunter Anon III - Sunny Solaire



Mandalorians Anonymous and Sunset Shimmer prepare for war against the returning Sith.

  • ...
12
 9
 244

Kindness

You stare at the small rock on the jungle floor and stay still.

Just try it, Sunset. You're alone.

But it's so embarrassing. You're not a Jedi. You can't use the Force like they can. Sure, you're Force-sensitive, but that doesn't mean you can move rocks or make them float or whatever.

...Right?

You take a deep breath and look around. Twilight and Fluttershy are back on the ship and Big Mac is still working on repairs. Spike is helping him with his promise that he won't go snooping into things that don't concern him.

You searched the jungle for ysalamiri for about a half hour after dealing with the vornskr, but found none. No other HK droids or vornskr have bothered you yet either. It's starting to get late now, and you're by yourself.

You clench and release your fists a few times and take another breath.

"Come on, Sunset. There's no harm in trying."

You stare at the rock for another second or two, taking another deep breath before thrusting your hand forward and extending your fingers.

"To me, rock!" You shout.

...

The rock doesn't move. You wanted to use the Force to make it come to your hand, but it didn't do anything.

You put your hand down before thrusting it forward again. "Pull!"

The rock, once again, doesn't move.

Hmmm...

You try again. "Over here, rock!"

Nothing.

Are you holding your hand wrong? Maybe.

You turn your hand so your palm is facing upwards. "Here rock!"

It doesn't move.

"Come here, boy!" You whistle and pat your thigh a couple times. "Come on!"

You move fingers back and forth in an effort to coax the rock to come to you, but, like rocks are supposed to do, it stays perfectly still.

You exhale and drop your hand. What are you doing?

"I've gone crazy..." You groan.

You laugh to yourself and shake your head, taking off your helmet and rubbing your eyebrows. How do you already need another vacation?

"Um, Sunset?"

You jump a little and turn around sharply to face Fluttershy, who is standing a few paces behind you. She gives you a confused, concerned look.

"Are you... okay?" She asks.

You drop your guard a bit and sigh, putting your helmet back on. "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm just... trying something."

She walks closer to you. "Why were you talking to that rock?"

You look back at the rock. It still hasn't moved. You feel your cheeks turn red a little.

"I was, uh... trying to use the Force." You awkwardly admit. "How much did you hear?"

"Um, you were calling the rock to you like it was a puppy." She replies.

You laugh again a little and put your head in your hand, covering your visor. Thank the Force she can't see your face right now. This is so humiliating.

"I don't think that's how the Force works, Sunset." She says.

Obviously.

You groan. "Yeah, I kinda figured that out..."

She smiles softly and steps toward you. "I didn't know you were Force-sensitive."

"Neither did I, until a few weeks ago." You reply. "I found out just before we rescued you and Twilight from the rakghouls. Ever since then, I've been more... receptive to it? I think? I don't think that's the right word, but yeah... Stuff has been happening that hadn't happened before I knew about it."

The two of you start walking through the jungle together.

You continue. "That's how I was able to kill the vornskr before they sprung their trap on us, I assume... I just felt something... weird inside and acted on instinct... I can't really describe it."

Fluttershy just hums softly as you try to describe how you felt. "I'm surprised the Jedi didn't take you in for training when you were younger."

You shrug a little. "Well, keep in mind, I wasn't born in the Republic. Mandalore and the Jedi haven't exactly gotten along in the past either, you know."

She nods and looks forward. "That's true... It's kind of sad how much history of violence there is between us. I think you'd make a wonderful Jedi, Sunset."

You smile under your helmet and chuckle. A Mandalorian Jedi. That'll be the day.

"Thanks, Fluttershy. I'm afraid I missed that ship a long time ago though." She smiles again and squeezes her bandaged arm a little. "How's your wound?"

She looks down at her arm with a soft expression of worry. "It's fine. It doesn't hurt anymore, but I can still feel it."

"When we get back to the ship, I'll put some more bacta on it and a fresh bandage, okay?"

She smiles at you again. "Okay. Thank you, Sunset."

You nod at her again and continue walking through the jungle together. The sun is going down, but it's still fairly light out, so you keep your eyes peeled for any ysalamiri.

After a moment, it occurs to you that you don't really know Fluttershy that well. Now seems like a good time to change that.

"So Fluttershy, how exactly did you and a Wookie become friends?" You ask.

She looks at you. "Oh, um, you mean Angel?"

You chuckle once. "Yeah."

Who else would you be talking about?

She seems a bit surprised at your question. She probably wasn't expecting you to ask about herself.

She clears her throat. "Well, um, before my relief group got involved with the Republic, we had been doing other things around the galaxy to help. Angel was on his way to be sold to slavers in the Outer Rim. We caught word of it, so we went in to rescue him and a few other Wookies." She smiles a little. "He was always such a grouch about everything, but he was very grateful to be rescued. He said he owed me a lifedebt because of it. We've been together ever since."

You hum and smile as she speaks. "A Wookie lifedebt is a good thing to have in your pocket, Fluttershy. You're very lucky. He seems to care about you a lot too."

She nods, but doesn't say anything else. She's not very talkative.

The two of you continue walking through the jungle together in silence for a few more seconds.

You clear your throat. "So, remind me, you said you were the head of a relief effort to restore Taris, right?"

She nods. "One of the heads, yes."

"How'd you get into that?"

She clears her throat. "Well, um, it just seemed like a nice thing to do. What Darth Malak and the Sith did to that planet was so unbelievably cruel, and I wanted to help the world recover. I don't like bullies."

You nod. "That's admirable, Fluttershy. Seems like you made quite a bit of progress if the Republic took notice."

"We did..." She looks down at her feet a little as you both walk. "I really appreciate the Republic's help and money to buy more supplies, but, um, honestly, I really don't like some things that they're doing with it."

You cock your head. "What do you mean?"

She hesitates for a moment. "Well, um, don't get me wrong, I've made wonderful friends with Twilight, Applejack, Big Mac, and Maud, among many others, but, um... it seems like the Republic only wants to help because it looks good to the Senate... Like, they're only helping to show off, you know?"

"They're using it as a political weapon. A status symbol." You say.

She nods. "Mmhmm. It just doesn't seem like they really care about helping."

As you're both walking, she stops and looks up to a low hanging tree branch. An oversized green caterpillar is on its back legs and trying hard to reach a nearby leaf that's just barely out of reach. Fluttershy walks over to the leaf and pulls it down just enough for the caterpillar to grab hold and continue on its way. She smiles as it crawls onto the next branch and starts eating the large leaf.

She looks over at you. "Doing something kind for others is supposed to be for their benefit. Not your own."

You smile warmly as you watch the caterpillar eat.

It's just a bug eating lunch, but it was struggling. She helped it with no thought of reward. No selfish drive, no ulterior motive, nothing but kind intentions.

"You have a good heart, Fluttershy." You say softly.

She gives you a sheepish smile. "I only want to do the right thing. Nothing more."

The two of you stay there for a moment longer before continuing your walk through the jungle. You have so much respect for Fluttershy right now. She's easily one of the kindest people you've ever met in your life. It's a very welcome change. This galaxy can be cruel.

"Twilight says that she wants to help fix some of the problems in the Senate as well, so she has my support." Fluttershy says.

"She has mine too." You reply. "She's got a good head on her shoulders."

Fluttershy smiles. "She's also very good friends with Chancellor Celestia."

"Oh right, I never did ask her, how did that friendship come about?" You say.

"Oh, um, well, it's a bit of a long story." She replies. "Um, Captain Shining Armor introduced them to each other. Twilight was always a bit of a-"

*snap*

In the trees, somewhere behind you, you hear a twig break and you immediately stop walking. You stay still and listen closely, turning around to look into the darkening jungle.

Fluttershy turns around as well. "What is it?"

"Shh."

She looks around nervously, holding her hands together and trying to make herself as small as possible. Very slowly, you reach for your blaster as that same uneasy feeling in your gut returns. You feel eyes on you.

A few cautious seconds pass with no activity.

Then, just when you think it's all in your imagination, a blaster bolt comes flying out of the jungle. It whizzes between you and Fluttershy and hits a tree behind you, scorching the trunk. Fluttershy screams and you jolt backwards, blindly firing a shot into the thicket on reflex.

You run to her and squeeze her shoulder, pushing her to the ground. "Get down, and stay here!"

She whimpers and gets to her stomach on the jungle floor while you stand over her and guard her from whoever is shooting at you. You open your shield and hold it out in front of you with your blaster at the ready.

After another moment, another blaster bolt comes flying out of the trees. This one hits your shield and evaporates on contact. It feels like someone punched you. However, you were watching for the blaster bolt's point of origin this time.

You raise your blaster and start firing into the trees at the hidden assailant.

It's hard to stay put as you fire. Mentally. Every fiber of your being wants you to go charge into the jungle and kill whoever is shooting you, but you can't leave Fluttershy here, and she's not in the best condition to go charging through the trees with you.

It's okay, Sunset. You can manage.

You keep shooting, but you have no visual confirmation that you've hit anything. You don't even know who or what you're shooting at.

After a few seconds, you stop firing and hunker down over Fluttershy. You keep your eyes peeled. You still don't see anything other than trees and bushes.

Fluttershy whimpers on the ground and slowly looks up at you. "A-Are they gone?"

"I don't know..."

You breathe aloud as you keep watching for any activity. After a few moments of nothing, you help Fluttershy to her feet, keeping your shield up.

"Come on. We need to head back to the ship. Quickly." You whisper.

She nods and cautiously gets up. The two of you are about to run when a robotic voice from the trees gets your attention.

"Threat: Mandalorian. This unit commands you to lower your shield and surrender yourself for destruction, or else I will eliminate your meatbag companions."

Fluttershy gasps softly, but you step in front of her, not lowering your shield. No way will you let that happen.

"You want this shield, you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands, you walking junk heap." You growl.

Fluttershy looks up at you and you nod at her once to reassure her that she's safe.

"Statement: Your proposal is acceptable."

From the bushes emerges an HK unit, armed with a blaster rifle. This one is painted jet black, and looks much more menacing than the other silver ones.

As it comes into view, you open fire on the droid, growling through your teeth. The HK presses a button on its wrist and it starts glowing all over. It's an energy shield. Your blaster bolts deflect off of it with every shot.

Damn it, and you didn't grab an ion weapon when you had the chance!

"Fluttershy, run!" You back away from it and continue firing as the HK stomps toward you.

She hesitates. "B-But-"

"Go!" You roar.

She whimpers before taking off into the jungle back toward the ship as fast as she can go. As she runs, the HK starts running as well.

It's going after her...

"No!" You charge at the droid in an adrenaline-fueled sprint to protect her. Your blasters are useless against its energy shields anyway. You retract your shield and reel your fist back to punch it.

Bad move. The droid backhands your fist before grabbing your arm and lifting you into the air. You yell as you're lifted off your feet and slammed onto the ground. The droid kicks you hard and you grunt as you feel the pain in your stomach. It continues chasing after Fluttershy.

You quickly get back to your feet and sprint after the droid as fast as you can for a bit before taking off with your jetpack and closing the gap further. You open your shield again as you fly through the jungle toward the HK. The droid turns its red optics on you just before you ram into it as hard as you can. The two of you collide with a loud clang and it stumbles off to the side.

As it loses its footing, you screech to a halt and land before quickly pivoting on your heel to turn around. The droid now turns its full attention to you. It's no longer glowing blue either. The cortosis in your shield must've disabled its energy barrier. Best you don't wait to take advantage of its exposed state.

You charge the droid again and punch its head as hard as you can. Its head jerks to the side a bit and you shoot it point-blank range again and again through the torso. It sputters and grabs your arm as it tries to stop you from firing at it.

As your one arm struggles, you grab the lightsaber in your other hand and activate it. You bring it up and sever its arm, freeing yourself. The droid starts leaking oil or some other fluid from its arm socket and you grunt hard as you sever its legs at the knees.

It collapses on the ground and hobbles around some as it looks up at you. You yell as you kick the droid in the head and force it onto its back. It lays on the ground and you hack and slash the droid a few times, grunting and growling angrily the whole time. You end your merciless assault on the droid by plunging your saber into its torso and roaring loudly. The droid sputters a bit more before it dies.

You yank the saber out and pant hard, your breaths almost sounding feral. It's fogging up the inside of your helmet.

You look around for Fluttershy. She's hiding behind a nearby olbio tree and watching you from around the corner. Her eyes are like pinpricks. She's absolutely terrified.

Terrified of the droid or of you, you aren't quite sure. You rarely let yourself get this angry.

You try to slow your breathing more. "Are you alright?"

She doesn't reply, but she nods quickly. Her eyes never leave you.

You deactivate your lightsaber and head to her hiding spot. "Come on. We need to head back to check on Twilight and Big Mac."

You extend your hand out to her and she hesitantly takes it. You help her to her feet and pull her along.

"Hurry." You say.

She nods and the two of you move through the jungle as fast as you can.

You activate your comms. "Twilight, its Sunset! You and Big Mac get inside the ship now! We just ran into a droid!"

Twilight responds a second later. "Big Mac said he heard blasterfire. Was that you? Are you and Fluttershy okay?"

"We're fine. We're on our way back now." You reply. "It's a safe bet that the rest of the droids know where we are now, so don't go outside again tonight."

"Okay." Twilight says. "Hurry back!"

You deactivate your comms and continue running through the jungle with Fluttershy. As you run, you try to calm down more, but you're having some difficulty with it. You're undermanned, stuck in a jungle, surrounded by all kinds of bad guys, and you are the only one capable of fighting them off.

You are just one woman. How in the hell can you manage to defend yourself and your friends from a legion of assassin droids and a bunch of natural predators, while also going out to find a few damn lizards to help you against the Sith?

You snarl through your nose as you run through the jungle. You're really on edge right now. Maybe if your friends knew how to fight, or even hold a blaster correctly, you wouldn't be so worked up.

Twi'leks are supposed to be tough. Versatile. Especially Twilight. Her and her big brain. If she's so damn smart, how come she can't figure out how to not almost shoot your foot off when picking up a blaster?

"Sunset, you're -ow- squeezing my hand too hard."

You blink and look back at Fluttershy as you both move through the jungle. She's in pain.

You loosen your grip on her a little. "I'm sorry."

You face forward again and take a deep breath. You need to relax.

Yes, things are stressful right now, but you cannot lose your cool. You'll figure this out. Just because Anon isn't here doesn't mean you can't get through this.

Things would be better if he was here though...

"Anon, where are you?" You say to yourself.

Like you said before, he grew up in the jungles on Mandalore. If he was here, you'd probably be done with everything by now. He just had to open that big mouth of his.

You sigh. If it wasn't for that stupid fight about his stupid idea, then maybe things would be different.

That doesn't matter now though. Wishing for the past to change is stupid and pointless. It's better to focus on today and look to tomorrow.

Your past is not today.

You take another deep breath. You'll get through this.

Up ahead, you see your ship. Just where you left it.

"Thank goodness." Fluttershy breathes.

"Hurry." You say.

The two of you run to the ramp as fast as you can and step aboard. Big Mac is standing in the ship with his weapon drawn and pointed toward the ground. You and Fluttershy head inside and close the ramp behind you.

She exhales and plops down on a seat in the main hold. Twilight comes out of the cockpit and a wave of relief comes over her face when she sees you. "Thank goodness you're okay."

You set your helmet on the center console and press a button on the terminal. The ship magnetizes itself and pressurizes inside. The floor rumbles slightly as an automatic blaster turret lowers from the ship to sweep the area outside. The ship's shields are up as well, and you have plenty of power. You're safe.

Now, you relax. The Ground Lockdown Defense Initiative is up.

You exhale. "Yes we are."

Twilight smiles and approaches you. "Did you find any ysalamiri?"

Oh, right. That.

"No... Not yet." You take a seat and groan, resting your head in your hand.

After a second or two, you feel Twilight's hand on your shoulder. "It's okay, Sunset. We'll have better luck tomorrow. Don't worry."

You sigh. "Yeah..."

Maybe.

Today was not a good day. You're so frustrated, you feel like punching a hole through a wall with your bare fist. You probably would if it wasn't made out of durasteel.

You sit up and take another breath before turning to Big Mac. "How are the repairs coming?"

He clears his throat. "They're comin' along. Spike and I should be done by tomorrow as well."

Spike appears on your central console. "Assuming nothing else goes wrong, that is."

You softly shake your head at him, not smiling. The last thing you need right now is an AI telling you that there's a chance of something going wrong.

"Why'd you have to say that, Spike?" You ask. "Why?"

He looks at you, slightly confused with his mouth agape. "Uh..."

You want to destroy him right now.

Twilight clears her throat. "Look. Sunset, why don't you go lay down? You've gone hard all day today. You should relax." You look up at her. "I saw some bantha steaks in the kitchen. How about I whip us up some food?"

You take a deep breath and nod, looking down at the floor slightly. "Be my guest."

She smiles and looks at Big Mac. "You rest too, Big Mac. We made good progress today."

He nods. "Will do, Twilight. Thanks."

She turns to Fluttershy. "Fluttershy, will you help me please?"

"Oh, um." She looks down at her bandaged arm.

"I told her I'd put fresh bacta on her wound when we got back." You say.

Fluttershy nods. "But, yes. I'd love to help you, Twilight."

The twi'lek smiles. "Okay. I'll get started then."

You sigh again and stand up, leading Fluttershy into the armory while Twilight heads to the kitchen area to get started on dinner.

Before you get to the armory, you stop and turn back to her. "Twilight?"

She looks at you. "Yes?"

"I like my steak cooked rare." You say.

Twilight smiles again. "Sure thing."

You nod at her. "And... thank you."

You head into the armory with Fluttershy to redress her injury.

Twilight is right. You desperately need to relax...

Author's Note: