• Published 7th Dec 2020
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Bounty Hunter Anon III - Sunny Solaire



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

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Ambush

A few minutes of walking later, and you both reach the edge of the valley overlooking the factory.

You crouch down. "Alright, we're here."

Applejack crouches down a bit as well. The two of you approach the edge of the valley and get a good view of the factory.

You lay down on your stomach and your HUD zooms in on the complex of imposing structures. It almost looks like a temple or something with industrial equipment surrounding it on all sides. The large black spire in the center of the complex reaches a few hundred feet in the air. A long red light runs up the center and stops near the top, with another single red light resting above that. It looks like a massive eye that constantly gazes onto the snowy terrain.

Applejack unslings her sniper rifle and goes to her stomach as well.

She brings her scope up and takes a deep breath. "Okay..."

The factory is far enough away that you can't really make out any specific details. Your viewfinder simply isn't strong enough. Hopefully, Applejack's scope is.

"See anything yet?" You ask.

She doesn't reply right away. You hear a few clicks as she adjusts the sight.

"I see... Well, there's the front gate." She says. "Looks like there's a security checkpoint there too... Armored Sith guards are standin' out front."

"How many?"

She pauses. "I see four. There's probably more of 'em though."

A safe assumption. You can see the front gate as well, but you can't make out any specific details or see the guards. You'll take her word for it.

She continues. "Looks like there's a few security cameras... Three guard towers on this side of the factory... Let's see... On that big central command tower, I see a landin' pad near the top. Credits to Candy Crisps says that's where the head honcho of this place is."

You take another look at the massive structure in the center of the factory. There are a few smaller lights near the top of the tower that, you assume, mark the location of the landing pad she's talking about.

Along the front gate, you notice a bit of movement.

"Something is going on at the entrance." You say.

Applejack's nose scrunches as she focuses on the movement at the front gate. You wish you could see in detail what was going on too.

"I see a transport. It's drivin' through the front gate..." She pauses for a second. "Looks like it's headin' down the road that's closest to us."

The one road you spotted before.

You stand up and find the road markers in the clearing.

She speaks up. "Yep. He's on his way there."

This is your chance.

"Then so am I." You say. "Stay here!"

You turn around and run through the rocks back toward the road as fast as you can, leaving Applejack and Rainbow's droid behind. A gust of wind blows the blizzard into your visor as you head back, but you press on as fast as you can.

You activate your comms. "Pinkie, Rainbow, Mandalore, there's a transport inbound. Get out here now."

"We're on our way, Anonymous." Mandalore replies.

You press forward through the rocks and retrace your steps back to the Sonic Rainboom. It's too windy to fly. You don't want to risk it now.

Upon reaching the ship, you see Pinkie, Rainbow, and Mandalore all waiting for you.

"This way!" You shout.

The three of them all start running after you as you lead them through the rock formations toward the road.

Applejack's voice comes on in your ear. "It's gettin' closer, y'all! Looks like it might be a troop transport! Expect resistance!"

"Got it!" You turn off your comms. "Pinkie, be ready to jam their communications!"

She nods. "Okay!"

The four of you continue running through the rock formations. The snow crunches beneath your boots with every step. After a few minutes of weaving between boulders, you reach the road and come to a stop. You look both ways for any vehicles, but the coast is totally clear. You either missed them, or you're early.

You switch on your comms. "Applejack, can you still see it?"

"Yep. He should be there soon." She replies.

"Copy that." You switch off your comms and turn to everyone. "Pinkie, you're up next. We need to get into that transport. What would you like us to do?"

She thinks for a moment, panting a little. "Well, best thing to do is to surround them and give them a good surprise when they show up. Someone needs to go to the other side of the road." She turns to Rainbow. "Rainbow! You go!"

Rainbow nods and draws her weapon. "Sure thing, Pinkie!"

As she starts running to the other side, Pinkie shouts more commands to her. "When I give the signal, shout 'Surprise!' as loud as you can, and start shooting them!"

Rainbow looks back at her, but keeps moving. "Uh, okay!"

"Make sure you take cover when they start shooting back!" Pinkie adds.

She reaches the other side of the road and gets onto her stomach. "Okay!"

Pinkie smiles wide as Rainbow gets into cover and turns to you. "Anon! Mandalore! When they start shooting at Rainbow, I need you to start shooting at them from this side of the road!"

You and Mandalore both nod. "Got it."

"Also, I need you to yell 'Double surprise!' when you do! It'll be great!" She says.

You pause for a moment. "Alright."

She smiles again and grabs something from her pocket. She throws it onto the road before she runs off to hide behind one of the rock formations, giggling happily.

"Anonymous." You turn to look at Mandalore. "Is Pinkie always that obnoxious?"

You chuckle. "Yes, she is. I've learned not to question it though. As childish as she is, she's damn good at what she does."

Mandalore gives you a contempt huff. "Whatever you say..."

"Trust me." You say. "If she's having fun, she'll get the job done."

He doesn't reply as he readies his heavy blaster rifle and gets to his stomach. You adjust yourself in the snow as well and grab your own blaster rifle.

You activate your comms. "Applejack, how far out is he?"

"I lost track of him." She replies. "He should be right on you within a minute or two."

"Copy that. Pinkie, Rainbow, get ready."

You turn off your comms and hunker down in the snow some more, watching the road. Mandalore's weapon makes a slight whirring sound as it charges up. Other than that, and the sound of wind whistling through the cracks of the snow-covered rock formations all around you, it's quiet. About forty-five seconds later, lights appear from beyond the road's horizon, and you hear the rumbling sound of a large engine.

A transport comes rolling down the road right toward you. It's not the biggest one you've ever seen, but it's still pretty big. It rolls along the snow on four massive wheels, which is odd. You were expecting it to be on repulsorlifts.

The viewport window on the front glows red and there is a medium turret on the top of the vehicle that can spin three hundred and sixty degrees. It looks like it has to be manned in order to operate though. On the sides, there are two doors that look heavily armored. It looks like it can fit about five to seven people comfortably. You doubt it was specifically made to transport a large number of troops.

Your comms pop in your ear and Pinkie starts speaking. "Get ready, Rainbow."

After a few seconds, the snow beneath the transport explodes, forcing it to come to a stop.

"Now!" Pinkie shouts.

On the other side of the road, Rainbow sits up and starts blasting the transport. "Surprise!"

One of the doors slides open and a pair of Sith troopers come spilling out. They take cover and return fire at Rainbow. That's your cue.

You and Mandalore stand up and shoot at the troopers. "Double surprise!"

The troopers were focused solely on Rainbow, so they didn't know you were there until you started shooting at them. By then, it was too late.

Mandalore did not shout 'double surprise' with you, so you kind of feel foolish. Too late to undo it now though. The Sith have realized that they're surrounded.

You and Mandalore kill the two Sith beside the transport when a topside hatch opens and another trooper comes out. Mandalore's heavy rifle hits him in the head and he falls back into the transport.

Suddenly, from behind the transport, Pinkie leaps into the air, holding a blaster in one hand. "Triple surprise!"

She dives into the transport through the topside hatch and you hear the muffled sounds of blasterfire.

Mandalore quickly gets to his feet. "Move in!"

You stand and follow him to the transport. Rainbow moves in as well from the opposite side of the road. The three of you keep your eyes on the transport as more blasterfire and shouting come from inside.

After a moment, the side door opens again and a Sith trooper comes scrambling out of the transport, desperately trying to escape. He stops short when he realizes he's doomed and the three of you gun him down on the spot. He lets out a distorted, mechanical-sounding scream as he dies and you turn your attention back to the transport. The blasterfire from within had died down.

"Pinkie? You good?" You call out.

Inside the transport, you hear a bit of a clatter, followed by Pinkie's voice. "Yep! My surprise worked perfectly!" She emerges from the transport wearing a Sith helmet on her head. "These Sith are super ugly! You should look at this guy's face!" She says as she points to the helmet.

You smirk a little and Rainbow laughs as you all lower your weapons.

"Good work in there, Pinkie." Mandalore says. "I see why Anonymous keeps you around."

She takes off the helmet and smiles. "Aww, thanks, Mandalore!"

Mandalore nods at her once and you smile.

'What did I tell you?' You quietly say to yourself before you activate your comms. "Applejack, we're clear. Get to our location."

Rainbow comes on right after. "Make sure Tank is with you too, Applejack!"

She replies a second later. "Copy that! We're on our way!"

You switch off your comms and turn back to the transport. The next few minutes are spent cleaning out the bodies from inside while you wait for Applejack to arrive.

You head to the driver's seat to try and familiarize yourself with the controls. It doesn't look too complicated. There's a steering wheel, a gear shift, and pedals, so you're pretty sure you have a good idea on how to drive this thing well enough to get to where you need to.

The sound of footsteps behind you gets your attention. You turn around to see Applejack enter the transport. She shakes the snow off herself before removing her hat to shake it off as well.

"You okay?" You ask.

She shivers again. "Y-Yeah, I'm fine. Just chilly is all. I was out there for a minute."

You chuckle. "Sorry about that."

She exhales and puts her hat back on. "It's fine, Anon... I saw some more stuff goin' on in there."

You face her completely. Behind her, Rainbow enters the transport with her droid floating alongside her.

"What else did you see?" You ask.

Applejack's countenance darkens a little. "Slaves. A whole bunch of 'em. They were bein' corralled into the factory together."

Pinkie looks at her. "Slaves?"

Applejack nods.

Adagio did say that the Sith were using Force-sensitives to make this virus somehow. Looks like you found where she was being kept. If there weren't more pressing matters at hand, you might look for more info on Aria Blaze's location and bring her in too. You never did track her down.

Applejack looks at you. "I absolutely hate the idea of slavery, Anon. When we get in there, we have to set 'em free."

To be honest, you aren't offended by some forms of slavery. It is no secret that some alien species actually push for slavery amongst themselves. Some even volunteer for it. They see it as a way to travel and earn money.

Twi'leks are the best examples of this. They have physical beauty on their side though. Most twi'lek slaves are seen as servants or exotic dancers. Not many other species have that advantage.

Slave hard labor, however, is another story. Especially when the Sith are involved. Working people raw until they are just a bag of bones is absolutely unacceptable, and disgusting. You can imagine that a good amount of the slaves here look just as malnourished and bad as Adagio did after you freed her from Hoity Toity. No one should be forced to live under those conditions. Applejack is right.

You look at her and nod. "We'll set as many free as we can, Applejack. I have a feeling that this virus and factory as a whole will end in an explosion of some kind, so we'll do what we can."

She nods back at you once. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

She smiles softly and Mandalore enters the transport behind her. "The bodies have been hidden and the coast is clear, Anonymous. We're good to go when you are."

Pinkie drags a Sith corpse in front of you all and drops him on the ground. She's wearing his helmet again. She kicks him once. "Except for this one!"

You take a look at him. She's right. He is pretty ugly.

"I have an idea with him though." She says. "Everyone here has some kind of armor except for me, and that's not fair! I want some too!" She crouches down beside the Sith and starts removing his gear and armor. "Plus, it'll make a good disguise!"

Applejack hums. "That ain't a bad idea, Pinkie. A good disguise can help a lot."

Pinkie nods. "Yep! I've worn a few good ones before, but a Sith one is new!"

You turn around and face the controls. "Such a shame that their armor is so damn ugly."

Pinkie giggles. "Ugh, I know! Rarity would probably throw a fit if she was here!"

You laugh and press the ignition. She's not lying.

The transport roars to life and the systems flash on the control console.

"Everyone take a seat." You sit down in the driver seat and look at the instrument panel.

The glowing red terminals show the status of scanners, comms, weapons systems, and life support, among a few other minor systems. Your seat vibrates a little with the engine as you get somewhat comfortable. You shift the transport into drive and grab the wheel.
The hydraulics hiss and squeal as you lightly press the gas and inch forward in the snow.

You need to turn around, so you pull a hard right and idle into the snowbank on the side of the road. Once you start feeling the whole vehicle rock backwards, you shift into reverse and turn the wheel to the left. This thing is big, but luckily, the road isn't too narrow. A K-turn should be doable.

You back up easily enough and turn completely around on the road. Once you're facing the opposite direction, you go back into drive and head down the path toward the factory.

You're on your way.

Author's Note: