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Together Again

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Life as we know it, has a funny way of throwing some major shade our way, just for the heck of it!

Hunter was not feeling it. Any of it.

The hum of the engines of the Marauder grinding at the back of his teeth. His senses on high alert. The sleep all but elusive. Hunter was the only one awake. Seated at the helm of the ship whooshing through hyper space. Leaving way too much time for Hunter to think about life as they knew it now.

The constant running and hiding. Scraping the bottoms of the barrels just to make their ends meet. Enemies lurking around each and every corner. Or so it seemed. The galaxy totally divided, half of it gone absolutely mental. And all of it was beginning get old and really, really fast.

Life itself tasted stale, like two week old caf. Nothing was the same anymore.

Crosshair was gone now. Having gone all nuts and deciding to side with the enemy.

Sure, Omega had warned them about the inhibitor chips, put inside of each and every clone to control their behaviour. Heck, even Tech had told them as much when the Order 66 hit the fan. The fact that Crosshair’s actions might have been caused by just that chip controlling him? Well maybe. The jury was still out on that.

But it was still difficult for Hunter to fathom the man he had been decanted with, having grown up with. Their kin, their family. Simply turn against his batch in a flick of a switch. But Crosshair had and it was moot to think about changing all that now. He was gone. And hated them all. Well, it was a theory anyway, the hate part.

And it wasn’t the only thing grinding the enhanced clone at the moment either. Or basically any moment these days, being the norm rather then exception for Hunter. 

They had lost so much. Their home. Their security net, not to mention the Republic. Most of their brethren too, having turned all Empire and all. And now, the five of them only had each other to rely on. Fighting together for their own survival. Trying to be a step or two ahead of their enemy.

But as luck would favour the fools, they had stumbled upon an old friend of the Jedi. A contact named Cid, whom the Batch had gone out to look for and found them too. And so, landing on a somewhat mutual agreement, beneficial for. Well, at least Cid. As pulling jobs for the barkeep was certainly not as productive for Hunter’s squad as it was for Cid, hardly getting the credits worth to cover the expenses for said jobs.

Still, somehow it was better than simply drifting along in the galaxy without proper means and purpose. At least, they were doing something to survive. So, there was that. Even if the jobs were somewhat on the shady side.

Yet, Hunter wasn’t happy.

Even if he had procured this deal for his family. at least some way to survive for now. His heart was cold and the still open wound bleeding. Partly because of Crosshair. But at least, he, was still alive. And there was a slight hope still living in there, as Omega had tried to assure Hunter, that they could get him back. Somehow.

The bigger hole inside the cold organ of Hunter’s was the one who was missing. Presumed dead. The one who had captured the living warm heart of Hunter’s.

Rex, was gone.

The last news they had heard from the Captain, was that of the imperial’s listing of clone troopers killed in action during Order 66. And Rex’s name had been among them.

After hearing the news, on top of everything else, Hunter had become numb.

Withdrawn and going only through the motions of the daily grind. Sure, he was a trained soldier. A special one at that. And Hunter could easily compartmentalise his feelings, his tasks, his memories. And being able to function out there, in the field, was not an issue no matter how he felt inside.

Neither was it in issue when spending time with his family or being around other people. The fake smile plastered on his face whenever there was an occasion for that. Or the supportive shoulder given to any other member of his squad when they were hurting or feeling sad. But, there was no shoulder for Hunter. He did not even let the others see how he was really feeling inside.

Hunter knew they knew of course. But none of them ever let on. That Hunter was hurting, really badly.

Sure, they had tried at first. To console him. To lend their ear and their support. But, Hunter had turned them all away. Telling them, he was fine. Lying through his gritted teeth with that flashy boyish charm of his. And getting away with it too. At least for a while.

But the four of them had figured it out. But after some time and fashion, they had stopped trying.

And so, the daily grind went on. Working on these side quests for Cid. Keeping a low profile and avoiding the imps at all costs. Never stopping running. What a way to live!

Hunter got up after fidgeting around on the uncomfortable seat for far too long. Never having found a comfortable position during the several hours he had supposedly been keeping watch. Not that Hunter had needed to as the instruments would alert immediately if something went wrong.

Hunter started pacing in the small cockpit of the ship. At least, it was better than just sitting around. Getting some exercise in the process at least. That was the thing he was telling himself even if it was because Hunter was simply too wound up to just, be.

The reason for his frustrations were plenty.

Having piled up during the past few months. And not having any kind of avenue to release any of the pent up energy Hunter had inside of him. As there were not even clankers around to kill any more. Sure, there had been a few missions where they had used their skills, but less so lately.

Hunter had managed to channel his excess energy rather nicely before. As simply being the soldier for the Republic had made the Batchers run their hearts out in the war zones, all those so called suicide missions.

It had also been rather easy to use all the excess energy spilt over from the mission in some much more enjoyable activities. Especially when having someone Hunter had cared for, a lot.

Rex had been there for Hunter.

The two lovers having spent plenty of nights and stolen moments together in each other arms, with the most pleasurable bouts of sex. But that was no longer and option. Rex, was gone. And Hunter was not about to replace him. Not easily anyway. Despite the few comments Wrecker had made about Hunter needing to get laid. Something Echo and Tech had chided Wrecker of blurting out so carelessly.

Because they all knew quite well. What Rex had really meant to Hunter.

And so, Hunter kept on pacing around the ship. Because there was nothing stopping him from doing so. The others still soundly a sleep. He was alone.

As for Hunter? Well, he wasn’t just feeling it. Any of it.