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The Clone from the Past

Chapter Text

Wandering aimlessly through space and time, but somehow ending up in the place simply fine



His eyes were slowly opening, focusing on the surroundings.

The visibility was blurry at best, as viewed through the visor of the damaged helmet. He tried to remember what had just happened. Where he was. And to assess his injuries if any. The quick thinking of a highly trained soldier, even if their mind would not have been in its best set.

 

The flight in space, the hyperspace corridor, all going according to plan. And then, the sound of something crashing while hitting his craft. Causing all kinds of havoc on the small vessel with the alarms blasting off until finally loosing the battle for the control of the craft. Only to be flying out of the hyperspace corridor, causing the vessel to spin out of control.

He had tried his best to keep the craft steady and then to navigate it through the normal space. Alas, all his efforts were soon for nought as the spinning vehicle had been caught in the gravity of a nearby planet.

As none of the instruments were working either, there really was nothing for him to help guide the spiralling craft at this point. And so, soon enough, there was nothing to do but to hold one’s breath and hope the Sith the vessel would land on some uninhabited part of the planet rather than in a densely populated area.

After the ship jumped and bounced on its way down, it landed fast and with a loud crash.

It did not help that the craft was having multiple fires all over sending the crackles and pops of the sparkles flying in the diminishing breathable air inside the vessel. Luckily for him, the landing place was mostly sandy as far as he could see from the cockpit viewport before the vessel had started boring into the soft substance.

Him having been tossed about inside the small cockpit had caused several injuries all over his body. But luckily he still managed to crawl out of the flying machine before it got completely absorbed by the sand. Must have been the adrenal which kept him going, because he could feel the blood trickling out of several cuts he had sustained and with an increasing pace too. Some of the cuts being worse than the others.

But at the moment, he did not care as his only goal was to leave the sinking ship before it was too late.

And then, after some wiggling, pushing and grunting, he was out. Half lying on the ground leaning against his arms. Just in time to watch the ship sink deeper into the sand before it had totally disappeared from the view. Helpless to do anything more about it. The heavy sigh escaping his lips.

Feeling the pain and nausea catching up with his body, making it go all numb and uncooperative. With his eye lids heavy, the energy all but drained from him. There was no more fight left in him.

Soon enough, his head started buzzing. The odd electrical shocks shooting there, but then his thoughts were lost to him as well. And in the end, there was nothing but darkness surrounding him. Giving in. His body lying on the hot sands, passed out from the pain and exhaustion of the crash. Unable to fend himself against anything or anyone who could have easily taken advantage of the situation.

The final thought lingering in his mind - whether he would ever see the light of day again.

-

His senses started walking up, but the darkness was still present. Either that of his mind, his state of then, the night had fallen.

Just then, he could feel someone was close by.

Friend or foe was the first question popping into his mind. Reaching for his weapon, which was still securely holstered. Thank the Maker! He could not see well yet. Or at all. The dirt covering most of his armour now, had also blotted his helmet and the visor of it rather badly. But his senses were on full alert. Even more heightened than before as he was now, literally blind.

He could not really move as he felt the aches and pains all over his body. But his hand was still working as he slowly reached for the weapon.

As the someone out there was standing quite still and clearly waiting for him to make the first move. He then decided on diplomacy instead of starting to shoot randomly, even if he was able to sense where the stranger was standing at. But not really knowing what was out there waiting for him, deciding on trying with the talking. Because it could as easily have been a kid there as well. But then again, by the smells, the energy vibrating from them and soft sounds the person was making, he could tell it was an adult.

So, talking it would be then. Hoping only for the best at this point as he was in no way, shape or form to defend himself. Let alone fight anyone. As it was, he was trying to be as cool and calm as possible. Trying hard not to show how badly wounded he really was. Something which he could not yet tell even himself. But letting an opponent see it, was not an option either.

He the decided then. His first words from the stranger being a simple question. Not too hard nor confronting. Right?

“What, is this place?”

His tone more coarse than usual as his throat felt totally dry due to all the dusty sand around him. Besides, it had been a while since he had managed any liquids either and there was no bottle to be found before he had gotten out of the ship.

“Tatooine.”

The stranger replied in a soft, low and velvety, almost seductive tone, if he did not know any better, as a sandy desert was hardly a place to pick someone up. The stranger’s tone had also a familiar reminiscence to his own timbre. When it was normal sounding and not this, raspy hoarse version which had sounded out just now.

He felt totally comfortable around this stranger for some odd reason at the very moment.

Call it a hunch, a gut feeling. Or then his senses had been damaged during the crash rather badly. And it was simply something the stranger did. To get their opponent to lull into a false sense of security, before they would pounce and make their kill!

Whatever and whomever he was dealing with right now, he wanted to know more of them. And most of all, he needed to see them. Trusting his gut feeling still. On the stranger being friendly. At least for the moment.

Deciding to forgo the weapon and use the one working hand to remove his helmet instead. Which he then managed to do with some effort. As it was, most his body parts seemed to be non-operational on some level at least.

He turned to look at the stranger still standing some steps away. Staring for a long while, the stranger coming to focus finally. And then seeing them rather clearly, despite the darkness of the night. Because the night had fallen as he had suspected.

After staring for a moment, he could not really sure why this, warrior, the shiny metal armour and a helmet a dead give away, looked so totally cool and collected. As they had had plenty of chance to kill him on the spot.

Staring for another moment as the vision became more clear and focused. He could see the familiarity of the armour in the pale moons light. He decided to be a tad bolder then and asked as calmly as possible.

“You, are a Mandalorian?”

“I am.”

The stranger the replied, sounding almost proud even if there was only a hint of change in his tone. Even volunteering more information, another surprise for sure.

“My name is, Din, Din Djarin.”

The stranger paused and moved a step closer. But clearly him being as vigilant as excepted, having one hand close to the weapon at all times. Something he was now able to see more clearly, after his eyes had finally adjusted to the darkness.

“And who might you be?”

The one called Din asked from the total stranger who had crash landed right in his backyard.

“I am called, Hunter.”

Hunter volunteered. As at this point, being on first name bases was always a good sign. A good way to start any relationship. Even if only a stranger lending a helping had for another. As Hunter clearly needed it. Help.

Deciding to clarify whom he really was, Hunter added. “I am the Sergeant of Clone Force ninety-nine.”

At least Hunter’s memory was still intact even if the rest of him felt rather pain filled and sore, him being hardly able to move. But for now at least talking, came easy.

“Clone Force?”

Din sounded a little confused as he seemed to be contemplating on what it meant for him, if anything. Then again, even if the clones were known by most around the galaxy, the variously named squads were not. As for Clone Force 99? Well, they had mostly being running covert ops since the very beginning of their formation. So, a brand name it was not.

“I can’t say I have heard of it.”

Then again Din knew of the clone wars of course as it was recent history. But he was really not familiar with the specific squads, nor other specifics either. Just that the Republic had used them. And after that, the Empire. But he wasn’t sure of the New Republic employed them as well. Or even if there many of them around.

“But, then again, I would assume there are plenty of squads in the military of the New Republic.”

Din tried to remember, but could not. Then again, Din had not been so interested in the organisational structure of the new regime. Nor did he even care to be.

“It is my squad’s name. I am their leader.”

Hunter responded, rather proudly too. But seeing the confusion on the other man’s face despite the helmet covering it. The position of the Mandalorian’s head was a dead give away of what he was really thinking, especially to the highly intuitive Hunter. And it was hardly Hunter’s first Mandalorian either. Having learnt to read them rather well. Similarly to how the clones behaved while helmeted.

Then something hit Hunter’s brain, hard.

“Did you say, the New Republic?”

“Yes, the current regime. In power?”

Din glared confused at Hunter, not sure why he was asking. Perhaps he had sustained some kind of a head trauma, making him forget things.

“New regime?”

Hunter was repent words now, but this was all so confusing to him. Making Hunter wonder if he really had hit his head harder than just the cut on his forehead he had realised he had.

“What new regime? The Empire is in power and most of the clones, work for them.”

Hunter sounded adamant, but had left pointedly so out, that his squad was not working for the imps.

Din Djarin was quiet again. He seemed to be thinking of something then, for a moment before he spoke again. And when he did, he had stepped a few steps closer. Close enough to reach the spot where Hunter was still lying in a half upright position. The best Hunter could do for now. As it hurt really badly to move.

“Um…” Din paused again. “As far as I know, the clones have been not active for, well at least for the last… well ten, fifteen years or so.”

Din could not sure if the man he had just found was babbling due to the now visible head injury or something else. As clearly, he was hurting from the crash landing Din had witnessed before having rushed over to the site to see what had happened and whether he could help the survivors.

Hunter glared at the Mandalorian. Not really sure whether Hunter had heard him correctly or not.
As surely to Hunter, how it had sounded like was - that the Mandalorian, Din Djarin as he was called, having had stated just now - that the clones had not been around for the past ten or fifteen years!?

Hunter was sure there was some error there and his hearing had been damaged on some level as had the rest of his body had. Whatever it was, it could not be right! As even if his own squad was not running amok around the known galaxy, surely the other clones working for the empire did. And well, it just sounded so totally off and odd. That the Mandalorian had not seen any clones around for, what fifteen years?

No! Deciding Hunter had definitely heard the man wrong and to ask him about it again.

But before he could, Hunter tried to move around a bit. Feeling rather stiff of being in the same position for such a long time. But as Hunter tried to turn, he fell flat on his stomach having lost all sense of his limbs. And before he could utter another word, Hunter felt the gentle hands of the Mandalorian around him. Helping and guiding Hunter up and into a more sitting position while leaning against the large rock which was sticking out of the sandy ground.

“Thanks!”

Was all Hunter managed to say to the Mandalorian. Feeling a tad embarrassed of the helplessness he was showing at this very moment. Not a comfortable or even desirable state to be in. Especially when in a strange place with a strange man. Not to mention hearing odd statements popping out of the stranger’s mouth!

“No worries.”

Din sounded like he was actually smiling. Again it seemed odd as clearly, the helmet of the man seemed to have its own moods as well.

“We have all been there and well, a little help never hurt anyone.”

Din chuckled even then, which sounded rather nice in Hunter’s ears.

“Only one’s pride.”

Hunter then stated flatly out loud. But, he to had to laugh a little as the situation was so absurd to him. And even now, he felt secure and safe around this utter and complete stranger. The Mandalorian knight in a rather shiny armour who had come to his rescue in the midst of a really bad and totally odd situation. Something which Hunter was totally grateful for.

“And guess I look a mess and you are not really catching me at my best either.”

Hunter just had to put it out there, the reason still unclear to him. But, just in case Din had not noticed Hunter’s own armour and all.

“But yeah, thanks again.”

Hunter sounded like a broken holo record. Repeating his words. But Hunter was not feeling too good at the moment. And so, his mind was not in a good working order, very much like the rest of him was not.

“No worries.”

Din then repeated also. And he was clearly smiling at Hunter. Not even trying to make Hunter feel bad or anything, rather the opposite.

“I have some water back in my speeder.”

Din then said and looked at Hunter one more time. Debating whether he should go and get it or not and leave Hunter by himself. Deciding to validate it from the source then.

“You think you can manage by yourself for a short while I go pick it up and bring it here?”

“I think I can sit here for a moment by myself.”

Hunter tried to move a little. But winced as the pain shot down his leg.

“But yeah, hurry back. Please.”

Hunter said in a lesser voice trying to cope with the ache he had just caused to himself. A dumb move for sure. But now he knew better. The various injuries registering themselves to Hunter rather painfully. There would be definitely no moving about on his own, not soon anyway.

Din glanced at Hunter and clearly seeing the pain there, even if the man was trying to hide it. But Din had a med kit at the bike too. So he would bring that back and try to patch Hunter up as best as he could out here before taking Hunter back with him.

“Won’t be but a moment.”

And with those words Din was off.

Hunter was relieved, totally so. As clearly this Mandalorian would aid him rather than put Hunter out of his misery. And so, Hunter simply nodded, getting one in response from Din, as his new friend then gingerly left to get the speeder and the much needed drink for Hunter.

Thanking whatever deities were up there looking out for him, Hunter was glad there was some goodness still left in the galaxy. And in a form of this, rather shiny armoured Mandalorian warrior in the middle of a desert planet no less. Ready in taking care of the other wounded warriors who had crash landed in his backyard, figuratively speaking of course.

Hunter finally relaxed the best he could and waited for Din Djarin’s return.

After all, Hunter was way too broken and hurting and thirsty to be moving any place else any time soon. So, the option of waiting patiently for his saving samaritan was the only one available for the tough Bad Batcher.

But also, leaving Hunter with his currently messed up thoughts of what had happened to him. Really happened to him? 


And as the words of the stranger, Din Djarin, came back to Hunter’s mind once again. Hunter’s mind trying to assess them carefully. Only raising several more questions to be answered, the situation coming more and more confusing each passing moment Hunter waited for Din to come back.