I’ve been considering how to start the story for it’s second draft, and I’ve come up with something that might work. Read on, dear reader.
Space, the final frontier.
No, that’s not right. When you get right down to it, everything, every story, happens in space. It is all interconnected, after all. It’s all apart of the greater whole. Let’s see, how to start.
In a galaxy, far, far away.
No no. That’s not right either. But I suppose it is correct, actually. After all, this story does take place far, far away from what you humans would consider your home. Yet, we’re not that far away at all. We are your neighbours, after all.
Perhaps a better way to describe this would be to start with the where of the story. Where this all takes place. It takes place on a planet, or at least a planetary system. Right within what you humans would call The Milky Way. Some of you may think that what I am about to tell you is the most wondrous thing ever. Others, not so much. It might rail against what they have come to consider normal. I know this because it happens on my planet as well.
My planet is a small, blue planet not unlike Earth. It is the third planet in a system called the Vulpine System, fifty thousand light years from your own world. It’s not that far, especially when you consider that the closest galaxy like the Milky Way is millions of light years from our own. But my planet is called Vulpinia, and it shares what scientists call a habitable zone in orbit around our sun, with another planet called Pau Theta II. Pau Theta II is the second planet in the system, and while it does have an atmosphere, and could support life, we haven’t found anything other than microbes. You see, Pau Theta II takes 265 days to orbit our sun. And one day on Pau Theta II is 265 days. Therefore, one side of the planet is always facing the sun, and the other side is in perpetual darkness.
Vulpinia, on the other hand, is very much like Earth. It takes 364 days to orbit the sun, one day is 28 hours long, and it contains all the necessary building blocks to maintain a proper ecosystem. At least, a proper ecosystem that would be compatible with Earth. We have life that is a joy to see. Plants and animals that are distinct and varied, yet very familiar in some regard to your own.
One might think that with all of those similarities, that it’s possible there are more humans on this planet. My planet. I am afraid that I must inform you that assumption is incorrect. Life didn’t start the same here as it did on Earth. You see, a different species rose to become dominant on Vulpinia. Whereas primates evolved on Earth to become humans, on Vulpinia, there were two species that rose to dominance. They began from the simple fox, and the simple cat.
Today, we call ourselves Vulpinians, even though we are two distinct species. The Vulpine and the Felanus. You might see us and think we’re rather small in comparison to humans, but to us, we’re just right. Our towering heroes and champions stand at a decent height of five feet tall. Some just a bit taller, but not by much. We have retained our fur covering, which keeps us warm during colder seasons and helps us to recognize the different clans and tribes that exist on Vulpinia.
While we do walk upright, like you humans, that is where a lot of the similarities end. Oh, yes. We still have our curiosities, our adventurous nature, even our intelligence and a passion for discovery and exploration. When the time comes, we also have the ability to form our armies to defend our homes. But, unlike you, we’ve retained certain aspects of our genetic ancestors. We still have tails, which, some say, is a Vulpine’s failing. We are quite vain about our tails. It is often said that the perfect Vulpine will have inner and outer strength, great intelligence, a passion for the arts and the sciences, and will have a tail envied by all.
While the Vulpine do put a great deal of emphasis on tails, the Felanus have varied stances on their own tails. Some have long, sleek tails, others just a small bob. There is even a religious sect that believes the hierarchy of their order cuts their tails off at a young age, leaving only a small bob. Therefore, when they walk there is a small spring to their steps.
The Vulpine and the Felanus have lived side by side in peace for over three millennium. We have shared ideas, philosophy, art, religion, science and technology. Together, we began to explore space.
While this may be a tale that takes place far, far away, in a final frontier of space for you humans, this story actually begins on the surface of Vulpinia. In a nation state called Fox Burrow, the district of Warrenshire, and the community of Chattingham.