Tempo changes and a bit more about the backdrop as the narrator begins to draw closer to the three main characters.
As I said, this story isn’t about me. I will get to those major players in just a moment, but first you must know a little about where they are from. Not in the grand sense, but where they are from at the beginning of this story. Which actually takes place a long time ago. Over two thousand years ago, in fact.
You see, we citizens of Vulpinia have been explorers for some time. At one time we became explorers of our great oceans, meeting our sisters and brothers from different continents, sharing ideas and hopes. Granted, it wasn’t always that way. Both the Felanus and the Vulpine have had our differences that even went as far as conflict, but in time we settled those differences. When it came time to explore space, we took what we learned from the past and used that to help shape our future.
One of those lessons from the past was that while exploration was our primary goal, we had to be ready to defend ourselves should the need arise. This actually never came from an old sea captain’s philosophy, but from an air marshal’s experience. So when the first grand space faring vessels ventured into the vastness of the unknown, each ship was made ready with a full squadron of fighter craft.
As the years went on, weapons were improved upon for larger vessels and even peace negotiations between our people and the species in the neighbouring systems had occurred. But having a squadron of fighter pilots had become tradition by that time. There was no turning back.
The Royal Vulpine Air Corps had gained a reputation throughout the sector. When the Lupine called for assistance during the Great Lupinian Land war, two armoured fighter carriers were dispatched to give them aid. Squadrons were known for their titles alone. The Flying 103rd. The 76th Airborne. The Fighting Cats of the 82nd. Anyone who joined the ranks of the Royal Vulpine Armada had their heart set on commanding or being a part of one of the famed squadrons. Even those outside of the Vulpine system looked upon the Royal Vulpine Air Corps with absolute awe and wonder.
Chattingham was just one of eight schools dedicated to the training of air cadets; from academic right up to low orbit fighter training simulations. Young Vulpinians from across Foxburrow knew of the school by the time they were old enough to crawl. And many of them dreamed of the chance to join such a prestigious organization.
Before any student can join the academy, they have to graduate from the military college. Once they have completed graduation, they are evaluated to see if they are fit to enter the academy. It is a very strict evaluation, and only a small percentage of those wishing to become an air cadet are giving such a prestigious opportunity.
Education does continue as an air cadet. It’s more than just tactical advantages and piloting an aircraft. Each Vulpine and Felanus must be taught the sciences, diplomacy, etiquette, battle strategies, tactical planning, even oral presentation. It was that latter that gave one of our pilots a bit of difficulty.
Yes, yes. I know, I’ve doddled on long enough about the locale and the organization. I suppose it is time to tell you about the three pilots that you will encounter. The three for whom this story is all about.