More from the second chapter of Rocket Fox.
Senia Felix. Clarfax Billings. Hardy Maynard.
Three young Vulpine with the dream of reaching the stars and joining the famed 76th Airborne. All three grew up together, although their families came from different backgrounds. Senia and Hardy both had the common markings of most Vulpine; red fur with white patches on their faces and muzzle. Hardy, though, did tend to let her hair grow out a little longer. Some thought that was because she preferred it that way, but in reality, she most often forgot because she was too busy with her nose in a mechanics guide or studying the inside of an engine. Hardy was also a teasing sort, more often so with her friends or anyone she was particularly close to. While she rarely got her hair cut, she was particular about her tail, often times brushing it just before bed time. This wasn’t just thanks to Vulpine vanity about tails; it also helped get out all of the engine grease after a day in the mechanic shop where she would most often be found.
Senia most often had her hair trimmed so it remained just around her shoulders. She liked the length, but knew that she would have to have her hair cut when she entered the academy, so at a young age she began having monthly hair cuts just so she could get used to it. Just as any other Vulpine, she tended to her tail, brushing it nightly, but this was more for her position in the ranks of cadets. A pristine uniform, a well groomed tail, and a diplomatic attitude were the trademarks of a fine officer. These were a few of the reasons why Senia saw fast promotion and reached the rank of Left-tenant so quickly. Oh, there were other reasons, for certain; keen eye, able to see the best qualities in a Vulpine or Felanus cadet, tactful responses at days end debriefings. She managed to do all that while still having a very bad lisp. Over the years she had tried to control it, immersing herself in books and reading aloud to help her. In time, she managed to soften her speech impediment, but she still had difficulty with her “S” words.
Finally, there was Clarfax. Clarfax, much like Hardy, was often found with his muzzle in a book, almost absorbing the information from within. Though, he never had his muzzle in an engine block, as was the case with Hardy. He was intelligent beyond expectations, which often substituted the common Vulpine trait of vanity. He was never very mindful of his tail, much to the chagrin of Hardy who would take it upon herself to ensure that his was kept neat and clean. Which was rather easy, considering a bookworm didn’t have as much engine grease to contend with. At the academy, Clarfax could always be found in the physics and exobiology buildings, which were two of his passions. Even though he had the bookish nature found with most academics, he was still an accomplished pilot. He took in all the information he could, and thrilled at the application, to see the results for his own eyes. Clarfax was also rather fetching to the eyes, and often would catch the attention of quite a few young vixens. Also, much to the chagrin of Hardy. Hardy liked him for all his attributes, and that quiet bookish nature of his. But most of all, she valued their friendship.
All three were fast friends. All three had made a pact when they were just kits. They were there the day the train returned to Chattingham, carrying the last of the fighter pilots from the long Great Lupine Land War. They appeared so regal in their eyes. And the stories they told. For these three, it was love at first sight. They wanted to take to the skies and join the ranks. It was mostly thanks to the charismatic nature of one Left-tenant Colonel Artemis Dawkins, one of the most storied fighter pilots in the history of the Royal Vulpine Air Corps.
They heard how he and the remnants of his famed 76th squadron, along with a few from the 103rd, broke through enemy lines to ensure that supplies were brought to a settlement in the neutral territories called Dorgotha Ravine. When they arrived, they found four more pilots from the 82nd, and together with the Jackai settlers they managed to stop the advancement of the enemy.
When these three young Vulpine heard that tale, they knew right away that they wanted to join the academy, and eventually become pilots in the 76th Airborne.