The pair walked out into the campus garden, one of the more quiet spots in the entire village. The Chattingham gardens, which resided on the campus grounds, were actually there before the first college was erected. It was a tranquil spot that had several quiet pathways the wound between flower bed, bushes, trees and even a small brook that flowed into a central pond. Here students and villagers alike came to relax and let their worries ease a bit, or even just to stop and smell the roses. It was also a place many of the students came to study the flora that came from all over the region.
For Hardy and Clarfax it was a wonderful spot to spend some quiet time together. It wasn’t unusual to see the pair of them walking slowly hand in hand down the pathways. This wasn’t an uncommon occurance, as many Vulpine and Felanus who came to the college would eventually find a mate and fall in love. But for these two, they shared these feelings since they were kits. A little healthy competition between them, a lot of encouragement from each other and a long lasting friendship that turned into something much more.
“I heard that the deep space observatory had sent in some information from it’s findings,” Hardy said to him with a small smile. “So I decided I’d better let you tell the others before I give you some news.”
Clarfax looked to Hardy with a smile, knowing that whenever she had some good news she always kept it to herself until the very end. “Well I know it’s not the graduation ceremonies. We had made our plans months ago. Would it have anything to do with the upcoming rough ball match?” Hardy shook her head, a sign that Clarfasx should take another guess. “Some secret information on the last training exercise?” Again, Hardy shook her head, leaving Clarfax to ponder just what it might be. “We haven’t gotten our scheduling orders for the final evaluations, have we?”
Hardy smiled and took out an envelope from inside her jacket and handed it to Clarfax. As he opened it, she spoke. “I received my orders this morning. Senia did as well. She’s going to be reporting to Space Port Omega One, exactly one week after the graduation ceremony.”
“That’s only seven weeks away,” Clarfax said as he read over his letter aloud. “Corporal Clarfax Billings, it is with great pleasure that we inform you your evaluation will take place in seven weeks, three days. Report to the ground based space port in Chattingham and you will be shuttled to Omega One where you will meet with the Evaluation Tribunal upon arrival.” He looked to Hardy with a smile.
“The best news,” Hardy said as she wrapped her arm in Clarfax’s. “I have my evaluation the same day.”
“Do you think…” Clarfax began, but paused almost not wanting to spoil it, but eventually finding his excitement too much. “Do you think we’ll get accepted for service with the 76th?”
Hardy shrugged lightly. “Not sure, but it is hopeful. Our evaluations are some of the earliest, and those usually mean they are the good ones. We’ll have the pick of the lot, I’d say.”
“What about Senia?”
“You know as well as I do that senior officers always have their evaluations first,” Hardy explained.
“Wouldn’t that be exciting,” Clarfax said as he thought of the prospects, his eyes seeming to gloss over. “The three of us, serving with the 76th. A dream come true.”
“I love it when you get that far away look in your eyes,” Hardy said as she gave him a hug, nuzzling her muzzle gently against his. “Reminds me that you’re more than just an officer with the Royal Air Corps.” She backed up just a bit to look him in the eyes. “You’re also a dreamer.”