Within minutes of committing myself to a year of service with the G.F.M. (Global Furry Military) I was being walked to the training facility by a pair of Sergeants. As with all new recruits I was assigned to a newly formed unit with whom I'd spend the entire 16 weeks with unless one of them or I flunked out and was immediately sterilized and given a 2second class citizenship status. I had no intention of letting anybody sterilize me, I decided on that first day that regardless of how much I hurt or how tired I was, I would not fail this. Since I had only heard about boot camp from others while still on earth I had a slight idea of what to expect. Tons of running, exercise and getting very little sleep along with countless hours of study in general knowledge of their military, Learning how to bark, growl, use my claws and bite if necessary to maintain order within ranks.
During the first couple of weeks I would almost collapse into my sleeping spot. Bunks, tents and other items soldiers on earth took for granted were not present. Quite a few times I found myself waking up in the middle of a "sleeping pile" which all soldiers shared body warmth during the evening to conserve energy for the duties to come. I was given night watch 3 weeks in and had acclimated to not sleeping much so it wasn't that difficult. This was mainly done to keep the newer recruits safe while they slept. I had not noticed them when I was new. The runs we went on were amazing! They included hunting or gathering on the run to keep up with the pack I was assigned to. We only carried what was necessary to protect ourselves and the pack. The 5th through 8th weeks was further strengthening our bodies and minds along with increased endurance for runs and strategy to outwit and defeat our enemy who at the time was another pack either more advanced or slightly behind us in training. We never knew until we engaged them. This prepared us for the unexpected and we grew to accept it.
The 9th through 12th weeks was much more difficult as we choose and trained for different areas of service such as infantry, weapons specialists, enemy surveillance and decoding enemy messages to pass along to commanders. I of course was fascinated with their "computer systems" because they were unlike anything I had encountered before on earth. This equipment was alive to some degree. It lived, breathed and even gave warning of failures about to occur in sub-systems. Although it rarely happened unless the equipment was either very old or had suffered damage due to combat. Most of the fleet was at least twice to three times my age and had been in many conflicts thus requiring repair or replacement before, during and after the missions. I was still with most of the pack I'd started with when the 13th through 16th weeks of boot camp came along but we were spending much more time apart than together now as we all choose different areas to serve.
A few members and myself gained rank through our efforts and tireless approach to our training. Only one other member went beyond me in rank before we were transferred to our new units. She had made 1st Lt. and was placed aboard the flagship of the fleet. Never seen her or any of the others of my pack again. Yes, Training was done with both sexes at the same time since we would also serve together. I was placed aboard a scouting ship to maintain their systems. I did this as best as I could and even made a few alterations to make the equipment function not only better but faster as well. While I was not on duty I was studying other areas of the ship and as much material of other ships I could get my paws on. The six privates I had with me carried out my duties plus their own while I slept unless there was a major malfunction of the equipment or we went into battle then they were to wake me and go about waking others to make sure the officers were present for the fight. Quite a few times a private would snarl or bare their teeth at me after I had given them orders to carry out. I quickly dispatched these privates with a few quick nips and other signs I wasn't pleased with their reaction. Had to be done or else they might think I was in a weakened state and easily dominated.
Quite a few times I was sick or just not feeling well but I did it anyway to maintain my rank and authority over them. I myself occasionally challenged superior officers and mostly I was picking my ass up off the floor and slinking away but on a few occasions I had successfully dominated them and their position which gave me additional rank plus additional duties to carry out. Mostly I'd make sure the lower ranks below me took care of things I was not able to. I never asked any of them to do anything I hadn't done myself at least once. This was two fold important for me. First I knew how long it took to do the job and second I could instantly tell if they had not done it correctly as instructed. This way a officer knew many jobs and was also learning about jobs higher up in the chain of command just in case we needed to do those jobs or if we had earned them due to dominating the officer in charge of those duties.
Now when I say dominate, I mean it exactly as it appears on nature shows on TV back on earth. Sex was not used to dominate another member of the G.F.M. in any way shape or form regardless if the opposing personnel were male or female...it just wasn't done and showed great lack of respect to the unit and fleet as a whole if it was. Learning from others mistakes was always one of my strong points, even before the initial invite. Minutes before we encountered a ship of unknown origin I literally attacked this operations officer who had let her guard down and was falling asleep while on duty. After I was pulled off her, and she was picked up from the floor, I assumed her position behind a console and her rank of 2nd Lt. She was placed in the infirmary to get wounds cleaned and patched up by the Dr we had on board.
One other note, Doctors and medical personnel were off limits for rank gain since they officially held none and their knowledge couldn't be passed on quickly. These individuals were almost as important to a crew as the ship itself so everyone had a unspoken duty to protect them from harm. During the encounter the unknown ship fired at us without provocation and it killed quite a few members of the crew including a Col who just happen to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time when the shit hit the fan. I appointed a lower ranking officer to the position I'd just gained and took up the Col's duties almost without a fight from anybody else. I'd have to fight for it later but now wasn't the time and the General made sure I knew that with a slight snarl in my direction. None of us knew what to expect next from the opposing ship since nobody had ever seen or heard of one like it before.
Shields were a thing of fantasy here, we had armor plating but if one shot from this vessel did as much damage as it did, We were outmatched and outclassed as a scouting vessel... even though we were bigger in size. The General ordered us to retreat to a safe distance while calling in additional support from any ship that might have been near us. As we began to turn and leave, The opposing ship fired again but this time with devastating results on the lower decks. We were losing atmosphere and beginning to slow down due to our systems being compromised by damage. In full retreat the leaks were sealed off with a few extra casualties as a result of not being able to get to those crew members. Great losses each and every one. I offered the General a suggestion of turning 180 degrees while in retreat and firing everything we had. He declined and soon another salvo hit us from the rear. This time damaging one of the main propulsion units powering our escape. We slowed further and crew moral was falling like a stone. I stepped away from the General and was about to order a engine specialist Sgt. to eject material from the rear hatches to simulate more damage than what had actually occurred when another shot was fired at the ship. This time it took out the General and several crew members near him. I assumed command of the ship and ordered the turn and fire. It worked with some degree of success and the unknown ship slowed to a stop falling behind us. We limped back home during the following 5 months and reported all we were able to from scans of the ship, damage its weapons did and speed at which it attacked. It was added to the registry of known attacking ships and given a Threat Level 2. A "1" being deadly for both ship and crew. Unfortunately I would encounter this ship again. Our scout ship was scrapped and we were given a new and much faster as well as better armed ship equipped with the latest in weapons and scouting technology. I had a brand new ship to learn about all over again with many new crew members to get to know. My rank was now that of a 1 star general but I was still serving a superior officer. We later learned that the same ship that attacked us had taken out most of the fleet while the flagship was left adrift, location unknown.
Our first and most primary mission was the locating and reporting of dead crew members assigned to the flagship. We followed their reported flight path and came across a huge field of shredded metal and parts we correctly identified as ships belonging to us, still no sign of the flagship. We set up an automatic repeater to speed messages back to home since we were almost out of range. Finally after 8 months of searching and following its last known path, we came across a path of sorts of ejected material later identified as coming from the flagship. We followed this to the source in another month. We were now looking at what remained of the flagship. We scanned the ship for possible signs of life and found none.
It had coasted here on its own, we believed, and began salvage operations by attaching tow cables and slowly making our way back to home after having services for the dead never recovered. This was odd to me since I had never done this before but at the same time it felt good to mourn (howl sadly) for those who were lost. We had almost made it back to the repeater when it suddenly exploded in front of us. The Threat Level 2 ship was back. We detached the tow cables to prepare for a fight and alerts were announced to ready the crew. The Comm officer received a message and it took a while to transcode it to our language. It said:
"You have invaded our space and taken our prize. Give it back and go home or be destroyed"
The general upon hearing this sent this as a response: "The ship is ours and was unlawfully fired upon by you. We are returning our dead to their rightful resting place, our home"
A short pause later and our scans detected a powering up of their weapons systems along with this message. "Our prize" and then nothing further. The General barked to the weapons specialists to arm and make ready the virus/worm missiles then seconds later he says "FIRE!!"
The first of three missiles missed but swung around to come up from the rear of the enemy craft, the other two struck and hit the front as the rear missile destroyed their engines. These not only cause physical damage but will also spread a virus through out their equipment causing system overloads and malfunctions. At least that's how they were supposed to work but for some reason they only appear to have caused a small amount of damage to the front and rear of the opposing craft.
At the same time the general ordered another 3 missiles to be made ready, The enemy ship fired. We were scared at first considering the devastation they would inflict but soon it gave way to amazement and then rejoicing. The enemy ships missiles went astray then self destructed far enough away to not cause us any harm. The virus was doing its job. Soon smoke and fire could be seen inside the enemy ship as its systems went into a self destruct mode. The General ordered a stand down of the missiles and we turned away to re-attach the cables and finish towing home what was left of the flagship. The voyage back home was slow and uneventful except for the occasional fight amongst crew members to gain rank. By the time we reached home my third year of service was over and I had already signed up for a fourth. The flagship itself was studied extensively to figure out how to make it stronger against such attacks then it was scrapped. This military was very efficient and had to use every resource at hand including older scrapped ships to make material for the newer ships. From what it had been explained to me the material was melted down and reformed using advanced techniques not yet discovered on earth.
I was again transferred to a completely different ship at the start of the fourth years service and promoted to two-star General since this ship didn't have one (killed in battle along with most of the other officers). I was now one of the youngest members of the G.F.M. to have reached this rank so quickly. It was beautiful as far as ships are concerned. I ordered the navigation/flight officers to maneuver away from dock then to set a heading out to a solar system we had never explored before due to distance restrictions. This new ship was faster and more heavily armed than anything the G.F.M. currently had, and it was a scouting ship. It could reach a top speed of 1.2 times the speed of light but was quickly modified to 2.1 times the speed of light within the first 6 weeks we were en route.
I had a excellent crew with sharp minds and quick reaction to problems that came up. These modifications were sent back to home so the ship designing teams could use them to design even better ships for the fleet. Communications were also extended so we didn't have to rely on repeater buoys to send and receive messages, but we still had them just in case. Within a few hours we had left our own solar system and was en route to new and uncharted space. While we were on a mission to the unexplored solar system, we occasionally slowed to take readings and measurements of unusual items we found but never stayed more than a few hours before resuming our speed and course. Seven months later we arrived at our destination and began taking readings of the planets.
Checking types of atmosphere, gravity strength and possible population by advanced civilizations. As usual we found most planets close to the sun to be relativity lifeless as well as those too far away. Within a certain "life band" of planets we found life in various stages of development but nothing conclusive about intelligent life. So we began our return trip to home with what information we had collected thus far. I tell the flight officers to modify the path back to home so we can collect more data about unknown phenomenon to present to the mapping teams. They make the adjustments and start us towards home.
About a week into our return trip I get woken up by a lower ranking officer with news of a ship that has been tailing us for a day and gaining on us slowly. As I enter the flight deck I order a course change to see if it is indeed following us. Within seconds the ship following us also makes the same course change and is still gaining on us. The communications officer finally receives a message and after a quick decode it said:"Please stop and allow us to speak to you".
The ship was now close enough for us to get identification. It was a friendly with damage from battle. I ordered the ship to stop and turn 180 degrees to face them. Their video was malfunctioning so it was audio only. The friendly went on to explain they had been attacked by a ship of unknown origin without provocation and sent over a few e-pictures. It was the same type of ship I had dealt with over two years ago, almost three. The Threat Level 2 ship had inflicted about 40% damage to their ship. They had lost almost 3/4 of the crew including many of the personnel who fixed the ship and all the officers. I was communicating with a private on his first year out. We were saddened by his situation and offered our help to fix his ship and escort to a port near his home planet. He gladly accepted the offer without hesitation. I made a ship-wide announcement to call for volunteers to help fix the ship and to gather in the launching bay. By the time I had made my way there I had about 75, More than enough to make quick repairs to air leaks and structural integrity areas. As we started over in the connecting tube my second in command sent a message to hurry with repairs, I said it would be done as quickly as possible and to maintain active scans of the area for threats and to contact me if anything unusual comes up.
While we were making repairs I noticed a unexploded missile near the main engine and ordered everyone out of the ship including what was left of the original crew. Just as the last of the repair and original crew went into the tube, The missile exploded with devastating results. I managed to get the airlock closed but not before being struck in the left thigh with shredded metal. I was dragged back to my ship and placed onto a gurney to head to the medical bay. My last order was "Get us the hell out of here!!" before passing out from blood loss.
The second-in-command made a few wise choices. First he had already ordered the ship to move away from the exploding vessel and saved our ship from getting damaged more than it would have if we had stayed. Second he ordered a course over to the friendly's home planet to transfer them to one of their own ships. The remaining friendly crew was allowed to stay in the launching bay to prevent them from wandering about the ship and to keep them safe from confrontations that might occur. Third he ordered the mess hall to prepare and deliver a meal for them since it had been several days at least since they had last ate anything. I woke up several hours later with the ship doctor cleaning out the wound and applying anti-biotic micro-nano-bots to fight infection and help rebuild and repair my leg.
The second-in-command came in about an hour after that and reported to me. He said we are near their home planet but no ships are in orbit, not even debris and they were not answering our hails for communication. This was very odd. While en route to the flight deck, I ordered a closer inspection while having the highest ranking friendly crew member brought to the flight deck making sure he stayed unharmed. Since they were all privates, one was chosen to represent them as a whole. Upon his entering the flight deck I asked him if he knew where the other ships were and why nobody on the planet was answering our hails. He turned and with great sadness he explained they were not in space when the attack occurred but in dock for holiday. Most of the crew had departed ship to the space dock and was enjoying the festivities. The ones we found were left to do minor cleaning and restocking of the ship.
They had barely managed to get the engines started to pull away before the whole space dock exploded in a ball of fire and plummeted to the planet. Their ship was struck several times but the enemy ship stayed at the planet to continue firing at it. It didn't look as though it had been hit but upon closer inspection there were several hundred critical areas hit including their military bases and communication areas. The rest of the population was left unharmed but unable to communicate with anybody off planet. As far as they knew their whole fleet and most of the military was destroyed when the space dock exploded.
I ordered a transmitter buoy to be launched to the planet and allow them time to set it up and communicate with us. Within several minutes of the buoy touching down we received a hail. It was the leader of the planet. I asked if there was anything we could do to help them. He replied no but did ask about his fleet. I explained the situation we were just in and that we had 17 of his planet's military personnel, all privates. We didn't have a shuttle to transport them in but would transfer them to another ship of ours that did and they would bring them back within 10 months. He was grateful for our assistance in helping them escape certain death and for returning them when we could. We said our goodbye's and departed the planet.
The friendly private was sent back to the launching area under protection to inform his crew mates of the news. I was escorted back to the medical bay by a pair of helpers who did so upon the doctor's request that "I get more rest and allow the micro-nano-bots to finish repairing the wound". The second-in-command knew to contact me in case another situation came up that required my attention. Fortunately for me the rest of the journey back home was uneventful and I spent the remainder of my final tour in the medical bay of the ship then transferred to a med center on planet for the final weeks of my recovery. Sure the bots can move stuff around and fix minor problems easily and quickly but rebuilding a chunk of muscle and skin takes much longer to accomplish since the bots must first create the items they are fixing. Most of the pain is now gone and I've met someone.
She just started volunteering inside the med center after serving the G.F.M. for eight years We soon found ourselves talking for hours on end about everything. Upon my release from the med center I had no home to go to so she offered that I stay with her until those arrangements could be made. It took quite a while and in the meantime we became better acquainted as we learned each others' habits of doing things. I tried to help out as much as I could but often she would not allow me to cook, wash the dishes or much of anything saying the whole time I was her guest. One evening she was late coming home so I made dinner and set the table. It was just getting done when she came in looking frazzled from her day. She seen what I had done and it looked as though a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. All through the meal she ranted and raved about how good it was and then she said, "If you want you can stay longer, Perhaps even live here permanently".
I knew what she was getting at so I moved her glass to the table next to the small couch in front of the fireplace. I motioned for her to come and relax while I took care of the dishes and cleaned up in the kitchen. When I had finished and entered the living room, a fire had been lit and she was scooted to one side of the small couch. She patted the seat allowing me to join her which I did nervously not knowing what to expect next. Over the next 6 hours we talked, laughed and had moments where neither of us spoke but stared deeply into each others eyes. Waking up on the couch with her still in my arms sound asleep. I look her over, Listening to her breathing, Feeling her heartbeat and wondering if this is real. If I'd wake up and find that everything I'd just been through was a dream. She is everything I've been looking for in a mate and more. At that moment I couldn't of been happier. She then wakes up, smiles and asks how long I've been awake staring at her. I tell her long enough to know I didn't need anybody else. Two weeks later we were joined as mates by the World Furry Court with 150 witnesses then given a celebration of joining. We were moved into a larger house and had a meal prepared for us before the last of the citizens left to allow us to be alone. As I recall we never did touch that meal, But spent time exploring each other instead. Eight months later our son was born into this world and given a very warm welcoming by the community. All that aside for a moment, 3 days before the joining I was presented with a opportunity to join the invitation team which I accepted. 2 days after the joining I was sent to training for the possible outcomes that may occur while the invitation was being offered. I was also made aware of why nobody else in the house woke up when I yelled and why my dogs didn't make a single noise. Since most of that technology is still restricted, I cannot reveal details about it here but you might learn of it one day if you too become a I.T.O.(Invitation Team Officer). Since most invitation missions take less than six hours to accomplish, its a good job for a parent to have so they can spend more time with the family. The missions don't occur every day, on average its one every three or four days. None of the citizens really own anything here. Its all shared or passed on when a item is no longer needed or in the case of the house when the occupants no longer require as much space and are moved to a smaller house or apartment by the community. Every new item is checked and tested to be sure it will not harm the ecology of the planet. Even the fuel we use on the ships is bio-degradable and drinkable in the rare instance it is needed since it also contains vital nutrients our bodies need. Its not recommended for long term use as a food source since it makes us "sea-sick" for a few hours after ingesting it. but it will keep a stranded crew alive until help arrives.
1st Class Citizen,
Retired Two Star General G.F.M. (Global Furry Military)
Retired I.T.O. (Invitation Team Officer)