|Unknown||MayFurr (others unknown)|
Waking up under a bandstand in a city park as your first ever memories isn't the usual life story of most people, but for MayFurr any personal history before that moment is a mysterious blank. Appearing as a fully mature male adult vulpine 'morph (biological age later determined to be 28 standard years) on Furry Prime, MayFurr found himself on a world populated by a mixture of both fairly conventional 'morphs and exotic species with no idea as to how he got there. The only hint at his identity was one of the items that was found on him was a scrap of paper with "may furr" written on it. It appeared to be part of an incomplete sentence, but it wasn't clear from what. In lieu of any other identification, the name "MayFurr" stuck.
Having no contacts and no immediate prospects, MayFurr tried to find work and habitation on his own, but with no background or qualifications no-one would even think of hiring him. He was spectacularly unsuccessful for over six months until, in a fit of desperation, he submitted himself for occupational vocation analysis at a Furry Prime placement agency. The results of the testing were, to put it mildly, spectacular: the agency found that MayFurr had very high technical skills and co-ordination, was a quick learner, intelligent and capable and has an aptitude for complex vehicle navigation - almost as if he had been doing it his entire life. His newfound skills and abilities, coupled with some luck in obtaining contacts in FurrySpace, led him to be accepted for formal space pilot training - and after a year of familiarisation and education, MayFurr was awarded his aerospace 'wings'.
Despite now having a real chance at making something of his life, MayFurr was still dissatisfied and to be honest, feeling rather miserable with his life. The turnaround in his career prospects had not been matched with a corresponding change in his personal life, and as MayFurr was fairly introverted at the best of times (due to lack of self-confidence) he found it hard to socialise and as a result most of the time he was quite lonely. In spite of his best efforts, May's attempts at finding companionship were unmitigated disasters. His ultimate failure was when, in an act of frustrated recklessness, he placed himself in a popular adult 'auction' event at one of Furry Prime's nightspots - and was passed in with no bids on him at all. MayFurr had never felt more humiliated in his life, especially as both males and females before and after him had bidding for them rising up to the skies within minutes of their performances (far more than he could afford himself). The fact that no-one had even placed one bid for him had MayFurr coming off the stage with tears streaming from his eyes, the tod leaving the event feeling completely and utterly worthless. From that night, he swore that there was no way he would look for a mate ever again, and as a result gave up most of his social activities.
After some hard but unsucessful months, MayFurr's efforts on the job front paid off. As a result of meeting some key people in a bar on Furry Prime and following up on leads, May managed to obtain a work contract with the company Furry Aerospace for carrying out some test flights and trials of Furry Aerospace's new medium-range multi-mission military spacecraft, the SR (Strike-Reconnisance) 146. Despite the fact that he had never flown in combat before, MayFurr showed such uncanny fighting skills in the evaluation simulators that the Furry Aerospace staff accepted him into the company with no further question. MayFurr was allocated to the test and development team, eventually meeting up with one of their pilots assigned to pre-production flight test, a vulpine female from Seliene 5 named Ranthe Banarlek. When he first met her May found Ranthe to be rather cool and stand-offish (to his way of thinking), but she had a professional quality that enabled them to work together as a team. After a rather uneventful initial testing programme, MayFurr and Ranthe were seconded along with one SR-146 pre-production ship (named Fiora's Fury) to the starship USS Nighthawk for field tests in a live environment, a concept that Furry Aerospace were trialling for the first time. For almost a year, MayFurr and Ranthe put the Fury though its paces, acting as an operational member of Beta Squadron aboard the Nighthawk in a combat capacity as well as sending volumous amounts of data back to Furry Aerospace on the SR-146's performance.
Things were going fairly well for MayFurr at this point, but some aspects from his past - or lack of it - continued to trouble him. For ever since his 'awakening' under the bandstand, the tod had been plagued by nightmares, dark and horrifying images from deep within his psyche, always coupled with a great sense of terror and a desire to escape. He attempted to squeeze down his feeling of those visions, and to some extent he suceeded, but there was always a sense of fear in the back of his mind that these were somehow linked to his life prior to Furry Prime. Though loathe to admit it (even to himself), MayFurr is terribly afraid of what might be hidden in his past, and it is this sense of apprehension, coupled with his self-imposed withdrawl from all but minimal socialising with the rest of the Nighthawk's crew, that isolated him emotionally from his fellow pilots and shipmates - including Ranthe. It didn't help that away from the flightline MayFurr tended to be accident-prone, earning the somewhat less than complimentary nickname "SNAFU" after one incident where he got himself briefly beamed out on an EVA mission sans spacesuit. (though no-one had actually told him that the mission involved spacewalking...)
It was one of the combat missions from the Nighthawk that changed MayFurr's - and Ranthe's - life forever. Called out to defend civilian ships from an attack by Kilrathi raiders, the Fury along with the rest of Beta Squadron targeted the raider's capital ship and started pummeling it with laser blasts and torpedoes. The attack was successful, but as the raider's ship began to self-destruct the Fiora's Fury was caught in the aftereffects of the warp drive and main reactor explosion. The tremedous energies unleashed forced the ship and its hapless occupants into a space-time rift that threw MayFurr and Ranthe into an far-off area of the galaxy controlled by the Stellar Federation - finally drifting near a planet named Chakona ("Lost"). Both the vulpines now found themselves completely and utterly alone as never before.
For MayFurr, the forced landing on Chakona, and subsequent discovery of how unimaginably far they were from Furryspace was in a sense familiar - and surprisingly liberating. Familiar because once again he found himself in an unknown alien environment, and liberating because this time he had the resources to do something with it as well as the chance to make a fresh start in a new life. It surprised him even more when Ranthe - whom he had always thought of as calm, professional and rational - started to crack emotionally under the realisation that they might never reach home again, and he found himself rising to the occasion to comfort, support, and care for her. When later MayFurr discovered that there is a potential way of returning to Furryspace, he was emotionally torn - should he simply stay on Chakona and start a (hopefully) better life, or should he attempt the risky journey and abandon his chance for renewal, returning to his private hell on the Nighthawk for Ranthe's sake? His sense of duty and noble sacrifice won in the end, choosing the latter option and - against all odds - succeeding.
On their return trip back to Furryspace (hitching a lift on a Stellar Federation exploration starship), MayFurr found himself in the company of a native of Chakona that they had encountered during their time on that planet, Chakat Sundown. Despite the fact Sundown was a member of a hermaphroditic felitaur race, and that MayFurr had inadvertently abducted hir from hir homeworld, the outwardly mismatched pair nevertheless managed to form bonds of emotional attachment with each other, culminating in a physical relationship. MayFurr is attracted to Sundown because in hir he sees everything he does not see in himself; shi represents peace, stability, and tranquility; shi is part of a powerful legacy that reaches back into the past and forward into the future. And because for possibly the first time in his life there is finally someone who appears to be willing to accept him for who he is (even if Sundown is, in his eyes, only partly female - something that is a little unsettling), MayFurr found himself starting to fall in love with hir - unaware that Ranthe's feeling for him were also deepening.
When MayFurr and Ranthe finally returned to Furryspace and arrived at Dreamstar Station, May has a sense of deja vu. Having been written off as dead, and the squadron slot on the Nighthawk filled with his replacement, for the third time in his memory MayFurr had to restart his life from (almost) nothing. This time however, he has the resources and determination - a result of his relationship with Sundown - to make a go of it. With no obligations - but not much prospects either, Furry Aerospace having written them both off as well - MayFurr and Ranthe join the Dreamstar Defence Force and operate the Fury on Combat Security Patrol near the frontier as part of Dreamstar's regular defences. The only cloud in MayFurr's sky is the fact that Chakat Sundown is unable to remain with him, having been assigned to the Stellar Federation ambassadorial team to Furry Prime ("The Gambit Solution").
MayFurr still has strong feelings for Sundown, and he carries the secret
hope in his heart that maybe, just maybe, the Chakat will be that special
person for him. But with the goal in his grasp he doesn't quite know what
to do; he's been a loner too long and the habits of being separate are
too deeply ingrained to be so easily overcome. And MayFurr still can't
quite bring himself to believe that there really is a place for him in
Sundown's life, that Sundown would actually want him - he has been
burned too often in his seach for companionship, and he also feels himself
and Sundown being pulled in opposite directions, into (literally) different
worlds. The small fact that Sundown is a hermaphrodite, and May is decidedly
straight, only serves to compound the tod's confused feelings. The only
outcome MayFurr can realistically imagine is a final split, where they
each return to their respective worlds.
However, having tasted the fruit of a relationship that actually seems to work, he finds he doesn't want that, he doesn't want to return to the life he had before - but he's afraid to ask Sundown outright; rejection would be the only thing worse than not knowing. Thus MayFurr hangs on, subconciously trying to buffer himself against the inevitable collapse.
|Ch'taka Banarlek (m)
Zakag Muranak (f)
|Kamiler (m), Kushin (m), Marane (f), Ranthe (f), Dresan (m), Ellima (f), Retaura (f), Laupe (m), Vedai (f)|
Ranthe Banarlek was born and raised on the Furrderation world of Seliene 5, the home of the Selienee, a race of vulpinoids with a somewhat conservative patriarchial culture that nevertheless had accomplished independent development of space travel and FTL flight before contact with the Furrderation. Ranthe's parents raised her and her siblings in the traditional way of the Selienee, that is to say that the males were raised as leaders and breadwinners, while the females were to be primarily maternal care-givers and raisers of cubs in families of their own. To Ranthe, who even as a cub had an independent streak that was partially nurtured by the fact that her constantly-busy parents were unable to pay too much attention to her, this supposed ultimate for a Selienee female was less than she wanted out of life.
Ranthe graduated with honours at the Selienee equivalent of college, and immediately the determined vixen began making career plans. Believing if she had openly announced her decision to her family that she would not have caused a bigger fuss if she had appeared naked in in the street and publically mated with six tods in the middle of Capitol Park during the Eyamegienne festival (equivalent of holding an orgy in Westminster Abbey during the Easter service), Ranthe told her family that she was going to travel off-world briefly before returning home to choose her mate. During that time, she would instead be actively looking for a way of getting the skills and experience she needed to get a career of her own, as she had no desire to be just another 'kept vixen - kept barepawed and kindled', to use her own words.
Ranthe soon discovered that breaking into the competitive sphere of spaceflight wasn't as easy as she had thought, but she persevered and finally obtained a position working for Furry Aerospace, a company based on Furry Prime. By now, her family had learned of their daughter's true intentions, and surprisingly after some very heart-to-heart exchanges finally came to the decision that as long as Ranthe was working off-world ("out of sight, out of mind"), they could accept her new career as long as a) she didn't mention it to anyone on Seliene 5, and b) eventually she would come home and join in the Selienee traditions of starting a family. Ranthe agreed (although she had no intention of starting a family until she was good and ready, and had found the right tod), and as Ranthe worked her way up through the ranks of pilots working for Furry Aerospace her and her family got on amicably enough. She had quite an active social life, dating many males of both vulpine races and non, and was considered quite popular and capable by her friends and colleagues.
When Furry Aerospace developed a medium-range multi-mission military spacecraft, the SR (Strike-Reconnisance) 146, Ranthe was allocated to the test and development team, eventually meeting up with one of the new pilots assigned to pre-production flight test, a vulpine male named MayFurr. When she first met him Ranthe found May to be intolerably introverted and dismissed him as a basket case: she would work with him, but that was all. After a while though, as Ranthe worked with her new colleague more she found he was smart and capable, which made their work together tolerable- and even enjoyable at times, though she was loathe to admit it. After a rather uneventful initial testing programme, Ranthe and MayFurr were seconded along with one SR-146 pre-production ship (named Fiora's Fury) to the starship USS Nighthawk for field tests in a live environment, a concept that Furry Aerospace were trialling for the first time. For almost a year, Ranthe and MayFurr put the Fury though its paces, acting as an operational member of Beta Squadron aboard the Nighthawk in a combat capacity as well as sending volumous amounts of data back to Furry Aerospace on the SR-146's performance.
It was one of the combat missions from the Nighthawk that changed Ranthe's - and MayFurr's - life forever. Called out to defend civilian ships from an attack by Kilrathi raiders, the Fury along with the rest of Beta Squadron targeted the raider's capital ship and started pummeling it with laser blasts and torpedoes. The attack was successful, but as the raider's ship began to self-destruct the Fiora's Fury was caught in the aftereffects of the warp drive and main reactor explosion. The tremedous energies unleashed forced the ship and its hapless occupants into a space-time rift that threw Ranthe and MayFurr into an far-off area of the galaxy controlled by the Stellar Federation - finally drifting near a planet named Chakona ("Lost"). Both the vulpines now found themselves completely and utterly alone as never before.
For Ranthe, the situation was traumatic - she found herself faced with the possibility of being completely cut off from everything she'd ever known. Clinging to May out of desperation, because he was all that's left of her world, she was shocked and surprised when he rose to the occasion. Also to her surprise, Ranthe found herself reacting in a predictible fashion to the tod who, in a sense saved her life- and she hated it because it is against everything she has thought herself to be. It didn't help her feelings and state of mind when MayFurr started forming a relationship with Chakat Sundown, a native of the planet Chakona that had stumbled across their downed ship and had through one circumstance and another wound up journeying with them. Ranthe tried to suppress her feelings and act like nothing was wrong, but she couldn't - nothing is the same for her anymore.
When Ranthe and MayFurr finally returned to Furry Space and arrived at Dreamstar Station (after managing to evade capture on Chakona and hitching a lift on a Stellar Federation exploration starship), Ranthe immediately took time off to visit her family on her homeworld. Once there, she made a traumatic discovery: believing her dead, Ranthe's family had wound up everything of her estate and had sold or given away virtually everything she had. To make matters worse, Selienee customs had no provision for Ranthe's "resurrection" - she had been declared officially deceased from everything on Seliene and there was no way of her overturning that simple fact by her mere living presence. In effect, as far as Seliene and her family were concerned, Ranthe was simply a walking corpse with no rights or status at all. Shunned and rejected by her homeworld, Ranthe returned to Dreamstar Station and MayFurr in a state of shock. With the help of MayFurr and others, she was able to begin reassembling a life for herself, changing her surname to Narbalek as part of the healing process from her family and homeworld's rejection. With no obligations - but not much prospects either, Furry Aerospace having written them both off as well - Ranthe and MayFurr joined the Dreamstar Defence Force and operated the Fury on Combat Security Patrol near the frontier as part of Dreamstar's regular defences. Ranthe applied for and was granted citizenship status of Dreamstar Station, gaining at least some sort of a home again.
Ranthe still feels ambivalent towards MayFurr - and to Chakat Sundown as well, who is currently on Furry Prime as part of an ambassadorial team ("The Gambit Solution"). On one paw, the times the two have spent together have bound them together quite closely, but Ranthe feels that her feelings for her partner are quite unprofessional as well as aganst her own picture of herself. Her feelings towards Sundown see-saw between mild jealousy (that MayFurr is more interested in hir) and friendship, but she is careful to never let either of them know how she feels. It comes decidedly close to the surface on occasion though.
From the outside, Ranthe can appear to be somewhat touchy and stand-offish (an uncharitable observer might even call her bitchy - though not within her hearing). She still is a very independent-minded vixen, but Ranthe is subconsciously not entirely comfortable with having chosen a course that runs against her conservative upbringing, feeling deep down that what she is doing is somehow unnatural. This manifests itself in her life as a hyper-sensitivity to criticism, especially from males. Deep in her heart, Ranthe wants to be a mother and a wife but is afraid to admit it, especially to herself - believing her hard-won independence would have to be sacrificed in the process. Though she has carefully suppressed it, the Selienee cultural background of her cubhood still influences her to believe that a male would not accept her as she is: a self-sufficient person in her own right instead of a dependant submissive mate. Therefore, Ranthe feels she can't risk getting too close to any male beyond being good friends and casual lovers, as she is afraid being rejected and confirming her worst fears.
Ranthe tends to be a no-nonsense type, is very intelligent, and not afraid to show it. She does get rather annoyed at being thought of as "just another bubble-headed yiff-vixen", having rather a sharp temper from time to time, and woe betide anyfurry who thinks of her as stupid. They won't make the same mistake twice!
Some stories featuring MayFurr and Ranthe have also been written. The first, "Lost", is on this site. A second story "The Gambit Solution", was a joint effort between me and my friend Grant Preston. "Gambit" is a sequel to "Lost", featuring more characters from Furryspace including Grant's character Lindgold.
A third story featuring MayFurr and Ranthe, "The Scent of a Rose", is currently under construction. May and Ranthe also make a cameo appearance at the end of my friend John Plunkett's story "Star Dancer", and they are also major characters in the sequel "Blue Water".
MayFurr (being pretty much my on-line alias) also turns up on the OzFurry emailing list from time to time. This mailing list discusses furry fandom with a special emphasis for 'Down Under' fans. This list is open to all interested furry fans - go here for more information on how to subscribe to the mailing list.
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Copyright © 1998, 2002 Terry Knight Last updated July
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