I needed an antagonist for Rocket Fox, so I set about putting one together. Colonel Fillias Stigian, a rather portly Vulpine who never saw any actual action in the field and only received promotions due to the fact he was an incredible brown noser. This first part takes place in Chapter Three of Rocket Fox - Flight of the Nighthawk, right after Senia announces to her cadet comrades the outcome of Jada Hawkspur’s disciplinary tribunal.
Once she had escorted the pair back to the confines of the House Ocelot communal mess hall, Captain Mallard made her way back to the chambers where Private Hawkspur’s hearing had just taken place. As was customary, the faculty head of the House would report back to the colonels once a hearing had completed. Captain Mallard was merely following not only orders, but tradition. As Mallard walked into the chambers, she found the three Colonels sitting in the back chambers, a room set aside from the main hall where members of the tribunal could talk about hearings or relax if one came to a conclusion. This also was a room where the final observation report from the House liason could be heard.
“Colonels,” Mallard said after closing the door to the chamber, offering a stiff salute to them all.
“At ease, Captain,” a portly Vulpine said, motioning for her to sit down. He looked as though he’d spent more time behind a desk filing papers than behind the stick of the famed Maverick fighter craft. Or even at the head of a classroom. ”I trust Left-tenant Felix and Miss Hawkspur have returned to their barracks.”
“Yes, Colonel Stigian,” she replied as she took her seat and removed her cap, resting it in her lap. ”Felix felt it prudent to inform the other members of House Ocelot the final judgement handed down to Private Hawkspur.” Mallard paused for a moment before correcting herself. ”Miss Hawkspur. As Felix stated, it was better to nip rumours in the bud than to let them fester.”
“Yes, very good,” Fillias Stigian replied with a nod as he put on his glasses. He opened a small portfolio and looked over it carefully. None of it’s contents were being hidden at all, and Mallard could see it was the school record of Senia Felix. ”What are your thoughts on Left-tenant Felix, Captain? I’d like to know your view as you’ve worked closely with both Felix and her other comrades.”
“Felix is very hard working,” Mallard said without hesitation. ”She’s easy to get along with, has a good eye for those who can do a job, and has proven time and again that she can handle herself with composure when dealing with any split second decision. And, above all that, she is a first class pilot.”
“She does have that,” Stigian said, pausing as he tried to find the words. ”Speech problem, doesn’t she. I suppose that it’s rather hard for others to understand her.”
“Not at all,” Mallard said, again without hesitation. ”Admittedly, when she arrived six years ago, she had some difficulty, but she worked hard not to allow that to impede her education or her advancement as a cadet.” Mallard paused for a moment, as though waiting for the next question to arrive. This was beginning to sound as if there was some question regarding Senia’s capabilities as a pilot, and an officer of the Royal Air Corps. ”If the Tribunal wishes, I can write up a complete report and have it on your desk tomorrow morning.”
Stigian looked to the other two colonels who nodded in agreement, accepting the offer of Captain Mallard. ”That would be most appreciated, Captain. We would like to know her associations and liasons and if they may have any affect on her performance, or if they may have any affect on the name of this academy.” Stigian closed the portfolio and nodded to Mallard as he removed his glasses. ”That’s all for now, Captain Mallard. You are dismissed.”
Mallard rose to her feet and placed her cap back on her head, then saluted once more before leaving the chambers in military fashion. But as she closed the door, she felt her heart sink just a bit. She had been Senia’s instructor and mentor for six years. More than anyone, she knew Senia’s capabilities. Were those suddenly coming into question.