Free Before the Thunderstorm by ACBradley

Free Before the Thunderstorm

ACBradley

23 July 2015 at 23:30:42 MDT

This is Mariella Lorii (the soldier on the right in the other pic) in her quarters before being deployed to Omar (and before having her hair cut for deployment), with her two little sisters Sophie (3) and Nadine (10) and her demolition gal Maxine. As you might see, the two have a hobby.

Couple of things worth noting here: Lorii's dogtags are gold-plated, which Aludrans do for SF units and commissioned officers because I refuse to believe cats wouldn't do something like that, and her fur is paler than the other image because in that one she's wearing a combination fire retardant / camo cream in her fur. She doesn't have it around her nose there because she's allergic to it and it makes her sneeze.

Maxine and Lorii's tattoos are actual tattoos; the very old way of doing this was over a burn or scar, but these days electrolysis or laser treatment (brand new in Aludra) is used. White fur-tattoos do exist; these are done using plant extracts that kill pigmentation cells in hair follicles.

Nadine is wearing the uniform of a top-level school; since she's under 12, she doesn't wear a full cape or kepi or carry a baton. This is a contrast to her big sister who left school at 12 to go to a military finishing school. Aludran education works rather differently to Western comprehensive education; until 12 basic literacy and thinking skills are emphasised, with the idea being to equip a young Lady with the skills to go on learning if she chooses to. At 12 children will either leave for apprenticeships or go on to more focused higher education. This setup means Aludra has one of the world's best systems of public libraries and museums.

Sophie is a somewhat typical product of large polyamorous family units; she is Lorii's half-sister, and her birth-mother is actually three years younger than her big sister. The mother she and Lorii share makes no apologies for being a terrible old woman. :)

If this looks odd for military accommodation it is because Fort Saluna is actually a stately home that was sold to the Empress when the Lady ran into financial problems on the understanding her household would remain employed there. The grounds were large enough and unkempt enough that bulldozing them to build a series of runways was both possible and uncontroversial. This unusual origin means Lorii has a stateroom and this is the only military base in the entire world that has maids.

Aludran translations can be found here.

I got Maxine from Saetia Saetia who you should commission a lot.