7. Armor

Story by Timberwoof on SoFurry

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#13 of Woof Space Cadets

I'd been blocked on this chapter for a while. I wasn't sure how to handle the transition in the middle, and I wanted to move the story along. So I came up with a way to do it. I hope this works. I'll have to write about other things they did, but this sequence seemed to want a chapter on its own. Let me know what you think.


Copyright ©2015 Timberwoof Lupindo

Not for Redistribution

Somebody banged on Timby's bunk box and the lid opened. Light streamed in; Timby squinted against the glare.

"Get up, get up! Rise and shine! Stand at attention!"

It was Alpha Stagblood; the other Alphas were waking the cadets in their sections. Timby got out of his bunk and tried not to think how silly he and the other cadets looked, standing at attention in their diapers. At least his was still clean.

"Cadets, get your ass down to the latrine, double-time. Dump your diapers, push and pinch, wash your ass, and get your ass back up here in five minutes! Now move!"

Oh, great, thought Timby. Now we even have to poop on command. He followed the others to the latrine and tried to do his duty. Naked, he and the the other cadets returned to the bunks. He stood at attention. At least the commotion had got him to lose most of his morning wood; he'd be spared that embarrassment.

"You are going to reach into your Cadet Kit and retrieve an athletic supporter of the appropriate type for your gender. You will put it on followed by a pair of athletic shorts and an athletic shirt. Now move!"

Timby wondered what an athletic supporter was; he fumbled through his pack looking for the garment that could be it.

"What is your problem, Cadet?" asked the Alpha. "Don't you know what an athletic supporter is?"

"Uh, mm, No, Alpha. I do not!" Awww, hell! He stood at attention.

"Well, empty your Cadet Kit and identify those garments that you do recognize."

Aww, really hell!

"Cadet overall uniform. Undershirt. Athletic shirt. Athletic shorts."

Timby held a strange contraption of elastic straps and a pouch.

"Uh ... Athletic Supporter." How do I wear this?

"Seems you know what it is after all. Well? What are you waiting for? Put it on!"

Timby stole a glance at the other cadets around him. One of them already had his on and was sliding his shorts up slowly. He winked at Timby. Timby grabbed his athletic supporter and held it so he could step into it one foot at a time, then pulled it up over his hips. He did the obvious fastener at the back over his tail and snugged his balls into the pouch. Oh, that feels nice, he thought. He liked the way it cradled his bone and balls ... it gave him a knot. Quickly he grabbed the shorts and put them on, followed by the shirt. He returned to attention.

"We have one healthy young male woof cadet here who knows how to put on a jock strap," said Stagblood. "Nice action."

The alpha turned his attention to harass someone else. Timby traded glances with the cadet who had shown him what to do. The other cadet smirked and winked.

"Cadets! We are going to run to the cafeteria for a hearty breakfast."

Mmmm, breakfast, thought Timby.

"Now move!" The Alphas each at the head of their pack of eight cadets led them down the stairs and out the door.

It was still dark. Street lamps made pools of light in the early morning fog. The cadets could see their breath in the air as they ran down the path to the street. Timby felt the straps of the athletic supporter and considered that if it wasn't so sold, he might appreciate the way it snugged him up. Good thing he was furry, he thought, and concentrated on just running.

Where they should have turned right, they turned left. Timby looked that way, but figured he'd let someone else get in that trouble.

"As the smarter of you have realized, we are taking the scenic route," said the Alpha, who always seemed to know what was on the cadet's minds.

"Don't worry about the cold; you'll warm up soon enough. And on your left, you will see the sea sailors' barracks. You will run proudly and you will show those Jack Tars that you have the superior minds, the superior bodies, and the superior technology."

The cadets all ran a little more proudly, some with a spring in their step. They ran past various buildings of the Academy, a mixture of ancient, old, and new. They passed another group of cadets running the other way; Timber realized that the Sea Academy and the Space Academy were not all that separate. He saw the sail-and-anchor logos on the sea cadets' shirts and smirked a bit. He was proud to wear the planet and rocket-ship of the Space Cadets.

"Here's the chow hall. Breakfast is waiting."

Not as fast or as springy as before, the cadets jogged into the cafeteria.They were all too winded from their run to do anything but stand in line for trays, utensils, and food: sausage, bacon, roots, shoots, fruits, and tubers. And, Timber smelled as he approached the end of the line, hot chocolate.

"Mmmmmm! Hot chocolate!"


Timber and his pack found a table where they sat, four on a side, and ate. The sergeants sat at a table separate from the cadets. Timber looked up and saw that he was sitting across from his packmate who had had the panic attack.

"Hey, there," Timby said. "How are you doing this morning? You had a scare last night."

The cadet looked down.

"Okay, I guess. Can we not talk about it?"

"Hey, woof. You're in my pack. We have to stick up for one another, right?"

The others at the table paused and looked up.


"We'll help you get over this."

"You're one of us!"

The woof look up and tentatively smiled at his packmates.


The cadets had got used to their routine of early morning runs to the chow hall. Too tired at first to grumble, a couple of weeks later they were fit young woofs with plenty of endurance.

"Is it me or is it getting darker in the morning?"

"It's getting darker in the morning," said Timby. "It does that in the fall."

"Brrr. And colder, too!"

"And here we are, wearing just t-shirts and shorts."

"And jock straps, haha."

"Sush, or Alpha will hear you."

"You cadets are obviously in good shape if you're carrying on conversations like that! I guess it's time for your armor!"


"Probably space suit training."

"Sounds like fun."

"Wait till you have to wear it for a week."

"A week? I'm up for it!"

"Cadets, Fall in!"

They turned off the academy street into a building with a big front door that had been opened. Lights were on inside ... the cadets could see suits of armor on stands, in two rows of sixteen with an open area in the middle. It was shiny armor, painted orange and white. Several woofs in technicians uniforms stood at ease nearby.

"Line up on this line," ordered Stagblood. "One cadet to each set of armor."

The cadets lined up in front of their suits. Timber was really curious to look, but knew better than to do anything but stand at attention.

"You cadets may hate this armor at first: we will do all our PT in this armor, all our chow lines, all our fencing practice, all our liberty and all our latrine duty. So you might as well get used to it.

"About face!"

The cadets snapped to it, turned to face their suits of armor.

On closer inspection, Timber saw that the suit in front of him was somewhat worn, with repaired dents here and there.

"You will help each other into the armor, in pairs. You cadets at the end of the rows, face in. Everyone else, do the right thing."

That wasn't so hard to figure out. Timber was in the middle of his row somewhere; he waited until his packmate turned ... to face Timber, so Timber turned to face him.

"Nice action, cadets! Strip off your athletic uniforms; now move!"

The cadets had by this time lost all their shyness; they stripped to the fur without complaint and tossed their sweaty things into the hampers nearby.

"At the bottom of each armor stand you will find armor undergarments. Put these now. Now move!"

Timby found used, but clean, underwear in the bins, in three sizes. He picked his size and pulled it on, fastening the belt over his tail in back.

"Attach the torso armor. You decide who wears and who helps; you will trade off. Place the chest-and back over your partner's torso. Adjust it for good fit. When you think it's a good fit, raise your paw and a technician will check you and bolt you down."

"You wanna wear first?" Timber asked.


Timber got his partner's armor off the rack and helped him get into it. He checked his suit for wrinkles and made sure it was snug.

"Breathe in big."

"It's a bit tight."

"Lemme loosen it one. Now breathe."

"That's good."

He raised his paw.

A technician came over and checked out Timby's packmate.

"Nice action, cadets."

The tech got out an electric screwdriver and tightened a dozen screws. Timby's packmate was in.

"Okay, you do me now."

As the torso armor was lowered over his head and chest, and his partner cinched it down, Timber imagined it was real space suit armor and he was getting ready for a mission into the dark unknown. His knot grew. His packmate looked down at it and grinned. Timber looked at his packmate; he had a knot too.

Timber wriggled in his armor, took a deep breath.

"Seems a little loose. Can you cinch it down one?"

"Sure, Timber."

Click, click. Timber took a deep breath.

"Yeah. There we go."

Timber raised his paw.

The technician came over and checked his armor. He brushed against Timby's groin ... and smiled.

"We've got a motivated cadet here, Alpha."

The Alpha reviewed the fit.

"Mind if I fasten this one down, Tech?"

"Please go ahead. He's not the only motivated one here."

Timber was a little embarrassed by the attention, but he could tell that the tech was enjoying this as much as he was. Might as well enjoy being a young male woof!

They continued the process with the rest of the parts of the armor. The hips were interesting, as they and the underwear had special hatches for latrine duty. Piece by piece the woofs became a squad of Space Cadets in Space Armor. They looked at one another, shiny and uniform.

"Cadets, we have one final item to take care of with this armor. We will line up for PT in the center area and do our daily stretches. Note any problems you have moving freely, any pinch points, and discomfort. Raise your paw and a technician will adjust it. This is not a contest to see who wins. Trust me, you do not want to skip this part. Pack Betas, coordinate your pack's stretches. Now move!"

Timber spoke up.

"Perseus Pack, form up on me. Top down stretch, by the numbers." He led his seven woofs in a gentle routine of stretches. "Check your mobility. Now shoulders."

Timber rotated his arms about in a big circle. There was one point where--Timber realized that as Pack Beta he had to set an example. He raised his paw.

A technician came over to him.

"What's the trouble, Cadet?"

"Right here, in this part of my arc, I get a--"

"I see it. Stand parade rest."

Timber stood with his feet slightly apart, elbows out, hands behind his back. The technician made some adjustments to the armor, loosening a strap and moving its attachment point.

"Try that."

Timber rotated his arms again.

"Much better. Thank you."

"Good catch, Cadet."

Two other cadets had raised their paws and the tech went to see to them. Timber realized they might have been to embarrassed to say anything had he not complained about his arm. He went on leading the stretching routine.

"Cadet Beta, are all your pack good to go?"

Timber looked at his packmates. They all nodded.

"Good to go."

"Nice action."

All four packs had worked out their fit problems. The armor was comfortable.

"Cadets, we have one final step in the fitting of your armor. Now that you're all snug and comfy ... Techs, snap 'em in!"

What? Though Timber.

"Who's first?" asked their tech.

"I am," said Timber.

"Parade Rest."

Quickly and without any fuss, the tech applied the electric screwdriver once more to all the fasteners in Timber's armor. One by one he heard and felt the heads snap off, then fall to the floor with a tinkle. He shot a questioning look at the tech.

"Snap-head screws. When I do this--"


"--Half the screw-head breaks off, leaving a flat surface. You cadets won't be able to get this armor off without specialized tools."


"Oh, woof!" said one of Timber's pack.

"Can it!" he said.


Timber's knot grew again as he realized that the armor he was wearing, he would be wearing for ... how long? Days? Weeks?


Timber watched as the tech tightened the screws on the rest of his pack. It occurred to Timber that they had not had breakfast yet. His stomach made a noise.

"I've got a roomful of hungry cadets," said Alpha. "What am I going to do with hungry cadets?"

"Feed Them, Alpha!" they said in unison.

"Cadets, you're all hungry for chow time. Move out! Double Time!"

The cadets turned and marched double-time, which means running, out of the armor shop, and into the open air.

"Oh, this armor is heavy!"

"Shut yer yap! You signed up for this!"

"You cadets may have noticed some extra weight on your bodies for our morning jog to the chow hall. But we've been training for the past couple of weeks, so this should be a walk in the park."

Timber and the other cadets were winded by the added weight of their armor. But he knew that if he kept this up, soon he'd have enough wind to talk. But this morning all that kept him going was the thought of breakfast waiting at the chow hall.

The sun had already burned away the morning mist as the cadets clomped down the street with tight stomachs waiting to be fed.

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