[7 years before the Brevon Incident]
Deep within the headquarters of the Red Scarves, in a Spartan yet comfortable section of the barracks, an alarm clock begins its shrill buzzing, only to be silenced a moment later by the blond-haired ochre badger to whom it belongs. It is the child's first day of training, and he's been up since dawn, unable to sleep longer, the excitement and anticipation overriding his circadian rhythm.
Dressing with haste, the badger darts out of his room into the corridor, narrowly avoiding being bowled over by a few of his fellow new inductees. Once the coast is clear, he sets off in the same direction. A moment later however, he remembers he left his scarf in his room. He turns back immediately to retrieve the signature scarlet neckwear of the guild, fitting the garment as he returns to the corridor and resumes his journey.
Around the corner, a silver leporid with jet black hair is equally eager to begin his first day of training, but his excitement is tempered by a nervousness he last felt when starting school six years previous. Pausing in his room until the noise of passing inductees dies down, the hare slips out into the corridor. Distracted fiddling with his scarf, he fails to notice the badger running directly towards him. The badger tries to stop in time, but his momentum is too great: he slams into the hare, and they hit the ground together.
"Watch where you're going!" the hare snaps as he picks himself up.
"You wandered right in front of me!" the badger protests as he too stands.
"Maybe if you weren't running around like an idiot, you would have seen me!" the hare retorts.
"Maybe if you were paying attention to your surroundings, you would have seen me!" the badger counters.
"Now boys, no need to squabble!" a female vole interrupts, her voice stern yet friendly. "Save that energy for later. Believe me, you'll need it."
The boys turn to face the newcomer. "Sorry," they apologise in unison.
"Don't worry about it," the vole assures. "Now, let's get you to the induction. After all, you don't want to be late!"
As the three set off in the direction of the induction, the vole can't help but feel she knows the badger already. "Forgive me for prying," she starts, addressing the badger, "but you wouldn't happen to be Elias's son, would you? You look a lot like him."
"You know my father?" the badger asks.
"He's more well-known than he lets on," the vole explains. "The Brocks have quite a legacy, as I'm sure you're aware… Danny, is it?" The badger nods. The vole turns her attention to the hare. "You're in luck here Rob."
"Am I?" Rob asks.
"Is he?" Danny asks.
"Of course!" the vole answers. "The Brock heritage will make it easy for you to settle in, and you can help Rob settle in too," she explains to Danny.
"But-" Danny begins.
"But nothing," the vole interrupts. "I don't want to pull rank on you, but I will if I have to."
"Pull rank?" Danny asks.
"I'm Senior Scarf Natalie Morris," the vole explains. "So, will you be Rob's friend?"
Danny considers his options. A moment later, he shrugs in agreement.
"Excellent!" Natalie chimes. "Now don't waste any more time: induction starts in twenty minutes!"
After Natalie's gentle encouraging nudge, Rob and Danny set off at a measured run, directly to the induction.
"Couldn't resist, could you?" a new voice asks Natalie, its male vole owner appearing beside her.
"Come off it, Solomon," Natalie smiles back. "We recruited Rob, it's only fair we help him get a good start."
"Can't argue with that," Solomon chuckles. "And I can't think of a better start than making friends with a Brock. After all, learning the truth about the Scarves can come as quite a shock…"