This character is a member of the Court of Violets.
|Pilot, Doctor, Bartender|
|Affiliation||Echo Flight School|
Talon has been many things in his thirty-three years: patient and doctor, soldier and pilot, student and dean. If you had to pick one word to describe him, it’d be a rake, in the medieval sense of the word. He will challenge those he believes are not competent whether or not he is qualified to judge, he believes in and expects honesty above all other attributes, including loyalty and kindness, and he will do almost anything for a pretty girl in trouble, whether or not it’s good for him in the long term.
Currently, he serves as the bartender of the Rotor n' Prop, the tavern that has, in many ways, served as the social center of the Skyrates; since its’ founding, it has been the preferred meeting point for many leaders and plotters, drunkards and veterans. Ask him what he’s most proud of and he will tell you it is that he can be counted as one of the several founders. Burrito Loco, Kincaid, and Mahmoth, a few of the other founders, are his closest friends.
He has had a checkered past, marred by failures both tragic and common, but also heightened by successes personal and political. His future, inevitably, will follow in the same fashion, for while there are character flaws that he will never overcome, he also possesses redeeming attributes that make him effective in many fields.
This is his history: his parents’ passing caused his interest in and entry to flight school, where he proved himself young and hotheaded. His abilities led him to graduate near the front of the class, but his arrogance led to his first great tragedy, the death of his childhood love and then fiancée. The crash of the second-hand Chapparal that he so carelessly chose not to inspect, trusting in his abilities to overcome any problems, took her life and almost ended his.
While his body healed, his mind was lost; any direction he had for the future had burned with the first plane he had so eagerly bought. He became a common sight on many bars on many skylands for those months, pulling short stints as navigator and trader to fund his drinking, and grew acquainted with the insides of many holding cells. It wasn’t long before he was in the hospital again, this time due to alcohol poisoning. Instead of just treating and releasing, though, there was a nurse there that saw the path that he was heading down and stopped him.
“Become a doctor,” she told him, “Even if you do it for a selfish reason, saving others will let you sleep easier at night.” He never got her name but her words changed him; when he stopped into his next bar, he was a first year med student, and left without having to be dragged. It was also during this time that he met a professor and a group of friends that would later change the world – for better or for worse.
The next few years passed quickly, and after his board certification, he started working at the emergency department of the hospital that originally nursed him back to health after the accident. He still flew, though it was usually as flight doctor of the Air Ambulance service instead of as a private pilot. The nurse had been right: every time someone came into the hospital in critical condition and walked out healthy, every time they restarted someone’s heart, his burden was lightened. Even when they couldn’t be saved completely, if he could just buy grandma enough time to hug her grandchildren one more time, it helped.
But the burden would never go away, and as time passed, he realized that they weren’t providing enough care for those that came to them. Trauma injuries were usually straightforward – splint a bone, staunch the bleeding, and operate if necessary. But there were those that came to them time and time again for problems that were questionably medical. EMS called those people ‘frequent flyers’ because they called for help so often. The usual ‘symptoms’ were pain that always seemed to go away after a night at the hospital, or small wounds – a bad bruise, a nasty scrape – that kept happening, ‘requiring’ hospital visits, or, more transparently, psych problems that simply disappeared after a nurse kept them company and listened to them talk about their life. Those people, he realized, needed more than just stabilizing their blood pressure and making sure their physical pain was gone.
And on his next visit to his favorite bar, he looked around and realized that what kept him coming. The bartender knew when to let his patrons drink and when to cut them off, and more importantly, when to listen to people and when to give a few small words of advice. The bar was cheaper and more effective than any of the hospital psychiatrists, and probably saved many from needing trips to the hospital.
With the help of that realization, the Rotor n’ Prop was born. It is a testament to the founders — and the regulars who continue to embody the founding principles — that it was never simply one person driving forward his own personal dream at the cost of everyone else’s, but rather a group realization of what the Rotor n’ Prop could be, if the primary goal was to help those that needed help instead of making money off of their sadness. The initial capital that resulted in the very best alcohol probably also lent a helping hand.
There were many met there that would change his life. All those there at the beginning irrevocably changed who Talon was. From every faction – the League members already named, Mairi, Unique Character, and Cecil; the Traders Marcus (and his crew, most notably Jennifer), Enny, Josiah, and Taricha; Ellington, Knappe, Phedre, and Keyo from the Armada, and others. All would become friends, some closer than others, each lending their viewpoint and collectively making the tavern what it was: a haven for those seeking refuge, a meeting place for a group of close friends, and, of course, a good bar for those that wanted quality drinks.
After a few months of helping run the tavern and a love triangle between him, Sadi, and Jennifer — caused by an indecisiveness that would be indicative of future relationship problems — Talon started helping out Kyra, one of the Deans of Echo Flight School, with some factional affairs when one of the other professors was away on business. As a student, he had been interested in the power that the Flight School had demonstrated in its Semester Project, and given his familiarity with many of the political figures that stopped by the Rotor n’ Prop from time to time, it wasn’t a large step to become the interim, and later official, Dean of Interfactional Affairs, handling diplomacy between Flight School and the other factions of Skytopia.
The introduction of the Earthen Order and Violet Court came during his time as a Dean during and saw much diplomacy conducted – there was always a careful competition with the Emerald Republic and Crimson Armada over several skylands that needed to be watched, but there were also treaties to establish to stop factions from controlling too many skylands. To him, establishing a system of checks and balances through treaties to ensure that no faction became overwhelmingly powerful was the best strategy for Flight School – from this came the first Trifaction Treaty, against the League, after the Legacy Events. In the end, however, he saw his efforts fail when the resurgent Armada successfully captured all the skylands that had flown League flags. He did everything he could, including joining the League to directly support their efforts, but it was a harsh lesson in cause and effect, and what one person could and could not do.
For Talon, the other simultaneous major occurrence during this time was his relationship with Phedre – later Melissande – who expected more from him than he could give. Their relationship was short and explosive, starting with a rescue and ending when he betrayed a promise made to her to stay by her while she slept; he had left for the tavern to check on it. This was who Talon was: he expected that he’d be back before she woke, that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, that everything would be okay. His expectations, however, demonstrated that Phedre was still second to the tavern for him, for she needed someone that would always be true to his word, no matter what; for him, it was a simple utilitarian consideration that there were more people at the tavern that could need help. The matter of what he should’ve done or could’ve done to make up for what happened became academic when she was shot in the head, a few weeks later.
Talon’s latest relationship was with the Mairi Valentine. After Phedre and other flirtations, it was a relationship that looked like it would stand the test of time; she had help found the tavern and knew him and his flaws. As they fell for each other, his flirtations died down. They had fought over many things – the owner of the tavern (the Great Waffle Exodus), the right way to bring peace to Skytopia (where he told her of the Court’s plans), whom they should be with (Kincaid for her, Margareet for him)…but they overcame their disagreements and grew close. He visited her family on Steppe and they vacationed on Grottopolis and Eltsina and elsewhere. But then Talon’s eye was drawn away again by another lady in need, and perhaps that broke Mairi’s heart, for she disappeared. It broke Talon’s heart.
The other major event that came with the end of the Storm was the Court’s introduction – some say invasion – of Skytopia. Those eight classmates who had met long ago now came together in a wing called the Tyrians. They swept into Skytopia with a vengeance, systematically reducing other factions to only their capital, and making enemies of all others — perhaps the greatest in the Armada, from whom it had taken quite a few of its members. For a period of time, the Court was the dominant force in Skytopia, until those others banded together and created the Trifactional Treaty, which halted the Violet advance. Indeed, after a few months, the Court was reduced to no more than a few skylands. In the face of such competition, the Tyrians were contained, and the threat of another Unification was dealt with.
Recently, Talon’s been spending more time at the tavern and less at the embassies and council rooms, returning to minding the tavern that he considers his home. He still stops in from time to time to get the latest intelligence and run his analysis, but he is certainly less active politically than he used to be. Perhaps he no longer sees a point to the endless hoisting of flags on skylands.
Perhaps he’s collecting intelligence and refining his plan to ensure no treaty will be able to stop it. Or perhaps he’s just recovered from his last relationship and wants to spend some more time chasing skirts again.
With Talon, it’s hard to tell.
Thunderbolt(3-kit)  - Valentine