James Taggart (senator)

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James Taggart
2609.156-
WC1-Paladin.png
James Taggart circa 2654
Callsign Paladin
Place of birth Ares, Venus
Allegiance Terran Confederation
Service/branch Terran Confederation Space Force, Terran Confederation Navy
Years of service 2629-2655 (Fighter Pilot), 2655-2669 (Special Operations)
Rank Brigadier General (Space Forces)
Commodore (Naval Intelligence)
Other work President of the Terran Confederation
Senator


James Taggart was a Terran Confederation fighter pilot assigned to the TCS Tiger's Claw. He was commissioned shortly after first contact with the Kilrathi in 2629. At the time he was a fan of The Death of Arthur and The Song of Roland and considered himself something of a knight-errant. Taggart had a reputation as both an effective wingleader and a skilled wingman. Roughly three times a year unknown parties remove the name 'Paladin' from his fighter and replace it with 'Mother Hen' as a prank, during his service on the Tiger's Claw. In April 2654, the staff of Claw Marks asked Taggart to write an article on basic combat, tactics and maneuvers following the deaths of Captain R.A. Skinner and Lieutenant Larry Dibbles in an avoidable ambush. The result was Taggart's Tactics, which appears in Vol. 1 No. 4 of the magazine. By 2654, Taggart had achieved twenty-five kills and earned his Ace of Aces Performance Service Ribbon. He was featured in Pilot Profiles in April 2654, at which time he held the rank of Major.

James Taggart was a former general, senator and president of the Terran Confederation, and served in the Terran-Kilrathi War. He was born in 2609 on Ares, a self-sufficient space station orbiting Venus in the Sol system. His parents were terraforming engineers from Wick, Scotland, Earth, although James’ Scottish accent is known to fade when he is concentrating on important matters.

James served on the TCS Tiger's Claw as a pilot, flying since about 2634, with the callsign Paladin. On 2654.137, Taggart and Jeannette “Angel” Devereaux launched from the Tiger’s Claw in Hornets to rescue "Valkyrie", a pilot under attack by Krant fighters in the Chengdu system. Later on the same day, they flew again in Hornets to escort an Exeter-class destroyer to the Ymir jumppoint, and again to defend the Tiger’s Claw from six Gratha.

Paladin retired from the Space Force by 2656.069, being over the age limit for pilots. At that time, Paladin had been assigned to Sol Station for a few months, having been recruited into the Special Operations division by Commodore Steward. Taggart was captain of the high-tech freighter Bonnie Heather, which was assigned to him for Special Operations.

According to the Kilrathi Kirha, Taggart spoke excellent Kilrathi, with only a minor accent, and could pass for a lower class warrior.

On 2656.070, Ian “Hunter” St. John decided to hijack the Bonnie Heather to circumvent bureaucracy and attempt to free Firekkan hostages held by the Kilrathi on Ghorah Khar. He knew that Taggart was already planning a covert operation there. St. John found Taggart and Gwen Larson aboard the Bonnie Heather and they eventually agreed to help St. John, the Firekkan K’Kai, and Kirha rescue the Firekkans.

On 2656.075, Taggart used a video overlay on the Bonnie Heather to simulate a Kilrathi face. With his expertise in speaking Kilrathi, he managed to secure permission to dock the Bonnie Heather at Ghorah Khar.

Taggart, K’Kai and Gwen worked to distract the Kilrathi on Ghorah Khar while St. John and Kirha managed to lead the Firekkan hostages to the Bonnie Heather. Jalthi fighters pursued the Bonnie Heather as she attempted to escape, so K’Kai tooks control of the freighter while Taggart and St. John fought them off in Rapiers. They returned to the Bonnie Heather just before she jumped out.

By 2665, Taggart was Chief Field Officer of Intelligence and Special Operations in the Enigma sector, with the rank of colonel. He was still in possession of the Bonnie Heather, and later, he also commanded the Grimalkin, Kilrathi transport previously known as the Gamal Gan.

At one point, Taggart participated in a raid behind Kilrathi lines. Taggart destroyed a Kilrathi light transport, and gun camera recordings showed that the ship contained radiation suits. The Confederation established that the Kilrathi were headed to the “Hot Pit”, the only military target in the sector where such suits would be required. A Marine raider battalion was rushed in to set an ambush, and they destroyed an entire regiment of elite Imperial shock troops.

By 2668.229, Taggart was a commodore. He was present for the meeting called by Geoffrey Tolwyn at his personal estate in Windward, Scotland, discussing the Kilrathi Project Hari. To the general public, Taggart had been reported dead, but he had actually been involved in Intelligence work relating to Project Hari. On 2668.330, Taggart was made ‘point man’ on the TCS Tarawa's mission into Kilrathi space.

On 2668.356, Taggart was co-pilot with Etienne “Doomsday” Montclair in a F-57 Sabre at the Battle of Hellhole. At that time, he wished that the Free Republic of the Landreich had sufficient numbers of fighters for Taggart to fly his own. During the heat of the battle, he chewed on the cigar St. John had given to him a long time ago.

By 2669.203, Taggart was a brigadier general, in charge of a Covert Operations division. Taggart knew of the death of Jeanette Devereaux prior to the loss of the Concordia, but was under orders to not inform Christopher "Maverick" Blair. On 2669.238, Taggart was present with Blair on Vespus, investigating the crash site of the Concordia.

Taggart’s Covert Operations team delivered the specifications of the Kilrathi “Skipper” missile to the TCS Victory in the Locanda System.

Taggart had been in something of a competition with Admiral Tolwyn over which doomsday project would ultimately end the war with the Kilrathi: the TCS Behemoth or the Y22A-1 Temblor Bomb. The development of the Temblor Bomb project was begun by Taggart’s Covert Ops team on 2669.238, and it was based on the fact that Kilrah was tectonically unstable.

On 2669.251, after the Behemoth was lost, Taggart came aboard the Victory. He informed Blair that he intended to clean up the mess created by Admiral Tolwyn over the state of the Terran-Kilrathi War.

By 2673.217, Taggart was retired from the Confederation military, and was now the Assembly Master of the Confederation Senate. He was also a senator himself – with the failure of Project Behemoth and Christopher Blair, the pilot who destroyed Kilrah, avoiding media attention, Taggart had become, in view of the public, “the man who saved the Confederation”. Taggart had only been senator of the planet Altair for a year, but had been legitimately voted to the position of Assembly Master because of his popularity.

During the economic and social unrest at this time, Admiral Tolwyn wanted to deploy Confederation fleet carriers to the frontier to identify the raiders of shipping convoys. Senator Taggart was uncomfortable with this idea, but allowed the Admiral to proceed.

By 2673.223, Taggart was a member of the “Ways and Means” Committee. On the same day, he also christened the TCS Vesuvius, which was launched on 2673.230.

By 2680, Taggart was chairman of the Confederation Senate’s Armed Forces Committee. He asked Christpher Blair to act as chief military liaison for the so-called “mega-carrier” program. Senator Taggart also invited Eugene Wilford to transfer to the Terran Confederation Navy and command the first of the “mega-carriers”, TCS Midway, on recommendation of Commodore Blair.

Taggart kept a watchful eye on Lance Casey, son of Kilrathi War hero Michael “Iceman” Casey. Casey was an excellent pilot who had just graduated but also had a habit of getting himself into mischief. Senator Taggart used his influence to transfer Casey to the Midway, hoping that military discipline would curb his trouble-making habits.

Taggart also programmed two simulator missions which feature as the 2nd and 3rd levels on the simulator aboard the Midway.

On 2681.016, Senator Taggart, as leader of the Federationist party, pushed for a gradual expansion of the Confederation’s military budget during a sitting of the Senate. He spoke of a “peace dividend” being, at best, redundant. “Military expenditures are already down 45% from their wartime peak. And far from being wasteful, the mega-carrier program is the most economical plan available. Over half of our war-era fleet is obsolete and failing, and if we tried to replace the old ships with ships of the same type, it would cost almost twice as much as the entire mega-carrier program to provide the same level of defense.”

On 2681.020, Terran Confederation Intelligence Assets compiled and sent a confidential report to Senator Taggart. On 2681.022, Taggart wrote to Christopher Blair concerning a new alien threat which makes “the Kilrathi look like a pack of rock-throwing baboons”, after reading the information contained in the report.

Early Life

Taggart was born to James and Bethlyn Taggart on Mimas Colony in 2605. His genetic parents died in the initial Mimite terrorist attack of 2613 and he was legally adopted in 2614 by Mikal and Anhel Taggart. He spent much of his formative years on Ares. All of his official records were destroyed in a 2624 Mimite terrorist attack.

He attended the University of Cairo from 2623 to 2627 and earned a level-one degree in Physical Science. He graduated 23rd out of 1055 in his class. In 2627 he was involved with Danielle Kura, who died shortly before his graduation.

Taggart was admitted to Space Force Officer Candidacy School in 2627. He earned a 4.33 GPA and graduated third in his class of 221, with honors. He then attended Flight School, where he earned a 4.31 GPA and graduated 20th in a class of 302, and Counterintelligence School. In Flight School, Taggart scored a 91.0 in flight (24th in his class), an 89 in marksmanship (22nd), an 89 in navigation (28th) and a 100 in safety (1st, with no accidents and no ships lost).

Military Service

Taggart's first assignment was to the TCS Horus in 2629. With the advent of hostilities with the Pilgrim Alliance, Taggart is promoted to captain and transferred to Confederation Intelligence Services for the duration of the war working on classified duties. He returned to flight duty in 2635 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

After the Pilgrim War, Taggart requested a transfer to Exploratory Services. In 2637 he was simultaneously promoted to Commander and assigned to the TCS Iason. He was listed as missing, presumed dead after the dstruction of the Iason, but in 2641 reported for duty at a public communications booth at Tartarus Port's Commercial Customs section.

The 2641.350 Inquiry Into the Capture and Subsequent Escape and Return of Commander Taggart noted that he "is considered to be an honest, dependable officer, and an extremely competant pilot. He has never amassed many close friends, being somewhat insular in habit, but is well respected by his wingmen and fellow officers."

Behind the scenes

  • Taggart's voice was provided by Maarten Davies in Wing Commander 2.
  • He was portrayed by John Rhys-Davies in Wing Commander 3 and 4.

Images

See also

References

Source: WC CIC Encyclopedia