||James Taggart 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, Paladin and Jeannette “Angel” Devereaux launch 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 fly again in Hornets to escort an Exeter-class destroyer to the Ymir jump point, 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. Paladin was captain of the high-tech freighter Bonnie Heather, which was assigned to him for Special Operations.
According to the Kilrathi Kirha, Paladin speaks Kilrathi excellently, with only a minor accent, and could pass for a lower class warrior.
On 2656.070, Ian “Hunter” St John decides to hijack the Bonnie Heather to circumvent bureaucracy and attempt to free Firekkan hostages held by the Kilrathi on Ghorah Khar. He knows that Paladin is already planning a covert operation there. Hunter finds Paladin and Gwen Larson aboard the Bonnie Heather and they eventually agree to help Hunter, the Firekkan K’Kai, and Kirha rescue the Firekka.
On 2656.075, Paladin uses a video overlay on the Bonnie Heather to simulate a Kilrathi face. With his expertise in speaking Kilrathi, he manages to secure permission to dock the Bonnie Heather at Ghorah Khar.
Paladin, K’Kai and Gwen work to distract the Kilrathi on Ghorah Khar while Hunter and Kirha manage to lead the Firekka hostages to the Bonnie Heather. Jalthi fighters pursue the Heather as she attempts to escape, so K’Kai takes control of the freighter while Paladin and Hunter fight them off in Rapiers. They return to the Heather just before she jumps out.
By 2665, Paladin is Chief Field Officer of Intelligence and Special Operations in the Enigma sector, with the rank of colonel. He is still in possession of the Bonnie Heather, and later, he also commands the Grimalkin (previously known as the Gamal Gan).
At one point, Paladin participated in a raid behind Kilrathi lines. Paladin destroyed a Kilrathi light transport, and gun camera recordings show that the ship contained radiation suits. The Confederation establishes that the Kilrathi are 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, Paladin is a commodore. He is present for the meeting called by Geoffrey Tolwyn at his personal estate in Windward, Scotland, discussing the Kilrathi Project Hari. To the general public, Paladin had been reported dead, but he had actually been involved in Intelligence work relating to Project Hari. On 2668.330, Paladin is made ‘point man’ on the TCS Tarawa’s mission into Kilrathi space.
On 2668.356, Paladin is co-pilot with Etienne “Doomsday” Montclair in a Sabre at the Battle of Hellhole. At that time, he wished that the Landreich had sufficient numbers of fighters for Paladin to fly his own. During the heat of the battle, he chewed on the cigar Hunter had given to him a long time ago.
By 2669.203, Paladin is a brigadier general, in charge of a Covert Operations division. Paladin knew of the death of Angel before the loss of the Concordia, but was under orders to not inform Maverick. On 2669.238, Paladin was present with Maverick on Vespus, investigating the crash site of the Concordia.
Paladin’s Covert Operations team delivered the specifications of the Kilrathi “Skipper” missile to the TCS Victory in Locanda.
Paladin had been in something of a competition with Admiral Tolwyn over which doomsday project would ultimately end the war with the Kilrathi: the Behemoth or the Temblor Bomb. The development of the Temblor Bomb project was begun by Paladin’s Covert Ops team on 2669.238, and it was based on the fact that Kilrah is tectonically unstable.
On 2669.251, after the Behemoth is lost, Paladin boards the Victory. He declares to Maverick that he is going to clean up the mess created by Admiral Tolwyn over the state of the Kilrathi war.
By 2673.217, Paladin is retired from the Confederation military, and is now the Assembly Master of the Confederation Senate. He is also a senator himself – with the failure of Project Behemoth and Maverick, the pilot who destroyed Kilrah, avoiding media attention, Paladin had become “the man who saved the Confederation”. Paladin 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 is uncomfortable with this idea, but allows the Admiral to proceed.
By 2673.223, Paladin is a member of the “Ways and Means” Committee. On the same day, he also christens the TCS Vesuvius, which is launched on 2673.230.
By 2680, Paladin is chairman of the Confederation Senate’s Armed Forces Committee. He asks Maverick to act as chief military liaison for so-called “mega-carrier” program. Senator Taggart also invites Eugene Wilford to transfer to the Confederation Navy and command the first of the “mega-carriers”, the TCS Midway, on recommendation of Commodore Blair.
Paladin 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.
Paladin 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 defence.
On 2681.020, Terran Confederation Intelligence Assets compile and send a confidential report to Senator Taggart. On 2681.022, Paladin writes to Maverick 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.
Related records: Bhurak Starkiller, Christopher Blair, Etienne Montclair, Eugene Wilford, Firekkan, Geoffrey Tolwyn, Gwen Larson, Harold Rodham, Ian St. John, Jeannette Devereaux, John Dekker, K'Kai, Kirha hrai Hunter nar Aussie, KIS Gamal Gan, Letter from Senator Taggart to Commodore Christopher Blair, Maxwell Garrett, Ralgha nar Hhallas, Rikik, Scorpion, Scrambler, Steward, TCS Bannockburn, TCS Bonnie Heather, TCS Grimalkin, TCS Tarawa, TCS Vesuvius (CV-70), Todd Marshall, Treaty of Torgo
Record edited by Wedge009
Last modified Aug 10 2004