|"God forgives, I don't."|
|Liberty Marine Corps (Former)|| 4 years|
|Rank|| Lance Corporal|
|Born|| August 6, 798 AS, Planet Manhattan.|
Tal Ravis, also known as Underscore or Snoopy, is renowned throughout the Sirius Sector for being an intergalactic hero.
Tal was born on August 6th, 798 A.S. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district on Planet Manhattan, to a family of relatively poor blue-collar workers. Of the three Ravis children – Hudson, Xavier, and himself – he was the least successful, nearly failing out of grade school twice with a terrible disciplinary record. He also showed no talent or interest in the arts, spending most of his free time playing in the streets with his friends. Later on, he helped form a small street gang with a handful of his friends, lurking in alleyways at night, waiting for unsuspecting targets to rob.
Young Ravis soon found out that this new gang lifestyle was volatile and unsustainable, as an LPI crackdown on crime ended in the arrests of all of the gang but him. Lucky enough to avoid the cops, he sought an alternative to life on the streets, and after graduating from high school, he turned to the Liberty Marine Corps, a far cry from the wishes of his parents, who were vehemently anti-war and anti-military on top of being disappointed in Tal's life choices. This led to his self-reported “official disowning” from the Ravis family, although Hudson Ravis would later become an officer in the Navy's First Fleet without any repercussions. Likely, it was an exaggeration of events on Tal’s part, and was probably just him growing more distant from his family.
Tal Ravis proved to be a rather mediocre Marine, taking up a four-year enlistment contract to become a gunner in a machine gun section. Promised action by his recruiter, he was disappointed when his enlistment consisted of little more than carrying a thirty-pound general-purpose machine gun around and occasionally shooting at pirates, slavers, or Rheinland embargo runners. While LAHAAT machine gun teams were lauded for their ability to manipulate the automatically-targeting, sensor-directed weapons within ships to great effect, he felt that he was fighting a war he didn’t sign up the fight–one against slavery and drugs, rather than the Rheinlanders. He has two 6-month deployments, one aboard the Yukon and another aboard the Mississippi under his belt, during which he boarded several hundred transports with his MEU. It should be noted that while he did fire upon and kill several Outcast slavers, thus earning a Combat Action Ribbon, he did not fire upon a military target as part of any official conflict.
While waiting for his opportunity to stack dozens upon dozens of Kraut bodies in front of his MG, he did manage to qualify expert with the standard-issue rifle of the time, Ageira's "Backblast" tachyon rifle, and also graduated from EVA school. Sadly, his enlistment contract ended before he could fulfill his dream of indiscriminately slaughtering scores of Rheinlanders or Gallics, and he chose to seperate from the military at the age of 22 instead of reenlisting, mostly due to his lack of motivation.
The Corps was where he first acquired the nickname "Underscore", where, in an attempt to make a commemorative tally mark on the side of helmet after his first kill, he accidentally had his helmet facing visor-up, thus resulting in a mark that looked more like an underscore than anything else.
Once out of the Corps, Tal quickly realized that he needed a means to provide for himself, eventually taking up a stable job flying freight for Ageira Technologies for two years until his adventurous spirit came back. With a sudden craving for more thrills in his life, he quit working for Ageira and applied to join the Liberty Police, the same organization that jailed all of his closest friends just five years ago. It was here that, over the course of a few months, he discovered that he had anger management issues, eventually deeming himself unfit for duty in the LPI. From here, he resigned and went his own way, using some of his pay to buy a basic model Sabre fighter in order to start his own mercenary company.
Named "Haven Tactical Security", he and an associate mostly flew low-level escort missions, failing to make much of an impact or name for themselves. Eventually, his associate departed from the endeavor, taking with him most of the company's assets and leaving Tal to his own devices.
Undeterred, he turned to the then-Colonial Republic for work, where he was hired as a fighter pilot. Preferring the Nyx multirole superiority fighter, he was pushed through an accelerated pilot training pipeline and was eventually assigned to the 49th Fighter Squadron, operating mainly in the Taus. He flew combat sorties against the Outcasts under the callsign "Snoopy", until he realized that the flashy lifestyle of a fighter pilot wasn't really for him. Stress, injuries, and trauma stemming from frequent combat encounters and sorties was rapidly getting to his head, and so he took his leave from the CR.
Life after the CR was sketchy, as he seemed to be unable to find legitimate work anywhere. His veteran status in the Libertonian Military put off many an employer as the war with Rheinland was becoming increasingly unpopular, and so he simply roamed around Sirius, taking small jobs wherever he went. During this time, he became involved with the Junker Marauders, helping to erect and maintain Beaumont Spire briefly until he disappeared from the face of Sirius for a month. It wasn't until much later down the line that Tal reappeared, this time working for the resurgent Core, having apparently undergone a journey of self-reflection and discovery. It is suspected that he was working for the LSF at this time, as a private military contractor under the Special Activities Division/Special Operations Group, training resistance fighters on Leeds.
Following the Core's successful capture of Yaren and Planet Nauru, Tal was part of a contingent of mercenaries sent to reinforce Core assets on Nauru, starting off with just a week-long search-and-destroy mission aimed at stomping out any remaining Corsair presence on the planet. The length of the mission grew and grew, until it was a full-on six-month garrison mission at a Core forward operating base. It was here that he survived the Great Ion Storm of 822, lucky enough to have received supplies from a transport just days before the storm hit Sirius. For the rest of the month, his garrison was on high alert, wary of any potential Corsair raids aiming to take advantage of the lack of communications between the base and Core command, although no attack ever came. It wasn't even known at the time if Nauru even had an appreciable Corsair presence planetside.
After Nauru, Tal found himself with a fair amount of money, and was willing to settle down somewhere a bit more stable for the long haul. After some milling about as a Freelance pilot, Tal found freight work with the GMG, after meeting Guildmaster Keiji Namura. Gradually, he became more and more part of the Guild, and was eventually absorbed into the GMG's esteemed Paramilitary division as an interceptor pilot. Stationed on Gas Miner Ogashawa, he flew sorties in a Karasu heavy fighter dubbed the Silver Bullet, after the ship's distinctive appearance and an aerial ramming attack incident in which he speared and disabled a pirate Waran bomber.
Unfortunately, the original Silver Bullet was disabled in a confrontation between Guild forces and Nomad-Infected Kusari Naval Forces pilots. While conducting a strafing run on an Isejin-affiliated gunship, his vessel was caught by a full primary battery salvo from a Hatchet destroyer, which erased the entire rear half of the fighter. With no weapons or engine remaining, he coordinated an ejection to avoid capture by Wilde forces and was rescued by Guildmaster Keiji Namura, suffering minor injuries related to the ejection.
In late-823 A.S., he and the rest of the 2nd Interceptor Division were temporarily reassigned to Iejima Station following a threat from an independent group of Corsair battleship captains, flying T-493-B Kaichous from Iejima. Once two weeks had passed without an attack, he and his squadron were relocated back to Niigata Star City.
Tal was later given command of the 2nd Interceptor Division, nicknamed "Dealers in Death", and was reassigned yet again to Gas Miner Ogashawa to fly in support of the VWA-BD-Order Anti-Corsair Joint Strike Force. The 2ID will be stationed on Ogashawa for the forseeable future.
End of GMG Service
Due to new Guild leadership and administrative policies, which emphasize cooperation and a military draw-down over Namura's "take all comers" policy, the 2nd Interceptor Division, and many other squadrons, were dissolved on April 24, their assets being scrapped or sold to make way for an expanded miner fleet. As such, Tal remains jobless for the forseeable future.
Saving Guildmaster Namura
In early 824 A.S., Keiji Namura mysteriously disappeared without a trace, leaving most of the Guild puzzled as to his whereabouts. Tal Ravis and the 2nd Interceptor Division were tasked with the initial combat search-and-rescue operations as Ogashawa was closest to the Guildmaster's last-known location, although their preliminary search yielded nothing. Despite their efforts, the 2nd Interceptor Division was unable to locate Keiji Namura before their disestablishment.
Several months after his discharge from the GMG, Tal Ravis, with the assistance of several inside men and investigators, was able to pinpoint the location of Keiji Namura, eventually intercepting a slave freighter in the Tau-23 system. Killing four people and stealing a gold chain and refurbished Glock 34, he rescued Namura from his captors, taking him back to civilization.
Tal's preferred sidearm is a customized FWG-5 pulse laser pistol, originally manufactured by Detroit Munitions. Sleek, deadly, and quick on the draw, it's the perfect companion for an enterprising intergalactic hero. His personal model is nicknamed Birth Control and sports all manners of strange, innovative features in order to maximize killing potential and efficiency, including factory-custom "Featherweight" parts that reduce weight considerably.
The first and perhaps most useful modification is the addition of a specialized hexagonal double-stack heat sink unit, which replaces the normal cooling system located at the rear of the weapon. As the name suggests, this doubles the heat capacity of the weapon, allowing him to fire long, sustained bursts in automatic mode. Specialized vents on the sides of the unit automatically pop open when critical heat capacity is reached, airing out the weapon and cooling it faster.
Next, and most noticeable, of his changes is the total lack of a front or rear sight post. Instead, both have been replaced by a snag-proof guttersnipe sight, which consists of three yellow triangles that taper off at the end of the sight unit to form a square that the shooter subconsciously aligns with the target. While ineffective at long range, it allows for extremely fast target acquisition up close, and where he'd usually find himself needing a gun.
While not his own modification, the FWG-5 is notable for having a rather large, recessed fire control knob in front of the trigger guard, with options for automatic mode. Using this knob, which requires a coin or relatively long and sturdy fingernail, the operator can fine tune the weapon's rate of fire, with 480 pulses per minute being the default setting. The selector goes down to 200 pulses per minute or up as far as 1200 pulses per minute.
Silver Bullet I
The first Karasu interceptor used by Tal Ravis during his tenure with Gas Miner Ogashawa's resident interceptor division, serial number 22-045 (the 45th Karasu produced in 822 A.S.). It had "OG" (OGashawa) painted on the outer sides of both top fins as the tail code, with the serial number stenciled in under it. The ship was easily distinguished by the color offset between the nose and fuselage, as his infamous ramming attack rendered the front of his craft squashed up and his scanner array inoperable without a full-on replacement. Karasu serial number 20-023, an older reserve ship stashed in the cargo bay of Ogashawa, was cannibalized for parts, providing Silver Bullet's new nose and Advanced Deep Scanner array.
Following an incident in which Tal used the ship to ram straight through the hull of a pirate Waran bomber after depleting his ship's powercore, successfully disabling the hostile craft in the process, the ship was repaired and the nickname Silver Bullet was bestowed upon it, written underneath the cockpit in black paint next to his three kill tallies. There were plans to get his aerial ramming "kill" immortalized in the form of a cartoon-y silver-colored bullet smashing a brick clean in half; however, the vessel was disabled in action by an Iseijin Kusari Destroyer before the drawing was finished and applied.
Silver Bullet was outfitted with a standard loadout of 2 swivel-mounted CP-M Mark 1 Mod. 0 Improved Debilitators and 4 swivel-mounted Sunblast A photon cannons. Aftermarket struts for the cargo bay were later installed.
Silver Bullet II
The second Karasu interceptor assigned to Tal after his short departure from the Guild, serial number 23-011. Initially, his tail code was OG (for OGashawa), but following his reassignment to Planet Kurile, the code was changed to AS (short for AShigakari, the GMG codename for the Kurile Invasion). While awaiting orders on Kurile, he had mechanics paint "Silver Bullet II" onto the ship, as well as a large shark mouth on the nose and a black line around where the nose of the original Silver Bullet had been cut off.
Silver Bullet II participated in several pre-Kurile invasion operations as part of Operation Ashigakari, utilizing specially-modified Firestalker missiles to target ground radar and communication systems in preparation for the invasion. Ravis was personally credited with the destruction of 3 radar arrays, 2 surface-to-air Sidewinder missile sites, and 4 radar-directed Sunfrenzy AA guns. After the initial Kurile strikes crippled the Samura platform, Silver Bullet II was reassigned to Niigata Star City in Sigma-59, gaining the new tail code of "SC", until it was reassigned to Gas Miner Ogashawa just a week later.
After the dissolution of the 2nd Interceptors, Silver Bullet II was sold and ultimately ended up scrapped.
During an action in which Tal was able to disable a Mako-class battleship in Sigma-19, Silver Bullet II sustained heavy damage that resulted in the loss of his number one and two engine. Regardless, it was able to make it home in one piece and has since had a Mako kill mark painted on the side.
Silver Bullet II is equipped with 2 swivel-mounted CP-M Mark One Mod. 0 Improved Debilitators and 4 swivel-mounted synchronized Sunblast A photon cannons. Additional armor plating and iridium cargo bay struts were installed upon delivery of the vessel to Ogashawa.
A Scimitar, bought secondhand from a dealer on Planet Los Angeles by Tal shortly after he graduated from boot camp. Registered in Liberty as POI998 with the serial number 14-009, the ship has been with Tal for over 7 years now, facing extensive modification along the way.
The first of these modifications involved caging off a section of the cargo bay for re-purposing as a living area, featuring a small metal cot, a folding table attached to the wall, and storage drawers underneath the bed. A small bathroom with shower, toilet, and sink is placed across the small hall, which leads back up to the cockpit. These modifications were necessary considering that Tal was disowned by his vehemently anti-military parents following his decision to enlist, and as such he had nowhere to stay during the downtime between boot camp and further training.
The second of the modifications were two navigation lights, one red and one green, placed on the wingtips of his ship. These help to alert other ships of his presence and lower the risk of collision.
The third of his modifications involved getting a lift fan installed and hooked up to his ship's stock engine, allowing him to conduct vertical takeoffs and landings. While completely unnecessary with the inclusion of stock vertical thrusters, he purchased the modifications anyways to better distinguish himself. This VTOL system was used once on Planet Nauru, where the jet exhaust from his engine kicked up sand hard enough that it chipped paint off of a nearby parked Anki freighter.
The last of his modifications so far are mainly cosmetic, as he got his stock engine swapped out for an HN-series light fighter engine. The new engine's longer exhaust proves to be a hazard when used in conjunction with VTOL mode, as it has been shown to melt some older-model launchpads on Manhattan.
Cruel Summer is armed with 4 Enforcer VIs and 1 CP-L Mark 1 Mod. 0 Advanced Debilitator, with iridium armor struts (Universal, Level VIII) in the cargo bay.
Shotgun Diplomacy (Faction)