To call Doctor Actony Karmikel, Esq, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., FRS, FRAS, RAF a cad would be to do a disservice to cads everywhere. Though eminently respected throughout circles of academia for his knowledge of archaeology and ancient galactic history, he is also eminently despised for his disregard towards the niceties of his birth, his disdain for academic formalities, his meteoric rise towards educational success, and for eloping with more of his students than any other professor in the history of the University of Alderaan. Only an adventurous streak that conveniently drew him away from the college's campus at the peak of his fellow professors' ire (and at the time the Empire destroyed the planet, when he was deep in the Outer Rim researching the ancient Rakata Star Empire) kept him from facing the quite serious consequences. Though his enforced 'sabbatical' (a euphemism he uses to quietly disguise his horror at the fate of his homeworld) has dulled his mind and spirit both, Alliance enlistment has brought his adventurous streak, and natural aviatory talent, to the fore.
Actony Karmikel was born in 29 BBY into a wealthy, moderately noble household on Alderaan. His father sat in the Lords’ Chamber, senior section of the planetary legislature, while his mother had been a childhood friend, handmaiden and confidante of Queen Breha Organa prior to her marriage. Gentle birth and a comfortable young life cultivated parental confidence in him: more driven than his younger siblings, eager to learn, continually exploring - the young boy could escape any adult at four, outwit any at six, and attain any end through simple charm by eight. By the time he started school, the world seemed his oyster.
Handsome, charming and possessed of a very large family fortune, on his arrival at the Aldera College for Young Men he joined a féted group that brought him up to the next level of his life. Excelling continually in every test put before him, a favourite of students and masters alike, house prefect, school prefect, head boy, and ultimately admission to the prestigious King’s College of the Royal Academy of Alderaan, a seat of learning more than five thousand years old, for which he was awarded the distinguished Prince Regent’s Scholarship. Moreover, his school years were marked by long holidays of adventure with his father, siblings, and later school friends: rock climbing among the ancient Killik mounds, sailing holidays to the Scarif pleasure coasts, hiking and camping in the Rim, and even a summer placement with the Royal Society of Archaeologists prior to starting his further education. His was a privileged childhood, far from the strife of an increasingly troubled galaxy, and even as the Galactic Civil War took shape he noticed little of it.
A passion for the study of the past led Actony to choose a Bachelor’s Degree in History as his first step towards greater things in later life. It was quickly followed by a Master’s Degree in Archaeology, in which he studied under some of the finest experts in the field, men he respected and worked to earn the favour of as he undertook the discovery of the secrets of the past. The galaxy was a place of wonder to him, of mystery, and he found himself working to fulfil the steady, stable need for pilots to support the continual expeditions the department organised to the Expansion Regions and the Rim. But already his was becoming a more difficult career. No lover of the Empire, Actony resented the fact that only those working for the Imperial Reclamation Service - an organisation he derided as staffed by crackpots and dolts without a hint of care for the treasures they unearthed - could acquire the best permits and contracts in a field that apparently without explanation the Empire had judged to be in need of restriction.
Nonetheless, Actony stuck with his chosen path, whatever the reservations of his mother (who was horrified by the notion of his travelling far from the warm heart of the galaxy into the way of needless danger) and father (who was incensed that his eldest son and heir had chosen to go gallivanting about the galaxy instead of putting the family first). After completing his M.A. with distinction, he accepted the offer of a year’s research placement with the famed Dr. Indana Jans, who further utilised him as a personal pilot – for by now, what had started as a mere hobby and exercise in escapism and financing had become a passion and a developed, refined skill.
Doctors Jans kept Actony on for a full year, time in which he had more than one run-in with Imperial authorities while leaving the site of a prohibited dig at speed. The two were always able to escape in advance of any pursuers, their identities unknown and their work unharmed, but the experience was enough to convince Actony of two things: that he was quite happy to lie low in the Core for a while, and that he’d have to get the hang of this piloting lark a little better.
Four years as a doctoral student gave him plenty of time to lie low: while there was a certain fascination in spending days digging down inside extinct killik mounds seeking evidence of interactions with non-Alderaanian species, it did begin to drag after a while. His other pursuits had to be quite forcibly put on hold for a while, the prioritisation of his intensive studies holding him back, and indeed he himself would have admitted that he allowed himself to stray from his own nature somewhat. Away on expeditions, cut off from other young beings, surrounded by the dust of the dead, he was quite aware that by the time he finally earned his doctorate, he wanted to take the skills and talents life had given him and put them to use.
Actony Karmikel’s graduation from his doctoral programme was by no metric a subdued affair. After, as he put it, ‘four years of criminally enforced abstinence on all counts,’ he was quite ready for a little freedom. Having accepted tenure as a teaching professor at the Royal Academy, in his alma mater’s own archaeology program, he committed himself to a summer of hedonistic enjoyment of the privileges of his birth. With other, similarly dissolute young nobles, he spent weeks in alternating states of drinking, spending, sleeping, and seeking every pleasure one might attain. His parents were horrified at the fate of this dissolute youth: at twenty-six, having come so far through a privileged education and a childhood most beings could only dream of, he seemed quite set on drinking himself into an early grave. So it came as something of a shock when two weeks before he was due to assume his position as a professor, he awoke late in the day from a drunken haze to find himself a proud enlistee in Alderaan’s Royal Aerospace Force.
The RAF was perhaps the only military body tolerated at that time on the otherwise-pacifist Alderaan. Effectively a ceremonial force, it directly served the monarchy as personal guards whenever they travelled. Though they were only part-time soldiers, serving limited terms as needed by their commanders, and had a reputation as something of an old boys’ club – on arriving, Actony ran into two housemates from school, and at least three alumni who recognised him on first sight alone – the RAF was still a serious fighting force, one that expected discipline and professionalism from all its personnel. It was because of this that it proved such a shock for Actony to agree to stay on, rather than withdrawing his entry.
His reasons were his own: some said he had realised he needed the discipline, others that he was being forced into it by an enraged father at his wits’ end, or that he was being blackmailed into it by a wronged party hoping he’d meet a messy, guiltless end. In truth though, Actony was simply a bored young man, looking a life of (admittedly fascinating) academia and an expectation of a legislative inheritance in the face, who wanted a few years jetting about the galaxy in the service of princesses and noble ladies before settling down. So he attended the rigorous training courses between teaching students the joys of history and archaeology, worked his way through the ranks, and soon earned the embroidered wings and archaic uniform of an RAF Flight Lieutenant.
Of course, his career on either side was not without tensions: the same caddish attitudes that had marked the start of this phase of his life remained, as he wooed the noble ladies whose parties he attended in immaculate uniform and the naïve students who could never resist the charms of the rugged nobleman. Others despaired at his actions when they heard of scandal and gossip, but he never actively set out to harm anyone, more to enjoy life to as full an extent as possible. Charming and witty, he was fast to make friends he was all too happy to defend to the death when the need arose. Likewise, an old romantic, he was only too happy to respond to the affections of women who warmed to his easy grin and roguish exterior (one they were quite sure they could get under, if they really tried), even if it was in the longer term a very bad idea.
Of course, ‘very bad idea’ couldn’t really begin to sum up his final transgression. Though undoubtedly a caring and fulfilling relationship on both parties, one that for perhaps the first time he was genuinely saddened to depart from, when it was discovered that he had been engaged in an affair with the heir to House Organa, a royal and a member of the Imperial Senate at that, it was quite clear that he had to depart rapidly. A hastily-planned trip to the B’Omarr monasteries of Teth provided a convenient scapegoat for a rapid departure, but it was quite clear he had outstayed his welcome in Alderaani high society for quite a few years.
The unfortunate fact, however, was that Alderaani high society did not have a few years; within three months of his rapid departure, Actony was summoned back rapidly by horrified messages from similarly off-world friends. Alderaan was gone, destroyed by the Empire, and suddenly a war he had spent his adult life avoiding was brought painfully home to him. Returning to the sight of his old home did little to solve his regrets, his pain at squandered opportunities and needless waste that he had never understood. A man who spent his time among the tombs of the long-dead now came to realise the waste and futility of his life to that point, to realise the pure, painful mortality of his life amongst the vast grave of nigh-everyone he had ever known.
Once again, alcohol proved the answer: the Rim had plenty of spots for digging and flying by day, and purchasing cheap rotgut by night. As the sole inheritor of a vast family fortune, he should have been able to live a life of luxury, but it was only when he went to pay his first bill at the Hotel Incandescence on Christophsis that he realised his family accounts had all been wiped; his escape from that situation had been an unfortunate experience for all involved. He might have stayed like that forever, were it not for a Rebel Alliance recruiter who happened to recognise him from an RAF encounter years before.
What was left in offworld accounts of limited accessibility proved enough to get Actony to a rendezvous point that took him to an Alliance training centre, but there was little left to teach him; within weeks the young man was flying for the Alliance in all manner of craft and on all manner of assignments. In many ways, he had at last found himself a purpose: the thrill of battle, the defeat of the Empire, and the fulfilment of his life until it could go no further.
Thrill - A lifetime of academia, even when interspersed with the occasional jolly in the Outer Rim, tends to stifle a chap's creative juices, to drain the bon vivant of life and leave one feeling, well, a tad dull. Starfighter combat, on the other hand, brings no such concerns to the discerning gentleman - there's quite enough excitement to go around, even if it may occasionally lose its charm.
Placard Hunter (4) - Actony Karmikel has earned himself a reputation in academia, and as a man. He is intensely ambitious, and always enjoys spreading his own personal brand a little. Although he understands the risks of making himself a target, the thought of his name being cursed among the highest echelons of Imperial command alongside Skywalker and Antilles fills his heart with a boyish glee he prefers to channel, rather than opposing.
Just as Actony Karmikel is the cad of cads amongst his friends, so his moustache is a truly awe-inspiring affectation. Lending an air of gravitas and mischief both, the facial decoration has served to woo many an undergraduate and impress many a gentleman over its lifespan. His face is a cheerful one, usually smiling a toothy grin, handsome in an aristocratic way that belies a greater physical strength. He is of average height, broad-shouldered from years of training and digging in the ground, while his hands are callused from similar work. Blonde hair and blue eyes complete the appearance of a nobleman, an impression he is happy to perpetuate.
On-duty Actony dresses in the regulation Alliance flight suit. Off-duty (and in trusted company) he wears the uniform of Alderaan's Royal Aerospace Force (an organisation he variably joined out of a sense of planetary patriotism, on a dare that led to him bedding a wing commander, or while outrageously drunk, depending on who is asking), a starchy dark blue suit of wool (of all materials), often covered with a dark greatcoat of which he is inordinately proud. In less trustworthy situations, his field gear of hard-wearing corduroy trousers, buttoned shirt, genuine leather jacket and classic fedora (Tycho's of Organa Street, don't you know?) serves him well.