Coming Together

With no doubt in my mind, the long camaraderie shared between Starling Labs and the colony of Tanner hearkens back to the early years of the Tortuga colony.

Mr. Starling visited here during his childhood, and when offered the assignment by United Earth to be posted at the colony of Tanner, he eagerly accepted. Tanner is a home with indelible links, bonding the Starling Family to the colony. Mr. Starling spoke fondly of his childhood memories here on Tortuga, “I have a stake in Tanner–Starling Corp does. We are a part of this community and have been for generations… I’m already invested in more ways than one to see this community succeed.”

We sat in the rooftop garden at Starling Labs, and I observed the employees tending to the gardens, creating a delight to the senses. A cinnamon tree stands proud and thriving. One Mr. Starling is particularly fond of. While speaking of the tree, Mr. Starling said, “It’s my hope to see all of my people here just as thriving… And I hope to be able to extend that wish to the people of Tanner.”

Even though such a location is meant to tuck the harsher parts of reality to the side, even for a moment in time, there was no getting around the elephant in the room, the attack. Nor did Mr. Starling dodge or wince when the tough questions came out like a champion boxer entering a ring.

With earnestness, Mr. Starling asked, “Let’s have an open and honest discussion about the future of Tanner together… It’s time for the TLF to do more than distance themselves from violence. It’s an important and very much appreciated start… They need to step out into the light.”

Mr. Starling sees this is an opportunity for an olive branch to be shared. “We must be allowed to distance ourselves from the actions of a few misguided individuals who fail to represent those ideals, just as the Tanner Liberation Front seeks to distance itself from the abhorrent, unforgivable actions of Patrick Larson.”

When asked about his next steps, Mr. Starling didn’t miss a beat, stating, “I am going to renew my efforts to communicate with the leaders of Tanner and with the leaders of the TLF… So many of the people of Tanner have already recognized the intention to foster a greater partnership–not for any one side or agenda–but for the shared benefit of everyone here on Tortuga.”

When I asked if there can be true partnership -with- the U.E. and those wishing for independence on Tanner, Mr. Starling addressed the topic thusly, “There absolutely can be a partnership. I would argue, and I have, there already is a partnership and growing independence.”

In closing, let’s all be reminded of the very real consequences to violent actions.

I stopped in to visit, and see firsthand, the devastating consequences of the Valentine’s Day attack. Kriss Rodgers, employed at Starling Labs for over a decade, remains under the hospital care. Mr. Starling spoke fondly of Mr. Rodgers, saying, “He stayed behind to clean the offices up when everyone else had gone for the day to enjoy the Valentine’s Day celebrations together… He never cared about politics. He certainly never wished anyone harm.” Kriss, you have all our wishes for a full recovery. A small group has come together to lay candles, cards, and some of Kriss’ favorite treats such as Ronaldo’s Crispy Chicken Nachos outside of the medical facility.