Arturo Mendez

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Arturo Mendez
Parents Valda Mendez, Arturo's father
Profession DDF pilots
World Detritus
Universe Cytoverse
Featured In Skyward (series)
This page or section contains spoilers for Defiant!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Sunreach, ReDawn, Evershore, and Defiant!
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Arturo Mendez (callsign Amphisbaena) is a member of the DDF and a member of Skyward Flight.[1] Both of his parents are pilots, one of which is Valda Mendez.[1] He is an assistant flight leader to Jorgen, along with Nedd.[1][2]

His callsign, Amphisbaena, comes from the mythological two headed, ant-eating serpent that goes by the same name. His flightmates and other DDF staff have difficulty pronouncing his callsign, leading to it being shortened to Amphi.[3] Cobb appears to be the only person who can pronounce Arturo's callsign, however also calls him by the shortened nickname.[4][5]

His family is rich[6] and owns three private starfighters that are used as escorts during trading operations.[7] These ships are not accessible to the DDF during times of need as they are primarily reserved to evacuate the Mendez family if they are in danger.[8] His family has a private radio frequency, 1250,[9] as well as a private radio that is able to unscramble pilot frequencies.[8]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Arturo is shorter than Jorgen[1] and has a faint accent that is normally associated with those from the lower caverns.[10] His hair curls to some degree.[6] He has a more formal way of speaking that may be due to his higher societal status.[11]

He is highly intelligent and his pretentious attitude lands him in trouble with Cobb, several times during flight school.[10][11] Despite this, Arturo is initially surprised when his fellow classmates call on him for information,[12] however as time passes, becomes more comfortable and less arrogant when sharing information.[12] He is good at judging distances, a skill that his flightmates utilize and value.[12][13]

Arturo is also an inquisitive person and can be skeptical of illogical suggestions.[5] He is also a logical thinker who carefully weights risk and reward when considering his actions. He is more likely to make the conservative choice when faced with high risk, even if this may lead to sub-optimal results. Despite this, he does have a competitive streak.[14] By the time Arturo is pulled from flight school, he has relaxed his way of thinking and is more willing to break rules and take risks.[8]

Arturo has the tendency get distracted by opinions he disagrees with, which can cause him to go off on tangents.[3] Although Arturo begins flight school believing, and repeating, DDF rhetoric, he becomes more critical and inquisitive of DDF culture as time progresses.[3][5] By the end of his time at flight school, Arturo has come to accept that the DDF is losing the war against the Krell despite their unwillingness to accept that fact.[15]

Arturo's confidence takes a hit after he is almost shot down during the battle in which Hurl died. He is aware of how close he came to death and worries about getting back into the cockpit.[12][6][16] Despite his worries, shortly after his near accident, Arturo finds that he has an intense desire to provide support to the main battle occurring nearby, instead of being in the background with the scouts.[15] After being forcibly retired from the DDF, Arturo decided against wearing his pilots pin in public, even though he had been promoted to full pilot.[8]

Arturo is not religious,[6] and has some level of interest in sports.[16]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Arturo is highly knowledgeable about piloting and starfighters, having achieved the rank of pilot.[17][10]

During flight school, Arturo trains to pilot a Poco, perform aerial maneuvers, and use its weaponry. He has a significant amount of practical experience in flying prior to flight school, having logged over two-hundred hours of flight time through acting as a copilot to his Arturo's_father.[1] Despite this, Arturo was not fully trained in flying before joining the DDF, and had little experience with starfighter weaponry.[18] He is familiar with military protocol, likely due to his parent's positions as pilots.[1]

Arturo is highly intelligent and often called upon in class by Cobb for information about starfighters, flying, or the Krell.[4][10] He is also knowledgeable in DDF history and can visually recognize historical battles.[19]

He is a good shot, either at or close to, the same level as Kimmalyn.[20] After being reinstated, Arturo is placed in a specialized team made up of Skyward Flight members and likely flies a sniper.[21]

Arturo is not a cytonic.[22]


When Arturo joined flight school, he was placed in Skyward Flight under the tutorledge of Cobb. During his time as a cadet, he roomed with the other male members of his flight.[23]

His first day of flight school saw him arriving at the class room with his two friends, Jorgen and Nedd. When Jorgen chided the other members of Skyward Flight for not being organized and ordered them to attention, Arturo naturally obeyed the command. After Cobb named Jorgen flightleader, Jorgen named Arturo as one of his two assistant flightleaders.[1]

Unlike many of the other members of Skyward Flight, it is likely that Arturo successfully launched his Poco during the first lesson run by Cobb.[3] After the exercise, when Bim asked about the tradition of dismissing cadets who eject, Arturo repeated DDF rhetoric that acclivity rings should be saved at all cost as they were worth more than the lives of pilots. Cobb chided him for his assertion, and tried to discourage the cadets from listening to similar rumors.[3] When the first lesson was interrupted by a Krell attack, Arturo, along with the rest of Skyward Flight, were ordered to take to the sky and line up close to the battle to deceive the Krell into thinking there were more pilots ready to join the conflict.[10] While they waited, Arturo and Spensa explained to the other cadets the attack strategy of the Krell, although they disagreed on whether the nuances of lifebuster involvement should be considered part of a basic explanation.[10]

Real pilots, the best of the best? They can steer a crashing ship into a salvageable landing, even if they’ve been shot. Acclivity rings are worth so much that pilots have to protect them, because the pilot isn’t worth as much...

—Arturo regurgitating DDF propaganda[3]

The next day, while practicing, Arturo had to remind Nedd where to find his eject lever, to which Nedd joked that in an emergency he would simply ask Arturo where to find it. When Cobb asked the class for feedback, Arturo replied in a pompous way that he was bored.[11] Later, the cadets began testing out the weapons functions on their mockpits. Like his fellow classmates, barring Kimmalyn, Arturo performed poorly when first attempting to hit the targets, not managing to land a single shot.[18] After most of the class died during the dogfight simulation, Cobb showed them the advantage of IMP's, using Arturo to demonstrate.[18]

During the light-lancing ring game, Arturo was sabotaged by Nedd who intentionally crashed them both into the third ring of the second run, by joining their ships with his light-lance.[14] After Spensa deliberately collided with Jorgen, Arturo, along with Nedd, attempted to calm their flightleader down, with Nedd joking that Jorgen had still beaten Arturo - a comment Arturo did not appreciate.[14] As form of vicious retribution, Jorgen told Arturo and Nedd about Spensa's father and living situation while the rest of the room listened.[14]

A few days later, Skyward Flight was once again sent into battle against the Krell, this time fighting alongside full pilots. Although Arturo was initially designated to be Jorgen's wingmate, at some point he was separated from his flightleader and Spensa took his place. Shortly after Morningtide was shot down, Arturo paired off with Nedd, to prevent the Krell from being able to focus on either of them. Arturo survived the battle, however, both Bim and Morningtide were killed.[24]

"Nedd, you idiot," Arturo said in my ear. "Why did you do that?"

"I wanted to see what would happen," Nedd answered.

"You wanted…Nedd, it was obvious what would happen. You just got us both killed!"

"Better here than the real world."

"Better neither. Now we won't win."

Nedd and Arturo bickering during the light-lance game[14]

During a routine debris tagging exercise, Skyward Flight got caught in a firefight between Krell and DDF forces as the shipyard fell from orbit. Arturo tried to assist a damaged DDF fighter as it crashed towards the planet surface, however, was unsuccessful in catching it with his light-lance. Arturo, FM, Hurl, and Jorgen, ended up cut off from the other members of the Flight after they were attacked by Krell.[25] Eventually the members of the Flight were able to regroup and joined Riptide Flight as they headed back to base.[26]

A week later, during training, Arturo asked Cobb about Krell tactics and their interactions with DDF pilots during battle. His questions led to Cobb giving the flight information about the Krell and the planet's defenses.[5]

During a later training session, Arturo questioned Cobb about the simulation they were using, wanting to know if the instructor was recreating famous battles for practice. He correctly guessed that the cadets had just been practicing in the Battle of Trajerto, a clash that had taken place five years previous.[19]

Not long after the class was dismissed, Skyward Flight was called to action to help defend against a Krell attack. The flight took up position near one of Alta's AA guns away from the main fight to wait as backup. Arturo was surprised when FM asked if he knew how far away the flight was from the main battle, not expecting her to ask him. Arturo instinctively left a pause before answering, waiting for Nedd to fill the silence with a joke, momentarily forgetting that the other pilot had been dismissed from the DDF. Instead of calculating the distance, as FM assumed he would, Arturo radioed Cobb to ask him directly.[12]

When the group was given the green light to engage, Arturo fell in with Jorgen as his wingmate, engaging several Krell. At some point during the battle, Arturo was able to destroy at least one of the enemy fighters, however, after taking heavy fire, lost his shield and took a direct hit along the side of his ship. Luckily, the shot had not damaged his acclivity ring allowing his starfighter to stay airborne, however, the ship was severely damaged and the shielding mechanism completely destroyed.[27] The attack rattled Arturo, who was well aware how lucky he was to have made it through the incident alive.[12]

After the death of Hurl, Arturo, along with the other remaining members of Skyward Flight, were given a week of leave in order to recover. Despite this, all remaining members returned to their flight school classroom the next morning. Spensa, determined to find Hurl's ship asked Arturo how far out he thought the battle had taken place, using his answer to guide her in the right direction towards Hurl's crash site.[13]

Arturo’s ship was blackened all along its left wing and side, its canopy cracked. His acclivity ring was still on, so he could stay in the air, but…scud. He’d survived a destructor hit after his shield had been knocked out.

Spensa describing the damage to Arturo's ship after he was directly hit by destructor blasts[12]

During his week of medical leave, Arturo met up with the members of Skyward Flight, past and present, at a restaurant at Alta Base, and introduced them to his girlfriend Bryn. The group reminiscing about Hurl, and Arturo admitted his regret for not going with Spensa and Jorgen to find Hurl's body. When Bryn went to the bathroom, the members of Skyward Flight talked briefly about the strangeness of Krell tactics and the DDF's hesitancy to talk about these things. Arturo played devil's advocate during the conversation, challenging the sentiments expressed with the possibility that the DDF didn't share information on enemy tactics with those who did not have full DDF credentials. Kimmalyn pointed out to him, however, the his own conversations about the Krell had previously been shut down by higher ranking officers. The conversation dropped when Bryn returned and the group moved on to lighter topics.[6]

Some days after the gathering, Arturo accompanied FM to a game of sports after Nedd procured tickets for the two of them. The pair continued to talk about the game the next day when they arrived at class, only to find that their mockpits were no longer usable. Arturo questioned Cobb when he arrived, who told the cadets that they were moving on to practicing in real Poco's from that point forward. As the group moved towards the launchpad, Arturo fell into conversation with Spensa, admitting that he wanted to be more like her. Strengthened by Spensa's words of encouragement, Arturo borrowed Kimmalyn's now vacant Poco for the training, while his own was being repaired.[16]

During scouting training, Arturo queried Blaze about the perception of cowardice created by staying away from the battle. Blaze did not appreciate the question, snapping back that scouts were not cowards, to which Arturo hastily clarified he had not meant to imply they were.[15]

After the flight touched down at Alta, Arturo brought up Spensa's comments from the restaurant about the DDF's involvement with the war, agreeing with her that the human military was slowly losing. When Jorgen tried to argue, Arturo pointed out that statistical data of the war showed the Defiant's position weakening. As they returned to the training building, Arturo found his mother, Valda, speaking with Cobb. Going to speak with the pair, Arturo was informed that he was being promoted to full pilot and retired honorably from service in order to help his family's business. Angry, Arturo tried to toss the pilot's pin given to him by Cobb away, however, he was stopped by his mother. Eventually Arturo caved, saluting Cobb before leaving with is mother.[15]

Arturo gazed down at the pin, then went to slam it into the ground, but his mother caught his arm. Gradually, Arturo relaxed, then reluctantly saluted Cobb. Arturo looked back at us, then saluted us as well.

—Arturo being informed he is being honorably retired[15]

Following the Skyward graduation, Arturo and the former members of the flight met up at a restaurant in Alta Base to listen in to the battle at the shipyard on Arturo's family radio. Despite being a full pilot, Arturo did not wear his pilots pin to the gathering. Arturo set up the radio to broadcast the National Assembly channel so that the former pilots could listen to the same information being given to the government leaders. At the request of the others in the group, Arturo eventually turned the radio to the pilots bands so that they could listen in directly to the battle. Periodically, he would switch between the flightleader channel and the scouts channel, so that the group could follow the scout's attempts to stop the lifebuster. Hearing the desperation of the battle, Arturo, Nedd, and Kimmalyn went to steal the Mendez private jets from the lower caverns to aid the overwhelmed DDF pilots.[8]

Having successfully stolen the Mendez family starships, Arturo, Nedd, and Kimmalyn went to join Spensa in defending Alta Base. The group arrived shortly after Spensa was shot down and ordered by Ironsides to attack and destroy the bomber.[28][29]

After Spensa rejoined the fight in M-Bot, Arturo and Nedd went after the bomber on Spensa's orders, in an attempt to drive it away from Alta Base. Ironsides tried to overrule Spensa, however, was ignored by Arturo and Nedd. There attempts to attack the bomber, however, were constantly impeded by the black Krell guard ships which would attack if they got close but fall back if they pulled away. When Riptide Flight arrived, they joined Arturo and Nedd in engaging with these ships to keep them busy and distracted.[29] It is unknown how the fight Arturo was involved in ended, but it can be assumed the black Krell fighters pulled back when the lifebuster was dropped.

Following the battle, Arturo rejoined the DDF as an active pilot.[17] He accompanied Jorgen during his exploration of Detritus' cave system, however, after five days of travelling, began to suggested that the trio head back to base after hearing DDF alarms in the distance.[22] He was unaware of the true reason the friends were exploring the caves, believing the objective of their task had been relayed from Cobb to Jorgen.[22]



"Hey, Arturo,” Nedd said... “these projectors are pretty good. You think they could simulate a world where you’re not a scudding terrible pilot?”

“All we need for that,” Arturo said, “is an Off button for your radio. I’m certain we’d all improve by huge leaps if we didn’t have to listen to your incessant jabbering."

Nedd and Arturo bickering during class[11]

Arturo has a playful and joking type of relationship with Nedd,[11][14] and the two often throw friendly insults at each other.[14] Arturo is used to Nedd's wisecracks and is thrown after Nedd drops out of flight school, still expecting his responses during certain beats of conversation.[12]

Arturo and Nedd deliberately do not invite Jorgen to informal gatherings of Skyward Flight as they believe he would not want to join the group, thus making the invitation a waste of time.[6] It is unclear if they are correct in this thought.


Jorgen and Arturo became friends during school, before they joined the DDF. Jorgen is aware of Arturo's tendency to go on tangents during arguments and is effective at preventing this from occurring.[3] Arturo has a tendency to take jabs at Jorgen's attitude,[19] and may find the other boy to be a buzzkill.[5] Regardless, Arturo values Jorgen's friendship and gladly will agree to follow Jorgen, even in situations where he is unaware of their mission objective.[22].


You are bold. You’re getting back in the cockpit—that’s the important part. You didn’t let it frighten you away.

Spensa's encouragements to Arturo[16]

Initially, Spensa saw Arturo only in relation to Jorgen, while Arturo found Spensa's competitive nature annoying.[10] Following the revelation that Spensa's father was Zeen Nightshade, Arturo began acting more cautious around Spensa, although it is unclear if this was because of her parentage or her temper.[30]

Arturo is aware of Spensa's dislike of Ironsides and thinks that it is justified.[6] He admires her straightforward attitude and bravery, and looks to her for advice and comfort when he is concerned about his flying abilities. Her words help to reassure him and strengthen his resolve to get back into the pilot's seat and fly again.[16]

Unlike after Nedd's removal from flight school, Spensa is not highly affected by Arturo's forced retirement, and is glad that he will be safe from harm.[15][31][32] His retirement, however, does spark anger in her that the deceased members of Skyward Flight weren't afforded the same opportunity.[15] After Arturo rejoins the DDF as an active pilot, the pair strengthen their friendship, with Spensa growing use to being in the other pilot's presence.[33]


I honestly don’t know how you all suffer him. He pretended to know everything before he became a pilot. He must be impossible now.

Bryn making fun of Arturo[6]

Bryn is an old friend of Arturo's from before flight school, who he went to school with. They date for a while, and is obvious from their interactions that they are a clear couple and not against light PDA. Bryn is aware of how much Hurl's death has affected Arturo and does what she can to support him through his grief.[6]

Soon before leaving on a mission to ReDawn, Bryn sends him a letter and they broke up. Arturo later tells Alanik that he's pretty sure Bryn wanted to stop dating him for a while, but wasn't sure how. Arturo decided to remain in the DDF instead of retiring after a few months as his family planned, putting the strain of distance on their relationship. She tells Arturo that he changed at flight school, and started caring about different things. Arturo seems slightly regretful when talking about this, but accepts it and agrees that he has changed and that they are both better off apart. [34]

Valda Mendez and Arturo's father[edit]

His parents pulled him out of the DDF. This has been building for a few weeks—ever since he almost got shot down.

Jorgen explaining to Spensa why Arturo was removed from flight school[15]

Following Arturo's near death experience, Valda Mendez and her husband begin working toward removing their son from flight school, out of fear for his safety. Under the guise that he is needed to help administer the family's business, the couple utilized their connections to have Ironsides promote Arturo to full pilot and immediately retire him honorably from the DDF. Arturo is initially furious when he is first confronted by his mother at Alta Base, though quickly accepts that circumstances are outside of his control and he is unable to change the decision.[15]

Valda and her husband never planned to let their son fly permanently and had always planned to remove him from duty. Unlike a career in politics, Arturo would gain prestige and power by virtue of having entered flight school, and would not need legitimate flight experience as a ranked pilot to succeed in the business world. As such, it was a surprise to Arturo's friends that he had been allowed to stay in flight school for as long as he did and was not removed sooner. It is likely that Arturo resisted his parent's wishes that he be retired, which prolonged his training in Skyward Flight.[15]


Arturo is initially suspicious of Alanik, and approaches her after Skyward Flight defects to come to ReDawn. He tells her frankly that he's worried she is using the humans and planning to turn them over to the Superiority for an advantage. Alanik is offended at the idea of cooperating with the Superiority, but admits to herself that his concerns are valid. Arturo warns her not to cross them, and leaves.[35]

Later, Alanik and Arturo talk about why they fight the Superiority, and grow to understand and respect each other's reasons. Arturo volunteers to accompany Alanik on the mission to rescue Rinakin, agreeing that she needs backup. During the flight, they engage in friendly conversation, and he helps her choose a callsign.

When Alanik is panicking over having killed another pilot, Arturo pulls her aside and pushes her to talk. He helps her think through her feelings and calm down, making sure she's alright before they continue fighting.[36]

After the battle on ReDawn, Alanik and Arturo spend lots of time together.[37] Arturo takes it upon himself to make sure Alanik is well-assimilated to Skyward Flight, though this is somewhat unnecessary, as she is already an excellent pilot and quickly accustoms to flying with them. Of late, he flies with Alanik as a wingmate instead of Nedd, like usual.[38] When Jorgen is communicating cytonically with Arturo, he sees that Arturo has feelings for Alanik, though nothing is yet happening between them. When Arturo sends Alanik to fly the lifebuster bomb away, he is terrified for her safety, though he knows she has the best chance of getting away in time.[39] It seems likely that Alanik has feelings for him as well; she finds the idea of asking Arturo (in particular) about human mating rituals "disorienting,"[40] and the tone of her novella is consistent with this.


  1. a b c d e f g Skyward chapter 8#
  2. Sunreach chapter 1#
  3. a b c d e f g Skyward chapter 9#
  4. a b Skyward chapter 23#
  5. a b c d e Skyward chapter 27#
  6. a b c d e f g h i Skyward chapter 38#
  7. Skyward chapter 35#
  8. a b c d e Skyward chapter 48#
  9. Skyward chapter 37#
  10. a b c d e f g Skyward chapter 10#
  11. a b c d e Skyward chapter 13#
  12. a b c d e f g h Skyward chapter 32#
  13. a b Skyward chapter 33#
  14. a b c d e f g Skyward chapter 15#
  15. a b c d e f g h i j Skyward chapter 41#
  16. a b c d e Skyward chapter 40#
  17. a b Starsight chapter 3#
  18. a b c Skyward chapter 14#
  19. a b c Skyward chapter 31#
  20. Starsight chapter 15#
  21. Starsight chapter 14#
  22. a b c d Starsight epilogue#
  23. Skyward chapter 11#
  24. Skyward chapter 19#
  25. Skyward chapter 25#
  26. Skyward chapter 26#
  27. Skyward chapter 49#
  28. Skyward chapter 51#
  29. a b Skyward chapter 52#
  30. Skyward chapter 16#
  31. Skyward chapter 42#
  32. Skyward chapter 44#
  33. Starsight chapter 27#
  34. ReDawn chapter 16#
  35. ReDawn chapter 12#
  36. ReDawn chapter 21#
  37. Evershore chapter 3#
  38. Evershore chapter 12#
  39. Evershore chapter 18#
  40. ReDawn chapter 22#
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