Athena is the daughter of French aircraft designer and World War I ace Tristam Voltaire and expatriate Russian Countess Anya Sikorsky. Their union produced Athena, but the couple separated during the upheavals in Europe after the war. Anya remained in Europe and became the toast of café society. Tristam took Athena to America and a career designing aircraft for the government. Tristam, enamoured of Wild West stories told to him by American pilots during the war, bought a ranch in Mesa, Arizona, with a major airfield nearby. Ranch hands taught Athena how to ride and shoot. Her father taught her to fly.
After a brief, tragic marriage (her cowboy husband was killed in a cattle raid), she struck out for Los Angeles to find work as a mail pilot, but her exotic looks got her work in film. Athena's riding and shooting skills landed her parts in B-movie westerns and serials. Her acting skills were limited and she worked primarily as a stuntwoman. Bored, she returned to the skies as a barnstormer and a champion air racer.
Athena's fame as an air racer intrigued Howard Hughes, who lured her back to Hollywood as a stunt pilot for his films. She also landed on the arm of every major star in Hollywood (Gable, Flynn, Cooper). During this time, she started a courier and charter air service, Wings Over The World. She was not adverse to taking some jobs and clients that were on the shady side of the law.
Her air service and Hollywood connections soon gained her a network of contacts all over the world, and her skill at getting clients out of hot spots became legendary.
Her weapons of choice, a Winchester rifle and Colt six-shooters, earned her the nickname "The Flying Cowgirl."
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