by Max Barry

Latest Forum Topics

The Galactic Empire of
Left-Leaning College State

Overview Factbook Policies People Government Economy Rank Trend Deck


The Eternal God-Empress of Mankind: Julian Agricola-Nordstrom

Julian Fatma Agricola-Nordstrom is the incumbent President of the UCE and its' founder. Born on Earth on October 11, 2058 to the Turkish engineer Oscar Orhan and his wife Nadia Agricola in Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany, she is a New Ghibalbian of mixed Turkish, German and Russian ancestry and the first Ghibalbian to set foot in the galaxy in nearly 93,000 years and has led a storied life these past 494 years. In her childhood she grew up in Erfurt with her parents and her sister Ayse, watching quietly as society targeted her family for potential ties to the Global Neorevolutionary Army (GNA) due to her parents' left-wing politics. At the age of 11, Julian and her family moved into a GNA compound at the behest of her father, who actually was a GNA agent, and suffered abuse and starvation there. In 2076, a Russian Army raid liberated the compound and she along with her mother and sister was able to flee ahead of the advancing GNA invasion of European Russia to Finland, where Julian lived out her teenage and college years.
In 2078 Julian became a student of the University of Helsinki and majored in psychology. In 2081, however, a terrorist attack at a party led to her boyfriend being blown up and stampeded to death by frightened partygoers and Julian's being significantly injured. She graduated with a bachelor's degree nonetheless. However, she was contacted by Cenk Ozcan after her boyfriend's death. Ozcan was a Turkish German who knew Julian's parents and was a famous colonel in the UN Peacekeeping Corps who had led a desperate and victorious defense near Berlin by an infantry unit against a GNA armored force months earlier. Ozcan was gathering forces for a unit that could strike from behind in Europe against the GNA and drive them back, and in his recruitment scheme he included extremely unusual and unlikely choices like the young Agricola, as well as hardened soldiers from all of Europe. He did, however, misrepresent the nature of the unit. Believing it was a civil affairs battalion Julian signed up.
Over the next thirty-nine years Agricola fought in the Fourteenth European Legion alongside Ozcan and other Peacekeepers in Europe, where they cleared the way for the UN's liberation of southern Europe and Russia in Operation Lightning Hammer; in North America, where they investigated the American magnate and dynast Edward Nordstrom and helped repel the GNA along the eastern seaboard; and in Korea, where Agricola was captured and nearly killed alongside her unit's commanding officer, Zina Oyelowo, by GNA troops in 2087. By the 2090s, Julian's unit had seen the beginning of a global UN counteroffensive and longed for the end of the decades-long Third World War. It was not to be so, as in 2099 the GNA launched nukes and its' desperate Fifth Stroke Offensive. For the next decade she and the Fourteenth Legion, now part of the Peacekeeper intelligence branch known as the Recon Division, tramped across eastern Asia and the United States fighting off GNA assaults and terror attacks. Julian also became a liaison between the United Nations and Edward Nordstrom's globe-spanning conglomerate of corporations, the Atlas Consortium, and Nordstrom's personal secretary in 2107 when the majority of GNA forces went into hiding.
In 2110, she fought alongside Peacekeepers in Newark against a GNA terror attack as the terrorists reemerged globally. She was sent with the 14th Legion afterward to Berlin, where the GNA had overthrown the German government. After defeating the GNA forces Agricola and the Legion learned, alongside Nordstrom, that the United Nations' Secretary-General for the past decade, Alessia Peline, was a GNA sleeper agent. With the help of Nordstrom's Atlas Security mercenary troops, Julian ousted Peline days later; in June 2110 Nordstrom became the UN Secretary-General after five months where the UN went without a Secretary-General and relied on the Security Council to lead its' efforts. Meanwhile, Julian was shot in Erfurt while training German Army troops by a GNA infiltrator in December. This wound didn't kill her but it made Nordstrom, who had been infatuated with her for some time, to propose to her in January 2111. Julian accepted, and the two were married by July 2111. Nordstrom led a UN counterterrorism effort globally against the GNA, inspired to action by Julian's brush with death. Julian returned to the frontlines in September 2111, and would remain there for the next nine years, fighting the GNA as a commander of frontline troops instead of a special forces unit, being raised to General of the Seventh Division. Over the course of the final seven years of World War III she was promoted to even higher ranks, eventually becoming the Major General of the Peacekeeping Corps and her husband's highest-ranking military deputy. The GNA was defeated in 2118 and now Nordstrom launched the colonization of the Solar System he'd always wanted to do. Julian oversaw a partial demobilization and redeployment of the Peacekeepers before her honorable discharge from the Corps in 2120. She now became the chief operating officer of the Atlas Consortium, helping to oversee the functioning of its' many subdivisions of companies until 2166.
Meanwhile, with the war over, she and Edward had time to build a family. With both being, more or less, New Ghibalbians they were able to have five children between 2128 and 2137: Oscar James (2128-2469), Ivana Jean (2130-), Nadia Frieda (2132-), Everett Cenk (2135-), and Fatma Lauren (2137-). All save Oscar live to the present day, and all, alongside Julian, outlive their father. By the time of Julian's ascension to leadership of Atlas in 2166, all of them had started families of their own and lived in charitable opulence on Earth and around the Sol system. Edward himself was the founder and governor of many new colonies and oversaw the UN Colonial Advisory, which planned out new settlements, from 2165 to 2170.
In 2170, the UN, under Secretary-Generals Landon Petwright (r. 2165-70) and Viktoriya Furita (r. 2170-5), was embarking on a plan of creating democratic socialism through legislation, a plan that the Agricola-Nordstroms were divided over. Edward, Fatma, Everett and Ivana all approved of it, but Julian, Oscar, and Nadia were against it, as were many people in the off-Earth colonies, which resented its' imposition while they, comprising a third of the human population, were shut out of the debates that led to the UN declaring socialism would fulfill the UDHR. Regulations were imposed that helped break up or dissolve many businesses and led to an economic recession, and threatened Atlas. Julian opposed it publicly, warning that if Atlas were to fall under the regulatory burden, "the world that it carries on its' shoulders will be broken".
Peacekeepers were sent to arrest her in November 2170 at her home in New York. She and the rest of the family fled to Mars, where Julian concluded that the UN's program would not be imposed in any democratic or fair manner, and had to be opposed. By December, with UN Peacekeepers being issued orders to violently suppress colonial protests, she was ready to call for revolution. On December 19, 2170, she met with leaders of the colonial protests and the UN Human Rights Council. Together they, and Edward, concocted a document which stated that the United Nations, by violating its' own founding principles, had forfeited its' right to rule and should be overthrown. Secretly endorsed by many colonial governors, they promulgated the Colonial Declaration of Independence three days later, founding the United Colonies of Earth. The president of the last of the meetings that had been held to draft the document was Julian Agricola-Nordstrom herself. For this, and her leadership in the coming war, she is considered the "Mother of the Union", and more humorously, as the Eternal God-Empress of Mankind.
The Peacekeepers in the colonies sympathized with the protesters, often being colonists themselves. Many of them eventually defected from the morally bankrupt UN to join the colonial police in forming the UCE Defense Force and Colonial Defense Forces. Julian, being the only one of the UCE's Founders to have military experience, accepted her role as leader of the UCE Security Council and between December 2170 and July 2173, drove the UN Space Patrol back and convinced many of its' fleets to defect to the colonies. By 2173, all significant offworld settlements were under UCE control, and Earth was blockaded by the fledgling Navy.
But it wasn't until the United States of America declared its' support for the revolutionaries in July 2173, who had consciously patterned much of their efforts on the US's own struggle for independence nearly four centuries earlier, that the tide decisively turned. Earthside, many historical democracies now repudiated corruption and illiberalism in favor of the liberal and integritous values they had been founded on, and joined the colonial rebels. Fighting raged on humanity's homeworld until October 24, 2175, when New York was captured by the First Legion of the UCE Army and the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army. Viktoriya Furita, the last UN Secretary-General, shot herself rather than be tried for war crimes. Julian, clad in black space combat armor, lifted the UCE's flag over the UN Secretariat tower and proclaimed the Colonies' victory. UN forces fled offworld to the Kuiper Belt in the face of this defeat.
Agricola-Nordstrom and the other Founders of the UCE recognized that the new government had to have a stable foundation upon which to sustain itself, rather than informal customs. Otherwise nothing could stop or delay them from going in the direction the UN had over the past hundred years, which was into a progressively more authoritarian state. This foundation was, they felt, best expressed in a constitution. During the ensuing Constitutional Convention of 2175-77 it was Edward Nordstrom and Anna Kathraim who came up with most of the structural elements, with Julian taking notes during the Convention as the secretary. She was then asked to type it up into a summary document, which impressed the other members of the Convention so much that they asked her to put out the final document. The process of finishing the Constitution burned it into Julian's memory so well she can still recite it perfectly, minus amendments.
The Constitution was ratified by the colonies in referenda during 2177. It had much continuity with the preexisting UN in institutions, most of which were simply grandfathered in if they weren't outright banned due to being associated with UN crimes, but also with the United States. A flag design inspired by the US's was briefly supported by Julian during this period, but she rejected it in favor of the current one, and agreed to the demands of the UCE Congress that she remain in office for another five years. During this time Julian helped guide the process of creating many of the UCE's modern institutions and organs that weren't established later by constitutional amendment, and supported anti-corruption and transparency efforts. She and Edward also had a sixth child, Ecem Liberty (known more widely as Libby Nordstrom), in 2178. Meanwhile, research into faster-than-light travel accelerated and Julian opened the public presentation of the Kathraim-Nordstrom Wormhole Expansion Device, made by a team led by Anna Kathraim and her son Everett. She passed laws restricting its' ownership to the government, worried that the expensive machines could be stolen or destroyed by terrorists or private citizens and thus hamper interstellar colonization, but relaxed some of them in 2184.
In 2180, human history changed when the first mission outside the Solar System discovered four alien species in Alpha Centauri, and a fifth alien species invaded Sol itself. The Vell, Legrians, Darians, Garsekans and Taloans would all influence human history significantly after this point, and the Vell themselves fought the UCE in the Sol System until 2182. Julian led a belated UCE Navy rally at the Battle of Aigburth on Ganymede in 2181, and over the next year, coordinated efforts to root out the piratical aliens from the outer Sol system bodies. In a conference with representatives of the Alpha Centauri aliens, she led the UCE into the Multi-Species Mutual Defense Pact, which pledged to settle disputes over planets equally and to fight together against the Vell, on June 4, 2182. Until 2230, Julian would lead the UCE into interstellar space to colonize three hundred worlds and fight a thousand battles with the Vell, clearing the way for the Alliance's eventual victory in 2260. In 2230, she resigned, desiring to spend more time with her family, and for ten years did just as much. She was not employed during this time but enjoyed her pension plan from Atlas, which helped make her the wealthiest human of all time.
Julian took notice of the long-delayed rise of automation in the last half of the 23rd century. With demobilization bringing in a wave of unemployed troops and robots snapping up many minor jobs, readjustment was a necessity, and Julian found herself being drawn to politics. As Secretary-General she had been aideological and a political independent. But now, with various solutions being proposed for the growing levels of mass unemployment across the Inner Colonies, Julian's world began to divide into sides, and she delayed choosing.
The 2280s and 90s saw the beginning of the Colonial Civil War. Edward and Julian consulted for Atlas, helping it navigate the increasing political violence and mayhem. Unfortunately, the Butlerian Jihadists destroyed every Atlas facility they found when they took over a colony, and the UCEDF only served to slow them down just a little bit. In 2292, Julian argued that the UCE would be overwhelmed if the colonial militias were allowed to continue outnumbering the Defense Force 2:1. By 2297, Earth itself was besieged by the Jihad's Liberated Colonies of Earth. Julian and Edward chose to stay groundside until New York was orbitally bombarded on April 5. At this they fled to Gheba. During an excursion in her Secretary-Generalship, Julian had led the first million New Ghibalbians to the planet in 2215, resettling it and making it an economic powerhouse on the fringe of the Outer Colonies. It now served as their home for two fitful years, during which Julian concluded that the adversarial relations between labor and business had aggravated the automation issue; she was reluctant to back socialism, however, eventually becoming a liberal corporatist.
In December 2298, the rump of the UCE Congress exiled to Aspena drafted Julian back into service as the Supreme Commander of the United Colonies of Earth with the implicit demand that she bring an end to the Civil War. Julian knew the task ahead of her was not only one she didn't want to accept, it was one that was far more challenging than anything she had ever done. The Jihadists had inspired a burning anti-UCE, anti-capitalist sentiment in the Inner Colonies even as they themselves dissolved into civil war, and overcoming it would require more than military strength. Nonetheless, she felt she could overcome it. But then tragedy struck: Edward, while on a relief mission to Earth, was killed by Butlerian Jihadists in January 2299. Julian's first act as the Supreme Commander- practically the UCE's absolute dictator- was to order a military expedition to Earth to retake it and avenge her immense loss. Julian sank into a century-long depression upon her husband and soulmate's death, but fought through it to keep what they had built from sliding into chaos. During this period she authored the military reforms that saved the UCE and reorganized the Defense Force for the future, and fought at multiple sieges of Inner Colonies until the UCE's final, bloody victory over the Jihadist military at Sigma Draconis six years later. Yet fighting would rage on for another decade, and even after this, consternation would bubble in the Outer Colonies. Julian's final act was to found the United Colonies Movement to defend the culmination of international federalism, liberalism, and corporatism in 2309 before resigning her post and retiring from public life for the next 120 years.
During this period Julian grieved, nearly becoming suicidal. She felt disemboweled after Edward's death, and was unwilling to see any reminder of him. She left Earth and the Inner Colonies, heading to the Ghibalbian world of Fargone on the fringes of human civilization from 2309 to 2348. Once there she wandered alone among the Ghibalbian ruins, clad in Neo-Knight armor, and interacted with noone but the Myrede Skylenea distributed intelligence, which attempted to exploit her grief to drive her into doing what it pleased. She resisted its' advances but headed to Gheba in 2348, staying with her extremely large extended family for a few years. She sublimated the pain in becoming immersed in New Ghibalbian culture, but was eventually disgusted by its' extremely supremacist underbelly and in 2378, left as the Metropolitan Wars ended. From 2378 to 2405 she was a mercenary, fighting aliens and humans alike at the outermost fringes of UCE space, and from 2405 to 2420 an escort in the same region.
It was in 2420 that Julian had a minor epiphany on the former Orionian colony of Sorthangxe. She quit the escort business and entered the public eye as a member of the Ghibalbian Alliance, a political party formed to represent New Ghibalbian interests. She tried, unsuccessfully, to guide it away from demands that Ghibalbian signage be posted everywhere in the UCE and other quixotic efforts, and quit the party in 2449. She then appeared in many documentaries about the Civil War and the era of UCE and human history before it, and wrote her memoirs in English, German and Ghibalbian in 2469. The book, titled simply My Life, was a hit and totaled 1,684 pages in length. She also dabbled in painting and wrote further memoirs specifically about Edward; the New Ghibalbians and Myrede Skylenea; politics; and her military experiences. Through this she surprisingly came out in 2495 as a lesbian, claiming the Myrede Skylenea's implant in her brain had suppressed her sexual orientation. From henceforth, she has exclusively been seen dating women.
It seemed all but certain that Julian's days as a leader were, for now, over, and she would live out her remaining 800 years as a New Ghibalbian bedding women, teaching military tactics, and giving speeches. Even the Human Defense League failed to move Julian from her reclusion, though its' victory in 2500 concerned her given its' rhetoric. She moved back to Earth in 2503 and continues to the present day to receive her pensions from Atlas, the US government, the German federal government, and the UCE itself. But the actions of a humanocentrist admiral she had met and taught, Daniel Hosten, were the catalyst. In 2534 he was dishonorably discharged for propagandizing to the crew of his warship, the UCE superheavy cruiser Sovena Sunset, though he remained militarily active. By 2545 he had established an empire in the fringe, named for himself.
The Human Defense League endorsed his actions and made increasingly loud noises about pardoning him for his crimes, as did their presidential candidate for the upcoming 2546 election, Karin Balisma. Julian returned to the United Colonies Movement and made an impassioned speech during the party's convention (she was too late to enter the primaries) about defending the rule of law- the rule of the laws she had helped build and maintain- which concluded with "I will be damned if I stand by and let this, the last legacy of my late husband, be ripped apart by political favoritism!" The convention delegates switched their votes from the primary candidates to her, and in the general election Julian championed defending the law as it existed, rather than bending it to appease an ephemeral need. She won with 59% of the vote.
Julian's first four years in the presidency were marked by policy failures centering on Hostenia and a general continuation of prevailing HDL legislation- most of which she couldn't change because the League controlled a narrow Congressional coalition and had a Secretary-General in office. After negotiating unsuccessfully with Hosten to end his weapons trading with aliens and to once again follow all the laws of Sector 22 and the UCE for two years, Julian ordered an attack in 2548 on his capital world. The Battle of Hostenia was a rout, with Hosten easily defeating the small UCE convoy sent to arrest him, and a humiliation for the woman who had beaten back alien invaders and vicious insurgents three centuries earlier. She placed the Hostenian worlds under blockade, but was hesitant to attack for fear that the HDL might be inflamed enough to cause a massive governmental crisis.
The 2549 and 2550 elections offered relief. Despite the UCM's President having failed so far to uphold the law though not for lack of trying, the Union and Progress Coalition pinned her failure on the HDL majority in Congress, and defeated them resoundingly. However, the ensuing elections for Secretary-General the next year were tied up due to the presence of an activist from Freedom Calling named Inkorath Paine, who was splitting the coalition's votes even worse than usual. In the end he relied, ironically, on the League and the Interstellar Socialist Party to win the Secretary-Generalship. Paine and Julian have something of a polite working relationship, though Paine thinks Julian is something of a corrupt old woman and she is bemused at the slight animus she detects from him. Due to this and to various congressional moves to block funding for an assault, it has taken until January 2553 for Julian to issue a decisive ultimatum to the Hostenian Empire which she could quickly back up by force.