Emperor of the Terran Empire 275-286
b. 24 December 234
d. 19 October 286
Philip Lütken was the only son of Empress Cathie Kuchta and Imperial Council member Karl Lütken. The last product of the Kuchta genetic enhancement program begun by his great-great-great-grandfather Sten Kuchta (123-237), Philip developed in vitro and was born when his mother was only 7. The boy Philip was raised by his great-grandmother, Mandike Kuchta (177-290), along with his mother, uncle David Kuchta, and aunt Judy Kuchta.
Philip was educated with the idea that he would eventually succeed to the Throne. He was brilliant but taciturn, and over the years hostility developed between Philip and the others, Cathie in particular. He was only 8 when David ascended to the Throne, and so played little part in his uncle's reign. He passed his adulthood tests in 250, at age 16, and for the next few years he was admitted to David's circle of advisors. In his role as Imperial Prince, Philip spoke little and smiled even less.
In 251, Philip met Mary Fodon at a state reception. The two were inseparable, and in 252 they were married at the Palace. A year later, Mary gave birth to Ellen Fodon.
When his mother ascended to the Throne in 254, Philip was 20. Although he maintained official apartments at the Palace, he was seldom on Earth, preferring Mary's family estates on Torbet. Their son Dirk Fodon was born in 260.
When Cathie died in 275, her sister Judy (Heir Apparent) refused the Throne, throwing the question of succession into the Imperial Council. After much deliberation, during which few other qualified applicants were proposed, the Council named Philip as Emperor. Philip ascended to the Throne at age 41.
Philip's reign was neither entirely successful nor happy. The succession crisis caused a collapse on the stock markets, and the Empire's economy went into a depression which lasted five years. Rebellions, which had been down considerably during his mother's reign, became more frequent and the Navy was deployed much more often. The resulting drain on the Imperial Treasury helped to prolong the economic decline.
During the depression, regional animosities were intensified and the power of the Idara increased.
In 277 the number of worlds in the Empire reached 5,000 -- one small bright spot in an otherwise-gloomy world.
In 278, Philip recognized the Kaal/Brandix/Meletia cult as the Empire's semi-official religion, and styled himself Kaal's incarnate son. The religion was useful; working alongside the Navy and Marines, religious ministers provided relief to economically-depressed areas.
By 280, the depression had begun to lift, although in some parts of the Galaxy -- notably the Province of Patala and the Transgeled -- effects of the depression lingered far longer.
The latter half of Philip's reign was undistinguished and relatively uneventful, as economic recovery continued to build slowly.
Philip's 50th birthday was celebrated throughout the Empire in the year 284 -- at a large celebration in New York he named his daughter Ellen Fodon as his successor. Subsequently, his health declined rapidly. On 19 October 286, at the age of 51, Philip Lütken died under the Memory Crown during the daily imprinting of the State of the Empire Report.
Philip was succeeded by his daughter, Ellen Fodon.
copyright (c) 2008, Don Sakers
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