Empress Laura Carroll

Empress TE 360-375
Birthdate: 5 March TE 334
Birthplace: Terra
Date of Death: 22 Feb TE 375

Laura Carroll was conceived in vitro and born in 334 when her mother, Anna Leonov, was only eight years old. This was done by order of her grandfather, Emperor Alex Leonov, in order to boost morale with both troops and the Civil Service by producing an Imperial Heir for the very popular Bob Carroll.

Laura was raised by Bob Carroll and Betty Sanceau; her relationship to Anna was more that of sisters than daughter-and-mother. Laura was a shy and laconic child who spent hours wrapped up in her studies. She spent much of her time alone, and stayed aloof during family conferences and planning sessions.

Laura was 7 when Jef took the Throne; all evidence indicates that she was more comfortable with her uncle than with anyone else in the Palace. For the few years of Jef's reign, Laura was significantly more outgoing, and was even observed to laugh occasionally. When Jef died and Anna took the Throne, Laura became more withdrawn.

Laura's position as Heir was confirmed by the Imperial Council in the Succession Act of TE 348, the year after Anna took the Throne. However, a sizable minority coalition favored Anna's sister Dana.

In 350, Laura was espoused to Joe McCaffrey, a Terran Council member from Borshall. By all accounts, it was a union of love. McCaffrey was jovial and outgoing, and to outward appearances the couple had little in common and spent little time together. Nonetheless, there was a strong bond between them, a bond that deepened with the birth of their daughter Virginia in 351.

Anna suffered a long period of illness and physical decline, beginning about TE 352 and continuing to the end of her life. During this period, Laura stayed with Anna constantly, and a strong bond grew up between the two women. Although Laura was reticent and subdued, she developed a rapport with her mother and was able to assist Anna ably. When Anna died in July 360, Laura succeeded to the Throne with no dissent.

One of Laura's first actions was the appointment of her aunt, Dana Leonov, to the High Court. Dana was a firm supporter of the Carroll agenda, and under her influence the High Court supported Laura's every move.

With the economy in a boom phase and approximately 50 new habitable worlds being added each year, Laura was able to complete Anna's reforms by completely eliminating taxation in the Empire and democratizing the government.

The start of Laura's reign marks the traditional beginning of "The High Days of the Empire," a 50-year period in which the power and culture of the Empire were at a peak.

The war with the Patalanian Union continued throughout Laura's reign. In 361, at the Battle of Karphos, Imperial forces were roundly defeated by the Union. For the rest of Laura's reign, the war was a long series of Imperial defeats and retreats.

Laura stayed strong and in command until her last day. On 22 February 375, just days before her 41st birthday, she donned the Memory Crown for her daily impression, and died of massive cerebral hemorrhage. Although a search was made for assassins, it is generally accepted that Laura's death was natural.

Laura was succeeded by her daughter, Virginia Carroll.

copyright (c) 2009, Don Sakers

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