d. 6 September 482
470: Emperor of the Terran Empire
Third child of Empress Catherine Carroll and David Kuchta. Conrad, like his siblings, was raised primarily by his father and the extreme members of the Hawk party, which favored all-out war with the Patalanian Union.
Conrad was particularly beloved by his sister Margaret, two years his senior.
Conrad was a precocious child, with a quick intellect and an equally-quick temper. He was six years old when his mother too the Throne in 459; at once he began skillfully to play the various adults in his life against one another. Of the three siblings, Conrad was the only one who betrayed any fondness for Catherine; such fondness, however, quickly waxed and waned according to how young Conrad wanted to manipulate other adults.
In 467, when he was 13, Conrad's mother died and his older brother John succeeded to the Throne. Historians are now of the opinion that Conrad himself was responsible for Catherine's death. Catherine had been taking steps to have John disinherited in favor of Chen of Chen; if her plans had gone through, Conrad would have lost whatever chance he had to inherit the Throne. Only months after John's ascension, Conrad took and passed his adulthood tests.
During John's reign, Conrad remained a firm supporter of his brother's rule -- outwardly. In fact, Conrad maintained an extensive set of contacts with the most radical of the Hawks, and it is now known that Conrad played at least a minor part in the death of his brother.
Margaret, Conrad's beloved older sister, was simply not equal to the strain of Imperial rule: after only a year on the Throne, she killed herself and Conrad became Emperor.
At once, Conrad executed several of the radical Hawk leaders. He sent his father on a diplomatic mission to the Patalanian Union, where David Kuchta was seized, tried, and executed as a spy. Then, Conrad began reshuffling the Navy, moving fleets and ships in unpredictable patterns, making war as much on his own rebellious Nobles as on the Union.
Observers were uncertain about his motives and plans. Some thought he was trying to reunite the Empire for a last massive strike against the Union; others opined that his goal was to build up the Provinces and move toward some sort of federal system that might be more efficient at carrying on the war.
Finally, in January of 471, the Imperial Council demanded that Conrad appear before them to explain his actions, or face censure. In response, Conrad dissolved the Council and, on 16 January 471, abdicated the Throne.
Nearly five centuries after its founding, the Terran Empire ceased to exist.
Conrad Kuchta moved away from Laxus, and moved to the independent world of Halettia. According to news reports, he died on 6 September 2635 (TE 482), little more than a month before his 29th birthday.
copyright (c) 2010, Don Sakers
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