Eileen Burke (born 317 IE) was a noted flag officer in the Compact Navy from 420 onward. Although a mentor to several admirals senior to her in rank, she refused promotions repeatedly, making her what some believed to be a shadow fleet admiral.
Childhood or Early Background
For the first sixty years of her existence, Burke led a normal civilian life, learning to fly as a profession. She raised several children before parting ways with her partner at the age of sixty.
Early Naval career
At 64, Burke was commissioned a lieutenant, junior grade, in the Compact Navy and became a pilot. Once attaining the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, she resisted promotions for as long as possible. She reasoned she could do more in the role she trained for. Indeed, later in her career, when promoted to force admiral, she referred to herself as a glorified captain with single stars on her collar.
As a pilot, she eventually served at Tian as a flight instructor. She flew as wing for Cui Jiao-long, aka “Dragon.” Despite her youthful appearance, having rejuved since her early thirties, she earned the call sign “Old Bird,” a name she happily accepted beyond the cockpit.on
Late in the first decade of the 400s, Burke assumed command of the CNV Hancock, a Furious-class carrier. It would be her only command at the rank of captain, but the one she would hold the longest. She would leave the Hancock as a force admiral well over a decade later.
Around 409, a group of men on the Deseret colony of Goshen began a dubious holy war pronouncing forced polygamy as “the will of God.” They began seizing multiple wives for themselves. This horrified people on the core world, where even some polygamist groups condemned the practice. Deseret attempted to contain the civil conflict that arose, but soon it spread to the home world.
The Compact reluctantly intervened. The Navy sent the Hancock under Burke with Cui Jiao-long as her flight commander. A number of notable officers served under her command, including future fleet admiral Tran Vu, Quentin Austin, Akrad Izumi, and later, Izumi’s widow and Cui’s daughter, Suicide (Cui Yun.) While violence spread throughout the Compact, Burke’s presence helped contain the core group to Goshen, a swamp planet sparsely settled. Eventually, in 420, the conflict drew to a close. During her tenure, Burke attained the rank of force admiral.
In 421 or 422, Burke rose to the rank of rear admiral and left the Hancock for an administrative role. By 429, she had become a vice admiral and commander of Tian Regional Command. Her headquarters lay near Baikonur Academy and the Cybercommand bunker in the Mongolia Mountains. When she needed to go into the field, she would often take the Valles Marineris as her flag. Quentin Austin commanded the Marineris until his promotion to force admiral and posting to Lunar Command in .
Burke first encountered the Gelt Incursion when Farigha went silent. Confused by Mars‘s silence on their own terraforming project literally vanishing from the stellar map. She conspired with Tol Germanicus of Dasarius Interstellar to send the Alcubierre, an experimental warp craft, to sneak into the system and see what happened. When Fleet Admiral Tran finally broke resistance in his own service, he cleared the way for Burke to take the Utopia Planitia to Farigha in time to whisk the Alcubierre away with Farigha’s lone survivor, John Farno.
When Gilead went silent, her request to take a task force to liberate it fell on deaf ears. A month later, Amargosa also fell. Due to pressure from Mars, the Navy sent Austin aboard the Marineris to lead a liberation force to the latter world.
As Austin awaited his fate, he began an investigation into Juno to find out why they were present before every colony going silently. This led to intelligence the Etruscan colony of Anacreon would fall next. Burke took Austin aboard the Marineris to Anacreon and stopped Laral Farad from invading the colony.
Austin was vindicated and placed in charge of the warp propulsion program, which ultimately fell under Burke’s authority. Both admirals objected to sending the new warp ship, the Challenger, on a mission of mass destruction on a Gelt colony. With the cooperation of Cybercommand’s G-5, they slipped information to Captain about the truth.
Later, Metis informed the Navy they would send an envoy to the world now called Hanar. Burke went with Austin aboard the Challenger, accompanying Athena Jovann, who knew First Citizen Lattus Tishla from her first visit to the Compact. Convinced Tishla offered the best solution to Gilead’s occupation, Burke did not wait for approval to plan the liberation of Amargosa.
Hanar and the liberation of Amargosa
With the blessing of Baker ibn-Aziz, Burke assembled a Compact armada, augmented by Hanar’s makeshift Navy. She traveled aboard the Valles Marineris and actually went planet-side on an ill-advised trip by Austin to look for his son. They found him and ended up in JT Austin‘s effort to infiltrate Lucius Kray‘s rear, tossing Gelt stun grenades at insurgents, allowing them to free Eric Yuwono and give Davra Andraste a fighting chance.
After the liberation concluded, Burke and Austin refused to file war crimes charges against Ellie Nardino despite her belief she might have committed Section 11 offenses. She also presented the Compact Medal of Honor to all then-six Children of Amargosa - Group.
The liberation resulted in Burke’s promotion to full admiral. She continued in her role as Tian Regional Commander. During the Juno attack on the Queen Maria Sophia, Burke clashed with King Edward of Bonaparte over taking the Gelt garrison on Mud to Hanar as agreed. Edward refused to accept her decision and sent the Gelt to the Metisian Republic ship Minerva. Still, Burke ultimately decided to promote the somewhat insubordinate JT Austin to lieutenant commander, but Austin resigned over Cybercommand’s shortcomings in the operation.
In 434, she acted on intelligence radical Cubists intended to hijack giant mechs left by the alien race who had terraformed Ares. Their aim had been to use them to attack and overthrow the protectorate on Aphrodite. She brought in, at King Edward’s suggestion, Ellie Nardino from the Republic to help. The attempt to stop the mechs did not prevent a catastrophe on Ares, the mechs causing destruction and loss of life in Boone's Landing before Compact forces destroyed them. However, Burke and the Marineris provided on-sight and orbital support for Mitsuko Yamato‘s mission to take out Gerard Kurz. Burke elevated a platoon of Household Guards aboard the CNV Chief Iron Cloud to Navy Special Forces for a raid on Kurz’s encampment, then rescued Mitsuko after she was captured. She then had the Marineris track and supply her final assault on Mt. Buxanshal.
In 435, at the behest of G-5 Zhong, she again took the Marineris as her flag and assisted Eric Yuwono’s mission to neutralize a Juno installation on the non-aligned world of Hosh. She may or may not have signed off on the bizarre coup against in which a clone loaded with a ship’s AI replaced the erstwhile leader.
Burke had been married at one point, but wondered if she should “find a playmate” for her next rejuvenation treatment. She first rejuvenated at 35. Quentin Austin, Fleet Admiral Tran, and Suicide all considered her a mother figure, as did the Challenger‘s Hideki Okada and Peter Lancaster.
Species: Human (Sapiens)
Birth Year: 317
Birth Place: Asimov, Trantor, Nemesis system
Service: Compact Navy (377 – )
Notable postings: Recruit (377), Baikonur Flight Training Academy – instructor (Years surrounding 383), CNV Hancock – CO (until 421), Tian Regional Commander (428? – )