Admiral Madeline Trent
born -2101, ruled -2058 to -2046, died -2046.
Following Majid's death, the Council of Noble Officers convened on Hub/Ershur and promptly rejected his nominated successor (this was the second time in the last three successions that the previous Emperor's choice had been rejected - a fact that did little to restore faith in the stability of the Rule of Man). Instead, they elected Admiral Trent to the throne. Trent had long been one of Majid's more outspoken opponents, and a leader of the 'hardline' faction in the Council that utterly rejected any civillian influence in the affairs of the Navy. Madeline's first act as Emperor was to dismiss Majid's cabinet and replace its members with her supporters within the Council.
As Empress, Madeline concentrated on increasing the powers of the Navy. A strong proponent of the theory (fashionable in the upper circles of the Navy) that the Empire was simply too large and diverse to be effectively ruled by a single autarch, she gave the provincial commanding officers increased authority to rule directly. In most of the 17 provinces the post of governor-general was merged with that of the senior provincial naval commander. In -2054 (on the 150th Anniversary of the collapse of the Ziru Sirka) Madeline created the Pentarchy. The four most powerful provincial commanders (those of Vland, Trans-Zarushagaar, Fornast and the Expanses) were given powers over neighboring provinces and authority that very nearly matched her own (as Emperor and ruler of Hub/Ershur Province she completed the Pentarchy). While beneficial in the short term, Madeline's reforms set the stage for the disastrous disintegration of central authority that ultimately destroyed the Rule of Man.
Ironically enough given her handover of authority to her governors, Madeline dealt ruthlessly with dissent, particularly aiming at the civilian nobility and supporters of the previous Emperor. She greatly expanded the security apparatus, and during her reign the Directorate for State Security became a feared and hated organization.
Inevitably, these harsh measures resulted in the outbreak of violent revolt in a number of areas. The most serious occured in Massilia Province in -2050, where a popular rebellion against the corrupt and repressive governor was suppressed using Geonee forces under Imperial leadership with considerable bloodshed.
Madeline suffered a massive stroke in -2046, and died later that year.