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Shepherd is a nickname for former Major General Ellen Briggs. She was the leader of the terrorist organization Sandstorm.
|“||America needs to be saved from itself.||”|
Ellen sought to defend her country from corruption with no regards on human lives.
Childhood and Early Life
In her youth, Ellen lived with both of her parents and brother near Lake Aurora, Florida. Years later, it was discovered that a chemical plant up river had been leaking for years, making people sick with different types of cancer, sterility and birth defects, among others.
Ellen’s family, including her, were severely affected. Her mother and father died of an aggressive cancer, while her brother, at the age of 25, had surgery to remove a tumor from one of his lungs, however, he didn’t survive the disease. On the other hand, at 17 years old, Shepherd’s ovaries had to be removed to fight cancer.
The irregularities committed by the government and their indifference about the issue made Ellen take actions from her own hands to avenge her family and all the lives that were lost.
Life as Military
Ellen was part of the U.S. Army where she served and spent a lot of time in Africa and the Middle East. During her military career, Ellen held the rank of Major General and served as Deputy Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It was through this title that she managed to have access to some of the classified information that she would later use in her own terrorist organization.
Coming from a wealthy family, Ellen was able to fund Kurt Weller’s education in the academy and convinced Colonel Nix to keep him in the school after she showed great interest in the teenager and his abilities.
The Beginning of Everything
In one of her tasks, she stumbled across the Apartheid academy that trained children in order to prepare them to defend South Africa as deadly soldiers. There she freed the captive children and adopted Alice and Ian Kruger, two siblings she acknowledged were too dangerous and valuable assets to her cause.
With the kids under her care, the three of them decided to change their names to Roman and Remi in order to forget their past and start a new life. Shepherd exploited the kids’ abilities and used them for her profit on ending corruption in the United States, this being the sole purpose of her organization.
As the leader of her terrorist organization, Shepherd called all the shots, being Remi and Roman her second in command. They performed several terrorist attacks in the country for over six years that were planned to look as isolated events in order to prevent drawing too much attention to them.
Acknowledging the existence of Project Daylight and the people involved with it, the case was added to the organization’s list of enemies. When the project was shut down, Remi approached Sofia Varma and it’s implied that they got the information about Bethany Mayfair –who was also involved with Daylight- was through her, making it easy to approach to Kurt Weller.
In 2013 Alice Kruger was declared dead in action during her tour in Afghanistan after a drone attack killed her platoon and bombed the village she was stationed in. After getting her death certificate, Shepherd ordered Roman to fly to the Bahamas to collect Alice’s heritance from her trust account. However, Remi managed to survive and came back to the States in company of Nigel Thornton, husband of the doctor who saved her life.
It’s presumed that after the return of Remi from Afghanistan, both Remi and Shepherd came up with a plan to destroy the country’s current administration and end with corruption once and for all through the Truman Protocol. With Kurt Weller in play working for Bethany Mayfair at the FBI and having Shepherd’s full attention, he became the perfect target. It was implied that Remi volunteered to be sent to the FBI with no memories and fully tattooed to play the part of Taylor Shaw, Weller’s childhood friend who went missing twenty five years ago, and gain his trust.
With Remi inside of the FBI as Jane Doe –and posing as Taylor Shaw as part of their plan- and Oscar handling her to accomplish all the tasks in Phase One, Sandstorm managed to get Bethany Mayfair fired from Assistant Director and passing the charge to Kurt Weller, accomplishing Phase One’s goal.
When Jane returned to the FBI after three months, Shepherd met her to welcome her back to the organization where she also revealed Jane’s real identity and her relation to Shepherd and Roman, but noticed she wasn’t her old self and something had changed in her mind after working with the team for so long. Convinced that Jane’s loyalty was still with the FBI, Shepherd ordered Roman to stay as far away from Jane as possible.
Trying to turn Jane to Sandstorm’s side, Roman and Shepherd showed her a small memorial belonging to Orion, an operation Remi was once part of, from which she escaped barely alive with Nigel Thornton who would later become Dr. Robert Borden and placed in the FBI as a psychiatrist.
Before leaving the burning barn--where the fight with Oscar took place--Jane misspelled Markos’s name, this became the first hint for Shepherd to realize that Jane was behind Oscar’s death and her loyalty toward the FBI. Jane also tried to send information from a chip to Patterson but Roman received a letter from their mole and informed Shepherd. Aware of her treason, Shepherd and Roman made Jane believe that they were going to attack Manhattan, causing several casualties, and waited for her to alert the team before taking her to a warehouse; they tied Jane to a chair and made her watch a live feed of the FBI raiding Sandstorm’s headquarters before the building collapsed on top of them, apparently killing everyone inside.
Shepherd ordered Roman to kill Jane after losing her to the FBI and becoming a liability to her plans but, unable to do so, he turned against Shepherd and attacked her, shooting at her in the shoulder. Jane, however, spared her life and took Roman with her, away from the place.
Shepherd kept working on Phase Two by gathering all the weapons and explosives she needed with Robert Borden as second in command after his cover in the FBI was compromised when Patterson found him wearing his old wedding ring that she recognized from one of Jane's drawings.
Connection with Kurt Weller
Kurt Weller was able identify Shepherd’s voice after hearing it from a recording given by Douglas Winter to Patterson. Jane Doe also spotted Shepherd standing on the bleachers at one of Kurt's basketball matches at his military school, to which Weller admitted that he recognized her from his past.
Knowing about the troubled relationship between Kurt Weller and his father Bill and the man’s struggle to keep the boy’s tuition in the school, Ellen sponsored Weller in order to ensure he’d get the education he so needed and deserved. Before that, Ellen showed great interest in Weller and she used to lecture him on his reckless behavior.
During Ellen’s stay in Fort Meade, she met Sean Clark a former training officer who was also stationed there; the both of them worked together for years and he was probably an accomplice in Ellen’s future plans for Weller.
With Sandstorm’s and Remi’s plan about to be put in motion, Shepherd ordered Clark to ensure Weller’s stay in New York, so he called Mayfair to inform her that Weller wasn’t ready to run a division in DC and that he should stay in NY with her.
In the last stages of her plan and about to launch Phase 2, Shepherd flew to Bangkok, Thailand, to purchase a large amount of chemical weapons.
Shepherd is devoted to Sandstorm and committed to her tasks to end corruption in the U.S.
She's intriguing, clever, shrewd, and secretive. She evidently cared deeply for Remi and Roman, but is not above lying to the former in the interest of securing Sandstorm's goals, but albeit begrudging to do so.