“See, I'm no stepping superhero like you, but I had a brain on me then.”
   — Freddie Burdon

Freddie Burdon (born in 1984 in the Bronx) was the father of Joshua Valienté. He was Irish American, and so had a broard accent.[1][2]

He came from a family that possessed a high probability to give birth to natural Steppers, however he wasn't one himself.[1][2]


He looked older than he actually was. He was thin, had nicotine stained hands, grey skin and wore a worn jacket and trousers.[2]

The Long Utopia

The letter, the Fund and Maria

He received a letter from the Fund when he was 17, at about the same time as Maria Valienté (aged 14) got hers. The letters contained the other’s name and address, as well as a cheque and the promise of more if they met one another, got to know each other, married, and had a child.[2]

Broke at the time, he thought it didn't hurt to meet the girl, cashed in the money and traveled to Madison to meet Maria. However, when he arrived he discovered that she had run away from her family. He was able to track her down at an orphanage ran by nuns called the Home.

He pretended to be her cousin when the nuns greeted him but it didn't work out. Motivated by the money that was promised to him, he wasn't about to give up so easily.

One day, he saw her come back from school and fell for her, prompting him to try harder to get in touch. He managed to contact her by bribing a cleaner and took her out a couple of times until on fateful night in the summer of 2001 when, both drunk on whisky, they ended up having sex.

When Freddie learned that she was pregnant, he ran away and never looked back, thinking the nuns would take better care of her than a seventeen year old teenager who could barely support himself.

Maria gave birth to their child, Joshua Valienté, on May 1, 2002.[2]

He trained as an elecrician but never got a qualification, and so drifted from job to job. After Maria, he never had family.[2]


After Step Day, even if he never went back to the Home to seek his child fearing it would go bad, Freddie followed the exploits of his son, the famous Joshua Valienté, in the papers and online.

On Joshua's fiftieth birthday, in 2052, Nelson Azikiwe offered to research and track down his father. Joshua accepted, and, several years later, met Freddie for the first time in spring 2058. He was living in a charity retirement home in New York West 5.[1][2][3]

Father and son discussed for a while and Freddie told Joshua everything he knew about the circumstances of his birth.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Long Utopia - Chapter 36
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 The Long Utopia - Chapter 37
  3. The Long Utopia - Chapter 8
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