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|“||Maria sweetheart, believe me when I say this but it is a pleasure to see you as an adult compared to when I last saw you as a chick. Though, can you please tell your husband to cut it out with the glare?||”|
— Max Santiago to Maria Yslenski
Maximillian Alexander H. Santiago|
August 13, 1985
|Alma mater||Felipenas National University|
|Occupation||Adviser of the President of Felipenas|
|Years active||2016 -|
|Employer||Felipeno government, (formerly) WhiteBlood|
|Home town||Maybila, Felipenas|
|Known for||Being a war adviser and successfully angering his only sister|
|Parents||Selena and Arthur Santiago|
Max Alexander H. (Hermida) Santiago is the older brother of Maria Yslenski, and is the eldest son of the Santiago family. He worked for the WhiteBloods before he met his sister, older and wiser. Currently, he works as the personal adviser of President Amor Atienza.
Max's egg hatched to a world of brightness and cheer. His parents were overjoyed to have a son, and celebrated it. A party was held in his honor, with guests from all over who pledged to give the boy the best life they could offer him. Many of the guests were also from the infamous WhiteBlood organization, who wanted to make Max the next big name in the organization's Felipenas branch. They wanted him to replace his parents when they had done their service. As years gone by, Max was given the best toys and the happiest childhood he could ever ask for. He had a large mansion for a home with an equally large backyard to play in, a lot of neighboring chicks who also liked to play, and all the books he could ask for. He was enrolled into a cozy school that taught him all of the basics in life.
A year before he leaves for boarding school, he finds out that his parents are expecting another egg. Max begged them to allow the egg to nest in his bedroom, wanting to be near his soon to be sibling. He was entranced with the thought of being a big brother, finally having a sister or brother to care for. He would bring the egg around to play, and would read books or just talk to it. Months later, he found that the egg was on the floor, only eggshells. He searched his room, half eager and half concerned, to find a young chick under his bed, tangled in an adult sized sweater he got in a store. Grinning, he picked up the chick and noticed that it was a girl, much to his joy. He brought the child to his parents, who intended to tell him the news on that day. They agreed to name her "Maria", after persistent persuasion from Max. After this, his parents told him that he was to be sent to boarding school. Luckily, the other kids in the neighborhood would also be joining him.
The next months after that, Max would spend time with Maria, not knowing that she would be unable to remember any of it. He would read stories to her every night, play with her, and help her get into some nice clothes. He made every moment count, and at one point became protective of her. When it was time for him to leave, he gave her the oversized sweater, a way of remembering him, as well as a book to read. He made his parents promise to take care of his sister, begging them to give her the same childhood they gave him.
This promise was broken.
Max's childhood and teenage life was spent in the boarding school, north of the country. He was glad to know that all of his friends were also there to keep him company, and would often chat with them during the times when they're allowed to roam the school. They would wake up in the early hours before the sun is out, and were called in for jogging around the island. Throughout the day, he would study mathematics and other subjects as well as combat and war strategies. He was intelligent and astute, yet at the end of the day he was always the caring penguin who always thought about his sister. As he aged, his thoughts on his sister lessened, but were still there as he slowly became the soldier the organization wanted. He agreed with the WhiteBlood's beliefs and vision, wanting a world where they were in charge.
As he aged, he also fell in love with a fellow trainee named Elise, a timid penguin from a WhiteBlood family in the south. He decided to court her subtly, helping her catch up in the lessons and the WhiteBlood teachings. He would also do her laundry, staying up scrubbing off blood or sweat just to make her clothes seem extra clean. Soon she was also at his level, still timid and humble. One day, he decided to set her aside and tell her about his feelings. She said nothing and just left him there, handing him a string bracelet she always wore. The next day, she was found dead in her bedroom. It was a mess, with drawers thrown open and clothes in shreds on the floor. WhiteBlood officials said that she was murdered by infiltrating thieves. With this, his heart iced over, and he was more than determined to make his country a better place.
He was stationed at Maybila right after graduation, and returned home to his parents. They lied to him, and told him that his sister died years after he left to a sickness. He grieved briefly before returning to his usual self, training in the morning and resting in the evening. Sometimes, he would explore the mansion some more, often finding himself in Maria's bedroom. He would lie down on her bed sometimes, smelling her scent and spending hours just going through her stuff. He kept a photo of her when she was much more younger, particularly in his pocket. He continued going on missions, and is credible for several riots and mischief in the capital.
He became a somewhat master in infiltration, causing several information leaks in the government. He enjoyed all of this, though kept in mind the little chick he saw that was the same chick in the photo in his pocket. Often, he'd wonder what it was like for her, how she accumulated such an illness, and what she was like in her final moments.
Little does he know, she never had her final moments yet.
Meeting Maria Yslenski
Max was given the mission of kidnapping the First Lady of Munijoch, Maria Yslenski. It was unknown to him what her name was, and he just knew her by "the First Lady." He snuck into the home of Munijoch's president, and found her reading a book. He went to a nearby window and got in, but shattered it in the process. He kept still as he heard her footsteps, which were surprisingly light and careful. This caused him to be intrigued by who exactly the First Lady was. As she turned a corner, he was struck with her beauty and stance, holding up a pole and was ready to charge. He eerily reminded her of his younger sister-
She placed down the pole, looking very confused yet surprised. She asked him who he was, as he recognized further who she was. She had the same eyes as his supposedly deceased sister, and he realized further how similar she was to his mother, Selena Santiago. Shocked, he asked her what her maiden name is. Confirming that she was in fact Maria Santiago, currently Yslenski, he introduced himself as her older brother. At first she was confused, and then connected him to a family portrait she found in the attic. Suddenly enraged, she began to berate him for leaving her to the abuse of their parents, for not saving her, and for never looking for her when he had the chance. He tried to reason that he was told that she died, but she refused to listen. Joseph, the President and husband of Maria, was alerted immediately and confronted the two. He had to calm Maria down and face Max, who confirmed that he was in fact her brother. Joseph made them sit down, especially Maria who looked fuming. Max was uncomfortable, especially with the glare his sister was giving him. After a talk, it was in fact confirmed. Still, Maria remained cold to him for the next few months, never being sociable or open to him. He tried to talk to her, but she refused. He eventually decided to sit her down and tell her everything, from the beginning to then. She finally accepted him fully, and became nicer. He told her a few days later that he wanted to defect to the government, which she was more than glad to know. He got a phone call from the government that he was being summoned to the Palace, and found out that Maria recommended him to the President, Amor Atienza. He was offered the job as the Ambassador of Felipenas to the UAN but he refused. Instead, he became a war adviser. Atienza welcomed the idea and appointed him as her war adviser.
When the Frosian War stretched to Munijoch, Max immediately contacted Maria. Supposedly, they had a conversation regarding the wellbeing of her and her family. She had told him that she was fine until they both hear sirens in the background. He began to panic, and told her to evacuate from wherever she was. She had to end the phone call there. He later heard via news channels that she escaped with Joseph and Matthew to Shops Island. After further contact, they chatted a bit before Maria had to leave again for an important meeting. The third time they were able to contact, Maria was panicking over the disappearance of Joseph. He calmed her down and promised to contact the Felipenas embassy there to evacuate her and Matthew safely. He was in Atienza's entourage, and also escorted Maria to her Maybila residence. He enjoyed playing with Matthew, who was very curious about him.
Max, basically, is a logical and quick-thinking penguin. By quick, he is such in thinking, moving, and even speaking. This combination of primary traits makes him almost superior to the rest in terms of performance. Often his quick and logical thinking makes him very aloof and blunt to others. His frankness often make him seem hostile, expressionless features making him hard to approach. With these mentioned, it is clear to see that he is not one to simply mess with.
Though, he is a family man. He is ready to drop whatever he is doing for a family member in need. He can be gentle, often learning to tolerate even the worst conditions. His personality towards family is almost completely opposite to when he is around other people, making it clear that it is hard for him to simply let down his guard.
Max is an Adelie Penguin. He has a slightly built body and is a few inches taller than Maria. He is an orange penguin with coal black hair that's usually spiked. He usually wears dress shirts and pants, or in really formal occasions, a suit.
Relations with Other Penguins
- Joseph Yslenski - Bordering between good and horrible. Max was at first surprised with Joseph, who was rather suspicious of him. At one point he had to undergo a DNA test in order to verify if he is truly Maria's sibling. When it was confirmed, Max was glad while Joseph... not so much. Max tried to prove himself to Joseph, that he could be around his sister despite his two decade disappearance. They have learned to agree in some topics, such as diplomatics and behavior, but clash at some topics such as family. Since these arguments usually happen whenever he visits and usually during dinner, Maria usually ends it by stabbing one of them with a fork in the flipper or stomping on someone's foot.
- Maria Yslenski - Great. He was astonished when he saw her after two decades, aged and stunning. Though he wasn't exactly welcomed the same way, he didn't mind. He soon got to know her better over tea and biscuits, laughing over silly stories and jokes.
- Matthew Yslenski - Good?. Matthew is very curious about his mysterious uncle, and why his dad acts all funny in his presence. Max is equally curious about the little boy, and is willing to spend time with him as much as possible. That is, if Matthew's parents would allow him.
- Maria herself suggested to Atienza for Max to take her position. He politely declined and proposed to take over the position of the retiring war adviser.
- He cannot properly function in the morning. He will need a mug of coffee.
- He currently resides not far from Maria's Maybila residence. He breaks in sometimes to nab some of her chocolate. This has lead to at least several times where Maria places far too much sugar into his coffee for payback.
- There were many cases where Max accidentally threw his pen at Atienza's aide-de-camp, who usually sits across from him during meetings.
- "Alright, so I deserved that."
- This was said after Maria slapped him when he introduced himself to her.
- "WHAT?!? You're married?!"
- "For Benny's sake, could you please make up your mind?"
- "I'm in a room full of idiots."