Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
"Tough guy" state senator & GOP majority leader
“Kindred have no monopoly on wickedness, nor are they the only ones to wear masks of righteousness. For some there’s no need to wander the night, or even look under the bed for monsters: the monster is there tucking them in every night, darkness hidden only by a smile.”
“There are some parents who will warn you to never, ever touch the stove. But there are some parents who will drag you right to it, kicking and screaming, laughing as they watch the flames lick at your fingertips. When you’re taught to see the world through fire, nothing looks safe."
Maxen Flores is a 40-something man with an exceptionally tall and wide frame that many hours of college football, regular CrossFit exercise, and martial arts practice have added considerable muscle bulk to. He looks somewhat older than he is due to his baldness. Never a believer in doing things by half-measures, when his hairline started to prematurely recede, he shaved all of his hair off. Most people find him an intimidating presence.
Maxen usually wears the standard dark suits and leather shoes that are the uniform of any male politician and plain neckties in either stripes (no more than three) or monogram colors. “Queer ties” are one of his peeves. He always wears an American flag pin on his jacket lapel.
Name: Maxen Charles Flores
Ethnicity: American. The Flores are of Spanish descent, but it’s so distant they no longer self-identify with it.
Date of Birth: August 3rd, 1972 (Metairie, Louisiana)
Weight: 203 lbs
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Bald
Education: MBA (A. B. Freeman School of Business, 1992—1996), B.A. Business Administration (Tulane University, 1990—1994)
Occupation: State senator, Louisiana Senate District 9 (2004—present), state representative, Louisiana House District 98 (1998—2004), real estate broker, Flores Realty Group, (1994—present), real estate agent, Flores Realty Group (1990—1994)
Maxen was born to an affluent family of state politicians, lawyers, and real estate developers, and wanted for little as a child. His natural athleticism and large frame made him the star quarterback of his high school’s football team and one of the most popular boys on campus. The sole interruption on his track to success came when he got his girlfriend Diana Flores pregnant during her junior year prom. Maxen helped raise the baby during Diana’s senior year, married her upon graduation, and believed he did the right thing. He was also forced to put his plans with Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish on hold to raise his new family. He enrolled at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and turned down offers to play football professionally for the NFL when four more children followed steadily after the first. After earning his MBA, Maxen went to work full-time at his father’s real estate business.
Supporting a wife and five young kids was tough at first for the recent college graduate, even with his family’s not-insignificant advantages, until he made a surprise foray into politics (Maxen’s father had also been a state legislator) and was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1997 at the young age of 25. Although many people assumed Maxen was a staff aide to the actual Representative Flores upon meeting him, Maxen wasn’t slowed down and opportunities seemed to steadily come along after his electoral win. Louisiana graft would always ensure its politicians wanted for little. Tragedy struck when his parents died in a sudden car crash brought about by drunk driving, but Maxen was too occupied by career and his own family to do anything but soldier on. His parents left him everything in their wall (his brother and sister were distinctly displeased to discover this), and he used the large estate’s proceeds to purchase a large and expensive house for his family in Audubon Place, one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
Politically, Maxen aligned himself early on with Nathan Malveaux and supported the one-time gubernatorial candidate’s crusade to flip Louisiana from blue to red. Maxen reluctantly accepted a beta role in that relationship, as the Malveauxes were both richer and more politically entrenched than the Flores, with the understanding that his fortunes would continue to rise as a reward for supporting Nathan’s. Maxen was not disappointed. In 2003, he defeated his Democratic rival (and future governor of Louisiana) Bill Jay Roberts and was elected to the Louisiana State Senate for Senate District 9, which includes Riverbend and the suburb of Metairie.
It was around this time that a car accident crushed his wife Diana’s leg, forcing her to give up her career as a ballerina. The strain that placed on their marriage led to the couple’s quiet divorce. Maxen received full custody of their five children. When pressed, he would admit to close friends that his wife always blamed him for not being able to pursue her dream as a dancer in a more prestigious New York or London production company. He’d done everything he could to ensure she could still be on the stage in New Orleans, and she’d even made principle dancer at her company, but Diana could just never forgive him for how she wasn’t part of a world-famous ballet troupe.
Coming to Power
In some ways, though, Maxen found it helpful to no longer have a marriage distracting him from his political work. (Domestic help took care of the kids.) The mid-late 2000s saw a flurry of activity from Nathan and Maxen that coincided with the rise of the Tea Party Movement and the steady GOP takeover of state legislatures.
In April 2009, a scandal threatened to derail the pair’s ambitions when a video tape circulated of Maxen raping his teenage daughter Isabel. He dismissed the tape as fabricated and too ludicrous to be real: indeed, several other videos were leaked to the press around the same time that showed assorted other politicos (Democrat and Republican) “raping” a very similar-looking teenager. Isabel and her mother Diana also vehemently denied the rape allegations, but this sort of scandal wasn’t possible for a woman to weather like a man could. Maxen quietly sent Isabel abroad to do missionary work in South Sudan. His own plans to challenge Fred Pavaghi for the 2012 gubernatorial nomination, meanwhile, looked dashed when protests and calls for him to resign his senate seat reached outside the walls of Audubon Place: the state party would’ve already been leery about endorsing a primary challenge against an incumbent governor from their party, no matter how obviously corrupt he was. It was, at least, not the first time in his life that Maxen had been told to put his ambitions on hold.
This personal setback aside, the GOP continued a steady takeover statewide offices that culminated in the 2010 elections, which saw both legislative chambers flipped red for the first time since Reconstruction. With Fred Pavaghi already in the governor’s mansion, the Republican takeover of Louisiana was complete. Nathan was elected to federal office in 2012 and Maxen was rewarded for his support with Nathan’s old job as Senate majority leader. Although Fred held a more prominent office, the party establishment held the Pavaghi scion at arm’s length due to his family’s undisguised self-interest and history of bipartisan political support, Fred’s bizarrely evangelical brand of Catholicism, and a relatively obscure earlier legislative career that had done little to contribute to the party’s statewide takeover. Maxen came from an older political name, had tirelessly worked to further the Republican Party’s interests for 15 years, and was Nathan’s designated successor: in many ways, he was now the most influential man in the state GOP.
Maxen assumed the reins of power with gusto and brought the combative, tough guy attitude for which his constituents had continually reelected him to his new duties. The first major political issue he faced was capital punishment’s de facto abolition thanks to the state’s years-long inability to reach a deal with Magadon Incorporated, its only supplier of the drugs used in lethal injections (itself the state’s only legally allowed execution method). Nathan had hammered out a deal with Magadon before leaving office, but Maxen opened talks with Weide GmbH, a rival pharmaceutical company. It took another year of negotiations before Maxen got Magadon to lower its drug prices. He touted it as a win.
The state GOP could not tout as many wins. The sheer blatancy of Fred Pavaghi’s corruption while in office led to Maxen’s former rival Bill Jay Roberts winning the 2015 gubernatorial election. Maxen was incensed to lose the trifecta government he and Nathan had worked so tirelessly to establish. Lamenting that “I have to do everything myself,” he shouldered the additional job of party chairman to better coordinate the GOP’s statewide activities.
Maxen has found much to occupy himself with in his present duties. Although Roberts might be governor, it is Maxen’s minority leader counterpart in the state senate, Noelle Cherry, for whom he reserves his greatest contempt. He’s made numerous public and private remarks about her that were widely construed as misogynistic and caused headaches for his PR staff, who all know how futile it is to get their hot-tempered boss to issue apologies. It’s part of his “tough guy” image, in the same way as the CrossFit exercise and the football background: Maxen Flores never apologizes, because Maxen Flores always wins.
Indeed, while some people may point to Maxen’s demurred gubernatorial run as evidence of a loss, Maxen prefers to think of it as a postponed win. Talk has long abounded that he will seek higher office: perhaps the U.S. Senate when Joseph Kelly finally dies or retires, governor against his old opponent Bill (he’s already won an election against the man), or at least U.S. representative. Whatever his political future may hold, though, Maxen Flores is confident of one thing:
He’s going to keep winning.
Minor spoilers for the adventure logs follow below in Story One. Significant spoilers follow in Stories Ten and beyond.
Amelie Savard heard from her aunt Christina Roberts that Maxen Flores was the ex-husband of one of her favorite teachers, Diana Flores, and regularly “beat her until her eyes were too swollen to see through” and attempted to saw off her leg with a hacksaw in a drunken rage. Amelie entertained fantasies of visiting that same pain and terror upon the abusive man.
In 2007, Emmett Delacroix spoke with Maxen over the phone after inviting the senator’s daughter Isabel to play a role in a movie he was making. Maxen’s authoritarian demeanor annoyed Emmett, and he tauntingly told the older man to “give my regards to Diana” before hanging up.
Emmett was later disturbed to find out from Isabel that Maxen had attempted to discover where he lived. Maxen was only foiled by Em having provided a false name to both him and his daughter.
On July 18th, 1997, Maxen Flores sold his soul to the devil. The exchange was a typical one: he wanted power, money, fame. He got it. Scant months later the Flores family moved into Audubon Place following the death of Maxen’s parents, and Maxen began a career in politics that subsists to this day. His personality changed to meet the new demands of the job and the face he needed to present as an elected member of the Republican Party. Things became more tense around the house. More rules for the kids, especially his daughters. No makeup, no boys, no sex until marriage.
In 2003, following his election to the Louisiana State Senate, Celia witnessed her father trying to take off his wife’s leg with a hacksaw after beating her black and blue. The couple divorced and Maxen retained custody of his five children.
In 2009, Maxen served as the catalyst for Celia’s Embrace. She had him arrested on domestic violence charges and Diana took the kids back, but Maxen showed up at the house to kidnap his wife and recover his children. He spent the evening raping and beating his ex-wife, and eventually tried to take the rest of her leg off with another saw.
Celia sold her soul to another devil for the power to stop her father, then intervened before he could do more than take a few toes. Furious over his actions, she used her new powers to force him to violently rape her younger sister, Isabel, who had been complicit in their mother’s kidnapping. The footage made the news and threatened to ruin Maxen’s entire career, but Isabel denied the allegations and Maxen was able to weather the storm with some help from his “friend in the shadows.”
While he seemed content to leave his ex-wife and eldest daughter alone for the past seven years, Maxen has recently shown back up in Celia’s life. He was stabbed by Emily Rosure when she found him in bed with Diana, but he later told Celia via phone that he had no intention of pressing charges. The two made dinner plans to reconnect.
Expecting a hostile reconnection, Celia was surprised at dinner when Maxen apologized for his behavior during her childhood and early adult years. He confessed that he had been under the control of a demon for some time, but that a recent exorcism by Father Connelly saved his soul from further corruption. He claimed that the demon was what killed the late father and told his daughter that he would like to make it up to her, her mother, and her adopted sister. He gave Celia a box of Diana’s old things to give back to the woman, provided a birth certificate that lists Diana as Emily’s legal mother (something the pair had long desired, adult adoption being illegal in Louisiana), and asked Celia if she would please pass them along. He also took the opportunity to announce that he is running for governor in 2017 and offered Celia assistance with the new location for her spa. The two parted on good terms and have plans to reconnect as a full family now that she has done her job as gatekeeper.
Emily thought Maxen was full of shit when Celia broke the news.
The night of the fateful family dinner finally arrived and Maxen was on his best behavior, but even that wasn’t enough to stop Emily from endlessly needling him during dinner. He took it with good grace and offered to leave, but not before he dropped the bomb on Diana that made her ask him to stay: their daughter, Isabel, was missing. Maxen said he hired a private detective to look into things and said that he thought she’d never worked for the mission place she’d claimed to. Celia left shortly afterward to look into things on her own.
When she returned it was to find her parents curled on the couch together with an angry Emily watching from nearby. Celia and Diana had a brief discussion before a newly-confident Diana returned to give Maxen a tongue lashing years in the making and kicked him out of her life for good.
After her sire’s death, Celia texted Maxen to ask if she could swing by as an excuse for her presence in Audubon.
More to come.
Charles Flores (b. 1944, d. 1997) + Doris Flores (née Freneau) (b. 1947, d. 1997)
• 2. Maxen Flores (b. 1972) + Diana Flores (née Underwood) (b. 1973)
Celia Flores (b. 1989, d. 2016) + (unknown father)
• 4. Lucy Flores (b. 2010)
Isabel Flores (b. 1991, d. 2016) + (unknown fathers)
• 4. Ethan Flores (b. 2010)
Abigail Flores (b. 2015, d. 2016)
• 3. David Flores (b. 1993)
• 3. Sophia Flores (b. 1994)
• 3. Logan Flores (b. 1997)
• 2. Jason Flores (b. 1974) + (his wife)
• 3. (their children)
• 2. Mary Whitham (née Flores) (b. 1977) + Jack Whitham (b. 1974)
• 1. Barbara Malveaux (née Flores) (b. 1955) + Carson Malveaux (b. 1952)