Name: Maxim Kehlenbrink
School: Cochise High School
Hobbies and Interests: Reading, especially fantasy novels, black and white movies, board games, taking walks, RPGs, musicals
Appearance: Average for a boy of his age, considering his heritage, Maxim stands at 6'1" and weighs 174 pounds. His build can be considered average as well, though certainly not lean and upon closer inspection, one will notice a slight excess of fat in the region around his waist and hips. His skin is light due to his Caucasian heritage, palish even, due to him usually preferring to avoid sunlight.
Maxim is flaxen-haired and usually leaves his straggly, medium-length hair unkempt, preferring a natural look. This combined with his tendency to not shave the stubble off his chin and cheeks causes him to appear rather scruffy at times. The only part of his face which he regularly frees of facial hair is between his nose and upper lip, since he despises the mere thought of growing a moustache.
Maxim has hazel eyes, an attribute that has been running with the males in his family since generations, a fact which despite seeming rather irrelevant to the average beholder, greatly pleases him nonetheless. His eyes are somewhat narrow and lie closely together, a pair of blonde, bushy and rather characteristic eyebrows sitting enthroned above them, which appear to be constantly furrowed, a fact to which Maxim himself is vastly unaware. His nose can be described as rather flat, plump even, with large, somewhat awkwardly shaped nostrils. This trait in particular causes Maxim a great deal of grief at times, he even goes so far as to jokingly call it the bane of his existence. His lips are rather thin and pale in color and the left side of his mouth is slightly torn, as are his lips themselves, all due to Maxim's habit of biting and chewing on them when nervous. He also possesses rather bold cheekbones, which are usually covered up by his hair that reaches all the way down to his chin on the sides of his face, which itself is slightly rounded. It can be said that he would not be considered attractive in the classical sense of the term.
Concerning his choice of clothing, Maxim prefers a casual and ordinary style, usually wearing monochrome shirts combined with jeans and white sneakers. Even though his favorite color is bright yellow, he never personally wears it, usually wearing a combination of white, blue and greyish black clothes. Maxim pays small heed to fashion and suchlike, preferring his clothes to be comfortable and convenient.
On the day of his abduction, he wore a light blue, sleeveless shirt with a white T-shirt underneath it, as well as his favorite pair of blue-jeans and a recently bought pair of white and blue sneakers.
Biography: Maxim Kehlenbrink was born on March 17th, 1997 in Oldenburg, Germany, the first child to Joachim and Hannelore Kehlenbrink. The bloodline of the Kehlenbrinks can be traced back almost all the way to the High Middle Ages of the 13th century, due to Maxim's grandfather Augustus having been an afficionado of history, who had made it his single goal in life to draw up a complete pedigree of the Kehlenbrink's bloodline. Miraculously, he succeeded and hence laid bare the tale of Maxim's heritage. Apparently, the Kehlenbrinks had always been a rather prosperous family, upholding tradition and strict religious values above all else, many of the male descendant having been renowned clerics. About the beginning of the 19th century however, Maxim's great-great-great-grandfather Heinrich-Walter Kehlenbrink had soiled his family's good name by squandering most of the family fortune and eventually marrying an atheistic working class girl, causing the Kehlenbrinks to quickly fall from grace. Over the next few generations, the bloodline grew into what essentially was a working class family. Fittingly, Maxim was born to a working couple, both of his parents being employed at an industrial plant, performing virtually underpaid work, just about enough to keep themselves and their newest family member fed. Considering these financial circumstances, Maxim learned the value of modesty very early on, eager to not be a financial burden to his parents.
His childhood can generally be described as fairly happy and uneventful, without any remarkably unpleasant incidents. The only one worth mentioning occurred when Maxim was at the age of five, when watching a children's cartoon with his parents to be exact. Said cartoon, while clearly suited for kids of his age, had a villain whose demeanor and appearance somehow deeply frightened Maxim, to the point where he frequently had nightmares about being chased by him, which lasted for years. Said villains sported a rather spectacular moustache, the image of which remained forever embedded in the little boy's head and has since caused him to dislike that particular sort of facial hair.
Before he had started going to school, his father used to read bedtime stories to him and Maxim would always insist he repeat reading them, over and over, feeling incredibly compelled to listen to the strange and fantastic tales the books contained. His fascination with it grew ever larger and once he was old enough to attend school, the mere thought of being able to read books all by himself meant pure bliss to Maxim.
During his first year of public school, he initially had problems fitting in, being the subject of mockery due to him being the smallest and physically weakest child in his class. Even after his class teacher intervened and was able to put a stop to most of the teasing, Maxim still chose not to interact with his class mates, having already acquired a strong dislike for them. After spending the first half of his first year at school mostly lonely, he eventually realized that it did in fact not bother him all that much, since he had his own hobbies to keep him entertained. He did keep this a secret from his parents however, not wanting them to try and change things for him, since he was mostly content the way they were. Since both of them were fully occupied with their work and keeping the family fed, they didn't further question their son's claim of being perfectly happy at school.
During breaks, he would remain seated in his classroom and pick up each and every book he could get a hold of, then attempt to read them. They fascinated him, both the challenge of learning to read itself and the thought of mere letters being able to form and tell a whole story of their own. Eventually, he became inspired to ask his first grade teacher to read the books to him. Taking pity on him, she complied and thus, Maxim had made his first real friend, albeit an adult. Unsurprisingly, Maxim's teacher eventually urged him to try and fit in with his peer group, an advice which he reluctantly took. Though gingerly at first, he finally overcame his disinterest in his fellow age mates and soon made friends, though he quickly lost contact with them after finishing elementary school.
It was around this time, Maxim was now ten years old, that his mother surprisingly died of a tumor in her brain which had not been discovered until it was too late to save her life. Though Maxim was handling the tragedy surprisingly well for a boy his age and seemed to quickly overcome his grief, his father could not. Heartbroken, Joachim Kehlenbrink decided to not only leave their home city Oldenburg, but Germany entirely. As it turned out, Maxim's godmother Joan Brenner was not only residing in the United States, but also willing to take the two in, her being an old, affluent woman who for her lack of friends and family longed for company more than anything else. Thus, she made a proposal to Maxim's father, knowing his grief and his desire to move away and therefore inviting him and his son to move to her house in the United States. Not only was Maxim willing to accept the proposal of his godmother, he even begged his father to do so, having grown weary of his own home city and looking for a change in his life. Once the progress of their immigration had been sufficiently approved, the Kehlenbrinks moved to Joan Brenner's residence, which is located on the outer circle of Kingman, Arizona. This process was made possible only with financial aid by Maxim's godmother, since his father was unable to cover the expenses of immigration on his own.
The greatest challenge of his early time in the US was to overcome the language barrier, especially since Maxim was very eager to be able to recommence his favorite hobby, namely reading. Due to this eagerness he made exceptionally quick progress in learning the new language. With the help of English media, pop culture and suchlike, Maxim quickly became fonder and fonder of the English language, discovering his love for gaming, especially RPGs and musicals along the way, The Phantom of the Opera in particular leaving a big impression on him after he listened to most of its songs on Youtube. While it was and still is hard even for him to discern the exact reason behind his appreciation for the musical genre in particular, the simple truth is that he enjoys the prospect of music telling a story. This is further reinforced by his strong dislike of modern music genres, which he considers too flashy and loveless for his taste, therefore making him appreciate the unique nature of most musicals even more.
His love for RPGs on the other hand, mainly stemmed from their empowering and empathic nature, namely to be able to pretend being someone else and in much more detail than in most other videogame genres. He was also fascinated by the aspect of him being able to mold his player character and explore their fictional psyche, as well as the overall game narratives in general. As a result, only heavily story driven RPGs could satisfy his curiosity, reminding him of the fanciful tales he had loved so much as a child. This also had an impact on his choice of reading matter. Since most of the RPGs he was playing had fantasy settings, his interest in the fantasy genre itself grew as well, resulting in fantasy novels becoming his favorite kind of books, which they still are to this day.
It took him all but three and a half years to become somewhat fluent and approximately even one year after that, he was able converse with others almost as naturally as a native speaker of the English language. Soon, the only thing giving away his German heritage was his accent, which although being quite subtle, was still noticeable enough to reveal him as a foreigner. Whenever becoming agitated or nervous, his accent would thicken while he speaks, a trait he is uncomfortable with to this very day, not because he is ashamed of his heritage, but because he views it as a failure on his part, being unable to completely assimilate. Furthermore, his accent tends to attract attention to him, which he is not too fond of.
During his time in middle school, Maxim had much less trouble fitting in than he had expected beforehand, especially considering his initial lack of ability to converse with people. At first, he contented himself with accompanying whatever circle of friends didn't mind his presence, all while remaining relatively silent and simply listening to their conversations. Over time and as his linguistic skills grew, he started participating more, until he was able to have entire conversations with his fellow pupils without having to think about the meaning of a word all too long. Eventually, his manner of speaking got to the level it is on today.
By the time he joined Cochise High School, he had managed to perfectly fit in with the crowd. Though he certainly could never be considered popular, he had soon made a small circle of friends, one of whom, named Alex Crosby, introduced him to the realm of board games, which would soon become a newfound passion of his. This passion only encompasses a specific type of board games, however, namely those which are very graphic and have rather imaginative settings, therefore appealing to him. He would also prove to be somewhat of a sore loser on certain occasions, usually when losing due to bad luck.
It was not soon after he had finally started feeling content with his situation that Maxim asked himself an important question about himself, one that had bothered him for a long time and was only becoming more and more of a thorn in his side, more so now that he was going through puberty, namely that he was unsure of his sexuality. Throughout the years, he had never once taken interest in a girl nor had he had any sort of fantasies involving the other gender. He had tried to tell himself that he was most likely nothing but a late bloomer, but he received conclusive evidence to the contrary not soon after. While Maxim had never been the type of person to go to parties much and still isn't today, he let himself be convinced to accompany his best friend Alex to another friend's birthday party one evening. For the first time in his life, he allowed himself to a less than healthy amount of alcohol and while under its influence, he began to see things in a new light. Maxim realized the deep affection he had for his best friend, an affection that went far beyond friendship and loyalty. The party came to a rather abrupt ending for him when he clumsily tried to force himself upon his friend, managing to plant a kiss on the latter's lips. Unbeknownst to Maxim, Alex was exceedingly opposed to any kind of homosexuality and the following dispute not only meant the end of the party for him, but the end of their friendship as well.
Heartbroken and disappointed with the world, Maxim decided to break contact with most of his former friends, since they were still companioned with Alex and he wished to avoid any possible reminder of the aforementioned incident. He never told his father about the true reason for this, instead making up a vague excuse about not feeling well integrated and wanting to try and meet new people, the latter of which was, in fact, true.
As for Maxim's social life ever since the incident involving Alex, it has not changed all that much from what it looked like in the years prior. Despite an initial reluctance to mix back in with the crowd, he eventually got himself to socialize again, trying to block out the memory of his former friend as best as he could in the process. He has managed to establish a small, but dedicated circle of friends around him, most of them rather reclusive themselves or otherwise willing to tolerate his quirks. He still enjoys playing board games and has stayed true to his hobbies, continuing to watch recordings of his favorite musicals online and occasionally trying out a new RPG on his laptop, though he personally prefers Old School RPGs over newer ones. After watching Citizen Kane, he began taking an interest in black and white movies and would occasionally spend entire days in front of his TV, watching movie after movie, rented from a local store. He has also started taking walks every so often since he joined Cochise, mostly around the outskirts of Kingman and preferably on his own. However, he will only take walks when the sun isn't shining, since he tends to get hot fairly quickly otherwise. It should also be noted that this is the only sort of physical activity that he conducts.
Maxim's scholastic achievements can generally be described as distinctly above average. While he had been an almost average pupil in his earlier years, having been able to compensate his lacking in the linguistic area by taking a great many special classes, he became quite successful once he was fully able to speak English and still is to this very day. It should be noted however, that this success is not the result of diligence, but rather his very well functioning memory. One could say it is his saving grace even, since Maxim displays an almost shocking amount of laziness, never once picking up his school books to learn for tests or exams, preferring to read fantasy novels, play computer games or generally doing anything but learning. Simply by always paying attention during class, Maxim is able to store all important memory away in his head and not forget them, enabling him to pass exams with ease. He is greatly worried, however, that this trait of his will cease to be all he needs to get ahead once he enrolls at a university, which will most likely require him to use more than mere memory to uphold his success. Hence, his greatest fear is becoming a failure due to him being unable to overcome his slothfulness.
It should also be noted that Maxim has not yet made a decision concerning his career choice, though his general preference leans towards becoming a clerk of some sort. This is less the result of his personal feelings, but rather of his father's advice, who wishes for his son to become financially independent from his godmother and provide for himself in the future.
While he seems to be relatively content with his current life, he secretly still grieves over the loss of his closest friend Alex and has not gotten over his crush on him to this day, which is why he has not taken any kind of sexual interest in other boys ever since.
His relationship with his father, who has taken up the profession of a taxi driver in the States, can be described as fairly average. While Maxim does have a deep affection for him, he is often reluctant to entrust him with personal matters, preferring to keep them to himself. This is most likely caused by Maxim not wanting his father to have to worry about him, as well as another outcome of his reclusive nature. The two of them do spend time together on occasion, usually watching TV or preparing meals. Being aware of his son's characteristics, Joachim almost never interferes in Maxim's personal space and doesn't demand that he should share his feelings with him. On that basis, the two get on well with one another. Maxim's relationship with his godmother on the other hand, is less harmonic. While Maxim is thankful for her providing for both him and his father, he doesn't particularly like her, since she possesses a rather talkative, even babbling nature. As a result, he often forces himself to spend time with her, usually listening to the stories she tells, although with little to no interest in them. Joan doesn't seem to notice this, however, her being happy to have company at all.
In general, Maxim can be described as a rather introverted person, though not a loner. While he shows tendencies of being outgoing on rare occasions, it is apparent that he prefers to have a lot of time to himself, reading taking up most of his daily routine. Many mistake his constant frowning expression for him having great disdain towards all his fellow age mates, which is untrue since Maxim himself is unaware of his brows constantly being furrowed, at least most of the time. Those who do not know him personally often describe him as aloof and even somewhat arrogant, though some people seem to agree that he possesses a high level of intelligence, due to his outstanding grades. This is incorrect however, because his grades are not the result of a prodigious mind. In fact, he has a rather average intellect, likely even slightly above average, but certainly not on the level most people believe it to be.
Even though Maxim doesn't show all too many signs of his heritage apart from his accent, he sometimes inserts small snippets of German into his speech, especially when angered, nervous or otherwise agitated, leading to people often asking him for translations, to which he reacts anywhere from annoyed to pleased, depending on his mood. He also tends use a rather polite, refined manner of speech, carefully choosing his words before speaking, only swears on very rare occasions and tries to avoid arguments and fights as much as possible, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself.
Maxim does have a sense of humor, preferably black or satirical comedy. In addition to that, he possesses a very dry and sardonic wit, which he often displays when annoyed by others. His aversion towards more common types of humor has earned him the reputation of a grouch amongst his friends. It should be further noted that he vehemently insists on not being called by a nickname. During his years on the first high school he attended, many would call him Maxi or Grumpy Max, which always ends with him becoming agitated and telling them to never call him that again. Whenever people aimed to get under his skin, they would proceed to do exactly that and to this day, Maxim is unable to tolerate it.
Advantages: Maxim, while not outstandingly smart, possesses a good amount of wit and common sense. He will always carefully contemplate any important decision and not perform rash actions. He also possesses an excellent memory. As for his build, while he certainly lacks the muscles to be considered anything near buff, his mere size and weight alone make him somewhat harder to take on in a direct fight, though anyone somewhat skilled in combat or martial arts should have no problem handling him.
Disadvantages: Maxim does not possess all too many social skills, meaning that he will have a hard time getting other people to work with him, as well as interacting with people in general. In addition to this, Maxim's sluggishness and his inexperience with actions that require greater physical effort will most likely lead to him tiring out much faster than most other people.
Designated Number: Male student no. 018
Designated Weapon: Hunting Bow & 20 Arrows (Borrowed from Josie Knight; it's scribbled all over with insults and bad jokes)
Conclusion: Josie wanted to do this one for obvious reasons, but I yanked it out from under her nose for one reason: Part of me's rooting for you, B018, just so if you survive, we can have a looooooong talk about why tabletop RPGs are better than computer ones. I was so disappointed, man. - Dennis Lourvey
Note: Neverwinter Nights and Badur's Gate are okay, though!
The above biography is as written by Rorick Skyve. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Kills: Vanessa Stone
Collected Weapons: Hunting Bow & 20 Arrows (assigned weapon), Ball-peen hammer (from Junko Kurosawa)
Mid-game Evaluation: Maxim awoke in the one-on-one rooms, anxious but prepared to do what he had to do. He heard the noises made by Nadia Riva and Jasmine King and hid in a dark room to avoid them, but ultimately both girls separately found the room anyways. They tersely discussed weapons, and their plans. Jasmine was intent on getting the other two to follow her but Nadia quickly opted out, and Maxim also slipped away when Jasmine left, distrusting both girls. Maxim wanted to stay away from the asylum, and crossed the bridge to the staff areas.
Here he found Ben Fields, each on the other side of a wall of the staff library. Maxim didn't trust the voice on the other side of the wall but tripped while trying to flee, so they met face to face while Ben helped him up. Maxim wasn't sold on Ben's plans to keep kids from killing, believing it impossible, but he tried to cultivate Ben as an ally and was frustrated in turn when Ben refused to hear him out and left. This left Maxim to seek allies elsewhere.
He snuck around the staff A dorms, and tried to leave when he heard the ruckus kicked up by Benjamin Lichter and Lili Williams. They found him in the effort, and he was quickly pulled into their fledgling alliance. Maxim offered information as best he could, and they elected to stay the night in one of the dorm rooms, Maxim suggesting the idea of shifts. Lili fell asleep then, leaving Ben and Maxim to discuss further. While they ate Ben admitted his concerns and worries to Maxim, who tried his best to diffuse them before they became an issue. Maxim then took first watch when they had finished eating, and he found his own room to sleep in.
The next day he overheard and was shocked by the death of Cristo Morales, but not as much as he assumed he would have been. Ben ran to him, distraught, and told him that Lili had gone missing, but Maxim found he didn't particularly care despite being caught off guard by it. Maxim was more focused on a plan, which he bluntly compelled Ben to help him come up with. They agreed to seek shelter elsewhere, but as they wandered the slope area a confrontation between another group of students spooked Ben and Maxim, as they overhead violence and Kimiko Kao, an already infamous killer. Ben and Maxim had different ideas while fleeing, without coordination they lost each other. Maxim returned to the dormitories, then proceeded to hide away and only change locations when overhearing others, preferring to stay alone with his own thoughts and minimize risk. However he was haunted by memories of Cristo, increasingly over time until stress made him vomit over himself late Day 4.
Day 5 he wandered into the doctor's office and sequestered himself into a room, where he suddenly was intruded upon before he could hide. Junko Kurosawa, armed, confronted him and asked him questions he had no answers to nor intent to answer. She was led away quickly by sounds elsewhere, leaving him alone. After sometime resting he left the office, and then overheard the noises of a violent scuffle and Junko's now familiar voice. He elected after some rationalizing to investigate, to find some way to turn the violence to his benefit, into more supplies or a new ally. He came just in time to hear and then see Jeremy Frasier finish Junko off with a gunshot. Maxim acted quickly, scavenging the corpse. Jeremy ignored Maxim's token efforts at communication and Maxim returned the favor until Jeremy left. There wasn't much in the way of weapons but there were supplies, and Maxim recovered them before locking himself in the other office for a while to rest. He cleaned himself up over the next day and deigned to speak to the camera with a message for his father and a former friend back home whom he had had a crush on before moving on.
The next day found Maxim at the docks, well away from the asylum, contemplating whether he should seek out Lili and Ben again, and how he would do so. A burning building cause by Clarice Halwood dominated the distant horizon, Maxim watched it while idly musing on the books that were lost. In this state he was found by Brendan Harte and Fiyori Senay, Maxim was irked to realize he'd forgotten the former, who was a close friend, but glad he could finally feel safe. They were able to talk in a surprisingly normal, pleasant way about the burning library for a while, musing on the sight from a safe distance, but that couldn't last long. Inevitably the talk turned to practical matters, Fiyori was introduced and stories were exchanged. Brendan said he was a killer but that only bothered Maxim in that it created a variable that threatened his survival, and he overlooked it. Fiyori departed to find another ally they'd lost, Alba Reyes, leaving Maxim and Brendan to work out their future plans. Brendan took the lead, Maxim followed.
Fiyori failed to show up at her appointed meeting place, and the next morning's announcement listed her among the people who had joined forces to kill Isabel Ramirez along with Brendan's friend Dorothy Shelley. Maxim awkwardly tried to comfort him as they loitered around the beach trying to figure out their next move. They were soon approached by none other than Dorothy, along with Candice Banks. The girls were hesitant to approach for various reasons, as were Maxim and Brendan, but their meeting was soon broken up when a concealed Jonathan Gulley opened fire on them. Brendan recognized Jonathan and chased after him when he fled, and after taking a moment to get his bearings, Maxim followed as well.
He lost track of Brendan, and found himself alone at the burned-down library the next morning, contemplating his lack of connection with his classmates and examining his weapon. After some time, he was approached by Vanessa Stone, who greeted him warily. Vanessa didn't waste time on small talk and asked whether Maxim had seen Alessio Rigano, the boy who had killed her best friend. Maxim confirmed that he knew Al, and bluffed that Alessio was in fact in the area when Vanessa pressed him for further info. As Vanessa turned to look where Maxim had said Alessio was, he shot her with an arrow, though he only struck her in the shoulder. As Vanessa scrambled to get away from her sudden attacker, she fell, allowing Maxim to reach her and pin her down. She spat in his face and yelled at him defiantly in her last moments, before he chose to use the hammer to bludgeon her to death.
Memorable Quotes: "Yes, yes you are. (...) Look, you're free to leap to conclusions all you want, yes? Doesn't change the fact that you're making a mistake." - Maxim, in response to Ben F. rhetorically asking if he was an idiot for refusing to go along with Maxim's plans.
"I mean, of course this is going to mess with your brain, one way or another. Really all I can say is: It'll happen now and then, you have to accept that. As long as it doesn't distract you from being smart about all this." - Maxim's advice when Ben L. admits his concerns.
"But I forgive you. I forgive you for betraying me, for telling me things you had no intention of keeping. I forgive you. And I hope you can forgive yourself." -- His little lie implicating his 'friend' back home.
"I wish I had a more exciting story to tell. Maybe one where I was caught by some big killer, and had to beg for my life, or use my wits to escape. But... well, considering where we are, I think I'm okay being boring for now." -- Summarizing his island experience to Brendan.
Below is a list of threads that contain Maxim, in chronological order.
- Where The White Boys Dance
- Land of Milk and Honey, Don't Fail Me Now
- The Neverending Story
- Mr. Bliss
Sadie Hawkins Dance:
- The Strange Case of Nadia
- The Land Across
- Good Omens
- Prince of Nothing
- Song For A Warrior
- Idiot Launch
- Another Story Must Begin
- The Wicked Die Alone
- We Are Monsters
- This Nearly Was Mine
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