Eyes: Dark Brown
Mixed African and Chinese ancestry.
Has issues with authority that she is skilled in masking, except when confronted with unmerited arrogance. Smart and cocksure herself, she is dedicated to her work. Usually easygoing, with a slight edge, but aggressive when pushed beyond her limit.
Early in the 21st century, Asia saw an influx of African immigrants, the result of increased Asian investment in Africa and trade between the two continents. Likewise, Africa became home to increasing numbers of Asian emigrants, who absorbed many elements of African culture and took them back home. Eventually, China, once a backwater country, became a sophisticated financial and cultural hub, home to institutions of higher learning that garnered recognition throughout the galaxy.
It was one such institution that Maxwell Gaius attended, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, as a medical student. And it was there that he met Mei-Ling, who managed an off-campus coffee shop, serving up raktajinos, home-grown poetry readings, and impromptu art shows. Taken with her passion and the world outside of academia, he asked her to dinner the first night he saw her. They dated for a year, became engaged after six months, then married. It was in Maxwell's second year of residency that Mei-Ling became pregnant. With a child to support, he changed his plans of taking on a fellowship in anesthesiology after residency and accepted a job at Shanghai East International Medical Center as a general practitioner. Mei-Ling continued to work at the coffee shop and managed to sell a few works of art to make extra money.
Max grew up being shuttled back and forth to school by either her mother, father, or maternal grandmother (Nana Bao). Who did the shuttling depended on work schedules. It was a chaotic, but loving, environment. Nana Bao taught Max how to make rice-paper inkings on gravestones, cook clay pot rice, and to cross her legs at the ankles when sitting. After school, Max would often do her homework at the kitchen table at the coffee shop, getting an early taste for coffee with lots of milk and sugar. And when her father came home, he would regale her with the day's diagnoses.
Then her brother, James, came along, and she was no longer the center of attention. It was then she began to bury herself in her studies.
Max excelled in science, and not much else, not caring at all for history or language arts. She gave short shrift to liberal arts courses, even though her mother would scold her for neglecting them. In her final year at school, her father died, killed in a groundcar accident. Devastated, but knowing she had to graduate, she stuffed her grief, completed her studies, and applied to Starfleet Academy with the idea of getting as far away from home as possible. However, Max soon found that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. For her liberal arts classes, she would often transport home to receive tutoring from her mother, especially in art history. And she would be encouraged to help her brother with math and science, as he had apparently taken after their mother. Already, at age 8, he could paint in the style of the Grand Masters. Max secretly envied his talent, especially when she would see her mother's face glow with excitement as she assessed his work. As she concentrated more on her major of astrophysics, she would travel home less often, and would frequently volunteer for away missions open to cadets during the holidays.
Max graduated fourth in her class, and was assigned to the USS Keldon as a science specialist. It was there she met Stirok, a Vulcan engineer, with whom she would discuss the nuances of Lorentz transformations and Minkowski spacetime. They would occasionally touch on art and literature, with Stirok doing most of the talking on those subjects. She found herself slowly falling in love with him, but after four years of pining and finally building up the nerve to confess her feelings, he, in a most Vulcan manner, informed her that he was leaving to become married to his betrothed.
Dealt another emotional blow, Max decided to situate herself on a far-out station to focus on applying her studies to new areas of space. After some study, she chose Kepler Station, as it was near an unexplored frontier.
Father: Maxwell Gaius
Other: Nana Bao