Max Barker is tall (six feet two inches) and lean with gangly arms and legs. He has thick black hair with a bit of length to it. His skin is tan from being of a mixed-race. His eyes have a bit of a slant and are blue.
Max’s tracer lines cover his arms, legs, and torso since he is a Placer sumage.
Max is very very fowl mouthed, smart ass and sarcastic. He also talks a lot, often to his detriment.
Max lives in the in-law of his father’s home. The house proper sits empty and abandoned under an enchantment at the beginning of The Sumage Solution. Max’s father, Darius Barker, was a powerful Surge mage. Max thinks his father was more disappointed he turned out a sumage rather than gay, though he didn’t like either one. Max’s mother was a talented Sluice mage, but she died after giving birth to Max. She was small and very beautiful, which led to rumors that she had Kitsune blood. Max grew up with a long line of disinterested European nannies. Max is an only child because radiation turned Darius sterile.
When Max hit puberty, he told his father he was gay. His father hit him with a large blast of quintessence which Max failed to create a shield to deflect the quintessence. Instead, he became a sumage.
After his father’s death, Max had a lover who liked to inflict pain and wanted to add to the scars already tracing Max’s body.
In the Books Edit
We first meet Maximillian Barker in The Sumage Solution. Max works at the San Marin DURPS offices where he first meets Biff, the Beta of a werewolf pack moving to the Bay Area. The two have immediate chemistry. Max helps Biff come out as gay as Biff helps Max lower his defenses and gain a meaningful relationship. They also discover that, together, they are a Magistar and his familiar.
- To the pack, Max doesn’t smell like the typical sumage (which is like chemical coolant). He has a buttery, burnt-sugar and rum scent.
- Max drives his father’s car, a vintage 1970s Cheetah. All cures and chrome and mostly held together with duct tape and optimism.
- Biff’s pet name for Max is “Trouble.”
- Max has a Korean great-grandmother, a Japanese grandfather, and a Greek grandfather.
- Max changes his contact name in Biff's phone to "MaxTooSexyForThisPhone"
- Max knows English, Japanese, and German. He is also able to read his family's specific code.
- “Max was tall with a propensity to gangle, meaning that him moving at speed looked unstable and might cause panic.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter One)
- “Don’t you ever shut up?’ ‘I do if there’s something in my mouth.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Two)
- “Biff closed his eyes and reveled in the sensation. Max’s body against his. Max’s smell. Yummy caramel, delicious male musk, acceptable levels of quintessence, stupid cologne.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Four)
- “But he wanted it dark. He wanted to hide. Well, keep hiding.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Five)
- “He supposed he might check his phone. But he didn’t. He let it lie, snake-like. Or, more accurately, apple-like. Gay sex temptation apple.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Seven)
- “Everyone knows you, sumage. Placer. Smart mouth. Always the prettiest. I even know your dad was something famous and you got a chip on your shoulder wider than Mount Tam.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Seven)
- “Now Biff realized that Max’s jerky movements, the angles of him, that awkward shell, wasn’t a front. It was a defense. Max’s fast verbal volleys were flinches in disguise. The harsh beat of his flirtation, that was shame. He was ashamed of himself. This magnificent man.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Eight)
- “I’m no weakling to absent myself from society for a little sting here or there.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Eight)
- “So, being happy freaks me out. That’s charmingly messed-up of me.” (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Nine)
- "Barker. Line of asshole Surges from Saturation on down, as you might have guessed." (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Nine)
- "Nobody expects an enchantment. It's like the Spanish Inquisition." (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Ten)
- "What snuck in to occupy the void was a better version of himself. The good, confident, whole Maximillian filling the broken one up. For one moment, with this one man, he was the Max That Could Have Been. Squeezed into a new better form, around a heart shaped like a wolf." (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Fifteen)
- "Max let the wolf's presence comfort and soothe, as if Max were a confused compass needle and Bryan his true north." (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Sixteen)
- "Max would rather be lonely than powerful. Max would rather be a sumage than a Magistar." (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Seventeen)
- "He lay staring at the ceiling and thinking about all the choices he had not made that led him here. Thinking about what he might have done differently were he some other, stronger, happier man. Wondering whether free will was as much a fantasy as love with a werewolf. But he was himself, and so he must Place even this future away, dissipate it into nothingness." (The Sumage Solution, Chapter Seventeen)