Blame Nurture

Ever wonder why Milton Roupp is so remorseless? He seems to think nothing of stomping on other people’s rights, let alone their feelings. Everything is black and white in Milton Roupp’s world. Either he can manipulate you into doing his bidding [mostly through blackmail], or he can’t. If he can’t manipulate you, then he will ruin you or have you killed.

We’re going to plead the nurture defense for Milton. His upbringing shaped Milton.

Milton’s grandfather, Ezekiel Roupp, was a snake oil huckster selling patent medicine to unsuspecting dupes. Ezekiel turned sleight of hand and misdirection, along with some Bible thumping, into an art form. Ezekiel finally settled in Gamote Point, mostly because the people there didn’t look to closely at where Ezekiel had made his money. He could just be an older gentleman comfortably enjoying his retirement. Milton admired Ezekiel’s ability to turn castor oil and soap into a business that made him rich. Milton took to heart all of Ezekiel’s wild west stories from the road. His grandfather was larger than life to Milton.

It was his father, Daniel, that left deep scars on Milton’s psyche. Ezekiel took part of his amassed fortune to send his son, Daniel, to college to learn the pharmacological arts. Daniel Roupp was a brilliant scientist and researcher. Daniel’s ability to make intuitive leaps led him to create a method to preserve vaccines. And this is the part that set Milton on the path he is on today. Daniel Roupp gave away his formula “for the good of mankind.”

Milton, even as a teenager, was appalled. Milton learned from Ezekiel there is money to be made from pharmaceuticals, big money. All it would take is a little sleight of hand, a slight twist in the narrative, a little push to the darker side of people, and maybe a little soap. Milton seethed as his father bumbled along with the little pharmaceutical company he established in Gamote Point when Milton knew it could make millions if handled correctly.

Eventually, Milton convinced Daniel to turn the business side of the company over to him. Daniel happily retreated to the lab and didn’t give the administrative side another thought. Milton used whatever means at his disposal to turn a profit. People were dupes ripe for exploitation as far as Milton was concerned, and he had little use for them if they didn’t further his grab for wealth and power. Milton didn’t even care about the woman, Lorna, that he married. Oh, Milton wooed Lorna, but he had little to do with her as soon as she accomplished her purpose. He just cared about her money and social status to use to grease the wheels for Roupp Pharmaceuticals.

Milton is just a result of his upbringing, after all.

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