Ambassador Matilda "Tilly" Hendrix
"A woman is like a teabag. You only find out how strong she is when she is in hot water."--Eleanor Roosevelt. Also, Tilly's college yearbook quote.
An elegant elder stateswoman-looking type of 45. Dyes her hair white for the dignity factor. She speaks with a slight Texas accent. She has a fading suntan from her most recent work in northern Africa.
For the last several years, former first lady Matilda Hendrix has run a series of programs aimed at “making urban and rural environments safe for humanity” (according to her website, anyway). She has two major projects in this: vending machines that serve hot nutritious meals for nearly-free at the push of a button, and the complete terraforming of the Sahara Desert. She has accomplished the first, and was working on the second when she received the call to join the Earth delegation.
Tilly’s defining personality trait is her targeted generosity. She has a real gift for seeing what needs to be done to fix a problem and making it happen quickly. The only problem with this is that she very quickly gets impatient with obstacles to her best course of action, and that impatience can boil over into violent rage.
[character sheet goes here]
PUBLICLY, Matilda Parsons-Hendrix behaved herself until about the age of 33. The daughter of old American money, Tilly grew up in Texas, debuted in Houston at sixteen, and was then put in the social register of young women who were going to marry prominent men in cowboy boots. Tilly’s only mark of rebellion was her stunning temper, which her family managed to keep under wraps.
After the rebellion of separationist extremists, Tilly and her parents fled to their summer home in Connecticut and she ended up attending Amherst for college instead of her first choice, Texas A&M (burned to the ground in 2119). There, Tilly met Bob Hendrix, a law student from Missouri, at a party for Students Against Driving. They married two years later.
After college, Tilly wanted to return to Teja Nueva (recently re-admitted into the US as a provisional territory). She and Bob set up a life as a small-town lawyer and a local VR-TV personality. Tilly and Bob quickly worked their way up through the ranks until he was in the State Legislature and she was running her internationally ranked cooking show, Tilly’s Texas Kitchen.
Tilly sympathizes with the Tejanos, the branch of separatists who want to rejoin Mexico (a separate organization from the Republic of Texas people, whom she considers tacky). However, she and her husband both worked on the state readmission campaign after deciding it was better for the people of Texas to have a voice in US government. The next year Bob was elected as the first senator from Texas. Tilly divided her time between Washington and Austin, serving as a political go-between while continuing to run her show. In Bob’s absence she also started quietly discussing politics with chican@ separatists.
Bob ran for president when he’d only been in the Senate for two years. Tilly supervised that campaign, and Bob brought the middle-America, “my state never seceded, not even once” charm. In order to manage the campaign, Tilly gave up her cooking show. In her farewell episode, she promised listeners that if her husband’s campaign went well she’d resume the show from the White House, and that she believed in her man 100%. There was a Dolly Parton cover band. People cried. Bob won the presidency that year.
As first lady, Tilly had always expected to take an active role in government. However, Bob and his vice president discouraged her from getting involved. Things came to a head one night when visiting their home in Texas. Tilly wanted to discuss the idea of making concessions to the Tejanos; Bob’s VP was urging him to consider military interventions at rallies. Bob and Tilly had a fight that started as being about Texas and devolved into accusations. Finally Bob said that Tilly knew nothing about policy. He said he was going out to get some air. Tilly told him not to walk away from her. Long story short, she pushed him down a flight of stairs, killing him instantly.
Tilly’s secret servicemen coached her through making it look like Bob had slipped (Tilly’s always inspired a kind of feral loyalty in people who work closely with her). They came up with a plausible story and called for a medivac to a local hospital. A Texas coroner helped handle the matter as a favor to the family. Tilly slept through the arrival of the medivac, on a powerful prescription sleep aid. She was never officially a suspect because she was believed to have slept through the moment of her husband’s death, and because four secret servicemen gave pristine accounts of the fall, she was never charged (although rumors abounded). Two of the secret servicemen were dismissed due to personal negligence.
After her husband’s death, Tilly fell apart for a number of years. She watched Texas join Mexico and then watched Mexico be annexed as a sovereign territory. She realized that American politics had passed her by, and that maybe it was time to try something else.