"Maybe I have lost my mind. If I have, I lost it long ago. Thing is, I'm gonna be lookin' fer it, ain't I? So I'll tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna walk about outside, and I'm gonna go up to someone, the first sorry bastard I see in the street, and ask them eight simple words: 'I've lost my mind, do you have it?'."
~ to Victor Golovkin.
Mildred Boughton, known better as Flannery (a handle to hide her identity), is the leader of the Second Street Greencoat Gang, a criminal organization that operates in the human ghetto of Bayit Gadol on Scatach Prime, a planet in the Imperium of Sidhae. She is best known for her extremely explosive temperament, viciously-racist sentiments toward not just Sidhae but her fellow humans as well, and her penchant for excessive violence.
Boughton was born on planet Dixie, an agricultural secondary world in the Federation of Mankind, and raised by a religious but dysfunctional family of Pentecostal Christians. Her early years were marked by abuse by her alcoholic father whom she characterizes as a "Bible-thumping hypocrite" in a conversation with Alain, and by neglect from her mother, whom she describes as a submissive coward hiding behind religion. Mildred consequently found herself a surrogate family in a local white-supremacist skinhead gang, developing a drug habit and having an abortion at the age of 15.
At the age of 16, her homeworld was invaded by the Sidhae, who proceeded to brutally kill her parents and two younger brothers, leading to her abandonment of any remaining religious faith and a lifelong hatred for the Sidh race. In her desire for vengeance, Mildred would manage to escape a life of petty crime by enlisting in the Federation Colonial Marine Corps. There she would spend most of her adult life, developing a reputation for brutality especially against the Sidhae that saw her recruited into an extraordinary rendition program, where she gained her moniker of 'Flannery', by which she would be known to most in the future.
After a botched assignment with a Colonial Marine Force Recon outfit on Scatach Prime a few years before the events of Access Violation, Mildred found herself a sole survivor of her unit stranded deep into Imperial space, with no hope for extraction or return. Deciding to make the best out of the situation, she would join a local ghetto gang, rising rapidly through the ranks by sheer ruthlessness and eventually reforming it into the Second Street Greencoat Gang.
After being hired by an Imperial Judicator - Alain - to capture the Mecharussian survivors of the Lenin Affair, their initially-cold and hostile relationship takes a radical turn after Mildred is taken in by the Judicator in the aftermath of an attack by a rival gang that results in heavy damage to her gang's base and home. Alain eventually succeeds in seducing her, making her his mistress. Despite her strong hatred for the Sidhae, Mildred eventually has a change of heart as she begins to take interest in Sidh ways and becomes increasingly more enamoured with Alain.
Although their relationship is somewhat tempestuous, her short temper and rashness leading to several arguments and even a violent altercation with Alain, Mildred's love for the Judicator becomes more and more sincere towards the end of Access Violation. In the end, she commits herself to conversion in order to become a Sidh and remain with Alain thereafter.
Her plans for the future are cut short in the final battle, however, as she is killed after getting entangled and hung from an electric cable accidentally brought down by Victor Golovkin. Upon learning this, Alain swears revenge on the Mecharussian colonel and his associates, leading to the events of A Blood Debt.
As well as being emotionally volatile, Boughton exhibits traits consistent with megalomania and chronic depression. However, it is later revealed that the core theme revolving around her is the impact of loss. She really has lost everything throughout her life: her family, home, religious belief, all of her friends and her career as a Colonial Marine. It is her ruthless desperation to cling onto her dominating position over Bayit Gadol's criminal underworld, content to kill anyone and everyone who stands in her path, that drives her bitter misanthropy and paranoia. In turn, this has rendered her a megalomaniac, making her a sad case of someone who has quite literally gone mad with power.
In more personal scenarios, Boughton displays behaviour typical of a tsundere - that is to say, she is initially hostile towards her fellows, largely on account of her paranoia, but will gradually show a warmer side to her once she learns to trust the person she is talking to. It is this, coupled with the acquisition of "somethin' that no son-of-a-bitching gangster or alien invader can take - a determination t'do the right thing" (in her own words), that leads her to fall in love with Alain. In spite of her prejudice against aliens and Sidhae in particular, Alain is the first individual to have given her something meaningful in a very long time.
'Nice Guy, Not-So-Nice Guy' monologue
One of the most defining moments for Boughton's character is the 'Nice Guy, Not-So-Nice Guy' monologue, spoken to Golovkin, Riva and Nathan when she holds them captive at the bottom of the Cauldron bar-fortress. It is hugely significant for the rest of the storyline and for Golovkin in particular.
The monologue goes as follows:
"Someone who scares the shit out of people can make 'em answer any fuckin' question they want, no matter how fuckin' retarded the question is, just like that. I know it. The Sidhae know it. Every shithead in the Ghetto knows it. I'm sure whatever the fuck Private Joker over here's supposed to be knows it too. You wanna know why that is the case? Let me tell you a little story. A guy, an associate a'mine, once told me it's better to get people to be afraid of ya than it is to make 'em try to like ya if ya can't do both. Y'see, being the judgemental bitch that I was, I thought he was talkin' out of his ass. So! I took my gun, pointed it right there ... Aaaand ... BOOM! I shot the self-righteous prick right in the fuckin' head. Blew his fuckin' brains over the table and put a pink stain in his broad's boob-tube!! But the thing is, our boy wasn't talkin' outta his ass. Because the next day, everywhere I looked, and everywhere I looked, and everywhere I FUCKING looked – there were always two kinds a'people I noticed. There were the nice guys, and there were the not-so-nice ones. Y'know where the nice guys ended up? Snorting coke off of a fuckin' table as part of a ten years' habit with ten years left to live aged eighteen, that’s where. Getting shitfaced in the toilet and sleepin' it off in a pool a'their own fuckin' puke, piss and shit, that's where. Making the stupid fuckin' mistake of joinin' a force-recon team for her asshole Federation's military and then getting stranded on this planet, left to fend for herself. THAT'S where! The not-so-nice guys? Those vicious, depraved pieces of festering borkan-shit that have the pretention to call themselves human fucking beings? They were the bosses. The guys with the guns. The guys with the money. The guys with it all. The guys doin' the raping, beating, robbing and killing to the nice guys. They still are. Sorry that yer life ain't a basket-full a'milk and honey, but that’s how life is. How it was. How it'll always be. Take them words with ya to yer grave. 'It's better to be feared than it is to be loved'."
- Boughton serves as one of the main antagonists of Access Violation.
- Boughton unintentionally bears an uncanny resemblance to Ma-Ma from the 2012 film Dredd, not just in appearance but several aspects of her personality also. Where the similarities end is their temperament: Ma-Ma is always calm and collected, while Boughton is extremely and explosively cantankerous.
- The two main inspirations for Boughton's character were Vaas Montenegro from Far Cry 3 and Trevor Phillips from Grand Theft Auto V. Like Montenegro, Boughton is psychotic and sadistic while at the same time being chillingly philosophical on occasion, and her Nice Guy monologue is a close mimic of Montenegro's infamous Insanity Monologue. The aspects of her character borrowed from Phillips are her harsh upbringing, emotional volatility and her propensity to explode into an extremely violent fit of rage at the drop of a hat.
- Boughton was originally created to be a deuteragonist, assisting the Marines' escape from the ghetto in exchange for a spaceship back home after being forced into hiding. After her antagonism was set in stone, she was first set up to die after attempting to shoot her way out of the ghetto with a giant tank (ending in a fight scene between her and Golovkin similar to the one that transpires between Bykov and Kravchenko at the end of To Struggle in the Way of Allah), until it was decided for her and Alain to become lovers.