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Michael is the son and apparently preferred heir of Hazel Green, current matriarch of the whole rotten Green organisation. He has clearly "inherited" (but see below) her penchant for manipulation, love of mental dominance games, and iron willpower...if not shared in her dreams for his future career.
Despite the controversy over the Green children's parentage, obvious physiological resemblance and apparently inherited traits mean Speculation continue in the belief that he is Hazel's biological son (this would also explain why he is heir apparent rather than Jay, his older brother), but they'd kill for a reliable DNA sample.
One of a large family, Michael grew up under constant scrutiny from his mother, his mother's agents, and his denunciation-happy siblings. His father left ("escaped" might be a better word) not long after his birth. To make matters worse, his mother appeared to eschew more conventional parental practice in favour of her mind-control research. Early childhood, in the depths of the Green mental research labs, must have been horrific.
None of this apparently curtailed "Mike"'s independence and determination – he ran away from home four times between 1990 and 1999, requiring more and more of his mother's resources to locate and recover, and developed astonishing mental and physical endurance surviving her "discipline" techniques. It also cultivated his apparent hatred of her in favour of near-fanatical devotion to his younger sister, Blue.
University marked Michael's last and greatest rebellion against his mother – namely, his refusal of places bought and sold at Ivy League institutions in favour of one of his own choice. He further enraged Hazel by ignoring her total cutoff of financial support in favour of his own resources. He considers his friends at college, for all his efforts to manipulate them, one of his finest personal achievements – people he has won over alone, without his mother's money or reputation.
Michael's rebellion has not come without its price, mostly in Hazel's efforts to recover him. Seeing his obvious stubbornness and evident skill as a barrier to overt efforts, she has instead concentrated on targeting his friends and roommates. Ironically, here she has run across even harder targets while arousing her son's resentment even further. In fact, Speculation harbor the quiet hope that Mike's resources and skill will keep his friends' run of luck going.
That luck may have run out. Michael's apparent recovery after nearly drowning in the Caribbean may look miraculous, but he was dead in the water for a good ten minutes. As far as the Board are concerned, His fingerprints are all over it. It would be a darkly ironic shame if the young man with such an unbroken string of defiant refusals in the face of authority had fallen afoul of an even bigger rebel than he is.