Name: Maria Santiago
School: Bayview Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: Dance, piano, collecting dolls
Appearance: Maria is of slightly below average height, at 5'3", and is very slender at 100 pounds- not quite underweight, but close. Her body is not muscular for the most part, though she has some wiry muscle in her legs from her dance training. Her breasts are practically nonexistent. Her skin is a uniform light-to-medium brown that deepens to a definite medium brown during the summer. Her eyes, which are huge and rounded on her heart-shaped face, are dark brown. Her nose is small and has a small bump in it, and her lips are slightly overlarge.
Maria's hair is dark-brown-to-black, generally appearing black but looking more brown in bright light. She doesn't cut her hair- her last haircut was somewhere around ten years ago, and her thin hair falls to her knees, her hair's natural limit in length. She generally wears it in one long braid, tied with a red ribbon, but sometimes lets it down for special occasions. The last few inches of her hair are a mess of split ends, but she never bothers to cut it.
Maria's wardrobe consists mainly of school uniforms from her old private school. Now that she's allowed to do so, she'll jazz it up a bit with bunches of silver bangles on each arm, big hoop earrings, and an array of colorful scarves, but she almost exclusively wears uniforms to school, mainly because it's what she's used to. On weekends she'll still mostly wear skirts (with blouses) or dresses, very rarely wearing pants and never wearing t-shirts.
Biography: Maria Santiago was born to Javier and Claudia Santiago as the youngest of six children- her older siblings including, from oldest to youngest, Carmen, Gabriel, twins Leon and Lalo, and Jade Santiago. Javier and Claudia run a successful law firm in St. Paul, Minnesota (Santiago & Santiago), making enough money for the family of eight to live comfortably in a spacious home in a suburb just outside of St. Paul.
The children of the family were all almost disturbingly similar- all grew up quiet, studious and docile, responding well to Javier and Claudia's strict style of parenting. The only exception to this rule was Lalo, who stood out in sharp contrast to his older siblings and to his twin with his hyperactivity and rebellious streak, all of which was comfortably sedated with Ritalin. Maria was not an exception- she grew up as expected, learning to walk and talk at the expected times, and altogether being an entirely average child. Maria attended Sacred Heart School for kindergarden through eight grade, as had all her siblings before her. She did fairly well- not failing but not doing exceptionally, either, simply slipping under the radar. She started both dance classes and piano lessons when she six, as had Carmen and Jade before her, and continued those lessons through her adolescence. For her birthday, every year, her parents gave her a beautiful porcelain doll. The dolls filled Maria with the love of her parents, and she began collecting them as symbols of the love others had for her.
Underneath, though, Maria was a boiling mess of repressed emotion. Though Carmen was out of the house at college when Maria was in the middle of elementary school (as per family tradition, each Santiago who went to college came back to live in the house, so by the time Maria was a preteen Carmen was back at home), there were still four other children in the house, taking attention from Maria, who felt that as the youngest child she deserved the most attention. She particularly resented Lalo, whose temper and general emotional issues grew worse as he grew older, and he required a lot more attention. Leon, who similarly suffered from the amount of attention lavished on his twin, grew similarly resentful, and as a result Leon and Maria grew quite close.
Maria, for her part, also found herself irritated by the lack of attention paid to her in school. Her slipping under the radar was not a deliberate act- she was simply an average student who made Bs when she tried hard and Cs when she did not. She attempted to draw attention to herself the only way she could think to do so- by acting out in class. She certainly did get attention- and several raps on the knuckles from the sisters in her school for her trouble. She found herself the center of attention again in her household- for negative reasons, sure, but the center of attention nonetheless.
Maria stopped purposely getting in trouble- while she did love the results in her house, she hated physical pain more than anything and so didn't want to get hit by the nuns again. Instead, she developed a passive-aggressive attitude conducive to attention-getting. She sulked constantly and blamed practically everything on others, but at the same time tried hard to make friends. She had a tendency to believe that every friend she made was a best friend, though for the most part the other students thought she was rude and unlikeable. This attitude had the desired effect on her parents, who found their attention diverted to her constantly, as she stuck out amidst her passive siblings. This was especially true as Maria grew older, as at age 12, around when Carmen returned from college (and Gabriel was away), Leon and Lalo left, leaving Maria as the only child in the house with any sort of issue.
Maria's issues only grew more pronounced as she entered adolescence. Her attention-seeking behaviors continued, but as time went on her social skills improved, and she grew more charismatic and likable. However, she became quite manipulative in her relationships with friends, always making sure she was the center of attention. Her attention-seeking never became provocative or sexual- her traditionally Catholic background overrode her other needs- but like most other girls her age she did find herself attracted to boys in her school, though she hit puberty fairly late and only really became attracted to boys in late eighth grade. At the end of eighth grade, though, Maria moved on to St. Saviour High School, an all-girl's Catholic high school, separating her from boys and keeping them only in the back of her mind.
As time in St. Saviour went on, Maria's teachers began to notice her attention-seeking behavior and recommended that she visit a psychologist to determine what was going on with her. Her parents, recognizing that psychiatry had helped with Lalo, agreed. The psychologist diagnosed Maria with tempestuous histrionic disorder and recommended medication. However, her parents refused the medication- while ADHD, which Lalo was diagnosed with, was a well known little boy problem and easy to control, Maria's diagnosis sounded scarier to them, and they refused to believe that something was seriously wrong with their little baby. Problems continued flaring up with Maria over the years in St. Saviour, until eventually her principal recommended her transfer to a secular school. Maria was transferred to Bayview Secondary School before her junior year.
Maria is selfish, attention-seeking, and charismatic. People from many social circles and walks of life are counted amongst her friends- as Maria doesn't care who her friends are, as long as they're paying attention to her. She remains unmedicated, so she continues to be extremely passive aggressive at all times. She absolutely refuses to rely on anyone else, as she is terrified of rejection and of being dependent on others, but she still believes that her friends would come to her aid if she asks, as she overestimates her friendships. She has no tolerance for frustration, or for delays of any kind. In general, she is quite impatient and often quite impulsive. Of her large network of friends, who's to say how many actually like her?
Advantages: Dancing for years has left Maria in fairly good shape- her legs, in particular, are strong, and she can run pretty fast. Her selfishness means that she will always do whatever is most likely to keep her alive. She does not rely on others, ever, and so is used to looking out for herself. She has a large network of friends who she could call upon for help. And her charismatic nature allows her to talk her way out of most situations.
Disadvantages: Maria's friends may or may not like her enough to risk themselves for her. Maria is generally not good at working with groups as she will always do what she wants to do, or what will keep her safe, regardless of what others want. Her impulsive (and not particularly intelligent) nature is likely to lead to her making bad decisions in the game. And her hatred of pain makes her fairly easy to subdue once she is hurt.
Designated Number: Female student no. 110
Designated Weapon: SOTF postcard
Conclusion: We may have a contender here, folks. Then again, as it does so often, the poor weapon draw may just knock her out of the competition. She'll need to be resourceful to survive, that's for sure. I'll be keeping a close eye on this one.
The above biography is as written by Hollyquin. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Handled by: Hollyquin
Killed By: Jackie Broughten
Collected Weapons: Postcard (issued)
Enemies: Presumably Jackie Broughten
Mid-game Evaluation: Maria awoke in the inland woods, sobbing. Trying to calm herself down, she soon changed out of her dirty clothes (which were later happened upon by Jay Holland) and went on her way. Hearing footsteps, she panicked and screamed, causing the nearby John Smith to come find her. Jay Holland soon arrived as well, but as Maria was thinking about an alliance with these two boys, John was attacked from behind by Daniel Vaughan, allowing Maria to retrieve John's dropped shotgun. However, she soon learned that the shotgun was unloaded and thus useless to her, so she dropped it again. She became irritated with Jay for panicking and with Daniel for wanting to come up with an escape plan, but soon ended up panicking herself when she asked if anyone had seen her discarded duffel bag of clothes, and was reminded by Daniel that she had changed in front of an audience of millions. Eventually she calmed down and decided to go after her bag after all mainly due to the snacks she'd brought with her, choosing Jay as a travel companion. The two found her things, along with Jojo Joiner, who joined them on their way back to the others. They found their way back to the clearing and, upon finding Sunil Savarkar with John, Jay attempted to shoot at them with his unloaded gun. In the ensuing panic and chaos, Maria slipped away from the group, annoyed.
Eventually Maria found her way to the Ranger Station, fantasizing about going inside and taking a nap. However, there were other students outside the station, and she didn't want to risk going to speak with them. As she decided to go back in the forest and take a nap in a tree, she turned and saw Jackie Broughten. She attempted to speak to her, but Jackie had already made up her mind, and she was killed via a single slash to her jugular.
Post-Game Evaluation: Well, I certainly had my eye on Maria, and I'm pretty sure so did the viewers at home after her display! Another case of an easy out after wandering away from a group.
Memorable Quotes: "So...I guess...I'm going to heaven after all..." - Maria's last words
- No relation to the Gears of War character. No, really- the identical names are a complete coincidence.
Below is a list of threads that contain Maria, in chronological order.
Your Thoughts Edit
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Maria Santiago. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- Maria was a mixed bag. On the one hand, she explored a really different emotional range than most of Holly's kids, and that was quite cool. On the other, she had some weirdness that didn't work as well (like the school uniforms and such), which was a bit distracting. My big quibble, though, is the super overblown deathpost. Songposts were a bit gauche even by this time, and while crazy formatting was the order of the day, a lot of cool stuff was being done without it. Having all that weirdness rolled into a death, especially out of nowhere, felt more like a crutch than a genuine use of emotive devices, which is too bad because I think aside from that scene Maria has more potential than she often gets credit for. - MurderWeasel