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Ensign Santeen - "And I lay before you Life and Death"


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((USS Darwin, Deck 7, Santeen's Shared Crew Quarters)) 

::As Quikz stood just outside the door that his PADD indicated was where his shared quarters was, he couldn't help but wonder just what his new roommate would be like. All his PADD had indicated was basic information such as deck and room number, and the single name of his roommate: Ensign Christopher Lambert who was listed as being a Science Officer aboard the Darwin. Though with his new security clearances he could probably find out even a bit more preliminary information about him, he decided on this occasion he wished to be (hopefully) pleasantly surprised.::

Santeen: oOBesides, what is the purpose of spoiling all the mysteries for yourself on the first day aboard? There is something to be said, surely, about taking things as they come and in stride?Oo
::Nodding to himself, he depressed the door chime, just in case his roommate was actually in the room or in the middle of something. He had learned long ago, especially in his academy days that just because there was always the illusion of decorum and procedure, didn't mean that people weren't people - everyone enjoyed their privacy one way or another.::
Santeen: oOBesides, it's not like there are door knobs to hang socks from like in ages past.Oo 
::Cringing to himself, he remembered just how it was quite a common problem for many cadets at the Academy, and how on a number of occasions he had wished that practice were still...well...a practice. In fact, there was that one very awkward moment he had accidently walked in on his friend, William "Buck" Wellington and that Orion bartender, only to discover to both his horror and laughter that maybe they needed a new nickname for the young cadet after all.::
::After waiting several moments, he entered the room and took in his surroundings. He already saw the tell-tale signs that indeed another Male ensign lived here. Judging by the few mementos and bric-a-brac he saw here and there, he was sure that he was more than likely human. Other than that, he did not try to intrude in any real way on his new roommate's privacy. There would be plenty of time for them to get to know each other in the future.::
::Turning to the bunks in the opposite wall, he saw his belongings had already been placed on his upper bunk. There wasn't much, indeed he had always traveled rather lightly. Maybe it was all his years spent as a sprinter and cross country runner and athlete, but he usually preferred only to have on his person those things most essential to him at any given moment. If he truly needed something, he would seek it out. If he couldn't attain it with the true sweat and determination of his most concerted effort, he had had long ago learned he could simply go without it.::
::Picking up the PADD that lay next to his belongings, he quickly scanned it to make sure his correct items were on the manifest, and having confirmed, he set it aside. Taking a deep breath, he pulled his leather rucksack off the bed and sat down at the small dining table and began sorting his few belongings. Of his few possessions he had brought with him, there was a handful which were most significant to him, and which always brought about a wave of emotions and memories welling up from the fount of his heart and into the spray of his mind.:
::As he pulled them out one by one, Quikz reflected on them, as he had each time he had come to a new place on his long journey to where he was now.::
::The most cumbersome and self-explanatory, even if somewhat out of sorts for the clean lines and necessary sanitation of a Federation Ship, was a dust-covered pair of worn cross trainers. Though muddy, the cross trainers were worn not from neglect, but from use. They were stained with the dirt of achievement and grit; they were emblazoned with the signs of sweat, blood, and determination which had taken him all across his homeland in competition after competition in search of proving himself to all, especially his father.::
::Closing his eyes for the briefest of moments, he still could feel the give of the treads beneath his feet, the thunder of his heart as it leaped like an antelope in his chest, the shout of the crowds and his family as it urged him onward. Yet above all, he still could feel those piercing eyes and the quiet brewing presence of Otto Santeen and the immense silence with which his father could shake the heavens above and rattle his earthly dreams below.::
::Setting the shoes aside, he took a deep breath and withdrew another couple items from his bag
One was a well worn, highlighted, dog-eared copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Though most books these days were unanimously held on PADDs, this was one of his most prized possessions, not only because it was so rare to have an actual printed book these days, but because it was a special gift given to him by his mother shortly before he had left for his Academy. Opening the inside cover of the book, a paperclip fastener held a picture of his elegant mother suspended  just above glittering green swirls of her script which she had inscribed into the book for him:::
Helena Santeen: 
To My Beloved Son, 
I give you this book on the start of your journey toward claiming your own personal treasure in life because in so many ways you have been one of the few splendid treasures in my own. 
Remember Quikzal, just as this book says so elegantly: "Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World...When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream."
Therefore, may you always have courage in life, but most importantly, may you always know how deeply you are loved.
Love Always, Your Mother
::As he read those words, he touched his mother's picture, almost in the same way she had touched his own face many years ago, comforting him as he prepared to leave their Spanish villa and set out to make his way in the world. His cheek flushed and felt warm to the touch as if he  could still feel her hand upon him, but soon he realized it was because of a single tear that had burned a trail down his face.::
::Also inside the book was a letter from his sister Rosemary, which he had received right in the middle of his Academy days. He had read it many times before, but for now, he did not have the heart in him to read it. It spoke of love, and loss, the laughter and joy of their youth, and the haunting pain of the recent past. All things he wasn't privy or willing to allow himself to visit at the current moment.::

::The only other items, other than basic toiletries and a single change of civilian clothes, was a small acrylic globe with a single dried flower petal suspended to the light, and a thick squat rusty spike that was attached to a long leather cord which could be worn around the neck. These two items alone, where the most weighty to bear on his heart: for one meant the beauty of life, and the other the cruelty of death.::
Santeen: oOAnd sometimes, I'm not exactly sure which one stands for which.Oo
Ensign Quikz Santeen
Security Officer
USS Darwin, NCC-99312-A
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