Maria Sanmarcos is a small child in The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics. She featured prominently in one chapter of Ciem, and was to appear in Ciem: Vigilante Centipede. She was also to have a reduced role in Ciem 2 and Ciem: Nuclear Crisis before those stories were canceled. In Sodality, she is reduced to little more than a cameo in one episode.
She was kidnapped by Victor Nanale of the Kerpher Gang and is rescued by Ciem. In Sodality, her rescue is a minor footnote. The Sodality of Gerosha shows little mercy on Nanale's men when their acts of cruelty on other girls that were not rescued in time are revealed. In Ciem, Maria's introduction is to serve as a turning point in the story - one in which Candi Levens learns to accept her role as the orange-suited heroine.
Capture by the Kerpher GangEdit
Maria was the youngest-born daughter of a Mexican family that was living in the Latin Town district. Due to her young age and having spent most of her life at home, Maria's English was never very good. The news of her abduction by what was believed to be the Kerpher Gang made headlines all over local news; and became a side campaign for Ciem while she concocted a plot to rescue Emeraldon. She is portrayed as a helpless six-year-old in both the Ciem webcomic and in Vigilante Centipede, each time the captive that Kerpher Gang leader Victor Nanale is most proud of having captured. She is depicted in Classic Gerosha as being held at gunpoint by Victor himself in a back alley; but as being in a crowded cell with terrified teenage sex slaves about to be shipped down the Ohio River in Comprehensive Gerosha. Ciem rescues her by beating up Victor and then battling Musaran atop a semi truck in Ciem, but actually beats up Victor's gang members and tricks them into shooting and killing each other in Vigilante Centipede.
In both versions, Maria ends up back in the arms of her loving parents. The Latin Town community cheers as Ciem leaves the scene, shouting "Ciempies! Ciempies! Ciempies!" to show their delight. It is from their cheers that Channel 26 News forges the moniker of "Ciem."
Protecting Candi and MiriamEdit
The Ciem 2 and Nuclear Crisis timelines feature Candi returning to Latin Town, with Maria and her family among the few who know Candi's true identity. The family uses their connections with motel staff to find a safe location for Candi and Miriam to lay low while Candi struggles with her disease and Miriam remains a target for numerous villains. In Ciem 2, it ends up being a motel just a few blocks away from the one where Teal Hog saved Miriam a mugger/rapist.
The girls all notice that by this point in time, Maria's English has vastly improved.
Maria is typically depicted to be a timid, fearful child. She can be joyful, full of love, and full of life. But she also readily knows when she is in the presence of evil. Candi has to take her mask off to prove to Maria that there isn't a monster underneath. Oddly enough, this trope was invoked in Ciem five years ahead of it being used almost identically in The Amazing Spider-Man.
The major difference is that Candi never has Maria put the mask on. Maria, when feeling trapped for too long and finally seeing freedom, can get a little too excited and become reckless. This is evidenced by the fact that she eagerly ran out into the road to celebrate her freedom. She came within inches of being hit by a car, giving Candi just barely enough time to put her mask back on and teleport both of them to safety.
Use of the character was seen by the Dozerfleet founder at the time as a way to accomplish three goals with the story. The first one was so that Victor's sub-plot could actually go somewhere. He had been established as a villain worthy of concern for Candi in the Despair Gerosha version of the webcomic. Yet, that version was never finished and Victor's story ultimately arrived at nothing. Maria's debut in the 2007 version allowed some closure for the character: it gave Ciem an opportunity to finally track him down and give him a response to his catchphrase of "Whuttaya gonna DO about it!!!?"
There was a second goal in creating Maria: it gave Candi (and later Miriam) an inside connection with the motel-industry-centric Latin Town district in Dirbine/Evansville. This way, their hiding out in a Spanish-speaking motel zone would be a little more organic and slightly less contrived.
Third, rescuing Maria became a replacement for Candi's Gerosha Prime public debut of her Ciem suit. In that version, she battled S1 and S2 the Bunnies; managing to free Dolly Malestrom from her S1 the Bunny AI. There was no way, given use of The Sims 2, that the Dozerfleet founder felt there was a fair chance for S1 and S2 to be taken seriously. Lindsay Hamilton was therefore given a much-reduced role and Dolly was repurposed to become the Earwig. That left a major moment in Ciem mythos significantly missing: the first public battle in-costume. A void easily filled by Ciem's elaborate plot to rescue Victor's girls from his tyrannical grip.
For Sodality, it was ultimately decided that a compromise would occur. Her original prominence no longer made much sense, but it seemed unfair given the return of Victor for Maria to not also return. Therefore, she returns for that series. But her role is reduced to little more than a cameo.