23 April 2369
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Marcus Rutilius was born 23 April 2369 to Gaius and Aurelia Rutilius in the Magna Roman city of Lagentium. Within two years, however, he lost his parents when they and thirty-four others were killed in a maritime accident. Following his parents’ death, Rutilius was adopted by Aquilinius and Iulia Vitellius who were close friends of the family. He was given the surname Vitellius according to Magna Roman custom and welcomed into their household.
While many on Magna Roma had long since embraced the changes that came with Federation membership, some of the older patrician families like the Vitella still held social status and inheritance in high regard. Rutilius’ father, Aquilinius, was very much the patriarch of the immediate family and was often focused on improving their perceived social standing by rubbing elbows with ranking officials and socialites. It was Aquilinius who made the decision to move the family to Londinium in 2378 in hopes of using connections there to further his political aspirations. Meanwhile, Iulia took on the traditional role of caring for the household and playing hostess to the guests regularly entertained by their family.
The desire to carry on such cultural traditions did not always sit well with Rutilius. There were times when the Vitellius’ more traditional values felt a bit overbearing, especially when it came to their expectations of his decorum and behavior. He was required to be present whenever the family was entertaining. Aquilinius would often parade him around in front their guests, speaking at length about the accomplishments he had achieved in raising the boy. Despite all this, a familial relationship did start to develop that seemed like a strong, natural bond. Rutilius felt at times that they even came to treat him almost as if he were their own son.
Like all Magna Roman children, Rutilius began his education at a very young age, first within the home and then through one-on-one tutoring. He proved quite intelligent and articulate during these individual lessons. It wasn’t long before he had advanced into small group instruction and eventually the primary education of the Ludus school. During this time, his instructors noticed the boy’s natural curiosity and did their best to nurture it by offering numerous opportunities for him to explore new interests.
This became a point of contention when Rutilius’ interests did not always line up with what his adoptive parents felt were appropriate. They made an effort to be more directive of his education, going so far as to demand that his teachers focus only on certain subjects and supplementing with additional private tutoring. Rutilius still found ways to satiate his curiosity despite their interference.
Falling Out & Emancipation
There were other signs that the relationship Rutilius had with his adoptive parents was not as good as it may have appeared to be on the surface, moments when he felt a growing distance between them. One such moment came suddenly when the family learned Iulia was pregnant with their first child. The sense of anticipation it might be a boy was enough for Rutilius to realize, even at a young age, that his position in the family was not certain. Only after the child was revealed to be a girl did things seem to relax a little.
Things really began to fall apart five years later when Iulia gave birth to a son, Felix. Almost immediately, Rutilius found himself being pushed toward the fringes to make way for this new biological heir. His adoptive parents no longer took an interest in anything Rutilius did other than to restrict it as possible. They no longer wanted him to be present whenever they hosted an event, preferring that he remain in his room so their guests’ attention could be focused on Felix instead. It was as if Rutilius had become an unwanted embarrassment for the family.
The final straw for Rutilius came soon afterward when his adoptive parents began insisting that Rutilius drop out of the Rhetor school and become a trade apprentice (as was befitting of his “station”). Frustrated by this development and concerned that their continued interference would ruin any chances he might have to pursue his own dreams, Rutilius petitioned the magistrate for legal emancipation. His petition was granted just after his sixteenth birthday, a painful end to a nearly two-year long ordeal.
Rutilius wasted little time moving on. He renounced the name Vitellius and went back to using the name of his birth family. Shortly afterward, he relocated to the city of Florentia where he moved in with his friend Aquila Scaevinius and enrolled in the local Rhetor school. Yet he was not content to settle for simply getting out of a bad situation. Rutilius began to focus on what he wanted to do next and to more seriously consider the options available to him after graduation. He ultimately chose to pursue a career in Starfleet because of the opportunities it offered to determine his own path and purpose in life.
Starfleet Academy (2387 - 2391)
Rutilius was accepted into the anthropology program at Starfleet Academy on Cestus III which he began in the summer of 2387. The course regimen itself turned out to be roughly equivalent to what he’d grown up with on Magna Roma, which made adjusting to the academic environment relatively easy. Like many of his fellow cadets, however, Rutilius was most surprised by the incredible diversity of the student body as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. He took full advantage of the opportunity to meet new people and broaden his horizons. It was not uncommon for him to spend his free time people-watching on the quad, often with sketchbook in hand.
Another way Rutilius sought to embrace his new community was by joining the academy wrestling team. They would compete regularly, occasionally travelling off-world to do so. He became known for his ability to outmaneuver his opponents, enabling him to claim victory over larger competitors, a skill that earned him 3rd place in a regional tournament his sophomore year.
Midway through his first semester, Rutilius met a young woman named Setare who was also studying anthropology. They hung out together with a group of fellow cadets who made weekly visits to Renna's Galley for an off-campus meal and a little relaxation. The two of them started dating not long afterward.
Receiving his first cadet field assignment was something Rutilius very much looked forward to. His early work with the Palmieri Hypothesis and Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development led him to study several of the five-year exploratory missions conducted during the late 23rd century. He was, therefore, excited to learn that he would be posted to the Intrepid-class USS Cassini several planetary systems including three of particular interest to Rutilius’ research.
The Cassini proved as fruitful an experience as Rutilius could have hoped. His duties included helping prepare the away teams for cultural exchange, participating in direct field observations, and carrying out the debrief afterwards. Serving aboard ship also meant more frequent interaction with people outside his field of expertise. He especially appreciated the intentional cross-duty rotations where he was expected to spend some time carrying out basic shipboard duties not directly related to his scientific responsibilities. It was also his tour aboard the Cassini that marked his first experience dealing with the Ritorians.
Upon completion of his first tour, Rutilius was immediately assigned to the Norway-class USS Thames under the command of Captain Vandal sh'Raazni. Whereas the Cassini’s mission had been focused on exploration and continuing the re-establishment of a Federation presence in the Galactic South, the Thames was much more involved in Starfleet’s response to the Sojourner Crisis. This meant more combat operations and experience as well as opportunities to become much more familiar with the Ritorians.
Early Starfleet Career (2391 - Present)
Rutilius graduated from Starfleet Academy with distinction and honors in anthropology in 2391. His work with the Ritorians as well as recommendations from instructors and supervisors led to his being assigned to the Stardock-class Starbase 332. It was expected that he will continue his study of the Ritorian Confederacy in addition to assessing other alien cultures in the region. To accomplish this, Rutilius quickly realized he would need to make regular field excursions, either aboard runabout or one of the station’s garrison vessels. This would allow him to conduct the necessary observations first-hand.
While he has appreciated the opportunity to take advantage of the station’s considerable resources, Rutilius is finding that part of him misses the familiarity of serving aboard a smaller assignment, something that seems much more accommodating to the curiosity of this nascent explorer. For the time being, he continues to further his research and to pursue an advanced degree in anthropology.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Rutilius’ curiosity and self-determination lend themselves to an ongoing desire to broaden his own understanding. He considers himself a life-long learner and is not afraid to try new things, explore new interests, or gain new skills. For a time, he attempted to learn cooking and later botany, neither of which he was extremely successful at. Rutilius has more recently taken an interest in folklore and the ways different peoples’ stories help convey communal experiences, sometimes far better than historical records do.
The loss of his birth parents and subsequent falling out with his adoptive family has left Rutilius with a desire for companionship. He has been somewhat successful mitigating these feelings of isolation by forming a few close friendships over the years and making friendly acquaintances among his peers. However, Rutilius feels he’s still missing the deeper relationships that come from having the support of an actual family (or at least a life partner).
Rutilius’ experience with the Vitellius family has given him a strong desire to prove himself both personally and professionally. He is currently pursuing an advanced degree in anthropology to further his scientific work with Starfleet, but is not opposed to broadening his experience, perhaps by cross-training in another field or specialty.
Hobbies & Interests
- Board Games (i.e. Chess, Tabula)
- Music & Poetry
- History & Politics
|2387||Starfleet Academy||Cadet (First Year)|
|2388||Starfleet Academy||Cadet (Second Year)|
|2389 - 2390||USS Cassini (Intrepid-class)||Cadet Field Assignment|
|2390 - 2391||USS Thames (Norway-class)||Cadet Field Assignment|
|2391 - Present||Starbase 332 (Stardock-class)||Archaeologist/Anthropologist|