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[Deniaud] Character Log
Stardate: 16007.31 [31 July, 2016]
The Rhythm of her Strides
- Gilbert Parker [Mrs. Falchion]
She tilted her head back to stare at the sky, bright blue and textured with the lazy haze of white clouds. The warmth of the sun kissed her cheeks, and she savoured the heat that wrapped around her. Marielle took in a deep breath, filling her lungs with the aroma of pine and of the ocean, while her ears listened to the crashing waves against the sharp cliff wall. Her eyes opened slowly, focusing on the disappearing horizon.
The day had been hellish, to say the least, and Marielle had found herself meandering into the holodeck after her shift to avoid the mess of thoughts that would undoubtedly haunt her in the solitude of her quarters. She had remained, unmoving, in the center of the empty holodeck for far longer than was considered normal, lost in a daze and a torrent of emotions, before she ordered the computer to take her to the cliff side of Beachy Head, Sussex. In the open ocean scenery, unabashed and unworried of prying eyes, she had changed out of her uniform in the clothes the computer provided at her command.
Her arms moved towards the sky, and her heels lifted from the rocky ground. With a deep breath, she bent forward at the waist to wrap her arms around her ankles. She allowed the stretch to move through her legs, bending and straightening her knees in slow intervals, before unbending at the waist to stand straight again. Her head rolled from one shoulder to the other, and she relished in the soft pops that came as her muscles around her neck relaxed.
The sensation was brief as her muscles tensed on their own, her shoulders heavy with the weight of her day. She could hear it so easily, the conversations that replayed itself over and over through her memories.
“You think you’re just so fantastic, don’t you?”
“I’m pretty awesome, Peterson. That’s a bit hard to argue against.”
“You’re not that great. You think you’ll become Chief Engineer? Don’t make me laugh.”
“Even if I did care about becoming Chief Engineer, you think you have a chance? I’ve been able to outshine you at every disaster, and Engineering is running better than it ever has.”
“That means nothing if people can’t trust you.”
“Are you mental? People trust me.”
Her eyes traveled from the hazy horizon to the narrow path that snaked along the cliff’s edge. Tall grass and a sprinkling of small white flowers - bent by the force of the ocean breeze - lined the packed dirt and rock trail. Carefully, she placed the small sound pods into each of her ears. The sounds of the ocean were instantly drowned by the steady rhythm of the first song from her music database set on shuffle.
“You sure about that? Your true colours are being exposed.”
“What the frack are you going on about, Peterson?”
“Sen’s been telling us all about you. It’s become very clear just how you’ve been able to get promoted so quickly. ”
“Exactly what are you insinuating, Peterson?”
“No one believes the Commander and the Commodore would ever promote you so quickly when you’re so damn annoying. I get it now. You must be really good on your knees for the admirals to love you so much.”
The light tune carried an easy staccato melody, with a cheerful harmony that didn’t mirror her mood. The beat filled her lungs as she readied herself. The steady bass resonated deep within her joints as she took a short inhalation through barely parted red lips. The salt in the air was tantalizingly sweet, fueling the energy that so easily moved through her legs as her feet pushed off the ground to begin their journey.
The surge of adrenaline coursed through her veins and warmed her muscles to burn away the coldness of the sedentary stillness of the everyday. Muscles struggled at first to maintain their pace until suddenly, it was easy and almost automatic with each landing on the balls of her feet. She moved in harmony with the music that filled her ears, the steady bass moving easily from one song to the next to keep continuity despite the different lyrics that filled her ears. Her heart matched the beat with each step, the steady thumping of the balls of her feet echoing in the background as the lyrics of betrayal surrounded her.
“I don’t care. I don’t want to talk to you.”
“Lev, you can’t just stop talking to me.”
“I can and I will.”
Her legs seemed to find the energy to carry her farther and faster. Sweat had the fringes of her hair clinging to her cheek. Her lungs mirrored the burn that began to move through her legs. Her muscles stretched, pushing harder as her memories attempted to derail her determination.
Marielle forced herself to ignore the burning in her lungs, and she willed her legs to slow their pace as she felt the increasing incline of the path under her feet. She followed the route as it traced the edge of the cliff.
“I get that you’re still mad at me, Lev. But, that doesn’t give you the right to spread rumours about me. You’re ruining my reputation.”
“You did that to yourself.”
“You don’t go telling people that I’m some hussy when you know I’m not. What you’re doing is wrong and you know that. You’ve got to know that.”
“You don’t get to lecture me about what’s wrong!”
“No! Knowing what’s wrong didn’t stop you from throwing yourself at the Chief!”
Her eyes focused on the vanishing point where she knew the trail would crest, and Marielle forced her breath to slow with each painful step. Her heart was heavy, and her strides slowed as they tried to overcome the incline.
“Lev, the Chief isn’t into you and you weren’t taking the hint.”
“And that gives you the right to do what you did? You knew! You knew how I felt about him.”
“For frak’s sake. He wasn’t into you, Lev. He was so blatantly obvious about just how much he wasn’t into you, and you wouldn’t listen to him. All you did was follow him like a little lost puppy, and it was pathetic. For months on end, all I heard was you pining over a man who didn’t want to give you the time of day. It was just sad. You were sad and pathetic and just dumb. I just had enough of it.”
“I didn’t mean-”
“No. I am not sad or pathetic. You don’t think I noticed how he pulled away? How he couldn’t bother to look at me? I knew he didn’t care for me like I cared for him. I knew, but I didn’t care because he’s amazing. I knew that he’d eventually turn around, and now he won’t because you do what you always do without any regards to anyone else!”
“What the hell does that mean?!”
“Want an office? Go ahead and just take it without even thinking about what it means to anyone else. Want to run engineering? Go ahead and embarrass the guy who’s running it without even thinking about how that makes him look.”
It burned through her muscles, fire scorching every fiber and layer of her muscles. When she felt like her lungs and legs couldn’t handle much more of the onslaught, the path evened out under her feet.
“You don’t care about anyone but yourself. You may be great at being an engineer, but you suck at being a friend. As far as I’m concerned, we only work together. We’re not friends.”
The breeze kissed the sweat on her skin, cooling the heat that had threatened to overwhelm her only moments earlier. Marielle relished the ease of her pace as she traveled down the gentle slope, and her legs moved easily over the trail as if they had found the wings to fly. She moved forward, always forward, with her heart beating steadily against her chest, her eyes focused on the destination ahead, and her thoughts left chasing her heels.
Copyright 2016. All works involving Mariëlle A. Deniaud, including character biographies and published stories, are the property of the United Space Federation and its author. It cannot be reproduced, imitated, and copied without written permission from the authors. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction using aspects of the Star Trek universe as created and copyrighted/trademarked by Gene Roddenberry, Paramount, and their affiliates.