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[JL Deniaud/Salieri] A Beautiful Universe: A Siren's Call

USS Aldrin Personnel Recordings

by Lieutenant Commander Marielle Deniaud & Lieutenant Commander Gideon Salieri
[Stardate ]

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A Beautiful Universe: A Siren’s Call

“All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.” - Hunter S. Thompson

While Gamma shift wasn’t entirely her favourite time slot of the day, there were significant benefits. The ship was fast asleep and only a bare minimum of the crew were on hand to deal with the everyday duties required to make sure the ship was functional. It meant an escape from the dreaded tiny space allotted for the deflector array control room and it meant being close to the warp core without having to hide. It helped that those assigned with her were far kinder. She was sure, at least she hoped, that they didn’t believe the rumours Sen had spread. If they did, they gave no indication of it. They simply kept to themselves and left her alone. Marielle leaned over the railing as she stared up at the warp core. The swirling mess of blues was mesmerizing and and the soft thrumming calmed her in ways nothing else could. She took a moment to glance left and right and found herself completely alone.

His hands rested in his pockets as he walked the corridors of the ship. Gideon had pulled many Gamma shift rotations during his stint in Starfleet and he had only recently started to enjoy them. Back in his wilder days, the overnight duty shift was simply a hindrance to his lifestyle, but since being assigned to the Hermes, he found himself pulling away from the girl-a-night school of thought. It helped that he was drawn to one woman who caught his interest for more than her stunning good looks.

A soft melody fell from her lips as her hands tapped a steady rhythm on the polished wooden railing. “Dites-moi d’où il vient enfin je saurais où je vais. Maman dit que lorsqu’on cherche bien, on finit toujours par trouver. (Tell me where he comes from then I would know where I’m going. Mummy says when you look hard enough, you’ll always end up finding it.)” Her head bopped gently to the melody she could hear in her head.

The song redirected his attention from the upper level of the engineering decks and he hummed quietly to himself as he shifted his course to investigate. The tone of the voice was familiar but not yet known to him. Gideon wandered through the space as he searched for the source of the melody. ‘Engineering in the middle of the night- could she be a singer, too?’ He groaned quietly at the thought of Marielle slowly rising into the clouds and far beyond his reach. ‘She could never want someone like me.’

“Elle dit qu’il n’est jamais très loin. Qu’il part très souvent travailler. Maman dit <> Bien mieux qu’être mal accompagné, pa vrai? (She says he’s never very far away. He often leaves to go work. Mummy says ‘Working is good.’ Better to be there than in bad company, right?” A small smile dared to break through the sadness and a brightness managed to slip into her voice. “Où est ton papa? Dis-moi où est ton papa? Sans même devoir lui parler il sait ce qui ne va pas. (Where is your father? Tell me where is your father? Without even having to talk to him, he knows what’s wrong.)” Her fingers gripped at the railing as she leaned back, her voice gaining strength. Her eyes closed as she felt the music move through her.

He leaned against the railing and looked over the side, grinning when his gaze settled on the woman two decks below. Gideon relaxed where he stood and watched her in silence for several moments as she enjoyed her solitude. ‘There’s the woman who caught my eye,’ he mused to himself. ‘And she’s a singer, in- French? It would be French, she’s from Avignon. Yeah, I’m way over my head.’ The half-Betazoid sighed and shook his head at himself. He straightened and made his way to the metal stairs so he could descend to her level.

“Ah- sacré papa. Dis-moi où es-tu caché? Ca doit faire au moins mille fois que j’ai compté mes doigts. (Oh my dear father. Tell me, where are you hiding? I must’ve counted my fingers at least a thousand times.)” Marielle straightened and her fingers relaxed their grip on the railing. Her palms beat steadily on the polished wood once more and her foot tapped softly against the carpet. “Où t’es papa où t’es? Où t’es papa où t’es? Où t’es papa où t’es? Où t’es où t’es où papa, où t’es? (Where are you father, where are you? Where are you father, where are you? Where are you, where are you, where are you father, where are you?)” French tumbled freely from her adept tongue. “Quoi? Qu’on y croie ou pas, y aura bien un jour où on y croira plus. Un jour ou l’autre on sera tous papa et d’un jour à l’autre on aura disparu. (What? Whether you believe or not, there will be a day when we no longer believe. One day or another, we’ll all be fathers and one day or another we’ll all disappear.” She always did love how the lyrics didn’t match the melody, how the sadness was lost to the hopeful tune.

His hands slipped into his pockets once again as he approached her. His steps were soft on the carpet and there was no way for him to really let her know of his proximity without disrupting her song. “What’s it about?” he called when she’d reached a break in the verses.

“Serons-nous détestables? Serons-nous admirable? Des- (Will we be hated? Will we be loved?)” Music inspired her, allowed her to forget her worries and her fears. Alone in engineering, she could forget all about ALICE and all about the rumours that followed her. She turned, ready to break into a swaying dance, and her eyes opened in time see him approaching. Her mouth was open as she was prepared to continue with the lyrics, but the words died on her tongue. It couldn’t be helped. Her face grew warm and she stumbled back. Her hand fell on the railing and an embarrassed laugh managed to slip with her sharp exhalation. “You again,” she offered in greeting. She blinked as realization settled on her rather quickly. “I’m sorry,” she muttered. “I lost- Was I too loud?” Her gaze lifted to the ceiling and she wondered if ALICE had filed a report. Quickly, she turned to return to the deflector array control room.

“No- signora,” he called after her as he pushed into motion to follow her. His long strides overtook Marielle and he turned to face her with a quick smile. “Don’t be sorry, it was beautiful,” he assured her with raised hands to halt her movement. Gideon relaxed when it appeared she wouldn’t bolt on him and he slowly slid his fingers into his pockets to appear as non-threatening as he could. He was a bit surprised at how easily she spooked. “What is it about?” he asked again.

She didn’t know what made her hesitate or what made her stay, but there was a slight stutter to her step as she halted. ‘Why is he here?’ Marielle turned slowly, not completely to face him, but just enough that she didn’t have to strain to look at him. She fidgeted a touch, fingers pulling at the edge of her sleeve. “Uh- It’s about a boy whose father is never present,” she answered softly. “Papaoutai means ‘Father, where are you?’ but it’s written ungrammatically. It’s- It’s supposed to mimic a child. The, uh, video it accompanied is really interesting. Dance styles signified- it demonstrated the plethora of parenting styles, each with its own rhythm and no single style being more correct than the others-” She paused and rolled her eyes to the ceiling as she bit her tongue. ‘Stop talking. Why are you still talking? He doesn’t care about this. You sound like a stuck up nerd.’

He grinned as he straightened slightly and turned his body slightly to better face her. “Is it a favorite song, or something that has deeper meaning for you?” The half-Betazoid had done his best to prevent a reaction from showing on his features, the thought of his own father bringing up dark memories that he didn’t care to revisit.

“Uh, I don’t know? It just came to mind,” she answered softly. Her hand motioned briefly at the warp core. “The, uh, thrumming- It reminded me of it.” Marielle shifted slightly from foot to foot.

His gaze shifted to the warp core and he studied the large glowing tube with a thoughtful hum. His eyes moved slightly back and forth as he listened carefully for the thrumming that she spoke of. With a small smile, he nodded and looked back toward the engineer. “Yeah, I hear it.” Gideon chuckled quietly and took a step back. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you, just walking patrol and heard you singing.”

She flushed nearly uncontrollably. “Sorry,” she muttered again. She bit the corner of her lip and she turned make her escape.

“Miss Deniaud, you don’t need to apologize,” he reiterated kindly as he took a step to the side to remain in her visual field. His brows furrowed slightly as he watched her fidgeting. “Is everything okay?” Concern moved through him that Fisher had done something terrible, or led someone else to believe that it would be okay to do the same.

She stopped mid-step and frowned. ‘Deniaud- He knows who I am?’ Her chin dipped to her chest and she pinched the bridge of her nose. ‘Of course he knows who I am. Why would some cute guy be looking at me for other than the lies Sen’s been spreading?’ Marielle sighed softly and turned to face him. Her lips formed a thin line as she stared at him. “What do you want?” she managed softly. “You’ve been following me and I don’t even know you. So what do you want? Because if- If it’s that, I’m going to tell you flat out you’ve been misled. So- Go away.”

He hummed quietly as he considered his answer. ‘She doesn’t know who I am. How does any hot-blooded woman not know who Giddy Salieri is?’ He fought to keep from raising his brow and chuckled quietly. “I hope you’ll trust when I say that I want to be a friend.” Gideon shrugged.

Marielle frowned. “Why?” Her eyes narrowed slightly and she took a step back. “Is that the angle? Because that won’t work. I’m not- I’m nothing like they say I am. I haven’t slept with ten guys in one night. I don’t do shows for strips of latinum, and I’m not into donkeys. So- You know, just- No.”

The Bajoran mix shook his head. “I know you’re not like that.” He lifted one hand from his pocket to calm her slightly. “I remember seeing you, hearing you laugh on Korin’Thalis and that’s who you are.” Gideon smiled warmly. “I thought with everyone being so malicious, you could use someone on your side.” He placed the hand on his hip and chuckled quietly. “If you’d like, I mean.”

She couldn’t understand how he was so nonchalant and Marielle could only stare at him. She had no idea what else to say, so she could only stand there, unable to speak, and study him. There was nothing about him that had her instincts flaring and he seemed truthful enough. “Who are you?” she managed finally.

‘She honestly doesn’t know who I am.’ He outstretched his hand to her, careful not to move so fast she spooked. “Gideon Salieri, sec-tac.” When she stared, clearly bemused, at his hand, he lifted it with open fingers and retreated the step he’d taken toward her. ‘Eyes above her neck, eyes above her neck.’ He slipped his hand back into his pocket but continued to smile at her.

Marielle continued to stare at him. ‘He really is cute. I like his smile- And wow. Look at those eyes.’ There was the smallest hint of a smile that managed to slip. It pulled at the corner of her lips. ‘Say something. Don’t be stupid and just stand there like an idiot. He’s being nice.’ She nodded at his introduction. “Allô Gédéon,” she managed finally. “Mariëlle. Uh- My friends call me Maddie- Or Ellie, really.”

His knees quivered slightly as the strength in his joints faltered. ‘Holy Hell that was hot.’ Gideon swallowed against the sudden dryness in his throat and his smile became slightly lopsided. “Ciao, El-” He’d intended to use her nickname but the word got stuck on his tongue and he coughed lightly. An apologetic look crossed his features as he swallowed to moisten his mouth. “Sorry.” He cleared his throat. “Piacere di conoscerti-” The half-Betazoid groaned. “Pleased to meet you, Mariëlle.” His chin dipped as his skin flushed pink. “Ellie.”

She blinked at the shortening of her nickname. She wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. Ultimately, she decided she didn’t mind. Marielle remained silent as he seemed to work through whatever mental wall he seemed to hit. She wondered briefly why he was repeating what he had just said in Italian. Her name, however, didn’t roll off his tongue as easily. The engineer managed a small smile and a nod. “Likewise, Gideon,” came her soft reply. She turned after a beat then turned her chin once more to look at him. “I- I should get back to work. So- I won’t keep you from your rounds much longer.” She dipped her head once towards him. “See you around Gid,” she managed quietly before turning to disappear into the deflector array control room. ‘A friend- Is he for real? He really isn’t expecting anything? Maybe the rumours are starting to die down finally.’ A spark of hope dared to flare in her heart. ‘Gideon Salieri. I wonder who you are.’

He stammered an attempt to wish her a good evening and lifted his hand from his pocket to smack himself in the forehead when she’d gotten out of earshot. ‘Idiot, idiot! I’m so out of my league.’ Gideon groaned softly and turned to make his way out of engineering. While he managed to finish his rounds, he couldn’t help but replay the interaction over and over, lamenting how he stumbled over his words and probably made a huge fool out of himself. ‘What the Hell is wrong with me?’ He was used to being so smooth.

Copyright 2018. All works involving Mariëlle A. Deniaud and Gideon M. Salieri, 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.
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