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[JL Deniaud/Morgensen] A Viking's Truth

USS Aldrin Personnel Recordings

by Lieutenant Commander Marielle Deniaud & Lieutenant Magnus Morgensen
[Stardate ]


[Deniaud/Morgensen]  Collaboration Log

Stardate 201804.10

A Viking's Truth

Fire for men is the fairest gift,

And power to see the sun;

Health as well, if a man may have it,

And a life not stained with sin.

- Hávamál

The cacophony of chaos was lost to her as she sat on the edge of the biobed.  Nurses and doctors moved about quickly to deal with the injuries sustained from the sudden lurching of the ship at slipstream, the mass cannibalism inflicted by the proverbial hands of the Dumoe, and  the last three weeks of heat and general exhaustion. Four hours had passed and the ship was nearly empty of the insectoids. The bump on her head was practically gone - easily wiped from existence by the hum of a dermal regenerator - but there had been some questions she couldn't answer regarding hairline fractures to her ribs, arms, and hands.  She told them they were caused by her crash against the wall in the jefferies tube, but they didn't look convinced.

She didn't bother to ask for her uniform jacket, keeping to the golden yellow tanktop and the black slacks that were standard to every Starfleet officer.  Despite the medication she had been given, Marielle was sure she had a headache. Magnus Morgensen's words repeated over and over in her head. Rumours of Gideon sleeping with women.  A malfunction in the ship's internal sensors. Rumours of Gideon sleeping with women. No matter how hard she tried to focus on the apparent malfunction, she could only think of her fiance and the possibility of infidelity.  Her fingers curled over the edge of the biobed, fingertips pressing underneath to keep from dashing out of Sickbay. Her chin turned to the slumbering sec/tac officer and dull jewel green hues studied him carefully.

A gentle groan escaped from the once unbroken Viking as he turned a bit on the biobed, slowly opening his eyes as he rose up on one of his elbows, his hand favoring his ribs, feeling they were once more intact.  That bulkhead certainly did a number on his body - far more than any conflict he'd been in prior. He blinked a few times for good measure, running his hand across his naked ribs, then sitting upright as he looked around.  Quickly, he remembered Marielle, and his eyes darted to the biobed she was on, a sigh escaping him as he saw her awake. His shirt was resting next to him, stained with blood and sweat. Seemed when he had his collision, the shirt caught some of his fluids.  He only hoped she didn't as well.

His expression was one of regret, sincere apology, and outright remorse.  He caused this- all of this. Her concern was apparent on her face and through her body language.  “Mariëlle? Are you alright?”

“À quoi vous jouez?  (What are you playing at?)” she muttered under her breath as she watched him, uncertain what to think of the information he had given her in the jefferies tube.  The chief researcher straightened slightly and her eyes drifted down to avoid meeting his gaze. She couldn't remember the last time she purposefully looked in someone's eyes.  Lately, it seemed better to simply look elsewhere. She didn't want them to see her anymore. Gideon had made it known more than once that he didn't like men looking at her. “I'm fine,” came the soft answer.  She slid off the biobed and the short distance to his bed was easily crossed with one small step. “The doctors said you're fine. You'll be up and moving in a day or two.”

Tu ne mens pas bien- (You don't lie well-)  You haven't the tongue for deceit.” His gaze lowered softly, then returned to meet hers once more.  “I spent time all over Earth and one thing I learned more than anything else is how to read body language, Mariëlle.  You're upset.” He went to stand but found he lacked the strength, and he stayed on the biobed, clutching his ribs again.  “Damned to the depths these last few weeks- I lost my post. I lost the respect of my fellow officers, and if I were less careful, I could've lost my life- and yours, in that jeffries tube.”

The ancient language, uttered in the heavy dialect and done with skill, had her chin snapping up to meet his eyes for the briefest of moments.  There was genuine surprise. When he struggled to sit, she was at his side in an instant before she could stop herself. Her hands were on him, one on his arm and the other on his back.  His skin was warm under her palms but she took no note of it, simply letting him rant. It seemed like he needed it and she honestly had no idea what else to say. “I'm sorry,” was the only thing that seemed appropriate.  “I wouldn't get too upset about the jefferies tube. There was no way you'd know we'd use the slipstream drive.” Her words were softly offered, a natural kindness colouring her mezzo soprano. “I- I'm not sure you're supposed to be sitting up?”  She lifted her chin in search of a doctor to confirm.

Magnus scoffed at her for a moment, a hint of stubborn pride in his face as he went to stand once more and succeeded in doing so.  “Bah- wounds heal best with pain and there's work to do still across the ship. My family had an old saying they used to say. …˜What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'”  He stretched a bit, wincing with pain for a moment, and sighed. “Still- you don't know a lot about Viking history, do you?”

She shook her head in response.  “Qu'en est-il des hommes têtus? (What is it about stubborn men?)” she grumbled softly under her breath.  “Avec cette mentalité, vous mourrez avant vivre. (With that mentality, you'll die before you live.)” She rolled her eyes.  “If your excuse will be your heritage, then the doctors are going to need to sedate you.” Her lips formed a thin line, but there was a hint of a wry smile that pulled at the corners.  She was sure they could have been easy friends if Gideon didn't fear losing her so much. She had once made friends easily, even if they didn't last for very long. She was simply too much to handle at times, and it made many tire of her.  There was no risk of that anymore. She'd lost a good number of them to focus on the half-Bajoran. “I thought the Vikings died out centuries ago. Something to do with stubbornness?”

There was an uncontrolled smile that crossed over Magnus's lips, and a soft chuckle at her comment, which only made him clutch his ribs once more.  “Aah. Vikings never die- pas quand la beauté se tient devant eux. (-not when beauty stands before them.)”   He could only help but to smile once more, and he returned to the biobed to sit again.  “Doctors could try to sedate me, sure, but then it wouldn't be against my heritage to be defeated by a superior weapon-  Then again, they'd have to try pretty hard.”

Her hand was more insistent on his body to help him back onto the bed, a faint hint of pink colouring her cheeks.  It'd been quite a while since she'd heard such a compliment. She couldn't remember the last time Gideon called her beautiful.  The very realization saddened her and her fingers curled lightly over his skin, as if she was reaching for a distant memory that she couldn't grasp.  “Yes, well-,” Marielle struggled for the words. …˜Que suis-je en train de faire?' she thought and her hand dropped from his body.  Not knowing what to do with her hands, they slipped into the pockets of her slacks.  

Leaning back a bit to rest, he noticed her grasp on his shoulder and placed his hand onto the back of hers for a moment.  It'd been too long since he felt comfort from someone. She stuttered and struggled to find the words, and based on how she quickly withdrew her hands to her pockets, he could only smile out of sheer entertainment.  She was certainly much more innocent than her counterpart it seemed and that was just a recipe for disaster for …˜Chief Houdini' Gideon Salieri.

She took in a stuttering breath and straightened, forcing her shoulders to fall back as she reminded herself that she was not one to stray.  “Um- You mentioned problems with the internal sensors?”

Of course, his expression went to a sour one shortly after.  “Mariëlle- it wasn't a malfunction. I followed him without him knowing one night-  He went into the turbolift with one of the crew-women I don't recognize- A few hours later I found one of the security officers in the Apollo, drunk-  And drunken tongues tell many tales and do not withhold information.” His gaze fell again, and he took a deep breath. “Apparently, he was …˜checking the tonsils of a woman' in the turbolift- and based on the bruises on my co-worker, he got caught.”

Marielle's brow furrowed as Magnus revealed the reason he sought out a private conversation.  She was silent for several long minutes, simply staring at his ear. There was no way. …˜Gideon,' she told herself, …˜wouldn't do that to me.  He loves me. He- No, he wouldn't.'  The diminutive woman shook her head furiously, unable and unwilling to believe the newest member of the sec/tac department.  “I- He wouldn't. He wouldn't,” she whispered mostly to herself. The diminutive woman took a step back from him and her voice grew strong as pure denial took hold of her heart.  Anger flashed in her eyes as she glared at the Viking. “He wouldn't- Il ne le ferait pas. Non. Non.” The researcher turned and practically ran into the edge of the biobed. The gasp of pain was ignored and she limped.  “Non. Il ne ferait pas. He wouldn't.” She was quick. Despite not having run for six months, she was steady and swift. Her mind was a jumble and she immediately tapped her communication badge, intent on finding the half-Bajoran.  It had to be lie.

There was a surge of compassion that jumped into his veins, and he tried to force himself out of the biobed, but by the time he had gotten to his feet, Marielle was already out the doors and down the hall.  “Damn- I'm in trouble.”

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