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[JL Deniaud/Salieri] The Karmanori

USS Aldrin Personnel Recordings

by First Lieutenant Marielle Deniaud & Lieutenant Gideon Salieri
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Stardate: 1703.29 [29 March, 2017]
The Karmanori

“What’s in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours.”
- James Joyce [Ulysses]

Marielle hummed softly as she made her way to the small office that belonged to one Gideon Salieri. She adjusted the red ribbon that was wrapped around the crossover ponytail that sat at the nape of her neck. Glancing down, she adjusted some of the pastries, the small pitcher of calamansi juice, and thermos of coffee in the small basket she carried. She crossed the first set of doors and the small hallway that led to the brig. Taking a moment’s breath to smooth out her uniform, her slender finger pressed against the chime to his office.

Gideon sighed as he looked at the PADD, his eyes closing as his lips moved though no sound came forth. The tablet was dropped to the desktop, his fingers quickly closing the file that had been open as he glanced up at the door. Smiling brightly, the security chief nodded as he pushed the chair back and stood, calling to Marielle. “Come in,” the half-Bajoran hummed as the door slid aside for the engineer.

Her hand darted out and held up the wicker basket of pastries. “Delivery!” she sang brightly. She leaned at the waist and glanced into the small space. “All clear of evildoers?”

Chuckling softly, the lieutenant shook his head, his fingers curling in her direction to beckon her inside. “Just me,” Gideon informed her, allowing Marielle to make the judgement on his status of evildoing.

“Hmm. Dunno. How can I be sure you’re not a man of ill-repute?” she mused with a slight grin. The door closed with a soft hiss behind her, and she looked back briefly before stepping towards the chairs in front of his desk. “Thought I’d bring some breakfast since I’ll be on my way to my shift after this. Juice or coffee?” she pulled out two napkins, placing both on the table.

Gideon decided against any retorts regarding his ill-reputedness, still chuckling as he stepped around the desk to join her in the small seating area opposite his desk. “That’s so thoughtful of you, thank you.” A warm smile found his features as he watched her set up, dropping into the chair.

“Nothing fancy. Just blueberry cream cheese braid and a ham and cheese puff pastry pocket.”

“Everything you make is fancy,” he retorted playfully, a wink tossed in her direction. “And juice, please. Wouldn’t want to deprive you of any coffee.” Gideon leaned forward, his fingers picking up one of the ham and cheese mini-calzones.

“Good call,” she laughed softly. “Engineering thanks you.” Marielle poured him a small glass of the tropical juice before she claimed the thermos for herself. “How have you been feeling? Better?” she asked as gently as possible as she poured herself a small bit of coffee. It had been weeks since his relapse. Her hands wrapped around the thermos cap that she used as a cup, humming soft as she brought the warm liquid to her face simply to enjoy the warmth and aroma.

He took a bite, holding the napkin under his jaw as the pastry flaked in his mouth. An appreciative hum resonated in his throat as Gideon nodded at the flavors melting in his mouth. He swallowed the bite and he smiled at Marielle. “Doing well, much better-” he cut off the rest of the thought, speaking it in his mind instead. Much better when you come around. Chuckling softly, the security officer nodded again.

“I had that first lesson with Bihraos last night,” she offered to break the companionable silence that filled the small space. Her eyes closed briefly as she took a long sip of her coffee and she released a soft contented sigh as the exotic earthy flavours washed over her tongue.

“I hope he’s better than Henrik.” Gideon recalled the complaints from Marielle regarding the counselor’s terrible left footedness.

“It’s nice dancing with someone who’s my height for a change. Oddly enough, Bihraos is very good on his feet. It should make for an easy lesson this month,” she lifted the cup to her lips and took another sip. “I miss Erik. The program partners just aren’t the same. I haven’t had a good challenge since he left.” She sighed softly and reached for the savoury puff pastry.

“Would you like me to try?” he asked, keeping his tone neutral. Gideon had been hesitant to bring it up, but it never hurt to ask.

She chuckled. “It’s a very kind offer, but I’d have to teach you everything,” her hand reached out to lightly tap on his knee. “And, I’m looking for a strong partner who can lead. I don’t mind teaching you. If you’re interested in that sort of thing.”

Gideon smiled and shrugged. “Just thought I’d offer,” he replied in a non-answer. He took another bite of the ham and cheese, humming once again at the flavors on his tastebuds. It wasn’t something he would have considered for a breakfast item, but he knew that if Marielle brought him something in the middle of the night, he would eat it.

Marielle shrugged. “So. Today is the day,” she grinned. “What are your options? How bad were they?” She leaned to one side of her chair as she fell to the usual posture - with her feet crossing at the ankles to one side as her knees pressed together to fall to the side. She leaned ever so slightly towards him. She wiped her fingers on the napkin on her lap before taking a sip of her coffee, her emerald hues never once breaking from the depths of his blue.

Smiling, Gideon took a sip of the calamansi juice before setting the glass aside and leaning toward the engineer. “Drumroll?”

Giggling, the engineer placed her small cup of coffee down and lightly played a drumroll on her knees. “I’m so excited!”

With a wink, Gideon chuckled softly and raised his hand to stop the drumroll, which Marielle did upon freezing. He loved seeing her face light up, so the half-Bajoran milked the moment for as long as he could. “We are,” he started, pausing for dramatic effect as his brows raised. “The Karmanori.”

“Oooo. I like it!” she giggled softly. The engineer reached for her coffee and took a sip. “That was a lot more mature than what I heard earlier. Someone knows their history. Who suggested it?”

“Well,” Gideon blushed a bit before picking up his glass of juice. “Mark suggested the Daemons and I liked the mythology behind it, just not the name. I did some research and showed it to Battey, who suggested it to the guys.”

“Salieri’s Karmanori,” she announced as she poured herself another serving of coffee, testing the name on her tongue. Her French accent gave it a touch of an allure she hadn’t expected. “The Karmanori.” Marielle hummed pleasantly. “Definitely a keeper. The ancient, almost mythical really, Vulian, right?”

He winced at the use of his name in the title, grinning impishly as he nodded at her second usage of the name. Gideon broke off a corner of the crust on his pastry, holding it near his lips, but pausing to answer. “Yes. Fierce warriors on a fierce planet. Strong brotherhood, civilization wiped out thousands of years ago. I’ll be revealing to the guys tonight at the game if you want to come by.” The security chief smiled before pushing the bit of pastry between his lips, chewing quietly.

Chuckling slightly. “Are you sure you want me there considering how I’m on notice?” She took a sip of her coffee. “Maybe Cana and I should be separated for a little while.”

“I always want you there,” he answered quickly, the words spilling from his lips before he had a chance to censor himself. Gideon felt the tips of his ears reddening as he coughed lightly and sipped from his glass of juice.

“Ah- I-,” she giggled softly as she blushed, her eyes dipping to her coffee. “Well. I suppose I could make something special for the occasion. I’ll bake a cake for the unveiling. A request on the flavour?”

The half-Betazoid set the glass back down, smiling as he nodded at the engineer. “That’d be great. What’s Battey’s favorite? He should get some special attention for suggesting the winner.” The awkwardness had passed and Gideon returned to his normal persona.

Marielle giggled softly. “That’d be difficult. Jonathan really likes everything. He seems to like my Stracciatella cake, though. The devil’s food cake with the mint meringue buttercream.”

“Want some help after your shift?”

“It’d make it easier,” she admitted. “Normally, it’s better to make the cake a day in advance. So, having your help would allow me a chance to get everything together before game night. It’d be a tight schedule. Are we thinking a layered cake? How many people are we expecting for this tonight?”

Gideon smiled, enjoying the feeling of warmth spreading through his chest as he watched Marielle ramble. “Normal group, so twelve of us.”

She giggled. “Yes, but I’m baking. And, we know what that means.” Marielle winked at him.

“Would it be easier to bake three single layer cakes instead of one multi-layered?”

“Cupcakes? And one multi-layer cake? You could frost the cupcakes.” Marielle paused and giggled softly. “They’d definitely know you help that way.”

Gideon pouted playfully, his hands wrapping around the juice glass to keep from hiding his face in his palms. “They’re going to be ugly cupcakes.”

When the door chimed, Marielle stood up as she chuckled. Her hands swept over her lap to remove the stray crumbs. “Ah. I think your main group is here for your morning meeting,” she finished her coffee and capped her thermos.

The chief of security stood as well and he stepped forward quickly to place a gentle kiss on Marielle’s temple. “Thank you,” he said quietly before retreating a step, grinning. “What time is your shift over? I’ll meet you in the mess hall.” His arm swept to the door, following the engineer as she headed that way.

“Ah-,” she dipped her chin as a blush coloured her cheeks. “1600. I only have diagnostics to run today, so I will be there early.” She held the thermos to her chest as she made her way to the door. The engineer smiled up at Jonathan Battey, Ryan Winnetka, and Jessie Jessup as the doors opened. “Hey. There are pastries and juice,” she informed them. “I’ll see you later Gideon. We’ll have to do this again.” She gave a small wave to everyone before she made her way to Engineering.

“Agreed. Don’t work too hard,” he called after her before grinning at the guys as they filed in. Gideon turned and picked up his glass of juice and the napkin that held half of his ham and cheese hot pocket. The half-Bajoran made his way around the desk to settle back into his chair, glancing up at the guys.

“So,” Ryan settled into the chair in front of his desk. He reached into the basket and pulled out a slice of blueberry cream cheese pastry. He gave the security chief a wide grin before biting into the sweet breakfast treat.

“So?” Gideon pressed for more as he leaned back in the chair.

“That seems to be going well?” asked Jessup. He turned to look at the closed door before reaching into the basket to pull out the puff pastry pocket. He gave Gideon a small supportive smile.

“Upcoming ship transfers.” Jonathan leaned over to stare into the basket as he handed Gideon a PADD. “Just a head’s up. You should probably ask her out soon,” he offered sympathetically as he pulled out the blueberry cream cheese pastry. “Pretty sure you’re gonna have competition.”

Gideon smiled toward Jessie, nodding before he glanced toward Battey and took the PADD. His brow raised in Jon’s direction as he turned the PADD in his hand and glanced at the information. There was a soft groan from the chief as he dropped the tablet onto his desk.

“What’s that about?” asked Jessie, leaning towards Battey and whispering.

Gideon looked up as Winnetka raised a shoulder in a shrug. The half-Betazoid sighed and leaned forward. “Well, glad to be rid of Rotten Rocha at least. Long distance counseling is harder than you’d think.”

“No way! He’s-” Winnetka straightened in his seat and stared at the security chief.

“Does Ellie know?! The last time they-” Jessup interrupted, speaking over Ryan.

The chief of security just shook his head. If I don’t say it, maybe it won’t be true. His cobalt gaze stared out the window over Jessup’s shoulder.

Jonathan spoke up when Gideon didn’t, interrupting both Ryan and Jessie as they spoke over each other. “Erik Vaeros is coming back.” He took a big bite of his pastry.

Ugh, he said it. Gideon shook his head. “Transport’s arriving in under two weeks. He’ll need a background check for the time he was gone, Ryan.” The chief looked to Winnetka for confirmation of his assignment. After the nod from the Chicago native, Gideon picked up his other PADD and got into the rest of the meeting.

Copyright 2017. 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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