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[PL Deniaud] The Irrational Rational Fear

USS Aldrin Lounge


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

Login Author's Note: Many thanks to Lt. Gideon Salieri for the writing assistance.

[Deniaud] Character Development Log
Stardate: 1704.05 [05 April, 2017]
The Irrational Rational Fear


“There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational - or, in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t. [...] Being afraid of a monster under the bed is perfectly rational, because there may in fact be a monster under your bed at any time, ready to eat you all up, but a fear of realtors is an irrational fear.”
- Lemony Snicket [The Miserable Mill]

The open air courtyard was stunning, complete with vines covered with fat leaves climbing up the corners of the cream coloured sandstone walls. The tiled mosaic ground was mesmerizing, geometric shapes repeated in a simple pattern of variegated greens. It gave the illusion of grass dancing in the breeze. The sound of water trickling over the decorative edges of the center fountain was soothing against the polished tile. Arched ways lined the courtyard, an intricate mosaic of dark green tiles mixed with hints of red and purple and pinks to hint at the idea of flowers blooming on the vines. Sheer linen drapes were drawn open under each arch, the ends sweeping gently in the warm breeze that moved through the open floor plan. The walls were tall, the pointed arches leading the eye towards the pristine night sky. Dark wood railings provided the barriers in the top two floors, vines and leaves wrapped tenderly over the detailing as they climbed towards the heavens.

She stood just at the very edge of the courtyard, just under the intricate mosaic of the archway. Her hands moved over the sandstone columns that were carved with curves of leaves, finding it rough under her fingertips. Her gaze followed the lines of the sheer drapes, fingers smoothing over the creases. Her mind worked to understand what was happening to her as she took in the scene. She turned and faced the lake just beyond the sandstone patio. The panic surged through her and she began to sing softly to soothe away the impending mental attack. “Ribbon of the river by my side, I walk the shores and watch it unwind. The railway tracks will leave a glimpse of the light from the train, trailing sparks of gold behind. And as soon as you’ve seen it, it’s gone. As soon as you’ve seen it, it’s gone.”

Marielle’s steps took her beyond the pointed mosaic arched entryway, her stiletto heels tapping lightly against the tile under her feet. She took in a deep breath. The air was fragrant with spice - cinnamon, saffron, paprika - and warm. The exotic scent surrounded her and spoke of summer’s many pleasures. The heat that settled deep in her lungs was comfortable and familiar. The silence was what hit her the most. The sound of the water feature in the courtyard behind her simply faded into nothing as she moved closer towards the solid barrier of the patio and farther away from the kasbah’s interior.

The mountains that lined the horizon were green, the sandstone that surrounded the base of the lake rich red with a sparkle of copper. The water a matted azure that only highlighted the shimmer in the stone. A small waterfall fed the large body of water. The glow of the moon reflected in the murky water, making it appear like a painting. Simple furniture added comfort to the large space, fire from the surrounding torches lit the patio with a romantic glow.

Her hands moved from her sides. Her fingers had gripped the fabric of her dress with white knuckle strength, making the digits numb. She wiggled the digits before they settled hesitantly on the barrier of the patio. Again, the engineer marveled at the sensation under her fingertips. It certainly felt real - rough and solid - and she tried to understand how she’d gone from running the labyrinth of the Aldrin’s corridors to the middle of an imposing castle-like hallway with rooms labelled Logos, Pathos, Ethos, and Eros to the middle of some oasis in the desert that was akin to Morocco. The panic she’d felt earlier still lingered and it made her hyper aware. “Secrets of the city make an aching in my heart and the mysteries that tease me so- I long to belong, but I always have to go.” Her voice was brittle with her confusion and her fear, her head whipping from one side to another in search of an exit. “People stare and wonder why I stray. They don’t understand that wandering’s my way. I’ll never stop, though time is slipping away. The elusive light, shining strange on my face. As soon as you’ve seen it, it’s gone. As soon as you’ve seen it, it’s gone.”

He watched quietly behind the sheer linen drapes, his eyes drifting over the lines of her slender body as she studied her surroundings. A smile moved over him, a calm settling deep within his chest as he took a moment to appreciate her presence. As her mezzo soprano filled his ears, the alien sighed contentedly and his head leaned against the sandstone column.

There was an overwhelming need to fidget. Her hands moved over the fabric of her dress as she continued to turn around, her eyes sweeping over the scenery that surrounded her. The tropical dress that covered her slender body was light, the fabric barely adding any weight against her skin. The dark blue spaghetti strap dress was painted with cyan flowers with a sloping neckline that split in the center to hint at more. The asymmetrical skirt tapered to one side, covering her right leg while the hem brushed high on her left. Her raven hair had been left down and cascaded in soft waves over her shoulders, the ends brushing just past the small of her back. A large red flower with wispy petals was pinned behind her ear. Marielle tried to steady her breathing. “Secrets of the city make an aching in my heart and the mysteries that tease me so- I long to belong but I always have to go.”

“You have a beautiful singing voice, Mariëlle.” He pushed off the column and approached the engineer, his blue-grey eyes twinkling in the moonlight as he smiled at her. The alien was nearly a foot taller, his dark brown hair cut short but styled into soft spikes. He was thin and could have been considered gaunt if not for the flowing pale blue linen pants surrounding his legs and the light grey tunic that moved easily over his shoulders. “Your friends were kind enough to put you to sleep. We can be together as long as you dream.” He extended his hand to her.

Her gaze settled on his face, her song dying on her lips. “Who are you? Where am I? What do you want from me?” The engineer released her questions in rapid succession, not even a breath taken between the words. Despite the annoyance and anger that rested just at the tip of her tongue, fear coloured her tone. Marielle did not know him and his claim to being together only set her on edge.

The alien curled the tips of his fingers towards her, beckoning her to take his hand. He didn’t take note of her panic or care to address the questions she sent his way. “We can linger under the moonlight for as long as you sleep. A walk will ease you,” he soothed.

She wasn’t sure if he was choosing to ignore her apparent apprehension or simply couldn’t fathom the idea that she didn’t want to be near him. Either didn’t seem like great options. “Where am I?” she asked.

“With me.” He smiled enigmatically at her, his calm radiating in the soft twinkle in his eyes.

If she didn’t have any fear, she would have easily snapped at the vague answer. Marielle’s gaze fell to his outreached hand just briefly before her gaze returned to the shine of his steel blue-grey eyes. They reminded her of storm clouds right before a lightning strike, an electric blue that was striking yet soft. “How did I get here?” she attempted again. The engineer remained rooted in place as she demanded for answered.

His chuckle was kind and soft. The alien shook his head lightly at her. “All your questions will be answered in time.” His voice modulated between a soothing tenor and husky baritone. There was only affection in his tone. “For now, let us enjoy this world together.”

Marielle frowned as she shook her head. “I don’t want to-”

“Then perhaps another setting?” he offered gently as he took a small step in her direction, his hand still reaching out for her. The world melted, fading in a haze of cool grey fog. Gone was the kasbah under the moonlight, replaced by the hot glow of lights on a stage. A sea of rich burgundy seats and gold painted detailing stretched beyond the boundaries of the hardwood floor. There was a glow of gold under the heat of the spotlight in the opera house. “We could watch La Bayadère or you may be Nikiya?” he offered with a hopeful smile.

Before she could even respond, the world around her changed once more. The blinding brightness of the spotlight disappeared and she was once again transported to a different scene. The snow covered mountain was just beyond her view as the setting sun cast a rich glow of pinks and purple on the rocky peak. She was surrounded by the warmth of a cabin, rich with wooden decor and the pops of a roaring fire. “What are you-”

“No,” he mused as he stepped closer. “I don’t think you’d like the cold very much. How about the comforts of your subconscious?” The world around them disappeared and they were standing in the middle of a vast stone hallway with a constellation covered ceiling. The alien took a moment to glance around. “I’ve never seen such a mind,” he whispered to himself as he took one more step towards her. “The wealth of knowledge you possess, the music that fills you.”

The movement was enough to push her into action, and she took one step away from him. “The other world was fine,” Marielle managed quietly as she pushed a timid smile to her lips. Although she wanted to spend the time digging around her subconscious, there was no way the engineer wanted a stranger meandering through her most inner thoughts.

He gave no response. The stone hallway simply faded away in a grey fog. The warmth of the kasbah touched upon him once more and he stepped forward towards her. “I’ve been searching for you,” he revealed quietly.

Her mind worked furiously to understand what she was experiencing. He had mentioned sleeping and that they could be together as she dreamed. It meant she had been sedated and that meant she wouldn’t somehow be able to rouse herself awake. Marielle moved towards the solid barrier of the patio, partially to get away away from the alien and mostly so it’d allow to feel as if she had some semblance of control over her own body. She placed her hand on the barrier and glanced down. The idea of jumping came to mind, a subtle hope that doing so would force her body to react against the sedative in her system and force her to the waking world, but the engineer worried briefly that doing so could also kill her. ‘I need him to keep talking. Maybe I can find out what he wants.’ “I- I don’t even know you,” she managed softly as her eyes settled on the horizon. “How do you know me?”

He watched her with wonder. His smile only grew more affectionate. “It will all become clear when we are together, Mariëlle.” Quietly, his steps carried his body to her. A gentle warm breeze weaved around them as he neared and he filled his lungs with the exotic scent of the dream world.

She turned and gasped softly when she realized he’d been able to move closer without her notice. Her chin dipped as her head turned to face the lake. “I don’t know you-”

“Shhh,” he soothed her, his fingers brushing gently over the bare skin of her arm. “It will be better once we are together. It will all fall into place.”

A shudder moved through her from the touch. She shook her head, her hair shimmering under the moonlight. “I don’t know you,” she insisted again, her voice soft and shaky.

“I am your soul mate,” he whispered. His blue-grey eyes tenderly studying her features. His palm rested on the back of her shoulder, fingers gently rubbing at the thin strap of her dress. “You are exquisite.” The words were offered breathily, the compliment a near whisper.

Her eyes flitted shut as her head centered itself, her chin dipping to her chest. Her fingers wrapped tightly into the fabric of her dress. His touch was warmer than she had expected. She toyed with the idea that he was simply a figment of her imagination - that she’d been working far too many long hours and her mind had snapped. He was a handsome man, the epitome of tall, dark, and mysterious. Marielle would normally find the mystery enticing, but she had to believe that her subconscious wouldn’t create a stalker. It also didn’t feel like she’d gone crazy. She had to believe he was real. “We exist in this is a dream world,” she stated softly. “Together.”

“Until you can join me, yes,” he lamented softly. His voice remained gentle and soothing, emotion barely colouring his tone. “It won’t be long. We’ll be together soon, Mariëlle.”

The announcement that she’d soon be face to face with the man in her mind had her silently cursing. She was trapped in her mind with a stranger who was talking about being together. He spoke far too much like Marcus Vatia, the former Foreign Minister of Atlantis who had been her betrothed. ‘I wish Gideon was here. He’d know what to do.’ She frowned. She didn’t need rescuing. The last time he’d done so, the security chief had suffered greatly. She could certainly figure this out on her own without his help. “How are you doing this? Nevermind. It has to be telepathy.” The thought had her furrowing her brow in confusion, and she lifted her head to stare at him. “How is it possible? I’m not telepathic. Is that-”

He gasped softly when her irises met his. Her eyes were the glimmering colour of pure emerald, sparkling in the moonlight. They caught the light and played tricks with anything and everything that screamed ‘summer’. Dark, like a forest at sunset, the green of leaves clinging to the very last bits of light in the night. “Your eyes are more stunning than I could ever describe.” The alien either didn’t acknowledge anything else she’d said or simply decided not to address her questions. His hand lifted to rest against her cheek as he took a half step closer. “I look forward to losing myself in the forest of your gaze.”

Marielle instantly turned her head to keep from looking at him and to remove his hand from her cheek. She pulled from the depths of the lessons of her past. She gave him a soft laugh, the sound lacking its usual warmth and joy, as she ducked under his arm and spun away. The engineer gave him a guarded smile. “How do I know you?” she asked sweetly. She kept him in front of her as she walked backwards, her steps light against the tiled ground. “How do you know me?” Whenever he took a step towards her, she stepped back to keep the distance.

“All will be revealed in time, my love,” he asserted kindly. He smiled as he continued to take steps towards her, almost oblivious to the fact she was keeping the same distance every time he moved. “I am drawn to you, and we will be together.”

Marielle shook her head. “Love? I don’t even know your name.”

He chuckled in a gentle way. “It’s past time we were together, Mariëlle. I know you have doubts, but it will be clear when I am finally by your side.”

“I don’t even know your name,” she insisted, her tone a near whine.

He took a moment to study her, the expression in his eyes gentle and the smile on his lips tender. “My name is Dylan and we are meant for one another.”





Copyright 2017. 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.
   
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