Lieutenant Dekas - To be a 'normal person.'

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Ace Christensen

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May 14, 2022, 5:39:29 PMMay 14
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((Floor 14, Walkway to Fairbanks, Denali Station))


The view from his own quarters on floor 35 was better. But Dekas wasn’t leaning against the railing in the middle of the walkway in the early morning for the view. The change of settings, the shift in roles. He’d get used to it eventually, but until he did, his usual restlessness was at an all-time high during his free time. So much to see, even more to do before they’d be able to see as much of it as he was sure they’d all like. 


Watching the sun “come up” in the fresh air was soothing. However, there was a specific restlessness that settled in him as he looked over the side of the bridge. It settled in him the past several or so mornings that he’d done the same thing before carrying on with the morning jaunt about. But one could only walk so far before it became as restless as the rest of it. He didn’t continue walking this time. 


His wings twitched and he stretched them out behind him. There weren’t too many people awake, and the ones that were weren’t all trying to cross this specific walkway, so no one would get an unintended mouthful of feathers this time. But he sighed as they folded against his back again.


Despite the comment that Kettick had made before the award’s ceremony, and the comment of spreading his wings during the promotion, not once had he flown anywhere. He did as he normally did. He walked. It wasn’t that he didn’t know he had the option to do so, it was just that something stopped him every single time he thought about it. Sometimes it was just an interruption of someone needing him. Usually, it was his own choice to stop himself. His own excuses. 


‘It’s not far enough to need to fly.’ ‘I’m carrying something and I don’t want to drop it.’ ‘I just don’t actually feel like it right now, walking is fine.’ ‘My friend is here and I couldn’t possibly leave them to go fly.’


Later. Later. Later.


oO I shouldn’t… Oo


He didn’t have his excuses for why this time and that persistent restlessness was going to eat him alive if he didn’t think of a good one. His wings were bound as tightly as if the binding were literal. He desperately wished he had another Aurelian’s advice. What would his own mother say? She always had the right words. And he laughed once as he realized she would tell him to follow his heart’s call. Or she’d shrug and then jump off this bridge into flight; boldly daring him to stop hesitating without saying a single word at all. Probably the second one. She was perhaps the least ideal Aurelian to consider when trying to make excuses.


And he was nothing if not his mother’s child.


In a sudden burst of audaciousness, he forgot that humanoids very rarely saw him fly and that they held reasonable mental concerns about seeing someone standing on a high ledge. Which he’d evidently jumped on in the seconds it took to decide to listen to this particular flight of fancy.


Person: Whoa! What are you doing? Are you okay?


Dekas: I’m absolutely fantastic. Thanks for asking!


He jumped off the Floor 14 walkway, did a quick spin dive in the air with his wings tucked in, then spread all 17 feet out, gliding, and likely spooking more than one unsuspecting person who was not caffeinated enough to process fast enough that it was Dekas to refrain from visibly startling at the sight of a large avian swooping by. (Oops.)


He was already considering other places he could jump from to practice, and laughing loudly, joyfully as he tried not to think about a 40-story leap off Anchorage or Soldotna. He’d been skydiving a number of times, and cliff-jumping was a common pass-time back home. He could do 40 stories quite easily if he eased into it. And he could imagine how freeing it would be after he’d built up his flight muscles a little more.


His laughter became a sigh as the other side of those thoughts came to mind, however. The continuation of every reason he hesitated. Realistically it was probably better that he restrain such impulses. Continue to mostly mirror humanoid behaviors the way he’d been doing since he started wearing clothes. People were comforted by familiarity, and he’d made choices to create an aura of comfort for others over the years. That form of familiarity also read as more professional. Nothing about how he’d been raised read as 100% professional anywhere else. He couldn’t give purely friendly affection because it was too personal. Couldn’t tell his friends he loved them because humanoids had such odd notions of what it meant to tell someone that. Certain shows of humor or happiness came off as too childlike, had to tone that down. Singing? Okay, but do it in your own time. And of course, flying wasn’t really a thing under most circumstances. Which was about the only thing he understood from the perspective of life on a Starship. The rest had never made as much sense when those things were perfectly regular back home in and out of professional spaces. It was too much everywhere else. It was likely too much here. And that included the flying even though there was space to do so. Even if his mother would encourage him to do so. His mother was wonderful, but she was not the end-all of decision-making. She couldn’t possibly know the right answer to this.


oO Oh, pluck me, why did I do this? I jumped off the walkway. I’m a Starfleet officer. This was impulsive and completely stupid. I’m going to make The Captain look bad acting… like this. Oo 


He felt himself glide a little lower. He should go land back on the walkway; finish the walk he’d been taking as planned. Get his energy out like a normal person. Go about his day like a normal person. Be a normal person.


oO Even if I’d rather be an Aurelian again. Oo


The engineer faltered then flapped his wings once to regain control of the air around him. When had it split into two, Aurelian as a species, and Aurelian as a person? When had his perception of himself distorted so much that he was only the first of those things? When had seeming truly Aurelian become nearly dysmorphic in practice? How could he have missed that he’d disconnected from himself? 


And why did it hurt so much?


Dekas was one with the elements of earth and air, and he was tired of tearing the sky out of his soul. The balance of self had been disrupted for too long. He couldn’t land until he was ready to, nor would he. He stubbornly refused to disrespect himself this time. This was important. This felt marvelous. It was time to ditch the excuses.


Dekas: ::renewed, nearly hysterical laughter:: I am an Aurelian. If people think that’s weird… then let’s get weirder. Woo!


He would make his mark in this place, and he would make sure to take inspiration from the Ring’s elusive creators who hardly kept their feet planted on a normal planet, in a normal system, like normal people. What good was ‘normal’ if weird created something as awe-inspiring as this? Denali Station would be inclusive to far more than just those whose feet stayed firmly planted on the ground if he had a say in it. 


As he flew upwards and skywards he thought with restored delight: What luck that I do. 


TBC…



Lieutenant Dekas

Head of Infrastructure Development

Denali Station

J239802D12

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