Mariah Lee Grayson was born on an early December morning in London to Edward Grayson III and Dr. Natalie Toliver-Grayson. To friends and family, Mariah’s birth was viewed as nothing short of a miracle and a godsend because four years earlier, Natalie was told she could never have children. Despite this painful setback, both parents had managed to build successful careers - he as a diplomat for the Federation and her as a professor and part-time psychiatrist - by the time Mariah was conceived as what was commonly known as a “change of life baby.”
On the outside, Mariah’s childhood seemed perfect. The young girl seemed the center of her parents’ lives, and as anyone might expect of a couple who had waited so long to have a child, Mariah’s parents doted on her, giving her the best education and quality of life money and social status could provide. But such privilege came at a steep price. It was common, though unspoken knowledge in the Grayson social circle, that Mariah was not the Graysons’ first child.
Edward and Natalie had adopted a little girl they named Mia Paige three years before Mariah’s arrival. According to court records, the birth mother challenged the adoption at nearly every turn, and the Graysons were dragged in and out of court for nearly two years. One week before the court was to render its final decision, however, Edward and Natalie were dealt a horrifying blow: Mia was kidnapped right from under her mother’s nose while playing in a London park. Authorities searched for weeks, but to no avail. All that was ever found was the three year old’s teddy bear.
Some suspected the child was taken to be raised by her birth mother, while others focused their suspicions on the Graysons and the possibility of foul play. Edward and Natalie chose to believe their daughter was alive and well, and after enduring months of scrutiny, they were eventually left to grieve their loss. Impending parenthood was credited for bringing Edward and Natalie out of despair, and by all accounts, Mariah’s arrival had turned the tragic mystery into a fairy tale, complete with a happily ever after ending.
Life inside the Grayson home was not quite so idyllic, especially as Mariah grew older. While it was never something her parents out rightly demanded, Mariah always felt she had to measure up to her sister’s memory in order to gain her family’s love. Over time, Mia became less of a human being to Mariah and more like a saint, never to fulfill the boundless potential she seemed to her parents to have possessed. Mia had been the outgoing one, while Mariah was the shy one. Mia was the dancer while Mariah was the book worm. Mia’s beauty was “classic” while Mariah’s beauty was understated. In short, Mariah was a poor replacement for her elder sister.
As much as she knew she would never live up to her parents’ hopes, Mariah tried as hard as she could to follow in her missing sister’s pre-determined footsteps. Mariah idolized her mother and resolved to one day become a psychiatrist, often spending hours after school reading her mother’s texts. Nights were often spent giving piano recitals for her father’s colleagues or serving as her father’s escort when her mother was in one of her black moods. Mariah was naturally compassionate and intelligent, so when the time came for her to leave home, no one outside the family doubted that she was making her own choices.
When she received word that she had been accepted to Starfleet Academy as a counseling major, the moment was bittersweet. Mariah wanted to step out of her sister’s shadow desperately, but she was reluctant to leave her father, who by that time was close to retirement, with a severely depressed, alcoholic mother. Her father ultimately convinced her to go, sensing at long last his youngest child’s unhappiness. Mariah did well at the Academy, but for the most part kept to herself and her studies. At Starfleet Medical, she completed her medical degree and then went on to complete three years of additional training as a dual emergency medicine and psychiatric resident. Specializing in Forensic and Trauma Psychiatry seemed the perfect complement to her emergency/family medicine skills.
Her first posting was on the USS Blackwell as a staff physician and psychiatrist. After three years, her superiors felt she was ready for a larger challenge and unfortunately, the Blackwell had no additional room for growth. She took a position on the USS Barton as the Assistant Chief of Psychiatry. Mariah enjoyed being a first responder in emergencies, but the Nightingale did not give her an opportunity for research.
When she learned the USS Esperanza was in need of someone to head its Psychiatry Department, she jumped at the chance to join the 214th medical support fleet. After three years there, Mariah decided she wanted to be able to respond on a much grander scale than a starship allowed while still being able to teach or conduct research. When a posting opened within New London Medical Facility on Earth, Mariah decided to apply, and she was pleased to be accepted.
Mariah has spent the past four years in this assignment, and for the last two, she has also served as a Forensic and Trauma Psychiatry consultant for Starfleet JAG. Mariah was proud to offer her expertise as an expert witness in criminal cases, particularly those cases in which mental illness and psychological trauma were present. Though she has enjoyed the challenges of her work, she began to grow a bit restless staying in one place.
She also began to think about what more she wanted out of her life, including children, and whether continued service in Starfleet made sense for her. When she was tapped for the medical vessel, the USS Ogawa to be part of its medical team, she decided it was a unique opportunity to do what she loved while getting back to her medical roots.
Mariah is a hard worker who is committed to helping anyone in pain, whether physical or emotional. Because of her compassion, some people also assume she operates on pure emotion, but in reality, she is quite intelligent and far from naïve.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
Mariah’s time away from her family has allowed her to step out of her sister’s shadow, but she can be quite reserved at times, especially when she encounters new people. It takes a lot of effort for her to be the outgoing person her parents always expected her to be, but her interest in meeting new people is genuine. Mariah understands what it means to need someone to turn to.
Her work with people who have experienced trauma is quite fulfilling, and over the years, she has come to put her own experiences into perspective. Mariah is a workaholic, however, and sometimes uses work to avoid having to focus on her personal life.
Mariah desires a family of her own and surrounds herself with children, especially newborns, whenever possible.
Dulwich College, London, England, Earth
Starfleet Academy, San Francisco, California, Earth
Starfleet Medical Academy (Dual MD/Ph.D. Forensic and Trauma Psychiatry)
Staff Physician/Psychiatrist, USS Blackwell
Assistant Chief Psychiatrist/Staff Physician, USS Nightingale
Chief Psychiatrist, USS Esperanza
Chief Psychiatrist, New London Medical Facility, Earth
Forensic/Trauma Psychiatry Consultant, Starfleet JAG
Present: Emergency/Family Medicine Physician, USS Ogawa
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