Born on Earth in 2335, Marla grew up in the city of Philadelphia, where she lived with her parents, both university professors. She had a fairly stable childhood, and as an only child enjoyed a strong bond with both her parents.
Starfleet was Marla’s one and only dream, and she was accepted to the Academy on her first attempt. After graduation, she was assigned to the Engineering department aboard the New Orleans class USS Orlando and fought on the front lines at the end of the Cardassian Border Wars. Rising through the ranks quickly, she joined the crew of the Nebula class USS Athena as Chief Engineer, and seven years later accepted a promotion to Executive Officer. Marla met a civilian geologist named Jack Calder while stationed on the Athena, but the Dominion War forced Jake to disembark the ship.
After the war, Marla joined the Luna class Development project, and was eventually asked to supervise the construction of the USS Kerberos, starting from the day of the very first weld. She was reunited with Jack during this time, and the two married six months later. During the Kerby’s construction, Marla was offered command of the vessel and gladly accepted. Jack joined her aboard at the completion of the ship’s shakedown cruise.