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Lt. V'Len Kel - Interlude

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((Kel’s Quarters, Deck 5, USS Intrepid))

Seeing her image on a screen was a strange experience.  It was so sterile and far away and yet the woman pictured, Millie seemed to be closer to him than even a friend as good as Nesre.  Hundreds of memories had paraded back into his mind.  Breakfasts, coffees, hikes, dancing.  He remembered their long conversations in starboard nacelle control on the Exeter.  The nacelle was temperamental and Millie was constantly trying to get it to work properly.  He would sit and read to her or chat while she pounded away and ran diagnostics.  Even now it seemed she was right behind him, looking over his shoulder.

Nesre's arrival had been something of a relief, bringing him back to the present, even if the present was the past. Now they sat in Dr. Sevrik's quarters, which were both familiar and different.

Kel: I shouldn’t even be here.  The Trill have very specific rules about being involved with "previous lives".  I think I've already broken a half dozen.    

Salo:  You make it sound as if you’re at fault.

It wasn't of course and V'Len knew that.  Rox had blown some kind of fuse and tried to give V'Airu the "best birthday gift ever".  Frankly, V'Len felt a simple chocolate sundae would have sufficed.  V'Len followed her gaze and quickly jumped up to shut off the monitor where the image of Millie was still visible.  With the flick of a switch her image disappeared from the screen.  Getting it out of his mind was more difficult.

Kel:  That.  ::gesturing toward the screen::  That's just a ghost.

She hadn't asked for an explanation, but he had felt compelled to give one.  

Salo: Really?  She was a lovely ghost

Setting back down, V'Len wished Nesre had not said that.  He let out a slow controlled breath.  He tried to stay focused on the conversation.

Kel: She was one of the crew of the Exeter.  I guess I was checking up on the old gang.  I'm throwing the whole rule book out today it seems.  I should get a nice long lecture from the Symbiote Commission when we get back.

oO If we get back. Oo

Salo:  I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you.

Kel:  It is hard.  The more I need Xam Kel's knowledge, the more I pull out his personality.  It's a balancing act being a joined Trill.  Trying to keep yourself and still use the resources of past lives.  

Salo: Tell me about this. If we weren’t here, in this time, how would you keep that all straight?

Kel considered for a moment and then gave the best analogy he could think of.

Kel:  Think of it like a faucet.  If you want knowledge from the symbiote you open it to a tiny drip and you can pull out what you need.  In our time I only ever open it a crack.  Play the guitar, maybe fly, but those are things I learned myself and used the symbiote to give me more insight.  So I just open and close the faucet as needed.

Salo: And you’re finding that harder here?

Kel: I…V'Len has never run a ship like this, so the faucet is open much wider because I need a lot of Xam Kel's help.  And with it comes a lot of Xam Kel and his past.  

Her grey eyes glanced back over to the monitor ever so briefly before they flicked back to V’Len.

Salo: And even harder when you know someone you are back in a time where someone you loved is still alive.

V'Len was ever impressed with the woman's ability to piece together what was really going on.  He'd not mentioned that he cared about the woman on the screen or that she was alive and even nearby.  Nesre had pieced that together on her own.  He wished they'd shared more holodeck mysteries.  

Salo: Would you share with me about her?

It felt like the question itself somehow pierced him.

Kel: ::firmly::  No.  No I will not.

Firstly, how could he express what Millie was to him? She was like a balm for his soul, effervescent and gentle and at the same time she was a force to be reckoned with, insightful, determined and resourceful. He was not sure he could summon the right words to his lips.  Second, the more he thought about her, the more he thought about how to get back to her, to be with her again.

Salo: Response

V'Len stood up and walked to the other side of the room.  He leaned against the wall and looked at the floor.

Kel:  The more I talk about Millie ::wincing:: oO why did I say her name? Oo the more I lose myself.  No ::breathing deeply::  I can't tell you about her now.

Salo: Response

Kel:  What else can I do?  I have to keep the faucet open until the crew is safe. Even if it means losing V'Len, it's my duty as CMO to make sure the crew are safe. (beat) If it helps Xam is, by all accounts, a great guy. ::smiling::

Salo: Response


Lieutenant V’Len "Xam" Kel
Chief Medical Officer/Helmsman
USS Oumuamua NCC-81226/ USS Intrepid
He/Him (character and player)


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