Part of USS Sarek: Lies I Loved and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Lies I Loved – 5

USS Sarek, Bridge
November 2400
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“It’s so funny you say that–” Kellin was saying.

“Excuse me, captain,” Ensign Cellar Door bleated out.

Elbon Jakkelb said nothing.  He simply watched and waited until he caught Taes’ eye.  He was carrying a luggage case and he worked at untangling the strap where it had twisted on his shoulder.

Standing at the foot of the command platform, Elbon found himself competing for Taes’ attention between her work-son Kellin and her fastidious yeoman Cellar.  He knew this wasn’t a labour he was going to win.  Looking up at the trio of command chairs, Elbon felt an odd pang of mixed emotions.  Watching Taes sitting with Kellin in Elbon’s usual seat, Kellin looked completely comfortable there.  Natural.  Beautiful even.  Kellin had recently taken to slicking his curly hair back, as if that would make him look more serious as second officer.  It looked terrible, and yet it looked good on him.  Kellin’s whole body shook when he laughed at one of Taes’ humorous asides.  And yet, in that moment, Elbon was struck by the stray thought that this could be the last time he ever looked upon the bridge of the USS Sarek.  The Devore Imperium was no idle threat.  

Elbon might have feared this to be his own blood dilithium-induced paranoia –if the Bajoran hadn’t failed all of his ESP tests at Starfleet Academy– which meant he had to chalk it up to homegrown paranoia instead.  Reports from the USS Mackenzie had crossed his desk about Devore intruders boarding their ship, testing Starfleet’s security and making an attempt to seize control of the starship for their own uses.

The excomp floating by Elbon’s shoulder buzzed closer to the command platform.  Cellar said, “Engineering reports the saucer section’s warp core has completed the power-up sequence.  Warp core is considered to be at idle and they’re continuing to raise engine pressure.”

“Thank you, ensign,” Taes responded.

Kellin was the first to make eye contact with Elbon.  He smiled shyly but he didn’t look away.  Elbon always managed to feel twenty years younger when Kellin looked at him like that.

With good-humoured bravado, Elbon said, “Don’t get too comfortable in my seat.”

Almost immediately, Kellin jumped up from the executive officer’s chair.

“Oh!” Elbon blurted out, worried he had hurt Kellin’s feelings.  “I didn’t mean now.”

“I don’t know,” Kellin said slyly, descending the stairs to join Elbon.  “Don’t you ever want to captain a starship of your own some day?”

Meandering slowly, Elbon followed the ramp that would take him to the aft turbolift.  Kellin chose to walk with him, shoulder to shoulder.  Kellin only stepped aside briefly when Yuulik barged between them on a shortcut to the bridge’s science hub.

“I led my own flock in Hedrikspool as a Ranjen,” Elbon said, after pondering Kellin’s question for a spell.  “Command isn’t what lured me to Starfleet.”

“I always felt you were that type,” Kellin said, tauntingly.  “Not in it for the duty, you’re here for the adventure.  But it’s a different kind of adventure out there.”  –He poked Elbon in the chest twice–  “Take care of yourself.”

“It’s not your job to worry about me anymore,” Elbon said softly.

Kellin just looked back at Elbon with big eyes.  Elbon could safely bet that Kellin was too scared for Elbon’s safety to say anything but also too scared to admit it.

“It’s diplomacy, Kel,” Elbon said.  “I put people at their ease.  This is what I do.  The Kadi homeworld is so safe, they’ll let me take home a souvenir for my cabin on Bajor.”

Elbon stepped away from Kellin to press the call button for the turbolift.  Then, he said, “Now you keep watch over the captain for me while I’m gone.  It’s your turn.  I’m counting on you.”

Double doors slid apart as a turbolift car arrived for Elbon.  Elbon leaned in close to kiss Kellin on the cheek and Kellin grabbed Elbon’s wrist.  Elbon put a hand on the side of Kellin’s face and he briefly clutched at Kellin’s earlobe, appreciating the strength of his pagh.  As soon as Elbon stepped away, and entered the turoblift, he turned back to wink at Kellin.  In that short time, Flavia had inserted herself at Kellin’s side.

Far too loudly, Flavia declared, “Goodbye!  Fly safely in your oddly shaped half-ship!”

Elbon winced at her and he said, “Thank you.”  With more gusto, he ordered the turbolift to take him to the “Secondary bridge.”

Elbon took notice as Flavia tugged at the sleeve of Kellin’s uniform jacket.  Kellin looked at her with a puzzled expression and she tugged at his sleeve again.

“I need to tell you something,” Flavia said.

Kellin hunched down to Flavia’s height and she cupped a hand over Kellin’s ear and she whispered something.

Then the turbolift doors closed and whisked Elbon to the stardrive’s bridge.

Comments

  • First off, very excited to be reading that the Sutherland is about to separate - not sure why that's something I like seeing on Trek *insert nerdy moment here* but also loving the tension between Elbon and Kellin in this story. I feel that Kellin is starting to develop/mature in almost every story he is involved with and am I detecting Elbon showing a hint of jealousy here? Is he regretting their split? Could there be something more here that we'll see in the soon future? Is this another Rourke/Hale relationship that could happen but may not happen yet? Once again another a tease!

    November 6, 2022
  • Again the cross-referencing of the Mackenzie into the story makes it much stronger to ties to the overall campaign. But I also love that tender loving between Elbon and Kellin that tell their story of what was and still is presence, that denial of wanting to protect each other. I do wonder where it will take them? And of course what did Flavia whisper?

    November 7, 2022
  • Elbon's wistful thoughts on the bridge are a delightful bundle of feelings, from the reasonable apprehension to the minor frustration at Taes's priorities as he needs her attention, to the way his attention is always inexorably drawn to Kellin. But their conversation makes it very plain how that goes both ways, and the tension of their farewell - particularly the grasping of Kellin's ear - is so fraught with these complex and competing emotions. It's so plain that they're apart for reasons that can't be ignored, but what brought them together isn't gone. Then of course, Flavia - I feel she and Yuulik shouldn't be allowed to work together, they'll be too powerful when they either take over the galaxy or, more likely, kill each other and take everyone else with them. But also, I really enjoy off-setting the intense and slightly schmaltzy feelings (which is fun, and good, and I am a sucker for) with the comic relief of Flavia's interruption. The levity in your prose and embracing all the flaws of all your characters helps avoid the drama from getting too bogged down, which would be a risk in the hands of a lesser writer. Good stuff!

    November 7, 2022
  • What a lovely little side story, dedicated to one of the characters that I feel is getting so much love in this mission. Elbon hasn't had it easy in recent times, and it's no easier for him now that he feels he may not see his friends and loved ones again - though I bet he's quite happy to be leaving Yuulik behind! There is still so much love there between the boyos, I hope they get their act together and remarry somewhere down the road. Hopefully not at Elbon's expense - there is already an element of jealousy perhaps at the blossoming relationship between Taes and the Security Chief. I'm slowly beginning to warm to Flavia. She's unapologetically brash and in your face - so very Romulan! Great story as always, topped off by the fact we're about to see the ship separate. How exciting!

    November 7, 2022
  • Okay, I'm here for Elbon and Kellin by the by. It's so wonderfully written and has me going 'aww' from time to time. Like others I'm pining for a get together and reconciliation, but I'm also hoping a good sit down and heart to heart might let Elbon move on perhaps? There's a connection there still, but is it enough to rebuild on? Or to build something different? I'm definitely here to read that as it happens! The depth of emotion, the description of what is being felt, and then counterbalanced with 'oddly shaped half-ship' had me cracking up. Damn you sir for your addictive words!

    November 8, 2022
  • I loved this little story, how so many emotions are running between the characters, especially Elbon and Kellin. My predictions are that they end up back together at some point (though I could be totally off, but something that I am intrigued to see). I loved the interruptions between Yuulik and Flavia, and I am curious as to what Flavia whispered into Kellin's ear. This is so exciting and can't wait to read what happens next! You have done a great job so far at captivating the readers with what is going on that they just want more! (I know I do for sure).

    November 15, 2022
  • Awwww… this is such a great scene. I’m liking the tension between Elbon and Kellin, they might not be together but there’s obviously still something there. Is this going to develop into something more, or maybe not? And then we have a ship separation. My favourite line in this has to be ‘Fly safely in your oddly shaped half-ship!’. Love it! (And one day I will figure out what the deal with Cellar Door is!)

    November 24, 2022
  • Awwww… this is such a great scene. I’m liking the tension between Elbon and Kellin, they might not be together but there’s obviously still something there. Is this going to develop into something more, or maybe not? And then we have a ship separation. My favourite line in this has to be ‘Fly safely in your oddly shaped half-ship!’. Love it! (And one day I will figure out what the deal with Cellar Door is!)

    November 25, 2022