Updated: Mar 18
"Personal Log; Stardate 93029.4. Captain Se'Lai recording..." Keelah began as she sat relaxed at the desk in her quarters on board the Valley Forge; a steaming hot mug of raktajino in front of her, "I do not know what I expected to feel when this came around - our first return to port following an extended patrol - I don't know why, but I always imagined it would feel more... triumphant. Was it just me picturing things so differently? I am no stranger to the circumstances true, having served long enough on the Dawnstar before this command. I guess... I guess I just imagined a grander feeling as the CO..."
She pauses briefly and the sound of a gentle slurp of the drink can be heard before she proceeds.
"Of course, it does not help that this return was overshadowed by news of my Silverblood clone..." she sighs, "It would seem that they were not as stable as we first thought when they were... errm... created? Yeah, let's go with that - created!"
"The doctor's clone was already gone by the time we arrived - having not taken too well to the stasis it would seem. In the wake of that incident, my clone was awakened and held under live conditions for further study - a situation that proved far too tempting for me to resist, and an all too surreal one at that"
Another long pause follows as she gathers her thoughts.
"Whilst the station staff were doing everything they could to maintain her atomic cohesion, it appeared that there is a fundamental flaw in the way these 'silverbloods' generate. While the process is a marvel to behold; the silverblood itself is a very basic lifeform acting on pure instinct. For it to retain such a complex physical form was destined to failure; it was only a matter of time."
Keelah stands and paces the room, carrying her mug of raktajino with both hands wrapped around it as she continues, "And so despite having nothing in common with this entity beyond physical appearance, I could not resist the temptation to see myself through the eyes of another, and so visited the lab where they were studying her."
"By the time I arrived, she had been out of stasis for considerable time and already showing signs of degradation. I won't deny that it brought a tear to my eye; seeing such a painful strain on my face, even if said face was being worn by another. But I was quickly overwhelmed by the surprise of the clone recognizing me. I don't know why, but I had not expected her to do so"
She pauses to slurp more of her drink
"Approaching the holding cell - which she had to be kept inside in order to maintain her as long as they had already - I... I could not describe the surreal sensation of looking ahead to see my own eyes staring back like that. Drawing nearer, I could see the extent of her physical degradation as her flesh was slowly giving way to the silverblood in her veins as they became increasingly prominent. She was visibly weak and suffering, but seemed to welcome my arrival. As I stood before the force field - surveying her like giving a warp core inspection - she mirrored my movements, with a curious tilt of her head... she even spoke!"
Another pause ensues as Keelah shakes her head, still in disbelief
"I can not fathom why that caught me by surprise as it did - I had already seen from the reports that she had achieved basic communication with the team - but now here I was ... quite literally talking to myself, oh mother would have a field day if I told her of this!"
Keelah chuckles softly at the thought, "But I digress... knowing that she was not long for this world... and knowing that she knew this also; I remained with her, talking idly about myself and my life as it was a subject of great curiosity to her; knowing the person she had become and giving context to the thoughts and feelings running through her mind. However, it was not long before the degradation began to overwhelm her..."
A reluctant pause follows
"The words we shared are of no consequence now. Suffice to say that I believe it helped - in some small way at least - her to find some peace in her final moments. I offered her a short nod of confirmation that it was ok to let go and return to her natural state. Though my eyes watered the whole time, I could not fight back the streak of tears that traced down my cheeks as she smiled back at me before raising her hand to place it flat against the force field. I of course responded in kind and placed my hand against hers and we shared a grateful smile before she was overcome by a pained expression as the silver veins adorning her flesh grew bolder and bolder until... she was no more. The physical process of what I witnessed is not easy to eloquently describe but I would best liken it to witnessing a changeling return to a liquid state."
Keelah set her now empty mug down on the desk and gave a soft sniff as fought to control her emotions, "It is unfortunate that we did not get to learn more of the silverbloods, but we know they are out there - somewhere - and so one day maybe... one day. But enough of that... I must focus my mind as I just received news that Captain Somek's proposed mind meld is to go ahead. I must now prepare to take a fellow Vulcan on an emotional journey..."