As a part of Rick Daniels meeting Milena Chelenska, he is originally hit by a car. Milena, a doctor, thinks she needs to treat him, but that’s unnecessary, given that his blood is spiked with stem cell growth accelerator. As she watches him rapidly heal without any intervention on her part, someone had to take pictures and be the person who she would bounce ideas off. Enter Noemy, who is named for a family friend.
Noemy is also seen in Day of the Dead; she’s only fourteen when Dachau is liberated by Tripp Tucker and others.
Brittle and damaged, Noemy and Pawel are constitutionally incapable of getting together, or so it seems. Even in the late 1960s, after having known each other for over twenty years, she still can’t call him first. They are at a stalemate until Rick arrives and turns their lives upside-down.
Noemy’s only known relationship is with Pawel. They meet after they are liberated from Dachau and are waiting, with Milena and Mrs. Klinghofer, at a transit camp. This puts their meeting after the end of Day of the Dead.
Milena Chelenska reveals that Pawel met Noemy at a transit camp after they were liberated from Dachau, which would put their meeting as immediately after the end of the events depicted in Day of the Dead. Time traveler Rick Daniels meets him when he (Rick) is tasked with making sure that Prague Spring, like in the original history, ends.
Pawel is played by Romanian actor Dragos Bucur. It was important for me for this character to be played by someone who is actually Romanian.
Bereft, shy, maybe not too intelligent, but full of heart, Pawel is utterly in love with Milena‘s younger sister, Noemy. But they are at a stalemate, still far too damaged to commit after the horrors of Dachau. Milena reveals that Pawel and his family were not Jews. Rather, they were imprisoned because his parents were Communists.
Pawel’s sole known relationship is with Noemy. After Rick leaves, they marry, and eventually have two children.
There is no impediment to Pawel existing in the Mirror.
I still haven’t decided whether the Holocaust actually happened in the Mirror Universe. It may seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is, I am unsure. I write Jews in the Mirror (including Leah Benson), and of course the Mirror is a rather rough place. To zig rather than zag, and for there to have not been a Holocaust, is an idea that intrigues.
“I suppose enough time has passed, and we can bury the dead once and for all.”
I like this damaged but ultimately sensible guy who drives a milk truck and is the glue that holds the Chelenska sisters together. Pawel, much like Frank Ramirez in particular, is a man you can count on.
The story, however, was originally a part of a wholly original time travel series. In both versions, a time traveler is tasked with ending Prague Spring, because true historical figure Drahomír Kolder is being blackmailed. But in the original story, Milena Chelenska was the time traveler, and she married Elijah Kohak before departing, an act that breaks both of their hearts. But the altered story diverged quite a bit.
In the story as it was adapted for the Times of the HG Wells series, Rick and Sheilagh are winding down. They agree to not see each other anymore; it’s just too strange.
A free man again, Rick must end Prague Spring, as the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s enemies have altered history too much, and communism falls a lot earlier than it should have. The negative consequences of this include no Ronald Reagan-inspired SDI, and so there is no global satellite system in place in the 1980s. This delays the development of the Internet, which delays the development of all manner of innovations, including Warp Drive.
As Rick flies to 1968, he does not realize that someone has cut his time ship’s fuel line; he’ll need to obtain materials in order to fix it. After beaming down to Prague, his luck seems disastrous, as he is hit by a car and dragged, left for dead by a hit and run driver. Milena is outside walking with her sister, Noemy, as they are going to the farmers’ market.
Rick is at least a little big luckier, as Milena is a doctor. Except she’s a gynecologist. Never mind that – at least she and Noemy get him out of the street. But once he’s on her examining table and she’s ready to start x-raying him, she sees his wounds starting to close up, and this astounds her. She immediately realizes, due to the presence of his stem cell growth accelerator, that something very strange is going on. She suspects he’s not human. She’s partly right.
Rick’s luck continues improving, until he realizes just how special she really is. And that he can never have her.
The music is of course from 1968, except for Rick and Milena’s theme, which is Jim Croce‘s Time in a Bottle. Further, this is the only one of the HG Wells stories that does not have a title taken from a lyric. Instead, the references are to Prague Spring and to Richard and Milena’s own thawings.
I had originally really loved the Milena character, but had no good place to put her. Once the story got started, though, it flowed smoothly. The HG Wells stories had started off as a bit of a hard slog, as I knew I wanted this story to serve as the centerpiece. So I was itching to get here. By the time I got here, it was all I had hoped for and more, and the transcription of the story became close to taking dictation, which is my favorite way to write.
It was very important for me, for the actress to be Czech in origin, as not only the ethnicity is important, but so is the accent.
I love that this actress is older, too, as Milena is meant to be worn down by the world.
Beaten down by the world and skeptical of the good in it, Milena survives more because
she refuses to die than for any other reason. She experiences horrors at Dachau, including being a part of desperately trying to give a pregnant inmate an abortion before the Nazis discover the unnamed woman’s pregnancy. It all goes horribly wrong, and the unnamed woman dies. Milena vows to, if she survives, only help others. This also means illegal euthanasia for her neighbor, Mrs. Klinghofer, when Klinghofer’s inoperable cancer becomes truly intolerable.
Milena is first seen, in the chronological order of the stories, by Tripp Tucker, during Day of the Dead, when he’s interphased to the liberation of Dachau in 1945. Milena and her sister, Noemy, along with Mrs. Klinghofer, are befriended by Tucker and other soldiers.
Elijah, a neighbor’s son, is Milena’s boy next door type. But he’s Orthodox, and Milena and her family aren’t, so his parents don’t agree to a marriage. Instead, Elijah is promised to another. When they are shipped to Dachau, only his father and her sister remain, as her parents have committed suicide and Elijah’s mother has died as the result of a rape and beating. At the time of selection, because his father is going to be killed, even though Elijah could have lived, he sacrifices himself and goes to the death side, and is gassed.
Although Milena admits that she has taken lovers since his death, she’s never really gotten over him until she meets Rick.
With Rick, she finds an intellectual equal and is able to unburden herself. He, in turn, unburdens himself about Jun. They work together to heal each other. By the time of He Stays a Stranger, he realizes that he cannot just leave her in the past. In Mirror Masquerade, they are together, and she is practicing a limited form of medicine in the deep future.
On Star Trek Logs, because they were celebrating the Mirror Universe there, I added A Lesson, which is an HG Wells story featuring Eleanor Daniels, and The High Cost of Dissidence.
The E2 stories continued to challenge and perplex. I am working on the fourth book and sometimes it’s not so easy.
I also began working on a new Interphases story starring Commander Tucker. I don’t write him too much so I am learning how to get into that character’s head. This story also briefly brings back HG Wells characters Milena and Noemy Chelenka and their neighbor, Mrs. Klinghofer.
I am beginning to get more than just an inkling of how I want to work on more Interphases stories, as I have been brainstorming quite a bit regarding ways that interphases can actually happen. This has been helpful in terms of getting ideas for more stories in that genre as I am looking to cover not only the entire main canon crew of Enterprise but to potentially branch out into other series (as in Crackerjack).
I also created an HTML version of Shake Your Body, in anticipation of spinning it out in October.
This Month’s Productivity Killers
I started off the month by turning 50! All of my celebratory stuff was early, so I was past that and well into production afterwards. The Adult Trek Anthology continues to be a lot of work, but very rewarding. A lot of it is finished or close to being finished, but cover art will likely prove to be a lot more time-consuming. Plus I am still looking for work, and am doing SEO work for a friend.