Commander Kelly is the Chief Engineer on the Heavy Battlecarrier Excalibur. Commander Kelly, like others that were in Project Morpheus, was of above average intelligence and one of the best problem solvers Admiral Owden had ever seen.
Admiral Owden privately referred to Commander Kelly as a secret weapon. It was common to hear the Admiral say, “Kelly has an instinct for finding the solution to a problem especially from an engineering stand point. If the enemy ever got him, we would find ourselves in a world of hurt.” Commander Kelly’s problem solving nature makes him a go-getter.
Kelly is a genetic engineer who had to learn dimensional physics and engineering to be at this post because of the unique aspects of these ships. His take-charge, go-getting nature was a big part of Commander Kelly being brought into Project Morpheus as a lieutenant. This nature has also hurt Kelly. Because of his intelligence and skills, most solutions come easy to Kelly, giving him a sense of false pride bordering on arrogance.
While Commander Kelly is skilled, he thinks himself better than what he is. In his career he has made it a habit of requesting promotion before the Admiral felt Kelly was ready. Admiral Owden overlooked the requests due Kelly’s skill on the project. To that end, Kelly has continually requested a command of his own on many occasions. The Admiral sees Kelly for who he is: a man who had helped map the most complex genetic code ever discovered and now looking for a new problem to solve - something new to focus on that could excite him. Kelly felt command would give him that new challenge. The problem Owden saw was that Kelly needed governing. In engineering Kelly could be governed and in time learn and grow. Until Kelly wanted to accept the Admiral’s guidance to become a good commander, he would stay in engineering.
Admiral Owden would not have Commander Kelly of all people learning on the fly on the bridge of one of his new ships, especially considering he is better suited in engineering. Kelly knew this, and instead of using his intelligence to get past the situation, all he did was secretly hold resentment and blame Admiral Owden for holding him back. Commander Kelly is not above holding back information that might benefit him, and then manipulating events and then inserting the information he has purposely held back till that time to better benefit him and his agenda.