Spock stared at the chess board, surprised to find that the captain had just checkmated him. It wasn’t altogether unheard, of course. The first time they had played, so long ago now, Kirk had beaten him. His methods were unconventional and hard to decipher enough to analyze a pattern. Sometimes it seemed he came out the winner by sheer force of will. Since then, however, more times than not, Spock won.
And he had expected to win this time as well.
His captain seemed…odd. Well, more so than usual. And certainly distracted. But perhaps it was Spock who had found himself distracted.
Kirk glanced at him, a question in his eyes.
“I wish to know the nature of your inquiry.”
“Oh.” Kirk shrugged. “Nothing, really. Just, um, guess I wanted to be sure you were all right. That was a difficult mission. Sarpeidon was…”
“A planet doomed to destruction. Yes. And Zarabeth doomed with it.”
“Right. But if you had feelings for her…well. I’m sorry. I guess, I’m thinking myself of my own…” Kirk shook his head. “Not shortcomings exactly.”
“When the Rigellian Fever hit the ship and Rayna…never mind. Our situations were dissimilar. Except I thought I felt love for her and…”
“You did not?” Spock asked.
Kirk shook his head, smiling faintly. “In just a few short hours? I was not myself. The situation the crew found itself in. And certain stirrings within me that came from a different source. It doesn’t matter. I acted foolishly and should have concentrated on the mission and not hormones.”
“And really, Mr. Spock. I don’t mean any of that to sound like a reprimand for you. I guess this whole thing just has me thinking of my own actions. Maybe that’s why I keep thinking of you and Zarabeth.”
“Captain, though I did feel love for Zarabeth while on Sarpeidon, it did not last. It was the circumstances in which I found myself in, the atmosphere. The changes I went through in that time period. Once I came back aboard the Enterprise, that love, those feelings, were gone.”
“So.” Kirk nodded. “You don’t wish you had stayed behind with her?”
“I do not. My place is here.” Spock did not add ‘with you’. But he thought it.
“And…what if…was there a possibility of a child?” The Captain wouldn’t look at him. Spock wasn’t quite sure why.
“There is very little likelihood of that. All indications are that I am sterile and even were I not, any child created with Zarabeth is long deceased.”
Kirk’s gaze met his then but what was behind those hazel eyes, Spock could not tell.
“Another game, Mr. Spock?”
Since he had no real desire to quit the captain’s company and return to the loneliness to be found in his own quarters, Spock replied, “Yes, that would be agreeable.”
April 13, 2020 at 4:08 am
Ah man. This gave me so many feelings! Dancing around each other as usual. These poor guys.
But gah their connection is so strong!
April 13, 2020 at 9:34 am
Yep that’s pretty much the story of TOS, idiots dancing around each other 😀
April 13, 2020 at 9:25 am
More than usual..haha
Amen to all of that.
And though romantic me thinks Zarabeth having a part of Spock to keep with her is sweet, realistic me knows there could be little more tragic than that. She had so little. No doctor for certain. Delivering a baby all by herself with no painkiller, no help? And if the baby had problems being of 1/4 Vulcan heritage? No one to help.
And if something happened to Zarabeth, the baby/child left alone?
But even in the most optimum of situations in such a horrible place, her child would be left completely alone eventually anyway. No one to mate. No child of their own.
Zarabeth lived in a very private hell. I would wish that on no one, not her, not a child.
Jim kind of lives in his own private, well, not hell, but not the flourishing life he could have, if he would just….well, the lyrics to Say Something come to mind.
April 13, 2020 at 9:33 am
Wasn’t there a Star Trek novel written by AC Crispin or someone like that where Zarabeth actually did have Spock’s child? I haven’t read any novels but I seem to recall that was the case, and there must have been some way she covered such a child’s survival? What I wonder more was where was McCoy when Spock and Zarabeth were getting it on? Because wasn’t he in the same desolate cave as they were? He must have had to listen, HA HA
And it’s been some years since I’ve seen that episode but I believe that Zarabeth was banished there by someone as punishment, wasn’t she?
April 13, 2020 at 11:34 am
There was a novel. I can’t remember if I read it, but it’s been decades. I probably didn’t or I’d remember. She was sent there as punishment, but it wasn’t for something she herself did – I think it was her family who tried to kill a tyrant and he killed or banished everyone in the family.
I just looked and it was called Yesterday’s Son – and there’s even a sequel – Time For Yesterday. Spock discovers he has a son from cave drawings or something and goes back in time and gets him. Ok, Now I have to buy this and read it NOW.
April 13, 2020 at 12:32 pm
Ha yes I knew I recollected something like that. I think they were written in the 1970s
April 13, 2020 at 11:47 am
Oh, and McCoy was I believe lying down, either asleep or feigning sleep, as he was lying under a bunch of skins recovering from the bitter cold, his back to them, not long before that. It doesn’t really show us exactly. It seemed in the next scene with them, he knew they’d been intimate.
April 13, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Yeah so he probably knew what was going on at the time from hearing or seeing them but it was the 60s so they couldn’t say
April 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm
This passage from Jim is telling, regarding Jim’s feelings towards Rayna: “In just a few short hours? I was not myself. The situation the crew found itself in. And certain stirrings within me that came from a different source.”
I always questioned how Jim fell so deeply in love with Rayna so quickly! I know he was manipulated into spending time with her to awaken her emotions, but Jim, seriously?? And “different source”? Yeah like your attraction for Spock, Jim??!!! Hee-hee!
I’ve read and own the two novels regarding Zarabeth and her son, Zar. I believe that’s his name. It’s been awhile since I read it. Have to look for them. I don’t recall all the details but it involves Spock’s journey back in time to rescue Zar, but not Zarabeth. I don’t know why.
My impression from the TOS episode was that McCoy was out “cold” so to speak from hypothermia. This was while Spock and Zarabeth had their time together, which in a 1960’s TV show was only hinted at. Kind of like the TOS episode that Jim is seen sitting on the edge of a bed pulling on his boots, after meeting the girl. I believe the episode was called Wink of the Eye, unless I’m totally confused… which is possible.
Speaking of confusion, I just had a dream that felt absolutely real. While I was sleeping, my cellphone actually rang and it was the supervisor’s phone number from work, but I chose not to answer it and went back to sleep.
So my dream was, that my husband came in to wake me and said he talked to the evening supervisor from my job, on our house phone. (Meanwhile our power and phone had been out since the morning when high winds knocked down trees all over our area.) I dreamt that I had a conversation with my husband re several nurses calling out for the overnight shift. ( We only have 4 in the building overnight. One for each unit of 40 beds.) But my husband says that he never came in and had any conversation with me! It was all apparently a dream?!! Thank God!! So I called the evening supervisor back when I woke up after this dream and asked her if three nurses had called out as my husband had told me… and now it was her turn to be confused, since she’d never spoken to him. Lol! But it does turn out that one nurse did call out. So sadly, I’ll have a unit to work on overnight as well as doing my regular job of being the night supervisor! Sigh!!!
I guess in my sleep I saw the the supervisor had called and it became a dream, actually a nightmare!
Sigh! Actually my waking life is a nightmare. We have at least 11 Covid positive patients on one unit now. Most seem well enough. But we’ve had several deaths recently, including two overnight on my shift, last night.
Anyway I’ve rambled long enough. I really enjoyed this story and what it hints at. Love that Spock doesn’t want to go back to his room alone, after Jim meets his eyes and suggests another game. Sigh!!!
April 13, 2020 at 7:35 pm
I was indeed referring to Jim’s affection for Spock here!
That dream was like WOW so real. Here in one of our counties 84 elderly people in a nursing facility were abandoned by their caregivers who didn’t show up for work. Only one did. It’s been on the news, so you may have hard. All of it is simply horrible. So sorry about the deaths. All of the old folks passing on are breaking my heart. I hope you are staying as safe and well as you can ❤