STAR TREK

Vulcan’s Grief

A story By nick Varnau

 

Based on “Star trek”

Created by gene Roddenberry

 

 


“We are gathered here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. But it should be noted that this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human.”

These words had never been heard by Spock, but he knew them nonetheless. They were deeply rooted in his katra, his very spirit, which had observed through the eyes of Dr. Leonard McCoy, his very funeral aboard the battle-weary U.S.S. Enterprise. Because of his Vulcan descent, Spock felt nothing from these words.

Until now.

He stood atop a mountain on the desolate world of Veridian III. Behind him, standing near the shuttlecraft, were Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the last person to have ever talked to Spock’s fallen comrade, and Counselor Deanna Troi.

Spock stood facing a pile of stones which housed the body of his most trusted friend, and the person who had spoken those words. Captain James T. Kirk had finally met death. The U.S.S. Artemis was set to beam up the body and transport it to his home in Iowa, where he would be buried in the field outside his farm. First, however, he was to receive a full funeral, a proper ceremony for the man who saved Earth and the Federation countless times.

Spock had insisted on delivering a eulogy, though he hadn’t yet decided what words he would use to convey his thoughts about his dearest friend.

The pile of rocks as well as the Starfleet insignia posted atop it would remain on this desolate world forever, a tribute to the fallen Captain.

Satisfied with his time spent there, Spock turned to Captain Picard, a man whom Spock considered like a brother, for within him was the remnants and memories of his late father, Sarek, who had died four years prior. To better know Sarek’s thoughts about him, Spock had mind-melded with Picard. It was a bond that couldn’t be broken.

He nodded to Picard and Troi, who was not hiding her emotions, as Spock could see tears running down her face. There was a time when he would have excused such emotions as petty and useless, however his many years of growth and experiences with several different emotional races, including the Romulans, had given him a further appreciation for the significance of emotion.

He could also see a strong urge to not cry in front of him, an effort Spock took as a sign of respect for himself. Spock gently touched the half-Betazoid’s arm and she met his hand with hers. It was the most Spock could do at this point to comfort her.

They stepped aboard the shuttlecraft and took off, leaving behind the memorial of James Tiberius Kirk, but not the body.

* * * * *

The service was held eight days later in Bellesford Church in Iowa, an old Church just outside the very town in which Kirk was born. Several Starfleet personnel were there, including the crew of the recently-fallen Enterprise-D, as well as several very old Admirals and Captains, who had retired decades before, but thanks to the breakthroughs in medical science, had managed to live well past their first century.

Among them, Spock recognized Demora Sulu, Pavel Chekov, and Montgomery Scott, who looked much younger than all of them, Spock noted, wondering how the miracle worker had managed such a miracle on his own appearance.

Standing next to Spock, who was behind the pulpit, was the old doctor, Leonard “Bones” McCoy, who had been one of Spock’s greatest friends, as well as adversaries, since they served together aboard the original Enterprise over ninety years ago.

The old doctor was shaking and quivering, listening to the silenced rabble of the people. Spock hardly noticed him. He couldn’t stop looking at the closed casket which housed his good friend.

“Well you green-blooded alien,” said Bones, “we’re not getting any younger!”

Spock turned to Bones and gave him a quizzical look.

“Start the damned eulogy!” said the aged doctor.

Spock stood up and approached the white marble podium. As he did, the chatter of the people died down respectfully, though it had already been considerately quiet. Spock cleared his throat and looked out into the pews.

He saw Chekov, the old Russian who had been a good friend of Spock’s through the years. He noticed Data, the pale-faced android whom Spock shared a pleasant friendship with. He saw Commander Riker, and next to him Counselor Troi, who smiled at him as a sign of encouragement. At last, Spock cleared his throat and began to speak.

“For some time now, I have struggled with the words to say here at this gathering. Many years ago, my friend, Captain James Tiberius Kirk, watched through a thick window as I told him not to grieve, that my actions were logical. That the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

Spock cleared his voice and felt a lump in his throat, a feeling he was very unfamiliar with. “Shortly thereafter, Jim Kirk kidnapped a mental patient being held by Starfleet security, hijacked his own ship, and went to a planet that was under quarantine. During the course of this, he lost his son, David Marcus. All of this was done based on a myth and beliefs in which Jim Kirk didn’t even believe.

“His reasoning for making these sacrifices was that ‘The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.’ I have never heard such an illogical statement from a human being in either of my lifetimes.”

There were scattered laughs, and Spock decided that perhaps to humans that statement seemed to paint a picture of their own emotional rationalizing. He allowed the quiet laughter and continued.

“However, Jim Kirk died in battle against a man who was threatening to destroy an entire solar system, and commit genocide on all its inhabitants. Clearly, to Jim Kirk, the needs of the many did outweigh the needs of the few, for in doing so, he sacrificed his whole life.” Spock cleared his throat again, and felt the lump grow bigger.

“Kirk’s sacrifice was not in vain. His mission did succeed, as it always did. Jim Kirk died the way he lived: defending a cause he felt was just, no matter how illogical or reckless it may be.

“Kirk’s inspiring attitude and his ever-present loyalty to his friends, old and new, are what keep the foundation of the Federation sound.

“It is because of this that, for a human, he was most logical.”

A single tear came out of Spock’s right eye, and Spock felt the lump in his throat subside, a feeling of grief and sadness quickly rushing over him. He felt the tear most irritating, but at the same time knew Jim Kirk would be honored at such a gesture. He sat down next to Bones, who had not shed a tear, but whose feelings were nonetheless touched by Spock’s words. He grabbed hold of the Vulcan’s arm and said to him, “That was a hell of a lot better than what I would’ve said.”

Spock nodded. “Agreed, doctor. Agreed.”

Bones shot him a glance and with a grimace said, “Some things never change.”

Spock noted several tears in the crowd as they were ushered out of the building. Scotty and Chekov approached the pulpit, as they had been asked to stay after the service. Spock and McCoy rose to meet their old shipmates. Scotty’s face was drenched in tears, and Chekov looked very somber.

Laddy,” said Scotty, “that was a beautiful speech ya gave.”

Chekov nodded. “The Captain would have been honored.”

“Thank you, gentlemen,” said Spock. “I believe now is our chance to say ‘Goodbye’ to Jim.”

“Aye,” said Scotty. The four men approached the closed casket and stood in silence for a few moments.

Finally, Chekov spoke up. “He was the single greatest Captain I have ever served with.”

Scotty then said, “I was never happier fixing engines for anyone but Jim Kirk.”

Then Bones spoke up, “He was an inspiration to every man who served with him, and I love him like I would a brother.”

All eyes went to Spock, who simply put out his right hand in the Vulcan peace symbol and said, “Live long, and prosper, Captain.”

With that, the four men turned and left the casket behind, having said their official farewells, and having the full knowledge that he was in a better place.

For Spock, the experience had been his most emotionally taxing. Having now shown sadness and remorse at the death of a close friend, he now understood the meaning behind Kirk’s words that, of all the souls he had encountered, Spock was the most human.


About the Author

Nick Varnau has written one other “Star Trek” short story, titled “A Shimmer of Heaven.” He has also written several other short stories including “Celebrity,” “E.S.P.,” and “Bloodlust.” He was also creator and producer of the short-lived TV series “Cafeteria.” He lives in Indiana with his family.

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