A Far Better Resting Place I Go.
Captain’s log, stardate 8141.6. Starship Enterprise on course for Ceti Alpha V to pick up the crew of the USS Reliant. All is well. And yet I can’t help wondering about the friend I leave behind. There are always… possibilities, Spock said. And if Genesis is, indeed, life from death, I must return to this place again.
The recording felt as though it was yesterday as James Kirk released the playback button on the system before him. Though Jim didn’t need to hear the entry to remember what had been said on it, he still craved to hear the words he spoke the day Spock had died. Eight years in the past.
Every word of that entry was engraved within his memory as if it had been hot ironed into his frontal lobes. The memory of Jim standing in his quarters speaking into the recorder was so clear in his mind. He remembered how difficult it had been to recall what happened to his friend. Never before had Jim experienced a log that difficult. Of course there had been times prior to Spock’s death when Jim thought Spock was dead, had logged it only to realize that the Vulcan was indeed still gleaming with life, but after the incident with Khan it was clear that Spock was very much deceased. There was no tricking death when the radiation had cleared and the security team brought Spock back into the main compartment. There was no possibility of life when McCoy had silently gave everyone in the room the cue that Spock was dead.
Jim would never forget what it looked like to see Spock carried away, limp, disfigured, and lifeless. It was a sight that Jim had worked hard on removing from his mind, something that Jim desperately tried to hide behind the countless memories he had developed with Spock. It was no use. Jim still recalled Spock’s sleeping face, still and motionless as he was carried out.
He had never dealt with death, for Jim didn’t like to lose. For the years he had managed to dodge death at every turn, and though he had lost men on the way, he had never experienced one so close. Never. Even when Jim had been tested during the Kobayashi Maru simulation, Jim had dodged his way to victory ignoring the brutal reality of a no win situation. A situation Jim had avoided for years until it had clearly been too late.
“Bridge to Admiral Kirk.” A young officer had called into Jim’s quarters. Her voice was very calm and soothing, much like Uhura’s but definitely lacking in the charm she possessed.
“Kirk here.” Jim replied, standing up onto his feet. He crossed the room to place his jacket over his shoulders before moving towards the mirror to go over his appearance properly.
“Captain we are approaching the Mutara sector.” She explained through the intercom on Jim’s wall.
They were so close, Jim thought to himself before excitedly replying to the lieutenant, “I’m on my way.” After giving the intercom a couple seconds to shut down the last communications with the bridge, Jim dialed in to another channel. “Admiral Kirk to sickbay.”
There was a pause on the other end as no doubt someone was struggling to make their way to the nearest intercom, luckily that individual was exactly who Jim had hoped to hear from. “McCoy here.”
“Meet me on the bridge Bones.” Jim spoke excitedly before ending the call. He didn’t need to wait for a response from Leonard since he was sure that Bone’s knew exactly what he meant.
Jim nearly jumped up onto his feet and ran out the door of his quarters, a smile creeping onto his face the closer he got to the lift. He was so close.
There was a slight twinge of pain from Jim’s knees at the sudden activeness in his stiff joints. Not wanting to admit to such things, Jim told himself that it was merely the way he had been sitting that caused the pain, not the stubbornness of age.
Once he was in the lift Jim’s sore joints had eased into a more comfortable state after being exercised. Though the pain was absent, Jim still felt sore. Jim wondered what Spock would be like had he been here today. Would Spock experience the joys of aging? Soon enough Jim’s frown faded into a smile. He had at last reached the Mutara Nebula. To Spock.
The doors to the lift opened quickly allowing James Kirk onto the bridge where the new crew of the U.S.S Enterprise waited for him. All the trainees’ eyes had turned to Jim, many smiles found among the faces. The new crew was delightful and extremely talented. Jim was not disappointed in the bunch and returned the smile meekly.
“Admiral on board.” One of the officers had announced professionally just as McCoy had joined Jim on the bridge. Both of them exchanging glances as they met, neither of them saying a word.
“Captain.” Jim greeted, looking down towards the chair where a very familiar face sat stoically between Vulcan ears. Saavik slowly pivoted in her chair to look at Jim and the doctor, her eyes somehow warm.
“Admiral.” She greeted slightly bowing her head. “I had you called down here so that you may witness the entrance of the Mutara Nebula.” She explained, turning back towards the screen that was displayed in front of them. Jim’s eyes wide with excitement and recollection. The memory of his first entrance into the gaseous cloud was so much different than this.
Jim followed the doctor towards the screen, his eyes still on their approach into the Mutara Nebula.
The Mutara Nebula was a Van Gogh painting crossed with Leonid Afremov at its best. Soothed colours of purples and blues coaxed together calmingly to display the cut off from interstellar space and its own realm. Like a separation from earth and the sky, the Mutara was the heaven between, and Jim and the rest of the crew stood with their jaws dropped in awe as the brush strokes in the sky favoured the stars in the distance. It was beautiful, breathtaking, gorgeous, perfect… words could not describe the natural art that was now in reachable distance from the enterprise.
The nose of the ship pushed into the wall of dusty purple particles. A young male science officer peered up towards the screen, “We have now entered the Mutara Nebula captain.” He announced, his eyes dropping to Jim who was now looking at the young man. His eyes shifting over the blue tunic and then over the man’s face.
“We have now entered the Mutara Nebula.” Jim recalled Spock saying instantaneously as they had entered the Nebula years ago on that very spot. Jim couldn’t help but quirk into a smile at the officer.
“Thank you commander Jacobs.” Saavik thanked, her eyes stationed on Jim as he was deeply fixed on the science officer sitting behind her. She understood what Jim must have been thinking since she was certain she had been thinking the same thing at that moment. “Lieutenant Stevens,” She continued with her duties, “How long until we make orbital contact with Genesis?”
“About one hour captain.” A young women responded at the navigation post in front of Saavik’s chair. She had a surprisingly calm and beautiful tone. Jim wasn’t exactly sure why it was such a surprise for the officer to have such a pleasant tone, but it somehow caught him off guard.
“Lieutenant Knyks, please open ship wide communication.” She commanded, her eyes meeting with Jim’s. He had turned around as soon as he had heard mention of the Genesis planet, and she knew why, it was an expected human response.
“This is captain Saavik. We have just now entered the Mutara Nebula and will have orbital contact within the hour. Previously assigned landing party please meet in the briefing room prior to going to the transporter room. As well Rigel 1 attendants please meet in the transporter room upon 1300.” She concluded, releasing the button on the arm rest of her chair. “Communications off.” She directed to Lieutenant Knyks.
Jim was no longer observing the cadets on the bridge as he was supposed to. His eyes had returned to the enormous screen at the front of the room where the Mutara Nebula bathed the ship. He felt his shoulder being bumped by the doctor as McCoy also turned to look into the deep mystery that was the Mutara Nebula.
“They are a smart bunch of kids.” Leonard smirked at the captain knowing well and good that Jim always had a problem with new crew members on the Enterprise.
Still gawking at the space beyond them, Jim only nodded. He closed his jaw as he slowly came into realization of how flabbergasted he had become. He had seen worlds that none of the kids on the bridge would ever believe. The galaxies he had experienced were none like the ones they had ever journeyed, and yet a purple fog completely took the words out of his mouth.
McCoy placed a hand around his friend’s shoulders and held tightly onto the furthest arm. He rocked Jim slightly as he smiled, “Space madness.” Leonard joked, patting Jim’s arm as he ceased the playful rocking in favor of wondering the bridge to view the Nebula from a slightly further distance.
Jim had no response for it. He only turned towards Lieutenant Stevens at the navigation post. “How long until visual contact with Genesis Lieutenant Stevens?” He asked, watching the women raise her eyes towards the former captain.
Tremendous pressure came upon the women as she searched the answer to his question. She had been slightly distracted by the beautiful colours on the screen before the admiral had spoken to her. It wasn’t just any Admiral, which had made matters even more intense, but this was the infamous James Kirk. The man who had sailed with the Enterprise during the most intense 5 year mission that had ever existed in Federation history. The man who had fought with Khan at these coordinates and came out victorious. The man who had made history at the age of 29.
“Uh,” She stuttered at first, looking frantically at the computer system in front of her. Her eyes searched the computer as if for a moment she had no idea what the keys and buttons meant. After a moment of freezing completely her body complied to the admirals question subconsciously. Luckily she had danced for years and built up her muscle memory strength. Her fingers worked on gathering the information.
“21 minutes sir.” A husky male voice answered from the opposite side of the room. Stevens had just opened her mouth to relay a similar number to Kirk. She was slightly relieved to hear commander Jacobs voice coming swiftly from the science station, as well she felt her face grow warmer with embarrassment at her tardiness.
“That’s correct sir.” She commented, her eyes looking back towards the handsome brunette looking strictly towards her from the science consol.
Jim and McCoy couldn’t escape the scene that was unfolding before them. It was almost as if they were watching a clip from their past in real time. It felt as if McCoy and Jim were in the presence of Spock and some poor ensign who was falling behind on orders. Spock had often interrupted with the correct information when needed.
Before Jim could comment Commander Jacobs began again. “It would be much sooner since the Genesis planet had combusted very close to the Mutara Nebula belt, but due to the physicalities of this interstellar dust cloud which is the Mutara Nebula, we have delayed visual contact.” He finished with a small smirk, nothing that gave Jim the impression that Commander Jacobs was relaying positive vibes towards him or the crew, but more as a symbol of his pride in himself. So much like Spock, had he had emotions of course.
This time Jim could not allow for Jacobs to continue without informing the young cadet of his close resemblance to a pointy eared officer he once worked with.
It wasn’t meant to be, as McCoy had beaten Jim to the punch line. “Sounds like a green blooded Vulcan we use to know, huh Jim?” McCoy smiled, his eyes drifting between Saavik and the Admiral.
Mr. Jacobs blushed severely, as he turned back towards his scanner. “Thank you sir.” He almost whispered before continuing with his work.
“Engineering, how are the engines holding up with the new resister?” Saavik questioned into the comm unit on her chair.
“They seem to be holding up captain.” A male voice responded, lacking the Scottish accent Jim was for some reason expecting.
The voice caused Jim to raise his eyebrows in realization. He hopped over to Saavik’s chair. “Ask engineering if Scotty is down there.” Jim asked professionally. He knew that Scotty had wondered off to do the inspections in engineering almost as soon as he had boarded the ship. He was no doubt done the inspection, but he was also betting that Scotty had stayed around the engineering room with the young ones to tell tales of all his years’ experience, or merely to ramp up the equipment for the cadets, if only to brag.
“Aye captain.” A familiar voice sounded through the unit almost with shame. He knew he had been caught overstaying his welcome in the engineering platform.
McCoy rolled his eyes with a smile, moving across the room to stand in front of the lift.
“Scotty, gather the others and inform them to meet with me and Leonard in the transporter room in 30 minutes.” Jim explained.
“Aye captain, I’ll will do ma best.” He responded, hanging up the call from his end.
Jim moved onto the upper level of the bridge to where McCoy was standing with a smile. “30 minutes admiral?” He questioned, raising an eyebrow mockingly as the Vulcan had done years ago. He continued his impression of Spock, “It would be much more logical to begin preparing for the landing party now then in 30 minutes.”
McCoy knew well and good why they were to wait the 30 minutes. Jim wanted to be among the first people to see the Genesis planet when it appeared through the dust of the Nebula. He wanted to gaze onto the planet where he had left a part of him behind. A place where it seemed like a part of his soul was resting.
18 minutes until visual contact. Jim told himself in his head. He had an internal clock counting down the seconds until they met with the planet.
“We don’t always perform logically Bones.” Jim reminded, a small smile growing on his lips. It faded back into the intense look he had been sporting the entire duration on the bridge when he looked into the screen.
Minutes had turned into seconds and Jim’s eyes were locked onto the dust cloud that surrounded the ship. A faint spherical object was fogged over in the distance, but still visible to some degree. Jim’s heart raced painfully in his chest.
“Visual contact with Genesis.” Mr. Jacobs announced proudly for the admiral and the doctor. He almost forgot about the crew and the captain all together.
Jim’s eyes had glossed over. He told himself not to react this way, but there was no alternative. He was feeling a lump growing in his throat from the pressure not to release his tears. He was painfully succeeding, but only barely.
The former captain and his former chief medical officer stood at the front of the bridge as they had done years before. They leaned their bodies over the railing to see Genesis growing closer and closer. It was not by any means a ginormous planet, nothing in comparison to earth, but she was still fairly large in size. And though it was not comparable in size to earth, it was comparable in contents. It had similar gravity, similar air, similar vegetation and water. It looked almost exactly like earth with its green and blue scattered across it.
The crew watched McCoy and Jim silent at the front of the room. Both of the old cadets were stiff and motionless for a few minutes of viewing the incredible planet before them. It had not existed naturally. It had existed through tragedy yet good fortune. The entire planet a product of murder, revenge and sacrifice. A symbol of the previous crew’s pain.
Jim shut his eyes tightly. He had not planned for it to hurt as much as he did but the feeling of losing hundreds of lives cascaded through his very being, assaulting his mind brutally. The sight of Scotty holding his nearly dead nephew in his arms came ramming into his consciousness.
A warm hand met with Jim’s shoulder again. It was firm and loving on his shoulder, one of a friend. Jim’s eyes looked softly towards Leonard seeing the doctor’s eyes fairly dry. However it did not mean that there was nothing there. In fact Jim had never seen sadder eyes on his friend.
Since it had been McCoy’s job to deal with the dead and the near dead, he had distanced himself from the tragedies that day. He still felt a great sense of grief and guilt. Leonard felt dearly for Jim’s pain as well as his own. Spock was still a green blooded hobgoblin in his eyes, but that was something that Leonard could admit to loving.
The two friends smiled for a moment before McCoy muttered quietly to his lifelong friend. “It’s a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done.” McCoy began, knowing exactly how the captain would follow up those words.
Jim did not disappoint. “It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
At those words, to the confusion of the rest of the bridge aside from Saavik, Jim had found comfort once again. The tears still present on his brown eyes, but they did not fall from their place. Jim could even blink his eyes furiously without them falling. He even smiled.
Sighing calmly, Jim’s smile faded into a friendly grin. He silently applauded McCoy’s ability to always be there for him. When McCoy had comforted him like this it often reminded him of the good old days. The days McCoy and Spock were at each other’s throats, only for Jim to peacefully laugh in the back. When McCoy and Jim would make reference of satanic symbols and personas in relation to Vulcan culture. It was all in good humor, and even when the jokes had seemed to go too far, they could have sworn they saw a smile appear on Spock’s face at least twice in their entire career.
Jim smiled to that. He smiled to McCoy and Spock’s friendship. He smiled to the Genesis planet that represented life from death and all the struggle in between. Jim’s lips fluttered back into a large smile, as he felt McCoy do the same. Both men gazing like four year olds up towards the screen above them and in front of the young cadets that filled the room
Six bodies materialized onto a grassy plane. The matter collected quickly and efficiently, all bodies appropriately reassembled. Jim peered to both of his sides to assure himself that the crew had successfully transported to the planet with him.
Five familiar faces stood in place, completely stunned by their surroundings which prompted Jim to also indulge in the planet.
The lump in Jim’s throat returned with full force. Jim stepped forward a few paces, looking off into the distance of trees and mountains, a water separating them from the hills that Jim had tremendous need to climb.
It looked so much like earth that the group struggled to try and figure out where on earth the world around them had been based upon? Which country had looked like this? Even from Earth’s beautiful standards, this was gorgeous.
“Would you look at that?” McCoy grumbled happily towards the ground, attracting the attention from a few of the officers that had beamed upon the planet, each of them close to one another in distance, but also affection.
“Lillies.” Sulu smiled kneeling closer to the ground where the tiny white flowers swayed in the heavy breeze.
They were slightly elevated on a hill where the trees were at a fair distance away. The wind moved freely through the air and brushed across the human’s faces. It wasn’t a cool breeze by any means, rather a warm spring breeze. The air was fresh when it washed over their exposed skin.
Chekov joined Sulu, Scotty and McCoy by the flowers. “Much like the water lilies we have in Russia.” Chekov explained softly as he turned his eyes towards Uhura who was smiling at the grown men surrounding the small bundle of flowers.
Scotty laughed hardily at the comment from Chekov before he departed towards Uhura and the direction she was already set in going. The two silently walked the untamed grass heading down the side of the hill to where the trees were.
McCoy reached forward to touch the pedals of the plant before tightly gripping the stem, plucking the tiny flower from the grass. Within minutes it would slowly wilt, but as it was at the moment, it was firm, strong and clinging to life.
The doctor stood with the white lilly in his hand, his eyes admiring it warmly. It was preciously insignificant in his large hands. It was a tiny weed trapped between cement bricks. McCoy smiled at the tiny Genesis creation.
It took only seconds for McCoy to realize that Jim had already made it to a higher point on the hill. Jim looked to be scoping out the landscape as if he were a settler who had just visited new land. McCoy slowly changed his mind. No, Jim looked like a man who was searching for his best friend.
McCoy moved from the group of friends he had beamed down with and headed towards Jim slowly. He wanted to give Jim time to think to himself, but he also wanted to share the moment with his friend from several long years.
Once Leonard had reached Jim’s side, he felt the wind strongly pushing across his and Jim’s face. Both staring serenely towards the planes below them, surrounded by the highlands. It made them feel as insignificant as the lilly in McCoy’s fingers.
“Eight years McCoy.” Jim spoke through the wind. His face only reflecting the immense pain he had felt years ago when he had been pressed against the cold glass, and his lifeless friend.
Leonard cleared his throat, making sure what he wanted to say would come out clearly. He didn’t know what he wanted to say at first, but he found decent words that seemed to sound right. “Years can feel like days.” McCoy sighed.
Had it truly been eight years since he had seen Spock? McCoy had wondered to himself all day about that. It had felt as if they had sent Spock’s body into the planet a year ago. The memory was so fresh in his mind, he could almost still smell the radiation from Spock’s death, a death he should have tried harder to stop. Nothing stops a determined Vulcan, McCoy angrily told himself.
There wasn’t time to writhe in remorse for their fallen friend. It was especially hard to do so when the world around them was so incredibly uplifting, even with the horrific creation of the planet. The thought brought upon a shiver.
Jim still watched the grass and the clouds before him, still as if he were searching. Jim’s eyes beseeching the sight of his better half, a half he had thought of fondly every day, wondering what would become of Spock had he been here today.
It didn’t take McCoy long to notice this and he shook his head with a hint of frustration, “He’s not coming back Jim.” He admitted softly, his eyes sad and disappointed at his own revelation in the fact.
Kirk looked at McCoy briefly before turning back to the sight before him. After moments of silence, Jim exhaled loudly. “Why?” He asked dumbly yet desperately. He didn’t fully mean to ask, but his very being demanded it be answered as swiftly as Spock had answered him back in the day.
McCoy’s response was nothing like how Spock would have answered. “Just because Jim.”
An inescapable silence approached. Neither one of them wanted to move or to speak. Anything they could do would hurt no matter what and they didn’t even know why. Why would every movement remind them of Spock and the horrific events that happened the same time as this beautiful landscape was created?
Jim looked up into the sky where small clouds moved quickly across the bluish purple sky. It was still the afternoon according to the Genesis planet, but since the sky was relatively clear that day Jim could see the reflection of one of Genesis’ moons in the sky. It was full and open, guiding the sun towards setting in the next few hours, warning the creatures below that night was coming soon.
They could spend an eternity there on the top of that hill, looking mindlessly among the trees and flowers that surrounded them. The distant sound of running water following along with the wind was soothing. The two would have loved to lean back into the grass and surround themselves with memories of what was and what would have been.
Time was passing, and Uhura looked up towards the former captain and his doctor. Jim and McCoy had every right to savor the feeling of somehow becoming one with Spock again, standing on the land that would have no doubt been their grave had Spock not sacrificed himself.
They had work to do however and time was a luxury they did not have, though they planned on extending it for selfish reasons. They were traveling with a new crew to pick up the new team from Rigel 1 and take them back into to the nearest star base to present their studies of Genesis. Their tasks, other than standard observations of the new crew were to present a memorial in place for what had happened years ago. Since Genesis was finally finished with its studies and exploration, they were finally able to properly commemorate all those who lost their lives in the fight against Khan.
The spot they were standing on was the spot where they had estimated that the Mark IV photon Torpedo that contained Spock’s body had landed, but there weren’t any signs of the black capsule. They had briefly searched the area as McCoy and Jim had been sitting on the hill, but they had not been successful. It was just as well since they were all fairly sure they weren’t ready to see it, not so soon, not ever.
The memorial piece was standard for Starfleet. It was a large glossy stone with a very lengthy list of victims. The Starfleet insignia was on the top and in the center of the rock, following it in large letters was Spock’s full name, honoring his sacrifice to save the ship.
Uhura’s eyes dropped onto the rock as Scotty, Chekov and Sulu placed the rock in the middle of the field of lilies. The white somehow reflected on the sides of the reflective stone, making the piece even more beautiful. The gold colouring on the border stood out among the white and pearly surface.
“That should about do it.” Scotty announced before trying to jiggle the rock, testing its stability and strength. It was firmly set into the earth, refusing to budge. “She’s not goin anywhere.”
Uhura waved a fake smile towards the men. As the four of them were now standing and reading the rock, the awkwardness of the silence was drowned out by the whistling of the wind and the sloshing of the passing currents of the river.
“Shouldn’t the captain… I mean Admiral come down to say a few words?” Sulu asked without moving his head away from the rock.
The group didn’t respond for several seconds until Uhura decided to speak. “Give him 10 more minutes.” She begged, two steady streams of tears seeping down her dark coloured cheek and off of her chin. Even with her age, her features were still soft and smooth.
Scotty wrapped an arm around Uhura, rubbing her shoulder soothingly as he hugged her tightly into his chest. Uhura cried softly without a noise, she only settled closer into Scotty’s uniform jacket, her tears staining the material.
Jim’s face was almost as stoic as Spock had mastered years ago. McCoy and Spock hadn’t moved from the spot they were in, and they hadn’t muttered a single word. Motionlessly they stood with their heads looking off into the mystery that was Genesis.
Among the feelings of regret and grief, Jim felt a sense of happiness. He watched as a leaf had fallen from a nearby tree, and it reminded him of the first signs of spring. Though he wasn’t sure if Genesis had seasons like the ones on earth, he still couldn’t help but remember catching leaves in Iowa with his brother back on earth.
Seasons, the marking of change. As summer turned into fall, and fall turned into a brisk and cold winter, everything eventually returned to spring. In the wet and joyous feeling of April and May reminded the universe that there was still sunshine behind the clouds of rain. After death, life was blossoming for another, and then the cycle of life continues.
As the leaf hit the ground softly and without a sound, a smile faded onto Jim’s lips.
Let me show you something that will make you feel young as when the world was new. Jim remembered Carol Marcus saying eight years ago on Rigel 1. That had been the last thing she had said before Jim saw the underground Genesis project. Carol had been right, it was definitely something that made him feel young again, as when the world was new.
McCoy saw the growing happiness in his friend, and it made him cock an eyebrow up in disbelief. Jim smiling? He had thought that the entire afternoon Jim would wither away into a ball of hopelessness at the thought of missing Spock.
Pleasant surprise had turned to complete and utter shock. Leonard’s eyes widened at the sound of Jim’s laughter. It wasn’t boisterous or disrespectful, but it was there.
The sound of Jim’s laughter always made the good doctor smile. It was clear, enunciated and calming. Jim never had an obnoxious laugh as long as McCoy could remember. It was always as charming and delightful as his personality. This laugh he was hearing was a perfect example of it.
“What, might I ask is so funny?” McCoy asked with a grin, crossing his arms over across his chest.
Jim’s laughter had settled into a slow paced chuckle, until he sighed almost happily. “Ah, Bones.” Jim started before pausing to laugh a bit more. “Do you remember back when we were on Omicron Ceti III, and the crew had been infected with that … pollen or something?” Jim recalled, turning around to view the other half of the scenery he had neglected.
“I remember being pretty darn happy on the stuff, I can tell you that.” McCoy replied, smiling at the memory. It was so peaceful and happy on the planet, a feeling of completeness and prosperity.
Jim nodded at McCoy’s response, “Yes I suppose everyone was pretty happy on that stuff.” He reminded himself of the punch line, laughing hard for a bit once again. His eyes watering from the hilarity of it all. “Especially Spock.”
Slowly McCoy joined in with the laughter, recalling the hilarious events of that day. Though it hadn’t been funny at all during the time, it was one of the closest moments Jim had ever come to losing complete command over every member of his crew.
“I never did let Spock live that down.” McCoy informed the captain, wiping his tears from his eyes. “He got so angry whenever I reminded him.” McCoy sighed with a smile on his face.
The two were quiet for some time again, thinking of the moment they had approached the tree on Omicron Ceti III after looking for Spock high and low, he had been hanging playfully from a tree branch. Spock’s smile, and his care free attitude was so different from his usual composure. The memory was thought to be forgotten at this point, but the two had become inspired by their surroundings and remembered it as if it were yesterday.
As that memory had come and gone, another one had been linked to it which led on to another. Both of them completely lost in the memories of the U.S.S Enterprise and her journey through out space and time.
They felt young again as they had never felt before. The atmosphere around them drowned out the pain of the world and the aches in their joints. The mixture of their memories and the valleys around them seemed to promise them hope.
Jim and McCoy continued their laughter on top of the hill, attracting the attention of the mourners below.
“Jim! McCoy!” Chekov called out to the two grown men after giving them both some time to control their laughter. Jim and McCoy slowly made their way down the hill, almost red in the face from their spurt of laughter.
Scotty’s eyes were large and confused, trying to understand how the two managed to relax to the point of laughter. “Sir?” He questioned out loud.
Jim sighed as to cease the fun. He wiped his eyes furiously as more tears had fallen. “I’m sorry.” Jim apologized, looking down at the wet spots on his hands from the tears. “I just remembered something funny about Spock.” He smirked recalling all the humorous moments with the Vulcan, his best and most cherished friend in history.
Uhura was still trapped in the confines of Scotty’s hug, but it did not excuse the noise of Jim’s laughter. She began to giggle softly into Scotty’s jacket, recalling a moment she had found quite humorous as well.
As soon as Uhura began to laugh Scotty released her from his hug, and tilted his head to look at the women closely. “Uhura?” He questioned with a smirk. It was impossible to look at the women and not smile when she was. Those lips and those eyes were infectious. When Uhura sang, you wanted to sing, when she laughed, you wanted to laugh. She had this aura about her that was inspiring, and bold.
“I’m sorry.” She laughed, wiping her previous tears from her eyes as she laughed and sobbed all at once. “I’m just remembering the time when I tried to impress Mr. Spock by singing a song about him.” She paused to remember the moment. “I never saw Spock as happy as he was at that moment. I even got a smile out of him.”
Sulu smirked at the women and began to join in the laughter. “I always found it funny when Spock told people to get certain human characteristics removed for convenience.” Chekov had joined in with the laughter, remembering all the moments Spock had berated one of the young officers for getting to excited or emotional on the job. Spock had always handled it in the same way.
“Raising my voice back there doesn’t mean I was scared or couldn’t do my job. It means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenaline gland.” Sulu remembered officer Bailey snarling at Spock after an delayed reaction during battle.
“It does sound most inconvenient, however. Have you considered having it removed?” Spock had quipped back at the high strung officer.
“You try to cross brains with Spock, he’ll cut you to pieces every time.” Sulu had told Bailey after Spock had moved away from them. Till this day Sulu believed those words to be true. It didn’t make Spock a difficult person to get along with, though at times it did seem that way. It was instead a form of humor that people had not been accustomed to as Sulu and the rest of the crew had learned. He was not as stoic and emotionless as they had thought. He did indeed have some understanding of humor and it was extremely entertaining if you weren’t on the receiving end of the joke.
Jim smiled at the men. “He was something special.” He concluded once he saw a smile on everybody’s face.
It was clear to see that everyone was feeling like Jim was. Young, capable and excited for the future. Though what was and could have been was painful, it was still unchangeable through the cycle of life. What would become of them was yet to be known, and that was exciting.
Landing on the planet had felt like a revelation that Jim was unaware he needed as badly as he did. Seeing where Spock had ended up cleared Jim’s mind, and though losing Spock in the first place had torn a part of him away he felt whole as he stood on the grass of Genesis.
His soul was in pieces from Spock’s death. The day he had met Spock, Jim had begged Star Fleet to allow him to hire Gary Mitchel as his first officer instead of Spock as Pike had suggested. Kirk was not Pike, and that reflected on Spock’s attitude towards Jim. As time had gone by Jim and Spock had spent many nights across a chess board from one another, and within a few years they were closer than brothers.
The Federation was a dream that had made Spock and Jim brothers. Two halves of a whole, Jim liked to think of it. Spock was lonely, logical and peaceful, while Jim approached conclusions on a gut instinct and challenged death head on with spontaneity. On their own they were dramatic individuals, but when they were together they had filled in the missing pieces in one another, fixing each other into their fullest potential.
Spock was gone, and he’d been gone for eight years. Eight years was a very long time to be without that other half, that better half. Since Spock was dead Jim found himself trying so hard to accommodate for those missing pieces of himself. He had become more thoughtful and even more logical. Jim couldn’t even believe that during the first year of Spock’s absence he had regularly meditated before bed, easing the nightmares into comforting dreams.
However, Jim was standing in the middle of a planet of growing life. For whatever reason, Jim felt like the longer he remained on the planet, the more he felt at peace with Spock’s death. As long as he was here he was whole, and those missing pieces were exactly where they were meant to be.
Jim cleared his throat. “I had brought a book down from the ship.” Jim commented, searching the area around them for the aged book he had carried with him on every voyage.
“It’s over here Jim,” Chekov pointed towards the ground by the memorial stone. Everyone had been aware of what was within the confines of that book and where it had come from. They all were ready for what was about to happen, and felt comfort from it.
Jim picked up the old book, feeling the spine as it was growing rough with the use of the book. He had read it from cover to cover so many times in his life, and every time he read it he felt he got a deeper understanding of every word.
A Tale of Two Cities had become Jim’s favourite book as well as a new form of meditation. After spending the year following Spock’s death in restful meditation, Jim had learned that it only brought him so much comfort. When Jim had opened A Tale of Two Cities and curled up onto his couch to read, he found that he had become so much more aware than when in meditation. He was learning about himself, his surroundings, and of Spock and his death. Reading those words had centred him throughout his misery. Every word reminded him of Spock.
The book creaked as he opened the book and the aged spine folded back. The book was definitely printed in the early 21st century, as the pages were yellow and slightly torn. The page that Jim had stopped had a piece of clear tape holding the page together at the top. Jim had opened to the page so many times that he had torn it on accident.
“I wanted to read an excerpt if you wouldn’t mind.” Jim asked, placing his new pair of reading glasses on which McCoy had given Jim on the birthday following Spock’s death. Jim squinted at the words in front of him as his friends nodded eagerly to hear the beauty of Charles Dickens’ words.
Jim’s voice began confident and grew more to himself as he read on. It was not difficult for the others to hear, in fact it made the feeling of his reading more personal.
“Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were silent for ever. I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning a new, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.” Jim finished, his eyes falling on the stone. He bowed his head slowly.
A moment of silence escaped across the group, each of them finding their own words of comfort in their heads. Each of them struggling in their own way with the memories of Khan and the horrific mess that had followed.
Soon enough Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov collected the extra tools from here and there so that they could start taking things up to the ship.
McCoy looked back towards Jim who was still staring towards the stone, kneeling in front of it and crushing the lilies beneath his feet. His eyes glossing once again from the words of Charles Dickens. The sight of Jim miserably missing Spock broke Leonard’s heart.
“Jim?” McCoy questioned with concern. He approached Jim slowly.
“It’s alright Bones.” Jim reassured confidently, closing his eyes. “I’ll meet you guys on the ship.”
They all desperately wanted to stay on the planet longer. They all wanted to lie in the grass and feel sunshine on their face, mourn the loss of their loved ones, and reconnect like they hadn’t been able to in years. Somehow none of that mattered though. For some reason, everyone understood that Jim’s grief was slightly different than the rest.
The love between captain Kirk and his first officer was quite a mystery to the crew. Whether it was a deep and intimate love, the love of a brother to another brother, or a friendship that was as infectious as a romance, it did not matter. All of it was classified under the term of love, and that was how it was left. Spock had never been closer to another living being as he was with Jim, and whether that was love or not was not up for debate. After a lifetime of loneliness and separation, Spock had found comfort in Jim, and Jim had found comfort in Spock. Both of them taking and receiving from one another without even realizing it.
As Jim kneeled in front of the stone, the others accepted this as goodbye from Genesis and retreated to the ship, McCoy watching Jim a little longer than the others before beaming back aboard.
With the others gone, Jim stood up from the spot he had fallen to, and collected himself again. His surroundings had gotten so much quieter with the others gone, and he felt a growing sense of ease and comfort take over him as he began to move down into the forest at the foot of the hill they had set the stone on.
Jim held onto the book in his hands firmly as he crossed over a fallen tree and over a very moist blotch of earth. There didn’t seem to be any life on the planet in regards to animals or insects, but Jim was sure there was some version of both somewhere on the planet. As he had hopped over the fallen log, it made him think, of the old human conundrum that if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it still make a noise? Jim was set on the answer that no, if nobody is there to collect the sound waves than it is only energy and not sound. That was the answer Spock had given him, and though that day Jim had sided with the idea that it was still considered noise, Jim knew that he had only done so to grind Spock’s gears.
Upon Jim’s exploration of the small wooded area, he found something that had sunk his heart into his stomach. He thought he would never find it in a million years, but it was only meters away.
Jim approached the capsule that contained Spock’s very body. He ran his fingers along the fallen twigs and dusty exterior, brushing off the dust from the words that were printed on the outside. Mark IV Photon Torpedo.
“Spock.” Jim sobbed to himself. His hand felt cold along the outside of the black torpedo. It reminded Jim of the moment he had splayed his fingers across Spock’s in the engineering room, a thin piece of glass separating them. The moment that Spock had taken his final breath.
It took several minutes for Jim to get out of the haunting shock of Spock’s tattered coffin, and the thought of Spock’s very being only inches away from his fingers. He had journey all this way to see feel Spock again, and this was as close as he would ever get to that moment. He was on the very planet that had created life from death and had stood in the wake of the horrors of Khans revenge.
Within the confines of the torpedo, was the Spock Jim had enjoyed numerous games of chess with. It was the man who enjoyed music, peace and being compared to a computer. The Spock that made Jim laugh and cry all at once.
Jim heard his communicator sound in his pocket, and then again when Jim didn’t answer. Though he felt as though Spock was somehow laughing at him, he decided not to answer still. Though it might influence McCoy to come down there and look for him, he still felt as though there was unfinished business. Jim almost apologized to Spock for his unprofessionalism.
It was hard to decide what to say or do within those few minutes he was given to respond to the unforeseen situation. Though Jim would probably regret not doing other things at this time, like admitting to something or informing Spock of something, he couldn’t help but feel like that was not the right thing to do. Spock would have shook his head and told Jim, “To speak to the dead as if they are still alive is highly illogical Jim.” Jim could hear it now.
In times of struggle and hardship, Jim did what he knew best to do with the negative emotions of grief. He opened the book that Spock had given him on his birthday, the last birthday they had shared together.
Jim cleared his throat again as if it mattered who heard him. As if Spock was truly alive and listening within the metal box. And for a moment Jim wanted to hop on top of the torpedo and make himself comfy before reading, but he didn’t have the courage, though he knew it would make for a good laugh later.
The cover rested in Jim’s left hand as he uncovered the first page beneath the acknowledgement page, the title page, and the blank page that always comes before the story. Like the black screen before a movie following the logos. Jim cleared his throat a second time, feeling as if it were necessary to be in perfect reading condition. He smiled down towards the coffin for a moment, feeling confident enough in his memorization of the words to carry out the story without the words there. He did peer down occasionally to double check himself, just in case.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of time, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us….” Jim closed the book, somehow completely knowing of all the words. “… we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
Jim stood straighter and saluted the box before him, his eyes silky and sad. His lips shaking only slightly. He clenched his jaw to stop the shaking.
The wind was all that could be heard until Jim pulled the communicator from his pocket and contacted the Enterprise. “Kirk to Enterprise.”
“Scotty here sir.”
“Beam me up in one minute.” Kirk instructed, hanging up the communicator and shoving it back in his pocket.
“I’ve missed you.” Jim commented in the quietness, counting the seconds down subconsciously in his mind. “I’ve missed you more than I thought possible. I don’t know why or how I have come to miss you as much as I have, but I suppose it’s because you mean a lot to me Spock.” He sighed, wishing more than anything he could receive an answer from Spock. “I’ve missed our chess matches, and the way we would walk to every meal together, and how you would raise one of your eyebrows when you thought I was completely out of my mind.” Jim laughed slightly. “I’ve really missed that look Spock. I want to thank you for what you’ve done for my crew, and myself. You are a hero Spock.” He sighed swallowing harshly. The seconds were almost up. “I hope you have found the answers and the peace you were seeking Spock.”
Just as Jim was speaking, a tingling feeling came over his body as the transporter was slowly grasping every molecule in Jim’s body. Before he was completely separated from Spock he lifted his hand in the Vulcan salute, “Rest long and peacefully my friend.”