Background notes: I had this idea forever but now it's been made stronger after having attended a friend's funeral. I was looking for some meaningful ceremony or ritual where the body of the deceased is prepared for burial and I came across the Jewish ritual of the Taharah. I know nothing more than the simple description I found online: "One of the most important elements of a proper Jewish burial is the Tahara, preparing the body by the Chevra Kaddisha for its final rest, until the Resurrection of the Dead in the era of Moshiach. There is no mystery to the Tahara. It is a simple, yet dignified ritual that allows the person to meet his Maker with the utmost respect and dignity. A proper Tahara includes cleansing, ritually washing, and dressing the deceased's body. Those who perform this Chesed Shel Emet (true act of kindness) recite special prayers, beseeching God to lift the soul into the Heavens and eternal rest."
I may have seen other K/S fics or reviews allude to what happened in those minutes we don't see in TWoK: the period between the death scene to the "funeral" culminating in the Mark VI torpedo being shot toward the Genesis planet.
What I want to see is this: once the radiation reaches safe levels (and they will not be in danger of handling Spock) and Spock can be removed, Kirk orders everyone out (except McCoy) and the corridors between Engineering and Sickbay cleared (Sickbay emptied too perhaps - maybe Sickbay has a separate area that serves as a morgue for processing the dead). McCoy tries to reason with Kirk, to let his medics bring a gurney but Kirk refuses.
Not sure if this should be Kirk POV (1st person) - I would like to hear his inner thoughts as well as see/hear him interacting with McCoy and others.
Kirk gently/carefully lifts Spock and carries him to this isolated location (yes, Spock is heavy but this is his solemn duty and he ignores any physical pain he's in). He will leave briefly to retrieve Spock's black robes and clean shirt/pants/boots from Spock's quarters. Once back with McCoy, he will go about the task of removing the contaminated clothing, performing the ritual cleansing/preparation of the body as best he can (Bones will end up helping - unable to stop tears but knowing both his friends deserve his help - likely experiencing the first signs of the mind meld too) then dressing Spock in the clean clothing & robes. In my mind, I see him thinking about each action and the extreme care, love, and grief involved. He wanted no one else to touch Spock.
Once all this is done, Kirk will order McCoy to leave so he can have a few minutes alone with his t'hyla. Bones' might respond strangely - enough to cause Kirk to wonder if something deeper than Spock's death is affecting McCoy, but he doesn't dwell on it.
The next bits are less clear in my head but I think Kirk must arrange with Scotty for the Mark VI torpedo to be made ready; that Kirk will do something to program the torpedo so it is captured by the Genesis planet's gravity - he would do this thinking that Spock deserved better than to be shot out into the vastness of space. Something else must be addressed to show his thinking as to why he didn't simply order Spock's body placed in cryogenic stasis for return to Vulcan (that's always made me kind of nuts) - wouldn't he, as Spock's bondmate, at least know he should have been brought to Vulcan for burial?
Since Kirk has already admitted he knew nothing of Vulcan spirituality (or mysticism), there needs to be a reason to perform this ritual that is from the Hebrew faith. Kirk will know that Spock's mother is Jewish and he himself will have had a Jewish upbringing, even though he'd long since abandoned it.
His not knowing about Spock's katra is excusable since they realistically didn't anticipate or discuss Spock preceding him in death. He will begin to experience fully the psychic hemorrhaging caused by the sundered bond - wondering how he's still able to function (because: McCoy/katra! - Kirk just can't recognize it just as Bones doesn't).
Kirk will move Spock to an antigrav gurney/stretcher (that he can handle it himself) and take it to the launch bay (the programming already set). After this the funeral happens and in another scene we don't see, Kirk goes to Spock's quarters and lets himself grieve (upon Spock's meditation platform) before ordering the quarters sealed.
Anyway, that's alot of elements - I hope someone is willing to take this on. I'd be thrilled if it led to a longer story that bridges TWoK and TSFS. If I had any time to write, I might have tackled it myself. The title I use here is only a suggestion to frame the essence of my challenge, feel free to adapt or use more meaningful title.
Categories: Fiction Characters: Original Character(s)