Acts of a Criminal Nature
|Title:||Acts of a Criminal Nature|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine Dark Fire #2.
"Spock is sold to a brutal, sadistic woman after being convicted of murder on the planet, Menora."
Reactions and Reviews
Damn. this story has teeth. great big sharp teeth, and claws to boot. it is very much not for the faint of heart or easily squicked, but it is pretty much my favourite story in the zine, and I like that whole zine very much indeed, so yeah.
Spock falls afoul of the law on some backwater planet run by a more than usually loathesome "elite"; the planet has a lot of really harsh slavery and Spock is convicted of murder and sentenced to be handed over to the noble whose son he killed. never mind that the son in question, with his no-good friends, was busily raping an Enterprise crewperson. the friends all swear Spock attacked them without warning or justification, and he is convicted. StarFleet wants Kirk to abide by planet law, says they can't beam Spock away from there -- basically they've let Spock be handed over to a sadistic torturer for a plaything, rather than be seen as scornful of planet law. and Jim knows he cannot just barge in, phasers firing -- the potential for a truly horrendous clusterfuck is way too high, including the possibility that the Federation might be forced, in court, to extradite the both of them since under the planet's laws Jim would be helping a convicted murderer escape his sentence. the planet isn't a Federation member but under their laws Spock was properly convicted -- they don't really have anything we'd recognize as due process, but the military situation does not justify Wild West tactics. and it's driving Kirk insane. sensors can monitor Spock -- they see it when he actually dies for a moment or two before the torturers get him breathing again. Spock has their bond mostly blocked, but to see him and have a lock on him and be forbidden to rescue him is pure torment. and the thing is, it works. we never see this happen in the series, but in real life complicated situations happen all the time, and sometimes there just is not a really good answer from amongst the available choices. so it is here, also. the woman who purchased Spock's sentence spends her days torturing him. she is aroused by the suffering of others; she only feels pleasure in inflicting great pain. she quickly realizes that mere pain is not effective, and eventually hits upon the idea of having her guards hold his face under water (while she takes her pleasure and watches) until even he cannot control his struggles to breathe. sometimes they get him up quickly enough, and sometimes they don't. he has water in his lungs and he can feel himself weakening rapidly; it is a sign of how bad off he feels that he doesn't really care if he dies, it might be worth it not to feel this any longer. he thinks of Jim and regrets what this must be doing to him, but he refuses to fight the guards, just submits to whatever she orders done to him. his only option is to withhold the reactions she is seeking, where he can. he can't always do it. there are a few people on the planet who feel for Spock and do what they can, but their hands are largely tied too -- the worst of the elite all back one another and do business together. one councilman knows only too well what the Enterprise could do to them if the woman does kill Spock, but his pleas for greater wisdom fall on deaf ears. the situation continues like this, very gritty, very tense -- and Spock, gods, the way he suffers, quietly, refusing to lose his dignity all the way, though she's worn him down very low by the end. he's got pneumonia and she wakes him up from the healing trance because she has someone who is interested and willing to buy Spock, and it pleases her to think of Kirk's reaction when he learns Spock is already offworld. she makes one tiny tactical mistake, or rather, the buyer does, and the knowledge thus revealed finally frees Kirk to act, with Fleet and the Council's permission. Spock is rescued, the buyer is out of luck, the shipment of slaves he was planning to trade to her in exchange for Spock is seized and freed, and in the end the two men, together again, spend some well-earned recovery time on the beach. Kirk wants to know if it had been reversed, would Spock have obeyed and left Kirk there, or would he have acted against orders? Spock doesn't tell him, but as written, the scene, and the story, work wonderfully well. I would say that if ye have the intestinal or testicular fortitude to read this one, you too will be impressed and glad ye took the time to read. an excellent story from a consistently excellent author!!Greywolf, holding Two Doobs Up in approval XDDD
- from The K/S Press #189