Antinomy (Star Trek: TOS story)

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: Antinomy
Author(s): Suzan Lovett
Date(s): 1984, 2006
Length:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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Antinomy is a Star Trek: TOS story by Suzan Lovett.

Part of it was published in Nome #6 with a co-author named Adrienne Deutsch. Nome's editors note: "ANTINOMY is a story that we commissioned from the authors; however, due to its increasing length (and our own enormous size), we opted to publish only this "teaser." The story will be presented in its entirety in NOME 7 next year. Our thanks to Suzan & Adrienne for their understanding of our predicament."

The story was published in its entirety in Nome #7 and later in Antinomy.

"Antimony" was one of the stories that was to have appeared in the proposed zine "Best of Nome" #2.

Summary

From the publisher: "Spock is behaving strangely, and Kirk is determined to find out why. But in his attempt to aid and protect his friend, he makes choices and compromises that lead him into an unseen trap. A greater game is being played, and he and Spock are both pawns on this particular chessboard."

Excerpt

"'The admiral, seeming to have said his last word on the subject, turned to leave. Then he whispered something, as if to himself: "I only wish his credibility wasn't likely to come into question." The mumble was perfectly audible to the Vulcan. "Sir, please qualify that statement." Nogura smiled. It was always a thrill to experience that moment when the fish had swallowed the bait, without yet realizing there was a hook attached to it. He erased the smile from his face before turning to the Vulcan. "You are a man of integrity, Commander. So is Captain Kirk. A legal battle ground is no place for either one of you. There, only winning counts. Captain Kirk will do everything in his power to save you, but he has nothing to back up his testimony except his word. He'll be accused of lying for you and...." He paused as if unwilling to go on."

Gallery

Reactions and Reviews

This is the story for which the author may be best known and for which the zine is named. I remembered this from reading it in its original publication, NOME 7, recalled the tension and suspense as, along with Kirk, I watched Spock doing inexplicable things. Things that were completely out of character and screamed of deceit and dishonesty, even criminal activity and sabotage. And I watched Kirk as he struggled with what he was observing, what he couldn’t begin to understand. This is a very unusual and effective premise, one I’ve never seen elsewhere. Kirk is faced with a terrible decision. Does he bow to duty and report what he has witnessed? Does he confront Spock? Does he – worst-case scenario – attempt to cover for his friend at the risk of his own career? This is a chilling premise, laden with detail, confusion and a cold feeling in the pit of your stomach. At one point Kirk asks himself what if it wasn’t Spock, what if it were someone he didn’t know, didn’t trust, didn’t love. There’s the word that’s at the root of it all: Love.

A little tidbit that Kirk learns during all this tension and turmoil: from his childhood Spock has kept a book. The Ugly Duckling. Learning that brought tears to my eyes.

When you gain knowledge of what has been behind all the subterfuge, I can almost guarantee you’ll be as angry as I was. The road remains very bumpy and treacherous just when you believe it may become smooth, and you are at this point about halfway through this complex story.

One of the most beautiful of memories from the story, the zine, and K/S in general is that of Kirk, alone and unsure of his Vulcan, collecting a strikingly lovely branch from an alien plant to bring back to his friend. No one could possibly be prepared for all that happens from the time that precious specimen is collected and the time it is finally delivered. Additional crises – of great dimension – intervene. Their ramifications are both life-threatening and life-altering. It would be very unfair to reveal details at this juncture, as I would love for as many of you as possible to experience “Antinomy” for yourself. It truly is an experience – one you will not soon forget. [1]
Kirk discovers, accidentally, in the first instant & then more deliberately, that Spock is behaving somewhat irregularly & doing things that in anyone else Kirk would have to assume to be dishonest. He goes to some lengths to cover them up even though Spock is not forthcoming with a reason for his actions. Unfortunately it transpires that Nogura is not only testing the system via an unwilling Spock, but also testing Kirk (who, therefore, does not rate too highly) and their partnership. Later, Spock, in his efforts to save Kirk's life, causes a diplomatic incident between the Klingons & the Federation & is temporarily grounded. In Spock's absence Kirk (badly injured in the previous rescue) becomes disillusioned with shipboard service & seriously considers promotion & a assignment at headquarters, incidentally ensuring he can be near to Spock. The rest of the story outlines the machinations used to make sure human & Vulcan are kept apart - featuring chiefly, Lori Ciani & Nogura - & culminates in Spock's flight to Gol. The whole piece runs to 117 pages & is an absolute masterpiece of character portrayal. Lori Ciani is just perfect & the reader feels free to hate her; she comes across as every inch Nogura's whore, scheming, & calculating; a foil to his innuendo & blackmail. McCoy is a central character & his reaction toLori is as intuitive as it should be; for once his arguments with Kirk have a sound basis - he is on his own ground - & his characterization is superb. The portrayal of Kirk & Spock is eminently satisfying, for although this isn't strictly K/S the relationship between them is so intense that it doesn't matter that they don't tumble into bed together. Even though the feelings of the two men are never spelt out it seems obvious that at some stage in their lives they will come to realise exactly what they mean to each other. Kirk, even though he asks Lori to marry him & seems so dependent on her, becomes a shell of a man without Spock. Spock is, in this story, just how I love him: uptight & close-mouthed but nonetheless impressive for it, as Nogura discovers when he goads him just a little too far. Small details add to the delight of the story: the idea that Spock buffers Kirk, taking many of the complaints about orders onto himself thus ensuring Kirk's continuing popularity; a conversation between Kirk & McCoy in a form of shorthand that Lori doesn't understand; Spock's interview with Nogura; McCoy's reactinn to Kirk's announcement of his impending marriage. It is all marvellous stuff. Hardly a sentence passes without an original thought or turn of phrase. I cannot recommend it highly enough. [2]
I just finished reading Antinomy today. An internet discussion called it to my attention as being somewhat controversial in that it gives a very negative impression of Starfleet and humanity in general. In spite of this it is an excellent story—there is such a convoluted and detailed scheme by the Admiralty to entrap Kirk and the idea the hierarchy chose to involve Spock to be the factor that would trip him up is detestable. That is part of their plan, however, because they detect a closeness, a loyalty between these two high-ranking officers that they choose to believe is detrimental to performance. So they give Spock orders to perform illegal acts and wait to see if Kirk will abide by regulations and turn him in. The cost of this dastardly plan to both men is predictably high. They are men of honor but there is truth to the rumor that they are also incredibly devoted to each other.

It is a good read. There are so many complicated feelings examined. Spock is simply tied in knots, caught between his sense of duty to Starfleet and his allegiance and affection for Kirk. What an awful thing to do to a sentient being. I would not care to see either of them continue their commitment to an organization that is so devious and contemptible. Even though the tale is a bitter one, their love for each other is evident in everything they do. Too bad it is a source of such anguish for them. The underlying message here, stated over and over, is that Spock will do anything for Kirk and Kirk will do anything for Spock. Is that not a love story in itself?

If any of you who like angst have not read this - you should. If nothing else, it provides an excellent and diverse explanation for Spock's decision to leave Starfleet for Gol. I almost agree with him this time. Nonetheless, when it happens Kirk is so hurt, feels so abandoned, that you can feel it in your bones. It leaves a very bad taste in your mouth to know that all that comes to pass was contrived. I hate conniving self-serving bureaucrats! [3]
In the mood for some living room acceptable reading (actually re-reading), I came across this fine story. When I commenced reading, I recalled the concept of Kirk observing Spock engaged in some apparently illegal activities involving falsified credit chips and various suspicious goings-on with starbase and ship’s computers.

I forgot that this was only the beginning in what is quite an involved and well-plotted storyline. Spock was ordered to do these things so the admiralty (specifically Nogura) could see just how far the legendary loyalty between captain and first officer went. I found this to be a very interesting and believable concept. It was, in short, a setup to catch Kirk covering up what he should be reporting. The brass underestimated their adversary, of course, because Kirk does follow regs and report what he’s seen (eventually and with some very nice ruminations in the interim.). What isn’t reported is how heavy a heart is the price. When the conspiracy’s revealed, he doesn’t know who to be mad at, Spock or HQ. Attempting to resolve the issue with a friendly bout with Spock in the gym only makes things worse. Spock is injured attempting to protect Kirk from a dangerous fall. That breach is not yet healed when Kirk takes off on a fool’s errand and winds up lost in the aptly-named Coalsack Nebula. (This really exists—I found it in an astronomy book!) True to form, Spock cuts his own orders to rescue the human.

No, this isn’t your standard 1990’s K/S fare. But is what Kirk and Spock and Star Trek were all about from the beginning: loyalty and love. It is a very enjoyable story to read. To continue: as part of Fleet’s plan, Spock is given an Earth posting as Kirk wraps up the 5-year mission. This is all beginning to take on the look of a very plausinble link between the TV series and STTMP. Kirk confesses to Bones he’s requested a promotion at HQ and at the same time Spock is trying to get a space assignment. When he learns of Kirk’s plan to stay dirt- side, the stuff hits the proverbial fan. Spock intimidates Nogura into admitting “When you two interact, your loyalties to the fleet seem to be superseded by...by what, Commander? Care to tell me?” This is so well done, one can see Nogura as a very real piece of the puzzle. Clever, manipulative and single-minded, pursuing his point until Spock surprises him for what is not the first time. “I resign.” Enter Lori Ciani. This would have made a wonderful pro-novel, successful as it is at tying together the many loose ends. Yes, there are hints of something beyond friendship between the two mewn, but as the story progresses I feel the authors may be trying to make up their own minds about the truthfulness of the “rumor” Lori asks about. All Nogura will say is “The Vulcan is very important to him.” At this point I could hardly wait to read on. Then as Kirk became more and more enamored of Ciani, I became fidgety, anxious that he not forget his reason for an Earth posting (to be near Spock, whom he understood would be making that same choice). Suddenly there’s the most refreshing exchange! Subtly, Lori has invited Kirk to share her apartment, a conversation to which McCoy is a not-so-pleased audience. Kirk surprises Lori by saying he’s already arranged for a house on the edge of the desert. McCoy catches on quickly, “Duplex, I’ll bet.” “Nothing like being transparent, “ Kirk smiles. Ah! Spock hasn’t been forgotten after all! “Is it by any chance a surprise for someone?” “Yep.” And so on. The author says they’d lost Lori. I wish. Later, as the Enterprise approaches home soil, Ciani amuses herself by thinking Kirk is like a kid at Christmas and then thinks, “No, Jimmy, there really is no Santa Claus.” Really makes you want to use the B word. In the end, everybody splits and goes in their own direction, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth, but a foundation for grabbing the STTMP video to see what happens next.

There’s no real K/S here, even though Nome is on our list of K/S zines. There’s nothing to elevate your blood pressure except the manipulations of Nogura and Ciani. But it’s very entertaining and well-written and reminds you clearly where all this stuff started in the first place. [4]
Best story I've ever read depicting the end of the 5-year mission. It is beautifully written, the characterization is exquisite, the whole chain of events is completely believable... and it's so heartbreaking I'm not sure I'll ever be able to read it in full again. It tells how such a tightly knitted crew and an utterly devoted pair of friends as Kirk and Spock could be broken up and scattered across the galaxy, in a cold, machiavellian plan engineered by the callous Admiral Nogura. The second half of the story, where the situation spirals down beyond repair, is made all the more painful by the absolute love, devotion and trust demonstrated between Kirk and Spock in the first half. An emotional rollercoaster, a perfect bridge between TOS and the TMP novel that is guaranteed to tear your heart apart. [5]

References

  1. from The K/S Press #124
  2. from Not Tonight, Spock! #7
  3. from a review in The K/S Press #105 of the story as it appeared in Nome #7
  4. from a review in The K/S Press #44 of the story as it appeared in Nome #7
  5. "4 September 2009 Master List of K/S Favorites *Updated Nov 19, 2013*". Retrieved Nov 19, 2013.