Best of Innocence
|Title:||Best of Innocence|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #9.
"Riley, having recovered from his prejudice against Vulcans, is now serving with the intriguing Skovan. Skovan, it appears, is an outcast from his people - and is such is willing to engage in a most unconventional relationship. A relationship that highly intrigues James T. Kirk."
Reactions and Reviews
I really like the character growth DVS shows here. Andrew Stiles, the hater of Vulcans in "Balance of Terror", actually comes to love a Vulcan in this story. I'm not thrilled by the possessiveness in this relationship, and I'm dubious about courier ships whose top speed is warp three, but it's always a delight to see new and unusual combinations in a Trek context. 
Beautiful and unusual. The story doesn’t center on Kirk and Spock, but on Andy Stiles and Skovan and their evolving relationship. That growth gives us some inkling into Vulcan mores. Only at the end are we made privy, albeit indirectly, to Kirk’s wish to enter into a similar relationship with Spock. It is captivating and very intriguing. 
This is an odd story, not mainly about Kirk and Spock. Instead the main focus is a Vulcan Skovan and a human Andy—the Andy Stiles who is prejudiced against Spock in TOS. Andy is a very interesting character who is half likeable and half not, and well written to achieve this balance (he also gets more sympathetic as the story progresses.) Skovan is also an interesting character a Vulcan with some congenital defect who has been treated with hormones and is unable to function fully sexually. Kirk and Spock only appear briefly towards the end when Kirk questions Andy about Vulcan lovers, clearly interested in seducing Spock. However, unusually for stories about other characters, I like this story a lot. When I first read it I just though it was odd, but with further readings I have come to appreciate some of the lovely tender moments that there are in this story. I did wonder though if it was originally conceived to be about Kirk and Spock but was altered for some reason. Whatever, I like it. 
This is a story that I have read so many times I've lost count. Only indirectly about Kirk and Spock, it has Andrew Stiles, the lieutenant who baited Spock in "Balance of Terror," falling in love with the most adorable original character I have ever seen in a K/S story... a borderline retarded Vulcan named Skovan. The characterization is incredibly rich. The character of Skovan is particularly delicately and poignantly drawn. Here is another Vulcan, who, like Spock, has no place in Vulcan society, who can't be assimilated, who won't fit, who isn't the norm. I like stories in which love and happiness come to people like Skovan, that is to say, to society's rejects — people who are retarded, disabled, mixed race, homosexual, or, who , to paraphrase Skovan, simply "don't take the places assigned then." Skovanis such a sad character, such a lost soul, and yet love finds him, and he, with no precedent for it in his life, accepts it. The story also does a credible job of giving Stiles a full measure of humanity. And I liked the cameo appearance by Kirk at the end and his very personally motivated interest in Stiles and Skovan's relationship; it gave the story an extra resonance. All in all, this was a story that engaged my mind and emotions, which is what really good writing should do.