By Worlds Divided
|Title:||By Worlds Divided|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine The Final Frontier #1.
"A/U On shoreleave with Gary Mitchell, Kirk buys and frees a Vulcan slave who turns out to be the son of the Vulcan ambassador missing for 3 years."
Pg. 67—The last two illos depict scenes from Cynthia Drake’s “By Worlds Divided” published in Final Frontier 1. If you are a “get Spock” fan, this story is on your list of Best of the Best of this type. In this illustration, Spock is on his knees facing the viewer. Long-haired, of course, complete with an iron slave collar around his neck, hands bound behind him, gagged, and draped in rags that are artfully arranged to reveal the good parts. Pg. 69—For those of you unfamiliar with this story a little background is necessary here. “By Worlds Divided” is an a/u set on a world where slavery is practiced. Kirk is the new captain of the Enterprise and on his first shore leave since being promoted, he and his first officer, Gary Mitchell, are taken on a tour of the famed slave market on Todaka. The captain recognizes a mistreated slave as a Vulcan—a citizen of a Federation member world—and buys him out from under the nose of an abusive bully named Peryard. Back at Kirk’s hotel, the two men become closer as the captain cares for his new acquisition. Spock learns to trust him. When the captain has to leave on an errand, Peryard tricks Spock into letting him into the suite, overpowers the Vulcan, and rapes him. This is the scene depicted in the illo. Worst of all, he tells Spock that Jim Kirk has “rented” Spock to him and leaves his “payment” on the dresser.
Reactions and Reviews
By Worlds Divided is an alternate universe story that puts Spock in the role of the slave, with Kirk as the master. Sort of. This is a Federation universe somewhere between our own and the Mirror universe; Kirk is newly made captain of the Enterprise. He is visiting the planet of Todaka (always makes me think of Neil Sedaka!) along with Gary Mitchell. Todaka allows slavery, and the Commodore escorting his fellow officers through the delights of the planet includes a stop at a slave market. Mitchell, characterized here as happy-go-lucky and rather heartless, is delighted, but Kirk is disturbed. Especially when he sees what looks like a Vulcan about to be sold to 'a massive, evil-visaged man.' Oh, we know what this man has in mind for poor Spock, don‘t we?
So does Kirk. He intervenes, although he is advised otherwise by both the Commodore ('these matters are best left alone, unless you wish to provoke an incident.') and Gary ('Hardly your speed, Jim.'), and soon Spock is his. He owns a slave. (Todaka may only enslave its own people, so Spock‘s presence there is a clear violation of the treaty with this particular Federation. Everybody involved has been looking the other way, but Kirk wants to know the secret behind why one of that proud, logical, strong race became a slave. He wonders what was done to cause the Vulcan to descend to this position.) What to do with his new slave? He sends him to his room in a hotel because he has an afternoon meeting at the Starbase, but when he returns he finds that Spock is still uncomfortably chained, and obviously expecting sexual advances. He‘s hoping that this peculiar human will be kinder than previous owners, but doubting it. Kirk becomes angry at the treatment the slave has endured, but that just makes Spock flinch, and become more wary. Kirk gives him some sleeping pills, some ointment and bandages for where the chains had 'rubbed away the skin,' and now Spock is even more appalled. He believes the kindness is only the prelude to some horrible, 'inevitable violation.' He‘s shocked when Kirk leaves him alone in the bed to succumb to the sleeping tablets. He dreams during the night, a nightmare, and Kirk is there to comfort him. 'Now he (Kirk) relaxed into the pillows, resolved to stay the night here, to ensure that the dark vision would not return. He slept.' The next day Gary volunteers by vidphone to get some information about Spock‘s previous owners. While he does, Kirk has a hard time convincing Spock that he‘s safe with the human, that he isn‘t going to inflict violence of any sort, sexual or otherwise, upon his person. His temper occasionally gets in the way of the tentative understanding they are building between them. When Kirk asks about Spock‘s first owner, he basically has a psychotic episode where he retreats from reality, and it‘s clear that something truly awful happened when Spock was first taken captive. When Spock calms down, after a long bout of weeping (in Kirk‘s arms), he reveals that he can remember nothing of his life before his first owner, he only remembers waking up in a dark, cold cell. Kirk is upfront from the beginning about not being able to take Spock with him when he leaves the planet in a week on the Enterprise. He says instead that he will see that the Vulcan is returned to his family, who must be searching for him, and where the Vulcan mind techniques should be able to restore his memory. This is not reassuring to Spock, who is beginning to believe in Kirk‘s altruism, and whom he sees as an unexpected lifeline. Gary arrives and reveals the identity of the first owner: the commander of a Klingon garrison stationed a few years previously on the planet. Kirk concludes that the mind-sifter had been used on Spock. The dealer who sold Spock to a brothel after the Klingons were ordered home is waiting to talk to Kirk in the bar downstairs, and Kirk leaves with Gary. He reassures Spock that he will not be long, and Spock has almost regained enough of his sense of security to see him go without fear. But all is not well. The evil-visaged man who had wanted to buy Spock when Kirk intervened, buzzes at the door, and Spock, thinking he is Kirk returning, opens it. The man claims that Kirk has sold some of Spock‘s time to him, and brutally rapes him, as well as practically suffocating him with a muffler. Spock almost succumbs to his hopelessness, and has to convince himself that Kirk hadn‘t arranged the whole thing. But he manages to reach the intercom and push over a table to gain Kirk‘s attention. Spock‘s arm is broken and Doctor Piper is called down from the Enterprise to treat him. Privately he reveals that Spock is half-human and is probably the son of the Vulcan ambassador, who disappeared 2 and 1/2 years previously while on a deep-space science probe. Piper wants to contact Star Fleet immediately, but Kirk claims Spock‘s not ready psychologically. Doctor and Captain confront one another, with Piper giving Kirk the week he wants only if he then takes Spock not to Vulcan, but to Star Base 8. Piper also advises Kirk what he already knows, 'You‘re getting too emotionally involved.' How true that is, for when Kirk goes back to Spock, who is now snuggled in bed again, (Piper gave him a powerful sedative), they snuggle with each other. 'Kirk went over, sat down, and Spock leaned against his shoulder. Jim touched his hair lightly.' Finally Spock is able to tell Kirk about what happened with his first owner when he was enslaved, and it‘s a horrific tale of gang rape and Klingon cruelty. After this catharsis, there‘s this exchange: “Mmmm.” He turned his face into Jim’s neck, eyes drifting closed. It seemed the most natural thing in the universe to deposit a soft kiss on the top of that dark head. “I love you,” Spock whispered from the very edge of oblivion. “I love you too,” Jim whispered back, amazed at how easy it was to say. As Spock sleeps Kirk fights with his arousal, winning until the morning, when they make love for the first time. They spend the rest of Kirk‘s leave together, Spock gradually normalizing, and their roles equalizing, but it‘s still very much Kirk the protector and Spock the one needing protection between them. Eventually the dream comes to an end, and Spock beams down to Star Base 8 in white-faced silence and misery. Kirk is not much better, but he has a duty to perform, and he pushes his private feelings away, even though he has deep misgivings about the psychotricorder treatments that he‘s told will be administered to Spock. That‘s to determine the facts about what happened to others on the deep-space probe, and get information about the Klingons. 'The fact that to all intents and purposes Spock would have to relive his ordeal was regrettable but necessary. He refused to dwell on it. Their affair was over, and it was time for them both to go their separate ways.' Ah, but since when could Kirk ever abandon Spock in such circumstances? Several days later Kirk turns the Enterprise around and goes back to the Starbase, just in time to walk in on a perverted Commodore who wants to administer the psychotricorder to Spock for the fourth time, over Spock‘s vehement protests. This is the Spock with whom we are more familiar, with his memories intact and more self-assurance. Jim reveals that he‘s told Starfleet Command 'that they can either rearrange my commitments so my life can include you, or they can forget it.' They go back to the ship and make love, and the story ends the way things do with most men who have just made love, with a trip to the refrigerator for food! And happily ever after. This story is mainly atmosphere, not plot, and it carries a Spock characterization that not everyone will enjoy. But nobody writes the helpless Spock quite the way Cynthia Drake does, and I think this is one of her best stories. She always seems to have a Kirk capable of very quick anger and some terrible decisions, but also someone who knows when to say 'I‘m sorry' and equally important, when to say 'I was wrong.'I‘m always a little annoyed on re-reading By Worlds Divided by the time problems. The author has them wake up in the morning, have a few conversations, and then go to sleep at night as if the entire day has been filled. 
This is a little gem of a story, from a zine published in 1980. On his first shore leave as the newly appointed Captain of the Enterprise, Kirk, accompanied by Gary Mitchell, is sightseeing on the planet Todaka when he encounters a dark stranger on the block at the "infamous Todakan dealers mart." This is a place where slaves are bought and sold, to Kirk's disgust and Gary's lascivious interest. Realizing almost immediately that the slave with the shining black hair is not a Todakan, but rather a Vulcan and therefore a member of the Federation, Kirk buys him out from under a horrible wealthy native bidder. He plans to return this Vulcan, whose only memory from before his enslavement is that he is named Spock, to his home planet and family for rehabilitation. But, hoping to spare Spock, who has been through great trauma--including an experience with a Klingon mind-sifter--the ordeal of remembering until he has had a chance to rest, Kirk convinces the Enterprise's Dr. Piper to give them six days on the planet together. Kirk is of course drawn to the Vulcan from the first, and at first this manifests itself as simple tenderness. But inevitably he is comforting Spock in bed and well....The first sex scene begins way too abruptly--I mean, this is a Spock who has been brutally raped, beaten and tortured, and Kirk goes from kissing his mouth and ears to sucking his cock in, like, two sentences. Spock likes it; it's no rape, but it just moves too fast. Kirk expresses remorse afterward, but I wish there had been a more gradual build-up and at least a request from Jim about whether it's okay for him to proceed further. Or something. Of course we have already had a scene where Kirk, holding a sleeping Spock, almost gives into the urge to kiss him and then berates himself for the almost-violation, thinking it would be a betrayal of Spock's newly-awakened trust. Both of them have just said "I love you, “before Spock falls asleep in Jim's arms. So the sex the next morning is an outgrowth of that--an expression of their love. But still--not enough foreplay, in that context. Despite the fact that, objectively, it's a little hard to imagine the victim of so much abuse being able to just sort of slide into having sex--especially with a recently broken arm--if you are willing to suspend disbelief you can enjoy the story. Both are depicted as so loving, Kirk is so tender toward Spock, so outraged about what he has suffered, and then as Spock recovers, he feels the Vulcan's strength and revels in it. I love the way the two of them are together, the easy way they tell each other of their love. I was surprised to find myself enjoying a slave story so much. I wondered why Kirk wasn't outraged at the idea of anyone's being enslaved, not just Spock--he is disgusted that there's slavery on Todaka, but why doesn't he try to change that situation? Todakans aren't members of the Federation, but so what? The Kirk we know might, I think, at least have tried to effect change. But clearly the author's intention was to write a tightly-focused love story here, without straying into politics, and she's definitely done that. The above minor quibbles aside, I truly enjoyed this story, which allows Spock to be strong even though he is at his most vulnerable. Furthermore, it depicts a Star Fleet that is far from perfect and a Kirk who is bored and restless with his command duties, though not his ship. That approach is a little different, but I liked it. It frees the author from canon. And there's the suggestion at the end that Spock, because of his advanced computer knowledge, will scale the ladder of command fairly quickly, so we get a sense of the direction things will go in, with Spock eventually becoming Kirk's second. Oh, and there's lots o' sex-- and it's hot!