|Date(s):||written in the late 1960s, published in a zine in 1977|
|Length:||28 pages in the zine|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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In February 1977, the story was published in the zine Son of Grope. An ad for this zine states that the story was "written in the '60s but still wearing well. This was probably the first K/S story to be printed in a British zine; certainly one of the first written."
Another fan mentions this story as being seminal in her beginnings as a fan: "I started off as a Star Trek fan and read my way through K/S from 'Green Plague' onward..." 
Reactions, Reviews, and Summaries
SON OF GROPE contains a very good Audrey Baker K/S story, "Green Plague", in which Kirk (now Commodore of the Constellation), Spock, and a pair of lieutenants, crash land their shuttle on Xerxes while on the vay to the Earth colony there. Kirk's shoulder is injured, and on their 120-mile hike to the settlement, it becomes infected with the dread, incurable Green Plague. It is invariably fatal, and very infectious, so Kirk must keep his distance from the others—a fact Spock ignores, of course. Spock is heartsick, but tries to keep up his stony facade. Lt. Rebecca Leyton, is sensitive to Spock's growing anguish. Much of the story is very well told through her eyes. The infection reaches Kirk's chest and he can no longer go on. He tells Spock to leave him, and take the two young crewmen to safety. "Mr. Spock stood for a minute, then moved slowly to Kirk. The agony in his eyes was so terrible Kirk said, 'Don't prolong it, Spock. Go quickly now. There's no sense in drawing it out.' 'I shall come back,' Mr. Spock said in a harsh voice. 'After we reach the settlement. I shall come back. I swear it.' 'I don't know what for,' Kirk said gently, though his own eyes were wet. 'There won't be much left of me by then.' 'I shall come back,' Mr. Spock reiterated stubbornly. He knelt down suddenly, slumped on his heels, and drew one hard, shuddering sob that came from his very feet. 'For God's sake!' said Kirk, equally agonized, 'Go!' Mr. Spock got up with an effort. "There is nothing I can say, Jim. So many years...but not a word. But you know how it is with me...how it has always been...and will be, until I follow you.'" Finally, Kirk gets him to leave. In parting, Spock kisses him savagely, full on the mouth, and says "'Goodbye, Jimmie'". (You have to accept this kind of language in Audrey's stories, or you are likely to be constantly disconcerted.) Spock, in the depths of grief, gathers the crewmen, who did not see what transpired, and they proceed at a very fast pace. It is a major effort for Spock to hide his grief, so that they will never suspect. He retreats behind an icy facade, driving the two lieutenants unmercifully, and tongue-lashing them, especially when they show affection toward each other. He cannot even sleep or eat. When they finally near the settlement, they are greeted by a party of Starfleet men, led by McCoy. He is shocked to hear what happened. When Spock immediately turns around to return to Kirk, McCoy insists that he rest first, that not even his system could stand such punishment. "'All the better if it cannot. Do you think such a thing would trouble me now?' 'But how can you find him again in all that wilderness?" McCoy protested still, trotting beside the already striding Vulcan. 'Do you think I could not find him?' Mr. Spock said. 'I could find him if I were blind. Do you think I do not remember every stone, every blade of grass?' McCoy finally demands to accompany Spock. After telling the others, they leave immediately, on a nightmare journey, Spock pushing even harder than before, to return to Kirk. When at last they reach the exact spot, Kirk is not there. They search the entire area, but he is not anywhere to be found, and not a clue to his whereabouts. Spock is shattered. They camp that night nearby, but neither can sleep. McCoy surreptitiously sees Spock return to the exact spot where he left Kirk. He fell to his knees, "hunched over and sobbed as if he was going to tear in two". The next day, a giant, deep crimson, intelligent horse" finds them. It is contacted telepathically by Spock. He discovers that it has found Kirk, and it wants them to follow. Here, the story flashes back to Kirk after he was left to die alone. Kirk reminisces back to the time he and Spock first made love "quite without premeditation on either side, but so naturally and inevitably that neither of them had thought to resist it." They made "love, without any promptings or exterior influences, simply and solely because they both wanted it, not from any lust, but from sheer love." Afterwards, Kirk is concerned with Spock's feelings, but Spock assures him that it is right for them now, and Kirk knows, without any doubt, that it is. Kirk meditates on his feelings, only regretting that since then they had not yet had the opportunity to make love again, though they had both wanted it. At that point, he is found by one of the horse creatures, carried to their shelter, examined, and given some roots. He catches on that the horses want him to eat the nuts growing on the roots. He sleeps, and begins to recover as he eats more of the medicinal root. He tries to pantomime that the horses should bring the being with the ears to him. When the yerka (horse) brings Spock and McCoy to Kirk, McCoy greets him tearfully and joyfully, but Spock and Kirk cannot take their eyes off one another. They rigidly control themselves. Spock rather spoils that by fainting. He does get a chance to give Kirk a surreptitious hug when he places him on the yerka's back and they head back to the settlement. McCoy puts Kirk on medical leave, teasing Spock with considering a pretty nurse to tend him. Spock is incensed, and he insists on accompanying Kirk. Kirk, overhearing, is vastly amused at the teasing. He is invited to stay in the Governor's house, and wants to be alone with Spock, but cannot refuse the invitation. He wants to make love with Spock again, and so does Spock, but he expresses his unwillingness to make assignations, and hide like guilty criminals. Kirk agrees, but wonders what "female talent they have around this dump". Spock is somewhat amused, and asks Kirk if his mind never leaves the subject of sex. But he is not angry, annoyed or jealous, which is certainly unique for fan stories! Spock complacently assures Kirk that he himself is able to wait for the right time and place.