In Any Reality (Star Trek: TOS story by Jean Rohrer)
|Star Trek Fanfiction|
|Title:||In Any Reality|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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In Any Reality is a Star Trek: TOS story by Jean Rohrer.
It was published in the print zine Integrity where it had illustrations by Mariann Howarth and Linda Rae Bow.
In the story, Kirk has to come to terms with his female body, how he is now perceived by his crew, Starfleet, himself, and most importantly, Spock.
The opening paragraphs:
The encounter with Planet 135CXZ had been the most devastating of the adventures to befall the Enterprise and her crew—or at least to befall Captain James T. Kirk. Ancient machinery from a long dead civilization trapped unsuspecting space vessels, transported their crew to the planet and genetically altered their forms to the opposite gender, leaving the psyche apparently intact.  On each vessel, one male, the strongest, was given an additional Y chromosome and left in male form. All others taken to the planet were transformed to their opposite. Ostensibly, nothing was changed except the boy..at odds with all the life experiences of that body's inhabitant. The resulting internal battle overshadowed all other clashes. No enemy had ever provided such a threat.It was of little comfort to James T. Kirk that the Klingon cruiser Teth, its Captain Kang and the other Klingons aboard had been likewise subjected to this disaster. Kang, at least, remained male, having been the recipient of the extra Y. Aboard the Enterprise, however, the Y chromosome went to Spock, who was unimpressed. James T. Kirk, captain of the ship and strongest by sheer dint of will, if nothing else, was now the possessor of a small, incredibly beautiful female body. It would have been no consolation at all had Kirk known that Kraal executive officer on the Teth also remained female, to his everlasting disgust and the unrestrained delight of that fierce Klingon crew.
Realizing that being female was going to be a career killer:
At one point, Kirk fends off a sexual attack by a disgruntled crew member: "How can women live like this?!" Jim wondered. "Do they have to be afraid all the time?" After this attack, Spock heals Kirk with a mind meld:
"Bones, what am I going to do? The Admiralty will remove me from command if this reverse doesn't work! You know how those brasshats work. Never mind if it works right, does it look good! Will it impress the public, and our enemies? They're used to Jim Kirk as a man. I'm the same person at least I think I am but I don't look the same. This'11 give Nogura the perfect excuse to drag me off to the Admiralty under the guise of a promotion!" Unaccustomed bitterness tinged the unfamiliar voice; roughened it and gave an uneven texture. McCoy ached to put his arms around 'Ms. Kirk' for comfort, but knew his friend couldn't accept that. He pulled out his Medicinal Uses bottle and poured them each a healthy slug. The two old friends were drinking thoughtfully when McCoy's intercom sounded.
Kirk, of all the men McCoy knew was, — or had been, at least — the farthest from this, the most consistently masculine; an alpha male, admired and respected by men and fascinating to women, he had the hardest job on a starship -- the one requiring the combination of brainpower, analytical ability, wit, control, and split-second decision-making capability without falter. McCoy could have done his job just as well in a female form. But a starship captain was another breed. There were, at present, no human females commanding starships. So far, only Vulcan females had received commands of their own. Human females had only reached the level of First Officer. That alone was a trial to face. McCoy doubted the policy-makers at Starfleet Command would be willing to change those rules even for a transformed Jim Kirk.
[snipped]It was no secret some of the ranking human officers still considered females inadequate for the position of ship command. Others were simply jealous of this 'hot-shot' whom they perceived as a glory-grabber. The chauvinistic old guard kept their antagonism under control most of the time, as the Vulcan philosophy of equality became more widely accepted, but McCoy knew that as a female, even the gorgeous female he now was, Jim would be laughed at in some quarters; regard for the fine mind and tremendous abilities would be lessened or discounted because they now resided in a female body. Jim had worked hard and been good at his job. The changed regard without valid reason would be devastating to that strong ego. Sadness filled McCoy, sadness at the stupidity of the human race.
"Kirk felt the opening of their link, the warmth at the edge of his mind.
"Jim," the deep voice offered, "if you will accept a meld, I can help you relieve the discomfort of this experience." Jim hesitated, then slowly nodded affirmatively."
The fear and sheer rage within Kirk buffeted Spock. Slowly, gently, the pain and fear engendered by the violent encounter were removed, the anger released so it did not fester and cause physical harm. Because of the need to touch the emotions, Spock could not avoid seeing the shock, anger, fear and confusion which were Jim's constant companions now, as he attempted to learn about and deal with the new body, and possibly a whole new life.As Spock's warmth oozed into his mind, Jim became drowsy. He stopped shaking as the reassuring presence made him feel safe, allowed him to relax. As always, Jim was amazed by the depth of his friend, the caring Spock would never admit to, the willingness to help, to ease the pain, to share a burden if Jim was willing. The pain and anger and hatred dissipated. He was intact; the injuries healing.
Spock saves the day again, and enlists Uhura:
For once Spock looked slightly flustered, as if uncertain how to proceed. "Ms. Uhura....Nyota.... in order for Jim to progress beyond this....disaster which has befallen him, it is imperative that he learn to accept this female form. If he cannot find or develop that acceptance, his sanity and possibly his life are at stake." The Vulcan's face was stone, his eyes bleak. "There are many things with which I can help Jim, but there are many areas in which I am not competent to teach or assist him. He " The level tone of Spook's voice almost cracked "SHE must have the help ofanother female."
Uhura realizes the gravity of Kirk's predicament:
After Spock left her cabin, Uhura sat, deep in though, unaware of the tears streaming down her face. "Poor Jim, she thought. Always a strong, handsome, virile man; now changed to a form almost the exact opposite. He would be so confused and frustrated." Uhura remembered clearly the strange signals her male body had given... the wrong 'feel,' off balance, inappropriate sexual cues, oversized hands and unexpected strength. But she knew her own transformation had been easier. "Maybe because it's still a man's universe and no matter how far we've come, men are still given more credence, respect and power," she thought. Yes, it would be much harder being male trapped in a female form. And this male in particular. Uhura doubted Jim even realized how delicate and beautiful his form was. That could be an advantage at times, but would be a major disadvantage as a star ship captain. As she contemplated how to best help Jim, she began to dress in a patterned caftan which complemented her chocolate skin, but which covered her quite well.
Uhura tells some things to Kirk:
Kirk shouted, "I don't care about being beautiful! I just want to be myself again!" The communications officer waited til the rage died down, then put her arms around Him and held him close while he struggled to reach command mode and control. She privately cursed the fates that had caused this trauma. She, or any of Jim's crew would have willingly accepted the opposite gender to spare him this. When she finally got Jim calmed down, Nyota began talking quietly with him about his new body; the strangeness of its feelings and sensations, the need to get acquainted with it, to know its strengths and weaknesses. "Being male even for that short time was a rough trip. It gave me some understanding of what you're feeling.""So many facets of our body we take for granted. Our body give us and those around us an identity point. We identify our 'self with that body, though they are not the same. It's not just how we look, but how we walk, our speech patterns and concept usage, the way we carry our body and use it, the sense of strength. Sort of like having a dependable, well-tuned instrument. Now all of a sudden it betrays you. You can barely recognize the face in the mirror and you don't have to shave it anymore. Your balance is off, your perspective is slightly different to compensate for the physical changes, and your body sends you unexpected and confusing sexual messages."
Kirk visits Vulcan and Spock's mother, and realizes that Amanada is also a "misfit" in a strange world.
Kirk was silent for a long time, his emotions roiling within him like a typhoon. What did she know about identity changes!? he thought furiously. She's never lost everything that was important to her! Jim watched her sit there calmly; unmoving, peaceful and serene, a human in an alien world, cut off from her family and her culture. Yes, he realized slowly, she really does understand.
The realization on Vulcan causes Jim to come to a form of acceptence that he'd remain in a female body. He decides to change his first name to Jamie:
Though he understood the need for Jamie to come to terms with her new form, deep sadness pervaded McCoy. It felt like the death of an old friend. I must not cry, he thought. They would adapt, all of them. Jamie had to explore all avenues now, consider all options and plan a whole new life.
Suddenly awkward, McCoy grumbled, "I don't know if I should shake your hand, slap you on the back or kiss you!" That said,McCoy winked at Jamie, squeezed her shoulder gently, and kissed a cheek lightly in his best Georgia-gallant manner. Jamie managed not to flinch.
Kirk moves to Vulcan and enrolls in the Vulcan Academy:
The first several weeks were spend in resting, sight-seeing, talking, weighing options. Jamie admitted to Spock and McCoy she wasn't at all sure what she wanted to do. She found the change in p, perspective difficult to cope with initially. The big aching emptiness that was the life—her life—from which she was forever removed, threatened to overwhelm her at times. The memories and experiences of a premier starship captain are not easily put aside. Indeed, Kirk the man had had more experiences in his short life
than most humans have in their 150 years. Now she must discover what Kirk the woman could do.Jamie was thoroughly grateful to be on Vulcan, despite the heat. Here she was treated like any other sentient being, with the courtesy and efficiency typical of the Vulcan race. That alone could be a strong reason to stay here, to accept one of the available positions. But the time for decision-making had not yet arrived. There were many factors to be weighed, and undoubtedly many compromises would have to b made. Jamie knew life was a series of compromises. There was one point on which she would never compromise, however; one basic tenet she held to: she would be useful and effective in her new life, or she would not continue living.
Spock realizes his love for Kirk:
A sense of loss grew within Spock as the days moved on. The more he considered the situation with Jamie, the more disquieted he became. His mind considered possible teaching positions available to him on Vulcan. Spock found himself unable to visualize living without Kirk close as hand. Illogical though it might me, the friendship which had developed between them provided Spock with a sense of contentment and comfort he had not found elsewhere. And he was unwilling to leave Jamie without the protection and friendship he had always provided. A scientist and computer expert of galactic renown. Spook's experiments no longer interested him; he performed them by rote. Not even his Starfleet career provided the usual interest. This thoughts revolved around one small human female. With his usual ruthlessly honest self-appraisal, Spock realized he loved Jamie Kirk. This was not the fevered insanity of the Pon farr, but more an extension of their years-long, deepening relationship...in which each of them would give anything they had and everything they were for the other. He struggled to deal with the intense longing and hope and joy and near-pain of the more human emotion. How very unVulcan! he thought with a long sigh.
Spock offers to bond with Kirk, points out that they don't have to be sexually intimate for another 5.326 years, if they don't want to:
From behind her came Spock's voice, soft, deep and with a strange inflection. "Jamie." She turned and found Spock standing very close to her, the look on her face unlike any Jamie had ever seen. The Vulcan squared his shoulders, then locked dark eyes with wide hazel ones. "There is another alternative," he offered. "If thee would accept me, I would bond with thee," Spock said, reverting to formal Vulcan.
Jamie's eyes widened with astonishment. Of all the things Spock might have said, she had not expected this. Warmth surged through her at the kindness. Her small hand touched the Vulcan's arm gently. "Spock...you...don't have to do this." Compassion showed in the hazel eyes. "You have your own life and career to think about."
Belying the anxiety in her belly, Spock said calmly, "I am under compulsion only from my feelings, Jamie. There need be no physical involvement for 5.326 years. Pon farr is a biological imperative. Any other activity is a choice according to the individual. Take as long as you need to decide. I shall notmention the subject again."
Kirk is both touched and intrigued by Spock's offer:
Jamie couldn't imagine living without the quiet competence of Spock nearby. The thought caused a deep aching inside her. He^s almost part of me. Neither one of us has ever had a friend- ship like this. Neither of us has ever caused this much. Spock was giving her the opportunity to maintain their friendship for life. They say good marriages are based on good friends who are also lovers. It'll probably take me a while to get used to the idea of being a wife, she chuckled to herself, but given my past performances, I'm a fast learner!
After all this soul-searching and angst, Kirk does NOT "turn back into a man." Instead, he remains a woman, and marries Spock:
The ceremony that evening was just 'family'. McCoy was grinning, blue eyes filled with happy tears, and Amanda's face glowed as she gazed at her son and his mate. Even Sarek's face seems unusually bright.
"Jamie, parted from me yet never parted." She felt a strange opening of self as Spook's fingers touched the reach points at her temple and the bonding began.
"Spock, parted from me yet never parted." Their minds flowed into each other, barriers dropping. Warmth and love surrounded them as each experienced the joy of completion at all levels of mind and soul. Their extended fingers touched the outside world ceased to exits.
[snipped]Hazel eyes smiled into midnight ones as years of friendship and love flowed both ways through their bond.