In the Temple
|Title:||In the Temple|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine The Legacy #2.
"While waiting for Kirk to arrive for their joint shore leave Spock meets a Vulcan woman, unaware that she is someone from his past -— and is not Vulcan."
Reactions and Reviews
Over the thirty plus years of K/S, there have been scenarios that draw our enduring interest. These themes repeat over and over, and Jenna decided to provide examples of as many as possible in Legacy. One that has always been near and dear to my heart is when the Romulan Commander seeks revenge for what she sees as Spock’s betrayal.
Shelley often tells the story of how her first K/S story was about Kirk’s second trip to the Shore Leave planet coming across what he thinks is a computer-generated image of Spock. A unique inspiration, she thinks, never realizing how many stories had been written with the same idea. Nevertheless, she gave it gave it her own special spin. Something very similar happened to me. My first story was a Romulan Commander seeks revenge story. When Robin accepted it for FT 31, she said there were many other stories written with the same premise. My response? “I need those zines! Where can I get my hands on them?”
Each author writes with a style and perceptions that are totally her/his own. And Jesmihr proves that once again. Filled to the brim with hurt/comfort, “In the Temple” is also packed with innovative ideas. Because Legacy is so new, I don’t want to give away details, but I particularly appreciated the smooth flow of the story, the sense of anticipation she created, and her excellent, error free writing.What a great job, Jesmihr! I’m so glad you’ve decided to share your talent with us in print zines.
Beginning with a twist isn’t easy, but it works well here, lending an air of mystery and suspense that never lets up. I found the unnamed character at the opening of the story to be many-layered and interesting, but also menacing and disturbed. Yet this author is so skilled she allows us to see glimpses of a softer side. Spock is in very serious trouble. Kirk is at his frantic best, becoming almost supercharged with steely determination while his insides are being torn out by fear and frustration. It’s very difficult to say anything specific here without spoiling the tension for new readers. Suffice it to say, the characters we love most are challenged mightily and the way they handle each crisis shows the depth of their feelings for each other in a most effective way.
One scene in particular is wrenching – causing Kirk to face up to many things about himself in just a matter of seconds. No, I won’t describe it for you. Jesmihr has done this in an almost unbearably convincing style and everyone deserves to read it for herself.A sequel to “In The Temple” would be welcomed with open arms! 
There's been a lot of stories written about the Romulan Commander, some taking her part, seeing her downfall as very much Spock's and to a certain degree Kirk's fault; some not, seeing her own hubris as the seed of her destruction. That's pretty much been my opinion, so this story really worked for me; because of that, and the fact that it's so well written.
Spoiler Alert: As the story begins, we learn her fate after she returns to the Romulan Empire in disgrace. Now an outcast, her only reason for living appears to be to get her revenge on Spock. She's still as much a contradiction as she ever was, a seemingly strong woman who forgets who and what she is in order to first win the love of, and then plan the destruction of, a man she hardly knows.
She changes her appearance and posing as a Vulcan woman, asks Spock to accompany her to a temple near the "resort" where both have been staying. He has been waiting for Kirk to join him there but knows that Kirk won't be there for another day, so he consents. Using two "yarrl" cats as sled animals, the two journey to the temple.
I liked that at this point Jesmihr gives the commander a bit of conscience; the commander hates using the cats as beasts of burden and vows to release them from their captivity once she no longer has need of them.
Once at the temple, the commander overpowers Spock with a phaser shot and, using a drug to artificially bring on pon farr, she watches with a mixture of glee and horror as, naked and bound, he begins his descent into death. Yet she's still a slave to her attraction to him and begins to fondle both him and herself, only to be brought up short when he manages one word: Jim.
I love that scene. I can easily visualize her rage at finding out that, not only did Spock not love her, but that he loved someone else. And another man at that.
But now she's really mad. Unable to bear the sight of him any longer, she runs from the temple—only to meet a most fitting fate by being killed by one of the yarrl cats she had earlier released.
But that's only half the story, for Spock is still tied up, slowing dying as he is consumed in pon farr. What he does not know, though the reader does, is that Kirk has felt his distress even from light years away and fighting time and distance, manages to reach Spock in time.The scenes of them coming together are beautifully done. Though both have their fears, they manage to work through them. Ironically, the Romulan commander has inadvertently given Spock the very thing he's long wanted: a bond with Kirk.
I was so pleased to see a story by one of my very favorite K/S writers in Legacy. Jesmihr is a fantastic writer who started out online, but now is also writing for zines. 'In the Temple' is an incredible story - an intense hurt/comfort story with the Romulan commander playing a leading role. It opens from her POV, and the beginning of the story shows us a little of what her life has been like since she encountered Kirk and Spock. It‘s a tribute to Jesmihr‘s skill as a writer that the character is not a two dimensional villain, but is written so we have sympathy and compassion for her at first. Until we realize what a terrible fate she has planned for Spock. Kirk is joining Spock for shore leave on Ruchba, which is a bitterly cold planet but it has some intriguing ruins, interesting wildlife and beautiful scenery. Plus, it‘s half way between the Starbase where Kirk has been called to for a meeting, and the science conference Spock had been attending. Spock has already been on the planet for a few days when a Vulcan woman who says she is on a pilgrimage asks Spock to accompany her to a nearby ruined temple. Kirk becomes increasingly concerned during his trip to meet Spock that something is terribly wrong. His sense of urgency increases the closer he gets. And something is terribly wrong – Spock has been captured by the Romulan Commander, tortured, and forced into pon farr. Kirk rescues Spock, who is still in the throes of the blood fever. The rest of the story deals with how Kirk gets Spock through the plak tow and what happens to them and their relationship afterwards. This is a splendid, beautifully written story that was just a pleasure to read. The 'hurt' part of the story is very intense, but the author follows that with wonderful scenes of Kirk finding and caring for Spock. I highly recommend 'In the Temple'. 
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