|Author(s):||Greywolf the Wanderer|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|External Links:||Lost Sailor|
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It was published in T'hy'la #21 and later online.
"Greywolf says... the story “Lost Sailor” was sparked by a challenge to write a pon farr story without sex. Well, the sequel, “Ripple,” had sex sure enough, but no one seemed to mind." 
"In the throes of Pon Farr, Spock deserts the Enterprise and erases all traces of his intended destination."
Reactions and Reviews
Spock is on the verge of pon farr and escapes the Enterprise and Kirk to possibly die.
"But Jim is human. Humans do not Burn as Vulcans do. He has not my strength. He would not be able to resist me, should he wish to. And it has always been to women that my friend is drawn. I am not blind. I have seen his nature, over the years."
Spock applies for leave and goes to a hot, dry planet to a remote cabin in the wilderness to go through pon farr, unbonded. He chains himself and prepares to die. Spock's thoughts during this time are nicely deep and emotional.
Kirk searches for Spock and finds him, sick and injured, in the cabin. He's had seizures, torn nails and broken fingers, and he's very sick.
Kirk calls McCoy to come to the cabin to care for Spock and so McCoy brings all his medical supplies. I had a difficult time understanding why they didn't beam back to the ship except for Kirk's thoughts: "...there's no way Spock would want the crew to see him like this." But I wondered why they didn't get him to sickbay without the crew seeing him.
Some difficulties—Spock's decision to go off and die from un-bonded pon farr was not substantiated enough. The one paragraph that I quote above was pretty much the sole explanation for his behavior. Spock's decision to die is such a momentous one, it's got to be supported by lots and lots of reasons—not just that Kirk sort-of likes women more than men or that he just doesn't really understand the Vulcan way or whatever. I wanted to shake Spock and yell: "Would you please just ask Kirk before you kill yourself?"
The scene of Spock alone in the cabin worked fine except that Spock brings food and water, firewood and is concerned about his well-being even though supposedly he's gone there to die. Again, this might have been expanded upon because it could have been an interesting dichotomy for Spock—he thinks he wants to die but really doesn't.
I wasn't enthralled with the in-detail descriptions of Spock's injuries, either. But maybe that's just my taste.
Only one last difficulty and then to the really good stuff (of which there was plenty). This story was written from the first-person POV of both Spock and Kirk. On top of that it was present tense, but often strayed to past tense sometimes in the same paragraph.
First-person POV is difficult enough, but present tense is very difficult—both to write and to read. For me it was incredibly distracting, which I was sorry for because there were some really fine things in this story. I found myself sort-of mentally rewriting it into past tense, regular POV as I read.
The rest of the story—as Spock recovers and he and Kirk talk—is very good. The discussion they have about Spock'sdecision to leave was helpful even if it still wasn't supported enough (wrong or right decision, the question was why—even more of a question why when Kirk so readily accepts Spock as lover.)
And the last section of the story where Kirk and Spock talk is really excellent. It's a beautiful moment when they touch and the feelings pass between them in a meld.I especially liked Kirk's characterization—strong, yet filled with emotions. 
It seems these two stories [Lost Sailor and Ripple] are really the one following the other, so I'd like to talk about them together. By itself, the first one, Lost Sailor, doesn't feel especially complete to me, while the sequel, Ripple, does feel like a story in itself. But together,they are a whole and satisfying story.
I don't care for first person, and especially not the artificialness of present tense. But in the beginning of this, at least Spock is apparently recording a log, so the first person has veracity in this part. The story switches between Spock and KirkPOVs.
This is about Spock, with his coming pon farr, leaving the ship and secreting himself away on New Arizona, to chain himself up and die. It's Kirk who he's drawn to this time, and a bond has begun to form; but Spock won't endanger Kirk, and seems certain there's nothing to consider with him. We also get Kirk's POV, how he realizes his true desires with regard to Spock when he's so close to losing him; and there are interesting things about his feeling the burning himself, also.
Most of the story takes place at the cabin where Kirk and McCoy find and treat Spock for his injuries. Lots of medical detail, for those who like that. And lots of inner thoughts, throughout both stories. And at the end of the first story, Kirk and Spock are to the point of acknowledging their feelings and talking about the bond.
Maybe it doesn't feel "complete" to me because they don't have sex. Now in Ripple, there is resolution and nice sex. It takes place back on the ship, and Spock is again feeling the oncoming pon farr.
But what I especially liked about this was a good and innovative portrayal of M'Benga. He is a 'Vulcan by choice.' We leam a lot about Vulcan sexuality and mind rituals, etc. I like how M'Benga helps them though this. He acts a s the go-between to form their bond, with really good Vulcan rituals shown. And he encourages them to be together and strengthen their bond before the pon farr- so it will be easier and more satisfying. Poor Spock, in this story, has a lot of fears and hang-ups, and so they work through these.They are ecstatic with their bond, and finally have sex, though it's written in two paragraphs in kind of veiled words. But we get more and satisfying sex later, written out more fully, both from Spock's POV in the throes of pon farr, and later...and all is well. There's a quiet ending including a small ceremony at the end of pon fan-—very nice. 
Experts will tell you that suicides are not committed by those in a frenzy, nor are they generally done on impulse. Those who take that irrevocable step are resolved and frequently calm. They have made their plans carefully and are determined to complete them. We see such a person in “Lost Sailor”. He is Vulcan. He is lost. He is ready to die.
Much as a fatal disease consumes the identity of the ailing person, the inevitability of Pon Farr erases the identity of the unbonded Vulcan male. I cannot tell you how clearly the futility of life comes through in this author’s words. One hardly knows what to feel in reading such an account of a man’s last desperate act. Angst is not enough. Sorrow doesn’t begin to describe how you ache with Spock as he methodically arranges the terms of his demise. A part of you knows the writer must have a very personal relationship with this kind of cold acceptance of reality. It is easy to relate to the actions, the choice that is no choice. Opposite feelings define a human who throws himself into a frantic race with time—time that has become his friend’s worst enemy. This perspective is somewhat more familiar in context and somewhat less chilling. While the remainder is predictable, it is different in that it is told first from Spock’s perspective and then from Kirk’s.Loneliness is eventually banished, leaving the reader well compensated for the time spent with this fine account of the limits to which love will push us. 
A few months after "Amok Time" Spock finds himself once again succumbing to the Fever, and takes a shuttle to go sequester himself on a planet until he dies of it, afraid of what he might to do Kirk otherwise. Fortunately for all, however, a bond has already begun to form which allows Kirk to find him in the nick of time for Kirk and McCoy to nurse the damaged Vulcan back to health and presentability. And Kirk elicits Spock's promise never to do such a thing again. Greywolf has a wonderful, sweet touch with all of the characters; this is an excellent version of an oft-used premise. 
I don't believe I've ever read a story like this before. The first person tense in which it was written made it extremely intense. I was amazed at the depth here. I find that I'm an emotional reader, as I recently admitted to Agincourt, identifying with one or two characters and thus experiencing the story. But this one, this one was......it was......Damn. I 'felt' both characters, not just one. They both reached me, quite easily as a matter of fact. Maybe that's why I feel so drained.
To have hidden so much from the other, even though there was a bond, the strength and diligence that took, and the emptiness it left. For both. I easily felt Spock's surprise at Jim's revelations, and Jim's own surprise at the depth of his own feelings. There was so much more here than just the physical. The emotions and feelings of the brotherhood, the friendship, the sharing of souls. One thing I was not surprised at was the fact they found Spock, even though he had taken such pains to assure they would not. Not only is the Enterprise charmed but so is her crew. <g>
The depth with which this was written is awe-inspiring. I feel tired, and drained, and happy, and just a bit nervous (about what the future holds); I can't imagine what you must have gone through to write it. But then maybe that's the mark of a good writer. One that can move the reader to the extremes while he himself remains solidly planted. I wouldn't know, Lord knows I have enough trouble trying to make myself clear when doing feedback. Sometimes it's like baring your soul, I think that's where this story took me. A baring of one's soul, because that's what Spock and Kirk did. Makes me feel vulnerable, as if I had done the baring.A damn fine piece of fanfic here, Greywolf, Damn Fine. I live for stories like these. So with that, I thank you, for writing and sharing, AND for e-mailing me the part I didn't have. 
<sigh> Y'know, it'd be much easier for me to hate the wyrd wolfie if he didn't write such bloody good stories. Yup, its Greywolf and its K/S. Does my opinion on this one really count? :-) Seriously, folks, i *loved* this story. Pain and suffering. Kirk and Spock each doing what they think is right. The jumping from Spock's POV to Kirk's is a little confusing but you soon get used to it. The fact that its written in the first person makes it very emotive and you sometimes feel overwhelmed. A brilliant story by a brilliant author - and Greywolf, darlin', i'm only sayin' that 'cause its the truth, so don't go gettin' any funny ideas, right? 
Greywolf is my favorite author in Star Trek: The Original Series. His ability to depict the deep bond between Kirk and Spock is unparalleled, and his characterizations are always spot-on. His Spock is the controlled Vulcan we know, and yet he is vulnerable deep inside at a point only Kirk can touch. His "Songs of the Dirhja" trilogy is the most heart-breaking drama I've ever encountered whereas "Lost Sailor" is content to rely on the topic of Ponn Farr. Spock does not want to force Kirk into something he is not prepared to handle, and Kirk would do anything to save the man he loves. Simply beautiful.
- from The Legacy of K/S on the Internet: Online K/S Fiction
- from The K/S Press #54
- from The K/S Press #56
- from The K/S Press #60
- from Halliday's Zinedex
- Pamela: TOS "Lost Sailor" K/S h/c 3/3 [PG13], post at alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated, August 26, 1999
- Since you threate...er..*asked* so nicely, April 16, 1999]
- star trek: the original series fan fiction recommendations by allaire mikháil