Pandora's Box (Star Trek: TOS story by Telana Wells)
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #26.
"A keepsake box from McCoyʼs future contains “movies” showing Kirk and Spock as a couple."
Reactions and Reviews
This story has a truly imaginative premise. The Enterprise happens upon an object in space. The object turns out to be a footlocker or "sea chest" bearing the name "Leonard H. McCoy," which is, as a certain someone would say, fascinating, inasmuch as McCoy has never seen the object before. Speculation abounds as to whether the chest has come froa McCoy's future or from some alternate reality. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy decide to investigate further and so open the chest, with results they have not anticipated. The characterization in this story felt very much on target and provided occasional rich insights into the characters. Readers who like a gently strong Kirk and a vulnerable Spock will like the Kirk and Spock shown here. The story and character portrayals were also enlivened by the viewing of "home movies" found in the chest that additionally served to cleverly insert established relationship vignettes into a first time story. A few scenes in "Pandora's Box" seemed somewhat abbreviated and might have benefited from a more thoughtful pace, but overall, this was a delightful story that was well told. 
Who could resist opening a box that apparently came from your own future? We’d know we shouldn’t but eventually, we’d do what McCoy, Kirk and Spock did. Seeing a Kirk and Spock who are very obviously committed to each other, the present K & S become very envious of the tenderness they observe in the holograms. One of the “home movies” is the campfire scene in STV, which was a nice touch. Very tender, loving moments and a warm and understanding friendship with McCoy are nicely portrayed. 
The Enterprise is sent to investigate a mysterious artifact found in space and they discover it is a 'sea chest', of one Leonard H. McCoy. Adding to the mystery is the fact that it's determined to be about 100 years old, and its trajectory places it as having gone through a black hole, which makes it either from a different universe or their future. Kirk, McCoy and Spock cant resist; they open it.
They find several interesting items, including pictures of an older Kirk and Spock. But what's really fascinating' is a 3-D motion holographer, using technology that Spock says is actually just being developed. The put in a cartridge and a scene unfolds, showing Kirk, McCoy and Spock, obviously on shore leave. It also shows an obvious intimate relationship between Kirk and Spock. It shocks all three men and they decide not to look at any more.
Except all three do look. They're drawn to it, needing to know more about this Kirk and Spock. McCoy comes to accept it first, and to accept that such a relationship is not only possible for this Kirk and Spock, but would also be good for both. He speaks to both about it, about their obvious feelings for each other, then waits. True to form, Kirk and Spock meet to talk about it, and the result is they become lovers. I like the ending, where Kirk and Spock openly show McCoy their new intimacy, and how they still want his company on their upcoming leave. It makes McCoy feel good and secure, knowing he still has a place in their newly changed lives.The plot was such a great idea. The story flows smoothly; Kirk, Spock and McCoy were all true to form. An enjoyable read.