Reunion (Star Trek: TOS zine)
|Publisher:||In Case of Emergency Press (its first publication)|
|Cover Artist(s):||Doug Little|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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Christine Chapel has landed the CMO position on Enterprise and trained to team with Will Decker, only to have Kirk take over the ship and call in McCoy. Chapel both asserts her control of Sickbay and loves having Leonard back, especially to deal with a somewhat out-of-control Kirk. She is also struggling with a roller-coaster of feelings revolving around Spock. McCoy wants to be home with the recently-divorced Joanna and her two-month-old baby boy Ashley, but also wants to be "home" on the Enterprise, and also does not want to deprive Chapel.
A deeper look at the V'Ger mission from Christine Chapel's point of view. McCoy helps her establish herself as the new CMO and deal with the emotional strain of losing Captain Decker while learning to work with Spock. Now McCoy is free to retire quietly to Earth to live with Joanna and his grandson. 
From the Editorial
You hold in your hand part of the result of six years of intermittant writing and re-writing, constant lov/e, and interminable hours of enjoyment. Reunion began its life as a love child of sorts, born of my ever-present little voice that says "What if ..." "and then . . ?" and something that grabbed me when I was 16 and never let go -- Star Trek, What began as a ten page scene that "should have been,'" written the night after I saw ST:TMP, ended several months later as 350 pages of something that -- as children have wont to do -- wouldn't stop growing. Just about the time I was wondering about my sanity (or maybe I should say, accepted my insanity -- I always wondered), I found fandom. Relief set in quickly, only to be brought up short by insecurity. Even in fandom, my type of insanity wasn't popular. I dared to see Christine Chapel as she would have had to be, given her background and position, and I had the audacity to follow it to its logical (pardon the usage) conclusion -- that she and Spock were two of a kind, odd pieces that fit together well. Well excuse me! I went on what I assumed was a one-woman campaign, to take people's attention off of what mismanagement of the character of Chapel the series had done (and much of it was merely lack of con tinuity from so many different writers, and the fact that there was not time or reason within the given set-up to define so minor a character) and to place attention on what she must have been -- working the givens into that structure. Whew. What a job. Luckily, I was not as alone as I had thought. There were others of you tilting at the same windmills. Together, in the last couple of years, our short stories, our correspondences, the backlash from the anti-K/S faction (anyone else with Spock -- just not Kirk) and the need to delve into minor characters for something new to write about, has changed the face of fandom a little. No longer do you get the strange looks when you dare to say Chapel is one of your favorite characters.
As was mentioned in the editorial, the story goes on. At the present there are sixty years worth of the lives of Christine, Spock, and various and sundry friends and relations either written down or plotted out in my mind, awaiting their turns to be written. The next chunk is perhaps, to me anyway, the most interesting. WHISTLING IN THE DARK (so I stole something else -- a name -- writers and artists are all thieves of sorts) is plotted, written, and waiting for me to unscrew a few major knots in it before I can polish it. Hopefully we will have it to you within the next eighteen months or so. It will be a little -- or a lot -- longer than REUNION, and will focus on a cartain lady doctor's struggle to remain aloof and professional with the ship's first officer with whom she works regularly. It also shows us a certain Vulcan first officer who tries to deal with some interesting feelings that he's never had so much trouble coping with before -- and is not sure he likes. Needless to say, Jim Kirk ends up somewhere in the middle of the emotional fracas with a foot in each camp. Read WHISTLING IN THE DARK and watch the fireworks. How does it turn out? Let's just say, if you've read my work before, you know I'm a die-hard romantic. That I think Christine is the only lady-type person for Spock. And that I never take the reader as the crow flies if I can drag them through an emotional briar- patch first. See you there...
Reactions and Reviews
Christine Chapel has landed the CMO position on Enterprise and trained to team with Will Decker, only to have Kirk take over the ship and call in McCoy. Excellent handling of the characters' ambivalent feelings in these situations. Chapel both asserts her control of Sickbay and loves having Leonard back, especially to deal with a somewhat out-of-control Kirk. She is also struggling with a roller-coaster of feelings revolving around Spock. McCoy wants to be home with the recently-divorced Joanna and her two-month-old baby boy Ashley, but also wants to be "home" on the Enterprise, and also does not want to deprive Chapel. Lots of charming bits here, such as McCoy's referring to routine patient work as "poop and croupe." Very nice handling of McCoy/Chapel - they are almost in love, but decide not to make love, McCoy telling her his "ears are all wrong for her." And it is Spock who shows everyone, including McCoy, that McCoy has made the correct decision (returning to Joanna) by beaming her and the baby aboard as he makes his farewells. Apart from the infamous "special" adjective, used to nausea near the end, this was a delight. The presentation of the events of ST:TMP as they were seen from Sickbay was very well handled. 
Trek fans of Christine Chapel will be delighted in the discovery of REUNION, a novel written by Beth Carlson. With the exception of the cover picture, this 123-page zine contains no art, but the format is beautifully done and remarkably free of typos. REUNION is a parallel story to ST: TMP. The events preceeding the Vejur mission are summarized from Christine's point of view, and her return to the USS Enterprise is described in detail. As a Starfleet Medical Doctor, she returns as Chief Medical Officer of the Starship, presumably under the command of Captain Willard Decker, but the presence of Vejur, which is approaching Earth, changes everything. Dr. Christine Chapel's position as CMO becomes very tenuous. The abrupt return of Admiral James Kirk, followed by the reluctant appearance of Bones McCoy, leads Christine to revise all her plans for medical management aboard ship. She sees these problems with little more than annoyance. Then Spock arrives, and her world turns upside down! Old emotions come to the surface, forcing Christine to deal with unresolved conflicts. Her feelings of love for Spock threaten to undo her carefully cultivated professional manner toward all Starship personnel, including the bridgecrew that she knows so well. Trust Bones McCoy to see what is happening to his old friends, even Spock to a certain degree. He treads carefully to keep Jim Kirk from overstepping his bounds as Commander of the Enterprise. Sensing Christine's conflicts, he finds the right approaches to help her through her initial emotional crisis without taking her away from her work. Even Spock is cautiously challenged, mentally searched, gently chided, and respectfully analyzed to determine how the rigors of Kolinahr have changed him or his abilities. McCoy is in his element except for one thing; no one sees the changes in him. As the ship moves ever closer to the giant cloud surrounding Vejur, the tension builds. The deep thoughts of Christine Chapel emerge and her struggle between duty and desire become even more intense. But it is her work, her duty to preserve the lives and well-being of the crew, in the face of inevitable destruction by the alien machine, which keeps Christine's world intact and her emotions contained. Yet her yearnings for Spock, for his loving attentions, continue to intrude. Her belief that he is in emotional pain, just as she is, tears at her sensibility and her composure. Then the alien captures Ilia, turning her into a probe. Christine turns her feelings toward the pain being endured by Will Decker. Slowly she helps Will work through his feelings with the Ilia-probe. Her compassion for Will is well noticed by both McCoy and Kirk. Spock disappears. His curiosity leads him to explore Vejur directly, including the attempt to mindmeld with the stored form of Ilia. The Ilia-probe tells McCoy and Christine that Spock is being rejected by Vejur, and that Kirk must bring himl back to the ship. In sickbay McCoy and Christine treat him gently, compassionately, endeavoring to restore him to consciousness. He laughs softly, then speaks to Kirk, slowly, emotionally. Christine finds joy in seeing Spock display his feelings of friendship for his Callander, for his devoted friend of aany years. She feels, in a certain way, that Spock is cured, of his self-imposed emotional isolation. There are many other issues to resolve after the confrontation with Vejur. Her credentials are supported by McCoy, but Kirk must decide whether to retain her position of Chief Medical Officer. And now that McCoy's problems are clear to her, how is she to help him? Just as she loved Spock and Will Decker, Christine has deep feelings of love for Leonard McCoy. As a physician and as a woman, she cannot ignore McCoy's needs for someone to listen and care. A perfect opportunity arises, one that she dares not ignore. REUNION offers all Trek fans the chance for a different point of view of the entire Voyager Six incident, and even more, several chances to understand and feel the thoughts of Christine, McCoy, Uhura, and many other characters within the ST universe. The feelings run deep, fraught with the kind of intensity that leads to growth, searching, and warmth of the soul. This is a new writing - 1984- even though it has been several years in the making. It is true to Trekism, and much more. I heartily recommend it, to all fans of Christine Chapel and TreK. I hope WHISTLING IN THE DARK, comes out soon.