Tellus: From the Memories of a Romulan Anthropologist

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Tellus: From the Memories of a Romulan Anthropologist
Author(s): Flora Poste
Date(s): 1987
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:
title page

art for this story by Gayle F. -- "Kirk curled up on a bed with Tellus, a young Romulan spy trying to pass for a Vulcan. Meant to specifically illustrate “Tellus: From the Memoirs of a Romulan Anthropologist,” the illo is a good example of Gayle’s ability to draw a scene “to order” as it were. This Vulcanoid appears to be younger than Spock with curling wisps of hair that evokes a less restrained personality. Since this story takes place when Kirk is an admiral I would envision an older Kirk than the one portrayed here, but the gentle loving touches meet the mood of the text exactly." [1]

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Tellus: From the Memories of a Romulan Anthropologist is a Kirk/Spock story by Flora Poste.

It was published in the print zine KSX #1.


"Kirk meets a Romulan trying to pose as Vulcan while Kirk is posted on Earth and Spock is at Gol."

Reactions and Reviews

Flora Poste is the author of "Tellus: From the Memoirs of a Romulan Anthropologist Chapter III: San Francisco". Tellus is a Romulan anthropologist masquerading as a Vulcan so he can obtain a position at Intergalactic House in San Francisco, where he can spy on the members of the Federation who come there. This is a pre-ST:TMP story, and Tellus gives his account of meeting Admiral Kirk, who eventually asks for his services. I found Tellus to be a likeable character, as his innocence and good nature are very endearing. This is another story that had few surprises—and I didn't like the way the Federation was presented as so superior and goody-goody—but it was very well told and had a unique angle. [2]
I loved this story, told in first-person Tellus, a Romulan disguised as a Vulcan whose new assignment is in San Francisco. It was a while before we knew if this person is male or female-l like that. Turns out to be male. He is assigned to the Intergalactic House, a social club where he is likely to be able to eavesdrop-anything he can hear and pass on about new technology or the movements within Starfleet. Not like a big-deal intelligence mission, just casual surveillance. Tellus is a beautiful clear character, and I liked that this is not a story of dangerous intrigue.

Excellent writing; flawless. And I really enjoyed the very slow pace, the precise unfolding of the tale as perceived by the observant and sensitive Tellus, and his fascinating observations of Terrans.

He and we hear the gossip about Adm. Kirk, then about Kirk and Spock. Fascinating: Kirk is painted as the charmer, a manipulator. But one person had stood up to him and walked out of his life.

So Tellus gets interested in observing Kirk, and Kirk is watching him. Finally Kirk asks him to join him for the evening, engages him for "special services." Tellus had never yet been engaged, though he had been trained how to do so with automata.

Tellus' observations of Kirk nude are really beautiful. It is a very calm scene. Kirk undressing himself and then Tellus. Tellus wants to be there for Kirk's pleasure, but is failing miserably-so awkward, doesn't know what to do. Because Kirk is asking him what he likes, wants to pleasure him, when Tellus feels he's supposed to be doing the pleasuring. Beautiful, intense, wonderfully written, Tellus' release, Kirk's making love to him. Of course Kirk is really making love to Spock. He wanted to see if he could give pleasure to a Vulcan....

Kirk reveals he knows Tellus is not a Vulcan! He had been ordered to check Tellus out. They dress then have a most interesting talk, Kirk offering him a job openly as a Romulan anthropologist. Very beautiful, uplifting words by Kirk on the goals of intergalactic peace, communication, understanding, etc. I love this Kirk. He has beautiful idealism, is somewhat somber, thoughtful, has a soft pain in his heart for love gone away before he'd even known it.... Very sensitive, mature. I love him.

And they bed again, and in a mind link, Tellus hears "SPOCK." "The Vulcan was at the very center of his spirit." Tellus' desires have been awakened, but he knows Kirk could never be for him. Sad.

It is interesting that Spock is not even in this story yet it is very satisfying K/S nonetheless, all about Kirk's love for him.

Eventually, Tellus goes to the VSA; he has a wonderful bonding with a Vulcan and an Andorian. How marvelous. I love the references to Tellus' participation in the ceremonies at the end of COURTS OF HONOR. Greatl What a fine story! [3]
It's about a young Romulan spy, who has encounters with some people we know, including Admiral Kirk. I
 found it rather tedious. [4]
This is a marvelously different story told in the first person by a young Romulan send to Earth to spy on the Federation. Tellus, posing as a Vulcan scholar, works at Intergalactic House, a restaurant/hotel that provides its guests with food, drink, and the occasional sexual favor. James Kirk, now an admiral and Chief of Starfleet Operations, visits from time to time both with his superiors and alone.

One day the inevitable happens...Kirk hires Tellus for sex. The young Romulan, years away from his first pon farr and inexperienced except for the sexual training on androids and one encounter with the human proprietor of Intergalactic House, fails dismally in his first attempt at espionage. However, he does succumb to Kirk’s sexual expertise and is astounded by the sensations Kirk has made him feel. Kirk not only discovers Tellus is not a Vulcan, but convinces him that the Federation and Starfleet have been using Intergalactic House to spread the truths that will avoid war and insure peace for everyone. There is also one very personal reason he has for attempting the seduction of a young “Vulcan” scientist.

Flora was forced by illness to stop writing K/S. Grab and read anything with her name on it. [5]
Tellus: From the Memoirs of a Romulan Anthropologist; Chapter III: San Francisco by Flora Poste. I will admit that this was not my favorite story in the zine. It is told first person from the point of view of a Romulan spy, Tellus, who reminds Kirk vaguely of Spock. This story takes place during Kirk‘s time as Head of Operations in San Francisco while Spock has gone to Vulcan to study Kohlinar. This is a long story that, for me, veers a little too off topic and into the delicate workings of a spy on Earth. While the story held my attention it did not engage me enough to forgive the absence of an actual K/S relationship until hints of it at the very end. [6]
TELLUS: FROM THE MEMOIRS OF A ROMULAN ANTHROPOLOGIST by Flora Poste is a very nicely detailed and slowly unfolding story from the POV of a naive Romulan masquerading as a Vulcan in order to spy for the Romulan Empire. He is assigned to the Intergaltic House in San Francisco, an exclusive quasi- social club for Starfleet with "escort services" available. The Romulan is one of those escorts.

I loved how we learn about Admiral Kirk—through gossip and rumors that Tellus (an adorable name that plays on "tell us") hears. I also loved the creation of this character—how he loves to stand on the cliffs in the fog—so unfamiliar in his world—and meditate.

Tellus' naivité about his own looks and attractiveness is really adorable and when Admiral Kirk invites him to his suite, Tellus doesn't really understand why. There's such a funny moment when Kirk offers Tellus some fruit juice (he's relieved there's no alcohol in it—he's supposed to be a Vulcan!) and then he imagines that maybe Kirk put some truth serum in it and he hadn't been trained to control the effects. So cute! Then Kirk stands there all naked and gorgeous and Tellus admires him. I really loved seeing Kirk through this character's eyes—it was particularly well-done. The scene between Tellus and Kirk is so wonderfully poignant. We know Kirk's heartache for Spock and we watch as Tellus slowly discovers Kirk's pain. Also, Tellus' realization of personal pleasure is absolutely delightful. All his emotions get all stirred up—what it means to be a good Romulan versus his desire for knowledge and emotions. Really beautifully done. The most moving part is after Kirk has given Tellus his first experience of pleasure, Tellus reflects: "In the end, as it happened, that night caused some pain to both of us. We had come too near, and I had no barriers against him. We reached out, in those hours, toward the impossible, inaccessible loves of which we dreamed. In my case it was a love I had never known, a need newly wakened by his presence. My mind touched his then, in that joining which is more intimate than that of the flesh, and I found his last unspoken truth. This linking of consciousness was another thing I had not deemed possible at my age; and yet with him it was easy, natural—even inevitable. Spock. A cry was there, in his mind, and I had heard it. Kirk's longing for the Vulcan was at the very center of his spirit, and no one else, I knew could ease the pain caused by his friend's departure. This lonely dedication was one he had perhaps never revealed to another before tonight. A silent passion: and an unacceptable loss. He believed that the Vulcan was indeed lost to him. And yet he could not resign himself to that. Against all reason, he must still hope. It was his nature. It would be his need forever, I thought. And his torment." I adored feeling deep sadness from this because as we all know and as the story ends, Spock does come back to Kirk. On that subject, here is an example of a successful portrayal of a long passage of time (a few years) being shown quickly in just a few paragraphs. But it works beautifully because what happened during that time is not important to the story—it's what happens after that matters. Also, I loved the tone of what Kirk says to Tellus about the Romulans and the Federation. It had such a strong feel of Gene Roddenberry's vision.

This is truly fine writing so filled with emotions and so K/S even without Spock actually in the story. [7]


  1. ^ from The K/S Press #127
  2. ^ from On the Double #4
  3. ^ from Come Together #10
  4. ^ from Treklink #10
  5. ^ from The K/S Press #126
  6. ^ from The K/S Press #174
  7. ^ from The K/S Press #8