The Web (Star Trek: TOS story by Suzan Lovett)
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The Web is a Star Trek: TOS story by Suzan Lovett.
It was published in R & R #17 and later in Antinomy.
From the publisher: "Terrorists have captured a starliner filled with tourists and they have presented their demands. The hostage situation rapidly escalates into a complex political web involving the Klingon and Romulan Empires. As all their choices narrow down to the unthinkable, Kirk and Spock face the most difficult decisions of their careers."
"He knew it was senseless to blame Starfleet-might as well blame the fate that had placed him on this spot at this time-but these situations came his way too often lately, and he was sick of them. He was tired of being the one to order a crewmember into danger, the one to hold his responsibilities dearer than his friends, the one to push the button.... He couldn't help feeling like just a cog in the well-oiled Starfleet machinery, his whole existence devoted to making sure he functioned, obeyed, conformed-all according to the regs. He activated his log and started to record his resignation.... "
Reactions and Reviews
“The Web” is an excellent example of this author’s boundless supply of inventive and complex plots. I’d been told it was not to be missed. I was not disappointed as it is comparable to the best of the episodes. A civilian starliner has been hijacked, but prior to being thrown into that drama, Kirk and Spock are enjoying some leisurely time on the Enterprise, and being very lighthearted with each other in the presence of the crew – always a good sign.
The call comes in just as they are finishing a non- competitive swim in the ship’s pool. I have to say right here that this author has very convincingly cleared up a mystery that has plagued me for years. What happens to the water in the pool during maneuvers?? In this instance, a watertight seal is quickly applied, and that suits me just fine. It also demonstrates the skill this author has with details.
As the incident escalates to monumental proportions, with both Romulans and Klingons threatening war, there are memorable moments of tranquility. Spock brings a meal to Kirk’s cabin, knowing he has forgotten to eat as he struggles for resolution. Listen to this exchange if you doubt the love is there: Kirk says of the marines on board, “I detect a tendency to rush in where angels fear to tread.” “An inclination I have become painfully familiar with, Captain.” Kirk controls the urge to give the Vulcan a playful punch and leaves the room, suddenly feeling a lot better. Familiar?
I would be seriously amiss if I didn’t relate a later instance when Spock goes to Kirk’s cabin with data – and two aspirin for Kirk’s headache. When Kirk asks what makes Spock think he has a headache, Spock replies, “Don’t you?” Does he know his captain? The aspirin is helped along with a massage of tired, stressed muscles, prompting Kirk to reflect on how the Vulcan doesn’t hesitate to do this for him, even in front of others. Nice, huh?With tensions running high, there is opportunity for some personal conflict as well, keeping the reader on the edge of her seat. In a critical situation, Spock makes a decision that is totally motivated by his feelings for Kirk and it leads to a terrible misunderstanding and conflict between the two men. For awhile, it seems impossible to resolve and leaves us completely bereft as we read of the awful pain it has caused for Kirk and for Spock. “The Web” is a relationship story taken to its furthest limits. 
...the following stood out: THE WEB, by Suzan Lovett. A suspenseful tale of the part the Enterprise plays in the fate of a hi-jacked starliner, and the lengths to which Spock will go to protect Kirk. 
'The Web' is a personal favorite because of the dilemma it sets up. A Federation spacelineer is hijacked by a group of Romulans who claim to be fleeing Klingon space, and who demand passage back to home territory or else they will kill their hostages. This is the 'no win' situation brought to life, with complications on every side. A good well written effort. 
- ^ from The K/S Press #124
- ^ from The Shatner File v.2 n.11 (1984)
- ^ from Datazine #24