DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2023 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.

What Am I?

by Djinn



You knew me, or thought you did. You knew me as the woman who, when infected by a really annoying virus, announced her love to Spock.


Other people tried to skewer fellow crew with rapiers, cried like little babies because they couldn't tell their mother they loved them, waxed tragic over how they couldn't walk on a beach with their yeoman, and one even killed the engines and nearly drove the ship into a dying planet. But who's reaction to that virus is remembered? Mine.


And for good reason. It's all I was. The woman who loved and at one point lost. I loved Spock, then oh, wait, there's a fiancé and he's crazy, but that's okay because my purpose is to love, not to tell my captain that my lover is a homicidal android.


I mean, it was the sixties and I was a woman. You saw me doing my work and you saw me in love: what more did you want?


(Then I became a doctor, and a commander, and I rose faster than just about anyone but Kirk himself and Sulu, and I did it without homesteading in one position on one ship—but yeah, let's just remember me saying, "I love you." Let's just remember me making soup—I took food to a lot of people but that stands out because, well, I almost ended up wearing it. Let's remember the Platonians—no, no one deserves to remember that episode.)


So, yeah, you knew who I was. Even the first movie, they couldn't let me just do my (new) job. They had to have me squeak like a lovesick girl when Spock finally showed up. (Don't mind me, I'm still bitter. McCoy wanted his nurse back and Kirk wanted his ship back and who the hell knows what Spock really wanted back—or why he even went to Gol in the first place—except maybe "this simple feeling," but I apparently only wanted back the man who didn't, couldn't, wouldn't love me.)


I did better with the whales. At the hearing, I hung out with Spock's dad and a whale specialist (whose first act was to leave her whales, so I'm not sure why Kirk brought her back), but at least we all seemed to respect each other and there was no gushing over Spock.


Fast forward sixty years. I'm on a ship I probably was not on, serving under a captain I probably didn't serve under. But I'm okay with that because maybe, just maybe, I'll get an iota of character development.


And I do. I'm smart, I'm sassy, and I've got some kick-ass bio skills. It's unclear if I've got my PhD and might better be called "Doctor" Chapel, and to be honest, my invention is only used once so does that mean it failed so badly no one wanted to try it again or that it was just a plot device to get me on the ship?


Close to him. You see where I'm going with this, right?


I choose to believe it wasn't a failure. But I also choose to believe that perhaps it never worked right on a hybrid and they never left him off the missions so we never used it and instead he just wore a beanie, because that works in all situations. To hide any kind of ears: Vulcan or human.


I came to the ship from Stanford. It seemed like I was an independent contractor. No rank on my uniform, after all. But I also served in the war. I seemed at ease with regulations, with Starfleet. I still do.


I do not act like a civilian. I do not act like a Starfleet officer, either, exactly. I'm somewhere in the middle.


I'm skittish about relationships. Or I was. Until I wasn't. But then I was again, unable to tell Yellow I was in love with Spock. (Perhaps because I'm not? Perhaps because I am and it's all that I feel? Now, it's all that I feel now because that's what the writers want.)


Because of course I fell for Spock. When before I could commit to no one. Only you're well aware that I can commit—I'll say yes to the "will you marry me" question, however Korby poses it, and then I'll search for him while he's missing. Such fidelity.


So according to this new template of me, I should fall for Spock and then be gone. To protect myself—from what, we don't know.


But I don't run. I stay. I get the guy. A beautiful, sweet, generous woman is hurt in the process. I seem to not care.


We all know this is doomed. Roger Korby looms large and so does an episode where we (for the first time—time is confusing when prequels are involved) meet T'Pring.


Do I leave the ship I was probably not supposed to be on yet? Do I follow M'Benga and let a good old boy who will call Spock a green goblin and other such gems take over?


Or maybe not? Maybe I stay on the ship and torture everyone with the angst that will bring to little boy Spock. And have to deal with McCoy when before I served under a man I both loved and respected.


Who did not spend all his time on the bridge. Who will come back and have to serve under the white southerner (oops, straying into dicey territory. Sorry.)


So yeah, one of us leaves the other, Spock or me? My money's on me. My money's on getting annoyed with his regression, his innocence, his insistence on caring for me when all I want is a moment to myself.


He speaks of the bond like it's a gift. I view it as a life sentence.


Oh, I don't mean to belittle. Spock was amazing. Until he wasn't. Until to make it work with me he had to be turned into a fifteen-year-old boy, air punching and taking risks even an idiot of a human could see were ridiculous.


I think we know me well enough to know I would not stay with a fifteen-year-old boy. But sure, make him less than, make him foolish, make him smile even though I went through hell to get him his Vulcan half back.


I wanted that back, so why is he smiling like a fifteen-year-old boy who had a girl touch his pants for the first time?


And why is so much of my story now about him?


Don't get me wrong. I don't mind loving him. But let me have the real Spock—not this Rumspringa impersonator. Wasn't that the whole point of the speech you remember me for in the first place? I love the human Mister Spock and the Vulcan Mister Spock. I would never ask him to choose to be just one.


Which is why I should have thrown a party when I heard in the lift from that idiotic time traveler who somehow belongs on a starship in the future (note to self: die before that crew reports in) that Spock would be less open, less human, less...foolish.


But no. It distressed me. They wrote it that way: ergo it is.


(Do these writers ever talk to each other?)


Oh and don't think it's escaped my notice that while Spock and T'Pring may have taken time apart, they are still engaged. Of course I know that.


In fact, that fact should bother me. The Chapel who told Spock he wouldn't cheat on his girlfriend should be bothered by this.


But...I guess just like my very cool disguises, my ethics when it comes to dating were also chucked right out the airlock. In the name of plot.


But hey, for the same reason, I get to be a super soldier. I get to have a past filled with war wounded that makes me more akin to Margaret Houlihan or Colleen McMurphy than some lovesick fool, some pastel blue doormat.


I wore black not pastel, and I made hard choices—or if I wasn't ready to, the man, who had to be my lover even though they don't seem to want to go there, made them for me and cleared the pattern buffer, knowing that the next time, I would do it.


I have memories I can't share. I have war crimes I witnessed I can't share. I have assassinations I urged on I can't share. I have secret formulas called Protocol 12 that I can't share.


My lover will eventually want to share. Everything.


Finally, we are back to how they drew me in the first place. Finally there is consistency between my character when I reported to Pike's ship and my character now. Don't get too close. Don't expect too much.


But not because I'm hurt or shallow. Not because I was unlucky in love but because I carry a world of things that had to be done in my head and I can't—won't—ever share those with Spock.


With this foolish fifteen-year-old boy my wise and honest Vulcan has become.


We will end. We will end sooner rather than later, I hope. I can't be killed off, not if this is the prime universe. (Oh, I know you all are debating that and I don't know the answer. It's my prime universe, how's that? Some other Chapel might live in the one you know.) But I can end this. I can walk away when he wants too much.


I can find a man who later will go insane and put himself in an android body and make copies of my captain in some crazy bid to populate the world with machines.


Does that make me Sarah Connor too?


What am I? So far, nothing I am seems to take. Geneticist? Lover? Free spirit? Ray of sunshine? Spock's girlfriend?


The only thing that seems to take is that I'm a healer. That I want to make a difference.


It will carry me through this mission and the next. It will take me through med school. I will transfer to Emergency Operations and it's unclear what that really means but I choose to believe it means I'll be helping.


I may not use my medical knowledge directly but it will inform my choices. I may not ever make a disguise again, but I will never not be brilliant.


I may always love Spock—but that won't stop me from walking away from him.


Possibly more than once.


And I'm all right with that. I'm already showing you that. I'm choosing my friend and what we did and how we made a difference in the Klingon war itself and in the one that threatened to break out.


I will always choose that. Even if it breaks my heart.


I am more than a woman who loves Spock. Please don't forget that.


Even if the writers periodically do.