To: Commander Spock
From: Captain James T. Kirk
Re: Recent Mission on Zaphyra
It has come to my attention that on the transmittal of my report to Starfleet Headquarters concerning the recently concluded mission on Zaphyra you appended a recommendation that the members of the away team receive official commendations for their diplomatic skills.
While I appreciate your emphasis on the positive outcome of the negotiations, I cannot help but question your recommendation. I am aware of several Federation directives which were loosely interpreted in order to comply with the stated intention of the mission – e.g. to negotiate with the Zaphyrans a right of way through their star system.
As you are well aware, the Zaphyrans distrust anyone not from their system. That we were allowed on their planet at all took us by surprise. Once planetside, the entire away team displayed extraordinary patience and perseverance, remaining on Zaphyra three weeks instead of the planned three days. During that time, we learned much about the inhabitants of Zaphyra, including the fact that they regarded Humans as a vastly inferior species: impatient, temperamental, demanding, and taken to fits of violence with little or no provocation.
That we were willing to remain on the planet, patiently awaiting their decision concerning the negotiations, housed in what was once a boarding school for delinquent Zaphyran youths, never once complaining about the less than luxurious accommodations, we gained a measure of trust and understanding.
We did our job. We came away with their agreement to allow Federation passage through their star system. I am not certain why you have recommended the away team for commendation.
Please elucidate at your earliest convenience.
To: Captain James T. Kirk
From: Commander Spock
Re: Recommendations for Commendations
Your memo requesting clarification concerning my recommendation for commendations for the away team assigned to negotiate with the Zaphyrans is puzzling to me.
The away team which you led to the planet was the sixth such attempt by the Federation to negotiate with the planet administrators and the first to end in agreement. Your away team was the first to be allowed to arrange a meeting with the administration, a commendable accomplishment.
While you claim no hardship was incurred by you and the members of your away team, three weeks is a long time to be on a planet with nothing more to do than wait to be summoned to the Hall of Justice. And due to the unique atmosphere of the planet, none of the members of the away team were able to contact those of us still aboard ship.
I have thoroughly reviewed your official report as well as the reports of the other five members of the away team. While several Federation directives may have been subject to some creative interpretation, I found no direct or implied violations.
I stand by my recommendations.
Should you require any additional information, please advise.
Re: Your Explanation
Although we were, as you stated, left to wait until we were finally summoned to the Hall of Justice, we were provided with ways to amuse ourselves. The Zaphyrans allowed us to borrow some of their video recordings. They have an interesting artistic sensibility.
More importantly, the three weeks we were planetside provided us with the information we needed and had previously been lacking to fully understand their outlook and why they distrusted Humans so vehemently. That time was not wasted.
I must state again that none of our actions makes us worthy of special commendation. I did my job. They agreed.
Do you see my side now?
Re: Your Continued Uncertainty
Three weeks is an unbearably long time not to be in contact with those you left on board your ship. Those whom are in love with certain members of the away team. Those who have discovered they can no longer sleep alone in their own bed. Had I been allowed to accompany you planetside, hardship on both our parts would have been greatly diminished.
That is my side. And I stand by it.
Re: Your Continued Unclear Explanations
I missed you too. But you knew that. The atmosphere did not disrupt most of our communication, thankfully. Just because we couldn't be together physically for three weeks does not qualify as "undue hardship".
I wanted very much to make you a member of the away team, as I told you prior to our beam down. But the Zaphyrans were certain that Vulcans are so vastly superior to Humans that you are surely a captive aboard Enterprise. Had you gone to the planet, they would have done you the courtesy of liberating you, and they would have been certain not to let us "recapture" you when we were ready to leave.
I also am cognizant of the fact that you thought I should not have gone on the away mission, since you could not join us on the planet. However, they made it clear that they were willing to only negotiate with the Human Captain of Enterprise, as inferior a species we may be. Their demand left me no choice but to beam down.
And the videos kept us busy, for the most part. Very interesting artistic sensibilities. I already mentioned that, didn't I?
Will you withdraw your recommendation so we can consider the matter closed?
To: My Jim
Re: Your Most Recent Request That I Withdraw My Recommendation for Commendation
It is you who liberated me.
And I do understand the necessity of your presence for the negotiations. I still question why the Zaphyrans thought it reasonable to force you to remain on the planet, isolated from the ship, from those you love, while they debated the merits of conducting the negotiations. They could have allowed you to return to us and wait here in the comfort of your ship and in the arms of your beloved.
I became fully aware of the Zephyrans artistic sensibilities while you watched their videos. Zaphyran pornography is hardly an appropriate method of entertaining their guests. It was especially troublesome as their night was the ship's day. When you sought relief from your reactions to the content of the videos, I had to leave the bridge until we were both satisfied. Unfortunately, sexual gratification without our physical and mental bond could hardly be classified as completely satisfactory. Perhaps next time you must be planetside for an extended length, you will heed my warnings and take the time to construct appropriate mental barriers.
In addition, Dr. McCoy has repeatedly informed me that during your time on the planet, you lost almost 10 pounds. Why this troubles him is unclear to me as he is the one who continually reminds me that you should consume a healthier variety of meals and thereby loose what he considers your excessive weight. While I do not believe you were ever at an unhealthy weight, his concern about your weight loss on the planet is contradictory to the warnings he repeatedly makes about your caloric intake. Perhaps you can supply clarity to his reasoning as the logic still eludes me.
As to my recommendations for commendation, I still see no persuasive argument that I should withdraw them from consideration.
To: My Spock
From: Your T'hy'la
Re: Your decision not to withdraw your recommendation
I'm really sorry about the pornography. Next time I will listen and we will construct the barriers you recommended before I left. Except I will be terribly lonely and feel utterly isolated if I can't reach you through our bond. Fortunately not too many civilizations choose to entertain their off-world visitors with videos of such explicit content.
Bones keeps harping about the weight I lost because usually when I'm bored, I gain weight. The food they provided us on Zaphyra may have been delicious to them but it made some of the Klingon meals we're suffered through look like the finest Earth gourmet. If you can imagine such a thing. We finally resorted to requesting only fruits, vegetables, and water. Those we could stomach.
Besides, if I'm not a few pounds overweight, it spoils all his fun. Since he's the only person on board my ship who can actually order me to stop or start doing something he decides I need to stop or start doing. Like eating ice cream after dinner. He'll get tired of the subject of my weight loss soon enough. Probably about the time I gain it all back. So he can tell me how unhealthy it is.
I need to get into bed now. Fragment sentences do nothing to reinforce my command status. Are you leaving the science labs soon to come join me? I sure hope so. Those videos were entertaining and educationally. Surely you can finish up in the labs tomorrow.
Anxiously awaiting your arrival.
Please do not fall asleep. I am looking forward to reviewing some of the educational techniques you learned from the Zaphyran videos.
I will be to our quarters as soon as I close down the last experiment.
Wait for me, please.
I will wait for you for as long as it takes. Can't promise I'll still be awake but if I do fall asleep, you have my permission to wake me up. Please.
Be there shortly. Experiments can wait. I cannot.
That's more like it. See you soon!