A Fleeting Moment
A Star Trek Vignette
Written by Matthew R. White
© July 22, 2013
Based on the Characters and series created by Gene Roddenberry
Historians Note: This story takes place during the episode Balance of Terror written by Paul Schneider
Her heart pounds in her chest as she dashes through the corridors, dodging other crewmen on their way to battle stations. Between the Red Alert klaxon and the order to jettison the logging recorder, Janice Rand knows her ship is in grave danger and they likely have only minutes to live. She quickly ducks into the turbolift and races for the bridge.
As the turbolift doors open, she pauses for a moment to steal a glance forward. Between the speed of the stars passing on the main view screen, and the thrumming of her warp engines, Janice knows the Enterprise is at full reverse. In the center of the screen, the shimmering image of the Romulan plasma weapon grows larger as it overtakes the ship. She hands a log tape to the crewman passing her and steps down onto the command deck. Boldly, she approaches the man in the center of the storm.
"Captain, shall I continue log entries…"
"Yeoman," he interjects.
His tone is one of resignation, and as she watches him turn back to the screen, suddenly, she is afraid. It seems like an eternity before he answers her question.
"Affirmative, continue log entries."
She finds solace in the calm of his voice as he stands just behind the navigation station. As she watches the screen beyond and prepares herself to meet her fate, she considers her feelings towards the man in command of the Enterprise.
Some months ago, a transporter accident had literally split James Kirk into two people, one mild mannered, intelligent, and caring. The other, the one who had tried to rape her, was animalistic, egotistical, and uninhibited.
It had taken several sessions of intense counseling with Doctor McCoy before she was ready to face the Captain. Intellectually, she knew he wasn't responsible for what had happened and the remorse in his eyes was readily apparent. He needed to heal as much as she did. In the end, the incident, which threatened to drive a wedge between them, had actually strengthened their friendship.
Janice had resigned herself to the fact that friends are all they would ever be, but in the face of certain death, she experienced an insatiable desire to reveal her feelings to him. Subconsciously her legs propel her forward until she is gently pressing against him, her chin resting on his shoulder. She is still afraid, not of the approaching danger, but of the fear of being rejected by him.
As Lieutenant Sulu counts down the seconds, Jim Kirk turns and reaches around her waist pulling her gently to him. Their eyes never meet as they are both mesmerized by the approach of their fate, a fate they will meet together, safe in each other's arms. For a fleeting moment, Janice Rand is at peace with herself.
The plasma weapon which has been weakened by the distance strikes the Enterprise, sending Kirk and Rand into the railing. As the ship stabilizes, Janice moves behind the Captain, still leaning on him for support. She is shocked to still be alive.
"Limited range," says Kirk, in a contemplative tone.
Slowly she retreats away from him, knowing the duties of the captaincy will occupy his thoughts. But as she returns to her duty station, she looks back to him and they share a brief smile. It is the only acknowledgement either of them will give.
Janice knows that she will never again be so close to Jim and silently morns things that she knows will never be.