ContentsIntroductionDean Wesley SmithSTAR TREK®Triptych (Second Prize)Melissa DickinsonThe Quick and the DeadKathy OltionThe First Law of MetaphysicsMichael S. PoteetThe Hero of My Own Life Peg RobinsonDoctors ThreeCharles SkaggsSTAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION®I Am Klingon (Third Prize)Ken RandReciprocityBrad CurryCalculated RiskChristina F. YorkGods, Fate, and FractalsWilliam LeisnerI Am Become DeathFranklin ThatcherSTAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE®ResearchJ. R. RasmussenChange of HeartSteven Scott RipleySTAR TREK VOYAGER®A Ribbon for Rosie (Grand Prize)Ilsa J. BickTouchedKim SheardAlmost...But Not QuiteDayton WardThe Healing ArtsE. Cristy Ruteshouser and Lynda Martinez FoleySeventh HeavenDustan MoonAfterwordJohn J. OrdoverContest RulesAbout the Contributors
TriptychMelissa Dickinson[Second Prize]ITwilight, on the city's lower east side.As the first stars appear in the eastern sky, a man and a woman in love cross a street. The two figures merge against the light of a streetlamp; a third watches them go, thinking of tragedy to come.It is an old story -- perhaps the oldest story. Love binding, love wounding, the Fates watching: Clotho with her hand upon the wheel, Lachesis measuring, measuring the threads of lives inextricably woven, patient Atropos with her shining scissors poised to snip...At the far curb, Edith Keeler turned toward the man she loved and spoke the words that would seal her fate. "If we hurry, maybe we can catch the Clark Gable movie at the Orpheum. I'd really love to see it."Her companion gave a questioning look, as if not quite sure he'd heard correctly over the bustle of the evening traffic. "The what?""You know, Doctor McCoy said the same thing!""McCoy -- ! Leonard McCoy?" As if the name were a curse, Kirk's smile vanished, leaving a hunted look in its wake.His intensity was frightening. She fell back a step. "Well, yes. He's in the mission -- "At that, all the blood left his face. "Stay right here." It was an order, and for an instant she froze in simple reflex. His hands tightened painfully on her shoulders; he was already turning. "Spock!" He released her and started back across the street. "Stay right there -- Spock!"The Vulcan had already turned and was hurrying back down the sidewalk. He reached the pool of lamplight even as Kirk did, and gripped the captain's forearms to steady him. "What is it?""McCoy!" A few feet away, the door of the mission opened. "He's in -- Bones!""Jim!"The weeks of tense waiting broke in one joyful moment of recognition. Kirk pulled his old friend toward him, enveloping the doctor's spare frame in an awkward bear hug. Even Spock could not quite stop himself from reaching out to confirm the reality. In their stunned delight, none of the three saw the woman start across the street.Then, one of them did.It was the look of alarm in the doctor's face that reached Kirk first -- but he knew, even before he turned, that it was now, this moment -- that there would be no turning from his fate.From hers.Spock's "No, Jim!" followed the captain as he turned, as he took one reflexive step toward her. McCoy made an incoherent sound behind him, and Kirk met her eyes, and then everything began to move very slowly.Afterward, he would remember it in too much detail. Each stop-action flash of motion seemed to take a small forever, each frame imprinting in his memory with scarring, indelible accuracy. By the time he turned, she was already halfway across. Her eyes were asking him a question, a tiny, puzzled frown gathering between her brows."Edith..."She was looking at him. Right at him. He felt more than saw the truck, felt McCoy beside him and Spock at his back, the pressure nearly crushing his heart. The rumble of the oncoming vehicle came up through the pavement, the soles of his feet, rooting him in place. She was looking right at him.She would know.Kirk knew what he had to do. He knew it. But he had lost too many times, had made too many choices that had taken too much of his soul. Her eyes were on his, widening suddenly as at last she sensed the motion of the truck bearing down on her, perhaps seeing it out of the corner of...
Dean Wesley Smith (Author)
Paula M. Block (Author)
John J. Ordover (Author)