A Traveler Between

by Beverly Volker
Art by Russell Volker, Sr.

Originally published in Beyond Orion #2 (July, 1977)

Bev and Nancy wrote for a lot of other zines over the years. As we find them, we’ll be posting those efforts here as well, in addition to stories and art from the pages of Contact. Here’s one of Bev’s short pieces about the aftermath of the accident which took Edith Keeler’s life in “City on the Edge of Forever.”

BeyondOrion_2_Illo_RussThe corridor was quiet and still, lights dimmed for the evening. At one end, a solitary figure waited in anticipation on the single bench. His vigil had been long. Finally, the sound of footsteps broke the silence and he rose anxiously to meet the approaching figure.

“Mr. Kirk?”

The man from the bench nodded. “I’m Dr. Miles,” the other told him. He spoke gently. “I’m very sorry. There was nothing we could do for Miss Keeler. She suffered severe head injuries and some internal damage. I’m afraid she was too weak to survive the operation.” Continue reading

Beyond Orion

By Bev Volker
Originally Published in Beyond Orion #2

Stars beckon, calling,
Dreams come true.
Visions, silver-rimmed,
Out of the chaos of inhibitions,
Superstitions that keep us
Bound by our own inadequacy,
She rises
On wings of perception,
Understanding with intuitive insight,
The need to help.
Yet, Fate intervenes
Its insidious course,
Too soon.
She is right.
The time is wrong.
One day, Man will answer the starcall,
Soaring toward unlimited heights
Made possible by this
Sacrifice —
One insignificant life spent
In the infinite quest of destinies.
She must die.
He knows, Doctor. He knows.

Phase II – Chapter One: The Invitation

By Beverly J. Volker and Nancy J. Kippax
Art by Russ Volker

This is the first of four installments in an unfinished series by Bev and Nancy, speculating on the future of the Enterprise crew. Ironically, in 1975, only six years after Trek had gone off the air, Bev and Nancy took the characters two decades into their futures, past the point time would take them when they actually returned in their movie series. This is very early Bev and Nancy, and I had to resist my editor’s urges as I verified the OCR. I admit I did correct their baffling insistence on misspelling “Chief,” and I did fix one case of “with whom he had worked for years with.” They would have fixed those too, if their intent to finish and collect this series had been fulfilled. Bev loved melodrama, and this series shows it, especially as it digs into the history of the tragic Tarra St. John. But I think there’s nothing more fun than digging into the predictions fan writers made about the future of Trek before we knew it would have a future. So enjoy this first part of Phase II. I’ll keep restoring it, and, hopefully soon, make sense of quite a few pages of (unpublished, I think) manuscript Bev left behind.

— Steve



The Invitation

Admiral James T. Kirk pushed the button to open his door.

A recurring stab of loneliness filled him. The rooms were so empty now, without Areel to share them. He spent as little time as possible here these days.

Since his wife’s tragic death in a shuttle crash six months ago, Jim had been burying himself deeper and deeper into his work, concentrating all his effort on accepting what had happened. They had a good life together, a good marriage; he felt fortunate to have found such unexpected happiness at all, albeit short-lived.

I really ought to move, he mused, entering the living area.

But as usual, he shoved the thought aside, reluctant to go through the ordeal of sorting through their possessions.

He was meeting “Bones” McCoy for dinner this evening; a pleasant interlude which he was greatly looking forward to. Both of them living on the same Starbase as they did, the two old friends didn’t see as much of one another as they’d like.

Continue reading

De Profundis

By C.R. Faddis


We were just about to complete this zine when we received the following story. As we read it with a mixture of “pain and delight”, we wondered what to do with it. We had planned to use it in our next issue as we felt it might be a bit much in the same copy as “EULOGY” and we didn’t want to present CONTACT as morbid. And yet, we found it to be such a poignant and powerful vignette, so typical of our theme, that we felt compelled to share it with our readers. Thus we made our decision to include it at this time. Many thanks to Connie and to Carol Frisbie for thinking of us.

The merciless technology of subspace radio caught and reproduced the minutest detail: the throat-torn, mindless screams; the shuddering breaths sucked in between each scream; the gradual decanting of screams into blood-clogged gurgles. The radio could have been turned off, yet no one made a move to do so; it was impossible to listen, but impossible not to. Then, finally the wheezing tapered off and stopped. Spock deliberately relaxed his cramped hold on the seatsides of his chair and glanced at the chronometer. It had taken McCoy a full forty minutes to die. Spock raised his eyes to scan Kirk, but the Captain sat quietly in the command chair, his eyes still tightly closed, his face drawn, but giving no other visible sign of the horror he unknowingly was projecting.

The radio crackled to life. “You will now surrender the renegade Kerl or your Lieutenant Garrovick will be put to death as well.”

Uhura swallowed her sobs, straightening, and pulled herself together enough to transmit the Captain’s reply, but the silence stretched out. Kirk gave no sign of having an answer.

Enterprise,” the Romulan voice insisted, “your officer is impatiently awaiting your reply.”

Silence ruled. Then, slowly, the Captain doubled over in his seat as though all the life had gone out of him, and he covered his face with his hands. “No,” he rasped, barely audible. “We can’t.”

“Kirk,” the radio demanded, “give us your answer.”

Spock shot out of his chair and punched the transmit button at Uhura’s console. “This is Commander Spock of the Enterprise. Your demand for Kerl cannot be met. Kerl’s request for asylum is fully legal, and we are under obligation to honor it. However, your kidnapping and murder of our officers may well be construed by Federation authorities as an act of war. I strongly advise you to return Lieuteant Garrovick to Federation territory Unharmed. ”

An agonized shriek in Garrovick’s unmistakable baritone erupted from the radio in uncompromising answer. This time, Spock cut the reception, but the cries continued in the minds of the bridge crew regardless. For long minutes, no one moved, and only muffled weeping shocked the utter quiet.

Spock stepped down into the well of the bridge, but hesitated.


Kirk did what was expected of him. He sat back in the command chair and cleared his face of pain, giving the order to return to the outpost in a dead voice. The bridge crew stirred back to life, laying in the course, engaging Warp Drive, contacting the outpost.

There were routine things to do to absorb the mind. The Enterprise turned from the Neutral Zone in a graceful arc and fled the frown of fortune.

Kirk stared through the viewscreen, but his eyes were blank and dry. He’d sought and tried every alternative, but the single one that would have worked was the single alternative he did not have: Kerl was worth more than the lives of two officers; Startleet would readily have traded an entire starship, crew and machine for the Romulan genius who’d perfected the cloaking device. No, Bones and David had not died without reason. But they had died.

After a million kilometers, Kirk pushed himself to his feet, but his knees betrayed him and the bridge spun away sickeningly.

Spock, who had stood by in supportive silence the whole while, lent real but unobtrusive support now.

“Mr. Scott,” the Vulcan called, “Please take the con.”

Not until the turbolift doors were safely shut behind them did Spock allow Kirk to slump into his arms. He did not take the Captain to Sickbay; he knew instinctively that it would have been the worst choice now. He carried him, instead, to his own quarters. The Romulan, Kerl, passed by in the corridor and turned with the others there to watch the Vulcan and the Human disappear around the bend. Voices buzzed, speculating worriedly, but there were no answers, and Kerl went back to his cabin to meditate.

In Spock’s quarters, the Vulcan eased Kirk into the chair by his desk and knelt beside him, not sure what to do next. Kirk sat limply, as apathetically as he’d lain in Spock’s arms, but the anguish he’d broadcasted earlier had dulled not a bit. Spock winced as ha touched Kirk again, unable to block such intense emotions completely, but he determined to blunt Kirk’s pain with any method he could employ. He positioned his hands on Kirk’s downturned face in the precise placement necessary for editing memories. Jim was listening to those screams, over and over, and the stab of horror slashed into Spock’s guts with real physical pain. The Vulcan hesitated, recovering himself, and in that brief moment he was firmly and angrily pushed away, refused, denied. He dropped his hands and pulled back.

“Jim–” he began, and found no words.

Kirk did not, would not, look at him.

So. The Human was determined to suffer, to punish himself. Spock settled back on his knees to consider. Kirk would not accept Vulcan comfort; Spock barely knew how to give any other. The Doctor’s shrieks ran fresh through his own mind as well, and he wondered fleetingly if he indeed had any comfort to give at all. His own sense of loss was catching up to him. The initial acid banter had long since transmuted into an affectionate repartee. He knew and admitted it, and in doing so, admitted to the grief now. But there had been nothing he could do for that friend; there was, perhaps, a little yet that he could do for Jim.

With exquisite gentleness, Spock reached over to Kirk and unsealed the Captain’s tunic at the neckline, then rearranged Kirk’s arms and drew the shirt off over Jim’s head. Kirk did not react. Spock removed Jim’s black tee shirt, then unfastened the trousers and drew them off too. He put the boots aside and pulled Jim to his feet, leading him into the bathroom, then turned on the shower. He finished stripping Jim and walked him into the stall and scrubbed him down, cleaning the lingering sweat of horror away, trying to ease the tension out of cramped muscles. Jim endured it numbly, not protesting.

Spock turned off the shower and sat Jim on the seat of the commode, toweling off the fine ash of dead epidermis and dirt and wrapping him in a dark Vulcan informal robe that covered him completely, and then some. Spock tenderly combed the tangles out of Jim’s hair, then led him back into the main room, easing him onto the edge of the bed. He pulled the desk chair over, then sat facing Kirk, but did not speak. He had done everything as he imagined one human would care for another, where one was functional and the other was not. It was what McCoy would have done, but McCoy would have known what should be said now, what could reach through the numbness, the denial. Spock sighed mentally. His logic could find no solutions. If open solicitude had no effect…

Without warning, out of the apathetic gloom, Kirk’s shoulders shuddered and he bent forward, folding his hands tightly, beginning to sob.

The sound cut through Spock with anguish and relief. Uncertainly, he touched Jim’s clenched fingers and Kirk grasped his hands tensely, holding onto him, weeping harder.

A scene touched Spock’s memory: Jim’s anguished clasp on McCoy as Edith Keeler was killed. Without thinking, he pulled Jim to him, sliding into a tight mutual embrace, and did not resist the electric grief of it. The water sprang from his eyes perforce and soaked Jim’s hair at the nape, but he did not notice; the linked shock and loss overwhelmed.

Our friend!

Gradually, the meld afforded perspective; the grief was experienced in a sort of parallax, and became manageable. Logic met anguish half way; the very sharing made both priceless, a mutual shoring-up against those pressures which could crush. It is, they thought simultaneously, the solution he proffered for both of us.

The catharsis had left a tremendous lassitude of mind and body. Spock delicately disentangled from the link, and Kirk sank back on the bed, depleted. Spock rose long enough to pull the covers up over Jim’s shoulders, then crawled in beside him, too spent to bother with undressing. As he let sleep take him, he permitted himself the venial luxury of throwing one protective arm across Jim’s chest.

Time would heal those wounds still left.





“You wouldn’t know just what to do
with a genuine warm feeling.”
McCoy lashed out accusingly
At the Vulcan near him kneeling.

Really, Doctor?” Spock replied;
His non-committal tone
Masking anguish deep inside
And feelings never shown.

Then suddenly he understood,
At last the doctor knew.
And speaking gently as he could,
Said, “I’m worried about Jim, too.”


By Nancy Kippax

He wept. In the solitude of his quarters with no one to hear, James Kirk gave in to the consummate grief in his heart and let the tears flow freely for the first time since it happened.

First had come the shock, the disbelief; that merciful numbness of grief. It can’t be so! There’ s some mistake! And even when it was proven beyond a doubt to be so, the mental denial, the feeling that this was but a bad dream and he needed only to wake up.

But now, the realization had set in fully, bringing with it the tremendous, aching sense of loss, the incredible loneliness and pain.

James Kirk was his own man; in every sense of the word a leader among men, commander of the finest starship in the galaxy, and yet this time the Fates had dealt him a blow from which he didn’t think he’d ever fully recover. And this time there was no loving hand nearby to touch his head and whisper, “Forget.” James Kirk must go on alone.

The senselessness of it all brought a fresh wave of anguish. If there had been a reason, a higher glory, a purpose to it all, maybe that would have softened the blow, given him something to cling to. But to have it happen in this manner, a freak accident on a routine mission, was the ultimate in irony.

Kirk’s mind went backward to the myriad dangers they’d encountered. The time the Vulcan had entered his pon farr and they had rushed him to his homeland to prevent his destruction. The time the female Imorg had taken the very brain from his body to do her planet’s controlling. The time the shuttlecraft Galileo was believed lost with her entire crew, and again when the parasitic creatures of Deneva had entwined themselves around Spock’s nervous system and there seemed no solution. Yet all these incidents had a tomorrow, and now there would be no more tomorrows for his Vulcan First Officer.

It had been a routine exploration. Spock had taken the shuttlecraft Copernicus out to gather atmospheric data from closer view. A sudden ion storm had entered the area and despite all their efforts to effect a rescue, the small defenseless craft was obliterated swiftly, its matter dispersing into debris particles. There wasn’t even a body to be borne home, Kirk thought, with a wrench of his heart.

Spock was dead. And now he, James Kirk, had to somehow pick up the pieces of his life and go on from here. A life that would never again be the same, he knew. For in all the vastness of space these two men, so different and yet so completely complementing one another, had been drawn together as though Fate intended it. There had been between them a certain quality so rare and treasured in this life that some never found it.

The Captain of the Enterprise stood and paced his room ponderously. In a few minutes he must go to the auditorium and face the assembled crew. It was his duty, his obligation, to deliver the eulogy, to conduct the memorial service for Commander Spock. He had no words prepared, he could only speak as his heart dictated. It was an ordeal he wished he could dispense with, but it was necessary and he would do it because he must. Just as Spock himself once had to search for the words to declare his Captain legally dead when he thought Jim lost in the Tholian sector.

Kirk’s door opened and McCoy stood there, clad in his dress uniform. There were certain military standards which seemed foolish right now. It was proper, it was showing respect, true enough, yet somehow so pathetically insufficient.

“Ready, Jim?” the Doctor greeted him softly, carefully measuring the effects of this tragedy on his friend. McCoy himself could not speak of it yet, of the frustration and helplessness he’d felt. As a doctor, death was his sworn enemy, he rebelled against it more forcefully than the average man. Yet, much as his own grief hurt, he knew his duty lay in helping the Captain to channel his.

Jim looked at him, his eyes beseeching McCoy, the naked hurt showing through. In just a minute he would be the Captain to his crew. He would put up his chin and do what was expected, but right now he was just plain Jim Kirk, a man who had lost his dearest friend.

“What ‘s the answer, Bones? Where’ s the justice?” he asked, his frustration suddenly turning into rage. He wanted to smash something, beat someone, take out his uselessness in physical brutality, as if by doing so he could change things, turn back the clock, bring Spock back to life. Just as Spock had acted physically in so many instances to prevent Kirk’s death. He’d been there when the poisoned plant had shot off its darts, taking them himself rather than risk injury to his Captain. He had lessened the odds when Kirk fought the Yangs on Omega, and again leaped to his defense when the strange man-child Charlie Evans had attempted to harm Kirk. But now, Spock was gone, and no action on Jim’s part could bring him back.

McCoy moved in close and put a hand on Jim’s shoulder, fingers gripping tightly. “I have no answer—no one does. You must seek out the answer within yourself. We all must,” he added, his thoughts a kaleidoscope of memories. He and Spock in the wilderness wastes of Beta Lyrae’s ice age, his frozen feet about to drop off; Spock urging him on. He and Spock in the arena on the Roman-like planet, his opponent settling in for the Kill before Spock moved swiftly and rendered the man helpless. Spock’s sympathy and concern when the Vians of Minara had tortured him so badly they almost succeeded in killing him. A plethora of pain consumed the doctor and he forgot for a moment he was supposed to be reassuring the Captain.

Kirk got up and moved abruptly. “C’mon, Bones, the crew is waiting,” he said evenly. He straightened out his face, composed his thoughts and left his quarters.

James Kirk walked slowly into the auditorium, eyes straight ahead, hands steady. Reaching the dais at the front, he looked out at the sea of upturned faces. Those silent, comforting faces of his co-workers, turning expectantly now to him to say the words for them, to put voice to what they were all feeling. Death and danger were no strangers to these brave men and women gathered here, but familiarity does not soften the hurt, especially in a situation like this, where death had come so unexpectedly and brutally.

Kirk stood with his hands resting on the platform, willing his muscles to relax. He spoke quietly and clearly, his voice carrying nonetheless to the back of the room in the silence.

“We are here now to pay homage to the memory of Commander Spock,” he began. “We all know what happened, perhaps we don’t know why it happened. Doctor McCoy says we have to find the answer within ourselves and I expect that about sums it up.” He paused, flashing a look at Bones, sitting so still in the first row. “Mr. Spock gave his life in the performance of his duties; he died the way he lived, with honor and courage. Yet though he died, he left a legacy to all of us who knew him. A striving for perfection, a deep sense of admiration for the orderly and logical way—” His throat tightened on that last. How long, he wondered, before I can hear the word ‘logical’ without choking? He continued. “These are but a few of the things Spock has bequeathed to us fortunate enough to know him and his unique Vulcan philosophy.” A very tiny smile appeared around the corners of Jim’s mouth. “He would not wish us to grieve; it is exclusively a human trait. No, Spock would expect us to go on with out duties, taking what comfort we could from the memories we carry of him.”

He looked at the faces, tearful, courageous, all members of the same family. “Spock was my First Officer, my friend. He cannot be replaced, but we must go on, living out our lives as was intended. And feeling that much richer for having known that Vulcan named Spock.

“There will be a minute of silence now. All rise.”

As the four hundred got to their feet, Kirk bowed his head.

He would go on, he knew now. A part of him had died with Spock, and he would never be the same, but his duties compelled him onward, just as Spock would have gone on without him.

With heavy heart, James Kirk left the room.


AUTHOR’S NOTE: Don’t panic! ‘Eulogy’ was written as an experiment in the genre known to all fans as the “What if… “ story. We all saw, in “The Tholian Web,” Spock’s reaction to Kirk’s death, and I began wondering about the reverse. Hence, ‘Eulogy.’ However, this by no means indicates that the author wishes Spock dead any more than the Creators wished Kirk dead in “The Tholian Web!” I have no desire to abort the relationship! 

Attention All Writers!

Please note that the deadline date below is accurate! The contest ended 36 years ago. Sorry!

Art by Russell Volker, Sr.







Kirk backed out into the corridor. He knew he was trembling; he willed his legs to steady him. A gentle hand touched him on the shoulder and a familiar voice spoke the word, “Captain.” Kirk turned to meet the piercing eyes of his First Officer. Pleadingly, he beseeched, “You saw, Spock?”

Spock nodded. “Yes. It is time.”

Kirk fought off a rising panic. His hands felt as cold and clammy as the walls around him. He forced himself not to think, to concentrate on his breathing.

Spock lowered his eyes. For an instant he gripped the Captain’s shoulder tightly, then he removed his hand. His voice was steady, quiet as he spoke.

“Jim—I’m sorry. I didn’t…” He couldn’t go on.



The Silent Connection

By Nancy Kippax & Beverly Volker
Art by Russell Volker, Sr.

The sixth planet of the star Capella, commonly called Henson’s Planet after its discoverer, was not what Kirk would have picked as a place to spend a two-week vacation, but it was suitable to human life and classified ‘M.’  The atmosphere was somewhat thinner than Earth’s and drier, with a temperature akin to that section of Old Russia known as Siberia.  It had a rocky terrain, jutted with deep crevices and craggy peaks that made walking treacherous.

The Enterprise sensors had shown the planet to be uninhabited, agreeing with previous scouting reports, and the ship at this time was locked into orbit above so that its science department could investigate any potential value of this newly discovered world.

Kirk was contemplating the bleak horizon stretching before him as his First Officer approached.  Spock carried a tray of assorted containers filled with bits and pieces of the terrain.

“I am preparing to beam aboard with these specimens, Captain,” he greeted his superior.

Kirk’s eyes twinkled in amusement at Spock’s obvious delight in being involved in this scientific investigation.

“Personal delivery guaranteed, eh Spock?” he teased.

“As Science Officer it is my job to see to the proper distribution and categorizing of any and all samples we may take,” Spock answered.  “’The rest of the landing party will be” gathering more specimens and readings for another hour, Sir.”

Overlapping their conversation, another voice was speaking, if speech it could be called.  We Humans might call it telepathic thought, but it was more than that.  The beings conversing were on a mental plane so much higher evolved than ours that their powers of communication can only be guessed at.


He will be the one, then.


We must be subtle.

As Spock de-materialized, Kirk smiled fondly after him, and went to check the progress of the other science specialists.  It took him most of the hour Spock had referred to, and, satisfied that all was going well, he made his way back to the beam-up point over the rocky landscape.  He moved carefully, his footing sure, until suddenly it seemed there was a, depression where none had been before and, with a cry of surprise, he felt himself falling into the gaping crevice.  He remembered no more, and his conscious mind.  did not hear the voices.  He was oblivious as they probed and adjusted his mind.

It is as we thought.


His mind is too weak to resist.


He will remember nothing.


He will do our work for us.


In the Science Lab, Spock was interrupted by the intercom.  “Scott to Mr. Spock, com in.”

He flicked the switch.  “Yes, Mr. Scott, what is it?” Spock asked patiently.

“We’ve a bit of a puzzle here, Mr. Spock.  The Captain called in and said he’d be at the beam-up point and we were to transport him aboard on his signal.  Well, he didn’t show up and now we can’t raise him on the communicator, either.”

Spock stood thoughtfully for a moment, then asked, “Have you contacted any of the other members of the landing party?”

“Kyle’s doing that now, sir, but so far ‘it ‘s negative.  They all say he was by earlier, but they haven’t seen him recently.”

McCoy, who’d been helping in the culture analysation, stepped up now behind Spock.

“Maybe something’s happened to him, Spock,” he said gravely.  The Vulcan looked at him evenly.  “That is a possibility, Doctor.  One of many, I might add.  We cannot make such an assumption on so little data.”

Scotty’s voice came through again.  “We’ve got two members of the landing party who just beamed up.  Would you be wanting to question them, Mr. Spock?” he asked.

“Yes, Mr. Scott.  On my way, Spock out.” The First Officer turned to McCoy.  “Do you care to join me, Doctor?”

“Lead the way, Spock,” was Bones’ gruff reply.

In the transporter room, they obtained very little information from the two young crewmen who only repeated what Scotty had already discovered.  They listened to reports from the planet surface where the remaining crewmen were conducting an impromptu search, but to no avail.  Spock’ s decision to act came swiftly.

“Mr. Scott, equip a security team with sensor devices.  We shall beam down and conduct a thorough search of the area.  Dr. McCoy, you will accompany me. We may have need of your services.”

“What ‘do you think happened, Spock?” Bones asked in concern.

“I do not know, Doctor, and I have no opinion.  I am merely doing the logical thing,” Spock aid evenly.

Who are you kidding, Spock? McCoy thought.  You’re just as concerned as I am!


The place looked the same to Spock.  He reflected that there were many places where a man could go unnoticed.  He was engrossed in organizing the search party in the most systematic way possible, when a shout from McCoy halted him in midsentence.  Turning, Spock saw the Captain making his way towards them a bit unsteadily.

Leaving the guards, he hurried to Kirk’s side.  McCoy had reached the Captain first and was running the medi-scanner over him.

“What happened, Captain? We lost communications with you,” Spock asked with some relief.

Kirk’s voice was easy.  “Sorry to alarm you all.  I lost my footing and took a fall.  I must have blacked out for a few moments, but I’m all right now,” he said.

“Let me be the judge of that,” McCoy growled, the brusqueness masking his relief.  Softening, he added, “That’s a nasty bump you’ve got on your head, Jim.”

“The landing party was unable to locate you.  Where was it you fell, Captain?” Spock asked.

Kirk indicated the rise behind him.  “Back up on that knoll somewhere,” he dismissed the incident.

“I want to check you but in Sickbay,” McCoy ordered, and Kirk, about to protest, changed his mind and agreed.  Better to be safe than sorry, he reflected.

Unknown to him, the voices were in Kirk’s’ head now.


All goes well.


This is the only way.


Spock entered the bridge and nodded to Kirk as he took his place at his station.  Kirk acknowledged the greeting wordlessly as he went on with the systems check he was conducting.

“Navigational controls A-OK, sir,” Sulu checked off.

Kirk put a hand up to his temple to obliterate a sudden pain.  Brushing it aside, he continued.

“Engineering Section, report,” he ordered.  The pain hit him again, forcing him to squeeze his eyes shut.

Spock looked at him curiously.  Stepping down to Jim, he spoke             softly so they would not be overheard.

“Captain, are you unwell?” he asked in concern.

“Headache,” Kirk explained.  “Must be that fall I took.”

Spock looked at him uncertainly.  McCoy had pronounced the Captain well after that incident. “Do you wish for me to carry out the Systems check?” he asked, aware of the strained look on his Captain’s face.

Kirk looked at him gratefully.  “Good idea, Spock.  I’ll go down and see if Bones can give me something.” He stood up and left the bridge with obvious relief as Spock, slipped into his chair

Everything went smoothly and no problems came up, until Spock received a communication from the Science Lab.

“Geologist Pritchett here, Sir.  We’ve had an accident.  One of the shelves of cultures fell over.  We lost about half our samples.”

It was regrettable occurrence, and Spock relayed it to Kirk when he resumed command.  The Captain was mildly annoyed.  They would have to be replaced.

Kirk’s next headache came some time later in the briefing room, where he was hearing the preliminary data gathered by the science teams.  A sudden sharp, stab of pain in his temples drove all conscious thought from his mind.  It tapered off then, and he persisted with the meeting doggedly, choosing to ignore the vicious throbbing in his head.  At the conclusion of the meeting, he turned to Spock.

“Mr. Spock, take the Con.  I’ll be in my quarters,” he told him abruptly.

And, silently, the voices came again.


Do not waste time.



On the bridge, Spock was preparing his log entry; he looked up at Chekov’s cry of exclamation.

“Mr. Spock, there’s a depressurization in the hangar deck!” the ensign informed him.

“There’s a crew working down there!” Sulu injected in alarm.  “The hatch is in open sequence,” Chekov reported, tension in his voice.

Spock’s voice was steady. “Manual override.  Mr. Sulu.  Cancel that open sequence and pressurize the Hangar Deck. Lt. Uhura, get a medical team down there in case those men need aid.”

“Manual override in effect, sir,” Sulu told him, breathing a sigh of relief.

A narrow escape, Spock thought grimly. He ordered the area closed off until they could determine what caused the malfunction.


There were several more scattered incidents over the next few days.  The food processors were not functioning properly, and Kirk had to order an engineering team to repair them. The transporter went out, stranding the lab team on the planet surface for hours until they corrected it.  And through it all, Jim was bothered by those blinding headaches that sent him to his quarters or to Sickbay for ease.  He could feel one coming on again as he sat on the bridge discussing these matters with Scotty and Spock.

“Gentlemen,” he was saying, “something or someone is trying to sabotage this ship! There have been too many ‘accidents’ to be called accidents! Spock, does anything we’ve learned about this planet give you any clues?” he asked, rubbing his temples.

Spock’s answer was cautious.  His eyes on Kirk, probing.  “No Sir.  However, there has been insufficient… Sir, are you all right?” he asked, as Kirk’s face contorted.

The Captain spoke with effort.  “I’m going to Sickbay, Spock. I think for now we should order all the men up from the planet until we can determine what’s going on.”

As he retreated, Spock looked after him thoughtfully.  He had his own ideas as to what was causing the malfunctions, but he wasn’t quite ready to voice them yet.


McCoy looked at Jim in puzzlement. “I don’t know, Jim. There’s absolutely no medical reason for these headaches.  I’ve put you through the tests twice, now.  You’re perfectly healthy!” he said in exasperation.

Jim frowned.  “Bones, there’s got to be something! They don’t last long, but they’re becoming more frequent.  I have a job to do, I can’t be laid up with phantom headaches!” he said.  Getting to his feet, he paced restlessly.

Uhura’s voice came urgently over the intercom.  “Sickbay, alert! Send a medical team to the Engineering section at once.” Kirk strode over and flicked the switch as McCoy dispatch d his men.  “This is the Captain.  What’s happened, Uhura?” he asked.

“There was an explosion in the Jeffries Tube, sir,” she informed him. “Two crew members were injured attempting to repair the damage.”

Kirk looked at McCoy with a sick expression.  “What… is… happening to my ship? “ he intoned.

The medical team entered with the two injured crewmen, followed by a dirty-faced Spock.  McCoy took the wounded back to treat them, and the First Officer turned to Kirk.

“The damage has been repaired, Captain.  It was fortunate that Kyoto and Slayman were nearby.  Their prompt action averted a serious burnout,” he informed Kirk.

Voice charged with anger, Kirk said, “What caused it, Spock? How did this happen?” It seemed he’d been saying those words too damn much lately, he reflected in annoyance.  Something beyond his ken was taking place and the Captain was determined to find out what it was.

“The circuit was definitely tampered with,” Spock told him evenly.  “Someone was there very recently and cut the wires to short circuit.”

McCoy joined them.  Kirk was still mulling over Spock’s information.

“Someone here on the ship, Mr. Spock?” the doctor asked, repelled at the thought it might be one of the crew.

Spock nodded gravely. Someone with a great deal of knowledge about the ship, judging from the variety of malfunctions we’ve encountered.”

Jim turned to McCoy.  “How are your patients, Bones?” he asked.

“They’re going to make it,” McCoy replied.  “They’ll be out of commission for a while, though.”

Kirk nodded.  “We have a lot of questions, but no answers.  Bones, about these headaches… “

Spock cut him off.  “Captain,” he said thoughtfully, “has it occurred to you that these incidents always happen when you are incapacitated?”

Kirk looked at him sharply, the hairs on his neck prickling.

“What are you saying, Spock? A connection?”

“Possibly,” his First Officer concurred.

Kirk looked dubious.  He could see no correlation between the attempted sabotage and these headaches of his.  Perhaps the timing was right, looking back he could see that, but to what purpose?

“It’s a theory, Mr. Spock,” he admitted, “but we need more specific information.  Let’s go try to find some answers.”

A little while later, Jim had to leave the bridge again; the throbbing in his temples was increasing.  Several minutes after Kirk had gone, Spock put Scotty in charge and headed for Sickbay, where he found McCoy at his desk.

“Doctor…” he began.

“What can I do for you, Spock?” Bones asked, surprised to see the Vulcan here.

“I’m here to inquire about Captain Kirk’s health,” Spock told him, choosing his words with care.  “I have reason for concern,” added.

The doctor frowned.  “If you’re referring to those headaches, Spock, you know as much as I do.  I’ve given him every test in the book and everything checks out normally.  And yet,” he stood up and walked around the desk, “there’s got to be a cause!” he exclaimed in frustration.

“Then, in your opinion, the accident he encountered on the planet surface — “ Spock began, but McCoy cut him off.

“ — Wouldn’t cause all this.  No!” The doctor shook his head emphatically.

Spock appeared about to say something else, but suddenly they both became aware of the complete silence.  The ever-present hum of the ship had ceased, indicating a shutdown in the life-support systems!

At that moment, Jim Kirk was lying on his bunk in his quarters. The ache had passed and he was planning to return to the bridge.  But Spock’s earlier words were still with him, and the more he thought about them, the more it fit in.  Could it be possible that someone, somehow, was causing not only the malfunction to the ship, but arranging to get him out of the way for a while? Could someone aboard be an enemy spy? It was possible, he concluded.

Just then, his intercom beeped.  Growing to dread the sound as a harbinger of trouble these past few days, he crossed the room and acknowledged the-voice.

“Emergency, Captain,” Scott informed him.  “There’s been a shut-down of the life-support systems on Deck 7.”

Sickbay! Kirk’s stomach lurched.  “Evacuate the area and restore systems manually,” he ordered, knowing even as he spoke that these things would have been tried already.  The able, competent officers who served as the Enterprise bridge crew all knew their jobs well.

Scotty’s voice was tight. “Manual override is not functioning either.  We’ve evacuated most of the area, but the doors jammed on Sickbay complex, and we’ve got about eight crew members trapped down there, according to Mr. Spock.  He and Dr. McCoy are trying to free the doors but haven’t succeeded so far.”

Spock was down there too? By now, Kirk realized, their air would be getting thin—if they hadn’t succeeded so far, they certainly wouldn’t now!

“Get a team down there to phaser through, Mr. Scott—I’ll meet you there—Kirk out.” Snapping on a life support belt, Kirk quickly left his quarters.

Outside of Sickbay, he hailed Scotty, who was directing the crew working on the doors.  The Chief Engineer shook his head.

“We’ve little hope of reaching them in time, Captain. Mr. Chekov’s on the bridge trying to repair the manual system, but I’m not promising anything.”

Kirk stood by, watching the slow procedure helplessly. His friends were trapped in there and there was nothing he could do! “How long do they have, Scotty?” he asked anxiously.

“Only about another two minutes, sir.”

Fretting with the inactivity, Kirk was startled by the sudden resuming hum as life-support returned to normal. Chekov had come through! Feeling his muscles relax, Kirk waited patiently until they freed the doors, then he strode in eagerly.

“That sure was a close one,” McCoy greeted him.

Kirk grimaced and nodded. “Too close! Another of our mysterious malfunctions.” He turned to Spock.  “I’ve been thinking about what you said earlier, Spock. About the connection. It’s happened again, hasn’t it?”

“Yes, Captain, it has,” Spock answered slowly.

“It seems whoever is causing this trouble wants me out of the way! What I can’t figure out is why?” Kirk mused aloud.

Spock was uncomfortably silent. Kirk looked at him sharply, a question in his eyes.  Finally seeming to make up his mind, Spock said, “Not exactly, Captain.  You’ve taken the right hypothesis and drawn an inaccurate conclusion.  It’s not…” he hesitated and Kirk stared at him in astonishment, a glimmer of what Spock was getting at beginning to penetrate.

“Get to the point, Spock! Say it!” he said fiercely.

Spock’s tone was soft.  “It’s not someone else, Jim.”

“You think I’m sabotaging the ship? “ Kirk exclaimed, horror in his voice.  “You think I’m causing these malfunctions!?”

“Now, wait a minute, Spock—” McCoy injected.

Spock silenced them both with an upraised hand.  “Not consciously, Captain.  I do not believe you are even aware of it.  Yet in each instance you have had the opportunity, the knowledge and the skill to carry out the mishap.  My theory is that you are unconsciously carrying out some form of programming.”

“You’re saying something or someone has taken over my mind?” Kirk asked, revulsion setting in at the very thought, making his voice sharper than he intended.  “Ridiculous! I’d know if I were doing these things.”

“Not necessarily, Jim, “ McCoy said thoughtfully. “The mind’s a tricky thing.  Those headaches could be an indication that something’s going on like Spock says.”

“And, Captain,” Spock broke in, “there was that time down on the planet that you were unaccounted for.”

“I fell! I told you, I slipped and blacked out!” Kirk protested. Seeing their impenetrable faces, he added, “I remember it! Nothing happened!” He could see their disbelief, their doubt.  He felt betrayed and yet he knew that was wrong.  They all had the good of the ship at heart. Spock and McCoy may be misguided, but he couldn’t doubt their loyalty.  An idea occurred to him, and he groped for the right words.

“All right, you suspect that something happened in that time I was unconscious down on the planet.  Can we… prove it… can we… reconstruct it?” He looked steadily at Spock.  “Can you go back in my mind, use your Vulcan powers to relive that time?”

Returning Kirk’s stare, Spock said simply, “It is possible.”

It would be, he knew, quite an ordeal.  On previous occasions he had found Kirk’s dynamic brain to be quite oppressive.  The mind meld was a deeply personal experience, but this he would do for his Captain, and for the safety of the ship, willingly.

Kirk nodded his compliance, and seated himself on the empty lab table, legs dangling freely, forcing himself to relax.  As Spock’s fingers reached out for his temples, Jim met his eyes steadily, staring into those deep, dark, expressionless orbs, willing his mind to go blank.  The first time Jim had experienced this mental probe of Spock’s, he’d been slightly repelled, uncomfortable under such a direct penetration of his inner being.  Yet, as he grew to know and respect the Vulcan ways, learned to trust and understand this Vulcan in particular, he no longer felt any sense of violation.  It seemed right.  It seemed natural.

Spock’s voice was controlled and rhythmic as he intoned the words to bring their minds together.  “Our minds are reaching out… Our thoughts are one… We are one… “

McCoy stood by helplessly and watched the drama being played out before him.  In a few moments they would know the truth and Bones hoped to God that Spock was wrong.

The Vulcan was speaking again, his face contorted with the effort.  He had reached the memory he sought.  The words were partly Kirk’s, coming from Spock’s mouth.  “… Everything well… must beam up… Surprise! … Falling… ground seemed to open up!” A sense of bewilderment.  “… Who? … What?… “ Spock broke off, fighting for control.

“What is it, Spock?” McCoy asked in alarm.

“I am not certain. There is a block.  His mind is strong.” Concentrating again, he continued. This time the voice was different, deeper and slower. “Your mind is too weak to resist us… You will leave this place and remember nothing… destroy the ship… destroy all the trespassers… “

Kirk’s words broke in again.  “I… cannot… my ship… what are you? … get out… leave me… “

Deep again, slow. “… we are greater than you… we do not destroy… you will destroy… ship… not we… “

Kirk again.  “… No! I won’t… Oohhh!

Spock writhed as though in pain, his head snapping back.  Strange noises rose from his throat, an agony of inner mind.

McCoy stepped up and pried his fingers from Kirk, dissolved the link quickly, and supported Spock until he came out of the trance-like state.  As the Vulcan straightened his back and drew a deep, tremulous breath, Jim Kirk opened his eyes and shifted his body.  A look of horror crossed his face.  Spock went over and stood beside him.

“It’s true, then!” Kirk exclaimed, remembering now those things Spock had brought out of his subconscious mind.

“Yes, Captain.  Your mind is being controlled by extremely powerful beings.  You are being forced by them to destroy the ship.”

As Kirk sat motionless, McCoy required an explanation. “Why, Spock? For what reason?”

“They consider us trespassers; enemies who have come to plunder their world. They assume we are too weak to resist them.”

Kirk looked at him thoughtfully, forcing away the feeling of sickening dread and suppressing his emotions to better find a solution.  “So far they’ve been right, Spock.  I’ve done their bidding admirably.”

“You must resist them, Captain. Try to communicate with them.”

“I can’t do it alone, Spock.” He looked pointedly at the Vulcan. “Will you help me?”

“Now, wait a minute, Jim!” McCoy interrupted.  “What you’re asking may be dangerous for Spock, not to mention what you could do to yourself. These beings obviously have capabilities we haven’t dreamed of!”

“Do you have another solution, Bones?” The doctor’s silence was answer enough.  He knew it was difficult for Bones to sit by doing nothing.

Spock addressed McCoy.  “There seems to be no other logical alternative.” Turning to Kirk, his voice was grave.  “I can only strengthen your own mind, Captain,” he warned.  “It will not be easy to challenge them.”

Kirk’s voice was strong.  “I won’t destroy my ship! They cannot force me to do that; not now that I know of them.”

It was agreed upon to wait until Kirk’s next headache, the signal by which the aliens obviously contacted him, to attempt again the mind link with reinforced resistance.  Spock instructed Kirk on how to use his mind to establish communications with the aliens.

Time dragged by slowly.  Each of them carried out their respective duties, the routine tasks covering the tension.  Jim went off duty; out of habit he got a tray of food from the galley, then sat and stared without touching it.  A sudden stabbing pain brought him to his feet.  Fighting against the pounding in his head, he reached the intercom, buzzed for Spock in the Science Lab.

“It’s beginning,” he said tersely.  “I’m in the Officer’s Galley.”

“Stay there, Captain.  Try to fight it—I’m on my way.”

Kirk sat down, rubbing his temples gingerly.  He tried to practice Spock’ts technique.  Over and over he willed his mind to repeat, “I will not do what you want… I will not destroy my ship… I will not …  “ He could sense the pressure this time, he could feel himself slipping into blackness.  He struggled against it, fighting for consciousness.  Dimly then, he was aware of Spock’s presence at last, cool hands touching the hotness of his pain-filled head.  Tearing his mind from the struggle, he concentrated on achieving the mental link.  He was aware of a new strength; he could feel Spock’s mind enter his.  Renewed and reinforced, he turned back to the pressure that pounded his brain.  Through the powers of Spock’s mind, he / they could perceive the third presence, insistent, strong, trying to sublimate Kirk’s consciousness.  Focusing on it, he / they could hear the thoughts.  It was nothing new to Spock, but it was a revelation to Kirk.


Do not understand…


Very strong this time.


And then, quite Suddenly, the presence was gone, the pain eliminated and as Spock dissolved the link, Kirk looked at him in amazement. Both men were breathing hard, composing themselves with obvious effort. There was a tremor in Jim’s voice.

“We did it! They’re gone!”

“Yes, For now.” Spock’s voice was steady.  “They were startled at the resistance they met.  They will undoubtedly attempt it again. “

Together they moved to Sickbay; McCoy was expecting them.

“I believe,” Spock said, “we should remain here until the next contact is established.  We do not know how severe their next attempt shall be, Captain.”

The doctor was running a check on Kirk’s body functions.

“Your blood pressure’s up, Jim, and your brain waves are showing signs of abnormality. Too much more of this increased pressure’s going to kill you!” he admonished.  “I want to be ready with a tranquilizer if it becomes necessary.”

“No!” Kirk said sharply.  “I’ve got to be able to communicate with them — find out what they want.” He silenced Bones’ protest with a command.  “That’s an order, Doctor.  Only as a positively last resort if it seems to endanger the ship.” If they win, Kirk thought drily.

There was only a few minutes for speculation before a sharp stab of pain, fiercer than any other, brought a cry from Kirk’s lips. Spock moved swiftly, reaching into Jim’s mind; the pain became his pain, the thoughts his thoughts.  The link was established. The two men moved apart and Kirk felt the strength and skill from Spock’s extraordinary powers supporting him as he addressed the aliens, verbally, for that was easiest for him. He spoke hoarsely, the pain and pressure stronger than ever.

“I will not do as you wish! Leave me! Go!”

McCoy tensed as Kirk’s hand grabbed at a small surgical knife on the desk, a sharp specimen curate.


Get rid of the other presence…

Kirk heard them, willed his mind and body not to obey.  “No, I cannot… “ He moved closer to Spock, who was standing trance-like against the wall.  Kirk’s hand jerked up, bringing the knife blade to Spock’s throat.

Spock counter-acted.  His piercing eyes riveted on Kirk.  His mind willed Kirk to stop.  Through telepathic contact, the Vulcan was able to guide the Captain’s mind to resist the intense pressure being wrought by the aliens.

With a great effort, Kirk lowered his arm. The knife clattered noisily to the floor.

McCoy prepared a hypo as he saw both Kirk and Spock’s heads snap back under the pressure.  “Stop it!” he shouted, though he didn’t know what he was shouting at.  “Stop it! You’ll kill them!”

Kirk heard the commands again.


Go to the computer section.


Do not resist.


As his feet began to obey, his mind refused.  “I will not go to the computer! I will not sabotage my ship!” The pressure intensified for just a moment and as he continued the resistance, quite abruptly they were gone again.  Completely spent, Kirk sagged to his knees. Spock staggered to McCoy, who was running the medi-scanner over the Captain.  Jim looked up in concern.

“Are you all right, Spock?” Spock nodded, and Kirk continued as McCoy adjusted the instrument for Spock’s physical computations.  “They were confused, weren’t they?”

“I detected a sense of bewilderment,” Spock agreed.

“Neither one of you can take any more of this!” McCoy protested. “If it hadn’t stopped when it, did, you would’ve burned out some brain cells.”

Spock turned to McCoy. “Doctor, your medical terminology—”

“Spock! What’s going on?” McCoy interrupted, when he realized that Kirk seemed to suddenly go into a trance.  His face was chalky-white, his eyes were glazed and unfocused.  “Jim!” Bones exclaimed, shaking the Captain.

Kirk felt them enter his mind, although this time there was no pain and just a slight pressure.  He was aware of Spock and McCoy and what was going on around him, too, although he was powerless to signal to them.  He knew when Spock reached for him, and could feel the telepathic Vulcan’s thoughts touching his.

“They are probing his mind,” Spock explained to McCoy, the words torn from his throat with effort.  He was unable to say any more, so intent was he on achieving the link.


Why do you resist us?


Kirk / Spock replied, mentally now, Kirk understanding at last how it was done.  “We are men of peace.  We mean you no harm.”


You come to plunder our land.

“We believed this place to be uninhabited.  We were not aware of you.”


Inferior minds are beastial peoples.


“Yet we resist you.  We have not harmed.  You have done the harm—the hurting.  Not we.”


“You know from our thoughts of the Federation of Planets that we represent.  There are many life-forms among us.  Yet we work together.  Is that primitive?”


Your minds are weaker than ours.



“We have come only to study your planet.  Later perhaps, if you allow it, we could send representatives to discuss with you our common goals and interests.  We have those specially trained in such areas. They could communicate with you as we are doing now. “

It is good.


Study as you want.


We will LEAVE YOU now.

With that, they departed, leaving Kirk/Spock entwined alone.

Then Spock destroyed the link, giving a shudder at being free of the emotions and force of Kirk’s mind.

“Fascinating!” Spock said in wonder.  “They are really quite pacifistic, Captain.”

McCoy, feeling reassured that they were indeed all right, was somewhat at a loss.  “What happened? Are they gone?” he asked.

“Yes, Bones,” Kirk said strongly.  “When they discovered we meant them no harm, they were quite reasonable.  They’ve agreed to a contact with the Federation.  Perhaps a Vulcan or a Medusan Ambassador can be sent here.”

“What kind of life – form are they?” McCoy asked curiously.

Spock replied.  “Obviously unlike anything we know of, Doctor. The wonder is that we can communicate at all.”

“Well, I’ve often thought that about the Vulcans, Mr. Spock,” McCoy teased, smiling at the First Officer.

Kirk grinned at his two friends.  He stood up weakly, McCoy’s arm supporting him.  “I’m okay, Bones,” he protested.  He looked soberly at Spock.  “That was quite an experience, my Vulcan friend.  Thank you.” It had been a unique, eye-opening event for Kirk, and more than ever he valued and appreciated the Vulcan way.

Spock nodded, acknowledging his Captain’s thanks.  “It is fortunate they did not choose to inhabit the Doctor’s mind. They may have received a different opinion of humans.”

Bones was about to retort, but Jim silenced him.  “Okay, you two! We have work to do.  Let’s get to it!”

McCoy smiled as the two friends headed for the bridge.


The Original Flier

Advertising a zine was done in two ways back in the 1970s: You listed your zine in directories like the Star Trek Welcommittee’s, and you printed or hand-wrote fliers and took them to conventions or anywhere you thought fans might gather. Nancy Kippax remembered in 2008 that some of the early fliers she and Bev gave out were hand-written on typing paper using carbon paper for extra copies. She also relates how the mailing of the first flier for Contact #1 to every address in the Star Trek Welcommittee list resulted in a phone call from Sondra Marshak, a minor deity in early Fandom, and co-author of the mass market paperback Star Trek Lives!.

In Bev’s files is the original draft of that first flier, in Bev’s own handwriting. Here it is.

Remembering Contact: Sandra Zier Teitler – Editor of Mind Meld

Sometime in 1982 I walked into a video store (those were the days of VHS tapes), and I was renting a Star Trek movie. The girl behind the desk asked me if I liked Star Trek. That girl was Michelle Holmes. Why bring this up when I’m talking about Contact? Because it’s her fault (or to her credit) that I ever got involved. We talked about Star Trek. She asked me if I knew what a fanzine was. No, I said. Well, she lent me a few of hers and one of the first ones I read from start to finish was an issue of Contact. I was hooked. Big time. Some of the stories I admit took me aback a little… they weren’t “Star Trek” as I knew it, but they were character stories… stories that showed the friendship between these men. Regardless of the plot used, those friendships always won out.

As they do in fandom. Well, We won’t talk about how much money I sent with Michelle to the next MediaWest, so she could buy me more zines.

I subsequently wrote to Bev and Nancy at the address in Michelle’s copy of Contact, wanting to order the most recent copy. I included my mailing info as well as my phone number. A couple days later, I received a phone call from Bev. It went something like this:

Bev: “This is Bev Volker, got your order for Contact. I see you don’t live far from here.”

Me: “No…” (I might add I was still a little surprised at the call.)

Bev: Why don’t you come up for a visit? Let’s get acquainted!

So I did. And I told Michelle, and we went together. When we arrived, Bev, Nancy and Martha were all sitting in the living room. We were grilled. Who is our favorite character? Why do we like Star Trek? The usual. My favorite character has always been McCoy. Even though Contact is more of a Kirk-Spock zine, McCoy is the mediating character. Even Roddenberry said that the triad of Kirk, Spock and McCoy made up the “one.” We were in. We were invited to join them for their weekly “Saturday night” Contact group get togethers. So we went. We met many people who quickly became friends and extended family. In addition to Bev, Nancy and Martha, we met Mary Mills, Jan Davies, Suzanne Elmore. And Marion McChesney, who was chairing a convention, ClipperCon. We were bribed… hooked… into working the convention. And there you have it. How I got into this little group.

Well, Michelle and I were talking one day and she said, “You know… we could do a zine.” I said, “Uh… sure, why not?” My brother did the printing and Mind Meld was born. It lasted for seven issues before I had to give it up.

The conventions… ClipperCon… OktoberTrek… and now Farpoint… continued. The family grew. Bev’s kids grew up, thanks to Jan Davies, Renee met Steve and they have since formed a great family with two sons who are also growing up in fandom. Fandom is a wonderful place for kids. No one is judged. Everyone is accepted. It’s a perfect world.  Almost.

Except you still lose people you love. When my mother died, Bev became one of my “second moms.” When I finally met Bruce, my to-be-husband, no one could have been happier for me than my extended family, the “Contact Crowd.” Bev and her oldest daughter, Robin, made my dress for me as a wedding gift. I must say that time was hectic as I had been in the hospital two weeks before the wedding. It took some doing to get the dress done in time, but they did it.

When Bruce died, it was like a lightning bolt had struck my heart; but my immediately family and my extended “Contact” crowd family were all there for me. Life sometimes isn’t fair, but they had welcomed Bruce with open arms and I truly believe they felt his loss as though he had been around forever.

When Marion died, it was hard on us all. We all realized that the immortality that we had been reading, writing about in zines, keeping these characters alive, really did not exist.

The hardest on all of us, I believe, was Bev. She was a “mom” to us all. She was our “go-to” person when we needed advice. She was always the voice of common sense and brought us back to reality. I was privileged to be able to spend a day a week with her for several months before she died. Her family welcomed me as part of the family the weekend she died, and, while I could do nothing to take away the pain, I knew I was with people feeling the same way I did. I miss her to this day, as I do Bruce and my own mother.

Since Bev’s death, we have also lost Nancy. Nancy and Bev were the founders, so to speak, in my opinion, the strength of the Baltimore fan group. Some may feel differently, but if it weren’t for them I know I would not still be involved as I am now. I am thrilled that Dave Kippax, Nancy’s youngest son, has now become involved once again in the group and in Farpoint.

I am truly thankful for everyone I met because I wrote that one letter to Bev asking for a copy of Contact. I’m so afraid I will forget someone, but some of those people who I consider extended family include: Renee and Steve and their sons, Mary and Michelle and their daughters, Suzanne Elmore, Karen Donnelly, Sharon VanBlarcom and her family, Martha Bonds, everyone who has worked on the conventions with us, past and present. I know I have forgotten someone. For that I apologize. Anyone I’ve forgotten, know that it is not deliberate. I know I don’t keep in touch with people as I should, but I value everyone’s role in what is my life today. I was also able to develop a friendship with Ginna LaCroix, a frequent contributor to Contact, Mind Meld as well as many other zines, and while I don’t talk to her often, we usually write each other 1-2 times a year to catch up on things. She and Sally now raise Alpacas.

I am thrilled that this site to commemorate… remember… and allow good memories to be shared is coming to fruition. I know it’s been a project that has been in the works for some time now. Anything I can do to contribute, I’d be honored.

Sandy Zier-Teitler