Star Trek My Brothers Keeper: Republic
(C) 1999 Michael Jan Friedman
The events of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” forced Jim Kirk to make the brutal decision to kill his best friend Gary Mitchell, after Mitchell had been altered and corrupted by an unknown energy field. Sensing his captain and friend’s enormous grief, Commander Spock approaches Kirk and asks him to tell him more about Mitchell and the bond that he and Kirk shared. Thus begins the My Brothers Keeper trilogy, as here Kirk recounts his meeting with Mitchell and the start of their friendship. Kirk and Mitchell began acrimoniously, but realized both had something to learn from the other. On a training cruise, their respective skills are put to the test when violent ne’er do wells attempt to disrupt a peace conference. Although nineties-era Trek storytelling wasn’t as deep as books from the Relaunch era, Friedman succeeds in showing us a Kirk who is very familiar to the reader, yet not the confident captain we met in the original series, and providing a richer look at his and Mitchell’s growing friendship. Parts of the plot cross into the realm of incredulity (two planets were accepted into the Federation despite being at war with one another, and despite having warp drive they don’t allow anything past preindustrial technology in their capital city?!), but the action exists just to push Kirk and Mitchell to cooperate despite their differences. This isn’t Typhon Pact-level political drama.