Before I Die
|Title:||Before I Die|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine KaleidoScope #5.
"Kirk & Spock, trapped on a useless shuttlecraft, experience sex before being rescued."
Reactions and Reviews
Before I Die is a wonderful example of how each author brings her own unique, fresh viewpoint to any K/S situation. The plot of this story has been seen before in K/S: Kirk and Spock are convinced they are going to die, and therefore they engage in sexual relations when before they might not have; they are unexpectedly rescued, and uncomfortable with each other before they reach a resolution. But that bare bones description doesn’t convey how Gena Moretti fleshes out the plot with wonderful details and imagination.
The story starts with a bang. By the end of the first paragraph the reader knows the fellows are in a hopeless situation. There’s a good description of the shuttlecraft and what’s wrong with it: detail without too much detail. God Bless that comp-slate! Then the inevitable conversation about what to do with the remaining hours, and Spock’s request to be enlightened about sex. Some initial unease, and then a great deal of enthusiasm on both their parts during three separate sexual encounters that were a lot of fun to read. I always knew who was doing what to whom!
They both think they will die, but are rescued at the very last minute by space scavengers. I wish the scavengers had played a greater part in the story. Their role here is minor, but they were amusing characters well portrayed, and an expanded role for them (could they have hi-jacked the fellows? Held them for ransom? been trapped with them on the shuttle?) would have given us a chance to know them better.
What I thought was a really interesting twist to the story comes three months after they are rescued, when Spock decides he’s got to figure out whether he’s really in love with Kirk, or whether he’s just being seduced by memories of their fantastic sex. So while on shore leave he seeks out a woman to test himself. This seems just like what Spock would do, ever the scientist in search of empirical data!
But also having him engaging with a male professional prostitute took the idea too far, I thought. One such situation was enough for the way the plot was being expanded. Nevertheless, his experiences on the planet convince Spock that what he feels is love, not lust, and he’s free to go to Jim. Which he does, to everyone’s satisfaction.
Gena Moretti has a great imagination which is displayed well in Before I Die. The problems with the story are in two areas: realistic dialogue and realistic inner landscapes.
There was some stilted dialogue that interfered with my enjoyment of the story. For example, Kirk says: “I like my clothes off during this kind of activity, Spock.” Possibly Spock might occasionally express himself like this, but not Kirk. He’d say something like, “Let’s take off our clothes.” That’s straightforward, reinforcing his characterization, and also colloquial English which we know he uses.
The realistic inner landscape became a concern because the situation the author sets up is so rich, so dramatic, so fertile with possibilities—two men facing certain death—and yet it was only used as a springboard to some good sex. A lot more could have been written about what Kirk and Spock would have felt in this situation, and though what Gena used did work for what her story intended, I couldn’t help but feel that I was seeing just one dimension of what was going on in a multi-faceted scene, with our multi-faceted characters. Like seeing through a glass darkly.
The dearth of a complete portrayal of inner landscape is also apparent with the minor characters: the woman with whom Spock has sex on the planet, and the male prostitute. They came across as sorta bland, too perfect, and intent only on helping Spock. A few insights into their imperfections would have helped them become more well-rounded characters, and thus more believable.I think Before I Die is a really interesting story that with a little more emotional depth would have been fabulous. It has some well-presented sex scenes, and lots of great detail, and it kept my attention all the way through. One of the best stories from an author with a great imagination
Well, Gena Moretti fans, rejoice! This is one terrific story filled with all the love and emotions that have graced so many of this prolific author’s works in the past. Yes, it is a shuttlecraft disaster story. Yes, it’s also been “done before”. But I ate it up—I adored the sweeping emotions, the deep, intense love and even the supposed “done before” predicament.
Kirk and Spock are in a shuttlecraft that has three hours of oxygen left. They talk about what they want to do before they die and Spock reveals he’s a virgin and he wants to make love with Kirk.
Although maybe too much talk, this scene is wonderful. Again, it’s all due to Gena’s emotional style, her expression of their love and her unabashed romantic feelings. And I really got caught up in the sadness of their predicament. I knew, of course, they’d get out of it somehow, but that didn’t stop me from being totally involved.
The air begins to give out as they’re having sex and, in a very poignant scene, they decide they want to be found with their clothes on.
I just loved the descriptions of their rescuers, the scavengers. I found it to be inventive and clever. And so funny when the captain comes into the cabin where Kirk and Spock are sleeping and takes the opportunity for a nap!
The Enterprise rescues them (we knew it!) and Spock, unable to confront Kirk, goes to a woman and then a male prostitute (charmingly described as “a professional”) for sexual experience.
Later, Kirk and Spock work things out and find their love for each other—not that this would be any surprise, necessarily, but recently with sad-ending stories, this ending is so satisfying.So even if the writing for the most part was awkward and in need of some editing, so much was charming (like: “Kirk awoke, feeling alone. He was.”) and so much was filled with genuine love of K/S.
Kirk and Spock facing death and as they don't have much time left before they die, they do what they always wanted to do...guess what... Good written, but I have my problems with Part 2. No, of course there are no two parts, but for me it seemed so. Part 1 was before they got back to the Enterprise, Part 2 was Spock's search for his true feelings. Good plot idea: Spock tries out, if he simply enjoys the sex or if it is love, what he feels for Kirk. But somehow this part was too short or not well enough developed: Spock goes to the woman. Spock goes to the man. Spock goes to Kirk. It seemed too simple for me.
- from The K/S Press #20
- from The K/S Press #20
- from The K/S Press #21