Charisma (Star Trek: TOS story)

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Charisma
Author(s): Natasha Solten
Date(s): 1987
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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Charisma is a K/S story by Natasha Solten.

It was published in Charisma #1 and Greater California K/S.

Summary

"After his personal logs from the five year mission are illegally published, Kirk fears Spockʼs reaction to what he was written concerning their friendship and Kirkʼs feelings for the Vulcan."


Gallery

The story in Charisma had art by Sherry Veltkamp, two examples are below.

Reactions and Reviews

This story takes place after the first five year mission is over. Kirk has somehow had his 'memoirs' published based on his personal logs. This was not intentional on his part. He feels embarrassed over this for Spock. It isn't because he said anything that was untrue. It was quite the opposite in fact. I think he could feel this way, because not only does Spock find out how he feels but also the rest of the universe! Mainly I think because he's afraid to face Spock with his feelings. Spock. on the other hand, takes these revelations in stride. He "worries" how Kirk is reacting to this publication, to the point of trying to buy the publishing house to stop the book. Spock has no luck doing this. This story shows the loyalty they have for each other, as well as the loyalty that Spock says Kirk inspires in others. It also has a number of touches of humor in it. This is one of my favorite stories. [1]
Amid the myriad K/S in existence, amid all the 'classics' and all the 'contemporary' K/S stories, and poems, and even art, to me, CHARISMA is the quintessential K/S story. It is the heart, the soul, the essence of what I perceive K/S to be about, that is the amazingly simply rapport that exists between Kirk and Spock, the understanding of two men from such divergent cultures, the uncanny unity of two such powerful and well... why not say it, charismatic beings. CHARISMA deals with an Admiral Kirk whose private logs that were recorded while he was still captain of the USS Enterprise during her five-year mission were secretly, illegally, and anonymously bugged. These ill-gotten logs have just been published as a book... and a tape... which, within hours of release, is the hottest media event since "The Ollie North Show." Kirk is humiliated... mainly because these logs center around his observations of his Vulcan friend over the years. The life of the story involves Spock's reactions to these logs... and his response to Kirks' reaction is not exactly a calm one. This is not only a romantic 'love story,' though it is certainly that. This is a story of friendship and loyalty and self-discovery and discover of others who are suddenly more important than one's self. This is a story of heros and humble beings and ordinary brave men. This is the story of who Kirk and Spock really are underneath the braid and image and the Vulcan control and the the titles. CHARISMA is, perhaps, some of Ms. Solten's best writing as well as her best story telling. At times poetic (as when we are privileged to read some of Kirk's logs), at time humorous, at times sweet, at times breath-taking, at times difficult, CHARISMA is a beautifully written, beautifully told story. The ease with which Kirk and Spock relate, especially during conversations, is some of the most natural by-play between these characters I've ever come across. Ms. Solten's Kirk is passionate, emotional, commanding, tender, and bitter all at once while her Spock is firm, confident, humorous, and loving. These two characters are the Kirk and Spock I've always seen beneath all the acting and writing; these are the souls of these men come to life. CHARISMA has been around several years (it first appeared in Greater California K/S) and as far as I can tell, has been mostly ignored. It deserves the attention of any and all K/S fans, anyone who has ever seen anything special between these two men. It was a pleasure to open CHARISMA and find the titles story again. Rereading it was, if possible, more wonderful than reading it for the first time. [2]
Greater California K/S, published in 1985, has a host of excellent early authors of our genre to amaze and astonish you. The table of contents boasts the like of Indra, Tere Ann Roderick, Ann Carver, Robin Hood, Dovya Blacque, Natasha Solten, Vivian Gates and more; a virtual who‘s who of K/S royalty. And that‘s not counting the poets and artists that are represented.

―Charisma‖ starts with a personal log entry from Jim Kirk detailing how he first made the acquaintance of his first officer Spock of Vulcan and how he set out to win his friendship. There‘s only one problem. The five-year mission is over, Admiral Kirk and Captain Spock are stationed at Starfleet headquarters on Earth, and someone has stolen Kirk‘s early logs and his private thoughts and feelings are now being published for everyone and anyone to read. Kirk‘s embarrassed for himself but even more so for Spock who guards his privacy so assiduously. Entry after entry, we are taken back to those missions that mark the strengthening bond between the two men: when Kirk is split into two halves, how Spock soothes away the nightmares after Kirk‘s return from Dr. Triston Adams‘s torture room, Spock‘s pon farr, the Babel mission and so on. It‘s lovely to see this handled so skillfully, so by the time Kirk reveals his true feelings about Spock in his log there is almost a sense of inevitability to it all. Still he has said nothing to Spock. Spock‘s solution to the loss of his friend‘s privacy is so typically Spock it makes me smile each time I read this story. He reads the logs then tries to buy the publishing company. Needless to say, it‘s not for sale. Next he goes looking for Kirk. One particular touch I like is that while they are talking it all out in Kirk‘s office, the two play a game of chess...in their heads, with no pieces or board between them, just the knowledge they have of the game and each other.

A lovely story and very, very well done. [3]
... my favorite story in the zine. I‘m a complete sucker for Natasha‘s fiction and this is a perfect example of why. This story takes place after V‘ger with Kirk and Spock both posted on Earth. Someone, somehow has recorded all of Kirk‘s personal logs from the beginning of his captaincy on the Enterprise to the ship‘s contact with V‘ger. And now someone has published all the logs and the book is selling like proverbial hotcakes. Kirk‘s main concern is Spock‘s reaction to the logs. The confrontation between Kirk and Spock over the logs is sweet (in a good way!), very touching and even funny. This is Natasha at her best. [4]
In “Charisma” (a reprint from an older, then out-of-print zine), Kirk’s personal logs leak, someone publishes them, and they’re a smash. Kirk knows that suing the company would prove these were indeed his memoirs, and does he want to get involved in a big debacle, etc. He’s not happy. Spock reads the logs and… maybe realizes how into him Kirk is? But he also already knew that? Idk.

I dislike the intro section, but the log sections are a nice formal route to go down. The way they work in and with various episode plots requires the writer and reader to know these stories very well. I like Kirk’s assistant.

This story never really makes it clear to me–why Kirk and Spock didn’t get together before the publication of these diaries, if indeed they both knew how they themselves felt and Spock suspected he knew how Kirk felt. Also not enough really *happens* in this fic. Some sex–maybe hand jobs? Very quick and vague. The ending is a bit cheesy.

This story’s not *bad*, but it also doesn’t do much for me. [5]

References

  1. ^ from Come Together #1
  2. ^ from On the Double #5
  3. ^ from The K/S Press #166
  4. ^ from The K/S Press #162
  5. ^ Charmed Life, Archived version by Erin Horakova, April 7, 2015,