Chiaroscuro (Star Trek: TOS story)
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #7.
"In an alternate universe, James Kirk is given a most unusual opportunity on the diplomatic staff of the Ambassador from Vulcan, an opportunity which he uses to fulfill his consuming passion for the stars. But the position brings him far more than he expected...Sequel: Spindrift."
Reactions and Reviews
I... want to mention the originality of this story to others who are reading this. This story is (yes, truly!) a Kirk/Sarek tale! It is set in one of the "Mirror Universes" which is a plus to me, as I prefer A/U stories to those closely tied into episodes. Kirk is scraping his way up the Empire's career-ladder; he desperately wants to go into space. Sarek, in a powerful position, is able to offer Kirk his desired opportunity in exchange for something else (you can guess what) that Sarek wants. In the process of all this, the two find real love and devotion for each other. After a harrowing adventure for the two of them, Kirk and Sarek find Captain Spock. Kirk makes a choice for his future. Both the plotting and descriptions were electrifying. 
Interesting premise, centering on Kirk's involvement with Sarak in a Vulcan Star Empire whera Earth is part of a backwater region of space. It's totally believable that Kirk would use every asset he has including his body to help his dream come true; flying in space preferably on a starship. Spock comes into the picture at the end of the story, when rescuing both his father and Kirk from a diplomatic mission gone awry. When it starts to get interesting with the growing/attraction of Spock towards his father's human, the story ends. I was hoping to come across a sequel covering Kirk's years at Vulcan Starfleet Academy with a possible posting afterwards on Spock's ship, the Enterprise. 
A dark, atmospheric, A/U story of Sarek in the Empire ruled bv Vulcans as the dominant race, with Kirk as the ambassador's aide who dreams of "flying" in a starship of his own. They begin a sexual relationship as Sarek negotiates with the people of a distinctive and unusual planet. No mention is made of Spock until midway through when Sarek thinks of his son.
Sex here is not easy there's lots of forced acceptance on Kirk's part until his feelings begin to change which gives a nice touch of realism. During their stay there, the leader's rat-like son assumes power and takes them prisoner. Throughout the story there's a wonderfully atmospheric element of the ringing of bells. At one point: "Sarek hated the bells with a pre-reform passion he had thought long purged from his genes.
Kirk dreams of entering the Academy and flying a starship. Sarek tells him they must part ways so that can achieve his goal. This is a really neat method by which Sarek is gotten out of the way without too much grief, so that K and S can be together. On board the Enterprise, McCoy asks Kirk to mediate between Sarek and son who have been estranged for 18 years. We also get to see a fiercely loyal crew who care deeply for Captain Spock.Overall, very nicely written with mostly narration and little dialogue. There's an unusual and unexpected ending, perfect for this story.