If Freedom Fall?

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Title: If Freedom Fall?
Publisher: D. DaBinett
Author(s): K.S. T'lan, edited by D. DaBinett
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s): Barbara P. Gordon
Date(s): 1982
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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If Freedom Fall? is a slash Star Trek: TOS 245-page novel by K.S. T'lan. It required an age statement to purchase.


Summary: This story is all about Pon Farr, bonding and freedom. This is about Spock's human side seeking freedom while his Vulcan side seeks control and logic. Of course, Kirk is the random card, and deals with Spock during his Pon Farr.

Summary from Gilda F: "Spock is abducted by the renegade Captain Kirk and asked to join in his plans to overthrow Earthʼs Imperial government."


Reactions and Reviews

[from the editor, in spring or summer 1981]: I am bringing out a single story (200+ pages) KS zine by K.S. T'Lan Entitled 'IF FREEDOM FALL' -- anyone who has read in of her stories in Duet does not need to be told what a marvellous grasp she has of the characters and the easy way she writes, her stories just flow effortless along (and I"m pea-green with envy!) I consider... IF FREEDOM FALL is probably one of the best, if not THE BEST KS novel I've read, (and there isn't much I haven't read, believe me)! [2]
This is an 'Alternate Universe' novel, but not the 'Mirror' Universe. This is another alternate universe--one in which Terra has withdrawn from (or been kicked out of) the Federation, due to increasingly tyrannical and oppressive policies in her internal politics. Kirk has refused an order to destroy the Halkans' planet, hijacked the Enterprise with the help of a skeleton crew which volunteered to go with him, and has become a renegade freedom fighter for the Vulcan-based Federation Underground. He meets Spock by kidnapping him from Vulcan (in a daring maneuver) for the purpose of persuading him to join the fight to free Terra, and, of course, they fall in love. There are some tantalizing alternate universe parallels to the TV series—among them an encounter with the Doomsday Machine in which Matt Decker and the Constellation are saved from destruction. Gary Mitchell is the villain (and a good one he is, too), an agent of Terra's Imperial Spacefleet, in relentless pursuit of Kirk and the Enterprise throughout the story. Sarek and Amanda are agents for the Underground, as is Amanda's mother a formidable and delightful old lady, who is being held hostage on Terra. Spock and Kirk under take her rescue, using Kirk's childhood home in Iowa (now deserted) for a base of operations, as well as for a little romance. Throughout all this, Spock has been (in his spare time) perfecting an interdimensional transport process, and during a test of the procedure he intercepts a message from an 'alternate Enterprise' to Starfleet Command in a neighboring universe -- which leads into a particularly provocative ending... Alternate Universe stories are not usually favorites of mine, but this one is interesting, well-developed, and believable. I enjoyed it immensely. Illos are by Barbara Gordon, and they include one which has to be her best a soft, pensive, romantic portrait of Kirk and Spock at rest (for a change!). [3]
This was a very enjoyable a/u story and bearing in mind I don’t usually like a/u stories all that much, it has to be very good indeed to be able to keep me reading over 200 or more pages. In some ways, its not all that far from the concepts around the original series as Kirk and Spock and most of the rest of the familiar crew faces are on board the Enterprise, but there the similarity stops. The background to this particular story is very different in that Earth is no longer a Federation member, having left the Federation after coming under the governance of a corrupt and ruthless dictator who wishes Earth to become an Empire similar to that in the Mirror universe. The background is also different in that as a result of this, Kirk and most of his remaining crew have mutinied against this corrupt government (to which they are all opposed) and as a result are wanted for reason back on Earth and Kirk in particular is constantly in danger of being captured and taken back to Earth to be tried for treason. The story centers around Kirk’s kidnapping Spock (who at the time is working at the Vulcan Science Academy and is rather restless and unhappy there) and persuading him to join him and the rest of the crew of the Enterprise in their fight against what is happening on Earth. It is also made clear right from the start that Spock is not very happy with his life on Vulcan, where he is subject to a lot of overt prejudice as a result of his mixed parentage. The story has some very good characterisation, especially of Kirk who is exactly how I would expect him to be in the circumstances, a charismatic leader who inspires a great deal of loyalty in the crew who have chosen to remain with him. It says a lot about his personality and integrity that even when he decided that it was necessary to mutiny against his superiors back on Earth he did not kill any of the crew who opposed him, simply giving them a choice of either leaving or remaining with the ship, and all the most familiar people (i.e. all his senior officers) have chosen to remain with him and try to fight the corrupt regime which has seized power on Earth, supported by quite a few other planets in the Federation, including Vulcan. It was also nice to see Spock’s parents and some of his extended family back on Earth supporting his gradually developing relationship with Kirk and not opposing his plan to join the Enterprise especially when it comes to light that his “kidnapping” by Kirk was not quite so random as it may seem! The characterisation of Spock is very good too. At the beginning of the story, he s depicted as working at the Vulcan Science Academy and his restlessness and frustration there is well described, as are the problems he has been experiencing with the prejudice of the other Vulcans working there who make it very clear how they feel about a Vulcan/Human hybrid in their midst, especially in the light of what is happening on Earth.

Once he arrives on the ship, Spock is quickly absorbed in his new life and his gradually developing feelings for Kirk, who inspires in him the same loyalty he does in the rest of the crew. This is wonderfully illustrated by Spock’s reactions when Kirk is trapped and injured in a shipboard accident – and as we would expect the Vulcan leaves no stone unturned to rescue him, even if he is endangering his own life in the process and he ends up revealing a lot more about how he feels to McCoy than he intended. Another nice touch his growing friendship with Scott, which is well described, it makes a nice change to see Spock and Scott interacting together, normally the engineer only has a very minor role in most K/S stories, so it makes a refreshing change to see these two interacting together and to know that Spock was capable of inspiring friendship in other members of the crew, as well as his developing relationship with Kirk.

It is also interesting that this particular author is adept at portraying the gradually developing relationship between Kirk and Spock so well. At the time he arrives on the ship Spock is unbonded (his bondmate T’Pring has already broken their bond) and approaching his first pon farr, and it speaks volumes for Kirk’s character even after Spock has behaved in a less than acceptable manner towards him, Kirk still insists on staying with him in spite of everything that has happened. This particular author portrays very well Kirk’s struggle to overcome his fears when he decides to return to Spock even after the Vulcan treated him very badly, as well as Spock’s reaction to what happened which is also spot on and very well depicted. McCoy’s reactions to this decision on Kirk’s part are also very well depicted and absolutely in character, just as we would expect him to react in the circumstances. The portrayal of the way in which his long-standing friendship with Kirk gradually extends to Spock as well, as the Vulcan gradually wins his respect in spite of the Doctor’s initial suspicions is very well described and true to life, just as I would imagine it to be. In fact McCoy is perfectly depicted, especially the way in which he hides his true feelings of compassion beneath a somewhat gruff and crusty manner and provides Kirk with a trusted and reliable source of advice when required. His unstinting friendship and support of Kirk is made very obvious, as is Kirk’s reliance upon this, even as his relationship with Spock is growing and deepening at the same time.

One of the other things I especially like in this particular story was the way in which Kirk gradually tries to convince Spock that he wants him to stay with him on the ship, rather than returning to Vulcan and how he refuses to even consider forcing Spock to stay, against his will, although he is well aware of how desperately they need Spock and his expertise. It was a joy to read about how their relationship and trust in each other gradually grows, with Kirk letting things happen at their own pace, never trying to force Spock into something he is not ready for as they go through a whole series of adventures and mishaps both on the ship and in a variety of other locations as they pursue their goal of trying to assist in toppling the corrupt regime currently controlling Kirk’s home planet. A perfect example of this is Kirk’s risking everything to visit a particular planet and buy Spock a present, as a wanted man he is very much a target for capture and the fact he was willing to risk so much in order to convey his feelings to Spock in this way is a clear indication of Kirk’s growing feelings for Spock.

The story also has quite a few interesting plot twists along the way, including several encounters between Kirk and his nemesis, Gary Mitchell, who is portrayed very well as a former friend who is now determined to capture and arrest Kirk in order to return him to Earth for trial. How they manage to avoid this and the unexpected role played by Nurse Chapel (who is depicted as a little less benevolent and more than a little emotionally unstable here) not to mention the fact that she is in love with Spock herself makes enjoyable reading. Another enjoyable snippet is how Spock adapts one of the shuttlecraft to jump into other universes as part of their ongoing efforts to avoid capture and detection, and how during one of these “jumps” they encounter another Enterprise in another universe where Kirk is about to defy orders and take Spock to Vulcan for his first pon farr ( just as it happened in the original episode of Amok Time) which is a nice tie-up between the two different versions of reality. This is all set against a lovely background of Kirk and Spock’s growing and developing relationship and the final conclusion took me completely by surprise! All in all a very well written story, which it is well worth taking the time to read. [4]
Sort of AU to the Mirror Universe. Empire Captain turned rebel James Kirk kidnaps a Vulcan scientist he suspects would be willing to help his cause. The friendship that ensues resists even Kirk's rape by his friend in pon farr, and when a bond results, Kirk courageously faces the daily implications until they can go back to Vulcan to break it. Fantastic plot, loved how the characters dealt with the relationship that was "happened" to them and how open and accepting Kirk was of Spock in all his complexity. [5]


  1. from Not Tonight, Spock! #2
  2. from the editorial in Duet #3
  3. from Not Tonight, Spock! #2
  4. from The K/S Press #132
  5. 4 September 2009 Master List of K/S Favorites *Updated Nov 19, 2013*, Mary Monroe