Just the Way the Story Goes
|Title:||Just the Way the Story Goes|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #1.
"Lori leaves Kirk when he is unable to quit trying to contact Spock at Gol."
Reactions and Reviews
An all permeating pain jumps off the pages. A pain without climax, suffocating Kirk’s soul. Even knowing the future, where Spock and the Enterprise will be his again, doesn’t really help me in alleviating my doubts for his emotional survival. Nevertheless, a deeply buried strength is apparent which allows him to carry on. This time Lori Ciani isn’t portrayed as an opportunistic woman but as a caring person, who carries her own scars. 
This short story is very representative of a lot of K/S fiction that came out in the early eighties, I suppose in conjunction with the first movie. Here Admiral Kirk has been living with his wife Lori Ciani, yet each month he's been sending a communication to the Vulcan Council requesting that he be able to contact Spock at Gol. And each month, like clockwork, the response comes back. "Spock...does not wish contact with anyone at present."
Lori can't take it. She tells Kirk, "I watched your world shatter each month—watched your confidence falter, your hopes die. Until the next month, when you'd send another message that would start the whole cycle again."
She knows that he and Spock were lovers, apparently knew it even when they married, but she can't stay in this relationship while Kirk continues in his behavior. So one day when Kirk comes home from the admiralty, he sees her suitcases being packed and knows that she is leaving him. There's another stargram response from Vulcan that arrived that day, and Lori says she'll stay if Kirk throws it away, unopened, not knowing what it says. Of course, he can't do it.I remember that when I first started reading K/S, I loved stories of Kirk and Lori and the hopelessness of their relationship. Now they don't seem so enticing, but this one is still one of the best of that type. 
I’ve always liked this story. I couldn’t have told you the name of it or what zine it appears in, but the image of Kirk holding a stargram, dreading reading the contents, has stuck firmly with me over the years.
The setting is one year into Kirk’s position as Chief of Operations. A great title, an elite and honorable achievement for a man whose life is dedicated to Starfleet, and yet it is such a painful and empty time for him. Lori figures into this very strongly, as the very stargram Kirk clutches without opening has rung the final death knell for their relationship. As he watches her pack, we learn about the past year, and the unbearable loneliness and longing that has accompanied Kirk through every moment of it.This author was one of the very best at capturing the emotions of the characters and pulling the reader deeply into the story. In less than six pages, she tells us so much and makes us feel an incredible amount of anguish and empathy for Kirk. Toni Cardinal-Price, it’s my understanding, is gone from us now – snatched away far before her time. I’m sorry as can be for that loss, as she understood and loved K/S to the depth of her soul. That love was not hidden, but shared with all of us through her writing, and it’s a beautiful legacy she’s left us. 
- from The K/S Press #1
- from The K/S Press #61
- The K/S Press #117