Risk (Star Trek: TOS story by CatalenaMara)
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Risk is a Kirk/Spock story by Catalena Mara.
It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #24.
"Once safe, Kirk must deal with his orders to kill Spock while Henoch inhabited his body."
Reactions and Reviews
While many of you may not recognize this author's name, I can tell you that not only is she the editor of one of the longest-running series of K/S zines, she has also written what many of us consider to be a classic K/S novel, one that in my opinion is not to be missed. And although it's been a few years since she's written a K/S story, based on this latest work I would have to say she certainly hasn't lost her touch.
Here she takes one of my favorite plot devices (and hers, as well, I believe), that being "what happened after" based on one of the TOS episodes. In this case, she has chosen to expand the events seen in "Return to Tomorrow", with one significant difference - in her version, Kirk and Spock are lovers. And while the plot is notable for its lack of any significant event or happening (unlike the episode itself), what it does contain is a long, quiet moment of healing and tenderness as Kirk struggles to find the capacity to forgive himself for ordering his lover's death, something duty gave him no other choice but to do. Not surprisingly, that forgiveness comes from Spock himself, who refuses to blame Kirk for giving that order and more importantly, refuses to allow Kirk to blame himself. It is his steadfast belief that Kirk will always do what is right, regardless of the cost, which enables Kirk not only to come to terms with his actions on that day, but also to realize that should it become necessary again, "he could send Spock out to his death if there was no other choice..." And while that future sacrifice would be no less painful than the one he had to make that day, at least for now "they had beaten the odds one more time."I do have one complaint about this story - at only four pages long, for me that simply wasn't long enough. Not that it lacked anything as it stood, rather, the entire story spoke of such love and tenderness between these two men that I wanted it to go on and on. It is a true testament to this author's talent and skill that she is able to capture so much emotion between so few pages and I sincerely hope she will not wait so long again before penning another story I'm sure will be just as unforgettable.
"Risk" by Catalena Mara is a four page story. It is based on "Return to Tomorrow," and I frankly did not remember the episode title. It is listed in the back. This is very well written as it explores Kirk's thoughts after the episode takes place about what it takes to be a captain and that on some days he might be forced to order the death of his beloved Spock. But he is a captain and he knows: "Risk is our business." There isn't any explicit sex in this story, but it still is a sexy story. And it's an enjoyable story. And it turns out to be my second favorite story of the twelve in the zine. (My favorite story of the zine was "Time Enough," and my LOC is elsewhere in this KSP.) 
If a story ever caused me to want to watch an episode, this one did. At the first chance I get, I will be viewing “Return to Tomorrow”. In the meantime, I shall simply ponder the feelings stirred up by this innovative account of what took place after the cameras ceased to roll. It’s odd that I have never given a great deal of thought to what effect it must have had on James Kirk to order the death of the body that once housed the essence of his beloved. To the benefit of us all, this author gave it much attention and has related ever so well what the cost must have been.
We know something is very wrong when we see Kirk visiting the observation deck alone and slumping nearly to the floor as he considers what he has done. It’s very unnerving because at this point we are not aware of the final outcome, only that Kirk is trying to come to terms with himself. When Spock slips quietly into the darkened room and rests his hand on Kirk’s shoulder, it is an immense relief to the unwary reader. Their subsequent discussion and the way they reassure each other is written with much feeling and understanding of the position they are in. Risk is their business. Both men acquiesce to this reality—it is who they are. But they also reveal and revel in the love that binds them even though it conflicts so terribly with the possible consequences of their responsibilities.A superb K/S event and a most perceptive final scene for the episode. 
- ^ from The K/S Press #101
- ^ from The K/S Press #103
- ^ from The K/S Press #106