Secrets and Scandals
|Title:||Secrets and Scandals|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was to have had a sequel called "The Honesty's Too Much," but it was never written.
It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #7.
"A/U: Both Spock and the woman Sarek wishes him to marry are being pressured to leave their respective lovers."
Reactions and Reviews
A complex and in-depth story involving some nicely drawn characters that relate to Kirk and Spock. While too complicated to tell all of the plot here, it has to do with a woman who is half-Vulcan and whose father is an Admiral in Starfleet. The woman, Margie Dutton, AKA T'Lemke, is involved in a gay relationship and is betrothed to Spock. Margaret's father wants his daughter's gay relationship stopped and Sarek has discovered Spock's relationship with Kirk and wants it stopped, as well.
While very well-written and interesting, there were a couple of difficulties that made it very tough for me to enjoy this story. The first is the premise that Vulcan men routinely use and abuse women during Pon Farr. sometimes going as far as to murder them, other times "accidentally" nearly killing them. They are not prosecuted for this and here's a brief passage describing more: "The atrocities that Vulcan males had committed under its influence were a scandal of major proportions. Surak's Reforms were said to have eliminated all barbarism, all violence from Vulcan culture. She knew now that Surak had only concerned himself with ending violence between men."
It was really difficult to read the rest of the story with an open mind after that. There was so much to enjoy, but that almost stopped me from even finishing the story. I don't at all mind outrageous ideas, innovative premises or unusual things in stories, but this one is so negative, robbing Vulcans of any dignity or reason without any rationale that it's impossible to accept, let alone even believe. And in fact, nothing much in this story is complimentary to Vulcan society. For instance, if the "highest ranking parent" is disobeyed, the son or daughter will be disowned. Must be a lot of unattached children out there.
The second difficulty was that Starfleet, indeed the Federation, is totally parochial and backward in their outlook on sex and relationships. No liaisons are allowed, it seems, between anyone. Yet mixed in with all this are some excellent characterizations, dialogue, plot and ideas. I enjoyed Kirk's past involvement with Commodore Wesley, knowing more about Kyle and even Chekhov. The latter having a relationship with Sulu which I thought was neat.
Speaking of whom, I loved what was done with him. There's a wonderful discussion among Sulu, Kirk and Spock wherein Sulu says he's a samurai warrior at heart and "A samurai always has a master to whom he owes complete loyalty- For me- you are that master. I'm your man, sir. Always." He then says if he had a samurai sword he'd "lay it at your feet."
A few more difficulties came up such as even though everyone is going through big upheavals in their lives, Heaving the Enterprise for onelthey all are able to have dinner and talk normally and calmly as if going on a vacation.
At one point, Spock is insulted and actually gets up to leave, then later reveals some very personal things in front of McCoy and Margaret. Perhaps the onset of Pon Farr might have loosened his controls, in which case I could accept this behavior, but no mention is made of it, nor any other reason.
A very nicely done sequence of a mental link between K and S. Good imagery and done in a way that was easy to visualize. And isn't this a great way to describe it: "Kirk's cock stirred up its proud head" ? Oh. boy.Way, way too fast sex- lots of telling, not showing with lines like: "They had lavished their physical energies upon each other without stint, but it was through such giving that their satisfaction was at last attained." Hey! I wanted to see the whole thing! Then, an absolutely lovely and fascinating ceremony to rename a Vulcan starship. Really involving and quite inventive, especially the use of candles and the beautiful, meaningful recitations. Overall, some very strong points: good, solid side characters and nice interaction between K and S along with a substantial plot. I can't remember seeing Linda Frankel's name on any recent stories. This one really shows a writing talent and it would be great if she were to write again. 
This story is highly original. From the beginning, it grabbed me, taking me along its unexpected paths. Kirk and Spock are here — but there are so many other fascinating pairs. I really liked that Linda included a woman/woman relationship in the story — many times I get the idea that, in the "K/S Universe," lesbianism is to be shunned and silenced, whereas male homosexuality it to be exalted. Included also is a lovelorn pair — Sulu and Chekov — faced with an ethical dilemma. My only criticism is that the story isn't finished; Linda states that a sequel will follow at an undisclosed date. Please, Linda, let us have the whole story... pretty please?