Slaves to Each Other
|Title:||Slaves to Each Other|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #60.
"Kirk is suspicious when the Orions allow the Enterprise to assist in rescue efforts after one of its planets is destroyed."
Reactions and Reviews
Once again this author has proven that even though K/S has been around for thirty years, with thousands of stories in print and on the internet, it is still possible, despite all that time and all those stories, to come up with a unique plot device that has never been seen before. How she does so continues to amaze me and I can only hope she never loses this special talent. Top that off with great writing and on-the-money characterizations of Kirk and Spock, and you've got another not-to-be-missed K/S story.
I would have to categorize this story as a mystery and what's a good mystery without a villain? In this case it is the Orions, or more specifically, Orion slave women. Brought on board the Enterprise as "gifts" for the captain and crew after the ship is involved in a massive rescue operation involving one of Orion's moons, they soon cause havoc with their insatiable appetites for sex, with the male members of the crew willing participants, including the captain, and the female members overcome with a strange lethargy. Only Spock is immune, but soon finds his own life in danger from the very crew members who serve under him. A timely rescue by Kirk seems to offer a ray of hope, which is quickly dashed when the very reason for that attack, one of the Orion women, does her best to turn Kirk against Spock. She is almost successful, but Spock's ultimate victory in that battle leads to another attack from an unexpected source - his very own captain. And although Spock is a willing participant in that assault, Kirk cannot forgive himself for his actions. Still, he cannot argue with the result - Spock is able to establish a link that breaks the hold the Orion women had over his captain. Yet just as it seems victory is in their grasp, a mind meld with one of the Orion women leads to an even deeper, darker secret, one that could cost not only Kirk, but every male member of the crew their lives. It is only due to Spock's dogged persistence - and his Vulcan blood - that tragedy is averted and Kirk and Spock can plan on a much brighter future together. Another great story from one of fandom's best. Don't miss this one. watches Spock cavort and fraternize (at least that’s what he thinks) with a beautiful female Vulcan scientist. And boy does Kirk ever have doubts and fears about Spock and his feelings. We are close-up and personal as Kirk struggles to keep himself sane and in control while he sees his Vulcan more than cavorting and fraternizing with this...woman. Kirk’s growing inner battle is shown so perfectly—you see, there’s this...party. And this Vulcan woman is gorgeous, a great dancer, possesses a brilliant mind, dresses beautifully, engages in witty reparte, can drink like a longshoreman, everyone likes her including Spock...and Kirk just about goes nuts inside. What a fabulous scene when Kirk finally confronts Spock and gets pushed up against a wall.... Sorry, my K/S fantasies are showing. Wow! And I loved, no, I adored that Kirk turns to Uhura for advice instead of McCoy. This is so right-on for this story. Uhura has already befriended the Vulcan woman and is close to Kirk personally too. And she is such a warm and lovely character—it’s a wonderful scene when they talk together. And, I ask you, what would a Kathy Stanis story be without gorgeous, passionate sex?So buy this zine and read this story. There. I said it. 
Another sound story from this great writer. Now Deanna is one of my favourite writers, so I find it hard to be objective about her work, but I’ll do my best. One of the strengths of this story is its weaving together of an adventure plot and a K/S plot – this gives it a similar dynamic to the original series and helps to make it seem real. Kirk and Spock are doing there jobs and at the same time trying to sort out their relationship. Deanna’s Kirk and Spock are very close to my imaginary versions of Kirk and Spock – which of course helps me to enjoy the story. In many ways I can admit that Elise’s Spock (see review above) is more the Spock intended by the creators of Trek, but Deanna’s Spock is more the Spock I see in my fantasies. In TOS it is just hinted at that Spock’s controls were not perfect, that they might – if he were just a little less strong – crack to reveal a more vulnerable man. Deanna’s Spock realises the fantasy that TOS invites me to have, where as Deanna writes it “The last few days on Eberga had pushed his controls to the limit and now in the solitude of his bedroom he would allow them to fail completely and give into emotional turmoil”. However Deanna’s Spock is still strong enough to pull himself together instantly when Kirk calls on the com. I find it a bit hard to believe that Kirk and indeed Spock come to terms so easily with Kirk’s aggressive sexual advances whilst under Orion influence, however Deanna does take pains to explain why this is. I just wondered if the story would not be better with more anguish about this and less ‘explanation’ of why there isn’t? However there are some lovely things in this story too – I love how Kirk goes to Spock and protects him despite the fact that he is deeply in thrall to the Orion women – this lovely touch written into a very moving scene tells us that though he doesn’t yet realise it, Kirk’s commitment to Spock goes deeper than anything else. As Spock says: “‘And you left D’nari to come for me’ ‘Yes, I did’ They held each other’s gaze. Spock was not sure exactly what was transpiring between them, but something was changing” – nice simple but powerful writing that. There is also the anguish that the reader shares with Spock as he stoically ignores what must be hurtful insults from many of the crew, and a good dose of hurt/comfort when Spock is beaten up, though this is another element I’d like expanded a bit more. Its not the violence, I want more of you understand, but the description afterwards of the slightly battered Spock, touched on in a mention of his bruised face, but skimmed over. This is not, I feel, one of Deanna’s strongest stories, it seems a little sketchy in parts, but none the less it’s a good classic K/S story of the kind I most enjoy. 
Now here’s a treat! There’s an excellent well- developed plot revolving around renegade Orions and their particularly nasty agenda. There’s great sexual tension between Kirk and Spock, not all of it the variety you might expect. The pacing is just right, keeping the reader involved from the Captain’s first log entry straight on until the end. I like the way the suspense builds with every page. Deanna does a fine job with plot – she doesn’t overwhelm you with it, in fact you hardly notice it’s there until you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a story as good as any TOS episode. Couple that with a growing attraction between Captain and First Officer and suddenly it’s a notch above what the episodes were allowed to show us.
Every word of conversation is believable and perfect for the characters, especially our favorite pair. They have such an easy way of communicating with each other, even when they’re facing personal crises as well as a threat from the enemy. This Spock is strong and determined against seemingly insurmountable odds and is truly the only functioning member of the crew at one point. Kirk, on the other hand, is afflicted with the weaknesses that accompany being human, multiplied by sinister outside influences. But no matter how affected he may be, we quickly learn there is nothing that can subvert the fierce loyalty and closeness he feels for Spock.I don’t want to give away the details – everyone deserves to experience this fine episode for themselves. Don’t miss it! 
- from The K/S Press #119
- from The K/S Press #120
- from The K/S Press #121