The Angry Heart
|Title:||The Angry Heart|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #61.
"A first time story set after Vʼger. Kirk is angry at Spock for leaving him three years before and vows to never let anyone get that close to him again. But when murders start happening on the Enterprise, they must work together to solve the mystery."
Reactions and Reviews
Although this particular author has always been one of my favorites, I don’t often get a chance to read her work as she tends to focus more on the “Mirror” universe more often than not when it comes to penning a K/S story. And since I have never been all that fond of “Mirror” stories and since much of her work is published in zines where the focus is on the “Mirror” universe, you can see why I rarely get a chance to enjoy her work.
This story, however, is one of those few exceptions where she has chosen to set it in the “normal” universe. And all I can say is that I wish she would make that choice more often because this story is nothing short of brilliant. The events in this particular tale take place during ST:TMP. This time, however, there is no happy reunion between Kirk and Spock. Rather, an unexpected and unplanned moment of passion between the two near the end of the five year mission, which became the catalyst for Spock’s decision to flee to Vulcan and enter the Kolinar discipline, remains a festering sore for Kirk, so much so he is determined never to let anyone get that close to him again, especially his first officer. He now finds he can barely tolerate the presence of the man who was once his best friend and almost lover and Spock, who wants nothing more than Kirk’s forgiveness, finds himself more alone than he was at Gol. A series of mysterious deaths aboard the ship, however, force the two to put aside their strained relationship and work together to solve the mystery. Despite their best efforts, however, the murderer continues to strike with impunity and a disturbing pattern develops when it becomes apparent he/she is targeting non-human members of the crew. Invariably, Spock falls victim to one of those attacks and it is only when faced with the possible loss of the Vulcan that Kirk comes to realize just how important Spock is to him. Still, just as it seems he will be given an opportunity to mend their relationship, disaster strikes again and threatens to destroy all his hopes and plans for the future.Once again, this author has woven an intriguing, spell-binding tale filled with just the right amount of angst to keep tugging at the reader’s heartstrings throughout the entire story. We want nothing more than to help both these men heal from wounds that run soul-deep, yet we know that these wounds can only be healed by the love Kirk and Spock still feel for each other. Fortunately, both these men are in very good hands when it comes to this particular author and the result is another unforgettable K/S story by this most talented author
It‘s difficult to put down a good mystery once you‘ve become immersed in it. This is a classic mystery that lives up to the premise. It isn‘t easy to close the pages and leave to take care of chores when you can hardly wait to see what‘s going to happen next. If you plan right, you can easily read the 45 pages in a sitting, but be forewarned: they are filled with action, intrigue and anguish.
Seeing Kirk tightly wound and miserable after the V‘ger mission is a different approach, and one that is extremely well imagined here. He‘s little more than a very efficient automaton, and he won‘t let anyone touch him, physically or emotionally. This appears to go double for Spock, who is stung by the unexpected rejection. I believe Ms. Falken has captured very well how Kirk must feel, and her depiction fits very well the image we saw of him in TMP. I know others don‘t always agree, but he always seemed to me a man who was holding himself very remote from everything except the business at hand. Standing ramrod straight, allowing little expression to show on one of the most expressive faces I‘ve ever seen. It isn‘t difficult to reason why he has adopted this defensive mechanism, but it takes McCoy to explain to Spock just how much his leaving for Gol hurt Kirk. I‘m a complete sucker for this scenario, always touched by an angst-ridden Kirk, especially when his pain is due to the depth of his love for Spock. There is a defining moment for Spock when McCoy, buoyed by a strong drink, explains the reason Kirk has turned into what he aptly describes as an ―unfeeling bastard.‖ He tells Spock in no uncertain terms, ―You destroyed him. You destroyed the finest man you‘ll ever know...and then you left me to pick up the pieces.‖With this sort of drama on the home front and a killer loose on the Enterprise, you can imagine why one is very reluctant to relinquish their grip on this particular story until the final paragraph. That paragraph is, by the way, a very fine one: a suitably nice wrap for a particularly good story. 
This author‘s strong point has always been her plots. And 'The Angry Heart' has loads of twists and turns and mystery enough to satisfy any action/adventure fan.
When Spock left for Gol badly spooked by his feelings for Kirk after they share an unexpected kiss, Jim Kirk lost not only his first officer, the rock upon whom he depended, but also his almost lover. Spock returns to help defeat V‘ger, and after that handclasp in sickbay, he expects things to resume as they were before. He wants nothing more than Kirk‘s forgiveness for what he now sees as the biggest mistake of his life. Kirk is having none of it. Deeply hurt, he will not allow himself to love Spock again. Their friendship is over, whatever rapport they once had is gone, and the legendary relationship that once fueled the Enterprise as surely as her warp engines and dilithium crystals is no more. And then the murders start.... McCoy has a strong role in this story. He was the one to pick up the pieces after Spock‘s defection to Vulcan, and resents Spock for the hurt he inflicted on Kirk. Little by little he comes to see Spock‘s devastation as well. He also helps to unravel the mystery of the deaths aboard the ship. I very much liked the medical aspects to the clues they slowly uncover. Sometimes McCoy is just a tangential character in a story, but not here. Good use of the character! It almost takes a tragedy to turn these two wounded souls toward each other again, but the sense of anticipation and uncertainty lingers until the end. Love cannot be denied, and watching them realize what truly has importance in their lives is deeply satisfying.This is excellent, clear, vivid writing, that keeps the reader turning pages in a frenzy right until the end of the story. Good Star Trek and especially good K/S. 
- By Christine H in K/S Press #133
- from The K/S Press #137
- from The K/S Press #134