They are Immortal, All Those Stars
|Title:||They are Immortal, All Those Stars|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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The story is dedicated to Chris Soto.
This story was nominated for a STIFfie Award.
"Spock is in pon farr when he feels Kirkʼs presence after almost 80 years and decides to leave Romulus in order to find him."
Some Comments by the Author
I liked answering that awful film “Generations,” where they had the nerve to kill Kirk so ignominiously and with Spock absent. First, I reinterpreted the events from a more K/S viewpoint. And second, I gave Kirk and Spock the disposition that Gene Roddenberry had suggested for them, because he was right, and it was right for the characters. That’s not really a spoiler. Not everyone’s seen that interview with him where he said what their “final” disposition would be. I’ll just say it’s positive and hopeful. The title is taken from a Walt Whitman poem, something I’d always wanted to do, and the story practically wrote itself. I love when the whole process comes together like that. Except for one very short partial scene that I’d written ahead of time, I wrote the entire thing to deadline in four days as a favor to the editor, Dot Laoang, who needed something to fill out the zine. I think I maintained the story’s emotional atmosphere pretty well throughout the 21,000 words. It’s a pretty sad story throughout, maybe even verging on tragic, but the ending is happy and I think it’s satisfying. It reads aloud well, which is always something I try for, since I have a musical ear. I like stories with a lyrical quality, and mine don’t always have that, but this one does. 
Reactions and Reviews
[the art]: "Mystery": Amazing Shelley. Of course, it's Kirk sitting behind Spock, but what if it is someone else and Spock is thinking of Kirk? Beautiful, just plain beautiful. (note from Shelley: It is someone else, Gratienne! In the story, it's the Vulcan Adept Setaykh. In the original, it's a mystery man—hence, the title. I think itcaused a mild controversy, back then. Uh, oh!) 
[the art]]: "Mystery": Shelley Butler has a very lovely pencil of a Spock sitting between powerful thighs in the bottom half of the picture and a pensive Kirk face in the upper half of the picture. I knew I had seen this one before, and in the introduction you discover that its a reprint from CHARISMA 18. I'm glad the editor credited the picture; otherwise, I would have worried for weeks about where I had seen this before. The art reproduction quality of this is very nice. It's printed on one side, so you could even tear It out and frame it if you wanted to. 
I wish there could be more stories to put the bad taste of "Generations" away. This one definitely gives more satisfaction, but then what story wouldn't? I don't mean to downgrade this story at all. A blend of Spock on Romulus, his mind-search of Kirk, remembering his pon farrs, thoughts of his t'hy'la, his homecoming and I don't mean Vulcan. I really had to chuckle when Spock expected Kirk to know everything about the meaning of t'hy'la without truly having explained it. It's so illogical, but so in tune as well. I wonder why Kirk didn't catch on. 
An extraordinary story that truly serves its stated purpose—to dispel any of the awful "history" put forth in "Generations". But this story accomplishes much more than just that—doing away with that stupid movie (I couldn't think of a better adjective). It's so evocative and so filled with emotion as we follow Spock closely through his pain-filled journey for seventy-four years without Kirk.
Spock's journey takes us to Romulus where he's the leader of the underground (literally) group, then to Earth and to Vulcan, with the focus being the pon farrs that he's forced to endure—unmated and horribly empty without his one love. Keeping the focus on his pon farrs was an excellent choice because it involves Kirk. So even though Spock is alone in the whole first part of the story, Kirk is always there with him. And this author is skilled enough to make this completely K/S even ifthe "K"isn't until late in the story.
Spock's encounter with Rhesedra, a Romulan woman living with her son in the underground, turns out so wrong and pathetic when her son sees his mother and Spock together. So heartrending when they will never see each other again even though she saved Spock's life. Then Spock meets Leila again and she welcomes the chance to help him through his 'Time".
But this encounter, too, is tinged with sadness because Spock can never be fulfilled by anyone but Kirk, and Leila knows this, but still loves him.
One of the flashback scenes is particularly wonderful—where the crew comes to Spock's apartment to remember Kirk and Spock cries in the embrace of Uhura's arms. Then one of the saddest scenes I have ever read in K/S—where Spock is with McCoy who is on his deathbed. I don't know how I got through it.
Finally, Spock finds Kirk in the Nexus. What an extraordinary scene this is. Not only because of their meeting again after all the years, but also the way the story was constructed a s Spock suffered for Kirk the whole time. On top of that, at this very moment of their meeting, Spock is on the brink of another pon farr. What an excellent choice for this scene as it creates a wonderful tension and urgency for Spock to reveal the truth to his beloved.
An incident that was referred to throughout the story is shown in a flashback. Spock reveals his desire for Kirk, but Kirk doesn't take it seriously. This is a pivotal moment in their relationship and I loved how it was woven through the entire story.
Then back to the present and a wonderful discussion of f hy'la and submitting:
- Spock looked into the fire. Putting the lirpa up would not be the proper way to submit as t'hy'la."
- "And just how would t'hy'la let you know he was serious about giving up the fight?"
- "He would have stripped off his pants and knelt in the sand."
I love this author's skill at combining such gentle tenderness with raw sensuality.The ending is so satisfying and I also adored the mystery of whether they would ever leave the Nexus. What a superb story. "Generations"? What's that? 
The story is in small little parts strung together, and the partsjump around in locale and time. The first part starts on Romulus and is slightly before some of the events in GENERATIONS. Ambassador Spock in on Romulus, and a Romulan woman, Rhesedra, is very worried about her 12 year old son called Dharran. This woman and child have had an extremely harsh cruel life. The boy is unruly.
The next part is Vulcan seventy-four years earlier. Amanda is ninety-five and she has called her son home. Spock was to have accompanied Kirk on a trip, but had opted to come to Vulcan instead. It turns out Amanda has arranged for him to many a Vulcan woman named TRanh. Almost immediately, he leams the news that Kirk has been killed on the Enterprise-B. He ends up going to Gol, and when he enters pon farr a fellow Vulcan male, Setaykh, saves him.
In a switch back to Romulus, Spock is entering pon farr.
Then we go to Earth back for other events. The events of "Amok Time" are remembered, and then we meet an older Leila Kalomi Sandoval. She's a widow withchildren, but conveniently, her children are not with her. Pon farr happens and Leila helps him because she loves him. And she knows that Spock loves Kirk.
Then we go back to Romulus again, and Spock realizes that Rhesedra loves him. She will help him with his pon farr, but there are problems, one of which being that Dharran sees them and thinks Spock is mistreating his mother. After this pon farr, Rhesedra and Dharran leave because Rhesedra and Spock realize that they cannot be a couple. Actually Spock throughout all these years and pon fans has never found another true mate because his heart belongs to Kirk.
Now we jump back to Earth seventy-four years earlier. Spock has missed the official memorial and is having an unofficial memorial/wake with the crew. Uhura knows Spock loves Kirk. They discuss Kirk, and Spock tells Uhura that he tried once to get together with Kirk but Kirk refused so Spock thinks Kirk is actually straight and unable to return his love. Uhura tells Spock that Kirk is bisexual, and she is sure that Kirk loved Spock back.
Then it's Romulus again. Spock gets a message from Picard about Nexus and the fact that Kirk died- actually died-just recently on Veridian III. NowSpock is validated in his belief all those many years that Kirk did not die. And he figures out the time that Kirk passed out of the Nexuswas exactly the time when his pon farr with Rhesedra went wrong. He figures out that Kirk when he "died" this time was not 138, but 64. He knows that Kirk is not really dead this time either. He decides to go to the Nexus.
The scene switches to Earth five years earlier. (This summary makes the story seem disjointed, but it's not.) McCoy is now 139 years old and definitely dying. McCoy and Spock talk about Kirk and how Spock has always felt that Kirk has never died. McCoy says good bye to Spock. This is an extremely moving part in the story. I cried when I read it even though it's a very short segment.
Now we quick switch back to Romulus, and Spock is leaving for the Nexus.
The next part (the next to the last part) which is fairly long is at the Nexus when Spock and Kirk meet It had taken Spock 74 years and seventeen pon fans to reach this place. Kirk is there, and he remembers Picard and his dying the second time, the most recent time. There's a littlepart on page 91 that confuses me when Kirk talks about living without Spock for "three days." I'm a little unclear about what this refers to. This part, in my opinion, needs a little more fleshing out because there were several important times Spock was absent from Kirk'slifeand some of them were definitely longer than three days. (Obviously, I am very unclear about this part—not just a little.)
In this long Nexus part, there is a flashback to the time when Spock had made his move and Kirk didn't understand what was happening. Spock is trying to explain to Kirk his feelings, but it just doesn't come across and Kirkthinks that Spock is kidding him. Once this flashback withinthe Nexus segment is over, Spock explains that he indeed did marry TRanh but that it lasted only three weeks. Kirk explains that he honestly did misunderstand what Spock was offering all those years ago.
And then finally, they have sex for the first time at the ages of 138 and 61. Actually, they are really (forthe first time, the story mentions) about the same age physically because of Spock's Vulcan heritage. (And, yes, this somewhat contradicts what I said earlier. I wish I still had the zine to check this out. I guess the story did confuse me in places. But this is probably just my problem.)
The sex scene is nicely developed and takes up a good portion of the Nexus part. I think we'd have been disappointed in the story otherwise, now wouldn't we have been, ladies, if the sex scene had been brief?
The ending part is the Epilogue. Now this part we dont mind being brief, since the story is really over. Picard on the Enterprise-E gets a visit from Guinan who tells him she has had a message from Spock. Spock wants both himself and Kirk listed as missing in action. Picard manages to get this done, and he, also, sends the news to Saavik. She replies back with a passage from Walt Whitman that basically is saying that love and lovers endure.
The story is well written and very enjoyable. I personally wouldn't have had all the jumps about in locale and time, but then I couldnt have begun to have written a storythis complex. Ithinkthat to have avoided the abrupt shifts that J. S. would have had to have written a much longer story so perhaps it is best that she chose to use the method of presenting the story that she did use. Though, actually, this might have made a very nice sweet novella. (I dont know how well novellas or novels sell as opposed to anthologies. I just know that for every novella/novel there must be twenty- five anthologies.) Definitely a worthwhile read. I do recommend the story.For AMAZING GRACE 4, this is the only story that isn't water related. Thank my lucky stars! By the time I got to this story, I really needed a "dry" story. 
This is a beautifully written story that I really enjoyed for several reasons. The fact that it's told exclusively from Spock's point of view makes his characterization crucial to the story's success, and that characterization is right on target to my way of thinking. There is plenty of angst here, yet Spock is consistently shown to be strong, intelligent, and emotionally resilient. The plot revolves around what to me always seems the most profound sort of K/S tragedy: the missed opportunity. Here is Spock, deeply in love with his former captain, wanting desperately to express that love in hopes that it might be returned, but unable to because Kirk has been missing and presumed dead for seventy-four years.
Presumed dead...by Starfleet, that is. Spock knows better, convinced that their mental affinity would have enabled him to sense Kirk's death. But he also knows that Kirk seems irretrievably lost to him, and much of the story's drama results from the Vulcan's determination to survive in the face of that tragedy. Despite everything, he refuses to abandon hope entirely, refuses to many despite the recurring demands of pon farr. Instead he survives as best he can, taking sexual partners when necessary, finding release in the bodies of strangers in order to live another day—a day that might by some miracle restore him to Kirk. Given what we know of Spock's intensely private nature, this strikes me as heroic indeed. He naturally undergoes pon farr a number of times in the course of so many years and sometimes is lucky enough to be helped by a friend. W e are shown several of these encounters, which I found very touching. I also appreciate the fact that Spock is able to surrender to his need and experience the pleasure of the moment. I think this makes him seem very real—the sort of person who would be a worthy match for the sensual James Kirk.
So what could separate the two of them for so many years under such mysterious circumstances? The Nexus, of course! I'm always happy to read an alternate version of events from that ridiculous and disappointing movie, and this story includes some appealing ideas. I likethat the author makes no attempt to explain the Nexus, but simply presents it as a mysterious place where things—including Kirk's supposed death—are not what they seem. This plot strikes me as both believable and very satisfying.
The story also involves Spock's life with the underground Reunification movement on Romulus. That's where it begins, in fact, and we learn about the difficult years since Kirk's disappearance through alternating story segments set on Earth and Vulcan. I'm not always a fan of this technique, but it works well here, like a series of flashbacks. The one point at which it does bother me is between Spock's departure from Romulus and his arrival in the Nexus. This transition serves as a scene change rather than a flashback, and feels abrupt to me somehow. The section that follows is wonderful, however, with a satisfying reunion and some fine lovemaking. And I have to mention that I adore the moment early in this scene when Spock is alarmed by Kirk's expression of affection for "Antonia," only to learn that the female in question is actually Kirk's horse! That really tickled me the first time I read it.Another thing I like is the author's exploration of the concept of fhyla. W e come to understand the term not merely as "friend, brother, lover," but also as a new entity resulting from the melding of two individuals. For example, regarding Kirk's submission to Spock during pon fair, "...it had been difficult but Kirk had demanded it anyway, because the half of them that was Spock needed it, and therefore t'h/la needed it." This is a subtle and beautiful concept, and very much at the heart of my own idea of K/S. 
What a beautiful, poetic title. One would hope the story would be exceptional, to warrant such a title.. .and it is. This story was dedicated to Chris Soto; an antidote to Kirk's portrayal in Generations. I always want to read anti-Generations stories. Sometimes I'm lukewarm about poetry intros in stories because oftentimes, a particular piece of poetry speaks strongly to the person quoting it, and she feels it relevant to her story, but it may not resonate with the reader. Well, these gorgeous Walt Whitman poems- especially the one to a man he loves—certainly resonated with me.
Just about everything in this story is written so perfectly. It's a beautifully heartbreaking scenario- Spock's life these 74 years without Kirk. Nothing about his feelings is given short shrift-no simplistic or superficial motives for his actions (which we understandably sometimes do, for our writing convenience).
I love this: To Spock, it would be more bearable if his t'h/la had died. But he is just missing, so it's like the pain of a phantom limb.
I like all the good Trek stuff, the day-to-day of Spock's livingon Romulus. And as always, JSC writes a convincingly authentic portrayal of the culture. And also, beautiful words of Surak as Spock is translating them into Romulan.
Besides the story-line of Kirk and Spock finally coming together, the thread throughout the whole story of Spock's pon farr is just excellent.
My only complaint is that, while I definitely liked the Romulan woman character, and was glad for her being there for Spock during his Time, I felt at one point there was an over-emphasis on her, or maybe it was on her son, that felt odd. I see, though, that this gave us a fuller picture of Spock's life there by showing us the people around him in the unification movement.
I love (hurts so good) the story of 74 years eariier, how Sarek and Amanda had called Spock home to Vulcan to arrange a bonding. He was there the day Kirk went on the Enterprise-B. Oh shit. Compound this excruciating loss (even though he didn't feel Kirk die) with his coming into pon farr.. .and he goes to Gol.
I love this scene-really hot, really Vulcan, really good. Spock refuses offers from women acolytes, and a male adept comes. The whole story is simple and direct writing, but I noticed it particularly in this scene. So Vulcan, but not dry. (It's in Spock's POV, or, in his thoughts now about those events of the past.) This is an incredibly erotic scene. I love the forthrightness of two Vulcan males together. And of course, Spock is thinking of Kirk....
Within this flashback there's another small flashback of a foggy night in San Francisco with Kirk, and a bit too much brandy, Spock's tentative words not leading where he would have wanted them to.
Back to the present on Romulus, we see more of life among the people in the movement...and Spock's Time again approaches. The woman Rhesedra doesn't know about this yet; Romulans don't have the same mating urge thing. Here is another flashback of his first pon farr, and second...but Kirk and Spock hadnt spoken of it, and Spock had just gone away and found people to serve him each time. One Time is shown, when he ran into Leila in San Francisco. This is written so beautifully, a fine pon farr sex scene. She always knew of his love for Kirk. So incredibly poignant, when Spock cries.
(This sounds like there's a lot of switching between present and flashbacks, but it wasn't confusing, not at all.)
Spock gets a message from Picard about he and Kirk on Veridian 3, that Kirk is dead and buried. But Spock knows Kirk isn't dead, and finds where the Nexus is now, and goes there. Only months after his last pon farr, he feels it again. (Oh boy.)
Not that I haven't spelled out a lot of the story already, but I'm not going to continue doing so, as to when Spock finds Kirk. So much to love in this part. Well, in all of the story. This part is richly and vividly written. We're not just told that Spock zips into the Nexus with no ado, but what he goes through to get there, to Kirk.
Not to mention the rest of the story, with Kirk and Spock together, especially with Spock in his fevered state. And especially in the hands of this masterful writer. Iwas almost in tears at the end, at how beautiful is this expression of their love. There are so many incredibly romantic and erotic and clever passages. Clever as in dialogue that is so true to the beautiful repartee we saw between Kirkand Spock.
At the very end is an epilog, with Picard, with a perfect resolution of the situation from a Trek canon standpoint. Which is what they should have done with the TOS movie series, not what they did do.I love this story, and it leaves a wonderful afterglow. Writing this LOC from my notes, a few weeks after reading the story, makes me want to turn around and read it again, right now. 
Finding a way to bring Kirk and Spock together in the Nexus should assure J.S. Cavalcante a place in K/S Heaven, if there is such a place. She dedicated this story to Chris Soto, and how I wish that Chris could have read it. But, then, perhaps Chris knows more of the story than the rest of us. I hope so.
This story left me in the mood where you now find me. Somewhat nostalgic, sad, somewhat relieved, but not entirely. Any fiction that rests on the premise that Kirk and Spock have failed to bring their love to the surface during their lifetime leaves me grieving for all that was lost. Admittedly there is consolation here. Spock’s 74 years are well defined by the author, and while Kirk’s are not, it has only been 74 days for him.This is a tale born of grief, of longing for what never was and will never be. But it is a story of rejoicing also, for Spock does find the Nexus, and Kirk. Their reunion is rushed by the now-familiar burning of Spock’s Time, but there is no hurt here, no more regrets, only love. And a promise for the future that brought tears to my eyes. It provides a healing for some of the pain caused by “Generations” and the gaping hole it left in our hearts. 
I disliked Generations. Actually, to be unequivocally clear, I HATED Generations. Once upon a time I read a Rick Berman interview. One question was about offering Leonard Nimoy the directorship of „the movie‟. Apparently, Mr. Nimoy objected to the unnecessary death of a major character, said the Nexus could never be filmed as an involving villain and requested a rewrite. Couldn‘t agree more. Too bad Mr. Berman didn‘t listen. From the number of post- Generations stories in print and on-line, many of you agree. Fortunately, I ran across this J S Cavalcante story that soothes the pain, smoothes the ruffled feathers and sweetens the bad taste wonderfully.
I‘ve been a J S Cavalcante fan since I read The Word Withheld early in my K/S explorations. If you haven‘t encountered her work, you‘re missing out. Too bad more isn‘t available on-line. Maybe some will find its way onto www.ksarchive.com soon. Anyone who has dabbled in the print K/S archives has run across Chris Soto drawings, stories and essays with recollections of her, so from this story‘s short dedication, ―In memory of Chris Soto, who also hated the mistreatment of Kirk in Generations. Here‘s the story I promised you ...‖, you suspect this is going to be something special, and you won‘t be disappointed. This is the story that makes everything turn out alright.Watched the movie‟, trapped into watching the movie‟, read a post-Generations story that has you shaking your head? Stop and read this one before you do anything else. Everything will be fine. I promise. And miraculously, Cavalcante accomplishes this without deviating from screen canon one iota. This is a deliciously long story. I‘d normally provide a short synopsis at this point, but anything I said would spoil it and that would be criminal. This IS the logical follow-on for Generations and Unification.