Thicker Than Blood (Star Trek: TOS story)
|Title:||Thicker Than Blood|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the zine Within the Mirror #14.
"Kirk discovers his brother is still alive when heʼs ordered to transport an elite fighting group to a planet screened from the Empire, but then is forced by the Organians to chose between his brother, the leader of the group, and Spock."
Reactions and Reviews
I really enjoy this piece for the Mirrorview of the Organians from Errand of Mercy. Mirror Kirk encounters his long lost brother Sam and has to choose between his life and Spock's when the aliens wish to experience emotion one more time. Keep a pitcher of ice water handy because the sex scenes (three!) are hot enough to cause the pages to spontaneously ignite. 
It’s been a long time between stories for this author, but this one almost makes up for the deprivation. Brianna’s stories all have a great deal of plot, and “Thicker Than Blood” is no exception. There’s a great deal that happens in this story, and that combined with the fact that it is newly published make a complete synopsis impractical. Suffice it to say that Mirror Kirk meets up with his long lost older brother Sam, and learns some hard truths about both fraternal love and himself. Along the way we’re treated to Errand of Mercy as seen from a Mirror point of view. Nope, no Klingons, but this version of Aylbourne is one baaad dude!
While I am not usually a fan of Mirror stories, I always enjoy Brianna’s depiction of Spock. Her Spock is always a class act, both brilliant and droll, but he’s also sly and dangerous and devilishly handsome. When Kirk explodes over being given an assignment he dislikes, he blames his old nemesis: “Fuck Finnigan! He’s an asshole.” Spock coolly replies: “As you say. However, this particular asshole is known to have friends in high places.” I can hear that roll out of this Spock’s mouth. Her Mirror Kirk is appropriately a harsher version of our own captain, but with a hidden core of vulnerability to redeem him. I loved this line: “We’re still the best command team in fleet, and I still almost trust you most of the time.” Add to this some very hot sex scenes as only this author can do them. They fairly steam the words off the page! And a first for her—Spock on the bottom! (Thanks, Brianna. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?)If you’re a Mirror fan, and even if you’re not, this is one enjoyable read. Don’t miss it. 
This is a fantastic Mirrorstory by an incredible author. She totally captured the tension and atmosphere of the Mirror universe. Spock is dark and dangerous, Kirk fiery and powerful. There's a subtle undercurrent between Kirk and Spock. The trouble begins when Kirk's brother, Samuel, who Kirk thought was dead for many years, is brought aboard the Enterprise as the leader of the Delta 'death' Squadron. We're given a rare glimpse of Kirk, still feeling the pull of family, the love he had for his brother. He protects him, even to the point of not wanting to believe the rash of rapes and beatings and drugs aren't his fault. At the same time, though, he doesn't like all the attention Sam's giving Spock. Kirk begins to wish for this mission to end.
I loved the Mirror version of the Organians, their drive to feed off the emotions of the Enterprise crew. Of course they paired off Spock and Kirk, and hoo-boy! Hot, hot stuff there, as Spock is forced to take Kirk while the Organians just soak up the sensations and emotions between them. Afterward, they force Kirk to make a terrible choice, and inform him that while they forced his and Spock's physical actions, they didn't force their feelings, or Kirk's choice of Spock over Sam. Kirk can't handle it and avoids Spock. Through his eavesdropping on Spock with the Tantalus, we learn Spock is not dealing well with Kirk's avoidance. So, Spock comes up with a logical solution: "I am suggesting that I spend one night in your bed. There, I will allow you to sodomize me at will." Gasp! Don't you love it? The pages are practically steaming as they proceed with their agreement.Don't want to give away more of this really excellent story. Even if you don't like Mirror stories, this one should be read. 
A wonderful Mirror story. This is set only in the Mirror universe, with only the Mirror characters, no reference to our universe.
We get a picture in the beginning of how things stand between Kirk and Spock. Spock's loyalty to Kirk and not wanting command, making him the perfect first officer in this Empire milieu; Spock being the only one Kirk trusts— though Kirk tries to resist these feelings in himself. Then, the story's got cool things about Kirk's past, about his brother Sam, about Gary Mitchell and drugs (drugs-no wonder he's a poor, misunderstood sleezeball), about the Organians. I think this is a unique storyline, as far as all the Mirror stories I've read.
The Enterprise is ordered by Imperial Command to rendezvous with Delta Squadron. These are elite, ruthless mercenaries who have hot-shot warp-13 vessels.
Kirk's issue, to let himself trust Spock or not, is seamed in nicely. In his pathetic early life, the only person he ever trusted was Sam. The Deltas beam up...and Sam's with them! This is cool. He had to disappear a while back, even to his little brother. Now he's Samuel Kincaid.
The issue of drugs is used well, too. Both in the past and currently on the ship. Kirk runs a very tight ship, with zero tolerance for drugs. So the story gets to incorporate this into the current events.
I won't go into all the detail, but this Mirror Kirk's youth is a sad and interesting one, and in keeping with who he was and has now become. What we learn about Sam also adds to the creative scenario here. There are a lot of good (bad, in this case) shipboard scenes, Kirk and Sam stuff (and Sam having his sights on Spock, too) and also plenty of scenes between Kirk and Spock, and then we get to the mission that brings them, with the Delta Squadron, to a mysterious planet rich in dilithium but very effectively shielded with an ionic barrier. As it turns out, it's the Organians.
So here is where things heat up between Kirk and Spock. The pure-energy Organians, led by Alyeboume, wish to experience feelings and sensations again. Since they're telepathic, they need Kirk and Spock (and others) to do stuff and they'll experience it all through them.
I'm not one who thinks this forced-sex-in-public scenario is gratuitous or anything like that. I like it. (It's not exactly public anyway-the Organians are just hovering spheres of light; and I love how they glow all pink and fuchsia and such when they're excited.)
Anyway, it's very hot sex. They would both wish they could resist, but they can't, they absolutely can't they want it so bad; and in any event, the feelings are really theirs, regardless of their bodies being not in their own control at first. Very hot sex indeed.
But more than the sex, the Organians force Kirk to make a choice between Spock and Sam. This is dramatic, symbolic, all sorts of good stuff. The title fits in perfectly, too.
There's a little scene that turns out to be funny-like- charming, afterwards in the awkward, uncomfortable confrontations between them in the sober light of day. Kirk's discomfort increases, though, his bad feelings about himself, or what he thinks Spock must think of him (begging, shameless whore), so there's a good period here of estrangement as Kirk tries to get back the power Spock has over him.
There's even more small and good scenes and passages before they finally come around in the end. Here's a unique Mirror thing, Vulcans saying "Live long and die well." Yet another very cool idea, Brianna.The good stuff doesn't stop. Their coming around in the end isn't just (not that I mind "just") a finally-giving-in-to- their-feelings-and-desire. There are dynamics these men have to re-balance, and it's really done well. This sex is even more really hot, and beautiful. And love is thicker than blood. 
"Thicker Than Blood" is a 36 page Brianna Falken story, and she's a favorite writer of mine. She gets your attention with the very first sentence. I must admit that I read this story when I first got the zine instead of waiting until nighttime when it would have made more sense to have read it. Brianna writes very well. She keeps the action moving along swiftlyand always has a little surprise for around the corner.
I don't want to write too much or give away some of the surprises. I highly recommend this story. The dialogue is done really well, and there are several places where you will probably notice how nicely something is said. The description, too, is quite original in places.
The only thing about the story I would even quibble about is the fact that no one guesses Samuel Kincaid's real identity. And also the fact that Kincaid can successfully hide it. That just doesn't seem realistic to me.
And why would he keep his real first name and his actual real initials? One of the first things people said to me about my first pen name was that it was just too dam obvious to use a fake name that was your same initials. That just is too flat out obvious. But then it could happen, I suppose. Life is sometimes stranger than fiction. And people do manage to successfully hide themselves in today's society. So who's not to say it couldn't happen in a 23rd century alternate future? BUT if I were to change anything about this story, the character named Samuel Kincaid would have another name, like Troy Adam or Manny Sanders—a name that couldn't call attention to the character's real identity.The sex scenes are very nicely written in this, getting back to what I like about the story, which is very nearly everything. There aren't a lot of them, which is a Falken trademark. And I like very much that Brianna always has a very intricate and well developed plot going in her stories and the sex is not the main part of the story. That's why her stories are always different from a lot of other K/S stories. 
I adored this robust, no-excuses mirror story!
What more could you ask for from a mirror story anyway? Here's a strong, dynamic, take-no-prisoners Kirk, filled withdelicious secret love and lust for Spock. Here's a smoldering, powerful Spock, giving Kirk secret smiles and knownasthe most dangerous Vulcan in town.
And here's also signature Ms. Falken-type plot—a wonderful roller-coaster of events with very well-drawn, colorful characters—and great imagination!
Her set-up and structure of allowing the story to unfold were really well-done—I was suitably impressed with this skill. Equally impressive was her delineation of new characters like Sam Kincaid, especially. His character is excellently defined with lots of neat background history that clearly forms his personality, and his relationship to his brother—which I especially loved.
Just about everything in this story was effective for me—the sizzling dialogue between Kirk and his brother, the whirlwind events in the exciting Mirror-world; and the smoldering passion between Kirk and Spock— unconsummated at this point.
Not one detail is left unexplained or illogical—and yet nothing is over-explained or heavy-handed. This is a brutal world—and all who live in it are brutal, but some, like Kirk and Spock are honorable and moral even in this world.
Continuing through the story is the undercurrent of their feelings for each other. They define their relationship as an oasis of trust, respect and growing love.
Sam tums out to be a real sonofabitch and Kirk's dilemma of love/hate with him is very well done.
But the one problem I had with this wonderful story was in the sudden shift to Kirk's kidnapping by the Organians and their tests upon him. Up until this point, the entire story's focus was Kirk and his brother, and then suddenly the Organians capture Kirkin order to use him so that they can experience sensations.
All that would be fine (and it was very exciting) but there was little or no transition and it felt like a separate story.
Even though Sam came back into the picture for one of the Organian tests, it still felt as if his character and the situation had been dropped.
I must say that the sex that Kirk and Spock are forced to have (of the "no, no, don't, stop!" variety) was absolutely hot! Wow! This girl can write the hottest, thrash-on-the- carpet sex scenes ever.So if you usually shy away from Mirror stories—try not to shy away from this exciting, plot-filled, passion-filled one.