War Games (Star Trek: TOS story)
|Author(s):||Alexis Fegan Black|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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Kirk serves Spock during his pon farr and then enters into a battle of nerves with him, each trying to get the other to confess his feelings first.
Reactions and Reviews
Mirror universe stories aren’t really my cup of tea. The behavior and motivations of the Mirror characters are so divorced from the common experience of most writers and the elements we tend to think of as typically K/S that it is difficult to tell an interesting K/S story that consistently adheres to the mirror paradigm. There are, however, some very good stories that I classify as mirror-based AUs. War Games is that rare story that is truly mirror for me and at 44 pages, is deliciously long.
It has an oft-used beginning. The Enterprise is weeks away from Vulcan, Spock is in the late stages of pon farr and though there is a line of volunteers in the corridor outside his cabin, Spock finds them all unsatisfactory. It’s a situation he inadvertently created for himself via a neat mirror turn. Spock had T’Pring killed hoping her elimination would prevent him from experiencing the pon farr, an unfortunate gamble on his part that Kirk admires. Kirk does some quick back-of–the-envelope calculations and realizes that his long-term prospects are poor without Spock to act as a buffer between him and his anxious-to-advance subordinates, Sulu and Chekov, so he comes to Spock to offer himself to save them both. Spock, after some persuasion of course, accepts Kirk’s offer stressing the need for Kirk to submit if they are both to survive without serious injury. So ends the plotting I’ve read in stories by other authors. It’s all original from here and Black is at her dark best.
Intellectually Kirk is prepared to submit, even wants to submit, and becomes intensely aroused by the mortal danger of his situation coupled to his realization that Spock is his equal in all matters of power and more than his equal in strength. But his claw-his-way-to-the-top-at-all-costs, mirror reflex responses kick in. He can’t submit. He can be forced and that thought is even more intensely sexual. But Spock is almost gentle, coaxing response and urging Kirk to offer himself while watching him with the intensity of a serpent mesmerizing its prey. Kirk continues to adamantly refuse while becoming even more fiercely aroused and needful of being forced by Spock. When it finally becomes clear that Kirk will not be a willing participant, Spock satisfies the pon farr by ejaculating without entering him and sends him away saying “That is my power, Jim. Remember it.” This leaves Kirk feeling incredibly horny and emotionally mutilated. He had expected to be physically hurt. He had wanted to be physically hurt. He had never envisioned being emotionally rended and at that instant, realizes he has fallen hopelessly in love with Spock in a perverse mirror kind of way. The feeling is mutual. So begins the courtship of Kirk and Spock in true mirror universe fashion, an escalating series of punitive actions against one another meant to cause emotional harm, i.e. war games.
Spock shamelessly flirts and Kirk makes sure he begins his evening seductions of crew within Spock’s hearing. When Spock begins an affair with Janice Rand, Kirk immediately has her transferred, then he bribes Uhura to destroy a communiqué informing Spock that his family has procured a new chattel for him. Kirk plans to approach Spock during a shoreleave on Rigel but when Spock pairs off with one of the local ladies of the evening, Kirk has her killed. On their next shoreleave on Mizar, Spock arranges to kill two of Kirk’s favorite whores, one male and one female, along with his preferred supplier of sex-enhancing drugs and has the bodies left at the door of Kirk’s hotel room. To Kirk, the fact that Spock has killed for him out of possessive, dangerous jealousy is better than a dozen roses every day and an Elizabeth Taylor-size diamond ring. And he has killed for Spock in the same way … a match made in heaven… make that, mirror heaven.
After Kirk switches to a penthouse suite to avoid stumbling over more love offerings, he realizes he is being followed. He suspects it’s Spock, hopes it’s Spock, relishing the idea of being Spock’s psychological adversary for the rest of the five-year mission. When a call to the ship to confirm his suspicions is inconclusive, Kirk becomes surprisingly reflective, admitting that he’s tired of the games, tired of fantasizing about Spock, tired of being unsatisfied by his partners since the night of Spock’s pon farr. He leaves his hotel with the intention of confronting his stalker only to be chased into a deadend alley, blindfolded and kidnapped by his dark follower. He’s taken to a room and tossed on a bed. His kidnapper doesn’t sound like Spock but speaks with Spock’s cadence. Kirk is sure his stalker is Spock and after a hot encounter, submits after admitting that he loves Spock. Kirk is nerve pinched while lying in aftermath and awakens alone in an unfamiliar room. The whole experience is surreal and in retrospect, Kirk is unsure whether he has been with Spock or someone else.
Aback aboard the Enterprise after Spock helps Kirk defeat a poorly executed assassination attempt, Kirk quizzes Spock about his whereabouts. Spock denies involvement but Kirk knows Vulcans are the best liars in the galaxy and repeats that he loves him sotto voce in the corridor outside Spock’s quarters. Spock demands he say it, not whisper it. Kirk challenges Spock to say it himself to which Spock gleefully (for a sane Vulcan in any universe) replies, “Force me.” And the war they will fight for the rest of their lives is on.War Games gives a whole new meaning to rough sex. Suggested reading for the mirror-inclined.
WAR GAMES by Alexis Fegan Black is definitely one of the sexiest stories I've ever read. Set In the mirror universe and involving what I consider to be "true" mirror characters (they don't "wimp out' or spout Harlequin sentiments), this story leads the reader down a path of kinky seduction befitting the mirror universe. A hot and fast-paced "sexual thriller". 
AFB's portrayal of Spock is often somewhat sinister. This view of our Vulcan is shown off to its best advantage in this Mirror tale. Rarely has he been so believably satanic, and this appropriately cruel arrogant Mirror Kirk is a fitting match for him. I also found this story deliciously erotic, the sequence in which an "anonymous" masked and cloaked Spock pursues Kirk through the streets of an alien city and blindfolds him is steamy past the boiling point. I also loved the ending scene in which Spock's risky caresses white he and Kirk are briefly alone on the bridge re interrupted by the opening of the lift door, AFB's closing statement is: "They had the rest of their lives to fight the war." To me this implies not only the struggle for domination between Mirror Kirk and Spock, but the battles they have to fight with the crew and the Empire now that the secret of their relationship was revealed. This is quite a tantalizing finish. I wish AFB had written a sequel. 
Perhaps I’m too harsh, but it seems to me as if I’ve read it time and time again. Games of domination and submission without anything new. The view is too narrow, or so it seems to me.