|Author(s):||Susan K. Dundas|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #26.
"When abducted from a planet in the Neutral Zone, Kirk and Spock bond to keep Kirk's mind safe from their Romulan captor."
"Kirk sat in the chill of the little room. Arguments, pro and con, struggled against each other. He knew a little about Vulcan bonding and marriage practices. Teasingly his mind immediately taunted him with a vision of a sexual encounter with his best friend. He was not disgusted by the concept of sex between them, but neither had he ever actually considered the possibility. Now he was..."
Reactions and Reviews
As a general thing, I can pretty well do without torture and rape stories. Yet even ice cream is not made with only one ingredient, so to be really satisfying, I guess zines shouldn't be either. This was a lengthy story, yet every word was necessary. Susan showed an excellent imagination, made her events logical, and her bonding difficulties and scenes were especially good. I particularly liked her cleaning up her prisoners occasionally. This is the first time anyone has allowed Sarek to do anything physical. Since Sarek is in the prime of Vulcan manhood during the first five year missions, I have always thought of him as being as powerful as hell. It was good to finally see him in action. 
This novella finds Kirk, Spock, and interestingly, Sarek, as prisoners of the Romulans. The prose is above average and the prison camp setting is very effectively drawn and interesting in its resemblance to a World War II prisoner of war camp. Unfortunately, whether readers like this story will depend upon whether they like to see Kirk and Spock tortured and humiliated, Kirk to the point that he grovels and cries (God knows I would too), and Spock helpless to defend Kirk. Readers who think this type of story is a ticket to bliss may find this to be a superior effort.
"Watchfire" by Susan K. Dundas is an eighty page extreme BDSM story in FIRST TIME 26. If you like rape and torture made explicit, then this is for you. If not, then don't even bother starting to read the story. Susan, also, did the two art pieces for the story. I can do without the villain's portrait--Captain S'Rezli, the Romulan rapist/sadist. Why waste space on him? However, her Spock and Kirk nude scene is quite nice. The faces are realistic, and the pose is quite natural. It's a good picture.
The story is mainly S/M and includes torture and rape of both Spock and Kirk. Sarek is captured, too, but is not bothered. I'd guess three-fourths of the story involves the interrogation and debasement of both men. It is brutal and in detail. This is a loooong story. The basic plot is that Kirk, Spock, and Sarek are on an diplomatic trip on a supposedly neutral planet that drifts in and out of Romulan space. The ENTERPRISE has left them there. It turns out the Romulans have a very strong foothold on the planet, and soon all three are captured by the Romulans who are headed by Captain S'Rezli. Because he is a Romulan, he not only rapes Spock physically, but mentally, too. Spock manages to withstand some of mental rape, though. Spock knows Kirk cannot handle this treatment, so he proposes "marriage," the mating bond, to Kirk. They mate and bond, but it not a pleasant experience, especially since Kirk has to relive parts of Spock's recent rape by S'Rezli. The reason for the bond is so that they do not give away important military information. And Kirk orders Spock to kill him or do anything he has to so that neither one of them gives up the information. A romantic moment this is not. Kirk then gets his turn with the sadist. His experience is as detailed and explicit as Spock's. A qualm I have with this story is that the quick rescue isn't very plausible or well detailed. It's just glossed over. The final part which is about nine pages of the eighty is Kirk and Spock getting their problems settled. For people who don't like S/M, this part is as nice and romantic as most K/S stories are. It's a marked contrast to what has happened before. Everything ends up happy. Of course, in real life the happily-ever-after bit would take a lot longer. Things wouldn't get resolved this easily. But this isn't real life. There are no real Vulcans. There is no real Spock or Kirk. So since this is an imaginative piece in the future, it's a little hard to criticize it for not being realistic. I think it would have been nicer if the last part had been longer, but since the story is long as it is, asking for 10-20 more pages is out of the question. Plus, it would dilute the intent of the story which is mainly to be a BDSM story.Do I recommend this story? Sure--IF you like this type to begin with. If you are not into the BDSM, it would be silly for you to even attempt reading this. If you have problems with rape stories in general, this is not worth you getting upset over, because you would get upset. I happen to like fanfic like this. Must be my overly dull normal life that makes me long for the true exotic in fiction. For the type of story that it is, it is one of the better ones. It was done in 1990, and I first read it about then. Since I am the woman with no memory, for me to have remembered this ten year old story when I reread it is about the highest compliment I can pay a story. 
As this began with a familiar levity, I settled right into it. Kirk and Spock perusing an alien landscape from a balcony: Kirk: “I’ll be glad to finish our business...this place is hotter than hell—although I guess you and Sarek feel right at home.” Spock: “...my father and I do appreciate this more moderate climate.”
The defining of moderate continues for a moment, after which Kirk concludes, “Perhaps I should just stay out of environments that are hotter than hell.” All so tongue-in-cheek perfect! But the levity ends there as we are thrown into adventure with the force of a phaser blast. This was a powerful moment and I thought, “Wow! A Plot!” Unfortunately, the rest of the story left me very cold and ill at ease. I guess it’s a compliment to the author’s skills that I felt the brutality of Kirk’s and Spock’s debasement in prison to the extent that I was squirming. It was simply too realistic and minutely detailed for me. Those kinds of specifics are good when the subject is love but overpowering when the subject is cruelty. The editor had cited the content as H/C and sex. It had hurt, alright. Enough ugliness and brutality to last me a long, long time. Comfort? Very little. Not as much as I required to recover from the ordeal. Sex? Oh, sure, but again all the emphasis was on the rapes of both Kirk and Spock by their sadistic, despicable captor. The “I’ll show you how it should really be” kid of sex was hurried, almost an obligatory add-on to appease the reader.Sorry. Not appeased. 
Have I mentioned that there’s a healthy dose of violence in some of Susan’s stories? “Watchfire” is in First Time 26. Kirk and Spock are taken by Romulans and tortured, and the scenes here, and a few in “Parallax,” too, can be graphic. Kirk and Spock bond so that Spock can assist Kirk in withstanding the incursions against his mind, which is not exactly your typical reason for bonding...unless you are a K/S fan, of course!