Date: 29 Jul 2012 03:56 Title: Chapter 4
Kirk is not paying attention--which is understandable and realistic, but frustrating. He tells Spock, "Don't go all Vulcan on me here," without stopping to consider what he already knows: Spock only really goes ALL Vulcan when he is in danger of losing control of his emotions. Spock's coolness and logic in this conversation should not have been Kirk's cue to ratchet up the tension, but rather a clear signpost to understanding what Spock is feeling.
I expect Kirk will think of that later. He's too caught up in his own grief and guilt right now. Your writing of this scene makes all this subtext so vividly clear; it's so well done.
(Yes, I'm rereading it AGAIN...I'll sleep some other day...)
That's precisely it!! And Kirk's behavior when something is bothering him is to become fixated on the problem - much like he did in Conscience of the King, or Obsession, or even Amok Time with regard to Spock's obviously aberrant behavior. If Spock were himself, he also would have picked up on this personality quirk/behavior trait of Kirk's, and waited patiently for him to work through it. He would have eventually - he always does. Just more proof of what a mess both of them are, and why things had gotten to the point that they did between them at the beginning of TMP.
Date: 03 Jul 2012 14:17 Title: Chapter 6
I'm sorry I'm becoming such a fangirl, but I read this again yesterday. I just couldn't get it out of my mind. It's tempting to blame Kirk for this mess, but I think it would be a mistake. And Spock doesn't blame Kirk, of course. Kirk couldn't have acted differently when he was saved and DeSalle died, or he wouldn't be Kirk. He is not a man who could sit by and watch that happen--if he were, he wouldn't be the worthy captain and loyal friend that he is. Yes, he got angry, but that's what he does. In the end it really wasn't about this event at all, but about who they each were.
It broke my heart the second time, too, though. It definitely stands up to repeated readings.
Good Lord, don't apologize - I like nothing better than to hear something I've written will stick with someone, or has touched them in some way. Authors who made me feel that way are part of the reason I'm writing now, and what makes reading fan fiction a pleasure IMHO.
And you're absolutely right - you can't blame Kirk. He reacted predictably (just as he's done numerous times in the series) and if Spock weren't such a mess himself, he'd surely realize this. But as usual, each man blames himself, as does McCoy to some extent for not acting sooner when confronted with the warning signs.
Hence all three are spent, done in, adrift; searching for answers to the unanswerable (at the moment). At least, that's how they all seemed to me at the beginning of TMP. I just wanted to show how they got from point A to point B. My profuse thanks for picking up on exactly what I was trying to convey. :DD
Date: 30 Jun 2012 23:20 Title: Chapter 6
This was so painful to read, and yet every word of it seemed inevitable. Of course this is how it happened, one last instance of self-sacrifice by each for the protection of the others, but at an unimaginable cost to the whole. I'm sorry I didn't review each chapter, but I couldn't stop reading long enough to review. Even knowing how it had to end, I kept thinking, "Stop, don't do this, don't let this happen!" But of course, the dots only connect, and each action and emotion leads inexorably to the next. This is the mark of a good writer--everything she writes is as though it was fated to be that way, and it could have been no other way. Inevitable. Like so many of your stories, this one will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you so much - not only for the kind words, but for recognizing the difficulty that went into writing this piece. It hurt just as much to write it, but then again, it hurt so much to watch the beginning of TMP. There had to be an extremely traumatic emotional shock to bring about such a profound change in the relationship of the Big Three; something that could shake the stability of that powerful friendship to its very foundation, causing it to instantly erode, almost beyond repair. This is my humble attempt to offer an explanation for that change.
Date: 23 Dec 2010 11:12 Title: Chapter 1
Please note that this review contains spoilers.
A fascinating and plausible interpolation into some of the events that occurred between the end of Kirk’s first five year mission and Spock’s self-induction into the Kolinahr ritual. I look forward to more.
Nearing the end of their mission, Kirk, McCoy and Spock have become more volatile versions of themselves. The mission has clearly taken its toll. Some of the dialog is extreme and Spock is having more difficulty than ever repressing his emotions. There’s a great deal of truth on these pages, but irrationality is never far away, especially from Kirk.
The story is well researched in classicverse canon and this foundation helps provide a believable setting for the storyline to unfold as does the convincing command of navy rank & parlance and the fluency with medical terminology. I felt there.
I stumbled a bit on the reference to “Feinberger” in chapter three. For me, it refers to the props created by property master Irving Feinberg for TOS, so is a production universe reference inside a Trek universe story. Is that a nod to him, or has the term also been adopted by Navy medical personnel?
I had some difficulty with the telepathic link that connected Kirk and Spock. Even if the link was introduced in a previous story, I believe it would be helpful to add a short paragraph to chapter one that clarified the nature of this link. With such a link available would they not have wanted to use it in their discussions to try and close the gap that was growing between them? Should they not have wanted to use this for all their discussions if only because it was more convenient than speech? Your use of thought dialogue elsewhere in the story was very effective, very personal, and perhaps the link could have provided more such intimacy.
I love a story that leaves me wanting for more, or better, wishing I could see it acted out as an actual episode on screen. This story does that, in spades.
Thank you, Sam. If you couldn't tell, this story was near and dear to my heart. I can still remember waiting breathlessly for TMP to come out in 1979, and went to see it, full of expectation. I left the theater feeling sad, and angry, and confused! This wasn't the
Trek I knew, and loved, and remembered. What on Earth could have happened to have split these three so profoundly, so completely, so irrevocably from one another? For many years, it remained an unanswered question for me, but a year and a half ago, Anna and Steff dared me to try my hand at writing fan fiction. So I did, and stumbled and stuttered and muddled my way through, learning as I went.
And that learning curve led me finally to this. I understand your confusion about the link, but I began that arc in 'His Last Breath,' continued it in 'Learning Curve,' and finally finish it with 'Shadows and Dust,' the sequel to this story. My fault - I should probably group these stories together as a series, so as not to unnecessarily confuse the readers.
*laughs* Ah, yes, Feinberger. A recollection of something I had read many years ago. I knew the props were created by a man named Feinberg, and that members of the crew referred to the medical 'props' as such. A little poetic license on my part, as I got tired of referring to the instrument in question as simply a medical scanner. Sorry if it was confusing. ;-)
Thank you again Sam for taking the time to leave such detailed, well-thought-out reviews. As a complete novice to this whole writing thing, these are the kinds of critiques I need to continue to grow, and learn. My hat's off to you, sir. :D
Date: 01 Apr 2010 11:40 Title: Chapter 1
Poor Jim... and Spock... and Bones.
No matter how many fics like this I read, I still get sad at the thought of men who are such great friends being torn apart like that. Its heartbreaking, really.
Great fic! You really captured the spirit and personalities of the characters and (in my humble oppinion) made them feel real. I really enjoyed it! =)
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm with you - all fics of this type are heartbreaking for K&S&M fans, but there's no getting around it, we saw the aftermath of it in TMP. I always wondered what could possibly have gone so wrong to turn these three away from one another. Sadly, Roddenberry is gone and we'll never know exactly what to his mind could have caused a split of this magnitude. :(