Reviewer: JoeAnn Signed
Chapter 1: Part 1
I was up until 2am last night reading this story, all the while amazed, infuriated, and so very moved. You've addressed every single issue between Kirk and Spock that has troubled me these last 25 years. I parted ways with Trek back in 1995 saddened and rather disgusted by Kirk and Spock's fates until JJ Abrahms lured me back. It's been a bittersweet reunion and I've spent the subsequent weeks and months swimming in years of missed fics, noting the changes in perception in fandom of how Kirk and company are viewed.
Bitter Waters especially impresses me--in addition to being masterfully written, well thought-out, and wonderfully mature and epic in scope and grasp--in that it shines an unflinching light on the one aspect of Spock that seldom sees the light of day in fanfics: he's a tragic figure and (I really *hate* to admit this) more than a little pathetic. So much intelligence and love around him yet what's his ultimate fate? Self-delusion, needless self-denial, a fool's errand to an ungrateful Romulus that ends up ruining decades of his professional credibility, and in STIX even more grievously pathetic as it leads to the oblideration of Vulcan.
Spock is now the ultimate orphan, fate has punished him as much as it can, taking everything he once held dear. The niggling worry that Spock (and Kirk) had gone wrong set in back when I watched The Undiscovered Country for the first time and turned to full-fledged alarm when Picard felt entitled to shake his finger at Spock, lecturing him on his filial obligations. Frankly, I'm offended for Spock (and Kirk). He deserves better. It's like no one at Paramount, nor the actors themselves, has stepped aside from the material to realise just what bitter fate they've assigned to two of pop culture's most beloved characters. Or maybe they do but have decided that tragic equals interesting, profound, whatever.
Thank you so much for posting this story, Killa. You're a very talented writer and superlative Trek fan. Bitter Waters was a real vindication for me. If I owned Trek, I'd make it required reading for Nimoy, Shatner and anyone else involved in writing future movies, with the firm order: fix it.Author's Response:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for your wonderful, thoughtful feedback. I really can't thank you enough. You reminded me of the original genesis of this story, which was born out of an ongoing conversation Beth M. and I had about what TNG had done to Spock, and how unsatisfying we found his eventual fate. It spun off into this story and Beth's "Masquerade" and its sequel. In the process, we talked a lot about what kind of woman Spock might have ended up with (if Picard's reference to Sarek's son's wedding was, indeed, about Spock) and how that might have affected his career and his relationship with Kirk.
You're right, it is unbelievably tragic to think that his rather doomed mission to Romulus might have eventually ended in the destruction of Vulcan. As time has passed, I've found it easier and easier to ignore the later movies and TNG when I think of the original series characters (especially Generations, as the internal logic of the Nexus is nonexistent). But I'm glad this story provided some validation and diversion. :) Thanks so much for your comment!