.oO Reality: Life’s not always fair Oo.
“James Tiberius Kirk. I have heard of him,” Spock said, his dark eyes still scanning the data PADD in front of him. His face was perfectly emotionless while he took in the life of one of the most celebrated starship Captains through the impersonal electronic device.
“27.8 years of age. Already a Captain. Very impressive,” the Vulcan intoned dispassionately, before he slowly sat back in his chair and looked towards the man sitting across from him behind the desk. It was one Admiral Christopher Pike, who looked distinctly unhappy. His hands, that were clasped on the surface of his desk, were white with strain. A sure sign of some inner struggle, Spock surmised. The Admiral normally was unflappable and had nerves of steel.
“I’m glad that you are following the news, Mr. Spock,” the human said a little testily and his blue eyes narrowed. The Vulcan seemed not perturbed. He merely cocked his head minutely to the side and raised one eyebrow.
“I presume you need my expertise – otherwise you would not have called me here. At least I hope so, because I am a busy man and my schedule is fully stretched, I can assure you,” Spock said slowly. The wrinkles framing Pike’s mouth dug deeper into his face as he twisted his lips in disdain.
“This is not easy, Spock. Do let me collect myself here, will you?” he growled. The slanted eyebrows of the Vulcan drew together in response and dark, empty eyes flicked down towards the PADD.
“It has something to do with Mr. Kirk, I presume.”
There was silence and Spock’s nostrils flared in annoyance. He had no patience for these games. He tugged slightly at his immaculate suit, straightening out nonexistent creases. There was still silence and the Vulcan grit his teeth together. He made to stand up, while growling, “I have no time for games, Admiral Pike. I will never be able to fathom the human need for these ludicrous social interactions you call ‘pranks’. I have to work with three Lieutenants of Starfleet at the moment and -”
“You will no longer work with them. The authorization for their cases no longer lies with you, Mr. Spock.”
That effectively cut off the retreat of the half-Vulcan. Spock sat down again, his eyes sparking with a dark fire that made Pike feel uneasy.
“Would you care to explain... Admiral?” Spock said slowly, reigning in his temper. Pike took a deep breath and carefully unwound the tight grasping fingers from one another in order to lay his hands flat on the surface of his gleaming desk.
The places where his fingers had been laying on the backs of his hands were quickly suffusing dark red. Spock’s eyes flickered down for the fraction of a second in order to take it in and then back up towards Pike’s face.
“We had to cut the latest exploration mission of the Enterprise short. There has been a rather... unfortunate incident. We are all on our toes – Starfleet tries valiantly to keep the press away, but I reckon it won’t take much longer until they get their fangs into the whole issue and – “
“Admiral. Would you care to actually explain the problem,” Spock interrupted. There was cold fury in his bottomless eyes. The fact that he had been drawn away from three cases – three – without consulting him first, was playing havoc with his blood pressure. He had been spending precious time in working with them. Time, he would not get back from Starfleet. And now Pike was beating around the bush – highly uncharacteristic for the man. It was... aggravating.
‘I need a cigarette.’
The Admiral straightened in his chair, then turned slightly in it and pulled a drawer of his desk open. He extricated a little data chip and threw it towards the Vulcan, who caught it mid-air.
“Here. There are the details as far as we know it. You are expected in St. Hedwig’s hospital at 0900 tomorrow. Room 438.”
“The high security ward,” Spock commented while he put away the data chip into a secure inner pocket of his jacket. He had been at St. Hedwig’s security ward a few times – not often, but often enough to dislike the atmosphere there.
“Yes.” Pike looked years older in that moment.
Spock sat in his home office. He had thrown the jacket of his suit over the back of his chair and his boots placed neatly right next to his meditation mat in the corner. The room was engulfed in blood red due to the sunset. It gave the still air an uneasy atmosphere, which only fed to his gloomy and slightly aggressive mood. The Vulcan still hadn’t quite recovered from the blow of suddenly having all of his three cases ripped from him without so much as a by your leave.
He had been so close to a conclusion. It was unfair. His mother would probably say that he was sulking, but that held little interest for him at the moment. He was in his own home – he could sulk as long as his half-breed heart desired. Here were no disapproving Vulcans or gloating humans. Here he was simply Spock – the bastard Vulcan that had been excluded from his society due to him using his telepathic skills for solving crimes committed on Starfleet grounds or by Starfleet personnel.
He drew a package of cigarettes towards him and lit one of them. It was a bad habit and he did not like it himself, but somehow it made him calmer. Especially the thought that none of the other Vulcans did it and would be probably appalled to see him do it, gave him a vindictive feel of elation.
Yes, he was a self-righteous jackass at times. So what? They had made him so. They had forced him to abandon every innocence as soon as possible and grow up. They had sliced sharp edges and angles into his person.
Sometimes he thought he should thank them – without the life he had led he would have never had the self-sufficiency to take fate into his own hands. However, these fanciful thoughts were usually short lived; especially when another human looked at him with almost manic glee when he was shopping in the grocery store just like everybody else.
Vulcans needed sustenance just as others did and he did not earn so much that he could just hire a cook or something.
Spock stared at the blank screen of his computer while increasingly morose thoughts spiralled through his mind. He took a deep drag and blew the grey smoke out with slow deliberation. He closed dark eyes and shook himself out of his reverie.
‘Stop pitying yourself and get to work. Still have no clue what all of this is about and I am supposed to get to work tomorrow 9 o’clock,’ he thought and made a mocking hmpf before reaching back with one hand and rummaging in the pockets of his jacket.
A few moments later he was inserting the data chip into his computer.
Mere clicks later he had totally forgotten about the cigarette slowly burning away in his ashtray and about his surroundings that got darker and darker by the minute while the night progressed.
He did not sleep, but that was nothing new.
Spock got out of his old but carefully maintained hovercar. He took a last glance at his watch. It was 0850 – perfect. While he made his way towards the large doors of St. Hediwg’s, he tugged at his dark tie, tightening it around his neck and making sure the knot was sitting correctly just below the hollow of his throat. Seeing the emotionless face of the half-Vulcan, no one would suspect the turmoil raging behind the angular porcelain-like face.
His formidable mind was still gnawing at the report from the data chip he had read, as well as the pictures that had accompanied it.
There had been very few details given to him – an answer to the question why he had been pulled into this case.
Spock’s eidetic memory went over the words that were engraved into his head.
At exactly 2344 on stardate 2467.34 an emergency call had reached the sickbay of the USS Enterprise from one Science Officer George Samuel Kirk. He informed the medical staff to immediately arrive at the quarters of Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Staff arrived at 2349 at the designated destination. Science Officer Kirk needed to be tranquilized due to a nervous breakdown. Chief Medical Officer Doctor Leonard McCoy noted that, upon entry, the rooms of the Captain had been drenched in blood with various body parts lying about. In midst was Captain Kirk to be found lying unconscious with a deep laceration at the right temple. Later interrogation found out that the Science Officer had caused the laceration via a heavy, blunt object (see picture 2; note dumbbell) due to Captain Kirk assaulting him.
A DNA-analysis conducted by the CMO had found out that blood and body parts found in the quarters did, in fact, belong to Lieutenant Mary Jackson, who had been part of the security staff for 2.8 years.
Science Officer Kirk reported that he had intended on talking about a future mission for his landing party with the Captain, when he had found him in flagrante delicto in his quarters. The Captain had acted “like a lunatic”, “totally uncharacteristic” and “highly violent” according to the Science Officer.
Spock went through the sliding doors of the hospital and made a beeline for the reception, where a male nurse sat, looking at him with polite curiosity.
“How can I help you, sir?”
“My name is Spock. I am to be brought to room 438 where Mr. Kirk is residing,” he said without inflection. The man’s eyes widened for only a second, before he nodded and pointed towards a lift.
“Fourth floor. I will unlock it for you. A retina scan will be needed from you, Mr. Spock. Turn left and then just look at the numbering next to the doors,” the man said, while turning towards a computer. He started typing frantically and only seconds after he had punched the last key the doors of the elevator silently swished open.
Spock had seen that a few times now, so he was not as impressed as he had been the first time he had seen this technology. He went inside the cubicle of cold steel and waited in front of the scanning device until it had read his retina, before taking a step back and thinking about the report again. It had been so short – undoubtedly written in a hurry. However, he could fill in the blanks pretty well. They obviously wanted to know what had happened inside the room and what had caused one of the most promising starship Captains of this century to go absolutely haywire and slaughter one of his staff.
There was no better way to put it. Spock had seen the pictures attached to the report. Kirk had, undoubtedly and unscrupulously slaughtered the young Lieutenant. The rooms had been drenched in so much blood. The Vulcan was almost doubting that one human body could contain so much. And the body parts...
Spock took a deep breath and leaned his head back into his neck for but a few seconds. When the lift slowly came to a halt, however, he snapped it back up and wiped every trace of horror out of his dark eyes. He strode out of the lift with his head held high and his steps never faltering, as he approached the room that unmistakably held the erstwhile Captain – there were two guards positioned outside.
He had to identify himself; a most tedious process that raised his hackles and tried his nerves. When he finally could enter the room he stopped short. There already was someone standing at the side of the bed of the patient and looking down upon him. That was nothing troubling – however, it was no Doctor as he would have thought.
Spock had never met the man standing there, but he recognized him immediately from the biography of James T. Kirk. It was George Samuel Kirk – his brother and the Science Officer of the USS Enterprise. The human was older than his sibling – 34.5 years of age – and his hair of a darker brown than the golden curls that were sticking out between wraps of gauze tied about the head of the lying man. His face looked pale and drawn while he stared down upon his brother, but there was determination and fierceness in his eyes, nonetheless.
As Spock entered, Kirk raised his gaze. His eyes narrowed.
“Who are you?” he demanded. His shoulders were rolling slightly forward, the hands at his sides slowly curling into fists. A clear fighting stance. Spock raised one slanted eyebrow and thought briefly about letting his frustration out on the man via a heated discussion, but reluctantly thought better of it. He had a job to do and he needed the money. It would be a disaster if Starfleet drew him away from another case; so the Vulcan shoved one long, slender hand into his pocket and drew for the second time that day his identifications out.
Kirk stepped around the bed of his brother and cautiously came nearer. The corners of Spock’s mouth twitched in annoyance. The man was behaving as if he was dangerous. After a glance the man seemed a little more at ease and – strangely enough – more suspicious at the same time.
“What are you doing here? My brother isn’t awake yet. You can’t interrogate him.”
Spock bit the tip of his tongue and took a slow and deep breath. His mother had reprimanded him often enough that he should take a second and think about what he wanted to say, before he made enemies. But it was just so hard sometimes in the face of these aggravating humans.
“I have no obligation to talk with you about my business here, Mr. Kirk. Where is the Doctor?”
The human clenched his jaw and took a step back from Spock.
“He probably got caught up by McCoy. He doesn’t want anyone dabbling with his patients,” he said heatedly and his face got almost thunderous, when he continued, “and I don’t like some random guy to handle my baby brother.”
One of his hands searched behind him on the edge of the bed until it found a limp hand and curled itself around it. Spock’s dark eyes narrowed slightly and he let his gaze wander from the protective man towards the one lying on the bed. There was not much to see – Captain Kirk was covered up to the chest by a blanket. His head was wrapped in gauze – probably due to the laceration on his temple – and his face was slack with fatigue. The tanned skin looked even darker when surrounded by all the light colours.
“You are aware of what your brother has done. You have, in fact, found him in the act. I don’t think he is as helpless as you perceive him to be,” the Vulcan intoned dispassionately. The human blanched for a second, before he flushed red and his hand curled ever tighter around the one from his brother.
“I... He... I don’t believe that he has done it,” Sam eventually choked out. Now Spock was interested. His eyes snapped away from their second scrutiny of the injured patient towards the agitated man.
“Why would you say that? You have found him, after all.”
“I just... can’t... I mean, he’s...”
Spock’s interest slowly flagged and his nostrils flared in annoyance.
“You are still under shock.”
Indignation flared in Kirk and his shoulders snapped straight.
“No! That’s not it!”
“Then why do you defend a man who has ripped a young woman limb from limb? You’ve been standing in her blood, haven’t you? You needed to defend yourself with a dumbbell from your brother, or am I wrong?” And didn’t it feel good to goad the human and bring home to him how utterly out of line he was behaving for a Starfleet Officer...
For a few scant seconds it looked like said Officer was about to throw up right then and there, his face taking on a rather spectacular shade of light green, until he had himself back under control and croaked, “He’s my brother, all right? I just can’t let him... get taken away. I can’t believe he has done it. Don’t you understand that? I thought Vulcans were all for family ties and that crap!”
The corners of Spock’s mouth drew ever so slightly downward. The game had rapidly lost its amusing touch and he was becoming increasingly impatient with the man.
“Sam. Just go out into the garden and take a walk, will ya?” drawled a voice with thick accent behind them. Spock turned around in order to see a man with piercing blue eyes and brown hair. The nametag on his coat read ‘Doctor McCoy’.
‘The CMO of the USS Enterprise,’ Spock’s brain provided him. Kirk looked ready to gear up for another discussion.
“Why have they sent him?” he hissed, nodding towards Spock. McCoy shrugged his shoulders.
“Don’t know yet. I’m gonna find out. And you are going to take a walk. I’ll handle everything,” the Doctor said. He sounded like a no-nonsense kind of man; Spock was not sure as of yet, if he liked him or not. The Doctor shot the Vulcan a distrusting, hard stare and Spock’s eyes narrowed just a little bit. He decided that he did not like him. It was no surprise, really; he liked few. Or he was liked by few. Either way, it did not matter right now.
Kirk chewed on his tongue, shooting hateful glances towards Spock and McCoy, but after a few seconds he relented and slowly went over towards the door. He bade none of them a farewell. Once outside, Spock could hear a distinct clink. It sounded metallic. Followed by one of the guards saying, “Sir, this is a hospital. Smoking is not allowed.”
There was a metallic sounding tschk and then the door was shut and all noise drowned out. Spock concentrated on the Doctor.
“You are not the Doctor in charge. I was told to speak with Doctor Litau,” Spock growled. This job got more annoying by the minute. McCoy’s eyes narrowed and he folded his arms across his chest.
“I’m Captain James T. Kirk’s personal physician and I’m gonna keep it that way.”
“You are not on the Enterprise anymore.”
“I’m his Doctor regardless where we are.”
“He is not the Captain anymore,” Spock said, kind of proud of the way how neutral his voice sounded. His right eyebrow twitched upward in amusement, when he saw all the defiance drain out of the Doctor, leaving him looking like a scrawny, little man.
“No, I suppose he’s not,” the man murmured and slowly went over to the bed in order to look down upon the sleeping man.
“Why are you here?” he asked Spock, while scrutinizing the readings on the panel above the patient’s head. Spock thought he would fair better if he would divulge the information. He wanted to get on with business.
“There are obviously many facts that are still unknown to Starfleet. I am to perform a mind meld with Mr. Kirk and discern what exactly has happened.”
McCoy snapped around, his eyes wide and almost perfectly round, while his mouth was hanging open in indignation.
“What? Are you out of your mind?!” he hissed and then shook his head emphatically. “You’re gonna do no such thing! He’s in no condition to mind meld with anyone and I’m not gonna let some no-name guy rummage around his brain!”
Spock’s right hand curled under cover of his back into a tight fist, his fingernails digging deep into the sensitive flesh of his palm.
“I have special orders from Admiral Pike. You may discuss every concern you might have with him. I, for one, would like to ask you a few questions and then kindly ask you to remove yourself from this room so I can have a talk with Mr. Kirk and then – “
“Hold yer horses and pull that stick out of your ass, will ya?!” the Doctor hissed heatedly, red splotches slowly appearing on his face. Spock’s back snapped straight and his nostrils flared.
“I beg your pardon?” he pressed out between clenched teeth, his blood prickling in his veins in ire. It had been a long time since someone had dared talking to him in such a way. The Doctor pointed towards some lines on the panel above the patients head.
“You can be an almighty Vulcan as hard and long as you want, but this man will not talk to you or anybody else – he’s in a coma.”
Spock’s thoughts came to a screeching halt. “What?” he hissed sharply and stepped quickly up towards Doctor McCoy in order to peer at the readings himself. He cursed very softly under his breath.
“That makes things... more difficult,” he said at last. The Doctor looked almost smug, although he seemed pale and drawn under his cocky behaviour.
“I’ll have to talk to Admiral Pike again,” Spock muttered and shot McCoy an annoyed glance. He hated it that this individual had won their first round. It made all the little hair on his body stand up in protest.
“You stay here until I have sorted this out!” Spock growled at him and turned around on his heels, striding towards the door. He could hear McCoy faintly mutter, “Wouldn’t dream to leave Jim alone.”
And then the door was shut behind him.
“There’s a problem, Admiral. I think I will not be able to meld with Kirk.”
“And why’s that?”
“He’s in a coma.”
“So what? We need information here, Spock. Do your damned job!”
“I’ve never melded with someone whose mind is not consciously guided. I don’t know if it is possible or if it is dangerous.”
“I don’t mind one bit! If it is money you want, you get it. But I want the answer why the best Captain in my fleet has gone apeshit, Spock!”
Spock massaged the bridge of his nose and drew in a long, calming breath.
“The mind of someone in a coma is even more disoriented than the one of a sleeping man. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get anything worthwhile out of him.”
“Well, then try it!”
Spock bit the tip of his tongue and narrowed his eyes, but his next words were as calm and collected as ever.
“As you wish. Then I would advise you, if I might, to inform the staff around Mr. Kirk of my business there. I had a few unfortunate run-ins and I would like to avoid them in the future. It is... aggravating.”
With that Spock disconnected the call from his mobile phone and put it back into the interior pocket of his jacket. He pulled in a lung full of the clean, crisp air outside the hospital and wondered for a few seconds idly, why so many people were so protective of this one human being who had pulled another creature apart like a rabid dog – and no one seemed to give a shit about a half-Vulcan who was only trying to get by.
In the end, however, it was a moot point. He turned around and went back inside the hospital, while his formidable mind started tackling what he wanted to ask the Doctor and how he was going to work with a coma patient.