When Spock received an email saying a third year student had beaten his Kobayashi maru program, he knew instantly that this was someone he had to meet. Not only had he programmed it to be virtually impossible to defeat, even by Vulcan standards, but he had to know who had dared to bend the rules, ignoring the true purpose of the program itself. This so-called prodigy student had left him with a dilemma of his own, would his methods be considered cheating? Or had he merely discovered an exploit in the program. The entire academy was in an uproar, everyone had split opinions on whether this “James T. Kirk” had been right or wrong in his choice to evade the program.
So now here he was, sitting in the audience of the trial against James T. Kirk. The academy board had wasted no time in setting up a trial, it was obvious to anyone that they had become hellbent on convicting him of cheating so they could quickly bury the whole thing.Perhaps Mr. Kirk had stirred up things more than they would have liked. A bell rang out to indicate that the trial was now in session and the head of the board addressed the room.
“This trial has been called to resolve a troubling matter that I’m sure you have all heard about in the past few days. Mr James T. Kirk please step forward”
Spock watched curiously as a young man with dirty blond hair stepped down to the podium, many of the female students began quickly gossiping amongst one another, it was no doubt that he was considered attractive.
“Evidence has been submitted to this council suggesting that you violated the ethical code of conduct pursuant to regulation 17.43 of the starfleet code. Is there anything you care to say before this trial begins Mr. Kirk?” The head of the board asked blatantly.
“Yes, I would like to give my defense to the creator of the Kobayashi Maru” James said casually, he must have prepared for this.
This caused a small outburst from the audience in the room, the board collectively looked at Spock hesitant to bring him into the trial. The Kobayashi Maru creator had always been anonymous for security reasons. Spock however found this the perfect time to come forward and get the answers he wanted. He stood up from his chair and walked towards the opposing podium. Whispers spread like fire around the room, there was a short pause as the head of the board sat dumbfounded before introducing him. He had not expected the vulcan to come forward.
“Er yes, this is commander Spock. He is one of our most distinguished graduates. He has programmed the Kobayashi Maru exam for the last four years”
Spock made eye contact with Kirk, he could tell this was going to be an interesting debate.
“Cadet Kirk, you somehow managed to install and activate a subroutine in the programming code, thereby changing the conditions of the test” Spock stated.
“And your point is?” Kirk was clearly trying to test the limits by acting arrogant.
“In academic vernacular, you cheated” The head of the board said angrily.
“Let me ask you something, I think we all know the answer to. The test itself is a cheat, isn’t it? It is programmed to be unwinnable” Kirk had clearly thought out his answers.
“Your argument precludes the possibility of a no-win scenario” Spock stepped in, not wanting the board to interrupt again.
“I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.” James stated.
“Then you’ve failed to understand the principle lesson of the test” Spock was interested in what his answer would be.
“Please, enlighten me.”
Was he really that cocky or was he more intelligent than he was letting on? What exactly was his plan?
“You of all people should know, cadet Kirk, that a captain cannot cheat death”
A pained expression crossed James face, perhaps Spock had been too harsh to bring his father’s death into this.
“I of all people?” His manner had completely changed, no longer making eye contact with Spock.
“Your father, Lieutenant George Kirk, assumed command of his vessel before being killed in action, did he not?”
“I don’t think you like the fact that I beat your test” His fists were clenched and hatred burned in his eyes.
Spock could hear the anger in his voice, he had not meant to hurt Kirk. It was unusual that he did not believe in no win scenarios considering his personal history and had wanted to point out his contradictory behaviour.
“Furthermore, you have failed to divine the purpose of the test. The purpose is to experience fear, fear in the face of certain death, to accept that fear and maintain control of oneself and one’s crew. This is a quality expected in every starfleet captain”
“If a captain has the option to bend the rules, to save not only his life but the lives of the crew, are you saying he should not take it? Why are we being forced to accept death as the only option!”
Spock considered the possibility that if he himself had the same opportunity would he not take it? In a life and death scenario would he really choose to face his own death by blindly following rules defined by others? The Kobayashi Maru had not been made with such questions in mind, it was a fear simulator and that was all it had ever been.
“Mr Kirk, we are here to decide the outcome of your actions, not the ethics of an undoubtedly rare situation. As I can see this debate is leading nowhere, I defer to you Mr. Spock, this is your program. What do you believe is a fitting punishment for the defendant?” The head of the board had evidently heard enough and wanted this to all be over in time for his supper.
The audience hushed, waiting for his response. Kirk held his head low, clearly expecting the worst outcome.
“I believe Cadet Kirk has raised some interesting views and therefore, at this time while I examine the future of the kobayashi maru program, I find him innocent”
The crowd roared to life with clapping and cheering. The board sat with stunned faces; they had definitely not expected the vulcan to go against them. Spock cleared his throat “However” the crowd silenced once again.
“James T. Kirk will become my assistant for the remainder of his time here at the academy”
If they weren’t shocked before, they certainly were now. The room was once again filled with the rush of voices. He had never met such an enigma of a human, someone who didn’t believe in “no win scenarios” he was curious and intrigued to where this James Kirk would and certainly could lead him, thus it has been a logical conclusion to keep him close under his own watch.
“Are you certain that is the outcome you’ve decided on Mr. Spock?” Another board member questioned. They were offering him a way to back out, but he had already made up his mind.
“Yes, I am certain. Does the board agree with my decision?”
Spock knew they wouldn’t dare to go against him, he was the vulcan ambassador's son after all and they would not do anything to jeopardise their association with the vulcans. They murmured amongst each other for a few minutes before composing themselves. The head of the board hit his gavel on the desk to draw the attention of the room.
“The board has decided to accept Mr. Spock’s proposal. James T. Kirk you are now under the mentorship of Mr. Spock as his assistant. Whatever that entails or requires, you are to do so diligently”
Jim stood in shock as the trial concluded. What the hell had just happened? The vulcan had pissed him off by bringing up his father’s death and then made him his assistant!? He had already resigned himself to the fact that he would most likely be suspended for his actions. He had taken one last gamble of requesting to speak with the creator of the Kobayashi Maru program, he hadn’t expected a vulcan though; let alone one that didn’t instantly kick him out of the academy. As the crowd dispersed he found his room mate Bones by his side.
“What do you think that pointy-eared bastard wants from me?” Jim asked.
“I don’t know, but I like him” Bones quipped.
He rolled his eyes, but before he could make a satisfying retort, the vulcan had appeared in front of them.
“James T. Kirk, I hope you do not find offense in your new position as my assistant. I will be contacting you shortly with further instructions. Is that agreeable?”
“Yes sir” He wasn’t going to stir up any more trouble, at least not at the moment.
“Very well” Spock cautiously eyed Bones. It looked like he wanted to say more but instead he gave them a small nod and took his leave.
“Maybe he’s got a thing for you” Bones joked once he was certain the vulcan was out of earshot.
“As if! Come on let’s get out of here, I’m exhausted”
Once they reached their dorm room, Jim dramatically flopped onto his bed and sighed. They had held the trial in the evening after class, so he had practically been on edge all day.
“So on a scale of 1-10 how much did that expect that?”
“Let’s just say I thought I’d be spending the rest of the semester in peace and quiet” Bones said as he sat down at his desk.
“Pfft you totally would have missed me and my famous breakfast pancakes”
“Now that’s something I hadn’t considered. But really… Whatever this vulcan has planned for you, I’m glad he saved your butt from being suspended, kid”
“Yeah yeah don’t go getting all sappy on me now, I told you before, you’re stuck with me” he laughed as Bones pinched between his brows pretending to be stressed by the concept.
“So what exactly do we know about him?”
“The database says he graduated from starfleet academy 4 years ago and ever since then he had worked at the academy as an advisor. But I guess it turns out he is also the mastermind behind the Kobayashi Maru program, which was secret until a certain someone decided to expose him to the public” Bones said, putting down his PADD.
“There’s nothing else?”
“Well… he’s also the vulcan ambassadors son”
“Surely you don’t mean-”
“The very same”
“He's half human?” Perhaps that’s why he hadn’t been immediately kicked out of the academy by his bootstraps. He did think there was something strange about his demeanor, he wasn’t like any other vulcan he had met before, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Before he could think any further on this subject his own PADD pinged next to him on the nightstand.
To: James T. Kirk
From: Commander Spock
Subject: Do you play chess?
I find it best if we make an attempt to get to know one another, seeing as you will be working as my assistant for the foreseeable future. I am inviting you for a game of chess tomorrow evening at 7pm in my dorm room (A703) If you do not know how to play, I am willing to teach you. I hope you will accept this invitation.
Jim snorted in disbelief, causing Bones to give him a raised eyebrow.
“It’s from our new vulcan friend”
“What did he say?”
“He... He wants to play chess with me???”
“The vulcan wants to play chess with you ?”
“Yeah, he invited me to his dorm room tomorrow evening to ‘get to know each other better’”
“Are you going to accept?”
“I have to, right? I’m his new assistant” He grinned mischievously.
“I know that look, you better not get yourself into trouble again!”
“I won’t, I swear!”
“Just try to be nice to him, okay?” Bones sighed as he turned off the light and got into his own bed across the room from Jim’s.
“I promise to play nice”
“Good. Now let's get some sleep. I doubt you got any last night”
“Yeah you’re right, I didn’t think I’d see this bed ever again" Damn, just the night before he had been tossing and turning thinking he was never going to see the academy again, now thanks to some random vulcan he was going to get to stay here. It's not like he regretted his actions, but he had been pretty sure his dream of becoming a captain had been thrown out the window. Maybe he should play nice with the commander, he was starting to feel like he owed him a lot.
"Night Bones” He yawned. All this thinking was making him tired.