The author in no way owns the Star Trek franchise or in any way has claim to the characters and entities that are part of it. All original plots, storylines, and characters contained within this work are, however, property of the author, Naelle Annenburg. Use of any of these is acceptable only if the author releases permission.
"Amalgamation" Chapter 1
Spock is postulating upon the possibility of interdimensional communication when a knock comes on his door. He pulls back from his work and walks to open the door, finding himself face to face with the chief simulations officer on the complex. "May I help you?"
The man – shorter, pudgier, utterly human – nods, brushing lint which does not exist off his sleeve. "There's been a request for another run of the Kobayashi Maru simulation," he informs him. Spock raises an eyebrow minutely higher.
"The Kobayashi Maru simulation is free for all students of the academy," he says simply, slowly, hoping that this man follows the explanation. "It is a normal occurrence for them to request an attempt on it. You are not required to seek my authorization on it. In fact, authorization to run it is your responsibility."
The man rubs at his neck. "I know that, but," he pauses for a moment, during which Spock thinks back to his previous postulations. Should there be a possibility of interdimensional communication, he will ask how those of other dimensions deal with incompetent simulations officers. Eventually. "But Sir, this will be the third attempt by this specific student to overcome the Kobayashi Maru. Is that—allowed?"
Spock contemplates it for a moment. "It is permissible," he says firmly. "However, I would like to observe the simulation. What is the student's name?"
The man taps the screen of his PADD twice, and then responds. "Kirk, James T. Third year. Test results off the charts, but he has quite the record, disciplinarily speaking. Attempted the Kobayashi Maru for the first time seven months ago to the day. Second attempt was four months and seventeen days ago. Filed request for a third attempt this morning."
Spock takes the PADD from him, looking over the data provided. "Is he a relative of Captain George Kirk?"
The man nods. "His son. Born two minutes before the Captain's death."
The Vulcan scans through the test results again. Impressive, he had to admit. This was not an unintelligent man, but for him to attempt the Kobayashi Maru more than once indicated otherwise. It was illogical. "Was it not Captain George Kirk's stated belief that he did not believe in the no-win scenario?"
A chuckle escapes the simulations officer. "Yep. Guess he passed it on to his son, right?"
"It is illogical," Spock says smoothly. All mirth escapes the officer's face. "The willingness to believe that it would be possible to achieve victory in any scenario is a mental fallacy. It is something, in fact, that I would believe to indicate both immaturity and unintelligence."
The officer's lip thins. "We can run the simulation in one week."
"I would like to be present for the purposes of observation," Spock reiterates. "Schedule it for 0900 hours one week from today. I will meet you in the observation deck at 0830."
The man nods, shoots him a look Spock cannot fully translate, and leaves his quarters without another word.
True to form, Nyota Uhura is in his office ten minutes after his scheduled office hours begin. He beckons her to sit down, clearing his screen. She lowers herself with more care than is necessary, straightening out the pleats of her skirt and straightening her back, breasts catching on the material of her shirt. Were this any other student Spock might suspect an attempt at seduction, but she has proven herself many times over to be more concerned with the mental than the physical. Thus he ignores the inadvertent sexuality inherent in the action.
"Is there something I can do for you?" he asks formally. In most cases, that is precisely what it is – a formality. But today she carries a bag, something she rarely does. She nods. "My knowledge in xenolinguistics is not as extensive as yours, but if I am capable of lending assistance I shall."
The girl reaches into the bag, eyes remaining on Spock's face. He sees some attraction in her expression, but she knows where the line must be drawn, and more importantly she knows the importance of keeping her resources uncompromised. She hands him a book – one with which he is quite familiar. Vulcan poetry. He drops his gaze to it and back.
"I'm using it as practice in translating Vulcan into English," she explains. "But there was a word in one poem that I can't find anywhere. I thought it might be a name, since the line references a person, but it doesn't sound like a traditional name."
Spock opens the book, marveling at the unlikelihood of her having obtained a bound volume of Vulcan poetry on Earth, and finds the page she has marked. It takes no great effort to find the word which had confounded her. "You refer to 'T'hy'la', then?"
"Yes," she answers. "I can't find a translation."
Spock closes the book, handing it back to her. "That would be logical, given there is no translation," he informs her. He recognizes the confusion in her eyes. "I suppose there is a definition, though. 'T'hy'la' refers to a person with whom a Vulcan may share a great bond. In common terms, his friend, brother, and lover in one. It is the greatest bond a Vulcan may share excepting marriage. I do not believe there are parallels in any language."
The cadet cocks her head, mouthing the word to herself. "I can't translate it?"
Spock shakes his head. "I do not believe you will ever have cause to," he informs her. "It is a private term not used outside the relationship except in poetic verse such as that. You will not encounter it in communication."
She frowns, but nods, slipping the book back into her bag. "Thank you," she says needlessly, and he nods in acceptance of the expression of gratitude. "I'm just so frustrated lately, and that was the icing on the cake. Did you know I have to go into the Kobayashi Maru simulation again?"
Spock nods. "I was aware. It is Cadet Kirk's third attempt and he always requests you. You are permitted to refuse."
She crosses her long legs in front of her. "I know, but I find my experiences in the simulator to be more than worth the trouble he causes," she says. "It reminds me that I must be willing to stake my life for the greater good of the galaxy, and it reinforces the difficulty I must overcome. Compared with the advances of that hick, it is important."
"Quite," Spock agrees. "Did you have any further questions?"
She purses her lips. "I have no one to take me out to dinner when I graduate," she informs him. "It is an important social ritual in Earth culture to share a meal after a great achievement. Will you share that meal with me?"
Spock is not the sort to indulge humans, but he finds himself nodding. "Yes, Nyota. I believe that would be most appropriate. You are, after all, my most advanced student."
She smiles at him and pats his knee standing up – a gesture which can hardly be misconstrued as merely friendly. In an instant, Spock is aware of her intense emotional connection to him, of the bond she wishes to form, and he pulls back further into his mind, shields up. She is not his intended. She may never be. It would be most convenient if she were, but it is not in his control.
He cannot imprint via sheer will.
"Then I will see you some other time," Uhura says as her farewell, a noticeable difference in her stride that Spock is relatively certain is referred to as a 'bounce in one's step'. He should not have indulged her, but now he is committed.
It will be so much easier for him once he imprints.
But a part of him is certain it will not happen. He is, after all, only half Vulcan. Experiencing an imprint – that instant knowledge that you had found your intended bondmate, the instant connection, the bond formed on that first sight – that is the most revered aspect of Vulcan physiology. And it is exclusively Vulcan. His human blood may prevent the possibility of an imprint.
In fact, the likelihood of him imprinting is so abysmal that the logical thing would be for him to force it from his mind.
Some part of him will not allow it.
"Illogical," he mouths, and he returns to what work he can complete before any other students approach him.
Spock arrives at the simulator promptly at 0830. He observes the platform, the simulator screens, the replicated bridge. It does not take long for the simulator staff to approach, as well as a member of the council. Spock meets his eye.
"I couldn't resist seeing the guy willing to go through the Kobayashi Maru three times," the man says by way of explanation. Spock nods to confirm his understanding. "Same for you, huh?"
"The Kobayashi Maru simulation was not created for the purpose of multiple attempts," Spock replies. "It is designed to fulfill its purpose on its first run. For a cadet to attempt it more than once seems indicative of mental deficiency and a lack of maturity. I wish to see firsthand the reactions this particular cadet has to repeated failure to determine whether this is the case."
The man chuckles. "In other words, you don't get why he's so stubborn?"
"There are more efficient ways of phrasing that," he says firmly, watching the staff prepare the simulator. "Is Cadet Kirk present yet?"
A simulations officer checks his PADD. "Negative. But he isn't due for another ten minutes."
Spock returns his attention to the replicated bridge. How will this man handle himself in the simulation? It is not the first time Spock has observed a run of the Kobayashi Maru. The reactions are split quite evenly down the middle, each repeated by the next group. The 'captain' either reacts logically, working to keep the ship up as long as possible, or emotionally, devoting the ship's entire energy to the rescue without regard to safety.
Inevitably, both reactions will fail. And just as inevitably, both reactions lead to intense fear.
"Wow," the council member breathes. Spock glances at him; he is staring enraptured at his PADD. "This Kirk guy drove a car off a cliff when he was nine. Guess he doesn't scare easy."
Spock scoffs inwardly. "Nevertheless, the Kobayashi Maru will scare him."
The council member raises an eyebrow. "I would not be so sure this time, Mr. Spock. This guy doesn't follow patterns."
Speaking of, the door to the simulator opens, and Spock glances down to get his first glance of the man in question. Uhura comes through first, followed by two men who start towards the edge, and then a blond.
All thought processes stop, and the world ceases to exist to Spock. Every fragment of his existence is drawn instantly to this man, all physicality meaningless as his mind reaches without his consent towards this other man's. His consciousness is dependent on him now, as dependent as his body is on his mind. He knows him.
Tremendous fear, warmth, panic, joy, irritation, grief, and love emerge suddenly in the forefront of his mind, and—
And they are bonded. Spock comes back to himself with a mental jolt, physically frozen as this man – James Tiberius Kirk, Jim Kirk, Jim - pitches minutely forward and clutches his head.
"Ah, fuck," he hears him say. Uhura raises an eyebrow in his direction. "Shit, my head…where the fuck did that come from?"
"You are the one who asked for this," Uhura admonishes. "Don't think you can get out of it just by saying you got a little headache."
Spock knows what has just happened, and it repulses every fiber of his being. It is illogical, inappropriate, unacceptable – it cannot be. It is impossible. And yet it is also undeniable that it has occurred.
He has just imprinted.
"What part of your head?" one of the men now in the simulator asks gruffly. Kirk waves him off.
"It's better now," he says easily. "Just one of those things, I guess. Weird as hell, but no biggie. Don't we have a simulation to run?"
This cannot be happening. Spock turns his back, intensity running through his veins. He is male. He is not meant to imprint on another male. This great honor, this revered occurrence – and it has gone so terribly wrong. This is unacceptable.
He pays no attention to the simulation, attempting to calm himself. He can feel their bond – and he denies it. Shields himself from it. It takes such concentration that he only realizes the simulation has met an unexpected turn when the lights flicker. He watches as the simulation ends – a complete success.
The man next to him asks him a question, something about the simulation. About it being beaten.
It is all Spock can do to respond with, "I do not know."