Hi... yeah, you guys hate me right now, I'm certain of it. I confess, I'm an idiot. I should have NEVER watched Star Trek (2009) twice in four days. Doing so caused me to write 15,000 words in five days (- what happens when I do something to pump my mind full of inspiration). So, I apologize for my wee bit of flakiness, but I'll post the new chapter for QotD tomorrow, promise (it's already written, I just have to post it). I need to just get this McCoy story outta my system.
By the way, there are a lot of things that go on between Jen and Spock during their years together at the Academy that are not going to be mentioned, but brought out later through later chapters. Also, I'm going to probably speed right through the movie to get on with the rest of the story. Drama will be prominent; missions will take the back-burner.
Spock: *raises eyebrow* What is this back-burner you speak of?
Me: Hehe, I'll explain later, Spock.
Little Jenny stood next to her mother, listening to her heavy breathing and watching as sweat poured out over her face. She seemed to be in pain, but all that Mommy said was that the baby was coming. Daddy wasn't there; he was on duty up on the bridge. A few minutes later, doctors came running in. One of the nurses was kind enough to lead Jenny out by the hand.
Mommy used a communicator to call Daddy, and let Jenny talk to him.
"What's going on?"
"The baby's coming, sweetheart. It's gonna hurt Mommy some, but she's strong, she'll be okay."
"Okay, Daddy. Mommy wants to talk to you."
They got to Sick Bay only for the ship to shake several times and the nurses to start panicking. Mommy tried to figure out what was going on; while Jenny sat in the corner with the teddy bear Daddy had given her last week. There was about 15 minutes of peace after, and then the ship shook again. Suddenly, Daddy's voice came on over the speakers overhead.
"All decks, this is the Captain speaking, evacuate the ship immediately!" Jenny's ears perked up.
"Daddy got a promotion!"
A minute later, Mommy was being wheeled out of Sick Bay with Jenny at her heals.
"That's George's voice. What's happening?" Mommy asked.
"We'll deliver in the shuttle, go!"
Mommy called Daddy again.
"You're okay, thank God. I've medical shuttle 37 standing by. Get to it now, can you do that?"
"Everything's gonna be okay. Do exactly as I say, shuttle 37."
"George… it's coming… our baby… It's coming now."
"I'm on my way."
Mommy hung up, and screamed and hollered as they ran down the halls of the Kelvin.
"That was a big one." Jenny heard Mommy comment.
"Just keep breathing, you'll be fine."
"And the baby too, right?"
"And the baby too."
Jenny didn't have time to marvel at all the wonderful things she saw, she had to focus on following Mommy, because the doctor's were running too fast for her to keep up. Finally, Mommy asked where her baby – this time meaning Jenny – was, and a big, male nurse scooped her up and carried her rest of the way to the shuttle craft.
Mommy kept hollering as they got her out of the chair and onto a white bed. Jenny stood by, holding Mommy's hand. Suddenly, the shuttle started to lift.
"Wait! We can't go yet!" Mommy called to the man who had carried Jenny but was now acting as their pilot. "Please stop, stop." She tried to say, but her breathing was so labored it came out as gasps. Mommy got out the communicator again. "George, the shuttle's leaving, where are you?"
"Sweetheart, listen to me, I'm not gonna be there." Mommy muttered out a 'no'. "This is the only way you'll survive." Jenny's eyebrows furrowed in thought and confusion.
"Please don't stay on the ship, you have to be here."
"The shuttle's will never make it if I don't fight them off!"
"George… I can't do this without you."
"Okay, I need you to push now." The doctor with big eyes suddenly said. Jenny took the communicator away and replaced it with her hand as Mommy hollered.
"Daddy?" She asked into the communicator again.
"Honey, I need you to do something for Daddy. Something important. I need you to be strong for Mommy, just like Daddy, since I can't be there. Can you do that? Just hold Mommy's hand, even if it hurts."
"Okay Daddy. I love you." She heard a choked sob on the other end.
"I love you too, sweetheart."
Mommy screamed and screamed like Jenny had never heard anyone scream before. All the while, even though it felt like if Mommy gripped her hand any harder she might break it; Jenny held fast and refused to let the pain register on her face. Finally, another voice cried out, and Mommy was handed a baby. Jenny wondered where it came from.
"What is it?" Daddy's voice came over the communicator again, and Jenny held it up so Mommy could talk.
"It's a boy."
"A boy?" Daddy said excitedly. "Tell me about him."
"He's beautiful." Mommy started crying, "George, you should be here."
"What are we gonna call him?"
"We could name him after your father…" Mommy said a bit distantly.
"Tiberius? You kiddin' me? No, that's the worst. Let's name him after your Dad, let's call him Jim. Like Jenny." She smiled at the mention of her name.
"Jim and Jenny? Okay, Jim it is." A pause.
"Sweetheart, can you hear me?"
"I can hear you!"
"I love you so much. I love you-"A crash was heard, then the line went dead. Jenny looked out the window to see a huge, black ship that bared resemblance to a jellyfish, with fire around its middle. It's an image she'll never forget. She wondered in the back of her mind what happened to cause the fire as Mommy cried.
Twelve years later, in Iowa…
Jenny screams out her pure adrenaline as the antique car rips out of the driveway. Jim, who's driving next to her, seems to be much calmer as they race down the road. She's not sure how the 12-year-old convinced the 16-year-old to let him drive, but at this point, she doesn't care. The phone in the car rings, and Jim picks it up.
"Hey, are you out of your mind? That car's an antique! You think you can get away with this just because you're mother's off planet? You get your ass back home, now. You live in my house, kids" Her blood boiled at the sound of the term, "You live in my house, and that's my car. You get one scratch on that car, and I'm gonna whip your as-"Jim hung up. Then turned on their stepdad's rock music. Then, just for kicks, the duo opened up the panels on top of the car, causing the convertible hood to fly off. The two looked at each other, looked back at the road, and then screamed out their pure joy at their own rebellion, their blonde hair flipping past in the wind, electric blue eyes alive for the first time.
They passed a kid from Jim's school on their way, who was obviously hitchhiking. Jim honked the horn, and the two waved at him as they passed. Just seconds later, a cop on a hover bike approached, sirens blazing. He looked at Jim.
"Citizen, pull over." Instead, James suddenly turned onto a dirt path.
"Oh shit." Jenny said with a giggle. "We're in trouble now!" James gunned it as the cop tried to catch up again. They both, at the same instant, realized that they were headed straight for a cliff. She looked at him. "You ready?" He looked over at her.
"Let's do this!"
She started to climb over, and James scooted up in his chair so she could crouch behind him in the seat. He slammed on the break and sent the car into a spin as she flung open the door. The two dived out as the car went reeling over the edge. Jenny managed to stop herself before falling over the edge, never more grateful for the muscles her years of dance lessons had given her, but Jim wasn't so lucky. He was barely hanging on, and she reached around to help him up. The two stood up and faced the cop, both glancing back over the edge as they heard a loud 'thud' from the bottom of the canyon.
"There a problem, officer?" Jim asked.
"Citizens, what are your names?"
"My name is James Tiberius Kirk!"
"And I'm Jennifer Tabitha Kirk!"
Four years later, Jenny would be saying goodbye to Jim as she left for Starfleet, having decided to enlist. Five years later, she graduated from Starfleet Academy with degrees in Engineering and Computer Programming. The only thing she found interesting in the Programming courses was her partner, a half-human half-Vulcan named Spock who was a year younger than her. They became friends and kept up with each other, agreeing to have lunch twice a week between their classes. She would attempt to explain the intricacies of human behavior while he would teach her about the Vulcan culture. She commented several times that he would make an excellent teacher one day.
After she graduated at the age of 25, Jenny spent a year on the USS Farragut, during which she became the proverbial right hand of their chief engineer, and promoted to Lieutenant Commander. She requested R&R on Earth so that she could see Spock graduate (as, unfortunately, she was unable to visit home do to the fact that Iowa and San Francisco are so far apart, but she did manage to call home twice during her week there). After the ceremony, the young Vulcan told her that he had been offered a teaching job on campus, and asked her to stay to be his assistant to which she immediately agreed.
Even though she had liked space, Jenny found that she liked the teacher's assistant job much better. She could visit home during breaks; she only occasionally had to stand in front of a class, and rarely had to talk. She only lectured when Spock got sick (which was virtually never). She also met and befriended Captain Christopher Pike, who had written a dissertation on the "Kelvin-incident" and was excited to meet her, although he wisely didn't show it. After their first conversation, Jenny agreed to have one long conversation discussing what had happened, but after she would like for him to not bring it up again, as she had lived her entire life living in her father's shadow and was ready to be free of it. He respectfully granted her request.
She spent a year working for Spock at Starfleet Academy. During which, the USS Enterprise began construction at Riverside, a small town not far from where Jenny had grown up. Pike mentioned to her that he would be going there to oversee construction, and she asked if she could accompany him. He agreed on the condition that she stay in Riverside, and eventually go on to join him on the Enterprise in space as his chief engineer. She agreed on the condition that he takes out the 'chief' part.
One evening, they headed down to the Riverside bar. Jenny hadn't been down yet because she'd been so swamped with paperwork concerning construction and personnel, and Pike had decided she needed a break. In the midst of this, however, she had somehow found time to take a few pictures and write a letter to 'Mom' (her affectionate term for Spock, as he, being more responsible than she, had taken it upon himself to look out for her while they were at school together).
When they arrived, things weren't in good condition. Pike whistled to get the attention of everyone in the room.
"Hey, Fruitcake! Hands off my brother!" Jenny shouted as she got into the young man's face who had been just laying into one James T. Kirk, gripped him by his shirt, lifted him off the ground in the way Spock had taught her (as 'Mom' had decided it might be best for her to learn some personal defense), and threw him against an opposing wall. Pike waited patiently until she returned to his side. The cadets all stood at attention.
"See to your brother, Commander." He said to her without turning, "Then go outside where these insubordinate cadets will be waiting for you to hear your reprimand." They all silently filed out, 'Fruitcake' with an expression of fear on his face. Pike stepped forward as Jenny rushed to Jim's side. "You alright, son?"
"You can whistle really loud, y'know that?"
A couple of hours later…
Jenny had already mopped up her brother's face, seen to his minor concussion, treated his other wounds with whatever was on hand, and then gone outside and gave the cadets a good talking-to about unprovoked attacks, anger management, drunkenness, what that pretty uniform they're wearing means, and violence. She then dismissed them, telling them to go straight back to their rooms and get some shut eye, as they'd all be making up for this in the morning, starting with helping repair some of the damage they'd caused. A few grumbled, but said nothing. Soon as they had all pretty much gotten back in their cars and left, she went back inside to catch the end of Pike and James' conversation.
"… but you feel like you were meant for something better. Something special." James is quiet. "Enlist in Starfleet."
"Enlist?" The younger man replied with a laugh as Jenny came and sat down next to Pike. "You guys must be way down on your recruiting quota for the month." She laughed behind her hand.
"If you're half the man your father was, Jim, Starfleet could use you. Look at your sister, Lieutenant Commander Jennifer T. Kirk, an officer in four years, proved to be one of the best engineers in Starfleet in five. You could do the same, and have your own ship in eight. You understand what the Federation is, don't you? It's important. It's a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada-"
"Are we done?" Jenny seriously considered telling him off for talking to Pike like that, but at the same time, this was Jim.
"I'm done." Pike said as he stood. "Riverside Shipyard. Shuttle for new recruit's leaves tomorrow at 0800." He lets out a little laugh as Jim mock salutes him with his glass. "Y'know your father was captain of a ship for twelve minutes. He saved 800 lives. Including your mother's, and yours. I dare you to do better." He looked down at Jenny, "You coming?" She glanced at Jim, and then looked up at him.
"No, I think I'll go back home for tonight. Drop in on Mom." He nodded, and clapped her shoulder.
"See you tomorrow. 0600." She nodded. She and Jim didn't speak for the rest of the night.
The next morning…
Jenny had already arrived at the Shipyard and been there for two and a half hours by the time Jim arrived. She was standing at the shuttle, preparing to leave, standing next to Captain Pike when he pulled up on his bike and gave it away to a stranger.
"Four years?" He asked as he walked past them, "I'll do it in three." Pike gave Jenny a smile, and she shrugged her shoulders in a, I-don't-know-what-happened sort of way.
She headed inside behind her brother, as she had been assigned to watch over the recruits during the flight. She chortled as Jim mocked the cadets from the night before, and then sent them death glares as they tried to give her a dirty look. He sat down as she took her place, standing at the end of his row. She'd be able to see everyone from here. Finally, the one they'd been waiting for arrived.
"You need a doctor-"
"I told you people, I don't need a doctor, dammit, I am a doctor."
"You need to get back to your seat-"
"I had one! In the bathroom, with no windows!"
"You need to get back to your seat now-"
"I suffer from Aviaphobia, 'case you don't understand big words, it means 'fear of dying in something that flies!" Jenny chose this moment to walk up.
"Is there a problem?" She directs at the two, who are now standing next to Jim.
"Well, in case you weren't listenin', darlin', I suffer from Aviaphobia, I don't suppose you know what that is?"
"Aviaphobia, fear of flight, or more specifically, fear of dying to due flight. And it's not 'darlin', sir, its Lieutenant Commander Jennifer T. Kirk to you. Now," She reached up and put hand on his shoulder, applying about half the pressure for a Vulcan Nerve Pinch, which was enough to cause difficulty breathing and severe pain. His knees gave out underneath him, "Sit. Down." He finally collapsed in to the chair next to her brother. She turned and looked at him, "Keep an eye on this one for me, please. I got a feeling he's going to require two eyes, and not just the one I can spare." Jim nodded as the man Jenny knew as Dr. Leonard McCoy started buckling his seatbelt. She returned to her post, still able to overhear their conversation.
"I might throw up on you." She turned away to hide her smile.
"I think these things're pretty safe—"Jim started.
"Don't pander to me, kid: one tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in thirteen seconds - solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats - Hell, some of the damn passengers are blue. And wait'll you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles, see if you're still so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleeding- space is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence."
"I hate to break this to you, but Starfleet operates in space."
"Yeah, well my ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce, I got nowhere to go but up. Leonard McCoy."
"Jim Kirk. You really gonna throw up-?"
Upon arriving at Starfleet, Jenny is greeted by Spock, who asks if she would like to take her old job back. She agrees, once again, but this time warns him that she will not be able to stay on permanently as she has agreed to serve onboard the Enterprise as soon as she's finished. Spock then tells her that this will be no problem, as he has also agreed to serve onboard the Enterprise, but as her First Officer.
Jenny spends a lot of the next three years keeping James and McCoy out of trouble as much as possible. Although, several times she wonders why she's saving McCoy, as he's two years older than her and ought to be more mature, but then finds out it's because he only has backbone when he's pissed off or incredibly frightened. Aside from those two extremes, he's a rather easy push-over, and simply follows Jim's lead, griping all the way. What Jenny doesn't know is that McCoy actually has more spine than she realizes, and doesn't simply follow what he's told, but often argues with Jim three, four, sometimes five times about his actions, and only goes along with it to make sure that James doesn't severely hurt himself.
Spending four years in the almost-constant presence of a Vulcan, and spending three years not very long before that in a consistent presence of the same Vulcan, you tend to pick up on moods and little odd behaviors. People who saw them would comment that they must not be very good friends since they rarely look, or even speak to each other in public.
The only person on campus who knew better was Jenny's only other friend, Captain Pike. He knew that the reason why they almost never spoke was because they had gotten to the point of being so incredibly intimate with each other (in the most platonic way possible, as neither had any sort of romantic feelings for the other), that words had simply become unnecessary. She was the emotion to his calm, the yin to his yang. If one wanted to ask Jenny a question, but happened to run into Spock, it would be just a prudent to ask him as he would be able to give a suitable answer, and vice versa.
They had rubbed off on each other in more than one way. The excited, emotionally-damaged, eager to prove herself young girl that had dived out of her step father's car at the last second before sending it over a cliff had been calmed down and healed somewhat by her withdrawn, equally emotionally-damaged, and even more eager to prove himself young Vulcan friend. He had become more sociable, more pleasant to converse with, and a bit more sensitive to the emotions of those surrounding him when he spoke. She, on the other hand, had been taught by the Vulcan emotional control, and mental relaxation (aka: meditation) techniques, along with some self-defense.
The meditation had worked wonders for her anxiety, but even with working night and day, she still struggled with a deeply rooted anger issue. Spock eventually sat her down and had a very, very long talk with her, and discovered that her anger stemmed from a deep, bitter resentment towards her parents. Her father for dying before she even got to know the man who's shadow she would spend the rest of her life living in, the public for forcing her into that shadow, her mother for letting it go on and marrying an abusive bastard who didn't deserve her, and most importantly, at herself for not protecting James from it all better than she had. Spock deduced at this point the only things that would ever be able to heal these hurts would be a long conversation involving herself, her mother and James, a lot of time, and a loving man she could lean on who would understand what she was going through. Speaking none of this aloud, Spock decided to simply stop teaching her the techniques that would help her manage her anger, but still encouraged her whenever it was brought up to keep practicing.
As the reader can imagine, suddenly having James back in her life was a confusing and trying time, for both parties. They agreed to meet twice a week for lunch, Dr. McCoy joining them when he was able. A certain animosity always hung in the air around them (due to their first meeting and her performing a Vulcan Nerve Pinch on him), and even for McCoy, he was rude to her. They would almost always argue about something, from very important things, like the morality of controlling the Earth's weather systems, to which is better, black pepper or white. James would sit quietly and enjoy the show, as the two could argue for hours. He always thought, in the back of his mind, that the two would be cute together, but he never voiced this opinion, knowing he could get slapped, punched, or worse. He did know, however, that Jenny did find his friend attractive, as he would catch her staring at McCoy when the doctor wasn't looking.
With Jim and Jenny, though, things were very hard on the both of them. For him, he still wanted her to be the excitable 18-year-old who'd left home eight years ago. He found it hard to accept her changes, and how she'd grown up a lot without him. For her, however, it was hard seeing him without being reminded of all the pain she'd thought she'd dealt with and put past her. Spock suggested that the only reasonable explanation was that she had dealt with it when she was alone. Now that there was a constant reminder here with her, she would simply have to adjust. It would take a while, and would probably require more meditation (as if she had time), but in the end, it would be worth reestablishing the long-dead relationship she'd had with her brother.
That doesn't mean, however, that his attempts at the Kobayashi Maru test didn't crack her up. She and Spock had designed the test together. The idea of it being on a fake-bridge was her idea in the first place. They had spent her last year at the academy designing the idea and the program for it, while he spent his last year (while she was on the USS Farragut) building and testing it to make sure it was flawless. It was during the following year, when they had accepted their teaching positions, that they got it cleared by the Academy Council and built the full-on, life-size, realistic version of it. She knew better than anyone how completely unbeatable it was, as that aspect of the test had also been her idea. Spock had disagreed at first, as what was the point of an unbeatable test, but after some explaining (or 'convincing', as some would put it), he agreed.
"We are receiving a distress signal from the U.S.S. Kobayashi Maru. The ship has lost power and is stranded. Starfleet Command has ordered us to rescue them." Lieutenant Uhura, an exceptional Xenologist who Jenny knew was secretly dating Spock, stated from memory, a hint of resentment coloring her voice.
"Starfleet Command has ordered us to rescue them… Captain." Jenny grins at her brother from the observation window overhead. Her smile broadens at McCoy's not-so-hidden eye roll. Her eyes linger on the doctor a few heartbeats longer than is necessary before turning around and returning to Spock's side to watch one of the monitors showing data on the program.
"Klingon vessels have entered the Neutral Zone. And they are firing upon us." Leonard reports from a console.
"That's okay." Jim replies casually, causing everyone to look at him, confused.
"It's okay?" McCoy asks, skeptical.
"Yeah, don't worry about it."
Inside the control booth, all Jenny can hear are their voices. However, a rather vivid imagination gives her a pretty safe bet on the expressions of the crewmembers inside the bridge. She doesn't even have to glance up to guess at the ones on the test administrator's who are observing them from the observation windows.
"Did he say "don't worry about it"?" One asks the other.
"Is he not taking this simulation seriously?" Jenny gets the feeling that the question is more directed at her than anyone else, but focuses on the panel in front of her.
"Three more Klingon Warbirds decloaking, and targeting our ship. I don't suppose this is a problem either?" McCoy again.
"They're firing, Captain." The Weapon's Officer who Jenny doesn't know tells his 'Captain'.
"Alert medical bay to prepare to receive all crew members from the damaged ship." Jim directs at someone.
"And how do you expect us to rescue them when we're surrounded by Klingons?" Uhura asks.
"Alert medical." Is all he says in response.
"Our ship is being hit, shields at sixty percent." McCoy reports again.
"Should we at least, I dunno, fire back?"
"Mmmm... No." That's when she hears it. The dead giveaway.
"Of course not." Jenny whispers so softly beneath her breath, an onlooker would think she was talking to herself, but Spock who stands next to her knows better.
"He's got something up his sleeve. An ace-in-the-hole we don't know about."
"How do you know?" He asks, just as quietly.
"The apple. It's his giveaway. When he knows that he's eliminated any chance of losing, he eats. Specifically, fruit. He knows something we don't." A brief pause.
"Is there anything we can do?" Jennifer sighs.
"No. It's too late by now. Any chance we had has already long since past. We just get to enjoy the ride to his moment of glory."
And just then something uploads and executes all the screens in the observation room. On the bridge, the system dies, all the screens go black, and everyone reacts.
"What's this? What the hell is going on?" One of the test administrator's asks. Jenny shoots Spock a knowing look.
"The Kobayashi Maru is still in distress... but... the Klingons have stopped firing." Uhura says with confusion.
"Arm photons. Prepare to fire on the Klingon Warbirds." James orders.
"Jim, their shields are up." McCoy again.
"Are they?" The younger Kirk asks, a pause as Jenny goes over to the window to watch.
"No they're not." She can see the confusion on the Doctor's face, and shares it, although not as willing to admit defeat just yet.
"Fire on all enemy ships, one photon each should do – let's not waste ammunition."
"Target lock acquired on all Warbirds – firing!" All five Klingon ships are destroyed instantly. All mouths are agape.
"Begin rescue of the stranded crew. So. We've eliminated all enemy ships, no one on board was injured and the successful rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew is underway." For the first time, he looks up to the testing room windows.
"How the hell'd that kid beat your test?" One of the test administrators asks both Jenny and Spock.
" ... I do not know."
Alright, done with the first. I wrote most of this in one day. =/
Review please! =D