John L'Argent paced in front of a room at Starfleet academy. Some how he had gotten talked into taking the Kobyashi Maru exam. He knew only one person had 'passed' the test, and that was James T. Kirk, who had in some ways cheated. John didn't have access to the computer codes, and since then they have been kept by faculty to try and keep it from happening. He had already made a few dozen hundred laps in front of the room. He figured by the time he got in to take it, there would be a groove worn in the floor. He was running through all sorts of scenarios that the test could be. He knew it was supposed to be along the lines of impossible odds. He had a dozen of them buzzing around his head. Klingons, Borg, several other races running around the galaxy filled his head. After he thought he started to combine the possible threats. His heart was racing and he hadn't even started the thing yet. He glanced at a chronometer. Only a few minutes had passed. In an effort to try and calm himself, he tried to think of what he could do in any given situation. What am I doing here? I'm an astrophysicist, I'm not captain material! he thought as he continued to pace. His thoughts ran around various ways to use the deflectors to try and create a distraction, or emit a tachyon pulse. He was more interested in gravitational mechanics and spacial anomalies, but in the circumstances those seemed to be out of the question. After all, he had read how it was theoretically possible to create a small black hole using the deflectors and a great deal of luck. The large problem being that the anomaly didn't last very long and had just as much chance as to devour the ship that made it. Perhaps he could create some sort of shock-wave and charge it with tachyons or something to disable other ships. His mind spun as he tried to dig up what lessons he could that seemed to be viable options.
As his mind raced, he barely noticed the woman leaving the testing room, who's head was a blur of red over the blue testing uniform, out of the corner of his eye. He was more worried about the test. One of his professors walked towards him, the Vulcan's step purposeful. Professor Temuk had talked John into taking the test. He still didn't know how he had done it. "Are you ready, Cadet L'Argent?" Fearing his voice would fail him, John simply nodded, "Very well, this way please." He motioned towards the nearby door. John walked in and saw a replica starship bridge, with other students at various stations. He waved to a few he knew, or had seen around the academy. He then took a seat in the captain's chair. "You may begin."
"We are picking up a hail from the Kobyashi Maru, they are with out power and need assistance." A cadet over at the comms station informed him.
John nodded, Not too bad thus far he thought, "Let's go help them, then."
The cadet on sensors called out, "Sir, 3 Klingon Birds-of-Prey decloaking and locking on weapons." A breif pause, "They are firing!" John mentally kicked himself, he should have done a quick sweep, there are ways to detect cloaked ships, if you know what to look for.
"Shields up, evasive manuevers." John's mind was trying to figure out a way to get rid of the attackers and still get to the stranded ship.
"Shields are at 50%, weapons are going offline..." Another cadet chimed in. John could order a general evacuation, but that wouldn't help any one, just make the situation worse as the shuttles would be picked off by the Klingons. A few small ideas came to mind, but most involved being able to bounce things around with not only his 'ship's' deflectors but also the Kobyashi Maru's. His mind then rested on one idea. "Shields are at 25%, we are taking structural damage now." It would be a long shot, and probably lead to his own ship going down, but it just might take out the Klingons too. Maybe he could evacuate the ship, then do it. That wouldn't work either, it would take out the shuttles as well. He gripped the arms of the chair until his knuckles were white, he couldn't see another way. His face took on a very grim cast.
"Bring us about to face away from the Kobyashi Maru," He stood up and went over to one console, "Divert all power to the deflector, everything and anything. This is a long shot and we might get take out ourselves, but it might take out those ships too."
A cadet at an engineering station looked confused, "Ok...redirecting power to the deflector..."
John typed furiously on the console, "More, I need more for this to work!"
"We don't have much left, just life support..." the cadet sounded confused.
"Do it, and see if you can get the core to produce more, there has to be a way, I still need more!" John had most of what he needed. He glanced up and got a nod from the cadet, "Ok, here goes nothing." He pressed one button on the console.
For a while it seemed nothing happened, then the consoles when black. The door to the exam room opened. Professor Temuk stood in the door way. His face betrayed nothing. He motioned for John to follow him. After walking around to another door to what seemed to be an observation deck above the room he had just been in, Temuk spoke, "Cadet, do you know what happened?"
"Uh...well, Professor...I tried to make a singularity in front of the ship to, uh, eliminate the klingon ships...or if nothing else make them think twice..." John gulped out of nerves, "Did it not work?"
The Vulcan turned from him to the room below, "On the contrary, It worked." he paused, "Too well actually. You gave the anomaly too much power. It not only engulfed the Klingon ships, but your craft as well, and the Kobyashi Maru."
John's eye went wide, then he looked down feeling ashamed, "Oh..."
"I must say, that is the first time in many years I have seen some one perform such a complex feat under such circumstances." This was as close to praise as the Vulcan might get.
"But...I failed, Professor..." John felt confused. He had been in Temuk's classes a number of times, and he knew his version of praise when he heard it.
"Cadet L'Argent, the Kobyashi Maru isn't about passing or failing." He gave John a level look, "It is about knowing fear and dealing with a sort of 'no-win' situation."
"But... I destroyed everything...And probably left an errant black hole drifting in the system!" John was on he verge of hysterics. The test was a no-win. How could there be no solution to the problem? he thought. "I did nothing to help the Kobyashi Maru and destroyed my own ship! I killed hundreds of people! HUNDREDS!" His mind raced, "It was the only thing that seemed to be plausible, any other idea would have required the Kobyashi Maru had enough power to use it's deflectors! I couldn't even evacuate my own people! The singularity would have taken them out easier than the actual ship and if that hadn't then the klingon ships would have surely gotten to them!"
The Vulcan rested a hand on John's shoulder, "That is exactly what you were supposed to feel in this test. To feel desperation and fear. To make the hard decisions is the responsibility of the captain, and that is what you did. While your choice of action lead to mass death and possibly harm to the system in general, you did decide and acted under a high tension situation." Temuk turned to walk away, "By the way, how did you manage to create the singularity?"
John's mind ground to a halt. He physically froze in place. Did I just do something he didn't know? he thought. "Uh...well, by using the deflectors I could generate enough false gravity in one space to start to pull atoms together that were just floating around in space...then by applying a pulse of randomized tachyon particles, it caused it to collapse. In order to make it keep cohesion, I had to keep feeding gravity into it..." John shrugged, "I found the basic equation to do it in a book in the library, when I did my research for you class, Professor."
"I see." Professor Temuk nodded, "And what was the name on this book?"
John thought for a minute, "Something like 'Relative Gravity and Space' I think..."
He thought he saw a smile flash across the professors face, "Not one of my better works." John stood flabbergasted. He had used one of his own professors works, and made it work. He hadn't even check to see who wrote it, not that he would have remembered. He had only copied the information for citation, not bothering to commit any of it to memory. "Good day, Cadet."
John left the room, and passed another person waiting for the test. His mind was still reeling from what had just happened, but he could have sworn the person was completely blue, standing at attention and barely came up past his elbow. He went to the commissary, pie would improve his mood. He passed by a few of his classmates, who seeing the normally exuberant person almost muttering to himself, began to whisper among each other.
After getting his pie, he sat down by a window facing the sea. One thing he was glad about the Academy being in San Fransisco was the ocean views from some of the buildings. He sat tapping his optical implant with his fork. After a minute he noticed he had been joined. Looking over he recognized one of his classmates. He was fairly certain she was human, but her hair was green just like her eyes. He did wonder at times if it was just genetics that it was, or if she did something to it.
"Why so glum, John?" She was all smiles, probably hoping to cheer him up.
"I took the Kobyashi Maru today..." He took the fork from tapping his optic to pulling at parts of the pie, "I...It was...interesting..."
"You...failed?" She looked confused.
"It's complicated..." He looked back out the window, "It's probably the only test in this place that is..."
His companion wrinkled her nose, "I don't know, some of the equations we had to learn in astrophysics were pretty bad."
"Not that kind of complicated." He continued to look out the window.
"Oh...well...ummm..." She seemed to fish for something, "My roommate and I were going to go into town, it's her birthday, and...maybe you should come along?"
John turned to her, and gave a lop-sided smile, "Sure, since it's her birthday." Who knew maybe some fun was what he needed.
"I'll let her know we have a strong, able-bodied man to escort us around." Something told John she was trying to be funny. He gave a quick laugh and waved as she left.
He really did wonder if the green was natural...