"State your name for the record."
"Your full name."
Jim sighed. "James Tiberius Kirk." He couldn't help pulling a face as his middle name came out of his mouth.
"S'Chn R'Tak T'Meni conducting the interview." She glanced down briefly at the data PADD in front of her before continuing. "Citizen Kirk, you were apprehended for provoking an altercation in a public entertainment facility this evening."
"Libraries aren't that entertaining," Jim corrected.
She ignored him. "This is the fifth such infraction since the beginning of the current Earth year, and the most recent incident in a file begun in your tenth Earth year of existence."
Jim smiled. "I'm hoping there's a record book that I can be in for my accomplishments."
T'Meni stared at him. "Your irreverent response to legal authority is illogical and will not reflect well on you during your review," she started.
"Citizen Kirk, you are aware that your status as a repeat offender will mean your next hearing is before the High Council, and that a logical possible punishment will be Readjustment."
Jim leaned forward over the table, getting in close to both T'Meni and the audio recorder between them. "You're hot for a Vulcan," he said. "Maybe later, you and I can go off somewhere and act illogical for a while."
She arched an eyebrow at him but showed no other outward signs of emotion. "Interview is terminated," she said crisply, shutting off the recorder and getting up to leave the room without a backward glance.
Ooh. He was going to count that one as a win.
Two burly, human guards came in shortly after she'd left, to put his restraints back on and haul him back to his cell. "Gentlemen," he said with a nod as they frogmarched him down the sterile hallway.
"Home sweet home, Kirk," one said as they keyed the door open and shoved him inside.
"I missed this place," he said as they pulled off the restraints. "What's for dinner tonight?"
"We'll bring you some leftover plomeek."
Jim made a face. "The only thing worse than plomeek is prison plomeek."
"Well, then starve."
Jim sighed and stretched out on the hard cot furthest from the door, crossing his arms behind his head and staring up at the grey ceiling. At least he'd catch up on his sleep.
"Wake up, Kirk," came the guard's voice, dragging him out of a fitful doze.
Jim sat up on the cot, rubbing at his face. "Not time for my hearing already?" he asked, confused with sleep.
"That's two days away yet. Right now you have a new cellmate. Behave, or it'll be solitary and cold plomeek soup for you until then."
Jim blinked. "Cellmate? I never get a cellmate." He grinned. "I thought the Vulcans were too afraid my taint would spread."
"We're overcrowded, and the only other guy without a cellmate is a multiple murderer." The guard turned and beckoned behind him. "Bring him in."
The guy they brought in was tall, skinny and sullen, his head bowed as they took off his restraints. When the guy's head moved a little, revealing his ears, Jim almost fell off the bed in surprise.
"You're a Vulcan!"
Instead of saying or doing anything that might acknowledge Jim's existence, the Vulcan made his way to the empty bed and sank down, leaning back against the wall. Good thing that Jim couldn't be put off of things when he was interested.
"I didn't think they put Vulcans in places like this. Don't you people use shame as your capital punishment or something?"
He thought he was going to be ignored again, but finally the Vulcan answered him. "Perhaps that is effective for the majority of Vulcans. They do not think so highly of my own ability to be shamed."
Jim squinted. There was something he was missing, here. "What's your name?" he asked finally. "I'm Jim, by the way."
"I know your name. I am called Spock."
Jim blinked, absorbing that, and then it clicked. "Surak's balls, you're that half-human one!"
Spock raised an eyebrow at the human epithet. "Yes," he said wearily (well, it sounded weary, maybe it was still just toneless and emotionally vacant). "I am."
Jim could only stare for a minute. It had happened a few years before he was born, but the fallout had been long-lived and epic: a pregnant human had gone into a state hospital and given birth to a baby with pointy ears and greenish skin. The Vulcans had been stoically outraged and tried to keep it quiet, but the human underground press had gotten hold of the story and the whole planet had quickly found out about Amanda Grayson, that chick who'd banged a Vulcan. And then the paternity tests had revealed the father to be Under-councillor Sarek.
Once all of Earth knew that S'Chn T'Gai Spock existed, the Vulcans couldn't get rid of him, and so they'd been stuck trying to figure out what to do with the bastard offspring of a high-ranking Vulcan and one of those stupid fucking humans. They'd tried to raise him Vulcan while keeping him on Earth, sending him to a nice Vulcan school and finding him a bondmate and all that jazz, but found him too 'emotionally volatile' to do anything with. And he couldn't fit in with the humans either, because they thought he looked and acted like a Vulcan.
Jim was a little starstruck to be sharing a cell with someone who was so universally known and disliked just for existing.
"What are you in for?" he asked, trying to keep the awe out of his voice.
Spock looked away, flushing slightly green. "I turned down acceptance to the Science Academy."
"That's punishable by law now?"
Spock fidgeted. "Upon leaving the hearing where I refused the offer of admission, I was drawn into a physical altercation with a Vulcan."
"And they had no idea what to do with you anymore, so they threw you in here," Jim finished.
Spock nodded, staring at the opposite wall.
Jim studied him for a while in silence, taking in his sculpted, angular face and long, lean frame and trying to pick out any indication that he was half-human. His nose seemed to be a little less severe than was the norm for Vulcans, his eyebrows maybe a little fuller. His eyes, when he glanced at Jim (and then looked away again) were a soft brown where most Vulcans' irises were nearly black. The eyes, Jim mused, had to be the biggest difference.
He thought, briefly, that maybe this overcrowding thing was all a ruse and Spock was some kind of spy sent by the Vulcans to figure out what made Jim tick (before they just gave up, cut him open and looked). But that was unquestionably the celebrated pariah of Earth sitting five feet away on the other cot, and Jim just couldn't give Vulcans credit for being that devious when they thought they could glare-without-glaring at him instead until he cracked. So he threw caution to the wind, got up from his bed, and went to join Spock on his.
"Hi there," he said as he dropped himself onto the bed with a shriek from the shitty springs. Spock turned to give him a vaguely affronted look before ignoring him once more. Jim grinned.
"So," he said in a low voice, "I'm getting the fuck off this planet and never looking back. Want to come with me?"
That got Spock's attention. "I beg your pardon?"
Jim stretched out his legs and crossed his ankles, getting comfortable. "Keep your voice down. Look, I've been in and out of here so many times that there's talk of a cell with my nameplate on the door. I've got a hearing in two days in front of the High Council and I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting off this time. Most likely they're going to just cut the fun centres out of my brain and be done with it."
"That is not precisely how Readjustment func--"
Jim cut him off. "Well, I'm not letting them into my head to make me into something between a Vulcan and a vegetable. It's not happening. So to avoid that, I'm going to break out of here, steal a spaceship, and go like a bat out of hell for parts unknown. I hear Romulus is nice this time of year."
"I see," was all Spock would say for a while. Eventually though, he followed that up. "And why do you suppose that I would wish to accompany you in this ill-conceived escape?"
Jim shifted to look at him seriously. "What else are you going to do? Stay here?"
Spock looked away.
"Be logical about this," Jim said, trying to inject sympathy into his voice. Hey, it wasn't like he wasn't a little scared, too. "You've burnt your bridges with the Vulcans by turning down the Science Academy. The humans don't want you either. You've been thrown into a detention facility for humans, with me. You think things are gonna get better for you? They won't. They're probably pencilling you in for Readjustment, too."
Spock's silence became cold and faintly hostile. Jim studied him another minute and then got up to go back to his own cot.
After dinner (mashed potatoes, quinoa and pak larr, and the first thing Jim was going to do when he got off this rock was eat something that used to have a heartbeat), Spock approached him.
"I will require details of your... plan, before coming to a decision," he said.
Jim bit back a huge smile; smiles tended to make Vulcans twitchy and right now, for once, he wanted to charm one. He patted the bed beside him and watched with no small amount of glee as Spock sat down, although his body language screamed that he wasn't doing it because he thought he had a choice in the matter.
"All right," Jim said, turning to face him and propping up his tiny pillow between his back and the wall. "Now, this plan's been a long time in the making. I've been thinking about this for a few years now and every time I'm in here, I soften up the guards a little more. I cooperate, I play a little dumb, I act sassy but keep my head down, I don't cause them problems. So they don't think I'm a flight risk and they won't be expecting this."
"And what is 'this'?"
"We're going to use the element of surprise to bust past them, and when we get out we're going to the V'Shar Spaceport down the road and stealing a ship. And that's all she wrote."
Spock didn't speak for a long time. "There are a staggeringly high number of unknown variables in this so-called plan of yours," he said finally. "In fact, I estimate the chances of its success at less than three percent. That figure applies only to the possibility of breaking out of this building. Factoring in the hijack of a starship from a V'Shar facility renders the odds too low to be acknowledged."
"Well, allow me to increase those odds," Jim said, not remotely bothered by Spock's pessimism. "You have combat training, right? Like nerve pinches? You can do those?"
"Affirmative." Spock looked a little like he was thinking of demonstrating one on Jim.
"Great. That means we don't need to worry about disarming the guards while they're conscious. We're well over a five percent chance of survival already!"
Spock arched an eyebrow at him and Jim grinned.
"And you're Vulcan enough to have telepathy too, right?" At Spock's hesitant nod, he went on. "I know you guys can mind-meld by putting your fingers on someone's face, but I've heard you can kind of make it so that you're melding without physical contact, too. See," he said, noticing that Spock was shifting uncomfortably but not stopping to consider why, "I figure if we can do that, it'll be like having a two-way radio, without the actual radio. Being able to communicate without talking or being near each other sounds like it would be awesome in a fight."
He looked up and Spock was staring openly at him. "What?" he said. "You can't do that? I read that you could."
"You...." Spock trailed off, and Jim was impressed that he'd so quickly reduced a Vulcan to speechlessness. Even with a half-Vulcan, that still had to be an accomplishment. "You wish us to establish a mind link to break out of prison?"
"Is that what it's called? I knew it could happen!" Jim said brightly.
"Jim, mind links are permanent. They are not a matter of convenience. I cannot just... turn it on and off!"
Jim didn't miss the use of his first name, and he could also tell that Spock was getting close to outrage. Time to push, or back off? Well, he wasn't much for backing off. "How do you know you can't?" he asked. "Have you ever tried?"
"No!" And that was quite a display of emotion. "I have never had this link you speak of, because I have never been married!"
Jim paused to absorb that. "Oh," he said. "It's that kind of link." That explained at least a couple of the books he'd read on the subject, anyway. Then he thought of something. "Hey, don't you have a bondmate, though?"
"It is comforting to know that all of Earth is aware of my personal affairs. Yes, I did have one."
Past tense. Jim thought maybe that was a button best pushed some other time. "So you had a mind link, right?"
"It was a fledgling one, established as children."
"Could you think at each other, though? If you were, like, in the same area?"
Spock gave him a suspicious look, but nodded.
"See, that's fine. That's all we need. Can we do that? And like, ignore it after, or break it?"
Spock looked like he was considering it. "The bond does not become stronger until consummation of marriage," he said almost to himself. "I suppose it is theoretically possible."
"I do have one concern," Jim said, interrupting the gears that were clearly turning in Spock's head.
"So you do occasionally stop to consider consequences. Fascinating."
Jim graciously ignored that. "Can you hear all of my thoughts if we have this link?"
"Being human and therefore psi-null, you cannot shield yourself from me, but rest assured that I have no wish to know your thoughts and therefore will not feel inclined to pry."
"Good enough for me. Let's do this."
"Strike while the iron is hot, Spock. Do you want to spend another night in here?"
Spock recognized it as a rhetorical question and leaned forward on the bed, stretching his hand out toward Jim's face. "Take a deep breath," he said.
Spock knocked out both the guards by nerve-pinching them at the same time, which Jim couldn't help but think was badass. Arming themselves with the guards' phasers, they moved quickly through the halls (empty, because Jim had also figured out the patrol routes and low-traffic times during his many overnight stays) in almost total silence, whispering 'all clear' messages and quick warnings through the mind link.
Which was even more awesome than Jim had imagined. If he were Vulcan (perish the thought), he was pretty sure he would use this all the time.
The link proved itself to be even better when they ran across a handful of prison staff--some human, some Vulcan--and only managed to stun half with their stolen phasers before a firefight erupted. Spock was the perfect backup in a fight, and Jim thought he wasn't doing half-bad himself; they were reading each others' minds after all, and that wasn't even an exaggeration.
Door, Jim thought at him once they'd managed to knock out the whole group and move on, stopping only to pilfer an ID card for the magnetic locks. The group they'd just found had probably managed to raise the alarm, and they'd have to move fast to get out.
The ID card made it easy to get out of the building, and they even managed to make it to the gate before someone activated the lockdown sequence. They leaped through the gate a Vulcan heartbeat before the forcefields around the prison sizzled back into place.
"Think they're mad?" Jim asked with a grin as he checked the charge on his phaser.
"I believe they will not be pleased if they catch us. The spaceport is this way," Spock said, moving off in that direction at a brisk, ground-eating jog. Jim caught up quickly and they ran the rest of the way. They drew stares from passersby on the busy road but made it all the way to the forcefields surrounding the spaceport without being stopped or shouted at.
"Have you given any thought to how we are to gain entry without authorization?" Spock asked, looking up the wall. It was twenty feet high, glowed a translucent blue and hummed at a level barely audible even to Vulcans. The vibrations tended to make humans feel like their skin was crawling, which also made a good deterrent for would-be intruders.
"You bet. Give me your phaser," Jim said, snatching it up when it was offered and moving quickly along the fence until he found a locked access panel in one of the conducting posts. Spock followed to watch him with interest; first he obliterated the lock with a close-range shot on the highest setting. Then he nudged the panel open with the tip of the phaser (the poles were extremely conductive themselves), frowned at the guts of it for a moment, and promptly started dismantling Spock's phaser.
"What are you doing?" Spock asked, looking like he was about to remind Jim whose weapon was being made useless.
"Just watch and learn from the master." Jim had half the casing pulled off the gun and was digging his fingers around in its guts, ripping out the nuclear battery, the processor chip, and a handful of wires. After a second of consideration, he also removed the beam-setting switch. Tossing the dismantled mess of phaser back at Spock, he then set to work wiring the bits together, building a clever little device he'd been sketching on bar napkins for quite a while.
"All right," he said, attaching it inside the panel. "Here goes nothing." He paused to look back at Spock. "If this works, I don't know how long it will, so we'll have to move quickly, got it?"
Spock regarded him coolly. He clearly didn't think anything was going to happen. Well, they'd see about that.
They really would see, because Jim was only hoping that it was going to work like he'd planned. He took a deep breath and flicked the switch on his electrical bridge.
The wall started humming at a frequency Jim could hear, and heat radiated off the panel; he stepped back, watching carefully. Without warning, a shower of sparks suddenly sprayed out from the circuitry, and the whole forcefield shut down with a discharge of energy that left a strong odour of ozone in the air. Allowing himself a cackle of joy, Jim grabbed a handful of Spock's shirt and hauled him quickly to the other side of the fence. As he'd suspected, a few seconds later a secondary connection kicked in and the forcefields snapped back up again. They skidded to a stop and whirled around, Jim's hand still fisted in Spock's shirt as they stared up at the once again impenetrable barrier.
"Admit it," said Jim, "you're kind of impressed."
"Perhaps slightly," Spock agreed, which kind of impressed Jim right back.
"It would be prudent to move; security will most likely be sent to investigate the outage." And they would be heavily armed, Jim heard Spock's thoughts continue. "Did you have a particular ship in mind?"
"A big one," Jim said as they slipped into the shadows, making their way around the back of a building to the large landing pad where the shuttles and small- to mid-size ships sat, waiting to be boarded. "Maybe one of the larger Shariel-class fighters."
A foreign feeling of shock coursed through his mind and Jim laughed quietly as they crouched behind a pallet of cargo crates to look around. "You thought we were just gonna take a long-range shuttle or something, didn't you?"
"There are only two of us, Jim. It is illogical to steal a ship so large. Most Shariel-class ships require a minimum crew of five."
"Exactly," Jim said. "It's illogical." He glanced over at Spock. "They're going to figure out there's only two of us, and they're going to guard the smaller ships first. We can steal a Shariel fighter and be on an escape trajectory before they figure out what's going on. The best way to outsmart a Vulcan, Spock, is to do something crazy."
"I find your argument impossible to refute at this time."
"See, it works." Jim scanned the ships visible from their position and spotted a perfect candidate, situated less than two hundred metres away. "There," he said, patting Spock's arm and pointing discreetly. "Eleven o'clock. That's the one, the Arev."
"I am simply going to trust that you know how to fly it, in the unlikely event we survive long enough to make that attempt."
"I've done my research," Jim said, shifting his weight to the balls of his feet and double-checking the charge on his phaser. "The computer systems can practically run the thing for us, anyway. Besides, I've got a Vulcan-speaker handy in case we need to read the manual." He did a quick scan of the surrounding area. "Okay, it's go time. I brought you this far, so try not to die on me in the homestretch, deal?"
He didn't give Spock time to retort before he was off, feeling the frustrated tug at his mind as Spock was left with no choice but to follow. Jim caught a glimpse of V'Shar security forces in his dead run for the ramp of the Arev but as he'd guessed, they were gathered thickly around the small shuttles at the far end of the pad, only beginning to establish a search pattern. He heard a shout just as he hit the metal incline and hung back to cover Spock's entry into the ship, surreptitiously setting his phaser to kill and trying not to think about doing it, in case Spock noticed. It was too much to hope that Spock would be okay with killing Vulcans even in self-defence (and maybe that was something Jim liked a lot about him).
It was barely thirty seconds before Spock was pushing urgently at his mind, clearly wondering why he was still on the ramp.
"Okay," Jim muttered unnecessarily, and ran up the ramp himself as the first shots were fired through the air where he'd just been standing. The ramp closed up right on his heels, pulses of energy striking it with hisses and leaving light scorch marks. Jim spared a thankful pat to the thick, battle-ready hull before running up the tight corridors to the bridge. Spock was already there, fumbling his way through the startup sequences.
"No time for that shit," Jim said, batting his hands out of the way and bypassing several safety checks as the launch thrusters roared to life. "I'll risk turning into a fireball over being captured or shot to death."
Spock backed off, not saying a word, but then suddenly reached out and grabbed the bare skin of Jim's wrist. Jim tensed and tugged back instinctively, his eyes widening at the contact, but then he realized Spock was focusing his thoughts, trying to learn the ship from him, and so he relaxed and got back to work. Spock followed his lead, typing with one hand and holding onto Jim with the other, and with a few mental nudges in the right direction (mixed, Jim admitted, with a few important translations going the other way) managed to engage the launch sequence while Jim warmed up the weapons array. A smile tugged at Jim's lips as the fighter lifted off the ground; they made a better team than he ever could have prayed they would.
"Jim, there is a communication coming through," Spock said.
"I think they want to say goodbye. That's sweet, but I'll pass." Jim bounded over to another console, leaving Spock to the helm for a moment. "Weapons hot and targeting system engaged. Not that they'll lay a finger on us till we break orbit, in case we fire on the ground."
"There are probably a number of Suurok-class vessels in or near spacedock which could pose a serious threat," Spock said.
"Well," Jim said, "I'm pretty sure this tin can will push warp eight with a little encouragement, so they'll have to catch us first. Speaking of which, I think we should be breaking through the mesosphere shortly and approaching escape velocity."
"Affirmative," Spock said, after blinking at the helm console for a moment and poking at a few buttons. "How are you so well acquainted with the specifications and operation of this vessel?"
"I read some books on them," Jim said, distracted by a gauge on the tactical console and trying to remember what that reading should mean.
"You did not learn to pilot a warp-capable starship from a book."
"Yes, I did. You know I'm telling the truth, too."
Annoyance filtered through to Jim's mind. All Spock said was, "At the present rate of acceleration, it will be approximately twenty-three seconds until we are at a safe distance to activate the warp drive."
"When we're ready, punch it. It's the big, shiny lever on your left," Jim said. An alarm went off on the tactical console; it looked like a ship docked in the outer atmosphere was arming its weapons. Jim discreetly crossed his fingers and braced himself against the console, expecting to feel the lurch of either attaining warp speed or being hit by photon torpedoes any second. He tried to stay calm, watching carefully as Spock read the helm display.
Jim clung one-handed to the edge of his console with fierce joy as Spock engaged the warp drive and the twin nacelles kicked in, turning the stars on the viewscreen into meteor-streaks and leaving Earth far behind in a tiny wink of light. As soon as the inertial dampeners compensated enough that he could stand upright again, he crossed the bridge in two long strides and let out a whoop at the reading on the helm display.
"Warp 7.5!" he shouted. "Take that, Vulcan Empire!" Elation sang through his veins; he was giddy with freedom after over twenty years of trying to get to this moment. When a creeping feeling of cautious happiness started leaking through his weak mental link with Spock, it was more good feelings than he could take.
"C'mere," he said, grabbing Spock's head with both hands and yanking him forward into an enthusiastic kiss. He nearly laughed right into Spock's mouth, because if hand-to-wrist skin contact had seemed to strengthen their connection, kissing amplified it until he could feel Spock's shock and confusion in surround sound. He kept his mirth inside his head, knowing Spock would hear it anyway as Jim licked his way past his warm lips and into his mouth.
At first Spock was as awkwardly unresponsive as Jim had always thought a Vulcan would be in this situation, but Jim teased and nipped and tried a few special tricks, the leftover adrenaline egging him on. He barely felt the warning surge of heat through their mind connection before Spock snapped, digging his fingers into Jim's biceps, shoving Jim's hips back into the helm console and his tongue into Jim's mouth. Jim moaned loudly in encouragement and buried his fingers in Spock's hair as he surrendered some control; Spock took it greedily, his hands pushing up under Jim's shirt to map out his skin as hot, possessive tendrils of desire curled into Jim's thoughts.
Jim's lungs were beginning to burn from neglect by the time they broke apart, gasping for air. Spock staggered back a few inches, pulling away from Jim's grip as his own hands dropped to his sides. They stared helplessly at each other through half-lidded eyes and Jim privately catalogued the image of a debauched Spock: his hair messed up from its smooth, orderly, Vulcan style, his clothes rumpled, his chest heaving, his kiss-swollen lips as green as his cheekbones and his pupils dilated until his eyes looked more Vulcan than human. Jim smiled, slowly and with satisfaction, and Spock suddenly straightened, pulling himself together into some semblance of dignity again.
"What was the purpose of... that?" Spock asked tightly.
Jim smirked. "Hey, half the reason I brought you along was because you're pretty."
Speechlessness, Jim thought, looked damn good on a Vulcan. He was going to make a regular goal of achieving it.
"So," he said loudly, strolling over to the navigation console, "the computer's got us mostly under control for the moment, but there's a Ferengi outpost about two weeks away at this speed. I'm taking us there."
"To what end?"
"We're gonna trade this feisty little number in for something small, zippy and less traceable. Why do you think I picked such a big one?" he grinned. "We need as high a trade-in value as possible, if we want our new pride and joy to be somewhere above the level of 'fixer-upper'."
"I cannot help but note your extensive use of the first-person plural in your plans," said Spock, coming to watch over his shoulder as Jim laid in their course for the computer to follow.
"What, you want me to leave you with the Ferengi?" Jim asked. "Where were you planning to go?"
Spock's end of the link was quiet, Jim noticed, and he thought maybe he was shielding himself as he answered. "I had not expected this alliance to continue past our staggeringly unlikely escape from Earth and the Vulcan sphere of influence," he said, looking at the viewscreen as if something interesting could possibly be happening there at 420 times the speed of light. "My plans, I admit, are not concrete."
Jim's heart gave a little involuntary lurch and he was glad Spock was keeping their emotions separated just then. "And I thought you were supposed to be logical," he said, covering for his weak moment. "What good's an awesome mind link if you're not there to use it?"
"You said you wished to terminate or 'ignore' it when its use in our escape was concluded," Spock pointed out.
"Yes, well, or we could, you know, not do that." Jim winked. "I remember you saying something about consummation."
Spock considered him for a while and Jim could tell that he was recalling that kiss just as clearly as Jim himself was. "Our acquaintance," he said, "has been too brief to discuss that type of commitment."
Yet, Jim added mentally, because Spock may as well have said it.
"What is it you wish to do, Jim? Do you really desire to join the Romulans?"
Jim snorted. "Why would I want to tie myself down to another empire of pointy-eared crazy people?" he demanded. "We've got all of space to live in!" He paused. "The only thing I'd go see the Romulans about would be to frame Vulcan for something that would make them want to go to war."
"Why would you do that?"
"Because," Jim said, "distracting the Vulcans with a war against their mortal enemies would be Earth's best shot at getting out from underneath their control."
Spock was silent.
"Why did you come, Spock?" he asked, his voice unintentionally soft. "You could have stayed, kept on doing what you were doing. Kept your head down, picked a team, taken Readjustment, the Kolinahr, whatever."
Spock locked eyes with Jim. Neither of them moved but the distance between them still shrank to nothing as their nascent connection pulled their minds together, leaving them circling helplessly in its orbit.
"I came with you because in space, I need be neither human nor Vulcan," he said quietly. "I can simply be Spock."