“This session has been called to resolve a troubling matter.”
Please don’t let this be about the Kobyashi Maru. Please don’t let this-
“James T. Kirk, step forward.” Bones felt himself tense up as Admiral Richard Barnett called Jim forward. Jim sat next to him seemingly undisturbed, Bones knew Jim was nervous, but he would never let it show. Jim rose from his seat and exited the aisle they were sitting in, making his way down the steps in dead silence.
“Cadet Kirk, evidence has been submitted to this council...” Barnett began as Jim settled himself at one of the podiums before the council. “Suggesting that you violated the ethical code of conduct pursuant to Regulation 17.43 of the Dragon Fleet code. Is there anything you care to say before we begin, sir?”
“Leonard what’s happening why are you so tense?” Kyra asked worriedly, she was waiting outside with Aegeus and the rest of the dragons seeing as the hall the cadets were in wasn’t built to allow dragons to sit in on the assembly. Bones brushed her away in his mind; he needed to focus on the questioning or rather interrogation of Jim.
“Yes, I believe I have the right to face my accuser directly.” Jim responded. Bones watched as the Admiral looked at a row in the hall. The Vulcan Spock stood up adjusting his uniform as he did.
That green blood hobgoblin son of a bitch! Bones swore internally. Jim was screwed six ways from Sunday if the Vulcan was the one who has brought this up. The Vulcan was a walking Dragon Fleet codebook and an instructor to boot. The Admiral motioned him forward and Spock made his way down to the podium besides Jim.
“This is Commander Spock, He is one of out most distinguished graduates.”
And a know it all bastard Bones added spitefully.
“He’s programmed the Kobayashi Maru Exam for the last four years.”
Bones almost groaned aloud when the admiral finished introducing Spock. Jim was as good as dead or worse he was going to be expelled from the Academy. But Jim wasn't looking at the admiral, he was looking a Spock, almost as if he assessing him.
“Cadet Kirk,” Spock began. “You somehow managed to install and activate a subroutine in the programming code, thereby changing the conditions of the test. “
“Your point being?” Was all that Jim replied.
Bones suddenly remembers the night before the test. Jim had come home late that night grinning like a mad man, his hair messed up and sweat drying on his skin.
“Gym?” Bones had asked noting the disheveled look.
“Yeah something like that, had to help move some stuff in the testing storage room. You know those big hologram projectors they use for simulations.” And before Bones had a chance to respond Jim disappeared towards the bathroom to take a shower. Bones thought nothing of it till this very moment.
“Idiot.” Bones growled to himself earning him a look from a kid beside him.
“In academic vernacular, you cheated.” The admiral responded to Jim. This got the crowd of cadets to start murmuring and shifting in their seats uneasily. Cheating was one the biggest offensives in the fleet and it didn’t go unpunished.
Jim scoffed “Let me ask you something I think we all know the answer to. The test itself is a cheat, isn’t it?” Jim turned to Spock as he spoke. “I mean you programmed it to be unwinable.”
“Your argument precludes the possibility of a no-win scenario.” Spock replied looking away from Jim and back at the Admirals.
“I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.” Jim retorted.
“Then not only did you violate the rules, you also failed to understand the principal lesson.”
“Please, enlighten me.” Jim shot back And there it is Bones thought Sarcasm levels only Jim could reach.
“You of all people should know, Cadet Kirk, a captain cannot cheat death.”
Bones tightened his hands on the armrest. That was a low blow even for a Vulcan. A murmur rippled through the crowd. Bones heard Aegeus rumble, his voice coming through Bones mind like a thunder clap. Kyra let out a low hiss her anger shooting across the link.
“I of all people.” Jim responded looking down at his hands on the podium obviously trying not to show his anger.
“Your father, Lieutenant George Kirk, assumed command of his fleet before being killed in action did he not?”
“I don’t think you like the fact that I beat your test.”
“Further more,” Spock continued, “You have failed to divine the purpose of the test.”
“Enlighten me again.” Jim all but snapped glaring at Spock.
“The purpose is to experience fear, fear in the face of certain death. To accept that fear, and maintain control of oneself and ones fleet.” Jim looked away and took a deep breath. “This is a quality expected in every Dragonfleet captain. “ Spock finished. Bones was about ready to leap up to defend him, but suddenly a messenger walked in from behind the council.
“Excuse me sir.” The man said handing Admiral Barnett a PADD. Barnett quickly scanned it and looked up to the cadets.
“We’ve received a distress call from Vulcan.” The cadets began to speak all at once. “With our primary fleets engaged in the Laurentain Sea,” The Admiral continued over the noise. “I hereby order all cadets to report to Hangar One immediately. Dismissed.” And with that he rose and left the hall with the other council members.
Jim shot one final look at Spock as the Cadets filed out. He felt Bones at his elbow and without turning to him spoke.
“Who was that pointy-eared bastard?”
“I don’t know, but I like him.” Bones replied before walking out with the rest of the Cadets. Jim stared after Bones in shock. He liked him? Liked the Vulcan? Bones the man who could barely handle him liked the Vulcan? Jim briefly wondered if someone had replaced Bones with a clone before following him to their dragons.