Title: The Return of Vulcan
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Disclaimer: Not mine, only my plot bunny.
Summary: Set in Mirror!verse. A tale of the Vulcan Spock and his purpose in Starfleet.
Once the Empire infiltrates and conquers Vulcan, the second precious thing the Terrans take from the people, after their freedom, is the Vulcan salutation “Live long and prosper.” It becomes forbidden, even between Vulcans—though in their hearts (and minds) they quietly greet one another this way. Their race lives by the mercy of the Terran whim. There are no ambassadors or delegates, no representation for Vulcan and little rights granted. The Vulcan Science Academy restructures its purpose—teems with scientists and engineers who adapt and improve space warfare. Those unlucky enough to not test into the Academy become soldiers in Starfleet, few given rank higher than Lieutenant, and casually wasted as the Empire seeks to expands its hold on the galaxy.
Terrans do not trust these Vulcans—people with telepathic capacity (mind-control) and long life. So Vulcans are brought to their knees, ordered to bow their heads and be One with the Empire.
And yet, there is one thing that the Empire desires from them. Such a small, vital thing…
The Vulcan Sarek is selected to bond with a Human female. Of their union, the Terrans desire a hybrid—a half-human with superior physical and mental capabilities, a prototype to be studied, manipulated and refined. If the half-Vulcan, half-human creature can be trained successfully, used for the greater good of the Empire, then a new breed of warrior can emerge—faster, smarter, more ruthless. The Terran Empire will dominate, the eternal Rome.
Sarek and Amanda seem compliant with the experiment; there is no choice or reward. The process is tedious, sees much failure and wasted expense (and hope). Finally, as an embryo develops in a test tube, the Empire nods its greedy head with yes, this will do. When the fetus is implanted into Amanda Grayson, they treat her with vigilant care, salivate over the (budding) potential. What happens, however, they do not expect; the protégé hybrid slips from their grasp.
In the last months of the pregnancy (incubation), Sarek and Amanda submit, prevaricate, and disappear. For three and a half decades, the traitors elude the Empire that searches fiercely for their stolen property. Finally, the small family is discovered on a backwater planet, hot like Vulcan but so wet that the foliage never stops dripping. They are betrayed by Sarek’s only Vulcan confidante—the matriarch of his clan, T’Pau. This wise, aging Vulcan tells Sarek, on the night before his home is raided, that his son, named Spock, is their race’s last hope. Spock must experience to learn, to regain what was lost.
So it is that Spock—raised in proper Vulcan tradition and steeped in the human love of his mother—falls into the hands of the Terran Empire. He watches the execution of his mother and father for treason and never once flinches. He wears his Vulcan mask and quells the weeping of his human heart.
He is tested, probed, and remorselessly tortured for two years until the Empire is satisfied with his obedience. Then Spock is drafted into Starfleet on a double track, science and command, where he excels and rises to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. He receives commission on the Enterprise under the captaincy of the watchful Pike and stoically performs an admirable job of science officer, all the while aware of the eyes on his back and side-stepping phaser blasts and sharp blades. Then old Pike is mysteriously assassinated and replaced by the rising star Kirk. When the new Captain performs a quick and merciless purging of the Enterprise crew, Spock stands on trial.
“The ever-famous half-breed, Mr. Spock!” Kirk grins his shark’s smile and makes a slow turn around the Vulcan. “Tell me, Spock, are you a dutiful officer, or shall I save us both trouble down the line and cut your throat now?”
Spock never unlocks from Kirk’s gaze as he says flatly, without pandering, “Captain, I am Science Officer of the Enterprise, at the behest of the Empire.”
There is a mirthless quirk to the corner of Kirk’s mouth. “Science Officer, Commander Spock… and my new First Officer.” Spock raises an eyebrow at this statement, makes no comment (or thanks). Kirk snaps to Security, “Release him.”
Spock does not attempt to understand the (mad) captain’s thinking. His fascination for Terran behavior has long since been replaced with a cold burning that remains unnamed. When he does study their behavior, it is with more calculated purpose than strictly necessary (or permitted to a Vulcan).
Years pass, a time in which he does his duty as required: keeps the Enterprise functional and responsive to orders, oversees executions and torture, steals thoughts and makes calculations for death and destruction. He does all with hard Vulcan reserve and never with need of a second command from Kirk, who often watches him through narrowed, assessing eyes. Spock shows no weakness or pride.
Kirk remarks to his First Officer, after a profitable mission (and another race enslaved), “You have honor, Spock. I’m not sure if I like that.” Kirk warns him. “Keep your place, Vulcan, and I may overlook it.”
The ISS Enterprise terrorizes half the known galaxy in a span of a few short years under Kirk’s rule. Then the catalyst comes that sets a long-held, quietly nurtured plan into motion: the parallel universe incident.
Spock meets a man—a Kirk—who is just as proud as his Captain and as honorable as the other is ruthless. It gives him pause through the few days in which the counter-crew act in odd ways that catch his attention. By the time he draws conclusions on the situation, through a meld with the reluctant (strangely docile) Doctor, the alternate others are back on their Enterprise and his Captain returns, fierce and angry as ever.
But now he has a key that he did not before: he knows that on this ship, somewhere, there exists the means to eliminate a man without warning, without contact. He discovers such through Sulu’s statement of bearing witness to the event, insures that Sulu forgets it, and excludes it from his debriefing. There are silent dots to be connected and past events (assassinations) to peruse.
When he locates this device at last, he will recall the tale of T’Pau’s words, and the choice becomes easy. There is a Captain—and an Empire—awaiting the swift, unyielding hand of justice. There is a race who hopes in the recesses of their minds—who never forget their roots in Surak or their traditions, despite the oppression that bears them down. In the emptiness of the Captain’s quarters, Spock will look at his hand, fingers spread in the formal greeting of Vulcan, and visualize an era in which all will “live long and prosper.”
So it shall be.