Author: sylar aka iam_spock
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot - Mirror Verse
Word count: 1000+
Notes: How they do the Kobayashi Maru in the Mirror verse.
The Test Was a Test
The lights were dimmed in the control room. Back lit switches, panels and computer monitors offering the only light. Spock had his hands folded behind his back. It kept him from tugging at the high collar of his black instructor’s uniform, and it also helped to avoid physical contact with any one who might get too close. Spock disliked touching people. It made it too easy to peer into their minds, and that was something he preferred not to engage in unless necessary. The minds of humans were filled with violence, lust and a pervasive level of paranoia. The idea of melding with one disgusted him. He might be half human, but he could never understand how his father could stand linking with his mother. And Spock loved his mother.
He stepped close to the window overlooking the mock starship bridge. Cadets were manning the stations. They were young, inexperienced, and nervous. The Kobayashi Maru was an optional test for Science and Support students at the Academy. It was required for Command cadets. To date not a single one had found a way to survive the scenario he had devised. Spock was proud of it. He had created the perfect no win simulation. Each cadet that took the test was sworn to secrecy. Spock was quite certain that some of them discussed what happened. It would be impossible to stop them, but if they were discovered, they were made to suffer for revealing the details of the test. It was cheating, and the Empire did not like cheaters.
Spock nodded once, letting his team know that it was time to begin. The view screen of the mock bridge showed a glittering star field. The “ship” was traveling at warp 3 on a routine mission to secure a colony on Lorentus V that had rebelled against the Empire. He could see the anxious expressions on the security officer’s faces. They were looking forward to landing on the planet and tearing through the rebels with their phasers blasting. He wouldn’t be surprised if they were fantasizing about the mayhem they would soon be causing.
The cadet in the captain’s seat was apprehensive. Spock could see her knuckles whitening when she gripped the arms of the chair, and her upper lip was sweating. He doubted that she’d make it far in Starfleet with this sort of reaction to a simulation. She was high strung and nervous. He jotted down his thoughts on Cadet Sanders’ body language into her record on his PADD. He was disappointed. He’d never admit it, but he wanted one of them to pass the test—or to at least do something different—but they never did.
Sanders nearly jumped out of the seat when the alert clarions sounded. The sound impossibly loud, made Spock close his eyes for a second, which was as close to a wince as he would allow himself. Inside the simulator he knew the sound was twice as loud as it was on a real starship. It was yet another means to disorient and confuse the cadets. Culling the weak from the pack as it were, a practice that Spock agreed with of course as it was the most logical means to having a strong fleet.
“We are receiving a distress call from the Kobayashi Maru,” the communications officer stated. Spock and the other instructors waited to see if any of them asked for library data on the distressed ship. They are surrounded by Klingons.”
“Where are they and what are they?” Sanders asked after a full minute. Spock was starting to suspect that they would be forced to end the simulation before it started with her slow reaction. The cadet in the first officer’s position had moved towards the captain’s chair with his hand on the hilt of his dagger. Spock had yet to have an assassination take place during the test, but there was a first time for everything as his mother frequently said.
The cadet at the science station read off the stats on the ship, including crew complement and lastly stated that its cargo was filled with Dilithium crystals. He was nervous. Spock could hear his voice wavering, but he was not as addled as the supposed Captain. “We need that dilithium, captain.”
“Yes, you do,” the instructor standing beside Spock agreed. “Looks like another crew of rejects, Commander.”
“Yes, it does.” Spock narrowed his eyes, taking a half step forward to watch the disaster he had caused play out. “Perhaps the next crew will do better.”
“It would be hard for them to do worse.”
The red alert claxon was still blaring as Sanders ordered her ship into the Neutral Zone. “We need to save those people.”
That set off a red flag. This time Spock could not hide the look of shock on his face. He marked down a dozen demerits for Sanders. Saving the crew was not the objective of the test. It never had been.
“Do you want to end it, Spock?”
“No, let them fail,” he told the simulation crew. “Let them see what it is like to die.”
When the smoke cleared, Spock walked onto the bridge. Cadets were sprawled across the consoles and the carpeted floor. The Captain was bent over in the command chair, rubbing her face. Spock knew that she was attempting to hide her tears.
“You failed, Cadet Sanders.”
“Yes sir,” she snapped to her feet and saluted the Vulcan. “I am sorry, sir.”
“Your apologies are meaningless, Sanders. You failed because you missed the point of the test. Do you know what that is?”
“No, sir.” Spock wasn’t surprised. None of them ever gave an answer that passed.
“You failed because you were more concerned about the crew of the Kobayashi Maru than you were the cargo she carried and the preservation of your own crew. You received fifty demerits to your record. You are reduced half a step in rank.” Sanders didn’t object. She knew that it would be worse if she did. Instead she nodded and left the simulator.
In the control room, Spock returned to his station while the simulator was reset and the area cleared. Calling up the names of the next crew, he noted that James T. Kirk would be the acting captain. He had heard of Kirk. It would be interesting to see what he did.