Title: (Hello) From the Other Side
Author: Saydria Wolfe
Fandom: Star Trek: AOS, Talents AU, and some borrowed characters from SG1 because lazy
Characters: past Spock Prime/Jim Kirk, future Spock/Jim Kirk
Word Count: 4,482
Warning: No beta, canon level violence, bullshit pseudoscience on the part of the author
Author’s Note: So… I’m pretty damn good at telling a decent yarn in like no words? In fact, I would say writing a long fic is way fucking harder for me and NaNo is damn near self torture. I was SO SURE I could tell a decent Talents AU! In under a thousand words. Turns out, I was wrong. This is a Word Count Failure but I’m not actually bummed about it?
Summary: Spock Prime goes through his black hole. On the other side? Talents.
Spock is alone.
His ship is fine. Surrounded by a swirling, green lightning storm in space but in one piece, so, fine.
His body is fine. Creaky joints and more white in his hair than he could have imagined he would live to earn, but, fine.
His mind though is turbulent. He is by far more compromised than even his Time has ever managed but he is not compromised by rage or even desire. He is compromised by loss, by failure. He is alone with it in his mind, aching for his bondmate as he has since the day he lost James Tiberius Kirk. Waiting, hoping for that impossible, illogical solution that will undo a loss that’s already devastatingly complete.
He wants… what he cannot have.
The storm clears and somehow he feels even more alone.
He sets about finding his location. Based upon the configuration of stars and planets that he can scan, he’s on the edge of Klingon space. He dares not linger. If he were captured. If they figured out how to use the Red Matter, especially with its foolishly simple deployment method built to cater to an old man, the survival of the Federation would come into doubt.
He plots a course and sets his ship on its way at warp factor 8.
The ship can go faster but there’s no reason for it and he might need the of it surprise of it later.
He stops a jump away from the Vulcan system to pick up signals, broadcast feeds. There’s no telling how long he was in the storm that was the product of a black hole. He could have been gone hours, days, years…
That he went back in time, logically, should not be a surprise and yet it is.
He double checks the stardate four times on three different transmissions from three different sources. They all unfortunately agree.
“Unknown Ship, this is Lieutenant Commander T’Pring of the Nine Star League ship Heinlein. You are in violation of access protocols for League-controlled space, please respond.”
He pulls up the visual feed. The woman, obviously a Vulcan woman, does not look much like his first bondmate. She is haughty and impatient as always but the physical resemblance is minimal. Indeed, it is unlikely he would have recognized her without the provision of her name.
This is not his time. Seemingly not, in any way recognizable, his universe. And yet.
“I am Ambassador Spock.” T’Pring visibly blinks and her eyebrows draw down together. “I am returning to Vulcan on the Vulcan Science Academy ship Jellyfish. My mission to save Romulus was a failure.”
The image freezes and he knows she is consulting with someone off screen. He uses the time provided to ruminate.
According to his math, T’Pring should be approximately 35. Her countenance, though altered, appears to bear that out. That means he should be 32, he should be Junior Science Officer under Captain Christopher Pike on the Enterprise. Assuming his life remained constant, when T’Pring’s is obviously so changed.
The T’Pring he knew would never have set foot off of Vulcan muchless onto an obviously militaristic vessel, even, perhaps especially, if the shape of it is very much the UFP standard of central saucer with two nacelles.
And what is this Nine Star League?
The image unfreezes. “Ambassador Spock. You will shut down and lock all systems on your vessel. We will bring you into our landing bay where you will exit your vessel. We will evaluate you for return to Vulcan. Will you comply?”
“I will comply.” He flips several switches and freezes his feed before saying “Security Lockdown Protocol Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Jim Two Two Three Three.”
He reactivates the feed in time for Lieutenant Commander T’Pring to hear the ship say, “Security Lockdown Protocol beginning in three, two, one.”
T’Pring nods to someone off screen.
He doesn’t feel his ship move but he can see the Heinlein growing larger in his forward viewport.
Tractor beams, he concludes, and wonders if they have somehow already encountered and defeated the Borg in this universe as that is the only species he can name with such technology. His ship settles on the deck within the larger ship’s landing bay with nary a bump.
He manually releases the ramp/hatch to see T’Pring herself in uniform with a phaser in hand. With her stand at least one Betazoid and two humans, several of them people he recognizes in a rather distant way.
A far cry from the xenophobic girl he once knew.
Nothing for it. He holds up the ta’al and offers, “Peace and long life.”
While he is now undoubtedly in a universe not his own, from space Vulcan looks the same as it always has and that is a comfort.
His mother, however, is almost unrecognizable. He knows instinctively who she is. Sight and smell register in his hindbrain in a way he cannot articulate to leave him certain of her identity, but she is younger than he can remember ever seeing her and there is a telepathic weight to her that her mind did not have in his universe.
His father, by comparison, is diminished. He looks exactly as Spock remembers. Stern and foreboding, the perfect Vulcan, but the strength of his mind is not the impenetrable bulwark it was.
No, the family shield is now his slight, oh so very human T-5 wife.
That is the way of things in this world where less than half of humanity is psi-null. Where Primes and lesser telekinetics allowed humanity to find Vulcan rather than the reverse of his world. Where they discovered Betazed even before Vulan, further inverting the timeline he once knew.
A telekinetic in the Tower on a moon of one of the outer planets of the Vulcan system sets the Heinlein in its lunar cradle above Vulcan. That same Tower sets their half-full twenty person landing capsule on the surface of Vulcan.
As he watches, she sets a second capsule in the cradle before him. The lettering on the side marks it as belonging to the USS Defiant.
A ladder is rolled over, the capsule opens and the first person out is Captain Christopher Pike. Immediately at his back is the young man he knows from their mother’s photos, this universe’s Spock. Seemingly Captain Pike’s First Office and yet still wearing Science Blues.
A third capsule settles not far from them. Certainly much closer than a shuttlecraft pilot would dare to go to another recently landed ship with pedestrians moving around on the landing pad. This capsule belongs to the USS Enterprise.
The first man to disembark is a surprise. Spock remembers him, vaguely, as a Commander court martialed for something foolish and political while he was still attending Starfleet Academy. Now here he stands Admiral Jonathan O’Neill, Chief of Starfleet Operations and the highest ranking officer in Starfleet.
Behind him comes first Lieutenant Uhura and then the man Spock recalls to at one point have been O’Neill’s husband as well as the woman that was his third spouse and second wife. She is obviously Starfleet based on her Science Blues when in his universe she was firmly an anti-military civilian.
Then comes Jonathan Archer, the man Spock had actually expected to be first off the ship’s landing capsule. Only he’s clearly a civilian here with no uniform in sight, wearing layers expensive suit and tie with a comfort that says the dress is not new to him but also a bare trace of tension that speaks to his desire otherwise. He’s walking with a cane and an exaggerated limp. Something in his smile seems smooth, practiced.
Spock swallows in horror, the human has become a politician!
On T’Pring’s signal, they head inside to commence introductions.
Lieutenant Commander Samentha Carter is Starfleet’s leading expert on wormhole physics and the only human yet to not only pass the Exam but to attend and graduate from the VSA. Lieutenant Uhura is actually Carter’s protege. She still has her aptitude for languages but she has deliberately chosen to “expand her genius”.
It is fascinating. Truly fascinating.
And then Jim walks in. Well, Jayms or Jem in this universe. He is at the right hand of Commodore T’Pol, her First Officer. Wearing Engineering Reds.
The mating pheromones he and this universe’s Spock release into the air at their first sight of each other are powerful enough that all of the Vulcans immediately flush a brilliant green. Jem has the grace to bite his lip and look away to hide his smug grin. To his own personal satisfaction, his not quite younger self just meets every eye in the room boldly without backing down.
Distantly Spock notices his counterpart registering who he truly is and raising an eyebrow in question but Spock has bigger fish to fry.
“You are a Prime,” He says in shock, his focus on the pretty blue eyes his own mate did not have.
Jem’s eyes widen in shock and flick over to where Captain Pike and his own commander Commodore T’Pol stand. “I think someone has been overexposed to ‘stinggg-pzzzt‘,” he says almost… desperately?
Without missing a beat, Captain Pike shoves a finger in his ear and jogs the orifice. “I’m sorry, what was that? I didn’t- Did you hear anything, Commodore?”
“I too seem to be experiencing difficulties processing auditory communication, Captain.” She glances off to one side with an almost hopeful flick of her brows. “Dr. McCoy?”
“I’ll be sure to see you in my Infirmary when this meeting is over, ma’am,” The CMO of the Heinlein says with a wry smile. “Track any other occurrences of auditory difficulties for the exam, if you would.”
“Look, kid,” Admiral O’Neill says with a huff. “I get that you’re new around here and all but rule number one is that we don’t out a Talent against their will. As long as they are not a danger to themselves or others -which would out them without your help, by the way- it’s crass as hell and will not win you any friends.”
Ambassador Spock frowns and hesitates to ask but he needs to know. “Is it not wisest for all Talents to be ‘out’? So that the FT&T can help them?”
Several people including Jem laugh in a short and mean way that tells him he is missing something vital.
“Look, FT&T is a business,” The admiral explains. “They do do quite a bit to protect and nurture Talents but they are not actually a governmental agency. Regardless, they have been given a number of rights and powers by the High Council that are frankly beyond reasonable. They have them because Primes are so rare and we’re at war on three fronts. We just finished a resurgence on the fourth and the League is still expanding and colonizing. We need Talents, yes, but sentient rights are also a thing and Starfleet’s policy is Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell until the Courts settle on this issue. So. If there were a Prime commissioned in Starfleet and we were forced to acknowledge due to such a thing as an untimely outburst, said Prime would -by law- be forced to give up their commission, take over the Tower they are assigned without their input, and breed as ordered by the FT&T. So, I’m sure you’ll recall there is no Prime.”
“I’m sure you are correct, Admiral,” He readily agrees, swallowing hard. “My mistake.”
O’Neill grins nice and wide, “And now I just need to keep Danny from finding out he won the bet.” The man frowns and looks over at where the two human women are standing together. “You already told him, didn’t you?”
Carter and Uhura exchange grins but don’t otherwise answer the question.
O’Neill sighs. “Dammit, I wanted to go fishing.” He unbuttons his uniform jacket and takes a seat, gesturing for them all to follow suit. “Alright. Let’s get started.”
They sit around a large conference table. Spock settles in opposite his native counterpart. Jem takes the seat between T’Pol and Spock. An arm leans in and places padds in front of first Jem and then T’Pol.
The man the arm belongs to is, in fact, a Romulan. One born at least 50 years earlier in this reality than Spock’s own. Or perhaps not. Vulcans and Romulans are closely related and it would be entirely possible for this Romulan to be alive and well in the year that Spock first encountered Nero.
In fact if being a miner were his second career, perhaps following an earlier one serving in the Empire’s Armada, that could possibly explain several otherwise confusing things about the Nero he encountered.
“What is the last stardate you remember from your reality?” Is O’Neill’s first question.
“And what was your mission on 2387-255?”
“With permission from the Federation High Council and the cooperation from the Vulcan Science Academy, it was my mission to prevent the supernova of Lupa, the star in the home system of the Romulan Star Empire.”
“How’d that go for you?” O’Neill taps the table in front of him with the butt of his pen.
“I,” He has to pause to take a steadying breath. “I failed.
“The star unexpectedly went critical. Regardless, I attempted to complete my mission and the star was successfully contained but it was too late. Romulus had already been destroyed.”
“That got you here, how?”
“While I was attempting to escape the pull of gravity from the black hole I had created, I was confronted by a troubled Romulan by the name of Nero.” Jem’s aide freezes, “He was a very gifted mining engineer and surprisingly adept in space warfare. He blamed me for the loss of Romulus and specifically for the loss of his pregnant mate. He attacked my ship. He, his ship the Narada, and I were, through the course of our maneuvers, forced into the event horizon of the singularity.”
“Can you describe this Narada for us? What did the Narada look like?”
Spock pulls out his own padd and unrolls it so that it lays flat causing several people to audibly choke.
A few quick gestures and a 3D model of the Narada is rotating in the air above his padd. One more and, “This is my ship the Jellyfish for comparison.”
The size difference is massive. The Jellyfish being about the size of the tip of his smallest finger compared to the Narada being slightly larger than the size of his splayed hand. As expected, almost everyone is staring at his padd in shock.
Well, all the Talents though are staring at Christopher Pike.
“He beat you here,” The man holds up his padd to reveal a nightmare scene. Unmistakably the Narada but with a familiar green lightning storm behind her. “That’s the view from the command deck on the USS Kelvin almost 27 years ago now.”
“What happened?” He asks into the oppressive silence.
“The Kelvin was disabled by the ship we now assume to be the Narada,” O’Neill answers. “An officer aboard the alien vessel ordered Captain Richard Robau to come to his ship where he was soon murdered. The pair of Talents aboard the Kelvin, T-7 George and T-5 Winona Kirk, together threw the Narada away from their vessel. The effort killed them both but saved the Kelvin and over a thousand lives, including the life of their second son.”
A tension thrums through the room. It’s not actually painful, just pressure. Not in a physical location either but somehow still centralized behind his ears.
Dr. McCoy stands from the chair near the wall where he was relegated as a member of the support staff and puts a hand on Jem’s shoulder. Jem shudders and puts a hand on top of Bones’s. The pressure abruptly cuts off.
“They had to pull me from my mother’s body,” Jem says distantly. “I was premature. Three months.” His eyes flick over to the young Romulan standing frozen beside McCoy, behind Jem. “I don’t blame you. It wasn’t your fault.”
The Romulan studies Jem for a moment but in the end nods and goes back to his chair against the wall. Dr. McCoy remains in place.
“Was the Narada destroyed?” Ambassador Spock asks.
“Unlikely,” Commander Carter answers. “We can’t count on the throw breaking the ship. Talents throw ships everyday that aren’t designed for it and the ships do just fine. It’s possible they found their way into a star but the Kirks didn’t aim for one so I wouldn’t count on it.
“What kind of tech are we looking at here?” She presses. “It’s been over 25 years, could the crew have starved? Could it have broken down? It’s not like anyone could sell them replacement parts.”
“The Narada is a mining vessel. It is designed for long trips without opportunities for resupply. It has vast amounts of storage and can make almost everything the crew could need out of what the ship is designed to gather. It is unlikely that they starved or ran out of parts.” He admits on a sigh. “The crew itself is small, less than 30 individuals. I do not have any verified information on those individuals or their skills because ours was not an intentional encounter from my point of view. I know they were very successful miners. The best in the business, I think you would say.”
“So we have to assume they’re out there,” O’Neill concludes. “What would their aims be? Revenge? Against you? Against our Spock? Against Vulcan?”
“I cannot say. I begin cannot guess,” He admits and it feels like failure all over.
First thing the next morning, Spock finds himself standing in an observation room above a centrifuge built to his exact specifications as the orb of Red Matter is carefully, telekinetically lowered in.
After discovering exactly what the Red Matter does, O’Neill ordered its immediate destruction and complete obfuscation from everyone who has heard the term. He felt, and only Carter had looked inclined to argue, that the Red Matter was simply too dangerous to the multiverse for them to even study it.
Thankfully Vulcan High Command had agreed.
The centrifuge begins to spin in its shielded room several levels below to crust of the planet.
“What is it?” Carter finally just asks him.
“At it’s base is an experimental variant of a popular Cardassian neurotoxin. Mixed with liquid lantium and dilithium and Ferengi-processed gold powder. The reaction between the gold and the toxin are what give the Matter its signature red color. There are several other minor chemicals that we likely will not be able to separate from each other. The combination will become catastrophically radioactive once removed from their stabilizing agents. I recommend immediate disposal in the star of an uninhabited system.”
Carter nods, her eyes thoughtfully distant. Then her face sharpens and she frowns at him ever so slightly. “You realize the fact that we haven’t yet discovered either of these races -if, indeed they exist at all- makes it impossible for us to remake your Red Matter.”
“Vulcans cannot lie,” he tells her, thoroughly understanding her implication that he’s full of shit.
She smirks at him and snorts like he just told her a joke.
And perhaps, in a way, he might have. Surely as the first human to successfully graduate the VSA she understands the not lying is in no way the same thing as telling the truth.
She walks off to consult with this universe’s Mr. Scott who was already on planet when they all got here though Spock doesn’t know why.
Instead he turns to Jem, glancing over to his angry Romulan shadow, “May I enquire how this.. Companionable accord came about, Commander Kirk?”
“You mean I didn’t have a personal attack Romulan in your universe?” He asks with a dashing grin. The grin only grows when Nero snorts. “No, I guess I can see how I wouldn’t.
“About five years ago, Sulu and I were meditating, rebuilding my shields after a rough away mission. I heard a voice crying out for help. We went to the Commodore because Starfleet Policy is the help Talents in need regardless of their origin. Long story short, we find what at first glance appeared to be a stranded a Romulan Warbird. Together the two of us beam onboard, saved Chewie over there from being tortured to death, free his crew that were in the brig for rebellion or treason or something stupid because they objected to their mates being basically murdered through scientific testing – Romulus was trying to create their own Talents, you see. With his crew, we captured the ship. Made it back to League Space in one piece with nearly thirteen hundred captured enemy combatants and a top of the line Romulan D’deridex class battle cruiser.
“All 20 of our Romulans went into Starfleet. Officially they’re citizens of Vulcan and the vow Chewie took counts as a ‘bond’ between us so once he graduated League law meant he got to join me on my assignment.”
“As I will until the day I die in your defense,” Nero says solemnly.
Jem rolls his eyes. “Thankfully it’s not a marriage and we don’t have to share quarters. That would totally cramp my style and it would be nice to have some god-Romulans some day.”
The door opens and O’Neill marches in with Jonathan Archer at his heels.
They all turn to look at him and he says, “The Narada has been spotted.” He passes a padd off to Carter.
“He’s coming for Vulcan,” She concludes with a frown.
“He knows I’m here?” Spock the Elder asks.
O’Neill frowns at him. “This isn’t a secret we can keep. Not around this many telepaths hanging around. Not when the geeks are all this excited.”
“There’s been no official briefing and I still overheard several conversations about alternate realities and the multiverse on my way here this morning.” Archer offers. “Who knows if any of this is secret? But this is Vulcan, there’s no way the news has made it off planet without an official briefing. Gossiping is illogical.”
O’Neill’s communicator dings and he pulls it out. “The Heinlein has been destroyed. I need everyone to their duty stations.”
“Sir, respectfully, that would be suicide. We have nothing that can take this,” Carter waves the padd she’s been reviewing.
“We can’t not defend ourselves,” Jem protests.
“The Narada might not have been designed as a warship but it serves admirably.” Carter tells the room.”It is massive, the extraneous storage layers shield it from attack as much as its actual energy shields do. It’s run by a small crew,the controls are all in the central layers, and it has advanced weaponry. Weaponry that is literally over a hundred years ahead of us. Maybe if we pulled in three of the heavy combat cruisers we would have the power to crack it open but we don’t. They’re all engaged with the Hivers on the other side of the galaxy.”
“So we take it from the inside,” Jem counters. “Sulu and I have done this before. We can beam aboard and-“
O’Neill’s communicator dings again. The admiral closes his eyes for a moment before checking it. “The Tower is gone. The moon, Orland, is gone.”
“The moon!?” Someone asks incredulous.
Jem’s face hardens, “Mister Scott!”
“Here, Commander,” The semi-familiar face steps out from between two Vulcans.
“Your research is on improving gestalt engines, isn’t that correct?”
“And you have several prototypes already built?”
“I need your most stable platform.”
“Yes, sir.” The redhead swallows hard and nods. “Of course. Come along.”
Jem takes a bracing breath and turns to follow. “Someone get Sulu down here. And get me every available Telekinetic Talent you can.”
“You do this thing, kid, and there will be no hiding it,” Archer warns.
“My parents’ murderer is up there.” Jem says in the flat kind of voice that is also full of burning rage. “And he’s killing more of our people.”
“Too much your daddy’s boy by half.” Archer shakes his head and sighs gustily. “Alright fine. You bond your Vulcan, I’ll bond mine, and we’ll give Marcus a fight he can’t win when this is over.”
Archer looks to Ambassador Spock, “You bonded your Jim, right?”
“After many years of acquaintance, yes,” He answers after a brief hesitation.
“Sounds to me like it should work for you and the young one, then,” Archer informs Jem and holds out a hand with two fingers extended.
T’Pol touches her fingers to his without hesitation. “Your Vulcan.”
“Until the day I die. Now where’s this gestalt?”
Scotty blinks and bounces once in place, “This way.”
Jem, Archer, Spock’s local counterpart, and Uhura all immediately follow. McCoy takes a moment to frown at those remaining behind before he sighs and follows muttering about damnfool reckless Talents ending their damnfool reckless risking of their lives.
T’Pol remains behind, looking at O’Neill for directions. “I can have Sulu beamed down immediately, sir.”
“Yeah, do it,” He looks somehow both resigned and hopeful.
“I have a Russian whiz kid, T-4,” Pike offers. “Chirpoff? No, Chekov. Pavel Chekov.”
O’Neill waves his off.
Pike obviously takes this to mean ‘go ahead‘ and turns to activate his comm.
“That leaves you and me to buy them the time to do this thing,” O’Neill tells him.
It’s all rather anticlimactic, really.
They beam up to the Enterprise. The command deck of which looks both gut wrenchingly familiar as well as disorientingly different.
“Set an intercept course for the attacking ship,” He orders as they enter the bridge.
A man in Command Golds pops up out of his chair as soon as he registers the admiral’s presence. O’Neill throws himself down in his place and Spock stands at O’Neill’s shoulder. Just like he has on hundreds of occasions on this very command deck beside a very different starfleet officer.
“Hail the attacking ship.” O’Neill orders.
“Hailing, sir.” The Communications officer confirms. “On the main screen, sir.”
“This is Admiral Jack O’Neill of Starfleet.” The admiral says to the Romulan as soon as Spock confirms its in fact the correct being. “This is your one and only chance to surrender.”
Nero scoffs. Nero growls. Nero threatens
“I’m going to destroy your world, Spock. I am going to crack it. I will leave Vulcan a molten wasteland. Just. Like. Romulus. I will make you watch your world burn, like you made me watch mine! I-“
The screen goes black and they turn to a side monitor to see the Narada tear in half from stern to bow. Then the husk torn two more times, leaving it in semi-squashed quarters. Sitting there. Dead in space.
“Well,” O’Neill says lightly as the command crew starts to look at each other worriedly. “That was subtle.”
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