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Fic: Observations, Ch 94
Star Trek
anon_j_anon

Since Jim and I have begun to work at the restaurant, sales have risen by a considerable percentage. The old employees, the managers and waiters, tell me that tips during my shifts are also larger by a substantial margin. This monetary increase corresponds with another event. Terran men and women have approached me several times, asking me if I would be interested in getting coffee with them or going to a bar sometime. Some of these advances are blatantly sexual. Jim has also noticed that I have been lately been receiving particular attention.

“Do you like it? When they’re bugging you like that?” Jim asked, bent over a box of our newly arrived supplies. He sorted through all the parts and pieces.

“I have no opinion on it. I have never received such advances before, and the concept is novel. On Vulcan, this of course never would have happened—Vulcans do not conduct themselves thus. On Terra, my reputation as a Vulcan preceded me, and no Terran or other alien approached me.”

“So you do like it?”

“It is a new experience.”

Jim frowned. “Do you ever feel like taking them up on the offer?”

“Not in particular.”

“Good. Wait, what do you mean, not in particular?”

“I have entertained the notion of accepting one of their proposals, but no one has offered such that I would accept. Overall, I am not entirely opposed to the idea.”

What?”

“I am curious,” I gave a small shrug. “In the past, it would not have occurred to me to consider these experiences as valid or valuable. However, since I have come to terms with the fact that I am not fully Vulcan, I believe engaging in such activities may have merit.”

“You’d seriously consider sleeping with them? Because that’s what they want from you.”

“I do not believe that all their proposals are completely sexual, Jim.”

“Uh, hate to break it to ya, but they are.”

“And you are able to provide insight as to their motivations by what means?”

Jim looked away. “I just know, all right?” he paused. “You wouldn’t actually go out with any of them, would you?”

I straightened. “Do you object to the idea because I am Vulcan, captain? I understand that some would consider such interaction a violation of the Prime Directive, but the people of this city seem to be completely open to every possibility. The other day we passed an individual of indeterminate gender dressed extremely flamboyantly—who looked quite alien by Terran standards—and no one paid them any notice except for a few glances. The environment here is so free, and as there is no threat of censure from anyone that I thought I might be able to experiment with my own boundaries. However, if you do not consider this to be appropriate, then I will of course refrain.”

“What? No—no, that’s not what I meant at all. I’d be a huge hypocrite if I told you not to do something. No, I mean, if you wanna experiment, then that’s great, cool. I’ve got no problem with it,” he rambled. “What did you mean, censure? Someone’s been coming down on you for being yourself?”

“Jim, someone has always been ‘coming down on me’ for being myself.”

“Oh. Yeah. Right. That.” Jim fidgeted.

I grew curious. “If that was not your intended meaning, then what precisely did you mean?”

“Huh? Oh, nothing. Just, forget about it. I don’t even know half the stuff that flies outta my mouth. I thought maybe . . .”

He never finished his sentence.

“Maybe what, Jim?” I prompted.

“Nothing. Forget I said anything. Hey, take a look at this. Is this what we ordered? I thought we told them to ship the 200 series, not the 300,” he held up the videocard. “Can we still use it?”

“No. We will have to send it back. The 300 series has major modifications, what the company claims to be improvements, that render it useless for our purposes.”

“Damn. How far does that put us back?”

“Perhaps if we simply placed a call to the company and informed them of their mistake, they might be able to ship our order immediately.”

“Kay. I’ll go call them or something. I almost forgot—Edith invited us to have dinner with her, I said I’d ask you about it. What do you think?”

“I would prefer to begin reengineering the motherboard as soon as possible. It is a delicate process that requires precision and time.”

“Come on Spock. This is the third time she’s asked, and we haven’t been able to meet up with her the other two times. We should go.”

“If you insist, captain.”

--

The host led us to a small table in the corner of the restaurant. The lights were dim and on each table was a candle. Conversations floated around us. Periodically there was a laugh or exclamation. Waiters and waitresses went about their way with trays of food, filling glasses with wine and tallying checks. The environment was somewhat similar to the restaurant at which Jim and I work. It was smaller with fewer tables, and if tonight’s clientele was indicative of their regular guests, the crowd was younger.

We ordered our drinks—Edith a glass of red wine, Jim a lager, and I had club soda.

“How is your project coming along? You said you were in the middle of putting everything together?”

“Okay,” Jim shrugged. “Parts came today, but one are wrong. We have to send it back.”

“We believe that our project is progressing at a satisfactory rate.”

“That’s such an interesting hobby to have, microelectronics. Why don’t you get a job with a company instead of working at a restaurant? Did you get engineering degrees in Germany? I’m sure you could find work here.”

Jim and I looked at each other.

“Just a hobby we have, nothing professionalism. He went to school for language, we are both in,” Jim searched for the word. “Military. Went to army and now we’re here. Spock is a genius working computers.”

“You could make your own start up company, if you gathered the capital for it. Well, I suppose it’s hard to do that right now, with hard economic times and all. My father doesn’t invest much in computer startups, but he does a lot in biotechnology. Even after the Eugenics Wars, it’s a booming business, though I have no idea why.

“It would be so much more useful to invest in companies that are developing space technology. I have quite a few shares in some promising tech corporations. My financial advisors think I’m wasting money, but someday, we’ll get there. I just know it.

“Oh, look at me, talking about business when I can’t stand it when my dad does the same thing. What looks good on the menu?”

After we ordered our dinners, Edith asked us an unanticipated question.

“How did you two meet? If you mind me asking. How long have you been together?”

I looked at the captain. He was also looking at me, his eyes searching my face for something.

“We met two years in the past. Two years ago in the military,” he began haltingly.

“Really! Do they allow gays in the German military? Here there was a huge controversy—I mean, it still is very controversial. In fact, one of the New York universities here had a debate about whether they would allow ROTC, a student military program, on their campus. They voted against it because of this whole issue.”

Jim frowned. “We weren’t dating in the army. Met there, but didn’t do anything.”

“Oh. So no one knew? Then when did you start dating?”

“Only recently. Were friends first, and few months we’ve been dating.”

“And you came to New York together, even though you’ve only been in a relationship a few months?”

“As you see,” I replied.

“That’s so amazing. And so sweet. It usually takes so long to get to that stage, from dating to living together.”

Jim shrugged. “Felt—feels—right. And need to find other friend, needs help.”

“Of course, I almost forgot. How is that coming along? Do you need any help with the search?”

“No, not yet. We’ll be okay. But thanks much.”

Jim gave me a look, indicating that I should contribute to the conversation.

“You mentioned that you have been investing heavily in companies that are developing advanced forms of space-flight. Has any of their research showed any promise?”

“No, not yet. Everyone is tinkering with improvements on the old models, but I think what we really need is an attempt to break the light barrier. But no one knows how to do it—we haven’t even accelerated a single particle to light speed, so they seem to think that going at light speed for anything bigger is impossible. Still, I keep hoping. Why, are you also interested in space flight, Spock?”

Jim and I shared another look.

“The captain and I have always shared an interest in space.”

“Is that how you started dating?”

Edith seemed fixated on our supposed romantic relationship.

“It is the basis of our relationship, yes,” I said rather curtly.

She seemed to take the hint. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to pry. It’s just—oh this is silly of me. But do you remember when I said you don’t seem to belong to this world?”

Jim straightened slightly in his chair.

“You belong to another place, you should have been born in another time. I just know it. Both of you stick out, even in this city of nine million people. But that you happened to find each other and are with each other—it’s amazing. It’s as though you’re supposed to be side by side, as if you’ve always been there and always will be.” She paused. “Does that make any sense?”

“Yeah,” Jim said softly, a wry smile on his face. “A lot of sense.” He snapped out of his mood and gave Edith a wide smile. “Spock is private person, doesn’t like talk about this stuffs,” he shrugged.

“I understand. I didn’t mean to offend you,” she said as our food came out.

“None taken, Ms. Keeler,” I said, my voice still clipped.

Jim elbowed me.

“Well, doesn’t this look good?” she said brightly, changing the subject. “I had something like this at the fundraising dinner my father gave on behalf of Governor Paterson. He’s the current governor of New York, right now. I’d like to get involved in politics someday too. I’m practically already up to my elbows in city politics.

“I haven’t been following German politics, but I always though Angela Merkel was such a fascinating figure. The first woman chancellor of Germany, and a physicist to boot!”

Looking at our blank faces, Edith gathered that we did not follow contemporary German politics as well. Jim decided, however, that a discussion of Earth’s geopolitical situation was preferable to any other form of small talk, and so nodded, gave questions, and reacted in all the appropriate places. We learned that Edith Keeler is extremely ambitious, and has hopes one day, like Ms. Merkel, to hold the highest political office of her country.

“Anything’s possible now. I want to change the world, and I have some good, solid ideas for how to do it. It’ll be a golden age of scientific exploration and prosperity. I know we’re going through hard economic times right now, and humanity paid a horrible cost for the Eugenics Wars. But things will get better, just you watch. I’m going to change history.”

--

“That was interesting,” Jim commented as we walked towards the train station.

“Indeed.”

We went down the stairs and swiped our cards through the turnstiles.

“I didn’t think you’d play along.”

“It is necessary to maintain the facade, as the original reason Edith helped us was she believed us to be romantically engaged.”

“Uh-huh, right. I’m buying that. You liked watching me BS my way through that.”

“You were quite convincing, Jim,” I gave him a look.

“You know, sometimes you seem really human.”

“Captain, I hardly believe that insults are within your prerogative as my commanding officer.”

Jim smiled.

“Edith’s awesome.”

“She is an uncommon woman,” I nodded. “However, I do not recall her name in any of the history books I have read related to this period of Terran history.”

Jim shrugged. “Records are spotty anyway. Or maybe she didn’t end up pursuing politics.” He had a thoughtful expression on his face as he recalled the evening. “You know, I don’t think we were born in the wrong time. But I think she was. She’d love it on the Enterprise.

“I wish we could show her.”

“Jim.”

“I know. I’m not going to. But there’s no harm in wishing.”



Annotations

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Reading your entires seems to have had an effect on me.

That is wistful... Meeting someone that you feel should have been part of your world, but was born or created on the other side.
Much like the earlier younger captain I think. The one with the plasma canon.

Sometimes I think that the intelligence of our race expands as each generation is born. I just wasn't sure if it was because of the environmental or the biological advantages each new generation enjoyed.

It is quite possible, that if you went back in time, took a person from the past who was mediocre at best, and brought them forward, gave them the education, the stimulus, the improved sustenance - they would become geniuses in their own rights. Far beyond what they could have achieved in their own time.

Is it the biological make up of our bodies that determine who we are? Or is it our upbringing, our diet, our environment that shapes us?

Spock and Jim are both results of a difficult past, but they have persevered beyond any and all expectations. Pushing limits and defying the glass walls their peers and "betters" have established for them.

Is it the struggle that created the genius? The will to live, to strive for something that was more than the bare cardboard box that they were allotted to? And once they knew that struggling would bring forth what they desired, what they craved and needed, then their will bent towards their pursuit of something more. They didn't have to pull even, they would go further and nothing would stop them.

Not content to stay without a box, they have established themselves as not only uncaring and unharmed by physical harm and slurs, but that they will and have surpassed their peers in intelligence as well.

Perhaps then, the potential of intelligence is in all people, but it is the will needed to grow past what is expected from you. Enough people shamble from day to day. It is those who have the ambition, the balls, the drive, to surface above the norm and to survive the world above.

Is this potential then only triggered by an unknown occurrence? And if you miss that trigger, you slip into anonymity? Or is it possible that geniuses are born and their biological make up, neural pathways and so on, are different from the norm?

Are you born into greatness or can anyone struggle into the light?

Funny that I commented on a chapter that is nothing but a note about potential and misplaced people.

" It’s as though you’re supposed to be side by side, as if you’ve always been there and always will be.”
~Man, I'm so glad you kept this line.

“You know, sometimes you seem really human.”

“Captain, I hardly believe that insults are within your prerogative as my commanding officer.”

Jim smiled.

~Hooray, more classic Star Trek references!

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