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Vitiation: Chapter 5
More than you think you are
annenburg
Title: Vitiation
Rating: R
Chapter: One Two Three Four Five Epilogue
Characters: Jim Kirk, Spock, Bones, Carol Marcus, Amanda Grayson
Warnings: Violence, language, references to drug and alcohol abuse
Summary: Hello, criminal underworld. Jim Kirk is here to fuck your shit up.


Spock doesn’t talk to him. He hasn’t said a word in weeks, and he doesn’t expect he’s going to start again anytime soon. But he does stay in the compound with him, Bones, and Carol, and Jim’s okay with that for now.

He wants to keep an eye on him.

Jim’s had a lot to think about while he recovers from his altercation with Spock. He supposes it’s the first time his head’s been clear in a long, long time. He couldn’t attend Amanda’s funeral – some weird Vulcan tradition, he learns; Spock couldn’t go either – and now, he’s had to figure out how to honor her memory in his own way.

It keeps coming back to the city.

Amanda loved San Francisco, enough that she wanted to be there at its worst. Crime rates are skyrocketing, and the city is on the verge of being overrun completely. Ever since Ayel came to town, things have only gotten worse, and they might never get better if he sticks around.

And if Ayel is the cause of the problem, he will have to be taken down.

But therein lies the problem. He doesn’t even know where to find the man. Carol’s been searching for months, and the most she’s gotten is excessive power use at an “abandoned” warehouse. It’s their best lead, and even then it could be anything. Even if he is there, Jim has no idea what to expect. He could be a front for something bigger. “Ayel” might even be a codename of a group or an organization.

He doesn’t know a thing. And if there’s one thing he’s learned after all these years, it’s that going in knowing nothing isn’t just stupid – it’s suicidal.

Bones has barely declared him “all healed up” when Jim straps on four plasma guns and disables the transporter. He toys with the idea of leaving a note, but he decides against it. The last thing he needs is for Bones to have more ammo if he comes back empty-handed.

He steps into the data room and freezes. Carol’s still at her station. Her eyes are fixed on the screen, her hands flying over the keyboard. He’s not stupid enough to assume she didn’t notice him coming in, so he charges forward. When he stands behind her, she leans back just slightly and takes a deep breath.

“I’m putting the transporter back online,” she tells him. He can’t exactly argue with that. “I know you’re going in there. I know I can’t stop you. And I know you’ll fight until you die if necessary.” She swallows, and he’s afraid she might cry. But the steely look in her eyes returns. “Don’t.”

Jim leans down and wraps his arms around her. She allows the contact, hands stilling for a moment. “Do you have any more information for me?”

She shakes her head. Damn. He stands straight again, and the air is suddenly dry and alive again.

“I believe I can be of assistance,” Spock’s voice comes from the doorway. Jim turns, staying directly in front of Carol.

Any concerns he had were apparently unfounded. Spock stands in the doorway, hips squared and shoulders straight. He’s wearing his costume again, and there isn’t so much as a spark coming off of him anywhere. The neutral Vulcan mask is in place again, and Jim can’t help the relief that flows through him when he sees it. He relaxes his own stance a little.

“Assistance, huh? What kind?” Jim asks. Spock beckons him closer, and Jim pats the back of Carol’s chair once in a quiet, careful farewell. He follows Spock out to the front entrance of their abode, and the Vulcan’s hands reach for his face. A mind meld, he realizes; he never thought he’d experience one. He’s only just realized what it is when it begins, throwing him headfirst into a stream of data. He sputters, both mentally and in real life.

“How’d you get so much information?” he whispers, information whirling around from Spock’s head to his. Blueprints for the plumbing and electrical lines in the warehouse, schematics of the defenses surrounding the main room, approximate schedules of the guards posted, and how many would be posted where – everything he needs is right here. He shakes his head. “Seriously, Spock. Carol’s got some of the best software in the known universe for information-gathering, and even she couldn’t get more than a red flag on power usage at this place. Who gave you this?”

Spock doesn’t even blink. “I have been observing the base for nearly two months. I was able to determine the information you see there through careful analysis of what was found,” he answers. “The data itself is stored on a secure server on Delta Vega. I’ve programmed it to be sent to Ms. Marcus’s computer, should we fail to return.”

The scene around Jim changes, and an experience he has not yet lived plays out in his mind. It’s like a memory that he’s seeing from the wrong side, and he recognizes it immediately. “This is the plan?” he asks. Spock nods. He watches the two figures in his mind move through the compound. “Pretty specific timing. Are you sure you’re up to this?”

“That is something I should be asking you,” Spock says, though Jim doesn’t sense any real hostility or jabs coming his way. He smiles. It’s a peace offering, if he’s ever heard one, and just as he completes the thought Spock’s hands draw back from his face, leaving him alone in his head. “Are you prepared?”

Jim grins. “Hell yeah.”

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Their entrance is, in a word, anticlimactic.

Spock’s research was obviously thorough and extraordinarily accurate. Though they have only the narrowest of margins, they manage to sneak past every check point without detection. It’s exhilarating to know they haven’t gotten caught yet. It’s also boring.

“This is not the time to be concerned about how exciting this infiltration is,” Spock whispers to him, and Jim realizes belatedly that he’s resting his hand on Spock’s neck. Oops. He pulls back guiltily. “Twenty meters ahead. I’d prepare your weapon. He knows we are here.”

He doesn’t have to be told twice. He pulls a rifle out, to Spock’s obvious disapproval. He winks, and they approach again. The door is heavier than Jim would’ve expected, but Spock takes the brunt of it, and it’s open sooner than he would’ve expected.

And then, all hell breaks loose.

It isn’t that Jim doesn’t know what’s going on; quite the opposite, he can see, hear, and feel everything that’s going on. Three plasma cannons sit ominously in the middle of the chaos. Mostly, the blasts he can identify most easily consist of phasers, though he cannot recall ever seeing phasers like these. A few plasma rifles – automated ones, even, the bastard – fire in their general direction.

It's just that if he hadn’t spent the past six years dodging plasma discharges, fists, and phasers, he’d probably have been killed in seconds. The same goes for Spock and his Vulcan reflexes.

A solitary figure between two of the plasma cannons catches his eye through the chaos, even as he throws himself and rolls to avoid another series of blasts.

The man by the weapons is definitely Romulan, judging by the V-shaped ridge on his forehead. His clothing is unlike any Romulan’s he’s ever seen, and he is covered in a sequence of elaborate tattoos. He pays for his inattentiveness to his surroundings with a plasma shot grazing his abdomen, and he jerks back into action.

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Spock striking out at the phasers, and frankly Jim’s impressed. From what he can tell, Spock is overloading the banks, and the weapons are automatically powering down to avoid a meltdown.

It takes Spock only a few minutes to eliminate all phasers from the mix, and that makes things easier. Jim’s able to regroup with him, dodging a plasma blast at the last second to end up sprawled on the Vulcan’s shoes. He’s back on his feet in an instant, standing just barely in front of Spock. If he’s right, Spock should be able to disable every weapon here if he uses the right voltage.

Abruptly, the shots stop.

Bewildered, Jim lowers his guns. The Romulan stays exactly where he is, not looking the least bit impressed. Jim steps further in front of Spock – well aware that the Vulcan still hasn’t lowered his guard.

“You’re Ayel?” he asks cautiously. The man in front of him nods. “And you’re dragging this city to Hell because…?”

Ayel turns his back, and before Jim can even take a shot, the weapons are firing again. He’s pretty sure there are more of them now than there were before, shots coming from all sides. There’s no way to dodge anymore, and Jim fires his rifle at Ayel and misses. Shit.

He’s going to die without even scratching the guy?

He barely completes the thought before Spock has him enveloped in a ball of blue light with him. It takes his rifles moving towards the sides of the strange shield for him to realize that it’s an induced magnetic field. He must’ve channeled the electrical current around him into coils and polarized the charge to deflect rather than attract the discharges. Jim looks at him incredulously; the amount of control something like that would require is beyond anything he can imagine.

“I can disable the weapons, but you will have to strike at Ayel,” the Vulcan murmurs, and Jim nods. He doesn’t have to hear the rest of what the other man has to say. He braces himself on the floor, two pistols at the ready. Spock closes his eyes, hands stretching out in front of him, and breathes deeply. “Initiating. Go.”

The field expands abruptly, and the metal of the weapons firing on them is snapped sharply, breaking the guns from their bases. Ayel turns on his heel, and Jim rushes him.

He’s flung back almost immediately, but he manages a shot even so. It doesn’t get anywhere near Ayel, instead grazing one of the door handles to his right. Jim swears as he tumbles back. Spock catches him, holding him still.

“Reinforcements,” the Vulcan whispers, and Jim gets the impression that they aren’t for them. He forces himself to his feet. Fuck. Ayel was ready for this.

Sure enough, the doors open to reveal a good twenty or so men. Some Andorians, a few Klingons, a Romulan, and a bunch of humans. And they’re all armed to the teeth – literally, for the Klingons. Jim’s eyes flick back to Ayel, and Spock places a hand on his leg.

“I will engage them,” he says, and before Jim can protest, he is back to back with Spock. “Talk to Ayel. See what he wants.”

And it isn’t that Jim doesn’t think Spock can handle twenty-something thugs – he knows he can, probably better than Jim can himself – but this strikes him as wrong. Vulcans are trained in diplomacy, and Spock is the son of an ambassador. Jim could probably piss off the Dalai Lama without even trying. This might be a terrible idea.

Fuck it. Story of his life.

Jim runs forward, and he can see the amusement on Ayel’s face. Who is this guy? Holed up in a warehouse with enough weaponry to take out every military force in the world, thugs to do his bidding, and he’s still a mystery.

“Who are you?!” Jim shouts as the blasts sound from behind him. He doesn’t dare turn back to see what exactly Spock is doing. Ayel steps forward. Progress, Jim thinks. But still no answer. “Right, you’re Ayel. But what does that mean? What do you want?”

Ayel raises an eyebrow as he looks over Jim’s shoulder at whatever is going on with Spock. A sharp jolt travels past Jim’s ear; must be pretty intense. He keeps his eyes on Ayel. “Well?”

“I am simply a surveyor,” the Romulan answers, finally looking back to Jim. Jim blinks. “I am interested in having this world for my own, but it would be irresponsible of me to make a decision regarding obtaining it without first properly surveying the property.”

Jim grits his teeth. “Bullshit,” he spits out. “If you were interested in taking over the world, you wouldn’t let it go to shit like this. You’re destroying San Francisco. Why?”

Ayel doesn’t answer immediately. He stares over Jim’s shoulder for another long second, and Jim struggles not to look at whatever has him so transfixed. He can tell Spock hasn’t been taken out yet; the air still crackles with energy, and the sounds of a fight ring in his ears. Then the Romulan looks back to Jim, looking bored.

“I have something I’ve been charged with doing,” he says blandly. “It requires a control population. Earth is degenerate enough that using its population would not be deleterious to the rest of the galaxy. Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me whether ‘San Francisco’ is destroyed. I am simply doing my part to prepare for the next step. Casualties are of no concern.”

Jim is frozen, and he doesn’t think it’s strictly due to what Ayel has said. Something is holding him to the spot, and he realizes belatedly that the sounds of combat have ceased behind him. The air crackles dangerously, and he swallows hard. This is getting to be a little too familiar to him.

And then, there it is. Spock is rushing Ayel. That lost, feral look is back in his eyes again. Spock closes in on Ayel, and he’s thrown back. A force field, Jim realizes. No wonder none of their attacks got through to him. No wonder he was so calm – unarmed, even, when they came in.

Spock charges it again, again, again. Jim is torn between trying to yank the Vulcan back and just letting him take on the field. All logic seems to have fled his companion, and he doesn’t know what to think about it. It’s too much.

Then, the Vulcan stands still, electricity swirling around him violently. A wave of sheer power surges against the field, and all Jim has to see is Ayel’s shocked face to realize Spock’s gotten through. He is quiet and looks as angry as they come, stepping slowly towards the Romulan. Sparks jump from Spock’s skin, and for all his technology, Ayel can do nothing.

Ayel can’t. Jim can.

It’s like in the alley again, he thinks. Spock is beyond reason. His mind is gone, and like Vulcans of old, those who came before the reform, all he can think of is killing. Ayel will die before Spock even has another coherent thought.

But Vulcans aren’t meant to kill. It’s against everything they’re taught, everything in their blood. Spock is no exception. He fights for the city, yes, but he would never kill by choice.

Spock continues to advance on Ayel, who has collapsed from the constant electrocution. Much more of this, and Spock becomes a murderer. Jim swallows hard; if he allows Spock to do this, the man will never forgive himself. The touch of their minds was brief, but it was enough to show Jim that much, at least.

Steeling himself, Jim runs towards Ayel. He manages to avoid Spock’s attacks just long enough to get in front of him, and with all the resolve he has, Jim draws his pistol and fires a blast directly into Spock’s chest, between his lungs. He hopes Spock’s cardiothoracic anatomy is more similar to that of a Vulcan.

He tries not to be sick when his companion collapses, the air calming around them. Ayel is still curled in on himself, but he is able to pick up his head and stare at Jim once more. Jim feels the bile rise again as he aims the pistol between Ayel’s eyes.

More than ever, the weight of the shot reverberates through his entire body. Only after it subsides does he fall to his knees and look Spock over, pull him tight against his own body, and call Carol for a beam out.

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