A/N: This is my first time writing Star Trek: TOS (or Star Trek in general!), so my apologies for any roughness. Especially since it's from Spock's perspective; I'd probably find Dr. McCoy easier. Now, on to the whump!
Whumptober2020 Prompt 2: In the Hands of the Enemy
"Pick Who Dies"
Disclaimer: the prompt isn't mine, the characters aren't mine, cruelty isn't mine, and neither is brilliance.
We were held captive by the hands of the enemy, and they had not been gentle. It's fortunate for me that Vulcans do not allow pain to disrupt their abilities.
My companions were not so fortunate. I glanced through the metal bars to check their separate cells. (It is logical to be aware of the status of one's teammates.) Neither one had awoken.
This particular away mission had been described as "routine," a check to see why the natives of the planet had lost 69.3 percent of their population. However, the instant the teleportation beam had dispersed Doctor McCoy and the Captain had been rendered unconscious by blows to the head. My reflexes were swift enough I avoided the blow aimed at my head, but I had not been able to save the others from the ambushing party of 23 Merretorians. Their combination of six lengthy appendages, to be used as needed as either arms or legs, and their spherical, rolling shape, made their speed and strength formidable, either as fighters or information obtainers.
They had interrogated me separately, and then placed me in this cell, made with one wall of stone and three of a substance I believe the humans labeled "tungsten." My two crewmates were across the hallway in two other cells made, presumably, from the same metal. It resisted every attempt to bend it apart.
I checked the status of my crewmates again. Both remained unconscious. Doctor McCoy's breathing was 15.6 percent shallower than his average, and the trickle of blood near his ear did not help his increasing paleness. The Captain's shirt had somehow been torn from wrist to shoulder on the left side, and a blackening patch of skin approximately 4.5 inches in diameter appeared just above his forearm, but no other damage was indicated. However, his continued stillness indicated a more severe injury.
I tested the bars again. Though of course, as a scientist, I wished to find the answer to the recent population decrease, I did not wish for either member of the away team to learn through personal experience. Or through neglect.
The bars did not budge. I pulled harder, until the circulation in my fingers had decreased over the acceptable 50 percent.
It was at that moment I heard footsteps. I ceased from my attempts at once, standing at rest. I observed six Merretorians rolling down the circular-shaped hallway, their blue color pulsing as each appendage struck the ground. Four wore the red sash that our files recorded as belonging to their elite warrior class, with shrinking spears held in the sashes. These four stood guard outside my door. The other two opened the cell doors of the Captain and Doctor McCoy. The two extended three arms each, grabbing my teammates by their shoulders and the tunic at their necks, dragging them through the doorway and up the stairs. A deep anger stirred within me, and I calmed myself. Now was not the time.
Doctor McCoy would disagree. I would endeavour to make sure we could have that discussion later. And I would succeed.
The last sounds of feet thumping on stone stairs faded, and the elite pulled slender sticks from their sashes. The sticks instantly unfolded to a height of seven feet, the silver spearheads reflecting the torchlight. One unlocked the cell door, the second slipped in to stand behind me, and the other two levelled their spears. "Walk," the one holding the door commanded. "It is time for you to join the game."
I raised an eyebrow. "Games are most illogical for adults." I moved forward, however, as logic also dictated there was a high probability I would be taken to the same place as the others.
I was. The Captain and the Doctor had been chained to the walls above the sandy floor of a space resembling Earth's old amphitheaters. The stone ledges were full of spectators. The two Merretorians who had dragged them out were currently emptying a large vase of liquid on them, and both men woke up sputtering. I do believe the Doctor was cursing, and the Captain began demanding the meaning of their actions. Both were cut off with a sharp slap across the face.
The two elite warriors in front of me turned. "The games begin," said the one who'd spoken before, and his companion rolled swiftly twice before turning to face me. The elite who spoke handed me a spear.
I looked from the spear to my opponent. Their nervous system glowed a infinitesimally darker colour than the rest of their body. "Vulcans do not fight with such weapons," I informed them, letting the spear fall to the ground.
"Spock, you green-blooded pacifist, take the weapon!" I tuned out the Doctor, and the Captain. Their advice would not be given in time to do me any good. The warrior rushed forward, spear extended, but his rolling pace made it easy to dodge, and I extended a hand as he went by, touching the nervous system and commanding him to sleep. The sphere of his body collapsed halfway, like a bowl filled with glowing blue water, and I turned to face the one who spoke.
"A formidable warrior," he called to the crowd, raising his voice.
"Two to one! Two to one! Two to one!" came the call from the dips in stone where the Merretorians sat. Anticipating their next moves, I turned to face the warriors behind me. Logically, I should be able to predict their moves, having studied their military history—
And they tried flanking me, using the length of the spears as bludgeons. It was a simple matter to twist the handle of one away, pulling it closer, and sending him to sleep. The other sphere caught my waist, and I am ashamed that I did not immediately counteract the pain. I fell to the sandy floor, and realised I did not have time to raise myself up and put him to sleep, not before he rolled closer. And there he was, lifting the sphere above my presumably helpless form, well within reach of my arm. His spear fell with a soft thud onto the sand as he, too, slept.
Provided with ample time to get to my feet, I stood, removing the sand from my hands. I looked to the warrior who announced the events.
"You have fought well, brave warrior, and won a prize!" He raised two appendages on the top of his circular form.
"Get off me, you glowing ball!" and "Let go at once," made me look quickly to the wall. The keepers of my crewmates had detached the chains from the wall and were dragging both men directly towards us. Eight hands pressed the Doctor and Captain to their knees.
"Captain," I acknowledged.
"Spock, are you all right?"
"I am relatively undamaged, Captain."
"Undamaged, my foot. I saw that wooden sticker strike your side, Spock, and Vulcan physiology or no, just wait till I get you back to medbay, I'll-"
"Cease," the warrior commanded. I looked back at him. "You have won a prize. Pick one."
"Pick one for what purpose?" The sounds of the crowd had quieted, and their silence was the silence of the anticipation of blood.
"One is your prize, and his life will be yours. The other's life is ours. Pick one to live," the warrior finished, "and one to die."
"That's barbaric," Doctor McCoy interrupted, and Vulcan or no, I could not deny the dread that stirred within me. For his voice was cut off by the Captain's, and to lose either voice was not a death I could face with equanimity. Yet logic did not give me a solution here.
"Enough, Bones. You, people of Merrgorgatha! Is this your world? Your life? Your sport? Look at yourselves! You're dying! The number of your race is falling!" I looked at him. Even on his knees, Captain Kirk—Jim—commanded their attention. A blazing spirit with a mind to match.
Yet beside him, nodding as he listened, knelt the Doctor. His compassion, his intelligence, and his passion saved the Enterprise's crew as regularly as the sun set above Vulcan. He was the third portion of our balance, and without him I did not doubt both the Captain and I would quickly burn out. To lose him was to lose us all.
I could not lose either. I looked to the Captain, hoping he would have a plan, but his impassioned speech met with jeers, and his guard reached down with one appendage to pick up a spear and dig it into his throat. The jeers turned to cheers.
I must think. I must think.
"Spock, I order you to choose me." The Captain looked at me sharply. "It's a Captain's duty to protect his men. I order you to choose me."
"It's Spock's duty to protect the Captain, Jim. We both know he's going to choose you."
Options. We could not run, not with chains. We had no communicators to call the Enterprise. I could not fight off the remaining three before the spear pierced my Captain's throat. And I could not offer my own life instead, for that would be a weakness in a warrior culture, and all three of us would instantly be killed.
I could only save one.
A First Officer's duty is to keep his Captain safe. Logic, and the oaths I had taken, dictated my choice. The Doctor had been right. But this—this was an impossible choice. I looked to McCoy.
He saw the look—he who had always insisted I had more humanity than I showed—and he understood it, for he smiled. "It's all right, Spock. It's the right choice."
"Spock, I order you-"
"I choose the Captain," and I gestured to him. The Merretorian behind him lifted him easily to his feet and shoved him forward, and the elite turned towards the Doctor.
"Then his life is ours."
A/N: Yes, I am evil. I'm going to try to stretch this one on through the next one or two days. Sorry not sorry! Because it is so long, I am putting it in a story by itself. The rest of the stories, if they're not long, should still go in the Whumptober2020 story.
A/N2: I've had a request for a Sherlock story and for Peter Pevensie whump, and I'll do my best to get to those, promise! I'm also going to respond to reviews, I will, I've just been...short on time is an understatement. I really should be sleeping right now! Also, if anyone is curious, I almost wrote this with "Collars" for the book Dragon Slippers, because it really would have fit, but...then I remembered Star Trek, and I hope I made the right choice!