|Star Trek Fanfiction|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|External Links:||Online at AO3|
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From the publisher: "Initially, the Starfleet Academy banquet is quite enjoyable, and Cadet Kirk is having a good time, despite the tradition that is used to punish the violator of even the smallest infraction of protocol. But when a young Vulcan officer is singled out, things start to go a little bit too far."
"Kirk busied himself with his food, not wanting to watch. "Jim?" Ruth asked, noticing his withdrawal. "It isn't funny, Ruth." "I thought you said this was all accepted in good humor?" "Yes, but not him. He's Vulcan. And not like this. It's turning into a vendetta and he got so few choices." "Do you know him?" "No. He must have graduated before I entered the Academy. He's probably served a few years before he got to Command College.""
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Kirk is a cadet in this very unusual tale of life at the academy and the traditions that have been handed down to each new class. The one examined is that of a “Grog Bowl” at an academy banquet. The bowl contains something that may begin as punch, but to which anyone may add anything that suits them, resulting in a most unpalatable concoction to say the least. It’s a bit like a hazing in that any cadet who missteps is forced to drink from the grog bowl.
The young JTK knows already how to play the game, and studiously avoids doing anything that would subject him to the nasty drink. This works very well until a Vulcan cadet draws the attention of the command officers in charge of punishment. The human propensity to pick on someone who is a little different comes charging to the forefront and it isn’t long before Kirk has had enough. We see the beginnings of the man Kirk will become when he refuses to join in the merriment at Spock’s expense and turns to his date and firmly states, “It isn’t funny, Ruth.”Kirk doesn’t know Spock at this point in his life – has never met him – but already his protective instincts are triggered by something in the Vulcan. This very imaginative view of how they meet ends with Kirk’s thoughts toward his new acquaintance: “...there was something...interesting...about him.”
- from The K/S Press #124