Divided Loyalties by TDazz
Summary: First challenge, kind of long (because, face it, I'm incapable of writing anything (including a challenge) in under 1000 words.)

The Enterprise is on a rescue mission, and Admiral Pike can't seem to stop interfering. He has a reason-- a personal connection with the party being rescued.

Here's the deal: this is a character-heavy story with a plot draped over it. The extent of the K/S is pretty optional.
  1. Story is set maybe six months to a year after the beginning of the mission. Long enough for the crew to kind of be in a groove, but maybe not entirely.

  2. Pike considers Kirk something of a personal project. He isn't necessarily interfering, but he tries to stack the deck in Kirk's favor, gives him lots of advice, and is generally mentoring him to be the greatest captain in Starfleet history.

  3. Spock served under Pike in the past, at length (not just for the few days of the Narada incident). In fact, Pike is something of a mentor to Spock, has coached him through his career, showed faith in his leadership, etc. Spock is very loyal to Pike.

  4. Sensing a theme here? Pike also more or less hand-picked the crew of the Enterprise-- young hotshots and experienced officers who had served under him. He was mostly trying to surround Kirk with talent during his first command, but the crew is also full of officers and enlisted that Pike has seen something in. He is seriously beloved by the whole. damn. crew.
So, when Pike occasionally slips into old habits and issues an order, a significant portion of the crew snaps to without thinking twice.

Wishlist (instead of requirements):
  1. The rescue mission isn't a slam dunk. There is some complicating factor that makes it possible that the Enterprise won't get there in time. Whether or not they succeed in the rescue is author's choice (though this fan does love her angst... hint hint hint)

  2. Pike has years (decades?) of command experience under his belt vs. Kirk's very limited experience. Kirk basically catapulted from cadet to captain without passing go, and while he's brilliant and charismatic and has great instincts, he does not have anything approaching Pike's experience, and at least on one occasion, the crew responds to Pike's command. Kirk has been in space for long enough to have a very good handle on the real situation. He knows more about the Enterprise than Pike does, and Pike has not been on the bridge of a starship lately. On at least one occasion, Kirk's 'street knowledge' of what is going on in the sector and on the ship outweighs all of Pike's past experience and his knowledge of the specs and politics of the situation. This is what the story is about-- Pike and Kirk.

  3. Kirk is a grown-up and Pike is a good guy. Neither of them is always right, but neither of them makes dumb calls either. I'd love to see a scene where one of them issues an order that results in some major fuck-up that seriously jeopardizes the Enterprise's ability to complete the rescue. If it also jeopardizes some crewmembers, even better. Heart-to-heart ensues where the one who fucked up wonders (either to the other one, or to a third party) whether he chose that course of action because it was the opposite of what the other one would have done.

  4. The injuries Pike sustained on the Narada have had a lasting effect on him. I'm not necessarily after Pike in the wheelchair blinking out his responses, but he's not up to space-jumping or crawling through airvents or anything like that. He has some physical impairment that is going to keep him at a desk for the rest of his life.

  5. Assuming you go the K/S route, I prefer that Pike comes on board the day after Spock and Kirk's first time. They've become steadily closer as friends, but the tumble in bed wasn't exactly pre-planned, and between the stresses of the mission and Pike being there, they don't have much time to talk it out. Their relationship is certainly against regulation, but to what extent is author's choice. They do have reason to try and keep it under wraps though. In other words, I don't want Kirk and Spock making like a couple of bunnies all over the ship and the admiral walking in on them and everything's hunky-dory, k?


Bonuses:
  1. Spock frequently gets stuck in the middle between Pike and Kirk, and his loyalties are seriously split between the two of them, and neither is happy when he takes the other's side.

  2. McCoy is unquestioningly on Kirk's side, even when Kirk is just plain wrong. Mega bonus if McCoy is a little skittish around Pike because he (McCoy) knows that he did a major no-no in bringing Cadet Kirk onto the Enterprise in the first place (even though that worked out well in the end). Ultra Mega Bonus if Pike notices and subtly teases him about it (especially if he acts really stern around McCoy).

  3. Kirk and Pike have a complicated relationship-- father/son, superior/subordinate, teacher/student certainly, but also are friends and truly like each other.

  4. At some point, both Pike and Kirk are on the bridge and Pike keeps issuing orders and Kirk finally gets out of the captain's chair and tells him, "At this time, Admiral, I am prepared to offer you command of the Enterprise." Mega bonus if it's in a crisis situation and Pike refuses. Ultra mega bonus if the two of them were actually issuing contradictory orders and confusing the crew.

  5. Pike's presence somehow prevents Spock and Kirk from having any private time together. Their relationship was in a fragile stage to begin with, and it gets more and more awkward.

  6. Spock sympathizes with Pike over feeling helpless while someone he loves is in jeopardy/lost.

  7. Kirk gets that Pike's career as a captain was cut short by his injuries at the hands of Nero, and does hand command over to him at some point. Mega bonus if this comes at the end Kirk uses the opportunity to finally slip out for some nookie with Spock.

Exceptional ultra mega super bonus for authors taking artistic license with this prompt and making it their own!


Categories: Fiction
Characters: Chris Pike
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