A strong opinion
Now off of the duty officer watch for incoming guests, Kirk was off the clock. Her first Alpha shift had gone reasonably well, and had provided her the opportunity to wander the ship and get to know her terrain. Arriving in her quarters Jamie unzipped her blouse and let it hang open, ordered a real beer from the replicator, then went and sat down on her sofa as she put the glass on the glass coffee table. No sooner had her butt hit the cushion and the intercom sounded. "Lieutenant Kirk, report to the bridge."
"You've got to be kidding," she sighed to herself. Standing and taking up the beer, almost taking a good swallow of it, Jamie walked over and dumped it into the refuse. "This Captain is going to run me ragged." Leaving her quarters she made her way through the ship, arriving on the command deck as ordered. The deck officer gave her a nod to acknowledge her and to let her know she was allowed.
Seeing the Captain standing in the center of the Command area Kirk walked over and stood to Kahn's left. "Lieutenant Kirk, reporting as ordered, Captain."
Kahn glanced over at her subordinate, then ehr eyes went back to watching the screen and front window. "I went over your test scores for the Kobayashi Maru. You took the test three times, but never a fourth. Your tactics were sound and you did reach the ship with each try, only to be destroyed by an additional squadron of Klingon ships. Anything to add? Any second thoughts?"
Jamie thought this line of questioning odd, especially when done in front of the entire bridge crew. But, it was what it was, so she turned to face her CO. "If I were confronted with the same events, I would react in the same manner. The details will vary, of course. I see no point in increasing your curiosity with trivia, Captain."
Azala gave a slight nod, grinning as she turned to her chair and walked over to pick up her coffee mug. Sipping, she then continued. "You would do the same thing, despite knowing it would mean the destruction of your ship and crew?"
"I would know that it MIGHT mean the destruction of my ship and crew, Captain. If I could not prove that the Kobayashi Maru were an illusion, I would answer its distress call." Jamie stood tall, letting everyone see she was confident in her command decisions.
"Lieutenant," said Kahn. "Are you familiar with Rickoverian paradoxes?"
Kirk nodded. "I am, yes."
Azala sipped more coffee, then cleared her throat slightly. "Here's one for you. You are on a sailing ship in the middle of an ocean. It sinks. You find yourself in a life raft with one other person. The life raft is damaged. It might support one person, but not two. How would you go about persuading the other person to let you have the raft?"
"I wouldn't," stated Kirk.
Kirk decided to be a bit flippant since she had no clue where this was going, or why it was happening. "For one thing, Captain, I'm an excellent swimmer." A bridge officer giggled until a companion elbowed him in the ribs.
"The water," continued Kahn. "Is crowded with sharks and they are very hungry."
To Kirk it sounded like another Kobayashi Maru scenario. No matter her answer there would be things thrown in to cause her death. "My answer is the same."
"Really?" Kahn put her coffee back in its holder, facing Kirk once more as she straightened her stance. "You're a highly educated Starfleet officer. Suppose the other person is completely illiterate, has no family, spent most of the time in and out of prison, and never held any job a low level droid couldn't do. Then what?"
Jamie's anger began to build. "I would neither request nor attempt to persuade or order a civilian to sacrifice their life for mine."
"There are a lot of resources invested in your training, Lieutenant." Kahn was still on track. "Don't you think you owe it to society to preserve yourself so you can carry out your responsibilities?"
Kirk's eyebrows scrunched together. "Is this what you believe, Captain?"
"I'm not being rated, Lieutenant, you are." Stated Kahn, matter-of-factly.
Colt, at FC, was starting to feel uncomfortable with the confrontation, despite it being some type of training scenario. The bridge was so quiet you could hear a feather drop.
The Captain continued. "I've asked you a serious question and you have replied with what could be considered appalling false modesty."
Kirk stepped in angrily, face to face, toe-to-toe, raising her voice but not shouting. "You ask me if I should not preserve myself so I can carry out my responsibilities. Then, I ask YOU, what are my responsibilities? By the criteria you have named, my responsibilities are to preserve myself so I can carry out my responsibilities! This is a circular and self-justifying argument. It is immoral in the extreme. A just society--and if I am not mistaken, the Federation considers itself to be just--employs a military for one reason alone; to protect its civilians. If we decide to judge that some civilians are 'worth' protecting, and others are not, if we decide we are too important to be risked, then we destroy our own purpose. We cease to be the servants of our society. We become its tyrants!" Kirk was leaning in, fists clenched and her eyes set with the conviction in her heart.
Kahn took a half step back, grinning proudly. "You feel strongly about this, don't you, Lieutenant?"
Jamie straightened up, her hands relaxing as her hue of anger faded from her face. "That is my opinion on the subject, Captain." Her voice was calm and normal.
Azala smiled and then reached out to shake Jamie's hand. "You make an elegant defense of your opinion, Kirk. I don't believe I've ever heard that problem quite so effectively turned around."
"Thank you, Captain." Kirk shook hands. It had been another test, and now she wondered how many more of these tests would pop up daily.
"Congratulations, Lieutenant." Said Kahn. "You just passed your bridge officer test. Take the Conn, I'll be in my ready room." She turned and walked away.
Jamie watched the Captain's back until it disappeared behind closed doors, her mind still a little off by this woman's strange way of doing things. Another puzzle piece added to the pile. Kirk saw an Ensign in red with a clipboard PADD. "Yeoman, dispose of that." Jamie handed over the CO's left behind coffee mug. Going to the replicator Kirk got herself a thermomug of black, Earth coffee and returned to the command chair. Sitting and settling in she took up a PADD from the side pocket and began to check reports, feeling a few eyes still turned her way. "Bridge, carry on." They went back to work.