Hybrid Vigor

The alien spacecraft appeared just outside Vulcan orbit one day in a burst of anomaly blue. Though Vulcan physicists were eager to study the phenomenon, the only pilot of the damaged, barely lifepod-quality vehicle was an adolescent male who had apparently no understanding of what it was he had traveled through to get here, except that he had guessed it would take him far, far from home and aimed straight for it accordingly.

The child had been abused, malnourished, and desperately wanted to learn control of his anguished emotions, so the decision was made that he would remain on Vulcan to study rather than being shipped to Earth. However, a severe oversensitivity to heat necessitated that he reside in a home with air conditioning. While the ambassador protested that he had sufficient challenge in managing his own adolescent son, the Science Council pointed out the ineluctable logic in placing the boy in an environment that had already been rearranged for the comfort of a Human, and he was forced to acquiesce. Besides, from the genetic analysis apparently the two boys would have something in common.

The boy was transported directly into the cool wing of the house, where the ambassador's wife took him under her wing, bringing him to the kitchen and feeding him a frozen sugary delicacy from Earth. While the boy was eating, the ambassador's son came in to investigate the newcomer.

"Greetings, and welcome to our home," the dark-haired boy with the pointed ears said. "I am Spock, son of Sarek."

The pale, almost hairless boy finished gulping his ice cream. "Thank you for having me," he said quietly, almost disbelievingly. "I... I have never heard of your species before, but you're very hospitable."

Spock smiled, then forced the smile away from his face. "I am actually of two species, Vulcan and Human. I'm surprised you couldn't tell."

"You're a hybrid? You look exactly like the other Vulcans. You must be a very successful hybrid."

"Not as successful as I could wish," Spock said wistfully.

"I am a hybrid too, but much less... successful. I don't... I have many weaknesses because of my genetic incompatibilities."

Spock's eyebrow rose. "You're also a hybrid? Fascinating. We might have much to talk about. What did you say your name was?"

"I don't have one."

"You need to have a name. Should I help you select one?"

"No... perhaps. In your language what is the word for a stinging, armored creature that thrives in adverse conditions? A creature that might be considered small and weak, but is instead dangerous and feared?"

"On this planet we have many such creatures-- the t'that, the prahtok, the v'stal. On Earth, my mother's homeworld, the closest to what you're describing would be a scorpion."

"I think I like the sound of that one."

"Scorpion? Is that to be your name then?"

The pale boy smiled. "I think so."