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Spock does know his Kirk

In Discovery, Starfleet was fooled so well and so long by mirror!Lorca that they gave him command of one of the most important ships in the fleet. In TOS, it took Spock about ten minutes tops to figure out Mirror!Kirk was a very fascinating little piece of crap (who, by the way, did not know his Spock, as he kept trying to bribe him with things I don't think mirror!Spock wanted; maybe an ethical point from the TOS episode is that being kind gives you practice into paying attention to what others want and need, which comes handy whenever you aren't the one with the Tantalus Field)[1].

(An alternate reading, of course, is that prime!Lorca was already quite shifty, so his counterpart was a bit different but not that much in absolute terms, while the ethical opposite of a prime!Kirk is quite different indeed; that said, mirror!Spock wasn't a monster — although, given a commitment to logic as a shared constraint, the Vulcan ethical range is narrower, and in those coordinates he was.)(Also, in Mirror, Mirror switched people were thrown right into the thick of it, so to speak, while perhaps mirror!Lorca had more time to figure it out.)

[1] In my headcanon reading of Mirror, Mirror, mirror!Spock had some idea about the Tantalus Field, if not its mechanisms or parameters, and warning Kirk about his orders from Starfleet was an extremely bold but perhaps logically necessary gambit to exploit Kirk's currently abnormal behavior pattern. He knows Kirk has some sort of special resource, past observations practically demand the inference, and with a Kirk that seems uncharasteristically disinclined to violence is the perfect moment of opportunity to not just kill him (he could've done it in the Transporter Room), but rather attempt to gain information about that. Of course, he didn't expect all the other transdimensional stuff, and getting back the Kirk he knows how to handle (but who know has less of an ace up his sleeve than he thinks he does) is a very nice outcome all around.

Also, gods, but can Kirk logic the shit out of something when he wants to.


SPOCK: You must return to your universe. I must have my captain back. I shall operate the transporter. You have two minutes and ten seconds.
KIRK: In that time I have something to say. How long before the Halkan prediction of galactic revolt is realized?
SPOCK: Approximately two hundred and forty years.
KIRK: The inevitable outcome?
SPOCK: The Empire shall be overthrown, of course.
KIRK: The illogic of waste, Mister Spock. The waste of lives, potential, resources, time. I submit to you that your Empire is illogical because it cannot endure. I submit that you are illogical to be a willing part of it. [me: *wordless expression of Oh God*]
SPOCK: You have one minute and twenty three seconds.
KIRK: If change is inevitable, predictable, beneficial, doesn't logic demand that you be a part of it?


and of course he follows up with the vision suckerpunch


SPOCK: One man cannot summon the future.
KIRK: But one man can change the present. Be the captain of this Enterprise, Mister Spock. Find a logical reason for sparing the Halkans and make it stick. Push till it gives. You can defend yourself better than any man in the fleet.
SCOTT: Captain, get in the chamber!
KIRK: What about it, Spock?
SPOCK: A man must also have the power.
KIRK: In my cabin is a device that will make you invincible.
SPOCK: Indeed?
KIRK: What will it be? Past or future? Tyranny or freedom? It's up to you.
SPOCK: It is time.
KIRK: In every revolution, there's one man with a vision.
SPOCK: Captain Kirk, I shall consider it.


It's canon (and obvious) how Vulcan Picard is, even in Spock's eyes, but Kirk could deploy ruthless logic with the best of them (heck, how many computers, superhumanly powerful beings, etc, did he literally reasoned to death and/or surrender and/or giving up their plans?), which is no small part of why he was who and what he was to Spock.

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