DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Ster Julie and is copyright (c) 2004 by Ster Julie. Rated PG.


Ster Julie

A/N: Sequel to "Another Storyteller"


I jumped at the sound of woman's voice, one very pissed off woman's voice. Odd thing was, I knew I was alone, the doors were locked, and the windows were on the safety latch. No one else should be here. I put aside my laptop, eased myself quietly off the couch and padded on slippered feet toward the kitchen.

Through the doorway, I could see a slim, older woman. Her face was framed by short, pearly white hair, which set off her expressive blue eyes beautifully. The dove-grey robes she wore gave her a stately air, despite the tantrum she was in the midst of throwing.

I pulled myself up short. I recognized this woman. "Not again!" I groaned. Spock had only left a few hours before. Screwing up my courage, I walked into the kitchen.

"Lady Amanda," I began.

"WHAT IS THIS?!" she repeated, waving one of my refrigerator magnets under my nose.

I backed up, afraid that this slip of a woman was about to knock my block off.

"Well, Missy?" she hissed. "I asked you a question!"

That did it! Nobody but old Aunt Thena called me Missy. Actually she called every girl in the family Missy -- and the boys Buster -- because she couldn't remember anyone's name. Didn't mean that I liked it, and today I was in no mood to be spoken to like that.

"The name's Erato," I said, snatching the magnet out of Amanda's hand, "and that's my fridgie."

The two of us glared at each other for a moment, panting, and sizing each other up. I shook my head.

"I don't know what's going on today," I muttered. "You son just left here not three hours ago." Amanda's face softened.

"Spock was here?" she murmured. Shaking herself, Amanda tried to recapture her earlier indignation. "Why do you have that?" she asked, pointing with distaste at my magnet.

"It's a picture of your son," I replied in confusion. "Why do you object to it?"

"Look at it," Amanda stated as if that would answer my question.

"So?" I replied.

"Look at Spock's face!" she ordered.

I looked. Spock had his hands before him, fingers touching, and he was staring a little wild-eyed into the space between his palms.

"That was taken at Koon-ut Kali-fee, wasn't it?" Amanda demanded moving aimlessly through my house. "Spock was deep in the plak tow, then, burning for that little bitch--"

"Lady Amanda!" I was shocked.

"Hey, I can be a le matya when I need to be!" she retorted. "The thing is, this was the most private moment of Spock's life, an extremely difficult time in his life. He would be mortified if he saw it hanging on display!"

Suddenly, Amanda stopped dead in her tracks. Oh no! I thought. She has spotted the picture by my bed!

"WHAT IS THIS?!" she screamed. I blocked her from ripping it off my wall!

It was a photo-manipulation of a shirtless Spock, his black leather pants slung low on his hips. One eyebrow was raised; the other was covered by the long hair hanging in his face. His goatee was neatly trimmed and it framed his luscious lips.

"Mine!" was all I could say, moving between Amanda and the picture. "I can be a le matya, too, you know!"

Amanda's hand was blocked from my artwork, so instead she seized my liquor decanter bust of Spock from STTMP. The head came off in Amanda's hand, and she screamed. The rest of the bust fell over, knocking the candles and flowers I had arranged on either side of the bust after STWOK. I leapt over and caught Spock's head as it slipped from his mother's fingers.

"THIS IS SICK!" Amanda shouted. Turning to storm out of my room, she espied another poster of Spock, also from "Amok Time." The sight of being on the business end of a lirpa unnerved her. She hurried from the room toward the door. I was able to finally catch up to her at the door.

"Please, Amanda. Don't go," I begged. "I don't know why you came, and you're leaving already."

Amanda took several deep breaths to stop her trembling before she could speak.

"I came to ask a favor," she whispered.

"Anything," I soothed. "What kind of favor?"

"I was looking for someone who could prevent this kind of shameful marketing," Amanda replied.

"Shameful marketing?" I repeated lamely. She should look online and see the kind of stuff that's out there for free, including some extremely hot pictures of her own husband!

"It varies from place to place," Amanda replied. "I've seen pictures of my own son plastered on billboards, on something called `ice lollies,' on rubber stamps, coffee mugs..."

I pushed my mug under the couch with one foot.

"...T-shirts, stickers, dolls, and all sorts of folderol. It has to stop." Amanda moved closer to me, pleading with her voice and her eyes. "Can you help?"

I looked into those beautiful orbs, knowing now how they had once melted an ambassador's heart. I wanted to leap tall buildings for her, to cure a rainy day, to do just as she said -- but I knew that it was unfeasible. I shook my head sadly.

"It would be impossible," I breathed. "As long as there is a market, manufacturers will continue to put your son's face out there. "

"Vulcan produces beautiful musical instruments and fabulous textiles," Amanda countered. "Couldn't those be marketed instead?"

"Unless the instruments and the textiles bear the likeness of your son, they just won't sell," I replied. Amanda's shoulders slumped sadly.

"Could you at least start a decency campaign?" she asked. "A `good taste' movement?"

I pondered this. Would this be considered a violation of Free Speech? I looked into those entreating eyes again and melted.

"I'll see what I can do," I promised. I don't see how this could ever happen, not with the "dark side" of the right of free speech, but why dash her hopes?

I was rewarded with one of Amanda's sweet smiles. I was hoping that my security camera captured it. It would make great wallpaper!

"Thank you so much," she replied warmly. "I appreciate whatever you can do, uh, Miss...?"

"Erato," I supplied. Amanda blinked.

"Erato? Like the muse?" I rolled my eyes.

"I get that all the time," I answered, exasperated. "Yes, Erato. Like the muse. We're Greek, for Pete's sake!"

"Oh!" Amanda replied. "I thought it was a nickname, or that you didn't trust me with your real name." I smiled.

"Your son thought the same thing," I chuckled.

It was fascinating to see the warm and loving look that came over Amanda's face as I mentioned Spock. She truly loved her boy!

"Fascinating!" she replied.

We both enjoyed a hearty laugh. I reached out a hand to Amanda, which she squeezed firmly.

"Please come back again, Lady Amanda," I invited. "I would love to hear some wonderful baby stories about Spock."

Amanda threw back her head and chuckled.

"You and everybody else!"