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The battle with the Orion Blockade Runner was brutal. The Enterprise was battle-scarred, and many major systems were damaged. As the smoke cleared from the bridge, Kirk heard the communicator on the arm of his command chair chirp at him. Snapping the toggle, he said, "Kirk here."

"Scott here, sir. Yon Orions hurt us worse that I had originally thought, sir. We’ll need to put in for repairs. I canna do them out here in space."

"That bad, Scotty?" Kirk asked, concerned.

"Aye, sir. That bad."

Kirk sighed. "What is the nearest starbase that can handle our repairs?"

"Ah, that would be Starbase Three, sir. At top speed, we could be there in twenty-six hours."

"All right, Scotty, you’ll get your repairs. In the meantime, do what you can. Kirk out." He turned to Sulu. "Lay in best course and speed to Starbase Three, Lieutenant Commander."

"Aye, sir," the Asian helmsman replied. "Course to 40 Eridani plotted and speed laid in." Sulu glanced over at the first officer, knowing the significance of that course and which Federation planet orbited that star.

"Engage." Kirk turned to face his science officer. "Well, Spock, you’ll have a chance to see your parents, I guess."

"Indeed, Captain. I will contact them at my earliest convenience."


Amanda was puttering around in her garden, weeding and putting new Terran topsoil throughout the flower and produce beds. Wearing her grimy coveralls, she wiped perspiration from her face, smearing dirt across her cheek as she did. When she heard the familiar sound of the comm-unit signaling, she said irritably to herself, "I wonder who that could be. What a damn inconvenient time…" she muttered as she headed to the greenhouse and the comm-unit inside.

She snapped on the unit, and her eyes widened at who she saw. "Spock! What a pleasant surprise! How are you, son?"

Spock looked at the dirt-smeared face of his mother. Raising an eyebrow, he simply said, "I am well. And you?"

"Oh, I must look a fright! I know that look. I’ve been gardening to pass the time. Your father is off world, still negotiating that agreement with the Legarans, and he expects to be away for four or five days. Are you coming to Vulcan, or is this a social call?" she teased.

"The ship has sustained damage, and we are en route to Starbase Three to effect repairs. I had hoped to take a transport to Vulcan and visit you after we dock," Spock said.

Amanda looked at Spock’s face carefully, looking for any signs of injury. She only saw fatigue. "When are you coming?"

"In approximately 23.235 hours from now."

"‘Approximately’?" Her eyes twinkled in amusement as she teased her carefully controlled son. "I see. I look forward to seeing you. Are you going to bring anyone with you?" She knew he usually did and wanted to be prepared.

"I am not certain. Perhaps," was all he said.

"Well, call and let me know so I know how much tea to put on."

"I will, Mother. Spock out."

Amanda went back outside and finished with the bed she had been working on when she was interrupted. After forty-five minutes, she was done. She entered the house that she and her husband had shared for almost forty years and cleaned up before fixing herself some lunch.

After lunch, she grabbed her grocery list and went to the flitter port that was attached to the house. Inside, she saw her very practical flitter beside Sarek’s pride and joy. His red, two-seater was in immaculate condition. She knew that he had built that flitter from scratch when he was an astrophysics student at the Vulcan Science Academy. He pampered that vehicle, rarely taking it out to fly unless he had to, or on special occasions. Other than that, it stayed in the flitter port. He had once said to her, "I built this flitter many years ago, and there is none other like it. It is quite logical that I would take great care of it. It would also be extremely difficult, not to mention expensive to repair, Amanda."

Setting the security alarm, she shook her head as she got into her vehicle. What is it with men and vehicles? she mused.

When she came back from grocery shopping and spending some time at her office at the Vulcan Science Academy, she was surprised that she was denied access to the flitter port. What the hell? Now what’s wrong? she asked herself. Landing on the street in front of the house, she tried the gate, but she was still denied access. Repeatedly, she entered the code, but no matter how many times she did, it still kept her locked out. Frustrated, she looked up and down the empty street to see if someone could help her. Seeing no one, she called Sarek’s brother, Silek, on the flitter’s comm unit.

Silek answered his comm-unit, and his eyes softened when he saw who it was. "Amanda, you are looking well today," he said.

"Oh, Silek, I am so frustrated. Our security system won’t let me in. I know I’m using the proper codes, but still I can’t get into my own house."

He could see and hear her anger just below the surface. "Where is Sarek?"

"He’s on Legara Four right now. Damn it! Why can’t technology work the way it’s supposed to?"

"I am no computer expert, but I will come over and see what I can do," he said. He had been on the wrong side of her anger only once. It was an experience he didn’t wish to repeat. "I’ll be right there. Do try to stay calm, Amanda."

Her eyes snapped when he said that. "Just get here as fast as you can."

"As you command," he teased.

Amanda knew he worked around Humans a great deal on his archeological digs, and she wondered if Silek had picked up too many of their mannerisms. She knew Sarek found him to be quite emotional at times…for a Vulcan. She disconnected the call and returned to the flitter to wait in relative comfort.

Ten minutes later, Silek arrived. He looked at the control panel and popped off the cover. Inside was a mass of wires. Silek was sure that Sarek would know what they meant, but Silek was an archeologist. If these were ancient artifacts, I may be able to understand them, he thought. He put the cover back on, and looked at his brother’s wife. "We may have to resort to desperate measures, Amanda," he said solemnly.

"And that would be…?" she asked, warily.

"What if we flew your flitter to the edge of the forcefield and shorted it out that way?" Silek suggested.

"Are you kidding?" Amanda said, raising her voice with each word. "Sarek would have my head on a platter if I did that."

"Then call the company that manufactured it and have them disconnect it or repair it," Silek suggested.

"Well, there’s a slight problem with that. You see, no company manufactured it. Sarek…uh…built it himself." Amanda looked a little sheepish.

"I see." Silek’s mouth turned up slightly at the corners as he watched Amanda fidget. "Well, the logical decision would be that you come and stay with me until Sarek gets back."

"I can’t! Spock is due home tomorrow afternoon, and he’d be worried if I wasn’t home. He will be calling first."

"Then I see no alternative but to short out the forcefield. Sarek can repair it when he returns."

Amanda looked at him, then her shoulders slumped as she said, "Do what you have to. Just get me into my house."

Silek got into Amanda’s flitter and ground-drove it until he could feel the small hairs standing on his arms and the back of his neck. Then he eased the flitter just a little bit closer…and heard a loud "fzzzt". "Fascinating," he said quietly. Looking out of the window, he saw the data entry pad by the front gate smoking. Opening the window, he called out, "Try it now!"

Amanda looked at him astonished. "Are you kidding?" she yelled back.

"No. Walk toward the house, and see if you can continue," he said.

Amanda slowly walked to the house, and to her surprise, she could get to the unlocked front door. Turning, she cried, "It worked. Thank you, Silek. Just fly the flitter into the port, okay?"

"As you wish," he said. He noticed that the flitter had stopped running, so he pressed the starter again. Nothing happened. He tried once more. Still nothing. "Hm…it seems I damaged the flitter," he said to himself. "This is not good."

Amanda was looking at him warily now. "What’s wrong?" she asked as she walked up to Silek sitting in the dead vehicle.

"It appears that the flitter is damaged and will not start," he said quietly.

"This is just great," Amanda said. "First the security system, now my flitter. Can anything else go wrong?"

Silek got out of Amanda’s damaged craft. "You said Spock was coming home. He is also a computer expert. Perhaps he can fix the security system, " Silek asked hopefully.

Amanda brightened slightly. "That’s right. Well," she said, sighing, "thank you for all your help, Silek. At least I can get into my own house now!"

Bowing slightly, he got into his flitter and left before anything else happened.

Amanda removed the groceries from her dead craft and went inside. She put the groceries down and called the flitter repair shop to come and collect her vehicle. They said they would be there within the hour. Sighing, she put the groceries away, then brewed herself some tea. What a day, she thought.


Spock called the following afternoon and informed her that the ship had just docked at the shipyard that orbited high above Vulcan. When Amanda told him about the security system, he offered to look at it when he got there.

Amanda sighed in relief. If anyone could fix it, it would be Spock. "Oh, thank you, son. I would really appreciate it. Is anyone coming with you?" she asked.

"Captain Kirk has agreed to accompany me. He stated that he has missed your gracious company. His words," he said, clearly uncomfortable relating the message.

Amanda laughed. "What a charmer," she said. "When are you coming?"

"We will be there within the half hour."

"Well, bring a tool kit. Your Uncle Silek sure made a mess of things. He even damaged the electrical system of my flitter as well. I don’t think I’ll ask him for help from here on. It’s too expensive!" Her laughter filled Spock’s ears again.

"Indeed. I will see you shortly, Mother. Spock out." With that, he cut the communication.

Amanda put the hot water on for tea and sat and read until she heard the familiar whine of the transporter. Standing, she greeted her son with the traditional el’ru’esta, the Vulcan embrace of crossed hands. Spock returned the gesture and Kirk looked on, smiling. "It’s good to see you, Spock," she said. Turning, she said, "And you, too, Jim. You’re looking well, if not a little tired."

Kirk chuckled in response.

"Please sit. I’ve made some tea, unless you want something stronger…?"

"Tea will be fine," Kirk said, and Spock nodded his acceptance of Kirk’s decision.

Amanda excused herself briefly and returned with tea and kreyla biscuits - Spock’s favourite.

"I hear you’ve had some problems with the security system," Kirk said, conversationally.

"Oh my. Let me tell you about it." Amanda launched into her story of the previous day’s excitement.

When she had finished her story, Kirk was laughing so hard tears were running down his cheeks. "I’m sorry, Amanda, but that’s really funny!" He looked over at Spock who simply raised an eyebrow at his captain. This set Kirk off again.

When he was finished, Amanda was laughing with him. "I am so glad you came," she said between chuckles. "I needed that."

Spock stood up and said, "I had better look at the damage you and Uncle Silek caused. This may take longer that I had first anticipated."

He went out to the front data entry pad by the gate. Popping the charred cover off, he shook his head. Amanda and Kirk followed him out. "Mother, this is almost totally destroyed."

"Yes, but can you fix it, Spock?" she asked.

"I will try." He turned back to the data entry pad, and started poking around. Removing burnt wires, he cleared enough space to see what further damage, if any, there was. Returning to the house, he checked the data entry pad in both the front entry and the flitter port. The wires there seemed to be in decent shape; at least they were not burnt as the front gate data entry pad’s were. He went into Sarek’s study and grabbed his father’s diagnostic tricorder. Waving it over the various data entry pads, he determined that the system was basically fried. He would have to replace most of the wiring and several key components and chips. This was not going to be a quick job. Returning to Sarek’s study, he looked for the components he needed to replace. They were not there. He checked the flitter port and still couldn’t find any spares.

Returning to the living room, he hailed the local computer component store. The clerk informed him that they were out of those particular components, but if he could hold, he would query the store in neighboring ShanaiKahr to see if they had any. It turned out they did. Spock asked that they be held for him, which he was assured that they would be.

"Mother, may I have the code to your flitter so I may go to ShanaiKahr to get the parts?" Spock asked.

"You’ll have to take Sarek’s. Mine is still in the shop," Amanda said casually.

Spock’s eyebrow nearly climbed off his face. "Father’s flitter? Perhaps I can rent one…"

"That’s not logical, and you know it. Just take Sarek’s."

"You know he will not approve," Spock said slowly.

"Oh for Pete’s sake, Spock, you’re an adult now. He won’t mind. Besides, he’s not here and will never know. If for some reason he asks, I’ll tell him that I told you to take it. Will that suffice, my son? "

Captain Kirk looked from mother to son, wondering what was going on. What was the deal about taking Sarek’s flitter to ShanaiKahr? Is Sarek that possessive of his things? No, that didn’t seem like him at all, Kirk thought. At least not the Sarek I shared Sickbay with.

Spock turned to Kirk and saw the confusion on his face. "Allow me to explain, Captain. Sarek built that flitter while he was a student at the Vulcan Science Academy. He is…protective of it. Quite protective of it."

Kirk looked at Spock, amusement written all over his face. Then he turned to Amanda, who nodded in agreement with her son’s description.

"Just be careful with it, and everything will be fine," Amanda assured him. "Here is the code." She reached inside a drawer in the kitchen and handed Spock a card. "I’ll be out in the back garden if you need me."

Spock and Kirk went to the flitter port, and Spock got into the driver’s seat. He had to adjust the seat slightly as Sarek was a shade shorter than he was. Kirk went onto the driveway to wait for Spock to back the flitter out. He wanted to get a good look at it.

Spock gingerly backed the flitter out of the port. When he finally had it on the driveway, the sun glinted off the bright red paint. Kirk whistled in awe of the flitter’s craftsmanship. "Sarek built this? Himself?" Kirk lovingly stroked the flank of the machine. "Spock, this is incredible!" Kirk lifted the hood of the craft and noticed that the engine was large and had power to spare. "Look at the size of it," Kirk said.

"You may now understand why my father is so protective of it. It is a fine machine."

"Well, let’s go to ShanaiKahr. Time’s a wasting!" Kirk jumped into the passenger side and put on his restraint harness. "Let’s see what this puppy can do!"

"I will follow the rules of the road and observe all posted speed limits, Captain. It would not be logical to exceed them," Spock said, stiffly.

"I was just kidding, Spock. Lighten up, for crying out loud." Kirk settled back in the comfortable seat, watching the scenery of Shi’kahr go by. Then, he noticed that the scenery was going by all right, but very, very slowly. "Uh, Spock…exactly how fast are we going?" Kirk asked.

"Forty-five kilometers an hour."

"Are you kidding? The speed limit is sixty kilometers an hour. You’re a traffic hazard going this slow, and you know it. What’s wrong with you? Sarek won’t kill you for throttling this baby. C’mon, let’s see what she can do."

"I will not exceed the speed limit," Spock insisted.

"Spock, you have to get to the speed limit in order to exceed it," Kirk said. "At this rate, the store in ShanaiKahr will be long closed before we get there. Pick up the pace, Commander. That’s an order!"

Spock looked at Kirk, then slowly throttled up until he was at the speed limit. By now, they were in the country, and the limit was much higher. Kirk looked at Spock and smiled.


Sarek settled in his chair, leaned back and closed his eyes. He was on the transport home from Legara IV and had just finished his report for the Vulcan Council. Knowing he was a day early, he could just imagine the surprise on his wife’s face when he walked in the door. Perhaps I should call her, and let her know, he thought. Leaning forward, he contacted the ship’s communications officer and asked him to allow him to contact Vulcan. Almost immediately, he had a subspace link. He punched in the familiar number to his residence in Shi’kahr and let it chime. No one but the answering service picked up, so he left a message for Amanda, telling her that he would be home in approximately two hours.

The two hours passed quickly, and soon he was basking in the warmth of his world’s sun. A junior member of the Interplanetary Affairs office met him and drove him home. As Sarek walked up the pathway to the front door, he saw the charred data entry pad of the security system. Concerned, he examined it and didn’t like what he saw. He looked around quickly, determining that no one was in the immediate area that could prove harmful to him. Walking quickly, he strode to the front door, cautiously opened it and peered into the entryway and living room. There was no one there. Carefully and without making a sound, he lowered his travel bag to the floor. Creeping silently, he went to the door of the flitter port and opened it. There were no flitters inside. What is happening here? he wondered. With stealth, he moved back into the living room, prepared to do a room-by-room search of the house, hoping that his wife was unharmed. Then it dawned on him. His flitter was not there either. Just then, a movement in the back yard caught his eye. Walking quietly, but quickly, he crossed the living room and entered the kitchen just as Amanda walked in from the garden.

She jumped visibly when she saw him standing there. "Sarek! What are you doing here? I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow?" Her eyes shone with delight as she beheld her husband.

"Amanda, what has happened here? Are you unharmed?" Sarek’s concern was almost palpable.

"Of course I am," she answered. "Why?"

"I saw the condition of the security system’s gate data entry pad and was understandably concerned. Then I noticed that both flitters were not in the flitter port. These are not usual occurrences. Perhaps you can explain what has happened?"

Amanda sighed, then sat down at the kitchen table. Sarek sat beside her, his concern still visible on his face. "Well, it all started when the security system, which you built I might add, wouldn’t let me back into the house."

"Why would it not let you in?" Sarek asked.

"I don’t know. It just wouldn’t. I put in the proper code, and it wouldn’t let me in. It’s old, Sarek. Anyway, do you want to hear the story or not," she asked, her eyes flashing in anger at the memories.

"Certainly. Please continue, my wife." Sarek leaned back in his chair and waited for her to continue.

Amanda related the entire day’s events to her husband, who never moved a muscle the entire time. When she had finished, Sarek’s eyebrow rose into his hairline.

"So, Spock and Kirk currently have my flitter and have gone to ShanaiKahr to get the components?" he asked.

"Yes. And don’t you give them a hard time about that. I know what you are like about that flitter, but I told them they could take it."

Wanting to change the subject, Sarek asked, "When does yours return from the shop, Amanda?"

"It should be sometime tomorrow they said."

Sarek stood and as he went into the living room. "I will change out of my traveling clothes and see what I can do about the security system until Spock and Kirk return." He went into the bedroom, shaking his head over the events described to him by his beloved wife.


Spock and Jim Kirk found the component store and purchased the items to repair the security system. Kirk immediately jumped into the driver’s seat and beckoned Spock to sit beside him. Some of the components were quite fragile, so Kirk supposed that Spock would want to hold them on his lap during the flight back to Shi’kahr.

"What if I held them and accidentally break them? I’d feel just terrible about that, Spock. It probably would be better if I drove and you hold the components. That way if you break them, it won’t be on my head." Kirk smiled his famous smile at his reluctant first officer.

"I will be careful when I drive," was all Spock said in reply, still standing outside of the flitter.

"Aw, c’mon, Spock. Let me drive. Please? I’ll be very careful, and there won’t be a scratch on it when we get home. I promise. After all, I am a starship captain. Surely I can fly a flitter.

Spock looked at his friend warily. "This is not just any flitter. It’s Sarek’s flitter. There is a difference."

"No, there’s not. You’re only making a big deal about it because Sarek does. He’s not even home. He’ll never know. C’mon, Spock. I promise I’ll be careful."

Reluctantly, Spock got into the passenger side. Eyeing Kirk carefully, he fastened his restraint harness and steadied the package on his knees.

Kirk eased the throttle slowly, and the flitter snapped into the air. "Whoa, she’s a peppy little thing!" he exclaimed as he straightened the machine out for level flying.

Spock let out the breath he’d been holding and glared at Kirk. "Be careful, Captain."

Kirk looked back at his Vulcan friend and smiled. "No problem, Spock. I’m used to her now," he said; then muttered under his breath, "I hope."

Once they cleared the city, Kirk rose to enter the express flyways. "Let’s see what she’s got, okay?"

As Kirk punched the throttle, Spock said, "That would not be wise…"

The little two-seater sped along the express flyway, her motions as smooth as glass. What craftsmanship, Kirk thought as he eased the throttle even faster. The flitter jumped forward, the G-forces pressing them back into their comfortable seats.

"Captain!" Spock said. "Please endeavor to go the speed limit!"

"Relax, Spock. We’re almost there." Kirk eased the throttle back, and the flitter responded almost immediately. "What a fine machine!" he said, his eyes grazing over the dashboard’s controls.

They landed on the driveway at the house and eased the flitter to Sarek’s side of the flitter port. "Man, what a beaut!" Kirk exclaimed as he hopped out of the driver’s side.

"I take that to mean you enjoyed yourself in my flitter then, James?"

The two men jumped at the sound of Sarek’s baritone voice. They had not seen him standing near the flitter port door that entered into the house.

"It’s certainly a fine craft, Ambassador," Kirk said, his voice oozing charm.

Spock froze when he heard his father’s voice. "I was under the impression that you were not coming home until tomorrow, Father." He was relieved when his voice sounded unemotional to his ears.

"I know." Sarek walked toward the two men, and looked closely at his flitter for any signs of scratches or dirt. Straightening from his inspection, he looked closely at Spock. "Are those the components for the security system, my son?"

"Yes, Father. It was necessary to get the components needed to fix the security system. Had Mother’s flitter not been in for repair, I, of course, would have used hers. I offered to rent a flitter, but she pointed out the illogic of that action. She gave us permission to use yours, assuring us you would not mind…" Spock held out the package.

"I see. And you felt she had sufficient authority to lend you my flitter?" Sarek asked.

"Doesn’t she?" Amanda inquired rather pointedly from the doorway.

Sarek looked at his wife, his eyebrow raising. Still looking at Amanda, he said to Spock, "Perhaps you and James should see to the repairs. I will join you in a moment."

Kirk thought he saw a twinkle of mischief in Sarek’s eye. He remembered seeing that same twinkle when he teased Amanda in sickbay when they were both patients under Doctor McCoy’s care.

As they started for the house, Sarek said, "I am assuming you both are staying for end-meal?"

"We’d be delighted to, Ambassador. Well, Spock, let’s get started. The sooner we start, the faster we get to eat!" Kirk said cheerfully, guiding Spock out of the flitter port.

Amanda crossed the flitter port to stand beside her husband. He was crouched down beside the flitter, examining it for any scratches. Standing, he went to the workbench and grabbed a chamois. He started to wipe the dirt off the hood, carefully examining it as he went.

Amanda watched him with an amused look on her face. "If only you would treat me this well," she teased.

"I do," Sarek deadpanned as he continued to buff the machine. Starting slightly, he peered at the passenger door. Muttering under his breath, he said, "They did scratch it."

Amanda heard him and came over to inspect the door herself. "I don’t see any scratch, Sarek. You’re making that up."

"I am not. It is clearly visible," pointing to a spot on the door, "right here." He got a flashlight from the workbench and shined it on a spot on the door for her to see.

"There’s nothing there. You’re dreaming."

"Amanda, it is right here. I can see it as plainly as I see you," Sarek insisted. "It will take me one point three hours to properly fix this."

"You have to help your son and his friend fix the security system. You can fix the non-existent scratch later, Sarek. I must insist on this."

Sarek straightened and faced his wife. "Very well, Amanda. But I will fix this at my earliest convenience." He strode from the flitter port, grabbing his tools as he went.

Amanda bent down to look at the door again. "There’s nothing there," she muttered. "Men and their toys!"

She entered the house and saw Spock, Kirk, and Sarek standing by the data entry pad inside the front door. The cover was off and wires were everywhere. She wisely decided to retreat to the back garden to wait until the repairs were made.

Kirk was out of his element when it came to repairing computer components so he busied himself fetching tools and holding the flashlight for the two Vulcans. Several times, father and son forgot themselves and spoke to each other in Vulcan using low tones that Kirk could barely make out. Fortunately, he had learned quite a bit of Vulcan over his years of service with Spock, and could understand the Vulcan words, if not their contextual meanings.

As they went to the data entry pad by the front gate, Silek arrived. Sarek looked at his younger brother and greeted him with the ta’al. "What did you do to my house, Silek?" he asked.

"Me? I only assisted your bondmate, Sarek."

"Some assistance. You short out the security system and Amanda’s flitter at the same time. At the very least, you’re efficient," Sarek said dryly.

Looking at the mass of wires and the charred cover, he said, "Do you want me to help you fix it?"

Sarek and Spock simultaneously said, "No!" Kirk looked amused.

Nonplused, Silek said, "You seem to have matters well in hand here. Perhaps I should go in and give my regards to Amanda." He strode off towards the house, hands clasped behind his back.

Sarek and the two Starfleet officers went back to work on the security system, and three hours later, they were done. As they came into the house, Silek and Amanda were talking in the living room. Looking up when the men entered, she said, "Clean up and get ready for dinner. It’s almost ready."

"I will just be in the flitter port, Amanda," Sarek said.

"No, you won’t be. You’ll be cleaning up and coming into the living room. We have guests, Sarek." Amanda watched her mate go into their bedroom to do her bidding. Turning to Silek, she said, "He still fusses over that flitter!"

Silek just raised his eyebrow at her, but said nothing.

The end-meal was delicious, and there were many full bellies at the table when they were done. Captain Kirk thoroughly enjoyed the conversation he had with Silek, this being the first time they’d met. He found Silek charming and amusing…for a Vulcan. He is very different from his older brother, Kirk thought. Amazing that they come from the same family.

After dinner, they all retired into the living room for after dinner drinks and more stimulating conversation. Sarek surreptitiously slipped into the flitter port, but Silek noticed his exit as did Amanda.

"I remember when Sarek first built that flitter," Silek said, conversationally.

Kirk leaned forward in his chair, anxious to hear more about this obsession of Sarek’s. Spock also seemed interested in what his uncle had to say.

"I was just eleven years old, and Sarek was eighteen and was in his third year at the Vulcan Science Academy. I believe he was taking astrophysics. At any rate, we were both living at home at the time, here, in Shi’kahr. A fellow classmate of Sarek’s sold him the flitter; Sonat, I believe it was. It was in terrible shape. Sarek spent hours getting the parts and fixing it up. Father was displeased when he would come into the house covered in motor grease and oil. Mother was not terribly pleased either, but she was more concerned about the time Sarek was spending with the flitter and not on his studies.

"Father finally had a sonic shower installed in the flitter port for Sarek to clean himself before coming into the house. He refused to allow Sarek’s dirty clothing in the house either, so Sarek had to remember to bring clean clothes into the flitter port before he started on the repairs. If he failed to do so…or if they went missing…well, you can imagine."

His audience’s eyes widened as their imaginations pictured a naked Sarek streaking through the house to his bedroom to change into clean clothes, then to determine the location of his younger brother to lecture him on the illogic of practical jokes and to retrieve his stolen clothing.

Silek continued, "Finally, two years later, he was finished. That flitter was a beautiful machine." Silek leaned back in his chair, momentarily lost in the memory.

"We decided to take it for a test flight. It was mechanically sound; Sarek made sure of that, but we were curious to see how it would handle in actual flight conditions. So, one day after our classes were completed, we flew out to the Sas-a-shar desert," seeing the confused look on Kirk’s face, he added, "what you would call The Forge, and put it through its paces. Unfortunately, someone was observing us and reported our flying speed to the authorities. Equally unfortunate was the fact that we did not see the authorities arrive…until it was too late."

Amanda had never heard this story and neither had Spock. Amanda and Kirk started to chuckle, and Spock simply raised his eyebrow.

"They forced us to land and wrote us a summons for exceeding the speed limit. Sarek tried to explain to the officials that it was necessary to determine the speed the craft could go as we were conducting a test flight. They were unconvinced and handed us the ticket."

Amanda and Kirk were openly laughing now.

Silek didn’t appear to be offended by their display of emotion and continued the story. "When we arrived home, Father was waiting for us. He asked us where we had been, and we told him that we were conducting a test flight over the Sas-a-shar. Father asked if we exceeded the speed limit." Turning to Kirk, he said, "My father was a senior diplomat for Vulcan at the time. It was obvious that the authorities notified him of our…transgression."

Kirk looked at Spock and said, "You’d better not get caught for speeding, eh, Spock?"

"It would be illogical to exceed the posted limit, Captain," Spock said stiffly.

Silek looked at his nephew and raised an eyebrow. "It is illogical to run off into the mountains too, Spock, but you have done that. But I digress.

"Our father lectured us about responsibility, that Sarek as the elder should have known better, and the illogic of exceeding the speed limit. He must have spoken to us for twenty minutes. I can distinctly remember him saying that he failed to understand Sarek’s logic in this situation, and that, as the eldest, he was setting a bad example for his younger brother. He reminded Sarek as the eldest son that it was his duty to maintain proper decorum at all times. He was most displeased at his sons’ blatantly breaking the law! He reminded Sarek that he should consider the effect this would have on his future career. He also suggested that we both meditate on these issues. I was then informed that I was not allowed to leave the house other than for classes for twenty-five days."

Spock reflected on how similar the lecture his father received was to ones he had received from Sarek.

Amanda’s eyes widened again. "You mean to tell me you were grounded?" she asked.

Silek looked at her blankly, clearly not understanding the term she used. "Well, I was not allowed out of the house, or off the grounds, so I suppose I was ‘grounded’," he finally said.

"Never mind, Silek. We understand what you meant."

"Sarek tried to explain that we had to determine how fast the flitter could go so we would have that information if we needed it in the future. Father could not see our reasoning, hence, the discipline he gave us."

Checking his internal clock, Silek stood up and said, "I must leave you now. My bondmate should be almost finished teaching her class now, and I wish to walk home with her. It was a very pleasant evening, Amanda. James Kirk, it was pleasing to meet you finally. Spock, live long and prosper, and give my regrets to your father if he ever finishes with the flitter." Silek’s eyes flashed in amusement briefly, then he left.

"Amanda, I don’t know about Spock, but I’m beat. The transporter is still down so I have to get into town to find a place to stay," Kirk said.

"Nonsense, James. You’re staying here, and your room is ready. Go on. Get some rest. I’ll see you in the morning." With that, Amanda shooed him down the hall toward the back guest room.

Returning, she said, "Spock, I’ll leave you to yourself. I’m going to drag your father to bed. Sweet dreams, son."

"Good night, Mother." Spock left and went toward the back garden, presumably to meditate.

Amanda crossed the living room, telling the computer to turn off the lights. She went to the door of the flitter port and cracked it open. There was Sarek, buffing the spot on the door, a look of total satisfaction on his face. She crossed over to him and bent to examine the spot. "It looks beautiful. Come to bed now."

"I am not quite finished, beloved. Where are our guests?" Sarek asked.

"Silek has gone home, James has gone to bed, and Spock is off being Spock somewhere. Come to bed, Sarek. The flitter will still be here in the morning." She tugged at his arm.

Sarek straightened up and put his tools and rag on the workbench. "As you wish," he said, holding up his paired fingers. Amanda joined hers to his, and they left the flitter port. As Sarek turned off the light, he looked back over his shoulder at the craft he built. Then he turned and closed the door, leaving the flitter port in darkness.


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