Chapter Three:

Friday, March 29, 2272

Earth/Vacherie, Louisiana

Lauren stood in the doorway, her arms crossed, "Qu'est-ce que c'est?"

She was equal parts curious and bemused. Having learned how to skillfully redirect conversation from subjects she did not want to discuss, Christine had kept a great many things close to the vest since her return from deep space. Rather than let that cause friction between them, Lauren had resolved to turn a blind eye to her daughter's newly acquired introspection in exchange for the simple enjoyment of having her back on Earth.

Sara abhorred the vacuum of uneasy silence and she gave all indications that she intended to fill it.

"Perhaps," Amanda said, as she preempted Sara and moved closer be face-to-face with Lauren, "I should formally introduce myself. My name is Amanda Grayson. Wife to Sarek, of Vulcan. Mother of Spock."

Lauren's arms fell loosely by her side. Well, that definitely was not what she had expected.

Hearing that her daughter was in love with someone whom she had never mentioned was not so much a revelation as an annoyance. Learning that it was with a Vulcan. Half Vulcan. Whatever. How does that even happen? Aren't Vulcans cold and emotionless – incapable of love? Had her daughter entered into yet another disastrous relationship?

Since Christine had made what Lauren considered an ill-advised decision to abandon a promising career in research to sign aboard a starship and search for the phantom Roger Korby, she had considered herself nearly unflappable.

"I beg your pardon?" she managed, an awestruck weakness in her voice.

"Oh, my dear," Amanda said, realizing too late that Lauren obviously did not know and that she had done something unforgivable. "I am so very sorry."

Lauren had never believed in fate, or pre-destiny, or even karma. Those were things her great-great grandmother had believed in. She had dismissed them as holdover from ancient times. Though she venerated the past, she repudiated all forms of spiritualism as voodoo, something else that was part of her personal family history.

All that came out of the remainder of that afternoon with Amanda and Sara made her reevaluate many things.

Though it was the equivalent of having a concussion grenade dropped at her feet, Amanda had gently provided the context that allowed her to process it all with a smidgeon of her dignity still intact. The sad acceptance on Amanda's face when she related the nature of her son's choice to purge all emotion and follow some isolated, monastic lifestyle put a new slant on her own misgivings about her daughter's choices.

Lauren could still relate to Christine on a mother-daughter level. She intended to maintain that, no matter what, or how much, she had to suck it up.