So many holiday Star Trek fanfiction stories are about Christmas. I wanted one to be about Thanksgiving. And who would be more grateful than Eriecho and Saddik, the ex-convicts from Canamar Prison?
At the Martian sanctuary, Jack Shaw hosts a massive Thanksgiving dinner but, more importantly, gets to spend some time with Juliet Parker.
I was pleased to be able to follow their romance a little, particularly as I had only briefly mentioned her in Release. In A Gathering, I show how Jack is utterly jumping the gun in their relationship, which isn’t really a relationship at all. She barely remembers him, whereas he had actually been considering putting money down on a house. But she is a generous soul, and sees that he might not be a terribly romantic guy, but she could not possibly ask for a more loyal and invested partner.
In order to continue the saga of Eriecho and Sollastek (and Saddik and Valeris), I decided to bring a canon character into the JJ Abrams timeline. At the very least, Spock Prime had to have been wondering about this. Did Sybok exist? I decided he did, and he would be a difficult person but not as far gone as in the canon prime timeline.
Eriecho’s relationship with Sollastek is tested when an emotional Vulcan is brought to the sanctuary, a man who rattles everyone he meets.
Eriecho is getting tired of trying to get along with the other Vulcans and suppress her emotions. Sollastek has not been asking her to, but she has been doing this anyway, thinking that this is the kind of wife he will want.
The story is filled with Beatles music, culminating in the song of the title.
This doesn’t quite wrap up the Eriecho series, as she and Sollastek still have to wed. Plus I might do something more with Jack Shaw and Juliet Parker. And Sybok! I’m sure there are a few more stories lurking within him.
For a prompt about ordinary life, I decided to make Eriecho an amateur gardener. This made some sense, as prisoners these days and in the past have certainly tended gardens, either as a part of their rehabilitation or as trusty work or even to just get better food by growing it themselves.
At the Martian sanctuary, Eriecho tends her garden.
At the next plot, the youth Sollastek does the same. When he accidentally touches her hand, she senses his attraction to her.
They trade some of their produce and agree to meet and discuss gardening, even as the Martian sanctuary’s contingent of Vulcan matrons look on disapprovingly.
Continuing Eriecho‘s story, I had a few shorter stories which I wanted to combine into something more. This story proved to be a great vehicle for doing that. It was also a way to comment on some Vulcan snobbishness seen in the Enterprise series. I had always liked that bit of canon, as that species had often seemed, to me, to be overly perfect.
Connections of genetics and memory bring a silver lining to a horrible tragedy.
Eriecho and Saddik have been living at the Martian sanctuary for a few months.
Jack Shaw has been doing his best to accommodate them. Eriecho even has, sort of, a beau, the youth Sollastek. Saddik has even met someone, Valeris.
But all is not right, as snooty matrons dismiss Eriecho as being overly emotional and too much like a human.
After posting Release, there was a call for a sequel. Readers wanted to know what had happened to Eriecho and Saddik.
A couple of months after arriving at the Martian sanctuary, Saddik and Eriecho visit people who are, in a way, their family.
They meet up with Enkir and his mother, L’Cultura. These Suliban are the brother and mother, respectively, of Eriecho’s adoptive mother, H’Shema. And, by extension, she was also Saddik’s lover while they were in prison at Canamar.
Enkir is a little reserved, but L’Cultura seems overly fragile. It is Eriecho who perks her up and, ultimately, gives her a reason to go on.
It may not amount to a terribly glamorous role, but someone has to run things. Enter the administrators.
This role is, of course, canon, although it is not often shown on screen or in any real depth. After all, it is kind of boring.
Who wants to watch someone checking on rations and preparing reports and signing paperwork? But it is still absolutely necessary for someone to do just that.
Seen only briefly, Kerig is the warden for Canamar Prison while Eriecho and Saddik are being held there. The meeting of the three of them hints at more than a little corruption. Eriecho’s attacks, recalled in Beats and Recessive, assure that something or other happened, and he looked the other way. Or he was a willing participant, like is seen in Eight, where H’Shema trades sexual favors for powdered milk to feed the helpless Vulcan infant. Kerig is the height (depth, perhaps) of corruption in the timeline.
Annette ‘Windy’ Bradley Pollan
Windy attends Kent State during the 1970 massacre and meets Rick (in Ohio). In an alternate timeline, she and her friends fight for social justice, including Alison B. Krause, who is a real-life victim from the shooting. But that timeline has to be altered and, instead, Windy is restored to her original destiny, which is to rise through the ranks at the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles. She ends up as the epitome of the soulless bureaucrat. Her less than optimal fate prompts Sheilagh to redouble her efforts to allow the new timeline. Not only would it save Alison’s life, it would, in a way, save Windy’s.
But that cannot be, and so the restoration sticks and Windy is back to being a paper pusher.
Empress Hoshi‘s child with a mystery father is good with numbers. Arashi doesn’t really want to become Emperor, even though he is certainly smart enough (and may very well be the smartest of her offspring). Instead, he performs collections, often sending his younger half-brother, Izo, out to do the strong-arming. But Arashi would never sully his hands with such a task. He’s far too busy counting money.
Colonel Jacob ‘Jack’ Shaw
Shaw is another methodical type of leader. In a way, he is a kind of counterpart to Kerig in that he is also a kind of ‘keeper’ for Saddik and Eriecho. But if he’s at all corrupt, it’s only minimally (it’s been suggested to me that the gamete trading he engages in with his fellow sanctuary administrators isn’t completely on the up and up). Shaw is motivated to try to save the Vulcan race.
They might not be glamorous, but nothing will ever be properly funded without them. Administrators make things go!
A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.
Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.
Because the series that speaks to me the most is Enterprise, I have had to deal with Vulcans all along. The truth is that I always found T’Pol to be wooden. As for Spock in the Original Series, I have read far too much of him in fan fiction. I never got into Voyager, so my experience with writing Vulcans was limited and difficult. That is, until Eriecho and the Alternate Original Series. Thank you, JJ Abrams.
Lili is admitted to the Mars Culinary Institute based upon the strength of a meal prepared for Admissions Director Aviri.
Charles Tucker IV
In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. Charlie becomes captain after Jonathan Archer’s death.
My favorite Vulcan, Eriecho never learned true emotional suppression while at Canamar Prison, and only tries it in a mistaken effort to please Sollastek.
This character is named but rarely seen, and is often paired with T’Pau when I write Mirror Universe Vulcans. In the prime universe, he is T’Pol’s eventual husband.
Canon character Lorian is seen during the second E2 kick back in time.
Eriecho’s foster/adoptive father cares for her as if she were his own.
Spock’s father is overwhelmed by the changes wrought by Nero in the JJ Abrams timeline, but he rises to the occasion and accepts his new child.
Eriecho’s mate is a lot younger than she is and was not a good student. Leaving class early saved his life during Nero’s attack on Vulcan. He witnessed the death of Amanda Grayson.
When Soval is a lot older, he experiences difficulty in maintaining emotional control, as I show him in Biases.
Iconic and sometimes hard to pin down, I do better with this classic character in the JJ Abrams universe than in the prime timeline.
Spock’s canon half-brother is redeemed in the Eriecho universe.
In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. T’Les is Charlie’s twin.
Often paired with Kefris in the Mirror Universe, T’Pau is brought aboard Empress Hoshi‘s ship when she proves she is a genius in mathematics and physics.
This canon character is easiest for me to write when I remove her emotional control.
Saddik’s love interest also catches Sybok’s eye. In the JJ Abrams timeline, Valeris acts as a Pon Farr comfortor, a kind of Vulcan sex worker.
Jolene Tucker Hodgkins
All of these characters are on the older version of the NX-01.
Stellak – Rayna Montgomery’s love interest.
T’Bek – one of Rayna’s teachers (I’ve used this name in a few other places).
T’Mia – one of Rayna’s classmates.
Eriecho universe (JJ Abrams timeline)
T’Moona – in canon, Spock is the child of Sarek and a Vulcan princess. This is her name, which is Hebrew for picture.
For a species that I often have difficulty writing, I’ve sure got a lot of instances. Maybe I’ll get this species right someday, without having to strip them of their emotional control.
With readers asking for a sequel to Eriecho‘s origins story (Release), I wanted to explore the Suliban side of her family. Enter L’Cultura, whose name is Italian for ‘culture’.
L’Cultura is played by Dame Judi Dench. This smart and legendary actress seems perfect for the role of a newly created matriarch of a suddenly larger and more complicated family.
Frail and perhaps a bit defeated, L’Cultura knows that her daughter, H’Shema, was untrustworthy and prone to addictions. The news of H’Shema’s imprisonment in Canamar is not unexpected. The news of her death in prison isn’t much of a shock, either.
There are no impediments to L’Cultura existing in the Mirror.
There have never been Mirror Suliban shown in canon.
I like to think she’d be tougher, as a lot of women on the other side of the pond have to be.
“I can see, a bit, why your kind would like to suppress emotions. The hard ones can be very hard indeed. I, I mourned my own eriecho many years ago, a girl lost to addiction and then to imprisonment. But as I said, the bitter comes with the sweet. And we can celebrate today, my ta-eriecho.”
While L’Cultura’s acceptance is important to Eriecho, the truth is that some of it works the other way around. As her son, Enkir, explains, L’Cultura had been hoarding medications and probably considering suicide. But the existence of the unknown and unexpected granddaughter turns that around, and L’Cultura has a reason to live.
With the destruction of Vulcan, Vulcans are sought in all sorts of remote places.
In response to a prompt requiring that we write in the new timeline (also called nuTrek of the JJ Abrams universe), I decided to write about how the creation of a sentient endangered species would be handled.
The story opens with a pair of Vulcan convicts being called into a commandant’s office at Canamar Prison, a canon institution.
They are about to be freed, and they scarcely know why. All that Commandant Kerig will tell them is that Vulcans are endangered, and the home world has been destroyed. This unsettles Saddik, the elder of the two.
But not so Eriecho, who barely knows anything about Vulcans, or what it means to be one. As the story continues, her back story is revealed, that she was born on a prison transport, and this is the only life she has ever known. Furthermore, the only mother has ever known was a deceased Suliban woman, H’Shema.
The action follows Eriecho and Saddik off Canamar and to their new home, a sanctuary on Mars. Colonel Jack Shaw is in charge, and he’s thrilled. Partly it’s because it was his idea to try to find Vulcans in prisons. But it’s also because the rebuilding of the population involves surrogate mothers and as much genetic diversity as can be achieved with the limited remnants of a once-thriving species. Taking note of the Law of Supply and Demand, Shaw has something that others want. Hence he (and the administrators of the other sanctuaries, on places like Andoria) engages in a barely legal practice – gamete trading.
I wanted Eriecho to eventually have a love interest, so that she could have a silver lining from the horrible tragedy that is the destruction of Vulcan in the new timeline. This man would be markedly younger than her, and not too terribly well-educated. Enter Sollastek.
I think Timberlake (who is a better actor than a lot of people seem to give him credit for) would make a pretty interesting Vulcan.
I like the idea of him being a bit guilt-ridden, partly with survivor guilt, but also because he is a witness to a canon event, when Amanda Grayson, Spock’s mother, is killed.
A bit troubled but trying very hard, Sollastek is attempting to make the best of a bad situation. But the truth is, if Eriecho and Saddik had not arrived at the Martian Sanctuary, it’s likely that he would have been the subject of the matrons’ none too subtle shunning. He is working class and barely on their side of logical and meditative. After all, even on Vulcan, someone has to be a day laborer.
Sollastek’s sole known relationship is with Eriecho. In Across the Universe, she learns that he made a deal with Colonel Shaw to change his space in the community garden so that he could be closer to her. He is a calming influence on Eriecho, and grounds her. He’s patient with her when she runs off to Earth with Sybok, too.
There are no impediments to Sollastek existing in the Mirror Universe.
I do not feel that he would be any brighter, but he would probably have more confidence. As for survivor guilt, much like a lot of denizens of the Mirror, he just wouldn’t care all that much.
“Many of us have seen truly horrible things. I was there when our home world was destroyed, as was Valeris. It was a day I will never forget. Many of the others, I am certain, have suffered their own personal traumas.”
As Eriecho goes, so goes Sollastek. He will return.