Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of and is copyright (c) 2009 by SterJulie. Rated PG.

AFTER THE CREDITS: Elaan of Troyius

"What If?"

Ster Julie

Elaan: Remember me.

Kirk: I have no choice.

Elaan: Nor have I. I have only responsibilities and obligations.

My father once taught me that speculation is useless. What is simply is. However, sometimes I find myself captivated by a conundrum so bizarre that it fills my meditations with numerous distractions. I find that I must stop my meditations and face the dragon, as Mother would have stated so colloquially.

The Enterprise has just discharged Her Glory, Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, to her waiting bridegroom on Troyius where she was to be the sacrificial lamb, the peace offering to bring their two warring planets to a peaceful coexistence. Elaan obeyed.

What if I had obeyed? Would I, like Elaan, have thrown a fit, but then obeyed Sarek's wishes? What would have changed?

I think of the many missions where my actions affected the outcome and start to make a list. Had I not have joined Starfleet,

1. Captain Pike would still be held prisoner in that life-support air chair,

2. The ship would have been lost at Psi 2000 for want of the cold-start intermix formula,

3. Jim would have been found guilty of Ben Finney's death,

4. Many more lives would have been lost to the Horta,

5. McCoy would have been lost in Earth's past,

6. The crew would have been wiped out by Nomad's altered programming,

7. Jim would have been killed by the poisonous thorns,

8. Jim, McCoy, and Scott would have died of old age, or at the hands of the Melkotians at their version of the OK Corral,

9. McCoy would have died in the pseudo-Roman arena,

10. The single-celled creature would have destroyed the Enterprise as it had the Intrepid, and eventually taken over the quadrant, and

11. Sarek would be dead because I was not on board ship to give him the blood transfusion he needed.

I know that my list is incomplete. I also would have not met some remarkable people, like Christopher Pike or Jim or Dr. McCoy. I would never have met Leila Kalomi or known the warmth of her loving embrace.

And perhaps, just perhaps T'Pring would have been more amenable to remaining my wife had I stayed on Vulcan.

In the privacy of my quarters, I permit myself a small smile. Perhaps being rid of the Faithless One is my reward for disobedience! Another would be my father, alive and well. And another would be my true and lasting friendship with Jim. I conclude my dalliance in indulging my distractions. Kaiidth. What has happened has happened for a reason, purpose unknown. I am called to live my life as it unfolds before me, living out the lessons taught by the Ancestors, and purposing my life so that the Descendants may live in peace.

I begin my meditations again.