What if… No Khan Noonian Singh?

Try this on for size.

It’s 2266. Captain Kirk and the Enterprise are zipping through space, and there’s an emergency distress call from a nearby colony, under attack. The Enterprise diverts from its routine patrol. Had the Enterprise stayed on its course for another day, Spock would have detected a derelict Earth ship from the 20th century.

The Botany Bay.

Kirk never stumbles across the Botany Bay. Never wakes Khan and his followers. Never banishes them to Ceti Alpha V.

In 2285 Kirk boards the Enterprise for a routine training mission. Chekov, first officer of the Reliant, surveys Ceti Alpha V and declares it fit for testing the Genesis Device. There’s no Khan on Ceti Alpha V to kidnap Chekov, steal the Genesis Device, attack the Enterprise and bring about Spock’s death.

No Genesis Incident. No collapse of the Mutara Nebula into the Genesis Planet. No sacrifice by Spock to restart the Enterprise‘s engines.

In 2286 Hikaru Sulu assumes command of the USS Excelsior.

Kirk never stole the Enterprise. He never needed to. Kirk never destroyed the Enterprise. Kirk was never demoted for his insubordination.

In 2287 Pavel Chekov assumes his own command, the USS Yorktown. He rescues the hostages on Nimbus III when a renegade Vulcan named Sybok takes over the tri-government embassy.

Kirk accepts a promotion to Commandant of Starfleet Academy.

The long-range effects of this timeline are profound. Kirk would be remembered more for his long service to Starfleet Academy (from 2284 onward into the 24th century) than for his two five-year missions. The “heroic age of captains” would be more likely to refer to Sulu and Chekov than to Kirk. Kirk would have molded several generations of Starfleet Officers, but he wouldn’t have been the one to be there at the front lines, time and again, putting out the Federation’s brushfires. That would have fallen to the officers he trained.

I fail to see who doesn’t benefit in this timeline.

4 thoughts on “What if… No Khan Noonian Singh?

  1. I know who doesn’t benefit from this timeline –

    – Lieutenant Marla McGivers!

    If Kirk didn’t wake Khan Singh up, she would never have met the man of her dreams, and would have been stuck living in the past, painting portraits of former leaders…eventually leaving Starfleet to die of boredom on Earth, or something.

  2. Ah, Tom, but Marla McGivers does benefit. No Khan, no banishment to Ceti Alpha V, no painful slug in her cranium. Maybe her life would be long and lonely, but at least she would be alive.

  3. I thought about the whole slug in the brain driving her nuts and killing her – but for some reason it seems like being bored would be a lot worse. At least she was with someone she loved, and was loved by – Khan Singh did love her, in his own way (he called her superior and everything). 🙂

  4. So eight years later I am responding to this. The Alien probe from Star Trek IV would have destroyed the earth (Kirk included) and the federation headquarters would have had to reallocate to Vulcan.

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