It was at the 10th anniversary of the Kelvin’s destruction that she thinks about what would happen if it survived. Watching the Starfleet troops reveal the statue of Captain George Kirk made her, Carol Marcus, wonder how his family was. Did they see him as brave? Stupid? Both? She can’t know for sure since none of them shown up. She overheard her dad say it was because neither of the sons wanted to come though Carol didn’t understand. If someone gave her dad a statue for saving lives she would come to see it, revel in it. She told her mom just that.
“Some people rather celebrate the living than the dead.” Her mom said with smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. Carol still didn’t understand but just nodded at her mom in agreement, turning her attention to the proceedings.
“Dad, I don’t understand.”
Their weekly daughter-father dinner was not going the way Carol thought it would. She just wanted to announce that she had received her acceptance letters to Yale University and Starfleet.
“I’m just saying that applied physics may be up your alley than molecular biology.”
Instead, her dad seemed to be pushing for Starfleet, her back up choice despite knowing she wanted to go to Yale since she could spell the word, biology.
“Well I wasn’t quite interested in that but..”
“Carol.” Alexander Marcus leveled a look at her. “I didn’t want to say anything but in the future, circumstances may occur that could affect us all.
Carol did not like that tone in his voice. It was the same tone he used when he announced that he and her mother were getting divorced, using a misdirection by announcing her mom’s change to her maiden name, Wallace.
“Dad, just be straight with me. What the hell is going on that would require me to get a doctorate through Starfleet?”
Alexander sighed, placing his dining utensils to the side and steeping his hands together.
“Just like your mother.” The smile fondness was so quick that Carol almost believed she imagined it.
“There may be conflict with the Klingons and it’s best we have the brightest serving Starfleet.”
Despite feeling flattered at being considered bright, Carol was feeling uneasy. “What about the Romulans? Weren’t they the ones who caused issues with the Kelvin? The Klingons don’t care about us unless we invade them.”
“Normally I would agree but things changed after the Kelvin incident.” Alexander went back to eating, leaving the comment in the air and Carol feeling more confused and wondering about the present situation. Maybe her dad knew her well enough. He wouldn’t really lead her astray. He was just thinking about her own well-being.
That’s what she said to her mom as she explained why she wasn’t going to Yale. Her mom just shook her head and said it was her choice. That’s right, it was her choice. She wasn’t doing this to please her dad.
That’s what she would tell herself anyway.
It was gone.
Carol look at the video screens with the newscaster saying with a grave voice that the Vulcan planet was gone. Gone like the Kelvin was gone. All because of a few Romulans.
Carol looked at the Starfleet cadets’ work she was grading until she heard the news cast and decided that she couldn’t focus, and grabbed her stuff and left.
Soon, she started to feel regret as she thought about where the survivors, if there were any, would go. She had always had this idea to make inhabitable planets livable again. But that was a path for a nuclear biologist, not a person with a doctorate in applied physics.
She heard the murmurings all around as she made her way back to her apartment that disrupted her current thoughts as she passed the crowd watching the big screen in the middle of London.
“How could Vulcan fall?” “Was Earth next?” “Are we going to war soon?”
War. That seemed like such an abstract idea in a world with peace. But that world doesn’t exist anymore, does it thought Carol. She thought back to the years back when her father subtly pushed her into applied physics and wondered if he saw this war coming. Does that mean she would have to be a part of the weapons department, building the newest and greatest for Starfleet? Was her father trying to push her into being war-ready?
The thought made her feel sick to her stomach.
It should not have happened.
She should not have seen her father’s dead corpse on the ground in front of her. She should not have been questioning if he deserves remorse. After all, this wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t scheming. Wasn’t trying to incite some war. She should not be waiting to see if Kirk will live with the blood taken from Harrison, no, Khan.
Carol lies in the hospital bed looking at her bandaged leg. Even with all of the advances in medicine, there were times you couldn’t rush the healing process for humans. She looked towards the window and wondered how her life got to this point. She just wanted to be a biologist. She just wanted to save people.
She wonders if she waster her life.
A knock came at the door, with Marcus acknowledging the person to come in. In came Uhura, looking both tired and relieved.
“Kirk’s going to be okay.”
Carol felt her own mouth move to a smile. At least something good happened today.
“That’s good. Send my well wishes to him.”
Uhura nodded and was about to leave before turning around to look at her again.
“Hey, I’m not sure if you were thinking this or not but no one blames you for your dad. Hell, I can almost see where he came from.”
Carol turned back to the window, not wanting to talk about the incident.
“I understand you don’t want to talk about it. Just know, that if you want to help with peace you always have a place with the Enterprise.”
Uhura quietly left after that, leaving Carol with her thoughts again.
Was it not too late?
Carol stood at the helm of the USS Enterprise, looking at the vast space before her. She never imagined herself here. Not as a physicist. Not as a crewmember.
She sometimes wondered what would have happened if she had decided to not listen to her father. If the USS Kelvin wasn't destroyed.
Well, there was no point in thinking about ripples when there was a whole ocean of space to explore.