The Only Human Tree

But first, a word from our sponsor:

I began writing "Only Human" in the summer of 1993, shortly after my then-boyfriend dragged me kicking and screaming back into Star Trek fandom (I'd been an old-school TOS fan, but I started out hating TNG, ironically enough in part because I hated Q in "Farpoint") and I had decided, much to my chagrin (and his!) that actually, I liked Q. At the time, I perceived Q as, essentially, an asshole who needed to do a lot of growing up, and I found the shortness of Q's sentence in Deja Q unrealistic, so I started writing a story about what I thought should have happened.

Near-miraculously, it turned out that my work appealed to both fans of Q and people who couldn't stand him. Apparently Q fans latched onto my depictions of his personal pain, and people who couldn't stand him latched onto my descriptions of all the horrid things I put him through. Thus, even though my sympathies were not originally entirely with Q myself-- I don't mean I tortured him for sadistic purposes, I always felt deeply sorry for him, but I had a lot more sympathies for the various characters who can't stand him in the story than I do now-- now that they are far more so I can still feel as if Only Human's point of view is my own, even if I've changed my mind about what Only Human's point of view *is*. That's the great thing about writing from deep within multiple POVs. Each character has a strongly felt opinion, but the writer's opinion isn't always easy to see. :-)

I discovered the Internet in 1994, and started posting Only Human in November or so. I attracted a lot of fans, which was gratifying. Even more gratifying was the fact that one of these fans, Mercutio, became sufficiently inspired by my work to start writing a spinoff series, "PropinQuity."

In the course of my discussions with Mercutio as she reviewed my work and I reviewed hers and we both became quite incestuous, I realized this was an opportunity to do something that generally, only fan fiction can do-- the concept of the story tree.

In normal fiction, things happen along a regular, linear fashion. X causes Y, which causes Z. And if X *could* have caused W instead, we never hear about it. But fan fiction in particular is about exploring infinite possibilities. "Only Human" itself was a spinoff of "Deja Q." "PropinQuity" is a spinoff of "Only Human." Why not an entire tree of possibilities? I had wanted for a very long time to write things that required the setup I'd established in Only Human, but that the events of "Only Human" itself would forbid to happen. Now I could, either by getting Mercutio to write them into "PropinQuity", or, when that failed, creating yet another spinoff.

"InseQurity" was born that way, by me tossing an idea at Mercutio and her running with it, passing the ball back to me, and so forth. Halfway through "InseQurity", we decided that if we were going to do an alternate, we wanted at least to do something we hadn't done before, to play with a novel concept. So I told Mercutio about the basic notion behind "The Night They Drove The Borg Down", which I'd been toying with as a separate alternate, for some time, and we integrated it into "InseQurity's" back story. Then, of course, I felt compelled to write "The Night They Drove...", since we needed to explicate some of that back story and also because I'd never written male/male erotica before.

More recently (2003... Jeez, I've been working on this universe for 10 years!) I got the idea for another, self-contained spinoff. It's been pointed out to me that one flaw with the universe, and in fact the whole DQ spinoff genre, is that Picard is generally absent or dead, leaving the stories to rely on a lot of OCs. I wanted Picard out of OH, both because I wanted to show what I thought would have happened if Q hadn't been around and omnipotent in "Tapestry", and because I wanted to make Q completely alone... but recently I started to think that putting Picard back into the universe would be cool, too. Of course, he's dead in OH and I can't retcon that, so I wrote a new, self-contained spinoff, "Guidance." There may be sequels, but the story itself is complete.


To help people keep track, I've included a timeline of events, with the appropriate spinoffs:

"Deja Q:" takes place Stardate 43569.1. Since stardates are decimal, I think realistically this is June. The year is 2366. So, June 2366.

The defeat of the Borg: In the regular Star Trek universe, this took place around Stardates 43989.1 and 44001.4. That would be around December/January 2366/67. However, in the Only Human universe this took place in March 2367. I have no explanation for the discrepancy, aside from the fact that, as a joke, Mercutio assigned Q's "birthday", really the anniversary of the defeat of the Borg, to John de Lancie's birthday, which is in March. :-)

Untitled bit: Okay, as of Chapter 3 of Only Human, this is now part of official canon. But totally irrelevant to the plot.

"The Night They Drove The Borg Down:" This is the first spinoff. Contains consensual homosexual activity. Beginning with the part where Harry kisses Q, the events of this story did not take place in "Only Human" or in "PropinQuity", but they did take place in "InseQurity."

The death of Lieutenant Commander Ohmura, and Q's subsequent second suicide attempt: took place somewhere around May/June 2368.

"InseQurity:" This spinoff takes place in the same "universe" as "The Night They Drove The Borg..." The fact that Q is beaten and left for dead occurs in all universes, but only in this one did Naomi save him. This story contains consensual heterosexual activity and a great deal of emotional torture.

Untitled bit: This definitely did not happen. But if it did it would have happened during InseQurity.

New Q: By Christopher Nuttall. The fate of Amanda Rogers in the Only Human universe.  Incomplete. This isn't "official"  -- that is, I don't consider myself bound by whatever Chris writes in this -- but thus far, it fits fine into OH "canon."

"PropinQuity", chp. 1: This is the second spinoff chronologically, though in terms of when it got written, it's the first. Takes place approximately April 2369.

"Tapestry": In the regular Star Trek universe, Q perhaps saves Captain Picard's life in this episode. "Tapestry" doesn't have a stardate, but the episodes to either side of it are 46519.1 and 46578.4. If I'm translating the third digit being 5 as June, as I did for Deja Q, then Tapestry takes place in June 2369.

"Only Human:" In "Only Human", "Tapestry" never took place, and Captain Picard died. Q learns about Picard's death about 6 pages into Only Human, and it triggers the events that take place from that point. Therefore "Only Human" begins in June 2369, right around Q's third anniversary as a human. However, in "PropinQuity", Picard does not die from the non-occurence of "Tapestry". Therefore, in Only Human, Picard is dead, while in PropinQuity, he's alive. It's one of those little differences between the universes.

"Guidance": In this AU, Picard is critically injured during the events of "Tapestry", but not killed. Without Picard's death as a trigger, Q doesn't actually get around to committing suicide, and a month later Picard comes to visit him. Thus this story takes place sometime around July 2369. This is a complete and self-contained story, though it might possibly generate a tree of its own as it really does scream "sequels please!"

"Burning Time": Incomplete. Sequel to "Guidance." Tolian Soran comes to Q for information about the Nexus.

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(note that Alara has sole responsibility for the layout of this page, etc.)