The collection of races was improbable at best. Tobin himself wouldn’t discover until years later that he’d found himself among them through an act of treachery, but the fact that a human took any part in an interstellar alliance was enough of a sensation in his own mind that it never even occurred to him to question, at least at the time, how he got there.
He didn’t know what any of them were at the time, but assembled around him were representatives of the Vulcans, Klingons, Orions, Andorians, Tellarites, Gorn, Phylosians, Kzinti, and two others he never managed to identify.
As they would be for centuries afterward, the Andorians, Tellarites and Vulcans were in conflict, but that’s how they stumbled into the strange opportunity that would be codified in the secret Elysian Council. It was the Orions who made it happen, and the Klingons who made sure that it did, and somewhere no doubt there were Romulans observing everything, waiting to see what would develop.
Tobin got to listen to many lectures from the Vulcans, but it wasn’t them who’d abducted him, but rather the Orions, looking for a new source for slaves. They weren’t impressed with Tobin, and so they never went back to Earth for more, but it was his presence that forced everyone together. If he’d known for a moment what the Orions had really had in store for him, he probably would have crawled into a ball, rather than accept the prodding of the Vulcans to listen, even though they scoffed at all of his suggestions as hopelessly barbaric prattle. The Klingons forced the Vulcans to listen, though, and so Tobin did not realize how pathetic his situation really was, never realized that he was overmatched on every side.
The Gorn intimidated everyone. Maybe that was it. Even the Klingons didn’t press their luck. The Kzinti and Phylosians were crafty, and Tobin had the sense that the whole point was to keep tabs on them, see if there was anything to be done with them, because as far as he could tell, everyone else pretty much knew each other, and that the Elysian Council was a giant bluff, and so there were no real government agents involved, only rogues. Even he could tell that the Vulcans weren’t acting naturally, and he was overwhelmed by everything, barely eating because he didn’t recognize anything presented to him as food, and the one time the Klingons offered him what they called “blood wine,” he nearly died on the spot.
It helped that there were constant arguments, which the Tellarites really seemed to relish, even if it didn’t make them obviously happy, which further flummoxed Tobin. Every now and again it did occur to him to question what was happening, but then one of the Orions would enter the room, and the chaos would coalesce into puppy love, even from the Vulcans, who kept muttering under their breathes, “Illogical!”
The Elysian Council was a success insofar as it didn’t result mutual destruction from among its members. Tobin grew more confident insofar as he could eventually sleep again, and he breached the subject of admitting a few more humans, to the strenuous objections of every other member. They eventually relented. But it wasn’t easy getting more of his own people off Earth. Quite foolishly, he was himself put in charge of the project, and being generally incompetent in every regard to any practical concern, there were many mistakes and misjudgments made, and this was a process that lasted well beyond his lifetime.
But in the end, Tobin did find peace with it all, and the Elysian Council persisted for a long time, and achieved all its mediocre goals.
(Inspired by the animated series episode "The Time Trap.")