Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh Volume 1

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Author: Greg Cox {DAYSSINCEBIRTH(birth=2001-07-01,birthphrase=Release)}{DAYSSINCEBIRTH} I read: November 4 - November 18, 2007 Non-spoilery short description:
This book begins the backstory for [[Khan Noonien Singh]]. Though there's a [[Star Trek: The Original Series|TOS]] story shell, the majority of it looks back to the 20th century and primarily takes place from [[1974]] - [[1989]].
Totally spoilery summary:

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|<td> Though in name a book about Khan, most of this book is setting the stage. The protagonists are Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln from another TOS episode dealing with the 20th century, Assignment: Earth. Also fellow agent Isis... that's a cat... who can transform into a human. That was intended as a pilot, but wasn't picked up as a series. However, for purposes of this novel it's treated sort of as if it was, in that in the intervening years they've had many crazy adventures. It sort of feels like... a Star Trek Torchwood, in that it's odd that they'd find themselves mixed in with such bizarre things in modern/recent times, but part of their job ''is'' to keep those strange things from causing harm.

<p>Anyway, they end up infiltrating an advanced genetic engineering project, the Chrysalis Project, which has gone far beyond what others of the time period have been able to; in fact, they've already had results. At this time in 1974 Khan is just 4, and going by "Noon". Seven and Lincoln end up whisking the kids away and destroying Chrysalis by overloading a nuclear reactor there. Khan's mother goes down with the ship, so to speak.

<p>Years later, Seven helps Khan escape from an angry anti-Sikh mob. Though Seven is against genetic engineering on the whole, he thinks Noon is the most sane of the Chrysalis bunch and hopes he can be recruited as a fellow agent. Even at age 14 Noon is a bit nuttier and bloodthirsty than Seven anticipated, though, so really his ideas backfire. They witness the awful chemical spill at Bhopal, which makes Noon press Gary about using his capabilities to force greater good on the world, rather than acting as a background corrective force. They part ways, with Noon deciding his destiny as a superior human is to himself be a benevolent ruler, and decides to drop the kiddy name and go with "Khan".

<p>A few years later, Seven and Khan meet again. Khan has been doing his own behind-the-scenes work while building his power, so he and Seven end up doing a bit of collaborating one day when their aims and locations coincide. Shortly thereafter, though, while only Robert is in her and Seven's office... Khan and a few goons bust in and steal information from his computer before destroying it and other technology there. Now he knows the identities and locations of the other Chrysalis children, and intends to recruit them to join in his quest.

<p>ELSEWHERE IN THE 20TH CENTURY... If there's a Star Trek episode/movie that involves time travel or some other connection to the late 20th century, this book (or the following volume) probably try to tie it in somehow. It seems a bit forced at times, but hey. The people who Quark and the gang met in the 40s? Present, working at Area 51. Equipment accidentally left behind during Star Trek IV? Sent to Area 51 for study. One of Seven's sources? Guinan.

<p>ELSEWHERE IN THE 23RD CENTURY... So the shell for this story is that TOS-era Kirk and the gang are sent to check out a planet requesting Federation membership. They're an old group of humans that left from the Federation to escape the genetic engineering bans, but now want in. Due to Kirk's earlier experience with Khan (in Space Seed), he's seen as something of an extra-trusted voice on the subject of how good an idea this would be. As part of his decision-making, he investigates the historical records of the Eugenics Wars, which leads us to the 20th century sections. Also at this planet... Klingons led by Captain Koloth. They really really want the genetic engineering expertise for themselves, and want to force an "alliance". This is the key reason the colony sent out for the Federation. The Klingons sabotage part of the colony's shields, which keep it safe from the nasty atmosphere of the planet, which is where this book leaves off. </td></tr>

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Followed by Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh Volume 2.