Down The Rabbit Hole

Warnings: Some violence, explicit content and occasional bad language.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: Just an introductory chapter to ascertain interest in this story. I won't be able to update for some time, until Star Trek: Into Darkness is released on DVD as I need the film for reference, but rest assured this story will be updated. I will be exploring elements of the Eugenic Wars, and the events leading up to them, and my own take on what happened with Khan and Cassia, as well as the film plot. I think the only major change I've made is that my superhumans were created from pre-existing human test subjects rather than embryos. Hope you all enjoy!

When she opened her eyes, it was to a new world.

New and yet, not new for phantom memories of another life, another existence still clung to the edges of her psyche. She blinked, as her vision cleared of the light-induced whiteout, and everything was so sharp, so bright and clear, as she was sure it never had been before.

She did not remember her life, or who she was beyond her name. Cassia.

She did not remember how or why she agreed to the programme. Her reasons were irrelevant now, and she relished the strength running through her veins like molten steel.

She was better at everything. She felt like she could crush the metal medical bed on which she lay like paper in her bare fist. She could run a thousand miles and not break a sweat; she could jump and touch the moon in the war-ravaged sky outside. She could look at a wall of mathematical equations and solve them all, she could figure out the internal workings of the most complicated and sophisticated operating systems in the world.

And she had not even left the medical section yet. Her eyes had just opened, and yet, Cassia knew she could do all these things. It was in her very DNA.

They kept her isolated after she awoke. She ate and slept in the same, nondescript grey room she had awoken in. Every morning, they took samples of blood from her, and she knew they would be watching her every move through the numerous cameras, hidden but so ridiculously obvious to her enhanced senses, throughout her room.

Or prison cell.

One day, she snapped and drove the hypodermic syringe into the doctor's neck, and he died, choking on his blood at her feet. She felt nothing but contempt at the weakness of the human lying before her.

They began training her after that. Weapons, technology, unarmed combat.

Nothing fazed her, and she took to every new skill with alacrity but she was fast becoming bored again. These tasks were so mundane, so belittling of the power she felt inside of her. Even her doctors agreed that this was beneath her.

One of them, a doctor called Noonien Singh, often spoke with her, telling her of the glorious future that awaited her, as a soldier for the European Alliance against the atrocities committed by the Asian Faction. She cared little for the ideologies he spouted at her, of the evils of communism and the glories of democracy, or the control of totalitarianism. They were just words to her, meaning little.

But she liked him well enough. She understood that he had been the one to 'create' her, for want of a better term, and she looked to him as a sort of paternal figure. He sometimes asked her if she remembered her former life, before the Programme and the DNA augmentation, but she always answered in the negative. That life did not matter now; it could not have been worth anything for her to have agreed to this transformation.

When she told him so, his eyes exhibited a strange mixture of relief, triumph and sadness which she did not, and could not, understand. She cared little.

She supposed she felt lonely, her life was devoid of companionship apart from Doctor Noonien Singh, and she wondered if she was the only successful subject.

She was not.

The day Singh took her to him, was the day she realised she wasn't alone, that she need never be alone again.

She could feel his eyes on her, traversing her body with as much academic interest as sexual attraction. The DNA re-sequencing had not stripped them of that.

His eyes, cold and piercing as a shard of ice, sank into her body like daggers, merciless, but bringing a strange thrill, of freedom and wanton abandonment. As she fearlessly met the eyes of the one Doctor Noonien Singh had given his surname to, the first of their kind, his surrogate 'son', she felt the faintest spark of electricity as he took her hand.

She did not believe in the soul. It was a silly, human story made up to comfort themselves, to give them individuality in a world where they were little more than animals. But as she looked at him, into him, the dark hair, the pale skin, the trim and muscled physique, and the intellect burning with a ruthless passion behind his eyes, she felt the final dregs of her self leave her body and enter his.

If she were not more than human, she would have trembled at the feeling of ownership and belonging, overwhelming and unstoppable, as he said her name, cold and functional, betraying none of what she saw in his eyes.

His name slipped from her mouth in the same cool, perfunctory manner.


They were to be soldiers in this war. That was what Khan explained to her, while they walked through the underground compound together, separate yet Cassia felt his body's heat against her own as if he were physically pressing every inch of himself against her.

Cassia found herself disliking the notion, not of killing or fighting, but of serving these weak humans whose necks she could snap as easily as chalk. She knew he disliked the notion too, though he did not say it, but it was there, in his eyes and the always tense line of his jaw.

But somehow she doubted verbalising that fact would get them out of this underground bunker alive. By unspoken consensus, both she and Khan agreed that their best chance of escape lay once they left this bunker and entered the war.

Over the coming months she was introduced and integrated into the group of augmented humans, all with abilities like her own, of whom Khan was the eldest and their leader. One hundred humans all told, and each one as powerful as the next.

Cassia was one of the fastest, and her speed made her difficult to catch in combat. It made her a challenge, one her human opponents never survived but her brethren could. One of them, Tomas, watched her with calculating eyes and she disliked the feeling, her skin cringing.

No, the only eyes she liked caressing her figure through her plain grey fatigues were the piercing, blue eyes of their leader. With all the guards watching them, preventing any contact not approved by the medical team, or the instructors, there was no opportunity to even broach the subject, let alone attempt to rectify it, so she just looked back, a curling twist of heat centred in her abdomen whenever she met his eyes, burning for release.


Commander Cassandra Mason started awake, her eyes flaring wide as she bolted upright for the hundredth night in a row. Her lungs gasped for air, her breasts heaving against the constricting material of her regulation vest. The clean, soothing red walls of her bedroom reassured her, made her calm, as the memories of the dream washed over her.

She'd been having these dreams for as long as she could remember. She took medication to force these dreams away, had consulted doctors and psychiatrists and even a Vulcan expert on matters of the mind, but nothing worked. She just had to endure them.

There were days when she got up and looked at her face in the mirror, and barely recognised the wavy dark hair framing a perfectly normal, reasonably attractive face. She was quite short, but that had never stopped her kicking the boys' arses in combat training.

She sometimes wondered if the dreams she had were the result of some kind of trauma from childhood that she'd forgotten, especially as they faded in the light of day, details becoming hazy and names slipping from her mind.

She had stopped going to the doctors or the psychiatrists. They could do nothing for her, and she refused to have her career blighted by a silly nightmare. It was nothing she could not handle alone.

Besides, there were far more serious events occurring that she needed to focus on. As she swung her legs out of bed, the lights flickered on to their preset levels, dim and soothing as she shrugged out of her sleepwear. It was 0630 hours, and she needed to shower and report for duty.

After the terrorist attack in London, all senior Starfleet captains, and their first officers, closest to Earth had been summoned to an emergency briefing, as per protocol after such an attack. They had been given little information on the exact nature of the attack, nor its perpetrator, but something niggled in the back of Cassandra's head.

She thrust it aside. Her commanding officer did not appreciate gut instincts and niggling.

Captain Henry Tregannan had been an almost fatherly figure to Cassandra ever since she had been transferred to the U.S.S Hotspur three years ago, but he was a rigid, by the book officer who had never bent or broken the rules in his life. She respected him but found herself sometimes exasperated by his dogged insistence on following rules and regulations.

Her three years of service had been uneventful if interesting, patrolling the Neutral Zone for one year, then a two year survey assignment, gathering data and samples from the planets and moons of the Mayarian system, comprised of a dozen gas giants and M class planets orbiting a star not dissimilar to the Terran system before returning to Earth for shore leave. Their routine missions had gone off without a hitch.

Her career was commendable, if not quite exemplary yet. As Tregannan constantly reminded her, she needed to learn patience and tolerance if she wanted to aspire to a command of her own one day. It was true Cassandra had little patience if others struggled or failed to meet her standards, and she had attempted using Earth meditation techniques to contain her irrational anger and impatience.

Her perfectionist attitude and rigorous standards had garnered her praise but few friends among the crew. They generally gave her a wide berth outside of official duties, but she could care less. She was used to it by now, ever since she started at the Academy. There had always been distance in her instructors', and eventually even her commanding officer's, eyes, something Cassandra could not identify the origin of. Sometimes she wondered if it was because of the accident that killed her parents and erased two years of her memory, just before entering the Academy. It had always been pity and curiosity she had seen in her fellow cadets' eyes before it turned to dislike and offence when she brushed them off, because they just couldn't accept that she wanted to be alone, but she had to admit, it wasn't pity or curiosity she saw in her instructors' eyes or Tregannan's. Fear, trepidation, and wariness, but no pity.

She sometimes wondered why she felt little sadness over her parents' death. She had attended their funerals, been petted and pawed by family members she had no memory of seeing before, and even though she possessed holo-images of them, looking at them never sparked any kind of emotion. She was just…empty.

She rarely looked at them now.

She slung her dark hair over one shoulder as she entered the bathroom, the lights flicking on instantly, lighting up the small, functional tiled room with its shower, toilet, wash basin and mirrored cabinet. For a moment, she eyed her reflection, tangled curls, eyes darkened with the shadows of her nightmares and restless sleep, her skin paler than usual. Perhaps she should revisit the doctor again; she couldn't afford disturbed nights when they returned to the Hotspur.

As she stepped into the shower, her thoughts turned again to the terrorist bombing in London. It had been so long since Earth had suffered such an attack, Starfleet Intelligence was usually extremely adept at identifying the rare threats on the planet and off, and neutralising them. How had this one slipped through?

The name of the target niggled at her brain, as her hair grew heavy against her shoulders with water, and she closed her eyes, enjoying the sensation detachedly while her mind raced.

Why the Archive? While important on academic grounds, its destruction was hardly strategically damaging. She supposed she would find out soon enough.

She pushed the disquiet in her mind away, focusing on finishing her shower, drying her hair and rearranging it into an appropriate hairstyle before dressing and grabbing breakfast. By the time she left, all thought of her nightmare had faded to the back of her subconscious, as she continued to contemplate the bombing in London and the briefing to be held at Starfleet Command that night.

To be continued...