Disclaimer: The rights for Star Trek belong to Paramount Pictures.
AN: A story which started out as a one-shot explanation of what happened to the little girl at the beginning of Into Darkness has turned into a multi-chapter monster. It is partly AU. The names of Khan's crew were found through research, along with other information from both the Extended Universe and the Original Series.
Warning: This story contains forms of child abuse, deals with miscarriage and includes violence.
"Leading a family is the hardest job a man can ever have." – Dave Ramsey
Lucille Harewood awoke to a crowd of doctors gathered around her.
When she had been put under, she had been in great pain. All the eight-year-old remembered was her mother telling her not to worry, and the doctor calmly informing her that she was ill and an induced coma would help her recover. Part of her had been hopeful, while another part of her had realized she'd most likely never wake up.
Discovering her favourite stuffed rabbit next to her, she brought it close to her chest as she attempted to sit up. That's when the doctors noticed she was awake and all fell silent. Lucille looked back at them blankly, unsure what their silence meant.
"Am I better now?" she asked.
The doctors all exchanged glances while one – the one who always made her laugh before she'd been put to sleep – responded with a remark of, "That's the understatement of the century."
Only then did Lucille notice her mother in the room, tears in her eyes. Rima Harewood nodded. "Lucille...baby, you are better now." Lucille realized she had been crying. Her mother had always been emotional, and would sometimes cry tears of happiness...but this felt different.
Lucille wasn't sure how, but she knew her mother had been crying for a different reason.
She glanced around, realizing that one important person was missing. "Where's Daddy?" she asked. "Is he at work?"
Her mother stared at her for a moment before she burst into tears, and had to be escorted from the room by her favourite doctor. Another doctor – a specialist doctor who had been brought in to examine her, and never smiled – sat himself on the bed.
"Young lady, do you remember your 21st century history?" he asked. She nodded in reply. "Do you remember being taught about the terrorism that happened right at the beginning of that century?"
"These two towers collapsed," said the little girl. "And a bus and some trains were blown up, right here in London." She sent the doctor a look of confusion. "Has something like this happened? Was my daddy hurt?"
The doctor's stoic expression never changed. "Your mother may not agree with me, but I think it's better if you knew. There was an explosion in the Kelvin Memorial Archive...and as far as we know, your father was the one who did it."
For the first time in his life, Khan had underestimated an opponent.
That was his first thought when he awoke in a hospital bed, tied down – although not tight enough, he realized upon testing it – and still in considerable pain. He could feel his blood cells regenerating, but they were working slower than usual; it always happened after taking too much at once – which was exactly what he had endured at the hands of the Vulcan First Officer.
When Khan had been awoken by Marcus and had caught up on the past centuries, he had taken considerable interest in the Vulcan race, and not just because the destruction of their home world was the main reason why Starfleet needed his help. Their intellect was on the same level as his own, and apparently, so was their strength. But their unwillingness to fight and embrace their savage routes turned him away.
Remembering what he had endured from Spock...well, he supposed he should have looked into them more. In short, if he ever resumed his conquest, he would be staying clear of New Vulcan.
Khan returned his attention to the matter at hand, and looked to his left to find the Enterprise's doctor examining something under a microscope. Khan didn't have to have superior intellect to know that the doctor was examining his "super blood", as he had dubbed it.
The doctor – McCoy, Khan remembered – turned to him, having heard the shifting in the bed. "Oh. You're awake. Maybe I can convince you to tell me how to perfect this serum."
"Why should I tell you?" asked Khan. "So you can save your precious Captain?" He knew that was the reason; Spock had made that very clear to him during what was called a "mind-meld".
"Do you want me to fetch Spock so he can beat it out of you?" asked the Doctor. He took a threatening step towards him.
Khan broke the straps that had bound him to the bed and grabbed McCoy by the throat, also grabbing a scalpel which he then held to the doctor's neck. "Do not make the mistake in threatening me, especially after what you and your Vulcan friend did. I am in hospital, am I not?"
"Yes, you're in hospital. You're also in a bed holding a scalpel to your doctor's throat."
"Well, what if I was to kill you, leave this room, find where you are keeping your Captain, and finish the job?" said Khan. "And then what if I was to then kill everyone else here, too?"
"So how are you going to kill me?" asked McCoy. There was no fear in his eyes; only annoyance. "You can either choke me or cut my throat; hurry up and decide. Although it would be more effective if you cut the carotid artery just under the left ear."
"While I respect a man with courage, it will not save you." Khan moved the scalpel up to where McCoy had said. "Nothing will."
"What if I told you your crew is still alive?"
Khan froze. He examined the doctor's face carefully, looking for any trace which could suggest that he was lying...but he found none. His crew was alive, and this raised many questions in the augment's head; why had they been spared, and more importantly, how had they even survived?
Realizing that the only one who could answer his questions was inches away from death, Khan released McCoy. "How and why?"
"I'll be the first to say that Spock is cold, be he's not that cold," McCoy replied, rubbing his neck. "He had Dr. Marcus and I – along with everyone in medical – remove the cryo-tubes from the torpedoes, so he could blow them up once they were with you."
"But why did you remove them? Why not destroy them as well; be rid of the problem, easy as that?"
"Because unlike you, we're not killers," said McCoy. "On top of that, Jim's not a back-stabbing son of a bitch like you are; he promised to keep your crew safe. They're safe, and they're alive. Well...apart from one, although that's no fault of ours."
Khan's face darkened. "Describe them to me."
"The only way I can describe them is that he or she hadn't even been born yet."
The recuperative blood in his body ran cold, and McCoy's sudden step back was a good indication of the expression upon Khan's face.
"We think so," said McCoy. "The cryo-tube had been purposely tampered with; or sabotaged, if you prefer. The child's mother would have died too if Dr. Marcus and I hadn't noticed and fixed the problem, but the woman had to be removed and kept in an induced coma. Once I'm done with the serum, I'll have to...clean her out."
Khan looked away; he did not want to allow this inferior man to see him vulnerable.
"And judging by your expression, that kid was yours." When Khan turned his head in surprise, McCoy only shrugged. "I'm a father, too. I know what it feels like to lose a kid, although mine was taken by my bitch of an ex-wife. I hope your wife's not like that."
"She is not my wife." Khan closed his eyes, bringing forward the memory of her; short hair that was black as night, blue eyes which were cold and cruel as she made the inferior bow at her feet... "I am sure you are aware of the term 'lovers'."
"I'm aware of it, but not quite so much as Jim is." McCoy returned to examining the sample of blood. "I don't suppose you're in the mood to tell me about the serum now? You've done it once already, before you try giving me crap about it being impossible; you cured a terminally ill girl named Lucille Harewood over in England, but while she's cured she also doesn't have a father anymore. Shame, isn't it?"
Khan knew what the doctor was doing; it was a mixture of appealing to his guilty conscience and fatherly instincts. The first didn't work because as far as Khan could tell, he had no conscience, and his fatherly instinct was only towards his own child and to a lesser extent his crew.
But this same instinct towards his crew spoke out, saying that he should at least repay Kirk for keeping them safe when he could have easily killed them without a second thought. Not to mention McCoy and the Admiral's daughter saving the life of his lover, even if they could not save his unborn child. He owed Kirk a debt – and owing a debt to someone inferior was not something he liked, so he supposed that paying it off quickly would solve the problem.
Seeing as he was no longer tied down, Khan rose from the bed and approached McCoy, who instantly looked weary. This weariness never dropped as Khan began to prepare the serum, even when the augment explained to the doctor how it worked and how to apply it to different kinds of injuries.
"Will it cause Jim to develop any...power-mad or homicidal urges?" asked McCoy.
"All I was told by those who created me is that my blood can cure," Khan replied. "If there are any side effects of the transfusion, then I am not aware of them."
"Gee, good to know."
There was a knock at the door, and both men turned to see a woman in her early fifties enter the room; her hair was mostly blonde, although the tips suggested that she had dyed it a darker colour at some point in her life. Her green-blue eyes glanced at McCoy for a moment before they settled on Khan; she did not look happy.
"Mrs. Kirk," McCoy greeted, "nice to see you. Jim's two doors down."
"Oh, I know. I've already seen him." Her eyes never left Khan.
"I'm sure Spock filled you in on what's happening," McCoy continued, looking uncertain. "I've got the serum; I just need to get it in him." He made his way over to her. "I'll call security to detain Khan-"
"Go." She turned her look on McCoy. "I need to have a word with him. You just worry about getting that serum inside my son. OK?"
"...Yes, ma'am." McCoy left the room a little faster than he normally would have done.
Winona Kirk turned back to Khan. "On the bed. Sit."
Intrigued, Khan did as asked and sat himself down, watching as the woman slowly made her way over to him; she looked intimidating, although it didn't work on Khan.
"You are the Captain's mother," said Khan manner-of-factually.
"Yes," Winona said back. "And you are the man who almost killed said Captain – my son – and also blew up my husband's memorial. You and I are going to have a very interesting conversation." With her arms folded across her chest, she looked down upon him like he was a bug for her to squish. "I'm told you have a superior intellect."
"What you have been told is correct." Khan did not look her in the eye, for that would mean he would have to look up to her; he refused to look up to anyone.
She began to pace slowly. "So if you have this 'superior intellect', then you must know about pretty much everything; animals, for instance."
"The natural world is a war for superiority," said Khan. "Only the superior survive, feasting on the inferior."
"So you know a thing or two," she said. "Do you happen to know what a mother bear does to anyone who harms her cubs?"
Khan was immediately aware of where this conversation was heading. "I do."
"So you probably have a good idea of how I'm feeling." Had Khan been watching her, he would have noticed her raising her fist, and probably would have been able to stop it from colliding with his face. The force of the punch was enough to send him rolling backwards off the bed, landing in among the room's medical equipment.
While the augment was angered at being hit by an inferior human, he was grudgingly impressed by the force of the hit.
Winona walked around the bed, her pace slow and steady; unlike Spock, she hadn't lost control of her anger. "I would kill you now, but you may still be needed to save my son, so I won't. But that doesn't mean the thought has left my mind; I'm only going to say this once, and I'm going to make it very clear. If you hurt or threaten my son again, I'll come after you. I won't need Starfleet, or a Vulcan; hell, I won't even need a Klingon Empire. I'll come after you, and when I find you, I'll blast a hole straight through your cold heart. Then I'll cut off your head, and your arms, and your legs; you'll be in six pieces, and I'll bury a piece in one. Continent. Each."
If she was going to continue her threat she never got the chance, for security arrived and detained Khan, securing him to the bed once again with stronger bonds than before. Winona only watched, showing no emotion other than that hidden fury in her eyes, before she simply turned and walked away.
Khan wouldn't admit it aloud, but he had been impressed, even if she hadn't scared him. She reminded him of his lover; her cold uncaring when it came to those who threatened her and her family, and her determination to do whatever was necessary to eliminate that threat. And while he had not been afraid of Kirk's mother, he did take her threat seriously.
Anyone with a superior intellect knew better than to mess with an angry mother.
In another part of the hospital, another augment awoke after a three-hundred-year sleep.
Washington Joaquin Wess was at first confused as to where he was. The last thing he remembered was reminding his leader how to activate the cryo-tubes before climbing into his own, prepared for the long sleep ahead with the knowledge that when he awoke, they would be on a planet they could rule over.
What he had not expected was an Earth-like hospital which looked far more advanced than he recalled.
When he tried to sit up he found that he had been tied to the bed, but the bonds were not tight and he broke them with ease. Those who had found him were either not aware of his strength or had not expected him to wake up, he deduced. Finally being able to sit up, Washington gave his face a tired rub; he'd been asleep for a long time, he knew that.
He began to wonder where the other members of the crew were, so looked up to see if there were any in the room with him. There was only one person, still asleep; a woman he recognized.
Victoria Kati Ahart, Khan's infamous lover, looked almost peaceful in her sleep; in this state it was hard to imagine her as the most ruthless of Khan's followers.
Washington rose from his bed, stumbling a little as his legs were not used to walking after so long, and made his way over to her. While part of him wondered where the others were – more importantly, where Khan was – another part of him was relieved to see a fellow augment with him – his half-sister, at that. Even if it was only the two of them, at least he was not alone.
Any happy thought vanished when he saw a vital part of the woman missing; her enlarged stomach where her baby had been.
Instantly Washington thought her cryo-tube might have been the cause. He had designed them himself, as well as the sleeper-ship which would allow their escape from the planet; both had been designed and built in a hurry, as the war had been ending and they had been losing.
He knew that both Khan and Victoria would kill him for any mistake which had been made, but Washington would not resist their sentencing; if he had failed them, death was what he deserved.
But then he realized that they had obviously been found, most likely by Humans. What if those who had found them had recognized them, and had decided to enact their own sentencing? This was a possibility. The only way he would know for sure, he realized, was if he went to discover the truth for himself. He needed to look over Victoria's cryo-tube and find the whereabouts of Khan and the others – if they were still alive.
But first thing was first; he needed to awaken Victoria.