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- "You would do anything for your family...
- - Khan Noonien Singh, 2259
Khan Noonien Singh (or simply, Khan), was the most prominent of the genetically-engineered Human augments of the late-20th century Eugenics Wars period on Earth. Considered genocidal tyrants who conquered and killed in the name of order, Khan and his kind were frozen in cryogenic sleep.
In the 23rd century, Khan was revived by Admiral Alexander Marcus to design weapons and ships to prepare for war against the Klingon Empire. He was given a new identity, of John Harrison, an English Starfleet Commander. Khan, however, rebelled, apparently in response to his crew being under threat, and thus began a one-man campaign against Starfleet.
The enhanced platelets in his blood could heal severe injuries which would otherwise be fatal.
Records of the period, including Khan's origins, are vague. He was the product of a selective breeding and genetic engineering program, based on the eugenic philosophy that held improving the capabilities of a man improved the entire Human race. Augments produced by the program possessed physical strength and analytical capabilities considerably superior to ordinary Humans, and were created from a variety of Earth's ethnic groups. Khan's background was suspected to be Sikh, from the northern region of India.
Khan lived up to the axiom coined by one of his creators, "superior ability breeds superior ambition". By 1993, a wave of the genetic "supermen," including Khan, had simultaneously assumed control of more than forty of Earth's nations. From 1992 to 1996, Khan was absolute ruler of more than one-quarter of Earth's population, including regions of Asia and the Middle East. Considered "the best of tyrants", he severely curtailed the freedoms of his subjects, but his reign was an exception to similar circumstances in Earth history – lacking massacres or internal war.
In the mid-1990s, the Augment tyrants began warring amongst themselves. Other nations joined in, to force them from power, in a series of struggles that became known as the Eugenics Wars. Eventually, most of the tyrants were defeated and their territory recaptured, but up to ninety "supermen" were never accounted for.
Khan escaped the wars and their consequences along with eighty-four followers, who swore to live and die at his command. He saw his best option in a risky, self-imposed exile. In 1996, he took control of a [[DY-100 class] interplanetary sleeper ship he christened SS Botany Bay, named for the site of the Australian penal colony. Set on a course outbound from the solar system but with no apparent destination in mind, Khan and his people remained in suspended animation for Botany Bay's (nearly) two-hundred-year sublight journey. (TOS: "Space Seed")
Following the destruction of Vulcan, Admiral Alexander Marcus of Section 31 initiated a program to militarize Starfleet and began searching the galaxy for weapons to be used in the war with the Klingons that he now believed was inevitable.
Khan Noonien Singh appears in: