The Eugenics Wars were a series of conflicts that took place on Earth, focused on the Third World, from 1992 to 1996 with a total death toll of 30 million, although some historians think it was closer to 35 million. Yet another death toll listed in several history texts placed the wars' total carnage at 37 million lives. The wars were viewed as "the first stage of World War III." (ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years, TNG movie: First Contact, ENT episode: "Borderland")
The wars involved the progeny of a genetic engineering project, who established themselves as supermen and attempted world domination. They were shadowy conflicts fought behind the scenes of current events, against elusive and conspiratorial enemies whose genetically engineered origins remained largely unknown to the general public. Most people were not even aware of the global struggle against the genetically enhanced "Augments", seeing only scattered brush fire wars and random acts of terrorism. The Augments ended up fighting amongst themselves and were eventually overthrown due to their disunity.
- 1 Chrysalis
- 2 Genetic Engineering
- 3 The Augments
- 4 Khan Noonien Singh
- 5 The War
- 6 Aftermath of the War
- 7 Alternate timelines
- 8 Sources
- 9 External lnks
The origins of the Eugenics Wars were said to have been traced to a group of international scientists who worked during the 1960s-1970s who had laboratories in Haiti and Pakistan as well as Chad along with their headquarters in North Yemen. These progenitors of a super race worked in the poorest countries on Earth as it was easy to bribe the officials into silence and hire human guinea pigs for their work. Unknown to him at the time, Ralph Offenhouse supplied this cabal with equipment from electron microscopes to computers, drugs and even chemicals which broke export regulations and smuggling laws. (TNG novel: Debtors' Planet)
The wars' roots lie in the "Chrysalis Project", an ambitious program of selective breeding and genetic engineering in the 1960s conducted by a group of scientists trying to create a new, artificially improved breed of men and women: smarter, faster, stronger than ordinary human beings, a super-race to take command of the entire planet. Designed and facilitated by a group of world-renowned geneticists and biochemists, the top-secret Chrysalis Project involved creating human embryos genetically superior to those created through the random genetic shuffling of ordinary reproduction using techniques that appeared to be far beyond what humans were capable of at the time.
Free from any government's authority, Chrysalis was a private consortium that answered to no one, having complete autonomy. Chrysalis had its headquarters located in the Thar Desert, thanks to its remote location, the Chrysalis endeavor was completely isolated. The main complex was hidden beneath the ruins of an ancient Rajput fort.
Like so many others of their generation, the members of the Chrysalis Project nurtured dreams of making the world a better place. They believed, however, that a better world was impossible without better people to live in it. Democracy, socialism, psychiatry, religion... all these avenues to Utopia inevitably run into the inherent limitations of human nature, at least as we presently know it. Only by improving the human species itself, through controlled genetic manipulation, can we ever hope to overcome the ills that have perpetually plagued the peoples of the world: poverty, war, disease, and so on.
They believed we cannot depend on environment and heredity to produce such individuals as Albert Einstein or Martin Luther King, Jr. at random. At Chrysalis, they were taking chance out of the equation, producing an entire generation of superior individuals, capable of completely transforming civilization as we know it.
The Chrysalis Project endeavored to give their genetically enhanced creations full rein of the planet. To do so, the engineers of this project intended to release a bacterium. A genetically modified streptococcus, to be precise, capable of devouring soft tissue at an accelerated rate. In order to infect the world's populace, they procured a quantity of ICBM missiles equipped with specialized biowarheads to use as implementation vehicles from moles in the Soviet germ warfare program, Biopreparat.
The process began by inducing "superovulation" in female volunteers (which included all of the female scientists). The large and diverse assortment of eggs yielded by this procedure had then been inseminated artificially and allowed to incubate at a temperature of precisely thirty-seven degrees centigrade, i.e., body temperature. Following fertilization, the eggs had been carefully examined for a wide variety of genetic defects or abnormalities, with all unsuitable eggs immediately terminated and disposed of. It was not enough to simply produce outstanding examples of conventional humanity; the Chrysalis Project aspired to create a new breed of man and woman, markedly superior to any who had existed before. To do so required adding new information and instructions to the genetic blueprint encoded in each egg's DNA.
The brilliant scientists at Chrysalis had learned how to clone multiple copies of each surviving egg, thus increasing the odds of successful hybridization later on. Conventional science maintained that a fertilized egg could only be cloned twice before expiring, yet Dr. Sarina Kaur, the director of Chrysalis, had developed a technique for producing dozens of identical copies of a single egg. That was the key; invariably, applied genetics involved a certain degree of trial and error, heredity being fundamentally a matter of probabilities. But by generating so many ideal eggs to work with, the chances of achieving the desired genetic result increased dramatically, especially when the scientists of the project knew exactly what modifications they wanted to make to the standard human genome.
Fragments of specialized DNA, built from scratch from the appropriate amino acids, then multiplied by polymerase chain reactions, were spliced into bacterial plasmids, which acted as vectors to transmit the recombinant genes to the nucleus of the egg itself. Not every plasmid-borne gene successfully infiltrated the egg's DNA, let alone at precisely the right spot in the sequence of codons, but that's what all those multiple copies were for. Enough hybridized eggs made it through the secondary screening process to provide a suitable number of samples for the next round of genetic augmentation.
In all, the process involved the introduction of seven distinct improvements to the basic human genotype. One such modification accelerated the formation of critical neural pathways, thus increasing intelligence. Another slight re-sequencing of the base pairs of a specific human gene had been found to substantially improve the efficiency of the lungs and respiratory system, while the addition of a single new gene, adapted from one located in the DNA of the African gorilla, caused an increase in muscular density and resilience.
The genetically engineered Augments of the Chrysalis Project were mentally and physically superior to ordinary men and women. They were five times stronger than the average person, their lung efficiency was 50 percent better than normal, their heart valve action had twice the power of an average human, and their intelligence was double that of normal humans, which gave them superior analytical capabilities compared to ordinary humans and an increased capacity for absorbing new information.
The problem was that, as one Chrysalis scientist wrote before he was murdered by an Augment, "Superior ability creates superior ambition." The so called supermen felt that their superior physical and intellectual abilities gave them the right to rule over the rest of humanity.
To that end, they conspired throughout the 1980s to seize power through the use of behind-the-scenes manipulation, brute force and "puppet leaders" who answered only to them.
In the mid-22nd century, Dr. Arik Soong would theorize that a defect in the genomes of the Augments created a problem in the base-pair sequences that regulate the neurotransmitter levels in their brains, causing them to be highly prone to aggression and violent behavior.
Khan Noonien Singh
Of all the genetically enhanced manipulators who rose to power during this period, none were as ambitious or as ruthless as the man known as Khan Noonien Singh. The son of Dr. Sarina Kaur, Khan Singh's presence was felt throughout the world, perhaps most discreetly. He fought against Soviet soldiers outside Vladimir Lenin's tomb, where he stopped a coup, and maintained the safety of President Mikhail Gorbachev while he was attending the summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was rumored to be all over the Asian and Indian subcontinent, inciting the 1987 pro-democracy uprising in South Korea, fighting alongside the Afghan rebels in their guerrilla war against the Soviet Union, personally arranging the 1988 plane crash that killed General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, leader of the Pakistan's military government, returning democracy to India's nearest neighbor and rival. Khan was also credited with the so called "natural" death of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Aided and abetted by power-hungry individuals in various governments, business organizations, and independent agencies who allowed themselves to fall under his domination, Khan attempted to gain control of the entire planet. In 1992 Khan quietly seized power over much of Southeast Asia and the Middle East through blackmail and strong-arm tactics. Dozens of "figurehead rulers" either answered to Khan or in some fashion allied themselves with him.
He ruled his dominion from what he called the Great Khanate in the remote parts of India. His fellow "supermen" took over key positions of power in South America, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, remote parts of the South Pacific and in sections of North Africa. Khan's Great Khanate was centered in Chandigarh, India and had a secondary command center on Muroroa Atoll, "Chrysalis Island", of the Tuamoto islands in the French Polynesia. On June 14, 1992 from Muroroa Atoll, a former French nuclear testing area (Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique), Khan launched the Morning Star satellite into orbit, giving him the ability to damage the Earth's ozone layer. On July 10, 1992 Singh held an assembly with delegates from nations in Southern Asia and the Middle East, where he demonstrated Morning Star's abilities and issued an ultimatum, "if I fall, the world falls with me". The satellite would later cause an increase in the hole in the ozone layer that was publicly blamed on the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.
Various incidents of violence around the world were spurred by Khan and his fellow Augments throughout 1992, such as civil wars in Liberia, Peru, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere; race riots in Los Angeles and food riots in Albania.
On June 14, 1993, Khan held a summit with 6 of his most powerful Chrysalis siblings, where he attempted to unify them to create a new world order with him as the prevailing voice. The summit was a failure as Khan's dream of unity collapsed when the Augments' enhanced ambition caused them to turn on one another, spawning the Eugenics Wars.
Carried out through mostly covert operations, the war did result in massive causalities that the legitimate governments publicly said were rogue terrorist incidents or natural disasters. (TOS novels: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1, The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 2) The outbreak of the war limited the efforts by Earth in its attempt at manned space flight with those resources instead being diverted to the global war that was being fought on the planetary surface. A massive impediment by the various nations against the Augment threat was the fact that the various intelligence bureaus failing to cooperate with one another or share their gathered information. This allowed for a number of military defeats to be suffered at the hands of the Augments and thus lengthened the war. (FASA RPG module: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual: Agent's Orientation Sourcebook)
During this time, in their eagerness to assert their self-proclaimed destinies as rulers of the Earth, the Augments sparked civil wars and unrest all over the globe, in Eastern Europe, Liberia, Somalia, Peru, Haiti, Rwanda and elsewhere. Though the public-at-large was aware of the majority of such events — most never knew that the events were in fact all related to one another. Indeed, the public was kept entirely ignorant of many of the related "battles" of the Eugenics Wars and even Khan himself was not known to the majority of the world.
During the course of the conflict, a number of battles against Khan's forces took place in and around the Middle East region, with the Western Alliance fielding a number of opposing forces both on the ground, as well as at sea. One such battle-group was a major surface naval squadron assigned to the Persian Gulf, commanded by Commodore Charles Vincent Fife, who lead his fleet in numerous campaigns against the Augments in the region as the Eugenics Wars wore on. (FASA RPG module: A Doomsday Like Any Other)
One notable incident of the war occurred on 30 September 1993, when Khan was lured to the Ajorra caves in central India by Vasily Hunyadi, the Augment force behind the Serbian government, who attempted to assassinate Khan by triggering an earthquake caused by an underwater concussive charge place by Hunyadi. This earthquake was in the previously-considered aseismatic region of Maharashtra. The death toll from this quake was over 10,000 and entire villages were destroyed.
Khan attempted to retaliate on 7 February 1994 during a submarine battle under the Mediterranean Sea between Khan's forces and Hunyadi's. However, his effort was thwarted when the ballistic missile submarine S.G.K. Kaur was attacked because of the no-fly zone imposed by NATO. A couple of months later, on April 21 Dr. Donald Williams of the Chrysalis Project gave to Khan the genetic sequence for the flesh eating strain of streptococcus-A developed by Sarina Kaur. Khan would begin human testing of this carnivorous bacteria on October 2 of that year.
On August 29, 1994 Hunyadi addressed the United Nations in defiance against the economic sanctions and the NATO peacekeeping presence to declare that Serbia had nothing to apologize for. During his speech, members of the Army of Eternal Vigilance (AEV) released sarin gas, a nerve toxin, into the council chambers, suffocating to death many ambassadors and tourists and also Vasily Hunyadi. The AEV was an anti-government militia based in Cochise County, Arizona. It was commanded by an Augment named Randall "Hawkeye" Morrison. Morrison had teamed up with Khan to eliminate Hunyadi. Morrison's ambition with nerve gas was notorious, the AEV attempted to release Sarin gas at both ends of the Eurotunnel at its opening to the public. When this strike was stopped paranoia consumed Morrison. He attempted to kill all his followers but they escaped and Morrison committed suicide.
On March 17 of 1995, Khan acquired over 200 bio-warheads from the former Soviet Union. Eventually, after learning the secrets of the Chrysalis Project, Khan redeveloped the flesh eating streptococcus that his mother developed and prepared to devastate the planet with its presence. On September 5, 1995 Chrysalis Island was attacked by a joint Russian-American strike, a ten-kiloton nuclear device destroying Khan's biological warfare lab and his doomsday weapon. The cover story was that France had privately resumed nuclear testing in the area of the old Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique.
With his weakened arsenal and with the major superpowers of the world now aware of Khan's plans of genocide, air strikes from American B-52 bombers and a ground assault from the Russian Spetsnaz eliminated Khan's henchmen and palace. On January 10, 1996 U.S. forces bombed Khan's "terrorist base" in Chandigarh as well as several other Augment bases in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. Facing certain defeat at the hands of combined forces from multiple nations, the very next day Khan and 84 of his Augment followers secretly escaped Earth aboard a stolen prototype vessel of the DY-100 sleeper ship christened the SS Botany Bay. (TOS novels: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1, The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 2) The failure by Earth's intelligence agencies in sharing information meant that they were not aware of this fact which allowed Khan to escape from the planet at the end of the Eugenics War. (FASA RPG module: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual: Agent's Orientation Sourcebook) This ship was developed using technology reverse-engineered from the Ferengi ship that crashed at Roswell, and launched from the secret American facility nicknamed "Area 51". Khan headed for outer space with the dream of someday ruling a world of his own making. On board the ship, the crew were cryogenically frozen to allow them to remain in suspended animation. (TOS novels: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1, The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 2)
In 1996, the USS Enterprise was sunk in the Sea of Japan. Also, at some unknown point, the cities of Tokyo was nearly completely destroyed while New York City was destroyed in its entirety. (TNG novel: Debtors' Planet, Last Unicorn RPG module: A Cadet's Guide to Sector 001 Earth, ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
Towards the end of the war, there had been a small peace movement, trying to stem the tide of destruction. Upon failing this task, they decided to leave the Earth in search of a more peaceful world. They constructed a spaceship, launching themselves into space in suspended animation in 1997. (TOS comic: "Sceptre of the Sun")
Another account, recounted by the Kelvin timeline's version of Khan, spoke of a very different conflict. Rather than having been genetically altered from birth, Khan claimed the Augments had been orphaned children enhanced by genetic engineering throughout the 1970s and 1980s at various secret schools across Earth. When the Augments overthrew their creators, they infiltrated all levels of human society and announced their presence to the world by detonating nuclear weapons in Washington, DC and Moscow. After a brief war against humanity, the Augments assumed full control of the world before they fell to in-fighting, allowing the unaltered humans to develop a bioweapon that targeted the Augment genome. The last remnant of the Augments, Khan and eighty-four of his followers fled Earth aboard the SS Botany Bay. After hearing this account, James T. Kirk was not inclined to believe it, noting that the Federation had no way of verifying it and suspecting that Khan had reinterpreted events to paint himself as the hero of the story. (TOS - Khan comics: "Issue 1", "Issue 2", "Issue 3")
Aftermath of the War
Following the war, genetic engineering on Earth was banned, a policy which would later be imposed on the United Federation of Planets once it was formed. The law was passed to prevent another eugenics war, however relics from the first war would continue to trouble the galaxy for centuries to come:
Arik Soong and his Augments
In the 2130s, Dr. Arik Soong, the medical director of Cold Station 12, stole a group embryos leftover from the Eugenic wars. He then took the embryos to Trialas IV, where Soong raised them as his children, trying to perfect humanity in his own way. Soong was with them for ten years till 2144 when he was captured. The augments then came under the leadership of Raakin.
In May 2154, two of the augments, Malik and Saul, were able to take a Klingon bird-of-prey and kill it's entire crew. When the bodies of the Klingon crew were found in space, Klingon chancellor M'Rek threatened to retaliate by attacking Earth with extreme force. In response Starfleet dispatched the Enterprise, with Dr. Soong's assistance to track down and bring the augments back to Earth.(ENT episode: "Borderland")
Unfortunately, Soong and his augments were able to escape the Enterprise. They then returned to Cold Station 12 to get the rest of the embryos. There they killed one of the doctors there and then left with the embryos despite Capt. Archer's best efforts to destroy the station. (ENT episode: "Cold Station 12")
After that Malik and the rest of the augments, rose up against Soon and cast him aside after he refused to use a bio-genic weapon on a Klingon colony and was starting to alter the embryos. Fortunately, one of the augments helped him escape. After Soong was recovered by the Enterprise, he told them of the augments plan to attack a klingon colony. When they found the augments ship, Enterprise was able to stop them before the weapon was deployed and disable the bird of prey. Malik, refusing to surrender, overloaded the dilithium matrix and destroyed the Bird-of-Prey, killing him and the rest of the Augments. Malik, however was able to beam over, and tried to kill Soong. Fortunately, Archer was able to kill Malik before he had the chance. The Klingon Council, satisfied with the results, agreed not to launch a attack on Earth.(ENT episode: "The Augments")
After the Bird-of-Prey was destroyed, the Klingons found the remains of the embryos and tried to create klingon augments. At first, the experiments, under Dr. Antaak suceeded, with only some cosmetic damage to klingon test subjects. Unfortunately, one of his test subjects had the Levodian flu which mutated the augment gene into a lethal virus that effected millions. Fortunately, with assistance from Starfleet's Section 31 and the Enterprise's CMO, Dr. Phlox, were able to stabilize the virus, though it created the QuchHa', Klingonss without foreridges. (TOS - Klingons: Blood Will Tell comic: "Against Their Nature", ENT episodes: "Affliction", "Divergence")
Khan Noonien Singh and his Followers
Following the end of the war, all information regarding Khan's escape from Earth aboard the Botany Bay was destroyed, so that no-one could try and find him and his followers. By the 22nd century, the survival of Khan and his followers were regarded as nothing but myth. (ENT episode: "The Augments") It was known that many of the "Khans" took normal humans as spouses who in turn had children that were half augment and half human. These spouses and children would be preyed upon by society who would execute them for the crimes committed by the various supermen. However, some fled with their children and went into hiding in locations such as the Sahara Reclamation Zone and Alaska. (TNG novel: Infiltrator)
The myths were later found to be true in 2267, when the USS Enterprise encountered the Botany Bay. Not knowing who the strange passengers were, Captain James T. Kirk had Khan and his followers revived from stasis and offered to escort them to Starbase 12 so that they could carry on with their lives.
However, Khan's true identity soon came to light and Captain Kirk was naturally concerned. With assistance from his followers and Lieutenant Marla McGivers, who had grown attracted to Khan, they managed to seize control of the Enterprise. Khan's evil ways soon returned as he threatened to kill Captain Kirk unless the crew cooperated and operated the starship.
Eventually, McGivers conscience gave way and she freed Captain Kirk and helped him regain control of the ship. Instead of taking Khan and his people to Starbase 12 to face charges, he decided to maroon them on Ceti Alpha V, where they could fight for a better life on the surface of the planet. (TOS episode: "Space Seed")
However, six months after their exile, Ceti Alpha VI exploded and laid waste to all native planet-life on Ceti Alpha V and turned it into a vast desert. Khan used his advanced knowledge of genetic engineering to guide his people through these rough times and plot his ultimate revenge on Kirk. (TOS novel: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh; TOS comic: "Khan: Ruling in Hell")
Khan finally got his chance in 2285 when the USS Reliant visited the planet in search of a location to test the Genesis Device. Using the mind-controlling affects of the Ceti eel he was able to take control of Captain Clark Terrell and Commander Pavel Chekov, and assumed control of the Reliant beaming his followers up and stranding the crew on the planet.
He immediately set-out to engage the Enterprise and was successful in delivering a crippling blow to the ship, but the Enterprise also caused damage to the Reliant after taking down her shields. At the behest of Joaquin, his second-in-command, Khan proceeded to Regula I where he slaughtered the crew of the station to gain the Genesis Device.
The final engagement with the Enterprise occurred within the Mutara Nebula. With some swift maneuvering, the Enterprise was able to cripple the Reliant and kill all of Khan's followers. In a final act of revenge, Khan detonated the Genesis torpedo, but the Enterprise managed to escape thanks to the sacrifice of Captain Spock. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
In the Kelvin timeline, the Botany Bay was then found by Section 31/Starfleet Admiral Alexander Marcus following the destruction of Vulcan in the late 2250s. Khan then underwent a change of appearance and went under the name of "John Harrison". (TOS movie & novelization: Star Trek Into Darkness; TOS - Khan comic: "Issue 4")
Dr. Stavos Keniclius
However, it was not just information about the Augments that were covered-up from the general public. Several scientists that had worked on the various projects were exiled and their work discredited. One such individual was Dr. Stavos Keniclius, who intended to create a race of Augments who would serve as a peacekeeping force around the galaxy.
However, his ideas found no great support on Earth and he eventually left the Sol system and eventually settled on the planet Phylos. Unbeknownst to Keniclius, he carried a bacteria that was deadly to the Phylosians and the entire race was nearly wiped out. Fortunately, Keniclius was able to genetically engineer a cure to the disease and save the Phylosians. As a result, the Phylosians pledged their lives to help Keniclius in his quest. (TAS episode: "The Infinite Vulcan")
Seeing that eugenics would be banned from their homeworld, quite a few supporters of such techniques left the planet Earth in order to build such societies with no interference from humanity. Many were known to be imitators of Noonien Singh's khanate, though one such world would become the planet Hera, with the native Herans following Khan's ideals. Such colonies would remain outside the Federation, despite the latter's close proximity to such worlds. (TNG novel: Infiltrator)
Not all exodus's from Earth were made by the Augments and their followers. The peace movement that tried to stop the Eugenics War resigned themselves to defeat and constructed a starship to leave the planet in order to find their own peaceful worlds. They were in suspended animation during the journey but eventually encountered a distant planet in Sector Vega 6 and were awoken from their slumber. The members of the movement then landed in a secluded area on that world and dismantled their starship in order to live in peace. (TOS comic: "Sceptre of the Sun")
The 24th century
The ban on genetic engineering remained in place through the 24th century. However, this was not always enough to stop well-meaning parents from having their children illegally modified in the hopes of improving their lives. Unfortunately, given the illegal nature of these operations, not all went well, and many 24th century augments turned out defective.
When it was revealed in 2373 that Doctor Julian Bashir of Deep Space 9 was an augment, he faced a dishonorable discharge from Starfleet. However, a compromise was reached with Starfleet's Judge Advocate General Admiral Bennett, by which Bashir's father agreed to serve a sentence in a penal colony in New Zealand for his violation of the law. Admiral Bennett defended the sentence, believing laxness in regard to upholding genetic engineering laws could lead to a repeat of the Eugenics Wars. (DS9 episode: "Doctor Bashir, I Presume")
A year later, a group of augments whose modifications were not so successful were brought to DS9, in hopes Bashir could be a positive influence on them. One of these, Jack, angrily asserted that he and other 24th century augments were marginalized out of irrational fears of a repeat of the Eugenics Wars. (DS9 episode: "Statistical Probabilities")
Another high-functioning 24th century augment, Ethan Locken, was recruited by Section 31 for an experimental operation to breed Jem'Hadar for the good of the Federation. However, Locken, an admitted admirer of Khan, instead programmed his Jem'Hadar to be loyal only to him. In the end, these Jem'Hadar turned against him. (DS9 - Section 31 novel: Abyss)
In an alternate reality version of Earth, the Augments succeeded in winning in the Eugenics Wars under the leadership of Khan who took control of the planet. What followed was the Great Ascension with the Human race transformed into the Children of Khan with Khan himself becoming the First Khan, Eternal Master and the First Lord of Mankind. (DS9 novel: Seeds of Dissent)