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Best To Let Sleeping Dragons Lie

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The last few memories he had had been of his crew. The memories had flitted through his mind as he had been in his cryogenic slumber, and now, as he was trying to get his wits about him, get his senses straight upon being so suddenly awoken from what he had expected to be his unending slumber, they were flitting through his mind once again. Their faces, their voices, bits and pieces of conversations and snatches of moments that they had shared…they cycled through his mind as he shivered in the cold, dark room he was in.

He had no clue where he was, when he was…no clue of anything. All he knew was that he had woken up suddenly on a bed in a dark room with a single light on. He had found a way to break the light easily as it was too bright for his overly sensitive eyes, and he had found it better that way. The room seemed far too cold, or perhaps that was him. Normally temperature did not matter to him, but he supposed it was his body still adjusting to having been cryogenically frozen. There were bars on the door and windows, and the bare minimum inside the room.

Whatever the situation, though, he was well aware of one thing: he was a prisoner.

However, he was not entirely powerless. He needed to remember that.

When the first visitor arrived, they were not there to offer answers. They were there to get information. By any means necessary, apparently. And his silence could buy him time. He had extraordinary healing powers; he could endure any beating that a mere mortal could deliver. He could be beaten nearly to death and still survive, though he hoped that it didn’t get to that point. He knew when the beatings got severe enough they would realize his healing ability was superhuman, but for now it was his ace in the hole.

He endured it with near silence. A stray grunt or groan escaped, much to his dismay, but otherwise he managed to stay absolutely quiet as he was pummeled by someone he gathered was an expert in extracting answers from uncooperative subjects. It made him wonder as to the when he had been woken up in; how much had the future change, if torture was still allowed? How civilized were men these days if pummeling a man to get answers was the first route to be taken?

Or perhaps they knew who he was and it was decided this was the safest route. Perhaps his name had lived on in infamy. The name Khan Noonien Singh had lived on as a name to be feared, and the way to treat the man who bore that name was with aggression. If that was the case, then so be it. It was a well deserved legacy, and when the time came for him to get his vengeance, this treatment would be remembered.

Because he would, indeed, get his vengeance.

He wasn’t sure how long it had been that it all went on, how many times he was visited, how many times he was struck in their quest for answers. And then, it simply ceased. He was left in peace for a time. Part of him knew this was a ploy, a way to get him to trust the next person who came to call, but part of him also wondered if they had simply realized the futility of their actions. He would not bend, he would not break. He was not a weak willed man. He would not cave because his body was battered and bruised, so long as his spirit was strong.

And so when the man arrived, looking at him as though he was a curious byproduct of a time gone by, he kept his temper down. This man had power, he realized before the man said a word. He could tell by the uniform the man wore, by the manner in which he moved, the manner in which he held himself. He had done well by holding himself out for this man.

“Khan Noonien Singh,” the man drawled out. The way the man said his voice grated on his nerves but he knew he would have to accept it if he wanted a chance at freedom, a chance at answers.

He nodded. “Yes,” he replied, nodding his head.

The man looked him over from his standing by the door. He had been sitting up, his elbows on his thighs, his hands clasped together. He had made it a point not to get into an adversarial stance; he could manipulate people just as easily as he could bash a person’s head in and sometimes knowing when to do so made all the difference. After a moment he spoke again. “I apologize for the actions of my subordinates. You have a…reputation.”

He nodded again. “I suppose I should have known,” he said quietly.

“You left quite a path of destruction in your wake when you were awake last time,” he said, crossing his arms and smirking slightly, as if he didn’t quite believe he’d actually done it, like he wasn’t quite capable of it. This man was irritating, he realized. He acted far more superior than he really should. Whatever position of power he had was really quite high, he realized. High enough he felt like a God among men. Pathetic.

“I suppose it could have been exaggerated, after…?” he said, trailing off.

“Two hundred years,” the man said. “You’ve been in cryogenic stasis for two hundred years.”

He nodded. Well, at least he had gotten one question answered. “That allows for some time for exaggeration, I suppose,” he said.

“Well, I’m rather hoping it’s not exaggeration, you see,” the man said. “If you can look past your welcome to the future, I need your help, Khan. I have a problem, and you might be the man to fix it.”

And there it was. The lure. The invitation to help was the lure to his freedom, and that was supposed to get his undying loyalty. Oh, he was a clod. So simplistic in his gambit. Well, he supposed it wouldn’t hurt to give him something, in exchange from freedom from this prison, at least until he could begin to enact his plans to find and free his crew and then exact his revenge before he began to continue the plans he’d had before, if that was still feasible in this era.

He looked at the man, and then leaned forward more, showing him subconsciously there was interest. Even an idiot could pick up a signal like that. “Tell me more,” he said, hoping that he caught on. And when the man began to give him his pitch, he knew he had him hooked.

Now it was just a matter of seeing how quickly he could learn what had changed and how much information he could gather before he put plans into action. Because he would prove what a mistake it had been to wake him up.

After all, it was usually best to let sleeping dragons lie.