Computers beeped and distant alarms could be heard. A ShinRa scientist walked into the lab and sat at the computer. The lab had been occupied for 5 months now; the main subject held in a large tank filled with green tinted liquid. The scientist was a woman. She moved the mouse and pulled the computer out of stand by mode. She looked at the data on the screen and her green eyes widened. Taking the lab phone she pushed one of the speed dial buttons ‘Professor Hojo’.
“Sir. You need to see the results from last night.” She spoke with a gravely voice. She listened to a hum then the standard dial tone. She looked at the phone then placed it back on the cradle. She began writing some notes from the other computers whilst waiting.
15 minutes later the door opened and in walked ShinRa’s Finest, Professor Silas Hojo. There were several other ShinRa scientists in the lab by now. Silas Hojo was carrying a cardboard cup of fresh black coffee.
“Good morning Professor.” One random scientist said, “Enjoy your day off yesterday?” He asked, looking up from his clip board. Hojo took a sip from his cup and flicked his black bangs from his eyes.
“Day off! HA! I spent all day kissing ShinRa’s gargantuan arse. So I took a vigorous leap and visited one of my old haunts.” He sipped again, “And I am very well aware of my eyes. I fell asleep before I could take out my lenses. But enough about that! To my lovely PROJECT B. What have you got to tell me today?” He asked, taking the clip board with a print out of the nightly data collection. He looked at the results and his eyes widened, “He had an orgasm? Interesting. Very interesting. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting this at all.” He placed the clip board and his coffee on the desk. He reached his fingers under his glasses and quickly pulled out both of his blue cat eye lenses. Humming fiendishly he discarded them in the nearest bin then walked to the tank. Hojo placed his hand on the tepid glass and looked at the fine specimen inside. He gently tapped the glass and waited.
“Wake up Shenlong.” He tapped the glass a little but harder. Shenlong twitched and like a startled fish being stared at in an aquarium he opened his eyes, gazing out at the world before him. He had a rather complex piece of breathing apparatus secured in his mouth. Hojo smiled and traced his fingers across the glass. Shenlong slowly brought his hand forward and with his own finger followed the scientists movements. His long black hair swirled around his skinny naked body, making him flinch and twitch when the ends came into contact with his skin. Hojo gave PROJECT B a sly half smile and tuned away from him.
“Commence the purging process.” He purred as he shoved his hands in his pockets. Random Science Guy 1 pushed a button on his control panel and the tank began to slowly drain the liquid inside. Shenlong spat out his breathing apparatus and banged his fists on the glass. There was a loud sound of a vacuum seal being released and the tank began to open, the glass panel lifting like the doors of a Delorian. Shenlong lay crumpled at the bottom of the tank, his body still twitching. He gasped, trying to catch his breath. Hojo took a spare lab coat from the back of a nearby chair and draped it over Shenlong’s body. The boy coughed and feebly pulled the garment around himself.
“Ladies and gentlemen! The initial stages of PROJECT B have been a complete success.” Hojo walked around the tank; scientists shaking his hands as he walked. “Go and research and record last nights findings and we shall meet tomorrow to compare our findings. Dismissed.” He said, his voice full of triumph. The scientists made their way to the door, leaving Hojo alone with Shenlong.
“… PROJECT B?” Shenlong whispered. Hojo bent over and lifted the wet young man off the floor of the tank and he helped him into a chair. The scientist gathered Shenlong’s hair and tied it into a scruffy ponytail. Shenlong looked at him, his ruby eyes even more intense than before. He raised his hand again and carefully traced the contours of Hojo’s face.
“Do you remember my name?” He asked. Shenlong dropped his hand and looked around the lab. “Do you remember your name?” Shenlong pointed to a notebook and flexed his fingers towards it. Hojo took the notebook and pen and showed it to the boy. Carefully, he placed the pen into the young mans hand and held the notebook to him. Shenlong placed the tip of the pen onto the paper and started to draw. At first he drew scribbles, but he quickly picked up how to use something as simple as a pen. Hojo smiled and tucked the boys still-damp bangs behind his ears.
“My name is Shenlong Hojo. You are Professor Silas Hojo and I had an orgasm because I remembered Scarlet. I remember everything.” He said softly, his normally bubbly voice now tainted with sorrow and hardship. Hojo cleared his throat and dropped the pad. He walked over to the computer and started typing. Shenlong suddenly felt a pang of emptiness. He looked at Silas Hojo and simply stared at him.
“My chest hurts. It feels tight.” He snapped, placing his hand on his chest. Hojo kept on looking at the computer screen and made some more notes.
“You’re just getting used to independent breathing. Don’t worry. That can happen.” He said, not looking up. Shenlong dropped the pen and brought his hands to his forehead. It felt clammy and hot.
“Sephiroth… I… HOJO!!! AHHH… What!!!!” he shouted, snapping his hands to his chest. He felt hot like his body was on fire. He fell to the floor and clenched his fists tightly. Hojo dropped his pen and ran to Shenlong. He was screaming in agony. Hojo tried to calm him down and restrain him but he was thrown back by a pair of metallic wings sprouting out of the young mans back. He screamed louder as the skin on his back split apart. Blood dripped from the wounds and wings, covering his pale skin in a scarlet blanket.
“Shenlong!” Hojo shouted “CONTROL YOURSELF!!!”. Shenlong’s eyes were now completely red, blazing like Ifrit’s Hell Fire. His hands grew thick sharp talons and quicker than lightning he lunged at Hojo, grabbing him by the throat and pinning him to the wall… ready to strike. Clearly terrified; Hojo did the only human thing he had done in a long time. He cried. Shenlong was about to launch his claws into Hojo’s heart but instead felt a new stinging sensation in his neck. He dropped the scientist and his hands scratted at hit neck but he fell to the floor, his wings knocking over several computers and the glass panel on the specimen tank. Hojo slid down the wall and felt his neck. He was bleeding. He took his lab coat off and held it to his neck looking at the door; his breath haggard and uneven. There was a man in a sharp blue suit stood in the door with a rifle in his hand. His hair was tied in a ponytail and he had a small black mark on his forehead. A Wutai Man.
“Thank you Tseng. Prompt as always.” Hojo breathed. Tseng was from the Turks. Hojo had a very bad history with the Turks. However, he seemed to get along with Tseng. Tseng flicked the safety lock on the rifle and walked into the trashed lab.
“Things going well I see Professor. What have you been doing this time?” He asked as he offered his hands to the Professor. Silas grabbed his hands and was pulled to his feet.
“Technical hitch. Nothing I couldn’t handle.” He said as he dropped the lab coat to the floor. He grabbed a first aid kit which was mounted on the wall and opened it. He tipped out the contents onto the table top and spread it out with his hand like a card dealer would spread out a deck of cards. He plucked an adhesive pad from the kit and opened the paper wrapper and placed it on the oozing wound, smoothing it down with the palm of his hand. Tseng took his small radio off his belt and pressed the button on the side, a small green light illuminating his cheek as he held it up.
“Need a team of four to lab number 045. Require heavy restraints and fast access to a holding cell. Over” He said plainly looking at the fallen Shenlong. Hojo was knelt down beside him peeling damp hair off his face as he flipped him gently onto his back. His face was quite peaceful.
“I underestimated your strength boy. I know you don’t take to new treatments that well. You hated chemotherapy.” He said softly. He held his hand and looked at the claws which were now slowly retracting and beginning to resemble fingers again. Bruised fingers. Tseng tapped the radio against his lips and sighed.
“Good night last night then?” he said. Hojo looked up and glared.
“It was passable.” He stood up and walked over to a storage unit. He opened the door and pulled out a large plastic sheet which was folded in a square. He unfolded it and draped it onto the floor next to Shenlong. It stuck to the floor with the pool of blood. “Allow me a moment with my son Tseng. Go outside and wait for your colleagues and the President. No doubt he’ll turn up.” He said walking around the Turk. Tseng respectfully bowed and left the lab, the door opening and closing with a Starship Enterprise ‘whoosh’. Hojo knelt down again and dug the tranquilizer dart from the back of Shenlong neck. About 20 minutes for the drug to begin wearing off. The Turks didn’t have a drug nearly powerful enough to knock out a Hojoesque experiment when it was at full force.
“You really are a disgusting creature. I’ve always hated you. I hate you even more now. I know you know. You know my secret. Of the four people in the world who knows it, I’m so glad it’s you who now knows. Imagine the pain I can inflict upon you now.” He said in a sickly sweet voice. He sat down again and crossed his legs, taking out a piece of paper from the pocket of his trousers. He unfolded it and looked at it. Hatred burning in his heart. His eyes narrowed; his nose wrinkled; and his lips pursed. His hands tightened around the paper and he suddenly grabbed a scalpel from one of the broken trolleys on the floor. he gripped the handle of the blade and straddled the boy, placing the tip of the sharp blade on the right hand side of his throat. He leaned in close and gently forced the blade in.
“Sick little cunt!” he ripped the blade out and sat up. He plunged it into his stomach.
“Valentine spawn!” he ripped it out and grabbed his wrist, nails digging into the soft tattooed flesh. He extended his arm so he had a clean canvas to work on. Licking the skin he shuddered, the taste of the fluid from the tank still present, mixed with sweat. He began to scrawl his name into the bicep, the blood spurting up like a burst water pipe. The sedative was wearing off and Shenlong was drifting back into consciousness. He moaned slightly, trying to shuffle under Hojo. His wings were slowly receding too. He was looking more human. He opened his eyes, his long lashes fluttering like a wisp of smoke. Hojo tore out the scalpel and grabbed the boy by the chin.
“How DARE you run a fucking DNA test on me!!! HOW FUCKING DARE YOU!” he exclaimed. Shenlong blinked and inhaled sharply, trying to sit up. Hojo sliced the scalpel across the kids face, re-opening the old scar under his right eye. Shenlong grunted, his body still numb from the sedative. These wounds would surely sting a bit when he regained full feeling in his body. Hojo stood up, shoving Shenlong to the floor as he went. Looking down his nose at the boy he kicked him sharply in the ribs as he was on his knees. Shenlong spluttered blood and fell back down, cracking his nose on the floor. His sense of touch was fast returning and he could feel each individual incision like a burning sensation. He held his ribs and sat up, his knees only just supporting him.
“I… I…” Shenlong coughed harshly, spitting up a mix of blood and bile. “I didn’t think… I didn’t think you’d find out…” He squeezed his eyes shut, the wings on his back vaporizing in a mist of something resembling a body passing through into the lifestream. Hojo threw the scalpel into a medical waste bin and folded his arms. Shenlong fell backwards slightly and rested on the cold sterile wall.
“I know you don’t think. You never do boy!” he spat. Shenlong seethed at the pain of the lacerations, his eyes falling upon the crude carving of the name ‘Hojo’ on his right bicep. There was a loud knock at the door. Hojo walked calmly over to the door and pressed the small red button on the intercom.
“Fast Action Response Team sir.” The voice crackled through the intercom. Hojo grinned and opened the door. Four armoured Turks entered the lab and made their way to Shenlong. Two grabbed him by the hair and another forced a thick pair of steel manacles around his wrists, restraining his arms behind his back. One of the guys holding his hair was Rude. They were all wearing helmets but Shenlong knew it was him because of his sunglasses. A steel collar was clamped around his neck and a chain extended down from the back to his manacles. If he shifted his arms he would choke himself. Another Turk secured a series of leather belts around his arms and legs. They didn’t care that he was naked. Hojo helped the other guy wheel in a stretcher, stopping it just before it ran into the kid. They lifted him onto the stretcher and secured him with leather ratchet straps. All the time Shenlong was struggling.
“You can’t do this to me!” Shenlong spat. Hojo smirked and took a heavy glass paper- weight off the desk. The Turks turned around on the Professor’s signal, blind to what was about to come. Shenlong’s eyes met Hojo’s, triumph blazing behind them spectacles. “Hojo… Dad… please…” Silas Hojo smiled an evil smile and smacked Shenlong in the temple with the sharp corner of the paperweight, effectively silencing him.