iCakeify: Death metal, that explains it. I'm not a fan of the screaming or whatever they're doing.
Well Happy Valentine's Day! Expecting something happy today? Sorry.
...I don't know what exactly I was thinking with this chapter. I find it written weird. It looked better in my head, but... In my honest opinion, if this was actually animated out, it would be done differently. If you find this confusing or that it does not make sense, I will rewrite, literally REWRITE the chapter at the drop of a hat, something I don't mind doing if it's what the audience wants. I am willing to rewrite this if it needs be, just say the word, and it shall be done. It just means chapter twelve will come out later, with a combination of college work and chapter rewrite.
Well, enjoy! Though your mileage may vary... I would have something nearby just in case.
I ended up running into nasty material while writing this chapter for you, be happy it wasn't you. And I think for that I deserve to take my sweet ol' time writing chapter twelve while enjoying a daily wash of brain bleach.
A/N: 'Italics' is Mewtwo speaking “out-loud”. Maybe that'll help clear up some confusion.
Chapter Eleven: Through Her Eyes
“Show me the shadow where true meaning lies
So much more dismay in empty eyes”
-- “Exodus”, Evanescence, “Evanescence EP”
Mewtwo grew aware of the cold floor he was laying upon before the pain stung through his head. He groaned as he sat up, squinting into the dim chamber at the pulsating lights. He questioned his current location, knowing he was elsewhere just minutes ago. It was then everything began to come back to him, at how uncharacteristic he had been as were the other Legendaries. Then Mew came in, and they had a fit of passion before they recollected themselves—no, that was all him, he remembered now, she was just following along. It was when she announced it was all an illusion used by Legion that everything started to fall apart.
Speaking of which...
“So, you woke up as well,” came a sinister growl, and he whipped his head back to meet an enraged Mew in the eye. He almost stumbled back out of an impulse until he recollected it wasn't entirely her. “I bet she told you everything after snapping you back to normal, did she not? And after all that hard work, too.”
“You!” he snarled. “What have you done to Mew?”
“Me? I never touched her the entire time. Wish I could say the same about you.” The slitted eyes flashed tauntingly as she licked her upper lip. “How did it feel to know you had her in your grasp? Exhilarating, am I right?”
“Stop it, Legion!” he barked, shivering at the memory. “What did you do to Mew?!”
Shrugging, Legion nonchalantly responded, “The same thing I do to all souls taken into possession. She awaits eternal damnation in Spirit Prison. She put up quite a fight, I expected no less from her.”
“...she is where?”
“It is where all unclean spirits go to dwell until they are 'bailed out' in a way.” The phrase was hissed out maliciously. “I will be perfectly honest with you, I do not know what goes on there most of the time, I do not stay in there. All I know is good spirits can go in and preach to the bad or the uninformed because that is just what they do. If she is lucky, someone will visit her and convert her over to Paradise. But... she will have to pay the consequences.”
Mewtwo shivered, half in fright and the other in anger. “You promised to let her go,” he harshly reminded the demon. “Why are you still in her body?”
Legion laughed. “You only asked me to 'release her', if memory serves me well—and it always does—but you were not specific. I would have done what you might have been thinking of until you broke your end of the bargain before we could make the deal.”
The clone fought to restrain himself, gritting his teeth and glancing away. He tried not to think hard on his previous actions to no avail; they were still fresh from minutes ago. Despite everything being a trick, and as much as he'd like to deny it, his contact with Mew (her spirit anyway) was real. From the touches to her hard kisses, the hot breaths and heartbeats.... the tears... the discovery of her body... everything. It had happened. His reasons for it, however, were unclear. As his eyes scrunched shut in frustration, of all the past memories he could see, the vision of her pleading for him to stop as he forced himself upon her came to mind. He couldn't think of another time she was so helpless against him. Afraid to delve further into the memory, he threw an accusation down the demon's way. “You tempted me to break that promise. I would never dare handle her in such a way.”
“Surprise, surprise, I had nothing to do with the temptation!” she exclaimed in a strangely excited tone. “The vision was all my doing, but your actions were of your own! Had the real Mew not weaseled herself in, then I suppose I would have been a part of your temptation—how she got rid of it is beyond me. It does not matter, point is, it was all you.” A crooked smile lit up in the dim lighting. “After all, Mewtwo, your immortal spirit carries with it all the memories and personalities you have developed in your mortal life. You are currently warring within yourself about whether-or-not you truly love her, or are just wanting her body. And so far... lust is winning the war.”
“You lie, I hold high regards to her! She had been my enemy, a true friend, an equal! I do not want her body, I want her heart, her soul! They hold the Mew I know and respect, and I almost got her back! If there should be any warring going on, it should be you and I fighting for the future of her wellbeing.”
“Bah, you have not a clue what you are talking about,” Legion interjected, waving a hand. “You cannot challenge a demon and win. Mortality and sin go hand-in-hand because of how you are unable to escape it. That is how fickle bodies are, and spirits do get restless after a while. For all I know, you were extremely curious how spiritual bodies can still be intimate with each other. It still does not matter, you cannot get Mew back.” Floating closer, her hips swung suggestively. “You can, however, still have the body. At least you will not return home empty-handed.”
She reached up to cup his face, only for him to jerk away. “Never,” he spat.
With a huff, she backed off. “Fine, be that way. You will be confined back to the wall, then.”
When “back” left her lips, Mewtwo's wrists were immediately seized upon, and he was wrenched from behind to the stone wall. He struggled, noticing whenever he strained his arm away, a thick, shadowed tendril tightened as it forcefully pulled back. “Unhand me, demon!” he seethed out.
“You had your chance, but you gave it up for 'her virginity',” she mocked, using air quotes as emphasis. “For something as pathetic as that excuse, you are undeserving to be released at this present time. I will let you go, briefly, when you are needed.”
“I will not do want you demand of me, you will only be wasting your time.”
“I have all eternity. Time does not exist to me.” The smirk grew into a maddening grin. “I will keep you alive against God's wishes and yours. You will live to see completion of my work.” Mew closed the space between them to place a teasing kiss onto his mouth, sending tremors through his body. “Of our work.” She nipped at his jawline.
Mewtwo bent away from her best he could, only evoking her to latch on further. Any repelling abilities he had on hand were disabled, rendering him helpless under her control. He bit back gasps when she traced her hand along his throat, scraping her claws lightly against his jugular. He caught at the corner of his eye a warning glare before the harsh kisses resumed along his neck. At once, his recollection of Mew's own reaction to his advances returned. She was like him, being subject under another's will. But unlike him, he realized, she trusted him enough when she submitted herself to the passion. It must have been a mistake on her part, and yet she willingly went along with it. If what Legion said was true about a soul carrying the same personality into eternity... and having met her soul...
...she was of love... he was of lust. Because she loves him, she gave herself to him. But also because she loves him, she wanted it to end.
Now, being in her position, he had a good idea what she had felt during those minutes of passion... of weakness. Glancing back at his counterpart, he noticed dark spots on her neck that he identified as bruises, similar to what Mew had. Very similar. When she shifted down to kiss his chest, he craned for a look to see bloodied dots and streaks on his fur, no doubt from the gash on her wrist. A sorrowful thought came to him, and he dared to speak to Legion. “Why have you not healed her wound?”
“Why does it matter to you?” she grumbled into his pectoral, digging her claws into him.
He cringed a little. “Mew has lost too much blood from it. She is going to die if she does not get treatment.”
“She is already dead.”
...many painful shock waves flooded his figure within that second. His heart stung in protest when it skipped a beat, his lungs clenched when he lost his breath, his blood ran cold... so much was running through him, he felt like his body had suddenly shut down. He stared blankly down at her, hardly noticing she still pressed coarse kisses across his torso without another care. All he could think of at the moment was Mew. He did not want to believe it, there was no way she could be dead, not when he had talked to her. She may have been a spirit, but he could vividly remember she was as alive as him, if not more. Her warmth was there, her heart was beating. It had to be no more than a few minutes ago, he was sure of it.
Yet... there was something in her eyes before they separated. He had seen her sad enough to know what it looked like inside the soul. It was heartbreaking then (as much as he hated to admit it). But this... this was more than sadness—if spirits did not have anything further inside their eyes to indicate deep emotion. This sorrow of hers pierced him in such a way, he knew he couldn't do anything for her. He would not be able to comfort her, to make her laugh to chase away the tears. There was something personal about her grief he had no right in knowing, and nothing he could have done would have made her better. Any happiness she may have felt with him was temporary, unimportant.
What if, right then and there in his arms... she had died? Had he been unable to revive her in time?
Mewtwo tensed in his heartbreak, trying and failing to hold it back. Pausing in her travel, the impostor tilted her head back, scowling deeply at him. “Enough, crying never solved anything,” she snapped impatiently. “Mew is dead, there is nothing you can do.”
“How can you say that?!” he screamed at her, wanting to reach out and strangle her. “Mew did not die, I saw her! I touched her, I was intimate with her! She was as alive as ever, how can you say such a horrendous thing?!”
“I hate repeating myself,” the demon grumbled before speaking louder, getting in the clone's face. “Do you not get the definition of 'dead'? She is gone, ceases to exist, extinct! Get over it and move on.”
“I cannot!” Mewtwo cried out on the verge of tears. “H-How can I when you are in her body tormenting me, for one thing?! But I know she is not dead! She is just lost, and too weak right now to do anything! She needs help, or she will die! Surely not all demons are cruel!”
“Well, as much as the bursting of bubbles are so cliché, I love doing it. So there!” Legion cackled upon pretending to “pop” the feline's outer “bubble”.
Shaking his head, he weakly struggled against his hold, too overcome with grief to steady himself. His knees nearly gave out from quaking so much, the demon's words slowly sinking in. “...i-it does not make sense... it may have just been her spirit, but... spirits cannot die...”
“Not in the way you are thinking of.” He could barely bring himself to look at her, preferring to stare at the floor. “There is the physical death, and the spiritual death. When I say that Mew is dead, what I mean is that she is about half of both. This body is only alive because I will it to, and also because a spirit still inhabits it—namely me, again. The other is much more devastating, you can say. The spiritual death is basically being damned, the opposite of eternal life. Mew is on her way to spiritual death because she has committed a grievous sin.”
“No, not Mew!” he quickly gasped out, forcing himself to look directly into the slitted eyes. “Not her, she is pure, she is all things good! It is I who has committed sins, not her!”
A jagged-looking grin split her face. “Everyone who has lived on this earth has committed a sin,” she declared in a deathly whisper. “Especially your precious Mew. How else was I able to possess her?”
“Legion, tell me the truth! Mew is innocent, she has to be!”
“Say all you want, you know what I say is the truth. She is not as perfect as you think she is.”
“W-Well I know she is not perfect, no one is, but—”
“No one except God,” Legion corrected him. “But she is not God, and thus she is imperfect. And imperfect people are destined to make mistakes.”
“Then that is all it is, a mistake!” Mewtwo hysterically exclaimed. “Mew has done stupid things before, but she always made up for it!”
She slapped him with her tail and hissed, “Shut up and listen, or I leave you here to go insane, your choice!” When he bit his lip, she straightened with a smirk. “You have much to learn about your sweetheart. There are things about her past she has not told you because she fears you will judge her. She has not lived an easy life. She lost her mother to poachers as a young kitten, and she barely survived into adulthood. During that time, the more she fought to live, the more she learned the world was cruel to its inhabitants. She was hunted down, nearly eaten, often deathly ill, almost drowned twice, was trapped by a fallen tree until she taught herself to Teleport, then took longer to learn Recover...” Legion trailed off for a moment. “I could go on, but it is a tiring list of disasters and near-death experiences she had, all as a child. Though she was once captured by a poacher and lived in a cage for a few months because she was still too small to even be the cuffs of a coat. Thanks to her ability to learn every attack, she 'accidentally' caught the camp on fire and escaped. Then she was stupid enough to get captured again, this time to be put up for auction as a rare, exotic pet. Once she remembered she could Teleport, she fled deep into the Amazon rainforest. It took her another several grueling years before she knew all the dangers.”
Mewtwo squirmed in discomfort, feeling unworthy to hear Mew's life's story. His movements went unnoticed. “A few years into her adulthood, Arceus granted her permission to be an immortal Legendary, and to be the Tree of Beginnings' guardian. She accepted, and you should already know what happens during the next thousand years,” she droned, waving her hand around. “She has seen many things in her lifetime, more horrific than yours, and considering the time-line when it came to wars and all, your days were terrible, but not like hers. Name anything, she has seen it.”
“Why are you telling me this?” he moaned. “Mew would have told me when she was ready.”
“So you can learn for yourself how hellish her life was. And how she is no different from you.”
He slowly shook his head. “No... she is nothing like me... I have done things... terrible things. Mew is too pure to be near my range of status.”
“You would be surprised,” Legion smirked. “She would be able to relate to you oh-so very much.”
“How can she? She is my opposite, there is no way she can.”
Her smirk spread from ear to ear. “I think I will have Mew take over for me,” she slowly whispered, letting out a breathy chuckle. “There is so much, and so few words.”
“What are you talking about?”
Without another word, she floated up to eye-level and pressed her forehead against his. He stared in confusion into her demonic eyes, attempting to back away. His wrists were given a painful squeeze in prohibition, forcing him to freeze in place. The grin eased up to a wicked beam as the narrowed oculars flashed a light blue.
Then Mewtwo's vision blacked out.
...he didn't know how long he was out for, how long the silence had been going on. Somewhere in his subconscious, Mewtwo knew he should be dreaming right about now. He didn't care what it was, he should have dreams. He was going to force himself to wake up if he didn't—since when was light so bright? He blinked a few times to get used to it, then sat up and stretched. This was feeling familiar...
With a yawn, he levitated away from the branch he had been sleeping in—Wait, why am I in a tree? he questioned himself, then waved it off like it was nothing. He was probably dead tired right now. Once he got himself ready, he'll be up like normal and... why was everything so green? Did spring come early? Why the heck wasn't he freaking out by now? And why was the thought “Today is going to be a new day!” running through his head? That was a bit out of character... maybe he really is dreaming, just in a slightly different way. Which was about time he got something pleasant.
After a few minutes of air-travel (which was feeling so natural in this dreamworld, it made him smile), he reached water, and knelt down. Leaning forward, he cupped a handful into his paws and washed his face, shaking the droplets from his fur. Once the surface calmed, he stared down at his reflection, blinking a few times and wiping the sleep from his eyes. Then, slowly, he looked around at the healthy green foliage, taking in the morning songs of the many Bird Pokémon, the chirps of Butterfree on their daily duties, the scurrying of little feet upon bark and vines as other inhabitants foraged for breakfast... the jungle sounds were very relaxing, so very normal but beautiful...
...wait a second...
Mewtwo looked back at the water, getting lost in his scrutinizing of the tiny rosy body contrasting against the greens and blues, aqua orbs developing a rather far-away look to them.
And suddenly, thoughts were made clear, like a remembrance. “Tomorrow is Latias' birthday. Eee, can hardly wait to see her face when I give her her present!”
'Wha... what is going on?!' the clone inwardly gasped. 'What kind of dream is this?!'
Then he—or in actuality, Mew sneezed. “Oh, gosh, that was strange,” she muttered to herself, wiping her nose. “Guess some Butterfree scales were on the wind.”
'What is this?!' he continued like it never happened, getting weirded out from it. 'Am I having an out-of-body experience?! This cannot be real!'
It was apparent he was speaking out-loud to himself, but Mew did not react in an acknowledging way. She instead fell back to sprawl on the grass, gazing up at the clouds. While Mewtwo had the beginnings of a mental breakdown, his counterpart mentally traced out shapes. She would occasionally comment to herself, which quieted him down so he could hear before it started up again in a seemingly never-ending cycle (though the outbursts did simmer down to mumbles after a while). He began to wonder if he had been drugged when Legion knocked him out, thus causing this strange hallucination of him being manifested inside Mew's head.
Though what made it more confusing was if he was inside the head of the spirit of Mew... if that was even possible. The thought itself made his own head hurt.
A low, rather melancholy sigh escaped from the lips of the small Legendary, catching his attention. “I bet this is what Mewtwo does when he's bored,” she murmured, shrugging her shoulders. She flipped herself over, then scooted herself to the water's edge, running her fingers in a circular motion through the liquid. “I don't know how he can stand being alone in a large city like that. He really doesn't have too many visitors... not since Pikatwo died...” (Mewtwo felt his heart ache at the mention of his dear friend.) She sighed again. “If I could... if he would let me, and if the Tree wasn't so demanding... I could travel around with him. Maybe then he wouldn't be so lonely. I don't know why no one bothers to stay more than a few hours. 'S not like a hundred years ago where he would have ripped off their heads for showing up.”
When she giggled, a wave of nostalgia rose up inside him. The giggle he hated so very much... but looked forward to all the same. “Oh, Mewtwo... he's changed so much since then. Maybe it's about time I do, too. Especially now...”
A twinge of sadness tugged at him from somewhere in a subconscious area, realizing this was a memory from not too long ago—maybe. He recalled that as the years had gone by, Mew had slowly been maturing ever since she felt the world take a turn for the worse. Was this one of those very days?
She lightly closed her eyes as she let out a long breath (though it took Mewtwo a couple of seconds to figure it out), head resting against her arms. “Maybe then... things will get better...”
Mew trailed off, succumbing herself to her inner thoughts he caught snippets of when he least suspected them. They were of her typical thinking, he wasn't really surprised about it all. She had always been the one who loved all her friends and who believed everything would get worse before getting better. In a way, it grieved him. 'Always the hopeless optimist,' he muttered. 'If only you had known what was coming...'
Then her eyes snapped open as she sat up, turning to scan the jungle background. There was a noticeable eerie silence that Mewtwo could have sworn was filled with Pokémon cries. Mew might have as well, but she was too engrossed in her alertness to mind it. Her ears flicked as she stared intently into the trees, the constant flicking of her vision making the clone feel a little motion sickness. She cautiously levitated a few feet above the ground.
Faint as it was, they both heard it, and she whipped her head towards its direction. It was just enough for her neck to be skimmed by a smooth, cold surface, followed by a splash behind her. Spinning around, she peered at the ripples, bending over for a better, curious look. There was a catch of glint shimmering beneath the surface before there was a sharp jab on the back of Mewtwo's neck. Hissing from the sudden pain, he went to reach for the source when Mew did as well—then he questioned why he was grabbing at air. Tugging whatever it was from the skin (sending another vibe through the neck), she brought it to her line of vision, staring in disbelief at it. “Wha...?” she muttered.
“It's still standing?!” came a gruff gasp from behind, startling her to drop the tranquilizer.
“Shit, it must have been from when it moved!” a second voice growled. “Reload, and don't miss this time!”
“I got it, sir!” a third blurted out before another click was heard.
Almost immediately, a second harsh prick on the shoulder was felt. Her vision started to blur, and a headache ensued, but she remained afloat, if clumsily. Breaths began to become ragged, as did her hearing. Mewtwo could pick out rough uses of language whenever it briefly refocused to normal. Whoever was shouting was most likely the leader, angry about the other's actions. Then he observed something odd about Mew's behavior. Despite all her wavering, she made not one motion to fly off, choosing only to gaze down where the three disembodied voices were arguing from. 'Why is she not running?'
The three must have noticed as well for the bickering quieted down. “Sir... not doing any...” was picked up from the faltering hearing before it blanked out. Then from the bushes appeared three, no four humans in what was hinted to be hunting gear. The sunlight was either glaring or she was losing her eyesight for their faces were barely visible. From what could be seen, they stood there in bafflement, one scratching his (maybe her) head as they gawked down at the small Legendary. Mew's thoughts manifested themselves in vain attempts to come out as words.
What's going on? Why are there humans here when there's so little left? How did I... oh Arceus, it hurts so much... hurts to think. Feeling sleep coming... I don't feel good.
She dropped from the air, barely catching herself from collapsing onto her face. Her breathing shallowed out, her arms quaking beneath her. One of the nearest humans flipped her over with a boot, leaving her sprawled out before them. They stood around her, and Mewtwo could feel their stares boring into her. The one that didn't have a noticeable beard grinned and the lips mouthed. The throbbing worsened, causing Mew to scrunch her eyes shut in pain. Why... does it hurt... why...?
Then there was another pinch to the neck, her thoughts faded, and the psycat was left in blackness. All outside feeling dissipated a minute later, and then the pain was gone. He steadily grew nervous, unsure what was going on in this helpless, immovable state. The long silence was suffocating, it made him more anxious and mind-consuming. For how long was she unconscious? What were those humans doing there? Were they planning something? Why her? Amongst the uneasiness, he felt anger rising in him. Was this what Legion wanted him to see? She got ambushed, that was it? As unlikely as it was, he knew Mew would easily escape from them once she got up. There was no way they could lay another hand on her—
...as faint as it was, it caught his attention. Wherever he looked, it was still black. Great, was he starting to go insane from it now? Unless... could Mew be dreaming?
It was louder this time. If she was, she might be dreaming about swimming. Mewtwo couldn't help but grin awkwardly at the idea. He was getting worked up over a stupid dream.
“...waves spiked. It's gaining consciousness.”
“What! I thought it... to be knocked out for a good few months!”
“Well, it is a Mew. Guess we calculated wrong.”
He felt his heart tense. She wouldn't be dreaming something like that... would she?
“Should we give it more of the sedatives then, sir?”
“No, the drug we used must be interfering with the experiments. Can't have it—” The voice continued to speak, but it was now suddenly muffled.
He could care less at the moment what the unfinished dialogue was. His mind was being thrown into shock at what he had heard. 'It... it cannot be...'
A disturbance felt in the black was evident enough Mew was stirring, the eerie gurgling increasing in volume. Her arms slowly rose, then bumped up against a smooth plane that was chilling to the bone. Her chest ached every time she took a breath like it was being compressed. A small thought of worry blipped by, though it went unheeded by Mewtwo. He feared the worst, hoping it wasn't the case. And as she slowly opened her eyes, everything came crashing down on him, revisiting a world he never wanted to see again in his life.
It stung the moment her eyelids lifted, vision blurring for the first few minutes. A golden orange was what awaited them, a slight glare somewhere in the depths. Fuzzy shapes drifted upward before she (and her clone) identified them as bubbles, or rather congealed bubbles. They stared at the curiously haunting substances until she decided to look past the glaze. For a while, it was distorted, all one shade of color with no other distinguishing shapes or lighting. The more she grew aware, the clearer the world beyond was. And Mewtwo wished she stayed asleep.
The room was similar to what he knew well: advanced computers against the wall, polished tile floors with garish fluorescents, tubes and wires lining the walls and ceiling, glass cylinders scattered throughout, humans observing in their bland white coats... things he never again wanted to run into. Shuffling and electronic beeps were the ambient sounds next to the gushing of liquid. Unbearable noise... he felt his mind keeping in time to the steady beats, disturbing his thoughts. He tried to focus on the reflection of Mew in the hopes it would all fade to background hums, but as she wasn't looking at it directly, it wasn't viewable.
Where am I? her thoughts gasped, and he mentally locked on—anything to get rid of that blasted beeping. What's going on, what is all this? Why can't I move? I'm so cold... She tried to take in a deep breath only to start gagging. Her lips closed over a plastic lining, and when she glanced down, she panicked further. A thin tube was lodged inside her mouth—no, it was her throat—and extended down into the bottom of her tank. Attached to various parts of her body were wires, holding her in place.
Outside her glass container, a monitor was rapidly pulsing. “I thought you subdued it already!” a voice snapped.
“I just typed in the coordinates, give it time!” came the immediate defense.
Coming in the line of vision was a thin, furious human man, brows pinching his glasses as his teeth gnashed. He pounded the surface once, emitting a thunderous sound to vibrate throughout the liquid, startling Mew and causing her to choke again. “Knock it off, you stupid creature!” he shouted. “You're going to kill yourself in there!”
“Sir, don't yell at it! You're frightening it further!” Another one much like the first but taller and hairier rushed forward to hold him back. “It'll calm down soon.”
“Is that tracheal tube working? It's not floating in liquid oxygen, you know!”
“Yes, sir, but if you just let it be, it'll calm down and the procedure will proceed smoothly.”
“You bet on your ass it will, or guess who kicks it out on the street?!” He turned to huff in her direction before storming off, shouting for a drink. The second man left without a glance, returning to his seat by one of the monitors. The beeping began to slow down after a few moments, and Mew was now able to breathe without gagging.
Fighting to hold back tears, she brought herself to scan the room. Both she and Mewtwo agreed it was a sterile, uninviting place. Despite the human activity, they were all cold towards one another, avoiding eye contact, rarely speaking to each other except for arguing over formulas, or working individually far apart. The most common traits they seemed to share were being scientists and physically languished, otherwise they were like complete strangers. Some, upon closer inspection, looked and acted like they hadn't slept in days.
Why would people do this to themselves? her thoughts meekly wondered as she tore her eyes away from the humans. Has this gone on for a while? Maybe... when I was put in here?
Mewtwo questioned this himself as well. It reminded him of the scientists who aided in creating him. While the years had been blurring their faces, he could still remember the tired, but relieved tones when they congratulated each other on succeeding. They had spent grueling long hours, long months on making sure he survived. For all he knew, they must have eaten and slept very little the entire time. It was likely the same situation here. The one raging human only known as “Sir” must be in charge of whatever was going on. He must know that Mew was valuable, that one mistake could kill her. They couldn't afford mistakes—scientists rarely did. However long she was in the tank for was probably as long as they had gone without rest, without certainty.
Mew gagged again when she swallowed (tried to), and leaned up against the glass barrier. When she took another glance beyond, her jaw dropped as her eyes widened in horror.
Not even a yard away was another tank, occupied by a creature suspended in identical fluid, bent backward nearly in half. It was of unknown specie, one she nor Mewtwo had ever seen before, but closer inspection revealed to them it was supposed to be a common Rattata. It still had its rodent shape to it, but with a feline touch. The ears were rounded like a normal Rattata's except for the notable pointedness. The buck fangs were replaced with canine teeth, the whiskers nearly absent. From the paws were extended claws, the forelimbs and hind legs strikingly similar to that of a feline's. Its tail caught their attention the most, being extended to twice, possibly three times the length of its body. Whether it was from the vermillion coloring or not, it was a sickly yellow, though the clone was sure it was gray-colored.
But Mew hardly noticed that. She was too transfixed on its eyes. Its cold, blank eyes unblinkingly staring into emptiness.
“...aw, damn it, Tyson, why didn't you catch this?!” a voice snarled out. One of the scientists walked up to the tank and glared at the body, teeth gritting.
“Wha-a-at, I went on lunch break—oh...” Another one had stepped to his side, grimacing at the sight. He sucked in breath through his teeth. “...you know, the wires could never stick—”
“That's not the point, you dumbbell, it was your post!”
“How the hell was I supposed to know it'd die just when I'd go on my frigging lunch break? And what are the odds the wires would unstick themselves just as it died?”
“Doesn't matter, it's another failed experiment.” Ignoring the rise of exclamations in the room, the human walked over to a computer, typed away, and watched impatiently as the tank drained. The corpse sank down through the hole, and the other scientist pulled open a hidden compartment to drag it out. “That's the third failed clone we've had. We're beginning to run out of options here.”
The human, Tyson, dangled it by its skinny tail, frowning deeply. “It's strange, the fetus would grow normally... so why give out now?”
“Because someone decided to go on lunch break. Science doesn't wait on anyone.”
“You sure it's because the cells stop mutating and it poisons the body... or something?”
Throwing his hands up, the disgruntled human yelled, “I don't know, and I don't give a damn! Just dispose of it while I collect more of the Mew's hair, we used the last of the batch on this one.” He pinched his brows when the man left, grumbling indecipherably as he once more typed along. “How many more embryos do we have in storage?” he asked out-loud.
One of the few female scientists, when she pulled herself together, announced, “Due to a tight budget and the shorting out of the freezer, we're down to our last.”
“What tight budget?”
“Our funding is being threatened to get cut by next month. Weren't you there when the contract was being signed?”
“I'm not as high of a class as you are,” he sneered. “Why did no one tell us?”
She scoffed, taking off her glasses to prevent smearing when she face-palmed. “We were quite sure we'd get living specimens because we have a live Mew and advanced equipment. Okay, yeah, they'd live to the juvenile stage half-way through the mutation, but then they would suddenly shut down. This is the third time it's happened.”
“Look on the bright side, we've progressed quicker than the first cloning attempt in history,” Tyson blurted out when he returned empty-handed, attempting to bring out the positive. “It took them a year to figure out how to fill in the gaps in DNA. Doctor Fuji followed it as well, even though it did take him longer to alter DNA.”
“We get it, Tyson, what's your point?” she huffed, crossing her arms.
“Well... all he had was a thousand-or-so-year-old fossil to work with. We have a living, breathing Mew.”
“What does this have to do with our failed experiments?”
“...Crap, I had it...”
“You're wasting our time and patience!” the man at the computer snapped, swerving back around to continue punching in numbers. “Go make yourself useful and fetch the last embryo and pray to your personal god or whatever it survives this time!”
“Wait, wait, I remember! It had to do with the lifespan!”
Other scientists had by now given up on listening to him and returned to their own work. The woman and the angry man remained rooted in place. Pointing to Mew, Tyson noted, “There are legends that say it has a special life-force that enables it to live forever. Fuji was familiar with it, and he tried to copy it. And he succeeded—at the cost of many other experiments, yes, I'm aware of it, but they successfully cloned it!”
Mewtwo felt his counterpart stir in discomfort, though he was sure his stomach had tightened into a knot. How did they get that information? This Doctor Fuji... he never got the scientist's name, but whoever he was... did he somehow survive? A colleague of his? Some of the machinery had managed to remain in working order after the destruction. Do the records still exist? It had to be the only other reason, the project was a well-kept secret, but he knew they had to jot down notes. So how did they get off the island?
“What are you getting at, you better have a reasonable explanation for this,” the woman sighed displeasingly, glancing at her watch.
Tyson boyishly grinned. “What if the clone is still alive?”