[insert disclaimer here: I do not own Yugioh. I do not own Seto Kaiba. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.]
Being rich has its privileges. It allows you the freedom to do utterly ridiculous things that could easily endanger your reputation, your company or even your life, and escape with little to no consequence.
It was with that attitude that Seto Kaiba walked into White Lightning Laboratories. He was, of course, the research company's chief shareholder, and he provided them with nearly all of their funding. They had been tasked with the seemingly impossible job of recreating the genetic material of a creature that, as far as anyone knew, never actually existed.
But that was all about to change.
"I came as soon as I received your message. You said you made a breakthrough." The door slid open, and the brash, young CEO approached his head geneticist. "I'm dying to see it with my own eyes."
Dr. Wu had been in charge of Project Blue Eyes since its inception four years earlier. He was a brilliant man, if not a somewhat crazy one. But Seto didn't mind. If there was one man in the entire world that could create a real, living Blue Eyes White Dragon, it was him.
"Yes, Mr. Kaiba, sir." He smiled. "This way, please. I think you will be very impressed with our findings."
The facility was as clean as it was sterile. They passed hatcheries, where scientists were studying various birds and reptiles. They passed gene-sequencing laboratories, where various lengths of genetic code were being spliced and reinserted. They passed a library, where a couple of the younger associates were collecting data from mythical and mystical sources. They even passed a small cafeteria, but it was empty. Who in their right mind would want to be seen taking a break when Seto Kaiba pays a visit?
They both finally entered small a room at the end of the hallway. Dr. Wu nodded to his assistant, who took a Petri dish out of the freezer and slid it under a powerful microscope.
"Take a look, Mr. Kaiba. A complete Blue Eyes White Dragon cell."
Seto said nothing as he adjusted the focus on the microscope. When it appeared his employer was content with what he had seen, Dr. Wu simply exchanged it for another of his assistant's frozen specimens.
"This one has successfully divided into two cells. Lee has one that he's isolated at four, and another at sixteen, if you wish to see them, sir."
"You're right. I am impressed. Do you have any fertilized dragon eggs yet?"
Dr. Wu motioned to his assistant.
"We have had several progress to an embryonic stage, but none have survived past a few weeks, Mr. Kaiba." Lee bowed regretfully. "Even the latest specimen, which we implanted in an ostrich egg, did not survive."
"That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about. No matter how we incubate, or which eggs we use, the result is the same." Dr. Wu put an uneasy hand on Seto's back. His voice dropped to a soft whisper. "We need a better host. So far, we've been unable to find a compatible animal on which to continue our experiments."
"I have provided you with sufficient funds to acquire any animal you need for this project, no matter how rare. So what's stopping you from using it?"
"It's more of an ethical dilemma, sir." Dr. Wu hesitated.
"I wasn't aware that I paid you to debate ethics."
"Although it is highly dangerous, completely immoral and has the potential to stir up quite the public outcry if we were ever discovered, my team and I believe that it may be necessary to use… human subjects, sir."
"Human subjects?" Seto whispered back. His mind wandered.
"At least with human physiology, we'd have a better chance at supporting the embryo until the developing egg is strong enough to be supported in an incubator. No other animal has been able to stand the stress… Of course, we'd need to secure a death row inmate, or perhaps a homeless girl…"
Seto weighed his options and he smiled.
"I think that can be arranged." he eventually replied. "So tell me, where do I sign?"
"Sign? Mr. Kaiba, I would have assumed you'd want something like that… you know… swept completely under the table…"
"For now, yes. But eventually it's going to headline every newspaper from here to London. And I will not allow anyone else to take credit for bringing the first blue eyes white dragon into the world. The only way to secure that privilege is to volunteer myself, naturally. Now where do I sign?"
Dr. Wu blinked. He looked at Lee. Lee looked at Seto, and then back at Dr. Wu.
"Bur, Mr. Kaiba, this is a completely untested...."
"I don't care."
"Whether we succeed or fail, this is far too dangerous. This experiment could easily kill you!"
"This is a living, breathing blue eyes white dragon we're talking about."
"But sir, there are basic rules of human anatomy that…"
"Screw the rules." Seto scoffed. He hopped onto the lab table, rolled up his black shirt and tugged on his pants. "In case you've forgotten, I do pay your salary."
Now it was Dr. Wu's turn to weigh his options.
If he refused to accept Seto Kaiba as his test subject, he would certainly lose his job. If he did accept Seto as his test subject, and Seto was somehow killed in the process, he would certainly lose his job. Granted, his job might not have been curing cancer, but it did pay the bills rather well, and he did want to keep it. The only way to do that, so he reasoned, was to accept Seto as a test subject, and take the rest as it comes.
After all, the success rate of in vitro fertilization, at best, was only thirty-seven percent. The chance of managing to implant a dragon cell into a woman's uterus was probably less than two percent. And that didn't even consider the chances of the cell developing, or heaven forbid, taking it to what would be considered full term. Those were all close to zero. The chances of successfully implanting it in a man's abdominal cavity… so astronomically low as to border on impossible!
"Lee, please give me specimen 121b." Dr. Wu sighed as he conceded. He took the syringe from his assistant, while Seto leant his signature to a release form that hadn't even been created yet. The needle went through his navel, but he didn't flinch.
"How long do you think I'll have to wait before we'll have a fully developed dragon?"
"I have no earthly idea, Mr. Kaiba…" Dr. Wu shrugged. "I guess you could say… that part is somewhat up to you."