Meriah's Note: Years ago, I attempted to write a Mewtwo x Ai/Amber romance fanfic called A Break into the Psyche. It had a good start, but it lacked the zest to keep it going. So now I am trying it over again. I must, as Mewtwo x Ai has been my OTP for a decade XD
In this story, cloning is explained from a scientific view. As fascinating as the cloning process in the Mewtwo saga is, it is also inaccurate. In truth, the most common cloning method involves steps leading up to inserting the blastocyst (early-stage embryo) into a recipient female (surrogate mother). Eventually, the surrogate gives birth. This is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT.
Does SCNT remind you of the Cinnabar Mansion Journals from Pokémon Red/Blue? It should. Mew likely underwent that procedure considering the scientists never mentioned it mating. Plus, it is normal for a clone to differ both physically and mentally from its surrogate mother, which would explain why Mewtwo is nothing like Mew (although obviously, real clones aren't that different from their surrogates).
This said, please refrain from the canon rule that clones in the Pokémon universe are developed in stasis tubes. I already know, but it's irrelevant to me.
I refer to pokémon by their English names, and human characters by their Japanese names.
Amber = Ai
Professor John Smith = Dr. Fuji
Giovanni = Sakaki
Fuji Institute for Genetics Research – Massachusetts College of Life Sciences:
It was the period when time twisted within itself and seemed immeasurable. The past few hours all felt the same; they always did.
Behind the steel doors of the laboratory, the graveyard-shift scientists attempted to defy the need for sleep. Some failed, falling asleep upward in their chairs or with their heads upon desks. Others broke the simplest law of nature through man-made concoctions. They stayed awake with limitless pots of coffee, energy drinks, or swallowing amphetamines.
Thomas Gray, a biochemist plagued by middle age, struggled to not fall asleep. It felt as if weights were connected to his eyelids. He grabbed some Adderall tablets and downed them with Rockstar and waited for the sensation...
And it arrived.
The renewed energy came like a lightning bolt, charging his levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Oh yes, he loved the experience. Perhaps he was evolving into an addict, but it made sense because he was in a laboratory where he was always scheduled to work late nights. If he could never again share the bed with his wife, or have breakfast with his children, he at least could savor his access to any drug.
Thomas' mind raced with countless thoughts battling for his sole attention. He reflected on the dilemma earlier when Bethany dropped a glass beaker. It shattered against the floor, allowing a sickly green liquid to contrast against white tiles. That resulted in the boss scolding everyone for one klutz's mistake. Then the other thoughts came: Images of his past, possible outcomes of his future, and the truth that he felt worthless despite his Ivy League education and six-figure salary.
"What the hell is the point to all of this?" he spoke aloud. "I am so bored with life. If this is living well, well, I guess I'd be better off dead for fuck's sake."
His hand pounded down on the wooden desk. "I got straight A's all my life, graduated as valedictorian, went to Yale..."
His gaze went across the monochromatic room before settling on his diplomas. The doctorate diploma was most renowned, protected by a mahogany frame with gold accents. On a thick sheet in Old English text, it presented his name and fulfillment of academic requirements. Below that was the seal of Yale University along with the signatures of its two most esteemed figures.
"My coworkers once flipped burgers. Now they are among the top life science researchers in the world. Most people could only dream of landing a job with the Fuji Institute..."
His eyes focused on the name shining from the doctorate diploma. Thomas Walter Gray. A generic name. A boring name. The kind of name given without effort, destining the baby to a lifetime of struggling for a greater identity.
The man took a deep breath before monotonously stating, "Maybe I should change my name." It was the same line that came forth every night, over and over again like a tape-player. "God, I hate my name. Thomas? What the hell can I make out of Thomas? Tom is even worse."
Then the lethargic scientist reflected on his middle name. Walter, in honor of his father. Sweat drops leaked down his spine.
"I still hate you. No, I loathe you. I always will, you son of a bitch. You destroyed us all."
The statement was true. Thomas went on to be the only success story in that toxic family, but all of his achievements were never enough to satisfy the rage boiling in his veins. He would always be the son of a scumbag.
As a child, Thomas sometimes peered through the keyhole into his father's room. He saw a broken person, no longer a man but some jaded thing, snorting white lines of powder. He snorted away his concerns, waiting for the jilt from cocaine to take effect. And in that intoxicated state of bliss, he was liberated from the guilt of cheating on his wife and taxes, of providing for his addiction before his family, and of delaying bill payments.
Thomas once again spoke aloud, "You filthy bastard. You broke Mom's heart. You always did. Remember when you forgot your own anniversary because you were at the strip club? And why is it that you could remember the aliases of those whores, but not your anniversary and even our birthdays? Did Crystal, Ruby, Lexie, or whatever they were called really come before us?"
Walter snorted away what became of him, while always evading the traumatic existence he had before his shotgun wedding. Yet somehow, he passed the trauma down to his new life and his family as if it were some disease. As if it was in his genes, Thomas felt he was doomed to become an empty, pathetic husk of a person who only cared for his high.
The man spoke into the shadows, "I tried so hard to never be like you. And I guess I'm not... but...". His hand stroked the Adderall bottle. "God damn."
Then a chapter from his early years resurfaced in his memory:
Starting one autumn evening and extending into the late winter, Walter did not come home. His simple dinner of chicken, bread and potatoes became cold as the aura which penetrated the apartment. Eventually, he made a habit of his absence, sometimes leaving for days or weeks at a time.
Then one February night, the phone rang at 4:37 A.M.
Thomas recalled his mother bolted downstairs to the receiver with his childhood self following behind. He watched her legs shake as she listened to the voice on the other line. Then she fell to her knees, her hands covering tear-stained eyes, as her whimpers metamorphosed into sobs and screams.
It was the police.
The phone dangled from its cord as the ominous voice was replaced by a dial tone sound.
He remembered asking, "What happened, Mother?"
She choked on her breathlessness, "Your... your father..."
A blank expression was inscribed upon her face. It was the one Thomas saw on movies, and suddenly there was no need for an explanation. Walter would never come home again.
He would forever despise the man responsible for his middle name. That name was a curse whenever he read it upon the diploma.
Now Thomas looked up at the clock. It was 4:36 A.M.
"No matter how hard I strive to have nothing to do with him, I will always be his son. His blood will always flow within me."
The hand on the analog clock turned to 4:37. Anger coursed in his veins as he noted his hatred for that minute. For decades, Walter dominated his emotions in those sixty seconds, and would to his grave.
Thomas seized the paperweight from nearby.
"I will always be that loser's son."
His fingers fell all over the smooth finish of the object. They registered its texture, weight, multiple uses, and ultimately its power.
He cast it at the doctorate diploma. The sound of shattering glass throughout that otherwise silent building was like his mother's on that winter night when she received the phone call. It echoed off the walls, through every nook and crevice of all rooms.
Yet the piercing, wicked sound was nothing compared those in his mind.
Then he asked, "Why am I talking to myself?"
Team Rocket Headquarters:
Sakaki knew why Tuesday started with "T". It stood for trite, tedious, and tiresome. It always remained the most uneventful day along with the other "T": Thursday. For the boss, labor on Tuesdays consisted of papers and phone conferences. His dull obligations always lead to intolerable boredom, causing him to look at the clock every ten minutes. Rarely did something unforeseen or interesting occur, such as a subordinate capturing a valuable pokémon.
The boss disliked Thursday too, but at least it was close to Friday. Yet Tuesday seemed to exist for tormenting the mind for years to come. It was impossible to avoid something which came every few days.
Even though the day had just begun, it already seemed to have lasted for hours. The minutes crawled by, mocking him for the day of the week Sakaki most despised. As he read over reports, he realized maybe Tuesday was so unbearable because it was difficult to stay focused.
Sometimes he questioned his purpose. He pondered if he was merely a character in some universal play written and directed by a higher power. If he was, how would he know? His lines and actions were predetermined from the start. Or perhaps that was too spiritual; he could have just been a carbon-based lump of elements and electrical connections.
He always dreamed of something greater than a simple existence. That came to be when he inherited Team Rocket, enabling him to be among the richest, most powerful individuals. He was untouchable. The law went after his employees, but never him.
Still, he felt less significant that morning, for Tuesday always drained his ambition. His only entertainment was in amateur philosophy as his boredom grew in him like a tumor. He was being consumed by a lack of meaning.
How could such a significant individual feel so hollow?
Then something happened to shake that Tuesday.
A blonde entered Sakaki's office unannounced. However, that was to be expected due to her bold nature. As an elite agent of Team Rocket, the woman did as she pleased. She reported only to Sakaki himself, feeling that her peers were senseless fools. Besides, she was talented and resourceful enough to never fail in her solo missions. She laughed to herself whenever she thought of the agents who were helpless causes, then questioned how they could remain employed.
The man looked up from his papers. Ah, Domino, his most dedicated and successful agent. She was the only individual who could confront him. He secretly enjoyed the game. There was no role of cat and mouse between them – rather, she was another cat.
As she came closer, he focused on the firm thighs beneath her little black uniform. He had a preference for flaxen-haired women, especially those with the bodies to match. Domino knew what he was thinking. From any other man she would have snarled, however, she enjoyed the attention from that one.
If a decent person, he would have lavished her with gifts, flowers, perfume. Perhaps he would have have made her equal in status, caring for the organization as partners. Or maybe he would have poured her red wine against the glow of candlelight. But he was just not that kind of man.
Their continuous game would amount to nothing. It was immeasurable, without a beginning or an end. He searched for something – what, exactly? - and found nothing. It was impossible to break through her rock-hard casing of confidence and obscurity. He was drawn to that something, digging beneath aesthetics for anything greater. Once he even asked for her real name, only for the vixen to state, "That's a secret I keep to myself."
Sakaki knew almost every trick of the human mind, the sign of a criminal mastermind. The only ones which left him baffled sprang forth from Domino.
The woman sat down on a chair before his desk, then bent one leg over the other. Her eyes glanced at him quickly before falling away. Never did she allow their gazes to lock; it revealed too much.
He flatly said, "What is it you want?"
"What a pleasant way to greet me," she replied with blatant sarcasm. "Remind me to not even say hello to you at the holiday party."
Domino noticed the room was mild, unaffected by the humidity and heat of the past two weeks. The air conditioner broke in her quarters last summer, and the technicians still had not fixed it. The same problem impacted the dining hall as well. Realizing this she said, "You know, the air conditioning is still messed up."
"You came here for that reason?"
"Of course not. I wouldn't put up with you over something like that. But it would be nice if you got those techs to finally do their job."
The blonde clicked her fingernails on the desk, taunting him. Then a grin appeared on her as she passed the boss a set of a journal, compact disc and set of manila folders. The items stated in bold typeface:
"Don't let the character confuse you," she laughed. "I looked it up. It means 'omega' as in the last letter of the Greek alphabet."
Sakaki was an educated man, and as such was aware of the symbol. He chose to stay silent, more intrigued by the mysterious objects than Domino's snarky comments. The journal was the most fascinating. Some of its pages were missing, while the others were yellowed with age. Yet oddest of all, its cover was charred, indicating there must have been a fire.
His eyes fell over the pages, then widened as the entries revealed something bizarre.
May 1 (Amazon Rainforest, Suriname):
My colleagues and I have embarked on a journey to find Mew, a cryptozoological pokémon said to be the most powerful of all. Its sightings are in scattered locations and are few, varying between the Amazon and the Andes. We have began our search here in the small country of Suriname, where we hope to at least gain some clues as to where Mew may reside.
While most people dismiss Mew to be just a myth, I must confess that I am of the few who believe Mew existed... or perhaps still does. If Mew is indeed real, what an astounding creature it must be, as it is theorized to be the common ancestor of all pokémon. I side with the great Darwin on this, for he stated, "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one."
Yet even more remarkable is Mew's supposed immortality...
After some time, Sakaki shifted in his seat. Then with one hand firmly on the journal, his focus turned to Domino. "It's... interesting that you've decided to show me documentation about Mew, although I can assure you that all of this is irrelevant."
"Nonsense. Mew's of utmost importance," she retaliated. "Don't you realize that possessing something so rare and unimaginably powerful would make you unstoppable?"
"Yes, I realize that."
"So why...?" Domino shook her head, agitated. She explained that she dismissed all the evidence at first, until realizing there must have been even a speck of truth to the stories. She asked her boss why he never considered hunting down Mew, a prize exceeding all other legendary pokémon. The psychic feline could perhaps be real.
Sakaki leaned back in his seat. "I have no reason to doubt Mew's existence. Actually, I know it's real."
"So explain to me why you won't have me go looking for it!"
"Would you calm down? Damn it, Domino, you act like a child sometimes." He took a deep breath, then explained his reasoning. Two decades ago, his mother became obsessed with acquiring Mew while Team Rocket was under her leadership. "A mission was formed in only ten minutes. There was no thought, no planning," Sakaki said.
"Well, Mew's real like I said. My mother was given a sound recording of its voice. I know pokémon well – there's no other species which could make a sound like the one in that clip. But anyway..."
He detailed that his mother had her top agent, Miyamoto, search for Mew in the Andes Mountains. Communication was lost between the agent and headquarters, as weeks turned into months than waned into years. Miyamoto was forever lost to the snow and high winds.
Suddenly, he reached for a cigar from his stash. But it rested in his fingers, unlit.
"Miyamoto was talented. The crème de la crème. It was like she was born for Team Rocket, always succeeding in her missions until that final one. And believe me, she must have known what she was getting herself into. Going to the Andes was asking for suicide."
Sakaki brought the cigar to his lips, then met the tip with a flame. He took a smoke before saying, "Not that I'm implying she died, of course."
"So you don't want to risk losing your top agent – me. I'm flattered," she sarcastically noted. She supported herself on her elbows, which were pressed into the desk. "Anyway, Miyamoto sounds like a joke to me. I bet I could catch Mew blindfolded."
"Ha! You're good, but there's technology available to you that didn't exist in her time. She relied on instincts alone."
She growled, muttered something, and was told to hush as Sakaki resumed reading the journal. The next dozen entries were short, stating that nothing of significance was found. Then weeks were skipped without any report, until...
June 27 (Amazon Rainforest, Guyana):
After finding nothing of relevance to our mission, the team has relocated to Guyana. We were rewarded: We discovered ruins of an ancient civilization, and among the typical artifacts (tools, cookery, etc.) was a shrine to Mew! And judging by its remains, it must have been impressive before age and weather ravaged it.
We will look through the shrine tomorrow.
Sakaki was spellbound. Thirsty with what discoveries the scientists made, he turned to the next page. Unfortunately, the entry was not what he hoped for.
July 6 (Amazon Rainforest, Guyana):
There's strong evidence that Mew lives here in Guyana, so I wish we didn't waste all that time in Suriname. One of our team members had developed a fever along with headache, gastritis, myalgias and arthralgias. He also had a generalized macular-papular rash, which I feared becoming a hemorrhagic rash later in the illness. But worst of all was the presence of melena, obviously suggesting gastrointestinal bleeding. Such a sign can require platelet or red cell transfusion; that said, we lost some days so we could transport him to Paramaribo for treatment. Unsurprisingly, he suffered from dengue hemorrhagic fever (although it is worth noting that it usually affects children).
The physicians expect a good prognosis.
Anyway, we're back in the jungle now without him.
- Kichida (for Fuji by request)
The following entry was worthwhile.
July 7 (Amazon Rainforest, Guyana):
We searched all corners of the shrine, and our efforts proved successful. Beneath a stone tablet of Mew was something exceedingly more precious – an eyelash of the pokémon itself. It appears well-preserved, saved from deterioration unlike the ruins. If there was one item the natives revered above all else, it was this, their connection to what they called a deity.
The journal then became uneventful, with the team reporting nothing of significance, and continuing their mission elsewhere across the continent. Eventually, the bleak news turned exciting after months transpired.
October 3 (Amazon Rainforest, Peru):
We traveled into the far depths of the jungle, where the Amazon River -
Part of the entry was damaged by fire. Sakaki cursed, then fell silent upon reading the ending sentence.
We now have Mew.
He quickly turned the next page, and was halfway through the reading when his expression transformed. His mouth dropped, and his eyes seemed faraway as if peering into another was like science fiction! If what the journal claimed was true, then there existed a beast of unrivaled, miraculous power.
A beast not of God, but of man.
February 6 (New Island, Japan):
Has it truly been months since this journal has last been updated? I told my colleagues to script at least weekly, but I suppose we have been preoccupied! Well, no matter. The data for the experiment has been recorded elsewhere.
Our project, our efforts of sustaining ourselves on coffee and working long nights, has finally been completed...
Mew has delivered the offspring today. This is revolutionary in the world of bioengineering, and will be in textbooks for decades. We have demonstrated that the SCNT method is effective despite the circumstances.
We suffered many losses. Mew experienced spontaneous abortions like numerous recipient females. However, this is standard in such a procedure, thus it should not be seen as carelessness on our behalf.
We call the offspring Mewtwo.
The rest of the page was burned away except for the concluding paragraphs:
...And even so young, we cannot measure his psychic abilities with our technology. Amazingly, his powers surpass even the most equipped of computers. He is in a class all his own.
He is god-like.
With shaking hands, Sakaki closed the journal. The man was usually composed, but in that moment was something else. So he sat in silence, inhaling and exhaling air to pacify his mind and body. There was something so familiar about what he read... but... but how? Never had he been told about Mewtwo.
His back pressed against his chair while his hands continued to tremble. Then with great power, he slammed them down as if he was a gladiator against beasts. He needed control; it was weak to react that way!
An image seared through his consciousness: Eyes of something not human or animal, cooling and eerie like the clouds at dusk. Violet eyes.
And watching him were another set of violet eyes, ones dimmed by the corruption in Domino's heart. She asked due to instinct rather than genuine concern, "Are you okay?"
"Get me a scotch. No, double."
"It's too early to be drinking. You'll be crocked all day. I'll get you some coffee."
"Get me a fucking double!"
Ending Note: I am so relieved to have finished this chapter. It only took a couple of days to write, but was...uh... dragged out. I've fallen into a slump where it takes forever to write because I feel so lethargic, blah.
Anyway, Mewtwo soon. Yay!
If you have questions about SCNT, send me a PM or look it up on Wikipedia.