Disclaimer: Do not own.
For those of you who have read Abused Memories before, be warned that it is different now, there are a few things I added to give a more overall feel to the labs and the scientists, as well as the situation surrounding the clones births and training. This particular story is not the end of the Memories Oneshot trilogy, soon to follow will be 'Memories of Freedom' and 'Remembering Mother', so keep an eye out.
Hopefully you will not dislike what I've done with this story, and rest assured I am to begin working diligently on 'Children' as soon as next Monday rolls around (hopefully by then I will have finished the other two Memory stories).
Please enjoy, and I wouldn't mind hearing what you think.
(Letter's recovered from various offices of Henderson Labs, a small offshoot lab of Shinra Industries involved in some small projects authorised by Shinra Science. Letters were collected while investigators were trying to find evidence of what started the blaze which destroyed the whole facility.)
[Names have been removed to protect identity]
The funding you requested for Project TSC has been approved. Your work has been validated and approved by Dr Hxxx, and we look forward to receiving positive word on your work soon.
The shipment of Jenova and Sephiroth cells will arrive on the 31/06/83. There are limited samples at this time so use them wisely. If there are any problems do contact me.
Shinra Inc Suppliers
1x Case of Blood samples (Frozen)
1x Case of Jenova Cells (cloned) (frozen)
4x Cases of Sephiroth blood samples (cloned) (frozen)
3x DNA Analysis Apparatus
12x Cases of 0.02mm needles
The company was pleased to hear of your success in creating the Soldier Clone's. I myself would appreciate an analysis of your work, I am intrigued by the outlines you provided in our last correspondence.
How do you intend to factor in your slower aging process? Will your next batch age more quickly? I have a number of small genetic experiments I could offer up to help you. Though I must admit, it would be ingenious to send an army of small children at the enemy, imagine their surprise at being beaten.
Please find enclosed the information you requested regarding the soldier stealth and infiltration training. I have forwarded your request for assassination techniques to the head of the Turks.
June 24th 1992
Techniques attached, we will send an operative to oversee this step of your training
Unless we begin to see results in regards to your PO division of project TSC within the next three months we shall be redistributing your funding to the other divisions of this project. We are quickly losing patience in your work Jxxxxxxx!
As we have received no positive results from your division we are cutting all funding for your project. You may remain on at the institute to continue working on TSC project as a whole.
If at some future point your work becomes valid we may look into funding you again.
Your projected data regarding when we can use your batch of clones is later than we had expected, but within the parameters we had estimated. We understand that the training you are subjecting them to is intense, and will take time for it to become fully regimented into them.
However we do have one concern; what measures have you taken to ensure they can be fully controlled? If you require any information on this, please contact the Shinra Science Head for information.
The holding facility for the Soldier Clone's you requested is now available, we are led to understand we shall be having series 400 through 700 transferred in, please confirm exact numbers for our ledgers if you would.
We look forward to receiving the first shipment next month.
Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxx
I was 4 when I first met Loz; only then we didn't have names, so I knew him, for the first nine years of our acquaintance, as 569, just as he knew me as 52325. We were clones, clones of a man we knew nothing about. Indeed, at the time of our creation he had not even reached the heights of greatness we would later learn of. But within the science community he was heralded as the greatest accomplishment ever made, and was slated to be even more powerful than any Soldier.
He was the first of us, a creature created not of love, but of desire. A desire to be recognised for creating the singe greatest weapon ever seen. We however were created as his army. Made of him, but lesser beings.
We were clones, known by numbers, not names. Unlike him, the greatest warrior, the leader, the perfect one, we were made for roles, made to complete set tasks, to have only enough self awareness to be able to complete a mission to the highest standard possible. We were not made to have personalities, feelings... family...
Maybe they made us wrong, me, Loz and Yazoo, or perhaps something of Him, and his humanness transferred to us, maybe that was why I didn't react, or behave in the ways that I should when I first met him.
For you see, when I first met Loz, he was crying.
Crying, I had been taught, was a weakness; unless you were using your tears to get a desired result, but in truth, there would never be any point in me trying anything of the sort, being neither child nor female. And for a Soldier Clone like Loz, crying could get you terminated.
We didn't speak, there was no time before the scientist who had created me spoke, but I remember that instead of disgust at his display of weakness, I felt compassion, though at the time I knew it only as the desire to take hold of his hand and tell him everything would be alright.
I was naive when I was that age. I learned better as I got older.
"There are weapons on the opposite side of the room on the table. Can you see them 52325, 569?"
I looked across the room, I was too small to see the weapons, but I could see the table, so I nodded. Loz, who had come to stand beside me, wiping his eyes quickly as he did so nodded also.
"Stay away from me." He said quietly, his voice low and muted in the large room. "Please do as I say."
I nodded again, obediently shuffling a few steps away from him, looking up to meet his eyes and offering him a smile. It was in that instant that we became what we never should have been able to, in that single instant when our eyes met there was a flash of understanding and we just knew.
"Go get the weapons." Came my scientist's voice; it was nothing unusual to me. I had been ordered to pick things up many times, nothing had ever happened before. Loz had tensed beside me, but though I wanted to reach across and take his hand I didn't.
"Whatever happens just get the weapons." he whispered, and I nodded again, knowing on some primal level that he would not lead me wrong.
We moved forward, slowly, Loz set the pace, like he had been here before, knew what was coming. I didn't know at the time what had happened to him before, but he told me later, and I understood the tears then, I understood why he wanted to be careful. Why, when the hidden doors at the side of room opened he shoved me on ahead and took the brunt of the attack on himself.
He was only six and they had heaped so much responsibility on his shoulders. Placed another's life in his hands.
What attacked was nothing I had ever seen before, or have seen since outside the chamber, it was dark, shadowy-nothing like our Shadow Creepers, these were different, wilder. When they attacked, it was like nothing you could ever imagine.
I knew I had to get the weapons-and quickly, three of the four beasts had leaped on Loz, bore him to the ground and where tearing him to pieces. The table was too tall for me to reach to the top of, but I knew I had to get up there, before the fourth creature got me. It passed in a blur of colour and blood, my blood, Loz's blood. I had only known him for that short time, but I knew his death would destroy something inside me.
When the creature attacked me it knocked against the table which was the only reason I was able to get a weapon at all, one shook loose and fell. I had to scrabble for it, fighting a beast that was set on killing me. I know that my fingers finally curved round the handle and I slammed it into the creature, over and over and over and over and over and over, until I was absolutely covered in its stinking blood. Knowing by the desperate roars that Loz was still alive and fighting, if barely, I got up, shoving the body away.
4 years old, with the weight of a life hanging over my head, and seeing him fighting them, something in me snapped and I attacked them. They all turned on me of course when I did, and I saw Loz sprint for the table, reach up and drag another weapon off it. And then it was over.
It was compatibility testing, to see if we could work together to get a job done. Knowing if one of you failed the other would die. That's why Loz cried, because they'd made him do it before, and he'd failed the other clone, and he didn't want to fail again, but they made him go in anyway.
What kind of person does that to children?
We may have been clones, but in the end, we were children, weren't we?
Yazoo was always different; he was never really all there. I saw him once, when I was maybe 7, Kadaj and I had known each other a year or something by that point, we had started training together, in between the experiments that is. I remember seeing him with his father... that is, the scientist that created him. We never really did have parents, just creators. He was younger than me, nearer Kadaj's age than mine.
He was sitting in the middle of a room, and I stopped, forgetting in my interest that the rest of the Soldier Clones were around me; that we were on the way to training. He was fascinating, even though he was just sitting there, doing nothing.
"That's 92966, failed project." My scientist laughed, but he didn't shoo me on, so I, and any other of the clones who wanted to, kept looking in through the glass.
Yazoo sat there; his hair was already long by this point and it just added, as it does now, to the general look weakness about him. His eyes raised slightly until they locked with mine, though there was no way he could have know I was there, it was a two way mirror, he could only see his own reflection. His head did that tilting to the side, like he was studying me.
His father... scientist suddenly made himself known, grabbing his hair and pulling him upwards and back, jabbing a syringe of something into his neck angrily before throwing him back down again.
My scientist laughed at the sight, "He keeps shooting him full of that stuff. Says it'll make his brain start functioning-hah! The stupid thing can't even think, let alone speak or solve a puzzle!" he turned and continued on, after walloping the back of my head and hissing. "Stop crying you idiot, do you want to be terminated?"
But I couldn't help crying. I had felt the connection, like the one I had with Kadaj.
(Excerpts of Lab Journal belonging to Dr. Jxxxxxx; in regards to TSC Project, PO Division. Found in the personal locker of aforementioned Doctor after the fire which destroyed the building, killing all those inside)
08/83—Gene splicing of Sephiroth and Jenova cells commenced today. Intended outcomes to include increased brain function, faster reflexes and increased athletic ability.
11/83—Gene splicing finished, next stage is to fertilise sample eggs with these genes
05/84—eggs 3000-8000 did not fertilise
10/84—eggs 20000-60000 did not fertilise
12/85—foetus's 70500-71000 died of unknown causes
04/87—eggs 90000-100000 did not fertilise using the reconstructed gene sequence
... A single egg appears to have fertilised
06/87—foetus 92966 progressing well
01/88—Foetus 92966 survived birthing process, foetus's 100001-100200 are progressing as expected
03/88—Foetus's 100001-100200 were terminated due to deformities which showed up on scans
07/88—Gene work does no give an explanation why deformities continue to crop up in foetus over 2 months old
12/88—92966 shows heightened cognitive abilities for an infant
02/89—92966 shows no sign of verbal communication, experiments run do not garner even the smallest noise from him
07/89—brain biopsy to try and understand why 92966 survived birthing with no psychical deformities, but seems to be somewhat disabled in the brain
06/90—92966 not responding to stimulus drugs, brain function has some confusing spikes, more information is required
11/91—more foetus's terminated before birthing due to deformities
03/92—foetus terminated due to deformities. Why is it that 92966 came through with no psychical deformities? What is the reason?
09/92—92966 is not showing signs of improvement and eggs are no longer fertilising
12/92—92966 termination set for 12pm tomorrow
... Termination cancelled, I'll show them that they shouldn't cut my damn funding!
01/93—92966 moved to private lab to continue experiment off the radar
Kadaj… I remember father took me to see the experiments… sat me in the corner... I think he was going to set me a puzzle, but I'm not sure. I stayed were I was put… because father got angry… father always got angry… they had Kadaj on one of the tables, hooked up to… everything… metal cuffs, because he was struggling… trying to scream… fighting whatever they were trying to put into him… I watched, and I hurt with him… I knew what it was like, to have something inside you that was trying to take over your mind... that was taking over everything and not letting you think, or breathe… I could see it on his face, they were trying to change him… at a time he shouldn't have been changed… at a time he was too mixed up to be changed… but I couldn't say anything… nothing at all… I just sat in my corner and watched, wondering when it would be my turn…
There were times I thought I was the lucky one. Out of all of us, perhaps I was the luckiest... I know Loz will say that it was he who got off the lightest. After all, he never had to go through the constant sessions in the chairs, where they speared into my brain, pumped drugs into me until I could do nothing but twitch as my every want was suppressed and forced aside to their will.
They were trying to take away my will; they had already stolen Yazoo's. But even so, I think I was the lucky one of the three of us.
After all, at least who I was on the inside wasn't being forced to change, not like they were. You see, with me what I am, is what I always was, and what I was always going to become. The one who made me was a genius, and he made no mistakes when he made me. The only mistake he made was trying to force me under his... no, under Their control. I might have been loyal to him had he not done that, not forced the sessions and the drugs on me.
After all, from the outset I think my real loyalty was to my brothers.
My brothers; who are not like me. Yazoo was failed; only still alive because his scientist refused to give up his dream for whatever it was he made Yazoo to do. Loz... Loz is complicated.
Loz was made perfect, he could lift weights no small child should even dream of touching before he was 3, he can endure extreme heat, extreme cold, he can fight for longer and much faster than I can. He was built as a soldier, built for the front lines, built to take on the enemy head on. His body was created perfectly for that purpose.
His scientist wasn't as skilled as mine; he forgot that personality and mind play a bigger part than the body. Perhaps Loz was a mistake, a glitch in an otherwise perfect gene strand, unnoticed because Loz is good at pretending. But Loz doesn't have the killer instinct, he has always been a far gentler creature than I think was ever intended, so what they did to him was far worse than what they ever did to me, though he will perhaps never see it.
I first realised it when I was 9, when I happened to be passing the area where Loz and the other 'Soldier Clones' were being trained. I paused for a moment, long enough to hear the words, and see the action that would bring me to the realisation that I was not as badly off as my brother was.
One of the other clones had failed in some task, I don't know what, and Loz refused to tell me. The trainer, the same man who had taught me to wield a sword ordered one of the others to kill him.
"Failure is weakness! Weakness means the unit is not working at its best. Get rid of the weak link and then there shall be nothing that can be used against you."
The one ordered to kill the failed clone went about it with a savage pride in being chosen, I saw it as messy and unnecessary... after all, I was being trained to kill quickly and easily with the minimum of fuss. But my attention was caught by Loz's face, and the disgusted horror, followed by a sadness I didn't then understand before his face became blank, only his tears left as evidence of his caring, but he quickly wiped them away before they were seen.
That I think was when I began fighting the sessions and the drugs for a purpose, and not simply because I didn't want them.
(Excerpts of the 1998 report regarding Soldier Clones, by Dr. Gxxx)
400 series (1986)
500 series (1988)
600 series (1989)
700 series (1990)
800 series (1991)
Heat Endurance: 3
Cold Endurance: 2
Heat Endurance: 2
Cold Endurance: 3
Heat Endurance: 2
Cold Endurance: 2
Heat Endurance: 2
Cold Endurance: 1
Heat Endurance: 1
Cold Endurance: 2
400 series: 423, shows increased strength (1)
456, shows increased stamina (2)
500 series: 501, shows increased stamina (1)
539, shows increased strength (1) and stamina (2)
569, shows increased stamina (2) and cold endurance (1)
600 series: 667, shows increased heat endurance (1), cold endurance (1) and speed (2)
686, shows increased speed (1)
687, shows increased speed (1)
699, shows increased stamina (1) and speed (2)
700 series:711, shows increased strength (1), heat endurance (1) and speed (2)
724, shows increased strength (1)
765, shows increased speed (1)
800 series: 894, shows increased strength (1), cold endurance (1) and speed (1)
800 series, 894 has achieved scores well above average in all tests, DNA will be taken from this clone to begin creation of the 900 series.
Clones to be terminated
425, 486, 492, 499
505, 514, 518, 566, 593
600, 654, 672
743, 782, 790
803, 805, 815, 874
900 series to begin production March 1999
Our escape was nothing short of miraculous, Kadaj couldn't have been more than twelve maybe, I can't exactly remember, years merged into one another for me. Kadaj always kept track, I don't know how given the amount of drugs they put into him, but I'm sure it was around that time.
Kadaj and myself shared occasional training sessions in between experiments, and our connection strengthened, Yazoo neither of us saw often, perhaps once or twice, when his father was feeling malicious enough to want everyone to see some 'puzzle' he had set him, ones that required him to hurt himself to complete.
It was an unspoken promise that when we got out we would take Yazoo with us. But we never had any chance.
I don't know how Kadaj got out of his room, or past the soldiers, but he did, and he was standing there with the biggest grin on his face at my door, not a hair out of place. "We have to go now!" he cried, reaching out a hand to me. I took it and let him pull me out into the corridors I had never before walked in without my scientist to lead me. I knew the hallways as well as he did, but I was happy to let him lead me.
Ready to fight to protect him if I had to.
We made our way very quickly, quicker than I thought we should, towards the section Yazoo was kept in.
"Where are the guards?" I couldn't help asking.
Kadaj just tightened his grip on my hand and flashed me a smile over his shoulder. "They don't know we've escaped yet." he answered, that mad glint I'd seen before during training sessions in his eye, and I knew it was the truth but I couldn't help but wonder what was going to happen when they did notice us missing.
I wasn't made for thinking, and it shows in the way I look, and I know that. And maybe it's because of that, that people don't realise I can be as practical as I am, after all, Kadaj could plan and effect an escape, or a break in, but can you see him, or Yazoo for that matter, remembering to take care of the little things... like getting new shoes before the old one's are completely unusable, or thinking to pack some extra bandages because it's inevitable that one of us is going to end up with a cut for one reason or another.
As it was, because Kadaj had staged this escape without warning me, there wasn't time to do much more than get Yazoo and get out, which was essentially what we did.
We came to Yazoo's section and slipped along the dark corridor, checking rooms as we went until we found his. Kadaj worked his magic on the door and it was open in seconds he pushed it open.
Yazoo was standing just inside the door, head cocked to the side, eyes sliding over us.
"Come with us!" Kadaj said, holding out his free hand like he had with me, looking at Yazoo beseechingly.
Yazoo just kept looking at us, like he didn't know what we meant.
The alarm bells suddenly went off in the compound.
It seemed like an eternity, with the sirens wailing, and the sound of booted feet getting closer and closer, and I wanted to just grab Yazoo and go, because if we stayed we'd be killed-or the experiment would get worse. But I didn't move.
Yazoo suddenly stepped forward, taking Kadaj's hand, reaching with his other to wipe away tears I hadn't noticed I was crying. And he mouth flicked up into the smallest of smiles.
"Can we go now?" I asked, looking to Kadaj, Yazoo's head turned to him also.
Kadaj nodded. "We need to make a stop before we go though."
He held tight to both our hands, as though we would vanish if he let go. But I knew I wouldn't disappear. I'd stay with them forever.
Everything was in sharp focus… and for the first time in my life I could see and react like the others, despite the fact that I had never been around them, didn't know what I was supposed to do… It was like I had known they were coming for me… knew somehow that they were escaping and they would take me with them…
When Kadaj shoved open a door hidden round the corner from the guardroom I knew what to do. I slipped my hand from his and made my way over to a rack of guns, though at the time I didn't know what they were, I had never even heard of the word 'weapon' before Kadaj and Loz explained it to me. I had never been formally trained, just left to work out what something did and why. My hands reached for a gun, the Velvet Nightmare Loz had read the name for me later.
Instinctively I found the trigger, spinning to the doorway and the shadow that had appeared, shooting it before it could hurt Kadaj and Loz. And I knew it was mine, nothing had ever felt right in my hands before. Loz reached up past me to grab another of the guns. Kadaj flashed us his grin and turned to head out the door.
I looked at Loz, waiting to see what I should do, knowing; somehow implicitly that he would tell me. He grabbed one of my hands and pulled me from the room after Kadaj.
It was a blaze of blood and fire. We blasted out way out, and I never felt that death was so justified, myself and Loz were highly trained, even for such a young age, Yazoo wasn't, but he moved with us in a creepy kind of sync. Like he knows exactly what you're going to do before you do it, and he fits his fight pattern around you. The fight was nothing but blood and blurs...which is probably for the best…
We were nearly out of the compound when something went wrong, when the scientists arrived. I killed mine, all the anger they had tried to suppress, all the fight against them that they had drugged me to control was let lose, and I killed him, ripping him open with my twin blades from his stomach to his neck.
I remember watching him slide off the blade, a look of pure disbelief on his face as he gargled his last breath and died. He had thought the experiments would have made me unable to kill him. But he was wrong.
I turned to see where Loz and Yazoo where, I did not want to lose them, not when we were so close to having freedom. Whatever the outside world was like, it had to better than this!
I watched Loz kill his scientist; I smirked in satisfaction as the man fell to the ground and died. I knew Loz was crying again, but I think maybe this time they were good tears. My eyes sought out Yazoo, to find him in the grasp of that bastard! A syringe being pulled out of his neck. I didn't know what it was but Yazoo's scientist being who he was it wasn't going to be good, and my vision went blank and I drove for the attack.
I turned from the body of my scientist... my father... tears still streaming down my face, I had killed him. The man who had created me, and hurt me. I cried for him, I turned in time to see Yazoo's scientist pull the syringe out of his neck, just like I remembered he had years ago. But unlike the last time Yazoo did not fall, he was still standing, his head cocking to the side. And the hand holding the gun moved.
I raced towards Kadaj and caught him before he could reach Yazoo, holding him tightly until he calmed. My eyes focused on Yazoo and the gun that kept rising. Kadaj struggled against me when Yazoo's scientist struck out, and I winched in sympathy as Yazoo's head snapped to the side, but the gun never stopped rising, until it was level with the mans chest.
Kadaj quietened and we watched.
I had the gun pointed at him. Everything was still so clear, despite the fact that I could feel whatever father had injected me with clawing at my brain, trying to suppress something, but as always it sparked off something else… something I don't think he ever intended. I didn't need to look at him, my head was still turned where he had slapped me, but I knew I was aiming directly at his heart.
I pulled the trigger; he moved slightly… but I know I still hit him. But my bullet went straight through him and towards the target I had intended. The stacks of fuel and electronics that had obviously just been delivered and the whole place erupted in a blaze.
I watched it rush towards me in fascination, wondering how long it would take to reach me, engulf me. The injection was closing my mind, so I didn't feel the hands pulling me back and away, towards the perimeter fence.
This is to inform you of our findings regarding the fire at Henderson Labs. The cause of the blaze was accidental; there should be no problems from this end. You can rest easy.
I've lied to the president for you; I hope you can make it worth my while. Be advised however that if those escapee's begin making problems that I have all the information I need to have you boiled alive in your own stupidity.
I expect payment the usual way.