Notes: This is the first of what I've named the "interludes." The interludes are a series of unrelated, standalone installments that contain subplots that, while not absolutely essential to the main narrative, are complementary to plot. This being said, one does not need to read the interludes to understand the main narrative. The interludes do include subplots that are somewhat important, however, and I think that will be made clear when you finish this installment. That being said, I had a lot of fun writing this. I hope you enjoy reading it too.

Chapter-specific warnings: unethical scientific experiments, mild language, mentions of death.

Disclaimer: Pokémon - its characters, setting, and all other borrowed elements - is the sole property of its creators. I am not profiting from this in any form.


Interlude: Notes They Didn't Lose in the Fire

[FROM THE PERSONAL JOURNAL OF [NAME REDACTED], CODENAME: JOHN SMITH]

8 July 1990

Arrived on site today. It's more than apparent that he wasn't exaggerating; everything here is state of the art, cutting edge.

They've issued me a codename. I'm not to address myself by my name anymore, nor may I can him by his. He has a codename too: Sakaki. Fitting, if not indicative of his inflated ego.

I'm not used to all this secrecy. My work at Devon Corp was completely transparent.

I don't care about any of it; I can't afford to. This lab has everything I need, and I'll gladly trade my principles for a chance to bring her back.

I am to examine the specimen for its authenticity as soon it arrives. Preliminary reports look promising.

-J.S

— . . . —

24 July 1990

I can hardly believe it. All tests confirm the specimen's authenticity. Microsatellite, SNP – all of them, even some cutting-edge methods I hadn't even heard of. They're all positive.

Sakaki is pleased. I cannot help but believe that my father would be as well.

-J.S.

— . . . —

1 August 1990

I have spent the last six days analyzing the recovered genome. The sample itself is small – an eyelash! – but it was the DNA degradation that probably did away with the missing 21.2% of the genome. I cannot complain. It's incredible that the sample was preserved as long and well as it was.

The amount of variation here is unbelievable. We dismissed the idea that the organism could contain the DNA of every pokémon in existence as a myth, but I've already isolated strands of DNA that match recorded samples of primitive rapidash and ponyta populations recovered from the Mt. Silver valley area.

There are dozens of others – inactive copies of these species' genomes. This is why it can transform; a biochemical process must target the desired inactive genome and activate it while simultaneously suppressing most of its own. If this was truly the antecedent to all existing pokémon…

No, I have no time to wonder about this. I have already isolated the organism's unique DNA. If this project – and my own – have any hopes of succeeding, I must focus on the problem at hand.

Will converse with Professors Nash and Darwin about the possibility of recreating the missing portion of the genome.

-J.S.

— . . . —

17 August 1990

All attempts to recreate the missing percentage of the genome have failed. It may have possessed enough of those inactive copies to successfully recreate another organism's DNA dozens of times over, but that is no help to us.

I was hoping to request permission to begin my own project by now, but Sakaki seems to be growing impatient with our lack of progress. Perhaps it would be better to wait until we have results to show him before I remind him of our arrangement.

-J.S.

— . . . —

29 August 1990

This project is beginning to wear me thin. I haven't left my workstation in goodness knows how long; I cannot afford to.

There must be something

— . . . —

8 September 1990

We have been thinking within the box for far too long. Perhaps it was simply desperation that drove me to this conclusion, but I cannot deny what it is – a solution. Perhaps so close to the cutting edge that it bleeds with unreliability, but it is a solution nonetheless.

Gene splicing: replacing the missing genome with the DNA of compatible species. If done with enough foresight, we might even enhance the clone's martial and psychic prowess.

Why settle for simply cloning it when we can make seamless improvements? Pokémon have so many weaknesses, but with this method we can wipe them out. The genes of machamp to compensate for the psychic-type's physical limitations, its psychic powers amplified hundredfold by the genes of alakazam and gardevoir…. The possibilities are limitless. This project has the potential to forever alter the face of genetics and put our people back on the map.

Our benefactor agrees. We are being allocated more funds, personnel, and resources.

I still have my doubts, and there are ethical concerns to consider.

Sakaki has given me the green light to go forward with my own project.

— . . . —

22 September 1990

After much study and debate, we have decided to utilize the soma of an alakazam's oocyte. They say legendary pokémon cannot breed, but the two species are similar enough in characteristics to suggest a high probability of success.

My own project is proceeding smoothly. At least there is no need to worry about any shortages of her genetic material.

-J.S.

— . . . —

1 October 1990

None of the oocytes have become viable. No matter. As long as we have the base, we can continue to perform however many trials are necessary to succeed. It only takes one success.

I dreamt of the accident again.

You told me that you were going to become Halley's Comet. I'll bring you back, Ai. I'll bring you back.

— . . . —

21 October 1990

The 497th somatic cell nuclear transfer attempt was a success. The embryo is dividing normally, and we will implant it into the uterus of an alakazam tomorrow.

-J.S.

— . . . —

24 October 1990

Implantation was a success. Apart from a mild violent episode from the alakazam in recovery, everything has been going smoothly. No one was injured.

Protective behavior is to be expected in pregnant pokémon, especially in psychics. Professor Goodall tells us that they are able to sense the new life growing within them and commune with it as the fetus grows. We will have to keep her closely monitored in the event that something goes wrong. This is far from a normal pregnancy, after all.

-J.S.

— . . . —

1 November 1990

The alakazam seems to be reacting well enough, though Goodall insists that it is too early to tell. The species' gestation period is comparable to those of humans when the time it takes for the egg to hatch is factored in. My colleagues are insisting we call it Eve. Fitting, if not a bit trite.

You two will be contemporaries, then. Its birth will bring about the rebirth of Father and Sakaki's nation.

Yours will signify the revitalization of our life. Surely your mother won't be able to avoid the truth when your copy stands before her? She will be sorry for doubting me, but it won't matter.

We'll be a family again, Ai.

— . . . —

11 November 1990

We had an incident at the lab today.

During its checkup, Eve lashed out at Darwin's assistant as he attempted to perform amniocentesis. It rammed the boy against the wall three times before we could sedate it, and broke three of Nash's fingers as he attempted to restrain it for a long enough period of time to get the damned needle in.

Eve's brain waves spiked beyond the normal range for its species, and its psychic powers were heightened accordingly.

The autopsy report showed that it wasn't the impact against the wall that killed the boy (though that certainly did its damage). It was suffocation. The psychic field was so strong that air could not pass into his airways.

This merits further study. If we could replicate this effect on other species, perhaps we could create a contingent of psychics to provide support for the project?

Everyone is shaken, and I must admit that I am as well. If it had rammed the poor fool against your incubator tube….

— . . . —

13 November 1990

Goodall insists on reporting what happened to Sakaki. She says that this project is too dangerous, that Eve's powers will only continue to grow as the fetus develops and that soon it will be beyond our control.

On the contrary, I believe this indicates that we have surpassed even our highest expectations. The fetus isn't even a month old and it is already heightening its surrogate's psychic abilities. The amount of power it will be capable of when it is trained to the height of its powers….

Let Goodall give all the suggestions she wants. Fools will always doubt the work of giants.

-J.S.

— . . . —

17 November 1990

Goodall was taken away by some grunts yesterday.

I trust Sakaki knows how to deal with possible leaks. I used to detest what he had become, but now I know how it feels to work toward saving something you love.

Someone.

I picked up your heartbeat today.

It reminded me of the first time I heard it. I was with your mother, holding her hand while the lab technician took the sonogram. And when he ran the wand over that spot – oh, Ai, your mother and I were so happy. We'd never been happier.

Not until now, at least.

— . . . —

26 November 1990

Another incident – the fourth so far. Eve nearly shattered the two-way observation window after the sedatives wore off. The material was bullet-proof.

No one was injured this time, but we cannot continue to lose personnel, not after Nash and those technicians were caught in that explosion. Its brainwaves continue to increase at an exponential rate, and we are beginning to pick up a second set underlying Eve's.

I am ordering that the dosage of sedatives be increased. We are close to reaching the maximum threshold for pregnant pokémon, but I cannot afford the risks.

I cannot afford to risk you.

— . . . —

5 December 1990

A number of the technicians are complaining about headaches. Some of them have even claimed that they have heard voices. Menacing ones, they say.

Superstitious nonsense, of course. Eve has not regained consciousness since the last incident, and her brainwaves have been kept at a steady level.

I have sent a request to Sakaki for new personnel. It wouldnt do for these imbeciles to make any rash mistakes out of simple paranoia.

— . . . —

8 December 1990

Assistant Chambers was acting strangely today. She was telling some of her colleagues about her daughter and became emotionally distressed when she told us how she died in a car accident. Her distress became so acute that we were forced to sedate her.

Her medical history showed recent complaints of insomnia and painful headaches, but is that really the explanation?

She is too young to have a daughter, and she said her name was [THE FOLLOWING IS CROSSED OUT AND UNDECIPHERABLE]

Eve remains asleep.

It must be the strain of compromising her ethics. Yes. This is not the work for the weak of mind and determination.

— . . . —

1 December 199

The sonogram image of the project returned and it was oddly shaped. Malformed.

Darwin insists we terminate. I am almost tempted to agree but this was expected. This was expected. Modifications were made to the creature's genetic structure. Abnormalities like these are expected.

You're taking shape now you're beautiful and perfect Soon well be a family Ai. A family

— . . . —

2december

they found darwin swingingfrom the Rafters of the atrium today this is the fifth suicide this week.

father would be proud of me

eve is sleeping.

— . . . —

[NO DATE PROVIDED; GIVEN THE EVENTS DESCRIBED, IT IS HIGHLY PROBABLE THAT PROF. SMITH WAS REFERRING TO THE INCIDENT ON 30 DEC. 1990]

men in black came and said they hadnt heard a report from us in long time

they came to take you ai i wouldnt let them so i woke eve up

she made them go away

you me mommy will be a family ai family family family

— . . . —

[NO DATE PROVIDED]

eve spoke to me today

nonono

not eve it was baby

baby spoke to me

baby wants fire and wants end and wants destruction

baby wants wants wants

— . . . —

[NO FURTHER ENTRIES RECOVERED FROM WRECKAGE]


A/N: Unfortunately, Act III has not yet coalesced from the nebulous thoughts and ideas I have in mind. I have made a few changes to the second part of Act II (there's a big chunk of Giovanni and Team Rocket-related backstory in there now), so you should check that out.

As always, I'm so grateful to hear from you guys through the reviews you leave! Thank you so much! it makes me very happy to hear that you're enjoying this story! I hope I can continue to deliver!

If you left an anonymous review, I'll reply here...

Alice: Wow, thank you very much! I'm glad to hear that I surpassed your expectations and that you're enjoying what I've written so far! I hope you continue to enjoy this piece. Thank you again for taking the time to read and review, and I hope to hear from you again!

ponponpon: It's me that should be thanking you for being a consistent and loyal reader and reviewer! The least I can do is reply to thank you and address your comments. I hope you enjoyed this installment, ponponpon!

Ello: Thank you for your review! It's great that you brought up Silver, because he's definitely going to become a rather integral part of the group dynamic as he grows older and the plot progresses. This universe's Red does give off an empathetic vibe, so I can definitely see where you're coming from with that. This being said, there will definitely be Red-Silver interaction in future installments. I'm humbled to hear that you're enjoying this story, and I hope that the future installments will continue to be enjoyable for you.

My sincere thanks go out to the readers! I love hearing from you guys, so please don't hesitate to leave me a review! I'll be more than happy to address any comments, questions, and/or concerns you may have, so leave a review or PM me if you like.

I look forward to hearing from you!