"...cells that rejuvenate, even regenerate themselves completely, the cells of a living organism....damn it...."
I ceased reading on account of my eyes, red-rimmed eyes that watered with strain and late night bleariness. As little as I wanted to, I would have to take a break from my research, at least until I got my bearings back.
What I would give to not be plagued by all these petty physical limitations. And this desire, I suppose is what made this project so attractive to me. ...Even the dim light from my desk lamp irritated my eyes, forcing me to switch it off and sit in total darkness.
Feh...seemed like I was straining my eyes a lot the past few months... probably due to the many all-niters I've pulled lately, nights of research fueled not by caffeine, but by the burning, irresistible desire to know everything there was to know about this unique entity, this goddess among savage, stupid beasts...
With this goddess's benevolence and a few of Her cells, why, mere humans could be endowed with strength and supernatural abilities that boggled comprehension.... Creating a far superior race. One that would not be bothered by physical limitations... Gods, what I would give for that freedom from my own body's needs...
I suppose that is the true reason I worked so feverishly, the reason I was so slavishly devoted to her... In the end, my weakness would prove to be my desire to abolish human frailty. That was the purpose of the project, after all. Improving the basic human stock. My beloved JENOVA could do this, this and so much more... With Her cells, and my intellect, we would create a god, a living, breathing one at that.
A human with the power and characteristics of the Cetra.
JENOVA is all I need. Her divine cells, and my talents, that's all we'll ever need...
Oh, damn. I forgot.
We'll need *her* too, won't we? We'll need her to incubate Him, to keep Him warm and secure in her womb... I'm sure she won't object, she is as utterly devoted to You as I am, JENOVA.
I really should get some rest...I'm not even thinking clearly now... Oh, well, I've always thought of sleeping as a waste of time...I mean, I could be *doing* things, instead of laying on my back unconscious in the dark... I really don't want to go to sleep anyway...especially with the nightmares I've been having lately. But my eyes are still too blurry and unfocused to resume my research. Hell, even my glasses aren't helping. I mean, I'd understand things being a little bleary if I wasn't wearing them, but even with them on I can't see a foot in front of my face.
Damned pathetic weak human eyes...
There's nothing to do... I can't read, and I certainly can't sleep. I suppose it won't hurt to indulge in a little more thought. At least that way the evening won't be completely wasted. Perhaps I'll even formulate a new theory that would be of use to the project. That's how I get many of my ideas...just thinking about nothing in particular. That's how I got the idea to infuse a fetus, and that proved to be useful.
"How could you experiment on humans?! You don't know what those cells could do!"
I rolled my eyes. Even when I'm by myself in the dark I can't get away from his irritating babbling. Simple-minded Turk. With his limited knowledge he could never hope to understand what We're trying to accomplish here.
And his words were always the same! It was always some weak, bleeding-heart nonsense, something fueled by the emotions, but utterly without thought. All off his arguments were good, I'll credit him with that, but they all consisted completely of unfounded fears. I seriously doubt that Turk would know an atom or molecule if it bit him, but he could sure preach to me what I was doing was dangerous. I can excuse ignorance, but I cannot excuse a fool insisting something he doesn't know the slightest thing about is dangerous.
He always made it seem like I was some cold, heartless unfeeling monster, that I was doing this for my own enjoyment rather than to advance science. Oh, the guilt trips he used to put me on...
"But on your own wife...and your own son? Lucrecia is capable of making her own decisions, as foolhardy as they may be, but what about this child? It has no say in the matter! Please, stop this madness!"
That was a few weeks ago... even now when I remember Valentine's protesting outburst, I smile slightly to myself. He had even dared to burst into my office without knocking while I was talking to Her, not caring what I was busy or not.
No regard for privacy. Such a nosy young man.
He always *had* been quite concerned with things that really were none of his business.
Things like my wife.
I am sure Valentine had to have possessed *some* intelligence to have advanced as far in the Turks as he had, and my Lucrecia was far from a fool, but they both were really quite ignorant if they thought I hadn't noticed what was going on between them. I would have had to be blind not to see the looks they gave each other, to notice the way he practically fell over himself to help her with the most trivial things, to watch her eyes light up instantly at any mention of him. I suppose they were discreet as their weak humanity would allow.
I guess it wasn't really their fault I saw through everything.
I could swear She told me, that she had pointed out everything I might not have noticed otherwise. Without Her I might not have paid any attention to Lucrecia's eyes, to the flirtatious looks Valentine threw her. Heh, I can hear Gast now. "For all of her power, potential and life, JENOVA cannot possibly speak to you. Hojo m'lad, you need to get your head checked."
He can theorize all he wants to, but I don't care. She speaks to me. I hear Her in my dreams, and in my thoughts. I know it was She that told me. But it doesn't really matter who my informer was. What matters is that I knew.
I *knew* what was going on the whole time. I *knew* that everyone was laughing behind my back about the "Tech and the Turk". I knew all of this. I just decided to ignore it. Her unfaithfulness would eventually reward itself one day, she would reap as she had sowed. 'You can't play without paying', as they say. I sometimes wonder why she chose him over me, but I suppose it doesn't really matter now. He could have the hussy. 'Once a cheater, always a cheater' is another moldy, trite saying I could apply to this twisted little scenario.
In the end, it wasn't even the fact he had stolen my wife that sealed his doom. He nailed his own coffin shut, if you'll excuse the pun. His ignorance made for plenty of lumber, his stubborness was the carpenter, and if narrow-minded statements were nails, he could have hammered in enough to seal the lid a thousand times over and still have some to spare.
He could never accept that I was right, that what I was doing was legitimate. He was always in the way, questioning this and that, complicating simple decisions, starting arguments over a mere statement. All of those traits are what damned him. Even Lucrecia had begun to have second thoughts as a result of his highly emotional lectures he subjected her to daily.
That is where he crossed the line from irritating and dangerous. To merely complain and frown on my practices was one thing, sowing discord with my partner was another. I needed her. She *could not* back out now. I would not allow it. JENOVA would not allow me to allow it. Unfaithful or not, I *needed* her. He *had* to be taken care of...
...and as long as I was 'taking care' of him, why not test a hypothesis or two? I certainly didn't want to try it on my son if it would be dangerous. It's one thing to merely be cautious, another thing to take caution to the fanatical heights Valentine did.
It was a success, of course.
It really was quite ironic that in the end Valentine became a very significant part of the thing that he had protested so violently to....and it really was quite fitting, I think.
I was drawn out of this reverie by a sudden bolt of pain that rocketed through my head, searing my overworked brain.
".....migraine....damn it, will I ever be able to get back to work?" I turned on the desk lamp, determined to finish this section if it killed me. My eyesight was finally clear enough for me to resume reading. But now I would have to cope with this horrid headache. Was there no release..?
Only in JENOVA. She was the only thing that would enable perfection to become a reality. And perfection is what I hoped to create with the project. I would have to just stick it out, hang in there till I finished taking my notes. It was all part of the sacrifices I had made and would continue to make for perfection. I was suffering now, but I'd come out on top at the end. I know I will. She told me so. Even as I penned the notes in my familiar neat print, my mind continued to wander against my wishes. A reverie every once in a while is all fine and well, but not when I'm working. I tried to force myself to think of nothing but the notes that were becoming more scrawled and illegible by the moment, but it was to no avail. I would have no peace till I listened to whatever it was my brain was trying to tell me. That something that floated around in there, dangling right before me, yet always just beyond my grasp.
...what if Valentine was right? What if, instead of creating a flawless human, I was creating a monster? What if, in spite of all my tedious research, all my careful planing, I not only failed to improve humanity, but weakened it further? What if instead of liberating my Son from human misery, I imprisoned him in a nightmare far worse?
All the most pressing questions always start with a 'what if...'.
"No 'what ifs' to ask, I'm right, and I know it. You told me I was right, that this must be done. And You never lie. With Your help, He will be perfect, without a single limitation. The others can say what they like. For me this project is to do away with the limitations that have plagued me and every other miserable human that ever walked this planet. It's the death of physical limits and the birth of perfection incarnate. That's my vision, that's my--"
I stopped my ranting long enough to notice my hand had begun trembling, and I had smeared a good third of my notes. About 4 hours of work ruined by my own limitations. That, I suppose, was the straw that broke the camel's back.
" ...perfection's hands wouldn't tremble..."
I think that one statement silenced any fragment of doubt I had ever had, overshadowed all of Valentine's poisonous words. That statement erased any intention (be it the slightest) I might have had to end this project. I'll admit it, the 'what ifs' almost had me convinced...Valentine almost managed to win, even from the grave.
As I stared down at my traitorous hands, I felt something snap inside of me. I never really felt like the same person again after that night. Some whispered the great professor Hojo had finally snapped under the pressure, but what do they know? Nothing. I don't feel insane, I feel enlightened.... really, I do. I feel like I understand so much more than I ever did before. That night was the night my eyes were truly opened. I know...because JENOVA told me...
...and She never lies.