Not Like That

By Tsarmina

Note on spoilers: If you haven't gotten through Disc 3, you may not want to read any further. This does spoil some of the story information towards the end of that disc.

"If Kuja is also a Genome, I wonder how he felt when he manufactured us."—Black Mage No. 288

It was near complete… The first of his creations would soon be a living, breathing, being. Well, not living, he had to tell himself. No, living means possessing a soul. Manufactured beings had no soul. Mindless things, puppets that danced to the will of their creator. No free will, no emotions, and definitely no thought of insurrection or defiance. The safest of followers…mindless creatures that would create the foundation of an army consisting of more of them. And the first of these soldiers would soon show itself…

Kuja pushed a lock of silvery hair behind his right ear with a slim and graceful hand, the old denial ringing in his ears. "I'm not like them," he whispered. "Never have been like them, and I never will." He made a regal figure as he stood alone, his beautiful face intent on the spot where his first creation would be coming from. His eyes held a mixture of swirling emotions, the most prominent of which being anxious yet hesitant.

Who was he fooling? As long as he had lived, one word had echoed almost every thought… "Genome", not "human". He couldn't claim to have been born; he had no mother or father…he was created as a mindless thing like all of his "siblings". But, he wasn't like all of the others in one small way… In all the other ways, though, he was exactly the same. Processed off of an assembly line instead of carried inside the warmth of a loving mother. And to what cause? Fulfill the wishes of an ambitious old man…the only man that could come close to being called "father". But he wasn't a father… No, no man could affirm himself Kuja's father. Garland was simply a many playing at being a god, not a father. He was a creator, Kuja the experiment.

Kuja tried to fight the welling up of emotions. He had always cursed Garland for one thing: not for creating him, but for cursing him with a mind, with a soul! If not for that, he might have some semblance of happiness, some shard of life… But instead he held with him a mind to know that he wasn't a real person…a soul to be wrenched time and again when someone, a real person, laughed, cried, or showed any other emotion. He had emotions…but he had never known what happiness would feel like, or what the simple joy of having someone else's love tickle his heart would do for him. He had laughed in the past, but laughter doesn't always mean joy. Not for him, at least.

It pained him, pain worse than any weapon could inflict, to know he was almost like everyone else… Almost like the other Genomes in the way that he had been manufactured and had a tail like them, but also alike to the humans who dwelled on the planet of Gaia in what the Genomes lacked. Emotions, mind, soul…everything all the other Genomes had no concept of. His failed replacement had found a home, had found love, and was completely oblivious to the truth of what he was. If not for the damned tail, Kuja might be able to completely deny the truth of his existence and do the same. But the tail served as a physical manifestation of how futile that dream was…unattainable and foolish. The scars upon his heart caused by what he was would never allow that…they prevented another barrier impossible to conquer, even for him.

Kuja was pulled back into the physical world when he saw the first of his soldiers take a shaky step forward. It was alive, in the strange sense possible for it. Kuja couldn't help but laugh, a laugh full of anger. Had he looked like that after he had been "born"? No…nothing like that blank look on the soulless face.

"Black Mage…" Kuja caressed the words before allowing them to escape his lips and carry through the air towards his creation. It looked towards him, emotionless eyes staring at its creator.

Kuja turned away violently, unable to look upon it any longer. Mindless thing! He was nothing like that creature… But he was, and he knew that truth deep in his soul, and had known it for his entire existence. He couldn't admit that truth to himself, though. It would have destructive power on his heart and his mind. Instead, he would continue with the denial… For he was different, in his own way… But the same…

Besides, he attempted at humor, they Black Mages didn't have tails… Humor drying away, another thought echoed: but they also didn't have minds.

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