Baby Meme!/Steal

For Ryouseiteki, who asked for "Sephiroth/Zack, Hair".

SXB-01 through 05

He could understand the reasoning. Sephiroth was Sephiroth, and no army needed ten perfectly identical genius Generals at its head, or even five or three. For one thing they'd all have the same blind spots, the same fighting patterns. (not that it mattered immensely when he always won anyway, but, just in case. It was better to have variety.) For another no dragon needed five independently thinking heads; there was a reason Hydras were going extinct. But a pack of Nibel wolves would only do better with more excellent subordinates.

He could understand why they'd done it.

He watched experiments SXB-01 through 05 float in their tanks, eyes closed, still-plump bodies lax, and he wanted to kill them all anyway, Doctor Kanzaki for suggesting it, Shinra Senior for signing off on it, even Hojo for failing to protest loud enough about the bastardization of his greatest triumph.

One of them had First Class Kegarr's tight curls and coffee-skin, sickly under the green lamps. One of the two girls had Ulweiss's mouth, a quirk to it suggesting she'd have his smile too, the smile he'd worn even in death.

One had his mad head of spikes, except longer, three years of accelerated growth and never cut. Only it was silver.

They all had silver hair, somehow.

They'd stay in the pods another three months, the lab assistant was saying, until they reached a physical age of eight years old, or thereabout. They were being given language and the basic laws of the world already -- fire is hot, water is wet, gravity is a bitch, this is a kitty, don't pet the Malboro, Zack's mind translated from sciencese; next week they'd start in on what they would need to know as cadets of Shinra.

Shinra created you, Shinra is never wrong, Shinra is your god, Shinra is your life, you're grateful you can kill for Shinra, aren't you?

Zack ooh-ed and ahh-ed in all the right places, and started planning for a break out.

He hoped Sephiroth wouldn't attempt to stop him. Because perfect General or not, Zack hadn't spent so long as his right hand man -- as his best friend -- without learning how to break him.