Impossible, they said. It would never work.
Too unstable, they said. It would all fall apart.
Well, who was laughing now?
Sure, majority of the world may not know his work or involvement in the project, but they would know of his work. His silent contribution to something great.
And, perhaps it would give him a chance to do right by his left behind family.
Ah, the question of his life, better to leave and better the world, or stay behind and be there for them in person. It wasn't hard to choose the world.
A better world meant a better chance for them. A safer life. With real heroes not blinded by bias of growing up. They wouldn't have it at all.
With a terse smile, he looked over the first "successful" project. It was still growing, but it was thriving. No organ failure. No additional limbs. No genetic problems could be seen for now.
Yes, it all seemed perfect.
And to think, all it took was a stray thought and his family to create this masterpiece. A bit of luck sure but he doubted that it was mere luck that kept the experiment positively moving forward.
He walked over towards the first chamber, the small first step in comparison to the opportunities that awaited.
The chamber was about six feet tall, and two feet deep. And inside was the project that would change the world. Eyes closed and unassuming, waiting to awaken and learn about the world he-it would soon protect. He mustn't forget, despite the appearance, at this point, it was nothing more than an empty shell. Not even a fraction of what it would become.
It almost appeared to be sleeping. Waves of dark red hair and soft pale skin with the slightest splash of freckles across the bridge of its' nose. IVs attached to the arms delivering vital nutrients as the final stages were set in motion.
Bringing it to life. As it was, the machine was beginning to implant footage of a particular blazing red haired hero into it's mind. A fierce fighter showcasing all that it could be. Showing who it would have to fight, if he ever strayed from the heroic path.
With hours to go and near nothing to do, the man pulled up an old file on his computer. A little piece of peace and sunshine to keep him sane while working on the project to change the world.
He knew that any other mother probably wouldn't have bothered to send him anything after he up and left them to do this work so many years ago, but his wife was different. So loving and hopeful he'd be back soon.
If this project was a success, he could leave and have his family financially covered for years to come. His notes would be worth a fortune as it was, and anyone could potentially replicate his work with them. He could finally return home.
He smiled as he pressed play on the chosen file. The screen showed a small home video of a tiny four year old boy with a big grin and wildly curly dark green hair. He was playing with a small light blond haired boy who was showing off his new found quirk. Small explosions popped in the larger blond's hands as he eagerly tested his new found ability. Large sparkling green eyes watched in fascination, and he curiously grabbed his friend's hand, as if by touching it, he could figure out how it worked.
He yelped as a small, and rather harmless explosion popped near his hand.
It was the last video he recalled seeing his son's friend in and felt a small pain in his heart. Abandoned because he was quirkless. He knew that's how it normally worked. Hell, he knew that was what Izuku probably assumed he did. Maybe his wife too.
He shook his head from such gloomy thoughts. Once he could go home, he'd never leave them again.
But first, he had to wait and see if the project was a success. He grabbed his coffee cup and began to drink, typing in the key strokes needed to play the other videos. His eyes were closed as he savored the flavor, unaware that in his tired haze, he hit additional keys with his pressed, using a slightly different program. Oh, it still played the desired videos for him to watch, but also added them to the list of needed downloads for the project.
It was dark. There was nothing. Only silence and darkness. Nothingness. It was fine. There was no other way to be in the nonexistance. Then, there was something. A form? Shapes? Something other than dark nothingness. Movement.
Something different to push away the nothingness. What did it mean? Did it even mean anything?
Soon, the nothingness was pushed far away into the recesses of the perceived reality as universal acceptances were whispers as gentle caresses into existence. Language, understanding, a sense of duty filled the brim of awareness as everything suddenly held names, identities, purposes. Basic or otherwise. Nothingness seemed to cease as an overwhelming amount of anything and everything became the world.
The need to fight. How to fight. The abilities to fight. All shown by the flaming individual that was in every aspect of the mind. Not as them, but to be them- no him. He identified as a male being a male hero. It was biology.
Orders filtered through the very being and fabric of everything there. Protect, serve, defeat. Endless fighting and speeches molding an identity.
Everything was settling and the world changed.
Gone were crisp and clean images and settings. Instead, a touch less focused and far smaller scale. A woman and a child sitting at a table. The flaming one that had dominated so much of the knowledge and existence was no where to be found.
It was quiet, a bit jumbled.
"Hisashi, hold the camera steady," the woman chuckled.
"I am holding it steady," an unseen male voice chuckled.
"I can howd it," the little boy said reaching forward. Bright green eyes and messy dark hair contrasted the fiery hero's look and stance. Then, the lips were curled back and there was just white sparkling tiny teeth.
"Izuku no. It's your birthday. So we want footage of you," the woman explained to the tiny child now identified as Izuku.
"Izu! Come and pway!" An unseen voice called out.
"Kay Kacchan. Imma pway with Kacchan now mommy."
There was something strange about this. There was no fighting. No flaming man. Just, laughter. And teeth. Lots of happy teeth showing. Smiles. Ones that contrasted so heavily with the flaming man they had watched countless times before.
Videos of similar quality came through, now holding parts of the dark green haired child Izuku, be it him being recorded by the woman, or he recording and muttering about quirks and applications. It was peculiar yet endearing. He enjoyed the videos of the boy growing ever older over the countless fights and interviews the flame man had given.
"I wanna try mom. Being a hero, it's all I've ever wanted to be. Even if I'm quirkless, I still want to try."
Intense warmth bloomed throughout his person. A hero. The boy wanted to be a hero, and something he didn't have was holding him back? Well, if Izuku couldn't be a hero, then he would have to be one for him.
"What do you mean I have to start more? I've been here for years. I have the notes to get it started I could leave for you-"
"Hisashi, it's more than that."
"Isn't having a stable Endeavor clone enough?"
"Someone leaked what you're doing."
"We don't know. But since no hero has shown up to question us, you know what the alternative is."
"Is my family in danger?"
"As of this moment, no. Everyone believes you abandoned them upon the discovery your son was quirkless."
"And if I make more of these clones?"
"Their first mission, will be to discover and detain those who found out about the project."
"Then I can go home?"
"Without the worry of your family getting killed."
"Give me the samples. All goes well, they should be just like the Endeavor clone in about sixteen weeks."
"It still hasn't been awakened."
"Downloading footage takes time. Now what clone do you want me to do?"
"Right. Your samples."
Placed delicately on the sterile table was a set of vials with varieties of samples gathered from sites of heroes.
"We have gathered the winged hero Hawks-"
"Pretty young isn't he?"
"And yet a member of the top ten heroes. He seems to be only getting better and stronger. Should he stray-"
"Fine. I'll get to work right away," Hisashi sighed as he grabbed the vial with a bloodied feather, no doubt a difficult item to procure. The young hero had raw talent and hardly ever gained a blood worthy injury.
"We also have obtained a sample from Present Mic-"
"The radio host? You think he would turn?"
"Not really, but it was hardly a challenge to get a sample."
"Why does that not surprise me?"
"Surpringly easier than Midnight."
"Don't tell me I'm cloning Midnight. You know how I feel about that particular hero."
"Stop being a prude. It's for a better and safer society Hisashi."
"I know. Otherwise I would have never agreed to this. Anyone else you have collected from I should be aware of?" Hisashi asked getting progressively more irritated, "Just how many did you get?"
"Just three more Hisashi. We promise."
"I hope you've gathered footage of all of them fighting too. Well, who else did you get."
"I... I am not even going to ask how. Sure. Why not?"
"And Mt Lady."
"New hero. Recent debut. Good quirk. Doesn't seem to be much of a team player. So... High risk of turning."
"I see. What's the quirk?"
"Gigantification. She's a strong girl. Can cause quite a bit of damage."
"I bet. With a quirk like that her strength must be raised exponentially by the growth of her body meaning her overall strength would be her average strength sans quirk multiplied by the ratio of her growth..."
"We'll just leave you to it."
Weeks went by. Hisashi longed for the time to be over and to return home. Izuku would be starting high school soon. And he didn't even know where his son had applied.
Soon though. So very soon.
"Open chamber Endeavor 01."
He just needed to confirm it all worked.
With a hiss from the first chamber, the door opened and the red haired being opened seaglass green eyes.
"01 Proceed out of the chamber."
The dark red haired person stepped forward. His stride mirroring the hero he had been crafted from. The eyes rounder than the hero and more green as well.
"01, what is your quirk."
"My quirk is Hellfire. I can control fire," the person said creating a small flame in their hand, "And will use it to save people."
01's lips surged upward into a smile showing shiny white teeth. It felt a bit off seeing it coming from what should have been the infamous hard faced flame hero. But mixed with his slightly softer features from Izuku made it less awkward.
"I see your quirk is working fine. We'll test it later to see what you can actually do."
01 looked around curiously. His eyes full of wonder as he looked around the laboratory he realized he was created in. Chrome and monotone in comparison to the videos and information fed to him. Only a small frame with a photograph bringing color and life.
"Izuku," he muttered softly.
"What did you say?"
"Izuku," 01 said more confidently.
"How do you know Izuku? I transferred footage of Endeavor."
01 gave a sheepish grin, one identical to his son's.
"He's in my memory. He shared a lot with Inko-his mother-and I remember him. From what you have shown me."
"You weren't supposed to know him."
"Why not? He seems nice. I like him."
"You know why you were created 01."
"To combat and destroy the current hero Endeavor should he ever stray from the path of the hero."
"To be a hero to all, not just the privileged. Not just for the sake of fighting. I want to to be a hero with a smile on my face."
"And this is why you weren't supposed to know Izuku."
"Why? What is wrong with what I've said?"
"It isn't how Endeavor acts."
"Well, if he falls from heroism, then isn't it good I don't act like him?"
Hisashi opened his mouth respond before pausing.
"That... Is an excellent point."
Sure they had a fail safe mental barrier programmed in but it wasn't like they'd want their clone heroes to know that. Now that sentience was confirmed, any revolt had to be quietly contained before they even realized it had happened. But that raised a slight change in plans.
All the clones would have to train with one another. And eventually, Izuku would be mentioned by 01. And it would be potentially catastrophic if they tried to erase the memories and completely ruined 01. He was the only shred of Endeavor's DNA they had and they didn't want to try to clone a clone. Especially without another quirkless donor.
So the only obvious answer, was to show Izuku's footage with each of the other clones when it came down to the downloads.
He could only hope there was no too obvious side effects.
"I'll add Izuku's footage for the others."
01 spent time in his chamber asleep, or learning, or outside of it physically training to reach the level of power his donor had. For brief instances, before he fell into the chamber, he would gave at the other chambers, watching them grow. Seeing rapidly growing bodies, getting dressed by the machines to keep them all "decent".
None were quite like him, one had sprouted wings, and was being kept in a larger chamber. Another had grown golden blond hair and would twitch from time to time. One had seemingly gained surprise from a dark haired chamber with a small practically petite body and dark hair. One grew leaner with green hair, tinted with golden highlights. One was bulkier with pale green hair. And the last one was the strangest, being the only female in the group, with longer blond hair.
But they were all connected. Sure they had their own hero they were created to defeat, but they would also share the same images of Izuku.
01 knew Izuku was Midoriya's son. Hence why he even had the footage to begin with, but there was something familiar about him. Like his bright green eyes or his wildly curly hair was trying to say something. Trying to get him to realize something. But what?
He didn't know. Perhaps one of the many others in the tanks would help him figure it out. They were supposed to be smart like him. But they were made from other heroes. Maybe it would help.
Waking the various clones he had been directed to create was far more vexing with the large group than it had been with 01. Hawks' clone, also registered as 02, had come out in a violent flurry. His wings were flapping wildly and seemed to want nothing more than to be airborne outside. He had almost immediately got into a fight with 06, Vlad King's clone, when he hit 06 with his wings. That small cut made by 02's feathers made 06 lash out, showing his own impressive control over his quirk. And only minutes into his awakening.
Midnight's clone, 04, thankfully put a stop to their fight quickly, the petite boy lulling them to sleep as they grew louder. It had been a shock when he developed as a male. But it was quietly acknowledged that it must have been his son's influence genetically.
He was just lucky the small boy had the same powers as Midnight rather than the terrifying notion that the different gender could have resulted in a lack of a quirk. He knew that failures were quickly and cleanly disposed of. But it would have been so much harder to do so to a boy who looked so close to his own son.
05, Best Jeanist's clone, seemed disinterested but tested out their own quirk on the two sleeping clones, making a tsking noise over the apparent difficulty to manipulate the fabric they had been placed in. 07, Mount Lady's clone, had lightly and encouragingly patted his back and gave words of encouragement growing slightly in comparison to the hero she was created from. Considering they were still in his lab, he was thankful she showed some level of control.
Present Mic's clone 03 on the other hand didn't show off his quirk immediately. Instead keeping their mouth firmly shut tight. Head was kept low and when prompted to speak, he favored nods, gestures, and when he did speak it had hardly been a whisper. A few playful jabs from 07 later though had him squeal, releasing a and damaging yell.
All seven clones, a success. Well, the being alive part. All that was needed was the training.
It was no longer his part.
That night Hisashi made sure each of the clones were placed safely in their chamber. They would begin training with 01 the next day.
His thoughts were with his family and the joy of seeing them once again.
He never heard the telltale sound of an approaching person. Nor did he register the pop of gunfire.
His last thoughts being of his son and wife he was so eager to see once more, all before he fell to the concrete floor, exhaling his last breath at the foot of the chambers.
"Get this mess cleaned up. There is nothing I dislike more than less than immaculate conditions."
"And the clones?"
"Complete their training. I want them ready for combat."
Sneaselxriolu is partially to blame for giving me this Kickstarter idea and reminding me of a show I haven't seen in a while. For those of you who are interested, she wrote an OK KO story about blood donations having to come from non powered people in order for it to be a safe donation. Now below is the rant that I have pieced together pulling her story, and my own twisted thinking.
So, I'm a Young Justice fan. And I got thinking about Superboy having to be stabilized by a non powered individual and becoming a partial clone. What if clones of quirked people worked in a similar manner. Non quirked people are kind of equated to blank slates. They have no conflicting ability or genetic code to anyone else. So, head canon, they are the genetic stabilizers. From blood donation to whatever I've just written. Because let's face it, there are blood related quirks and do we really want to see what happens when blood mixes?
On that note, this was supposed to be more crackish. Oops.