"Nothing more than speculation couched in scientific terms. Educated guesses. So much of the Project was based on their educated guesses, blind tests, and dumb luck. He pored over the charts, tr...
Nothing more than speculation couched in scientific terms. Educated guesses. So much of the Project was based on their educated guesses, blind tests, and dumb luck. He pored over the charts, trying to find the exact moment it had started to go wrong, and failing.
He and Lucrecia played a similar game, where they convinced each other that she was fine, that he was a genius. That Sephiroth would be perfect.
And he had no reason to believe their baby wouldn't be perfect, because he was blowing the roof off the developmental charts. And Lucrecia was fine; the makou was making her slightly nauseated, but it was much less than the so-called "morning" sickness that had tormented her at all hours during the first trimester. There was no logical reason for him to feel a crushing sense of impending doom. He'd just been letting Vincent's constant complaining about it get to him. "Besides, what kind of a scientist would I be if I asked women to participate in an experiment I wasn't willing to perform on my own wife?" he asked. Vincent wouldn't concede his point. What mattered to him was Lucrecia, not science.
The animal tests had gone so well. The results had been exactly as they should have. As they though they would be. Meaningless, their assumptions. And if he couldn't find it, it would be all for nothing. What's the point of perfection if it dies in one generation?
"Crushing sense of impending doom" was unscientific. It was just nerves.
The tests continued to go well, extremely well, and Hojo allowed himself to become optimistic about the Project again.
Shutting Vincent up helped. "It's not as if I killed him," he told himself. "When Sephiroth is born, and is perfect, and Lucrecia is all right, I can bring him back out for the I-told-you-so. Won't that be satisfying."
The mood, once Lu got over Vincent "transferring back to Midgar" without saying goodbye was high, almost jubilant, as they counted down the days until Sephiroth was due.
They discussed inducing labor at the eighth month, because Sephiroth had reached a size comparable to a normal full-term fetus. Lucrecia dissuaded them for the time being, suggesting that they consider it again in two weeks' time. There was no reason, she said, to deliver him prematurely just because Sephiroth was average-sized. The whole point of the exercise, after all, was to create a superior child. He should be better-than-average from day one. Gast made a joke about her needing a Caesarian if he got much bigger. They all laughed.
Three days later, Sephiroth decided he was going to make his appearance early regardless of the scientists' opinions on the subject.
Hojo woke in the middle of the night to a rush of dampness and Lucrecia's cold hand on his wrist.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
Her water had broken. They woke Gast - and incidentally Ifalna, who had been in the room with him - and helped Lu down to the lab they were planning on using as a delivery room.
He watched the security tapes dozens of times, trying to figure out what had gone wrong, where the error had occurred. He couldn't find it; Gast couldn't find it. He blamed himself, regardless.
There was just...
The specimen delivered, he was weighing it and performing the tests to check reflexes and response, noting carefully each superlative figure, when Gast swore sharply in Cetran and he turned around to see that Lucrecia hadn't stopped bleeding.
Terror fueled the next period of time as they endured the Jenova Project's first major failure.
Hojo carefully put the final notes into the prenatal folder, adding that the host mother had not survived delivery, and had been pronounced dead by Dr. William Gast at 7:54 AM. Cause of death: blood loss due to uncontrolled hemorrhaging.
The specimen was doing well.
Within acceptable parameters.