In the lobby of the Shinra Building, a sleeping entrance guard is awakened by a tap on the shoulder.
"Zznrk?" He jumps up to attention, and blinks with amazement at the man before him, who holds up a Shinra ID keycard on a string about his neck. It takes a moment before he is able to speak again.
"Sir?" the guard finally says. "It's been years since you've been here! I thought you'd retired or died or something."
"None of the above, fortunately," he replies. "Is there a reason that the keycard check-in machine is gone?"
The guard blinks for a few more seconds before having a small epiphany. "Oh! That old thing? That got replaced five years ago after the Ravenal incident."
The man raises an eyebrow at this. "Ravenal incident?"
"Yes sir," says the guard. "A repeat of the Sephiroth incident, only worse. The higher-ups got sick of people slaughtering their way up the building, so now keycards have been replaced with automated finger-prick DNA testing on every floor."
"That's no good," the man mutters. "You could cut off the finger of a dead man and use that easily."
"It tests for a pulse at the same time," the guard replies, fluffing up triumphantly. "And only the person tested can pass through the door field."
"Very impressive," says the man. "I presume that there are safeguards against clones as well, then."
The guard stares forward blankly as he considers the question.
"Never mind." He flicks a strand of hair out of his line of sight, and continues. "I presume, since the NGC version of myself is in the databanks, that I will have no trouble getting in. What, then, about my guest and supplies?"
He gestures to his side, and the guard leans forward over the desk.
On the 67th floor of the Shinra building is the biolab. The vast majority of people did not, in fact, notice the replacement of Professor Hojo by his NGC counterpart as such. They only took it as a sudden and welcome change in attitude. The man, they reasoned, had taken a blow to the head and suddenly become warm and friendly.
But now, things were getting a bit surreal. On one end of the room was Professor Hojo, peering into a microscope. On the other end of the room... was Professor Hojo, moving to close the gap between them.
The lab technicians were, to say the least, confused.
"Hello, NGC me," said the one approaching. The one at the microscope looked up, blinked, and gaped in surprise. The original cut him off before he could speak. "Yes, I know, I disappeared for a good many years. However, if you check my records, I had enough unused vacation days from my youth to cover at least another week. Now, if you'll excuse me." He shoved his way past his surprised alternate and to the controls for the specimen elevator, punching a few buttons and flipping a switch.
The elevator began to move.
"What do you think you're doing?" cried the NGC Hojo.
"Continuing my research," the professor replied.
The elevator stopped moving, and in the center of the specimen container was a very young girl with black hair and a bad haircut, laid out on a stretcher. Awake and aware, she shifted her gaze around the lab without moving her head-- curious, but oddly enough, not afraid. Next to her was a large tupperware box filled with ice.
Professor Hojo hit a few buttons on the controls, opening the sliding door to the container.
"Who is that?" asked the NGC Hojo.
"Specimen #0001 of the Yetzirah Project," was the response. "Commonly known as Maaya." He shouted a few commands to the lab technicians, for an IV of propofol to be readied, for surgical instruments to be sterilized and lined up on a table, for a patient monitor to be set up. They followed his orders instinctively, not knowing what else to do.
"This is illegal," said NGC Hojo. "You can't experiment on a child. For one thing, a minor can't give legal consent for a major medical procedure..."
"There's no worries about that," replied Hojo, as he left the controls and walked into the container, next to the side of the stretcher. "Her parental guardian has signed all the consent forms, which have in turn already been filed with and approved by the EGC Department of Childhood Services." A spark of light reflected off his glasses, and he wrapped a quick tourniquet about Maaya's left arm. "Absolutely no laws are being broken here, and I would recommend that you refrain from jumping to such conclusions unless you like being saddled with a libel suit."
His counterpart quickly shut up, and watched blankly as the original Hojo went about his business. He himself put the pulse monitor on her finger and the blood pressure cuff around her left arm. He himself cleaned the inside of her left elbow with a pad of alcohol and slipped the IV needle into a vein. And when she had completely drifted off into sleep, he opened up the tupperware container and cleaned off what was very clearly the right arm of... something very strange.
"What. Is. That," monotoned NGC Hojo. It wasn't a question, really, except in grammatical structure.
The professor sniffed. "An arm, grown out of stem cells from the specimen with very slightly modified genetic makeup. There's absolutely no danger of tissue rejection, however."
The alternate flared up. "What kind of parent agrees to something like that? And stem cells! You know the controversy as well as I do--"
"There's no controversy when the cells come from umbilical cord blood, as these do," proclaimed Professor Hojo. "And as for your other question, the kind of parent that would agree to something like this would be me."
The other Hojo could only stare in open-mouthed horror.
He smirked. "Now you see why it was necessary to take so much 'vacation'."
The amputation and graft procedure went by with no more complaints.