Story 12: Mirror Hero, J “Gemclone Origin Cloak”
Scriii, scriii, scriii.
Under a cloudless sky, the cries of the gulls catching the wind as they flew and the sound of waves crashing on the shore intertwined.
It was a seawall like any other, nothing unusual about it at all.
Perched on this seawall was a man wearing a straw hat, silently gripping a fishing rod.
The man sat there every day, simply continuing to fish. Over time, he became well-known to the locals as “the fishing man” who was always at that spot.
But nobody knew the man’s identity.
Nobody knew where he had come from, and what he was doing here.
Nobody knew what he had done.
The man received his first visitor.
“Are ya havin’ fun fishing?”
The visitor said this quietly, as he sat down so that he and the fishing man were back to back. The visitor wore a woven bamboo hat of his own, pulled over his face so that his expression could not be seen.
“Were ya able to catch any fish? Ah, but I’ve heard that fishing is something where you enjoy the process rather than the results, so p’rhaps that was a tacky thing to ask.”
The fishing man remained silent, but the visitor didn’t seem to be bothered by that as he continued to talk.
“Y’see, I’ve sometimes thought it might be nice to just sit and fish for hours on end, but when it actually comes time to do it, my lack of knowledge makes it hard to get up the motivation to start. Put it another way, whenever you’re about to try something new, that first step feels mighty heavy. But, fer example, if there’s someone who’s willing to teach ya and show you the way, maybe that first step would feel an awful lot lighter, don’t ya think?”
The visitor paused for a breath, and then continued in a slow whisper.
“Whether it’s fishing. Or card games. Or life. Y’know?”
The fishing man’s shoulders twitched.
The visitor stood up, and turned towards the fishing man for the first time.
“Won’t you lend me your help, Boss [J. Genesis]? And little [Gemclone]. In order to revolutionize Hero World, I need help from both of ya.”
The man who had been fishing, J. Genesis, reeled in his line. As he did so, the fishing rod began to change before their eyes, transforming into a small dragon that seemed to be made of crystal.
“…Who are you?” Genesis asked quietly, as he turned to his visitor.
The visitor took off his large bamboo hat with one hand and bowed lightly at Genesis.
“My name is [Mukuro]. Just like you, I’m a Darkhero who had his darkness burned away by the flame of the sun. I’m also an old friend of [Revolutionary, Zetta].”
◇ ◇ ◇
Once, he was known as a leader in the field of Monster research.
In addition, he took advantage of [Kyoya Gaen]’s fall from power to climb to the top of the Gaen Financial Group and become its head. But he had sacrificed numerous monsters for his research, starting with Zetta, in an attempt to create [Gemclone], the most powerful artificial monster, and sell it as a weapon. When all of this was made public, he was arrested by the Buddy Police.
Decades had passed.
After his release from prison, he found himself unable to figure out what path to follow. Not knowing what he should do, or even what he wanted to do, he led an idle life, together with the artificial monster [Gemclone], who had developed a heart and soul.
That was when Mukuro appeared.
And Mukuro was telling him that he had been a friend of [Zetta], whom Genesis had killed as part of his research, and used as parts for his own monstrous transformation.
“Boss Zetta was always extreme in his words and actions, but even so, he was a Darkhero who was true to his beliefs. His goals were to take Hero World’s philosophy of ‘the strong should rescue the weak’ and revolutionize it. Rather than ‘rescuing the weak’, his radical idea was to ‘do away with the weak entirely’. Well, when I was young, I rushed to completion and made a few mistakes myself, so I can’t exactly point and laugh at Boss Zetta… But leaving that aside, Boss Zetta and Boss Genesis were alike, in that they wanted to avoid taking the long way around. Maybe that’s why Boss Genesis was able to synchronize with Zetta’s empty shell and transform.”
Hearing Mukuro’s story, Genesis was once again painfully aware of how heartless his actions had been. The monsters that Genesis had sacrificed had, obviously, had their own aspirations, and their own hearts and souls. And Genesis had crushed those beneath his heel.
What had Zetta thought about, and what had he felt?
These things that Genesis hadn’t even thought about at the time tormented him now.
When did he start thinking like this?
Genesis had eliminated all things useless and wasteful when creating his ultimate masterpiece, the artificial monster [Gemclone], whom he thought of as perfection itself. But Gemclone had been defeated when he developed a “soul”, the very embodiment of all that was wasteful and unpredictable. Perhaps that had created a change in Genesis’s values, which had been absolute and unshakable until that moment.
In any case, right now Genesis regretted his past actions. As time passed, his awareness of his own wrongdoing grew larger and larger.
Whether Mukuro saw through Genesis’s heart, or whether it was sheer coincidence, he made the following proposal.
“I can’t agree with all of Boss Zetta’s idea. But I reckon I can sympathize with the core concept that it’s wrong that the weak should be oppressed, and we should do away with that oppression. Boss Genesis and little Gemclone, how’d you like to use your power to join me in bringing a new revolution to Hero World?”
◇ ◇ ◇
Gemclone took the form of a small dragon and worriedly peered at Genesis’s face.
“We will. Just… Just give me a moment to think.”
The sun had set long ago, and a full moon was lighting up the night sky.
Genesis had listened to Mukuro’s proposal, but had not been able to give an immediate response. His own past, his present, and his future. He ruminated on all of these as he continued to sit on the seawall and look up at the sky.
“…You know, father, I think you should do whatever you like.”
Normally, Gemclone rarely spoke his mind. But this time, he began to speak of his own free will, without being prompted by anyone. Genesis shifted his gaze to Gemclone, astonished by the unusual event.
“Father, you’re afraid. Because you made a mistake once. But you know, I loved how direct and straightforward you were then. Because that’s the father that created me.”
“…So you support me, even in my wrongdoing?”
“I don’t know. But I’m glad that I was born. I’m happy that I can be with you like this, Father.”
“However… I’ve done something terrible that I can never undo…”
“But you can still change the future.”
“Yeah! You can’t change the past, but you can change the future!”
“I can change… the future…”
“And you know, this time I can help you, Father! I can transform into anything! Because you’re the one who made me that way, Father!”
“Gemclone… Am I allowed to move forward again…?”
“…I see… I see… Thank you.”
“Thank you from me too!”
That night, was it a tear that wet J. Genesis’s cheek, or was it the spray from the crashing waves? Even J. Genesis himself didn’t know for sure.
◇ ◇ ◇
Several months later.
“Boss Genesis, are ya ready?”
“Who do you think I am, Mukuro? I will complete my mission without waste or error, completely and perfectly. Gemclone, you have no problem with this?”
“Yeah! I’m fine!”
The scene: a certain research facility in Hero World. Within an experimental laboratory, a new hero was about to be born.
“We are creating a new way of being a hero. We call it [Mirror Hero]. We will construct an artificial world [Mirror World] within Gemclone and input Heroes from many different eras as data. This system will use Gemclone’s copy ability and arithmetic functions to replicate the Heroes’ powers and abilities to their fullest extent, and the heroes will be temporarily materialized.”
As Mukuro watched from the upper part of the laboratory, he clenched his fist forcefully.
“If this system works, we’ll be able to spread out more access points to Mirror World, and develop a system that protects the weak, where we can materialize the perfect Hero for every situation at any time. I’m counting on you, Boss Genesis and Gemclone.”
Genesis picked up Gemclone, who had transformed into a billowing cloak.
He and his partner were going to take a first step towards their new dream.
This power would help him shoulder the burden of his past, accept the present, and build the future.
They were going to bring a revolution to the world.
This Hero’s name was…
“Open your eyes wide and behold! This is the revolutionary hero for a new age… or rather, a new world! Impact Transform! My name is [Mirror Hero J]!!!”
Text by Shun Menjo