“Is it awake?” whispers the Magistrate, his raspy voice filling the air as he strolls over to the lab bed.
“Shh... I think he’s waking up.” Dr. Josefiah Green clenches his teeth, his knuckles turning white as his hands grip the railing on the bed. He has so much depending on this- his career, his family’s well-being. It has to succeed. “It’s eyelids moved, you see?” he asks, hoping the Magistrate saw the sudden movement on the little boy’s face.
“No, I didn’t,” counters the grainy talker. “It’s very small. Will it always be this small?” The Magistrate leans against the wall, acting disinterested, but knowing full well that this, well, this thing could prove to be extremely valuable if it worked.
“No, it won’t be,” replies Green, his attention moving from the little boy’s face to the stark Magistrate’s. His eyes roam anxiously over the authority’s billowing velvet robes and striking tunic before he replies, “It’s programmed to grow and function like a normal human child. I programmed it’s initial age to be about 11 years old. It’ll hit adolescence soon, and then adulthood. That gives us the perfect amount of time to train it.”
The Magistrate grins, enjoying the idea of having such a thing under his control. Then, as if a strange thought suddenly occurred to him, he leans off the wall, shuffling his feet. “If it’s sentient, that means it will... have feelings and stuff, right?”
“Yes,” replies Green, relishing the Magistrate’s discomfort. “It would be part of its programming. Infiltration would be considerably difficult if it didn’t both look and act like a human. It will have the ability to feel pain, hate, sadness, love. It was imperative that he would be life like.” He turns closer to the Magistrate, yet doesn’t leave the side of the bed. “And that includes any functions or feelings that will come along with, say, adolescence.”
The Magistrate raises his eyebrows knowingly. “Well, of course Doctor,” he says, addressing Green as such for the first time since he has met him.
Green nods. “We can only hope the load of testosterone he’ll have as a teenager won’t make him glitch.” A more apparent movement from the boy on the bed draws him back to his side. Green looks at him tenderly, a glance that can be given only to one’s own creation. His care for the thing seems readily apparent to the Magistrate, who, with the intent to irritate the doctor, quickly takes off his glove, reaching out for the little boy. His fingers graze his cheek, and he is surprised to feel how soft his artificial skin is.
“Don’t touch him!” spats Green angrily, any fear of the Magistrate dissipating as he swats his hand away. “His body is still desensitizing itself to its surroundings.”
As if on cue, the boy’s body stiffens, the muscles in his arms and legs contract wildly. Angry spasms take over his body, as if he has become possessed.
The Magistrate flees to the far corner of the room as Green cries out, grabbing for the empty syringe on the cart next to him. Sweat drips down his forehead as he quickly prepares the syringe with a sedative. He knew something like this would happen with that unruly Magistrate in his laboratory.
Green raises his head from the syringe when he no longer hears the rattle of the shaking bed. He drops it just as quickly as he sees the boy, no longer convulsing, but sitting straight up. Green gasps, rushing closer to his side. The child blinks quickly, glancing at Green. His skin is sickly pale, having an unnatural, milky appearance. His watery blue eyes are stagnant and focused, it seems, on the bridge of the doctor’s nose. Curly locks of black hair sit on his crown, raven colored spirals framing his face. The Magistrate was indeed correct; the child was considerably small. His frail, thin, naked body sat upon the lab bed, which seemed even bigger in comparison to the boy’s minute size.
“Yes! Yes, we did it!” cries the Magistrate, punching the air with his fist, but not moving from his hiding place at the end of the room.
Green stands still, allowing the child to take in his appearance. A man of science, the doctor wears a white lab coat, which, along with his gleaming teeth, stand in contrast to his dark velvet skin. The round glasses resting on the bridge of his nose and his soft, circular face give him an appearance that is wise yet youthful.
The strange man gently reaches for the boy’s hand, and gives him a kind smile.
“Welcome to the world, little one,” he says, and the boy’s eyelids flutter as his consciousness evades him. His head hits the pillow as he slips back into sleep.