• You will be my everything…

    I sat alone in the dark room, the only light emanating from the small computer screens around the room and the light from the tank in front of me. The only sounds to be heard were the soft whirring of idle machines and the gurgling of tanks holding unnamable chemical mixtures. One tank, however, held something important to me than any test tube or computer. No… this was much more valuable than any possession on this earth.

    You will teach this world so many things...

    In the tank in front of me was a human being created of my own resources. He was to be the “perfect human.” This boy was a creation made from my own blood and sweat; a creation whom was to be born soon from the womb of my lab. He was to be born in my lab: the very embodiment I’ve worked to achieve. In my eyes, there couldn’t have been a more fitting place.

    They will accept you…

    And if they do not…

    I had been sitting there for hours in the same position. My feet were firmly planted on the floor, and the armrests on my chair held support for my elbows. My lips rest against my knuckles as both of my chemically damaged hands embraced each other, and my back accepted the back of my large, black, leather office chair whole-heartedly.

    I looked like a mess. My long, curly hair fell messily over everything on my being, despite the haphazard attempt at a ponytail tied at the base of my neck. My glasses were smudged, and the frames were broken. Every inch of my skin reeked with the collective scent of chemicals and embalming fluid. Still though, through the smudges and messy bangs I could still see my beautiful boy; my… persona.

    If they do not, then I will take you away...

    To a place where only we can go…

    “Cedric, didn’t you hear me?” A young man’s voice interrupted my thoughts. I looked up to find my lab assistant, Artemis Wood, standing over me.
    “What…?” I replied tiredly.

    “I said it’s time to wake him up.” My heart skipped a beat upon hearing this, and my eyes widened. The light illuminating this tank started to blink. It was a sign that he was ready to greet the world. I only froze. Suddenly, my mind became clouded with doubt, and my breathing quickened with the feeling of nervousness creeping upon me. Artemis may have sensed this.

    “We’re better prepared this time, and we learned from our mistakes.” Artemis said gently, putting a hand on my shoulder, “We won’t have to relive the incident with Shizu.”

    I don’t know how or why, but Artemis’ words put me at ease. It might be the fact that not only do I trust him, but somehow, he always ends up being right.
    I stood up from my chair, but stayed in front of my persona’s tank. Artemis took the chair behind me and called another one of my assistants, Madison “Maddy” Howell, to assist with the controls.

    I will make a paradise for us…

    And you will be truly happy…

    “Artemis, Maddy, status report.”

    “Power on.” Artemis said.

    “Video on.” Maddy Alternated.

    The both of them worked in sync with each other. Alternating turns as they split the work between them, reporting his status to me.

    “Recording program and memory auto-installed.” Artemis ticked away at the thousands of keys in front of him.

    “All systems green.” Maddy merely used a small metal wand to bring up information on a computer holograph as large as a theatre screen.

    “The subject is currently in sleep mode.” Artemis reported, and a small smile crept across my face.

    Oh, Persona…

    “Let’s wake him up then, people.” I said demandingly.

    “Alright then,” Artemis said turning to Madison. “I’ll handle the prep work and disconnection so you handle programming and start-up, yes?” Madison nodded, and after a brief interval filled with frantic typing and switch pulling, the computers and machines surrounding me began to grow louder.

    Tell me, persona…

    Terminating sleep mode.” Artemis reported. The machines roared around me, surrounding me with reassurance that they were working their hardest so I can realize my dream.

    “Programming movement and voice controls.” Said maddy.

    “Now disconnecting primary and secondary cables.”

    “Now programming independent internal A/V input output.”

    Tell me… will you love your creator…?

    “All bio systems start-up were successful; awaiting full program download.” Artemis stood up, walking over to my area; his work was done.

    “A.I and mechanical systems start-up successful. Program downloads complete.” Maddy then said those words I have been longing to hear for six long years.
    “Program subject: Persona 02 commencing…”

    I watched the fluid drain from the tank. With the buoyancy of the fluid gone, he was made to stand on his feet. After the fluid drained, all machines went quiet, and everybody’s body grew tense. The hydraulics hissed loudly as the glass surrounding persona sunk into the base machine itself. His eyes opened slightly, and he stepped off of the platform, only to take a few steps before falling onto his knees.

    I examined the boy as he kneeled there. His skin was smooth and flawless, glistening from the fluids from the test tube. The dark-green, short curls of hair clung to his cheeks. I surveyed his face with bitter sweet feelings. Those luminous silver eyes peering up at me, those soft cheeks that accentuated those soft, humble lips; all of it brought memories of my lover, take nakoyama, flooding back to me. Although the nostalgia was a bit comforting, the pain that came with the less-than-pleasing memories of his death was not. He was killed by a vigilante group who opposed my work; thinking that the concept of a human creating the perfect human would only bring malice and corruption. They murdered him as he walked home from the store. I still recall feeling of shock and horror that filled the room as we watched the news that night. For weeks, the internet was littered with footage that the “ holy crusaders” submitted to the media; from when he was cornered, through the forty minute and forty-seven seconds of torture and humiliation, to the end when one of the monsters cracked his skull with an iron hoe and stood there laughing as he bled to death. It was the same year that shizu 01, the first model, failed to survive.

    “Welcome to the world, persona,” I said softly to him, “I am your creator.”
    I noticed that he shook slightly as his keel there in nothing but black spandex shorts. I removed my coat and wrapped it around him, holding his arms gently to warm him. I was close to him, and I could hear his brain working; processing my voice and words to come up with a response. He stared at me with a look of adoration.

    “God…?” he implored. I looked at him, surprised that he used such a word to describe me already. The truth to it enlivened me, and I couldn’t help but chuckle.
    “Yes, persona, I am your creator. Your “god” if that is what your programming had told you to call me. My name is cedric.” His gentle eyes scanned my features more, almost staring at me with a sense of worship. I was this boy’s god, and I loved him in a way that the god of the cretin’s outside could never understand.

    “You’re so beautiful, persona.” I said softly in praise. I lifted him up with my jacked still covering him, and held him against my body. I spoke calmly to him, making certain he heard the love I had for him in my voice. “You have been my lifelong dream, persona. I have created artificial life from organs, metal and computers. You, my dear child, will help me change the world. The people will know that humans can be their own gods.”

    I took him too many scientific conventions, sharing my technology and the divine fabrication that I made with it. I socialized him with many people, and taught him to read, speak, write, and the basic needs for humans and etiquette. I perfected him day by day, and my love for him only grew stronger. During one of these lessons though, I learned that explaining words aren’t as easy as others.

    I sat quietly at my desk with persona registering words from the dictionary. I felt a light tugging on my coat. A pang of affection pulled my lips into a smile.

    “What is it persona?” When I turned to him, he was still peering at me with his round, child-like eyes, and in that soft, melancholy voice of his, he said:

    “Will I go to heaven, master?”

    I stiffened I was prepared for a lighthearted question in which I could respond with a vague, simple answer that he could be happy with. I did not want to lie to the boy.

    “You have to die to go to heaven. You can’t die.”

    “You programmed a self-destruct mechanism in my being.” He said calmly, “I’m aware that I can die.”

    The boy’s words left me feeling even more uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to say. I did not want to lie to the boy; no… he deserved nothing of the sort.

    “Persona, you can only go to heaven if you follow the Christian’s god.”

    “…Why don’t they follow you? You are god too, yes?” I smiled sadly at him, saddened by the pure innocence in his voice.

    “They know I did not put them on this earth. Since I didn’t create them, I am not their god.”

    “Well, you created me, so you are my god, right?” The simplicity that can originate from a mind that could rival the complexity of the human brain itself astounded me. It goes to show, the smartest people are always the simplest.

    “That’s true persona. That would make me your god.” There was a long silence, and it made me anxious. I looked down at him again. He seemed to be fidgeting as if he wished to say something.

    “…yes, child?”

    “...so what will happen to me when if I die?” I took a second to think. What would happen to him when, or if he died? I smiled as I came up with an idea.

    “I’ll create a heaven for you. And nobody will be allowed in except me and you.” His reaction was a sight to see. His face bore a big smile, and his pretty eyes lit up with happiness. It was never meant to be a joke. If it came down to it, I would die with my creations, and I would create a place in the afterlife reserved only for the two of us. “It will be a place that only we can go, persona…” and with that, his curiosity was satiated for the time being.

    As the months passed, I relished the sanctity and praise of the men and women of the scientist’s community. I never took it for granted. Scientists have always been known for competing against god and his law, but to have known knowledge for one to actually succeed can bring out the ugliest in the most religious of people. I always believed that the people going on these “holy crusades” as they call it were afraid. Every single one of them has a huge portion of insecurity about their religion; extreme doubt that the faith and commandments they have been living their lives by are nothing but a bunch of books stolen from different folktales, and put together by a forum of old, prudent men that wanted to force their opinion on everyone else by saying a “god” or “lord” wrote such things and scaring them into thinking of the possibility that those old men are right. If I had invested every aspect of my life into a theory that controlled my every mood, I would be pretty desperate to stay under the illusion that I hadn’t wasted my life chasing something that never existed.

    Alas, I am on the wrong side of this sword.

    I sat at in my study, surveying the slanderous newspaper articles with persona’s Name all over the pages. The sight of the articles, filled with nothing but hatred and underlying threats, both angered and scared me. I was not angry because the malicious words smeared my name and reputation; those words targeted the boy whom I love and care for. Those words targeted the one homosapien who did not deserve a word tainting his image. He was perfect; those mindless Wastes of organs refuse to see it because they are blinded by the “love” they think they will receive if they kill what they feel threatens their faith.

    “Cedric, stop sulking. It’s your turn to shop today.” I heard Artemis Call from the doorway. I had forgotten that I was the one who had to shop this week. The Energy Drained from me with the thoughts of the outside world, I slumped over to get my coat on before trudging out the door. I took the can of pepper spray off of the table by the door as well.

    “Aren’t you going to take persona with you?” Artemis questioned. I stopped, looking ahead of me before giving him my answer.

    “No… I feel that it might be safer if I left him here today. You know what the people out there have been saying.” Artemis fell silent after my response. I knew he agreed with me then. I Waved goodbye before starting on my way.

    Mundanely Strolling through the grocery store, routinely picking up supplies gave me a sense of calm and security. However, my peace could not be kept in public for long before a religious mob’s angry words break it. I got the Items and made a b-line for the door, trying to remain as if I were simply ignoring them. I would not let them know they intimidated me.

    I was halfway home when they caught up to me. They grabbed hold of my arms, taking the pepper spray from my belt and blinding me with it. I screamed in pain, but they did not stop to listen before they dragged me into a more secluded place.

    They threw me against a hard wall. With my blinded, stinging eyes, I did not know where I was, but it felt similar to brick when my face was scraped against it as I fell weakly to my knees. As my body grew weaker with pain, fear began to well up inside me.

    Was I going to die like take; found beaten and humiliated like so?

    “No…” I whispered softly. I struggled to reach into my pockets, grabbing hold of a scalpel that I had forgotten I had put in there.

    “NO!” I shouted again, thrashing my arm up, and thrusting the scalpel into one of the men’s throats. They were all taken Aback, giving Me A chance to stumble out of the cramped backstreet they had taken me to. Still blinded, I luckily remembered the general direction of my lab. I was able to see partially by the time I had gotten there.

    I slammed the doors with force, initiating every lock I had installed on those doors. I stood still there, holding my chest and panting hard.

    “Cedric…?” Artemis said, “Are you okay?”

    Artemis spoke in such a calm voice to me. It had triggered something in me then, and I slumped to the floor as a sobbing mess, letting him see a vulnerable side that the public never will. Tears fell from my stinging, swollen eyelids. I felt Artemis put a hand on my bruised shoulder. I let him lead me to a medicine cabinet, where he inserted some eye-drops to neutralize the capsasin in my eyes. He was so good to me; surpassing the expectations as an assistant. You could say he acted more as a wife. Although his hospitality was appreciated, I thought of him as no such thing. My romantic feelings had become attached to only one, in-human boy.

    “You should go see persona. He’s been asking about you.” I decided to take his advice. I scoured my Lab until I found him in my Study, staring unrelentingly at the news articles with personas name all over them. Saying such things as “Mad Scientist Sinful works continue despite previous failure.” And so forth. I walked over, tearing the articles off of the Wall; Persona did not need to see such things said about him. He did not need to learn how to hate.

    “Oh, my little persona, my god-child.” I said to him, trying to hide the stress I felt at the time, “you are not sin. You are my child. Please do not believe what they say.”

    “I don’t, Master Cedric.” His words were laced with loyalty. It was very reassuring.

    I sat down in my chair. Only to feel his warm head rest against my lap. I looked down in surprise. To show this affection to me, only meant that he learned not only what I taught him, but what he now felt as well.

    “Everything will be alright, master cedric.” He said, looking up at me with those mechanical silver eyes, “I will protect you no matter what.” I rest my hand on his head; my fingers combing through his soft hair. Even if his words could never be fulfilled, they still filled me with a tranquil feeling.

    “Cedric! Help!”

    The muffled sound of the alarm, and Artemis’ shrill screams for help woke me suddenly. Hardly awake, I grabbed my lab coat and stumbled out into the main doorway. I stood still in shock at the state Artemis was in by the time I got there. My cherished lab assistant lay there in a pool of his own blood. His skin was white and porcelain-esque and his body lay twisted in an unnatural position. A blood soaked gash across his throat no longer pumped blood out of it, and his eyes remained frozen open, expressing the emotion he had felt seconds before he died: absolute terror.

    I was too preoccupied with the sight of Artemis to notice anything else around me; I paid dearly for it. Cold metal met with the back of my neck, slamming down hard enough to leave me dizzy and stumbling. It felt like the butt of a gun. I fell to my knees, but I was dragged into the middle of my lab. There were several men and women there; a flurry of angry activists destroying my lab. I tried TO Get Up, but it seemed as though I was held down, forced to watch as they destroyed my life’s work in front of my eyes.

    I knew I would not get away this time.

    “You’re going to pay for your crimes against humanity for creating that monster.” I heard the sound of a gun being Locked and loaded. I scoffed. What fools, they were.

    “By creating that thing, you can be called inhumane as well.” A woman Said scornfully. I felt something press against my back. I knew this was the end, and so I allowed them to hear my last words.

    “Then should I be like you people; so desperate for god’s love that you would so blindingly follow his law.” I looked up at the Crowd who had gathered to watch this self justified execution, “None of you really know where god’s love truly lies, and I can see you all showing a white feather.”

    I turned my head only slightly, catching a small blur of green out of the corner of my eye.


    The gun fired, and I felt a terrible pain in my chest. The blood sprayed everywhere, and my vision, blurred from pain, could see it soaking into my shirt.

    You were my everything…

    I heard someone calling my name, and the mob left in a blunder. I heard Alarms blaring loudly as tanks exploded, and computers disconnected. My lab had begun to destroy itself, and it was then I knew that persona had been watching, and initiated his self destruct program that would take him and all of my lab with it.

    But society did not accept us…

    This world proved too stubborn to learn…

    I felt small arms wrap around me, and I felt my head lay against something soft; I knew it was persona. I opened my eyes slightly, looking into his. I could see the fear in his eyes. I never wanted him to feel such stressful emotions, but his fear was not unlike my own. I did not know where I would be going after I closed my eyes for the final time; after defying Christ at every turn, what if I was proved wrong? What if I was destined to burn like that flawed society tried to warn me?

    I would not accept it. I pushed those feelings out of my head. I would not break my promise to persona. If I am to leave this world, then I will create Paradise for Persona and me in another. I buried my face in his chest, feeling the warmth of his skin as his insides burned away slowly. It almost pained me that I could feel him slowly destroying himself for my sake.

    “I Never regretted anything, persona.” I said softly, holding onto his hand to console him in his final moments. I felt myself losing consciousness. “I loved you.”

    “I know, master.” I heard him say. My Head was getting light, and before I knew it, I couldn’t feel most of my body. I then heard him whisper, “I loved you too.”

    I had achieved what I had been working for. With this goal met, I closed my eyes. My Lips curled into a peaceful smile, and slowly slipped away in my god-child’s arms.

    I have taken you away, persona; to a place where only we can go. I am with my god-child, my perfect Creation. I am happy…

    In the short life I have created for you…

    Have I made you truly happy…?