Effigy for the Blameless

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In Which a Conversation Takes Place. . .

“How are you feeling today?”

<…The concept is still…garbled. Your words are…perplexing.>

“Really now? Feeling perplexes you, yet you know enough to use the word perplexing?”

<…There is a vast gulf of difference between owning knowledge, and owning context to that knowledge.>

“I suppose there is, though, you seem to own enough to comprehend confusion.”

<…Doctor? What is “warm”?>

“I’m afraid that’s quite a broad question. Warmth can mean many things. Warmth can mean the sensation of heat on or in one’s body. Warmth can mean a sense of well-being and love, kindness and belonging. Warmth can express the dedication and sincerity in one’s actions. Truly there is so much that word can express. In what lexicon would you desire an interpretation?”

<…Friendship is a word, the very sight of which in print makes the heart warm.>

“Ah, well, I suppose you could call it love. The bonds which tie people to one another, bonds that overcome the distance created by lack of blood. Bonds that are nurtured through mutual respect and shared experiences. Friends…they come and go, however…some will care for you forever.”

<…Doctor… Are we friends?>

“I should very much like to be.”

<…Doctor… Love. Why is it?>

“Why is it what?”

<…Why is it anything at all? An unfathomable power…how is it that man came to be given stewardship over it? Whole nations have risen and fallen in its name. Some of the greatest atrocities committed are born from a misguided application of the word. I struggle comprehending; love. Why is something so powerful as an atom bomb is so readily available as the particles that form air?>

“Now that is the question. Well, if you believe Christianity, love is the greatest gift of all, and the greatest commandment. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another. There is no greater commission than to love. So, one might suspect that Christ, more than anything, wanted human beings to share love. Even if we misuse it, one might suspect he allowed us to experience it all the same…in the hopes that we would not.”

<…Doctor… Do you believe in Christ?>

“…I believe in a higher power. I believe that it is beyond asinine to devote oneself to the concept that there is nothing, that this all just happened by random happenstance. I mean honestly, do you have any idea how complex the human circulatory or central nervous system is? You’d have to be a damned fool to believe that just happened. Do I believe in Christ? God? Buddha? The Buddhavista? Izanagi? Muhammad? Who knows. I do, however, believe that this was not all random happenstance.”

<…I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes unto the Father but through me. The thief comes in the night only to steal kill and destroy, yet I come that they who believe may have life, and have it abundantly…>

“Yes, that is what they claim he said.”

<…Doctor?>

“Yes Doriana?”

<…Can I love?>

“Why yes, yes I suppose you can.”

<…Hmmm. Warm. That makes me feel warm. Doctor… I should like to be your friend as well.>

****************

Doctor Adrian Welles rose after many hours computations and discourse. He ran his fingers through his wispy, silken black hair, and sighed. To his left sat a mug of coffee that had long since turned to frigid sludge, and his right a half eaten danish that was going stale.

They’ll want updates on her…its progress soon. I’m not sure how useful they’ll find these results.

True, The Being, which Doctor Welles had come to call Doriana, was responding, but how could one measure such a lifeform? Doriana Wilde, she…it had insisted on having a surname just as he did, was something the world, possibly the universe had never seen before. Adrian found it almost amusing that she would…it would question his belief in a god.

Christ…if such a thing existed it may very well be her…

Adrian realized it was pointless to keep her gender identity neutral any longer. Her spirit felt female, her tone of voice certainly was. Her energy was frilly and soft, and her heart growing warm and learned more and more with each passing day.

She’s learning…changing…becoming… And…I can’t help but wonder…

Can mankind keep up?

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