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by Tayla

Part One

Dr. Theodore Morris stood still, in the middle of his lab. He rested his hand lightly on the lid of the stasis chamber that housed his life's work. The occupant of the chamber had accrued many nicknames over the course of its lifetime, including The Thing, Mr. Body and Frankie. Just that afternoon, Morris had heard one of the lab techs comment that if it had been a female, they could call it Galatea.

"Well, I suppose I'd rather be Pygmalion than Dr. Frankenstein." Morris murmured, mostly to himself. "At least Pygmalion and Galatea had a happy ending."

The experiment was at a crucial stage. He had perfected the body, each organ genetically planned and grown to exacting specifications. The bone structure had been altered to be ten times stronger than a 'natural' human, the better to withstand the strain from the genetically enhanced musculature. The efficiency of the lungs had been significantly increased. Even the skin had been altered to withstand all but the most serious injuries.

Morris chuckled to himself at his own hubris of giving the body a larger than average penis, although he had doubts that his creation would ever be in any condition to use it.

Because the body was not alive.

They could animate it. They had been able to reproduce a human like brain stem. The body's autonomic functions could be sustained. The lungs drew breath, the heart beat and blood circulated through veins and arteries. They could even stimulate the body's nervous system. They could cause it to rise up and walk across a room and lift it's arms in the air.

But there was no independent action. The body could not rise up of it's own volition. He had a whole separate team working on building an artificial computer brain, but they had had little success so far. Because they could not effectively reproduce a human brain.

Morris sighed as he gazed down at his creation. One that seemed determined to mock him with its lifelessness. "Perhaps I should offer up a prayer to Aphrodite. Maybe she could help me like she helped Pygmalion."

He had worked so long in bringing this experiment to fruition. His entire professional career had been spent on this endeavor in one way or another. And he had succeeded up to a point. He had created the perfect body. The strong limbs, the broad chest, the smooth skin. It was beautiful.

He was beautiful.

Theo finally allowed himself to think of the body as 'He' instead of it. Now, when Theo had very little hope left that He would ever open His eyes and smile at His creator.

Why did he have to realize it now, after all the years of work? Why now, when it seemed that his creation would die without ever having tasted real life.

He turned and walked out of the lab, pausing at the door to cast on last look at the beautiful man in the stasis chamber.

And he realized that the Pygmalion analogy was really quite appropriate.