III

            What Sapphira said the other day, I don't understand.

 

Misha had just finished dressing in his room. He had no classes today because of the harsh drop of temperature outside. Taking his time he slowly stretched his arms, shaking the sleepiness out of his upper limbs.

I guess I should go eat my breakfast.

 

Since the unveiling of Imogene there had been a steady increase of visitors in their home. He calmly went outside, head drifting on the delicious possibilities of breakfast when a figure halted his progress.

"Sorry." He mumbled automatically and was surprised as soon as he realized whom he had bumped into. It was a priest, clothed in the traditional habit. He generously accepted Misha's apology and went on his way.

What is a priest doing in our house at seven-thirty in the morning? Oh, I forgot. They might have been here to visit God.

 

At the immediate departure of the priest Misha had ran into his favorite sister, awkwardly bumping into a stranger every five minutes.

"Misha, let's go upstairs and visit Imogene." The timid girl suggested to him. Misha caught a slight hint of sluggishness on her pale features but quickly dismissed it and complied with Sapphira's wishes. They walked together in complete silence for a minute or two until the lad's older sister voiced out a peculiar question.

"Why do you think father has to create Imogene?" They were about to enter the elevator by then. Misha waited for the steel doors to slide shut before he answered Sapphira.

"So that our world can have faith in one God that can truly lift the suffering of humans." Sapphira appeared thoughtful for a moment and vaguely gave a nod of consideration.

"Maybe, but does that mean that we had no God before Imogene came along?"

"I guess there was one but he never acted like a God really. If he did act like one then there would be no humans that needed to endure pain in this world at all." The elevator doors opened and both paced deeper into Eldon's laboratory. At first the believers who came there earlier obstructed them but at the request of Alek they successfully reached the glass chamber of Imogene.

It had been only three days and Imogene had grown into an eight-year-old child. Four more days and he/she would grow into a fully pledged adult, becoming an official God that will heal all this world's wounds. Imogene is the perfect God. Having all the qualities a good lord should have.

"Look Sapphira how perfect Imogene is." Misha said aloud while he observed the blessed child float in the blue green solution of his nutrient liquid, still curled in a fetal position but his eyelids have opened now, revealing a pair of beautiful calm green eyes.

"What made you say that?"

"Imogene has already healed hundreds of people, granted hundreds of wishes and listened to hundreds of prayers that had been offered to him/her since birth."

"But God has many qualities. He can be compassionate, loving, just, forgiving, kind while he could also be cruel, strict, and brutal. Imogene is only perfect in the human eyes, other than that he/she is full of flaws like the rest of us." Sapphira saw Misha's disapproving look.

"You don't believe in your beloved sister? At this rate Imogene might just beat humans in understanding what's good for them." She laid a hand on the glass and Imogene unexpectedly reached out on the glass too.

What is happening? Imogene trying to communicate with my sister?

 "Don't cry for me, Imogene. Don't even try to help me, just make sure you know what your doing. Okay?" Sapphire orbs stared directly at Imogene's greens, the words said not higher than a whisper. 

"Sapphira?"

"No, it's nothing Misha. Let's go to the kitchen. I'm starving already."

VII

She hadn't told me, not even a single thing. My sister, Sapphira, died on a cold Saturday night; fighting an unknown disease she had been suffering from for a long time. No one knew about her sickness and even Imogene couldn't cure her because of his/her promise to Sapphira.

 

This was the last day for Imogene's imprisonment in the glass chamber and I was beginning to wonder what would he/she do now that his/her body had reached maturity. Will Imogene continue in becoming the God everyone hopes him/her to be? Or choose something else?

Even if Misha would rather mourn for his sister that day he wasn't given a chance to do so because his father had required him to attend the event in his laboratory. He peeled off his depressing clothes and wore more cheerful colors.

The laboratory was of course full of people, each anticipating the final stage of Imogene's initiation to Godhood. They had heard about Imogene's countless miracles and they secretly hoped that their androgynous God would somehow grant their wishes in life. Misha's brothers and sisters though deeply saddened by Sapphira's early departure kept up a light atmosphere, offering their generous smiles although forced.

Everyone was clustered at the all too familiar device that housed Imogene for seven days. He/she had certainly grown tall and his/her built were slightly fashioned after a boy's. Dr. Eldon's deep voice echoed throughout the lab's walls.

"During the span of six days after the official unveiling of Imogene different kinds of people have journeyed back and forth to just have a glimpse of the Messiah. And now as our androgynous God enter the age of adulthood he/she will be the one to journey far and wide to spread his good news." Dr. Naveal checked on the needed settings and sent a discreet thumbs-up sign to his co-workers.

The countdown for the drainage of the nutrient liquid was immediately commenced, Misha anxiously waited for Imogene's final decision.

"10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... 0..."

The blue green solution gushed out of the designated holes, leaving Imogene bare for the first time. He/she speedily got out of the now unlocked cylindrical chamber, staring at Dr. Naveal who happened to be the nearest person next to him/her.

What is he/she going to do?

As they both got lost in each other's long stares Dr. Eldon finally approached Imogene with his real reason why he had created him/her. The whole crowd watched, tensed as the creator and his work face off one another.

"Imogene, now that you have reached physical maturity I only ask for a small favor as exchange for all my hard work. I want you to take me to Anastasia's and Sapphira's side."

What did father just said? He wants to be with Anastasia and Sapphira?

The spectators waited for Imogene's reply to the request of his/her creator, feeling the tension mount as the test tube God simply glared at the face of Eldon Naveal. For what seemed like an hour Imogene sputtered out his/her first ever sentence. It was not the act of speaking that stunned the audience but it was the kind of words he/she came up with.

"I'm not your puppet." The gray wrinkled eyes of Eldon widened in extreme surprise.

"What did you just say?" Imogene again repeated his/her infamous sentence, emphasizing each point.

"I'm not your puppet, so you can't simply tell me what to do."

Yes! Imogene had rejected becoming man's God!

"After all I have done to create you and you give me this!"

"I was never a God, you just used me as an excuse to get what you want. Now it is time to stop this, stop this insanity." The familiar faint pulse of light began beating in the bare chest of Imogene, growing stronger and stronger until the beating of his/her heart filled the ears of the audience. The light loomed larger and larger, engulfing his/her body and the laboratory into its bright nothingness.

VIII

"After the terrible failure of Naveal Laboratories in creating God, ending in a devastating destruction of its building another biotechnology lab was said to have braved the challenge of creating our world's savior. Capsule Corporation may just pave the real road for the salvation and eternal happiness of mankind..." A raven- haired lad abruptly switched the TV off, sighing in disappointment towards humanity's future.

  

A/N: Sorry about the rather rushed ending. I finished this 5 am in the morning and I haven't got a wink of sleep, w/c is bad for a sleepoholic like me (can you say delusional?) Anyway at least I got to pass this on the deadline so I guess it's worth it. If you happen to watch anime and are familiar with Dragon Ball Z I borrowed Capsule Corporation from it so the name isn't mine. It's owned by Akira Toriyama, okay?