Yesterdays:

Vincent and Sara

Sara pressed her hands against both sides of the rectangular steel vault which was easily two feet taller than her and as bulky as a large refrigerator. Without any noticable signs of a straining effort on her part she lifted the heavy vault straight up, holding it well above the wooden floor with ease as she turned her head to look at Vincent for his instruction. He stood near watching with amazed and pleased eyes as his beautiful creation easily handled a feat that would normally require the strength of at least five or six robust men.

For a brief moment Vincent got lost in the sight of Sara's slender, feminine form hoisting the charging station which dwarfed not only her, but everything else in the generously furnished condominium granted to him and Sara by Gideon. He couldn't help a certain gleam that swept his face at the sight, revealing his inner pride and satisfaction in seeing how well his designs performed. Sara was the culmination of his life's work, but she was much more to him than just a collection of parts and pieces which he had spents years fabricating and perfecting.

From the cascading brown locks of hair that crashed down on her delicate shoulders, to the distinctly female shape of her body which even her modest warm clothing could not hide, it was evident that she had always been meant to be more to Vincent than software and circuits. Everything from her perfectly crafted toenails to the impossibly intricate workings of the highly advanced servo motors concealed within her flawless, creamy synthetic flesh testified of one man's tireless pursuit of his heart's desire.

While working as the Director of Special Projects at the Kenichi Corporation several years earlier, Vincent used his visionary genius along with the seemingly limitless resources of the pioneering technology corporation to privately engineer every last component of the entity he had dreamed of since childhood. Years of exhausting research, trial and error, and forging past the known barriers of what had been considered posssible were fueled by an unbreachable hope and a fervent yearning for a being who would be the greatest reward for all his efforts.

That reward now stood a few feet from him holding up a massive charging station which was used once a month to refresh the powercells within her that sustained the life he cherished. Suddenly realizing he had been lost in a stare while she stood there with the heavy vault hovering above the floor, Vincent shook himself then rushed out a few words of direction for Sara to proceed in with the vault. He walked cautiously beside her, being very aware of the harm which the steel vault could cause him if Sara's grip faltered as he followed her steps to the door that led to his makeshift lab.

The transport of the vault was going smoothly until a weakened board in the wooden floor succumbed to the immense burden of weight when Sara took her first step through the doorway with the vault. The board gave way under Sara's foot, causing her to teeter precariously until finally crashing hard against one side of the doorjamb which pinned her hand between the jamb and the unyielding steel of the vault. Vincent gasped in concern as he rushed over in an attempt to help.

"Stay back!" Sara cautioned, cutting her eyes sharply at Vincent and pleading with them for him to do as she said. Vincent stopped but hovered about anxiously.

"I'm okay," she assured with a gentle smile, knowing his foremost concern.

Vincent took a calming breath then stepped back as Sara raised her foot from the splintered hole in the floor and planted it firmly on a more solid portion of the floor. Then she righted herself and the vault, passed through the door without further incident and placed the heavy vault down gingerly where Vincent hastily instructed. As soon as she had released the bulky object he raced over to inspect her hand.

"Let me see!" he blurted as he carefully took her hand to inspect for damage. Turning it gently, like something precious that would crumble if not careful, he caressed it with his thumb to feel for anything broken beneath the life-like synthetic flesh.

Sara watched him lovingly as he thoroughly examined her hand, waiting with an affectionate gaze at his neverending care for her until he finished with a relieved sigh.

"Everything seems fine," he revealed happily, finally looking away from her hand to the loving smile she beamed at him.

Sara took her worrisome hand and ran her fingers slowly through Vincent's hair to comfort him. "Of course everything is fine Vincent. You worry too much," she said in a sweet tone.

Vincent caught her hand after it had traveled through his hair and pulled it to his lips where he planted a soft kiss on her dainty knuckles. Staring hopelessly into her lively brown eyes he unabashedly proclaimed,"Only because I love you so."

Those brown eyes he had crafted with such care softened warmly at his words, and as she pulled their hands down to lean in for a kiss he closed his and recalled inwardly the first time he had seen those eyes he adored open:

Vincent tapped his finger anxiously on the steering wheel of his sedan as he impatiently waited for the automated gates guarding his driveway to open. As soon as they parted he surged the car forward with chirping tires as he sped toward the garage. Thankfully the remotely triggered garage door was already raised high enough to clear the roof of his car when he shot the sedan into its usual spot. He burst out of the car with a giddy excitement that urged him into the house where he quickly shed his suit jacket, letting it fall to the floor without care as he rolled up his sleeves on the way to his personal lab.

Tonight was the moment he had been waiting for and working toward for most of his life. The day at work, followed by the normal commute home, had been a grueling experience that seemed as if it would never end. The anticipation, the excitement, the hope he had endured all day had almost been too much to bear. He had wanted desperately to leave early, to fake an illness or emergency that would validate an early absence, but he had been too careful up to this point protecting his secret to take such an unnecessary risk of drawing attention to himself. He was so close to completion. So close to realizing his dream. If the planned download went well tonight then the rest was going to be easy.

He stepped up to the hand scanner on the wall outside of his lab and hastily placed his open hand against it. The guarding red light on the device changed to green with an accepting beep and several electronic locks on the opposite side of a secure door released with solid thuds. Vincent all but barged in through the door to a brightly lit room, to a sight that would certainly have appeared quite gruesome to most, at first glance.

Scattered about on countertops and rolling tables, half buried beneath loosely strewn wires and cables were human limbs. A hand over here, a whole leg bent at the knee over there, another hand attached to an arm resting near an upright foot. The severed limbs seemed undeniably human, but the wires and precision crafted machine parts escaping from their ends told another story. The various wires and cables led away from the limbs to power supplies and laptops which displayed different types of dianostics readouts on their screens.

Vincent paid these things no heed as he navigated his way quickly, but carefully through them to a large padded table in the center of the room. He plopped down on a rolling stool as he examined a sheet-covered mound on the table with several patch cables and power cords sneaking out from under the sheet at the end away from him, where the mound tapered off. He carefully took hold of the sheet and pulled it back.

Under the sheet was the limbless torso of a beautiful young woman with long, soothing brown hair that shrouded a lifeless face which could have easily been mistaken for a peaceful, sleeping visage. Vincent rolled the sheet down to her chest, leaving only the bare skin of her neck and armless shoulders exposed. He then gently stroked her hair while covering her with a doting gaze that reluctantly trailed off to a particular laptop stationed amongst the cluttered countertops.

After eagerly scanning the information on the laptop's screen, Vincent typed in a command, hit the 'enter' button, then turned his attention back to the sleeping beauty on the padded table. Taking a deep, hopeful breath he muttered to himself,"Three years developing the most sophisticated A.I. known to man, hundreds of test scans including three today, and one second to press a button. It will be all for nothing if you're just a machine."

A few silent moments passed, then a delightful sound tone from the laptop signaled that the download was complete. Vincent looked back over his shoulder to confirm what the computer had cheerfully proclaimed, then he settled his gaze on the lifeless torso near him on the table. The moment of truth was at hand. He shuddered at the thought that maybe all his efforts leading to this point would end in utter failure, not because of the time, resources, and life he had poured into his expectations; but because what he wanted most was right before him for the very first time and his spirit hung in the balance of whatever happened next.

Vincent froze when he noticed movement behind the closed eyelids of his creation. He leaned in closer and placed an excitedly trembling hand over his mouth in an attempt to steady his growing anticipation. He watched anxiously as the eyes behind the lids roamed around until the lids finally sprang open, causing him to gasp suddenly behind his hand. The sharp sound of his startled breath drew the brown eyes of his beauty to him, making him freeze in their sight. With all his being he hoped that something more than just programmed sensory response was behind those eyes, and when a quizzical expression fell over the lovely face staring up at him, his heart skipped a beat.

"Who are you?" the puzzled beauty asked innocently in the sweetest sounding voice Vincent had ever heard.

Vincent smiled so widely that his joyous expression crept out from behind his hand, which he lowered away to answer her. "My name is Vincent."

The response seemed to satisfy his creation as her curious expression departed, but soon returned after a brief moment. "Who am I?" she asked, just as innocently.

Vincent's smile widened even more, threatening to burst his cheeks before he answered happily,"Your name is Vasara."

"Vasara?" she said, testing the word on her lips.

"Yes, Vasara," Vincent confirmed as they remained locked in a stare at each other. "Would you mind if I called you Sara for short?"

Vasara rolled her eyes away in thought, clearly considering his request with a slightly wrinkled brow. "No, I wouldn't mind. I like that," she admitted, turning her attention back to him with her first of many smiles.