Chapter 1 has lengthened considerably. I’m posting the first part of Chapter 1 today. One of the things I know I needed to do with this story was delve deeper into the background of the main characters. Thus, I begin the journey of discovering who these characters really are.
Chapter 1 – Part 1
“Am I satisfactory, sir?”
Sam inspected the handsome young man standing before him. Pretty might be a better word with his dark brows perfectly arched over periwinkle eyes, and long, gorgeous dark lashes. The stunning brilliance of shoulder-length bright copper-colored hair dusted his broad shoulders. He was dressed not as an upscale gentleman, but clothed in a conglomeration of beautiful and bright colors. The trousers dyed a peacock shade of blue, and resting casually on narrow hips, were fashionable and dapper. A loose cream shirt was opened at the neck, exposing a pale column of throat, and a glimpse of his smooth, hairless chest. He wore a fitted waistcoat of paisley, stitched and sewn to enhance his slender, youthful frame. The beige leather coat, utilitarian, or might have been, except for the black velvet-covered lapels and cuffs, adding that dash of dapper and debonair, with just a touch of rugged and earthy. And then, of course, the hat resting upon his neatly trimmed and styled locks topped off the look. His head was capped stylishly with a black bowler beribboned in periwinkle to match the shade of his eyes, a brace of vivid scarlet poppies settled at the curve of the brim seemed to match the vivid shade of his lovely perfect lips.
It wasn’t the outfit that Sam scrutinized so thoroughly, it was the man-image encased beneath the civilian accessories. The quality of the skin, ivory-hued and pampered exquisitely with specially concocted lotions, measured up to human expectation—its pale tone, texture, and elasticity would easily pass for human flesh upon close inspection. Then there were his almond-shaped dark-lined deep-set periwinkle eyes that seemed to see everything with a remarkable absorption of detail, the perfect nose, nostrils flared and scenting the faintest nuance of aroma in the air, topped his image of the eligible and virile young male. Sam brushed back one unruly shining lock of hair at Bobby’s brow and peered closely at the fine stitching, then allowed the hair to settle back into its natural fall, the mane buoyant and springy.
“Is something wrong, sir?” Bobby’s expression exhibited curiosity, his gaze was sharp as a hawk’s and all-seeing. The color of his eyes changed, lightening from the bluish-purple to a brighter shade of brilliant turquoise as he looked at Sam. The look still bordered between intimacy and duty. It was an odd quirk about his eyes which changed color depending on the task at hand, be it the dark navy, almost black of close magnification, the sky blue of far-reaching observation, the brilliant turquoise of sexual flirtation and intimate congress, or the periwinkle of ordinary daily engagement. Sam had learned to decipher exactly which task Bobby engaged in at any given moment. He was far too exquisite and complex a creature for Sam’s peace of mind, but there was no turning back. The brilliancy of Bobby’s gaze as it connected with Sam’s just at that moment almost made Sam forget the important matters they were about today.
Sam stepped away. A mournful dread bore down upon him, a punishing weight of iron settling inside his chest made it difficult to breathe. He worked to tamp down the feeling of unease–and regret. He forced his thoughts to the weighty matters at hand.
“You understand what will happen today, Bobby.” Their creation was so perfect in practically every way. Well, really it was Oberon’s creation; Sam’s hand in it was cursory at best, seeing to the execution of Oberon’s half-mad, yet brilliant scheme. Perhaps it was because Bobby was imprinted with at least a shadow of Oberon’s personality that had Sam so taken with the automaton.
Bobby Robbins, the creation standing before him, was truly splendid. The team, and Oberon, had left the naming up to Sam. Bobby Robbins–an unremarkable name for a very remarkable automaton. To Sam it had seemed fitting.
A year of living with him, knowing him, enjoying his companionship altered Sam’s original understanding of where this little intrigue was intended to lead.
“Of course, sir,” Bobby responded in an even tone, no true inflection of emotion suffused his expression now, the blue of his eyes returned to periwinkle. Fear had not been built into his mechanical workings, so that was to be expected. Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge were at the center of his mechanical emotional core. After all, Bobby wasn’t human–he was an automaton. A very well executed, detailed, top-of-the-line creation that could only have come from the brilliant mind of a man like Dr. Oberon Ophelian. The scientific researcher some called a mad man, was now incarcerated at the experimental government bathypelogic internment facility at Mission Point, located just beyond the city limits.
“Oberon, what sort of mess have you gotten me into this time?” Sam muttered to himself.
Complications abounded, and black and white had merged to gray for Sam, which seemed to match the poisonous smog-filled sky that hovered over Ragstown, as well as infiltrating his current mood. Nothing was as clear-cut as it had been at university, nor so simple.
[End Chapter 1, Part I]