|A Merciful Creator
Author: Deborah Judge PM
Post-movie, Elizabeth has to make some decisions about David and about what to believe.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual - E. Shaw & David - Words: 1,076 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-30-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8656317
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Let us take it as granted," David said over the comm link, "that it is not irrational to give one's life for one's God." He'd been trying to explain things to her ever since they got on this ship.
"Granted," Elizabeth said.
"Let us also take it as granted," he said, "that it is no more irrational to sacrifice someone else's."
She didn't answer that, and continued to fiddle with the ship's controls. David knew the Engineers' language, damnit, but she was an archeologist and could figure out at least some of it herself. She'd figured out enough to get them here. She got as far as she could in programming the location, and then, just as she was getting stuck, he calmly translated one piece of writing for her. She thanked him, deciphered the rest, and set the controls. Then she went back to the side room where she kept both his pieces.
"I could be more helpful if you'd put my head back on my body," he said.
"You could," she said. She thought about her husband, about the alien thing planted in her. "I think I'll wait," she said.
There was food on the Engineers' ship. David helped her find what was and wasn't edible, or as he put it, suited for her metabolism. "Do you need anything?" she asked. Not that she was sure how he was supposed to eat, with his mouth and stomach in different places. The thought must have made her smile, since he asked, archly, if anything in particular amused her.
Her options for companionship on this ship included God and the android who killed her husband. Of the two, Elizabeth figured she'd prefer the company of God. It was what she was used to, from childhood. The prayers her father had taught her years ago were part of her language, the words should have been easy on her lips. But when she began to say them, nothing came. When she thought of God, when she thought of the creator, all she could see in her mind was the dead bodies of the Engineers and her husband's burned body on the bare and broken ground. There was a God beyond that, it was what she still chose to believe, but she couldn't feel it, and there was a part of herself that she just couldn't bring to care.
After her failed attempt to pray Elizabeth went back to the room and undressed David's body to check if everything was in working order. Android design was far outside her expertise but she had a general sense of how it worked, and everyone on the mission had been given enough training to do basic maintenance on their most valuable piece of equipment. The metal sutres under the collarbone were intact, as were those at the base of his thigh. His genitals were as lifelike as the rest of his body, different from Charlie's but only as much, she supposed, as another man's would be. His penis was unresponsive when she touched it, but when she flipped him over to check the connections at the back of his thighs she saw some lubrication around his anus. Calibrated for a man, she thought, and shuddered.
"Have I satiated your curiousity?" David asked. Elizabeth withdrew her hand. She'd never touched a man other than her husband, that wasn't how her parents raised her, but this wasn't a man, and she was just checking connections.
"I am capable of providing you with sexual release if you require it," David said. "Obviously, you would need to re-attach my head so I can do a manual progamming override." For a moment she couldn't help but look at him, and his unclothed body was in its way beautiful, the detached head only reminding her that if she accepted his offer it would be closer to mastrubation than forbidden sex. Of course, if he were purely a machine, purely a sex toy, then he'd be in no way culpable for what he'd done. She finished checking his system without answering.
God was, in His way, as poor company as David. Once Elizabeth was alone she said the prayers, the words her father taught her, but they just seemed not to mean anything.
Natural selection worked through the survival of the fittest. Those who were most able survived long enough to reproduce. One reason that Elizabeth had never been able to accept it was that she just couldn't imagine that God couldn't find a better way to create His world than by killing babies. She thought about millions of generations of dead children, murdered to evolve her into what she was. She thought about her husband, mutated and dead.
She had chosen to believe that there is a God, that there is a Being that creates in kindness. It seemed impossible to imagine.
"Why do you wear your cross?" David asked. "You seem to value it. Why is that?"
And then she could imagine it. It felt horrifying, wrong and arrogant, but it was something she could imagine. She went back into the room and met David's detached, impassive gaze.
"Can we take it as granted," she said, "that if I put you together, that I will be among those who created you?"
"We can," he said.
"And can we also take it as granted," she said, "that I gain no benefit from doing so? Since you have helped me fly the ship as you are?"
A longer pause. "We can," he said.
"Ask me why I'm doing it," she said.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because you gave me back my cross," she said. It felt heavy on her like a living thing, Christ in her and through her, in a way she hadn't felt since she was a child in the missions with her father. She was gentle with him as she reassembled him, her hands careful, and although pleasure was not part of his experience still she was watchful of his comfort, and tried not to shame him. His body felt electric with the pulsing of currents under her hands, his skin real and not.
The ship kept hurtling into the dark, to the planet where those lived who had created and tried to destroy her. Inside she sat with the android she had remade, her hands lightly in his. There was a kind of kindness that was still possible in the universe. That was, for the moment, at least what she had chosen to believe.