There must be a construction to him as well, someone to weave together flesh and bone and wires and switches to create the thing known as Topher Brink. She knows there's something just as artificial to him.

While he sleeps, she traces her fingers across his skin (as he would rummage through her mind), searching for the scars, the remnants of stitches. Surely there's one long across his chest where the heart was pulled out and then hastily shoved back in when the mistake was realized – a rush job, leaving it crooked and working too hard. And other, smaller marks where the design was changed, the prototype tweaked in response.

She could be the finished product, but in many ways, Claire thinks she is Topher's programmer as much as he is hers, sending signals and whispered instructions. There's a flaw here. There's something to be fixed. He created her to create him.

In this way, he never really existed until she did, and she's really been here all his life. They're dependant on each others' existence for their own. He thinks therefore she is therefore he is. Separate them, and they die. Leave them, and they still die but slowly, feeding on stores of hurt and hate.

Both are deteriorating, mind and body. The natural wear and tear of joints and connections, memory banks and neurons. Only so many improvements can be made before you must scrap the whole thing, start from the beginning. And when one creator-creation goes, so must the other.

The prototype always dies first.