CHAPTER ONE - FLECKENSTEIN
The SUV turned into the gated drive and slowly climbed the rutted road toward the big stone house silhouetted against the night sky by the full moon. It pulled into the circular gravel drive and the driver sounded the horn twice. The big oak front door swung open and the black outline of a dwarf was reflected on the stone entryway by the light from the entrance hall behind him.
The driver dismounted and opened up the back of the van and called for the dwarf, “Ivan, come here and give me a hand.” The dwarf bounded toward the vehicle as the man dragged a limp body from the open rear door. “Here take his feet, he weighs a ton.” The two carried the form inside the house and the man kicked the door shut behind him. They maneuvered the body onto a waiting gurney and wheeled it down the long stone hallway to a waiting elevator.
No further words were exchanged between the two men as if the whole strange pageant being played out had been rehearsed in advance. The tall man pressed a button and the elevator slowly descended. When it reached bottom the door opened onto a cold concrete corridor lighted by florescent tubes. The two pushed the gurney through the illuminated double doors at the end of the passageway.
The room was brightly lit and as the two men entered with their burden a raucous chorus of chattering monkeys and rattling cages accompanied their progress toward the far side of the room.
“Tie him down. The sedative will be wearing off soon and I want him immobile as we start the procedure.”
Herr Professor Dr. Dr. Ferenc von Fleckenstein, the brilliant Austro-Hungarian bioengineer and expert on artificial intelligence and robotics, paused and looked at the body. He was a fine subject and perfect for the experiment, he reflected. It was pure chance that he’d run into the boy at the bar. He’d reconnoitered the place for several weeks hoping to find the right specimen alone and was overjoyed to see the boy there tonight.
He ran his fingers through his dark wavy hair flecked with grey. He was tired but he had to finish this part of the project tonight. He turned and walked back through the double doors.
Ivan worked rapidly to undress the boy on the gurney and attach the straps and harnesses that would render him immobile when he awakened from
his drug induced sleep. He raised the boy’s arms over his head and pulled the blue spandex T-shirt over his belly, chest and then over his head revealing the soft blonde hairs over the pronounced abs and pecs. There was no belt on his Levis and it was easy to jerk the buttons open on the fly, pulling them down over his ankles. As he reached for the waistband on the boxer shorts and slowly pulled them down, he couldn’t help but feel a twinge of excitement as he followed the treasure trail down to the curly blonde pubic hair, finally revealing the cock and ball sac below. The deformed young man was hungry for a sexual experience with another human being, of any sex, which had been denied him due to his appearance. He couldn’t help himself from lightly fingering the boy’s genitals in wonder, the only ones he’d ever seen other than his own.
But he had work to do and realized he had to finish securing the body to the gurney which he did rapidly as he’d practiced. He then retired to a corner of the room, sat on his haunches, and waited. It was only minutes before the boy’s eyes opened and he called out, “Help!” At this point he knew he had to proceed rapidly preparing the subject for the experiment that would follow. When he had finished he returned to his corner and waited for the doctor who appeared, dressed in his green scrubs, surgical mask and latex gloves.
“Hello Toby, I hope you’re resting comfortably.” said Fleckenstein.
TWO YEARS EARLIER
Fleckenstein’s cab drew up to the New York Hilton, he paid the fare from JFK and entered the lobby. He only carried his briefcase with his laptop and papers.
After his presentation, which was scheduled for 3 pm, he was heading back home on the 7 pm flight so there was no need for an overnight case. He hurriedly checked the events board for the meeting room number, asked directions and proceeded to the elevator.
He was flushed and eager to see how his presentation would be received by his colleagues. He was about to present the most startling advancement in robotics and bioengineering ever envisaged. His conclusions after a year of study, and computer modeling were nothing short of revolutionary. He was convinced that for the first time it would be possible to create a robot, an automaton, which would be indistinguishable, in all outward appearances, from a human. This automaton would be controlled by electronics but the life force would be the very elemental source of life itself, spermatozoa.
He entered the conference room and was greeted by 20 of the most distinguished scientists in his profession. It was 2:57 and he was eager to get started. As he set up the Power Point presentation the men and women sat down facing the podium and waited for him to begin. During the next hour Fleckenstein waxed eloquently on his findings flipping through slide after slide. He had started by asking that questions be reserved until the end of his address. As he wound up his lecture and finally asked for questions, he was met by a deafening silence followed shortly by a shuffling of feet and scraping of chairs. There was a low mumbling of voices and one by one the scientists excused themselves and eased toward the door. Karl Young, a friend from his days at university, came up to the podium looking embarrassed, thanked him and said he was sorry there hadn’t been any post lecture discussion. He said he was sure that once they’d had a chance to ponder his conclusions a lively discussion would ensue over the internet.
Fleckenstein was baffled by the response. He said nothing more but packed up his equipment and papers, left the hotel and hailed a taxi for the airport.
In the days that followed his return home he became very aware of the conclusions his fellow scientists had reached: in short, he was mad. The internet blogs were filled with discussions of his findings all drawing the conclusion that what he had proposed was impossible. Some comments were risible, others expressed sadness that such a fate had befallen such a distinguished scientist.
After digesting the criticisms in a state of disbelief he was seized by a fury that was uncontainable. Everyone who crossed his path was in fear for his life, particularly Ivan the dwarf. After a week however his demeanor completely changed. He was determined to prove he was correct and that what he had proposed was indeed possible. He would build the automaton and show the world. Who were these nonentities to doubt a great scientist and his most brilliant work?Next chapter