“How did you get Qlippothic to know things? Did you stick something in her head to make her able to learn?”
The Scientist stroked his chin "She was created at cross purposes. Bloodwing programmed her to be a weapon. I programmed her to preserve life. Between those conflicting orders she developed freewill.”
A loud thump came from the wardrobe. Wren stared forward, pretending not to notice. “But if I had a body that wasn’t .. well.. thinking properly, how could I fix i? Theoretically speaking, I mean.”
The Scientist was not distracted by the question “Wren? Is something in there?”
Wren twisted a pigtail, wondering just what kind of selective truth she could get away with "there's.. " she paused "not a living soul."
The Scientist frowned at her weak attempt. “Nice try.” He was at the wardrobe door in a moment, looking down upon the mindless heap that was once Miss Fitzpatrick. “Wren, what have you done?”
The little girl bounced anxiously from one foot to the other as she raced to explain “She was so nice, and pretty, and I wanted a mother and she drank some poisoned tea and I didn't want to waste her." At the Scientist’s growing expression of displeasure, she added in a panicked voice "I didn't kill her. I promise." Her words carried the ring of truth to them because she honestly believed them.
The Scientist pulled off his goggles, his eyes glowing. His every movement emanated frustration and annoyance “guard the door.” He pulled the reanimated woman out and inspected the barely living body, checking Wren’s work and making repairs where needed. When he was satisfied with all else, he flushed her system with serum. His anger dissipated with his work and the recognition of his small apprentice’s admirable attempt. He spoke as he worked, "nothing serious, once you know the right technique."
As he finished, her turned to Wren, "Now listen to me carefully..." He softened his tone to deliver his news. "She cannot remain here. In a few hours she will be fully alive again. I am going to leave her slumped over the end of a seedy bar downtown. She will think she's been on a bender and had some lewd adventures she's happy to have forgotten. It happens that way frequently. You are not to see her again. If I catch you with her, or any other human corpse in whatever state.."
He pushed a hand through his hair, his temper flaring again at the thought. "I'm only days away from the greatest experiment of this Age, I can't have it derailed by corpses falling from the shelves!" He shuddered to think how badly it could have gone with Wren hiding a half-dead construct in her wardrobe. He gripped the child by the shoulders. "Listen to me closely young lady. I am going to give you Asimov's Laws of Robotics to read backwards and forwards. You will NOT kill another human again or allow one to be killed in your presence, except to immediately protect your family. Do you understand?"
The little girl swelled with indignation “I’m not a robot.” The Scientist could not know how his words reminded her of the Founder's, who had called her an insult to his *real* children. She raised her voice in uncharacteristic anger “Take it back!”
The Scientis frowned “Maybe I need to give you some growth formula and send you to school where you'll learn to be OBEDIENT! I have sent disobedient dolls away before.’
"Take it back! I'm not a DOLL! take it back!" Wren launched herself at him with small fists raised and tiny feet kicking "you said I'm your daughter! I'm not a doll! Take it back!" The Scientist caught her awkward punches as she fell into a fit of sobs.. His voice softened for the broken child. "All my creations with free will are my children. You are different, an improvement over the Dolls. You are more human than any of them. Even SParky."
Wren slumped into him, dropping her frantic assault and falling into equally violent sobs. "I’m sorry, Father. I wanted to give you your army."
The Scientist scooped her into his arms, carrying her to her little cot.. "Every Spark has delusions of grandeur, child. If I came anywhere near close to having an army of dolls, the Baron would have me eliminated. If not him, then the Reanimators Guild."
Wren clung to his neck, "I thought it would make you happy."
He set her down gently and pulled the blanket up to her chin. "I understand, child. Your intentions were good. I forgive. But this can never happen again." She snuffled and nodded her understanding as he kissed her forehead.
He’d gotten as far as the door when she called him. “Daddy?” He looked back over his shoulder to see her staring with an exhausted flatness "I'm not a doll." Her statement, simply and certainly put had an edge to it.. a plea for confirmation that she was a person and not a thing.
He sighed “No, Wren, You're not a doll. You are so much more than that."
She nodded, visibly relaxing, and drifted into sleep before he dimmed the lights.