“What happened to you?” the doctor asked.
The man pulled at the black strands of hair that hung over his forehead anxiously. He considered the question as though it were a riddle. The man’s face was twisted as he glared at the doctor like a deranged hunter would his feeble prey.
Unexpectedly, a small smile spread the man’s oversized lips, “You made me. Don’t you know?”
The doctor did not change his expression. There was some truth to the response, but the prisoner was being avoidant, “I do not know. Not unless you tell me.”
“Why would I want to tell you!” The prisoner slammed his hand down on the rickety table that separated the two of them.
The doctor waited without any reaction.
The prisoner sat staring at his hand in bewilderment. He wondered why he had not smashed through the weakened wood. He was strong. He was a man. At least, he was as much of a man as any man was a man in this day.
“Why did I hit the table?” the prisoner was truly baffled.
The doctor shrugged, “Why did you hit the table?”
The prisoner’s voice was matter-of-fact, matching the tone of the doctor, “I wanted to scare you.”
“You wanted to push me away. You are afraid to be understood. It is more comfortable to be mysterious. If you do not know love than you cannot be hurt,” the doctor explained before coming back to his original question. “What happened to you?”
The overhead light gave just enough light to illuminate the table and the two men. The prisoner took his turn and shrugged.
“May I ask you a series of questions? You will have to maintain eye contact and mustn’t hesitate. If you hesitate, I will leave and we will be done.”
The prisoner straightened up in his seat. He knew if the doctor left the room, he would be dead. The commander would have his body incinerated if the doctor felt he was a faulty unit. It was no fair that he was created and then judged for his actions. But this was how things were done on the starship. Likely, it was how things were done everywhere.
“Sounds like fun.”
“Good,” the doctor bobbed his head, “Let’s get started – “