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Falling Into What We Are

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Dunstan worked carefully, so, so carefully on the douji, barely daring to breathe. If he messed up at this stage, the soul would shatter, and his research would be for naught. Despite the size of his hands, they moved gracefully. Not once did they prove to be in the way, and not once did he need to call upon someone else to do his work.

Not that he would allow any one to anyway.

The douji he was working on now was the one he had dubbed Ultimo. It sounded strong, did it not? Ultimo: Ultimate. The strongest. The epitome of good.

He looked at the douji. There was no skin on him yet, as Dunstan did not want that to get in the way of the soul. It stretched at the douji's command, and otherwise, it was nearly impossible to move without extreme force.

Therefore, the douji was nothing more than a hunk of wood and a million other things, all twisted and woven together, appealing to the eye regardless of the lack of life it held for now.

If he opened the douji's eyes, they would be a dull green, no light behind them. About as much life as a corpse.

Dunstan took a shallow breath, holding the soul with the index and middle fingers of each hand, while using the rest of his fingers to make sure there was clearance for the soul to enter the body without being damaged.

Slowly, he released his hold on it, letting it slide down the final half inch that would settle it in Ultimo's body.

There was a light tink and a glow of light before it went dull again, resting there and unmoving. Dunstan sighed with relief, and collapsed on the floor. All the hours he'd spent on this simple step had exhausted him. The soul had survived though, not a crack on it. And the fact that it had glowed at all meant it was still, indeed alive.

Dunstan sat there for a few minutes, catching his breath and working out the muscles in his arms that had almost cracked from the stress. That was saying something, for his body was superior to any other human's. Finally, the man stood again, walking over to a shelving unit of sorts and pulling down folds of what appeared to be light peach colored fabric. He set it down on a nearby table, and took Uru's body to a stand so that he could see the entirety and make the proper measurements.

When he was done with that, he went back to the 'fabric' and cut out a few pieces. Walking back to Ultimo, he took one of the pieces and pressed it lightly to the leg, letting it suction on and hold. He repeated this all over, tucking the excess around joints for now. The body was slowly covered in the fabric, even covering the eyes. This was fixed a moment later when Dunstan took a thin blade and gently sliced through that, letting some suction to the eyelid and cleaning the rest away.

Ultimo was nearly complete.

Dunstan supposed he should give the douji some hair, but for now, he let it be. He was more interested in the fact the 'fabric' held. It was designed to hold to human things like bones and muscle.

"I suppose I should give more credit to the synthetic skin." He chuckled lightly to himself, replacing it on the shelf. The entire room was sterile, so he had no worries of it being damaged. He could always get more either way. And he knew he would need more. He wasn't even a percent of the way done with his goal.

Checking the clock, how tired he was suddenly hit him, as he had been at work for the past sixteen hours without more than a couple minute's break. Considering the work he had done, he decided that a brief sleep wouldn't do harm, and retired for the night.

Five hours later, Dunstan awoke and returned to the room of his research. Ultimo still sat, unmoving where he had been left the night before. Staring at the douji for a moment, looking him up and down, he decided that red would be the utmost suiting color for a being of good. The color said many things, from being strong, to how much blood of evil creatures he had spilled.

Dunstan gave the douji bright red, messy hair, not doing anything else with it. It held no order to it, but it seemed to work for the boy, so he let it be and proceeded to get to work on the next one.

This one was to be the epitome of evil, its soul split from the same one that Ultimo had. Perfectly divided into the 'good' and 'evil' halves. No contradictions.

The work on the evil one went much faster than Ultimo's had. Ultimo was the first successful one, and Dunstan knew what to do, and how to do it now so that it wouldn't fail. He repeated all the processed he had with Ultimo, on the new one.

He thought and thought on a name, thinking about people and their sins mostly, and he briefly considered being to the point and naming him Sin.

But another came to mind.

"You know that's bad for you."

"It's my vice. One thing I do that's not good. Let me have it."

A conversation for eons ago (so it felt)…

He had a name now.

"You're Vice." Dunstan said during work.

Months passed again, and finally, Vice was as done as Ultimo was. Dunstan took both of them to another section of his lab, this part filled with tall, tall cylinders. He set the doujis in one apiece, and shut the doors tightly. He walked to a panel that was made like the days before the catastrophe, covered in buttons rather than working with touch screen or anything else, and he tapped away at it. Finally, there was a single warning siren, and the tubes began to fill with green liquid. The doujis would float in it once the level was high enough, and the liquid would permanently cement the skin to their body, bring their souls to life, and finalize them.

The liquid filled the tank slowly. Two hours later, it touched the top, and another alarm went off, and then it was silent.

Dunstan watched them for awhile, and then walked away, knowing it would be days before they were truly alive.

Three weeks, four days, seventeen hours fifteen minutes and twenty two seconds, there was a light ding in Dunstan's lab, where he was preparing the bodies of several other doujis.

One could say that in that moment, his eyes lit up with madness, versus happiness. But it was a twist of both.

He reached the tubes and saw both the doujis looking very much different from when he had set them in there. Their skin wasn't loose, gauntlets had grown over their hands, crystalline, shiny and beautiful. Patterns of life and everything swirled beneath the surface of those gauntlets, and Dunstan couldn't help but smile. They were both a success.

Draining the liquids, the two came to sit in the bottom, and he carried them out of the tubes and back to his lab, laying them each on a separate table.

He took his time getting a good look at the finalized versions of his work, and chuckled, amused by how feminine Ultimo had ended up being. Vice was a little feminine too, but he hadn't ended up quite as bad as Ultimo had. Dunstan figured it must've been the soul that did that.

"Ultimo. Vice. Open your eyes."