'Espresso?' I enquire.
'Wh...what? No thanks. I'm fine.'
We had been experimenting with Jesus' supposed DNA for a few days now and had met nothing but failure after miserable failure up until today. Jesus with webbed-feet, bi-polar Jesus, Christ with vampire fangs, Bruce Banner Jesus who turns green when angry (JC 140-HULK), a Jesus who is a real nice guy but developed a severe alcoholic addiction and then a gambling habit and then we caught him beating up cab drivers (JC 153-JENKS), Elvis-impersonator Jesus and even an atheist Jesus. Although they all share the same basic genetic makeup and about 30% of them suffered from stigmata there didn't seem to be too many things linking them together. Their personalities are all over the shop. They do looks similar though.
JC 177-HIEROPHANT is the closest we've come to the Real Deal. He seems kind, compassionate, in tune to God. The spitting image of what Jesus should be like, spiritually speaking. Or so it would seem. I've been called into do a Voight-Kampf test to see if he's trying to 'fake' being Christ. Lord knows we've been fooled before (See: JC 166-THE RIPPER who escaped and was on the verge of killing prostitutes before we took him down. Apparently one of the interns was feeding it rats and making it listen to endless amounts of Opeth which would make anyone want to kill people).
I take out my Voight-Kampf machine that determines heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and skin conductivity of the victim...I mean...subject. I don't know why I just said victim. It also checks where the eye is looking because that's what they did in Blade Runner.
'So....,' I begin ,' did you want to ask a question before we begin?'
'Well...where am I? And how come I can speak and understand English?'
I zap him with low voltage electricity- Longinus with a cattle prod. 'That's two questions.'
He looks a little groggy so I walk slowly to the cooler to get him a cup of water, nodding slowly at the one-way mirror as I do so. Dr.Lim and a crack squad of mercenaries are on the other side, taking notes, and ready to rush in and subdue JC 177-HIEROPHANT at a moments notice if need be. After THE RIPPER no one is taking chances. No one wants to have their noses bit off.
'Here you are.' I say placing the cup of water in HIEROPHANT's mitts. He takes a sip. And Lo! it has turned to wine. I can't see them but I know that Lim and co are hastily scribbling notes. I take my seat. 'HIEROPHANT, I'm going to show you a picture and I want you to respond as honestly as possible. Just the first thing that pops in your head.'
I show him an ink blot test. He peers at it. 'It...looks like a small child. He's covered in flies for some reason. I wonder if he's hungry?' ( Compassion. That's good. I note it down on my pad.)
'Good. Good. Now have a look at this.'
'It's a train wreck. A lot of people seem injured. I should help somehow.'
(Again. Thinking about saving people. I note this on my pad.)
We continue in this vain for several hours. Ink blot tests, number puzzles, philosophical questions. We touch on what it means to follow the will of God and why we can't all get along as a planet. HIEROPHANT seems amiable, a real good guy and we have a real friendly rapport by the end of the interview. We shake hands. 'That seems about it. You're free to go out into the world.' He gets up and is on the way out the door when I spin around and tackle him to the ground. Lim and the mercs are in the room in seconds. 'Why? How did you know? You bastards! Bastards!' he yells and his jaws open wide, revealing rows of sharp teeth. He emits an inhuman screech.
'You were a little too good HIEROPHANT. I'm guessing you have some form of telepathy and was tuning into the thoughts of those around you. I've known from the second question it was all a charade. Train wreck? Buddy, you think it's around 30 AD. There are no trains.'
Lim and I walk away from the room while the mercs start beating into HIEROPHANT with claw hammers. 'Damn,' mutters Lim ,' another failure. And they seem to be getting smarter. Adapting.'
'We'll get there in the end. We'll get there.'
Honk if you're Jesus,