With the last circuit soldered, the heap jolted. Don flipped up the face of his welding helmet and stared. What had seconds ago been only a collection of wires and twisted metal convulsed now into something more, something living. An arm flailed, then found its course and righted itself, slowly, irrefutably making its way to the being's heart. The skinless jaw fell open, as if to breathe.
"Glory, glory hallelujah" it sang. Don mouthed the words along with it.
"I am James K. Polk" it rattled, "11th president of the Unit-"
"Shhh," whispered Don. "I know. I know who you are. I built you."
With Monroe, with Pierce, even with Grant, he had been detached. He had fingered their wires and turned their screws with the cold calculations of an engineer, but with Polk it was different. There was love. He had savored the creation, he had birthed Polk like a mother. Don loved presidents, but a single-term leader who did exactly what he set out to do in four years had a way of standing out from the pack. "You can't rush that," thought Don. "You can't rush the really good ones."
The being's eyes rolled in its metal head, searching the room, searching for understanding, searching for eyelids.
"I'll complete your face soon. I just ... I had to see you." Don played with a flat-head screwdriver as he spoke. "This is home. You live here now. The Hall of Presidents."
Polk's head fell to one side, his gaze landing on Adams, or maybe Washington. It was hard to tell.
"I turned the others off for now to give us some privacy," said Don.
"I am James K. Polk," it said again.
"I'm Don O'Bangin," said Don O'Bangin, allowing his hand to rest on the cold steel of Polk's animatronic cheek. "I gave you life. I am your God, and once I've added the rest of your artificial skin, I'm going to make love to you, slowly. I just ..." Don struggled to find the right words. "I just wanted you to know first, so it could be special."
Don would be sure to coat all the important parts first.
The being stared, then nodded, just as it was programmed to do. Don had not anticipated how arousing it would be to see Polk like this, unfinished and truly naked in a way that no human could ever be. Best of all, only Don would ever see the president, every president, in such an intimate way. He smiled, and had Polk any lips, he would have, too. "This is the best job in the world," thought Don.
"Glory, glory hallelujah" sang the robot. "Our God is marching on."