AFH photo by Aijanah Sanford
Scientists in 2081 had just invented a surgery to make people perfect: eyes, nose, hair, belly, legs. Everything.
One late night at the hospital, Ana and Miriam were waiting for Dr. Fern to finish the contract for Miriam’s operation.
“Mom, are you sure of what you’re doing to your body?” Ana said, angrily.
“Yes, Ana, I’m sure. I will be the first perfect woman in the world. I will look like a beautiful flower.”
“Mom, but you’re already beautiful. You don’t need to do that.”
“But I told you I want to be perfect, daughter.”
“You should think first about the surgery before confirming the contract with the doctor, mom.”
“I did it already, Ana.”
“I will talk with the doctor and tell him you need more time to think about the surgery.”
“It is clear, daughter.”
“But you don’t know how dangerous that surgery can be.”
“I do, daughter, but I want to try it, anyway. You only think about how dangerous this can be but not how beautiful and perfect I will look.”
“You make me angry right now, mom. I told you not to do the surgery.”
“I will do it, Ana,” her mother insisted....
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AFH artwork by Jancarlos Gutierrez
“Hey Papito! What are you doing here? I was looking for you at the farm,” Panchito said.
“I’m here because I don’t work there anymore,” Papito said.
“What do you mean you don’t work there anymore?”
“Yes. They fired me.”
“Did they fire you because of the machine?”
“Yes. They told me that they were going to re 10 more people because they got two new machines.”
“Ohh! We should do something or we’ll all lose our jobs.”
“I think it is a great idea. We should talk to the other farmers.”
“Yeah, let’s do a meeting tomorrow.” Panchito walked into his boss’s office.
“Hey boss,” Panchito said.
“How are you doing, Panchito?” the boss said.
“Good, thanks. You know why I’m here, right?”
“No, I don’t.”
“I’m here because I want to talk to you about the machines. I think you should not use the machines.”
“Why not?” the boss said.
“Because you are leaving a lot of people without jobs.”
“I don’t care. I only care that I’ll be saving a lot of money with the machines.”
“You should think how those people are going to survive without jobs and no money.”
“I already told you I don’t care.”
“But, sir.”
“Shut up. I don’t wanna hear it. Why don’t you get out of my office and go back to work before I fire you, too.”
But Panchito had a plan....
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AFH Photo by LanVy Tran
In the year 2501, L lived in The Perfect World -- a small city that was built secretly in the forest and was covered by an artificial sky. All around, the nature was fake. No animals existed. Civilians did not need to worry about food since in every house there was an NIM machine hanging on the wall that injected nutrients into their veins three times a day -- just like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. People had an ID code number on the backs of their necks.
In The Perfect World, there were no schools or books because there was a machine named KISA that transferred basic knowledge automatically to each human’s brain. President Wydell told people that it improved their intelligence while they slept at night.
L was a 15-year-old boy with orange hair and a black tattoo of the number 301 on his neck. He had lived separately from his parents since he was 12.
He slept in a pod and wore a white bandanna through which knowledge was transmitted to him from the KISA machine.
Soon, L would be able to work.
“We’re all geniuses since we don’t need to put much effort into becoming intelligent.”
That was what President Wydell always said to the people. He was the one who determined professions for them. When babies were born, he chose jobs for them -- ones that would serve the best interests of The Perfect World....
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Shamari Satchell / AFH Artwork
So many years have passed since 2016 -- almost 75. To move around, people now use fly cars, tele-transportation, and other options. As the world evolves, even communication can be done via virtual conversations.
“Today, ladies and gentlemen, I, Dr. Nate -- scientist from the River Forest Laboratory -- want to announce that I have made a new discovery. Tired of being late to your appointments? Now you will be on time thanks to the Clone Machine. This invention will replicate yourself....”
“Dr. Nate?” one journalist asked. “Can you assure us that the clones are safe?”
“I can assure you that this invention is totally safe. What I will need is a single drop of everyone’s blood, and there it is,” said Dr. Nate...
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AFH photo by Cuong Huynh
“Elena, but I want you to go with me, please.”
“I would go but I don’t want to leave the house.”
“Why?”
The two of them -- Elena and her best friend Sarah -- were sitting on a bed in Elena’s room.
“I seriously don’t know. I just want to stay home.”
“I understand but at least promise me you’ll think about it.”
“Fine. I will let you know tomorrow.”
“Thanks. Call me. I need to go now. My mom is waiting for me to help her with dinner.”
“OK, bye.”
Elena went back to her room and stayed there for the rest of the day. Actually, she stayed there for two weeks.
Sarah was worried and talked to Elena’s mother.
“At school, the teachers were asking for her,” Sarah said.
“Do you know why she is like that?” Elena’s mother asked.
“I have an idea.”
“What?”
“I can guess it’s her phone.”
More days passed and Elena was still in
her room.
“Elena, I need to talk to you,” Sarah said. “About what?”
“About what is happening with you.” “What do you mean? This is who I am, and
now would you please leave me alone.”
“No, because you are my best friend and I want what’s best for you. And right now, your phone is dangerous. You spend too much time on it,” said Sarah, filled with concern for Elena....
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