Saturday, 27 February 2016

English AA 1 by Nadia Rahman

Generation of Robots
 In the blinding white room, a doctor snipped off a piece of thread as finishes off the last stitch on the child's forehead. The child, Salana, had not shown a hint of displeasure as the forceps mercilessly probed through her brains and embedded the Programming Chip in one of its fleshy wrinkles. She, like the many other children before her, had stopped bawling the second the silvery threads had touched her. It was clear that its influence had crept into the crevices of her mind, eliminating the unnecessary emotion that provoked those tears.
 "I suppose, it'd be reasonable as long as Salana was still alright," Aidan thought. After all, he had promised that he would adore her no matter what the Programming Chip did. He stood up to thank the Doctor, who stood rigid and nauseated. Aidan wondered if it would be wise to perform such procedures while unwell.
 "I just thought her smile was too lovely to disappear," the Doctor muttered glumly, running his fingers through the silver of his hair. Aidan brushed off his words, scooping up little Salana. He was transfixed by the vermillion lock of hair that fell between her hypnotizing azure eyes, as if waiting for her to toss it back like she had done a million times before. However, her tubby hand never rose up to brush it away with her cherubic grin. There was no reason to.
 Within a few months, Salana's every move had become exquisitely dainty, nothing like the messy dances her hands did for any task. Her seraphic grins faded into a little flat line that rested on her pouty lips. Sometimes, Aidan would ponder on the fact that little girl was the same Salana who tugged on his sleeve so that they could play in the mud. Of course, those thoughts bolted to the dark as he remembered the Salana's generation was merely lucky enough to have the chance to enhance their minds. However, as Salana's thoughts crumbled to dust, he had to hope that the knot in his stomach was from his third bowl of soup and not regret.
 Soon, Aidan found himself hating the Cognac-coloured strands which twisted between her eyebrows. Salana was not there to tuck it behind her ear. There was just this… robot. Humans would respond to changes, but now Salana could only do what she was programmed to. She would only eat, study and sleep. Now, the emotions, they overwhelmed him. Waves of pain rippling with melancholy through his blood as his dull eyes took in the sight of the child. It seemed like the doctors felt the pain too. They had wielded the tools that ripped out the vibrant personalities of the children. The Doctor who treated Salana was often tucked away in his laboratory, with the rumors of him feeling particularly morose emotions floating around. As much as Aidan wanted to push away everything, this could go on no longer.
            Somehow, days later, Aidan found himself the blank white room again, whispering urgently to the Doctor. He had done something unforgivable, taking away a vital pawn in the game of life. Perhaps he would pay for what he had done, but for now, he was content. In his arms, a child tucked back a cerise lock of hair.

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