Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ARTIFICIAL (08/11/16)
TITLE: RH? AH?
By Leola Ogle
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Was it death if Edam was an AH – artificial human?
It wasn’t Kilah’s fault that through the years scientists had perfected AH’s until you couldn’t tell the difference between them and real humans – RH’s.
Kilah understood that mankind could become extinct because real humans had trouble procreating. Scientists couldn’t find a reason or cure, so thy created robots to fulfill the labor force. As years passed, scientists began mixing human DNA with their synthetic creations, making AH’s more like humans. AH’s had thoughts, feelings, and behavior like RH’s.
She didn’t believe Edam when he first told her. “Stop it, Edam. Of course you’re real. I would know if you weren’t. Why are you looking sad? Stop it. Tell me you’re joking. It isn’t true. Is it true? But…but you kissed me and it was a real kiss.”
“I wanted to know what a kiss felt like. And I do love you. Or maybe it isn’t really love. It’s confusing. I’m sad that I’ve hurt you.”
Kilah choked down her sobs. “I hate you, Edam. I hate you for making me love you.”
“Hate me? But why?”
“Because humans have to be with humans to have babies. Except, that’s dumb because most humans don’t produce babies because of, well, because of whatever is wrong with humans. Those God’s Truth people are right. Scientists should never have created artificial life.”
“But haven’t more babies been born in the last several years? Maybe the government will change their policy and let AH’s and RH’s marry.”
Kilah smacked her palms against Edam’s chest. “You. Are. Not. Real. We can’t get married. I’ll get older and you will always look the way you are now.”
“Is that a problem?”
“Yes! It is a problem. But you’re an AH, so how would you know?”
With that, she stomped away. Crying. Edam may be artificial, but what she felt for him was real. And it would be impossible to avoid Edam because he was a teacher’s aide at her high school.
Surprisingly, her parents didn’t appear to be too upset when she told them she had fallen in love with an AH.
“Most AH’s are wonderful people,” her dad said.
“I’ve met Edam. He’s such a nice guy. And so handsome.” Her mother winked at her.
“Dad. Mom. Do you both have a screw loose? Edam is not a wonderful person because he isn’t a real person. He’s not a nice guy, he’s a nice robot. And yes, he’s handsome. Have you ever seen an AH that wasn’t good looking?”
Kilah burst into tears. She leaned into her mom when she wrapped her arms around her. “There, there, honey,” he mom whispered, stroking her hair. “You’ll meet a nice boy and forget all about Edam.”
Kilah sniffled. Her head hurt from thinking so much about Edam. Her heart hurt more than her head. She blamed the government. They made AH’s so perfectly human-like that you couldn’t tell the difference. At least not a teenager like her.
When she confided in her best friend, Milkan, she hugged her and let her cry. “That’s why God never intended for us to tamper with creation. Now, Kilah, don’t give me that look. I know you don’t agree with how God’s Truth people believe, but you have to admit that we’re right about this. And if Edam gets terminated, it’s not really death. Oh, no, no, no. Don’t start crying again. I shouldn’t have said that.”
Kilah dried her tears. She jumped when Edam walked by and said, “Hello, dear Kilah. See you in Earth Government class.”
Milkan rolled her eyes. “He is really cute. I bet your parents were upset. My mom would cry her eyes out.”
“My parents weren’t upset at all. And Mom didn’t cry. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen her cry. Ever. And my parents never get mad or upset. Why are you looking at me so weird?”
“Oh, nothing. It’s just I’ve heard rumors that scientists did an experiment with AH’s to see if they could give birth to human babies. Like fifteen or sixteen years ago. Your parents are RH’s, aren’t they?”
What? Yes. No. That couldn’t be. Her parents were RH’s. They had to be. Now that she thought about it, they hadn’t aged over the years. But…surely not.
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