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Year 2030, by Krystle Wong

They think I’m deaf and dumb.

That what I see does not reach any consciousness of thought.

That I’m a barren shell, a living carcass.

And I’m cagey enough to fool them that much.

I am 16, but I might as well be 65. I breathe through a tube, and can barely walk

to save my life. The nurses, I know, despise me. I hear their angry humming outside the

door of my room everyday. They say I am a monster, and something as ugly as I should

not be allowed to live. They are not brave enough to look at me carefully, and they flinch

whenever they have to administer my daily drugs. It is, at best, a sorry existence.

I have been here since I was 6. That was the year 2020—Wawasan 2020. The

government workers taught us about that—I let them think I’m retarded, but I always

listen and remember. An ex-prime minister harbored a vision that Malaysia would be a

developed nation by then. “Dr. Mahathir was a great man,” the workers gush, “and his

vision came true.” I wonder however: would he be pleased if he knew the perverse nature

of his dream-come-true?
I forgot to tell you.

There are some who do not recoil at the sight of me. They have even touched me.

These… aren’t ordinary men, though.

They are men of Silver, and they do not feel.

The aliens landed in 2007. We’re told that it was sudden and unexpected. They

came in flashes of blinding white light that sparked, blazed, and flickered dangerously

until they were all here—hundreds of them. It was all on television. They weren’t

welcome then. In fact, America sent the US Army to greet them instead of the president.

Much to everyone’s relief—and suspicion—however, it turned out that the aliens were

here with no malevolent intent. They offered vital information about how to solve the

greenhouse effect and where to dump waste and pollution, things the world greatly

suffered from then. It was a pledge of good faith, a tremendous love gift of sorts to

humanity. Predictably, mankind duly welcomed the aliens.

Hence, the world was no longer of one man, but of two:

One of Skin, and one of Silver.
After the Universal Peace Treaty was signed between man and alien, much

curiosity was expressed at the nature of their coming. In great detail, the Silver beings

explained that they were from a different galaxy, and they had come by using the only

way there was of traveling so great a distance to our planet—a harnessing of light years.

It was a technology that man would never have achieved even in a hundred years.

Instantly, everyone recognized that the aliens were a vastly more intelligent species than

their hosts.

They were not stingy with their wealth of intellect and knowledge however, and

shared many new technologies, inventions and discoveries with the world. With them,

our world progressed so rapidly that when once upon a time walking on the moon was a

triumph, planet excursions were now class trips. We were shown photographs of

Malaysia in 2005 and it was barely recognizable. They say that if Einstein was thought to

have made a great leap in science, then the Silver men must be said to have

revolutionized, and engineered the entire world we live in now.

Men of Silver resemble men of skin, except they are coated in the most beautiful

glassy silver. They are lovely, delicate beings, tall and slender, more picturesque than

anything ever conceived by imagination, and they have no inkling what clothing is. I

think all they have ever worn, and ever will wear, is their dazzling silver glaze. There is

something amiss about all their beauty though, and that is their lack of feelings. I… don’t

think a Silver man or woman has ever been seen to smile or scowl.
I heard that a great bias started against these beautiful, expressionless creatures.

About the Twenty-Tens, the time I was born, a severe new form of xenophobia took birth

—a fear of strangers—something akin to racism. The workers say it was a frightening

time alike the era of the Ku Klux Klan; that protests, lynching and even murders took

place. The xenoism and oppression led to such a peak that in 2008, violence tore loose

and the Ambassador of the Silver men was assassinated. Eventually, by 2010, the

worldwide Act of Alien Rights was passed and the docile Silver beings were accepted,

officially, to live like mankind did.

They started attending schools, graduating from universities, and working in

offices. Teachers delighted at their new pupils for they were sharp and learnt

astonishingly fast. Everything from politics to business that mankind could teach, they

became better at than their teachers. New languages, ideals, cultures began, and new

fashions developed amongst students and colleagues. For a long time, skins were

bleached silver and certain cults strode naked proudly in the streets. Because the Silver

men were so much more superior in many senses, some alien-worshipping cults started.

When detained, they protested that they were merely lovers of their new friends, and was

idolatry of beauty and intelligence a crime?

The workers tell us many great things about the Silver men and the history they

have made. But they never tell us about how our new world is slowly degenerating. I

learn all the bad stuff from newspapers when nurses aren’t watching. Just yesterday, I

read about alien prostitution and intermarriages. It’s terrifying. In places like
Johannesburg and Hell’s Kitchen, Silver men or women are available at any given time to

any human being. I read that the offspring of the two different species go utterly wrong…

that their DNA are cruel errors because many never live to see the light of day. Much

more are born blind, retarded, dumb, deaf or deformed…

I read that they provide Homes for such gross mistakes. That help and some

education is given them by Government and Non-Government Organizations. That

mirrors are not allowed in such Homes for fear of eliciting further mental and emotional

damage.

I forgot to pretend when I gestured the news to one of the workers. She just shook

her head. She said I wasn’t supposed to know all that, and I had better not tell the other

children.

She said much more than that without having to say it aloud.

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