Kylie’s World A.C.

Kylie Tyger Explains Life A.C. (After Cataclysm)

When I was a kid and learned officially sanctioned history, the lessons didn’t linger much on ancient stuff, before the seas rose and the climate warmed. Since then, I’ve realized that the predictions the B.C. (Before Cataclysm) scientists made were wildly wrong.

Instead of a few feet of sea level rise, we got more like six or seven hundred feet. And instead of taking a century to happen, it took only five or ten years. Don’t ask me how and why it happened like that. I mean, look at me. Do I look like a science-geek?

But the result was Cataclysm. Cities drowned. Billions, literally billions of people died. The climate changed more than expected too, becoming warm and lush.

The result was Ridge Country. We’re smack in the middle of what used to be the Appalachians but is now an irregular elongated ridge of hills poking their heads above the water. Ridge Country stretches a few hundred miles north and south from Ridge City, the biggest city in the whole country.

Anyway, those who survived the waters also had to deal with other local problems. Don’t know about other places—if there are any other places. Here we had issues with the power reactors at the government facilities. Some kind of accident, I don’t really know what, messed with and is still messing with the air, soil, and water.

We’re all changing, people less than other life forms—though of course, I’m an exception—but animals and plants, well, they’re real different than before. The science-geeks don’t like to talk about the Change. Never admit when you’ve screwed everyone up, that’s their motto.

But after the world dissolved into a waterlogged string of nothing much, that’s when the alien Helmers came down and took over. See, they’d been watching us for a long time, and I guess they decided it was time to do something about those stupid Earth folks who messed up a perfectly good planet. And since they looked like us and knew all about us, it was easy for them to take over.

No one even really knows how many Helmers are here. Could be ten. Could be ten thousand. Hard to tell when you can barely tell them from us real people. Doesn’t matter though: If you’re with the University—that’s the Helmers-run University, you understand—you’re special, human or Helmer alike.

The Helmers don’t make a big noise about it, but anyone with two brain cells to rub together can figure out pretty easy who’s in charge. It sure isn’t us humans.

I don’t guess most people mind much. The Helmers slid right into human society like melted cheese slathers over toast, all sticky and gooey. But I’m not like most people. I don’t like melted cheese. Besides, the Helmers are the ones who totally messed up my life, starting even before I was born.

The Helmers and the human Helmer-lovers aren’t perfect. They’re mostly law-abiding, but sometimes not. Our laws don’t apply to them—they always manage to have an out. The University claims they police their own folks, but that hasn’t stopped their occasional bad-ass types from stomping all over the rest of us. The cops don’t like them much either. It’s impossible to make charges stick to anyone with University creds, human or Helmer.

Something needs to be done about that, just to kind of even things out between them and us, don’t you think?

Don’t fret, though. I’m Kylie Tyger, and I’ve got it covered.

Really.

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