Almost Alive

"Welcome to the future. Something went wrong. Something went wrong. Something went wrong. Something went wrong." The robotic voice kept going, like something had . . . gone wrong. Something definitely had gone wrong, though. The world was our proof.

Title May Change

Chapter 1

--- The First Chapter ---

The daylight seemed unreal. It wasn't much of daylight. The sun was burning out, it's rays of light barely reaching Earth's surface. The atmosphere was fogging up, blocking out it's beams. It was the age of the future. Something we have long awaited. Something we have thought of as peaceful. We have thought of robots, and flying cars. What we don't know is that the future is nothing like that. Not at all.

The sky is dark, and people ride bikes down the broken concrete. A few cars might pass by, but mostly it's just walking. Any gasoline found -- other than the expensive ones at the rare gas station -- is useless, really. Most people got rid of their cars when the gas prices started to go up. Fifteen dollars a gallon. It was reasonable, considering the rareness of gasoline.

Only eighty million people left on the whole earth. The Earth that was crumbling more day after day. Half of the land had sunken. America - gone. Mexico - gone. South America - gone. Central America - gone. Canada - gone.

It was all water, except for the other half. Most people fled to Great Britain, but others . . . they didn't survive. Millions of years took it's toll on the land and nothing could bring back the many people who died on the day of the collapse.

It was cold. The sun hadn't provided too much heat ever since it started dimming. But to the city, it was just another day. This was the norm. A horrible earth that kept chugging on, even in the darkest days. Even to Eyris Dylanne it was normal. The most peculiar girl in the universe thought this was perfectly ordinary. No one in the whole world though that it was horrible for the Earth to be so bleak. So dark.

o o o

"Mum? Mum, I'm home!" Eyris walked through the door with boxes and bags in her hands. She took a bag from her hand and put it to her mouth so she could close the door.

"Oh, dear! Eyris, let me help you with that!" Eyris' mother took some bags from Eyris and rushed to the kitchen, "Gee. All this stuff. How much did it cost?"

"Don't worry about it, mum. I got a deal! They're closing down the market next week, so everything is seventy-five percent off. Isn't that great?" Eyris said excitedly.

"They're closing the market? That's not good news at all! We'll have to walk nine kilometers to get to the nearest store. Why are they closing it, anyhow?"

Eyris smiled, "See, that's the thing! They're building a new one! An improved one!" She turned from her mother to put away the milk, "It might even be closer to our home. They say there's a new product that's going to be in the store. It's supposed to be some sort of defense mechanism. Only twenty quid!"

"Well, why would we need a defense mechanism? What's that for?"

Eyris shrugged, "Don't know. Maybe if any more riots start. You know that 'rebel' group is planning some sort of protest in the square sometime this week."

"God knows what I would do if my child joined that sort of group. Fighting the government! It's outrageous, that's what it is!" Miss Dylanne shook her head in disbelief.

"I heard their parents died in The Collapse. They think that no one's helping anyone, so they take it out on the city. Eh, at least it's not our problem, right?" Eyris shrugged it off, putting the grocery bags in the closet.

"It will be our problem if they're starting riots near our home! They're probably right! I reckon the government doesn't care for our safety! They're letting these kids start chaos!" Miss Dylanne sighed angrily, "Oh, I don't know what to think!"

"Suppose we should just let the city fix the problem? If anybody threatens you, they'll have to go through me. You know that, mum." Eyris reassured her mother, who had turned on the LiklopX Tablet. She was checking for the latest news. She smiled slightly at Eyris' words. "Yeah, I know. Hey, look at this, Eye!"

Eyris tilted her head, "Eh? What is it?"

Miss Dylanne handed her the tablet, "Read page three." Eyris skimmed the article and each word made her eyebrows wrinkle even more, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?!"

"Exactly! I suppose it's some sort of joke! 'Robots are coming to your city.' I can't believe they're wasting their money on robots." Miss Dylanne scowled, "What is wrong with the world?"

Eyris put the tablet down, "Alright. No more! We are done talking about politics. Did you see the fabric I bought for you?" Eyris said excitedly, nodding towards the last bag on the counter. Inside was a silky fabric with green and gray colours mixed in. "It's beautiful, sweetie. But how much?"

"Mum, I already told you! The whole market is more than half off!" Eyris exclaimed. Her mother just shrugged, "Alright, alright. Thank you, Eyris."

"No worries, mum! Do you mind if I go out for a bit?"

Miss Dylanne looked worried, but nodded, "Be back in less than three hours, alright?!" She called as her daughter ran out the door.

Eyris walked to the crowded square, looking for her friends. She lived in a mixed city. Some people were American, some were Spanish. People came from all over the collapsed regions. So the square was mixed with many languages. Most citizens learned to speak a few languages. Eyris knew Spanish as well as english.

The motorway was running overhead, bringing people to and from the metro-city. It was the higher class. Although they said there was no 'lower class'. Everybody knew that wasn't true. When people got enough money, they got their ticket on the motorway and headed to metro-city. It was the goal of the lower class citizens. Alize had even told Eyris her dad was getting a raise, and they might be going to metro-city soon. No one could imagine that family in metro-city.

"Hey, Eyris!" A familiar voice could be heard above all the ruckus. Eyris could barely hear it due to the train passing above. She looked around for the source of the voice and found a messy haired boy running through the crowd. "Emerett!" Eyris started walking to the clumsy boy, "Is Alize with you?"

"You didn't hear, did you?" Emerett said cautiously.

"Hear what?" Eyris only suspected the worst. Was Alize dead?

"That's her, up there." Emerett looked up at the motorway, which was carrying a roaring locomotive. "She's gone to metro-city?!" Eyris said despairingly. No, this was much worse than Alize being dead.

Emerett sighed, "Yeah, 'fraid so." Eyris felt her eyes burning up from the tears that were about to spill out. "No, it can't be. I didn't even get to say good-by!"

Suddenly a voice came from behind Eyris, "Eh! What's goin' on over here?"

"Alize?!" Eyris turned around, her eyes going bright, "Alize!" Emerett started to laugh as Eyris ran and hugged Alize. Alize chuckled, "Well, that's quite the greetin', eh?" Eyris never had appreciated that Scottish accent more in her entire life.

"I thought you were gone!"

Emerett was cracking up, his eyes tearing up in laughter. "What'd you tell er', Emerett?" Alize jumped onto Emerett's back playfully, "What kind of trick are you playing this time?" She smiled and laughed as he ran around with her on his back. Eyris laughed, "He told me you had gone off to metro-city!"

"Without saying good-by?! Why, I'd never do that! You know that, Eyris!"

Eyris smiled, "Yeah, yeah. Alright, what're we doing today?"

"Spying!" Emerett yelled playfully.

"No . . . not spying, just . . . investigating." Alize said with a playful shrug.

"That sounds like us!" Eyris exclaimed, following the two down the street. Life was good when she was with these goofballs. They took her mind from reality and they made her feel like she was not obligated to do what her mother wanted. She could do what she wanted. Every time she was with them, she was free.

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