There was nothing left alive. The earth had been destroyed in the firestorm. There was no atmosphere, we could hardly breathe. But our heartbeat had slowed down, and our lungs had got used to it All the female children were pregnant by the time they were six. They didn’t live much longer than that. Their organs failed. They weren’t meant to survive, there wasn’t enough to eat. All the male children were euthanized. That was when we first saw the stranger. He was flying a kite in the desert with a child beside him. The child was of an ethnic group unknown to us. She had long, black hair and war paint on her face. We realised that she was of a breed that was half human and half bird. The hybrids had mutated since the research centres had become infected. There was no genetic pre-selection anymore. Everyone was half human. We had a child on a lead ourselves it was safer that way, the guards left us alone.