Visitor by Dennis Chan
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Visitor by Dennis Chan

Eight years.

He’d spent eight years clawing his way halfway across the planet to get back home to Michelle.  Earth was no longer a place of rules, comforts, or even sanity.  It had all ended after Alpha had achieved consciousness while he was in Europe on business.  Living with morally regrettable actions had almost made him give up.  But he’d inched his way back home, slowly and deliberately, playing the lone wolf unless he absolutely had to steal or kill to survive.  He had, and worse . . . and he wasn’t proud of it.  The hardest part had been finding a way back across the Atlantic.  The blood of those five men and women were still on his hands after they’d found him stowed away on their boat.

Visitor by Dennis Chan
Concept art of the day:
 Visitor by Dennis Chan.

He stood in the cold rain staring at his hands hoping it would wash away the memories in his head and grant him the courage to take this final step.  But he was so tired of the chase, yet so close.  Water was quietly dripping off the roof of the now dilapidated structure that at one time had been their warm and beautiful home.  The glow of candles illuminated parts of the interior, so someone was inside.  A hint of hope was still in his heart.  Was she still alive?  Was she still here?  Would she even recognize or still want him?  Would there be someone else?  What traumas had she endured during those same eight years?

Perhaps it was too late.  But he would not be able to forgive himself after walking through so much fire and despair.  Head bowed, he stepped across the muddy yard and placed a boot on the first step of the porch . . .

About Neal Ulen

Neal Ulen
Editor/Webmaster - Engineer by training, nerd by passion. Speculative fiction has influenced me since I was a kid, guiding me to the career I have now, and likely saving me from myself during times in my young life when the path was fraught with a minefield of choices. I dabble in tech, game, film, fiction, and writing. These are my true passions, and have been since the summer of '77.