by Karl

He sat there looking out the transparency at the world below, the blue and white world he had called home so long ago. Its swirling white clouds made a pattern that obscured the turmoil that no doubt raged on the poor little world below. He had been there for over an arn, his utensil pushing his untouched meal in a figure eight pattern on the small copper platter. He shoved the plate forward, the plate and its contents landing on the deck some distance away. He stood from the stool and looked back out to his home. Just the thought of that word sickened him. What had he become in the time he had been gone? Surly no one would know him, his family long since dead. There was no true home to return to. 

He turned from the mocking world beyond. ”No, there is nothing there for me now!” Yet, like some animal controlled by his instinctual drives, he had to go back. He had dreamed many times of returning, but not like this. Not alone. 

He stepped over the DRDs now busy cleaning the mess he had produced. They scurried out of his way as he made his way to his quarters. He surveyed them as if he would never see them again, yet he knew he would return sooner or later. This was his home now and this detour into his past would only be temporary. 

As he tried to find something suitable to wear, he discovered that he no longer had any trace of the clothes that he had when he arrived on this living being. In some ways he was thankful to not have the remnants of what he once was. He quickly changed and made his way to the hangar. There was no ceremony of departure. This was his burden. It had amazed him that only weakens ago he had looked forward to the return, yet now it only soured in his stomach. 

The transport descended quickly to keep hidden from the defenses that were in place. He flew low in normal traffic patterns to not attack attention to his arrival. He had waited arns so that he could arrive at night. It would lessen the chance of someone seeing his strange little organic craft. 

He landed the pod deep in the hills above his hometown. The wonderful smells of the woods welcomed him as he descended through the freshly plowed fields remembering his youth and things he had forgotten till now: the smells, joy and excitement of those days flooded back to him. He arrived at the gate in front of his childhood home and he examined every detail. It had not changed greatly since he had left and this surprised him. He felt deep in his heart that perhaps, just perhaps, there was someone home that he would know. “Impossible!” He eradicated the idea as quickly as it arrived. He stood there not able to open the gate to enter. “No!” he spat, that person is dead. “This is a lie.” He turned slowly to head back to his pod, but someone called out. 

“Who’s out there?” The old man’s voice was loud enough to startle him where he stood. There was a familiar tone to it that even over all the years he had been gone, he knew it instantly. The lights from the house blinded him briefly and he squinted though his raised hand to see the man standing at the front of the house. 

He lowered his hand from his face, allowing the bright light to identify him. He cleared his throat as he realized he could barely breathe. He tasted the salt of his tears as he finally spoke. “ It is I, father! I have returned. I am sorry, but I have failed you!” He took a deep breath. “Tauvo is dead. I return home alone!” 

The old man, still only a silhouette, approached him. Bialar stood motionless blinded by his own grief that still raged for the loss of his little brother. The old man now stood denches away from him. "Bialar my son." He grabbed Bialar and pulled him to his frail body. “You’re alive!” His old haggard laugh tore through the night sky. 

As Bialar embraced his father, so much of his pain seemed to dissolve way. Bialar held on to his father as if it was all that was keeping him alive. The men stood there for arns just crying, the loss and pain of their lives passing from them as they did. 

Bialar Crais was home… 


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