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What Remains

In the days before the Invasion, I remember reading this article about a fish that could crawl across dry land and live out of water for up to six days. It started showing up places where it wasn’t wanted, and people called it some freak fish, or a threat, or something like that—an invasive species.

I always thought that part was funny, you know? I mean, the darned thing existed. It had evolved, right here on Earth, and, the odds are, it was probably just trying to find a way to keep on surviving.

My name is Doggie, by the way. It used to be Dottie, which was short for Dorothy, a lifetime ago. Doggie came from my wife’s son, Jonathan. He was three and just couldn’t get the T’s right. As for my wife, her name was Helen. One day, raiders came along and took Helen and Jonathan from what used to be our home while I was out scavenging. Needless to say, I don’t live there, anymore.

Don’t get me wrong; my heart still aches for what used to be. I still preserve it in my dreams. But half the population was decimated, and, we all know, society seems to have a knack for reverting to historical biases during times of crisis—what the cavemen like to call the basics. Those cavemen have made things mighty ugly for women in general, doubly so for people like Helen and me, in aiming to fix what isn’t broken.

It’s not all bad news, though. Recently, I stumbled across the remains of an old alien ship. Even the raiders are too afraid to visit, so I’m calling it home. There’s some solar-powered tech inside that still works, and, slowly but surely, I’m learning how to use it. I’m even piecing together a robotic companion for myself—Helen II.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. What if something I do brings the aliens back again?

That’s okay—I exist, and I will continue to do so. I will crawl for six days if I have to, whatever it takes to keep on surviving.