"Carnoo-gaaa!!" The cry comes up from the house and echoes across the hills. Carnuga sighs and climbs wearily to his feet, pausing only to scratch the fur under his armpit. The itching is growing more frequent now. He turns away from the sunset, shivering as the early evening breeze ruffles his pelt, and begins the slow descent down the gentle slope to where his wife, Tipoli-Ti, stands waving, in front of the house.
As he gets closer he can see she is obviously excited from the way her fur ripples with waves of colour, and for a few moments he resents her enthusiasm, finds himself hating the way she can still have optimism after all that has happened to them. Then he thinks of their children, and the anger turns to despair.
"What is it?" He waddles up to the tunnel-like entrance of the silvery-grey domed structure. Tipoli-Ti runs forward, paws outstretched.
"I can talk to the house, Carnoo! It answers me now!"
Carnuga stares at his wife. "Is that all? The Earther house-brain talks? Tell me something good.” His shoulders sag, and his fur shimmers to a dark brown. He turns away from her and shuffles under the archway and into the dome. “Tell me something I want to know.”
Carnuga pauses in the doorway and turns sharply to glare at his spouse. “Tell me you can make the house give us proper food. Tell me you can make the…the green stuff go away. Tell me you can bring back our world. Tell me-“ He stops, his eyes mere slits of frustrated anger. “Tell me our children will live.”
Tipoli-Ti blinks at him, her arms falling to her sides.
“I cannot change what has been, Carnoo.”
“Then do not tell me things I do not want to know!” Carnuga turns away once more. “I am going to see my babies.”
Inside the house hums quietly to itself. A wide and low domed structure, to the Earthers the space inside would have been ample. To Carnuga it feels claustrophobic. But then Earthers were smaller. He walks to the far side of the dome, and stops in front of what appear to be four small glass-enclosed coffins. However this is no mausoleum, for inside each one a sleeping form reclines. Carnuga gently places a paw upon the nearest, wanting to touch, to reach in and hold, to pick up and never let go…
“My son…my poor poor son…” He feels a shuddering start from deep within his chest, and blinks as cold crystals begin to fill his eyes.
“Carnoo…I’m sorry!” His wife stands beside him. “I didn’t mean to…”
They embrace in front of the sleeping infants, the touch of fur the only comfort they can find.