But on this winter evening, in their humble cottage, after fumbling through history and sharing a kiss that neither hoped would be the last, they paused.
They were survivors, and yet they still could not let go of the burden that their kind had created for themselves. Grandfather had burned his laboratory notes about Muridea research, so that nobody would ever have to create such a monster again. Grandmother disposed of the piano, quietly and with tears, for music was very intimate to her. These were several hard decisions that they made, but they made them together and they made them considering the future. Both of these attributes seemed to justify it as a right decision.
Nobody knew what became of the children after. Nobody knew what happened to DNA of the Muridea either. Traces of everything that had happened were removed. Eventually, the burned land relearned how to sprout grass, and the river could supply them with nutrients once again.
Grandmother looked up from the album that she and Grandfather shared in their arms.
There was the shadow of a person on the snow. It was too upright to be someone of their age. Yet it was impossible that anybody younger should exist. Hesitant, and quite frightened, the couple took to the door. Grandfather hauled an old weapon, that he had used to keep uninvited Muridea at bay. Grandmother shivered timidly as she hobbled towards the door.
Grandmother was not a person given to drama and hysteria, yet the shock of what she saw made her reel. A young girl, of about sixteen or seventeen waited at the door. She was wearing a full coat that was buttoned up to protect her from the cold, and the snowflakes was settling in on her mousy hair.
She flashed a bright smile that reflected the snow. It was unreal. It was beyond unreal. Surely at her age, she was prone to seeing delusions. Nobody like that could even be after all that had happened. The girl moved her mouth, clearly she was trying to explain something vocally, which Grandmother did not hear. Grandfather dropped the weapon he was holding in sheer shock. Grandmother felt the vibrations of the heavy bulky device crash to the floor via her feet.
Could it be? Could the children have returned? Had they truly survived everything to live to see this beautiful day?
Very shyly, the girl patted Grandmother’s hand, as though understanding their confusion. As a patriotic and respectful gesture she tried to embrace Grandmother, as though she was long-lost family. Though Grandfather and Grandmother had no children, the very fact that someone had reached out to them and considered them close enough to be family and wished to meet them made their hearts happy enough. It was the kind of happiness that hadn’t filled them since the silence began.
Grandfather’s eyes were watering again due to some combination of extreme emotion and age and cold weather. Grandmother clasped the figure before her very tightly. This was real. She was beholding the next generation. They were so overcome with emotion, as they had never felt in so long that they had abandoned all suspicion.
Indeed it was a such a simple thing that made them happy, and like most simple ideas, it was genius. Pure genius.
While locked in that fragile filial embrace, neither Grandmother nor Grandfather noticed as the girl fidgeted with a furry, rat-like hand under her coat and turned on the invisible ear piece she had. They could not have heard what she said, but this is what she said.
“Search successful. We have located two healthy pure human specimens for gene distillation. Purification process can be initiated.”