It was coming to this, one way or another. I can’t ignore the Signal.The human flesh tears and stretches like the fatty bacon the species so loved. It pulls and rips over iridescent green muscle, bioluminescence veins, pulsing with life not of their world. My mouth gapes open as the collagen pockets over my intake/outtake hole sizzle until nothing but gray smoke lingers in my vision. Which soon changes as the false human eyes melt and sink into the large, dim ruby-lined irises encompassing the oval sockets. Real colors return to me, no longer restrained by their minuscule cones of light. I let out a groan when my knees pop and bend, reshaping to my natural haunched ones. The ten-toed feet bubble and reform into two cloven ones.Like a canine shaking water from its coat, I do the same, removing the excess charred flesh and blood. I straighten as much as I can in the dingy shed, though my oblong cranium still hits the ceiling. I let the quiet night take hold, and I can now hear voices beyond the crooked, metal double-doors. The male child and the female. Those I must leave behind. Gelatinous veils fall over my eyes, drip and absorb into the dirt floor.“Mom! Where’s dad?” the child calls, his voice high and lighthearted.“I don’t know!” the female replies, “maybe in his shed? You know how he gets.”“Yeah, maybe — I’ll check there!”I stand still, listening to his small feet swish across the damp grass. I hear him stop before the doors. I watch as the door handle jingles when he touches it. I reach out with three-probed tools but the blaring, burning Signal flashes over my mind and I retract, wince. The gelatinous tears are falling in rivulets and a puddle forms beneath me. He is my son— was my son. Now, he will be nothing but a microscopic speck on a microscopic speck in a solar system that is nothing more than a microscopic speck itself.Before the door slides open, I close my eyes, tap my sinewy, concave abdomen nine times, and vanish. When I open my eyes, I stand in the transportation station of SH-193. Others of my true race stand before me, also on transportation discs. The station stretches for miles — no, not miles, I’m still determining distance like a human — mijo’ths. We were been given the Signal. We had to return. We had to abandon what we came to know and love and created.A war is upon us, and we must obey.If you like what you read, consider subscribing to my subreddit where you can read more of my work: /r/MicahCastle.