The setting sun lit the room with flaming shades of dusky red. Hours had passed since her encounter with the alien. Luckily, her adversary had not pursued her this far. Shakily, Andera raised herself on her elbows and stretched her wings experimentally. They still hurt, she wasn't going to risk another stunt like that again tonight. Sighing grudgingly, she stood up and followed the signs towards the stairs.
Once she was safely outside the building, Andera's slitted eyes took in her surroundings. Judging by the craters and scorch marks, a battle had been fought here not long ago. Machine parts and discarded weapons littered the area like a child's forgotten playthings, and the smell of hot plasma still hung in the air.
Making her way to a nearby sewer grate, she carefully lifted it up and moved it aside, revealing a rusty ladder into the darkness below. Turning so that her feet went first, she descended a few rungs of the ladder before reaching up and pulling the grate closed. The darkness welcomed her into its fold.
Trudging through the sewer was never Andera's favorite way of getting home. The slippery slime that coated every available surface made travel precarious but at least it was out of the line of fire. She knew most of the routes by heart, but she stopped every once in a while to run her hands along the walls to check the way. Worn smooth by countless hands, the notches pointed the way home, reassuring her as she pressed on into the darkness. The first thing she was going to do when she got back was take a bath.
Judging by the dim light streaming in from above, it was almost an hour later that she reached the exit. Grasping the slippery ladder, she climbed to the top and lifted the grate out of the way. She still had a couple blocks to go before she would see anyone, but she knew she was now safe. She was at the edge of the perimeter, and nothing bigger than a flea moved without the whole colony knowing about it. Replacing the sewer cover, she strode down the familiar street towards her home.
She had almost made it to the door when a beast of a man swung it wide open and charged her, wrapping his arms around her. He stood a good foot and a half taller than her, his curved horns adding another foot on top of that. His pants were tight around his thick legs, trailing off into tatters to reveal thickly furred legs with cloven hooves instead of feet. None of his features, however, compared to his chiseled chest and barrel arms that were squeezing the air out of her.
Gasping for air, Andera struggled girlishly to get away from the affectionate embrace.
"Oh c'mon you big meanie. I'm not hurt THAT much." she chided, trying to squirm out of his arms.
"What, I can't just give my lil sis a hug because I missed her," he grinned back, his pointed teeth peeking between his lips.
With a drawn out sigh, Andera crossed her arms and pouted. With a hearty chuckle the big man set her down carefully, as though she were made of glass.
"So how's my little devil today," he asked.
She glared at him, her eyes flickering dangerously. "Not funny Scar. You know I hate that."
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding, geez," he held up his hands defensively.
After holding an angry face for a few more seconds, she sighed and leaned against him, holding him close.
"I'm sorry. I just hate when people say things like that. Angels, Demons... like we're the bad guys. And to top it all off, we've got aliens and robots trying to kill us every move we make. I can't take it Scar."
Resting his calloused hand on her shoulder, he sighed. "I know. None of us wanted to be like this, but we have to play the hand we're dealt."
Nodding quietly, the two of them strode in through the door and descended the stairs into Dis. Far below, she could make out forms in the dim light. Horns, wings and tails were common. Some stood upright and others walked hunched or on all fours. Some had long reptilian jaws, while others had sweeping, drawn back faces. A few even had scales or gills, the result of some of the more esoteric genetic combinations.
She wondered how long it had been since mankind had stopped being human.
We sought to master our bodies and perfect nature - and we destroyed humanity.