As they got closer, Esau realized that there were three figures coming. He recognised Robowill walking beside the stranger, with Levi walking alone, in front. The stranger was limping, and using a cane. As they neared, Esau recognised him. It was Peter MacDonald, the last of the original owners of the land. They met, and all stopped.
“Hello, Esau, I don’t suppose you recognise me,’ the stranger said.
“I do, sir, Mr. Peter MacDonald, and you are very welcome. We thought you dead, when we heard nothing after the end of the war. It is good to see you again. Come up to the house, it is ready to receive you. Shall I send Willy for a cart? It’s still a long walk, and you seem to be in pain.”
“Oh, yes, please, Esau. I was very near to death, injured in an explosion in the final days. Luckily for me, there were robots there who managed to get me to a special facility in Switzerland that was untouched by the fighting. There, they put me back together, but they couldn’t restore everything perfectly. So I was left with a bad leg that pains me if I walk far. After about a year, I went into cryogenic sleep and have only been awake again for a couple of months. I wasn’t happy there, so I decided to come back to see if my home still existed. Thanks, I am sure, to Levi, Menshem and Imiah, it seems to be in perfect shape. And of course, thanks to the Robos, and all of you cats.” Peter leaned on his cane, looking around, drinking in the beauty and serenity of the land.
At a nod from Esau, Willy went off at a run that was much faster than any human could have reached. It wasn’t long before he returned driving a small vehicle that Levi had once called a golf cart. Peter got in, while Levi took the driver’s seat. Esau clambered in, sitting on the back of the cart, holding tightly to the seat backs. Levi glanced back, and then started driving to the house.
Peter gazed ahead, drinking in the sight of the gardens, orchards and finally the house. This had been home to his family for generations, and to his surprise and pleasure, it still looked as it had the last time he saw it. The androids and cats had preserved it perfectly over the years. His face lit up in joy as he gazed.
“Oh, Levi, Esau, thank you, thank you!” There were tears on his cheeks as he sat and stared. He was home again, at last. Here, he hoped, he would spend his final years. Slowly, he stepped out of the cart, and started toward the front steps. But after two steps, he stopped, and turned back to Esau.
Esau joined him, and put a gentle paw on his arm. “Come, sir, and welcome home!” He smiled as he led Peter forward, up the steps, and in the front door. There they paused, while Peter looked around. “It’s the same,” he breathed. “You have changed nothing!”
“Some changes have been made in the servant’s quarters where we live, but the main house is preserved, as it was when Percival Cedric Pierce-MacDonald lived here. Levi and the others were able to put it into a time lock of some sort. I don’t understand it, but it kept everything from aging. Even the books in the library were preserved. When Sam told me you were coming, I pushed the switch that opened it again. Welcome home, sir, and I hope you will remain with us always. We feel the need for a human in our lives.”