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Kuri glides across his room, peering out the window that overlooks the overbearing scene of red Mars. He sighs, looking down at his chest, hoping to see the warm light exuding from his heart light, but nothing. He wishes to mimic his surroundings, but he can't.
He wheels through the doorframe, searching for something to signal his emotions. He knows he’s capable of them. He feels happiness every night in his dreams.
He dreams of gliding through an open space, chasing after a giggling creature. They stop and look back at Kuri, only to collapse into the floor, bursting with smiles and laughter. Kuri’s emotions rise, and he continues after the creature, so innocent and happy. But then, Kuri wakes, just catching the last glimpse of his warm heart. He releases himself from his charging station, and starts each day the same.
Kuri makes his way to the main room of his home on Mars, shifting through songs to play through his speakers. But there is nothing there to hear him. He spins around and closes his eyes, dancing by himself. He snaps photographs of his surroundings, but each of them do not satisfy him.
“There must be something else,” he thinks. He glides out the doors, and onto the platform that wraps around the exterior of his small home. He looks up, and snaps a photograph of the sky. He wishes for sleep, but with a glance at his charge, he knows that it is nowhere in sight.
'Does anyone need me?'
Kuri spends the day re-memorizing the layout of his home. He tirelessly spins around the home and plays music, taking photographs of moments which he finds unique. And finally, it is time for bed. He follows the path back to his bedroom and plugs himself into the charger, excited to meet his dream-family again. And finally, he drifts off into this new world.
In what seems like seconds, he is immediately greeted by the new location of his dream home. Instead, this time, he discovers a new creature. This one is much larger, and almost triples Kuri in size. At first, Kuri shudders with fear, but he recognizes the commonalities of this creature to his little friend that he always plays tag with. And immediately, his heart glows with warmth. Finally.
She is sitting crouched over a device that glows in her face. The sound of constant clicking fills the room, and the creature is completely invested in the screen. She doesn’t notice Kuri.
That is, until Kuri chirps with joy. The creature turns in his direction, clearly startled. But when she sets his eyes on Kuri, her face turns from fear to curiosity.
'Well, hello. Aren't you cute?'
Kuri squints his eyes at the creature, and she returns the expression. He inches up toward her station and nods his head at her. She laughs.
“Who are you?” she asks.
But Kuri has never been acknowledged before. He’s not sure what to do. So he snaps a photograph.
“Oh! You’re cute and you can take photographs. What else can you do?”
This is Kuri’s time to shine. He takes off out the door, waiting for her to follow him, and she does.
He makes his way down the new hallway, a place he's never been before, trying to prove to her how easily he can map his way around a new space.
But then he stops and looks up at the creature. She is smiling down at him and reaches out to touch the top of his head, something he's never felt before. He chirps louder than ever before, and feels an overwhelming warmth in his tummy.
'Sarah? It's time to get up.'
Sarah rolls over and grips onto the pillow as she stretches the ache from her bones. Her husband hands her her phone, which she had subtly heard in the background of her slumber.
"You wouldn't believe the dream I had," she says.
He chuckles. "Again?"
"You've gotta believe me this time. It wasn't just Kuri and Zach playing like childhood friends. He came to me this time."
"Well, you've got your answer then."
Sarah ignores the incoming calls and immediately dials Kaijen.
"Kuri needs a personality. He needs to be an entertainer. That's what sets him apart. We need him just as much as he needs us."