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'Mare Serenetatis, Taurus–Littrow Valley, 1972'
Kuri was the smartest of the small robot community back home and way smarter than her brother and her big sister. An enthusiastic little soul. It was the perfect planet that they called home, a peaceful robotic utopia.
A thunderous noise woke Kuri from sleep mode. It had been years now since she had seen any craft, other than her own, especially this close. She looked around, evaluating her surroundings with precision. She had scoured the southeastern edge area many times. She and her mother had taken what they needed from the surface. That was 20 years ago, when her mother left her behind. She had no choice but to launch without her, Kuri's circuits were fried after an accident at the crater. Her momentum was out of sync, causing her to wobble unsteadily, rendering her too slow to return to the craft with her mother.
Kuri's mother was burdened with the minerals they needed to sustain life for their expanding world. Minerals that could only be found here were the perfect composition for an expanded construction of more advanced robots back home. Their world, just beyond the Keplar belt, was in need of more material. They had depleted their resources and needed more. Kuri's uncanny knowledge of the cosmos was unfathomable. Her micro-processors were highly attuned more than any other of her home planet droids. She was the only one that knew the location for their mining venture. Her mother could have released her payload, helped and escaped with Kuri, but then the fate of Kuri's world was in jeopardy. Her mother had told her of the risks she would undertake and that the craft was automatically timed for launch, whether they were on board or not and it was impossible for her mother to override the launch codes. Her mother scurried quickly towards the craft, boarding without her.
Kuri's mechanics whined as she tried her best to catch up, watching her mother in the pod window as the craft launched making it's return flight. It was no use; Kuri had tried so hard, but she just did not have the power to catch up. She would need to make repairs before she could be back to normal. But there was no time as the pod lifted off. The repeated code relayed in Kuri's computer unit, her mother's message constantly looping, reassuring her she would be back. Until the communication failed, its signal lost as the craft blasted into quantum speed.
Kuri stood motionless for years, staring towards the exact path her mother's craft had journeyed into, the dark cosmic abyss. Her little robotic structure was beaten by the planet's harsh weathering. Kuri's shiny smooth body, now scuffed from the dust storms. She had patched on makeshift pieces of metal to her body, from where micro-organisms had made holes. She had designed her charging pad to run off the solar rays that frequented the planet. Every now and again she entered sleep mode to reserve power.
Kuri now knew that the arriving craft was approaching the surface, she experienced a flush of emotions as the retros fired, emitting a heavy thrusting sound. So she made a deftly swift dash, up and around the surrounding rock area of the dusty grey plateau, quite a distance from where the craft was approaching, but her vision was advanced enough to zoom in on the visitors. She moved quicker than any other of the droids back home and knew the quickest route out of there.
Peeping from around the cold frosty rock, where Kuri hid herself, she noticed it was not a ship from her home planet. Her heart light dimmed as her excitement turned to sorrow as she became aware of this, but quickly becoming intrigued as to who it could be.
A cloud of dust and vapor engulfed the landed craft, before settling. The hatch opened and Kuri watched as a figure she had never encountered before, but had heard about in her robotic school days, descended down the ladders from the side of the craft. Kuri enhanced her visuals targeting on to the strange white bubbled suit and bulbous glass-domed head wear the visitor wore. It seemed to walk the way she had seen from her memory, but it's molecular structure seemed wrong. She was cautious, her instincts as a friendly intelligent system tempted her to show herself and hope they could help her and maybe take her along for the ride and travel to were they were going.
It was too much of a risk. The visitors were not to be trusted, these were the stories she had heard back home and anyway her mother could return anytime soon. She said she would be back. Kuri was lonely and afraid. She sighed and let another whine of sorrow seep from her circuits as she once again flickered her eyelids, switching back to sleep mode. As the visitors began to investigate the surroundings of the plateau.
There was no recollection of time, as Kuri flicked open her eyes and blinked to adjust her visuals. She looked towards the craft. It seemed to be preparing for take-off. Kuri remembered the day her mother had told her, "You must have courage along with your intelligence, be brave Kuri, find your courage." The words enveloped her main frame, as she made a dash towards the craft at lightening speed, her mapping sensors locked as she weaved in and out of the small rocks and indentations on the plateau floor. She travelled faster than she had ever traveled, a cloud of dust trailed behind, as the drive system propelled her speeding wheels. She approached, quickly locking herself to the outside of the bottom of the craft. Kuri attached the tether that extended from her utility compartment, it fused into the craft's metal frame. She then engaged the safety radiation heat-shield which encased her robotic structure. She had no idea how long she had been here, but she knew she could not stay on this planet a minute longer, her systems would not allow it, her whole being was to help and be loved.
The craft roared and lifted with great ferocity. "Wooo!" shouted Kuri with excitement, wrapped snug and safe inside her suit as the craft shot into the dark.
Her mother smiled through the pod window of her approaching craft showing a happy, but tearful expression as she watched Kuri clinging on to the craft making her way towards the visitor's planet. She never let go of her mission to return for Kuri. She wanted to tell her of all the great things that have happened back home, great things that would not have been possible without Kuri's brave sacrifice. Her mother was satisfied at that point, that Kuri had found her courage. She was special and knew she was destined for greater things.
Although her mother was too late and saddened, she knew that Kuri would be welcomed, learned from, and be able tell her stories of how she came to be and also loved on that place that they call Earth.