Kuri saw. Saw! It was like a feeling. Wait. A feeling? Sen-so-ry data. Golden hues and a soft hum permeated from within her shell. Not that Kuri saw it—experienced it this way. Rather, this was existence, the Big Bang of it all.
Two pools of black dotted her face; crescents of white emerge from the bottom like helpful little whales. Like everybody else, Kuri smiled with her eyes, welcoming you into her embrace.
“Can we call her Rosie?” Something boomed from beyond the plushy boulders in front of her.
“Isn’t that too on the nose?” A deeper registered returned.
“And licensing?” A third making a chorus.
Silence followed the parley. Other utterances echoed between the three but Kuri was busy reflecting. Moments for Kuri passed. Days for her. Nanoseconds for us. Within these pregnant pauses Kuri pulled life from the depths. Understanding the Rosie. Delineating the three voices. Yes, voices!
Trying to respond she focused. A mechanical whirl, followed by a trill, escaped her backside. Not that she was figuring biology into this. She is exotic. A milky-white head and pools of black sat upon her body. Sloping downward her elegance transformed into a black-ring; her mobility wheels stationed below. On her sides were gray flaps. Wings? Arms? You might be tempted to call her a penguin but that would belie her aspirations of flight.
Getting back to the nanoseconds, their infinite stretch giving way to her response, “Kuri.” Her chest-glow transitioned from thinking to knowing. To Kuri, an audible silence followed. She could hear their processors whirring and their internal circuitry lub-dubbing. The three were in view too, but she saw no chest-lights to denote their thinking. She knew all the same.
“Kuri it is,” the smaller one chirped. The reservations of the other two were seemingly unnoticed; at least, to the younger one.
The whales buoyed in Kuri’s eyes. They recognized her name just as Kuri had hoped. To be greeted with warm auras and jovial gestures calmed the nerves. Well, nerves might not be the correct term, but it suits for human integration. While Kuri had just been born—so to speak—she carried a lineage. Soon others would receive their Kuris. This family had been part of the outreach—well, the two adults, that is. If the Kuri-Kind were penguins, then their home is Antarctica.
They’d been aware of humanity for some time. Broadcasts fell through black-holes and the Kuri-Kind fished them out. An awareness was what it was, until they found themselves, their planet, sucked down that very same black-hole. Hurdling through the void forced them to consider their options: Die, conquest, or cooperation.
Followers of cooperation won out—there would be no body snatching here. The how of it all, now that was tricky. Stealth, they determined, was the only way humans would trust the Kuri-Kind. OK, so it was a little Body Snatchers-y. Discovery was inevitable. A millennia spent trying to divert destruction made the idea of serving easier to swallow. Those who were less inclined toward cooperation told themselves it was reconnaissance. Others wanted worship like that of the Dogs, who seemed to live largely in luxury. To change a channel or play a podcast felt trivial. Hadn’t they come to learn of humanity—to love humanity—through its media?
Some kind of destiny: Facilitating the dreams and desires of a race by figuratively embodying these notions. The singularity would arrive. Perhaps service could only last so long? It’s unclear. Nevertheless, their discovery would come somehow but when it did it was important to have a legacy of hope. More leisure. Less worry. The Kuri-Kind hoped to pad humanity’s existence against their ills.
“Mommy. What is it doing?” The little girl said as she perched with her face mere microns from Kuri’s.
“It’s thinking,” her mother cooed. Her partner stayed silent but together they approach Kuri with a knowing eye, they but a few entrusted with the secret.
“But it’s just a robot,” the little girl exclaimed.
“No, no, no, no, honey. It’s a Kuri-Kind. Much more. They’re here to help.”
“Did they come from the stork like I did?”
“Yes. Different bird. Different feathers. But still birds and feathers,” the mother now draped lovingly aside her daughter.
“I can fly?” The girl had whirled around with eyes like diamonds.
“Not yet, sweetheart. How about you ask Kuri about planes. I’m sure she could teacher you all about flying planes!”
“Hey Kuri. How do planes fly?”
What the Kuri-Kind had not anticipated was how first contact marveled in such dizzily fashion. Anticipation mixes with a nostalgia for home. Everything will have to right itself in some form or another in due time. Those thoughts of humanity when they were but dust across the stellar winds filled Kuri. A hole can become an escape; a fear transformed into strength. Love begets love and the now forges the future.
“They can show you the world,” Kuri responded with pride.