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"F-Funktionide." This is it. He can't take it anymore. The doorknob is broken off.

He sighs. It's not so bad. He doesn't have work today, and at least there's a bathroom off the bedroom. He's hungry, but it's hardly urgent. Calling someone never crosses his mind. What goes on between him and Funktionide is private. Intimate. He doesn't share it with anyone--they wouldn't understand.

"We talked about this," he tells the amorphous white blob. "There are rules. Boundaries. You have have no right to stop me from leaving."

Funktionide creeps over to him and presses against his leg. He can feel it pulsing through his jeans, and in its wordless way, he knows it is pleading with him. It's sorry. It didn't understand--it never does. Suddenly angry, he kicks it, with more savagery than he knew he was capable of.

The instant he kicks it, he breaks out into a cold sweat. He's always been careful not to teach it violence. Deep down he has always feared that this creature, with a mind so different from his, could turn on him. Funktionide is certainly big and strong enough to do him damage, if it chose to.

But Funktoinide only creeps back to his leg again, like the tide, and clings. He is not sure--he will never learn to read its full spectrum of complex emotions--but from the way its skin is trembling with each breath, he thinks it may be crying.

He doesn't know much about the aliens who programmed this advanced bio-cybernetic lifeform, and the best human scientists have been unable to crack the code, but from their interactions, he feels certain that the Funktionide was designed for one sole purpose--to love. Whoever its makers were, they had a much larger capacity for love than the wretched Homo Sapiens. He is ashamed of himself, but he knows the Funktionide holds no grudge. It wouldn't be capable of it.

With a deep breath and a sense of resignation, he gets down on his knees and hugs the slug-like thing. He can feel its breathing steady. It is happy.

For now. He glances over Funktionide at the broken doorknob. What he has to give will never be enough.