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A 37-post collection

Challenge #01686-D225: Emergency!

Emergency Personnel are trained in response measures so that when something really bad happens, the Training kicks in and they work on auto-pilot till their brain gets over the shock. -- Anon Guest

In an emergency, it's easy to tell the trained personnel from the civilians. The civilians are the ones busy panicking, screaming, running around and generally being useless. It's the job of emergency personnel to wrangle the runners whilst dealing with the problem that caused the upset in the first place.

The Emergency Response Teams of every station are primed and ready to respond in instants, because a space-borne emergency are where the instants count. Station machinery and aparatus act in the seconds where it takes a cogniscent to react and act. In the event of sudden decompression, the Hungry Caterpillar catches and safely encapsulates any unprotected cogniscents before they can suffer severe damage. Trauma therapist are available for post-capture shock.

The nature of emergency can change, but the personnel sought are always the level-headed type who remember their training and can improvise with available materials in a pinch. Which is why it was so vital for Rael to undergo ERT training. In an emergency, people look for the bright red and reflective outfits, but they also look for the rainbows of JOAT coats. Because a JOAT can do everything with anything. Nine times out of ten, the ERTs will arrive and take over before a JOAT has any time to get very creative, but the tenth time is always the doozy.

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Challenge #01670-D209: Incident at the Old Mating Grounds

Lizards attract mates differently, no flowers etc. So, how do the Amalgam lizards court? One of the local species here climbs to a prominent spot, poses and nods. -- Anon Guest

They called it Crestflare Bridge, and it had an unparallelled view of the Free Table Vendor area below. Tradition held that the tables would never have shaded covers. Because the females of assorted lizard species liked looking on the displaying males as they cruised between vendors.

Even now, centuries after the

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Challenge #01667-D206: Good For What Ails You

Two words:- Chicken Soup. -- Anon Guest

Of all the dick moves that Wave of the Future performed, releasing a virus into the populations of Faiize had to be the worst. They did not, according to the press release, intend it to be deadly. Nobody believed them. The only proof, so far, was that none of the Faiize had died from it.

So far.

Rael couldn't rest in his tank for very long. He kept his home hothouse warm for comfort

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Challenge #01663-D202: Conceptual Difficulties

Defying the Gods is an age-old tradition. How well it WORKS depends on who's telling it... -- RecklessPrudence

"We're having difficulty understanding this," said Sherlock.

"I sympathise," said Rael. "I'm having difficulty understanding it myself, and I was there to witness it."

"We have the footage and the audio, of course," Sherlock played it on one of his multiple screens. "She had a permit for incense and steam[1]. What was she doing with them?"

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Challenge #01640-D179: Wonderful Things?

[Blunt summary of situation]

So your job is, as our mutual boss put it, to "swiftly unfuck this shit posthaste." Good luck. -- RecklessPrudence

It had made the news a year before Rael was recognised as a cogniscent being by the CRC and the lawsuit began to completely free him and his kind from corporate slavery. Four years into relative freedom, and the Archivaas, Forensic Analysts, and assorted science crews had finally finished scouring the area for the slightest clue. News like

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Challenge #01638-D177: The Gone Bag

Some of us have to grab what's needed and go! What we grab is a "go bag". -- Knitnan

Officer Lyr Marken had a Go Bag, and the ability to tell what days she'd need it the most. All emergency respondents had their pack of whatever they needed for an emergency. Including a coverall variant of their usual uniform, that went on over whatever they'd worn to bed.

JOATs had the Big Box, and plenty of warning that they'd need it.


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Challenge #01633-D172: First Fair

Fairy floss, Cotton Candy whatever you call it, it was pure Empty Calories. -- Anon Guest

The refreshment booth was called Simple Carbohydrates and had display cases full of complicated things made out of those simple carbohydrates. Of course it was run by a human. Humans had had centuries to create astonishing things out of flour, potatoes, and sugar.

Rael watched as the vendor wound what looked to be coloured cobwebs onto a stick. He could smell the caramelised sugars in the

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Challenge #01631-D170: What a Maker Wants

You make stuff, sometimes your shopping list is a bit weird. Then someone decides to search your bags (you're innocent), and then there's the explanations. -- Knitnan

There's Things and then there's THINGS!. The latter is a gigantic labyrinth of the former. There's also refreshment islands with ablution kiosks and Galactic Food Choices[1] in a mini-kitchen. People who go there tend to spend all day, and then bookmark their location so that they can come again.

Rael had set his personal

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Challenge #01613-D152: Quality Control

"Nothing says unprofessional like wrinkles in the duct tape." -- RecklessPrudence

Of all the useful concepts and handy inventions that the humans took into space with them, the most widely-dispersed was ductape. It even preceded dogs as an ambassador for humanity. A watertight adhesive patch that could be shaped to suit the user's needs. Cut to demand. Flexible. And infinitely useful.

After a few hundred years, standards for its use grew. Including the quality of the user based on how ze applied

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Challenge #01596-D135: The Little Touches

the stuff every JOAT needs, and of course the Bargain Bin. -- Knitnan

It was one of those poky little storefronts that one could swear entered into another dimension. The ones with more depth than they rightfully should have had, and surprise extra levels with staircases and shelving designed by Escher. It was called simply Things and every JOAT browsed there at least once a day.

Inside was organised chaos. JOATs could do things with paperclips and ductape that no other cogniscent

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Challenge #01595-D134: The Memory Lingers On

The culch (useful junk), box for those glorious moments when. "I've got to be a Insert costume here tomorrow." arrive. -- Anon Guest

JOAT Erin had passed from this life and into whichever afterlife ze found the most entertaining. Pantheists such as Erin were expected to shop around in several for a few years and send a sign when they'd found the right one. Since Erin had no family that accepted hir, and no progeny to take up their work, the assembled

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Challenge #01587-D126: Care Worn

it's made by hand, piece by piece, often with the recipient in mind, and often prayed over. -- Knitnan

Rael took some cumulative Standard months to realise that Shayde was winding him up. Apparently, in her version of reality, true friendship meant that there was a certain volume of light-hearted teasing between... alleged allies. Humans still did this. Hostile speech in a friendly manner between allies that knew that it was friendly. Slurs used freely between those who used to be slurred.

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Challenge #01566-D105: The Kindness of Strangers

A true pessimist is always pleasantly surprised. So if you're ever disappointed or upset at something, take heart! Some part of you believes in a better world. -- RecklessPrudence

The collapsible booth on Babel Avenue[1] simply had one word on its placard. Cheer. It was written in large, friendly letters and the person inside it bore a beatific expression and watched those passing by without the slightest hint of flagging spirits.

Rael, on his way to the Temple of Feasts[2]

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Challenge #01555-D094: What the Hell, it Goes!

It's often held together with paper clips, wire coat hangers and duct tape. But it will last 'long enough' and get you to where you are going safe and sound. -- Knitnan

Unriddling a kludge is half the problem. Engineering a permanent solution that works as well as the kludge is nigh impossible. Desperation makes truly bizarre engineering. Rael, who had spent some time with actual engineers, thought he was getting pretty good at translating kludges to semi-proper engineering that did the

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Challenge #01533-D072: Sufficiently Confusing Circuitry

The Magic/More Magic switch. Details here. -- RecklessPrudence

Rael, fresh into independant JOATing, stared at the switch on the homebrew cabinet. A human had to have made this. The pencilled annotation on the toggle switch had two options. Magic and More Magic. Experimentally, he flipped the switch to More Magic and rebooted the kludge of a machine.

It worked perfectly.

Rael was not content to receive a handful of Seconds for this much work, and took the outer casing off to

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