Challenge #03131-H222: Artisinal Friend

They sat alone, quietly eating their meal. Their shoulders were slumped, their head was down, they had the forlorn look of a lonely, bereft, individual who'd completely given up on life itself. When a kind cogniscent tried to sit with them, they softly mumbled something apologetic and, quietly, obviously reluctantly, moved away to an even more distant, emptier, corner. The person went back to their friends, their eyes sad, filled with compassion.

"What did they say?"

"They said bad-luckers who cause their friends harm don't deserve to have friends. They only deserve to be shunned and be alone. This isn't right, we need to do something." -- Compassion

A gengineer, a roboticist, and a social worker walk into a bar... This would normally be the opening salvo in a joke, but this time it was the beginning of Phy's salvation. Phy didn't see it as that to begin with, given that she automatically repelled all attempts at friendship. It was for the best. She was Bad Lucker. Bringing ill fortune to all those she felt closeness towards. It wasn't fair, it wasn't right, but it was life as she knew it.

At the time, she did her best to ignore and shun the three cognicscents putting their heads together at the other table. Their business was their business. It wouldn't be right to mess it up by existing in their atmosphere. Keep the head down, the interest minimal, and the problems averted before they could start.

It would be weeks before those three would turn up again with a parcel. With a bow on it. And an escort by the CRC. "We looked into your case," said a smiling gengineer. "All the details. You need companions." At this, Phy nearly ran screaming for the solitude of the maintenance tunnels.

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