Instant Story

Flash fiction fresh from my fingers to your mind!

Challenge #02233-F043: Greatest Responsibility

What would an intergalactic nursery look like? -- Anon Guest

Multi-species infant care is a fascinating workplace to begin with. For each species, there are separate demands beyond the standards of clean, warm, and comfortable. There are some general rules, like mammals do best when fed on their parental secretions. Reptilian life forms, for instance, get essential gut bacteria from their parentals' regurgitations. Some, like Humans, thrive with the assistance of gentle physical contact. Others are too frail to be disturbed until they pass certain milestones of early development.

Some species get to choose their infant's gender based on the temperature at which their eggs are incubated. Others, by the temperature in the nest as they proceed past the larval stage and pupate. Some have strict rules about leaving such things to happenstance. It is therefore vitally necessary to know all of this before qualifying for a xeno-childcare license.

In larger space ports and trade centres, it can get ridiculously complicated. Interns and trainees usually don't have to care for more than one species' ward at a time. Unless, like Ka'tho, hir patron hospice is run off their feet with a mutant strain of the Immunoflu and everyone not a vector is set to look to the needs of the smallest and most vulnerable members of society.

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Challenge #02232-F042: To Stand in Judgement

"I've known nothing but struggle and heartbreak... and yet I fought to survive, certain it would all be worth it in the end and my prayers would be rewarded... And now I learn THIS? I discover that, from your point of view, my entire life, from the moment I was born until the day I die... well, died... that every day of it is... er, was... just a bit of idle entertainment?!"

"Well... though that's a terribly dark way to put it.

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Challenge #02231-F041: Workarounds

"You're being stingy."

"Yes, I know." -- Anon Guest

"I warned you," said Lady Anthe. "These caverns are not as friendly as the rest of the Underdark. You won't find luminous mushrooms or special glowing crystals here, and most of the fungus among us is either deadly poison or just plain carnivorous. I used to survive in places like this."

"You mean you used to live--"

Anthe cut Marvin's well-meaning correction off. "I wouldn't call it living. After three more days, neither

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Challenge #02230-F040: Radical Prototype

"I fail to see how crew members taking the offensensitivity warning I attached to myself as a joke or challenge is in any way my fault." -- Anon Guest

Human Kari tapped at the small pin. It was shaped like a fan, and mostly silver. The borders were thick and black and there was an ornamental scroll that had the words, Accidentally Offensive embossed into it. Presumably, those within range to read it would also be subject to Human Kari's... more colourful

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Challenge #02229-F039: Special Talents

"Am I weird?"

"Yes, that's why we get along." -- Anon Guest

They say things like, There's always one, or, Strange is as strange does; but what they generally mean by that is, Look at the statistical outlier. It's not always done with malice, but it certainly feels that way when one is on the receiving end. For those who experience this sort of thing first hand, it's interesting how the statistical outliers are reviled and expelled from groups as "too strange"

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Challenge #02228-F038: Tactile Rewards

Human giving an alien scritches.

"I'm not a pet, you know."

"Do you want me to stop?"

"…No" -- TheDragonsFlame

The one thing one must remember about Humans, Thrikki wrote in her journal, apart from the most obvious like the whole Deathworlder thing, is that they are incredibly tactile. They reach out to feel things just to experience what it feels like. They reassure themselves on the presence of their fellows. They show affection through touch.

Human Cass was doing just that,

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Challenge #02227-F037: Think of the Children

An alien equivalent of a lawyer is studying up on various human court cases and stumbles upon a series of cases from family courts dated up to the mid 2030s citing "deviant sexual attitudes" or "deviant sexuality" as reasons for being an unsuitable parent. Upon consultation with its human liaison as to the nature of these cases, the alien discovers the murky and dark legal situations around kinks. -- Anon Guest

For those seeking further proof of Human Insanity, look no further

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Challenge #02226-F036: Simple Metallurgical Skills

They were doomed. The copper tin alloy for the critical drive component they desperately needed was on a planet weeks away, and even if they had it, they couldn't make the part on the ship.

That's when the human walked into the bridge mopping sweat off hir brow.

"All fixed let's go."

"What do you mean all fixed?"

"Simply, I made a cast of the part with the pieces, then melted down the original and re cast it. It should last to

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Challenge #02225-F035: That They May See

Words cut deeper than any weapon ever could. Thankfully, they also heal better than any medication. -- Anon Guest

Everyone has words they hate having flung at them. Slurs, for instance. For the linguists among us, it may be fascinating to analyse how the words we choose to hurt others with show how those who arm evaluate those they see as less. However, those words still hurt. Others may choose to glide past them. Having never had such words used against them,

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Challenge #02224-F034: The Better Mousetrap Paradox

"Why do you carry a device only for recording your voice?"

"I think too quick to type anything down" -- Anon Guest

"There are auto-dictation programs galore," added Phrel. "Voice to text."

"Except they come with autocorrect and it takes a freaking age to teach them my personal lexicon. I'm a self-confessed weirdo that way. It's much easier for me to record the audio, slow it down, and use an older autodict to take a best guess at all the spelling. Then

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Challenge #02223-F033: Treasure (n)

The Archivaas learning about the libraries at Alexandria and Timbuktu -- Anon Guest

They say that if you want to annoy a Human Librarian, you should get them started on the Library of Alexandria. It's one of the more famous instances of knowledge destruction in Human history. It's famous as one of the most devastating hits to human progress in all of their devastating histories of Humankind, right next to the Shattering.

Less well-known is the fact that the Library of Alexandria

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Challenge #02222-F032: Snapping Point

(Sorry for everything bad in this prompt. My grammar isn't perfect. Anyway English isn't my native language :/)

Obsession about humans is almost natural in some species. Scientists literally love watching their human beings on tests. But some scientists went too far, when they ask: How much pain can human endure before they give up? -- Anon Guest

[AN: No worries, Nonny. When I encounter a prompt with obvious grammatical or spelling errors, I fix them up so that the soul of the

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Challenge #02221-F031: The Wager Motivation

Humans have a way of betting that causes the right people for a particular challenge to attempt what is at the time seemingly impossible.

An Inducement prize Contest like the "Ansari X prize" for making the first reusable private Spacecraft, or a Wager like the story of "Around the world in 80 days", even just friends and the ole "Hold my beer".

Humans strive to do the impossible because they like to win. It's in the DNA -- Adam from Darwin

The

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Challenge #02220-F030: Revelations

With so many deathworlders in the crew, there was bound to be at least one personal chamber decorated in horror and all things creepy. That was not surprising in the least. The surprising part is that this is the room of a class 5 havenworlder. -- Anon Guest

They called him Floofy, and they adored him. He was agreebly the softest, prettiest, cutest member of the team. As a Class 5 Havenworlder, though, Floofy was very delicate. His species preferred to let

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Challenge #02219-F029: Fallen From Grace

"I don't understand why you don't understand." -- Anon Guest

This place was an outrage. Roman's first thought as he returned to consciousness was that someone was going to pay for being so loud in his vicinity. It didn't matter to him that the someone was a baby. It mattered that the baby was interrupting his rest. There was other hubbub. People talking. People clattering around with things. He opened his eyes to see dingy grey foam tiles in the ceiling. Who

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