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Challenge #02170-E341: The Little Necessities

An alien realizes his travel buddy of a different species who he thought was a bit immature is a literal teenager and immediately becomes more protective. -- OohLookShiny

Gorkz was rather fond of Human Zae. They were rough around the edges, as all Humans were, but there were enough positives to balance out negatives like, instantly drawing a straight line between any random phrase and a crude joke. They were loyal to a fault, knew which direction to take their aggression out in, and amazingly easy-going. They fit their personal maintenance schedules around Gorkz's own with relative ease.

It wasn't until they hit a more popular Edge trading station called Swapmeet that Gorkz discovered one, slightly alarming 'negative' about Human Zae. Gorkz was determined to give Human Zae some rewards for their unswerving service, and partial payment for all the hard knocks they had taken. When they pulled up to a place serving Unsuitable Food, a fellow Human noticed them and strolled over.

They were significantly larger than Human Zae, but that was nothing to be alarmed about. Human Zae had defeated many creatures larger than themselves. Even attempted to train a few of them. This approaching Human wasn't giving any threat indicators, but Human Zae was muttering curses in their barbaric tongue. The reason why became evident very soon, as the approaching Human began conversation with, "You know is child, yes?"

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Challenge #02169-E340: Local Womens' Controversy Club

"As Chairman, I'd like to call to order this 1,357th meeting of the local 'Responsible Parenting' committee." -- Anon Guest

"Daisy... It's the coffee and cake meet."

"I want it to feel more official," objected Daisy. "It's about vaccination."

Five women in the room all rolled their eyes. "I thought we weren't going to bring up controversial topics at these," objected Claire.

"What's controversial about protecting your kids?" asked Julie.

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Challenge #02168-E339: True Reform

The prisoners were prepared for torture, not a hug and kind words. -- Anon Guest

They shuffled into the institution in chains. Ugly jumpsuits standing out against the grey of the bus and the grey of the tarmac The featureless quad stretched before them as heavily-armed guards marched them in twos towards the opposing doors in the large,imposing facade before them. It, too, was grey, and had no windows.

Other guards, dressed in blue and grey, came out of those doors

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Challenge #02167-E338: A Delicate Understanding

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

"So, never talk to you?" -- Anon Guest

Princess Kelwynn looked up into the dark face of the Tiefling Warlock responsible for saving her life, and then assisting on the adventure that was their continued escape. "It's simple manners, Ebonn. Surely, there are nice things you can say about anyone. All you have to do is keep your nasty words to yourself."

"Bold of you to assume that simple

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Challenge #02166-E337: Microcosmically Conscious

A white blood cell and a macrophage cell already have an unlikely friendship. But then they get "the call" -- Adam in Darwin

"Listen, Neocyte... we don't have the time for you to mature and be ready to fight. Take a back seat. This is literally my job."

"This is an all-hands battle, Blob," argued Whyte. "I have to be on the front. My graduation is mere milliseconds away! I can do this!"

The call came from the Internal Army. "Bacteria at

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Challenge #02165-E336: To Cross the Lake of Certain Death

So long, and thanks for all the ghoti. -- Anon Guest

They were large, piscine lifeforms, big enough to swallow a Goliath whole, and the lake they inhabited was as large as an entire country. It would take too long to go around. They had to go across somehow.

"You can fly, right?" said Anthe. "Just zip us across?"

Wraithvine said, "Look for what isn't here," and summoned an illusory globe via Prestidigitation and floated it out over the surface. It fizzled

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Challenge #02164-E335: Gift For the Mage

“One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

– Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone -- c/- Anon Guest

Lady Anthe smirked in the warm glow of the Candlenights Hearth and said, "You haven't looked hard enough, then."

There are downsides to sharing one's adventures with a Rogue, and not the ones that you might expect. Wraithvine still remembered

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Challenge #02163-E334: Don't Ask!

"We've got the girl, the gold, and didn't have to kill a single goon! What can possibly, realistically go wrong?!" -- Anon Guest

The Universe is glad to educate someone who asks silly questions like that. Melvin was behind on learning that question but clearly realised that he had said something wrong, the instant that Wraithvine and Lady Anthe smacked themselves in the face.

What could realistically go wrong was a thousand well-camouflaged guards coming out of the woodwork to oppose their

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Challenge #02162-E333: To Seek Out New Life

The 'Enterprise' crew discover P'ting -- Anon Guest

Captain's Log: Stardate... unknown. We have been flung by an unknown force into a nebula that could be tremendously far from home or... could be in another dimension. Commander Spock has been working on determining the exact destination in which we find ourselves. In the meantime... we pursue our primary mission to seek out and explore... anything... that is new.

The bridge of the Enterprise was quiet, but it was the kind of quiet

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Challenge #02161-E332: Playing Power

“Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”

“Sir?”

“It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”

“Sir?”

“That’s practically zen.”

― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay -- c/- Anon Guest

Power corrupts, they say. Absolute power, they add, corrupts absolutely. They say this a lot, especially when protesting against those who have the power. Systems with a huge and unbreachable gulf between the Haves and the Have

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Challenge #02160-E331: Not That Simple

I have love in me the likes of which can scarcely be imagined and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I can not satisfy one, I will indulge the other. -- Anon Guest

If there is one rule of the Universe beyond, never ask questions to which there may be a painful answer, it is this: Never Anger a Primary Parental.

Q'essoj was busy learning this. They thought that taking a Human infant from an apparently unguarded area

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Challenge #02159-E330: Understandable Precautions

A Havenworlder exploration vessel is exchanging stuff and ideas with a Terran exploration vessel. All is relaxed and going very well until one of the Terrans puts down their drinking vessel and declares the most terrifying words in all the multiverses -- "I've just had a thought!!" -- Anon Guest

Humans are Deathworlders. They have become gradually aware of this. Deathworlders and Havenworlders should not mix, but space is an unfriendly environment and sometimes you really need a big friend who is

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Challenge #02158-E329: Shattering Performance

The noise was indescribable, and practically cleaning the windows. -- Anon Guest

If there is any sound in the entire planar system to be feared, it is that of a Kobold Bard about to commence a Traditional Kobold Folk Song.

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..." the Bard took another deep breath, "Eeeeenouncing salutations, my merry pack this day... We celebrate the ending of a knight who came to slay..."

Kobolds, being creatures of darkness and tunnels, had bats to teach them what music was. They do

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Challenge #02157-E328: The Melody Lingers On

few things annoy or irritate a human more than an unfinished tune or ditty...

ESPECIALLY the simplest ones, notably "a shave and a Haircut" and "Pop goes the Weasel" -- Adam in Darwin

Humans have an alarming attachment to rhythm and melody for a species so centred on sight. Many prefer to have "their tunes" in the background during work, and many more are victim to the Ice/Pressure phenomenon[1]. Humans say that music is a universal language, but even they

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Challenge #02156-E327: They'll Be Back

It wasn't that Humans were suicidal, nor are they intrinsically self absorbed.

They just understand better than even most Herd like species, that sometimes the only way to save the masses is to sacrifice the few, preferably themselves.

That doesn't mean they went quietly, or easily. -- Adam in Darwin

It only takes a moment. A split-second decision along the lines of, Here is where I stand and fight. The lucky few see it in the Human's eyes just moments before the

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