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Challenge #01932-E108: Cute, Fluffy, Dangerous

It looks adorable, acts so very cute, and even smells attractive. Don't go near it with barge pole. There's got to be some huge catch. -- Anon Guest

Humans are bizarre. At any given moment, they will attempt to tame and then ride any beast bigger than one of their domestic canids[1]. They will coo over and attempt to pet any given venomous or aggressive creature. But it was on the planetary system WEP969HU84I, nicknamed Planet Cutiekiller, that another aspect of humanity became known.

The atmosphere was classified non-toxic, though the Ship's Human declared that he had gained four pounds just by sniffing it. The crew of the Intrepid Investigator agreed that the air was scented like one of Human Shan's annual treat pastries. No pathogens were detected, nor toxins, nor any kind of threat to the ship or its crew.

The local flora tested as both edible and theoretically delicious, though further investigation was warranted before the crew were invited to dig in. Just in case there was a hazardous enzyme somewhere in the mix that made the native flora both delicious and deadly. Human Shan grew increasingly agitated during the sampling mission. A condition that worsened when they encountered some of the native wildlife.

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Challenge #01931-E107: What Does it See?

...I gazed into the sun. You would not see it unless you were looking, but it was there. There was a pupil, an iris, cornea... Then... the sun... blinked. -- Anon Guest

It took less than a second. Just like any blink you or I may know. Nobody else saw it because you just don't look at the sun unless you want to risk going blind. Plus this is the sort of thing that you could literally blink and miss.

There had

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Challenge #01930-E106: Deathworlder Rituals

You can’t not look at explosions. -- TheDragonsFlame

There were warning signs up surrounding Unsuitable Food Eat. Humans celebrating inside. Small, harmless explosions expected. Fireworks warning. And a pictogram of sparks and explosions with an alert sign. Even the newest of Havenworlders to the Galactic Alliance learned that Humans liked to celebrate with sparking fireworks, loud noises, and shocking expulsions of streamers, as well as other loud noises.

And inside, was a typical Human party. Loud people. Loud accessories. Loud clothing.

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Challenge #01929-E105: Wrong Hostages!

You’d be surprised at how much stuff you can screw up with 24 hours, the proper motivation, and a screwdriver. -- TheDragonsFlame

Rael glared at the human in his company. "Do you mean literally, as in fasten, or figuratively, as in ruin?"

A devilish grin. "Ruin," said Shayde, already digging into her extradimensional pockets. Not even dragging their contents out into what passed for the light. Finding what she wanted by feel. One tool emerged. A relatively small swiss army knife.

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Challenge #01928-E104: Tag, You're Undead!

The homo genus utilized the persistence hunt as one of its primitive hunting strategies. The homo genus, including homo sapiens, is remarkably well suited for this. We are relatively hairless for mammals (it's actually just much thinner than most mammals' hair), bipedal, sweat over-actively, and our legs (from the soles of the feet to the connection at the hip joint) are very well suited to distance running.

With that said ... I just learned that a few Kenyan villagers ran down a cheetah

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Challenge #01927-E103: Clean-out in Aisle Seventy

The joys of 'Bargain bins' and 'end of Season' clearances. -- Anon Guest

Sale (n): A period of time in which retail emporiums lower the prices of their merchandise to cost or slightly below cost to save on storage fees. -- The Cynical Dictionary.

Wise men said that only fools rushed in. They were the ones who spent their savings on shiny gimcrack that wouldn't even last a weekend. Therefore, when the doors opened on the Big Box Mart Once A Year

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Challenge #01926-E102: Science Fiction, Double Feature

Let's hear it for all those cheesy Z grade movie monsters. -- Anon Guest

Shayde had started another side business. The facade declared it to be Armpit Theatre Entertainment. And a placard on one of the windows proudly proclaimed, We show the worst that humanity has to offer! Closer inspection revealed a subtitle to that which read, Yelling at the screen is encouraged if you are funny.

Was this one of her jokes on the rest of civilisation? Or was she making

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Challenge #01925-E101: Tragedy Tomorrow

Today's program consists of the Men's choirs, Poetry reading, original, Poetry reading from one of the set poems, and children's dance. (See The Goodies, "Eisteddfod from the Welsh. Eistedd, bored. Fod, stiff.") -- Anon Guest

Colony worlds, once cut off from their progenitor planet, have to deal with what they've got. B'Nar took everything nerd-related with them owing to the fact that it was settled by genetic engineering companies and their nerdy, nerdy staff. And their equally nerdy families. The assembled Greater

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Challenge #01924-E100: A Tisket, A Tasket...

Coracle. Ancient form of water transport made out of sticks, cow hide* and waterproofing. *any firm waterproof material will do. -- Anon Guest

The human was messing around with the local vegetation again. They had already taken some fallen wood and whittled two paddles, and now they were making a positively enormous basket out of the long, bendy reeds that had once been growing by this lake.

"Is this a temporary shelter?" asked Thok.

"Nope," said Human Grif. Still lashing things together

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Challenge #01923-E099: They Call Her Queen Badass

"How in the world could a single bottle of alcohol render nearly a dozen of Her Ancient Majesty's finest - oh, and the Millennial Queen Herself! - to nothing but a scattered roomful of unconscious drunks?!"

The taller woman examined the elaborately-decorated crystalline decanter, and then the glasses around each snoring soldier. "Hmm... yeah... I'd say fourteen-thousand-year-old firewine would probably do the trick better than anything..." She paused, re-counting one pile of glasses and then looked back at her partner with a

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Challenge #01922-E098: The Big Guns

She unleashed the most powerful, devastating, army-halting, tyrant-toppling weapon... the puppy dog eyes -- TheDragonsFlame

In the times of Dragons, a very young Elf only has one defense. And after the Orcs raided her village, and Tila woke up in a cage, it was a matter of urgency to find a time to use it on creatures who certainly planned to eat her. Once she realised her situation, she certainly couldn't return to anything approaching rest. Every Orc was carrying a young

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Challenge #01921-E097: One Tension-rich Moment During an Ambassadorial Introduction Party

Your annual festival of re-birth is celebrated by eggs laid by a rabbit! -- Anon Guest

"With," corrected Shayde. "It's celebrated with eggs that're hidden by a rabbit. Yer pretty close though. Gold star fer tryin'."

Behind her, just out of restraining reach, Rael breathed out. The confused statement of brand-new Ambassador G'thox were not, in fact, fighting words. If they had come out of someone trying to start a fight, it might have been a different story.

Shayde had over-the-horizon radar

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Challenge #01920-E096: Cometh the Postman

Humans are social creatures. Even the solitary ones. - MolluscsAndMonsters

Humans like me have a saying: No man is an island. Or words to that effect. And... they're right. Even antisocial assholes like me need to brush shoulders with other cogniscents now and again.

But that's why I have the mail run to the cul-de-sac strings. You get wormhole chains like those. Places where it's ten or more jumps to any nexus, anywhere, and the places along the trip are the places

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Challenge #01919-E095: I Welcome Our Automated Overlords

At last robots replace politicians and things get done, sort of. think of the pro/anti same sex marriage bill here in the wonderful land of Aus. -- Anon Guest

Everything is getting automated. Everything. There's a company of machines that are churning out placeholder, formulaic potboilers with mad lib plots. Humanity now finally values the creative spirit, because it is about the only thing that cannot be replicated by procedural machines. But even then, the machines are learning.

And, in an

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Challenge #01918-E094: Weapons of Mass Pacifism

Sometimes, some people are born with a kind of "blessing". It makes them totally unable to understand the concept of "evil". And it could create people, children most of the time, that are so pure and innocent that even the most ferocious beast or darkest dark lord wouldn't even think about hurting it. -- Anon Guest

There are people and things that are too good to be real. Well-behaved puppies. Ball pits filled with plushies. The really expensive salted caramel ice cream.

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