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Challenge #03603-I314: An Anxiety of Options

I have no job, no money to pay for food or rent, and yet these people... are just letting me stay in this apartment for...for FREE! Why? They even make sure I have a weekly stipend for food, and care for my health condition. I've... never had anything like this before. Why? I don't understand. -- Anon Guest

It was another day without authority telling hir what to do. Another day without sirens and notices and twenty managers telling hir to step up, work harder, and pull hirself up by hir bootlaces.

Not that they ever gave hir boots. That would be too expensive for a trolley case.

This situation was too expensive. Ze could feel the bills racking up. A full-sized sleeping niche. A hygeine booth with all the trimmings. Hot and cold water if so desired. Soap that did not burn holes in hir skin. Three meals a day, all nutritionally balanced and varied in flavour. And hir choices of medical care. For free. So they said.

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Challenge #03602-I313: Water it Down!

Two Humans angrily fighting each other, bare-fisted, in a hallway. The instant a Havenworlder child comes around the corner and sees it, and they spot the child, they stop, instantly, growl they'll "deal with it later", and do their best to try to avoid frightening the youngster. -- DaniAndShali

There was an irregular thumping noise in the halls. Touring through them, the thumping got louder, but less explicable. West turned the corner and saw something really confusing. The Ships' Humans were sort

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Challenge #03601-I312: Objectionable Lesson

Representatives from the CRC chew out the crews of multiple rescue ships that had heard of the crash and had taken their time because "Hey, Deathworlders, they're tough, no one's dying, no need to rush". Assumptions can cost lives, fortunately, this wasn't one of those times, but close enough.

https://peakd.com/fiction/@internutter/challenge-03545-i256-tough-suffering -- Anon Guest

It was one of those disasters that get documentaries made about them. The chronologies of it get torn apart by the second, and those

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Challenge #03600-I311: Though She be But Little

A very belligerent, large, Deathworlder is bullying a Havenworlder. The Havenworlder inexplicably stands their ground, looks the person in the eyes, and says "I dare you to try it." Never try it when someone says "I dare you", it never turns out good for you. -- Lessons

There are unwritten rules of the universe. Never eat at a place named Mom's, never play pool at a place named Pop's, never try to eat anything bigger than your own head, never tell a

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Challenge #03599-I310: From the Mouths of Babes

Un niño humano consuela a un extraterrestre triste que se va a casa para un funeral. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Translated- A human child comforts a sad alien who goes home for a funeral.]

The Human child had been staring at Passenger Wat for most of the journey. She hadn't really noticed, given the depths of her grief. They had a small packet of tissues ready one hand, and a pre-chewed teddy bear in the other.

"It's okay to be sad," said

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Challenge #03598-I309: It's Expected?

Several humans and Galactics start to play music and sing for a crowd getting off of a large vessel. The vessel is carrying many, many individuals who recently stole the ship to escape from a brutal Deregger polity that had just collapsed. -- Anon Guest

They expected police. They expected to be shot. They did not anticipate doctors. They did not expect music. The musicians were behind a barrier, but the music played through speakers as the livesuited Mediks ushered them towards

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Challenge #03597-I308: The Land and its Lord Are One

Society is a massive tree. If those roots run deep, are healthy and diverse, the tree can stand for a millennia. But even for that society to grow, it needs a healthy, well-grown, seed. When the seed begins to rot, a tree will never flourish. -- Anon Guest

Elves began as arboreal creatures in the Plane of Magic, better known as Nanogh. When a population or two found their way to the Mortal Plane, they thought it pristine and unpopulated. They really

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Challenge #03596-I307: The Doom of the Thrice-sworn King

He hasn’t done any thing wrong. If anything, I’m the hopeless one here, of course instilling fear and murdering humans is not right. Plus, waging a full-scale war against them is an unforgiving act. Even so, there’s something I want to change, even if it's built on rocky foundations. I want humans to unite. Even if it's using the coming the next demon lord as a pretext.

Peace cannot be realized on ideals alone.

He's got some real power.

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Challenge #03595-I306: Accidental Family

A traveling merchant meets a lost infant dragon with no family anywhere to be seen. They adopt the young dragon, caring for them, and search for the hatchling's family while traveling the trade routes. -- DaniAndShali

Adult Dragons are huge. Everyone knows this. What might surprise people is that the babies are ludicrously tiny. Orgoloth the Mad found a creature ze initially mistook for a microdragon huddling in the shrubbery. Ze wondered briefly why it was moist and sticky, but a quick

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Challenge #03594-I305: Impossible Quest of Certain Doom

“I am part angel, demon, Treant, mermaid, kobold, dwarf, elf, dark elf, gnome, aarakocra, aasimar…

[Two Minutes Later] oh and I have an elder dragon soul.”

“By the stars what are you?”

“In all honesty I don’t know, but everything cancels each other out so, human?” -- Anon Guest

[AN: One of my lovely readers, DaniAndShali had these fun words to say about this prompt: "LOL Man, this one reminds me of this song!! Mis - Conceptions by Mercedes Lackey! https:

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Challenge #03593-I304: Not a Biological Weapon

The pirate captured the human for ransom. The human is having tummy problems and lays on the cool floor to try to ease the ache. Human nearly gasses the pirates into unconsciousness. -- Fighting Fit

[AN: Significant research has shown that farts are not toxic to humans, but this is a plausibility if the Pirates are Havenworlders]

Some might say they were the luckiest Pirates ever to roam the Alliance's Edge. That opinion varies once the full disclosure of their exploits comes

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Challenge #03592-I303: Behaviour Modification Strategies

It's amazing how well people behave when they realize the station is protected by security officers who are Pax Humanis members! -- DaniAndShali

[AN: Given the general sociopathy of Pax Humanis, these would have to be the milder cases]

Welcome to the Edge Territories. Welcome to New-held Station. Things can get a little wild whilst the Alliance protocols do some catching up. To that end, every cogniscent in this newly-acquired area has access to a full explanation of the Alliance's rules. Including

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Challenge #03591-I302: Intervention

A person who was lonely, severely depressed, and thought they had nothing left to live for, saw the colorful vest of Mr. Sunshine and begged the man to kill them. Mr. Sunshine got the person tied up and carried safely to therapists. Then proceeded to find out why this person was self-destructive and... deal with it. -- The New Guy

[AN: Offensensitivity warning for the most severe form of self-harm, also cogniscent trafficking]

Stuart was tired of being terrified. Ever since the

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Challenge #03590-I301: Do Not Follow

Had you ruled in my stead, I’d feared that your demise might mirror hers, I could not let that happen. Not again. But if I let you choose your destiny, would you instead spend it resenting me? -- Anon Guest

There's more than one kind of King who never wanted the crown. In the case of Prince-Constort Kanutus, beloved of the Warrior Queen Haalvig, having the crown and the throne meant the death of his wife. Known far and wide as

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Challenge #03589-I300: For Every Trash...

A polity has developed a policy of shooting off ALL waste products from their planet, not to a garbage planet, but to the center of their galaxy, to a black hole. Instead of recycling. It gets interesting when they start running out of resources in their solar system to make new materials, because waste goes to the black hole, instead of being recycled. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Even at ludicrous speeds, someone could catch that thing before it even reaches a black

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