A 43-post collection

Challenge #03476-I188: Sturdy, Reliable... Ancient

They are stranded on a very primitive world, the technology here being pretty much obsolete. Good thing the friend they have with them still knows how to use this old tech. They'll need it to try to call for a lift home.

((Inspired by all the videos of teens and younger trying to use things like walkmans and rotary phones, and realizing these once very common pieces of technology are completely foreign to them.)) -- Lessons

They should not be here. They knew this. A pre-exploration world with an extremely egocentric attitude and an insatiable desire for more. With an additional minimum of care that they were living in a closed system[1]. Shayde had her Glamour and shadow gifts. Rael had... a garden.

"Potatoes," Shayde had told him. "They grow quick, they store easy, and you get a load of calories with." The Tukkatukka was still immature. Growing from seed in tubs in the wreck, lest they infest this world with a weed that would only exacerbate their problems. Though Shayde was tempted to give it to the "third world" areas where the land was so abused that it couldn't even grow rocks.

Even kind actions had consequences, so she refrained. That didn't stop a certain amount of meddling all the same. The observer effect was in full swing. Such as this shopping event so they could keep track of local affairs.

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Challenge #02459-F269: Endless Fascination

While assisting the Archivaas, Shayde discovers Dr. Pimple Popper. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Trigger warning for gore and surgery for that entire channel. Go in prepared for disfiguring nastiness on all counts]

It was fairly common to find Shayde entranced in the viewing lounges of the Archivaas video archives. It was not that common to find her there without food or beverages within spill-safe containers. This viewing had her sitting almost immobile and staring intently at the screen.

Rael knew better than

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Challenge #02094-E270: One of THOSE Customers

"I have one nerve left, and you're dancing on it with ice-skates on!" -- Anon Guest

It was supposed to be a five minute job. A simple reconfigure for someone new to this particular level of technology. It sounded simple on the request ticket. The first warning sign was his own pondering as to why such a nice old lady would have so many warning markers on her name and address.

Surely, it couldn't be that much trouble to reconfigure one app.

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Challenge #01967-E143: Irresponsible Beauty

Buy something to cheer yourself up. -- Anon Guest

Good news: Rael could plausibly purchase himself from Wave of the Future and therefore become a free individual. Bad news: even as low-bid goods and an admittedly buggy model, he was still heinously overpriced. Wave of the Future insisted that he was a bargain.

And they had him on open bidding.

An urgent ping from the Cogniscent Rights Committee overrode his mail system. Informing him and everyone looking at the auctions that this

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Challenge #01729-D268: Swap Met

The Amalgam equivalent of the combined Swap Meet and Car Boot Sale (of course there are no cars on Amalgam - tow trolleys?). -- Anon Guest

They were called Swap Shops, and they were scattered randomly. They tended to crop up in poorer areas and public service zones. It was where those who had the time to spare on pet projects dropped those projects off to exchange with whatever they desired. Edibles were kept in Stasis Lockers. Everything else was placed wherever

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Challenge #01708-D247: Everything You Need

Swiss Army knife, multi tool, or the ever useful paperclip. -- Anon Guest

Every nerd who ever entered the sciences has a First Microscope. Some even kept their First Computer. More than a few kept their First Telescope.

Firsts are important. And for JOATs, it's their First Multitool. Preserved and maintained. Usually kept on display, because a great Majority of JOATs go a little wild and choose the option with the most apparent versatility. And, co-incidentally, the most weight.

Almost all of

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Challenge #01686-D225: Emergency!

Emergency Personnel are trained in response measures so that when something really bad happens, the Training kicks in and they work on auto-pilot till their brain gets over the shock. -- Anon Guest

In an emergency, it's easy to tell the trained personnel from the civilians. The civilians are the ones busy panicking, screaming, running around and generally being useless. It's the job of emergency personnel to wrangle the runners whilst dealing with the problem that caused the upset in the first

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Challenge #01670-D209: Incident at the Old Mating Grounds

Lizards attract mates differently, no flowers etc. So, how do the Amalgam lizards court? One of the local species here climbs to a prominent spot, poses and nods. -- Anon Guest

They called it Crestflare Bridge, and it had an unparallelled view of the Free Table Vendor area below. Tradition held that the tables would never have shaded covers. Because the females of assorted lizard species liked looking on the displaying males as they cruised between vendors.

Even now, centuries after the

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Challenge #01667-D206: Good For What Ails You

Two words:- Chicken Soup. -- Anon Guest

Of all the dick moves that Wave of the Future performed, releasing a virus into the populations of Faiize had to be the worst. They did not, according to the press release, intend it to be deadly. Nobody believed them. The only proof, so far, was that none of the Faiize had died from it.

So far.

Rael couldn't rest in his tank for very long. He kept his home hothouse warm for comfort

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Challenge #01663-D202: Conceptual Difficulties

Defying the Gods is an age-old tradition. How well it WORKS depends on who's telling it... -- RecklessPrudence

"We're having difficulty understanding this," said Sherlock.

"I sympathise," said Rael. "I'm having difficulty understanding it myself, and I was there to witness it."

"We have the footage and the audio, of course," Sherlock played it on one of his multiple screens. "She had a permit for incense and steam[1]. What was she doing with them?"

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Challenge #01640-D179: Wonderful Things?

[Blunt summary of situation]

So your job is, as our mutual boss put it, to "swiftly unfuck this shit posthaste." Good luck. -- RecklessPrudence

It had made the news a year before Rael was recognised as a cogniscent being by the CRC and the lawsuit began to completely free him and his kind from corporate slavery. Four years into relative freedom, and the Archivaas, Forensic Analysts, and assorted science crews had finally finished scouring the area for the slightest clue. News like

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Challenge #01638-D177: The Gone Bag

Some of us have to grab what's needed and go! What we grab is a "go bag". -- Knitnan

Officer Lyr Marken had a Go Bag, and the ability to tell what days she'd need it the most. All emergency respondents had their pack of whatever they needed for an emergency. Including a coverall variant of their usual uniform, that went on over whatever they'd worn to bed.

JOATs had the Big Box, and plenty of warning that they'd need it.


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Challenge #01633-D172: First Fair

Fairy floss, Cotton Candy whatever you call it, it was pure Empty Calories. -- Anon Guest

The refreshment booth was called Simple Carbohydrates and had display cases full of complicated things made out of those simple carbohydrates. Of course it was run by a human. Humans had had centuries to create astonishing things out of flour, potatoes, and sugar.

Rael watched as the vendor wound what looked to be coloured cobwebs onto a stick. He could smell the caramelised sugars in the

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Challenge #01631-D170: What a Maker Wants

You make stuff, sometimes your shopping list is a bit weird. Then someone decides to search your bags (you're innocent), and then there's the explanations. -- Knitnan

There's Things and then there's THINGS!. The latter is a gigantic labyrinth of the former. There's also refreshment islands with ablution kiosks and Galactic Food Choices[1] in a mini-kitchen. People who go there tend to spend all day, and then bookmark their location so that they can come again.

Rael had set his personal

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Challenge #01613-D152: Quality Control

"Nothing says unprofessional like wrinkles in the duct tape." -- RecklessPrudence

Of all the useful concepts and handy inventions that the humans took into space with them, the most widely-dispersed was ductape. It even preceded dogs as an ambassador for humanity. A watertight adhesive patch that could be shaped to suit the user's needs. Cut to demand. Flexible. And infinitely useful.

After a few hundred years, standards for its use grew. Including the quality of the user based on how ze applied

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