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A 119-post collection

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 Nots are doomed for revolt in one form or another. Those who don't revolt are destined to collapse.

The problem with revolutions, as a great writer once said, is that they keep going around to the beginning. Those who upset the seats of power inevitably wish to occupy them. Swearing again and again that this time will be different because the right people are in power.

Power corrupts because it is addictive. Those given control over the life of one being can be responsible. They can care. Once that number under control rises into double figures... the flaws slip in. People become interchangeable in one way or another. Needs are forgotten or ignored. Assumptions are made in regards to capabilities. If it's done wrong. Only one realm has ever done it right.

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Challenge #02146-E317: The Wrong Kind of Smart

"Look, it's very simple. Knowledge equals power, right? So it makes much more sense to reward people who are well educated, as well as people who can help apply that education for the benefit of everyone else."

"They ask too many questions." -- Anon Guest

Knowledge may be power, but an education is like a disease. As soon as you've got one, there's a compelled desire to spread it around. It's one of the reasons why you find oligarchies, plutocracies, theocracies, monocracies,

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Challenge #02140-E311: Better Than Greatest

The golden Djinn smiled . "I hereby grant you the greatest gift of them all -- immortality!"

Sara, covered in her enemies blood, while bleeding quite a bit themself, thought fast as they brought out their last fast energy chocolate bar.

"I'm flattered, really. But can I think about it first?" -- Anon Guest

The Djinn didn't understand. Of course they didn't. They were used to life without an end. They had no real long-term consequences to life decisions, because their health was

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Challenge #02136-E307: Sententiam Dei

War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.- gesh xenobiologist -- Anon Guest

[AN: Since the Gesh are someone else's IP, I can't slot them into my Universe, but I know nothing of this world, so...]

Call me Combat. Since the first RNA chains struggled to combine in the first primordial ooze, I have been. I have not been engaged in activity, I just... existed. Divinities do not say, I think,

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Challenge #02132-E303: Occam's Solution

"We do this every month, and it always ends the same way!"

"But I'm telling you it shouldn't! We change every variable every time."

"But never the most important variable -- YOU!" -- Anon Guest

The wizard Narbic Parvin Charm boggled at the heroes. "So I just have to sit and wait like a bump on a log while you do all the complicated things to open the unopenable door?"

"That's looking like the shape of it," said the leader of the

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Challenge #02130-E301: Let the Punishment Fit

"You do realise that the more you complain, call me rude names, and try to bully me into backing down, the more I'm going to look at this and ticket you for the faults, right?"

"And? I can pay as many tickets as you like, and before you make it back to your office!" -- Anon Guest

Officer Pam stared at the young man in the driver's seat. He was rich, you could tell by the car alone, but he had decided

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Challenge #02129-E300: Megalomaniacs Are Hard to Shop For

"I shall bring you the heart of your greatest enemy!"

"What, all of year 10 English class? Messy." -- Anon Guest

"Wait. What? A high school English class is your greatest enemy?"

"Sit down and I'll tell you a tale," said Miss Evans, dedicated megalomaniac. "A tale most horrifying. A tale about the biggest group of irreverent, foul-mouthed, foul-minded punsters that have ever breathed."

Loqui was already feeling trepidatious. "Are you sure you have to? I'm a smart enough minion to get

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Challenge #02128-E299: Pick Up Your Skirts and Walk Away

"Have fun with your crisis, I'm going to live among the goats." -- OohLookShiny

Leth had told them. She'd told them often. She'd told them so much that they mocked her for saying it, but she said it nonetheless.

"No good has ever come from making the rich richer and the poor poorer," she had said. Or, "In order for an economy to flourish, you have to give money to people who will spend it."

They didn't listen. They didn't listen because

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Challenge #02125-E296: Inside, Outside

two cats discovering their owner has a secure cat enclosure instead of letting them roam free -- Anon Guest

It was a good life. Thingone and Thingtwo agreed. Plenty of warm spaces. Lots of nice food. Halls to have a good rumpus up and down. Furniture, especially, to scramble up, down, into, out of, and under. The only thing missing was the world outside the windows. No matter how they howled and yowled to be allowed to play with the birds, their

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Challenge #02124-E295: Hello Darkness

I did this. I don't remember doing it, but it cannot be otherwise.

I have committed sins in my life before. I even killed a man once who didn't deserve it.

But this is different. I am changed.

These murders were not my choice. A Beast lives inside of me.

I will be hunted and shunned. I need to hide. Run. Bury the bodies.

I start to walk outside when I realize what truly bothers me...

...I feel no guilt. -- Anon

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Challenge #02115-E292: A Roadmap to Neverthere

"Look, the directions are simple; go down that way, and turn left on Thursday." -- Anon Guest

Navigation is difficult in realms where time is nonlinear. In the fractured temporal core of Lymnaal, directions are almost meaningless as well. One can walk away from a point, steps never wavering, and meet oneself coming the other way. There are places bordered by red paint. It is wise never to set a foot there.

Yet people still operate in this broken place. People are

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Challenge #02103-E279: Miracle Madman

"I believe I can flyyyy!"

"How did you get up there?!" -- OohLookShiny

"It's very simple," said Jarrin The Mad. "You just forget about gravity for a while. Remembering it again is the tricky part. You have to remember in little bits."

Nurse Rhyko squinted at him as he drifted towards a chair. "How the heck can anyone remember gravity in little bits?"

"Have we met? said Jarrin The Mad. "They call me Jarrin The Mad. I can remember five impossible things

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Challenge #02098-E274: All Her Business

Ferrets vs Cthulhu, and the ferrets winning. Maybe they use confined spaces against Cthulhu? -- Anon Guest

What Lovecraft said is true. There is little, if anything, that Humanity can do to stop an Elder God. The best that any can hope for is that they might be beneath the Entity's notice. Once summoned, there is no wrath. There is no feeling at all from a definitely superior entity. They do what they want and might eventually return to that from whence

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Challenge #02093-E269: Start of a Beautiful Friendship

"Wait were you flirting with me? Shit! I should have said something way cooler." -- OohLookShiny

She couldn't help but smile. Sanderson wasn't aloof and cold. He was just dim. Socially speaking, he was thicker than a sack of bricks. Which sort of made up for him being just about everything else. It was hard not to like the guy. Friendly, outgoing, talented, politely outspoken, and smart. He had won a scholarship with his muscles, but he was using his brains once

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Challenge #02092-E268: Call of Destiny

"How stupid do you think I look?"

"I don't know, I can't see you from here." -- Anon Guest

Of all the curses, in all the known universe, there is little that's more insulting than being sassed by a telemarketer. "Listen," I said, "I'm not going to do your stupid damn check for a windows virus. I'm not paying my taxes by the phone. I'm not suing someone for a car accident I had twelve years ago that didn't even do any

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