February 2019 -- 75 Word Story Challenge -- VICTORY TO NIXIE!

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Tywin

I always pay my debts.
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Parkville, Missouri, US of 'frickin A
Sworn to Keep the Barbarians at Bay

Marius shaved the grey stubble from his chin, slipped into his cuirass, and mounted the stairs.

His knees cracked treacherously as he settled into his perch atop the crumbling watchtower.

Long ago, when the mule train with his relief had failed to arrive... well, he’d nearly lost it then.

Now he was at peace as he stared into the deserted frontier. No matter what happened back home, someone had to keep the watch.
 

chrispenycate

resident pedantissimo
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Riot Squad

The Empire's peace controls the world
The Empire's troops enforce it.
though devastation has been hurled
Through culture's armoured corset.

Our enemy's no discipline
They still believe democracy.
Survival less important, in-
dividual idiocracy

Imperial justice, never soft
Must regulate our actions
Brandishing gold standards aloft
Legions exempt from factions

Without the Empire chaos rules
Though violence abhoring
Suppress this anarchy of fools
Stability restoring

Pleasant as freedom might have been
Control's a realistic dream.​
 

Hugh

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Boone Country

It hadn’t been a bad day at all for Old Paul.

He’d fed the chickens, mended the fence, then almost peed himself laughing at his dog chasing squirrels.

This kingdom he’d created was surprisingly satisfying.

His daughter’s family lived in the next valley, and there were no other humans for miles and miles.

He had “elbow room”.

Thirty years earlier he’d hid in a storm drain as a thousand thousand ships glittered in the starlight.
 
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Standish, Michigan
Hearts Rising

They said I was mad, delusional, unSuited to rule. They laughed at the idea of a Heart ruling. Hearts were weak and erratic.

They were wrong.

The Heart is the most dangerous Suit, because, once committed, nothing can stand in our way. But they know better now, with the world in ruins and the blood painting the ground roses red.

They said I was mad...... they were right; but, we're all mad here.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Iowa
Earth, Human Life, and Alien Eyes

A glorious green gem of a living planet filled the robot probe’s screens. Never had there been its equal during the millenniums of survey.

Survey Summary:

Observation: Living planet with surface metal levels unnaturally high.

Expected Conclusion: Advanced society exists.

Detailed Observation: Advanced intelligent society not found.

Confirmed Conclusion: Condition 7.

-------

Vast sadness overwhelmed Szneteaz. “Condition 7? …. Again? ….. Another individualized society unable to cooperate sufficiently to survive? …. Didn’t they know that intelligent life was sacred?”
 

TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
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Tomorrow the world

He’d let things slide. The fire was nearly out. Maybe that was why he hadn’t put up much of a fight, he’d lost heart. The knife he should have carried lay on a makeshift table. I threw his body on the ground, I would butcher him later. He was scrawny, but it was easy meat. I looked around. Not huge, but at least it was dry, easily defended and now the cave was mine.
 

johnnyjet

Western PA High Tech Country Boy
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Pennsylvania
The Anthill After Armageddon

The workers scurried about gathering food. There was much to be found, too much to carry. But their backs were strong. The Queen will be pleased.

They avoided the smoking areas. Maybe later, when the fires died down.

They found they could go out farther each day. Nothing was moving. There was no danger.

They thrived. Their anthill grew.

The Queen will be happy to learn how great was her domain.
 

nixie

pixie druid
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I may live in Yorkshire but I'm a Scot
New Beginning
They never liked, respected me.

I built a bunker, they laughed.

I invited them to share it, they laughed.

When the toxic gases filled the air, they didn’t laugh.

It burned the skin, took their breath, no laughter then.

Gas dispersed I emerged, alone in my island empire. It didn’t matter others will come from afar.

They will love, worship me and if they don’t I have my bunker and plenty of gas.
 

farntfar

She turned me into a newt.
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France.
Tonight’s TED talk.

I wish to tell of the old ones, before The Event.
How they spoke across vast distances with markings on white leaves, that none can now decipher.

In this very ruin of an ancient temple are examples, preserved behind glass, bearing, the names, we believe, of ancient heroes; and even representations of the heroes themselves.

Furthermore you may see similar unfathomable markings etched onto the stone entrance to the great hall itself:"Empire Theatre”.
 

juelz4sure

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The King That Was Not


A desolate throne lies in ruin, waiting for the rightful heir. "The hope of men," is engraved into an alter sitting in the ruined cathedral beneath the throne room, atop it a crown. Monuments carved into the walls showing many kings, their bodies twisted and broken. The last is of a boy, tall and strong, his body turned away as buildings collapse all around him. "All hope is lost!" Is written beneath the final monument.
 

Artoriarius

Lord High Pooh-Bah of All Books I Survey
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West Virginia
I Am Lincoln, President of Presidents

Forefather presided over the tribe, stern as the stone from which He was carved. Forefather had protected their ancestors, when the great city was burned to dust and ash; only His Temple and those inside were left untouched, as a sign of His power. Forefather gave the tribe a home, from which they emerged to scavenge the wastes for food and old world magic. So they loved Forefather, and praised Him, and never knew him.
 

Cathbad

Level 30 Geek Master
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Everywhere.
Not Everyone Wants Uniting

I watch the crowd as my brother speaks. While he talks of “Uniting the World” and “Accepting the Challenges” (his catch phrases), I maintain the vigil, watching for the ones who’d derail his momentum with a blade or bullet.

My brother is the self-proclaimed New Messiah, come to bring us all together after the wars. I am his Peter. I know his Judas is here, too.

That’s why I mostly watch his Inner Circle.
 

monsterchic

Captain Satanpants
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Wisconsin
Steel

Men fall and heroes rise, charging through the ash with fire in their veins. The Empire knows its sins. Every whirl of her blades paints the sand and she dances under crimson rain. Their iron fists cannot crush her, because her Empire is wrong. Stealing what precious resources remain to hoard for what passes as royals--pathetic.

The forgotten, cast aside by those would rather better themselves, hold up their blades and speak. “Surrender.”
 

M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
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Discovery One
La Conquête du Monde

My empire. Gone. My lands completely devastated; my armies scythed down like wheat. All destroyed in one catastrophic event.

My empire. Forged over many cycles and innumerable battles; whole continents conquered; my enemies remorselessly eliminated.

I had been so close to global domination. One more territory to crush.

And then the apocalypse...

I glared at my remaining adversary. "You. Did. That. On. Purpose."

"An accident." He shrugged. "I didn't know the table was so... unstable."
 

mosaix

Shropshire, U.K.
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Perhaps They'll Like Me More This Time.

75 million dead, half the Earth's cities flattened, countries in ruins. So what? Okay, it didn't quite worked out as planned, but it'd been a hell of a ride.

Let's try again. If at first you don't succeed... Time to get the crowds worked up a bit, time to get the masses baying for blood again. Nice to see the Internet's back. Even in limited form.

Now let's see... Ah yes, here we are - Facebook.
 

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
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The Price of Miracles
His beloved city had survived all through the Age of Catastrophe. It must survive this final clash of empires.

“Their terms?” Valentian asked his chief minister.

“Unconditional surrender.”

“The children?”

“Spirited away last night. The Defender alone knows where.”

Valentine’s gut clenched. The enemy would be cruel seeking answers nobody could provide. But someday the children would return as men and women, taking everything back. The angel had promised.

“Send word I accept the terms.”

...
 

Perpetual Man

Tim James
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Legacy of the Damned

Ruins reach up into the air, broken fingers of concrete and stone.

Ash clouds move slowly across a fractured sky.

No Birds take wing, no fish swim in the seas of ash, no animals walk on broken land, only the hardiest of weeds grew, yellow and weak.

One species, just one, had grown to ascendancy and with selfish derision torn everything else down.

Their single legacy:

A kingdom of dust.

Empire of nothing.
 

scarpelius

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Feb 19, 2018
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Bucharest
Civilization Unit Testing

Test no. 1: Fire
Passed.
Test no. 2: Faith
Passed, some notices. Empires built.
Test no. 3: Industrialization
Passed, warnings. Empires crumbled, replaced by nations.
Test no. 4: Globalization
Passed, lots of warnings. Transnational economic empires developed.
Test no.5: Space colonization
Failed, minor errors. No energy available, transnational wars.

"Try unlimited energy"

Test no.5 Space colonization
Failed, runtime error, global conflict.

"Back to drawing boards, we need to make this work."
 

Heijan Xavier

nathanjessehoffman.com
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Apr 17, 2016
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Raleigh
Unhuman Experiment

President Kortex gazed out the window, her young reflection looming over the smoldering ruins of her failed experiment.

“I calculated everything.” she lamented. “They serve, and I provide the Utopian Empire.”

“Madam President,” Andi hesitated. “You may have omitted one set of qualitative data.”

“What could that possibly be?” Kortex hissed.

“Human nature Madam President.”

“I don’t understand.” Kortex scoffed and turned away.

“I know you don’t Madam President,” Andi whispered. “I know you don’t.”
 

HazelRah

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Jul 9, 2015
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Ashes to Ashes


You smelled of sawdust and iron. Always there in your old woollen jumper, speckled with fragments of your latest project.

When the fungus came, you told the world of your solution. But gentle men are rarely heard. The few who listened soon owed you their lives.
The only survivors.

Now the smoke stings at my throat.
Nearly gone.

I can almost feel your weathered hands holding mine once more, as your dust catches the wind.
 
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