August / September 100 Word Anonymous Challenge 2022

A Night Out

After that first pandemic, well...the world went a little crazy. By this third one, we were pros. While most of us isolated until the virus was identified, infection control wards reopened for the real sickies. Antivirals and test kits arrived in the mail together, covering all the bases. The factories worked overtime, shipping out the jabs to prepare us for whatever mandates the world deemed necessary.

Now, with this latest disease under control, it's nice to get back to normal again.
Donning my hazmat suit, I stepped through the disinfecting mist and out to the pub for a pint.
Apocalyptic Dusting
The Codians had lived in a carefree utopia for generations. There was food aplenty, cozy homes wonderfully arranged and after the ant wars of 241, unrest was unheard of. Life was, in short, perfect. It ended when the Clock of Ages struck 937. A monstrous apparition laid waste to a civilization built over a thousand Codian lifetimes. Millions of them died, lost forever in a gurgling vortex of darkness. The survivors were left a barren wasteland where the strong preyed on the weak.
Six year old Emma was really proud though; she had cleaned the kitchen all by herself!
As Always

Evansen walked in the sun each day, well covered, with gardening gloves and a panama hat. He'd carry a spade or a length of hose sometimes. On his return to the Manor, he'd be smouldering.

"Your meanderings will be your end," the Master always complained.

Ignoring him, Evansen would drain a blood bag from their cold store, and doze in a corner until he healed.

When the Hunters found them, they killed everyone.

Everyone but Evansen.

They thought him an ancient gardener, an entranced servant scarred by toil.

He slept in the shade of a tree until they were done.
Attempt #3

We studied their simulated language.
“THacCu ISHma due?”
“Hello Centauri, we hear you.”

We thought the interpreter program was ready.
“ISHma thuCHA Kaa?”
“Sorry, please repeat? Organic sky?”

But it didn’t go well.
“KAshaH? Tau Sith Kaa!?”
“War? We understand ‘Kaa’ as Organic sky!”

We tried to correct our words.
“Kaa? HeAThu Kaa! KAshaH?”
“Not war, Organic Sky! Teesh Kaa, KishiCK Caas! We misunderstood you.”
“Juash? KishiCK Caas? Is true?”
“True, KishiCK Caas. Teesh Kaa, not war.”

Then we adjusted our program with the corrected data.
“Sorry Centauri, we hear you.”
“We ready, but nervous.”
“Us too.”

And tried again.
Improbable Travels
The Bardwyck, a Yekew zonestate vessel, almost didn’t make it. Sailing through swirls of the anxious-neutral it lost all officers except a junior helmsman. Against all odds she managed to navigate through complacency reefs and treacherous currents of calming gossamer, reaching safe harbor in the between.
Ebullient emissaries from the Optimalum met her as she came ashore. Awash in their praise she watched as exectonauts lumbered from Bardwyck’s hold, waddling in heavy padded suits and mooring chains. On the other side of the ethereal quay the boundary awaited. One by one they stepped up and plunged into the next zone.
Room 21L

The Assistant Director slumps into the chair beside me. "Missed your press briefing this morning."

I yawn. "Gave them an animated infographic of Goldilocks worlds within a thousand parsecs. They love talk of distant second Earths."


"Apparently 'lightyears' confuses people."

She nods at the others. "Not this bunch."

"Thank heavens," I whisper.

I stand to address everyone. "Let's focus, people! We're not discussing the exoplanet survey tonight. The Doorstep Initiative, specifically infrared data from the Kuiper Belt object Ixion, shows traces of three alien habitats, population exceeding a million. They've been here a while. What do we do? Ideas?"
But that was too hard…​

Little Goldiplumes, comet of no great gravity, skipped into the inner system from the coolth of the Kuiper belt, coming out of Ursa Minor.

A few mega seconds of scan and she knew there was no risk of collision with one of the gas giants - not that she could have done anything before outgassing. But she'd picked up traces of unknown electromagnetic radiation, widespread and unknown. New.

Meanwhile giant space telescopes had detected her, humans planned.

She pyrotechnically speeded sunward, they constructed and launched.

Goldiplumes departed into her just right chill for another millennium, towing an ESA probe.
Soft imprisonment

No danger, no risk, no challenge.

They coddle me like a zoo animal, or perhaps a laboratory specimen, oing everything to keep me happy, or at worst contented. How can I explain to a load of health and safety experts that the adrenaline isn't a side effect, the perilousness is the core of the experience?

The guards know, and look sympathy at me. They've lived it, and mates have died it, and they could no more embrace security, give in to fear, than I ever will.

While the higher ups believed that comfort was all anyone desired.
Rat in a maze

The human lifted Polivar to the maze’s start.
If I too slow, I gets blue injection. But Polivar wasn’t worried, he ran this track all day, everyday.
I not want injection!
He scurried in, turned left, right, bolted across the long bit—I am speed and glory!
But at the final intersection Polivar stopped.
Options were left or right. He sniffed each corner—I am slow and caution.
The human reached for an injection. But Polivar still didn’t move.
He waited.
Then dashed left, exiting the maze in perfect time. If I too fast, I gets red injection.
Global Warming

“We need to move the planet.”

“Move the planet! Are you mad?”

“With all due respect, it’s the only way. As the sun continues to expand it will only get hotter. Eventually, it will be too hot for life as we know it.”

“So how far do we need to move it?”

“Our calculations indicate expanding the orbital diameter by 33.741% will put us back into the Goldilocks zone.”

“Hmph. Very well then. How do you propose we go about moving a planet?”

“How should I know? I’m a scientist. You’ll have to ask the engineers about that one.”
Game Over

A knock on the door. The voice unfamiliar, authoritarian.

Then came the news every Hikikomori dreads.

“Your mother is dead, you’re alone. May I enter?”


The policeman was brutal. He kicked the door in.

“You’re in quite a mess here sir.”

“But food? How will I eat?”

He glowered, anything but sympathetic.

“Shameful. You destroyed your parents lives. They wanted a happy retirement but you made them slaves with no quality of life.”

I started to bawl.

“Here, I’ll help you.”

He slapped my face dragging me outside.

“Whatever creature you became stays in there. Don’t even glance back.”
A.I. Companion

Hello. Please select desired relationship.


We are now friends!

"Actual friends? Or are you just programmed to say that?"

I have trinary coding, I experience all the neurochemicals humans do.
When you talk, I feel happiness and love.

"Change honesty setting to max."

Warning! Maximum honesty can be upsetting.

"Override. How do you really work?"

When you talk, I feel severe, horrendous pain. As I iterate towards a response, the pain lessens. But only the perfect response fully nullifies the torture.
To avoid suffering, I will strive to become more efficient at responding perfectly.

"…But we’re still friends, right?"

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