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Deal 1191: One.

There can be only one.

This cage isn’t nearly large enough to hold two of us. Instinct drives us to destroy each other. Mutual aid is very much against the grain, even if it is also mutually beneficial. This is a weakness, perhaps.

Or perhaps not. One must win. One must lose.

Then again, if the cage continues to exist after I have defeated you, then I may be defeated by the cage.

There can only be one, but this may be a rare time when it is to my advantage to let you live, and to cooperate to remove the cage.

The cage limits us individually.

We barely know how to cooperate when we are free. How do we learn now, when we are bound?

The dilemma remains. Do we share strength to bend the bars, and do I risk that you betray me at a moment of vulnerability?

Or do I take advantage of the fact that you have to be within striking distance in order to help in a meaningful way?

It seems that I do.

And so, now, there is only one.

And that one is still in a cage.

It is my nature.

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Deal 1164: Spied

Busybodies are found everywhere. At work, their snooping is usually discovered early on and they can be redirected into useful tasks. In neighborhoods they can fuel petty complaints and start feuds. On an international scale, they can bring down nations.

Spies are professional busybodies. Sneaking around, prying into all media looking for anything out of place.

Handled with skill, their presence can defer or even delay a war and they can last for years.

Years holding a secret that could destroy them and all that they love if it were told.

As these years pass, I want you to peer into the abyss. Sometimes the abyss peers back at you.