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Danger Level: Low
Likes: Littering, Satisfied Customers, Safe Workers, Tentider Meat
Dislikes: Vandalism, Natural Disasters
Attack Method: Psionic assault mixed with setting off alarms, but it mostly relies on employees.
Typically a convenience store is a small or franchise business that stocks just about what everyone needs for basic everyday life, and fuel. Most convenience stores are not alive, and the ones that are are called Gladstores. The size of a gladstore tends to be either slightly above or below the size of the average cornerstore, and it isn't unusual to see businesses that have built very closely to a gladstore, or even to the point of building adjoining structures to encourage people to wander back and forth. While gladstores are not technically owned those that enter into this sort of symbiotic relationship tend to consider the gladstore their family friend or pet, and otherwise a gladstore will grow to their maximum possible size only shrinking if settlements encroach on it's space.
The color, materials, and shapes of it's interior may vary although the standard feature to identify a gladstore by the rhombitrihexagonal tiling this fauna naturally grows, although counterfeit stores will try to mimic it. Another method is in their gestational construction phase that progresses constantly throughout a month without any workers visibly present, and this can be halved by leaving raw tentider corpses (or cooked ones) on the premises everyday. The only true way to identify a gladstore is by asking it's employees. Some would say gladstores look off-brand, and this is especially true when it comes to brands that have made it clear that gladstores are not allowed to copy them. Others enjoy this animal enough that they encourage them to grow and even integrate them into their franchise plans.
Gladstores being alive has been proven through extensive biological research. The exact classification is still up for debate due to their molting cycle, rare prehensile appendages, vestigial egg laying (a common store product), fungal spore reproduction, warm-blooded nature, rhizome networks, and photosynthetic nature.
Common employees include rogue or lost metaparxi, karaden, elves, oomn, low and middle class klannecs, alpha W-classes, boog, baphometti, and the geckrechan. This is in no particular order, and while there are outliers these are the standard list of employees. Most gladstores have built-in safety measures, such as signs that change coloration or behavior when the gladstore is carrying infectious pathogens, a gas leak, or even a clockwork infection. The latter becomes even easier to notice if the gladstore could broadcast over radio.
Tends to prefer to look like what the most vocal and most recent person to enter thought it was. This tends to mean the first person through the doors will impact what the others perceive the gladstore to be internally. Psionic assaults tend to be based on creating the sensation of experiencing what the gladstore does. Only employees are immune. If one tries to carve a bathroom stall, they will feel their own knife piercing their bones.
Otherwise it is harmless and actually kind of nice. They can understand enough of various languages and culture to adapt their prices, inventories, and otherwise change the branding to suit the client base. It is not safe to leave tentiders unattended near a gladstore. Employees may be forced to butcher the poor thing in broad daylight if the gladstore has no movable parts and has been forced to look at the animal in question for a prolonged period of time.
The sensation of being constantly watched is normal within a gladstore.
Badstore: Predatory. Often mistaken for clockworks. Looks bad, likes looking bad, and enjoys scaring people. It is the only subspecies with prehensile appendages. It tends to have limited edition snackfoods and other goods that lure people in, while often looking slightly sketchy. It's employees are often mind-controlled constantly, and allow those not eaten by the store to "pay in blood."
Sadstore: Tends to be dirty, look abandoned, and prefers it when people are disgusted, disappointed, or otherwise ready to trash the store. It feeds mostly on vermin and soil contents. Rarely does it have employees due to it's need to feed on depression, anxiety, and self-loathing, but those that tough out the work environment and customers are often treated to semi-precious goods to take home.
This is considered to be a waste product by the sadstore, as the root networks tend to reach so deep that it will inevitably pull up something of value. Sadstores are the most common type of gladstore to manifest as a gas station, though the quality will often be shoddy or barely refined. The tradeoff is that a desperate or otherwise stranded spaceship will have /some/ form of fuel available. This will typically still result in lamentation and potentially verbal assault, but the sadstore wouldn't have it any other way.
Psionic Customer Survey: The gladstore is a psionic fauna that tailors it's survival choices based on mindreading customers. This often manifests as changing coloration, lighting levels, climate control, shelving, product inventory, and other such things. It is also a building, and as such it requires employees to staff it, and recruits them throughout a variety of means. The Gladstore can homegrow a fair selection of it's inventory but will often order from a "company" directory which is merely an online site that gladstore employees trade with each other via, and rarely use it to order goods from a wholesale distributor.
• While gladstores can operate healthily across large distances through rhizome networks when there are two within enough distance let alone the same 'intersection' they will often compete to the point of encouraging their employees to deface the neighboring store. This is more likely to occur when both are struggling or prefer to maintain the same brand. A symbiotic relation can form if they are both healthy enough to undergo changes so that both co-exist as separate stores rather than competing for the same customers.
• The selection of goods in a gladstore may vary heavily despite being the same brand, or be the exact same as another brand despite being more of a boutique. Most carry senspray chips (now in Meg Cheese and Space Peanut flavors) and other junk foods regardless of this.
• For various reasons this article took longer than what's considered standard to make. We thank various university zoology departments for reminding us that yes, this is an animal, and that people are not just playing a prank when they ask for an article about the convenience store that is alive nearby them. If after reading this you still have questions please ask the employees at your local gladstore, as this article is not going to be maintained until absolutely necessary. Please. Do not contact us about your convenience store being alive anymore.
• Don't buy an appliance at gladstore. Enough people have done it only to find out a week later it's molding and complain when the appliance was clearly labelled as a sapling. It was cheap because in a week it's going to start the gradual process of becoming a convenience store. This has been a public service announcement courtesy of the gladstore union.
No art currently, maybe you can help.