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If you want to start me, you've a long way to run.
If you want to end me, you'll need an apparent pun.
Seek my middle, and you'll find a tech holy grail,
Though its inherent dangers would make many go pale.
Come to me! You'll find science, or maybe a tourney.
I'm a trait of a trait of your very first journey.
I'm a part of the best games, as most recommend.
But for many a couple, I'm the end of the end.

What am I?

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(Got to this answer with help from El-Guest)

Are you

FAIR?

If you want to start me, you've a long way to run.

FAir: a long long way to run (never would've thought of this if not for El-Guest)

If you want to end me, you'll need an apparent pun.

App-AIR-ent

Seek my middle, and you'll find a tech holy grail, Though its inherent dangers would make many go pale.

fAIr: Artificial Intelligence (treating the second line of this hint as a warning of AI itself, rather than talking about FAIR)

Come to me! You'll find science, or maybe a tourney.

Science fairs are a big thing. And I'm pretty sure county fairs have competitions (tourneys) for raising big animals and growing big plants.

I'm a trait of a trait of your very first journey.

Not sure about this one, but my guess is that this has something to do with fare for airplane/train/ship tickets?

I'm a part of the best games, as most recommend.

Most people like the games they play to be fair.

But for many a couple, I'm the end of the end.

Af-FAIR

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And, of course, the title... $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Oct 30 '18 at 2:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great answer doggify!! Way to put everything together! +1 $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Oct 30 '18 at 2:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ the "first journey" line is referring to a (rot13) znvqra iblntr and, in turn, a snve znvqra. $\endgroup$ – Carmeister Oct 30 '18 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ What is "FA"? I don't understand what those letters have to do with running a long way in either of these answers. $\endgroup$ – JMac Oct 30 '18 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ This is it, excellent work! Chowzen and Carmeister are both correct as well. Some straggling thoughts: 1) The answer to the line about the end isn't QUITE what I had in mind, but it works, and is very, very close. 2) There's one final reference to the answer to be found in there. I'd be interested to see if anyone can get it. At any rate, congratulations :D $\endgroup$ – Belgabad Oct 30 '18 at 13:42
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Are you

FAILURE?

If you want to start me, you've a long way to run.

FA, a long, long way to run

If you want to end me, you'll need an apparent pun.

A LURE?

Seek my middle, and you'll find a tech holy grail,

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a tech holy grail

Though its inherent dangers would make many go pale.

Failure has inherent dangers for sure

Come to me! You'll find science, or maybe a tourney.

Science is all about failure leading to success, tourneys have multiple losers and only one winner.

I'm a trait of a trait of your very first journey.

Your first journey was crawling? A trait of this was instability/falling? And a trait of that is failure.

I'm a part of the best games, as most recommend.

Most games hinge on initial failures and subsequent improvements.

But for many a couple, I'm the end of the end.

A failure to communicate, maybe?

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  • $\begingroup$ Good guess. You're on the right track with some parts of it, but this isn't what I'm looking for. Have an upvote :D $\endgroup$ – Belgabad Oct 29 '18 at 19:37

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