Loading...

Short story 22

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by inayat, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. inayat

    inayat Head Game Master Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    10,378
    Likes Received:
    2,834
    Trophy Points:
    113

    This wil consist of a compilation of short stories about aliens meeting/describing their encounter with humans. Enjoy!!
    (note: FTL = Faster than light)


    //Audio log found. Do you wish to begin playback?

    //I have detected that this audio is in a language you have not been certified to understand, would you like it to be translated?

    //Beginning playback with translation.

    As you all know, humans are from a Class 3, Category 8 planet. The only planets more hostile to life are gas giants, or those that orbit within 150 of their star’s radius. The human’s prime planet is known as Earth, in their primary language. Let me begin by saying that it is a deathworld, as many of you know, where the vast majority of all life is trying to kill everything else it meets. You hear about their fauna and flora, and you hear about their ridiculous biology, strong calcium-phosphate endoskeleton and dense muscle. You hear about the planet’s activity, constantly moving to the point that structures are ripped to pieces fairly often. You hear about the wildly varying temperatures, but what you don’t hear about is their weather. Not the climate, the weather. Let me tell you about the weather, and how incredibly insane the humans are.

    I was visiting one of their universities at the time, and hadn’t been planetside longer than a few rotations [days] when the sky went from the blue I had seen so far to gray and then to black I was walking between buildings on campus when it started to rain. I thought nothing of it, I had heard that they didn’t bother to change the minor atmospheric disturbances and so assumed as I think most would that rain would be the extent. As it happens, rain was just the beginning.

    I was standing under one of the outcroppings on their buildings’ entrances, observing the rain, when the sky flashed bright as day and an explosion rolled in from the distance. Assuming that it was some sort of bombardment or attack, I was trying to find someone who would tell me what the procedure was. When I found someone to ask, I just received what my translator informed me were looks of confusion and requests to check if my translator was working correctly. When I explained what I was concerned about, and gestured outside after hearing another explosion, the human laughed. Laughed! I was informed that it was just lightning, which my translator informed me was an ionic discharge on roughly the same energy level as a heavy anti-vehicle weapon. Let that sink in. The planet’s atmosphere is unstable enough to regularly do this, every single rotation [day] in the 1000’s of 1000’s of events. They think nothing of it and have no fear in walking unprotected except from the rain, outside while this occurs.

    But that isn’t all. You’ve heard of their food, I’m sure. How they recreationally drink the poison, ethanol, and their strange love for other things that would kill most sentients. Let me be the first to tell you of another. [Capsaicin]. That’s right, the chemical weapon. They have an entire category of plants that create it naturally in levels that would classify them as a Class 5 bio-weapon. The humans love the stuff, and can eat in at nearly 1 part in 100 with only, as they describe it, ‘moderate to severe discomfort’. Historically, their law-enforcement used up to 1 in 10 with no permanent effects and despite that they report feeling like they were ‘set on fire’ that is a quote. They feel like their face is on fire and then less than [half an hour] later they feel completely fine.

    They think of other deathworlds as idyllic [direct translation: a set of legendary locations of extreme abundance. Best approximation: paradises] and flock to them in droves. The gravity on their spacecraft is enough to render more than 50% of all other sentient life immobile or dead, and only in multi-species environments do the lower it to something that most are comfortable with. They do all of that without any augmentation. They’re the apex predator of one of the most hostile planets we know of, and it would not be wise to forget that fact.

    [Multi-species’ equivalent of applause]

    //I have detected a new speaker and calculated the likelihood that more will follow as high. Assigning numbers to speakers. Original speaker designated 0.

    [Speaker 1]Teacher [Alternate translations: Professor, knowledge-holder], may I have your permission to [Direct translation: Pursue further knowledge. Best approximation: ask a question]?

    [Speaker 0] Of course, my good [Untranslatable: species name. Formally certified approximation: Kkkrzzt]. Everyone here is welcome to do so.

    [Speaker 1] As you have been to their homeworld, I would be most honored to know of any cultural norms that you observed while there, especially those relating to entertainment. From what I have been able to study, other than scientists or researchers, they don’t seem to be very likely to watch any entertainment but their own, and I am very curious to know why.

    [Speaker 0] A very good question. While at their university, I was invited by a student, who asked to remain anonymous when I told him my intent to retell my account, to listen to one of their music groups in a nearby town. He advised that I should bring some form of hearing protection, as it would be quite loud. I brought them, but didn’t think there was much truth to his statement when I arrived. It was just a large, mainly empty building with a raised section at one end. It was quite dark, apart from the raised section, which they called a stage. Opposite the stage, they were selling alcoholic beverages, which drew a fair number of the humans.

    One of the humans that were employed at the event walked onto the stage and began speaking into the microphone. My translator informed me that he was welcoming everyone to the event, and advising all non-humans to don hearing protection. What should be a clue to just how serious they were about that was that they also advised any humans standing close to the stage to do the same, or any that were sensitive to loud noises. The student that had invited me found me in the crowd, not particularly difficult a task, as I am quite a bit taller than most humans. He immediately informed me that the advisory for hearing protection was really more of a requirement, but they didn’t wish to be rude. Upon seeing that he had acquired protection of his own, I hastily donned my own. One of the music groups that was to play at the event gathered on stage and as one of them started speaking into the microphone, the humans crowded around the stage.

    Let me pause my recounting for a moment to note that the humans were dressed quite a bit differently than those aboard their ships, or even in their universities. They wore similar lower coverings, though they had much more storage space, and wore thin upper coverings that only covered the upper parts of their forelimbs. They call these T-shirts, as it resembles one of their glyphs in shape Most were decorated heavily on either the front or the back, often both. I later learned that these were worn in support of one of the music groups that were to perform that night. I will return the matter of the artwork later. I just wished to draw attention to the fact that in any other society, the way they displayed their fondness for the music group would constitute deity worship, and yet they thought it completely normal.

    The human who invited me advised that I should turn off my translator for the duration, as it would just interfere with the music. Since it was designed to be in their primary language and translation of their songs is notoriously terrible unless you use top-of-the-line human-tech to do so, I obliged.

    Only the presence and complete indifference of the human that invited me reassured me that the pressure against my thoracic region was normal, and not the result of in-atmosphere gauss weaponry. I was later told it was the drums, and that gauss weaponry was much more severe. It is no wonder that they are one of the few races to use it, they’re one of the few that can do so without augmentation of any sort and not risk of self-harm or termination!

    What followed was both one of the strangest and most incredible experiences I have ever had. I highly recommend that if possible you attend one of their ‘concerts’ as they’re known. The songs, even without translation, show such emotion and passion that I believe that volume is the only reason they’re not galactically popular. Some songs were loud and fast, and others were quieter and slower, and even without being close enough to catch the singer’s pheromones or translating the song, it was enough to make me want to join in with the crowd of humans singing along. That was just one of their groups, many others do just the same thing with slightly different instruments, or singers, or in some cases only one and not the other.

    After that group and two others had played, I was quite literally shaking with excitement. I turned to my human counterpart and spoke excitably for a few seconds before he responded, then pointed to his translator, and then mine. I had neglected to turn my translator back on, and had thus missed what he said. He asked what I had thought of the event, and I told him excitedly how it was, he exposed his teeth, which despite my time among humans still makes me nervous at first, though my translator assured me it was a sign of happiness and friendship.

    Their music, however, is not the only thing I recommend all of you should experience if at all possible. It isn’t quite the same over the ex-net, but definitely worth it. However, their art is often meant for the net, and I would say that all of you should certainly see what they have to offer. The amount of quality art they create, both the professionals and perhaps more impressively, the amateurs, is staggering. Art of all kinds, from landscapes of their planets, to spacecraft, to concept art for their films, and illustrations for their novels, all of it in such quantities and quality that it seems unbelievable. The humans are sometimes criticized for how openly they display their emotions, but I believe this is because of the exposure they have to their own art of all kinds. I have seen pieces that made a Haarkail [Large warrior race, reptilian in nature, noted for their viciousness in melee combat and stiff social structure and interaction.] turn gray in front of myself and several others. When the rest of the galaxy finally decides to stop ignoring humans culture just because they’re so new they are going to be staggered.

    [Speaker 2] Is it true what they say about weapon availability? Can their citizens really get gauss weapons?

    [Speaker 0] That is certainly true, but it doesn’t get the point across quite as well as it could. I was invited, by a different human, to come to his family’s residence for a day. Let me begin by saying he was average by human standards, in that he wasn’t considered eccentric or strange for what I am about to tell you. His family had collection of gauss and chemical propellant weapons, as well as a range on which to fire them. They not only have the ability to own weapons that most militaries would be happy to own, but they also buy them regularly.

    While I was present, they provided me with some protection from the blast waves, and I watched as they repeatedly hit targets the size of their own braincase at distances upwards of 200 standard meters with nothing but magnified optics. That was using the chemical propellant weapons. With the gauss weapons, they reached nearly 500 with regularity. They claimed that the optics was the limiting factor, and that they couldn’t hit much farther than that simply because they couldn’t distinguish the target. Think about that for a moment. They were untrained, though admittedly practiced, civilians with just magnification optics and they were hitting targets at distances most militaries would be proud their professional snipers had hit. I’d been told that humans’ fine motor control is incredible, but I didn’t understand just what that meant until I saw that performance.

    That’s all I have time for today, you have been a wonderful audience.

    [Multi-species’ equivalent of applause]

    *********************************************************************************

    Revenge. It is a galaxy-wide notion, every species has it in some form or another, some are better at it than others, but Humanity perfected it. When humanity spread throughout the stars, they came with peace and open arms. They only took uninhabited planets that no one had laid claim to. There were a few issues in the early days but they were smoothed over when both sides communicated efficiently. Communication was always an issue when a species joins the galactic neighborhood for the first time. The humans tried to colonize a planet and found out that the Iuoa had gotten there first. It was a tense situation but it was smoothed out eventually. Now the humans just take the uninhabited and unclaimed planets. Those are usually deathworlds but the humans like those the most. The humans say they remind them of home. That should have been the first clue.

    So, humanity spread throughout the galaxy, bothering no one and no one bothering them. The humans actually became well-known for their peaceful ways and aversion to violence. If they could, they used words and treaties to avert violence. If they couldn’t, they ran away. That rarely happened. Treaties with humanity were highly prized because of the benefits provided. Access to some of the best ships the galaxy had to offer, an abundance of food, vast knowledge, an enormous amount of infrastructure spread throughout space, the best medical care, and, really, the friendship of humanity.

    That was worth more than anything else they had to offer. If humanity offered you friendship, you took it and you knew that you were in good hands. A human would drop anything to help those he considered his friends and that applied to the whole race. They were the first to help after a disaster or an attack. They would pour resource after resource into the recovery effort and not stop until you were at least twice as well off as you had been before. I have seen humans work until their hands bled in order to help rebuild an older Jijua’s house after a meteor hit.

    In the thousand years since humanity joined the neighborhood, there was only one race that had trouble with them. The Asturkians were a violent bully race and they survived off of stealing from other races and enslaving those they did not kill. They demanded tribute from the planets in their sphere of influence. They usually got it. If a planet refused, the Asturkians descended on the planet in their warships with their heavy troopers and they took what they wanted. This usually included all of the food and most of the females and children. The men they killed or left to starve. No one could do anything about it because the Asturkians were some of the best warriors in the galaxy and they had the best weapons. Most of the rest of the races were peaceful, none as peaceful as the humans, but most did not like violence.

    One day, the King of the Asturkians decided he wanted tribute from a human planet, Dremos. It was a small colony, perhaps only a few million. The Asturkians really disliked the humans for reasons that were never very clear. Perhaps it was because the humans were nearly the exact opposite of the Asturkians. One loved violence, the other avoided it. One helped others, the other oppressed them. The Asturkians dropped in to orbit around Dremos and sent a war party down. They demanded that the humans pay tribute and declared Dremos an Asturkian protectorate. The humans refused but they did offer to supply the Asturkians with whatever they needed.

    This angered the Asturkians, because no one bargained with them. They either agreed to the terms and lived or the Asturkians took everything and did some damage. The Asturkians responded with violence and they sacked the planet. It was bloody and gruesome even for the Asturkians. They ran amok killing and pillaging. All of the food, goods, and medical supplies were taken. The women and the children were all captured and taken into slavery. The men were slaughtered, rounded up like cattle and shot. The war party returned to their ships and they fired on the planet, sterilizing it and killing anything left alive on its surface.

    Then, because their blood was up, the Asturkians attacked another human planet, but this time they didn’t bother with the pillaging. They just rained death down on the planet and killed everything. I think the Asturkians were confident enough in their war-making ability, and the lack of the human’s, to attack with impunity. After all, who was going to stop them?

    The human response to this was immediate. Humanity cut of all contact with the rest of the galaxy and retreated to their core worlds, abandoning the outer colonies and outposts. They expelled all non-humans from their planets and they seemed to retreat into their shell. Without the humans, the economy was on the verge of collapse and the Asturkians grew bolder. They attacked planet after planet. They wanted to make the whole of the galaxy their protectorate. Then came a message from humanity. They had not been heard from in a year and the contact was a surprise. The message was simple: “Humanity will see the Asturkians pay for their crimes. Should any race seek to help the Asturkians, we will extend our retribution to them as well. To the others who are smart enough not to help the Asturkians, stay out of our way.”

    The Asturkians laughed at this threat. Why wouldn’t they? They were the best equipped race in the galaxy and no one stood up to them. They continued their raids and they attacked another human planet. Or at least they tried. When the raiding fleet dropped out of FTL, they found another fleet had already gotten there first. A human fleet of warships. A message was sent to the Asturkians. Surrender or be destroyed. The Asturkians ignored this warning, believing that their ships were far superior to anything the humans could build. The Asturkians were a culture that lived on warfare. They got their food, their workforce, their resources from war. The humans were a peaceful race, never having been in a war in the whole of their time in space. The Asturkians expected little resistance, as did the rest of the galaxy.

    The Asturkians advanced on the fleet and were annihilated. They tried to fight back but the humans were too well prepared. They had firepower of a class greater than any the Asturkians had seen before, than anyone had ever seen before. Their shields were the strongest in existence and their ships were enormous. The largest was the size of a small moon. It seems in the year that Humanity had left the galaxy, they had changed. Their industry stopped producing pleasure goods and turned to war. The ship yards stopped producing yachts and colony ships and started to build mile-long death machines. The clothing and the exosuit industry turned from civilian wear to military. Weapons were produced at an unprecedented rate. They were improved so fast that they may have broken the space-time continuum.

    And their society changed. They stopped caring, healing, and helping. They grew cold, angry, and violent. Millions, then billions, joined the army and the navy. The speed at which a peace loving race changed into a race built on war was astounding. We grew scared. We did not think that humanity had had it in itself to change from their peaceful existence to one of pure violence and aggression. In all the time we had known humanity, they had never acted like this. So we looked into humanity’s past. What we found was disturbing.

    Since the dawn of their existence, humans had been fighting. They had been killing, raping, and murdering since they crawled from the muck. They fought each other on a scale we found appalling. Their entire world was at war not once, not twice, but four times in their history. The acts of violence humans committed on their own kind were far worse than the acts the Asturkians committed on other races. We saw that humanity was not a peace-loving culture that had learned to play at war, but rather, they were a war-loving culture that had learned how to play at peace. We saw the horrific things that humans did to those who they had perceived had wronged them and how the Asturkians were doomed. Humans had fought each other because one group had harmed the other and the wrath of humanity divided nearly destroyed their planet. The Asturkians had harmed the whole of humanity and they would face the wrath of humanity united.

    Humanity massacred the Asturkians. Every Asturkian ship the humans found, they destroyed. Each outpost and station they found, they burned. And on every planet inhabited by the Asturkians, they landed troops. The troops marched from pole to pole, killing every Asturkian they could find. The Asturkians tried to fight but they were like children facing the wrath of gods. Thousands, millions, billions, trillions died. None were spared. After the troops had wiped out the population, atmos bombs were dropped, wiping out the atmosphere of the planet and ensuring that nothing would survive. They did this, planet after planet. The slaves were spared and freed, but the Asturkians were erased from existence.

    Soon, only the Asturkian’s homeworld was left. Humanity landed, but this time they did not massacre the Asturkians. This time they gathered them all up and packed them on to old colony ships. The King and his entourage were given a special place in an observation ship floating above the planet. Humanity detonated a star bomb in the core of the planet and turned it into the universe’s newest star. They then released the colony ships full of the last surviving Asturkians and left them to the mercy of the star’s gravity. It gave them none. They left the King for last. They forced him to watch the extinction of his people and the death of his world. Then they dropped him in, too.

    We were horrified by what the humans had done and terrified that they would do the same to the rest of the galaxy. And who would have stopped them? But humanity returned to their peaceful ways. They melted down their guns and turned them into plows. They turned their warships into massive stations where those displaced by violence on their homeworld could live. And humanity knew they would never need their weapons again because they had shown the galaxy what they were capable of and no one would ever harm them again lest they face the vengeance of humanity.

    *********************************************************************************


    Sitting at a prime intersection of the hyperspace transit relays, the Vanet station saw just about every type of food, art, trade good and sentient the civilized galaxy had to offer.

    "Report!" Supervisor Hralk approached the storage bay where 4 of his men guarded the door.

    "Sir," one of the security officers started, "the creature is contained for the moment but....."

    "But none of you can capture it." Hralk finished.

    "Sir, I've been on this station for 18 cycles and we've never had a predatory species escape confinement. We're not really equipped to handle this sort of thing."

    "Alright," Hralk continued, "tell me what we're dealing with."

    "We've only had quick glimpses of the creature so far. It's similar to a Gret but only one fifth the size. A quadruped, it's covered in mostly brown and white fur with a wicked set of claws and a temper to match. Must be some type of ambush hunter as it keeps retreating to small spaces every time we try to get close. Murel here nearly lost a hand when he tried to grab hold. It also keeps making sounds which we assume are either warnings or calls to its pack mates That's all we know so far."

    "Let's..." Hralk began.

    "Sir!" another officer interrupted, "there's a human here claiming knowledge of the creature."

    "Move it, let me through" a new voice growled.

    Hralk looked over the newcomer. He wasn't overly familiar with humans but this one seemed typical of the species. "Who are you and what do you know of this creature?"

    "Captain Jonathan Pike of the freighter Gettin' Lucky and that's my pet Jinx you've got in there. Now if you'll stand aside I'll go grab him."

    Not being impressed with the human's appearance, Supervisor Hralk couldn't imagine what the captain thought he'd do against such a vicious beast. "Very well captain, but if you are unable to subdue the creature we'll be forced to take extreme measures to protect this station."

    Pike snorted to himself as he pushed past the officers. "Jinx! Jinx you get out here right now. Ah, there you are you crazy cat." With a complete lack of self preservation and to the horror of the security officers, Pike reached in between the stack of crates and pulled a brown and white tabby out by the scruff of his neck. "How did you get out of the ship, fur-ball?"

    "Thanks guys, I got it from here" Pike stated as he walked past the startled expressions of the Vanet station crew.


    ***********************************************************************

    No one knows how they did it. The entire human sector was spanned by the most complex engineering feat achieved in the known galaxy. This network was unfathomably intricate, and is the key reason to Humanity’s rise.

    Humanity is a new race. They originated on a bio-world, rich in both resources and threats. While sentient space-faring life was uncommon in those environments simply due to the danger, it was not unheard of. Their build was unique, but so was everyone else’s. Endurance predators by origin, they would outlast most species in an outright run, but in terms of flexibility, strength, or toughness, it was just around the middle of a pack for a bio-world species. A valuable addition to the Galaxy, but not anything special.

    Now technology and engineering. This is where the story lies. Nearly all races were exact in their communication requirements. Point A needed to talk to point B. A connection was made. A military ship was connected to the headquarters; one embassy may be connected to another. It made sense, and wasted no resources. Communication was extremely resource intensive, especially over the vastness of space. One connected what needed to be connected, and that was that.

    Humanity liked to disagree. They connected nearly everything into a “network”. A ship wasn’t connected to just the appropriate home port like needed, instead it was part of a stellar mesh that allowed it to contact practically everything in human control. When this fact was discovered, everyone was baffled. Why would a military ship need a connection to the stock exchange of a planet it would never go to? But the humans insisted on their method.

    The cost to build the infrastructure was ridiculous. Just to fully connect a major planet-side metropolis within itself, where one could lower costs using physical optical networks, would be trillions of credits. The humans not only did that, but connected all other metropolises on a planet, built floating relays to maintain the mesh over space, and connected entire planets to the network! The cost would bring the largest economies to their knees.

    It was not like this was a restricted network, with limited bandwidth for only the most important messages. This was apparently a “universal right” for them. Everyone and anyone, from the young of their species to the old had free access. They spent trillions upon trillions to give a random human on planet A the ability to talk to a random human on planet B about the most mundane of topics. Not only that, but literally everything was connected, not just communication equipment. Vehicles downloaded mapping data, and drove themselves. Their clothes acquired weather forecasts, and changed their internal temperature control mechanisms to match. Their chairs were even designed to download user preference data, and adjust its firmness and height!

    Now, if this was just an interesting, and yet monumental waste of engineering and credits, it would be but a footnote in Humanity’s entry into the encyclopedia. But the humans took the greatest advantage of this network, and started outpacing nearly everyone in the galaxy.

    Their scientific progress was somewhat quirky. A generally violent past caused rapid expansion in the past couple centuries, making Humanity one of the faster growing races. Naturally, after First Contact, there was a scientific golden period prevalent in most contacts. Overall though, their goals were shortsighted, and they did not have the focus or tradition of many societies. No one really expected the humans to be pioneers in science. The network changed that. They were able to bring everyone into the scientific fold. The standard First Contact information grant was disseminated through human society at a blazing pace. A farmer from a far off out-world planet could discover new fauna, and within hours the leading genetic researcher in a core world would be reconstructing its genetic code while a medical team aboard a floating space station was analyzing its toxins for medical use. Through this impeccable communication and collaborative style, the humans catapulted to the front of the race in nearly all fields.

    Even militarily, they gained enormous advantages, as the Mualum Pirates discovered. The humans did not take valuable time to call in an airstrike. Their armor was always connected to everyone else, everything was monitored. Reinforcements would be deployed exactly where it was needed, lines would be reinforced before a crack ever developed. A commander sitting back home would have direct information from the front lines, as well as civilians in the sector. Its coordination was such that the Mualum first assumed Humanity was a Hive-mind species.

    Which, in a way, they had become. While maintaining the same ingenuity and advantages of a self-processing species, their unique network allowed collaboration and collective thought as though they were a single entity. They managed to be at once both independent, and dependent, both chaos, and order. Let us hope they choose to build, and not destroy.

    ***************************************************************************************

    Transmission origin...unknown.

    Transmission destination...The Grand Council Assembly Hall.

    {BEGIN TRANSMISSION}

    "Council, when we first stumbled upon your confederacy and realized we weren't alone amongst the stars we understood that it would take approx. 46 of our home world's revolutions around our star before we could ask for a vote from you to be included in your community. We knew that both our space exploration ways and technology were in its infancy when compared to your least developed members. It would take time for us to grow as a species before you would consider us worthy of your ranks."

    "But when the Po'yafr, the main providers of YOUR military, attacked our colonies in the Cygni system you did nothing. When they burned and took our terraformed planets in the Gliese systems and we begged you to reign them in, you claimed we had 30 more revoluions before you could even BEGIN to raise the issue with the council. When they destroyed Alpha Centauri, subsequently turning the entire system into a 40 billion soul graveyard, for the perceived slight of trying to defend ourselves and we pleaded for you to save our species...you told us that the issue was settled as 'nonmember species have no claim against members of the Council'."

    "For the next 10 revolutions we hid in every crack and shadow we could find in the universe, keeping our home system hidden, as we were hunted relentlessly to the point of extinction spending that time learning what we could and adapting what we had. The next 5 revolutions we fought the Po'yafr to a stalemate...the next 2 we turned the tide."

    "Because of our 'perceived and exceptional growth" and "benefits that can be brought to our community", we've been told that the Council has made a decision to take action on the issue we raised all those revolutions ago. Apparently a vote to include humanity into the Council a full, and as yet unheard of, 15 revolutions early with a requirement of hostilities against our enemy be ceased. Now it is our species that wants you to understand us..."

    "We will not be attacked without provocation and then taken to court to be sued, bribed, or begged into peace. We do not accept your calculations on the value of a single human life. We do not agree with your idea of the hardship endured of a lost colony. We do not concur with the responsibility of an aggressor to a destroyed planet. You do not dictate when we feel satisfied that a debt is paid, we will make our own judgements on when that bill is settled."

    "Sentient beings of the Council, the Po'yafr made the decision to engage humanity in a war of genocide...

    ...and we aim to oblige them."

    "We pray that we don't have to add any other species to that list."

    -Admiral Johnathan Lewis Deliard, United Terran Space Force.

    {END TRANSMISSION}

    *************************************************************************************

    If only we had taken our time. If we had studied them, learned about them, learned about their history we might have taken a different course and the galaxy might be different. But what were they to us who walked amongst the stars? They were so far beneath us as to be mere beasts in comparison. How could we know what was to come from our actions, hundreds of times over we had done the same and hundreds of times before there had always been a singular result. Not this time, this one time was different and for that in the annals of all history we will be remembered as monsters, tyrants, slavers and destroyers when we had done nothing different than any of the others. Worse though, we would be remembered as fools, a thousand worlds and trillions of living beings all united under our banners and our biggest marks would be as foolish creatures of evil who let loose an even larger evil on the galaxy.

    I do not have long, I write this manuscript in haste, my claws trembling in fear for the first time in a hundred planetary cycles. Not since my first battles as a youth have I felt the trembling touch of that feeling. Unlike that time though, this fear holds no excitement, no anticipation, only dread and a reluctant resignation to the fate that we have brought upon ourselves for our deeds. The deeds for which my people will be irrevocably removed from the galactic stage, and of which I write in my haste only a few more partial day cycles left before their arrival. I aim to be brief, and hopefully if all of the factors of fate are with me this manuscript might be sent before their arrival, and if not even more of a hope against all others, that it might survive what they do to my body and my home.

    My name, irrelevant as it might be to the grand story is Mirxal Tsloka and I am a Wiarna. We are a proud race, our ancestors were the apex predators of our world and we used that heritage in all facets of our lives. It was the driving force that led us to our expansion and subjugation on a dozen other space faring species, but that subjugation was not harsh. We aided those we had beaten if they showed their mettle. We respected strength, skill and ferocity above all other traits and those species that showed theirs were raised to be almost as brothers but still with us at the helm of the Imperium. Other races, those of the cowardly herds or any pre-space species were treated as chattel. They were not our equals; they could never even be the equals of our second tier species. They were as beasts and we chose to treat them as such and use them.

    The Imperium was vast and strong, nearly a thousand worlds and several dozen races stood at its top, with a few hundred more holding its base. A pyramid of power, built around the ideology of an apex predator’s mindset. It is why we were blinded, lost in our view of the way things should be. There was no alternative, for nearly four of our millennia things had progressed that way. Nor amongst any of the other vast territories controlled by other species or collectives was there any other way, the strong ruled and the weak, meek or simple did as they were bid.

    I had spent my first decades learning for learning’s sake. I was a queer Wiarna and still am, sitting and writing in my last day rather than preparing the defense of my home. Few others amongst my kind think or believe as I do, that every species functions in a different way. Sometimes the differences are small, almost unnoticeable but they are there. It was my drive to study those differences, why do the herd animals not resist not that they have been beaten, why are some predators predisposed to simply give way before a stronger rather than fighting to assert their dominance? These were the things I sought answers to and apparently asked too many times.

    My reward was being stationed on one of the survey flotillas, a dismal and boring station. We travelled the stars looking for anything of use. Resource deposits were catalogued, worlds life bearing and barren marked and taken account of, hazards mapped out. We spent what seemed like an eternity at the task. Only the habited worlds broke the monotony, but even there was a kind of sadness for one such as me.

    Those were the worlds we would spend the most time near, watching and studying the denizens of the newly discovered planet. Non-sentient races were quickly marked, categorized and moved on from, but the sentients required study. Only three times during my stay as a survey officer did I ever see a new sentient species. Two are negligible, early space faring and easy to subdue, they might make good slaves or if they proved themselves enough they might even become low level foot soldiers, cannon fodder, for the Imperium.

    It was the last race that was the most interesting. We found them in a little system, out of the way and along one of the more useless spiral arms in our territory. Habitable and useful worlds were far and few between in this stretch of the galaxy, which made even this species interesting, and even more so their habits as we observed them.

    They had only achieved space flight a short time before as the evidence of their probes, satellites and the general space debris surrounding their world indicated. Unlike any other species though, these creatures seemed to have stopped their advancement. No other race we’d encountered had ever reached space and stopped, had not pushed on farther and faster in a bid to reach the stars. These creatures had explored some of their system and then apparently given up on the idea of reaching much beyond their immediate orbit.

    It was baffling and if I had been given more time to study them we might have been able to prevent all of this….

    That was the sensor alarm. They have entered the system periphery, less than a planetary rotation remains. There was still so much to see, so much to learn…

    If I had more time, it always comes down to time does it not? We spent most of a planetary stellar orbit observing these creatures. They would be easy to subjugate, they had not even formed a unified planetary system, and even stranger they were not like any other race we had encountered. Their fractious nature more than likely stems from their not being a herd based race, nor an apex predator race. They appear to be some kind of pursuit predator with omnivorous diets. They are an anomaly, possibly due to their galactic position but something that required further study and understanding, something which was not granted.

    We watched in that short time, and learned what we could of them. Hundreds of separate clans lived on their world, with nearly as many different tongues spoken. If anything would be a problem for their subjugation it would be the need of a force to visit every clan and a program to translate every language. Their population was a mere speck, tiny in comparison to the Imperium and the might we could bring to bear and eventually did.

    Two of their planetary orbits later I returned with the conquest fleet, our admiral a noble and pompous example of our species had requested me for my firsthand observations. He did not care about their unique nature or what might be gained from their study, he only wished for the honor of enslaving yet another species for the Imperium. Admiral Tsiuma stood by as we bombarded some of their densest population centers. We did not wish to destroy their population, it was needed if they were to be a labor race, but to send a lesson some of them would have to be wiped away.

    Even as we did so our data experts were rapidly invading their networks, copying and stealing everything they could find, and everything we would later learn we had needed to study. It is not often that we look back on our mistakes, nor even admit to their happening, but here we had failed to properly understand our prey and what they would do as a response to these action. It was a response we had never even thought of, never believed possible having been united long before we ever reached space.

    Only a few heartbeats after our strikes destroyed their cities great pillars of flame spat into the sky and these creatures roared their defiance at us. It was almost laughable that they fired missiles at us, what warhead could damage a starship’s shields? It was pitiful, and we watched as those missiles slowly rose, clawing their way on chemical fuel out of their dense gravity well, and we swatted them away by the hundreds, contemptuously.

    Again, had we understood the nature of our prey things might be different. But who had ever thought of such a thing, no species needed to make such weapons as the ones we encountered. All known species had left their gravity wells united, a single solid front as they reached into their heavens and spread amongst the stars. Even then what use were the weapons we found, the expense of creating them, especially for a divided race such as this must have been astronomical. There were more efficient ways of bombarding a planet, cleaner ways. A rock from space will impact with even more speed, cause even more destruction and leave only a crater as its evidence.

    This race had done something different, something insane. They had harnessed nuclear power and put that onto a missile. A missile that they had never intended to use against another race, a missile intended fully for the use within their own atmosphere on their own people. It was insane, but they had done it, and only a short period of time to look would have told us so. Instead we swatted aside their missiles with contempt, secure in our arrogance that nothing these primitives had could harm us. And as the first of our ships were struck and their shields flashed and flickered away we were stunned, surely some accident had happened. Then it happened again, and again, and again and we watched from our command carrier as almost the entire invasion fleet was wiped away, a disaster that could not be repaired on our admiral’s honor.

    We had no reaction for this, no contingency. This didn’t happen. Except there we were, standing on the bridge of our carrier watching as dozens and then hundreds of warheads blotted away our ships in blinding boils of light. These crazy creatures had harnessed the power of the sun for their weapons, at insane costs, for an insane reason and we now learned about this at our great cost. Admiral Tsiuma ended his life before the planetary rotation was over, before even the last of the missiles had detonated, taking with it nearly the entirely of our fleet leaving all of the rest bleeding wrecks only a few capable of travel. The admiral’s successor had no more direction, no clue on how to react and so we ran, fleeing from that world’s insanity lest another storm of missiles reach up to blot us away, taking away the Imperium’s only source of warning.

    That was what we told ourselves but it was fear, pure abject horror that drove us. When a predator faces something that it knows cannot be true, that it knows it cannot face and survive, then it runs and waits and comes back another day when it is stronger or more plentiful. We were no different than our ancestors and so we ran, straight back to our emperor with the hope that he might have direction for us. But that running was more of a crawl, our surviving ships heavily damaged, and we took nearly a dozen standard planetary cycles to even reach our frontier.

    What that trip gave to me was time. The time I had asked for, begged for, and that we had unknowingly needed, to understand these creatures. Our databanks survived the strikes of their weapons, and great swaths of information that we had gleaned from their networks sat translated before me. Day after day I sat, pouring over their history, their words and ideals. I learned what they called themselves, and even the names of their great clans, these Humans and I shuddered at what I saw.

    We had interrupted what I can only look back on as fate’s galactic intervention. Our meddling had distracted one of the most violent fast breeding species from keeping itself in check. The entire history of the Imperium is filled with short wars, unification, conquest, subjugation but nothing like the wars I found listed in Humanity’s history. They fought wars over the smallest of things; they would fight over rocks, dirt, ideals, and words. Give them even the smallest excuse and based on what I could tell from their history humanity would fight over it. Their species had fought so many wars, kept itself so divided as to be only in its infancy in terms of space flight when they should have already been colonizing their neighboring stars.

    That division was something that had kept us safe. The more I read about them the more worried I became and if only I had known what they were doing that fear would have shifted into abject terror. They fought each other but their stories and histories were filled with tales of enemies uniting to fight a terrible enemy that was unlike them. Even humans that they considered to have stepped beyond the boundaries were united against, like this Hitler person. But now we had justified every worry they had ever had, every fear about what existed in the great night sky, a thousand stories about other races come to conquer, butcher or enslave them and we had done exactly that.

    The planetary alarms are going off…They’re here. I have no more time, my story ends here but if by some miracle this transmission reaches one of the other empires or confederations out there, heed my words. We have woken something, they are not interested in platitudes or terms. We are their bogeyman and they aim to destroy their fears. Run if you can, hide if you cannot. If you stand, say your farewells to your loved ones and prepare to meet your gods, for surely they will not stop.

    • Mirxal Tsloka, Last intellectual of the Wiarna.
    *****************************************************************************

    The roaring of the alarm klaxon in the corridor outside my bunk practically knocked me out of bed. By the time I got into the corridor most of my squad were waiting. An automated recording was playing over the loudspeakers, telling passengers to head to the escape pods. Transport Marshall may not be the most prestigious position in the Dro hierarchy, but my squad was well disciplined. They didn't flinch. "Radio the bridge and see what's going on." I ordered. What I hear back does make my squad flinch.

    "Cubozoans, Marshall! I can't outrun their ship and they're closing fast, looks like they're aiming to breach the port airlock. Can your squad hold them until the escape pods are ready?" Cubozoans. I'd heard horror stories about them. Never thought I'd have to fight them. "Marshall?! Marshall are you there?" My men shrank back a bit, I'm sure I had the same fear in my eyes that they did. I took a breath to steady myself, "Captain, we'll hold them."

    My squad grabbed their weapons from their bunks and we began heading to the port airlock. Fighting cubozoans in close-quarters ... an old war blade would be more useful than my plasma rifle. Passengers were still fleeing as we reached the port side of the ship. Then a door opened beside me, a human standing there half clothed, "Someone leave their alarm clock on or something?" Damn they were loud for being so small. "Cubozoans are boarding, human. Get to the escape pods." The human scrunched up its face at me and picked up a little tablet.

    "Human are you ... reading about cubozoans? Now?!"

    "Yep."

    "Damnit human, they're big floating gelatinous sacks. With tentacles. They're damn near impervious to plasma fire. They grab you. They ... absorb you. Get to an escape pod or you're going to see it first hand!"

    The human just stared at its tablet, eyes flitting back and forth. Probably just looking at the pictures. Damned idiotic humans. As I turned to join my men, the human said, "Hey wait! I think I can help!" "Sure you can human, do you have a weapon?" The little mammal bared its teeth slightly and said, "Kind of ... I've got my ax." An ax? An ax. I just sigh. "Port airlock human, hurry!" Maybe he'll slow one of the cubozoans down enough for us to kill it.

    I joined my squad and ordered them to ready weapons. One of my men radioed the captain and told him to shut the alarm off. Thank the gods, I thought I'd go deaf before I died. In the silence we could hear the cubozoan ship latch onto the outer airlock. "Stand fast men, stand fa ... what is that noise?" I spun around to see the human pushing a huge black crate, as tall as it was, towards us. It had something slung over its shoulder as well that somewhat resembled an ax. Remotely. I was at a loss for words.

    One of my squad shouted out, "What in the gods names is that human? The cubozoans don't want your junk. They're just hungry." "Oh no, this is my axe!" The human let out a couple of unsettling noises my translator tagged as 'laughter'. as it connected a cable from the crate to a power conduit on the wall. "Get behind me." The human said, "You don't want to be in front of this thing. It's gonna be loud. And hell if I know this will work." Such confidence. Great. "Fine. Go ahead squad, use the little human for cover." As the human was connecting cables and pedals, adjusting knobs on the crate, we heard the outer airlock give way. Almost immediately the sound of a torch cutting the seals of the inner airlock could be heard. Then the human flipped a switch on his big crate and the corridor lights dimmed and flickered. A loud electrical hum filled the air. If my squad was scared before, they were terrified now. What was this human weapon?

    The human was looking up at me, its eyes gleaming. Teeth bared with the corners of its mouth pulled up. Suddenly I was more afraid of that little mammal than all the cubozoans that were about to devour us. The airlock door creaked open and a dozen tentacles slid through, fighting to pry it open more. My men began firing. The human looked toward the airlock then back at me. In an impossibly loud scream it bellowed at me, "ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!" "Gods help me!" I stammered back, its scream was louder than the alarm klaxon had been. But if I thought that was painful, what came next was a hundred times worse. A thousand, even. I was not ready. My squad was not ready. The cubozoans were definitely not ready.

    The sound was rhythmic and loud. Extremely, extremely, loud. Building on itself, from thundering lows to splitting highs. Always crushing. Every time the human struck his 'ax' another blow came from it. It seemed to only increase in speed, in tempo. How was this possible?! This terror? The human was screaming along with the sound but its words; what I could hear over the noise and shooting and blood pounding in my head, they made no sense. Trapped in purgatory ... The sky is turning red?! My men were looking at the human and creeping cubozoans with equal terror.

    What was the point of this insanity? This deafening, maddening insanity?! The cubozoans were still coming forward out of the airlock though they looked just as disoriented as us. They were moving as if they were in pain, but still creeping forward. And we were hammering them with plasma! First one cubozoans dropped, then another! As they crept closer we could see, their color was changing rapidly ... they seemed to be shaking and ... leaking? "KEEP UP THE FIRE MEN! KEEP UP THE HEAT!" I shouted as loud as I could, but the humans ax drowned me out. It didn't matter, my men seemed completely focused despite the brutality of the noise pulsing through us.

    But there were at least at dozen cubozoans left. They formed a solid wall, ignoring the plasma blasts, reaching for the human's machine. Wanting to stop it. Creeping closer. I could see my death at hand, I could hear the human's screams over the punishing, rhythmic sound of his ax. This is a glorious death.

    "RAINING BLOOOODDDDD"

    The cubozoans stretched forward ...

    "FROM A LACERATED SKY"

    Their tentacles shaking, oozing ...

    "BLEEDING ITS HORROR"

    Our rifle barrels glowing red hot as we poured fire into them ...

    "CREATING MY STRUCTURE"

    Cracks splitting on the cubozoans skin, but they keep reaching closer ...

    "NOW I SHALL REIGN IN BLOOD!"

    The sudden cacophany of noise nearly shattered my mind. It was a whole other level of sound. Noise and anguish. Brutal. It lost all rhythm, high squealing pitches shook the whole ship. As I collapsed and my vision dimmed, the last thing I saw was the human kick the huge, booming crate into the cubozoan horde in front of it. They started bursting, rupturing left and right. When I awoke moments later, the silence seemed more deafening than what had come before. My ears rang and I didn't feel I could stand without falling back down. The hallway before me was splattered with orange blood, dismembered tentacles and fragments of cubozoan skin. Two of my squad were unconscious. Another was curled up, as though he were a hatchling, muttering to himself. The last was still standing, rifle empty but aimed forward, shaking, still holding down the trigger.

    The human was standing before us all. Red blood ran from its own ears. Ax still slung in front of him, that terrible booming crate further ahead on its side. Silent now. All covered in what had just been a horde of cubozoans. The human turned to me, soaked in the blood of our foe, teeth bared again. Does their bloodlust know no end? My terror renewed all over, I managed to stammer, "What ... what now?" The human only showed even more teeth and laughed again. "I'm heading to the bridge to see if the security cameras caught that. Holy fuck that was metal!"

    *********************************************************************************************

    When we found Humanity, the United Senates of Species wept. We were scared, not of them, but for them.



    The galaxy was in turmoil, the Axiom warfleet had been tearing through uncharted space in a mad expansion spree. We’d tried to talk sense into them, even threatening them with arms, but they just simply wouldn’t care.



    When they arrived in the Humans’ home system, Sol as we later learned, we wept. It was negligence on our part that we didn’t find them earlier. We could’ve warned them of the incoming danger. We could’ve tried to save them, but by the time we found them, it was too late.



    We thought we would never learn of this youngling species, and we watched with dread as the massive Axiom warfleet came out of warp in their system.



    Surely, like all other young pre-ascension races, they would meet the invaders with arms and fight to the last of them only to be conquered by the Axiom.



    Or so we thought.



    Something... unexpected, happened. When the Axiom landed their ships in order to assert dominance, both us and them had expected the Axiom ground troops to be met with stiff resistance and whatever primitive weapons the natives had.



    But instead, they were met with cheers, friendly smiles, parades and many exotic foods and beverages. Apparently, it was extremely difficult to conquer someone when they were too busy throwing a celebration in your name. Much less shooting a friendly face offering you many gifts.



    We... watched, with curiosity and awe. We thought that perhaps a few cycles afterwards the Axiom would continue their conquest of this system, but again, we were wrong.



    The Warfleet stopped on Sol 3, Earth. One had never seen an Axiomian enjoying themselves so much before... But all good things come to an end, of course. Soon, the Warfleet would leave them, not without parting some gifts of their own in return to this extraordinary friendly species, and we were relieved.



    News of this new fledgling race that survived the Axiom spread like the plague, and countless species of the United Senates of Species flocked to see them with interest, and were all met with the same enthusiasm as the Axiom were. Many would say it was a very enjoyable experience. The Humans’ homeworld had lighter gravity than the galactic standard, the pollution was more than acceptable, and a great many things there were harmless to most members of the United Senates.



    Humans themselves seem to have drawn the short stick of evolution on the galactic scene. Many tests done on volunteers have decided that Humans are sub-par to nearly every sentient race on the galactic stage, dozens of things could easily come to one’s mind when asked why humans are simply less evolved than the other species. There’s always someone that’s faster than them, stronger than them, more intelligent than them, has higher endurance than them, so on and so forth. And while we wept at their misfortune, the Humans didn’t seem to be bothered much by it, bless those poor souls.



    Alas, all good things come to an end eventually, the bad news came in the form of the approaching Korvokian hive fleet. We never knew what drove them to attack Sol 3, but when we knew they were coming, we had time to warn the Humans.



    We tried to evacuate them, we really did, but they simply would not budge. So we wept again, this time for our newfound friends who we wished we knew them longer. Most of everyone pulled off from their Planet, but not everyone. For some insane reasons, those few chose to remain behind on Sol 3 with the humans, to embrace whatever fate awaits them.



    When our long-range scanners had detected a massive fleet entering their system, we thought it was the Kovokians coming to destroy this much-adored fledgling species, but to our horror, it was the Axiom. We waited with baited breath, hoping that they did not return to finish a job they had left the first time around... minutes passed, then hours... then those left on the planet sent messages to us that the Axiom weren’t here to invade the Earth, but to protect it.



    We were surprised, all of us, and any skepticism was blown away with ease just as the Korvokian hive fleet was when they arrived. The Axiom opened fire with no warnings upon the unsuspecting fleet who thought they were coming over to consume a scarcely protected world, instead they were met by a fleet that not even the United Senates could stop. The Axiom made short work of them... then they made planetfall to celebrate with the humans again.



    It hasbeen many galactic cycles since humanity was first found, and thanks to their intense curiosity and ease at becoming friends with others, you can find a human almost anywhere. From the sleaziest of Morahan bars to the grand academy of the Axiom military, no doubt studying their own tactical brilliance.



    They walk wherever they want, no establishment would turn them away and in turn, they became the best of friends anyone could ask for.



    “What is the best way to completely and utterly destroy your enemies?” We asked the three finale contestants, the billions of pairs of eyes were glued to them, watching them both live at the hall and in the television.



    “Consume them whole.” The Korvokian representative answered, chittering their mandibles, the crowd murmured in agreement.



    “Glass their planets into smithereens.” The Axiom representative grinned with confidence, certain of his victory. The crowd applauded, there were some cheers.



    Then it was the Human’s turn. He looked over to the other contestants, then the crowd. With a smile, he answers “Make them your friends.” And the crowd lost their minds, many got out of their seats to applaud louder than the ones around them, some are in tears.



    And that’s how Humanity won the 502nd Pan-galactic Weapons of Mass Destruction convention award.



    let me know in comments if you guys liked these stories and if i should continue them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    Gix, Atox, Kefflar32 and 1 other person like this.
  2. Kefflar32

    Kefflar32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    588
    Trophy Points:
    93

    another great story thx inayat. I like them a lot and always read them definetly continue sharing one every month if you can
     
    Gix likes this.
Loading...
Similar Threads - Short story
  1. inayat
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    81
  2. inayat
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    873
  3. inayat
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    883
  4. inayat
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    957
  5. inayat
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    510
Loading...