I don't like it how vast majority of HFY is about how humans were somehow physically more capable or exceptionally violent.
How about free speech, freedom of expression and capitalism? It's has it's ups and downs that can be both romanticized.
Communism is a failed attempt at utopia that expects people behaving contrary to the human nature that brought us this point, and monarchies become extremely corrupt and self-centered, both of which significantly limit individual's capacity for innovation.
Humans aren't too special, except that their entire civilization is centered around an economic system that the 'more civilized' alien civilizations have either abandoned long time ago in favor of complete unification, or is significantly regulated. Because of this, unlike to other civilizations, humans possess extremely high capacity for innovation, logistics and technological advancement, and also decadence - it's all relative. To most humans who've been raised from birth to compete, majority of alien cultures seem like something out of the history books Stagnant, archaic with rampant idealism that shows as legislation full of nothing but carbage laws.And lastly and mostly, inefficient industry and extremely poor product quality - which is reflected everywhere, including military. The reason being that individual humans can become anything they want given that they work for it. But in alien cultures, it's generally about who your parents are - are they nobility, what caste are they and so on. This results in poor morale and severe lack of competition which reduces innovation.
To be fair, we abducted members of every new race. Abduct a small percentage of the population, expose them to some galactic prisoners, and we get a good idea of what germs, diseases, and viruses will make the jump between races. Do this over the course of a [roughly equivalent to a century], and you get a good idea of what there is, how quickly it mutates, etc. You also have the time to develop vaccines for any races that might be affected by the new race (including itself- we’re not heartless).
But we underestimated humans.
It was [roughly equivalent to four decades] into our testing of humanity. We picked up a human from his transport and placed him in a containment cell. He had some nutrients with him, and we picked that up too: less we had to feed him later.
But we underestimated the resourcefulness of humans.
Something went wrong- we think it was a door malfunction- and he escaped the cell. He disabled the guards easily (we suspect they were less alert than they should have been) and took their weapons. We locked all hatches, hoping to seal him in the laboratory wing. Unfortunately, he hacked the shipboard computer, gaining control of all systems. He made his way to the bridge, where he took the captain hostage. We offered him riches, technologies beyond human understanding.
But we underestimated the stubbornness of humans.
He was paid us no mind as he wrestled with the controls, as if on some quest. He punched numbers and figures into the console, and mumbled something about ‘being lit on fire’ by a superior. He set the ship down on the other side of the city from where he was picked up and opened the doors. We braced ourselves for a military confrontation, but it seemed like we were outside another human’s abode. He jumped out, carrying the nutrients with him.
We underestimated Domino's 30-minute or free guarantee.
There was an HFY, I don't have it saved and it's honestly not written all that clearly, where the human edge over the elves in a fantasy setting is agriculture. That was kind of cool: The elves didn't understand that because of the seasonal cycle, there'd be a ton of humans to fight at some times, but couldn't keep to the field, and consequently miscalibrated their attacks.
They understood the seasons. What they didn't understand is that humans don't have professional armies, draft all their men right after planting, and have to have them home before harvest, and plan accordingly. Elves use some kind of magical thingamagigery to constantly get food from their forests, and that number stays more or less constant year round.
>>37601521 I've seen that one, it's not that awful. It was basically that the elves could live off the land and campaign forever, and they didn't understand why the humans came in cycles because they didn't have agriculture.
It was like a bunch of hunter-gatherers fighting against Dark Ages Wessex, and not knowing where the fuck all their men go every couple months.
>>37601658 >>37601662 "My lord, every 4 seasons the men are strong and ready, like the wolves in summer."
The concept of seasonal population spikes would be clear to all but most oblivious of sentients. In addition, even if they didn't understand it was agriculture related, it would be at predictable intervals. >During this season, men stronk
Would other species create an internet as we understand the term? Even we find it to be rather crazy since in our literature, things like the Imperium's networks, or even the Republic's/Empires Holonet, and perhaps even the recordings of data from Startrek, have a top-down approach to data distribution compared to our bottom up.
All of them have centralized data storage, ways of checking who accessed what and at what time and even at times for what purpose. They are built to control the flow of information.
Our internet, however, is built to do the exact opposite. It is built to distribute ALL of the information ALL the goddamn time, without any breaks on it. It's built to survive earthquakes and natural disasters, to keep the flow of information running all the goddamn time. To be nearly indestructable even in the case of nuclear war.
Would other races build information technology like that? Or could it be that Humanity's specialty, more so than anything else, is the technology to communicate? Not to wage war, not to fuck the stars, but to communicate ideas.
>>37603119 The thing about humans is that we come to expect our pleasures and privileges. The country that first popularized the civilian intertubes was founded in violent revolt, planned in secret among the masses. Free speech has always been a priority, for much the same reason that we haven't ever truly taken away the populace's capacity to arm itself. In the end, we were born from a common hero's war against the big bad overlord, and it shows in our culture.
>>37603119 Space 4chan would be an interesting, subversive item.
It's hard to hate people who like the same things you do, even if they are niche things. The Mantids of Xerxon 4 have had an antagonistic relation with the Squishikans, but ever since the Roll20 guys linked their planets with their server, they've been much more open to discussion about obscure topics that bleeds into normal, everyday lives.
Meanwhile, the Horriblesubs kick starter succeeded and now a quarter of the galaxy has access to Chinese cartoon torrents. Waifu arguments have nearly toppled several governments.
ENTRY 6752 >War with lesser race has not truly broken out yet. We are patient, if nothing else, and have no intention on fighting a war without knowing the easiest solution to pacification. As of this entry, we have interned 40 individuals of the species. My analysis shows 23 of these to be male, and 17 to be female. The abduction was conducted not 3 cycles away from the Human home-world, so as to use a sample without risk of mutation from space travel, as is natural of any widespread species.
ENTRY 6753 >It appears that humans are doing well in our containment pods. They seem strangely relaxed, taking time to communicate in their tongue with each-other. Compared to our people, their communication is rudimentary. They use vibrations in the air rather than colored sacs and luminescence. Some of our more delicate machinery may be affected by their 'speech' should they raise their volume. Continue to observe before proceeding with tests.
ENTRY 6754 >Humans started to act strange as we purified the atmosphere. As it turns out, they do not use nitrogen, but rather the toxin Oxygen to perform respiration. All personnel are to wear nitrogen masks when working in high-oxygen environments and are expected to clean themselves upon entering and exiting. We will pollute the atmosphere immediately and wait until they return to nominal activity.
>>37606654 ENTRY 6755 >Humans have all begun strange spasms, seemingly in a ritualistic manner. They repeatedly curl their abdominal and uncurl before rotating and lifting their mass off the floor. A few have taken to pulling their limbs into uncomfortable shapes. Perhaps this is the result of increased Nitrogen exposure? A triggering of self-termination? Shall keep this on record as potential solution.
ENTRY 6756 >Moved human into medical bay for study and intensive exposure testing. Initial scans show ripping of muscular structure and tearing of joints are present from prior cycle's ritual. Human seems unknowing about possible condition, and reacts unfazed when questioned about it. He lifted a few standard weights after being instructed and then stared at door while I communicated with fellow officer. These humans are not very bright. Theorizing a hive mind that relies on chemical communication, and separation reduces intellect of individual. Will test electrical neuron death-rate tomorrow.
ENTRY 6757 >Humans do NOT use all chemical communication as previously thought. They in fact hybridize both electrical and chemical communication in their neurons to maximize efficiency. They can withstand over 50,000 times our electrical death-rate, until they reach a state he referred to as 'Tick-El'. Ceased immediately when Human began to raise voice and repeated snorting reaction and lost control of diaphragm. Electrical weapons most likely not feasible, as subject recovered almost instantly when current stopped and requested we 'Tick-El' him again. Truly, a strange species.
>>37606676 ENTRY 6758 >All officers are to stop an ritualistic movement when spotted from this moment on. Repeated testing shows that they are not simply destroying themselves. Their tissue appears to regenerate based on the intensity of this action. Unlike our predictions, however, the more aggressive the ritual, the more aggressive the regeneration. Only a few cycles since they started, all subjects are showing increased strength ratings. I can only imagine what world forced them to have this ability.
ENTRY 6759 >First Human died today, after losing oxygen in our liquid testing- ENTRY 6759-AMMENDM >Human survived. When exposed to toxin Oxygen after prolonged exposure under liquid, subject will resume their original breathing pattern and readjust body temperature. It took only 3 micro-cycles for subject to sit up and single-handedly remove rest of liquid from breathing system. Perhaps planet suffered frequent floods? Perhaps Nitrogen regenerates life-force in necrotic tissue?
ENTRY 6760 >Humans are starting to catch on now. They no longer co-operate, and will refuse instruction until forced at Laz-point. They continue to observe walls and doors. Perhaps lights disable higher-cognitive thoughts. Testing shows that all Humans are starting to exhibit disease, most likely induced by liquid trial, but spreading through human system rapidly. Will most likely need new cargo.
ENTRY 6761 >Humans continue to show symptoms of disease, but remain fully active. Forced leader to consume toxins from our home system to test if possible synthetic weapon possible. Subject showed visible distress before sensors noted increase in methane only 6 du-cycles later. Human did not exhibit any other symptoms. Tests show body is already breaking toxin down into usable components. This bodes poorly for the coming war.
>>37606697 ENTRY 6762 >No Human deaths from disease. In fact, system shows their entire body has adapted to the disease and is no longer susceptible in it's current form. It killed 2 of my officers this morning, but Humans show no lasting effects from it. Scan shows that some may even be carrying it without exhibiting symptoms. Will consider termination on grounds of bio-weapon potential.
ENTRY 6763 >We were wrong to attempt to consider attacking these THINGS. They are no creature. They are the embodiment of death taken form. They were not watching our doors, they were learning them. Every time we pressed a button, thinking they were too stupid to understand, they were remembering it for their future attack. They do not communicate through hivemind mentality, but rather share their intelligence when gathered and keep it when separated, meaning each one is as strong as a collective and can bolster another group should they not have the same intellect. They've increased their muscle mass by 2.7 percent in the cycles they've been here on average, simply forcing their bodies to break down before building themselves back up and repeating the exercise, growing stronger and stronger each-time. As I speak, they pump Oxygen, our toxic fuel, into the air for them to spread through the ship, taking our weapons and blasting us apart. We were wrong to think we were patient. Time is not our ally. Time is Humans ally, and they have perfected the art of waiting into an evolutionary response.
>>37606718 I love stories about human patience being a weapon. Humans were persuit predators originally.
That cheeta? He can run faster than us sure. But you know what? He's got to rest... or eat... or drink water... we can last days without those things... and we just keep coming, like the goddamn terminator of the animal kingdom.
>>37607205 I remember one a while back that I haven't been able to find since.
It was from the PoV of an alien convict who had broken out of his prisoner transport, and had a squad of humans dispatched to capture him.
It read like a horror story, where he was constantly fleeing, and whenever he stopped, the humans were still following him and tracking him down, until he collapsed to the ground screaming about how humans were going to catch him, and passed out from exhaustion.
There are two incidents of note in galactic history involving humanity.
The first was when they first made themselves known, showing a remarkable drive to better both themselves and those around them through sheer force of will and drive.
The other was the first time anyone fought a war against them.
Before the war, humans were known for their strange compassion, their brief, but memorable art, and their love of all things they considered an expression of 'life'. It was strange to think that many cycles ago, the transmissions intercepted from earth were restricted to elder only content due to the graphic depictions of violence that seemed antithetical to life. Nonetheless, they were welcomed and considered brothers in our community, and the galaxy was better for it.
Then the Gul'leen took notice of their peaceful ways. The Gul'leen are by no means an evil race, but they are one well versed in combat. Their world is one of constant struggle to survive and continuous fights from regional differences. Until they have a common cause.
>>37607785 On cycle 5678-09, in an isolated system, the Gul'leen attempted to 'reclaim' a planet in the context of a holy land of sorts, where they believed their greatest ancestors once fought and died.
Humanity, calling the planet 'Nova Paxus', refused politely, and offered to help reconstruct the holy areas in tandem with the Gul'leen. That was when the Gul'leen launched the orbital kinetic cannon.
In but the blink of an eye, more than two thirds of the human colonists on Nova Paxus were killed, either by the explosive impact or the force-waves that leveled mountains as they rippled across the surface. In but half a rotation, the Gul'leen had claimed the planet and declared war upon the Human race, now under the context of a crusade.
Humanity was silent, as if mourning the loss of it's children in solitude. For many, Gul'leen warfare was a simple fact of life. They had a battle, declared war, then you had to negotiate peace. Such was the sick game they played decade after decade to world after world, expanding their empire bit by bit.
It was only when the humans returned to Nova Paxus, launching an army thrice the size of the original colony population, that the galaxy remembered just how terrifying a human can wage war.
>>37607807 Their pods they loosed were machines of steel and fire, surviving the impact from being launched and releasing three men each. To humans, they became known as 'coffin-drops', but the name was lost on my people. Only after the war, when we learned that for every pod that landed two were lost, that we understood this terrible expression. But as terrifying as their vehicles were, the soldiers were worse.
Humans are relatively short compared to most, having grown and evolved on a 'heavy' planet rather than one with lighter gravity, and as such have smaller skeletal structures. The height is the last thing you notice on a human colony-marine. They wear cold, expressionless masks, with but two glowing eyes and a single tube from the mouth that leads to the back. They wear thick coats and carry heavy guns that are as black as the obsidian sky they drop from.
They swept the surface they landed on clean, leaving not a single enemy in their wake. It is not in the Gul'leen nature to surrender, but I believe that many tried, only to find themselves on the end of a kinetic rifle, holes through both frontal lobes. Through the cities, they moved, silent and determined. Through the forests, they marched, executing ambush techniques as if the land whispered the enemy location to them. And through the sky, they burned, risking death every chance they had just to purge their world a little bit more.
>>37607834 And when the Gul'leen relented, and returned to their system, humanity followed. If you have never heard of the 'grave frigates', you are blessed. Each one, half the size of our very moon, and faster than a Collien slip-drive, but as silent as it's crew, stalked the Gul'leen as they retreated to their core worlds. They offer nothing but the silent, and eerie feeling of dread to all who gaze upon it. My grandfather, one of the recyclers of such a ship, once said it was carved with the names of every soldier and citizen lost to the war, making it a monument to their own fatality, their own war. It was a weapon of hatred.
These grave frigates each moved to a single world, and launched their coffin-drops onto the unassuming surface. There, they found that many of their allies had still lived on the Gul'leen world, but could not leave without the Gul'leen permission. The human armies marched through the cities, taking care to avoid harming the civilians, but showing no mercy to Gul'leen sympathizers. They were as efficient as the machines they built. In less than two cycles, every world but the Gul'leens original dozen were freed from their grasp and welcomed back into the folds of their homeworld. But humanity did not stop.
My world was one of the last they resupplied at before returning to war, and I saw them without their masks. Since the start of the 'Crusade', humans had almost all but disappeared from public eye, their smiling faces once the icon for entertainment and passion. But the men I saw had no such passion.
Taking the thread a little off-topic, the Space Marines. They hold absolute authority. Even the greatest Warmasters, who command entire Segments, are supposed to heel to the words of even an initiate Space Marine. They are, after all, the living embodiment of the Emperor himself.
That being said, even Space Marines are supposed to heel to an Inquisitor.
>>37607849 They were gaunt, and tired, but there was something in their eyes that frightened my young self.
It was hatred. Ever since they watched their brethren die, humans found a spark of hatred in them that had driven them so far, so deep into their old ways, that even they had felt something die inside. As he replaced his mask, I remember the man looking to me, and trying to smile the saddest look I've ever seen a species have.
For the Gul'leen, the final days of war must have played out like a nightmare. Every stratagem they had, every plan they made, shattered like a thousand shards of glass whenever the humans replied with something craftier, smarter, more clever.
>>37607920 In the fields, Gul'leen would celebrate an advantage before realizing that humans had no desire to rest for the night, instead marching under the blanket of stars with only their glowing green visors to signal their coming. In the cities, the guards would panic as they learned humans could survive days without rations from their camps, and watched helplessly as they invaded and purged the Gul'leen from building after building.
One biologist said that a human evolved from a predator that relied not on tooth or claw or even stone, but simply outlasting it's prey before calmly, and without a trace of exhaustion, beat it to death. Perhaps it was that same instinct that drove men to wage the war so successfully against the Gul'leen. They left no city untouched, no factory intact. For them, war was not a ceremony, but instead a series of careful calculations that know no end.
>>37607957 When the humans marched upon the capital city, only then did the emperor raise his flag and beg for surrender. Into his throne room marched a dozen humans, lead by a single man in a suit no different from his brothers. They spent but a moment gazing at the frightened royal court before turning and leaving. Across the planets, every human returned to their grave frigates in silent droves, entering the black star-ships without a word.
And then, for the first time since the start of the war, the humans spoke to the Gul'leen.
“You asked for a holy land, one where your ancestors fought and died. We have given you one. We have given you many. Should you ever need another, we will return.”
The Gul'leen begged mercy, for help to rebuild their world and their barren empire.
“Where was mercy for Nova Praxus?” Humanity inquired.
And like that, they vanished into their home system once more.
>>37608000 It has been almost 10 cycles since the end of the war, and the Gul'leen have yet to rebuild their core worlds. So calculated was the response of humanity that they even found ways to drive life from the worlds they touched. But they are no longer the same silent beacons of death. Today, they once again bask in the company of their allies, telling stories over drink, reciting poetry over tables, and making merry wherever they find themselves. But their allies are wary now. They understand what makes humans so unique.
Before, it was a mystery as to what made man so merry, what kept his happiness and love of life so constant and powerful. After the crusade, they had their answer. They love life because they have perfected the art of ending it. They have perfected it so well that would rather lose themselves in the love of it than remind themselves how excellent they are at destroying it.
You humans have the single worst ship design of any species I have had the misfortune to encounter. Metal boxes, full of atmosphere, screaming garishly at every sense imaginable. Does this sound even remotely aesthetically pleasing to you? They are ugly, utilitarian designs, like one of your cans of animal-protein-biomass.
You do not undergo a genetic uplift for star travel, as most civilized species do. You lack the simple elegance of the Celestial Islands of the Taal-nu, nor the architectural grandiosity of the Grand Glass Fleet of the Kr'Xiost. You do not even limit your travel to those gene-engineered to vacuum-flight under their own power, as the Missionaries of Rena Prime. No. You have ships that shoot fusion bursts out one end, and screeching radio wave gibberish out the other, and in between? Gunmetal Gray Box full of meatbags, water, oxygen and things that explode into garish lights and shrapnel.
Don't get me wrong. You're pleasant enough conversation. You just treat void-sojourns, the single highest ambition of any species, with all the inelegant pragmatism of rutting animals on the field.
It's like you don't even care how you represent yourselves, so long as you have spread as far as your little fusion drives can carry you.
I mean, you're okay to talk to. We can respect youse people for the most part, and it's not like we haven't learned a thing or two from your race. Scientifically. Culturally. But your philosophy just sucks.
Like every other space-faring race, putting aside those oddballs with opaque atmospheres and the like, we built our civilization staring up at the stars. There probably wasn't a one of us that didn't sometimes wonder what it would be like to be out here, and that wonder helped make us what we are.
And here we are today, among the stars, hobnobbing with the likes of you dragons that were old beyond imagining even when we were just getting started, if you'll pardon the analogy. Or even if you won't, I really don't care that much.
See, it's a big universe. We build our spaceships simple and effective precisely so we don't have to do all that crazy genetic manipulation crap that everyone else does. Because these stars are the common heritage of every living thing, and we'll be damned if we'll limit that to just a small part of our population like y'all do.
Though I like that point about rutting in the field. I might have to take my wife out and do that sometime when I'm groundside next. Yeah, I said it. Space flight actually is a lot like fucking. Spreading out and making more of ourselves are two of the deepest drives we humans have, and doing either one feels fucking wonderful, so comparing one to the other really isn't unfair at all.
Not that y'all would know, being as you die after you spawn. It's just our luck that we have to share the universe with a bunch of eternal goddamn virgins.
I like to pretend that humanity's one thing is having ADHD, or at least the relative equivalent.
>Alien civilization with pretty much the same capacity for thought, reason, etc >Just a much, much longer lifespan >One of their engineers sits down with a human engineer, starts writing out a formula >Forty-five minutes later, the human finally recognizes what the alien's doing >Writes out three or four lines of mathematical formula >They finish at about the same time >Alien just stares at the math, shakes its head >"What's that?" >"Basically what you wrote, but with all the crap cut out." >"Crap? This is a structural integrity computation for a satellite in orbit around a Class Three-" >"Good God, you are boring the SHIT out of me and I do this for a living. All of that environmental crap is right here, the Epsilon symbol." >"... I don't understand. How do you multiply by Epsilon?"
There is a legend about humans, and how their hearts are tied to their world itself.
When a freighter vessel lost point on it's navigation charts en-route to earth, many of the crew just began to panic. But not the humans.
As the others feebly screamed and bemoaned their fate, humans quietly pulled out ancient charts and archaic tools, centuries older than most of the crew, and got to work drawing lines and circles.
The others paid no attention, and instead hailed all frequencies for help, blasting the com-waves with cries and pleads for assistance. Even the brave Fulgarians, known for their steadfast ways and stoic faces, seemed to be worried for their future.
Their system recognized no stars, found no points of interest, no unique formations. It was as bleak as it gets for a navigator, having no point of reference or identifiable system to work with, and many had resolved to floating until the air ran out and the rations were gone.
Then, a week in standard-time later, the humans suddenly shouted an ancient word.
They moved to the control room, the navigation center, and the thrusters, and loudly shouted variables and numbers to each-other, before they steered the ship through a series of nebulous clouds, past a dwarf star, and aimed the ship at a tiny, bland star in space, no different from it's fellow lights in the sky. They flipped the switch, activated the FTL drive, and an hour slip-time later, they were floating above earth.
The aliens all gathered and begged for the secret, asking what advanced techniques they used, or what manner of telepathy guided them. The oldest human chuckled and just stared out the porthole to the enormous blue marble outside.
“Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.”
Humanity has 2 things going for it. Number 1: We're inventive. Number 2: We are capable of holding a grudge for long fucking periods of times. Much longer than most would think needed.
When coupled with our relatively fast generations and our creative tendencies, we're scary mother fuckers.
Think of it this way: A saber-toothed tiger kills Gar-Dar's brother. Gar-Dar, being proto-Homo-Sapien does not take this very well, and promptly remembers what the tiger looks like. Now, Gar-Dar is much too smart to just run into the fray without an advantage, so he plans. and he gets creative. He invents new pointy sticks, new sharp rocks, tosses them at mammoths and sees what they do, cuts the flesh from carcasses to see how sharp they are. Years go by, and he's invented a boatload of shit simply to find the best, most effective, and fastest way to kill this tiger. Literally the only thing fueling this guy at this point is this UTTER CONTEMPT for the fucking tiger, and now he's got new sticks. He raises his kids to hate the tiger, his nephews to hate the tiger. That wolf that joined the tribe last week? He taught IT to HATE THAT FUCKING CAT THING HOLY SHIT.
A decade later, while hunting in the middle of the jungle, this tiger that had a little caveman for a snack suddenly finds himself surrounded by a dozen cavemen, swinging new pointy sticks and sharp rocks.
Because Gar-Dar remembers. Gar-Dar is pissed. Gar-Dar has dedicated half his life to killing one thing, and generated enough new technology to create the stone age.
What I hate most about HFY is how inhuman they make humanity. And I don't mean inhuman as in "oh man, those guys are being SO MEAN :(" I mean that HFY humans act fucking nothing like humanity. They're too organized and act as one mind with zero fucking dissent, pursue the dumbest shit that you would never get the masses to agree to, and everything goes off without a hitch.
It's like someone took a good, long look at the entirety of human history and said "let's write about the OPPOSITE of the human condition and then stroke each others' dicks over it". I just don't get it.
>>37608781 A lot of the stories contain humns being attacked by an outside force, there are a lot of circumstances where warring factions united against a new, common foe. If we got attacked by a hostile species, I'm quite sure being a 'nigger' jew, or whatever else would matter very little, and we'd love all the kebabs with their suicide bombing tendencies.
>>37608813 >If we got attacked by a hostile species, I'm quite sure being a 'nigger' jew, or whatever else would matter very little, and we'd love all the kebabs with their suicide bombing tendencies. Like I said, you've either never studied any of human history or you studied it intently and willfully did the exact opposite.
>>37608781 It's kinda like nationalism. When you have no redeeming features of your own, you have to make something out of things like where you happen to have been born. And then you start cranking up the level of badass of your country to stroke your own ego.
HFY is just a poor attempt to get around that we know excessive jingoism and racism to be pretty fucking stupid by putting all of humanity as "us" and then inventing a new "them". Because doing exactly the same shit with new labels on the actors will totally not be as stupid, right?
That's the thing though isn't it? It does happen. Doesn't happen all the time, but every now and again a bunch of people together and they line up and move in the same direction. Usually it's a war and usually the results are horrifying. I enjoy HFY that is about not just our capacity for utter, senseless violence but our ability to endure it.
“The street is no longer measured by meters but by corpses…Stalingrad is no longer a town. By day it is an enormous cloud of burning, blinding smoke; it is a vast furnace lit by the reflection of the flames. And when night arrives, one of those scorching, howling, bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure.”
>>37608837 The english and french, even today, dislike each other, when attacked by germany 70 years ago, they cooperated. The balkans are also a good example, unless fighting the turks or germans, they fought each other. Many other examples, as well as examples of an outside force being aided by factions within the attacked faction, but, on average, the people who banded together won, or had better chances at surviving.
And what does this have to do with traditional games? Seems like a writing board like a would be a better place for this, not that I have anything against HFY material, some of its decent reading, but, yeah.
>Muh tiny isolated stone-age tribe in Ungabunga that still practices endurance hunting!!! I wonder if ants write AFY stories about how their natural ability to dig tunnels through dirt makes them unbeatable in a setting where all warfare occurs in space with railguns.
Feels bad man. I've been puttering around with an HFY concept where it is not Humanity who reaches the stars, but the Americans, and the Germans, Turks, Japanese, Indians, etc. Because that's how it would fucking happen, everybody here knows it.
>>37610723 And canadians, and the ESA, etc. Yes big nations have more funds to devote to this, but while smaller nations devote less, and are therefore less renown, they, as a conglomerate, still form a valid third party.
>>37610732 Canada and the US are basically one country as far as space is concerned, and most of the ESA stuff happens on the NASA half of the ISS. India and the US collaborated on a recent Mars mission. It's basically just Russia and China going their own ways at this point, and overcoming that would be a good HFY in its own right.
>>37610756 The ESA's ATV docks to the Russian portion of the ISS using the probe&drogue docking system, not the US portion. Experiments are spread throughout the station (see this ESA tour of the ISS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF2w2Dx_QMs).
>>37610826 There's also the launchpad for Soyuz 2 at Kourou (the ESA's launch complex in French Guiana). Or the fact that every time political considerations are (attempted) to be imposed on scientific concerns, the overwhelming response is "Fuck off, we're busy doing important things". e.g. the attempt to ban Chinese scientists attending a NASA conference.
>>37610862 >Or the fact that every time political considerations are (attempted) to be imposed on scientific concerns, the overwhelming response is "Fuck off, we're busy doing important things". e.g. the attempt to ban Chinese scientists attending a NASA conference.
Honestly, I find this sort of stuff (cooperation in the face of prejudice, progree etc) to be more HFY than "FERK YURH, WE TEH BESTEST KILLURZ!!1!" bullshit.
>>37603119 MESSAGE BEGINS SUBJECT: We Dun Goofed DATE: 3037-01-25 CE, Earth Standard Calendar TEXT: In the fourth millenium of the common era, mankind has spread its wings and flown between the stars faster than the speed of light. Our ships have made contact with a thousand species on a million worlds, built ever faster and stronger with each passing decade. We scream across the galaxy in every direction from Mother Earth and Father Sol, bringing gifts to those we reach in time, and apologies and raised defensive systems to those who we do not.
You see, our great motivator for reaching beyond the cradle of our home star's gravity well was not curiosity, population pressure, lack of resources or even simple greed. It was shame. Unlike most species, we figured out interstellar-wattage EM transmissions long before we built the first rockets, let alone more advanced forms of space flight. This led to some problems once we did reach the stars. There is an expanding shell around the position of Earth in 1937, currently 2200 light years in diameter. Planets we have reached before this wave have generally greeted us with open arms, but when the wave beats us there we're greeted with suspicion, open hostility, and occasionally weapons fire.
It's a cruel inversion of an ancient law of the Internet, but if we don't beat the wave to a planet, their first impression of Humanity will be Hitler.
Specifically, Hitler opening the 1937 Olympics. I fail to see how an alien species could pick up the cultural connotations of who he is without also picking up the hundreds of thousands of broadcasts over the next eight years depicting how we went through an extraordinary amount of trouble to get rid of him.
"In the Beginning, the Earth was perfect in its Form. Forged from powder, brass, and empty magazines, bullets grew from the scorched, burnished turf like grass, and trees made of cannon and shell sprung branches of rifles, from which leaves of pistols swayed when the carbonic air blew in bursts of muzzle wind. Rivers of lubricant oil flowed underground, surging through explosions of white phosphorus and depleted uranium. Clouds of CS and mustard gas drifted through the sky, occasionally raining down upon the metallic creatures whose bodies were crafted from gas blocks, barrels and springs held together with rails, whose movements were powered by the constant detonation of cartridges loaded into their sections of their form. There was fire, and light, and heat, and choking death, and from these Man was formed. As it was in the Beginning, so shall it be in the End."
What would a spacefaring species that ISN'T aggressive, creative, determined, and more than a little bit selfish look like? Wimps don't build rockets, period. To even get to the point where that's an option, there must be a long and bloody history of powerful people saying "I want more and damn the consequences". If you meet an alien with a ship and it honestly means no harm, it's not natural. Someone made it. The enemies in HFY stories can't exist.
War accelerates technological development in very specific ways, which is to say that wartime development has entirely to do with pushing boundaries to their limit, usually of materials but also in organization.
>>37612695 Keep in mind the Heavy Worlder hypothesis and the Rocket Equation from earlier in this thread. For a lot of lower gravity worlds, a sufficiently large black powder cannon could probably put things into orbit, they wouldn't need anywhere near the development Earth had to get into space.
>>37613237 First of all, that's very anthropocentric. Just because humans think that way doesn't mean aliens would. Secondly, it's not even true. Yes, war accelerates development in very specific ways, but no, it's not the only way in which boundaries are pushed, nor is it sufficient for balanced overall development. You also have things like personal interest, altruism, and business advantage pushing development.
Almost completely unrelated to the rest of the thread I want to make a quick statement about the notion of humans being more individualistic and versatile than the aliens, which seems to be a common trope in the stories posted here.
This is entirely speculation of course but I think that could not be further from the truth. Human genetic diversity is comparatively extremely low, even when compared to our nearest relatives. The exact cause for this is unkown but it seems there was a rather big extinction event sometime early in the history of our species that reduced the global population to something between 10k and 2k (!) individuals. This state may have lasted for several thousand years, we're not quite sure what caused this yet, there are several theories but personally I think the "Toba catastrophe" seems to be the most likely cause (look it up).
This genetic bottleneck has severely reduced genetic diversity, it is noticeable even today. Genetic disorders are comparatively common and inbreeding is a huge problem, even after only 1 generation, most mammals can go several generations without any genetic disorders showing up. The genetic difference between 2 random chimpanzees from different families is greater than the difference between 2 random humans picked from the entire population. We are all very closely related, this has probably lead to (or at least promoted) some of the major civilisatory milestones of human history. (continued in next post)
Humans think that way because nature presented a specific set of problems to solve and aggressive behavior was rewarded in man's early development. This is not to say that cooperative behavior was not also rewarded, but that aggression was, and that behavior persists to this day.
I'll be honest, if humanity is odd-man-out on this particular issue, the rest of the galaxy is *fucked.*
>>37613789 The closer individuals are related the more likely they are to help each other (family bonds, mother/child relation, etc.), with humans being reduced to probably only a few dozen to a hundred very closely related family groups for a long time this could have lead to more cooperation, steadily increasing size of communal groups (near family > extended family > "tribe" composed of several family groups, etc.) and even fostered language development (you'll have to look up the theories regarding development of language yourself, way too complicated to write it all out here) and other aspects of a developing "culture". Basically this event has brought humans, both genetically and behaviourally very close together, we are almost forced to think and act alike more than many other species of mammal out there, emotional responses, mating systems, even gestures are the same almost globally. Humans eventually developing several distinct cultures is a secondary adaption that occured only after the 2nd emigration wave from Africa, and even then these culture have a lot more things alike than for example different subspecies of many animals, which have drastically different behaviours and do not even recognize each other as belonging to the same species (no mating attemps thus being separate subspecies in the wild). (shit I'll have to make 3 posts apparently)
>>37614046 Basically, if I have to imagine aliens that work with the same principles of evolution as we do that didn't go through a genetic bottleneck we would NOT appear even slightly individualistic, sharing the same set of behaviours and general mental makeup to an almost scary degree. The aliens could even have different subspecies that would have eventually developed in the different climate zones or even different ecological niches in the same environment that could act COMPLETELY different from each other, each having their own completely different culture, set of emotional responses, etc. Of course it could also have happened that one subspecies rose up and drove all the other to extinction, but even then I doubt that subspecies would have been as few in numbers as humans were at one point, and a unified action like that takes some considerable like-mindedness that they might not have, even among the same subspecies.
All in all we'd probably appear to the aliens more like an almost hivemind than anything (choir singing, marching in step, traditional dances with lots of individuals, basically anything that requires cooperation from a group bigger than the immediate family would be a rather strange concept for them).
>>37613789 >>37614046 Not his anon, but from an evolutionary perspective, there is a genetic disposition to assist those who are genetically similar to yourself (in order to have the highest survival probability for the genes you carry). If a species did not go through such a 'genetic funnel', then they may be a lot more fragmented, and/or have a much more complicated familial-assistance structure (e.g. haplo-diploid species).
>>37614188 >All in all we'd probably appear to the aliens more like an almost hivemind than anything (choir singing, marching in step, traditional dances with lots of individuals, basically anything that requires cooperation from a group bigger than the immediate family would be a rather strange concept for them). How the fuck does a species that doesn't trust anyone outside its immediate family develop space flight in the first place? Or would humanity be the advanced aliens landing on their homeworld in this scenario?
>>37614232 That is basically what I'm getting at, lower genetic diversity probably lead to a higher degree of cooperation and eventually to extended cooperation which allowed for the formation of tribes, caring for older* and/or wounded individuals and eventually civilization as we know it.
*This is an extremely important aspect of human development that is often forgotten, the ability to keep more than 1 generation around at one time, enabling knowledge to be shared across generations directly, before writing was invented, was an EXTREMELY important step in human development.
>>37614373 Good question, maybe they never would, maybe you need a hivemind for spaceflight, but there are ways. They could start exploiting each other heavily for example.
But yeah, it could be a very real possibilty that with normal evolution taking place a non-eusocial species (or something similar to us) would never achieve civilization as we know it, it just takes too much cooperation that, if they aren't all closely related, proves no evolutionary advantage whatsoever.
>>37613263 Yeah, but nuclear power has an absurd energy density, and a space elevator completely skips the equation. So the question would be what the highest possible gravity is that wouldn't prevent a single structure from maintaining its shape (enough for an elevator rail's grooves to give purchase) outside the atmosphere; that is, far more than 1G.
>>37615735 While the theoretical breaking strength of bulk homogeneous Carbon Nanotubes is sufficient for an Earth-based Space Elevator, it may not be practical in reality. Even if the production issues for flawless Carbon Nanotubes were solved, any damage would dramatically weaken the structure and induce progressive failures (i.e. damage to a tube results in that tube failing and transferring that load to other tubes, decreasing the amount of damage needed for them to fail or overloading them outright). Cosmic Rays and stellar wind are more than sufficient to abrade a CN space elevator. Overbuilding only gets you so far, as the more mass goes into the elevator itself the less mass it can support for cargo.
Honestly, I figure at some point we'll figure a workaround. We just don't know what it is yet. This is the real meaning of 'singularity', a point at which technology changes so much that we cannot accurately predict what will happen. Reminds me, I should finish my 'last human' story at some point. Essentially, singularity happens, humanity becomes cyborgs except for one guy who has too strong of a rejection profile.
>>37609839 Crows, Humans, and Dogs in space. I could see it working out. Crows being the most suitable prospects for uplifting, what with elephants and other such pretty smart animals just being too big to really fit in our space ships. Then we uplift our dogs because hell if we're gonna leave behind our buds once we have the technology worked out in part from tinkering on crows.
>Across the galaxy all known species were the dominant on their planet, bending all to their will and ascending to command the other spheres as well >But Terrans weren't just content to command their world, they made it their companions and then their equals
Written by Anon for /tg/ ___________________________________________________________________________________________
You wanna know how I got captured? Why? War’s been over for thousands of cycles, it’s just unimportant and painful memories at this point.
Alright, if you’ll stop bothering me...
So we spent three no, four cycles under continuous human shelling and- Shelling? That's what they do when they hurl big exploding metal balls at you from a long distance. Yes, I know, it sounds strange. Let me finish.
It's a lot like a low orbit strike only they fire from the ground and it's never direct. I suppose that's the worst part of it. Shelling is bad because there is a good chance they’ll miss, and they don't quit, even if you've been blown to pieces. Why? Because they don't know if they've hit you or not! They just keep firing!
When we hit someone with a low orbit strike, those invalids are getting glassed 99% of the time. We get readouts, we get life scans, we get a calculation down to the millionth decimal of the probability that we accomplished our objectives and whoever’s 300 miles bellow is nothing but dust in a Korduun’s fart. But with human artillery? It's probably a 10-15% chance they'll even find their target.
Primitive? Don't give me that. I mean, yeah, nothing beats a good plasma cutter or orbital strike, but I'm convinced those things are less about decimating the target and more about instilling fear in them.
>>37616421 Let me put it this way: Your transport goes down over (in my case) a desert, which is basically flatland only they're hot all of the time and the ground will sink if you stand too long. Three groups of humans move to engage you (as they do). They're slinging metal at you from behind rocks, small buildings, whatever, and you're slamming plasma bolts into their chests as fast as your targeting computer will let you. Then all of the sudden they stop. They maybe plunk one more time at your position but they’re gone. Now, you've got some wounded so you can't peruse, and a friendly pick up won't be here until a couple of cycles due to the lunar blockade so you're basically stranded on a burning rock for spirit’s knows how long.
It's all silent, and by the spirit it's hot, but you keep at the ready because you know they'll be back when their star cycles. You maybe start to doze off a bit, scavenge around the ship for some food or liquids, when you hear a whistling sound. It starts off very faint but grows into a shriek, and then you see the guy in front of you having his meal spontaneously combust, and he takes half of the ground with him. You're stunned for a moment, until you hear the same whistle. And then it finally clicks that you need to run.
>>37616445 It feels like you're walking on a volcanic plain. The surface could open up and swallow you whole at any time, and there's no way of telling when or where the humans will tear that hole. You can only listen to them scream across the desert until they splatter the brood mate you’ve loved since hatching before you can even register you’re wearing what’s left of him. That's why I ran as hard as I did, why I’m STILL walking with a limp. Only there isn't nowhere to run you see? Deserts are big and empty, there's nothing there aside from rocks. So I stayed under a rock watching the ground in front of me explode a thousand times over. The worst is the warriors who didn’t make it under cover in time. Maybe he took a bit of metal to the leg and couldn't move? Maybe she had her whole leg blown off, and she wants you to give her the passing rite? Do you wanna risk getting hit out there to get her? Any honorable warrior ought to say yes, but after six hours of continuous bombardment and listening to her begging you to put a plasma bolt in her neck, it's more honorable to just comply and be done with it. So that's what I did.
What's the longest you've gone without sleeping? 10, maybe 12 hours? Humans need to sleep once every 24 hours, and they can subvert that through sheer will or chemicals. You know how it is when we don't sleep. We get a little....crazy. We get anxious and agitated. We start to not act ourselves. Do you know how long human cycles are? 24 hours. The humans kept us awake for three cycles. You do the math. That’s 72 waking hours. 72 hours of listening to slugs dropping everywhere but on your head shredding through what was left of our carrier and the idea that this armor was “human proof”. Sometimes you hope the next one lands just a few feet closer so the shrapnel will kill you.
>>37616473 They didn't stop, I swear on the spirit, they didn't stop until they were sure we were ready to surrender. Depriving a Molrin of sleep is a good way to have him at your knees begging for a lifetime of silent captivity. It felt like the whole universe was collapsing each time a round would go off near our rock. A wave of heat would wash over us all and we'd look at each other, trapped in our own dreams, mouths open wide with something akin to basic cognition of our situation. We’d silently ask each other: Is this real? Is this actually happening or did we bite it a few hours back? How much time has passed since the last volley? I don’t know what kept us all from running out there and begging the spirit to make the next one count. Not that they’d listen to us anyway. There were no spirits, not on Earth at least. No god’s, no forces, no blessings watching over us. Just humans, coldly adjusting their degrees of fire and watching death arc over the wastelands, fall in low and muddy, and with a distant and dull thud, drive us deeper into madness. I watched two of our best warriors wander out there in between volleys because they thought they were back on Travlon. They both went up at the same time and were probably happier for it.
>>37616493 By the time the humans came back again, our landing site was a charred mess, and we were more than willing to throw ourselves at them in surrender. So they picked us up, tied us real good, and threw us in the back of their vehicles and took us into one of the towns were sent to raid. We finally got to see human artillery weapons, and let me tell you, they are ugly. They look exactly like what they’re designed to do. It’s just a mess of twisted metal parts, steaming with heat, blasted by sand. Nothing looks coherently placed on this thing. They probably don’t even know how it works. And above all the menacing crap, there’s a barrel three times the size of this table thrust skyward, still smoking from the last time it belched a shot. They’re a functional pile of junk. I still have dreams about them.
All I can say is: Thank the spirit they're on our side now.
>>37617017 Good point. The idea was to explore human warfare against alien warfare, and you're right. An alien species might probably know about artillery. My thinking is they skipped shitty land based artillery and jumped straight to space
>>37617017 >>37617796 It's always possible that this race didn't develop their own orbital weaponry, and never used artillery themselves. It'd be like somebody showing up at a plasma rife convention with a bow
>>37616345 Strange encounters? Yeah sure, everyone in the Exploration Corps have their share of them. When its just you, a couple crew, and a little Slip-ship on the edge of known space things can get strange.
Weirdest, and most profitable, one I had was not long before I retired. We were out pretty far into the Orion arm, poking along at the results of a dark-matter blob collision with a molecular cloud a couple billion years ago. Couple thousand yellow stars in a ring, still fairly young.
So we were making jumps and cataloging them as we went, scanning for anything worth mining and claiming the rights to what was. Then we start picking up a bunch of non-directed electromagnetic radiation coming from one of them. Wasn't any sort of stellar activity as far as we could tell so Yunslo starts talking about how it might be a young space faring civilization, optical stems just swimming with excitement.
No way we were gonna let the chance at that sort of payday slip by. Adding a new sapient species to the galactic registry carried a big reward. So we Slip towards the system and edge inwards from its comet cloud.
As we're drifting in we can start picking up more concentrated signals sure enough there's a bustling intra-stellar species around the yellow star. We start broadcasting directed signals at them, standard procedure in hopes of building up some sort of common ground for the translators by the time we make it to their inner system.
What we got in return was quite the response, seemed like every bit of matter that could hold a transmitter in that system, did. Automated systems had enough data to crunch through, parsing it all to figure out whichever their trade language was. It didn't take terribly long for rudimentary negotiations to take place, starting with a place to park and talk things over more. We were still a ways out so they ask us to settle into an orbit around a big gas giant, their fifth planet.
>>37618276 It wasn’t long after that the light of a couple fusion lances lit up from their third planet headed in the same direction. Those little rockets were going absolutely full-tilt with acceleration to meet us there in time. Couldn’t have been a comfortable ride, the poor bastards. So we kept up with the translation exchange and then started cultural diffusion, reading up on their history and giving some of the better excerpts from the Encyclopedia Selerilian in return. It seemed pretty tame all considering, the usual dominant omnivore progression, though they put a hefty emphasis on their domestication and archeological references; particularly in regards to some giant reptiles in their pre-history and hunting companion animals. The dominant species itself was symmetrical, bipedal and fleshy but not terribly great at anything but walking and not dying.
I’d barely gotten through to what they called their ‘industrial revolution’ (brought about by a plant they called the potato apparently) when the ship started maneuvering to match the diplomat-carrying rockets. We spent the time clearing maps and supplies from the bridge and getting into fresh uniforms. We may be prospectors but we had to look somewhat presentable for a first contact for all the impressionable younger races out there after all.
Then came the clank of magnetic grapples securing their rocket to our ship and we met their delegation, and what a sight they were. Three bulky off-white suits of varying sizes, but more importantly, shapes. I said earlier that their dominant species was bipedal, right? Well the first one that walked in was down on all fours and didn’t stand on its back two till the second came through the hatch. Then the third! The third I had thought was an especially round example that was half the height of the others till its suit spread curving membranes around containing some especially long and wide fore-limbs.
>>37618295 You see, all that nonsense about the giant reptiles and domestication wasn’t just the particular ramblings of one dominant species; it was the intertwined tales of three dominant species. Those reptiles had become feathered and winged creatures they called ‘birds’ of which one had become the ‘corvids’ while the hunting companions had become the ‘canines’ which accompanied ‘humanity.’ The original dominant species had apparently recognized intelligence in the others and set about making them their equals around the time they started colonizing their fourth planet.
The cycles that followed were filled primarily with the usual first contact sorts. Transfer of translation technology for the rest of the registered species, their introduction into the chartered constitution of the Galactic Providences, and assembling a Slips-com for whatever ruling body they could agree on to continue their integration with the rest of the developed species. But it was the off the board chats, in the times between when they’d have to wait for their light-speed coms to make it back to their superiors for a decision and then get sent back that were far more interesting, especially when one of them offered to share a cultural ethanol derivative. After all, no other group on record has had three species come from the same planet! Why would you give up your dominant position to risk disrupting your power? It was unthinkable but they’d done it because, “They were not going to wait to see if anyone else was out there and they sure were not going to go alone without their friends.”
>>37618322 As weird as it was, the humans thought their companions were already their equals on some level. By the time we’d arrived they’d been a three-species intra-stellar people for over two hundred of their cycles. These days, they’re something of an anthropology hotspot with studies and tourism and cultural diffusion going on from all parts of the Galactic Providences. They give as good as anyone in council matters as well. They seem to not be particularly scared of anything, not even of the Weaponthanes, nor belittling to those who they’ve passed in technology.
I think that’s the weirdest thing about the Terrans really. They seem to think everyone’s equal on some level. That and how much they’ll try to copulate with nearly everything when they’ve got some of that ethanol in them.
Ours is an ancient race, a warlike one. . . We treated slaughter as if it were a game, as we had yet to discover an Enlightened species that had yet to perfect clonal immortality.
And why should we have thought otherwise?
What foolish species would be insane enough to hurl itself into the unforgiving Cosmos, risking the Void that comes after the Final Death? None but the most curious, but the most wise, but the most mad of our own species would even dare tread upon the tapestry of stars without some sort of protection.
Ours is a warlike race, the Gri’thak. It is not uncommon to greet an old friend with an assault, to express love towards another with bloodlust. Our system of Vats is perfection given form, with multiple backups spread across the heavens. It has been millennia since a Gri’thak has experienced the Final Death unwillingly.
We had long since been aware of the humans on the very edge of Mk.2750032, or, as they would call it, the Milky Way, within the System Sol; we found in them a kindred soul, a fellow species that must experience war as joyously as we do, for they practiced it often. They were, however, not yet an Enlightened species; the heavens, for the longest time, were a vault for them, a glass gate.
We watched them curiously, for the longest time. I believe a human would say we were “chomping at the bit” for them to Enlighten, to finally break that final barrier; this. . . would not be an incorrect assumption.
Then, after a cursory survey, one of the ones we do every 100 Cycles, we found they had achieved space travel, however rudimentary; it was a great release, knowing that we’d finally have some great nemesis, and we happily sent a few of our greatest warships to greet them and do battle. I. . . was captain of one of them.
>>37619319 We were not disappointed; they had long since developed glorious, masterful weapons of war, and there was great fighting to be had. I remember I once engaged a human in close quarters combat, and she, Sarr-gient Johnson, managed to tear open my esophagus with a combat knife! Oh, yes, it stung, and I fell for a while, but there was great joy! I had a friend, a combat equal; we, the Gri’thak, had thought it near impossible for the humans to slay us in close combat, considering their average muscular strength, and yet I had the great fortune of finding one who was truly magnificent in battle!
I spent the better part of a Cycle searching for Sarr-gient Johnson, and I wasn’t disappointed; oh, there were a few differences that should’ve clued me in, but that same ferocity had made me certain of her identity. Sometimes I’d fall alone, sometimes it would be a mutual slaying, but every time I was joyous to have such a great foe, a great friend. I felt a sort of kinship, a sort of love for Sarr-gient Johnson, even if the Vat System the human’s seemed to be using was slightly flawed.
I was a fool.
We didn’t know until we had slain almost half their planet that they were not like most Enlightened species; they had no back-up, no construct through which their mind could endure structural death.
I remember the sickness we felt, the horror causing many of us to willingly detach from the Vat system and void ourselves into space, happier to experience Final Death than live with what we had done. We had thought we were a warlike species, but we had long since forgotten the cost of war; it was a game to us, and we retreated, horrified.
There was mourning, and weeping, and great sorrow and self-disgust.
The diplomats suddenly made sense to us, and our persistence on killing them, when we thought we were simply speeding the message in return. . .
It was less than a Cycle before we returned, penitent. We expected bullets, artillery, and destruction; to be fair, some of us felt that we deserved ruination.
And yet. . . They had bravely, possibly foolishly, sent yet another diplomat. I remember the scars this being had, but beyond that, I remember the eyes most of all. Not once was there anything but defiant stubbornness.
They demanded our surrender, termed with what they thought were grievous damages to us. We capitulated immediately.
We, at the time, hadn’t been aware of the human’s diverse cultures; we didn’t know they had yet to even truly unify their planet’s government. We accepted multiple such surrenders, even as we were looked upon with suspicion and hatred.
And it was here I learned something that would haunt me; we had sent billions to their Final Death, and had the capacity to send billions more along the same path, but there would be no surrender from the humans. They would’ve silently accepted the Void rather than capitulate, even in the face of an unending tide of destruction; ours may well be a warlike race, but theirs is the brave one.
I sometimes talk with them, the humans. After 112 Cycles, far beyond the natural lifespan of any human who had been in the war, they have come to see us as friends.
We are learning peace, from a species whose spirit we could never triumph against.
Could the Gri’thak have done this, if we were in the human’s position?
Our’s is an Ancient race, but we have much to learn.
Perhaps the fault in our strategy was our assumption that mankind was fractured, divided against itself. For decades, we watched them fumble around the galactic community with little sense of unity.
Almost every other rotation, there were news of rebellions, uprisings in their colonies demanding either compensation or freedom from the earth government. Ideologies, all so similar and yet so diverse, were blasted by the airwaves, each claiming to be the truth. Some even claimed a 'xeno purge', calling for the mass execution of alien lifeforms, only to be blasted by an equally as powerful group demanding peace and shared goodwill in the name of progress.
We thought this spoke of weakness, and the Garhul and Knoyyet agreed with us. They had no allies, as they could barely remain allied to themselves. Half a dozen species, all with unified systems and cultures, save for these humans. Some gave them the excuse, of being young and still full of rebellion that would need to be breeded out. For my own people, the great unification was less violent, and happened so long ago my genetic template had yet to appear and sir my ancestors. We were old, and like the Garhul and Knoyyet, we needed resources.
>>37619555 Initially, we attempted to subvert their culture with our own. We sent missionaries, and legions of religious inciters. We sought to instill a sense of unity with us, so that when we stripped the lands of their wealth, they saw it as an exchange between two allied people. We constructed citadels, crafted religious texts in their tongue, and gave them purpose in their actions. Such is the way of my people.
But humanity did not unite with us. For every missionary we sent, they returned with their own, seeking an exchange. We humored this at first, until we saw our own people, known for their fervor, slowly overtaken by the people of earth. They spoke earth words, drank earth drinks, celebrated earth rituals. For the first time in eons we were fractured. We were no longer united.
We reached out to our missionaries, and found that they still walked among men, and had found a passion unlike any other. Mankind did not simply accept our religion, they made it their own. They adapted it, twisted it, changed everything and yet nothing about it. By the end of the century in human terms, they had found a way to merge our beliefs with their own, and remained separate from us. Our plan had failed, but we still required resources.
>>37619576 The Garhul tried their had at converting humanity. They sent their own religious missionaries, and their greatest tech specialists. They sent data blocks and offered more in exchange for mankind's brightest. It was a play, of course. They wished to impact mans advancement, and shift the reliance of technology from their own internal creativity to the Garhul. They wanted humanity weak and begging for the intelligence of their betters to accomplish what they could no longer do. For centuries, the Garhul watched and waited, relying on their long lives and patience to undermine humanities relatively short lifespans, waiting for the intelligence to drop before sweeping into the colonies and offering their technology. At a price.
But once again, humanity somehow survived the subversion both intact and better from it. Before they noticed it was happening, humans began to improve the Garhul technology by leaps and bounds, making amazing and incredible leaps of logic that outpaced the Garhul by leaps and bounds, and soon, the Garhul had nothing left to teach, but much to learn. They ceased sending data blocks, instead scrambling to find enough room for the data mankind sent in reply. It was terrifying, and by the time the Garhul collected themselves again, they were already studying every byte of data the humans had to offer. They, too, had found themselves bested by mankind's fractured culture.
>>37619599 When the Knoyyet mounted their strategy, they sought to use mankind's very nature against them. They sent infiltrators, and with the help of the Garhul's technology, they found many colonies willing to join their cause. In less than a decade, half the colonies of the human species began to declare independence, and their intent on joining the Knoyyet Collective. At first, the core worlds seemed to tolerate this, but when the infiltrators moved the human legislature into war against the colonies, the attitude soon changed. Human shipyards churned out frigates, created weapons of mass destruction, generated thousands of men trained in the art of slaughter. From their barracks poured soldiers armed with weapons that seemed primitive by our plasmic-discharge carbine standards, but were nonetheless effective at the job. The plan was simple; have the humans fight each-other, weaken their resolve and defense, then bring them into the collective and divide the resources.
We had lost the war before the first shots had been fired.
The Garhul fleets found themselves with alien technology, relying on their human allies to pilot the ships and move the data from point to point. Weapons, once known as Garhul's greatest achievement, were modified with human influence to such extent that without proper training, you would never have seen the Garhul's design under the modifications. The Knoyyet were in no better condition, and before the first year of combat was up, they relied more on the few human commanders on their side for tactical advice. They knew how violent humans could be, and how eager they were to fight their own on the fields and in the skies.
>>37619620 They were terrifying. For species who have long since unified in culture and speech, to fight your own is a dreaded thought that we hold as the highest offense. For humans, they still speak many languages, and believe many things. The Garhuls tell stories of events that spanned the entirety of the human's home-world, on every battlefield they had. Where there was no method of fighting, man invented one. Where there was no weapon strong enough, man designed one. Where there was no hope for peace, humanity would preach one. We tell war stories of entire Garhulian fleets being saved by a small human crew piloting a ship in a suicidal run to bide time, and Knoyyet soldiers being dragged from the muck of colony battlefields by squads while fires burned around them.
We fought and fought, finding centuries of combat in a war that was supposed to last for perhaps a decade. As centuries dragged on, the frontlines moved and shifted, worlds changing hands as if currency on a galactic scale. Many other races found themselves dragged into either side of the conflict, and it wasn't ling for the Cephlians began to stand with humanity. After the Cephlians, there was the Cha-yen, then the Mulli. For the Knoyyet, they found new allies in the Xeughill, and the Purret even offered their share of resources to keep the war going. Soon, all but two races were dragged into a conflict that spanned half the stellar space in the sky. The only race that fought on either side were humans, committing some of the most selfless acts our community has seen, and some of the most brutal tactics we will ever witness.
>>37619643 But we had lost not because of their actions, but rather our own inaction. The entire time we fought alongside humans, our species began to find a little of themselves in humanity. They found, in one culture they offered or another, something that they could not ignore. For my people, they slowly began to fight for the end of the war by citing religious unity, and a common belief that transcended flesh and bone. For the Garhul, it was the wisest technicians who saw the war as a stunt in humanities advancement, a distraction from their inborn gift to create radical new technology in a fraction of the time. For the Knoyyet, an honor-bound people, they saw the war as less and less a justified case for resources and more and more a dishonorable attempt at destroying a people that had, at large, done nothing wrong.
They fractured us from the inside. Our worlds began to side with humans, declaring independence from our cultural unity. Fleets of Knoyyet stopped responding to their home-world, and fought their brothers with humans in tow. The Garhul ceased to build inventions and create new theorems, and their universities of higher education became divisive grounds for scholars to debate the ethics of their actions. Rallies were staged, and civil wars, a term that had once been thought inapplicable to a united race, became common.
>>37619668 Strife raged for centuries after, with scars and dead worlds littering the starry sky that had once been so full of life. Finally, when our people found themselves tired of war, and the Knoyyet and Garhul had no resources left to fund their conflict, an uneasy peace was reached. Man, Cephlian, Mulli, and Cha-yen all marched to the capital cities, where a ceremonial laying down of arms was reached. The atmosphere was tense, as once united species met their fractured brethren. How would they reconcile their differences? How would they re-unite the pieces of their broken worlds? For the Garhul and Knoyyet, they considered their empire forfeit, having been shattered by man so powerfully and completely that even their culture was no longer united. But then, mankind once again defeated us.
Humans from either side of the conflict, once bitter enemies and hated foes, rushed forward and exchanged stories. They laughed and cried, spoke and listened. These humans, from the same species but radically different cultures, were exchanging ideals and words as if they had been brothers since childhood, as if they had not just fought a war that lasted longer than some of our own species lifetimes. When the night came, they lit fires and danced with each-other, giving gifts and souvenirs. They invited Knoyyets and Garhuls from both sides to join them, playing games and enticing communication.
>>37619691 It was as if they had played some joke the entire war, but yet they were honest in their motives. They erected statues to their enemies, and prepared honors and ceremonies for the fallen soldiers they fought against. To the once rebellious colonies they sent legions of engineers and aid in the form of medicine and food. They rebuilt their homes, and raised their cities back into the sky. They started to exchange information and granted new technology to their once foes. Human allies of the former warmongers fought restrictive legislation on the Knoyyet and Garhul, who no doubt felt the guilt creep over them when the race they once sought ruined fought on their behalf.
The galaxy is a strange place now. Before we attempted our war, only humanity showed an inability to remain united as a culture. Now, many of us find ourselves combating rebellions and revolutions, for causes both good and sometimes ill, in our own empires. We find ourselves looking to other cultures and innovating new technology, rather than relying on our own set of systems and beliefs. Our people pray to human gods and practice human meditation. Garhulian scientists exchange data and experiments with human engineers to better understand the galaxy they once thought fully documented. Knoyyet warriors exchange tactics and tell stories from human mythology of heroics long past, sometimes drawing similarities with their own. It is astonishing how well humans have been able to orchestrate the annual peace conferences and respond to outlying threats from those seeking to reignite the war.
>>37619729 We thought them divided, that they were weak because they had no unifying traits such as culture or speech, or religious belief, but we were wrong. Millions of years of division and fighting has instilled a sense of individualism that cannot be removed from them in a time-span we can conceive of, but this trait has gifted them with an advantage. For all their differences and beliefs, they invariably find common ground and work together. When divided, they fight until they find somethings uniting. When united, they debate their differences until any sane species would believe them fighting. They do this because beyond every word they speak, every weapon they make, every instance of rebellion they combat, they have one undeniable trait. They are humans. That is the only unity they need.
>>37619891 >>37620045 I kinda don't like these food stories. You guys are aware of how our chemical sensory organs work right? The notion that alien life, even if it was based on the EXACT same biochemistry as we are, would have a taste experience even remotely similar to what we would taste from the same food is absurd. The very basic things like acidity/basicity and possibly potentially harmful substances (bitterness) would maybe be the same but other than that it's absolutely absurd to assume alien life would have the same SPECIFIC receptors and neural response to a handful of substance that we think taste great among the vast ocean of possible things organic chemistry would allow for.
Also most of those great spices you guys make out to be "neurotoxins" of some sort are in fact antimicrobial/fungal secondary metabolites or inhibit competitor plant growth (that is what many essential oils the Lamiaceae produce are for, for example mint, rosemary, sage, savory, oregano, lavender and so on).
>>37620535 Like you said, that would kind of defeat the point. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy these stories up to a point, precisely for that reason of finding a common link, but whenever these stories start going on about how aweseome out digestive system is, what kind of "toxins" we consume, etc. the biochemist in me can't help but cringe hard.
Same goes for spreading pathogenic Bacteria (or even worse Viruses) to other species, that's just as stupid. Before writing nonsense like that people should at least try to get a rough idea of what they're talking about. The most dangerous thing the aliens could catch from us are actually molds in the form of spores and other generalists we cope with every day of our lives. Those could actually do truly horrifying things to organic beings that are not used to dealing with them, I could go into detail if you like but it won't be pretty.
There's no way of knowing just how compatible alien physiology is to Earth life. Their cells/DNA/whatever they have could be so foreign that our viruses, bacteria, and molds wouldn't be able to figure out how to exploit them.
It's not like smallpox and the Conquistadors where every human had essentially the same genetic structure, only the ones traveling had built up a resistance to the pathogen and the rest couldn't handle it so they died. With aliens, the template that the disease is designed to work is different.
>>37620997 Well, first you have to realize I'm not talking about any pathogens here, nothing that would induce an "illness" in the classical sense of the word. These generalists kind of just want a place to live on/in, without exploiting anything on/in our body, which is what pathogens would do. Our skin for example, plenty of food, warm, good place for the generalist bacterium to live, even better if you can actually do something with the oils we produce. And they do live there, but not unattended, our immune system keeps meticulous watch over their populations, and the different species actually ensure themselves that on one gets out of hand, it's all a rather delicate balance. If you take away those control systems things would spiral out of control quickly, the generalist would quickly colonize every available surface and multiply and that could have bad implications for your health, especially if they grow into your lungs and intestines. Both would just clog up from being overgrown.
Bacteria might not be such a big problem though, molds could be a lot worse. Basically the mold has perfected pragmatism, it just grows through everything, taking in the nutrients (of ANY kind mind you, anything that could be useful) and shitting out substances to hinder competitors. They don't care about most immune responses, they just physically destroy cells and suck them dry, there is no central point to attack, it's just an expanding organic net that keeps going as far as it can.
>>37621568 Our immune system deals with that by not letting the spores germinate, destroying them as quick as possible (please note I'm talking about generalist molds here, for example Cryptococcus or Aspergillus), if you don't have a functioning immune system and get infected by one of those the results are horrifying, it just grows through your entire body, often with lethal results.
The thing about these molds is there is no neat thing for the immune system to exploit, no specific place to bind to, it has to mechanically fight and kill them or they will keep growing through you tissue.
Now imagine an alien that does not have this specific response to the spores, even if they have a perfectly functioning immune system, if they were to take a few breaths on earth things could get nasty, there are an average 3-5 spores in every breath we take.
(Our bodies have come up with some AMAZING defenses against that btw, especially in our lungs).
>>37621116 I'm talking about aliens that are suffciently similar to us biochemically that at least some of these generalists could colonize them, that doesn't take much, some of them are extremely opportunistic, as long as they are made of amino acids I can name at least a few species of bacteria that could use them as substrate. That's what I'm getting at, the most dangerous thing to them would not be the flu or anything that is actually adapted to our bodies, but organisms that see them as a nice place to live on/in. Their immune systems don't need to know how to deal with the flu because that wouldn't work on them either way, their immune system would have to deal with an assault of organisms that see them and think "hey, food!" or else they get thoroughly lived on/in by things like Black bread mold and nematodes.
>>37612279 Its the unofficially official religion of us /k/ommandos.
Basically, some canadian anti war hippie fuck made a giant cube out of guns, ammo n shit as a way of showing MUH CHILLRENS.
/k/ thought it was awesome and made it a deity to war, fighting for whats right and the god of machines.
The story is a couple thousand years in the future, fellow /k/ommandos still believe in the glory of the Murder Kube and use Mosin Naggants, (/k/'s favorite bolt action rifle because its as cheap and plentiful as the ammo it shoots,) to go around and act as mercs, fighting for whats right and exercising war.
I'd like to see an HFY that focuses on how we seem to have a predisposition for throwing weapons. I mean, the human arm seems almost designed to throw shit hard, fast, accurately, and efficiently. Combine that with our vision and mental faculties that allow us to rapidly calculate and predict throwing trajectories, it's no wonder that we have such an affinity for throwing this at other stuff. I mean, look at most of our sports - a good half of them that involve a ball involve throwing it at something/someone.
Christ, it's like you give a MLB pitcher grenades and you'll turn him into some kind of baseball sniper of doom.
Anyone have a like to see more along the lines of "Humanity-that's-not-how-it-works-oh-god-why-is-it-working" shenanigans. Stuff where humans, as in the past, do something so retarded that it actually works.
Covergent evolution. We suppose that a) the predator/prey dynamic exists on other worlds, that b) biochemical processes are similar on other worlds and c) humans are more adapted to consuming neurotoxins than other similar apex predators on other worlds.
a) our sample size is 1, we can only assume that life on other worlds is very similar to our own because we have no other sample to disprove it b) same as a), but with the added concept that we have never seen different biochemical processes on earth, except for some prokaryotic species in the mariana trench who subsist on sulfur deposits c) a basic fundamental of /hfy/ - humans are better at any given trait than any other given species
Please try again.
Basically, we have to assume that aliens are the same as us because we only have us to go by. Statistically, we are likely to be average. /hfy/ stories by their very nature use aspects of our physiology and pretend they're better than other species, who in all likelihood will be extremely similar to us.
>>37623773 >humans are more adapted to consuming neurotoxins than other similar apex predators on other worlds.
We aren't even more adapted to consuming neurotixins than apex predators on our own world, we get the toxins out by cooking, here are some examples: http://www.beyondveg.com/tu-j-l/raw-cooked/raw-cooked-1g.shtml Even our little sample consisting of precisely 1 biosphere shows that there is no special adaption, there are so many better topics to pick for HFY that have at least some root in reality that can be extrapolated from. When you have to make that shit up from NOTHING is gets a little sad.
>>37623773 here. I'm also a biochemist, your first post was entirely wrong, but understandable given that you didn't claim to have any special kind of knowledge to the contrary. To make a post claiming to know about "things and stuff" while spouting opinions entirely contrary to the basic principles of science is bizarre.
One of your first and most important classes should have been on statistics. As I said, we only have ourselves as a sample so we can only apply a feasibility of life study based on our own understanding, that means that any life we are likely to encounter is the same as us, or thereabouts because of statistics. A digestive system similar to ours is, according to our laws of mathematics, almost a certainty. Similarly, a biochemical composition similar to ours is almost a certainty.
You talk about pathogens as if they're some ridiculous concept only applicable to humanity. Micro and nanoscopic life is similarly a certainty in the universe, given that we have evidence of it here. If other species are based on CNO as we are, it follows that we are likely able to share pathogens. And life is statistically likely to be based on CNO, because WE are, and we are the only sample we have to base our assumptions on. Take bacterial evolution, I won't detail it because char limit, but what you know of how bacteria survive and thrive, could that be applied to any CNO based organism? Yes it could.
>The most dangerous thing the aliens could catch from us are actually molds in the form of spores and other generalists we cope with every day of our lives. So magically, our bacteria are not harmful to aliens but our fungi are? You are the shittest biochemist I've ever met.
>Those could actually do truly horrifying things to organic beings that are not used to dealing with them, I could go into detail if you like but it won't be pretty. Please do, I haven't had an occupation related laugh in quite a while.
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