"Coming out of translight in 3, 2, and here we are! Wow, what a beautiful planet this is! To see it on optium scans is one thing, but to see it with my own six eyes, absolutely breathtaking!" said Zeelok, controller of the science vessel Probius. "Zeelok, you are always the excitable one. But, let us not lose sight of the mission. Remember, we are here to establish how the subjects species managed to construct a spacefaring vessel, ostensibly, with no opposable digits. We are not here to sightsee. You have brought the Probius too close to their planet, and now I fear that we may provoke a defensive response. Stop looking out the window, and bring us outside the orbit of its moon!"
>>14698645 "C'mon Zeptar, where's your sense of adventure? We didn't pick up orbital defensive signatures coming out of translight; maybe a few satellites here and there, but there are no weapons on board, and their sensors are not tuned to our positions. We are perfectly fine. Just another chunk of space debris; nothing to see, nothing to worry about. So, how about you leave the driving to me, and I will leave the xenoanthropology to you." "Right. Well then, let's begin, shall we? Scanners are picking up a pretty sizable population center on the northeast of the dayside continent. Spectrum analysis of communication traffic has deduced with a high probability that this population center is named 'New York City' by its inhabitants. Deploying long range visual sensors... deployment successful and, wow! Look at the architecture!" "I thought you said no sightseeing", quipped Zeelok. "Stuff it! Wait.... what are these? Bipedals? Scores of them. Look there, these ones seem to be in the process of erecting another one of these magnificent structures. And over there, those ones are cleaning debris off of the streets. And look there, that one is directing their vehicles! Can it be, that the bipedals actually control this planet?"
>>14698650 "Hahahaha, that is the stupidest thing I ever heard!" Zeelok laughed. "Why then, did we not find one of them in that vessel?" "I don't know... let us get a visual on one of the subjects species. Aha! Look at that one, leading one of the bipedals around on some sort of leash. Interesting. And oh, wow, messy business..... defecating on the street, is it? Surprising. Now wait, oh my.... the bipedal is picking up its feces..... Zeelok, set a course for home immediately. We cannot be spotted by these monsters!" "Huh?" Zeelok exclaimed, obviously confused. "It is obvious that the bipedals constructed the vessel with their opposable thumbs, but the quadrupeds have enslaved them! How else would you explain submission to the point of being led by a leash, and picking up their feces? The quadrupeds have bent and broken them, probably centuries ago. And what do you think they would do to us, a species with 6 opposable appendages, if they ever found us? Zeelok, get us out of here!" And so, the course home was set. The Probius, never to return...
First attempt at one of these kinds of stories; been waiting for a thread like this to come up. Open to any and all criticism.
>Humans…we gave them nothing and with that they destroyed us. When first contact came we were arrogant. We had encountered three races before then. The Krishnag and Tresk were easily subjugated; their insect-like colonies were orderly and therefore susceptible to our orders. We even dominated the hardy Volkaran. Their origin biosphere was one of fire and brimstone. They were essentially beings of sentient flaming rock. We fully accept their physical superiority over us and perhaps in a few millennia their intellect could have posed a threat to us. When we met our technology won us the war in a few short years and another species joined us. And we grew complacent…that was to be our undoing.
>Arrogance and complacency are easy to see in hindsight. When we met the humans we believed ourselves to be the pinnacle of evolution in the universe. Even our religions deified only our own race, nothing was above us. Of course this meant everything else was below us, so while the Krishnag and Tresks farmed our nutrient for us and the proud Volkaran powered our industry we played at leisure. We developed art and science not fearing any challenge to our empire. Then one day it came, our first contact with the humans.
>>14698684 >When we first met the Krishnag we stumbled on them just as we were about to xenoform their home world. They naturally resisted and fought us back on the surface with primitive stratagems and weapons. Since then we keep watch on our borders. “Never off guard” became one of the tenets of our empire. So it was that we discovered a system of planets orbiting a star not dissimilar to our own though it seemed to produce deadly levels of radiation. We could not risk a research journey to the system but listened intently to the signals of growing strength emanating for the third planet. For a time only a few were allowed to know of the signals. They were archaic electromagnetic wavelength transmissions bound by the speed of light. They posed no threat to us but the discovery of a new species was kept only within the highest echelons of our society for fear that the few unenlightened and unlearned would fear the creatures from the uninhabitable system. When we finally announced the discovery to the empire I was tasked with propaganda. It was not as difficult a task in the end as I had feared. We are empiricists by nature and all doubts were swept aside by the comparison to the Volkaran.
>A species from a world where we could not live or even survive swept easily into our ranks by our technologies and supreme intellect. How little we knew. How little we understood. How little we were compared to the Human. As Lord of Propagation I had the honour of sitting at the Empire Council the day we doomed ourselves. The Lord of War, a self fulfilling title I have always thought, forced us to observe the transmissions of the humans. We had been able to translate them in just a few short days of first discovering them. His analysis of the signals was that the humans were unruly, barbaric and warful. They needed to be broken in battle before they joined us. We could allow nothing else.
>>14698696 >To do otherwise would be to risk the integrity of the entire empire. They had to be subjugated like the Krishnag and Tresk before them. The Lord of War was compelling in his argument and his logic irrefutable. “Truth beyond the else”; another of our tenets (roughly translated to the now universal human standard language). We had no choice. We voted unanimously to break the humans in order to save them and ourselves. We truly did seek to save the humans. For if they could not join us they would face the fate of the Oruik. The Oruik are in fact a number of races. We robbed them even of their racial identity for the crime of not being compatible with our empire when we encountered them over the millennia. So we went to war with the humans as soon as the escaped their home system to bring them under our control and spare them the infamy of utter obliteration from the cosmos.
>The Lord of War and the Lord of Artifice worked tirelessly to compose a fleet to meet the human colony ships. Their plan was simple. Destroy the Humans under the guise of another sentient race and then step in as the saviours of humanity just before the “evil” aliens destroyed their home world. The plan was perfect; it was precisely the sort of thing Humans cared for in their fictions. The false ships were perfect; they all but struck fear into my hearts when I first saw them. The execution of the plan was perfect; the humans fled back to their home and cowered as we put on a spectacular show for them. Half of it was art with no effect for the benefit of the humans. They got their lightshow and lasers and explosions. All the while the decoy ships were rigged with singularity cores which tore them out of existence once the crews had evacuated.
>>14698714 >The plan was perfect. The humans joined us and served us well. They reminded us of ourselves so much we granted them places of honour in serving us above even the Volkanar. We still did not trust them however. The theatrics of our “rescue” had served a double purpose. The humans never saw our weaponry. “Knowledge conquers fear”; one of our lesser known tenets. They would not challenge us if they did not know us. In the end they knew us too well and we knew them too little. We gave them only the means to provide us with art and entertainment. To us it was nothing. To them it was enough to crush us into submission.
>We should have realised that the Human is far beyond us in intellect. What we saw of ourselves in them was only what we aspired to be. What we gave them was nothing, only the tools to create quantum art and the like. They took that and made it the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. Quantum art operates by changing energy into matter. By reflecting and refracting radiations before converting them great works of beauty had been wrought on our home world. The humans turned this into something on a scale we could not conceive before it was too late. We did learn, far too late, when the humans rebelled.
>>14698719 >The rebellion was not the first. The Volkanar had rebelled. We simply taught them the price of insolence and they stayed loyal ever afterwards. We thought the same could be true for the humans. We were wrong. We pushed them to the very edge of the fourth system which we had granted them in honour of their accession to the empire. We loomed above them in our massive ships of gold and black. We practically blotted out the blue giant star at the centre of the system with our show of dominance.
>The humans sent a single ship to meet our fleet. Its hull was covered in arrays we couldn’t determine the function of. That should have been our first warning. “Knowledge conquers fear” but we had no knowledge, we should have been afraid. The lone ship sent a single word in the archaic electro-magnetic waveform the Humans favour. Surrender. We thought they were surrendering. That would not do. We needed to make a display of the Human and their rebellion. We armed our weapons and prepared to lance the ship from existence. Then it began to weave radiations around itself. We thought this madness to be some form of art to appease us so we watched and let them compose their art. We should never have given them the chance but we were astounded by the beauty and complexity of what they wrought. Even beyond that the scale of it was beyond anything we had seen. It spanned nearly the whole system and our scans showed that it even came among our fleet. Then it was too late. The Human ship sent another message to our flagship. “Do not attempt to deceive humanity. We know every trick in every book. Do not imagine you can harm us and be free. We will have revenge for the billions you slaughtered.” Watching the feed from the safety of our home world with the rest of the council I was amazed.
>>14698731 >The humans had seen through our deception from the start but now thought it wise to threaten us with art? They certainly were insane. Then the feed from the flagship and every other ship in the fleet went black. No signal. We could find nothing on the long range scanners. We cautiously sent scouting ships to the system. What they found shook our empire to its foundations. The system was nothing more than a star orbited by debris. Where once there had been five planets, two habitable, there was now a waste of broken ships, broken moons and broken planets. What force could have wrought all this before any distress signal could be sent to us? Humanity.
>Their colony in the system had been evacuated. They had hidden that from us with the barest of technologies. Simple lead lined ships equipped with engines we couldn’t fathom and still cannot. They all but instantly transmitted trillions of tonnes of steel, lead, supplies and Humans to the safety of their “Earth”. Enraged we threw everything we had at them there.
>>14698739 >We converted our ships to survive the harsh climate of their star. We should have fled. They had not retreated. They were regrouping. When we arrived we found their planet cloaked in the shields more often worn as protection by our artists on their tendrils. But this was across and entire PLANET! Even the moon was protected. The humans again sent a ship to meet our fleet. Again the single word: “Surrender”. We should have. But the Lord of War instead opened fire on the planet below. The entire fleet loosed half its silo of weaponry. The Lord of Artifice had been busy. The shield above the planet splashed and rippled and shone almost as brightly as the display we had created so long ago to fool the humans. And the shield held. There was no logic to that. Again we should have been afraid. “Knowledge conquers fear” and we had no knowledge of these magics.
>The lone ship began weaving its radiation art again. I begged the Lord Commander to smite it but the radiation seemed to be deliberately avoiding our ships so he refused. Perhaps the shielding from the harsh yellow star had saved us. I breathed a sigh of relief into the artificial atmosphere mask I had already half put on. I was wrong. We were not safe. The radiation flared brighter and into our visible spectrum. I saw it lance down to the star and intensify again a hundredfold and new we were to die that day far from home. Our shields failed and the radiation shot through our entire fleet harmlessly and hung their before our eyes. This time there was no speech from the humans. Just a single word. A command which we could do nothing but unwillingly follow: “Die.”
>>14698747 >The radiation shifted from spectrum to spectrum, it thrummed with raw power and with a crack shifted entirely from energy to matter shearing our fleet asunder. I saw our foolishness in that instant. The humans had taken the nothing we had given them and turned it against us. We could only convert small amounts of energy to matter but they powered the conversion with an entire STAR! I was lucky enough to get my atmosphere suit fully operational before the bridge of the flagship buckled and tore in half and I was flung into the void along with the debris and the lifeless bodies of the other Lords most with looks of fear and shock frozen on their scaly faces.
>I was picked up by a human ship before long. They did not torture me. They tended to my wounds and kept me alive. They allowed me to keep my suit on until I came before their leader. I bowed to him and detached the crownpiece I wore and attempted to replicate their speech. So it came to pass that the first words spoken by my kind to yours in your language were: “We surrender. We are sorry. We were wrong.”
>In the time that followed you rebuilt the empire you had torn down. We, the Krishnag, the Tresk and the Volkanar were allowed to survive in your new order and it really was your order. Finally I realised that you had done what we never could to the Oruiks. You had destroyed us utterly. Not by wiping us out, but by changing us. We had lost our identity as the supreme race; you had taken that mantle from us and all illusions of our greatness with it. We now sit with you as equals for you allow us that honour in what is now the Parliament of the Human Empire. You forgave us and helped us become so much more than we ever were alone in spite of our underlings. So now we have new tenets as a race: “Never Underestimate a Human”, “Never Betray a Human”, “Never Challenge the Human”.
>>14698800 >We had lost our identity as the supreme race; you had taken that mantle from us and all illusions of our greatness with it. The funny thing about this it that this kind of stories is that we're doing precisely the same thing by coming up with them, building illusions of our own greatness. Not that they aren't cool.
They could die. They’d board ships of metal and fire to travel the stars, even though they could die. To them it was worth it. It’s part of who they were.
We don’t die. Not a single sentient race discovered so far can die, except the humans. Every one of us has developed a natural immunity to aging and advanced technology to mend our wounds. Because, how can you create empires and cities if you won’t live to see its entirety?
At first, we just thought they had an incredibly high birth rate, which is terrifying on its own. They were plain, erect standing creatures, with two legs and two arms. Their intelligence was average, and they had physical functions unsurprising for their size and build. Then, no longer than moments after our study started, we saw them dying, hundreds of thousands, on one planet.
>>14698950 We just didn’t know how to interact with a race like them. What do you say to someone who will only ever live for an infinitely small fraction of your own life? Alliances can’t be made when they could be forgotten as easily as their leaders change. So, we just left them alone and watched them from afar.
Horrifying. They were horrifyingly beautiful. Death made everything they do have merit. Value to them was more than a metal in the ground. When you could be torn into the dark nothing at any moment, then the moment’s had a worth.
They had wars over ideas and loved each other too fiercely. Dying for another, for your family, for love, for ideals, for greed, for country, for peace happened every single day. Passion like fire was in their blood and it made them stronger in ways we couldn’t imagine.
Words like “war” and “sacrifice” entered our vocabulary and we began to question what it was to not live. It didn’t mean a damn thing coming from us, though. We just didn’t understand, I don’t think we ever will, not the way the humans did.
>>14698959 Long ago, they died. Every last one of them found their demise. The mortal anomaly amongst the stars was corrected. It proved to us that without immortality a race won’t truly survive. But, it didn’t make us feel any better. I told you before, they never developed an immunity to aging. Well, they weren’t immune to every disease either, and the universe made damn sure they were aware of the fact. It was a disease that evolved from some previously non-lethal, common state. It caught like wildfire spreading from human to human, and in a way it was terrifying to watch. Not because we were afraid it would spread to us. That would never happen. No, it was painful in ways we had never felt to watch the muse of the universe quickly diminish and blink out of existence. Yet, we did nothing to stop it, because how could we. How do you fight an enemy that you haven’t seen in millions of years? Some thought the humans would find a way to destroy it, but they were wrong. Others thought that they would just become like us eventually, but they, too, were wrong.
>>14698964 The sole creators of music and art were just gone. We learned quickly from them that once such a thing was introduced into a life, they could never be forgotten. It was as though we were given sight and then it was taken away again.
We tried to replace what they had provided us with, but we paled in comparison. How do you write of death when you could never experience it? How do you sing of love when it’s not something you know? You don’t. There’s your answer. For a couple years, we tried and tried, but in the end, it was pointless. We have to suffer for the rest of our unending lives without what they gave us, and it was our fault.
The confusing species that was humanity is gone, but the mark it left on us is ever present. Their words, books, pictures and ideas are still everywhere on every habited planet. How could something so beautiful not be?
They were the beautiful chaos to our undying stasis, and we had failed in protecting them. So, on behalf of every living creature in the universe, with all of our being, I say to you who are gone; I am sorry.
Humanity is a disease. A plague that is corrupting every mind it contacts. There is no cure. One hundred years ago during a routine sweep we found them, pre-lightspeed, still confined to their own solar system. We poured through their records as is normal before first contacts, but what we saw frightened us. Although they were weak and vulnerable they seemed to possess an inordinate amount of violence for one another.
We saw the signs of the inevitable and we really did try at first to make them see sense, to be rational. But we failed, so the next step logical step was to destroy them. Of course the Council bureaucrats couldn't bear to see such a breathtakingly diverse world die with one species, so we went down and fought in brutal ground warfare against humanity. We landed our best troops on their home-world and we won, for the most part. It was a hard victory but we won eventually, or at least thought we did. Humans were pitiful, weak, fragile, and divided. We thought we had cleared them, but a few must have snuck onto the ships.
Soon after we started hearing reports from nearby sectors. Things and ideas which were unsettling to say the least. Citizens protesting their government, scamming rings, even whispers of bribery. Cultures that had remained unchanged for thousands of years, were in a state of flux.
Of course it was humans. It had to be, and we were right. We found them and killed them, down to the last man woman and child. But that didn’t stop Humanity, it merely made the disease stronger. World after world the plague encompassed, insatiable. It does not stop or slow down.
>>14699029 Hello. I had an idea today and ran with it. first submission, let me know where I'm lacking please. -----1567436GM15Q Audio Recording: Council Historical Aide Playback? Yes/No … Humanity is a disease. A plague that is corrupting every mind it contacts. There is no cure. One hundred years ago during a routine sweep we found them, pre-lightspeed, still confined to their own solar system. We poured through their records as is normal before first contacts, but what we saw frightened us. Although they were weak and vulnerable they seemed to possess an inordinate amount of violence for one another. We saw the signs of the inevitable and we really did try at first to make them see sense, to be rational. But we failed, so the next step logical step was to destroy them. Of course the Council bureaucrats couldn't bear to see such a breathtakingly diverse world die with one species, so we went down and fought in brutal ground warfare against humanity. We landed our best troops on their home-world and we won, for the most part. It was a hard victory but we won eventually, or at least thought we did. Humans were pitiful, weak, fragile, and divided. We thought we had cleared them, but a few must have snuck onto the ships. Soon after we started hearing reports from nearby sectors. Things and ideas which were unsettling to say the least. Citizens protesting their government, scamming rings, even whispers of bribery. Cultures that had remained unchanged for thousands of years, were in a state of flux. Of course it was humans. It had to be, and we were right. We found them and killed them, down to the last man woman and child. But that didn’t stop Humanity, it merely made the disease stronger. World after world the plague encompassed, insatiable. It does not stop or slow down.
These stories are awe inspiring and commendable to humanity as being quite interesting. However, does anyone have any short stories of humans joining already managed federations? I've already got some ideas stewing in my mind and pondering on writing them but I got work in an hour. No time. Would like to come back and perhaps see something about us joining in on a war others couldn't seem to win and when we found our way in, we changed the tides. xD
You guys might like 'Out of the Dark' by David Weber, it's basically an entire novel about this concept. From Wikipedia:
The Galactic Hegemony, an alliance of assorted alien races, sent a research and survey group to Earth (designated as "KU-197-20") for assessment. The ship arrived in Earth's orbit in the 15th century, during the Hundred Years' War. The survey group observed the Battle of Agincourt between the English and French, and were horrified of humanity's feriocity and cruelty - being that war and violence rarely happened among the Hegemony. By the 2010s, the Hegemony has reviewed the survey on Earth and is instantly repulsed. Seeing as humans are similar to a recent species reluctantly admitted to their alliance, the carnivorous, wolf-like Shongairi, the pacifist Hegemony decides to send the Shongairi to see humanity's submission or extinction before humanity will reach the same level as the Shongairi, seeing that as the "lesser of two evils", rather than a second Shongair Empire. The Shongairi see value in the human race as slave soldiers and decide to conquer Earth and make humans their subjects. Once their expedition reaches Earth, they are surprised at humanity's advancement in only six hundred years, at six times the galactic norm.
So aliens show up at your place for weekly keggers then?
These stories exist because some people are tired of story after story after story of aliens and other entities outclassing humans in every way. We've had whole slews of those kinds of stories, and people sometimes just want a change of pace. Personally, I'm a fan of Lovecraftian-style horror, but remember that even Lovecraft occasionally let humans win (or at least get out alive, which is basically the grand prize in the Mythos).
Nyarlathotep may basically be a kid frying ants with a magnifying glass, but a whole colony of ants can do some serious damage.
I once saw a human eat a wild caseraberry. One of the deadliest plants in the galaxy and she just ate like it was rations! It was my fault, I suppose. She and I were assigned to the same messenger patrol and we were making our rounds. Somehow we got on the topic of food and she started to tell me about the foods of her home planet, Earth. She told of the vast variety of foods there: the meats, the fruits, the vegetables, and the seasonings. The humans are insane. They eat live animals! They just stick them in their mouth and swallow. The fruits are poisonous and the vegetables are not much better. And don’t even get me started on the seasonings. Straight poison. She gave me a carrot, she called it, and the flavor itself nearly killed me. It took me days to recover from that.
So, in retaliation, the next time we were on patrol, I pointed out the caseraberry bush growing by the side of the road. You could see the dead insects lying around it and it was bright purple. Ripe as hell and had enough poison to drop a full grown Fruenth. I was fairly positive it wouldn’t kill her, because of all of the other stuff she ate, just make her wish she was dead. She walked over and pulled the berry right off the top. Even the stupidest Ceras knows not to eat the top berry. That’s the one that looks the most appetizing and it’s full of the most poison. That would kill her for sure. I told her not to take that one, but she did anyway.
>>14702911 She put it in her mouth and chewed. Her chewing slowed and her eyes grew wide. She looked at me in shock and swallowed the berry. She exclaimed, “That is the best thing I have ever eaten!” She proceeded to eat the whole bush. THE. WHOLE. DAMN. GODSFORSAKEN. BUSH. OF. CASERABERRIES. She should have died but instead, she found the next big thing in the human food market. They eat caseraberries by the bucketful now. Instead of eradicating the dangerous bush like the rest of the galaxy, humans cultivate it, preparing it by the shipload, and distributing it among their population. Humans are fucking insane.
>>14702911 Reminds me of the 'master's of the universe movie' I don't remember much about that movies but for this one scene, where they're on modern day earth, and are having lunch and they're fascinated about how delicious the food is but one of the character wonders 'how do they put the food around the little sticks?' somebody else comments, 'those are its bones.' And then the response is 'you mean this used to be an animal?'
The old legends speak of the gods. They tell of the wonders that flowed from them while they walked among us, they whisper the secrets revealed by those who came from the stars, and from them flow our culture and our heritage. Most importantly, though, they speak of the coming of the Book. Before the coming of the gods, our people laboured in vain. We chased after false promises and foolish dreams, squabbling amongst ourselves while disease and famine wracked our people. Poets wrote only of destruction. Craftsmen forged only weapons for war. And leaders led only to death.
We don't know why the gods chose to step down from among the stars and live among us. We don't know why they stood in the hell we'd made of our world and chose to remain. All we know is that they came, and that they changed everything.
The gods are patient. When we first scorned them, they waited. The gods are merciful. When we first attacked them, they could have struck us down with their wrath. The gods are kind. When, generations later, the first ancient sought counsel, they listened.
>>14703188 Our histories speak of this moment with reverence. Our legends trumpet this moment from the mountains, proclaiming it as our salvation. The truth is far simpler. The first of us went to the gods not from need but from desperation. His people were starving, diseased, and desperate. Other chieftains pressed in against their meagre land, seeking to add it to their own petty empire. Without aid they would have perished, but the gods took pity on him and his village soon flourished. The sick became healthy. The barren ground brought forth food. And his people turned from war.
Others followed. Soon our poets wrote of beauty and love, our craftsmen built works of joy, and our leaders ushered in peace. We began to call ourselves the Children of the Gods. Then the Great Darkness came and the gods led it away, leaving us the Book to guide us in their stead. We mourned for a time, overwhelmed by loss, but we soon turned our eyes to the stars. The god's last words still rang fresh in our minds.
Live for us.
From the Book we learned of the sciences and of math. Through the teachings of the Book we gained mastery over our planet, cracking open its crust to plunder its jealously guarded ores. And with the secrets of the Book we reached out and touched the stars.
>>14703196 But still we dwelt on the loss of our gods, and we resolved to join them in their struggle. Once more our people turned to war. Our craftsmen forged weapons. Our leaders steeled themselves to shepherd our people to their deaths. But this time our poets could sing of more.
We remade ourselves in the image of our gods. They had taught us how to fight not from hatred but for love. To bear arms to protect the weak, not to rob and plunder. And to seek honour rather than to hoard. We did not become the barbarians we had once been.
Our fervour to join the gods knew no bounds. So fierce was our longing that we stripped our world bare and drained our oceans dry. Then we moved out to our system's many planets and asteroids. We ravaged them too.
A hundred generations later we were ready. With a mighty fleet we voyaged from our homeworld, sailing to the cradle of the gods as one united people. We had done it. We could join our gods.
Our ships were bathed in light and warmth as we drew near. When the brilliance faded we rejoiced. We had long dreamt of the beauty of their world and strength of their ships. How could we have seen this as anything other than sign of their might? We could not have known how wrong our celebrations were.
>>14703204 Generations passed and we came to the birthplace of the gods. What we found shocked us.
However large our fleet, however terrifying our weapons of war, was nothing compared to dead fleets of the gods. Our gods had truly been great, but even our gods hadn't been awesome enough to face the Great Darkness. Our gods were dead.
But our gods hadn't died alone.
Their dead ships lay amidst the remains of the Great Darkness. Hundreds of thousands of sleek and pure vessels floated through billions of twisted abominations.
>>14703207 Our minds recoiled in horror from the primal savagery of the graveyard, but we pushed deeper into the system, deeper into the every-thickening wreckage. Planets lay cracked open. Whatever asteroids had once ringed the system had been pounded down into dust. The mighty ships of the gods were soon joined by smaller vessels never built for war. The wreckage of the Great Darkness lay everywhere, blotting out the stars themselves.
Everything was burned.
Then we gazed down on the home of the gods. The Book spoke of towering forests and of vast seas, but none remained. It told of a bright glowing star, the source of all light, but a weakly flickering dwarf stood in the centre of the system. And it spoke of a mighty moon, the bringer of tides, but the moon was long since gone.
The god's wrath had scoured it away with all the rest.
We searched the charred planet, desperately seeking some last word of the gods. We found what we sought, for the gods are wise, in a battered stone monument. We know not how it survived the god's last fury, but some words remained. All my people know them by heart.
To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep.
Now my people keep watch, ever vigilant against the Great Dark, and search the stars for those we have been charged to protect. Perhaps one day we too shall join the humans as gods.
Hell, it's been a while since I read much of Lovecraft's work but I seem to remember hearing about a story either directly from Lovecraft or from one of his contemporaries where they make it rather apparent that Cthulhu himself means about as much to the Outer Gods as WE do. I don't think that was the main point or plot of the story though, otherwise I imagine it'd be more well known
I am death, the hand of the Gods and the shepherd of the forsaken. I am called the dark mistress, black veiled, and she who walks. I talk to neither the divines above nor the humans in their earthly kingdoms. But, his people called me by the name Morta.
Emotions are not felt by us Gods, the way it is felt by the mortals, especially not in the way it is felt by humans. Their hearts are more pure, but they are more vulnerable to the sway of the winds. And such, I have never felt for anyone, God or not, what I felt for the sun-souled.
His hair like fine spun gold was greater than Apollo’s rays. Honey words flowed from his mouth sweeter than Mercury's. His word was honor and his arm stronger than even our Father Jupiter. He was fierce in a way that Mars wasn’t and wise like great Minerva. Man was never meant to be more than any other race, be it the satyr, nymphs or even Gods. However, greatness was forged in his very bones.
The sky was grey and winds fierce on the day he was brought to this world and yet his soul shined like the sun. Of all the beautiful souls of the humans, his was gold and bright like no other. There are always humans who prove stronger than Mars or cleverer than grey-eyed Minerva, but something in him was more.
>>14704933 I readied myself for the death that I knew would come upon the child. The Gods are jealous for good reason. With spirits as strong as humans do, they can never be allowed to have such great abilities. Father Jupiter has told many of the greatest heroes whose strength has become the better of them. I stood outside the small cottage for days ready for the small, gold spirit to leave his body and lead him below, but alas, the boy lived through his first week. I returned to our cave with sisters, but I never truly left the boy.
Age did not make dull the gold of man’s hair and his body was perfection amongst men. His mother named him Aelius, after the sun, and I have never heard a more befitting name. My duties are to come before any worldly endeavor. The Gods are not forbidden to lay with man, but I’m no mere God. I am death. But, I could never help but feel pulled towards the man.
When his mother died, he was no more than fifteen years of age. Tears fell from his eyes the color of the sea. He held his tiny sister close to his chest and consoled his father. Prayers issued from his mouth like liquid love. To Jupiter and Pluto his wished his mother safe passage and peace in Elysium. For once in my very long life, I did not want to take a soul from this world.
>>14704938 The boy found solace in the fields. He was not a mere farmer. He could never be. He was the sun given human form. So, naught, a single person was confused when the boy was asked by Silvanus to join him on his council as a court poet.
The boy sang like any human, beautiful and longing. The fauns loved the boy as greatly as anyone could, for he rooted himself in their hearts as he did with anyone who has met him. Songs were created for every faun who died and every faun born. I visited the boy at every death and every time I heard him sing my cold, unbeating heart cracked for him. That a one man should ever feel so much sorrow is unheard of.
No more than a year had passed and all of Rome heard of the golden boy who sang of the dead. The world knew of his songs that took a bit of his sun like soul every time. With every time the name Aelius escaped from strangers lips, a heat of two kinds over took my being. Affection was always anchored in my heart for the boy, but a feeling I can only describe as jealously also warmed me, in its uncomfortable way.
On his twentieth birthday, the boy was given leave by Silvanus to travel the world and sing his music of death. Aelius, the golden, was received by everyone with doubt, for who could sing as grand as the stories say? But, he always left amongst tears of joy and sadness. All who met him learned what he truly was. He was a human boy. The best that the Gods could find and it was human.
Yet, the Gods never ordered me to take his life. I never stopped fearing that they would, as he always found ways to come closer and closer to me.
>>14704943 On his travels, the boy was still naïve, having spent so much time in the hedonistic faun’s wood. He found a man on the road side, sitting amongst weeds and stone. I watched, feeling the death coming, as the boy stopped his horse and reached his hand out to the man. It was watching the blade enter his stomach that made me feel as though blade had entered mine. The man rode off with Aelius’ horse and the boy lay on the road dying. I had stayed by his side for hours as I watched his golden soul struggle to hold on.
In his feverish state, with blood pouring from his body, the boy spoke to me for the first time.
“Please, dark mistress, take me from this place,” he looked skyward with clouded eyes.
“I would take you with me, sweet, golden one,” I said as I kneeled beside him, and he started looking upon my face. “But, it is neither my place to stave off or hasten death, I am only here to take you in time.”
The boy shook his head and looked back toward the sky. As the clouds broke, a beam of light spotted itself onto Aelius, in front of me and only him. I watched with my own eyes, as his wound sealed and soul returned to its former luster.
“I’m sorry, mistress,” He smiled, look in the direction he remembered me.
>>14704951 From that day on, I had watched as the boy turned man, on his travel home. He walked, sailed and rode for years. Snake-haired crones, one-eyed giants and red-haired maidens all tried to take the golden one from this world. But, it was his combination of everything that made him perfectly human that kept my hands from him.
It was his sweet songs of the dead that turned the Gorgons. For they have too much want for such melancholic arts. His sun-like soul would not let him take their lives, so he continued to sing for them until they gave him leave. Not long past a year, they gave him his life back with embraces and found touches. He sang no greater than any Nymph could, but his beautiful human soul, that felt too much made the Gorgons love him.
The Cyclopes who would not listen to reason, found that the man could meet violence with violence. With spear in hand and the love of the Gods ended the life of the two giants. He left his spear in the eye of one; the other was drowned in the neighboring lake. It was not the way he killed the Cyclops that caused the entirety of heaven to weep, but the song he constructed to memorize those who he could give peace in Elysium. He fought with his human strength, that lacked what the Cyclops had, but he had all the courage and determination of a human warrior.
>>14704956 When a tribe of Trivia’s own Empusai found the golden-haired man, I held my cold breath. They took the man, with their beautiful hands and marched him to their cave, in Pluto’s realm, on bronzen legs. Their fiery hair shined as they took their turns with him and yet, he cried under them all. Again, his spirit waned as his hold on this world lessened, and the pull from under increased. Still, he sang songs of those whose souls bided outside filled the cave. Spirits flooded the entrance and even the earth groaned as it tried to find the beautiful man. It was the lord of the dead, Pluto, who gave Aelius respite.
The Shadow came to the man personally, an honor given to few mortal men. All but Aelius recoiled as the tall pale figure, entered the cave, even I felt I could not be close to my master. He stooped before the man and held out his hand. I watched in awe, as again, his spirit restored itself back to its splendor. Pluto took Aelius by man and escorted him to the surface of the world. A gift given to only two mortals in all the world, both who were the lowly humans.
Aelius, the golden-haired, the sun-souled, favored by the Gods, was brought home, after ten years of travel. He discovered upon his arrival that his father had died. I wept with him, as his sister held him the way I wish I could, but a God was never supposed to, for he was only human. He again prayed to the Gods for his father and sang his melodies as he plucked flowers for the grave of his father. It took no time for maidens to come across the world to ask for his hand. With his honey words, he turned down all of them. He felt nothing for the girls and I began to understand his weeping in the cave of the Empusai.
>>14704971 It wasn’t until the maiden Iulia, daughter of Jupiter himself, came for him, with her soul that was not gold like his, but a shining pink. She did not deserve him, even if she was human. With eyes like the sky and hips like the sea, she caught his attention, but it was the way she spoke to his dear sister that gave him his affections. It was with an emotion stronger than jealousy that I watched their wedding.
He loved and sang. It was what he was made for. The Gods could make many creatures, many races, yet the human heart evaded them. It was too vulnerable, too sweet.
I wanted him as my own, and seeing him amongst the other humans who could give him what he needed made me weep. Why could I not have been human too?
With a heavy heart, I watched as Aelius sang for his Iulia’s funeral. She too found her way into my heart after I watched her love the boy with the gold-hair, the way I wish I could. His hair was now silk white, and back bowed, but he was no less magnificent. He was still remarkably human and swayed the Gods with his words.
>>14704980 When he did finally die, I regretted every time I had hoped he would. To see the gold of his soul fade and rise was the worst moment of my very long life. He greeted me with his large, beautiful smile and his twinkled like the sea.
“Is it finally time?” he asked.
I only nodded as I tried to hide any grief on my face.
I brought him to stand before the Gods as they decided his fate. They stood, gloriously, around the hall of the Gods, with Aelius in their center. He knelt humbly before them and did not speak once to them, similarly to the other humans who have come here before, but not like the Nymphs or even Fauns.
When the Gods offered him godhood he respectfully declined. Though, he smiled just at the offer.
“Who would I be to sing so much of death, if I were to never meet my sweet mistress?” He said as he remained knelt.
“Ah,” Spoke Jupiter, with shining bolt in hand, “you have, though. She stand no more than a foot behind you.”
He turned and smiled a knowing expression. We have met before, I could never forget him, and hopefully, neither he, I.
“In all respect, Father Jupiter,” bowed his head, “I am only man, I must die.”
>>14704987 Our Father Jupiter looked on in deep thought for many moments and finally spoke, “We only wish to not see your spirit fade from this world, dear Aelius, but if you wish to die, then we will let you.”
Jupiter nodded to me and I performed my task. I led Aelius to Elysium. It was my last role as Death for I could never stand to see another man die.
I presented the man to his wife and I cried as they embraced. Spirits from across the entirety of Pluto’s domain flocked to the golden spirited Aelius. He smiled his glorious smile and his golden hair again shone. The gold-souled song, but this time of life, and all of the spirits sang with him.
I am no longer Death, but I am not dead. I wish many times, that I could stay with him, sweet Aelius, with the human dead. I fear, though, that I do not feel like them. My emotions are not pure enough and do not sway in the wind.
It was only his humanity that turned me, not his beauty or his strength, although he was not want for them. A human had turned Death, when not even a God could.
>>14706923 I feel like there's something in our past that almost suggests this. I can't remember where I read/watched but we supposedly are drastically alien compared to the next closest Terran relative.
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