by AJ Marks
Creel walked into the council to hear the latest of a new race which had been discovered in a little populated arm of the galaxy. The race had FTL so an exhibition team was sent to initiate contact. Now they had returned and everyone was anxious to hear about this new race and their world. The President of the Council stepped up to the podium and then announced the head of the exhibition team, an Axiril named Ro’Xe
“Thank you,” he said. “I’m here to present our finding of the new race, who call themselves humans.”
He paused, taking a moment for the image to appear showing a bipedal species on the screen.
“As you can see, they are a normal bipedal species typical of higher evolved life forms, two limbs they use to walk on called legs the other two called arms. One head, two eyes, two ears, nose and mouth, breath oxygen and many have fur on the top of their head which they call hair. They are a two sex reproduction species which they called male and female,” Ro’Xe said.
Creel studied the image and while the human was typical of a bipedal species the closeness of the eyes bothered him.
“Humans are, interesting,” Ro’Xe said pausing here as if to gather his thoughts before continuing. “They have developed wonderful music throughout their history. Here is a sample of two such songs.”
A song burst forth from the speakers. A human would have recognize the classical music of Bach. To Creel, he could feel the musical notes wash over him as if he was listening to wonderful songs of his own people before it stopped and changed to something which almost caused him panic, to a human, it would have been from a group called the Beetles.
The sound ended and Creel looked at the others who were also wondering what they just heard. A few species, like the Avaris seemed to have enjoyed it. Creel shook his head thinking that was typical for a deathworlder to enjoy such a harsh sound.
“As you can see, their music is diverse, as is their art and cultures. Each area of their planet has a slightly different culture, beliefs, and customs,” Ro’Xe stated to the group.
Creel inwardly agreed with this statement, something all species had when separated over distances. It became more unified after FTL travel and meeting other species.
“The humans value family, their children especially,” Ro’Xe said. “As a species they help their children for cycles before they are mature enough to leave. They are also highly diplomatic, enjoy talking and telling stories about anything and everything. Their entertainment is beyond anything we have and I have no doubt their technology in this field will be a boon to the Galactic Union and usher in a new era of entertainment for us all.”
He paused, taking a sip of his drink before continuing.
“Humans value peace.”
Creel felt relieved at hearing that. The last couple of new races were very, warlike, in their nature and had to be watched closely upon entering the Galactic Union. Already multiple small wars had broken out among them and their neighbors.
“They’ve had good relations with their neighbors now for fifty cycles, and a strong trade with them,” Ro’Xe said. “The humans have even taken the lead in their arm of the galaxy to settle disputes among smaller worlds. If the arm wasn’t so sparsely populated we would have discovered them cycles ago. As it is, we learned they have had FTL now for sixty cycles.”
Creel could imagine how much a new race like this would help the GU. They sounded like a perfect candidate. Established in their part of the universe, leaders, new technologies and societies all would be a boon to the Union.
“While on board one of their space stations, we encountered an enigma of a creature, which we learned applies to all animals on their homeworld.”
On the screen appeared a small, furry, four limbed creature sitting on a human’s lap. The human appeared to be petting it.
“This is one of the favorite pets of the humans, they call it a cat. Its fur is soft, and when happy emits something the humans call a purr. Upon this creature entering the room it hopped up onto the human’s lap, and settled down. We found this ‘purr’ to be comforting and we were allowed to pet it.
“If we had known what this creature was we would have approached it with as much caution as one approaches the Beleriu of Avaris. On any other world this furry animal would be an apex predator.”
The entire room gasped at what was said.
“These cats are highly adept predators with retractable claws on their paws and fangs which they use to great effect while hunting. The human’s use this hunting trait of the cat to ‘play’ with it.”
With that a small video appeared of a human with some sort of stick and a bright colored decoration at the end. The cat pounced upon it, biting and scratching while the human seemed amused by it all. Even after all that the human casually reaches down and pets the cat.
Creel was a bit, disturbed by this as Ro’Xe continued on.
“We learned on the human homeworld there are larger versions of this cat which humans call lions and tigers. They hunt even larger prey. But this is only the beginning. They have small creatures, called ants, who forage, seem peaceful yet will wage war on other ants or any animal which disturbs their nest. Another creature called a bee. It is a hard worker, produces something called honey. It will be a delicacy among the galaxy, yet they will swarm anyone who disturbs their hive. They attack with stingers and something called venom which is deadly to many creatures on their homeworld.”
Creel wondered about this world, it sounded extremely dangerous.
“Its not only the animals which are dangerous on this world. Many plants can be poisonous to other animals or humans. Some plants are even carnivorous. This doesn’t even mention the fact that there are highly dangerous storms which constantly ravage the planet’s surface. Unleashing torrents of rain which causes flooding all over the planet. And we didn’t witness the real threats in storms, which humans called hurricanes and tornados. In fact many humans seemed to enjoy the rain which they don’t find to be a threat. I even heard some even enjoy the sound of a thunderstom to fall asleep to.”
At this another sample video started showing a massive downpour of rain along with flashes of lightning and thunder. This would have put fear in any other race and humans used this sound to fall asleep to?
“The plate tectonics of the planet are highly unstable, creating massive earthquakes and volcanoes. Earthquakes are constantly going on, most humans don’t even feel. It’s quite unsettling for anyone wishing to go there. And volcanoes, the human ambassador said at any given time there are many of volcanoes erupting on their planet. At the time we visited they said it was about thirty-three.”
“Wh-what would you rate this planet?” the president asked in a shaky voice.
“A deathworld seven,” the reply came back.
Creel looked on in shock, even other deathworlders were in shock. The current theory indicated no civilization could survive in anything above a deathworld four.
“You must be mistaken?” one ambassador asked, from one of the deathworld empires.
“No, we evaluated it quite closely. The humans are adept to change in their planet. They are one of the best builders in the galaxy, and,” here he stopped to look at the assembled ambassadors making Creel uneasy with the long pause. “Due to this humans are quick to adapt to any situation, including war.”
A murmur broke out among the group before the President managed to get things back under control.
“What do you mean, war? Did you not say they value peace?” Creel asked.
“Humans value peace tremendously. But a warning to all. Humanity appears fractured and disorganized, do not mistake that for weakness,” Ro’Le said to them all. “We learned twenty cycles ago humanity also encountered the Jarlex.”
Creel recalled the Jarlex, a very warlike race which had waged war on the galaxy for over fifty cycles before suddenly disappearing twenty cycles ago. He paused at the thought, what was Ro’Le implying with that timing?
“Yes, many of you are aware of the timing, it was the Jarlex encounter with the humans which caused them to disappear. The Jarlex did as they normally do, attack without warning. To humanity, it was a declaration of war. Within a cycle they had bombed the Jarlex homeworld into submission.”
“One cycle?” another ambassador said, surprise in his voice.
“Yes, they were quite specific about the timing. It seems the Jarlex attacked a civilian colony of humanity,” Ro’Le said. “I urge you all to tell your governments never to do this. Humanity reacts with ferocity that will make the Jarlex seem tame.”
“And we’re voting to allow them in?” another ambassador asked, his voice now filled with fear.
“The humans, well,” Ro’Le paused here to collect his thoughts. “They don’t wish to be part of us.”
A collective uproar at that thought. We’re they going to war then? How could they fight a race that beat the Jarlex so easily?
“Then what do they want?” the President finally asked having regained her voice.