I’m new to this, but I love what I’m reading in the feed lately, so, trying my hand!
What if the greatest diplomacy problem in dealing with humans is that they seem to lie about past events constantly, even to someone who witnessed the same events? Then it’s discovered that humans have recording devices of all kinds– security cameras, diaries, mp3– and the problem becomes clear. Humans lie, but not that badly. The poor, fretful creatures just have a species-wide brain defect. Kindly aliens take to recording every event and encounter they can, then preface every diplomatic meeting with a record swap so the humans can brush up on what actually happened and the aliens can get some insight into what the humans have been falsely thinking happened. Ambassadors to Earth get supplementary training in how to handle people with memory impairments, and human ambassadors to other worlds start hiring aliens– ANY aliens– to be their assistants. Everything smooths out after that.
Religion. Aliens intellectually understand how religion works and that there are different kinds, but they don’t really “get” it. The biggest confusion regards whether the humans, who do seem to have some sort of empathic abilities at least, are actually communing with incorporeal beings/forces… and if so, why some humans seem able to commune with more than one, while other humans not at all. Notable scholars have decided that the rituals and paraphernalia have nothing to do with the beings or forces being communed with, but muddied the matter by suggesting that the rituals may be important for a human’s ability to commune. Alien non-scholars, eager to accommodate this new species and prove that space is nothing to be afraid of– nobody wants a repeat of the H’j’g’rcxin Xenophobia disaster– simply treat any and all religious requests as vital necessities for their human guests and crewmen. Accommodation becomes so ordinary that when the first religious argument erupts between an engineer and a navigator, the biggest shock is that one of them objects to the other wearing a turban, something which does not affect work performance in any way.
Styling. Alien species each have their own primary sense that they rely on, and when they find out that humans primarily rely on sight, well. Reliant on sight means that surface patterns and colorings are particularly important to them, right? They will have evolved to be individually distinctive in appearance? New human crew are automatically assigned a mentor from another vision-reliant species, so someone will be able to tell them apart until the auditory and pheromone labels are attached to their uniforms. Then Abby comes to mess with a new haircut and sparkly chapstick one day, and the mentor has no idea who she is or how she got aboard.
Word of Stabby the Space Roomba spreads, and soon every ship with a human captain or sufficiently high number of human crew has a Stabby. Names vary, but most of them are Stabby. One ship becomes low-key known for sending out broadcasts of Stabby McStabberson, son of Stabberson, son of Stabber, and its adventures stabbing juice boxes in zero-G.
Aesthetics. Humans have a bewildering tendency to open starmaps or sneak into the scientific observation module at odd times, including with a mate or offspring, and just stare at open space. Not even particular stars, although they like to study and talk about particular stars and clusters at times, but just, the whole of space. Why do they do it? Nobody knows. Humans behave as though intoxicated during these times, but productivity lowers dramatically if they are barred access– if barring access even works in the first place, given humans’ seemingly endless ability to get into places where they aren’t supposed to be.
Fire. Due to different atmospheric content, inability to heal from burns, or just plain never needing to cook their food, no alien species has ever utilized fire as a tool. When humans say that learning to use fire may have been the start of their civilization, everybody believes that the humans are just talking a tough game to make up for their lower technology level, or– once they learn about human hierarchies– to compensate for a perceived lack of political status. Then a human sees a catastrophic explosion on a hostile planet and laughs. Then another shushes panicking engineers and smothers an accidental fire with some garments. Then another builds a bonfire out of dead plantlife and a shredded religious document to warm an injured alien crewman after xir endothermic suit is punctured and the planet rotates away from its sun. Humans– soft, cuddly, pack-bonds-even-with-inanimate-objects humans– are comfortably in control of the most terrifying force of disaster the galaxy has ever known. Aliens stop being surprised that we nearly made ourselves extinct so many times in history.
“Why does your larval stage look so similar to your mature stage? How do you know when a human is old enough to leave the Pit of Offspring? Or to mate?”
Authors Note - Just whipped this little something up. Inspired by the snap Grayson posted of Ethan playing video games. I couldn’t help myself with those tattoos and his legs spread like that. I’ve also decided, starting now, that I’ll be adding pictures and summaries into my fics just for a little added bonus. Enjoy!
- Ethan is playing video games, an idea pops into your head and things get heated.
⚤ - CONTAINS SMUT
It was Christmas time in New Jersey and you were laid back comfortably on Ethan’s bed in nothing but some tight shorts and a t-shirt of his. You were scrolling through your phone while he sat opposite you, in front of the T.V, playing one of his favorite NBA games. Grayson laid on his bed, adjacent to Ethan’s, occasionally making snide remarks at his ‘sloppy’ gameplay. The two bickered back and forth as they normally did.
“Fuck off.” Ethan finally said with a low grumble. He was slouched back on the chair, his legs spread wide, one leg resting up on your lap, in nothing but his tight boxer briefs and a Christmas sweater from his merchandise line with Grayson. You massaged his foot occasionally earning a few quiet grunts from him here and there. It was impossible to deny how sexy he looked as he kept his eyes fixated on the game. You couldn’t help but stare at him. His floppy and messy hair, plump pink lips, the five o clock shadow beginning to form across his upper lip and jaw. He was sex on legs.
“You keep doing that and you’re gonna make my dick hard.” Ethan laughed, his eyes flickering to you then back to the game.
“I, as much as possible want to encourage people to work through their disappointment, their grief, their depression, their shock, and find a place for them to feel that they’re making a contribution.”
I recently read one of these “humans are weird” posts that mentioned that humans are not apex predators. We’re a 2.2 on a scale of 5. We’re not even the middle of the food chain. Level 3 is carnivores that eat herbivores. Level 4 is carnivores that eat other carnivores. Level 5 is the “apex predator”, which is any carnivore that has nothing that preys on it. We manage to be space orcs despite our low rank, which is impressive enough.
But given how heavily people modify their bodies with the technology we have now, with piercings and tattoos and even filing their teeth and getting horns grafted on, and given that we already can sometimes use the hearts of other animals when our hearts stop working, and given that science is already working on human/animal hybrids… what if we made ourselves a 5?
It wasn’t common, before we made first contact. There were humans who grafted on animal ears or tails for cosmetic reasons, and animal eyes were a popular ‘upgrade’. It wasn’t until we were exposed to the vastness of space and the staggering variety of deadly predators on other planets that invasive cross-species body-modification became a 'thing’.
The most common recipients of such procedures were explorers funded by a group seeking new planets to colonize; a full overhaul of your body didn’t come cheap, after all. But when you’re trying to prepare for a totally new environment, the best tool you can have is your own body.
At first glance, he didn’t look that different from most humans. His head was hairless, and appeared scaly, but it was assumed that it was one of those “tattoos” humans were fond of. He always wore clothing that covered him from neck to toe, even gloves, but that was also not unheard-of among humans. Germophobes and people who simply find themselves cold often tended to cover up like that.
So it wasn’t until several days into the expedition that the extent of his mods became apparent. He was leading the party through a trail in the strange, red-vine-choked jungle, when, without warning, a scaled, six-legged thing leapt from the underbrush, latching onto his shoulders with its forepaws and raking his torso with the other four paws.
For one horrible moment, the aliens were certain that they were all going to die. Then he balled his hands together and swung them up into the creature’s gut, flinging it off him. Tattered fabric fell from his shoulders, revealing that the scales on his head covered his entire torso, and it was immediately apparent that they were no mere tattoos.
Claws ripped through the fabric of his gloves as he rushed the winded beast, smashing his forehead against its muzzle. The blood that sprayed from the impact was not his.
When the forest was quiet, and the thing lay dead, one of the aliens plucked hesitantly at the sleeve of another of the humans in the expedition. "Human-Tess…" It paused a moment, trying to phrase the question politely despite the alarm ringing in its mind. "We were under the impression that humans were the only sapient species on your planet.“
Tess laughed. "Oh, he’s human. The company just sprung to give him a little extra, y'know?”
A little extra? Human+? Horror beyond description.