Okay, a bit more on the violent, semi-pessimistic, more stereotypically Orcish side of things. Possible triggers. Graphic. R-word.
A bit of backstory to this little hypothesis: Humans figured out our differences somehow. Terrorism peaked, religions crumbled, and we had one REEEAAALLY big bad bloody war. Lots of people died. Man’s inhumanity to man. Rape, humiliation, genocide, slaughter of innocents, Armageddon, Ragnarök. That sort of thing. We vowed through accords and treaties, even in the colonization of other worlds and systems (and any conflicts that may result from such) we would seek to end things peacefully, because everyone’s just so tired. They don’t want to spill blood anymore. They vow to protect their societies and their children from such horrors ever again, and never visit such a low point ever again for the sake of humanity. Call it the Blooding Years. Makes the World Wars, Holocaust and the Crusades look tame.
Jump forward a few hundred or good thousand years.
Race really isnt a thing anymore, save for a few varied vestigal traits here and there. People are still spiritual and have faiths and superstitions, and we have made our peace with nature and spirituality, but organized religion itself is something mostly relegated to our bloody past. Although we put the Blooding Years behind us, something so profound is sure to leave some marring and scars on the general psyche of a people, even generations down the line. We are as peaceful as we can be, despite gallows humor and general mental maladjustment taking a spike in recent generations. So, in short, we’re just a bunch of vaguely beige space monkeys with twitchy temperaments trying to be peaceful and stuff.
We have spread to a few systems outside Sol. We’ve contacted a handful of species out in the stars. Xenophobia was a thing, but we’re getting over it. We have a few ‘hybrid’ systems where we coexist, a la [insert sci-fi title here] style. Aliens are learning to like us for our resilency and hard work, but having learned from our history (which was liberally gifted to those among them that would read it), they give us a wide berth, despite keeping steady trade and peaceful relations.
And then, as the old saying goes, shit happens.
A bunch of genocidal xenophobic maniacs come out of nowhere and decide “WE OWN THIS SHIT, AND YOU ARE AN AFFRONT TO GARGASCHMARGAL THE BLOODY! YOU MUST BE [insert evil villain endgame here] !!!” and essentially try to out-Space-Orc the Space Orcs. The Galactic Union, or whatever the assembly of alien races view themselves as (and with which we are allied with but decide not to unify with) launch an offensive! They fight! They clash! In the words of Willem Dafoe, “THERE WAS A FIRE FIGHT!”
Annnnd they lose. Horribly. Entire fleets are laid waste. Worlds fall. Star systems crumble. Trillions die.
And then, after their bloody campaign, having beaten back even the forces bolstered by humans, and after enslaving or euthanizing any other people that stood before them, they arrived at the doorstep to human space, and after a gorefest, essentially Hiroshima a garden world. Eden-in-the-Wind.
-cue the seriousness-
Word got back to Earth, Inner, and Outer Colonies. Eden-in-the-Wind is gone. Dust. Vids came back from the now-dead world. Women and children executed. People being eaten as they are simultaneously being used for sexual pleasure. An infant used as a soccer ball. Skulls with still-bleeding vertebra dangling from belts.
Mayhem bore its crown. The wolf stirred. And Hell reigned.
Those allied aliens that remained and sought refuge on human worlds watched in horror as formal governments dissolved, treaties were burnt, and every human down to the last howled into the winds. We embraced the ways of old. We broke hockey sticks for impromptu spears. We cannibalized vehicles for their precious metal, so that they could have blades to drink blood with. We melted down memorials, so that we could have bullets to slay foes with. We renamed our ships, which served as names of peace and progress and remembrance. They now beared the names of hatred, and death, and destruction; Sathanna, Gehena, Lucifer, Ragnarök, Deluge, Armageddon, Uziel, Uoke, Shiva.
What once was an organized military force was now a hodge-podge fleet of battleships, cargo ships, carriers, dreadnoughts, and even civilian transports. Children carried rifles. Mothers carried swords. Fathers carried axes. Brothers and sisters exchanged spears and pistols. Bitter neighbors mended fences in the name of vengeance. The wheel turned once more, and the wolf within no longer stirred, but ruthlessly hunted, awoken by the stench of blood and gore.
The ships more or less crash, stead of land. We find whatever worlds these bugs have taken, and fall upon it as a horde of foaming teeth.
Allied aliens deemed it appropriate to seek revenge alongside, but were appaled by the horror that humanity was so easy and ready to visit upon these foes. They partook in adrenaline shots and metabolized psilocybin. They drunk of alcohol distilled from the blood of these genocidal demons. They detonated bombs that had still-screaming enemies piled atop them beforehand. They sent crates full of heads back to hostile commanders. They glassed entire worlds from orbit. They beat these foes back to their homeworld, having ruthlessly dogged them to the edge of oblivion.
Eventually, there were no new bodies to crumple. Eventually, there was no fresh blood to spill. Eventually, all that was left of this enemy that had scourged this corner of the galaxy for 75 years was a whimpering, bloodied remnant of their hierarchy, and a dwindling few thousand left to their populace.
Their god-king laid beaten and bloody upon the crumbled remains of his golden throne. He asks to but a girl, no more than 14, that approaches him, sadistically grinning in the dim light of the royal chamber.
“Why? Why have you come here? Is your bloodlust not sated!? We conceded five of your cycles ago! We know what you are capable of! We fear you! Why?! Why do you still come?!”
The girl stops, close enough to smell the copper tang of the alien’s blood on its breath.
“Sic semper tyrannis,” she blurted out, in a dead tongue that the alien did not understand. She drew the knife in her belt and beheaded him, his gurgling screams resounding through the chamber.
She left through the front doors of the palace, the bronze sunset glinted off the golden palace buttresses and arches. She still clutched the god-king’s dripping head by his antennae, her purple-stained hand white-knuckled in victorious fury. A small congregation of aliens bowed and knelt before them, raising claws and feelers in terrified begs and prayers. She tossed the head down the steps, and watched it bump and roll the length down, halting with a wet thump at the base.
And as the congregation shuddered and yelped, completely catatonic at the realization that their god-king is dead, they turned their gaze to the humans, boarding their dropship, ascending into the clouds. They never returned.
Humanity drew back its severely-pruned numbers. They retreated to Earth, to serve a self-imposed penance. The remaining allied aliens, now repopulating their numbers, were gifted the colonies that humanity had once taken. They wondered why humanity was retreating to Earth.
Shexan, a member of the founding race of the Galactic Union, confronted his human friend, Jonathan, though keeping a healthy distance after what he had witnessed.
“Why do your people leave, Smith-Jonathan? You have won, why do your people not rule?” it inquired.
“We did not want to win. Because we knew what we needed to do to win. And we did not want to return to that.”
“To what, Smith-Jonathan?”
“To what we learned not to be.”
“The lessons of the past will be repeated until they are learned.”
Jonathan turned from his new friend, tears streaming down his ragged face, as he departed into the darkness of the transport, its heavy bulkhead doors clunking shut behind him. The transport lifted into the stars. In all the years since that Shexan lived on TRAPPIST-1-b, he did not see a single human return.
The Sol system was, at the behest of humanity itself, marked as an uninhabitable system, and was restricted from entry. And, so has it remained, since.
Submitted by: @bartwelchii