left behinders!

10

jake peralta doing IT for/because of amy santiago

Humans are stubborn. They will often disregard the dangers or foolishness of an endeavor if they believe it must be done.

Human-Megan was the first recorded example of this trait. She was called to the bridge during the time that a small landing party was sent to a planet she insisted was a “Death Star” simply because of its highly metallic atomic makeup.

Everything seemed to be proceeding as normal. The landing party arrived successfully, and began to survey the surrounding terrain, searching for any signs of life. Occasionally, the captain would glance in Human-Megan’s direction, in hopes that she would offer her strangely accurate insight on the progress of the mission; however, he was given nothing but incoherent mumbling about “bad feelings” and the need to “screw this noise”.

But then the mission fell into disaster. The landing party, as cautious as they were, found themselves ambushed by a group of cybernetic lifeforms, who dragged them beneath the planet’s surface after firing several devastating shots to their scouting vessel.

The captain frowned, pressing two of his four tentacles together as he considered their new situation. It would not be wise to send anyone to retrieve their fallen crew members – – it was likely they would be killed within the next few minutes. This in mind, he gave the order to resume flight towards the nearest inhabited system in order to refuel and collect new crewmates.

“What the hell?”

Those are for the bridge ceased preparations to resume flight for a moment, observing Human-Megan in confusion. She seemed suddenly distraught–she was trembling, her hands clenched into what her species called “fists”, teeth bared in something that was most definitely NOT a human smile.

“Aren’t you going to send someone after them?” she said incredulously, waving a hand harshly in the direction of the monitor.

“Human-Megan, I fail to see the logic in your statement,” the captain stated calmly.

“The logic in my–” The human interrupted her own words with a sound that set hairs on end and jolted the nervous system. If her shipmates didn’t know any better, they would have called it a growl.

“They’re our CREW MATES!” she cried, eyes darting back and forth as if silently damning all present for not taking her meaning. “More than that, they’re our FRIENDS! You can’t just–no, you WON’T just ditch them down there!”

The captain raised an eye-ridge. Was his human–was she threatening him? Despite himself, a shiver of fear raced down his lengthy spine–he had heard tales of what ignoring human threats had led to, and those tales were not to be taken lightly.

“Is that insubordination, Human-Megan?” he inquired, struggling to keep his own voice level despite the ever-growing fear in his stomach.

“No, that’s common-****ing sense,” she spat in return. “You don’t leave shipmates behind like that. You just don’t. What if that was you? Would you be okay with us just abandoning YOU down there?”

Again, confusion. “I believe you have met our first officer. He is perfectly qualified to act as captain until another can be appointed. There is no reason to lose crewmen unnecessarily.”

For a moment, he thought he had successfully gotten through to the human. She didn’t respond, simply staring at him, breathing erratically, mouth slightly open in such a way that for a moment he was forced to consider that he may have BROKEN his human.

But then she reacted. She pursed her lips and–spat at him.

The crew members who had done research on human culture physically recoiled in shock. She had actually SPAT at him–a human sign of absolute loathing and lack of respect. The captain himself was visibly shocked, observing his human almost blankly as his brains struggled to make sense of her actions.

She spun about, hissing a vile “Fine,” at those around her with a venom that made all near her flinch. Without another word she marched towards the lift, reaching out and grabbing an officer’s stunner directly from her waist before exiting.

Everyone resumed their work after a moment. Humans were strange, they were well aware of this by now. This was just another strange human behavior. Granted, human insight on situations was often valuable, but this was not one of those situations. This was the human refusing to see sense.

However, a few moments later an alarm was triggered, and a crew member appeared, breathing heavily, at the entrance to the bridge.

“Sir–captain,” he gasped. “The human–”

“What?”

“She–she stole a scouting vessel, sir,” the crewman said, his voice trembling. “She is en route for the planet’s surface.”

Chaos ensued on the bridge instantly. Their human was RETURNING to the danger? What could possibly have possess them to do something so illogical? The captain, minds reeling, immediately opened a comm line.

“Human-Megan, what are you doing?”

“The right thing, assholes,” a venomous voice shot back. “Why? You gonna stop me?”

“Human-Megan–”

“Oh, don’t ‘Human-Megan’ me,” she snapped. “My NAME is Megan. Just Megan. And if you’re gonna just leave them to die, then what do you care if I go after them? You weren’t all broken up when they got taken, why should I be any different?”

It was then that the comm line went silent. For much longer than was productive, the bridge remained still and silent, with baited breath, awaiting the fate of their human. Was she truly going back to that place? Perhaps she was simply “bluffing”, as they called it. Tricking them. She was being strangely vindictive today–was this more of this behavior?

However, after a few tense hours the GEV registered the presence of the scouting vessel–significantly battered and charred–returning to dock in the ship’s bay. The landing party had returned, injured but alive, led by a frighteningly frazzled and blood-drenched Human-Megan, stunner in hand and fire in her eyes.

It was with a strange mix of awe and utter terror that the captain approached the feral-looking human. “You…you were successful in rescuing them.”

For a moment, the human was silent. She turned to face the captain, no longer furious, but strangely aglow, radiating such strength that the captain was intimidated by her very presence.

“There’s something you should know,” she said, no longer furious, but victorious. “It is NEVER okay to leave one of your own behind. No matter the circumstances, no matter the likelihood that you’ll die getting them to safety, it is NEVER okay to just ditch them in a dangerous situation just because you might not be able to save them. Got it?”

The captain did “get it”, although not quite as she seemed to, and made a note to himself to upgrade the human handbook with a new insight:

“Humans are capable of impossible things. If crewmembers are ever in serious danger and it is likely a rescue mission will not be successful, humans will find a way to MAKE it successful regardless of the odds. We are eternally lucky that they are on our side.”

And when you realize that I am still the one for you, that you think you should take a U-turn, I will tell you that the person you left behind before, is now dead and gone. The place that used to be yours only, is gone. No matter what you do, I am no longer the place you can run to anymore.
—  Lukas W. // That person you left behind