Challenge #01540-D079: What Do You Mean, 'Mostly Harmless'?steemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 years ago

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Before we made contact, humans were considered a myth, the Galactic Governments greatest hoax. No one species could possibly be THAT insane.
It's very stressful for the rest of the Galaxy when they discover humans are indeed real, and just as insane as they'd heard. -- Anon Guest

Everyone in the Galactic Alliance knew the stories that spacers told of humans. Near misses. Close encounters. Abductions. Scouts told stories of dead worlds where relics of these peculiar, hairless, bipedal mammals had once reigned and then destroyed themselves. Tales of impossible wreckage that should have killed all aboard on impact, yet the surrounding area showed signs of habitation before it was seemingly abandoned.

Scavengers, scroungers, and asteroid prospectors would swap tales of meeting humans. Some would even exchange what they believed to be human entertainment media. Transcribed, of course, into more usable formats, which always caused the source to be questioned. The stories were always larger than life. How first contact situations happened purely by accident and the human vessel in question was never found again.

It wasn't until the Armoured Cephalopod came to answer the distress call of a scavenger ship named the Corvid that an encounter was confirmed. Also crippled on the dwarf planets' surface was a human vessel. The saurian scavenger and the human had accidentally crashed and forged an alliance based on the simple fact that they were clearly going to die on their own.

Experts agreed that there was no possible way that this human's technology and Scavenger Graxus' would have possibly been compatible. Yet, the human had managed almost all of the resultant mess with something they called 'ductape' and bent pieces of wire called 'paperclips'. It should never have worked, and yet it did, blasting a signal so loud and clear that the Armoured Cephalopod was the first among five other ships that turned up.

It was clear that these creatures were Deathworlders. The wreckage of the humans' vessel was testament enough for that. Then Graxus handed over security logs that showed the human smiling and laughing on the way down. Careful attempts at communication and the human named 'Steve' did indeed reveal that humans did those things when they were happy.

Only the worst of warrior cultures laughed in the face of their own death.

Then the human Steve showed the crew of the Armoured Cephalopod the route that they took in order to get in and out of the sargasso that they and Graxus had crashed within. It involved an unlikely number of slingshot maneuvers to save on fuel, and thereby gain a profit on the haul, wherever its home was. By the time the human began orbital deceleration maneuvers, it was no surprise that there was nothing left of their ship.

Through pantomime and broken Galstand, the human Steve also revealed that they had expended all their fuel in an attempt to save Graxus' life instead of their own.

The crew if the Armoured Cephalopod took all evidentiary scans, copies of surviving recordings, and classified humans as Highly Dangerous before sending the human Steve on their way with an enthusiastic farewell and a new salvage ship with a cargo half-full of easily traded metal.

It would be decades by the Standard Calendar before humans were reclassified and allowed into the Galactic Alliance.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Spectral]

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