Challenge #02156-E327: They'll Be Back
It wasn't that Humans were suicidal, nor are they intrinsically self absorbed.
They just understand better than even most Herd like species, that sometimes the only way to save the masses is to sacrifice the few, preferably themselves.
That doesn't mean they went quietly, or easily. -- Adam in Darwin
It only takes a moment. A split-second decision along the lines of, Here is where I stand and fight. The lucky few see it in the Human's eyes just moments before the Human plants their feet, turns their back, and tells the Last Lie. "You go ahead, I'll catch up," or, "I'll get the next one." A very rare few choose parting words like, "It's been an honour," or, "This was worth it."
In their not-so-distant barbaric era, Human tribes once favoured death in battle over death by old age or disease. They counted childbirth as an honourable death, since it was a battle to bring new life into the world. This does not mean that Humans ever took their own deaths lightly...
Humans go down fighting. To their last breath. To the last thumb on the last dead-man trigger. To the last spit of defiance in an enemy's eye. They make the enemy pay for every last inch they take, and, if possible, blow it up in the process. Humans not only employ Scorched Earth tactics, but embellish them to be certain that whoever decided invading was a good idea will never have that idea again. One way or another. Then there are the rare and mighty few who actually do make it through the fire and the flood and actually do catch up later. One such legendary Human is Andi the Undying.
They survived three battlefield evacuations to earn that appellation. Three battlefields where they said the Last Lie and made it true. Two were against the Vorax. They made their way out of more impossible situations that could, had, and were most likely to kill a more normal Human. Any ordinary mortal would stop taking chances. Human Andi introduced themselves with, "I'm Andi, and I've nearly flakking died seventeen times."
The one about the Human walking into a mining colony whilst supporting their broken neck with their hands? That was Andi. The one about the ship made out of the junked parts of Vorax Stinger fighters and sargasso parts? Andi. The one about the vessel that used a black hole for a slingshot maneuver? Andi. The one about taming and then riding a deadly predator into an enemy camp where both proceeded to flakk things up so bad that the attackers stayed away from the area and sued for peace? Andi.
There is not one story so outlandish and impossible that Human Andi wasn't the protagonist, if not, a chief agitator.
Human Andi was last seen falling into a Galactic Core with no engines, no hope, and fifteen attackers attached via some adjusted Hungry Caterpillar grapplers. If they were planning to escape via a slingshot maneuver, we should see them again in fifty years. They were approaching seventy Terran years of age, and haven't slowed down yet.
If not... seven black holes sounds like it might actually be enough to deal with someone like Andi the Undying.
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