Challenge #02587-G030: Gung Ho
You say "martyr" and I say "I love my family." Sometimes you have to accept that humans make peace with the concept of sacrificing a life for their loved ones (no matter what species). Get on that bike and RIDE, [email protected] -- Ride or Die
This is why Humans are considered insane. Their sense of self-preservation is subservient to the greater good. They can look at an overloaded sled, figure out the importance of the supplies needed at the destination, and throw themselves off for the pursuing predators. Many will grab an axe or a blade and vow to make things difficult, but the result is often the same.
It is more often scattered remains found by the villagers at a later date. Sometimes - rare, celebrated times - it is the sacrifice staggering into the village with extra layers made out of bloody wolf hides.
There is not a mother amongst them who would not die for their child. No parent who would go down fighting just for the chance that their progeny has a chance to escape. There is not one among them who will refuse to go out fighting for their pack. There is nothing more dangerous than a Human who has told the Last Lie. They have nothing left to lose. They call it, "Ride or Die". It is very often both.
Humans are disturbingly at home with their own mortality. It is just a part of their overall attitude. Thus, when Human Len embraced her crewmates and said, "I love all'a y'all okay? You get outta here. Leave the last lifepod for me," they knew it was a falsehood. Just like the many times she joked about being mercy-killed, or that her barking cough was not a sign of a more immediate mortality.
"Please try to survive?" asked Companion Faul. "It would hurt to be without you."
"That's the problem," said Human Len. "I feel exactly the same way." She added a last gentle gesture to her Companion. "I'll try my best, I promise. Now get outta here so I have extra time to mess these idiots up."
There were no goodbyes. That went against the tradition of the Last Lie. They were meant to pretend to believe it, just as Human Len was meant to pretend they accepted it.
When a Human said, I'd die for you, it was both a good thing and a bad thing. Both for exactly the same reason. It meant that the Human had pack-bonded with the recipient of the vow. It meant that this being was more important to the Human than their own life.
Human Len did take the last lifepod out, mere seconds before the ship exploded in a flakk-you sabotage event that just pinpointed Human extremism in these matters. They were possibly prescient in the fact that they had picked a medvac lifepod to be their final escape. It had, amongst other fine equipment, a stasis bed. A very fortuitous piece of equipment.
Many of Human Len's wounds were cauterised on infliction. Some were still bleeding when she flopped into the bed. Securicams show her landing, shouting, "Launch, damnit!" and using the impetus to get most of herself into the containment field.
She had lost the lower half of one leg. Much of herself was covered in burns and blisters. Some fingers were gone. There would be options for replacements, and the ex-crew of the Star Snorter were certain that Human Len made the enemy pay dearly for those acceptable losses.
This is how Human Insanity can be infectious.
They were acceptable losses. Humans can easily survive the loss of all limbs, and adapt to the replacements. It was far, far better than losing all of Human Len.
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