Random Headcanon: The Klingon Empire’s “honourable warrior” culture isn’t such a weird, dysfunctional caricature just because of bad writing – it’s actually like that from an in-character perspective, too.
Most of the Klingons who appear on-screen are nobility of some description, and what we’re looking as is a warrior caste that’s made an imperfect transition to being a class of bureaucrats and administrators at some point between the Original Series and The Next Generation – sort of like what happened with the samurai in post-Shogunate Japan.
They’ve got a lot of cultural anxiety tied up in that role shift, and they’ve overcompensated by constructing this nostalgic mythos of a Golden Age of Glorious Battle that never actually existed. The vaunted warrior’s code is a recent invention – largely post-dating that transition, in fact – and those who take it most seriously typically hail from clans whose “warriors” haven’t seen real combat in generations.
Basically, imagine a society ruled by self-hating historical cosplay nerds who have the authority to have you killed if you point out how ridiculous they are.
DS9 pretty solidly backs this up.
I’ll be honest, whenever a work of speculative fiction (fanmade or otherwise) goes out of its way to describe an intelligent species with bizarre and complicated reproductive biology, the first question that invariably pops into my head is: “How do these critters masturbate?”
what if masturbation was uniquely a human experience though
Okay, I know that you meant “what if humans are the only intelligent species that’s anatomically capable of masturbating?”, but now I’m picturing a universe where humans are the only ones that ever thought to try it.
Human masturbation specialists traveling the galaxy to offer our gift, undertaking rigorous study and enormous personal risk to teach weird-ass aliens how to rub one out.
Calculating the exact harmonic frequencies to allow ancient, vacuum-dwelling crystalline intelligences to self-stimulate.
Descending into the crushing atmospheres of gas giants in specially constructed aerostats to design sex toys for the vast, jellyfish-like super-predators that prowl the hurricane slipstreams.
Wanking is our genius. Our legacy.
Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles,
tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they
don’t really understand. Endlessly frustrating if you have to fight
them, because they can pull an effectively unlimited number of bullshit
space-magic countermeasures out of their arses – but they’re as likely
as not to give themselves a lethal five-dimensional wedgie in the
process. All those rampant holograms and warp core malfunctions and
accidentally-traveling-back-in-time incidents? That doesn’t actually
happen to anyone else; it’s literally just Federation vessels that go off the rails like that. And they do so on a fairly regular basis.
So to everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.
Aliens who have seen the Back to the Future movies literally don’t realise that Doc Brown is meant to be funny. They’re just like “yes, that is exactly what all human scientists are like in my experience”.
THE ONLY REASON SCOTTY IS CHIEF ENGINEER INSTEAD OF SOMEONE FROM A SPECIES WITH A HIGHER TECHNOLOGICAL APTITUDE IS BECAUSE EVERYONE FROM THOSE SPECIES TOOK ONE LOOK AT THE ENTERPRISE’S ENGINE ROOM AND RAN AWAY SCREAMING
vulcan science academy: why do you need another warp core
humans: we’re going to plug two of them together and see if we go twice as fast
vsa: last time we gave you a warp core you threw it into a sun to see if the sun would go twice as fast
humans: hahaha yeah
humans: it did tho
vsa: IT EXPLODED
humans: it exploded twice as fast
I love this. Especially because of how well it plays with my headcanon that the Federation does so much better against the Borg than anyone else because beating the Borg with military tactics is nigh-impossible, but beating them with wacky superscience shenanigans works as long as they’re unique wacky superscience shenanigans.
It’s funny how science fiction universes so often treat humans as a boring, default everyman species or even the weakest and dumbest.
I want to see a sci fi universe where we’re actually considered one of the more hideous and terrifying species.
How do we know our saliva and skin oils wouldn’t be ultra-corrosive to most other sapient races? What if we actually have the strongest vocal chords and can paralyze or kill the inhabitants of other worlds just by screaming at them? What if most sentient life in the universe turns out to be vegetable-like and lives in fear of us rare “animal” races who can move so quickly and chew shit up with our teeth?
Like that old story “they’re made of meat,” only we’re scarier.
HOLY SHIT THEY EAT CAPSAICIN FOR FUN
YOU GUYS I HEARD A HUMAN ONCE ATE AN AIRPLANE.
A HUMAN CAN KEEP FIGHTING FOR HOURS EVEN AFTER YOU SHOOT IT
humans are a proud warrior race with a pantheon of bloody gods: Ram-Bo, Schwarzenegger, etc.
REMOVING A LIMB WILL NOT FATALLY INCAPACITATE HUMANS: ALWAYS DESTROY THE HEAD.
WARNING: HUMANS CAN DETECT YOU EVEN AT NIGHT BY TRACKING VIBRATIONS THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE
WARNING: HUMANS CAN REPRODUCE AT A RATE OF 1 PER SPACEYEAR. DESTROY INFESTATIONS IMMEDIATELY
THE HUMAN MOUTH HAS OVER THIRTY OUTCROPS OF BONE AND POWERFUL JAW MUSCLES.
HUMAN BITES CAN BE FATALLY INFECTIOUS EVEN TO OTHER HUMANS
WARNING: HUMANS CAN AND WILL USE IMPROVISED WEAPONS. SEE CLASSIFIED DATA LABELED J. CHAN.
HUMANS CAN PROJECT BIOWEAPONS FROM ALMOST EVERY ORIFICE ON THEIR BODY. DO NOT INHALE
OH GOD THE HUMANS FIGURED OUT DOOR HANDLES OH GOD OH GOD
More seriously, humans do have a number of advantages even among Terrestrial life. Our endurance, shock resistance, and ability to recover from injury is absurdly high compared to almost any other animal. We often use the phrase “healthy as a horse” to connote heartiness – but compared to a human, a horse is as fragile as spun glass. There’s mounting evidence that our primitive ancestors would hunt large prey simply by following it at a walking pace, without sleep or rest, until it died of exhaustion; it’s called pursuit predation. Basically, we’re the Terminator.
(The only other animal that can sort of keep up with us? Dogs. That’s why we use them for hunting. And even then, it’s only “sort of”.)
Now extrapolate that to a galaxy in which most sapient life did not evolve from hyper-specialised pursuit predators:
- Our strength and speed is nothing to write home about, but we don’t need to overpower or outrun you. We just need to outlast you – and by any other species’ standards, we just plain don’t get tired.
- Where a simple broken leg will cause most species to go into shock and die, we can recover from virtually any injury that’s not immediately fatal. Even traumatic dismemberment isn’t necessarily a career-ending injury for a human.
- We heal from injuries with extreme rapidity, recovering in weeks from wounds that would take others months or years to heal. The results aren’t pretty – humans have hyperactive scar tissue, among our other survival-oriented traits – but they’re highly functional.
- Speaking of scarring, look at our medical science. We developed surgery centuries before developing even the most rudimentary anesthetics or life support. In extermis, humans have been known to perform surgery on themselves – and survive. Thanks to our extreme heartiness, we regard as routine medical procedures what most other species would regard as inventive forms of murder. We even perform radical surgery on ourselves for purely cosmetic reasons.
In essence, we’d be Space Orcs.
Our jaws have too many TEETH in them, so we developed a way to WELD METAL TO OUR TEETH and FORCE THE BONES IN OUR JAW to restructure over the course of years to fit them back into shape, and then we continue to wear metal in out mouths to keep them in place.
We formed cohabitative relationships with tiny mammals and insects we keep at bay from bothering us by death, often using little analouge traps.
And by god, we will eat anything.
- We use borderline toxic peppers to season our food.
- We expose ourselves to potentially lethal solar radiation in the pursuit of darkening our skin.
- We risk hearing loss for the opportunity to see our favorite musicians live.
- We have a game where two people get into an enclosed area and hit each other until time runs out/one of them pass out
- We willingly jump out of planes with only a flimsy piece of cloth to prevent us from splattering against the ground.
- Our response to natural disasters is to just rebuild our buildings in the exact same places.
- We climb mountains and risk freezing to death for bragging rights
- We invented dogs. We took our one time predators and completely domesticated them.
- On a planet full of lions, tigers and bears, we managed to advance further and faster than any other species on the planet.
Klingons and Krogan and Orcs ain’t got shit on us
We drink ethanol (in concentrations high enough to be used as an effective as microbicide or a solvent!) for the express purpose of achieving blood toxicity and disrupting normal brain function… AS A RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY!
On the same subject, we also deliberately incinerate assorted substances and then inhale the particulate-heavy smoke and vapor resulting for the same effect. EVEN IN THE FACE OF SAID SUBSTANCES BEING CARCINOGENIC, BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
Humans do not have biological castes. Kill their commander and another will take its place. Soldiers left alone on a planet will start farming and manufacturing to survive. Farmers and manufacturers will take up arms and kill you if pressed. Just because two humans look different doesn’t mean they cannot do each other’s jobs.
Breeding does not kill them. A single human can mate dozens or hundreds of times in a lifetime. They often do so as recreation. Xenobiology team six believes they do not have a mating season but this is too strange to be true.
Their appendages are not designed for hitting, so they developed special training to make them very good at hitting anyhow.
The proteins making up their bodies are toxic and cause prion disease. Do not touch anything humans have touched. Do not consume earth foods. Fire does not adequately remove this contamination.
Humans perceive sixteen times the colors we do. Do not hide in bushes or vines from humans. They can distinguish your pelt from the foliage with ease.
We tried venting waste gas into the tunnels to kill the humans when they attacked. Turns out they breathe it.
Everything on their planet came from a single biological strain. They developed comprehensive genetics BEFORE they developed space travel.
They lack radio receptors and cannot be brought into compliance with right-thought simply by broadcasting to them. Even after we learned how to translate it into sound-waves one of their hatchlings drove the Great Authority mad by responding to every demand with a single question: “Why?”
#an individual human being is actually a microbiome in its own right—you are dealing with a legion each time you approach them #they carry pathological agents inside their deep tissues and this is advantageous to their health #one of the most widespread and resilient viruses on their planet is treated as mildly hazardous—even though it causes #massive disruption to the body’s homeostasis #(their young offspring endure multiple rhinovirus infections EACH YEAR yet they seem unperturbed by this) #they have developed such long lifespans that now their primary threat is their own body’s degeneration #humanity has literally figured out how to survive so long that their body gives out under them #and they are not satisfied with that #stupid willful vengeful survivalists who treat mortality like a challenge
I love every single variation on this post, whenever it scrolls across my dash.
Although bipedal and nominally terrestrial, humans are also capable of highly efficient climbing, brachiation, and swimming without mechanical or technological assistance.
In times of plenty, humans will ingest surplus food and metabolize it into a form of stored nutrition which permeates their tissues and forms a protective, thermally insulating layer under their skin. Even a human with minimal ‘fat’ reserves can go for several Terran days without appreciable food intake.
Humans are highly neuroplastic, and retain the ability to learn throughout their life cycle. Indeed, geriatric humans rely increasingly on the synthesis and application of their accumulated knowledge as their physical condition declines.
The human olfactory system is notoriously insensitive, and scents which may incapacitate other species have no appreciable effect on them.
Humans are effectively psy-null. They possess no psionic abilities of their own, and attempts at one-way psionic contact have resulted in severe trauma to researchers due to the alien structure of human minds.
The human skeleton is composed of a hard, resilient mineral-biological composite. This renders them capable of withstanding heavy loads and impacts, and of delivering devastating blows with all extremities. Although somewhat brittle, the stone-based tissue of human bone retains the ability to heal when injured.
we know shit will kill us and we expose ourselves to it anydamnway. we actively refuse to learn if it means not being able to do what the fuck we want. that should frighten any species coming in contact with us that has the ability to understand it.
Have any of you heard of Buy Jupiter by Isaac Asimov because I think you’d like it.