Apex Predators

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 paralyse 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-line 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.

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:

In essence, we’d be Space Orcs.

It’s one ting to face down a cheetah, which will slam into you at 60 mph and break your neck.

It’s another thing to run very quickly to get away from a thing, only to have it just kind of

show up

to have it be intelligent enough to figure out where you are going to be, just by the fur and feather you’ve left behind, your footprints and piss and shit, and then you think you’ve lost it, you bed down for the night, and

there it is


so you split! but it keeps following you, always in the corner of your eye, until you just can’t go on, until you just can’t go on any more, and give up, and


We are scary motherfuckers

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