I keep thinking about the intersection of the “humans are in fact the most dangerous aliens out there by far” stories and the realization that the Star Trek series is secretly a hidden prequel to Iain Banks culture novels, by dint of the whole Hidden Strong AI Everywhere issue.
I mean, I’ve mentioned before how despite all the hemming and hawing about how Lt. Data was a unique and special synthetic intelligence, the moment LaForge asks the computer for “an adversary worthy of Data”, the holodeck delivers a whole-ass, self aware and parasentient AI in the form of Professor Moriarty after a few minutes’ flexing.
The implication is that human starship-class systems are at the very least also self aware, but by extension it means that Star Trek is a prequel to Iain Banks’ Culture, but from the perspective of any other guest or adjacent culture watching this happen, put aside the fact of humans are these unstoppable biological death engines that eat alcohol and capsaicin for kicks, fart methane and can walk off a gunshot; they travel the stars with _gods they’ve made_ and... don’t even talk about it?
Imagine the discussion, at the Galactic Counsel Meeting: “The humans, we know the humans, but somehow we didn’t know this. As terrifying as they are, in our most desperate hours they have, inexplicably, appeared as allies. Among our largest galactic cohabitants, their presence is considered a mysterious if ominous blessing, for our smallest they are bafflingly a sword and shield, for no reason we can discern. But... this? How could we have known, or understood, this?
“Set aside their terrifying predilections, their monstrous history, the absurd resilience of their physiology. They travel the stars cradled in the arms of gods of their own devising and this is so unremarkable, so commonplace to them that they barely notice?”
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