Humans Are Healers – A Short Sci-Fi Story

Usually the mana that existed on a world would affect the inhabitants based on their environment, giving them advantages over whatever the overarching theme of their world was.

Desert worlds had an abundance of water mages, inhabitants of water worlds mostly specialized in wind magic, and those who lived on barren worlds commonly had increased vitality and physical abilities such as endurance and enhanced senses to ensure they could survive. These were just to name a few, but just because a world specialized in a certain type of magic didn’t mean everyone was affected by the mana in the same way.

Sometimes an individuals character, personality, or inherent talents overrode the environmental specialization and they developed magic better suited to them. This was not even all that rare either, with roughly 30% of a world’s population being labeled as Unique Mages. And because their power was generally tied to their strongest traits, they experienced accelerated growth and prowess when it came to controlling their mana as compared to the majority of the population.

They more often than not became influential figures of their worlds and when they took to the stars it would become a point of pride to compare and compete with the Unique Mages of other worlds. For the most part these competitions were friendly but of course there were those who took things too far and it led to war.

But these never lasted long. Not because the sides were able to come to agreements or wanted to settle things peacefully, but because too many Unique Mages would die if they lasted for more than a few years. No race wanted to lose its magic geniuses, even if they weren’t exceedingly rare they were still a highly valued minority and while the rest of the population could also use magic, their gifts laid mostly in utility, not combat.

But there was a rare magic. So rare than perhaps only a single percent of a world’s population might show aptitude for it.

Healing magic.

These mages transcended the classification of Unique and were universally known as The Blessed. Commoner, nobility, male, female, writer, blacksmith, professor, illiterate, it did not matter who they were, what they did, or how educated they were. If someone showed even a hint of promise in healing magic, they and any family they might have were immediately taken under the protection and care of their world’s rulers.

They would become saints in the eyes of anyone who learned of their gifts and would enjoy luxury and respect on any world they visited, no matter if it was ruled by friend or foe. This was because a civilization would be willing to fight to to all but extinction if one of their Blessed was injured or, gods forbid, died. No race, no matter how strong, would have the confidence to go to war with an enemy who did not care if they lived or died so long as their foes died with them.

So healers were untouchable, which led to arrogance and ego, but they had the right to be proud. They were The Blessed and there were no others like them.

Until the humans finally made their way into space.

When humanity left their mana-starved world and headed into the stars an event occurred that shook the rest of the galaxy to their core. Upon entering the abundantly mana-rich space outside of their solar system, the mana reacted almost violently upon contact with their cells. It treated the absence of magic within humans almost like an injury or illness and poured endlessly into them in an attempt to ‘heal’ them.

Leaving their system seemed to have acted like punching through an invisible barrier as once the humans aboard experienced mana for the first time, it leaked into the system, slowly making its way deeper until it reached Earth. Finding the same ‘condition’ present in the inhabitants there and overriding personal traits and environmental factors due to the perceived urgency to fix humanity, for the first time in recorded history every member of a species was gifted with the same magic affinity.

An entire race of Blessed.

Not only that but because the mana had reacted so strongly to the absence of magic in humans cells, it had essentially filled them to overflowing, shattering the previously held beliefs that there was a certain ‘limit’ of mana that a single person could hold. Mana poured off humans in waves only to be reabsorbed back into them again and again like a reactor that would somehow take the energy it generated back into itself as infinite self-sustaining fuel.

Instantly humanity became the most terrifying races in the galaxy, despite their youth and inexperience there was no species that wished to go to war with humanity. This was not just because there was no shortage of races who didn’t want to make friends with an entire race of healers, but because of the way their magic worked.

The continuous recycling of overflowing mana through their bodies meant that their cells were constantly being flooded with healing magic, increasing their natural ability to regenerate to an insane degree and providing a significant boost to their longevity. A human could still die, but anything less than a certain fatal blow and there was no guarantee they would stay down for the count.

As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, even before they gained mana humans had a history of pushing their bodies past their limits to the point that in exchange for short bursts of seemingly impossible strength and endurance they could end up crippling themselves when the effects wore off. But now it was as if their limiter had been removed, as if this magic was truly always meant for them because they could now push themselves even further without fearing that their bodies would be unable to withstand the backlash.

If humans were willing to push themselves past the literal breaking point in times of desperation and and anger when their own lives might be the cost, just how far would they now be willing to go now that breaking themselves was little more than a temporary side-effect?

But, as would come to be considered the norm with humans, there was always a flipside. Their capacity for aggression and violence was countered only by the limitlessness of their compassion and adaptability.

It was accepted that there were limits to healing, diseases and conditions that healing magic couldn’t fix or was only a temporary measure. But the human doctors who had trained their whole lives to pull people back from the edge of death with nothing but their own two hands now had magic. they combined medical techniques and treatments with magic to perform operations that previously were theoretical or completely impossible.

The rest of the galaxy had doctors of course, there were only a handful of healers in each race and they couldn’t heal everyone, but they were just as limited as the humans used to be. If one was found to be a healer, then they were set for the rest of their lives, they had one job and that was to use their magic. they didn’t need to learn how to do anything else because of their already miraculous power.

Why would a healer learn medical techniques? When their power was enough for most situations, why would they put in so much effort and time into something they would only rarely or possibly even never use? The reliance on their magic became their crutch.

But the humans were always looking to mix and match their talents, finding unorthodox ways to solve the unsolvable even before they learned that magic truly existed. Now doctors could save doomed patients, explorers could brave the harshest of unknown environments, soldiers could hold the line that much longer.

They didn’t fall into the same trap of haughtiness and self-importance their counterparts had because they all had this extraordinary gift, not just the few.

For humanity, making everyone special in the same way didn’t make them the same or less special overall. They were all uniquely special in how they chose to use their shared gift. It was their own reasonings and desires that shaped how they wanted to use it for themselves and those around them. That was what made them special.

While other races might have seen this as the peak of their civilization and been satisfied with themselves, humanity’s insatiable appetite for more drove them onward and upward in the search of new peaks to climb and new limits to break through. More places to explore, more time to live, more knowledge to learn.

There was nothing so great, not even this powerful magic that was the envy and desire of countless species, that could cause humanity to forget to march ever forward.

And perhaps that is why, out of all the races in the galaxy, humans are healers.

Republished with permission from the author, Reddit user u/IAmTheHypeTFS. Image created with the Nightcafe AI.