Humans Ain’t so Tough [Short Sci-Fi Story]

“Give me the manifest” the large shaggy Garran pirate demanded.

With a pulse pistol to her head there was no way the small bird-like Rathian steward was going to refuse. A couple of taps on her tablet brought up a list of passengers and cargo.

The Garran grinned predatorily as he scanned down the list, “Hmm you have, well had…” he leered at the Rathian “… Elarinan harmonic crystals, we’ll take good care of those. Oh and a couple of Dalls, their ransom should be worth a pretty penny.” He continued to work his way through the list, each comment causing the diminutive steward to shrink a little further into her feathers.

His jovial condescending tone abruptly vanished, his eyes suddenly widened, and he swore profusely. “Why didn’t you tell me you had a Human aboard?” he shouted at the shivering ball of feathers that the Rathian had slowly been reduced to.

“Y… y… yo… you didn’t ask…” she replied, wincing in anticipation of a blast from the now shaking pulse pistol.

Instead of venting his fear or wrath on the Rathian the Garran barked orders into his radio. “Squads three to six converge on cabin 42c, there is a human in there, kill it!”

“A human? We weren’t warned that there was a human aboard.” Came a concerned-sounding reply.

“Quit your complaining, it is too late now, and anyway there are 16 of you and only one of them…”

A little later the sounds of a door being smashed in sounded out over the bridge from the pirate’s radio, then shouting, snarling, the distinct sound of pulse pistols being fired. Then the screams started… they went on for quite a while, interspersed with thuds, groans, and whines, then near silence broken only by panting and more groans.

One of the monitors on the bridge flickered to life. It showed the disheveled and blood-spattered interior of a passenger cabin, with scorch marks from energy weapons on almost every surface. A grey-furred Garran moved in front of the camera, one arm hanging limply by its side. “We got it, Boss, it killed about half of us, and the rest are pretty badly hurt, but we killed a human!”

Eight dead and another eight badly wounded, by all accounts that was an amazingly good result given the reputation humans had as unstoppable killing machines. “Grab a trophy and bring it to the bridge,” ordered the large Garran.

The Garran on the monitor lifted a brutal-looking sword and hacked at something on the floor, and then proudly held up a severed head. “Humans ain’t so tough,” it sneered.

On the bridge, the steward looked sick and muttered quietly to herself.

“What was that?” the pirate asked looming over her. “You didn’t realize just how tough us Garran pirates are, did you?”

“I… I… it’s not that… you are so, so effed… you’ve just killed his dog…”

Unnoticed by the crew, the monitor on the bridge showed the door of the passenger cabin begin to open as someone called out “Hey Rufus, I’m back…”

Republished with permission from the author, Cunning-Artifice. Image created using Stable Diffusion.