Okay, I frickin’ adore the Earth Is Space Australia business, so here’s my two cents. Someone did a great post about laughter as a fear response and how freaky that would be to aliens.
There’s another thing we do when we’re about to go into battle and we’re scared out of our minds.
So Alien Steve is minding his own business as the new guy on the Starship Incandescent. It’s a mixed ship, about half human, a quarter Silesian, and the rest a grab bag of species, but he hasn’t had any major problems so far. Then the pirates show up and shoot out their FTL drives so they can’t escape, and they’re outnumbered ten to one, and he calculates their odds of survival at very low. The comm link is still active, so they can hear the pirates laughing as they get ready to tear the Incandescent open and vent them all into vacuum. At least the end will be quick.
And then he hears it.
Stamp stamp clap. Stamp stamp clap. Stamp stamp clap. Stamp stamp clap.
And Human Steve starts chanting. It makes no sense. Human incantations are for birth anniversaries, or aquatic grooming rituals, or for the ancient rite of passage known as “ka-ra-oke”. This is not a time of celebration. It is a time of preparing for imminent and ugly death by gravity cannon. But every human on the bridge starts chanting, too.
The pirates aren’t laughing anymore. Human Steve wraps his fingers around the main gunnery controls, and the crew descends as one into battle.
Teradecads later, his students will beg him for the story of how the Incandescent destroyed the Tyn’x Syndicate. To this day he credits their victory to the invocation of the great Human battle god Queen.
I love and hate the fact that I knew exactly what song this was just from the way it’s written here
i love the idea of alien steve researching human mythology trying to figure out WHICH battle queen their crew has been secretly worshipping all this time. athena? oya? the morrigan? sekhmet? pele? are they all one goddess?
finally they give up and just ask human steve.
human steve grins a slow grin (which is always a bit scary) and says, “i’ll give you a hint. she’s dynamite with a laser beam.”