History is written by the victor. What they don’t tell you is the people doing the writing aren’t the ones who did the fighting. I doubt the scribes, tapping away on their tablets, creating holoreps of this battle and that daring dead, had ever seen the real thing.
One day you’re out in the gardens. The communal ones, with the real grass that siphons off half of the domes water supply but damn does it look good when your rotation comes up and you get to spend a day there. Anyway, you’re lying on the grass, staring at the skydome and an ant comes up an bites you.
Ignore the fact the biome is so tightly controlled you’re more likely to find an insect in a marines jockstrap than in this pristine wonderland. The ant bites you and you squish it.
One attack, you can shrug it off. When the Tan hit Io we kicked em back and went on. They were intergalactic dicks, like the hick neighbour whose cultural learnings extended to magpie-esque levels of shiny, shiny, steal, steal.
You go back to your peaceful garden with companion(s) of choice, the Navy encouraging you to lay with squaddies, and another ant comes along and bites. And then another.
Squish. Squish. And you’re not taking it anymore.
This is where humanity got to. This is where the history books paint a rosy picture of the UNN defending the system from marauders, showing the enemy the door and kicking him out with a polite warning not to come back.
I served on Tan Prime. Fuck writers. Fuck every last one of them. Trying to put what we did into words.
We found that anthill. We shoved in bugspray, enough to fill a schooner, and we didn’t stop pumping until those ants came crawling out, making the little twitching spasms of something dead but it’s body hadn’t yet caught up. We killed every. Last. One of them.
That’s why the Tan aren’t coming back. That’s why the history books say they learnt their lesson.
Prompt originally posted by Blarglenaut on reddit and received 21 upvotes.