<< BACK TO RELAY ONE LOG ###TRANSMISSION RECEIVED### Source: r/HFY Author: u/OC Title: Last Humans ---BEGIN MESSAGE--- Let me tell you what we found at the end of the trail of destruction. It was a small system, 10 or so planets around a medium sized yellow dwarf star. Around the third planet we found the remains of the swarm. Millions of their ships floated in burning roiling chaos around this charred rock. As far as we could tell it had been a garden world. Despite our best efforts we could not get close. Our scans told enough though. The swarm had been drawn here like moths to a candle. They did that, back then, when they encountered a particular bit of resistance. Pour enough ships and lives in and eventually they would break even the strongest species. It had worked for them so far. A quarter of the galaxy lay desolate behind their advance. Our fiercest warrior species and most coordinated hive-races were even no match for them. That was, until they had begun to focus on this one planet above all else. Legions of ships would break orbits and leave their scrapping of suns to come here. At the time we were not even aware of intelligent life in this region. Certainly no species near the Hyperspace Threshold. You can imagine our surprise and shock coming onto that scene in a supposedly uninhabited system. Of course, we now know of the Humans. Only the youngest emerging species have yet to hear of them. When we finally found the remnants of their race orbiting the nearest star, we learned the price they had paid. You see, the swarm had found them like countless before. But Humans are a painfully violent and stubborn species. They have been trying to kill each other off for most of their history. Yes... you could probably call it insanity. But it forged an iron hard species. A species that was also armed to the fangs and making technological breakthroughs at an unheard of rate. They had even made rudimentary steps into hyperspace technology by the time the swarm descended. And they fought back. How they fought. Hundreds of thousands of fission bombs were built and used... actually used! They reverse engineered the swarm's gravity simulators and weaponized them. Weaponized gravity! Millions of ships crushed or flung apart or shorn in half by Human ingenuity and a bit of physics. They fought like this all the way to the ground. There are tales of Humans going hand to hide with the swarm. Have you ever seen a Human fight in person? They may not be the biggest or most intimidating species, but they never... ever... ever give up. From the void of space to the depths of their world, they came screaming back at the invaders. At some point the humans learned the rest of secrets of the Hyperspace Windows. Probably pried it out a smoking hive ship and made it speak its secrets through sheer force of will. And then, as Humans do, they weaponized them. Now, they also discovered as most species do, that if you open a hyperspace window at the bottom of a gravity well it causes significant problems. Besides a cataclysmic release of energy, the subspace tends to... tear, in a way. In deep space these tend to heal up swiftly. But down in heavy gravity they linger. As far as we know they will last until the end of time itself. Of course the humans used this. Thousands of satellites were launched. Powered by the engines of downed swarm ships of all things. And on every satellite were dozens of basic hyperspace generators. Good for maybe one use. The equipment was just basic enough to open a window hardly larger than a Human hand. You see... they used them like mines. Once a swarm ship was detected a generator would peel away from the rest. At a safe distance a tiny hyperspace window would open into the depths of the swarm ship. The explosion caused by doing that in a gravity well was probably enough to kill a ship. But add in the effect of running a ship through a window? A moving ship keeps right on going, and that window slices a neat little hole all the way to the hull. So now you have an explosion and you are venting atmosphere. This went on for a long time. Down there near Earth the void shimmers with tears in subspace. Hundreds of thousands of tears, waiting to shred a ship into a million ribbons before you know what is happening. That is why we could not get close to Earth. The space around it is a death sentence. But the Humans had one last weapon to fight with. In the end, they made the swarm kill itself. From downed ships they learned the deepest secrets of the swarm. They learned how to call for help. Humanity built an immense transmitter. They called it the Laurentian Candle. Carved into a huge expanse of stone, it calls to the stars. With it they summoned the swarm to them by sending the call of a swarm Empress in distress. That is what finally brought millions of ships to die there, sliced to ribbons above a burning planet. By this point there were only an estimated 60,000 Humans left alive. So they built a ship. Right there on the ground. Thousands upon thousands of cryo capsules in massive clusters. And they left. That was what cracked the planet in two finally, that massive hyperspace window slamming shut. With that final goodbye to their only home, they saved the galaxy. It is impossible to shut off the signal from the Candle, and the swarm plunged in to their deaths. When we found them and learned what they had done, word spread like light in the void. These remnants were offered shelter, moons, planets, entire star systems in the oldest civilizations. Yet they declined every offer. Instead they asked for ships. Thousands of ships, enough to carry their entire population into the void. So now they wander, searching for something. They offer trade of technology or goods for information. Always information. Maps, charts, scans, rumors... they take it all. These respected people wander, always welcome wherever they pause, but never pausing for long. Always on to the next planet or system. Searching. Yearning. Hunting. For something they lost or sent out long ago when the swarm was surrounding them and hope was bleak. Something called an "Ark." ---END MESSAGE--- Reviewer's note: this message seems to be a piece of creative artistic work rather than actual report, although due to the nature of QEC-based communication, it is impossible to determine if that's actually case or not.