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  1. Having evolved on a "category twelve temperate" planet, the fact that humanity even exists is a feat unto itself. Worlds higher than Category Ten are known as "deathworlds" and it was for the longest time considered impossible for intelligent beings to evolve at all on such planets. Earth's relatively high gravity has caused Humanity to evolve short, squat, powerful and dense. Humans are only about half the size of the average species, but are many, many times heavier than their size alone would suggest.
  3. Because of this, some unobservant beings just see a "small, ugly and hairless" animal and don't notice the way the deck vibrates with that animal's every step, or the tight muscles under the skin. An ignorant observer who saw a human standing next to some of the larger species would little suspect that the human has an overwhelming physical advantage. As a result of Earth's unique harshness, Humans top the scales in virtually all categories, being not only one of the most intelligent known species, but also by far the most physically imposing, being vastly stronger, tougher, faster and more agile than any other species.
  5. This is not without a significant price, however. The dense human musculature and skeleton requires a vast intake not only of calories but of vitamins and mineral supplements or else humans can become badly weakened or even killed by conditions such as Scurvy or Beriberi. Humans away from Earth require at least four times as much food and water as even the most voracious non-human species just to remain healthy, and the only food source which reliably meets a human's nutritional demands are tasteless and unappetizing emergency ration balls that most beings will only resort to when there's nothing better on offer. As omnivores, humans are able to eat and get usable nutrition from an exceptionally wide variety of sources, many of which other races would find inedible, toxic, or even lethal.
  7. Nutrition aside, the greatest limiting factor on a human's performance away from Earth is oxygen supply - exertion in the thin atmosphere familiar to most of the galaxy's species is demanding and exhausting. The effect is identical to altitude sickness, and in extreme cases can even result in hypoxia and embolisms, though this is rare - the galactic standard is perfectly tolerable to most humans.
  9. The human nervous system is a finely-tuned organ that operates at astounding efficiency. Humans are the equals in technological and logical intellect to Corti despite having physically smaller brains. It is outside of those fields, however, that humanity truly shines. Humans are more creative, more imaginative, better lateral-thinkers, more emotional, have a deeper sense of spirituality and a finely-honed instinct for survival. Human artwork explores themes never even considered by other species, invents fantastic realms and ideas wholly beyond the imaginative capacity of non-human life, and does so with an emotional depth and power that can reduce even jaded and galaxy-hardened beings to tears (or the equivalent).
  11. Human senses are overall sharper, although certain other species have more specialized senses. Human reflexes are preternaturally fast, and even when acting reflexively they are capable of astonishing precision. Finally, humans retain the ability to learn "muscle memory" and ingrained reflexes throughout their lives rather than only during their childhood years.
  13. Again, this astonishing ability is not without cost. The human brain is a precision machine, engineered by the most brutal trial-and-error regime in the galaxy and adapted to serve as much as a weapon in humanity's arsenal of survival as is the rest of the body. Like all precision-engineered equipment however, the human nervous system has very fine tolerances, without any of the inherent margin of error built into most other beings. Humans are therefore more vulnerable to certain effects, principle among them being a weapons technology known as Nervejam Grenades. Ethanol, while just as toxic in terms of tissue damage to every other species in the galaxy, only has an inebriating effect on humans. Also, by galactic standards, Humans are intensely neurotic, superstitious, susceptible to brainwashing, prone to delusions, and vulnerable to mental illness.
  15. This quirk has, in a strange way, contributed to humanity's survival on Earth: Treating everything as a narrative and seeing intent and agency behind everything - even where other species would think it shockingly irrational, paranoid and delusional to see such things - primes a Human to see threats coming from a long way off. The many false alarms this raises have not adversely affected any human's reproductive fitness, while the hair-trigger identification of threats (or, more often, the superstitious avoidance of hazardous situations) has saved uncountably many lives over the generations.
  17. Humans experience a unique emotional state known as "spirituality". Sometimes also known as "grace", "faith", or "contact with God", this euphoric emotion - a feeling of connection to the universe, a sense of cosmic purpose and a place in the grand scheme of things - forms the emotional foundation for all human religions, and is the ultimate secret to humanity's success on Earth. Without it, the relentless grinding hardship and death would long since have driven humanity into the same depressive species suicide that awaits all sapient lifeforms in the long run.
  19. Psychologically, humanity is well adapted for a world where there is always something more dangerous than they are. Humans subconsciously consider themselves to be the underdogs, and thrive on it - humans are never happier than when facing adversity, overcoming obstacles and having to apply themselves in new and challenging ways. In fact, the entire art form of "computer games" - which never progressed beyond being a minor curiosity away from Earth - is founded on rewarding this instinctive hunger for opposition or competition. By the standards of the rest of the galaxy, Humans are freakishly good at strategy and tactical contests, be it games or combat.
  21. Those few beings who understand this fact and know just how little challenge Humanity will find away from Earth, also know that it is this last characteristic of their species that is the most potentially worrying thing about them.
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