Belisarius shook his head. "How-?"
We do not know. We do not fully understand humans, even the Great Ones. But you will do it. You will do it again and again and again. And you will survive, again and again and again. We do not know how. But you will.
When the hour struck and our enemy came without warning, you were ready with swarming battle-fleets. You were dispersed and dug in on scores of planets, and heavily armed. Because you were, some of you and some of us are now alive.
And here comes the mofo that's kicked its ass and it's one of ours, it's a goddamned Apache. A 64D, I think, not even bleeding-edge. I mean, this is a flying saucer we're talking about - built by creatures from another fucking solar system - and it's getting its ass handed to it by a bunch of apes in a ten-year-old helicopter. Fuck yeah.
Cost: Two humans wounded.
No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable could help but be moved to tears by their courage... their stubborn nobility. When they ran out of ships, they used guns. When they ran out of guns, they used... knives, and sticks, and bare hands. They were... magnificent.
I only hope that when it is my time that I may die with half as much dignity as I saw in their eyes in the end. They did this for two years. They never ran out of courage... but in the end, they ran out of time.
Nog: I feel sorry for the Jem'Hadar.
Javik: They have earned the right to try.
Minionbot: What about Valentine's Day?
Vexxarr: Ah yes, Valentine's Day...psychological warfare.
Were really, really good at figuring out how to kill things."
Yet this poor animal, man, with no fur to cover him, no fangs to tear with, no claws to scratch with, is master of the earth. The lion runs from him. The bull blind with fury, comes to him - and is dragged away by mules to the butcher shop. The elephant, the rhinocerous, even the snorting buffalo, at last have got mans measure, and, when they scent him, hurry to their hiding places.
For man despite his weaknesses, has two weapons which other creatures do not have: he has the insight which teaches him to use sticks, stones, and metals as his claws and teeth and that most efficient of machines, the hand, which does all the bidding of his mind, to turn stick, flint, and leather thong into weapons which will strike down even King Wolf himself...
And from man's pride in the weapons that give him power has grown his art. In the dawn time, the earliest painters put pictures on their cavern walls showing man, with his spears and arrows, hunting the creatures to their doom. Still latter, songs were made to celebrate the sword, the chariot, the high-masted ship of war. No warrior-lord would go into the dark without his weapons, whether they were laid beside him in the grave, or carved in stone upon his tomb in a quiet country church...
Dare we say even that our sports and pastimes are free from conflict and death? Boxing, wrestling, fencing, archery, hunting, fishing-even football-are all reminders of man's desire to conquer, his need to stay alive against all the opponents the world has to set before him. Whether he is out in the deer stands or lonely beside the stream, or in tribes and packs struggling to gain possession of an oval ball that once was the head of a king, man is a fighter; and this book is meant to spy on him, down through the centuries, as he goes about his fundamental occupation of proving his mastery against all comers.