Humans, taxonomically referred to as Homo sapiens sapiens (Latin for "wise man"), and sometimes known as Earthlings or Terrans, are a sentient mammalian humanoid species native to Earth, in the Sol system. A part of the primate family, they are the only extant members of a diverse genus of multiple species once classified as human.
Biology and appearance Edit
Homo sapiens sapiens is not the most recent species of human to have evolved on Earth: rather, they were artificially created by the Isu, homo sapiens divinius, around 90,000 BCE, as a slave labor workforce. The genetic code of homo sapiens sapiens was based on the Isu's own genetic code, albeit modified in several significant ways. The extent of these modifications, the basis of modern human DNA, were made to allow for more variability and adaption, as well increased levels of docility. They also reduced the species' strength, overall intelligence, as well as the number of senses; Isu possessed six natural senses, while humans, despite being very genetically similar, possessed only five.
The other branches of the genus Homo were all part of what were once collectively known as "humanity", but in modern times is only used in regard to Homo sapiens sapiens. In Earth's prehistory there was significant contact between the advanced humans of the species divinius and other members of the genus which had likewise evolved in Africa. The Isu notably coexisted with species such as Homo erectus, habilis, neanderthalensis and floresiensis, and even interbred with them. This hybridization passed down to modern humans after their creation by the Isu: 1-4% of the DNA in European and East Asian humans is Neanderthal, while Melanesian people have 4% of Denisovan blood.
Naturally, Homo sapiens (from here on referred to simply as human) greatly resemble their creators and genetic templates, the Isu. A part of the primate family, they are the only extant species of a formerly diverse genus of multiple species, whom they also resemble to varying degrees. Members of the human species, like many other galactic species, are four-limbed and bipedal, which enables them to walk upright on two legs and use their arms and hands (including opposable thumbs) to hold and manipulate objects such as tools. This body plan is ultimately due to their membership as part of the Descendant races, humanoid species which can trace their evolutionary history to the ancient Progenitor race which inhabited the Milky Way around 4,500,000,000 BCE.
The history of humanity as a whole, and Homo sapiens in particular, is incredibly complex and cannot be pinned to one single planet or even one era, but several galactic dark ages would result in a massive loss of historical records. It was known by the Ecumene that Earth was indeed their original home.
In 110,000 BCE, an earlier inter-species confederacy of humans known as the Isu (Homo sapiens divinius and several other species) had achieved a thriving interstellar civilization nearly on par with the Forerunners, although their catastrophic defeat in the Thousand Year War would see them reduced to a pre-industrial state as hunter-gatherer tribes, forced to achieve technological sophistication on their own once again. Thanks to the efforts of the Forerunner known as the Librarian, however, the Isu, the Pak, and all of the other members of the genus Homo and their descendants were elevated to the role of "Reclaimers", intended to inherit the Mantle of Responsibility the Precursors used to hold.
Pieces of Eden Edit
The ancient human species would quickly rejuvenate after the firing of the Halo Array. The Isu managed to advance to at least Tier 3 status in only a few thousand years. Their mastery of technology resulted in the creation of the Pieces of Eden, as well as a new species of human, Homo sapiens sapiens, whom they used as a domestic workforce. With early humans unable to comprehend the Isu for what they truly were, they were looked upon as gods. However, the Isu would prove themselves unworthy of the Mantle only 10,000 years after rebuilding their civilization, and their decadent and sedentary lifestyles would breed seeds of rebellion in the minds of their human slaves. Eventually, war broke out between the Isu and the humans.
The war blinded both humanity and the Isu to the goings-on beyond their planet, and as such neither race foresaw the pending catastrophe, a solar flare, that would nearly destroy both races. Brought to the brink of extinction with the solar flare striking in about 75,000 BCE, humanity and their "gods" came together to rebuild. Together, both species built at least three Vaults beneath what would become the city of Rome, to serve as a warning to humanity's descendants; unlike their "gods", whose small population was approaching complete extinction, humanity's sheer weight of numbers, along with their enhanced genetic adaptability, ensured their survival. Ultimately, the Toba Catastrophe, as it would later be called, would see the Isu become extinct. Despite this, their legacy would live on for thousands of years in various myths and legends; some of their tools also withstood the test of time.
Second expansion Edit
With the extinction of their creators, the Mantle would pass down the line to the humans. However, humanity would not begin to rise from the confines of their homeworld until nearly 40,000 years later, with the re-invention of space travel in the mid-20th century and the beginning of space colonization in the later half of the 21st century.
In the late 21st century, many of the natural resources of Earth where all but exhausted, and following a lengthy and costly World War, a devastating nuclear exchange would befall the planet. After a 40 year dark age, during which little advancement took place, humanity would rise from the ashes matured and humbled.
After World War III, the Great War of 2077 and an ensuing series of violent conflicts across the Sol system, humanity at large was finally brought under a single banner with the establishment of the Unified Earth Government in 2170 CE. The invention of the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine heralded a new golden age for humanity. No longer confined to their home system, humans spread across the neighboring systems.
Human-Covenant War Edit
At the end of the 25th century, this age of flourish was coming to an end, and the rising economic and political tensions across the colonies eventually culminated in a series of civil conflicts collectively known as the Insurrection Wars. The war claimed millions of lives over the next three decades, but a far more dire threat loomed. In 2525 CE, a theocratic alien hegemony known as the Covenant Empire invaded the colony world of Harvest, beginning the apocalyptic Human-Covenant War. For nearly three decades, humanity, under the emergency military governance of the United Nations Space Command, was pushed back by the relentless Covenant war machine, until the tide turned in 2552 CE. With humanity teetering on the brink of extinction, the discovery of a Forerunner artifact known as Halo set in motion a course of events which would lead to the fragmentation and eventual destruction of the Covenant.
Following the end of the war, humanity began to take on a more active role in the galactic community formed by the Covenant's dissolution, with new technological developments sped up by the discovery of Forerunner relics. However, these developments have not yet elevated them to the Tier 2 of technological advancement held by the Covenant. Despite the defeat of the Covenant, humanity continued to be gripped by conflict in the years following the war. In addition to threats from within in the form of renewed dissidence across the colonies, the UNSC was involved in hostilities with resurgent Covenant factions and the Ur-Didact's reawakened Promethean constructs.
After the conflict with the Covenant, a war-torn humanity would see aid given to them by the Vulcans, one of the most powerful races in the galaxy. This would thrust humanity into the limelight of galactic society. The humans and the Vulcans would eventually found the United Federation of Planets, which encompassed a majority of both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants and eventually nearly a quarter of the entire galaxy. Humanity and the Federation would come into conflict with several galactic empires, including the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, and the Borg Collective.