Setting: Far future space based science fiction. Think Star Trek: Enterprise levels of tech with more consistency and more resources if that helps.
There are 4 sentient species in my setting:
- Homo Sapiens Sapiens
- Homo Martiensis (Martians)
The Martians are the descendants of the first colonists. They are generally better adapted to low gravity and high radiation. They are tall, not lanky but generally lacking in musculature (by comparison to humans) due to extra "water weight" that helps with radiation. Culturally they are known for a strong appreciation for knowledge and are generally more naturally intelligent than most humans but also generally weaker and lighter.
The Dar are not a hive mind but they are very collectivist and have a chromataphore based language that allows incredibly dense transfers of information in parallel. Essentially its like having multiple conversations at once with different people that don't get confused with each other but they do amalgamate into a whole. Allowing for astounding levels of teamwork in the species because they can group together and make plans very efficiently. Especially because in their family structure parents are always estranged. It is your siblings that you stay with for life in a family unit who's name roughly translates to "circle" or "ring" as they tend to stand in circles when communicating at high bandwidths. They are also, not silicon based, but more like mobile coral or other rock like forms of life and thus are structurally strong but brittle. They are the only species that does not ban and distrust Artificial Intelligence.
The Awrx are large muscly green creatures from a super-earth with lots of sunshine. They are relatively radiation resistant because they can "eat" a lot of it. Culturally they are very direct but diplomatic. Their emotional centres are more developed than ours and their history is full of cold wars but almost no hot ones. I tend to think of them as being strong like a cow rather than strong like a jaguar. Neither of which are creatures I'd like to mess with. They are also herbivorous meaning their relationship with the animals on their planet went down a very different route. Generally less naturally intelligent than humans but they are by no means stupid and "the cream" is historically better at rising to the top in most of their cultures compared with most of ours. They are the only species with a strong dislike of cybernetics and genetic enhancements.
Which just leaves the humans.
There are several things my research has led me to such as "Sweat" suggesting we are more enduring over long distance than most land species and superior balance.
A friend of mine has also suggested that as a species we are far more enduring when injured than most species. He cited as example things like deer just dying from shock at a minor injury whereas there are stories of humans that have had just horrific things happened to them and they've stayed awake the whole way through but I don't know how true this is and any more professional sources would be appreciated.
I want the humans to be in charge and not in an entirely nice way. The Solar Aegis is an stratocratic empire that is pretty nice to live in for most people but rising through the ranks is tough and not necessarily based on merit.
What do humans have going for them that makes this possible?