A near light speed colony ship crashes on strange alien world. The survivors find that something strange has happened on the mother ship, and even stranger revelations await them in their new home.
A creature padded silently out of the forest only a hundred metres from the group, it was black and panther like, it’s strange gait hinting at extra articulation in its limbs. The creature turned its broad flat head to observe them, it opened its mouth and ran a long snake like tongue over rows of pointed teeth, the tongue flickered and seemed to be tasting the air. The group nervously drew closer to each other under the scrutiny of the beast. The panther thing dipped its head and a crest of red filaments opened up from a ridge over each eye, a third cluster of filaments appeared from another ridge at the nape of its neck. They watched silently, making no movements of their own as the creature slowly swung its head from side to side, then the filaments folded back into their sockets and the thing turned away from them and walked along the hill top in the direction of the wave.