The drops of rain boomed like cannon shot as Efren’s tiny fur-covered body huddled inside the natural shelter of plants and trees. His sensitive pointed ears perked up as the swish of cloth neared his hiding place. Darkness hid him and his brothers from the intruders, providing a cover nearly impenetrable. Their very lives depended on invisibility. The pointed blue-green ferns acted as lookout as well. Their leaves, bending with the passage of the enemy, seen by the keen vision of the natives were tell-tale signs.
The rock in front of him shielded Zaran from those hideous dark eyes that sought him and his kind. The tiny sparkles of light from the stars reflected on the opaque surface of the monster shells. The laser weapons had a dull sheen as they swung back and forth in search of one of the little people. Even though the searchers used night vision the Randoni remained hidden. Their ability to camouflage themselves in spite of their light-colored fur allowed them to spy on the invaders with small risk of detection.
Little did Efren and his brothers know that their deaths were not what was being sought. Capture, a fate worse than extinction, awaited the unwary. They were the last of their kind and were being hunted for their powers. Too quickly had the humans eliminated most of the Randoni shortly after they landed on the planet, well before they knew about the powers the little people possessed, powers that could call down the wrath of the god of this planet or make it a lush paradise. The human reliance on technology blinded them to the possibilities of attunement with the environment on such a scale.
Ronji whined beside his master. His thick, dark grey coat was covered in water and bogged him down. It was his desire to loose his massive jaws on human flesh that drove him to coil his huge muscles to spring and yet his ties to Efren kept him still as the human warriors walked about seeking, searching and finding no one.
Zaran motioned to his younger brother to stay back as one human warrior approached. The boy, Efren, wanted to be included in the intelligence gathering party and yet he was too young to understand the danger. Death had not been much a part of his young life until the last year when the human beings overran Randon. He could not comprehend the end of his people much less that his own death could be imminent.
The Randoni were scouting out the human abilities with greater intent than they had done previously. When humans first appeared on their world they were accepted, welcomed. It turned into an old story that harkened back to Earth’s past, the invasion of new territory and the decimation of the native population. Efren had heard stories of how the humans had done this to others of their own kind in the past. Such stories were not believed by such a peaceful people until human fangs were bared when the Randoni tried to stop them from moving into sacred territory.
The idea that a group would be willing to massacre others for territory was too foreign to the Randoni. They lived in peace with the multitude of species on their planet. Their energetic sensitivity led them to know what other species were experiencing and gave them an empathic connection that refused to allow for cruelty. They killed for food, but in the most humane way possible. The concept of deliberate destruction of a sentient species shocked and horrified the little people.
The killings had mobilized the Randoni to defend their way of existence and their very lives. The need to take the lives of human invaders to accomplish this was against their code, however their continued existence demanded they set aside their values in order to survive. The Randoni culture was being pulled apart by the need to survive and yet maintain their identity. In their way of being all life was sacred. Taking of life was a necessity, but it was done with ritual and respect. The human invaders had not followed Randoni custom. They wholesalely slaughtered the little people. No offering of respect or ritual, not even a care for the bodies of the dead could be found in the humans’ behavior.