I have an uninvited guest in the shuttle, and it's greedily feeding on the husk that was once Colonel Allen. A hairy, brown creature reaching seven feet from top to bottom while it rests upright against the wall. Four slender legs stretch out from its body, digging into the metal surface, hugging its meal. An almost spherical head housing two great, black orbs for eyes turned completely around to face me like an owl on prey. It's quiet now, even pausing from its fleshy feast. Neither I nor it moved a muscle as we stared at one another with a deafening silence.

It could kill me at any moment it wished. Allen and I couldn't have begun to guess the horror that awaited in the thick jungle of this new planet. Something meant to present untold possibilities for science and exploration. Now, yet another example of Icarus and his melted wings. Major Strom and myself hadn't tread even a few kilometers before one of these predators burst from the shadows, quick as lightning, and dragged Strom into its hovel. I frantically ran back to the shuttle to beg Colonel Allen to abandon the mission and return home, but I was too late. This intruder found its way in before me.

I can't bear the stillness any longer. If this creature wishes to bide its time before pouncing upon me, then I have to do the only thing I can think of in so short a time. I deftly enter the coordinates to return to Earth, and set the ship on an auto piloted course back home. Now I feel a certain relief, in that even if I die on the trip home, it won't go untold. Maybe they'll come up with some incomprehensible binomial name for it. I slowly stand up on the presumption that it fell asleep. As I step backwards, its head turns in perfect tracking of my movements. Though remaining still, it is awake. I wonder if it knows what I did. I make it past the threshold with the black orbs trained directly at me.

It releases its legs from the wall it clamped onto. Immediately I press the module to lock it inside the cockpit. It lunges with such speed, despite its size, that I thought it might slip through. Instead, the door shuts and a single claw is but inches away from my face. The leg piercing through the metal door looks broken and begins to twitch in pain. It retreats back inside. After a moment of respite I hear it returning to the salivated crunching upon the corpse. All I need to do now is wait, and hope that I never see that door open with an empty space where it once rested.

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