The first encounter they ever had with the Beast was during a long hike in South Mardigo.
50 km from the drop site, they were surrounded by trees in the steaming jungle. Their patience gradually dwindling with each step they took, sticky thighs rubbing. Faces sticky and oily, there were no smiles. Some kind of bird squawked up in the trees, hidden from view behind a maze of leaves.
The dull crunch crunch crunch of their walking was unbearably monotonous but no one was in the mood to liven the air.
Suddenly Alexis stopped; all of a sudden she was very tense, and her posture changed. Instinctively the rest stopped too, and strained every available sense to detect whatever it is that their leader had noticed. Nothing. There was no sound.
There was no sound.
The place was unnaturally quiet; no birds, not even the faint rustle of leaves. The jungle was still, the silence very suddenly grew deafening. And then it was there, in front of them.
A green, shiny beast with spikes along its head, slicked back. Thin, glowing red pupils stared menacingly at the group through huge milky white orbs, as it slowly stood on its hind legs. Frightening though the sight, they could not help but be transfixed. Never had they seen anything like it.
And just like that, they found themselves staring at trees again.