The star people came from somewhere beyond Alpha Centauri, in their delicate and pointed starships. They were an old race, and a bold race, and starflight was nothing new to them. Yet again they had been uprooted from their home, and they traveled across the galaxy looking for a new place where they could settle.
It was the youngest pilot, whose name translates as Galaxy, who first sighted the new home planet. She pointed to its gorgeous blue-and-green patterns, and chittered excitedly about the white swirling across it. This was a sign of atmosphere, she enthused, and where there was atmosphere, the star people could live. So the fragile and graceful ships of her kind set their courses for this new planet, full of promise, and resumed their journey across the vastness of space.
The star people landed in new, rich soil, and as they emerged from their starships into the daylight, they marveled. Here was a place that had been left untouched; here was a glorious, gorgeous, wild place where they and their children would be safe.
So the star people began to build their spindly homes, certain that this time they had found refuge from all their dangers. The air was scented with citrus and with the dark smells of loamy earth, and they lived, content, for several generations. When a star person died, it faded away into a sparkling dust, and the single seed it left behind was interred with care into the ground of their new home. The star people flourished, and feared nothing at all.
But unbeknownst to them, this planet where they had landed was a cruel one, and harsh towards newcomers, and monsters were closing in on all sides.
First came the monsters from the sky, enormous feathered creatures with hungry black eyes that devoured their homes and swallowed the treasured seeds of their ancestors. The star people cowered, and prayed to whichever god each of them believed in, but salvation never came and their homes were destroyed.
Next, inexorable, came the monsters from the water. They howled, formless gray things that came thundering, unstoppable, and lashed the star people that still lived with malicious winds and flattening walls of water, killing the weak and the crippled. Frantic, the star people turned to their elders, but when the monsters drowned them too the star people began to despair. Universe, Galaxy’s distant grandson, began to talk of taking flight again, in the starships they had all but forgotten. But, stubborn, they clung to the land, certain nothing could be worse than the water-monsters.
Then came the monsters from the land, and crushed what remained. Huge, lumbering beasts with weapons of metal decimated the last of the star people, ripped their final shelters from the earth and sprayed mists that burned like fire. They plunged new things into the ground, and uprooted the star people wherever they found them. The last survivors, led by Universe, took to their graceful starships and fled this planet of horrors, driven by the possibility that someday, somewhere, there would be a place they could call home.
In the earth they left behind them, the seeds of their ancestors wakened, pushing towards a promise they remembered in the sky. Bathed in the warmth of a single yellow star, these remnants gave life again, in strange, ridged green pods that echoed the ships that had once looked for a new beginning here.
Starfruit, the land-monsters called them. And wondered where their delicate citrus taste hailed from, and why it tasted like a world they had never known.