Mankind’s first encounter with alien intelligent lifeforms, on the planet Silva in the Callyan system, was a disaster. The Dryads, who manifest as bright coruscations in the trees, had appeared benign at first, but then, without warning, turned against the First Contact’s crew. Only three survived.
Now Captain Lori Peterson and a team of handpicked experts have been sent to Silva to investigate and make peace with the Dryads. After a promising start, they are on a reconnaissance flight to find the original base, when their craft unaccountably crashes.
Miraculously the crew survive, but not without cutting a swathe of destruction through the trees. When her engineer finds evidence of sabotage, Lori realises she must face the anger of the Dryads with a traitor at her back. Her only hope of survival is to reach the First Contact base, but someone doesn’t want it found.
Only just under the limit at 145 words.