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Indigenous Species is a 2017 short story written by Kevin J. Anderson, published by Titan Books as part of the anthology Predator: If It Bleeds. In it, a group of colonists on a remote world find themselves caught in the crossfire when a large band of Yautja arrive to hunt the voracious local predators.

Plot

A group of human colonists arrive on the planet Hardscrabble with dreams of a blissful new life on an unblemished world, but instead find that the company responsible for organizing their relocation has misled them all — instead of a beautiful new home, they find the planet barren and hostile, resisting their attempts to establish a sustainable ecosystem at every turn. Soon after establishing their settlement, the colonists learn that they have effectively been abandoned by their corporate sponsors and will die if they cannot make their community sustainable. Worse, they discover the planet is home to a species of voracious predatory creature they dub "gruzzlies", which emerge from the mountains once a year and set upon the colonists. As a result, they are forced to erect makeshift fortifications around their settlement.

While out on his regular rounds in the colony's harvest vehicle, one of the colonists, a young man named Jerrick, discovers that the colony's small herd of cattle have been brutally slaughtered. Investigating, he comes face to face with the gruzzly responsible, realizing too late he has left his plasma rifle in the harvester's cab. Attacked and cornered by the creature, Jerrick is saved when the gruzzly is slain by a mysterious invisible figure. The giant hunter decapitates the dead gruzzly, taking is huge head as a trophy, before disappearing once more.

Jerrick returns to the colony settlement and tells of what he has seen. That night, fires and explosions erupt in the surrounding mountains as more of the hunters begin flushing out the gruzzlies so they can kill them. The terrified colonists watch from behind their walls as the battle between the two species spills down into the valley. Dawn reveals many of their crops scorched and the valley littered with decapitated gruzzlies. Jerrick and his father Davin, the colony's leader, watch as another of the invisible hunters engages a gruzzly outside the village, setting the wheat field ablaze to trap the creature before killing and beheading it. Enraged at seeing yet more of the colony's vital food supplies destroyed by the warring creatures, Davin arms himself with a plasma rifle and charges out to kill the hunter, blasting away ineffectually at it; the figure effortlessly impales Davin with a spear, killing him. As Jerrick watches in horror, the hunter tears off his dead father's head and takes it as a trophy.

The following night, the battle between the hunters and the gruzzlies continues unabated. After burying his father's body, Jerrick takes the colony's harvester and heads out into the night. He finds a gruzzly, a huge specimen bigger than any he has ever seen, and engages it using the various farming attachments mounted on the harvester, mutilating it. A hunter also engages the crippled creature, but Jerrick leaps from the harvester and finishes it with a plasma rifle, beheading the creature with concentrated gunfire. He then brazenly confronts the hunter, yelling that the dead creature is his trophy. The hunter seemingly considers this for a moment, before bowing its head and disappearing.

Jerrick transports the gruzzly's head back to the colony in the harvester, dumping it outside the gate as a warning to the hunters. Hoping it will be enough to ensure they spare the colonists, Jerrick begins to consider how they might survive and rebuild once the hunters have departed Hardscrabble.

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