Don’t mess with the Giant.
We learned that fundamental rule very early in our stay here. The natives take their god seriously.
“Do Not Touch” is a simpler way to put it.
Our lesson came the hard way. Six of our best people were killed on the first expedition to the Giant – felled by the otherwise most congenial people we have ever encountered on our planetary explorations.
We don’t know whether the Giant is animal, vegetable or mineral. It was visible from orbit upon our arrival, which was the primary reason we set down here. The giant rules the horizon, driving us crazy with its nearby unknowability.
The giant appears to be worshiped by the planet’s primitive humanoids. We’ve been close enough to see the structures erected at its feet. Temples?
We’ve observed that some of those who march, single-file to the temples every four planetary rotations don’t always come back. Sacrifices?
Theories about the nature of the Giant abound, as one might expect in a scientific community denied access to the focal point of its curiosity and further hampered by an immensely hostile environment.
A few of us speculate that the Giant is a natural landscape feature, mindlessly forged by the same forces that shaped the planet as whole.
The least discerning eye cannot escape the detail of the Giant’s sagging face and posture.
More likely. The Giant is a mountain, painstakingly transformed, Mount Rushmore-style, as a tribute to some fallen hero from the planetary past. Yet, the inhabitants to not appear to have the technological means to create such a monument.
That leads to my pet theory: The giant was a living being.
He was a member of a king-sized race which preceded the current dominant species.
Slumped in despair at the demise of the rest of his kind, he was the final victim of the ice age that suddenly engulfed his world.