The Rejection Graboid Incursion of 1889 is the first recorded incursion by the species that would come to be known as Graboids. It is also the first of three incursions in what would become known as Perfection Valley.
After the hot spring from a sliver mine in Rejection, Nevada uncovers four Graboid eggs, the heat from the hot spring causes the four to hatch into Shooters. The four Shooters attack the mine and kill 14 men with only Juan Pedilla escaping alive. Afterward, everyone is too afraid to go near the mine and begin to abandon the town in droves.
Learning that the silver mine is no longer open, owner Hiram Gummer comes to Rejection personally to get the mine reopened. However, the mine foreman leaves on the same stagecoach that Hiram arrived on and Juan explains how no one will approach the mine until they are sure it is safe and explains the little he saw of what happened in the mine. Hiram decides to check the mine out himself and is joined by Juan and three miners. At the mine, they find no sign of the Shooters and Hiram declares the mine safe to open. As the group camps out that night, the Shooters are attracted by the noise of Hiram's teapot and attack the camp. They drive off the horses and kill the three miners despite their and Juan's best efforts to stop the attack. Hiram reaches safety on a rock and as Juan goes to join him, a Shooter attacks him. Juan impales the Shooter with a pickaxe, killing it. Unable to reach Hiram and Juan, the remaining Shooters retreat. With no horses, Hiram and Juan are forced to walk back to Rejection, using the rocky hills nearby to get there safely.
Following their return to Rejection, the townspeople decide that their best chance to deal with the "Dirt Dragons" is to hire a gunslinger to help as none of them possess the skill necessary to shoot the creatures. Fu Yien sends a telegram advertising for a gunslinger and eventually, a man named Black Hand Kelly arrives. Though skeptical of the townspeople's claims, Kelly agrees to help in exchange for Hiram's double eagle coin, diamond cuff links, and as much silver as he can carry on horseback. After arming themselves with weapons from Christine Lord's collection, Hiram, Juan, and Kelly begin the search. Kelly is skeptical until they find four hatched Graboid eggs near the silver mine. The group theorizes that the hot water piped in nearby from a hot spring uncovered and hatched the eggs and realize that there were four creatures originally from the number of eggs, but only three now as Juan killed one. Continuing the search, they find the head of Old Fred which finally convinces Kelly of the threat. Unable to safely make it back to Rejection, the group decides to camp out for the night at the nearby muling station for safety.
At night, while they are sleeping, the now Graboids attack with their tentacles, but the men are able to drive them off, but lose their horses in the process. Kelly gives Hiram a gun lesson before the Graboids resume their attack by using their tentacles to pull the floorboards away since the boards are too thick for the Graboids to breakthrough. Desperate, Hiram spots a telegraph machine and has Juan begin using it in hopes that someone will hear them, realize something is wrong and come to help them. After an hour or so, a Graboid breaks through the thinner floorboards where Juan is standing and tries to eat him. Juan manages to use the ceiling beams to get to safety while Kelly uses a rifle to keep the Graboid's tentacles at bay. The men are stunned to realize that the creatures have grown to a massive size now, but realize that there are still only three creatures as the tentacles they saw earlier are simply their tongues. Kelly informs Hiram that the weapons they have are inadequate for the fight and plans to go down fighting. By the next morning, almost all of the floor is gone and the men prepare for their last stand. The Graboids start the attack by sending one to attack the still intact floorboards near the wall while another sneaks up behind Black Hand Kelly and pulls him in with its tentacles. Kelly unloads his gun down the Graboid's throat but is ultimately swallowed and killed by it as Juan and Hiram watch in horror. Two more Graboids emerge in the part of the muling station that has no boards and Hiram and Juan unload into them to no effect. On the verge of defeat, Christine arrives in a wagon to rescue them, her, Fu Yien and Lu Wan having figured out they were in trouble and were from the strange behavior of the Chang's Market telegraph. Hiram and Juan quickly flee through a window and into Christine's wagon, but a Graboid chases them. As the Graboid is about to catch them, Hiram uses Fu Yien's slingshot to hit the horses with a spare bullet, causing them to run faster and the Graboid gives up the chase, allowing them to safely return to Rejection.
In Rejection, Hiram comes to believe that if Black Hand Kelly didn't stand a chance against the Graboids, then the townspeople don't and decides to abandon the town. Hiram attempts to convince the townspeople to come with him and start over, but all of them feel that their home is in Rejection which the Graboids may not even be able to get to due to the rocky pass from the upper valley. Despite the pleas of the townspeople, Hiram decides to abandon them and the town to its fate and leaves for Carson City on horseback, but not before the townspeople force him to give up his silver mine by threatening to send a telegram ahead of him describing the Graboids and the threat they pose so no one will buy the mine. Over the next few days, Hiram makes his way to Carson City while Juan discovers that the Graboids made it through the pass from the upper valley and are on their way to the town. The townspeople send desperate telegrams for help, but when no one responds, they decide to abandon Rejection after all. In Carson City, while buying a train ticket, the station master gets another telegram from Rejection and makes fun of it as he thinks its a joke, telling Hiram what the telegrams are saying. Unable to bring himself to abandon his friends, Hiram sells his gold pocket watch, his last real valuable item to buy a cache of weapons, including a punt gun, the type of gun that Black Hand Kelly had suggested would be the most useful against the Graboids.
As the townspeople are about to flee, Hiram returns in a wagon with his weapons to their shock. Hiram convinces the townspeople to make a stand and they come up with a plan to use noise from a triangle to draw the Graboids to them in Rejection, their home turf and then kill them. Lu Wan and Fu Yien refine the plan by tying strings of cans to sticks and leaving them in the Graboids' path so that when the Graboids arrive, the noise will alert them that the Graboids are there. The group then stations themselves and uses the triangle and a rock to try to draw the Graboids into the center of town where Hiram is positioned in a wagon with his punt gun.
After hours of nothing, the townspeople are on the verge of giving up for the day when Lu Wan's makeshift alarm system alerts them to the arrival of a Graboid. They quickly return to position, but when the Graboid emerges right in front of Hiram, he accidentally fires the punt gun and misses the Graboid which temporarily retreats. Hiram quickly begins reloading the punt gun as the Graboid circles back around to attack again. As Hiram is trying to finish reloading, the Graboid surfaces in front of him once more, but Juan, Christine and Tecopa fire on it, distracting it long enough for Hiram to finish reloading his gun. Hiram shoots the Graboid at point-blank range with his punt gun, blowing a hole through the Graboid and killing it. With the Graboid dead, the townspeople come off their posts to celebrate over its body, but a second Graboid arrives and they quickly return to their posts. However, after Hiram reloads his gun, the second Graboid emerges from the ground to the side and pulls the punt gun into the ground to remove the threat of the only weapon they have that can kill it. The Graboid then chases Juan who loses his rifle and desperately climbs a telegraph pole. The Graboid begins pulling the pole into the ground as the townspeople try to distract it with their gunfire to no avail. Spotting a giant saw, Tecopa sticks it in the hole he'd dug for the town's flagpole and bangs on it with his gun, drawing the Graboid away from Juan. Drawn to the noise, the second Graboid impales itself on the saw, killing it.
As they celebrate the death of the second Graboid, the third Graboid goes after Tecopa who desperately tries to reach the safety of the hotel, but is apparently consumed by the Graboid. As the townspeople mourn his apparent death, the Graboid spits out the cigar store Indian statue that Tecopa had shoved down its throat instead. Tecopa emerges from the hotel unharmed, but the townspeople are left without a way to kill the last Graboid which begins circling the town. Brainstorming, Juan points out that Hiram has black powder for his guns and suggests they use the black powder to blow the Graboid up. Peyong knows how to build a bomb and sends Fu Yien into the store to get twine for the fuse while he and Juan prepare the powder for the bomb. However, the store's telegraph starts to go off, drawing the Graboid's attention to Fu Yien. The Graboid collapses the walls of the store, trapping Fu Yien while the adults make noise to try to draw the Graboid away. However, the Graboid has caught onto their tricks and doesn't fall for it. Fu Yien is able to use a knife from the store to cut himself free of the tent and gives his father the twine. The Graboid emerges on the other side of the store and Fu Yien, Lu Wan and Christine climb onto a wagon for safety, desperately trying to hold off the Graboid's tentacles. As the Graboid's whole body emerges from the ground, Juan and Tecopa unload into it to distract the Graboid and protect the women and Fu Yien. During the fight, one of the tentacles gets too close and Lu Wan destroys its head by sticking her gun in its mouth and firing. Realizing they don't have time to finish the bomb, Hiram calls over Juan and Tecopa to help him and Peyong thread a belt around the traction engine's wheel. At the same time, one of the Graboid's tentacles snakes through the wheel and grips onto Fu Yien, trying to reel him in while Lu Wan and Christine desperately try to stop it. After the belt is ready, Hiram stabs a hook attached to it into the Graboid's tail and signals Peyong to start the traction engine. Once the traction engine is at full speed, it rips the tentacle attached to Fu Yien in two and drags the Graboid across the ground. Finally, the Graboid's head slams into the end of the traction engine with such force that the Graboid is decapitated, killing it.
Following the deaths of the Graboids, the townspeople decide to cover the incident up, knowing no one will ever move to town if they know about the Graboids. Now that the mine is safe again, Hiram is able to reopen it using a loan from the bank and after the townspeople return ownership to him, he decides to use the first proceeds to pay for the various things they want. They also rename the town Perfection.