Night had fallen. Gertrude glanced at her half-dozen comrades, and was glad that they had embarked at once instead of waiting for daylight, and the boiling heat that would come with it. The narrow-headed, furry Naxonians seemed as comfortable on two legs as four, and were all around eight feet tall on their hind legs. Their uncertainty about her trustworthiness meant that whilst each of them carried a long, stone-tipped spear, she had been given only a flint knife.
Before leaving the Naxonian village she had been shown the rest of The Tiger’s Eye’s crew. All seemed well, other than being confined, and were relieved to hear her explanation of the situation. If she could help the natives deal with the ‘demon’ that had been hunting them, the crew would be released.
“When you find it, try not to damage his ship,” Drusus muttered. He slurred his words, presumably still groggy-headed after being hit with a tranquilliser dart. “It might work despite the atmospheric interference, and could be our way off this rock.”
Gertrude had grunted acknowledgement, though in truth she was uncertain whether or not she would prefer to leave without the crew she had been forced to join.