The light of Jenny’s last spluttering flare sent pink and yellow bursts across the dark creature’s carapace.
Jenny fished around on the ground for a rock. Dolomite with chalcopyrite, she could not help but notice .
The alien sniffed the air deeply, and then skittered back and forth before her.
‘Excuse me, you are scaring me.’
Jenny raised the rock above her head.
‘You are scaring me,’ it repeated, and Jenny let the rock drop.
’I’m scaring you? ’ she muttered, but looked into as many eyes as she could and smiled. ’I’m Jenny.’
‘My name is Constantine. After Constantine the Great.’
‘The emperor who became a Christian? My first day on a dead planet, and I meet a fifty-eyed creature named after Saint Constantine?’
‘You make mock. I was bought for a price, just like you. The message of salvation has spread far from your otherwise insignificant planet. And I do not actually have fifty eyes.’
‘My apologies. I’m looking for some salvation myself: any chance you can get me out of here?’