Though she thought Daniel was too worried about Jeska to listen, Rachel-7 began her daily audio report.
The update was doubly unnecessary as Trak had been linked with the ship’s sensors the entire time.
But Rachel-7 spoke the report aloud because she liked the sound of her own voice. Her chosen accent soothed her.
"Status update: Your employer—” Rachel said.
“Former employer,” Daniel said, interrupting.
Maybe he is listening after all, Rachel 7 thought.
“Your friend has dropped out of Quantum space and will be here soon,” Rachel-7 said, sending Daniel’s eyescreens an image of the ship.
Daniel sent the image to his augmented internal memory without paying attention to the picture of the approaching dreadnought. He knew what the ship looked like.
“Wait, he dropped out of Quantum space?” Daniel asked. “He’s not using his worm? Or his shatterwarp? Why’d he take the long way?”
Unlike the Afterthought, which was stuck with an obsolete Quantum drive for its faster-than-light travel needs, the dreadnought had a host of ways to break the universe's speed limit.
“If he used wormhole or shatterwarp technology, he could travel more quickly," Trak said. "But he'd have a harder time following us. The only benefit of traveling through Quantum space is that it makes our course difficult to pinpoint. If I were tracking us, I’d use the Quantum drive, so I could keep a scanner lock on the Afterthought."
Trak added, “Of course, the trip would be so long, I’d only do that if I really, really wanted you dead."
“Great,” Daniel said.
“We should be happy he used the older method of travel, Daniel,” Trak said, putting a bulky arm around Daniel's shoulder. “With our luck, I’m surprised he wasn’t here before us.”
“With our luck, I’m surprised he’s not standing behind me,” Daniel said.
“Ahem,” Rachel said. “We are deep in the Quadra Sector, latched onto what appears to be the headlight for a defunct Onea transport—"
"It's a fusion cannon from a Z-Klik warship," Trak said, gently correcting her. "It fires an energy beam that, once emitted, expands to three times the radius of the weapon itself and can travel 300,000 miles before losing intensity. It obliterates most types of matter, especially organic matter, and is useful for planetary sterilization operations."
Stuck On: Quantum drive
An outdated method of traveling faster-than-light, The Quantum drive, also called the Quantum engine, does not use the principle of quantum tunneling, quantum entanglement, or quantum free-form jazz.
The drive is named for its discoverer, Alt-Shift-Professor William Quantum (Alpha Centauri scientist, 2343-2392).