Daniel had a brilliant idea …
“Trak? You know this whatever-click cannon thing we're attached to? Can we fire it?” he said.
… and the idea was quickly crushed by reality.
“Not a chance,” Trak said. “The most I could do is probably activate the cannon's auxiliary lighting.”
“Gods!” Daniel cursed.
"Five seconds," Rachel-7 said.
"Daniel?" Trak said. "That decision?
“Fine! Rache, Trak, I want you to—”
A blinding flash of light filled the Afterthought, and everything went white. When the glare faded, Trak and Daniel stood in a pitch black cabin. Nothing was receiving power.
After three seconds, the Afterthought's backup generator hummed to life. Auxiliary lighting bathed the bridge in a dim glow.
Though Daniel was sure he was seconds from death, he felt oddly relieved. Mostly because he had no idea what he was going to say after “Rache, Trak, I want you to—”
He took another pull from his flask.
“Both engines are down,” Rachel-7 said. “We’re on emergency power.”
“That white flash was a phased pulse blast,” Trak said. “Knocks out most engines and shielding, leaves life support, ayes, and clouds functional. Before you ask why I'm still standing, Rachel-7, my interior is well-shielded against such attacks.”
“I knew that,” Rachel-7 lied. Then she said, with bitterness, “I am now putting the image of our oncoming deaths on the main viewscreen, Captain."
“Thank you,” Daniel said dryly.
Daniel’s eyescreens and the screen at the front of the cabin switched to a realtime view of a large, armored battleship drifting toward them.
“Dominian cruiser: Armageddon Class,” Trak said.
It looked like a ship forged for the sole purpose of making other species miserable. Then a crack formed in the cruiser’s midsection. Shards of debris blasted outward as something as black as the end of time became visible inside the newly-formed fissure.
A knife-shaped warship tore through the abandoned Dominian cruiser like a dagger through fog.
“He broke the cruiser,” Trak said with awe.
Black on black with a hint of black, Alitma’s spike-covered dreadnought used its slowpoint jets to stop in the center of a wreckage cloud that, moments earlier, had been the Dominian ship.
“He’s here,” Rachel-7 said
“I can see that,” Daniel said.
“That was my version of ‘I told you so,’” Rachel-7 said. Daniel sighed.
A cold voice filled the Afterthought.