"That's true, but …” Daniel said, trailing off in hopelessness.
“Yes, Daniel?” said Alitma, his voice dripping with condescension.
Might as well try another bluff, Daniel thought. Got nothing else.
“But ... Trak says we can overload it,” Daniel said.
He prayed to the gods that his friend would play along. Trak had never been any good at comprehending the nuances of conversation.
Thankfully, Trak seemed to understand this time.
“It’s true,” Trak said. “I did say that. I can overload the cannon. Yes. I certainly didn’t say that the only thing I might be able to do is activate the auxiliary lighting.”
He’s never been any good at lying either, Daniel thought.
“First, the lights turn on,” Daniel said, in what he hoped was a threatening voice. “Then the cannon ruptures, burning up everything for thousands of miles.”
Daniel couldn't tell if his bluff was working; he couldn't read Alitma's expression. Rosov facial movements are too alien for most humans to interpret.
“You know the force of this thing when it fires, Alitma,” Daniel said, defiantly. “Imagine what happens if it explodes. When the lights turn on, you'll know we only have moments left. Just wait for the lights.”
“The lights,” Daniel said again. “The lights.”
Daniel hoped Trak got the hint.
"You would die also," Alitma said.
“I know,” Daniel said.
“You won't do it. You’re a coward,” Alitma said.
"Trak says he’s willing to kill us all if it means getting rid of you,” Daniel said, sidestepping the question of his own cowardice.
"Of course,” Trak lied. “That is true. I will sacrifice the friends that I care about more than anything in order to remove filth like you from the universe. … Really.”
"Just by the by, not actually interested in being sacrificed," Rachel-7 said.
"Be quiet," Daniel said, trying to keep a serious tone.
“I can overload this cannon, Alitma,” Trak said. “I am definitely not lying.”
“That’s enough, Trak,” Daniel whispered. “Turn it on.”
The cannon’s auxiliary lighting blazed bright.
The weapon looked dangerous before, but now it was positively demonic—a jagged-edged silver cylinder forty stories tall with the fires of hells shining through its armored plates.
Alitma’s mouth dropped open.
Daniel felt a slight glimmer of hope until he realized Alitma was mocking him.