The long extinct Oneans had worshiped light.
A plant-like species, they believed that all electromagnetic energy was worthy of reverence and protection: they even quadruple-shielded their headlights.
Their headlights were so well protected that many species, including the Z-klik, would take abandoned Onean ships, remove the headlights, and install them inside their own vessels for defensive purposes.
It didn’t hurt that the shielding was compatible with almost every type of matter.
Once activated, the headlight’s shield would wrap around any object touching the headlight or any object that was touching an object that was touching the headlight.
In this case, that meant the Afterthought.
And that is what Alitma’s science advisor explained to him … very quickly.
“The Z-klik cannon’s auxiliary lighting doesn’t include the Onean technology,” Trak said, puzzled. “I couldn’t activate the headlight.”
“I know,” Rachel-7 said. “I could, and I did. My hacking matrices are far more advanced than yours. ... So, we now have Onean shielding,”
“And Trak, what does that mean for my former employer?” said a relieved Daniel, motioning toward the image of Alitma with his both hands as if presenting an award.
“I know what it means,” Alitma said angrily.
“He could fire on us for years with no effect,” Trak said, stunned.
“Rach, why didn’t you say you could link with the —” Daniel said.
“Guess I’m not so forthcoming when I don’t get positive reinforcement for safely flying a garbage scow through a ship graveyard for forty-seven hours straight!” Rachel-7 screamed.
“Hmm,” Daniel said. “Great flying, Rach.”
“Don’t mention it,” Rachel-7 said.