“Yes, excellent work, Rachel-7,” Trak said. “In both your piloting maneuvers and your defensive strategy."
"Thank you," Rachel-7 said, drinking in the praise.
"Of course, the Onean shielding can't protect us forever—” Trak said.
“Thankfully,” Alitma said.
“—since the cannon will explode in a few minutes,” Trak said.
“What?!” Daniel and Rachel yelled.
“I said, I’m not falling for it,” Alitma said.
“Daniel, you told Alitma you wanted to give me “the opportunity to really link to this cannon,” Trak said, using a recording of Daniel’s voice saying that very thing. “And I have finally linked up with the firing system. It was tricky but ..."
Trak realized the crews of both ships were speechless and staring at him.
“Anyway, it’s charging up,” Trak said.
“I was bluffing!” Daniel said.
“Ah,” Trak said. “Well, you fooled me.”
Stuck On: Oneans
To most intelligent species, the Oneans were better known as the Star Seekers (first mentioned at the end of the post Hugs and Phobias).
They called themselves that because they wanted to express their desire to explore distant suns. They also thought it looked good on their business cards.
Trak, Daniel and Rachel-7 had been referring to them as Oneans because that was the species’ title in the Septaun species classification system—the system used by duster to identify extinct races.
Alitma was not familiar with the Oneans, because he had never learned the Septaun system and would have thought it a waste of time.
However, if Alitma’s science advisor had explained to his boss that the Oneans and the Star Seekers were one and the same, Alitma might have understood why the Afterthought was still standing—he probably wouldn't have needed a long-winded explanation of Onean shielding.
Most beings, Alitma included, were familiar with the Star Seeker’s technological might and their horrifying legacy.
But Alitma’s science advisor had a bit of a hangover and hadn’t mentioned it.
For thousands of millennia, the Star Seekers brought peace and joy to other species, until the hatching of their most infamous son—a brilliant and genocidal scientist—who turned against his people, murdered every last Star Seeker, and then set his sights on the rest of the universe.
He definitely won’t come up again …