“Daniel, once you activate this weapon, there will be a brief delay before it explodes — depending on how long it takes the super-heated plasma at the weapon's core to burn through its containment shielding," Trak said with effortless nonchalance.
"It will be somewhere between two and ten minutes before the heat changes the inside of the cannon into matter soup,” he added.
Alitma sat speechless as Trak continued to explain.
“At that point, the overflow energy will break through the cannon's hull, shattering the weapon and releasing a blast wave that will expand in all directions at 99 percent of the speed of light. When the wave hits the Afterthought and Alitma's dreadnought, it will erase the two ships from existence. It will also evaporate most of the surrounding wreckage, but I am unable to guess what effect the explosion will have on the Garage.”
Trak turned to Daniel and said, “Incidentally, the activation phrase, is ‘Go’.”
“What if I accidentally say—”
“No!” Rachel-7, Trak, Alitma, and Alitma’s entire crew yelled, cutting Daniel off.
“I wouldn't really have said it,” Daniel said.
“Of course not,” Rachel-7 said.
“Hold on,” Alitma said, as if realizing something. “Stop firing on them. Stop!”
The bright blue light vanished as the energy weapons became still.
“I should have tried this at the hospital,” Alitma said. “Would’ve saved me a lot of time and a lot of employees. But I was angry.”
Daniel didn’t know what to expect next.
“Daniel, you tell me where my property is, and I let you go,” Alitma said. “I’ll even let you keep your spaceship, if you can call it that. You have my word.”