“Then, as a father, I ask you now—” Alitma said.
And then Alitma did something he had never done in his entire life: He got down on his knees.
Of course, when he was not wearing his battlesuit, Alitma had no knees.
But, as an experienced criminal, Alitma had seen the “begging for mercy” gestures of many species, including the human one he was now expressing.
This was a first for him, and Alitma did not enjoy it. Ruthless crimelords, as a rule, do not plead.
“Daniel, please help my daughter,” Alitma said.
“The … The extract—” Daniel said.
“With the diamondglass webbing shattered,” Trak said, “the internal heat and pressure is rapidly converting the rest of the cannon’s insides into slag. The Verian armor will begin disintegrating …”
A hellacious noise shot through the Afterthought.
“…now. I was definitely a bit more accurate timing that one.”
“Where is it, Daniel? Please?” Alitma said.
Daniel made up his mind.
“The extract is —”
“Aliiiiiiiiitma iiiiiiis duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummb,” Rachel-7 interrupted, loudly performing both the soprano and alto lines of the bridge of her song “The Ballad of Alitma the stupid.”
She felt bad for Alitma’s daughter, but not enough to stop the song she had going.
Stuck On: Begging for Mercy
Species Manner of begging
Grebyan Vibrating central crystals at B♭ and C
Slell Deflating and laying on the ground
Prnei Turning plaid
Rosov Revealing soft underbelly
Xelsian Writing apologetic soliloquy
Star Seeker Extracting trunk leaves, then burning them.
Wandering One None.
21st century Humans Weeping, kneeling with hands clasped
28th century Humans Avatar weeping, kneeling with hands clasped
(That kneeling thing never went out of style.)