“Please stop,” said Daniel, for what seemed like the 50th time.
“Too beautiful?” Rachel-7 asked, completely serious.
“You know what? Doesn’t matter anymore. Keep singing,” Daniel said. “Just tell me our options.”
Don’t want to spend my last moments arguing, Daniel thought.
Trak looked at Daniel silently. Rachel-7 kept singing, but tried to avoid Daniel’s gaze.
“So … no options? Zero?” Daniel said, incredulously. “Say anything that comes to mind.”
He realized he was slurring his words. Daniel had reached the limit of what he could handle, booze-wise.
Trak spoke up, increasing his volume so he could be heard over the now nonstop cannon rumblings.
“I could exit the Afterthought, try to break through the Onean shield, and then weld the fissure shut with one of my cutters. Might buy us some time."
"You'd die," Daniel said.
"Plus if he pierces the shield in any way, it turns off," Rachel-7 said. "It's an all or nothing piece of tech. We lose the shield, we burn up before he gets anywhere near the fissure."
“That’s why I didn't volunteer it as an option,” Trak said.
Rachel-7 and Trak grew quiet again.
“So that's out,” Daniel said. “How about if we … Can’t we Quantum jump from inside the shield?
“Our engine's too old,” Trak said. “A newer model could calculate a path through the energy barrier, but this one can’t. Too many variables for it to process.”
"A child's Aye could find that path," Rachel-7 said, disgusted.
"Can we upgrade it?" Daniel asked.
"Not unless you have a few days on hand," Rachel-7 said.
"You don't," Trak said, still not recognizing Rachel-7's sarcasm.
“OK. ... How about we send out a distress call?” Daniel said, though he knew there wasn’t time for anyone to rescue them.
“Been doing that since Alitma arrived. No one’s coming to save us, Daniel,” Rachel-7 said.
"So no one has any ideas?" Daniel said.
"You two could sing with me..."
“No,” Daniel said.
"Never," Trak said.