The Afterthought didn't have a fire suppression system.
Daniel had thought it a needless expense. Flames wouldn't hurt Trak or Rachel-7. And ever since the Cassandra incident, Daniel hadn't cared much about his own personal safety.
Now, with the smoke stinging his eyes and fire lapping at his robe, Daniel regretted his thriftiness.
“Jeska …” he said.
“Give me the ship,” Jeska said.
“Why?” Daniel said, eyeing the other pistol at his feet. It was only a few inches away. If he could grab it in time, he might be able to hold her off and keep her from doing something else she'd regret.
Without answering his question, Jeska fired at the weapon on the ground. She held down the trigger until the Daniel’s glimmer of a plan vanished in a glowing puddle.
Fine. If she wants to drive, she can drive, Daniel decided. Just give her what she wants and talk it out later.
“Afterthought, recognize new captain,” Daniel said. He coughed after inhaling another lungful of smoke.
The ship’s biolock scanned Daniel and acknowledged him as the current captain.
“Afterthought preparing to recognize new captain,” said the default system voice. “State code phrase.”
“Jeska,” he said.
“Code phrase accepted,” said the system. “State new captain’s title and/or designation.”
“Jeska,” he said again.
“Jeska,” the system said, “please state acceptance of Afterthought ownership.”
“I accept,” she said.
The ship’s biolock scanned Jeska, replacing its record of Daniel’s biosig with Jeska's.
She looked at Daniel and said nothing. As the flames grew taller, Jeska appeared unconcerned about the danger.
“New captain recognized,” said the ship's system. “State your orders, Captain Jeska.”