Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Page 1154

Integration was not inherently powerful. Abbas had learned that lesson very early. But it did help him keep his brethren at the forefront of technological advancement.

As such, the most valuable--or at least, most difficult--piece of technology that he currently possessed was the fusion-propulsion system that powered the jets on his back, calves, and upper arms. Six, they numbered in total, and their thrust-to-weight ratio was unrivaled by anything else he’d ever made--probably, even, by any other currently existing technology.

But that was only half of it.

Their real secret--one Abbas hadn’t even shared with Haqq--was their ability to create antimatter particles. He’d gotten the idea from the still-fairly-recent discovery that antimatter could be created by lightning storms. Needless to say, it was still an emerging technology, and unfortunately, even these jets couldn’t withstand the combustion force that resulted from it. They would regenerate, but the antiparticles would interfere and slow the process to a crawl. Functionally speaking, that meant he had six and only six jets to work with.

Six chances to defeat the Salesman of Death, in other words.

And he had to use one right now, or the fight would already be over. He chose the one on his left calf. The whole section of the suit up to the knee ejected itself, leaving only its thin underlayer of rubber and cotton behind.

It detonated less than a second after ejection, but Abbas couldn’t just leave it at that. He had to make a hard U-turn and catch the explosion’s aftermath. Wind and sky and scorching sunlight all screamed past his vision as he curved back around.

He also needed to account for the missing jet. He could actually use the imbalance it created by working it into the U-turn, but as his course straightened out again, he had to adjust his right leg with delicate precision.

And then, of course, there was still the Salesman to account for. A head-on collision with the man was imminent.

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