At about the same time, Jared did slow down, the purple glow still surrounding him. As he dropped backward, the undamaged rocket on his back became louder leaving a wider trail of flame and exhaust.
On a gut level, I didn’t think that a rocket of that size should be able to do keep him moving forward even as fast as he was going—which was still faster than the rest of them. The Abominator artifact had to be behind it. If it was made to fight the Cosmic Ghosts, it had to be slightly out of phase with reality and judging from its speed, it was manipulating time to a limited degree as well.
I let myself slow down to match his speed, deciding I had to take him out rather than destroy the other rocket and leave him for the people on the ground. Tara might come up with a way to hit him, but I had no idea how.
Slowing down meant that I drifted a little lower, but so had he. He wasn’t going down easy either. Instead of shying away, he aimed toward me, stabbing me again with the long knife.
It didn’t make a lot of sense unless he thought he might have done something wrong. Whatever his reasoning, it didn’t work any better the second time. I’d kept the power flowing through me as I neared him and it did what it needed to do—pulled the knife into phase with the the reality we were in, forcing it to hit my armor instead of slide through it.
As I did it, I felt the power flowing through me and knew that I felt more tired than I had before I started using it. I wasn’t going to be able to do this forever.
It wasn’t a physical soreness, more the beginning of an all over lethargy, the kind I felt after a ten mile run.
I needed to take him out of the fight now and not later. If the artifact’s power source lasted longer than I did, he’d have no problem running me through.
He wasn’t stupid. When it failed to go through the second time, he began to pull away. I didn’t let him. In the summer, I’d learned that while I wasn’t physically any faster than a normal person, I absorbed information much faster. I’d spent a lot of time practicing with Jaclyn and Cassie when we got back, trying to make the mental speed physically useful.
The best we could come up with was for me to move as fast as I could after making a decision. Here, it worked. As he began to pull the knife back, I reached out with my left hand, grabbing his right forearm.
He tried to pull away, but my grip didn’t break, hinting that my suspicion that I had a stronger suit might be correct. The question was what to do next. Even if I wanted to kill him, my killbots wouldn’t help. Like my sister’s ability to turn intangible, what I’d learned to do didn’t extend much past my own body. I wasn’t going to be extending it to a bot any time soon.
On the other hand, those limits meant that I also wasn’t likely to summon Lee’s enemies to destroy our planet.
Knowing that, I pulled him toward me with my left hand, rolled under him in the air and began striking at the right arm’s shoulder joint. If his suit were based as closely on my grandfather’s early suits as I suspected, crucial elements of the artificial muscles would be there along with cables that transmitted commands to the gun as well as the suit and the rocket pack.
I didn’t stop with one either. I started with one and hit two more times before he punched back, hitting the upper part of my chest near my neck and helmet. It wasn’t a bad area to target in the WW2 version of the Rocket suit. A lot of control systems went through the neck and down through the front of the chest.
My suit’s self-repairing blocks with nanotech elements had left cables behind a couple of generations ago. That wasn’t to say he didn’t hit hard. My HUD reported a small degree of damage and began to repair it. My next punch caused his right arm to freeze.
It didn’t freeze to the point of becoming completely unmoving, but he dropped the knife and the forearm bent inward until it met the bicep. He tried to move the arm but couldn’t. He even stopped trying to punch me with his left arm.
Knowing what I’d done to the right arm, I punched him in his left shoulder. That got a reaction. With the purple field around his armor fluctuating with every hit I made, he tried to pull away, thrashing with his left arm, kicking with his legs, but not doing any real damage.
Not having a better idea, I kept on pounding until something cracked inside his shoulder.
He stopped trying to hit and the left arm straightened, flopping in the air, hitting the side of Jared’s suit. It wasn’t controlled at all, reminding me of a flag flapping in the wind.
I let go. It wasn’t as if he could do anything except use the backup controller in the mouthguard to land.
Showing no sign he had any control of his suit, Jared dipped downward into a group of evergreens, crashing into them and disappearing from sight.
Maybe his suit didn’t have a backup controller in the mouthguard.