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   Chapter 18 No.18

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5459

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

The ship had done an about-face and was coming at him head-on. It was becoming visible as a faint red gleam. Sure enough, the sensors identified it as a DAR.

"Well, then, I suppose I'll have to do this off the books, " said Agent Fisk, an edge in his voice.

Another warning bleeped.

"Uh. . . Agent, are you aware you are weapons hot?"

The answer came as a bright stripe of violet light slicing across the space between them. Lex banked hard and cranked the engines, sweeping around the streak of plasma and accelerating toward Agent Fisk's ship. Betsy was a runner, not a fighter. Some freelancers flew fairly well-armed ships to fend off pirates and the like, but Lex had never run into anything he couldn't fly his way out of, so he hadn't bothered to bolt on a single weapon, and his shields were strictly for navigation. If he was going to get out of this intact, he'd need to employ tactics.

Another salvo of plasma launched at him and he flitted underneath it, dialing up the speed and closing the gap between himself and Fisk. DARs were lousy at frontal assaults. Actually, that wasn't entirely true. They were excellent at frontal assaults, but they were absolutely invincible at everything else. An arsenal of tracking and homing weaponry made them a sure thing in a close pursuit, and any number of long-range armaments made them lethal at a distance. In a game of chicken, their homing stuff wouldn't have enough time to lock onto a target before they went roaring past, and the heavy stuff would be too dangerous to use without the risk of getting both ships caught in the blast radius. So it was all ahead on f

beefier ones of the DAR. That was his cue. He punched the engines for all they were worth.

In a roar of white-blue light and a jolt of thrust, he let Betsy do what she did best: haul ass. The flare of the engines belched out all manner of frequencies up and down the electromagnetic spectrum in one monumental blast. It wasn't technically a weapon, and it didn't last long, but at point-blank range, the EMP created from an oversized engine revving like that was more than enough to scramble the controls of even a well-shielded ship like the DAR. Lex watched the sensor screen as his ship creaked and shuddered under the acceleration. The rear camera showed Agent Fisk drifting downward and slowly twisting in an awkward direction. It was a motion pilots liked to call "going belly-up, " a sure sign of instrument and control failure. For now, Fisk was dead in the water, figuratively speaking.

Lex had only pulled that stunt once before, so, as he headed for relative safety, he feverishly tried to work out how long he had before the heavily-armed ship would be back on his tail.

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