Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Part 14, Chapter 6 - That Took Bloody Long Enough

It's about now, when Jonnie's in his plane preparing to take the shot to start the chain reaction to blow up the drone, that he realizes that his options for survival are kind of limited, what with the head injury and blood loss and all. The jetpacks are gone, but he does find a life raft he inflates halfway before realizing that he couldn't fit it onto the plane with him to use. Instead he busies himself securing his cockpit and pitching all the loose objects that could further injure him once a blast sends them flying.

Then there's nothing else to do but strap himself in and prepare to fire. As he switches the guns to "Full Barrage," "Flame," and "Ready," Jonnie notices that the drone's tilted so that the door is lower, towards the sea. He puts this down to the magnets of the limpet mines messing with those idiotic teleportation engines. So strong magnetic fields impair Psychlo engines? Why? How? Hasn't this proven a problem before? Nobody's weaponized this drawback? Whatever.

Jonnie releases the magnetic landing gear of his plane, starts the engine, and takes the shot as he slides out the door. Ka-boom.

The drone looked like an old rocket missile must have looked. It was soaring upward as though the door was the jet!

The physicist in me that my Physics teacher did not completely kill is weeping. Let's review: missile strikes on the drone's exterior armor - nothing. Kamikaze attacks - nothing. Nuclear bombs - nothing. But a fuel explosion in the drone's (armored) interior knocks it wildly off-course. Now you could make the argument that Jonnie prying off that panel to expose the engine is what's key here, but the drone is described as being propelled by the explosion, not veering off-course from a trashed engine. Somehow a fuel accident has done what the A-bomb can't - make the drone behave like a physical object.

Oh, and Jonnie's not dead, but his right "balance motor" has failed and he's rolling out of control, tumbling from of the sky despite him desperately "punch[ing] in coordinates to arrest his backward descent." Oh no. Could this be the end of Jonnie?

Hell no. It's page 449. We're not even halfway through the book yet. But fortunately, we're almost done with this section. And we're out of the gas drone for good.

Back to Chapter Five

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