An aerocar ripped over a nearby building, scattering the ever present Martian dust along with some roofing. Little more than a pod with a swiveling engine on either side, aerocars were maneuverable and fast. They were also very rare in a city this size. Usually only the giant hive cities that’d been formed by overlapping Foundries had them. This particular one also had a six barreled Gatling gun mounted underneath. As the aerocar slid through the air, the gun pointed itself right at him. So much for taking him alive. Apparently if this city couldn’t have him, no one would.
The sword automatically zoomed in and enhanced his view of the barrel, so he knew as soon as it started spinning. The blade expanded, covering his body and even reaching up to sheathe his hand as a stream of bullets tore through the air at him. Chucks of pavement exploded, sending splinters of rock across his clothing and skin. Blood was already flowing from a half dozen cuts by the time the gun narrowed in on him and the first bullet connected. Tiny jets flared to life, dyeing a hundred vents red and sending heat and smoke washing over him. His whole body shuddered. Even the power of his nanotech weapon wasn’t able to completely cancel out the sheer destructive force being directed his way.
Two or three times every second, the brilliant flash of a tracer round whipped past him. The barrage seemed to go on for a full minute, but in reality it was over in less than seven seconds. He knew because the sword had timed it down to the millisecond. As the metallic plates retracted and reformed into a razor edge, he saw the tail of the aerocar and part of one engine disappearing over a nearby rooftop. He could still see his adversary, because the sword projected a red outline showing where it was.
As the car got further away, the outline became less distinct as the combat computer could no longer determine its exact position with one hundred percent accuracy. It was pretty obvious that it was coming around for another attack run. Duran knew he’d never be able to outrun it. Its effective range was probably only a klick or two outside the city. Much more and it would be too far from the Forge that’d birthed it to work properly. He’d never get to that point though, especially outside the city where it could attack from any angle. That bird needed to be taken out of the sky.