But Jason's reactions were up to the challenge - he stayed right, and rather than slowing, he gunned his thrusters, rus.h.i.+ng perilously close to the Dead Zone protecting the New Ponte dei Scalzi - and pressed between Trouveau's Renault and the bridge's swooping arch, he banked up on his side, going a full 90 degrees, and with barely an inch on either side ...
...he rocketed out from under the bridge and shot past Trouveau's Renault - now in 5th place!
Trouveau swore. But not before Kamiko Ideki tried to seize the opportunity and swoop past him as well. But Trouveau wasn't going to allow that and he banged against the side of the Kamikaze's Yamaha, fighting him to the finish.
As for Jason, the black V-shaped tailfin of Xavier Xonora's 4th-placed Lockheed-Martin now loomed before him, banking right, taking the sweeping right-hander that led under the Rialto Bridge.
Jason did the math quickly: with only two turns to go, there just wasn't enough racetrack left to catch Xavier before the Finish Line.
Which meant, if he kept his head, he could finish 5th in his first Grand Slam race - not a bad effort at all. Just finis.h.i.+ng was an achievement, but 5th was simply awesome. And beating that creep Trouveau would be even more satisfying...
Under the Rialto. The crowds roaring. Venice II rus.h.i.+ng by him on either side.
Then banking left. The crowds going nuts. Shooting under the Accademia Bridge, after which Jason straightened and suddenly, gloriously...
...the end of the Grand Ca.n.a.l came into view, the point where it opened out into a wide harbour-like bay, flanked by the red-brick Bell Tower of St Mark's Square on the left and the giant dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute on the right. Only today, beyond the two colossal structures stood a ma.s.sive alloy arch, hovering above the water of the bay, covered in chequered flags and a huge digital leaderboard...
The Finish Line.
Jason's eyes lit up.
The end was in sight. They'd done it.
It would be the last time he'd smile in a very long time. For it was at that precise moment that a small explosive device attached to the tailfin of the Argonaut II went off.
It was about the size of a pinhead, hardly even noticeable to the naked eye.
An ultra-concentrated military explosive made of SDXIII epoxy. It was used by commando teams to blow open doors. One gram was enough to destroy the average reinforced door - more than enough to completely destroy the lightweight polycarbonate tailfin of a hover car.
It had been surrept.i.tiously placed on the tail of the Argonaut II by a light-fingered hand in the last few moments before the Italian Run had begun.
The tailfin of the Argonaut II blasted outwards in a shower of tiny pieces.
Jason immediately lost
Click here to report chapter errors,After the report, the editor will correct the chapter content within two minutes, please be patient.