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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Motorized Combat Boots  
  Russian army-surplus self-propelled footgear.  

It's important to have an edge when you're on the street; Spring-Heeled Jack is somewhat more fleet of foot than the average chelovek.

Spring-Heeled Jack runs blind, blue fumes crackling from his heels. His right hand, outstretched for balance, clutches a mark's stolen memories. The victim is sitting on the hard stones of the pavement behind him. Maybe he's wondering what's happened; maybe he looks after the fleeing youth. But the tourist crowds block the view effectively, and in any case, he has no hope of catching the mugger. Hit-and-run amnesia is what the polis call it, but to Spring-Heeled Jack it's just more loot to buy fuel for his Russian army-surplus motorized combat boots.
From Accelerando, by Charles Stross.
Published by Ace in 2005
Additional resources -

Readers should note that Spring Heeled Jack is a well-known character from English folklore from the Victorian era. Spring Heeled Jack is also a great example of a very early urban myth spread by racy news accounts - yes, even in 1837.

Thanks to Armchair Anarchist for the tip on this one.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Accelerando
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Stross
  Tech news articles related to Accelerando
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Stross

Motorized Combat Boots-related news articles:
  - Russian Power Boots Can Use Biofuels

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