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Full Version: Umbrae Europae [IC] (part 3) - Mist of Nycthemeron
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The distance was a bit of a problem, but Rex nonetheless tried to get an aura reading on the man/elf in the middle.

Furthermore he focused, gathering power for a lightning strike to take out the drone - no more fast travel for you.
[ Spoiler ]


Waywalker observed the newcomers for some time.
"Ok, they are clearly standing there and not doing much. Let's do this."
He tried to climb to the entrance at the first floor without getting noticed.

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
Waywalker discreetly as possible approaches the west wall of the building, away from the regards of the two elfs. He jumps on the wall, and starts climbing with an incredible dexterity. While he is half way through there, sadly, his foot trips, and a piece of bricks fells on the floor.

[ Spoiler ]

He freezes, but hears the two elfs having a brief exchange in Sperethiel and starts moving toward his position...

In the meantime on Earth...

Crouched on top of the ruins of the farm, Rex's feline form growls as a lightning bolt darts out of his mouth and strikes the unaware drone violently.

[ Spoiler ]

The poor four-legged device is pushed to the ground and electric arcs runs all across its body, melting numerous of its advanced electronic circuit. The poor little drone emits heart breaking, dying noise before the convulsion stops and it finally rest on the ground. However, the group surrounding it does not wait for this to happen. All the mercenaries immediately jump to cover, using the local vegetation to get out of sight, while the man in the middle, as he is being assensed by Rex, cast an invisibility spell on him.

[ Spoiler ]

Before his aura disappears in the astral, Rex manages to catch a glimpse of it. The man is clearly awakened and initiate to the art of meta magic. Rex can fell the man has actually a better grasp than him on those advanced uses of magic. Not surprisingly, the man has an untouched essence, and is strangely calm given what Rex's just tossed their way.

[ Spoiler ]

[ Spoiler ]

Rex contented himself with the glimpse as he quickly left the observation point to move back to the car of the intruders. Damaging it would probably prompt them to turn back to ensure they didn't lose their way out of here.
Romain Pelisse
Waywalker freezes as he sees one of the elf going around the corner of the building, arriving just a few meters below him. The rigger thought he has been discreet enough, but now he feared that he was going to be spot. The guard, just a meter below his feet, looks carefully left and right, and then behind him. Above him, Waywalker hold his breath. The elf, seems suddenly relieved, and turn to face the wall, before opening his trousers, and starts whistling as he relieves himself on the same wall Waywalker is on - only a few meters away from where the guard, hum, "stream", hits it...

Once he is done, the elf goes back to his original position, completely unaware of the little wood boy hanging above him. Once the guards apparently resumed his position and starts talking with his partner, Waywalker keeps climbing up, and goes through the opening leading directly to the attic. When he arrives there, he is very surprised to discover that the place has been refitted into a small museum to WW2. Well, this refitting clearly predates the Mist swallowing up the village, so all of the displays looks both old fashion, compare to the 70's standard, but also, very much out of place in the eerie location this village has become.

Before he can start digging for a clue - which is going to be quite difficult, not speaking neither french, nor German, he hears a noise, and thus goes to cover behind a nearby vitrine exposing some memorabilia from the Nazi military. Hidden being it he can not see anything, but he can definitely hears that someone has entering the room, mumbling something, and moving slowly through it...

In the meantime on Earth...

Crouching behind part of the wall to remains discreet, Rex, still using his astral perception, sees a new aura, appearing nearby the position of the awakened. If he had to guess, he would say that his opponent just invoked a Kami...

Waywalker would've stopped breathing, if he didn't remember that a drone does not need to. Founding quickly his way into the building, he was very surprised to found a museum.
But someone (something?) was there with him, so he hid himself and pointed the sensor array of the drone to get a glimpse of what was doing the noise.

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
Very carefully Waywalker bends slightly and turn his head to look over the corner of the desk he is hiding behind. Fortunately for him the newcomer is clearly not paying attention to his surroundings. The man, or rather the creature is rather strange. He looks like a human white male, in his late fifties, but have a very magnetic glow, and is very good looking. However, despite the lack of metahumans feature - such as pointy ears, the man clearly feels "alien". Maybe it is the white gloves on his hand ? The rest of his outfits is a simple black suit, that seems to be coming from an other century and is covered with dust. But the white gloves are for sure sticking out.

The man, still unaware of the rigger presence, gets closer to a desk covered with paperwork, still mumbling to himself and, without at the chair, starts looking with interest to the papers, doing some shuffling. After a few instant, he even put out a monocle from his pocket and starting bending to study closely what appears to be some paperwork from the occupation. Waywalker got the feeling the man is spending his days here doing some sort of research...
'I need to draw them away from their target and our van.' Rex didn't let the additional danger through the Kami deter him.
He had reached the car and sent a short lightning strike at the left front wheel, turning the run flat tire into slag, while the super heated air caused a satisfying bang that the crew certainly had heard.

As quickly as he had come, he moved away from Waywalker's hidden van, leaving an obvious track before moving carefully again, vanishing into the tall vegetation, making sure that the living plants provided cover for his aura.

[ Spoiler ]


"I hope he's going to get ut of my way pretty fast, or at least he's too focused on the books to notice me..."

Waywalker waited a little for the man to be completely focused and then tried to sneak behind him to look for the book.

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
Waywalker moves inside the small museum to look at all the items in display. He managed, he thinks, to do it rather discreetly, but still, he quickly realizes he is coming up empty. He was hoping for the book, Rituel of Haute Magie, to be somehow in display, but none of the item looks closer to any kind of books from the XIXth century. There is a lot of memorabilia from WW2, from medals, to insignia of all kinds, followed by paperwork, both in German and French. As he stopped to check on the weird old man, he is suddenly startled. So old man, still bend on the desktop, starts talking to him.

"Tell me, little fellow made of wood, did you find what you are looking for ?"

As Waywalker froze, the old man turns around and look at him, grinning weirdly, like a evil sorcerer of a kid fairy tales.

"Oh, what a cute little thing you are. I wonder who carved you, you are very elegantly designed. But please, tell me what you are looking for here. I would like to be a bad host and miss all my duty as guardian of this alien place..."

In the meantime, on Earth...

As the group he targeted is still crouching in defense posture, Rex left the remnants of the farm and ran toward their van - hidden by high vegetation and other rocks. As the vehicle comes within his eyesight, he stops and fires an bolt that strike one of the wheel and melt it immediately. But before he can anything else, the air suddenly gets colder and a gush of air seems to be sucked, just in front of him. Rex knows that phenomenon all but too well - Mana is bleeding from the astral.

Barely a microsecond after that, a huge plants rise from the ground and faces him, with an aggressive stands and awful stench of mud and grass.

[ Spoiler ]
[ Spoiler ]

Rex avoids being startled... much. As the forma of his previous spell was still fresh in his mind, he just opened the same pathway again, this time a bit wider and aimed at the newly formed spirit.

Waywalker was very puzzled by the old man. And froze in place when he talked.
"He does not seem hostile...however, better be cautious."
"I apologize for my presence here, as I did not introduce myself. My name is Waywalker; with who do I have the pleasure to talk to?"

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
The weird looking Fae responds immediately to Waywalker interrogation with a large smile and joins his hands together - which make the rigger noticed again his pristine white gloves.

"Ah, good Sir, it's a delight to meet with you. My name is... irrelevant. People generally calls me the Professor. I've been here so long and called like that so long, that I am not even sure what my actual name can be! I'm quite happy to make your acquaintance Sir Waywalker... Oh, Waywalker... Such a metaphoric name... Can I intrude and dare ask you where are you from and how did you inherits such a potent name ? Just hearing the sound of it rings of adventure and perilous trips. Oh, I'm forgetting all my duty as a host! You surely want a tea ? You must be parched!"

Without waiting for Waywalker to responds, the old man turns to his desk and use a match to light a candle beneath an old tea pot...

In the meantime on Earth...

[ Spoiler ]

Barely manifested in the physical the large plant spirit is half teared apart by the powerful lightning bolt - but it does not fallback, and, despite all the burning pieces falling around him, it jumps on Rex, trying to pin him down to the ground.

[ Spoiler ]
[ Spoiler ]

Rex wasn't in the mood for hugs - confident in his preternatural force of personality he easily dodged the plant and unleashed another lightning strike at the impertinent Kami.


"I remember something about the inhabitants of the magic world...Always be polite."
Waywalker tried to smile at the words of the Professor.
"You are doing me a great honor, which I am not sure to deserve. I am from the Sixth World, outside the Mist. I have been in quite some perilous trips that earned my that name, for my ability to walk through various enviroments safely. I would love to accept the tea, but in this current form I cannot eat or drink. Please do as I had accepted.
May I ask you what do you guard here? It is indeed an interesting place."

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
Bring him a tea nevertheless the Professor offers a seat, at a table nearby, to Waywalker, before joining him and replies to him:

"Oh, "guarding" you said ? Oh, I'm certainly not guarding this place... Hum. I guess the gentlemen downstairs might be guarding it - in some way... Or not ? But, me, no, I'm not guarding anything. I'm exploring, investigating... I am researching this fabulous place. The stories hidden in those archive have been keeping me busy for decades and will for the years to come. Such strange tales of despair and woe are in those document. So many strange tools and strange collections of items. It is really, really intriguing."

Finishing his tea, the Professor takes a small pause before going on:

"And you my little friend, what brings YOU, here. Are you also on a quest for knowledge or is there something more ... sinister" (he asks with an amused grin) - "bringing you, here ? Tell me. Tell me everything, my little boy made of wood!"

And in the meantime on Earth...

[ Spoiler ]

Partially stunned by the effect of the first bolt, the plant spirit freezes for a micro-second - it is enough time to allow Rex to cast a second bolt right into the manifested spirit. The monster plant thing then immediately collapse and disintegrate, returning back to the astral realm it had been invoked from. Rex is safe now, but he knows the group, barely hundreds meters south to his position are now aware of his position. The chaotic vegetation, along with a couple of trees and ruins blocks the line of sight, but this may not stop the group to attack him soon...
[ Spoiler ]

Rex didn't hang around. With the speed of super powered cheetah he ran through the underbrush, before finding a particularly large tree to climb where he could get a better view of the opposition.
He didn't want to genuinely hurt these people - not without knowing who they were and what their aim was.

Waywalker was somewhat reassured by the words of the Professor.
"As I said before, I am from another world outside the Mist, and I am here looking for a specific book, that from the information I have is hidden in this building."
Romain Pelisse
Still in his lion's form, Rex sneaks away quickly from the scene, and found a large tree, big enough to supports him, some hundreds meters south to the position of the opposition's vehicle. Quickly, he spot the group emerging back for the fields. The mercs are arriving first, just on the spot where he fought the plant spirit, just minutes ago, looking desperately for a trail to pick. The soldiers losing time here is exactly what Rex wants, but he is worried to not see the awakened leader comes out too... But then, he suddenly appears, or rather his astral form manifests - and immediately points toward his position!

[ Spoiler ]

In the meantime, in an Other World...

As Waywalker mentions the books, the Professor stats smiling but does not comment. As the rigger finishes his sentence, the old man keeps grinning, and turning his tea, creating an awkward silence, that he finally breaks by saying:

"Ahhh... I know which book you are looking for... I know it so well, actually. It is mentions in several documents here. Some in this hard and cryptic you call German, I think. Other in French - neither an easy one this language. None of those fools, back in the last century on your planet understood what happened to the book and where he ended up... But I am far more smarted than most of them. This is a riddle, I've cracked a while back now..."

He stops, smiling with blatant pride. Waywalker being an experienced Shadowrunner has no issue understanding why the old man stopped speaking. No need for etiquette or to analyze body behavior to figure out where this discussion is headed. The Professor has something he wants. So now, the question is, what is Waywalker ready to do to get it...
[ Spoiler ]

'Well, snitches get stiches'.
Opening the floodgates of power inside him, Rex sets an astral barrier around the mage. The mana burns him and he feels his own blood drip from his nose. For good measure he sets the barrier to be self sustaining.
Using an openly visible ARO he communicates a message to the mercenaries:

<<Your boss is in a magic prison. If he doesn't return to his body within a few hours, he'll die. If you don't want this to happen, you better stand down.>>

"Sixth World or other World, it boils down to the same: negotiation."
Waywalker smiled as much as the drone body permitted him. He had no intention to play a game of back and forth with the Professor, so he went straight to the point.
"A riddle, do you say? Very interesting! And what would you want to give me the book?"
Romain Pelisse
The Professor seems saw surprise by Waywalker comment that he cannot hold a short laugh:

"Ah, people at the Court told me how.... straightforward you people from the Sixth World are." - he goes on, imitating to the perfection a CAS deep South accent "ain't no beatin' aroun' the bush with ya', neh!".

Slowly putting his cup back on the table, the Professor seems to gather his thoughts for a moment, before going on:

"Well, first of all, little fellow, I don't want to set the wrong kind of expectation. The book is not here. It is most likely back on your realm. During my research I came around some encrypted document of the Third Reich. I managed to decipher them and I know they move the document before the fall of their tremendous empire."

The admiration for the Third Reich in the Fae voice is obvious, and makes Waywalker a bit uncomfortable.

"I know enough to help locate it. I'm willing to trade this information indeed. Assuming you are willing to help with a little ... situation of mine. I assumed you saw, and went around those guards outside. Those are here on the account of my sponsor, Lady Darkbane. While I'm very grateful of their presence, I must confess their presence also deprive me for some much needed, let's say, privacy. I can not really move away from here without them... noticing, and most likely reporting it back to their lady."

The Professor paused again, to let the information sinks in into Waywalker mind, and take a sip of tea:

"Do you think you may be able to distract them, and draw them away from here, for a little while ? If you can, I will be very grateful and I will then give you the information I have on the book you are searching..."


Waywalker relaxed now that a negotiation was ongoing.
"I hope I was not impolite, Professor. However, what kind of distraction do you want? Would they be willing to speak with me? If I could, would that be enough? Or do you want them physically away from here? And for how much time? I ask all these question just to provide to you your ..."privacy", as you said."
Romain Pelisse
The Professor grins keeps growing. He is very much delighted - or at least, it seems so, of the way the discussion is moving forward.

"Oh, don't be embarrassment, for the way of your people. You, creature of the Sixth World, as you call it, have far more... shorter lifespan than us, Fae. You need to be far more efficient at your business dealing. To be honest, it is quite refreshing.

The Professor stops - mostly for dramatic effect.

"So, to answer your questions as my requirements for privacy. I don't that much time to ... attend to my private matters. But I do need the two guards to be a bit away from the the building, and they need to be distracted long enough for me to sneak out. I think something around 5 to 10 minutes should be enough. Of course, if you manage to keep them busy longer - all the better."

Before Waywalker can answer anything, the Fae turns back to his desk and grab a weird looking device. It looks like a weird mix of an old fashion talkie-walkie, but one that would have been designed during the steam age. The casing is made of wood and there is a tiny chimney along the antennae !

"Don't be distraught by the appearances of those devices. Like you, I guess, they have been quite modified when they reached our realm. However, they are fully functional. I would let you know when I am, hum, quite literally 'out of the woods'. I will also tell you what I know about the book using this ...speaking machine."

Handing over the strange contraption, he concludes - imitating perfectly, this time, a North American accent:

"Do we have a deal, friend ?"

In the meantime on Earth...

When the mage returns to the Astral he has the nasty surprise of finding himself surrounded by an Astral Barrier erected by Rex! It took a few instant for him to recover from the surprise, before he starts try to escape it.

[ Spoiler ]

While the asrally projected mage rages against the Mana barrier, the mercs - four in total, are still on their way toward Rex's position, moving carefully in diamond's formation.
'Yey, I've got their attention. Now, how do I stop them from making me kill them? Oh right, I'm a mage.'

<<Seriously? You want to continue with that after I imprisoned your mage?>>

Rex changed position again, leaving the message behind. Sneaking away and establishing line of sight to one of the mercs was the next step.
That done, he used the same trick he had used on the herb collectors: 'Fly, you fool'

[ Spoiler ]

<<Stand down, or I'll drop him.>>


"I think we have a deal. Just for my information, what are those giant mushroom-like creatures? What do they eat? Are they reasonable?"

Romain Pelisse
The Professor smiles again, but this time, not out of cheer joy or excitement, but more to approve Waywalker line of thoughts.

"I can see, my little friend, that you already have noticed that the local creatures are not too much found of my guardians haven't you ? Or, rather to be exact, they found them annoying, which makes my guardians a bit nervous. I can see you know how to leverage such situation to your advantages. But you are right, to do so, you need to know and understand better the Kayeri. That is their names by the way."

The old looking Fae then stops, as to prepare to deliver a presentation.

"In the Court, we know the kayeri as ferocious protectors of the forests and the jungles, rarely willing to step foot outside of their birth-lands (which is not to say that they can’t be coaxed from their homes). For all of their reclusiveness, they are however happy to negotiate with outsiders, particularly if it involves woodland preservation. As the my sponsor has not plan to harm the site we are right now in, I believe they opted to accommodate her - but I don't think they got anything out of the deal. But I digress. Let's go back to the Kayeri themselves."

"The kayeri are most commonly found in the Court acting as either as bodyguards or as members of a private military. Eager to please, they’re remarkably pliant creatures, happy to conform to any order, or to adapt to any situation. Combined with their natural prowess, their facility for traveling through woodland areas with exceptional speed, they make ideal infantry. When not otherwise working for their employers, the kayeri are inevitably found gamboling in heavy vegetation. Eyewitnesses claim that these Fae can communicate with the plants themselves and have been seen accelerating their growth, or resculpting hedges into aesthetically pleasing shapes. What the kayeri actually say to the plant life, however, no one knows."

"Unlike some of the other Fae, the kayeri are anything but territorial, at least in regards to other members of their species. Travel is free between forests, and it’s not uncommon for entire families to share a single patch of green. Only outsiders are required to negotiate access. But do note that this interspecies friendliness isn’t entirely altruistic. The kayeri, to put it delicately, are uncannily ... virile creatures."

The idea of the mushrooms creatures having some kind of sexual intercourse does make Waywalker pause for an instant.

"I can see the idea is troubling you, but be aware that relationships are universally polyamorous, and frequently consisting of a single male with two primary females. All three frequently possess secondary partners and will also involve themselves in casual encounters. Any children born of these unions are taken into the protection of whatever partner group spawned them. However, custody isn’t set in stone. The kayeri will happily shepherd their young to whichever family proves most competent—or invested — at their care."

"As you have seen, those critters are quite large. Both female and male kayeri are exceptionally tall, standing 2.2 meters in height. Physically, they resemble muscular, bipedal rabbits, although their facial features betray a distinctively hominid cast. Their jaw structures are particularly interesting. Unlike the timid herbivores they are so often compared to, kayeris possess carnivore teeth, similar to those seen on a wolf. I can see with your reaction that you did get to see those tooth from up close..."

"As an added point of interest, their dentition not only suggests the ability to rip and tear but also an enormous aptitude for latching onto their quarry. It is worth noting that the kayeri may have a symbiotic relationship with their mushroom hats, which aren’t accessories, but actual fungi growing out of their skulls. Of course, it could simply be a part of their biology. It is not unusual to see the kayeri in a vegetable state, shedding fur and bone, to take on the appearance of giant mushrooms. In fact, some argue that this might be their preferred form."

"Whatever the truth, one thing is for sure: the kayeri are dangerous. Be aware of that, young man. Their diet is not bovine-exclusive as legend suggests, although they can devour an entire cow in minutes—flesh, hooves, and all. Fortunately, such rapacious behavior is not actually common among the kayeri. This is more/less all I know about those intriguing Fae. I do admire their strength and their obedience, but the lack the ambition and superiority that would led them to achieve any kind of 'grandiose' accomplishment..."

In the meantime on Earth...

[ Spoiler ]

As Rex casts his spell, he realized that Waywalker has disappeared into the Mist for merely a few minutes and the situation has already escalated way more quickly than any runner would like. But still,
he fells ahead of the game. Despite his impressive strength, the merc could not resist the spell and is now dangling, above the ground. All the other ones are desperately looking for a target to shoot... When their partner reaches a level threatening high and their boss, the mage, does not makes a come back, the second in command orders them to stand down.

After the mercs put their weapons on the ground, the man in command removes his helmet and turns out to be a female. Some long, blond hair suddenly emerges from the armor - all surrounding a rather attractive face. The woman is in her early thirties and have a very stern expression - that even her blues eyes can not make soft.

"OK. You clearly have the upper end here. Our leader, and our magical support, appears to be out of commotion and you are dangling our captain in the air. Fine. What are your terms ?"

[ Spoiler ]
Rex was satisfied with this result
Again he set up an ARO to get her to reveal her commlink number.
Once contact was established he replied:
<<I do not wish to harm you, but your group is interfering with a very delicate international operation.

Why have you entered an area, clearly marked as dangerous? Who are you working for?

As for my terms: Simple, stand down. Don't move forward into the mist area. You are allowed to repair the wheel of your vehicle - the sooner you leave, the better.
Any aggressive act on your part will be answered with lethal force - that includes deceptions.
I'll inform you when you can resume your mission. If you comply I'll return your man and free your leader.>>

"Obviously you know more about them than I do. Do you think they could be...persuaded to attack the guards?"
Romain Pelisse
After hearing Rex's statement, the merc woman pauses for an instant, before bursting into a cynical laughter.

"... Because you are not, yourself a Shadowrunner sneaking beneath the security established by the Council of Brittany, aren't you ? Right. Let's cut the crap. You have no right to be here, and our operations is in fact sanctions by both the High Council and Brittany and even the Korrigans! I don't think you have remotely any kind of jurisdiction. But if it is the case, do not worry. We have notified the authority the minute we ran into contact with you, and reinforcement are on the way..."

In the meantime on the Seelie Court plane...

"Well, I'm not sure if I know a way to trigger such... unpleasantness between those parties, but I'm sure if there is a way, a resourceful creature like you will find it!"

As if this last statement was supposed to conclude their discussion, the Professor then turns his back on Waywalker and comes back to his desk to resume his work.
<<I can neither deny nor confirm those allegations. There is a slight chance that I was hired by the same people as you - especially considering the timing.

Bringing in your back up could escalate this situation - especially since I likely have your most capable spell caster imprisoned. I quickened the spell, so even in the unlikely case you and your back up should overpower me, he will remain in there until the connection to his body runs out and he dies - unless I help him.>>

'Hopefully none of those mercs realize they could just carry the mages body over to his prison and let him escape that way. And even more hopefully, Waywalker gets back soon so we can get out of here without fighting the local powers.'

Rex moved carefully in a circle, so he was closer again to the imprisoned mage and his - so far - frustrated attempts to escape. He felt odd for showing so much restraint. Beast was slavering for blood and still, he hadn't hurt any of these people - yet.

Just on the off chance that he had to content with a hacker out here, he rebooted his persona before he continued his message:

<<If you tell me what you are after, we might be able to come to a mutual beneficial arrangement.>>

"Well, I'll figure something out."
Holding the communication device, Waywalker used the window from where he did enter to exit the same way, hopefully unnoticed by the guards.

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
Listening to the Rex's declaration, the merc woman can not stop herself to laugh out loud.

"You really wants me to believe that you running some kind of legit operation here ? Well, OK, for the sake of it, I'll play along..."

With a soft movement of the end, the woman triggers the apparition of an ARO in front of her. It shows a rather complicated form - all in french of course, titled:

"Formulaire d'autorisation B342c de déploiment d'unité militaire ou paramilitaire par une organisation non gouvernemental, ni corporatiste"

However the title has been translated in English:

"Authorization form B342c for military or paramilitary unit from a non gouvernemental organisation, nor corporatiste."

A set of unique MARKs are associated to the document,

With a nasty grin, the mercs goes on:

"Well.. I've shown you mine, now show me yours..."

Rex's is paying attention enough to know that the mercs are tensing up. They know their leader may have called Rex's bluff, and are ready to jump back into action if needed.

Before the mage can do anything, an alert rings in his head ! The trapped mage has stopped trying to simply destroy the astral barrier he is trapped in!

[ Spoiler ]

In the meantime on the Seelie Court plane ...

Waywalker climbs down as discreetly as possible the building's wall and reaches, unnoticed the ground. The two elves guards have resume their patrolling, in silence, around the building. Waywalker managed to cross the street, and hides behind a the remnant of a small wall before the two soldiers can spot him. Remains now to find a plan to distract them long enough for the Professor to do he whatever he needs to...
[ Spoiler ]

'Well, shit, looks like I really have to hurt that guy before he does something that I'll regret.'

While he moved back to the mage prison as fast as he could, he send another message:

<<Well, that seems to be alright then. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Carry on.>>

It was in fact only a short distance - at least if you considered the speeds that a puma on magic steroids could reach. Still, he didn't want to kill the mage - which his dual natured claws could have achieved pretty easily. Instead he opted for slamming his will against the spirit of the mage before that could manage to destroy his prison.
'Damn it Waywalker, I really hope you can find the book and get out of this place again within the next few seconds, because after that I might have severely hurt agents of the French government.'

"I played it as a child, I was pretty good at Nascondino..."
Waywalker lokked for a stone and for an escape way. His plan was to play Hide-and-Seek with two Faeries.

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
"Carry on ? Are you f..."

The second in command of the group of mercs cannot finished her sentence before Rex, in his feline form, bolt almost right through and jump toward the invisible shape of the astral barrier he created to capture the mage. Behind him, it's chaos:

"They have a para-critter!"

"Shoot this it"

"Assume defense position"

Some of the mercs are vaguely shooting in his direction, but more to keep him away than trying to stop him. He reaches the barrier right when it disintegrate and jump to push the astrally projected mage to the ground. Completely surprised to see a dual creature jumping at him, the poor mage, who was finally free, is immediately knocked out.

[ Spoiler ]

Rex lands on the ground and simply keeps running away from the mercs, and his soon out of their line of fire. However, his sense allow him to hear the last order of the now, very pissed off woman:

"QG, on a été attaqué. Au moins un éveillé et apparament un para-créature. Nous avons besoin de renfort. Signalez l'incident au control de la bordure de la Brume, faites converger leur unité sur notre position."

The linguasoft used on Rex's commlink slowly translates the sentence to:

"HQ, we have encounter hostile on the premise. At least one awakened along with maybe a para-critter. We need back up. Notify the High Council and have Mist Border control and make them converges on our position."

In an almost funny manner, the end of the communication coincide with a loud "bump". The mercs's leader has rejoined the ground, a bit abruptly.

[ Spoiler ]

As the groups mercs regroup and follows Rex's trail, now going back into the general direction of the village where Waywalker's disappeared, the mage has to think about what to do next, because clearly, the situation is not deescalating and Waywalker is not back yet...

In the meantime in the Seelie Court's plane...

If Rex is feeling like he is running out of time, Waywalker is certainly taking his time. He's been playing cat and mouse with the guards for what seems hours now. Making a little noise there to distract them, going on the other side of the mansion to then throw stone at them, and again disappeared into the bushes before they can spot him. His little game is clearly going on their nerves. He can heard them arguing in Sperethiel. Of course he can't figure what they say but he managed to recognized one word is familiar with "Tommyknocker". If he think he is one, his plan worked like a charm!

[ Spoiler ]

Now, he fells it's time to move to the next step. Especially with the light declining. So Waywalker, still shaped like a little wood boy, not without remembering Pinoccio, suddenly appears in plain sight, just 30m away from the guards, and whistles! The two furious elves does not even take an instant to think and start running toward him immediately. Waywalker runs away also, but in direction of one of the meanest giant mushrooms he saw. But he better not catch up by them before...

[ Spoiler ]
Now that he was running and had blown his act, there was only one thing to do: Keep moving and drawing the mercenaries attention away from their own car.

Therefore, Rex changed his course to describe a curve, leading away from the hidden van, slowing down just enough so that the mercenaries could be able to follow him - or at least concentrate their attention in his direction. Once the cavalry arrived they would be in real trouble - he might even have to change his form again and leave his gear behind to escape scrutiny as a normal woodland creature.

Just to give the mercenaries another thing to think about he sent:
<<For your information, I just knocked out the spirit form of your mage. Unless you bring his unconscious body to the place where he manifested for you, his astral body and real body might stay separated for too long, which in turn will kill him. I'm sorry, but he didn't give me much choice when he insisted to break out. Ignore this warning at your own risk.>>

Waywalker's plan was working. "I hope I don't get caught in my own plan..." He thinked while running.

[ Spoiler ]
Romain Pelisse
In the shadows, many runners argues for being ruthless. That enemy you left behind alive, might come back to kick in the ass. Some make it even a point to kill their opponent, claiming that "No good deed goes unpunished". Well, for Rex, his good deed got immediately rewarded. As he stops running briefly, to observe the mics behind him, he can already see that the group is splitting and two of them are now going toward the mage's body resting place. Only the angry merc woman and one of her soldier keeps running toward his position. He has been been quite faster than them, so Rex still have a head start, but they are now gaining on him...

[ Spoiler ]

In the meantime in the Seelie Court plane...

Waywalker is running as fast as tiny body allows him too. He knows he can't be them on cheer speed, so he is also jumping on remnant of walls, going through broken windows and anything else he can find to make his pursuer life as hard as possible.

[ Spoiler ]

Despite being taller than him, at least in this context, and probably have more raw force than the little robotic body, the two elves are barely keeping up with him. Waywalker does not need to look back to know that because he often hears what he thinks are insult in Sperethiel a dozen of meters behind him.

He finally reaches the spot, or rather the large mushroom, he has been aiming since the beginning. He jumps behind a wall, just next to critter, while the two elfs arrived. Suddenly, the large critter turns to them, his mouth opens - clearly displeased by the disruption and the behavior of the two noise metahuman. The two elves pull out their sword and prepare to battle for their life.

Hidden behind a piece of ruins, Waywalker uses the "device" the Professor gave him to inform him. His voice coming out of the "device" is covered by the noise of the battle, so Waywalker can barely hear him:

"Ah, so 'the coast is clear', perfect, perfect... Then, just keep this device I gave you. When you will be back on your world, it will tell you were to go. Well, as you say on your world: 'See you on the other side', I guess"


Waywalker was pretty pleased with the results of his plan. "Will the device work across the wall?" he asked the Professor.
Leaving the two guards battling with the giant mushrooms, he tried to remember the direction of the exit of this weird place and looked upon returning to his meatbody.

[ Spoiler ]
Rex had no intention of getting caught - or get into short range of any of the mercenaries weapons. So he sped along through the woods, ahead of his pursuers. 'I need to learn some non-lethal spells to deal with such situations. I probably should have just killed them all with a surprise attack. But I don't have one of those spells either. Damn, I'm just not prepared for stuff like this.'
Time to lose them. With his powerful legs he began to sprint in earnest, eating ground at record speed - especially since he asked the Kami to use his movement power on their shared body.

For a moment everything began to blur as he propelled himself forward at such an immense speed, that he had to relinquish control over his body to the Kami, so he wouldn't impact against a tree.

[ Spoiler ]

Romain Pelisse
As Waywalker maneuvers away from the guards fighting with the giant mushroom, he hears a crackling, mysterious reply from the Professor:

"Oh, don't worry, little fellow, it will perfectly fine for the purpose at hands. Farewell!"

The rigger is not sure what the strange Fae means by that but the line goes immediately dead after this last answers. Clearly the Professor has no intention of indulging me with more information. On the brigh side, he soon sees the weird Mist reappears in the woods surrounding him.

It is rather complex to navigate through the dense fog, especially as it grows thicker and thicker, as he goes on. Fortunately for him, Waywalker is pretty ground at navigation and he feels confident he is back on the proper track. And he needs this confidence, because soon, the trees around him disappears, to replace by just opaque, white smog. After a while, it even seems to him that the ground itself is no longer the consistent with the one of a forest. At this point Waywalker has, despite its best effort, completely lost his bearing. He is just going forward still hoping to be on the right direction.

In truth, he probably only spends a few instants in this "lost in time and space" feeling, but for him, it feels like an eternity. But suddenly, he left stumble upon a rock. And he immediately feels, moving his foot, how mechanical and metallic his foot now feels. Raising his head to see in front of him, his all AR environment suddenly reappears, with all the messages from Rex, his position in relation of their vehicle and the time that has past since he "went to the other side".

It's quite a shock form him to realize that barely minutes have past since he left his world. He feels like he spent almost a day in the strange village, dodging improbable mushrooms and having tea with weird faes. He is also understand quickly how much their position have become complicated since he disappears! They are some sort of mercs searching the area for Rex, and clearly, more are coming...

To make matter worse, Waywalker did not reappeared exactly where he left and his new position puts the mercs between him and Rex (and their vehicle). Normally could just dump the walker drone, but his robotic hands still holds the weird device from the Seelie plane, which now just became a good old fashion takie-walkie from the WW2.

[ Spoiler ]

Rex stopped about a kilometer away. He had to sneeze pretty hard to get all the dust and small bugs out of his face. Once again he was thankful for the doggy goggles he wore. This was the part that those super hero comics left out: How dirty super speed got you.

Suddenly there was a ping - "Messages delivered". 'That was quick, although maybe not quick enough.'
He composed a message to Waywalker:
<<Welcome back. We need to get out of here asap. Some state sponsored mercenaries were headed towards the village too and I had to entertain them a bit so they wouldn't meet with your drone. I'm sending you the position where I last saw them. If you want I can organize another distraction, so you can slip past them and back to your car. Or you just abandon the drone and I meet up with you on the road.>>

Waywalker was pretty sure of his skill in navigating a path, but the passage from the Faerie plane to the Sixth World felt like an eternity.
As soon as he was again jumped in the drone, the metallic one this time, he saw their situation being considerably worse than when he left.
"I know it looks bad, but I have a plan... Could you tag me the leader? I must wait for an information before I can dump the drone safely here, and we cannot leave or the range would get in our way. I'll try to confuse their communication to buy us some time."
The he instructed the Pilot to stay still and send any sensor info to the RCC and from there to him. After that, he jumped out of the drone to go in VR.

[ Spoiler ]
<<Sending you their last known positions. Give me a ping where I can find your drone, I'll make sure that no-one gets to close to it.>>

Rex moved back in a wide arc toward the drone, but didn't use his full speed as that would leave some pretty clear tracks behind.
Romain Pelisse
[ Spoiler ]

The rigger had no issue hacking into the merc's leader and make it send the message. However, it's likely that HQ, whatever that is, will follow up, but this may have bought them a couple of much needed minutes. The walker, with the precious talkie-walkies is still a couple of kilometer way from their vehicle, with the remaining mercs more and less in between. Rex catches up with it very easily. As Waywalker as left it, the little drone is on standby, looking a bit dead. The WW2 communication device firmly hold in its hands.
<<I'm close to your drone, if you want I can bring that device back to you real quick. But whatever we do, we should not stay here for much longer. If the mercs are clever they will be applying a stim patch to the mage. When he is awake again a serious conflict will be unavoidable.>>
Rex replied.

[ Spoiler ]

Waywalker took a moment to assess the situation. He smiled looking at the responses from HQ.
"I caused a mess with their communication, buying us some time. Technically I can leave the drone here and we can leave and stay in a range of 20-30 Km without problems for the connection, but I fear that the mercs could find it. What do you think?"
<<I can camouflage the drone and have the Kami conceal it. As a drone it shouldn't be picked up by magic senses. The only thing threatening would be someone finding it through the matrix.
Tell your drone to lie flat in that little ditch. I'll conceal it with vegetation, leaving that antenna thingy poking out. That done, we should both get out of here asap.>>
Rex replied and began to cast his telekinetic fine control spell to collect some vegetation to conceal the small drone

"Good call chummer. As soon as you finish to cover it we can go away with the van and ditch the drone. I'll wait jumped in my van, ready at a moment's notice."
Waywalker jumped in the drone to finely control its movements, the went back into the van, waiting for Rex and looking for the reinforces of the mercs through the sensors.

[ Spoiler ]
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