Titus looked up to the knock on the doors and put aside
his notes about the time dilation field he had lived through.
The door swung open and in walked Mark, or Slipstream as
he liked to be called. "How's it goin' Dr. Dawkins?
Long time, no see. Glad to have you back in our world. Whatcha
been up to?"
"Well, I have been having many learning experiences
with my team," Titus said as he pulled out the white
noise generator and closed the door. "And how are you?"
"Doin' pretty good. Actually, I have a problem that
I need your help with. But that can wait." Mark said
leaning back in his chair. "Catch me up. How's runnin'
been working for you?"
"Well it's been a very... ...novel experience. I'm
observing phenomenon in ways that would never occur in the
lab. It's really quite inspiring."
"Yeah, yeah. Make with the details. Spill it."
"Very well. The most recent run involved a concerned
gentleman who wanted us to rescue his sister."
"Whoa, the whole damsel in distress thing! Who's the
"Well, luckily in this case it wasn't actually a dragon.
It was a minor member of the Yakuza."
"Hey, they're pretty bad, too. You want to watch your
step around them--they'll frag you good."
"Yes, we had some inclination of that. The basic plan
was to talk to the guy who knew where the kidnapper was.
Unfortunately, this individual wasn't very cooperative.
When negotiations failed, I tried to probe his mind after
not spotting any awakened in the area. It appeared his retained
shaman was better at hiding than I was at spotting, because
she warned him and started attacking us. At this point his
goons started attacking us, which was most unfortunate since
we had checked our weapons at the door."
"Luckily the other members of my group are much better
in a fist fight than I am. One of his goons was amazingly
fast and knocked me through a trid screen before much happened.
My teammates moved in to deal with him while I provided
some magical support. Unfortunately, hindsight being acute,
I should have activated my Increased Reflexes spell when
the commotion first started. It seems like everyone moves
so much faster and it makes it difficult to act. My friends
were dispatching with the goons pretty effectively when
their shaman, who had disappeared brought forth a hearth
spirit who proceeded to confuse us all. I cannot articulate
how frustrating that experience is."
"Yeah, tell me about it. Elementals are good for a
lot of things, but that ain't one of them."
"Luckily our shaman was able to disperse it and I
brought forth a rather large earth elemental, which turned
the tide, bagged the guy, and got us the information we
needed. Walking out was a bit of a tense moment, but we
Mark leaned forward in his chair. "It seems like you're
doin' pretty well. I had my doubts at first, but perhaps
you are suited to the biz."
"Um, thank you. From there we scouted out the location
of the kidnapper. A little astral reconnaissance revealed
that he had kidnapped many people and had a small gang.
We now know that they were scheduled to become a type of
"What the? Man, I tell you--that cyber stuff ain't
nothin' but trouble."
"Yes, particularly in this case. Our shaman was able
to quietly take out their sentries. We then closed in on
the first floor of the building where a few gang members
were hanging out. Having quietly dispatched them, we then
prepared to tackle the real challenge--the troll with the
light machinegun guarding the top of the stairs. Using a
trick I had recently learned, I took over his mind and had
him shoot at his friends. They took him down pretty quickly
with a lucky shot, but it did solve our problem of the troll
itself. Our troll, a recent addition to our team that proved
his value quite effectively, launched a grenade into the
top of the stairs which bought us some time. I protected
the troll with an Armor spell and he charged in, got shot
a lot and finished off the gang with a well-placed grenade.
A tough troll protected with an Armor spell is a really
frightening thing. From there we rescued all of the girls
that were being held there, dropped them off with Lone Star,
and returned the sister to our employer.
Hey, you rescued the damsel, did you get the reward,
Slipstream said winking.
Please, Mark, they were really quite young.
Im jus yankin ya, Dr. Dawkins.
Say, it seems like youve worked out pretty well with
that team of yours.
Yes, they are pretty capable when it comes down to
it. What was it you needed help with?
Well, were trying to get into this facility
that has some pretty involved magic security and I wanted
to pick your brain.