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"Kaze Wo Kirutabi Kimochi Yokutte" [version.Upgrade]

The Sidhe had dispatched a Sluagh hit-squad after Max. He didn't know if that meant the Unseelie Court had ties to the System or if it was just another unlucky roll of the dice. He did know that if the whispering swarm of sharp-edged shadows caught up to him he would at best be captured, more likely changed...

They had managed to herd him to the bridge over the river that split the village. He knew they'd catch up to him if he tried to run across. He couldn't risk jumping in the water; the elemental transition would only make him more liminal and more vulnerable to the faeries' magic. Sometimes he still regretted giving up Joy and Pain. A last stand at the bridge would at least make a good story.

Suddenly a light flared in the night sky and something large and heavy crashed into the approaching Sluagh like a meteor. Some of the creatures were crushed, others disintegrated in a wave of energy that washed off the massive object. The remaining fey assassins began to take cover.

Max grinned as he watched the object rise and unfold from the crater it had made: a fifteen foot tall mecha. He had been trying to be stealthy but the villagers would be awake now with a tale to tell (a better one than my last stand).

The surviving Sluagh started to rally, hissing and shimmering, when the panels on the bulky forearms of the robot warrior slid open and dozens of micro-warheads launched like a swarm of furious fireflies. They swirled and buzzed until they locked on their targets, their trajectories becoming lethally straight. The creatures became ash upon impact.

The panels on the back of the mech unfolded and Aqua climbed out. She perched herself on the robot's shoulder. She was wearing cool goggles. She smiled.

"Bishop helped me build it out of the wreckage of the subway car. Re-purposed 'The They' technology. I based the design off of those Golems from that Citadel videogame you always used to play. So there's a full-suite of offensive and defensive armaments and yeah, it can can still travel between dimensions.

"Sometimes you need more than just gauntlets and only a brand new outfit will do."

Max grinned. "I missed you."