Super Necromancer System


Chapter 341: Spider Mining

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Chapter 341: Spider Mining

Back at Haven, several hours later, Aldrich stood in V's underground, fortified server room.

A floating screen in front of him played the news, showing off the only light in a vast room of cooled darkness.

A pretty, suited up reporter pointed at a map of the United States where several glowing red patches were marked indicating variant energy signatures.

The t.i.tle under the reporter read: VARIANTS RETREATING?

"Variant activity worldwide has been on the decline, which comes at a great and much needed surprise after the Locus Raid the week prior," said the reporter. She closed her eyes solemnly. "An attack on a scale that has never been seen since the Monstering itself."

She shuddered at the word 'Monstering', for even now, the generational trauma a.s.sociated with that word was staggering.

"Various variant behavior experts and researchers have a.n.a.lyzed the sudden retreat of variant forces, some saying that it is simply a warning for more to come, others saying that heroes and military forces have thinned enough of the herd to drive others back.

Alternatively, a new 'Thanatos Theory' has arisen that's starting to gain more traction. I'm connecting here with Dr. Vannous, head researcher at the VMI (Variant Mind Inst.i.tute), and current leading proponent of the theory."

A screen appeared at the bottom right, showing Dr. Vannous at his desk. He seemed to fit the archetype of an intellectual well, with horn-rimmed spectacles, bright, intelligent green eyes, and slightly head forward posture that made it clear he spent quite a bit of time looking down and reading.

"Dr. Vannous, can you explain the Thanatos Theory to the public?" said the reporter.

"Of course, Cindy, it would be my pleasure. As you all know, I was one of the leads on the team that formulated the Hivemind Hypothesis, particularly when it comes to Locuses," said Dr. Vannous. "I won't go into the details to bore everyone watching, but prior research has indicated that the Hivemind is reasonably intelligent and above all, cautious.

We've seen this before when Sheshanaga Biotech developed the Indraastra, an Anti-Variant gas-based biological weapon.

When unleashed on a A rank disaster Geist attack in Mumbai to devastating effect, all Geists in that entire section of the country, whether they were involved in the attack or not, retreated back to Deep Wasteland territory.

This leads me to believe that Thanatos's ability to control Locus O11 showcased a powerful threat to the Hivemind, prompting a similar retreat."

"Intertesting, then will this go the same way as the Indraastra? Sheshanaga touted it as the be all end all solution to destroying all harmful variants, but within months, the variants evolved against it," said the reporter. "Will the same happen with Thanatos?"

"That's what I would like to know," said Dr. Vannous, pus.h.i.+ng his up. "The Indraastra's continuously self-evolving viral load was meant to counter variant adapatation, but that obviously ended up not working.

In fact, it bred a strain of super Geists in India that to this day are resistant to any and all diseases.

However, the nature of Thanatos's power is unlike anything the world has seen before. It isn't simply biology or even conventional Alter power. It defies all conventions.

Can it defy variant resistance?"

'Yes it can,' was Aldrich's mental response. He did not know this for sure, but he was fairly certain. If the ent.i.ty could just adapt against Aldrich, it would not have called for a ceasefire.

Aldrich's power was on the same 'tier' as the ent.i.ty's own, both being from the Outer. Thus, one could not simply overpower the other. The reason why Aldrich's necromancy could dominate the ent.i.ty's control over variants was likely a matter of specialization.

The ent.i.ty could control a vast number of variants and create and evolve them. Aldrich's necromancy was more focused on taking control of the dead. If both Aldrich and the ent.i.ty had 100 equal stat points to distribute, the ent.i.ty had spent just 10 on 'control' while Aldrich spent more like 50.

They had the same amount of stat points, but Aldrich was simply more invested.

"That's a difficult question to answer without being able to study Thanatos's powers directly," said Dr. Vannous. "The VMI has extended an invitation to Thanatos for a study to that end."

"Oh? And has Thanatos responded?"

Dr. Vannous shook his head wistfully. "Not yet. But it's understandable. Thanatos is a new Sentinel in contention with the United States. I'm sure he has plenty on his hands to deal with already."

He stared at the camera, or rather, at Aldrich. "But, Thanatos, if by any chance you're watching this, know that we at the VMI will welcome you with open arms. For humanity's sake, let's

figure this variant threat out together."

"Thank you, doctor."

"A pleasure." Dr. Vannous disconnected.

"Now, moving on our financial expert Aaron and his projection of the markets now that the variants have retreated…"

Aldrich swiped the screen, sending that news channel away.

V whistled from the ground where she sat cross-legged and hunched over as always. "Now look at that, big boy Thanatos is the main reason all the world's variants are shaking in their boots. Or scales. Or whatever."

"It's just a theory," said Aldrich. "And why didn't I get mention of this invitation?"

*** You are reading on ***

"You kidding me?" V blew a bubble of gum and popped it with some annoyance. "You're on the world wide stage now. You get, like, a thousand requests to meet you a day.

Aldrich raised a brow. "Are you talking about me?"

"Maybe. But you've gotten a bit better on that end. You're a little more relaxed now. Maybe cause you've got a nice girl with you, hm?" V smiled.

Aldrich remembered how heavy the weight on his shoulders felt after meeting the ent.i.ty and knowing the fate of the world stood on him. He remembered also how much lighter he felt when Valera said she would be there for him no matter what.

"Potentially," said Aldrich.

"Aw, come on, you're a total tsundere type, aren't you?" V grimaced. "d.a.m.n, now I sound like Fisk."

"…" Aldrich ignored her. "If Desmond's Spiders are all dead, the news will echo to the Italian soon enough. I can have Feather pretend they're still alive for a while, but that'll only last so long.

This will spur a reaction from the Italian, no doubt. What I can't afford is the Italian getting cold feet on maintaining the Blackwater attack."

Vexa's b.u.t.terflies now comprised a careful spy network over Blackwater and its surrounding areas, and they reported that troop buildup for all three p.r.o.ngs of the Trident were increasing considerably.

The Italian and j.a.panese p.r.o.ngs were closer to Blackwater and had taken up residence in Blackwater at this point, fortifying it as if for a siege.

Which meant that the Russian was going to be at a disadvantage trying to break in.

All this happened under the radar of the world with the AA unable to deal with villain related activity with variant attack threats and the Panopticon still downed.

Granted, now that the variants were retreating, it was possible that the AA could

start investigating the area. That was where the Blackout came in. A high level Blackout from Emrys himself would prevent any heroes from interfering with the conflict.

The only wildcard here was Solomon Solar who was deep in bed with the Trident.

Aldrich still did not know where Solomon stood in this conflict. Despite the buildup of troops and the impending conflict, Solomon had not made any move himself. Even now, he was doing a PR tour where he handed out water to a tier 3 city way up north that got leveled by the Locus Raids.

Was Solomon going to fight?

Or, to be more specific, would Aldrich have to end up fighting him?

*** You are reading on ***

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