Ohhhhh boy. It's the Squad! The Team! The Gals! The Sisterhood! The Family! The Colony is coming to get me! I feel giddy, it's almost like I'm being broken out of prison. Wait, that's exactly what's happening. Need to stay cool. No need to let people know what's happening. As far as they're concerned, business as usual. Which means, training, eating, mutating and getting ready to fight the next battle. I'll need to try and meet Jim soon and see if he's ready to progress with his escape strategy. Should probably check in with Sarah to see if she wants to come with us. I sort of doubt it, considering how reluctant she was last time we spoke.
In my mind the ideal scenario is till that I escape and make my way out to re-join the Colony. If those crazy ants bust into this place it'll get real messy real quick. And not just for the Shapers. I can't imagine an invasion by thousands of ant monsters would be swept under the rug. Once the word got out the Goglari would pull together an extermination force. Hundreds, maybe thousands of those damn Warriors, with Shaper support and who knows what other tricks they've got stashed away under the rug. It would be a disaster, one that I'm keen to avoid.
Gotta get busy. Not wanting to waste time, I throw my brains into training even as I chomp down on the Biomass in front of me. Torrina raises an eyebrow at me.
[So keen to train today, Anthony? I can feel you working your mana.]
[Things are only going to get tougher from this point on. Can't afford to stuff around. Gotta train, then mutate.]
[Alright. Granin will be happy to hear it. Give me a second and I'll help you.]
[Sure. Any chance I'll be able to get another meeting with Jim and Sarah? I'd like to have a word with them soon if it's at all possible.]
[I'll talk to Granin. He's the one who can make it happen.]
[Thanks, I appreciate it.]
After stretching her mental muscles for a few minutes, Torrina is ready to start sending magic my way and I fall back into the familiar patterns. Weave my Spells together whilst tearing hers apart. Stretch the minds, push to the edge. After the first hour my training partner seems to notice something is different.
[Are you in good shape today, Anthony? You seem to be holding up better than usual.]
[I'm good to go for ages yet. I'm not even tired!]
[ that's what I mean.]
Oh. Of course, the Vestibule! The sweet healing energies of the Colony are flooding through my system, soothing my pains and taking away my fatigue. Once again that boundless energy is flooding into me. In fact, way more energy than I'm used to. How many ants are coming here right now?! I know that they've been hatching more than before, but what the heck? How many members does the Colony even have right now? Two thousand? THREE thousand?! Yikes. That's gonna be a lot of mouths to feed. I hope the council is managing to raise them all properly. I don't want them cutting corners and not giving each ant the chance to achieve their potential!
Speaking of which. I wonder if any ants have reached tier four. That'll be cool to see. And Crinis! Sweet Crinis the ever faithful, over-zealous pet. She must have evolved by now, surely. What sort of cuddly eldritch horrors await, I can't wait to see!
After a few more hours of training, Torrina excuses herself to go find Granin and pass on my requests. This gives me time to brush myself into tip top shape for the upcoming escape. I'll need to arrange something with Corun for Tiny as well. Take him out for another hunting trip perhaps? Then I can meet up with him outside the facility. That could work.
Alright, time to get down to mutating.
After chowing down on all of my foe I've got three hundred and nine Biomass to play with, which is enough to get some serious work done. After the last fight, where my enhanced reflexes and rapid response musculature played such a key role, alongside my antennae of course. I think I want to focus on pushing these body parts closer to perfection.
The nerves and muscles are both at +15 at this point, and it'll cost me one hundred and eighty Biomass to push both to +20. Which will leave me just enough to push my antennae up to +25. Nice!
Let's hit those menus!
After confirming my intentions with the System I hit up the menu for my nerves and admire the plethora of options. The endless creativity of the options never ceases to amaze me. I mean, it's nerves! What the heck can you do with nerves?! Make them faster, right? But oh no, there's so much more. Broader nerve paths to allow more signal load, vastly increasing the number of sensory nerves in the extremities, regenerating nerves that reconnect themselves when damaged, memory nerve packets to pre-package muscle memories, muscle fibres along the nerve paths so that they can move. What the heck is that?! You can transition the nervous System to a liquid state, turn it into metal, whatever you want basically. It's crazy.
The memory packets are tempting, but I wouldn't know what sort of thing to chunk into that memory. Also I'd be worried about performing actions without actually intending to. I don't want to be involuntarily chomping things. Instead, MOAR speed is what we want. Thus the Transmission sub-neural network +15 shall become the Instant Transmission sub-neural network +20. Capable of truly hair raising speed!
Onto the musculature. My efforts so far have been to enhance the ability of my muscles to make rapid motions. An explosive release of power, rather than a sustained one. This means I can move faster and snap my mandibles quicker, which is all great. It means I haven't been able to increase my staying power. The mutation wouldn't help in a wrestle, or any extending chomping. It's all in the initial bite! Combined with my neural network, it's allowed me to make very quick responses and that's kept me alive more than once. This is the sort of synergy that Granin was talking about. Each mutation working together to create something better than the sum of its parts. No need to change gears now!
Ignoring the many tasty side options, I hone in on perfecting the response time of my muscles and thus my Blink Musculature +15 will become Hyper Twitch Musculature +20.
Now for the antennae.