Chapter 408 – Hello again my old friend

Next on the chopping block is the final link in the commercial zone the Acid Stimulation Gland. It’s a simple gland that does what it says on the tin, replenishes the acid faster. I’m curious what sort of upgrades would be available for something so relatively straight forward.

Only allowed on
[Do you wish to improve Acid Stimulation Gland to +5? This will cost 15 Biomass]

[At this level you may choose a mutation advancement, select from the menu]

If the list is shorter, then I don’t think I can tell. Still a metric ton of options. Short bursts of rapid regeneration? Constant but smaller effect? Tie rapid replenishment of acid to certain times of day or particular conditions? Drain stamina to increase replenishment? Drain mana? Drain HP?! That last one is a bit nasty. Literally draw blood and turn it into acid. How in the heck…

But the mana and stamina options intrigue me. By triggering the gland, it will start to consume the specified resource to stimulate the acid gland and increase acid production. Since mana is a resource I have a lot of use for and don’t really want to increase the drain on, stamina seems like a logical choice. Especially when I consider that I gain increased regeneration from the Vestibule.

Fatiguing Acid Stimulation Gland +5 it is!

With that, my business district has chosen its path. To keep things simple I’ll take the option to double down on those upgrades at +10 and reinforce them at +15, which should give some potent effects. This is for purity of effect in these interconnected organs and not because I can’t be bothered searching through the menus for more options! That’s my story and I’ll maintain that lie to my grave!

With that done, I can turn my attention to my musculature and Sub-Neural network. These are two upgrades that I’m very excited about. First, the muscles.

[Do you wish to improve Musculature to +5? This will cost 15 Biomass]

[At this level you may choose a mutation advancement, select from the menu]

Again the menu, and again the tantalizing options. Elastic muscles, extra flexible muscles, muscles that are hardened to resist damage, muscles that self-repair, muscles that you can force to break themselves for a burst of extra strength. I guess I need to focus on what I want my muscles to do… as an invertebrate, my muscles don’t feel quite as critical to me, since they’re on the inside rather than the outside. Flexibility options are irrelevant, defensive options I can also discard. What I really want, is to bite harder. I’m a fairly uncomplicated ant, I suppose. Moar biting. That is the name of the game when it comes to my muscles.

The most important muscles to an ant are right in their face! No endurance, just more instant power!

Twitch Musculature +5. Increases the instant release of power for rapid but short movements. This looks good. It doesn’t help with sustained biting but it helps give more explosiveness to my bites. It may even have an effect on my movement, allowing for a faster dash.

And then the Sub-Neural network. Essentially a fast response nervous system add in to increase reaction times, this little enhancement cost me a fair bit of evolutionary energy and I’m very interested to see what sort of mutations are available for something like this.

[Do you wish to improve Sub-Neural Network to +5? This will cost 15 Biomass]

[At this level you may choose a mutation advancement, select from the menu]

And I shall!

Look at these options! External Sub Neural network? Enable the nerves to extend outside the body itself and detect fluctuations to further improve response times?! Wouldn’t having nerve endings outside your body be a little on the risky side?! There’s a heap of options to make the network more sensitive to various forms of stimuli, or respond to specific threats. Heat, cold, poison, air movement, mana density. Seems as if you can tailor the response based on the threats to get hyper fast reaction speeds to the threat you hate the most. It’s tempting, for sure, but I’d prefer to have something less effective but more generally useful.

After a while I settle on something I think is fairly sweet.

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Gated Sub Neural Network +5. Forms mana spatial gates that send signals directly to receptors in the brain, shortening travel time of signals from extremities. It does cost extra mana to maintain but I think will provide the biggest generic boost without any other serious drawbacks.

So essentially, my body becomes covered in this little gateways where my nerves come together which teleports the signals into my brain. That is freaking awesome. Lock it in! The only question is, do I want the same thing at +10? I’ll need to consider the options I think.

And now for the Vestibule. Saving the finest for last.

[Do you wish to improve Collective Will Vestibule to +5? This will cost 9 Biomass]

[At this level you may choose a mutation advancement, select from the menu]

I have to admit I feel a little trepidation with this. The Vestibule is far and away the single most powerful gland I have, I certainly don’t want to mess it up with a poor selection. Let’s see what we have.

The majority of options are surprisingly what you would expect. Improve the effect the Vestibule has on stamina, or stress, or health regeneration, or gland rearmament. There is no option to allow it to regenerate mana though, curse the luck. Other options relate to range of the effect, allowing the organ to be effective further away from the source of the ‘Will’. I get a stab of fear when I notice the option to include another species in the designation of the Vestibule. Am I really prepared to start receiving energy from the humans of the village? Those nutters? No. I don’t think I could handle it.

For now, I think it’s safest to go with something conservative and just increase the range. I can’t always guarantee that I’ll be close enough to the colony and if I can have their support as I roam the Dungeon, I’ll be a great deal happier.

Let’s lock in the Vast Collective Will Vestibule +5.

Then I’ll pay for those.

Oh right.

The itch.

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