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Chrysalis

Anthony has been reborn! Placed into the remarkable game-like world of Pangera. However, something seems a little off. What's with these skills? Bite? Dig? Wait.... I've been reborn as a WHAT?! Follow Anthony as he attempts to adjust to his new life, to survive and grow in his new Dungeon home!

RinoZ · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
1261 Chs

What does it take to get Biomass around here?

Turns out food gets scarce during a siege. I know for a fact that the Colony created a massive stockpile in preparation for this. Like, a mountain of Biomass, packed up and ready to go. Problem is that almost all of that is going to be delivered to the Queens in order to ensure that the Colony's brood production doesn't flinch from the daily maximum even during a period when we can't easily hunt. I get it. I do. The brood comes before all, obviously. We're ants after all. But dammit, I'm hungry!

I feel a nudge at the edge of my attention and I turn to see Tiny staring at me with wide, pitiful eyes.

I slowly shift my head side to side and two huge tears begin to well up within the ape's eyes.

[I know buddy. It's going to be rough for a little while, but we can survive. We're going to get through this together.]

Tiny reaches out to me with one shaking hand and places it against my carapace as if trying to draw strength through it.

[In times like this, we can only depend on each other. We've been together through the times of plenty, we can fight it out together in the lean times as well. If you don't believe in yourself, Tiny, believe in the me who believes in you. There is power in you yet. Your race is not yet run. Conquer the hunger!]

*Chomp*

What… What was that?

I look up at Tiny once again to find his hand has now grasped my leg which he has raised up to his mouth.

[Did you just try and bite me?]

Silence.

[Tiny,] I focus on him dangerously as he begins to sweat through his fur, [if you are attempting to eat me right now, I'm going to hand you over to Crinis for punishment. Now take my leg out of your mouth.]

He does.

[Ah! You got slobber all over it dammit! I can't believe I have to say this, but from this point forward you are ordered to never eat me!]

Stupid ape!

"Eldest, how are your preparations going?"

AH!

"Nothing weird is happening here, Advant! Nothing! My dignity hasn't been impacted in the slightest! And if you ask your baby-sitter squad, they'll tell you the same!"

When saying the last part I raise my abdomen high to threaten the ceiling of our chamber with a judicious acid spray to ensure that Protectant and her squad get the message. Imagine the Colony finding out that one of my own pets tried to eat me as I comforted them for a lack of food. The shame of it.

"Of course, Eldest," Advant brushes it off, "I was just wondering how you were doing making your final preparations. The council meets in a few hours and we need you to be there."

Another meeting? The enemy is at the gates! How many of these damn meetings are they planning on having?!

"I will definitely be there," I lie, "just give me some time to finish my mutations up."

"Of course, Eldest."

The soldier turns to leave me in peace for the time being and I immediately bring up my menu in order to rush through the mutation process. If I get it done quickly enough, I can vanish somewhere before the meeting starts. They're the council, dammit! I don't even technically have a seat, at least, that's my view and I'm sticking to it. Alright now, how much Biomass do I have to work with?

A quick perusal tells me that I have a grand total of two hundred and fifty one. More than I thought I might have at this point. Nice! So what lucky body part is going to get the upgrade this time? I can probably afford two here. Personally, I think it's time for legs. Legs are needed! My legs are absorbing all the mana I need. Especially down here in the second strata. Only heavy duty spell slinging can drain me. Especially once I get to draining mana using external mana manipulation. It may become a problem in the future, but for now, I'm solid. In the +20 upgrade I wanted to improve their ability to absorb damage, resulting in the Tough Rapid Absorption Legs +20. It must be noted that not having my legs cut off has been a welcome experience.

Because the Legion for sure targets our legs. The carapace is hard and tough to deal with, but if you take off an ant's legs, what the heck are they going to do to you? Even insects on Earth know this much. When ants fight each other, they're always going for the legs, with a few notable exceptions. With my potent reflexes and foresight, I'm almost always able to move my legs out of harm's way, but sometimes it just isn't possible. During the grand melee after Tiny smashed the Legion shield I had absolutely no room to dodge and had to rely on natural toughness. Which is why I'm going straight to Hardened Rapid Absorption Legs +25! Which is going to set me back a cool 115 Biomass. I have enough left to take one more body part from 20 to 25. Only question is, what shall it be?

I still need to upgrade a few things, but perhaps the one I'm leaning towards the most is my musculature. So far I've poured all of my mutations into increasing the speed at which my muscles can fire, which has given me the superhuman reflexes of a radioactive spider, but I'm not certain that I want to keep pushing down this road exclusively. My reflexes are already super fast, especially when connected to my limited pre-cognition. My nervous system can probably carry the load of increasing my reflexes further, what I need from my muscles is more power! I need some OOMPH! Tiny's mutations focus almost exclusively on the amount of strength he can punch out and although I don't feel like I need to match him in that department, I'd love to get myself a little slice of that.

Of course, my need for power is pretty isolated in terms of where it needs to be applied. It's all about the face-hands. I need to be able to bite harder. Mandibles are great, everyone should have them, but I need to be biting harder if I want to crack open the real tough nuts out there. Even the dedicated tier four soldiers haven't been able to get through the Legion armour, and all of their stats and mutations are directed to the purpose of tanking and biting. Even if I have the benefit of special evolutions and bonus stats, I can't get through either. There has to be some mutation here that can give me that edge!

I start pouring through the menu, going through the hundreds of options until I find something that catches my eye. Lock Musculature. From the description, it acts in a way that is similar to the famous trap-jaw ant from Earth. It allows the muscles to be 'set' in a certain position, poised to fire almost like a bow string. When the tension is released it can occur with tremendous power! The trap-jaw has, pound for pound, one of the strongest bites on the planet!

This also has synergy with my existing muscle mutations, since they can fire so quickly! Using this, I'll be able to pull my mandibles back and 'lock' them, stretching the muscles in my head and then releasing that pent up power all at once. Of course, with only one mutation the elasticity of the muscles isn't going to be much, but it'll help!

Lock Hyper-Twitch Musculature +25 here we come!

That's 230 Biomass gone. Yeesh, easy come, easy go these days. Lock those choices in, Gandalf! I've got a meeting to dodge!

Although I feel like I've forgotten something…

CHADANGADANGALOOZA!

THIS freakin' ITCH!