Chapter 345 Hammerhead Meeting
"Hm." Aarav rubbed the bridge of his nose in temporary thought. "Yeah, sure, that works. I've mapped out the assistant's path whenever she gets her monthly day off. Shouldn't be hard to have an agent on hand there, posing as some random."
"Let's not risk anything, shall we?" Aldrich raised his hand in the air, and it glowed green as he cast his newly upgrade [Create Undead] spell. Beforehand, he had [Create Greater Undead] which let him draw undead from the 1st and 2nd rings.
Now, he could cast [Create High Undead], letting him draw undead from the 3rd ring which encompassed levels 40 - 60.
He summoned specifically a [Mistknife], the evolution of the [Skeleton Assassin].
Instead of a skeleton forming from green particles, a formal magic circle appeared on the ground, glowing green and rotating with sigils shaped like scratches.
From the circle, the [Mistknife] emerged. It was a large individual, around two meters tall, though it seemed much shorter with its hunched, low to the ground posture. It was wrapped up in a dark green, almost black cloak and hood that covered a fully armored body.
The armor itself was sleek, midnight black, and form-fitting, meant more for maneuverability than withstanding heavy blows. Beneath its hood was an obsidian dark mask with twin eyeholes that glinted bright green.
The Mistknife held a single large, curved dagger in its hand. The weapon looked ceremonial in how ornate it was with a handle of ashen bone and a blade of emerald.
An aura of deathly essence emanated from the knife, imbued as it was with a powerful death curse that made blows struck by it impossible to heal.
Surrounding the Mistknife was, as its name suggested, a veil of green mist. Within it, the undead assassin flickered in and out of visibility.
"Take the sigil and follow Aarav's commands," said Aldrich.
The Mistknife wordlessly obeyed, touching the sigil with its black gauntlets.
Most undead were capable of basic thought to comprehend commands, but High Undead were fully sentient. They had unique personalities and thoughts, and in fact, Aldrich was limited to summoning just 1 of any given High Undead, being that it was the same unique individual he was consistently re-summoning.
The Mistknife assassin however, was silent as in lore, they were an order of elite killers that took on oaths of silence so as to never be heard.
The Mistknife stood beside Aarav before fading away into nothingness. As it did so, the mist trail it left touched Aarav's cigarette and doused it again.
"Okay, I'm, giving up on having a smoke around you." Aarav took a case out from his suit pocket and stored the cigarette. "Too many unexplained, paranormal chills and winds over here.
But-," Aarav scrutinized the area where the Mistknife stood in invisibility. "That's impressive. Invisibility isn't anything new, but this guy is soundless. Scentless, too. Doesn't leave footprints either."
"I can almost guarantee nothing that can track him," said Aldrich. "At the least, no conventional scan will come close."
Magical invisibility was good in that it created a sort of 'field' around the user that removed odor, footprints, and the like, but it did not remove the user's physical form. Theoretically, a scan could reveal something like, say, a [Skeleton Assassin] by mapping out its physical body.
Radar, too, could work.
The [Evileye], [Graveward], and the [Mistknife] had superior invisibility called Spectral Invisibility that let them hide their bodies too. In the Mistknife's case, it could dissolve its body into near formless vapor.
It was less invisible than the Evileye and Graveward which were more 'ghostly', but it did come close.
"So, then, how are we going to and convince the old codger when we do get to him? Or when that girl, Vexa, right? Gets to him?" said Aarav. "Are we using my bio-capsule. Tell me I didn't waste a billion credits here."
"I'm afraid you wasted a billion credits."
Aarav sighed. "Well, I can't complain. Any amount of R and D is still R and D. I mostly feel awful for overworking my teams, but more time off and a fatter bonus should fix that.
How's Vexa going to do it, then?"
"That, I'd like to keep a secret." Aldrich now threw Vexa's leap of faith test at Aarav.
Surprisingly, Aarav just shrugged. "Alright, as long as you get it done." He noted Aldrich's pause of surprise and smirked, raising his shades to reveal the glowing white lotuses that formed the pupils in his black eyes. "Like I said, I'm all in on you. The thread of my fate never ends as long as you're helping spin it."
"Good. Now then, since we ARE using both one of my agents to get to your father's assistant and my own means of controlling his mind, I think it's fair to start talking about additional compensation," said Aldrich.
Aarav sighed and put his shades up again. "Hearing the word 'compensation' after wasting a billion credits scratches at my ears, but I've spent more on less."
Several hours later, in a dining room at the Gilded Swallow -
Aldrich had approximately three days before V finished mining Desmond for information. During that time, she absolutely could not be disturbed unless he wanted to risk her messing up, which he very much did not want to.
Cyberspace infiltration was quite like physically breaking into a fortress. V had to avoid countless traps getting into Desmond's virtual information stores, and if she got distracted and triggered a single trap, she could risk deadly harm to her cyberspace avatar or risk another potential deadman's switch triggering and deleting valuable information.
That meant Aldrich had time to get things settled at home, in Haven.
Aldrich, or, rather, Thanatos as he was with Volantis covering him, sat at a dining table peppered with a variety of bite sized plates. Each plate acted like a bite sized canvas for art, with food, sauces, and vegetables all decorated in aesthetically pleasing arrangements.
A hallmark of fine dining which Casimir was quite fond of. He had renovated the biggest such establishment in Haven, located aptly in the central district where the wealthiest once gathered, before the Locus attack drove them all out, and turned it into his new personal base.
A revival of the Red Circle, he stated. He had changed the name of the place as well, turning it from L'atelier De Allard to the Gilded Swallow, symbolizing, in his words, a shift from the red of molten ore to the polished gold of a finished product.
And a shift from operating a seedy nightclub circle into a more proper establishment, something he had always dreamed of doing.
Across from Aldrich sat Bart Lockfin, otherwise known more well known as the CEO of Hammerhead Industries, a tier 1 company in the United States.