Chapter 349 A New Party 2
The Panopticon controlled half the world's food supply with their Skyfields and government or corporate controlled farmlands supplied the rest.
Haven was surrounded by 'Dry' Wastelands that could not grow much of anything. The land here was dry, cracked, and parched. What hardy flora that could grow were generally classed as variants that humans could not digest.
In contrast, higher tier cities like Neo-York were generally surrounded by 'Wet Wastelands' that had plenty of greenery around them, though said greenery was still infested with variants.
Blackwater was nestled right at the edge between the dry wastelands that Haven sat on and wet wastelands that Neo-York occupied. It had forests a plenty, forests that Aldrich had roamed in when he first became an undead.
It was part of the reason why Aldrich wanted to take over Blackwater. It was like a forward base where he could start to access more life-giving land.
"Are you planning to broker a deal with the Panopticon?" said Casimir. "I have a feeling that you have something capable of withstanding the terrorist attack on the Panopticon's systems."
"I do, and the Panopticon-AA has reached out to me for my assistance," said Aldrich. "But I'm leveraging my aid for something else more important."
Aldrich gave Casimir a quick rundown of the Vanguard inheritance issue.
"My, my." Casimir stopped washing dishes for a second. Cubehead and Smoke both stopped mopping the floors as well.
"This could fundamentally change the entire world," said Smoke, her grey eyes wide. "Imagine the sheer power of having Vanguard on your side."
"Let's not even think that far. The AA is willing to give Vanguard's heir to you just like that?" said Cubehead. "Sounds awfully fishy to me."
"It's why I've held off on giving aid until I know absolutely for sure that I'm getting what I want out of the deal," said Aldrich. He had made further correspondence with Emrys, and the deal was that until Aldrich got Vanguard's journal and also inspected how the Panopticon would use his power, he would not lend protection.
"It almost seems as if Emrys does not want Vanguard's heir in the first place. As if he considers the power a liability more so than an asset," said Casimir.
"Emrys's idea was that Vanguard himself had been uncontrollable later in life, but if I have control over the power, the heir, then there shouldn't be an issue," said Aldrich. "And he says that he's determined that I will be an ally for humanity, hence, he has no issue handing the heir over to me."
Aldrich had to agree, however, that Emrys was quite cold when talking about the potential heir. The president had treated the heir like a thing more than a person.
"Quite altruistic in thought," said Casimir. "But historically, the AA has not quite lived up to its lofty, humanity serving modus operandi."
"Also true. Emrys, however, frames himself as different. He wants to clean the AA up."
"I did hear on the news about how a ton of execs were getting canned for the Locus Raids," said Cubehead. "And that it was started by the president itself.
It was a big deal. The way the AA is written up, the president has a ton of power, but he hasn't shown up almost at all until now."
"Perhaps I am simply biased against the AA," said Casimir, shrugging.
"I understand the precaution," said Aldrich. "I'm giving Emrys the benefit of the doubt for now, but I'm going to maintain a position that lets me pull out whenever I feel something is off."
"That is the most optimal route to take," said Casimir. "But I will warn you again to be careful. Particularly with this heir issue. None of us, the AA included, seem to know the true nature of Vanguard's extraterrestrial power.
It may well be a force for harm than good. Perhaps one that Emrys is sending you as a Trojan horse of sorts."
"That thought has crossed my mind, but reading Vanguard's journal should clear up some of those suspicions. In any case, I'll tread lightly."
"In any case, that is an issue six months from now. Let us circle back to the matter of feeding hungry mouths in the now."
Aldrich nodded. "Right. I'm here to tell you that I may have found a way to solve our food crisis. I've brought a powerful variant with an impressive chlorokinetic ability that operates on a large scale.
It should, in theory, completely remove need to make deals with anyone."
"Ah, you always manage to come up with something when it is needed the most." Casimir nodded. "Then let us get to it, shall we?"
"However, I have a personal project that I need the Geist for at the city center. I want you to go ahead and clear everyone out from there and resettle them as best as you can."
"I can have that arranged, though, I must warn you, taking beaten and battered citizens from their new homes, right after weathering their city's near destruction, will be quite demoralizing," said Casimir.
"This is for their own good later on," said Aldrich. "But I do know where you're coming from. You see, I'm intending on planting a seed there, one that, if cultivated properly, will grow into a tree that will form the highest structure in the city.
I'm intending on making that tree Haven's symbol.
I also want to offset the hassle this will cause for anyone I move out. So I want to make the day it happens to be something special, as it'll be the day I broadcast to the world my official claim over Haven."
"A sort of national holiday for our own commune?" said Casimir.
"Precisely. And for that, I want you to plan a party. A proper party. No holds barred. You have an unlimited budget, or rather, as much as our budget currently allows. I'll haggle Aarav into paying for it as well. Pull as many connections you still have as well.
Can you do that?"
Casimir's mask emote widely smiled. "Ah, my dear Thanatos, when it comes to hosting parties, you need not look farther than me." Casimir's mask face winked. "Though, you would know a thing or two about that, would you not?"