Chapter 175: A Crypt "I see," said Aldrich as he beheld Aarav's right eye. He had not quite seen anything like it before. It was not the odd lotus shaped pupil itself that caught
Alters could manifest odd physical traits a plenty, not to mention with how colorful fashion was these days, there more than a few people wore eye contacts with all sorts of strange shapes.
What caught Aldrich's attention was the feeling he got from looking at the eye.
When he stared at it, it seemed to expand before him, turning into an engulfing void that radiated a strange sense of...cold.
Not a chill, not the kind that crawled through the body with fear, but something strangely, well, comforting.
It was hard to put exactly into words. But when Aldrich felt that cold, it felt like he was being introduced to an old friend, something that had been lost but now was found. "I see too, as you can obviously tell," said Aarav with a small smile before he grew serious again. He rubbed his right eye with a painful motion, and when he withdrew his hand from it, the black lotus shape was gone, revealing a plain brown pupil. "That's quite interesting," said Aldrich as he put a hand to his chin, the metal around his body clinking with the movement. "I thought you were a techno, considering the body ports you have in your palms. But this doesn't seem like it would fit into a techno power category. No, it's more like a Flux.
That is, unless you're a Multi-Growth."
It was a common misconception that Alter powers were categorized under what type of power they were. To be more precise, they were categorized according to the shape and location of their organ first, then the nature of their power second.
Techno powers fell under the main category known as Psionics which generally exhibited powers related to the mind. Things like future sight, however, fell under the Flux category that governed manipulation of space-time.
The only way Aarav could have both the power to deep dive into technology via ports and future sight was if he was a Multi-Growth, a rare Alter who possessed more than one organ. "I'm not blessed enough to be a Multi-Growth," said Aarav. He put his shades back on. "My main category is a Psionic. Subcategory: techno. I'm about as commonplace as any street rat chrome head selling cracked hardware in rundown shacks. The only difference is my processing power.
To be honest, Mr. Thanatos, there is no point probing me with questions about this eye of mine. Because I have no idea about it either.
All I know are three things.
One, that I was not born with it.
Second, that it is not an Alter power. I have had it analyzed and appraised by
Editors to no avail. It's basically an unreadable mystery.
Third, this is not something | actively control. Unlike my Alter power which feels as natural to use as moving the muscles on my body, I have no real control over this eye. I can will it to open and close, but that's about it. I cannot control anything else about it. Not what it shows nor what it does.
I feel as if 1 am merely a host to it.
All I can do is witness the sight it grants me, and that is the silk floating ever so precariously upon a dark sea." "I see," said Aldrich. "Then at the end of the day, you're basically guessing what that vision even means. Through trial and error where you experimented in making decisions that either shortened or lengthened your lifespan, you've figured out that the golden thread represents your life." "Correct," said Aarav. "And you can see now why I would see an unending thread and determine your partnership so very valuable, no?" "I understand now. Still, a power that doesn't fit under any rules is something quite noteworthy," said Aldrich, his mind on the matter of Aarav's peculiar power.
It was not an Alter power. It was not something he was born with. It was not something he controlled.
This was completely unheard of. A power that did not fit under any conventional rules known about Alter powers just like how Aldrich's video game powers did not fit under any known power framework.
Granted, Aldrich himself did not know too much about the world either. He had been a relatively thorough researcher, but he could not access anything hidden to the public eye. There were plenty of secrets out there in the world, with
Colonel Davos's Irregulars Department being one of them.
That said, Aldrich figured that people like Aarav were who Colonel Davos routinely targeted. "You are infinitely more of an Irregular than I am, that's for sure. Which is why colonel brickhead wanted you under his 'care' so desperately.
But still, if that colonel out there knew about this eye, I'm sure he would quite love to spread that care around and have me crammed into a test tube," said
Aarav, thinking along the same lines as Aldrich. "Which is why you willingly came into the Null Box. So that you could reveal this power of yours without having any prying eyes peeking in," said Aldrich. "That's right." "I've made up my mind: I'll take your deal," said Aldrich.
Aarav raised a brow. "And that is your final decision?” "Final decision? No. You said it first: I get to start off on a free trial - I can call it quits on our deal anytime I want," said Aldrich. "That's why I'm willing to accept so quickly. I'll wait to see if you can fulfill your down payment, and then we can go from there." "Ah, right, I did say that," said Aarav. "Usually, I'm not this lenient on my business deals, so that slipped my mind. But for you, Mr. Thanatos, exceptions can and will be made. Now as for that down payment, I promised to get you to your hearing unharmed, didn't I?" "Yes," said Aldrich. "I have no fears about my personal safety, but I don't want to be dealing with people like the colonel over and over again. Whatever prison
I'm being taken to, I want to make sure I am absolutely not disturbed, whether it's by shadow government organizations or opportunistic corporate hounds." "Hm, where you're going, I doubt guests will be much of an issue," said Aarav. "And where is that?" "Where the vilest of the vile, the worst of the worst, the most dangerous of the dangerous go down to wither away and die," said Aarav. "A Crypt.."