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A note from tenqui

I decided that you at least need enough chapters to decide whether or not you  want to invest the time in reading and checking up on the story so I will dump chapter 2-5 today and then go to my common release schedule of two a week just like King of the Mountain.

Or you can just consider it a Christmas Gift.

Happy Holidays,

Tenqui

Chapter 2

The Infection Spreads

Alright I mentally select Option 1 and set it to 50%, there now half of all new viruses should keep reproducing providing me with a neat little army in a short amount of time. Option 3 I set at 10%, I want a few viruses to hibernate and basically hide inside of other cells just in case something goes wrong. Finally, I put Option 4 at the remaining 40%, this should give me a good variety of new traits or at least let me figure out how absorption works.

The wait this time even though I know it is only 12 hours seems ridiculously long. I finally have a short term goal which makes waiting extremely hard. I try and plan for the future but falls apart once I realize that I still do not have enough information about the organism I am in, let alone the whole new world I am present in. Tick Tock the clock keeps moving. I review everything I know and then start to actually sing songs in my head to pass the time. I already know one disadvantage of being a virus. I do not get tired and I have to fill the time with something or else I am going to go insane.

After 12 hours I felt like there was a pressure building up all around me. Suddenly the pressure went away and I could feel myself floating in the blood stream of my host once again. Hmm, the pressure must have been from the cell I was in filling up to the point of bursting and releasing all the new viruses I had it make. I wonder if I can switch to another virus? Virus Switch. Nope. Virus View. Nothing. Virus List.

Total Virus Units: 1,500

Reproduction: 750

Attack: 0

Hibernation: 150

Absorption: 600

Ok, that was not what I was looking for, but at least it gives me an overview of what is going on. Wow, 1500 viruses from one infection. I do not know if this is a lot or not, but it means that it will not take long for my minions/army to grow into the millions. How am I going to even be able to keep track of numbers like that? I hope the solution to the problem will present itself when needed. I guess I can find another microbe to invade and wait for the next round of virus releases to see if anything changes. I start to focus on everything around me until I come into contact again with another victim and attach myself.

I drill in and select the same options as before. No need to change things until I have more data to analyze. Twelve hours later and many songs I feel the pressure and release again. Virus List.

Total Virus Units: 1,128,000

Reproduction: 564,000

Attack: 0

Hibernation: 112,800

Absorption: 451,200

I severely underestimated my reproduction rate. I do not even know if my current rate of reproduction can be sustained. I mean how many microbes are even in a body. I guess that would depend on the size of the body I was in, but I have no indication of that. Wait, maybe I can figure it out now. Absorption Skills. Absorption List. There it is.

Viral Traits:

1. Absorption Level 1 – 33%

2. Hidden Level 0 – 12%

3. Chemical Resistance Level 1 – 27%

4. Magic Resistance Level 1 – 14%

5. Adaptable Level 1 – 20%

6. Heat Resistance Level 1 – 46%

7. Cold Resistance Level 1 – 37%

8. Airborne Level 1 – 26%

9. Waterborne Level 0 – 8%

10. Predator Level 1 – 67%

11. Insectborne Level 0 – 5%

12. Sexual Transmission Level 0 – 2%

13. Hive Mind Level 0 – 1%

Interesting. It shows all of my choices to be at level 1 with what I guess is the experience earned towards a new level. I think the experience comes from organisms that have similar methods of reproduction, resistances or traits. I am pretty sure that the level 0 traits are from this last round of absorption as some of the ones on the list were not even available to me when I chose initially. I assume when the experience reaches 100% then I will possess that trait and will be able to use it.

I guess I will just continue on until something changes or I get so bored I am forced to try new things. After 24 hours I got an unexpected blue screen.

Requirements met to spread infection.

1. 10 million viruses

2. Level 2 reached in a transmission method

Would you like to infect other organisms? Y/N

Well now. This is interesting. So before I can go from one organism to another I needed to have a level 2 transmission method. Wait a minute if I had not taken absorption as a trait would I have even been able to get to level 2? I better not think about it, just chalk this one up to luck. I think it is time to spread the love. YES.

Current chance of infecting another organism is 1%. Infection chance goes up with level and virus numbers.

So if I continue to expand in my current host I can increase the likelihood of infection in another organism. Speaking of which I still do not know what I am in. That lack of information is really bugging me. I wonder how many viruses I have now anyway? Virus List.

Total Virus Units: 18,763,412

Reproduction: 9,381,706

Attack: 0

Hibernation: 1,876,341

Absorption: 7,505,365

That is not the number I was expecting. If my progress was linear I would have expected to have 100’s of millions of viruses at this point. I guess that this is a function of me limiting what I prey upon. There can only be so many microbes in a host that I can infect. The number of viruses contacting viable microbes to expand must be dropping. I guess it could also be the host organism attacking my viruses, but I would expect to see some sort of notification for that. Something about being attacked, but since I have nothing to compare it too I cannot rule out the possibility. I wonder which method actually made it to level 2 though. Absorption List.

Viral Traits:

1. Absorption Level 1 – 84%

2. Hidden Level 0 – 23%

3. Chemical Resistance Level 1 – 41%

4. Magic Resistance Level 1 – 22%

5. Adaptable Level 1 – 55%

6. Heat Resistance Level 2 – 6%

7. Cold Resistance Level 1 – 95%

8. Airborne Level 2 – 11%

9. Waterborne Level 0 – 21%

10. Predator Level 2 – 28%

11. Insectborne Level 0 – 11%

12. Sexual Transmission Level 0 – 3%

13. Hive Mind Level 0 – 4%

14. Bloodborne Level 0 – 12%

Airborne huh. I guess that is the best one I could hope for as long as whatever I am in is not solitary and mixes with others of its kind. The traits are all over the place though. I guess there is no real targeting of microbes for abilities at this point in time. Maybe as I get stronger or different traits I might be able to distinguish things like that, but for now I am just happy I can tell when a microbe passes by and I can infect it. No need to be greedy. I am just going to go with the flow for now. Let’s see how long it takes to infect another organism.

36 more hours passed before I received another blue screen notice.

Lepidoptic hornicaa infected with virus. Please select behavior of viruses in new organisms.

So I infected something else. I am not sure what a Lepidoptic hornicaa is, but I am guessing it is the same type of organism I am in. I think I will keep my options the same for any new organisms. It seems to be a good balance of spreading and getting new abilities.

Reproduce and disperse new viral units with similar cells 50%

Attack new cells and reproduce and disperse viral units 0%

Hibernate inside similar cells 10%

Infect and absorb new traits from similar cells 40%

However, I do think I am starting to slowly go insane. I have sung every song I can think of a dozen times. I have solved math problems, and tried to daydream but nothing is working to solve the boredom. If I could only fall asleep. Wait a minute, can I hibernate? If I can that would solve my boredom problem. This is only going to work if I can also have a trigger to wake me up. I can only try. Virus hibernate.

Set conditions for hibernation period.

1. 10 generations

2. 100 generations

3. 1000 generations

4. Custom

I don’t know. I guess I better stick with option 1 to start with just so I do not miss anything too important at the beginning. Option 1 Please. Everything faded to black. An indeterminate time later, but what I was assuming was 10 generations or 120 hours I woke up to a blue screen in front of me.

You have reached level 2 as a virus. Please select your upgrade from the following list.

1. Increased reproduction rate for 24 hours

2. Increased infection rate for 72 hours

3. Observation trait

4. 5 free trait levels

I wonder how long the message has been waiting for me. I may need to stay awake for a few cycles of reproduction to see if I can figure out the conditions for leveling up. I assume it has to do with either the number of viruses or perhaps the number of hosts, maybe even both. Both options 1 and 2 seem unnecessary. I mean I can just wait and get the same thing. However, option 3 and 4 both seem like good choices. I could place those trait levels in hard to level up traits and advance quicker or I can take a new trait that I have not found yet. I have really been wanting a way to better “see” around me. I think I have to go with the Observation Trait. Even if it takes a really long time I will eventually get more levels in each of my current traits, so a new trait makes the most sense.

I choose option 3.

Observation: You are able to analyze your surroundings and yourself with a critical eye. More information becomes available as you level this trait up.

This sounds perfect. Let’s try it out on a trait I earned through absorption. Observe Bloodborne.

Bloodborne: This trait allows the organism to infect another through contaminated blood. Viruses remains viable for up to 2 hours after leaving the host.

That’s fantastic. It is exactly what I need. I wonder if it works on things outside of myself. I concentrate on the rectangular shapes of the what I believe to be blood vessel cells. Observe.

Cell, Blood Vessel, Lepidoptic hornicaa also known as the common horned rabbit.

It worked! I was right, those rectangle blocks are blood vessel cells and I also now know that I am inside some type of horned rabbit. That is probably a good thing. Rabbits repopulate quickly and often live together in colony like areas. This should increase my opportunities to infect others. Speaking of infection, I wonder where I am at after the hibernation? What command would bring up that information? Virus count, Virus Infection, Virus hosts.

Lepidoptic hornicaa – 4 hosts

So I have made it into 4 different rabbits. I wish there was a way to figure out what I was getting experience for. I know I get absorption experience from the other microbes that I attack and absorb, but my Virus Level went up and I don’t know why. I am supposed to be an evolver so I figure I need to reach a certain level before I can evolve. While my experience as a virus has not been negative, I would prefer to get back into some type of body that is remotely familiar to my memories. I also want to figure out what the attack new cells function does but I am afraid to try it out until I have enough back up hosts. I think that I will set a personal goal of 10 infected hosts before I try that one out just to be safe.

As much as I want to watch what goes on I figure hibernating will advance me faster than anything else. I can stay up for one or two reproduction cycles, but after that I will hibernate to pass the time faster. I want to test this observation trait out further though before I hibernate.

Observe.

Bacteria

Observe.

Protist

Observe.

Red Blood Cell

Observe.

White Blood Cell

I need to remember the shape of that one. They are a bodies defense mechanism. Mental note to self, stay far away from that one.

Observe.

Virus

Hello brother from another mother.

Observe.

Fungal spore

I continued observing the floating particles throughout this reproductive cycle. There were a multitude of varieties of bacteria floating about. These were my primary targets. I was also able to designate protists and fungal spores as new targets and exclude the hosts cells. This should keep me safe as I am working with the host and not against it. After a while I got bored and decided that I would hibernate once again. Virus hibernate.

Set conditions for hibernation period.

1. 10 generations

2. 100 generations

3. 1000 generations

4. Custom

I don’t know. I think I will try a custom option this time. Option 4 Please. Please select the number of generations to hibernate. 25 generations please. This seemed like a good compromise, it was longer than before but not so long that I should miss everything. Everything faded to black. I was suddenly jolted back to consciousness and saw a new screen.

Your host’s body has finally identified you as a potential threat. White blood cells will now target you. Please select your response.

1. Continue on as before

2. Attack and infect all hosts cells

3. Attempt mutation

4. Custom

Well that is not what I expected to wake up to. I guess I can only hide in a host for so long. That is probably a function of the hidden trait that I did not take. Luckily I earned it through absorption. I guess I need to level it up more. Enough wool gathering, I need to decide how I am going to respond. I do not know how much time has passed so I do not know how many others I have infected. I also do not know how fast my hosts immune system will be in pressing the attack. I need some information before I can decide.

Observe Attempt Mutation.

Attempt mutation: a forced mutation to make the virus seem non-threatening to hosts immune system. Success rate is .25% X number of infected hosts per generation.

This option seems ideal except for one glaring problem. I do not know how many hosts I have right now. I do not know how long I was in hibernation before I was woken up by the notification. Thus I have not checked my infection rate and can’t until I get rid of this prompt. So I could have as low as a 1.25% for the first twelve hours and only go up by the same amount each generation. I do not feel that lucky, so I am going to have discard this one for now. I hope I can access it in the future when I know my situation better. Mental note, REMEMBER MUTATION OPTION AND TRY TO ACCESS IT.

Observe Custom.

Custom response to the attack of the hosts immune system. Can include a reduction of targets or a combination of the other options.

Ok, this sounds better I can attack back and still try my hand at mutations.

Option 4 Custom Please.

Please select your response parameters.

Attack all of primary hosts cells, attempt mutation to be recognized as benign by host, if successful immediately stop attacks, viruses in other hosts should continue on as normal unless recognized by their host in which case they should follow the above commands.

Analyzing response. Response is within acceptable parameters. Initiating. You have unlocked access to the war summary.

War summary what the heck? Ok, best way to find out is to try it out. Before I could actually form the words in my mind everything faded to black. Once again I regained consciousness to a waiting blue screen. I guess the hibernation period was not over when I selected my emergency options. I must have been put back into hibernation before I could test anything out. I will have to be careful about that. I have no idea how long the war has been going on or what has happened. First I need to read this screen and deal with the current message and then I can move forward.

Your host has died. Do you wish to switch to another virus in a different host? Y/N

Once again, not what I was expecting, but I need to deal with this before anything else. I think the answer is obvious.

Yes.

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About the author

tenqui

Bio: Older Science Teacher who after years of hearing, "You read so much maybe you should write a book.", decided to do just that.
Just having fun and learning how to put my ideas into a format that others can understand and enjoy.

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