The Better Man? Part 3
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Last time on Nexus:
The Better Man? Part 2

Ivy vines are characterized by their ability to anchor themselves to smooth and hard surfaces. This, along with their remarkable toughness, made them passable climbing aids, which Elli now used to reach the roof of de la Croix's villa. Pierre followed shortly behind her. There wasn't much to see, just a couple of towers with some windows set into them. Perfect.

Elli had to find Chloe again as soon as possible so this de la Croix couldn't catch her. Next time she would look for a universe for her trip where you couldn't die, that much was for sure.

"We have to be careful," Pierre cautioned. "If they hear us-"

Elli took advantage of that exact moment to smash a window with her frying pan.

Pierre began gesticulating wildly.

"Wha- Hml- Mh- Are you out of your mind? Now they know we're here!"

"Quite," Elli agreed as she entered the house and reached out to the undead. "But this is a big house and they, whoever "they" are, won't know where we are in a few minutes when we finally get going."

Pierre scowled as he climbed through the window. Being undead, it wasn't particularly difficult.

The hallway where the two had landed was quickly traversed and the stairs to the lower floor found. Elli was about to make her way down them when she was suddenly dragged by Pierre behind a very large tapestry that was on a wall next to the stairs.

"What are you doing?" she hissed.

"Shh!" was all Pierre said.

Then Elli heard it, too. An approaching clattering and crunching, as if someone were incessantly shaking a dice cup. Cautiously, she peered through the gap between the carpet and the wall to find the source of the noise.

It was not long in coming as it arrived at the stairs and slowly descended them.

It was a bare skeleton, armed with a knife. It moved in the pale moonlight that shone through the windows as if it were a normal human, despite its obvious lack of muscles and Elli had the impression that it also had its 5 senses. He didn't notice her because the wall with the carpet to the corridor from which the skeleton came had such an angle that one wouldn't notice him without looking around. However, if it had come up the stairs….

It took quite a while for the clattering downstairs to fade away.

"Be careful with that guy," Pierre warned "He wants his meat back, and he'll cut yours off your bones for that if he catches you."

"Why did de la Croix do that?" asked Elli, coming out from behind the carpet.

"That was his original plan of the perfect man, a man without any baggage. Only the poor guy seems to have been driven insane by his fate. Just like the others…"

"There are more of these skeletons?" inquired Elli lurkingly.

Some alarm bells in her head rang at an increasing decibel level. Mostly because Chloe was in here.

"No, no skeletons," Pierre hastily denied, recognizing the signals. "But he had other ideas…"

"Well, hurry up then! If I find Chloe deboned, you'll wish you could die properly."

Pierre hurried to get downstairs, forgetting one thing.

The stairs creaked pitifully. It was a sound that seemed to echo throughout the house in the silence. The skeleton had not caused this sound, for it had been far too light for it. Pierre slowly turned to Elli, who thought the time had come to get drunk again.

"What are we going to do?" he whispered.

"Make sure they don't know where we in a few minutes," Elli replied, sliding down the railing beside him, her flask still to her lips.

The undead followed and seemed to torture the stairs in the process, so loud was it. Fortunately, the hallway they arrived at was covered with a soft carpet that swallowed the sounds of their subsequent sprinting, or in one case rather high-speed shuffling.

At the end of the hallway was a large double door that led into a large study. Books were piled up to the ceiling.

Elli commanded Pierre to stop while she took her pan out of her bag and tried to orient herself. Meanwhile, she leaned against a mannequin standing by the window, where de la Croix had apparently been studying acupuncture. Recognizable by the nails. What had he been up to?

"The windows here are too high for Chloe," she noted. "So she'll have walked toward the front door. Can you take me there, Pierre?"

"I think so. As long as we don't… get… caught…"

Elli frowned and followed his gaze, which was fixed on the mannequin, which in turn seemed to be staring at Elli. Otherwise, however, it was completely normal.

Annoyed, Elli turned away again before her features fell asleep and she slowly looked back at the mannequin she was still leaning against.

She had looked out the window before…

Apparently it was a very large and shaggy wolfhound that stood there, snarling, in front of Chloe, who did her utmost to melt into the wood of the door. Not that it did any good.

The dog began to growl loudly, but also emitted a high-pitched whistling sound, because its throat was open.

The contrast was so ridiculous that Chloe had to chuckle involuntarily. The apparently undead animal took this as an opportunity to leap at her with its mouth open.

With a squeal, Chloe pushed away from the door, causing her attacker to slam into it at full speed. It was such a close call that she still touched his fur and smelled the odor of decay that clung to him.

While the dog was still trying to classify what had just happened, Chloe ran to a table where a lone brass candlestick stood. Not the best thing in this situation, but the instinct of her ancestors from the distant past advised her to arm herself with something long and stick-like in the face of a large animal with sharp teeth.

The dog was already turning and leaping toward Chloe, who only waved the candlestick helplessly as she backed away as fast as she could.

Of course, the wolfhound was faster than she was.

Chloe braced herself to feel a sharp bite in her flesh, but something strange happened.

The dog came to a stop in front of her and laid its upper body flat on the ground. The hind legs remained extended, thus keeping the rear in a standing position, which clearly showed that the animal was wagging its tail.

With almost hypnotic attention it looked at the candlestick….

It took Chloe a moment to understand what the animal wanted from her. Then she threw the candlestick down the hall. The dog immediately shot off like greased lightning and couldn't slow down fast enough not to miss the candlestick.

Chloe was a miserable thrower, but that didn't seem to dampen the fun the creature was having, as she brought her toy back and placed it on the floor in front of her with an expectant gesture.

The thought occurred to her that she was probably only alive because she was able to give the zombie dog some fun. She didn't like to think what might happen if he started to get bored. She couldn't open the door, that much was clear, because then the dog would get loose and who knew what he would do to the city. Chloe's only chance was to direct him back down to the laundry room so she could crawl back through the window into the open. He was too big to fit through.

Thought and done. Chloe kept throwing the stick in front of her and then running after the dog so she could get ahead, repeating the process once Volvo, as she had temporarily christened him, had retrieved his toy. On the way she collected a candle and lit it on another, which presumably was lit to keep the fire going in the house.

The whole thing went well until Chloe reached the basement. Volvo suddenly started growling again. Chloe thought at first that it was directed at her, but then she saw in the darkness a massive shadow stomping its way toward her.

Volvo barked, but his attempts at intimidation were rendered null and void by the squeak coming from his throat.

The newcomer was human, or at least something made of human parts. One could vaguely make out the original body, but someone had sewn on an extreme amount of extra muscle and skin. The creature possessed all shades between corpse gray and rot green, and wore a large brown leather jacket and cloth pants. And it drooled as it regarded Chloe with the same interest a man would show toward a 5-course meal after ending his four-week hunger strike.

Slowly, this Frankenstein monster shuffled closer….

Volvo apparently decided not to put up with it, because he suddenly jumped on the newcomer.

As a reaction, he threw the dog against the wall with a backhanded blow. Chloe took a few steps backward, but that only caused the human patchwork to increase its pace.

Volvo jumped up behind him and bit his shoulder.

His victim did not make a sound, but turned his head and then hit the animal's muzzle with his fist. The dog let go of him, but immediately jumped at him again to bite his leg.

Chloe decided not to wait for the result of this unequal fight and made that she disappeared from the basement. Somewhere there had to be another exit.

She quickened her steps when she heard a nauseating crack behind her. Repeatedly…

"This de la Croix has a rather strange idea of the Better Man," Elli puffed as they ran away from another of de la Croix's creations.

"I agree with you, but he quickly abandoned that clockwork approach, if I look at me," replied a Pierre, shuffling as he had never shuffled before.

Said clockwork approach was close on their heels. It had probably once been a young woman, but one could only tell that by thinking the cuts, nails and screws away from her face and limbs. Hair she had none anymore. Someone seemed to have intended to replace all the muscles in her body with springs and metal splints, only to give up just before the end. The construct was completely naked, but had nothing left to be embarrassed about. Previously, it had only turned its back on Elli, so she hadn't seen the absolutely baffling clockwork mechanism that had been built into her body. However, it had been forgotten to reattach all the skin to the front. The thing whirred and clicked as it chased after them, moving unnaturally jerkily. Running was impossible because of this, which allowed Elli to escape it. Pierre, however, did not.

Before they had escaped from the room with the books, this cyborg had received a blow from Elli's pan, as indicated by some bent nails on the right side of his head. This hadn't bothered her much, however, as her concert of clicking gears and snapping springs had immediately kicked in and she had taken up pursuit.

"What does she want from us anyway?" asked Elli as she slithered around a corner.

Her sense of balance was improving, the stress sobering her up far too quickly….

"I don't know, I think she's after you," Pierre replied. "She always ignored me."

In this moment, the mechanical nightmare caught up to him.

And overtook…

Pierre had apparently actually been right…

She stopped at a staircase and slid down the railing to avoid accidentally attracting the skeleton.

However, she could have saved herself the trouble, because her pursuer did not run down the stairs, but simply tumbled down them, curled up into a ball. Her lead melted away noticeably as the monster arrived at the bottom shortly after her. To be lighter, Elli dropped her pan, which made her speed up a tiny bit. She escaped through the festively decorated hall into a room with a door made of oak. She quickly closed the door and turned the key in the lock. On the other side, something banged reassuringly dully against the door.

Elli looked around. This had to be de la Croix's study; there were several bookshelves, a large desk with the office equipment common in that era, and two windows.

Unfortunately, no other exits.

Elli briefly considered jumping out the window, but dismissed the idea. If she remembered correctly, and she could be absolutely sure that she did, roses grew down there….

So the only thing that helped was defense against this clockwork zombie, which by now was pounding on the door with mechanical regularity.

Clockworks didn't like blockades…

Elli armed herself with a letter opener, waited for the next hammering and opened the door shortly after.

Her pursuer seemed a bit baffled at this turn of events, which allowed Elli to ram the letter opener into an important-looking mechanism. The result was more boring than she had hoped.

One of the jammed gears gave way under the sudden load and shattered, indicating lousy quality. This set another part of the apparatus in motion, which was now apparently in neutral. The undead became slower and slower as a result, each jerk with which she moved allowing her less room to maneuver. Still, she managed to grab Ellis' hair and let it slip through her fingers with a strangely melancholy look on her face. Then she stopped for good, as if frozen in mid-motion.

Elli took a step to the side and looked at her work with expertise. Whoever had done this to the girl knew about human anatomy, but had no idea about engineering. The construction seemed to be the result of pure trial and error. And for such a thing one killed…

Elli looked for her flask and took a much needed sip.

Then she had to stop herself from swallowing, because a crunch sounded behind her.

As if bone grinded on bone…

This time Elli turned around faster and became aware of the skeleton that had tried to sneak up on her with his knife and suddenly jumped at his discovery.

More in shock than on purpose, Elli sputtered out her home-brewed moonshine, which immediately ignited as a mist and engulfed the attacker in flames.

Bones didn't burn very well, though, so the only thing that stopped this undead was surprise.

Unfortunately, it didn't last very long, but Elli remembered in time that bones were very light. She raised her arms protectively in front of her face, which effectively distracted the skeleton man from the foot that hit him on the pelvis and catapulted him backwards.

Normal opponents staggered backwards just a bit, but they were also much heavier, yet Elli chalked up the distance as a new record while she searched for something to hammer on the bone man's skull, since that attack had only slowed him down a bit and she wasn't keen on an actual showdown, thinking about Pierre.

The hall was, unfortunately, completely empty in her immediate reach, so her only option was to retreat to the study, the door of which she immediately barricaded again.

That had been the plan, anyway. Because the undead blocked the door like an annoying vacuum cleaner salesman with his leg.

And although Elli braced herself with all her weight against the door, he forced it relentlessly open…

Hectically, she looked around, but any item she considered helpful would have required her to let go of the door to obtain it, and she couldn't afford that luxury with an opponent with such a low moment of inertia.

Think, Elli!

On the other side of the door, something suddenly crunched audibly and she fell on her back, when the door no longer offered any resistance and slammed shut.

Elli fortunately still had her flask in her hand and so she poured the whole thing first while listening for sounds from outside.


Carefully she opened the door and peered outside. Pierre was to be seen, with Ellis' pan in his hand. On the floor lay the skeleton with its skull crushed.

"He didn't notice me while he was trying to open the door," the undead explained as Elli stepped out of the room.

"How many of them are left?" she asked.

"As far as I know, only two."

Elli forced herself to come back down. She had made several slip-ups that couldn't happen to someone who was calm. She just had to assume they would find Chloe alive. And she didn't have to worry about Dean at the moment. De la Croix was proven to be too stupid to-.

"What do we do now," Pierre asked.

"Same thing as before. Chloe went in through the basement, so she'll either be there or on the first floor by the front door, which is where we're supposed to be going. Give me back my pan."

The front door proved to be deserted, but Elli was concerned by the light scratch marks on the floor. They seemed to come from a very large dog that had sprinted off again and again. And they were fresh.

The tracks led behind into the basement, where they disappeared with the beginning of the stone floor. Elli lit a candle with her hooch to help navigate the dark hallways.

Where was Chloe? She had to be here somewhere-

Light spilled out from under a door in front of them.

"What is this room?" whispered Elli to the back.

"The operating room. This is where he… transformed me…"

Maybe he'd already gotten Chloe. She needed to check it out.

Slowly, she opened the door to take a peek inside.

That was when she was grabbed by the face by a large hand, dragged into the room and slammed against the wall with elemental force.

She could only hear a scuffle break out between Pierre and her attacker as she sank to the floor, dazed. Everything was spinning…

When the world finally stopped spinning around her, Elli saw the room in all its ugliness in the light of some storm lanterns. Surgical instruments were everywhere and the floor didn't seem to have been cleaned thoroughly enough. Fortunately, Dean was out of commission there on the table. He probably would have broken the fingers of the man in the worn suit who was currently leaning over her. Elli could see that his shirt was rolled up, but not whether his body had been tampered with. Pierre's hands were tied to a bar in the corner.

"You should that know I have excellent hearing," de la Croix explained, because no one else could be. "Pierre was whispering too loudly outside."

Elli hadn't let go of her pan during the attack, and let it jump up from the floor. The Gentleman grabbed her arm with amazing speed and wrestled the kitchen utensil out of her hand.

"I know about Pierre, but I don't remember meeting you before," he continued as if nothing had happened. "Are you by any chance the owner of him?"

He pointed at Dean.

"He doesn't belong to anyone," Elli replied, slightly incensed at the question. "He's following me around acting like my mother, that's all. And you will let him go right now!"

De la Croix chuckled briefly. It sounded unhealthy.

"It grieves me greatly, my dearest, but I will not. Why was such a thing kept secret from the world, anyway? With him, we can take humanity to a new level."

Elli raised an eyebrow.

"You're dabbling in immortality, how is Dean supposed to help you?"

"Oh, I was just going in the wrong direction the whole time. But if we stretch the definition of the word 'human' a bit, then, I'm sure-"

Suddenly de la Croix looked toward the door, frowning. He moved toward it, lurking. Elli, meanwhile, decided to pick up her pan again…

After apparently listening for a moment, the Gentleman opened the door with a swift movement and grabbed Chloe by the throat, who had just been busy running past the door.

He began to beam.

"This is my lucky day!" he hooted as Chloe squirmed in his grip. "I have everything I need for the next level, Pierre, this is phenomenal! If you hadn't broken out, I never would have gotten any of these!"

He began to laugh. It was not a melodious laugh. It was a laugh that spoke of a mind that was in complete chaos.

Pierre in the corner seemed to freeze in shock.

Elli slowly stood up and kept out of de la Croix's field of vision….

The Gentleman, meanwhile, wanted to tie Chloe to Pierre's pole, but when he let go of her to reach around, she immediately bit his hand. He cried out in pain, for Elli the command to smack him.

Her victim's head jerked briefly toward the ground, but only from the force of the impact. Instead of falling over, he hurled Chloe, who let go of his hand in the process, against Elli, causing Elli to once again get unpleasantly acquainted with the wall, this time with Chloe's coming up as an additional component. It drove the air from her lungs.

Chloe began to shriek.

De la Croix, now enraged, charged at the two and swung at them. He only hit the wall, however, as Elli rolled away with Chloe still screeching.

"Will you stop making such a racket!" the Gentleman raged.

"No!" it came back from Chloe, who promptly continued her efforts to shatter all the glass in the room with her voice alone.

Elli's mind raced. Why was Chloe suddenly screaming? Screaming was an expression of feeling threatened, but that would have required Chloe to be completely panicked, which she obviously was not, because she reacted rationally to de la Croix, dashing under his grip, under the operating table, to the opposite wall. And still screaming, while keeping her eyes on the Gentleman. Why was she making such a racket? Elli suddenly noticed that Chloe had chosen the point of the room farthest from the door. Hadn't Pierre said there were two undead left? Then she realized the plan.

Chloe wasn't screaming in fear.

She was screaming to attract something.

Elli decided to do the same as her. When running from a bear, you didn't have to be the fastest. You just had to not be the slowest. And if de la Croix had as bad a grip on the rest of his creations as he had on Pierre…

That had to be the case, or he wouldn't have gone into such a rage over it.

Distracted by Chloe, it was easy for Elli to hit the Gentleman one more time with the pan. While he still turned around angrily, Elli was already past him.

And the door exploded in a hail of splinters. In came a creature that seemed to come straight out of Mary Shelley's head. The Frankenstein monster looked around the room for a moment and then took aim at de la Croix, grinning.

"Risky plan, Chloe," Elli commented. "I love risky plans. How did you know?"

Chloe's single, dry-as-dust comment was, "He killed my zombie dog without batting an eye."


The conversation could not go any further, because the patchwork monster went for its creator. De la Croix gave it a hook to the chin, but that only staggered it briefly before it tried to grab the Gentleman again.

Elli briefly wondered how de la Croix had managed to release these things without being attacked, but presumably the answer involved blunt instruments.

She, meanwhile, pulled Dean's shirt back down and slapped him across the chest. He flicked his eyes open and after 5 seconds rolled off the table to evade a thrown de la Croix that had set course for the countertop. Chloe, meanwhile, untied Pierre with a scalpel lying around.

Elli prepared to leave the room with her three companions, but the monster suddenly took aim at her. To defend herself, she grabbed one of its arms and used the speed with which it was approaching to send it to the ground with a shoulder throw.

De la Croix meanwhile got back on his feet and immediately ran towards the door to prevent Pierre from leaving the room with Chloe.

Dean simply rammed him through the frame into the wall outside in the hallway.

"YES, THAT'S HOW IT FEELS!" yelled Elli after him, while she also ran out of the room with her pan and flask in her hands, closely followed by the monster, which couldn't change direction fast enough due to its inertia and crashed into the Gentleman against the wall. And broke his ribcage in the process.

Before it could even get up, it was engulfed in flames from Ellis' alcohol.

The creature must have accumulated putrefactive gases inside it, because it burned surprisingly well, even if it paid no attention to the fact and chased after them.

Elli and Dean, who had Pierre and Chloe tucked under his arms, ran up to the first floor and the main entrance. After unlocking the door, they hurried outside down the stairs, awaiting the arrival of their pursuer. He was not allowed to enter the city. Who knows what he would do to the residents. Dean lowered Pierre and Chloe while they waited.

It took a little while, but then a badly shrunken human figure appeared in the doorway, still ablaze. Elli gripped her pan tighter. However, as it tried to descend the stairs, the monster fell down and slapped face-first on the floor. It did not get back up.

"Is it wrong that I'm a little disappointed?" asked Elli.

"Yes," came the unanimous response from the rest of those present.


"Could we get out of here now?" asked Pierre. "I don't want to be around this house any longer."

"I couldn't agree more," Dean commented.

Chloe just nodded.

"Probably for the better," Elli agreed. "It'll be morning soon, and I don't want to be seen here by witnesses when the guard arrives."

The quartet hurried off the property and didn't look back again. As a result, they missed another figure staggering out of the house.

Paris has many side streets, a lot of them unoccupied in the early morning hours. Elli took advantage of this to make one last deal.

"Pierre, after careful consideration, I have to say that I know of only one way to 'get you back'. And I don't know if that one will work as planned."

"I don't care," Pierre replied firmly. "Anything is better than this."

"Don't be so sure about that," Elli muttered, rummaging in her pocket until she finally pulled out a tablet packet.

The tablets inside had a red half and a white half.

"This is Panacea, also known as Cure-all."

"There's such a thing?" it escaped Pierre. "But if it cures everything, why wouldn't it work?"

"Because your soul is no longer in the body. Either it will be reinstated as intended when you take it, or it will be rejected and replaced by a new one, which would be tantamount to the death of your current self, although we probably wouldn't notice any difference, except that you probably forgot everything after your first death."

Elli looked sternly at Pierre.

"Either you die or you live. Your chances are fifty-fifty."

"That's good enough for me," Pierre countered, holding out his hand.

"Fine, have it your way," Elli said with a shrug, handing him one of the pills. She handed another one to Chloe.

"What am I supposed to do with these?" she asked, confused.

"You've probably contracted a bunch of diseases here that your vaccinations don't work against. Not up to date, you know? You're still in the incubation phase, but eventually symptoms will probably show up."

Chloe hastily took the pill.

Pierre, meanwhile, hesitated, but then pulled himself together and took his medicine.

The Humanist Assembly traditionally met in a festively decorated hall. There was a cold buffet and many of those present stood together in groups to exchange news.

The meeting would begin soon, yet not everyone had arrived. Ambroise was enjoying a glass of champagne when the front doors flew open and a man entered, pushing a servant before him with his sight alone.

"Uh, sir, I'm extremely sorry, but I can't let you in like this. Think of your appearance!"

The newcomer looked very run-down indeed. His once distinguished clothes were torn and obviously damp, his hair disheveled, and the man looked unnaturally pale. His eyes were bloodshot and there was a nauseating cracking sound with every movement he made.

Then he took a breath, a sound that could be imagined as the windup of a snuffy bellows, and spoke in an asthmatic voice.

"Now pay attention, will you? I'm as invited as anyone else in this room, and I have every right to be here with them!"

Ambroise's jaw dropped as he realized that this could be none other than de la Croix. The champagne inside dripped unabashedly onto his suit as he did so. Fortunately, he wasn't the only one who felt this way….

"De la Croix, is that you?" he asked incredulously.

The addressed turned to him with a jerk and ran, no, shuffled hastily towards him.

"Ambroise, lucky you, please help me shake off that moron there."

Ambroise flapped his mouth open and closed a few times before replying.

"By God, what happened to you? You look like you're dead."

De la Croix strained for a smile that probably would have been more fitting for a serial killer.

"Well, technically I am. I did it, Ambroise!"

This only confused him more.

"Made it, made what? I thought you had someone else to-"

"Long story, but without further ado, I made myself a demonstration model. To the next level of Better Man."

Ambroise's features fell asleep.

"Is this a bad joke?"

"Excuse me?"

"IS THAT A BAD JOKE!" thundered Ambroise. "Look at you! You look fearsome enough to put the enemies of France to rout with just the sight of you in a war. What in the hell makes you think that is the Better Man!"

De la Croix took a step back and looked around in search of help. But he only earned disgust from the others present.

"I admit the result is not yet visually appealing, but with more time-"

Ambroise commanded him to be silent with a gesture.

"De la Croix, in your research you seem to have lost sight of why we call ourselves the Humanist Gentleman. I will personally see to it that your house is investigated and your findings confiscated. You are not creating a Better Man. You create monsters. Help me arrest him!"

"Wha-," de la Croix began, while some of the cavaliers bent their hands behind his back with some effort. "My friends, you are making a terrible mistake! I have found the secret of immortality! I have conquered death! I have conquered death!"

Ambroise stepped in front of him.

"De la Croix, I can only conjecture, but I'm sure your hands are after incubating this… Abomination are no longer as pure as they should be. We will investigate your residence. And if we find anything that confirms my suspicions," Ambroise stepped as close as possible to the undead at this, so that he could see the disgust in his eyes, "Then I look forward with pleasure to our attempts to prove your claim."

Chloe's closet creaked as she stepped out dressed in her own clothes. Elli followed her closely and looked at her watch.

"HA! Twenty-two minutes! Is that something?"

Chloe fell face first onto the bed.

"Yay," she gasped exhaustedly.

Apparently by now she was too drained to even move.

Ellis's mood worsened abruptly. Behind her, meanwhile, Dean stepped out of the Nexus and looked at Chloe's homework.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Chloe," she said sadly. "I know it was exhausting, but how was I supposed to know there were zombies running around?"

Chloe turned her head toward her.

"Probably by nothing? Or can you see into the future?"

"Yes of course, I have a time machine. But concerning immediate destiny…"

"What do you think Pierre will do now?"

Elli shrugged her shoulders.

"I don't know, he managed on the streets before, so he'll be able to do it now. Besides, he can read, write and do math now, so that might give him some advantages in his time."

There was silence for a while, during which Elli thought about what else she could say. When she opened her mouth, however, she saw that Chloe had fallen asleep.

"Oooh…" she whispered.

Then she turned around and crept back to the closet, which looked a little funny because of her impaired sense of balance.

Dean grabbed her by the shoulder.


Dean just glanced at Chloe's lecture.

"Oh crap, I totally missed that one on my radar."

"Now talk yourself out of that one," Dean commented quietly.

"Don't need to," Elli whispered after a moment's consideration. "I'll finish it myself."

"Your chicken scratches don't look anything like Chloe's writing. She writes very beautifully."

"Then it's a good thing you're so good at forging writing," Elli grinned. "I dictate, you write."

Dean rolled his eyes.

Next Time on Nexus:
The Murderer of Immortals, Part 1

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