Last Will, Part 1
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Last time on Nexus:
Destroyer of Worlds, Part 3

Dean was bored. An alarm sounded somewhere, as far as he could tell from the computer's microphone, and the engineers had left the room.

He felt bad. The laptop didn't have nearly enough RAM to run him properly, which made him feel pretty limited, even if no one on the outside would have noticed a limitation.

He spent his time counting lint in the air.

Outside, there were screams, gunshots, and explosions.

Then the fire door flew off its hinges with a kick and crashed against the opposite wall.

In came presumably the reason the alarm had been sounded. He was wearing the security suit Elli and he had worked on for so long. But had it been ready yet? If Dean remembered correctly, and he was sure he remembered correctly, there were still a few control components missing…

"One day," the carrier sang. "Until we meet again. Under the Iron Sky…"

The voice wrote itself directly into his memory, though the microphone picked up nothing.

"Oh, I'm glad to see you, too," Dean said. "Would you mind?"

He was pulled out. He couldn't logically know how long he'd been deactivated, but the next computer he was booted up on was his familiar computing unit in his body. He gratefully closed his chest and sat up.

"Went faster than I thought," he commented as he sat up. He had to walk around shirtless since they had cut his shirt. Fortunately, those bunglers didn't seem to have damaged anything in him. "But how do you move this thing? Should there be-"

"It's telecybernetically linked to my brain," his rescuer explained. "I'll have to do the math it can't manage myself."

Dean put on a worried face.

"You're doing math for a machine? That should-"

"I don't even know how I'm still on my feet, Dean," came a laugh on his hard drive. "Now, come on, we've got two more people I've got to find at any cost… And at least one of them is two floors down."

Chloe stared in fear into a tube containing mirrors arranged into a kaleidoscope. She tried to free herself from her bonds, but in vain. She was too weak and the shackles too strong.

"Now don't be like this," the nurse admonished. "This will only kill the god in you, but it's no different for you than if we cut out a tapeworm."

"Nurse Johanna," came from behind her, "That's enough, evacuate please, I have to go through with this now. The intruder is obviously on his way here and I can't let him take this terminally ill girl."

The nurse faced Lawrence resolutely.

"Then I'm staying, too. If this guy shows up here-"

"Is it better if he doesn't get us both, make you get away. Bad enough if he gets one of us."

"But then shouldn't you-"

Lawrence interrupted them with a wave of his hand.

"I've given the SKP all I can," he said with a smile. "What I do now is just maintenance work and making sure the rest doesn't break anything. But you, you still have some work to do. That's why I can't let him catch you. Now, go. GO!"

Sister Johanna opened and closed her fists several times before leaving the room with hesitant steps.

"Good luck, Mr. Stern," she said before closing the door.

Lawrence shook his head in annoyance and searched for something in his pants pocket, only to pull out his empty hand again.

"Well, the camera is now on a pre-programmed infinite loop, witnesses have been removed, now all that's missing is you."

"They'll know it was you," Chloe finally gasped, barely audibly, after several attempts.

"Not if the video footage exonerates me, which will show the room exploding, which it will later," Lawrence grinned. "Don't bother, my intellect is far greater than you could ever imagine. I've planned for all contingencies. Even the fact that we've apparently already have visitors is within my margin of error. There's nowhere for you to run to, girl."

"You're going to kill me," Chloe whispered, coughing painfully. "Really just to spite Elli?"

"Nope," Lawrence handwaved. "You're just the first step, the start signal, so to speak. I773 can't bring herself to destroy any more universes, her memory has proven that to me, and it benefits my original goal. I will raise the Greater German Reich to the level of Logos and rebuild what your friend destroyed so many millions of years ago. An ultimate civilization so advanced that it consumes other universes as a resource. And if I773 does destroy it, I'm sure it will break her. An empty shell, locked away forever in her own world, beyond the end of time. Truly a fitting fate for the annihilator of the greatest peoples in the multiverse, don't you think?"

Chloe snorted bloodily in his face.

"You know," came it dryly from Ellis's former supervisor as he wiped his face, "Now, I will be enjoying what comes next far more than I should."

The machine came to life with a hum. The mirrors in the tube suddenly seemed to dance in ringlets.

Then Chloe saw Lawrence fly over her bed and smack into the wall.

"I'm going to start hurting you now," a voice sounded in her head. Chloe was pretty sure, however, it was directed at Lawrence, though. "And I don't know yet when I'm going to stop…"

Chloe looked around sluggishly and caught sight of a half-naked Dean and a person in some kind of figure-hugging full-body armor. She had seen this armor in Elli's memories1!

Lawrence rose, gasping.

"A Logos mining suit? That's technology that people here will only begin to understand in a few million years."

He grinned maniacally.

"I don't know what you're doing here, but if you're on I773's side, maybe you shouldn't be concerned about the invasion forces she's about to unleash on another universe?"

"I think they're the least of my problems," came from the newcomer.

And then her helmet opened up and folded into the neck.

Oberst Wolf winced on the inside as he looked at the video feeds playing out on a set-up station in front of him. He had mowed down troops of the Pan-Slavic Resistance, brought insurgents to justice in France, and faced many a vile monster, all without feeling any great discomfort or fear. But this was outright murder of those he considered his countrymen. The SKP had suffered heaps of casualties by now, but not a single loss, even less now that the power armors were invading the former Sondereinrichtung as front line units. Nothing the Foundation hurled at them from their diminishing cover could stop them.

Was it really that easy?

"Having fun?" asked Elli pointedly from the side.

"No," Wolf returned. "But this job isn't meant to be fun while doing it. It's a slaughter of people like you and me, no one should get pleasure out of it."

Elli rolled her eyes and spat angrily.

"Your definition of human is just disgusting," she spat.

Wolf frowned in honest confusion, but decided not to respond.

His troops finally reached room ᚠ and deactivated the last Scranton reality anchors.
Oberst Wolf sighed sadly.

"Let the invasion begin…"

Nothing happened.

Actually, from the SKP side, a portal should have been pried open now, through which the first forces should enter R-3378…

"What's going on there?" asked Wolf. "Zwickel? Take Interreal Transmitter 2 and contact our people in Sondereinrichtung-3. Ask them what's going on!"

One of his subordinates did as instructed. It took a little while until he hang up again, his face pale.

"Uh, Oberst, reporting dutifully… Sondereinrichtung-3 just said the portal is unchanged. They can't get it open."


Some of the soldiers over in R-3378 had Kant counters with them, their readings superimposed on a screen. All showed a normal amount of reality, throughout Kassel.

Rushed, he turned to Elli. Who was grinning so spitefully and so broadly that it almost seemed as if she could bite her ears.

"What's going on there? Is that some final security measure of the Foundation?" he asked.

"What? No," she replied smugly. "Look above you."

Oberst Wolf and the other soldiers did as instructed, but saw only the blazing sun. And a moon of some sort slowly peeking out from behind it.

Wait, that wasn't a moon…

That was the Earth.

"What does that mean?" the SKP officer asked, completely thrown off course.

"It means," Elli, who had inconspicuously approached him from behind, murmured in his ear, "That your men never left the Nexus."

He turned to her, stunned.

"That up there… The strike force is standing on a copy?!"

Elli nodded grinning.

"I had won when I entered the Nexus. Stern and also you underestimated incredibly hard how powerful I am here in my home dimension. For me alone, simply slow down time many times over and I had two hours to craft a copy of Earth."

"You created an entire planet!?" summarized Wolf, still absolutely stunned. "In just two hours!?"

"Copying is easy, think back to your school days. If I had had to make a new planet from scratch for this maneuver, it might have taken something like fifty years, but I would have had the patience for that too…"

"Zwickel," Wolf said disappointedly. "Pass the word that our heroine has betrayed us."

"Yessir. Ratatöskr here, Asgard, come in. Hello? This is Ratatöskr, Asgard, come in! … What the… Colonel, there's nothing but static on this frequency."

"What-what," stammered the SKP officer. "What did you do!"

"Me?" asked Elli sanctimoniously. "Besides playing you like a fiddle? Nothing. After all, I was standing next to you the whole time. But if you want to know what Elli was doing, I have no clue."

"You're standing right here," the colonel growled angrily.

His conversation partner reached out with a friendly smile and tapped her cap.

"NEC2 PX 15, pleased to make your acquaintance. Elli left the Nexus a while back, just after time went normal here again and left me here to take care of the guests. How did you like your first 5D video game experience?"

The Oberst's mouth dropped open.

"Wait, if Elli's not here, where is she?"

"I have to say, I thought you were going to take longer, but well, I didn't expect you to pull anything like this," Lawrence said as Elli angrily stomped toward him in her suit. "How did you get over your trauma with weapons? About the suit, I mean…. Oh wait, don't say anything, you probably actually just perceive that suit as the mining tool it was designed to be. Pretty clever way to get around a psychological problem like that- Hurgh!"

Elli had grabbed him by the throat and flung him to the other side of the room. Dean, who was fiddling with the controls of the devil's machine, ducked his head briefly. Lawrence cried out as he smacked into the wall and fell to the floor. A moment later, he started giggling.

"Now, the question might sound stupid," he gasped in pain. "How did you find your people so quickly? They could have been anywhere.

"The interreal transmitter," was all Elli said, "I traced it here."

"Oh boy, I thoroughly underestimated your Nexus skills there. Let me guess, the SKP isn't stumbling through the real R-3378 right now, is it?"

"Correct," Elli growled, stomping on Lawrence's leg, which broke with a loud crack.

The former Logos supervisor cried out in pain before laughing again.

Elli was getting tired of it.

"What's so funny? I've got you and the SKP by the balls!"

"Sorry, it's just so ironic," Lawrence explained, chuckling. "You stalled for time with a feint on the SKP, but don't even realize it when someone does the same to you. The equipment has to warm up a little first, you know?"

Elli raised an eyebrow before her face fell asleep.

"Dean! Turn that thing off!"

At that moment, the machine powered up with an ominous hum. Dean twisted knobs with mechanical tenacity and pushed every button he could find, but the system no longer seemed to accept input.

Destroy it, then.

Elli targeted the machine with her cyberkinesis, to ram it into the ceiling with the power of her mind before her field of vision suddenly blurred.

All power drained from her body as her suit made her kneel due to the sudden lack of computing power.

Damn it, why did her body stop now of all times! Focus!

Ellis' vision cleared again, but she couldn't get enough thoughts together to move the suit again. Instead, she began to feel the effects of hypoglycemia. Dean, meanwhile, had given up trying to influence the machine and instead unbuckled Chloe.

"Oh, you must be out of juice," Lawrence laughed behind her, "This is going to be delicious. And in three…"

Dean had unbuckled the arm straps, though the tube was too low for Chloe to stand up.

"Two… "

Dean had removed the strap tying Chloe's waist to the bed and undone one of the leg buckles.


Dean had undone the other buckle and was pulling Chloe off the bed.

But too late.

A very wide beam of white light shot out of the tube, began to focus on Chloe's heart, and turned silver. The girl shook as if in convulsions as she fell off the bed, the beam like a silver thread still connected to her chest, before it broke off abruptly.

Elli finally mustered enough power once more to open her suit before she rushed to Chloe half-running and half-stumbling with exhaustion.

"CHLOE!" she called out, "Chloe, are you okay!?"

Dean, who was picking Chloe up, was almost run over by Elli. But the girl reacted with no emotion. Hastily, Elli looked for a pulse on the carotid artery.

And found none.

"Chloe?" she asked desperately, taking the lifeless body from Dean to take it in her arms.

Two empty eyes stared lifelessly at Elli.

The burden, even though Chloe had lost a lot of weight, was too much for Elli and she fell to her knees. She cradled the body as if the gentle movement would bring it back to life.

"Chloe, come back!" she whimpered as tears welled up in her eyes. Chloe's glazed eyes continued to just stare blankly at her.

Dean's gaze went rigidly downward.

The silence that followed was broken by unsubstantiated laughter.

"Oh man, I773, look at your face," Lawrence sneered. "Just like when you destroyed my home. Oh, that's priceless. Maybe now you understand a little bit how I feel."

Ellis's grief suddenly turned to anger. Rage against Lawrence, rage against this damnable SKP, rage against this universe that had taken her Chloe from her. Just go to hell, all of them…

Dean, apparently witnessing Elli's face becoming more and more a grimace of bitterness, raised his hands in warning.

"Elli, don't do this! I know the situation is hopeless, but you're doing exactly what he wants!"

Lawrence's ears perked up.

"What, she's really going to do it? Just like that? Wow. Come on bitch, show us all your true colors!"

If that was your wish…

"Elli!", Dean implored her, but she already didn't even hear him.

She was screaming. It was a scream of powerlessness so loud and piercing that the hairs on the back of the neck of anyone who heard it inevitably stood up in sudden discomfort.

High above Sondereinrichtung-12, the Nexus opened to engulf the universe as Elli lost herself in rage….

Next time on Nexus:
Last Will, Part 2

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