Last Will, Part 3
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Last time on Nexus:
Last Will, Part 2

"And you're sure this will work?" asked Dean skeptically.

Elli had broken open the divinity sucker and changed some of the cable connections. Now she was filling two cups of link.

"Yes, of course, Dean. I'm drunk," she replied, annoyed.

Chloe, meanwhile, had taken a seat on one of the two beds under the extractor, and was spending the time trying with pointed fingers to get her other fingers off the sheet…

"Lawrence has managed to extract Ku from her, and I'm going to go into her mind with her this time and make sure that only Ku really disappears. You stay here and use the machine to create the vacuum that will hold Ku when I pry him loose. It's all a matter of brain power, like when Chloe saved me from the Oneiroi collective."

"Hrm…," Dean made and headed for the control panel.

Elli lay down on the bed next to Chloe and handed her a glass of link.

"Actually, as a moral role model, I should advise you against drugs, but this time it's absolutely necessary. Cheers."

They both drank their glass to the top. Elli mentally prepared herself for what she was about to do.

Dean clapped his hands together.

"Alright guys, I'll start in three…. Oops-"

This time, thanks to the machine, Elli was on the receiving end when the link took effect. As if through a long, thin tube, she was pulled into Chloe's mind and eventually landed in a library.

One that M. C. Escher must have dreamed up. Floating in the air were translucent blue spheres in which, curled up, slept various creatures. Some earthly, some not.

Chloe stood next to her, with her normal appearance, and in front of her…

"You must be Ku," Elli surmised. "I can tell by the eyes."

Ku smiled as he stepped up to them.

"Extremely pleased to finally meet you in person," he said enthusiastically. "And Chloe, do you like what I've done here?"

"It's disgusting," Chloe growled.


Elli, meanwhile, eyed the decorations in the air with interest.

"The things hanging in the air like this, are they the minds of the creatures Chloe is replacing?" she asked.

"Oh yes, I preserved them for when Chloe got her wish," Ku explained squeakily.

"You know it can never be completely fulfilled," Elli noted.

"Pff, so what if it is, what do you care? You have a home now, with Chloe, remember? A whole universe purged of anything that could mean you harm. You are protected by a power that grows with each passing minute. Given enough time, who knows, it could rival even the most powerful beings in existence. You would finally be free. You'd never have to run away again. Just like Chloe wished for."

"Oh yeah, look what it's gotten her so far."


Elli grabbed the dead god by the collar.

"Let her go!"

"I can't," Ku replied authoritatively with a smile. "I'm a god corpse bound by rules. You must know, you tried to break them. Inconspicuously, in the Nexus. Worked in there, but didn't last outside, after all, I'm not something confined to one universe. Isn't it?"

"Rules," Elli mimicked. "Your bunch is all about symbolism, that's all. Let me demonstrate."

"What did you-" Ku was still asking, but it was already done.

Chloe's face fell asleep when she saw Elli sink her teeth into Ku's shoulder.

And bit out a piece.

The god seemed little bothered by it.

"Pretty cunning…" he mused, shaking his head with a laugh.

The room began to shake. Cracks formed in the floor. Books were falling everywhere.
And the dream construct collapsed…

Elli found herself in a world of blackness. Only she and Ku's remains were there. He looked surprised. And pleased with himself.

"That was interesting," he remarked. "But are you sure that was the right decision? You're wrestling with laws here that are above a mere universe. Everything is subjected to them. Not even your oh-so-cherished Nexus will save you from that."

Elli smiled. It was warm.

"You know, Ku, maybe that's not such a bad thing. I have indeed killed countless, and despite all those who owe me their lives, I have not been able to truly save those closest to me. Not a robot who just wanted to live, nor the little girl who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Always on the move with me, from one danger to the next."

Ku rolled his eyes with a grin.

"You're selling yourself short. Did it ever occur to you that maybe for the two of them, it was simply traveling along with you that became their destination?"

Elli thought about it and nodded in amusement.

"Quite so. But every journey comes to an end at some point."

Ku closed his eyes in agreement.

"That, too, is a law above all others…"

K5-1 startled. What had happened? Just a moment ago he had been in a meeting, and now he was sitting on a chair in the waiting room… He looked at the clock.

It had been almost twenty hours… And several weeks...

Next to him, other people were stirring. The whole room was filled with them.

His phone rang. Department of Public Relations. Frowning, he answered it.

"K5-1 here, what's up?"

"Hello, uh, did you just forget something too?"

Didn't sound good…

"Yeah, what happened?"

"Don't know yet, but the phenomenon seems to have occurred all over the world. Everyone has forgotten the last three weeks. The Department of Homeland Security is evaluating camera records, but in Sondereinrichtung-12 in particular, several tapes seem to have been erased and overwritten. Among other stuff from the database."

"What's missing?" demanded K5 to know.

"We don't know, all we can say is that it's a lot, because we have containment facilities and equipment for stuff that we obviously don't have and never had according to the database.

"All right, keep me posted."

"Yep, see you later."

K5-1 hung up. He had to confer with the rest of the K5 Council about what was going to happen…

Elli had opened a Nexus portal in front of her house, through which the three of them stepped. Everyone was exhausted, especially Elli herself looked very pale and had dark circles under her eyes. Chloe didn't look much better, but at least she was back to normal, with healthy skin tone and amounts of body muscle and fat. She still had the white hair, though…

"Are you sure they can't get us back?" she asked.

Elli waved wearily.

"If you brought everything, including the NIVEA here, sure. My worms took care of the digital stuff, and since you briefly tampered with the mind of every being in the universe, they forgot about the last few weeks. All is well."

Dean interjected.

"You did a nice job scrapping the armor for that, though. I told you, a lot of the circuits in there are improvised. And thanks to this deployment, they're all burned out now. We've got to fix that, or you'll kill yourself the next time you put that thing on."

Elli chuckled humorlessly.

"Some circumstances call for extreme measures, Dean. Should I have stolen a tank from the SKP?"

"You stole enough war materiel from them to invade a country," Dean remarked, glancing at the Earth copy still in the sky.

Elli rolled her eyes.

As her face cracked…

"ELLI!", escaped Chloe, startled, while the addressed suddenly dropped to her knees, powerless.

She looked in surprise at her fingers, which began to crumble.

"Oh, so fast?" she commented, oddly pleased. "Thought I had more time, but I guess that's what happens when you devour a god by force…"

Chloe took her in her arms before she could fall forward.

She felt uncomfortably light and fragile.

"Elli, what did you do?" asked Chloe, startled.

Elli hugged her.

"I couldn't rip Ku out of you and store him in a machine, Chloe. No matter what I do, until his vessel dies, he's attached to you. Unless, of course, he gets a new one… Seems like my existence gives him a lot less support than yours. As expected from Uriel's vessel… Sorry for lying to you…"

Chloe was startled to see dust begin to curl out from under Elli's shirt.

"Elli, heal yourself! You're in the Nexus!"

"And I could never leave him, Chloe," she countered. "Sure, I could destroy Ku, but the damage to my existence has been irreversibly done in the SKP universe. And it will catch up with me again if I leave my domain. Same thing if I make a wish…"

Tears welled up in Chloe's eyes.

"Then stay here. You can do anything you want here. I could come visit you and we-"

Elli squeezed tighter. There was an audible crunch.

"To be trapped forever in a world where there are no wonders to see?" asked Elli. "Chloe, that's not life to me. That's infirmity. And besides, I'm long overdue. Clones are usually discarded after a thousand years at the most. No longer contemporary, if you know what I mean."

"You're more than a clone," Chloe objected firmly.

Elli chuckled and coughed dust on her shoulder.

"Depends on who you ask…"

Mechanical popping and crackling became audible in the Nexus.

"What's that?" asked Dean, standing helplessly next to the two.

"I'm putting Chloe in command of the Nexus," Elli explained. "Where I'm going, I won't need it anymore."

She actually meant it!

"Elli, please don't go!" howled Chloe, grabbing Elli tightly as if she could use it to stop the process of her disintegration. All she managed to do was push her back in. Elli made no response, but reached out an arm to Dean. He knelt down and she cradled his neck.

"You know, I have experienced so incredibly much in this multiverse, probably even more than most deities…" she whispered, barely audible anymore.

Dean put his arms around her. He couldn't cry, but Chloe had tears running down her cheeks in rivulets.

"Elli, don't…"

She considered Chloe's plea with a final smile.

"But now that I think about it, the best thing that ever happened to me was meeting you…"

Ellis' body crumbled into fine dust. Her clothes fell lifelessly from Chloe and Dean's hands.

Elli was gone.

Chloe gave herself over completely to tears, while Dean tried to grasp the full implications of Elli's last words….

In the Nexus, rain began to fall for the very first time.

Dean was looking for dry clothes for Chloe. Elli had saved everything she had ever made her, and the closet was by now its own fashion boutique.

"You don't have to," came tonelessly from behind him.

He turned around. Chloe was completely dry and looking grim.

"You seem to have plans already," Dean concluded. "Where are we going?"

"To where Elli is."

Dean raised an eyebrow.

"I had the knowledge of an entire cosmos in my brain," Chloe continued firmly. "And some of it is still there. Somewhere, somehow… I know where she is."

Dean raised his hands defensively.

"Chloe, don't do this! Elli herself has tried to reach that place several times, but-"

"I DON'T CARE," Chloe thundered. "Just because she sacrificed herself, I'm not giving up on her!"

"Even if that was her wish?" asked Dean skeptically.

"Even then. I'll show her what it's like when someone has different plans than you!"

She addressed the Nexus in general.

"Take me to Elli!"

And the Nexus obeyed….

Next time on Nexus:
Farewell, Part 1

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