Rob Does Words
Treating fiction poorly since 2019


It was always a Nexus. Never the Nexus. The claim was that it was one of many.

The claim.

It was never backed up. Never proven there were others. I tried to ask more about it, but I was always rebuffed. The usual reply was “if there’s one, there’s another. That's how things like this work.”

It’s hard to talk to people who have blinders on like that.

That's not to say I don't believe other claims made about this Nexus. I’ve seen it at work. Those few times when whatever cosmic variables at play align and the miles and miles of cabling and electronics burst to life. I’ve seen what happens when we get a signal.

I haven't, yet, been allowed in the command office. That's a step too far. I've only been here three years, after all. My boss, my immediate supervisor, was here for five before he even got a map to the door that led there. He says it’s not worth it anyway. Very little actually happens up there.

It’s all part of the plan, they say. The people above us. Who pretend to run the place. Yeah, I said it, pretend. They don’t know what this place is. Even the word Nexus means nothing. Someone in a marketing company came up with that name. They say it means where lots of things connect. Which, sure, I guess it fits but what are we connecting to? Whats out there? Where do the connections go?

“You don't get authorisation to those areas until you've been there,” our boss, Bill, said. He was a laid back kinda guy. Late 40s, if I had to guess, with a shock of white hair which he usually kept tied on the back of his head in one of those stubby ponytails only a certain kind of man can manage to pull off. He was not one of those men.

He wasn't one for formality either. Never insisting people call him anything other than his name. Bill, or Billy if you knew him well enough. I didn't, of course. I’d only met the man a couple of times. He liked to take a personal interest in all the new hires. I guess nothing happens here most of the time.

“How do I get to go there to get the authorisation?” I asked.

He smiled and shrugged, turning in his chair, back to his station. A single large screen which showed, at this moment, various diagnostics streams. Everything seemed to be green from my minimal knowledge, but he made it a point to let us all know how important it was to keep them monitored at all times. I shrugged and left. I’ll ask him again next week. It was our little ritual. Until he told me to fuck off or until he gave me access, I’d keep doing it. My own supervisor hated that I went over his head, but only one person has control over which areas of this place anyone gets access to. And my supervisor is a bit of a jerk. I don't trust him to get what I need for me.

Even if there are other places like this, more Nexuses – Nexii? Who knows – I have never seen evidence of it. There's never messages from them. No one talks about them as if they are real and out there. We aren't part of a network of them. Which means that calling this place a Nexus feels wrong. I always say the Nexus. People correct me. But I don't care. I just say that if there are others, show me. They always just point to the giant 6 painted on everything. Just another cop out. There are no other places on Earth like this. I've looked.

The alarms are going again. I’ve been dragged out of bed and I need to see this. I don't know why. But I'm not turning down a chance to go to the command office.

“Ah, good,” it was Bill. It looked like he had been up for days. “Maybe this will stop you asking your questions.”

“Huh?” I wasn't fully awake yet.

“A Nexus is a place of connections. We connect to other Nexuses across a vast ocean of,” he paused. “It’s hard to explain.”

“Ok?” I asked. I still didn't understand. I saw my supervisor roll his eyes.

Bill sighed and stood. “What do you know about what happens in here?”

“This is where you control the energy feed on the rare occasions when you can fire up the … whatever they are to do whatever this place does.”

“Maybe you have been teaching him right, Jack,” Bill said to my supervisor. To me he said, “basically, yes. The power comes through here rather infrequently, but more and more its becoming predictable. We like predictable.”

“Sure. What about it?”

“Every single time we’ve tried to fire up our, as you say, whatever they ares, nothings happened. The energy just dissipates. It’s rather disappointing.”

“I’ve read the redacted reports.”

“Of course you have. But today is different.”


“Infrequent, but predictable. The power is currently building right now. We’re about five minutes away from it reaching a critical amount.”


“It’s not on schedule. Not by a long, long time. Every time it comes through, we try to use it to connect to another Nexus. It always fails and we don't know why.”

“Because there are no others.”

“We’ve all been where you are,” Bill said with a nod. “Today, though, this is another Nexus trying to connect to us. We’ve never been in this situation before. We don't know what’s going to happen.”

“Nothing,” I said. “Same as what happens when we send out our tendrils. Why would someone else doing the same thing have a different result?”

“That is why we hired you,” Bill said, nodding in approval. “Because we now believe that there has been no one at the Nexuses we’ve tried to connect to in the past. No one to answer the phone, as it were. But we are here. We are ready.”

“And what do you expect to hear when you answer this phone call?”

“Well, that is the question. We just don't know.”

I watched from a respectful distance as the power gauges slowly climbed towards their maximum levels. I still had no idea how any of it worked, but if they were correct then something was going to happen and any doubts I might have were – temporarily, at least - shoved to the back of my head. I had to know what happened.

One by one, the monitors clicked over into the red and instead of the usual immediate dissipation and return to zero, they stayed strong. Bill screamed “now!” at a tech who threw a large switch and we all watched as the power was funnelled to a part of the facility I had never seen before. It looked like cables from everywhere were converging on a single point.

“That is fifteen miles away from here,” Bill said. “At the far end of the complex.”

With that, and the look he gave me, I knew that I knew less than I realised about this place. This Nexus. I started to regret some of my behaviour. I didn't have time to reflect on this, however, because …

As we watched, the singular point at which all the cables converged on started to glow orange, then red and then without warning, a giant white ball of light appeared. Several monitors and gauges across the bridge wavered quickly before settling into a new, higher, rhythm.

“We’re connected, Billy,” the tech said.

“Open the speakers,” Bill said.

I’ll never forget what I heard that day. I didn't, don't and will probably never understand the alien words that came through those speakers, but when thousands upon thousands of highly armed soldiers came marching through the large white ball of light, I knew why we had been unable to connect to any other Nexus.