The soft warmth of mentor's chuckle reverberated around them; encasing them in comforting affection.
'Nay, my children.' Mentor's voice was deep, rhythmic, and completely asexual. 'I am a creature of this universe, as are you. I created naught; merely modified. But, time grows ever scarce. Are you ready to begin?'
'You will be with us?'
'Inasmuch as I may; I will.' The Triumvirate nestled in the calm assurance of Mentor's words. 'Yet this first challenge, you must face together; as one.'
'What must I do?'
'For this task, you may call upon the powers of those who have passed; to become a part of the essence of this world. They are the force, that may prevail upon those few outrunners that are yet here in this place at this time. They are many, but not a cohesive whole. You, the Nexus, must command them in this skirmish.'
'Yes.' The Triumvirate mind considered. 'How do I find them? I don't know where I am, or where they are?'
'The knowing is within you. You have but to summon; and command. They will answer as they may.'
'My children,' Mentor interrupted gently. 'You have many questions, but little time left to you. As you succeed in this, your first task, then so may some of those questions be resolved. Go now; I may observe, yet I may not approach, or speak guidance unto you. Be assured that I am near.'
Mentor's presence began to fade.
'Always, my children.' It's final words were a sibilant whisper; fading into the nothingness that surrounded the group-mind.
The Triumvirate briefly consoled itself over Mentor's disappearance. Then, firming and channeling its thoughts, it searched within itself, for the information it had somehow, always known was there. Then, it began to transmit; soft pulses of essence that radiated outwards. Further, and yet further, the waves of self awareness permeated the strange non-place that existed between realities, searching - seeking.
A soft touch; feather light. It touched the outer perimeter of the madly swirling essences, impinging upon the massed confusion of their emotions. The triumvirate sensed the impotent rage of the Others; their inability to act; to prevent the outrages being perpetrated against their still mortal kin.
Instinctively, the Triumvirate flowed into the mass, gently pulling the Others into itself with soft assurances. Slowly at first, then faster, with increased confidence, as those absorbed called out to yet others to join them. Beyond them, the group-brain could sense the Outrunners, some several hundreds of them. They wheeled and circled frenziedly, predators amongst their prey. And, dimly perceived in their midst, was the molten chaos of charged emotion that was David Jackinson.
Soon enough, the last few had been safely gathered into the haven of the Triumvirates essence. Briefly, without the need for words, the group-mind conveyed its purpose and intentions to the Others. A sense of exultation began to grow within the Others, as they realized that, after all, they were not powerless in this battle against their unknown enemy. They were ready to fight.
The Triumvirate released its army. At the same time, the one became the three; Nexus, Empath, Crux.