It was an unexpected face that greeted me in what I assumed to be my final hours. It was Augustus, Frau Lowey's brother. So now the Council was involved. Bloodwing would be furious. By the dimming light of my power core we conversed in waves of pure thought. Without complaint I allowed him to interface directly with my systems to corroborate my final mission.
He helped me refine the calculations the Steel units had pieced together. Destroying Wormwood using New Erebus as a missile should work. It must work. It was entertaining seeing him visualize the cosmos as a celestial game of billards. I never played the two-dimensional version myself. It would have been vastly unfair to my opponents.
Violent tremors shook through New Erebus as the city shifted its course away from Earth, and on a curving path towards the comet that would spare other civilizations from obliteration. In one last surge, my link with the ship was broken, and my reactor went black. I was unable to resist as he extracted my soulchip and stepped through a dimensional portal.
[I'm taking you home.] I should have expected as much. Why did he not understand? And of course, due to the abrupt shift in the direction the city was hurtling, the tesseraction tunnel he opened was too unstable for him to hold me for long.
I descended through the sub-aether along the last quantum tunnel I had constructed. The last temporary home I had was neither in Steelhead nor Caledon. It was the cavorite-suspended refuge my Aunt Sysperia hand given me when I first came to her for aid.
But her pocket dimension was abandoned, waiting for a new master or to vanish from the Grid altogether. No structure remained, only the terraformed features. The glimmering shard that held my essense tumbled downwards from where my steel haven used to be. I posited to myself whether I would float to the surface of the lake below me after splashdown, or be lost in the muck of the lake floor. Would would happen then? Would I be trapped in the belly of a fish? Would my designs fade as water dissolved my essense over centuries? Or would a lag-wind steer me off course so I would just shatter on one of the majestic outcroppings of rock? Anything but this, I thought.
Then I noticed the utrasonic soundwaves pummeling me, and growing stronger. Not an attack...echolocation. In just less than half a second that I calculated I would be submerged, a was engulfed by a claw and carried aloft at sudden shifting angles. As we were enveloped by the familiar stream of energy that comes with folding space, my attempts to establish contact with the owner of the cold appendage were not respoded to.