|Nexus #25 (Oct.1986)|
Calling himself Nexus, Horatio Hellpop received vast powers from an alien entity called the Merk to seek out and kill a certain quantity of human mass murderers per "cycle". When a target has been selected, Nexus experiences strong headaches and maddeningly anguishing dreams (whose extremely intense episodes caused physical injuries to Hellpop's body that emulated the dream violence) of his target's victims until he did his duty. Horatio was reluctant to act as the Merk's enforcement tool, but continued seeking out mass murderers to maintain his power and his sanity so that he could defend his homeworld, the lunar refuge of Ylum (a shortening of the word "asylum," thus pronounced "eye-lum"). As Horatio grew up, the Merk first influenced him through apparently imaginary friends named Alph and Beta. However, when Horatio's mother died (becoming lost in the tunnels of the planet), Horatio blamed them for her death and killed them in the first use of his power. Shortly afterward, Horatio began to dream about his father's crimes, causing himself inescapable torment. In this agony, Alph and Beta mysteriously appeared to reveal the duties of Nexus necessary to end the ordeal: the execution of his own father. With considerable personal agony (and unaware that his father was already on the verge of suicide), Horatio carried out the execution.