Elward's follow-up post (which I only now just noticed!) along with this new Massively article on the Eldan, has me believing something similar to Patrician's comment about Nexus being the testing ground for the Eldan's latest experiment. It's so brilliantly fantastic, my head could explode. Perhaps, that's all that Earth is too... *dun, dun, dun* From the description of the Mechari, we know that the Mechari not only helped to establish the Dominion, but they were also fundamental in helping to rapidly expand it. The Eldan created them for this purpose, to gather only the strongest of races to form this great Empire. But why? Did the Eldan know that groups of people would rebel and form the Exiles? Or had the Eldan expected to turn all those the Mechari encountered into followers? If they had not foreseen the formation of the Exiles, then the Eldan had planned on only bringing the most powerful and capable like-minded races across the galaxy together on this one planet. If not, and the Eldan had predicted a war would come of the creation of the Dominion, then they had to know it would be a battle between some of the most skillful of warriors. In either case, what is it about Nexus that is so different than any other planet? Why is that the center of all things? Is it simply that it is neutral ground? Is Nexus the enclosure that all the wild animals from elsewhere are thrown into and serves only as territory to claim and a reason for them to fight? Or, if the Eldan hadn't been expecting rebellions and had figured everyone would join the Dominion willingly, was Nexus meant to be the perfect home planet for their rule? The question we ultimately need to be asking ourselves is: How does all of this benefit the Eldan? The Eldan would not go to such lengths to engineer and mass produce the Mechari to seek out worthy races to form the Dominion, the most powerful and influential force in the galaxy, if not to somehow help themselves in the long run. They have played around with unrivaled magic, used it in combination with their advanced science and technology to create new lifeforms...and for what purpose? There's something big going on, something that the Eldan would never just abandon. If the Eldan disappeared, it had to have been because it was their choice to leave. It had to have been part of their plan. I refuse to believe otherwise (partly because I think the Eldan were too great and powerful to let anything get the better of them, and partly because I'm just so in love with them)!