Distant Cathartic (Dopinephrine 2).pdf
Athlon performed a series of long range sensor sweeps, looking for any kind of danger in the
solar systems he was passing through. He found absolutely nothing. The journey would have
been boring if not for the fear in Athlon’s mind. With the coast clear, he decided to try recreating
the conditions that led to the dream. Athlon shut down again, this time with internal recording
software running. His eyes closed, and for several minutes he simply coasted through space.
Deep inside what should have been motionless hardware, a few synapses fired in the dark of
The Android’s head. Athlon felt as though his eyes opened, and he could see a spectacular
expanse of space stretching out before him. He accelerated to an impossible speed, and planets
and stars began to blur into long lines of bright light. Quickly approaching was a star, but Athlon
had no control over his propulsion systems. Convinced he would crash into the looming sun, he
closed his eyes, and immediately felt himself slow down. Blinking, he saw a tiny planet blocking
out a sliver of the star’s light. Whispers floated through his mind, an ominous scratching
sensation that he couldn’t focus on. He found that he couldn’t tear his eyes from the planet. A
deep rumbling shook from the small world, and it seemed to split open, releasing a twisted
stream of power, snaking quickly away from the planet and towards Athlon. Terrified, he tried to
move out of its path, screaming at his body to respond. Nothing happened. Frozen in place, the
braid of darkness struck him, and a deep laughter echoed in his thoughts.
With a quiet whir, Athlon’s systems came back online. A few happy chirps signaled a return to
full power. Deep in thought, Athlon checked his logs, amazed at the brain activity they showed.
What he saw should be impossible; all power had been cut from his brain, yet the logs
stubbornly showed that its activity was off the scale. And it hadn’t lasted a few short minutes:
the logs went on for days. Athlon decided to delete the logs, assuming that they had to be full of
bad data, a result perhaps of a passing static field or a faulted series of sensors. Sighing, he
blinked and looked around to get his bearings, triggering his navigational computers.
A pinging alarm came from the nav-systems. Athlon ignored it, stunned by what he saw. It was
the sun from his dream. And just below his field of vision, the yellow planet sat in its orbit, as if
the dream had made it real. Navigation confirmed that he had traveled at speeds greater than
he was capable to the Amentiu system. The laughter echoed from deep inside Athlon’s body,
more like a noiseless vibration in his spine than an actual sound.