Veiled Empyrean I (Dopinephrine 7.1) .pdf
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D o p i n e p h r i n e
WATER dripped from Athlon’s body as he walked behind Alethar down tight corridors onboard
the battle fleet’s flagship. Olympus soldiers stood at attention every twenty feet, dressed in
immaculate war uniforms. As they stepped onto the bridge, the deck officer stiffened, and
saluted Alethar, who saluted back. Athlon was slightly amused by the air of formality, but he
found himself concerned about the need for a highly disciplined military force so far from
Olympus. Harmony had the same concern, and Athlon nuzzled her in his mind, still filled with
joy to be reunited with her. The deck officer turned slightly and saluted Athlon as well. Athlon
offered a casual two-fingered salute back, and continued following Alethar into the heart of the
flag ship’s command center.
The bridge was wide and brightly lit. It was a gently curved room located in the upper fore of the
ship, full of organized activity as officers worked at various tactical and analytical stations.
Alethar sat in the captain’s chair, centered before a wide viewscreen which displayed a live
image of the drones still gathered near the palace of Babylon.
Athlon took a seat next to Alethar, wondering for a moment if he was breaking some military
procedure. No one seemed to mind. Alethar gave an order, and the screen changed scenes, now
displaying Olympus. Athlon smiled at its beauty, always happy to see the bluish planet glowing
in the light of its sun.
Alethar began to speak, explaining what had happened in the century since the defeat of
Ragnarök. Shortly after his departure with Athena, Mary, Queen of Olympus, had watched
Athlon’s sudden loss of control during his evolution. As the Delphi Cube sent him speeding into
Yggdrasil, The former Tree of Wisdom witnessed his disappearance. Mary searched the stars in
her mind for Athlon, but found him nowhere. It was deeply disturbing for the woman who was
able to watch any event as it happened, anywhere in the galaxy. When Athlon did not return for
Athena, Mary believed he was in trouble, and summoned the leader of the Indigo Order to
discuss what she had seen.
The screen displayed an image of Mary, deeply concerned as she described her vision to Enison,
the pupil of Malachi who had inherited the role of High Priest after his master’s death. Mary had
come to know Enison as a thoughtful man, whose mind seemed to operate philosophically,
unburdened by unnecessary emotion. While some viewed him as unfeeling, Mary knew Enison
was deeply passionate about his beliefs, but chose to conceal his feelings until it was truly wise
to display them.
Mary worried that the Champion of Dopinephrine could have been damaged as he entered
Yggdrasil, and feared that he would find himself stranded wherever he emerged. The Queen
asked that an Indigo ambassador be sent into the unfamiliar regions Athlon and Athena had
decided to explore. Athlon was the galaxy’s greatest friend, and Mary believed the galaxy should
be ready to help The Android if he was in peril. Enison accepted the mission personally, and in a
matter of hours had entered unknown territory with a fleet of Indigo carriers, equipped for deep
In a wide formation, the Indigo ships scanned every inch of Athlon’s projected path. Yggdrasil
was barely understood, but Enison believed that Athlon could have emerged anywhere from the
Titan’s realm. Mary watched Athena track Athlon along a different path, but was unaware of the
beacons Athlon had left for Athena to follow. Enison and Mary agreed to follow Athlon’s original
trajectory through normal space; if they found nothing, the fleet would retrace its steps and try a
At this point in the story, Athlon became embarrassed. His growing-pains had launched a huge
undertaking, pulling Enison and the Order away from important work in the known galaxy. He
was touched by the love of his friends, but wished he could have saved them the unnecessary
Alethar continued, describing Enison’s journey as one of discovery, documenting the beauty of
the galaxy as the fleet came across wonders previously unknown to Olympus. The Indigo Order
recorded what data it could, but never lost track of their primary goal of locating the wayward
After two months of travel, Enison and his priests neared a highly developed planet called
Byzantine. They attempted to make contact with the planet, but were soon confronted by a
thousand hostile ships that blocked their path. Byzantine was the capital of a Caliphate that
spanned hundreds of worlds. The Caliphate was fiercely secretive, and told Enison that he was
not allowed to leave Byzantine space.
Enison explained their mission, and asked for passage through the borders of the Caliphate in
order to locate their lost friend. He offered the aid of the Indigo Order if any need could be
fulfilled, and extended the hand of friendship on behalf of Olympus. In response, Byzantine
ships surrounded Enison’s fleet and ordered him to surrender.
Enison refused. He explained that he had considerable firepower at his command, and asked
again to be allowed to pass, as he desired no conflict with the Caliphate. Byzantine considered
this, and finally told Enison that they desired no conflict either, but that they could not allow the
fleet to move forward, or return to Olympic space. A stalemate ensued.
Using a ship-bound Unity Arch, Enison contacted Mary, and explained the strange confrontation
he faced. Mary was amazed to hear the word Byzantine, saying the palace archives mentioned
them as an old trade parter of Olympus. They had severed ties millions of years previously,
during the first rule of Zeus, and had never been heard from again. Olympus had traditionally
ignored their region of space, finding plenty of friendly planets in other directions, but
Byzantine had been all but forgotten in the ensuing eons. Mary confessed that she had believed
the ancient world long destroyed, as she had never been able to see them. Even now, her
powerful vision saw only Enison’s forces sitting in empty space; Byzantine eluded her sight.
Enison opened his communication systems to every frequency, and broadcast a continuing
statement of intent, explaining he had no quarrel with an ancient ally of Olympus, but that he
must continue through their space. The Indigo fleet began inching forward, but were soon fired
upon by the sea of ships that surrounded them. Enison halted his advance, agreeing to stay put
until a diplomatic solution could be reached.
On Olympus, Mary activated the Olympic fleet. She had asked the Indigo Order to spearhead
the mission to find Athlon because of their recognition by thousands of planets; they did not
represent a single power, but the welfare of all. Now, Byzantine had Enison outnumbered, and
so she believed it was time for Olympus to offer the Indigo Order its support. She asked her
father, Alethar, to take charge of the fleet and aid Enison.
Alethar was commissioned as an Admiral, and he set out from Olympus with the finest fleet
Olympus had ever produced. They sped to Enison’s location, making the trip in just under six
weeks. Alethar announced that he intended to escort Enison through the Caliphate’s wide
territory, and that he would not attack if they were allowed to pass. The Byzantine forces opened
fire once again.
Athlon watched the battle footage flash across the screen. The Byzantine ships were greater in
number, but the Olympic fleet boasted far greater fire power. Enison split the Indigo fleet to
cover Alethar’s flanks, and a fierce battle followed, in which many Byzantine ships were
destroyed. Enison and Alethar both lost a few ships, which exploded brilliantly on the screen
before Athlon, who winced at the loss of life on both sides. He wanted to yell at the images that
he was not in danger, that everything would work out, that the conflict was unnecessary. It
wouldn’t have mattered of course; the battle had taken place a hundred years ago, while Athlon
was traveling through time towards his fateful meeting with Abaddon and Hiratio.
Finally, the Byzantine fleet retreated towards their planet, regrouping for another assault.
Alethar and Enison sped forward, moving closer to Byzantine as they tried to leave Caliphate
space. This worked to Byzantine’s advantage however, as the alien forces moved into range of
massive cannons on the planet’s surface. Huge blasts erupted from the planet, and a heavy
cruiser was demolished off Alethar’s port bow. Cursing, Alethar told Enison to stop advancing
and they tried to turn and flee. The Byzantine fleet had regrouped, and raced to block the
departure of the Indigo and Olympic ships.
The cannon fire stopped, and Byzantine communicated to Enison and Alethar that if the fleets
tried to move or attack, the cannons would target their most populated ships. The allied forces
halted, and Byzantine craft surrounded them on all sides.
Alethar contacted Mary, and explained the new stalemate. Mary had news as well; she had seen
Athena land on a small planet called Babylon, where the android was convinced Athlon had
landed. Mary described the drones, and relayed their story as she heard it in a conversation
between Athena and Hiratio. A brief battle had followed, ending with Athena’s concealment in a
life pod before being buried deep beneath the planet’s surface. Athlon could still not be found.
With no leads, and the legendary Athena concluding that Babylon was the most likely location
of Athlon, Mary ordered the fleet to stay where it was until a tactical advantage against the
Caliphate could be found.
Constant skirmishes followed. Enison and Alethar tried all manner of tactics to remind the
Caliphate of their strength, hoping they would eventually be allowed to pass. Months turned
into years as a cold war took place above Byzantine. Olympus’ military built huge research
facilities to develop new technology that could be recreated on the front lines by the isolated
fleets. After seventy years, patterns had been transmitted to Alethar and Enison for particle
transportation systems, allowing individuals to transport between ships. After ninety, powerful
holographic projectors had been built, which were beamed onto the hulls of the Indigo ships.
Shortly after the hundredth anniversary of the deadlock, Mary contacted Alethar and Enison,
who gathered their top advisors on Alethar’s flagship to meet with her. Athlon had appeared,
emerging from Yggdrasil and landing on Babylon, where he and Harmony had been taken
prisoner by the drone regent Abaddon. Athena remained concealed deep inside the distant
Mary had watched Abaddon’s drones hunting for Athena, and believed they were close to
discovering her location. Athlon was plagued by emotional instabilities, and Mary was not
convinced he would be able to escape before Athena was found. The fleets had to make their
A plan was devised, and Enison returned to his ship to command his forces. Relying on the
element of surprise, Enison programmed the holographic projectors that he hoped had gone
unnoticed on the outer skin of his ships. Alethar used Mary’s coordinates for Babylon, and
readied his fleet for full acceleration. For the first time in a century, Alethar would be leaving
On a simple count of three, Enison brought the projectors online, duplicating Alethar’s fleet
perfectly. Enison ordered his fleet to move away from Byzantine, putting distance between
themselves and the planet. At the same time, Alethar sped forward, leaving Byzantine to fire at
the ghost images of his fleet. The rear ships opened fire, giving Enison cover as he moved out of
range of the cannons on the planet below. By the time the Byzantine forces realized that a third
of the allied ships were mirages, Alethar was speeding out of Caliphate space. A single cannon
blast clipped the flagship, but Alethar didn’t dare stop for repairs. He sealed off the damaged
section of his ship, and raced for Babylon.
Enison fired every weapon at his disposal, cutting a wide path in the swarm of Byzantine ships.
He regrouped a few billion miles away from Byzantine, and assumed a defensive formation. The
mission now was to keep the Caliphate forces from following him back to Olympus.
Byzantine screamed across open comms at Enison, enraged by the stunt. They declared war on
The Indigo Order and Olympus, and then went silent. Enison set about building a strategy to
defend against the next attack from the furious Caliphate.
As Alethar neared Babylon, his viewscreen displayed the activity below. He watched Abaddon
die by his own hand, and witnessed the second rise of the drones. Athlon had stabilized, and
Athena was safe.
The viewscreen onboard Alethar’s ship dimmed, and Athlon stood up. He peered down at
Alethar, who shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Athlon extended his arms and rose his voice,
practically yelling at the older man that he was fine that they had started a war to help no one.
This was exactly the opposite of what Athlon wished to stand for. He would have to go to
Byzantine himself, as an ambassador, and try to explain. There was no point to this conflict.
Athlon looked at the deck officer and ordered him to open a channel to Mary through the Unity
Arch. The officer looked at Alethar for confirmation, but Athlon snapped his fingers before the
officer’s eyes. The Android barked at the bridge for attention. He very clearly stated that he was a
King of Olympus, the Champion of Dopinephrine, and quite a bit smarter than all of them. He
reminded them that they had spent a hundred years trying not to get killed by an enemy that
they did not have before leaving, and that if they wanted to avoid an all out war, it would be a
good idea to get into the habit of listening to him.
The deck officer placed the call. Harmony chuckled in Athlon’s mind.
Mary’s greeting was cut off by Athlon, who told her to call Enison home. The Queen frowned,
and began to explain that the Caliphate was threatening absolute destruction of Olympus. The
Indigo fleet was reporting a massive increase in production of Byzantine warships. They were
building a wall of heavily armed craft that would move to attack the planet. Enison was the only
source of information about the Caliphate’s movements.
Athlon insisted that Enison be recalled, saying he would go himself to Byzantine and try to work
out a truce. Mary shook her head. Enison and his fleet had to stay where they were, at least until
an agreement could be reached. Annoyed, Athlon stepped to the deck officer’s station and
disconnected the Unity Arch while the queen was mid-sentence. His fingers sped across the
screen, contacting Enison, who’s large frame filled the viewscreen, and Athlon looked into his
four eyes, struck by the familiarity he felt with the High Priest.
Enison stiffened when Athlon asked him to return to Olympus. He began offering the same
reasons Mary had, and Athlon clenched his teeth. He explained that the first step in showing the
Byzantine Caliphate that Olympus wanted no further conflict was to withdrawal from their space.
Enison told Athlon that he appreciated The Android’s philosophy, but that there was too much to
lose by retreating. He reminded Athlon that the Indigo Order was independent from Olympus,
regardless of how closely they were aligned. Enison had chosen to stay and no one could order
him to move.
Athlon stared at Enison with a dangerous look in his eyes. He told the High Priest that it would
have been beneficial to everyone if he had paid better attention to Malachi’s teachings. Enison’s
eyes narrowed, and Athlon hung up, walking briskly off the bridge and down a corridor. Alethar
called after him, but Athlon stepped into a decompression chamber, sealed the door, and
opened the airlock. A long silver streak pierced the sky as Athlon sped back to Babylon.
Athena hung her head as Athlon told her the story he had heard from Alethar. Athlon hugged
her and told her he had to leave; using Yggdrasil, he could be on Byzantine in a few moments.
She nodded sadly and gave Athlon a smile, knowing there was no choice in Athlon’s mind.
Hiratio approached Athlon and offered his help. If there was anything the drones of Babylon
could do to assist Athlon or the Olympians, they wanted to volunteer. Athlon thanked Hiratio,
but told him the drones should focus on upgrading their systems so they could leave Babylon.
Progress was already being made; the drones were collecting the materials needed to build
flight and defensive systems for themselves.
Athlon and Harmony were preparing to leave for Yggdrasil when Alethar contacted them from
his ship. Analysis of the last leg of their journey had revealed a sensor shadow that had followed
them to Babylon. Alethar’s officers believed it could be the result of a cloaking system, veiling a
group of vessels sitting near Babylon’s second moon.
Alethar began moving his fleet to intercept, but Athlon screamed across the comm for them to
hold their position. Another conflict between Olympic forces and the Byzantines would further
damage Athlon’s ability to negotiate a treaty. The Android rose into the air, and flew slowly
towards the moon. He activated the Ares Clef, and began singing of peace, announcing his
intentions as he approached the location of the sensor shadow.
Harmony found the signatures of nine ships hidden by impressive cloaking technology. Without
Athlon’s recently improved scanning systems, only the shadow would have been detected.
Athlon increased the Ares Clef’s power, hoping for any response that would give him a way to
speak to the Byzantines.
From the surface of Babylon, Hiratio and the drones stopped their work to listen to Athlon’s
song. They gazed upwards, and pondered Athlon’s actions. He had flown directly into the gap
separating two enemies, putting himself in the path of weapon systems designed to destroy
warships. Hiratio smiled.
Starting ever so faintly, a second song began playing in Athlon’s mind, in a haunting female
voice. It was simple, and sad, but it was also laced with a thread of hope. The ship containing the
singer must have been constructed using at least some treble matter, allowing Athlon to hear it
through the cloak. With a thought, he asked Harmony to broadcast the tune. She flipped a few
switches, and routed the music from Athlon’s cochlea into the Ares Clef. A moment later, the
second song could be heard on Alethar’s ships and by the drones.
The lyrics were difficult to understand, but Athlon sensed fear in parts of the song. Occasionally,
a single word could be made out, and Athlon decided to halt his approach. The song was
evolving, and Athlon and Harmony agreed the singer was trying to get a grasp on
communicating with the Ares Clef. Athlon chuckled as they listened, pleased that in the middle
of this war, someone was singing back to him, trying to convey a message. In the last hundred
years, very little communication had taken place between the deadlocked forces, and now two
strangers were working to convey emotion and intent through music.
Athlon’s smile melted. Harmony had heard it too.
Help us. Please help.
Light exploded from Athlon’s thrusters as he rocketed towards the source of the song. A moment
later the singing stopped, and a dim, shimmering light expanded and then disappeared,
revealing the nine Caliphate ships. Twin turrets swiveled from the underbelly of the lead craft,
and were leveled on Athlon. He rolled out of the way as thousands of brilliant red bolts filled
The Olympic fleet sped into action, racing to close the gap between themselves and the
Caliphate ships. Athena and Hiratio left babylon in a flash, hurrying to help Athlon. It didn’t take
long for Alethar to move his ships into weapons range, and explosions filled the air as he began
firing on the Caliphate. Harmony cried into her comm, telling Alethar to cease fire, that there
were people asking for aid onboard one of the Byzantine craft. Athlon swerved left and right,
dodging the heavy fire blazing from the guns looking to shoot him down.
The other Caliphate ships changed formation and opened fire on Alethar. The sky above Babylon
glowed as intense fire was exchanged across the narrowing strip of space between them. Athena
joined Harmony in Alethar’s ear, telling him to stop firing until they could locate the people