Veiled Empyrean V (Dopinephrine 7.5) .pdf
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D o p i n e p h r i n e
Areia… you must lead him back….
AN explosion of color and emotion filled the young android’s mind. It took .003 seconds for her
to decide she was alive, and should probably discover what that meant. Drums filled her head as
she struggled to feel the boundaries of her body. After a few seconds, the drums began to
structure themselves into a rhythm.
Information surged into Areia’s brain. She was onboard an Olympian ship, named The Daedalus.
A man named Hiratio was its captain. Admiral Alethar commanded the fleet. The nearest planet
was Byzantine, part of the Great Caliphate - enemies of Olympus.
Areia opened her eyes to a blurry, white room. A door near the edge of her field of vision
opened, and a large green alien carrying a mouse hurried through. Areia blinked. That was
Enison, leader of the Indigo Order, definitely good guys. The mouse was adorable. Areia reached
The mouse hopped into her hand and Areia giggled. It was Harmony, a Nereid of Wulthaire.
Harmony grinned down at the young android, making her laugh hysterically. Areia closed her
hand around Harmony and yanked the Nereid to her chest, cuddling the small woman much
There was so much history to discover. Areia gasped as fresh neurons connected her to a wealth
of information locked in her memory banks. Alethar speaking on Olympus at the end of the
Epsilon Invasion. A ski trip across the glaciers of Ursa Enikos. The romance of Rhythm and Poetry.
Areia was fascinated with the two characters from ancient Olympus. They were beautiful. After a
few moments of study, Areia pieced together their story, and realized they were versions of her
parents. She squealed with joy, allowing Harmony to scamper out of her grip, patting down her
fur where it was ruffled. Enison turned to hide his smile.
The growing android kept accessing files, speeding through millions of years of galactic history
in seconds. It was a story of progress, she decided; one which was often threatened by powerful
beings who cherished power or vengeance over the relationships that make life worth living.
These beings would epitomize negative ideas that would attempt to restrict or set back the
progress of the citizens of the galaxy, but the ideas of universal morality and freedom would
always triumph in the end. Pyke, Osiris, Boris, Lucifer, Zeus, Cronus… the past few ages of
history had been full of angry beings who attempted to destroy the peace of the people. Her
parents had stopped them all.
With a feeling of definitiveness and purpose, Areia decided she wanted to be like them. Nothing
was more precious than innocent life, and Areia furrowed her brow as she imagined there were
monsters out there that would want to threaten that. Athlon and Athena always stood against
the villains. She would too. Confidence surged in her thoughts, and she made the drum beat
speed up, adding her own feelings to the music. Her perspective was still limited to the macro,
with the details of life and culture filling in quickly but unevenly. Her first song made her laugh
as she struggled to form poetry that expressed her excitement. She felt euphoria in the higher
regions of her brain, and realized she had found her Ares Clef. What a wonderful feeling! She
focused, pulling deeper from the information she could barely absorb fast enough. She
practiced her references, worked on sounding tough, and then added intricacies to her
choruses. Music was clearly the greatest thing ever.
Areia looked around the room, filled with pride at her accomplishment. She pictured her
mother’s face, and whipped her neck left and right to find her. Harmony stepped forward, ready
to explain when Areia’s face fell. She remembered the nightmare. Falling through space,
terrified. Lifted towards the light by Athena. The fleeting moments of connection between
mother and daughter. Unspeakable fear, and the desperate attempts to help. Her father’s arms
reaching for her. Areia had been awake for less than five minutes, and was already struggling to
In the time it took Areia to ask Harmony where her father was, she had matured mentally by
three years. She didn’t even hear the response as she scanned her own body, treble matter
molecules splitting and reforming as her skin stretched to accommodate her growing body. She
looked at her arm; silver, like her father. She felt her head, noting that it sloped upward like a
balloon, a comparison that she found hilarious. She started to laugh, but suddenly felt foolish
and quieted herself, trying to force a serious air. She burst out laughing anyway, picturing
herself flying through space powered by a helium filled skull rather than her thrusters. It
occurred to her that she wasn’t even meant to be on a starship, but rather out in space, looking
for enemies. She closed her eyes and shook her head frantically as she realized she would be
easily deflated by the first villain with a pin.
An alarm sounded next to Areia and she smashed the monitoring computer with blinding
speed. Enison moved around the table and struggled to hold down Areia’s arms as Harmony
tried to make sense of the constantly changing results on her scanner. The only consistency was
a rising internal temperature. This was exactly what Harmony had been afraid of. Two drones
hurried to help Enison restrain the thrashing android, and Harmony tossed her scanner aside,
rushing for the entrance port in Areia’s shoulder. She scrambled through her patient’s chest,
emerging in the natural chamber meant for her. She blinked as the terminals came to life as she
took her seat, lighting up with an interface that was mostly written in a Nereid computer
language. Harmony instantly found the controls she needed and initiated a shutdown sequence
of Areia’s systems.
Information flooded Harmony’s screens, giving her detailed schematics of Areia’s now dormant
body. Like Athena at birth, the young android was struggling to understand herself in the wider
context of the events and reality she found around her. She needed contact with another
android to fill in the vital parts of her perspective she was not able to discover on her own.
Athena had clearly anticipated this, downloading her entire memory into her daughter during
her final moments of life, but the perspective was incomplete without an interpreter. Areia
needed more than records; she needed a guide.
Harmony closed her eyes as she realized Athlon was completely unreachable. Without him, she
wasn’t sure Areia could become well adjusted before she finished growing. Permanent
disadvantages might cripple her mentally without immediate action. There was another
problem too: if the internal panic couldn’t be removed, Areia’s brain would keep rising in
temperature, eventually doing irreparable harm to her cognitive abilities. Action was needed
Harmony called for Alethar and Khawla. She asked a few drones to bring a Unity Arch to the lab,
and used it to call Olympus, asking Mary and Maya to stand by. Harmony explained Areia’a
condition, and asked them to talk with her. Without her father, it would take a village.
Harmony brought Areia’s consciousness back online, but left her body dormant to avoid Areia’s
uncontrollable thrashing. This seemed to keep her calm, and Khawla stepped forward to begin.
She explained what was happening between the Caliphate and Olympus, and taught Areia
about friendship and the importance of standing up for one’s self. Areia said nothing, but
listened carefully to the woman’s words. Athena’s memories told her Khawla was a woman with
wisdom beyond her years, and worthy of trust.
Alethar spoke next, telling Areia about his time on Esadru, and his unwavering desire to be
reunited with his family. He gave her the lesson of unconditional love and undying hope. He
told her they were stronger as a group than thy were alone. Areia felt Athena’s trust for Alethar
and accepted his words.
Mary told Areia about the nature of wisdom, explaining the difference between knowing the
future and anticipating it based on current events. She told the android that knowledge and
wisdom must go hand in hand, but true wisdom would come from being able to know the
difference. She taught Areia about diplomacy and the value of avoiding a fight, even if victory
Maya shared the value of all life, telling Areia that no one was less valuable than anyone else, no
matter what they had done. She taught the android about love and passive actions, about peace
as a lifestyle, and about trusting your opponents to be capable of civilized choices. Maya’s words
had a big impact on Areia and she looked at the Ambassador of Life’s beautiful face with
Harmony reported that the ascent of Areia’s temperature had lessened, but was still climbing.
Enison stepped forward and placed his hands of Areia’s head, connecting with her mentally to
show her the philosophy of the Indigo Order and their commitment to respect for life and the
defense of all. He taught her about the difference between justice and vengeance, about the
inferior idea of retribution and the preservation of dignity and rights. Enison communicated
through images and emotions rather than words, hoping to provide some of the perspective
Areia needed. He shared his memories of Malachi, and gave Areia a role model for what a hero
Areia’s temperature dipped for a moment, and she seemed at peace after Enison’s communion.
She had the groundwork to understand the best ideas in the galaxy, and a map to find her place
among them. She felt wise, well-equipped to make adult decisions, and welcomed by her
extended family. Still, she craved contact with Athlon, a being she felt increasingly disconnected
from. All these people were here to assist, (and alive only because of), the Champion of
Olympus’ actions. She had felt Enison concealing information about Athlon, and sensed from
each of the people assembled a certain sadness surrounding their thoughts of him. She
thanked each of the surrogates individually, and then asked Harmony once again about her
Harmony paused before saying that Athlon was not well following the loss of Athena. He was
too upset to see her yet, but that he would surely return to her soon. The non-answer frightened
Areia, and her brain began to super heat again. She could hear Athena’s echoing voice in her
mind, telling her to bring him back. Areia became frantic, attempting to override Harmony’s
commands, a task that would have been simple for a more experienced android. Harmony shut
her down again, and thanked her friends for their efforts, assuring them that they had made
progress. Harmony leaned forward in her flight seat inside an unconscious Areia and rested her
face in her hands.
The door to the lab slid open, and Hiratio entered. He passed Alethar a report of the fleet’s
position, and the admiral left for his flagship. Mary begged Harmony to contact them again if
there was even a chance that they could help further, and the Unity Arch’s image faded away.
Enison asked what the next step was.
Harmony shrugged, not caring that Enison could not see her. There was little time left to help
Areia past her extreme growing pains. The screen in front of Harmony flickered and told her that
the android’s physical growth was complete. She only needed the final contact with another
android to reach complete adulthood, and ensure she would survive the end of her puberty
Hiratio walked around the table Areia lay on, studying her from every angle. She resembled her
parents, but had an appearance that was all her own. She was beautiful, elegant and strong. He
asked Harmony if he could try connecting with the android.
Harmony couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of it before. He was not an android, but was still
an intelligent synthetic being. Why wouldn’t it work? She sped through a launch sequence on
her terminals, producing a single probe from Areia’s lower brain, and sending it speeding from
the port at the base of her neck. Hiratio crooked his neck to allow it to attach just beneath his
jaw, its signal surging through the drone’s spinal chord and brain.
The room was dark, lit only by a brilliant model of the galaxy that Areia held in her hands. She
seemed entranced by the sight, yet disconnected from it. After a moment she glanced up at
Hiratio, projected onto this plane of her imagination.
Beautiful isn’t it?
Hiratio was captivated by the galaxy, but also by the young woman standing behind it. He
My mother thought you were the most amazing person she had
ever met. Well, after my father that is.
I’m sorry about what happened to your family.
Hiratio walked to Areia, looking into her eyes through the light of the galaxy. He felt his
synapses connecting with hers through their link, and sensed the simulation framework she had
retreated to. Testing their connection, Hiratio summoned the image of Queen Semiramis, who
appeared shimmering and smiling before them.
My mother always believed in my ability to become more than i was.
I still rely on her memory each day to help me make the right
decisions for my people.
Areia walked around the image of Semiramis. She understood what Hiratio was saying. She
created an image of Athena next to the Queen of Babylon.
I barely got to know her.
I would trade anything to have one conversation with her.
Hiratio nodded. He assured Areia that her mother loved her more than anything. He could feel
Areia’s emotions, could sense her need for a story to help her understand life. He closed his
eyes, and filled the simulation with a recreation of Babylon, perfect in every detail from his
Hiratio started at his own birth, showing Areia his struggle for recognition from his father. Areia
watched Hiratio grow as a young man, reading every book he could find, thirsting for
knowledge and an understanding of philosophy to help him form the arguments he would one
day use to rally the drones behind the tenets of self determination and free will.
Areia followed Hiratio’s story closely, moving the scene as needed to see what she wished.
Hiratio allowed her to access his history any way she wished, offering her an openness that she
recognized and was grateful for. Areia was attracted to Hiratio’s view of life, thinking him both
brave and smart. His manner was quietly heroic, and always thoughtful. There was sadness in
his story, but a refusal to submit to grief that she liked. She absentmindedly took Hiratio’s hand
as they watched Abaddon murder the king and queen. She studied Athena’s actions, hanging on
her every word. She squeezed Hiratio’s hand harder as she watched his treatment by his brother,
letting go only when Athlon appeared on Babylon.
The android watched all of Athlon’s scenes again and again, noting every movement of his face,
repeating his words as if she was gaining some deeper truth about him from his dialogue.
Privately, she adored the attitude of the man before her. His gentle approach to the terrified
Hiratio, his instant respect for the drones as people, his measured rage during his final
confrontation with the vile Abaddon. Athlon was a wonderful man, and Areia was pleased he
was her father. She held him up in her mind as the perfect definition of a champion. She wanted
to be just like him.
The drone and the android laughed together as Athlon discovered his new abilities, using them
to flirt with his beloved Athena. Areia realized in that moment that Athlon was truly at peace,
truly happy when he was with her mother. She couldn’t imagine the pain of losing that, and
mourned for her father.
When the scenes of Babylon dissipated, Areia closed her eyes and studied what she had
learned. There was peace in her mind. It had been the last piece of the puzzle to her selfawareness, and she could feel her brain normalizing. She knew who she was.
She looked at Hiratio with affection in her eyes. Without thinking, she kissed him, surprising
herself as much as the stunned drone. Feelings of excitement rose in her, and she kissed him
again, wrapping her arms behind his head and pressing her body against his. Hiratio accepted
her slowly, unsure of the sudden development. He kissed her back, allowing himself to become
lost in the pleasure of the connection with her.
After a few minutes, Hiratio stepped back from her, holding her head in his hands. They grinned
at each other, and stared into each other’s eyes, excited about the possibility of the relationship
to come. Hiratio told her they needed to return to their bodies; Harmony would be relieved to
know Areia had come through her childhood intact. Areia agreed, and the connection was
broken. Hiratio blinked with his real eyes, and Harmony whooped from her seat in Areia’s chest
as she reactivated all of her systems.
The Nereid climbed out of Areia’s shoulder just in time to catch a shy look exchanged between
Hiratio and the android. She smiled to herself, but knew it was time to move. Enison stepped
Areia. We have to talk about your father.˝
PAIN filled every part of Athlon’s mind. He wished to be torn apart, pulverized by an
unstoppable foe rather than feel the agony of his loss. What hope did he possibly have without
Without his consent, the third partition of his brain searched for hypothetical events that could
potentially destroy the Android. Yggdrasil would not harm him. The explosives used to attack
Olympus hadn’t even scratched him. Would flying into the center of Baldr do it? No way to know
Athlon screamed into space and forced the thoughts from his mind. Assuming his daughter
didn’t die in the lab back on the ship, she would probably need him. Athlon knew he would be
of no help in his current state, and he quickly pushed the young android from his thoughts.
Deep in his mind, a frightened part of the Champion was pleading for him to turn back, to just
sit and cry until there were no more tears. Athlon’s grief had taken control however, and it chose
untethered anger to fuel his actions.
Hades? The Norn’s pet monster had taken his beloved!? Unacceptable. It was the Caliphate’s
fault. Every one of the weak humans who had believed in the ridiculous story had given that
murderer his power. Athlon held them all responsible. Pluto would have died ages ago and
been forgotten if the pathetic faith of the masses hadn’t given him unnatural power. Billions of
them, praying to an imagined god instead of making their own destiny. They disgusted Athlon.
Byzantine grew ahead of him; he swore in his frenzied rage that he would eradicate the faithful
from his galaxy.
Alethar’s voice entered Athlon’s brain, sounding off pitch and dry, and ordered him to turn back.
Athlon laughed at him and disconnected the transmission. Who did he think he was? Athlon
would put an end to the war right now, securing a safe galaxy for his daughter and Olympus. He
didn’t need the mortals behind him, or the diplomacy of Mary and Maya. He should have
attacked months ago, instead of playing by the rules of the small figures he had thought of as
his friends. Maybe then Athena would have been saved.
A massive Byzantine warship moved to intercept the Android. Athlon didn’t even slow down. He
hit the ship head on, piercing its exterior and letting a few hundred marines pour out into space.
He flew through the ship, swinging wildly at the walls, forcing the ship to decompress as oxygen
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