BattleTech Fanon Wiki

Interlude - My Vanity[]

Part 1 - Tale of a King[]

Diaprepes, one of the ten kings of Atlantis, fifteenth in his line, stretched out his senses into space-time around him while he performed his daily meditation.  His consciousness expanded out past the globe-topped spire that was his palace. Out, below, and over the small tropical island that housed it like a plant decorated display platform in a blue pool his senses went.   As his island home shrank, he watched the horizon curl, the earth turn to magma, and the air lose color as it thinned.

The world of Adeianós shrank away, and with it the sole moon that was the Atlantean colony ship that ha brought his people to this world.  He felt, more than saw, the crust and pockmarks on its fifteen-millennia-old hull.  Both orbs shrank rapidly into colored dots before his senses.  Visually, they vanished, but Diaprepes knew where they were.

As the distance grew, so did the rate of expansion.  Adeianos’s star, came into his sphere of sensing, and quickly started to shrink.

Once he had expanded out to the edge of the system, something caught his attention.  Turning, he focused on something new.  An object had breached the seal of reality.  Focusing on it further, a light hit his senses.  It was warm and bright.  He could feel it even though it was small with extreme distance.

As soon as he found it, he knew he had to investigate.  Ranging it, he discovered it well past his kingdom’s borders, beyond the edge of the empire.  He noted the star so he could find it once he came out of meditation.

The system was a surprise.  It was old Helios.

Knowing that, Diaprepes didn’t waste time with a cool-down.  His senses snapped back into his body as he opened his eyes.  His skin returned the cool feeling inside his empty meditation chamber.  There were no shapes to greet his eyes but the smooth, curved walls that formed the orb atop his palace.  The light reflected onto the walls from the edges of the depressed circular ceiling above.  Standing up, Diaprepes stepped to the center of the upraised circular platform that formed the floor.

He focused, and reality shifted around him instantly.  He didn’t need to move, but it appeared to his eyes as if he had moved through a gate into the palace proper at the base of the tower.  To anyone who observed him, they described it as if he simply vanished or winked into existence.

That was the power of his lineage.  When Poseidon sired his five sets of male twins, each one was imbued with a unique ability.  The powers of each twin set were opposite.  The legend went that when each twin came into manhood, Poseidon took each child aside and whispered something in the boy's ear, and that unlocked the power that each king wielded. 

 Diaprepes the First, so it went, was the last to receive his power.  His brother, Azaes, came away with the ability to take energy and convert it back to matter, or convert matter to energy.  For most, it appeared he had the power of fire.  But, when Poseidon took Diaprepes aside, he did not speak a word when reaching up to his son's ear.  Pulling away, Diaprepes was confused.  But, then his power awakened. 

He could manipulate absence.  It generally came in the form of teleportation.  The space outside the fabric of reality, the void, was his domain, through which he could move at will.

That power would be the salvation of the early empire.  Having to fend off invasion after invasion, the kings concluded that it was time to leave the Earth behind, find a place of their own, and combine their powers to make that place a paradise.  After the other kings used their powers to locate and build a world next to a star similar to Helios, complete with life, breathable air, and a fair amount of  water, Diaprepes I used his power to transport the island.

In the thousands of years since, the empire had expanded.  Each Diaprepes since used his power to aid in linking each world by teleporting ships between star systems.  He did the same.

Fully aware of all things he took into the space outside the universe as part of the teleportation process, finding one he didn't oversee was worrisome.  And, this one came in.  He hadn't felt it leave and then re-enter.  As far as he knew, their very reality could be under invasion.

The palace proper was wide and spacious.  High, decorated stone ceilings were supported  by ornate, fluted columns.  His family's colors, deep dark navy blue with no coronation, hung in the form of banners along the walls and streaming carpets along the floor. 

He came out in the throne room, startling the aid on shift.  The salty breeze drifted gently through tall open windows that lined the side walls. The plants in front of them stirred and the banners swayed in a slow dance.

“May I help you ,sire?” the man asked after recovering and bowing.

“I discovered something that needs investigating, something only my talents will be useful.  I am departing now.  Please let Autolycus know.  I have no instructions.”

The aid bowed and turned to leave about the same time that Diaprepes teleported into the heart of his personal ship.  It responded to his presence, powering up.  The holographic walls lit up first, revealing an interior similar to his meditation chamber.  But, they vanished, leaving a direct view to the ship's exterior.

The landing platform sat in the center of a square plaza only half a kilometer away from the base of the tower.  He had a clear view of the plaza that spanned the entire distance between the two.  Diaprepes let his gaze linger on the decorative columns and the different buildings that were partly obscured on either side.  It was a scene he was fond of, and hoped to see it again, soon.

Diaprepes had no idea what he would find.  The chance that he could actually die, or be captured were slim possibilities when facing the unknown.  After a few seconds, he inhaled deeply and went into meditation.

Expanding his mind, he shrank the sphere of his ship into his being.  Locating ancient Helios was easy, the light of the new arrival still projecting like an unending beacon.  With some extra concentration, he reached out, and opened the door to the void.  Once it was open wide enough, his body – the ship – slipped through.

Part 2 - Odyssey of Diaprepes[]

Diaprepes arrived at one of Helios's polar regions, which he found interesting.  The cradle star was very far away, though still very distinct among every other star.  He could barely make out the blue orb of Gaia as nothing more than another star in the sky.

He quickly located the intruder, barely seven stadia away.  To his surprise, it wasn't just one vessel, as he had expected.  Three ships, identical in all ways except what was attached near their waste, were busy pointing oddly domed noses toward the Helios star.  They almost reminded him of his own tower, looking like candelabra, with legs on one end, a thin pole for a body, and an egg-like dome flanked by two circular gem-like domes as a head.

Around the center, all three had what Diaprepes guessed to be large shuttles.  A couple were huge orbs like his ship.  Many more were brick-like, with wings sprouting from one end, two sets of matching pairs.  There were lots of those, and they reminded him of the ships most people used in Atlantis to fly over great distances, though these were not as sleek.

Diaprepes quickly studied the signatures left over from their entry into his world.  He was puzzled to find that they were Atlantean.  He couldn't believe that, considering how unrefined and undecorated these ships were.  Atlanteans had a penchant for high craftsmanship which he did not see among these, so if they were Atlantean, they weren't of the Atlantis with which he was familiar.

What was even odder was that the signatures felt familiar, like something he would bestow, and not something from a different king out of his line.  He had studied the patterns of the prior Diaprepes kings, and there was a trait that set each one apart.  These also spoke out a message.

There was only one order that made sense, and it read: 'Do Not Follow'.

A warning, or a threat?

His next surprise was that the beacon that had attracted him hadn't grown with distance.  It remained small, the light coming from within one of the orb ships.  He concluded that it was a special device that allowed the three ships to come to his realm.  There was the faint possibility it belonged to a creature, or even a person, but Diaprepes felt that was too unlikely.

He was about to investigate further, but he didn't have any time.

The long needle ships winked out of existence, each folding time and space around it like a magician flamboyantly concealing himself under a cloak.  Seeing where the void still peaked through into his universe, he could still follow.  He had to decide fast.  Head the warning?  Or follow, in case it was some odd trick?

Seeing the tear mending quickly, Diaprepes decided he had to follow. He had to know what kind of threat they posed.  He reached out and pulled his vessel into the realm outside reality.

Immediately, outside the fabric of the universe, he lost them. 

There was no visible trace.  However, he could feel their old path. It was a certainty in his mind.  He pressed his vessel deeper into the aether. Suddenly his ship started to shake and tremble.  This was something he had only read about, catalogued by the first Diaprepes.  He had cautioned his heirs never to try this except in extreme circumstances.

This felt like an extreme circumstance.  He pressed on.

Never before had Diaprepes felt such turmoil.

Out in the sightless depths of nothing, he glimpsed the giant waves.  He instinctively understood them to the barriers of other realities.  They flashed and thundered where they collided.  It reminded him of a violent storm at sea, an experience he had had only once in his life when he was young.

He had taken a curiosity to what other people did for a living, and had tagged along on a fishing expedition.  It was something that common people in his kingdom did on a daily basis.  The storm had come upon them quickly.

Like then, he was disoriented, unable to fight the forces that propelled his ship.  Like then, he wanted to warp back to safety, back home.  Unlike then, he fought that urge and pressed on, following the spiritual trail of the three ships.

He took a quick second to look back, to find the entry to his own realm to ease his mind.  He couldn't see it any more.  Not even the trail he followed remained back the way he had come.   It was lost in the chaos.

For what felt equally like minutes and multiple eternities, he fought on through the waves, avoiding collisions and cresting wave heads as he followed the path.  He couldn't see the end.  Even with his best possible speed, the trail was fading quickly.

And, then it happened.  He reached the trail's end, out in the middle of nowhere.  For once, caught in between dozens of realities, far away from his own, Diaprepes was lost.

Diaprepes searched about, looking for the beacon.  More minutes and eternities passed with no sign of which way to go.  He felt despair growing.  He pressed forward along the last direction the path had taken him, haltingly, hoping he might be able to pick up the trail anew.

Finally, he quit searching.  Knowing it wouldn't help him to give up and remain outside realities, he had to decide.  He could try going back the way he came, and try to find his home.  Or, he could choose an immediately close reality, and start hopping to find his own.

He had decided the universe-hopping strategy was the best.  He randomly chose one, and started toward it.  That was when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something which he immediately recognized.

He saw the beacon.  That wonderful light caught his void-sight, and it did not waiver.  It led into a point on one of the waves of reality adjacent to his random choice.  Diaprepes quietly blessed the maker of realities for this boon.

Without hesitation, he urged his ship toward it, getting the feel for the tides and waves of the aether storm around him.  Unerringly, he zeroed in on the rip in the void from where the beacon shined.  A vortex grabbed his ship and pulled it into time and space.

There was a pattern to this hole which Diaprepes had seen before, and he knew it for what it was.  This was where the invaders had come from.  This was their home.

And, then he was through.

His ship was suddenly quite still.  The turmoil of the void between universes was instantly gone.  In what amounted to no time at all, but he had perceived as minutes, his shiny pearl of a ship slid from one universe into another.

Diaprepes had never done this before.  He hadn't even contemplated such a possibility.  There was nothing from the line of Kings before, writings or lore, about the real power bestowed on the first Diaprepes and his heirs.  As far as he knew, he was the first, and maybe the last.

He had no idea when or where he was.  There was no way to tell how the other realities lined up in time with his own.  The beacon had also vanished, leaving Diaprepes to wonder if he was truly in the world of the invaders, and he had supposed.

Without the beacon, and no base-line to use, he had no way to navigate.

It was time to start getting some bearings.  Diaprepes came out of his trance to activate his sensors.  He wanted to build a visual presentation of his surroundings.

Suddenly, he was knocked to the floor.  His ship had jumped violently with an impact that still rang through its hull.  But, it happened only the once, and stopped.


Not the artificial force inside the ship, but outside.  Pushing himself to his feet, he mentally called for the holodisplay.  All he saw was darkness, black and complete.  Activating his ship's exterior luminescence, he saw glass reflecting his own ship back at him.  At his feet, it was cracked, fractured where the round bottom of his vessel had crushed its surface.

His stomach felt achingly empty, like a hole to the void had opened up inside his gut and was sucking out his organs.  He wanted to sit down, to drop to his knees, he was so shocked.

The vortex had jumped him deep into solid rock.

The vortex with a pattern he recognized.  A pattern with his unique signature.  A pattern only he could have devised.

Diaprepes quickly concluded exactly how everything had set into place.  By his own hand, he had led the invaders between universes.  It was evident in the pattern.  By his own hand he had trapped himself here.

By his own hand.

How could he have been so blind?  He would have to puzzle out the different possible reasons he might have had to do such a thing.  For now, he needed to get his bearings.

In this realm, Diaprepes was blind.  He could enter the void, but could not navigate it.  He didn't have the skill or raw power granted by Poseidon to the original to continually wander.

He was trapped.

But he had hope.  That pattern on those ships were his.  It had been a warning.  He would see it again.

He had no time to waste, even though, ironically, he had all the time in the world.  Shutting down all unnecessary systems, Diaprepes stepped to the center of the command chamber and seated himself for a trance.  Using his own mental energies, he formed a void bubble around himself, sealing his body outside of time.  This way, he could preserve himself for an eternity.

 He wouldn't have to wait that long.  If he interpreted events correctly, he would see the beacon again.  When he did, finally he would be free.  Then, he could go home to Atlantis, or explore the multiverse.

 But, he had to see what kind of universe he was in.  Reaching inward, he felt outward.  Those ships could propel themselves through the void.  It was that kind of disturbance which he sought.  But, the beacon had vanished upon entering this world.  It was possible that he had been flung into the past, before the invention of such ships.

He mentally prepared himself for silence, a long, long quiet.

To his surprise, he found a ship, though not the one with the beacon.  Then another.  And, many, many more.  Almost on a daily basis, he felt disturbances in the void.

They were close.

Close, and scattered.

He never felt as many ripples, so much star travel, back in Atlantis.  Seeing this, he felt dismayed.  Should these people ever start to cross universes, Atlantis would need to be ready if they proved hostile.

He felt them.  He felt their frequency.  In this way, Diaprepes gained a new skill.  In the infinite absence of time, where ships, crew and passengers occupied his domain, he learned to listen.  He heard their thoughts.  Eventually, he learned to actively converse with them.  This was how he learned the scope and nature of the reality he was in.

Through dream in the void, in timeless sleep, Diaprepes reached out, searching, waiting, confident it wouldn't be long.

Then the Beacon appeared.

Author's Note
Helios is the Greek word for Sol, our sun.  Since Atlantis is best know through Plato, a Greek, I decided to use that for nomenclature, even though the legend was supposedly an Egyptian legend. I think Plato went so far as to suggest the names of the actual Atlantean personae he used were Greek approximations.

Same goes with Diaprepes and his people.  They speak their own unique language that isn't English or Greek.

Stadion is the singular form of stadia, and is a proper unit of Greek measurement.  It is between 607 to 630 feet.  I fudged a little and rounded down to an even 600.

Previous Chapter - Return to Story Index - Next Chapter